thejeremynix:

The Pop top Tour made a stop in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Originally posted on Pop Top Tour:

Here is a look at what we did with Aunt Jackie in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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La Crosse, WI

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I’m still here

This blog has been a wonderful place for me to share my photography, haiku and thoughts with all of you. One afternoon at the Mall of America has given me enough material to last for months in terms of street photography. I’m currently on the road with my family, traveling the United States in our 1982 Vanagon. If you can find it in your heart to follow me there, come check it out at http://www.poptoptour.com

We’re having a wonderful time touring the U.S. and we’ve been to Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kansas so far. I’m typing this from Fargo, North Dakota. Looking forward to seeing all of you on my new blog.  Support your fellow WordPress bloggers! I could use your help.

Thanks for reading, and you can expect more street photography from my journey here on Perception.

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thejeremynix:

On to the next chapter of our lives. Check out my travel blog. I promise I will show you the good things about this country. Maybe some of the bad too.

Originally posted on Pop Top Tour:

Tonight I left my camera charger in the van. It was hot today, I was tired, frustrated that I’d been so absent-minded (like I always am), I sulked out to the car festering in my self loathing and disappointed self, stuck the key in the lock and popped the door open and voila! Let there be light!

I instantly felt a deep appreciation for my family who have given so much of their time and thought to my family’s existence. We chose this life, we took this risk, we stuck our necks out and went for it, and fell flat on our face right out of the gate.

We’ve spent the last two months healing and moving between houses and working on the van. When that light popped on, it dawned on me just how much love went into this VW . I was frustrated, then I saw the light…

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Thank You, Now Let’s Get on With This.

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Originally posted on Pop Top Tour:

I am not normal. My family supports my adverse reaction to the status quo. That’s why we are embarking on this journey. I’m scared to say that we’re getting ready to start, because I don’t want to jinx it. Every time I think we are about to get going, something goes wrong.

The most recent issue turned out to be that we ordered the wrong replacement canvas for Betty. Turns out our 1982 Vanagon has a top from a 1985 or later version. A simple glance at the top before we ordered it and we could have avoided this latest delay. That seems to be the theme of this trip though, a constant test of patience. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

It’s better than the alternative I suppose. The boring everyday routine. Our lives as a family unit have been hard lately, but not even close to boring…

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Bring on the Road

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Black & White Street Photography

#streetphotography

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How did I get here?

Originally posted on Pop Top Tour:

afamilyselfie

“And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself yourself
My God!…What have I done?!” -Talking Heads

When my family and I bit the bullet and decided that a life on the road was worth a try, we planned for what seemed like forever. We knew we would run into some hardship along the way, but we had a solid plan in place and we were motivated. When the lease was up on our humble two bedroom apartment in the Denver Tech Center, we didn’t renew it. We stayed in Denver, camping in our van until we hit the road. We spent more than thirty days “stealth camping” in the Denver metro area.

Rotating between Walmart parking lots, paid campsites, BLM land …

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Photography, USA

Don’t send you broken lenses to Precision Camera

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My favorite lens to shoot with, the Pentax 21mm prime, suddenly stopped working. The outer lens ring was completely knocked off the lens. I suppose I banged it into too many steering wheel and walls in its lifetime, and it just finally had enough. This lens is tough. It comes with a lens hood that is made of metal, and its profile on the camera is minimal. I like to shoot close, and this lens makes that possible. I’ve put it through its paces on the streets of Denver and in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I’ve used it to capture tens of thousands of images and there isn’t any lens I like better. I found Precision Camera through Pentax. It seems that’s where Pentax sends their lenses off for repair, so I contacted them. I went through an online process with the company to start the repair order, and shipped the lens myself from UPS. The lens arrived in early May and I assumed work had begun. After several weeks of silence, I attempted to e-mail the company through their website. I received no response on three separate e-mails.

I then called their customer service department, and spoke with Charlene, who said that the problem was that I hadn’t authorized payment on the credit card for the $166.50 repair. I was under the impression that this was paid up front, when I entered my information online and received a confirmation. She was short, and I would bet she didn’t look at the order itself, just repeating the phrase “now that the payment is received you will get your lens in four to six business days.” Today the timeframe given was five to seven business days. I didn’t feel confident about the conversation or the information I was receiving, as the online order status had a big red stop sign on it and stated that they were waiting for backordered parts. I told the customer service representative and she stuck to her story about the payment problem and now everything is on schedule. I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t receive my lens within that time frame.

So I called again today, July 26, and spoke with Charlene again who says that the payment was approved, and the parts are on backorder until July 6th. After that date she says the lens will be returned as soon as possible. I asked her about the reason I was told on my last call that the lens would be delivered in four to six days, she said that was me that told you, and normally repairs take five to seven days barring any unforeseen circumstance. In this case I supposedly have parts on backorder that will arrive on July 6th. I asked how long ago the parts were ordered and she gave me two different dates in May, the eighth and then the 12th.

I will follow up on July 6, to determine if the part was received or not. My complaint about this experience is that the numbers keep changing, and I’ve been kept in the dark for long periods of time. I think your customer service department is suffering a deficiency in effective communication. The system you have in place isn’t working and the customers are receiving mixed information from your website and your live representatives. The information we do receive is often incorrect and is leaving your customers dissatisfied. We are vocal about this problem, and your company received poor reviews in many internet forums where fellow photographers warn against dealing with your company in any way.

I will join the ranks of your naysayers and advise any photographer I come across to steer clear of your company. The equipment we send you is expensive and waiting more than three months for a lens repair is just bad business. After being completely ignored on four separate occasions online, and getting mixed and inconsistent information on two phone calls, I am completely frustrated and unhappy with this experience.

Camera companies would do well to take their business elsewhere. I will contact Pentax about this experience, and while my one voice might not worry you, the voice of potentially tens of thousands of other photographers and customers of yours will eventually be heard and a good number of us are unhappy.

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