Monday, December 28, 2009

Becka Aims

Becka aims, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Beka Bradford of the US Speed Skating Team takes aim at the finish line just over 40 meters a head as she rounds out the last turn of the 500 meter race. In the stands her fans wearing purple beanies cheered her on.

This past weekend and tomorrow with the following day the US Speed Skating Team are competing against each other at the Olympic Oval in Kearns UT ( The team has a few more competitions before the Olympics. There schedule and team info is at USSpeedSkating(dot)org If you're around come on out to the Oval and cheer them all on.

Every time I see the races I watch these fine athletes push themselves beyond their best. Many times I witness new personal best times on the ice.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Clone My Self

ICLoneMySelf_PnS_3082, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I went back to Temple Square with a personal assignment. After the previous evening's goals being more to socialize and to have fun I knew I couldn't let the warm evenings pass me by without a challenge.

I tend to shoot a little different when I challenge myself with the gear. Having unlimited gear is great but, it's like being hungry in the grocery store, so many choices and no focus. I've actually walked out of the grocery store hungrier then when I went in for a cheap bite to eat. So by limiting my gear I force myself into making decisions. For instance putting on the 50mm lens makes one make critical decisions about composition to get certain elements into the frame. Other times it could be limiting to one aperture stop say f/8 or f/1.8. These two apertures present different focusing challenges with the depth of field aspects.

This challenge, I joked with other photographers is about the point and shoots. Yeah, today's point and shoots even my PS A-590 is far more advanced then my PS S-20. So what? I want to generalize that so many times we who shoot with Digital SLRs forget about thinking about our images. Our dSLRs are so advance they can almost see in the dark. I wouldn't be surprised if one image shows up in the Photo Walking Group with stars behind the Temple and everything in close enough to perfect exposure. The dSLRs are getting close to being that sensitive and advanced.

So the challenge I took upon myself forced me to think differently. The point and shoots, even as advanced as they are getting, do have limitations. The sensors are about finger nail in size. The optics tend to be about the size of a small marble. The max aperture is about the size of a pencil. This all translates to limited light gathering capabilities. Light for photographers is graphite to a pencil artist. light or the lack of it is everything.

I took my Canon Power Shot A-590 out with a bean bag. Next time I'll use the mini-tripod I picked up for backpacking. The bean bag proved to be just a bit tricky to get settled in for a steady shot. The tripod once set all it needs to be for those slick surfaces, like icy bin tops, is held at the base.

This shot is from one of those icy bin top shots. I'd like to know how this young lady managed to be in my frame in nearly the same position during this long exposure. May be it's luck of the draw, either way it works for me.

I posted 17 images from Dec 18. Some are creative blurs, some are static images. If you shoot point and shoots don't think you are limited just remember you are alternatively creative. My previous night turned up a few more then say, 6 that work.

A bit o my history, I maxed out my S-20, then it died. I got into digital SLRs shortly after because of how useful and ultimately more powerful the dSLRs are. Through a variety of circumstances, aka I didn't want to tote the D beast everywhere, I returned to the cheap point and shoots. With the PnS I am not afraid of it being bounced around, broken or even stolen. Because I am more likely to have it with me I find myself using it more. More shooting should mean more improvements, so far my answer is yes.


Friday, December 18, 2009

PhotoWalking Temple Square

PhotoWalk_TmpSqr09p2378, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Photo Walking Utah meet at the downtown library for a brief mini clinic on night exposures at 6:30. Our host, Rich Legg of, took a few minutes to explain how to capture night pictures and cover some of the common problems associated with night time photography.

As the clinic adjourned we descended upon the 7:45 TRAX train to Temple Square. The Temple Square secret service were forewarned about the army of photographers that make a photographic assault on their facilities.

Harley, one of the organizers, while at the library lost count after 130 in the meeting room, max capacity of 85. At the Square I met up with a few who did not get to the library thus adding to our numbers. About 10pm I caught up with Harley. I asked how many were still around. His guess about half or more. In years past he recalled the weather was so cold they lasted about 15 minutes the hardiest about half an hour. I was thankful for the warm night.

What makes Photo Walking so inspiring is a gaggle of photographers can be at the same spot, aiming at the same subject, and capture totally different images. Check out the photostream of the photowalkingutah group ( to see what I mean.

I will say for me I went down not to learn, not to capture 'the image,' not to get creative or tout expertise, I went in mind to socialize, to check out what others were looking at, and to have a laugh.

Laughing is good. The observation of people is a unique study to itself. At an event or venue like this people are well, funny. For instance place, a tripod, a camera, someone standing behind it then watch. People will walk around, duck, cover their faces, goof, be aloof, tense up, or relax. They'll do this whether they know the image is in process or not. Some people may even stop to ask if you're a pro even if the camera is a point and shoot.

Two tips if you're just there.
If you don't want to be in the picture at a venue like this, keep moving. Chances are the photog' is taking a long exposure and if you stop for more then 5 or so seconds then you might be in the picture, anything longer you might be semi recognizable as having been there. If you are trying to be in the picture, bring a flash light and light paint yourself.

I may not have had the inspiration to shoot 'the image.' I may not have been there to take a high quality image as many are now surfacing from last night. I did though have fun with the light. Long exposures do lead to some unique light trails and motion blurs.

I do encourage everyone of every skill level to get involved with your local Photo Walking Group ( or google photo walking). They're great for networking, learning, and in general just having fun.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chaos of photos and back ups

sunrise_tweaked, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

When one is new to a new stuff one pays no attention to how the stuff set. Eventually one takes a look back at how this stuff was set and ponders how'd this activity become such a mess.

Since the dawn of time when humans began to collect stuff
these stuffs were just set around stacks upon stacks be it a stack of rocks to a stack of wood. Archeologist find rubbish bins full of stuff but what if that was the 'good stuff'?

Anyone can pick up any kind of 'zine or read a web page of any kind and recognize some form of chaos control article. One can also see that through the medium that there is a form to keep things in order. This website for example has places for pictures, another for friends/watchers, and one for writings like this or feature news. Order to keep chaos under control. The typical chaos control article lays out that one is a mess and by compartmentalizing the stuff one becomes sorted. Sorted stuff who came up with the concept? My wife? Certainly not! I'm not married.

When I began taking pictures the order was prints and negatives in an envelope with a date and possibly a location if the location wasn't obvious like, camping in the mountains. Well now I've lived and visited close to 75 different mountain ranges I forgot which campsite is at which mountain. So I must rely on the hopes I took a picture of someone, deduct their age from the photo using face recognition/style recall and hope I get the age correct and place it in an approximate year time frame, give or take a month or region or so.

One of my most perplexing images which sees a lot of light is found on; page down a little on the left, one sees an image of rope, a life boat, and a sunrise or sun set. Scanned so long ago that it made the files of Mercy Ships tagged location Caribbean Mercy, port unknown, photographer unknown. Well the location would be known if I could locate that stack of prints. I really want to find the original negative for I see that image needs the TLC of a much better scan. It's one of those images that speaks volumes about foreground framing, timing, and depth of field. It also highlights one of the most common objects of life on board the m/v Caribbean Mercy - lifeboat drills and outreach locations. Even in the chaos of my files I found this image floating around on my hard drive.

On many an article on artistry sites from deviantArt to ArtistBistro pick on work flow. Work Flow? Yes, that which one participates in while participating in the process of creativity. Basically work flow is the process of staying organized while in the midst of creative chaos production. The sooner one works up a work flow that works well for them the less chaos will follow. Getting into the habit of organization could be an act of god as defined by the insurance companies.

An example of this chaos are my back ups. Spread out over 10 years of computing originally with Windows 2.x. Yes, before "7" long ago even before WinDos 3.14 was actually Win 1 but, I used Win 2.x on a xx86 laptop, there were such devices back then that had less power then microwave oven's memory. I've up dated my back ups from 5 1/4 floppies to 3 1/2's and eventually to CD's. If one ponders why CD's/DVD's are just under 5 inches look no further then the fact we already had cases for things of that size. Now CD's are in danger of becoming obsolete so I'm transferring everything to DVD's. Which with high hopes will not become legacy ware within the next year or 3. In the process of gathering I've transferred to external hard drives. Hard drive back ups are also called live back ups because one can pull a file, modify it, and put it back. All these mediums have their faults and the biggest comes from the in putter, me.

Chaos was my toy box growing up, next it moved to the garage, and finally took up residency on every electronic device I own or came into contact with. Today, with the ages of years passing it's time to tame the back up beast and get organizing.

One key element in wanting to get organized is so that when I come across a corrupt file I can deduct whether it is something of great value and in need of rescue or of little value and I can let it pass. The other reason I want to tame the beast is so that I don't have so many multiple copies of an image I can't decide which is better. For a good example of that see my flickr stream. My flickr up loader 2 years ago kept cutting out on me & didn't let me see what was uploaded, so I kept uploading the same batch of images. Image recovery is also a bit easier when one is looking for just one image and not a dozen of the same. All though having a dozen of the same and a good set of photoshop skills one can recreate an image if enough of the pieces are recovered.

So the process will be thus, 5 gigs at a time over the next month. This should get me back about 3 years then the files get smaller and easier to sort. I'll have to rename in batches, add tags, and summaries. I may even have to label some unknown for researching later.

If one's read this far so far a quick tip. Set up a standard of organizing even before starting down the creative process. May your standard include how to rename the files in such away duplicates don't happen very often and that the name is key to the date and style of event.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

my picture of her picture

my picture of her picture, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I love doing stuff like this. It pays to be shootin' with two eyes open, one eye to roam, one eye in the view finder.

One of my most fav'd pictures is of Obama on his campaign tour stop in Kimbal Junction (PC) UT. The image is of him in a cell phone camera. I also caught him in my frame. This image I couldn't quite do the same as the lens I had on the Nikon was a 70-300mm.

I hit the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating event at the Kearn's Oly Oval. Many personal best times were set and a few world records were broken over the last 3 days. This event is one of the last events these fine athletes have before the Vancouver Olympics. The results help them define where they need to improve and what they need to strengthen in the final weeks.

My focus at this event was more on the fans, hence why I chose this image to blog. I looked for the interesting sudo portraits to the characters. I also took a look at the training the athletes were in process of.

When it came to creative shots I pondered the zoom pop. I'll blog one of those images in the next few days.

With the intention of supporting the locally owned and operated coffee shop I darted through the house to grab the laptop and left the camera bag at home with the 10 gigs of full SD cards from today. I'll work on those images later.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Presentation Card

I just finished processing the hardest images I've ever under taken. I wrote a blog in October concerning Patrick Dwire. The final set of images are now en route to his family.
If you knew Patrick, I plead with you to write down a story, a clip, something about what you and Patrick did or how you want to remember him. Then give what you write to his family.
Having lost my sister over 8 years ago I am still touched by stories that are shared with me when I meet one of her old friends.
Please share your story. It greatly helps the family know the lost be loved.

Monday, December 07, 2009

In my mind of Cube

I'm taking a fast detour to write an article about the Rubix Cube. The cube is something I flip around while I'm reading or looking at different topics.

Rubix Cube Info

This article is for me to consolidate what I know about the Rubik Cube, in particular towards solution theories along with a few tangents. I've found there are two major theories in solving cubes (without disassemble), the layer and the block. In reality, as I look for other ways to improve my timing, I continue to look for other routes of speed. Currently my time averages 110 second with 2 errors in the solution. This may not sound like much but, my time without errors is about 90 seconds, almost without thought. When my time comes to speed cubing, I'm slow. So why do I want to be faster? It's not so much about being faster but, about learning. I am one who seeks to learn new things about things I already know. The cube is one of those things I had as a kid and solved by disassembly. A while ago work slowed down enough for conversations so one of my coworkers began showing another how to solve it. This slow period began my current interest in the cube. I challenged myself not only to learn it but to teach others as well. Initially, I began solving per included instructions which is a simplified layer method. I've gone on to learn the 4x Revenge and 5x Professor. I am struggling with the 2x Pocket Cube. Once the basics are learned with the 3x, finding solutions to the big cubes will not be much of a problem.

If you're here because you want cube info please head to the Rubix Wiki. I am not an expert, just a coffee shop solver. No worries, I don't drive n solve.

Of the major methods is the Patrus Method, often referred to as the Block Method, is toted as the fastest solution method according to Wiki. The easiest way to learn this method is to sit in front of the computer with a cube. I have yet to find printable or mobile pages. I do understand that with this method once the basics are learned and one sees a head that this is the quickest method. I have studied it but, have yet to figure it out enough to use effectively for timed solving. Lars Patrus developed his method which uses a combination of Group Theory and Edge Theory. The benefit to using his system is one can eliminate a lot of moves as the solution progresses.

The Layer Method is the easiest to learn, personally, with the memorization of a few patterns and repetitions. The layer also has the most number of patterns to memorize. I carried cheat sheets based on Jasmine Lee's Layer Method for a while. The Layer Method is often touted by the various manufactures and websites as thee method to learn. The downside to this method is that it involves messing up and resolving the other layers to get a piece in place. Another draw back is as the solution progresses more moves are required for completion, which can lead to errors. If one is in a distracting environment or where one cannot dedicate time to completing the layer this may not be the method to learn first. If the cube is put down while the algorithm is in process the place or pace may be lost.

The other systems that I am finding I'll classify as Pattern to Solution based. These are based on getting the pieces into a recognized pattern then solving. Adam Cheyer claims that he solved regularly in 26 seconds at his most practiced timings with the corner's first system. He uses an arrow symbol system that is easy to follow.

The slowest system that I've come across is by far the slowest is corner/edge. I've since lost the web page where the author reveals only two algorithms for the solution. Philip Marshall gives a good over view of a variation of this method. Personally, it is also one of the most puzzling because one needs to look a head just enough to recognize it may take 2 or more repetitions to get a piece into place. This repetition of the same pattern over and over may confuse the impatient.

If one wants to practice solving the cube without having a physical cube in front of them head to one of the many cube simulators. Ryan Heise's simulator gives the opportunity not only for open practice but, also to see how various cube solution systems work. Those without continuous web access but, who do have administrative access to their computers can download a simple program from VanGestel.

When it all is said and learned, the ultimate solution is the one that works the best per individual. I find that in the process of learning I need multiple inputs. I have found when one learns just one system without getting other view points they limit themselves and those around them. I could make major detours here but, let's just say there are many paths along the way from issue messed up to issue resolved.

Once solutions were thoroughly in place and practiced beyond dreaming about them, my next phase of learning took me to the patterns. Many are the pages for patterns. Walter Randelshofer has probably the most complete compilation of patterns in one place. Patterns are great to learn, not only to impress friends but, also to improve on speed. I've gone many a session without accurately memorizing a pattern leading thus to starting over. If it takes me an average of a minute and a half these sessions can get pretty long hence for the need for speed.

If you are interested in how I solve the big cubes, I use a similar method to the layer method incorporating many of the 3x algorithms. When I get stuck, I clean up the cube before proceeding. Consolidating the centers and edges tend to help me visually solve the rest. The theories involved in solving the big cubes do include center's first, layers (a branch of 3x), pairs/lines, and block. Matthew Monroe and Dan Harris give some easy to follow instructions on how to solve the cubes and the many variations of them.

I hope you find the information a little useful. Now instead of reading, grab a cube, and go show someone how to solve it, even if that person is yourself.


Current of Dec 6, 2009

These are currently in order of appearance.

  • Rubix's Wiki:
  • Wiki Book:
  • Speed Cubing:
  • Lars Petrus:
  • Jessica Fridich:
  • Jasmine Lee:
  • Adam Cheyer:
  • Cube Simulator:
  • Philip Marshall:
  • Matthew Monroe:
  • Ryan's Cube Simulator:
  • Fam VanGestel, download simulator:


  • Walter Randelshofer:

Printable Algorithms

  • Dan Harris, current:
  • Dan Harris, old:
Dan's printable algorithm pages may be tricky to find. Refer to his old page and they do surface. These are two of the most useful printable pages.

Directory of Links


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Luge Practice

LugePractice_5004_20091204, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I've not yet shot luge until Dec 4, 09. So I found out when something was going on and went up to the Winter Sports Park. I struck up one a conversation with one of the spectators, a Luge' Mom (I should say she struck up with me). I found out this is a local sports team and that many of the participants have MYSPACE pages. So I shot the lot of 'em. If you are one of the characters but, you don't see you picture email me and tell me what color your suit is, I'll get back to you shortly. If you want to post the image on your website please give credit and link back to this page or to For prints email me. This set is not of print quality.

As a side note as I am getting more hits on my sport's sets; Coaches, Moms, and participants I am available to come out to your event (practices and games) with in the greater Salt Lake Region. I am based in West Jordan. My region may include Kamas, Ogden, and Spanish Fork. This is a hobby of mine & I want to practice while letting you participate in the results.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Bucks

Big Bucks, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Taken on June 30, 2008 and posted with in a week on Flickr, this image is my first 1000 plus hit image. I want to take a moment and thank everyone for making this my most popular image.

I encourage you to take a look through some of my other images both for wild life and sports. I am branching out into other avenues of photography as well such as portraits, events, and yes, weddings.

Wedding images displayed on Flickr are drastically down res'd and watermarked for the protection of the Bride & Groom. If you are of the wedding party & want a specific image please contact me or the Bride. If you are interested in finding out more information on how I can be of service to you please contact me at PreyingJaws(at) America On Line (dot) com

Saturday, November 28, 2009


purple ticket, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I'm fighting the clutter on my hard drives this week while adding to it.

Photography for me is an art form while it is also a stress relief. The best part of this hobby is the creative aspect of seeing life 'just' differently enough to make an impact. The hard part is the post processing of what I take. If I get the post processing started within 48 hours then a few images have a chance to be viewed within a week.

I've starting recently to make decisions before I go shoot. If the purpose of the shoot is personal casual walk along then I take the point & shoot. If the purpose is artful then I prep the folder & keyword file before hand while making sure I have the primary lens on the dSLR.

The purpose of the Purple Ticket shot is that, art. This image also was a conscious decision weeks ago to join the Photo Walkers on the Turkey Shoot downtown. A group of 30 met downtown SLC for a casual evening of photography. Check out some of the images other turned over.

This new added marker on my work flow is helping cut the clutter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Details of the shore

Details of the shore, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Long before I realized my keys were safely in my car, I wandered the mud flats of the Great Salt Lake. This image is one of the few images that captured all the elements I went looking for: fore ground interest, textures, sky, and the setting sun.

The last couple of nights were fabulous on the mud flats near Saltair. Today a storm is blowing in. I hope it dumps enough snow in the mountains for a good opening day for the ski resorts. I added a couple of links just for the winter.

Several of my shots from the last few nights are up on deviantArt. Please swing by and take a closer look as something to decorate your wall.

Hello? Where's My Bride?

double_rdc_JAM_Oct231865, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

By request of the bride, I've posted the wedding pictures I've shot so her guests can take a look at them. She will get her wedding album shortly. The images posted on flickr are not of print quality unless you like grainy 4x6's.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vote for Me

Anastasis in London, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Please take a moment and head over to http://www(dot)jpgmag(dot)com/people/PreyingJaws I have submitted several items for December's Competition. Clicking on this image will not take you there. The above image is on flickr.

Speaking of competition. I submitted a couple of my images to Wasatch Camera Club's November Competition. Check out http://wasatchcameraclub(dot)com/html/competition(dot)html
My images are Who Me (a remix of a Bull Elk), Three Posts (Great Salt Lake), The Proud (UT St Capitol), and Dress Rehearsal (Proletariat Theatre). I doubt I'll be in the novice category much longer (wink). I'm personally finding our volunteer judges are leaning more towards images with emotional people connections.

Please do take time to visit my images on flickr, deviantArt, and JPG Magazine. I always welcome critiques and comments. If you can't comment on the image itself, email me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zemijon taking the goats to market

I took a fast look into one of the flickr streams I follow. The above picture is from MercyWatch, Denise Miller. She is one of the many volunteers with Mercy Ships International. Currently in Benin West Africa the m/v Africa Mercy is providing medical care and community education to this needy nation.

When I saw this image my own time with Mercy Ships came to mind. There were many a times I took the local transit affectionately known as the chicken bus. Along the coast of Nicaragua the name changes to the fish bus.

Do I dare say this guys is riding a goat-cicle?

Thanks Mrs. Miller for sharing a clip of what you are seeing.

For more information about...
Mercy Ships
Denise Miller

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nov 13 Jordan River

Nov 13 Jordan River, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

The region between 6400 South and 90th South along the Jordan River in Salt Lake is seeing rapid development after years of neglect. Even in the midst of this construction I find beauty along the pathways near my home. It's all in perspective if you ask me. What's not scene here is the construction of a new office park hidden by the bull rush grass and willows.

There is still open areas for deer to roam and ducks to land. In the field behind me in this picture I've seen a small herd of deer on the occasional basis. One day I keep saying to myself I'll get a good picture of the Jordan River Deer Herd.

The years of neglect along the River brought caught the attention of the EPA. Not far from this site is the sight of the old Midvale Smelter. Now encased by tons of clean fill and monitored for ground water contamination it's a stark reminder that we need to pay attention to our rivers nation wide. Our Rivers are our life stream.

30 years ago the river had a stench today it's a refreshing breeze. I am glad to see the Jordan River is regaining some of the prestige it had when settlers first came to the Valley. There are numerous projects under way to restore natural habitat to remaining wet lands and for cleaning up environmental disasters. There are also many areas where parks have sprung up. A path way of sorts now weaves its way from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grease Monkeying Around

I'm wasting time but, since I'm wasting it I may as well waste it a little more efficiently. I'm all for open source, though not a programmer myself, I appreciate those who's hobby is to tweak, create, and produce high quality software. One of the best aspects of course is for the casual end user who just doesn't know the difference from a bug from a crash, with open source a fix may be as simple as saying hey look what just happened. You could say I am an apostle of open source.

Open source goes beyond just software it delves into making even pay for use software more usable by customizations. One of the best way to customize everything is via Grease Monkey Scripts (GM). GM itself may not be open source (the info I've looked at for this article is not clear on it) but the customizations that can be implemented by GM are endless and open.

From the Greasespot Blog ( 91.5% of GM scripts are Window Users. Hum, does that tell Microsoft something? It should & they do take it into consideration.

A quick Google search for GM scripts produced more then a hundred pages of scripts many of the articles begin with "The Best GM Scripts to Use..." It's an easy fill in the blank. I'll highlight just a few of those pages for productivity, deviantArt, and for crossovers like myself Flickr.

For the most up to date info on Grease Monkey and the GM Scripts visit:
the Wiki
the Blog Greasespot

For deviantArt we can thank a few of our own who highlight specifically what GM is and does.
In the news, from Sathoro
In journals, from Philho
In miscellaneous regions
That was a fast search that pulled 177 different scripts. I haven't looked at more then a page full of these & I will say, interesting. Some of these I may use others I'll disregard.

For crossover users on Flickr check out:
Slick Affiliate
Flickr Hacks

For productivity which does include vast manipulations of G-mail and other big G services. These links produce a mixed bag of what can be done.
From Y! Tech
Irony strikes with this article for it highlights how to control a few G-mail features while only touching on one Y! owned web page.
From Lifehacker
Another mis-labeled article on how to control G-mail but then again how integrated is the Big G in not only our surfing lives but now into our un-virtual lives as well?

What then are my favorite GM scripts? To many, I've got more then a megabyte of saved scripts. Most of these scripts are to manipulate Flick. dA does a great job of handling their own services in a user friendly way I have little use of manipulating it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fire Prevention

rdc_TPFT_DSC_2520_20091104, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

The last several weeks have not been tops for one of the nation's refinery of oil. They suffered several set backs in regards to fires. Thankfully, few if anyone were injured in the fires which were quickly contained & controlled. The most recent fire damaged some homes in a Woodscross neighborhood which were damaged due to being within an unknown blast zone.

I'd hate to think about the fire damage done had teams not been on location. I know when I hear the local fire units roll out, they heading out for damage control. Seldom do the brigades arrive in time to stop the spread of immediate damage.

The day of the Woodscross fire the Wasatch Camera Club had the opportunity to experience the training that went to use earlier that day at another facility. The above image is taken at the training facility.

Before going out to the location one of the firemen (a club member) briefed us. He said the local fire brigades will not enter the facility under their chief's command, they will take up defensive positions outside the property, and follow instructions as directed by the facility's team if their help is requested in the facility. He went on to say the company's fire brigade is staffed by employee volunteers who train regularly and who are on a rotating on call duty roster. They have teams on scene literally within seconds verses minutes if they relied on an outside source.

As I set up my camera gear in the designated viewer area I thought back to my own fire fighting training with Mercy Ships. It was train, train, and train some more. Review the materials list, know the lay out of the ship/facility, know the gear, concentrate on the task at hand, etc.

Not only do I remember the physical aspect of it I also remember the preparation of it. The best way to put out a fire is not to let it start. Most of our would be fires were because of an over loaded power transformer 220v stepped down to 110v. These transformers would overheat, sizzle producing acidic smoke, and blow a circuit breaker. We'd keep our eyes and noses on the look out for overloaded transformers.

The designer's of the m.v. Africa Mercy took the lessons learned, the safety requirements, and implemented them. I haven't been to the m.v. Africa Mercy but I have seen her design, talked with the engineers, and those involved in the project. I know that our old ship issues were addressed. I'd say she's a very safe ship from that aspect.

As we head into this year's holiday season, as we pull out our decorations, as we pull out the memories of years gone by, please remember fire safety is more then not playing with matches. Fire safety begins by inspecting electrical cords and connections. Fire safety includes resisting the temptation to overload a circuit. Fire safety includes making sure flammables are away from the flames and heat source when a flame is lit or a heat source turned on. Fire safety begins with common sense.

I live in a multifamily community, not a rack and stack as some apartments are but, still I share a common wall with 2 other families. I'd hate to loose out because of a simple over sight by one of my neighbors. Even more so I'd hate for them to loose out because of me.

As we head into a season of lights, jolly, and good times please remember...

Fire safety begins with prevention.

Prevention means using common sense.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Patrick A. Dwire

Patrick A. Dwire, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

A young life taken too soon. He valiantly served Our Country right out of high school and did not complain about helping or serving others.

I knew him through the coffee shop we hung out at. A Veteran of several conflicts, he talked stories but revealed nothing. Tormented at times by his injuries sustained in combat, he never let them get in the way of conversation. His introduction to most people would include something about going sky diving, his fading hearing, and his daughter.

After the services on Monday, the group of regulars hung sipping coffee with a chilly wind blowing. Stories of how he'd drop everything to help a friend out floated away on tears. Each tear a leaf of the fading fall.

Today a light snow falls, covering the fresh grave site. Grave and fresh I know do not go together. They shouldn't. I talked to the funeral director after the services, himself a Vet. Irony, we bury our young men often before we bury our old. Young lives taken before their time.

I present to the family my deepest condolences. I knew him enough to be honored by his friendship. He helped me come to terms with my own death of my departed sister.

May the images I share be honoring to you.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I just calibrated my monitor with the Huey. Why does it all look so muddy? Or was it because its been out so long I think it looks muddy?

Either way I needed to calibrate for wedding pictures. I shot Jon & Ann Marie's wedding on Saturday. A wonderful couple I met at the coffee shop about 6 months ago. She immediately swooped in and looked at my images when I mentioned I like to shoot as a hobby. I've got most of the images sorted now. Next just a little more redefining and posting some where private for them. I'll post one or five here for show and tell. Critiques are always welcomed.

Right now I've got a sad shoot to do. I found out a day before the wedding one of the guys we hung with passed away. A First Gulf War Vet, he was plagued by injury sustained in combat. I talked with his roommate about taking a few pictures but, I still didn't feel right so I called the mortuary. They called the family and I have permission. Not fun, sad really, Patrick was a cool cat to listen to tell stories.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jon and Ann Marie

rdc_DSC_1741, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Ann Marie asked me, what seems like ages ago, to be at her wedding. This wonderful couple I met at a coffee shop had seen just a small sample of my images. Now more of my images they will see soon enough. Thank you for the opportunity to attend.

I always like to post an image or two of important events within 24 hours. So to the Bride, Groom, and family, congratulations.

Weddings are always hard work, fun, and more hard work. I've got over 1500 images to sort an decide which they will see. These two currently on flickr are what I like to say as defining representative moments.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photojournalists photographing a launch rollout

The world of photojournalism is dog eat dog. Sometimes it takes more then a little perseverance in finding the right contacts to get to some cool places.

This image of expedition 21 didn't come to just any joe like myself who could buy a ticket to watch some racing at a local track. These guys paid their dues to get there by forging relationships with editors, contact leads, and possible years of shooting the mundane other things.

I can dream, can't I, that one day I'll travel over to the Cosmodrome to to view a launch...

Monday, October 05, 2009

the garden

UTGrandPrix Wheels, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

A former supervisor tossed an insult my way or was it awake up call or was it simply an observation, anyways it doesn't matter he simply commented that I only talk about two things: hiking and photography. I just returned from a photography club meeting. The club president seems to digress to one subject, stock photography. I hung on her words for a while on how stock photography can provide fulfillment among other things. I came to the conclusion with these two encounters, what's in our gardens?

What's in our gardens? The proverbial onion's been cut to pieces, besides there's more to chop from the garden then the onion. The onion is good to use in many cases because it has layers one can peal away. It's bad to use for when the layers are all removed you don't have anything left but a pile of peeled away layers.

The garden has so much to offer. Currently my garden is but two planter boxes under a south facing window outside. This year I grew a few tomatoes, some basil, sunflowers, and lettuce. This garden is small yes, but it's a start for me. I've never grown anything before and yet I have this year, my first year, something to show for it.

Be a garden of topics, one subject or a few, each topic does contain many aspects. Each plant I grew I quickly found out has different light and water requirements. One can snarl at photography and say so what. Funny thing is the snarling beast may not realize how much of his life is influenced by photographers.

Photography is more then an image or a process, to a photographer it's a lifestyle. Each photographer lives and breathes in their style. It's in the fore front of their minds driving down the road, talking to others on the phone, looking through the lens. A photograph is a concept yet developed and yet nearing completion. From the seed sown to the image on a magazine cover, the photograph is. It is the only aspect of life nearing the majority of a photographer's attention, time, and conversation.

I shoot landscapes. Landscapes go hand in hand with hiking. I desire to give validity to my stories so I take pictures. These pictures are now evolving into an art. I'll hike 2, 3, 6, and many more miles to climb up a ridge line to a peak or down into a valley so deep light seldom sees. I'll traverse snow fields, wade through ice cold creeks, and put up with swarms of mosquitoes just to see something others may never see. Why, the challenge of doing and because I can. That's why, I can.

I also like journalistic styles. I love a good story. I also enjoy seeing a story unfold with out words. Remember the picture books you had when you were a child? How many of those stories had words you needed to read in order to know what the story was about?

To night I shared an image from one of my photo essays. Alone this image is par. It's technically correct with exposure, focus, and the rule of division, etc. What the image lacked is continuity. Why was this image selected for a competition? What is the purpose/message? Truthfully, it met the requirement of the competition subject matter. I pulled it out of context for tonight. This image adds support to the essay.

An onion is seldom used alone. Sure one can eat an onion but, what is the true purpose of the onion? It's purpose is to support the other items grown in the garden. It enhances the flavor of the stew, the k-bob, the salad.

Sure my supervisor made an observation, a wake up call, an insult. Call his comment what every you want. I call it one question shy of looking deeper into the garden of my life.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Peak Baggin' Shadow Monsters

Peak Baggin' Shadow Monsters, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

This is our second attempt with in a year to hike Lone Peak UT. Our first attempt made last November turned into the story of stories as we post holed through deep snow and turned around as we got into the crique (basin) below the cliffs. This time, under clear sky and on fresh snow all of 2 - 6 inches deep, our legs and lungs churned the vertical feet into miles gained.

This is the most aggressive hike I have ever done. It's been low on my list of things to do in Utah and it is now not only marked off but, is high on the list of things to do again in Utah. The peak is only 6 miles from the trail head yet is nearly a mile gain in elevation. In the first third of the hike 2/3's of the elevation is over conquered. The majority of the last 1/3 is mostly at the summit.

The summit itself is on the far side (a short hike) across a basin doted with rock and lush meadows. The trail up is over and around boulders making up a near knife edge of cliffs. We followed mountain goats across and for the most part also followed them up the summit. Typically out door's men would say this is foolish, this time I'd say the goats had it right, their path easy and safe to follow in the snow.

Leading upwards I made sure of each step, as the snow melted it formed a sheen of glass like ice. In no danger of falling anywhere, I suppressed my fear of heights. Why do I climb then, oh yeah, to over come that fear. Nearing the top, I kept checking each boulder for that little brass plug known as a US Geological Survey Marker. A rather whimsy sigh of relief echoed out as I found it. Looking ahead I was more relieved to know we didn't have to journey up & down yet another bit of precipice.

I didn't make the summit, my hiking partner in climb did. I was her 'guide.' I just happened to be on the lead at that moment. I doubt I'd climbed it myself. I must give a warm thanks to her for saying, 'Lets do it, lets go this week.'

Our journey up took roughly 5 hours from the trail head to the peak. We ate a small lunch and took many a picture. We found 3 brass markers about 20 feet apart, can we claim we summited three times?

20 years ago another friend and I had made an attempt. 20 years ago we got lost on the lower elevations. As I looked out at the valleys below wishing we'd made a second attempt with someone who knew the way. Pictures of mine from far below show a far different city. These pictures show valleys of ever increasing suburbia. What will the pictures in 20 years look like?

Our decent took us roughly along the same path ways. We took notes on where we made minor wrong turns and where approximately time should be at each location. We also had 'remember then moments.' Finally, hit the chute of Jacob's Ladder Trail Sign just at sunset. In the next mile down we enjoyed the warm color of fall and fading light but still bright enough to see the trail.

I highly recommend this trail with caution. Don't go if you are freakishly afraid of heights or steep inclines. Don't go if you are out of shape. Don't go if you have poor route finding skills - there are sections where the trail disappears.

Do go if you are into awe inspiring views. Do go if you want a measure of your stamina and dedication to the task - the climb up from the trail head isn't fun. That's where 2/3's the elevation gain takes place. Do go if you are passionate about hiking.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mnt Raymond

Mnt Raymond UT
Yes, you may see a few images of Mnt Raymond in my files. It's an awesome place many can see it, few actually go there. It's a 2 hour one way hike in just to the Baker Pass between Gobler's Knob to the east and Mnt Raymond to the west along the spine of Big Cottonwood & Millcreek Canyons. The place I took this image is just near the trail that leads to the pass.

I could not take in all the color. I imaged the following days would have more color and I was right. The following day I drove to Guardsman's Pass above Brighton Ski Resort. The tiny parking lot there was packed & several cars parked on the edge of a parking nightmare. The view of mountain colors from there - absolutely worth while. I parked - I was one of those edger's.

Jogging down a ski lift access road I came to the place that let me frame up another picture of Mnt Raymond. The colors of the upper Mill A Basin boomed all yellow. I doubt a touch of green resided any where except for the pines. I also grabbed a few images of the aspens around me, all bursting with color.

On the horizon this week is our first snow storm. I doubt I'll get back to Mill A Basin before the colors collapse. I will however try to double my efforts to get to Sundial Peak to see if I can recreate a very popular picture. If I can't I'll just enjoy the 12 mile hike knowing it'll be 6 months before I venture that high up into that particular basin. The trail to Sundial Peak crosses several active avalanche paths.

I'll make my first winter safety plug here. Get Educated! Be Aware of your surroundings! If in doubt don't go! The website Avalanche(dot)org is the best resource for winter travel in the back country.

As this hiking season transitions into winter wonderland; play, stay safe, get out, and take your cameras (or sketch pad).

Thanks to all who've fav'd both the mnt Raymond Sept 2009 & Sundial Peak pictures. You're letting me know what you want to see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Utah State Fair

FairsWheelGOtToGoRound, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Utahan's the State Fair is in full swing. I can't say full glory for the Rodeo is over but we'll get the rodeos back next spring. So I say don't miss the fun, the excitement, all the over priced fried foods your mother won't let you eat and head on out to the Fair Grounds.

Swing on by my flickr site I just posted a few rodeo pictures. Yes, they are a bit grainy and out of focus but hey they work. I so desire a faster lens for the Nikon. The lens I want though is about half of what I owe on my car presently If I can drop the hint.

Utahstatefair(dot)com for more info on the fair.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's gona be close...

It's gona be close..., originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

The Deseret Classic, held this past weekend at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns UT, brought in new fastest ice times & speed skaters from around the globe. Though not a sanctioned event this event still qualifies the skaters in the bid for their national team's Olympic Team. The races were as fast & furious as the sanctioned events I've attended.

Alerted by an email from one the the US Speed Skaters I know, let me know they were in town. Having the day off, I took charge & went out there. I cranked up the ISO concentrated on getting clean sharp images, I fore went the stylistic panning shots I am known for with other racing images.

For more information about the US National Speed Skating Team please visit their website at USSpeedSkating(dot)org (

You can see more of my images at flickr(dot)com/preyingjaws


Friday, August 21, 2009

Pursued by a Bear Players

I have added and updated the Pursued by a Bear Player's photo album and show. I do encourage you to stop by and check out this page. I also encourage you to stop by Proletariat Theatre and let Mr Luckau know how you like his production.

Friday, August 07, 2009


RainMug_A590_2573_rdc, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Despite the threat of rain, I chose to head out the high Uinta Mountains this past week to an area I've read about. South of Ft Bridger Wyo is an area called Red Castle Mntn. I hear it's shimmering red colored rock is awe inspiring in the evening. It is. I managed to get to the lower lake in time to see the color show of the evening. That nigh I enjoyed a full moon rise just to the north and a gentle swing in the hammock for a peaceful night sleep - some where in the same valley I know some Tenderfoot Boy Scout was getting introduced to the fine art of sleeping on strategically placed rocks. I'd seen more then a handful of Boy Scouts enroute to this basin.

The following morning, color of the sky out shining the red rock of the night before I hunkered down expecting rain for the day but not letting it hamper my activity. After a lazy morning of drinking a cup of mountain grounds & packing, I headed up past the Scouts to the upper lake and back. I grabbed the ruck & then went on to the East Fork of the Smith River drainage also known as East Basin of Red Castle. Because of wind & time limitations I chose not to go to Smith's Pass. It's better to plan aggressive, hike with intent & err on the side of caution then to be on the evening news.

A couple of miles down the trail about mid afternoon the rains came. This is the first image of me in the rain. I pressed on to Hessie Lake. Where fortunately I was able to find an uncrowed camping area. Except for a couple of Moose, I was alone. The rain broke long enough for me to find a camping site, string my hammock & tarp before returning. I then ducked in & out of the tarp several times while doing camp chores like fetching water & cleaning myself up - I hate sleeping dirty. Tarping is better then tenting in this situation for one can cook under the corner of the tarp where as in a tent one must expose oneself to the elements.

I spent the night with rain titer tatting on the shelter and for a while being woken by the full moon. In the morning more of the same dodge balling the rain. By mid morning the rains had cleared and a new set of trekers were enroute to the mountain. I passed many a group bound for Red Castle. Ah the story I can now share. I ponder did it rain on them too?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Proletriat Theatre

Proletriat Theatre, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Pursued By A Bear Players by Proletariat Theatre Co

Catch the drama, foul ups, & all the action when a group of theater students put on the opening night of the Home Ec teacher's play.
See for more info.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

three passions

My three passions will take me places I never thought possible at times, then again at times my three passions will also leave me hurting as well. There are times like sitting on the mountain top for the sun set and the following sun rise that make my spirit soar. Then there are times when the pain for the struggle is to much to bear.

Last weekend I turned far short of my intended goal. All the preparation, the planning, & the drive to get out there just could not be over come by one limitation. After 5 miles in with a little rain, an ice cold swift creek crossing (2x) a few leaches too, I turned back. I turned back not for the lack of mosquito repellent (which I had) but, for the physical discomfort of walking. Carrying a 40lb pack up hill stressed my knee out. I know the trail I chose was well with in my limits but, limping it wasn't. I don't know if it was for the lack of physical conditioning or the lack of a warm up after a 3 1/2 hours drive but, not knowing why my knee stressed out gave great concern to me. I wanted so much to keep pushing on. During the past week I did get to a physical therapist, his simple reply - I'm getting old. What a relief for a moment I though I was getting younger.

NO!~! I'm a sprite 24 + 14. Look at those numbers & that's how I like to play. I do play it safe but, I'm not old'n bound, when that day comes put me in my rocking chair on the cabin porch. I've got my rocking chair already, I'm still looking for my cabin.

My three passions are photography, hiking, & GOD.
I'm not into religion but, I am into the relationship with the Maker. Yes, I am a God fearing Christian. I was burned by the but,'church' earlier this year I am not burned by God, Himself.

I'm into photography. I am part of the carry your camera every where club. Even though I don't shoot it all the time I do have at least the point & shoot within reasonable reach of the knapsack. I save the dSLR for the times I need the high quality. Of which I need to push out my rehearsal pictures this weekend the follow up with my hiking pictures, too.

Finally, I'm into hiking. The trail gives me breath to make it through the week. It also cools me off from the valley heat. SL UT is bound for the triple's later this week. AC does not cut it very well nor does the swamp cooler. Utah is funny like that, to dry for AC & just an edge to moist for cooling vis evaporation. My workmates & family ask why I hike. Simple I can. What's the point of looking at the mountains if you can't explore them. At one time, because I could not get out into the mountains, these mountains became my prison. I worked & went to school full time which left me with no time to explore. Hiking is about exploring for me. Does not everyone have some form of desire to explore, to learn, to achieve?

Though my passions ensue me I also pursue them. Despite the hardship the rewards are exponentially greater.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Light

First Light, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

A solo trek into the Uinta Mountians east of SLC/Kamas Utah put me at a mountain pass above Naturalist Basin late Tuesday night. I hoped for a couple of trees to sling my hammock between but so what I was to tired to attempt the lakes at east side of the pass about 1/2 a mile away and 500 feet below. So I lay my 40lb pack down pulled out my camp stove, fought the wind for a flame before I used my soaking wet boots as wind break & pulled out my down sleeping bag.

In the morning I awoke a the chill of predawn noticing the stars beginning to fade I rummaged my sleeping bag for the point & shoot & waited dozing off again a few times for the sun to rise. When I awoke next it was first light & the glimmer of dawn just about to happen, I reached up took a few snaps & rolled back over.

My trek that day would not let me over the ridge. I determined it was a bit to steep to attempt with all the snow still remaining so I turned back & headed towards Rainbow Lake on over to Pinto Lake and down towards the Duchesne River where I stayed the next night before trekking back to Mirror Lake where I parked.

The only time my boots were dry was this chilly mountain morning the wind had dried them out. I learned a few things. 1) wear boots that fit good even when wet, I have my share of blisters 2) carry a sleeping pad however small it is, it may be extra weight but it's worth a great night's sleep, oh them rocks. & 3) however heavy it is a candle lantern is worth its weight for warmth, comfort & convince over any little fire.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Descriptive Image

OneDescriptiveImage, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Mr Luckau of Proletariat Theatre asked me to come by and shoot one of the beginning rehearsals for his production of Pursued by a Bear, a play about a play.

I did. Under less then ideal lighting of this old Mormon Church, I meet up with Mr Luckau for the first time since shooting his wedding 2 years ago. It was a pleasure to see how this creative man with an abiding enthusiasm for the arts pumped up the high school kids as they went over and over 2 or 3 scenes.

I chose this one image to represent the evening.

If you are interested in seeing more of the images please email me.
If you are interested in finding out more about Proletariat Theatre please see the connected link.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Introducing the Wet Birds...

With less then ideal conditions a friend & I braved the weather to go to the Thunder Birds' Airshow at Hill AFB in Ogden UT. The day before was perfect, but we both were tied into working. Still, wrapping the camera in a bread bag I shot with rain dripping of my hat while 'trespassing' in flight line puddles near ankle deep. Got'a love days like that they make for great stories.

The weather did break about 1pm allowing for the Air Boss to make the decision to let the show go on. Hours late and with a very modified low show the T-Birds were in the air after a series of other fly by's that included F-22 Raptors. Even during the T-Bird's performance the weather went south with a rain squall moving rapidly through the area.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How far a head of the other racers?

I'm always fascinated with 'odds' in racing. They give a dynamic to sports that I don't think can be captured by any other number. Here I have a lone rider heading for the Kink while three others are coming of Bad Attitude at Miller Motor Sports Park.

This set is part of the Super Bike event held there over May 29-31'st. I noticed almost double the amount of people there this year then last year. This by far is the most exciting event held in Utah.

For the danger of motor cycle racing this track is aggressive yet every wipe out I witnessed or heard of the riders walked away from it. Please visit my flickr page for a series of images of one rider taking a spill on Bad Attitude.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Mistakes happen all the time. It's like I have an addiction to sticking my foot in my mouth. This time though it's not about me. It's about an aggressive track known as MillerMotorSportsPark. Yes, I'm providing free advertising for the Larry H Miller Group solely because I like Motor Sports. Motor sports in Utah hasn't yet taken off like it has with NASCAR in the South. So I want to let you know that Utah does have Motor Sports.

The mistakes I'm focusing on are almost victories. The track is a driver's track. If the driver isn't on top of his/her game then the course will drive the driver.

Here are a few of the 2500 shots I took last weekend at the Utah Grand Prix. The first image I didn't catch until I chimped after watching him drive into the pits. The second is at the 'Kink' an almost straight a way. The third is near 'Club House Bend' I don't know why he got turned around.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Map n Compass

Map n Compass, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

The sign at the trail head asks, "Are you beeping?"
That isn't a bad thing. It's a great thing. I heard, saw, or witnessed over 5 avalanches today. The beep is in reference to the beacon. I stopped here. The fields around me were sliding. I chose to stop here. I don't have a beacon and I was solo.
I carry a map and compass with me on every trail I do, even those I know very well. This is White Pine Lake up Little Cottonwood Canyon, a very popular destination in the summer.
It may look like I'm holding the map wrong but I'm not north is always to the top of the map, I'm facing south. I thought I'd give this image a try.
As I put the gear away. The zipper thermometer on the pack read 60's. Yeah a bit warm, no wonder everything was sliding.

If your out in the back country this spring, use your head. A beacon is only useful if someone can find you and dig you out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three Posts

Three Posts, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Days off and in a daze I headed out to a local good for a sunset regardless of the time of year. I wasn't up for a hike nor a long time out. this image is up for sale at deviantArt.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

FIBT World Cup Bobsled & Skeleton

K10D_IGP0054_rdc, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

An echo across the canyon alerted me to some event going on at the UT Olympic Sports Park. Deep in snow I wouldn't be able to hit the venue that night. I made mental plans to check and head there the following day.

Prepared for the cold, I was surprised with how warm it was. That was until the sun moved behind the clouds & later on out of view. I checked my pack's thermometer - damn cold (-5C). I welcomed the extra layers I came with.

I shot & kept shooting. Cursing Pentax's slow focusing mechanisms I did not do. I pre-focused every shot. Knowing I'd have two points of interest in focus if I panned every shot. Hundreds of images later I have a few that came out clear.

The events on Feb 12, were Men's Skeleton (which was to early for me), Women's Skeleton, and 2 Man Bobsled.

Three things I learned that day.
1) Photography is about problem resolution.
2) Know thy track, course, or event layout. It wasn't until after the event I saw a few areas of the course I wanted to be at.
3) Stay hydrated. I had a wrecking head ache later on. The winter dry will suck water out of one's body faster then a hot summer day.

Stick around. I may post one or two more images at flicker dot com slash preyingjaws


Monday, January 19, 2009

What is the role of women in the church?

Yes, I have many questions of late. I know my take but I do not want to pollute the answers or the question.

This question is open for all, christian & non christian. anesthetist are welcomed as well & you may substitute church for any organization you belong to.

what is the role of women in the church?

please answer in the comments. you may talk of the early & modern church.
this is originally written on a mobile and re-posted here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What if...

Curious question that hit me.
What if you took the electric personalities out of the Rock Church leadership, how long would the church last?

Please answer in the comments.

These responses are from FaceBook, the last names are removed for their personal security however when and where appropriate

I have included a tile for the ethos of their message.

Robin (a pastor) at 8:20am January 14
for many churches, they would croak! Consumeristic culture has dictated the dna of local churches in that they build themselves around consumable commodities (eg personalities and Christian celebrity)...consumers are fickle! If one leaves, they will go to another "church" to find another celebrity.

Nersha (a Rock Church Member) at 9:02am January 14
I think if the Rock has a strong enough foundation, it will still stand...... it maybe the people in the church that make the church a church however....God is Good, and he's the reason there's a church :) hehee From my personal experience : How many times have I left in the years to pass, along with so many others ...... But for some reason ( God.....) I keep getting pulled back; though the core of the church have come and gone. Good question B I think about that a lot!!

Denise (a former student under Robin) at 11:26am January 14
I don't know how long the church, itself, would last, but I know I'd be happier if I could find a church that didn't have all that stuff! I go to worship, not be entertained...and I would rather not have the whole projector thing. It's part of the reason I really miss the congregation we were part of in PA: just a small, regular ELCA church like we all grew up in. No glitz, no frills, just humble origins that remain.

(In other words: Robin said it well)

Travis (a pastor & former student under Robin) at 12:11pm January 14
Food for thought...None of the congregations that we read about in the Bible are still around, but the Church itself has never ceased. I think both good and bad congregations die, and if they don't die they certainly change drastically. As for the Rock, who knows what it's founded on, but I find that it's too easy to throw stones. Denise if you ever move to North Carolina, my church is pretty simple ELCA, and you'd be welcome here! :)

Dale (a fromer student under Robin) at 1:31pm January 14
Our church is going through a self-examination that falls along these lines in some regards. I think we're at a turning point and it is so exciting to be in on the ground floor with changes like this. For example, our 8am service is made up of people who have been attending it for decades. As you can imagine, the numbers are slowly decreasing; however, families attending seem to be increasing! Lots and lots to think about! -We're currently reading "Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry" by Doug Fields and it is transformative reading!

Vivian (a missionary) at 2:01pm January 14
Just started reading "life after church" by Brian Sanders. Friends who are passionate about Jesus but can't find their nich [sic]in "church" as we know it now...I'm not far enough to form an opinion yet, but it resonates with my ponderings [sic] at Christmastime of if there is anything authentic about Christmas services. I've attended probably more than 150 Christmas services, heard at least that many christmas [sic] sermons and am left wondering if there is anything I've not already heard before. Same as the churches who continue to only teach basics and nothing more leaving those passioinate [sic] disciples of JEsus [sic]hard put to find a place to be nurtured. As I said I'm not far in the book, but it seems one solution is a home church style.

The antithesis of the mega church that seems to be the trend at present. Interesting ponderings [sic]!

Tony (a deacon at the Rock) at 10:39pm January 14
First off, your question isn’t by means looking for an end, but a question of the foundation, what kind of Christians have been built by these electric personalities. Are they true Christians or Cultural Christians? If we take leadership out, like we have seen in the past, nothing really changes. That is because we are not the authority to appoint leaders, only God is.

So to answer your question, the result would come down to who true followers of Christ really are, are they going to die to their flesh, pick up their cross and follow Jesus? Are they going to believe the best about their leaders? Or are they going to find fault and any excuse to leave the church? The question is not about the leadership, but the people who call themselves Christians in the church and how they respond to trials

Tony (continues) at 10:55pm January 14
Vivian I am intrigued by your response...

Same as the churches who continue to only teach basics and nothing more leaving those passioinate [sic] disciples of JEsus [sic] hard put to find a place to be nurtured. As I said I'm not far in the book, but it seems one solution is a home church style. The antithesis of the mega church that seems to be the trend at present.

Do you think that it is a Christians responsibility to want to be feed by someone else like an infant or learn to feed themselves like a grown adult? I have heard the Gospel preached from stage over 1000 times, I have seen many salivations. I don't see spiritual growth by going to church, I see it when people decide that living for Christ is not just words but a life style change. Home churches are great and I am a part of one, I also attend a church that has about 300 people. The growth I have seen are the people who take it upon themselves to learn.

Tony (concludes) at 10:56pm January 14
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. - Hebrews 5:11-14