In the Beginning, ARPA created the ARPANET

I love this quoted poem below.  You probably won’t appreciate it unless you are a ham radio operator or understand the language but if you do, it’s quite something.

In the Beginning, ARPA created the ARPANET.
And the ARPANET was without form and void.
And darkness was upon the deep.
And the spirit of ARPA moved upon the face of the network
and ARPA said, ‘Let there be a protocol,’ and there was a protocol.
And ARPA saw that it was good.
And ARPA said, ‘Let there be more protocols,’ and it was so.
And ARPA saw that it was good.
And ARPA said, ‘Let there be more networks,’ and it was so.

Chasing Saint Francis of Assisi by Ian Cron :: Review

A few weeks ago when I was in Atlanta for Catalyst I went to a blogger-ish meeting that took place after Catalyst had ended, called Off the Blogs (photos of that night).  During one of the sessions, Carlos Whittaker from Ragamuffinsoul talked to the group about things going on in his life, and he mentioned a book he was reading that I had never heard of before, called Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron.

I am struggling with finding words to review this book adequately as it really took me to another place in how I think about God, the traditions of the Church as seen from a historical perspective, and the local modern church of today.  Where I am part of the local modern church today by the mere fact that I am alive in 2009, Chasing Francis took me back to the traditions in the church during the 1200’s when Saint Francis of Assisi was alive.  It got me to more closely examine the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7, and it was loaded with things we can apply to church today that Francis championed some 800 years ago.

This book is an allegory of sorts and it mixes fact and fiction throughout as Chase (the main character) goes on a pilgrimage that follows the life of Saint Francis of Assisi after he has been told by the elders to take a leave of absence as Pastor of a modern contemporary church to think about its direction.  I tried to read the book with an open mind, not necessarily a critical mind, and it gave me a better appreciation for the roots of the Catholic church (which really are the roots to THE church), and the labels we tend to apply to everything in our world today.

Our Protestant-Catholic Misconceptions

Growing up Protestant the misconceptions and exaggerations I had/have of the Catholic church is probably similar to most in a denominational type church, but the story did focus on a Catholic Saint, and I found this passage very telling:

…My initiation into conservative Christianity included being taught that Catholics weren’t really ‘saved.’…
“What do you want to talk about?” Kenny said.  “Transubstantiation, sola Scriptura versus the magisterium, praying to Mary, or all the other stuff Catholics and Protestants get hung up on? I’m too old for that.  I’d rather be a reverent agnostic.”

“You’re an agnostic?” I asked.  “The word agnostic means ‘not knowing.’  There are countless mysteries that I have to say… ‘I don’t know’.

and he went on to put the differences to rest as far as the story in this book goes to say:

…no one tradition has a corner on the faith market.  Sharing the wisdom each of our traditions brings to the table will create more well-rounded Christians.  Francis was a Catholic, evangelical preacher, radical social activist, devoted to prayer… who worshiped with all the enthusiasm of a Pentecostal.

and that is how he started down his pilgrimage into the life of Francis.  I started off with zero knowledge about this Believer who lived 800 years ago, but left with a great curiosity to learn more.

Chasing Francis may have been written as a work of fiction, but the principles will ring true with any of us caught in the modern life of iPhone’s, Twitter, Facebook, and trying to be connected to the newest latest greatest, and then trying to bring it into the church.

For me, our methods in the church today in 2009 are different, our tools are different, and our words we use are different than any other time in history.  We reach out to people in different ways than ever before, but we also don’t need to ignore the history and traditions of the church (minus the time frame in which our 66 books were written), and only look to the future.  There are many who have come before us that have a lot to teach us, if we reach out to them.

Top 10 Bullet Points from Chasing Francis

Here are a few of the bullet points I took away from Chasing Francis.  I scribbled, wrote, highlighted, and underlined half the book, so these are just a few of the ones that stuck out to me.

  • the Bible is less about ideas or doctrines than it is a story about people and their up-and-down relationship with God
  • the Bible is more a painting than a photograph [in context of interpretation of a painting]
  • postmoderns are good at criticizing the old way of doing things, but not very good at offering up positive alternatives for going forward
  • Francis didn’t criticize the institutional church, nor did he settle for doing church the way it had always been done
  • when did I loose the childlike ability to hear God in nature?
  • I’m not a character in search of an Author; I have a story.
  • possessions dissipate the energy which they need for other and more real things
  • Labels are misleading.  They objectify people.  They are a form of relational laziness
  • come and see how we preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words
  • if we spent less time worrying about how to share our faith with someone on an airplane and more time thinking about how to live radically generous lives, more people would start taking our message seriously.

In the end, I would say this is a must read, but only if it could be read with an open mind to think about the fact that there may be other ways to exercise our faith that we may disagree with, but that doesn’t make them wrong.  It challenged by thinking and I loved the book.  I will leave this post with one of my favorite quotes in the book from Henry David Thoreau.

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.  But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. – Thoreau

Amazon Kindle iPhone App and the Future of Paper vs eBooks?


macbook kindle

This morning Amazon released the new Kindle iPhone App, or an iPhone eBook reader.  Since I do not yet (but probably will soon) have a Kindle the news of the Kindle iPhone app was really intriguing, but I started wondering if the app was putting the horse before the cart.  The very first reaction on the Internet was people saying they were disappointed they bought the Kindle and now they can get this on their iPhone.  Totally wrong way to look at it altogether.  What Amazon did by making an iPhone app for the Kindle was make their product more relevant and more useful than it was last week.

I won’t go through a comparison between the two, there is a great review over on CNET, see Comparing Kindle 2 with Kindle’s iPhone app, but one of the great features is being able to read a book between the two devices.  It doesn’t come quite as close as Seth Godin’s request in Reinventing the Kindle (part II) to share books between Kindle users, but it comes closer.  If Amazon keeps going down this road they will really make the Kindle a breakthrough device.

Breakthrough in the same way the iPod was for music, the Kindle can potentially be for books.  Everyone grumbled about the price of the iPod, and it took until the 2nd generation for me to plunk down the money for one, but after a while, people realized that the iPod revolutionized the way we listen to music.  There will always be people who want to read on paper, but for many, paper is a hassle, uses trees, and culturally is on the same track and path as Kodak 400 speed print film, but it’s more than just that.  Don’t blink, traditional media is going fast, and in some cases pretty much gone.

  • Photography – Print Film —> Digital (almost totally complete at this point)
  • Music – Vinyl –> Tapes –> CD –> Digital (niche markets for anything non-digital)
  • Movies – Film –> Tape –> DVD –> Download (slower but almost there)
  • TV – Tube –> Cable –> Satellite  –> Streaming Live (computer only is coming)
  • Books – Paper –> eBooks / Digital (the slowest of the 4, but catching up)
  • Magazines / Newspapers –> Paper –> Digital (totally dying media in paper form)

My wife is currently working on her Master’s degree and last semester she spent something like $300-$400 on books.  After the Kindle 2 came out, I started looking at which books she bought were available on the Kindle.  About 30-40% of them are currently available, at $9.99-$15.  She paid $40-$50 for some of these books which can now be downloaded on the Kindle for $10.  Doesn’t take a genius to figure out the savings potential for College students all over the world, and seeing that Amazon is working on things like iPhone Apps is only going to make the Kindle more and more relevant in our society’s future.

kindle iphone app

Sometimes we go kicking and screaming into the future, and change comes with a fight. The Kindle / iPhone app is a great example of a transition of all forms of media to digital, it’s just a question of how long will we hold on to the past print mediums because that is what we are use to today.

Update March 2011

I have since written an update to this post in light of the iPad, which makes eBooks even more appealing, you can read that posts Printed Books vs iPad or Kindle eBooks and the Future of Books

Why Jim Morrison and the Bible are Still Consumed

Jim Morrison Hotel

I love the music that comes from the mid to late 1960’s to mid 1970’s in the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and many more.  It was at the very height of the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and a time of great growth and pain in our country and the world.  The music of that time was filled with passion… to the point of death in many cases.  It was psychedelic, spiritual, religious, real.  It was a world that I can only read about from the perspective of history.

The other day while Deb and I were driving over to Georgia (see Welcome to Our Living Room // Friday Feet) we were listening to an iPod playlist and Peace Frog by The Doors came on and we started talking about what the song meant.  Not at all an uncommon conversation between us when we listen to music together in the car.  Deborah’s first reaction was who can fully know what any of Morrison’s songs meant and then it hit me, this is exactly why we still study the Bible today.  People still listen to and marvel over Jim Morrison’s music because it isn’t simplistic and easy to figure out.  You can just listen to it but you have to dig deep to understand the meaning of some of The Doors songs.  That’s what makes their music great and part of history, you can listen to one of his songs over and over and still not grasp its full meaning.

I know this may be a big stretch to some who don’t care for The Doors music, but there is no denying that Jim Morrison is one of the all time greatest song writers and muscians in pop history, so if that is the case, how much greater are the riches provided for us in scripture?  This may be totally off in left field to compare Jim Morrison’s works to a body of 66 books of God’s glory, but that is how my mind is able to wrap around the unimaginable hugeness that is the Bible.

Scholars for centuries have examined every letter, every translation, every Greek, Hebrew, and Latin meaning and yet, there is still more to be discovered.  It is 66 books together that were written so that a child could understand and comprehend and a Biblical scholar could spend a life getting to know and still not fully grasp its greatness.  To gain a better understanding, you have to dig in deeper.

Anyone can listen to Peace Frog but do you understand it from a casual listen?  Go listen to the song or read the lyrics.  What do you think it means?  You can come up with a guess but there is far more to the song than just one listen can gather, not to mention the actual guitar work or all the history that goes into a piece of work like this.  Without explanation or some research, grasping its full meaning may be difficult (especially while you are driving around in your car in 2009, a long time after 1970).

Like scripture and poems that tell a story, you can casually read through them and get a brief understanding.  Some of the parables Jesus told were not the easiest to comprehend without some research into the culture of the time or history that surrounded the time.  If it was all so easy and simple to understand I doubt people woud disect each chapter word for word centuries after it was written.

Peace Frog was originally called Abortion Stories, changed by guitarist Robby Krieger, and the lyrics came from poems Morrison wrote (he wrote several books of poetry along with his music).  One of the more well known lines of the song comes from his childhood.

Indians scattered on dawn’s highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind

This seems to be tied to a bad car crash Morrison witnessed when he was 4 years old while on vacation with his parents. (Jim claims that the souls of those people [killed in the car crash] combined with him at that point on some level.)  Morrison accounted it this way in An American Prayer, a work of poetry and music released years after his death in 1971:

Me and my mother and father and a grandmother and a grandfather were driving through the desert, at dawn, and a truck load of Indian workers had either hit another car, or just I don’t know what happened but there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death.”

“So the car pulls up and stops. That was the first time I tasted fear. I musta’ been about four €” like a child is like a flower, his head is floating in the breeze, man.

Some of the song could be related to the race riots of the late 1960’s when The Doors were at their height or possibly the demonstrations of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, both of which happened around the same time as the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, and Robert F. Kennedy on June 5/6 (shot on the 5th and died on the 6th).

There’s blood on the streets, it’s up to my knee
She came
Blood on the streets in the town of Chicago

“Blood in the streets of New Haven” looks like it came from when Morrison was arrested after taunting Police during a concert in 1967.  When he was arrested a riot ensued in the arena and poured out into the streets of New Haven.

This is just one song by Morrison. He was said to be an intelligent and capable student drawn to the study of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy and psychology and of course went on to have a successful career as an American singer, songwriter, poet, writer and film maker after graduating from UCLA.  But, even when Morrison was alive and people could actually ask him what a song meant you couldn’t figure out how his mind worked, only he could (and that might be a stretch).


That was a mere mortal man who died at age 27.  As great as he was, how much greater can a collection of 66 books of law, history, poetry, and prophecy be than that?  I know, kind of a strange analogy but how can you get your mind around something so O-mazing and huge as the Word of God.  Relate it to something comprehendible in our own time and space.

In the days of the old testament and even when Jesus taught his disciples he often spoke about things beyond their comprehension and understanding and to help them understand he related the stories to things, places, and people they all knew so they could start to grasp the meaning.  How do you describe something like the beauty of the Garden of Eden or Heaven or a “new heaven and new earth”?  In this life we can’t fully grasp His greatness but we have been given a lot of material to study in the mean time.

And let him who hears say
Who ever is thirsty, let him come
and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life
Yes, I am coming soon.

My Utmost for Politics and Religion Indifference

I will say right off the bat that this post will be totally uninteresting to some and all of my 10 readers may dislike it, but I feel like change is coming to my blog and I am writing this post to map it out for myself. There are a lot of random thoughts here and I jump back and forth, but I will try to tie them all together over the next few months through different blog posts, so for now, just roll with me if you can.

The two taboo topics of discussion in the workplace (politics and religion) are now taboo everywhere, which slowly makes us indifferent to either which in turns makes us unwilling to discuss, learn, and grow in the history that makes up topics like politics, religion, and government. Have we forgotten in this country (the U.S.) that there are countries in this world like North Korea, China, Cuba, and parts of Africa where they can not openly discuss opposition to their government or religious ideas?

I just love websites I go to that say no talking about politics or religion. In some cases that may be appropriate, but that has bled over into everything in everyday life. I am tired of hearing and seeing fellow Brothers and Sisters that avoid talking about politics (and matters of “other” faiths) because it is divisive. Newsflash, if you call yourself a Believer in Christ, you have chosen a side. Although Christ is open to ALL who believe in Him, we know not everyone will. It is hard to think of God as a God of love, and who leaves people out of his Heavenly kingdom but we also can’t even start to think we understand God from God’s point of view. On the flip side, there is “the world” (that would be those who don’t choose Him) that also refuse to talk about religion because it is divisive in nature.

We are quickly becoming a socialist society that no longer wants to listen to an opposing side and are guided to lean towards a muddy middle ground on everything. In the “can’t we all just get along” world, we move to the center of the undecided’s (those who can’t seem to make a decision until someone tells them how they should feel about the topic at hand) where we can all come together and get nothing done. Problem is, that is the most boring and uninformed place to sit, and is not only a cop out, but dangerous.

We have to be careful to not speak badly about another “religion” like extremist Muslims who’s plan is to do harm, and ignore comments by people like Helen Thomas of the White House press corp when she says things at Mr Obama’s “press conference” like “so-called” terrorists when speaking about people who terrorize other people. Don’t know what I am talking about… you could be guilty of political indifference yourself.

Why does this matter? It matters because we are now so far removed from our government, those who make the laws, and how it effects our lives, that we have become indifferent. Indifferent to a government that doesn’t blink an eye to spend $800 billion (about the size of our current national debt, in other wards, doubling the size of the national debt) for things like Frisbee golf courses and digital TV converter boxes, that we don’t even take notice. We just go merrily about our business and hope it doesn’t eventually intrude on our own life.

What did Jesus come to this earth to do? Reach over the isle and make friends, being careful not to be divisive? No, he came to fulfill the Torah, the law. Many times as Believers we ignore or are indifferent to politics because it is divisive. We want to make sure we don’t exclude anyone we could proselytize to by saying the word Democrat or Republican, or liberal or conservative like either of those determine who we are as a person. As one conversation went today, Jesus was not a Methodist, I promise. He was a person who spoke about principles, ideas, and how to change the status quo of thinking.

When we choose to ignore (by ignore I mean not discuss openly for means of not offending someone) divisive people, comments, or conversations, I don’t think we can grow. I am more than happy to listen to an opposing side to my own beliefs if it can be presented in an intelligent manner. I can talk to or converse with right wing religious fanatics and atheistic agnostics until if they can speak intelligently about their own point of view, but it is hard to do that if you don’t know why you stand where you do.

All that to say I am going to be doing some minor changes to the categories on my blog to speak my mind about topics of religion and politics. I am moving my photography category into Media since it is a media form, Faith will be Religion, etc etc. Like I said, if you don’t like politics or religion, stick to my Journal or Media categories.

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I have a great desire to please everyone all the time, so this is a pretty big change for me, but I hope this brings more transparency to my blog and my way of thinking. I am tired of being politically correct in my speech and writing and tip toeing around on my blog. I don’t plan on doing so from this point forward. If you don’t like divisiveness (meaning standing, and knowing where you stand), then read my “journal” section and ignore the politics and religion posts, I will keep those posts to the activities in my life.

If you would like to know where I come from, I do have some starting points, and as stupid as I thought Facebook’s “25 Things About Me” goes, I think that is a starting point to getting to know someone. I mention these things so you know the very basis of where my future opinion may stem and how I come to certain conclusions. I will list these on Facebook shortly (I think), but to get rolling…

  1. I am not for a political party, but I am for certain principles and ideas like smaller government and lower taxes.
  2. I do not consider myself to be part of a denomination but part of the body of Believers of Christ. I work at a Methodist church but I am currently a member of a Baptist church in Dallas. I don’t care much for non-doms because often they don’t know what they Believe
  3. I watch and read news and politics from all over the place, not just one single source or location
  4. I believe the solutions to the problems of this country are going to be solved by people, not government
  5. I think people forget all about what history teaches. I am slowly trying to relearn what I did not learn in school when I found it useless but now find it priceless

I picked up this book the other day called “I am a Christian” by Jesse R Wilson, written back in 1935 and as I flipped through the book and read a passage to a friend of mine who said “good call” sarcastically. Point is, we don’t always have to just scratch the surface. Everything is up for discussion and debate except the death and resurrection of Jesus, that I hold to be an uncompromising Truth.

Beautiful December Day with Valkyrie Movie :: Friday Feet

Tree in Winter

feet in concrete

This was probably once of the nicest late December days that I can remember.  It was over 70* with partly cloudy, blue sky and I ended up working outside all day.  We ended up taking down our Christmas lights today and replacing them with our “everyday lights” which will remain up the rest of the year (these are lights that go around the inside of our patio).  We started decorating the patio for this coming summer, which actually was an idea in part from a friend Cindy Wall during her baptism (photos will be coming on down the road).

As the holiday days wind down I am really looking forward to getting back to work (without holiday interruptions).  We have so much coming up in the next few months, and I am really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.  One area we will be ramping up is “Twitter church”.  So if you are not a Twitter member yet, sign up and see what it’s all about.  Once you have signed up, you can follow Cornerstone from @cornerstonebuzz and if you are so inclined, you can follow me at @scottfillmer as well.

My Friday Feet post is a little late because I spent most of yesterday with family and at the movies.  My dad and I went to see Valkyrie and if you have any desire to see the story about the assassination attempt on Hitler, I would highly recommend this movie.  I knew very little about this story from WWII and although it was a movie, it did seem to follow the historical account fairly close.  Although I am not a big fan of Tom Cruise any more, it is hard to deny that this was one of the better movies of 2008.

My friday feet post today is in recognition of the last Friday of the 2008 calendar year.  This photo is on the corner of our patio.  Deb and I placed our feet in the wet concrete just about this time two years ago when we moved into our house.  It is a marker or reminder of the passage of time to me and I look at it almost every time I walk across the patio.  2006, 2007, and a lot of 2008 are almost a blur in history now but this image has become almost a time capsule in my mind of when we finally moved into our house here in Auburn.

Welcome home to all those who were traveling over the last few days, hope your New Year will be great.

Thanksgiving Week on the Farm with Dad and John Deere

Larry Fillmer on the Tractor

It’s Thanksgiving week and that means that Auburn University classes are over for the holiday break.  For the last few years this week has been the time which my dad, Larry Fillmer, takes a few days off from work and gets on the John Deere tractor and cuts the pasture grass for the winter.  There is around 20-30 acres of actual grass to cut, so it usually takes most of the week.  Today was a bit cloudy and cold, but, it’s November.  I think there are a few people in his office that read my blog so I thought I would let you know what Larry Fillmer looks like when he is not in a suit and tie on campus.

I would love to hear from those who know Larry but don’t normally comment on my blog.  Can I have a caption for the photo above??

How to Use Your Blog as a Historical Archive :: Part 1

Scott Fillmer Blog

Why do you have a blog?  Does your blog serve any useful purpose?  Some don’t, just thought I would ask.  If it doesn’t, perhaps it should.  If it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t, then why exactly does it exist in the first place?    Sometimes I go back and forth in my mind with my intended purpose and usefulness.  When you ask those questions, just go back and think about what you want to accomplish with your blog, or what direction you might take it from this point forward.

Your Blog is a Historical Archive of Your…. Something

My blog serves many purposes to me but I like to use my blog for my own personal historical archive, goal checker and to examine my own growth, or lack there of, over the course of a given time frame.  My blog actually goes back to March 2001, and encompasses just about everything that happened in my life, and my wife’s life in that time frame (scary huh).  This doesn’t always work so well if you only post to your blog once a month, but if you are using your blog actively, you can look back to a previous year and see where you were, what you were doing, and what your goals or purpose might have been at that point and see where you have come since then.

Of course, this works the same with photography as well.  Both are archival and historical tools.  I can look back at some of the photo I took a year ago and see what was important enough to shoot, where I was, and so on.  Same with my blog.  I went back to November 2007 and just flipped through some of the entries and they are totally different from my blog posts now, but they were where I was 12 months ago.

Looking Back at November 2007

Sometimes it is just a humorous way to look at your life.  Some of note to myself from November 2007… Home Invasion or a Plague of the Ladybugs Has Arrived, I remember well, we have thousands and thousands of lady bugs all over the place. I was also completely irritated with the trend of not replying to email, and my annoyance to not getting replies to my own emails (not much has changed), so I wrote Steps to Improve Customer Service by Answering Your Email, and one of my personal favorites from that month What Would You Do With an $86,400 Gift?.  I also started a blog called Damascus in November, which is now integrated into this blog, and I wrote a lot of boring entries.

I also wrote a lot more posts about how to improve your blog by using SEO effectively and posted almost no photos of my own work other than a few work related pics, and there is a good reason for that, I didn’t do much photography in November of 2007, apparently.  I have a few pics of Deb, and then this photo of my short stint with Blackberry before I dumped it for my iPhone.  Not sure what the significance is of the phone being between Auburn/Opelika and Montgomery but that was about it photographically speaking.

The photo does serve as a historical reference, for me.  It shows the date and time right on the phone.  It also reminds me how much I couldn’t stand that phone, but it is more than that, it does give me the ability to look back and see where I was in my life.

How to Use Your Blog for a Historical Archive

Everyone uses a blog in a different way… a few ways to use it for historical purposes…

  1. Post as frequently as you can.  Even if it ends up being just a few times a week.  The more data you have, the more accurate the information usually is, so the more frequent you post, the better idea you will have of what happened in that time period.  Just posting 3 times a week gives you 152 posts in a year!
  2. Write (or shoot photos) with detail.  The more detail the better.  Most things will be easily forgotten within a few weeks.  It is the small details of life we generally forget unless we write them down.
  3. Get personal.  I am bad at this one, but if you feel comfortable on your blog, get as personal as you can and forget that you are talking to potentially millions of readers.
  4. Use photos as much as possible.  Nothing sparks the memory like a photo (just ask any photographer, haha).  You will be able to remember so much more with a photo, so even if they are not your best, post them anyway.
  5. Link to other blogs, articles, people, friends or other interests.  Linking to other areas outside your blog really helps remind you of what was going on at the time.
  6. Backup your blog or journal.  If you are going to be able to look back at the information you need to have the information, so back up back up back up.  There are several wordpress widgets and other plugins that make this easy.
  7. If you don’t have a blog and don’t want one, write in a journal. If you don’t have a blog, get one if you want one.  They are EASY EASY EASY to setup and run now.  They are free, and you don’t have to know anything about computers to use one.  A blog is just a journal that others can read.  If you don’t want others to read your blog, just write in a journal program or make your blog private.  There are many times you will write things down if you know others will never read it, but you have to write it down some how.
  8. Look back.  You actually have to look back at the information to make it useful as an archive.  Look back often as often as you can, but look back at what you wrote.
  9. Post comments on other blogs.  Comments are archived by many different systems and you can look back at comments just like you can blog posts of your own.  Commenting on other blogs is beneficial in so many ways, but looking back it will tell you what you read and found interesting enough to comment on in the first place.
  10. Have fun.  If it isn’t somewhat fun then just forget it.  That should always be in there somewhere, to me.

What do you think?  What do you use your blog for?

I Love the Smell of Kodak BW400cn in the Morning

I had such a great time shooting with some photographers in Birmingham on Wednesday (Amelia Strauss, Paul Bryant, and Stephen DeVries) and I am sure DeVries could have guessed, he inspired me to look beyond my digital obsession and go back and re-examine my photographic roots in film.  Of course I shot film for years and years before I picked up a digital SLR, mostly shooting Fuji Velvia 50, but since then (around 2001 when I purchased my first Nikon D100) I have taken less than a roll of film.

I dug around and found an older Nikon film camera, picked up some Kodak BW400cn film and BOOM, 35mm B&W possibilities abound.  For those who already shoot a lot of 35 or 120 B&W, I would love to hear what your favorite emulsion is out there.  Recommended to me was the Ilford XP2, Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-x, and the Kodak BW400cn (shown above).  I just happen to find some of the BW400cn, which is probably expired, no way to know.

Actually, I have some family background in photography (see Son of a Son of a Photographer?).  My grandfather was a photographer of sorts back in the 70’s, and so was his son, my uncle (Les), so who better to ask.  I contacted my uncle to see if he knew of or had any of the 120 medium format stuff laying around, and was thrilled to find out he did.  Turns out he had a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Speed Graphic made by Graflex that my grandfather got for him when he was in sixth grade! It uses sheet film or 120 roll film (perfect) so any of you out there that love the older 120 Graflex, Rolleiflex, or Mamiya’s, looks like I could have some to post here in the coming months.

There were so many things I loved about shooting 35/120 film that I had totally forgotten what it was like to hold a roll of film in my hands.  I hate that in the box thinking I trap myself into at various times, digital (for me) is one of those boxes.  Thanks, Stephen.

My Love of Baseball and Music Come Together :: Throwback Thursday

This is my latest installment for Throwback Thrusday from Vagabondrunn (see Throwback Thursday (7)). Yes, I finally was able to get some images of me. This one of course is me showing off my two passions at the time, baseball and music. Actually, not much has changed, except now I am the one taking the photos. I still love baseball and music (although I no longer play the clarinet). This photo was taken in March 1981 by my mother of course. So there you have it, me at age 11. Have you posted your throwback Thursday photo? Leave a comment below and let me know where to find it.

Scott in 1981 Ready for Baseball