Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a Weekend!

This weekend was quite a weekend...

First I was privileged to be asked to work on the support team for a christian spiritual renewal program that was held at a summer camp in Tennessee. It was quite a weekend filled with getting closer to God and also nature.

Here is a picture of the lake...

As always, click on the pic to see the larger version.

I worked on the logistics side of the Emmaus Walk, which means I emptied trash cans, refilled toilet paper rolls and generally carried things from "here" to "there". It was a lot of fun and also hard work (especially loading all of the supplies after the walk was over!

On Saturday, I was let down by my Gators...

They looked sloppy, tired and generally terrible at times...after they lost 31-30, I was so bummed and Eric found me sitting here at my computer with my head down. I was trying my best to tell myself that "it's just a game" and "Gator football isn't what's important in life"...then Eric put his arm around me and said "It's ok Daddy, it's just a football team and even the very best football teams lose sometimes".

That was all I needed to hear...I know it's silly to get upset over a bunch of 18-21 year old kids playing a game, but it's tough when you are so mentally invested in team! Besides, I have been rooting for the Gators for alomst 20 years!

After the game, the boys and I went outside to "play tennis". Which is more like "see who can launch tennis balls the farthest over the fences!"

Here's a few pre-tennis pics...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Glamorous Life...

Thanks Abby for being my first "follower"! You rock! (and your kid's cute too!)

When I tell people I work for NASA, they instantly think I am an engineer. I thought I was going to be an engineer but little things like Calculus 1, Chemistry 1 and Physics 1 sort of got in the way...I am an engineer at heart, but I just don't have the brains!

I get the feeling that most people think that shooting video for NASA is all Shuttle launches, big gatherings of astronauts and huge paychecks! Well, after 10 years, I have YET to see a shuttle launch, I get to occasionally meet an astronaut and I do make a decent living.

Over the last few weeks I have been busy, just not really interesting enough to write about.

Here are a few crappy cell phone pics of some recent activity.

Here we see some roll control hardware for the Ares I-X.
I am not that tall...I was standing on a raised platform

This is an interiew shot in front of our green screen in our studio.

Pretty exciting, huh? Coming up next month I will have new adventures from at least 3 states I have never been to before! Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How About Those Gators!

My Gators are now 3-0 with a convincing 30-6 win over the Tennessee Volunteers.

I love football and I especially love Gator football. I am not just a fan, I am also an alumnus. As a sophomore in college, I cheered Emmitt Smith left, Emmitt Smith right and Emmitt Smith up the middle! As a Junior, Senior and 5th year Senior, I cheered the Steve Spurrier led Gators to a perfect 18-0 record at home.

I have been a Gator fan for more than half my life, and I know that I always will.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Almost time for Survivor: Gabon!

I may be in the minority, but I absolutely love the hit CBS show Survivor. I remember way back in 2000 when I heard about this new show called "Survivor" and they were looking for contestants to be dropped off on a deserted island. I thought to myself, "what is this world coming to, that they would think that this was a good idea for a TV show!" Shows you how much I know about programming a network.

I resisted watching the first season because I thought it would be dumb and who'd want to watch people suffer as they try to survive. About the middle of the first season, I was channel surfing and came across this show with stunning camera work and beautiful scenery. As a videographer, I could appreciate the amount of work that went into that episode...then I realized I was watching "Survivor"! I was hooked!

The drama is not manufactured like on some other "reality" shows and it is always interesting to see how people react when put into a pressure situation with little food and everyone wanting to vote you out.

This season is Survivor: Gabon, which is the 17th edition of Survivor. That, my friends, is a LOT of Survivor! It's stays so popular because no season is exactly the same, the producers always tweak the timing of events keep the survivors on their toes.

Not to mention that this is the first season shot on high definition, so the video should go from awesome to stunning!

I really enjoy listening to the Survivors Fans Podcast. It is a labor of love by two super hardcore survivor fans (who just happen to be married). They breakdown the show every Thursday after the episode airs and then they welcome listeners feedback for a Monday night show. All of the podcasts can be downloaded from their webpage or also on iTunes. Check them out!

Survivors ready...GO!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feeding the Homeless...

Today, the boys and I went to the local homeless shelter and helped serve lunch to 80 local homeless men. Before lunch, the boys cleaned the tables and helped to set out the cups for drinks. During lunch, they directed the men to sign in and after lunch they swept the floors. It was a first for all of us and I hope they boys learned something positive about helping others.

Here the boys are in their hairnets, aprons and giant rubber gloves...

Kevin learned to sweep with a big push broom...

Eric decided he wanted to try the food the men had eaten. The chicken salad had huge pieces of onion in it, so he had a bologna sandwich instead.

The 3 of us after we were done cleaning...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

State number 38 and more Utah fun...

Today I was able to convince my co-worker, Anthony that eating food in another state would be a lot of fun! So after work, we headed north to Idaho to sample some native cuisine. Potatoes? Nope...Mexican. All in all, southern Idaho looks A LOT like northern Utah, who knew?

We were here to shoot video at ATK of a system that uses x-rays to check solid rocket booster segments for the Space Shuttle and soon the Ares I. It consists of plates of unexposed film being brought into the booster segment on a conveyor belt. Above the booster is a massive x-ray emitter that shoots x-rays through the solid fuel...looking for voids or foreign objects. Thankfully, they turned the whole operation off while we were shooting video, otherwise I would have been toast, literally!

What you see in the picture below is the inert forward segment of the Ares I. The black ring is called the inhibitor plate and in the middle you can see the star pattern of the solid rocket fuel. The grey is the fuel, the black lines in the middle is empty space. I have followed this segment for the last 5 month, documenting it every step of the way.

After shooting yesterday, we were able to stop by the Golden Spike National Historic site. This is where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads were joined together with a Golden Spike on May 10th, marked the completion of the very first transcontinental railroad.

A replica golden spike...

An artists rendition of what it looked like...

Me, next to the replica locomotive "119"

The train was in motion!

Oh so close...the next to last spike! So close to greatness!

On the way back to our hotel, I spotted this field of wild sunflowers and took a couple of pics...

It's hard to look cool surrounded by wildflowers...

Well, that's it from Utah. Tomorrow we fly home to good old Alabama!

Have you been Rick-Rolled?

I found this funny graph at

Have you been Rick Rolled?

Anyway, what I really wanted to share with you all is this neat video of Muppet bloopers...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Utah, Part 3

Well, here I am again in Utah, my 3rd visit since I started this blog back in February. I have been told that this should be an easy shoot...we shall see...

When we travel on business, we always try to stay at a Marriott. Because of this, we have achieved a certain level of status with them and tend to get treated like big shots...

My case in point...

That's right, suckers! A personalized cookie at check-in!

I wonder how the other people live...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Last Swim of 2008?

Ahh, summer...where did you go! Seems like yesterday we were celebrating Memorial Day.

We went swimming over the weekend even though it might have been a little bit too cold...but you couldn't convince the boys of that fact. They LOVE the water and we go swimming as often as we can. Here are a few pics from what will probably be the last swim of 2008...

Click on the pics to see the bigger versions...

It's hard for me to believe this boy is 9!