Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ninja Baby

Terry and Rachel Cornell are expecting a baby in early August!

Grandmother and Grandpa Isenhour's House

Here is a recent photograph of Grandmother and Grandpa Isenhour's house in Hickory, North Carolina. I have said that the house on Forest Avenue looks like Grandmother's house, but I was thinking of Grandmother and Granddaddy's house in Winchester, Tennessee. The three houses all look similar.

Morning Court

I spent most of the morning in Judge Brewer's criminal court, though during a lull in the action I went downstairs to pester the clerks. I had some homework to do in the clerk and master's office, and the ladies there are always hospitable. When I got through with court, I checked my messages and found out Sherry got off work early today. She's napping while I have been answering E-mail.

Marshaling for Move

I got a call from Doug Catlett, who will soon be our neighbor, and he is marshaling the Catlett clan to help us move in March. He's got two brothers, and he's even talking about putting his mom to work. Uncle Fuzzy is also good about summoning his troops for such events, and I just sent out an E-mail to pretty much everyone in my address book announcing our move and requesting help on moving day, so hopefully we can muster up a pretty good crew and knock out moving day quickly.

It is certainly easier to move when you are just moving across town, and when you have plenty of friends to help you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some Photos of Our Next Home

Here are a few photos I took of the house on Forest Avenue in Maryville that we will be moving to in March. This cool room is upstairs, and will be Jake and Joey's room, though we will probably put at least one office up there as well. It has a really skinny staircase, which will limit our furniture choices up there to some extent.
This is the kitchen. We'll paint the cabinets and take down that wallpaper.

This is the deck off the kitchen in the back of the house.
Here's the living room, which features a gas fireplace. Personally, I prefer wood fires, but I enjoyed the gas fireplaces at Mom's house in Blowing Rock. It will be especially nice to be able to turn on the fireplace on cold winter mornings. You can't have a fire on a workday morning if you're burning wood.

Forest Avenue House

Here's a photo of the front of the house on Forest Avenue. I met the inspector over there this afternoon, and that's his ladder from where he inspected the brand new thirty year roof.

Sarah's Tweety Bird Outfit

Sarah wore this Tweety Bird outfit for the first time the other day. It even has Tweety socks, and Sarah has really been enjoying showing off her cool socks recently. This shot also shows how tall she is getting.

The Inspector

I have juvenile court again this morning, but today there is only one case in one court in one building. At 1:00 p.m. I am to meet with an inspector at the Forest Avenue house that will soon be our home, and I'll probably pick up Sarah after that, since the house is about five minutes from her school. (Man, that's going to be nice!)

Sherry had to work late yesterday. Usually Wednesdays are her busiest days, because their deadlines fall on Wednesdays. She seemed to think that they put in enough work yesterday so that they wouldn't have to stay late today. I hope so.

Barbaro Euthanized

Barbaro, the horse that won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, was euthanized yesterday. The horse's ashes will be buried in Kentucky.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Afternoon Justice More Speedy

We got my juvenile court hearing done by 3:00, and I got into criminal court fifteen minutes later. I cooled my heels in the courtroom until it became apparent that my cases wouldn't be disposed of this afternoon because the district attorney had two preliminary hearings lined up. Fortunately, I jumped in before she got started, and we reset my cases so that I could get over to daycare to pick up Sarah. What a day!

One of my friends in the public defender's office was kind enough to bring me a copy of a criminal justice handbook I have been coveting this afternoon, so my appearances in criminal court weren't a complete exercise in futility for me today.

Murphy's Lawyering

When you're a lawyer, things are never as easy as you want them to be. I had two cases this morning in two different buildings. In criminal court, one of the court officers asked me if I would mind handling a second criminal case, and I said I would if it could be rolled to the afternoon docket, inasmuch as I had another case this morning in juvenile court.

I waited around criminal court until about 10:45 a.m., and then asked to roll both of my criminal court cases to the afternoon docket so I could get over to juvenile court. Judge Gallegos granted the motion, and I went to my car to drive over to juvenile court. When I checked my voice mail on my cellular phone, I had a message from juvenile court saying that the juvenile court case had been rolled to the afternoon docket as well. So, now I have three cases in two different buildings on the 1:30 docket.

At this point, I may have to take a break in the afternoon proceedings to go and pick up Sarah before daycare closes at 6:00 p.m.

The Rest of the Story

Well, the truth is that it takes more work to be a real life princess than just "Bippity bobbity boo." Ah, the burden of being beautiful.

The Princess

Can you believe that mice sewed this dress?

Estill Springs News

Laura and Leslie and I have been missing Grandmother and Granddaddy's cabin in Estill Springs, Tennessee, which we haven't visited in some months now. I looked at the Winchester Herald Chronicle website this morning, and read two stories about Estill Springs. One is about concern over the municipality's water supply due to the drought. I'd have to admit that the creek at the cabin has been pretty low.

The Estill Springs Police Department has acquired new radar equipment to enforce speeding laws, including one of those trailers that tells drivers how fast they are driving. I remember that Estill Springs began to acquire a reputation as a speed trap many years ago and that the mayor at one time threatened to resign because he would not preside over a speed trap town. People travel pretty fast on Rock Creek Road, on which the cabin sits, so I can see where the community would want to address the problem.

Busy Docket This Week

After last week's rare experience of having no court dates, I have court every morning for the rest of this week, including cases in two different buildings this morning. I spent most of the day yesterday working on income tax and issues surrounding the purchase of our new home. Unfortunately, I also discovered that an ethical issue will preclude me from representing a new client that just hired me, so I had to refund the retainer, which is not good news to hear when you just entered a contract to purchase real estate.

I had lunch scheduled with Brent Nolan, my friend from law school, today so we could handle some business in a case we're both involved in. He hit a bit of a snag yesterday in the case, so we're going to postpone until it is resolved. I had also wanted to talk to him about Sarah's dog bite injury, since he does more personal injury work than I do, but I guess we'll do that later as well. So far, Sarah has incurred more than $12,000.00 in medical bills, and she may still have to have another surgery.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Look at that Eye Shadow!

Here's a photo of Mom and Leslie and Laura getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday" to someone. We have been debating the time frames of some of these photographs, but this appears to be when L&L were about fifteen, which would be around 1980.

We're Moving

We received a counteroffer on the house in Maryville that we made an offer on yesterday, and we accepted the counteroffer this morning. It looks like we'll be moving the weekend of March 14, which is the date set for closing in the contract. From Mapquest it appears we'll live walking distance from Doug Catlett, who has a fire pit.

Baked Spaghetti

Sherry suggested we cook spaghetti after we returned from the real estate agent's office yesterday. I usually follow my former stepfather's spaghetti sauce recipe, but decided to wing it yesterday by using a jar of store bought sauce and spicing it up. We put oregano, basil, Praise Allah (We call it "Praise Wally" after Rocky Hill's own Wayne Duncan, who is famous for putting it on everything.), salt, pepper, onion powder, fresh garlic, celery and olives over browned ground chuck, after draining the beef.

The sauce turned out to be yummy, and Sherry pulled out the casserole dishes and layered pasta, sauce and cheese (Fontina and mozzarella) in them. It made for a nice meal (and a fragrant house) on a cold day.

New Job?

La is polishing up her resume to submit it to the Knoxville Metropolitan Planning Commission for a job that sounds right up her alley. She had just finished her master's degree about the time she got pregnant, and with Grace now a year old, it makes sense that Laura is starting to think about her career again, though I know it will be hard for Grace and for Laura to adjust to day care.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New House?

Sherry and I made an offer to buy a house in Maryville today. We'll see what happens next.

House Hunting and Mexican Vittles

Sherry and our recently selected realtor, Trish Johnson, went out yesterday morning to look at some eight houses. There were only two that were appealing, and I remembered driving by one of them when Sherry showed me its MLS photograph. We're going to go see the other one at 10:00 a.m. today.

Our Mexican feast was fun. Each household contributed some ingredients, so we had plenty to eat and enjoyed spending the afternoon with Mom and La and Stew and Les and Fraz. Grace is now scaling stairs, though she hasn't figured out how to descend yet. Sarah still goes back and forth between enjoying playing with Grace and being jealous of her. I suspect that the older Grace and Sarah both get, the less jealousy will be a problem.

As is her wont, Mom took Sarah home with her for an evening of down comforter and cartoons. Sarah usually trashes poor Mom's house pretty good after an overnighter, so I expect to find toys and artwork strewn all over Mom's house when I go to pick Sarah up this morning.

Even a Tuxedo Cat Can Have a Bad Week

This has not been a good week for Louie the tuxedo cat. First, he had his annual trip to the vet, which garnered him two shots, a thermometer and a pill and a half. Then he came home yesterday morning with a chunk torn out of his ear from a cat fight. Then, as I was preparing to go grocery shopping yesterday, I heard Sarah laughing hysterically in the upstairs bathroom. When I went upstairs and opened the bathroom door, Louie, soaking wet, rocketed out. A guilty-looking Sarah was standing there with a wet wad of toilet paper she'd been using to wet him down.

I have to say that Louie's tough. He's also a pretty good sport, because even with Sarah's repeated rough handling, he lets her pick him up and maul him.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Daddy-O

Sarah has recently started calling me "Daddy-O," which I called my dad. I think she picked it up from Sherry.

Goodbye to Walkers Supply Building

The old Walkers Supply building in Alcoa is being demolished today so that the site can be used for a CVS pharmacy store, which is a sad statement in itself. We went by there on the way home from a Midland Restaurant breakfast and joined a rather large group of our fellow citizens that were watching the demolition work from the parking lot of Big Lots, which is across the street. It is too bad there was no way for the building, which has been a landmark in the community for many years, to have been put to some use. I have nothing against CVS, but trading in a community landmark for a chain drug store seems a shame to me.

Teen Hijacker

I haven't been following the story about the teenage hijacker this week, but this morning I read that he is in custody at the Davidson County Juvenile Court Detention Facility in Nashville awaiting a detention/release hearing. Mainstream media is reporting that he planned to crash the airliner, September 11 style, into a Hannah Montana concert in Louisiana, but the plane ended up landing in Nashville, where they took the kid into custody. I bet the cameras will be all over the Nashville Juvenile Center on Monday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mexican Feast Tomorrow

Although we often dine at our favorite Mexican restaurants, we rarely have Mexican food at home. We've invited Mom, Les and Fraz, and La and Stew to come over tomorrow afternoon to help us throw together a Mexican feast. Fiesta!

Mom went on a spending spree today at T.J. Maxx, and apparently Sarah is getting ready to cash in on some new clothes and toys. Sherry is going out tomorrow with a local realtor to look at ten houses, so Saturday should be an interesting day.

Spiteful Architect

A Jacksonville, Florida, architect is facing criminal charges after deleting seven years worth of computer files containing architectural drawings at the employer she incorrectly thought was going to fire her. She saw an ad in the classified that she thought described her job, so she thought she was going to be fired. She went into the architectural firm where she worked, and deleted the files containing years worth of work produced by the firm.

The firm was able to hire computer geeks to recover the deleted files, but it's a good story to remind everyone how important it is to back up your files, no matter what you do for a living.

Help Me, Obi Wan Kenobi

Sarah loved the Star Wars Family Guy flick as much as I did, and has asked to see it several times this week. Yesterday, on the way to school, she kept repeating, "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope"

Camo on the Couch


This soldier brought some of his survival skills home after his tour of duty ended. He may never have to mow the lawn ever again.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Wrap Up

I spent the day reading court files and investigating a new case at the justice center. I got a couple of errands done on two other cases while I was over there as well, and then picked Sarah up afterI got finished. Four down, and one to go 'til the weekend.

Louie Update

Louie and I are back from the vet, and he's had all of his annual indignities. The only problem was tapeworm, and I just force fed him the pill and a half they sent me home with. He's put on 3 1/2 pounds since last year, weighing in today at 13 1/2 pounds.

Louie Recaptured, Boxed for Vet

I just nabbed the renegade Louie, and have crated him up to take him to the vet this morning. This has nothing to do with Sarah's incarceration of him last night, or with his subsequent escape. It's just time for his annual examination.

Slim Whitman Still Alive

Apparently someone started a rumor Sunday online that musician Slim Whitman had died. The mainstream media, including the Tennessean, picked up the story and ran it without checking its validity. There's an article in today's Tennessean online in which Mr. Whitman asserts he is still alive.

Long Haired Country Boy Makes Good

Charlie Daniels has been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He's got a pretty cool little museum in downtown Nashville that's worth seeing.

Kinzel House Burns Again

The Kinzel House one the outskirts of Townsend burned last night. The building, which housed a restaurant until it burned in the late 1990's, is a familiar landmark as one drives up Highway 321 from Maryville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Daily Times has a spectacular photograph of the fire. The building collapsed, so the Kinsel House is no more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Louie's Imprisonment

Warden Sarah has constructed quite the penitentiary for Louie the tuxedo cat this evening. At this point he is tired, and seemingly a willing prisoner. I suspect he will make his escape before I can prepare a writ of habeas corpus to liberate him through legal process.

UPDATE: Escape!

Ron Bolen Cooking Barbeque

Here is a photograph of my former stepfather, Ron Bolen, hard at work at one of his favorite hobbies, cooking barbeque. This was taken at Mom's house on Fourth Street Court NE in Hickory, and it depicts Ron as I remember him from when he first became a part of our family. (Well, the hat was mine.) We had a lot of fun with that big cooker in the background, and put on a couple of really mighty feasts back in those days.

It is interesting how one's mind freezes people in time. I am older now than Ron was in the photo.

Back to School

Although Blount County schools are closed again today due to icy conditions, Maryville and Alcoa schools are open. Sarah's school opens at 8:00 a.m., and I'm going to take her in this morning. She's been home for the MLK holiday Monday and because of the ice yesterday, and she misses her school so much she's been playing pretend school at home. Today is one of her gymnastics days, so she'll be enthusiastic about getting back to her friends and teachers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eula Rocks


Here is my maternal grandmother, Eula Isenhour, posing on her front porch.

One Cold Mountain


Here's the view of Cold Mountain from a Pisgah National Forest webcam. Brrr!

Crossword Puzzles

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but Sherry took up crossword puzzles while we were in Destin, Floriday, in November. She's still at it and has invested in a crossword dictionary. I've started clipping them out of the local paper for her, and I'll answer a few from time to time if she gets stuck. I enjoyed working them at the beach, but I haven't continued with it, except with Sherry.

Icy Rain in East Tennessee

We woke up this morning to find freezing rain falling at our house, and pretty much all over East Tennessee. Both of our cars are covered in ice, and there are wrecks all over Knoxville. The police are attending to so many accidents they are telling everyone to stay home because they can only respond to the most serious of the crashes. A lot of school systems are closing, and we're going to stay off of the roads until things warm up and settle down.

Redevelopment of Former Tennessee Supreme Court Site in Knoxville

The Knoxville News Sentinel has an interesting article this morning about proposed redevelopment of the building formerly occupied by the Tennessee Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals. The appellate courts have moved into what I know as the old downtown Post Office Building, and it is proposed to develop the old site as a hotel, condo, shopping center as a complement to the Knoxville Convention Center. I haven't been down there since the new convention center was built, so I'll be interested to see what is eventually done with that part of downtown Knoxville.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Playing Naptime

Sarah has decided she wants to play naptime. What a good idea for a game!

Star Trek XI

As long as I'm parading my geekiness, I just watched the trailer for Star Trek XI, which is on You Tube. Spock gets to say, "Space, the final frontier . . . ." I'm happy for him. The trailer is in theaters now in the previews for Cloverfield, which is a Big-Unseen-Monster-Attacks-New-York movie.

The flick is based on the early careers of the crew of the classic Star Trek television series, and I understand that Leonard Nimoy (Spock) appears in the flick, though obviously another actor will play the role of the young Spock. The film is expected to be released in December 2008.

Family Guy Star Wars Parody


Sherry bought the Family Guy Star Wars parody over the weekend, and I've watched it a couple of times now. I'm a Star Wars geek from way back, and have more recently been exposed to the Family Guy cartoon via the kids. Like a lot of cartoons, much of the humor is aimed over the heads of the children, and the show can be pretty crude. That having been said, I get a laugh out of the show, especially some of the arcane references to old television shows and movies. The Star Wars spoof was especially funny to me as a Star Wars geek, and I was really impressed with the artwork.

My only problem is that Sarah keeps repeating baby Stewie's joke in his role as Darth Vader. "Oh! I sithed my pants!" This will be difficult to explain to the ladies at her day care facility.

The Child Was Awake at 3:30 A.M.

Sarah came into our bedroom wide awake at 3:30 a.m. Sherry took her back into her room and dozed off. She woke up to find her playing in the bathroom, and put her back to bed again. Sarah came back into our room about 4:45 a.m., and I brought her downstairs, where she went back to sleep on the sofa.

Sarah's still asleep. I am observing the MLK holiday, though I may do some paperwork and/or bar association tasks. Sherry's got a very busy week. The Real Estate Book is working her thirty minutes later each day, and she also has Skirt! ads starting to come in. This is the first week in a while I've had with no court dates or meetings, so it will give me a good week to catch up on some office practice.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Restaurant Review: Green Hills Grille Knoxville

One of our favorite restaurants in Nashville is the Green Hills Grille, located in the ritzy Green Hills area of Nashville. Imagine our delight to find that they have opened a restaurant in Western Plaza, near Sequoia Hills in Knoxville. We met Mom, La, Les and Fraz for lunch there this afternoon, and we were not disappointed.

I had the Portabello mushroom meatloaf with mashed potatoes, so there's no way I was leaving unhappy. Sherry had a yummy salad that featured feta and blueberries. Mom had a crab cake sandwich, and Les had a crab cake eggs Benedict dish. I guess they were feeling crabby. Uncle Fuzzy had a light shrimp pasta platter that was very tasty, and La had a turkey sandwich. As we often do, we shared our meals, so everyone had a bite of everyone else's food. Accordingly, we will all have each other's illnesses this time next week, but such is life.

Sherry and I paid for our meals and a Hummus appetizer, and the bill was about $50.00, which included a 15% tip. We usually tip 20% or better, mainly because I knew so many people as I grew up that worked as servers in restaurants. I found our service today mediocre, hence the 15% tip. As in Nashville, Green Hills Grille is expensive, but a nice place for a meal.

The Brothers Ferrelli

Sherry recently brought home Jake and Joey's school photographs for this year, and I am just getting around to sharing them. Sherry and I keep repeating "They're getting so big!" about all three children.

Sam the Butcher Dies

Allan Melvin, the actor who played Sam the butcher on The Brady Bunch, died of cancer last Thursday in Los Angeles at the age of 84. He also played Archie Bunker's neighbor Barney in All in the Family, and he was the voice for Magilla Gorilla and Bluto. He also played several roles on the Andy Griffith Show.

The Dean Family

This is a recent photograph of my Cousin Julie, her husband David, and their two daughters, April and Megan.

More Cowboy Boots and Tasseled Loafers

When I was working in the Central Legal Office of the General Counsel of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services in Nashville, I was dispatched to Linden, Perry County, Tennessee, to attend a criminal trial.

I drove out to Linden, which you reach from Interstate 40 by taking a highway south along the beautiful Buffalo River valley, and Linden was tiny. The courthouse was very old, though quite nice, and I felt like I had stepped back in time. I talked to the lawyers involved in the case and explained why I was there, and what my position was. We felt like we lawyers could work things out, so I sat back to observe the proceedings.

When the trial commenced, I recognized the Circuit Court Judge who was presiding and noted as he walked in that he was wearing cowboy boots. In fact, as I looked around the room at the other men who were wearing suits, I saw that all of them were wearing cowboy boots. I reflected that in my tasseled loafers I probably looked the part of the big city Nashville lawyer I was sent to portray. I had appeared before Judge Hooper before in swanky Franklin, the seat of Williamson County just south of Nashville, and seen him in dress shoes. He just knew the dress code in Linden better than I did and wore boots like everybody else.

To tell the truth, I've never owned a pair of cowboy boots, except a pair Mom dressed me in when I was two. I'll stick to my loafers.

Judge Richard Dinkins

The investiture ceremony for Judge Richard Dinkins, who has been elevated from Davidson County Chancery Court to the Court of Appeals of Tennessee, has been scheduled for January 30, 2008, at 1:30 p.m., in the Old Supreme Courtroom in the State Capitol Building. If we still lived in Nashville, I would probably go, though I cannot claim to know Judge Dinkins all that well. I undertook the representation of a party to a real estate title dispute that was being litigated in his Chancery Court, and I found him to be most pleasant to appear before and very attentive and knowledgeable about what was going on in our case.

He recently declined an appointment to the Supreme Court of Tennessee, citing family obligations, and a dispute arose between Governor Bredesen and the Judicial Selection Commission over the candidates the Commission sent the Governor as his choices for the appointment. It's a complicated story that would bore most lawyers, but I suspect that Judge Dinkins was persuaded to apply for the seat on the Court of Appeals of Tennessee and to serve to avoid touching off another round of fussing. I believe he will be an excellent appellate judge.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Marv, Joan and the Albamontes

Here is a photo of Aunt Joan and Uncle Marv, seated, and David, Elena, George and Andrew, standing from left to right. This was taken at a family reunion at Mom's house in Hickory in the early 1980's. I would tease David and Andrew about their shorts, but I just saw a photo of myself in the overalls I was wearing for the event, so I'll hold my peace. (Well, I have to admit that I still wear overalls from time to time. They're good work clothes.)

Cowboy Boots, Tasseled Loafers and Diet Cheerwine


I think I just came up with the title of a bad country music song, though I'm not sure how to fit the Cheerwine into the story. It definitely hit the spot yesterday morning.

Chicken Noodle Soup

We just enjoyed a nice batch of chicken noodle soup, and we have some chicken left over for our favorite chicken salad recipe. I fear I diluted the broth more than I should have while stewing the yard trotter, but it was pretty good for a first try.

Mom Visits While Fuzzies Head for Campus

Mom dropped by this afternoon to get a dose of Sarah, and despite the smell of chicken cooking, she headed back to her place. Leslie and Fraz are heading to the university to see the Vols men's basketball team play, and then they plan to crash the indoor pool at Sunchase Apartments, where Les used to live when they met.

Restaurant Review: Sun Up Diner

Sherry and I both noticed an advertisement in the paper announcing that a new restaurant has opened in Maryville. We had breakfast this morning at the Sun Up Diner on West Broadway, and it reminded both of us of La Peep Restaurant in Nashville, although George "Goober" Lindsey, whom we've seen regularly at the Nashville La Peep, was nowhere to be found. Sun Up gravy and breakfast potatoes were very close to what La Peep serves, and they seem to be catering to the same clientele.

I had a traditional breakfast with eggs, sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy, and potatoes. I figured it would be a good baseline breakfast to see if I like the place. They also offer Eggs Benedict and a swiss cheese, asparagus and egg affair that looked interesting. The place also serves lunch, so I'll report later on their dinner fare. Sherry, Sarah and I had breakfast this morning there for about $30.00, which included a $5.00 (20%) tip, so it's not cheap. I won't abandon the good ol' Midland Restaurant for breakfast, but we enjoyed the Sun Up Diner, despite the tab.

Flight of the Pigeons

We've eaten at Los Amigos several times recently right at dusk and have noticed that pigeons begin congregating there as it gets dark. As night falls, they begin flying around in a circle over the bridge that crosses Pistol Creek, which adjoins the restaurant. We left last night before they started flying, but they were gathering on the street lights waiting for dark. My guess is that they are feeding on some insects that come out at dusk, but that is just speculation. I may stop into the UT Ag Extension office one day when I'm at the courthouse and ask them.

Nashville Headlines

The Tennessean has a couple of interesting Nashville news stories this morning. Pedro Garcia, the superintendent of Metro Nashville schools, in which Jake and Joey are enrolled at Bellevue Middle School, has asked the school board to relieve him of his duties. He is a candidate for a similar position in California, and he has had nothing but criticism, whether deserved or not, since he got to Nashville. I'm surprised he hasn't moved on before now.

Also, Nashville-based Gibson Guitars is merging with TC Group, a Danish audio equipment manufacturer. I own a Gibson Backpacker guitar that I really like, and sent resumes to the company a couple of times when they were looking for attorneys for their legal department, though I have a hard time seeing myself as a corporate lawyer, even for a guitar company.

La and Stew Back at Sunset Ridge

Laura and Stewart are chasing the snow again. They went up to Sunset Ridge, their cabin in Pigeon Forge, last night in home of getting snowed on today. They've invited us up, but I suspect we'll stay here at home if we really do get any snow in the valley. If there's snow in the mountains, but none down here, we may be tempted.

Fluoridation

The front page headline of yesterday's Maryville Daily Times announced that our local utility district will soon begin adding fluoride to our tap water. I was not aware it was not fluoridated, and I did not know that there was controversy over the issue. Apparently, you can't use fluoridated water to make baby formula, which caused some debate.

I'm pretty diligent with my dental hygiene, but not everyone is. Fluoride in the water is a simple step that will improve a lot of people's dental health.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rollers

These Boots Were Made For Walkin'

This is Sarah's sartorial choice from this morning. Sherry strictly instructed me to inform the folks at school that Sarah chose her own fashions this morning. Those boots will serve her well if we really get some snow, and Jake and Joey will get a kick out of their sister wearing their snakeskin boots.

Hickory Got Some Snow


Uncle Mack reports that they got snow on the other side of the mountains in Hickory, and here's a photo that shows it.

Midday Post

I got a call from the judge's secretary in juvenile court this morning, and they need for me to sit as substitute judge this afternoon because the judge is under the weather, so my day just got a bit longer. I'd better ride into town and administer justice.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout cookies go on sale today!

Busy Friday in Court

I have a hearing in a criminal case this morning, and a meeting and a hearing in juvenile court this afternoon, so it will be a busy Friday for me. My meeting is with a new prospective client for a juvenile court case, and hopefully it will result in some new business, which is always good. I've had quite a few promising referrals recently, including an agreed adoption, which is one of the few pleasant matters a lawyer gets to be involved in.

Sherry's Real Estate Book had its deadline yesterday, so today should be a light day for her. Sarah discovered a pair of her brother's cowboy boots and wants to wear them to school today.

UPDATE: Feeling special sporty, Sarah pulled her favorite dress, "party day," out of the closet and has put it on. So at present, the child has blue fingernails, a magenta dress and snakeskin cowboy boots on to go to school, and she just asked Sherry to put purple barrettes in her hair.

Now They're Just Being Mean

After predicting snow Wednesday night that never happened, the local weatherman on the NBC affiliate here is again calling for snow on Saturday. We've been talking about dining tomorrow at the Green Hills Grille, which is one of our favorite Nashville restaurants that has opened a store in Knoxville. There's a bowling alley nearby, and Les and I were going to try and get a group together to bowl before or after dinner. If it snows, I suspect it will kill off our plans, as most everyone will want to stay off the roads. I don't worry about my driving, since I drove in the snow frequently when Mom lived in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, which is in the mountains. It's the other maniacs out there that keep me home in the snow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cousin Julie and Grandpa Isenhour


This is a delightful photograph of Cousin Julie and our Grandpa Isenhour engaged in the mutual admiration that exists only between grandparents and grandchildren. Also, I used to love exploring the woods pictured in the background.

School Days


Here's a photograph I have never seen before of, from right to left, Mom, Mack and Eddie Haskell. Mom was a bookworm even back then. It has served her well.

Walter Zimmerman

Here are a couple of photographs of Walter Zimmerman, my first cousin once removed by marriage on my mother's side of the family, pictured here with Aunt Nancy. I recognize the wrought iron table behind them as our kitchen table, but I do not recognize the wallpaper. I speculate this was taken at our house in Asheville, which would have been when I was about five.

Walter was a pilot in the Pacific in World War II, and I remember him reminiscing about his days as a pilot in his skullcap, "Boys, I was dashing!" I bet he was. I worked for Walter and his wife Barbara, my mother's first cousin, at Style Craft Sample Company in Hickory, and I have many fond memories of those days. He's at the Veterans Administration home in Asheville now, and I really should make a trip up there to see him soon.

Uncle Mack


I posted some whimsical photos of my Uncle Mack with Billy Bob teeth a few days ago, and I can now post a couple of photos to show him out of disguise. I believe in this one he is standing in the carport of his home next door to Grandmother Isenhour's.

Iced Coffee?

I just went by the Foothills McDonald's in Maryville, and the clerk asked me if I wanted a free cup of iced coffee. I declined. Iced coffee at a McDonald's in Maryville? Come, now.

Londontown

This is a photograph of (from left to right) my former stepfather Ron, Mom and Uncle Mack taken at Londontown Apartments in West Knoxville, where Leslie and Laura and I lived in our college days. We had a lot of fun in those apartments, which became the social hub where all our friends hung out, especially in the summer, since we had a pool.

Hats!

Check out Aunt Nancy and Granmother Isenhour in their Sunday hats next to Uncle Mack's shiny Grand Prix.

Uncle Chick and Michael Somavilla


This is a photograph of my Uncle Chick and Cousin Michael Somavilla, and it looks like it was taken in front of Grandmother Isenhour's house in Hickory, North Carolina.

No Show Snow

It is 37 degrees this morning at our house, and there's no snow to be seen, though we're getting a good rain.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Audiobook Review: The Education of Henry Adams

I just finished The Education of Henry Adams, the autobiography of the grandson of President John Quincy Adams and great grandson of President John Adams, and I must admit I'm happy to be done with it. I was enthusiastic about the audiobook when I checked it out from the library, because I've found Henry Adams referred to and quoted many books I've read in the past, but I was disappointed for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I am not a great student of the late 1800's, and so I lacked background that would have made the book more approachable. Secondly, Adams wrote in the third person, referring to himself as "Henry Adams" or "Adams" throughout the book, which I found distracting, though over the course of the 21 hour audiobook, I got used to it. I think the problem was more my lack of background knowledge about the people and events with which Adams interacted than his use of the third person, however.

My next audiobook is about Abraham Lincoln, which I hope will be more entertaining to me.

Snow Business

The weather folks were calling for a good possibility of snow tonight, so I cleared my docket for tomorrow in hopes of finding a good layer of snow on the ground in the morning. The story I read to Sarah's class this morning was about snow, so I'm doing my part to put the right karma in the air. In Maryville the road crews are already spraying brine on the roads, so the highway department is taking the forecast seriously. Hopefully, we can build Sarah a snowman tomorrow.

UPDATE: The latest forecasts sound like we'll get more rain than snow here in the valley of the Tennessee River. The mountains are more likely to get some real snow.

Cousin Julie and Grandmother Isenhour


This photograph is a classic, taken in Grandmother's kitchen, I believe. I always thought Julie had it made growing up next door to her grandmother. They clearly had a special bond. Julie reminds me a bit of Sarah in this picture.

Early Voting Begins Today in Tennessee

Early voting begins today in Tennessee, and I usually take advantage of it in order to avoid the lines on election day. The Election Commission will have workers at the Blount County Courthouse Saturday for early voting, so I think Sherry and I will exercise our franchise when we're out running our Saturday morning errands this weekend.

Reading Week at Sarah's School

Sarah's day care is celebrating the joy of reading this week, and I have agreed to visit the school at 10:00 a.m. today to read to some of the students. I guess I'll wait and take Sarah to school when I go, which will make for a short day for her. They had a reading event last Saturday, which would have been good to take her to, but I completely forgot about it.

Restaurant Review: Dubb's Restaurant

I moved to Blount County in 1993, but have never dined at one of it's oldest country cooking (Nashvillians would say "meat and three.") restaurants, Dubb's. I was in the neighborhood yesterday at lunchtime, and stopped in and ordered their daily special, which was Salisbury steak, which was really tasty. For sides, I had mashed potatoes and fried okra, and a couple of pieces of their homemade bread. The okra was a bit chewy, and fried okra should not be chewy. Otherwise, the meal was good and so was the service. The bill was $7.15, and I left a $3.00 tip, since they did such a good job of filling my iced tea.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cool Photos of Mom


I'm still going through the pile of photos in my E-mail in box, and I just opened these two photos of Mom. I can see Sarah in her features, especially in the one below.

Canadian Christmas

Here's a note from Laura about her Christmas with Stewart's family in Canada. The photos are from his sister, Sonia.

Here’s a couple photos from Christmas—Sonia sent these, I’ll have more from my camera later. The one of Stew and Grace is from Christmas dinner. One of their traditions is opening Crackers—it’s an English thing---they look like huge pieces of candy and you pull them apart—they pop like a small fire cracker and then there’s a paper crown inside, which you MUST wear and a small gift (like you get in a Cracker Jack box) and a really bad joke, like you get in a bubble gum wrapper. Anyway, they are lots of fun. They other photo is when they went snow shoeing. I wanted to go SO BAD, but it was much too cold for Gracie that day and I thought it more important for Stew to be with his sisters rather than me. So, me and Gracie stayed home and drank wine with Lorna around the fire.


Monday, January 14, 2008

And You'll Find Me Back At It Again

Tomorrow is another busy day, and I have hearings in two courts. Luckily, both are at the Blount County Justice Center. I had a late afternoon meeting there today, but is convenient to Sarah's school, so I caught her at the end of her gymnastics class. She and I got home about fifteen or twenty minutes before Sherry got home, and we're all relaxing before tomorrow's duties.

Back to Work on Monday

I have a criminal case in general sessions court this morning, in fact, I have a lot of court appearances this week. This is also a busy week for Sherry because one of their big books is due Wednesday. She got home before 2:00 p.m. yesterday, and Sarah and I were both glad to have her home. We didn't do much yesterday afternoon but loaf around the house, so now it's time to put our noses back to the grindstone.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Uncle Mack

Here are two photographs of my mother's brother, my Uncle Mack, who dwells in Hickory, North Carolina. The photograph above used to frighten me when I was a boy, and I don't remember the one below, though it is hilarious. Let me assure readers who have never met Mack that these are gag photos, and that he is quite a handsome man. I still have a bunch of photos Uncle Mack sent Mom that I haven't viewed. Hopefully I'll find a picture of him that more accurately reflects what he really looks like. I couldn't resist posting these, though.

Sisterly Chat

Here are Mom and Joan deep in conversation. I'm not sure, but I think that's Aunt Nancy looking through her purse.

Aunt Joan

Here is a very pretty picture of Aunt Joan. It looks like it was taken through a window.

Sleeping Boong

Sarah went to bed last night at 8:00 p.m., and she's still asleep upstairs, which is twelve hours now. She was up past 10:00 p.m. with Mom Friday night, but she got up by 7:00 p.m. She'll be fully charged and rarin' to go when she gets up.

Gone Dancing

Here are a couple of cute photographs of Sarah playing with Grace over at Mom's last weekend.

Sherry's Visit to Nashville

Sherry spent the weekend in Nashville, and it sounds like she and Joey and Jake hit all their favorite stores. She bought herself a pair of tennis shoes, which she really needed. She went walking last week and came home with blisters from her worn out shoes.

She also went to her Nashville hair stylist yesterday, though she promises she did nothing dramatic to her hair. She said she hopes to be home around lunchtime today, so I'll probably take Sarah out and go grocery shopping so that task will be accomplished.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Party Photos


Here are some photos from yesterday's festivities. Sarah and Grace played well together, and Sarah has discovered it is fun to make a baby laugh, so she hammed it up.

Update on Leah Byrd

I talked to Biff this morning, and Leah and he are back home from the hospital. She had to have about three inches of bone cut out of her arm, so her injury was very serious. They were on their way to a basketball game, though, so she's at least able to get out and about already. He said she was already talking about starting to decrease her pain medication, which shows both gumption and wisdom on her part.

Birthday Party

Laura and Stewart had a combination birthday party for Grace and Andrew last night over at Stately Graham Manor. They had Buddy's Barbeque, which is always good for a party, and polar bear shaped birthday cake, since Grace's nursery has a polar bear theme. Jane and Angelyn attended, and I haven't seen either of them for quite a while. Angelyn's cousin Doug, with whom I graduated from high school, also came over, and it was nice catching up with everyone.

Sarah and I camped out at Mom's last night, since Mom and Sarah try to have a sleepover at Mom's on the weekends. We got up this morning and ate breakfast at the Papermill Drive Waffle House, and then we went back over to La's for a visit before Sarah and I came on back home.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy First Birthday, Grace!

Today is my neice Grace's first birthday. Laura sent me an E-mail in which she recalls her feelings of last year this time, which I've copied below.

Feeling nostalgic tonight...can't believe it was a year ago!
I remember feeling unusually calm and
content and very much looking forward to the morning. It felt like Christmas
Eve and it was hard to sleep for all the excitement and anticipation of the
next day! We got up at 5:00 am and headed for the hospital not really sure
what was going to transpire.

Aunt Nancy and Grandmother Isenhour


Mom and Uncle Mack are sending photographs back and forth like mad, and I have a bunch in my mailbox that I haven't even looked at. Here are Aunt Nancy, in red, and Grandmother Isenhour in front of Grandmother's house. I have the sudden urge to sit in the sand and play with a spoon and coffee jar.

Leah Byrd Injured in Skating Accident

I called Biff earlier in the week to talk about camping this weekend, and found that he was at St. Mary's Hospital, where Leah had surgery to repair her shattered elbow. She took her son, Alex, ice skating, and she took a really bad fall. When I talked to Biff, she was still coming out of anesthesia. I'll have to call him for an update. I hope she's okay.

Friday Plans

Laura and Stewart are having a birthday party this evening at their place for Andrew and Grace. Sherry is heading to Nashville after work to go see Jake and Joey and Grams, so I suspect that Sarah and I will go to Mom's after the shindig and camp out over there tonight. Les and I talked about some of us going out to eat after the birthday event, so we'll see what everyone wants to do.

I really haven't decided what to do Saturday, other than grocery shopping and the typical weekend errands. I had thought about trying to get a group together to go out and camp at Mighty Oak, but decided against it since we are all fighting off respiratory infections at our house.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Abraham Lincoln

Sarah was looking through a catalog today and saw Abraham Lincoln. From the back seat I heard, "Look, Dad! It's Abraham Lincoln!" I didn't look, because I was driving, but I was proud of her for recognizing him. (I have a Lincoln White House Christmas ornament, so she's recently had a lesson on Lincoln from me.) It is amazing what a four year old child takes in.

Sarah Enjoying the Warm Weather

After I brought Sarah home from school yesterday, she ran the gamut of her outdoor activities here at the house. We drew with sidewalk chalk. She rode her tricycle and tried to ride her bike. She used her swing set. We kicked the ball around the yard. We annoyed the neighbor's dog.

We've had three days of really nice warm weather here in East Tennessee, though we had a good rain last night. I'm glad we got outside to enjoy it.

Buying a House?

While I was in the First Tennessee Bank building in downtown Maryville yesterday, I stopped by the mortgage loans department, which is just down the hall from Crawford, Crawford and Newton, where I used to work. Our lease expires on our Lively Road townhouse apartment at the end of March, and Sherry and I would both dearly love to move out of here and into a house with a mortgage when our lease expires if we can afford to do so. I need to talk to the bankers to see if it is feasible, and the poor housing market is good for buyers right now. Sherry has found a couple of houses on the market right now that are appealing, so there are definitely homes available in the area in Maryville where we want to live that are within our price ranges.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bar Meeting

Today was the first meeting of 2008 for the Blount County Bar Association, and it was my first meeting as its President. The meeting went well, and everyone seemed to enjoy the program, which was a thirty minute videorecording of senior attorneys talking about their careers. Afterward, Duncan took me back to the office to help me on one of my probate cases. Norman was working in the library. It was just like old times.

Oxycontin

Oxycontin is a powerful pain reliever, and it has become a popular drug to abuse. It's sometimes called "hillbilly heroin" because it is so popular in the Appalachian Mountains, and really wrecks a lot of people's lives. I saw an article in our local newspaper this morning about someone was arrested trying to buy 250 Oxycontin pills for $7,000.00, which is $28.00 per pill. No wonder they have to steal to fund their habits.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Schmoozing at the Library

We went to the library this evening to schmooze at an event that brought out many of my friends from the Blount County legal community. I was happy to see everyone, and I enjoyed introducing Sherry and Sarah around. Sarah was happy to see lots of cookies on the refreshment table. There was also a chocolate fountain, which was a nice touch, but a four year old with a chocolate covered marshmallow on the end of an eight inch wooden skewer is not a good thing in a room full of people in business suits and dresses.

Jake and Joey Go Back to School

Joey and Jake's winter vacation ended with their return to school this morning. They've been out since before Christmas, so they had a nice, long break. Back to the books! At least they have a short week.

Mr. Goldfish Goes to the Office

Our neighbor gave us a goldfish a couple of months ago, and he's been hanging out on a table near the kitchen window. I noticed it was pretty cold there and moved him to the kitchen counter temporarily until we could figure out where to put him. Sherry decided to make an office fish out of him, and hauled him to work this morning. I think she'll enjoy having him to greet her at her desk when she comes to work in the mornings.

Restaurant Review: Nater'z Sports Bar and Grill

On my way back from the post office today I stopped to have lunch at Nater'z Sports Bar and Grill in the Foothills area of Maryville. I've passed by several times and have been meaning to investigate the establishment. I dined on their signature sandwich, the steak sub, which is grilled steak, onions and green peppers served with Provolone cheese on a hoagie roll. It was a good sandwich, and they brewed fresh iced tea for me, which I appreciated.

Make no mistake, this place is more bar than grill, and not a place you'd meet a business acquaintance or take the wife and kids, though it looks like a great place to watch a game and drink beer with the guys. Also, they are a 21 and up establishment, so they allow smoking inside, and no doubt there's quite a fog in there when it cranks up. I give it a thumbs up for the sandwich and tea this afternoon.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Harvey and Eula Isenhour

This is a photograph of my maternal grandparents as I remember them. Grandmother was still healthy, but Grandpa was suffering the effects of emphysema, from which he eventually died. This was taken on the front porch of their home in Hickory, North Carolina. The photographer's back is to the driveway, with a row of hickory trees parallel to and on the driveway.

Harvey Isenhour

This is a wonderful photograph of my maternal grandfather, Harvey Isenhour. I know very little about him from personal experience, as he was in poor health at the time my memory of him begins. From Mom's stories, he was quite a dude.

In this photo I see a confident, relaxed and happy man, perhaps at the top of his game. I have seen relatively few photographs of him, at least compared to those of my Granddaddy Ogle, so it is nice to see this image of Grandpa Isenhour with a smile on his face enjoying his bountiful life.