Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

 The Creature from the Black Lagoon premiered in 1954, featuring this charming fellow in the title role.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster

Boris Karloff was the English actor who played Frankenstein's monster in the classic 1930's Frankenstein movies. Here he is having a spot of tea between takes. You can click here to see more old photographs from the movies, including a couple of Karloff in the makeup artist's chair.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lugosi as Count Dracula

I was a big fan of horror movies as a kid, especially the old classics, but my favorite was Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Alas! Yorick, I Knew Him

We decorated our house for Halloween a couple of weeks ago. Sarah struck a pose as Hamlet with Yorick's scull. She's taking this whole theater thing a bit seriously.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bellevue Center Mall Demolition

Sherry has been visiting with Joey, Jake and Grams this weekend in Nashville, and she sent me this snapshot of the demolition of Bellevue Center Mall, which I knew was in the works. When I first moved to Nashville in 2002, the mall was thriving, and it has been sad over the years to watch it fall into disuse, especially in a busy community like Bellevue. I remember when the kids were little, Bellevue Center had a great indoor play area, and it is where we took them to see Santa each Christmas. It will be interesting to see what the developers ultimately do with the property, once the rubble of the old mall is hauled away.

Restaurant Review -- Lulu's, Destin, Florida

When we learned earlier this year that Lulu's was coming to Destin to spread a little gumbo love, we wanted to try it out. Operated by Jimmy Buffett's sister Lucy, it has a gulf coastal feel similar to her brother's Margaritaville restaurants, but perhaps not as flashy. It is also similarly pricy. Sherry, Sarah and I had lunch for just over $70.00, but it was very good. The service was also prompt and courteous.
As you can see, the ceiling is open with ductwork painted pink, and there are vintage and family photographs adorning the walls.
Sarah wolfed down this rather large cheeseburger. 
The back yard of Lulu's in Destin has a small beach on Choctowhatchee Bay, and though it was a bit cloudy the day we were there, it was warm enough to sit out a bit and look at the water.

I read on the Destin Log website that this mural was restored just a week or two before we went down there.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

More Floridays in Fall

Stealing an idea I got from a lady last summer at the beach, I took this picture one morning on my way down to the beach to set up some chairs to claim a spot so I could send it home to Mom, Leslie and Laura with the caption "My morning commute." In the old days, we called this kind of thing an eat-your-heart-out call, although mine was by text.
Sarah protested her sun hat, but her mother prevailed. I like a funky beach hat, and think this one has some cool personality. You can see the child got some sun while we were down there.
I took this picture of Sherry on Lulu's beach, the back yard of Lucy Buffett's new restaurant in Destin. More on that later.
This small spot on the beach is where we spent most of our fall break. We are mountain folk, and are endlessly fascinated by the waves, birds and people on the beach.
Skippy, our faithful vacation rat, patrols the shoreline of Florida, keeping it safe for democracy.
We also spent money at Lucy Buffett's brother Jimmy's restaurant, a little place called Margaritaville, in Panama City. Sarah wanted an airbrush shirt, and the girls drove to Panama City to get one. They sent me this picture just as the Hemisphere Dancer, the airplane above them, prepares to ditch the last shaker of salt out of the disco ball. I would have loved to have shared a meal at Margaritaville with them, but I'm glad I didn't spend the better half of a day driving to Panama City and back.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Sarah struck up a friendship with a girl her age at the beach, and Sherry schmoozed up her family as a fellow Nashvillian. The grandfather of the family, pictured with me here, was very familiar to me, but I could not place him and pondered it the whole first day. I finally concluded that he was a court officer I had worked with in Davidson County Juvenile Court. I sheepishly asked his daughter the next morning if her dad worked for the courts, and she confirmed that he did. It was fun to catch up with Bob, who was and is a colorful character and devoted father and grandfather, the patriarch of his family. (Neither of us looks like this when we are in court.)
My womenfolk are at a loss on vacation with no kitties to shower with affection. I met this cat on my way back from setting up our chairs one morning, and took this picture to show them what they missed by sleeping in.
Umbrella frog at the pool
Skippy the rat, wild man that he is, picked up this chick, known as Trasha, at the beach. He's quite the ladies' rat.
Calm waters and a beautiful sunset over Seagrove Beach

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall in Seagrove Beach

For the first time in many years we took a trip to Seagrove Beach, our regular summer vacation destination, for fall break. The first couple of days were cloudy, but it cleared up after that for nice days with highs around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Behind Sarah you can see where a small stream drains to the ocean, and it turned out to be a focal point for nearby children the whole week as the family next to us diverted the stream to make an island out of their seating area on the beach.
We saw this sailboat a couple of times while we were on the beach.
We spent some time at the pool during the first couple of days, when it was a bit cooler and more windy. In the summer the pools saw a lot of action, but Sarah was the only kid in the pool on this trip.
The condo we rented had a lot of good pool and beach equipment, including chairs, an umbrella and this boogie board, which Sarah got a lot of use out of.
Sarah made friends with a girl her age who was a member of the island-building family next to us, and it turned out they were Nashvillians, so Sherry went over to speak Nashvillian with them. They were really nice folks, and let Sarah try out their paddleboard, which she got a kick out of.
We had a fair amount of lazy time around the condo, and Sherry spent some of it reading on the porch, which we adorned with the Jolly Roger.
I caught this sunset Moday night, and you can see the clouds already starting to break. The sun came out Tuesday, much to our delight.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lou Hoover

I recently read an article on Neatorama about Lou Hoover, President Herbert Hoover's wife, and I was left with the impression that she was quite the badass, as this picture shows. She set the stage for a more active first lady, and the reins were taken up by her successor, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Siege of Yorktown Ends

On October 16, 1781, the siege of Yorktown came to a conclusion as British Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis unsuccessfully attempted to evacuate his troops across the York River after receiving punishing artillery fire from allied American and French forces. Unable to do so, he conducted a council of war, which determined the British situation was hopeless. The next morning a drummer and officer approached the lines with the officer waving a white handkerchief. The surrender document was signed on October 19, ending the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Here is a picture of Sarah, Joey and Jake in Gatlinburg for throwback Thursday. Sarah was about three, which would make the boys around eleven, the age Sarah is now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Restaurant Review -- Janine's Cafe, Burns, Tennessee

I discovered at this year's fall clerks conference that there is a new diner in the booming metropolis of Burns, Tennessee, home of Montgomery Bell State Park. Janine's Cafe inhabits the building formerly occupied by Donna's Place, 2101 Highway 96 in Burns. The fare is similar, home cooking, and the service is quick and prices low. I had a fist-sized hunk of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese, a roll and iced tea for around $10.00 including tip.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Joey and Jake!

These two lads turned 20 today. They are both taller than I am now, and I remember having to hold their hands to help them wade a creek or two. I hope they return the favor when I need it one day. Happy birthday, guys!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Columbus Day!

Today is Columbus Day in the United States.  To celebrate, you can read an account of his discovery derived from his journal.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


This image, from Astronomy Picture of the Day, shows our sun, which displays a solar filament.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Alien Sun Over Italy

This odd sunset was captured over Porta Venere, Italy, and if you look closely at the top layer, it even looks a bit green. The weird effect is from the sun's light refracting in the atmosphere. (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday here is a picture of a family gathering with my Washington kinfolks back in the '80's.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Battle of Kings Mountain

On October 7, 1780, American militiamen consisting of overmountain men from what is now Tennessee, soundly defeated British forces commanded by British Colonel Patrick Ferguson in the Battle of Kings Mountain, in what is now South Carolina. Ferguson had previously made the mistake of sending a message to the mountain folk threatening to "march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders and lay their country waste with fire and sword." He did not survive the battle.

I have previously noted that the Battle of Kings Mountain took place exactly seventeen years after King George III issued his Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbidding settlement of the lands west of the
Appalachian Mountains.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Restaurant Review -- Athens Family Restaurant, Nashville, Tennessee

Last month I passed through Bellevue, the community where we used to live in Nashville, on the way to clerks conference, and I stopped for lunch at Athens Family Restaurant, which I had not seen before. I had suzukakia, which is sort of a Greek meatloaf, with potatoes and a salad. The food was excellent, the service was prompt and the menu had many options, both Greek and American. My total including tea, tax and tip was just shy of $23.00.

UPDATE-September 2016: This place is under the same ownership, but is now called the Bellevue Diner. They still serve both Greek and American fare.

Monday, October 5, 2015

To Boldly Park Where No One Has Parked Before

This is the production model of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701, outside the shop where it was built. The image was taken on December 29, 1964. The Smithsonian is restoring the model of the ship that up until recently was displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and they have put out a request for images or film of the model taken before 1967, which was the last time it was modified for the original series.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sherry!

Today is my lovely wife's birthday. Here she is in one of her more serious moments.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brown Courthouse Clock Tower

I drove to the courthouse today to deliver and pick up interdepartment mail, and as I pulled up to Court Street I was stunned to see that the clock tower has been painted brown.

I took this snapshot from the back of the building, and as you can see, they haven't painted all of it yet. You can see that they have covered the clock faces with plastic to protect them from the paint. I suspect the brown layer is a primer, and that white paint will go on over it after the primer dries.