Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Food Trucks at the Justice Center

I started following the trend toward food trucks several years ago as they appeared in Nashville. I worked for three years in an office building in Metro Center, and it was all I could do to get out of my building and drive a few blocks to a fast food restaurant to have lunch within an hour. I eventually gave up and started carrying my lunch to work and have done it ever since. Since then, Knoxville has enacted ordinances to regulate its growing food truck industry, and I was happy to learn recently that Maryville has followed suit.

I'd been hoping for months that we would eventually have food trucks occasionally serve lunch at the justice center, and in December started seeing them. Local favorite Bread of Heaven was one of the first, and I'd been hoping for that ever since they started serving their delicious barbecue out of their food truck in the parking lot of the Big Lots on Hall Road in Alcoa. So far we've also had the Soup Kitchen, Jamamerican Jerk and Blair's Backwoods Barbecue. I haven't seen a schedule for February food trucks yet, but I hope they keep 'em coming.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Home on the Hill

We've had another low-key weekend and have done very little other than buy groceries, although Sherry did go out and have breakfast with her friend Lisa yesterday morning. Our freezers and plastic containers are full, so there really hasn't been any cooking to do except for some dirty rice I made for dinner yesterday.

Today's forecast calls for clouds and rain, and it may convert to snow overnight. I think the ground will be too warm for any of it to stick, except maybe on the grass. We'll see.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Apollo I

On January 27, 1967, Apollo I astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Robert Chaffee were killed by a fire in the cabin of their Command Module during a launch rehearsal.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday here's a picture of Sherry and Sarah ten years ago at the Little Ponderosa Zoo up in Anderson County.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


This is Mimas, a moon of Saturn that is only about 250 miles in diameter. Its large crater, Herschel, makes it look like the Death Star. In the middle of the crater is a mountain nearly as tall as Mount Everest here on Earth. (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

John Hancock's Birthday

Today is John Hancock's birthday. He was born on January 23, 1737, in Massachusetts. He was a leader in the American revolution and is most famous for his large signature on the Declaration of Independence.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Home for the Weekend

After traveling last weekend, we are going to enjoy a restful weekend at home this weekend. We have had unseasonably warm temperatures all week, and it is around 50 degrees this morning, so I'm going to begin my day with a trip to the recycling center to empty out our garage after the holidays, which tend to generate a lot of recycling. I have a few items to pick up at the grocery store, but I won't have much since I bought a big load of groceries on Monday to stock us up. I have a couple of ham hocks leftover from Honeybaked hams we had over the holidays, so I think I'm going to make a batch of Senate bean soup to have on hand for lunches. We are expecting rain for the weekend, beginning later this morning, so I need to get a move on to get my errands done before it starts. It will be a good weekend for domestic activities.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bellver Castle, Spain

The supermoon rises above Belver Castle in Spain in December. (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For today's throwback Thursday pictures I dug out a couple more old pictures from out at the Camp, our family cabin property in Estill Springs from the 1990's, when my grandparents were still alive and keeping the place mowed and landscaped. It has been overgrown by the woods now, except for the path from the cabin to the creek and the fire pit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review -- "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf

I recently enjoyed the audiobook version of "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf. The authors alert the reader at the beginning of the book that it is not a chronological biography of Jefferson, which I found somewhat disappointing, since that was what I was expecting. It was, however, a scholarly study of various aspects of his life, especially his family and personal life. While I was and am more interested in his public life, I enjoyed the audiobook.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Battle of Cowpens

On January 17, 1781, American troops commanded by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeated British forces led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton in the pivotal Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina. This was on the heels of another British defeat at the Battle of Kings Mountain the preceding October and eventually led to the Battle of Yorktown, which ended the war for all intents and purposes.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nashville Weekend

I attended the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Conference this weekend in Nashville, and Sherry and Sarah joined me on the trip. We did not get to see Joey or Grams during the Christmas holidays, so we celebrated with them on Saturday afternoon at Grams' house.
Joey's girlfriend Abby joined us at Grams' house, and they came back to the hotel downtown afterward for a dip in the indoor pool and some pizza.
Gram's place is on a bluff over the Cumberland River, and it is not unusual to see barges going up or down the river there. This was a long bunch of coal barges.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ratification Day

On January 14, 1784, the Confederation Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the American Revolutionary War. The anniversary of this event is known as Ratification Day.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Since yesterday was Gracie's birthday, she is featured here in 2010 with her mama down at the beach for today's throwback Thursday picture.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy Birthday, Grace!

My dear niece Grace celebrates her tenth birthday today. Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Watchful Protector

Emma is the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sunday, January 8, 2017

More Snow Pictures

Our thermometer registers three degrees Fahrenheit this morning, although as you can see it was quite sunny yesterday. Whatever snow melted yesterday is now ice.

 La sent this picture of Cozy Creek up on Flat Branch Road between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The neighbors checked on the place for them, and no pipes froze. They said they got around eight inches.
La and Grace

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow in East Tennessee/Sun in South Florida

We had snow overnight from the system that has dumped winter weather through much of the southeast United States. Although I haven't measured, I reckon that we got between two and three inches here on Everett Hill. It is also bitterly cold out with the temperature reading 18 degrees when I went outside to take these pictures and to knock the snow off of our cars. I was only outside maybe ten minutes and was wearing my Goretex/Thinsulate gloves, and my fingers still almost froze.
This is the view looking west on Forest Avenue in front of our house. You can tell that cars have passed, but the snowplows haven't made it through yet to begin clearing it. Cars have been traveling on East Broadway since early this morning.

Sherry had to work today at her new job at Blackberry Farm in beautiful Walland. Before she started there we went to Little River Outfitters and bought her some high-tech winter gear, which she really needed. Fortunately, she has a coworker with a four-wheel drive vehicle, and they and another coworker met at the justice center and carpooled this morning.
The snow ended here about 8:00 a.m. this morning, and the sun quickly chased the worst of the clouds away. I was hoping that Sarah and I would be able to sled or build a snowman today, but the high is only going to get to 22 degrees. I don't see us wanting to stay outside long in that kind of cold, but we'll see.
Sister Leslie, meanwhile, has moved to Del Ray Beach, Florida, for the winter where she has taken residence with my old high school friend Mark Freeman, who also recently moved down there. It is just a few miles north of where Mom and Ron used to live in Deerfield Beach. I told them to be sure and have conch fritters at the Whale's Rib, where another high school friend, John Penland, took me to have them back in the 1980's. Les reports that it is 72 degrees in South Florida and that she and Mark are about to go for a walk on the beach. Nothing beats southern Florida in the winter when you know there's snow and cold weather back home.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Earl Scruggs

On January 6, 1924, Earl Scruggs was born in Cleveland County, North Carolina, near Boiling Springs. If you aren't familiar with any other of his work, you would surely recognize "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" from the Beverly Hillbillies, which he performed with his partner, Tennessee's Lester Flatt.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday -- School of Rock Edition

For today's throwback Thursday picture, here's Sarah posing next to my electric guitar back in 2006 at our house on River Bend Circle in Nashville.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Gods Are Displeased

This image captures dramatic lightning strikes over Missouri captured in 2011. They must have angered the thunder gods. (Via Earth Science Picture of the Day)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Battle of Stones River

On January 2, 1863, the Battle of Stones River concluded at Murfreesboro after Union forces commanded by General William Rosencrans repulsed two Confederate attacks and caused the withdrawal of their troops under Major General Braxton Bragg.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

With 2016 now in the rear view mirror, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017! It will be Fourth of July before we know it.