Wednesday, January 31, 2007

nashville blizzard 2007 - update.....

Yep, the television weather-people are all up in arms about this possibility of one inch of snow tonight. That's right, one inch. Will they get it right this time? Or will we have "dodged a bullet" once again? As you can see from the TDOT camera here at I-40 East near the 40/65 junction, the sun's out and the sky's pretty clear for now.

You know the guy in your office or building who leaves the first three buttons of his spread collar shirt unbuttoned so that you can see his many gold chains and their medallions? And you know how he always smells like he bathes in Polo? You just want to go up to him and say, "Dude, back off on the eau de cologne!" That's how much brine has been sprayed on the roads around Nashville. On my way to get something to eat a few minutes ago, I kept seeing clouds of dust all down the road. I thought there was some kind of construction going on. Turns out they'd just bathed the roads in brine, the brine has dried, and now the powder is airborne.

For those of you in the Nashville area, remember: you MUST stop by Krogers for milk, bread and toilet paper on your way home. It's the law.....

ain't that a kick in the head.....

Times Herold-Record - 12/13/06

Don Karkos heroically regained sight in his right eye in November after 65 years. A 1941 Navy submarine explosion had knocked him out, and doctors had told him many times that he would never see with that eye again. But Karkos, 82 (a retired horse farmer who works as a security guard at New York's Monticello Raceway), was butted in the head by a horse in November and awoke the next day with sight regained. He said that the blow he took from My Buddy Chimo was even harder than the one from the concussion.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ofit-ism #74

A bird in the hand can sometimes leave behind a big mess.

Monday, January 29, 2007

23 people who will most likely never fall in love again.....

Agence France-Presse - 1/2/07

On New Year's Day at the South African tourist attraction of Cango Caves, an overweight visitor in the "Tunnel of Love" got stuck exiting, and she and the 23 people behind her were trapped for 12 hours until rescuers used a pulley and liquid paraffin (to grease the rocks) to extricate her.

Friday, January 26, 2007

2 more ways to tell i'm getting old.....

Yep, proof of getting old sometimes seems to hit you right between the eyes. Take this past weekend. The bride went prom dress shopping with Meg. Uh-huh. Not only is my oldest daughter old enough to be preparing for her first prom, but I'm also old enough to have a daughter who's old enough to be preparing for her first prom. Their shopping paid off, but not until later in the week. Some of these prom dresses are ridiculous, both in price and their lack of, um, modesty, shall we say. Seems like Dad once told me what they paid for their first house; some prom dresses now cost more than that.

The second way to prove I'm getting old happened to me Wednesday night. While on the couch with Sara, she and the bride attempted to tickle me. I'm notorious for tickling them, but I'm not too big on being tickled myself. (Yes, I'll admit that I can dish it out but I can't take it.) My biggest concern is that I'll accidentally hurt someone when I try to fend them off. So in trying to escape the tickling, I pulled a muscle in my rib cage. Rolling over in bed is ever so much fun now. So is backing out of the driveway.

Please pass the Icy Hot.....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

mommy and daddy sticking their nose where it ought not be.....

San Francisco Chronicle - 11/30/06

Parents of some Castro Valley (Calif.) High School girls, led by aggressive county judge Larry Goodman, have waged a campaign to oust the school's girls' basketball coach, Nancy Nibarger, claiming that she insufficiently valued their daughters' skills in team tryouts. In October, school officials, in a compromise, created a committee to pick the team, but that committee, too, found the complaining girls not worthy enough. (Several of the parents, undaunted, vowed to continue seeking Nibarger's dismissal.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

dissed by a comic book store geek.....

A couple of Saturdays ago I decided to stop by a nearby trading card store to look for some football cards. Over the next several months, we're going to turn our bonus room into a University of Tennessee room. I found some trading card frames on e-Bay so now I'm in the process of searching for some good UT player cards.

I walk into the store and I saw all kinds of Star Wars stuff, Duel Masters stuff, Pokemon stuff, and all other kinds of stuff that didn't have anything to do with football or any other kind of sport. There were 3 or 4 guys in their late-teens/early-20's huddled around a computer monitor behind the counter. None looked like they had shaved for several days, and they obviously weren't too concerned about their hygiene. I did a quick look around the store and realized there was nothing here but, uh, stuff that didn't interest me in the least. But the bride is always after me to "ask someone" whenever I can't find something in a store, so I did. I went up to the counter and one of the non-shaven guys looked up from the monitor.

"Could I help you, sir?"

"You don't carry sports cards of any kind, do you?"

And then it happened. Maybe he didn't mean it. Or maybe it's just how comic book/trading card store employees are. They probably have a training school that teaches them how to react whenever a sports fan asks them if they have sports trading cards. But this was his reaction.

"Uh, {snicker} no, we don't {chortle}."

So me and my sports-loving 42-year-old frame left the comic book store. I think even the life-sized cutout of Darth Maul smirked at me as I left.....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

smells like team spirit.....

Flint, Michigan (WJRT-TV) - 11/13/06

Charles Littleton, 22, was defiant even after being Tasered by police when he resisted efforts to remove him from a Saginaw (Mich.) City Council meeting. He said he had to stand up for his right to wear his Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, despite a rule banning hats for men inside. "It means more than just a hat," he said. "It's like my crown. It's like asking a king to remove his crown."

Monday, January 22, 2007

one monkey extraction, coming up.....

Finally. For years the critics have said that Peyton Manning couldn't win the big games. It was amusing to watch the "expert" analysts change their tunes from halftime to when the game was over.
I'll admit, I thought it was over at 21-3. New England had owned Indy for years. (The bride was so kind to remind me of that when the clock went to triple-0's. I swear, she could be the next Rich Little.) But I sure was glad to see them win.

Congratulations, Peyton.....

Friday, January 19, 2007

helen crump was a shrew.....

I was watching the last 10 minutes of "The Andy Griffith Show" last night. It was the one where Aunt Bee is gone and Goober decides to fill in for her around the Taylor household. Howard Sprague called to say that the youth meeting had been changed to another night, and that Helen Crump had invited Andy to dinner. Goober, with no formal training to take phone messages, got confused and said that Howard had invited him to dinner after they had already eaten a big supper of spaghetti. Howard's mom, unaware that Howard had invited Andy to dinner, whipped up a spaghetti dinner. When he got home, Helen called to find out why Andy was so late coming to dinner. So with 2 spaghetti dinners down, he shows up at Helen's for some more spaghetti.

Helen's reaction to Andy was nothing short of hateful. She acted like he'd just kicked her in the shin and spit in her face. In fact, that was her reaction to Andy any time things weren't exactly peachy. I'm not sure why he put up with it. He dated several different women over the years before he met Helen, so one would figure he could find someone else pretty easily.

There was Miss Ellie. She ran the drugstore and they always got along well. There was Mary Simpson, the town nurse. She was my favorite, always nice, always
pleasant. Barney ended up ruining that relationship by being a third wheel. Even Charlene Darling would have been an improvement over Helen Crump.

Seems to me like Andy would have tried to date one of the Party Girls from Mount Pilot after being around the crabby Miss Crump for so long.....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

so far, it's more like american idle.....

Have you seen the first two nights of auditions? Is American running out of talented singers? Or is it just in Minneapolis and Seattle?

The first night, there was only one clear-cut talent - I think her name was Sarah. Maybe some of the ones who made it weren't shown, as that would have cut into the time allotted for people like the juggler, the female cowardly lion, and "Big Red". Simon had this to say about the second night's talent level: "Seattle is going to be known for something other than coffee this year. They had the worst bunch of miserable singers that I've ever met in my life. It was two days of total misery. And the weather was bad, as well."

Season Five saw the best ratings yet. Sounds like Season Six has alot of catching up to do.....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Every now and then I'll run across an article title that seems so absurd that it makes me want to read the article itself. Here's one that got me this morning: "Study: Kids become more materialistic during teen years." Really? You're kidding me! A college professor who read the study said the survey showed that "materialistic young people display reduced generosity." Sign me up for one of this guy's informative, earth-shattering classes.

Makes me wonder just how much they spent on this study. Or how much of a grant they got from the federal and state governments.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

is that a penguin in your backpack or are you just happy to see me.....

This story comes to you courtesy of the bride.

My lovely bride works as a teacher's assistant in a special education class. One of the other
teachers in special ed told her a story about a friend who is a special ed teacher at another school.

It seems that the teacher, along with another special ed class, had gone on a field trip to the zoo. About 30 minutes into the outing, the teacher realized that she couldn't find one of her students, a 9-year-old little boy with autism. She frantically looked all around the zoo, asking other students and teachers if they had seen the little boy. Panic set in. She finally decided to go back to the bus and call the school, the police, the little boy's parents.

When she arrived at the bus, she saw the lost boy. He was soaking wet, standing beside the bus, wearing his backpack. The teacher was relieved to see him, but was puzzled by his dampened attire. She then realized that the little boy's backpack was moving. The teacher unzipped the backpack to find a penguin. Turns out the little boy was so taken with the bird that he jumped into the man-made pool and captured one for himself.

Determination won't ever be a problem for that kid.....

Monday, January 15, 2007

nice surprise.....

Last week our pastor told us that there would be a big surprise for those who came to the 9:15 service the following week. I had actually forgotten all about it.

The worship band and singers came out, did a couple of songs and then left the stage. I thought that was a little odd, but sometimes they mix the service order up and Rick preaches earlier. Then he called a couple up on stage who was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The Smiths are long-time members and have served in several different capacities over the years. So the pastor says they have flowers for them and asks for the "flower guy" to bring them out. It was the Smiths' son - Michael W. Smith. After giving his mom the flowers and hugging both parents, Michael led us in worship. (You can see/listen to it here [under video, 1-14-07]. The video's in 2 parts; it's about 5 minutes into the second part.)

Nice surprise for those of us in attendance.....

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

pool and tv in the afternoons.....

I didn't do it every day, but most days after school were spent at Stevie Keesling's house. The Keeslings had a pool table in their basement and I loved to play pool. I was never all that good at it, but we didn't have a pool table so that made it cool. That plus the fact that Stevie's mom would let us drink Coke.

While we played pool we watched afternoon television. This was before there were 873 channels with all kinds of choices. One of the local stations would run old sitcoms from the 60's - Gilligan's Island, Gomer Pyle, Andy Griffith, The Addams Family, The Munsters.

I thought about this yesterday because I read that Yvonne DeCarlo, who played
Lily Munster, passed away this past Monday. (That just leaves Eddie and Marilyn as the only surviving cast members, for anyone keeping up with this.) It wasn't exactly cerebral comedy, you didn't have to think about it alot. It was, at times, just plain stupid. But we were 9-year-old boys. Stupid was what we knew. And we loved the show.

Every now and then I'll catch an episode of The Munsters on television and watch a little of it. It's good to feel 9-years-old from time to time. I wonder what Stevie's up to these days.....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

for what it's worth.....

We watched the first Exteme Home Makeover for 2007 Sunday night. Really? That was it? Two sets of "Brady-Bunch-esque" families who want to get together but can't because the guy's house is too small and has some structural damage? Maybe I'm being too hard here, but it seems that there ought to be some other family somewhere who's having a more difficult go of things than these families. Could be that I'm comparing this family to some of the other families who have been featured in the past. Or is America running out of families that that are in desparate need of help?

If they are, I've got a suggestion for them. I know someone who once lived in a house that was in much worse shape than the one they showed Sunday night. She doesn't live there any more, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind a retroactive visit from good ol' Ty. They could build her a new house, nothing nearly as fancy or as large as what they normally build. And she wouldn't have to go to Paris, France either. She'd be just as happy going across the mountain for a week in Harlan, Kentucky or maybe Kingsport.

The only potential problem would be whether or not the Design Team's bus could make it over the mountains to Pennington Gap. Well, that and the people there wouldn't know how to react to someone like Michael.....

well, there's a first time for everything.....

Hawkeye Pierce once said that being nice to Frank Burns was like kissing Hitler on the mouth. I sort of felt that way last night as I watched the BCS Title Game hoping that Florida would win. The bride sat on the couch and said, "I never thought I'd see the day that my husband would root for Florida."

I don't think anyone in the country could have beaten Florida last night. And that definitely wasn't the same team that UT almost beat back in September. Urban Meyer did an outstanding job getting his team ready for this game. Ohio State had that "deer in the headlight" look all night long. They looked surprised that Florida was that fast. That's the kind of team the rest of the SEC faces every week. Ohio State had one big game during the regular season; Florida and the other SEC teams have big games within the conference every week. Congratulations to the Gator Nation. They deserved it.

While I did pull for Florida to win last night, I think it's important to note that I did have a Tennessee shirt on all the while.....

Monday, January 08, 2007

temptation has many faces.....

I'm trying to eat better. Not trying to starve myself, but I want to eat better and eventually lose a few pounds. I succombed to temptation Friday at lunch. But it wasn't really my fault. Honest.

I was on my way to a meeting and stopped by the McDonald's drive-through to pick up something to eat. I ordered a couple of chicken snack wraps and a medium Diet Coke. I swear, that's what I ordered. I paid, drove to the next window and had my food handed to me.

I drove about a mile to a park and pulled my car under a tree. Then it happened. I opened the bag and there they were. French fries. And not a small order, either. It was the big-dog order. The kind where container's so big that homeless people fight over the discarded ones for shelter. Yeah, that big. The lady at the drive-through must have put them in my bag by mistake. The she-devil.

I was faced with a choice - should I just dig past the fries and eat my chicken wraps, or should I simply enjoy them as a gift? I dug down and removed my chicken wraps from the bottom of the bag, bypassing the french fries.

Oh, I ate the fries, I just ate the chicken wraps first.....

Friday, January 05, 2007

more charmin needed behind bush number 3.....

Seattle Times - 10/4/06

About a dozen Asian women living in Seattle flock to Bigelow Street every September, for hours at a time, to gather fallen chestnuts to take home and boil, according to a report in The Seattle Times. The residents of the upscale homes say they've come to accept the ladies, some elderly, who thoroughly search yards for hours and make themselves at home on the properties (including relieving themselves in the shrubbery) while waiting for the next batch to fall.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

this is why nasa doesn't recruit cingular employees.....

I've never been a big fan of Cingular. Their commercials say they have the fewest dropped calls of any network. That's baloney here in middle Tennessee. We were finally able to end our contract with them and change over to Verizon, thank goodness. While we were with Cingular, we found their customer service to be horrendous. A friend of mine learned this for herself last week.

I have a friend whose father passed away a couple of weeks ago. He had been in the hospital for a week or so following surgery and took a sudden turn for the worse. Another friend called me on a Sunday morning while I was in church to tell me he had died earlier that morning. She and a sister spent last week cleaning out their dad's house. He'd lived alone for over 20 years and was a bit of a pack rat, so there was plenty to go through.

They sorted out all his bills and started contacting the different companies. One by one, she talked to customer service reps and told them about their father's passing. Then came the call to Cingular.

She told the customer service rep that her father had passed away and wanted to know what they should do about the Cingular account. Here's the conversation as it was told to me.

Cingular rep - "Well, he still has a few months left on his contract."

Friend - "So if we don't pay it, will you just go ahead and charge it off in 60 days?"

Cingular rep - "The only problem is that if it's not paid, it will reflect poorly on his credit history."

{silence, deafening silence}

Cingular rep - "Uh......"

Friend - "Tell you what, if you don't hear from me in 60 days, you know what to do. Oh, and I don't think my dad's too concerned about his credit history where he is right now." {click}

Cingular - raising the bar, and lowering your credit score.....even after you die.....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

too much of a good thing.....

I like steak. I mean I really like steak. There's nothing better than a nice, tender, bacon-wrapped filet mignon grilled with a little garlic butter. But as much as I like steak, I don't think I could eat it every day. I need some variety. Throw in a little pizza, some fried chicken, maybe some pancakes for supper one night.

I love to watch movies, but lately I'm just about movied-out. The bride and I try to see at least one movie a year in a theater. I've been to the theater 3 times in the past 3 weeks. On top of that, I've watched several movies at home over the past couple of weeks. I'm almost at my limit for movie watching. Here's what I've seen over the past 3 weeks:

Borat - I think I mentioned this one before. If you just HAVE to see it, wait for the DVD.

Cars - I've seen this movie 3 times in the past month. One of the best Disney/Pixar movies ever done. Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) steals the show.

The Pursuit of Happyness - Very good movie, but depressing. I admire the guy for what he went through and his ability to stay sane. Made me wonder if I'd be strong enough given the same situation.

We Are Marshall - Good movie. Matthew McConaughey does a great job.

Benchwarmers - Uh, it was a movie. About 90 minutes long. And that's all I have to say about that.

Diary of a Mad Black Woman - The bride had heard about how funny this movie was. After about 25 minutes she said, "This is stupid!" I thanked her for saying so, because I felt the same way but didn't want to say anything. That's just what good husbands do. Modesty won't permit me say any more.

Election - I like this movie, sort of a dark comedy. I'd seen it a couple of times before, but I convinced the bride that she should watch it with me on New Year's Eve. Yeah, we're boring people. That, and we had about a dozen teenagers in our bonus room.

Invinceable - Enjoyable movie. I loved watching the clips from some of the old games. I can't imagine how great it must have felt to be an ordinary guy who gets the opportunity to play in the NFL.

I think it's time to spend a little less time watching movies and a little more time exercising. At least that's what my waistline is telling me.....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

seems like more than a week ago.....

I took down the outside Christmas lights yesterday afternoon. I went outside last night to get something out of my car, and it was much darker out there than it was the night before. Only a couple of houses on our street still had their lights out. I love to see lights on and around houses. Those two houses stood out even more last night.

I came back inside and it hit me - Christmas day had been just 7 days ago. How is that possible? Why does it feel like it was so much longer than that? Maybe it's because we spend so much time preparing for it, then when the day arrives it's over with in a blink of on eye.

We're keeping the Christmas trees up a few more days.....

Monday, January 01, 2007

yeah, 9 is better than 5 but.....

Tough loss for the Vols today. Seemed that Penn State's defense got stronger as the game went on. And their running back was a bull. The difference in the game was the turnovers. 10 points off of 3 turnovers. Ugly.

Oh, well, just 242 days until we play again.....