Four Favorites of 2009

It is awards season.  Recently the Golden Globes were handed out.   The Grammys will be here soon as well.  I am likewise tempted to give a list of the best places to photograph or my ten favorite pieces of equipment.  But, rather than stick with one general subject, there are four things that I have tried this year that stand out among my varied hobbies and interest. 

Going to a large venue to hear a favorite artist can be both fun and expensive.  A good way to cut entertainment cost is to  enjoy local shows of renowned, area based musicians. 

A Sinnett Hearing

I have been a fan of Jae Sinnett since 2003.  His recordings have been highly regarded in the jazz industry.  He shares his knowlege with students at Christopher Newport Unversity.  “Sinnett in Session” is a mainstay program of WHRV radio in Norfolk.

Some ingredients were meant to be together.  Take bacon, celery, and onion.  Chop and fry two or three strips of the meat.  Set it aside and fry a third of a cup each of  the veggies in about a tablespoon of the drippings.  This combination adds a smoky, savory flavor that complements many recipies for main and side dishes, appetizers, and sauces.  Try this for an example:  Throw this combination in two cups of milk, a quarter cup of shredded Parmesan cheese  and scald.  Reduce heat and thicken to preference with your favorite seafood breader.  Add a pint of oysters at low heat until they curl. 

Down a Creek with a Guide

Okay, I confess that I have a vested interest in this one.  But, guided paddle tours are a great way to learn natural history, excercise, and spend an enjoyable evening on the water.  Forget your fears of “tipping over.”  The watercraft at most parks are designed for beginners and provide plenty of stability to make such incidents unlikely.  Guides give instructions on basic strokes and safety.  They aso provide detailed information about waterways that are more lively than your GPS or internet.  Kayaks have become very popular in major rivers.  But, canoes are still common in the tributary creeks of the bay.  Look for guides with years of experience and/or American Canoe Association certification.

The Centering Moment

Too often we get caught up in a rat-race mentality.  We jump out of bed and make a mad dash to wherever and crash in bed with the days worries still on us.  Whatever faith you may practice, you know mankind was not made to live like four legged vermin.  Some sort of quiet time is necessary to restore the human spirit and aim our hopes to a better way of life.  The philosopher and theologian Howard Thurman called this the “Centering Moment.”  I recommend spending as much time pursuing the moment as one would watching a favorite TV program.  Waking up earlier or going to bed later are great ways to make the time.  Maintain your central belief and add suplemental text as you are spiritually led.  Indeed, write your own text daily at this time to monitor your own journey.

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