Monday, October 28, 2013

P52 Week 42: Sign Sign, Everywhere a Sign

One downfall of living so close to work, is that you can get lazy and sleep late every day. And when I say late, I mean like 7. Don't really have any convenient golf courses around, so I'm not getting as much exercise as I'd like. I've been thinking I've got to get back to the gym to work off or make room for some more beer...And that means getting up early...Ug...I'm a night owl, so that's not my idea of fun.
To train myself to get up early for the gym, I've been setting my alarm earlier and earlier every day, and going out for a long walks before work. Darn! It's getting cold at 6 am lately. I recorded 28 the other day.

What the heck? Guess I didn't move far enough south. I feel like I got Punk'd!
Regardless, I'm building up my early morning stamina, waking up before the alarm, and giving the 'Map My Walk' app some use. And of course, I rarely go out without my camera. Not too much to see though, at 6 am. It's not only cold, it's also dark. But there are lots of signs, so that's the subject this week: Cranking up the ISO and shooting a few signs from my neighborhood.

Our personal fav!
(Chika-Chika Boom-Boom with Jalepeno Dip)

Perry's Antiques and Estate sales - Just liked the sign

Lots of Sushi Bars around. 

Not my apartment - Hoidy Toidy Place.
(My Balcony is bigger than yours is)

Roosters Grille- Haven't been there yet, but will soon.

ABC Spirits. Been there..And can spell it easily

Awesome grocery store across the street
(Although I still dislike grocery shopping 
One of our Favs...
Awesome Burgers..Awesome Sushi
Get it? CowFish? Clever!

New Sushi Bar across the Road
(Gotta get there soon)
Haven't been. Liked the Moon
Across the street Go here often
Won't be going here
Cool name for a Coffee Shop
Been there? No, but I may have posed for the sign
I like self-explanatory signs
Can sometimes get a great deal on food here,
but too natural for my liking...
I feel out of place here
Sun up now, and another fav...Had to show it.

So if you're ever looking for me, and I'm not at work, or out exploring, I could be at one of these spots around town. And now I've got back to my company...We had a surprise visit yesterday (Well Sue had a Surprise) from one of my biggest fans...My Sister-in-law Terry and brother-in-Law Ron. Came all the way from Michigan and walked in on Sue and I at Pacos. We love company! So come on Down! Give me a sign!

Terry, Sue, Ron

Till next week, Have an awesome week

Monday, October 21, 2013

P52 Week 41: Ups & Downs?

It was a week of ups and downs. Mostly ups. Didn't have too much photography time this week though…
Sue came back from vacation in Michigan. So, now I’m back to getting my kisses and reminders of “Got your phone…Keys…Wallet... Zipper up…etc?” It helps having someone remember the little important things for me…YAY! 
My good buddy John from NH, came down for the Sql PASS seminar, so we got to hang out on the weekend. Went uptown and found a great place for Beer and Wings. No, not Buffalo Wild Wings…But ‘Wild Wings’  Must be the less expensive BWW…Now I have a new favorite Wing place.
He and I got out and played some golf on Sunday. That was great.

The Most Interesting Guy in the World...
Lining up my next Shot

Followed by an UNBELIEVABLE Pats game. Followed by an UNBELIEVABLE SOX game.
Good week of work for me. Although I was DRAGGING a couple of days thanks to the baseball games.
Receiving the Coveted OSML golf Trophy back from John
Saturday, I spent the day in a SQL seminar myself. Wasn't looking forward to spending a Saturday in lectures, but it really got my heart pounding again for Business Intelligence. Love it!
That was followed by The Sox winning the ALCS on Saturday night in outstanding fashion! On to the World Series! Gotta get some rest before the games start on Wednesday…Gonna be some late nights.
And all those ups my friends, were followed by the Pats losing to the Lowly Jets on Sunday..Some stupid new rule cost us the game….
Stupid Rule....
Funny how 1 game can spoil the whole week. But I’m glad I typed this all up…Reminded me that this week was mostly AWESOME….

So did I take any real pictures this week? Yeah, a few. I've made an arrangement to get up on the roof of my office building so I can get some shots of the area. In exchange for that, the owners asked for some pics of their property.  I’ll want to get up on the roof when the leaves start changing.  Before that happens, I've started to work on my side of the bargain.

Here's some shots of my office and around the Piedmont Row area.
My office, 6060 Piedmont Row

6060 Piedmont Row

6060 Piedmont Early in the Morning
6115 Royal Crest
6115 and 6060 (back)

5970 Piedmont Row
6000 Fairview Rd
(around the corner from my office)

6100 Fairview Rd.
6100 Fairview Fountain
(in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness)
Be Aware
Here's to a great week! More Ups to come!
Bottoms up



Monday, October 14, 2013

P52 Week 40: Doing Guy Stuff

I was all by my lonesome last week. Sue went to Michigan to visit her sister Terry ( my #1 fan?), and had the courage to leave me up to my own mischief.  And while I did miss her badly, it gave me the opportunity to do things that a guy wouldn’t normally do with his wife around… J No, I’m not talking about the cleaning and vacuuming and ironing…(I did do that, but it’s not what I’m getting at)…And no, I’m not talking about sitting, drinking beer and watching TV.. (I didn’t do that….I can do that during the week if I need to)…I’m talking about sitting outside for hours, exploring, getting dirty, and waiting for the perfect light…Yup, taking pictures. While Sue is a good sport and accompanies me to a lot of my photo shooting events where we can see new things together, or patiently waits while I hop out of a car to get a picture of a broken down barn, there are just some things that I wouldn't subject her too.  I mean, if she begged me, I’d take her along to sit in the middle of some ruins in the woods, but sometimes, I guy just needs to experience the fun all to himself.

Case in point…Last Friday, it was a perfect night. And I was up on a parking garage roof in uptown Charlotte, waiting for the sun to go down…Just walking back and forth, looking for something interesting and taking shots. Fearful that I’d be mistakenly identified as a rooftop sniper. OK,  I must admit, that was kind of boring, but there were other idiots like myself up there doing their own thing, so I had others to talk to and compare notes with. And with patience, I was able to get what I was after:
Uptown Charlotte
Saturday was a fun-filled adventure…I took part in the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk.  Our group walked in Uptown Charlotte, and according to Map My walk, it was about 4 miles of back and forth and up and down the streets. That was a great time and I met some neat people. I hadn't really walked around the city yet, so it was a good opportunity to do some reconnaissance and scope out some new Houses of Beer…It was kind of difficult to come up with a great picture while you are walking around, and while the sun is at full bore, but I was able to stop long enough to get this:
Beer is my Friend

Whoops, wrong picture…that was taken this weekend after going back and trying out aforementioned House of Beer…
This is the one I took, and submitted to the Photowalk contest. Not great, but what the heck…

Uptown Charlotte, from the Bottom-Up
Corner of E Trade and S. Tryon St
A couple of others:
210 N. Church St.
Corner of Tryon and Trade

Settlers Place

After the photowalk, I drove an hour and ½ away to a place that I discovered online by accident… No, not a tattoo parlor or strip club, but an old mill in ruins… That was a cream of the crop for my weekend. I discovered this place in Rockingham, NC. It was an old dilapidated, brick Mill building that burned down many years ago, and just sits un-bothered at the side of the road. Old Brick? Ruins? Dilapidated  Where do I sign up??? I was excited when I got to the place, but it wasn't as overgrown as I’d seen it online, so I was a teensy bit disappointed, but was still happy just the same. I was like a kid in a playground climbing over and under and through things to get the shots I wanted. Sitting in the brush and dirt, and getting stung by bees,  just waiting for the light to be right…Utopia!
Rockingham, Mill

Some things, you just need to experience by yourself.

Mill Windows
While exploring, I heard a rush of water through the woods and made my way thru dense vegetation and thorns …I was scratched and bleeding, but smiling from ear to ear, when I saw this waterfall flowing out of an old mill building.

Hidden Gem
I sat there awhile just watching and listening to the roar of the water. Very mesmerizing.  After awhile, I moved to get a different angle. I walked along the rocks, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the mill through the trees, stopped abruptly, and took a shot:

Mill in the Woods
Then I turned to continue on my way. As I was about to step down, I saw a huge snake. He saw me, uncoiled, and darted into the water before I stepped on him. I now realize, that when confronted by fear, I do not scream like a little girl as people have heard I do when a tub of mice falls on me (A story that I think I've mentioned in an old blog post)…Instead I issue a very manly statement: “AHHHHH SHI*! Whoa that was close!” This thing was monstrous! Well, about 3 feet long. I've previously reported that I thought it was a Copperhead, but after looking at snakes online, I think it was a RedBelly water snake which is not poisonous… Whatever it was, it should not be stepped on. Anyway, this is also something that should be experienced alone…Not with your wife. I know she appreciates my thoughtfulness.

After that episode, I went back to the mill. And while I did sit back down on the ground, I was somewhat paranoid about what was slithering under things…

View from the Ground
It was a great weekend, but I am glad my better half is home…Missed you, honey!

Need a Medic
And now that I've found a group on Facebook that likes the same sort of things that I do (Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places-North Carolina)…I've got a whole lotta old places to get to…Buckle up honey, we’re going for a ride…. J

Mill Tunnel

Monday, October 7, 2013

Project 52 Week 39: Miles of Smiles

One of the things that I love about the Carolinas, and my new job, is the lack of driving I need to do for work...Sue and I were talking last week and wondered how much we are spending on gas now as opposed to back in NH. Back then I was doing 2000 miles a month for work. Now: 60. Back then that was about $360/month. Now: $10. I wasn't a big fan of driving long distances as I get very bored and fatigued. But part of it was driving to work, working all day and driving home...Now, I am driving to explore. And most often, Sue and I get to experience things together, which makes it all the better. So while I am putting an extra 5 or 600 miles a month on my car, it is for fun, not work. And it gives me an opportunity to meet and chat it up with lots of really friendly people.

Last week, we joined the Charlotte Photography Group on a trip to Huntersville, NC to Lyda Farms Farmers Market, and to Asheville to the NC Arboretum. It was a great weekend to get over to the Blue Ridge Mountain area. I was hoping that the leaves would have started to turn, but they hadn't yet. The weather has been a perfect 75 to 80 degrees lately. Love it! Here are some shots from the weekend.

From the Farm:
Wonder how this is with Peanut Butter...
Red Bell Peppers

Orange Bells


Pumpkin Patch

Crate O 'Pumps

Dinner Guest
 Some random shots from the Arboretum:


One of the main things we enjoyed at the arboretum, was a Bonsai exhibit. Neither one of us thought much about it before, but after seeing the displays, Sue and I decided we'd like to learn more. So much so, that on the way home, we stopped at Barnes and Noble and bought a book on growing your own. And now we have a new project to work on together...
Here's some shots from the exhibit...Very cool!


Hope you enjoyed the shots this week. And until someone does me a favor and invents a transporter machine, I'll keep taking one for the team and getting out and exploring for you. :-)
(Ok, I'm doing it for myself too. Who am I trying to kid?)

Next week I've got some Old Mill shots for you...I was out and about this past weekend.

OH!!!  In case you didn't know it, I am crazy for old buildings, barns, ruins, forts, etc.. And I saw a news program yesterday about a couple of photographers who travel around the state looking for old buildings. Their facebook page is "Abandoned, Old & Interesting Places in North Carolina".. Looks like I've got a whole lotta driving to do! Check them out on FB. There may be a similar page for your state too.

Till next week... BONZAI! (or bonsai...whatever...)