Monday, April 30, 2007
(Insert mad scientist laugh here.)
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
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!
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.
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
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
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
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.
Monday, April 23, 2007
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.
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
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.
I think I'm going to take Emma in for her shots just to make myself feel better.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
Also, the lake's up!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
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!)
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
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
Sunday, April 15, 2007
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
June 25-July 5
John Sevier Pool
$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
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.
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.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
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
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
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.)
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.
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
Thursday, April 5, 2007
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!
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
I also met the fellow who operates the restaurant, and he expects to be open next weekend (the weekend after Easter).
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!
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
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.
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
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!