Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Hostage

The Midland S.W.A.T. Team conducted hostage training scenarios at 505 E. Buttles St. on Tuesday afternoon. A My Size Barbie was used to play the roll of a young injured hostage.
"Nothing better happen to that Barbie," Sgt. Rodney Roten said. "It was all I could do to get my daughter to let me take it to work."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life's Awesome Moments

If only I could think of something witty to say. If there was only a cheesy joke to make... hum. I will have to get back to you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Steaksauce, yo!

I need to get a pdf of A-3 as well. Ryan did a really nice layout with four more photos there.
This was my first five picture photo package and self-wrote story that I have had published. Whoot Whoot! Here is the story (sorta similar to my original post) I would love suggestions!

The clock was ticking. Two more places to go. The chaotic thudding of running feet on wooden planks and the sound of teenagers laughing, echoed over the Tittabawassee and Chippewa rivers on Sunday night. The scattered clouds let enough moonlight through to highlight the hill from the Tridge to the “Family” statue. A group of twenty teens with strips of purple fabric tied around their foreheads, calves, or wrists had only a little further to go before they could stop running, set down the wornout blue couch, snap a group photo, pick up the couch and run back across the Tridge. Time was almost up. They had to hurry.
Couch Wars started at Living Word Church four years ago.
“A youth group from Cincinnati, Ohio used to come up and run our youth group once a month and do different activities,” Nate Senor, 23, a coordinator for this year’s Couch Wars said. “Couch Wars is just the begining of some of the various activities we do.”
This year, the Living Word Church youth group was divided into two teams; the orange team and the purple team. Each team was given a list of 16 places around Midland County to take their couch, snap group photos, and return to the church before 8:45 p.m. Ground rules were laid out before the race began. Points were deducted for every location that was missed, points were awarded for inviting strangers, or “guests” into the photos, and most importantly, if you were late you were disqualified.
Ashlie Carroll, 16, of Midland, is a second year Couch Wars vetern.
“There were a lot of different locations this year,” Carroll said. “Last year we would bring couches inside of Meijer and other places, but this year a lot more locations were outside. Any where we bring in a couch people think we’re insane, but people get a kick out of it.”
Once back at Living Word, the teams gathered inside for pizza, music, stories, laughs and photo sharing. During the slideshow, Senor, checked each team’s locations and how many guests appeared in the photos. The orange team had missed two locations and had a total of 13 guests. The purple team missed only one loaction, had a total of 22 guests, but as the rules had stated, if you were late, you were disqualified. Senor, a leader on the purple team had to admit and announce that the orange team was the deserving winners of this year’s Couch Wars.
Phillip Royster, 16, of Midland was a Couch Wars rookie. “It is one of those big things that unify the group,” Royster said. “It helps create a family atmosphere in our youth group.”

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finding Jesus on the Police Scanner

I came into the office tonight to tone some photos. The casual chatter here and there on the police scanner was drowned out my lack of attention for it. The normal "flipping the bird," tone counts and other nonsense that usually comes across has worn down my ears. But this once, something caught my ear. A bunch of kids were reported carrying around a couch by the Tridge and were just up to mischief. I immediately perked up, ran out of the office, grabbed my camera and ran to the Tridge. Kids carrying around a couch? This was my kind of crowd. I got to the Tridge and there was no couch in sight. There was only a couple on their first year anniversary date, some boys fishing, and a reflection of the moon in the leafy rivers. I started walking back to the office, when the cop cars showed up. The two cars pulled up next to the teens smoking cigarettes and parked around the Farmer's Market. Still, no couch in sight.
Almost back to the office I hear the laughter of girls. I look up to find the outline of a white dress accompanied by an outline of a hot pink wig, running down McDonald Street. I take a few frames as the girls cross the street. They were followed by a group of about eight more people, I ask them what the occasion was. They replied it was the Bride of Frankenstein's 20th birthday. I told them they were a crowd I needed to join. They smiled and agreed. I followed the pink wig, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Native American, the Tourist, the Renaissance maiden and others back onto the Tridge. They were pointing out the imaginary face reflection left by the moon and clouds.
That is when I heard it. The laughter. The rhythmic thudding of feet running on wood planks. I look up. And there it is, a blue couch coming right for me, accompanied by a herd of laughing teens. The teens all wearing a strip of purple fabric, either around their heads, their hands, their calves or wherever they could creatively find a spot. I run towards the couch... the couch isn't stopping... I start running back, firing my camera along the way.
Running, talking, running, talking, the flash of someone else's camera. Laughing, running, talking. I had stumbled on the third annual Couch Wars! Two teams (purple and orange) had a list of locations they had to shoot a group photo with their couch. I had found the purple team's last place before they returned to church to regroup and discuss who won. I jumped in my car and followed them there. The purple team had only missed one location and had 22 guests in their total photos. The orange team missed two locations and only had 13 guests. But as the rules were stated, if you were late you automatically lost. The cops had directed the kids at the Farmer's Market to stop the mischievous couch carriers, should they show up again. A line of 15 or so boys blocked the road. The purple team was forced to drive through the grass. They were late, and therefore the losers of this years Couch Wars.
Music, pizza, laughs, stories and fellowship followed. It has been probably ten years since I have been in a youth group. I forgot great times such as "What does the cow say to the farmer?," Beatty's terrible taste in music, hackey sacks, "I know everyone here buuuuuuttttt, you!," Centrifuge, the Louisville mission trip, the list goes on and on. It was the funnest night I have had in a long time. You just never know what kind of oddities you will find comeing across the police scanners at night.

Holding Out

Before I had even put my foot on Midland soil I heard about the "Tridge." It is a three sided bridge that is built over the Tittabawassee and Chippewa rivers and is a stone throw away from the office. I have been in Midland for seven weeks and was holding out for a beautiful day and good company to finally go to the Tridge. A call on the police scanner pulled at my curiousity and I finally went over there. Before I found what I was originally searching for (that story next post) I found a couple on their one year anniversary, a 20 year-old birthday party, and a beautiful sky that couldn't be beat. My first time on the Tridge couldn't have been any more amazing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Some friends from the weekend.
Note: that blur on the log is a beaver. I have never seen a beaver in its "natural habitat" before.
Added Note: By the looks of it, I wouldn't suggest swimming in the Ohio River.

Girls Room

During my lighting class my sophomore year (five years ago), one of my assignments was portrait of an artist. I met Kelly who was a graphic design major and shot her for the project. It was the start of our friendship.
This past weekend I was one of her bridesmaids. Here are a few behind the scenes pics before she walked down the aisle and became Mrs. Kelly Malin.

Seat C-6

I managed to get seat C-6 for 3 of the 4 flights that I took this weekend. One shot was taken from seat F-19. There is something about traveling that I really love. Its not only the places I travel, but simply the act of traveling. I just love the anticipation of arriving and the temporary closure of leaving. Traveling is the moment it takes you to flip the page of the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next.