Archives for the ‘Blog Entries.Local’ Category

Full Moon Brewery

Author: David From • Aug 28th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Located in the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island, the Full Moon Café & Grill, and Brewery, is a hidden craft beer destination on the Outer Banks. We first visited last year, and declared it a "must stop" during our vacation this year. After a tour of the nearby Elizabethan Gardens, we stopped at Full Moon for lunch. The café itself is quite small, and there actually seems to be more outdoor patio seating than indoor. We did choose to dine inside and were seated right away.

Rather than sample a flight of beers, we opted to focus on full servings of a single beer. Interestingly, we all selected beers that we did not try in our initial visit last Summer. Glasses of Lost Colony English Brown Ale for Checkered Flag, Charon Stout for Colleen, and Over Time Pale Ale for me soon appeared on our table. The English Nut Brown Ale was well done, with a slightly nutty flavor and a mild chocolate hint. Colleen's Irish Stout was equally enjoyable. The bitterness of roasted malt and caramel predominated, with a hint of smoke. The beer finished bitter and slightly dry.

The Over Time Pale Ale seems to be a newer addition to the lineup. Golden amber with a thin white head, the beer has a mild citrus aroma. The flavor leans towards grapefruit citrus, with a touch of pine. It was a well-balanced Pale Ale that finished clean with little aftertaste. I rather enjoyed it, and when my glass was empty, instead of changing beers mid-meal, I opted for a repeat pint.

I started my meal with a cup of a very thick crab bisque. Full of crab meat, and flavor, the soup was a fitting accompaniment to my first glass of Over Time Pale Ale. For the main part of my meal, and to go along with that second beer, I enjoyed a Hunter Wrap — chunks of grilled angus ribeye along with onions, tomatoes, and a white cheddar and horseradish sauce. The wrap was served with tortilla chips and a very spicy salsa. The Pale Ale was a fitting, and cooling, foil for the spice of the wrap and the salsa.

If the Full Moon Café and Brewery was just a bit closer to where we were staying in Southern Shores, I am positive we would have eaten more meals there. The combination of fresh craft beer, tasty food and fast, friendly service is hard to beat. It's become one of my favorite stops in the Outer Banks. We'll be back again the next time we're in the area.

The Blog Is Back?

Author: Chris From • Aug 27th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Back in 2012 I wrote about the importance of owning your words online; having a place you control where you post your content. Recently, several old school prominent bloggers have returned to their personal blogs.

I hope this is a trend that picks up steam. To any former bloggers that might still be reading here, I challenge you to write something on your blog this week. You don't have to write every day, or even every week. However, unless you are a total dullard, there must be days when you have something you want to say. Those days are why you need a space online that you control.

14109 Houses Sold Yesterday. Did Yours?

Author: jedmisten From • Aug 26th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, RealEstate.Local

Weeping Radish Farm Brewery

Author: David From • Aug 25th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
During a recent trip to the Outer Banks, we made a lunch time visit the Weeping Radish Eco Farm & Brewery in Grandy, NC. The brewery is just a short drive from the Outer Banks. Arriving for a late lunch on a Sunday, we had about a 30 minute wait for a table. The dining area is surprisingly small given the overall size, at least in appearance, of the operation. We frustratingly stared at two large, but empty, tables. Two tables with seating for at least 8 were empty our entire wait, presumably saved for large parties. I was tempted to introduce myself to another waiting party of four to make a group to qualify for an empty table.

We passed the time looking at the display of sausages, and perusing the menu with the current beer offerings taped to the checkout counter. When we were seated, the well-tattered food and beverage menu we were handed did not have a complete beer listing. The server informed us that the Hefeweizen was not available, but offered no other information. If we had not noticed the lone 8.5x11" paper taped to the counter, we would have had little info on what beers were being served.

These initial "trials" resolved, we got our much anticipated food and beverage orders placed in short order. Colleen and I both opted for three-sausage platters, served with sauerkraut with a soft pretzel. Between our two platters we tried Bratwurst, Apple Brat, Beer Brat, and Andouille. We were left to our own devices to sort out which was which, but the flavors are unique and easily distinguished. The sauerkraut was cut very fine, and cooked to an almost creamy state, with a very sharp "sauer." It was surprisingly tart for being so thoroughly cooked. In enjoyed it, Colleen found it a tad "too much." I think I was the only one to use the accompanying Curry Ketchup, into which I dipped my soft pretzel. We all shared some spicy Lusty Monk Mustard as well. Our son and Checkered Flag both selected Grilled Bratwurst on a roll, served with fries. All of the food was delicious. The servings were quite ample, and neither Colleen nor I managed to clean our plates.

Tasty food aside, I was there to try the beer. Our first round consisted of Corolla Gold Helles LagerBitter Bee, and Ruddy Radish. The Helles that Checker Flag ordered was the only one of the three I had tried previously. It was light bodied, with mildly sweet caramel malt and a toasted cereal grain base. Colleen's Bitter Bee was one of the beers that interested me. It is described as an IPA made with tulip poplar honey from the Shenandoah Valley. The beer was very floral in aroma and flavor. The overall flavor is mild with just a hint of citrus. It was an enjoyable, if unusual flavor. I did very much enjoy the Ruddy Radish Red Ale that I ordered. I've long felt that Red Ale is an oft-ignored style, even by myself. The Weeping Radish version is predominately caramel and toffee malt flavors, with a touch of citrus.

I had finished my pint of Red Ale before I had eaten much of my meal so ordered a glass of one of Weeping Radish's classics, the Black Radish Dark Lager. It took a while to get my beer. The waitress let me know it was coming during her stop by to refill our water glasses, and I saw her speak to the bartender several times, I assumed to check on that order. She finally poured the beer herself and brought it to the table, though I was halfway through my meal by then. This was one of the first Schwarzbiers I tried, many years ago, and looked forward to revisiting it. The aroma and flavor of roasted caramel and a hint of sweetness make this a smooth and easy sipping beer. It is still my favorite from the brewery.

Beer fans with a taste for the boldness of American-style craft beer may be let down by the Weeping Radish beers, which focus on a milder European-style, but the beers are solid. My impression from this visit is that Weeping Radish is set up for the take-out customer, be it beer, sausages, or farm produce. The seating and service left a little to be desired — the lack of a beer menu was telling. The food however was excellent, so it's definitely worth stopping in for the locally produced sausages.

Which Filter to Use?

Author: jedmisten From • Aug 25th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, RealEstate.Local

A dirty air filter decreases the effectiveness of your HVAC systemfurnance filter because it inhibits airflow and allows dirt, dust, pollen and other materials to blow through the system.

The challenge is how often it should be changed to keep the system working efficiently and extend the equipment life.   Too often and you’re wasting money and not often enough and your increasing the operating and maintenance costs.

Fiberglass panel filters are inexpensive and easy to find but they’re not very efficient and they allow most dust to pass through.  They were popular years ago but there are much better products available currently.

Pleated air filters are available in MERV ratings from 5 to 12. As these filters collect dirt and other particles, they become less efficient to the point of impacting air flow.  Allergy sufferers can benefit from this type of filter.  These should be changed every two to three months based on local conditions.

HEPA filters stand for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. They are very efficient and more expensive than previously described filters.  Since they are very efficient, they require changing more frequently; possibly, every month.

Electrostatic air filters are permanent and washable. They generally cost more initially but the savings will be based on how long they last.  This type does not add to landfill issues or produce ozone.

Improperly maintained filters will lower the quality of the air in the home, have a negative impact on air flow, cause it to use more electricity and eventually require maintenance to the systems.

In an attempt to easily compare filters, a rating system was created called MERV, an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.  The rating from 1 to 16 indicates the efficiency of a filter based on standards set by ASHRAE.  Higher ratings indicate a greater percentage of particles are being captured in the filter.

To create a system to remind you when to change your filters, set a reminder on your electronic calendar to recur for whatever frequency you determine is best for you.   Be sure to keep a supply of filters on hand to be ready to change them out when the time comes.

Shooting Videos – The “Pole Cam”

Author: David From • Aug 24th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Watching other shooters is a great way to learn, but watching yourself is even more beneficial. At just about shooting match, there's always a plethora of video cameras in use. I occasionally use first-person video to analyze my shooting. This viewpoint is limited in usefulness. A handheld video camera, or most often a smart phone, used to record a third-person POV is preferred but still doesn't offer the "big picture." At the recent Cavalier USPSA match I benefited from another option, which I'll dub the "pole cam." My friend Alex had his video camera mounted on a monopod with swivel mount, and a few of the shooters were using it to record each other shooting. Alex asked if I wanted to be recorded, and I eagerly accepted his offer.

With the camera mounted on the monopod, and angled down slightly, it can be raised above the shooter for a birds-eye view of the action. This allows a complete picture, from head to toe, to be captured. This is great of for seeing footwork and body positioning. Even when the course of fire has walls, the camera is easily held over the walls, all the while staying out of the shooter's and RO's way.

This point of view also makes it easy to see an entire course of fire at once, and even if not the entire course of fire, at least the surrounding targets. This is very useful especially when analyzing your movement to the next target. With all the targets in view, it's easy to see how efficiently you got the gun on target, and how you moved through the course of fire. Of course, when things aren't done smoothly, it's quite apparent as well.

During the classifier stage, Alex stood behind me, off to the side, and was able to extend the pole out to my side. This gave a point of view that would have been impossible otherwise. It was great for watching the "turn and draw" movement. Of course, for some of us, having a belly height camera at your side can present a less than flattering profile.

When Alex shared the videos with me, I was very happy he made the offer. Perhaps it's a bit narcissistic to want to watch yourself shoot, but a bit a narcissism is assumed with being a blogger. (And of course, I made my family watch them too.) But most importantly, watching yourself shoot is a great learning tool. There's no hiding mistakes or poor performance from the camera. I spent a lot of time stepping through the videos and making note of the good, as well as the things I need to work on. We all like watching the "pros" shoot, but the way to get better is to watch yourself shoot.

This may not be a new idea to many, but I don't recall seeing folks recording other than from "ground level" in the matches I've been too. Other than having a drone hovering overhead, this may be the most useful tool I come across in some time. I may have to add this to my took kit in the near future. There's still the problem of having to implore another shooter to hold the camera, but I think the offer of returning the favor, and sharing the videos, may be a sufficient bargaining tool.

A stint as a WeatherBrains guest panelist

Author: Chris White From • Aug 23rd, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
After several days of processing events - and having watched the video and listened to the podcast - I've gained some perspective on what it was like being a guest panelist on "WeatherBrains" episode #447. Mostly it was a bit intimidating being on the show amid folks who are career meteorologists both in television and with the National Weather Service. Given my status as a non-degreed "accomplished amateur" I felt some inadequacy as to what I could offer.

Secondly I wasn't certain what I should talk about. Kevin Myatt - friend and "WeatherBrains" alum who nominated me as a guest - had emphasized my stormchase trips out west with the Hokie Stormchasers...but other than my brief mention of it the conversation never got around to that topic. Rick Smith - my gracious last minute substitute interviewer instead of Bill Murray - did ask a followon question about the Fredericksburg (VA) weather blog, but I could have gone in other directions regarding my weather activities. Hokie Stormchaser co-leadership, chasing in northern Virginia, and collaborating with WDBJ7 here in Roanoke with respect to southern VA storm chasing were all topics that weren't explored.

The main issue I had was one I never expected:  where to look when I was talking. I'm not used to looking into a camera so I found my gaze wandering between images of the other Google Hangout participants, the camera, my notes, and the walls of our spare bedroom I was ensconced in. There was no live face to converse with or look at!! I've thus concluded that I'm not an on-air talent (and have little desire to be one!!).

All in all I enjoyed it, especially being part of a show that featured Dave Brown - the guru of Memphis TN television weather - as the main guest. It was also neat seeing the Google Hangout chat going on between the WB's participants as they handed off parts of the interview and conversation to one another. It was a privilege and an honor to take part as a guest panelist, so many thanks to Kevin Myatt and to the "WeatherBrains" crew!

Five O’Clock Friday: Old Timers Bar

Author: David From • Aug 22nd, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Four old retired men are walking down a street in Yuma, Arizona. They turn a corner and see a sign that says, “Old Timers Bar – ALL drinks 10 cents.”

They look at each other and then go in, thinking this is too good to be true.

There’s a fully stocked bar, so each of the men orders a martini.

In no time the bartender serves up four iced martinis shaken, not stirred and says, “That’s 10 cents each, please.”

The four guys stare at the bartender for a moment, then at each other. They can’t believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis, and order another round.

Again, four excellent martinis are produced, with the bartender again saying,”That’s 40 cents, please.”

They pay the 40 cents, but their curiosity gets the better of them. They’ve each had two martinis and haven’t even spent a dollar yet.

Finally one of them says, “How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime apiece?”

“I’m a retired tailor from Phoenix ,” the bartender says, “and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery Jackpot for $125 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime. Wine, liquor, beer it’s all the same.”

“Wow! That’s some story!” one of the men says.

As the four of them sip at their martinis, they can’t help noticing seven other people at the end of the bar who don’t have any drinks in front of them and haven’t ordered anything the whole time they’ve been there.

Nodding at the seven at the end of the bar, one of the men asks the Bartender, “What’s with them?”

The bartender says, “They’re retired people from Florida.They’re waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price, plus they all have coupons.”

H/T Common Sense Evaluation

Virginia Hit and Run is a Serious Charge

Author: marketing From • Aug 22nd, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

property damage

Virginia has a very complex set of laws that govern your duties if you’re involved in an accident while in a motor vehicle. Altogether they’re referred to in the slang term of “hit and run”; however, by law, it is called “leaving the scene of an accident.”

If you’re involved in an accident, the basic rule is that you can stop at the scene of the accident to either look for the property owner or report your information to the property owner if they’re present. If there’s no property owner around, then you need to leave a note at the scene and notify the police within 24 hours.

Keep in mind that this is just a basic summary of the law. There’s a lot of particular responsibilities, including duties of adults in the car even if you’re not the driver who caused the accident. If you’re in the car and the driver does not fulfill their duty in reporting the accident to the police, you can also be charged with not reporting the accident if you’re present at the scene.

The exact nature of hit and run charge is going to depend upon a lot of factors starting with the amount of damage to property and whether or not a person was injured or killed. Depending upon those two factors, the property and personal injury issues, that will determine what kind of hit and run that you could be charged with. If there’s personal injury involved, you could be charged with a felony hit and run. If there’s only damage limited to the property such as a parked car, a guardrail or mailbox, then it would normally be a misdemeanor hit and run depending on the amount of damage.

As you can see, hit and run is always a crime in Virginia. Even if you’re just charged with damage to unattended property, it’s still a misdemeanor. Depending upon the level of the damage, you may be facing possible jail time.

This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact me to talk about the specifics of your case. We can look at the overall situation. I can advise you about the type of charge you’re facing, what possible punishments may be realistic, and definitely we’ll discuss what defenses you may have to the crimes that you’re accused of.

In the meantime, if you have just been involved in an accident and haven’t had any contact with the police, it would be to your advantage to report the accident to police if it’s past the 24 hours of the time of the accident. That might make it where you would not be charged for leaving the scene.

If it’s more than 24 hours since the accident, and the police come to you investigating, it might be to your advantage to call an attorney and not to speak to the police. They may not know who actually was in the vehicle or who was the driver. If you make a statement to the police, that will give them the evidence they need against you in court and you can be convicted.

Definitely call me right away if you’re in this situation.

Photo by: Pointshogger //

Originally published at © 2014 Andrew Flusche. Virginia Hit and Run is a Serious Charge

Aug 21 shelf cloud video and vid caps

Author: Chris White From • Aug 22nd, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Finally got a chance to go thru at least one video from yesterday's chase. This clip - sped up 4x - was recorded looking north from a parking lot ~2 miles NE of Goode VA (west of Lynchburg):

Along with the shelf cloud came a lot of cloud-to-ground lightning (CG's).  Here are a few frame captures from the video: