Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mike Wise Photography Workshop

Had a great time at the Mike Wise photo workshop. It was 10am - 4pm in Mike's studio at his home. Total of eight of us in the class--great personal interaction and instruction.

My biggest take way was just getting into the full manual mode. I'd been in the "partially automated" mode up to this point. I'd highly suggest this to anyone wanting to take full advantage of their digital SLR.

Click here to see some of the pics I shot throughout the workshop.

Here are some links that were referenced in the class:
B&H Photo
Roberts Camera Indy
Jack's Camera Muncie
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop
Photoscape (free image editing software A+!)
Faststone Image Viewer (free software that works w/Photoscape to add watermarks)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Writing Guides

My good friend Mark shot me some good "writing tips" links this week that I'd like to pass along. (Then again sometimes I post things like this just for my own usability.) I found them simple, true, and some were very enlightening.

10 writing tips by Jennifer Weiner. This link came from Shauna Niequist's blog. And here are part 1 and part 2 of her tips.

Writing Rules by Mark Batterson. New author with a fresh voice and fresh spirit.

And here's "How to write a book" by Donald Miller.

The best book I've ever read on writing is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I got the tip about her book from a seminar I was in by Ken Gire. His suggestion of her book did not disappoint. It's fabulous, witty, insightful, practical, fun to read. The kind of book that makes you feel sad when you've finished it. (Ugly cover, great book.)

I need to finish mine. The working title is Tattoos and Dirty Laundry. I got some good ideas from the links above.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Jazz Great Passes

Louie Bellson
July 6, 1924 – February 14, 2009

Louie Bellson was one of the great jazz drummers or "Not only...the world's greatest drummer...the greatest musician" as Duke Ellington said.

He's famous for pioneering the double bass drum. He was also a vice president of the Remo Drum Co. He was married to jazz singer Pearl Bailey and they gave birth to Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. I think it's notable that Louie and Pearl had a mixed marriage long before it was considered acceptable.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Wondering...

*Why do we Christians tend to be all about praying for our president...until he's a democrat?

I just remember after G.W. Bush got into office--it seemed my email box was full of encouragement to pray for him, his team and our country.

These days I'm trying to be into what God wants me into...which is getting me outside my own little preferential world.

So again, I was just wondering*...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don Miller Blog Post

Derek Weed just turned me on to Donald Miller's latest post. It's very insightful on marketing, our own goofiness and the like. Really enjoyed it. It's probably not what you think.

Another great one, Don. ( we're on a first name basis)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inspiring Graffiti

I saw this out of the corner of my eye today as I was driving in Kokomo. I did a double take as I realized someone actually spray painted something profound on an ancient brick wall. So I drove home, went back & snapped a pic.

Do you know where this is?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Snow Climbing

I took this last week when I was hiking in Vail. OK...truth? Outside of Starbucks in the parking lot on US 31. Click on it to get the bigger version 1382x922. Then you can download to your desktop. Or not.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Faith -book review

The Faith what Christians believe, why they believe it, and why it matters. To my surprise I'm having a hard time putting this book down. The surprise is the author, Charles Colson. I've respected him and his incredible story, but I've been a bit put off with his radio show. (It's hit me as a bit too political or too dogmatic.)

But I'm learning that great speakers aren't always great authors and great authors aren't always great speakers. So although I haven't enjoyed his radio show or his presentations (seen him live twice) his book is another story.

His book is an interesting combination of personal story, cultural commentary and church creeds wrapped around painting a biblical worldview. In these times of churches trying to find what works today or tomorrow, he's trying to draw us to the core beliefs of our faith or "radical Christianity." He points out, "'Radical' is a good term; it means going back to the root." pg 29

I think the reason I'm so pulled in is that for the past year I've been impressed that so many problems Christians have are tied to an unbiblical view of the world, God, themselves or others. Our way of seeing the world has everything to do with how we'll choose to function and the expectations will have of God, the Church and others. Colson is trying to layout that biblical worldview in this book.

I'm only 74 pages in but I think this book would make for some great discussions and help a lot of us firm up our faith. It's a little heady at times, but not much. It's well written and compelling so far.

Book Money
Lately at the house we've finally employed a tip I heard from John Maxwell years ago: paying children to read books. Maxwell's father paid him to read books and he has done it with his own children. When people asked, "Why don't you pay your kids to take out the trash?" His dad would reply, "I don't want to train them to be trash men." ;-)

We told Meg & Slate we'll pay them $15 for reading a book and writing one page about it. We have to "OK" the book if they want to suggest one. We'll also make books available. The goal: show them that recreational reading/learning is good and good for you. Slate's working on Dungy's book and Meg's thinking about Blue Like Jazz.