Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weekend on the Other Side of the Mountains

Sherry, Sarah and I visited friends and family in North Carolina last weekend, and I saw people I haven't seen in years.  We met several friends for lunch in Hickory Saturday, and then drove out to Statesville that evening to visit other friends at their farm.  Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Snack Bar in Hickory and then went over to my cousin's house to cook burgers and enjoy his pool.  It was a fun trip.  We would have liked to have more time with everybody, but it was nice to at least catch up with everyone.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pass Me Some Vanilla Ice Cream!

The recipe for this cake, which includes blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, can be found at Smitten Kitchen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

First Battle of Ushant

On July 27, 1778, during the American Revolution, the naval forces of France and England fought the First Battle of Ushant, depicted in this 1848 painting by Theodore Gudin.  If you are a military history buff, there's more here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rain in Summer

A Google search for "rain in summer" turned up a poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  We can still use some here in East Tennessee.

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,

Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christopher Robin and Pooh

I have fond memories of Mom reading Winnie the Pooh stories to by sisters and me.  This is a picture of the real Christopher Robin and Pooh.  Christopher Robin was the son of A.A. Milne, who wrote the Pooh stories.  (Via Neatorama)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore With Bodacious Broccoli Salad

My uncle sent Mom a chicken cacciatore recipe several weeks ago, and Sherry and I recently prepared the dish using the recipe.  We were very happy with our results.  We served it over rice, but pasta would work equally well.  We also made Bodacious Broccoli Salad, a recipe we've used for years but that I have never shared here before.  (I would use less vinegar than the recipe calls for, perhaps half.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

When Humans Went to the Moon

On July 20, 1969, humans landed on the moon aboard a space vehicle named "Eagle."  I would turn six several weeks later, and so watching the Apollo flights on television was an exciting part of my childhood.  I wonder if my child will ever see humans walking on the moon.

MORE:  President Nixon had a speech prepared in case Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wound up stranded in space.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Encylopedia Brown

Donald Sobol, the man who wrote the Encyclopedia Brown books, died last week in July 11 at age 87.  As a kid I read every Encyclopedia Brown book I could get my hands on, and I remember that the Rocky Hill Elementary School library had a bunch of them.  I've tried to get Sarah interested in solving the mysteries the books present, but she has not been interested, perhaps because the protagonist is a boy.  Mental Floss has more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Art With Magnetism

This artwork was created with water color paint, something called "ferrofluids" and magnetism.  Learn more via Neatorama.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Phantom Cell Phone Vibrations?

Just when you think you've heard everything, you come across something like phantom cell phone vibrations.  Who comes up with this stuff?  I'm happy to say I ditched my cell phone before such phantoms began to torment me.

UPDATE:  I wrote this post weeks ago, not knowing I would acquire a cell phone last Friday.  It is a Blackberry, and I feel like a caveman trying to figure the thing out.  So far, however, I have experienced no phantasms.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

House and Kitchen

Sarah and I have had a quiet weekend at home this weekend while Sherry, who is on her way back to Maryville, spent the weekend in Nashville visiting with Jake and Joey and Grams.  Mom visited us yesterday, and I cooked Turkey Tetrazzini and Cheesy Potato Casserole.  Sarah and I also made a pizza yesterday, at the child's request.  I am to make a meat loaf today to welcome my sweetheart home.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Restaurant Review -- "Love" That B-B-Q, Knoxville, Tennessee

I had a class a couple of weeks ago in Knoxville, and on my way back home I stopped at "Love" That B-B-Q, at 1901 Maryville Pike in South Knoxville.  I had heard that they served good barbecue, and I had a very tasty large pork sandwich with slaw on it.  I used their standard sauce, rather than the spicier alternative, and it was very flavorful.  I meant to try some of the hot stuff, too, but my sandwich disappeared too quickly.  I suppose I'll have to stop in again sometime to try it and some of the other items on their menu.  I had the sandwich and tea for $6.50 plus tip.  They don't give it away, but they serve good barbecue.  The service is also quite good, though the place is not fancy.

"Love" is in quotation marks in the business's name because that is the surname of the couple that run it.

UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this post, I have lunched at Love's numerous times, and it has become my favorite place to have lunch when I have my training classes in downtown Knoxville. I highly recommend the place.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vintage Car Wrecks

Check out the collection of vintage car wrecks at the Laughing Squid, which has links to a bunch more of them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


On this 11th day of July, let us celebrate 7-Eleven, notorious now for selling Travon Martin Skittles shortly before his death.  There used to be a 7-Eleven store out in West Knoxville, but according to the company's website their locations nearest to East Tennessee now are in Kentucky and in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday David Brinkley

NBC newsman David Brinkley was born on July 10, 1920, in Wilmington, North Carolina.  He also attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yeah, Ours Do That

Tool Boxes

When we were working at our cabin in Estill Springs the last time I was there, I pulled out Granddaddy's tool box that we keep out there to look for a few nails to nail up the hand rail at the ramp that goes up to the driveway from the house.  I found the nails I needed to do the job, but all of the nails in the tool box were rusted and bent, so I decided to bring the tool box home and resupply it.

Granddaddy's tool box is the green one on the left, and mine is the larger silver one on the right.  Dad gave me mine when I moved out of the house as a teenager, and it needed to be cleaned up too, so I emptied the contents of both tool boxes and divided the contents between them.  Granddaddy's cabin tool box is now much better outfitted, and I will return it to its rural home in Middle Tennessee soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gene Wilder and Willie Wonka's First Appearance

Did you know that Gene Wilder was the one who came up with the idea for Willie Wonka's first appearance in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  Read about it, and his other ideas for the movie, at Letters of Note.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Execution of Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More was Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII, who was notorious for executing those that displeased him.  More did so and was beheaded on July 6, 1525.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Macaroni, Four Cheeses and Bacon

I don't see how one could go wrong with a recipe for Mac and Cheese that features four cheeses and bacon to boot.  Click here for the details.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Vacation 2012

We spent last week in Seagrove Beach on the panhandle of Florida.  Although Tropical Storm Debby drenched one day of our vacation, she moved west and left us with clear, sunny days for the balance of our stay.  We spent most of those days on the beach, but I only took one picture there on our digital camera.  I took beach photographs on our 35 mm camera.  Sarah didn't understand why you couldn't instantly see the picture you took.  I still have a few shots on the roll, and I'll post some of those photos after I send the film off for processing.
Most of the snapshots I took on the digital camera were taken on Thursday, when our friend Randy took us out on his sailboat.  We briefly went out into the Gulf of Mexico from Destin Pass (locally known as East Pass), where we saw five dolphin, including two juveniles.  They swam right along the boat and were so close you could see their blow holes opening and hear them breathe.  It was very cool!
Joey is at the mast, and Jake is at the bow.
Jake sported some cool shades.  I think he bought them at the beach last year.
This lady with the water jet back pack was flying around Crab Island when we anchored there for swimming and lunch.  The red tube apparently sucks up water, and then the machine shoots it back out to allow the wearer to fly around near the water's surface.
Sarah steered the sailboat under Captain Randy's supervision. 
We had good wind on the way back to the marina where Randy docks his boat, and the sailboat was running at at 20-25 degree angle.  I took this picture of Sherry hanging on for dear life from the cabin, then scrambled up the stairs onto the deck.  I was worn out the next day from just being a passenger, and Captain Randy plans to sail the thing from the panhandle of Florida to Key West in a matter of months.

Happy Independence Day!

I make a point to read the Declaration of Independence each year for Independence Day.  I posted the text of the Declaration here several years ago.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cajun Breakfast Casserole

I recently discovered a new foodie blog, Cajun Delights, that has a recipe for a Cajun breakfast casserole, which is served with bacon cheese grits.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Second of July!

Founding father John Adams of Massachusetts wrote his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, after the colonies had voted to declare independence from England the day before.  Adams wrote,

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.

He got the type of celebration right, but got the date wrong by a couple of days.  The way my freshman history teacher in college told the tale, we celebrate July 4 because that is the day the document came back from the printer.  The Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence on July 2 and voted to adopt the language of Jefferson's document on July 4. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012