Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Sometimes I wonder if my cat is really Batman.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Last Show

Yesterday's performance of Aladdin Jr. by the Primary Players was wonderful and well-attended. Sarah was one of several narrators/reporters, and I could tell she enjoyed wielding a microphone. We had a good group come over to the house after the matinee to visit a bit and to lunch with us on Santa Fe soup and cornbread. There is a final show today at 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spring in February

We continue to enjoy a mild winter here in lovely East Tennessee. Pictured are blooms on our ornamental magnolia tree that we bought last year (above), and our annual crop of grape hyacinth (below). The Primary Players are performing Aladdin Jr. today and tomorrow at the Clayton Center here in Maryville. Sherry and Sarah left shortly after noon in order to get Sarah into costume by the 2:00 p.m. matinee, which Mom, Grams and I plan to attend. I have a crock pot full of Santa Fe soup cooking, and we'll make us a corn pone after the show to feed everyone.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Marbury v. Madison

On February 24, 1803, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its unanimous opinion in the famous case Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), setting forth its power to rule upon the constitutionality of Congressional legislation.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday -- Long Lost Cat Version

For today's throwback Thursday I give you a picture of Sarah and Louie, the cat Molly replaced. Louie was a good cat, but he liked to wander. That was okay when we lived in our rental townhouse on Lively Road when we first moved to Maryville from Nashville, but it was not such a good thing once we moved to our current home on Everett Hill. He went prowling one day and never returned.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Earth and Moon

This image, from the GOES-16 satellite, shows our moon above the Earth. (Via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

First Publication of the Cherokee Phoenix

On February 21, 1828, the Cherokee Phoenix was first published. Published in both English and Cherokee, it was the first newspaper published in a Native American language, using Sequoyah's famous syllabary.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day, and Sarah and I have the day off from school and work. Enjoy the holiday!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Admission of Vermont

On February 18, 1791, the United States Congress passed legislation admitting the State of Vermont, which had functioned as a sovereign independent state since 1777, into the United States as the fourteenth state, effective March 4, 1791.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review -- Eisenhower in War in Peace by Jean Edward Smith

A couple of months ago I made it through the lengthy Eisenhower in War in Peace by Jean Edward Smith. My paternal grandfather was Harvey Isenhour, and his surname is pronounced the same as President Eisenhower's is, so I was interested to learn more about a President to whom I might be distantly related.

I was aware that Eisenhower had an affair during World War II, but wasn't aware of the extent of it until I finished this book. He basically kept her as a wife in Europe while Mamie, his actual wife, remained stateside, and then he abruptly dumped her when the war was over. That, of course, was a small part of his World War II story, and his overall story is even broader.

Eisenhower is part of the reason we have an interstate highway system. Early in his military career he was involved in an exercise to take a military convoy across the United States on what was then a very primitive road system, at least from our point of view. The difficulties the convoy encountered on that trip convinced him of the need for a national system of roadways.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Here is a picture of Joey and Jake when they were about eleven for today's throwback Thursday picture.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Letter from Columbus

On February 15, 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote an open letter aboard the Nina describing his exploration of various islands in the Caribbean. Copies were widely distributed in the months following his return to Europe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Sherry and I got married on the second floor of the justice center on St. Valentine's Day 2002, making today our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

UPDATE: When I mentioned to Sherry that the 15th wedding anniversary is the crystal anniversary, she insisted that I buy her Krystals for Valentines Day supper.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Backhoe on the Hill

We came home a couple of days this past week to find this small backhoe parked across the street from our house. It has been moved down the street, but the concrete pieces are still out there. Also, workers cut a slice in the road in front of our mailbox, suggesting that they will be digging the road up again. They dug a trench across the road and a hole in the neighbor's yard a couple of years ago after I called the city when I noted water coming up out of the road. Perhaps that was a temporary repair, and this work will improve upon it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Daffodils in February

We have unseasonably warm weather again this weekend with temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and daffodils open in our front yard. Sherry and Sarah are heading out in about an hour to work on some of the stage settings for Sarah's theater group, and then they are going to see the movie La La Land. I checked the Star Trek movie Generations out of the library this morning, and I will view that while they are away.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Red Aurora

This image shows a red aurora in the atmosphere above Australia. NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day explains why the aurora is red rather than green.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday, here is a picture of a little bitty Sarah holding a little bitty Molly about ten years ago.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

On February 8, 1587, Mary Stuart, known as Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded for being implicated in a plot to kill Elizabeth I.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Food Truck Review -- Blair's Backwoods BBQ, Vonore, Tennsseess

As I mentioned here previously, we have been visited by food trucks for lunch at the Blount County Justice Center for the past couple of months, and Blair's Backwoods BBQ is one of the trucks that I've purchased a couple of sandwiches from. I've had their pulled pork sandwich with slaw on the sandwich both times and was very happy with the quality of the food. That particular sandwich is $5.00, or $5.50 if you want slaw on it. They also served baked potatoes, and they seem to be big sellers for them, at least at the justice center. They have announced that Blair's will be back for lunch at the justice center on February 7, 14 and 21 this month.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Monopoly

The board game Monopoly was first published on February 6, 1935. It is interesting that no one plays this game by its rules, which provide for an auction each time someone lands on an unowned property.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dishwasher Mojo

We have a Kenmore Ultra Wash dishwasher, and it is at least 7 years old. It stopped working a week or so ago, and the green light that indicates your dishes are clean was flashing. The owners manual had a troubleshooting guide that said the dishwasher needed a service call, and as old as it is, we started thinking we might need to replace it.

I did a little online research to find out about the life span of a dishwasher, the possibility of servicing it and the cost of replacing it. I was surprised and pleased to learn from my internet browsing that the control panel needed to be reset. On our dishwasher you push normal wash followed by heated dry four times quickly, and it resets the control panel. The dishwasher will then go through a test cycle that lasts around 15 minutes.

Winter Sundown

I took this picture from our bedroom window facing north toward Alcoa and Knoxville as the sun was going down one day last week. Winter is cold, but it can be pretty.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cold February Morning

It is a very cold winter morning here on Maryville's Everett Hill, although overall our weather has been quite mild for the past couple of weeks for January and early February in East Tennessee. The Primary Players children's theater group is currently rehearsing for their upcoming production of Aladdin Jr., so the girls have been very busy since the holidays. The shows are at the end of the month, and the closer to showtime the more intense preparations become. Tickets and showtimes are available at the Clayton Center for the Arts, here in Maryville where the shows will be performed.

Yesterday Sherry and I attended a parents' breakfast at Maryville Junior High School, where Sarah will attend eighth grade this fall. Five of her classes are required, but she gets two electives. To no one's surprise her choices are art and drama, with Teen Living and a computer technology class as her two alternate choices. The parents' meeting was very informative, and I feel good about the level of academic rigor she will have at the junior high.

Sherry is going to help with costumes and props for the play today while I supervise Sarah and her friend, Grace, who is coming over later this morning. I'm going to wait until the sun starts to come up and then head out for groceries before the girls awaken. I'm guessing the kids will spend most of the day playing video games while I do some household chores.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Movie Review -- Star Trek Beyond

I rented and watched Star Trek Beyond last weekend and was prepared for a really good movie based upon the reviews I had read; however, I found it very difficult to follow the plot because so much of the action happened in the dark. I suspect it wouldn't have been as bad if I had watched it when the sun was down, but since I watched it in the morning I couldn't see what was going on during about a third of the movie. The movie before it, Star Trek Into Darkness, got bad reviews, but I liked it a lot better.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day in the United States. It is a ridiculous holiday based on the superstition that says that if a groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow, then we have six more weeks of winter weather.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Sunsphere

I was in Knoxville for a County Technical Assistance Service class, and as I was departing I snapped this shot of the Sunsphere from Henley Street looking west toward the university.