Hello and welcome to my blog, "The Darkroom." If you skipped the "About Me" page, I'm a third generation photographer after my grandfather and my uncle, and I'm a stay-at-home dad and part-time photographer. This blog will encompass a little bit of everything.
A lot of my posts will run the gamut of tips and tricks, things I did over the past week, people I've learned from as well as whatever happens to be on my mind that particular week. While I will make the best attempt at keeping the blog pertaining to photography, every once in awhile I will post about things that are non-photography related. Anyway...I hope you enjoy.
It is Veteran's Day Weekend, since Veteran's Day was yesterday and I don't think there's anyone out there that would begrudge us taking the whole weekend...especially since the Marine Corps Birthday was Friday. As a Marine Corps Veteran these are days that are obviously near and dear to my heart. And as usual, I ended up working.
Don't get me wrong, I have no issue working on Veterans Day, I just find it infinitely amusing that my wife and son got off Friday for Veteran's Day and neither of whom have enlisted or are old enough to even do so...along with all the other kids in school who got off and are not yet old enough to even think about enlisting.
What made think to post today though is a post someone made on Facebook in one of the Veteran groups I belong to. The question was essentially, "When did it hit you that you were in boot camp."
Usually, when I think of physics I think of my buddies in High School, as I did again that day. There was a Physics Club that they belonged to that every year would go to the local amusement park (Darien Lake way back in the day for those that are familiar with Western New York) and they would drop pennies from the rollercoasters and do the math on how long they would take to hit the ground from the various high points.
The math I was learning was very similar, only instead of how long will a penny dropped from a 70' rollercoaster take to hit the ground, my math was how long will it take a bullet to travel 500 yards, and given the curve of the bullet how many clicks up do I need to adjust in order to hit my target. Keep in mind that there was no question about what was meant by "target." Sure we may have been getting ready to go to the rifle range at some point to shoot at paper targets, but those targets were painted to look like people. They were painted to look like people because that was the point. We were learning Physics to learn how to send a bullet 500 yards down range to kill a human being.
When you're 17, and all of your friends literally just started school that same day and you're in your class setting learning how to kill people, even though you signed up to be a cook (or 3381 - Food Service Specialist), it is indeed a very sobering wake up call. You have to remember that when they say, "Every Marine a rifleman" they mean it. Every Marine is trained how to shoot, and to kill, in boot camp. It doesn't matter what your Primary MOS is, if they need someone on the front line, and they look in your direction, you're going.
So yes being a Marine means a lot to me, even after 15 years of being out of the service. Even though I was, "just a cook," and even though I was fortunate enough to never have been in combat. I knew going in that I could be sent at any time and not come home.
So for everyone that signed up, and managed to come home I say, "Thank you for your service." for those that didn't come home, either completely, or mentally, or physically intact, again I say, "Thank you for your service, and thank you for your sacrifice."
This post is basically to let you all know that yes I am still alive. Things have been very hectic over the last year, and to put it mildly it’s been a roller coaster ride. There have been plenty of ups, and a few downs over the past year or so, and well, there’s a lot.
On the upswing my wife and I did move into our own house. Its funny how you never really realize how much stuff you have until it’s piled up in boxes in your living room. My son has started second grade, my wife is teaching a class that she loves (So far, it’s still early in the school year, but she’s been far less stressed than she normally is this point in the year), and I am back serving as Receptionist at the Carolina Renaissance Festival, which as you all know is a place that I love with all my heart.
On the down side, things have gotten very political for us over the past year, and while I try to avoid talk of politics and religion, it’s rather difficult in this day and age. As a veteran and a teacher we are very concerned about the our futures, and as a father, I see a LOT of hate in the world today, and I find myself trying to explain things to my son. Even today I woke up to a mass shooting in Las Vegas, and I am at a loss for words.
Where we moved we feel fairly safe. The neighbors are friendly, my son has made friends with a little boy across the street, and I go to bed feeling mostly secure. I still make sure all my doors are locked, but I don’t feel like I HAVE to sleep with a weapon within reach.
Right now I have a few irons in the fire and I’m hoping to work them into something spectacular, but that’s all I can really say about those for now.
Hey folks! Long time no see. I apologize for that as I sit here and realize that it's been almost a year to the day since I last posted anything. For those of you that kept up with me, despite the lack of update, believe me I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This one is going to be an update rather than photography based (just like old times, right?), but I feel it's important.
For those of you that follow me, you've probably noticed that I've been exceptionally quiet the last month or so. I really don't know if this is the proper forum for this or not, but I figure it's my website, and I just need to get it out there. Last month my family and I got into a car accident. We're all okay, but the car is totaled. As it is I'm waiting on the check from the insurance company to come in before I can get a new car. Couple that with the fact that I have not been steadily employed since November, and I've learned something about myself. In the past month I've barely left the house. I haven't had a car, and even on the weekends my wife has practically had to drag me out of the house. As it is I haven't even picked up my camera since the accident and it dawned on me.
I didn't think I was. I have been very depressed before and compared to that, I've just been kind of bummed, or at least that's what I thought, but all the warning signs are there. I have almost no interest in anything right now. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, I love spending time with them, but aside from that I've been sitting on the couch looking for a job and watching Netflix. I'm not scared to drive, although my wife will tell you that I'm still jumpy and paranoid, I just...don't want to go out. It's just really feeling like being kicked in the gut when you're already down. jobless for almost two months, and then the car getting totaled on top of it just...sucks.
With all that in mind, I'm debating shutting down the website. It's not that I don't love it, or sharing my art with everyone, I'm just...tired. Don't worry, I'm not suicidal or anything, but I do recognize the signs an symptoms, even if some are more subtle than others, and will be talking to my PCP about it in the very near future.
I don't mention all of this for pity. In fact I debated posting it at all, because I'm not normally one to just put it all out there, but like I said I just needed to get it off my chest.
In good news after 3 months of being unemployed I did get called up to do some sub work, and once my background check clears I should be starting next week after orientation. With any luck it'll be enough days during the week to help me get back on my feet.
Just sending out a quick message to all of you to wish you a happy new year. Here's hoping that 2015 will be even better than 2014. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and I look forward to hearing/seeing all of you in the year to come.
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