Monday, March 31, 2008

These Boots Are Made for Wallking


Sarah still loves her brothers' snakeskin cowboy boots, which she is modeling in this photograph. It is hard to tell, but she was also wearing fairy wings, so she's got all the bases covered.
She can gallop off into the sunset, or she can just fly away.

Office Practice

Last week was full of court appearances. I'm in court most of the day tomorrow, but I had no court or other appointments today, so I did several office tasks, including billing, which is a ritual at the end of every month. Happiness is an empty in-box.

Shots in Sarah's Future?

I saw a spot on the local news this morning about children's vaccinations, which caused me to wonder if Sarah is current on hers. I looked it up on the Centers for Disease Control website, and it appears that she is due for four vaccinations, poor child. She also hasn't seen the doctor in about a year, so it's time for an annual checkup as well. I just called her pediatrician's office to inquire. They're going to ask a nurse to pull her chart and call me back with the verdict.

UPDATE: Well, it's not as bad as I thought. She only has to get one shot. It's next year that's bad. I scheduled her for April 15.

Change of Vacation Plans

As I've reported here earlier, Joey and Jake spent Spring Break with their dad and his girlfriend at her dad's rental condo in Destin. Over the weekend, Sherry asked them about it, and she said we can use it for vacation for a week this summer at a cost of $60.00 (the cleanup fee).

We had planned to spend our summer vacation this year in Washington, DC, after our family reunion in Roanoke, Virginia, but I don't see how we can pass up a $60.00 vacation at the beach.

Neanderthals in Make-Up

According to this article, Neanderthals used make-up, and that means they could probably also talk.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Was Their Finest Hour

'What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over: the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: "This was their finest hour" '.

Listen to Churchill speak the words here.

Different Drummer

Years ago one of my freshman instructors at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute gave me Thoreau's famous "Different Drummer" quote in a frame. He said one of his college instructors had given it to him and had told him he would know when it was time to pass it on, and he gave it to me. Bart Bare was the psychology teacher at my community college, and since my mom is a shrink, I enjoyed his classes. I count him as one of those early teachers who made an impact on my academic life, and indeed, on my entire life. I just found Bart's gift in a box in the garage.

This is Thoreau's quote:

If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however
measured, or far away.

Why would that make anyone think of me?

Sherry and Sarah Heading Home

My womenfolk are en route to Maryville, and Sherry said I should expect them about 4:00 p.m. I'm glad. I've missed them this weekend.

Dead Burnt Bird Meat

I have a chicken roasting in the oven, and I just pulled it out to test it for doneness, so the whole house smells heavenly. I'm going to make our favorite chicken salad recipe for supper and for the work week.

Refrigerator Energy Use

I just did an online search to see how much it costs to run a refrigerator each month. I learned that for a refrigerator like mine that is over ten years old, it costs about $13.00 per month. We are used to having a spare refrigerator, but since the spare went out on us I am considering whether we should replace it, get it fixed or get by on one full size refrigerator/freezer and one dorm 'fridge. To tell the truth, we mainly use the spare freezer, not the refrigerator, except for big holiday meals or parties.

Lord of the Rings and Property Law

Professor Reynolds has a link on his site to this commentary on the property law aspects of one of my favorite works of fiction, Lord of the Rings.

More Garage Foo

I put in another couple of hours out in the garage this morning. In order to get rid of the mountain of broken-down boxes, I have to have them out by the curb by the last day of the month so the city will pick them up. I got that accomplished this morning, and emptied out a few more boxes to boot.

Skippy Surfaces

I am happy to report that Skippy, my black rubber rat, was found in good shape in the garage yesterday. Skippy usually accompanies us on vacation, and he's never been to Washington, D.C., before, so I found him just in time for our June trip.

Working from Home

I just read a short blog post about working from home. Here's a link.

I have been working out of a home office for about a year and a half now, and it is not as bad as I thought it might be. I have court several times a week, so I am not deprived of contact with my fellow human beings during my work week. In fact, I usually consider myself fortunate to have a day at home to catch up on paperwork.

There are a few things I miss about not working in a law office, the most important of which is the fellowship and camaraderie of your firm. Lawyers, you see, love to talk, and war stories are best when you come back to the office and share them right after they happen. I don't really have that kind of outlet anymore.

I have learned to run my practice pretty smoothly without secretarial support, but I miss having a good secretary to keep me on track and to deal with overly-needy clients. It's also nice to have an office where clients can drop off or pick up paperwork.

For me, the choice to work from home is about saving the overhead, which ate half of my income the year before last.

Pacman Jones Says His Days as a Titan are Over

Good riddance!

Hank Williams Exhibit at Country Music Hall of Fame

I was quite a Hank Williams, Jr., fan back in the Eighties. I snubbed country music as a teenager, because I was into rock and roll, but I began to like country musicians like Hank Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, David Allen Coe and others in my twenties. My stepfather, Ron, was a big country music fan, and when he started buying music on CD's, he gave me his vinyl record albums, almost all of which were country music.

The Tennessean has an enjoyable article this morning about the Hank Williams exhibit that has opened at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. I have not visited the Hall of Fame, and the exhibit runs through 2009, so I will make a point to take the family down there next time we visit Nashville.

Report From Nashvegas

I talked to Sherry yesterday afternoon, and she and the kids were heading back to Grams' house after attending a birthday party for the boys' friend, Taylor. It sounded like they had a busy day and were ready to get to Grams' place for some relaxation.

I expect Sherry and Sarah will probably leave around lunchtime. I'm going to grocery shop this morning, and I thought I'd make a crock pot full of chili or Sante Fe Soup to have on hand when they return home.

Progress in the Garage

I spent the best part of the afternoon yesterday working on our garage, and I have made quite a bit of headway on the huge stack of boxes down there. I've established areas for camping gear, for tools, for my music collection and stereo and for boxes of keepsakes and holiday items, like our Christmas and Halloween decorations. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is nice to have put a dent in it and to have sized up the project. At least I can get my mind around the tasks yet to be done down there.

I also found Sarah's art supplies, which I've been looking for. We established an art studio for her in our garage over at Lively Road, so we'd have a place to paint. I want to do the same thing here, and additionally set her up an area to play in the garage.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Garage Foo

I've taken some music down into the garage, which I am attempting to fashion into a lair of some sort. I'm trying to get things under control down there, or at least to make a plan.

Cross-Eyed Scottish Jehovah's Wifness

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. I don't make this stuff up folks, I just present the facts.

So, I'm sitting in the floor of the room upstairs unpacking a box, and someone knocks on the door. I go downstairs and answer the door, and there's a man in a shirt and tie on my front porch. To make a long story short, he was a cross-eyed Scottish Jehovah's Witness. With all respect, I was not converted.

Geez. Is it a full moon, or what?

Accused Dorm Arsonist Former Teacher at Sarah's School

Humes Hall

I just read a disturbing story in this morning's Maryville Daily Times. Humes Hall is a dormitory on the University of Tennessee campus, and they had two separate fires there earlier this year. Here's the statement the university released about them:


KNOXVILLE -- Law enforcement officials are conducting a 24-hour fire watch
in Humes Hall as a result of two small fire incidents in the building over
the
last two days. The fire watch will continue until further notice. The
fire watch
involves a minimum of four law enforcement officers on patrol in
the building at
all times.These officers are working closely with UT Housing
staff members who
are also on a heightened alert. Members of the fire watch
will include both
University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) and
Knoxville Fire Department
(KFD) officers.UT Police and the Knoxville Fire
Department are cooperating with
the State Fire Marshal's office, which is
leading an investigation into the two
incidents. Investigators believe the
incidents are arson related. In today's
incident, the UTPD and KFD responded
at approximately 9:57 a.m. to a fire on the
west wing of the third floor of
Humes Hall. A bulletin board located on the
floor was set on fire. Building
maintenance staff had put out the fire using
fire extinguishers before UTPD
and KFD arrived on scene. The building has been
reopened to students. There
were no injuries in today’s incident and only a
bulletin board was damaged
as a result of the fire. In yesterday's incident, a
fire was discovered at
approximately 1:40 p.m. in the study lounge on the west
wing of the fifth
floor of Humes Hall. Members of the maintenance staff were
able to
extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher, but due to the amount of
smoke in the hallway, the fire alarm was activated and students were
evacuated
from the building.As a result of the smoke in the hallway, three
staff members
were transported to UT Medical Center for evaluation -- a male
maintenance staff
member, a male custodial staff member, and a female
student resident assistant
in Humes Hall. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, all three
had been released.

In the Times story this morning, the people who operate Perpetual Motion School, the day care Sarah attends, acknowledge that a woman who has been indicted on aggravated arson charges in connection with the fires was an employee at the day care for about ten days. Her photograph accompanies the article, and I don't recognize her. She must have been assigned to a different age group.


Humes Hall is a huge building. That woman could have killed a lot of college kids, and she tried to twice over her job as a janitor there. She was in the building with our child for ten days. It is quite frightening.

Camping Wash Out

It rained all last night, and according to the Weather Channel, it is going to rain pretty much all day today. I don't want to end up like these guys, so it looks like Mighty Oak is going to be "no go" this weekend. Rats!

I have to say, though, I have camped many, many times in the rain, and if you are properly prepared it's still fun. I recently came across some photos of a camping trip we took to Cheoah Lake, which is up in the mountains near the North Carolina state line. It rained like hell that weekend, and we used my huge tarp to cover all of our tents and created The Biosphere, which kept us relatively dry.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Purchase Knob, North Carolina


Aren't the mountains beautiful?

Everybody Wants to Be a Cat



Here is a video of Sarah up at Cozy Creek singing her latest hit, "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat". This was taken on Sherry's Olympus FE-230 7.1 megapixel digital camera. The video is far superior to my new little GE computer camera.

I still don't want to be a cat. I want to be an alligator. (Sarah actually sang "Everybody Wants to Be an Alligator" this morning on the way to school.)

Another Shameless Plug -- Keeper of the Flame Music News

My cousin, Mike Somavilla, lives in South San Francisco, California, and he is very hip to the music scene out there. I credit Mike for exposing me to a lot of fun, cool music that I would have never heard were it not for my cousin. He publishes an E-mail newsletter full of links to music websites, many of which have free music. For the first time Keeper of the Flame Music News is available online at http://www.balladyre.com/kotf.html. Mike says he intends to launch his own website in the near future.

Check out the website, and surf a few of the links. You'll find some cool music.

Nashville and Mighty Oak

Sherry and Sarah are headed to Nashville this weekend to visit Jake and Joey and Grams. The boys' friend, Taylor, whom they've known since they were two in day care, is having his birthday party this weekend, so they ought to have a good time.

Today is the only day this week I haven't had court, but I'm fairly caught up on my office practice. I have the bar association memo to type (I wrote it yesterday.), and a guardian ad litem report to write. Neither of those should take very long, and I'm hoping to make some more progress out in the garage.

I invited myself out to Bart's place at Mighty Oak on Melton Hill Lake to camp on Saturday. It is supposed to rain overnight tonight, so I'll head out there sometime Saturday morning, probably after grocery shopping. I think the Byrds are coming to camp, and Sike called yesterday to tell me he and Julie and their kids would come to cook out and enjoy the lake. I have my fishing license, so I will definitely buy some bait, most likely good ol' nightcrawlers, and do my first fishing of the year. Bart has a place to shoot out there, too, so I may clean up my rifles and target shoot a bit Saturday morning before the children arrive.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Laura Accepts Position at the University of Tennessee


My sister Laura has accepted a position at the University of Tennessee at the Knoxville campus, which is quite convenient to her home, as well as being familiar territory for all three of us Ogle kids. Congratulations to La!

Tragic Loss

Our garage refrigerator, which I bought in 1993 when I moved to Blount County, died a few days ago. We had a bunch of frozen dinners stored down there, but the greatest loss was a cheesy potato casserole and a home-made lasagna we had in reserve in the freezer. I suspect the condenser failed.

I made a coffin for the cheesy potatoes and lasagna, and put them to rest in the dumpster for Thursday morning garbage service. What a waste!

Knox Public Defender Wants Out of Misdemeanor Cases

There's an item of news in today's News Sentinel that says Knox County Public Defedender Mark Stephens has filed a petition with the Knox County General Sessions Court requesting that it cease referring misdemeanor cases to his office. The Public Defender's job is to defend poor people accused of crimes, and Stephens says he wants to pull the attorneys he has working on misdemeanors and use them in felony court.

Many years ago Knox County had a problem with overcrowded criminal dockets, and every attorney practicing in that county got appointed to a case, including many who have never set foot in a criminal courtroom. These defendants have a constitutional right to counsel. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

Late Night

Sherry pulled a nightmare work shift last night, and didn't get home until sometime after 9:00. I suspect she'll sleep in this morning, but I've got court all day beginning at 9:00 this morning. Hopefully, Sherry's day today won't be so hellish.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One of the Good Guys

I didn't get out of court until about 4:30 this afternoon. When I came out of the courtroom door, there was a mother and her three-year-old son just outside the courtroom. The little boy asked who I was, and the mother said, "He's a lawyer."

I smiled at them as I walked toward the elevator, and the little boy smiled back and said, "One of the good guys."

In this day and age when people rarely have anything nice to say about my profession, that was really nice to hear.

Back to Court

I ended up getting tangled up in a dependent and neglected child case over in juvenile court this morning, and so I just had enough time after that to get home and wolf down a sandwich. I've got a probation revocation hearing this afternoon, so I may pull a long afternoon at the justice center myself today.

I am off to give battle to the forces of evil and oppression.

Indoor Cinderella Camping


Sarah has the camping bug, and so Sherry set up her Cinderella tent in her room a few nights ago. Sarah actually spent all night in there.

River Access on the Harpeth in Nashville

The Harpeth River runs through the Bellevue area of Nashville, where we used to live, and I always wanted to canoe through Bellevue on the river. We floated the Narrows of the Harpeth, which is west of Bellevue, and it is a fun stretch of river. The Tennessean is reporting this morning that there is a move afoot to build more access points along the Harpeth in Bellevue, including an access area at the Bellevue soccer fields, where Jake and Joey used to play soccer.

Meet the Beetles

The hemlock trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and elsewhere, are under attack from a tiny beast called the hemlock wooly adelgid, and the adelgids are devestating many fine stands of hemlock trees. Les and Fraz have a nice, big hemlock in their yard that had to be treated last year.

An experiment is underway to introduce a new species of Chinese predator beetle into the park, with the idea being that the beetles will eat the adelgids. I'm always a bit wary of introducing exotic species into the wild, because you can end up with problems like the kudzu plant, which absolutely takes over the land it is introduced onto. The current experiment involves caging up a bunch of infested hemlocks up at Blackberry Farm, which is here in Blount County, and setting the beetles loose upon the adelgids.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Fax is Working!

I know this isn't very exciting to anyone but me. However, I am very pleased to have my fax service working again. I employ a free service that delivers incoming faxes to my E-mail address as a .pdf attachment, and I really like it. It's been down for about two weeks, which hasn't been a big deal for a lawyer who is a solo practitioner, but it has been a bit of an inconvenience.

Although this may seem like a lukewarm plug, the service is www.faxdigits.com, and aside from the recent problem, I really like the service. The price is right, too.

Piercing Yourself

I just read an article on the subject of tounge and mouth piercing, and there were some horrifying photos of piercings gone awry. I hope our kids never decide to do anything like that, but if they do, they'll see these photos beforehand to give them something to think about.

Not a Mathematician

Sarah just announced, "I can count to fifteen."

I said, "Okay, do it."

She said, "One."

I said, "That's not counting to fifteen."

She said, "One, two, three, four, twenty-one, twenty-two."

Ummmm. No.

Late Day for Sherry

Tomorrow is the deadline for one of Sherry's books, and she called about an hour ago to let me know she'd be home a bit late this evening. I've been fairly busy myself today, but the work I did Sunday morning is paying off for me. I have all the major fires under control, but Wednesday and Thursday look to be as busy as Monday and Tuesday have been.

Joey and Jake Return to School

Today marks a sad day for Jake and Joey, as it is the first day back in class after Spring Break down in Destin, Florida. They won't be waking up for a couple of hours yet, but I suspect they'll be moving slowly when they do.

Easter Photos

Here are a few photographs from our Easter weekend. This is La playing with the girls in our front yard. Laura suffered a terrible transporter accident over the weekend. We were beaming her up from the planet's surface, when a rabbit jumped into the transporter beam. Just horrible!
Sherry took this cute photo of Sarah during our creek stompin' expedition. As you can see, it is a tiny creek, but it was still fun.
This is Laura with Sarah and Grace on the trolley (actually a bus dressed as a trolley) to Gatlinburg.

This is a photo of Sarah coloring Easter eggs up at Cozy Creek, which are in glasses on the counter on each side of her, though they are hard to see.

Purity Ends Milk Delivery in Nashville

I read in this morning's Tennessean that Purity Dairy is ending milk delivery in Nashville. We used the service for maybe half a year or so when we lived on River Bend Circle, and had a mixed experience with it. Sherry and I both remember having milk delivered to our house as kids, and so we liked the nostalgic aspect. Also, our deliveryman threw in freebies if he was late or made a mistake or could not fill an order. Like everything else about River Bend Circle, it was too expensive, and the delivery service got worse after we failed to tip the guy at Christmas. (I had no idea milkmen were supposed to be paid a gratuity.)

Louie Returns

Louie must have come inside last night after I went to sleep, because he's circling my feet as I type. I'm glad he's getting more comfortable with his new surroundings.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Louie on the Lamb

Louie went out this morning when I retrieved the newspaper from the mailbox this morning, and I haven't seen him since. I suspect he's found a good hiding place nearby.

Spring Snow

It ended up snowing most of the morning here in Maryville, though it wasn't cold enough to stick to anything. At one point we got a pretty decent little snow shower. We have a few clouds hanging around, but it is sunny, if chilly, at our house.

And it will be in the 70's before the end of the week.

A Bit of Snow

We're getting just a few flakes of snow and/or sleet here at our house.

A Nice Easter

Our family had a very nice Easter weekend. We concluded the festivities at our house yesterday afternoon. Mom baked a ham, and Sherry made her raspberry-cranberry congealed salad. I had a cheesy potato casserole already prepared, so all we had to do was to pop it in the oven. We used Grandmother Ogle's china for the first time in two years, and even broke out her pink drinking glasses, which have also been in boxes for the past couple of Easters.

This will be a busy week for me. I have court everyday but Friday, so my duties will keep me on the run. I'm glad I have Friday, though, so I can catch up on paperwork. Also, I spent some time yesterday morning whilst my womenfolk slept to complete a work task, so that helps on the office work for this week, though I still have some writing to do on that matter.

H.G. Hill Grocery Store on Charlotte Pike in Nashville to Close

H.G. Hill is an old, local grocery store chain in Nashville, sort of like White Stores was in Knoxville. They have a store on Charlotte Pike in West Nashville that is closing its doors April 5 according to the Tennessean. It is the store nearest Grams' house, and it's the store GG used to shop at. It's sad to hear that it is closing.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ferrelli Brothers Return from Florida

Joey and Jake have been down in the Destin, Florida, area with their dad this week, and they returned to Nashville yesterday. According to my calendar, they have tomorrow off before returning to school on Tuesday. Sherry's going to call them today for a full report on their trip. Hopefully we'll get some photos I can post, since Jake got a digital camera for Christmas.

Tamale Pie

Mom bought a load of tamales a couple of weekends ago for our moving adventure, and we never heated them up, so they've been in our freezer since then. I brought them up to the cabin for supper last night and made a tamale pie. I put the tamales in the bottom of a casserole dish, covered it with Vietta chili and covered it all with too much cheese. We baked it off, and it was good, though I will know to add some chili powder and red pepper to it next time for a little more punch.

Back from the 'Burg

We got home from Cozy Creek and Gatlinburg about an hour ago, and have taken care of the chores we needed to get done before having Mom and La and Grace and Les and Fraz over for Easter dinner. Sarah and Grace had fun hunting for eggs up in the mountains, and we enjoyed the afternoon at the cabin after walking the parkway in downtown Gatlinburg.

We decided to take the trolley from the welcome center near the cabin to downtown, which turned out to be a bad decision with the little ones. It cost us four bucks, and for four or five more dollars we could have taken the car. We took the trolley to avoid sitting in traffic, but sitting in traffic would have been preferable to chasing young-uns up and down the sidewalk and waiting half and hour for the trolley.

When we got back to the cabin, Sarah had fun stomping up the little creek up there in her cowboy boots, and I had fun following her along it. I'm an old creek stomper from way back, and I enjoyed hopping from rock to rock with Sarah along the little spring. Sarah has Grandmother's cabin mixed up with Bradley Mountain Lodge and Laura and Stewart's cabins. She thought we were going to Grandmother's cabin, which has an even better creek for rock hopping.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dawn Breaking Over the Smokies


Did I mention we're going to Gatlinburg this morning? I love the mountains, and this will be my first trip up there in months. I'm even going to wear my overalls, much to Sherry's embarassment. Sarah's been wanting to play Putt Putt, so maybe we'll play Hillbilly Golf.

Report on the Cats

Both of our cats went outside this week for the first time since we moved, and Louie has stayed gone overnight. Emma, as usual, sticks close to the house, and usually not far from a door. There is more traffic in this neighborhood, especially for Louie if he wanders far, but there are also good places for cats to prowl and hide away from the roads. The cats have been driving me nuts at night, so I'm happy to have some relief.

Yet Another Shameless Plug

Leslie and her partner, Emily Moore, edit books and assist authors in the process of getting their book published and marketed. Their website tells about their business in more detail. Emily is also a web wizard, and it is time for me to hire her to help Sherry and me design our websites.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Leslie's Dog Bite

I just got this E-mail from my sister Leslie. I never realized Good Friday was the day she was bitten. The same dog bit me in the face about a year before he bit Leslie. He just didn't get ahold of me like he did Les. And of course Sarah got bitten in the face by a dog this summer. If you come visit me, leave your dog at home.

This is the day (Good Friday) when I was five years old, and our little dog
bit my face to pieces…I had 47 stitches and plastic surgery…my brother, who
kicked the dog away from the attack (he was only 7) said, “I don’t know why they
call this GOOD Friday.”

PS I think my plastic surgeon
did a good job! ha…..

Easter Weekend Plans

We're heading up to Cozy Creek Cabin in Gatlinburg tomorrow to spend the night. We're going to hit the road in the morning, unpack our gear and walk Gatlinburg a bit before heading back for the hot tub, probably after lunch in town. Mom bought a bunch of tamales, and I'm going to make a casserole out of some of them for Saturday night by putting chili and cheese on top of them and baking them off. We'll serve it with sour cream and picante sauce, and it should make a quick and easy meal tomorrow night.

We're going to host Easter dinner Sunday at our new place on Forest Avenue. Mom said she would bake a ham, since she doesn't think she'll spend the night Saturday at the cabin. I just put together the ingredients for a double batch of cheesy potato casserole and am about to spoon it into Corningware. Sherry's going to prepare her holiday raspberry congealed salad, and we're going to also serve asparagus, for something green, and deviled eggs from the Easter egg hunt we plan to have with Sarah and Grace in the hollar up at the cabin.

I talked to both Les and La this morning, and one or both of them may come over this afternoon for pre-cabin planning. It sounds like we'll have an enjoyable Easter weekend together.

Postal Service Holidays

USPS 2008 Holiday Closing Schedule:

Tuesday, January 1 - New Year's Day
Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday
Monday, February 18 - Washington's Birthday (President's Day)
Monday, May 26 - Memorial Day
Friday, July 4 - Independence Day
Monday, September 1 - Labor Day
Monday, October 13 - Columbus Day
Tuesday, November 11 - Veterans Day
Thursday, November 27 - Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, December 25 - Christmas Day
Thursday, January 1, 2009 - New Year's Day

Ogle Coat of Arms

This is the Ogle Family Coat of Arms. I am considering using it on my letterhead, though it is a bit fancy.

Grocery Store Humor

My friend Jim Sigmon of Granite Falls, North Carolina,
sent me a joke this morning. Since I'm about to head out
to go grocery shopping, I thought I'd share it here.


I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:
A half-gallon of 2% milk,
A carton of eggs,
A quart of orange juice,
A head of romaine lettuce,
A 2 lb. can of coffee, and
A 1 lb. package of bacon.

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out,
a drunk standing behind me watched as I placed the items in
front of thecashier.While the cashier was ringing up the purchases,
the drunk calmly stated,"You must be single."

I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was
intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since I was
indeed single. I looked at the six items on the
belt and saw nothing particularly unusual
about myselections that could have
tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said,
"Well, you know what, you're absolutely right.
But how on earth did you know that?"






The drunk replied, "'Cause you're ugly."

Instant Rim Shot

Do you like to tell jokes and wish you had a instant rim shot on cue right after you deliver your punchline? Well, through the wonder of the internet, here it is. You may need to click it a couple of times to warm it up, but after that it is right on cue when you click on it.

It's times like these that I really miss having officemates.

Another Shameless Plug

I thought I would plug some more family members' websites, and I'd better start with my wife's. Sherry is a graphic designer for the Knoxville and Nashville editions of the Real Estate Book, a glossy booklet you pick up for free at the local jiffy store when you are looking for a house to buy. She also does freelance work designing advertisements for the Knoxville edition of Skirt! magazine, a hip ladies' magazine produced by the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Scripps), along with other freelance projects. Sherry's freelance studio can be reached at 865-984-5444 or 615-210-0610.

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Christ at Cavalry. Easter Sunday, of course, commemorates his Resurrection. Our local courts are closed in observance of Easter weekend, and I am caught up on my most pressing work, so I will probably spend at least part of today working on unpacking boxes.

I woke up this morning from a dream about last minute packing for a move. I decided not to try to go back to sleep. We're in the unpacking phase.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Food Blog for Your Review

Amazon has an Aldenteblong.com website worth checking in on from time to time. Professor Reynolds links to it frequently, and the recipes look wonderful.

Sarah Eats Easter Egg

Sarah hasn't eaten an egg that wasn't in a cake since she was a baby, if then. Easter inspired her to eat a hard-boiled egg after school today, though she discarded the yolk. She dyed eggs with her class, and we intend to dye eggs this weekend. I see deviled eggs in our future. I wonder if Sarah will eat one of those.

Shameless Plug of My Sister's Rental Cabins


Laura and Stewart have two rental cabins near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Sherry and I have stayed at both Sunset Ridge and Cozy Creek cabins on several occasions, and they both rock. Check out their new website.
This photo is of Cozy Creek, home of Sarah's beloved Welcome Bear. I think we're going up there this weekend, and we're looking forward to the hot tub.

The Behar Family


Here is a recent photo of Sherry's childhood friend, Nazie, her husband Arsulan, and their daughters, Naseem and Nilu, all dressed up. They live out in Los Angeles, and Sherry, Sarah and I went to see them when Sarah was still in a stroller. In fact, they gave us theirs, and we flew it back home with us! I hope we can get our families together again sometime soon.
Nazie's E-mail wished us a happy Persian New Year, so I looked it up. It is called Nowruz, and here is some information about it I found on a website called Farsinet.com. (Farsi is the language spoken in Iran, where Nazie's family is from.)
In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Iranian New Year Celebration, or
NOROOZ, always begins on the first day of spring. Nowruz ceremonies are symbolic
representations of two ancient concepts - the End and the Rebirth; or Good and
Evil. A few weeks before the New Year, Iranians clean and rearrange their homes.
They make new clothes, bake pastries and germinate seeds as sign of renewal. The
ceremonial cloth is set up in each household. Troubadours, referred to as Haji Firuz, disguise
themselves with makeup and wear brightly colored outfits of satin. These Haji
Firuz, singing and dancing, parade as a carnival through the streets with
tambourines, kettle drums, and trumpets to spread good cheer and the news of the
coming new year.
The origins of NoRuz are unknown, but they go back several
thousand years predating the Achaemenian Dynasty. The ancient Iranians had a
festival called "Farvardgan" which lasted ten days, and took place at the end of
the solar year. It appears that this was a festival of sorrow and mourning,
signifying the end of life while the festival of NoRuz, at the beginning of
spring signified rebirth, and was a time of great joy and celebration.

Mailbox Repaired

I just got all riled up and fixed my mailbox, which was blown over by the wind last night. I can draft you an airtight will, and I'm good to have around if you need someone who knows the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure or Evidence or the intricacies of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. I'm not very handy around the house, however, so when I am able to perform any repair I feel a sense of accomplishment. I used my power drill and everything.

Life on the Panhandle

I try to scan the Destin, Florida, newspaper online from time to time, both because we vacation there and because our friends Randy and Dawn live down there. I read this morning was that the first cobia, a fish, had been caught by a boat out of Destin harbor on Sunday. Apparently the cobia only start coming in where you can catch them this time of year, and it is a big deal when someone comes into the harbor with the first cobia of the season. This sets off a tournament to catch the biggest one before the fish leave for the year.

If you think about it, this is pretty fundamental human culture. The guy who caught the first fish this season brought in a 27-pound fish, indeed a reason to celebrate. Stay tuned for the story about A.J.'s cooking that sucker up and feeding it to their customers. Some guy caught a big shark down there several months ago, and they ran pictures for weeks of the feast at A.J.'s.

The Taxman Cometh

Well, actually I goeth to the taxman today. I started paying an accountant to prepare my income tax returns several years ago. I used to do it myself, but then one of my senior partners was a tax attorney. One of the things I've learned in life is not to do things I don't enjoy doing if I can avoid it, and I really do not enjoy preparing an income tax return. It's like mathematics. I can make myself do it, but I get no joy out of it. It cost $300.00 last year to have a local accountant, Scott Price, here in Maryville prepare our return, and it was money well spent.

Spring in East Tennessee


Today is the vernal equinox, which means it is the first day of spring. Aside from the snow we had a couple of weekends ago for our move, it is starting to look and feel like spring here in East Tennessee. Our yard has daffodils and grape Hyacinth coming up. There are also a couple of small, decorative trees in the front yard that are about to come out in hundreds of little pink blooms. I suspect they are cherry trees of some sort.

The temperatures here have been comfortable since the snow, though you can have a cold snap as late as April around these parts. I'm about ready to go buy annuals and a few garden vegetables to plant, but with the weather being as crazy around the rest of the country as it has been this year, I'm content to wait a couple more weeks, I think. The front of our house has window boxes, which I love. We stayed in a hotel in Brussels, Belgium, that had window boxes filled with petunias at every window. When you entered the square where the hotel was located, you immediately smelled petunias. We'll definitely put our window boxes to good use.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stumpy a/k/a Johnny Bench

I have recently heard from a friend with whom I worked at the central legal office of the Department of Children's Services in Nashville, and she is now the attorney for Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, which was known as Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital when I was a child. One of Mom's first jobs in mental health was at Apple Cottage, which was for mentally ill children. I have many memories, not all of them pleasant, about Eastern State, but we used to go to work there with Mom from time to time. I suppose one thing the experience did for me was to make me not afraid of the mentally ill, though I remember being kind of freaked out the first few times I was there. Mental illness is still an issue our society needs to work on, though the situation is better than it once was.

For years one of the patients sat on a stump just inside the wrought iron fence at the intersection of Northshore and Lyons Bend and waved at passersby. The kids on my school bus called him "Stumpy." One day, the hospital had the stump removed, and poor Stumpy just sort of stood forlornly where the stump used to be. In a few days, the hospital figured out the problem and put a bench out there, so his name became "Johnny Bench."

Kinchloe from Hogan's Heroes Dies

Ivan Dixon, who played Kinchloe on Hogan's Heroes, one of my favorite shows as a boy, has died in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Older Than Elmo

Sarah is playing an Elmo computer game, and it just occurred to me that she is now older than Elmo, who is supposed to be eternally three years old.

Busy Morning

I had a busy morning in probate court with a couple of lawyer friends who asked me to serve as conservator for an elderly person. One of the lawyers is my successor at my erstwhile law firm here in town, and I've enjoyed having a case with her for the first time. After court, I picked up an audiobook about the Nixon/Kennedy rivalry, which should be interesting. I think I'm going to try listening to an audiobook tape and then a music tape, since I've enjoyed my music in the car while I've been between audiobooks. I also dropped by the bank downtown to put the deed to our new home in the safe deposit box.

I also took a ring, which I thought was my father's high school class ring, to put in the box. When I got to the bank and looked at it I noticed that the year on it was 1922, so I concluded it was actually Granddaddy's class ring. I'm glad I've got it locked safely away with Dad's, which was already in the box, especially since I lost Grandmother's class ring when I was about six. Why such a particular woman would give a six-year-old boy her class ring is beyond me, other than I don't think she was ever able to tell me "no" ever in my life.

White Oak Sinks

I just watched a Heartland Series episode about White Oak Sinks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I've walked up there numerous times, and it is one of the best day hikes in the park. There are several cool things to see up there, including lots of creeks, (One disappears into its bed and then reappears, depending on the rainfall), a blowhole cave that blows cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter and lots of evidence of former human habitation.

A descendant of the Ledbetter clan that lived up there was featured on the episode, and he said that his kinsmen built the stone walls that I've seen there. With spring upon us, I want to lace up my hiking boots and walk up into my mountains.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Son of a Son of a Sailor

Jimmy Buffett's album, Son of a Son of a Sailor, was released thirty years ago today.

Good Lord Help Us

Sarah just learned how to print on the computer.

Jake and Joey's Spring Break

The boys are in Florida with their dad this week for their spring break. They sent their mom a photo of the high rise condos they are staying in, and they look really nice. Sherry and I were talking this morning about how nice the Monday of a vacation is. They have a fun week ahead of them.

Everybody Wants to Be a Cat

Sarah made up a song this morning. The lyrics were "Everybody wants to be a cat." These are repeated over and over again.

I told her I didn't want to be a cat. I want to be an alligator.

She just gave me a disgusted look.

UPDATE: Sherry advises that the song is from the Disney film Aristocats, which Sarah has been watching recently. I still want to be an alligator.
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!


Randy Post Op

I received a voice mail message from Randy Tomberlin this weekend, and he had his shoulder surgery last Thursday. He sounded like he was still in some pain, but at least he's on the other side of the surgery.

A Visit From the Family

Mom and La and Grace and Les and Fraz came by yesterday for a visit. It was almost sixty degrees yesterday afternoon, so the Grace and Sarah played in the backyard. There's a little girl who lives behind us, and Sarah is trying to make friends with her. She picked her a bunch of daffodils, and Sherry passed them over the fence to her mother for her.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Maps!

My hiking maps have been missing for at least a year, maybe two, in the boxes we hadn't unpacked. We found them just in time for hiking season. We also found some of my wildlife books, which I enjoy being able to refer to when I've visited the woods.

Kiss From Sarah

I'm experimenting with the new camara and microphone we bought yesterday. This clip features Sarah singing "Tomorrow" and giving her daddy a kiss on the cheek. What a cute Boong!

Apricot Nectar Cake

The cake Sherry baked last night is apricot nectar cake, which Grandmother Ogle's neighbor, Gladys Steed, always used to bake for us when we visited Grandmother and Granddaddy in the summers. Since "Apricot Nectar" doesn't sound very appealing to children, Grandmother just called it "Gladys cake." On Sherry's side of the family, her Aunt Betty makes apricot nectar cake, and they therefore call it "Aunt Betty cake." Sherry used her grandmother's recipe for the cake, and it was yummy. She added some green food coloring to the glaze in honor of Saint Patrick's Day.

Nice Visit With the Cornells

Terry and Rachel Cornell came over last night for lasagna, which is a good thing since they brought the mozzarella. Although the house still has a long way to go, it was nice to entertain here for the first time. Sarah really took to Rachel from the first time they met, so she shadowed Rachel almost the whole time. Sherry baked a cake for the event, and we overindulged in cake and ice cream after the lasagna.

Hillbilly Mansion


I've received this from a couple of different friends, and have also found it online. In Wilson Creek gorge in western North Carolina there is an area we called The Land of the Bus People, because all of these old hippies had hauled school buses up into the mountains and lived in them by the side of the creek. In a way I think we were contemptuous toward them, but I'm sure they had better lives than a poor person in the city would. I haven't been up to the Land of the Bus People in many years, if it even yet exists. Wilson Creek has changed a lot since I used to go camping and tubing up there regularly in the '80's.

This photo, it turns out, is not what we want it to be. No one actually lives in this colorful complex of mobile homes. According to Snopes.com, it is an outdoor theater set for a 2005 production of Anton Chekov's play Ivanov in Amsterdam.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

First Social Event at Forest Avenue

I just made a batch of Ron Bolen's spaghetti sauce, which is simmering on the stove, and we're going to use some of it to make a couple of lasagnes tonight for our movers. Sherry and Sarah and I went out for a nice breakfast at Sun Up Diner in Maryville, and they remembered Sarah for her cowboy boots. They won't forget her for a while either, because she belted out a heartfelt rendition of "Tomorrow" from Annie for the entertainment of the customers.

We ran by the post office, the Home Depot and the grocery store, and we came out of the grocery store to a deluge. It cleared up when we got home, and so Sherry and Sarah went to North Knoxville for her supervisor's daughter's birthday party. They're heading back now.

Boy, I Wish I'd Eaten That Pizza

The names have been omitted to protect the guilty, who know who they are.

More On Music

I am sad to admit that I don't listen to music nearly as much as I used to, and that cannot be a good thing. One of the projects I want to accomplish once we're fully moved in is to organize our music collection, and to make a point of playing more music in the house and in the car. I just finished the first half of an audiobook, and have been listening to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street this week, which has been refreshing.

I also intend to pick up my guitar again. Sarah loves to sing, and holds a tune pretty well for a four-year-old, so it would be a shame for me not to work up some tunes with her.

And when I get older and I have a daughter,
I'll teach her to sing and play her my songs.
And Ill tell her some stories I can barely remember,
And hope that she will sing along.

And maybe one day she'll take a fancy to pickin',
'Cause when that bug bites you, you live with the sting.
And if she could just strum a few simple measures,
She could make some young man sing.

New Van Morrison Album

Van Morrison has a new record out, Keep It Simple, and he played the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last night. The Ryman is a wonderful place to listen to live music, and it would have been a cool place to see Van Morrison play. There's a review of the album in the Nashville Scene this week that absolutely trashes it, but I don't think that will deter me from picking up a CD if I see it in a record store.

Weird, Crazy River Dude

Laura reports that Thursday night she was out on her deck and heard weird chanting down by the river at her house. She later saw the dude skulking around the neighbor's house. They called the police, who apprehended the man.
The cops said the man was schizophrenic. Apparently he had Baptised himself in the Little River that evening, and emerging from the water, he determined that he would seek out a place to live in one of the houses on the riverbank. I hope he gets help, and I am glad no one was hurt.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mom Departs With Boong

Mom just came by and picked up Sarah to go spend the night. They missed last weekend together due to our move, so I'm sure Sarah will have a ball. She will also totally destroy Mom's house by tomorrow morning.

Spring Is Nigh


Here are a couple of snapshots from our new backyard. As you can see, we have daffodils coming up back there. We also have grape hyacinth coming up in the front yard, and buds are forming on the trees.

We might not have had much in the way of winter, other than on moving day, but I'm ready for spring to blossom in East Tennessee in all its glory.
Here's a photo of Sarah playing on her swingset out back.

Visits From Mom, Laura, Grace and Doug

Well, our plan was for Laura to come over and help me with some moving duties yesterday, but aside from moving Grandmother's sideboard from the garage to the living room, we didn't get much work accomplished. That's okay, though, because we had a good visit, and Sarah and Grace had fun playing in the backyard. After Mom, La and Grace left, my new neighbor Doug Catlett came over, and he loaned us a drill so we can start hanging pictures, since our walls are plaster. One day, I'll find my own drill somewhere in the plentitude of boxes inhabiting our garage.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kids Invade Backyard

Well, we met the neighbors today, and we discovered that there are a bunch of kids Sarah's age nearby. We had a bunch of them in the yard for a while there. There are also some kids Jake and Joey's age and older, so they'll have some kids to play with when they're here as well.

Cat Role Reversal

Our cats have reversed roles as a consequence of our recent move. Louie, the tuxedo cat, is usually the brave one, and Emma, the calico cat, is mostly a weenie. In fact, her name is informally "Emma the Weenie." For some reason, Louie is hiding under the bed, and Emma is adventuring out of the house to check out the curtilage. Go figure.

Quick Week

I can't believe it's already Thursday! I have two appointments back to back this morning, and after I run by the post office and the library, La's going to come over and help me unpack some more boxes. Sherry and I decided to invite our moving crew back over this Saturday for supper, which will be fun. (I promised them we wouldn't ask them to work.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photos from Moving Day


It snowed last weekend on the first part of our moving day, pictured below. It was enough to be pretty, and the only downside was that we had to put cat litter on the ramp of the truck to keep us from slipping. That was messy, but not as bad as it could have been.

Uncle Fuzzy killed our new mailbox.
Here's Sike and Fuzzy loading the big yellow truck in the snow.


This photo was taken from the front porch of our Lively Road dwelling. The white house is where the hostage standoff went down some months ago. We won't miss those neighbors.

Dead Burnt Pig Meat

We have a pork tenderloin in the oven, and it smells delicious!

UPDATE: Yummy! I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I'm much better now.

Progress on the New House

We got our new satellite television up and running today. It took the technician most of the day, but he was an agreeable fellow, so it wasn't too bad. I spent most of the day emptying boxes, and I have now cleared all boxes from the master bedroom, as well as making significant progress elsewhere in the house. We'll have this place ship shape in Bristol fashion before long.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reminding My Wife of the Geek She Married

Sherry got her computer online about thirty minutes ago, and she was jubilant. For the first time, we have desks and computers next to each other.

Once we were both working on our computers side by side, I had a Star Trek moment and told Sherry to lock down the obverse gravitational triangulators. She rolled her eyes, and said, "Honey, you're such a geek." Then she punched a couple of buttons on her computer, and the triangulators went back online.

I love that woman.

Another Busy Day

We're still trying to get things up and running here at Forest Avenue. Sherry spent most of her day off running around Knoxville trying to get her computer online. I ended up in court much of the day, but I've also been able to attend to a few other lawyer tasks while I was at it.

I am quite pleased that I got our washing machine hooked up, and most of our laundry from moving done. We're opening a box here and there, and working on making this house our home. We cooked the cheesy potato casserole this morning, and it was a good batch, the first of many, I suspect.

Sherry's Day Off

Sherry has today off from work since they have this week's book ready for tomorrow's deadline. I've got court this morning at the justice center, and I'll head back here to join her for some more unpacking when I'm through over there. Sherry still has some work to do to get her computer online, which she needs to do since Skirt! is getting ready to start sending her freelance work. I have a feeling she's going to want to clear some boxes out of our living room and bedroom as well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Up Late

My womenfolk are asleep. I've been working on getting my office up and running, and I'm starting to feel good about how things are coming together up here. I'm going to regret this when my brain turns on at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Goodbye Lively Road

I'm back from my clean up mission to Lively Road, and I locked the keys in it, so we are officially out of there. I ran a variety of errands while I was out, including a grocery shopping run. We generally keep a fairly well-stocked pantry and refrigerator, but we were intentionally using up our supplies so we wouldn't have to move them. It feels nice to be stocked up again, and I brought home a pork tenderloin and the ingredients for our cheesy potato casserole, so we can cook our first real meal here.

I Miss My Old School

On the way to school this morning, Sarah said "I miss my old school. I miss my friends." She thought that our move meant that she was changing schools, which makes sense because she did change schools last year when we moved. I set her straight, and she was very happy to arrive at her school this morning.

I'm through with court and back in work clothes, so I'm going to head over to the Lively Road house to clean up before heading back over here to try and put my office in order. Luckily, my hearing tomorrow afternoon was cancelled, which will give me tomorrow afternoon to work on the house as well.

Back to Work

I have child support court this morning at the juvenile center, and when I finish up there, I think I'll go over to Lively Road for cleanup duties. I've still got quite a bit of work to do to get my office back out of boxes, but I'm pretty much operational, which is good because I've got court all day tomorrow. I have the feeling that this week will go by pretty quickly, and I rarely say that on a Monday.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Home on Forest Avenue

It has been one long weekend, but we are in our new house. I still need to do a bit of cleaning up over at Lively Road. I don't think it will amount to much. We have a bunch of work left to do here, but we have had wonderful love, support and elbow grease from friends and family.

We're home.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mostly Moved

We've hauled two truckloads over here to Forest Avenue today, but we have another one to go. Very, very tired now, but the computer is working.

Snow

The sleet changed over to snow, but so far it's just a dusting.

Sleet!

The rain is turning to sleet. Eek!

Which Witch

We had a game when we were kids that was called Which Witch. Leslie found one online and bought it for Sarah. I haven't seen one in years, and I found a website, linked above, about the game. Les called last night, and she and La grew up thinking the game was called "Witch Witch." They only discovered it was "Which Witch" after the game was delivered to Les.

Frankly, Sarah's just about the right age to actually start learning to play board games. We used to have Candyland. Maybe we'll find it when we get unpacked.

Restaurant Review: Firehouse Subs

Sherry and I have been wanting to try out the new sub shop in town. It's a chain called Firehouse Subs, and they make a good sandwich. I had the Italian, and Sherry had the Club. Both sandiches were yummy, but the service was slow. At lunchtime, the place is incredibly busy, but there were about ten customers and five crew there last night. It still took us about ten minutes to get our supper, which is really inexcusable. The sandwiches were $5.29 each.

All and all, I'd say I'd probably eat at Firehouse Subs again, but Subs and Such is still the best submarine sandwich in town.

No Snow Yet

I've been watching last night's local news broadcast, and the NBC affiliate here is calling for 1" to 3" in the Tennessee valley. We don't have any snow falling here in Maryville yet, but the weatherman says it's coming soon.

Mark and his girlfriend, Tara, brought Joey and Jake here last night. When they were leaving Nashville, the boys were wanting to go up to Cozy Creek Cabin to spend the night, where Mark and Tara are staying courtesy of La and Stew. When I got up this morning, I noticed the boys' shoes by the front door, so I suspect three hours on the road changed their minds. It's about another hour on up to the cabin from here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Taking Possession of Forest Avenue

We just got back from closing on our house and then going over there with our two carloads of stuff. My open office files and business suits are over there, so I know I'm ready for duty on Monday. We met the neighbors from across the street, who wanted to introduce us to their dogs, including a large, if old, Labrador. I gently explained to them that a Labrador tried to bite my child's eye out in August and that getting bitten in the face by dogs is sort of a family curse. They gave us Girl Scout cookies and homemade jelly and were really nice, but I think I made it clear that I'm not a dog person.

Back From Court

Sometimes Fridays are light days for the courts, but the justice center was jumping today. As I suspected my motion for summary judgment was granted, and I took care of several other tasks I had in the building as well. The rain has tapered off, so it might be a good time for me to load my car up with stuff to take to the new house after we close this afternoon. We filled Sherry's up fairly full last night, and then I stuffed it totally full this morning, so I hope she doesn't have to brake suddenly.

Boonga Bookmarks

We established bookmarks folders for the kids some time ago, and Sarah has one for her games separate from Jake and Joey's, which they share. I've been working with her during the past week to teach her how to find the websites she likes to play on, and she's catching on. She recognizes her name, so she can find her folder, and many of the websites come with icons that help her recognize them as well. I am amazed at how well her computer skills are developing.

Thunder and Snow

The cold front is moving in, and it is thundering. I just went out to get the newspaper, and we have a pretty good rain underway outside as well. The temperatures are supposed to drop tonight, and they are calling for snow showers all day tomorrow for our move. I hope the weather doesn't present a problem.

Morning in Circuit Court

I have a motion for summary judgment pending in circuit court this morning, and the collection agency I'm handling the case for informs me that the defendant is a fast talker Betty Crocker. It's always entertaining to listen to them try to talk their way out of it, but then it's also entertaining to deny them the chance to talk to you at all by disappearing into the dark recesses of the courthouse (or hiding in plain daylight within the bar of court). The fast talkers frequently lose the gift of gab when they are called upon to tell it to the judge.

Summary judgment is a procedural matter, and is not difficult to overcome if you're a lawyer. This defendant apparently thinks he doesn't need counsel. Heh, heh, heh.

Visit from La and Ma

I brought Sarah home from school after lunch yesterday so I'd have some company while I worked around the house. Laura came by to pick up her desk, and Mom came over around suppertime to pick up Sarah to go spend the night with her last night. Sherry got off work early yesterday, and so the four of us went to El Sazon Mexican Restaurant for some supper.

When we got home we loaded up Sherry's car with pictures and lamps and such so she can drive straight from work to the closing this afternoon. After closing we're going to unload her car and my car at the new house before spending one last night tonight at Lively Road. Moving day is upon us!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Daylight Savings Time

Sherry mentioned the other day that she thought that this weekend was when we change to Daylight Savings Time, and she was right as usual. I guess I should put smoke detector batteries on my shopping list as well.

Moving Day Weather Report

I've been keeping my eye on Saturday's weather. Right now, they're calling for rain Friday, and snow showers on Saturday with temperatures from 37 Friday night to 39 Saturday. If the temperature drops and the moisture comes in Saturday rather than Friday, there could be trouble for moving. If the forecast is accurate, we may have enough snow to make some cool moving day pictures.

Bar Meeting and Boxes

I presided over my third bar meeting yesterday, and we had a good turnout for our speaker, which is nice, since he drove in from Cookeville. My afternoon court appearance was canceled, so I collected my two boxes of girl scout cookies, picked up Boong and headed home.

I'm still trying to pack boxes, but to be honest, I'm running out of stuff to put in them. I got some really good, big boxes yesterday, and they'll be good for odds and ends in the garage and outside. I don't have court at all today, and Laura's going to come over at some point to get the desk she's been letting us borrow. We'll miss it, but we got a new desk with the new house. I'm going to use the desk that comes with the house, and Sherry's going to use Granddaddy's kidney-shaped desk.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Captain Randy Shoulder Surgery

Randy Tomberlin, a friend of mine since high school, is having surgery tomorrow to correct a painful problem in his shoulder. He also admitted that he just got eyeglasses (for reading), joining those of us in bespectacled old age. He's falling apart.

Girl Scout Cookies Are Here!

I just received a voice mail message reporting that my Girl Scout cookie order for this year has been delivered to the courthouse, so I can pick them up after court this afternoon. Yummy!

The Rain Doesn't Bother Her

I haven't posted any cute photos of the kids in a while, so here's one of Sarah under my umbrella in the rain yesterday morning. Jake and Joey will be here this weekend for moving day, so there's more to come after the big day.

Goodbye Charter Communications and Good Riddance!

I won't share the frustrating details of ou efforts to have our Charter internet, cable television and telephone services transferred across town to our new house, other than to say that we've literally spent hours on the telephone trying to accomplish what should be a routine matter for a business specializing in communications services. This morning I decided to try another service provider, and discovered that BellSouth offers the same services, only with satellite television, for the same price. They got me set up in about thirty minutes.

Curiously, it only took me ten minutes to get Charter to discontinue my services. It is easier to fire Charter than it is to keep them. Good riddance!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ready to Move

We've come close to doing all we can do to prepare for moving day, though I'm sure we'll continue to pack boxes until we're out of here. The troops are reporting in, and it sounds as though we'll have a good turnout for this Saturday, which should make not only for an easy job but for a fun day with friends and family.

I always think of moving as like a barn raising in the old days. It's a job that is really too big for one family to do by themselves, and so the friends and relations pitch in.

Drying Out

We had rain in Maryville most of this morning, and it was definitely enough to send a suit to the dry cleaner. Docket sounding ended early for me, since my case was one of the first the chancellor called. I've been at home since then doing my monthly billing among other tasks. It has finally stopped raining, so I may go back out in civilian clothes and see if I can scare up some boxes somewhere in town.

Isenhour Lovebirds

This is a picture of my mother's parents, Harvey and Eula Isenhour, in an adorable embrace. I have this print framed somewhere among the boxes in the garage that have not been opened in two years. Since our past two homes have been rental places, we have left a lot of our family photos in boxes. I look forward to displaying them in the new house.

Docket Sounding

Today is docket sounding for chancery court in Maryville. Our chancellor is a circuit riding judge, and he hears cases in Maryville two to three times a month. Several times a year the court has a docket sounding, where all of the cases on the docket are called for an update on their status. It is a docket control measure, but it has the effect of bringing a lot of lawyers from all over the area, which usually makes for somewhat of a social event as well. The last time I attended a Blount County docket sounding, however, was September 11, 2001, and I learned about the tragedy in New York City that day by a fellow lawyer in court that morning.

Hopefully, this morning's docket call will be much more mundane. I have been appointed to represent a woman I cannot find, and I must appear to report that to the chancellor. Afterward, I need to get back home and do my February billing, and then I'll probably get back to moving tasks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

House of Cardboard

After I dropped off Sarah for school this morning, I went by Maryville City Hall to have utilities hooked up at our new place. I had not checked the post office box since Thursday, which tends to make a lawyer nervous, but there were no surprises awaiting me in there.

I have a relatively light work week, and am trying to keep a handle on my legal business while also trying to get this place ready to move. I got through my legal and business tasks this morning, and have been working on moving tasks this afternoon. Unfortunately, I'm almost out of boxes again.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Back From Nashville

We met the realtor at our new house upon our return from Nashville, and we were able to make a couple of measurements to get some ideas about positioning furniture. Mom went with us, and La and Grace met us back at Lively Road for pizza and another viewing of Nanny McPhee.

We've got a pretty busy week ahead, and we still have a lot of packing we can do now that we're in the last week here at Lively Road. I think we'll be pretty tired this time next week.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Profit vs. Creativity

I just watched the end of a PBS program about film-making. An interview with George Lucas of Star Wars fame caught my attention, but other Hollywood artists, including Steven Spielberg, were also featured. They were bemoaning the fact that creativity is lost because of the drive to make money from the films that are produced. To make a long story short, to get Hollywood to invest the capital to make a film, you have to make it mainstream enough to guarantee a profit, which is understandable.

Reality television is an example of this as well. Sherry and I saw a commercial this week about a reality show that will reunite high school classmates in a house with cameras rolling to see how they will interact, and the commercial teased fighting and sex. For some reason, people are voyeristic enough to want to watch other people act like idiots (think Jerry Springer) on television, and the people who make television shows know it is cheaper to get the aforementioned idiots make fools of themselves before the camera than it is to pay writers to produce something creative. It is really quite sad that we allow ourselves to be entertained in this way.

Saturday in Nashville

We stayed in the Hampton Inn in Bellevue last night, which was something different. Sherry's brother, Jay, had surgery this week and has been staying in Grams' guest room. He went home yesterday, but we'd already reserved the room. The kids got a kick out of staying in the hotel, and we got a hot breakfast out of the deal to boot. I got up early and put in a bit of lawyer work while I waited for everyone to wake up.

We're over at Grams' house now, and we plan to go see a movie at noon before gathering for Grams' birthday supper this afternoon at a local Chinese restaurant she frequents. We'll probably also go visit the local humane society shelter at some point this morning so Sherry and the kids can love on some cats.