Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day...with a bang

I had a lovely time celebrating America's birthday and our independence with my family. We had a fabulous lunch, shared lots of laughs, and enjoyed some time just chillin' and relaxing. What a delight!

One of the very best parts of the day, however, came early in the morning. The University of Alabama had made plans to implode the Rose Towers dorm building to make way for newer, more updated dorms. While it made me sad to think of Rose Towers not towering over the river anymore, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to see a building implode right in front of me. I'm all about experiencing new things and knew this one was a must-see.

*I will add: if this had been a building on Auburn's campus, where I spent four glorious years of my life, I certainly would not have been a spectator. That might actually break my heart into little bitty pieces. I had some sad friends on facebook today and it really made me feel for them. While it was just a building to me, it was home to them and the setting for fun college memories. I hope they don't think I'm insensitive by sharing this here. It's much easier and more fun to watch something like this if you have no attachment to it.*

I made a very early journey into Tuscaloosa so that we could make it to the viewing spot by 7:15. I had great company and enjoyed my time with some of the fam. We were all pumped. Grandad has decades of experience as a construction project manager, so he was little-kid-on-Christmas excited to see something that is directly opposite what he does on a daily basis.

{Mimi describing the details she'd read in the newspaper...I'm pretty sure she now knows enough to implode a building herself}

{I don't remember what they were talking about but I do know that this is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. Ever, ever. A keeper for sure.}

{one last shot}

Having never seen an implosion (other than on TV), I didn't quite have a feel for the logistics. There were firetrucks spraying the building to minimize the dust, I learned. Makes sense. I also learned that no charges were placed higher than the eighth floor to ensure that the building fell in on itself instead of exploding from the top. Good to know. Getting hit in the head with a brick-turned-missile would kinda put a damper on the Independence Day festivities. Super glad I'm not in charge of something like this.

We got a one minute warning so I set up my camera (on my tripod). I have a great action setting that enables you to press the shutter once and take 25 consecutive shots in 25 seconds...way faster than you could ever do it manually. I had big dreams of getting spectacular implosion shots.

However, I learned something else yesterday. When you hear the charges start sounding, and you immediately press the shutter on your camera, you've jumped the gun too quickly. You see, the building hovers for a few seconds after the charges fire. THEN it collapses. If you do what I did, you won't get a single picture of the collapse...which is exactly what happened. I have 25 consecutive pictures of the building standing completely upright just BEFORE it fell. Ha! I've laughed and laughed over that. Things like this happen specifically to keep us humble, right? Now that I've told you all this, if you need a photographer for a pivotal, life-changing event such as a wedding, graduation, or championship game, call me :)

Thankfully, I got to see the implosion with my eyeballs and was able to film with my phone. I debated not putting the video on here because, while the implosion is amazing, I sound like an absolute goober. I had no idea I would be that excited seeing such a thing, and it's all caught on video. Thanks for being my friend anyway. And if you have ideas for any suitable alternatives to the word "cool", please let me know ASAP. This is apparently something I need to work on.

video

Isn't that incredible? Just a poof of dust and an entire massive 12-story building is gone. I am absolutely fascinated by people whose brains think this way, because that is the COMPLETE opposite of how mine functions. I would, without a doubt, make the world's worst engineer. 

{Nothing left but a cloud of dust and a gigantic pile of rubble. Twenty seconds and DONE. Boggles the mind.}

I hope you and yours had a thrilling...or totally relaxing, because that's great too...day of celebration yesterday!

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