Got Heart?

The day had been in the seventy’s, now running about thirty-five degrees cooler as the field lights came on and there seemed to be a bit of steam coming off the artificial turf.

You never forget that smell where sweat, pads and field meet.

On the aluminum sideline bench the linebacker gave the tape another wrap around his wrist making the twist on top to strengthen and apply pressure.

“Just a bunch of broken-up old guys that like to play football.” he smiled after making the final wrap.

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“Hey, got some tape? I think that I broke it last season.”  The “Heat” player held up his hand with a finger that was bent in three different directions. “Gotta love it!”

It’s the second week of practice for the Redding, CA semi-pro football team and the first year for new owners Jason Burris and David Williams as the players are given a watchful eye from head coach Chris Hall.

A bit surreal, much like players coming out of the corn field in the movie “Field of Dreams” the players arrived from all corners of the field washed in light dragging what equipment they owned.  They came in very good shape; some shape and no shape.

“I’m not here to disrespect you, but, I don’t ever want to see another session like tonight.  If you don’t bring it to every practice, I guarantee the guy across the line from you will. He’ll be kicking your butt and smiling all the way back to the huddle.” Coach Hall’s voice was not above a whisper and not mistaken by the players as a request.

Towards the end of the two hour practice you could see the timing starting to come back; sharp long passes caught and hard hits made.

Just a bunch of broken-up old guys on a surreal field of dreams with big hearts.  This could just be a very entertaining season.

An Engaged Photojournalist:

A Western Sunset

It’s an interesting time to be involved in journalism these days as a freelancer you dip your toe in and out of the pool much more a spectator than being a coach or player in the game…maybe not a bad thing.

I was trading emails with a young photojournalist a few mornings back and she was in a gut wrenching dilemma over what software to use for her new Nikon camera which she could now produce video as a multimedia journalist.

“Should I spend the money for Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro? Should I use IMovie? I know FCP is what everyone in the business is using. I just don’t know.”

For me it is much like debating the value of a beer coming from a tall, thin bottle or the same beer poured from a short, fat bottle.  The container has little to do with the quality of the drink.

The drink is quality storytelling and becoming ENGAGED with your subject. It’s about making a connection and leading your viewer/reader on a journey.

As we move forward with various levels of multimedia visuals; think about replacing the term multimedia with “engaging journalism”.  Place the emphasis on the quality of the craft and then build a better container.

Cissi Lundgren, 91 year-old artist started to paint at nine in Stockholm, Sweden.

A River Crossing:

Sundial Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava crosses the Sacramento River at a reported cost of $23.5 million. The bridge design is a cantilever spar cable-stayed structure that spans 700 feet.

The bridge follows Calatrava’s earlier designs in Spain and Argentina.  True to its design it is accurate as a sundial one day per year but offers fisherman a first-class backdrop while packed drift boats maneuver pockets for salmon, steelhead and rainbow trout.

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Muir and Mount Shasta:


JOHN MUIR (1877)

-the last graph-

At four in the afternoon we reached Strawberry Valley, and went to bed. Next morning we seemed to have risen from the dead. My bedroom was flooded with living sunshine, and from the window I saw the great white Shasta cone wearing its clouds and forests, and holding them loftily in the sky. How fresh and sunful and new-born our beautiful world appeared! Sisson’s children came in with wild flowers and covered my bed, and the sufferings of our long freezing storm period on the mountain.

Mount Shasta stands above a blanket of Fog covering the Sacramento River monday morning.