Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trees and Moss

Hey everyone!
So I love nature, mostly plants. I just love them, they are peaceful, gorgeous to look at and they move and talk to you in their own way. They grow in their own way, few hours, days or in some cases decades. Especially trees, they can become so old and stand there and watch the world go by. What a tree sees I can only wish that I get a glimpse of. Trees have watched entire colonies rise, races destroyed, standing and watching the world before Christ was born and even before that. They watch the years go by standing in that same spot. It's mystifying.
Anyways, the trees that are in the photos below are probably not more then 50 years old probably as Popular trees grow quick and can get large. Well here are some of the photographs that I took. I was trying out that "bokeh" technique with focusing on the object and blurring out the background.

I believe that this was a Red Oak tree.
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this is the Dogwood, my state tree and flower. It is a great tree, doesn't get big but it blooms great looking flowers with white pedals. 


The great tulip Poplar tree, it is a softer hardwood tree. It also flowers and they look like tulips, that's why it is a tulip tree :)


Holly trees, there are many scattered through out my woods still adding green even in the winter.
I am specifically focusing on this little bug on the tree that is colored just like the bark. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Midna is traveling, reflection on Katsucon

Hey Everyone!
So how are we today!
Well I am ok, still doing minor recovering from the convention last weekend, I brought home sinus problems and congestion, sucks! I had a great time at the convention last weekend! It really was fun and I recommend it to anyone that is interested in Anime Conventions. The Gaylord is a really nice place with the indoor atrium and such. So many awesome cosplay's too! The area though can be a bit expensive but easy to get to since it is off i-95.
We came home and it started to snow, what's up with that? I am glad though that I finally saw some snow but since it feel Sunday night I wasn't able to truly enjoy it with class downtown at 9am. I took some photos and I hope to get them up soon for everyone. I literally took "some" haha. I am writing this up on Friday (yesterday) and it is suppose to possibly reach a high of 80 degrees F! Sunday was freezing and now it is 80! WOW. That is crazy and would put anyone's sinus problems in a funk. I feel much better and I enjoyed the weather Thursday and Friday.
I had two test this week and it added to the stress of the sickness but it is the weekend and therefor I am happy. Today I am actually going to see my grandparents at the home and we are taking my kitty, Midna (pictured below being super cute). Apparently they have not seen her since they have not been back to my house since my graduation back in 2008, guess that was a while ago and I only have had Midna since 2010 after my second graduation. Isn't she cute? She is an evil little one though haha.

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Katsucon 2012: World Cosplay Summit U.S. Preliminary

Hey Everyone!

A little late but I figure I share with you some images from the World Cosplay Summit U.S. Preliminaries to go to Japan! This was held at Katsucon 2012 this past weekend at 9pm Saturday night. Some of the images are blurry, sorry! I took video of a lot of the skits but the video came out messed up with no audio, I could put in the audio myself but I am not sure which song was used for every skit. Also their were 22 teams  that competed!

The Winners of this year, represetning the United States to go to Nagoya, Japan is the Coconut Bubble Sex Cosplay! With Diana and Katie taking the invitation to go! They also received $250 cash from the convention and $300 in wigs from Arda Wigs! Their skit was great! I included below the photo of the video of their skit!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Katsucon 2012 Photos and Report

Hey Everyone!
So went to Katsucon this past weeked and took some photos and enjoyed it as much as I could.
I am working on the photos for this post but here is the link to Mission Start Podcast that I reported for as press.
I have photos at missionstartpodcast.com/katsucon-2012 along with my Con Report here  missionstartpodcast.com/3/post/2012/02/katsucon-18-2012-report.

Enjoy the Cosplay images and video!

SamShio ©

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Trust me, Lots more photos below!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pocky, do you like?

Hey Everyone!
How are we today!
Just wanted to talk about Pocky by Glico! It is great!
Ok so many people in the "otaku" world over here in the States know Pocky as I am assuming others in other countries. It is a big thing to get at conventions if vendors are allowed to sell them. I remember my first convention when I found out about them and at the time it was only found at the Asian market in the city. Now you can walk down a isle in Wal-mart to the "Asian foods" section and find Chocolate and Strawberry Pocky. Back at my first convention I had only seen Chocolate and Strawberry and the boxes had Japanese on it. They now print the boxes and sell to English speaking markets because it is hard for me to find a box now WITH all Japanese on it.
You can also get them at your local 5 Below store. Pretty cool. Wal-mart sells the small boxes for about $1.20 I think.
So have you had Pocky before? It is pretty good quick snack. I definitely prefer the Strawberry over the Chocolate but many prefer the Chocolate. I think the Chocolate taste like cheap chocolate on a biscut stick and that is why I love the Strawberry.
  1. I love Strawberries
  2. I love strawberry flavored foods, like cake!!! Heck yeah!
  3. Strawberry creme on that stick taste great
  4. Once you open the pouch with the strawberry ones in it, it smells great!
So those are my reasons for that. Also try new flavors. I was surprised at how many different ones there were when I went to other conventions.

These are the many different boxes and flavors that I have tried

Friday, February 17, 2012

Katsucon this Weekend

Hey everyone!
Been a little while since I made a post but here now.
I am going to Katsucon convention this afternoon as press. If you wanna meet up just comment below and I'll get it. I'll take lots of photos and try to get some video.
I have also been pretty busy this week as well with some work and coming home late.
I have not gotten out this week or last weekend to take photography mostly because the weather was crappy.
I didn't even enjoy the snow that fell here last weekend. I ended up driving through it. It was like a blizzard and was coming down hard and straight into my windshield causing my wipers to stick and ice to form on the glass. Crazy but by the time I reached home from seeing my girlfriend the snow stopped falling and there was no snow on the ground at home. Sorely disappointed, really was and I wanted to take some photographs too. Well now it sounds like if it gets cold enough that we will have snow on the ground Sunday but I will be at the convention which is about 90-95 miles north from home so it might actually happen. Hmm, interesting.
Anyways, I have some stock photos that I should put up soon once I get back but the convention photos and video and report is priority when I come back. Of course.
I still have one class today but should be off around 1.
So the fog last night hung around till this morning and it is thick. It looked eerie last night since I live back in the woods. I could see the slight glow of a light from the houses on the main road. I like odd strong weather. I think it is beautiful.
Oh, anyone annoyed with the amount of news on Whitney Houston's death? I turn on the news and I expect to see something else but all we care about apparently is the death of Whitney Houston. Yes she was a celebrity and a lot of people knew her (I'll be honest, I heard the name before but I didn't know who she was), but we give her death about a week + worth of television coverage and also televise her funeral. There were thousands of people who died in the war on freedom. They died FOR Americans and yet we might drop a 2 minute report of national television that a few soldiers died from an IED. Just stupid what we think is more important in the news.
Anyways, I gotta head to Botany, it is quite interesting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Driving at Night

Hey everyone!
So how many of you guys Drive at night time?
I do.
Well I have class at 7pm on Monday and Wednesday nights and I stay to school till 6pm on Thursdays and the Sun has fallen and the darkness has fallen. This will be different in a month or two when we spring forward in time and the days last longer but for now I walk and drive in the dark.
Now, I will say that it isn't the safest thing to do in the city of Richmond is walking around after dark alone, especially later on at night. There has been numerous crimes reported and there are still other crimes that are never reported. Just the way it is really here
Now driving around after dark is interesting, fun, tiring, dangerous and other things. Being in college and work and living away from work and college gives me the esteemed privilege to drive around all day long. It really does and at all times really.
Well when you officially start off driving with that learners permit and get your license at that age, you are like, "Yeah, driving is boss!" Well yeah, it can be. My girl friend tells me I drive like a boss sometimes still...well because I do haha. Anyways, being young when I got my drivers license back at the gold old age of 16, it is a great time. It is like that extra step that you get reaching closer to adult hood. Side note: kids stay young while you still can! Seriously though, getting that license gives you that extra freedom, if you have a car to use, to get out of he house and away from the parents.
It's great, you can go to places if they don't want to take you on their own time and heck you can take yourself to school and back.
Well after awhile when you get older and you do it a lot you start to get the feeling that driving is boring. It's true, you will hit that point at some time, it might not stay but probably will think it at some point. I hit it once doing it so much. My other thought was that gosh I waste so much time driving around to and from work and classes that I could have studied for an hours time or maybe even more. Also if you are stressed out at the time, driving a lot might not help, especially in traffic! I use the time driving now to reflect on my day, or think of things to do later and plan. Can make driving less boring. You can make driving more exciting by speeding but I definitively do NOT recommend that. You will get in trouble with the Police.
Oh man, I forgot, music! Or a talk show! Listening to good music can make it better too! I have fast pace techno sometimes or Miku and it makes me want to race but I managed to over come that urge now haha.
Driving a lot and not going crazy I guess is a skill on it's own. I sometimes make calls when I drive but this again is dangerous and is illegal in some states and countries to do. I don't think it is illegal to do this in Virginia but texting and driving IS. It is better that you have a hands free call while driving. Anyways about me, I don't so I drive a lot with one hand on the wheel and the other on a phone to my ear. I used the time a lot last semester to call family or my girl friend as I wont have time to do it when I get home with homework and all. My girl friend would bring up ,"why do always call me when your driving," like I don't have another time for her but hey I did call! :D
Anyways, this semester I have one less job, but my girl friend now has school, teaching at one or two different schools and another job at a tax office. Now she will call ME once or twice on those days while she is driving to and from them, ironic? Well I jokingly said, "So you know that you call me quite often now when you are driving." She understood how troublesome that it can be and time consuming, especially in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area with traffic. She respects and understands the time it takes for driving and doesn't blame me for calling while I drive. Haha, see sometimes you gotta try something to understand where that person is coming from.

Ok anyways, driving at night. Lots of people do it, lots don't. It is a great skill to have. Also, I don't recommend taking photos while to drive, ops. I will be honest, there are some things that I may do alone in the car but never with a passenger. Driving is dangerous for you and for others still. Anyways here are a few photos.

So  I honestly don't remember what lights these were. I had managed to get my camera to stay on my dashboard with an lengthy exposure and I had red lights and blue lights on opposite sides.
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Cary Street Gym on the left at 9pm. This was a 25sec shutter speed and not much traffic.


The Landmark Theater on the left from the parking deck at 9pm... 


City in the distance!


Canon Rebel T3i with 18-55mm IS II lens

Monday, February 6, 2012

Squirrels in the House!

Hey everyone!
So last weekend my family, a friend of mine and I are out back enjoying some oysters when we watched a squirrel jump from the deck railing up to the roof, run across and into a hole in the siding that was in the chimney. the photo below was actually another hole we had on the opposite side of the chimney as well that a wood pecker formed.
Last year my sister and I would hear running around upstairs in the attic at night. It was squirrels.
Well once my dad saw that a squirrel ran across the roof top into the hole with my cat, Midna, hot on it's tail he knew that he needed to patch the siding up. It's true, we have been having squirrels run everywhere here and they eat ALL the bird seed. I mean it's ridiculous!


So we didn't have a tall enough later so a family friend dropped off a 40 foot one and my dad was able to get up there and apply new pine siding and tore off the old stuff. Dad said in the hole that was in the place shown above he found a squirrel nest made of our insulation in the chimney. Well he tore that up and fixed it right. Also patched the opening that they were getting into the Attic by. Nice.
So glad that is over haha

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

They say that they don't watch the Super bowl....

Hey everyone!
So you go up to a person and say, "Hey yo! You watching the Super Bowl this weekend?"
"Nope, I am watching the Super Bowl Commercials!" they say.
"Oh cool," you say.
Ok, so they say that they are watching the commercials but in order to catch the commercials they are watching the game. I don't care if they go, "Oh yea I don't watch the game just like the funny stuff in between"
Yeah what ever, they are watching the game.Period.In order to be serious about watching your commercials you are sitting there watching the game to catch the commercials when there is a break or what not during the game. Thats that.
So if some one tells you that they are watching the Super Bowl Commercials, yeah they might not like watching football but hey they ARE watching the game. Just saying yo.
So anyways, enjoy the commercials and the game, or if you are in it for the game then hey enjoy the game and the commercials in between!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hollywood Cemetery on a cloudy Day

Hey Everyone!
So went to Hollywood Cemetery back on January 27th after the rain had subsided. I decided that the weather and the clouds would make it interesting for photography in the cemetery and for the Richmond skyline. Last Hollywood post is here. Enjoy these photos and all the information is from hollywoodcemetery.org!

This is a 90 foot Pyramid that represent 18,000 Confederate Soldiers that are buried near by. Built in 1869. 
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The cemetery was quite with the quick passing clouds over head...

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If you go, you will notice that there are countless different kinds of stones that mark someone or a group of people.

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There is so many different pieces of masonry work in the cemetery, great pieces of art and craftsmanship. 

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Get out, and take a walk!

Hey everyone!
So I just wanted to tell everyone that you should get out and take a walk.
Just get up off the couch or what ever, leave your cell behind or put it on silent, get in the car and go somewhere. Or if you want take a walk around the city or the house.
I love doing it and unplug from everything and of course bring my camera. I go to parks often or take a walk in the woods as I love to integrate myself into nature or my surroundings.
These photos are taken from Hanover Wayside Park, check my other post here.
So I took some photos with a friend and we just walked around talking in the park. He also has a Canon and we were talking about photography and life. If you are not an exercise buff and go to the gym, that's cool. All you really need to do is walk, it is exercise still and great for you mentally and physically. To clear your head, get away from all the complications of our civilization. Maybe spend some time in solitude to do some personal thinking or just sit on a park bench and relax and clear your mind. Kinda like meditation except not extreme.

I miss the pond that this dam had once held before the hurricane years ago. Now kids come down here and graffiti it...

Not many people has come to this park, but last year or back in 2010 the county got some money and decided to build a Hanover County war memorial for those that are from the county that went into war from WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and the War on Freedom now. It added something special to the park and is really nice.


the sky's have been pretty clear the past few days minus the rains, it has been nice...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I need an MRI...on my wrist

Hey Everyone!

Man it has been a great few days weather wise!
I dreadfully wanted to see some snow this winter and the temperature needed to be a good 0 Celsius or 30 Fahrenheit for it BUT today was about 70 Fahrenheit/21 Celsius, that's quite a bit for winter and it is easily t-shirt weather without a doubt! Also I think the full moon is right around the corner so it is a great time to do some night time walking where ever it is safe you know. I can walk in the woods at night without of a flashlight on Full moons during the winter since there is no leaves and everything is lite up. It's odd XD.
So I went to a Doctor today about my wrist since I still have problems with it. I have had an on and off pain with it for about 2 years I guess with a cist inside but now it isn't there but the pain is. X-rays don't show anything so the recommended I get a MRI for it to see the cartridge/tissue inside to see if there is a problem that we haven't addressed yet. Didn't know that they were $4,000 (¥304,880) at my hospital so I am trying to figure if my health insurance will cover it and I believe they do. That is a lot of dough to spend on something so quick. I just hate having the pain in my wrist making uncomfortable to carry some simple things or to lean on it, or to do a push or pull up. 
It makes me feel old or something.
Well I hope I get this issue straightened out. I might need surgery or something to fix it for good but I don't know till that MRI is completed. Hmm...

Well Look forward for some more photos soon, I had gone to Hollywood Cemetery last week and those photos will be up Friday this week!

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