Winter Paddle on Lake Robinson

Paddling on Lake Robinson

For Christmas Laura had given me a nice paddling jacket and neoprene boots so I could do some cold-weather paddling. I had not had a chance to really try these out, but Sunday afternoon presented a nice opportunity. It was breezy and in the low 50’s (not really cold, but close enough.) Bob and Alan joined me for a semi-quick afternoon paddle out on Lake Robinson in Greer.

Bob and I arrived at the Verne Smith Park and unloaded the boats. We could already feel the breeze coming off of the lake, but the water didn’t look too choppy. Alan arrived shortly thereafter. Just before we got underway I realized I was traveling VERY light for me. I had forgotten my phone, and didn’t have any GPS gear with me.

Launching on Lake Robinson

While there weren’t any white caps, there was a definite bounce to the water. The new paddling jacket was quite welcome as it shed the spray splashing onto the boat. I was also glad I had brought along my spray skirt. Continue reading “Winter Paddle on Lake Robinson”

Rugby Caching

Paris Mountain Geocaching Workshop

Several months ago John Kaup asked if I would do a geocaching workshop for Paris Mountain State Park’s Fourth Saturday program.  The appointed Saturday came around, so I headed up to the park with all of my GPSs, laptops, etc, in tow for the workshop.

I planned to do a repeat of the workshop I’d done for the park back in 2009.  We had secured eight Garmin eTrex GPSs for the participants to use, and I had set up ten dummy geocaches within sight of the building where we were holding the workshop.  The plan was to go over the basics and show them the website, then send the participants out to find the dummy caches.  I had the coordinates for the caches in my netbook, and had several different types of cables for different models of GPSs, in case someone had brought their own and wanted to participate.

Last time I did this I only had two participants.  This time I did more advertising.  I posted on the Upstate Geocacher’s Facebook page, and I also got it added as an event cache on  That way, anyone who attended to add the workshop itself as one of their finds.  Ranger Cathy Taylor also posted announcements in the Greenville News.

Paris Mountain Geocaching Workshop

It worked.  We had nearly 20 participants.  Also attending were experienced geocachers Patrick Peden and his wife, who have over 6000 finds (compared to my measly 135).  Patrick took the photos here, since for just about the first time ever I got so wrapped up in the program that I forgot to take ANY photographs. What I really like were that there were families with lots of kids there. It was almost like teaching fourth grade again. Continue reading “Rugby Caching”

Edisto Outdoors

Every now and then I get requests to use one of my photos posted on Flickr. I always appreciate when folks ask (rather than stealing outright, which has happened) so I’m usually fairly accommodating. Several weeks ago I was contacted by Don Alexander with a request to use the above photo of the Edisto River … Continue reading Edisto Outdoors

Header Images

I’m still playing around with this new admin interface for WordPress, and so far I like it.  I’ve found a few things missing from the old site, though.  Any non-Flickr image from one of my old galleries seems to be gone.  I think I could retrieve them, if need be, but this includes all images … Continue reading Header Images

Blog Rebirth

The deed is done.  Not since I switched from a home-built ASP-coded blog to WordPress has RandomConnections undergone as many radical changes.  None-the-less, here you are…the New and Improved™ RandomConnections!

I finally got completely fed up with my old hosting company, AccuWeb Hosting.  The service was locked down so tight that I couldn’t use even common features on WordPress.  I had to do work-arounds to get things posted, and that was a pain.  Yet, even though they had everything locked down so tightly as to what and where you could post things, they somehow couldn’t keep viruses off of their servers.

I knew I was on an older version of WordPress that had some vulnerabilities and limitations.  However, when I asked my hosting company about migrating to a newer version of PHP so that I could upgrade, they told me I would have to change my service plan and would most likely lose most of my content.  I’ve got nearly 10 years of blogging here, and didn’t want to lose any of it, so that wasn’t an option. Continue reading “Blog Rebirth”

Blog Existentialism

Dear Readers:

I’m having MAJOR problems with the blog and with the hosting company, Accuweb Hosting. The latest is an apparent virus attack on the blog. I have the Akismet plugin which is supposed to block spam comments. However, something keeps disabling that plugin. Therefore, until further notice all commenting on posts has been disabled. I’m hoping to get that fixed soon because I enjoy the feedback from these posts. Continue reading “Blog Existentialism”

Audio Sharing with Chirbit

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Some time back I posted a wish list for audio file sharing. I was looking for something analogous to YouTube, but for audio only. I found two services, Audioboo and SoundCloud, that seem to work well, and I’ve been using those. However, a third one has come onto the scene. Chirbit is about audio hosting system, and it seems to meet most of my wish list items.

Chirbit as many of the same features as Audioboo and Soundcloud. It appears to be set up more on the Audioboo model, which allows user an unlimited number of files, but restricts the length of of those files. Accounts are free, but there is an upgrade to a paid version which allows longer files. Here’s an example using my traditional test file, my reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee

Check this out on Chirbit

As with the other services, you can upload various audio files, or you can record directly into the service from your computer’s microphone. Chirbit offers two other options. First, you can strip the audio from YouTube videos to upload to the service. You input the URL for the video, and it uploads that to Chirbit.

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Continue reading “Audio Sharing with Chirbit”

Little River Blueway

While we were on our photo trek to McCormick Houston and I were scouting paddling locations. We both liked the Clark Hill area, and we were intrigued by the Little River branch, especially where it starts at Calhoun Mill. One of the comments on that post was from Kirk Smith, who pointed me in the … Continue reading Little River Blueway

More on New Bordeaux

While we were on our McCormick County Photo Trek we had trouble locating the old town of New Bordeaux. I had it on my list as a potential ghost town target, but finding the actual town was elusive. Since we’ve returned from the trip I’ve been able to find out a bit more information, but … Continue reading More on New Bordeaux

Saint Rum

When I saw the campaign sign above my first thought was, who is Saint Rum and why is he/she running for president? With a name like that, this might be someone I could really support! Seriously, though, this points out the problem with typography. These candidates, regardless of party or office sought, are limited to … Continue reading Saint Rum