One Year Ago

It was  a beautiful Midwest evening.  Birds chirping, sun shining, and that perfect breeze that puts you right out.  I decided it would be a good time to lay down for a nap and collect my thoughts.  It had been a rough year for me and I was trying desperately to go out on my own to start my business.  I had also been working with St. John’s Regional Medical Center and the surrounding clinics supporting one of the largest software changes they had ever seen. In short, I was tired.  As soon as my head hit that pillow I was in Heaven.  It was to be the perfect early evening nap.

I was awakened by a small tapping on my door.  It was my father who told me we should be getting in the storm shelter.  Well, this was odd.  I don’t recall even a thought of rain. However, I followed him to the shelter to wait out the traditional midwestern spring welcome.  Having lived in Missouri all my life tornados were as common as hot dogs at a ball game and only slightly more dangerous.  So I took my time getting there.  I will say, I started to get a strange feeling the closer I got to the shelter.  My hair began to stand on end.  I felt as though I were in one of those horror movies where you can feel the evil coming over a town.  Suddenly, I wasn’t pokin’ around.

Looking out over our back pasture I could see the storm clouds moving in. I thought it was beautiful so I pulled out my phone to begin getting some video. In just a few moments I realized I was shooting something that would make things different after it rolled over my property.  It was truly scary. Not scary in a “I don’t want to confront this sort of way”, It was scary in an apocolyptic evil sort of way.  The cloud coming in filled the entire horizon with black.  There were magnificent explosions of green and white.  This is one time where ignorance truly was bliss, had I known those explosions were my town being leveled, I would have had an entirely different reaction. I knew now it was time to get in the shelter.

Inside the shelter the fear took over.  I had sat in this shelter many times before and laughed waiting out tornados and such.  This time wasn’t funny.  We could hear it approach.  As the storm passed over our property, it became angry.  I don’t know if it was angry that we were underground or if it just had a chip on its shoulder, but it was trying desperately to pull our shelter out of the ground.  The concrete box buried six feet under ground began to shake and wobble back and forth.  We were underground! How was this happening? For fourty five minutes I sat cramped in that tomb like shelter.

Photo: Joplin Firefighters Remember

Joplin firefighters stand at attention and observe a moment of silence on May 22nd, 2012 5:41 pm, 1 year after the deadly tornado destroyed 1/3rd of the town.

Cut to today.  This post is not at all about what happened a year ago.  It is about what is happening today.  It is about how May 22nd, 2011 was the beginning of the rest of my life.  One week later on May 30th I hopped on a plane to North Carolina to begin one of the best jobs I have had.  I was doing the same thing I was doing in Joplin, except, this time I had a little more experience under my belt.  I also found that I could use the stories of Joplin and the will to survive to help put doctors and nurses at ease. I am very proud of what I do for a living and how it is changing the face of healthcare for the world.

During this year I hae had the opportunity to polish my photography craft and move to a new level allowing me some opportunities I would never have had.  SSR Designs and Seventh Seal Records are taxing down the runway getting ready for take off.  Some things are about to change.  I am about to introduce a brand new product line.  I’m about to introduce several new websites.  I am even working with some folks that will make things a lot easier.  Things have just been falling into place this last year.

As I continue to move through the journey of this last year I take a lot of Joplin with me.  I notice a couple of things the last chance I got to go back to Joplin.  There is still a scar and a very open wound left by that day, however,

its healing.  You can see trees beginning to sprout.  The grass is adding some color to the rubble.  People are out working. Most importantly, people are rebuilding.  They are moving forward with their lives and refusing to let something so massive stand in their way.  That whole spirit of Joplin has been an inspiration to me as I am moving forward.  May 22nd 2011 was not the end…It was the beginning!

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Newtons Law of Motion

Fire Princess

Energy is all around us, it is built with every little thing we do.

An object at rest tends to stay at rest.  An object in motion tends to stay in motion.  During my entire time in highschool and college I always applied this law to physics, as it should be.  However, recently I have begun to take a look at this principle and apply it to all aspects of my life.  Energy is exciting! You can find it anywhere.  You can see it in its most obvious forms such as electricity, gasoline, the local power plant, and even in your common kitchen utensils.  When you look around and a little deeper though, you start to see it everywhere, in the standing hairs on your arm as you watch a storm roll in, in the eyes of a newborn baby seeing the world for the first time, in the voice of an instructor truly excited by their lesson, or even in the birds waking up at sunrise.  When I started looking around and realizing that energy is everywhere I started thinking that maybe we can find it in the most unexpected placs, and so, I began really thinking about Newton’s law.

We have all done it, sat on the couch after a hard days work thinking we would only rest for a few moments and then begin our chores at home.  How often do we get back up?  Many times we do not.  How often to we do something exciting like go to the amusement park and seem to have energy with us all day?  Even those of us who are getting up in age resort back to our inner child and go much farther and faster than we ever thought possible.  This led me to the conclusion that for those things that we really want we must pursue them with unending energy.  We aren’t born with that energy we create it.  Much like the brewing storm energy is built up with each passing breeze, each spark of electricity, and every falling rain drop.  When that storm comes to a head it releases its fury and we truly see the magnitude of the energy that was created.  In life we have to create that energy with our actions.

We have all wanted to achieve something.  We have all wanted to do something.  What keeps us from doing it? It is our lack of energy, the need for momentum. The hardest part is getting the ball rolling.  Once that ball starts it gets easier and easier to see things happen.  That ball starts by doing the little things.  Do something, anything, to start towards your dreams.  Something as simple as researching where to start can provide the energy and the inspiration to continue going.  Do anything but sit there and watch other people get what you want.  Do something to create your own energy!  What are you going to do today to create that energy?


Publicity Shoot = Epic Goodness

So while doing a photoshoot for a local pop singer, I had the best DIY moment ever and I thought I would share it with you.

This particular young lady had gone through a lot of trouble to make a silver sequined bra for this photo shoot.  Unbeknownst to her, if you use fabric glue on the stretchy part of a bra it is no longer stretchy.  So what she ended up with was a very shiny, very hot…shell.

Never fear, DIY Dan to the rescue.  So while everyone at the shoot was looking for bobby pins and tape, In true man fashion I was looking for duct tape and WD40.  You know that will fix anything. To continue, looking through my lighting bag I discovered a bunch of ball end bungee cords.  That’s right, bungee cords! So off I go to strap the unsuspecting pop diva into her wardrobe.

I tied one cord around one side of the bra, another cord around the other, hooked ’em in the middle, and voila we have a new shiny bra that fits perfectly.  I hope to be posting some pictures of this contraption very soon.

Until then…keep thinking outside the box.


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