Thank You Deborah For 15 Years, I Love You

Scott and Deborah 15 YearsI rarely make such personal statements on my blog, but I thought it would be appropriate today for what truth is spoken and pronounced in public, becomes even more validating to me in private. So here goes.

Today, Deb (see her blog) and I made it to our 15th year together (at least post marriage). I can’t at this point do anything that will be able to express what those 15 years have been like with you but to say, thank you. We have done so many things and gone to so many places together over the last 15 years that it is hard to express with any written manner what they have been like.

We have been through so much together and I still can’t wait to see what the next 15 years is going to be like. I think and dream about all the places we will go, things we will do together, and how our lives will change together. I think about the what, where, when, and how of our future, all with excitement and anticipation. I love being able to grow older (not old yet) with someone I care for so much. We have grown together in our faith, our love for each other, and even the understanding of our purpose together. What hasn’t been a perfect 15 years, has been something I cherish in my heart.

You have always supported me in whatever I wanted to do, have pulled me and stretched me to grow, and have been the love of my life since we met. This blog is our life going back only 4-5 years or so, but the pages of this blog and our life going forward are white and un-written yet. I can’t wait to fill the pages in with you. I love you Deborah. Happy Anniversary.

A Busy Weekend Cleaning and the New iPhone?

Cleaning on First Saturday

Control Booth on Sunday Morning

Not having done my daily journal post in a while I thought I would sum up the weekend here real quick. It was a very busy weekend starting with a shoot on Saturday and then another most of the day on Sunday.

First Saturday Photo Shoot

Saturday I was shooting a clean up and maintenance session called First Saturday. I wasn’t quite sure going in if I would get anything worth keeping photographically, but it didn’t turn out to bad. Sometimes when you are trying to shoot somewhat ordinary tasks it makes you really look for ways, or new ways, to be creative.

I went ahead and completed the edit of the shoot when I got home, knowing there would be another shoot on Sunday, glad I did too. You can see the complete gallery edit of First Saturday here, if you are so inclined. There were still the normal things like grass to mow and all that so Deb and I tried to squeeze everything in we could that day.

Sunday Photo Shoot and Service

Sunday was a packed day, starting around 5am and ending at close to midnight. It would be the first time to go in and shoot during the service and try to be as invisible as possible while shooting communion. It was a busy day (see Sunday over at Worship Journey for details). Of course, the booth is a busy place to be on a Sunday morning.

I was hoping to get the edit done for that shoot on Sunday as well but just couldn’t get to it, and I was exhausted, so I will just do it today or tomorrow. As soon as I get the completed galleries loaded I will post links to them here as well.

This Week, Photos, and a little WWDC / iPhone

So, this week is just about as busy as last week. We start off on the Internet with the WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) where Steve Jobs is set to announce the latest version of the iPhone. Supposedly in new colors, and deemed to be the 3G version for its capability of utilizing the AT&T broadband 3G network.

If so, it is about time. The edge network is slow, and anyone familiar with cell phone usage in Europe or Japan would be appalled by the lack of cell phone broadband available. It is interesting to see how things develop. If you are familiar with Twitter, they are now showing a link using Summize: Apple fan? Our pals at Summize are tracking the WWDC shown on their main page. It automatically feeds on any terms on Twitter using Steve Jobs, Apple, iPhone, or WWDC, pretty interesting, but traffic is huge, will probably take down Twitter before long.

I would like to have some time to try to figure out how to really utilize Summize, especially with its advanced search features. Guess I will leave that for another day, but its potential looks great. The search strings are endless if you are interested in a very specific topic. As far as the new iPhone goes, ff course I already have the first generation iPhone so I hope they just add the 3G service for existing customers as well, don’t think I will be running out for iPhone 2.0 any time soon unless they need some free beta testers.

Plurk Tries to Takeover Where Twitter Leaves Off?

Scott Fillmer on Plurk

Have you seen the movie Wall Street? I assume so, I guess just about everyone has seen that movie at this point. A movie deemed to be about greed, but really is much more than surface deep. I love the link in the movie Wall Street that goes something like this.

Bud Fox: How much is enough Gordon? How many boats can you ski behind… how much is enough?
Gordon Gekko: It’s not a question of enough, Bud.

How Much is Enough To Make Us Crazy

The Internet is a lot like this. How much is enough to make us go crazy. I think that is the wrong question. My friends over at Worship Journey and GotRoot have been discussing the use of technology and how to use the tools and options that come along with embracing technology (also see The Church Body and the Internet, Part 2).

I don’t think it is a question of how much is to much, it is a question of will be embrace “new” or “change” or we will turn a blind eye.

Today I started checking out Plurk (add me to your plurk here). If you don’t know what Plurk is, it is like a pimped up version of Twitter (follow me on twitter here). Don’t know what Twitter is, it is sort of like texting the entire world what you are doing. Don’t know what texting is, well, guess I can’t help you then, and how in the world did you make it to this blog.

To Embrace Change is to Grow

We tend to get overwhelmed easily by new things like this, but I think we look at it head on, and maybe we need to look at it from the side and upside down. We don’t have to dive into everything full boar, but to resist change, or new things is to stop growing.

I try to keep an open ear and if something comes up several times, I will probably go check it out, and over the last week or two, that was Plurk.

What I am more interested in doing is being able to brainstorm enough to come up with new and innovative ideas on my own. How about you? Is see new things like those mentioned here and inevitably I think, why didn’t I think of that. Or, if I did, I had no way to implement my ideas.

So, I am constantly looking around for ideas and those new things that other more brainy people that have been able to implement their ideas and see how they were able to go about this process.

If you are a little more interested in seeing what Plurk can do, a real good article was posted a few days ago, read up at Plurk: Unique or Just Another Twitter Clone?

So, do you Plurk? Do you look at new things like this with anxiety or with excitement?

Meet the Cornerstone Buzz Band :: Photos

Cornerstone Buzz Worship Band

Cornerstone Buzz Worship Band

Elizabeth Singing Raise Your Hands at Cornerstone

Patrick on the Electric Guitar at Cornerstone

Cornerstone Worship Band

I had the privilege last night to do another photo shoot with the Cornerstone band. Being able to do a photo shoot while listening to and participating in some great praise and worship music is pretty cool. This is part of a larger collection of images (see full photo shoot set here) that Cornerstone is trying to gather, and step everything up to the next level. I am glad I can be a part of the process. Out of about 1,000 images I shot last night I edited down to about 50, then those 50 were narrowed down to about 30, which are now loaded in the full shoot session on my gallery, and I chose 5 of those for this post here. So, come meet the band.

Now that you are down at the bottom of the post, click on the last image to see them all in a gallery in the larger size. If you start at the top my youtube video sticks on top, sorry, haven’t figure out why yet. Hope you enjoyed the images as much as did taking them. There will be more to come, for now you can see all the current images on my gallery. Leave a comment below and tell me what you thought, or some creative critique on how to improve.

Oh that Hair from the 1980's :: Throwback Thursday

Bryan at age 4 in 1986

This is my latest installment for Throwback Thrusday from Vagabondrunn (see Throwback Thursday (6)). This is officially my last post for Throwback Thrusday that is not of myself, sorry, one more week. I requested some images from my lovely mother and just haven’t received them yet.

When I do, I will start posted them for this weekly post, and there plenty of them for me to choose from, so Kyle, go find some more photos to keep this post alive a few more weeks.

In the mean time, here is our son at age 4 in 1986, who now looks just like his son (age 2). It is quite amazing to put side by side photos of Bryan (our son) and William (our grandson) at the same age, they are complete twins, identical. Don’t forget to post a comment below with a link to your Throwback Thursday post so we can take a look as well.

Do it Yourself Low Light Fireworks Photography

Low light photography is probably one of my favorite genres or areas of photography. It has so many possibilities and you can really get something special that the eye doesn’t always notice. One easy way to try out low light photography is with the 4th of July holiday (for those here in the U.S) or on New Year’s Eve.  You can of course accomplish this at any time of the year, all you really need are healthy collection of sparklers, but the opportunities during those two times of year make it quite easy.

The camera is going to record any light source you have, so the bright lights of a fireworks display or something like this sparkler above is good place to start. The only light source in the photo above is the sparkler, but notice it also is enough to light up the subject as well.  You will of course need a camera, and some type of support (like a tripod) would help, but is not totally necessary.  This shot above was taken hand held and the exposure was placed on the sparker itself.

If you want to try something other than the program mode or automatic settings, place your camera on the “bulb” shutter speed setting, and hold the exposure open for different amounts of time depending on what effect you want to see.  The concept is very similar to photographing lightning.  For a full and detailed explanation on how lightning photography is done, see How to Successfully and Safely Photograph Lightning.  If you can place the camera on a sold surface or tripod it will greatly help the sharpness of the image.

Since most of us now use a digital camera, just shoot away and experiment with different settings until you get the desired results.  I have created several posts on low light photography, you can also see these on my low light gallery.  Any questions at all just ask.

1979 Morgan Out Island 33 Sailboat in Orange Beach For Sale

Morgan Out Island 33 For Sale

This is probably the saddest post I could make on this blog but we have come to the decision that we can not keep up with our house here and the boat we love down at the coast.

I will be posted more photos and information as time goes on but you can look through this blog and all the posts and history of the boat to know what we are selling. It is a 1979 Morgan Out Island 33 in great shape. We had put a lot of hard work into her since we purchase her in Tampa in 2006. The only issue she has at all is the 50hp Perkins motor needs a new head gasket. The Perkins has been serviced, a new heat exchanger installed, filters changed, and she runs GREAT. Starts right up every time, but she does need the header gasket replaced.

Comes with all sails and equipment needed to take an off-shore cruise to the keys or Bahamas. I will post the latest survey soon. We did not have one done as we did not continue the coast guard registration process. Along with all the normals for a boat this size, it also has a GREAT marine a/c and heater unit. We used this all summer last year and this winter and it works great. It is a very roomy cabin, perfect for a live-a-board with the headroom and sleeps at least 5 comfortably. The interior is very clean and in very nice condition. Floors and wood work on the inside are in great shape. Two water holding tanks that hold about 50 gallons of water, a 35 gallon diesel tank, working head and fresh water shower.

To see the history of the vessel please visit the history page, you can also see the most recent survey as well. We had not completed the name change so it is still technically called the s/v LAUGHALOT. The boat is located at the Bear Point Marina in Orange Beach Alabama. You are more than welcome to visit the marina to see the boat. The current asking price is $19,500. The current NADA price is about $23,000 but we have discounted the header gasket work that needs to be done, which should only be about $1500 or so. The marina is VERY nice and the slip is very reasonable at $350 per month, which includes electric, water, phone, and cable.

Any questions at all please let us know through the contact page above and I will be happy to return your email. You can also ask your questions through the comment box below and I will post answers there publicly.

Here are some recent photos. I am sure the new owner will enjoy it as much as we have. We spent many weekends on the boat and enjoyed each one.

Deborah on the Sailboat

Morgan Out Island 33 For Sale

Inside the Cabin

forward_v-berth

galley

head_shower

head_vanity

helm

nav_station

ondeck

port_settee

quarter_berth

salon

salon_and_l-shaped_settee

Blogoscoped and Possibly Longest Post I Have Ever Read

word-countI came across this post today, called Kevin Fox of Gmail & FriendFeed on User Experience Design
and, although it was a lot of really good information, along with the title, it was A LOT of information. There are so many blogs out there with good info that I have probably 400 feeds in my rss reader.

I don’t read all on a daily basis, but this one is one of the blogs I try to skim over.

This particular post could be the longer post ever made on a blog as a single post. I punched it into Word and I got a total of 23 pages, with 8,151 words, and a whopping 45,878 characters.

Wow, I am long winded myself. Anyone that has ever received an email from me knows this, but I don’t think I can top this one. It was good information but wow. As far as a general rule of thumb about blogging is you try to keep it to a few small paragraphs, a page or two, anything more won’t hold the readers attention.

Of course this is a blog by Googleites, so they probably have the leaway of doing whatever they feel like doing and it probably won’t matter. Good post guys, lots of good info, but then it would have to be at 23 pages.

Other Tips of Note

I looked at a few other blog feeds in this category I normally read and I have listed them below just as general information if you are interested. Most of these are blogging blogs on how to blog. So, what is the longest blog post you have ever written?

Leave a comment with the link below so we can all take a look (can’t say I will read it though).

Some things I keep in mind when doing a blog post.

  1. Break up paragraphs into one or two sentences
  2. Try to keep the post under 5 minutes reading time
  3. Use headings (h2 or h3 tags) for bullet points
  4. Include links to other blogs if mentioned
  5. Go read and comment on someone else’s blog instead of writing

How Long is Your Last Post

So, how long was your longest post. Did it bring in a lot of traffic to your blog or did you think about if someone was actually going to read something that long or not? I forget all the time. Even this post should have been shorter but I never know when to stop.

Bachelor Loop Road in Creede Colorado, a Must See

Cabin in the Woods in Creede Colorado

I finally got back around to doing the photo of the day. This image is from a trail called Bachelor Loop that runs from the town center of Creede Colorado up into the mountain that overlooks the city, then back down the other side.  The road runs in front of the cabin and you can see it in the photo here.  It is a dirt forest road (not big at all, one lane at most) that winds around the mountains through Bachelor Loop.

It is an incredible drive as far as scenery goes, but you better leave your nerves behind and make sure your have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, at least in the colder months. The road here in front of the cabin is the loop road, which narrows greatly as you go up the mountain.  This image of the cabin just calls out Colorado to me. Isolated at times, in the mountains, dirt roads, beautiful surroundings. Colorado has some incredible places to visit.

I have started to add my images like this image of the day, current, and past photo shoots to my business gallery, called Scott Fillmer Photography.  You can see additional images here as I add them to Auburn Images gallery, or just click on the link at the top of this blog called gallery. Enjoy.

Learning New CSS Stylesheets, Themes, and Design Code

I neglected by blog posts this weekend and instead opted for a new design, look, or fell, or whatever. I was trying to consolidate some older pages, and make it a little easier to get around the information I have posted already.  I am still putting the finishing touches on some of the graphics but you get the idea now. I would love to hear what you think about the new design, what can be improved or changed. This is a busy week coming up, our new study over at the Damascus blog is starting in Romans and will be posted on Tuesday.

Learning to Use a Stylesheet and PHP

Over time I have had to learn how to use a CSS or Stylesheet and some basic PHP.  As I have leaned more and more code I have found a bit of freedom to be able to change and adjust things to be exactly the way I want them to be, and in the process be able to mess things up as well.  I would really recommend learning as much code as you possibly can, over time, it will be invalueble to you since everything runs on code.