Blog Update

Things may be a bit sparse of the next few weeks as far as posting is concerned. We are dealing with some serious issues on both sides of the family, and I may not have time to write as much as usual. Not that there’s been a lack of things about which to write. I … Continue reading Blog Update

Sock Saga Update

Last week I mentioned that I had received one sock in the mail. The idea was that if i wanted the sock’s mate, i’d need to visit their booth on the vendor floor at EdTech. One of my colleagues, Jay Lindler, reads this blog, and and stopped by their booth. He pulled up RandomConnections and … Continue reading Sock Saga Update

Spirits of Springwood

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This past Sunday Laura and went on the Spirits of Springwood Tour sponsored by the Upcountry History Museum. Springwood Cemetery features many historic graves and lots of interesting headstones and carvings. I’ve visited many times on photo walks, but thought it would be interesting to get an “official” tour.

There were two tours scheduled – one starting at 5:00 pm and one at 6:45 pm.  I initially wanted to do the 5:00 pm tour because the lighting would be so much better for photography.  However, Laura convinced me that the 6:45 tour with flashlights would be fun, and that this wasn’t really a photography tour.

Photography tour or not, I came prepared.  I had my DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, my trusty Nikon S70 sidearm, and the little infrared point-and-shoot I’d used on our Blue Ghost excursion.  I knew a tripod wouldn’t be appropriate for a tour, so I brought cameras that would work well (mostly) in low-light situations.

As usual, we arrived early. I took advantage of the waning afternoon light to take a few photos. Continue reading “Spirits of Springwood”

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

A Night at the Children’s Museum

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NOTE:  It’s been a crazy week, and I’m just now getting around to posting this from last Friday’ nights outing.

Last night [Friday, October 7]  the Children’s Museum of the Upstate held an Adult’s Only night. I had been wanting to visit the museum, so Laura and I and some of her colleagues from Furman bought tickets and headed on over.

The museum is located in the former home of the Greenville County Library. It’s an interesting space, with sweeping circular ramps leading from one level to the next, and perfect for some sort of museum or exhibit. I was very pleased that TCMU was able to move into that space with the library moved into its new building. It’s been open since 2009, but we haven’t been able to visit. Apparently they have a strict rule that you can’t visit if you don’t have a child with you. Kind of makes it hard for educators without children to check out what’s going on there.

We arrived right at 7:30 to see a line forming outside of the museum.  Most of those in line were young adults in their 20s and early 30s – those without kids. It was very much a younger demographic. As we were in line, several of Laura’ colleagues from Furman (also in their 20s and early 30s) joined us.  The line moved quickly, and soon we were wrist-banded and handed two tickets – one for an adult beverage, and one for a wine tasting.

Waiting in Line for the Museum

Continue reading “A Night at the Children’s Museum”

The Road to Nowhere

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After our trip on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad I had one last adventure I wanted to undertake. I had read about the “Road to Nowhere” which starts in Bryson City, and I wanted to find it. Turns out that it was easier to find than I thought, so we were able to explore it.

First a bit of history…

In 1943 the Tennessee Valley Authority began work on the Fontana Dam. 1,300 families were displaced by inundation of the the rising Little Tennessee River. In part to appease the displaced families, the TVA promised to build the 32 mile long North Shore Road so that the families had access to the 28 cemeteries on the north side of the lake.

By 1969 only six miles of the North Shore Road had been completed, including a bridge over Nolan Creek and a tunnel through what’s now known as Tunnel Ridge. An environmental study indicated major damage to the fragile Appalachian cove ecosystem if construction continued, so it was halted – completely. Pavement ends just on the other side of the bridge. Continue reading “The Road to Nowhere”

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

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It had all the promise of a beautiful, cool fall weekend, and Laura and I decided to take advantage of it. Saturday afternoon we drove up to Cullowhee, North Carolina to savor a delicious victory as Furman beat Western North Carolina 47-21 in football. We stayed overnight in Bryson City, and that Sunday we were able to do something both of us had wanted to try for quite awhile – take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

I had booked our tickets as soon as we decided on a plan of action for the weekend. It was a good thing I did, too, as CNN featured the railroad as its #2 leaf-viewing attraction on its website. We were also just beating the peak fall foliage crowds, so there were tickets to be had. There are several travel options, ranging from first class down to mere mortal. Even though it was supposed to be chilly, we decided on the open-air car, which was described as follows on their website:

The Open Air Gondola is perfect for those photographers craving that perfect scenic shot! Plenty of space to see the great outdoors! Created from retired baggage and flatbed cars, these open cars feature long padded outward-facing seats, perfect for the panoramic views. A great car for capturing the scents and sounds of nature!

More on that choice in a bit… Continue reading “Great Smoky Mountains Railroad”