Sunday, May 31, 2009

"I'll Take New York"

The cool and kind gal behind Cabbage Babble is sending me a postcard from New York City. In the meantime, here is a link to her link to her Flickr slideshow.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I use the Internet for goodness.

I have Google Reader set up so that every time someone posts a picture to flickr with the tag, "Skyline Chili," I see it. Every few days, I see either a picture of a Skyline Chili restaurant or a picture of someone's cheese Coney. Why it makes me so happy to see a picture of someone else's food is probably better analyzed by someone other than me.

I won't share the pictures here and I won't even link to them. If you want to see pictures of that wonderful goodness, then you know where to go.

Have a nice night.

Fighting Over Farrah

Mental Floss linked to several video clips of celebrities who appeared on The Dating Game early in their careers today. Steve Martin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson and Andy Kaufman were among them. My favorite clip, however, was the one where Farrah Fawcett was the one asking the questions and the whole place turned into Fight Club.

Monday, May 25, 2009

He lives at the zoo.

I'll start a scooter blog if I win it.

This is a friendly reminder to some that my friend Jeffraham is trying to win a scooter from the good folks at The generous deal is that if he wins, he's giving the bike to me. My car problems are well documented here and I'd love to have a reason to learn some safe scooter riding skills.

My thanks to everyone who's been voting every day already. You're all groovy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"The only thing missing..."

My grandfather passed away last week. It was one of those bittersweet moments when, within minutes of receiving the news, I saw that my workplace would be hosting a reunion for the retired soldiers of Sewart Air Force Base. My grandfather was stationed at Sewart twice while serving in the U.S. Air Force. The men of Sewart reunite every two years where I work and I am always honored to assist and get to know these men who shared a generation of greatness with my grandfather.

In recent years, I have bonded with these fine men by sharing with them my familial connection to Sewart. They always ask about my grandfather and are interested in knowing about him. Sometimes they ask why he's not at the reunion and sometimes the answer is that he's too weak or in the hospital. Yesterday, a gentleman who drove up from Georgia asked me if my grandfather was attending and I had to answer that we had just lost him a week ago.

From across the room I felt a palpable wave of sorrow and empathy leap from his heart. He had never met my grandfather and had only met me ten minutes before, but I was touched by the sincerity of his emotions. "My condolences," he said, as if he was the first person ever to put those two words together. They weren't spoken merely out of politeness, but shared on the most genuine level. I replied in kind and thanked him graciously. I continued about my day, going about my duties, but keeping the moment close to my heart.

Tonight I saw him again. The group was passing by my work area on their way to dinner and I was greeting everyone and wishing them a nice evening. When I made eye contact with the man from Georgia and asked him how everything was going, he answered, "The only thing missing is your grandfather." Just seven words spoken, but the kindness on his face said so much more: "He was a great man." "He lived a full and accomplished life." "I am so very sorry for your loss."

I hope he realizes just how much I appreciate his kind words. I suspect that he does. It's as if he's lived long enoughand lived through enoughthat he just knows exactly what to say to make someone's day. I thanked him in person and I'm thanking him here. The good men of Sewart Air Force Base will always hold a special place in this grandson's heart.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My favorite ad from right this moment.

Library Time

Discovering Measha Brueggergosman

Listening to SymphonyCast on WPLN last night, I was exposed to the voice of Measha Brueggergosman. Her performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 was nothing short of breathtaking. Listen to it here as Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra.

Below is a clip of Mrs. Brueggergosman singing "Reve Infini (Infinite Dream)." I'm off to the library today to find more.

High water at Percy Priest Lake

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Considering Jobs Within Walking Distance

I'd love to have a job or a part-time job that's in walking distance. Of course, as Steven Wright says, "Everything's walking distance if you have the time." There are a lot of businesses in my area, but none that are necessarily hiring or that pay considerably well. Still, while I'm still trying to figure out my niche, most any half-decent gig should suffice. There's a library and a police station, a hospital and a boat company. There are also several retail shops, restaurants and markets. A frame shop in the area looks interesting. If nothing else, I could learn to make my own walls look more interesting with the knowledge and experience I'd get working in that environment.

When I worked at Turtles Records, I lived less than two miles from the shop and although I had a good car, I would walk down Nolensville Road to work from time to time. That walk did so much to help me really get to know and appreciate my neighborhood better. It wasn't quite the internationally diverse area that it is now, but I still felt enriched to know a world beyond that in which I was raised.

Anyway, I'm in Hermitage now and I find myself walking more out of necessity than desire, but the good vibes from the small journeys are still with me. To quote the good people of Poi Dog Pondering, "You get to know things better when they go by slow."


Paige, Georgia and Samantha

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Grandfather

I'm off to my grandfather's funeral today. Below is an excerpt from something I wrote about him a couple of years ago:

January 24, 2007

And I am off to visit my grandfather. He's sick again and it seems that the worst is expected. But then he looked a bit better than I was preparing myself for. Weak but stable, and certainly in good care.

He's a gentleman, through and through. There are a lot of wonderful men and women in my family, but it's he who has set the bar so high in my eyes. He's a hero for his accomplishments and he's a hero for his humility and kindness. I still learn about how to be a man when I watch him interact with strangers. Whether it's the Fox 17 news reporter who interviewed him a couple of years ago about his days piloting a B-24 bomber in WWII or the nurse who is asking him critical questions today about his health, he always exemplifies the best virtues of humankind.

Gracious, humble and polite, it doesn't seem to ever cross his mind to talk down to another human being. The kind nurse asks him yet another question and he answers, "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am." Twenty hours in a railed hospital bed too short for his long, tall body, with every excuse for extreme grumpiness, and he's still the man I'm so proud to know.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Acoustic Motorbike

One of my favorite songs by Luka Bloom, "The Acoustic Motorbike," seems perfectly appropriate for Bike-To-Work Week . It even has a lyric about rain, and oh how much it is raining here in Nashville today. I had contemplated riding my borrowed bicycle to work today with some concern about the six mile ride home in the dark when my shift ends at ten o'clock tonight. The thunder outside, however, tells me to cross my fingers and take the car instead.

The borrowed bicycle is a bit old and its pedals are a bit challenging for me anyway. So I'm trying to save up a few hundred bucks for a new one that I'm comfortable with. Target has a few that look pretty nice, but I wonder if I'm better off buying at a place that specializes in bicycles. Questions for another day, I suppose. It's time to drive over that dam and get to work.

Excerpted lyrics from "Acoustic Motorbike" are below:

The day began with a rainbow in the sand
As I cycled into Kerry
Cattle grazing on a steep hillside
Looked well fed, well balanced
Close to the edge

Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

I take a break, I close my eyes
And I'm happy as the dolphin
In a quiet spot talking to myself
Talking about the rain
Talking about the rain
All this rain

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Feel Good Friday: Tom Waits - "The One That Got Away"

Original footage:

My Luminous Angel Has Got My Back

The light outside my door always photographs in a way that appears somewhat intriguing.

I need to get better at photographing my littlest one more often. More tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Five Feet High and Rising

I took this picture a few days ago.

Yesterday, the bench was completely under the water.

Enjoy some Johnny Cash.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Shooting The Bear

Facing Briley

It's almost midnight. Standard existentialist stuff applies: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?

The iPod plays. The fence separates. The moon peeks through the clouds. Here's hoping that it all works out in the end.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

That Page Does Not Exist

Remember when I used to use Twitter? That was fun.

My account woke up weird a couple of days ago. I would receive tweets on my phone like normal, but whenever I tried to tweet from my phone, it would create a duplicate account. I followed troubleshooting instructions to no avail and finally gave up this morning. I couldn't even get my phone to temporarily stop receiving tweets which is no good for the battery life. My frustration got the best of me and I deleted the account this morning.

I like the service too much to be done with it and will likely create a new account in a day or so. The problem is that I'm not sure I'll be able to start from scratch properly. My phone is probably still associated with a duplicate account somewhere and won't respond to a request to sync from anything that I create. We'll see. Until then, I'll just have to pretend that the Internet, along with its chatter, doesn't exist when I'm away from home. My phone will simply be a phone. No SMS. No Twitter. Just thoughts in my head to blog about later.

Have a nice day.

Found Umbrella

At the downtown transit station.
I sat down in one of the chairs to wait for my bus and noticed an unattended umbrella that someone had evidently left behind resting against a seat a few feet to my left. While considering taking a picture of it, a woman walked up and asked me if it was mine. I shook my head to answer and she smiled and picked it up. She held it out from her body and opened it, testing it for flaws. Finding it to be a perfectly healthy umbrella, she closed it back up, pulled it to her side and walked away. She had her new umbrella and I had my new picture.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My Two Favorite Banjo Players (Bobby and Steve)

Watching My Stories

The mighty Jane Q. Public made mention tonight on her blog of Bo and Hope Brady's presence on Twitter. While I'd like to say that I'm not the type to watch soap operas, I sure did watch my fair share of Days of Our Lives back in the mid-80s. My great-grandmother was a fan of the show and so when I spent a summer up on the farm where she lived, I watched with her and became more of a follower of those folks from Salem than I would ever admit to my buddies back home. (As it would turn out, they all secretly loved the show as well.)

Anyway, as linked on the Bo and Hope Brady Twitter account, here is a video montage of them getting it on kissing: