Koozie Donations Needed!

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Support the arts in Jonesville, South Carolina. Pineapple Hill needs your new or used beer koozies (coozies) from island and beach bars, restaurants, or resorts all over the world.

Be part of this quirky “Christo-style” happening.

Will be glad to mention you (or your brand) as a Koozie Donor on our little website and on Twitter.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of The Great Koozie Round Up Of The Century.

For the mailing info, contact me here or via Twitter.

Donating a koozie could quite possibly bring happiness way into your golden, drooling oatmeal years.

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— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

 

 

 

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Wineries Near Jonesville

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There’s more than a hundred wineries within day trip distance of our little town, Jonesville, South Carolina.

At the dawn of the 20th century, our neighboring state, North Carolina, was the leading wine-producing region in the nation. It claims to be “home to America’s first grape” and “the only place in the world where every major type of grape is grown”. Mild winters enable a suitable climate for many popular types varieties including European styles, French-American hybrids, muscadines, labrusca-type and others.

Green Creek, Rock House and Burnt Shirt are all north of Jonesville just across the state line.

South of us, Enoree River Winery, in Newberry, South Carolina, gives hope to amateurs like myself working with native and hybrid grape varieties such as Catawba, Black Spanish and Muscadine. And of course many here also make wine using locally grown fruits such as we have at Pineapple Hill: blackberry, blueberry, peach and apple.

Here’s a list of others. It’s best to call in advance –especially if you want to order lunch—many offer that—or bring a small dog. Jack, the Pineapple Hill pound pup, has been allowed in several places when we happened to arrive during lulls in the tourist season.

Combine a winery visit with other attractions to mix things up. Not far from the aforementioned Green Creek, Rock House and Burnt Shirt wineries are the Tryon International Equestrian Center, Carl Sandburg’s neat old place with prized goat herd, the Biltmore House in Asheville and several zip lines.

Drive safely, of course. If you’ve read Blue Rubber Pool, I’m into artisan coffees involving candy bars.

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— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Jonesville Field Guide Entry #507

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Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, is associated with at least three different Union County houses still standing: the Wallace, JRR Giles and Cross Keys homes.

According to many accounts, including the one below from the May 27, 1865 edition

Rumor has it Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, had much in common with this image from the 1970s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

of Harper’s Weekly, was dressed as a woman when he was captured.

The firing in this skirmish was the first warning that Davis received. The captors report that he hastily put on one of his wife’s dresses and started for the woods, closely followed by our men, who at first thought him a woman, but seeing his boots while he was running, they suspected his sex at once. The race was a short one, and the rebel President was soon brought to bay. He brandished a bowie-knife and showed signs of battle, but yielded promptly to the persuasions of Colt’s revolvers, without compelling the men to fire. He expressed great indignation at the energy with which he was pursued, saying that he had believed our Government were too magnanimous to hunt down women and children. Mrs. Davis remarked to Colonel Harden, after the excitement was over, that the men had better not provoke the President, or “he might hurt some of ’em.” Reagon behaves himself with dignity and resignation. The party, evidently, were making for the coast. —   J. H. Wilson, Brevet Major-General.

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–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

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Did you feel that rumble ‘neath your feet?

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My novel Blue Rubber Pool goes live today, meaning it’s been published and available for sale. Did you hear the stampede?

I don’t know what to expect. Although it’s contracted with a traditional

Front and back covers for Blue Rubber Pool began with me cutting out photos and arranging them on my desk. The publishers artist took it from there. Nice job Jack!

press—not self-published, not print on demand (wherein copies are printed as they’re ordered, one at a time)—there’s a lot of new books out there, a lot of new authors hoping to be discovered.

I was always told not to quit my day job so I didn’t. I wrote an hour or two a day, usually in the early morning, until moving to Jonesville and having more freedom to do as I want.

Although I have a background in marketing, it wasn’t book marketing. I’ve needed oxygen to climb the learning curve: submissions to publishers, line edits, galley edits, cover design, teaser copy, etc. Who says you can’t teach a beat up old dog new tricks?

Anyway, it’s out there now. For better or worse. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill.

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Are you up with SV Delos?

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My bud Palmer has been following SV Delos on You Tube for quite a while now but for some inexcusable reason didn’t hook me up until yesterday. Why Palmer? Why?!!!

Follow this couple and their friends as they cruise under sail, scuba dive, snorkel, drink beer brands from beyond the known universe and generally make you want to quit your day job or, if like me you’ve already done that, quit your attempted relocation to boonies of Jonesville, South Carolina.

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Antifa, The Wall and Grudges

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I voted today. In Jonesville, it took just a few minutes to  park, give my name and ID and then cast my vote for Governor of South Carolina. Nobody was mad at anybody. No Trump voters screaming about The Wall. No Antifa mob trying to torch my old Jeep.  For this I was glad. I drove back to Pineapple Hill with the top down, sun and wind making my day, glad to be a citizen.

In my book Blue Rubber Pool, I’ve tried to present both sides of several arguments: Capitalism vs. Socialism, good vs. bad, Uncle Sam vs. The World, religion vs. hypocrisy, Led Zeppelin vs. country. In some places, some people’ will hiss. In other places, other people will boo. For this, too, I feel glad to be a citizen.

One of the things we’ve almost always gotten right here in the USA is our ability to agree to disagree. If you’ve ever sailed way out with a few others aboard, you know how important this is. Because on a small boat in a big sea, team work is essential. There’s no room for grudges, disrespect and animosity.

In the scheme of our big bad universe, Planet Earth is but a spec. And upon it, We The People are barely a tick on the hind of a hound.

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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Jonesville History: 250-year-old fish story

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Fish Dam Ford was named for the fish dam which was built by Indians and can still be seen just upstream from the bridge on S.C. Highway 72 between Carlisle and Chester. The dam is described as a fine example of the Indians’ engineering skill, having withstood high floods for well over 250 years.

The Battle of Fish Dam Ford was fought during the Revolutionary War between Gen. Thomas Sumter and Major Wemyss on Nov. 9, 1780, and was a victory for the Americans. A marker on the east side of the stream designates the battle site.

— Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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PART FOUR: Brands We Love To Hate

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This section wraps up my recent series on quirky brands (of many types) encountered in my search for a new wristwatch.

 

My purchase finally arrived …having traversed thousands of miles, six weeks of time and the barrier of cultural differences and language differences to land safely at the Pineapple Hill driveway. From there it  crawled on its hands and knees to our door seeking asylum under the duress of bad things happening back in the Mother Land.

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I ended up going with a Russian dive watch originally designed before the Cold War –the Vostok “Amphibian”. Developed for military (and other governmental) purposes, it was created to be durable …and cheap as dirt.

 

The Vostok (also “Boctok”) supposedly offers water resistance down to 660 feet. I’ll never go that deep to verify the claim …but if I lose it in the lake or ocean perhaps someone will find it still cranks up. I might drop an FBomb or two but, given what little I paid, I consider it “disposable” (Another plus.)  In fact, as I trek further into “Going Native”, I see much greater value in things easily let go of.

Disassembled-watch-004
This photo of a disassembled Vostok watch appears in Canadian photographer Todd McLellan’s book “Things That Come Apart”.

 

Of course the Vostok brand’s background story (Russian military) is interesting, and I like its  oddball following. Vostok owners definitely don’t mind stepping outside the box in their thinking. But what makes Vostoks especially fun is the broad choice of design styles available.  In addition to different face colors (white, blue and black) and different bracelet styles (metal, leather, rubber or fabric), Vostok stands out for its choice of icons related to military

Scuba Dude makes a "night dive"
Scuba Dude makes a “night dive”

and other themes. For example, you can get one with a submarine, ship or tank logo. You can get one with a radio signal icon (presumably worn by guys nicknamed “Sparky”). And, of course there’s the famous Vostok “scuba dude”.

 

For a more upscale (less cheesey) look, check out their European line (I like the Gaz-Limo Dual Time version)

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In addition to passing the test of my Six-Point Gauntlet for purchase decisions, The Bill Murray Factor came into play…

 

Earlier in the day I had posted a blog about him living “just down the road” from Pineapple Hill (in Charleston). He shows up unexpectedly at parties, weddings, marathons, etc. I think he’s a genius. Or, at the very least, a one man walking riot.  (A guy I used to sail with could nail everyone of Murray’s lines from

Bill Murray wearing his Vostok wristwatch in A Life Aquatic.
Bill Murray wearing his Vostok wristwatch in A Life Aquatic.

CaddyShack.) When I heard he lived so close, I invited him up to The Hill for New Year’s Eve. (He must not have gotten my invitation in time …why else would he not show up?)

 

Anyway, a few hours later, by sheer coincidence, I read that Murray wore a Vostok in the movie A Life Aquatic (playing a character similar to Jacques Cousteau). The tie in with Murray and that particular Murray movie elevated Vostok into “serious contender” status.

 

Then, that afternoon, when Crystal was home, who shows up on Ellen but none other than Bill Murray!!!

That was the last little push I needed.

I went straight to Ebay (no stopping at The Chive this time).  and straight to the “complete purchase” button, and mashed it flat with the same apocalyptic finality as Putin would.

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Unfortunately “buyer’s high” goes into a harsh tail spin at “compete purchase” starting at the . In the same nano-second that the button is rising back up from deployment, the purchase process jolts into a steep nose dive. Why? Well because after all that hard work what happens next is totally out of your hands.

It arrived from Russia ...looking genuinely Russian.
It arrived from Russia …looking genuinely Russian.

takes a sudden plunge at that point because delivery time from Russia takes so long. It becomes painful feeling the minutes tick tick tick without being able to see them on your new Vostok. You become haunted wondering if all that work choosing it was worth running The Gauntlet.

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It arrived on a Saturday while

My purchase from Vostok was carefully packaged. (Did I mention I bought TWO?)
My purchase from Vostok was carefully packaged. (Did I mention I bought TWO?)

I was away …leaving all day Sunday to wait until Monday.

 

The lady that runs our little post office out here was clearly curious when she handed it over. Probably it had been x-rayed (perhaps even opened) on its way. But the look in her eye implied I was now on some sort of list. Probably not many packages from the Land of Putin show up in Jonesville –especially as the Ukraine crisis was breaking wide open.

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It should be understood that Vostok watches require patience and an open mind.

 

For instance, when “auto” is used to describe the Vostok “automatic” mechanism, be sure to translate that as:

The plastic box --with operating instructions (in Russian, of course)
The plastic box –with operating instructions (in Russian, of course)

“You auto plan on rearranging your life to rewind and reset the time and date a lot.”

 

Still, so far so good.

 

I’ve had a fun adventure purchasing it…

…and expect the time ahead to be an adventure too.

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And yes, seeing the Vostok described

Vostok's European line has a more upscale look.
Vostok’s European line has a more upscale look.

as the AK47 of wristwatches is what led me down that wacky path toward the AK47 of Everything.

 

I’ll go back and add Vostok to that list (link provided below).

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What about you?

 

Made any quirky purchases lately?

 

What are your “love to hate” brand experiences?

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— Tim Bryant, Surf Director

DETAILS, SPECS and LINKS

Vostok Russian Military AMPHIBIAN  wrist watch 

VOSTOK is a famous russian trade mark. (In Russian  “Vostok” means East )

Vostok Watch Makers, Inc. produces mainly rugged military-style and diver’s watches at its factory in Tatarstan, Chistopol city, Russia. 

The history of the factory is that it started in 1942 during WWII. The  First Moscow Watch Factory ( most known as Polojt factory )  was evacuated  to the East to small town of Chistopol on the Kama river. During  WWWII the factory produced wrist watches and military equipment. After the war part of First Moscow Watch Factory was relocated back to Moscow and  the factory continued   to produce the wrist watches with its own trade mark Vostok.

Vostok now is a leader of the Russian watch industry. Vostok factory had been an official supplier for the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (now Russia ), and produced watches for the Soviet ( Russian) Army. Vostok is the official supplier of Russian Army now as well.

Features:

–  Automatic Vostok self-winding movement 2416B  with 31 ruby jewels  (no hands  winding required, but You can wind up it with winding stem if You have not worn  the watch in some time) 
Water resistant up to 200 meters  660 feet
– Central second hand
– Anti-shock balance
– Screw-down crown, as well as case back
– Case diameter (without  the crown): 40 mm
– Case thickness: 12 mm
– Stainless steel bracelet
– Width of bracelet  18 mm
– Date-of-the month calendar
– Graduated rotated bezel
– Totally wound watches run not less than 31 hrs.
– Stainless steel  case
– Luminous hands and markings
– Average term of service 10 years
– 1 year manufacture`s  warranty

The AK47 of Everything

Brands We Love to Hate (Part One)

Brands We Love To Hate (Part Two)

Brands We Love To Hate (Part Three)

My Six Point Gauntlet for Purchase Decisions

Guitar made from an AK47

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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