Washington Monument



For the first time in a month of Sundays, we were going to a high falutin’ French restaurant and I was excited.

My wife and I were in the “city that never sleeps”.    That’s right, Washington, DC.  Because, “how could they sleep at night?”

My cousin and his lovely bride of a few years were treating my wife and I to a very enjoyable weekend in this exciting city.  The last time we were in DC was in 2010 and they were getting married.

Reservations had been made at Bernaise, a classy little French* restaurant near the Capital.  The interesting thing about this French restaurant was their specialty…French Fries.  Really, no joke French Fries at a French restaurant…go figure.  Well they just call them fries,  the French is implied.  The award-winning chef likes to serve his fries, or frites, with steak.

Now I like a good steak and spud as well as the next redneck Irishman** that settled in them eastern Kentucky hills, but come on, at a French restaurant?  I want something French, like snails in fancy sauces.  I compromised and ordered some frites as an appetizer.  I must say, those were the best fries I had ever eaten.  I knew they would be good since packs of ketchup did not accompany them.  Now I wish McDonald’s would give out packets of terragon with their fries.

We also had a memorable meal at Menomale in the Brookland neighborhood.  We ingested some very tasty Napolese pizza.  This was way beyond Papa John’s “better ingredients”.  I never realized that there is a certification that pizzerias have to abide by to serve Napolese pizza.  I will supply this educational information for you at this time so I may qualify to apply for some type of grant to purchase plane tickets to try more pizza in the birthplace of modern pizza, Naples… Italy not Florida.

From http://pizza.about.com/od/Neapolitan/a/Neapolitan-Pizza.htm

An authentic Neapolitan pizza has a crust made from a dough that is made with highly-refined Italian type 0 or 00 wheat flour (read more about flour types), Neapolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast (not dry yeast), water, and salt. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer and formed by hand, without the help of a rolling pin. The dough is topped with raw, pureed San Marzano tomatoes from Italy; fior di latte, which is mozzarella cheese made from cow’s milk, or mozzarella di Bufala, which is mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalos, usually raised in the Campania and Lazio marshlands in Italy; fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. The ingredients must be all-natural and fresh. The pizza is baked for 60–90 seconds (baking time cannot exceed 90 seconds) in a minimum 800°F stone oven with a wood fire.


I took this photo of the Washington Monument on a day my wife and I were rambling about.   There was a caretaker mowing in the shadow.  He kept mowing and would not leave, probably a junior congressman from some insignificant midwestern state, supplementing his income because he hasn’t figured out how to “not sleep at night.”  I waited as long as I could because I knew my internal wife-is-getting-impatient meter was expiring and I was out of excuse coins.

I darkened the shadows during processing to hide this dedicated servant in the black obscurity, ala “Deepthroat”.

Incidentally, the most excited I saw my wife the entire weekend…when we emerged from the subway station at Dupont Circle,  looking for a nice breakfast bistro,  and we spotted Le Kreme d’Krispe .  Oooh La  La.


Footnotes were added to give this a look of educational material to further add to my ruse of getting grant money.


*In my neck of the woods, we say “Franch”, which explains why I always get Ranch dressing when I order French dressing.

**I feel that this term is politically insensitive, therefore I am leading a charge to keep Notre Dame from opening a community college branch on the banks of the Licking River. So far it is working.

If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.




Pieris Japonica in Sunlight

image_1 2Sometimes all we need is to bask in the glow of the sun.

After a particular long winter in eastern Kentucky of cold and wet and gray days, these early, sunny, spring days give us a renewed vigor and hope.

Pharaoh Akhenaton, who hailed from the land of the Nile and died about 1335 BC, appreciated the healing power of the sun.   Though the Nile winters probably weren’t as long as the ones  along the Licking, he thought enough about Ol’ Sol to try to make him the only god in Egypt (other than himself, of course).   However since the good pharaoh noticed that no one was oiling up in his presence, he probably sensed that the sun may have been a little more important than himself.  He is credited to bringing monotheistic worshiping to Egypt, quite radical thinking in those days.

After he expired he was deemed a little goofy by the religious community and polytheism was restored.   In a sense, Akhenaton got the equation right (wanting to serve one god), he  just solved for the wrong variable.

To continue this walk down memory lane, Akhenaton’s wife was Nefertiti.   And who doesn’t like to say “Nefertiti”?  They were the proud parents of Steve Martin’s alter ego, King Tut.

While playing with my new macro lens, I took this picture of a Pieris Japonica bush in our landscaping.  I took the photo a few days ago.   I like how the little bloom at the end of the strand has found the sunlight.    He seems happier and more well-adjusted than the other pasty, nerdy-looking blooms with the Cheetos-stained petals.

I thought of how we all need the sun and how God placed the sun at exactly the right distance for us.   Though the sun has been given a bum rap with all of the UV scare, it actually is a necessary part of our good health.  We need certain amounts of sunlight to aid in digestion, skin problems, and sleep.  We need its anti-bacterial defenses.    This is only a small list of benefits of the proper amount of sun-worshiping.

We probably don’t need to go to the extreme of the West Liberty Kiwanis Swimming Pool  lifeguards of the 1970’s and oil up with  Hawaiian Tropic red label for maximum tanning (affectionately known as “fry sauce”).   We just need to follow the advice of this little Pieris Japonica bloom and seek the healing warmth of the sun when we can.

So get out and bask in the sunlight.   The religious leaders probably won’t put you in stocks on the town square.   Although, if the sun is shining, you probably would feel better.

If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.