Monday, September 30, 2013

Hoover Dam Dedication

Today is the birthday of the Hoover Dam in Nevada.  The dam was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 30, 1935.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Middle Tennessee Weekend

On Friday I attended a meeting of the House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association at the Tennessee Bar Center, pictured above.  Our meeting was productive and interesting, and afterward I met Sherry and Sarah in Bellevue, which is the area on the west side of Nashville where we used to live.  We ate supper at Jim and Nick's on Charlotte Pike, where Joey is currently employed as a busboy.  After delivering embarrassment, and a major tip from Grams, to him, we went to the nearby Subway, where Jake is employed making sandwiches.  I bought a couple of sandwiches to take out to the Camp in Estill Springs for lunch on Saturday, and Grams gave him another generous gratuity.
The gals went on an excursion on the Tennessee Central Railway Saturday, while I drove down to Estill Springs to meet Laura and Grace for some quiet time in the woods and on the creek at our Ogle grandparents' cabin in the country.  As I passed through Tullahoma, I snapped a drive-by photograph of this building, which used to house a dry-cleaning business operated by my my Great Aunt Anne, Grandmother Ogle's elder sister, and her husband, Clyde.  I still have a cloth laundry bag from their business, and I use it to carry my shirts and business suits to the dry-cleaner for laundering.
As you can see from my wading shoes, we have a bumper crop of hitchhikers out at the Camp this year.  I had to take the sickle to the weeds around the fire pit in order to build a bonfire, and I was covered in hitchhikers from head to toe by the time I was finished.  According to one source, this type of hitchhiker is called a stick-tight, or beggar's ticks (Desmodium cuspidatum).
By the time La and Grace I arrived, I had a decent fire going, and we built it into quite a blaze by the end of the day.  Laura and Grace stayed at Fall Creek Falls State Park Friday night, where Grace acquired two new avian friends.
I have used photographs of this view of the creek as my computer desktop background for many years now.  We refer to the creek as Taylor Creek, but one of Grandmother and Granddaddy's deeds to the property refers to it as the Sulpher Branch of Taylor Creek.  In the past Estill Springs was a resort for persons seeking perceived medicinal value in the community's mineral springs.
Although autumnal colors at the Camp are the exception rather than the rule right now, we saw a lot of leaves falling.  It is beginning to feel like fall in Tennessee.
La and Grace relax in the creek.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Sarah recently developed an interest in the latest Batman flicks featuring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, and so we recently borrowed them from the local library.  By the end of the weekend, I had a halfway decent impression of Batman down, and I have enjoyed using it since then, though perhaps not as much as BatDad, featured above.  Well played, BatDad, well played.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Capital of the United States

On September 27, 1777, the Continental Congress, having fled Philadelphia in advance of invading British troops, convened in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, making it capital of the United States for one day.  Mental Floss has the details.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolate Bacon Pecan Pie

Because, bacon!  You can get the recipe at Bacon Today.  My Grandmother Ogle was queen of pecan pie.  I don't know what she would have thought if I had asked her to put bacon and chocolate in one.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alcoa Greenway Walk

We resumed where we left off last weekend to walk part of the Alcoa Greenway Trail.  I was hoping we could make it to the new pedestrian bridge over the Highway 129 bypass, but we didn't go that far.

The greenway follows Pistol Creek and crosses it a couple of times.

Here are the girls with railroad tracks in the background.
The water was muddy from all the rain we got Saturday morning.
Duck Frenzy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

National Voter Registration Day

Our administrator of elections sent out an e-mail to county employees recently requesting that we post pictures of ourselves online posing with signs encouraging people to register to vote.  I told her I would comply.  Today is National Voter Registration Day, so if you aren't a registered voter, get yourself prepared to exercise your franchise, and if you know anyone else who isn't registered, encourage them to do likewise.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Battle of Flamborough Head

On September 23, 1779, John Paul Jones, commanding the American ship Bonhomme Richard, engaged the British ship Serapis in the Battle of Flamborough Head, fought in the North Sea off of the coast of Yorkshire, England.  It was during this battle that Jones famously said, "I have not yet begun to fight."  The Serapis was heavily damaged after an American grenade exploded the ship's powder magazine.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumnal Equinox

According to my Blount County Soil Conservation District calendar today is the autumnal equinox, marking the beginning of fall.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Greenbelt Snapshots

Here are a few more snapshots from our Greenbelt walk last weekend.  Sarah poses wearing her mom's shades in front of the fountain, in which you can see a bit of a rainbow.  It was even prettier in person.

Huey and Dewey, the Enforcers
We started our walk in the parking lot of the library, and walked the Alcoa Greenbelt as far as Home Avenue.  I'd like to walk it all the way out to the new pedestrian bridge over the 129 Bypass.

Rainy Day On the Hill

I think I have Sherry and Sarah convinced to take their first overnight backcountry hike in the Smokies, and with fall upon us, I figured I'd better check my gear.  We have a big, family-size Coleman tent we use for frontcountry camping.  That tent is far too big to lug even a mile into the backcountry, at least for the three of us, so I pulled out my old pup tent and dome tent, which are thirty and twenty years old, respectively.  It has rained since dawn here in Maryville this morning, and I found the inside of each tent dry when I checked them about thirty minutes ago, which pleased me immensely.  I haven't used either in years, though both have seen plenty of nights in the woods.
We apparently had a raccoon on the deck overnight.  I don't know how he got all four paws white with the whitewash on our siding, but it appears he did.
I met with Sarah's homeroom teachers this week, and both were nice ladies and spoke kindly about Sarah.  They report the child is progressing well, and I reported to them about her study habits at home.  As soon as she gets home she does whatever written work that her teachers send home with her and thereafter reads for twenty minutes.  I don't have to direct her to do it anymore, she just comes in the door after school and gets to work.  I thought the admonition from Gandalf the Grey wouldn't hurt, though.
 Cats are so easily trapped.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Restaurant Review -- Family Traditions Cafe, Cookeville, Tennessee

On my way to the clerks conference last week, I stopped in Cookeville for lunch at Family Traditions Cafe located just off Interstate 40 at 310 Dubois Road.  They serve Southern country cooking, and I had chicken-fried steak with gravy, mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes.  It was a hearty lunch, and it cost about $8.00 including iced tea and a tip for my server.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Washington's Farewell Address

On September 19, 1796, the year in which Tennessee became the sixteenth of these United States, George Washington issued his farewell address declaring his intention not to seek a third term as the young nation's chief executive.  Many historians believe Washington's decision to relinquish power was one of his greatest gifts to the country he is father to, leading to more than two centuries of the peaceful passing of power, excepting the Civil War.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so as the sign says, unleash your inner buccaneer!  To celebrate you can listen to George Harrison sing "The Pirate Song."  Alternatively, you can learn about the creation of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Arrrrgh!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More From the Fair

Here are the rest of my snapshots from the Tennessee Valley Fair last weekend.
I had heard that all the wet weather we had over the spring and summer was going to be bad for the pumpkin and melon crop in Tennessee.  You can't tell it from these whoppers.
I took this photograph from the top step of the Jacob Building.
Most of the animals in the petting zoo were from Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue in Anderson County, Tennessee.  We've visited there several times over the years and always enjoy it.  I am fond of Anderson County because I clerked for a law firm there after my first year of law school.  This guy is a camel, who is trying to get at some food.
Here's Sherry feeding a llama.
 And last, but not least, this is an alpaca, closely related to the llama.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Constitution and Citizenship Day!

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution, this nation's founding document.  Benjamin Franklin was asked by the wife of the mayor of Philadelphia, where the convention was conducted, if the proceedings had resulted in a republic or a monarchy.  Doctor Franklin reportedly responded, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."  We've kept it for 226 years so far.  Americans celebrate the anniversary each September 17 as Constitution and Citizenship Day.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tennessee Valley Fair

Sherry and I took Sarah to the Tennessee Valley Fair at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville over the weekend.  It was a clear and cool Saturday morning, and we enjoyed our visit.
Sarah poses in front of the Jacob Building, which held vendors and exhibitions of all sorts, including fruit and vegetables, both fresh and canned, baked goods, artwork and displays from various vocational programs in local schools.  I saw that a lot of Conings won ribbons for fresh vegetables, and I suspected that they were from Coning Farm here in Blount County.
I was shocked at the cost of the rides.  It was $22.00 for the three of us to get in the gate and $7.00 to park.  You could buy wristbands at $25.00 per person to ride all the rides you like, but otherwise rides were mostly $5.00 per person, so we passed on the rides.  There's something in me that revolts against the idea of paying $15.00 for three people to ride a Ferris wheel or merry-go-round.
To tell the truth, I like the farm stuff the most at the fair anyway.  This rabbit was huge, and they had many different breeds on display.
There were all kinds of different breeds of all of the animals they had on display, and many of them were from 4-H groups and had already been judged.
We watched a bit of the cattle being shown and judged.
 Sherry made quick friends with this earless goat.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Greenbelt With My Gals

My womenfolk wanted to go for a walk this morning, and Sarah's been wanting to walk the Greenbelt with her mama, so that is where we went.  Ducks were out in full force, and we were sorry not to have anything to feed them.
I bought three white pekin ducks when I lived out on Louisville Lake, but two disappeared, most likely picked off by predators, while they were still chicks.  The third survived to adulthood and became a lake duck.  Apparently, they are quite tasty, though one should refrain from eating Greenbelt ducks.
The morning glories were very pretty.
Here are me and my gals with the Blount County Public Library in the background.