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‘Tis the Season for Second Glances

Author: Ken Yagelski From • Nov 20th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
A blog worth repeating... over and over and over again.

Most of my blog entries have been ingredients on how to plan, prepare, and serve up goodness on a platter. This blog is slightly different in that there are no ingredients for making a delicious appetizer, entree, or dessert; but more to share my thoughts on feasting on the goodness of giving throughout this holiday season (and continuing on long after the decorations have been put away.) 

Every day I thank God for the many blessings he's bestowed upon our family. I pray that He uses me to return the blessings by being there for others in need. Then, more often than not, I find myself waiting and wondering when God is going to do just that; when He is going to use me to make a real impact on a person's life. I just went about my days wondering when I was going to be used for something "big" that I ended up not doing any of the little things that count just as much! It hit me one day when I was in the drive-through line at McDonald's. Looking in the mirror I saw behind me, an elderly couple who ordered after me. When I went up to the window to pay, I asked if I could pay for the car behind me as well. I told the cashier to tell the couple that their order has been paid for by someone who is just doing a "random act of kindness". I thought maybe the couple behind me would, in turn, pass it on one day or "Pay It Forward". Even though I didn't know them or know if they were "in need", it still felt wonderful to be able to give. And the good part about it is I still felt I "received" as well. The feeling was so nice that I have done this quite a few more times since. Even though I don't think this is making a "big" impact, who's to say... the couple behind me might just think so.

* Recently, I went to one of the retail stores and saw, as you often do this time of year, volunteers for the Salvation Army ringing a bell, hoping for donations. As I parked my car, I sat and witnessed the many people walking right past the volunteer without a second glance. Yes, in these hard economic times, no-one can know for certain what kind of financial stress people are under. As I sat and thought about myself, my warm bed, having plenty of food to eat, and clothes to keep me warm, the thought of others who do not have any of these made it easy for me to reach in my wallet and take out even one dollar to donate. One dollar isn't a lot, but a dollar or two each time you go can make a difference. Decide to do this at least once this season and before walking away, make eye contact with the volunteer and sincerely wish them a good day or wonderful holiday season. With so many other people passing them by, some of these volunteers might not hear that often.

* Several people I know have decided not to decorate for Christmas. Either their children are all grown and have moved away or they're just not in the Christmas spirit due to other unfortunate circumstances. Although I can't imagine not decorating and being without Christmas spirit, I do understand why some feel there's no use or no need. However, I do pray that each person who says "What's the point?" finds the spirit of Christmas this season by doing something for someone else; taking a tray of cookies to a neighbor or a friend, putting a dollar in the Salvation Army donation pot, paying for an order behind them in the drive-through line, or just calling someone they know who are going through even a more difficult time and could really use a word of encouragement.

* In most cities, around this time of year, there are Angel trees set up in stores or churches with tags on them asking for gifts for someone in need. I will never forget taking one of these tags off an Angel tree at our church one year to buy for an eight-year old boy. Listed were his clothes sizes and shoe size but the last thing listed was a "wish" item that the eight-year old boy could ask for - something that he really wanted for Christmas. When I read the item it was hard for me to hold back my tears. Thinking he was going to ask for the latest toy for boys his age, I was speechless when I read that the item he most wanted was socks.

During one of the busiest times of the year, it is easy to go on about our hectic lives without a second glance at those who need us to pause, look around, and really see those who are truly in need of some Christmas spirit. Give hope to someone this Christmas. Even if you feel you don't have a lot of extra to share. It may even help you find the Christmas spirit that was lost within yourself.

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 

Can You Recommend a Driving School or Reckless Aggressive Class in Maryland or North Carolina?

Author: marketing From • Nov 20th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

I get this question all the time. If you need to attend driving school for your VA charge contact me today. You might be able to take an online class but in some cases, you might have to attend a class in Virginia. Contact for for a free case strategy session and we will take a look at what options you have.

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Storms not likely Sunday & Monday

Author: Chris White From • Nov 20th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Thought so. The convective action that earlier GFS & Euro runs hinted at for Sunday and/or Monday now looks unlikely for southern Virginia. There could be some storms east of the I-95 corridor but that's well out of my chase range, especially for a weak off-season setup. I'll still keep an eye on things but I have no plans to chase at the moment.

Not really a disappointment since I didn't put much stock in the earlier model hints. Now I have my fingers crossed for an early start to the 2015 chase season. Mid-March, anyone?

Do you Need Ignition Interlock After a Year of DUI Suspension?

Author: marketing From • Nov 19th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

It depends. Do you need a restricted license or did you already get one? Here is what you need to know. Contact me today for a free case strategy session and I’ll help you with all the details of your case.

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How Can I Get an Old Virginia Conviction Expunged?

Author: marketing From • Nov 18th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Find out if it is possible to get old charges off of your record. Contact me for a free case strategy session and in some cases I might be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

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A Thanksgiving week chase????

Author: Chris White From • Nov 17th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Normally I don't pay much attention to convective potential this late in November, especially after extended bouts of Arctic air, but there are hints of SOMETHING possible on Monday 11/24. On both the GFS and Euro there appears to be a high shear / low CAPE setup early next week altho' the two models disagree on timing.

Could there be a late November chase in the cards? I'm not holding my breath, and if it occurs it could likely be a nocturnal setup. That in itself is dicey with low-topped convection and a dearth of illumination from lightning. Still, it is fascinating to consider the possibility....

Low-Point Bourbon & Brown Sugar Salmon

Author: Ken Yagelski From • Nov 17th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

A beautiful, yet simple, dish that is packed with protein and marinated with flavors that will make you think it came from an expensive restaurant!

Low-Point Bourbon & Brown Sugar Salmon


- 1 lb. fresh salmon
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 green onions, green parts only, chopped small
- 1 tsp. dark sesame oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon in a glass baking dish. Pierce salmon with a fork so marinade will saturate all throughout. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour bourbon marinade over salmon and place in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until salmon flakes with a fork. Serve with rice, vegetables, or your favorite side dishes. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 5.5
Total points plus per serving - 6

"Take time to do what makes your soul happy." - Anonymous

How do You Fix Your Virginia Suspended License?

Author: marketing From • Nov 17th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

If you are facing charges where your license could be suspended, contact me today for a free case strategy session. If you need to fix your suspended license, watch this video and learn what you need to do.

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Fireside with Wicked Nymph

Author: David From • Nov 16th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
After getting through some chores around the house Saturday, I made a run up to Adventure Brewing to grab a growler of their Wicked Nymph Imperial Stout. I hadn't had the beer yet, but it seemed a good match for the evening outdoors by the fire we were planning. (Of course I lingered to enjoy a pint of Super Power Pale Ale while I was there.)

The temperature was a mere 28° when I started the fire but I was looking forward to both the fire and the beer so I persevered. I quickly had a small but warming blaze going and poured a couple glasses of the Stout for Colleen and I. A hard growler pour in the dark produced a thin, but short lived head, and released a pleasing roasted aroma. The taste had mild roasted malt and bitter chocolate notes. The ABV is listed at 10.4%, but while slightly warming, did not overwhelm.

Wicked Nymph is enjoyable beer. There's no mistaking it as an Imperial Stout, but it's quite approachable and could be enjoyed by "big beer" fans and the less adventurous alike. I alternated between refilling my glass and feeding the fire, and had a very relaxing time chatting with Colleen. This weekend we're celebrating our son's 18th birthday, and he joined us by the fire for bit, before we headed inside for some late evening birthday cake.

November chasing rare but not unheard of

Author: Chris White From • Nov 14th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
I have had a longstanding empirical cutoff date of Veterans Day (Nov. 11th) for the stormchase season in northern Virginia. That date represents the two sigma limit - for those statisticians in the readership - of the chase data I have recorded starting in 2002. I didn't make it a 3 sigma limit due to a couple of chases past that date, one of which occurred on Nov. 15th 2008.

My son and I headed out to chase a setup created by the approach of a strong cold front that led to first a Mesoscale Discussion and then a Tornado Watch being issued for our chase area. We motored to rural Culpeper county where we watched a low-topped convective band head toward us. This line had a lowering underneath it that showed weak rotation:

As this line and the associated rain drew near we beat feet eastward to stay ahead of it, winding up in King George county east of Fredericksburg. Several convective lines had formed and we watched one of them approach from the west with a shelf cloud out ahead of it. This photo captures the essence of November chasing in Virginia:

We had to pull off the chase early since I had dinner guests coming into town but as we did so we were treated to one more rotating wallcloud under the low-topped convection:

Now that I chase in southern Virginia I am having to revise the end-of-season date but I haven't gathered enough data to determine it yet. Meanwhile it's time to set sights on chase season 2015!