Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spider Moon

I didn't have time to walk today at work so I hit the trail as soon as I got home. A few laps from the house to the barn felt good. The sun had set below the western horizon and the moon, which is 90% full this evening was high in the sky. Before I ran out of light, I almost walked in to a spider web. I was looking up at the moon and happened to see the big guy climbing up a strand of his invisible silk web.
I snatched my iPhone out of my pocket and grabbed this picture. You can see the spider in the foreground and the moon high in the sky above the trees.
It's not something you see every day so I thought it was an interesting photo and I wanted to share it with my friends.
The Powerball Lottery is about $170,000,000. I have to admit I daydreamed a little today while being marooned on conference calls.
I have a pact with my friend Brian from Florida that says if I win the $170 mill I will give him a million if he wins he gives me a mill.
I can tell you that I would be really encouraged if I hit the bit one. There are people who say that much money would make you crazy but I think I'd like to find our for myself.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I got out and walked across the parking lot to my bank today. The sun was warm and the breeze out of the northwest was fresh and cool. The sky was blue with white fluffy clouds that looked like bundles of cotton that got swept up by the wind.
I worked through part of my lunch but a later meeting had been canceled so I decided to walk around the property for a while to enjoy the day. When I went back inside, I felt energized and ready to face the afternoon.
I finished a book today called "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." When I did research on great southern writers, I learned that Carson McCullers was considered to be one of the best. "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" was her first novel which debuted in 1940.
I had downloaded the book last year and started listening to it, but it didn't grab me at first so I let it simmer in my library until last week. When I listened again, I was hooked.
It's not an adventure nor a love story, but a story written about a collection of characters from the south who simply did not fit in.
I started listening to "Rain Gods" which is a novel written by James Lee Burke who is one of my favorite contemporary authors. After that, I have Dan Browns new work "Lost Symbol." So, I'm set for a while.

Monday, September 28, 2009


When I sat down at my desk this morning after a week of blissful vacation, my phone was ringing. When my laptop finished booting I had over 500 emails. As my old daddy used to say, there's a week rest shot up a wild hog's rear end. Not sure why he said that but when he used that phrase, whatever he was talking about was long gone.
I started to delete all 500 email this morning and simply tell all my co-workers that if anything was important to please resend it. I didn't do that so I subsequently spent the rest of the day sorting, filing, and responding to stuff.
When I left this evening, I was down below 200. I miss the days when people either called you on the phone, sent you a letter or simply came for a visit. I probably drank more coffee then with all the visiting and what not, but I know for a fact that my blood pressure was lower.
Anyhow, I plan to jump on my inbox early and try to get my todo list a little shorter than a spoiled kids Christmas list. And speak of Christmas, let me be the first to wish you a happy holiday.
Can you believe how quickly this year has flown by? I don't think the ink is dry on my New Year's resolutions. What's the deal with that?
Have a great Monday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blue Sunday Sky

I slept in until 7 a.m. this morning. That's as late as I've slept since I don't know when. Usually I'm up by 5:30 even on days that I'm off, my eyes fly open. Even if I don't get up right away, I lay there staring at the ceiling.
When I did finally get up to make the coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and saw nothing but a blue Sunday sky. That's the first time I've seen blue sky in the morning in quite some time and it was a welcome site.
The gig last night went well. We played Jammin' at the Junction in Helena and we were one of the opening acts for Bo Bice who was the headliner. I was standing off to the right of the stage about to tune my guitar when Bo came by and said "hey man, I love your shirt." It was only after he had passed that I realized it was Bo. He is as thin as a reed and about my height.
The last time we played in Helena back in July, Bo came by to see us play. I didn't recognize him then either until he had walked away. He seems to be a nice guy.
I didn't realize just how good he was until I heard him play last night. It's easy to see why he went so far on American Idol.
It's back to work tomorrow. I hate to see my email inbox.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Muddy Gig

I thought we were going to have to play in the rain to an empty audience tonight. The show was supposed to start at 4 p.m. Several acts were set to play before Bo Bice took the stage at 9. At four, the rain was still pouring down like water from a spigot.
Then all of a sudden it stopped, the clouds parted and the sun came out and highlighted the tops of the white tents.
The show actually started at 5:30. All the acts cut their shows in half and the schedule worked out.
Our friend Fred went with us to help with the sound. The system was a new state-of-the-art board that did everything except clean the mud off our boots.
All in all, I thought it went well. We are both whipped tonight so it will be bedtime soon but it has been a fun and productive week for me.
Have a great Sunday. Look for my snake story in Sunday's Lifestyle section of The Daily Mountain Eagle.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Visiting with Old Friends

Our old friends Wes and Deidra are headed up to Tuscaloosa from south Alabama. They plan to attend the Alabama-Arkansas game tomorrow. The Overalls are playing tomorrow evening so we won't be able to attend the game but we do plan to run down this evening to visit with them for a while.
Our schedules have gotten so wacky that we don't get to see our friends as much as we'd like. No matter how hard we try, it seems there is always a conflict preventing a visit.
This time I guess the stars were aligned because we will all be in the same timezone. We're excited.
The weatherman is forecasting rain for tomorrow so I'm not sure if our gig will happen or be a bust, but we plan to be there. Bo Bice is the headliner and all the proceeds from the gig will go to charity.
I hope for the sake of those charities that it is a huge success.
Y'all have a great Friday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I walked for a solid hour today. I mean, wide open. I got a boost of incentive this morning when I stepped on the scales and weighed in at 206. That is the least I have weighed in many years. I am really encouraged. I had reached a plateau when I got to 209 and stayed there for what seemed like weeks but I just kept on doing what I've been doing which is walking, not going in for seconds, drinking lots of water and doing yoga. It is really working.
Everybody told me I would feel better when I dropped a few pounds and I figured I would, but now that I've dropped almost twenty pounds, I do in fact feel better with energy to burn.
Jilda and I plan to start arranging songs for our new CD project. We're excited. We've selected the songs, reserved studio time and we're about to make it happen.
Jilda came up with a killer idea for a CD cover based on the title. I'm going to keep that private for now and spring it on folks when it's complete.
My week of vacation is almost over but it's been a very productive week so far.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two for the price of one

I've been on vacation this week and we've walked every day rain or shine. Yesterday the clouds rolled out after lunch so we decided to walk without the raincoats.
Jilda was walking in front of me and she stepped over some debris in the path. The dogs were right on her heels but I noticed that the debris didn't look quite right. When I looked more closely, she had come within inches of a chicken snake that was well over six feet long.
When I pointed it out to her, she didn't ever squeal. The fact is, it's not uncommon to see these critters around our barn. We had a huge chicken snake that lived in our barn for years before being hacked to pieces by a neighbor when the snake ventured into his yard.
Our barn has been snake free until now.
After I shot a photo of the snake, we went about our walk. We hadn't gone a hundred yards when we came upon another chicken snake on the path. This one was much smaller than the first one.
I'm including a photo of our new friend. I also wrote a column for next Sunday's paper about our slippery friends.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


My driveway has been a mess for some time. The rain has washed away the stone and gravel that we used to surface our drive.
I've been toying with having concrete or asphalt put down, but it's quite expensive and we've been putting it off. Meanwhile, every time it rains, it's a mess. Jilda has been dog-cussing me for a few months now.
A young man came by last week and told Jilda he would put down crushed stone mixed with concrete which would pack down hard and smooth when it dries properly.
He came by yesterday and I could tell he needed the job. We settled on a price and I thought he would come back when it quit raining. To my surprise, he went home and got his truck and started hauling in the surface material. He brought a cousin with him and they worked hard until it got dark. This morning they were back at it and by mid-morning, they had the driveway finished.
I was impressed with this young man. He said what he would do, then he did what he said.
If anyone lives around Walker County and needs a little driveway maintenance, let me know and I'll put you in touch with Jessie.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Autumn Is Upon Us

The Autumnal Equinox occurs this coming Tuesday at 4:18 a.m. I’m on vacation this week, so I plan to set my clock and get up just to make sure everything happens on time and without incident.
Yes, autumn is upon us, but it didn’t take the Farmer’s Almanac or a Wikipedia Internet search to tell me fall was around the corner because I could see it in the quality of the light filtering through the oak and pine trees. When ironwood leaves turn the color of home churned butter and sumac leaves turn sunset red, you know that fall cannot be far behind.
People love autumn for many reasons and I could make a list a mile long beginning with autumn leaves. It’s not only the color of the foliage, which here in Alabama can be stunning, but also the smell of burning leaves. They don’t taste that good, but “two out of three ain’t bad.”
One of my chores as a kid was raking leaves from under the gigantic cottonwood and sycamore trees in our yard in Sloss. I raked mountains of leaves and then I’d dive in like a Hawaiian cliff diver.
I wasn’t allowed to burn the leaves unless one of the older kids was around, but when I’d had as much fun as I could stand, my older brother Neil would fire those piles of leaves up. I sat on our concrete steps for hours and watched those burning leaves until there was nothing left but embers.
Even today, a hint of autumn smoke puts a smile on my face and sends me back in time to when I was 10 years old and sitting on those steps again.
I also love the sky in autumn. It seems to be a richer shade of blue and I don’t believe the moon gets any prettier than in the fall. Last year as we headed home after a visit with our nephew and his wife, who live in Oakman, we saw a light filtering through the trees. We weren’t sure what it was at first, but when we came to a clearing, we saw the full moon as bright as a spotlight just above the horizon. Jilda and I got into a competition to come up with a word that best described the moon. “It’s the color of orange sherbet,” I suggested. That was close, but Jilda won the prize when she said, “it’s a Dreamsicle Moon.” I immediately conceded because I knew I would not come up with anything that rivaled that description.
Autumn to me is the best time of year to walk. We have a yard full of older dogs and there’s nothing they love better than going for a walk. When the weather warms, they walk for a while but they soon get hot, seek the shade of the back porch and wait for us to return.
But in autumn when the sun is warm and the air is crisp, they run around as if they were pups.
Another reason I love autumn is the harvest. Our apples turn a deep crimson a few weeks before the first frost, and are sweeter than dime-store candy.
The veggies that we grow and store in the summer are biding their time until the first cold snap. Jilda then builds the masterpiece that is her vegetable soup. I bake up a pone of my world famous cornbread, and we get down to some serious eating.
Yes I enjoy all seasons, but thanks to football, carving Halloween pumpkins, as well as the aroma and taste of Thanksgiving turkey, I think autumn just might be my favorite.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A poem for Autumn

In preparing for my column today in the paper, I read several poems about autumn written my John Keats and Robert Frost to name a few. I was blown away by the word selection. The really good writers say so much with few words. They don't use tired analogies or metaphors, but dig a little deeper to find fresh ways to express ideas.
Below is a poem by Ahmet Faiz. Very nice indeed.

When Autumn Came
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Translated by Naomi Lazard

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slow News Day

I was driving to work on Thursday as the sun moved above the horizon. Thunderheads to the east blocked the view for awhile, but just as I crested the hilltop on York Mountain, the sun backlit the cloud. For a moment, a sliver thread highlighted the outside edges of the dark cloud.
I pulled to the side of the road and grabbed for my camera, but the moment passed. I missed the shot. It's probably just as well because no matter how sophisticated cameras get, they can never quite capture the subtleties of light and shadow. A scent that is stunning to the naked eye, looks muddled and washed out in a photograph.
I spent the day working on a music project with my friend Fred. The stars were lined up because we charted several songs and wrote melodies for a couple of Freds songs. All in all, a good day.
I miss my honey. She's in a yoga training class in Mississippi. She'll be headed home tomorrow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Raising Cane

The Dora Bulldogs played at Corner tonight. As it turns out, I live about four miles from Corner so I drove over to shoot a few pictures.
I could hear thunder off in the distance before kickoff. Just after the first quarter I began to see lightening and kept an eye on the sky. Dora was behind but the defense came through and held the Jackets.
We then marched down the field to score and go ahead. The band and the cheerleaders started putting on their rain gear. I was packing up to leave when the game was called for lightening. Not sure if they will be able to complete it or not.
By the time I got home, lightning was slamming down all around us and the lights were blinking. I decided to whip out a blog entry before the power went off.
So, y'all have a great weekend. Go Dawgs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I didn't get a chance to walk today and I had planned to walk after I got home this evening. When I pulled into the driveway, I could hear thunder in the distance and by the time I got into the house, I could see bolts of lightening to the south that looked as bright as a flashbulb. I decided to skip the walk as I didn't want to take a chance on getting struck. I'll double up tomorrow and catch up.
I'm going to take vacation next week. I still have 16 days of vacation left and the year's almost over. My company has a policy of use it or lose it when it comes to vacation so, I'm using it.
Jilda is heading out tomorrow for her level five yoga certification. I'm not sure what they do in these training sessions but I understand it involves live chickens and goats and police whistles. Not sure what that's all about but she always seems taller when she comes back from these training sessions.
Lightening is slamming down close by so, I'm shutting down for a while. Y'all have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Autumn's On Its Way

I walked this evening after work and as I approached the barn, I saw one branch of an ironwood tree hanging lower than the other branches. The setting sun highlighted the branch which had turned gold and crimson. The color was so vivid that it stopped me in my tracks. I love this time of year.
So I decided to share ten things that make autumn special to me.
10 Autumn color - foliage and the sky
9. The harvest moon
8. The smell of pumpkin pie baking
7. The sound of cicadas
6. Fall Festivals
5. Football
4. State and County Fairs
3. Fall clothes (especially turtlenecks)
2. Crackling fireplaces
1. The smell of autumn leaves burning
What are some of your most favorite things about fall?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tin Roof

This evening we had a guy come up and measure our roof for an estimate. We're going to install a new metal roof. We've learned that the soothing sound of rainfall is not cheap, but it should still be on our house after we're gone on.
We'd thought about going with the light shiny finish, but according to the guy who came, the trees around our house would stain the roof with dark splotches. So we'll probably go with a green finish.
They make a blue roof, but if you get the wrong shade, your house looks like Captain D's and no one wants that.
We're going to check out a few houses with the different types of metal to make sure we like the looks of it.
We'll get another estimate or two before making up our minds. It is our intention to have it finished by Thanksgiving and maybe before.
Once complete, we'll have a rain party - y'all come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Raining again

We had practice yesterday and didn't get down to see my mom. When I called yesterday to say we couldn't come she sounded disappointed.
You disappoint people now and then. I don't like to disappoint my friends or co-workers but sometimes it's unavoidable and I just move on, but disappointing my mom is a totally different story. So tonight after yoga class, we ran by to see her for a few minutes. She had already laid down for the evening but I could tell she was glad to hear the sound of my voice. I felt better when I left for home.
It rained outside for most of the day and the weatherman said there was a lot more to come. I might need to buy me a sun lamp to keep the blues away.
Have a great Monday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The hummingbirds are tanking up for their trip south. Knowing when to stop putting out the feed is not an exacting science. I know they must fly south for the winter and if you feed them too long, they tarry which can cause them problems. On the other hand, states to the north have hummingbirds too and they need to feed on their way south.
Jilda said earlier this week that we probably didn't need to put out any more fresh feed but as we drank our coffee Saturday, three of the tiny creatures hoovered just outside our living room windows and they didn't look happy. So she whipped up another small batch to get them through.
I'll do a little research to make sure we aren't doing any harm. Meanwhile, if anyone knows how to tell the best time to stop feeding hummingbirds in Alabama, please let me know.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Little Sunshine Goes a Long Way

The sun returned for a while today and it felt great! We ran out to the co-op and picked up some turnip green seed. I tilled up a small strip and we planted the greens.
We sat on the edge of the garden and admired our handiwork. I laid back in the grass for a while. The sun on my face felt good. It was a little muggy so the rain is undoubtedly on its way back.
In fact the weatherman is saying we could get three to five inches tonight and tomorrow.
The green we just planted may end up in Florida by the time the rain ends.
I think we're going to ride up to Berkley Bob's Coffee Shop tonight and hear some songwriter friends of ours.
Have a great Saturday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Little Down

I think my body is missing the sunshine because I've felt a little down the last few days. Researchers have linked depression to the lack of sunlight. I don't think I am depressed but I'm usually so UP that when I get a little down it seems significant.
One thing I did today was to focus on the "Now". When I made coffee, I smelled the ground coffee when I opened the bag, I let the cool water flow over my hand before filling the carafe, and savored the aroma of the coffee as it brewed.
I also sat on the screen porch for a long while and listened to the rhythm of the morning. Crowing of the rooster, rustling sounds of the birds, and the soft tinkle of wind chimes.
When you focus on what's going on around you, it somehow pulls you out of your malaise. Then when you focus your full attention to the task at hand, it leaves little room for dark thoughts.
Anyhow, this is a free weekend for us. We don't have any plans except to practice and to work on our singer/songwriter project. We have the songs and we are currently working out arrangements.
We'll be in the recording studio soon which is always a lot of fun.
I hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It's been a long day my friends. I'm going to have to pass tonight. I've got a call at 1 a.m. in the morning. Maybe inspiration will hit then.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Spider Question

OK, there's something interesting happening on our deck. Each evening after dark, a huge spider spins an intricate web just outside our garden door. It's a huge web probably two feet across.
The spider is as big around a s quarter. I'm sure he's laid the trap for unsuspecting moths that try to fly through our door to the light inside.
This, by itself is not that interesting - the interesting thing is that each morning when we go out, there is no sign of the web or the spider. He somehow disassemble the web and seeks shelter somewhere among the many houseplants that are summer-ing on our deck.
The first time I noticed the web and then saw it was gone the next morning I though a bat or something had swooped in, snacked on the spider and then zoomed off for more mosquito's.
But a few nights later I noticed the spider there again. The next morning he was gone again.
I don't think I've ever read about this behavior. Have any of you?
Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Column about Flossy

I know that nobility, bravery, and sacrifice are not words you would normally associate with chickens. I’ve been around chickens all my life and for the most part, I’ve never given them much thought. But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve come to see them in a different light.

Some time back a neighbor that was renting a place across the road from us raised game chickens. A few of his chickens fled the captivity of his yard and into the sanctuary of our yard. Two hens began roosting in our huckleberry bush. When the sun struck their feathers, they turned amber like an expensive Persian rug.

The day the guy moved, he came over after dark for his chickens. As he approached the huckleberry bush, the hens bailed out and ran around the yard with this guy in hot pursuit. If I had filmed the episode, I could have won first place in America’s Funniest Videos because it was a scream.

He was a smoker and after chasing the chickens for about 20 minutes, he could not take the exertion or the fact that we were laughing uncontrollably at his plight. He stomped out his cigarette and said you can keep the dang chickens (he used the bad word). So we did.

Some time later, we got a rooster to go with the hens and they’ve kept all the ants and bugs pecked up out of our yard.

A few weeks ago, Flossy had her first batch of chicks. One morning we saw six tiny peeps following her around our yard scratching and pecking the ground.

Flossy was a warrior-mother at heart. She took guff from nothing or no one. She weighed about five pounds soaking wet, but she looked a lot bigger when she was mad.

A dog that lives down the road and roams the neighborhood ran up in the yard last week. Normally Flossy would simply have flown over the backyard fence with our other two adult chickens, but now she had babies to protect.

Flossy apparently commanded the peeps to stay put because they squatted in place and Flossy lead the dog away from them and out into the open.

When the dog started after her, she fluffed out her feathers, started making this evil guttural clucking sound, and she tried her best to peck the befuddled dog's eyes out.

Jilda saw the altercation, snagged up the BB gun and put a small piece of copper on the dog’s rear end. He immediately understood that the price of a chicken dinner was too high and left the yard in a hurry.

Fast-forward to last Thursday. I was drinking coffee and I heard the chickens sounding the alarm. I've had the birds long enough to recognize the difference between normal clucking and the sound they make when they are frightened.

I walked outside and two of the adult chickens, Bonnie and Clyde were under the deck. There were no dogs in the back yard, but I caught a glimpse of a hawk out of the corner of my eye.

I ran back inside, got the BB gun, and started firing in the general direction of the hawk to scare it off. Apparently, one shot came close because the predator flew off down toward the barn.

That evening, we noticed that Flossy was missing. The peeps were under the front porch but Flossy was nowhere to be found. She didn't return Friday either.

I walked to the garden on Saturday and I found her remains. We didn't see what happened, but she must have used the same maneuver with the hawk that she did with the dog.

She ran away from the peeps and out into the open to keep the hawk from killing her babies.

She gave her life for theirs.

Jilda and I were both saddened by the loss of our little mama hen, but it made me think about Mother Nature. Flossie’s story in not uncommon. History is full of stories of mothers sacrificing their lives for their children.

As I sit on the porch writing this piece, I see the peeps out under the pines scratching for bugs and worms. They live thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of their mom - RIP Flossy.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day

It's been a laid back day today at the Watson household. I cut grass for a while and ran down to see my mom. I also worked on the column for next Sunday's paper.
Jilda had to work this afternoon but we started practicing the new song we wrote yesterday. It's coming along nicely. We're opening for Ronnie McDowell Wednesday night at Country Classics Entertainment. Our friend Edie will be signing books along with Ronnie and Joe Meador. Ronnie will perform before the signing and we'll play a few songs before him. I'm guessing around 6:30 p.m. I'm not sure if the new song will be ready for prime time. We'll make that call tomorrow night when we've played about a thousand times. That's when you know if the words flow as they should. About the time you start getting sick of a song it starts sounding good.
Happy Labor Day

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New Song

We were supposed to practice with The Overalls today but Steve has the crud so we opted out. Instead we stayed home and wrote a new song. We haven't invested the time lately writing songs. It's so easy to get distracted doing routine things and let important things slide. We didn't do that today.
I love the give and take process of co-writing songs. When the ideas begin to flow and the song starts taking shape it is a hoot.
We finished the song tonight in a few hours though it may need a little polish tomorrow. You have to live with them a while to make sure they're right before anyone else hears them.
We've written songs before that in the "moment" we felt were great, but the next day when you read over them you say "what the heck were we thinking?" I believe the song we wrote today is pretty close to being the real thing.
Have a great Labor Day.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Sad Story

I heard the sirens early Thursday as I was making our morning coffee. In the city, the sound of sirens is quite common. That being the case, to city-dwellers, the sound often goes unheard. But here in the country, it’s a sound you rarely hear and when you do, it’s never good news.

I stepped out onto the back deck to see if I could figure out where the sound came from but the emergency vehicle had already passed or reached its destination because I could no longer hear it.

But I move through my morning routine with an uneasy feeling. When I left for work sometime later, I came upon several emergency vehicles about a mile from our house.

A white van was sitting in the middle of the road and the front was horribly damaged.

“This cannot be good,” I though to myself. I’m not a gawker so I heeded to the instructions of the crew working the scene and weaved through the wreckage and onto work.

Later that day, my niece Samantha called to say that Brandy Savage, a girl who had been on the dance line at Dora back in 2006, had been killed in the wreck. My heart sank.

I did not know Brandy personally, but I’ve heard a great deal since Thursday. My heart goes out to Brandy’s family and her fiancĂ©.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Love of the Music

Nashville is an interesting city. It's Mecca for those dreamers from small towns, farms and back-roads all across the country.
People come in old cars, with a guitar in the back seat hoping for a shot at the gold ring. There are some success stories, but it's a town that even in its hay-day could take a thin-skinned soul, chew them up, and spit them out.
In today's environment, the music industry, like many other industries, is scratching to survive.
I realize no one asked for advice, but it's my blog and I'm offering it anyhow - if you're dream is to hit Nashville (LA or New York) hard and make a pile of money, there is a very good chance you will be disappointed. If you're in music for the money, you're in it for the wrong reason. Those who don't have a deep love of the music, need to find what they do love. Because when you play for the pure love of the music, the universe has a way of making things work out...where ever you are.
Walking down Broadway in downtown Nashville today got me to thinking about this topic. It's a fun, exciting place. You hear music coming from all around you. You see people walking down the streets carrying an old guitar, looking for someone to listen to their songs. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of those people have songs that are far better than a lot of what you hear across the airwaves. Will these people ever get a shot at the gold ring? Maybe, it depends on how deeply they love the music.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

MIlitary Manuals

I don't do this often, but I got an email about funny things in Military Manuals. What follows are some of the listings:

"If the enemy is in range, so are you."
Infantry Journal
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never
encountered automatic weapons."
General MacArthur
"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me."
U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt.
"Tracers work both

U.S. Army Ordnance
"Five second fuses only last three seconds."
Infantry Journal
"Any ship can be a minesweeper...Once."
"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do."
Unknown Marine Recruit
Clean it, if it's Dirty. Oil it, if it Squeaks.
But: Don't Screw with it, if it Works!
USAF Electronic Technician
"If you see a bomb technician running, keep up with him."
USAF - Ammo Troop
"Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death , I Shall Fear No Evil.
For I am at 80,000 Feet
and Climbing."

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."
Paul F. Crickmore ( test pilot )
A Navigator's Definition of Latitude & Longitude:
Latitude is where we are lost.
Longitude is how long we've been lost there!
USAF Navi-guesser
only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a
helicopter -- However, it's probably unsafe in any case "
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have
enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."
"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers
and pilots?

If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies;
If ATC screws up, .... The pilot dies."
The three most common expressions (or famous last words), in aviation are:
"Why is it doing that?"
"Where are we?" and
"Oh CRAP!"
" Airspeed, altitude and brains.
Two out of three are needed to successfully complete the

"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation.
We never left one up there!"
"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a
person on the ground who is incapable of understanding or doing
anything about it."
"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just

kill you."
- Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)
"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime."
- Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970
"If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to."
"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes

power to taxi to the terminal."
As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn
off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives;
the rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks, "What happened?" The
pilot's reply: "I don't know, I just got here myself!"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Long Weekend

I have a long weekend coming up and I'm excited. Every now and then I'll get a three day weekend, but this weekend I'm taking a Friday to go with the holiday on Monday. Sweet!
I think we're going to run up to Nashville on Friday morning to see some friends. We'll head back that afternoon.
We're running by the Country Music Hall of Fame. Our friend Edie is signing books there.
We hope to hook up with some other friends we haven't see in a very long time.
I'm fading fast so I'm signing off for now. Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Many times when I need inspiration for a column, I flip through old photographs. When I came across the picture of me doing my Charles Atlas imitation in front of our old Ford Fairlane, a story came to mind that I thought I would share.

When I was growing up in Sloss, there was a shallow place in Horse Creek where people would go to wash their cars. I’m not sure where the creek originates, but it meanders through east Walker County and is fed by pure icy water from somewhere deep in the earth.

Oftentimes on warm Saturday and Sunday afternoons, there would be a line of folks waiting their turn to wash the coal dust and road grime off their old cars.

It was usually a family affair. The dad would drive the car into the creek, shut off the engine, and then a herd of kids would bail out with buckets and rags and commence hand washing their car.

After soaping up the car, everyone would take their bucket, scoop it full of water from the creek, and start flinging it on the car to rinse off the soap.

It was not uncommon for this segment of the cleanup detail to get out of hand. Someone would intentionally take a bad aim and all of a sudden, little sister had a face full of water. All such attacks required full and immediate retaliation. Before long, the washers were wetter than the car.

One Saturday in August when I was about 10-years-old, we headed out to wash the Ford.

I was soaked to the bone and I’d had about as much fun as I could stand in the creek, so I wandered off downstream to check out the scenery. I was as barefooted as the day I was born. I came to an old hickory log that had fallen next to the creek and was about to step over. Just before I put my foot down, I glanced at the ground and what I saw put “the fear” in me. Lying in a sunny spot next to the log was a cottonmouth moccasin that looked to be as big as my leg. Somehow, I managed an evasive maneuver that was a cross between a high jump and a double-back flip.

I let out a blood-curdling scream that made my entire family unit come running at full speed.

My brother Neil must have had a similar experience in the past, because he grabbed the 22 rifle out of the truck before he ran down the creek.

The cottonmouth didn’t flee like a regular snake; he took stock of the gathering crowd trying to decide if he could take us all on.

Just as Neil arrived, the evil beast slowly slid into the creek and began to swim down stream. Neil was excited as he shouldered the rifle and then he fired off about eight rounds, none of which came anywhere near the snake. The last we saw of the tubular Satan, he was swimming downstream at a leisurely pace.

The story became part of our family’s lore. By the time we got home to tell Mama, the snake had doubled in size and looked as if it had eaten a small child before I came upon it.

We continued going to the Horse Creek carwash for years, but to this day, I never go barefoot on a creek bank and I always look twice before stepping over a log.

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