Monday, December 27, 2010

SNOW weather is COLD weather.

So it was a White (Day After) Christmas in Charleston.

Philadelphia and Boston wished they had a "snow" like ours.

The winter storm that slammed into the upper East Coast caused delays for Santa, drivers, airlines and even the NFL.

Charleston was at the bottom of that wintery misery scale. Thank goodness.

We had our "heavy" snow back in February. The polite one that fell at night and was gone by noon.

My cat Wally is very definitely an Inside/Outside kind of pet.

Usually he is on the wrong side of the door and wants to be "over there" instead.

In..he wants out. Out.. he wants to be in.

He was really thinking "Inside is better" as he stared through the patio door.

It wasn't the snow so much as it was the low temps.

That orange striped fur coat looks pretty warm.

Of course I let him in, picked him up and shivered when I felt the cold, cold pads of his feet.

More Kibble for kitty. Maybe a treat too.

Brrr. Purr.

(Click on the pictures for more detail. The cat was outside more than my Canon S90 was. Remember: a camera lens can fog up when you go out in the cold. Thanks for pausing to read this.)

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Friday, December 24, 2010

O, Christmas tree.....

What a GREAT time to be a photographer.

And, having a camera you can adjust to achieve so many different effects.

My photo group is meeting Wednesday January 12 and we always have an optional theme for the monthly Show & Tell.

Naturally this one will be "Pictures Taken With That New Christmas Camera" so I trust many people will be snapping away.

Children, pets, decorations (indoors and out), the surprise snow fall(?) and other seasonal views should be on display.

Meanwhile I'm pushing my Mom around the heavily-decorated Sandpiper Nursing Center so she can see the colorful displays.

I'm happy to report that my mother seems comfortable.

She doesn't complain and she eats well.

Staff says she's quiet but cheerful.

I like her bemused smile and the twinkle in her eye when I remind her she'll be 95 years old next March.

She gives me that "mother's look."

Merry Christmas Mom.

(Click on the photos for more detail. Enjoy your parents. Thanks for stopping by.)

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Warm Wintery Project....

Years ago - before I retired from The Post and Courier newspaper - I had a restaurant story idea. Obviously it would include photos.

But I never did anything with it.

Now I have a blog and remember what I wanted to feature about local dining spots.

An enticing haven during harsh winter weather. (Oh cope with our low, low temperatures.)

Cozy fireplaces and the "warmth" they add to the dining ambiance.

Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island is a good example of what I have in mind.

Last night I stopped for a Guinness at Tommy Condon's and I glanced at the fireplace there.

It was a busy Saturday and the place was packed. I thought I'd probably have to come back later.

But, as I was leaving, a large group that had filled a long table to celebrate a birthday or anniversary also was heading out. The fireplace now was in plain view.

(Hmmm. Do I see a pattern here? Fireplaces seem to come with paintings above them?)

In Dublin last year I sat next to one glowing with peat at Duke's Pub. Peat burns for a long time I was told.

So far I have not seen one like that here in Charleston. Nor coal or thick logs. Mainly I see either gas or electric.

Please give me your suggestions where I should look. "Home is where the hearth is" should be added to this collection.

(Click twice on the pictures for more detail. Oddly enough, in Dublin I was ALSO drinking a Guinness. What are the chances of that?! Thanks for reading my stuff.)

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Friday, December 17, 2010

'Tis The Season....

Visited my Mom today at Sandpiper Nursing & Rehab in Mt. Pleasant.

I reminded her it was her wedding anniversary.

Always a week before Christmas.

It would have been their 77th.

The main dining room was being used for a festive employee Christmas party and children were running around stuffed with sugar cookies.

Took some pictures of the decorated tree.

Then used Photoshop to enhance it even more.

Growing up, we three brothers had mixed methods for decorating the tree. My older disappeared and my younger usually got impatient.

Eventually he would start to throw clumps of silvery icicles on the tree instead of hanging them carefully one at a time.

Every year.

Today, Santa and Mrs. Claus were leaving the room, looking tired but happy.

I asked them to pose with my Mom.

That got a big smile from everyone.

There was a sign on the bulletin board that said "Save Santa A Trip, Be Naughty."

My Mom said "Of course, I've been nice."

(Click on the photos for details. Can you see the Photoshop effects? I'm glad the Clauses could get away from the shop with a busy week to go.) Thanks for stopping by. Stay warm.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey...slow down. R-E-A-L-L-Y slow.

It's the Holiday Season and it's rush..rush..rush!

Slow it down.

Set your camera on a tripod and shoot a sloooooow loooong exposure.

Try 15 seconds. It's relaxing.

Things will look differently. I promise.

You'll see images your eye can't see.

Instead of freezing a moment, you prolong it.

Water droplets continue to merge and that splash looks featherly. Really.

Even traffic looks better.

There's movement.

Colors start to flow.

See. It's soothing.

(A good place to capture this is at the entrance to a city parking garage. See, I even have some cobblestones in the foreground.)

During a NIGHT PHOTO WALK, I was shooting the other fountain at Waterfront Park and I glanced up and saw my shadow.

Self portrait of Man-In-A-Hat-With-Tripod.

Winter hasn't even officially started yet and I'm already projecting 6 more weeks of cold.

Yikes. And Brrrrr.

(Enlarge the pictures by clicking on them. I was surrounded by tripods and 9 DSLRs but my Canon S90 held its own. Hadn't carried a tripod in years. Thanks for stopping to look.)

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Friday, December 10, 2010

A "Mixed Bag" of Music...

The band's former name was The Bill Murray Experience.

Now it's "Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess."

She played at Tin Roof last Tuesday night and I was pleasantly surprised by the unplugged acoustic effort.

"You people in the back might want to come in closer," Jessy advised. "We're not amplified tonight."

The guitar was sometimes covered over by the clarinet and/or the banjo as Mario Maggio switched back and forth, but she was belting out a gravel-throated Bessie Smith 1930s sound like crazy.

Just a few weeks ago, I was at the Performing Arts Center enjoying Lyle Lovett and his "Large Band."

Charleston is on a Happy Holidays musical hot streak right now!

We're being treated to national and regional entertainers and on December 15, local jazz artist Ann Caldwell presents her "Acoustic Porch" monthly arts jam session near Park Circle.

Keep your eyes and ears tuned. It's Santa's bag of goodies.

(Click on pictures for more detail. Photoshop was used to enhance the background at Tin Roof. Can you tell? Thanks for checking my blog.)

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Laundering The News ....

Sometimes things aren't as bad as they look.

This was not one of those times.

The paper is VERY soggy. Crumbling. Scrunched. Disintegrating. Yikes.

However, today was a sunny morning.

The paper had been expertly delivered on the porch. It was wrapped in a plastic bag.

Human error.


My routine is to open the door and pick up the paper. Usually then I place it on the kitchen table. The coffee is brewing. A normal day. Today I had stripped the bed to do laundry.

The washing machine was gurgling and chugging along as I looked around for the paper.

Oh yeah. I remember now ..I had dropped it on the floor in the bedroom.

The machine stopped.

Yep. Still in its protective wrap, it had gone through 37 minutes in the washer and all the cycles.

I gingerly separated the sections of the paper and placed them on the porch in the sun to dry.

The coffee tasted ok as I finished a novel I had been reading.

(Too late in the day to call for another paper to be delivered. I'll buy one when I'm out. If I had called, I'm afraid there would have been laughter. Thanks for reading about another of my dumb mistakes.)

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Floating In Space...for $5

I have been known to steal, I mean, do research and then adapt from what others have done.

"Floating in space" on the floor of the new Northwoods Stadium Cinema is such an obvious photo opportunity that I am sure many others will be doing this.

Well, I know that Darryl did a funny YouTube video a few days BEFORE the theater opened.

It takes a person with more nerve (brains?) to pose like this when people are actually coming in with $5 tickets and walking around you to get their popcorn and Pepsi.

(Until December 9, the theater is offering a Grand Opening concession special of $1.00 for a medium popcorn, medium drinks and selected candy bars. Yikes.)

Tickets are a flat rate of $5 Monday thru Thursdays. Weekends it's $8.00 for adults and $6.50 for seniors.

Now I need to discover where can you get this swell space-themed carpet for your home?

(Picture taken with my Canon S90. Have your small camera with you all the time. Who knows what might pop up? Thanks for the idea Darryl.)

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Nice Nose Job ....

Something caught my eye when I flipped past this picture I had taken of Queen Victoria in a public park.

Pretty darn good repair "Nose Job" on this London statue.

But I wonder... what had prompted the replacement?

Statues of great people don't have great vanity.

Weather erosion would have affected the entire statue.

Her carved face was up high so it wouldn't be touched excessively.

History did not portray her as a touchy-feely monarch


A tour guide in Munich, Germany had pointed out how a row of four brass lions facing the Residenz Palace were rubbed a lot by residents.

And by visitors.

Touching three in a row was considered a way to receive Good Luck.

"Rub its paw for a year of luck and wealth," was the saying.

Looks like a lot of lucky people in town.

I don't remember if either city had a Lottery.

Wonder if there was a "rub off" version of the games.

(Click on the pictures for more detail. These were taken before I got my current Canon S90 but all were taken with an earlier Canon point & shoot. I've been considered a "Loose Canon" for quite a while. Thanks for reading my blog. Come back often.)

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