STAR(ting) Over

by Mark Forman on September 10, 2019

Haven't gone out with DSLR camera in a while specifically to catch some street shots. Have thought about it-this years extremely rainy summer probably also a factor. I recently visited the eastern coast of Taiwan-Hualien. Didn't do much shooting to speak of and whatever I did do was with IPhone camera. Nothing wrong with that just not the same. The market in this series was a regular stop for me at least a few times a month when I was shooting several mornings a week. Hadn't been there in over a year and the crowded streets and alleys reminded me of that. Still made several trips back and forth up and down. This time was right before the big holiday later this week-Mid-Autumn Festival. Many vendors had moon cakes for sale, most people were buying meat and other goodies to barbecue with families and friends under the full Autumn moon.

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New Take

by Mark Forman on July 22, 2019

The "New Take" post title is multi-leveled. Firstly it is a new take on the header shot for this site. Secondly, it represents some other new takes happening in my professional life: adding new business services focused on the Taiwan export manufacturing market. These involve marketing consulting with emphasis on effective business English communications. Finally, and old friend of mine approached me with an idea for a possible documentary film about his father-in-law. There is a great "human story" in this man's life:

An orphan from China, adopted into another family. Loved by his mother because at an early age, maybe three, he stood between his adoptive mother and adoptive father, who was loudly, perhaps drunkenly, abusing the poor women. The little boy comes between them and shakes his fist at the man towering over him, diffusing the situation somehow.

At 15 or so (he lied about his age so he could sign up) he joined the People's Liberation Army so he could have food to eat. They put him on a ship to Korea, where he could reasonably have expected to die. The Chinese were sending waves of soldiers against American machine guns in the Korean conflict, to see if they would run out of bullets. The Russians had promised air support but it never arrived.

His boat was sunk by an Republic Of China ship. He and several others were pulled out of the water and rescued. He was jailed as a political prisoner. His cell mate was an author jailed during the white terror for political writings. This learned scholar taught him to read and write.

He was eventually released as a member of the ROC army. I don’t know how much ‘fudging’ of records was involved. There is still some dispute between his actual and official birthday, and even his age.

He went on to make propaganda films for recruitment into the ROC army. You ,ight have seen clips of such buddy-buddy army comradery black-and-white stuff. I don’t know how many they cranked out or how many he was involved in. They remind Taiwanese of a "certain age" of a nostalgic period of time.

He was a director or producer of TV and radio in Taipei, until his wife called him home to Taichung. He won national level awards. There are photos online....

I'm currently in discussions with a creative media friend to see about possibly doing this project together. Will keep you updated.

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The Weight

by Mark Forman on June 17, 2019

I've been on a long lifestyle change regime. It probably started about 15 years ago. At that time I was still smoking but also taking supplements like vitamins and anti-oxidants. It dawned on me one day that the cigarettes and anti-oxidants were in direct conflict with each other. They both need to be bought with money so I opted to quit smoking and keep taking the vitamins and anti-oxidants. Kudos to me, right?

Well of course it was a sensible health driven decision. However quitting smoking for many has one bad side effect-you eat more! That was true for me and I bulked up over an already bulky physique. So not long after I decided to go walking as often as possible in the early AM. Good idea-every little bit counts. I also was getting into photography around this time so I brought the camera with me. Kill 2 birds with one stone, right? Get some needed healthy exercise and use the time to take some photos as well.

This was my norm for a couple of years. I noticed some gradual slight weight loss but many friends didn't so much. I thought about this and realized that it was best to use the time for more brisk walking, uninterrupted by looking for and taking photos. While this decreased my photo taking it certainly enhanced the benefit of the walking to me and my enhanced focus on taking better care of my body.

So let's update to present times. I've lost a little over 100 lbs and around 9" off of my waistline. I was just at a wedding (wife's family) and many that hadn't seen me in a few years were all surprised and very encouraging about my obvious weight loss. So you might be asking yourself why am I writing this? Is this just another narcissistic, self congratulatory social media post? Maybe but I hope to encourage anyone reading this that has a challenge that you can make progress and probably be successful if you are patient and practical. Many will offer that the weight didn't go on over night so it won't come off over night either. Yes, everyone prefers speed loss over slow and steady but slow and steady is the healthier sustainable choice in terms of limiting stress to your body but still achieving good results.

The net result is I'll still continue to walk for an hour and 1/2, 4 or 5 times a week at 4 something o'clock each morning. I'll also continue to eat sensibly-which to me means less carbs but not no carbs. Definitely less processed sugar-and less food simply because my appetite has decreased. Let me know how your lifestyle goals are going and I'll send you some love and encouragement!

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Flying High Again

03.31.2019 by Mark Forman

I recently traveled back to the US to help take care of my Mom. The flight there our plane had an entertainment system glitch which meant no movies/media for 12 hour flight. To make life more interesting me and the guy next to me got busted for talking a little loud by the guy seated […]


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Porcine but Not Ham Fisted…

02.07.2019 by Mark Forman

Happy Lunar(Chinese) New Year to all. It is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac system. It also happens to be my year for whatever that is worth. The Lunar New year holiday vibe is similar to but also very different from Christmas/New Year holidays in the west. Similarities: big holiday, family […]


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