Category : Uncategorized

7 years, 6 months ago 0

A little bonus post for today, once again it was Richard Small that provided this wonderful
Youtube video, it’s well worth watching:

Enjoy your evening……

the pilgrim

7 years, 6 months ago 0

I had a very good devotional reading this morning from Dr. Charles Stanley’s Pathways To His

Philippians 4: 8
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
We all want peace in our lives. When you ponder your life, you come to realize that the very best moments have been those when you have been overcome with pure peace. Is there a way to have more peace in our lives? Yes, this scripture reading holds the key. The enemy wants to rob our peace and throw us into a prison of anxiety and fear, but we can “break out” with this sagely advice from Paul.
There are seven categories of kinds of thoughts that the enemy uses to rob us of our peace, they are; sinful, negative, erroneous, unrealistic, rebellious, obsessive, and enslaved thoughts. Any of these kinds of thoughts can soon drive peace away. So how do we combat this? At the first recognition of these kinds of thoughts, reach out to God in prayer and ask for His help in turning away from them. Dwelling on these thoughts can drive you deeper into despair, but thinking those thoughts that are; true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy will build a wall of spiritual protection around your mind and heart.
God wants you to have a life filled with joy and peace, it is not His will that you be enslaved. He sent His Son to free you from a world of sin. You must however take an active part in staying close to Him and avoiding the traps set by the Satan.

7 years, 6 months ago 0

1958 was a big year for Tuscaloosa. Not only was it the first year that Paul “Bear” Bryant starting coaching at Alabama, but it was the year that John “Big Daddy” Bishop opened his first Dreamland Café. Big Daddy was a brick mason for many years and he longed for another way to support his family. He had narrowed it down to opening either a mortuary or a restaurant and he got down on his knees and prayed for guidance. Legend has it that God told him in a dream that night to build a café on the land next to his home and Big Daddy made that dream a reality.

Thank you God for inspiring that decision! Yesterday I took the staff of the Birmingham News out to lunch, they suggested Dreamland Cafe. Wow, how I love this paper and town. Dreamland is one of the most legendary Bar-b-que joints in America, (the original restaurant is in Tuscaloosa).

Left to right,
Tamika, Linda,
Frank, Joe,
Beverly, my
empty seat,
and Walt.
The staff of the

This is the place to go for Ribs, Bar-b-que Pork, and Chicken, and the best sides and deserts in Alabama, especially the Banana Pudding. The problem with many Bar-b-que chains is none of the other restaurants use the same methods of cooking, no so at Dreamland as evidenced at the top.
These are the same brick ovens and open flames used to cook the ribs at the original location.

In the South food and
fellowship go hand in
hand. Lunch is a big event
in towns like Birmingham
where more important
business and relationship
building may take place
than in any office building.
Being in the newspaper
business has never been
tougher, especially for photo
staffs. Most of my major
papers in the South are only
about half the size they were
only a few years ago, some even less than half their former size.

It’s more important than ever that we work with our papers to help them get the most out of their
equipment. While this is definitely business, a lot of great relationships and friendships are made along the way. I’ve know Walt for many years and I’m very proud of the great staff he manages and the great work this paper does. Unlike a lot of papers that try to replicate the biggest major city papers, the Birmingham News has stayed true to it’s major readers and delivers local and regional news coverages as good as anyone. That kind of service to the reader has resulted in a loyal following, and that leads to a stable newspaper economy.

I also love the story
of this great Bar-b-
que place. God
really does care
about we do with
our lives. So when
“Big Daddy” Bishop
prayed for guidance
I think we can agree
that he was steered
in the right direc-
tion. I’m sure
glad he didn’t go
with the other
choice. I wouldn’t
have been near
as excited to visit the “Big Daddy” Mortuary!

One of the things I hear often from those that are not believers is that they would be more interested in being a Christian if they didn’t feel they would have to give up so much of what is fun in their lives. If you come here often and don’t think I’m having fun in this life you need to get your eye glass prescription checked……..

Today’s Prayer: Father, thank you for making life so filled with joy and laughter. I am thankful that you’re a God that loves to hear us laugh and see us smile. Amen

the pilgrim

*Photo Notes: All images with Nikon D3s at ISO 3200 and the 17-35 AFS f 2.8 lens.

7 years, 6 months ago 0

I had a long drive today, down to Birmingham, Alabama to visit with an old friend, Walt Stricklin, DOP (Director of Photography) of the Birmingham News. I’m looking forward to catching up. I have to admit that I spent a good part of the trip down reliving the events of the week in Nashville.

Maybe the best part of the video shoot was hanging out with three great friends, Mark Suban,
Bill Pekala, and Bill Frakes. Mark is a new friend, so we are still getting know each other, but I can say without any reservations that he is a class act and one of the best tech reps I’ve ever known.
I don’t think there is anything Mark won’t tackle and get really good at it too. I know that Mark is going to be a tremendous asset to Nikon over the coming years. Even more important to me is I know he is a real friend and someone whose company is always welcome out in the field.

Now to the two Bills. First my boss and my friend, Bill Pekala. Now before you start wondering if this is an exercise in buttering up the old boss, (can’t be, he’s younger than me), drop that thought
right now. Bill Pekala and I met each just a few years after we graduated from the University of Kentucky in the same class (68). Though we never ran into each other in college, we both joke that we were never in jail at the same time, when I did meet Bill he had just joined Nikon and was teaching the Nikon School. This would have been in the early 70’s. Bill and Fred Sisson, (now retired), were two of the people that inspired me to want to make photography my life’s passion. We became friends and our friendship grew over the years. Eight years ago when Bill offered me a job as a NPS Tech Rep, I jumped at the chance, with one stipulation, I told Bill that I wanted him to know that I would never try to trade on our friendship or take advantage of him. I told him I knew he would be my boss and he would get the respect he deserved in that role, but, I hoped we could remain friends. Both things have been true. Bill has been a great boss and continues to be a great friend. I still love to get out and do some shooting with him, even though his job does not allow him to shoot as much as he once did, when he does though, he still is gunslinger with DSLR.

Bill Frakes and I don’t go back that far, but then Bill Frakes a mere youngster compared to me. I have known Bill for a long time and I’ve enjoyed watching him grow from hot, young shooter to a mature, extremely talented legend in the sports world, and now in the video production field.
In spite of Bill’s extraordinary credentials, he has always treated me with the greatest of respect,
something us old guys really appreciate! Bill is one of Sports Illustrated’s top shooters and his list of awards and accomplishments is far longer than I could list here. Needless to say, he is a truly gifted visual artist and storyteller. Even more important to me is that I’ve come to realize what a good guy he is, and how tender hearted he is when it comes to the needs and troubles of others. You know that goes a long, long way in my book. Bill is the kind of photographer that makes you better, every time you get to spend time around him.

Getting to do the truly exciting things I get to do is truly a blessing, but the biggest blessing of all is getting to do it with men like these………..

the pilgrim

Today’s prayer of thanksgiving; Thank you, Father, I know I don’t deserve these kinds of blessings, but I’m so very thankful for your deep love, that causes you to place these people in my life. Father, please bless them, and protect them, and use them to your glory.