Photography Heaven

Well, had an amazing opportunity a few weeks ago. Scott Kelby of KelbyOne and a photography and Photoshop god held a seminar in Hartford, CT called: “Scott Kelby’s Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded!” and I was lucky enough to win a ticket. The seminar was amazing. Not only did I learn a lot from Scott himself but met a great bunch of amateur and professional photographers. The side bar discussions were great and I am reenergized to keep on this journey of learning to be a better photographer.

Take a look at his photo of Scott and I. Scott’s team selected one of my (many) tweets and I won a Photography book and was able to take a picture with Scott.  A great day made even better!

Scott_Jeff

I’ve spent the days and week since this great seminar taking more and more photos. I also created my own website over on SmugMug. Here’s the link: jskurkis.smugmug.com. I still need to do a lot of work to it – adding more photos and update the “about me” section, just to name a few. I’m excited about posting my photographs. I have been fortunate to do a lot of traveling and I’m excited to share my experiences there and here.

I’ve also made the switch from Apple’s Aperture to Adobe’s Lightroom. The learning curve hasn’t been as steep as I thought it was. I do find myself getting a little frustrated when I can’t find what I’m looking for but those moments are happening less and less.

More to come…

Is it April or June?

Wow, the last few days have been filled with lots of rain which has slowed down putting up the rest of the siding. It’s coming along nicely and I can’t wait for it to be finished.

The rain was needed and the lawn is getting a nice watering. The kids had a great opportunity this past Sunday to Run A Muck (RAM) in the Wolcott Park forest. The event was sponsored by the Wolcott PTO and it was a huge success. I was fortunate to run along side them and take some really nice pictures. I also started putting a watermark on my photos. I was always against them but a friend, who takes a lot of photos, had some of his work used on other sites without his permission and it hasn’t been a positive experience. It’s sad that you have to go the extra mile to protect your Intellectual Property but it’s what you have to do I guess. Here are a few photos of RAM, I hope you enjoy them.

Hayden flying down the zip line.

Hayden flying down the zip line.

The aftermath of RAM. Smiles all around.

The aftermath of RAM. Smiles all around.

Ava flying over the hurdles.

Ava flying over the hurdles.

First post in a long, long time…

Well I thought I would be using this blog more than I did. It’s been 616 days since my first post. Needless to say life got in the way and I am now just getting back into the swing of things.

A lot has happened over the last year. A lot of it good and some of it bad. Either way, I’m a better person for it. I’ve grown a tremendous amount, more than I thought I could as a 40 something year-old. I won’t rehash everything over the last year or so, instead I’ll focus on going forward. I will. however, highlight some of the amazing things that I’ve been through but expect more of what I’m doing and going to do.

Speaking of things that I’m working on (other than finding a full-time job) is working on my house. We’re replacing the windows, doors, gutters, and siding. A large undertaking and I am really excited on the progress. The house will look totally different. Here are a few pictures of how things are going.

Removing the vinyl siding and the wood siding underneath. It took me about a day to do this one side.

Removing the vinyl siding and the wood siding underneath. It took me about a day to do this one side.

Big change in color. Going  away from the light tan to a grenadier green.

Big change in color. Going away from tan to a grenadier green.

One week and so much to talk about!

Hello again! This world never ceases to amaze me… Personally, I went through a minor surgery that I thought would jeopardize my mobilization to Djibouti in the Fall – which I haven’t even gotten to talk about yet. I had this terrible pain in my stomach which I thought was simple acid reflux or the result of a recent stomach bug my kids had. After about four hours of discomfort I ended up heading to the Emergency room and was diagnosed with gall stones. Of all the things – gall stones. It’s a stretch to say my life flashed before my eyes but the next year to year and a half did. After hearing that my gall bladder would be taken out, the surgeon explained that recovery would be about 4-6 weeks, I felt relieved that my mobilization to Djibouti would be intact.

The surgery was scheduled for a Friday and I was admitted at 10:30am and was home by 3:30pm. My surgeon, Dr. C. was excellent and everything went as planned. So well that I went to an NFL game less than 48 hours after surgery. I must admit that I could not have gone to the game without my buddy Steve driving and the necessary pain medications…

I had no dog in the fight for the NFL game – it was the Buccaneers vs the Jets, I was there to support Steve who’s a Bucs fan and also the reason we were down there was to celebrate his birthday. I wasn’t able to stand up and cheer a lot. For one, the offense wasn’t that good (for either side) and I was trying to minimize any potential pain by standing up/sitting down too much.

I’m still recovering from the surgery, and all the projects I have going around the house are on hold since I’m not up to hammering or putting up sheet rock. I hope to be fully recovered in a week or two. Until then, I’m off to see my beloved Red Sox tomorrow night (Thursday) with my UCONN EMBA Class of 2007 brother – Chad. The fun doesn’t stop there, on Friday I’ll be out and about with some UCONN EMBA Alums from the class of 2010.

The Big Elephant In The Room!

I’m finding it hard to talk about what happened down at the Navy Yard in Washington. I’ve been to that base numerous times when I was stationed at the Pentagon in the late 90’s… It’s so hard to process what transpired. I think I’ll just leave it at that.

So, next time, I promise to actually mention, in more detail, the main reason for this blog, which is to document my mobilization to Djibouti… There’s sooo much to talk about and I’m really excited to share it with you all.

I’ll leave you with lyrics from my favorite band – Pearl Jam. There hasn’t been a song or lyric that hasn’t gotten me through a bad time or a song that hasn’t lifted me up even higher during the good times. Ten is one of the iconic albums of my generation and to this day still inspires me, motivates me, and takes care of me.

“Oceans”

Hold on to the thread

The currents will shift

Guide me towards you

Know somethings’s left

And we’re all allowed to dream

Of the next time we touch…

Welcome to my blog ~ My Navy Blues!

The title of my blog might suggest that I am sad to be in the Navy. Nothing can be farther from the truth! I have been in the world’s best Navy for over 24 years – active and reserve time. I joined during high-school at 17 where I had to have my Mom and Dad “Co-sign” my enlistment paperwork since I wasn’t 18 yet. Through all the ups and downs, by far, it has been the best decision of my life.

Since I am a “new” blogger, I hope you ride through the ups and downs with me.  I’m sure the more I write the better I will get at explaining my feelings or describing something that I am doing. I can’t wait to look back at my early posts (like this one) and see the progression.

Let the journey begin!