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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Shell Factory

This time of year when even my part of the South is freezing cold, there is only one place in the world I want to be.

Florida!  Now some of you may want to argue that Florida isn't actually part of "The South".  I sadly, have to remind you that you are wrong.  Florida is too wonderful to not be part of the South.  We are calling it.   Florida sports some of the best tourist traps in all of the world.   I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite Floridian tourist traps:  The Shell Factory.

Since only God can makes shells, the name is a little deceptive.  Really the whole thing is one big weird touristy mini mall with shops and weird exhibits woven into each other.   And yes, they do sell lots and lots of shells.  There is a mini shell museum including a miniature cathedral made of shells and this stylish suite made of shells, that may lack in the comfort department.

Spread through out the complex are various shops, including one that only sells creepy Santa Clauses.....

Complete with a massive Fiberglass Santa outside......

There are photo ops galore.......

You can have your picture taken with fake Elvis......

Or if that's not your thing, you can have your picture taken with fake John Wayne.....

Or pose inside a shark jaw, with a haphazard aquarium background hung up behind it.....

Or pose with this golf cart decked out in shells.....

Then of course is the pirate room..........

Where I ran into an old friend.

All that is good, but the main of event of the Shell Factory, is clearly their taxidermy room, where you can find virtually any dead animal.....

Now, that one was just sad.....

As we were leaving the Shell Factory I saw a sign that has left me flabbergasted to this day....

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to email me at
And don't forget to check out my Flickr Photostream

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Georgia Guidestones: America's Stonehenge

Standing in the sleepy little town of Elberton, GA is easily the most mysterious structure in all of America: The Georgia Guidestones.  Nicknamed "America's Stonehenge" the Guidestones are a conspiracy theorist's dream come true.

So, what are the Georgia Guidestones?  That's a little hard to explain.

The Guidestones consist of 5 enormous granite slabs holding up a 6th slab.  Each slab has the same message on it:  A list of rules to "guide humanity".  Each side is printed in a separate language: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

These rules are:
  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
In addition to this the guidestones are articulated to be a clock, a compass and a calendar as shown in this diagram.

Now, the first question any normal person would ask is "Who made that thing?"   Surprisingly, we actually know the answer to this.  It was constructed by a local stone mason named Joe Fendley.

Not my photo
However, despite overseeing the entire construction, Fendley allegedly had no idea the meaning or purpose behind the Guidestones.   Fendley was a mason in the granite capital of the world Elberton, GA who had previously worked on smaller local monuments.  Fendley stated that he was approached by a mysterious man named R.C. Christian who gave him the blueprints and payed in full to have the monument erected.  Mr. Christian openly admitted that he was using an alias and allegedly only shared his true identity with a local banker, who to this day refuses to divulge it.

Fendley happily accepted the huge pile of money and erected the Guidestones.   The land was turned over to the county, who maintains it as a park to this day.

So, what is the meaning behind this thing?  Many assume that the Guidestones are essentially an instruction manual for the up coming apocalypse.  Others see it as something much more sinister: a satanic 10 commandments.  However, if that's true, the devil has sure gone soft.

Many have interpreted the rules as a call for a one world government, which has alarmed some Christian groups.  The talk of one language and one government are seen as some as a call for the apocalypse. 

There have been calls to demolish the monument, but the small town of Elberton is unwilling to lose the Guidestones, which are essentially the only tourist attraction they have.

In 2008, some Guidestone haters took it upon themselves and desecrated the stones with graffiti

They also splashed polyurethane paint on the stones, which is very difficult to remove, and some still remained when I visited.

As well as remnants of graffiti. 

That says "God is stronger than the NWO".   Which I am assume is referring to the Illuminati, not the professional wrestling bad guys.

Easily, the most troubling part of the Guidestones is rule number one, which states "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature".   Now, the current estimated population of the world is over 7 Billion, this makes one wonder what exactly Mr. Christian plans on doing with the remaining 6 1/2 billion people.

R.C. Christian did pop up again when a book was released under his name in 1986 called "Common Sense Renewed".  It can be purchased on Amazon for the low low price of $424.95.   The book is scary stuff and essentially talks about using Eugenics to better society and having the government step in and decided who can and can't breed.  Its pretty scary stuff, although many doubt that it was actually written by the creator of the Guidestones and that was an attempt to cash in on the Guidestone phenomenon.  

So who is R.C. Christian?  

Some feel that R.C. Christian is none other then Joe Fendley himself and that he made up the R.C. Christain Story.  The whole mysterious structure was a mere publicity stunt to spark interest in the area and the granite industry.  What makes conspiracy theorists salivate is the fact that Joe Fendley was not only a mason in trade, but also a Free Mason, as was the majority of his construction crew.  So are the Guidestones a plot constructed by world's favorite secret society?

Not so fast, there is another man who many feel is behind the Guidestones.  This man:

Crazy Southern Billionaire Ted Turner!  After all, the Guidestones are only a 100 miles away from Turner's home base of Atlanta, GA.  Turner has made statements in interviews that seem to jive with the Guidestone's message.   He has stated that the optimal population density is between 250-300 thousand people.  He is a strong proponent of a strong world government and donates large amounts of money to the United Nations.  He is very much an environmentalist and fostered the creation of the "Captain Planet" cartoon.  He has talked about an apocalypse caused by over population coming very soon.   No one can question that he would have the money to fund the Guidestones. 

We will probably never know who Mr. Christian really is, but until the end of the world, we can all travel to the Guidestones and use it as a photo op for our children.

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to e-mail me at
and check out my Flickr Photostream

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Now I have been taking pictures for the better part of a decade and I have taken a LOT of pictures.  Every once in a great while someone will ask to use my picture for something.  I had some pictures featured on Mastercard's website.

I had a picture of mine featured on the show "American Pickers"

And they were supposed to use my picture of "The Peachoid" for an episode of House of Cards Featuring Kevin Spacey, but they switched it out and used another photo instead......Booo!

Not Featured in House of Cards
However, of all my thousands of pictures I have put in my Flickr photostream there is only one photo that has been featured in two different mediums.....

This photo has been featured in the book "Amazing and Unusual USA"........

And recently featured on

This photo was taken at the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers in Gatlinburg, TN.

Its hard for me to take credit for this picture, because the Museum itself is truly amazing.  The name is not deceptive, it is the most amazing collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers you have ever seen.  I am more than happy to help spread the word on their amazing little museum.

There isn't a whole lot more that can be said about the Museum, so let's have a look.

Of course we have our obligatory Hillbilly Shaker.........

And you have to love the collection of shakers made out of Mt. St. Helen's ashes....

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to e-mail me at
and check out my Flickr Photostream