Monday, December 28, 2009

Surveying and Food

My mother, who always has encouraging and supportive things to say to me recently complained that I haven't updated my blog and she was tired of looking at the previous picture. So I'm offering up this little gem from almost two years ago.

That's me you see in the photo holding up the jake stick. We were putting in a subdivision on the end of Short Hill Mountain near Buchanan, Va. That's the end of the mountain you see behind me. Yes, that is as steep as it looks. There was close to 2,000 feet of difference in elevation between the bottom of that job and the top. Of the many job sites I've visited since coming to work for Vess Surveying Inc. a couple of years ago, this 900+ acre tract was one of my favorites. We had to do a great deal of exploring and a lot of it Donovan and I had to do on our own. It was fairly early in the learning curve in my career and I learned a lot from that job. Since I should give credit where credit is due, Donovan snapped this photo while he was running the instrument on a cold January day.

Christmas was wonderful and I hope everyone out there had as good a Christmas as we did. Santa dropped off plenty of neat gifts, including a nifty new whisk, a throwback Atari gaming console, an electric guitar and a few cookbooks. One of those books, Stirring the Pot by Tyler Florence, offered pretty good advice on organizing the kitchen and the refrigerator and freezer to a semi-pro level that would make home cooking a lot easier.

I love to cook. The more complicated the recipe the better as far as I'm concerned. My friends and I have the wild dream of someday owning our own restaurant, perhaps financed by my bestselling novels. In the meantime we all cook, spend a lot of time looking for new recipes and inventing our own. So I started thinking in the shower the other morning...Why not have my own cooking show?

YouTube has a ton of video lessons on it. In fact it's where I learn how to play a lot of what I play on the guitar. People often get record contracts because of what they post on YouTube. Some go on to careers as camera operators or other positions in the film industry because the right person stumbled on their YouTube video. And how many times has the next viral video sensation made it on to the evening news?

Plans for the show are still in the early stages. Not only will I need to reorganize the kitchen but I'll also have to script out a few shows, prepare some recipes, get a video camera and figure out the logistics of it before I can really attempt it. I think I'll have a couple of guest co-hosts among my friends who enjoy cooking and it should be a lot of fun. Who knows? Maybe this will be the gateway to The Food Network. If nothing else, however, at least it will provide plenty of good eating.

As always, editing is ongoing on The Sixth Sword and the groundwork is being solidified on The Sea of Souls. I wish that I could break down the progress in a bit more detail, but it's impossible to break down something that complex in a blog like this.

After discovering the joy of podcasts on the recommendation of Chris, I stumbled on to The Tolkien Professor podcast by a professor at Washington College. The podcasts are college level lectures on Tolkien's works, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Great stuff for anyone who may be interested.

For now it's time to sign off of here and see about what I'm going to make for dinner. We had big plans to head south to Roanoke to take in a 3D showing of Avatar but those plans fell through. It's been a Monday here in the small town of Covington. I'm hoping the rest of the week will recover from this start.

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