Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Birthday

Today is my 47th birthday, and it fittingly begins with a trip to my doctor's office (routine maintenance). We're going to meet my family for supper after work this evening at the El Sazon Mexican Restaurant on Airport Highway.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mitch Miller and Bohemian Rhapsody

Mitch Miller, known for popularizing sing-along songs on television, died recently. There is apparently some controversy about whether he is mentioned in "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Cinema Retro says he is not, explains the controversy and gives complete lyrics to the song.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Franklin County Road Trip

We had a fun weekend at our family cabin in Estill Springs. Our cousins, Jim, Fran and Kinsey, joined us, and so did several friends from Atlanta, Johnny, Glenn and Cheryl. We made the obligatory pilgrimage to Hammer's Department Store in Winchester and were impressed by the renovation of the town square. Hammer's is getting a facelift as well, and although the place looks good, I am sad to see that they are doing away with the dramatic painted lady finishing on the outside. I was pleased, however, to see several new businesses in Winchester, including three new restaurants on the square.

We spent most of the day lounging around the creek and watching the kids play. Johnny brought the rubber raft pictured below, and Sarah and Grace played in it quite a bit. I eventually got in it, and Sarah made a game out of hauling me up and down stream while I sang "Erie Canal." It was a good weekend in the woods.

Restaurant Review -- Sam and Andy's Restaurant

On the way out of town Friday, Sherry, Sarah and I stopped in for Veal Parmesan and spaghetti at Sam and Andy's at 11110 Kingston Pike over in Knoxville. It has been a while since I've been out there, so I did a Google search for the address, and I found this wonderful website honoring Sam and Andy's and the Roman Room as they existed on the Cumberland Avenue strip when I was in college and law school. (I graduated from the George C. Taylor College of Knowledge, as Professor Phillips used to refer to the law school, in 1992.)
I still have (what's left of) a Sam and Andy's T-shirt I bought shortly before they closed the place, and I ran into George Captain, who worked there when my dad was an undergraduate, at last year's Greekfest in Knoxville. When we moved back to East Tennessee from Nashville, I was skeptical that the new Sam and Andy's could make a Veal Parm that compared to the Veal Parm in the Roman Room, but it delivers in all its cheesy goodness!

A Question Answered

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cool Walk

The temperatures this week in the early morning when I walk have been in the mid-60's, which is a vast improvement over the 75 degree or higher temperatures I've been used to for the past several weeks. You know it is summer in Tennessee when 90 degrees seems like cool weather.

Temperatures are supposed to be similar in Estill Springs, and the creek always keeps things a little cooler out at the cabin. It should be a pleasant weekend.

Armor Up, Kitties!

I think I shall purchase armor for our cats.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

His Beak Can Hold More Than His Belly Can

The Pelican Nebula via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day

Word for the Day -- Ingenue

I recently learned that "ingenue" is a word for a naive girl or young woman, and a stock character in literature.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heading for the Hillside

As the work week is winding down, my thoughts are turning to this old, red cabin on a creek in Estill Springs, Tennessee. My Ogle grandparents built this place, and it has served our family well as a quiet spot to relax in this busy world. We're having a gathering there this weekend, and I'm looking forward to wading that creek for the first time in months. The place does wonders for my soul.

So Very Wrong

Someone is trying to pass carrots off as bacon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dad's Birthday

My father, Phillip E. Ogle, who was known as Phil, would have been 73 today had he lived to see it. Dad died in 1993 just before his 56th birthday, when I was 30 and had just started practicing law here in Maryville. In fact, Dad's estate was the first probate estate I ever administered. My 47th birthday is one week from today, so I have now lived more than a third of my life since Dad's death. He missed a lot in the lives of all three of his children, including two granddaughters, whom he would have treasured. We missed a lot, too. Happy birthday, Dad!

Monday, August 23, 2010

R2D2 Cake

Believe it or not, this is a cake, from a collection of Star Wars cakes at Cake Wrecks, which links to photographs of the cake in progress. Impressive.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

P is for Pizza

It's good enough for me! I like this idea for pizza. Everyone gets to select the ingredients for their own mini-pizzas within the larger pizza collective.

I.C. King Park

Our local NBC affiliate, WBIR, has a segment "Why Do They Call It That?" The segment recently featured I.C. King Park, and I have wondered who I.C. King was. According to the WBIR piece, King was a Knoxville grocer and politician and a Tennessee delegate to the 1920 Republican National Convention that chose Warren Harding as the GOP standard bearer for that election. King's grandson says that according to King family history, I.C. King was the first Southerner at the convention to change his vote to Harding, who became President and appointed King United States Marshall.

Movie Review -- Avatar

In anticipaton of a rainy weekend, we visited the Blount County Public Library, yesterday morning and borrowed several movies. I was surprised to see Avatar, one of last year's big movies, already available at the library. The digital animation and special effects were as impressive as the hype surrounding the flick made them out to be, and the story held my attention. I was troubled that the bad guys in the movie were military men, and the chief antagonist in the story was like R. Lee Ermy on steroids and in a really nasty mood.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spelling Test

Now that she's in first grade, Sarah takes a spelling test each Friday morning as a review of the twelve words her class has worked on during the week. She missed a couple of words on her first test, but she scored 100% last Friday and this morning. Mom always put her kids' good grades on the refrigerator to encourage my sisters and I. Sherry and I are doing the same with Sarah's.
The child's attitude toward her homework is improving, largely due to Sherry, who is much less of a taskmaster than I am. She does a much better job than I do of making homework feel more like a game for Sarah, which I concede is much more appropriate for her age than my approach. I shall try to do better.

Happy Friday

Sherry traveled last weekend to Nashville, and next weekend we're planning to head to our cabin in the woods and by the creek in Estill Springs, which is in Franklin County, Tennessee, where my dad was born and raised. Accordingly, after what was a busy work and school week for all of us, we plan to spend this weekend relaxing at home. Pizza is in our future for tonight.

Not Feeling Well?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shaquille O'Neal in Blount County?

I am hearing rumors of Shaquille O'Neal sightings in Blount County today. He'd be a hard fellow to miss.

UPDATE: I'm not the only one hearing the rumors. The sightings I heard about were at the Alcoa Wal-Mart and the Waffle House on Airport Highway. I also heard he was dating a girl from Louisville who had been on a reality television show.

Krispy Kreme Chocolate Covered Bacon Cheeseburger

For the low price of $6.00 (and 1,000+) calories, you can enjoy a Krispy Kreme Chocolate Covered Bacon Cheeseburger. More here.

Cool Scarecrow

Check out the cool scarecrow inspired by Edvard Munch's The Scream at the Blue Ridge Blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Burgoo and the Election of 1840

I first learned about Burgoo, a Kentucky stew, from a computer game Sarah used to play. Apparently, William Henry Harrison served Burgoo, 4,500 pounds of it on one occasion in West Virginia, as part of the feasts associated with his Log Cabin and Hard Cider campaign for President of the United States in 1840. For more details and a recipe from Emeril Lagasse, visit The History Chef.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've had a hankering for ribs lately, and this photo on the Smitten Kitchen caught my eye.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Blount County Eateries I Haven't Tried

There are two restaurants in Blount County that were in the news last week, and both of them are in the eastern part of the county and therefore not too far away from where we live and work. One of them, Becky's Grocery and Grill, I have heard about but haven't been to yet. The other, the Memories of Ole tea room, I just found out about in yesterday's Daily Times. The tea room is run by a pair of sisters in memory of their grandparents, who were Ogles.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bad Night for Bear on LeConte

The folks up at LeConte Lodge in the Smokies have had recurring visits from a young bear that fancies the blackberries growing up there. Following standard protocol the National Park Service tranquilized the bear. One of the lodge's resident managers describes the process,

After the biologists are done working him over, they wake the bear up. They then to proceed to yell at the bear and scare it out of camp. Rick says the experience is like a bad night on the town. The bear will wake up with a bad hang over, a tattoo, a pulled tooth, an earring, and some crazy memories of those two legged creatures.

They tattoo the bear's gums and give it an ear tag for identification, and they pull a tooth to record the age of the bear and to give it a bummer of an experience so that the next time it comes across some humans it heads in the opposite direction.

Sleepover at Wannie's

Mom came over for a visit yesterday afternoon. When I talked to her on the telephone, she said she would bring Sarah home with her to spend the night if the child "absolutely insisted." I replied that I would pack Sarah an overnight bag. Mom was going to stop by Laura and Stewart's house so that Sarah and her cousin, Grace, could play, and it won't surprise me if Mom ended up with both children for the night for the first double grandchild sleepover.

Sherry went to Nashville this weekend to see Joey with his new braces and to hear about Jake and Joey's first day of high school. She was to meet some friends in Brentwood for a meal yesterday afternoon, and she plans to drive back to Maryville today. I shall have lasagna awaiting her upon her return.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday on the Hill

Sarah and I got bought the family's weekly groceries this morning and then took a walk down to Everett Park. They've been playing baseball there on Saturday mornings. My plan was to take her to watch a bit of a game, but the park was empty, so she played on the playground instead, which was fine with her.

Several months ago I pointed out to the child the butcher working at the Brown's Creek Food Lion, where we sometimes shop. They have a window into their butcher shop, which I like, and Sarah has been interested in the butcher ever since. This morning he was packaging some freshly ground hamburger, and we asked him to pack us up four pounds of chuck to make spaghetti sauce, and then lasagna.

Help the Smokies Win $100,000.00

Follow this link to vote in a contest to help the Great Smoky Mountains National Park win $100,000.00. The Smokies were in second place when I voted. You can vote as many times as you want, so vote early and often!

I Want a New Mailbox

I love the X-Wing mailbox! It reminds me of the Star Trek shuttlecraft mailbox we saw in Greenback a couple of years ago.

VJ Day

World War II ended when Japan surrendered to the United States on August 15, 1945. The surrender was announced on August 14, 1945, in the United States because of the differences in time zones, so we celebrate August 14 as Victory Over Japan Day, or VJ Day. Pictured above are denizens of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, proudly displaying the Knoxville Journal proclaiming the end of the war. For color video of celebrations in Hawaii in the wake of the announcement, click here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the Thirteenth

Today is Friday the Thirteenth. Good luck!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower

According to NASA, tonight is a good night to see shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Shower, but it's pretty cloudy outside at the moment.

Ocular Proof!

Mark sent Sherry a photo this morning showing them ready for school in time to catch the bus at 6:05 a.m. I hope they had a good first day.

Hot Rod Lincoln

This is the famed Hot Rod Lincoln, and the guy standing next to it is Charlie Ryan, the man who wrote the song and drove the car. According to Car Lust, the race described in the song actually took place, though the reality was different than the song.

Federal Fishing Ban Ends Off Destin

According to the Destin Log, captains of the fishing fleet of Destin Harbor are celebrating the end of the U.S. government's ban on fishing any further than nine miles off shore. The ban remains in place west of Pensacola.

I never wrote about the containment of the oil leak, perhaps because I wasn't sure I really trusted that it would stay contained. As they close in on permanently shutting the thing down, I'm relieved the situation isn't worse down there.

First Day of High School

Jake and Joey have their first day of high school, actually half a day, today, and their father faces the Herculean task of getting them out of bed and onto the school bus this morning by 6:05 a.m. central time. To put this in perspective, the boys slept until noon yesterday.

Cheesy Bread

My sisters will love this cheesy bread recipe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Joey's Braces

Joey got his braces earlier this week. They only did the top teeth, so they'll do the bottom teeth later. Sherry's going to go to Nashville this weekend to inspect.

Lobster and Bacon and Cheese, Oh My!

I had lunch last week with a friend whose family visited Newfoundland this summer, and they enjoyed plentiful fresh lobster caught by one of the locals. I haven't had lobster in years, but hearing the tale made me think that I might like to cook some. I might have to try and make this lobster and bacon mac and cheese recipe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Vacation Winding Down for Jake and Joey

Although Sarah is on a all-year school schedule and started classes in the middle of July, Joey and Jake are winding down the last few days of their summer vacation before they enter Hillwood High School in Nashville as freshmen Thursday morning. They spent the day at Holiday World, an amusement park in Indiana, yesterday, and so they just have two more days before they start catching the bus at 6:05 a.m. central time. Fortunately for them, they only have a half day Thursday and are off on Friday before their first full week starts next Monday.

For the Geek Who Has Everything

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's New?

My lovely and talented wife Sherry, a graphic designer, thought the ol' blog needed to be spruced up a bit, so she worked a bit of her magic, and we now give you the new, improved Boongablogger. Fancy!

More on Figs

I used to have a ficus tree in the foyer of my house when I lived in Louisville. I did not know it was a fig tree, perhaps because it bore no fruit. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus cursed a fig tree for failing to bear fruit. I threw mine on the mulch pile for dropping leaves on my floor.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Abrams Creek

Here are a few more pictures from our trip up to Abrams Creek last weekend. Sarah has about outgrown her pool ring, but she still got good use out of it floating the creek with Joey and Jake.

Halflings on LeConte?

There is a report that there have been signs of hobbits on Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Who Gives A Fig?

I was browsing foodie blogs, and I ran across a recipe for fig jam that included this photograph. As far as I know the only exposure I've ever had to figs is by way of Fig Newtons, and I had never seen what one looks like fresh.

Ty-K-Bol Man Dies

The guy who played the Ty-D-Bol man died last weekend at age 79. His stage name was Dan Resin, and he's the guy in black between Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight in this photograph from Caddyshack.

Friday, August 6, 2010

London Squirrel-Eating Controversy

There is now a grocery store in London, England, that sells squirrel meat, and there are people who are upset about it. After all, squirrels are so cute. I think I tried squirrel once on a camping trip with a bunch of hunters who cooked up a variety of game for the event, but that was over twenty-five years ago. If I could buy fresh fresh squirrel locally, I would try some again. They are certainly abundant in this neck of the woods.

Some Information About Bears

The mountain hills and hollows (pronounced "hollars") of East Tennessee are home to black bears, and people come here to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hoping to see the creatures. The problem is that a lot of people think of bears as cute and cuddly, especially the cubs. In reality they are wild and dangerous animals, particularly a mother bear with her cubs. A woman was killed and partially eaten eight years ago on Abrams Creek Trail not too far from where my family spent splashing in the creek last weekend, so we take bears seriously in these parts.

The Mountain Press in Sevier County ran a story this week featuring a park spokesman delivering tips about how to react upon encountering a black bear in the woods, and there's also some handy information about bears at the Appalachian Bear Rescue website. My freshman biology teacher in college was a man named Charlie Eaker, and he said something in class one day I have remembered ever since. He said, "You can be the predator many times. You can be the prey only once." I do not want to be the prey.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Corn Wrapped in Bacon

Bacon Wrapped Corn on the Cob looks like wonderful camping fare.

New Blount County Blog

The News Sentinel has a new Blount County blog, Murvillian, authored by Karen Dunlap, and she says that the Tomato Head serves up a good chicken salad sandwich. I've been looking for a new best chicken salad in town since the Palace Cafe closed down, so I'll have to check out the Tomato Head version.

Rosie Riveting in Nashville

I saw some old color photographs from the 1930's and '40's last week and did a Google search trying to find them. I found these old color photographs instead, but they are just as cool, except for the annoying function on Flickr that allows people to add their own inane comments.

The image, which was among those on the Flickr page, is of a woman working in 1943 on a Vultee Vengence bomber at the Vultee plant in Nashville. I was not aware that Nashvillians made bombers during World War II, but I am proud that they did. My sister Laura is something of a Rosie the Riveter fan. She will like this.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Man Cave

Like a lot of guys, I use our home's garage as my man cave, although there's enough of Sarah's girly pink stuff down there that it is not entirely manly. Check out fourteen man caves, or similar manly rooms used by famous dudes. I like Mark Twain's octagonal writing hut.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Great White Sharks Cause Cape Cod Beaches to Close

So far seven great white sharks have been spotted off Chatham, Massachusetts, and local authorities have closed beaches. According to the Cape Cod Chronicle, one of the sharks was fifteen feet long, and sharks have been sighted as close as twenty feet to shore. Yikes!

Tomato Guy

Sherry found this photograph of a tomato on a friend's Facebook page. Being a graphic designer, she later gave it a Groucho nose and glasses using Photoshop.

Modern Cincinatti

My sister Laura saw my post this morning showing the Cincinatti riverfront in 1948, and she sent me this image from the Cincinatti Library comparing the city's riverfront in 1848 to the riverfront as it existed in 2006. I would love to see something similar for Knoxville.

By the way, my family has no connection to Cincinatti. I've never been there. I just thought the old images from 1848 were cool.

Iceberg in Pigeon Forge

Here are a trio of photos Sherry took last week when she and Jake and Joey visited the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge.

Some Cool Old Images

This is an image from 1848 showing steamboats on the Ohio River in Cincinatti. Check out Wired magazine to see more, including an image with a cool feature that allows you to magnify parts of it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010