Friday, September 30, 2011

Audiobook Review -- Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech

When we drove to the Camp several weekends ago, Sherry brought some children's audiobooks for us to listen to on the way. One of them was Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech. The story is told from the point of view of a boy named Jack, and the text is Jack's poetry for a grade school poetry class. You learn about Jack and his life through his poetry, and I found the story to be a great introduction to poetry for a child Sarah's age (7). It turned out that Hate That Cat was the sequel to another book, Love That Dog, which we will look for at the library next time we go. The author's website is at the link.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rosh Hashanah

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, known as a Day of Judgment and a Day of Remembrance.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Described by Car Lust as "an act of desperation," the "Packardbakers" were produced in 1957 and 1958 by the Studebaker-Packard company during its decline.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Capital Of the United States

On September 27, 1777, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was this country's capital, after the Continental Congress escaped Philadelphia, which had been captured by the British.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cool Miniature Libraries

A group called Little Free Library sells these tiny boxes that people can fill with books to share with their neighbors. I've loved and been fascinated by libraries since I was a kid, so I love this idea. They aren't cheap. They sell for $500.00 to $1,000.00, but it wouldn't be hard to build your own. (Via Neatorama)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Packards

Amazon's Car Lust blog is on a roll with Packards, and I have become swept up in it because of my grandfather's ownership of one.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumnal Equinox

Today is the first day of fall, also known as the autumnal equinox.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York to Paris by Automobile 1908

I was not aware of the automobile race from New York west to Paris in 1908 until I recently enjoyed the audiobook version of America 1908. The automobile was in its infancy, and teams from France, Germany, Italy and the United States competed in the race, which the upstart Americans won in a 1907 Thomas Flyer. This image depicts the Americans stopping to assist the German team in Siberia.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cousins In the Creek

La took this photograph of Sarah and Grace enjoying the creek at our cabin in Estill Springs earlier this month.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Colorful Science Project

This effect is achieved using an Easter egg dye kit and alum powder. (Via Neatorama)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Red Foxes

Sarah's soccer team has red jerseys again this year, and they have named their team the Red Foxes, which made Sherry and I think of Redd Foxx from Sanford and Son. I had never seen a photograph of him as a young man until I saw the above picture on the official Redd Foxx website. His biography on the website says he was born John Sanford, explaining the name of the television series.

Easy Indoneisan Chicken

The Nobel Pig has an easy recipe for Indonesian Ginger Chicken. The ingredients are honey, soy sauce, fresh ginger, fresh garlic and ginger. We'll have to try to make that one day.

But Why?

This is a cake with teeth. It must be stopped, before it gets to the children. (Via Laughing Squid)

Tartar Sauce

I saw a History Channel program about Ghengis Khan the other day. He conquered the Tartars, which set me to wonder how Tartar Sauce got its name and what it might have to do with the Tartars. According to this source, it means "rough" in French, and Tartars were rough, nasty and violent types. Also, they ate shredded beef, sometimes raw, which is where Steak Tartare gets its name. Tartars took their name from Tartarus, the Greek version of hell.

Fancy Blueberries

I haven't visited Kiss My Spatula in a while, and it is full of wonderful photographs and recipes, though the latter are usually out of my league. The style of the blog has changed a bit, but it is still very fancy and nice. Would you like some Blueberry-Quinoa Tart?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1870 Guy From Bristol Looks Like Nicolas Cage

This guy, who reportedly lived in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1870 looks a lot like actor Nicolas Cage. (Via Neatorama)

Constitution Day

Today is Constitution Day, on which Americans celebrate our founding document, the United States Constitution. I am something of a Constitution geek, having had the good fortune of being in undergraduate school in 1987 during the Constitution's bicentennial. I had a series of wonderful Constitutional Law classes taught by Dr. John Scheb, who graciously agreed to be my faculty advisor during my senior year. My undergraduate political science classes led me into law school and a career that I love. As a lawyer, for the most part, my interest in Constitutional Law is academic, though I did get a case dismissed once on the basis of sovereign immunity as an Assistant General Counsel in the Central Legal Office of the Department of Chidren's Services.

In celebration of Constitution Day, I will share two tales about Benjamin Franklin, who attended the Constitutional Convention in his home town of Philadelphia despite suffering gout so painful it rendered him unable to walk to the Convention. Instead, he was carried on a litter by prisoners.

At the end of the Constitutional Convention while speaking to fellow delegates, Franklin pointed out the President's chair, which has a sun on the back. He commented that artists struggle with distinguishing a rising sun from a setting sun, and that he had wondered throughout the Convention whether the sun on the President's chair was a rising or setting sun. As they watched other delegates signing the Constitution, Franklin said, "But now at length I have the happiness to know it is a rising and not a setting sun."

As he exited the building now known as Independence Hall, where the convention was held, a woman on the street asked him, "Well Doctor, what have we got -- a Republic or a Monarchy?" To which Franklin replied, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

And so we shall.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cherokees March On Knoxville

This is The Cherokees are Coming, an illustration showing a rider warning townspeople that Cherokee warriors advancing on Knoxville from the west in September 1793, after they had slain the people at Cavet's Station.

Clerks Conference

I spent the week at the Tennessee Court Clerks Conference at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee, which is about an hour west of Nashville. On the drive I passed acres of fields of lost corn crop that had been burned by the sun this summer. Usually I see deer, and sometimes turkey, at the state park, but all I saw this time were Canada geese on Acorn Lake from my room.

I've been a part of the conference for two years now, and I have had the pleasure to have attended several events at the Inn and Conference Center at Montgomery Bell. The rooms at the inn are comfortable, and the conference center is very nice. Some of the rooms have wi-fi, but the one I stayed in this time did not. I saw several people on laptops in the lobby, but I didn't bring mine upstairs to try to get online. The staff there is very accommodating, and the food at the restaurant, which overlooks the lake, is really good and has been voted by locals as one of their favorite restaurants.

I have camped at the campground in the park several times when we lived in Nashville, and it is a really nice place to camp. There is a great canoe access point on the nearby Harpeth River where there is a great bend in the river. You can put your canoe in, ride downstream through the bend, and take your boat back out just a short walk from where you put in. There used to be a canoe rental business there called Pizza Shack, and they would rent you a canoe and sell you a pizza to take back to your campsite for supper after you were done on the river.

If you like history, there is plenty of it nearby. Montgomery Bell, the Iron Master of the Harpeth, bought a foundry from James Robertson, one of the founders of Nashville and friend of John Sevier during his days in the Watagua settlement in the mountains of East Tennessee near what is now Elizabethton, Tennessee. From the river you can see where Bell had a hole blasted through the river at the aforementioned bend as part of his iron works. There is a trail in the park, the Ore Pit Trail, where you can walk through the area where Bell's men dug for iron ore in the early 1800's. The first Cumberland Presbyterian Church is also on the park property and is still used for services.

1912 Mercer Sportabout

It was worth a cool $625,000.00 according to Hemmings Motor News.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Lightning and Lunar Eclipse (via Earth Science Picture of the Day)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grandpa Isenhour's 1939 Packard

I recently posted here about my Grandpa Isenhour's 1939 Packard. Mom asked my Uncle Mack if he had a photograph of the Packard, and he kindly sent her this one with Grandpa posing next to it. According to Uncle Mack, the only cars Grandpa ever owned were a Model A Ford, the Packard, a 1950 Ford and a 1952 Chevy.

I remember the Ford, which used to sit inoperable at the back of the driveway at their house in Hickory, North Carolina. My sisters, our cousins and I used to play in and on the old Ford. There was always a sack of feed corn in the back seat because Grandpa used the car to store feed for his chickens.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Battle of the Plains of Abraham

On September 13, 1759, the British fought the French on the Plains of Abraham for control of Quebec. The British forces defeated the French during this battle in what Americans call the French and Indian War. Europeans call the conflict the Seven Years War.

Monday, September 12, 2011

RMS Laconia

On September 12, 1942, the RMS Laconia was destroyed by a German U-Boat, U-156. When the German submarine surfaced, it found nearly 2,000 people, including about 1,800 of Germany's Italian allies, who were prisoners of war being transported aboard the Laconia by the British. Read about the fate of the survivors of the Laconia here. (Via Neatorama)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grandparents Day

Today is Grandparents Day, celebrated in the United States since 1978. It is a day on which we remember our grandparents, and so it is fitting that the forget-me-not is the official flower of the event. My maternal grandparents were Eula Powell Isenhour and Harvey Isenhour of Hickory, North Carolina, and my paternal grandparents were Willie J. Spencer Ogle and William Ellis Ogle of Winchester, Tennessee. Grandmother and Granddaddy Ogle were known as Bill and Ellis, respectively.

Sarah's grandparents are, of course, my parents, Wanette Bolen and Phillip Ogle, and Sherry's parents, Sheridan Hester and John Hester, and Papa John's wife, Jan Hester. Happy Grandparents Day!

Ten Years Ago

Today, of course, is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, that occurred on September 11, 2001. After ten years, I feel like I should have some perspective on the event, but I still find it as horrifying and confusing as I did when it happened. To fly hijacked jets filled with innocent people into office buildings filled with innocent people is as absurd as it is evil, and yet it was done.

There was much senseless death on September 11, 2001. People in the airplanes, in the office buildings and on the streets died, as did firefighters, police officers and emergency workers on the scene doing their duty and trying to save lives. Many members of the military have lost their lives as well, fighting during the last decade to make the dangerous world a safer place for the rest of us. This is a day to remember them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gound Zero From Space

This image of Manhattan was taken about 27 hours after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The image is from the Landsat 7 satellite. (Via Neatorama)

Redcoats In Vonore

There is an 18th Century Trade Faire at Fort Loudon in Vonore, Tennessee, this weekend. We attended a couple of years ago, and it was very interesting. It was our first visit to Fort Loudon, a replica of the English fort that was established during the French and Indian War.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Snapshots From the Camp

My sister, Laura, took this picture facing downstream of Taylor Creek, which flows through our property in Estill Springs. There's nothing compared to the feeling of sitting on a lawn chair in the middle of that creek with your feet in the cold spring water.

Mom poses with her granddaughters in the living room of the cabin.

Sarah and Grace survey the family property from the front porch.

The girls gathered flowers for their mothers and grandmother, and these purple blooms Grace is holding were particularly pretty.

Sarah and Grace strike a pose in the top bunk of the bunk bed at the cabin. Grandmother designed the king-sized bunk bed and had it built to order when the cabin was built. My sisters and I used to love to play up on the top bunk when we were little, too.

1939 Packard

This is 1939 Packard Touring Sedan, from Car Lust. I seem to remember that my Grandpa Isenhour owned a Packard at some point in his life and that he was quite proud of it.

UPDATE (From Mom):

Yes Daddy owned a 1939 Packard. I will check with Mack to see if he has a picture of the Packard in its last days. Daddy sold it, and we all wanted it back so he bought it back and kept it for a while longer. He finally entered it in the Demolition Derby in Hickory, [North Carolina,] and it won. We have a picture of it with the win streamer on it somewhere. I have a pic also of Daddy, Mack, Me and Joan standing beside it. I have my lip stuck out because he had just fussed at us for something. It was quite a snazzy car in its day. Love. Mom

Chicken Divan

I might try the recipe for Chicken Divan from Art of Manliness sometime. I'm a fool for an easy casserole, especially if it involves cheese.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Power T Crawdad

We spent Labor Day weekend at our cabin in Estill Springs, Tennessee, and Jake caught several crawdads, including this one sporting a power "T." When it tore two other crawdads in half, we knew it was going to be a bad day for Montana.

Joey and Jake and Sarah and Grace finished extending the dam they started building earlier in the summer, and it now spans the entire creek. I estimate that closing the dam lifted the water level a half inch to an inch. It started raining Sunday afternoon and rained all Sunday night and all the way home yesterday. If Estill Springs got that much rain, the creek may flood and wash away the dam, or part of it, which is okay. We've built plenty of them over the years.

We stayed out at the Camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, which is the longest Sherry and the kids have ever stayed out there. Mom, La and Grace also stayed the extra night, and we enjoyed just hanging out at the old place.

Mayflower Departs Plymouth, England

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, without its companion ship, the Speedwell. It turns out the Speedwell was sabotaged by her crew.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Rho Ophiuchi Star Formation Region

This is an image showing the Rho Ophiuchi Star Formation Region. According to the European Southern Observatory,

The colourful Rho Ophiuchi star formation region, about 400 light-years from Earth, contains very cold (around -250 degrees Celsius), dense clouds of cosmic gas and dust, in which new stars are being born. The clouds are mostly made of hydrogen, but contain traces of other chemicals, and are prime targets for astronomers hunting for molecules in space. Astronomers using the APEX telescope to observe this region discovered hydrogen peroxide molecules in interstellar space for the first time, in the area marked with the red circle.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

International Bacon Day

Mmmmm. Bacon.

U.S.S. Shenandoah

On September 3, 1925, the airship U.S.S. Shenandoah crashed, killing fourteen members of her crew. According to Wikipedia,

While passing through an area of thunderstorms and turbulence over Ohio early in the morning of September 3, during its 57th flight, the airship was caught in a violent updraft that carried it beyond the pressure limits of its helium gas bags. It was torn apart in the turbulence and crashed in several pieces near Caldwell, Ohio. Fourteen of Shenandoah's crew—including her commanding officer, Commander Zachary Lansdowne—were killed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Something About Hats

Sarah has acquired a very fashionable orange hat, just in time for football season.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amur Leopard Cub

These guys are about as close to extinction as you can get. There are only 35-40 known wild Amur Leopards in existence. They are big cats that live on the Russian-Chinese border near the Sea of Japan. For more information, click here.