Monday, February 28, 2011

Say Hello to Whatitsname....

So I hear about this kitty roaming a nearby condo complex.

The Manager says it's friendly and purrs a lot.

Kittens apparently are dropped there often.

Oh...and it's an orange tabby.

I don't currently have a cat but I have all the stuff that goes with one.

A new box of (clumping) litter, a recently-opened 20 pound bag of Meow Mix and a water bowl with a dispenser.

Hey, I might as well go take a look.

Tomorrow the vet will tell me if it's a boy or a girl.

Then I'll name him. (Or her.)

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flashback to 1964....

Coming out of the Post Office today I was stopped in my tracks.

A Chevrolet CORVAIR Monza.

It was a 1964 model.

I was suddenly revisiting "Unsafe At Any Speed" by Ralph Nader. Yikes.

My left arm tingled. The area where the scar from stitches shows.

I had borrowed one of those while I was in college in San Diego.

When I totaled it, the rear-engine car violently rolled over three times. Just like Nader had predicted

Manufacturers were not required to install seat belts until 1968.

As it flipped I remember being in the front seat, then the back seat and ended up again in the front seat - on the passenger side.
Upside down.

I had watched the windshield pop out and heard loud banging and scraping noises.

The rolling and spinning seemed to go on forever and I thought I would pitch over the edge and crash down the mountain side.

I lived.

In fact I was barely injured.

Sore as hell later but, except for a bleeding wound on my arm, I was dazed but safe.

Ah yes, memories of college days.

(Click on the pictures for more detail. The young lady who had loaned me the car was pretty understanding. Her Dad, however, was another story. Glad I'm here to write about it. Drive carefully.)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A North Charleston Business Decision...

North Charleston has NOT banned smoking in public places.

*Cough* *Cough*

The City decided it would leave that up to the business owners. It would either attract customers or make them go somewhere else. Hopefully still in N. Charleston.

After my first visit to this really nice Sports Bar I chose not to go back.

It was too smoke-filled for me. Later I read that it had closed. Too bad.

I was driving past today and saw a beer truck unloading out front.

Hmm. Must have reopened?

Owner Mark Hamilton said he opened it about six months ago.

"I don't like smoking when I'm eating so I banned it here," he added with a smile.

I asked if he still served Boddingtons?

He said they do so I'll be visiting there again.

That was a "clean air" business decision I made.

(Click on the photos for more details on this place across from Tanger Outlets. Another example of why I carry my Canon S90 most of the time. Say hi to Mark and thank him.)

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"1920s Dangerous Jazz...

When I read about the type of music to be played, Tin Roof was where I wanted to be last night!

Oh yeah!

Ragtime. Blues. Mardi Gras. Saints Marchin' in. Yikes.

Add to that, members of the local Swing Dancers Club were there in force contributing to the merry musical mayhem.

Blair Crimmins & The Hookers filled almost the entire stage area.

The Atlanta-based group includes a 3-person horn section, stand-up bass and drums.

Crimmins played keys, a banjo, guitar, tambourine and cow bell.

Well, not all at the same time.

The many black lights can make you go ape as you look at the bright and shiny wall image and they cast an eerie glow on the bands and the crowd.

Nice touch for this funky - always entertaining - music venue in West Ashley.

Did I mention you also can expect gourmet hot dogs, unusual craft beers on tap and an endless supply of PBR?

Megan Jean & The KFB were playing when I arrived.

She announced that Crimmins & The Hookers had already played a short set and would be on again shortly.

Sounds like the role of "opener" was being flipped back and forth.

Worked fine with this music-crazed crowd.

I asked Megan about her blond hair and she laughed and said "Yeah, I changed it from black. I looked too much like someone else."

It was just that kind of night.

(Click on the pictures for more detail. Lighting here is tricky for a camera but it's always a fun setting. Thanks for tuning in. Come back often and tell your friends that I avidly support Live Music.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gone but hardly forgotten....

I have heard from two neighbors who asked about my late cat Wally.

I felt like a proud parent hearing stories of his roaming the 'hood and his "nice guy" demeanor and take-no-shit activities with other cats and dogs.

My favorite is a lady down the street who has an older indoor cat that's blind.

Almost daily Wally would scratch at her door, she'd let him in and he'd nuzzle the elderly - and pleased - house cat.

It would still be purring from his visit as he headed for her food bowl to snack before he left.

Another commented on the respect shown by his large dog when Wally would saunter into their kitchen.

Yes, he was known to munch some dog food too.

Wally set a high bar of devotion & sweetness for any new orange striped kitten I might seek out in the future.

Meanwhile, his picture still "guards" my computer. Attaboy.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Blues Slight Change Of Plans...

Scott (MF) Holt always puts on a great show.

This was at Home Team in West Ashley last Saturday night.

Actually, anywhere I've seen him perform, he is fiery..

Earlier that evening I had arrived an hour and a half before showtime downtown at Blind Tiger but couldn't find a seat. None.

Thought I would have dinner and see Mac Arnold and Plate Full 'O Blues but even though the band was still setting up, all the seats in the bar area were already filled. Yikes.

But, Blues Bash means options, so I looked over the printed program and headed out West.
Actually, on Monday, I had scored the best seat in the house at Blind Tiger for Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones and was pleasantly surprised when Blues Bash Founder Gary Erwin stopped in to sip wine and check on things.

Gary was relaxed and looked pleased at the half-way point of his 21st offering of music to the Lowcountry.

Dennis Gruenling was featured on harmonica that evening with the band.

The packed room was treated to an excellent expanded sound.

Standing at the bar were local harp bluesmen Chuck Morris and Juke Joint Johnny.

Here's a batch of other sights and performances I caught during this year's Bash:

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gonna Miss This Guy....

His name was "Wally Jr."

I had him for 7 enjoyable years.

He died last night.

The vet said he had a parasite that caused anemia.

His blood red count had dropped very, very low but we tried meds and high protein food.

Didn't work.

He was a sweet cat.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Portrait Of A Portrait...

The 2nd Wednesday of the month means Photography Meetup.

The local photography group I founded is now 3 years old and the membership numbers more than 250.

THAT'S a lot of cameras.

And a wealth of photo information going from digital back to when people used film... and even further back.

For example, the 17th century and the technique of Rembrandt-Lighting.

Group member - and professional photographer - Jon Shumpert brought some of his studio lights and backdrop to demonstrate several elements of portrait work.

When the light is set so the shadow of the nose connects with the shadow on the side of the face to form a triangle, that's what Rembrandt did for a pleasing effect.

This can be seen in his self-portrait I shot that was hanging on display in Amsterdam.

On Wednesday night, Co-Organizer for the group, Kevin Harp, posed as the model.

Jon explained differences as he moved lights around to balance (usually a 3-1 ratio) the main light and the secondary "fill" light.)

"I have actually set as many as 7 or 8 lights to highlight certain aspects in a photo,"
Jon told the group.

Members were invited to use their cameras to shoot different angles under the lights so it was truly a "hands-on" demonstration.

(Click on images for more detail. My Canon s90 had no way to sync with the strobe lights when they flashed so my shots are lit by the "modeling" lights on each. It is very good in dim light!) Bring your camera and meet some very talented members. The link above has all the details. Thanks for stopping by.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Blues In The Night......

The IOP Recreation Center has really drawn a crowd the last two days.

A popular venue for years, the 21st Annual Lowcountry Blues Bash, offered great acts here Saturday and Sunday.

Biscuit Miller & The Mix
had nothing to kick about.

Saturday started with Frankie's Blues Mission - indoors and heated - as an opener to Wanda Johnson & Shrimp City Slim.

People were standing in the aisles because every seat was filled.

Saturday wrapped it up in grand style with Planet D Nonet.

It was obvious when the band set up that there were nine players (6 in the horn section) and they announced they all were from planet DETROIT.

A "boy" singer stood at the microphone and crooned, so I shot pictures in true 40's style - black and white.

It just seemed appropriate.

More later...

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Bundled For The Blues ....BRR

Low Country Blues Bash included a great blues act on the harbor last night.

The venue was listed as the Reel Bar at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.

Actually it was in a tented area BEHIND the bar. With plastic panels. And numerous gas heat lamps.

Well, yes, it WAS warmer than Chicago.

You could see the breath of the Frankie's Blues Mission trio. And the breath of the audience members.

A few weeks ago I started taking a look at Charleston restaurants and bars that had cozy fireplaces. Guess I better add those that have heat lamps too.

I'm not complaining. Not really.

It's the 21st Annual and each February, the weather is a gamble.

I salute Gary Erwin for producing this year after year and providing a GREAT festival each time.

I'll be toasty warm INSIDE the IOP Rec Center tonight 5:00-8:30 enjoying Gary (aka Shrimp City Slim) on keys and Miss Wanda Johnson,
followed by the Planet D Nonet.

Then to the nearby Morgan Street Grill for Freddie Vanderford/Brandon Turner and ending at Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's Island for Ten Foot Polecats from Boston.

Sunday it's back to the REC CENTER on IOP again 2:00-5:30.

This will be followed by a mad dash home for some pizza and commercials and the Super Bowl.

(Click on pics for more detail. Tell me about YOUR favorite place-with-fireplace and stop by again. Stay warm and dry.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,