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

Christmas Kitsch

The Chia Pets have emerged from their long hibernation. The gaudy decorations having been springing forth in stores for the past month and a half. We have now hit the peak of the season for Christmas Kitsch. Laura and I make regular trips to Garden Ridge this time of year to supplement our light supplies … Continue reading Christmas Kitsch

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder


There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here!

When criminals in this world appear
And break the laws that they should fear
And frighten all who see or hear
The cry goes up both far and near
For Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

When in this world the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
Who rob and steal from those who need
To right this wrong with blinding speed
Goes Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

‘Way back in the 1960s Underdog (along with Space Ghost, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four) was part of may pantheon of Saturday morning superheroes. I loved the opening theme song, and Underdog’s rhyming discourse and over-the-top battles with Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff. I never did care much for Polly Purebred, though.

Of course, the best part of the show was the theme song:

Continue reading “Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder”

A Sock in the Mail

In a couple of weeks I’ll be heading to Myrtle Beach for the SC EdTech conference. This is our annual instructional technology conference for the state, and I haven’t been in about three years. I figured I needed to go this time around, and I’ll also be giving one of my Google Earth talks as … Continue reading A Sock in the Mail

Jockey Lot Adventures

Beautiful cool morning, and Paul W, Brian G, and I decided to squander it with a trip to the Anderson Jockey Lot.  Paul and I have made frequent forays into the world of flea markets.  While growing up, he and his father would scour the yard sales, then resell their goods at various flea markets.  So, Paul brings lots of experience to this endeavor.  Brian is fairly new to the game.  I’m along as an archivist, equipped with cameras and various sound recording devices to capture a distilled version of Southern culture.  Turned out to be a successful trip on all levels.

When we arrived parking was tricky.  It looked like there were going to be lots of people there.  While there were lots of customers, the outside tables seemed fairly sparse.  There were not as many vendors as usual.

One of the first things Paul noticed was that there didn’t seem to be many prices listed on items. I guess you would have to interact with the vendor and haggle a bit.

Jockey Lot VendorArchaic information Continue reading “Jockey Lot Adventures”

Port Wentworth Friday Nights

For these lowcountry kayaking trips I often come down on Friday night so that I don’t have to get up so early on Saturday.  Wherever I am I like to find some place quirky and local for dinner, and this trip was no exception.

I checked at the front desk of the motel on I-95, and was informed that there were two good restaurants just up the street.  I scooted round the corner to the first, Silverado’s.


The van, radio station banner, and balloons should have alerted me to trouble.  I walked in the door and was greeted by a plume of smoke, and a boozy greeting from a woman with stringy hair and fewer teeth than I have.

Well, howdy, you sharp-dressed man, and welcome to Silverado’s!  Have a seat on this here bar stool and buy me a drink!

No, thank you.  I had just driven all the way down straight from the office, and my slacks and white shirt stood out from the jeans and cowboy boots.  I glanced around.  Even if I had wanted to stay, none of the sparse tables between the pool tables and dance floor were available.

I guess the sign advertising Lingerie Lunch today should have also tipped me off.  I’d already missed it, and the smoke was more than I could bear, so I left.  I was after quirky, not hazardous. Continue reading “Port Wentworth Friday Nights”

Rubik’s Music – Part 1


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”

One Night in Santee

Seems like I’ve spent more nights in motel rooms since January than I have all of the past couple of years. There have been kayaking trips, conferences, and the rare vacation get-away. Some of the rooms have been spectacular, such as my recent stay at Charleston Place Hotel, or our trip to Washington, D. C. Some have been routine, such as the Quality Inn in St. George, SC, that seems to be where we seem to have stayed lots recently.

Of these, the most unusual has been the Whitten Inn in Santee, South Carolina. I think I hinted recently that I would write about the experience once I’d had enough therapy. A slow, restful weekend seems to have been enough therapy, so, here goes…

It had been a long day of paddling. We had battled heat and crazy motor boats both on Lake Moultrie and on the Tailrace Canal. One of our fellow paddlers had said she felt like she had been riding a moped on I-85. Some of our group had planned to camp out, then paddle Sparkleberry Swamp the next day. I was in no mood to camp, so I decided to find a relatively cheap place in Santee so I could get some rest before the next day’s trip. The requirements were simple. I just needed a good clean room, and preferred a place that had a restaurant on the premises. I would be happy with a sandwich and not having to drive somewhere once I got settled.

Continue reading “One Night in Santee”