Thursday, August 30, 2012

Comedy for a Cause....

Attended a funny fund-raiser last night downtown on the harbor at the old IMAX.

Next to the South Carolina Aquarium.

Fortunately, the flooding, heavy tropical rains were the day before.

A nice crowd gathered  at the Hippodrome.

Here Comic Jerry Farber, from Atlanta, is bragging how he used to look...only a few days ago.

Five very talented stand-ups performed as a "thank you" to Joe Meli.

Joe is the former owner of two excellent music and comedy venues Desperado and The Plex, and this was a special way to show appreciation.

Joe has been ill for some time since the Plex closed five years ago.

His former partner Bob Shipley booked the place and longtime comedy producer Tony Kemp invited the talented performers to be the program.

After the opener Dave Ugly did his bit, funnyman Brian Shirley took the stage to thank Meli and his family and to welcome them to a humorous evening.

It got a little R-rated at times but very, very funny.

With comedians who are used to interacting with the audience, you took a chance to head out for a beer or go for a bathroom break.

You often became part of the act. Some fans tried to trade comments but they clearly were out of their league!

The headliner for the eveing was Shaun Jones.

His catchphrase seemed to be "That's a fact that I just made up."

He's down from New Jersey and loved bantering with audience members from Goose Creek and their exciting side trips to Moncks Corner.

He would dart to the front of the stage, lean down to several young ladies in the front row and explain a joke he had just made.

Shaun wondered why many Northerners come down here and complain about everything Southern.

Yet, when they retire, they move here. There, another "fact" he added.

Here is where I probably should proclaim "SPOILER ALERT."

I have seen Just June perform a few times and she is an amazing elderly down-to-earth lady with many funny opinions.

She likes to share them too.

June said her husband was old. Much, much too old for her.

AND, he was ugly.

She prefers pretty young men.

The scarf was moved around her head to simulate the way - in some countries - women have to hide their faces. Or their whole bodies.

And aren't allowed to drive a car. "These rules are made by men." she opined.

I smiled and waited for the moment when she turned her back to the audience, whipped off her black wig, stripped off her baggy housecoat and turned back around to applause.

Quickly donning a radiant blonde wig, she urged the audience to sing along with her energetic take on Tina Turner's "Rolling On The River."

And we did.

I had not been back to the Hippodrome since they stopped showing movies on a regular basis.

Hated to see downtown lose its only theater but it's been transformed into a nice club/event setting.

I saw an elevated dance floor in the old lobby and a DJ was set up for the after party entertainment.

Two bars now filled the space where I used to buy movie concessions.

No popcorn in sight.

(Click the photos twice to see more detail.)

Joe Meli was there, apparently enjoying the evening.

It was nice to be able to say "Thanks, Joe."

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things out-of-place....

Some things just don't belong together in the store.

I also saw a frozen turkey sitting atop bunches of bananas in the Produce section.

When I went back by, it was gone.

Hopefully it was now back in the proper freezer.

Wonder how long it sat there?

Bananas bruise so easily. Then they go into the blender as part of a Smoothie.

Peaches too have a short shelf life but blend in well.

My cat notices when things are re-arranged.

Like having fresh grass in the house.

She's an inside cat so doesn't get out to graze.

I've been told grass is good for her digestion.

One doesn't live on Kibble alone.

She gets to gnaw a while then I take the pot back outside to refresh itself.

(Do computer patrols pick up on key words like "pot" and "grass?")

Maybe I should add the word "medical."

As luck would have it, during all the tropical rain we had - and flooding around the area - I had no need to leave the house. Whew.

Usually a heavy downpour is when I think about umbrellas.

They often are in the car when I am not.

And vice versa.

(Click on the photos for more detail.)

I once rented a place on James Island and the landlord had goats.

They took care of ANY grass that popped up.

Better than a lawn mower.

Frustrated the cats I bet.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Huck's Lowcountry Table....

Some great seared scallops. Tasty!

Years ago,living in Tallahassee, I would take my small boat out into the Gulf of Mexico and pluck fresh scallops.

Pop them from the shell and pan fry the little beauties in butter.

These were about that good at a small upstairs restaurant on the Isle of Palms called Huck's.

I had been there before when it was the One-Eyed Parrot. Still the same great beach view.

The server asked about dessert.

I was thinking "No, you've had a great meal - and an appetizer of crab cakes and fried green tomato - so quit while you're ahead."

But then she suggested ice cream - perhaps some "crunchy Strawberry."

I am so glad I said yes.

Had not really thought of pecan halves before as having a crunch factor.

(Click on the photos - twice - for delicious detail.)

Downstairs from Huck's is the Banana Cabana.

That's the place with the toilet seat hanging on the door to the restrooms.

Signage is important.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Computer Age .... 1985.

I have this Time-Life book called Computer Basics.

It was published in 1985.

This was Vol. 1 of a series to explain a marvelous new device - a personal home computer.

I didn't have a computer yet. My first one was bought in 1994.

My device had slots for two floppy disks, 51/4 inch and 3.5 inch.

Computers were not networked back then so these disks were used to transfer data you had saved. A patient friend was teaching me how to use DOS and I asked him about something called a Window.

He laughed and said it was just a fad.

The Time-Life book explained the electronic camera pictured above. Notice the film advance lever in the upper left. A true digital camera was still years away.

I liked the idea of computers as soon as I heard about them.

My first job at the Post and Courier involved using a computer to answer queries people made by phone. We called it InfoLine.

Our slogan back in 1998 was "You can't be at your computer all the time, but you always can get to a phone." Pretty catchy, huh?

The book said that it all was based on "ones and zeroes" and showed Armstrong's 1969 message sent from machine to machine to earth saying "That's one small step for a man..."

What triggered all this was noting I had four(4) VCRs sitting in my basement shop.

Upstairs I counted four more.

Two were VCR/DVD combo machines.


(Click on the scanned photos for more detail.

I should note these should be credited to Time-Life.

I hereby credit that source.

They probably can track what I did.

With a computer.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

A New Fan Of Old You...

A buddy mentioned there was an act at the Music Farm we should go see. Old You.

The bonus was it's Wednesday so only $5 at the door.

Wait, it get's better...

Yeungling in the bottle was only $2.25.

Good music and inexpensive beer in a premier Rock place downtown.

The singer Young-mi Feldsott had a good voice, great moves and played a fine big white guitar.

As promised it was an amazing array of sounds and mixes.

It's easy to see why they had opened for Robert Randolph and the Family Band when he last played here.

I'll keep an eye out for them again.

You should too.

Oh, right at the end, she asked the audience if they enjoyed the free pizza.

Huh? I had eaten before the show and did not know pizza was given away!

(Click on the photos for more detail.)

Might check with Music Farm to see if the Wednesday night thing is always how I described it.

Skip dinner if it is.

Thanks for stopping by.

Click the link to the band and check them out.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The "House Rules" at House of Blues....

The "House of Blues" in Myrtle Beach is digging deeper into my pocket.

Charging more.

Now having to pay for things that used to be free.

They're making more money ...but maybe turning off customers.

Charging $30 extra to sit on a hard stool.

Pricey folding chairs have pushed the standing audience off the floor space in front of the stage.
Get the picture?

You used to get a jump on the crowd if you ate at HOB before the show. Good idea.

For the House of Blues.

There's lots of burger joints and Calabash seafood places all around there.

Now it's more expensive to eat there just to ensure you get a good view.

An announcement was made to please turn the flash off on your camera or - more likely - your phone that takes pictures.

There HAS been less enforcement of a "no cameras" rule.

But the Robert Cray show had the dimmest lighting I've ever seen there.

The few stage lights would seem to brighten only at the very end of a song. Huh?

Getting pictures of Mr. Cray being handed a fresh guitar??

I like Robert Cray but as I wandered through the crowds standing way back by the bars, I knew they usually would be down front, some right at the railing in front of the stage.

I used to do that.

I have guitar picks from Buddy Guy and B.B. King to prove it.

(Clicking on the pictures makes the image much larger.)

Seeing deer eyes glowing along Highway 17 at night got to be scary and daunting.

Now an HOB show means staying overnight in Myrtle Beach.

Smacking into a deer could put a dent in your fun music evening.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

View from the piazza....

I didn't realize just how special this was!

As the sun lowered over the Cathedral further down Broad Street, I caught the moment from the 2nd floor piazza of the South Carolina Society Hall building.

I had joined a small group of guests at a buddy's retirement reception. We sipped wine and grazed a table laden with delicious treats.

Eventually we ambled out and settled comfortably on the front porch.

We were on Meeting Street, a few doors down from the famed Four Corners of Law: the US Post Office, County Courthouse, City Hall and St. Michael's.

Had not been inside before and was really impressed with the Great Hall. (*If it's not called GREAT, it should be.)

We had gathered in a smaller - but very nice - entry area for the huge ballroom.

The building is not open to the public but can be rented for various affairs.

As darkness fell, I heard that very, very few people are allowed out on the piazza.

Something about insurance and liability so I was pleased to be among a select few who have relaxed on this historic site.

Enjoy a great retirement Bill!

(Click on the photos for more amazing detail.)

This is a beautiful building that adds to Charleston's storied history.

It was a treat to have a different view of the state flag instead of always looking up.

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Olympics...and the parallel bars.

Ray Cashman is a Blues man.

In the true sense of the title.

He's lived the life and writes the songs.

Caught him last Thursday night at Home Team Bar b Q on Highway 61. The place was absolutely packed.

Unfortunately the chattering young crowd belonged to a sports & social club and met there to talk loudly with each other.

All wore similar t-shirts proclaiming their love of Kickball.

Some were out back actually engaged in competition...with the beanbag toss game known as cornhole.

Ray acknowledged the few of us who applauded loudly at the end of each song. Yes that is a 4-string slide guitar made from a cigar box. Sounded sweet.

Several hundred yards away is the Tin Roof, another music venue I like to visit.

A few evenings earlier we had watched a brother and sister from Orlando, Florida perform.

Thomas Wynn and The Believers had a good appreciative crowd but had to cut the show short.

His sister Olivia was not feeling well.

You could see and feel the concern of the other band members. They're a tight group that sounded great together.

Hope she's better now.

Well, that's my Summer Olympics taped delay update of action on the Parallel Bars.

(Click on the pictures for more details.)

Funny how a crowd can set the mood for an evening.

And being on the road can be a hardship.

Enjoy in moderation,

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