I have been busy elsewhere on the web, playing with new toys.  I have discovered Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Wunderground and LinkedIn.  So I have been exploring each.  On the first and last, I am Christopher Calvin.  On the middle 3 of these, I am known as CBCalvin.

I find Twitter a bit distracting.  If you follow a long list of people, the updates are frequent and probably not related to what you are doing.  This requires disciplne to maintain focus on the task at hand.  The best part of twitter is its simplicity.  A simple input box permits 140 characters of text in answer to the question “What are you doing now?”.  Some people, including me,  use it as a sort of asynchronous IM to people they know are following.  Others use it as a journal.  There is a way to watch the whole stream.  A few minutes gives you an idea of the esprit de temps. If my message is long, I sometimes try to edit it so that it is EXACTLY 140 characters.

Flickr is a site for posting pictures.  All of the pictures you post are part of your “photostream”.  If you are a free member, you can organize 3 collections.  If you want more and more storage, you can pay a fee and become a professional member.  Flickr is a good way to share your pictures.

Facebook is a social networking site.  You can locate and communicate with people you may currently or have known in the past.  You can post notes and pictures.  Most of what you post is shareable with the world if you want it to be.  Another way to keep in touch.

Wunderground is basically a weather reporting site.  You can get your local weather in great detail with discussion and the whole works.  They also have weather pictures of current (the last week) of weather.  I have posted some pictures there, not because they are great pictures but just to document the weather.
So because I have been elsewhere, that is why I have not been here.

Making Glass Beads

Jeannette making glass beads on a torch flame

My daughter was home for the holidays. Most of the days were rainy but we had at least one nice day when we could be outside. She took the opportunity to make glass beads. My son took this picture. The glass rod is melted and gathered on a mandrel, additional colors are added. The bead is then cooled slowly.


I got up early this morning so that I could take pictures in Fountain Inn of the Fall weather. I have posted a few of them at the Weather Underground picture site. I will select a few more perhaps and put them up to Flickr. When I got back Elvis was sleeping.

I started raking after the pictures were up, took a break for lunch. After lunch, I brought Elvis outside to help me. He wandered about while I raked. If he got too far I would bring him back, hold him a bit, give him some pats, set him down, rake some more, repeat for about an hour.

I still have the back yard to do. I had better get back to it to finish before dark.

Cold Front

View through the Window Outside TodayWhen I went out to get the paper this morning, it was 63F (17C). It felt noticeably warm even with the gusty breeze. But a few minutes ago when I was out washing the cat boxes, it felt as though a chill had set on. The wind that brought the clearing weather also brought the cold. The sky is now scattered cumulus clouds. The bright blue is lovely against the yellow leaves that remain.

November Weather

Yesterday was November weather. It was overcast, cool-to-cold, drizzle or fog, gray, dark. These are necessary and sufficient for November. Today, much needed rain, maybe as much as 1/2 inch. Necessary but probably not sufficient. It was enough to bring a bunch more of the leaves down. If it is dry this week, I will be able to rake as I am on vacation taking care of the cats while my wife is away.


It rained overnight here. This is remarkable in that this is the third week in a row that we have had rain. Not a lot this time but some. Before the drought began, we would get a decent rain every 6 days or so. This summer, it did not rain but once or twice from 1 June to 30 September. Maybe three times.

As I went out to get the paper yesterday, the rain had stopped. The nuthatches were in the leaves of the mimosa tree, scooping beak-fulls of water from the fronds of the leaves and shaking the leaves to catch the water on their feathers.

Lights and Luck

Yesterday I picked up the Wall Street Journal and looked at the weather map. I saw that there was a cold front with thunderstorms along it due. I put on my hat to leave for work and noted that there was rain just beginning. As my son and I got into the car, the rain began. Ten minutes later as we were moving along the freeway, the rain was very hard and steady. The sky was dark enough that the dashboard lights were quite visible. I noted at this point that moving the bulbs around on the back of the dashboard module had moved the dead bulb to the over-65 side of the speedometer and the formerly dark side now had light. Sometimes you get lucky.


Yesterday was the South Carolina Republican Primary. Since this area is pretty much Republican, that was the hot topic. So much so that the Public Radio Network preempted Piano Jazz to cover it. For some reason South Carolina Public Radio (scern obsolete link) has been renamed South Carolina ETV Radio. Even though there were no results at 8:00 PM, the announcer remarked, they did have coverage. Better that they had waited until they did have results and use the points provided in the programming to interrupt or preempt.

The election may be hot but the weather is cold, even for January. We have had a bit of snow twice now. And a cold rain a couple of days. This is a good thing as we are way behind on rain since last year.

Snow Birds

Last night we had a rare South Carolina snow. It was the buzz at work and I mentioned it to my wife when I got home. She said “Even the birds that don’t get along were feeding together so we’re going to get something”. It snowed a couple of inches overnight. School was canceled. The roads were wet and a bit slippery on the way to work. I left at the regular time and got to work 10 minutes earlier than usual because the traffic was light.