Saturday, April 05, 2014

SPC - 'Instruments' - #3 & #4

#3
Class of '92

Class of '92

The instrument I'm holding in the photo is a tenor saxophone. This was the horn I played throughout high school - marching band, etc. The horn belonged to my Uncle before it was handed down to me. When it came time to choose an instrument (5th/6th grade), my Dad made some calls and discovered that two saxophones that belonged to my Uncle were stored in an attic at my Granddaddy's farm. These were retrieved so that I would have a choice other than my Dad's trumpet/coronet. There was an alto sax case and a tenor sax case. When I opened the tenor sax case and saw that it was silver, the choice was made.

The "smokin' sax" poster belonged to me. I carted it to this photo studio twice (long story) to get this shot.

If you have a dictionary from around 1992 and you look up "cool" in it, you might just find this photo. :-)

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#4
  Photographic Instruments
Photographic Instruments

Hard to believe that in a photographic group such as this, that no one (else) interpreted the "Instruments" theme to include the optical instrument with the ability to record images that we all use week in -- week out - the camera.

The kids and I visited our very local State Park three times last week (their Spring Break) for various activities. On Sunday, the activity was a photo scavenger hunt. We succeeded in capturing most of the ten items (or our interpretations of them, at least). Most of the time, I had each kid with one camera body and spent my time watching them explore a bit. One objective was for them to build a shelter. We found this fallen limb and I threw my coat over it and they got in. I took both cameras and they thought it would be funny for me to take a picture of myself taking a picture of them in their 'shelter.'

Shelter

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SPC - 'Instruments' - #2

Un poco piano...

I play piano like I speak Spanish. I've received instruction to do so and passed classes that require a certain level of proficiency; I hear it better than I speak it; some passages are quite familiar while more elaborate passages elude me; I understand much of the vocabulary, yet the intricacies of the grammar are beyond my abilities; I know that with practice and study, my skills would improve, even today, but I don't spend the time. In both cases, I have a level of literacy but lack fluency.

Monday, March 10, 2014

SPC - 'Instruments' - #1

Red Pen

So, I'm teaching a class at my alma mater, Anderson University. The course is called -- wait for it -- "Legal Aspects of the Music Business."

We look at contracts that get used in the business and learn major (and subtle) points of negotiation; how to avoid pitfalls (even when the language appears benign) -- all the while, learning plenty about the sometimes tricky language and structure of contracts.

OK, I know you all want to...take it easy, now -- no shoving -- form a single-file line!!

Yeah, it's a class that *I* took when I was there. Pretty exciting. :-)

Despite my background and experience dealing with much of the course material, it takes me longer than I would care to admit to feel prepared to stand in the front of a classroom (something I've never done before) and give what most would describe as a -- ahem -- lecture.

I *do* believe that the course was valuable in my education and I hope that my students do (or, at least, someday will) believe the same.

Minus the anxiety that I feel as time each week dwindles and my feelings of unpreparedness grow, I have enjoyed teaching the class. The very little feedback I've received from my students, so far, has been mostly positive. I'll have to wait until the end of the semester for mandatory anonymous student evaluations.

I believe that if I have the opportunity to teach the class again, that I'll be able to refine and focus the material and approach. I am learning lots. I am certain that this will be a good example of the so-cliché-it-sounds-like-an-Onion-headline, "Teacher learns more than students." :-)

It's a two-credit-hour class, but only meets one time each week in the evenings. To my knowledge, it's always been taught by an adjunct professor. Until very recently, it's always been taught by an instructor with a full-time job! :-)

The photo is me grading papers. I apologized to my class for using red pen all over their papers, but I figured this might be my one and only chance to participate in yet another teacher cliché!

For Self Portrait Challenge - The challenge theme for March is 'Instruments.'

SPC - 'Favorite Songs' - #4

Head Over Heels

Using Tears For Fears' 80s classic for my final entry this month because - even after seventeen years - I'm still 'Head Over Heels' in love with this girl.

#funnyhowtimeflies

For Self Portrait Challenge - 'Favorite Songs'

Here's an alternate:
head-over-heels-alternate

I've always been amused at the counterintuitiveness of this idiom. "Head Over Heels," usually is the normal state of affairs, but its meaning is precisely the opposite. A quick glance at my ever-ready American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says, "This expression originated in the 1300s as heels over head and meant literally being upside down. It took its present form in the 1700s and its present meaning in the 1800s."

This is my...
four-leaf-clover
Four Leaf Clover

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SPC - 'Favorite Songs' - #3

Walk

Every once in a while, I have to load this video on Youtube and listen to Foo Fighters play their entire album "Wasting Light" in an even more "raw" form than it comes across in all of its analog glory in the studio recording. Love to see Grohl's emotion come through so viscerally and to see Taylor Hawkins absolutely *wailing* on the drums. I don't tolerate much "scream" in vocals on the music I listen to, but I could listen to Dave Grohl scream/sing just about all day and not get tired of it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that "Walk" is my favorite song on the album, but it was the one that occurred to me that I could easily portray visually for the SPC contributions.

If you don't have the 49 minutes to watch the entire thing, here's the start point for "Walk" on that video and here's the goofy music video.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

SPC - 'Favorite Songs' - #2

Drive
"Drive" by The Cars (1984).

Something about the groove on this song has always appealed to me. A bit of research (Wikipedia - *cough*) merited some interesting facts I did not know about this song. The song was *written* by Cars' frontman, Ric Ocasek, but the lead vocals on the record were sung by the group's bassist, Benjamin Orr. Apparently, Orr also did lead vocals on "Let's Go" and "Just What I Needed."

Sunday, February 09, 2014

SPC - 'Favorite Songs' - #1

Cruel Summer

Sometimes, when I have a bunch of snow shoveling to do, I'll take the time to get my iPod and earbuds and listen to music to pass the time. I almost always have my iPod set for full shuffle and with 3000+ songs, I just never know what I'm going to get next. I have found that certain songs take on unintended meaning while shoveling snow:
Vivaldi's "Spring"
Adele's Bond theme, "Skyfall"
Just about anything by The Beach Boys....

One time, Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" came on and I was amused by the irony.

When I decided to do "Favorite Songs" as a SPC theme for the month of February, it occurred to me that I might employ that irony with this song and a shot of one dressed inappropriately for the elements in this "cruel summer."

I can't hear this song without thinking of the montage from Karate Kid when Daniel is arriving at school on his bike, attending soccer practice and chatting with Ali (with an "i").

:-)

Monday, February 03, 2014

SPC - 'Flashback 2013' - #4



So, I think I've covered all eleven themes from 2013 here is this last of the SPC 'Flashback' contributions:

*Video (obviously)
*Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
*blur
*tiny words
*many/mini
*white space
*orange
*blue
*symmetry
*superpowers (origami!)
* Um -- oh crap, I forgot 'internet memes' -- what an.....
(wait for it)
....EPIC FAIL!!


:-)

Monday, January 27, 2014

SPC - 'Flashback 2013' - #3

School Projects

At school, Harrison is getting ready to celebrate the 100th day of school with a collection of 100 things. His collection is of 100 propeller beads in four groups of 25 beads (The clear beads are a little difficult to see). He was excited to get to use the hot glue gun for his project.

Hannah's science class is studying the solar system and her project (besides a written report) is a model of her chosen planet, Neptune. We got the traditional Styrofoam sphere from Hobby Lobby, but instead of painting it, we decided to use watered-down school glue on colored tissue paper. It gives the planet model interesting coloration and texture. We're letting it dry to see if any touch-up work is necessary and we need to work on the cross-section showing the inner make-up of the planet, but it is coming along nicely.

Flashback themes:
Blue
White space
tiny words
Many - propeller beads
Mini - Model Neptune
Orange - (incidental)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SPC - 'Flashback 2013' - #2

EXIT

This was taken mere seconds before I walked out of this building as an employee for the final time.

In October, the company who had employed me for over 17 years informed me that the department for which I had worked that entire time would be outsourced to a company in Nashville, Tennessee effective January 1, 2014.

The months of October, November and December were spent alongside my long-time colleagues and friends assisting in the transition to the new company.

This day, I was the last one out of the building of only a very few who came in on a day that was officially a holiday.

I gathered the last few personal items from my area, put my key on my boss's desk, turned out the lights, locked the door and walked through the dark and cold of the lonely parking lot to the only car remaining in the lot.

Darn near poetic.

I am not quite sure what's next for me. I know I'll be OK, but I don't adjust well to change. I tend to be content and loyal. Risk-averse, some would say.

Still, there is a part of me that is looking forward to the adventure of something new.

I'll just feel better when I know what that "something new" is going to be.

Themes: Widescreen tiny words White Space (compare to this shot).