Winter Wonderland

The weather forecast for our area calls for snow – as much as five inches of it in our area.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), it looks like most of it is going north of us.  With our weather patterns, if it doesn’t come up from the Gulf and Atlanta, it … Continue reading Winter Wonderland

Dance, Dance Evolution

I think this is why the name “Random Connections” is so appropriate for this blog. Two seemingly unrelated events come together to form a semi-coherent thesis, and for some reason I feel compelled to write about it. Here’s what happened… Last Thursday Laura was in the mood for a French Dip sandwich. We were amazed … Continue reading Dance, Dance Evolution

Two Libraries, Two Attitudes

Greenville County Library

First, let me make something very clear. Both Greenville and Spartanburg Counties have outstanding library systems. The services both of these systems provide are vital to the education and health of our communities, and we would be much poorer without them. That being said, I have noticed some distinct differences in how each system addresses information in the digital age, and specifically social media applications.

Spartanburg County Library is embracing social media. From their main website one finds links to their YouTube channel, their Twitter stream, their Flickr account, and their Facebook group page. All of these accounts are very active, and appear to be updated regularly. I was most impressed with their YouTube channel, which features a video podcast twice a week. The one for this week is embedded below: Continue reading “Two Libraries, Two Attitudes”

A Tourist in Your Own Home Town

Lake Hartwell

In 1991-92 we moved to Tucson, AZ for a year. Laura was on sabbatical from Furman, doing research at the University of Arizona, and I spent the year wandering in the desert – quite literally. I would drop Laura off at the lab, then go find a canyon to climb or arroyo to explore. On the weekends we would pick some other location, trying to take advantage of all that the area had to offer.

We made many friends among the locals while we were there. Occasionally we’d talk about some of the places we had visited, and the response was often, “I’ve never been there” or “I didn’t know that was here.” In some cases it was ignorance, and in some cases they just hadn’t gotten around to it. We always said in reply that we knew we had a finite amount of time to see things – one year. Living in an area you tend to think you’ve got plenty of time to visit all of these places, which means that often you just don’t get around to it.

For that reason I’ve found that it’s not a bad idea to pretend you’re a tourist in your own home town. Check out what the local tourism board or other resources have to say about spots in your area, then actually VISIT those spots. Continue reading “A Tourist in Your Own Home Town”

A Surprise Photo Trek

A couple of weeks ago Houston celebrated his 60th birthday. We wanted to hold a surprise birthday party for him, and he provided us the perfect opportunity this weekend. Houston suggested that he come up to visit, and we could head out for one of our photo treks. What he didn’t realize was that while … Continue reading A Surprise Photo Trek

Nation’s Bakery

Nations Bakery

NOTE: This restaurant location has closed. The restaurant has moved to Inman, SC, and a Mexican restaurant has opened in this location.

It started with a box of cookies…

A new bakery opened just down the road in Lyman. Its signs touting “gourmet cuisine” have been taunting me for the past couple of months. I’ve even stopped by twice, only to be told that they were not yet ready to serve lunch, but soon… The smells of fresh-baked goods made it hard to walk out the door unsatisfied.

Then this morning one of my tech team brought a selection of cookies from Nations Bakery and told me that they were now open for lunch. The cookies were excellent, and I knew I had to give this place a try.

Background

Once upon a time this used to be a popular ice cream shop. Many years later it found new life as Don Pedro’s, a Mexican restaurant with fairly good food, but a scary interior. It didn’t fare so well, and the building has sat empty for the past couple of years.

As previously mentioned, work began remodeling the empty restaurant a couple of months ago. The bakery opened first, and the restaurant opened just after Christmas. Continue reading “Nation’s Bakery”

Warrior Mountain

Growing up in the little two of Gray Court, SC, there were two prominent geographical landmarks that always fascinated me.  Two small monadnocks, the Big Knob and Little Knob, dominated the landscape just three miles south of the town.  As a child I was fascinated with geology, especially volcanoes.  I imagined that these small mountains … Continue reading Warrior Mountain

Carl’s Seafood Bisque

We first had this meal in Florida at Carl’s house.  He is a great chef!  He had caught fresh red snapper in the Intracoastal Waterway and used some of it to make this seafood bisque.  I unfortunately do not have fresh red snapper so I get tilapia from Publix and make this imitation of Carl’s … Continue reading Carl’s Seafood Bisque