jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Quiet home and time to write a bit.

Well been trying to sit down and write for the past week but it's been chaotic at best. When I last left off, I mentioned I'd done a grand tour of northern Alabama. I ended up needing to drive back to Birmingham on the following Tuesday right after work. I got a call from one of my friends who's modeled for me in the past. Brittany is a new age gypsy, sweet natured, a bit hyper and searching for direction. She's literally wandered the country for the past few years since I first met and shot with her but never stayed long. When she went to San Diego last summer, she had a spiritual awakening that was remarkable. Upon her return to B'ham, we shot a set at the Moss Rock Preserve and talked about her changes in attitude, in character and how much happier she was with her new found spirituality. It was wonderful to behold.

When she contacted me following a visit to Kansas City to meet a boy she'd been corresponding with, she was hurt and heartbroken by him. He'd not been the person he'd seemed and she decided to come back to Birmingham. The only problem is she's lost the place she'd been staying at there. Yes, we took her in. She's been with us for a little over a week and a half now. She's cooking for us 3 nights a week. Brittany is a vegetarian so those meals have been pretty healthy and tasty. She helps clean, do the dishes and cleans her room regularly. Tammy been teaching her to sew and so far Brittany has completed two pairs of pants and a sash in less than a week. She also got a job the first day she was here. I don't know how long she'll be with us, but so far, she's been wonderful.

While the house remains quiet and I still have the mind to write, I'll speak of two more things. Yesterday Tammy and I road tripped to Knoxville. We went to visit with and pick up some goodies from Sandra Jacqua. She was trying to find a good home for Scott's / Don Njall's old 1931 Stromberg Carlson (shortwave/am) radio set and it looks like a project worth working on. Much to my surprise, she also handed me Njall's old marshalling staff and asked if I wanted it. Both items are in the garage and I'll be accessing what needs to done to bring them up to speed. If the radio can't be restored, I'll set about retrofitting an AM/FM digital set inside.

Tomorrow, I'll have a whole series of abandoned site images. I've been a bit inspired lately to edit more shots. I'm also a bit disgusted with myself to not posting some of these much sooner. I've still been exploring and shooting, but the editing process has been the glitch and the hold up to me.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
I've been trying to spend a bit of time for myself lately but I'm failing. Between the US Thanksgiving holiday, lot's of driving, family (real and adopted) and dealing with medical mayhem; I'm actually bit worn down and even a bit depressed.

To explain...
For those not following the story on Facebook, I hurt my right hip a few weeks ago diving to catch one of our dogs. The husky got loose and well it was the only way to catch him. Until two days ago, I was walking with a very distinct limp. it was bad enough that I thought I'd cracked something. It's better now, but over the holiday, it was rough then. I'm thankful for fast healing.

Thanksgiving week
On Monday evening, I drove down to Montevallo to pick up Brenna and bring her back for the holiday. On the drive back, she unloaded on all her pent up conversation which was expected. From there, the plan was to visit my mom the Wednesday before Turkey Day, stay overnight, have a Thanksgiving luncheon and drive back that night. The trip to Louisville was complicated by traffic and the pain in my hip, but went decently. Right after getting to my mom's, we got a call that the person dog sitting for us, lost the key to the house. Fortunately we managed to get ahold of Amy and she gave them hers. We visited with my mom and had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch at KT's in Louisville. After dinning and chatting we packed up to head back to Huntsville. I gave the kids the option to stop briefly at the aunt Charlotte's but they were exhausted and just wanted to go home.

Anyhow, the drive home was milder than the drive up. The bad part was the cumulative effects of 16 hours of driving over 4 days wiped me out. We had been planning to drive to Atlanta to see our friends in Creature Feature play. They are touring with Birthday Massacre. Though Tammy went out to shop in the Black Friday crowds, I stayed on the couch and could not get motivated to drive another 3 hours (one way). Instead, Tammy and I went out to see "Wreck it Ralph" and retired for the evening.

Now as I'm mentioned medical mayhem, some of it was induced, some is on-going and some is accidental. Tammy's fibro is chronic and causes her to move in bed at night - a lot! Around 3am Sunday morning, she moved a little too much and my face got in the way. She hit me hard enough in her sleep that we were afraid she broke bones in my cheek. Obviously it woke both of us up woke I awoke seeing stars (moons and clovers). I was a wreck the rest of the day. She had to take Brenna back to college and I nursed a migraine most of the day. I've slept in the spare bedroom the last few nights in order to heal and rest.

I mentioned family as an issue. Our 'adopted' daughter Amy has elected to move out. During their September trip to visit their dad in South Carolina, Amy and her sister bonded heavily and decided to move in together. I believe there were some other factors, but she's not wanted to communicate those. Since returning from that visit, she's mostly been staying at her sister's but most of her stuff has been here. We finally told her she had to pack out or come home. Although she said she'd pack up this week, we have yet to see her. I'm conflicted about her leaving. Not only do I miss her, but I don't see it as her best choice (work, school and social-wise). I'm powerless to stop it.

One last nasty surprise
Last weekend, despite the migraine and exhaustion, I decided to check my bank due to some funny calls we'd been getting all weekend. When I looked at my account on-line, I discovered that my bankcard had been compromised. Someone had been using it to buy games and upgrades at Steam.com and Valve Software. It started out in early November, but on Thanksgiving Day they went nuts. $180 in purchases had already gone through and another $400 was pending. Needless to say, I immediately called the bank and started a fraud investigation. My account was protected but it also meant shutting down the card and dealing with changing various accounts that rely on that card #. Bottom line is check your accounts. This came from a company that my son Chris plays games at. We have bought stuff from them (from games to upgrades). I'll be filing a police report once the final totals are settled.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
As mentioned in my previous post, I’m back home from California after working on the engineering test. While I can’t give specifics, I think the contributions I made were substantial and very positive. I am supporting the test, but my government customer decided that I wasn’t needed back out there on the second go. Most days, I worked 9 to 10 hour days and got a remarkable amount done. I had hoped to be flying back on Sunday, but now I’ll be staying home and will support the test from here.

After Action Reports )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
This trip has been interesting so far. I've worked my arse off so far and logged more than a bit of overtime so far. Yesterday I ended up being the lead engineer presenting to the foriegn customers on this test. I wasn't planning to or expecting to, but all the government folks looked at me and said, 'you're the expert' or 'you wrote the document, you should brief.' I also locked horns with the lead engineer who's "supposed to be" supporting us as a liason between the customer and us. He's been actively trying to sabatoge our branch's involvement. Instead he discovered that I'm fairly good at what I do and I disabled his arguments before he could make them.

I'm off tomorrow and part of Sunday. I already planning to hit several of my old favorite haunts here in SoCal. Right now, I'm planning to head to Descanso Gardens, The Getty Center, dinner in Van Nuys and then catch a show in Studio City. It'll be like the old days - well sorta. On Sunday, I'm planning to revisit several abandoned sites in the area before I have to be back for a teleconference (yes I have to work then). Damn it's going to feel good to visit some familiar places.

Unlike the previous trip, many of the old ghosts I felt lurking in the air seem gone now. It's almost like a cloud lifted when I realized/resolved that I'd forgiven someone. Whether it was deserved or not, I don't have the time or energy to nurse that kind of hate or anger. That didn't stop me from glancing at her journal to look in on her life. I guess it was a mix of catious and melancholy curiousity. Shrugs - you can't change the past, only learn from it and try to understand. Memories linger and soften but life moves on. Like Scott Pilgrim, I fought hard to earn another life and I'm using it well. I hope she is too.

I'm not sure I'm going to make it to Lancaster on this particular visit. That's going to be a full day. The Sheriff hasn't gotten the paperwork from the clerk so they can't lock them out yet. If I'm here, I want to be here for that. Again, morbid curiousity - its a Goth thing. I'm looking forward to visiting old friends (living and deceased), but I want to have enough time to do so. When I get back into town on the 6th, I know I'll have a few more free days then.

BTW, I'm now cross linking most of my Live Journal entries to Facebook. I've been testing out the process with the Nature Photo of the Day feature. I can't afford to double the work.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs - 2010

I'm heading out to southern California and points familiar tomorrow. Tomorrow's photo may be a bit delayed.

I also expect to have a bit more time with a few less distractions to actually write something substantial here. I know I've been bad about it.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
We let, we saw, we spent and we came back safely!

More later this week, I'm exhausted.

Home Again

Jun. 29th, 2010 11:37 pm
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Ladies and Gents, I've safely returned from Colorado Springs to a very happy household.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Part 3

On Sunday, I drove up to Larkspur, CO to visit the Colorado Renaissance Faire. I’ve missed the Southern Faire in Los Angeles. This didn’t disappoint. In fact it reminded me even more of the old Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire when it was still outside of Novato, CA. Wide paths with plenty of tree cover, allowed for breezes to flow through made it comfortable. The entertainment was good for the most part but some acts were outstanding. I was amused by “Snot and Puke”, enjoyed the “Pirate Shantyman and Bonnie Lass” and I was very impressed by the acrobats “Barely Balanced.” One thing that amused me is that most of the performers were not strictly in “period” character through their shows. The festival must not have the hard core provisions. Most people didn’t care and deeply enjoyed the shows. Unlike the Southern Faire in LA, there weren’t a massive number of Middle Eastern stalls and vendors but there was a good improvised Raks Sharki (Belly Dance) performance that appeared on an unused stage.

While wandering the Faire, I was surprised to find well known fantasy artist Ruth Thompson there selling prints. One print stood out to me so much that I ordered a copy as a gift. I hope it will be appreciated. I picked up a few other goodies at the shops. I also was happy to see a bird of prey conservation and rescue center booth at the faire. They had a small barn owl, a hawk and a turkey vulture out being shown. Beautiful birds all.

I did get one other surprise. For years, I’ve found myself to effectively been allergic to Shea Butter. It would normally make my skin red after only a few moments of contact. The herbalist (and bath product merchant) noted their goods were with all naturally processed Shea versus the industrially processed stuff. I tried a small sample and it didn’t affect me. Since it didn’t cause me discomfort and red skin, I think I’ll be in touch with them to find suppliers for Brenna’s creations. Some stuff advertised as all natural obviously aren’t.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Part 2

As my time in Colorado Springs winds down, I have to say that it’s been an interesting experience. Like I said in the intro, when I’ve had time off I’ve wandered all over the local area. While Tammy was with me, we went to Pikes Peak, visited Garden of the Gods and went up to Seven Falls. We couldn’t climb all the way to the top then because of the rains that day, but we got some beautiful shots. That same day, we also drove up North Cheyenne Canyon to Helen Hunt Falls. That canyon is beautiful. In the mist that was falling, it was magical. There was hardly anyone else there and the misty rain, made the stream echo and rumble in eerie ways. We might have only been a mile from town, but we were a world away. The highlight during her stay (in my opinion) was our visit to the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center (www.wolfeducation.org) in Divide, CO.

Wanderings, travels and explorations )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Rather than make one massive post, I'm spreading this one out over a few.

This month has been a case of so much to say and so little time to say it. This trip to Colorado Springs has been busy, exciting, fun, a little melancholy and certainly full of surprises. I’ve been lucky at times to post images let alone actually write. The work’s been challenging and led to long days. The off-time, I’ve filled with wanderings and viewing things in the area. By the time I’ve gotten back to the hotel room I’ve been too tired to do much more than check and answer mail, reply/comment to a few posts or chat with Tammy and a few friends then sleep.

thoughts and plans )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
It's been a wild few days since flying back out to Colorado Springs again for business. Fortunately I've had two wonderful treats. First, my wife Tammy accompanied me out here for the first five days. Second, the schedule was light enough that we got to do some incredible stuff. Incredible you say?..

Let's see..

* Climbed Pikes Peak and it snowed while we were there at 14,110 feet

* Visited Garden of the Gods in between AM and PM thunderstorms

* Drove up North Cheyenne Canyon and shot in a light misting rain that made the images unbelieveably memorable

* Got to kiss a wolf

More to follow soon..
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Rewind.... written on Thursday 5/27 with edits for today

Well another trip done. I think I earned some further kudos from my boss again because of my advice and planning for the events we were coordinating. I’m happy with how things seem to be developing with this organization and with what I’m getting to do in it.

I brought a ticket for Tammy to come out here with me on the next trip. I’m looking forward to giving her something of a honeymoon vacation and time away from Huntsville. I think she’s excited. I say ‘I think’ because she’s been exhausted from learning the in’s and out’s of her new job. I’m hoping that this weekend she’ll be able to sit down with me to plan the requirements for the shoot at the Lyric in early June.

After several very busy days, today I had off. I managed to get about two hours of exploring and hiking today before I decided I needed to head to the airport. First I went up to the Manitou Springs cliff dwellings and explored a bit. While pretty, I wasn’t super impressed. Next I headed back down the mountains a little ways to the Red Rocks Open Space. This is the park area south of Garden of the Gods. I hiked and roamed the trails there for over an hour. It was very peaceful and relaxing.

This weekend is going to be was a marathon of sorts. Friday was the April Smith show in Nashville. Not sure which kids we’re taking or not (Chris went, while Brenna was with friends and Tammy had to stay for a business conference). Next, Tammy and I headed down to Birmingham to drop off Michael on Saturday (early). On Sunday, we drove Brenna and Chris to Atlanta. Monday I picked up Michael again. Yeah.. too much driving.
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)
I'm sitting in my hotel room following a very successful test exercise for work. Yea! The 'bad' news my flight from Atlanta to Hunstville (and technically the one from LA to Atlanta) was cancelled due to weather Friday. As a result, I'm flying back on Saturday morning from LA. Now I get to figure out what to do and where.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Memories and Mindsets. Flying into LAX Monday was nothing short of surreal. I know I've said that to several folks thus far, but it really has felt true. The flight out wasn't bad at all. My company's travel service booked me first class because that was all that was available to get me here on the notice I was given (to rebook the flight). The seats were comfy, the service tremendous. This was what flying the airlines used to be like before they had to cut back dramatically. When I walked out of the terminal and had to remind myself that my car wasn’t in the garage and I wasn’t driving to Lancaster. Instead, I gathered my rental car and started making the journey to Oxnard where my hotel is.

The last few days have been busy work wise. I’m not actively involved in running the test here, but am observing, making developmental notes and trying to get a feel for how this system is tested. As a result I only had last night to get together with a few of my Los Angeles area friends. Last night I went to visit Hikari in Culver City and then drove up to meet with Gideon & Debbi in Van Nuys. Sorry I wasn’t able to get with others thus far. Time and availability just hasn’t been there (yet).

As I sit in the hotel getting ready for work tonight, this trip to southern California has been eye openning. It's reminded me of the costs of being here and the places I remembered so fondly. It's also reminded me of the costs of being here and I don't mean just the financials. So much to think about.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)

Huntsville Botanical Gardens - 2009

Folks, two important notes -
1. I may or may not be posting the Nature Photo of the Day feature again until Friday due to travel. I'll be in Los Angeles for business.

2. I've been looking through my friends-list and wondering who is still actually active. I'm likely to cull inactive accounts (save one) and be looking for recommendations of interesting people to read about, hear their music or see their stories.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
It's been a wild couple days. Today has been a mess of jumbled intentions and frayed nerves throughout the household. The weekend prior reminded me of the rollercoasters we rode Saturday.

Friday’s Game – Chris played again on Friday. After being down with the crud last week (and still hacking bits of it out), he looked moderately effective. He assisted on one goal and scored one in a 5 to 4 win.

The house in Lancaster – While we were at Chris’s game Friday evening I received bad news from my property manager. The new tenant balked on completing the deal. I have to return a portion of the deposit and still make my bills related to the house. Joy.. (sulks away). Fortunately I have a good property manager who’s already looking into more potential renters.

Read more... )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Ladies and gents, the family will be hitting the road to the Louisville area shortly. If you need me, I'll be on my mobile phone. I can not guarantee that I'll be checking mail till Monday afternoon.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Wow, time flies when you're on the run. I figure after two weeks I should
write something while I have a little time. The past few weeks have
been unbelievably busy in every possible way.

Read more... )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
After yesterday's rant, I felt it deserved a follow-up.

I failed to mention that my lovely girlfriend wrote a scathing message to their customer (dis)service department. That compared well to what I said to their senior front-end manager today.

We left Huntsville a little before 9am Central (10am Atlanta time). There was no way I was going to run the risk of being later than 3 hours before the flight (which was what they told one customer yesterday - while telling me two hours). The traffic was actually lighter today, so we made near record time.

When we got to the airport and headed directly to check-in (required for unaccompanied minors), we wiated for perhaps 5 minutes before being approached by a clerk/attendant. When I mentioned that we'd tried this all yesterday, he immediately pulled us out of the line and directly to the first counter available. While checking us in, he asked what had happened and seemed genuinely upset. I also think he'd gotten to hear this already from others today. After getting the kids checked in, he gave them 4 free meal vouchers and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to tell the shift manager what happened yesterday. Hummm.. a sign of genuine interest perhaps?..

When the manager came over, I explained the timeline and the resulting hardships. He pulled me back to a counter and checked out the kids file verifying what I told him. Then he called for "Sharon" the representative (acting supervisor from yesterday) to come over immediately. While she was in route, he told us that none of this should have happened and apologized for the severe inconvience. In a few minutes the rep who'd blown us off and argued with me about check in yesterday (Tuesday) arrived. She was all smiles and sunshine to me in front of the manager unlike how she'd treated us the before. After a short discussion, he issued each child a voucher for $200 in Delta credits ($400 total).

Does it make the situation better. I'm not sure. I'm utterly exhausted and sore from two days of driving and stress. Work was understanding about the situation, but I'm going to go back to a potential train wreck due to a briefing I have tomorrow afternoon. Yeah.. I'm still not sure the kids or I will ever fly Delta again, but we'll see. I'm still planning to contact my company's travel service to make note of the initial screw up and go from there. Delta is one of their "prefered carriers" and they like to know how their employees are treated.

As for today, after the long discussion, we headed out to the gate and wiated for the flight. Because the unaccompanied status for Chris, I got to go out to the gate with them. Delta doesn't have a special boarding time for minors and such, so they boarded with the rest of their zone on the plane. We had our tearful goodbyes and then they were off (35 minutes late but who's counting after a full day). The drive back to Huntsville was relatively quick though I had one scare with a city police car in northern Georgia who initially roared out of his trap and pulled up behind me then moved to another vehicle.


jjmaccrimmon: (Default)

April 2017



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 08:40 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios