Monday, April 30, 2007

My New Water Gun Is Here!

Oh Joy! Rapture! My new Stream Machine Double-Barrelled Hydrobolic Water Launcher arrived at the post office today. I had to pick it up from the window, and the people in the post office were quite amused by my unabashed glee at having received my new toy. I haven't used it in battle yet, but I predict it will serve me well, and soon.

(Insert mad scientist laugh here.)

Another Tire Was About to Blow

When we took the Nissan to Ogle's Auto Center this morning, I asked Chuck to come out and have a look at the tires to tell me whether I needed to buy two or four. He recommended four, and he also showed me that the passenger-side front tire was about to come apart the same way the driver-side front tire did on Saturday. I'm very happy that we'll travel on four new tires on our beach trip next month. Yikes!

Snow Cream Bars

I'm really not a big eater of sweets, but I'm a sucker for Mayfield's ice cream. Grams had some Mayfield's Snow Cream Bars in her freezer this weekend, and they were everything you ever wanted snow cream to be. I really haven't tried to make any real snow cream in years, mainly because we rarely get several days worth of snow down here in the South, and I've always heard you shouldn't eat snow unless it's been snowing for several days. Anyway, the Mayfield product is really good, and tastes like vanilla ice cream, just not as sweet.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Strikers Update

Jake and Joey are still in the middle of a soccer tournament in Hendersonville. They lost the game we saw yesterday, despite a valiant effort, but they've won two games since then, and by respectable margins. Go Strikers!

Vadalia Earnhardt Ogle

Sarah has been out in the backyard wheeling about in her new car, and I've decided to give her an official NASCAR name, Vadalia Earnhardt Ogle. Horrible, isn't it?

Walking Again

Since we moved, I've been trying to get myself back into the habit of walking every day. I lost a bunch of weight after law school by swearing off Pizza Hut pizza and walking three miles, or about 45 minutes, a day. I'm about 15-20 pounds heavier than I'd like to be, and I hope to eliminate those extra pounds by walking again. The April cold snap we had hurt my effort a bit, but I walked most every morning I could last week. I got my three miles in this morning as well.

Loveless Cafe

Sherry and Sarah and I had breakfast at the Loveless Cafe yesterday morning while Jake and Joey's dad got them ready for their soccer tournament. If you've never dined there, it is wonderful and a real Nashville treasure. The lobby walls are covered in autographed publicity photos of entertainers, mostly country music folk, who have enjoyed the restaurant. Since we've run into George "Goober" Lindsey at another Nashville breakfast spot, La Peep, from time to time, I wasn't really surprised to see his photo there. I was, however, surprised and delighted to see that Robert Plant of Led Zepplin has visited the Loveless and autographed a photo that is now on display there. That's just plain cool!

Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

"We gladly feast on those who would subdue us." -- The Adams Family motto

Rostropovich and Pickett Die

Mstislav Rostropovich, the famous cellist who defied Soviet repression of the arts and was stripped of his citizenship for it, died this week. So did Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who wrote the Halloween favorite "Monster Mash".

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Boongmobile

Uncle Fuzzie talked his ex-wife out of a battery-operated go-kart for the Boong, and Auntie Les was waiting for us with it in the driveway when we got home. We haven't gotten it charged up enough yet for Sarah to really enjoy it yet, but it should be ready to go tomorrow.

Home After a Stressful Trip

My car has been handling oddly for the past few days. The steering wheel was vibrating, and the car was pulling to the right. My hope was to make it home and then take it to Chuck Ogle on Monday so he could fix whatever it was. About an hour and a half from Knoxville, we heard a loud noise, and I looked in the rearview to see about three feet of my tire tread flying in the air about five feet off of the ground. I pulled onto the shoulder, and realized the car was still driving fine. In fact, it wasn't even pulling to the right or vibrating anymore.

We stopped at the next exit to inspect, and sure enough the entire tread had come off of the driver's side front wheel. No air was escaping, so we decided to try and make it home. We managed to get another thirty minutes or so closer to home before the tire blew, so I ended up changing the tire on the side of the interstate. My spare, of course, was also flat, but it got us to the next exit, where I inflated it properly. We were able to get home uneventfully after that. I've never been so glad to pull into the driveway of my home in my life!

A New Flag


I found this flag on Tennessee Jed's blogsite. I've long thought that someone should design a flag that would express hillbilly pride without the racist baggage of the Confederate flag. I like this one. I need one for my camping gear.

Back to East Tennessee

We're going to eat breakfast at the Loveless Cafe and catch Jake and Joey's soccer game on the way out of town this morning. My car is pulling to the right, and the steering wheel is vibrating in an unwholesome manner, so I hope our trip home is uneventful. I figure we'll take it in to Ogle's Auto Center in Alcoa on Monday and let Chuck and his men have a look at it.

I will have one, perhaps two, new cases in Maryville that will keep me busy next week. I'm glad we'll at least have Sunday for some down time.

Witnessing Death

Witnesses from the media have been selected to view the execution of convicted murderer Phillip Workman, currently set for May 9 Among them is Sheila Burke of the Tennessean, whom I know from her coverage of the courts here in Nashville. Gene Patterson of WATE television in Knoxville is also on the list. What a grim duty.

Patterson was a spokesman for the City of Knoxville when I left East Tennessee. I guess WATE made it worth his while to go back to journalism.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Baby Grace


La's E-mail also had this cute photo of Gracie, which I thought I'd share.

Grahams' Anniversary

Since we're doing anniversaries here today, I submit this photo of my sister Laura and her husband, Stewart, posing prior to an anniversary meal at the Orangery in Knoxville. Congratulations, Grahams!

Barrons' Anniversary

I just got an E-mail message from avid Boongablogger reader Jane Barron announcing her and hubby Al's third wedding anniversary. They are off to the mountains for a getaway weekend. Congratulations, Al and Jane!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Safe at Grams' House

We made it to Grams' lovely home high above the Cumberland River after lunch at Shoney's in Cookeville. Sherry is having a nap, while I work on tomorrow's case and supervise the Boong. Tomorrow is one of those days when I have to perform the impossible feat of being in two courtrooms in two different buildings at the same time. Lawyering -- It's not just a job. It's an adventure!

Death of Yeltsin

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin died this week. What I've read in the press this week gave him mixed reviews. He presided over a time of change for the better in his country, and the image of him standing on a tank and giving a speech during a time of crisis in the Russian movement toward democracy is one that stands out in my mind. The press criticized him for corrupt administration and for turning power over to Putin and the current, more repressive, regime. Still, the Russia that exists today is far more free than the Soviet Union.

Off to Nashvegas

I've got court in Maryville this morning, and when my duties here are concluded, Sherry and Sarah and I are heading west to Nashville, where I have a hearing tomorrow morning. I am hopeful I'll be through here early enough so that we can pick up Jake and Joey from school this afternoon. I've got some studying to do for my hearing tomorrow, and Sherry has agreed to drive so that I can work during the trip.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Louisville Lake


Here's a really cool view of Louisville Lake overlooking the marina. Mad Goose Island is at about 11:00 from the marina.

Girls Gone Swimming

While I was in Knoxville and then at a meeting in Maryville, Sherry and Sarah went over to Sherry's friend Vickie's to enjoy her neighborhood pool, which has just opened. Sherry came back with a bit of sunburn, and Sarah is obviously tired out from playing with her friend at the pool. I'm about ready for the water myself. Perhaps we can get the canoe on the lake in the next couple of weekends.

Lunch at the Tomato Head

I had lunch on Market Square in downtown Knoxville today with my friend Brent Nolan, whom I've known since law school. We grabbed a pizza at the Tomato Head, and they still make a fine pie. They're also about to open a store in Maryville, just down Broadway from my old office at Crawford, Crawford and Newton. I'm sure they'll do well there.

I found a parking spot on the parking lot I used to help operate when I was in undergrad, which is very convenient to Brent's office. As I was leaving, I saw Rod Fields, a lawyer with whom I worked in Knoxville at Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop after I graduated from law school, but before I passed the bar. There's a Tennessee Supreme Court rule that allows a law school grad who has not yet passed the bar to appear in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney, and Rod was kind enough to let me try one of his general sessions court cases when I was in that particular limbo but aching to get into a real courtroom. It was good to see him as well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Gorge


I just ran across this photo, which I believe to be the area known as the Bathtub on Wilson Creek in Caldwell County, North Carolina, my old stomping grounds. It's from the local newspaper's website, where my friend Gregg, a photographer, works. I don't know if this is Gregg's work or not, but if it got him up to the Gorge on the newspaper's dime, I sure hope so.

I spent many wonderful afternoons, not to mention weekends, in the Gorge during the time I lived in Granite Falls, North Carolina. Camping is no longer allowed, but we had some fun camping trips up there in the early 1980's before they closed the area to party campers.

Look Rock Campground Wildflower Walk

Sherry and Boong and I took some time off this morning to walk Look Rock campground off of Foothills Parkway in the Smokies to survey the wildflowers. With the recent cold weather, it is still early in the season up there, so there weren't a lot of blooms. We did see some pretty crested dwarf iris blooms, like those pictured above. I also saw a few Jack in the Pulpit plants, and what I suspect were pink lady slipper plants, but I'm not very good at identifying wildflowers by foliage alone. I'd say in a few weeks we'll have better luck.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Empty Moving Truck


I cannot tell you how glad we were to pose this photograph, featuring an empty moving van and happy movers, at our Lively Road residence in March. We still have some work, but it feels like home now.

Fermentation in Progress

I just checked the brew in the garage, and there are bubbles of carbon dioxide escaping from the airlock. Fermentation is in progress. Go, yeasties, go!

Some Wild American Foxes

Because they are two wild and crazy guys, well, a wild and crazy guy and a wild and crazy girl, La and Stew have picked up some American foxes. They've discovered some baby foxes, called kits, on their property. Here's some photos.



Fox butt

Yeast in the Beer

I threw the yeast into my carboy full of homebrew this morning. The yeast will begin to feast upon the malt sugar in the brew, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, and by this evening we should see evidence of it at work. The yeast will party for a day or so, and once it calms down, I'll put it into a second fermentation chamber to finish off. It should be ready to bottle in the next week or two. You can usually drink it within a couple days or so after that. I'm excited to have a batch in the works!

Busy Week Ahead

Sherry just got her latest job from Attachment Parenting and is hoping that a new part-time job with a News Sentinel publication, Skirt, comes through early this week. I have a meeting tomorrow morning and have to prepare for an important hearing in Nashville on Friday. We'll head west after I get out of court Thursday morning, and I can get in some studying on the road.

I also need to make a trip to a home supply store to buy a device to thwart the Boong, who has learned to open our sliding glass back door. Perhaps I'll take her out this morning and run some errands so that Sherry can have some quiet time to do some work. I have a bunch of telephone calls to return, so I'll also need a Boong-free zone at some point during the day.

Dockside Grill

I should give the Dockside Grill down at Louisville Landing Marina a plug. Biff, Leah and I had cheeseburgers, which were yummy, and Sherry met us there just as we were finishing lunch, so she got a roast beef and Swiss wrap to go. Boong had her standard chicken tenders, which were also pretty good.

Vince, the guy who runs the place, is very welcoming, and he's really got it looking nice. They built a covered deck, so there's a lot more seating, and he's got wooden fixtures in there instead of the plastic tables and chairs that were in there when I used to live in the neighborhood.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nut Brown and Irish Red

No, they aren't venereal diseases. They are beers. Biff brought a Nut Brown Ale kit, which had a nice selection of flavors. I had the ingredients for an Irish Red Ale, and so we brewed two batches this afternoon. I'll probably throw yeast to the batch in our garage tomorrow morning. Our home smells of wonderful cooked grains, and the piney smell of hops.

Bart and Kim never made it. I hope they found their critter. La and Grace and Les and Fraz joined us. I got to socialize a bit more with Sherry's friend Vickie, and her husband Rick seemed at ease with the crazies in our kitchen. It was a fun afternoon, and we're winding down.

Lunch and the Marina and Home to Brew Beer

I'm pleased to report that my loving wife is nearing home. I'd say she's about an hour away, so she may be able to meet us out at Dockside Grill at Louisville Marina for lunch. Biff and Leah Byrd are coming out to lunch with us at the lake, and then we're to retire to Lively Road to cook some homebrew. It will be my first batch in five years. I last brewed at Cotton Blossom lane in 2002. Bart Yancey also called, and he and his girlfriend may join us at the house, if they can round up one of her animals that has gone missing. Also, Sherry's friend Vickie and her husband and daughter are coming out, so we may have a houseful.

No Air Conditioning Upstairs

We haven't had air conditioning upstairs here for the past several days, though some does seem to be getting into the kids' room. At Old Harding Pike I discovered that the cats were climbing on top of the duct work under the house and pulling it loose. We had a very toasty basement at Old Harding for about a week before I figured out why the house wasn't warming like it should. Accordingly, I intend to inspect under the house for loose duct work, and to expel and bar the cats from under the house if my suspicion proves correct. If not, then we'll have to call the landlady and/or buy a wall unit air conditioner for our bedroom.

I think I'm going to take Emma in for her shots just to make myself feel better.

Sinkhole Under Chilhowee Dam

The Daily Times is reporting that there is a sinkhole or trough that has developed under the south embankment of Chilhowee Dam. A collapse of the dam would be a real bummer, to say the least.

According to Tapoco officials, if the dam were to "entirely collapse in an
instant" water levels would rise 33 feet one mile downstream from the dam near
Tallassee and water levels at Tellico, seven miles downstream, would rise 19
feet. Officials describe that as the "worst-case scenario" and point out that
there would have to be significant amounts of rainfall before the collapse for
this scenario to occur.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Be Very, Very Quiet, She's Hunting Emma

The Boong is on safari, hunting the Calico Housecat in her natural territory, to wit: under our bed. Usually Emma hides between the bedspread and the sheets, but she's gone underground at this point.

The Pursuit of Happiness in Space

Some dude who has $25 million in chump change hanging out in his bank account paid to spend the past two weeks on the International Space Station. He landed safely on the Russian steppe and ate the traditional local green apple upon his arrival. If I had a spare $25 million just sitting around, I too think it would be cool to orbit the Earth for a couple of weeks. I'm staggered by the ethical implications of spending those resources on a whim.

Trillim and Redbud Abloom in the Great Smoky Mountains


The National Park Service has some gorgeous photographs available for free to tempt you to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of my favorite places on Earth. We've just had a mighty cold April, and there was snow visible on the higher elevations as recently as last week. This is the time of year to find trillium, pink ladies' slipper and orange azaleas blooming in Look Rock campground, as well as other locations throughout the park. Trillium, which is ubiquitous in many areas in the park, is one of my favorites. Here are a couple of pretty trillium blooms, courtesy of the National Park Service.


Here are a couple of lovely redbud trees abloom in the spring. Ain't it grand?

Breakfast and a Car Wash

Sarah and I met Wannie for breakfast this morning at Cracker Barrel. We bought Mom's breakfast, and she paid for my car to be washed and waxed, so it's looking green and mean. This was a good transaction for us. Breakfast for all three of us was $25.00, and the cost to wash and wax each car was about $55.00. Sherry and J&J checked in with us, and they were having breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Nashville as well.

Sarah and I bought the rest of the ingredients I need to brew a batch of beer, ran by the Maryville post office and picked up Sherry's business cards and my letterhead at Staples. The new office stationary and cards look very professional and nice.

Hydrobolic Water Launcher


Anyone who has been around me in the summer knows not to oppose me in water gun wars. I have been the local arsenal for squirt guns since I was a kid, and now that I'm an adult (You may now laugh.) I can afford the toys I want. I have yet to find a better squirt gun than the Stream Machine Hydrobolic Water Launcher. Even the name speaks to its power.

I have lost several of them recently, and expect they are either lost for good or in a box in the garage that hasn't been opened. Accordingly, I just purchased a new model for the season from the Bass Pro Shop website. It should be here in time for our beach trip at the beginning of June, and it's double-barrelled. Let Seagrove Beach beware!

My Nose Still Hurts

My nose is still sore from the head butt Sarah gave me two days ago. My swollen lip went down Thursday night, but my nose is still tender from the direct hit it took from the top of her head. Ouch!

Sherry, Jake and Joey Attend Predators Game

Joey and Jake's dad, Mark, has a ticket package for home games of the Nashville Predators NHL team. Sherry took the boys to the game last night after attending a fund raising event at their middle school. She sent me a photo via cell phone last night, and it looks like they had pretty good seats. The Predators lost the game 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks, ending the Predator's season, much to the disappointment of their fans.

After we ran our morning errands, Sarah and I cooled our heels here at the homestead for the rest of the day yesterday. It's supposed to be pretty again today, so I may take us up to the mountains for a wildflower walk up at Look Rock campground.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Can We Look Any More Redneck?

Here's Mom in her Cadillac advertising La and Stew's cabin and hauling my canoe.

Jake Brakes

I have noticed that there are signs on Louisville Road that say "No engine brakes." I was also in Rockford yesterday, and on the way out to Lester's I noticed that they have signs that say "No Jake brakes." Having a stepson named Jake, my curiousity was piqued. By the wonder of the internet, I now know what Jake brakes are. Without going into the annoying detail in which it was described in the article I read, Jake brakes are an engine mechanism that slows an 18-wheeler down before any wheel brakes are necessary. The article continued as follows:

It has only one drawback: it is very noisy. You may have heard a semi use the Jake brake without realizing what it was. Sometimes when a truck is approaching a stop sign or stop light it suddenly emits a load roar, very much like a large lawnmower, for five or ten seconds. It is the noise that is causing many towns to ban the use of the Jake brake. Even though tests have shown the decibel level to be about as loud as a large lawnmower, at night or early morning the low frequencies seem to carry a long distance and are very noticeable.
So there you have it. The engine brake is manufactured by a company named Jacob, hence the name.

Sheik Djibouti

I've just concluded a Molly Ivin's audiobook, Dance With Them What Brung You, in which, among other things, she makes a terribly bad joke at the expense of the tiny African country Djibouti. She suggested that it should be governed by a sheik, who would of course be Sheik Djibouti. I typed "sheik" into the Google image search engine to find a generic picture of a sheik, and discovered that Frank Zappa beat her to it with his album, Sheik Yerbouti. And Frank was the most convincing looking sheik I found there.

Hapless Husband Helpless Without Wife

How's that for a dose of alliteration? My lovely wife has not been gone from the house for twenty-four hours, and I'm already falling apart at the seams. I took Ta out to Waffle House this morning and realized as we were walking out to the car that I didn't have my keys. Sure enough I'd locked them in the *%$*#&# car.

I called Mom, but her car is in the shop, so I hit up La, who rescued us. She had to drive us back over to her place because she didn't have her key to our house, then back to our house to get the car and house key, then back to Waffle House. She brought Grace with her, and Sarah enjoyed riding in the back seat with her. Geez!

Sabrina Marina

Sarah and I just returned home from the grocery store. This is the time of year when they raise the lake levels around here, and I told her I was going to drive out by the marina to look at the water. She started excitedly talking about going to "her house." I tried to explain to her that a marina is where boats live, but she clearly thought she was going to visit someone, someone with lots of toys. That's when it hit me she was talking about Sabrina, my friends Rat and Mirela's daughter. She also said "I miss her!" I thought it was pretty cute.

Also, the lake's up!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Auntie Les and Sarah

We asked Auntie Les to keep Sarah "a couple of hours" today. She now understands that we meant five hours, but that's how it goes in the auntie bidness. Uncle Fuzzy stocked up the place with plenty of kid-friendly stuff, and it sounds like they had a fun, if nonproductive, afternoon. Sarah was jumping off their bed, so that Leslie could catch her. I foresee more of this at the pool for all of us in short order.

Sherry Arrives in Nashville

Sherry's at her ma's house overlooking the Cumberland River this evening with her boys and Frankie the cat loving on her, so life is good. She's going to do some volunteer work in their school tomorrow, and there's a Bellevue Middle School function tomorrow evening. There's also a Predators hockey game, to which they and their dad have tickets, so it sounds like a busy Friday in Nashvegas!

Fat Lip

Sarah jumped up when we got home this afternoon and gave me a head-butt directly to my upper lip and nose, and you would be surprised at how hard a three-year-old's head is. I'm so glad I don't have court tomorrow.

Easter Pics

Nearby Springbrook Park had an Easter egg hunt on Saturday before Easter. I gave it a miss in order to have a quiet house and get some lawyer work done. All three kids came home with big sacks of candy, and they got this photo op with the Easter Bunny as well.


We always like to color Easter eggs, so here's a shot of Jake and Sarah in our kitchen dying an embryo. We colored a dozen, and then made deviled eggs out of them.

Here's Grams with J&J, who are opening Easter Loot. The helicopter in Joey's lap ended up on the roof within about thirty minutes after this photograph was taken. I climbed out of our second story bedroom window onto the roof to retrieve it. It ended up back on the roof within about thirty minutes after that. I then declared a moritorium on roof-walking, and the helicopter remained on the roof for a week until the recent storms finally blew it off.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hump Day Report

Sherry and Sarah are off on a play date, which has once again given me an opportunity to catch up on some office work. Sherry's heading over to Nashville tomorrow around noon, at which time I'll head over to drop the Boong off at Stately Fuzzy Manor to spend some quality time with her Auntie Lester. I've got court at 1:30 p.m., and will head back to untie my sister after I conclude my afternoon duties.

I am already missing my wife, who will be gone until Sunday about noon. Joey and Jake have a school event, and I know she is missing her boys and her Mom. I have to be in two different courts at the same time in Nashville a week from Friday, and so we'll all three be back in Nashvegas that Thursday so that I can do battle with the forces of evil and oppression the next morning. Until then, Boong and I will hold down the fort until Sunday. (God help me!)

Out the Door Early

I have to meet a client at the Blount County Justice Center when it opens at 8:00 a.m., so I'm heading out for the meeting and to run several errands. Both of my womenfolk are still aslumber.

Paul Revere's Ride

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,
--A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
---How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
---A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

My Granddaddy's sister, my Great Aunt Jane, was a public school librarian and a woman of letters. I still have the copy she gave me of Longfellow's poem, "The Landlord's Tale", which is popularly known as "Paul Revere's Ride". It was 232 years ago today that the silversmith from Boston mounted his steed to warn the country folk to be up and to arm against the British Redcoats, who were marching to take over an armory. When I was a child, Grandmother and Granddaddy took us to Boston, and we visited the Old North Church. I climbed to the belfry where the lanterns signaled Revere.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Photos from the Easter Egg Hunt at Springbrook Park



Another tragic transporter accident


Skelly


Here's Jake as Gene Simmons.

Cinderella Cereal

The two words set forth above constitute seven syllables, which represent one thing, Sarah's favorite breakfast cereal. I'm amazed that she tries to master all that language to identify this one thing, but then it is something she enjoys.

Walk in the Park

Sherry, Sarah and I went walking yesterday morning after I got back from several errands I had to run in town. We walked nearby Springbrook Park, and then let Sarah loose on the playground for a few minutes before lunch at the Little Italy Restaurant. I had Stromboli, which was really good.

We came home, and I did some paperwork until I got a call a little before 3:00 p.m. from Judge Brewer's secretary asking me to come to court for an appointed case. I actually ended up with two, and it was nice to be able to help out in a pinch, especially late in the day when people are wanting to head home.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pope Benedict's Birthday

Today is Pope Benedict's eightieth birthday. According to the local NBC affiliate, he used to drive a Volkswagen Golf. I used to drive a VW Beetle, so I guess I have something in common with the pope.

Snow in the Smokies

The Daily Times is reporting this morning that there was 4-5 inches of snow up on Mount LeConte last night, and several roads, including parts of Foothills Parkway and Little River Road were closed part of the night. I hope Mother Nature gets this cold weather out of her system. I'm ready for spring to resume!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cold and Rainy Sunday at Home

It is a dreary, cold and rainy day even here on Lively Road. We need the rain, and it is helping to fill up the lakes. But, it is gray and depressing.

Nevertheless, spring is upon us, and this cool weather cannot last long. We used the morning to organize our garage a bit. It still needs work, but I think we've got it under better control now. At least we can get to the things we can actually find.

Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America

I just watched a spot on Book TV featuring author Andrei Markovits, who was discussing his book Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America. His thesis is that Europeans increasingly define themselves as Europeans (rather than by nationality) because of a feeling of being non-Americans, and he argues that this is the emotive part of the European Union movement.

I've only been across the Atlantic Ocean twice. The countries I visited on those occasions were Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. On both visits I was concerned that people might not like me because I am an American, but I never experienced any anti-Americanism. I encountered some rudeness in Paris, but I took it to be more of a big city rudeness than anyone being a jerk because I wasn't from around there.

I think there is a certain tendency to define oneself by defining what one is not. Markovits made the point that people have a lot of different ways of identifying themselves. For example, I am an American. I am a Southerner (which the Europeans I encountered considered especially interesting). I am a Tennessean, and if you are also a Tennessean, you will understand why I also think of myself as an East Tennessean. I grew up in Knoxville, and so I'm a Knoxvillian. I grew up in West Knoxville, and I really don't know my way around the other parts of the city that well and don't care to go there unless I have a reason. I just lived in Nashville for five years, and so I'm a Nashvillian. I have returned to Maryville, just south of Knoxville, where I practiced law for eight and a half years, and so I'm a Maryvillian.
All of those make me a member of various special clubs and gives me something in common with the other members that makes us insiders. It also makes us "not that other tribe."

By saying "I am an American" I am also saying "I am not a European." I am from the South, not from the North. Therefore I know what hushpuppies are, and they ain't shoes. By the same token, Europeans are beginning to have a collective identity, after a long history of wars between variously constituted nations, and part of that is a desire to say "I am not an American" and to criticize us as part of selling themselves. This, of course, is not unusual in politics.

Coolest Animal at the Zoo

We took Sarah to the Knoxville Zoo this week, where we met up with Sherry's new friend Vickie and her kids. Sarah has quite the collection of caterpillars now enslaved in her new bug box she got for Easter, and she was delighted to find another one at the zoo. We walked past the elephants, giraffes and zebras, and Sarah was oblivious to all of them because her attention was fixed on the caterpillar crawling on her arm. I finally convinced her to put the caterpillar down, and I sang "Born Free" as she released it back into the wild.

I think part of what she likes about caterpillars is that they are small enough for her to manipulate easily. She can pick up Louie the cat, but she can't walk very far with him because she's still too little. A caterpillar is much easier for her to deal with.

Sarah rode the carousel at the zoo twice while we were there, and she loved it as much as she did the first time, except this time she didn't cry when it was over. "If you ever wonder why you ride the carousel, you do it for the stories you can tell."

Also, I should note that the visit was not cheap. We ate lunch before we left, so we didn't buy any food or drink except a two dollar bottle of water. The carousel rides were two dollars a pop, and it cost about $50.00 for the three of us to even get in the place. Still, it's a good place for an outing with kids. Sarah loves to explore a trail, and the zoo is built so that you really can't leave the trail. This allows her to feel like she's free from parental constraint, and narrows our task to keeping her from running too far ahead.

Bonefish Grill

We dined last night with Mom, Aunt Joan, Laura and Stewart at the Bonefish Grill on Bearden Hill in the heart of my old stomping grounds in Knoxville yesterday evening. I had Atlantic Salmon with a Mediterranean sauce of some sort. It was quite yummy.

Little Grace was three months old last Wednesday, and she still needs a lot of attention, so we took turns holding her and walking her around the restaurant so La and Stew could eat their supper. Boong ate a bit of spaghetti, but was more interested in wandering the dining room than eating.

Friday, April 13, 2007

There's a New Sheriff in Town

This is a photo from earlier this year of Sarah riding a bronco in Gatlinburg. Laura and Stewart are up there today to see what's up with an auction being held for property next door to their Cozy Creek Cabin. They intend to attend the auction tomorrow morning.

Aunt Joan Arrives

My mom's sister, my Aunt Joan, arrived at the Knoxville Airport from Washington, DC, yesterday afternoon. They came over to our place here on Lively Road for a visit, and Sarah really took to Aunt Joan right away. They've met before, but it was about a year and a half ago, if I'm not mistaken.

Mom and Aunt Joan headed back over to Mom's place, but we're going to meet back up with them at Mom's local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta.

Dad's Jazz Favorites

My mom recently sent an E-mail to Leslie and Laura and me to tell us that three of our dad's favorite jazz musicians were Stan Kenton, Louis Prima and Keely Smith. I usually like jazz when I hear it, but I'm not familiar with any jazz musicians. I'll have to seek them out.

KleptoBoong

As most people who know me would attest, I need no help losing things; however, our three-year-old took my money clip off the kitchen counter yesterday and stashed it upstairs in the linen closet. This was after I'd misplaced my pocket calendar, an item of some importance to a practicing attorney, earlier in the day. Fortunately, during the hour I searched the house and car for the money clip, I found the calendar. Sherry was the one who thought to interrogate Sarah, who gladly led her to the closet in which she had stashed my money clip

I plan to start putting my keys, checkbooks, money clip and calendar up high enough where Sarah can't reach them. Geez.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Water Rising

Tax day is always the day I watch for Louisville Lake and its environs to fill up with water as the Tennessee Valley Authority looses the floodgates after the winter season. I just consulted the TVA website, and they'll be releasing water all day tomorrow. From 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. they'll be running two generators off of the water they release.

The water level is pretty low out at Louisville Landing Marina, but Sherry and I both thought the water level looks higher along Louisville Road. I suspect the lake will be up at the end of the weekend.

Jake's and Joey's School Photographs

Here's J&J's school photos. Sherry's comments:

I just wanted to show off Jake and Joey's new school pics. My little boys are growing up.

Joey Ferrelli, age 11, Fifth Grade (proof)

Jake Ferrelli, age 11, Fifth Grade (proof)

Sarah Swim Class

Swim Classes

Designed for 3-5 year-olds with a 1-2 instructor/student ratio,

each child will receive 25 minutes of instruction in water exploration,

floating, kicking and arm strokes along with advanced skills for those swimmers who are ready,

and 25 minutes of parent/child swim time.

Classes are held Monday through Thursday for two weeks.

Dates & Times

Weeks 1-2

June 4-14

11:00-11:50 AM

Weeks 3-4

June 11-21

6:00-6:50 PM

Weeks 5-6

June 18-28

11:00-11:50 AM

Weeks 7-8

June 25-July 5

6:00-6:50 PM

Weeks 9-10

July 2-12

11:00-11:50 AM

Location:

John Sevier Pool

Instructor:

Teresa Davis

Fee:

$50.00 per session


Sarah really made a lot of progress at the swimming pool last year. In fact, she was fearless. She got pretty good at the kicking part of swimming, but still needs to work on using her arms. Sherry and I would like for her to have swimming lessons. This is the description of the class offered by Blount County Red Cross with the local Parks and Rec Department.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Damned Ham

We were expecting some leftovers from the ham we baked last weekend; however, we consumed a ten pound ham, leaving little leftovers. Accordingly, we
have a second ham in the oven. I've already sampled some, and it is tasty.

Chuck E. Cheese's

Sherry's new friend from one of her moms' groups invited Sarah and her to Chuck E. Cheese's this afternoon, allowing me to churn out some paperwork before court tomorrow morning. They also have an outing planned to join some other moms and toddlers at Louisville Point Park on Friday, weather permitting.

What do you call a caterpillar in the driveway?

A Flaterpillar

Lotta Bubbles!

Sherry and Sarah and I just got back from the dreaded Wal-Mart (evil place that it is), where we bought a new microwave. We also found a bubble machine for ten bucks, and it really puts out the bubbles! Sarah was delighted, and Sherry and I are pretty pleased with it, too. It will be fun for parties and for the beach.

NFL Suspends Pacman Jones

The National Football League has suspended Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones for a year, which could be reduced to ten games or increased, depending on the outcome of his pending criminal charges. The Titans have had a real problem with their players ending up in trouble with the law, but Jones has been in a number of incidents since he joined the team, including one in which he allegedly spit on a young woman in a Nashville nightclub.

Jones produces for the Titans and is certainly an NFL quality player, but to say that his legal problems have become a distraction for Jones and the team is an understatement. They ought to send him and Imus into exile on an island together somewhere.

B.C. Cartoonist Dies

Johnny Hart, who authored the B.C. comic strips I used to enjoy so as a child, died at his home near Albany, New York, last Saturday. He also co-wrote the Wizard of Id strip.

Rainy Wednesday

It's supposed to be rainy here in East Tennessee today, but it is warmer. I don't have any court or any other reason to put on a business suit today, so I'll probably take care of some more office work here at the Virtual Law Office of Stephen S. Ogle.

The Easter Bunny brought the Boong a new bug box, which she has been diligently filling up with caterpillars. She also got another box with maginfying glasses, so she can observe her critters up close.

Johnny Cash's Home Destroyed by Fire

I was saddened to hear that Johnny Cash's home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, near Nashville, was destroyed by fire yesterday. It sat high on a bluff over the Cumberland River, and I saw it from the river during a boating trip several years ago. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees bought the house around a year ago. I'm not sure whether he actually ever lived there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Busy Tuesday

I had two cases in Judge Gallegos's court in Maryville this morning, and concluded one of them. Sherry took Boong to the kids' reading group at the Maryville library, and they got through just as I was leaving the justice center, so we met up and had lunch at Friday's.

We also got our taxes, which revealed that I paid about half of my gross income last year in overhead at my former firm in Nashville. I am even more convinced that the decision to eliminate all of that overhead was a good one.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Back from Carolina

Sherry and Boong and I just got back from Lenoir, North Carolina, where we attended Rat's mom's funeral this morning. I got to see a couple of friends that I haven't seen in years, Tracey Medlin and Jerry Price, who both were at Rat and Mirela's place last night. I've been in touch with both through the magic of E-mail for some time now. I saw Jerry's address in something I received from Rat, and I E-mailed him to see if he remembered me. His response was, "How could I forget? Do you still have the hat with the horns?" (I don't have the hat, but I still have the horns.)

Tracey, who I am more accustomed to calling Tazmar, which is his Dungeons and Dragons character's name, has been employed in the furniture industry for most of his adult life. With most of those jobs being shipped to Mexico and Canada, and the orient, Taz has taken advantage of a program to retrain himself and has returned to our old alma mater, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and is about to take his associates degree as a paralegal.

It was also nice to see both Rat's and Mirela's families. Mirela grew up in Transylvania, Romania, and her dad and I enjoy talking politics. I am always interested in his perspective, considering he and his family fled the oppressive communist regime there prior to the end of the USSR and its influence over Eastern Europe. When we arrived yesterday, Mirela had just prepared a Romanian feast. Unfortunately, we'd just eaten at Krystal's, which was a major mistake. We had leftovers later yesterday evening, and it was good stuff even the second time around.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ham in the Oven

Sherry and I are contributing ham and two of our cheesy potato casseroles to today's feed. I put the casseroles together yesterday, and we put the ham in the oven about 10:30 a.m. to cook for some four hours. The kitchen already smells delightful.

Holidays always make me think of and miss my dad and grandparents. Grandmother and Granddaddy always put on a major feed for Easter, which in our adulthood became the first visit to the cabin for the year. G&G would always have the place cleaned up and full of goodies for us to enjoy. They'd even lay the first fire for us, so when we'd get in late the evening of Good Friday all we'd have to do is light the newspaper under the wood and let 'er rip.

I'm also still thinking of my friend Rat and his family. When someone you love dies near a holiday, that holiday becomes one of special remembrance. (Grandmother died on Thanksgiving Day.)

Eggscellent!



Springbrook Park Easter Egg Hunt

Nearby Springbrook Park is hosting an Easter Egg hunt beginning at noon today, so we're taking the kids over to partake in the fun and free loot. We're also having a gathering over here this afternoon, and we've already decorated some eggs for our own Easter Egg hunt here.

Snow in the South in April

I've just looked at several webcams up the mountains of North Carolina, and they got a fair amount of snow over there overnight. The Purchase Knob webcam in the Smokies reveals a pretty, snowy scene.

I got out before dawn here in Maryville this morning, and there was a bit of snow on the windshields of our cars. I also saw a few flurries just after dawn.

Mrs. Livingston's Obituary

Jane Livingston
Jane Anne Livingston, 75, of Chesterfield Circle, Lenoir, died Friday, April 6, 2007, at Caldwell Memorial Hospital.
She was born Aug. 27, 1931, in Greene County, Tenn., to the late William Porter and Edna Craft Conway. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Paul Conway, Ralph Conway and Phil Conway; and a sister, Lucille Hull.
Mrs. Livingston was a retired financial administrator for Sears Credit Union and a member of First Baptist Church of Lenoir.
Survivors include her husband of 54 years, David M. Livingston Sr. of the home; three sons, David M. Livingston Jr. of the home, Joseph C. Livingston and his wife Sandra of Frisco, Texas, and Kenneth A. Livingston and his wife Mirela of Hickory; six grandchildren, Juli, Anthony, Alexandra, Alanna, Patrick and Sabrina; and one great-grandchild, Hayli.
A memorial service will be held Monday, April 9, 2007, at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Lenoir conducted by Dr. David B. Smith and the Rev. Fred Barnes.
The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Lenoir: Love Fund, 304 Main St. NW, Lenoir, NC 28645, or Caldwell County Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1341, Lenoir, NC 28645.
Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Jane Livingston

My friend Ken Livingston, whom I know as Rat, lost his mother today. She had been in a coma since last Sunday. The services will be Monday at First Baptist Church of Lenoir, North Carolina. I expect Sherry and I will head to Rat and Mirela's place in Hickory Sunday and then drive back here Monday so I can be in court Tuesday.

Supper at Riverside Tavern

We took Grams and J&J up to Riverside Grill since they wanted to eat out for supper. I had the Greek Pizza, which was so good I ate all but one piece. We're back at home in Maryville now, and settling in for the evening.

Sherry, Grams and J&J Arrive in Maryville

Sherry just arrived about an hour ago with Grams and the boys, and our visitors want to go out for supper. We're planning on going out to Riverside Tavern, which overlooks the Tennessee River. Mom and Leslie and Fuzzy plan on joining us. La and Stew have company from out of town, so we're not sure if they're coming or not.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sherry Arrives in Nashville -- Lunches With PlusMark Friends

I caught Sherry on the telephone around lunchtime, and she was having lunch with the gang from PlusMark in Franklin. The boys are going to a hockey game tonight with their dad, which will leave Sherry cooling her heels by herself at Grams' place tonight.

Mom and Ta and I found a new (to us) restaurant at which to dine this afternoon. It's called Little Italy, and the food is yummy and cheap!

Spring Photos of Laura and Grace

Can you believe my little neice Grace is almost three month's old? Laura just sent these cute spring photographs to me, so I thought I'd share them here.



And Laura didn't want her to wear pink!


Dogwoods!


Azaleas!

Sherry's Off to Nashville

Sherry is driving to Nashville this morning so she can pick up J&J from school this afternoon. They're going to get up tomorrow at Grams' place and head back over here for our Easter festivities. I've got a meeting at the Public Defender's office on one of my criminal cases to view a patrol car videorecording, so Sherry's going to drop Boong off at Wannie's on her way out of town. Mom's going to return her here, and we'll probably go get some lunch somewhere.

Sherry's really been missing her friends from PlusMark. (Hi there, friends from PlusMark!) She's planning on stopping by there from lunch when she gets there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bar Meeting

I also attended the monthly meeting of the Blount County Bar Association at noon at Sullivan's on Broadway. It was a small gathering today, but entertaining. The Tennessee General Assembly is toying with the idea of direct election of appellate judges, which is a bad idea. Judges are supposed to be above the political fray, particularly the judges that decide cases that become the common law in this State. I hope Tennessee has more sense than to politicize the judicial system any more than it already is.

A Berth for the Enterprise

I visited Louisville Landing Marina (formerly PJ's Landing) this afternoon and spoke to Mike Fenton, who still manages the place. I asked him if I could berth my canoe, the Enterprise, there (i.e. chain it up to a post), and he said he could accomodate me. In fact, there's a slot underneath the deck of the marina restaurant that fit the bill nicely.

I also met the fellow who operates the restaurant, and he expects to be open next weekend (the weekend after Easter).

The Art of Persuasion

We have a free-standing bench swing in our yard. It's sort of like a porch swing without the porch. It has a frame that holds the swinging bench. Anyway, we lost one pole to it and broke another during our move, so it has looked pretty pitiful in our backyard since we got here. I was in a paperwork frenzy yesterday, doing my favorite part of my job, sending out bills. Sherry decided to take Boong out to give me some time to finish up, and they went to Home Depot, where Sherry persuaded an employee to open up an identical swing and give her the poles we needed to put the swing back together. Then she hit up our new neighbor, Rick, to set it up for us!

Sarah likes to charge the swing head-on, lift her feet and ride it on her stomach with her feet hanging off. She got it going pretty good yesterday and then fell under it. Sherry and I both emphatically told her to keep her head down, and she obeyed wonderfully, avoiding a nasty head-bashing. I like to see a child obey. I like it even better when injury is avoided thereby.

Anyway, with the yard cut and the swing functioning, our backyard is once again a pleasant place to play. Unfortunately, the weatherman says it's going to be in the 40's this weekend. Brrrr!

Easter Party

Grams is coming to visit us at our new place this weekend with Joey and Jake, so we're going to throw an Easter shindig Saturday afternoon. Sherry and I are going to bake a ham and make our famous cheesy potato casserole, and Les and Fuzzy are bringing cheese peas, salad and rolls. Grams already has a turtle cheesecake lined up to bring. We're not going to invite the scary Easter Bunny pictured here earlier, but we will have an Easter egg hunt for the kiddoes.

Lady Vols Win Championship

The University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team defeated Rutgers in Cleveland, Ohio, last night 59-46 to win the women's college basketball championship. This is Coach Pat Summitt's 7th national title. Coach Summitt lives in the same neighborhood as La and Stew. I wonder if there will be a celebration there in the next day or so.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Grass Cut

Our lawn was cut today!

Foot-High Grass

The lawn is about a foot high at our new place in Maryville, which has concerned us now for a few days. Sherry called the landlady yesterday to ask about it, so hopefully the situation will be remedied soon. They've mowed once since we moved here, but it's really out of hand now, which is surprising to me since our landlady seems sort of particular about how the place looks. We're hoping that Grams and Joey and Jake visit us over the Easter weekend, so I sure hope the grass is cut before then.

Riverside Tavern to Become Ruth Chris Steak House?

The Maryville Daily Times is reporting this morning that Knoxville's Riverside Tavern may be purchased by Ruth Chris Steak House. Sherry and I have dined at the Ruth Chris Steak House in Nashville, and the food is wonderful, though I found the atmosphere a bit stuffy for my liking. (It's sort of like the Regas in Knoxville. It's so fancy that it's hard to feel comfortable.) If the sale goes through, I will hate to see the Riverside Tavern close.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Old Man in Court All Day

Man, what a day. Judge Brewer had a voluminous docket today, so I didn't get back to the house until 6:00 p.m. Considering I left at 8:00 a.m. and pretty much stayed busy all day, I am bushed! Still, I did my part to see justice done in both Knoxville and Maryville this Monday, and got some schmoozing in on the side, so I can't complain.

Dale Burdick, Pitcher Extraordinaire

Jake and Joey weren't the only ones playing serious sports this past weekend. Dale Burdick, son of regular Boongablogger reader Stefanie Burdick, took home his team's trophy after an outstanding day of pitching for his baseball team. Congratulations to all these hard-working kids!

Photos from J&J's Soccer Tournament

Who needs the Final Four? Here's a photo of the Strikers celebrating their victory this past weekend. Time to make more room on the trophy shelf!
Here's Jake, in the middle.

Surreal: Part 2 -- Daytime Television

I am at home for lunch, having concluded my case in Knoxville earlier than I anticipated. I even got to harrass Sike on the bench, and my friend Brent in his office, which is near where I parked. Sherry and Sarah are out visiting L&L, and so I turned on the Knoxville NBC affiliate to catch the noon news. The Ellen Degeneris Show was concluding, and Lynyrd Skynard was closing the show with "What's Your Name". Talk about surreal.

Monday in Court

I've got a case in Knox County General Sessions Court this morning in the old Knox County Courthouse, which is where my friend Sike presides over his Court. Hopefully I'll have time to stop in and see him in action. This afternoon I have two cases in Blount County General Sessions Court, and at some point during the afternoon I have to get over to Blount County Juvenile Court for another matter. It should be a busy day.

Luckily, this is the only day I have court scheduled this week, which is good because I've got some paperwork I'd like to attend to before the long Easter weekend.

Strikers Win Tournament

Jake and Joey had a soccer tournament this weekend and played four games. Fortunately, they are now both on the same team. They began the season on two different teams, which means there would have been eight games this weekend.

With the Ferrelli brothers both playing on the same squad, they won all four of their games and the tournament. Congratulations Strikers!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Easter Bunny


I just told Sarah that Easter's coming up and asked her if she wanted to see the Easter Bunny. I did a Google search for a picture of him, and showed her this one. She declined to visit the Easter Bunny after viewing the photo.

Surreal

When I left Maryville in 2002, it was with the expectation that I would never return, at least not to live. For the first couple of years it was difficult to even visit. That got better, but I found that I experienced a lot of anxiety every time I visited home, and sometimes even when Mom and L&L would visit Nashville. I've never quite figured that anxiety out, though I'm sure it was some manner of homesickness. I hope that Sherry finds the experience of moving away from Nashville easier to deal with than mine in moving from East Tennessee.

Now that we're here, it seems sort of surreal. I walk around Maryville thinking, "Am I really here?" In some ways things have changed. Everybody asks me whether I'm practicing with Duncan and Norman, and not being a part of Crawford, Crawford and Newton is strange. There are several new lawyers in town, and couple of them that are closer to my age have grown their hair long. There are new judges on the bench as well.

All in all, Blount County is still a great place to live and to raise a family, and it has become more hip in the five years I've been away. The fact that there is a Sullivan's restaurant just walking distance from my old office, and a Tomato Head restaurant going in a few doors down from that, says a lot for how Maryville growing. There's a new spin-off of Ruby Tuesdays in downtown called Ruby T's, and they have a martini night. That's right, a martini night in Maryville. Now that is surreal!

Louie and Emma Adjust to New Quarters

Our housecats, Louie and Emma, seem to be adapting well to their new surroundings. We discovered shortly before we left Old Harding Pike that Louie likes to hang out in the basement, and he's been spending most of his time in the crawl space under the house here. Emma has been more sociable, though she still crawls up under the bedspread to hide when company comes.