Saturday, January 31, 2015

21st Century Kid

Thursday afternoon, Sarah asked if she could use my computer for a homework assignment.  I told her she could, and when I checked in on her later she was writing e-mail messages to some school friends. The school has an e-mail system so that the children can only e-mail within the school, but it is apparently okay for the kids to use it for personal messages back and forth.  Yesterday she asked to use the computer again.  I knew she didn't have any homework, but figured she wanted to e-mail her friends again.  This time when I checked on her, she was creating a PowerPoint presentation!  She was at it for at least a couple of hours and at this point has 17 slides, all of which contain her text and images she found on the internet.  While the subject isn't serious (It's about Minecraft You Tube videoes.), she is obviously enjoying using PowerPoint, which I don't even know how to use. We clearly need to upgrade her computer sometime in the near future.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Failed Attempt on the Life of President Jackson

On January 30, 1835, Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate President Andrew Jackson as he left a funeral at the United States Capitol.  The assassin's pistols misfired, and the President commenced to beat Lawrence with his cane as the crowd, including Congressman David Crockett, intervened.  It was the first time someone attempted to kill a sitting U.S. President.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vintage Postcards from Tennessee

The Boston Public Library has a selection of vintage postcards online showing postcards from the various states.  It took me ten minutes or so to click through all of the Tennessee postcards, and it was worth it.  While a lot of the postcards are of old hotels and tourist courts that no longer exist, there are also many that show buildings that still exist or scenic vistas that are familiar.

If you click here, you can see postcards from other states as well as many other galleries of other interesting historical images.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


This is pahoehoe lava from recent eruptions on the big island of Hawaii.  (Via Earth Science Picture of the Day)

In more lava news, a dude recently toasted marshmallows over bubbling lava in New Zealand, and a crew also recently captured some cool video of more Hawaiian lava flowing into the ocean.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Disemboweled Squirrel

I recently went squirrel hunting on some friends' property off Montvale Road.  Unfortunately, we saw no squirrel, but the other members of the party were more successful later that afternoon dove hunting.  If ever I shoot a squirrel, I will have instructions for field dressing the critters.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, which commemorates the arrival in 1788 at Port Jackson, New South Wales, of the first fleet of British ships at Australia.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Coffee County, Tennessee

As I mentioned yesterday, Dad worked at what is now called the Arnold Engineering and Development Complex in Coffee County near Tullahoma and Manchester.  Dad was planner and worked for a civilian contractor that operated on site, and we pass near the complex every tine we travel to our cabin in Estill Springs.  Arnold Air Force Base is also there, although the airfield was decommissioned in 2009.  Both the base and complex are named for General Henry "Hap" Arnold, the father of the United States Air Force.  Among other things, the space shuttle engines were tested there.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Camp Forrest, Tullahoma, Tennessee

I remember Grandmother and Granddaddy Ogle telling about boarding a young officer and his wife at their house on North Jefferson Street in Winchester, Tennessee, during World War II.  He was stationed at what was then Camp Forrest in nearby Tullahoma.

It turns out Patton trained his troops there.  The population of Tullahoma grew from 4,500 in 1940 to 75,000 by the war's end. After the war the site became the Arnold Engineering and Development Center, where Dad worked, although it is now known as the Arnold Engineering and Development Complex.  Above are barracks and below is the mess hall of Camp Forrest.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Second Try With the Pressure Cooker

I tried out our new pressure cooker for the second time last weekend.  At the encouragement of a coworker, I tried a roast this time, and I selected a chuck roast because it was on sale.  The pressure cooker instructions suggested a pressurized cooking time of one hour after browning the roast in oil after coating the meat with a mixture of flour, salt and pepper.  After cooking, the meat was very tender, and even my picky eleven year old liked the results.  My only regret was my lack of potatoes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh, an early supporter of settlement of North America, was born January 22, 1552 (or 1554).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The One Who Lived

Dude got into a wreck and had his Silverado smushed between two semi trucks in winter weather conditions.  Miraculously, he was not seriously injured.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pillars of Creation

As part of the celebration of the Hubble Telescope's 25th anniversary, scientists captured a high-definition image of the Pillars of Creation, shown above.  More here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Senate Bean Soup

Sherry's mom got us a pressure cooker for Christmas, and one of the recipes that came with it was Senate Bean Soup, which I had heard of from my aunt and cousins in Washington.  It was the inaugural use of the pressure cooker, and it cooked the dry beans in fifteen minutes. You could certainly make the recipe on the stove top.


1 pound dry navy beans, sorted
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 smoked ham hock (I used one from a honey baked ham.)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Sort, rinse and soak beans according to directions (I used the overnight soaking method.)  Heat oil in either a pressure cooker or a soup kettle and saute onion.  Add beans, ham hock, carrot celery and water.  With the pressure cooker it cooked in fifteen minutes.  On the stove top I would cook the beans according to direction after cooking the onions, adding the other vegetables during the cooking time. Once the beans are cooked, remove ham hock and clean meat off of bone.  Add meat to beans, and give the beans a good mashing with a potato masher.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Foothills Milling Company Bakery Now Open At Five Points

I posted in July about Foothills Milling Company's presence on the roundabout at Five Points, and we've been in great anticipation of the new bakery's opening.  It is now open for business, and Sarah and I made our first visit there yesterday morning.  According to the nice lady who waited on us, they will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p. m. Tuesday through Saturday.  We were there about 10:30 a.m., and they were just beginning to take orders for lunch.

We got a variety of cookies, a blonde brownie and a baguette.  So far we've shared a chocolate chip cookie, which was yummy, and we each tore off a piece of baguette.  We also had a sample of blonde brownie at the store.  It was all delicious.  They serve a variety of fancy sandwiches for lunch, and they had some salads in takeaway containers.  They also had a few kinds of cheese and some homemade pimiento cheese for sale.  I'm very excited to have such a nice new food resource just at the foot of the hill from the house.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Teeth and Tennis

This Saturday morning has Sherry in Nashville.  Joey had all four of his wisdom teeth removed Thursday morning, and she went to Nashville to attend to him.  I had all four of my wisdom teeth out when I was nineteen, too, and I still remember it as the worst physical pain I've ever endured.  Poor kid!

Sarah and I have a three-day weekend due to the Martin Luther King holiday.  Coincidentally, she also lost a tooth Thursday.  I'm going to rouse the child shortly so that we can get some breakfast and commence the running of this weekend's errands. Her Aunt Leslie is coming over after lunch to take her to play tennis since we have a rare warm January day forecast.  Other than that, we have no plans as of yet.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ivan the Terrible

Ivan the Terrible was crowned King of All the Russias on January 16, 1547.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Norway Aurora

This is an auroral corona over Norway from Earth Science Picture of the Day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ratification Day

On January 14, 1784, the Continental Congress, sitting at Annapolis, Maryland, ratified the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the Revolutionary Way.  The image is the Congressional Proclamation of the ratification.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hundred Oaks Castle, Winchester, Tennessee

I recently read that Hundred Oaks Castle in my father's hometown of Winchester, Tennessee, is open to visitors again.  It was damaged by fire in 1990, but has been restored.  We visited the castle with our grandparents as children, and I remember going there to look at the damage after the fire.  I was happy to learn of the restoration, and will make plans to take Sherry and Sarah to visit the castle soon.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lulu's in Destin

The Destin Log recently reported that Lucy Buffett will open a Lulu's Restaurant in Destin, Florida, this summer.  She is Jimmy Buffett's sister, so we'll have to check out some of the food her brother has been singing about all these years.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Today is my niece Grace's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Grandmother Ogle's Birthday

My Grandmother Ogle was born Willie J. Spencer on January 10, 1909, in Lois, Moore County, Tennessee.  Today is her 106th birthday.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial

Today is the bicentennial anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.  The main battle occurred on January 8, 1815, with Andrew Jackson of Tennessee leading American forces to defeat British troops commanded by Edward Pakenham.  Recent research has revealed that Pakenham was under orders to capture New Orleans regardless of any news of a peace treaty between England and the United States.  As we know, the Treaty of Ghent ending the war was signed prior to the Battle of New Orleans, so the American victory ensured that the peace that was negotiated in Europe stayed in place.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Comet Lovejoy

Last week comet Lovejoy was visible with the naked eye, perhaps enhanced by binoculars, near Orion's Belt.  This image of the comet is from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cashew Pralines

The Nobel Pig blog recently had a recipe for cashew pralines, and it included a discussion of the history of pralines in the United States.  It seems Ursuline nuns in charge of women sent over from France to provide wives for the French settlers taught their charges to make the delicious candy.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday Report

It is a quiet day here on the hill.  The gals are off to Walland for a visit, and I stayed home to watch Star Trek : The Wrath of Khan, one of several classic Trek movies Sherry recorded for me.  It is still fun to watch, though a bit campy these thirty years later.

Grams bought us a pressure cooker for Christmas, and I must confess that I had no experience with one beyond knowing that Grandmother Ogle used one to cook chicken until it blew up in her kitchen. Modern pressure cookers are much safer, and we used ours without incident yesterday to cook bean soup.

We also watched the Vols convincingly defeat Iowa yesterday in the bowl formerly known as the Gator Bowl.  My friend J.P. lives in Jacksonville, where the bowl was played, and I sent him a text to see if we was at the game.  He was, and had a seat in a suite, lucky dog.

That's all I have.  Lazy day.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Go Vols!

This afternoon our Tennessee Volunteers play the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.  It is the first bowl game they've been to in years, and the Vol Nation is excited. Go Vols!

Thursday, January 1, 2015