Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mulberry Street

Don't forget to visit PetLand and take advantage of their year end close out sale on huge puppies.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

We took our Christmas tree down tonight. Tomorrow I'll remove the wreaths from the windows and the candles from the window sills. We'll box it all up, poorly, and toss it in the attic with no particular order or reference. Much like the Grinch unloading Whoville.

Funny, putting the Christmas tree up is a joy in our house. It signals the season and we listen to Christmas music and talk about ornaments and joy is experienced by all. Taking it down is another story. It ends the season and we watch the news and toss ornaments in boxes and pretty much hose ourselves off of joy.

"After this, therefore because of this." An argument could be made that the hectic experience of taking the tree down is caused by putting the tree up. Makes sense, I guess. If we never put a living tree in our house, we would never experience the arboreus nightmare of removing said tree.

But they say that phrase itself is a 'logical fallacy'. Maybe there is more to it. Maybe the tree has nothing to do with it at all. Maybe we're just sad the Christmas season is over and the great, gray beast of winter is creeping in as we start a year all over again knowing we now have one less Christmas to enjoy. Maybe. Maybe not.

I think the hardship of cleaning up after Christmas is innate. I think that we want to hold on to that joy so hard and so long that we forget we can have it all year long. I know I do. Christmas joy doesn't fill me up in March or in August when it's 115 degrees but it can and it should. So next July, ask me about it. I'll probably say, "huh?". But remind me that I don't need a tree in my house to be filled with the Holy Christmas spirit.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

In the space of the beginning was the living Word of Light.
When this Word was clearly spoken all that came to be was right.

All creation had a language, words to say what must be said.
All day long the heavens whispered, signing words in scarlet red.

Some have failed to understand it, so God spoke His final Word.
On a silent night in Judah's hills a baby's cry was heard.

Glory! sang the angel chorus. Glory! echoed back the night.
Love has come to walk among us. Christ the Lord is born this night

All creation sing His praises. Earth and heaven praise His name.
All who live come join the chorus. Find the words His love proclaim.

Find the words His love proclaim.

--- "Anthem for Christmas" (Michael W. Smith / Gloria Gaither)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Concerts

My buddy Kyle-o posted about concerts seen and unseen and it got me thinking. I wish I had kept an accurate record of all shows I've seen. It would be interesting to know that I saw Hootie & The Blowfish at a frat house in college only to see them get huge in the years to come. Here's a list of concerts I've seen that I gathered from the ticket stubs I've kept. I've added opening acts if I could remember and if they mattered. The number after the show is how many times I've seen them.

AC/DC, Aerosmith, Amy Grant 2, Autograph, Billy Joel 3, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Dylan, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bon Jovi, Buddy Guy, Charlie Peacock, Cinderella, The Cult, David Wilcox, DC Talk, Def Leppard, Dick Dale, Don McLean, Dream Theater, Drivin' & Cryin', Elton John, Every Mothers Nightmare, Firehouse, Foreigner, Giant, Guiffera, Indigenous, Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Nettles Band, Joe Satriani, John Denver, John Hayes, John Mellencamp, Journey 3, Junior Brown 3, Kenny Wayne Shepard, KISS 3, Kris Kristofferson, Kristen Hall 2, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Melissa Ethridge, Metallica, Michael W. Smith 2, Mothers Finest, Mr. Big 2, Mylon & Broken Heart, Neil Diamond, Pearl Jam, Petra, Poco, Poison, Quiet Riot, Rage Against the Machine, Ratt 2, Red Elvises, Rich Mullins, Ricky Martin, Robert Earl Keen 4, Rush 6, Russ Taff, Sarah Brightman, Seven Nations 3, Skid Row, Steve Taylor, Stryper, Ted Nugent 4, Tom Petty, U2, Usher, Van Halen 2, Wes King, White Cross, WhiteHeart, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top 2.If anyone out there has any that they know I've missed, I'd like to know.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Various & Sundry

Yeah I come from a long line of frontiersmen and outdoor types.
College. In the 80's. Write your own joke.
Man, I love cutting grass. I mean, heck, we all do,
but it means more to me.
Can't get enough of Utah. It's still the right place.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Samuel

Happy 1st Birthday Sam!

You've been toting us around for a year now. I hope you've enjoyed it. I know we have. A year ago today you were no bigger than the size of my forearm and weighed 7 pounds. Today you're twice the size of my forearm and weigh 21 pounds. If this keeps up, when you're my age you'll be 39 feet tall and weigh 819 pounds.


Here you are enjoying your party with some fat guy wearing a dad mask.
The wonderment of the Birthday cake.
That's the guy! He's the one that what tried and took my cake!

Dad wins the birthday javelin catching contest.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Pick of Destiny

Well it looks like we're getting the band back together (insert joke here). I'd planned to put up a pic or two of me and the guys, and I probably will, but I pulled out my guitar tonight and tooled around for a while. I have this old dip can that I kept picks in in my guitar case. I spent several minutes just looking at them and playing a bit. A lot came rushing back to me. More than I can explain here. They are old. Like me.

These were my favorites. I was a tried and true Fender Thin man, the Fender Pink being my pick of choice, but I rotated in some heavies for the power chords of rock and to feel like Yngwie. The two on the bottom are interesting since the purple one is two feet thick and the other is made of steel... for heavy metal. Get it? I didn't use it much.Here are some of my professional guys picks. The two Journey/Neil Schon picks were obtained at the show. I was so close I could have hit him with his own pick. (thanks, Kyle, for scooping them up for me) . The Dann Huff pick was from a show they did in Nashville at the Ace of Clubs. We were just sitting at a table and it was there. A coup for me. I got the Steve Via pick at a clam bake and the Alex Lifeson either came from a private lesson with him or came in a deluxe edition DVD set. I forget.

Monday, November 26, 2007

R.I.P. -- Kevin DuBrow

So there I was... it was the summer of 1983. I had just finished my freshman year of high school and I had discovered that I was a metal head. Not the drug induced, beating up old ladies metal head, just the innocuous, parents not really worried type of head banger. I went to summer camp at Camp Pee Dee for the last time that year. Several of my friends were there... my "metal" friends, one of which being Buddy Williams. He had a new 'tape' of a band called Quiet Riot.

It was easily the most metal thing I had heard to date. An argument could be made that now it's laughable but at the time it was almost frightening. The cover had an insane guy on it who had obviously just broken out of an asylum and was coming to get me. Jason Vorhees mask... straight jacket... it was pretty dark. I loved what I heard. I remember thinking how cool I would be when I got my cassette of this masterpiece. The guitar was awesome and the lead singer, Kevin DuBrow, just wailed. What a great album and a great time in my life. I was coming of age. Finding myself. How was I to know that in just three short years, I'd be in college and hooked on REM and other alternative, acoustic rock.

I saw Quiet Riot a couple of years ago with my brother-in-law. It was the "Rock Never Stops" tour (ironic, isn't it). As we were leaving, Kevin and couple other guys were walking through the hall. I was within 10 feet of him. I didn't stop. Didn't yell out. Just said... "there he is". The 15 year old me would have lost his mind. Oh well, times change, people change.

Kevin DuBrow died yesterday at the ripe old age of 52. I don't know yet how but it makes me sad. Thank you, Kevin Dubrow, your music and spandex clad antics made me happy and I'll never forget it. Well... I'm off to iTunes get some Quiet Riot.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

We had a great Thanksgiving. We were all thankful for family and health. In celebration of this holiday, Uncle Kyle lovingly cuddled and then fried up the Thanksgiving Dog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mulberry Street

I'm following in line with George's random pics in the "Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street" vain. Here's a truck I saw today. It's a Dodge. Doug's Dodge.

Thanksgiving Eve

I remember quite clearly the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 1990 when I was in Nashville. Most of us were going home for the weekend and George, Jolly and I left late, about 6 or 6:30 that night. We caravanned with George and myself in my car and Jolly in his. We took turns leading the way, always giving the “thumbs up” or “double pistols” sign as we passed one another. We stopped, as we always did, at Exit 417 on I-40 to gas up and I guess just to be there. That seemed to be a magic location while I was in Nashville.

The band White Heart had just put out their “Powerhouse” cd so we listened to that the whole way. I think Jolly didn’t know we had it and we gave it to him at the stop as a surprise. He quickly passed us with an “OK-rock on” hand gesture. I think about that when I hear the album and think of him.

We got into Columbia, waved goodbye to Jolly as he exited to his home and his world, and got to George’s home about 1:00 am. His dad, George the 2nd, known to most as ‘Buddy’, was waiting up for us. (I never called him Buddy but always wanted to) They asked me to spend the night since it had been a long trip but I had gotten my second wind and was ready to press on.

I pulled out about 1:30, I guess, and headed for Florence. Michael W. Smith had a Christmas CD out then that, at the time, I didn’t think much of but for some reason I thought why not pop it in. So there I was… on the last leg of a 9 hour trip, 2:00 am, wide awake and wide alive. I loved hearing the album as I drove and couldn’t get it loud enough. I even rolled down the windows a little to feel the cold air rush over me as the music seemed to usher in the Christmas season. I play it every year when we put our Christmas tree up. It always reminds me of that trip.

“Glory!” sang the angel chorus. “Glory!” echoed back the night.
Love has come to walk among us.Christ the Lord is born this night.

I got home about 3:00 am. Mom and Dad were asleep but left lights on for me and some food out. I quickly killed the food and the lights and quietly went upstairs to bed. I remember lying there feeling good… in my bed… in my room… home. My being wired from the driving soon gave way to sleep and the next thing I knew it was morning and my Mom was sitting on the edge of my bed hugging me. Maybe hiding a tear, I’m not sure. I said, “I’m home. She said, “I know. I’m glad”. “Me too”, I said. And I was.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Endorsement

(not the candidate, just the ad)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Walk to Remember

I took my son on a walk through the woods this morning. Just the two of us. Good times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Education Scheducation

I found this of interest in the morning paper. It was an article about Clemson football and their big game tonight with Boston College. It spoke of seniors and their last home game and the journey they had. Linebacker Nick Watkins, shaking his signature locks, they reported, was focused upon:

“Watkins readily admits to a distain for the disruption education causes for a college football player, yet there’s a sense of pride in the fact that he survived the system and could walk away with a diploma in spite of himself.”

Disruption? Ok. So here’s a guy thats been a fine member of the Clemson football team (aka: the tigers). He’s done his job well from what I understand and will certainly look back on his college career with fondness. However, he hasn’t thought much of what he’s really gained during his time at the institution. One would say “why is youth wasted on the young” or “if I knew then what I know now”. Poor Nick.

I heard a guy on the radio say once “It’s hard to sell life insurance with a spider tattooed on your face”. I guess that about sums it up but I’m still sorry his learning something interfered with football. I hope he gets over it.

(P.S. Clemson just lost in dramatic fashion. Time to hit the books, Nick.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

~~~

Look at this jackass...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

240-Robert

Over most of my adult life, whenever I've been in a conversation about old TV shows that were great but never stood the test of time, I've usually mentioned "240-Robert". I've always been met with blinking eyes and the sound of crickets chirping. No one, and I mean no one, has ever remembered it. This has happened enough in my life, today in fact, that I've begun to think maybe I'm just crazy. I've never looked it up on the internet because frankly, I've never thought about doing so.

Well, the die is cast. A few keystrokes later and I've proven to the world (but mainly to me) that I'm not a loon. It was real. It happened. And I was there. Thank you, most wonderful internet and Superstu's website, for helping me live another day in sanity.

"240-Robert was a television show that originally aired in 1979 on ABC-TV. It featured the heroic rescues of the Emergency Services Detail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 240-Robert originally starred John Bennett Perry (Matthew Perry's father), Mark Harmon and Joanna Cassidy."

Samuel

Happy Eleven Month B-Day, Sam!
You da proverbial man

Friday, November 9, 2007

~~~

Me and my buddy Kyle-o at a recent Korn concert.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pungent Words

My son said the most interesting thing to me this evening during his bath. We were talking about Christmas and how glad I was that he's here and so on and so forth and thus and so.

He said: "Baaaaa, Ba, Ba, Da, Da, Ack." And I thought... you know that just nails it. It's what we're all feeling but afraid to say. Not to put too strong a point on it, but it's time we realized this. He concluded his great lesson by crapping in the tub.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Samuel enjoyed his first Halloween. He fulfilled his lifelong ambition of being a dog and was downtrodden when some lady called him a mouse (and a 'girl') but that's another blog entry.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Planned Chance Encounter

Two of my best buddies met today for what seemed like the first time. Utilizing the internet and it's blog power, they found a common ground and may become friends, as I am with each of them. I'd like to take credit for this but I can't. They each have their own direction and have enjoyed the blogs of the other. There was talk of Tom Wopat meeting them but he didn't show. Turns out, he was just a little late.Wait... what I'm I saying, I can take credit for it since they were both in my wedding for crying out loud. But I digress.(incidentally, the guy in the black circle is currently in the 'where does he blog now' file)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Family Visit

My Uncle Clyde and Aunt Ann came down from North Carolina this afternoon to see us and and meet Samuel. (ok... so they just came to meet Sam, but we were there too) They didn't stay very long, about an hour or so, but as they drove off, I couldn't help but be reminded of how peoples lives circle into one another.It's funny, there are some people in your life that you seldom see but when you do you seem to pick up right where you left off. Like you were already in the middle of a conversation. We move through this life... we worry, we try, we press on... and every now and again (get ready for it, here it comes, you know I'm going to say it) we meet a wormhole. I remember Uncle Clyde from when I was very young and now here he is with my son. Maybe I'll meet my nephew's son one day... I hope his Dad is as happy and proud as I was.

Oh, and if Samuel has half the sense of humor as Clyde, he'll have a good head start.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Paomnnehal Pweor of the Hmuan Mnid

Aoccdrnig to a rscheeartch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig.

(No, I didn't think that up, write it, or type it myself but I lvoe pzzia)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Samuel

Call off the dogs:
The question as to whether or not Sam will
be a "Mama's boy" or not has been answered.
It's yes. Right now, I'm just background noise. I think to combat this I'll get him a Gene Simmons Axe bass or a Red Ryder BB gun or a bear or something. Wish me luck...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blog, Blog, Blog...

To blog or not to blog, that is the question; whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous blogs, or to take arms against a sea of blogs, and by opposing, end them.
---Shakespeare (sort of)

I've realized lately that I have a blog and I don't blog about anything. How can I have a blog and not blog? In todays world of effecting politics or getting films like "Snakes on a Plane" made, blogs can be pretty useful. All I do is put up stuff only I think is funny and then sit back and think... "is it 'affect' or 'effect' politics?"

Sure every now and again I'll think of something meaningful, like that driving around bit I stuck on YouTube, that seemed to be a hit. But mostly it's just "I Wendy, I Wanda, I wonder.." and nothing ever gets said. My buddy George lit the fire under me when he was talking about Christian Democrats. So I think I'll just stand here until I think of something pertinent to say.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Tarrah 01Tarrah 02

Endorsement

"There's a song that I'd rather forget...
But I don't think I've shaken it yet."
---Kevin Moore
My brother-in-law gave me this CD a while back and now thanks to the magical wonder of the iPod shuffle setting, I literally can't get another tune in my head. So instead of distancing myself from so I can enjoy it for a longer period of time, I've decided to endorse it, play it over and over and get it out of my system. Enjoy...
HIM
"Wings of a Butterfly"


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bath Time

Here's my son and a few of his favorite toys in the tub.

Samuel

Happy 10 Month B-Day, Sam!
We have a fun tradition of singing while he takes a bath. He seems to enjoy story songs (heck, who doesn't?) and lately, he's really gotten into Bruce Springsteen's "Johnny 99". He could do a lot worse and seems to really like the line about waving his gun around.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Worm Hole

Same two guys. Same location. Same event.
9 years apart.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Walking with Sam

A day in the life... moments in time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Van Halen


Well, here we go... strap yourselves in because this could get bumpy. It's probably a fair statement to say that when I get to heaven and get to ask all the questions I'd like to know like "how many miles did I drive" or "how close was I to a snake and not known it", they'll tell me that the band that has brought me the most pleasure and the most disdain in life was Van Halen.

When I was in High School, I had photos of those guys cut out of magazines tacked up over an entire wall. Literally. My Mom had the room repainted a while back and I bet she had to pay extra for all the caulk it took to fill the holes in. I can actually remember telling my Dad that I can not imagine a time when I did not listen to Van Halen. I knew everything about them and said things I heard David Lee Roth say, even if I didn't get it. Eddie was king rock god to me. When 1984 hit and I got to see them in Columbia, SC (February 17th, 1984) I thought I reached my final goal and could die in peace (even though the tickets were marked "obstructed view"). I even bought into the Van Hagar years with enthusiasm. It a nutshell, it was just good stuff. That was then. This is now.

I've spent many years defending Eddie Van Halen as the only sane one in the bunch. An artist with no outlet. But I'm done.

They starting a new tour with Dave. Do I want to go? Yes. But not for any reason I would have thought of 23 years ago. I want to go for the same reason I wanted to see "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" or like those people who watched Princess Diana's funeral, they got up at 5:00 am to see her get married, they felt they should go it again.

We want to find a wormhole back to when everything was easy. When things made sense. We move through this life... and find those very brief, very obscure moments when we can connect with who we were. Why? I need to find out who I am.
-------------------------------------------
I started this post about a month ago and never finished. They are playing their first show tonight in Charlotte. Right now, actually, as I type. Am I there, no. Am I following the "goings on" on their fan site, yes. Will I download a bootleg as soon as it is available, absolutely. My Mom even gave me money for a ticket which means the world to me. I'm not making a statement by not going (it sold out in like nineteen hundred eighty four seconds) but I've decided to be happy with who I am and not need to look back. Maybe I'll see them again, who knows. I hope so. But I think it's a good step forward for me to not worry about it now. Good luck guys, knock 'em out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Samuel

My son... the little tike is plum tuckered out from banging his head.
(note the head bang, not photoshopped)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Right Stuff

A special friend... on his special day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Driving around... singing


Here I am. Driving around singing. Just like you...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Samuel

Happy Nine Month Birthday, Sam!
You know, son, I remember what I was doing six years ago today. I was on the phone with Michael that morning and he asked if I heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I said no but figured if it were so, then it was one of those guys trying to fly between them like the fellows that fly under the St. Louis Arch. Idiot, I thought. But I thought enough about it to call your Mom to ask if she had heard anything, since the CNN website seemed to be shut down. She said yes and that another plane had hit the other tower.

Information came slow. Your Uncle Kyle told me a tower had fallen (he was cutting grass that day). I called your Mom again and she said yes and that the other tower had fallen as well. We heard from a Fed-Ex delivery guy that the Pentagon had been hit. A bomb, he said. We had no TV in the office so I went home about 11:00am and watched what was going on. I had drive thru from Steak & Shake on the way back to work. We didn't get much done that day.

That evening I met your Uncle Kyle and a couple of guys for dinner and while sitting in the parking lot of the Roadhouse Grill learned that Building 7 had fallen. We had quite the evening watching TV and talking discussing it. Little did we know that as the events unfolded over the next month or so and during the past 6 years that we knew and know nothing. Oh, we can talk about how we felt and we can give details about the day, like knowing that we had a cheeseburger for lunch, but we don't know what it was like to experience it.

I was conceived during the "Summer of Love" and born in 1968. A turbulent year in our history. But you and I were born in very different worlds. Your generation will probably never understand what "post 9/11" means. Just like I don't understand what 1968 meant. It'll be a page or two in your history book. You'll read about it and see images but just like us, you won't get it. That's both good and bad, I think. Our generation seems to be losing it's way and I pray that you will not have to live in a "post" anything era.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Daniel

One of my nephews, Daniel, had his first soccer game the other day. Go Daniel! He's the one with the ball charging against the opposing player. The fellow in the foreground, Chad, right wing, was held back a year for basketball but decided soccer was his calling.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Samuel


Goodnight, my angel, now it's time to dream. And dream how wonderful your life will be. Someday your child may cry and if you sing this lullabye then in your heart there will always be a part of me. Someday we'll all be gone but lullabyes go on and on... they never die. That's how you and I will be.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pandas in the Mist

My buddy George (right)