Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bouncy, bouncy....

 VELOCITY usually means going fast. Very fast,

On Rivers Avenue, near the K-Mart at Otranto, it means a place to jump up and down.

And all around.

Falling safely while having a great time.

The neoprene trampoline mats add some bounce to a game of Dodge Ball. Some vertical moves!

It's also probably the largest Kingdom of Jumping Castles, gathered together in one place.

More than enough room to make you jump for joy!

However, before you get to take your first bounce or leap, you are required to stop at the Wonderful Waiver Machine.

Just as it sounds, you type in your name and address, your birth date and then check off a long list of things the establishment is NOT liable for. Sounds fair.

I came in and asked if I could take a few pictures on a slow weekday afternoon.

Heather, the General Manager, agreed because I showed her I planned to post a blog about this adventure site.

Then, she directed me to the PC with a touch screen and I started the process of making sure that if I injured myself, it was my own fault.

They are extremely safety conscious there and almost anything you can touch is well-padded.

But, we ARE talking mainly about curious and fearless youngsters with incredible stamina. Plenty of "officials" in colorful t-shirts to remind the players to follow the rules and to be careful.

Think of Velocity as a place with many, many "backyard trampolines" but, these beauties can bounce you higher and faster than you've ever experienced.

Forget Air Jordans to give you lift to the basketball hoop.

Slam dunk from above as you run, jump and vault high over the basket ...and drop it in.

I mention again, this was on a slow afternoon and not too many players.

Enough though that I could see the allure of having a spring in your step as you soar and land softly.

Driveway basketball that has been taken to new heights.

I plan to go back again - during a heavy play time period.

I want to see all the whirling and leaping action in this very large indoor playground.

It had been a Sofa Sleeper store (I had bought a couch there) and then was closed for many years.

Looks like a good use of a huge vacant space.

I saw some dads helping their children cross a tightrope over a chasm filled with blue and green foam "rocks."

Others just grabbed a "vine", gave a Tarzan yell and swung out and then let go.

Smiling, they clamored to the edge, got up and did it again.

A scary moment perhaps but without any real danger.

Growing up with two brothers, we often did some scary stuff but there was no soft foam safety net.

Let's just say some of the ER people in the 50s knew about the Boyd boys from Society Street.

It is a very large and spacious place to go to have fun.

Not sure if adults ever show up there for some serious cardio workouts. It would work a lot of muscles in a short time span.

Or if its mainly children hopping from one square to the next.

I know they don't ever get tired of doing this!

It's not all run and jump. I saw an excellent arcade games area.

Also, tables and chairs set aside for birthday and other group party activities.

And an array of sports drinks and sodas in vending machines.

Coming in I saw there are two handicap parking spaces so this place has an appeal to quite a wide audience. Maybe a good place for therapy?

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

A good rainy or cold day indoor activity center.

Well, Winter has just started.

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Friday, December 09, 2016

NOT a close shave....

 So now it's December and I still have my Movember fuzzy face from last month.

Looks like I tipped over  into a continuation of growing a beard.

Actually, now it really DOES look like I am doing this on purpose.

Not just the effects of a long, long weekend away from my razor.

Has been too cool to have been out camping, away from civilization.

The Lowcountry is rather too flat to think of myself as a Mountain Man.

Even a seasonal Man who adds small twinkling lights for the holiday season.

Well, this bearded fellow's in good company this time of year.

But Santa, the "jolly old elf" has not embraced the lighter aspect side of the holidays.

Often pictured drinkin' a Coca-Cola but - so far at least - no flashing beard lights.

Santa leaves that to the Rudolph, the red-nosed leader of the reindeer pack.

The distinctive red outfit is his main fashion statement.

And, well, his sleigh that flies all over the world.

On a 3rd Thursday in Summerville a while back, I did spot a gent who could give Santa's beard a run for the money.

I was on a Photo Walk with members of my Photography Group and spotted this guy sitting on a curb, listening  to some buskers playing music at the monthly event.

Just as I clicked the shutter, he turned my way. Oops.

In Street Photography you try to be "invisible" as you capture images but I could not tell where his eyes were looking, due to the dark sunglasses.

He didn't react and I quickly walked away.

Caught a good portrait of a man with quite a beard.

A local craft beer brewery has gotten into the bearded act with a descriptive name.

That reflects what could happen if a hairy-faced man drank one of their brews.

I now realize I need to keep a napkin handy when I'm drinking - or eating - anything that might leave a signature image.

An ice cream cone becomes a challenge.

Or a bowl of clam chowder if you are not fastidious.

These three men, tending bar at the Frothy Beard, all have facial hair.

Eager-to-please employees or three of the owners, I can't recall.

Well, there WAS beer involved.

So I might have forgotten to ask their names or neglected to write them down.

I was being handed a glass of their product so my attention had wandered.

Actually, I was tasting several to see which I would take away in my 64 ounces Growler.

Another long time beer brewer - Coast - in North Charleston on the old Navy base, has a delightfully-named beverage that links our city's history back to the pirate days.

It's called Blackbeerd, a dark Imperial Stout. Mmmm.

I would challenge any fiddle-player to drink a few and then try to keep his beard away from the strings and the bow.

Speaking of which, I am starting to learn things that happen as one's beard fills out and gets thicker

And longer.

I tend to touch it and groom it with my fingers. A lot.

Stopped in the Brew Cellar off Montague in Park Circle after I noticed they had added a "Beer Garten" out front.

Yep, the two owners John Judson and Ryan Hendrick, sported long-time beards.

I was still clean-shaven at that time but it must have lodged in my brain that beards can be cool.

I have quite a ways to go, of course, but I was pleased with the reception I received last week downtown when I spotted The Beard Shop.

Before I started growing mine, I probably walked right past the King Street store called The Art of Shaving.
It's one of the upscale shops in the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel.

The man who greeted me apologized that his beard was so short but he had just had it trimmed and "went a bit overboard."

Because mine is still growing in, I have not trimmed it yet but his whiskers looked good. Very symmetrical. Stop by and check it out.

A few days ago I was picked to be a background (extra) person in a movie filming down in Savannah. I had submitted my regular head shots when I applied to the casting people.

I  added the shot with my beard and a note saying I could shave it if needed.  The immediate response was "We want the beard."

More info AFTER the film is completed. They are very secretive at this point in production.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for stopping by as we await the Polar Express to plunge temps when it comes roaring down from Canada.

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Friday, December 02, 2016

"It's beginning to seem a lot like Christmas...."

In Summerville, The Flowertown Players have kicked off the most wonderful time of the year - Christmas - with their wacky, rollicking, off-the-rail version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat in the audience last night for the final dress rehearsal.

These Really Ready for Prime Time players were having their first exposure to a live audience after weeks of preparing and rehearsing according to Director Monica Shows.

Enjoy some family fun in the cozy setting at the James F. Dean Theatre Dec 2 - Dec 11 and experience their 1940s Radio A Christmas Carol .

Details of show dates - and prices - are included below.

I am almost of an age to  recall those days of War bonds, rationing, paper drives, Mutual Radio Network and the Newark, NJ Eastern Wartime time zone.

These were the days predating television of course and sitting in the "live studio audience" was a real time-warp treat.

The red ON THE AIR sign was lighted and the APPLAUSE and LAUGHTER signs flashed on as really unneeded prompts.

Here are the details on the show, when it's performed and the price of admission:
Christmas Eve, 1943, in Newark, NJ, and the Feddington Players are set to present a contemporary A Christmas Carol

Not the usual holiday offering as a veteran actor, William St. Claire, has an on-air breakdown and begins to connect his life with that of the classic Dickens tale. 

Whether it’s the noisy plumbing, missed cues, or over-the-top theatrics, this show is an entertaining excursion into the mayhem of a live radio production complete with holiday music! 
The Flowertown Players will present the show on December 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 @ 8PM & December 4 & 11 @ 3PM. 
Tickets range from $15-$25.
 (Click on the photos and links for more details)

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