Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Half Shell Party Pic

Jane sent this group photo of the crew from the Half Shell party. Jane is seated on your far left wearing a tan shirt. Elizabeth Fields is standing in the middle, wearing a white shirt and standing next to Santa Claus. You can just barely see Wayne "Wally" Duncan's head peeking up over the head of the dude in the pink shirt.

The Simpsons Movie

Sherry took the kids to see the Simpsons movie today while I was at the doc's office, and everyone seems to have enjoyed it. I muscled through some paperwork, finally finishing up one big project that I've been working on. Needless to say, there's another big project right in line behind it.

Sherry's New Job

Sherry reported as directed to start part time at her new job this morning, and the girl she's replacing wanted the hours until she leaves. The bottom line is that she will start full time on August 13, without a part time stint. I'm glad it will free her up to be with J&J this week while they're here before school starts in Nashville, which is also on the 13th.

Heel Healing

I visited my new doctor again this morning for what is known as a new patient appointment and for him to check my injured heel. He was pleased at how it is healing and released me to go swimming again, even in the lake. This is good, since we're hoping to make it to Mighty Oak and Melton Hill Lake this weekend. He doesn't want me resuming my three-mile walk yet, but cleared me for a mile at a time.

Monday, July 30, 2007

To Scrunch or Not to Scrunch?

An area of ongoing debate in our house is whether or not it is proper and/or fashionable to pull one's sweat socks up or better to "scrunch" them down. I could not tolerate the latter, as I have been pulling my socks up for years, mainly as protection from poison ivy and mosquitoes. Sherry and my sisters are scrunchers, and my wife is constantly embarrassed by my socks, among other things. It is, however, fairly unusual for me to wear socks unless I am in dress shoes and my suit or I am planning to walk some distance in tennis shoes or hiking boots.

So far, Sarah seems to be a non-scruncher, much to her mother's chagrin.

Bert's Hometown Grill in Madisonville

After our spelunking adventure, we lunched at Bert's Hometown Grill in Madisonville, where we had their delicious pizza. I always enjoy checking out the hometown fare when we travel, even on a short trip like today's, and Bert's was a real find. I thought they deserved a plug.

Lost Sea

We took the kids to visit the Lost Sea cave today, which was what took us through Vonore. I haven't been there in years, and it is incredible how low the lake inside the cave is. They had to put in additional walkway to get you down to where the boats are now, inasmuch as the old dock is dry cave floor. This also causes the water to be much cloudier with sediment. Still, we had a great time.


One of the challenges in moving to a new area is learning the proper pronunciation of place names. For example, I thought that Demonbreun Street in Nashville was pronounced "Demon brewin'."

Sherry is encountering the same type of challenge. She has been pronouncing Vonore with the accent on the second syllable instead of the first. In Vonore this would quickly get you the "You-ain't-from-around-here" look.

Stones Play St. Petersburg, Russia

On Saturday the Rolling Stones played St. Petersburg, Russia. For fun I looked at the Pravda website this morning, and they had a set of photos from the show. The Stones played before approximately 50,000 fans.

Big Ed's Pizza

My idea for a visit to Oak Ridge included dining at Big Ed's Pizza in that fair city. Believe it or not, I heard about the place from my Russian teacher, Avigail Rashkovsky, in undergrad. I just read a couple of horrible reviews on the place, but as a loyal East Tennessean, I figure they must be yankees who don't get it.

I was sad to learn that Big Ed himself, Ed Neusel, who was always very nice, has passed away. His family still operates the place.

Crossroads Guitar Festival

Bridgeview, Illinois, hosted Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival on Saturday. The Rolling Stone magazine website has a fun spread of photos, which include Clapton, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Allison Krausse, Sheryl Crow and many others. I wasn't aware of the festival, which is apparently an annual event.

You Never Know When Those Hard Times Will Hit You, and I Don't Want to Lose My Touch

Yesterday morning Sarah and I went to the grocery store to let Sherry finish up an advertisement she needed to work on before going to pick up the boys in Cookeville. I asked the cashier for $25.00 cash back to have some cash in the money clip until I can get to the bank. The grocery bill was about $155.00, and she gave me the $25.00. When I looked at the receipt, she had only rung up $170.00, so I pointed out that she needed to take $10.00 back so that her cash drawer would not be short. I worked a cash register at McDonald's for several years, so I knew that she would get in trouble over her drawer coming up short.

I left the store feeling like I had done my good deed for the day. Sarah had talked me into using one of those shopping carts that has a plastic car for kids to ride in. When I got to my car and leaned down to help her get out, I realized that while I was being so nice and honest with the cashier, Sarah was down below stealing a piece of candy from the candy rack at check out. Do I have to report her to juvenile court?

J&J Arrive

Sherry got home with Jake and Joey around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, and as I suspected, the boys were in the mud hole in the back yard within about fifteen minutes. Their friend next door, Beau, was glad to see them, and Sarah even got her first splash in the mud.

We're not sure how many days Sherry will have to work this week. I'm thinking I may take the kids out to the American Museum of Science and Energy out at Oak Ridge at some point, perhaps tomorrow after I go to the doctor to have my foot wound checked.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Live World War II Bomb Found in London

Construction workers in London's Canary Wharf area found a live German V-1 flying bomb recently. I continue to study World War II, though I'm certainly no authority on it. One of the things it is remarkable for is the unabashed and widespread bombing of civilians for the first time. (It had happened before WWII, just not on such a despicable scale.)

The V-1 was a rocket-propelled bomb, used chiefly as a terror weapon by the Germans against English civilian targets, chiefly London, after Germany had largely lost the war. Though the V-1 killed plenty of people, it did not have any significant impact on the outcome of the war.

Paul Stanley's Heart Condition

Kiss guitar player Paul Stanley was unable to perform at a recent show due to tachycardia, a condition which caused his heart to beat at twice its normal rate. His doctors got the problem under control, but advised Stanley that playing the gig would put him at risk. The rest of the band carried on as a trio. Here's a link to Stanley's blog, where he has a post about the situation.

Steve's Virtual Nashville Office Closes

One of the errands we accomplished while we were in Nashville was to close out the post office box I opened as my Nashville business address, which I used during my transition back to Maryville. I just have a few more active cases to finish up in Nashville, and all of my remaining clients there are now aware of my move and are using my Maryville contact information. It was a simple thing, but gave me a good feeling of closure. With things continuing to wind down in Nashville, I can focus more on building my practice back here in East Tennessee.

Sarah at Wannie's House

Sarah sweet-talked Mom into letting her spend the night at her place last night, and we left her over there around 3:30 or so yesterday afternoon. Sherry's going to meet J&J's dad in Cookeville for lunch and bring them here for their last week with us this summer. It was nice to have a quiet evening at home with my wife before our house becomes very busy again this afternoon.

I'll probably head into Maryville to get our mail from our post office box in a while, and then I'll go liberate Wannie from the Boong while Sherry sleeps in for a bit.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Louie's Restaurant

We had lunch today at Louie's, a restaurant on Old Broadway in Knoxville that Mom and Dad used to frequent. I vaguely remember the menu, and it definitely contained Dad's favorite fare. Sherry and Sarah both had spaghetti, though the Boong, as usual, satisfied her appetite with yummy bread, and therefore didn't eat much spaghetti. I had their pizza, which was delightful, and Mom had a ground beef dish. Sarah didn't know what to think about a restaurant named after our cat.

Visit to Sherry's Office

We just got back from visiting Sherry's new office, where she begins part time on Tuesday. It's on Callahan Drive off of Interstate 75 in a nice little yellow house. They intend to move to West Knoxville in the near future, which should be more convenient. As it is, it only took us about 25 minutes to get there.

We're over at Wannie's now. We were hoping to connect up with Biff and Leah Byrd for lunch, but I guess if we don't hear from them in the next fifteen minutes or so, hunger will compel us to go look for some grub.

More Family Photos

The guy in the sailor hat is Uncle Mack. Mom's the one in the 'fridge, and the other girl is Aunt Joan, who is posing with my Uncle George Albamonte. I don't remember Uncle George, and I'm not sure whether I've ever seen his picture. My cousins, his children, certainly look like their daddy!
I was mistaken that the earlier photo was taken in front of Grandmother Isenhour's house in Hickory. Here's Mom's description of when these were taken:
The pictures were taken on the only vacation I can every remember having
when I was small and my first trip to the beach. I was 15 or 16 (I say 15
and Joan says 16) and Mack was 2 years younger. I remember that I drove
all the way there and back. Daddy hated to drive and I did not yet have my
license. I was 15 and that is where I got the idea to let you drive before
you were old enough. We had no air conditioning in the car so we were very
worn out driving all the was with the windows rolled down. We were
in Norfolk, Va beach or Joan says on the Chesapeake where Joan and George were
stationed while he was in the Coast Guard. The other people in the picture
were George’s mother and sister, Marian. Mrs. Albamonte cooked a big plate
of pork chops for us. I think for the very financially strapped Isenhour
family, the opportunity of visiting the beach and have free lodging pushed Daddy
over the edge. He had a wonderful time but became extremely sunburned (poisoned)
with terrible chills and shakes. He got this from sitting in the ocean on an
inner-tube while crabbing. The neighbors had a big pot under which a fire was
built and the crabs were cooked for all. Daddy was really sick when he got
home from the sun.

She's Lost Her Mind

Sarah got on a rampage of running around in circles in the den yesterday afternoon. Giggling wildly as she whirled around the room, she said, "I've lost my mind!" I'm glad she has recognized it so soon.

Back to Maryville

Sherry and Mark agreed to meet tomorrow in Cookeville to exchange J&J, so we drove home yesterday, leaving Nashville about noon. We had tentatively planned to go invade Bartlette at Mighty Oak, his home on Melton Hill Lake, but the boys' dad just bought a new wave-runner, so they wanted to try and get it on the water today. It's raining here right now, and so Mighty Oak really wouldn't be an option today anyway. I sure hope the weather is better on the Cumberland River in Nashville.

We probably got home around 3:15 yesterday afternoon, and Sherry and I were pretty worn out from having slept away from home. Boong, however, was wound up. Also, she got two toy dolls from James and the Giant Peach in the mail, so she was excited about that.

Morning in the Davidson County Courthouse

I spent yesterday morning in the beautifully refurbished Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville, and in between hearings took an impromptu, self-guided tour. The Metro courts moved from the facility shortly after I moved to Nashville, and during my last three years there they were located in temporary facilities in the MetroCenter business park downtown, within walking distance of my office. The historic courthouse is wonderful, and everything seems to be flowing quite smootly there, in contrast to the A.A. Birch Criminal Justice Building across the street, where you have to wait ten minutes to be crammed like sardines in an elevator to go upstairs to court.

My first hearing was in Chancery Court before Chancellor Richard Dinkins, whom I do not know very well, but whom I admire for having declined an appointment to the Supreme Court of Tennessee because it would take him away from his family. Jake and Joey's paternal grandfather, whom I know as "Grandpa Joe," was also in Chancellor Dinkins' court, though in retrospect, he did not realize who I was. It is my understanding that Joe Ferrelli is primarily a title attorney, and most of the title attorneys I know don't go anywhere near a courtroom if they can avoid it, so I was surprised when I saw his name on the docket. He was very gentlemanly and courteous.

I also had a hearing before Judge Randy Kennedy, and he is one of my favorite Middle Tennessee judges. I have never been in his courtroom when it has not been a true pleasure to transact business there. This is in contrast to another Davidson County Circuit Court, which is almost always unpleasant to appear before. I ran into my friend, Mark Chen, who practices frequently in Davidson County Juvenile Court, so he caught me up on the gossip over there. My adversary in my hearing was another friend, Kline Preston, with whom I had Russian class for three years at UT. I trounced him.

I also ran into Cynthia and Derek from my old law firm in Nashville, and I was sure glad to see them. I'd hoped to have the chance to drop by the office, but wouldn't have had time, so it was good to be able to visit for a moment before they had to get to Judge Soloman's court.

Friday, July 27, 2007

More on the Half Shell Party

Jane says that the guy who hosted the Half Shell party was playing Shell-Nazi, i.e., trying to keep people who didn't actually work at the Shell from attending. This is a restaurant that gave busboys a pitcher of beer for each pitcher of butter they scraped off of people's plates, so most of its employees were blitzed during most of the time they were at work. I find it difficult to believe that any of those people would even remember who worked there and who didn't, especially some thirty years later.

I figure if we'd attended, I probably could have bluffed my way through since I knew so many people that worked there and therefore know many stories from the place. My theory on parties has always been "the more the merrier" at least if the party-crashers aren't causing problems. I guess I'm glad we gave it a miss if the host was being such a creep.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Young Wannie

This is certainly a piece of family treasure. Pictured from left to right standing are Harvey and Eula Isenhour, my maternal grandparents. Mom is standing fourth from the left, and I have no idea who the other people standing are. Seated from left to right are my Uncle Mack, Aunt Joan, and her late husband George Albamonte. Unless I am mistaken, this photo was taken on the front porch of Grandmother Isenhour's house in Hickory, North Carolina.

My mother makes much of my Isenhour shoulders, which quite obviously came from Grandpa Isenhour.

At Grams' Place in Nashville

Sherry and Sarah and I arrived in Nashville this afternoon. We closed our post office box and safe deposit box here, two tasks I've been meaning to accomplish for some time now, and Sherry and Boong went to the Gordon Jewish Community Center to meet Grams and Jake and Joey at the pool there. I stayed here at Grams' house and worked on some of my paperwork, and I prepared for my one of my hearings tomorrow morning.

Everyone but Joey and me headed back out to the Cracker Barrel for some supper. I'm in the process of winding down in anticipation of a busy morning in two courts tomorrow. J&J complete their last week of camp tomorrow at noon, so we'll be able to hit the road shortly thereafter. (We weren't expecting them to get out of camp until late in the afternoon, so we're happy to be able to get on the road at midday instead of late afternoon.)

Boong Leaves Her Mark in Blount County Juvenile Court

I made a brief appearance in Blount County Juvenile Court this morning. When I was last there on Tuesday, I had Sarah in tow. Apparently she dropped an accessory for one of her dolls in the courtroom Tuesday morning, and the Court was kind enough to hang onto it for her.

When I told her I was leaving for court this morning, she wanted to go with me, which warms a lawyer-daddy's heart. Anyway, I returned from the proceedings this morning with her toy, and more candy from the judge, so she's bound to start thinking court is pretty cool. It is, at least if you're a lawyer and not a defendant.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rainy Afternoon

It's been raining here this afternoon, which has enabled me to make some progress on my paperwork, though I still have a mound of it to complete. The girls went out to the pool and school, but I doubt they got much pool time in before the rain hit. Boong's been asking to go visit her school, which pleases us, as you might expect.

Midweek Report

It's been a fairly busy week thus far. I had a two-day trial scheduled Monday and Tuesday, but the matter concluded before lunch Monday. I've been trying to get caught up on some paperwork, and Sherry's had a steady stream of Skirt! advertisements on which to work. She had her second meeting yesterday with the public relations people at Denso, one of Blount County's largest employers, for an ad they plan to place in the magazine.

About the time Sherry left yesterday, I looked at my calendar and realized that although the second day of my trial did not occur, I had forgotten that I had a motion scheduled in another case. I quickly donned my lawyering garb and toted Sarah to the courthouse with me to present my motion. It was her second appearance in an actual court proceeding, the first being when I was clearing my schedule for Sherry's grandmother's funeral in June. Yesterday, Judge Denton won her over with his bench candy jar, and Assistant Public Defender Ed Wilder also gave her some candy. She was happy, and we did a short tour of the courthouse during which I showed her some of the rooms that used to be the courtrooms in which I learned the practice of law. We also went up to visit the Register of Deeds office, where we ran into my former law partner, Duncan.

I had several errands in town at both the justice center and the courthouse, and just got home a bit ago. I'm going to try to get some more paperwork done today. Tomorrow we head to Nashville to pick up J&J!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mud Hole

Jake and Joey and some neighbor boys dug a rather large hole in the back yard last weekend. Yesterday, the next door neighbor kid, Beau, and another boy filled up the hole with water and turned it into a small mud pond. They were covered in mud. I suspect J&J will not be able to resist, inasmuch as I don't think I have the gumption to fill the hole back in before they arrive later this week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Half Shell Restaurant Reunion

Loyal Boongablogger reader Jane Austin Barron attended the reunion party for the Half Shell House of Oyster and Beef, a now defunct restaurant where half my graduating class worked in and after high school. She reports that Nick and Elizabeth Fields were in attendance, as was Wayne "Wally" Duncan, whom I have known since we attended elementary school together at Rocky Hill. I thought the event was next weekend, so we weren't able to attend, but it sounds like it was a hoot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

John Ogle

I wondered aloud this morning to Sherry about information on the life of my ancestor, John Ogle, who emigrated to Delaware in the 1600's from Northumberland, England. Upon returning home from breakfast at the Midland restaurant and a trip to Springbrook Park, I found the following information via the miracle of the internet.

Young John Ogle early became aware of the difficulties which his family were likely to experience after the Restoration, and he undoubtedly had heard tales of adventures in the New World; and so when the opportunity was presented to him him, John Ogle joined Colonel Nicolls' expedition, bound for America.

In March 1664, the whole of the territory in America occupied by the Dutch on the Atlantic seaboard was granted by Charles II to his brother, the Duke of York, on the plea that it was British soil by right of discovery. On 25 May 1664, Colonel Nicolls, with four ships, 300 soldiers and 450 men, sailed from Portsmouth. The expedition arrived at New Amsterdam, and without firing a shot, Governor Stuyvesant surrendered the town on 29 August and promptly changed the name to New York.

Delaware had been origanally settled by Swedes, who quarrelled with the Dutch, who built Fort Casimir 6 miles from the Swedish Fort Christiana. In 1654 Governor Rising brought a large number of colonists from Sweden; he took Fort Casimir, renaming it Fort of the Holy Trinity, in honor of the day of capture. Governor Stuyvesant, who later came down from New Amsterdam and recaptured the fort, renamed it New Amstel.

John Ogle, who had served under Captain Carr in Delaware, became a permanent resident of White Clay Creek Hundred, named from the deposits of white clay found along its banks. John Ogle first resided at New Castle, where he was a large land-buyer; he afterwards lived at various sites on his extensive holdings. He commenced acquiring land at an early date, probably as soon as the confusion of the conquest and the settlement of Indian troubles permitted it.

The first grant that John Ogle received was in February 1666, from Governor Nicolls, who had empowered the officers of Delaware to dispose of 'implanted' land there for the best advantage of the inhabitants. The parcel known as Muscle Cripple was granted to Sgt Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendricks and Herman Johnson. It consisted of a part of 300 acres and was bounded by a creek at the head of Bread and Cheese Island and also by the plantations of Hans Bones and James Crawford. Sgt Wollaston had been a comrad in arms, as had James Crawford of the adjoining plantation. James Crawford, having gained some knowledge of medicine in the army, was known as 'Doctor' on the early assessment rolls. His daughter Mary was later to marry into the Ogle family. Crawford was one of the heroes of the Nicolls expedition, his grant specifically stating that it was given 'in consideration of the good service performed by James Crawford, a soldier'.

The story of John Ogle is closely bound up whith that of his friends Thomas Wollaston and James Crawford, who took a liking to young Ogle and formed a friendship which continued throughout their lives.

The three friends settled on nearby plantations in New Castle County, where their wives survived them. The Records of the Court of Newcastle give a picture of their lives after 1676.

The three are the foundation of the Ogle genealogy. John Ogle's son Thomas married Mary Crawford, daughter of James. Wollastaon connections appear in the fourth and fifth generations. Joseph Ogle married Priscilla Wollaston, and their son Samuel married Deborah Wollaston.

An eye-witness account of the events of June 1675 has revealed something of the character of John Ogle of that period - swashbuckling, rash and reckless, with an amount of courage appropriate to the rough and tumble frontier environment. He was not one to be imposed on, especially by one of the Dutch who certainly did not amount to much in the eys of His Majesty's soldiers. Under order of the Governor-General, the magistrates met at New Castle on 4 June 1675, and decided that it would be necessary to build a road across the marsh and to build a dyke in the marsh next to the town. Another dyke across Hans Block's marsh was also thought necessary, and the inhabitants were orderd to assist in the project by contributing labour or money. The project was strenuously opposed by the settlers because the dyke across Hans Block's marsh was an improvement to private property. John Ogle was a leader of the objectors and peremptorily informed the magistrates that no dykes at all would be built under any such unfair conditions. His objections stirred the people to great excitement in the church where the public meeting was held; and Ogle was put out of the church. Mathys Smith and the Rev. Jacobus Fabricius took up the cause and as a result Ogle and Fabricius were arrested. They were confined in a boat which was anchored nearby, where they continued their public imprecations. Excitement was high, and they were eventually released. Later Hans Block encountered Ogle on the street and was told that if the Finns had been drunk no good would have come from the incident. It was an affront to constituted authority and called for severe disciplinary measures.

Conditions in New Castle were not good at that time; carousals, fights and robberies were the order of the day, and it wasn't a safe place for a stranger. William Edmunsdon, 'a Public Friend' visiting there, found it difficult to secure lodgings, 'the inhabitants being chiefly Dutch and Finns addicted to drunkenness', who refused to take him in, even though he had money.

Special warrants were issued by the Governor against Fabricius and Ogle, who with others had signed a remonstrance. The two chief trouble makers were ordered to appear in the August Court, and the other signers before a later court. Fabricius appeared and the proceedings resulted in the unfrocking of the troublesome person; Ogle, who conveniently fell sick, failed to appear, and no further action was taken against him.

After the excitement of the summer of 1675, Ogle proceeded to acquire more land, and the tract known as Hampton, on the south side of St. George's Creek, consisting of 300 acres, was confirmed to him by Governor Andross on 5 November 1675.

New Castle court records reveal that in February 1676 Ogle accused one of the Dutch residents of stealing his heiffer. As one of the jurmen was Thomas Wollaston, the outcome was predictable.

The above incident marked the beginning of a series of court proceedings which involved John Ogle and James Crawford for the rest of their lives. Ogle was an extensive producer of tobacco, and like other planters he was continually involved in financial and other difficulties. Little ready money changed hands in those days, and the barter system was the common way of doing business.

Various deeds of the period after 1678 record transfers of extensive tracts of land to a number of Ogle's associates; among them, Swart Neuton's Island was transferred to John Darby of Maryland, and other lands to John Test and to Augustine Dixon.

In 1675 the Governor ordered the construction of highways, and the inhabitants of New Castle and the surrounding area, and on the south side of Christiana Creek were made responsible for constructing a highway from New Castle to Red Lyon between the first of January and the end of Frebruary. The highway was to be a good passable one, twelve feet wide, and John Ogle was appointed overseer of the residenst around Christiana Creek.

On 25 August 1680, Thomas Wollaston of White Clay Creek wrote a letter to John Briggs of West Jersey which he gave to John Ogle for delivery. Wollaston had a debt of three years standing against Briggs. Ogle made the journey, stopping in New York, where 27 August he made an affidavit concerning the transaction. The affidavit began: 'John Ogle, aged thirty-two or thereabouts, . . . . .

The incident itself is not important, but Ogle's statement of his approximate age has been of crucial importance to ogle genealogy, as without it, it would have been impossible to connect him with absolute certainty to his Northumberland Family.

In November 1681 Ogle received a court order to take up 200 acres of land for each of his two sons, Thomas and John Ogle, and on 27 December 435 acres, called the 'Fishing Place', on Christiana Creek were surveyed on the warrant. On August of the following year, Northampton, a tract of 200 acres in White Clay Creek Hundred was surveyed for Ogle. On 14 October 1683 more acres in Mill Creek Hundred were surveyed for him, and on 8 December Eagles Point in White Clay Creek Hundred was also surveyed. This ended the accumulation of the original Ogle acreage, for in 1683 John Ogle died.

Source: 'Smoky Mountain Clans', Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 128b. 'The English Origin of John Ogle', Francis Hamilton Hibbard, 1967, p 9-14. 'Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants', Langston & Buck, 1986, p 199.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday's Activities

Sherry, Laura, and Laura's childhood friend Rhonda hit the road early yesterday morning to shop a children's consignment sale at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Knoxville. Afterward, Sherry and Sarah went over to visit Vickie and Alyssa at their place. I am getting stacked up with paperwork, so I stayed home and made some progress on it yesterday, though there's plenty to do. Also, I have a two-day trial beginning Monday, so I will be preparing for it this weekend.

Sherry came home to several advertisements for Skirt!, so Boong and I painted and played to give Sherry some work time during the afternoon, though Sarah has a tendency to seek out the parent who is trying to concentrate on something other than her.

Les and Fraz had an impromptu event at their place last night, and Mom has her friend, Ed Huffman, in from Asheville, North Carolina. They were at Fuzzy Manor when I talked to Les yesterday evening. We decided to take a pass, since Sherry had been out most of the day. I'm not sure if the Grahams planned on attending or not.

We really don't have much planned for the weekend, other than the usual errands. Les and I talked about lunch at Sam and Andy's today, but I suspect that will hinge on how late they were up with company last night. I talked to Biff yesterday as well, and he was planning to brew a batch of home brew today. Perhaps we'll connect up with the Byrds for some brewing activities. (I have a batch in the garage that needs to be bottled, but I lack bottles and know Biff has some to spare.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sarah Dreams

Some months ago Sarah asked me "What happened last night?" several times. I figured out she was talking about dreaming. She was swinging on her swingset this afternoon and told me about what she described as a good dream involving our campsite, presumably from last weekend, and Grams' house. We've been talking about traveling, since Joey and Jake left yesterday and since we're traveling to Nashville next week. Her subconscious must be trying to work all of that out.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Some Independence Day Photos from the Grahams

La and Stew and Grace attended Independence Day festivities at World's Fair Park in Knoxville, and these are some photos from that event. You can see the University of Tennessee buildings on The Hill in the background.

Grace wears the Grand Old Flag for the Fourth.

Here's Stew and Grace on the lawn.

J&J's Last Day

Joey and Jake are heading up to Gatlinburg today for a weekend with their dad and some friends, which apparently include a girl, the mention of whom caused Joey to giggle for about an hour. Behold: Adolescence.

The guys arrived here this weekend wanting to camp, canoe and fish, and at least we got to go camping. My injured foot precludes getting anywhere near lake water, so I guess we'll try and get some fishing and canoeing in after I've healed.

We travel to Nashville again a week from today to pick the boys up for their last summer stint with us and for me to attend a couple of hearings. Davidson County schools begin classes in mid-August, so the end of their summer is right around the corner. So far, it seems like they've had a good one, including two trips to the beach and a long visit with their cousins from Italy and their cousins in Nashville. Ferrellipalooza!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

El Sazon

We're meeting Mom and Les and Fraz, and La and Stew and Grace for supper at El Sazon Mexican restaurant, which is on Alcoa Highway across from the airport. Dave Landeo, one of our favorite local guitarists, is playing there this evening at 7:00. Last time we saw Landeo play, Sarah danced up a storm to the music.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ponderosa Petting Zoo

Sherry took the kids to the Ponderosa Petting Zoo up in Clinton this morning, but when they got there the place was closed. Fortunately, the owner was there and let them have free run of the place all to themselves. I opted out, as I felt exposing my wound to powderized animal droppings probably would not be best for my recovery. Also, it allowed me to have lunch with my former law partner, Duncan, and another local lawyer, Rob White, and I still got home in time to get some administrative work done before everyone got home about half an hour ago.

Tetanus Shot

I met my new doctor, Christopher Shamblin, of East Tennessee Medical Group today. He examined my foot injury and prescribed a tetanus shot, which his nurse administered this morning, and an antibiotic. He basically told me to keep off of it and to keep it clean, and he told me I am off of my morning walk and swimming until my heel is healed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Andrew's Graduation

Andrew graduated from Heritage High School this spring. Here are a few photos from the ceremonies, including this one of the Grahams spiffed up for the event.

Andrew was one of the Top 25 Seniors graduating in the Class 0f 2007 from HHS.

Here is a photo of Mom and Fraz and Les decked out for the graduation ceremony.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dress Code for Metro Nashville Schools

Joey and Jake will be subject to the new dress code for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. They may wear khakis or blue or black slacks with certain specified colors of golf shirts. Since families all over Nashville will be scouring the department stores for the required clothing, Sherry took the boys out yesterday afternoon and picked up some school clothes for them. They're going to look quite spiffy this year, I think.

From a kid's point of view, I think I would resent such a dress code. A big part of my junior high and high school experience was social. I can't imagine going through high school without my AC/DC T-shirt and my hat with horns. My friends and I expressed ourselves through our clothing in school, and it was a big part of my experience growing up.

I think the policy is aimed at diluting the distraction that things like AC/DC T-shirts (and worse) cause among the students. As a parent, my tendency is to agree that the policy will prevent kids from focusing on the messages that clothing transmits, rather than studying their lessons. If one kid doesn't get killed because he was wearing red in Cripps territory or blue in Bloods territory, the policy will be worthwhile. At any rate, it's what the school board has decreed.

Thank You Canada

I've been following three Iraqi bloggers for some time. Two of the three have recently fled their homes in Iraq. One, Alaa, writes a blog called the Mesopotamian. Here is his post from July 1, 2007:

I consider it a good omen that my arrival to Canada coincided just before "Canada Day", the birthday of this country; because for me and my family it is also a kind of rebirth into a new life and a new country. Now, the country of your birth is an accident that is not of your choosing; but a country that you have chosen of your own free will and that has accepted you for citizenship for your own worth, when it had no obligation whatsoever towards you, and I have not come in as a refugee nor am I a wealthy man; such a country is perhaps more deserving of allegiance. But of course, I have been long enough in this world to realise that nowhere is everything perfect, nor all people are the same. I can expect disappointments and difficulties but that changes nothing. The worst bigot that I may expect to encounter here cannot be considered but a mild case of bad temper compared to the throat slitting eye gorging hate filled types that have come to infest our poor Mesopotamia and the whole region around it. What do I have in common with these latter types? They are more foreign and repugnant to me than any monsters descended from outer space perhaps.

As I am watching the firework displays I can feel the stirring of the first feelings of belonging and affection for the new home. I pray to God who has brought me here to help me settle and succeed to become a good citizen of this land. Home is where you are made to feel at home. So on this day I want to extend my congratulations to all Canadians and above all to say:
Thank you Canada

Big and Ugly

Sarah likes to watch Ben 10, a cartoon about a kid with a wristwatch-like device that turns him into one of ten different aliens with superpowers. He slaps the wristwatch and turns into something "big and ugly" as Sarah says.

Recently, Sarah has been imagining herself as Ben 10 when confronted with a potentially frightening situation. During the scene in James and the Giant Peach where the rhino comes to get James, Sarah slaps her wrist and sings her Ben 10 song. She also has a particular stance she assumes when she turns big and ugly. "I big and ugly!"

We took her on Friday morning for her follow-up appointment at the doctor's office. At the top of the steps she hesitated, then slapped her wrist and turned into Ben 10 before proceeding down the steps.

Sarah's New School

Sherry and I enrolled Sarah in Perpetual Motion preschool in Maryville on Friday. The place has a huge gymnastics facility with three different types of trampolines, including one incredibly long, skinny one. It also has a pool, so in the summer the kids Sarah's age go to the pool twice a week and do gynastics one day a week (twice, if you spring for some additional tuition, which we'll probably do). Sarah liked it so much that she told us as we were finishing up the paperwork and getting ready to leave that she asked to stay. We just went into town to get the mail and a buiscuit this morning, and she asked to go see her new school.

The place has a three-star state rating, which is the highest, and the director told us they were the second highest rated facility in Maryville and the fifth highest in the state. Base full-time tuition for Sarah will be $131.00 a week, compared to the $182.00 per week we were paying at Active Learning Center in Nashville. They had an opening, so Sarah will be able to start full-time on August 13, when Sherry starts her new job.

Riverside Tavern/Ruth Chris Steak House

Riverside Tavern at Volunteer Landing, long a favorite meeting place in Knoxville, closed Friday night. Knoxville was rather late in developing its riverfront, and Volunteer Landing was a nice place to enjoy a meal and the view of the river, especially after dark when the lights of the city reflect off of the surface of the water.

Ruth Chris Steak H0use is a very nice, upscale restaurant. Sherry and I have dined at their store in Nashville, and we had a very enjoyable meal there, though I will wear a business suit the next time I go to a Ruth's for dinner as it's rather stuffy. They may operate one of their stores at the former site of Volunteer Landing.

Blount County Landmarks

The Daily Times has a couple of neat articles this morning about some familiar Blount County landmarks. East Tennesseans my age grew up enjoying Kay's Ice Cream. Their ice cream parlors had a red and white sign with a giant ice cream cone, usually with a fake kid on a ladder hanging onto the side of the cone and licking the ice cream. There's a Kay's in Maryville that has closed, but a local couple has purchased the property in order to preserve the building. They are renovating and will reopen as a bakery and ice cream parlor called Sweet Sensations.

I was not aware that Humdingers Drive-In on East Broadway had closed, but another couple plans to reopen it. They will be using some of the equipment from Kay's in their operation.

Finally, ALCOA is going to start work renovating the huge tower that is visible from Alcoa Highway, and from most of the north end of the county for that matter. Because of its size and position on the highway, it's something that almost everyone sees. It really needs a face lift.

Homemade Ice Cream!

Sherry's dad and stepmom, Papa John and Jan, gave me a Christmas present last year that I used only the second time yesterday. It's called a Megaball, and it's an ice cream maker in the form of a ball. You put your ingredients in one end, and the ice and salt in the other. Then you pass the ball around for half an hour and you've got your ice cream.

We made the first batch on the Fourth of July when Zandar and his lady were visiting us, but we followed the directions on the outside of the box that recommended using half and half. I thought at the time that heavy cream would be better, and later saw in the recipe book that came with the Megaball that the cream was acceptable. We made a batch with the cream yesterday, and it was definitely the way to go. Yummy!


We saw a wide variety of varmints up at Abrams Creek, including some huge tadpoles and bullfrogs. Jake caught a couple of tadpoles with hind legs, and they were big ones! He also caught a couple of crawdads and little fish with a net. We also saw a fairly large snake, which cleared everyone right on out of the water. I never saw him, but I heard a woodpecker that had to have been the size of a small car.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Alice Cooper to Play the Tennessee Theater

Caveman gave me a call yesterday to tell me that Alice Cooper will perform at the Tennessee Theater on August 28, which is just before my birthday on the 31st. I haven't been to a rock and roll show since 2003, and I've never seen Uncle Alice live. Caveman's going to pick up our tickets for us so we can all sit together. It should be a blast, and it will be a fun first visit to the Tennessee Theater for Sherry.

Caveman also provided me with a link to Concertwire, a resource for concerts for East Tennesseans.

Tore A Hole In My #@$%&#* Foot

Some jerk drove a nail into the side of the wooden frame for the tent pad at the campsite we stayed at last night. I got up last night to go to the bathroom, stepped out of the tent and tore a nickle to quarter size hole in the bottom of my left heel. Surprisingly, considering how bad it looks, I didn't shed a lot of blood. Before we headed home this morning, I took my sword to the nail so that won't happen to anyone else. I'll be limping around for a few weeks.

Camping at Abrams Creek

We camped last night up at Abrams Creek and had a site right on the river. There were a bunch of kids camping next to us, and everyone had a good time playing in the river. Andrew came up last night as well and pitched a tent. It pretty much sprinkled here most of the day, but cleared up just as we were leaving town.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Brothers Ferrelli Arrive in Maryville!

We just got back from an overnight trip to Nashville to pick up Jake and Joey. I got called into juvenile court on the way back into Maryville, and Sherry's taken the kids to the pool. The boys want to go camping, canoeing and hiking while they're here during the coming week, and this, of course, is right up my alley. If the weather permits, we're going up to Abrams Creek tomorrow and try to snag a campsite on the river and camp tomorrow night. I suspect we could do some fishing in that neighborhood, particularly if trout fishin' Uncle Fuzzy can join us. Abrams Creek is a trout paradise, but I'm strictly a lake fisherman. I just scare trout away.

Sherry's New Job!

On Tuesday, the day she interviewed for the position, Sherry accepted a full-time job with the company that produces the Real Estate Book, where she will be laying out their magazines for the Knoxville and Nashville markets. We have both been working from home with Sarah out of day care since the first of this year, so this will be another big change for us. We've really enjoyed the experience of being together so much. With few exceptions, we've spent six months at home working side-by-side together, something few couples get to enjoy, and I feel very blessed to have had this time with my beautiful wife.

Sherry begins training part-time July 30th, and she will begin full-time on August 13. This will give us some lead time to try and find a day care we like, and Sherry has already put us on the waiting list of the one place we really liked out of the three we've looked at. We've been talking to Boong about returning to school, and she seems like she's hip to the idea. While it's been a treasure spending so much time at home with Sarah, particularly at this young age, Sherry and I both feel like it will be good for her to be back in a learning environment and socializing with other children her age.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ear Infection Clearing Up

Sarah's ear infection seems to be responding well to the antibiotics, though she hates taking them. She's been up in the middle of the night fairly regularly since she picked up the infection, but she slept through the night last night. It will be hard to keep her out of the pool with her brothers here for the week.

Heading for Nashville to Pick Up the Boys

Sherry and Boong and I are heading for Nashville this morning to pick up Jake and Joey. We'll come home tomorrow, and the boys will be here through July 20, when their dad will pick them up here so they can spend a weekend in Gatlinburg with some of his family. It may be a rainy drive this morning. If the weather clears up for the weekend, we may try and camp up at Abrams Creek. (We were tempted by those vacant campsites on the river last weekend.)

Judicial News

W. Scott Rosenberg is a Davidson County Juvenile Court Child Support Referee before whom I have appeared on many occasions, and he has submitted an application for appointment to the vacant seat on the Tennessee Count of Appeals. He is very intelligent and would make a fine appellate judge.

Circuit Judge Clara Byrd of Lebanon, whom I have not appeared before, is being investigated by the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary for allegedly failing to carry out the mandate of the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversing a custody decision she made. According to the TBA Today, she has a 65% reversal rate, which is more than double the average reversal rate for Tennessee trial judges.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday Report

Sherry had a busy day today. She had an appointment to get acquainted with her new personal physician this morning. I need to do the same thing. I've been down with a bug today, so I'm definitely inspired to line up a Maryville doc before the real flu and virus season starts.

Sherry had a luncheon meeting today with another local publication that she expects will provide her with further freelance work, and she got home and set up an interview tomorrow morning in Powell with another prospective employer. We're excited that there are so many opportunities presenting themselves.

I've been hoarding the sofa most of the day, and am feeling better so Sherry's taking her turn. I just set Boong up with a movie, but I suspect she'll be asleep soon after her traumatic day.

Ear Infection

Sarah has had some pretty yucky discharge from her left ear, so Sherry took her to Maryville Pediatrics today. The poor child had to undergo the dreaded suck-the-gross-stuff-out-of-your-ear procedure, and she came home with three different medicines to cure the infection. We gave her the first dose of the oral antibiotic when they got home, and it wasn't pretty.

Sarah was plagued by ear infections until she had the operation to put drainage tubes in, and that was pretty much the end of the infections. This is the first time she's even had a prescription filled since we lived on River Bend Circle. The doc says that the tube that was in her right ear is gone. We'll find out about the other one on Friday, when she returns for a follow-up appointment after the antibiotics have reduced the inflammation in her left ear.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Camp Montvale to Reopen Tomorrow

We passed by Camp Monvale on the way up to Abrams Creek yesterday, and told Sherry that I had heard it has been closed. There's an article in the Daily Times this morning that says that YMCA closed it in 2006, but it is to reopen as a kids' camp tomorrow under the auspices of the Friends of Camp Monvale. It will host a camp for children of families employed by the Ruby Tuesday corporate office here.

Early Morning Kid Stuff

Sarah woke up at the same time I did this morning, which was 5:30, so we've had a full morning already. We started with cartoons, made our way outside to blow bubbles and have been drawing on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. I have a strange craving for horribly sweet cereal.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Granddaddy's 103rd Birthday

Today would have been the 103rd birthday of my grandfather, William Ellis Ogle. He died in 2000.

Floyd, Virginia

I just discovered the Fragments from Floyd, Virginia, website, which is another photographer's blog featuring beautiful photos from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Check it out.

Uno Pizza

Upon our return to Maryville and civilization, we lunched at Uno Pizza. I watched a show on the History Channel last week and learned that Uno Pizza was where the original Chicago-style pizza was born. I'd dined at the local store before, but didn't know the history of the chain. I had their classic, which the waiter said was the 15 minute version of the pie they make in Chicago that bakes for an hour. It was delicious. Sherry had a chicken quesadilla that was also very yummy.

A Walk Along Abrams Creek

Sherry and Boong and I got adventuresome this morning and drove up to Abrams Creek campground in the Smokies. We took the short way, up Montvale Road, and were surprised to find not one, but three vacant campsites on the river. This is incredibly rare on a nice weekend this time of year, especially since there are only about 15 campsites at Abrams Creek. Joey and Jake would love playing in the creek up there, so hopefully we can take them camping there before the summer is over.

We walked through the campground and up the trail toward Abrams Falls about a mile and a half. Sarah loves to run, so she expended all of her energy in the first half mile, and then wanted to be carried. We stopped at a stream that crosses the trail and explored it a bit before heading back to town, and Sarah made it with minimal parental help.

Boong Crashed Early

Well, Sarah couldn't be convinced to stay over at Mom's last night, but she fell asleep at about 6:00 p.m. on the way back home. I carried her to the sofa, where she slept for a couple of more hours; whereupon, I hauled her up to her bed.

She has been staying up later than we like, sometimes until 10:00 p.m. or later, and like a lot of children, she comes up with all kinds of disarming excuses of why she is, yet again, out of her bed. Her best ploy is to get up and come and kiss you goodnight.

Unless she got back up after I went to sleep at 9:00 last night, she's been asleep for about twelve hours now. She played hard at the pool, where she displayed impressive swimming skill. I bet she'll be fully charged by the time she wakes up.


My sister, Leslie, has been haunted for months by the number eleven. You'd have to ask her about the experience. My observation on the phenomenon is that she frequently notices it when the clock reads eleven minutes after the hour.

Anyway, if numbers are your thing, today is 07-07-07. Aren't sevens supposed to be lucky?

Mission to the Asteroid Belt

NASA is launching the Dawn spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket Sunday morning, weather permitting, to begin a trip for an unmanned exploration of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft will study two asteroids. It will pass an asteroid named Vesta in 2011, and it will study an asteroid/dwarf planet called Ceres in 2015. (My Grandmother Ogle's sister's name was Vesta, though we called her "Aunt Deckie.") The goal of the mission is to learn more about the origin of our solar system by studying these chunks of matter that did not end up as part of a planet.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Puleo's Grille

On our way to the pool this afternoon, Sherry and Boong and I stopped by Puleo's Grille in Cedar Bluff for lunch. My take on it was that they have yummy food, but the service was a bit slow on this visit. There are four stores, all of them in the Knoxville area except for one in Murfreesboro. I'd go back. They certainly don't send you away hungry.

Ta's Haircut

We're over at Wannie's after hanging out for a bit at Sherry's friend, Vickie's, pool. Sarah's been in need of a trimming of her bangs, and Mom just gave her a haircut. Like Joey, Sarah's had bangs down over her eyes.

Mom has volunteered to have Boong spend the night over here, but we're not sure yet if she's going to go for it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


More on the Cabin Trip

I was so worn out after returning from the cabin Sunday afternoon that I really didn't give much of a report from the weekend in the woods. When I first got there I discovered what appeared to be a second creek on the property. Unfortunately, it was flowing out from under the house, down the path along the front of the house to the porch and down the stairs and the hill below. Upon inspection, there was a pipe blown out at the back of the house under the kitchen window. I shut off the water supply, and we hauled water up from the creek to flush the toilet and for washing our hands and such. Quality Plumbing of Winchester, a/k/a Wayne Blankenship, is on the job.

A couple has purchased the blue house across the creek from us, and their grandson, Austin, who is about Jake and Joey's age, spent quite a bit of time visiting with us down by the creek. We met both of his grandparents, who operate a small engine shop in nearby Normandy, Tennessee. They bought their place in Estill Springs for a weekend get-away, and we're happy to have neighbors who will have their eyes on the Camp just about every weekend. Also, I'm sure J&J will enjoy getting to know Austin, who will no doubt have all of the nearby woods explored by the time we visit there next.

I'm happy to report that the critters of Taylor Creek, which is also known as Dry Branch on our deed, are thriving. There is a bumper crop of periwinkles this year. These are small, black mollusks that inhabit the creek, and they were so plentiful this year that one couldn't avoid stepping upon them. Even more happily, we saw much evidence of crawdads. I've been concerned about the apparent lack of crawdaddies in recent years, but we saw two live ones, one dead one and a couple of claws. I have many fond memories of my Granddaddy, my Dad and myself catching crawdads in that creek through the years. I wasn't able to snag one to show the Boong this trip, but it will be soon.

Dr. Paul Bergeron

I was watching The Presidents yesterday on the History Channel, and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, who succeeded President Lincoln, was featured. Two historians were interviewed for the piece, and one of them was Dr. Paul Bergeron of the University of Tennessee, from whom I learned Tennessee history in undergradute school. I was aware that the university library's Special Collections department had acquired President Johnson's papers, but not that Dr. Bergeron had been appointed to edit them. He is apparently now one of the foremost living scholars on Andrew Johnson, and Dr. Bergeron still looks pretty much the same as he did twenty years ago.

To America by Stephen Ambrose

I am finishing up To America, an audiobook by historian Stephen Ambrose. It is the last book he wrote before his death, and it is basically a survey of American history with the author's insights and impressions. The last part is his story of his career, which took off as a result of being selected by President Eisenhower to work on his papers.

I learned something I did not know about President Eisenhower yesterday. He predicted that the totalitarian regime that existed under the Soviet Union would not be able to sustain itself because in order to keep up with the western democracies, the Soviet Union would be constrained to educate its citizenry. Once their citizens were educated, they would reform their government and throw off totalitarianism. This came to pass. Not only was the Soviet Union unable to compete with the West, but in the process of trying to they not only ran their economy into the ground they created an educated citizenry which enabled Gorbachev to introduce Glastnos and Perestroika, leading to a much different Russia today than existed during the Cold War years when Eisenhower made his prediction.

For all the heat we take, America has wrought much good in the world. More people around the globe enjoy democracy and freedom today than ever before in human history. The evil that existed in Germany and Japan in the 1930's and 40's was destroyed, and even the people in those countries, once our mortal enemies, live free and are our friends. Human progress has a long way to go, but the gains that have been made during the existence of this republic are remarkable. We are still the shining city on the hill.

The Declaration of Independence

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Grillin' and Chillin' at the Fuzzies

I spent the night over at Les and Frazier's place last night. Les and I kept an eye on baby Grace while La took a break to go ice skating yesterday afternoon, and we cooked a couple of steaks and a bunch of drumsticks on the grill for supper. I got up before sunrise and headed back here to the homestead to get ready for the return of Sherry and the Boong from Nashville. I'm getting ready to go grab a biscuit for breakfast, and then I'm going to hit the grocery store for the day's supplies as we are entertaining here for the Fourth of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

'Mater Harvest

Though withered by the sun, our two tomato plants finally have ripe fruit on them. I started plucking them, and then realized I should save some for Sarah to pull off when she gets home tomorrow inasmuch as she has been diligent in tending the plants with me. I ate one of them last night with a piece of our quiche, and it was a delicious combination.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Friday's Visit to Murfreesboro

I made what I expect was my last appearance in Judge Rogers' court in Murfreesboro on Friday. I will miss my appearances in Rutherford County, both because of Judge Rogers' professionalism and courtesy and because of the opportunities it has presented me for visiting with my cousin Jim.

Jimbo and I were able to get together for lunch one last time at Toot's, a local restaurant that has hosted our meetings a couple of times now. As usual we had fun telling family stories and talking politics over a yummy lunch before he had to get back to work, and I had to head on to Estill Springs and the Camp. I hope we are able to get the rest of the Spencer side of my family together again soon. Visiting the cabin always makes me miss Dad and Grandmother and Granddaddy, and spending time with my kin always makes me feel connected to those memories.

Jon Moorefield Visits Knoxvegas

Speaking of long lost friends reunited via the Internet, my friend Jon Moorefield is in Knoxville this week visiting his dad. Caveman found Jon's contact information a couple of years ago, and I've been in E-mail contact with him since then. Jon and I were also friends in junior high. Jon has always been a talented magician, and we performed together as Zandar the Magnificent and Ogle the Great as children. (Jon's really good at it. I was pretty much his apprentice.)

Anyway, he's been threatening to invade Knoxville for quite a while, and has finally made good on his promise. The last time I saw him was in the mid to late 80's, and he was sporting an atrocious hair band hairdo. (In addition to his talent as an illusionist, Zandar is also a hell of a drummer.) We're planning a cook-out at the Fuzzies tomorrow and are trying to get a group together over here on Independence Day, so hopefully we can lure Jon over for at least one of those events.

The Family Van Loon

The wonder of the Internet has reunited me with several long lost friends that I had at one point despaired of ever finding again. One of those is Robin Koger Van Loon, whom I met when we were both in junior high school. Robin, her husband Bob, and their three teenage sons met us for lunch in Tullahoma yesterday. If I'm not mistaken, the last time I saw Robin was when she attended my unfortunate first wedding in 1984, and the last time I'd talked to her was after she received the announcement of my graduation from law school in 1992. She and Bob moved from Texas sometime after that, and I lost touch with them.

It was a lot of fun catching up with Robin and meeting Bob and the boys. They are living in England in Ascot, which is just south of Windsor Castle, but are visiting in Tullahoma, where Robin's parents now live. It turns out that both of our fathers worked for Arnold Engineering and Development Center in Tullahoma, though at different times. I worked with Robin's brother, John, at McDonald's on Kingston Pike in Knoxville, but that's a different story.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Stump the Geek: How a Water Tank Works

Water tower in
Kill Devil Hills, NC

One of the landmarks to find the cabin is the Estill Springs water tower. On the way home, Les wondered what purpose they serve. I knew it had something to do with gravity and suggested we look it up when we got home. Here's what the website I found says about them. (I still think they are really alien spacecraft waiting to throttle us in our sleep, though I've always thought they'd make a cool place for an indoor swimming pool.)

How a Water Tank Works:

A water tower is an incredibly simple device. Although water towers come in all shapes and sizes, they all do the same thing: A water tower is simply a large, elevated tank of water. For example, take the water tower shown at the right. This tower is located in Kill Devils Hill, near Kitty Hawk, NC. It is about 165 feet (50 meters) tall.

Water towers are tall to provide pressure. Each foot of height provides 0.43 PSI (pounds per square Inch) of pressure. A typical municipal water supply runs at between 50 and 100 PSI (major appliances require at least 20 to 30 PSI). The water tower must be tall enough to supply that level of pressure to all of the houses and businesses in the area of the tower. So water towers are typically located on high ground, and they are tall enough to provide the necessary pressure. In hilly regions, a tower can sometimes be replaced by a simple tank located on the highest hill in the area.

A water tower's tank is normally quite large. A normal in-ground swimming pool in someone's backyard might hold something like 20,000 or 30,000 gallons (that's a lot of water!), and a typical water tower might hold 50 times that amount! Typically, a water tower's tank is sized to hold about a day's worth of water for the community served by the tower. If the pumps fail (for example, during a power failure), the water tower holds enough water to keep things flowing for about a day.

Back in Maryville

I'm back in Maryville and worn out after a fun weekend. We had a water pipe broken at the cabin, so I'm enjoying being able to flush the toilet without hauling water up from the creek. Sherry and Sarah will be visiting Grams and J&J in Nashville until Wednesday, so it's just me and the cats for a couple of days.