jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Just as no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition, NO-ONE expected such unbelievably violent storms in the region this time of year. Obviously, I'm alive as is the family here and elsewhere. This time the storms cut dangerously close to Tammy's family and Brenna at Montevallo. Fortunately for us, everyone came through without injury or damage.

To note, overnight severe weather is the worst. All of it is bad, but the late night early morning stuff leaves you unable to sleep or rest well. In most cases, I got the family to bed before 10:30p and I stayed up watching the weather reports. In some cases I sent warning txts to friends west and north of here telling them to seek shelter. By midnight, I was tired enough I couldn't stay up though the main parts of the storm was merely an hour or so way. At 1:30a and 2:10a I was jolted from my dozing by massive, house shaking peels of thunder. At 2:25 the civil defense sirens went off. Tammy who'd had a massive back spasm before bed was awakened immediately and helped gather the family in the studio downstairs. The studio is partially below ground level and my computer is here so I could check the weather alert.

The CD sirens went off throughout the county but the tornado was only threatening the furthest southeastern corner of Madison County, AL. The storm was not heading our direction so I sent everyone back to bed. All told, Amy and I got about 3 hours of sleep. Chris 5 and Tammy about 6. I'm glad we have the sirens so close, but I wish the ham-fisted siren operator would have looked at their map before lighting up their entire system.

If we're getting storms like this one now, I hate to think what spring in the south will be like.
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This is where JJ sits down and finally plays catch up from last week and makes plans for the next few weeks ahead.

The Lancaster House
As noted very briefly, I have a new tenant in my house in Lancaster. She’s paid in the full security deposit and first month. This lady seems nice and very thoughtful. It’s nice having the income coming back in again. Now I can start catching up from the bills “Josephine” left me with. The final tally for the previous tenant was $5000 for the judgment, plus nearly $250 in unpaid utility bills, $300 for cleaning and $700+ in repairs. I’ve gotten none of it – yet. I’m going to go find the biggest, nastiest, most aggressive debt collector I can find.

The Huntsville House
Tammy and I have started seriously looking into moving. We’re looking at either getting into another rental or buying a place. I’m not entirely comfortable about buying given the instability in the contracting situation, but I know I don’t want to spend another year in our current place. The place we’re both the most interested in is a 3000 sq ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath house a little further south of our place. We already know the bathrooms need to be enlarged (& modernized), carpet replaced in several areas, and we need to modify a room/garage into an additional bedroom. It certainly has the space plus some to spare. All told the house has 6 garage spaces (2 car detached garage, 2 car attached but remote entry, and 2 garages in the house with direct entry). The place has immense potential but will require substantial modifications and repairs.

Shows and Events
Last week was huge for the kids and I for events. Last Monday, Brenna and I drove down to Birmingham, to see, hear,.. experience Beats Antique live. About a week or two before the show, I contacted the group’s tour manager and asked if I could shoot the performance. They gave me an all access pass to photograph the show. I provided my ticket to [livejournal.com profile] leliel and [livejournal.com profile] sabre0link also joined us. Before it was over, I’d gotten over 800 images the camera. Without a doubt, it was one of the most amazing and incredible small venue acts. Zoe, David and Tommy are great people and I was very happy to work with them. If you happen to have the chance to go to one of their shows, GO!

On this past Saturday, Chris and I drove up to attend Iris Faire (SCA event) in the Nashville area. I didn’t quite know what we were driving into on many levels. The weather that had battered the region on Friday had spawned extremely high winds and more than a few funnel clouds. As we neared the event site west of Nashville, we saw damage and trees down everywhere off the sides of the road. As the very strong cold front was centered on central Tennessee, it stayed windy and very cold throughout the day. I was happy to chat with Don Njall and Lady Allesaundra at the event. I’m glad that I did, because he clued me in further on who the “former ex-” was who was spreading foul rumors – Vikki (my ex- student). More on that later in the notes.. I also learned that by some manner I’d offended or bothered someone at a previous event, so I sought out the right folks and made apologies and begged forgiveness. I still don’t entire know the what, when and how I did anything, but I felt awful that there was any misunderstanding.

Event wise, I fought in the rapier tourney for the Silver Iris. I lost my first bout because I was more than a bit distracted. After refocusing, I fought my way to the finals where I lost. After only one practice in four months, I felt slow and sloppy, but it was a great tourney none the less. I opted out of the second (“Poison Iris”) tourney and spent time with Chris so he could attend the Chainmaile class they were holding. It was a fun event.

We left the event around 3pm and drove back to Huntsville in order to attend the performance of April Smith and the Great Picture Show. The Huntsville Swing Dance Club brought April and her band into town for the first time since I had helped host her last year. The show had close to 100 in attendance and many of those folks danced during the three live sets. I was stunned when April publicly thanked me alongside the organizers of this show. She explained to me later that she really appreciated that I’d introduced her to Huntsville and the incredible art and music scene here. Sadly, don’t expect any photos from me from the show. The Swing Dance Club had already contracted a photographer and videographer, plus the show was at the Flying Monkey. Nuff said about that venue.

Photo stuff
This is going to be a very busy 30 to 45 days ahead. I have three or four model shoots coming up. Two are catalog sets, one is fetish and there’s a newcomer TF set. Sometime in May, I’m also trying to get a weekend trip to Gulfport so I can work with Doll again. Brenna graduates on the 20th of May and I expect to shoot a few frames of my daughter getting her diploma.

Perhaps the biggest photo event is coming up next week. I’ll be shooting as a staff photographer for Frolicon in Atlanta, this weekend. It looks like there’s at least 8 other photographers covering the event so this should be a bit less stressful / exhausting. As mentioned in the previous message about Frolicon, I guess I will let one other cat out of the bag. When I was originally offering my services to the staff, they asked if they could use one on my art photos for the event badge. If things have gone well, one of my photos and models will be seen and worn by all the attendees.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Shooting Profile)
Continuing our exploration of the Chase Nursery complex we found some unique surprises

Chase Nursery appears to have finally foundered and declared bankruptcy in 1993. Since this was a family owned business, sorting out the business financials from the family’s took several years. Eventually portions of the property (including this one) were sold to a local university for agricultural uses.


Unpowered

Regrowth [18 behind the cut] )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
In March, I had the pleasure of again shooting with model “Murder Doll” (http://www.modelmayhem.com/847538). Due to a number of reasons, she’d stepped back from modeling for almost a year. Because of her trust in my skill, she came back out to work with me.



[5 behind the cut] )
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In February, I had the pleasure of again shooting with model “Lolly Five” (http://www.modelmayhem.com/1596974). This time she was modeling a set of “cyberlox” or “dreadfalls” for commercial designer “Hypnotic Designs” (http://www.modelmayhem.com/1949872). We had the benefit of MUA Kelsey South (Florence, AL).



[5 behind the cut] )
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Shooting Profile)
In the United States, today is the Martin Luther King Jr holiday. Several years ago the US chose to honor the slain civil right leader on his birthday to recognize his and in effect, many thousands of others contributions to be equal regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, and by extension, sexual preference (note: many civil rights laws enacted have been used to protect the LGBT community).

In Huntsville, there is a relic of that era. A former segregated high school building still stands in silent testimony of the days when black children and white children did not attend the same schools. Welcome to William Councill High School.



School’s Out For-ever )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)


Enjoy the brains!
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Here's a little preview of things to come


Luna Lilly - 2010
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Aden Lee (July) at Big Spring Park - 2010
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Here's a preview of a beautiful young woman Tammy and I got to work with last month.



Aden Lee (MM #648207)
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Late this spring, I had the chance to do a brief set of photos with a young lady in town and repressents one of two exceptions I made to recent shooting policies. First, I don't tend to want to work with under 18 subjects. I have had bad experiences crop up and require that a parent or guardian in attendance for ALL photo work. Tori was also a vendor/artist at the Flying Monkey Art Center. I've sworn off working with subjects remotely associated with it, but given discussions with her AND her parents, I changed my mind. I am glad I did and look forward to again.



Natural beauty )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Yes, I’m still alive and haven’t fallen off the world. Work and lack of time has kept me from posting and writing versus shooting.

Last fall, I wandered several of the back roads around Huntsville. This particular place had attracted my attention several times, but when I finally got around to stopping to explore it, vandals had managed to burn the place badly. Since taking these, the county has torn it down the rest of the way.



Down on the farm [12 behind the cut] )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
More Musical Musings

Upcoming Music and Shows
I frequently highlight bands that are coming out of nowhere. This one isn’t and I’m torn on offering any recommendation. We Are The Fallen is a band with massive but unrealized (wasted) potential. They are essentially Evanescence repackaged with a new lead singer. OK, well maybe... The band is made up of the former (fired/departed/quit) members of Evanescence from the time when the band rode their debut album “Fallen” to superstardom including the band’s co-founder Ben Moody. Carly Smithson (finalist from American Idol) takes on the vocal duties a la Amy Lee. After listening to samples of their debut, there’s more than a subtle bit of déjà vu. The sound, the soaring female vocals, the orchestra rock arrangements and the deeply moody (or Moody) feeling pervaded this release. It is either a throwback or homage to their Evanescence roots. Many of the songs (penned by Moody) seem to lament his lost friendship/relationship with Amy Lee in this CD. While this should lead to some terrific potential material highlighting the conflict, most tracks lack the fire and passion this band is capable of. Carly’s vocal power to rock out a house (as displayed on American Idol) is only lightly tapped here.

Is all this bad? As mentioned, I’m genuinely undecided. I saw Evanescence when they first performed in Hollywood (Universal Amphitheater) in 2003 as part of the Nintendo Fusion Tour. Nothing can compare to the level raw fire and passion they had then. Ego’s had yet to run amuck on so many levels. There is far more potential in this group of musicians for a return to greatness than there is in the band now known as Evanescence. Time will tell.

We Are The Fallen in concert (7/28) at Sammy T’s (Headlined by Saving Abel), $23/28 (at the door).
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Alright folks, much as I hate to say it, we need to find a permanent home for the 5 month old puppy we took in. "Harrison" is a very loving, very energetic bull terrier. We took him in with the intention to keep him at best or foster/care for him at the least. We've run into several problems in keeping him that aren't his fault.

1. Our husky isn't getting along with Harrison. How not getting along? Panda is normally very loving and friendly to everyone and surprisingly everything - except Harrison.

2. Harrison is just too big and rough with our youngest child. He's knocked the little boy down several times and tried to play rough. He doesn't realize the boy isn't a puppy.

3. Tammy just started a new job which means now niether of us are home enough to play with/train him.

4. We broached the idea of another pet in the property and the landlord won't allow it.

We need to get him into a new home ASAP. Anyone game or have suggestions for rescues that might help? We took him on as a foster animal and had the highest hopes of providing him a good home. Our best intentions aren't enough.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Alright Huntsville, we're getting an opportunity to see one of the rising stars of the music industry.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show performs at 8pm, Tuesday (2/16) at Bandito Southside in Huntsville. Check out www.aprilsmithmusic.com. This show should be incredible. Celebrate Fat Tuesday in style! NO COVER. Be ready to dance!


jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
I got in last night after numerous delays and misadventures. My bag is still in route from where-ever it went.

Everyone in Huntsville can panic. It's snowing here heavily.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
OK, so I suck at regularly updating. That's what happens when life events overcome webtime and available brain cells.

Family's doing decently enough. The possibility of moving in with Wendy was discussed and I actually saw more resistance than I ever expected from the kids. Her house is smaller and it would cause some serious issues in some manners of privacy & the kids various projects. Financially and personally it would help in some ways. Right now, it's on the back burner.

Work is going in interesting directions. I fly out Monday with my manager to observe test procedures and activities. I'm genuinely looking forward to this and think it should be enlightening in more ways than one. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post the "Nature Photo of the Day" feature while I'm away, but I'll try. I'll have my laptop from work, but the permissions on it may still block the sites. I decided that I will take my camera and try to shoot a little. There's too many places & people there that deserve photos.

As some of you know, I'm trying my hand as a show promoter and producer. No not "tried," I am actively working on show ideas. The failure to restart Sleep When You're Dead is simply due to personal requests from the previous promoters. I'll leave it at that and would beg everyone else to do the same. There will be a regional Goth show again, but it may be here in Huntsville.

I am pleased to note that I managed to get one of my favorite new artists booked to Huntsville in a few days and hopefully again in late March. Ladies and gents, spread the word - on 2/16 at Bandito Southside (formerly Bandito Burrito South), April Smith & the Great Picture Show will swing through town. This is a small warm-up gig to test the waters here. I'm hoping have a firm date for a late March when they return from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX. April and her band perform a rowdy mix of cabaret, jazz, swing and indie that's nothing short of amazing. Don't take my word, the New York Post, Billboard and Rolling Stone rave about her. If you can make it to Bandito on 2/16 (8pm), you won't be disappointed! The March show will hopefully be at the Flying Monkey Theater with room to dance!.


http://www.youtube.com/user/aprilsmithmusic

http://www.aprilsmithmusic.com/

http://www.myspace.com/aprilsmithmusic
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Last Saturday was interesting and a challenge to the system. I drove down to Birmingham to meet with [livejournal.com profile] tayrune there, and then headed to Atlanta for The Mechanical Masquerade. The event was being sponsored by the Syrens of the South burlesque company and was much more than beautiful ladies in lace and ruffles. The event was being billed as a steampunk/Neo-Victorian event with merchants and musicians in the genre displaying or performing. It was a fun evening and I made more than a few contacts for my behalf and for ImagiCon. Oh and yes, there will be photos.

After show in Atlanta, [livejournal.com profile] tayrune and I drove back to Birmingham that evening through the rain, water, fog and wind, where I crashed on her couch. After a nap and good conversation the next morning, I headed back home to Huntsville. About halfway home, I got a text message from another B’ham friend, Kaley. Kaley’s a regular at SWYD, a former model and photographer. She was planning to do a horror shoot with her cousins the next day at Sloss Furnaces and invited me down to chat. Chuckles.. if it weren’t for work in Huntsville, I have the feeling I’d be in Birmingham almost constantly.

Monday being a US Federal holiday, my kids & I were off so I piled everyone into the car and we drove back to Birmingham. Halfway down, Kaley texted me that Sloss was closed. Every time I’ve tried to get my kids there to see the haunted former steel mill, I find it closed. Anyhow, we continued down and meet them in front of Sloss. I pointed out a nearby set of abandoned buildings which worked for the photos they wanted. While they shot, I led Brenna around the former power sub-station and shot a few reference pictures.

After finishing at Sloss, we contacted Glaus and the entire group got together for dinner at the Golden Rule BBQ (29th and Clairmont - http://www.goldenrulebbq.com/). Overall it was a good day.

For the last few days it’s rained here. No not the biblical downpours that are falling in Southern California, but the steady rains that fill the nearby ditches, creeks, swamps and rivers. Swamps? In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains?.. Yup. The Huntsville area is graced / cursed by weird geological arrangements. The hills and low mountains here, are limestone & sandstone, so they are porous and riddled with caverns, underground streams and are effectively reservoirs. In the city limits there are no less than four major springs which are “mostly” channeled towards the Tennessee River just south of town. Byrd Springs, just east of Redstone Arsenal empties into a vast swamp. There are several other swamps, bogs and sloughs all along the north band of the Tennessee and nestled between the hills and ridges.

While thinking about this, my heart (and wallet) goes out to my many friends back in southern California. Below the San Gabriel and Ventura Mountains, they’ve gotten between 2 to 4 inches of rain. It’s come with high winds and even spawned a few coastal tornados. Higher up in the Coastal’s, Ventura’s and San Gabriel’s, heavy rain and snow has been falling for four days. These are the same areas that burned last summer so there’s nothing to draw in the moisture. Further over the mountains in the Antelope Valley, an inch and a half rain has fallen; and snow has also dropped on a few nights. This leads to my wallet comment. The roof is leaking – again. I’m not entirely surprised. I wanted to get a layer of sealant on the roof there in October, but the lack of a full deposit shot that down. The summer heat in Lancaster dries out and cracks the seals so when the winter rains come, the water finds a way into the low roof sections. Bleah..
jjmaccrimmon: (Insane)
It snowed several days ago here. Now we've gotten thunderstorms, hail and torrential downpours today and tonight. Thunderstorms in December?!
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
SNOW! I got up this morning to find 1/2 inch of snow on the ground. We had a flurries last night that weren't expected to accummulate. It did :D.

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