Showing posts with label blogland weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogland weekend. Show all posts

Visiting Lancaster, Florence & Darlington


The Blogland hit the road last weekend to see what was going on across South Carolina, hitting three political events Saturday afternoon and evening across the Pee Dee and Upstate in Lancaster, Florence and Darlington.

As always, we greatly appreciate the hospitality shown by the folks across South Carolina. Just about anywhere we go, we find friends and make new ones along the way. This Saturday run was certainly one of those kinds of weekend getaways.

Mark your calendar: Darlington GOP fundraiser this Saturday evening

If you're in the Pee Dee region this weekend, the Darlington County GOP is holding a fundraiser variety show for just five bucks. Go show your support for a great team and help them raise some much-needed campaign cash.

The event is this Saturday at the The Music Hall on 1133 Harry Byrd Highway in Darlington. It starts at 6 PM and tickets are just five bucks.

The Blogland will be there, so be sure to say hello!

Mark your calendar: Lancaster Tea Party rally this Saturday

Beginning at 12:00 Noon, the Lancaster Tea Party, one of the state's largest Tea Party groups, will hold their annual fall event at the gymnasium of the Carolina Christian Academy. The Blogland will be there as well.

The event will feature special guest Hilmar von Campe, author of Defeating the Totalitarian Lie, as well as visitors from a number of campaigns and Republican Party leaders from across the region.

The event will be held at the Carolina Christian Academy. It's located at 1850 Kershaw Camden Highway (U.S. Route 521), Lancaster, SC 29720-7559.

This group never disappoints, so if you're in the region this weekend, you don't want to miss this event!

Wedding day in the Blogland

If you weren't in Charleston Saturday night, you missed a really good time - and a pretty special one. Thanks to all of those who could make it, those who tried but couldn't make it and those who reached out to wish us well. Nothing like spending the evening with 300 or so family, friends and colleagues to make for a wonderful weekend.

Of course, having an open bar helped with the fun as well.

Next stop - a ten-day ocean cruise in the North Atlantic.

Clarendon GOP and Mark Hammond play golf, help Children's Miracle Network


Last weekend, the Blogland joined Secretary of State Mark "Dirty Harry" Hammond, Clarendon County GOP Chair Moye Graham and other Clarendon County Republicans as they worked together to help support the county's annual golf benefit for the Children's Miracle Network, held at the golf course at Wyboo Plantation on Lake Marion.

Pictured to the right is Robert Alt, owner of The Palms at Wyboo, a great place for a steak and a beer (or six), along with Hammond.

If you're down that way, we recommend Alt's restaurant highly. Go check it out.

Thanks to Hammond, Graham and the Clarendon GOP gang for supporting a worthwhile cause.

Hangin' on the Lake


Determined not to head home too early on a Friday night, the Blogland stopped by The Palms at Wyboo at Lake Marion to say hello to Secretary of State Mark "Dirty Harry" Hammond and Clarendon County GOP Chair Moye Graham.

The occasion? The pre-event party for a golf tournament to benefit the Children's Miracle Network where Hammond will be the featured guest. 

If you're down on Lake Marion looking for a drink or two or a great steak, this is THE place to go.

The Blogland hits the road


It's the holiday season and the Blogland is hitting the road, going places and meeting with friends across the Palmetto State.

From time to time, I like to hit the road and invite my readers to meet in person so I can learn a little bit more about them and what's on their minds. If you're interested, just drop me an email and let me know you're interested. I'll be glad to work out a time and place to meet.

I'll be in Myrtle Beach Monday night and Tuesday, and in the Midlands and Upstate from Thursday through Sunday.

There's Gotta Be A Redneck Joke In This


Earlier this evening, the Blogland accepted the hospitality of Rep. Phillip Lowe, the Florence GOP's McLaughlin sisters (... and Dana too!) and other upstanding figures in Florence politics at Lowe's "Redneck Christmas Party". Off all the many GOP events attended around the state, this event was undoubtedly the most enjoyable and creative one we've been to in years.

The place was packed with assorted rednecks ... including a redneck professor who reportedly was proud of his mail order degrees, for which he paid top dollar.

Reputed Pee Dee blogger Mike Reino was not at the event. Something tells us someone meant to make sure he didn't get there.

As the photos indicate, no amount of effort or expense was spared in hosting a high-class event:







We're not sure if Social Services was called in to investigate this one:


More photos can be found via my Facebook photo album page.

Fun at the Charleston Greek Fest

When the folks at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in uptown Charleston throw a party, they really throw a party. Anyone who has been attending their annual Greek Fest - like me - knows this is an event which keeps growing and getting better as time goes on.

I arrived, with my little one in tow, straight from church, shortly after the event started. There was already a long line at the gate and the place was packed. With the vendors, the great food and beer and wine (domestic AND Greek), there was plenty to see, do, and of course - buy, eat, and drink.

The only thing missing from the event was a designated driver, so I had to behave, keep the drinking to just one beer, and not help stimulate the economy of the parish as much as I wanted to.

Rain moved in a bit later, but nobody seemed to care, least of all their dancers. The youth dance group at this parish apparently is an award-winning team and was doing a darn good job, even in the light rain that began falling when they took the stage.

All in all, it was a great event. If you missed it this year, too bad for you! Be sure to be there next year!

A Tale of Two Graduations

With two graduations to attend, Friday was a busy day in the Blogland.

For lunch, it was the Community Healthcare program, by which the Lowcountry Workforce Investment Board (which I serve on) funds and operates a Certified Nursing Assistant program, filling much-needed vacancies with local employers (in spite of a recession, many healthcare-related positions are yet unfilled). This program, taught by an RN with a Master's in Education, offers those who are often working in jobs near minimum wage an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to increase their wages by fifty percent or more, as well as give some the needed push to pursue nursing programs.

As a board member, I take pride in seeing this cost-effective initiative filling needs and creating new opportunities for them willing to pursue them. That's real economic stimulus, folks.

For dinner, it was down to the Sotille Theatre at the College of Charleston to attend the graduation of Master's degree candidates, for my first graduation as a member of faculty. To be among the faculty who led the processions both in and out of the theater, among those who did much to nudge and guide me along in my own studies, was one of the biggest honors I've ever had. But even more important was the pride I took in seeing two friends graduate:

  • Anna Fiona Cooke, one of the stars of the program (and fellow recipient of the Carolina Communication Association's Jarrard graduate research award), who now has her MA in Communication. Pictured with her parents and sister, she was wearing my Master's hood (and looked darn good in it), which she needed to borrow due to a goof-up in her Master's attire order. She'll be taking a little downtime before planning her next move.

    Her work in the graduate program was outstanding, and whether she goes to work or to pursue a doctorate, she'll make outstanding contributions. I was honored to share several classes with her while I was still in the program, as well as to be among those who watched her win the Jarrard award last fall, making the CofC graduate program a winner both times its grad students competed for the award.

  • Kolo Rathburn, who was the President of the Graduate Senate this past school year, where I formerly served as a committee chair. Pictured with his mother, he received his MS in Marine Biology, in what is arguably the College's most outstanding graduate program. After some downtime, he'll be off to a public policy job in DC.

    Kolo is a hard worker in a tough program. His leadership in helping bring the college's Graduate Student Association into being, as well as leading it in its second year of existence, was outstanding. His balance and cheerful nature will open a lot of doors in the future, both in his career as well as for those he will work with.

The Department of Communication's graduate program graduated its second-ever class, going from four graduates last year to nine this year. Much thanks for the success of the program is owed the faculty of the graduate program, as well as Department Chair Brian McGee, current Graduate Program Director Vince Benigni and former Director Doug Ferguson for their vision and hard work - as well as for not strangling yours truly when I was still a student in the program.

Blogland Weekend: Off to Bamberg

U.S. Group personnel pulled aside the barrels and opened up Main Street for a parade that was well over a mile long, and the Blogland was there for the occasion.

The kids had a good time watching the parade and scooping up the candy that was being thrown out from the 90-plus parade floats and vehicles. That is after they were done laying down in the street.

Once the ribbon was cut and the parade continued rolling up Main Street, the road was closed back off to allow the community to enjoy a street festival. Once some minor patching work is completed Monday, the road will be opened permanently to traffic. Once minor detail work is completed in the coming weeks, the entire project will be done.

An interesting moment of historical irony was found in the picture we took of Representative Bakari Sellers riding in the back of a Bentley at the parade, being driven by John Sanders. His father, Cleveland Sellers, was the only protestor jailed after the Orangeburg Massacre, accused of "inciting a riot", and grew up in a time when the role and ethnicity of the politician and driver in such a car would have been quite opposite.

It's certainly a comforting sign that the progress that Seller's father helped to bring is finally happening.

Sanders stuck around, but Sellers had another engagement to attend. We'd really hoped to meet the guy, but maybe another time.

For the rest of the weekend, it's kids and studying ... fun, fun, fun. But whereever you're at and whatever you're doing, be sure to have a great weekend ... and check out these pictures from the ribbon-cutting:


Weekend in the Blogland: Running the roads of the Midlands & Upstate



This weekend was another weekend running the roads with the little one. Today we went to my company's annual Employee Appreciation Day, held at Frankie's Fun Park in Columbia, and then a weaving and winding trip to Spartanburg.

That included a stop at a favorite Newberry landmark, the rocks in front of the Shakespeare plant on US 76, a bit west of town. For years, the college students have been painting and repainting these rocks.

After getting to my mother's house for a surprise visit, only to find she was spending the weekend in Charleston, we hung out, visited with some friends and then went to see Transformers.

I rememebered them as the basis for a somewhat-cheesy cartoon series back in the 80s. With the partnership of Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay ... wwooowwww ... the movie version is one hell of a ride!

Special thanks are owed to my company's President, who has chosen to respond to tough times in the construction industry by working to rally his team, instead of pulling back. His decision to go ahead with the annual event, in spite of a tough business environment, was intended to boost morale when it is needed the most.

Once upon a time, President Franklin Roosevelt once challenged tough times with the counsel of "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Stand firm, pull together, and one can pull through. It was good advice then, and it works now.

Thanks, Embree, for a fun Saturday for me, my daughter, my co-workers, and their families, as well as choosing to fight uncertainty with something positive.

Well, after a long long day on the road, going here and there and catching up with friends and co-workers, Bonnie and I will get a good night's sleep up here in Spartanburg and head home in the morning. As Sunday is my big study and research day, I just can't wait to hit those books ...

Be sure to make the most of the rest of the weekend.

Dave Sells and I'm Buying - Megadeth ROCKS Myrtle Beach

Tonight's Megadeth show, without a doubt, one of the best hard-rockin', head-bangin' shows to come to the House of Blues in a long time. The best show I've been to there since the WASP/LA Guns/Stephen Pearcy show.

The band hit several songs from "United Abominiations", their new (and one of their best) album, as well as wide range of stuff from across their career.

The best-received songs in the show were "Peace Sells", "Trust", "Symphony of Destruction", and "A Tout Le Monde". However, there wasn't a bad song in their entire set. Dave was in great shape, and the rest of the band played tight right along with him. All together, at least a dozen songs, so their part of the set lasted a good hour and a half, which is longer than you'll get from a lot of headliner bands.

The Confession, the opening band, wasn't bad at all, but In This Moment sucked. They're one of those new metal bands whose female lead singer was growling most of the lyrics, and when banging her head with the band, holding her chest to avoid a Janet Jackson-esque "wardrobe malfunction" moment.

You could see a lot of the audience, especially the older ones, were disinterested, if not outright bored with In This Moment - and I was one of them. But the performance of Dave Mustaine and the band was well worth the wait. I'd have put up with about anyone, including Britney Spears, if enduring such crap meant Megadeth would be my reward.

If they're coming to your town, or even anywhere near, quit making excuses about why you can't go and DON'T MISS THIS SHOW!!! It's the metal show of the year, without a doubt.

Weekend in the Blogland: Florence Greekfest and South of the Border

It's another wild weekend in the Blogland ... not hardly.

Well, the phone didn't ring with any offers of wine, women, and song, and since an offer to help someone got blown off without so much as a phone call, me and the little one went on what turned out to be a bit of an adventure. These days, she seems to be the best and most tolerant female company I can find.

The first stop was one of my favorite BBQ joints - D&H in Manning. It is always good eating, as well as a nice relaxing country ride to get there. I hadn't made it up that way in a couple of months, so it was long past due for me to visit and chow down.

Then a tip that the Greek Orthodox parish in Florence was having it's 25th annual Greek Festival ... so away we went, 30 minutes up I-95 to check it out. Not a bad event. Certainly not as big as the ones I've been to in Charleston and Greenville, but I'm sure that has plenty to do with the size of their congregations, as well as the communities as a whole. A lot fewer Greeks in Florence and certainly a lot fewer potential attendees.

In any event, if you could have made it there, but didn't, you missed a good time. Don't miss it next year.

... and finally, another 40 minutes north up I-95 ... our annual pilgrimage to Pedro, the God of Interstate Cheese, who resides in his domain at South of the Border. If you've been there, then there's nothing else to say. If you haven't, then there's nothing that I really can say to explain the place.

Please note that Bonnie, my little one, was rehearsing for her role at infiltrating our nation's illegal Hispanic immigrant population. Excellent disguise, don't y'all think?

Now, to get some sleep, so I can spend about ten hours of my Sunday studying for another fun-filled week of graduate school, as well as getting the finishing touches on US Group's corporate website so we can go online in the next few weeks.

In any event, we hope you're having a great weekend, whereever you are, whatever you're doing!

Wild Weekend at the Blogland

It's another wild weekend in the Blogland, with a house full of girls here for an overnighter, while I try to get in the obligatory 8-10 hours of study time for school. We're likely going to see more amazing creations like the evil tooth fairy come out of tonight.

Yep, a single professional on Saturday night with a bunch of kids ... more proof that while I've got a million and one things to say about everything under the sun, I really don't have a darn clue ... and proof that some of my ranting anonymous critics might be more right about me being a jerk with women than they think.

In any event, whether you're doing better at love than I am, hitting the books, working on your car or yard, or just drinking 'til you drop, be good at what you're doing and make it a great weekend out there ... or else the evil tooth fairy might come see you too.

Weekend movie watching: Reno911


If you're bored and want to watch something mindless but somewhat cheesy, then this weekend, go rent a copy of Reno911: The Movie. It's our recommended light weekend viewing in the Blogland.