Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Little River Saturday

While yesterday was mostly overcast here in East Tennessee yesterday, we had enough sun to be able to enjoy splashing around in the Little River some in the afternoon.  Mostly we hung out on Laura's new deck and visited.  It was a nice afternoon to be outside.

I haven't heard from Sherry yet this morning, so I'm not sure when she and Sarah will be home today.  I'll probably do a few household chores.  Our robotic vacuum cleaner is downstairs right now terrifying the cats, who are no doubt cowering under something in our garage.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quiet on the Hill

Sherry and Sarah are afield this weekend visiting Middle Tennessee.  Sherry went with Jake and Joey yesterday to an orientation day at Austin Peay State University, where the young men will attend college this fall.  Sarah remained with Grams in Nashville for a day at the pool, and she was excited about that.  They plan to attend a performance of Grease tonight at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theater, which is very close to where we used to live in Bellevue.

I had a quiet Friday evening and got up this morning and got groceries for the week.  I also polished off most of the rest of Sarah's school supply list.  An old family friend, Robert Internationale, is in town from North Carolina, and my sisters and I plan to get everyone together at Laura's house in Knoxville today to cook out and spend some time playing in the river if the weather permits.  I'm still deciding on whether to take my fishing gear or not.

Last Beach Snapshots

Here is the last batch of pictures from our recent beach trip.

My sister Laura, the artist in the family, usually brings along some of her high dollar art supplies for the children to enjoy when indoors at the beach.

This is the condo we stayed in this year inasmuch as our old favorite is now sadly off the rental market.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sand Castles, Fish and Mr. Bill

Grace and Sarah pose while seated upon the outdoor stage at Seaside.
We did a lot of sand castle building on this trip.  We own a couple of old surplus army trenching spades, and I usually bring one to the beach for excavation purposes.
Mr. Bill lives in our beach bag, so summer is the only time we generally bother him.  Oh nooooooooo!
A nice catch of red snapper awaits filleting at Destin Harbor.

This was at the height of our sand castle construction.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

R.I.P. Senator Baker

Former United States Senator Howard Baker died today at the age of 88.  He served as President Reagan's chief of staff and as Ambassador to Japan, and was much beloved in his native East Tennessee.  Rest in peace, Senator Baker.

More From the Beach

Grace and Sarah adopt a duck at Seaside.
We see plenty of heron along the waterways here in East Tennessee, but in Destin they are much braver than they are here.

My sisters, Laura and Leslie, pose on the beach at sunset.
Sherry and Sarah enjoy sunset on the beach as well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moss on the North Side

Sarah recently asked me about whether moss really grows on the north sides of trees.  As an erstwhile boy scout, I advised her to have her compass with her if she is traveling in the forest, but I recalled that there was an ember of truth about moss growing on the north sides of trees.  According to Mental Floss, moss likes damp, shady places, and in the northern hemisphere the north sides of trees get more shade.  You'd probably get a better idea of direction by just watching where the sun rises and sets on the horizon if you lost your compass.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Battle of Beaver Dams

On June 24, 1813, British and Indian forces defeated a United States Army force at the Battle of Beaver Dams.  The British were alerted about the American advance by Laura Secord.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Snapshots From the Beach

Here are some photographs Sherry took while we were on our beach trip.  Mom paid for all of us to take a dolphin cruise, which included a cruise around Destin Harbor, a very festive place.  As you can see, the weather was beautiful.
Sherry, Sarah and Grace enjoy boat drinks as we wait for our excursion to get underway.  Poor Grace had some motion sickness out in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is more choppy, but she managed to hold it together until the cruise was over

On our way out of the harbor we had a brush with Blackbeard's ship, which plies these waters.  Fortunately, our captain was able to out maneuver the pirate ship.
Sarah feeds a gull with Noriega Point in the background.
We enjoyed our trip to Destin, but we spent far more time on the beach during our week in Florida.  This is Seagrove Beach looking west from where we were this year.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gone Country

Here's my city girl busy weeding crops at the John Weston, Sr., Community Garden yesterday.  We put in an hour and a half to two hours worth of work pulling weeds and putting down straw.  As you can see there were plenty of crops harvested as well.  I saw zucchini I thought were small watermelons. If you put in some work you get to have some of the produce from the garden, but everything else goes to needy members of our community.

Accursed Onions of Doom

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Home From the Beach

Two weeks ago this time we were in L.A. (Lower Alabama) on our way to sunny Seagrove Beach, Florida, down on the panhandle.  We had a week of wonderful weather, with only one short morning thunderstorm, which was fun to watch, really.  At ten, Sarah is big enough to really enjoy playing in the waves, and she got plenty of that during our stay this year.

We drove home last weekend, and this is our first weekend to be back home doing Maryville things.  Sarah and I got up this morning and went to the recycling center, and then had breakfast at the Kenjo across from the drive-in theater on the parkway.  After picking up a few items at the grocery store, we picked up Sherry and went to work in the community garden, which has really taken off since the last time we were there.  After that, the gals dropped me off and headed to the animal shelter to love on some kitties, inasmuch as they have a bumper crop of them in right now.
 Skippy the rat catches some rays on the beach.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Catching Some Crepuscular Rays

These are crepuscular rays shining over the Atlantic coast of Florida at sunrise.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Holy Grill

I must have one of these grills.  (Via Neatorama)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

War of 1812 Declared

On June 18, 1812, the United States Congress declared war on Great Britain, Canada and Ireland, which officially began what we now call the War of 1812.  The most famous battle of the war, at least from the American point of view, was the Battle of New Orleans, which occurred after a peace treaty had been negotiated but before news of it reached the field.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Brisbane Sky

On April 29 the moon and sun set at the same time in Brisbane Australia with an eclipse thrown in for good measure.  This is a composite of images taken five minutes apart.  (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Monday, June 16, 2014

1962 Oldsmobile Starfire

This is a 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire.  I drove two different Oldsmobile Delta 88's when I was a teenager, and a friend of mine had a Starfire.  This one will only set you back a little under $19,000.  (Via Hemmings).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Flag Day!

Today is Flag Day in the United States.  The Second Continental Congress adopted our flag on June 14, 1775.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, so go grab some good luck somewhere if you're into that sort of thing, and don't go camping in Jason's neighborhood.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Mr. Gobachev, Tear Down This Wall!"

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech before the Brandenburg Gate during which he challenged General Secretary Mikhail Gobachev to remove the Berlin Wall.  I remember watching television in amazement in November 1989 when Berliners on both sides of the Berlin Wall took it down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Committee of Five

On June 11, 1776, the Committee of Five of the Second Continental Congress began its work drafting what became the American Declaration of Independence from England.  The members of the committee were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert Livingston of New York and Roger Sherman of Connecticut.  The image is John Trumble's painting of the committee presenting the Declaration to Congress.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Restaurant Review -- The Bunganut Pig, Franklin, Tennessee

When I was in Franklin in May I had lunch at The Bunganut Pig, 1143 Columbia Avenue, a restaurant Sherry and I frequented when we lived in nearby Nashville.  I had my appetite set for their delightful Shepherd's Pie, and it is as good as I remembered it.  I was in a rush because of my class schedule and heavy traffic from Cool Springs to Columbia Avenue, but they got my food out to me in a hurry so I could get back to the conference.  My tab at the Pig was $18.00 including iced tea and tip.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Soon . . .

Molly is on the lookout for feathered treats near the bird feeder.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Nebulae in Sagittarius

These are nebulae in the Sagittarius constellation from the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Lee Resolution

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented the Lee Resolution to the Second Continental Congress.  It stated,

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in France to begin Operation Overlord and the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Australian Cookout

I must find a way to get to Australia, if for not other reason than to have grilled alligator wrapped in bacon with a chicken in its mouth.  You don't find that dish very often here in East Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June Fourth Incident

In 1989 there was a popular uprising in China's Tiananmen Square during which a man faced down a column of tanks, as shown in this picture.  In China, this is known as the June Fourth Incident.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Restaurant Review -- J. Christopher's, Franklin, Tennessee

During my conference in Franklin, Tennessee, last month I had lunch at J. Christopher's (not to be confused with J. Alexander's) at 620 Frazier Street in Cool Springs in Franklin.  I was on my way to class and short on time, so I was grateful that they served me promptly.  I had their patty melt, which was very good, and they kept my iced tea glass full.  My tab was about $20.00 including tip.