Sunday, September 30, 2007
As I mentioned earlier in the week, Bart Yancey just celebrated his birthday. He had a shindig out at his place at Mighty Oak on Melton Hill Lake this weekend, and Biff and Leah Byrd are out there too. We just couldn't fit it in this weekend, but I called out there this morning and talked to Biff and Leah and Bartlette. They were preparing for another day on the lake.
We met the Ninja and his good lady wife, Rachel, shortly after arriving, and we also saw Sike, Julie, Hillary and Ellie (a/k/a "The Simpsons" -- insert theme music here) and hung out with them a bit.
The food was excellent. I had leg of lamb with Greek green beans and potatoes. Sarah ate my roll and some of the lamb. She also talked Joey out of a piece of his pizza. Sherry and Jake both had gyros that looked very yummy, and we brought home some spanikopita (a spinach, cheese and pastry dish) and a dish described to me as Greek lasagna. I've had a taste of each, but am looking forward to making a meal of it, probably a bit later this afternoon. We brought some sweets home as well, but they were quickly consumed after we got home.
Terry and Rachel came over to our pad after Greekfest, and Mom joined us as well. Jake and Joey rounded up several neighborhood boys for some backyard football, and it reminded me of doing the same thing as a child. Sarah requested her cheerleader outfit and was soon on the sidelines yelling, "Go Jake and Joey!" It was too cute. I never had much fun in sports organized by adults, because they were always dominated by the coaches' sons, but we had a lot of fun as kids playing football, wiffleball, basketball and other games on our own. There is a certain egalitarianism that goes with childhood that we adults lose touch with.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
I had a busy morning in juvenile court and running errands, and I'm heading back over there for an afternoon docket at 1:30 p.m. I have two cases, and when I finish there I'll pick up Sarah and call it a day. Hurray for the weekend! Whoooo!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
My mom grew up in Hickory, North Carolina. Over on that side of the mountain more people drank Pepsi than Coke, at least back when I was a kid. I remember being kind of puzzled that Grandmother Isenhour and my Uncle Mack, who lived behind her, served Pepsi rather than Coke. Sherry won't come near a Pepsi. I can tell the difference, but I'm as happy drinking a Pepsi as I am drinking a Coke. I also learned to love a cherry-flavored soft drink, Cheerwine, in North Carolina, and I'm pleased to find their sugar-free version being sold in our local Maryville Kroger. Sundrop is also very popular in Carolina, but I've never been such a big fan of that particular drink.
I've been trying to buy soft drinks in bulk when I see them on sale, since we drink so many of them, and I've been trying to keep drinks Joey and Jake like so that they don't drink up all of their Mom's Diet Coke. They like Mountain Dew products, and I've also recently bought some orange soda and root beer, which I like on occasion. I've made it a morning treat to have a soft drink on the way to court or to take Sarah to school.
With all of that being said, I'm still mainly an ice tea man myself when it comes to soft beverages.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I was a bit worried that Springbrook would be too crowded, and I ran into quite a few people at first. It wasn't too bad though, and at least all the dogs were on leashes, which isn't always the case in our neighborhood. I did see a lot of intrepid squirrels havesting mast for the winter.
Terry and his wife Rachel are going to join us for Greekfest this Saturday, so I'm looking forward to talking more about law school with them.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I just got home from walking and got this note from Laura. As Locutus of Borg once said, "Your life as it has been is over." Sherry and I had the same impulse on reading the note. It's time for some major babyproofing over at River Trace.
Grace is crawling! ….and walking while holding to furniture….and pulling things off tables….and opening things….and basically into EVERYTHING!
The game is on!
Monday, September 24, 2007
City boys and girls beware! The mountains are beautiful, but can also be treacherous, even for experienced hikers. I'm glad everyone was found.
Sherry and I hope to buy a house in the spring, and so we drove around Maryville yesterday looking at neighborhoods. I was pleased to see that there are homes that suit us in our price range.
After running by the post office and the grocery store we came back to the house, and Sherry made a yummy casserole for supper. It was a nice weekend.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
In 1992 he refused to halt a television commercial that mocked Coors Light.
“The parties have vigorously disputed whether the taste of beer, unlike the taste of milk, is adversely affected by pasteurization,” Judge Mukasey wrote, responding with some newly coined legal Latin.
“De gustibus cerevesiae non scit lex,” he wrote, meaning, presumably, that the law takes no account of taste in weak beer.
I'm a sucker for anything legal with Latin in it.
The New York Times website is now available without registration, and I've always enjoyed reading the newspaper for U.S. and international news. The Mukasey article sent me to the dictionary three times for the following words:
Aphoristic -- Using aphorisms or adages or brief statements of opinion, truth or principle
Tendentious -- Having a definite tendency, bias or purpose
Quotidian -- Commonplace, everyday
I have posted recently about the Kebab Gyros restaurant in Nashville, though I do not believe the proprietors of that establishment are of Greek origin. I'm on a mission to find similar food here in East Tennessee, but I find that the Gyro meat they serve here is different. Sherry gets the chicken at Kebab Gyros, so it will be a matter of finding an eaterie that uses the same seasoning for that dish. I recently had Gyros at the Little Italy restaurant, and they use real tzatsiki sauce, which was wonderful. Unfortunately, real tzatsiki sauce has cucumbers, and my poor digestive system can no longer comfortably process that particular vegetable.
The Knox Greekfest website has some delicious sounding recipes and also a short list of Greek words and phrases. At the top of the list is "good morning." My good friend, Thanos Kalimeris, once told me his last name means "good morning" in Greek, so at least I have a greeting to use if we go to the festival in the morning. I guess a surname that means "good morning" is better than mine, which means "an amorous or coquettish glance" (i.e. the come hither look).
The Volunteers beat Arkansas State 48-27 yesterday, and someone got the wave going in Neyland Stadium, which has to make a team that normally plays before a much smaller crowd a bit nervous. The Vols sure needed a win.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We're at the Fuzzies' house now, and we're heading back to campus shortly to experience tailgating, which I'm embarrassed to say I've never done. Food, fun, football and people watching sounds good to me. We're all in orange, and Sarah has her new UT cheerleader outfit on, so we're ready to go.
I think my favorite "Ta-Ta" story is from one day when I was frying chicken at the River Bend house (also known as the Money Pit) in Nashville. I had Sarah in the high chair so she could watch me, and I gave her a piece of chicken to try. When I turned back around to my frying pan, Sarah said, in an insistent, almost anguished tone, "Ta-Ta more Daddy." It was too cute. (I gave her more chicken.)
I think part of the process of being a parent is the feeling of loss as your child grows up. Sherry and I used to kid about crying every time Sarah went into a larger size of diaper. Every step along your child's path to maturity creates change, and part of that is your child becoming less and less dependent on you. The supreme irony of parenting is that if you do a good job, your child grows up and doesn't need you any more. You have pride that she is becoming more and more independent, but you are also sad as she casts off familiar aspects of her childhood.
On August 30 the State posted a "Go Titans" message on the building to test the response for bringing the tradition back.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The two peoples apparently do not like one another, and the country itself was formed in an earlier day as a buffer country insulating France. There is talk of a separation of the two regions, something that is not new, but has new momentum largely because of a spoof news report of such a separation that people took seriously, much as Americans took Orson Wells' War of the Worlds radio broadcast seriously.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I've been teaching Sarah to tango. She really likes to spin. We tangoed for about three songs and then had to head back to the house so Sherry could catch up on her Skirt! ads. Sherry and I shared fajitas for one and came home with as much as we ate. Sarah also had fun feeding Grace refried beans and getting her to smile.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Thank you to all of the hardworking men and women of the Blount County Sheriff's Department and to Sheriff Berrong and Chief Deputy Ron Dunn for what they did to keep our neighborhood safe today.
We have pretty much resigned ourselves to spending the rest of the day holed up here, rather than leaving and getting trapped away from our home.
UPDATE: The bomb squad truck belonged to the Knox County Sheriff Department, according to the TV news websites.
Someone posted a comment to the WBIR web coverage saying that he or she heard on a police scanner earlier in the morning that the elderly woman had been killed, and I suspect that the daughter that escaped the house told the neighbor that the man had killed her mother with the bat. I think that must be where the rumor of a death started.
The "elderly woman" who is being held hostage is the mother of the two women and grandmother of the children. She is reportedly bleeding and being held at knifepoint in the back bathroom of the house. The man has said he is not leaving the house except in a body bag. Two SWAT team members just walked past our place carrying a machine gun and what looks like an automatic shotgun, so they are well prepared to make his wish come true.
UPDATE: WBIR reports that there are two people in the house with the bad guy. Several children live at that house, and I still haven't heard about their whereabouts. The woman who escaped went across the street to a neighbors. That neighbor says that the grandmother died from the beating inflicted on her; however, two of the local news outlets report that the hostage is an "elderly woman."
UPDATE: They just told us to get inside and lock the doors. Apparently someone is still at large. According to our neighbors, there was a murder at the screaming lady's house.
NOTE: I refer to this house as the screaming lady's house because there is a woman there that I have heard screaming at the children that live there, usually in the process of getting them into the car.
Now that I've staked out my ground as an irritable oldster, I can recall the stupid fashion that I proudly wore even into my college years. I actually got thrown out of Old College Inn on the strip once because my T-shirt was too ragged, and I wore some pretty stupid hair after I quit McDonald's, which required boys' hair to be worn above the collar and above the ears. I would have hated a dress code in high school.
Monday, September 17, 2007
India Pale Ale is so named because English brewers put lots of hops in the kegs of brew they made for British folk living in India in order to keep the beer tasting fresh after the long voyage to India. The style survives and is always notable for the strong hop flavor of the brew. Dale's Pale Ale certainly lives up to the tradition.
The property across the street from our old house on Old Harding Pike is coming along. There were houses and woods across the street from that house when we moved in. Now it's a strip mall. According to Joey another of our Nashville breakfast spots, City Limits Cafe, is going to open a store there.
The Old Harding house has a "for lease" sign in the yard and new fencing. The guy who owns that property used to drop in on us unannounced to inspect his bamboo plants. I'm happy to say that they appear to be thriving, and that someone else will be dealing with his intrusive behavior.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Tin Roof BBQ Birmingham, AL
Backroom BBQ in Knoxville, TN
Maurice's BBQ in Columbia, SC
Smokin' Joe's BBQ in Maryville, TN
We got up yesterday morning and satisfied our craving for breakfast at the legendary Loveless Cafe. After loading up on breakfast, Sherry took the kids for some much-needed haircuts while I helped Grams choose a printer-copier-scanner for her home office. We then watched Joey and Jake's inline hockey team trounce their opponent at the local rink. Afterward, Sherry, Grams, Jake and Boong went to order the boys' birthday cake while Joey and I came back to Grams' place to watch the UT-Florida debacle. We enjoyed another Nashville culinary delight, Sir Pizza, for supper, and J&J played with some neighbor kids while Grams did Sherry's hair.
Boong got Grams up about the time I woke up this morning, which was before dawn. Grams went back to bed while Sarah and I colored, had a lesson on skeletal structure and played on the computer. (Grams has a Halloween screen saver, which piqued Sarah's curiosity about skeletons.) The rest of the gang is starting to move now. I'm not sure what our agenda for this morning is yet, though I guess we'll go out for breakfast, unless we have leftover pizza.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
My father was a dedicated UT football fan. I suspect it contributed to his early demise at the age of 55. May I survive the afternoon.
Sherry has a slideshow screensaver on her computer in our living room that runs our family photos, and Bloggerplay is similar, except it has everybody's photos on it.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Carrot Cake Recipe
3 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 T baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1 t salt
1 1/2 c oil
1 t vanilla
2 c packed shredded carrots
2 c chopped walnuts
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple ---Not drained
1 c coconut
Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs slightly and stir in oil and vanilla.
Stir egg mixture, carrots, walnuts, pineapple, and coconut into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.
Pour into 2 greased and floured 10" round pans. Bake @ 350 degrees 40-45 min until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 min, then remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
Cream cheese frosting:
2 pkg cream cheese
2 sticks butter, softened
1 pound 10x sugar
2 t vanilla
beat butter and cream cheese together until well blended. Add vanilla and suger on low speed till combined, then beat till fluffy.
I didn't have 10" pans so I cooked some of the mix in a mini-muffin pan.
The BBC is also reporting that the mortgage lending crisis is affecting Northern Rock, one of Great Britain's biggest mortgage lenders. The Bank of England had to bail the lender out, and this has resulted in a drop of 21% in Northern Rock's stock value. Apparently England's lenders aren't any more scrupulous than ours here in the U.S. The bottom line is that your bank will make you a loan you can't afford. Caveat emptor -- Let the buyer (or borrower) beware!
Al Jazeera notes that most Muslim countries began observing the holy month of Ramadan on Thursday, though a few began observing it Wednesday. During Ramadan the faithful abstain from food, among other things, during the day, and restaurants are ordered closed during daylight hours. I'm curious if this affects eateries operated by Muslims in the U.S. I don't think I've ever found the Kebab Gyros restaurants in Nashville closed for Ramadan before.
When we visit Nashville we like to stop in and enjoy some of our favorite eateries. We really miss the U.S. Border Mexican Restaurant in Bellevue, and the wonderful breakfast and biscuits at the famous Loveless Cafe. There is also a Middle Eastern restaurant, Kabob Gyros, in Nashville that we both miss. Sherry was a regular at their MetroCenter location when she worked out there, and I was a regular patron while working at MetroCenter during 2003 to 2006.
Boong, of course, is always enthusiastic about visiting with her brothers and Grams and her kitties, though Grams' poor kitties aren't used to the handling that poor Louie is used to at our house. It should be a fun visit.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I saw a bear in Cades Cove in 1995 in the middle of a field, and it was surrounded by a bunch of tourists. The cub I saw today is the only time I've seen a bear in the woods. I did not see the mother bear, and I am very thankful that I was in my car. Coming between a mother black bear and her cub can be hazardous to one's health.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
This is the poem I used to read to you out of a little Golden Book when you were a little boy. Laura found it for me. I always thought it was very sweet. Love MomThe Swing
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Since it was a family event we just made an appearance and visited a bit. I scarfed down a burger before we headed back down the mountain. We got to see all of the Wiggins children, including K&S's granddaughter, Layla, who is close to Sarah's age, as well as Kevin's mom and siblings and Sandy's mom. We also got to see Dennis and Diane, two friends I haven't seen since they helped move me to Nashville in 2002.
I've known Kevin and Sandy since I was fifteen (1978), and have known their children since they were babies, so I'm still trying to get my mind around the idea that they are adults. Lucy's married. I must be old.
We asked the Samples server what happened to Pat's Place, and she was strangely ignorant. It was as if the Samples establishment wants everyone to forget that the restaurant was Pat's Place for the past fifteen years or so. In a town the size of Estill Springs that just is not going to happen.
I should probably also mention that Hawk's Restaurant in Winchester, which had been in existence since my childhood, has also closed. Hawk's closed its doors for a while several years ago due to a fire, but they reopened after that. A Mexican restaurant now occupies the old Hawk's building.
She got Maryville Roll, which is shrimp, and the Philadelphia Roll, which has smoked salmon and cream cheese. I tried the latter, and it was quite good. The prices were outrageous, though. Sherry's two rolls, enough for one meal, were $22.00, which would buy you enough for four meals of sushi from the Kroger. Also, there wasn't a lot on the menu other than sushi, though there were a few Tempura and Teriyaki dishes, which were also very expensive. Since Maryville has a respectable Japanese community from the Denso plant here, perhaps Hana will survive despite the prices.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
As readers of this blog are no doubt aware, I enjoy history, especially the early history of the American republic and of Tennessee. I have strangely never studied Sam Houston, though I've encountered him from time to time in my studies of other historical figures, notably Andrew Jackson and David Crockett. I worked for 8 1/2 years on the site where Houston "drew a dollar from the drum" and joined the United States Army in downtown Maryville, so I'm surprised I never developed an interest in him before this.
The visit to the small log structure where he taught school in Maryville in 1812 certainly piqued my interest. The building is on a spring where Houston and the schoolchildren would draw their water, and the museum at the site had several cool artifacts, including a rifle Houston borrowed from the family that owned the school and land grant documents Houston signed as Governor of Tennessee. There was a lady in the schoolhouse telling Houston's story, and I listened to her for fifteen or twenty minutes. She was very entertaining and informative, but Sarah kept running into the schoolhouse to check on me, so I left before the story concluded.
The country fair part of the outing was mainly vendors' booths selling arts and crafts. They also had barbeque and hot dogs, but we had a big breakfast at the International House of Pancakes, so we passed on the fair fare. One thing I noticed that made me grin was a guy who was dressed as a Native American eating a barbeque sandwich at a picnic table.
Hi All,<>Yummy! I made this last night and it was delish! :^) <>Take Pepperidge Farm stuffing and pecans and put them in a large Ziploc bag and beat the hell out of it until it’s crushed fine. Dip boneless chicken breasts (season them and you can throw in some seasoning in the bag too---salt, pepper, garlic) in egg bath and throw them in the bag and toss around until they’re covered. Put them in a hot skillet with olive oil---make sure it’s pretty hot—you want to sear them fast and brown them on both sides, careful not to burn—the crumb pecan mixture can burn faster than flour. <>If they’re small, they will cook in the skillet, if they are bigguns then finish them in the oven.
We had them with mashed potatoes and a tomato, fresh mozzarella and balsamic salad.
Grace LOVES mashed potatoes! J
Friday, September 7, 2007
While at the hospital I read some promotional material and noted that Biff's dad, Dr. William G. "Bill" Byrd, is still active with Children's Hospital as an Emeritus Member of its Board of Directors. He formerly served as Chair of the Board and is very well respected in the East Tennessee pediatric community. Go Dr. B!
Sarah has an appointment at 10:30 this morning at Children's Hospital to get the stitches out of her eye, and I've described the procedure to her several times. She's asked me to repeat it a couple of different times, so she's interested about what is going to happen to her today. They called yesterday to tell us that she couldn't have any food this morning, and since she ate very little supper last night, she's ravenous this morning. I'd say she'll eat a big lunch.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The Westview, a local Bellevue publication, reports that there are plans in the works to completely overhaul the site. They plan to have an amphitheater and outdoor pedestrian space. The artist's rendering of the proposal reminded me of Seaside, Florida.
Sherry and I have long bemoaned the current state of the Bellevue Center Mall. When I first moved to Nashville, it was a halfway decent mall, and it had stores like Spencer Gifts and other merchants one expects to find in a shopping mall. Now it doesn't even have a music store. That's pretty sad for a mall.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
I think it was good for Sherry to have some alone time with Jake and Joey yesterday. I know that she has been missing them a lot recently. With the boys back in school and Sherry's new job, it isn't as easy just to pick up and drive to Nashville when she has the motherly urge to hug on her boys.
The boys have certainly given Sarah plenty of big brother time this weekend, though she started missing them before they left. Since she was so mellow yesterday, I had a fairly restful day. I'm here with an empty house until midafternoon, and besides some cleaning and laundry, I expect to take it fairly easy today as well. Tuesday morning will come soon enough.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I spent one hellish semester at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and without question it was the worst period of my life. I never saw an ASU football game up there, but everyone was talking yesterday about ASU beating football powerhouse Michigan yesterday. Simply amazing!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Mom's springing for Buddy's BBQ for the party today, and I just made the pimiento cheese recipe I posted a few days ago. It's supposed to think about itself in the refrigerator for eight hours before serving, so it should be ready about 3:00 p.m., which is party time. I've also got the fixin's for an appetizer I stole from Sike's older brother, Steve. It consists of grated Swiss cheese, bacon bits, diced black olives, green onions and mayo. You mix all of those ingredients and smear it on small pieces of rye, appealingly called party rye. After it's baked until the cheese is melted, the result tastes like fancy little pizzas. It's always been a popular item.