Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Two monitors...no waiting.

 As I get back in the habit of sitting at my computer and posting on my blog, it might be a good time to flashback to how it all started.

Let's see, I retired from the local paper in 2004. Yay...retirement.

No longer "working for the man" and able to call my time my own.

No boss...no work schedule..,ummm, and no paycheck.

Divorced, my children grown and off on their own, no family at home to worry about, I agreed to move in as my Mom's roommate because she didn't want to stay there alone after my dad died.

I blogged about that adjustment for both of us.

For the next 10 years, I could either have home-cooked Mom meals or stay out as long as I wanted. She was happy, I was glad to be with her and my blog was reflecting our shared good times.

The computer shown above was not mine. My first venture online was a Brothers Word Processor.

It too used discs to store things but it wasn't a "real computer." I had used it though, to create and print resumes when I was job-seeking.

The flip phone on the left never really existed and was something I saw online as a bit of cyberspace humor.

My sense of humor liked the reminder that I grew up with a dial phone (our home number on Society Street was 5924) and I even recall us being on a party line!

I'm still looking for the "handset" I stashed somewhere.

I bought it as a joke to plug into one of my first "non-flip" cellphones.

It really did work like an old-timey headset, with the advantage you could talk and listen.

 ...and hand it to someone and say "It's a call for YOU."

As a photographer, I "retired" large SLR-type cameras and opted for a pocket-size Canon P/S.

I was aware that phones were getting better and better at taking photos and yet, no camera existed that could make a phone call.

I finally did get a real computer made by GATEWAY, their boxes distinctly spotted with black and white Holstein cow markings.

A simple setup with, I recall,  a "giant" 17" monitor.

I went through an expensive phase of buying different sizes of color paper - and pricy color inks - to have photos to show, hand out and send to others.

The color printer was relatively inexpensive but devoured color inks like crazy. Finally, emails became stable - quickly outdistancing the old FAX machines - and our phones now could show photos in great color so there no longer was a need to make prints to share!

My "home office" setup evolved nicely when I bought a brand new desk.

My old one was a WWII era dark wooden desk with a hidden compartment taking up the left side that would store and pop-up the typewriter when it was  needed.

I had bought it VERY used for $20.

My new light-blond beauty had four pull-out drawers and two deep ones for hanging files!

It even had that clever small shelf that would slide out to show the keyboard and mouse.

Ah, but my life changed the day I visited a friend and saw that he had TWO monitors.

What a concept..work on photos on one side and write copy on the other side.

I even found a bargain 32-inch CURVED Samsung monitor when I bought a new Dell XPS 8930 computer.

"Sure, put that in the cart too" It had been 6 years since I had bought my last Dell PC. Lots of changes in that length of time!

So, here I sit now, going back into the past to gain traction to pick up blogging again.

It had been several idle months.

I would think as I attended a music show or met some interesting people, that THIS would make a nice blog item.

And then not follow through.  Look out, I'm back!

Thanks for stopping by. Let's make that a habit again. 

Click on the links and photos for more details.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Possibly In my Senior years plans..

Image may contain: textNot sure of the color but saw this as a smaller vehicle just to zip around town instead of driving my car all the time.

Well, maybe a weekend trip to Darlington Speedway...

My almost 14-year old Saturn goes 0 to 60...eventually.

Bought the 2006 model right around Christmas, 2005;

Only my second NEW car/

The first was a bright orange VW Super Beetle with a curved windshield and a bit more room back behind the steering wheel and a deeper dashboard.

Big Whoop, you say.

Actually, it WAS a great way to stand out in traffic - different from the millions of other VWs.

Oh, I helped push it off the showroom floor and drove my bright orange beauty home to park it proudly in my Burbank driveway.

On Halloween!

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Friday, October 18, 2019

A visitor from the North..... well, Carolina.

 So, I have this new online buddy who lives just about in the middle of North Carolina.

He mentioned he likes to drive - and that's good - because he's about 200 miles north of me.

I found he was not kidding about getting behind the wheel and taking off.

After we chatted quite a bit, I invited him down for a tour of my hometown.

Over several months, he has come down for four weekends and we have enjoyed many activities like musical comedy, and a mystery theater where I got to play a role and have actual lines from a script.

I prepared and did a good reading, getting the laughs I wanted.

(I have been doing work as an Extra in tv and movies filming here - and in Savannah - and this was the first time I had a chance to actually speak as an actor!)

His nickname is Simon and we both have beards.

Well, his facial hair has been growing for SEVEN YEARS. In a crowd when we pass people, someone will remark "Hey, man that is a helluva beard!"

I usually look back and say "Thank you."

He just rolls his eyes at my antics.

Having a beard so long - both in time and length - he wears it in several different ways.

It pumps up wildly when just shampooed (as seen above) during a windy Blues Weekend up in Camden.

Many of the bluesmen had beards so we felt very much at home there.

During one weekend here, I took Simon by the downtown Beard Shop, just to get their reaction!

On this day, he had "toned down" the bushy effect but the three bindings drew comments from passers-by.

Naturally, I did my silly quip each time.

It's nice having a buddy new to Charleston and being able to show him the sights - and sounds - of my hometown.

He liked the acts that Shrimp City Slim had put together for his 23rd Carolina Downhome Blues Festival annual Blues in Camden.

The t-shirt this year featured "Cacka-Lacky's" own Drink Small, the 86-year old Blues Doctor who killed them in concert! Had folks dancin' in the aisles.

Most recently, we went to Charleston Music Hall to see the Scottish stand-up comedian Craig Ferguson. (Click this link!)

Simon hadn't heard of him despite Craig hosting CBS's Late, Late Show for ten years.

Well, Craig, his robot side-kick and Secretariat, the 2-men-in-a-horse outfit, did step away from the show five years ago.

He has been touring and hosting some game shows...but I remembered him well.

Well, after the almost 2-hour show ended, Simon and I headed back to my car parked at the corner on King Street.

 BUT...we were distracted there by a gentleman sitting on a stool, surrounded by parrots and other "birds" ...as the Brits say.

Several giggling young co-eds, each with a bird on her head, shoulder or hand, were communing with avian Nature!

I suggested that Simon get in the act and they both did well..a pirate look ..Aaarrgh!

And no pecks or bites on his neatly-braided beard.

You know the drill with my blog..click on the links and the photos for more details. Thanks for stopping by. I promise to post more often!

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M-o-w-n doesn't souind like t-o-w-n

I was a bit surprised yesterday to see a VERY large tractor-like machine idling across the street from my house. Stretched out behind it was a huge grass mowing apparatus like I have seen in use alongside freeways, taming the overgrown grass and making everything neater. 

Usually one sees a sign signaling "Mowing Ahead." No such sign on my street but I figured it out and approached the driver's door and saw he was eating a white bread ham and cheese sandwich as the engine idled with a rumble.

Or, maybe the sandwich was to quiet HIS stomach?

He popped open the clear plastic door to his air-conditioned cubicle and I asked if he was mowing the right of way today? He wiped his chin with a napkin, smiled and said he was and they do it about every 5 or 6 weeks.

"My lawnmower is not working and I wondered if you could mow the area on both sides of the sidewalk in front of my house, cutting the grass closer to my chain-link fence?"

He answered he could do that for me, although usually, the city did just the edge by the street. I thanked him and went home to get my camera and be ready when he mowed the rest of the block and turned to come back. 

I watched him finish the other side, make a wide turn and rumble back my way.

Sure enough, as he neared, he lowered and extended the cutting blades and neatly trimmed the grass in front of my house, gave me a wave as he veered back out to the normal path and clattered away. 

He had told me this would probably be the last time for 3-4 months, resuming again after winter when the grass would be growing up again.

Wonder if he will remember me and my request for a wider swath on this street in front of this house?  If I hear him coming next year, I'll probably offer him a sandwich.

It has been a while since I did a post on my blog.

Let's just say I have been busy.

A retired guy sez he's busy..doing what? Sleeping until noon?

Well, NOT mowing my lawn, that's for sure!

Not that I HAVE much lawn these days. To even out some low spots in my back yard that formed puddles when it rained, I had TWO truckloads of dirt delivered and dumped out back!

I took a fake shot of me with a shovel and a wheelbarrow but a neighbor - who also had dirt delivered - came over with his  John Deere tractor.

And we (uh, he) moved the dirt around as we tried to remedy the formation of rain puddles.

Still mainly a dirt yard so not too excited about getting my lawnmower running again.

After both of our yards were level, he attached a mesh screen behind his old lawnmower, added bricks for weight and began dragging it around.

And around and around and around Then it was my turn to do the dragging....smoothing the surface.

Click on the photos for more detail. 

Been a while, I almost forgot my standard close.

Have not even thought about buying grass seed yet.

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