Sunday, November 29, 2009

Balloon Aeriel Photography

Today, Randy and I blew up a ton of balloons, tied the video camera on, tethered them with fishing line and sent them up. We got some nice video and photos. What do you think?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Today is Thanksgiving Day and now that I am back at home safely from the roads I can take the time to think about what I have to be thankful for. I have a rather large family and sometimes they get loud but they are a good family. They all have their little oddities but all in all they are terrific and I love each and every one of them. I am very thankful to have such a family.

I am thankful for my friends and also for those people who come into your life for a short time, make some kind of impression on you that lasts forever and then they are gone. I have always wondered why you meet them or have some kind of encounter and they disappear from your life. Sometimes you notice they're not there anymore and sometimes you don't notice until later. But the lasting effect is still there.

I am thankful for being born in the United States of America, being an American and for being free. Nowhere else in the world is like home.

I am thankful for having a great husband. He and I are like M&Ms, cheese and crackers, bread and butter.

I have been fortunate to live this life. We may not have alot of money but we are rich.

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chris Fortenberry 1944-2009

Just a few days ago, someone I knew, suddenly died.
In the mid 1970's I was living in West Virginia and had two very young children. I can't remember all the circumstances but my Mom, sister and youngest brother had left West Virginia and moved to Macedonia, to my grandfathers house. Honestly, I can't remember why they left but they were in Mississippi. My sister, Duanne, had met a guy and I got to meet him at his house on Short Bay Street, that summer. His name was Chris Fortenberry. He was a character, funny and very entertaining and a kind of unbridled wildness and lust for life. The thing I remember the most about that meeting was how comfortable and easy it was to be around him. From that first day until the last time I saw him, Chris had a way of making you feel like you were the best of friends and that you'd known each other all your lives.
Duanne and Chris married and had two children: John Calvin and Christie. John died shortly after birth and Christie came later, I think in 1979. In Christie you see Chris. She has that same charisma that Chris had but more refined.
In the early or mid 1980s, Chris and Duanne divorced. The last time I saw Chris was around 1987. Christie was at my house and he came to pick her up. We chatted for a while. He was older, heavier.
Chris remarried later but it didn't last long and then several years ago he bought a house in Petal and I asked Christie about him from time to time.
Chris Fortenberrys passing was a surprise and I suppose has placed me in a weird state of mind. He is the first of my youth to die, if that makes sense .

We spend one brief moment in time here.
Our paths cross,
And in an instant,
Bob Dylan said,
May you build a ladder to the stars,
Forever young.

My mortality is catching up with me. "I looked around and saw old men with ponytails".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Balloons Over Sunrise

You know, I have done some crazy assed things in my life all in the name of entertainment. So this one gets added to the list.
As you know I am a photography buff so anything to do with it interests me. I have recently been exploring balloon and kite aeriel photography and on Saturday my balloons and video camera made their maiden voyage. Yes, we inflated 50 or so balloons with helium, tied them together, straped on the video camera and tethered it with fishing line and sent them aloft in our front yard. The neighbors really do think we are nuts now. Cars were slowing down to watch and there was nearly an accident out by the end of the driveway.

The wind made it alittle difficult and we were actually a bit afraid to let it go too far. We didn't want to lose the camera or get tangled in power lines.

We decided to go to Randys mothers field and fly. No power lines there so should have been better and higher. Michael got in the back of the truck with the balloons and we headed out. Heck, it's only 2 miles. But, on the way the top came loose and we lost 11 balloons. That was it for the day.

All in all it was very successful and we got some good video but we learned a few things along the way.

1. Helium is expensive.
2. Don't do it on a windy day.
3. Got to get a weather balloon.
4. Got to get a better rig to suspend the camera under the balloons.
5. Make sure the camera is shooting toward the horizon for better subject matter.
6. Don't tranport balloons in the back of a pick up truck.

I have ordered a large parafoil kite and it should be here in the next couple of days. Can't wait.