Friday, November 29, 2013

NO Turkey Sandwiches this year....

Sweet potatoes with small marshmallows. Yummy.

Eat these only about once a year - around Thanksgiving - so I added some to my plate.

And sauteed green beans.

Along with a dozen peel-and-eat shrimp.

No, they are not local. Not even from this continent. Yikes.

A holiday meal with all the trimmings. Different trimmings.

Oh, some traditional foods - like sliced ham - of course. And rolls.

Dining out on Thanksgiving is a big deal, depending on where you go to eat.

Downtown, there was an array of upscale eateries open. Pricey and tempting BUT...

I wanted to stay close to home in North Charleston on a cold, blustery evening after scattered showers during the day.

Spending hours preparing a meal has never appealed to me.

Even watching others do that distracts me from watching football games on tv.

Around the corner , so to speak, is Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet. 

Yes, the name says it all.


Familiar foods.

And, an Hibachi Grille in the back of the large main room.

The cook splashing teriyaki - or soy sauce - on your plate of food simmering on the grille.

Noodles or rice, bay shrimps, broccoli, chilies, peppers, onions, steak, pork, etc.

You load up as much as you think you'll need.

Moderation is hard in a place like this!

There are still all the buffet stations to navigate. Grab a claean plate and move around.

Did I mention you also serve yourself in the desserts area?

There is an art to tamping down ice cream.

Saves a trip back for seconds.

Or thirds.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Serve yourself and treat yourself well.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sometime, you want just HALF a beer...

Here's a place that gives you LOTS of options.

Not just on what beer to drink...but, also how much.

Ever try to order half a beer.

The 5-week old Bay Street Biergarten wants to save you the time and expense of flying to Germany for a beer with atmosphere.

Good job!

It was a bit too brisk to sit outside but the place was hopping inside.

(Catch the beer reference to "hops?")

Later, I saw some of the Sunday crowd had ventured outside.

Right after the space heaters were lighted.

The former seafood restaurant had been completely changed from what I remembered.

The attention to detail was extraordinary.

As was the opportunity to pour your own beer from the many taps.

You pay by the ounce, using a prepaid card that keeps track of your beverages in the Garten.

There are community tables - memories of Munich and those fun-lovin' Bavarians - as well as booths with their own taps and servers who know their product.

You are reminded often of why you are there.

But I already knew.

A fellow photographer - a member of my Photography Group - had suggested we meet downtown.

I mentioned the BSB and he remarked he had lived in Germany for six months.

So naturally we pulled up stools and listened as the server explained how it all worked.

My prepaid card will be recognized the next time I check in, showing the balance in my account.

As they say on their website, it's also about the food.

I was thinking sausages and German potato salad, which is clearly on the menu. But...

They had me at chicken and waffles with a side of fresh fruit.

The chef outdid himself with this tasty, multi-textured brunch delight.

And, yes, I had a small craft beer with the meal.

A young lady sitting next to me at the large communal table asked for a Bud Light.

In Germany, that would be an import.

(Click on the photos for taste-tempting details.)

Winter will make a brief visit and I'll probably try sitting outside my next time.

Out in ze garten.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

700th Posting on my blog...

On the occasion of my 700th  blog entry, here's my most recent shot. It was taken Tuesday night.

Not exactly "right out of the camera," it has been worked on.  A lot.

That's Andrew Scotchie on the right and Will Bridges, left, on bass. The drummer is Eliza Hill.

They are the River Rats from Asheville, playing at the Tattooed Moose.

My newest technique picture, using a Black & White Plug-in tool from Topaz, is a shot taken in England a few years ago at the Tower of London.

Two young men showed step-by-step how knights dressed in their armor to prepare for battle.

Then gave a rousing example of banging and clanging each other on their helmets, chests, arms and legs with real steel swords.

Actually, I combined several tools to create this look.

In addition to taking away all color, I also changed the focus to blur the background.

This helps make the combatants stand out from the background.

The attention is further focused on them. Literally.

Because this is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I also have a picture I took of him in San Diego when he was speaking at a College Commencement.

This was in June, five months before he and the First Lady flew to Texas for several days of speeches.

A brief outline of details on this photo - and another I took three years earlier - can be found at Charleston Currents.

Hard to believe it has been half a century since the young President was killed.

Media all over the world are marking this date with words and pictures.

I felt it was appropriate to share my two junctures, as a small remembrance, of those times all those years ago.

In 1960 I was a freshman in college and had great luck in being in the right place at the right time to catch a photo of candidate Senator Jack Kennedy in his quest for the Presidency.

In my lifetime, so far, I also have traveled to Berlin, Germany, to County Limerick, Ireland and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In fact, I was a Marine "stranded" overnight at the base in Cuba, anxiously waiting for a military flight back to the United States, during a scary security lock down caused by Castro.

I guess that would have been MY Cuban crisis.

So this 50th anniversary - and my 700th blog posting - has reminded me of some exciting and adventuresome periods in my life.

Thanks for stopping by to share some moments on my blog.

Please drop by again and often.

I'll keep writing.

And taking pictures.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Music In The Hanahan Park

The Hanahan Amphitheater is the  newest outdoor music venue in the area.

With a fantastic Lowcountry stage backdrop. Wow!

Michael Davis and his band "9 Iron" helped open the new park Saturday during Hanahan's Red, White & Blue Fall Festival.

The Park is located near Trident Tech behind the Senior Center at 3100 Mabeline Drive.

The new structure is Phase 2 in the Park development.

I stopped by pretty late but the weather had been great all day.

Happy, smiling vendors of arts, crafts, food and beverage were packing up when I got there.

I spoke to several who said the crowds were good and stayed steady all day.

That's always a good sign - happy booth people.

Later I saw what looked like a full moon rising.

That would have added even more "awesome-ness" to the scene.

I had had my own "phase 2" earlier when the hole in my kitchen ceiling disappeared for good.

The repair guy - Dan Murray - sprayed the "popcorn" texture on the sturdy patch he had made the week before.

It looked good to him so he applied one more coat of "mud" and dried it with a heavy duty hair dryer.

Meanwhile, his helper taped off areas we did not want to coat, and used a large piece of cardboard to further protect from overspray.

Again, before they started, the drop cloth was in place and light clear plastic covered the counter tops and cabinet fronts.

The curious cat was in a back bedroom...with food, water and a litter box.

Can you imagine a scared cat scurrying around underfoot during the spraying process? Yikes.

O.K. The ceiling looks good again and the frisky cat is free to roam.

We have a new place in town to go to for outdoor music.


This is the 699th posting for my blog.

CHUCKOGRAPHY  will be 8 years old on March 29, 2014,

For an important posting number in the timeline, I need to have an excellent 700th entry.

I have something in mind.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Thank you for stopping by to see what's new in my house and in my life.

Come again.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

"Hole" today...gone tomorrow.

You may recall I have my AC and heating system checked every six months.

The company that installed it 13 years ago has kept it running smoothly.

"You can't stop a Trane," is their slogan.

The same tech climbed up into the attic the last several visits as well as checking the large unit outside.

This time, his foot slipped and punched a hole in my ceiling.

Seems the company has a ceiling repair guy on call (on their speed dial?) and he came by last weekend.

He had a young "helper" with him to do the first of a 2-step repair.

Six-year old Grandson Tyler was well behaved. He even fetched small items when Grandpa asked him.

I had placed my cat in a back bedroom so the pet was no problem.

"That drop cloth costs nearly $100," I was told. "It has a rubber backing so even a gallon of paint spilled would not soak through," added the repair man.

There was no paint involved in this job so I took him at his word.

He had draped a light plastic cover over my counter top so no dust or particles landed there. A neat man.

My dad would have appreciated that even more.

He drew a square around the hole, cut it out, removed the broken pieces and cut a replacement piece of wall board.

He added nail-to pieces of wood inside the opening then screwed the new piece into place.

He scraped away some of  the "popcorn" ceiling around the patch then taped and used "mud" to blend it in.

I am terrible with tape and mud so I admire his work.

Apparently his use by the HVAC company is pretty steady.

He is coming by tomorrow to sand things smooth.

Then he'll fashion a protective plastic tent and spray "popcorn" material onto the finished job.

The guarantee is either it matches perfectly or he'll spray the entire ceiling.

Sounds fair to me.

The other night we had a drop in temps preceded by a stiff wind.

As the fierce wind blew, I happened to be driving on Savannah Highway near Rick Hendrick Chevrolet.

As you've seen, they fly a VERY large flag but usually it hangs down in a drape caused by the sheer weight of the material.

It was pointed straight out the night I pulled over to grab a shot.

When I visited Baltimore a few years ago, I was impressed with the Ft. McHenry flag that inspired the writing of our national anthem.

The original 15-stars, 15-stripes flag was a whopping 30 feet high and 42 feet across!

The defenders of the fort said they wanted it big enough that the 1814 invading British would see it.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Free music and a chilly night...

The Apple Seed Collective promised quite a lot last night.

The Michigan-based band was heading back home and stopped to give Charleston a treat.

Thank you!

It was a free-no-admission-cost show last night at the Pour House.

Their website describes them as a "collective" of smoky Paris jazz, sweaty Dixie soul, bluegrass, ragtime, and Western Swing swagger.

And Gypsy.

Oh yeah, all that and more!

Andrew Brown, guitar and vocals, had a voice that ranged all over the place.

He hit the low notes and he breathlessly notched it up to almost falsetto. Back and forth as needed. Up and down.


His cohort on banjo, Katie Lee, also sang as she plucked and strummed and they blended well together.

They thanked someone in the crowd who hosted the lot of them at his house.

Wish I had gotten the name of that gracious - and fortunate - meals and lodging provider.

Extreme Southern hospitality!

Most of the set, Vince Russo was playing washboard with spoons and metal brushes.

Toward the end, he brought out two Bongos and laid down a rapid staccato beat.

Ben Rolston is on double bass.

Just for variety - and a change from dimly-lighted music venues - I often take aim at hockey players during practice drills.

My Photo Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday at the Carolina Ice Palace.

Usually we see teams and leagues practising on rinks on either side of the building.

I kidded the manager and said some of our photographers might be late because they were skating on frozen ponds near their homes.  (Yes, it was a chilly night.)

He laughed and reminded me the general public - and especially "rink rats" - take to the ice there all year long.

Something to think about next summer.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Go online and listen to the Apple Seed Collective Band. Buy some CDs.

They drove a long way to give us a great free concert.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Hairy Day In Columbia

The headliner at the 19th annual Columbia Blues Festival this Saturday was Sonny Landreth.

He's described as a Louisiana-based slide guitar wizard.

New to me, he is praised for showing "a style of his own" that keeps his right hand very busy.

I liked what I heard but had to read a few reviews to realize he was "fretting the strings behind the slide" to produce his distinctive sound.

The Blues Festival is presented each year by Word of Mouth Productions. They stamp your hand at the free shows with WOMP.

This is my third year attending and I like what they do and how it's done.

It's family-friendly with great sound but this year, there were some problems with the stage lighting which is disappointing if you're trying to take pictures.

The acts are exciting - and varied - so there's something
for everybody.

One of the early performers Saturday was Andrew Scotchie and The River Rats, from Asheville.

Nice tight group with a rousing sound.

And LOTS of hair.

That was evident all day as people with long hair played on stage and danced in the crowd.

Hair in motion was almost a sub-theme for the festival.

A player I like is Shane Pruitt and his groomed pony-tail was complemented by a beard I had not seen before.

He's part of the Mill Billy Band from Spartanburg but I was not aware of the storied background.

Here's a link to an article that tells about Shane, Brendon Turner and Freddie Vanderford and a bit of history of the textile mill towns that created bands like this one.

There was an active trio of young people dancing in the crowd in front of the stage.

One I would call the Rainbow Lady with her bright and colorful outfit and energetic dancing ability.

Later, when it got dark, I noticed she added tiny sparkling lights to her tutu.

Both of the men would leap into the air, twisting and writhing and be almost constantly in motion.

One had long hair, down to the middle of his back, and I caught one EXPLOSION of hair as he bounced up and down.

I have never seen hair do that before. Massive.

It didn't just sway from side to side as he danced. It did more than just fall over his face.

It had a life of its own. Yikes.

I understand Sonny Landreth has appeared at the WOMP Festival before.

Glad I got to see him and all the other talented acts.

Plan to come next year for the 20th annual event at Five Points in MLK Memorial Park.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Today is the Marine Corps 238th birthday.

Back when I was a Marine, my hair was cut very, very short.

It never really "came alive" as I saw this weekend.

Gives a new meaning to "longhair music."

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Good News/Bad News...

Guess my wireless keyboard and mouse are trying to tell me something.

The battery in the mouse started blinking a small red light and finally stopped working.

A change of batteries and it was back up and running.

Because I am NOT a touch typist - more of a hunt and peck with a heavy hand  - the gradual disappearance of the letters on key keys was becoming more than just a nuisance. Found my packet of vinyl stick-on letters and the 1/4" Helvetica looked right.

Larger, but much better.

This happens when you overuse the words East, Seat, Sate, Teas and Eats too often.

I was pleased that my 13-year old heating and cooling unit passed its semi-annual inspection.

It came with a 10-year warranty.

The same HVAC tech had come the last few times but, today, his foot slipped while he was in the attic.

A hole was punched in the ceiling but he was not injured. Just embarrassed.

This was the first problem in about 26 inspection/adjustment bi-annual visits by the company that had installed it,

My cat had been placed in a back bedroom - standard for these visits - but she noticed the new look at once.

The attic pull-down ladder had been closed but she was curious.

Looking at the counter top and up at the hole,

Did I mention she misses nothing?

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Hopefully there will NOT be a picture of the cat attempting a high leap.

No problem though of that happening.

She's not allowed on the table.

Nor on the kitchen counters.

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Monday, November 04, 2013

Landing Planes and Signing "Fiction" Books...

Hey. Whoa here. Time out!

Airplanes should take off - and land - on long, long runways.

Not on the tarmac.

Nor by the terminal and not this close to another plane.


After I took this picture I noticed the nose wheel "in the air" as it looks when landing and about to touch down.

My first optical illusion. Whew. Take a closer look.

I have done my share of manipulating photos in the past, but this plane image is right out of the camera.

 A few weeks ago, technically, I violated a "No Pictures Please" sign at a book signing.

David Sedaris was in town to do a reading at the Charleston Music Hall.
As he usually does, he was signing copies of his books before and after the show.

This was my third time seeing him in person. I have bought several of his works and usually laugh out loud at certain passages. Well, most of them.

Because I had my camera - and none of his books with me - I stepped behind the line of people and snapped this shot.

A security guard leaned into my face and said "No pictures. Do that inside and we'll take your camera."

Wow. Very confrontational.

I assumed the ban on photos was to keep the line moving and give more people their moment of David's time.

Inside the theater, the same security guard took his seat at the front facing the audience and - I think - stared at me the entire show.

The reading was enjoyable, a bit smutty (yea!) and I felt free to at least laugh out loud.
I did not take any pictures of David standing on the podium at the lectern (or is it rostrum?).

[Click on the photos for more detail.]

You're allowed to do that.

Laugh and click.

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

Planes in T-Town (Tulsa)

Had several hours to kill waiting in Tulsa last week for my flight back home, and I watched as an American Airline jet was pulled away from the gate.

But then it just sat there.

It's engines were not turned on. Hmmm.

Admittedly it had been a cool night but I was surprised when a truck with a cherry-picker rode up to the silent jet. 

The truck had the name  ICEMAN painted on its side. Aha.

Yep. They de-iced the plane. 

Passengers had quite a (disturbing?) view as the wings were sloshed and then solution was hosed onto the horizontal parts of the tail.

I pictured myself in the eerily silent plane. 

Looking out my little window as the slushy mixture hit the glass and flowed down in a slow slurry.

But I was not on that AA plane.

I was comfortable in the heated Tulsa terminal.

My plane that was to fly me to Atlanta had not landed yet. Dang, it probably had not even taken off from wherever it was.

It was announced it was running three hours late so I had plenty of time to roam around with my camera.

Pretty nice activity happening right outside. 

Not bad for a rather chilly Saturday morning.

In the background of the de-icing procedure was an extremely large plane someone told me was a Russian freighter that came to Tulsa often. 

I had noted the multiple wheels and knew that it was designed to carry - and land with - an extra heavy load.

VERY heavy cargo. Yikes.

We have large USAF planes here in Charleston but not with so many wheels.

Even the Boeing Dreamlifter was slightly smaller in comparison.

And it's a converted 747.

Eventually they called my flight and, as we taxied out, I saw the nose of the Russian cargo plane was now opened. 

I was on the wrong side to get a shot but, as we made turns to race down the tarmac, I thought I might have one chance as we lifted off and banked. 

I was ready...and got one shot!

Despite it being an actual "grab shot," I was composed enough to include the Tulsa skyline in the background.

The flight attendants had already announced that all electronic devices had to be turned off.

My digital camera DID have an on and off switch so technically I was in violation.

But I had not seen a plane that large before.

That should count for something. 

(NOTE: The FAA just announced that such devices now have been declared OK to operate. Whew.)

Landed at Charleston and paused to look over a "local" Halloween t-shirt in a shop window.

As I walked toward baggage claim, I saw a large image projection of what the CHS lobby will look like with a skylight dome.

Looking at the present lobby, I didn't feel it looked 25 years out-of-date.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

My whole trip to San Diego and back, with a stop in Tulsa to see my daughter and 2-year old grandson, was FREE. 

I used 60,000 frequent flyer miles.

I flew CHS to ATL, then on to SAN. Coming back, Delta had me fly to ATL, switch to a smaller plane and fly back to TUL, A few days later, TUL to ATL and then CHS.

My current frequent flyer balance with Delta now is 68 miles.

They didn't charge for my one piece of luggage.

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