Old School Spam

Following up on my previous spam rant… It’s not just for in-boxes. spam is with us just about everywhere. We don’t think of it as such, but there it is – get rich quick schemes, quackery, and graspable straws for the hopeless. This is the same thing I see in late-night cable TV advertisements and … Continue reading Old School Spam

Audio Journeys – The Anderson Jockey Lot

Jesus and Knives

Paul and I made our annual trek to the Anderson Jockey Lot. We always try to take a newbie with us – someone not yet immersed in southern flea market culture. Lately this has been a new faculty member at Furman, and this year was no different. Karen Buckmeuller was our victim this time. She couldn’t convince her new husband, Herman Holt, to come along with us. Several others were also supposed to go with us, but wimped out, too.

As I’ve learned, the denizens of the Jockey Lot get very nervous around cameras, and with good reason. We saw several less-than-legal items for sale. I was still able to snap a few shots, though. Most useful was the little Sansa Clip recorder. I clipped it to my shirt and left it recording the entire time we were there. I got some fascinating conversations. I’ve edited it down to the best clips and added a little background music, then posted it to Boomp3.com. It’s about six minutes long.


In this audio clip, you will here the following, in order:

  • Question about the price of a Megatron helmet
  • Haggling over the sale of a car
  • A discussion about a breed of dog
  • The benefits of using fake security cameras
  • A bird saleslady
  • A call to repentance for stealing cars
  • A discussion of spicy pickled tomatoes
  • How society has been destroyed
  • The problems with Dale Earnhardt candles and Teresa Earnhardt
  • Good beans
  • Night blooming plants
  • A rooster crowing
  • Another dog salesman
  • And finally, selling big time

There were several more conversations I would have loved to have captured. Continue reading “Audio Journeys – The Anderson Jockey Lot”

Adams Bistro

It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve done an actual restaurant review. We’ve been eating at home most of the time, and haven’t really tried any place new. Since this is the penultimate Friday off for my summer schedule, I decided I’d scout out new eateries. I decided on Adams Bistro, which is fairly … Continue reading Adams Bistro

Diving into Social Networking

I’ve spoken of my hesitance to get involved with the whole Facebook/MySpace thing. However, it seems that I’m slipping deeper and deeper into the Social Networking abyss. First there was blogging, then Flickr. Those were the gateway drugs leading to Twitter, Virb, and Facebook. Now I think I’ve taken the ultimate plunge. I helped Laura … Continue reading Diving into Social Networking

Spam Rant

<rant> OK, I want to know who you are. I want to know which of you are actually stupid enough to think that purchasing real estate, refinancing your house, or making any major investment because of some random e-mail you received is actually a good idea. I want to know which of you feels so … Continue reading Spam Rant

Levels of Leechdom

Over the weekend Laura and I went shopping for some new furniture. It was interesting to note the responses of various sales people at the different stores we visited. We developed a kind of game to see which might be working on commission by the level of “leechdom” they exhibited. I’ll rank these from 1 … Continue reading Levels of Leechdom

Scenes from a Southern Funeral


(Photo – Funeral of John Lafayette Smith, my great-grandfather)

This past week the father of a friend of mine passed away. I had known the family for ages, and I now work in the same office as my friend’s wife. I attended the funeral both as a long-term friend and a representative of his wife’s employer.

I wasn’t sure I should go. I had lost touch with this friend for over twenty years until his wife started working in our office. While I knew his family, I hadn’t been in touch in most of that time. Then I remembered one of my favorite essays from the This I Believe series on NPR. Deirdre Sullivan’s essay was entitled “Always Go to the Funeral,” and is summed up nicely in these excerpts…

“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The Shiva call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.

In going to funerals, I’ve come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life’s inevitable, occasional calamity.

The funeral took place in a rural Baptist church that was founded in 1806. The family received friends and guests before the service, so a line had formed outside the church. To combat the heat while waiting, the funeral home staff passed out fans and bottles of water.

With the long line, it took awhile to get to the family. My friends seemed truly grateful that I was there, and that made it worth the visit, regardless of anything else that might happen. Since my friend is a Baptist minister, he took part in the service itself. I was amazed at his composure, and ability to speak eloquently at his own father’s funeral. As with most evangelical churches in the South, not only were there comments about the life of faith just concluded, but concerns expressed for those in the congregation who might have strayed from that path.

Continue reading “Scenes from a Southern Funeral”