Cool July Evening in Tuscaloosa


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I’ve been so busy with the kickstarter fulfillment and getting ready for the show at kentuck next month, that I haven’t really had time to be out taking photos. It’s been really hot, so honestly it’s been ok with me to have things to do indoors. But today we had a big cooldown to 83 degrees because of some clouds. At the last minute, the sunset broke through and made some really irresistible light for me. So I started at the alamo house on the lake. It is looking pretty good!

For those people keeping track of how full the lake is getting, this dock is now in some water.

Then I went to go see the new Full Moon BBQ signage at sunset. I talked to one of the workers for a few minutes, it’s gonna be a pretty nice place.

I also have been wanting to get a closer photo of the billboard stumps we are all so familiar with because we see them every day, but always only while driving.

Of course, I had to go look at the new Krispy Kreme, since I was right there and all.

Cedar Crest neighborhood is still gone, pretty much.

Pretty nice sunset tonight.


walking around the neighborhood


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first off this evening i walked down to the lake to see how far they got on the alamo today. that house is looking pretty good!

then i walked to a friend’s house up the hill from the lake, but that guy wasn’t home. so i kept walking because i heard they broke ground for the new schlotzkys this week.

honeybaked ham already moved to northport.

then i sneaked a quick shot of the new hokkaido and the oil change place on the corner. it’s been so long since i saw it, i can’t even remember the name of that place.

the petunia path is still booming and blooming.

pretty nice little walk this evening.

Only 6 Days Left to Back my Kickstarter!


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Only 6 days left to order the book! I have been working on putting it together. I was hoping to have a more exciting post with photos from the actual printing and binding of the first proof of the book. But…it’s not going to be perfected to my liking for a couple of weeks, and I’m not going to take it to the printer until I am satisfied it’s a solid quality proof worth printing. So, the only way to follow this book project, and actually own one of these awesome books when finished, is to become a backer now!

The printer has agreed to let me be very hands-on and take photos for the actual bookmaking process! It should be pretty interesting to follow and see close-up how this hardcover book is made. Wednesday, June 6 is the last day to add your name to the backer list and receive updates from this project. The book on it’s own is going to be a really nice piece of work that you will be glad to have on your bookshelf, and all funding goes to help me print, frame, and build the August Kentuck show. The other rewards are pretty nice also, but…I’ll be honest with you, I think the book is by far the best option. I didn’t realize it until after I launched this project, and I’m so glad that other people realized it even when I didn’t. I’m really quite very excited about it!

I’m just a poor grad student, so I don’t have money to advance print a bunch of these to sell one by one, so chances are good this could be the only chance you ever have to own one, because I’ll only have as many printed as I have orders for (plus one for my very own, of course.)

Using Tornado Debris Around the Home and Garden


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Today I took a break from thinking about my kickstarter and book (I went to the printer on Monday, and the book is gonna be real nice. The printer said he will allow me to be very hands on for the actual production of the actual physical hardcover bound book, and also will let me take photos, so that’s coming right up in the very near future! anyway, sorry that’s a little long and off topic, i get distracted sometimes. you should get the book, though, it’s gonna be nice and totally worth $50, and the funds go to production of a really nice exhibition. anyway, sorry, again) to play around with some of the tornado debris I saved. For example, I have a huge collection of chunks of concrete from porches of demolished homes around Forest Lake. I did some physical therapy and moved a few of these chunks to my back yard and back porch. Just playing around with them now, but they should be a nice addition to the show.

I did a lot of battles with spiders. I saw some black widows, but was too busy slaying them all to take photos. Here’s a spider that is probably dead by now after I coated it in goo. Sorry, spiders. Usually I am kinder.

I had some boards (also tornado debris, but with an interesting story I will reserve for another time. Because, it really deserves it’s own post. It’s coming, and I have a point to make with it, about Home Depot. I think it will make my point nicely.) Anyway, I finally had a chance to clean these boards up, so I painted them (my wheelbarrow looks like I was carting around loads of headless zombie bodies.)

They made a nice little raised bed for the rock garden on my screened in back porch.


I got 4 cheap plastic pots, and sunk 2 permanently, so the other 2 I can take out to a sunny spot sometimes. I thought I would plant some catnip and some cat grass. For the cats. Dogs have their whole own yard.

Blown Away…the book


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So, if you have been following this, you know I launched a kickstarter this week. It almost reached the goal on the first day! I am so excited and grateful for this, I can’t even express how much. It’s nothing short of amazing! And the actual process of building a kickstarter project has been a fascinating learning experience in itself. I have enough funding now to get about 9 photos into museum quality frames! (I would like to be able to do more.)

One thing I have noticed, is that there is a lot of interest in this book of photos I have from the first month of living in the destruction zone. To be honest, I really didn’t think there would be much interest in this as a reward, but I was clearly wrong.

So, I think what I am starting to realize, is that maybe this kickstarter project is actually about publishing a book to raise some funds for the exhibit. I just didn’t know that when I started.

So, in short, I think I need to make a modification to my rewards. I’m working on that, I think my best plan is to add about 60 pages of kickstarter special edition photos to the book that is already listed, and then have another reward for just the book in it’s current state, which is what I had listed at $85 but maybe I could make that be $40-50. That would be only the book, and no print or poster. It’s a good deal, and the people who already backed me get even more than they thought they would. Seems like everybody wins!

But for now, I thought I would show another set of preview pages I have finished. So…here they are.

Salvaging Optimism – my very own kickstarter project


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So…there it is. I launched my very own kickstarter project. It’s both exciting and really spooky. I hope my project gets funded, but I think I have more hope that people find it interesting and worthy in general.

Your project has launched!

Congratulations, your project is live on Kickstarter!


Here’s your project URL:

The countdown begins now. You know what to do: tell people about it!


Kentuck Show First Picks


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So, I thought it might be time to post some of my first picks for my August show at Kentuck. I really don’t know how many I will be able to get framed, it’s really dependent on how many people back my kickstarter. The project has been submitted for review, and should (hopefully) be launching next week. I had a real struggle getting the video done, since that’s not my thing at all, hahaha.

Anyway, here’s some of the first photos that I think should be out there. In my head, I sort of have 2 categories – photos for the record, and photos for the living room or lounge. Whatever that means. Anyway. I have only gone through my photos from 2011 so far, here’s some of my favorites:

Kickstarter Pre-Launch Preview


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It’s almost time to launch the Kickstarter. But first, I have a photo from sunset this evening of a sundog over Forest Lake. So, that’s pretty cool. The lake looks a lot better with all that debris gone.

The other day, I met someone who went through Katrina. The way I found that out was because it had come up that I have a lot of tornado photos (we were taking photos together at the time, so it was a pretty natural conversation.) So after she said Katrina, I told her how we saw so many people here to help from NOLA in the days and weeks after the tornado, and how a lot of people here feel like people in NOLA understand what happened here. And she said some people in NOLA feel the same way about us.

This was the view from my bedroom one year ago today:

One of the cool Kickstarter rewards I have lined up that every backer will receive is a signed poster from the memorial service “out of chaos comes hope” on the one year anniversary.

The City of Tuscaloosa was gracious enough to give me hundreds of posters they had left over. They are quality printed and pretty nice. They look good in a frame, too.

I’m gonna be blunt here…what I’m really trying to say is, I’m about to ask the universe for a lot of money to make this exhibit happen. I have the Kickstarter project almost completely done and ready for approval. I am confident it will pass the test and meet all requirements, because I already submitted basically this same project before they changed the submission process so it has already been accepted once.  I have a lot of nice photos that I want to be out there on their own in the world for a really long time. So that when this whole tornado thing is long in the past and we’re all really old and Forest Lake came back so long ago that almost nobody remembers when we were coming back, people always remember what we came back from.

I thought I would give an advance preview of how I am setting it up. Basically, I decided to make the photos the City of Tuscaloosa picked for display at the Coliseum for the one year anniversary memorial service the Limited Edition Kickstarter series. These photos will be available just this once, and never again. I tried to get the actual foam boards used by the city, but those are going to be on display for awhile. So, this will be the only opportunity to have one of these 7 photos of your very own, signed by me. and I’ll never offer them for sale again.

Also, I will have a whole book of photos available from the first 30 days of life in the destructed zone (now known as the recovery zone.) Some of those photos will likely be in the show, but most will not. There’s a few good stories from those early days. Again, this will be a kickstarter special edition. It will be totally worth it! So look for the official announcement in the next few days. And, oh yeah…I am setting the end date to coincide with my birthday. The only thing I want this year is for this project to be well funded.

Goodbye Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, Forest Lake Will Always Remember You


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Forest Lake is really looking a lot better, the cleanup has been impressive and speedy. Those guys really work hard! We should have a BBQ for them or something.

I found some photos from 2 weeks ago that I never posted. It seems like a good time to put them up now, because it’s a nice before and after (well, mid-after) comparison of how much the lake has been cleaned up.

April 20, 2012:

May 3, 2012, another drastic landscape change is the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree came down this morning:

Also, I have a few other forgotten photos from that day of some neighbors who thought the ducks might like some Fruit Loops.

No surprise bumping into Igor down at the lake this evening.

We laughed about the Coke bottle plumb bob in a new storm shelter and marveled at the acoustics (tough to get a photo of that) and heat…gonna need some ventilation maybe.

He showed me a pile of debris pulled out of the lake, the iron bits will get thrown in the mix this Saturday at Tannehill (woot!!) when some more tornado tubs get melted down and transformed into monuments.

It did not smell like honeysuckle on the island. 

They have an airboat at the site now, pretty cool, I wish I could take it for a spin.

Marsh buggy isn’t so clean anymore. (I heard today that this is the first job for this equipment. It was pretty shiny the day it showed up hahaha)

email me!

Forest Lake Cleanup


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Cleanup has commenced and is in full swing at Forest Lake!

I saw them working the southeast side of the lake this morning (ok, afternoon) on my way to the tailgate on Terriwood today. I saw it again when i walked home a few hours later. Progress!

Also, I saw where they cut the sidewalk and made their own Marsh Buggy Road.

And another thing I saw…this huge cloud of winged insects. So I followed it back to it’s origin…

Lots of people came out to Terriwood today, it was nice to see everybody!

I took a few photos on my way there, but when i saw so many people i thought maybe i should hurry in case they ran out of Full Moon BBQ. it wasn’t a problem though, and i think everybody had a fine time in spite of the heat.

On my walk back home, I took some photos of some debris, because I haven’t walked over this way since the city tore down the rest of the houses.

The Forest Lake Homeowners Association wants to make sure the ducks have someplace to retreat while the cleanup continues. These signs are pretty cute, tornado ducks are pretty smart.