Friday, July 24, 2009

Loyalty Cards work....

So I wanted some peel & eat shrimp. Local shrimp, of course.

I carry a "loyalty card" in my wallet for a local eatery with "Shack" in its name and the nice lady behind the bar brought me a half pound of steamed shrimp.

I handed over my plastic loyalty card so my presence would be noted in the computer. I was told the computer responded that I had accrued a $10 discount. Hey, the shrimp were free.

Fellow sitting a few stools down the bar watched this and asked about the loyalty card. He was down from New England and, following my lead, was ordering some of the local shrimp too.

The bartender stated the benefits, including a "free dinner on your birthday."

He smiled and said "Then THIS is free. Today's my birthday." She agreed and he and I discussed other spots he should check out on his holiday.
I suggested that he walk across East Bay to a very well done "pirate theme" restaurant called The Buccaneer. The decor features lots of old Charleston brick and pirate artifacts. I told him to look for the Boddingtons ale sign out front.

It used to be a huge dance club called City Bar for many years.

When I first came back 15 years ago it was Acme Bar & Grill. I still have one of its t-shirts that says Think Global/Drink Local.

I am VERY loyal.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Champagne When I'm Thirsty ...."

"Big Bill" Morganfied. A two-night stand.

Home Team BBQ, the newest music venue on Sullivan's Island, proved "if you build it, they will come."

Friday night and again Saturday night.

Morganfield brought a top notch band: Clark Stern on keys, Brian Besesi, guitar, bassist Tom "Mookie" Brill and Shelby "Winston" Salem on drums.

They played a long uninterrupted set that had the crowd up and dancing right from the start.

It appears the "Island Home Team" accommodates many more people than the West Ashley site and tables were stored out in the alley so more fans could crowd closer to the raised bandstand.A fun evening.

Who would've thought BBQ would be so popular at the beach.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Worldwide Photo Walk

When two local people plan all the details for group participation in an international Photo Walk, they deserve to arrive in a private car.

Hard work deserves perks.

Eugene Mah, co-organizer for the 21st Century Photography Group, and I, the founder, encouraged and promoted the members - and others - to sign up for the 2nd annual Scott Kelby walk on Saturday July 18.

Around the world, more than 900 cities were included and involved more than 30,000 photographers.

NO, no, we didn't REALLY come in a limousine.

That stretch just happened to be parked along the route and had its picture taken by the 45 Charleston area photographers who ambled by, following a suggested 2 mile scenic route through the Historic District.

As you can see, Nature is respected in the Holy City and this wall obviously was built to accommodate the tree.

Even though I am a native Charlestonian, I was amazed to see so many cobble stone streets just off East Bay and around the foot of Broad St.

I'm sure they have always been there but I have not been riding a bike in that area for many, many years.

A bike reminds you of such streets.

We ended the 9am-12am morning at Tommy Condon's where more than half the crowd stuck around to enjoy the air conditioning, frosty beverages and excellent pub grub.

A special Flickr account has been set up by the Photography Group so the combined pictures of all those clicking cameras can be uploaded and viewed by a large audience. Please take a look.

I saw a few shooting film. Yikes.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life...A Spoonful At A Time

Yesterday I saw an 8oz package called Breakfast Bowl and checked the fat listing. The eggs and sausage showed 34 grams of fat. The one with bacon was "only" 33 grams.

It's not so much that the halo gets tight around my head.

I'm no saint but I do try to watch what I eat.

The government actually helps by requiring labels to tell us what's in the food we eat. My doctor and nutritionists acknowledge the labels do a pretty good job. But, you have to read the labels.

In my case, I try to limit total fats to about 60 grams a day. That's for all three meals, 1800 - 2000 calories. I check to see how much fat is involved for each SERVING.

The top of the label shows how many servings are in the container. A microwave bag of popcorn lists a low fat number but that little bag contains 3 servings. Yeah, right. Multiply the fats by 3 and it adds up quickly.

And, then there's Salt. My doctor said "don't add ANY salt to anything."
Labels show we get more salt than we need so why sprinkle on more?

Here's good news for me... there are NO fats in beer.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Student/Teacher and graduation....

So this is a completed project for yet another session of using Photoshop.

The software program that allows you to manipulate a photo is easy...once someone shows me how to do something.

At least 10 times.

This started out as a stock photo on the internet and, placed next to it, a photo of me. My face was circled in a "lasso" and dragged over to the larger photograph.

My face replaced the face that was there. Neat.

But, now the small camera was covered up so my teacher and I pushed buttons, eliminated the old face - leaving the hand and camera intact - and floated my face "behind" it on a different "layer.".

Now it worked.

The visual joke is that unlike the past, when I really did tote all sorts of cameras and lenses, today I simply carry a small digital Canon. It's actually a few steps up from a basic point-and-shoot, but still very compact.

I carry it most of the time.

Changing the name tag was something I had already learned to do.

Piece of cake.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Looking up ....

Last night the local Photography group that was formed a year and a half ago met at North Towne Grill, the Greek restaurant that was NOT recently damaged by a fire. (

The optional theme for the monthly Show & Tell was "SIGNS" and 16 members brought some of their favorites to share.

THIS one certainly caught my eye!

Patrick Stuckart explained the theme was in the back of his mind as he drove back to Charleston and he snapped several overhead highway signs so he would have a "canvas" for his creativity.

Oh. So it's NOT a real sign.

But, neither was this one I put together on Photoshop.

It does communicate a thought though and I got the laugh I wanted.

Patrick had another on the front of a Army Recruiting station that said "Now Hiring."

Other signs were taken out of context and humorous in a different way.

We saw a beautiful presentation by Tom Spain, our guest speaker, who is Chief of Photography at The Post and Courier newspaper.

One stunning shot after another drew ohs and ahs from the crowd - like watching a fireworks display - and Tom credited his extremely talented staff with producing the award-winners.

Tom took questions from the members who are photographers and wannabes and gave some extremely helpful hints and suggestions.

"It's not the equipment that you have. It's the person behind the camera that makes the shot," he reminded us.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th...etc.

Quite a few years ago (not as far back as this picture), my older daughter was with me on a flight to London.

I was on Missouri Tourism business because now there was a direct non-stop from St. Louis to London. And, of course, seats to fill from England to Missouri.

The airline flew several of us travel planners back and forth for a series of meetings.

It was early summer, about this time of year, and my 16-year old was able to accompany me while I was there for several days of face-to-face sessions. She would be entertained during the day while I was busy and we'd meet each evening for dinner.

Amy leaned forward in her seat and asked "Dad, do the British have the 4th of July?"

I laughed and said "No, no, of course not. That's the day we celebrate our breaking away from the English and establishing our own separate country."

OK, I know everyone is way ahead of me on this...

She smiled as she picked up an inflight magazine and settled back. "Actually Dad, they DO have July 4th.... and July 5th .... and the 6th and the 7th."

I think about this every year.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sounds Great ...

BBQ and Island Characters.

Fiery Red's Home Team remodeled Bert's old place and now there's a brand new music venue on Sullivan's Island.

Home Team also is still in West Ashley.

Sound tech Scott Rosenbrook fine-tuned the board to make sure Delta Highway had clarity, separation and definition.

Oh, and plenty of volume.

The hard pounding group from Memphis was scheduled to play again the next night at the original Home Team on Highway 61.

Makes sense. It gives a band two gigs and a chance to park the van overnight.

I remember a few years ago that Wild Wings would book acts to play its mini-circuit when - in addition to the three here in Charleston - they also had an eatery in North Myrtle Beach and down at Hilton Head.

And, for those who like to plan ahead, (I got my Seinfeld tickets about 5 months before his show) mark your calendar now for Sunday October 18 at the PAC.

That's when the Life on the D List lady, caustic comic Kathy Griffin, charges into Charleston.

Kathy has a new book out and I guess she didn't want to wait and see if Oprah would endorse it. The book is titled Official Book Club Selection.

Catchy and misleading. I like that.

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