Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Day to be Alive

We came home this afternoon from our overnight stay. The sun was out and the rain clouds had moved off to the east leaving a beautiful day int its wake.
The angle of the light, and cool air made me thing of San Francisco. On the interstate, we rolled our windows down and opened the sunroof for a while. The autumn leaves were stunning in places.
It put in mind the song made popular by Travis Tritt, "Great Day to be Alive".
This evening when we arrived home, we rounded the dogs up and took them for a walk.
All of our dogs are getting fairly old, but this kind of weather makes them all feel like pups and the ran wild.
Our oldest dog Blackie which is a huge Lab mix ran out in front of us about fifteen yards and then fell to the ground and rolled in a pile of poplar leaves that I'd raked up.
If the ground had not still been wet from the rain yesterday, I would have rolled in the leaves with him.
Have a great Saturday evening.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Strange Weather

We were on the road today headed out of town for an over-nighter. Down below Tuscaloosa, you could see the atmosphere was unstable. A front over in Mississippi headed towards Alabama had been rumbling for hours.
On one side of the interstate the sun was shining brightly, and on the other rain was falling in sheets. When the clouds moved over the interstate, the sun coming through the mist made the light seem like you were looking into the sun. I have never seen it rain this hard while the sun was shining.
We moved to the right lane, slowed to a crawl, and watched the rear view mirror for bullet-proof drivers. Fortunately everyone slowed down and about a mile up the road, the rain moved on leaving a brilliant blue sky off to the south. Very strange weather.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Perfect" Email

My friend Ken Owens with whom I worked for many years, sent me an email this evening. I had forgotten the significance of October 29th but Ken reminded me. His note follows:

Do you remember where you were 18 years ago tonight? We met a lady named Grace for dinner. By we, I mean you, Tom, and I. Puzzled?
We had just arrived in Boston. We had a computer class beginning the next morning in Bedford. It was October 29, 1991. Tom and I came to your hotel room about 6:00pm. You had the windows open and your drapes were blowing horizontally across the room. It was coming a nor'easter outside.
The lady Grace was a hurricane that had made her way up the Atlantic coast to New England. The significance of the date and time was that it was within 30 minutes of the last message heard from the captain of the swordfishing boat "Andrea Gail". They had sailed too far east in search of swordfish and were returning to Gloucester when they were cut off by the hurricane, a nor'easter, and a massive low pressure system coming down out of Canada. All 6 souls on the fishing vessel were claimed by the sea. I never realized the circumstances we encountered until after the movie "The Perfect Storm" came out and I backtracked my training records. The story of the movie actually happened while we were there. Although the movie may be somewhat exaggerated the storm was horrendous. If you remember there was significant damage up and down the coast.
I was reminded of all of this while watching "The Perfect Storm" a couple of nights ago. You know I have a sentimental feeling about working men and women. These were 6 guys trying to earn a living for their families. They went to work one day and never returned home.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Have a Little Faith

I got a letter with my check from the Mountain Eagle. A woman from Indiana who had been visiting an old friend here in Alabama wrote to say that she had picked up a copy of my book on impulse.
She was headed back up north and had stopped at the Green Top to get some BBQ to take home.
She picked up a copy of my book and read it when she got home. "I got another funny and memory filled trip home," she said
The thing I enjoy most about writing is meeting new folks and getting letters and emails. I am flattered and humbled by some of the notes I receive.
I've been working on some ideas for another book. The next one will be fiction but the setting and tone will be like my columns and short stories. I must say that I'm a little apprehensive because everyone has become accustomed to my real life work so it's hard to know how fiction will be received.
It is my intention to give it a shot and take it on faith.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NASA Application

I came across a free app for my iPhone byNASA. I love this app. It has news, video, pictures and other information about the space program.
I clicked on the picture icon today and there are over 1300 photos that you can browse. Pictures of stars, planets, the space station and other interesting things.
I haven't had a chance to explore many of the other features yet so I look forward to some exploring.
I found this picture fascinating.
I'll be posting others as I come across things I think you may enjoy.
I have to run and brush my column for this coming weeks paper. It's about our fascination with bad news. Be sure to stay tuned.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life is a Circle

Jilda and I were having a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel a few weeks ago and overheard some Auburn fans sitting at the next table. The Tigers had lost a heartbreaker to Kentucky on the previous Saturday, and you could tell they were really down.
I wanted lean over and explain to them that life is a circle and that sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. It takes losing to understand the sweetness of winning.
But the guy was kinda big and he looked a little hung over so I wasn’t sure he’d grasp the full depth of this concept in the spirit it was intended.
Being used as a mop to clean the floor at Cracker Barrel is not my idea of Sunday morning fun, so I kept my philosophy to myself and I shoveled a spoon full of grits into my mouth instead.
Here’s the thing about life ….well, let me first say that football is just a game. Your self worth is not tied to whether your favorite team wins or loses. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. My team had some lean years but I got over it. The world kept spinning around. It took me a long time to “get it.”.
There is a cycle to life and things are in a constant state of change. I once heard the only humans that like change are babies with wet diapers.
One moment you can be flying high as a kite in a strong April breeze and then next moment you’re lower than snail droppings.
Sometimes the cycles are random, but sometimes they are brought on by the choices you make.
There is an art, and some science, to spending more of your time on the up side instead of the down side. Feed your mind, body, and spirit with the best food you can afford.
I always tell young folks to stay in school and make learning a lifetime goal. Brainpower tends to help you think things through and make better decisions.
When it comes to health, some people feed their pets better than they feed themselves.
It’s hard to stay on top of your game when you don’t feel good. So I recommend you take care of your body. Eat right, exercise, and wear seat belts.
The spiritual element of one’s life is also very important. It’s not my intention to debate this topic because spirituality means different things to different people. I do know that people who find time for silence, meditation and/or prayer tend to lead a more balanced life. Balance is good.
I’d be the first to say that leading a balanced life does not guarantee that you won’t have hard times, but I do believe you will spend more time at the top of the circle of life.
For the fans of teams that are struggling this year, maybe you can find solace in the words of the song made popular back in the 70’s by The Byrds called Turn, Turn, Turn.
The book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible inspired the song. The words say volumes about life.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear its not too late

I could write for the rest of my life and never say it better than this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

iPhone Software

I know I've said it before, but I love my iPhone. I downloaded a software program called Photogene and it allows you to edit pictures that you take. One of the options is a "Pencil" filter. All this means is that you can take a normal picture and then apply this pencil filter and the resulting photo looks like a pencil drawing.
I shot a picture of my mom having dinner a few weeks ago and I thought it turned out good. She probably wouldn't like it, but I do.
I think the feature I use most on my phone is the camera. I use it at work when I need to show a computer, wiring configuration or some other details that require a visual. I have also shot a lot more picture that captures "a moment".
There is a book out called "The Best Camera is the One You Have With You".
Someone commissioned a famous photographer to shoot pictures of Florida for a book. The only catch is that all the photos had to be take with the photographer's iPhone.
I haven't seen the book but I loved the idea and I'd be willing to bet that the book is really good.
I've been on call this weekend so it's been fairly low-key. I hope it's a quite night tonight.
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

They Found a Way

OK, I'm hoarse now after watching the Alabama-Tennessee game. The Tide led the entire game but Tennessee got a touchdown with a couple minutes left and then recovered an onside kick.
Tarrance Cody blocked his second field goal of the game to seal an Alabama victory.
My heart was pounding in my chest like a jackhammer.
In the end, they found a way to win. That's what great teams do. They find a way to win. I am so proud of our guys.
The thing I have noticed about Alabama since Nick Sabin arrived is the confidence level and discipline of the team. There's not a lot of showboating, they just make plays. I think coach Sabin works as hard on the mental game as the physical.
I think that, in the long run, is the difference between a good team and a great one.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Strange Weather

OK, today was one for the records. It had been raining since just after dark yesterday. Just after midnight the wind kicked off and knocked our power off for a few seconds but thankfully, the breakers reset and all that went down was my computer and the timer on the coffee pot.
No problem. This morning it was still dark as a dungeon with rain.
I called the school to see if there was a rain plan for the Homecoming Parade for my high school. They did not.
About lunchtime, the clouds raced off to the east and the sun peeped out. When I got down to Dora just before noon, the sky was as blue as a swimming pool with big fluffy clouds.
I always shoot pictures at the parade for the website and I had worn a long sleeve shirt because I wasn't sure if the rain was gone for sure but by the time the band struck up, the sun was warm and I found myself sweating.
Then tonight when I went to the game to shoot a few photos, the temps had dropped like a stone and the wind chill made my teeth chatter.
I'm on call this week so I had to leave the game at halftime. Jilda made me a cup of hot tea and I'm finally getting warm.
You gotta love this strange weather.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time Will Tell

I go on call again tonight. A few weeks ago one of my co-workers needed to swap to have a specific week off so that he could attend his 40th high school reunion. When I swapped, I pretty much skipped my turn for being on call. This week I'm paying the piper as I was on call last week and now again this week. Hopefully things won't go south and it will be a quite week. Time will tell.
The rain is headed back in tonight but it doesn't look like the low pressure system plans to camp out over Empire, Alabama. Hopefully it will blow through and be gone before the weekend.
I'm going to kick back tonight and relax for a change.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Heist

A local business that sells my book reported this week that someone had stolen a copy. The proprietor thought I would be upset, but I actually smiled at the news. I know it’s a little weird but on some level, I was flattered that someone would go to the trouble of stealing “Remembering Big”. Apparently, the thief was not armed and fortunately no one was hurt during the caper.
I would like to say to all potential thieves out there that you don’t have to knock off local businesses to get your hands on a copy of my book. You can check it out of any local library. If the book is always checked out, I can donate a few more copies in the interest of lowering the crime rate here in our home town. I’m sure the couches and chairs at the local library are more comfortable than what you’d find in the slammer.
I flipped back through “Remembering Big” again wondering to myself what stories could have pushed someone to break the law in this great state of Alabama. I mean, the story “Daddy Taught Me How To Cuss” was pretty funny, and “Old Buddy Changed My Mind” generated a lot of e-mails from readers all over the county, but were they enough to make someone snap and break the Eighth Commandment — Thou Shalt Not Steal? It’s hard to say.
Jilda said mirthfully that a homeless person probably wandered in from the streets looking for kindling to heat up a can of Vienna Sausages. She must have seen the injury in my eyes because she quickly amended her explanation to say “or they probably stole it to sell so they could buy food for their kids.” It was a nice recovery but the damage had already been done. That little remark will have a negative impact on the value of her Christmas gift this year.
I’m guessing the truth is, someone decided on the spur of the moment they wanted the book, so they picked it up and walked out. I will survive the loss of a book, but I know first hand that being the victim of theft is no laughing matter.
In 1971, a few months before I was drafted into the United States Army, a thief broke my heart when he stole my prized 1965 Impala SS off Second Avenue in Birmingham. I will never forget the feeling of walking out of the store and realizing that my pride and joy was gone forever. The police came and wrote a report, but the officer said bluntly, “You’ll never see that car again.” And I never did.
Several years later around Christmas, someone burglarized our house They stole electronics, videos, small appliances and Jilda’s class ring. We both felt violated because someone had come into our house uninvited and gone through our personal space.
The loss of our possessions was bad, but “things” can be replaced. When the thieves broke into our house, they took something much more precious than our VCR.
They stole our peace of mind and sense of security that we felt in the privacy of our home.
The next day, I called ADT and had hidden cameras and security equipment installed in our house.
I hope the person who lifted my book reads it. I honestly hope the words, put a smile on their face and somehow adds a little light in their lives. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if they read my story about “Life Decisions”, and the words somehow moved them to make a fundamental change in their life and they started giving instead of taking?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm In The Dog House

OK, I posted my blog entry last night about standing out in front of yoga class admiring the sunset. I got several comments about the comments through email and Facebook.
My lovely spouse, which also happens to be the yoga instructor, ask - "and what about the yoga class?"
All I could say was oops! The fact of the matter is, the class was great. I only do yoga a few days a week but I haven't had problems with my lower back in a long, long time.
When I started, I could barely reach down and touch my knees. Now I can bend over keeping my legs straight and place the palms of my hands flat on the floor. Not bad for someone pushing close to the big 60.
I love Monday night yoga and I'm amazed that more people don't come. It's a free class (she teaches it for tips) and it doesn't matter if you know anything about yoga or not. We have young folks and we have a woman in her seventies in our class.
Anyhow, sorry for the slight in last night's blog, Scout. You can take it out on me next Monday evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Nice Moment

Tonight before yoga class, I stood outside the community center alone and watched the sun go down. The western horizon was cloudless and the sky turned the color of butterscotch candy.
The city's water tower was back lit making it look like the silhouette of a giant mushroom.
A gentle breeze out of the northwest made the chain on the flagpole clank like a radiator heating up cold pipes.
I stood there for a long while with my eyes drifting out of focus. For a moment I a feeling of deja vu. I shot a picture with my iPhone but the color was non-existent so I deleted off the phone and took a mental picture instead.
It was a nice moment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

When my feet touched the floor this morning, I had a shiver that started with my toes and it worked its way slowly up my spine. I cranked up the old fireplace and then fixed a pot of coffee.
Our little deer was already up and munching on an apple down in the garden.
I let our dog Taylor in and she scooted over as close to the fireplace as she could get and laid down to take a nap. She's getting old and her joints seem to bother her so I guess the heat make them feel better.
A short time later I noticed a strange light filtering through the trees. I stepped to the back door to have a better look and realized it was sunlight. My heart rejoiced.
After we read the morning paper we headed up to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and you could see color in the oak and hickory leaves. In a few weeks, the color here will be spectacular.
When I got back home, I swept the leaves off the back deck and then sat for a long while and let the sun warm my face. It felt good to be alive.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

No Travel Today

Our trip to Tennessee to perform today was nixed by a page at 6 a.m. from my boss. We've had a problem ongoing for the last few days and it came to a head today.
I called our friends Carol and Marty to tell them we couldn't make the trip. I really hate canceling with short notice but I really didn't have a choice as I'm fond of eating and I haven't made other arrangement to replace my income. So, I've been helping direct repair activities and updating leadership. The latter can be much harder than the actual work.
Hopefully the issue will be resolved within a few hours and I'll get to sleep some tonight.
The Tide comes on TV in a few minutes so I really hope they do well against South Carolina and I hope I get to watch some of the game.
Happy Saturday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chilly Weather

I worked all night on a problem in Dallas so I slept in this morning. When I got up for coffee around 9 a.m. I walked out on the back deck to scope out the day. The wind was blowing steady out of the northwest and I shivered for the first time this fall.
We ran to town to have dinner this evening and afterwards we ran over to Old Navy to buy me a new pair of black jeans. On the way home, the wind rocked the Volvo as we cruised down the interstate. The Volvo is not a light car so it took a fairly stout wind to rock it.
We'll have to hustle home after the gig tomorrow and get our house plants inside because the temps are dropping down into the upper 30's with a 20 mph wind which will make the wind chill cold enough to damage our plants.
We're looking forward to tomorrow. We haven't see our friends Marty and Carol in a long, long time. We've written a lot of songs together. Tomorrow, we'll do a few of those songs.
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Change in the Weather

The rain started pounding my windshield on the way to work this morning. The windshield wiper's couldn't sling water off fast enough so I slowed to a crawl to be on the safe side.
When I crossed Buck Short bridge I had a chance to look in both directions and the river is up as high as I've ever seen it. A body of rapidly moving muddy water as curvy as a garden snake stretched off towards the north.
I got a phone call on my cell so I pulled off the road on the far side of the bridge to talk to the folks at work. When I was finished talking, I rolled down the window to get a better view of oncoming traffic. I could see a fairy ring of mushrooms by the side of the road under the shelter of a pine tree, the smell of rotting leaves and straw waffled through my open glass.
It think I've seen more toad-stools this year than ever before, or maybe I just noticed them more this year.
After the rain moves off to the east tomorrow, the weather should dry up and get much cooler. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a little cool weather.
Change is good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Economy

The Dow Jones Industrial average ended up over 10,000 today for for the first time in over a year. I don't mind telling you I was concerned to see my my retirement drop like a stone and waller around in the mud with the skinny pigs.
I'm getting close to retirement and the idea is for things to be going in the opposite direction. So I, along with a lot of other baby boomers have been breathing a sigh of relief that last few months.
I'm still concerned that unemployment is so high. Normally when a recession ends and the economy picks up steam, people go back to work, but I'm not sure that's happening.
One thing that's changing is the nature of work. In years past, a career in computers was the "cats meow". But these days that whooshing sound you hear are those jobs going offshore.
I read a book recently that detailed all kinds of service industry jobs such as reading X-rays, filling out tax returns, and a host of other things you would not imagine being done by people from another land.
I didn't say this to be depressing, just that the nature of work is changing. The best jobs are those that cannot be outsourced. If I were a young person headed to college, I would give a lot of thought to what I want to be when I grow up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dinner Bell

I called on the way home from work this evening to ask Jilda if I needed to pick something up for supper. She cooks every evening so I thought she might want a break from rattling those pots and pans. She said she already had supper on the stove. She was cooking up greens, peas, sweet potatoes and cornbread.
The rain started up again this evening when I topped York Mountain and by the time I headed down this side I had to bump my wipers up to keep up with the falling rain. I got wet hauling stuff in from my truck and I felt a little bit chilled. I guess it's my age because I rarely got cold when I was younger.
Anyhow, when I opened the door, the smell of baking bread and the other stuff was intoxicating.
I know that most families do good to get a good home-cooked meal once or twice a week. I feel sorry for those folks.
I have to run now, I hear the dinner bell ringing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Regularly Scheduled Internet Surfing

I feel as though I've let my readers down lately. In reading back over my posts, they are often too short and without substance. If I've learned anything about writing, it's that writing is hard at times. What do you write about when no ideas come to you.
I think it is a function of outside forces. Jobs get hectic, you have other things in your life that are important too and each thing takes time. It comes down to making choices.
I haven't watched a TV show from start to finish in months. I always get the feeling I should be doing something else...something more important.
To write well, you have to read well. There are so many good writers out there that you could spend a lifetime of reading and you still not scratch the surface. To write well, you also must study. The more I learn about writing, the more I realize I don't know squat.
OK, I'm through beating myself up. Please go back to your Regularly Scheduled Internet Surfing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Festively Local

Jilda and I are meeting up with our songwriter buddies Marty and Carol next weekend in Pulaski, Tennessee to do a songwriter gig at Festively Local.
It's a first year music, food, and art festival and we're not sure what to expect, but we're keeping an open mind. The proceeds from the event are going to charities.
We plan to have a good time howdying up with our buddies regardless of whether the event is a boom or bust.
I've been on call this weekend and while things haven't been unbearable, I have been on the phone a lot. In fact, I have a conference call in a few minutes.
Have a great Sunday evening.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First Time for Everything

I maintain the website for Blackwater Bluegrass and the festival is this weekend. The music started at 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon so I headed out to shoot a few pictures before nightfall.
When I left, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was in the 80's which is not good for October.
Even though the sun was shining, the air was unstable and the plants on our back deck were blowing in circles. I loaded up my equipment and headed out to the festival which is about fifteen miles west of here.
When I crossed highway 69, I looked off to the south and the sun was bright, when I looked to the west, there was an angry wall cloud that was steel gray with undertones that were as green as the torch of an arc welder. Stabs of lightening forked and I could hear thunder even with the windows rolled up on my truck.
I slowly drove toward the festival and the storm swept over me with blinding rain. I pulled to a place where I could jump out of my truck and into a ditch if I had to. But after the initial torrent, the rain slowed to a drizzle and when I got to the festival, I could see the sun and blue skies off to the north and west.
My cell rang when I'd been there a short while. Jilda called from home to say that the thunder storm blew by our house and that huge trees were blown across the road leading to our house and the power was off.
I headed home and was stopped within three hundred yards of our house by emergency vehicles. A pine tree that was at lease eighty feet tall and a good three feet in diameter was in the road. The power, phone and cable lines were in the road too.
Fortunately no one was hurt and after about an hour, the crews working with chainsaws and BobCat tractors cleared one lane of our road and I managed to get home.
There were limbs down in our yard, but we had not damage. We didn't get power or cable until today.
As a result, I was not able to do a Life 101 blog entry yesterday which was the first time in almost three years I haven't written one. I'm just glad Jilda and the critters were ok.
Have a great Saturday.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

House Concert

We're going to our first Small Stages Concert tonight. These are concerts hosted by area people.
We're going to see James House. He had mega hits in years past and he is an awesome singer and songwriter.
We are excited. If it's not too late when we return, I'll add to this post, otherwise it will be tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Take This Job

“Take this job and shove it,” is a country song written by David Allen Coe and made popular by Johnny Paycheck back in the 1970’s. The tune became an anthem for people who were fed up with their jobs. That tune ran through my head this past week after returning to work from vacation.
I spent my time off unwinding. It was a welcome reprieve from the day to day grind.
I was smiling when I walked into my home-sweet-cube this past Monday morning, but my good mood was shredded before I sat my lunchbox down, by a ringing phone that sounded like a screaming chainsaw. When I booted my laptop, I had over 500 unread emails, all of which wanted something – LAST WEEK!
I started to delete all 500 e-mails from my inbox and start the week fresh. My thought process was that if anything was really important, the requestor would resend the message. My boss takes a dim view of unanswered messages so I snapped out of my temporary insanity and got down to business. I spent the rest of the day sorting, filing, and responding to stuff. When I left that evening, I was down below 200 messages but my To-Do list was longer than the Christmas list of a spoiled youngun’. Completing all the tasks will take me well beyond the age of normal retirement.
I miss the days when people either called you on the phone, sent you a letter or simply came for a visit if they needed you for something. You’d usually howdy up, ask after their wife and kids, swill a little coffee and then get down to business. By the end of the visit, you were updated on each other’s lives, and you had a feel for how badly they needed your help. 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, and I got a lot more things accomplished.
I’m not a whiney-baby by nature but I do sometimes find myself complaining about my job. When I do, I think back to when I first started doing installation and repair work for Ma Bell. I got a call one morning around lunchtime from our dispatcher saying the phone at a local business was having problems. As I took the call the dispatcher was snickering and I didn’t understand why.
I smelled the stench long before I turned into the gate and when I arrived at the address for the business, I realized it was a hide and tallow plant. It became clear why the dispatcher was amused.
Later, a veteran repairman told me that the H&T plant takes roadkill and all sorts of disgusting dead things and renders the stuff down to byproducts that are used in animal food and women’s makeup. I’m not sure if that’s true but he told it with a straight face.
On my way to the defective phone, I passed by some guys having lunch on the loading dock. They were laughing and cutting up like they were “lunching at CafĂ© on the Green.”
I replaced that telephone in record time, walked out to the truck, I wrapped the phone cord around the trailer hitch and dragged it back to the work center. There was no way I was hauling that stinking phone inside my truck.
Later, I thought to myself “If I was making a list of dream jobs, that one at the H&T plant would NOT be on my list!”
So this past week when I found myself whining about how bad my job was, I thought back to that day at the H&T plant and remembered the image in my rearview mirror of those guys sitting on the loading dock eating potted meat sandwiches for lunch, and I realized that I really have a GREAT job!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

iPhone Software

I got some new photo software for my iPhone. I shot this photo during the summer and I edited it with the new software. Looks cool to me.


Legal Grounds

Our friend Dale is doing a reading at Legal Grounds Coffee Shop in Jasper tonight so Jilda and I are going to run out there and howdy up with Dale and all our buddies. For anyone who doesn't know Dale, he is a phenomenal writer. He has several books to his credit. The gig tonight should be fun.
I think I can say this without spoiling any surprise that Dale has in store, but Jilda and I will be "participating" in one of his readings.
We're excited. Y'all come.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Chain Emails

I got another email today that read "My attorney saw this on CBS News, it's for real, forward this to everyone in your email distribution list."
I have a news flash for you, I automatically any email that say "forward this to everyone in your email distribution list." I used to waste my time and validate that it was in fact a bogus email thread that has wound it's way around the planet electronically a thousand times, then send the sender a link hoping they would get the hint.....and here's the newsflash for me, THEY DON'T GET IT!!!!!
So, now I simply delete the emails instead of getting worked up. I sleep like a baby these days.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sweater Weather

Jilda and I recharged our batteries today. We slept in and stayed close to the house for the most part. We took a walk before noon while a pot of beef stew that Jilda had whipped up, simmered. I took a scoop of corn and placed it in a small pile under our apple tree.
We left the back doors open to let the fresh air have its way on the interior of the house. The sky was overcast and the air was cool on my arms. Soon it will be sweater weather.
When we stepped on the back deck after our walk, I could smell the stew and it made my mouth water.
After lunch, we took a nap and I awoke to the sound of rain on the front glass.
I walked to the kitchen for a glass of tea and I saw two deer munching on the corn we'd left. I grabbed my big camera and shot this picture.
We're torn between whether we should continue feeding the critters even though deer season is fast approaching, or stop feeding them. We don't hunt but a lot of folks do. I'd rather not lure them here from somewhere else...through the line of fire. On the other hand, if feeding the ones who live here keeps them from wandering into the line of fire, then it's a good thing....right?
I don't know, but I hope so.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Frog Day

I'm not sure you could have ordered up a better day for a small town festival. We arrived this morning just after dawn and set up our tent and table. I hadn't half finished setup when I realized I should have worn a jacket.
After the sun rose out of the east, and burned off the morning dew, the day warmed nicely.
Our booth was almost at the corner of State and Main Streets and as it turned out, it was a great location. We caught people coming and going. We saw so many old friends and well-wishers that I lost count.
We were a few booths away from the Crazy Hair booth and watching those kids come out of there was a scream.
This was our fourth Frog Festival and we've enjoyed them all. The Frog Festival is the perfect small-town festival. Admission is free, with music on two stages all day long. You can walk around and eat BBQ, funnel cakes, parched peanuts, and cotton candy. Jilda and I had lemonade squeezed fresh right before our eyes.
I had a great time today. The only downside was I got blazed. I knew better. I had sun screen in the car, but I didn't want to walk back and get it. So tonight, I'm paying the price.
It will be an yearly night because we are whupped.

Friday, October 02, 2009


I'm going down to shoot some pictures at the game tonight. The Bulldogs are having an off season so far, but I still love my Dawgs.
Today turned out to be a beautiful day. I had my doubts when I got up to make the coffee this morning because the rain was rattling the roof and the lemon tree on our deck. The sky was still dark on the way to work but the further south I drove, the lighter the sky became. By lunch, the sky was sunny and warm.
I had several errands to run on the way home. I'm getting ready for the Frog Festival tomorrow.
Y'all come see us.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New Poll

I added a new Poll to the blog. What's your favorite college football team?
Speak now or forever hold your peace.


I'm feeling a little scattered. It seems as if every thing I start to do hits a snag and stops my progress. My todo list is growing by the day. It's a little frustrating.
I know that this is one of those cycles of life that you go through. Sometimes things drag like they been pulled through a tub of molasses and some times things click effortlessly. The trick is keeping your head screwed on until the cycle shifts.
Jilda and I are playing at 11:00 a.m. at the Frog Festival on Saturday and I have a booth to sell some books before and after the gig.
I bought a new shade tent for the event. The last few years the October sun has been brutal and my head fried a deep red like a freshly boiled lobster.
So, if you're out and about on Saturday, come look us up at the festival. It's always a hoot....or should I say a croak.

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