Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reception for Judge Headrick

Sherry, Sarah and I just got home after attending a reception for Judge Robert Headrick, our newest Blount County General Sessions Judge. It was a nicely catered affair, and we saw many friends from the Blount County legal community. Since the event was at the library, we went half an hour early so that Sarah could enjoy the children's wing of the library before we went into the reception.

When we arrived at our house after the reception, a friend of Sarah's who recently moved a couple of blocks down the street was at her old house two doors down with her mother, so the two girls, and the little boy from next door, are having a big time in the back yard. Since Sarah ate about seven huge chocolate covered strawberries, and quite a bit of cheese, it will be good for her to run some of her energy off.

Becoming a Prosecutor

This is my third week in my new job as a prosecuting attorney in our local District Attorney's office, and I am quite happy in my new job. Sunday morning I woke up at Look Rock campground before dawn and got a fire going. I sat in my camp chair gazing at the fire in the dark and let my mind wander, as I often do in the early morning. I found myself musing about sentencing statutes and thought that if I'm sitting in the woods thinking about sentencing criminals, I must really like my new job.

Wily Child

Sarah accompanied me to the Walgreens not too long ago and tried to convince me to buy her a plastic castle she saw on the toy aisle. I told her that we'd get it for her for her birthday or for Christmas and asked her preference with regard to color, with every intention of buying it for her since it was a cheap, cool toy.

Sarah accompanied Sherry to Walgreens on Sunday. Guess what she came home with.

Asian Salisbury Steak

I like to browse recipe websites, and I recently found another good one, Eatingwell.com. It has a recipe for Asian Salisbury Steak that sounds pretty appealing. I'll have to try my hand at this one.

Amusement for Tuesday Morning

A friend sent me this game several months ago and told me it is an exercise for Air Force pilots in training. I don't know if that is accurate, but it is pretty challenging. One thing that continues to amaze me about humans is that we create this wonderful computer technology that performs all sorts of amazing feats, and we use it to play.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sore Old Man

I like a fire when I go camping, and I hauled a few logs out of the forest on our outing this past weekend. I am one sore old man.

Date Nut Bread a Hit at the Office

I took a loaf of the date nut bread to work this morning, and it was a hit. There was only about a third of it left when I left for lunch.

Photos from Biff and Leah's House

Here are a few photographs from the UT v. Florida gathering at Biff and Leah's house the weekend before last.

Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheddar Burgers

My arteries are clogging up just looking at these Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheddar Burgers. Check it out. They acutally sell these in New York City.

Titans 4 and 0


The Tennessee Titans defeated the Minnesota Vikings 30-17, and the Titans are now 4 and 0 for the first time in their 49 year history. This is in contrast to the Tennessee Volunteers, who are now 0 and 3 after losing their first three games. Titans football doesn't get much attention here in East Tennessee, nor does Volunteer football get much attention in Nashville, though I think more people watch the Vols in Nashville than people watch the Titans in Knoxville.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Date Nut Bread

Mom just arrived, and she brought a bunch of dates with her. She suggested we bake some Date Nut Bread, and I was thinking about baking something today anyway, so I found this recipe. I guess I'll give it a whirl.

Crock of Chili

Sherry's got us a big, ol' vat of chili cooking in the crock pot in the kitchen. Mom and Les and Fraz are coming out to see us this afternoon, but I wasn't able to reach La at her place. It is always nice to enjoy the comforts of home after a camping trip.

Tee Pee

We just got back from our campout at Look Rock campground, and we practically had the place to ourselves. The trip started out inauspiciously when we realized our #%*##$ cats had urinated on my Coleman family condo tent. It aired out enough during the day yesterday so that it didn't stink us out last night, and we had some rain, which helped to wash it off. I just hosed it down in the driveway, and I'm going to stow it and all the other camping gear in an area in the basement where the cats can't get to it.

Les and Fraz came up for the day, and we listened to Tennessee's third loss of the season against Auburn. All and all, it was a very good camping event, despite a bit of rain.

Songstress

video
I hope she comes out of her shell.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sherry's New Job

Sherry starts a new job at Blount Memorial Hospital on Monday. The hospital is right across the street from the Blount County Justice Center, where I work, and both are about five minutes from our house. It is a good job to get her foot in the door, and BMH is known as a wonderful employer.

Sunspot

NASA's website recently posted this photograph of a new sunspot, which appeared on the surface of our star last week. Maybe that's what is interfering with our satellite television signal.

Camping Weather

I just looked at the satellite image on Weather.com, and the weather system that brought us rain overnight is well on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains. There is still a possibility for a few showers this afternoon and evening, but it isn't enough to keep us out of the woods. I'm gong to head downstairs shortly and start loading the car. Look Rock campground here we come!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sushi in the Smokies?

Sherry and I had lunch together at Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant in Maryville today, and I had a delightful red curry dish with rice and pork. Sherry got a couple of sushi rolls, and my city girl wife is threatening to have sushi for lunch in the Smokies tomorrow on our camping trip. I know people who would think that is really, really wrong.

Lemon Grass rocks, though.

Feta Fight

I just learned that there is a feta cheese dispute brewing on the other side of the Atlantic. That's too baaaaaaaaaaaad.

Room With a View

This is interesting. I want a room with a window.

I Spy -- The Hubble Space Telescope

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. . . .

Knoxville Greekfest 2008


We had a good time at last year's Greekfest in Knoxville, and it is that time of year again. I have a very good friend, Thanos, who was born in Greece, and Knoxville has always had a prominent Greek community. I especially loved the food I had at Greekfest last year. I meant to try some Greek recipes, but haven't.

Pesky Weather

I'm still hoping to take my womenfolk into the mountains for a camping trip this weekend, though we may have to head up there tomorrow because of the weather. The local meteorologists are calling for a 50% chance of rain today, with the chances decreasing through Saturday. I don't mind a bit of rain on a camping trip. I just don't want a wash out that keeps us in the tent all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Mean Dodge

Like many of my friends, I am an Oldsmobile man when it comes to muscle cars, but since I posted the 1970's purple Dodge Challenger earlier this week, I figured I'd post this newer model Dodge Charger.

Ike Photos

Check out these impressive Boston Globe photographs of the aftermath of Hurricane Ike

Whoa, Bartlette!


Today is my friend Bart's birthday. I'm 45, and we graduated from high school together, so he's at least halfway to ninety. Happy birthday, old man! (And thanks to Jane for reminding me to post Bart's birthday for all to see.)

Here, Lizard, Lizard

A caiman, a creature that looks a lot like an alligator, was caught in the Little Pigeon River this week, a couple of days after a teenager spotted it while fishing. It has been turned over to Rainforest Adventures in Sevierville, where it will be introduced into an exhibit with others of its species. I had not heard of Rainforest Adventures before this. I'm sure they appreciate the free advertising.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Look Rock Tower

There is a rain system moving into East Tennessee Friday, and it may quench our campout at Look Rock campground this weekend, though I hope it passes through and leaves us with a nice Saturday. The photo above shows Look Rock tower. The photo below was taken from the webcam atop Look Rock tower minutes ago, and you can see the tower's shadow in the lower left corner of the photo. I love the Smokies. The mountains make me a child again every time I go there.



Our Star


Here is Sol, our friendly neighborhood life-giving star, looking robust and yellow in the vastness of space. Click here for autumnal star party information.

Razor Sharp Fangs


I saw this photo on the Blue Ridge Blog, and it made me grin. You can always find wonderful photographs there, though they are usually beautiful pictures of the mountains of western North Carolina.

Snidely Whiplash

I had almost forgotten Snidely Whiplash, one of the villains in the old Dudley Do-Right cartoons. "Curses, foiled again!"

Sarah and a Dandy Lion

Sherry took this photo of Sarah a couple of weekends ago at the Dandy Lions gift shop in Maryville when we dropped by after perusing the Maryville Farmers' Market. The gift shop is in the building that used to house the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Cool September Nights

We've been sleeping with our bedroom windows open for the past few nights, and the cool night air has been very pleasant. I like it a little on the cool side at night, and the breeze and outdoor night sounds make for a nice night's sleep. It also gets me in the mood for camping!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cruisin' With Grams

Sarah loved her ride in Grams' convertible.

Uranus

Here's a link to a website that will tell you everything you wanted to know about Uranus but were afraid to ask. The humorously named planet at the outer reaches of the solar system is about as near to the Earth right now as it gets.

The Ant and the Aardvark


An aardvark strikes me as funny right off the bat, and I remember the cartoon, The Ant and the Aardvark, from when I was a kid. I haven't thought about the cartoon in years, but came across it on the TV Acres website, a good resource for television related inquiries.

Yearbook Yourself

Last weekend, Leah showed us Yearbookyourself.com. Check it out. It will make you grin.

Spaghetti Cupcakes

Here's another cool cake idea from the Al Dente blog.

Chilhowee Lake Levels Visibly Lower

Chilhowee Lake is being lowered so that engineers can perform repairs to the dam. Here is a link to some photographs showing how low the lake levels are. If the weather allows us to go forward with our camping plans this weekend, we'll drive down to the lake to have a look in person.

Empty In-Box

In a clear sign that my private practice is winding down, both of my in-boxes in my home office are empty. That is a rare sight indeed.

Grandpa Isenhour's Boyhood Home

These are some photographs of the home in which my maternal grandfather, Harvey Isenhour, grew up. Pictured above are my Aunt Nancy, my cousin Julie and her husband, David. Uncle Mack, Mom's brother, who sent me the photos, is pictured in the lower two photographs.











Monday, September 22, 2008

Mellow Kitty

I wish Molly would learn how to relax.

Purple Challenger

I ran across this purple Dodge Challenger on the Amazon Car Lust blog. I probably wouldn't choose purple, but this is a nice old automobile.

Saturn

I like this image of Saturn. It is very colorful and pretty.

Student Loan Repayment Law

There is a bill that has passed the U.S. Congress that provides for payment of student loans for state prosecutors and public defenders. There is a similar program already in effect for federal prosecutors and public defenders. If President Bush signs the new bill into law, the program will pay $10,000.00 in student loan payments per year with a $60,000.00 cap per person. That would pay off my student loans, which is another very nice benefit of my new job, should it come to pass.

Titans Beat Texans

The Tennessee Titans beat the Houston Texans yesterday by a score of 31-12, so Joey and Jake got to see a winning game yesterday in Nashville. I bet they had a blast!

Friends of the Smokies Repairing Backcountry Shelters

There's a nice story in this morning's Knoxville News Sentinel about the Friends of the Smokies, who are helping to repair backcountry shelters in the park. These shelters are for hikers to stay in overnight on backcountry hikes. I've never slept in one, but I remember a hike in the snow many years ago when we were very happy to come upon one with a cheery fire blazing in its fireplace. One of the hikers in our group had worn tennis shoes, and they were soaking wet. She might have really been in trouble without that fire to dry out her shoes.

Mission to the Hubble Telescope

The space shuttle Atlantis is on the launch pad being readied to launch to the Hubble Space Telescope so the crew can perform maintenance and repairs on the telescope. The shuttle Endeavor is also on a launch pad, so it can be launched in the unlikely event a rescue of the Atlantis crew should become necessary.

Jon and Carolyn Zimmerman's Kids

My second cousin, Jon Zimmerman, who lives in Hickory, North Carolina, sent me these shots of his children. The oldest four are his wife Carolyn's children from her previous marriage, and the youngest, Charlotte, is their child together. Charlotte has grown a lot since I last saw a picture of her.




Autumnal Equinox

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. After today, the nights grow longer, and the days grow shorter. The temperature this morning is about 59 degrees, which feels pretty autumnal. I'm hoping we have some cool, clear weather this weekend so we can go camping up at Look Rock campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ferrelli Men Going to Titans Game

Mark is taking Jake and Joey to see the Tennessee Titans play the Texans today. It is a nice day in Nashville, and it should be a fun Ferrelli men Sunday activity. In further news from Casa Ferrelli, Joey has asked to take guitar lessons. I'm all for it, although I'd probably want to see how well he sticks with it before investing in a guitar for him.

Sunday at the Justice Center

Sherry, Sarah and I just got back from the justice center, where one of the jailers was kind enough to allow us access to the building so that we could hang my diplomas, law license and other items on the walls of my office. I am now officially moved in, and my office looks and feels like my space.

Kids in Photo Finals

As I reported earlier, Sherry entered this photo of the children jumping into the pool on vacation in a photograph contest sponsored by the Tennessean. They are photograph 21 at this link. The other photographs at the link are pretty cool, too.

More Disney on Ice

Here are a couple more photos from Disney on Ice.


Biff and Leah's Party a Success

Despite the Vols' humiliation, the shindig at Biff and Leah's house was quite a fun gathering. Sarah and Grace were the only children at the event, but that didn't cramp their style any. As I suspected, both girls enjoyed running around in the back yard, and us old folks broke out the Frisbees for some afternoon exercise. As usual, the food was excellent, and we came home with half a cheesy potato casserole and a pile of pig meat.

Gators Chomp Vols

The Vols lost to the Florida Gators yesterday 30-6. By the fourth quarter, the crowd at Neyland Stadium had thinned considerably. When the Gators had us by 17-0 in the first quarter, we knew it wasn't going to be pretty.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Disney on Ice

Here are a few of the many photographs Sherry took in Nashville when she and Sarah went to the Disney on Ice program at the Sommet Center. I suspect Sarah was in princess heaven.


The big finale


Our princess

Football at Biff and Leah's Place

Biff and Leah are having a gathering at their place for today's Tennessee versus Florida football game, and Sherry just put together one of our famous cheesy potato casseroles for the event. Biff is firing up his grill to cook wings and ribs, so we should have some good food to enjoy. They have a big backyard, so Sarah will have plenty of room to run and to play. It should be a fun outing.

Guarding the Pennants at Neyland Stadium

When I was a Boy Scout, our Troop 56 got to watch UT home football games for free at Neyland Stadium. A scout was stationed beneath each of the Southeastern Conference pennants at the top of the south end of Neyland Stadium to prevent them from being stolen by inebriated fans. I remember that on one occasion, a man approached me and offered me ten or twenty dollars if I would look the other way while he stole a flag. I was about fourteen or fifteen, and I looked at the guy earnestly and said, "I'm a Boy Scout" and furrowed my young brow. He persisted, and I pointed to an usher and told him if he didn't leave I would go get the usher and have him removed. He then left.

There was a greater price to be paid for free admission to football games, however. We had to come back on Sunday to help clean up the stadium, and I particularly remember the gross cups full of tobacco spittle we had to throw away. Yuck.

After cleaning up, we usually got to go down onto Shields-Watkins Field to play football, and we all considered it a cool treat to be able to play on the field the Vols had played on just the day before. We could almost always find a Coca-Cola tap that was still hooked up, so we enjoyed free soft drinks. I also remember making paper airplanes and sailing them from the top of the stadium. We competed to see whose plane went the furthest.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Underwater

Sarah has been into the Little Mermaid movies recently, so I thought I post this pretty underwater image.

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Today is annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys! Hoist the Jolly Roger, and say arrrrrgghh!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Eagles Play Nashville

The Eagles played a concert at Nashville's Sommet Center last night, and the Tennessean gave them a decent review in today's online edition. I wasn't aware that Joe Walsh is playing with them again. I would have loved to have seen that show.

Robodog With Firepower

I just watched the video clip at the link I posted earlier. Check it out. Can you imagine Robodog with a machine gun? It looks like it would also be an effective walking bomb.

View of the Mountains

I have just concluded my third day in my new job, and find myself very happy in my new position. I have been bringing in items to personalize my office, which always makes one feel more at home. I think I may use my lunch hour tomorrow to hang my diplomas. A very nice perk that I did not expect was a view of the Great Smoky Mountains from my office window. I really like that.

Robodog


Check out the Robodog, a mechanical beast of burden for the armed services. Arf!

Asiago Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Here's a dip recipe from Betty Crocker that sounds pretty tasty. I almost always like sun-dried tomatoes when I encounter them, usually on gourmet pizza. I may have to try to make this dip the next time we entertain.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wild Boar

There is an interesting article in today's Daily Times about the wild boar population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I've only encountered the creatures once in the park, and that was on Gregory's Bald. We didn't see them, but the snort we heard sounded like it came from a huge animal. I have seen a group of boar outside the park along Highway 129, which is known by motorcycle riders as "The Dragon," but it was from the safety of my car.

Spicy Cheese Balls

I'm always hip to find a new appetizer recipe, and this one for spicy cheese balls sounds like a crowd pleaser.

Constitution Day


On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. I became interested in Constitutional Law in undergraduate school during the bicentennial anniversary of the signing of the document, and I began carrying a copy of the Constitution that Dr. John Scheb gave me because Dr. Scheb taught us that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black always carried a copy.
I carried the Constitution Dr. Scheb gave me for many years, until it became worn out, but I still carry a copy in my suit jacket each day. To me the Constitution, with its Amendments, represents freedom of thought and the instinctive American belief in the value, intelligence and worth of everyday citizens.

James Madison's Home Restored

Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, has been recently undergoing renovation. There is a celebration there today in honor of Constitution Day, and United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be on hand for the festivities.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lego Cake

Here's another very cool cake idea from the Al Dente blog at Amazon.com.

They're Home

I am solo no more!

My Womenfolk Are Almost Home!

Sherry and Sarah left for Nashville on Saturday, and they are on the road about thirty minutes from home. I am so glad! I'm tired of occupying this big ol' house with nobody but a couple of kitties to keep me company.

Winchester Traffic


"It's as busy as any major thoroughfare in any major city in the United States," my Granddaddy Ogle used to say about Dinah Shore Boulevard in Winchester, Tennessee. Apparently the city has had problems recently with people driving too aggressively around the town square, and the Winchester Police Department is working to put a stop to it.

I'm With Winston on This One

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

--Winston Churchill

Sea Beast

Umm, let's not go to the beach today. I found this, along with a bunch of other creepy stuff, on this website, which features evil clowns. I hate evil clowns.

Bellevue Library to be Moved to Mall

The Tennessean reports this morning that the Bellevue branch library in Nashville is going to be moved into the nearly abandoned Bellevue Center Mall. The idea is that the library will lure shoppers to the mall, but it seems like an idea that is better for the few merchants remaining in the mall than it is for the library and its patrons.

Purple Haze


A massive cluster of galaxies located about 2.3 billion light years away, Abell 1689, shows signs of merging activity. For more, click here.

PIcs from La

Here is a trio of photos from Laura. In this one, La, Grace and Sarah check out the view from the top bunk at the cabin.



Gracie-Go-Round


Sarah, Natalie, Teddy and Grace play in the kiddie pool on our deck.



Steve's New Job

I was sworn in yesterday as Assistant District Attorney for the Fifth Judicial District of Tennessee, which consists of Blount County, where we live. Here's a link to the article about it in our local newspaper.

Not everyone, however, is pleased. I'm already being attacked in one local blog as a good ol' boy.

Oh well, it goes with the territory.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Word for the Day: Phalanx

For more than you could possibly want to know about this word, click here.

Cool Kid Cars

Check out these cool kiddie cars.