Very Superstitious

I was reading my friend Duckhunter’s blog about his discovery of a house with “Haint Blue” paint on the porch. Duck does a great job of describing this practice, but it got me thinking about other, similar superstitions. In particular, I wondered if there were other superstitions like this, perhaps some even specific to the … Continue reading Very Superstitious

Expanding My Media Empire

For some time now I’ve been searching for a way to host media files without clogging up my storage space here on RandomConnections.  Specifically, I’ve wanted a place for audio and for Google Earth files.   Being something of a cheapskate, I really didn’t want to pay for more storage on the site, so I was looking for free alternatives.  I think I’ve finally pieced together a solution, and I’m ready to go live with it.  It’s not the most elegant solution, but it works for me.  More importantly, it doesn’t cost anything.

I had tried both Houndbite and Boomp3 for free audio file hosting.  For the most part I liked Houndbite, but it was completely unreliable.  For the past three weeks it was offline, and just recently came back.  I couldn’t use it in my Google Earth demonstrations as I might have liked.  Since I was having so many troubles with Houndbite, I tried Boomp3.  That is now completely defunct. Continue reading “Expanding My Media Empire”

Initialed Chimneys


The above photo is of a house near my office. It’s a bit blurry because I shot quickly as I was driving past. What caught my attention was the prominent initial “F” worked into the chimney masonry. In a post-mortgage fallout, post-“Flip this House” era, the idea of marking one’s house so indelibly seems quaint, almost laughable.

This is a very permanent mark. In many cases tan colored bricks are built into the chimney structure. Just about the only way to remove the initial is to tear down and rebuilt the chimney. Painting over it only partially obscures the letter, as the bricks that make up the initial are often of a different shape or orientation, so you can still see the outline. Continue reading “Initialed Chimneys”

Paddling the Congaree Swamp

Canoeing the Congaree Swamp

Early Saturday morning a small group of us gathered to paddle Cedar Creek, located in the Congaree Swamp National Park. Instead of kayaks, we decided that would take this trip in canoes. It turned out to be one of the longest paddling trips I’ve taken, covering about 6 miles of swamp, then paddling back.

The issue of which boat to take was only resolved at the last minute. I knew Dwight was bringing his canoe. Whether or not I brought my kayak, or lugged my old battleship 15′ Coleman canoe depended on how many people decided to go. In the end, it was the Coleman, so I loaded it into the back of my pickup with about as much hanging off the tailgate as was actually in the bed of the truck.

Alan Russell and I met James Martin (who had joined us on our last flooded Congaree hike), Dwight Moffitt, and his friend Peter at the put in on South Cedar Creek Road. Dwight and Peter would be in one boat, Alan and I would be in mine, and James had his kayak. The plan was to paddle downstream a bit, then head back. According to Dwight this would take us through some of the more remote parks of the swamp, and away from the crowded boardwalks. Dwight assured us that paddling back upstream wouldn’t be a problem. Yeah, right. Continue reading “Paddling the Congaree Swamp”

Columbia Riverfront Park

Columbia Canal HDR

Once, many years ago, I made the statement that while other cities like Austin and New Orleans had cool Riverwalk areas, Columbia had built a penitentiary on it’s riverfront. Fortunately, in the past couple of decades since that statement attitudes have changed, and both Greenville and Columbia have recognized the importance of their waterways and the potential for tourism. While in Columbia this past week I was able to spend an afternoon at the Columbia Riverfront Park, and it was quite a pleasant outing.

The park is located at the site of the Columbia Waterworks, and incorporates historical elements of the waterworks, the Columbia Canal, and the Congaree River. One enters the main portion of the part at the Waterworks entrance, with a path that leads past the portions of the water treatment plant that are still in operation. Continue reading “Columbia Riverfront Park”