Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dog - and Cat - Days of Summer...

Saw this in a cart at Sam's Club a while back.

I didn't ask the "cat lady" how many she had.

The packaging look on the bag has just changed but I'm sure my kitty recognized what I brought in from the car.

It's August and I hope she knows how lucky she is to be living the good life as an INSIDE cat.

MAN, it's extra hot right now.

Summer time and the parking gets choosey.

It's "Park Southern Style" time. That means in the shade.

Oh sure, you'll walk further but you're rewarded when you get back to your car.

Cruise slowly through the parking lot looking for a good spot.

Yes, the shady space tucked under the trees.

Thank goodness there was one left.

When I come back, it will be cooler when I open the door and climb in.

If you've been to a place before, you just figure where the shade will develop and pull in there.

Beats baking on the tarmac in August.

I've been doing this for years. Even when I lived out in California.

In San Diego I saw cars double-parked at the entrance to a hiking trail.

And it wasn't even in the shade.

(Click on the photos to see the shady spots in more detail.)You really should wear a wide-brimmed hat these days. Protects the tops of your ears from sunburning. Stop by again. Thanks.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The "Other" Purring Machine....

[From the Kitten Diary]
OK, the guy that lives here with me seems to be working out fine.

We had a little trouble right at the start with that trip to the animal shelter.

We had only just met and what happened there was a big surprise - and painful - but he seemed apologetic.

I like the dry food and he buys BIG bags of the crunchy stuff.

The scratching post is not as much fun as his couch but he settles down and seems calmer when I get up here.

The ring thing is new and shiny and it spins nicely.

He unpacked something a few days ago that seems to have a mind of its own.

I hoped it was maybe another kitten - a playmate - someone to chase around.

Nope. THIS is no cat!

Doesn't smell right.

It moves around so we could play together.

Likes to run in circles though.

And I'm not too sure about that strange purring sound.

And, Boy,it turns on a dime, I mean REALLY sudden fast turns. What the...?

It goes under furniture where I can't go??

I jumped up on the couch but it looks like it can't get up here. Didn't even try.

It went UNDER the couch. What a doofus.

The thing stayed in the living room until today.

All my toys in the kitchen were picked up and put somewhere out of reach?!

A few pieces of Meow Mix Kibble I had been batting around disappeared after this "thing" wandered around under the table and chairs.

I sense the fur I've been shedding is missing too.

Keeping my eye on this newcomer.

(Click on the photo for more detail) This is the FIRST entry from the cat's journal...probably not the last.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Business Was Carded...

So 20 years ago I was living in Tallahassee and formed a business to create photo business cards.

Unique. One of a kind.

I showed people they could have their face, their store, their product on a VERY personal card.

Oh, a few people had tacky cards printed on flimsy Kodak photo paper.

But, mine were real cards, printed on a 6-color high speed press in Toronto, Canada. You could even write notes on the back.

Find a need, fill it better than anyone else for a fair price and you'll succeed.

When I came back to Charleston I still would keep my eye out for a suitable business for my cards.

Say you were on Folly Beach about 12 years ago and you owned a bar/restaurant that overlooked the ocean

Now, THAT's the picture you should have on your card!

Of course, a few years later, the view was completely blocked by a 4-story Condo but you see my point.

A pretty scene. A pretty card.

Sometime you just wanted your face on the card. Or be pictured in front of the sign on the front of your place.

It was fun giving out MY card for Boyd Multi-Media

Keep in mind that picture of me WAS taken 20 years ago. The phone number is accurate though after all these years.

Well, the area code was updated when we changed from 803.

Actually, I did meet a guy when I was still in Florida who had a unique card.

His you could even call MORE unique because it was printed on a thin, thin piece of wood.

And it's one of the few I've kept.

Wonder how many trees died for his cards?

Now, you can go online to design and order your cards to hand out. The price is a LOT less than I used to charge so I guess I'm no longer in that business.

I get mine online and was able to be fairly creative.

My Smartphone also now can display my QR (Quick Response) code.

Other Smartphones can scan it and bring up and store my web site.

Good thing too because I just changed to Gmail so I have to order a batch of new cards now that I'm no longer on

(As usual, click on the photos for more details.)Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. Leave your card.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gettin' The Lawn Done....

My Mom and I were roommates for 10 years. We shared chores.

A few years after I returned to Charleston, she suggested I move into an apartment she would have built for me in her house.

I thought about having a bachelor pad. I remembered Mom was a great cook.

"Sure," I said. "Let's do that."

My Dad was in a nursing home and she was alone so it was a good move. For both of us.

But I did the maintenance around the house and even bought a riding mower.

She posed one day after she came home from church. That's as close to cutting grass she did at age 89.

Of course, we would go out and party every once in a while.


"C'mon Mom," I would say "just one beer."

And she would pose for another picture.

Mom didn't cut grass.

Mom didn't drink.

She's 95 now and living quite comfortably at Sandpiper in Mount Pleasant.

I thought about this yesterday when a teenager rang my bell and stated "Your lawn sure needs cutting."

He was right of course so I left my riding mower in the storage shed and rewarded this enterprising youth with the grass-cutting assignment.

I pointed out flowers I wished to be spared.

(Click on photos for more detail.) The Yard of Ale was at Back Stage Deli in North Charleston near Otranto. Yes, I do have one of those glasses. Bet you wish you did.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blues On A Saturday Night....

Went downtown for a production called "Night Of The Blues" at the Music Farm.

MICHAEL MARTIN PRESENTS offered us Asheville's Blond Blues as the opener and the headliner was The Jimmy Thackery Trio , down from Washington.D.C.

Master guitar man Thackery, founder of a wildly popular band The Nighthawks, shook up the place.

People were dancing, clapping and pumping their arms in the air. Whew.

His longtime bass player was Mark Bumgarner and Russ Wilson on drums.

It was an early show - for The Farm - and there were many familiar faces in the crowd.

People often seen following the blues at the Pour House, Home Team BBQ and, formerly, at A Dough Re Mi.

They too had come downtown for the first show by music producer Martin.

Toward the end of the nice, long uninterrupted set, Thackery and bassist Bumgarner left the stage so the drummer would be featured. Russ Wilson then dazzled the crowd with an amazing drum "solo."

At one point he was pounding away with TWO sticks in each hand and then tossed one set over his shoulder.

THEN, he reached down behind him, picked up a marching drum and stepped down from his riser.

The crowd applauded as he quick-stepped to the front of the stage, playing a snappy tattoo before returning to his drum set.

At the end, Michael Martin thanked the enthusiastic crowd and he promised this would be the first of many shows he plans to bring to Charleston.

(Click on the photos to see a larger image. A Blues audience is a little older - and wiser. I saw many were wearing ear protectors. I had mine.)

Thanks for stopping by. Support live music.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Keep your camera handy....

My local photography group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

That was last night.

There was a light rain falling in North Charleston when I came out from Bella Napoli, the Italian eatery where we meet and eat.

Just before I turned on the wipers, I took a few shots.

Yes, I usually have my small Canon S90 camera with me.

Duh, especially when I'm among 22 members with large SLRs in huge backpacks.

One of the members, Thomas, had even adapted one of his old old film camera lenses so it fit on his modern digital camera.

Driving down Rivers Avenue I stopped at a place that surprised me with a "blast from the past."

Yep, the ever-popular painting of Elvis on a black velvet background.

Well, it was pretty popular at flea markets a few years ago.

Had not seen one recently so I raised my camera to capture the moment.

So, do you know where this hangs? Did you take a picture when you saw it?

Movie theaters have clever - and quite involved - cardboard cutouts that portray images from upcoming movies.

This was the Johnny Depp-voiced animated film called RANGO.

Some have a ribbon or tape barrier to keep you back. And, I'm not sure if theaters really want you bringing in your camera.

They worry about people creating a "pirated" video copy.

My intentions are rather simple: capture the moment in the lobby and maybe post the picture on my blog.

Oh..wait, that's funny.."pirate" a film with Johnny Depp after his 4th outing as Captain Jack Sparrow.

(Per usual, click on the photo - twice - to see larger images. The shot of Cap't Sparrow was lifted from the internet so it doesn't get any larger.

There, that credited my source for his picture.)

You really should not leave your SLR at home.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Out In The Noonday Sun....

I tried growing Sun Flowers once.

Planted seeds. And waited. That's the hard way.

Sunday morning I was at Charles Towne Landing and saw a bunch that someone else grew.

That's the best way.

If you have not been over to that park in a while, it's looking good.

Very good and well maintained.

Of course, as I looked around and wiped my brow, I saw I was surrounded my mad dogs and people from England.

It was 93 degrees, hot and humid. Duh. July in the Lowcountry.

The fountains and the lakes looked cool and inviting.

Until I saw the warning about alligators.

Hey, sweat won't kill you. Or chomp on your leg.

The view through the glass at the air conditioned Visitor's Center was refreshing.

I'm sure the heavy rain the day before had some impact on a wedding held in the park.

The crew obviously had set up and taken down tents, tables and chairs before.

I commented he looked like a strong fellow carrying a lot to avoid extra trips.

I did check. The chairs were light aluminium.

The mate on the replica of the ADVENTURE was very helpful and knowledgeable about the 1670s and sailing practices.

"They call this a 'coastal' vessel but you have to remember, the 'coast' extended out to Bermuda, down to the Caribbean and all the way to Africa."

Hate to admit - as it neared noon - the appearance of a shuttle vehicle looked terrific.

Several families who were pushing strollers also hopped on board.

The volunteer driver suggested a stop to see the statue of Cassique, Chief of the Kiawahs, who had helped the colonists get settled.

We were riding now with a breeze in our faces so of course we rode over there.

I remembered coming to this park back in 1976 when the nation was celebrating its Bicentennial.

My Mom had remarked when I called from Missouri that Charleston was noting its TRI-centennial.

Moms. They always win.

(As usual, click on the photos twice for a much larger image. It never did rain on Sunday. Bet that soggy wedding wished they had waited one more day.) Wear a wide-brim hat this time of year. I do.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 08, 2011

...has come home to ROOST.

I don't try to go to the opening of EVERY new bar.

But I've watched this one developing for quite a while.

A few weeks ago I chatted with the three owners up on ladders painting walls and trim.

No, THEY were up on ladders. I was standing in the doorway. Dodging falling paint drops.

So The Roost, Charleston's newest sports bar, is now open on Savannah Highway, between Gene's Haufbrau (Charleston's oldest bar) and Oak Barrel Tavern.

Across the street from Triangle Char and the Avondale Mellow Mushroom.

I am waiting to hear back from Dennis, one of the owners, on exactly how long the bar extends.

To my eye, it COULD be the longest in town.

Stop by, have a beer, eat some great pub grub and make your estimate. Give me your guess.

I commented to Dennis that I thought there had been a shortage of "sports bars" in the area.

He responded they agree and had placed LOTS of wide screen tvs around the huge room and made sure they were set at a comfortable viewing angle.

I have had to crane my neck in some places to look up at screens and their careful and thoughtful planning was appreciated.

I checked out the Reuben sandwich - along with some giant Onion rings - and my buddy had the Roost Burger.

And I had a Gluten-free beer. I guess gluten is what makes beer taste good.

Meanwhile, up in North Charleston, near Park Circle, Zocalo has opened.

'Rita Time.

The former gas station/outdoor gardening nursery and now Mexican Street Food place has a nice friendly vibe.

They opened just in time to enjoy the huge patio.

Lights are strung in the trees and ceiling fans stir the air.

It's a nice outdoor-option addition to the growing area.


(Click on the pictures - twice - for more details.)

I have many friends with expensive, bulky SLR cameras.

I seem to be the only one who usually has a camera with me most of the time Hmmm.

Thanks for pulling up a stool and looking over my blog.

Read responsibly.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 04, 2011

Very "Social" Media....

I have been very happy to attend gatherings of "Social Media" people.

They are cutting edge.

And you might get to eat and drink. Or get flowers. And usually learn new technology.

Over the years - since I retired from the paper - I have been invited as a local blogger.

Once I was part of a Charleston Cookie caper. I watched as judges choose a new flavor that reflected our city. I believe benne seeds were involved in one entry.

I checked all of the contestants' efforts. Several times.

I also sampled an ice cream flavor contest, invited by these very pleasant Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ fans and practitioners.

A few years ago, I covered the creation of a new Save The Parks group.

We all left with a handful of flower bulbs.

Mine just bloomed for the 4th time.

They pop up and magically appear every summer.

I merely dug holes and then covered up the bulbs.

Last week I attended a gathering at Uno Mas in Mt. Pleasant for a "Social" Happy Hour.

I noticed the fellow from Rawle-Murdy Marketing Communications agency had a camera with two 5 MegaPixel lenses.


It was a phone that took 3-D pictures.

He said it was the htc EVO 3D and he had started at the large ad agency about 18 months ago.

Yes, he was the head of their social media efforts so I asked for his card and handed him mine. He wanted to know if I had a card reader on my phone.

Actually I did have that app, so he brought up his QR (Quick Response) symbol on his phone/camera and I scanned it.

All I had was a handful of quaint old school-type printed "calling" cards. Yikes.

As soon as I got home, I quickly found out how to create my own QR code and now I too can bring up the image for others to scan.

Social media is very groovy.

(Yes I realize now I could have gone online right there to create and respond with my own QR code. Eventually I'll remember I now have a computer in my pocket!) If you scan the QR above it will connect you to the Photo Group I formed 3 years ago. I figured you already knew about my blog. Duh. Thanks for stopping in. Please send me a comment. I'll see it on my Smartphone.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 03, 2011

How about a Cup of Fair Trade Organic Coffee?

So I was shopping at the Tanger Stores and wandered into a Kitchen shop.

It dawned on me it was Tuesday and Seniors get a discount on that day at this store. (When you're retired, days of the week sort of blend together.)

Saw this KEURIG single-cup coffee maker and thought "Hmm, that would provide some variety in the morning."

Living alone, a 3 pound can of ground coffee makes a LOT of cups of coffee and seems to last forever.

But it's the same taste day after day.

I could see a French Vanilla flavored cup.

Or when my daughter - newly appointed as a detective - came by, we could sip cups of Donut Shop brew. Ouch.

Some days it would help to start with EXTRA BOLD Sumatran Reserve.

Like when you need to really be at the top of your game.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (Is that the slogan at Denny's?) and the right combination of coffee can't hurt.

Sorry Starbucks.

(Click twice on the pictures for more detail. This really does provide variety in the morning. Drop by for a cup.)

Labels: , , , , , ,