Fairy Circles and Glory Holes and Grapefest Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Fairy Circle

18 September 2009

My first full day back in Texas. I started it by taking Kyle to work, so that when I picked him up we could head straight to Grapefest! On the way into the office, as we were talking, Kyle interrupted himself at one point, and exclaimed as he pointed out the window of the car. His distraction was this amazing “magic circle” as he calls it, or “fairy ring” as I’m more prone to say. I made a mental note of where we’d seen it, and on the way back home, I did a u-turn (I’m back in the land of legal u-turns!), pulled off the road, and grabbed my camera. I walked toward the circle and took a few shots, but made a very conscious decision NOT to walk into the ring!

I spent the day doing housework and laundry and getting ready to move my stuff back in, but between phone calls and such, the time for me to leave to go get Kyle came very fast. We got to Grapefest at about four o’clock (admission was free until five!) and entertained ourselves very well for a while, shopping the various vendors, and just enjoying the beautiful day together. Not too long before our People’s Choice tasting time, Starr and Joe and Alex got there. We made plans to meet up with them after the tasting, and on we went to that part of the event. It was a whirlwind tour of Texas Wineries, as always, and about halfway through the tasting opportunities we decided it was crazy for me to try to keep up with Kyle! 😉 I was holding him back and I didn’t want to be the reason he didn’t meet his persoal goal of tasting something from every winery represented. So, off he went, and came back with enough time to spare that he was able to take me to taste one of his favourites. The final siren always sounds too early, and this year was no exception. We completed our ballots and then I stopped into the glass studio there in Grapevine—Vetro Art Glass. I looked around, took a few photos of the studio to show Shannon, and enjoyed a visit with the manager there whose name is also Shannon!

Then, we made a stop into the blacksmith’s shop and learned that the folks there are also our blacksmith folks at Scarborough, now! That was a nice surprise, and we made new friends in Lonnie, Linda and their son Joseph.

Finally, we were all back together with Starr and Joe, our Grapefest companions for many years, now. We walked a bit, and had some more wine, and then landed at the Gary P. Nunn concert. Nice, old-school country music and a good time. When his show was over and we headed out, we were tired. Home and in bed by about 1:30, with the knowledge that there would be no alarm clock in the morning! Yay!

~MB

Samos Reflections Tuesday, Nov 18 2008 

17 November 2008
Mondays are hard. Mondays are very hard. I worked & played hard all weekend, then had a long drive home Sunday night, only to get in bed and wake up again almost immediately due to the shortness of sleep time. Invariably, Mondays at work are hard with new or different/unexpected things being thrown at me. This Monday was certainly no exception on that front. So, I’m tired & cranky and extremely busy; and during the fall season, I follow all that up with a footy match. I played my final game of the season last night. The team has one more, but I shall be out of town and unable to attend. We played hard, we played well, but in the 40ºF gusty-wind environment, we didn’t play hard enough or well enough to win. By the time I got home, I could add sore, depressed at the loss and more physically tired to the cranky & busy list. Luckily, when I got home, my wife had a glass of Samos close to hand.
Reflections of Samos
I took a drink; I took a photo; I took a shower; I went to bed.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 18 November 2008 )

Listening to:
Winners by Mudmen
from Mudmen

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.167 sec (1/6)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS Windows

Joe and the Polka Dotted Umbrella Thursday, Sep 18 2008 

13 September 2008
Not knowing what Ike was going to do, we waited until the very last moment to decide & purchase our tickets for Grapefest. We go every year, and every year we enjoy it. This year, it was a different style of enjoyment than previous outings. Ike had scared off most everyone, and of the 700 tickets available for the "People’s Choice" tasting, only 151 were sold. It was practically deserted. Of course, this didn’t bode well for the vendors, and in fact, most vendors didn’t even bother to show for this rainy, windy Saturday. I’m hoping the previous Thursday & Friday nights and Sunday were better for everyone. But, of course, we are perfectly capable of making our own fun, and we did.
Joe
This is my friend, Joe, proving that with imagination and a who-cares attitude anything is possible. Even fun at a mostly empty wine festival during a hurricane.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 17 September 2008 )

Listening to:
Relight My Fire (UK Radio Version) by Lulu & Take That
from The Best Party…Ever!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

Four Friends and a Baby Monday, Sep 15 2008 

Four Friends and a Baby

13 September 2008

Despite the weather forecast, and a sense of impending doom, we chose to hold with our plans to attend Grapefest.  This little wine festival plays host to the Texas People’s Choice Wine Awards and we go each September and have a great time.  Afraid the storm might put an early end to outdoor events, we bought our tickets for the 11 a.m. tasting, and aimed to get to the festival pretty much as it was opening. 

It was lightly raining even as we left the house, but we were armed with umbrellas and boots and rain jackets and hats, and off we went!  We parked close to the main gate, and were immediately struck with how terribly few people there were.  Then, we realized, there weren’t really many vendors, either!  We can totally make our own fun, no matter what, so we weren’t really too bothered by it . . . just sad.  After all, if we’d been at a tent show in the path of a tropical storm, we’d have packed up and gone home, too.  Hopefully, Thursday night and Friday were good for those folks, and the weekend wasn’t a total wash. 

The People’s Choice Tastings were happening, rain or shine, and we had a great time.  As planned, we met Starr and Joe and Troy and Alex, and Rod, just in time to get to our tasting on time.  With the weather-shy folks staying home, and the resulting crowd so small, we had plenty of time to taste as many wines as we really could–no standing in lines.  We liked that part! 

My photo is of our little group (minus Troy who was off visiting with a girl!) as we walked down the street after the tasting.  A couple of other cute photos include one of Joe and Alex, and one of Rod and Kyle.

The wind and rain were a constant part of the day, but it never got bad enough to chase us away.  We did go inside for burgers at Wilhoite’s, but that was mostly because there were no street vendors selling much of anything!  Instead of shopping craft booths–again there really weren’t but two or three—we shopped the little stores on Main Street and just enjoyed each other’s company.  When the walking had gotten the best of most of us, we decided it was time for an early dinner at Esparza’s, a fun little Tex Mex place we try to go to most years.  It was still daylight when we finally said goodbye and walked to our vehicles.  That was unusual, but we were tired and happy—just like we ought to be at the end of a festival day!

I took this photo of the beautiful hurricane-generated clouds on the way home.

We heard from a few folks down Houston way, that had come through Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed.  We will continue to check in with other folks tomorrow.  News coverage is still rather uninformative regarding Galveston—people aren’t really back there, yet.  We are hopeful, in that it seems the storm wasn’t as bad as we’d feared it would be.

~MB

Abstract Dots Monday, Mar 24 2008 

23 March 2008
MB went to Costume Parade. I stayed home and worked on the East Wind Games website and did some CAD work trying to render an architectural drawing for the festival. Since I intend to build out my back room, the faire needs to be notified. That means showing them architectural plans, materials & personnel long before the building begins. *sigh*
Because I worked on the computer all day, I did not take any photos. Save this one:
Abstract Wrapper
During the workshop Marita Beth held on Saturday, she received a couple of bottles of wine as gifts. This is the wrapper on one of those bottles.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 24 March 2008)

Listening to:
Eep Opp Ork (Uh Uh) by The Dickies
from Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.1 sec (1/10)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire