I finally got the COVID-19 vaccine, just shy of a year from the first confirmed case here in Alabama.
Today is a very momentous day. I invested in a new camera and used it for the first time today. The last time I purchased a camera was 2010, so I’d say I’m overdue for an upgrade. My Nikon D7000 is so used that it is literally falling apart (I had to get the shutter refurbished a few years ago after it broke in the middle of a wedding, and those bad boys see about 300,000 releases before that typically happens!) Not the Nikon becomes my backup camera and I am making the leap to this new brand. For 30 years, I’ve shot almost exclusively Nikon due to owning a good bit of their glass (lenses). It’s a big deal to start over with a totally different manufacturer.
Making it even more special, this is my first full-frame and first mirrorless digital camera. Unless you are a professional photographer, they might not mean much, but essentially, I am using the full range of a camera’s sensitivity and pixels, which will result in far higher quality images. Mirrorless is lighter to carry around and quieter to operate.
The new camera, the Sony Alpha 7 II, was revolutionary when it was first released in 2014 as the world’s first back-illuminated 35 mm full-frame CMOS image sensor with 42.4 megapixels. For comparison sake, my Nikon has 16 megapixels!
- The Empire Strikes Back
- The Mandalorian
- Rogue One
- Revenge of the Sith
- A New Hope
- Attack of the Clones
- Return of the Jedi
- The Rise of Skywalker
- The Force Awakens
- The Clone Wars/Rebels
- The Last Jedi
- The Phantom Menace
Shall I expand? How about you?
I just wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas to all of my friends, family, subscribers and supporters.
Downtown Fort Payne is looking incredible right now, so I encourage you to drive through and look at the Christmas decorations.
Fort Payne takes on an amazing vibe every Christmas. We attract a lot of attention because of that song by Alabama called “Christmas in Dixie.”
The lyrics go…
“Christmas in Dixie, it’s snowin’ in the pines
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonightAnd from Fort Payne, Alabama
God bless why’all…We love ya…Happy New Year…Good night… Merry Christmas tonight!”
– Jeff Cook / Mark Herndon / Randy Owen / Teddy Gentry
Now’s the time to listen to holiday songs, watch Christmas movies (“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a requirement for me), play board games and relax.
I hope you all have a great day and make good choices to avoid spreading this COVID-19 virus around any more than it already is.
Due to the continuing public health emergency, our family opted out of doing the traditional dinner. It’s tough saying No to momma in times like these, but she understands that it is for her protection.
On a personal note, I felt a bit under the weather yesterday with a fever and headache. Just to be safe, I went to Encore Medical here in Fort Payne, just to make sure I did not catch the coronavirus.
I tested negative. I’ve become a regular there after having to test after people in my orbit got it. This was the first time I went due to me feeling crappy myself. I was diagnosed with an old-fashion garden variety sinus infection and given antibiotics.
Already feeling better. It was a bit of a scare, I won’t lie. I am so ready for this pandemic to ease up. I saw far too many people at the recent Fort Payne Christmas Parade out in public neither wearing masks or social distancing. We must do better!
Dude, I have gotten WAY off my Merry Christmas message, haven’t I? Forgive me. It’s been a traumatic year, but only 7 more days remaining.
I can’t say that 2020 has been ALL bad. I did get this amazing promotion at the newspaper, which I am doing my best to be successful at.
Speaking of the newspaper, indulge me for a second with a shameless plug…
There are so many reverberations of the AIDS epidemic during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Sure, the coronavirus is more easily contagious and spread through the air, unlike the sexually-transmitted HIV, but both empower opportunistic infections and other things ring so familiar between then and now…
Dark Days of Fear and Death
There was a time when getting infected with Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) was essentially a death sentence.
And not just death, but an unspeakably horrible demise, provoking intense fear and prejudice.
The AIDS epidemic emerged in the American landscape when I was a freshman off at college at Auburn University during a time when most young men revel in the pursuit of women.
What should have been a sexual heyday was instead an era of tremendous fear and social isolation for most Americans. My prospects for wild escapades went from few to none.
Much fear surrounded it because there was no cure and a limited amount of information to base prevention upon.
It’s been a while since my last blog post. Too long, actually. But I have a pretty good excuse. At the end of October, I became the publisher of The Times-Journal newspaper.
This was something that wasn’t really on my radar a couple of months ago. The opportunity emerged when my predecessor accepted a position with the City of Fort Payne as city treasurer. It all went down pretty quickly with the city council voting to hire her and she resigned that afternoon since it isn’t appropriate to be both a city employee and the head of the newspaper covering said city.
My old publisher encouraged me to go after the job. I wasn’t sure if I had what the job takes or if I even wanted that much responsibility. But in my heart, I knew I was meant for more than what I was doing. I wasn’t sure the owner would choose me, but I told him I was interested. I would be disappointed in myself if I did not at least take the initiative.
People were congratulating me before I’d even been offered the gig, which felt good to know I was deemed the obvious first, best choice to take over since I’d been there forever and know the community and the product. I hoped that my contributions as a reporter and photographer had helped to elevate the newspaper to a level where more people wished to subscribe.
I am deeply appreciative to Patrick Graham for this great opportunity. I do not intend to let him down now that I have been given this chance.
I did another photoshoot with Cassidy aka “Bai”, the beautiful daughter of my high school classmates Kenny and Nicole.
It’s been fair week here in Alabama.
I enjoyed watching the Fort Payne Fireworks celebration Thursday evening. Due to the need for social distancing, the city skipped the usual on-site entertainment, which I think was the right call considering how rapidly the coronavirus is spreading right now.
I went with my daughter and watched from the parking lot of the Wills Valley Recreation Center.
I did a new fashion photoshoot Tuesday with a new model, Bonnie W. It was loosely inspired by Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) who, along with Clyde Barrow, traveled the Central United States with a criminal gang during the Great Depression, known for bank robberies.
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