Today was the annual crazy-day game where we play ourselves, called the Auburn A-Day Game. Of course just about every school has a spring game where the offense plays the defense, it just seems to get bigger and bigger as the years go by. Today we had over 43,427 people at this game where we played ourselves, a game in which Coach Chizik said “numerical values meant little — if not nothing.” Makes me wonder (every single year)… why… but, it’s Auburn football, and there are very few chances to get into Jordan-Hare Stadium and take photos of crazy people (myself included since obviously I was at this “game”). I feel sort of obligated to go now since I have 4 years of A-Day Game posts on my blog, and I wouldn’t want to cull a blog mini-series of mine like the A-Day Game.
As Ryan Wood wrote for the Opelika-Auburn News on the game, “I wouldn’t look and pay attention to any of the stats today,” said Chizik, who barely glanced at the sheet in front of him for the 10 minutes he spent with the media. “It was different guys in there with different personnel groupings, and mix and match players. I wouldn’t read into any stats that you may see, good or bad.” But, that just means that keep stats for this game? Seriously? OK, I guess we keep stats on everything these days, and why not, the number of data points that we can capture at any given event now is bordering on the incomprehensible.
One interesting thing that did take place yesterday was the unavailing of three statues of Auburn’s Heisman Trophy winners, Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson, and Cam Newton. I have photos of the new statues, but I think I am going to post them in a separate blog post, after all, they did win the Heisman, they probably deserve their own post. I do find it kind of interesting that after something like 100 years of football we have now joined Alabama in memorializing our gladiators in the form of gigantic bronze statues that would make the Greek gods proud. I guess I can no longer make fun of Bama’s statue of Bear Bryant or Nick Saban and the like, oh well.
The post for this Throwback Thursday is an “On This Day 10 Years Ago” post (from this point forward OTDTYA), which I now realize is actually getting into a time period that is presented on my blog. The very first posts on my blog were in March 2001, which we posted three articles about our bus conversion in the photos above. I still need to go back and post-date some blog posts for that time period to fill in the gaps, but the two shots above was what Deborah and I were doing on this day 10 years ago. After we picked up our used (former Greyhound) bus from Ocala, Florida, we drove it back to Alabama, stripped it down on the inside, and then “shelled” it with plywood (image on the right side at the top), starting a long long long process of converting it into a motorhome we would use and live in for about 5 years.
It was about 10 years ago when we got our first digital camera, an HP Digital Camera 2MP gem, we used until I bought my first DSLR, the Nikon D100 a few months later. These photos were the very first set of images that were taken in digital form. From this period prior, almost all our images are taken, and still stored, on film. One item on my list is to take 1,000,000 photos, and since I can’t count the film images until at some point I can get them all scanned in, this started a count of digital images that still goes on today. So far I’m up to about 350,000 images taken, and it all started about 10 years ago, just about this time of year.
OK, so this will probably be the last post of the Spring showing our Dogwood bloom or our Wisteria, but I just love the colors so today it’s my Photo of the Day and my P365 :2012 photo [Day 114]. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we got over the winter or that I’m just another year older, but this Spring has been the most beautiful I can remember in a long time. The Dogwood blooms around Auburn were, and still are spectacular this year. The one pictured above is from our yard and is just screaming of the beauty of creation.
This photo was taken handheld, and is seen basically straight out of my Nikon D7000 camera body, with a little added saturation processing from Adobe Lightroom. You can see the full exif data from over on my Flickr site. The background blur comes from the lens I was using, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G version (a very fast and inexpensive prime lens), shot almost wide open (i.e. f/1.4) so the depth of field was very shallow. The purple and green, two incredible contrasting colors for a white flower, come from our purple Wisteria blooms and the trees in the background. This wouldn’t necessarily be considered macro photography (see my previous examples here), but it was shot at the lens’ minimum focal distance.
Hope you have been able to get out and smell the roses this Spring, even if they are in the form of Wisteria and Dogwood blooms.
The photo above of our food drop today probably isn’t going to be anyone’s favorite, but it is mine, and it’s also my photo for Project 365 [Day 40] (you can see others at the Cornerstone Flickr Food Drop set). Today was all about motion, going, doing, and I love the look and feel of this shot above with my nephew taking a box in a people train line from the lady next to him. Today was another great day of the church being the church. Cornerstone people collected over 14 tons of food, and then, as planned, today took it out into the community, it was a great day.
I had mixed emotions about this day for months leading up to today, but thank goodness I’m not in charge, God is, and we had probably 3-4 times the number of people show up at church today to help load the boxes and take them out into the areas designated to us by the Food Bank of East Alabama. I’m sure we will make some adjustments for next year, and I know we have learned a lot as a church body today. Hopefully the people in the Auburn-Opelika community were blessed today, and more importantly I hope they saw the love of Christ in those who went out today.
Well it was not that great of a game today but it was still great to be at the game at least. Another regular season has come and gone, can’t believe it. I decided today I would leave the camera at home and just go enjoy the game, but of course I didn’t leave home without my phone. I have always loved trying to do some actual photography with my cell phone over the years. It creates more of a challenge but also forces you to get creative.
All the shots in this post came from my iPhone, my favorite being the shot above when the sun was just about to go behind the west stands of the stadium. The clouds made it perfect, especially with the lights on and “Champions 2010” reflecting off the windows. It was another unforgettable season (not for the same reasons as last year), now it’s time to wait and see where Auburn ends up going for a bowl game.
That cold-ish time of year has come again, even down here in the south. On Wednesday it was almost 80*F, and now it looks like all that warm air is gone for now. One of the things we love about our house in the winter is our Lopi wood burning stove, but it takes a lot of wood too. Normally we cut and split wood all throughout the year, but the past year or two we haven’t really been able to catch up with the wood work so to speak. With all the trees down from the storm on Wednesday it’s too bad we couldn’t have just driven around Auburn and picked up all the wood, but instead I just cut my own up for today’s Friday Feet via my cell phone.
It was a little surreal driving around Auburn today in the sunshine seeing huge holes in people’s roofs, and massive trees down all over the place. I know there are still a lot of people in Auburn that are dealing with huge trees down on their property, and many with a lot of damage to their homes. Hopefully this will be the end of any more tornados for Alabama this year, this state has seen enough for 2011.
I’m playing catchup today with some photos I took earlier in the week. My countdown clock to Uganda (we leave on Wednesday) is running faster than a normal clock it seems and I didn’t get a chance to post these Tuesday night after the festival. So, today’s Friday Feet comes from the Auburn City School Fall Festival that took place on Tuesday, but the feet shot above was just way to cute not to use for today’s post. Each year the Auburn city school system gathers at Duck Samford park in Auburn for their fall festival, and this year I was asked to take some photos of the opening band, called No Refunds. The youth have a great band and it was a lot of fun to listen to them play on Tuesday night.
Below is a shot of each of the band members from No Refunds. No that the fall festival is over we could use some actual fall weather.
Above is how my day ended yesterday, but what was in between was almost a blur. I know today is Sunday, but I’m doing my photo Saturday Summary today. Sunday’s in the summer are usually a little more laid back but they haven’t been so far, and yesterday was pretty incredible, and exhausting. Within two services we had more baptisms than I could count (pics here), a Uganda team trip meeting (for the October trip), four video sessions shot for our small groups (see April’s blog), a quick trip to Starbucks in severe lightning storms (see photo below), then another Uganda trip meeting (July trip), which was semi-rained out but still took place.
Uganda 2011 July trip update: So our Uganda team is leaving at the end of July (details here), just four short weeks away now, and is commissioned to (among other things) put together a soccer camp of sorts for the kids. The team is all guys this time, and for the most part, skilled in coaching soccer, except for me who will be behind the camera. We follow a full mission team that leaves the U.S. mid-July and we arrive in Uganda about the same time they leave to come back home. We have been meeting together as a team to get to know each other and plan the trip, and yesterday was one of those this-is-what-we-planned but this-is-what-happened-meeting. We were going to meet at a local soccer field and everyone was going to get some practice in, including me with my camera. As lightning bolts rained down we all ran for cover, stood around for an hour getting to know each other better, got out on the field, kicked the ball approximately two times each and scattered when the next lightning bolt came down in close proximity. I did manage to get one shot of Jason kicking a soccer ball to prove that we both got our practice in, sorta.
Driving home about 8pm last night I was so tired I couldn’t really think straight at that point and then all of a sudden the sun burst out of the storm bank just above the horizon line and I pulled over to the side of the road where I could see the horizon (not an easy thing to do in Alabama where you can’t see more than 20 feet because of all the trees) and got the shot at the top. The beauty that only God can produce in the sky with a mix of clouds, rain, lightning, and sun was a truly magnificent end to the day (it didn’t matter that the storm had fried my gate and I couldn’t get into my own property when I got home… but that’s another story).
As some of you may know I am still trying to raise money for these two mission trips, and every single donation helps no matter the amount, even $10 will go a long way when combined with everyone else’s donation. If you would like to help visit the info page or make an online donation here. Thanks!