Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pine State Biscuits

Entrance to Pine State Biscuits

I've been known to post a Google Review or two and if the food comes out looking really good I'm more than happy to include a picture but every now and then a restaurant comes along that absolutely blows the doors off and exceeds all expectations.

A block off Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada; not quite downtown; not quite midtown; there is a restaurant called Pine State Biscuits.  It's in the middle of the block east of the intersection of Center and Pine Streets. It has a Center Street address but the door is on Pine Street.

First things first: How I learned that this restaurant was even in Reno. If you are lucky, you have a Ray and Vicky in your lives.  This couple has great taste if food, entertainment and friends and when I moved into my building and met them, I knew immediately that I wanted to spend more time with them.

The other day when we were going to a forum breakfast, Ray mentioned that they had gone to a biscuit restaurant. Being a paleo girl, I immediately cringed at the thought of a big heavy carb-laden white flour biscuit but then he told me that he'd had the shrimp and grits and for some reason, I'm not sure if it was the excitement in his description or the way he described it to us but the thought of it started to tickle the cajun/creole sensors in my brain.

The next day, my husband and I set off on foot to find the biscuit shop and much to our surprise, found it quite busy at 1:20 in the afternoon. A steady flow of customers ebbed and flowed in and out of the establishment. They ranged from older folks to millenials with children albeit that the children were running around untethered but that is a whole other blog.

We ordered at the counter and took a number. The place smelled delicious and the biscuit sandwiches that were being delivered from the kitchen were humongous and dripping with fabulous looking sauces to say the least. An example of a s'mores toaster desert was on the counter by the registers and it also looked delectable but being unable to workout at this time due to an injury, I knew I hadn't earned a treat like that.

As we waited we watched the staff working and delivering food. We noticed a nice note on the table noting...
Thanks for supporting small independent business by
bussing your own table

 Simple instructions with a thank you card

After a pretty short wait, this was delivered to the table

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits southern style. The butter swirled on the plate and the bacon grease shimmered on the shrimp. My husband and I looked up at each other and simply smiled.

Every bite was delicious and we left there feeling quite satisfied.

We happily bussed our own table as they politely asked and headed down the street certain to return again.  

Peace and Love,

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

METAL not mental

I found a wonderful little photo club in the downtown Reno area that consists of a few loyal followers and a few lovely and talented outliers.  Just before I left to do a thru hike, they started an "inspiration" project where one member choses a subject like; three, bubbles, candy, and as you will see, metal.

You have 5 days to post 2 pictures of the inspiration subject.

Now, normally I would not find an inspiration subject interesting enough to blog about but this particular subject led me to a particularly fun afternoon with my husband in tow as my photo assistant. His job is to block light, add light, hold gear and most importantly, make sure I don't get hit by a car.

It was the last day before I needed to post and I was determined to find a street cover that had the words "metal work" on it and was having absolutely no luck when my trusty assistant suggested that I take pictures of the new Virginia Street Bridge. "Genius!" I exclaimed and I immediately found inspiration in that bridge.

Here is a picture of the struts that hold the suspension bridge in place.

Metal Supports on the Virginia Street Bridge
While taking the picture, I saw a dashingly handsome man in a well tailored suit walk by and as the breeze blew his jacket back, a badge flashed in the light of the sun. As he walked away, I had wished I would have taken a picture of the badge but the opportunity had escaped me. I could not get it out of my mind.

We continued to explore downtown Reno for other metal subjects.  Jim had a thousand ideas, "Let's go by the ballfield." There were a lot of photo opportunities in that area but I particularly loved the color contrast in this photograph.

Aces Ballfield
Near the Ballfield is a sports bar / restaurant that has a bunch of machinery and equipment around it. I found a large saw bolted to a fence and found the patina to be beautiful but I still begrudged the missed opportunity of photographing the man's badge.

My assistants favorite shot of the day.
I finally found a manhole cover worthy of a photograph but the word "metal" was not where to be found on this. Dang, that guy's badge was so cool!

Manhole Cover in downtown Reno

We headed to the Plaza near the Truckee River and I saw this metal sign attached to the ground pointing to the plaza. I had not idea that it was called the Art Landing. I wonder where the guy with the badge is now? Dang!

The Art Plaza near the Truckee River in Downtown Reno

There is a fellow that plays saxophone in the plaza that I like to photograph. He will play just as hard when no one is there as he does when the plaza is crowded. I asked Jim to give him $5 so I could take a picture of his sax. (It was a little distracting that spellcheck caught me putting an a in the middle of saxophone instead of an o. I had no idea it was spelled that way) This sax is the same color as that guys badge.

Street Performer's Sax
We headed across the street to City Hall where I found a recycle can and took a photograph of that. I particularly liked this shot.

Recycling Can at City Hall
We were done, it was time to go home and process these photos and get them submitted but when we began crossing the street at City Hall I was surprised to look up and see that gentleman with the badge. I decided immediately that I was not going to miss this opportunity.  I stopped him and quickly explained to him that I had a photo inspiration project and I asked him if I could take a picture of his badge. He was thrilled and proudly posed, pushing back his fine lapelled jacket to expose the badge on his belt.

I got down on the ground and began shooting close up shots of the badge and he stood there patiently.

When we were done and all gratitudes had been given, my husband and faithful assistant started to chant, "I am such a good boy. I am such a good boy. I stood there and let my wife take pictures of a man's groin and crotch area and didn't say a word."

Now, anyone who knows my husband knows that he is all about the laugh and joking and I'm sure it took everything he had in him to not tease both me and the kind code officer that let me take pictures of his midsection.

The result was awesome though!

Reno Code Enforcement Badge
This is one of my favorite photos and goes in the top five

Peace and Love,

For more photos and stories, check out my website at 
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Vampire Photo Shoot

Just a few short weeks till Halloween, 2018 and my friends at "Reno Camera Club" had a photo shoot with a wonderful model named Natalie Irene Munster Crab. (no kidding, that is her real name and she is cool enough to pull it off)

We started at 9:00am at the Oxbow Nature Park in Reno NV and didn't finish till 1:00 in the afternoon.  I could have taken photos all day long but 487 releases of the shutter later and I have 11 favorites that I processed and have for you to see below. The truth is that I have 48 favorites but had to narrow it down so I don't bore you.

I've named the photos which I thought was a fun change. You will notice that the model gathers more and more blood as the morning progressed.  What was funny was when her right bicuspid started falling out. There we were, all chewing gum and hoping that the gum she used would hold the tooth in.

I also have some blooper shots that I may add in another blog of teeth falling off and wigs getting flown in the air as we went for the "hair in the wind" effect.

The truth is that I do so much Macro and Nature photography that I had no interest in this photo shoot and nearly backed out from going. I was totally out of my element and 5 minutes into itm, Mike Smith, the dapper british gent who organizes the photo club had me taking dream photography and making me feel like a pro.

More than once I took a photo, looked at the preview on screen and danced around like an excited school girl.  I learned what "rear flash" is and how to use my flash as my aperture. I was hypnotized by the model whose every movement I wanted to capture.

When I sat down to the computer, it was daunting to find a few handfuls of photos that I would use to process, I wanted to do them all but I doubted that anyone would have any interest in that besides me.

Enjoy these photos and I hope they give you nightmares!

Moon Worship

Satisfied Hunger

Desire for More
 Experimenting with hair flipping for the first time ever had some great results. I did a serious happy dance when I saw this on my screen.

Under Cover of Night

I didn't even ask for Natalie to come at me through these weeds and I'm so glad I had my camera ready when she reached for me. The effect was chilling.

Sinister Intentions
This one might be my favorite since I used three flashes, one from the front, Judith holding one near her face on the model's right and then Mike was backlighting the models hair. I love this effect.

The First Morning Light

The Light of Day
I'm very excited about this one since I created the sunlight in post processing.  It was my first attempt and I loved the result.


The Bride Wore White

Into the Eyes of Evil
For more photos and stories, check out my website at
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Peace and Love,