Google Image Search

Sometime over the summer, and apparently without enough fanfare for it to ping my sonar, Google announced a new “search by image” service. The idea is that you can either upload an image file, or post a link to an online image, an Google will go out and search either for matches to that image, images that are “visually similar”, or if the image can be identified, links to information about that image. I finally got a few spare minutes to take a look, so I decided to try a few experiments.

Only recently did this new service come to my attention. My fellow Flickr photographer Eric Morris, aka The Rested Traveler, had posted a link on his Facebook page to a blog post where the writer used the image search to see if his images had been used without his permission. Having been the victim of photo theft before, I thought this was a good starting point. Continue reading “Google Image Search”

Music Nomenclature

I was listening to a new music show on my XM radio, and heard the terms “record” and “album” applied to an upcoming release by a new artist.  It caught me a bit by surprise.   I hadn’t heard the word “album” used to refer to a musical recording in quite some time. I don’t … Continue reading Music Nomenclature

Cedar Falls Park

Cedar Falls 2

Sunday’s Greenville News had an article about a new park in southern Greenville County.  Cedar Falls Park opened to the public recently, and I decided I needed to check it out.

First, a bit of background…

I’d stopped by this location on the Reedy River several times looking longingly at the shoals and the pool below. I also looked askance at the “Keep Out” signs everywhere, and only took photos from the roadside.

In 1993 Colonial Pipeline had a major oil spill on the Reedy. In 1999 they plead guilty to violations of the Clean Water Act, and agreed to a huge fine. Money from the fine, along with grants, paid for creation of the park.  And finally, twelve years later, the park is a reality, and the “Keep Out” signs meaningless. (Although, if you look closely in the photo below, you’ll see one lingering Keep Out sign nailed to the tree.)

Cedar Falls Sign
Continue reading “Cedar Falls Park”

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”

Paddling Dreamland

We are blessed with some fantastic kayaking venues in South Carolina.  And, I’ve been privileged to kayak in the Puget Sound several times, a couple of locations in Florida, and once even in the Bahamas. Even so, there are several “dream locations” I would love to paddle.  I’d love to go further northwest, and do … Continue reading Paddling Dreamland

Union County Photo Trek

Pinckneyville Panorama

It started with a cryptic e-mail which began as follows:

Hello Tom,
I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I do know about your fascination with ghost towns.

Mark Elbrecht had contacted me through this website, and he had a proposal. Mark is a fellow Flickr photographer, and it seems that he and I have similar interests as far as subject matter is concerned. He had arranged to meet with a representative of the Union Historical Society and get access to the Pinckneyville site, a ghost town I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time, and he invited me to come along. There was absolutely no way I was going to pass up this opportunity.


My brother Houston joined me, and this past Saturday we made the trek from Greenville to Union to join up with the group. We arrived a bit early, so we wandered the main street of Union and took a few photos of the architecture, including the spectacular court house…

Continue reading “Union County Photo Trek”

Remembering 9/11

I must confess – I’m suffering from 9/11 fatigue.  Not because I’m tired of hearing about the terrorist attacks of ten years ago and the remembrances thereof, but because of the overwhelming and very conflicting emotions associated with those remembrances. There was the terrible, terrible national crisis, with so much confusion.  There was the shining … Continue reading Remembering 9/11

Upper State Fair 2011

Fair Rides

Labor Day marks the advent of the Upper State South Carolina Fair. As I’ve done for the past couple of years, I grabbed my camera and headed out to get some shots. This year I had invited several others to come along and make it a true photo trek. Unfortunately, iffy weather and other conflicts caused problems. So, Wednesday evening I headed out on my own.

My usual plan is to get there early evening and catch the last rays, then hang around to get some night shots. I arrived at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway fair grounds at about 6:00, and it wasn’t too crowded, but starting to fill up.

Fair Midway

I took a few shots, but found myself shooting the same things I’ve shot in years past. I was running out of ideas. Continue reading “Upper State Fair 2011”

The Trappe Door

Friday evening Laura and I were in the mood to try something new downtown. Our friend and former neighbor, Josh Beeby, is the owner of Barley’s Tap Room, and several months ago he had opened a new venue called The Trappe Door. We decided to give it a try. Background Josh is from Australia. According … Continue reading The Trappe Door

Grits Guilty Pleasure

1. In a cereal bowl, dice a small tomato. Home-grown, garden-ripened with a higher acidic content works best. In this case I just used cherry salad tomatoes from the store, cut in half. 2. Add two packets of Quaker Instant Grits with Bacon Flavored Bits. (Yeah, blasphemous to most true Southerners.) 3. Add enough butter … Continue reading Grits Guilty Pleasure