Tag Archives: pic

A Hint of Winter in My Coffee

Chilling, climbing and wondering at Lake Robertson.Lake Robertson Sunlight. Chillin, Climbing and Wondering at Lake Robertson.

Railroad Trackin in Buena Vista.BV Chillin. Railroad Trackin in Buena Vista.

Muddy Times on Houston Street.Mucking About. Muddy Times on Houston Street.

Parking Lot Show and TellPurple in the Lot. Parking Lot Show and Tell.

Hiking Climates.

The Misty Blue Ridge, from House Mtn. Hiking Climates.


Campaign: #wluSocial Homecoming and Young Alumni Weekend 2012


Pic of #wluHome Instagram campaign on Colonnade. 2012

As part of my new job (Web Communications Specialist in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs), I have been charged with identifying and presenting valuable student information with the help of my awesome student team. Last week was Homecoming & Young Alumni Weekend at my alma mater, Washington and Lee University. Here’s the skinny on our campaign:

Purpose: Promote social media engagement across multiple platforms regarding Homecoming & Young Alumni Weekend at W&L.

Background: Homecoming/YAW is the first major event weekend at Washington and Lee. In addition to Homecoming sports games and official reunions for the classes of  ’03 and ’08, recent alums of any year are welcomed back. These are typically the people who still have a bit of college left in their systems…and want to find out how much there is ;). It’s a beautiful thing. The fraternities and sororities (W&L is above 80% Greek) host luncheons, cocktail parties, and dinners before throwing massive block parties to which everyone’s invited. Brunches are had a professors’ houses. Club reunions are abound. Given these things plus the fact that W&L alumns are notorious for appreciating time spent in Lexington, it’s bound to be a fun time every year.

Campaign: Essentially, “This is why you love W&L.”  People plain just love everything about coming back: the place, the people, the new memories. That love needs no flashy taglines or meta conceptions of what it means to “be back”. It’s easy to sell an idea when people can’t wait to have it.

Execution: This was our second big social media push (the first being freshman move in 2012). That campaign, along with my office’s experience and plenty of industry commentary told us that pictures were a great way to go. They are interesting, easy to digest, and often defy language–the perfect combination for memorable, or sticky, content. We wanted to utilize our current social media strengths (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, Website Release and Guerrilla) and throw in a few new tools. Here’s what we did:

  • Facebook: We used the Facebook to promote the hashtag #wluHome, Instagram contest, Storify page, and Pinterest board. A lot of our alumni audience hangs out here, so we treated Facebook as the “catch-all” information platform.
  • Twitter: #wluHome (click it to see the tweets). The team, which curates content and manages the handle @wluLex added the hashtag #wluLex to all Homecoming/YAW related tweets. It caught on quickly, as evidenced by the volume of tweets using it.
  • Instagram: We promoted use of #wluHome tagging. Emails, website, Facebook, Twitter, and guerrilla efforts all pointed to this. Check it out! (I like to use Statigr.am to browse Instagram. Great tool when you don’t want to stare at tiny screens.) 135 photos tagged! We also held an Instagram Contest.  Results here.
  • Storify: This was our first Storify attempt. We rolled it out after the event (had to wait for content to roll in). I think it went well. Basically, Storify is a way to create “stories” with socially-derived content. It’s a great way to round up, summarize and/or present social topics or events.
  • Pinterest: This was also our first Pinterest adventure. This was also an after-event’s-over deal (had to manually collect content). In fact, we’re still brainstorming ways to use it most effectively. Here, I simply selected some of the best Instagram shots and created a “wluHome 2012” board. It was really easy using Statigram as there’s a Pin-It plugin.
  • E-mail: E-mail to all registered alums mentioned hashtag #wluHome as well as the Instagram contest.
  • Website: Two news stories, one promoting the Instagram Contest and another promoting the Storify page. We also promoted the event via the popular weekly “Scene on Campus.”
  • Guerrilla: We hung a big banner in the most eye-catching part of the Commons–high contrast, multiple layers of fabric; a real standout. Also put up Instagram/#wluHome signs around photogenic spots on campus. Here:

Instagram/#wluHome sign

  • Concluding Thoughts: Awesome. This was a well-executed, multifaceted campaign across several platforms. Participation was strong. Engagement on Twitter was great as well. Of course, I’ll aim to get better participation and engagement for our next big campaign (there will be at least 7 more by year’s end). Next time, I’d love to crowdsource the voting process for the Instagram winner. I’d also like to have people create some Pinterest boards on their own (for us to get content from). Time will tell, but great start.



This was taken after the steepest stretch of cycling I’ve experienced.  Way too busy thinking about how much hill remained to worry about the consequences of a pre-peak rest. Really loved being confined to that moment. Flow (baller idea put forth by psychologist  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in his book, Flow.) moment for sure.

According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents 

perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning.

In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.” ~ T. Wikipedia

Further, there are 6 tell-tale signs of flow, via Wikipedia:

  1. intense and focused concentration on the present moment
  2. merging of action and awareness
  3. loss of reflective self-consciousness
  4. a sense of personal control over the situation or activity
  5. distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered
  6. experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience

So, hell yes, wretched hill.


“Casual” Sunday Ride

Photo credit: Patrick Bolling.


Finally found a non-boring bike route. According to Google maps, it’s about 10.2 miles. (Note: Google Maps, while awesome, does not do the ridiculous hilliness of this route justice.) Rolling hills and endless awesome views. Met an a nice old man with a tree-stump problem while water-breaking it. Highly recommend.

Directions: Miller > Left Houston which becomes Old Farm Road > Right Popular Hill.


Apple Time

VA apples are one of my top 10 favorite things, hands down. I also really like carpentry, booze, and giving gifts. What happens when you mix all three together? (Jamie’s yet-to-be-named) Hard Cider! Here’s the plan, Fran:

  1. Find the best VA apples around. This pic was taken at Saunder’s Brothers Orchard in Piney River, VA.
  2. Build a cider press worthy of being passed down to Goodin generations to come.
  3. Make and refine some ballin’ soft-cider.
  4. Turn it to a hard 11.
  5. Bottle & brand it.
  6. Give it to my friends and family for holiday gifts. #SharingIsBoss

Some Cine’s

(Click ’em.)

Left: What’s one of the coolest parts about my job? Easy; I get to constantly capture the captivating creativity of the Lexington community. This was taken on a lunch break at the Hillel House. Shout-outs to Jack Burks and Nate Reisinger for the ballin rendition of Hotel California. #CoolWindInMyHair

Center: Moving back to Lexington has seriously upped my bike riding time. Loving it. This was taken on the W&L cross country course, just under the parking garage. #WaterBreak

Right: These jam sessioners were keeping it Appalachian at Harrisonburg’s Famer’s Market.


Why? My friend was in from out of town.

How? Doors off the Jeep, top down, legs out, cruise time.

Where? These were taken on the way back from Goshen Pass.

Say What? Avett Brothers, “I And Love And You.”

THIS is a lunch break

Gave my friend a ride to the vet’s office during lunch break. The cat was healthy, and so was I. #DogDaysOfSummerRt. 11, outside Lexington, Va

Appalachian Dulcimer

Appalachian Dulcimer

At the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market three weekends ago, I came upon a baller acoustic jam session. Check out more details on Appalchian dulcimers here. #Amurka

Some highlights, via Wikipedia:

  • Number of strings: Dulcimers may have as few as two or as many as 12 strings (in six courses). Instruments with only one string would more properly be termed monochords. In the 1950s and 1960s most mountain dulcimers had three strings. The most popular variant today is four strings in three courses, with doubled melody strings.
  • Fret patterns: Until the late 1970s, most Appalachian dulcimers were made with a purely diatonic fretboard. A few years later, an added 6½ fret (and where the instrument fretboard is long enough, the 13½ fret, an octave higher) had become standard. Most makers now offer 1½ and 8½ frets as options, and the fully chromatic dulcimer is rising in popularity
  • Body shapes: Dulcimers appear in a wide variety of body types, many of which are recorded in A Catalog of Pre-Revival Dulcimers. A representative array would include: hourglass, teardrop, trapezoid, rectangular, elliptical (“Galax-style”), violin-shaped, fish-shaped, and lute-back.
  • Materials: In addition to plywood, laminates, and solid woods, some builders are using experimental materials such as carbon fiber. Dulcimers are also made of cardboard. Often sold as low-cost kits, cardboard dulcimers offer surprisingly good sound and volume. Their low cost and resistance to damage make them particularly suited to institutional settings, such as elementary school classrooms.
  • “Courting dulcimers”: One unusual variant is the “courting dulcimer.” This instrument consists of one large dulcimer body with two separate fingerboards. The instrument is laid across the laps of two facing individuals (the eponymous “courting” pair) and used to play duets.
  • “Double-Neck Dulcimers”: Somewhat the same as a “courting dulcimer”, but with both fretboards (or “necks”) facing the same direction. Popularized by performer Bing Futch, it allows for multiple tunings without changing instruments.
  • “Bowed Dulcimers”: Dulcimers that can be played with bows; in the modern era heavily modified variants have been made exclusively for bowed playing.

So, how does it sound? The combination of thumb-picking and nylon strings gave the notes a low-treble, subdued attack and the well-made acoustic body ensures a full, almost haunting ring. As pictured, the gentleman was playing in the rhythmic style of a bass guitar. This was fitting as the other instruments in the jam included banjos, mandolins, and guitars. All in all, baller.



Daily Grind

All aboard!

This is the first cinemagraph I’ve made using Cinemagram (iOS). They’re a visually-striking hybrid of static images and moving .gifs.

These are a bit more difficult to capture than a picture as these really require a still hand for maximum contrast of motion.

It’s pretty basic:

1. Take a video of something you want to capture.

2. Choose a few seconds of the video to eventually transform into a .gif (that’s what these files technically are).

3. Choose the area of the video that you want to have move in time. The non-selected areas will retain the initial frame.

4. Customize the speed & direction of the .gif as well as add a filter.


More cinemagraphs

(This .gif should be moving, pending your connection speed.)