Tuesday, November 9, 2010


(Check out my photography blog at rlemanphoto.blogspot.com)

I've been an avid "hobby" photographer for all of my adult life, and have made money here and there doing the occasional portrait shoot for engaged couples, brides to be, families, etc... but I've never really been too serious about it. Taking wedding pictures is nice and all, (shooting two weddings in the 4 weeks), but I've never really been super jazzed about it.

Taking landscape photos is fun, I especially like hiking into places that are a little too rugged for people who are afraid to get their feet wet/knees dirty (eg most namby pamby photographers I've run into, prudes) In fact once upon a time I stood waist deep in frigid ice water to get a shot of an ice bridge that had formed over a small stream. And another time I hiked 1/4 mile through waist deep snow to shoot some abandoned cabins/barns that were covered in fresh snow. Did I mention I was wearing jeans and tennis shoes both times? Not my most intelligent move, but I was happy with the end results.

I've taken a few product photos for work and friends, sometimes interesting, mostly lots of bending and stooping and cursing. I spent 4 hours last night building a light box the size of a refrigerator to take pictures of tubas and trumpets and the like. Lots of duct tape and foul language was involved.

I've discovered in the last year that what I really enjoy is event photography. When I was younger I went with my buddy squirrel to snowmobile hillclimb competitions, and ran the still camera while he ran the video. The camera sucked and my position was awful, but it was still a blast. Recently I've been taking pictures at a lot of music venues, and I am lovin' it. I've got a CD release party coming up in January, and am looking for more opportunities. As I've progressed as a photographer I came to the conclusion that trying to force a pose to get the "perfect shot" is frustrating and often fruitless, (speaking of pictures involving people, other types of photography are less applicable to this statement). What I really enjoy is the "hunt", sitting poised with my camera waiting for the perfect shot to come to me, and in music venues and other similar events this philosophy works exceptionally well. When your subjects aren't focusing on posing for you, but are just being themselves and rocking out to the music, there are seemingly endless excellent shots to be had, if you have the patience to wait. In today's world of super high-speed cameras it is too easy to just snap off hundreds of photos and hope some turn out well. But if you really take the time to compose your shots and wait for the right moment, an incredibly higher number of your pictures will turn out well. Now not to say I'm not guilty of blazing through my memory card at light speed at times, but I try to avoid it as often as I can. This not only gives you better overall pictures, but also avoids wasted space on your memory card, (not that memory is a huge issue these days).

One more difficult and often frustrating parts of event photograph is that you usually have no control over the layout of the area. While sometimes it's just a pain (those pop-up shades at the Halloween concert were the bane of my existence), it also makes for an interesting challenge, forces you to be more creative with your shots, and is very rewarding when you can use or work around the environment to get a great picture.

Here's a few pictures I've taken at some music gigs. Sorry for the waterfall effect, can't get them to stack side-by-side. In no particular order:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well, about time for an update. The last few months at work were the busiest time of year for us. For a little over a month I was working 55 hour work weeks, driving all over the phoenix area to rent instruments for school children at schools. I love the rush and fast paced work environment, but boy am I glad it's over.

Every rental season we hire 10-15 temps to help out at the rental counter. While we had a few shining stars (my baby sister included, of course). But, with love and respect, many of the temps were worthless as tits on a boar. I watched one stare in to space for literally five minutes, another showed up late almost daily, others would just form up into little groups and joke and flirt with each other while customers were waiting. On the bright side, we didn't have any doing drugs in the bathroom, that I am aware of anyway. In addition to the less than satisfactory performance of so many of the employees, there was a constant parade of petty, belligerent, and stupid customers. Spent half an hour on the phone with a lady who was yelling at me, calling me lazy and dishonest, because I wouldn't replace a violin case that her daughter had damaged. Another lady said she was going to report us to the better business bureau for unethical business practices, because we rented her an "economy" violin (Economy simply meant it was cosmetically rough, but played perfectly) and her snobby Scottsdale private teacher said it was worthless. I even offered to exchange the violin for a newer and nicer one for the same price and she just said, "nope, you guys are scam artists and I'm going to report you to the BBB". I may or may not have laughed at her a bit and told her to go right ahead. I'm amazed by the stupidity of people. Well I could rant for hours about all the crappy people we deal with at work (had to kick out a drunk guy after he got a little belligerent, it was awesome, I really really wished he would have thrown a punch at me so I could relieve some built up tension, oh well) so I'll leave it at that.

Been doing a little more here and there with photography, shot an engagement session a few weeks ago, shot a band gig a few weeks before. Haven't had as much time as I'd like, but now that I have more free time from work I'd like to try to spend some more time with it. I've never really taken the time to see the sights in the great state of Arizona, and now that it is starting to cool off, (I say this hesitantly, as last Sunday was a record high of 111 degrees, awful) I would like to do a little traveling and explore the state. I'm going to try to get up to Flagstaff, see the mountains and some old friends, go see Tombstone, go stay in the haunted Jerome Grand Hotel, go up to Show Lo and see grandpa Cooley's statue. Anyway, hopefully I get to get out of this urban sprawl and see the good parts of the state.

I recently invested in the Adobe Master Collection, which contains their professional design software for web, print, audio, and video based media. The photoshop program is intuitive and I really enjoy working with it, (I've gotta give props to the free photoshop program "Gimp" it does a good job for the price of $0.00, but there is a reason Adobe is the industry standard) however the other programs I'm not so familiar with and have been a little overwhelming. Fortunately, I was introduced to a website called lynda.com which provides video tutorials for any piece of software you can think of, taught by industry professionals. I've only gone through a few of the lessons, but they are awesome. After a few short lessons, the web development software made total sense, and was easy to navigate and customize to my needs. Anyone wanting to learn a particular piece of software, I would definitely recommend checking out lynda.com.

I added a few books to my antique collection recently. Nothing spectacular, but some interesting reads. I picked up a early 20th century copy of Ivanhoe, 3 late 19th century history books, on the subjects of the French Revolution, South London, and the Far East. I also picked up a 1920's handbook on 16th-19th century English and American furniture. I've always been fascinated by 19th century culture, literature, art, etc... Someday when I marry a sugar mama or my non-existent millionaire uncle dies and leaves me all of his money, I would love to purchase a Victorian area home in need of repair, fix it up, and fill it with period furniture and art. Someday I'll have nice 130 year old things. Speaking of, a local bookstore has a 1897 edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula, I want it soooo bad. If I could get my hands on that and a 19th century copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I would be happy as a pig in mud.

Well kids, that's about all I've got for now. Sorry if it was a dull read. Need to find something to get enthused about. I don't even get excited about video games anymore. Video games were always there for me when I needed them to cheer me up or relieve stress by destroying hordes of zombies. Now that they're boring, I don't know what to do! I might actually have to..... BE PRODUCTIVE!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Idaho Trip

My Brother Mike and I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks up in Idaho. I had a great time, got to visit old friends, see my old house, go camping, eat the best Chimichanga known to man, feed some chickens, hypnotize some chickens, play lots of Halo, etc...

The drive up was pretty uneventful, we did have to detour around a highway up north of Flagstaff due to some forest fires, but it gave us an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the Grand Canyon, which though I visited there as a child I have no recollection of.

When we got up to Idaho it was about 9:00 at night. The sun was still out, which was odd. When we got out of the car the outside temperature was probably in the neighborhood of 75 degrees and we were both shivering we were so cold. Can I just say what a wuss Arizona has turned me into. Last May we didn't want to get into the swimming pool because it was "too cold". We used to jump in canals coming off of the snake river that were so cold it was hard to breath and we loved it! What a softie I have become, ugh.

My friend's family was very generous and let us stay at their house while we were there. This family is like a second family to me, and I missed them dearly, so it was fun to be able to spend some quality time with them. They have recently acquired some chickens and built a pen and coop and what not. I've discovered that I love chickens. I went out there and fed them and played with them every chance I got. I totally want chickens now. And a dog. Boy do I want a dog. Anyone want to give me a dog?

I had the opportunity to go camping a few times. I absolutely love being in the outdoors, and I'm a total nerd/geek about wilderness survival and the like. My first camping trip gave me the opportunity to try out some gear and sweet skillz that until then I'd only read about on the internet. I got myself a nice big knife, and was splitting wood with it through a technique called batoning.

vid of me batoning

I also got to use my little titanium pot to cook myself a little stew. I brought some veggies from home, and was also able to gather a fair amount of wild onions from the hills by the camp. Quite the delicious little tidbit. I tried my hand at making a snare trap to see if I could catch some squirrel for my dinner, but while the snare worked perfectly, I didn't actually catch anything. It didn't come as a big surprise, but it was nice to know that I could build a functioning snare. Some other cool stuff I tried was starting a fire with my flint and steel. I know a nifty trick of starting fires with cotton balls soaked in vasoline. I've always been able to get a small fire going with this technique, and the flame you get from the cotton ball lasts for about two minutes, plenty of time to build a fire.

On the second camping trip I didn't do to much hardcore stuff, just enjoyed the evening after a fun swim at falls creek. (Side note, I jumped in the frigid water and redeemed my manhood!) Being out in the woods with a warm fire, and the bright stars shining above you is one of the most relaxing and joyful things I have ever done. It's probably what I miss the most about living out in a rural area. When I look up at the stars here, all I see is an endless stream of planes and helicopters passing by, and the noise of traffic drowning everything else out.

I also had the opportunity to spend some time with an awesome friend down in Provo. We ate good food, rocked out on the Ukulele, and had some good conversation time in the park. What a spiritual giant she is, if I was half as awesome as her I'd pat myself on the back for such an accomplishment. We are relatively new friends, and spent a lot of time asking questions about each other. One thing in particular she asked me, and how I answered, really kind of surprised me. She asked me what my biggest goals in life were. In my mind I quickly thought of scoring a sweet job, and making lots of money, and traveling to all the cool places on the planet. But I sat and thought for a second, and like a slap in the face three distinct thoughts popped into my head. Number one I want to be a father, I've wanted to have children for as long as I can remember. Number two, I want to be able to provide for my children everything they need to succeed both temporally and spiritually, which, I've decided is the only real reason that I should want a good job that pays well. And number three, I want to get re-married in the temple. I had never really given it much serious thought, but sitting there it hit me like a ton of bricks that those three things are all that really mattered to me in the long run. Everything else just pales in comparison. Now that's not to say that I don't still want some fun big boy toys and the other pleasures of life, but as long as I can accomplish those big three, no matter what else happens I will be a happy and blessed man.

It amazes me that such a simple conversation could be so life-changing for me, but my whole frame of mind about who I need to be and what I need to be doing is completely different than what it was a year or even a few months ago. I've spent the better part of my adult life just floating around, not really accomplishing anything, not taking anything as seriously as I should have been. But now, and this sounds so corny, but there is literally a burning desire in me to become a better person, and seek out the potential I know is in me, to accomplish the things that God wants me to accomplish, and be a benefit to myself, to my loved ones, to my friends and associates, and not just a drain on the world.

So there it is, I totally feel like a changed person, with real direction in life, and all thanks to a simple conversation with a sweet girl in Provo. Good Mormon girls rule!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Semi-Annual Blog

Well it's my day off and I'm so bored I don't even want to play video games, so I'll blog! The year so far has been way too short. They say the older you get the faster time goes, and it really hit me lately how true that is. These past few years have just seemed to blow by without my permission. I've always been a rather bossy individual so the fact that time seems to have changed pace without my express authorization really grinds my gears.

This has been a rather traumatic year medically speaking. About two years ago I was eating some chewy candy (Mike & Ike I think?) and whilst chewing the candy pulled out a filling I had in a molar, which I promptly bit down on, which cracked a large portion of my tooth off. Ouch. I didn't have insurance at the time being a poor quasi-homeless bum, so I just dealt with it and tried not to use that side of my mouth. Well back in February I went to the dentist for a checkup, and he noticed the tooth and commented that I should probably get a root canal. No problem I say, I have insurance now! Oh wait, what's that? Preventative only? $2000 dollars? Not only no I say, but.... no thanks. So I figure I've dealt with it for two years with no ill effect, I can wait a little while longer till I get some better insurance. Things were going fine and dandy until I woke up one morning and felt some swelling in my jaw.

Well this isn't good I think to myself, but I was late for work so I took some pain pills and tried to ignore it. By the time my shift was over it felt like someone had stuffed a small pebble in my jaw, and the pain was getting, well quite painful. So I went to the local urgent care and first thing that comes out of the Dr's mouth is, "woah, that's a big one!" Nice. The doctor works her voodoo magic and shoots me up with an antibiotic called Rocephin, gives me some Hydrocodone (huzzah!) and sends me on my way, telling me that if it's worse by tomorrow I should go to the emergency room. I go to bed that night and sleep wonderfully courtesy of Mr Hydrocodone, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning with a big smile on my face. Wait...what's this, I can't smile! Now it feels like someone has crammed a jumbo egg into my jaw. Oh ***@*@#! I run to the bathroom to have a look and:

Now being the cheapskate I am, I figure the drugs just haven't kicked in yet, I'll give it another day and then go to the doctor. So revisit my old friend Mr HC, and walk to the kitchen to get some grub, my brother Mike (a nurse) see's me and exlaims, "Holy crap dude, you need to go the emergency room!" Shoot. So he calls my mom and brother over so they can give me a blessing before I go. My mom (also a nurse) walks in and exlaims, "Woah! Rulon you need to get to the emergency room!" Great. So after my blessing Mike drives me over to the hospital. I'm met with lots of, "woah, that sucker's huge". The doctor comes in and asks if I went to urgent care, I say yep and they shot me up with Rocephin. "Rocephin?? What were they thinking? That was a waste!" He puts me on an IV with some heavy duty antibiotic juice then gives me a prescription for some additional voodoo goodness. The attending nurse told me if I had waited another day it could have traveled to my heart or brain and killed me. Awesome. So after a few days the infection went away, but the Doc told me it was only a temporary fix and I need to get the root canal done. Bummer. Without getting into too lengthy an description, got my root canal, it was actually quite pleasant, though seeing the x-ray of a bunch of long corkscrew things going through my tooth into my jaw was a little unnerving. Not quite done with the fix, just waiting to get my crown built then I'll get it put in in about three weeks. I'm really tired of my mouth being assaulted by medical people.

Speaking of Idaho, I'm coming up to visit in 4 days, woot! I'll probably write up a nice juicy blog full of mystery, intrigue, and big judd's mushroom burger, when I get back. Peace!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Obligatory Update

Well, first blog of the new year I suppose. It's been about 6 months since my last blog. My doctor tells me anymore posts than two a year is hazardous to my health, so I have to take it nice and slow. Or I'm lazy.

Well lets see, life's been a veritable plethora of the weird, the boring, the painful, and the moderately amusing. I'm still working at my old job at Milano Music. It has its ups and downs and drama just like any place but I love my job. I work with some awesome people, I get to go to work in a t-shirt and shorts every day, rock out on the ukulele when it's slow, meet the occasional moderately famous person (Steve Gadd, Cindy Blackman, I sort of met the guy and girl from the movie "Once" but I didn't see the movie till after the fact so I didn't get a chance to "ooh and ahh" about them. In fact the girl from the movie asked my little brother to help him with a guitar and he totally blew her off and told her to go ask some other guy. Oh the shame.) I get to deal with a lot of interesting people, I occasionally get yelled at and threatened with lawsuits, but I take it all in stride.

When I first worked at the store back in '04 and a customer would get upset with me I'd be all apologetic and try to work around the rules for them and go get my manager to deal with the problem. Nowadays I actually get a kick out of upset customers. During the rental season I was the supervisor for all the temp help we hired. When a customer would start complaining/yelling at one of the temps they'd pass the customer off on me. If there was a legitimate problem I'd do what I could to alleviate the situation and help the customer, (case in point, customer gets in an argument with one of the temps, I hear the commotion and walk over to ask if I can help, the customer looks at me and says, "I want your name, and I want your owners name, this is unacceptable!" after about 2 minutes it was, "oh let me get your name, I want to tell your boss what at good job you do here, thank you so much." gush gush etc etc, oh yeah, I rock). If a customer is just making a fuss because they're stupid and didn't read the contract or are just trying to sucker me out of a deal, I say to myself, "oh bring it on suckah!" and the real fun begins. It might just be that I'm a horrible person but I get a laugh out of grown adults trying to badger me/lie to me/ try to butter me up to get a measly little discount on something. Oh, also the highlight of my day is when parents are letting their children run amok in our store, banging on drums and keyboards and hitting $7000 cellos with $3000 violin bows (I shudder when I think of it), and I walk over and give the happy little children the old "stink eye" and shake my head at them. The poor little kids stop dead in their tracks with a horrified look on their face and run whimpering back to mommy. Ah what joy that brings to my heart. And when the parents get mad I say, "oh what was that? you want to pay for that $7000 dollar guitar your kid is abusing? no? I didn't think so." It's the simple things in life that bring real joy.

Hmm lets see gotta scrape the barrel for something worth writing about. Been doing some cool things with photography. Don't have as much time to work on it as I like, but slow and steady wins the race right? I put together a quick & dirty website just to get a gallery up and some basic info. I'm working on trying to spruce it up but it's slow going as I'm having to teach myself a few markup languages as I go.

I had the opportunity to fly up to Idaho last September to do some engagement photos for a few couples, plus do some family photos for some good friends while I was up there. It was a shorter trip than I would have liked, but I enjoyed getting back up to Idaho for a short visit to see friends. Wish I would have had more time to visit more people, but hopefully I'll be able to sneak up there sometime this year to visit.

I've been able to do a few shoots for family & friends down here. I really want to explore deeper into digital art, doing more than just regular photography, using it as a basis for more surreal art. I took a photo on the fly when I was up in Idaho of an old barn up in a barley field. Didn't think much of it, but I threw it up on a website and a bunch of people commented on how it looked like it was shot from the perspective of the girl in the painting "Christina's World"

It wasn't intentional of course, but it gave me a cool idea of doing a series of pieces trying to recreate the point of view of subjects in famous works of art. I dunno, it looks cool in my head.

Hmm lets see, I'm such a lame person I have nothing interesting to write about. I can't even think of any witty dry humor to share. I'm losing my touch in my advanced state of old age.

Hmm old age, oh! I'm going in to see an orthopedic surgeon in a few weeks. I've had a bulging disc in my lower back for the past couple of years. That coupled with other back problems I've had for the last 7 or so years, and I've decided that it's time to throw in the towel and get some medical help. As I understand it they'd be going in through my abdomen to cut out the bulging portion of my disc. Sounds painful, but I spoke with my doctor a few years ago that had this procedure, he said you go home the same day feeling like a million bucks. I'm sure it's going to be painful but I am tired of feeling like a cripple.

So, new year, new years resolutions. I normally think new years resolutions are on the side of lame sauce, but now that I look back on the last few years and what a waste of life I've been, (waste of life you say? but Rulon think of all the good you've done! I have? Well let's recap: steadily declining physical health, a divorce, mounting debts, can't decide what to do with my life, can't stick in school, dumped by a girl I really liked because I was divorced, in short, absolutely nothing worthwhile) I think it's time to get off the sidelines and be more proactive in not sucking at life. First and foremost, I need to get out of the, "I'm a cripple, I can't" frame of mind. It's a little harder than it used to be to get out and go hiking and camping and all that active stuff I used to do back up north, but I'm going to try my hardest to go hiking & biking, taking time to cook healthy food and stop eating out so much, stop wasting so much time on the computer & XBOX.

What's sort of sad/pathetic is that I actually really like to cook, and without patting myself on the back too much I'm actually a really good cook, but I'm so lazy and easy to please that I never take the time to cook for myself. When I have people to cook for I whip up all these awesome dishes (chicken alfredo pizza, bangers & mash, stuffed mushrooms, southwestern pork & black bean stew, quick & easy stir-fry etc etc) but when I'm just trying to feed myself, I'll just pop open a can of tuna fish & eat it straight from the can (lived on tuna & pancakes for two months, tuna casserole anyone?). I love cooking, it's such a stress reliever, great to just get my mind off things. If only I had someone to cook for, sigh...

Random thought, sporks are awesome, I'm working on a years supply.

So it's 12:30 in the morning. I've been trying hard to get to bed earlier, but living in this new house has added a new cause of sleepless nights. I'll be in bed drifting off to sleep, getting ready for an awesome dream, (I have the weirdest dreams as of late, I have this reoccurring dream of Darth Vader and I fighting polar bears in the desert. I just can't express how awesome it is, but I digress) when I hear what sounds to me like a young child crying outside in the yard. This obviously gave me some cause for concern, and as I was sitting up to check it out the soft crying sound turned to a bone chilling heart stopping blood curdling scream. Pretty soon horror turned to outrage when I realized it was some stupid feral cat in heat advertising her wares. If would have had a firearm handy there would have been some cat sauce plastered on the fence. As it was I tried to drown out the noise and go back to sleep, but my heart was still doing a death metal drum solo, so any chance of sleep that night was shot. I hoped that it wouldn't be a reoccurring thing, but I have suspicions that some tabby cat pimp has turned my back yard into the local feline red light district, and business is booming. At first it was once or twice a month, but now at least two or three times a week I'm startled from my peaceful slumber by the raucous lovemaking going on in my backyard. As if I didn't have a hard enough time sleeping, now there is freaky cat sex keeping me awake. I was never fond of the feline persuasion, but now I hate them with a passion. We really need to get a big dog. A really big dog. Like this dog.

With all the cats we have breeding in our neighborhood a pooch like that (I think I'll name him cuddles, or tiny, or BFD) will have a veritable smörgåsbord of "the other white meat".

Well kids, my back is going on the fritz and I'm having a hard time sitting up and typing. I'll try to write more often, when I have something really worth writing about. Sorry for the lame post.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

A few pictures from the campout and such.

sorry for the hugeness of the pics when you click on them, if you hold down the ctrl button then scroll your mouse wheel down it should shrink them
Random spider in my backyard.
roo jr
Mandatory mushroom picture

End of Summer Update

I guess it's not really the end of summer, but work's going to start getting really busy in a week or so, so play time is over :(

This has been a moderately fun moderately stressful summer. Things at work have been a little slow with school out, and due to my lowness on the totem pole at the time I got a mandatory 1 week vacation. I wasn't too worried, I have a hefty pile of bills but I was ahead on my payments and figured I could handle it and just pick up some extra hours next week. Plus that week Mr Bortamus was coming down to visit so I had the whole week of to play, bonus. More on that later. So anyway as the week was winding down I got an e-mail from work with my schedule for next week. I opened it up and I was only scheduled for one day. Yikes. Okay I was in the middle of a two week mandatory (unpaid) vacation. Now the little doubt gnomes were starting to creep in. Well long story short I'm just coming off the end of a three week long vacation. I applied at some other jobs down here but the job market sucks for schlubs like myself. I'm back working again and hopefully things will pick up fast, but I've been living by the good graces of my parents this month, gosh what awsome parents I have.

Work is starting to improve though, we hire a bunch of temps for the beginning of the school season and I'll more or less be supervising them while they're there. Yay for babysitting.

So ya, Brett flew down to visit at the end of July. We had a pretty fun time down here. On his first(second?) night here I took him out in the back yard scorpion hunting. We've just moved into a new house that has been vacant for a year, and we live in the middle of what used to be a huge citrus grove. So what does that spell? Scorpions! Yup good ol' Arizona is home to all sorts of creepy crawlies, and this new place has them in abundance. Well I handed Brett my flourescent flashlight, got the scorpion killing stick and we waged war on the little buggers. The common desert scorpion is slightly toxic, I've been stung three times, it's really painful followed by lots of numbness followed by lots of soreness, but they're rarely fatal. Luckily at night they usually aren't moving around too much, and God in his mercy made them glow brightly under a blacklight, so they're really easy to spot. So while Brett held the light I went about my dirty deed, and in about two hours we squashed around 40 of them. Hoorah! Unfortunately probably another twenty got away, but they'll get theirs in due time. It's like world war three in my back yard with these guys. Oh, and we caught two of them and named them roo and bort junior, cute little guys when they can't get at you, and it's fun watching them eat crickets!

Brett and I went camping up at the Rim above Payson. I hadn't been out of the city for 6 months so it was nice to get to some cooler climates. The area up there is gorgeous, it smelled lovely, and it rained on us for most of the trip, the I spent the night cold, wet, uncomfortable, and I loved every minute of it! After we had dinner, which was a fiasco of trying to keep the coals hot enough to cook the food while diving in my car every few minutes to keep out of the rain (for the record peach cobbler mixed with charcoal ashes and rainwater is not good), Brett took a nap in the tent so I decided to take a walk in the woods with my camera and shoot a few pictures. I didn't end up taking many as the rain picked back up and I wanted to keep my camera dry, but the woods looked amazing, maybe it comes from my farmboy upbringing but being alone out in the wilderness is always such a spiritual thing for me. When you're able to sit and just take in everything around you, the smell of the moist moss and leaves, the faint sound of the wind passing through the trees, the slight movements of the birds and squirrels and chimpunks doing their stuff, it just feels like all the trouble in the world just melts away. I always leave with such a feeling of peace and comfort after times like these.

Well Bort and I had a fun time camping, it was great having him down to visit for a week (plus he fixed the A/C in my car and it only cost 29 cents, woot!) I do so very much miss all my friends up North.

Well that's about all, I might have a part two to this in awhile, but I have to get up and go to work in 6 hours!