Monday, November 30, 2009

Cold Autumn Rain

It is a cold, rainy autumn day today in East Tennessee, though the clouds are supposed to clear off overnight tonight. Poor Molly, our younger calico cat, was out in the rain all night last night. When I let her in this morning, she was soaking wet. After eating breakfast, she headed upstairs, which is the warmest room in the house, where she has is still napping.

Turkey Sandwich

I just had the obligatory post-Thanksgiving dinner turkey sandwich for lunch, and it hit the spot. We ended up with the lion's share of Mom's leftover turkey after our feast in Middle Tennessee on the promise that we would later make turkey tetrazzini to share with everyone, so we'll have to put aside and freeze enough turkey to make the tetrazzini.


Interstellar dust clouds and glowing nebulae abound in the fertile constellation of Orion. From NASA.


We often take our hermit crabs out of their cage on the weekend and let them out into the kitchen sink or a big aluminum pan so they can crawl around in about a half inch of water. When Sherry was getting ready to let them out yesterday, she discovered that the larger crab is out of its shell. I suspect that it is molting.

Five Points Restaurant Reopens

Five Points Restaurant, which is just down the hill from our house, closed several months ago after twelve years. It reopened a few weeks ago as Tweed's Five Point Restaurant, and they served a pretty good breakfast when we ate there.

Onion Pie

I found a recipe for Golden Onion Pie at My lovely wife, not being a fan of onions, would have nothing to do with such a thing; however, it sounds delicious to me, especially if you find the right meal to serve it with. Anything with bacon, butter, sour cream and sauteed onions in it can't be all bad.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Restaurant Review: Hometown Diner in Manchester, Tennessee

Sherry, Sarah and I stopped at the Hometown Diner at 1306 Hillsboro Boulevard in Manchester for breakfast yesterday. The service was excellent, and we had our breakfast within minutes of ordering it for about $15.00 plus a $3.00 tip. Sherry and I each ordered a sausage and cheese omelet, and Sarah ate one of my biscuits and some of Sherry's home fries and toast. The manager even suggested a contractor for us to call to take a look at the hole in the cabin's roof, and although they did not take credit cards, they took a personal check, which I prefer anyway.

Velvet Thunder Buried in Nashville

Nashville buried a man named Elringo De'Angelino yesterday. He was known downtown by his stage name, Velvet Thunder, and he was a fixture with his guitar in front of the Spaghetti Factory restaurant on Second Avenue where he played for tips for years.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Off the Road

We're home after our trip to Middle Tennessee and much food and fun. The rental cabin at Tim's Ford State Park had a spectacular view of the reservoir, and we all spent the night there Thursday night. Fran, Kinsey, Kelly and Howard joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, and we had fun visiting and catching up with everyone.

We spent Saturday at our family cabin in Estill Springs, and La and I stayed out there last night while Mom and Sherry took Sarah and Grace back over to the park cabin. It got pretty chilly last night, but we had a roaring blaze in the fireplace and three space heaters that kept the place warm. On a distressing note, there is a hole in the roof of the cabin you can see daylight through, and that is a problem that will need an immediate solution, perhaps a very costly solution.

Lucky Break Wishbone

I love it when someone comes up with a clever idea to bring to market. I just discovered the Lucky Break Wishbone company, which makes plastic wishbones so the kids don't have to fight over the one in the bird.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed a day of prayer and thanksgiving for Thursday, November 26, 1789.

Thanksgiving History

The History Channel has information on the first Thanksgiving celebrations celebrated by the pilgrims in the New World. It quotes Edward Winslow describing the proceedings

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Ben and the Bird

Benjamin Franklin famously compared the turkey to the eagle for the national symbol in a letter to his daughter. For more check out this website about the Great Seal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sauerkraut for Thanksgiving?

My father was a fiend for sauerkraut, but he liked his served with bratwurst or some similar sausage. I never cared for it, though I tolerate it on a Reuben sandwich since it is part of what makes the sandwich what it is. I usually ask them to go light on the kraut, though.

I was recently browsing the Coconut and Lime blog, and discovered this interesting kraut and pork dish to be served for Thanksgiving. According to C&L, sauerkraut for Thanksgiving is a tradition in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, because of the German-American heritage of the city.

Sarah's Field Trip

Sarah enjoyed her class field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend this week. They did a cooking demostration of some sort, and the children helped. As I was buckling her into Sherry's car this morning, the child was lobbying us to take her back up there. I've been wanting to visit the center for months, so I suspect we'll make that trip eventually.


On this day of thanks and feasting, contemplate the turkey, upon which many of us are feasting today. To hear recordings of wild turkey calls, check out the National Wild Turkey Federation website.

The Center Formerly Known as Sommet

The Nashville Predators National Hockey League team is suing the Sommet Group alleging that Sommet breached the contract by which it has naming rights on the downtown Nashville facility in which the Predators play. The same thing happened several years ago when the Adelphia name was removed from the Tennessee Titans stadium. The Titans stadium is right next door to the Juvenile Center in Nashville, and I snapped a few photographs on my way to court one morning of crews removing "Adelphia" from the stadium.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

New York City is geared up for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will divert from Broadway for the first time since part of that thoroughfare is closed to vehicle traffic.

Thanksgiving Preparation

Mom arrived here at our place yesterday afternoon armed with a fully cooked eighteen pound turkey. We refrained from cutting into it and made a pizza for supper. Sherry also made her cranberry congealed salad and a pecan pie, which somehow also survived last night unscathed. She talked to one or both of the boys yesterday afternoon, and they had already reached their destination down in Florida. I talked to Laura, who was already at the rental cabin at Tim's Ford State Park and relaxing after her drive. I suspect we'll hit the road within the next hour or so, and Leslie and Frazier will depart Knoxville around midday after Thanksgiving dinner with his kinfolk.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Plinkin' This Time

Because Grandmother and Granddaddy's cabin is in a rural area, I planned to take my 22 caliber bolt action rifles out there for some target practice. I have two. One, affectionately named Vernon, I bought years ago. Since I've had Vernon for longer, I'm a better shot with it. Granddaddy gave me the other one, which he had for years, and it is also a nice little rifle. I thought about buying trigger locks for them, and finally did. My problem is that I now have no idea where the keys are. Rats!

Hillside Heaven

The old, red cabin on that hill may not look like much, and Grandmother herself always warned, "It's cruuuuuuuuude." My sisters and I dearly love the old place, and my heart swells every time I hear the sound of Taylor Creek, the creak of the front door opening and the musty smell of our cabin when we arrive there. I look forward to a couple of quiet days with family in the woods in Estill Springs.

Cabins and Kinfolk

We're going to pack the car tonight and drive tomorrow to what I used to refer to as Grandmotherland, which is Winchester and Estill Springs in Middle Tennessee. Laura and Grace are driving to Tims Ford State Park, where Laura has a cabin rented, today. Mom is cooking our Thanksgiving turkey today, and then coming to spend the night at our house so that we can get an early start to get there. I'm not sure if Les and Fraz are driving there today or tomorrow morning. The park is on Tims Ford Reservoir, pictured above, from the linked park website.

We're fortunate to be able to share our Thanksgiving holiday with some kinfolk we don't get to see as often as we'd like. My father's first cousins, Fran and Jimmy, live in Murfreesboro. Fran and her kids, Kinsey and Kelly, and Kelly's husband, Howard, are joining us for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at Tims Ford. We're hoping that on Friday Jimmy and his wife Debbie will be able to come out to visit our family cabin, which Dad and Jim and Fran played at when they were kids. There are generations of love in that place.

Joey and Jake Departing for Destin

Jake and Joey are spending the Thanksgiving weekend with their dad and his girlfriend down at her stepmom's place in Sandestin this year. We're going to miss them, but are happy they have the opportunity to have another beach trip to close out 2009. It is supposed to be 70 degrees down there today. There are showers forecast for this morning, but then it is supposed to clear up and be sunny tomorrow. I'm betting the boys will swim in 70 degree weather.

Grandmother Ogle and Thanksgiving

My Grandmother Ogle died on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2004, so today is the fifth anniversary of her death. In my memories of the Thanksgiving celebrations of my life, my grandparents' home in Winchester, Tennessee, and especially Grandmother's kitchen and dining room, figure prominently. We are celebrating this year by enjoying Thanksgiving at Grandmother and Granddaddy's cabin in Estill Springs. Laura has also reserved a cabin at nearby Tim's Ford State Park. Laura took the photo, which is the fireplace at our family cabin. I imagine it will have a similar blaze in it tonight.
Grandmother's typical Thanksgiving meal featured turkey and ham, and her cornbread dressing was a family favorite that we still make. She almost always made a congealed salad or two, usually a cranberry and/or orange salad. We referred to the latter as "orange jiggle salad." She almost always made cheese peas, which is basically Velveeta melted over peas, sometimes with other ingredients like onion, pimientos and/or boiled egg, depending on what she had in the kitchen that needed to be used up. She usually served a variety of vegetables, with green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and Lima beans being among them.
Grandmother loved store-bought bread, especially dinner rolls, and she pushed them hard because she didn't want to wind up with them not being eaten and going stale. She always said, "Butter you up two, while they're hot!"
I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and though I will eat sweets occasionally, I would usually rather have another round of the main course than a dessert. With that caveat out of the way, I can't tell you how wonderful it would be to have a piece of Grandmother's pecan pie again. Pecan pie was my favorite, but for holidays she'd also have coconut cake and apricot nectar cake.
I just gained ten pounds thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jake and Joey Eligible for Magnet Schools

Joey and Jake just learned that they are eligible to attend one of Metro Nashville's magnet schools. Sherry is excited about he idea that they might be lucky enough to attend the beautiful Hume-Fogg school downtown, from which her grandmother graduated, though the slots are assigned by lottery.

Chevy Nova

This is a Chevrolet Nova as they were built from 1968-1974, from the Car Lust blog. A friend of mine, Yankee Dave, in high school had one of these, and he made the mistake of loaning it to another friend, Jack. When Jack picked it up he locked up the brakes and stood on the accelerator in Dave's mom's driveway, and the smoke from the Nova's tires completely engulfed Dave's mother's house. I bet it smelled like burnt rubber in there for months.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Field Trip

Sarah's class is taking a field trip today to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center up in Townsend. She gets excited just about riding on a bus, so this should be a fun day for her.

Light Show

This is an image of an ornery star from NASA's Astonomy Picture of the Day website, which explains what is happening there.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sarah has the Disney cartoon movie Ratatouille, and I've been curious about what exactly the dish is. I found a recipe for it on the Nosh and Tell blog, and the author's description of it makes it sound wonderful. It's all vegetables, so it can't be bad for you.

Birthdays Party

Because Leslie, Laura and Sarah's November 18th birthday fell on Wednesday this year, we had their triple birthday celebration yesterday afternoon at our house. The festivities began with Sarah's gymnastics party at Foothills Gymnastics, which is about five minutes from our house. She had a big turnout from her kindergarten class. Laura brought Grace, and Donna, who hosted trick or treating on Halloween, brought her daughter Lauren. Also, our next door neighbor, Eli, came with his mom. Sarah came home with quite a load of presents, and she had a great time playing with all her friends.

After the gym party, we drove back over to our house, where we were joined by Mom, Leslie and Fuzzy and Jane (oh my!), and Stewart. For an appetizer we served the aforementioned crescent cheese puffs, and for supper we had Whitt's Barbecue, a Nashville favorite that recently opened in Alcoa. Their basic pulled pork sandwich is served with mayo, slaw and pickles, so I made my sandwich that way at home. Usually I have barbecue smothered in spicy red barbecue sauce and with slaw, Buddy's being my favorite, but I have to say that the mayo and slaw sandwich was a nice change.

Crescent Cheese Puffs

I found an appetizer recipe in the Blount Today this week and tried it out yesterday afternoon on our house guests. All the ingredients are good, so I figured the finished product would be, too. Judging from how quickly they were devoured when we took them out of the oven, I'd say they were a success.

2 cans crescent rolls
1 block Monterrey Jack or mozzarella cheese
(We used the Jack.)
Italian salad dressing
bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

You cut the cheese into small cubes and wrap them up in the crescent roll dough. Dip them in the Italian dressing, then the bread crumbs and then the Parm. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, and you have Crescent Cheese Puffs.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perry the Platypus

Sarah watched a couple of episodes of the cartoon Phineas and Ferb today. Each show features Phineas and Ferb's sister trying to get them in trouble with their mother for whatever mess they are making in that particular episode. Like the sister in Farris Bueller's Day Off, however, she never succeeds. My favorite character is Perry the Platypus, pictured above, whose battles with the evil Heinz Doofenshmirtz always remove all evidence of whatever the boys have been up to that their sister is trying to get them in trouble for.

The Noble Pig

I just happened upon a foodie blog I haven't seen before. It is called The Noble Pig, and it features both recipes and photography.

Friday, November 20, 2009


"There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!" Underdog was a favorite cartoon of mine when I was a boy, and we checked out an Underdog video at the library for Sarah to watch. I watched part of it with her, and it was awful! Needless to say, the child loved it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crazy Daisies

We took Sarah out to dinner for her birthday this evening, and she chose Sullivan's Fine Food for their wonderful bread. Sherry and I split a meatloaf entree, and Sarah had mac and cheese and broccoli. Afterward, we went to her Daisy Scout Investiture Ceremony, which, as one might expect with kindergartners, was organized chaos. Having successfully learned the Daisy Scout oath, Sarah now has her Daisy pin!

"This defendant should never be released."

Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood sentenced Anthony Todd Ghormley to 105 years in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections in Blount County Circuit Court today. Judge Blackwood stated, "This defendant should never be released." Ghormley is the man involved in the hostage standoff down the street from where we used to live when we first moved back to Blount County. I agree with Judge Blackwood.

Birch Forest

Shoring up the Dam

I've had to make a couple of trips across to Loudon, Tennessee, during the past couple of weeks, and to get there from Maryville one crosses the Fort Loudon Dam. The Daily Times reports this morning that one lane of Highway 321, which is the road that goes across the dam, will be closed at night for a couple of weeks beginning this Sunday so that the Tennessee Valley Authority can raise the elevation of the dam to enhance flood protection.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Word of the Day -- Luthier

A person who makes stringed instruments, even if they are made of illegal Madagascar rosewood, is a luthier.

I recently took my acoustic guitar out of its case for the first time in many months, and I've enjoyed playing a few songs over the past several days. It has been so long since I've played at all that the callouses on my fingertips are all but gone, which means I can't really play much for any length of time without experiencing some serious fingertip pain.

Hairdo and Daisy Scouts

Sherry is taking Sarah to the beauty parlor to have her hair cut this evening in advance of Sarah's investiture ceremony for Daisy Scouts tomorrow evening. The kid woke up in a rather surly mood this morning, especially considering it's her birthday. Hopefully she'll be in a more cheerful mood after she gets home from school today.

Happy Birthday, Gals!

Sarah is six years old today, and her Aunties Leslie and Laura also celebrate their birthday today. Happy birthday to all three!

Feds Investigate Gibson Guitar Operation in Nashville

The Nashville Post reports that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services officers raided a Gibson guitar facility in Nashville yesterday looking for contraband rosewood from Madagascar. The trees are endangered, but the wood is prized by guitar makers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Panda Cam

Sarah's kindergarten class studied pandas recently, and her teacher provided us with a link to the Panda Cam at the San Diego Zoo. One of the zoo's panda's recently had a baby, and Sarah enjoys checking in on them. The image is from the website of the National Zoo in Washington, DC, which has much more panda information. The National Zoo also has a Panda Cam.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunrise in Denver

The sun is rising on another Monday morning. This image, courtesy of NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, shows an October sun rising over Denver International Airport. You can see an airplane taking off at about two o'clock from the sun.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

I never met a meatloaf I didn't like, and I found a recipe for cheeseburger meatloaf on Yum!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Update on the Kids

Jake weathered the removal of three baby teeth on Friday well. He was up well before dawn Saturday morning to go deer hunting with his dad. I expected the lad to be out of commission for at least a few days because of my experience with having my wisdom teeth removed. I'm glad he has it over with and is none the worse for the wear and tear.

Sarah is still running a low grade temperature of 100.2, so I continue to dose her with kids' Ibuprofen, which keeps it down nicely. She's been getting a lot of rest, and I hope she'll be able to go to school in the morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medical and Weekend Update

As of about an hour ago Sarah was still running a temperature of 100.2, but she seems to feel fine after having had about twelve hours of sleep overnight. Sherry called yesterday afternoon to report that she was bringing Jake over to Grams' house in Nashville to recuperate after having three teeth removed yesterday. From what I understand, he had adult teeth coming in under three teeth that weren't ready to come out on their own yet. I remember having four wisdom teeth removed when I was about nineteen, and it was a pretty miserable experience. Poor Jake!

When I talked to Johnny yesterday, he was planning to come up to the mountains with Natalie to stay at Laura and Stew's Sunset Ridge Cabin in Pigeon Forge since we had to cancel our father-daughter camping trip. I'll let him know that Sarah still has a slight fever and let him decide whether he wants us to come up or not.

Meanwhile, Laura is meeting her and Leslie's friend, Dana, whom they've known since high school, up at Cozy Creek Cabin today. Leslie and Frazier are also hoping to go up there for at least a day visit, so Sevier County will have one or two extra Ogles up in the mountains today.

UPDATE: Johnny and Karen wisely decided not to expose Natalie to Sarah, and Johnny decided to scrub his mountain trip given the circumstances. It is 10:21 a.m., and Sarah is still clearly slowed down by the virus, though she's playing on Sherry's computer at the moment. I'm just going to keep Sarah quiet and at home today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feeling Better

Sherry gave Sarah some children's Ibruprofen, and the child is feeling better for the moment. Her temperature is down (100.6 at 5:30 p.m.), and we're going to try and get her to eat something for supper.

Camping Weather

Sherry is traveling to Nashville tomorrow to be with Jake as he recuperates after having teeth pulled. Sarah and I are going to meet Johnny and his daughter, Natalie, who is about a year younger than Sarah, for a father-daughter camping trip to Harrison Bay State Park. We are expecting sunny weather in the 70's during the day and down to 40 at night, which to me is perfect fall camping weather. We just confirmed the trip this morning after checking the weather, so I'm going to have to spend some time this evening loading camping gear in my automobile.

UPDATE: I got home from work today to learn Sarah has a temperature of 101.9, so we're going to have to scrub the camping trip. Rats!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Check out the trilobite-mobile, courtesy of Art Car Central.

Happy Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, which marks anniversary of the end of hostilities in the Great War, now known as World War I. An armistice in the war went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, and the following year President Wilson proclaimed that November 11 would be celebrated as Armistice Day, a day to honor the veterans of the Great War. In 1954 it became known as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has more.

Lambic Cranberry Sauce

I'm not big on cranberry sauce, though this recipe for Framboise Lambic Cranberry Sauce sounds interesting.
The photo is from the Lindemans website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old Faithful

Here is a view of the famous geyser Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, from the National Park Service.

Destin Weathers Tropical Storm Ida

Ida didn't do too much damage, other than beach erosion, down on the Florida coast. Jetty East, one of the developments on Holiday Isle, "took it on the chin," though.

Gymnastics, Girl Scouts and Family Gathering

Sherry and Sarah have gone to Sarah's weekly gymnastics class, and fortunately the rain slacked off a bit for them to get into the car to drive to the gym. They also have a Daisy Scout meeting on Thursday, and Sherry is responsible for crafts. She's been busy with scissors cutting construction paper into pieces that the girls will assemble into turkeys.

Friday is Fort Craig's family gathering, which will celebrate Veterans' Day. The kindergartners, including Sarah, will be onstage to help lead the event, which should be entertaining. Fall is a busy time for kids!

Gloomy Day

It has been raining all day here in Maryville, and the rain is expected to continue until tomorrow morning. The county is closed for Veterans' Day tomorrow, and the weather is supposed to improve for the holiday.

I decided to try and fight off the gloominess with comfort food. We made a casserole out of chicken, spanish rice, refried beans, homemade salsa and cheese, and I heated some of it up for a hearty hot lunch, which was an improvement over the sandwiches I typically eat for lunch.

Irises, St. Remy

Pot Roast

I found an interesting pot roast recipe this morning. I may have to try it out sometime.

Boys' Teeth

Jake and Joey went to the dentist last week and both received bad news. Jake has adult teeth coming up under baby teeth that haven't come out yet, so the dentist is going to pull the three baby teeth on Friday. Sherry plans to drive to Nashville on Friday and spend the weekend taking care of him. The dentist also opined that Joey may wind up with braces.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gulf Coast Bracing for Ida

Folks are bracing for Tropical Storm Ida down on the panhandle of Florida. They're closing schools in Destin tomorrow, when they expect the worst part of the storm to hit. Officials have begun voluntary evacuation for people who live south of U.S. Highway 98.

Operation Ice Bridge

I just read a bit about NASA's Operation Ice Bridge, an arial survey of Antarctica. It is worth a minute or two to look over some of the photographs from the mission on the NASA website.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sarah has eaten two pounds of raw carrots since last Saturday, and she just finished her first carrot of the two pounds we bought for her at the grocery store this morning. Thanks to the World Carrot Museum for the photograph.
What's up, Doc?

More Winchester News

Winchester is about to get two new restaurants. One is a Mexican restaurant in the old Shoney's building, and the other is J.T.'s Barbecue next to the Oldham Theater on the courthouse square. Another business, J.C.'s Butcher Block, has moved from Decherd Boulevard to North High Street. In other Winchester news, the courthouse clock is finally going to be repaired.

Leaf Pile

Sarah's been lobbying me for a leaf pile to jump in for more than a week, so yesterday we took our rakes out of the garage and made a decent leaf pile in the front yard. Sarah went next door to invite her friend Eli to join her, and the two of them had a good time jumping in the pile.

I never cease to be amazed at how simple things can provide children such delight. You can spend hundreds of dollars on toys and video games and machines to entertain kids, or you can rake up a pile of leaves, or give them a shovel and pail at the beach or turn them loose at a creek.

Movie Review: Star Trek - Generations

We brought home some movies from the library yesterday, and I watched Star Trek - Generations last night. It is the movie that features both Kirk and Picard and includes Kirk's death and the destruction of the Enterprise D at the movie's end. Like most of the Trek movies, I found it slow in the middle, but it was still entertaining.

One subplot of the movie involves Data's emotion chip. Throughout the run of the series, Data, an android, is emotionless, but strives to be more human. It is this that defines the character. Data acquires the emotion chip from his unstable (and identical) brother Lore at the end of the series. There is a group of episodes from the series that I call "Data Runs Awry" episodes, and the emotion chip almost causes him to run awry in this movie. Captain Picard chews him out, though, and he gets his act together. There's a nice moment at the end of the movie, after the saucer section of the Enterprise has crash landed, when Data cries as he finds his cat has survived the crash. He thinks the chip is malfunctioning, but Troi, the empath, tells him its working perfectly.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lazy Afternoon

Sherry and Sarah Purchase Pink Tractor

My wife and child are addicted to a Facebook game called Farmville. They are jubilant, having just acquired a pink tractor, which has quadrupled their plowing time.


My dad grew up in Winchester, Tennessee, and we visited there frequently because Grandmother and Granddaddy Ogle lived there most of their long lives. They lived a couple of blocks off of the courthouse square, and on most visits we walked down to the square to shop at Hammer's, pictured above courtesy of Tim's Ford Marina.
Hammer's is a department store, and it is sort of hard to describe. I once heard a lady say, "If you can find it at Hammer's, you'll never find it cheaper." You never know what to expect when you go there, but they have a good toy department, though they've moved it from upstairs, which is a shame. You can find household basics, and good work clothes and boots. I describe it as being kind of like Big Lots, only with stuff you actually want to buy.
The Winchester Herald-Chronicle reports that the building's paint has been stripped off as part of a downtown beautification effort, and underneath is a sign for Chero-Cola Bottling Company, which operated in downtown Winchester beginning in 1917, when Granddaddy was 13, though he still lived in Tullahoma then.

Saturday Morning

Mom came over last night to spend the night with her granddaughter, and we're going to take Mom to Hot Rods, Sarah's favorite local restaurant, this morning. I cooked some chicken last night, and Sherry came home with a tray of leftovers from her office, which had lunch catered by Salsarita's yesterday. Sherry came home with taco meat, chicken and rice. I'm considering throwing some cheese and possible some refried beans in there and baking it off into a casserole, though we have plenty of tortillas as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nice Day for a Drive

I have to drive across the Tennessee River to Knoxville this afternoon to pick up a file from the Court of Appeals downtown. The building that houses the Tennessee appellate courts in Knoxville used to be the federal courthouse. One of my first courtroom experiences in the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic was in the beautiful courtroom across the hall from what is now the state appellate court clerk's office. One of the staff was kind enough to unlock the door and allow me to look inside the courtroom, which is still very beautiful and inspiring.

The fall weather this week has been delightful, and it is supposed to continue into the weekend. I'm glad I have an opportunity to enjoy it during my drive this afternoon.

Willie Plays the Ryman

Willie Nelson sold out the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last night. What a great venue for a Willie Nelson show!

Covered Pedestrian Bridge at Kinzel Springs

The Daily Times reports this morning that plans to turn the old one-lane bridge over the river at Kinzel Springs in Townsend into a covered pedestrian and bicycle bridge have been revived. That will be a nice touch for a pretty area.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Full Moon

Here's our recent full moon, from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Thursday Report

Sherry's Aunt Betty passed away on Monday, and Sherry went to Nashville to attend the services. I stayed home to keep Sarah in school, but I've been ill with a stomach bug. Sherry got home yesterday afternoon, and we're hoping to make it through the rest of the week uneventfully.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

I found this recipe for pumpkin bread on

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and spices until no streaks remain.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Add pumpkin, oil and melted butter; beat for 1 minute.

Add the flour mixture and beat for 20-30 seconds, or just until combined. This will make a stiff batter. Do not overbeat.

Transfer batter to two buttered and floured 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Level off surface with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. To help remove cake from pan, run a butter knife along the edges of the pan.

This bread freezes well for several months. Wrap tightly before freezing.
Yield: 2 loaves
I baked two loaves according to the recipe, except I didn't have any ginger. I just tried a bit with cream cheese, and am happy with the result.

Halloween Costumes

Before I get out of the Halloween spirit for the year, I thought I'd post another photo of Sarah in her butterfly costume. Above from left to right are Lauren, whose parents hosted a neighborhood trick or treating event, my niece Grace and Sarah. Below is Miller, son of my friend Scott, celebrating his first Halloween.

Monster Mash

One of the first 45's I ever bought was "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett on the Parrot label. Sarah is about to turn six, and she really likes music, so I figured she would like the song. I found this weird animation of the song on You Tube, and she has been wearing us out with it. That and trick or treating in the cold rain will be memories of this Halloween.

Pizza on Sunday

We did some baking yesterday. Sherry made a batch of her yummy sausage balls for breakfast, and I baked a couple of pizzas for lunch. After we all were together for the Halloween outing, Mom, Les and Fraz and Laura all dropped by for a visit and a bite of pizza yesterday afternoon. I usually use Pillsbury's pizza dough, and I tried a couple of prebaked pizza crusts yesterday. It was crunchier than the Pillsbury product, and it went over well with the group.

Sarah came home Friday with a "homefun" assignment to interview a grandparent, so Sarah conducted her interview yesterday. The questions were about Mom's experience as a kindergartner, and Mom regaled her granddaughter with the expected stories of walking to kindergarten uphill, both ways, in the snow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall in the Smokies

Last night's fun Halloween party was hosted by Donna, friend of loyal Boongablogger reader, Jane. We saw Jane at the event, and she granted me permission to share this photo she shot on a trip last week with her father in the Smokies.

Trick or Treat

Sarah went trick or treating in West Knoxville yesterday evening, not far from the neighborhood I grew up in. We were out for an hour or so with a group of children and parents, and Sarah and her friend were the oldest kids there. They therefore led the pack through the neighborhood. It rained on us for about the last twenty minutes, and everybody was tired and hungry by the time we got back to our host and hostess's home, where food awaited (including prime rib). Sarah and her cousin Grace started out together, but Sarah outpaced her younger cousin. It worked out okay, because there was a good age range in the group, and the little kids sort of grouped up together behind the older ones. Being so close to the neighborhood I used to trick or treat in has me thinking that maybe next year we'll take Sarah and Grace over to knock on doors in Kingston Woods.