Monday, December 27, 2004

Indian movies & Tivo talk shows

Here's a little known fact about me. I like movies about Indian culture. Asian Indian culture; not native American Indian culture. I like the modernity mixed with historical culture; I like the music and how even the most manly character can just break into rhythmic song; I like the gorgeous women all adorned with glittering gold and jewels; the skimpy outfits; the emotional interplay through the movie; the laughing and family fun and the crying and family angst that are inevitably part of the storyline. Here are three movies that I recommend:


Monsoon Wedding


Well, I just finished watching a DVR'd copy of Bollywood/Hollywood and so it was on my mind.

Oh yeah. I forgot to add this little tidbit on, too. I was talking with a friend today and admitted to recording The Old Guy & Kelly (also known as Life with Regis & Kelly). I watch it every night when I get home. Granted there are often days worth of shows that I fast forward through and get little to nothing out of but they have a hit idea on their hands (as evidenced by the show's longevity). An older guy with a cute, young woman who hangs on him and panders to him. You get the female demographic 'cause they've watched Old Dude for years and are accustomed to his gruff mannerisms. They get male demographics from viewers like me who like to see how "Betty Boop" she'll play it up on any given day. Please don't mistake my reference for any facsimile of reference to authoritative commentary but I'm reminded of Saul and the young handmaid that warmed him in his old age. I know that any argument regarding what role the young woman played beyond literal "bedwarmer" would be an argument from ignorance and, therefore, specious. That doesn't take away from the validity (or perhaps illicit appeal) of having someone in your old age who is warm and vivacious and colorful.

I really can't speak to any valid socially redeeming qualities of either the TV show or the concept. All I can say is that I find it enjoyable and somewhat relaxing to watch when I get home from work. You just never know how "eye-candilicious" she's gonna be and he's liable to tear off on a rant at any time. Just thought you might be interested to know something useless about me.

Thanks for reading,


Christmas 2004

We made it through the holidays and everyone seems the better for wear. I think we're all gonna miss being around each other tomorrow but if we plan it right we should be able to spend more time together this year throughout the year with more vacation days (even if we stay around home).

We all got some nice presents and gave some nice presents.

I shot a very short photoshoot on Christmas day (photo folowing).

I hope you and your family had a blessed day and enjoyed sharing the time together.

Titans are out of the playoffs (have been for awhile); Peyton broke the passing TD record and UT is gearing up for their bowl game (I hate the BCS) on Saturday. I'm still looking for an inexpensive little place to put in a studio here in town.

Well, that shares few enough of my actual thoughts around Christmas time but perhaps keeps some people in the know. Here's the photo I promised:

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Development process

Anyone who's been a developer for any decent length of time (say 5+ years of nothing but development) can tell you that some things are the same no matter who your clients are and no matter what the project is that you are working on. I ran into something today that demonstrated that I haven't learned as much about managing a project as I might wish I had. You talk about these types of things with other developers and even make light of them when you're discussing things like business requirements and scope creep and deadlines and sign-offs but then you're in the middle of it with pressure (and even imagined pressures) to produce X, Y or Z functionality and next thing you know you've let a principle slip on managing a project and before you know it, the project is managing you. That's how I feel. I'm not mad at my clients (business users) nor my manager or co-workers. I'm disappointed that I feel like I should have known better and handled this situation better. I should have set some parameters through my own adherence to project management principles and put the burden of producing the necessary materials squarely into the demenses of other people with whom I interacted in this project. If I'd handled this differently I think I'd be at a different place in putting this into Production. As it stands we're looking at backing up the implementation date on the project I'm working on by 2-3 weeks now. That's not the end of the world but it does belie my beliefs that I had been through similar processes previously so I would know better next time. This time I was alone in the development so some portion of this falls totally on my shoulders and I hope I learn through my own disappointment and dissatisfaction (and concern for my continued employment) to follow a more disciplined approach in managing future projects. Most smaller places don't seem to have the luxuries of fitting themselves into such a structured project management cycle but at this level its more fitting to say that you don't have the luxury of not using a more structured project management cycle.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Catching up

Oddly enough I always thought that I'd use some of my time off during the holidays to catch up on stuff. Now that I'm older and feel beset sometimes by the obligations that I readily take on and the ones thrust upon me I seldom go into a period of time wherein I expect to "catch up" on anything that would further my career or aspirations (I just don't want to get completely worn out or overextended - I'm lazy I guess).

Suddenly I realize that I've finally installed Visual Studio .NET 1.1 on my computer along with purchasing and installing some anti-virus/anti-hacker ware and installing it. I also downloaded (via MSDN subscription) a copy of Office 2003 and installed it. I've printed photos for several people in the family so that we can drop them off when we see the intended recipients over the holidays. I even got the Christmas cards out the other evening and wrote several dozen (sorry if you didn't get one; its because I don't have your address - send it to me via e-mail and you'll get one next year).

Now I want to finish off my shopping with a couple of inexpensive but desired gifts (desired by the recipients) and then wrap them and place them under the tree.

We went to church to watch Cindee's parents sing in the choir. This church is a single story with no extra precautions/planning for children so we kept Katie in the back row (not because I'm closer to Baptist in my theology or anything, just to be considerate of others). She made it almost all the way through without becoming so restless that we had to sneak out and run around. We just missed the last song of the choral cantata and the closing prayer and statements. If you know me, you know about what I think of a choral cantata so what can I say. The experience lived up to my expectations but I was reminded again of immature believers as the speaker (apparently not the normal pastor of that group) reminded the congregation through both written message (in the bulletin) and via speech that "God loves a cheerful giver" and "you can't outgive God" "'cause what you give to God we give back in greater measure". Yep, you read that correctly. If you didn't notice the error or poor theology then reread the last quoted statement. ". . . what you give God, we give back in greater measure." The statement was also made the God doesn't "need" your money (with which I whole-heartedly agree) but that He wants your money (with which I disagree strongly). God wants your fellowship, He demands your Holiness, He expects sinful desires but is working at all times to equip you and empower you to live in Righteousness so that you can attain to the level to which He has already accounted you (He declared you the Righteousness of Christ and one day you will be glorified but until then you are expected to try and live at that level). Elevating financial gifts (which are woefully underdeveloped as a subject in the Bible commensurate with what pastors or youth directors or missions directors or anyone else who wants to live off your dollars will tell you) to the point of speaking about them in a group of people who purport to be believers when you don't preach openly against the unholy, godlessness that is current day building funds is one step away from blasphemy in my understanding of the Bible. Giving money is an outward sign of inward submission to Jehovah God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Giving finances is an outward and visible (and in our society tax advantaged) way to demonstrate your own submission. Not every gift of money is a matter of submission. Many, many gifts are merely outward signs of something other than inward submission and faith in God. If a man can't provide for his family and take care of them then he is considered worse than a non-believer and an infidel in the New Testament. Did God require the lives of Ananias and Sapphira because they didn't give 100% of the proceeds of the sale of some land? Nope. He killed 'em because they lied about their donation/tithe/financial gift to the group of believers to whom they belonged. Ahhh, now I've torn off and started typing the message of God as most of your pastors won't share it ('cause it would mean that they need to get off their fat butts and go get a job to support their families). How often does your pastor spend 5 or 6 days a week not in the church building at all? How often does he get off his lazy ass and go speak to anyone that needs someone to speak to them including, but not limited to: infirm, elderly, prisoners, parishoners who are living lives of active disobedience, deacons who won't confront parishoners living lives of active disobedience, etc? Keep your money in your pocket. God doesn't want it; He doesn't need it and if you desire Holiness and Righteousness, then find some way to salve that tattered thing that you call a conscience without pulling out your checkbook. Don't give money to someone; go buy them the ham or clothes or pay their bill for them. In some cases, if they were good with money, they wouldn't be in the predicament that they're in. Its not that some people don't have times of hard luck but just enabling someone cause a lazy pastor tells you to doesn't make you Holy or Righteous. You can reach out to someone and help them through their time of trouble without having to take them to raise. In the Bible, the metaphor was a cup of cold water, not a room in my house and all the food that I can provide and everything I can possibly do until my own family suffers for it. The Bible is firmly in my camp on this one. The calling of a husband and also of a pastor is to be the husband of one wife and to love her and hold her up. Provide for your own family then you can reach outside your own household to help others. You are called to be a steward of your own self first, followed by your family and then, and only then, should you start reaching out to others. Get your pastor off your payroll and see where that money goes (unless the person leading you actually spends almost 100% of the time he wants to be paid for out seeing people and helping them and actively doing something with them).

'Course, that's just my opinion (but I bet if you read your Bible you might find that its a whole lot closer to God's opinion than your pastor wants you to believe).

Merry Christmas if I don't post again and thanks for reading,


PreScript Note

I bet that after reading the "Catching Up" blog post I'll get some comments from other believers who read my post and may be more "mainstream" than am I so I'll preface it with this:

When I go to a social meeting in which someone holds up the source of authority upon which I base my evaluations of myself and anyone else who claims to follow the same belief system that I follow, then I get pretty bent out of shape when those people who hold up that book then begin to espouse actions that are contrary to the precepts and principles of that book. The example would be how I go on in the other blog post from today about giving money to current day "churches". Do whatever your heart leads you to do (oh yeah and that lump of gray matter that God put into your head that makes you a little above the animals should just shrivel up and not be used at all). Believers are expected to test the words and direction given to them by their leaders (lookup Berea; all they are noted for is challenging an apostolic teaching to see if it fit the Bible). If my opinion misses the mark is isn't as wide to the side of caution as other people's is on the side of giving. Thanks again for reading and tell the church "leaders" to start making their own tents (yeah that's a Biblical reference, too).


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Evolution n stuff

Ya see, I'm a believer in the ol' "Seven Day" theory that purports that this planet upon which we stand was created from nothing over a period of seven days. I know it seems completely contrary to the datum that people discover and link together to form their theory of cosmic evolution. Its a difficult thing to relenquish. My faith affords me the ability to believe that an entity who is all powerful and whose knowledge is complete could easily have created a universe which appears consistent with extremely long periods of evolution. I have little problem believing that such an entity could or even would produce such a creation and then place rational, evaluating entities within that creation and expect them to overlook some things they see so that they could believe what they were told (I also believe that the Bible is the holy, infallible, inerrant in its autographs message from this entity to those of us on this planet so I think that entity is the one telling us things and not just the people who stand up on Sunday but couldn't find holiness with both hands, a flashlight and a map). I have no trouble believing in fiat creation. Now I take that theory that I've been taught and I pickup my Scientific American or Discover and read about discoveries that have occurred this year and I find that some of my beliefs are challenged. Evolution is an established fact. It happens at the cellular level in humans, it happens at a social level in humans, it happens both in micro and macro contexts. People in North America are growing in size. We're getting taller. We're also getting fatter but that's not evolution, that's a change in social diet and exercise. I'm talking about spontaneous changes in an organism in an attempt to become more successful at continuing the species. Virii and bacteria adapt and evolve at such a speed that we can actually notice it taking place over one human generation (say 20-30 years). I'm not saying that I'm ready to let go of the literal interpretation of the creation passage in Genesis (which fits poetical form so its difficult to actually hold that it is literal but I'm just as stubborn as the next guy); I am saying that I'm more open to other interpretations of creation given that creation isn't one of the basic tenets of my faith/belief system. I have faith that the entity in whom I believe could have made everything by His will with nothing else needed so really what is the difference. I'm secure in His ability, the only thing lacking is my own knowledge of how he chose to do it and I guess that kinda fits Job 38:1-11 (New American Standard Bible)

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
"Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell {Me,} if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or {who} enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, 'Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop'?"

So for me, I believe that this entity could easily have created the world in which we live and the surrounding universe in seven 24-hour periods from nothing but if it really mattered, I think He would have been more adamant about sharing how He did it and then requiring people to know and understand that.

Again, none of this diminishes the astonishing things that scientists are finding such as virii that alter the DNA of humans so that humans pass on different DNA to their offspring (South American virus does this with heart or other vital organ tissue) or the cloning of a human embryo or the discovery in China of a dinosaur with its head tucked under a feathery, winglike appendage that also had scaly claws on the end (a fully intact example of evolving dinosaur) or any of a number of things that scientists found in this last 12 months. I don't think that we understand all of the things that we accomplish or find. I don't think that scientists generally get their predictions correct the first time or even the fiftieth time but I appreciate that they are working to learn more about their world and then share that information with each other and with we non-professional scientists.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, December 06, 2004

First weekend in Dec - lotta shooting

I shot a lot during the first weekend of Dec. The Winter Arts festival was held at work. That is where we invite employees to bring in their children or grandchildren and allow them to play and make crafts and even get their photo taken with Santa in front of a Christmas tree (that most Judeo-Christian of symbols, don't think I'm totally down on it, I sat there with my wife and daughter and Santa, too). We photographed about 250 kids in a 3 hour span of time. It went pretty good although we had one problem with focusing for about 15 photos that we had to retake (sorry if you were in that list).

UT (University of Tennessee) lost the SEC Championship game to Auburn Saturday evening but I'm wearing my UT shirt and my UT ballcap (cause its raining). While we got dominated the first half that was what everyone expected to happen. The second half was a different story. We came back out and handed out some Tiger ass-whippings (or WarEagle or Plainsmen or whatever they are today). We closed the deficit on a team that was supposed to pound us into the ground and that was against their A team. We weren't playing their 2nd stringers or cleanup guys. We were playing against their main players and we gave them a run for their money. Now like any good, decent football fan in the South I am all for winning but you have to learn that you can't win all the time and at least we lost to another SEC team. Not only that we bloodied the nose of the number 3 ranked team in the nation. We held "Cadillac" Williams under 100 yards and we put up better numbers on the board than anyone gave our team credit for. Congratulations to Auburn; ya better enjoy this one 'cause if this team can kick your butts after the dominating performance you put on in the first half . . . just wait until next year when we have a quarterback that has more than 3 or 4 starts under his belt. The Vols gave a good accounting of themselves; they sacked up and came out after having their asses handed to them and probably anyone that might have been watching the nationally televised game without having picked a favorite had probably already written them off. They really had nothing except pride in themselves to play for; a win wasn't going to get them into a BCS bowl but they man'd up and came back out of the locker room and busted Auburn right in the mouth and played them hard for the whole 2nd half. Congrats to UT. I'm wearing my Orange with pride even after the loss. You might whipped us in the first half but we didn't give up.

I also shot a session for an aspiring model on Sunday. You can find the images on my PBase account. I've included one photo from that session.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 03, 2004

Monitor calibration part of digital workflow

Depending on how serious or professional or perhaps anal you are it seems that calibrating your monitor and creating custom ICC profiles for your hardware is part of what people do in this heyday of digital photography. I took a stab at calibrating my monitor without any mathematical evaluation such as one might get by using the GretagMacbeth Eye One (tm) or ColorVision Spyder 2 Pro (tm). Several people remarked that the colors and brightness looked dead on but that the saturation was just a tad heavy-handed in the following photograph. This is a reworking from a photoshoot from over a year ago. I think its pretty close to dead on in colorspace based on the responses I've gotten but how does it look on your monitor?

BTW, I know its not a great composition, it was just a decently exposed frame from a winter beach shoot when I expected to have harsh lighting from late in the day for contrast.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

New monitor

Seems like I'm adding pieces here and there lately.

I'd just discussed with my wife the impending failure of my old, refurbished Gateway 19" CRT monitor the other day and told her that I'd been doing some research on some of the newer color accurate, wide viewing angle LCD panels. I told her how the bottom of the price range for a monitor that is supposedly acceptable for image editing is around $400 USD (based on several threads on I was trying to broach the subject of me "investing" in a new LCD panel sometime in the next six months. Now I wasn't suggesting one of the $6000 EIZO LCD's (and no, you won't find their prices online - call a dealer). I wasn't even looking at a $2000 Samsung or LaCie. I was down in the $400-600 range. The stuff that the pros say is the least acceptable equipment.

Fast forward to today and I got home to find what? Yep. You guessed it. The trusty old refurb that I've been using for about 4 years now just lost its gun or something. The text was so badly distorted that I couldn't even read what was on the screen. It was pretty bad. Ahhh . . . so much for my plans to just wait and get it later. I have an old CRT upstairs on the server but I think that it was manufactured with lead. The proposition of carrying that thing up and down the stairs to work or carrying it with me to an event shoot (such as the "Kids with Santa" at my employer's holiday party) put me in a bad frame of mind. It isn't as though I don't have a small fund where I save up a little at a time so that when something like this does go wrong I can deal with it.

I'm the proud owner of a Sony SDM-HS74P. It's a 17-inch LCD and its pretty impressive. 160 degrees of viewing, its sharp, has great contrast and seems to be accurate in its color rendition (I haven't calibrated it yet, though).

Well, just thought I'd blog it.

Thanks again for reading,


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Followup on calendar photograph

The agency that wants to use my photograph is Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services ( I downloaded their Photograph Release Form and found that it was lacking what the original e-mail promised. The original e-mail offered accreditation of the work to me. The Photography Release Form used by this agency would afford them the right to alter and/or use the photograph in whole or in part in any way they see fit without any rights by me and they would not be legally obligated to provide credit for the photograph anytime including the original usage. While I'm flattered that someone else wants to use some of my work, I'd have to say that I've worked WAY too hard and spent too much money to just let someone use my work for their benefit without at least acknowledging that I took that photograph. I don't mind giving a little and not charging them for it for a decent cause but what they seem to be looking for is a group of people who just happen to take a good photograph and then don't realize that their time and the finished product (their photograph) is worth something.

If they are interested enough to give me an amended Photograph Release Form I'll be happy to have them use the photograph; if not, well, I was living just fine before they asked to use the photograph and I guess I'll continue along just fine.

I received a reply almost immediately which included an updated release form that guarantees me accreditation of my work whenever used. Very impressive. Yay.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, November 29, 2004

Published photo

I just received a request from a branch of the US Govt to license use of a photo I took for one of their avian health calendars for 2005. Hunh. That's pretty exciting. My project at work is just about ready to be released to Client Test (where the business clients will test it to see if it meets their original specs).

The photo in question is

Copyright 2004 Kevin Riggs

Thanks for reading,


Monday, November 22, 2004

I play with dolls

Okay, truth be told I have played with my two-year old and helped her setup furniture in her doll house. Not the "doll" to which the title refers. Here's my latest attempt at still life photography in my home studio (which doubles as a dining room - how useless is that as opposed to a pretty cool home studio?).

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Still life photos

So I drove down to ATL to pickup some SuperBlack paper (I assume TM). I really went to get a backdrop for a shoot Sunday afternoon but I knew that I also wanted to try with black paper so I splurged.

Got home tonight, saw my daughter, cleaned up a little around the house and then went out on a dinner date with my wife while my Dad & StepMother watched the little girl. When we got back and everyone else settled down to bed I decided that I wanted to test out some of my new "toys" to get a feel for lighting. I slapped one of the big softboxes on a light, put the 42" reflector across from it, setup the white paper (followed by the black) and shot some "still life" photos. What do you think about these?

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Getting the Bible back to its roots - Nov 18, 2004 - Getting the Bible back to its roots - Nov 18, 2004

I just found this article interesting. Not having seen the translation or being fluent in Hebrew I doubt that I'd be able to adequately evaluate the accuracy of this translation.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I generally don't like getting into things like this because its impossible to change anyone's mind (they have to choose to try a different viewpoint and if that rings true with them then they may actually try to think differently) but I'm tired of hearing groups like American Family Assoc (I believe that's the one) espouse non sequiters that they say they found on spiritual beliefs that I hold as firmly as do they.

Since when did promoting a personal belief system so that it took precedence over other's opinions or desires become not only acceptable but what you have to do if you're conservative. I dare you to find someone more conservative about Biblical interpretation and application than am I. I believe the Bible to be the holy, ispired, infallible word (in its original autographs) of a holy, divine, omnipotent, omniscient, self-extant being and I believe that said being has revealed himself to humans through personal interaction and that book and that any personal experience that contradicts that book must, de facto, be errant and possibly perpetrated by demons. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it. Find someone who believes more strongly in the immutable message of the sinful nature of each example of mankind (e.g. you, me, your mom, your uncle, that guy over there, etc) and the necessity and free gift of a holy and divine sacrifice and I'll eat your hat (that is a metaphor for those who fail to read the Bible and understand that it can be holy, inspired, literal in its didactic teachings and yet still contain both metaphors or historical narratives that include metaphors - just wanted you morons to not fall behind).

Now given that as my personal opinion and the grounds upon which I test conviction in my own life I find it disingenuous that people are offended when I say fuck or not or upset because Saving Private Ryan comes on a "regular" pay channel. Folks, just because a divine being granted each person the capacity to choose to be offensive or compliant with that beings will and you happen to be at a place in your life where you want to "do all things as unto the Lord" doesn't mean that the rest of the 6+ billion people on planet Earth are at the same place. I'm not suggesting that if I screw up and blow out a curseword at Shoneys you don't remind me that I'm in a public place. I'm not suggesting that you don't say, 'Hey, I don't happen to like egregious violence, language or sex." I'm saying that its totaly OK for you to not like it and even to voice your opinion but get a clue -- your opinion is just that. Yours and an Opinion. 6+ billion other people have theirs and some lady in China doesn't even understand why you might find something offensive. It's not that its "right" or "wrong". Its that you live in a litigious society that happens to be turning to where its more publically acceptable to put social pressure on someone to conform to your belief system even if they don't happen to agree with it. Grow up. Turn the TV. Heck, turn it off for that matter. Some things happen from time-to-time in life that are bad and during those times of stress (like World War II) some young guys around the ages of 20-25 might have cursed or screamed out in anger at God while their buddy's guts lay glistening in the sunlight. You or I probably don't even have enough idea what that's like to form an opinion. Remember that a documentary is designed with the purpose of presenting a view of some historical event, period, occurrence or person and you ought to be open minded enough to take the good with the bad. If you don't want to see it or even have it on in your home then I'll stand right behind you and even take up a gun to defend your right to not have to see it. I'm all for you to choose your own path. I'll expect that if I want to see it as an historical reminder of a time that is painful and levied on the people who lived through it a weight that I believe they would all have gladly passed to some other generation, then I expect as American's you will support my right to see such an historically accurate (according to people who lived through those events) depiction. I expect that as grown ups you won't go running to the hall monitor and decry that someone has exercised his (A) God granted right to do something that you would not personally choose to do and (B) a right recognized and provided for by the Constitution. Sure, it was on one of the "lower channels" and seeing Saving Private Ryan on one of the major networks may not be explicitly granted as a right in the Constitution but removing the opportunity to see a work that has historical merit from people who can afford or can only get those channels is outrageous and an egregious exercise in your personal belief system and how you may try to strongarm others into doing things to which you choose to subscribe.

In closing I'll ask this. When I was studying Bible at Wm. Jennings Bryan College and I was going door-to-door asking if the person who answered the door believed that it was possible to know with any certainty what would happen to them after they died, where were you? Were you taking drugs? Were you having illicit sex? Were you lying under oath? What little peccadillos were you indulging in? See everyone has times where they are closer to realizing holiness and righteousness in their own lives. Don't confuse social and political fervor for George W Bush or your church with true zeal for holiness or righteousness. You owe yourself and God more honesty than that. Have you convictions. Share them; just don't shove them down anyone else's throat. God didn't do it to you and you have no mandate from Him to do that to anyone else.

Caveat for those who have read this far

Consider Judges 21:25
"In those days there was no king in Isreal; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (NASB)

I don't suggest that you should water down your own convictions or that anyone should do "what they feel." That verse is, in my opinion, a condemnation of the Israelites and one of the examples that God gives of just how depraved human nature is; it is just one of the examples in the Bible of why we need more structure from a being who is holy in his essence rather than from other flawed humans. I do suggest that you accept that your job in this life is to be the best steward of the time given you and to "bear witness." You are not commanded to win souls, you are commanded to assume a present position of "going" and in so doing, make disciples (look it up in the Greek).


PTSS - at work???

Couple o' things ~

At work today we had a round of job eliminations. Not firings or layoffs but eliminations of the need for a person to do something. Ahhh . . . call it what you will. My interest at this point is in the social and individual effects of such an activity. The corporation where I work just did this same thing less than six months ago. They had previously done it almost 18 months ago as well. Now, that doesn't make this corporation bad or the managers or officers evil. My own reaction and the reactions of others with whom I converse does lead me to this consideration: to what degree might an observer expect to be able to draw parallels between employees and even managers who have to "let go" employees who's jobs have been eliminated and people in a situation of constant attrition. Now I don't mean to liken in any appreciable way working for a Fortune 250 company and being on the front lines of battle. One is stressful but not horrific; the other is a trip into the macabre that no matter whether you win or lose you will lose some of yourself in the process. The lingering effects on the psyche of participants in either arena is where I'm wondering if there is any parallel (not equivilency; just similarity). After a person has worked at a corporation for 4 years and seen 3 "lay-offs" doesn't he begin to develop a cynical attitude of detachment about the management? Isn't there a self-preservation tendancy that makes him/her consider twice before opening up to co-workers; the very people against whom he will contend for the precious corporate dollar that can only go to fund one family while the loser heads off to generate resumes in manic-depressive fits until he begins to find some semblance of normality in another job.
Having asked that question I want to point out that I do understand that these two situations are incredibly, vastly different. See in a corporate setting the individuals do actually have some control over the downward plummet. If they band together and focus their energies they can generate good situations, trust with clients and other business entities and find a way out of the hellacious pressure cooker. I don't for a second think that a Harvey Mackay (did I get that right) or a "7 Steps" book is going to truly change the environment in which a soldier finds himself. I just happen to find some of the flinching and stress that I seem to read about going along with PTSS (feelings of relief followed by feelings of guilt and questions about ones "value" to the group and why one didn't lose a job when another did).

Anyway, enough maudlin stuff. I've tried to approach a side business from the standpoint that its a marathon and not a sprint. I have felt financial pressure throughout the last 18 months as I added supplies to my little business venture. I selected only high or highest quality goods as I'm a firm believer in buying high quality goods and paying for them once instead of buying cheaper goods and paying for them several times while also hindering yourself from doing that which would earn money. I'm sure just like it'll be difficult to tell just when you broke even on the thousands of dollars invested in a private business, its difficult to state that I've "made it" to the professional level. I don't garner a majority of my income from photography and don't expect to anytime soon but I did make a nice enough little sum of money that I'm looking forward to photographing the attendees at another ball. It was fun and the money was good for the amount of time I spent. I have finally started adding proofs to my online sales site ( I just got word tonight that some people may want me to photography a private party this weekend. I'm pretty stoked. If I can pickup some odd jobs around the area I could actually start making enough money to payoff some of the equipment I have invested in. That's a cool idea.

Well, its getting pretty late and I have typed WAAAAAYYYYY more than I intended but I don't feel like going back to revise it.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Back up to speed

This weekend has turned out pretty good. I'm about 90% back up to my normal operating speed and Saturday I photographed the Marine Corps Ball. It is an annual event to celebrate the birthday of the Marine Corps. I was honored to be able to not only take photos of the couples, friends and leaders of this group but also to capture some of the birthday celebration ceremony. It was a proud and powerful message sent from the Commandant of the Corps and the First Sergeant. They recognized the service, tradition and esprit de corps that is the heritage of Marines for the last 229 years. They showed footage of Marines aqcuiting their duties in armed combat as well as in evaluation and planning or support jobs. The group at this ball was about half as large as normal because so many of the young men and women are currently deployed overseas in the war on terror. I'm not nearly as "hawkish" as I was earlier in life and I definitely am not a fan of many of President Bush's international policies but being able to see the proud families for whom national service is a way of life reminded me that politics is one thing and duty is something totally separate. I'm humbled and awed by the sacrifice that these families accept as daily life. These men and women who serve and their families have my respect and thanks; not grudgingly but sincerely. I hope that each is quickly reunited with his or her families as soon as possible.

On a much less grand note I updated my website to reflect my direction towards a small business mentality. You can see it at

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Yes, its 3:00 AM and I'm posting

It's 3:00 on Saturday Nov 13th and I'm posting.

My sleep schedule has been all outta whack from this weirdo illness. It came on like it was a sinus infection which I seem to get every fall and sometimes in the spring. Nasal drainage and minor pressure behind the eyes. Next thing I know my vision is getting buggy and I'm starting to have some major headaches. I ended up missing two and a half days from work this week because of this junk. Odd thing is that my wife & daughter both had some of the symptoms and complained but neither seemed to have the debilitating headache/migraine reaction that had me sleeping only to wake up and take more medicine. Finally after trying to work through it and just taking Friday off I slept much of the day and when my wife awakened me at 5:30 I had no headache. Ya know how when you're well its difficult to conjure up the whole "sick" context of just blah that happens when you're sick? Well its like Dorothy awaking from the dream and being able to think back on those memories. I remember having a fever and even going in to work on day. I remember trying to get my project finished by Friday and how crappy I felt. Come 5:30 when I woke up, no more headache. The sinus drainage had already stopped mostly by Friday morning. I got up tonight after not having a shower in . . . awhile. I even setup the new equipment that I got but was just too darned sick to even put together. Here's a shot with some of the eqiupment and my sick family members sitting for it. Funny, all we could muster was about 30 minutes before we were all too worn out to go on. Now I'm awake to get a drink of water and grab another aspirin (force of habit I guess).

If you were prayin' for me then apparently it worked. I'm still here and I'm getting back to full strength.

Here's the photo:

(click the picture to see all the shots)

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Off with toys but no photos

Lemme give you an idea just how I feel. I'm off today and I got a new light, new backdrop stands, a 9' wide roll of SavageWhite (from Savage) seamless backdrop paper and my new Gretag-Macbeth 24 swatch color management piece. I'm not taking any photos today because I can't sit up for more than about 10 minutes without needing to toss my cookies. This sucks. My project deadline is rapidly approaching at work and if I hadn't been working ahead of schedule I'd be sweating bullets now to go along with the fevered sweat that I've had since about midnight last night.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Extending the arsenal

Ordered a backdrop stand, roll of SuperWhite paper, another light and some accessories for the upcoming ball that I'll be shooting at. Now I'll have the ability to shoot an indoor session that is pretty much the equal of what I shot at the studio in Atlanta. I will post a pic after next weekend to show the setup that we use and maybe one to show the results of a shot. I'm pretty stoked.

Shot family portraits for a co-worker this weekend. It was awesome. I got around 600-700 frames in about an hour and a half (most were his young daughters). Should have enough to choose from. I've edited two just to test certain formats (layers, coloring, special filter effects). I'm pretty happy with the results.

Oh yeah, I cleaned about 20Gb of photos off the computer this weekend. I burned 'em to DVD and now I'm cataloging the images off the DVD into my Extensis software. That software ROCKS! I love being able to search for images based on several automatically profiled settings as well as being able to create sections in the catalog or assigning key words to multiple images. I'm well over 50,000 images now and believe it or not, this software makes it pretty simple to go find a photo. It does take a few minutes to burn the images to DVD, catalog the DVD and then assign info to the photos but its worth it so far.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Cool part of a democratic republic

Sure, there's graft, corruption, greed, misappropriation. Commercialism allows for some of the worse traits in human interaction just as it also makes room for some of the better tendancies. Today is Nov 2nd, 2004. Its the day we get to vote on local leaders as well as national leaders. The cool thing about living in a democratic republic is that I didn't have to worry that anyone would shoot me for voicing my opposition or support for the current establishment. No one tried to coerce my vote or elicit negative comments about any political position or official. If anyone did want to get a "soundbite" out of me about the election and the leadership of our local or national government, all he/she would have to do is ask me. I'm free to make my opinion known or keep it to myself.

Another thing I like about this is that the voting is such an anti-climatic step. Its been months in the arrival but as I stood in line I realized that my power was going to be exercised when I colored in the appropriate bubbles on the form and then submitted it to the counting machine. I didn't have to hit my opponent over the head with a cudgel. I simply marked my choices, submitted my vote to an impartial tallying machine and calmly walked away.

This philosophy of government pales by comparison with what's to come (a Biblical regency/theocracy if my interpretation of the Bible is accurate) but at least this form of govt has been stable and functional through many troubling times and even in prosperity.

P.S. - I'm looking forward to being a retired man and working at the polling station in the future. I just think that would be a VERY cool thing to do after I retire.

Go us!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Photoshoot with lights outside

Got my monolights. Got the battery pack. Scheduled a session with two models; 1 male, 1 female. Thought it'd be nice to do some couples shots for fall. The young lady didn't show up. I confirmed with her the afternoon before but no luck. Oh well. The young man did, however, show up. We only used a single light as it was overcast much of the morning while we shot. We used the light with the internal baffle in the softbox but without the diffusion panel. I wanted some direct light instead of just a glow. I think these were some of the most artistic shots I've done. I like the style, the composition and the lighting on most of these. Posted 'em for comment or critique and got 1 comment.
Oddly enough, I think that if I just shot some topless or some nudes without any thought whatsoever and posted them I'd get tons of comments.

Well, I'm happy with the work and just thought I'd post it here. You can see the rest at PBase

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Large Prints

Just bought a large print from an online printer and it turned out incredible. I had too shallow a depth of field on the shot so one of the subjects has soft focus but overall I'm impressed. The print is 20" x 30" and it looks good. I'm going to have to print a few of these large shots for portraits to showcase some good shots and take to events. Here is a small version of that photo:

Thanks for reading,


Monday, October 25, 2004

Photos and football

Wow. Has it really been 3 weeks since I last updated my blog? Its not like I haven't had little things to say (Go Vols, they beat Georgia).

Went to the UT vs Alabama game this weekend. The Vols won by 4 (17-13). Our offensive line looked WEAK but our defense looked pretty stout. If we continue to play like we did last week then I think Holtz will have South Carolina ready for us next weekend. I think we could be as lackluster on offense and perhaps still beat hated Notre Dame.

Had a photoshoot with a model this weekend. It was an impromptu setup and we actually shot for less than 90 minutes but we got some gems. I was very happy with the results.

(click the image to view the rest of the images from that shoot)

Thanks for reading,


Friday, October 01, 2004

Another toy - Sekonic L-358 light meter

Got my new Sekonic L-358 light meter today. Who wants their picture taken?

My buddy, Eric, wanted to see a color photo with the lights so I ran the color version of the photo of my wife through NeatImage and posted it.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Another photo with the new lights

Here's another one. Hopefully I won't burn you faithful blog readers out.

I'm lovin' these lights. I just need to get a backdrop and I'm seriously ready to start shooting.


Got my lights

Well, the Alien Bee 800's came in today. I also got the large (36x48") PhotoFlex LiteDome softboxes. I don't have my backdrop yet so this shot is with the wallpaper in the background. I love the setup. Now I just need to set 'em up and charge someone to make their picture. ;)

I reposted this blog entry after applying NeatImage to the photo. It gives it a softer, more feminine feeling.


Multiple post day - science and politics

While I'm at the computer I figure I'll get another post out of the way. I noticed on the news this afternoon that Mount St Helens may erupt and that the USGS has scientists on-hand to review the activity. Something that one scientist said intrigued me and I happen to think that his approach would surprise many people. His comment when asked something regarding what the scientists knew or could predict was along the lines of how little they know currently and why that makes this opportunity so exciting because they can learn. Now I think that often people make appeals to scientific research or scientists opinions because they think that lends credence to their position. In this example I think it would be equally accurate to say that a scientists position may be more informed by evidence but this his/her conclusions may not be more mature or accurate. In fact, during periods of testing and evaluation I don't think its the predictions that make a good scientist; I think its observation comparison and correlation that help to build an experiential basis for someone having something valuable to say as a scientist. I further think that its the peer review process that hones those individuals thought processes to produce people who are generally careful in their assertions and demanding in their evalation process.

Second topic for this post is that I'm a total goob. I'm patriotic like a mofo (you'll know what I meant to say if you've ever talked to me around the guys). I find that discussions of law in general and our system of government stimulate me mentally. It impresses me when our system doesn't have loopholes built into it. I like that our government is dynamic and reactive (not reactionary) but I also like to see that the idyllic machine is sometimes more important than the pieces which comprise it (gestalt theory). I don't like partisan activity or values but I do like democracy. Democrats and Republicans be damned for how they all hang together to protect themselves. I like the foundation of the law rather than the corruption that centuries of bureaucracy produce. Still, you have to take the bad with the good. The system is as good as any other. Its weakness is that it depends on the selfless choices and activities of the individual and often as idividuals (whether speaking of myself or of some mayor, judge or representative) we choose selfishly rather than corporately. I don't have a problem with not seeing eye-to-eye with someone who thinks that the needs of the many are served while still protecting the rights of the individual when some elected official decides to come down on the other side of an issue. Its when that official just doesn't seem to care or has a vested interest or is swayed to a position by loyalty to a friend or partner rather than standing his/her ground and making a choice that represents a less popular or personally motivated solution that I get ticked off. Democrats, Republicans; not tons of difference between then in my opinion. They are both peopled by men and women who are governed by their emotions and given to promoting their own agendas. I'm afraid often the question you have to ask yourself is which agendas are most in line with my view of the world and how I'd like to see it become. Truth be told, its finances that shape the world as much as anything. If you want a voice in the world, make money. Make a lot and watch the people sidle up to you looking for a handout. Make $5 or 10 and its the guy at the stoplight who washes your windows with newspaper. Make $5,000,000 or 10,000,000 and its the guy in the gray wool suit asking if you'd like to support X candidate.

Ah, now see what I've done. I've gone from the nebulous and poetic beauty that is our legal system of government of the people, by the people and for the people and slid down to speaking more to the issue of the people who step into the roles that are engendered by the pedestrian shuffling of that same government as it tries to actually stand and move towards a goal. Its a beautiful thing when the object of your appreciation sits staring beautifully but when it realizes that it has to work to accomplish something some of the glossy dream is broken or at least cracked and the underlying guts are shown through misappropriation of funds, inappropriate conduct towards citizens or volunteers or self-serving votes. True, its not a perfect system but it is a good one that inspires me.

Thanks for reading,


It's a multiple post day - Dishwasher

Well, my wife ordered a new dishwasher a week or so ago. It was supposed to be delivered today and I, idiot that I am, offered to install it. My job was to (A) disconnect and remove the old dishwasher and (B) install the new one. Growing up I worked delivering washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc for my Dad's Sears store (it was a local catalog/merchant franchise place). Now in my memory I remember installing all those items back when I was 14, 15 and 16. I can remember having to rehang the door on a refrigerator because it came in opening the wrong direction. I remember untold gas grills that I put together for customers and that was for $0 back then. Delivery was $25 in those days but we'd take away their old machinery for them, too. Oddly I never remember installing a dishwasher by myself. I had just assumed that the hoses would be like the washers and dryers with rubber hoses and brass fittings and a washer in the middle. Ohhhhhh ho! Not even close. First off its 240 volts wired directly into the dishwasher. Then its copper tubing that snakes something like 10-15' around through the cabinets and behind the lazy susan corner cabinet. Then its all manner of crap when I screw up where the brass fitting mounts to the plastic plumbing. Ahhh, the joys of owning your own home and being dumb enough to do your own labor.

I was supposed to have removed the old one last night so that the guys could take it with them today and then I would replace it with the new one when I got home. Well, I completely forgot that today was the day and so I didn't do it last night, I was on the way in to work today and I was headed in early for a change. Called the wife to say "Good morning." and she asks "Did you remember to remove the old dishwasher?" Here I go back to the house and try to remove the dishwasher only to make a huge mess. Now I need to cleanup and still don't have the darned thing out. She calls to say the delivery guys are on the way and can I stay. Sure, what the heck, its just my job, right? They get here and the guy takes a look at what I've done to my house and graciously shows me how if I'd just done this and then that things would have been simple enough that even an idiot like me could do it. He was nice but I'm sure he was hiding a laugh in there somewhere; hell, I would have been. So, I disconnect the old one finally after screwing up the other pipe and cabinets and he and his partner carry the new dishwasher into the kitchen. He asks if the old one works and I say, "Sure. She just wanted a newer, quieter model." Hmmmm. Partly correct. She also wanted one in Bisque. Now don't ask me what the hell color bisque is but . . . yes you guessed it . . . after they're gone and she comes home to see her new dishwasher that her stupid husband is trying to install while still wearing most of the clothes that he had planned on wearing to work today she exclaims "Oh no! It's black! I ordered Bisque!" Had I remembered one of the reasons she wanted the new appliance, perhaps I could have stopped dude while he was here and said, "Oh, no, my good man. You've selected a black dishwasher and I'm sure my fashion conscious wife will have none of that since she obviously chose Bisque." Nope. I didn't. I slowly and calmly moved away from the Satanic contraption that has attempted every way to confound me and conspire against me and I told my wife that its not a problem and that I was sure the store could help out. Now I still have bare wires, screwed up water pipes and a gaping hole in my kitchen and the delivery men are returning tomorrow to bring my wife her lovely new Bisque dishwasher. Its no one's fault. Just some of the things that happen when I don't pay attention and leave a household task until the last minute I suppose. Just thought I'd share with you wonderful folks (or bored people).

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

More equipment - lights

Just took another plunge. I ordered a set of Alien Bees ( B800's along with Bogen-Manfrotto 13' light stands and LiteDome PhotoFlex large softboxes. I finally feel that I can consistently generate high quality photos. I'm ready to take a step into professional photography. So far I've done most of my work as a learning or artistic experience. Now I'm ready to work towards putting a studio in place. It'll take me some time to pay my way back out of the debt I've gotten into (or the debt that I want to get into to get the premium grade equipment that I want to use) but I think I'm ready to assume that responsibility. I went ahead and ordered the lights because I have a commissioned photoshoot coming up as well as a studio session where I would have had to rent lights anyway. I also have an on-location shoot to do for an organization where I'll be selling prints right on site. Hopefully I can pickup enough money between now and Christmas to offset most of the cost of the lights.

I know that the AB's aren't Broncolor, Profoto or Elinchroms (the lights for one of those brands cost as much as the whole setup I just ordered) but I think that they'll get me through until I recoup the cost of the AB's and then I can look at adding to the equipment locker. I'm looking forward to building a good little business.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Photoshoot with a new subject - Brandi

Shot a set with a young lady with whom I hadn't worked before. Her name is Brandi and she's just joined (OMP # 126473).

Click the photo to see the rest of the shot from our session.

Thanks for reading,


Breathtaking Cinema

Wanna know how much of a goob I am? I loved Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Went to see that this weekend with my wife and WOW! The epic feeling that exudes from the use of darkness and negative space in the first 20 minutes of the film as well as from the oversized Gotham (New York) skyline is incredible. Everything feels larger than life. It's Art Deco poetry set to motion. Add to that atmosphere a dashing leading man, Joe Sullivan (Jude Law) and the most classical beauty of the present day theater, Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) and you've got a pretty cool film. It was well worth the $11 and the time for me. You really need to like the bigger than the screen, cheesy old cinema glamour of the 40's and 50's to enjoy this. It didn't hurt when in the first 15 minutes the giant robots were chasing Paltrow's character down the deserted New York street with lights and shadows that represent a time of day that just doesn't exist, Perkins stooped down, grabbed the seam of her skirt in her hands and ripped a slit that would allow her to run more easily. That slit exposed her lovely legs caressed by thigh highs with that little hint of restrained sexuality with a touch of lace at the top. Hmmmmm . . . OK. Maybe I liked the whole sexual atmosphere most of all. The setting for this film may have been a time that didn't exist anywhere except in my mind. The female lead wore deep colored lipstick, high heels (that she slides off and I swear I can at least imagine hearing the sound of the leather against those silk stockings), thigh highs and fitted skirts that remind you how she's a woman. Her hair was straight but with a few curls at the end. It wasn't 2 inches from her skull the way that women apparently chose to wear their hair now (yes, Mabel, that's hyperbole). It showed that she was a woman who took some time to get ready but ohhhhh, my oh my, she was the kind of woman that lead you to believe her getting ready would be worth being around for whatever she was getting ready for. In reality Jude Law's performance was a little flat. Giovani Ribisi (what a cool name for a guy that seems so totally American Little League baseball and t-shirts) gave a great performance but his was only a bit role. He did a good job but could realistically only help the film so much.

If you want a cool shot of hollywood glamour where you get some sexual tension without any overt sexuality (or much language as I remember) then this movie should fit the bill. If you expect deeply moving performances, ideas that challenge you philosophically or Matrix-style kung fu on a Hollywood budget then this ain't your show.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

New (Side) Job

You ever had someone who wouldn't normally carry on much of a conversation just hit you up out of the blue to talk about something? I was working on something with a person I see once ever few weeks and suddenly there was an interest in my photography hobby. That turned to discussion of other photography ideas and finally came full circle back to working on a collaborative effort that this person had come up with. I mentioned something along these lines to this person and asked how much I'd need to pay for his/her services several months ago but that had fallen by the wayside so I hadn't thought anything else about it. Now it looks like I have a good business opportunity. I think we have an idea that is marketable; it just remains for us to figure out how to market it and make money off of it. Perhaps you'll read about it in an upcoming BLOG entry if we get it going.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I promise I have alot to say I just never take the time to update the blog. How remiss am I?

Canon, in light of recent leaks regarding its upcoming announcement, released specifications, product photos and sample output from its newest camera flagship: the 1Ds Mark II.

(review by

16.7 megapixels! Yeah, you read it correctly. It's suggested retail price is $7,999 but it will probably sell for between $7,000 and 7,500 from B&H Photo Video or Adorama (both very reputable businesses in New York). The camera that it supersedes is the older 11.1 megapixel Canon 1Ds. The older version can be found hovering between $4,000 and 5,000 used.

I'm wanting to make my purchase as soon as possible but who can afford to just drop $4,000-8,000 dollars with little to no return expected? Ahhh, the luxuries of the ludicrous.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Sometimes it gets whelming

I haven't posted in two weeks. It isn't that I had nothing interesting going on or that I had no time. I just sometimes find it laborious to limit myself and I don't like to post such long blog entries that people have to fight through. Here's a condensed history:

Tennessee Volunteers looked impressive. They've maintained their winning tendancies over the last few years but they seldom looked impressive in doing so. Often they had to score alot in the final minutes of a game to make up a deficit or they ended up seeing a large lead shrink to almost nothing. Their first game of the 2004-2005 season was a heartening victory over UNLV where two true freshmen quarterbacks played. Both young men performed admirably and it looks like either will make a great leader on the field.

Couple of new photoshoots; you can see them at I like shooting portraits; its fun for me. I have a studio photoshoot scheduled for the first week in October. I wanted to schedule a trip to Savannah for an early fall beach session. I was going to meet a local model down there, bring along a model from my area and shoot a set for another model who would have been traveling up to the most haunted city in America but alas not everyone could make it. Now I'm changed and will be working my second studio shoot. I'm excited as it will be multiple models and while I will get some good individual shots and some hopefully solid fashion shots, I also hope to shoot some more artistically expresssive work. The kinda stuff that people look at and ask, "Why is that model over there holding that wand and that large stuffed frog" or something like that (it really depends on what props the model actually happens to be holding).

A friend came into town. A guy that Eric and I shared a bachelor pad with many years ago. Its fun hanging out with everyone but only for a little while. I'm just too staid. I like being at home and hanging out with the family. Last week Eric and I took our families out to the mall so the girls could play around the indoor playground while the women sat and talked. That was pretty fun. Sitting around playing StarWars (tm) Galaxies (tm) with 4 or 5 guys watching over your shoulder can become . . . boring. I'm glad to see the guys and hang out one night watching JK kill stuff in StarWars(tm) Knights of the Old Republic (tm) (KotOR) can be fun but it quickly pales beside going home with the family most nights and getting out to shoot a little once a week or so.

I'm almost finished with my project at work. Well, "finished" is a misnomer. I'm ready to turn it over to the users next week and let them start testing it for business rules, workflow and user interface. Yay!!!

Guess that's all.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm having an affair (???)

So I'm out at a photoshoot Sunday afternoon when I called my wife to just check in and talk while I waited for the model to change into another outfit. She says that she's just had a disturbing phone call. Apparently someone named Suzy called my house to tell my wife that I was having an affair with her. Uhnn hunh?!? Riiiiiight (you should hear me drawl it - typing doesn't do it justice).

For the record, I'm not having an affair and my wife had confidence in our fidelity and kept her wits about her and simply asked when was the most recent time I had been "creepin' around". Apparently Suzy's answer was something to the effect of "Right, bitch, don't f**kin' believe me. Yo man's been wid me." It appears she was a younger person of less than stellar grammar skills. My wife asked again and Suzy identified the night before (Saturday) as the last time we'd been together. My wife laughed since a truer account of my Saturday evening was watching TV with the family, playing a computer game, enjoying the fact that my wife isn't as innocent as she appears to be and then falling asleep only to awaken to some indigestion in the middle of the night. I subsequently fell back asleep and slept until fairly late Sunday morning. By the time we'd finished the next segment of photos my wife had received a follow up call from Suzy's mother or older sister who apologized for the prior behavior and promised that the instigator would receive appropriate punishment for her breach of etiquette.

It was nice to not have to worry since I haven't even talked to another woman. Frankly I couldn't prove my innocence as you can't prove a negative but I'm happy that my wife believed that I'd stay true to her.

So, in the spirit of mirth with which Suzy called my home I'd just like to happily say to Suzy, "Kiss my rosy ass you sweet little moron." I'm sure you got some fun out of that but it was an immature prank to pull on someone. Call Moe's next time and ask if he has "Amanda Kissinhug" or "I.P. Freely" or "Seymor Butts" or . . . .

BTW, a new addition to the BLOG is the small e-mail envelope. You can now click that to e-mail one of my blog posts to someone.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, August 30, 2004

Latest photoshoot

Shot with Brandy yesterday. We got some good shots. I think they're slightly different from other work in her portfolio. I don't have all the sets edited yet but here's one from the session:

You can see the rest from this photoshoot at

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Famous Model

Its always nice to see good things happen for people and see them realize some of their dreams.

A model with whom I worked recently just posted that he's in line to play the part of Danny Partridge (originally played by Danny Bonaduce) on VH-1's "In Search of the Partridges".

Congratulations to Peabo and his family on this success as well as the new Ford modeling contract he landed.

You can read Peabo's modeling info and find out how to contact him via his OMP portfolio (#81142).
WARNING: OneModelPlace is a storehouse for models and photographers; it contains images that some viewers may tend to find offensive. Surf to at your own choice.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, August 23, 2004

Annoying Precautions

A family member this last week decided to do a "manly job" of cleaning up the chicken shit from the manure spreader on the farm. He took a hammer and proceeded to whack the rusty blade; trying to dislodge some manure and some rust so that the blade would turn more freely. In so doing, he dislodged a piece of metal which flew into his eye. Well, it wasn't enough that he'd made a stupid decision to save 5 minutes and not put on safety goggles. He decided that it was just a small piece of something in his eye and that it would just get flushed out at some point. He awoke Sunday with impaired vision and was told that his eye had specks of color throughout it. He finally (on Sunday afternoon) went to the doctor to be told that he had an infection in his eye and that it was threatening the eyeball. He was ambulanced (I'm sure that cost something too) from Bradley to Erlanger. He had emergency surgery to remove the original piece of metal from his eye and try to clean out the infection (cha-ching!). He now has to stay in the hospital for at least 24 more hours (cha-ching! again). There is no guarantee that he'll keep his eyeball and he will probably have impaired vision. All this for the time-saving process of living free and dying young!! Woohoo!! Aren't we rebels flaunting those safety rules!! How much money did it cost? How many people had to adjust their schedules on Sunday or Monday? Ya know, I'm not really pissed at the guy; I feel for the problem he is suffering and what may happen to him. What I am pissed off about is the "devil may care" attitude about just taking the precautions that can be proven to save time, money and emotions. Wear your damned seatbelts when you get in the car. I know people who have said, "I don't like how restricted it makes me feel." or even "It wrinkles my clothes." Who gives a rat's rear? Put the damned thing on. Wear safety glasses when you are working with something where you could reasonably expect pieces of debris to be flying through the air. If your goal is to knock some rusty metal loose from some other metal, then put the damned goggles on! Save yourself some time overall and save all of us the hassle of having to take care of a preventable situation. If you want to go get drunk, have at it. Drink 'til you piss yourself. Just don't get behind the wheel, numnuts. Insipid behavior like this just annoys the crap outta me. Well, I guess I should go back to feeling sorry for this guy and say how sad and tragic a mistake it was . . . next time, put the damned goggles on!

On a separate note I shot a set with a model this last weekend. I'm writing a tutorial on modeling photography and this shoot was so that I could demonstrate some lighting skills. You can see photos at

Thanks for reading,


Friday, August 20, 2004

Dragon NaturallySpeaking and things

Yes that's true, which are reading now was composed using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and a headset. I'm talking, the computer is typing. This is a pretty cool way to blog.

I picked this software up because recently I've been asked to critique numerous photos and typing just wasn't getting the job done fast enough. I also was recently asked to write a tutorial on modeling photography, and I felt that a multipage document would go faster with speech to text. I found that I tend to pause and compose my thoughts and the computer takes that as an opportunity to place a comma into the text. Perhaps I will have to change my mode of dictation or teach the computer to understand my halting speech.

Katie is over 18 months now, and she's beginning to move into that time of life where she has nothing but nervous energy. She doesn't want to settle down. She wants to be on the go all the time I definitely need to trick my wife into having another child (oops. I mean, negotiate) before our daughter's behavior becomes to wearing.

I am getting older. Yesterday (August 19) was my 36th birthday. It was a good day; of course, according to what accounts were told me years ago it was a day and I either enjoyed or didn't. It was neither good nor bad merely a 24-hour period of time. It was nice to commemorate the event with my wife, my daughter, my mother and stepfather and my wife's parents. I got a phone call from my father who is out-of-town so I had an opportunity to share with the people mean the most to me; that's a day that I enjoy.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Life and Timing

It's been a little while since I published anything on my blog. Almost 2 weeks. Heck, its been a little while since I did pretty much anything I say that I like to do. You ever get those stretches where you just don't seem interested in the stuff that normally interests you? I don't know what it is; blaise attitude; too much mental focus on one facet of life or what.

I've been putting pressure on myself to produce at work. I'm not sure that is a formula for success as its caused me to be less enjoyable to be around and I don't seemed to have been any more productive. Well, that may not be true. I do seem to be more productive in some senses but only because some of the work I'm doing now isn't my normal fare.

Ran into someone the other day while photographing my wife and daughter at a local park. He commented on my gear and mentioned that a national business is looking for experienced photographers to shoot product shots for its catalog and websites. I followed up and found that they're wanting any time they can get and they aren't paying much at all. Now I'm conflicted. On the one hand its a paying gig (albeit not very much at all) and on the other I don't want to spend too much time shooting stuff that I don't really want to shoot.


  1. I am a programmer

    • I'm paid well for my ability to focus and write problem solving code or provide solutions

    • I enjoy the job I have now and would like to retire from it someday after contributing to the corporation and building up its value so that my shares of stock are worth more than they are today

    • This other work just doesn't pay much of anything so the extra money wouldn't really be that much

    • While I would like to put together a fashion studio where I can express myself artistically using lighting, models, props, etc this doesn't seem to substantially contribute to that goal

  2. I'm a husband and father

    • I only get so much time with my wife and daughter when we're all awake and interested in interacting

    • I can be a righteous pain in the rear and taking on more pressure just doesn't seem worth it

    • I worked to get a better job so that I could have more time for myself and my family.

  3. I'm a hobbyist photographer; granted I'm pretty involved but still a hobbyist.

    • I'm not looking for legitimacy. Other family members are impressed because of the household names that I'd be shooting for their catalogs & websites. I think its easier for some people to explain the kind of money or time I put into this hobby if I have some "legitimate" job attached to it. This isn't me. I don't mind telling people that photography is completely a way in which I try to find some expression of myself and what I see. So people look at me weird when they see that I use better equipment than they do in their own photo studio. I don't care. This is about me finding some artistic expression. It's my bass boat, hunting trips and little red hot rod all rolled into one.

    • Any time I spend shooting for pay takes away from the time I have to shoot artistically


  1. I don't shoot often enough now and this would give me some structured time where I'd be expected to shoot and produce quality output

  2. I could work a relatively small amount of time and pickup some cash on the side (photography is a relatively expensive hobby)

  3. I could gain experience with my camera in controlled lighting setting

  4. It does yield some legitimacy to my investment in photography

Well, there you have it. Guess when it all boils down to it I just need to make a decision.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, August 06, 2004

Funny little group fight on City of Heroes last night

For those of you interested you missed a funny, funny session of CoH last night. What's so funny you may ask. Well, as Eric, Bryan (a friend of ours), Rachel (some player we'd never met but were teamed up with) and I were traveling down a road replete with enemies we all noticed some superhero dude bouncing like the Incredible Hulk (tm). He apparently chose to bound into a group of 10-12 mobs and take off again. This action upset their otherwise quiet repose and enticed them to give chase. On his next contact with the asphalt our erstwhile hero landed in a similar group and doubled the number of his feral followers. As he touched down for a third time he lit up the final street gang in sight and had somewhere between 30 and 45 mobs chasing him. Now our little team of 4 heros had been about to start a fight with the first 10 or so bad guys when they were taunted by the concrete-buckling leaps of this interloper. To show just how intelligent we all were, we had, without discussion, all chosen to follow along as the crowd grew. Suddenly after the bouncy freak's 3rd landing he bounded over a very high wall which caused the computer controlled gangs to lose interest and begin to disperse back to their little piece of the street. Hmmm . . . now why would that be a problem? I wonder . . . . Oh yeah! Because the four of us were standing immediately in their path.

At this juncture it might be worthwhile to point out that Bryan's character cannot kill anything quickly. Not a fly, not an ant. He's built for the long haul and designed to wear down an opponent. Eric's character is designed to fight all on her own but not when surrounded by 30 or 40 mobs. The young lady that was along with us had chosen a character who's main mission is support; her job is to protect the other members of her team. My character is designed for one main purpose: to heal my teammates.

Yeah, OK. So back to the story. We have about 40 mobs bearing down on us and only 2 chars that have any hope of dishing out punishment. As the team member who always trails the team (so that I don't get killed, in which case I can then heal no one) I got a perfect opportunity to see Eric's char continue to run at the mobs for just a second, pull up short and then start running backwards. It became comical just about the time his char turned around to run directly at me and I saw his life bar drop to about 50% as he got hit by the front wave of mobs who had ranged attack. Bryan's character went down without a heal from me because I was trying to keep Eric alive long enough to get him out of the tidal wave of street violence. I decided the best thing I could do was run and try to teleport him out of the fight but before the teleportation finished he was killed. The young lady was gone with the merest whimper as I tossed a heal or two at her but she never turned to run.

The next two fights were similarly humorous but not on such a grand scale. I can only hope that Eric managed to get a screen capture of all those mobs headed for him before he bit the big one.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, July 26, 2004

Sharing Hobbies

I just signed up for revitalizing the camera club here at my workplace.  Its kinda funny.  I don't really want to go to the local camera club as I just don't feel accomplished enough and I don't have near the eye that others have.  Thinking of setting up a camera club here at work was a fun idea at one time (for about a day) and then I started thinking how its going to keep on being a monthly task to do and I decided to scrap it.  Next thing I know people are asking if I'm going ahead with this.  I guess I did it as much because it seems like people would like to have something they can come to once or twice and feel a part of something larger and because people would like to benefit from someone else putting time in each month to build a body of skilled people who are readily available to answer the nitpicky little questions.  I'm not trying to be pesimistic; it just reads that way.  I figure what the heck.  I'm going to learn by having to prepare and teach a 15-minute "class".  I need to learn to cut down on the thoughts I share with people anyway so I'll benefit from having to make sure I know something (like doing experiments to prove the differences in smaller apertures over time and larger apertures for shallow DOF or something like that) as well as benefitting because I have to cut down my presentation to 15 minutes.  This exercise should also be beneficial to me if I can help someone else to understand the tradeoffs between one media and another or one format and another or even one manufacturer and another.  I'm not talking Canon over FujiFilm or Nikon or whatever but just me developing a well-rounded background in multiple areas and then being able to share that with other users.  As I help others see their options perhaps I can benefit collaterally and learn to be more directed in my communication and more open-minded in my evaluations.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, July 24, 2004

New toys

Got some new toys yesterday. I've been wanting to shoot some photos with more lighting setup than just a single flash pointed at the subject. I finally ordered a Canon ST-E2 (remote control for my flashes) and a Canon 420EX flash so that I can set one flash on either side of the camera and get more dynamic lighting (instead of such flat lighting) on the subjects. I also picked up a like new Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens. I hooked all this up last night and here's a photo that I got. It's still not completely "in focus" because the plane of focus is incredibly shallow. Even with only having my daughter's bangs in the plane of focus, this lens is so sharp it made a wonderful photo with a crappy background

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Selling some of my photos

I've sold one photo through DPC Prints but I decided based on costs and management of content to pay for a different service.  I will be adding new prints to Exposure Manager for any future prints I intend to sell. 

If you are interested in any of my prints (and no, I'm not selling shots of the models) then take a trip over to this sales site and see if the shot you like is available.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday: Work and photography

Hmmm, odd how the day starts out and I plan on blogging about the new toys I just ordered and then I get into working and that all goes out the window. 

Quick little "Yay for me!"  I ordered the Canon ST-E2 infrared flash remote controller and a new Canon 420EX flash unit.  I've spent the first year of my photography/camera hobby practicing and learning about portraiture.  I'm still far from producing compelling images as often or as powerfully as I'd like but I'm ready to at least add more dimension to my work and trying to understand lighting seems to be the next step.  To whit, my recent work on the beach in Florida was an attempt to create powerful images based on lighting and composition.  Here's another one from that set:

As for work, man it can get flipped out.  People often have different ways of doing things and with programming and computers multiple ways will get you to the same conclusion but some ways are inherently better than others (they cost less in terms of processing and maintenance).  When you switch responsibility for a project from one person to another sometimes it takes tons more time to just maintain the original code than it would to just write the whole thing over again.  At least it seems that way.  I'm not complaining.  Just noting that I'm maintaining a piece of code that was originally written several years ago and while I'm basically a newbie (I've been programming less than a decade and never in a mainframe setting) I have some pretty strong opinions about using the fastest path to deliver a solution.  Microsoft Access seems to have gained many adherents here at work over a period of time to provide fast solutions.  Now it has fallen out of corporate favor because it is unsecure at its core and designed for no more than 5 users.  It scales like poop (meaning it doesn't work well in anything other than a very small usage).  Trying to wrap my mind around someone who was trying to write code that used Access as its data store while including a mixture of advanced coding techniques (because the coder wanted to do a good job) and then having little band-aids because the business often just wants the application ASAP . . . let me just tell you that its a pain.  Couple that with new projects that the business wants and then toss in a healthy dose of having to revisit code from 7 or 8 months ago and this can get confusing. 

Oh well, at least we have more people on the team and the lines of responsibility are more delineated now so that I actually own the responsibility for something instead of just writing a piece of code for another developer.  Now I feel like I can wrap myself up in some of these projects and become the source of knowledge on what they do, how they work and how we should implement and support them.  Luckily I like to share information with other people so I publish documents that any of my co-workers can use to see in graphical depiction with explanation just how to utilize and support the applications that are my responsibility. 

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Vacation photos

Well, if you've read my last blog you know why its taken me this long to get some photos from our vacation posted.  You can look through several of the photos by pointing a browser to and looking in the Landscape, Nature and Portraits/Baby folders.  I've included two of my favorite shots here.  I hope these aren't too large for you to download or enjoy (but large enough to actually see).

Thanks for your comments and for reading,


Monday, July 19, 2004

Vacation and bad news

We just got back from vacation this weekend.  It went well enough.  It was our first time with a mobile child.  She was great on the beach but she could be a handful in the condo and waiting in line at Disney wasn't for the timid.  We took her to Disney in the mornings and left by mid-afternoon.  I took the camera and flash and got some incredible pictures of her with the Disney characters that she loves.  She probably won't remember much or any of this visit to Florida but we will have pictures of her on the beach and playing in the ocean (yeah, I did take the camera out into the water to get some photos).
On Friday morning my Dad called me to say that my grandmother had passed away or was passing away (depends on what you think about a person's spirit).  She had some type of heart problems last weekend and due to her stubborn nature and incredible health she didn't mention it to anyone until Tuesday when she was taken to the hospital.  She spoke her last on Thursday evening and her body ceased to breath Friday morning.  We packed up and drove home Friday night and I went to the funeral home Saturday and Sunday to greet visitors.  I had the distinct pleasure of getting to give part of my grandmother's eulogy.  She lived 92 long years.  She lived through the first World War, the Great Depression, the second World War and more technological advancements than most other generations.  Her longevity could have been due to her hearty stock, her diet of steady vegetables and fruits from her garden (supplemented with the occasional Pepridge Farm frozen cake or Totino's pizza) or it could have been from her godly life. 
It's difficult to write about her.  She helped to raise me and if she was on your side then she was on your side no matter the circumstances.  She was fiercely loyal.  She was a faithful servent of God for almost all of her 92 years and she was one of the most loving and faithful people I have ever met.  She had to drop out of school to help support the family but she was intelligent with a fast wit to the end.  In my statements about her I noted that she was just a little bit crazy but that wasn't a discredit to her.  Her craziness might take the form, for instance, of when she and my Granddaddy decided to take me on a trip either down to a store in town or across the river to meet with some of Granddaddy's CB buddies or maybe we were going to look for African Violets.  We'd all pack into Granddaddy's white Oldsmobile Cutlass with the red interior smelling of smoke.  We'd make it to the end of the driveway and she'd say, "Henry, I'm not sure I turned off that stove."  and in his gruff demeanor my grandfather would answer, "Blanche, I went behind you and checked it.  That stove is off."  We'd make it just a piece of a mile down the road and she'd just get more nervous and say, "Now Jiggs" for that was my grandfather's nickname, "I'm not gonna enjoy this trip unless I can know that those eyes are off." and around we'd turn and she'd run back into the house to verify that she had in fact turned off the stove.  That may seem normal except that at 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 years old I definitely remembered the first time she checked them on the way out the door to get into the car and I remembered that they were off.  I think she would have laughed about that and replied, "That's OK.  Everybody gets to be a little crazy about something every now and then."   She was pragmatic and practical. 
She loved to talk.  She absolutely loved to talk.  She loved to share stories and opinions and she had several of each.  It was impossible to tell her once that you had to leave the conversation because she would always answer that with "Let me tell you just one more thing" and an hour later she'd remember that you needed to go.  She would tell a story and then at the end of it she'd catch her breath and respond with "Now what about that?" as though she'd just heard it.  It didn't matter if it was the 3rd time or the 300th time she'd told it.  She'd tell a joke and then laugh so hard at the punchline you'd think you told the joke and she was the one hearing it for the first time.  She never met a person who didn't need to hear one of her stories.  She made more friends in the checkout line at the grocery store than many people will ever make in their entire lives.  She understood that there is a responsibility that comes with talking to people.  In all my life I never saw that woman back down from talking when she thought that something needed to be said.  She taught me to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.  She never shied away from telling me I needed to get my family in church or telling my Dad things she thought he needed to hear or telling my grandfather just how she saw the world and what she thought the Bible had to say about something.  Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely detest an overbearing woman who thinks she knows everything but my grandmother wasn't like that.  She was blessed with an unswerving belief in people.  She believed that it didn't matter what mistakes you'd made up until now.  It didn't matter how you might have failed any test laid before you; shirked some responsibility or chosen selfishly.  She believed with such a deeply felt and abiding faith that all it took was for you to choose wisely and correctly this time and you'd be back on the right track.  Each person, regardless of his or her past could simply ask forgiveness of the Lord or of those he'd wronged and immediately choose to change his life.  She never said it was easy but then I guess with the life she'd already lived some decisions seem easy by comparison.  She believed in forgiveness.  She knew that choices in life bore consequences and so a person might have to pay for their mistakes but she firmly believed that they should be forgiven before they had to make that payment.  She loved.  She had a fire in her belly.  She lived life with a passion for being alive; a passion for having her own home, having her own garden; a passion for her flowers.  She loved me deeply and enduringly.  She loved the Braves and to the best of my knowledge watched all but the latest west coast games over the last several years of her life.  She loved my Dad as much as any one person can love another.  She loved my Granddaddy.  In retrospect its probably a good thing that Granddaddy came along  before Bill Clinton because she loved that man, too.  She loved the congregation at her church.  She adored the pastor, Brother Danny.  My grandmother spent the last 20 years of her life alone; not looking for another partner nor even wanting one.  She'd had 50 years with the man that she loved.  The celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary shortly before my grandfather passed away.  They were both in good health that day and shared memories with many of their friends.
In this life, its difficult sometimes to love perfectly.  The weight of sin, the burden of past pains caused by caring for others; the frailties of the human flesh all weigh a person down.  Whatever part of loving that my grandmother got wrong over the course of her life has now been purged and perfected.  I believe that she's now in the presence of Jehovah, God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the God of the Old Testament and the New.  I believe that she was instantly and without any effort on her part was perfected and transformed into a new body with a new heart and mind and that all her lackings and all her frailties were done away with by the grace of God.  I believe that she's among old friends now and I believe she's with my Granddaddy.  I don't believe they're together as husband and wife but as two believers in Christ who shared so many personal memories of their lives together.  I believe that they can share memories of triumphs in this life.  I believe that without the burden of ego they can share lovingly and faithfully their memories of owning a little business, of growing older together and of raising two children and several grandchildren and that with each memory they can praise and glorify the Lord who strengthened them and gave them the grace to handle each situation laid before them.
But of all my memories, and my heart is filled with many, the one that came to mind so suddenly after my Dad's phone call was something she admonished me with as a young boy.  I don't know exactly how old I was but I know that she told me over and over again to follow this piece of advice.  It sounds simplistic and simple minded but I believe it shows an integration of her faith.  It demonstrates how she believed that her service to the Lord was most powerful when it was one-on-one.  She used to tell me to "Always give the other fellar a smile."  It doesn't sound Earth shattering but it was how she followed it up that made such a powerful message to me.  She'd say, "Always give the other fellar a smile 'cause you don't know but what that's the only smile he'll see today and you don't know but that's the way the Lord's gonna deal with him today."  It wasn't a call to the mission field or to build houses for the homeless.  It wasn't a request for money.  I know that she valued the mission trips that the youth of her home congregation went on.  I know that she valued the outreach that the congregation makes into the community.  But I also know that she felt a responsibility to just be available for the Lord to work through her to pass out some niceness to anyone on any day. 
Of all the things I heard said of her over the weekend, one thing that people kept saying over and over was that she always had something nice to say and was always in a good mood.  Now I know that she, like everyone else, may have had a bad day here and there or been in a foul mood but in my experience, she was one of the most upbeat and positive people I know.  I'm sure you can imagine the frailties that come with being 92 years old.  She had difficulties and she'd had heartache and loss but overall she was in a good spirit for just about anyone and she was happy to share with everyone.
She loved well on this Earth and she served her Lord faithfully during her life.