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Random Connections

Tom Taylor

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Random Connections
Random Connections

Random Connections

Tom Taylor

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About Us

A collection of audio journeys and exploration focusing on Upstate South Carolina and beyond. This podcast explores themes covered in the RandomConnections.com blog. Topics include South Carolina history, local attractions, and other topics of interested from the Southeast.

Latest Episodes

Quick Trip to Stumphouse Tunnel

It was hot. Extremely hot. My mind wandered to places where I might stay cool that didn’t require air conditioning. Standing under a waterfall seemed like it might be a good idea, but I couldn’t decide which would work best. Eventually, I decided a cave would do. There are no true caves in our area, but the next closest thing is Stumphouse Tunnel. I decided I’d take the cameras and head up that way. Along the way I would snag Ken in Clemson. (more…)

11 MIN2016 JUN 19
Comments
Quick Trip to Stumphouse Tunnel

The Stone Carvers

After a long delay, the second episode of the RandomConnections podcast is now online. “The Stone Carvers” is the first episode in a series I’m calling “The Tapho Files.” This episode looks at the artisans that carve headstones. (more…)

40 MIN2015 APR 10
Comments
The Stone Carvers

Days of Future Past

Here it is! Here’s the first episode of the Random Connections podcast! The first episode is based on one of the earliest posts on the blog. I had made a list of science fiction predictions that would have come to pass by 2004 in a post entitled “Yesterday’s Tomorrows.” Ten years later I updated the list in “Yesterday’s Tomorrows, Revisited.” This year, 2015, is a landmark for retro-futurists. It’s the year of Back to the Future, Part 2. Quite a bit has already been written in popular culture about the things that had been predicted that we don’t have – flying cars, hoverboards, and Jaws 13. This podcast episode is in three parts, first, I asked several scientists what they thought about these predictions. Which predictions were the biggest disappointments? What inventions would they LIKE to see? In part two I look at some predictions that have come true, including a personal observation about a 1963 short story. Finally, Dwight Moffitt and I run down an updated list from ...

36 MIN2015 FEB 17
Comments
Days of Future Past

iPad as DAW

A couple of years ago I purchased a little Akai LPK25 keyboard. I was exploring MIDI sequencing and notation input on mobile devices such like my netbook, and was looking for a quick input device. I was sorely disappointed in what was available inexpensively, and I never seemed to be able to get the keyboard to work with either my netbook or my laptop. The keyboard sat on the edge of my desk for months, unused. When I got the iPad one of the first apps I found was Garage Band. It was cool, but the virtual keyboard on the device just didn’t seem natural for playing. I missed raised black notes. I had purchased the camera connection kit for the iPad, and found out from several online forums that the USB connector in the camera kit would work connect the LPK to the IPad. This started my first serious delvings into using the iPad as a digital audio workstation, or DAW. I’ve now had a chance to work with several DAW apps. Here’s a quick rundown with my impressions. (more…)

52 s2012 JAN 10
Comments
iPad as DAW

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder

There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here! When criminals in this world appear And break the laws that they should fear And frighten all who see or hear The cry goes up both far and near For Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Speed of lightning, roar of thunder Fighting all who rob or plunder Underdog. Underdog! When in this world the headlines read Of those whose hearts are filled with greed Who rob and steal from those who need To right this wrong with blinding speed Goes Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Speed of lightning, roar of thunder Fighting all who rob or plunder Underdog. Underdog! ‘Way back in the 1960s Underdog (along with Space Ghost, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four) was part of may pantheon of Saturday morning superheroes. I loved the opening theme song, and Underdog’s rhyming discourse and over-the-top battles with Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff. I never did care much for Polly Purebred, though. Of course, the best part of the show was the theme so...

-1 s2011 OCT 19
Comments
Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder

Jockey Lot Adventures

Beautiful cool morning, and Paul W, Brian G, and I decided to squander it with a trip to the Anderson Jockey Lot. Paul and I have made frequent forays into the world of flea markets. While growing up, he and his father would scour the yard sales, then resell their goods at various flea markets. So, Paul brings lots of experience to this endeavor. Brian is fairly new to the game. I’m along as an archivist, equipped with cameras and various sound recording devices to capture a distilled version of Southern culture. Turned out to be a successful trip on all levels. When we arrived parking was tricky. It looked like there were going to be lots of people there. While there were lots of customers, the outside tables seemed fairly sparse. There were not as many vendors as usual. One of the first things Paul noticed was that there didn’t seem to be many prices listed on items. I guess you would have to interact with the vendor and haggle a bit. (more…)

-1 s2011 SEP 19
Comments
Jockey Lot Adventures

Brood 19

Our outings lately have sounded like something from a season of the X-File. A couple of weeks ago we went in search of Blue Ghosts, and last night we went in search of Brood XIX of the thirteen-year cicadas. I had heard these insects last Saturday on my kayaking trip on Lake Greenwood. The noise was amazing and was constant. It sounded more like the phasers from the original Star Trek series. Hearing me talk about them, and hearing and reading about them on the news, both Laura and her mother wanted to find these things. So, late yesterday afternoon before it got dark we went in search of them. (more…)

16 s2011 MAY 13
Comments
Brood 19

A Paddle and a Pow Wow on the Savannah River

It was the second Saturday of the month, and time for another Lowcountry Unfiltered outing. For this excursion we were headed to the heart of some Civil War history along the Savannah River. The plan was to paddle a 5 mile stretch from Beck’s Ford Landing to Millstone Landing. It turned out to be a momentous trip for a variety of reasons. I drove down right after work Friday evening and crashed at Matt’s place in Bluffton. The next morning we loaded up the boats at met the rest of the LCU guys at their usual meeting place, Grace Coastal Church. It was a small group – five of us met at the church, and James Martin came down from Columbia to meet us at the landing. As we drove through the town of Hardeeville, small signs with the word “Pow Wow” and arrows pointing in the general direction we were going. When we got to the turn off for the take-out at Millstone Landing, we saw the following sign… Apparently there was a big Pow Wow at the landing. We were starting to wonder if thi...

-1 s2011 MAR 14
Comments
A Paddle and a Pow Wow on the Savannah River

Multitrack Madness

Back in 1985 my brother Houston introduced me to Todd Rundgren’s innovative album, A Cappella [sic]. Rundgren used digital sampling to create an album made up only of the human voice. He added distortion and manipulated the sounds to emulate drums and other instruments. Back then this was really impressive, and I was amazed that one human voice could create such music. Of course, now this is common place. Beat-boxing came in with rap music about the time Rundgren’s album came out. TV shows like Glee have renewed interest in a capella singing, specifically with Do Wop and other popular music that wasn’t originally arranged for voices only. Combine that with technology that can turn just about any computer into a multi-track recording studio, and you have many people turning out their own a capella renditions. (more…)

-1 s2010 FEB 8
Comments
Multitrack Madness

Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009

Normally our clan gathers at Christmas, but this year many were going to be gone. So, we decided to get the gang together for Thanksgiving. And what a crowd it was – 2 parents, 7 children, 9 in-laws, 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, and 1 boyfriend, plus several dogs. 38 in the family, and 41 present for the day. Beth’s husband, Eddie, has been battling cancer this year, so we all wore Team Eddie T-shirts to show that we are behind him and support him. It was quite a surprise for them. Even the dogs had on Team Eddie bandannas. Of course, there were cameras everywhere, and we had to pose for the obligatory group shots. This was the first for little Olivia, and was actually the first time Chip and Anna have ventured out with her. We’ll hope she wasn’t unduly traumatized. (more…)

-1 s2009 NOV 28
Comments
Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009
the END

Latest Episodes

Quick Trip to Stumphouse Tunnel

It was hot. Extremely hot. My mind wandered to places where I might stay cool that didn’t require air conditioning. Standing under a waterfall seemed like it might be a good idea, but I couldn’t decide which would work best. Eventually, I decided a cave would do. There are no true caves in our area, but the next closest thing is Stumphouse Tunnel. I decided I’d take the cameras and head up that way. Along the way I would snag Ken in Clemson. (more…)

11 MIN2016 JUN 19
Comments
Quick Trip to Stumphouse Tunnel

The Stone Carvers

After a long delay, the second episode of the RandomConnections podcast is now online. “The Stone Carvers” is the first episode in a series I’m calling “The Tapho Files.” This episode looks at the artisans that carve headstones. (more…)

40 MIN2015 APR 10
Comments
The Stone Carvers

Days of Future Past

Here it is! Here’s the first episode of the Random Connections podcast! The first episode is based on one of the earliest posts on the blog. I had made a list of science fiction predictions that would have come to pass by 2004 in a post entitled “Yesterday’s Tomorrows.” Ten years later I updated the list in “Yesterday’s Tomorrows, Revisited.” This year, 2015, is a landmark for retro-futurists. It’s the year of Back to the Future, Part 2. Quite a bit has already been written in popular culture about the things that had been predicted that we don’t have – flying cars, hoverboards, and Jaws 13. This podcast episode is in three parts, first, I asked several scientists what they thought about these predictions. Which predictions were the biggest disappointments? What inventions would they LIKE to see? In part two I look at some predictions that have come true, including a personal observation about a 1963 short story. Finally, Dwight Moffitt and I run down an updated list from ...

36 MIN2015 FEB 17
Comments
Days of Future Past

iPad as DAW

A couple of years ago I purchased a little Akai LPK25 keyboard. I was exploring MIDI sequencing and notation input on mobile devices such like my netbook, and was looking for a quick input device. I was sorely disappointed in what was available inexpensively, and I never seemed to be able to get the keyboard to work with either my netbook or my laptop. The keyboard sat on the edge of my desk for months, unused. When I got the iPad one of the first apps I found was Garage Band. It was cool, but the virtual keyboard on the device just didn’t seem natural for playing. I missed raised black notes. I had purchased the camera connection kit for the iPad, and found out from several online forums that the USB connector in the camera kit would work connect the LPK to the IPad. This started my first serious delvings into using the iPad as a digital audio workstation, or DAW. I’ve now had a chance to work with several DAW apps. Here’s a quick rundown with my impressions. (more…)

52 s2012 JAN 10
Comments
iPad as DAW

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder

There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here! When criminals in this world appear And break the laws that they should fear And frighten all who see or hear The cry goes up both far and near For Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Speed of lightning, roar of thunder Fighting all who rob or plunder Underdog. Underdog! When in this world the headlines read Of those whose hearts are filled with greed Who rob and steal from those who need To right this wrong with blinding speed Goes Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Speed of lightning, roar of thunder Fighting all who rob or plunder Underdog. Underdog! ‘Way back in the 1960s Underdog (along with Space Ghost, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four) was part of may pantheon of Saturday morning superheroes. I loved the opening theme song, and Underdog’s rhyming discourse and over-the-top battles with Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff. I never did care much for Polly Purebred, though. Of course, the best part of the show was the theme so...

-1 s2011 OCT 19
Comments
Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder

Jockey Lot Adventures

Beautiful cool morning, and Paul W, Brian G, and I decided to squander it with a trip to the Anderson Jockey Lot. Paul and I have made frequent forays into the world of flea markets. While growing up, he and his father would scour the yard sales, then resell their goods at various flea markets. So, Paul brings lots of experience to this endeavor. Brian is fairly new to the game. I’m along as an archivist, equipped with cameras and various sound recording devices to capture a distilled version of Southern culture. Turned out to be a successful trip on all levels. When we arrived parking was tricky. It looked like there were going to be lots of people there. While there were lots of customers, the outside tables seemed fairly sparse. There were not as many vendors as usual. One of the first things Paul noticed was that there didn’t seem to be many prices listed on items. I guess you would have to interact with the vendor and haggle a bit. (more…)

-1 s2011 SEP 19
Comments
Jockey Lot Adventures

Brood 19

Our outings lately have sounded like something from a season of the X-File. A couple of weeks ago we went in search of Blue Ghosts, and last night we went in search of Brood XIX of the thirteen-year cicadas. I had heard these insects last Saturday on my kayaking trip on Lake Greenwood. The noise was amazing and was constant. It sounded more like the phasers from the original Star Trek series. Hearing me talk about them, and hearing and reading about them on the news, both Laura and her mother wanted to find these things. So, late yesterday afternoon before it got dark we went in search of them. (more…)

16 s2011 MAY 13
Comments
Brood 19

A Paddle and a Pow Wow on the Savannah River

It was the second Saturday of the month, and time for another Lowcountry Unfiltered outing. For this excursion we were headed to the heart of some Civil War history along the Savannah River. The plan was to paddle a 5 mile stretch from Beck’s Ford Landing to Millstone Landing. It turned out to be a momentous trip for a variety of reasons. I drove down right after work Friday evening and crashed at Matt’s place in Bluffton. The next morning we loaded up the boats at met the rest of the LCU guys at their usual meeting place, Grace Coastal Church. It was a small group – five of us met at the church, and James Martin came down from Columbia to meet us at the landing. As we drove through the town of Hardeeville, small signs with the word “Pow Wow” and arrows pointing in the general direction we were going. When we got to the turn off for the take-out at Millstone Landing, we saw the following sign… Apparently there was a big Pow Wow at the landing. We were starting to wonder if thi...

-1 s2011 MAR 14
Comments
A Paddle and a Pow Wow on the Savannah River

Multitrack Madness

Back in 1985 my brother Houston introduced me to Todd Rundgren’s innovative album, A Cappella [sic]. Rundgren used digital sampling to create an album made up only of the human voice. He added distortion and manipulated the sounds to emulate drums and other instruments. Back then this was really impressive, and I was amazed that one human voice could create such music. Of course, now this is common place. Beat-boxing came in with rap music about the time Rundgren’s album came out. TV shows like Glee have renewed interest in a capella singing, specifically with Do Wop and other popular music that wasn’t originally arranged for voices only. Combine that with technology that can turn just about any computer into a multi-track recording studio, and you have many people turning out their own a capella renditions. (more…)

-1 s2010 FEB 8
Comments
Multitrack Madness

Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009

Normally our clan gathers at Christmas, but this year many were going to be gone. So, we decided to get the gang together for Thanksgiving. And what a crowd it was – 2 parents, 7 children, 9 in-laws, 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, and 1 boyfriend, plus several dogs. 38 in the family, and 41 present for the day. Beth’s husband, Eddie, has been battling cancer this year, so we all wore Team Eddie T-shirts to show that we are behind him and support him. It was quite a surprise for them. Even the dogs had on Team Eddie bandannas. Of course, there were cameras everywhere, and we had to pose for the obligatory group shots. This was the first for little Olivia, and was actually the first time Chip and Anna have ventured out with her. We’ll hope she wasn’t unduly traumatized. (more…)

-1 s2009 NOV 28
Comments
Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009
the END