Thursday, December 12, 2013

Run, Shoot, Write

So lately I have been running a lot. When I say a lot I mean a few times a week on the treadmill.  I didn’t even let thanksgiving stop me. As a matter of fact on turkey day I ran a 5K (3.1 miles). For my second 5k in my life I finish with a time of 23 minutes and nine seconds. Now that’s not a huge distance but for someone who doesn’t like to run, or I guess I should say someone who didn’t like to run, it’s a big distance. I really used to hate to run. Even in high school when I played sports I hated running and I was even a running back in football. After high school I avoided it at all cost which was pretty easy to do when you don’t play sports. And it’s only been in the past couple of months that I really started to run and I like it. Of course I used to hate writing too but now I have a blog. I didn’t say I was good at it, but I write and I run now. I must be getting old.
I have said before that living in the Midwest there ain’t much to look at when it comes to scenery, you almost have to search for it as opposed to places like out west where the mountains stick out like a sore thumb and the landscape just pops out in front of you. At least that’s what I have always thought but the truth is there is something here and it’s been right in front of me or above me. With this massive flat farm land surrounding there is so much open sky that it makes it impossible to miss. In fact I have been photographing it already (night photography) and not even thinking twice about it. Sun rises, sunsets, and night skies play a prominent role in so many inspiring photos and it truly does help to paint the picture.  Now obviously taking a picture of a clear blue sky in the middle of the day can be pretty, that isn’t the type of picture I’m after. I’m not looking for just another pretty picture, no, I need awe-inspiring, I need surreal, I need… another cup of coffee… ok I’m back. Where was I, oh yea I need the picture that will tell the story. Ok that may be a bit much, let’s just stick to a really good photo. Ansel Adams did a great job of keeping the sky in most of his landscape pictures, grant it he had massive mountains to help with the dramatizing of the photo but he had the sky. Adams used clear skies and cloudy, night and day, sun and moon. Usually the sky wasn’t the main focus of his work but it laid a beautiful backdrop for things like Half Dome, Saw Tooth, and McGown Peak.  He was able to use just enough to make it count but not too much to take over the picture. So that’s it that’s my challenge. Taking a sky focused photo or one that incorporates the sky perfectly. This won’t be a week-long challenge like I used to do this will be a longer sought after win. Which will take me awhile especially since it’s dipping down into the single digits outside right now?
So that’s what I got for you this week, nothing new really just me trying to take photos, trying to write something interesting, and trying to run. Until next time, mmmmmmmmmmmm coffee.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”     -Ansel Adams

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So, it's been awhile...

I know it has been a month or so since I last posted anything but I have been busy. I have been chopping wood, fly fishing, building a house, traveling to Mexico, and spending time with the family.
Let’s start with chopping wood; a real therapeutic chore. From the sound of the chainsaw to the swing of the splitter (looks like an axe on one side and a sledge hammer on the other). The smell of fresh chopped wood, a cup of hot coffee on a cold and sunny fall morning is just relaxing. So is the nap that I take afterwards. At the beginning of November Chris and I headed out to the woods to chop some fire wood early in the morning. I have mentioned Chris before and his random yet detailed stories that you just have to hear so you’re in luck because here is a couple story 1 and story 2.  That afternoon, after chopping wood, story time, and a nap, I decided to head to the water to do a little fly fishing. One thing I learned back in the summer is that trout love cold water and if fished right they will bite all through fall and into the winter. I made it to the river by late afternoon with a few hours of daylight left, and even though I didn’t catch a single fish it was a beautiful and relaxing setting. Crystal clear water lined with trees that were covered with all shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. The top of the water close to the bank was covered with the same leaves floating down the river getting stuck in an eddy (a circular movement of water) and behind logs. It was a good day.
The following week amber and I were packing up and getting ready to head to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. The night before we left amber was in an accident. She walked away without injury thank goodness but the car never made it. The next morning we headed to the airport to fly south. After boarding the pilot came over the loud speaker and stated that we were grounded because they had bad weather in Chicago. By the time we made it to Chicago we missed our connecting flight to Mexico and were stuck there until the next day, well stuck at a hotel close to the airport. We made it to Mexico a day late but we were there. The weather was cloudy but warm most of the time and we saw rain almost every day except the day of the wedding. Aside from the mediocre weather and being a day late we had a great time. Ate and drank our share, got to spend some much deserve alone time with my sexy hot wife, even got in a night swim, had a chance to do some snorkeling and fishing, and the wedding was beautiful. On our way home by the way of  two plane rides and  a three hour layover Amber was  pulled aside twice for an extra security check and when we landed in Atlanta we were sent into a what I’ll call an interrogation area. We weren’t frisked or asked to strip and our luggage wasn’t even searched, we were just asked a few questions about what we were bringing back into the states, “a coffee mug and Christmas ornament,” were our answer. The guy looked at us with a confused look and asked again, “Did you bring any alcohol, tobacco, or drugs in with you?” Again we answered, “No just the mug and ornament.” So he sent us on our way.  We finally made it home late that night exhausted from all the traveling.
We have been building a house, well contractors have been, for the past few months and it has finally come down to the last few steps and we couldn’t be more eager to get in. Watching go from just a lot, to a hole in the ground, to four walls and a roof has been more than exciting but now we are just ready for it to be done and for us to get in our brand new house.
Thanksgiving came up and we had a chance to spend time with the family which is always nice we all chatted each other up about life and drank too much but the most exciting part was the Iron Bowl. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about then you need to leave now. No wait stay, I’ll tell you. It is the Auburn and Alabama football game, a rivalry that has been going on for over a hundred years and this year was by far the best game I have ever seen. Number 1 Alabama playing number 4 Auburn in a true battle of the beasts and it came down to the last second, the score was tied and Alabama has the ball with one second left they decide to try a 57 yard field goal; the kick is up it has the aim its going, going, this one could make it, no it’s short. Caught in the back of the end zone by Chris Davis he brings it out to the 20, 25, 30 here comes Alabama players, down the sideline for Chris Davis past the 50 untouched by Alabama, 35, 30, 25 he could win it for Auburn, TOUCHDOWN!!!! Auburn wins the Iron Bowl! Auburn beats undefeated Alabama! Auburn wins! Auburn wins! My parent’s house blew up in a roar of excitement, the house was almost shaking with all clapping, yelling, screaming, my sister may have peed her pants a little, the neighbor came running over to add to the yelling and screaming,  even penny the pup was excited barking along with the family. Oh yeah did I forget to mention we are Auburn fans?
            So that was my month of November. Definitely had some rough times there for a minute but the good times always outweigh the bad. I’ll try not to let it go so long before the next post either and I already have some pics to post and I should get some more up before the New Year. Until next time, WAR EAGLE!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.”                                                       –Mark Twain