Fall is here and so is a Hurricane

Fall has arrived and with it it is bringing a lot of rain and maybe a visit from Hurricane Joaquin. For the last week we have had endless rain and the ground is now saturated. If Hurricane Joaquin passes nearby, we are assured of 10+ more inches of rain and tropical force winds. Heavily saturated ground with high winds equals trees and power lines down. Not anticipating a fun weekend. Being that I have been through many hurricanes in my life this is nothing new and we are as prepared as we can be. At least I hope to get some interesting photos and videos of the storm which I will post as soon as I can.

As for the other aspects of Fall, the weather is cooling, the leaves are changing colors and falling, and there have been lots of festivals. I am looking forward to all things pumpkin, along with lots of hot cocoa. Our church is having its Fall Bazaar this Sunday and as a part of that we cook and prepare over 400 quarts of Brunswick stew for sale. It is a LOT of work but we always manage to pull it off and everyone enjoys the fellowship. While I can’t give you the exact recipe for the stew (Top Secret), I can give you a list of the ingredients, except for the spices used. (Top Secret).

  • Chicken
  • White Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Lima Beans
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Chicken Stock
  • Bullion cubes
  • Worcester Sauce
  • Water
  • Fatback
  • Butter
  • Top Secret spices

We cook it outside in large pots with wooden paddles over propane burners. It takes 6-7 hours to cook enough batches to fill all the orders. That does not count the pre-cooking of the chicken, peeling and chopping of vegetable, etc. At $7.00 a quart it is a great deal. Wish you could stop by and try some. Now if only Hurricane Joaquin will go away…

Night Photography

Since I received my Sony mirrorless a6000 camera with its 18-50mm kit lens, I have been taking more photographs than before. This new camera is a big step forward in capabilities than my old Panasonic. Since I have gotten my Sony I have purchased two news lens; a F1.8 50mm and a 55-210mm telephoto. I have to admit I love the ‘nifty fifty’ the best. I love the shallow depth of field and low light capabilities of the 50mm. Last evening I went down to the waterside at Portsmouth with my tripod and 50mm and tried my hand with some night scenes. The results, in my humble opinion, were pretty good. Take a look for yourself at a couple of them.

Fall is fast approaching. The leaves are starting to change colors and the temperatures are dropping. I will miss Summer but I love all the seasons. They are all chapters in the book of Gods creation of the Universe. Soon I will be doing fall foliage photos and before you know it winter scenes. Can’t wait. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

Summer hanging on

I am still waiting for Fall weather to arrive. Aside from a few seasonal days the weather has mostly been in the 70’s during the day. The leaves have started to turn a little but it will be a while before Fall arrives in her full glory. I bought some pumpkins and gourds to decorate the front porch and am waiting for Halloween. One good think about Halloween is that there are a lot of horror movies on TV.

I have been back to the range to shoot my M4 carbine and my red dot sight is acting weird. I am unable to zero it properly and I think it may be broken. I took it off and using only the iron sights I shot the best groupings I have ever shot. I guess there must have been a reason I was an expert marksman in the Army. Anyway, I had ordered a NcStar 3×9 40 tactical scope with built-in laser and it arrived yesterday. I have mounted it on my M4 and cannot wait to try it out.


In other news, our new pastor seems to be doing very well. We were very fortunate to have found him. I hope he will be the foundation upon which our church will start to grow. I managed to hurt my back by doing absolutely nothing and it has taken the better part of a week for it to get better. Everything seems to take longer to heal when you are older.

I got my flu shot a week or so ago but I do not plan on getting an H1N1 shot. The swine flu seems to hit younger people harder and the nurse who gave my my normal flu shot said people who lived in the 70’s may have a partial immunity. Since there is also a shortage of the vaccine I will let others who are more needy receive theirs first.

That is all.

Summer is almost over

Fall is two days away and I am looking forward to the change of season. Fall is probably my favorite season. Pleasant weather coupled with the changing of the leaves and Halloween are at the top of the list of what makes Fall great.
Not much exciting happening around here. Most of my time has been spent shooting, Twittering, reading, and shooting video with my new camera. I have found that I enjoy shooting video as much as I do taking still shots. I bought some video editing software and have been adding titles and stitching together multiple snippets of video.
I really think our new minister is working out well. I have enjoyed his sermons and at the last ministers cabinet he had some great ideas for outreach and ministry that I think will help our church to grow. He has been emailing me with videos that he wants to use during Sunday services and his choices have been excellent.
I went to a gun show in Hampton yesterday and even though I hadn’t planned on it I bought a rifle. It was not an expensive one though because I really have to watch our finances a lot closer now that Teresa and I are both retired. The rifle is a Saiga 7.62X39mm modified version of an AK-47. The rifle is manufactured by the world famous Izhmash armory of Russia. I called my son Jason yesterday and invited him to go shoot my new rifle next weekend. Should be a lot of fun.
That’s all folks. Off to church in a bit.

Fall is upon us

Summer seems to finally be over. The leaves are filling the pool and the water is too cold to swim in it anymore. We just had a rare Nor’easter which brought 3 days of windy, rainy weather. I took Max for a walk today to Sleepy Hole Park where he went swimming and got himself thoroughly dirty. Since Teresa started working I am having to stay at home more often to watch Kirk. I wish she would quit her job soon. In less than 2 weeks I will be flying down to Orlando for a week to watch the shuttle take off from Cape Canaveral. I am really looking forward to seeing the shuttle and exploring the area. I have signed up for Netflix again and I am getting one movie at a time. So far we have watched “28 Weeks Later”, ” The Bucket List”, and Stephen King’s “1408.” I have also ordered another lecture series from the Teaching Company on Economics. That should keep me occupied for a while. That’s it for now.

Summer ending

Not much exciting to write about lately. It is mid September and the temperatures are still high but there are other signs that summer is ending. The leaves are starting to fall and I think the grass is starting to grow slower. I have been busy with meetings in Church, mostly about finding a way to keep our church from failing. I watched the news for a couple of days of Hurricane Ike as it headed towards Texas. I remember Hurricane Carla in 1961 when I lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, so I have an idea what the people on the Gulf coast can expect from Ike.

This weekend the annual air show and Blue Angels demonstration will be held at Oceana Air Station.  I have not gone to the air show in a number of years as I dislike the large crowds. Instead, I will probably go to the Heritage Arts Festival & Civil War living history festival in Chesapeake. I have never been to it and it sounds like a lot of fun. I received my package from the KSC with everything I need to be able to see the space shuttle launch in early October. The date is not yest set due to weather delays but it should be around October 8. I will be flying down on October 6 and am not sure exactly when I will fly back. I only have a one-way ticket due to the fact that the launch day may change.

Can’t think of much more to talk about. Things have been kind of boring here. I have had lots of time to read and swim so I guess I can’t complain. I am looking forward to fall and cooler weather so I can get outdoors more often. It has been too hot and humid lately to even take Max for a walk. Got to go get ready for church now.