Showing posts with label SC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SC. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ladybug and Babies - Backyard Macro Photography

Location: Greenville, SC, USA

Ladybug and Babies | Backyard Macro Photography | Greenville | SC
Nikon D90 | f/16 | 1/60 sec | ISO 500 | 50 mm Nikkor Lens | Opteka HD II Macro Lens Attachment

Dandelion - Backyard Macro Photography

Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Dandelion Backyard Macro Photography Opteka HD II Nikon D90

Dandelion | Backyard Macro Photography | Greenville | SC
Nikon D90 | f/9 | 1/60 sec | ISO 500 | 50 mm Nikkor Lens | Opteka HD II Macro Lens Attachment

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cautious Steps Across Liberty

Location: Reedy River Falls Park, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Cautious Steps Across Liberty Photography Rittman Top 10 Best Photoblogs Photography

Cautious Steps Across Liberty | Reedy River Falls Liberty Bridge | Falls Park | Greenville | SC
f/8 | 1/250sec | ISO 200 | Nikkor 18mm-70mm lens @ 18mm | Nikon d90 Camera

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cross and Clouds

Location: Springwood Cemetery, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Cross and Clouds Springwood Cemetery Greenville SC Black and White HDR Photography Rittman Top 10 Best Photoblogs Photography

Cross and Clouds | Springwood Cemetery | Greenville, SC | HDR Black and White Photography
f/4.5 |  1/640 sec | ISO 200 | 18-70mm Nikkor Lens (24mm) | Nikon d90

Friday, May 21, 2010

Curving Obelisk

Location: Springwood Cemetery, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Curving Obelisque Springwood Cemetery Greenville, SC, Black and White HDR Photography Rittman Top 10 Best Photoblogs

Curving Obelisque | Springwood Cemetery | Greenville, SC | HDR Black and White Photography
f/4.5 |  1/640 sec | ISO 200 | 18-70mm Nikkor Lens (18mm) | Nikon d90

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

At Attention: Parris Island Marine Boot Camp Graduation

Location: Parris Island, USA
At Attention Parris Island Marine Boot Camp Graduation
At Attention: Parris Island Marine Boot Camp Graduation | USMC Recruit Depot | Parris Island | SC
f/4.5 | 1/250 sec | ISO 200 | 70 mm Nikon Lens (18-70mm f/3.5-4.5)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marine Boot Camp Graduation At Parris Island

Marine Boot Camp Graduation At Parris Island
Marine Boot Camp Graduation | USMC Recruit Depot | Parris Island | SC
f/4.5 | 1/250 sec | ISO 200 | 70 mm Nikon Lens (18-70mm f/3.5-4.5)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Construction Chronicles - Fleming Builders of Greenville, SC is Rockin' My Hizouse

Fleming Builders Construction is the best construction company in Greenville, SCLook to the sky and give thanks. I've found one. Fleming Builders of Greenville, SC (and the rest of the Upstate) is the answer to my prayers. Thus far, I've had the absolute best experience with this construction company, a company that wasn't afraid to come in and take over when another Greenville construction company failed horribly in trust, communication and professionalism.

The wife and I interviewed three additional contractors to come in and pick up the pieces. When I asked the first about subcontractors, he automatically assumed that I was speaking about race/culture/whatever and promptly stated that he doesn't hire many Mexicans. STRIKE.

I informed the second one that I would be blogging about my home Fleming Builders is the best home improvement, new home, and home construction company that I interviewedimprovement experience and that I had done so already. He was also very hesitant to come in when the dealings with the other construction company were still open. All I can assume is that he found my blog and read about my first experience, which might have frightened him a little. However, he called back two months later when the construction market was taking a major hit. UH, STRIKE.

Jimmy Fleming, president of Fleming Builders, followed up on the original meeting frequently. He wasn't badgering me, just a professional making sure we had all of our questions answered. He was upfront, honest, and seemingly trustworthy. I say seemingly trustworthy only because I was coming off an experience that left me lacking the trust of any contractor. He was gracious and fleming builders construction home improvement remodel greenville sc upstate south carolina best construction companyunderstanding of our situation every single time we spoke.

Fleming Builders wasn't the cheapest quote we received, which Jimmy actually said would be the case during our first meeting. However, I'm long enough in the tooth to understand that value is far more important than price. Value during such a major project is an amalgam of trust, honesty, cost, time, and quality. We finally told him that we wanted Fleming Builders to build our expansion.

Both Jimmy and I thought the process would be faster. However, our old construction company decided to play a few games and delay the dreams of our family. Long story short, our family had to put Jimmy on hold for about two months or more while we wiped our hands of dirt. As soon as the new loan was approved, Fleming Construction began work. Seriously, the permits were ready the day we signed the loan. Within days the grading started. Within a week the foundation was poured. Within two weeks the entire bottom floor was framed. The only thing holding us up right now is a forecast of four days worth of rain.

Bottom line, Fleming Builders is kind, honest, gracious, and professional. They understand proper communication and thus far have provided quality craftsmanship.

...to be continued.

One last thing. For those who have be bugging me to post the final chapter of the RC Jones / JD Hale Construction Chronicles, it's written. Feel free to zip me an email if you would like an advanced copy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow in Greenville, SC

Snow in Greenville, SC
Snow in Greenville, SC | March 2009 | f3.5 @ 4 seconds

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Susan Tedeschi in Downtown Greenville, SC

Susan Tedeschi Preforms in Greenville South Carolina
Susan Tedeschi | Downtown Greenville, SC | July 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.
Original posted on August 15, 2008. Accidentally reposted on August 23, 2008.

Hoffa Not Dead

Former project manager and R.C. Jones Company salesman Jimmy Hoffa has reappeared from the shadows of courteous communication with questions of how things are going.

Nice.

So glad you care enough to call. P.S. You forgot the reach-around.

It seems that Hoffa's associates tend to google the R.C. Jones Company name on occasion. Hence this response when I answered the phone, "Hey [me], it's John...AKA Jimmy Hoffa."

I wanted to snicker. I couldn't. It's just not funny any longer. More on Hoffa later.

Comprehending Incentive
A payment plan discrepancy, otherwise known as a draw, is the latest in the Cirque du Jonesleil festival of incompetence. A standard construction loan works thusly: A loan is obtained, a construction contract is signed, and a portion of loan--about 10 % of the loan value--is given to the contractor so that he can start purchasing materials, etc. The contractor begins working. The bank then allows the loanee to pay for services rendered. The one exception is that first 10 %. In return, the contractor must provide more than 10 % of the work in order to collect the next draw. An example might be that the contractor finishes 20 % of the work. The contractor then fills out the appropriate bank draw form and submits to the bank. The bank sends an appraiser to the construction site. If the appraiser agrees that 20% of the work is complete, the contractor would then get paid another 10% draw. What this does is protects the bank's investment and the people who are investing in their home. Easy enough. Good. We move on.

The boys at R.C. Jones construction don't have the same policy. They want 25% down, 25% very soon after the project starts and so on. The outstanding point is that they get all of the cash before the work is complete. The argument, if you will, is that the construction company isn't a bank and that they shouldn't have to put forth cash in advance. However, this leaves the loanee without recourse--aside from a lawsuit--if the contractor decides not to finish the work.

HUH?
Hoffa had no problem with the bank's concept of incentive draw. We amended the contract and signed. After Hoffa disappeared and Jamie Decker took over as the project manager, RC Jones balked at this idea.

"Imagine that RC Jones takes all of the door knobs off of the doors before they are installed." This is how I began my explanation to Jamie about the draw incentive. I continued: "RC Jones does this because they want the doors to be painted before the door knobs are installed, painting (and then installing the door knobs) being the last part of the project. If RC Jones has all of the money before the door knobs are installed, what is the incentive to return to install said knobs? Someone certainly isn't going to go to court for door knobs."

Now, to me this seems like a relatively simple verbal illustration of the incentive draw. Jamie's response: "Umm, we don't do that with our doors."

Huh?

 The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company.  JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.  My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.
Progress....kinda (Keep in mind while reading this section that the contract was signed on April 9, 2008.)
Maybe progress is a bit too honest of a word to describe what has happened in the last two weeks. The stress on my family has certainly increased. My blood pressure has increased. The non-effective progress of RC Jones has increased. However, we do have movement. You'll notice in the photos that we now have a whale of a trash can sitting in our driveway. You'll also see an RC Jones....wait....strike that.....a J.D. Hale, Co. company sign in our yard. Why Mr. Hale decided to put the sign of an RC Jones wholly-owned subsidiary in my yard instead of a RC Jones sign is still a mystery to me. I have some speculation but nothing more.

Also, my brother and sister-in-law have graciously offered to allow us to move in with them. I love my family.

The project manager did send his guys to get rid of some of the trash in my yard. He also instructed his men to toss approx. 15-20 2x6x16 pieces of pressure treated lumber that were neatly stacked beside my lawnmower. I purposely removed these from my deck before any construction started. I guess I should have simply tossed my lumber into a littered pile. To his credit, two days later the pieces of lumber were stacked neatly back where I had them. The hardened concrete remains on my lawn.

Okay, that pretty much wraps up the progress report.

The Worst Kind of News
I'll say it in every post; it's my fault for not allowing a complete comprehension of the contract to seep into my brain. I guess I got a little too excited. I do however, share the same amount of blame--if not more so--on the afore mentioned Hoffa. He knew exactly what we wanted. He repeated it to me on the phone yesterday. I completely believe that he didn't even read the contract. If he would have, he would have caught the errors.

I explained to Hoffa how the contract actually reads. He explained how exasperated he was with RC Jones and how this is all turning out. We spoke for a good long time, most of which was him trying to explain to me why he is no longer in the employ of RC Jones. Cue violin concerto.

The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.
I wonder if he thinks that I believe him? Actually I do, slightly. Maybe it's that I can't get over the fact that he seems to be such a nice guy. Regardless, my faith in anyone within the realm of RC Jones is lackluster--to put it mildly.

So on with the meat of the bad news. Here is what Hoffa understood and promised us that we would get, which so happens to be exactly what we wanted. Keep in mind I'm only covering the stuff that we expected but are not actually getting.

We wanted a finished basement. The contract reads that we will have half of the downstairs area covered with a concrete slab, the other half dirt. If you're planning on spending as much money as we are, what the f*ck would anyone want a frickin' dirt floor room?



We wanted new HVAC, or at least an extension of our HVAC system to cover the new addition. Nada.
We wanted a 22' x 12' deck that would double as a car port. Nada.
We wanted our basement finished, with a concrete slap, drywall and electric. Nada.
We were promised that we could stay in our house with our two daughters, one of which is a baby. Uh, nada.

But wait, it gets worse. The bank informed us that we can decrease our loan amount but not increase it. If we need more, we'll have to apply for another loan and then pay all the closing costs and additional fees yet again. This means that we're going to have to come up with somewhere between $10,000 - $15,000 out-of-pocket to pay for what Hoffa said we were getting. Ah, trust. How wonderful.

The Wrap
Hoffa lives, and called because someone pointed out that he is mentioned in my blog. RC Jones became angry because they wanted to be paid for work not yet complete. The project manager can't grasp the idea of concept. Progress on the project is nothing more than frivolous phone conversations. My lumber was tossed and then untossed. We have a place to say if necessary. We now have to come up with an additional $15,000 to actually get what we were promised. RC Jones wants us to sign another contract with them to do those things that we were promised. The wall to nowhere now has a trashy, whale-sized blue friend.

C'mon now, make me smile. I need it. Pontificate on what you believe will happen next. The winner gets his or her choice of one of the 700 bricks stacked on the side of my house.

(Editor's Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.


The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I - The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II - The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III - The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV - The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V - The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI -
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII - The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

Monday, July 28, 2008

RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience?

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.The memory is so clear. My wife was very uncomfortable while we strolled the isles of the annual home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration trade show. The RC Jones Company booth caught her attention long enough to distract the now ever-present YOU-DID-THIS-TO-ME vibe that all dads-to-be must endure.

John, the salesman, said the right things. An appointment was made. The caveat was apparent; we may have to cancel due to circumstances beyond our control. That caveat turned out to be a beautiful gift from God. We rescheduled.

I tried to not to like him. That ingrown man thing just kept pounding me to believe that John was nothing more than a plate of chicken wings and a cold beer to imbibe when I pleased. Cut emotions. Do not trust. Think. Question. Protect. Do not trust. C'mon, ya gotta give me a break on this one. All guys do it. It's a protection issue. This is a HUGE amount of money for us. If handled improperly it could severely cripple our family for years to come. RC Jones Company Construction Woes Could Lead to a $100,000 mistake. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.Well, as it turned out, we both loved John.

He had brilliant ideas. His credentials were great. I had no doubt that he knew what he was doing. He told us that he, specifically, would be the project manager on this account and that we wouldn't have to move out of our house. With that, the deal was sealed. Although minutia fell within the details, the short of it is that we had the home and plans inspected, got the loan, signed the contract and gave a $10,000 deposit.

If you've ever watched Vh1 Behind The Music, this is the part where the lead singer gets hooked on heroin. (cue: dark, depressing music)

As soon as the deposit was signed and handed over, communication all but stopped. Phone calls went unanswered for days. Promised beginning dates lapsed. The excuse was that the company was waiting on the permits. ...and here we go.

I called city hall to check on the permits. They'd been ready for almost two weeks. I called (and emailed and texted) John, leaving my new-found information for him. Guess what? He called back. The work began the following Monday. Imagine that.

The rc jones is not providing what was promised to my family. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.My precious little girl is now nearly six-months old. My back yard is partially destroyed and littered with construction debris. My deck has been ripped off the side of my house and left to sit in my driveway. I'm paying a much higher construction loan interest rate while nothing happens. Phone calls for the past two weeks have gone unanswered. An unfinished exterior wall sits at the center of it all.

Coming Soon: Part two of my experience with RC Jones of Greenville, SC. Actually, RC Jones is based out of Mauldin, SC. Here is a tease: The thing that sealed the deal was John telling us that he would be our project manager and that we wouldn't have to move out of our house. We trusted him, me begrudgingly. The footer laid. The wall goes up. Work stops. My wife called the company owner after two weeks of phone calls not being returned. It seems that John no longer works for the company. I wonder when RC Jones Company was going to enlighten us with this tidbit of information? ...to be continued.

(Editor's Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Falls at Reedy River


Reedy River Falls - Greenville, SC - Summer 2007

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cows Escape Truck, Town Rallies City Police, Cowboys, & Mop-Toting Grandma

Cops, EMS, Firefighters, Lasso-toting Cowboys, Children and a Grandma rallied to track down a heard of cattle that escaped their captivity.

The assignment was to investigate a report of a hand grenade found by children in the a backyard. The hand grenade report turned out to be bogus, but serendipity of that moment led me to a much better – and much more fun – spot news story.

Cowgone is one of several in a series of stories that allowed me to win an Emmy for best TV News Photography.