jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Effective 4 Jan 09, all comments are screened and most family related entries may be screened "Friends Only" depending on content. Maintaining my personal life and privacy is important.

Friending Policy
Feel free to friend me if you like, though I'd ask you to send a brief introduction comment or message. Don't get upset if I don't friend you back in return (immediately or ever). Please don't be offended if I don't add you back. All of my photography appears on the public side of this journal. Most family and private matters stay as "friends-only" posts. As I get to know 'you' either in person or in commentary, I may add you. Even if I don't add you, don't be surprised though if I should drop an ocassional comment into your journal from time to time.
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Ladies and Gents, all good things...

Due to the recent ToS changes to Live Journal and the anticipated censorship to follow, I am moving my LJ entries and comments to Dreamwidth. The new account is "JJMacCrimmon" there.

I will continue to moderate the "abandonedplaces" community to the best of my ability. I will be closing other communities I own.

After well over a decade this change is bittersweet, but I will not have my thoughts, writings, images and more potentially censored by a government of another country.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
This week has been a major roller coaster ride. Changes at work, changes in photo stuff, changes in events and changes on the home front. Some I can talk about and some I still have to keep to myself for just a little while longer.

At work.. My day job isn't photography as some of you know. I'm an engineer by trade. My employer now has me coordinating accident and corrective action investigations. Cool work when the management actually knows what the Hell you're supposed to be doing. I'm having to teach my customers AND management what the job entails. IT might be easier if my previous organization manager hadn't retired and left an acting manager who now knows he won't be getting the job. Sigh.. It's a challenge.

Photo wise, I'm about to start shooting a lot more. I have been shooting with a Sony A65 DSLR for the past few years. Great camera but is limited in certain circumstances (low light and motion challenge me to no end). That said, I've learned some good tricks to get some incredible show photos. Most of these are going up on my Facebook but that's also about to change. Anyhow, I found a great deal thru a friend in town on a Sony A7 ii. This is Sony's premiere full frame, professional quality camera. The up side, it's all the good things my 3 previous camera's were/are. The down side, I have to get all new glass for the camera. I got one starter lens, but what I want/need is another 28-200mm zoom built for the camera and that runs $1200. More on this predicament later, but the "kit" lens (24-70mm) is better than I could have ever believed possible.

Event wise, not SCA, I'm running two local get-togethers in Huntsville. One is a photo event for models and photogs. The idea is to provide a safe space for folks on both sides of the camera to meet, network and potentially shoot. The venue is a former school converted into a local craft microbrewery. The other show indulgences my showman and kink side. We run a variety show at another microbrewery. We bring in a live act, a DJ and our own 'side-show' act. We do live shibari and rope suspensions with models and with volunteers. The event and our skills have other promoters contacting us to 'perform.'

The home front changes are pretty major and I have to wait one more week before I'm willing to say more. I will note that, all is good.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
Happy New Year everyone,

As many of you have probably gathered, I'm not here as much as I used to be in the past nor as much as I'd hoped to be. I'll not make an empty promise to say that I'll turn over a new leaf and be here dramatically more in the future, but there's changes in the air for me which means I may be able to drop in and post here more often. I'm not going to delve into those things yet, but there's some big stuff in the air.

That said, I do still read my friends' postings here at least weekly. I check my communities, especially abandonedplaces every 1-3 days based on work and shooting requirements. I also reply to messages here with a couple hours minimum.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
Folks if any weird photos come up from me in old posts, it's not me. My old Photobucket Account was hacked and I'm working to get it restored.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
I haven't forgotten about this site or abandoned it. Life has been keeping me too occupied to post much.

Here's a preview of an exploration taken this summer. Many more to follow!

The little shack on the cliff
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
Out of the images pulled from the old drive, I also have photos from a second site we visited on that cold February afternoon - a former filling station. It wasn't much. The neighborhood was sketchy which probably contributed to the demise of this former Raceway gas station (petrol station). With the cold, the locals didn't choose to come see what I was doing, so a few photos were had.

Abandoned 052FCa
We're sorry but this number is no longer in service...

Rollin down the highway )
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
Ah Father's Day has come and mostly gone.

Today (really this entire weekend) has been surreal. Friday and Saturday, Tammy's friend Cass came by to work on quilts and socialize. Cass has MS but it hasn't slowed her wit or humor. If anything it's probably sharper. While she was over Saturday, she started gloating about a sword she had and how heavy it was. I brought an old friend out of storage to introduce her to it - Bane. 'Rhinobane' is my heavy rapier and was for many years my primary rapier. It weighs and handles like a true period weapon. Cass was duly impressed.

Also on Saturday, my mom drove down to visit us from Louisville. She was coming to treat me to a Father's Day dinner and then take Brenna for a week long trip to the Gulf coast. They need the bonding time. Brenna will only have just so much time to make memories with her like this. As for the early Father's Day dinner, Macaroni Grill and mostly cheerful banter.

Today (Sunday), I got up at 6:30a. Why?! We have a large sand pile adjacent to the privacy fence that needs to be replaced. The sand and the moisture it held in, rotted out parts of the fence. To replace the damaged areas and not waste time or money, the sand needed to go. Back to 6:30... other than to see Brenna and my mom off on their road trip, I got up to pry open the damaged section of fence and make it available to the person who responded to a Craigslist advert offering it to whoever would carry it off. At 9am, "Jason" on his 8 year old son, came by and we started filling sandbags. Chris and I helped him fill 100 - 50 lb capacity bags. In about and hour time shoveled approximately 2 and 1/2 tons of sand. I may be overweight, but I still have strength and endurance. They want to cart off all the sand in the back which will help us fix the drainage problems and other problems the sand has been causing.

By 11 we were sitting in Cracker Barrel for a nice Sunday brunch. After eating and letting it settle, Tammy went to a sewing gathering but didn't stay long. The morning's activities wiped her out for several hours. Later on, Chris and I had a little father son time that he'll not soon forget. I took him for his first driving lesson. He stalled the car a few times, but after about 15 minutes and several gentle reminders, be was driving in an abandoned parking lot near the house. I was genuinely impressed by how fast he picked it up.

After the driving lesson, we picked up the lumber and accessories we will need to fix one of the damaged sections of the sand pile side fence. After dropping the supplies off, we ran some needed family errands then came home to watch a movie together. I should be exhausted but I'm feeling pretty good and bouncy still.

I can't help but think of my late step-father Chuck as I reflect on this day. Other than my grandfather, Chuck was the strongest and most positive father figure I could have asked for in my broken childhood. I think they'd be pleased with out things have turned out for me as a father figure myself.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Fragments (Side))
While recovering data and photos from a dead external drive I found a few sets needing to be re-edited and uploaded.

Winter 2011 - Decatur, AL

Driving the back roads between Huntsville and Florence, my wife and I saw this 1950's era farm house. Despite the storms and tornadoes that frequent the region, this little brick house seemed to have been much loved. It sat forlorn on the side of a busy highway in the February chill. Road improvements cut off the driveway and raised the roadbed nearly 2 feet (.6 meters), so I had to park my vehicle a little ways from it and walk in.

Abandoned 003FCa

Over the fields and into the past.. )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
This past week was an exercise in recovery. Why recovery?

Last week we had a few major fails around the house. On the night of Memorial Day (5/26) the refrigerator broke down. Two days later the repairman came out and got it working again. We only had to replace a couple parts and most of our dairy products. Driving into work after that, the transmission on the XTerra went from noisy to making noises (and vibrations) that said it had broken down as well. $2200 later the next day, I had a rebuilt transmission on the car. On the next day, Tammy had oral surgery and has been nauseated and unable to eat more than a small amount ever since.

This week was busy but better.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
So what why update here when I have Facebook, Fetlife and such..? Why update here when the owner of the SUP is one of Putin's cronies (the reason I let my paid account expire btw)? This system is so freakin' antiquated that transferring entries and comments to say Blogger or a LiveJournal emulator would take months.

History and memories...

It's hard to let some aspects of my past go. LiveJournal is one of them. I have so many of memories and emotions tied up in this journal, it's hard to let them go or move on in some respects. Much of this journal is wrapped around my struggles and joys of living in SoCal. I documented the aftermath of my first marriage and the loss followed it. I turned to a loose circle of internet friends and associates here as sounding board and it grew into something more. LiveJournal became my first publishing platform and was where I documented so many adventures. Those photos, explorations, shows and events helped me reopen my eyes to the beauty and the joy I felt as a child. I saw the world anew through the lens of a camera.

When the joy went out of SCA events in Caid, I turned to my camera, my journal and my friends here. When I couldn't afford to do things as a single parent, I took my kids out on some amazing and wonderful adventures exploring abandoned and frequently historic places. Those stories and photos feel like yesterday.

And then there was Angie.. I've been gone from SoCal for over 6 years now, and I still think of her every day. Time has healed my heart so many of those memories, those thoughts and feelings are warm and even longing. Yes, I still miss her and doubt I'll ever forget her.

LiveJournal contacts and associations helped me when I got to Huntsville. Some of my long term friends and connections over the years here are from those early connections.

Moving down the path (less traveled)..

So this bring me to the here and the now. When I moved here in 2008, I never expected to become a manager in my day job. Never fathomed that I'd be called a subject matter expert in it either. I watched my daughter not only survive high school, which she dreaded, but move along to become an outstanding Fine Arts major at her University. She'll be a Senior next year. I've watched my son go from a soccer player to a sprinter running with the high school varsity track team as a freshman. He's also on the A-B honor roll and tested in the top 1% of the country in in math and science. The step-son is doing well in school and in advanced placement courses, but his habit of acting then thinking is disturbing.

Tammy's medical condition isn't worsening, but isn't improving either. She's taken herself off all her medications in order to purge herself and eliminate the possibility of unforeseen interactions. She's trying to fix a healthy diet but the fatigue and pain is limiting her. Her fading memory is even more disturbing.

Hadn't meant for this to be an introspective post, but there it is. I'm here. I'm alive. I'm not going to guarantee I'll be posting here regularly, but I'm not gone. Life is keeping me busy.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Checking out the video capabilities for the 'improved' Live Journal. What better video to do it with than Transcendence. It's all about change and breaking barriers.

jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Let's test out this "new" version of LJ. It might be worth staying for if so.

jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
I've now edited 4 nature sets, 3 abandoned site sets (3 more to go) will start posting pics again this week. Yes, the new computer is helping.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Just a quick note.

This Yule, my darlin wife got me a new computer. While I was comfortable with the old one, editing any photos was painfully slow. Like 1983 Yugo with bent axle kinda slow. Not the new one. In a session today where I would have been happy getting one set of photos edited, tagged and resized, I've gotten nearly four sets done.

Given that, expect to see a bit more here from me in the near future!
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Life has been keeping way too busy of late. I took an extended break from photography for the last two months (till this past Saturday). In that time, I've been working on Halloween decorations and amazingly, teaching fencing again. With the exception of a week, I've made it to rapier practice locally for the last two and a half months.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
There's a saying, "All Good Things Must Come to An End"...

I've always felt that phrase was trite and sometimes even selfish. In this case, I find myself choking on it because it applies to me.

For over 22 years (since 1991 in the MidRealm), fencing and rapier combat has been woven deeply into the fiber of my being. I've fought at the highest levels in the Society for Creative Anachronism, taught at 5 Known World Academies of the Rapier (and countless events), championed the introduction of new weapons and rules, done demos for thousands and led units in SCA wars with hundreds of my companions. Contrary to some, it was never about recognitions or awards or scarves... Throughout it all, I've fought for the sheer joy of the competition and proving my skills on the field.

For the past few years, I've come out less and less to play. I've still felt the love for the tourney and the challenge of facing opponents, but my body's been telling me otherwise. I've got to finally listen to it. Some of you know that my right hand was badly hurt by a former student over 7 years ago. While I've come back from many injuries on the field, that injury caused significant nerve damage to my sword hand. Every day since then, I've been dealing with constant pain. Some days it's been better, some days worse, but always constant. While pushing through the pain works for a while, that has also caused the nerve to be pinched and occasional loss of feeling or numbness in my right hand. Imagine fighting at speed and suddenly the blade you think is in your grasp is clattering across the ground. Not good.

I'd be lying through my teeth if I said this doesn't scare the Hell out of me. It's been a major reason behind my lack of recent participation. I can't begin to describe how heartbreaking its felt. The last thing I want to do is to face an opponent, a friend or a newcomer to this game and due to a moment of numbness in the fingers, lose control of my blade at tourney speed and hurt them. I don't want to cause an injury potentially as severely as the ones I was dealt. Given that, it's hard to step onto the tourney or melee field with that haunting my thoughts.

So here it is...

As I choke back the tears, I have decided after 22 years of competition to step away from tourney and melee rapier combat in the SCA. I can and will still teach and spar at lower speeds of the training environment. I will also seek to marshal if my home kingdom will ever see fit to grant me a warrant. Perhaps I can also help here and there to recruit more people to play this game and feel the same joy that I've felt from it. While I don't discount the possibility of a doctor figuring out a way to fix my hand, for now and on my terms, I'm going to step away from the rapier field as a competitor.

It's been an honor to fight with so many of you.

Yours in truly humble service,

The Honorable Lord (HL) John James MacCrimmon
Companion of the Argent Rapier of Meridies
Order of the Duelist of Caid
Order of the Crossed Swords of Caid (x2)
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
If I'd Been The One"

So many memories with this song.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Just a quick message. Due to work schedules, we will not be going to DragonCon at the end of the month. Add that to several other recent issues and I'm frustrated beyond words.

Speaking of work, I was nominated for an Agency wide honor / recognition. 30 contractors out of a workforce of over 7000 were nominated. I wasn't selected but wow. I think that's why I'm covering the projects they've been assigning me to.

Photo wise, I'm nearly caught up on photo work. I have a wedding to edit but I'm waiting on their selections. I have a shoot this weekend and next. This weekend has been in the works for 6 months and there was drama getting to it. The following weekend is a paid gig. After that, I'm putting down the camera for a while. First off, it needs to go in for repairs. Second, I have projects around the house I need to work on.

Speaking of unnecessary drama, the house in Lancaster is finally empty of tenants. We have to clean it up and make some minor repairs and I will sign the closing papers. This will free me from the place.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
Busy Busy Busy..

Spent the last couple days editing photos from a modeling set taken in May. Started sorting through photos from the recent business trip to Colorado Springs. It's been a week now and I think I can go through them without being overly critical.

On Friday, we drive up to my mom's for the weekend. Saturday is my high school class reunion. 30 years has come and gone. Frightening to think of it. It doesn't feel that long ago and I don't feel that old.

Chris got a special present today. The budding virtuoso now owns an upright double bass care of his mother. When he gets back from visiting her, I expect the house will vibrate. Given his various instruments, his room is resembling a band storage closet.

Still no news on selling the house in SoCal. Words don't come close to how frustrated I am.


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April 2017



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