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Welcome!

I currently live in Greer, South Carolina in the Upstate, but am originally from Poway, California. I've lived in the Southeastern US since my college days at Arkansas State. 

I enjoy traveling the backroads of America with my wife Patrice (also a great photographer), photography (my favorites), railroads, and learning about technology and how it will change our lives in every way. 

I've had the chance to work for a variety of companies in many industries over the years and had the chance to live all over the South while working in Manufacturing Management.

You can learn more "About Gene" where I discuss some of my influences.

Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

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Who knows what we'll find on the backroads of life one story and one photo at a time.

 

 

Looking Up and looking out.

June 13, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Ferris WheelFerris WheelWhen I lived in Aiken, South Carolina years ago, I visited the annual fair.

The Ferris wheel provided a nice subject for some shots from different angles with my old Canon G1X camera.

When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, I really looked forward to going to the Del Mar Fair each year.  The fair was full of fun things to do, cool rides, lots of exhibits and good food.

My dad volunteered with the San Diego County sheriff's reserve which helped do traffic and crowd control for the fair, so he'd take me along several days or nights and I'd get free admission and some pocket money to spend.

The hardest choice back then was did I want to go spend it on rides, play some games on the midway, or even spend it on foods I wouldn't eat the rest of the year, or maybe some sort of cool souvenir.   

Then I'd spend hours walking through the exhibition halls, seeing the animals, and all the different categories of competitions they had back then.  The grounds were huge, so it was hard to take it all in or really see it.  Even the paper maps they providedreally didn't help that much.

But they always had a giant ferris wheel on the midway. Made of steel and equipped with gondolas, it was fun to look up, especially after dark while in line to ride. 

When your turn came, you loaded up and rode up and down, but my favorite part of the ride was during the reloading when you'd be stopped at the very top.

Off to one side, was the Santa Fe railroad with Amtrak trains and the beaches beyond that on the Pacific.  On the other side, it was the one chance to see just how big the fairgrounds really were.

Life has those times where you are waiting for something to change, the climb can seem impossible from where you are.  If you wait sometimes, the chance to climb on board and get a view of the big picture from the can be just a few reloads away.

 

 


Union Cotton Mills Mural

June 10, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

PMC_Union_CottonPMC_Union_Cotton

This is the way to welcome someone to your town isn't it?

My wife Patrice Christian (be sure to check out her FLICKR) took this picture as we were driving on our way out of town after our photo-walk in downtown Union, South Carolina this weekend.

At one time this mural must have been really stunning to see, but the closer you look now the more you realize it could use some TLC to get back to it's original glory.

Shout out to Patrice:

Speaking of Patrice Christian, we met through photography back in the days of Google+ where we were both part of the large photo community on there.  She's a great photographer and has her own style of images which are really great.  It's wonderful to have a partner in life who shares a passion with you!  She's also my "editor" on the blog and helps me be clear in what I'm trying to say here and communicate more clearly!  I told her yesterday that she really is my "VP Editorial and IT" for all the great advice she gives me on here.

That advice extends way beyond photography to all aspects of my life.  It's great having someone in your corner who isn't afraid to tell you what she really thinks.  She's the reason I enjoy taking outings like Saturday's to Union!  I always am amazed at how we can both be in the same place but see completely different things while we are there!  I can't wait for our next road-trip on the backroads of our life together!

Besides her FLICKR account where she shares most of her photos, she's also now on Instagram!  I hope you will take the time to check out her work and give her a follow on IG where I hope she is going to be more active soon!

Photo Credit: Patrice Christian
 


Quick take: Union SC

June 09, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Union SCUnion SC

Quick trip yesterday over to Union, SC which is about an hour east of here to check out the downtown with my wife Patrice and her mom. So here is my first "QuickTake" post, which will be initial opinions and some quick edits of pictures.

The Coca-cola "ghost sign" caught my eye in an alley off of the main street. Even though faded and hard to read, I still prefer original "ghost signs" to well intended efforts to restore them which destroys the original work.  One of my favorite South Carolina artists, Jim Harrison (the artist, not the writer) got his start painting Coca-Cola Sign like these.

I'm all for murals and street art, but there are plenty of walls you can paint on without erasing a piece of your history!  Union has a cool train mural that is in desperate need of some loving care now. 

They also have a NS (Ex-Southern) depot which appears to be used by their MOW crews still.  Wouldn't it make a great spot for a train museum a block off of mainstreet!

Nice little downtown but really dead on a Saturday afternoon. I don't think one business was open. Even the local museum which said open until 4pm, was locked at 3:45. Good reason for a trip back someday soon. Many of the businesses downtown in Union are for sale or the buildings are at least empty. The old mill still stands on the edge of town, now for sale, empty of the workers that used to shop downtown after the whistle blew on Saturday afternoon.

Union is the home of the Bantams of USC-Union and of course it is summer break, and the Walmart's parking lot is full outside of downtown. I hope the town can find a way to attract those people back to the street on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June.


What was that?

June 07, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

What was that?What was that?

 

What is that?

Today's true story from work.

Walking out on the floor this morning, I stopped to talk to one of the team members about the project he was working on like usual.

Out of the corner of our eyes, we see something that looks like a large "dust bunny" move on it's own. The fans were not on, so both of us kind of looked at each other in a "did you see that moment".

We watched and it moved again...

Walking over, I realized it was a frog covered in dust and lint that had somehow made it into the building. I scooped him up and asked him nicely, "Please don't pee in my hand!", removed the lint, opened the side door to let him go in grass.

As soon as I opened the door, he hopped off as if this was just a normal occurrence. I'd love to say, he stopped and turned around and waved, but no.. I think the little guy was just happy to be back outside and have the trash of the day off of him.

Much better start to the morning than the pebble in the door yesterday though.

Moral of the story: Sometimes we all need some help to shake the trash of life off and get on with life.

 

 


A pebble can cause all sorts of problems

June 06, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

PebblePebble

I usually get into work around 6am. This morning when I arrived, I saw a sign on the glass doors in the lobby saying "Use Side Door", I figured the lock was just being temperamental.

I put my key in and turned it.. and it STUCK in the lock. So, around to the side door, come inside and try to turn the lock from the inside...

Now the keys are in the front door, and I'm inside at least. Next find a pair of pliers and go back out to get the key out without breaking it off in the lock... success!

Looking at the door with my analytical, but not mechanical mind, I can tell that the two doors aren't lining up in the frame...

Assume that the problem is with the door or the hinges, etc.. get it to unlock so we can use it at least.

When our design engineer gets here, I ask him if he can check it out for me.

He comes back in.. and says he fixed it. THERE WAS A PEBBLE stuck in the door jam!
Reason 10000000 why I'm not an engineer :)
Always some rock to move before you can really get to work.