A Night of Mystery and Imagination

Poe Poetry

Our neighbors Kathleen and Herrick invited us over for dinner Saturday evening. However, this was just any dinner, but a celebration of the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe. We were given literary assignments, and awaited the appointed time.

Laura and I walked over to our neighbor’s house. We were poured glasses of champagne and met our fellow guests. Kathleen’s friend Tammy was there, and their friend Mike had been designated to portray Poe during the evening.

Edgar Allen Poe

Kathleen and Tammy

Herrick

Kathleen had decorated with marvelous and appropriately macabre items. There were quite a few ravens and black netting. The decorations were outstanding.

Edgar Allen Poe Party Centerpiece Continue reading “A Night of Mystery and Imagination”

A Trip to Madison

New Madison Post Office

Saturday morning we wanted to get out of the house for a bit. So, we had a big breakfast, loaded everyone into the car, and headed west.

Laura’s mother had never seen Clemson, so that was going to be one of our stops. I also had a potential ghost town I wanted to check out. Laura’s desires were simple – she wanted a hamburger somewhere. The only problem was that we had a time limit. Laura and I had to be back for a dinner party that evening.

We pretty much stuck to our plan. We drove straight to Clemson and drove around the campus. We also drove through the state botanical garden. There didn’t appear to be much in bloom, so we didn’t stop and get out.

After touring Clemson, we headed south on Highway 76 until we got to the Old Stone Church. Last time I was here there was a maintenance man on duty and he let me into the church. No such luck this time. The place was locked up and I could only take photos from the outside.

Old Stone Church

Old Stone Church Continue reading “A Trip to Madison”

Creative Spam

So far my blog is recovering nicely from the hack attack on it last week.  I’m not seeing any of the incoming links for various pharmaceutical products.  I do still get spam comments, though.  Fortunately, Akismet is doing a pretty good job of making sure I don’t have to waste time on those. Even so, … Continue reading Creative Spam

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space

St George from Choir Loft

Sunday afternoon the Greenville Chorale Chamber Ensemble presented its annual concert at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The concert was entitled “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” and featured sacred music by contemporary composers. The pairing of music with venue was well-planned, and somewhat modeled the liturgy that might be followed in a traditional service.

Saturday morning we had our dress rehearsal in the cathedral, and I brought along my camera to get a few shots of the interior. I started with exterior shots…

St George Exterior 1

…then moved to the interior to photograph the stunning mosaics above the altar.

St George Interior 1

St George Interior 3

St George Interior 2 Continue reading “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space”

Pixlr Photo Editing

Aviary pixlr-com Picture 1

I had tried Pixlr a long time ago, but had completely forgotten about it until my friend and fellow instructional tech geek Tony Thompson posted something about it on his blog last month. With Picnic being assimilated by Google and with Aviary acting a bit weird, I was hoping another option for online photo editing would come along, and Pixlr seems to be the best option right now.

Pixlr comes in several flavors.  There is the full-fledge photo editor, but there are also several quick tools for adding preset effects.  There is Pixlr Express for quick touch-ups and Pixlr-o-Matic for effects such as vintage photos, etc.  Android and iOS apps are available for these last two services.  There is also Pixlr imm.io, an image sharing service and Pixlr Grabber, a screen capture plugin for Firefox and Chrome. Continue reading “Pixlr Photo Editing”

Spam Injection

I knew it was going to be a rough day.  The coffee maker didn’t start on time, I cut myself shaving, and my watch stopped working.   Then, to top it off, I found that this website had been hit by a spam injection hack attack.  I was tempted to crawl back into bed. I first … Continue reading Spam Injection

Kingville, Kingsville

Kingville Station

I came upon Kingville quite by accident. I was looking for information on another ghost town in Google Earth when I spotted this name near the confluence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers. When I zoomed in a bit further I saw that the the place indicated by the name was all wooded – there was no town there. Street View also showed just a wooded area, and not enough buildings to even justify keeping this as a place name. This intrigued me, so I did a bit of research, and it turned out to be an interesting ghost town location itself.

Kingville Google Earth

According to information on the Kingville Historical Foundation’s website, the town got it’s start in 1842 when a spur railroad line from Aiken was completed to Columbia. I checked Robert Mill’s 1825 atlas of the area, and the name Kingville does not appear. In 1850 a branch line was completed to Camden, and the town began to grow because it was now located at the juncture of two major railroad lines.

Research on the town was initially confusing. According to the historical marker for the site…

Kingville is thought to be named for its status as “king” of the railroad line between Charleston and Columbia and between Columbia and Camden.

However, the town was first called “Kingsville” with an “s”. For awhile I wasn’t sure if I was finding information on the same town. For example, this is an excerpt from an 1870 map of the Port Royal railroad in the southern states. It clearly shows the spelling with an “s”. The town’s name on this map makes it look almost as big as Columbia, but this is deceptive. Since this was a railroad map, the emphasis was on major junctions, rather than the actual towns.

Kingville_1870 Continue reading “Kingville, Kingsville”

Congaree and Lower Richland

Starting out on the Congaree Boardwalk

Normally on a second Saturday I’d be off with the guys from Lowcountry Unfiltered. They had a great trip planned for today, but due to various reasons I wasn’t going to be able to join them. Instead, I teamed up with Dwight, his wife Sue, and son Adam to explore Congaree National Park and a bit of Lower Richland County.

Lower Richland County is located in a wedge formed by the Congaree and Wateree Rivers up to their confluence, where they become the Santee River. The area is also known as the “Cowasee” Basin, a name created by combining names of those rivers. Congaree National Park makes up most of the Cowasee Basin, but there are also lots of historical locations, including one interesting ghost town.

I headed down to Congaree on this clear, cool Saturday morning. I arrived at the park early to find an already packed parking lot. There were groups of Boy Scouts, as well as other tour groups gathering. I have to admit – I tend to be selfish with my wilderness experiences. I don’t mind others around, but lots of loud people make it hard to see wildlife. I was a bit worried.

Congaree Crowds Gather

Dwight, Sue, and Adam arrived, and soon we were off, headed down the high boardwalk. The plan was fairly simple. We would stick to the trails and boardwalks for the most part, but we wanted to do a little bushwhacking. We also wanted to find at least one champion tree. Continue reading “Congaree and Lower Richland”

Rolled Pita

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UPDATE: This restaurant is now closed.

I love Eastern Mediterranean food. There’s nothing like pita and hummus for a snack, and kabobs, olives, rice, and falafel make a perfect meal, especially when rounded out with baklava. So, I was thrilled to see that a Lebanese restaurant had opened on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Greer, within striking distance for lunch.

The Rolled Pita is located in the corner of a small strip mall near the old Allen-Bennett Hospital. For a long time it went unnoticed, with only a small sign proclaiming “Lebanese Restaurant.” I didn’t even spot it until they renamed the place and put up a larger sign. That was last Friday, so Wednesday I decided to give it a try.

Atmosphere

If it were a Greek place, I probably would have described it as “spartan” just to be witty. This goes beyond spartan. There are just a few tables in a surprisingly large area. The restaurant actually takes up two spaces at the mall, with the second space serving as a fish market. Unfortunately, the place reeks of fish, and I almost turn around and walk out.

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Continue reading “Rolled Pita”

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