Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ditch Daylilies

Today I am linking up with Clay and Limestone to celebrate Wildflower Wednesday.  I have chosen a flower which I have watched grow for years.  It is a ditch daylily located beside the road in a small town in lower middle Tennessee, USA, in zone 6b/7a.  They are commonly seen in ditches and on embankments as erosion control. This one doesn't even own a ditch.  When I first noticed it about five years ago, it was a small plant at the base of the telephone pole.  Slowly over the years, it has spread up the hill.

I don't think anyone planted it.  Why would anyone in their right mind plant a flower on pavement beside a sidewalk under a telephone pole?  My guess is one little seed washed down the hill, found a tiny crack in the road, and sprouted.  Slowly it has spread.  It is amazing how it has survived, thrived and spread on nothing.

Hemerocallis fulva, has been chosen to received the honor of being showcased by me for the month of June's Wildflower Wednesday.  I think it deserves the honor.

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Job, An Outside Graduation, part 7

This is a continued explanation of our video setup for the outside graduation.  We have finished the rain plan setup in the school's gymnasium, the broken lens has been repaired and now it is time to begin setting up  the outside location.  Jim gives instructions to everyone and the work begins.

"Chop chop."
Howard begins assembling the cameras.

Doug ponders as he looks for the perfect place for his camera to get the best shot.  

Jim guessed, "Nine out of ten Dougs will think the best camera shot will be under the shade tree."

Doug corrected, "Ten out of nine Dougs will agree."

Even though we are outside, taping the cables down is still mandatory.

In addition we use landscaping staples on cables that are going across the grass.

Dustin and Ron modeling the staples
Doug using the landscaping staples.

A snake in the grass with staples.

Jim will take the power cable and connect it to the breaker box which is located in the basement of the oldest building on campus.  It appears it might have been built during the dark ages.  Since Jim is afraid of monsters, always has been scared and runs to his big sister to protect him, I volunteered to go with him way, way, way back in the basement.  He is lucky I am such a good sister.

I will also be available to help him if he sticks a screwdriver into a live wire and is shocked and can't get free.  My job will be to save his life by kicking him loose with my rubber soled shoes.  The chance that I might to get to kick Jim as hard as possible is definitely worth hiking deep into the bowels of the basement.

"Jim" I asked while waiting in the dust, "When will I get to kick you?"

"Sorry, not today.  We provided a special connector that fits our truck and it was installed by an electrician into the breaker panel.  It is completely safe."  Jim cheerfully assured me.


"Jim, it looks like you are poking your hand into a socket.

"I know what I am doing."  He assured me.

I believe him.

Oh well.  He probably would have kicked me back anyway.

"Now I am connecting an ethernet cable so we can stream everything to the internet for the world to see."

Who cares about the world?  Look at this place. My short attention span waned and I became distracted by everything around me. What a bunch of junk everywhere.  What could all this stuff be?  When was the last time anyone dusted?  I began to snoop.

Jim is hard to see since he is dressed in black but he is in the back of the picture.
I am sure these wires are not to be touched.  I didn't realize buildings built during the dark ages had electricity.  If they had electricity during the dark ages, would it still be dark? 

 A dusty chandelier sitting in a buggy with a coil of wire beside a box of arrows behind a broken chair.  Really!




Jim yelled back to me over his shoulder, "Follow the cable", as he continued walking.

Finally I can see the light at the end of the mile long tunnel.  I will live!  He should not have run off and left me back there.  It was mean.  I am telling Mom.

Meanwhile, back outside...the weather is getting hot.  I help Doug cool down by fanning him.  It is in my job description.

Howard spies a cloud forming on the horizon.  He is concerned.

He checks the weather on his cell phone.  It says there will not be any rain.

Now he is wondering if he should believe the weatherman.  When was a weatherman ever right?

The graduation begins.

Dustin on Camera 1

Howard on camera 2.

Ron on camera 3.
You have to take my word this is Doug in the picture.  Everyone else wanted under the shade tree too.

Doug on camera 4.
Jim, the boss, is inside the air conditioned truck drinking coffee and directing cameras.

The air conditioner on the wall behind him shows the temperature in the truck to be 68 degrees! What an easy job.

Alright, alright, I will admit, Jim works harder than all of us put together plus I have also made fun of everyone while telling my story.  They were all good sports especially when I stuck a flashing camera in their faces while they were trying to load a jeep late at night in the pouring rain.  It was a fatiguing, but successful season.  There was much, much more to everything than I shared.  After each show, Jim still had to edit, copy, mass produce, ship, pay bills...on and on.  He fell asleep mid-sentence one night while sitting on the lobby floor waiting for a show to end.  I let him rest.  How he kept from dropping his coffee cup while snoring is amazing.  

Everything did not go perfect, it never does:  equipment broke, rain fell, we were locked out, showtimes suddenly changed (and no one told us).  Disasters are normal.  Dustin caught a terrible stomach virus and everyone shared his workload without being asked.  Even though he was so sick he could hardly hold his head up, he did not stop working.  Clocking out and leaving never entered his mind;  family never clocks out.  The crew is family.

I found Dustin a throw-up trash can...just in case, then flashed the camera in his eyes.
"Congratulations, you have reached Jim at the crisis management hotline. We are now opened 24 hours and on weekends. How may I help you?"

Yes, that is how he answers his business phone.  Everyone knows him and is not surprised. Telemarketers panic and hang up.  

Jim, began his business years ago with nothing, absolutely nothing.  He bought all the equipment used and rebuilt it.  This company, his life, his passion was built from the ground up with his sweat.   Everyone of his many crew members appreciate working for him because he is fair, honest and an honorable Christian man.  He hired my sons when they were young and could not get other jobs due to a lack of experience.  He was patient with their immaturity and taught them excellent business skills. The work experience they gained was added to their resumes and has opened many doors.  He showed them a true work ethic, patience and kindness.  Whenever possible, he also mentors many others, not just my sons.

How does he do so much?  Well, coffee helps.  Lots and lots of coffee.

What is his driving force?  He loves the Lord and it shows in his love for others.  That is what drives him.

My little brother, Jim.
Love ya, bro.  Now get back on that phone and make sure tomorrow's work is lined up.

Friday, June 23, 2017

My Job, Ocular Surgery, part 6

"WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM! Camera 3 is all gommered up with cataracts. The lens will look foggy so we must do emergency Ocular surgery before the graduation begins." Jim exclaimed in a panicked voice.

"Do surgery before the graduation starts in 30 minutes?  That is impossible. You have got to be joking." laughed Ron.

"Something is not skookum and the picture is cloudy." Jim expertly diagnosed.

"Not skookum?   Never heard of that but it must be bad." Ron wisely reasoned.

"How can I help?" asked Ron.

"Hold this screw.  Don't let me forget to put it back in."

"Can Jim get everything back together in 20 minutes?"  Ron quietly wondered.

"I found the problem.  It is the filter behind the lens that is cloudy." Jim explained.

"All we need to do is remove it and replace it with a new one." Jim confidently stated.

"Ron, let me use your shirt as a backdrop so you can see the problem.  The filter is multilayered which blocks the infrared light.  It is held together with optical cement and when the layers begin to separate, it looks cloudy."  explained Jim.

"This is how the lens should look."

"Now we just drop the new one in and reassemble the camera, if I can remember how to put it back together." worried Jim.

Keep holding that screw.

Don't lose that screw.

"Wow Jim, you did it with only 10 minutes left." Ron said as he breathe a sigh of relief.

"Only a few more seconds left, must hurry.  Something is missing." mused Jim.  "Wonder what I forgot?  I've got two brain cells left and they are not talking to each other."

Quick!  People are coming in!  Get the camera in place!

"The screw! We forgot the screw! I dropped the screw!  What am I to do!" Ron panicked.

"Over the communication box Jim said, "Showtime.  Hold it together!"

3,2,1, Good evening parents and friends
Howard said: camera 1 ready
Dustin said: camera 2 ready
Doug said: camera 4 ready
Ron said: camera 3 almost ready

Jim said: camera 2, Dustin, get the wide shot, ready 2, on 2 now, hold shot
Jim said: camera 1, Howard, go to person at podium, ready 1, pause...on 1, hold
Jim said: camera 3, Ron, get ready for a pull shot, ready...focus, on 3, pull back slow, easy there tiger, slow down, you got it, hold shot, good shootin' Tex...good shootin'!!

Good Shootin' Tex
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