Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Pursuit Of Trivia....

So, it's official... I am now the LAST person in Charleston to finally go to a Trivia Night.

Sesame, in North Charleston near Park Circle, has Trivia Q&A on Wednesdays and my buddy and I were lucky to get the last two seats at the bar.

Many regulars filled the room - large competing teams - gathered around the tables.

Bill Davis, a 5-year veteran leader of such nights, explained the rules for the 2-hour entertainment/competition. The teams tried to answer the questions but his comments were hilarious and had the crowd laughing out loud all evening.(Yes, I HAVE altered the faces because I didn't ask everyone there if they wanted to be on my blog. I hope this "protects the innocent.")

Mr. Davis explained he was doing another Trivia Event downtown after his 2-hours here. He also does 2 clubs on Tuesdays, one on Thursday and one on Friday.

Smart and VERY humorous, he admitted he does have a day job.

Here's the best part: even though we were only two pitted against much larger teams, we tied for 2nd place.

My partner won the instant death face-off with the other team's rep by correctly guessing the birth year for Sean Penn. It was 1960. Glad he took the challenge as I would have pegged Mr. Penn a bit older.

Hey, the certificate paid for the Boddingtons we drank that night.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Knowing Where To Draw The Line....

Each month when my Photography Group meets, we do a SHOW & TELL of some of our favorite photos.

A while back a member suggested we do an optional "theme" each month so we could compare how others approach a common topic.

The theme for February is "LINES."

Often I go online for an example and the one shown above is a good one. Take a moment and observe what the photographer did with "striped lines."

I carry my camera with me all the time so, hopefully, I will "cross the line" before our next meeting.

Meanwhile, I looked back to a flooding on the Market when high tide met rainfall and I was able to capture "Underwater Cross Walks Lines"

(We meet on 2nd Wednesday. Click

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Grand Moment In History....

My younger brother reminded me he was in Washington for the John F. Kennedy inauguration. As we can see from his snapshot, he stood in a great spot.

It was the Senior trip for his class from Bishop England high school.

The bad news is he lost his new class ring while throwing snowballs.

I was fortunate to have been in D.C. for the Jimmy Carter ceremonies and, during my time as a newspaper staff photographer, I took pictures of Kennedy and LBJ.

I see a definite Democratic Party trend here.

But, here's the odd part: last year I was visiting in the District of Columbia and went to the exact spot where my brother believes he lost his ring 48 years ago.

There was no snow this time.

There also was no trace of his ring either.

(Take a look at the "fins" on those cars!)

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Racing The Clock ...and The Calendar.

One sign of a "mid-life crisis" often is a shiny Sports car.

I got mine when I was in my twenties.

It was a British import, much-loved (especially by my mechanic) and a young lady I eventually married, was pretty impressed by my low slung 2-seater with wire-spoked wheels.

The first child meant getting a station wagon so bye-bye Triumph TR-3.

Of course, we now drove a nice sensible little Ford station wagon and our growing family really did need more than 2 leather bucket seats, but a first Sports car is sort of like your first love. Mostly fond memories.

Well, the British-trained mechanic HAD insisted on changing the oil every 1,000 miles.

Jump forward through several marriages, divorces and moves to various cities and states and here I am back in Charleston.

Driving one afternoon in Mt. Pleasant I see a beautifully-restored Triumph in a parking lot.

I slip my card under the windscreen wiper asking the owner to call me.

A few days before Christmas, we met. He let me pose beside it and even sit in it.

It was a VERY snug fit.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Laughing At The Stock Market...

Here's a camera you might find at Dollar General.

We are all much more economy-minded these days and I just laughed out loud at a letter from my broker.

It's a "creative writing" challenge to be upbeat when you're telling clients their stocks are now worth about half what they were at the start of 2008. This guy did a fine job..... of making me laugh through my tears.

He said the holidays usually means watching uplifting Christmas classics on tv such as the 1946 It's A Wonderful Life, etc. But now it sounds just like the daily news when Jimmy Stewart pleads with his clients to "Just be patient. Don't let Mr. Potter give you fifty cents on the dollar," as people deal with economic hardship, home foreclosures and a run on the bank.

In the Christmas Story, the anticipated delicious turkey dinner is savagely whisked away by a "pack of dogs."

Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation gets a bonus of a "Jelly of the Month Club" instead of desperately-needed cash.

Some days you're the pigeon and other days you're the statue.

Hang in there.

[Full disclosure: I took the statue picture. "Folding camera" is from internet.]

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Real Mickey Mouse operation .....

I mean that with the highest regard. We could ALL learn from The Mouse.

This certificate meant my boss and I and about 20 Florida State Tourism officials had been down in the hidden catacombs of Walt Disney World.

We had enjoyed the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour.

Normally, nobody gets to peek behind the curtain but the Disney folks were launching a new 2-day "How To Be Effective" management course and we were the first "class."

Florida Tourism has always been First Class and I felt I had been picked up from The Minors (Tourism Director of Missouri) when I was asked to join the staff in Tallahassee back in the mid-80s.

I had made it to The Major Leagues.

We were fortunate to have The Mouse with us often on joint promotions here in the United States and overseas in Berlin for an International Tourism conference.

We were the "umbrella" statewide agency. At travel shows, we had a clever plan: we invited the private sector to travel with us, each in their own booths touting their hotels, resorts, attractions, etc.

The overall banner proclaimed all these booths clustered together as "The Florida Aisles."

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Early, early Saturday morning......

Now I know. There is NO lifeguard in the morning at Waterfront Park.

Probably not later in the day either.

Come to think of it, have I EVER seen a lifeguard at a fountain?

My Photography Group decided it wanted to do a photo walkabout and voted on this park.

Some wanted to capture a great sunrise. The sun was due up at 7:22am so we started arriving before dawn.

I had my usual hang-on-my-belt small Canon digital camera. I was in the minority.

Their lens shades were bigger than my camera.

It was foggy when we arrived and eerie. Pre-dawn downtown.

All that was lacking was a deep bass fog horn moaning out in the harbor.

So it got lighter and we could see more in the fog, but there was no glorious sunrise. Dark shapes in the fog were captured. Sleepy gray pigeons huddled next to haughty white seagulls

Bright park lights glowed with a shiny halo. Zoom lenses found flower beds probably overlooked by the average tourists. Cold water dripped on my neck...

To see some of the pictures taken that morning please go to and click on PHOTOS.

(Yes, I DID add some text to the fountain shot. It was early and I thought nobody would notice.)

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