Presence of the Hammer

There are very few things that I really desire in this world when it comes to material possessions and/or experiences.

Sure, I like my gadgets and such. Not really what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about a desire so deep that when you belch, faint sounds of Livin’ Lovin’ Maid are actually audible.

One of those desires passed by last night. There really wasn’t any possible chance that I could have ever made it, but it’s nice to dream.

On December 10th, that band that many would rank as the greatest of all time reunited for the first time since Live Aid in 1985. Even then it was only Page and Plant.

Enough talk. Look at the shots and check out some of the video.

Setlist:
01. Good Times, Bad Times
02. Ramble On
03. Black Dog
04. In My Time Of Dying
05. For Your Life
06. Trampled Under Foot
07. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
08. No Quarter
09. Since I’ve Been Loving You
10. Dazed and Confused
11. Stairway To Heaven ← You knew that they had to do it.
12. The Song Remains the Same
13. Misty Mountain Hop
14. Kashmir

Encore:
15. Whole Lotta Love
16. Rock and Roll

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

Everybody Hurts Sometime

That was a tough one for the Buckeyes. But now it’s Michigan. I have to say, I’m a bit worried. After all, it’s in The Big House. At least Michigan lost this past week, too.

We win, there is a slight chance OSU plays for a National Championship.

The more likely scenario, OSU beats UM and heads to the Rose Bowl. I’ll take it!

On a completely different note, I like this song. It’s not my favorite, but I like it. Besides, it only takes about 15 seconds before the white-man overbite comes calling.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

A Seemingly Strange Request

Bamn! It’s just been kicked up three notches. No, not a spice-injected fried turkey or zesty meatballs, my life. Although, metaphors for the first two could probably be fashioned.

My lovely wife is pregnant and feeling it hardcore. Must have something to do with her pregnancy category, that of advanced maternal age so says the physicians general. Then there is the fact that today, July 27, 2007, is her last day of work. She starts a new job on Monday.

In addition, I’ve just returned from my 20-year class reunion. This is where I figured out that I’m finally too old to hang out with the boys for four days in a row. They’re too old also. It didn’t stop us; the after effects just tend to linger longer.

I saw on several accidents my 9-hour drive home. Being in a sentimental state of mind, I started thinking about all of the lives affected by such tragic events. Will those people live or die? Will they be brain damaged or have a full recovery? Do any of the accident victims have a pregnant wife?

Any of those accidents could have involved me. Who knows, really, if or when it might happen? It’s not something about which that I concern myself by thinking. However, the question that I pondered most was that of memory. Will the victims remember what happened?

I want to know, so I’m going on record right now with a request. Should something –anything- tragic happen that leaves me unconscious or unresponsive in a hospital, I want my friends and/or family to document everything. I want photos. I want video. I want interviews with family and friends during the process. I want tears and stories and laughs. I want physician progress reports to the family video taped. I want a video camera by my bed so that any visitor can pick it up at any time and document what’s happening.

If rehab is involved, shoot it. If I have convulsions, shoot it. If I’m drooling all over myself, shoot it. Interview my friends and family at my bedside, in the waiting room, or taking a smoke break. Do not ponder any questions of integrity or morality or scruples. If you have such discussions, shoot those too, but do not haggle over what seems right or wrong. It’s my life, and I give you unwavering and unquestionable permission to document any and all progress (or lack thereof) and/or state of being.

The only person who can request that you stop documenting is my wife; not my mother, my brother, or anyone else, and only if you, the shooter, believe it’s detrimental to her present well being. The next day, start shooting again.

Should I die, give all documentation to my brother, first, or my wife, second. My eldest child, at the appropriate age, should be given possession of the documentation to do with as she/he pleases. Should my wife want possession, all documentation can be given to her with a promise that she doesn’t destroy it.

Why? That’s easy. When I recover, I want to know what happened. I want to see what I looked like, sounded like, acted like. I want to use my experience to help others, if possible. Memories during such emotional states are simply unreliable. Videos and/or photos don’t have such issues.

Yes, I know, it seems like a morbid, slightly strange request. The funny thing is, I’m in a great mood. So many positive things are happing in my life that I can’t even begin to explain. However, I can’t seem to get these thoughts out of my head.

A good portion of my life revolves around documentation. It’s my gift. My documentations of the lives of others could easily tell a significant portion of my life story. So it only stands to reason that when I can’t document what could possibly be a major hitch in my stride, should it ever happen, I need my family and friends to do it for me. It would be the greatest of favors.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

A Grape -or- Just Shy of Buckeye Size

God is great. If that first sentence turns you off and causes you to stop reading, well, you’re going to miss it.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, those things that define greatness. My wife is one of them. Our rabbit hole seemed to once equate in scale to Sizemore’s abuse issues or the brilliance of the iPhone marketing team. It wasn’t much longer than a year ago.

Kids, too, are fantastic. Only a child can, without forethought, stick a streamer of toilet paper in her bottom and prance around the house proudly exclaiming her likeness to a pony.

Believe as you will, but without God there is no understanding of true forgiveness or sacrifice or grace. Without God, my wife and I would not have been able to forgive one another. Without forgiveness, our daughter would have grown up in a broken family, halving her auto amusements and purposeful attempts of levity between two homes. And without my wife and my daughter, my life would seem pointless.

So what’s the point? The point is the grace of the Lord and the riches that it brings. The point is the true meaning of love brought forth as a child teaches you to be a parent. The point is an understanding that family makes one whole. And the point is represented in the picture above. If you don’t get it, zoom out by clicking here.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

To Every Thing…

You’ve probably noticed that my blogging frequency has gone the way of cosign. What can I say? There are times that I have an opinion and… Wait, I always have an opinion on everything. It’s just the amount of time that I have to voice that opinion seems to continually shrink.

First up on the day, news so big that it can only be described as equal in scale to that of the distance between galaxies. However, you’re going to have to wait. I’m sorry.

Secondly, I think I’m obsessed. My high-school reunion is coming in the near future. I’ve put together a simple discussion board and blog so as to circumvent the evil classmates dot com. I’m also working on a secret project for the reunion that is taking a huge amount of time. Between scanning old high school documents, photos, and the like and then working on this other project, I’m investing something like 20 hours a week. I’ve been doing so for a few months.

The third thing on my list of mentionables is my buddy, MD. MD was the first person to show me how a Betacam works. He taught me all the basics of editing, composition, gathering proper sound and everything else involved in TV new gathering. MD and I became brothers during this process and I consider him one of my best friends. I’m happy to report that MD is finally, FINALLY, getting out of the news business. His last day is tomorrow. He and a fellow reporter are starting their own production company. And to that I say, ROCK ON!~ Check out his new business, TomorrowVision Media.

And the last thing on my list today is Paris Hilton. I just couldn’t pass it up. An insider at Camp Paris gave this quote yesterday to a national news source.

“The way this case was handled was a disaster,” the insider says. “Nobody goes to jail for DUI that long. It was all the lawyer’s fault and we’re looking into what recourse we have.”

Guess what? It wasn’t the lawyer’s fault that Paris went to jail. It wasn’t the lawyer’s fault that Paris went to jail for an “unusually long” period of time. And it wasn’t the lawyer’s DUI charge.

The video to the left is of MSNBC Anchor Mika Brzezinski and her response to her producer leading with a Paris Hilton story. Certainly a must see if you’ve ever been in TV news.

And my praises, rants, and musings cease for today.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

If I Had Possession

Seeing as how father’s day is but a few days away, I think that it’s time for me to make a list of those things that I want. I’m speaking neither about theology and/or faith nor those things that are simply impossible, such as Otis dressing less gay or GROB having trustworthy integrity. This list is made of nothing more than wanted material possessions with an midland or higher ooh-aah cool factor.

1) Google – Yes, that’s right. I want to own Google. The company has so many cool things that they simply give away. I like giving away cool stuff. The link will take you to Google Labs.

2) EzVision Video eyewear – Seems pretty darn cool to me.

3) iPhone – Have you seen the latest ads? The link is to one of them.

4) Mac Pro – I have one at work but I want one for home. It’s like the ultimate computer and can be upgraded for years to come.

5) A Wired Home – Imagine every electric object in your home integrated wirelessly, controlled by one remote and accessible/controllable via the Internet. You could check from your phone whether you left the iron on and then take the necessary steps at the press of a button, or have an email alert if a something strange is happening.

6) One Massive Hard Drive – This kinda goes hand-in-hand with the above. It would be used to store every photo, movie, song, document and the like. On a properly networked system, these items could be accessible via the Internet and/or a LAN. No more paper and no more CD/DVD!

7) Nikon D2X Camera with a Nikkor DX 10.5 mm Fisheye Lens – No real story here. I just like taking good photos with great equipment.

8) Sony HDR-FX7 HD Handycam – High Def prosumer video in a small package. Very cool!

9) Bose Lifestyle 48 Home Entertainment System – I can’t imagine better sound. However, I’d like to wait until they come up with a version that has a Blu-Ray DVD player.

10) Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES-335 – One of the greatest guitar players playing one of the greatest guitars. I want it.

So there ya go. This now ends my greedy materialist rant.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

Please Welcome The New Irish Bubba

Jack William Reilly. What? Are we in Camelot here? Am I kin (or close to kin) to the 2044 presidential candidate? How wicked cool is that. Or maybe, as Jay might hope, Jackie-boy could be an upcoming replacement for Mike Lowell. Who knows? Seeing as how the boy ain’t yet 24-hours old, maybe I should set my hopes on seeing him and his happily astounded parents home from the hospital safely.

There are very few words of wisdom, if any, which can prepare my buddy and his wife for the times to come. Inconsolable crying seemingly without reason isn’t logical and is very hard with which to cope. New babies cry a lot, too.

So to my friends I say a few things. These are not words of wisdom, but certainties.

Trying to describe the changes in your lives beginning right now is energy worthlessly spent.

  • Soon you will be peed on, and you’ll laugh.
  • Your decision to handle the present situation is the best…(uh, sans shaking).
  • Babies cry inconsolably at times because they have to expend their energy. It’s the only thing that they know how to do aside from eating and pooping.
  • When it comes to loving or holding your baby, too much is never an answer.
  • The complexity of growth and simplicity of a child will make you ponder your beliefs.
  • News stories about a child being harmed will illicit a new emotional meaning of rage and sorrow.
  • Your appreciation for your parents will drastically increase.
  • Your spouse’s business trip is no longer bachelor/bachelorette time.
  • The aroma of milk poop will become synonymous in your mind with being home.
  • Regardless of current size, you will need to go purchase a new hard drive for all of the digital photos and video.
  • Your protective instinct is very empowering
  • Having the grandparents baby sit, however often, isn’t taking advantage of them.
  • Scheduling a date night with your spouse, beginning right now, is unbelievable important.
  • You will soon understand the meaning of true, unconditional love.

An unexplainable space/time continuum force is about to enter your realm. The phenomenon is known in parental circles as T6O4O9M8U4C84H7S4H5I4T. It’s a force that acts very much like a black hole. It will find any randomly passing square inch of open space and suck it into an exponentially shrinking environment.

The paradox lies within what your eye sees and the actually math equaling the square footage of your home. It all looks and measure the same, but your living space continues to disappear day by day.

I’m currently working on my own equation to contradict this force but have yet to make substantial progress. So far I have SqFt>M=M+C2trashcan
M=T6O4O9M8U4C84H7S4H5I4T

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

Tag, I’m It

It’s a blog game where writers eTag one another. It is then responsible to write about certain aspects of It’s life that certain others may or may not know. It is also responsible for tagging several others. I doubt I’ll do that.

Now that I’m It, I’m going to write about me, not that I don’t really write about me every other time. My spin on the game is going to be a little bit different. Considering that life is significant, I’m going to dribble monumental moments that have certainly impacted my life. I’ll probably forget one or two, but I’ll get most of them. So hold on to your hats because here we go:

  • Born – Same year that man 1st walked on the moon; Woodstock; Hillary and Norgay made it to the top
  • Sometime between day one and year seven – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friend, Fluid
  • ’77ish-‘78ish – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friend, Popeye
  • ’77ish-‘78ish – Parents divorced
  • ’79 – Parents remarried
  • ’80 – Father died; Brother moved to college; Mom working full-time
  • ’81-‘82 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friends, Crad, Brew
  • ’82-’83 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friends, Cerra
  • ‘83 – Accepted God as my savior; became a member of the RUMC – I believed , but had an understanding of a teen. A point made obvious by several of the following.
  • ’84 – 1st use of adult beverages, and got caught – Cerra, RB, Popeye, Def Leppard
  • ’84 – Suzuki Shuttle, my moped
  • ’84 – 1st kiss-JS; First time I ever felt a girl’s boobie, Shannon (someone) from Doylestown
  • ’84 – High school freshman
  • ’84-‘85 – 1st smoke, both the brown leaf and the green leaf
  • ’85 – Got busted by RHS for smoking pot, suspended for one week
  • ’85 – First Concert, Motley Crue w/ Y&T opening
  • ’86 – Lost a status with the help of JS
  • ’86 – 10-0 football season, 1st long-range goal successfully accomplished as part of a team
  • ‘86 – My mother remarried, BF
  • ’87 – Graduated High School; Began College
  • ’87 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friends, TF, VW
  • ’88 – Worked at Stone Lab, an island in Lake Erie
  • ’88 – First long-term girlfriend – TB
  • ’88 – Obtained my first real job at the Faculty Club
  • ’89 – TB and I drove to the Grand Canyon, worked as wait staff at the Bright Angle Lodge for the summer
  • ’90 – ’91 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friend, LM
  • ’90 – Popeye starts college and we move in together
  • ’91 – Met for the first time my nephew – TW
  • ’91 – First Grateful Dead Show
  • ’92 – 1st true broken heart – TB
  • ’92 – Graduated from College (struggle!); moved to Gvl, S.C. and in with my brother, his wife, and his two kids; Met for the first time my niece – KW
  • ’92 – Obtained my first professional position at WYFF; Met and started dating Kimberly
  • ’92 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friend, MD
  • ’92 – Met for the first time my future wife, PH
  • ’93 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friend, JR
  • ’93 – Cousin, KW, killed in a car accident
  • ‘94 – Started dating my future wife
  • ‘95 – Started shooting TV News
  • ‘95 – Windows 95; first computer;
  • ’95 – Jerry Garcia dies
  • ‘95 – Met for the first time a person that would later help cause havoc in my life, EJS
  • ’96 – 1st award for photojournalism
  • ’96 – Moved in with PH
  • ’98 – Married PH; 1st time home owner
  • ’99 – 1st Emmy Award– Collaborative Effort
  • ’99 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friends, MB, BW
  • ’00 – 2nd Emmy Award – Best Photography
  • ’00 – Switched positions at WYFF from photojournalism to web-based journalism
  • ’00 – ’01 – Met for the first time soon-to-be life-long friends, TG, GD
  • ’01 – Entered the field of public relations, a local hospital
  • ’02 – My first digital camera
  • ’02 – Diagnosed with ADD & HD – drastically over medicated, extremely life-changing, opening of a new world
  • ’02 – My angle was born
  • ’02 – Joined Brookwood Church
  • ’03 – My first recognition of possibly being over medicated on adderall
  • ’03 – A year of firsts, mostly dealing with shame, embarrassment and GHS; fixed medication issues
  • 03 – Purchased my first personal video camera
  • ’03 – Beginning of a long journey to fix that which was broken in my life
  • ’04 – New Job – 1st PR agency job – resigned after four months
  • ‘05 – PW’s dad dies
  • ’05 – New job – Editor and Chief of Upfront Publishing, former publishers of three magazines, laid-off
  • ’05 – New Job – Public Relations Clemson University; began a quest for knowledge dealing with all things computer, digital, and communication; my 1st digital SLR
  • ’06 – Started my own personal website
  • ’06 – Joined a men’s small group at my church
  • ’06 – Gman dies, video
  • ’07 – Started Blogging
  • Today – Happy Birthday to Me

By the way, the photo above is the house in which I grew up, 147 Grandview Blvd.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

The Illusion of Growing Up…and a Big Tornado


The Graduate:
I am the very proud father of a graduate. Amongst a large mix of gleaming grandparents, crying pre Ks and frazzled but pleased parents, the Overbrook Baptist Church preschoolers took to the stage Thursday singing a mix of traditionals before teachers handed out graduate certificates.

I can’t believe that at the end of this summer my little girl will be going to big school. Right now she’s on-the-books for Mitchell Rd. Elementary.

I’m still hoping for Stone Academy. We’re 3rd on the list to get in. As a graduating present, Mom and Dad gave REW her own (Wal-Mart special) digital camera. Surprisingly, it works fairly well. She’s thrilled…as am I.

Visions or Illusions:
The things that I take for granted are amazing to me, and it’s take a child to make me understand.

The RER clan, REW and I made a quick trip to Greer Family Days last Saturday. Both Otis and I spent about $30 on $5 worth of food before spending another $7 to ride the jumpy things.

Who knew that God was about to go bowling after the first bouncing fiesta?

Our first refuge seemed great until we discovered the wind was blowing in our direction. The brick overhand didn’t help much. We then darted across to the shallow awning of the Greer Citizen.

This is where we stood for the next ½ hour making reference to Caddy Shack and joking about the citizenry of the town while rain torrents rotated to pesky drizzles and back again.

Otis the Younger learned to mimic the fearful sounds of REW after each major clap despite his daddy’s pleas to raise the arms in victory and then punch it home. Having a daughter, it’s always fun for me when a friend’s male child exhibits girly traits.

Digressing: Most adults would wash the day with a stroke of bad luck. The treat actually came after the rain. After nearly five years of reading in various books about them, REW saw a rainbow for the first time. I think it was probably The Younger’s first as well.

Judging from REW’s expressions, I would have to conclude that the prismatic colors are both visions and illusions…at the cost of $74.

On a Completely Different Note – Before and After:
Pictures are many words, but I’m going to give you a few words anyway. If you’ve been dead to the world for the last couple of weeks, you may not have heard.

A large tornado caused extensive damage in Greensburg, Kansas on May 4th. Okay, large is a bit of an understatement. Reports claim that the tornado was 1.5 miles wide. ONE POINT FIVE MILES WIDE!

Imagine a destructive whirling mass filled with cows and cars, light posts, two by fours and aunt Janet’s dentures rapidly advancing on your position.

I can only imagine that it sounded like a freight train traveling through my back yard.

However, I don’t have to imagine the destructive force. These before and after photos give me a pretty good mental image.

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.