Monday, October 25, 2010

I Expect To Be Invited Back...

Went to my first Carolina Panthers game Sunday up in Charlotte.

And they won their first game of the season. Feeling better about 1-5.

They tied the 49ers in the last few minutes and then made another field goal for the win. Nice.

I'm just first game...their first win.

I expect to receive free tickets in the mail for their next home game.

Hmm. I suppose I COULD travel with the team if needed.

Saw disgruntled people leaving the stands in the 4th quarter. Trying to beat the traffic?

Wonder if they had gotten out of the parking lot before the Panthers tied, then won the game? Ouch.

The stadium was not completely filled - well, they HAD lost all of the first five games - and I was sitting on the 50 yard line about 16 rows up.

You can buy great seats like that from a "scalper," a person with season tickets who couldn't make it.

You pay more but if the win record had been better, prime seats like these probably would not have been available.

Remember Coach Fox: with me there, you win.

The night before I had explored NoDa which stands for North Davidson, a funky, hippie-ish neighborhood centered around 36th street.

Live music on the deck drew me into Revolution Pizza & Ale House. If you go there, I suggest you try their "Cheeseburger Pie."

Just what you would expect but probably not on a pizza.

Hamburger and cheese sure, but lettuce and tomato and pickles? well, of course.

I also found out what happens to former big name quarterbacks and other players who once were popular fan favorites.

[Please click on the photos for more details. My Canon S90 is not really well suited to cover sports but it captured the flavor of the trip. Thanks for looking in. Please come back again.]

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Friday, October 22, 2010

"Chute" Yourself....

Oh, there was an extra added treat last week after I flew an aerial tour over Charleston.

I was invited to come back that evening to Atlantic Aviation where there was to be a small trade show for pilots and owners of private planes.

That's where I heard about a safety option for planes that has saved more than 200 lives.

And has smoothly brought disabled expensive aircraft down to earth.

Apparently Cirrus Aircraft, the company holding the trade show, makes the only "certified" plane with a built-in parachute.

I was told "experimental" and "kit" models sometimes have this safety feature.

There was a prototype of a new Cirrus Vision corporate jet at the show as well as a mock-up of how one could be individually configured for the owner of his or her new personal jet.

Yes, the brochure explained, it too could have the built-in safety chute.

While I didn't buy a plane, I sure enjoyed the delicious buffet and imported beer provided by Crave Catering.

[I did NOT take the photo of the plane descending. It came from the Cirrus packet of materials. The rest are mine - taken with my Canon S90 - so click on the image for more detail. Thanks for viewing. Please come back often.]

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

You'll Feel A Little Pressure....

Tim Conway as the bumbling self-numbing "Dentist."

That role is often named as the funniest skit on the Carol Burnett Show that was on tv from 1967 -1978.

He was in Charleston today at the PAC (Performing Arts Center)presenting Tim Conway and Friends.

The dental chair was there and he stabbed himself repeatedly with Novocaine just as we remembered. His long time partner on Burnett's show was Harvey Korman who died in 2008.

He knows his (older) audience. It was a 3:00 pm matinee

After the show, we still could make the Early Bird Special at a restaurant.

The Burnett Show ended 32 years ago but this funny fellow has kept busy, pleasing his fans across the country with live performances.

Many know him from hilarious "sports" video spoofs featuring DORF.

The diminutive athlete first showed us his special secrets of the game of golf about 20 years ago.

Short in stature but tall in comedy.

He was joined onstage by his traveling talented cohorts Chuck McCann and Louise DuArt.

Mr. Conway asked that the house lights come on so he could chat with the audience of about 1,000 and answer questions.

That type of casual exchange used to be a regular 2-3 minute feature at the opening of the Carol Burnett Show.

Among his many activities, he currently is the voice of Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob, pleasing yet another young audience.

(Click on the photos for more details. An announcement was made to "go ahead and take all the photos you want." Mr. Conway was also the announcer, he said, to save a few bucks. Catch his show if you can sometimes.)

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who Do I Know That Has A Plane?

Ever hear the expression "If you don't own a boat, at least have a friend who owns one."

Obviously that could apply to private airplanes as well.

Or have a buddy who received a VIP plane ride "Flying High Over Charleston" as a birthday present. And he invites you to come along! Yes, we both had our cameras for the 70-minute flight.

On this beautiful day I hopped in the back seat and the pilot Jim Ellison made sure I was safely strapped in.

We were each given a headset and microphone so we could listen to the tower and speak to each other.

The Birthday Boy of course sat in the Co-Pilot seat up front.

Wow. The Morris Island Lighthouse really has no Morris Island.

It doesn't seem so desolate from the beach but it sure looks lonely when you fly over.

Especially at high tide.

James Island got connected right after I moved back to Charleston but I had not seen it from the air.

Engineers make nice curvy lines.

I also did not realize how our marinas had grown.

Hmm. That would mean lots of boat owners.

And, speaking of golfers down on Kiawah Island... well, they certainly have a mighty fine looking Ocean Course.

The pilot flew us over The Sanctuary and even pointed out a "house" that's on the market for $12 million.

People who own airplanes probably shop for property by air a lot.

Flying along at about 110 miles an hour and looking down from 1100-1200 feet was quite a treat but soon we had to turn and head back home.

Usually when I fly into Charleston International on commercial planes, I have no idea if we are landing on runway 130 but now I know that's the compass heading to line up for final approach.

I heard the pilot talking about that on my headset.

(Click on the photos - twice - for more detail. I shot these on my Canon S90 at 1/1000 second and moved the f/stops around for back light, etc. Thanks for visiting my blog.)

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Happy BLUES ....

Last weekend I went to Columbia for a FREE 2-day Blues Festival.

It was the 16th annual Saturday event but this was the first one with a Friday afternoon opening day.

Alexis P. Suter is a big woman with a big versatile voice - and she and her band dazzled the crowd.

Her booming contralto belted out blues rockers, spirituals and soothing ballads.

When you entered each day, your hand was stamped WOMP, initials for the promoters name Word Of Mouth Productions. They have a right to be proud!

The festival site is right next to Columbia's Five Points. Local musicians played for their fans and then welcomed regional and national acts to the stage.

Families spread blankets and set up chairs in Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.

But this was a musical event and dancers popped up, unable to sit still, to move to the music.

The Holmes Brothers were the big act that highlighted the show.

Sherman Holmes plays bass, his brother Wendell on guitar and piano and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixson on drums.

Their trademark 3-part harmony covered a blend of blues, gospel,soul, R&B, rock 'n roll and country.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the two days so I look forward to the expanded 17th annual show next year.

(Click - twice - on photo for more details. The link will let you hear some of the music.

I'm learning more on how to post these things! Thanks for stopping by.)

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Wow! An affordable scientific marvel...

We all are aware of Smart Phones, I-Pods/I-Pads, digital cameras and Social Networking

Not that I understand all these expensive modern advances.

One device I remember well when it first came out.... The hand calculator.

Crunching numbers almost instantly.

No more slide-rules and memorizing multiplication tables. Yikes.

They first became available in 1971. An unaffordable dream.

The stuff of science fiction. Texas Instruments (TI) was a major brand name in these new pocket calculators.

By 1978 they were slimmed down to the size of a credit card.

Eventually my children were allowed to use it in the classroom.

Today I saw one for only a buck.

Maybe I'll just wait a while before I buy a Droid.

(Remember the 1990's phone-in-a-bag? A cell phone the size of a brick. I even had cameras that used film! Thanks for stopping by.)

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