Rubik’s Music – Part 1

rubiks-cube

This year mark’s the 30th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube. I’ve seen and heard lots of references to it recently, and Office Depot has even started using it as one of their advertising logos.

All of this reminiscing brought back memories of my own experiences with the cube, and in particular, a piece of music that I composed based on the cube.

The year was 1981, and the cube was in its heyday. I was a music student at Furman University, and had been studying 20th Century composers and compositional techniques. I had also been spending just about every spare minute trying o solve the blasted cube.

One warm spring afternoon I was in a Furman Singers rehearsal, and we were working on “O Crux” by Knute Nystedt. This particular piece is very dissonant, and doesn’t resolve its intricate harmonies until the very end of the piece. I was drowsy from a late night of working on the cube, so as I semi-dozed through rehearsal, the strains of Nystedt blended with visions of Rubik’s Cube twirling, and a new musical composition popped into my brain. Continue reading “Rubik’s Music – Part 1”

Chilly Jocassee Paddling Trip

Since I had already missed a couple of trips, I really wanted to get some paddling in over the Thanksgiving break. I had originally planned to head up to Lake Jocassee on Black Friday, but the weather wasn’t very amenable. Saturday’s weather looked like it was going to be clear, but quite chilly. Despite the cold weather, Chip, Houston, Brian Goess, and I loaded up the boats and headed to the lake.

The plan was to paddle up to Wright Creek Falls, then explore elsewhere as time allowed. We had some time constraints, with football games looming in the evening, so we couldn’t spend all day on the water. Continue reading “Chilly Jocassee Paddling Trip”

Bobby Lamb – End of an Era

Bobby Lamb

I planned to do something I hadn’t done in nearly 20 years. I was going to skip Furman’s home game with Georgia Southern on Saturday – the last game of the season and with one of Furman’s main rivals – and go kayaking. Furman hadn’t been playing well this season, and I was just ready for a change. Be careful what you wish for. The change I wanted was much more dramatic than I had anticipated. On Friday, head coach Bobby Lamb resigned. I immediately changed my plans and decided to go to the game.

Bobby Lamb has been associated with Furman for nearly 29 years. My senior year at Furman Bobby was a freshman, taking over as quarterback for the team. He has been with the team in some capacity ever since, as an assistant coach, and for the last nine years as head coach. Unfortunately the last six years or so have not been kind, with Furman not playing the kind of football we saw in 1980’s. There were already grumblings. Continue reading “Bobby Lamb – End of an Era”

Weekend Update

Just a quick update – I’ve got several posts in the hopper, but haven’t had a chance to finish them. On Thursday I went in for some oral surgery, and that’s had me kind of out of action for the weekend. I’d thought I would have loads of time for writing while I recuperated, but … Continue reading Weekend Update

Veterans Day 2010

This week I’ve been working with several schools to put together Veterans Day programs. While doing so the strains of the third movement of Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom kept running through my head. Perhaps old TJ expressed it best… We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle … Continue reading Veterans Day 2010

Greenville Open Studios

This past weekend the Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council sponsored the Artists Open Studios. This is the ninth year for the event, and it’s always a welcome event, and unofficial herald of the upcoming holiday season. This year 142 artists opened their studios for visitors on Saturday and Sunday. In many cases, these were the artists’ … Continue reading Greenville Open Studios

Everything Has a Price

A couple of years ago ghost hunting was all the rage, and every cable network had to have it’s own ghost show. Ghosts are still popular, but the latest TV craze are the auction shows. At last count, I’ve come across five new shows on the cable channels, some of which looks suspiciously like each other.

I guess the granddaddy of all of these shows was PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, which started out as a BBC show in 1979. People bring in their treasures to see what they are worth. The prices were often inflated, but the idea that someone might have hidden treasure worth tons of money was quite compelling, and that concept seems to have driven the other shows that followed.

Another oldie-but-goodie was Cash in the Attic. Again, this got its start on BBC, and an American version appears on HGTV. In this show the hosts and appraisers help people go through their homes to look for items to put up for auction, usually with some goal in mind. Various antiques in the home are evaluated, until enough are collected to meet that goal.

I often had a problem with this show. I can understand selling off possessions if one needs to downsize. However, selling off family heirlooms to take a trip to Disney or buy a used car always seemed like squandering those funds.

And that brings us to the new crop of shows… Continue reading “Everything Has a Price”

Taco Parilla

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NOTE: This restaurant has closed. A steak house called “The Strip Club” now operates in this location.

I’ve always thought that the Trade Street area in downtown Greer would be the perfect place for art shops and restaurants. It’s a nice little contained area, and would make a good destination spot.

Restaurants have had their ups and downs in the area. There was a brief flurry of activity several years ago as several high-end restaurants opened. Unfortunately, several of these didn’t survive the recent economic downturn. The good news is that new places are starting open, and the restaurant situation is once again looking up.

Greer is only five miles from my office, so it’s definitely within lunch range. I decided to try one of the new places, Taco Parilla. Continue reading “Taco Parilla”

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