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Welcome to my world (Editted)

Me - Fragments (Side)
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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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 highwayCollapse )

Father's Day - Notes from the field

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.

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Abandoned Places - Decatur Wanderings

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..Collapse )

Notes and Motes - Well that was unexpected

Me - Fragments (Side)
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.
Me - Fragments (Side)
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.

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Me - Fragments (Side)
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.

Me - Fragments (Side)
Let's test out this "new" version of LJ. It might be worth staying for if so.

DSC04027FCHDa

Notes from the field

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.

Back from the Dead

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!

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Me - Fragments (Side)
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