Thursday, September 25, 2014

They say good things come to those who wait...

I've been lazy this month, but I've found that I don't feel as motivated to blog since I'm not using social media. That's all about to change in less than a week. You see, my favorite time of the year has just arrived, and I can feel those blogging juices bubbling to the surface once again. October is going to be a busy month, a lot busier than the past two years. I'm not promising to post every day, but I'm certainly planning on filling most of this month with Fall themed snacks, toys, movies, and Halloween goodness.

This year, even my local Food Lion is on their game. I've found things I've only been able to read about, and some things that are completely new to me.









Yep, October is looking like it's going to be a fun month indeed.


Now, let's just hope I didn't just jinx myself..

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Anti-Social Experiment

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

-Snake Plissken

Okay, so it's really a French proverb, but Escape from L.A. was the first time I'd ever heard it. When applied to socializing on the internet, it fits like a glove. I remember the days of Yahoo Messenger and AIM, when I would have buddy lists full of people I rarely talked to. Well, that's not completely true; there were a few that I talked to on a daily basis. For the most part though, they were lists of people that I only occasionally chatted with. That's not to say they didn't have their place. Without instant messaging, my college experience would have been a lot lonelier, as well as my love life. Anyway, when Myspace and later, Facebook, started gaining popularity I noticed the instant messaging crowd dying off. Chat rooms dried up, and soon, people were posting to walls instead of directly chatting with each other.

Things have sort of come full circle these days, with Facebook becoming yet another list of people we rarely speak to. We look for and connect with people we haven't talked to for years...and we still don't talk to them. Lately, I've been wondering why I should care that some folks I know went out for some dinner and dancing. If I didn't have Facebook, I never would have known about it, and I wouldn't have cared. Point of fact, I know about it now, and I still don't care. We post about everything we do and everywhere we go, and why? So people will like it?

I'm certainly guilty of all these things, so starting tomorrow, Monday, September 15th, I'm going a month without social networking. I was actually inspired to try this by a friend of mine, Melanie Parker. I still plan on blogging though, since I don't feel like that is a waste of time. When I finish looking at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the last time tonight, I'll be signing out of all of them for the next month. Checking all those things throughout the day has become second nature for me, and frankly, I don't like that. Who knows, after a month without, I may decide never to go back. Or, I'll go insane. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

For those of you that want to check in or keep in touch off the social networks, I can always be reached through the comments here, or at stuntzombie@gmail.com. It might take me a day or so, but I always try to get back to people. Of course, others are welcome to take part in my Anti-Social Experiment as well, though I doubt most folks will know about it, since we won't be posting on each others' electronic walls for the next 30 days. Either way, I invite you all to join me in severing the electronic tether, if only for a month.

Just think of it as a reboot for your offline life.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Random picture post Summer edition.

One of the great things about the Eastern Shore in the summertime, there is no shortage of festivals happening around here. Even if it isn't listed in the newspaper, there's a safe bet that there's something going on involving food, music, and booze. Chelsea and I didn't make it to all the events this year, but we had a great time at the few that we attended.

Back in June, we made it to the Tall Ships Festival in Cape Charles. It's a yearly event, where historical sailing vessels dock in the harbors and allow people to take tours. Unfortunately, the two that showed up this year wanted about $45 a piece to take a look around. In the end, I was only able to grab a few shots of the ships before we went back to eating.






Every year, the Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Department sets up and runs a carnival in, well, Wachapreague. This year it ran from June 18th to July 12th, and it helps them raise funds for new equipment and operations. The Wachapreague Carnival used to be a regular summer destination when I was growing up. My cousin and I would spend hours riding the rides, and blowing our money on the somewhat shady games. Now, I mainly go for the food, since it's one of the only times of the year that I'll be able to enjoy a fried soft crab sandwich. 


There's my sammich in all it's glory. Soft crabs are definitely an acquired taste, and I can see how most folks wouldn't like them. It blows my mind that I've liked these things since childhood, since you're basically eating a whole crab. I know adults that would rather starve than put one of these in their face. Maybe it's the legs. It can be a little hard getting over the legs.

The fries were pretty good this year, though I always find it nearly impossible to finish them. This was a small, and Chelsea and I both gave up halfway through. It wasn't until I got up to toss them out, that I discovered the vinegar had soaked through the container and the paper, and into my jeans. I got to walk around the rest of the night looking like I had a very strange "accident".


I've never actually ridden the Spider. I have problems with rides that go in too many directions at once, so I tend to keep my butt off of them. I think it's best that I don't do my impression of a sprinkler, and shower the crowds with my recently eaten soft crabs.


The ferris wheel is still one of my favorite rides there. It used to be because it was one of the few rides that didn't make me nauseous. Now I appreciate it for the view it provides. It also allows me to escape the oppressive heat of the crowds, and enjoy the nice cool breeze blowing off the ocean.


Here's a shot of the carnival from one of the several parking areas. It's funny how much bigger it used to seem when I was growing up. I even remember getting lost a couple of times. Now, the whole area just seems cramped and overcrowded. I guess that's what happens when you get bigger; everything else looks smaller.


August 9th found Chelsea and I attending the Eastern Shore's Own Craft Beer and Music Festival. This took place in the lovely town of Belle Haven, next to the ESO Arts Center. This is only the second year they've had it, but if the turnout was any indication, it is going to continue to be an annual event. It helps to raise money for the ESO, which holds classes for everything from dancing to watercolor.


You get 10 different tastings for your admission price. There was a rather large selection of microbreweries to choose from, so you had to pick and choose which ones you wanted to try. Near the end of the evening, however, they stopped marking our wristbands. So, I ended up with a few extra tastings before the day was over.


Here's Chelsea modeling the mugs and the jugs.


I love these little mugs, if only because they make me feel like a giant. I like to use mine when I feel like stomping on a village.


The last even we went to this August, was the Church Creek Wine Club meet and greet. This is a shot of Chatham, the main house on the vineyard property. I've know the owners for a long time, and I actually worked inside Chatham, helping with the restoration. Once that was completed, I moved outside and helped Jon Wehner, owner of Church Creek Wines and Chatham Vineyards, start building what has become one of the best vineyards in the state. This event was sort of a "thank you" to the folks that joined their wine club. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the other members, and to try some wines that will never be available to the public.


Here's another shot from behind the house, this time over looking Church Creek. This is where Southeast Expeditions lands when they take people on their kayaking and wine tasting tour. It's also where we're planning on taking some of the pictures on our wedding day.


Why does it seem like there's almost always alcohol present in our photos? Hmm..


Here's a shot of the sitting room in Chatham. I wish you could have seen what this place looked like 16 years ago, because you'd never believe that it would look like this today. Every room is painted based on samples taken from the walls and woodwork.For the most part, it looks just like it would have back in 1818. Depending on your tastes, that may be a good thing or a bad thing.


Whenever Chelsea sees a piano, she can't help but sit down and give it a play. It's a shame she didn't discover it sooner, she could have provided some light music for the evening. 



August also saw the release of what has become my favorite comic book movie. I actually went into this movie knowing very little about the Guardians. I knew there was a raccoon and a sentient tree, but that's about it. It had the usual comic book movie plot issues, but they were easy to overlook because the movie was just....so...damn...fun. It also has the best soundtrack I've heard in ages. It's the first movie in a long time that I would be willing to go see in theaters again. That's about the best endorsement I can give any film. 

September is going to be another light month as far as posts go, but that's only because I'm trying to get some stuff together for October. Things haven't worked out for the past couple of Halloweens, so I'm hoping this year will be the one where everything goes as planned. Thanks to Eric, I already have an idea for one post this season, though I'm still trying to decide if it should be a video or a written post. A video post would probably work better, but it could go so very, very wrong. I guess we'll find out in October, won't we? 



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