This is a photo of Emily Hagihara, a member of the Lexington band Chico Fellini, who played the Beaux Arts Ball Saturday night.
I am slowly, but surely, working my way through the close to 500 photos I took Saturday. There are a few already up on my Flickr stream.
As always, you can click on the image, and see a larger version on Flickr.
I took this a week or so ago. We had grilled dinner, and eaten it out on the patio with some good friends. We stayed out way after dark, necessitating the lighting. The lights are by IKEA. I'm not sure where the wine came from, but I suspect it was purchased at Wine + Market in downtown Lex Vegas.
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Focal Length: 105 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV
As always, clicking on the photo will take you to its page on Flickr, where you can view a larger version of it.
I took this photo last evening at the birthday party of a friend. An adult friend.
This 10 foot long python was one of about a dozen snakes and lizards brought by a local man who rescues reptiles from abuse and neglect. He supports his work by hiring them out for events like this.
Granted, most of the birthday parties he works are for kids, but no matter. There were lots of kids in attendance at the party last night, and they all had a blast handling all the creatures.
I ran home and grabbed my camera, which I forgot when I first went over there.
There are more photos on my Flickr photostream, and I have more to upload.
And for the photogeeks:
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Focal Length: 105 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/6 EV
Clicking the image will take you to its Flickr page. You can see a larger version there.
I took this photo this evening when we were downtown at the Thursday Night Live concert at Cheapside Park. The setting sun reflected off the glass of the Fifth Third building, then off the glass of the adjacent Lexington Financial Center, and finally came to rest upon Alison.
Our friend Cathy, from Port Townsend, WA was with us, as was our friend Jason. After the concert ended, we headed to Atomic Café, where we dined on the patio. The food was fantastic, the weather perfect, and the company beyond compare.
Life is good.
I guess y'all have heard that Alison and I got married the first of August? No? Well we did.
It was an amazing, wonderful, and fun-filled evening. The entire weekend was, really. It was great to have our families, and so many of our friends in attendance. I think they all had a blast, too.
Alison has links to some photos of the festivities here.
This is a photo of a troupe of fire dancers called Foxfire Hypnotica, who performed during the FreeKY Festival, a free festival of music, art and exhibitions of eclectic culture, held on April 26 in downtown Lexington. It was the culmination of Alternative Music Week, sponsored by WRFL, the independent, commercial free, student run radio station at the University of Kentucky.
The entire week of concerts, art shows, and other events also served as 20th anniversary celebration, and a fund raiser for the station, which plans to increase their power, and reach a wider audience.
Alison and I attended several of the events during the week, including a concert feathering Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, at The Dame the Saturday before FreeKY, a bluegrass music show at Al's Bar, and a concert and art show held at our friend Lori's shop Isle of You.
The FreeKY Festival began at 11 a.m. and continued until almost midnight, featuring a number of bands, an art exhibit, vendor booths, and community group exhibitions. The musical headliners were Jolie Holland, and The Apples In Stereo. We hope that they decide to throw another party like this next year.
As always, the photo is clickable.
A couple of months ago, our friend Agnes mentioned that a local restaurant, The Ketch Seafood Grill, had a special on oysters every Monday night. Fresh oysters at half their usual price.
It has been years since I dined there. Alison and I have been meaning to go for some time, but never made it until last night.
We shared a platter of a dozen oysters on the half-shell. You can get them raw, or steamed. We chose to eat them raw. The dozen oysters only cost $5.95, a real bargain around these parts. Alison noted that that is comparable to what you would pay in the city where she lived in France. With them, Ali had a glass of white wine, and I had a draft beer.
When we were finished, we decided to stay for dinner. We shared a pound of boiled shrimp seasoned with Old Bay, and an order of wood grilled oysters, both very good, and quite affordable.
I am really glad to have rediscovered this place. I have a feeling we will be dining there quite often.
Oh yeah, they also have free wireless internet.
Ali and I are staying home for Thanksgiving this year. It's our first time to do that. Last year we drove to Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving Day, and returned to Lexington the next day. In 2005, Ali came over from France for a week, and we celebrated the day at Jo Ann's house.
We decided it would be nice to start a new tradition this year.
We will be joined by Mike, his daughter Justine, and a couple of good friends. We will be dining on roast duck, dressing, green beans, country ham on yeast rolls, and more.
I want to thank everyone who reads and comments on my blog, and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Here is my gift to you this day.
|Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant Massacree|
|Found at skreemr.com|
Beginning tomorrow morning, a large group of friends will be arriving in Lexington. All of them are people we know from Radio Paradise. Some we have met in person. Others, we have never met before. But, even those, we consider friends. Radio Paradise is that kind of place.
This promises to be one of the largest meetups of RPeeps in the history of the radio station. As far as I can tell, it will be the third largest. It all came together at the suggestion of Alison and our friend Agnes.
It was so good to welcome our friends into our home. Based on this evening, I know that the next few days are going to be amazing.
Ali and I bought a new car last Friday. It's a 2007 Honda Civic LX.
We've needed a second car since she moved here, and we finally bought one.
We still have the 2002 Jetta, but plan to trade it in soon for another new car. The Jetta is out of warranty, and is becoming a maintenance nightmare. It spent the week we were in Washington in the shop, and cost me $1200 plus for repairs.
We are still trying to decide what to replace it with. We've talked for some time about buying a pickup truck or small to mid-size SUV for the utility they would provide for hauling things like furniture and garden supplies. The Honda Element seems like a pretty good fit.
But last night, while we were out to dinner with the local Drinking Liberally group, our friend Elle suggested to me that the Civic was now our 'sensible' car, and that the second new car should be something fun. Like a convertible.
She went on to tell me how much fun her Miata convertible is.
And, those of you who read Mike's blog, know how much he loves his new Miata convertible.
What to do? What to do?
Ali, Cathy, and I drove up to the top of Mt. Walker today. The weather was gorgeous, and the view promised to be stunning.
Mt. Rainier was visible from the south lookout. This is one of the shots I took of it.
We were not able to see Mt. Baker from the north lookout, but did see it from the beach at Kala Point where we are staying. Photos of it will be posted to my Flickr photostream later.
We are flying home tomorrow.
I don't want to leave yet, but the cats need us, and there are chores that need to be done.
I want to thank Cathy and Mike again for being such gracious and welcoming hosts. And for being our friends.
Okay. Where do I start?
Let's get the unpleasantness out of the way first.
Monday night, while attempting to prepare dinner for our hosts in Port Townsend, Washington, I managed to slice my left thumb and forefinger open with a 12 inch chef's knife.
I did something really stupid. I tried to cut open the plastic encasing the pork tenderloin we were going to grill with a huge, and very sharp knife rather than do the sensible thing, and open it with a pair of scissors.
I swear that alcohol was not involved.
Needless to say, it was very shocking. Much blood was shed. And I knew that elastic bandages were not going to be enough to take care of the carnage.
Our wonderful hosts and friends, Cathy and Mike, were down at the beach walking their two dogs when this happened. Luckily, they returned home about 5 minutes after it happened.
Cathy asked me if I wanted to go to the local emergency room. I, of course, said yes. So after wrapping my injured appendages in bandaids and paper towels as best as we could, we set off.
On they way to the local hospital, we passed an emergency walk-in clinic. Cathy asked me if I wanted to go there instead of the hospital ER. I said yes, knowing that I would probably be seen quicker there than the ER.
So we turned around and went to the Urgent Treatment Center.
Fortunately, the clinic was not too busy. There was only one other patient being treated there. A woman who had had a similar accident with a kitchen knife as it turns out.
I filled out the registration forms and was taken back to an examining room, where the nurse removed our crude bandages and took a look at the wounds.
Within 10 minutes I was seen by the doctor who eventually sutured the wounds. He was a very nice guy with a great bedside manner. While we waited for the operatory to be prepared, we exchanged recipes.
As you can see, he did a great job of suturing my wounds. Which is kind of remarkable as he only had three fingers and a thumb on each of his hands. Yes, he was missing the pinkie fingers on both hands. I assume their absence was congenital.
As a dentist, I have had a lot of experience suturing surgical and accidental wounds, so when I say this guy was good, I know what I am talking about.
So three days later, I am on the mend. The wounds are healing well. I will have my doctor remove the sutures on Monday or Tuesday after Ali and I return to Kentucky.
I guess you are wondering what the heck we are doing in Port Townsend, Washington.
It's been a very stressful past few months for Alison and me. Ali had to go to France to bring her kids to the States for a month. Then we had to take the children to Pennsylvania to see their grandfather, aunts and uncles, and their cousins. All while dealing with my sister Jo Ann's illness.
Then, after we got the kids back to France, Jo Ann's health got even worse, and she eventually died.
Ali and I discovered her the morning that she died.
Later that day, after arrangements had been made, and we had returned home, I told Ali that as soon as we could, that we were going somewhere. Anywhere but Lexington. I just knew we needed to get away.
There were several possibilities. We had plenty of standing invitations from friends to visit them.
But our dear friend Cathy came to our rescue. She knew what we were going though, and insisted we come visit them.
I did not hesitate. I made the reservations as soon as we received the invitation, and two days later we were flying to the Seattle.
We have been here in Port Townsend since last Friday.
I haven't been this relaxed in ages. It has been a very therapeutic and rejuvenating experience. Even with the trauma of my hand injury.
I can't thank Cathy and Mike enough for what they have done for Alison and me.
Here I am doing some research for the dinner party we are hosting for a couple of friends tonight.
We spent yesterday afternoon shopping for it, visiting our local liquor emporium and gourmet food shop, the Liquor Barn. Yes, it is actually called that, and yes, it's huge.
We stocked up on wine and beer, some munchies for before dinner, and deli meats to cook on our raclette grill.
After dinner we are going to watch the Grammy Awards on television. The Police are opening the show!
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.
I took this image late yesterday afternoon as we waited to hear from a good friend about plans to meet for dinner, I've gotten back into macro work since I built a makeshift light tent from a cardboard box and tissue paper.
The night before I took this, I ordered some new camera equipment, including a new wide-angle lens, a Nikon SB-800 flash, and a more sturdy light tent.
This got me all enthused about my macro work. So I set this up and took this photo.
As for the dinner, Alison and I met our good friend Agnes and a friend of hers for sushi at what is the oldest sushi restaurant here in Lexington. Neither of us had ever eaten there. It was wonderful. The best sushi I have ever had. And it was very inexpensive.
After we dined, Agnes accompanied us to a local pub where we met up with the members of the local chapter of Drinking Liberally for drinks, fellowship, and to watch the President give his State of the Union Address.
After that, we accompanied our friend to another local watering hole that is known for having the largest number of beers in the area. This place has almost 500 different brands of beer. It's an amazing establishment.
We had a blast.
Alison and I made it home this evening. We had a great time in Scotland. We saw some cool sights, ate great food, drank great beer, met some really nice people, and the kids had a great vacation.
They enjoyed themselves so much they have asked us if we can go back there during their February school break.
I'd love to go back, but we are going to have to find an easier way to get all of us there than the way we did it this time. If you have read Ali's latest post you will understand why.
Alison, the kids, and I drove to Edinburgh to do a bit of sightseeing and to have lunch with fellow blogger Katherine on Thursday.
We were to meet at 1 p.m., but it was a bit later than that before we got together, as we were waiting for one another at adjacent buildings. [The Royal Museum of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland are not the same thing. - Ed.]
Katherine took us to a very cool retro restaurant called Monster Mash where we ate and chatted for a while. Ali and I both ate haggis with neeps and tatties for our lunch. I took the above picture of Ali's lunch and of Katherine seemingly expressing a negative opinion of our choice.
She really wasn't. She was just turning to speak to the kids. But she did pass on the haggis since she is a vegetarian, and I can't think of a dish that is less vegetarian than haggis.
After lunch we wandered around town a bit and then Katherine headed home. We made our way back to the car and returned to Drumclog.
The weather was really nice that day, if a bit cold. We had a great time and have decided we want to return to Edinburgh for a longer visit in the future.
Thanks for all the fun Katherine. It was so great to finally meet you.
“I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from.” - Eddie Izzard
This is a photograph of Loudoun Hill in East Ayrshire, Scotland. We can see it from where we are staying. We had an even better view of it (as shown in the photograph) the past two days while we stayed at a holiday lodge we rented for the weekend. Click the Loudoun Hill link to see the significance of the above quote.
We rented the Drumboy Lodge for the weekend to give Amber and Len a bit of a break. Not only were they playing host to the four of us, but also a friend of theirs from Belgium and three more children. So we had a total of 5 adults and 9 children hanging out here.
The lodge was a huge place, and a very good deal for the money. It was like we rented an entire Motel 6 for just £90 per night. The place could sleep at least 8 adults comfortably. Alison and I took the 4 oldest kids there the first night, and 5 last night.
It was a great adventure for the kids. I think they are a bit sad that they won't get to stay there again. We are back at Amber and Len's now that the guests from Belgium have returned home.
Today, Ali, C, and I drove to New Lanark to visit this historic mill town. We had a great time and took quite a few photos. I've only managed to get a few of them processed and uploaded to Flickr. You can view the set here.
Tomorrow, we will be visiting Loch Lomond and Mike's old stomping ground.
I'll post more as soon as possible. Stay tuned.
Hello from Scotland.
We arrived at Amber and Len's late this afternoon. The trip entailed a flight from Paris to Birmingham, England, then another flight from Birmingham to Glasgow with a two and a half hour layover between them.
Both flights were bumpy due to weather. The landing in Glasgow was a roller coaster ride due to very high winds.
Our drive out to the house in a rental car was tame in comparison despite the fact I drove the 50 or so miles on the wrong (at least for me) side of the road. Something I have never done before.
I got us all here without killing a living being. Most especially the four of us.
We've eaten dinner, Alison and Amber have gotten a start on the preparation of future meals, and the kids are all in bed (although I'm pretty sure they all aren't yet asleep).
I think I'm ready for a nightcap.
By now you have all read Alison's latest post, and know that tomorrow we are heading to Scotland by way of Paris.
We will be staying with Amber and Len, who have moved back to Scotland from Belgium, where we visited them last December. We will have a rental car and plan to do some exploring while there. We plan to visit at least one of Alison's ancestral homes.
Ali and her kids have never been to Scotland, but I traveled there as a teen to visit my brother Mike, who was stationed there with the U.S. Navy.I hope we will be able to visit where he lived and worked, too.
We will have our cameras and our computers with us, and will try to post updates and pictures while there.
The phone rang Wednesday. It was noon and Ali and I were just lounging around. She grabbed the phone, looked at the caller ID, and handed it to me. The name and number on the display didn't immediately ring a bell, but I had a feeling I should answer the call.
When I heard the voice on the other end, I realized why the name had made me want to answer the call. The caller was Rob, one of my oldest and dearest friends. The name on the display was his wife's first and maiden names.
Rob and I met in 1978 when I moved back home from Nashville and enrolled at the University of Kentucky. I had just pledged a fraternity that Rob was a member of. We became fast friends from the day we met. We were so close, he became an honorary member of the Courtney family.
Rob stayed in Lexington after graduation, and worked in a number of different jobs. He never did find work in his major field, though, and he eventually moved home to New York after the death of his father.
We kept in touch over the years, usually talking on the phone a couple of times a year or so. He got married and settled down and has changed careers a couple of times.
It had been a while since we had last talked. Almost a year. I would think about him from time to time, but never called him as I wasn't sure of his work schedule.
On Wednesday, he was scheduled to work the second shift, going in at 3 in the afternoon. In his mail that day he had received a complementary copy of the UK Alumni Association magazine and it made him think of me and that we hadn't talked in a while. So he took a chance I would be home and called.
It was great to chat with him again. We filled each other in on what was going on in our respective lives. He knew I had been traveling a lot the past couple of years and asked if I had any plans. I told him about our plans to go to France and Scotland next month and to go to New York City in December.
He was thrilled to hear of the New York trip and said that he thought it would be possible for him and his wife to drive down from their upstate home to spend a couple of days with us. I sure hope we can meet up as we have not seen each other since he left Lexington.
It was great to hear from him again. We used to email each other all the time, but he no longer has Internet access. He lives in a small rural community with no prospects of broadband, and Internet access is not a part of his present career either.
I'm going to make it a point to give him a call more often in the future.