Friday, July 31, 2015

Sombrero Galaxy

This is the Sombrero galaxy as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trump Your Molls

In our effort to stay current and relevant here at Boongablogger, I give you Molly, unwillingly participating in the Trump Your Cat meme. That is all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First Day of School

Sarah begins the sixth grade today as the Maryville  City Schools academic year begins today. Sarah is excited to be participating in her school's ranger program, which in my day we called safety patrol. Her first patrol shift isn't for a couple of weeks, though.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Guillotine Claims Robespierre

On July 28, 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a principal architect of the Terror in Revolutionary France, met his fate on a guillotine, like so many of his countrymen before him.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I Am Your Father

There is a new Star Wars app, and it includes a selfie function for a father-daughter portrait.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Camping on River John's Island

At the invitation of our friends Tom and Denise, we camped this weekend upon River John's Island on the Little River in the Wildwood community of Blount County. The island is about three acres, and there is a plaque in the pavilion that says it was conveyed to a previous owner by a Clerk and Master's deed in 1927, which is an interesting piece of history. Sarah is pictured at the south, upstream end of the island.

This is the aforementioned pavilion, and it was the focus of food and socializing when we were not engaged in water activities.

This view is from an observation deck on the north, downstream end of the island. As you can see, the water was a bit muddy from rains late last week. It cleared up significantly between Friday night and Sunday morning. It is about a day's journey by canoe from here to Laura's house, where the Little River flows into the Tennessee River.
River John, quite a nice fellow, is a canoe outfitter, and Tom rented a fleet of seven canoes for those who wanted to float the river. We put in just below Peery's Mill dam, and the trip downstream to the island was about three and a half hours. Sherry, Sarah and I dumped our canoe at a place where a tree was down across the section of the river we were trying to pass through. I was a boy scout, have my canoeing merit badge and was trained as a kid on what to do when your canoe capsizes. Unfortunately, I had not provided such training to my good lady wife and daughter. As it happened, both kept their heads in what could have been a bad situation. We all came up quickly and got ourselves, the boat and one of the paddles to the shore. After quickly bailing the water out of her, we jumped back in and caught up with the other paddle.
A few of us fished, but none of us had any luck. Tom tried again this morning after the water cleared up, but had no takers.

Sarah explores the quieter part of the river on the west side of the island. She said she saw a snake here.

The island also features this cool tree house, which has a futon and a single bed. Both structures have electricity, and the pavilion has a refrigerator/freezer, as well as a nice propane grill that has a stove burner.
River John helpfully has a stop sign to let his clientele know where to get off the river.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Auntie Les and Nieces Visit Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge

Here are some more pictures from sister Leslie's trip with her nieces to the new Margaritaville Island Hotel up in Pigeon Forge.
They dined on the patio by the river, and ordered a magnificent dessert.

Apparently Gracie, like her mother, is a fan of the King.
The Margaritaville in Nashville also has folks who will make balloon figures, or in this case, swords.

Friday, July 24, 2015


On July 24, 1969, after their successful quest to put the first humans on the moon, the astronauts of Apollo 11 safely landed in the Pacific Ocean aboard the command module Columbia.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday

For today's Throwback Thursday picture, I again give you my maternal grandparents, Harvey and Eula Isenhour, with their two children, my mom Wanette, and my Uncle Mack. I adjudge this to be about 1940, and I suspect it may have been taken at the home where Grandpa Isenhour grew up in Alexander County, North Carolina.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Auntie Les and the Kiddoes

Sarah spent the morning at Sherry's office, and I went over to the hospital to walk the child back over to the justice center so her Auntie Les and Cousin Grace could pick her up there just before lunch. Sherry and I had lunch at Midland Restaurant, and it was her first time to have a meal other than breakfast at one of our favorite local restaurants. She had chicken and dumplings, and I had their wonderful turkey club sandwich. Sister Leslie hauled the girls up into the mountains for their lunch.
Les sent us this photo of the kids cooling down in the rooftop pool of the Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge. Lucky girls! I'm glad the weather cleared up for them. We had some showers down here in the valley.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

I recently read The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, written in 1883 by Howard Pyle. It is from his adaptation of old English ballads about the outlaw of Sherwood Forest that our modern idea of Robin Hood is derived. It is written in a contrived Old English. Although it sent me to my dictionary a few times, it wasn't too thick to dampen my enjoyment of the stories, each chapter standing alone as a story to itself, though connected to form a pleasant narrative of the adventures of the yeomen of Sherwood. Sadly, it ends in the death of Robin, who is bled to death by a treacherous nurse/nun. It is in the public domain, and thus available to read for free here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hammersley Gorge, Western Australia

I usually link to Phils Phun for funny stuff, but he usually leads off his weekly post with a beautiful picture from his native Western Australia. This is Hammersley Gorge.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Family Weekend

We enjoyed a fun weekend at home and were pleasantly surprised that Jake and Joey came to visit us, arriving Saturday afternoon. Having been reminded of how much teenage boys can eat after last month's beach trip, we were ready with a killer cube steak and gravy recipe Sherry found online. We served it over rice, and it went over nicely.
Joey and some friends have rented an apartment in Clarksville for when his classes start at Austin Peay at the end of August. We sent him home with some pots and pans, a box full of drinking glasses, cups, mugs and the like and a stack of some nice plates Mom wanted out of her cupboard. I suggested that we buy him a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which was my first cookbook when I got my first apartment and which I still rely frequently. It is a great first cookbook for anyone.
Sherry's had a landscaping project in mind for the boys for some time, and so this weekend became a home improvement project. When I used to visit Mom and Ron in Blowing Rock, my stepfather would plan work for me to do when I went up there. In retrospect, I understand that it was meant out of a sincere desire to spend some manly time with me working on household projects, but at the time I felt put upon because I'd gone up there to have some relaxation in the mountains. I assured Joey and Jake that they did not have to work, but that we would be glad to pay them to do so. They took the money.
The project involved digging a bed along the front of the house, and digging out a boxwood that died over the past several weeks, as well as a burning bush that was poorly placed and being crowded out by the surviving boxwood. They planted several new boxwoods along the front of the house, and used monkey grass from the back yard as a border for the bed. The red mulch looks nice against our white house.

Here's the front of our house as the boys finish up on the landscaping job, which included planting a new tree in the ring where our ornamental peach tree used to live. The new tree is a type of magnolia that only grows ten to fifteen feet tall, but flowers nicely in the spring. We'll see what it does in 2016.
After the landscaping job concluded this morning, we hauled the kids up to Peery's Mill to swim and clean off in the Little River in Walland. The boys loved the rope swing, and Jake did a back flip off of it, much to the delight of the young kids who got there as we were winding down our time there.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Exploring the Plutonian System

This is Pluto's largest moon, Charon, named after the boatman who takes one across the rivers Styx and Acheron to the world of the dead. Astronomers are calling the dark spot on top Mordor.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Disneyland!

Today is the 60th birthday of Disneyland, the only amusement park in the Disney franchise that was designed by Walt Disney himself. I've been there twice, once with Sherry and the boys when Sherry and I were dating and I got sent out there to take depositions and then again a couple of years ago when we took Sarah. The picture below is in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I think.