Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Here is more than you ever wanted to know about the Batmobile, a Lincoln, believe it or not.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cool Kid Cakes

Courtesy of Cake Wrecks

Hey, Hey, Gardner McKay

Jimmy Buffett's song "We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us About" contains the following lyric:

Hey hey, Gardner McKay
Take us on the leaky Tiki with you
Clear skies bound for shanghai
Sailing 'cross the ocean blue

I only recently learned that Gardner McKay played a character named Troy, master of a schooner called the Tiki, on a television series called Adventures in Paradise, which aired from 1959 to 1962. Since I was born in 1963, I seem to have missed the series, even in syndication.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Food Idioms

Believe it or not, there is a recently published book called I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears that collects idioms from different cultures. The name of the book is a translation from Russian and is the equivalent of "I'm not just whistling 'Dixie'."

Apparently there is an idiom in Iran, "You can't hold two watermelons in one hand," meaning one can't do two things at one time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Off to the Beach!

We'll be in the car much of the day today, but when we reach the end of our journey we'll be at the Gulf of Mexico. Look out beach, here we come!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hello Vacation!

I just got home from work and am officially on vacation. My colleagues at work brought in breakfast this morning, which included Richy Kreme donuts, for my last day in the DA's office. We had a busy morning in court, but I had enough time this afternoon to clear out and clean up my office and move my things downstairs to the Clerk and Master's office. I'll miss my friends in the DA's office and the criminal courts, but am looking forward to the challenges of my new job.

I have nine days of vacation between now and July 6, when I assume my new duties, and I am looking forward to spending those days in the sun in Florida with my family. Sherry and the boys have granted me authorization to wake them up at O-Steve-Thirty tomorrow morning, and my goal is to pack tonight and pull out of the driveway by 5:00 a.m. Hopefully Mom, Laura, Grace, Leslie and Frazier will get on the road early as well.


I once camped on an island on Fontana Lake near the Tsali Recreational Area, and I remember having to climb up the steep, muddy hill of the island because the river was down for the season. The road up there from Maryville is very curvy. I had my canoe tied on top of my car, and the curves have the effect of making the nose of the canoe go back and forth across your field of vision. It was the only time I have almost had motion sickness in an automobile since I was a child.

The island camping was very cool. My friend Sike and I went up there on a Friday after work, and got there after dark. We met our friend Rock, who was already up there. He had a john boat with a trolling motor, so we loaded up my canoe as a pack mule and rode in Rock's boat to the island, where steaks and taters awaited us.

I knew the Tsali Recreational Area was named for a Cherokee, but only recently learned more about him at this website, produced by the Tellico Plains Mountain Press. According to their account, Tsali and his family, who lived near the Little Tennessee River, were taken into custody by federal troops under the command of Winfield Scott in May 1838 as part of the government's policy of forcibly removing the Cherokee to the West. As Tsali and his group were being escorted to a stockade, a melee ensued, and at least one federal soldier was dead as the Cherokee escaped. Most of the group, including Tsali, were captured and executed by firing squad.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Munsters Koach

Amazon's Car Lust blog has an interesting article on the Munsters Koach, pictured above. According to the article, Fred Gwynne, who played Herman, once took the entire cast on a joyride in costume through Hollywood. George Barris, who made the Munsters Koach, also made the Batmobile and the Beverly Hillbillies' truck.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Steve's New Wheels

Well, it's a 2004 Honda Accord, but it's new to us. I just drove it home from work. I think it will serve us nicely.

Sarah Learns to Snap Her Fingers

Sarah has learned how to snap her fingers. She is delighted by this accomplishment.

Oregon to Knoxville Motorcycle Ride

I took a look at Michael Silence's blog this morning, and was interested to learn that a group of fourteen motorcycle riders are en route from Portland, Oregon, to Knoxville, Tennessee, riding "555" bikes. They must have been built in 1975 or before, have engine displacement under 500cc and cost less than $500.00 to make roadworthy. Here's a link to the group's website. They are due to arrive on July 4.


We're counting down the days until we hit the road to Florida, and this week is moving fast. Sherry and I are going to carpool today, and she will drive my new car, a white 2004 Honda Accord, home this evening after work. (We are buying it from one of her coworkers and her husband.) Sherry is heading to Cookeville to meet Mark and pick up Jake and Joey after work, so they'll have a couple of days of hanging out here before we pack 'em back into the car for the beach trip.

Saint Jean Baptiste Day

French Canadians celebrate Saint John Baptiste Day today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jury Duty Scam

My Aunt Joan sent my mom an e-mail warning of a jury duty scam. Do not give confidential information, like your social security number, and certainly not a credit card number, to someone on the phone claiming you missed your jury duty. A jury clerk will already have any information they need.

Hank Jr. and Gloria Estefan at Parthenon Tonight

According to the Tennesseean, Hank Williams, Jr., Gloria Estefan and about 250 extras began filming the opening for this fall's Monday Night Football yesterday. More filming will occur this evening, with about 500 extras, at the Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park.

In other Nashville pro football news, Steve McNair, the Titans' former quarterback, still much beloved by Titans fans, has opened a restaurant, Gridiron 9, on Jefferson Street.

Daisy Girl Scout Recues Drowning Toddler

I look at the Destin Log newspaper website on a fairly regular basis, and the frequency with which I do so increases as I get closer to heading down there for vacation. Somehow I missed this story about a girl scout who rescued a drowning toddler. The website's main page also has a photo of a huge barracuda a lady from Illinois caught down there.

Provence, France

I have never been to Provence, in the southern part of France. When Mom took Laura and Leslie and me to Europe we only visited Paris, though Leslie really wanted to visit southern France. We ended up going north, to Brussels, Belgium, instead.

Kiss my Spatula, which I just discovered last weekend, has more on Provence. I'm not sure which is prettier, the scenery or the food.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Aroma Cafe Cuban Restaurant

A few miles down East Broadway Avenue from us is Aroma Cafe, a Cuban restaurant I've been meaning to try. Our local bar association's young lawyers division met there last week, and I found this restaurant review on my friend Rob Huddleston's blog.

Sarah's Photos

We gave Sarah the digital camera Sunday, and she wandered around the house and yard taking pictures with it. Here are a few of her photos.

Look at my shoes!

Sunrise Over Two Parthenons

The photo above is of Nashville's replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, pictured below. For more nice Nashville pics, click here. For more about the Athens photo, click here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

Since Father's Day is the day set aside to honor our fathers, here is a photograph of mine, Phillip Ellis Ogle, as a young man. Most people called him Phil. My sisters and I, of course, just called him Dad.

Dad grew up in Winchester, in Middle Tennessee, and he took his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee and his master's degree at Georgia Tech. He was an urban planner, and worked for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in Knoxville for many years. At the time of his death in 1993, he was working for a civilian contracting firm at Arnold Engineering and Development Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee. My sister, Laura, followed in his footsteps as a planner.

Lawnmower Cupcakes

This is about as close to a lawnmower as I'm likely to get. I discovered these lawnmower cupcakes, being featured for Father's Day, on the Kiss My Spatula recipe blog.

Hog Heaven

According to a report in today's Daily Times over 500 wild pigs have been removed from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mostly from the North Carolina side. People around here typically refer to the animals as wild boar, and I've come across them in the mountains a couple of times. According to the story,

The Park's hog population traces back to the early 1920s, when a herd of European wild hogs escaped from a game reserve in Graham County, N.C. By the 1940s, the wild hogs had spread into other counties as well as the Smokies.

Summer Solstice

Today is the summer solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Big Ol' Fish

According to the Destin Log, fishing is good down there. A 66-pound wahoo and 17-pound red snapper were brought to the docks within a couple of hours of each other. The authorities have determined to shorten the red snapper season this year by about three weeks.

The Destin File

Lawyers make files about everything, and so I, of course, have files even for vacation. I pulled out my Destin file last night so I could add a recipe to make next week. The file has my maps and directions as well, and it serves as a repository of documents during our trips to the gulf coast.


Check out the Foghat website. I'm a fool for the city.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beach Fever

Our beach vacation is almost upon us, and we're all looking forward to heading down to Florida's gulf coast for a week in the sun. We'll probably start assembling our beach gear this weekend, and we're already starting to think about cooking for the week. We'll have our feet in the sand before we know it.

Car Checks Out

The Accord got a thumb's up from Ogle's Auto Center, so we're going to go ahead with the purchase. I'll probably know today when we'll complete the transaction.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This ice halo effect, which looks like a triple sunset, is caused by light reflected off of ice crystals in the atmosphere. They are sometimes referred to as sundogs. Similarly, there are moondogs.

Test Drive

I took a test drive yesterday morning in a white 2004 Honda Accord. It doesn't have a flamethrower, but it does have a decent stereo and a sunroof. Our mechanic is going to check out the automobile today, and if he gives it the green light we'll probably buy it.

Datsun B-210

One of my sisters' first cars (being twins they had to share one) was a yellow Datsun, which they referred to lovingly as "The Lemon." I'm not sure whether it was the Datsun B-210, pictured here, but this car certainly looks a lot like The Lemon. I borrowed the car from them and did them the immense favor of running it out of oil, thus killing the poor Lemon. This garnered my sisters a brand new Nissan Sentra, which was a big step up for them at the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peregrin Falcons Return to Tennessee

I just saw a Heartland Series episode about peregrin falcons nesting in the Smokies this season. It is the first sighting of the species in Tennessee since the 1940's in West Tennessee at Reelfoot Lake. DDT completely wiped them out in the eastern United States, but they are apparently making a comeback, at least let us hope.

Bellevue Middle School Gets New Principal

The Nashville City Paper reports this morning that Jake and Joey will have a new principal at Bellevue Middle School next year when school starts. Kellie Hargis is moving from the school district's central office to assume the helm at Bellevue Middle. Twenty-one Metro Nashville schools will begin the school year next fall with new principals.

Harvey Logan

My former law school professor Don Paine has studied Harvey Logan of the Wild Bunch, which included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and my knowledge of Logan comes from Professor Paine. The Knoxify blog, however, has an interesting post about Logan's experience in Knoxville in 1901.

In the Paul Newman/Robert Redford movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Harvey Logan is played by actor Ted Cassidy (Lurch from the Adams Family), and loses a fight with Butch early in the movie by taking a boot to the groin. Here's a link to the fight for readers feeling particularly sadistic today.

Camping Pics

Here are the only two photos from our trip to Harrison Bay State Park near Chattanooga to meet Johnny and his daughter Natalie. I took these two shots shortly before they arrived. Sarah had fun feeding the ducks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Drive-In Movie on Watts Bar Lake

The owner of a boating store in Kingston, Tennessee, is providing a drive-in movie once a month on a makeshift screen he sets up on an island on Watts Bar Lake, which is about thirty minutes or so from here. Being an old river rat from my days on Louisville Lake, I think it is a cool idea.

There's an island just off of the end of the dock at the store at Louisville Landing Marina that could be used in the same way. I used to love weekends on the lake, and it would have been pretty cool to grab a burger at the marina restaurant and kick back in the boat to watch a flick.

I hope the guy in Kingston has secured the appropriate licenses from the owners of the movies he's running.

Pig Bus

As I continue to contemplate purchasing a new car, I keep finding interesting vehicles like this pig bus. The gas mileage would be terrible, and Sherry wouldn't let me park it in the driveway. This thing is actually a mobile restaurant in Seattle, Washington, that serves pulled pork sandwiches.

The Eh Team

I may have to buy this T-shirt for my Canadian brother-in-law, Stewart.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pac Man

Cool! I also found Pac Man. I played a couple of games. You've got to be quick on those arrow keys, or the ghosties will get you!

Space Invaders

I found one of my favorite arcade games, Asteroids, online several months ago. I just found Space Invaders, though I didn't care enough for it to finish a game. Sarah might enjoy it, though.

Wish Burger

I forgot to buy eggs yesterday, so on my way to the grocery store to pick up a dozen I stopped at the Sonic Drive-In on East Broadway and ordered a cheeseburger for lunch. When I opened the sandwich, however, I discovered it was missing two very important ingredients, the cheese and the meat. I felt like I'd been served a Wish Burger. As the Blues Brothers song, "Rubber Biscuit" goes, you have two pieces of bread and you wish you had some meat. Bow, bow, bow!
I started to ask the server, "Where's the beef?" Instead, I just opened the door and showed them the empty bun, and they promptly brought me another one, this time with meat and cheese.

Bucharest, Romania

So I'm on a bit of a webcam tour this morning. This is Bucharest, Romania. It looks like a pretty day in Europe, and according to the webcam site it is 79 degrees Fahrenheit in Bucharest. I wonder if they let kids play in the fountains.

A friend of mine grew up in a village in Romania about fifteen miles from Bran Castle, where Vlad Tepes resided. We know Vlad "the Impaler" Tepes as Dracula.

View from the Hotel Victoria Jungfrau in Interlaken, Switzerland

I wondered what the weather is like in Interlaken, Switzerland, today, and I found this webcam from the Hotel Victoria Jungfrau in Interlaken.

Springsteen in Murfreesboro -- Alexander and KSO in Cades Cove

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester last night. Here's a review.

Senator Lamar Alexander and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra played Cades Cove last night as part of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Senator Alexander was reprising his performance of 25 years ago when he was governor for the park's 50th anniversary.

Visit to the Sunsphere

I grew up in Knoxville, and I attended the 1982 World's Fair. The lines to go up into the Sunsphere were incredibly long when I visited the fair, so I had never been in the Sunsphere until earlier this month when I took the kids. You can see the Tennessee River in the background behind Sarah below. The Sunsphere is not a wigshop.

Dogs Gone

The neighbors in the house directly behind us got two black Lab puppies several months ago. Since it was a Lab that tried to bite Sarah's eye out two years ago this August, I did not see this as a positive development. As puppies are wont to do, these two grew larger, causing the neighbors to lose what interest they had in them when they got them. The fenced in lot behind us basically became a dog lot that was neither mowed nor maintained, and the dogs made a loud racket and a commotion any time we came anywhere near our back yard.

Last weekend, to our amazement, we saw someone mowing the lawn behind us. Then we noticed the dogs were gone. It appears the people who owned the dogs were renters, and that they have moved on. Joy!

Abrams Creek

These are photographs from our camping trip up at Abrams Creek campground on June 1. It was a beautiful, warm day, and we all had fun playing in the creek. Sarah is pictured above. Below, from left to right, are Jake, Joey and their friend Graham, who is their age, just very tall.


I post this gratuitous photograph of our cats, Molly on the left and Emma on the right, in case Sherry checks the blog at her mom's house this morning. I know she misses her kitties, and this will make her hurry home.