23 September 2012

Star Wars - The Emperor Lives

Forget what you saw in the movies. The emperor lives and is plotting a return to power. Here he is, taking a nap and sitting across from me on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta last week.

I guess being an evil dark lord is tiring.

18 September 2012


I was walking through the Minneapolis skyway the other day on my way to work and passed a Subway restaurant that had just pulled out a tray of fresh baked bread. Immediately the smell reminded me of the lunchroom at Myrtle Grove Elementary School in Florida, where the lunch ladies made fresh rolls for the kids every day. Funny how certain smells, good or bad ones, can take you back to another place. Got me to thinking about other great smells,
2. Babies
3. Newly cut grass
4. Sun tan lotion on skin at the beach
5. Cigarettes and coffee, early in the morning
6. Gasoline
7. Old Spice after shave
8. Tomato plants in the South in July
9. A baseball glove

06 September 2012

The power of free

During lunch today I walked by the event shown in this picture and muttered aloud, "people standing in line.... at Arby's?" I should have known. The idea of getting something for free is a powerful motivator. It will make people do the oddest things, like stand in line for a free turkey sandwich. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a former employee of Arby's and have not eaten there since leaving the company in the mid 1970's.)

Of course while it is free to these people in line, they know it isn't really without cost. The owner is paying the cost of the sandwich, ( the ingredients and labor to assemble and distribute) in hopes of gaining customers who will buy something else on this, or some future, visit.

Lots of other things aren't free. Someone else is paying for them. We know that. But when it comes from the government, as middleman, it's harder to make the connection to those who provide these things. It makes people do the oddest things, like vote for the people in office, as though they had something to do with creating these free things. Free prescription drugs, free school lunches, free flu shots, free digital cable adapters, free money, free armaments. Thank the unborn, and even the unconcieved, if they survive to their delivery date, they may get to pay for this, or like us, hand it off to someone else. 

Got the Lake house

We got the house on the lake that we have wanted for a while. I'm looking forward to seeing how the seasons change on this little acre of ours. We haven't moved in yet, that will come after we sell the current house. For now we'll be spending a lot of weekends here, moving a few things in and doing the yard work. This photo was taken yesterday from behind the house and looking out on the lake, while I was cutting the grass.

04 September 2012

Roan Mountain Shopping list 2012

This is the shopping list for the annual family trek to Roan Mountain, Tennessee. It's not all the groceries, just what my family needs to navigate through the meals supplied by others. While most years I buy from the local "American Owned" Ingles grocery in Newland, NC, this year I went to Walmart in Columbia, SC. Why I had those two to choose from is for another posting.

Bath Soap
BB Cards
Cheese - Wisconsin
Corn Chips
Crystal Light
Dr Enuf and other sodas
Esquire, etc. 
Hamburger for 8 
Lighter Fluid
Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies
Lunch Meat
Mt Olive Bread and Butter Pickles
Paper Plates
Paper Towels
Peanuts in Shell
Pinto Beans
Pork Roast 
Potted Meat
Salt and Pepper
Sugar, SweetLo, etc
Vienna Sausage
Wasp Spray
Wood Chips
The things scratched out will remain on the list for next year, we didnt need them this time, but you never know when we might. As usual we had too many condiments, too much charcoal, not enough margarine, just enough cigars. In addition to buying this stuff, there were numerous trips to Jacks grocery for more ice, more tomatoes, more onions. The mysteries surrounding the closing of the Davis Girls Peach shed in Roan Mountain and the unusually hard peaches at the Hump Mountain Produce Stand will remain unsolved until another year.

It was another weekend well spent. Included a nice drive with Mom from Columbia, SC to the mountain. A trip to my grandparents gravesite. A minor league game between the Elizabethton Twins and the Burlington Royals. Rain delayed the game but we got to walk around the park and get some souvenirs. A drive with cousins Becky and Barbara to Fred's General Store in Beech Mountain. Lunch at Bob's Dairyland for bbq sandwiches. The best steak dinner of the year. Hiking around Carver's Gap and the torturous jog up to the Miller homestead. Sunday morning sermon at the campground, a bit rambling but heart-felt and full of truth. Kevin's story of Inez and Aunt Bill at Harry's wake, which seems to get funnier and weirder each time I hear it. Numerous games of dominoes. NT's passion for Moose Tracks ice cream. And no gathering is complete without a few heated family arguments about things important and things trivial. A good time.