James River at the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is the upstream view from the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge over the James River.  I’ve taken this shot many times before, but I continue to enjoy it time and again.  It was really cold on the bridge this day as there was continuos 20 – 30 mph wind.  I really like the color in the trees, but I was too late getting there this year to get any bright yellows.  I’ve got this other old picture in my collection that features my fiance with her long hair.  I’m gonna keep this post short today as I’m going to try to use a poll for the first time in the blog and have to figure out how.

Bracket Fungi on Tree Roots

Behind Nick and Ashley’s new house, there is an old park (Forest Hill Park) that dates back to the turn of the last century.  Apparently it used to be at the end of a trolley line and featured a lake and a roller coaster.  We went out to walk the dog and look around for a little while before we left.  It was a neat little park and Nick tells me that there are plans to renovate the lake that has filled in now.  On the way back to the house we hopped down into the creek and started shooting some pictures.  We noticed this bracket fungi on the roots of an old tree hanging onto the bank.  I thought I’d try to snap a couple pictures and see if I could find a compelling angle.  If you have an opinion could you let me know what you think of this shot.  Likes? Dislikes? Suggestions?  Please add them as comments on the post.

Rattle Buck Ten Scooter

My friend Nick lives downtown and when his station-wagon died, he decided to replace it with a scooter.  Most people think of scooters as being slow and tough to mix in with traffic, but this little thing is fast.  My history of riding bikes made me feel very comfortable riding it around, but I was really impressed with the pickup it had.  A quick flip of the throttle and you were doing 30 mph.  Hold it a little longer and you were up to 50 mph.  I didn’t have room to max it out, but Nick says it will do 65 mph with one rider.  That’s right, you can carry a second rider on this beast.  For the price, it is a lot more fun than comparable motorcycles because it is so much lighter and faster.  It is very comfortable and much less intimidating than a heavy motorcycle.  I need to go take my motorcycle license test so I can ride it out on the open road and see what it will do.

Richmond Sushi Tour: Moshi Moshi

After we left the Celtic festival, we went back to Nick and Ashley’s house to figure out where to go out for dinner.  We knew we wanted to eat sushi, but downtown Richmond houses at least a dozen different sushi bars.  Being Saturday night and needing a table for seven we decided to just call around until we found a restaurant that would take a short notice reservation.  We landed at Moshi Moshi, a swank little place on Cary Street.  There couldn’t have been seating for more than twenty people, even with the kitchen being upstairs.  The prices were really good on most of the menu, with the exception of a few speciality rolls costing $15.  It was one of my sisters’ first time eating sushi and she was excited to try it out.  She started with a sweet potato roll, then some spicy tuna, and finally freshwater eel sashimi.  The thought was that she would try the rolls in order of weirdness to her, but she actually enjoyed them most in the reverse order.  I was really impressed with the quality and would certainly go back again, but with so many places to try I think I’ll probably shop around.  We all had a great time and I hope we can do it again sometime soon.  Three stars out of five.

OMG… I LOVE TURKEY LEGS

This year’s Celtic Festival was as awesome as ever.  It rained on and off the entire time, but never dampened our spirits.  The announcer for the highland games called it Scottish sunshine and it did really help to make the event feel more authentic.  As always, there were lots of dogs to see wherever you looked.  There were cute puppies to adopt, small horse sized dogs, and dogs in suave attire.  Speaking of some incredible garb, check out the Celtic Viking.  However, the undeniable star of the show were the turkey legs that you see Nick and I gnawing on.  They are so heavy that you have to eat them quickly before your arm gets tired.  Until this year Nick had never tried one, but he agreed wholeheartedly that they were amazing.  I want to thank everyone for coming and putting up with the rain, I had an awesome time and it wouldn’t have been the same without all of you.

2008 Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival

The day is finally here that I get to go to Richmond and eat as many turkey legs as I can fit inside me.  These things are so amazing.  They are smoked to perfection and are super lean and tasty.  They are also huge, but can be eaten one handed and on the go so you never have to be without your beer.  There are also meat pies, fish and chips, funnel cakes, and fried Mars bars.  This is truly a festival for fat kids.  I gotta hit the road so I don’t miss any of the excitement, but I’ll be back with more pictures soon.

Til Death Do Us Part

I met my girlfriend more than seven years ago and have enjoyed growing our relationship for so long.  I’ve wanted to ask her to marry me for a while now, but my sister was in the process of getting married and I didn’t want to steal any of her thunder.  As soon as I got back from her wedding I set out to get a ring for Aimee.  I placed my order weeks ago and it finally showed up today.  I spent most of the day today getting everything in order and trying to think of what to say.  I bought a Nintendo DS and wrapped it up as a gift for her to open.  I also got a game for the DS and wrapped it up similarly.  Lastly I placed her ring in an envelope and then put it in a small box.  I wrapped the box and put it in a larger box.  Then I repeated that action twice more until the ring was safely hidden in a giant shipping box.  When she got home from work I told her that I had picked out a couple of gifts for “us” for my birthday.  I asked her to open them and she jumped right to it.  She squealed with delight when she saw the DS because she has been pining over it for at least a year now.  She was excited to find a game in the next package, but must have been expecting it after just opening the system.  Then she started to open the big box.  I could see her hands start to shake as she got to the second and third boxes and must have realized that I was trying to build anticipation for something big.  Eventually she got to the envelope and found the ring.  I could barely get the words out because I was so excited.  I asked her to marry me and then slid the ring onto her finger.  I’m so happy to finally be engaged and can’t wait for the wedding.  Only 372 days until Halloween 2009 and our wedding, so save the date and start putting together your costume.

Koto Japanese Steakhouse

Tonight my girlfriend organized a dinner for me with my friends at my favorite restaurant in Lynchburg.  It’s a Japanese steakhouse where your food is cooked on a hibachi grill right in front of you.  I started off with a big sushi roll featuring eel, crab, and huge slices of avocado.  Our cook was really funny and made sure we all had a good time.  My girlfriend was firing a lot of pictures and he was happy to pose for the shots.  He made us a jack-o’-lantern out of our fried rice.  Of course he did a few tricks with an onion and lots of fire, but he also did something with fire I’ve never seen before.  After two failed attempts to loft a lemon into the air and catch it on his knife, he shook his head and promised something better to make up for his misstep.  True to his word, he placed two lemon halves on the grill and proceeded to light them on fire.  Then he slid his spatula underneath them and tossed them up in the air, catching one in his hat and one in his shirt pocket.  It was a great trick and he made everyone laugh when he he told us he burned his booby.  I really enjoyed myself and appreciate the efforts of my girlfriend and all my friends to celebrate my birthday.

Chuckie Doll

I got this little guy in the mail today.  My girlfriend’s grandma sent us a package celebrating Halloween and my birthday.  It was filled with all kinds of baked goodies including roasted pecans and cookie bars.  I was quite surprised to find  this Chuckie doll carefully wrapped in tissue paper.  It’s awfully demented and a surprisingly good likeness to the original.  I love Halloween more than any other holiday all year long and I’m happy to have this scary toy to add to my collection.