Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blue Marble

I was listening to Writer's Almanac last night on the way home and the podcast was from December 7th. Garrison Keeilor talked about significant things that have occurred on December 7th. 
Of course he mentioned the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor back on December 7th 1941 which drew America into WWII. But he also mentioned the photograph taken by a NASA Astronaut on December 7th 1972.
Apollo 17 was the last manned lunar mission. No humans since have been at a range where taking a whole-Earth photograph such as The Blue Marble would be possible.
The photograph is a spectacular image of Earth. We've all seen the photograph thousands of times.  Contemplating this picture is a humbling experience. It was taken an a distance of about 18,000 miles away with the sun at the photographer's back which illuminates Earth in this stunning image.
Sometimes when I'm  getting too big for my britches, I look at this photograph which hangs on my office wall and it never fails to put me in my place.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TIme Well Spent

I started listening to Writer's Almanac Podcast by Garrison Keeillor tonight. I like Garrison's work and I was not disappointed in this offering.
He each podcast he gives significant events that occurred on that date. World events, writer's birthdays and other things. He end's the podcast with a poem.
I love poetry because it takes me away. A good poem can make you think, make you laugh, they can reach down and pull your heard out.
I highly recommend Writer's Almanac to anyone with a mp3 player and access to iTunes. It's time well spent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nasty Night

It's a nasty night tonight. I can hear the wind and rain in the trees outside my office window. Jilda planned to be in Nashville this weekend, but the weather there is even worse. Ice and snow along the I-40 Corridor.
She was apprehensive already but when the weatherman said there could be a foot of snow, she called YogaFit 
to reschedule for April in South Carolina.
Maybe I'll take a few days off and ride up there with her. Maybe run over to Myrtle Beach.
I'm about to throw on some water for hot tea and call it a night.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Has the Universe gotten a little out of kilter? I'm not sure what it is, but it seems everything I attempt comes up a little short. Everyone I've talked to today was short and snippy and I feel like I'm getting sucked into a black hole.

What cause that?  Too much coffee? Too much time staring at a computer screen? Talking on a cell phone for long periods of time? Grits?
I'm baffled, and I'm ready to transcend, but I'd prefer not to do it pharmaceutically even though I have not ruled that out totally.
Maybe I just need a vacation for a change and not a "WorkAtion" which is the only kind of time off I've taken for the last several months.
I'm not at my office but I get paged, called, emailed and pinged and I wind up spending time doing work related stuff.
Maybe I should call in drunk. "I'd love to work today boss, but taxi's don't come out here where I live and it would be unwise to drive in my condition.
Maybe it's simply that it's the last week of January which is traditionally one of the most depressing times of the year for almost all of the civilized world.
So, I'm going to kick back, have some supper and spend a little time reading. Maybe that'll get the Universe back in alignment.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out of Steam

Jilda's car is in the shop so I worked from home so she could drive my truck to work. I got to crankin' about 6 a.m. and I didn't shut down until almost 6 this evening.
I feel like I've been whupped with a two button mouse.
I'm going to kick back and relax a little.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Life in the Dentist Office

I went to the dentist this week. I have my own room there. In fact, I paid for the move to his newer facilities last year.  He’s talking about putting up a plaque in honor of my American Express card.
I inherited a lot of positive traits from my parents. I have a great sense of humor, enough common sense to get in out of the rain most of the time, and a good work ethic. The thing I didn’t inherit is good teeth.
We didn’t have a dentist in Dora when I was a kid. The nearest dentist was in a town several miles away.
I had a jaw tooth that started going south on me which made my jaw swell up as if I had a golf ball in my mouth. My head listed a little to starboard for several days before my mom loaded me up and hauled me to the dentist.
He had an aquarium in his office, which I guess was supposed to keep kids calm, but I distinctly remember it didn’t work for me. Especially since the office was kind of small and you could hear his drill screaming like a tiny Weedeater.
The receptionist told me I was next and I can tell you I was not excited about seeing the tooth doc, especially after hearing the guttural moans, groans and wails coming from the back room.
I thought to myself that some kid was being tortured to death back there.  When the guy came out, he was as old as my dad and he looked as if he’d been in a fight with a lumberjack, and lost.
I remember the dentist had one of those reflector gadgets on his forehead to shine light into the mouths of his patients.
It made him look like a giant Cyclops.
As he approached, he had a syringe with a needle that was as big as a kindergarten pencil.
If someone had invented glasses in those days that behaved like the newer car mirrors – “Objects may appear smaller than they actually are,” they could have made a fortune! Anything that could have made those needles and other implements of torture appear smaller, would have been a big hit!
I survived that first visit but I had clinched my hands so tightly that my knuckles were white as chalk for a week.
I managed to dodge the dentist until I was drafted into the Army.  Uncle Sam was high on dental hygiene so I had to visit the dentist an average of three times a week just trying to salvage a few molars.
I was like one of those test dummies for dentists. The Army guys threw me a going away party when I transferred from Fort Monmouth to Panama.
Once I got home, I kept up the routine. Through the years, I replaced most of the teeth in my mouth and paid my dentist on the installment plan. I could have bought a beach house for what I invested in my mouth. Instead, I bought him a beach house.
I learned to take better care of my teeth, but one of the old bridges cracked during Christmas, which set off a flurry of visits to the dentist.
The equipment has improved dramatically through the years, and I must say, when they gave me laughing gas to relax, I wouldn’t have cared if they cut ALL my teeth out with a butter knife. But I have no plans to eat corn nuts any time soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Losing it

I got a free app for my iPhone last week called Lose It. It's a simple meal tracking application that allows you to put in the meals you eat and exercise you get and it calculates how many calories you take in each day. 
You can put in your goal of how many pounds you want to lose and when you want to lose it and it sets targets for how many calories you can take in and still lose the weight.
It's pretty interesting because I don't diet. I have changed my approach to eating. I've cut out almost all junk food and I don't go back for seconds, even if it's spaghetti. 
I made the decision to change in early summer last year and I've stuck with it. As a result, I've lost twenty five pounds. That's a bag of birdseed. 
This realization hit me Saturday when I was lugging in a bag of birdseed.  I never realized how heavy twenty five pounds was.
An added benefit is that my knees rarely bother me now.
This is probably more information that you wanted to hear about me, but it's getting late and I couldn't think of anything else to write there!
Have a great week.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Walking in the Rain

We needed life jackets today when we walked. As I wrote earlier, our First Alert Weather Radio woke us up around 3:30 a.m. screaming about a severe thunder storm that was approaching.
I stepped out to the deck and I could hear the high level winds roaring like an angry sea. The oak and pine swayed and creaked like ancient knees.
I got the lantern and the flashlights out as well as the big storm candles, but the lights never flickered. That's amazing to me. We had wind gusts at almost hurricane force (over 60 mph) and the lights never flickered but last summer with not one cloud in the sky over Alabama (not exaggerating here) and the power goes off for hours.
It's a mystery. 
After coffee we decided to take a walk when the rain slacked off a little. Our garden spot looked like a swimming pool - completely submerged. Thankfully we had not planted any early beans or other goodies.
When we walked toward the barn, you could her the creek that normally flows gently, roaring like a river. I know the fish ponds at the back of our property will be overflowing. All the little bass that made there home here in Walker County will wind up in Mobile Bay.
It was a good walk. The dogs splashed through every puddle on the property. The huge black lab plopped down in one puddle and rolled. It was his kind of weather.
It's back to work tomorrow. Y'all have a great week.

Storm's a Coming

The weather radio woke us up screaming this morning at 3:30 a.m. A strong thunderstorm headed this way at 80 miles per hour. We may not have power this evening so a regular post may not happen, but we're hoping for the best.
My column to day in the Mountain Eagle is about going to the dentist. I think it's pretty funny, but I'm easily amused. I'll post it here in a day or two.
More later, if the power is on this evening.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I feel Better

Today I got a chance to read my friend Dale Short's column that appeared last Tuesday's paper. 
I was astounded by what he wrote. Apparently TV preacher Pat Robertson said on the air that the earthquake in Haiti was caused by the country's history of practicing voodoo. 
Apparently back in the late 1700's, some of the inhabitants did voodoo ceremonies to help the country gain independence. Robertson said that the recent devastating earthquake was God's retribution for that infraction over two hundred years ago. 
Dale called the Christian Broadcasting Network to complain. He didn't get a lot of traction with the phone folks, but he said he felt better after the call.
The next day Robertson put out a news release saying he didn't really say that.
Here'e the thing. I think most preachers are really great folks who take God's work seriously. Personally I believe that it's more noble and Godly to spend time in hospital rooms and in nursing homes visiting the sick and the shut-ins, than to stand up on television trying to convince people to send them money. 
I'm sure there are many who would disagree, but I think anyone who would stand up before a TV audience and claim that an earthquake in 2010 was the result of voodoo activity back in 1790, is a complete moron.
So there, I've said it. I know it doesn't change anything, but like my friend Dale, I feel better.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Photo Art

When it comes to doing cool effects with photos, having an iPhone is kind of like cheating.  It's so simple to snap a photo and even if it's a mediocre picture, you can pull it into one of the many photo apps on the phone and in a few seconds have a cool ArtPhoto.
I've been taking pictures for many years. In fact, I got my first real camera when I was in Panama in 1972. It was a Canon FTb. It was all metal with a chunk of glass in the lense as big as a headlight. The camera weighed slightly less than my motorcycle at the time.
When I got back to the States, I went to work for The Community News with my friend Dale Short. He was a child photographic prodigy. We did ArtPhotos but it took HOURS.
The first ones we did we shot pictures with Ektachrome slide film and developed the pictures in a solution made for print film. We then developed the prints in special cannisters with a concoction of developer that was normally used for developing xrays. We added some special sauce too. At any rate, when the pictures came out, they were studies in high contrast prints with vibrant colors. Some of them were stunning.
The reason we didn't do more is because life is short.
Anyhow, I enjoyed our time experimenting with photography, but at my age, iPhone Art makes a lot more sense.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Sometimes when things get crazy I get the feeling that my creativity has been all used up. I can sit here and tap the letters off this keyboard and the ideas just will not come.
But if you've ever watched "The Bishops Wife" Cary Grant, who was an angel, did one of his miracles on the professor's bottle of sherry.
Each time he poured a glass of sherry from the bottle, it would fill back up. The professor said, "This is amazing! It warms, it inspires, but it never inebriates."
When it comes to your mind and creativity, it's like the professor's bottle of sherry. It flows from somewhere deep within like an artesian well.
The thing about it is, sometimes the water tastes better than at other times, but it's always enough to fill your glass.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Slow Down, Relax

I made it to the truck this evening before the rain started falling. The ride home was a slow one because there were several wrecks on the interstate. 
You have a couple of choices in this situation. You can get agitated and switch lanes like Andy Andriette, or you can sit back and breathe. I chose the latter.
I plugged my iPhone headset in and I hit shuffle on my music player. I guess the little device realized I needed to stay calm so it served up a string of beautiful folk songs, solo piano music, and other relaxing songs that made the time seem to pass more quickly.
Before I knew it, traffic was moving along at a normal pace and I was home before I realized it. I looked down when I pulled into the drive way and my truck rolled over 130,000 miles. I love to catch milestone readings on my odometer. 
I'm off call tomorrow night and we hope to do something fun this weekend. I think we deserve it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It’s been as cold as a well digger’s... well, let’s just say it’s been really cold and dreary lately. I can take a day or two without sunshine, but too many dark days often give me a case of the blues. When the sun finally made an appearance, my spirits lifted.

On the way home from my day gig I got to catch my first sunset in months. I was on Arkadelphia Road near the border of Walker and Blount county at the ridge of a mountain (it’s really just a foothill, but here in Alabama, we call them mountains).
At the crest of the mountain, it looks as though you can see across Walker County and all the way to Mississippi.
The sun glowed like an amber egg sinking down toward the horizon. The scene was breathtaking so I pulled over to the side of the road to enjoy the waning moments of the descent. As I watched, the western sky turned the color of a rusty garden plow.
I snapped a few frames. No camera can capture the magnificence of a sunset, but I always try.
In looking back through the thousands of photographs I've taken in my life, one would discover that a good many of my photographs are dedicated to sunsets.
Some of my earliest sunset photos are from Panama where I bought my first real camera, but the portfolio has grown steadily since the early seventies.
Several years ago, we took our niece Samantha to San Francisco and one evening we drove south of the city to Santa Cruz and walked down the boardwalk at sunset. We bought ice cream cones and strolled along soaking in the atmosphere.  We stopped for a while, dangled our legs off the edge of the weathered pier, and paid a silent tribute to a sunset that was indescribably beautiful.
I’ve never been to Hawaii but friends have told me that sunsets there are something to behold. I’d really like to go and see for myself.
One of our main goals when we visited Ireland was to watch a sunset off the west coast of the Arian Islands, and we scheduled that treat a few days before departure.
When we went to board the ferry, they told us that fog sometimes makes a day trip turn into a several-day trip, so we had to scratch that off our list.
Even when things are chaotic and my life seems like it’s spiraling out of control, a sunset will stop me in my tracks and gives me a chance to put my priorities in order.
Life has a way of filling up any unallocated time. If you don't take some time for yourself, someone else will take it and make it their own.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m getting too old to let that happen. There’s more sand at the bottom of my hourglass than at the top and what’s left is precious to me.
Mother Nature provides an unending slideshow; from an unfathomable night sky in summer, to autumn leaves, or a blanket of fresh snow in winter.
I can’t imagine a better cure for the blues than a January sunset.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday. His actual birthday is the same as mine, January 15th but someone decided to make a banker's holiday out of it and so it is celebrated on Mondays following his birthday. 
When you Google quotes by Dr. King, you will get tons of results. He said some remarkable things in his lifetime.
The most famous one is his "I have a dream" speech, but the one that speaks to me is the one below.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


Last night was a long night. I went in to work expecting to be there two hours but I didn't get home until almost 6 a.m. I felt like I'd been beaten with a spatula.
I remember thinking around 4 a.m., there's got to be a better way to make a living. I mean, those guys that pick up cans on the side of the road look happy. They look broke for the most part, but they look happy.
There's something appealing about getting out in the sun, walking, bending, carrying, and stooping to get your daily exercise.
I can hear it now "Mister, my computer is down and I NEED IT FIXED NOW!!!!!"
I would be wearing overalls and my favorite Alabama baseball cap and I'd smile and say "Hey, I found a quarter by the side of the road right back there, why don't you use it to call someone who cares that your computer is down.  I'm busy doing something meaningful for the planet by picking up and recycling these cans. Now go away and quit bugging me."
How cool would that be. I'm also working on an alternate option:
Welcome to Wal~Mart.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Drag

I'm heading in to work again tonight. If things go well, I'll post something meaningful later, but if things go south, I'll have to write something tomorrow and back date it.
I don't like getting out this late in the rain but I am fond of eating so I'm heading in. 
I do think there should be a rule against having to go to work in the rain.
Wish me luck.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chasin' the Sun

I had planned to be off today for my birthday, and go out of town over the weekend, but the stars were "agin it" so I worked today.
On the way in this morning I saw a plane with a vapor trail that looked like a long skinny feather boa. I shot the picture with my iPhone and then doctored it up with one of the photo apps. I call this picture "Chasin' the Sun".
I sat for a while watching the plane as it streaked across the sky. I wished that Jilda and I were on it headed toward California or some exotic destination.
It's been way too long since we've had a decent get-a-way.
I'd really like to go somewhere, kick back, and just relax for a week and really unwind.
Thanks to all my friends, family and Facebook buddies who wished me a happy birthday today. It's been a good day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Birthday Eve

I didn't get a chance to walk at work today so tonight as dinner was on the stove, I donned my nifty head lamp that I got for Christmas and I walked in the dark.
When I got down near the barn, a doe jumped across my path and scampered off into the hollow. It was colder than I expected and I didn't wear a jacket, so I had to pick up the pace to try and stay warm.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 59. In three years, I'll be eligible to draw social security. How weired is that?
That is just so hard for me to fathom. My dad passed away when he was 63. In my mind, he seemed much older. But he'd been sick for some time and bad health can ravish a body and make you old before your time.
I feel great! I walk an average of 5 days a week. I always take the stairs instead of the elevator. I do yoga  a few times a week. I still laugh hard enough to spew tea out my nose. Can you really be old when you laugh that hard?
My sister Mary Lois drove up this evening and left me a dead plant and a rusty shovel on my door steps while Jilda and I were working.
The shovel had ribbons and a sign that said "Grow Damn You". It's an inside joke. Every time anyone in my family asks me what I want as a gift, I always say "a shrub."  It drives my them crazy.
Anyhow, I'll let you know tomorrow if I can see life more clearly from my vantage point.  .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time Traveler's Wife

I'm listening to an interesting piece of fiction now called The Time Traveler's wife. It took me a while to get into this book but now I'm hooked.
I can't wait to see how it ends. A guy travels back in time and meets his future wife when she is only six years old. The story seems strange and disjointed at first, but once you get into the flow, you find that it a really unique idea for a novel.
I tried the book when I saw that it consistently showed up near the top of the listener's list of favorite books.
So far I'm pleased but I always withhold final judgement until the end. I hate books that end badly.
More later. It's suppertime.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Into Spring

I can tell the days are getting longer. I didn't get out of the office until almost 6 p.m. and it still wasn't totally dark. I dialed up Winter into Spring on my iPhone and listened George Winston.
I"m not sure what it is about that music but I can be wound as tight as a banjo string and a few chords on that piano makes me feel taller.
Before long, we'll see the buttercups blooming in the morning sunshine and hear the bluebirds checking out their new quarters. It's fun watching them decide. First the daddy bluebird will go inside and inspect, then he comes out and she goes in.
Once they're both outside, they fly up to a limb nearyby and discuss the property. "It's a bit smaller than our nest last spring, she'll point out."
"Yes, but the morning sun comes through the portal perfectly. I think we should make an offer," he says.
"OK, if you like it, I like it," she says as they fly off.

Monday, January 11, 2010

About to Celebrate # 59

This week is my birthday. Some people get a little crazy about birthdays, but that’s not the case with me. This year I will be celebrating No. 59.
I love cake, but at my age I feel that it would be easier to forget the candles and simply start a brushfire in the back yard, throw on a couple of Hostess Twinkies and call it a party.
It would definitely save a great deal of time, but I’d hate to knock all those wax workers out of the overtime they’d miss by not making candles for my cake.
Some families don’t really celebrate birthdays that much. When the kids get too big to ride ponies and are no longer afraid of clowns, families often acknowledge birthdays by sending a lame card or a Happy Birthday message on Facebook.
Not so with the Rickster. As long as my mama was able to cook, she’d whip out a birthday dessert fit for a king. Chocolate, red velvet, or coconut cakes were normal offerings for the occasion.
After I started dating Jilda, she began making me a birthday cake too. I’m not talking about one of those store-bought desserts that are about as edible as day old road kill out on Highway 78, but a real cake, with real sugar.
A confection that hits your bloodstream like a Ferrari juiced up on premium high test gasoline. Three bites and you’re high as a kite.
Now that’s what I call a birthday cake! In all the years we’ve been together, she has never forgotten my birthday.
I’ve heard people say their 30th birthday or their 50th birthdays were hard, but that wasn’t the case with me.
I am, however, a little apprehensive about No. 60 next year.
My old sister Mary Lois (she loves it when I say that), hit 60 a few years ago and I might have been a bit unkind.
I said some things that I fear may come back to haunt me on Jan. 15, 2011.
She actually got off lucky because I wanted to send male strippers dressed as morticians but I couldn’t find dancers that weren’t freaked about riding in a hearse so I buried that idea.
That’s probably fortunate for me because my sister is really creative and she could make my 60th difficult had I stepped over the line on her birthday.
My mother-in-law Ruby said on her 86th birthday that she felt 20 years old, until she looked into a mirror.
I still feel young even though my hair has gone south and my knees squeak when I stand up too quickly.
I believe birthdays are special. I have my iPhone programmed to remind me of the birthdays of all my family and friends.
And on those birthdays, I take a few minutes, no matter how busy I am, to call and say happy birthday. I think it says, “I love you and I’m so happy you were born.”
Here’s a quote for the men out there.
“A true diplomat a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday, but never remembers her age.”
– Author unknown.
But by far one of the best birthday quotes is by Frank Sinatra.
He said “May you live to be a hundred and may the last voice you hear be mine.”

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I"ll Survive

I think I'll live now. I slept hard last night and when I woke up, my stomach muscles were sore from the wrenching....perhaps that's a little too much info but I got stronger as the day progressed.
I'm disappointed because we were supposed to start recording the new Rick & Jilda project this weekend. My buddy Fred had blocked off time for us to get into the studio and begin work. That didn't happen.
We did get out this evening and run to the hardware store to get a new water filter, but only because our old one was beginning to leak.
I kept the receipt from the restaurant and I looked at it today to see if by chance they had a website where you could leave feedback. They did and I did. It probably won't do any good, but I felt better.
The weatherman says warmer weather is on the way. It will be a welcome change. I did sweep leaves off the back deck this afternoon. I wrapped up like a cocoon, but even though it was cold today, the sun was warm and I sat on bench and soaked in a few rays.
We'll be ordering seed and charting out garden plans before long.  I miss the smell of freshly mowed grass.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Dog Sick

The roads were still suspect yesterday so I decided to take Jilda to work rather than worry about her sliding off an icy road and becoming stranded.
So yesterday afternoon, I picked her up from work and we ate at a restaurant in Fultondale. Later last night my stomach seemed to feel a little jittery. When I woke up after midnight, the feeling had moved from jittery to queasy. When I got up to take some Pepito Bismol, I found myself running to the bathroom.  I haven't felt that sick in some time.
Jilda got up to offer aid and comfort but realized she was queasy too. We were both up and down for the rest of the night so we've spent the day today on the couch.
We were scheduled to record today and to go to our great niece's birthday party but neither of those things happened.
We're taking it easy tonight too, and hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Friday, January 08, 2010

2010 National Champions - Roll Tide

I've been glowing for most of the day. Not because I was up half the night. I'm up half the night quite often working on broken computers in Dallas or Wakeshaw or Poughkeepsie.  But the next morning I would never describe my condition as glowing.
You see, I was up last night watching something rare and remarkable. I watched my team beat Texas, another great team, for the BCS National Championship. 
The last time Alabama won a national championship was back in 1992. I watched that one too, but this one was even sweeter in my view. 
Back in 2007, Alabama faithfuls caught a load of grief from my friends who are Auburn fans about how much money Saban was being paid. The first year when we went 7-6 I have to admit, I secretly was asking myself if it was a good use of funds.
Then something remarkable happened. In the season open with #9 ranked Clemson in the Georga Dome, Alabama who was pretty much unranked, spanked those Tigers 34-10. They followed that with a victory over Arkansas and then went to #3 Georgia during their "blackout" (the team wore black for luck)  and spanked them Bulldogs like they'd peed on the rug.
The Tide ended the regular season 12-0 but suffered a heartbreaking loss to Florida in the Southeastern Conference Championship game. They were further embarrassed in the Sugar Bowl with a loss to Utah. 
When some teams have losses like the last two of 2008, it does something to their spirit. Not so with Alabama. When they took the field in early September it was again at the Georgia Dome. They faced #7 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies.  Again the Tide rose to the occasion and they never looked back.
There were a number of close games, but the strength and character of this team would not allow them to lose. 
When they were threatened by LSU, Tennessee, and Auburn, the sucked it up and won.
The team that took the field in early December against Florida was not the same team. Many were the same players, but this team was on a mission. The end result was a very strong and talented Florida team when back to Gainsville with their gator-tails between their flippers.
There was a lot of hype this past week about Texas and the fact that Colt McCoy was the winningest college quarterback in Collegiate history. 
Most of the TV commentators predicted that Texas would win. The sad part for me was that Cold McCoy got knocked out of the game early. 
There are those who would say, that with a healthy McCoy, Texas would have won. Had this been any other team, I might have agreed. But this team, I believe, would have risen to the occasion regardless of who was behind center. 
I honestly believe that this team could have beaten the NFL Dallas Cowboys last night. 
The were on a mission, and just before midnight local time - Mission Accomplished.
Now I think they should focus on World Peace and True Happiness.
Roll Tide. 

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Roll Tide

I'm trying to stay calm. The Tide plays Texas in about an hour and already my stomach is doing back flips.
These are two very good teams and I think the one that catches the breaks is the team that will win.
The line on the game is Bama by 4 1/2 but you can never tell.
I've got to believe that our guys are ready to play.
I love my team, win, lose or draw.
Roll Tide

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Milk and Bread

The weatherman is predicting snow tomorrow. Most of the time I blow off snow talk because most of the time it's just that - talk.  But the last several days it's been really cold and the ground is dryer than day old pizza crust.
We've had snow in the past that came in the morning and by mid afternoon, it was almost warm enough to swim.
That won't be the case this time. Friday it will only get to 30 degrees. Any snow that's on the ground will stay there until at least Monday when the temps get above freezing.
Maybe I should run out and get some milk and bread.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My First Column for 2010

This is my first column for 2010 and I’m actually excited about the coming year. I stop short of saying that I think it will be a great year.  The last time I said that was 1975.  I wound up losing my job on my birthday early in January of 1976 and spent the rest of the year doing odd jobs and panhandling to make ends meet. Well, I didn’t actually panhandle unless you count our parents, but the year turned out to be a low point in my young life.
I want to do things this year that I’ve never done before. Our friend Fred wants to take us to eat sushi. I don’t normally eat fish bait, but he seems pretty high on it so we’re going to give it a spin. The idea is to learn, grow, and evolve into a better person in 2010.
I’d also like to ride to New Orleans on the Amtrak Crescent. I had a short ride back when I wrote a story about trains while working at The Community News, but the last decent train ride I had was when I was in Panama in 1972. 
My friend Jocko and I took the last train headed to Colon one Sunday evening in January. Our seats were on the last car. The train was almost deserted so we went outside and dangled our feet off the platform on the back of the train as it wobbled across the Isthmus along side the Panama Canal. 
I’m guessing Jilda and I won’t have the same experience on the Amtrak as those wacky conductors normally take dim view of open-air riding.
One big milestone for us in 2010 is that our house should pay off this year. It seems like we’ve been paying on it all our lives and to think it will belong to us and not the bank is exciting! I can tell you we will have one heck of a mortgage burning party when this baby is paid off.
I always enjoy spending the last week of the year envisioning my future. After we retire from our day gig, we want to spend our time playing music at festivals and coffee shops. We want to write songs and books. We want to travel and see more of the world.
Some people put off the things they love doing until they retire, or their kids are grown or until some future event occurs. We haven’t done that. We’ve consistently moved in the directions of our dreams, but I think retirement will give us more time for the things we love.
I know I’ve said this before, but New Year’s is my favorite holiday. Each New Year is like a clean slate. Like the fresh thick lined notebook and fat cedar pencils from kindergarten.
Each New Year, we have a chance for a new beginning. We can look back at the old year, take note and celebrate our accomplishments. With the New Year, we can look to the future, aim a little higher and try with all our hearts to do something remarkable.
Happy New Year.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Stay Warm

To say it's chilly here in Empire, Alabama is like saying the Grand Canyon's a big ditch. It felt like my hand stuck to the door handle of my truck this morning when I left for work.
I got out mid-morning for my walk and the temps had dropped 2 degrees. The wind whipped the American Flag to attention as I walked out of the building.
I think it's supposed to be colder tonight. The weatherman is saying we may get some snow on Thursday. They've said that before, but one thing's for sure, if it does snow, it will probably stick this time.
I'm taking this coming Friday off. The Tide plays for the National Championship Thursday night and the game won't end until near midnight. I just hope the boys have not partied too much during the holidays.
Y'all stay warm.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Break's Over, Get Back to Work

I've been off from work for over a week and I head back in tomorrow. I hope my plants survived. There was really no one there to water them so I wouldn't be surprised if some of them bit the dust. 
There's only one I'd really hate to lose and that's the one the company gave me when my dad passed away is 1986. 
It's been in that building going on twenty four years. It's been a long time since I repotted it so that's on my todo list this week. I have to measure the old pot and buy a new one along with some fresh potting soil.
It got too big for my cube so I put it in the break area near my desk. It's like an old friend.
I really needed time off this week and I've taken advantage of it. We've taken a nap almost every day.
As my old friend Joe Smith says, a day without a good nap is a waste.
Have a great week and let me know how your 2010 goals are going.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


I decided to start journaling again. I've kept a journal for many years but I fell out of the habit back when I started writing in this blog daily. It seemed like a duplication of efforts. But this past week I've spent time re-examining my life and my habits. I found that I like the habit of journaling.
I read back through some of my older journals and I had to smile at some of the rants. I also rediscovered several really good ideas I had captured and promptly forgotten.  
While it's true I write daily here, much of what I write is somewhat guarded. I write things suitable for general distribution and I've left so much unsaid. 
So, one of my intentions is to slip back into the habit of journaling. What good habits have you let fall by the wayside?
2010 will be a good year to regain focus and get back on track. I'm excited and I hope you are too. 

Friday, January 01, 2010

Winding Down

We just rolled in from south Alabama. We didn't get to bed until after 2 a.m. and my eyes were wide open at 8 a.m.
We had turnip green and black eyed peas for lunch. Both Wes and Deidra are great cooks so the food at their house is always exceptional. Wes grilled inch thick pork chops to go with the greens and beans. Yum!
I'm about to wind down and  get ready for an early night.
Happy New Year.

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