Our television gave up the ghost. While it was a fairly modern hi-def LCD TV, by today’s standards it was quite small. We still hold to the old “TV as furniture” ideal, and kept it in a cabinet in a corner. This was actually a design decision, as we have picture windows overlooking our back yard and lake, and didn’t want a large TV interfering with that view. Perhaps it got jealous of the big new TV in our newly remodeled basement. Who knows? The upshot is that on Wednesday I found myself heading out to buy a new one. Continue reading “Old School Consumer Electronics”
A combination of technical problems and family situations have meant that blog posts have been few and far between lately. Just about my entire line-up of podcasts has been put on hold. I’ve got the material, and I’ve got tons of draft posts and research. I just haven’t had a chance to put it together. Continue reading “Blogging Hiatus”
It was a spectacular Wednesday morning. I’d been doing yard work all week, and needed to escape. That seemed like the perfect time for a trip to the Pickens Flea Market. This time, rather than carry cameras, I had a backpack loaded with audio recording gear.
Apparently everyone in Pickens County had the same idea as me. I had planned to get there around 8:00, but Highway 183 from Greenville to Pickens was a zoo, and traffic was clogged headed through the town and out to the flea market. Eventually, though, I did get a nice, shaded parking space, and set out to explore. Continue reading “From Pickens to Oolenoy”
The past couple of weeks have been a blur. I realize that I haven’t posted anything in that time, which is unusual for me. While lots has happened, it’s been in bits and pieces that didn’t seem like they needed, or weren’t quite read for an entire blog post. Those events include the following: Rambling … Continue reading Busy Spring Update
You may have noticed that something has changed. I decided to go for a new look and feel for the RandomConnections website.
I’ve never been completely happy with the appearance of this website…until now. While each of the themes I’ve tried out over the years has its merits, none really gave me the effect I was after. The last one came close, but I didn’t like the font readability (or lack thereof) on the main body of the posts. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning and a New Look”
Many years ago my brother Houston told me about a radio documentary entitled “The Bells of Europe,” which came out in 1973. Houston liked it so much that he ordered a cassette tape of the show, which I listened to, as well. It was an excellent show that documented the history of the bells of the cathedrals of Europe, from their creation to the destruction of many to build cannons for war.
The drama was the creation of Peter Leonhard Braun, a German radio pioneer. Braun’s intent was take radio outside of the studio. With audio recording equipment improving and becoming more portable, Braun wanted to explore the possibilities of creating audio documentaries on-site, and the Bells of Europe was the first of these documentaries.
Over the past year I’ve joined several Facebook groups focusing on local history. I’m most active on the “Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places in South Carolina” group, but there are similar groups for North Carolina, Georgia, and the south in general. I’ve seen some fantastic photography and learned about some new locations to explore from participation in these groups. However, to be honest, I was starting to suffer from a bit of “decay fatigue.” I was starting to see the same photos of old falling down farm houses and barns over and over, often with no explanation as to their history or significance.
Those minor sins aside, what most of the participants share is a sense of adventure. I decided to put together my own thoughts on advice for casual adventurers. Continue reading “9 Bits of Advice for the Casual Adventurer”
I’ve already commented several times that 2014 was a weird year, and one I’m kind of glad to see in the rear view mirror. New Year’s Eve was equally weird. It was the first time in our marriage that Laura and I weren’t together to see in the new year – she’s still in Florida helping with her mom. It was also the first year in memory that I didn’t make it until midnight. Continue reading “New Year’s Sunrise on Sassafras Mountain”
2014 has not been an easy year. We lost my mom, and Laura’s mother has had serious health issues. I’m still trying to adjust to retirement, and Laura is trying to adjust to new work challenges. Even so, we were able keep some of our holiday traditions, and it was a good thing.
A Wright Family Christmas
I’ve already written about the difficulties with our time in Florida. I had begun my time down there with the Solstice Paddle, but there were multiple other kayaking trips. Usually I managed to get out on the water at about 9:00 am. At this time, the incoming tide was ripping from south to north, with an accompanying wind. My usual route was to paddle against the current, then come back with the wind and tide.
Flashback – Summer, 1981
I was in-between semesters at Furman and was trying to earn a bit of cash for school by working maintenance for Laurens School District 55. This particular summer I was painting Sanders Middle School with an older guy (and by older, I mean probably in his mid-30s) whose first name I could only remember – Willie. Willie was a hard worker, and taught me lots about commercial painting, most of which I’ve long since forgotten. I liked Willie, and enjoyed my work with him that summer.
Willie was a devout Christian, and enjoyed listening to a local Black Gospel station on AM radio. I got into it, too, listening jealously to some of the piano chops these guys had. However, the one thing that made my day were the advertisements for Reverend Yuri. At precisely 11:25 am and 2:25 pm these would air.
Reverend Yuri was a spiritual advisor and reader located on Cedar Lane in Greenville. To this day I can point out his former establishment, which still looks rather weird. (I only know it was the place because there was a large billboard proclaiming it as Yuri’s, and not from any actual visits to the establishment.) His advertisements featured him using the vernacular, and started like this…
Is you tired? Is you lonely? Has your friends let you down? Reverend Yuri can help…
In the following years I’d tune in every now and then to listen to the ads, simply because I loved the use of the lilting vernacular. A couple of years later Reverend Yuri was replaced by “Sister Yuri.” I don’t know what happened. Sex change? Had I misunderstood the gender from the get-go, and the voice I was appreciating was that of the announcer? Who knows? Eventually Yuri closed shop and the ads ended. Continue reading “The New Modern Prophets”