Monday, December 29, 2008

State Quarters

About 10 years ago, I was at a local video store renting the video tape de jour. The place was called Moovies. "Moovies" was a cute place. They had a cow as a mascot... and well, that was about it, I guess, but I digress. Anyway, the guy behind the counter gave me my change and I noticed a strange thing. A goofy looking quarter with Delaware on it.

I said, "Hey, pal, what are trying to pull? You're messing with the wrong amigo, amigo!" And then I punched him in the neck. He asked me to relax and said it was a new quarter. They were doing a new one for each state over the next ten years. I said that I was going to check into that and if I found otherwise, I'd be back for him and his little dog too. Turns out he was right. I've saved each new state quarter that I got and as of this afternoon, thanks to Hawaii, I've completed the set. I wish now that I kept at least two so I'd have two sets but then I'd want three... and on and on and on.

True story, except for the neck punching part, I dressed that up. At the very least, I've managed to save $12.50 over the last ten years. Not too shabby.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

#2 Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday, Samuel. Two years... tick, tock... it goes pretty fast. Here a couple pics from Grandma's get together last Saturday.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmastime is Here

I thought I'd jump in on the post your tree thread. I also submitted our tree to the "Is Your Tree Hot or Not" site and currently have a 8.5 rating! (I'm kidding)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tom Joad

I'd like to make a quick post about Bruce Springsteen's album "The Ghost of Tom Joad". I remember when it came out in 1995 and I wanted to hear it but knew it was an all acoustic album and I guess I was just never in the mood. Having been a fan of his acoustic "Nebraska" album, I figured I would get around to it sooner or later. Well, 13 years later, I got around to it. I can't seem to stop listening to it. It is a fantastic album and tells some wonderful, if not very sad, stories of the hardships of life. Funny how he has a way of moving you to caring about a guy who blows himself up cooking Meth.

The title, Tom Joad, comes from the novel "The Grapes of Wrath". Woodie Guthrie sang "The Ballad of Tom Joad" and here the Boss talks about issues of modern times with the same desperation of the dust bowl era. "Hunger is a powerful thing."

Anywho, I wonder if I had gotten it 13 years ago would it have impressed me as much. Probably not. Times change and people change. Then I would have let it go as another CD that was just OK. I wonder if some other CDs that I don't care much for would have greater impact on me at other times in my life. You know how they say if you didn't read "The Catcher in the Rye" when you were in High School, you just won't get it.? I guess I know what they mean.

I don't think of it as 13 years of not knowing this album. I'm glad I waited. I'm glad I have it now and will always have it as one of my favorites for years to come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meatheads Good Times

A blog is born... I'd like to introduce you and send props out to a new blog: Meatheads Good Times

Meathead, aka Petie, Beatie and sometimes Justin, has been a good friend in good standing for sometime now. We used to work together until he flew off to his greener pastures. I can guarantee you will never "meat" and more genuine, honest and Shawshank Redemption lovin' guy. Let's all welcome Captain Meathead!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finally something great on YouTube!

I found this on Chuck's blog today and just had to steal it...

John Williams is the Man!

Check it, Rock Cat

This guy gives good guitar players a bad name.... The 1:45 mark really gets my goat.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Love Puppy

Look at this puppy. I love this puppy. "He's a gooooood boy... yes he is... yes he is." In fact, I'd say that I'm in love with this puppy. For many reasons... but mainly since he just sold on eBay for $153.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Hallows Eve

As you probably remember, Halloween was the other night. Our neighborhood does a parade for the kids with a firetruck and treats and general low-key Halloween festivities. It was a good time. We walked in the parade and then had treats at the clubhouse and then the low-key generalness at our house. Samuel was a sheriff. Even though it's technically an elected office, he ruled as the sheriff king.
Later that night, we all got naked, eat candy and played with toys.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Scariness-ness

Following the lead of fellow blogger Kyle, I've been trying to beef up on my scary Halloween movies this season. I've gotten several under my belt including "The Ring" (awesome), "FearDotCom" (sucks), and other unfinished disasters. I hit the jackpot over the weekend, though. TiVo explained to me that a little known horror movie was playing and I might like to check it out. Little did Master TiVo know that it hit a nerve with it's suggestion of "The Beast Within."

I often talk about wormholes here and this is a good example. When I was about 13 I guess, this classic film was new. It was sold as horribly horrific and anyone who watched the last 30 minutes would instantly BURST INTO DEATH while sitting in the theater with their jeroboam of popcorn and Diet Coke spilling out all over the floor.

I didn't grow up watching any R-rated, booze filled gore fest sex romp on HBO that I wanted to so I had to take what I could get when I could get it. I actually don't think I ever saw it through in one sitting. All I remember was how horrifying the parts I saw were and how I think of that film as the definition of horror. Funny, because as it turns out, it was pretty stupid.

The IFC channel played it in its letterboxed, uncut entirety the other night and I watched it straight through early Saturday morning. It was about what I expected. Both fun and worthless. Ronny Cox sold me as the grieving Dad, though. What a guy. I actually sat next to him at a Thai restaurant in Nashville one night. But I digress.

The gruesome transformation scene, while certainly awesome, left a little to be desired in this day and age and the plot line was... well, not really there. But still it scratched an itch I've had for 27 years and I feel I'm the better for it. Thank you, Beast Within, for closing that door. Here's the trailer. Watch it... IF YOU DARE!!!



Well, I'm off to watch the 1981 David Cronenberg classic "Scanners." I hear the guys head blowing up scene will leave you shocked!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Foothills Trail

This past weekend, my buddies Kyle & George and myself set out on an ambitious hike through the Chattooga section of the Foothills Trail. Actually, I thought we were setting out on a nice little walk through the woods. It became ambitious on its own. I learned something about myself over the course of the trip. I learned that I can now pretty much do anything and I learned that my foot hurts when I hike. Here I am at our first night campsite: We hiked just over 30 miles in three days. Yeah, I don't believe it either and if you told me I was going to do it I probably wouldn't have believed you. But we did. And I'm proud of it. George lead the way and Kyle kept us going with the comic relief. I needed them both or I would have probably been picked up by a giant hawk and carried away to be baby giant hawk food.

Do I romanticize the trip in my mind? Yes. Will I do it again? No... although, there is a part of you that recalls a strenuous experience that you survived with a desire to repeat it. So if I ever start talking about maybe wanting to do it again, just remind me that I can do anything and that my foot hurts when I hike.

Here's a little visual. Much like the trip, it has no ending.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fridge

Well, I've finally given into the fridge pic thing that has taken over our local blogosphere. I wanted to do it right off but I thought I'd re-do the fridge to make it funny (including cleaning off the top) but others have seemed to be honest about it... so here it is. Better late than never.
I had a cabinet get in my way of a good side corner shot so instead of any work, I just did two shots. And don't ask... I don't know what the weird stain is on the ice maker. I better go clean it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Movie Quote

Here's movie quote I love:

Old McDonald had a farm ee i ee i o. And on that farm he shot some guys. Badda boom badda bing bang boom.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Horse Joke

I told my favorite joke today. I've always thought "telling a joke" was a weird phrase. You tell a story, sure, but for some reason "telling" a joke just sounds odd to me. But I digress... It's my favorite because I seriously cannot tell it without smiling and it always makes me laugh. Most jokes work with misdirection or unexpected placement of the punch line but all of the classics work on delivery, which is why we sometimes hear "some people just can't tell a joke."

Think of some of the jokes that you love... in your minds eye you probably see the guy telling it with all the body language included that helps make it funny. Most good jokes need a little visual "ummph" to help make it work. Which is another reason I love this one... it's funny by itself. The listener can't help but create his own visual. So here it is... you be the judge.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Another year... tick, tock, tick, tock.

I figured I should at least notice the one year anniversary of my blog like ol' George did. One year ago today I started blogging. I haven't been the same since. I have blogged from the north, I have blogged from the south. They have said of me "never have so many owed so much to so few". Each post has been better than the next.

Thank you! Thank you all for your support and generous contributions through PayPal.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is it Just Me?

Ok... I've been trying this joke for a week now. I have a prop and ask the unsuspecting viewer if they think it is funny or not. It's met with mixed results. So you be the judge... Is this funny? Do you get it? Is it just me? I still laugh when I think bout it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brush with a Tribute to Greatness

As seen on a post by everyone's favorite porkoholic, Kyle, we saw a Journey tribute band the other night. I'll spare you the details of how great they were since it would take too long. They really were fantastic and I hope to see them again. I found the guitarist on Facebook and sent him a message and he wrote me back! Here's how the correspondence went down:

Me: Saw you guys in Greenville, SC the other night. We've been talking about it ever since. Great show! Loved the guitar at the end of Who's Crying Now. Paul (guy in DIO shirt) Reaves

Him: Thanks Paul! We had a great time in Greenville! Glad you liked the solo! The first couple of weeks I did it, some hard core Journey fans hated it! LOL! I figure, I play most of the solos pretty close, so I wanted to try some something different to set me apart! Good to hear that some people like it! Keep in touch and see ya next time! Peace, Kenny

That's about it, I guess. The ball is in my court now for developing the relationship. Here's a clip of some of the tunes. They sounded pretty much just like the real thing even if they were a little fast.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rockband!

My nephews, Ben and Daniel, have invited me up to their house to play and rock in their new Rockband. In my minds eye, I see this type of look...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Visit for Samuel

This past week we got a visit from a few of our relatives. My wife was out of town so my Mom came up to stay and help out with Sam. She pretty much ran the show... thanks Mom! On Monday night, Sam got a visit from his Great Uncle (who is quite great indeed), his first cousin once removed and his second cousins. As with most times like that you all say we should do it more often or we should spend more time together... stuff like that. But I'm reminded of the times when I was very young and would see relatives. It was always very fun. A little awkward at first, but by the end, fast friends. It was interesting for me to see that with my son and his cousins. He was a little stand off-ish at first but quickly warmed up. Maybe the bubbles had something to do with it. Meredith and Christine: Sam still loves his bubble making machine. He knocks it over every day. We should do it more often!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

One Minute a Year

We've gotten into the habit of going to Edisto Beach each year for a week. We enjoy it tremendously and I have developed a personal fondness for the locale. In fact, we jokingly say (in all seriousness) that when we win the lottery, that's where you'll find us... if we want to be found.

Each year, on the last day, when we're leaving the beach, I pause a moment and think. I think about how thankful I am to be there. I think about how fast the year has been and how quickly life moves us along. I think about how the ocean doesn't care much about me... it's doing it's think right now whether I'm there or not. I think about the end of "The Time Machine" when the guy is on the shore and the sun has stopped moving and the Earth has died off. I think about the immensity of life before me and how I worry about the mortgage payment or whatever the crisis de jour is.

This year, I chronicled my goings on for the month before. As usual, it's too much long, too much stupid, too much embarrassing, too much... "too". Looking back, I see that all I really did was sweat and wait to get there. I guess I missed a lot of life waiting for one brief moment. It was a good one, though...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

~~~

The family and I are off to Edisto Beach for the week so I won't be posting. Not that I practice posting daily but... I didn't want you to think that I forgot about you. In lieu of anything amazing here in the coming week, I'll leave you with some cute pictures of Samuel.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Shaving of the Beard

Over the last 4 or 5 weeks I've grown a beard. I've done that once before, in college, and it didn't look very good. I've had a gotee a couple of times in my adult life and never felt it was really 'me' either. I was quite ready to let loose the mortal beard but thought since it was probably a one shot deal I should make it an event. It was no event, but here's how it went down:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Get up... and get your Grandma outta here.


As a climax to Kyle's birthday celebration weekend extravaganza, we went to see Ace Frehley in concert with 518 of our closest friends. Frankly, I wasn't as enthusiastic as he was at seeing the guy but my "wormhole" nature kicked in and I was taken back to to a time when Kiss ruled the Earth. I have to say that I truly enjoyed it and my only complaint was that it wasn't loud enough. And by not loud enough, I mean if I had been at home, in my easy chair, 12 miles away, I would have turned it up a bit. My teeth were seriously swapping places.

Not knowing most of his solo tunes, I still found a lot to like and of course a lot of Kiss favorites were included. His band was great ( I think Nikki Sixx was on bass) and the crowd was quite eclectic, which always makes for a good time where ever you are. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to see an iconic rock legend such as the Ace. Funny how larger than life characters so far away when you're 15 years old still make the hardest of rock 15 feet from you 25 years later.

There was a camera rule stating that you couldn't have one or at least use it if you did but I was able to sneak a few pics, namely myself during a bathroom break.

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(spelling error "toliet" brought to you by the Ace man himself)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday Celebration

We all celebrated Kyle's Birthday this evening. Dinner at a casual, if not swanky, Mexican restaurant with all the trimmings including a waitress wanting some of the birthday cake. Kyle seemed to enjoy his gifts. If not, he at least made us all think he did, and that's what counts.
I hope to celebrate many more celebratory celebrations with our local celebrity, Kyle. I was lucky enough to get a photo-op with my giant friend:
And Samuel, who really loves his Uncle Kyle, got a fun ride:

Happy Birthday!

A big birthday shout out today to our good buddy and pal, Kyle.
57 years ago today you came into our lives and enriched us, every one. The day we met, I could have walked off thinking, "That guy... huh. Kiss fan" But no, there's more to ol' Kyle-o than that. And there are. There are certainly a few things more. Happy Birthday, Kyle.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Update for Nana

Here's an update for Samuel's Nana celebrating some of his recent activities. First up, we have his first class picture (Sam's the one on the bottom right next to the little old man)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Block House Steeplechase

This weekend, I learned the difference between a horse race and a Steeplechase. A horse race is a flat, oval track where horses race. A Steeplechase is a non-flat, non-oval track where... well, horses race. I also learned that the horses don't actually "race". The horses just go... the jockeys race. They race the horses but the horses aren't the ones racing... just the jockeys.

Here we are. (transportation provided by the Broad River Correctional Institute.)


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Friday, April 11, 2008

Desert Island Discs


Some magazine... Rolling Stone, I think, has (or had) a column where folks would submit their selections for albums to have with them if they found themselves stranded on a desert island... with a CD player.... and power supply, I imagine. I've thought about that lately and made a list. I discovered that I think my list would change over time. I only hope that when I get Fed-Exed to a remote paradise, I have a good list at the time. What 10 albums would you choose?

My List: (in no particular order)

Dream Theater - Scenes From a Memory (an easy one)

Rich Mullins - A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin band (another easy one)

Rush - Hold Your Fire ( rush would always make the list and I should choose a collection but I have to go with this one)

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper (I really wanted to put the Revolver album here to be cool but I just like this one better)

Bob Seger - Greatest Hits ( this is strange to me. no reason to include it except I listened to it on a trip last week and loved every second)

Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits ( I just wish it were longer)

David Wilcox - How Did You Find Me Here (like when you run across Shawshank Redemption or Jaws on cable TV you have to watch? same here)

DC Talk - Jesus Freak (love it, love what I remember when I hear it)

Pink Floyd - Pulse (hello... who wouldn't have it)

Simon & Garfunkle - Greatest Hits (would help if a babe were stranded with you)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beverages to Go: The Sequel

My buddy Greg passed through today on his way back from whatever conference it was he went to in Charleston, as first described in George post: Beverages to Go. Apparently, the crowd wasn't too into the beer they brought since he is toting it all back to Nashville.
Unfortunately for him, he doesn't really drink. Fortunately for me....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Post Card from the Edge

Capital Sam got a post card from his Uncle Kyle who is in Arizona this week. He was happy. So happy, he wanted to eat it...
Thanks, Uncle Kyle!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A New Grill!

The wife and I got a new grill this weekend. It's been quite the needed thing, provided we want to grill outside... which we do. I decided to document the assembly, poorly, and share it.



Good times. Here's the inaugural steaks:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Billy


I spoke with a good friend of mine yesterday. We worked together when I first moved to Greenville in several incarnations of companies and he's since moved on to his greener pastures. I wish he were still around... I won't mention his name, since he wishes to remain unanimous, but click here for his FAVORITE GAME.