Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Headin' home this mornin'.

Breakfast is cookin', so this'll be short. We'll try to get as far as we can today so the drive on the 31st is short. Plan to stop in Ft. Worth that day and see some friends there. Plan is to be home and celebrate the new year in our own bed. Here's to tryin'.

Anyway, I'll see ya when we get back. Cheers!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Went to the movies tonight.

No, it wasn't Imax. There were no explosions and no humans died grisly deaths. The littlest of us, Denise's 9 or 10 year old grandson wanted to go see a chick flick, and all the chicks who run the show around here agreed.

We slept in again, as usual, and then rolled around the house much of the day today. I was watchin' Hannibal and some other History Channel stuff on TV. Plans were to go to an early showing, but everyone was still laid out on a couch or bed, vegetatin' when that opportunity rolled by. We ended up goin' to the 6:40 showing of Marley And Me.

We joked walkin' in that it'll probably be sad. I said somethin' about how the dog'll probably get leukemia in the end, like in "Beaches". Doesn't every chick flick have to end like that? I think it's a rule.

Anyway, I have to say, I loved the hell out of the movie! It had a slow build, but it turned out to be really good. And yes, we were all ballin' like fools at the end. I think even the usually emotionless teenager in the group was whipin' his face once when I looked over.

The performances were all great. I did get tired of lookin' at Owen Wilson's weird assed nose in all those closeups. What, did he have a horrible wrench accident as a kid or somethin'?

Anyway, if you've ever doubted the course of your life. Ever wondered what the hell you're doing. If you've ever been loved by a pet. Felt that unconditional love they always give, and then had to do what all good pet owners eventually have to do, don't miss the movie. It's well worth the price of admission.

Well, dinner's on the table, so this'll be a short one. Y'all have a great night and we'll talk again in a few. Cheers!

Oh, I forgot to tell you one thing. One of the surprises in the movie was the appearance of Kathleen Turner in one scene. I tell ya, that speeding freight train called AGE musta run smack dab into her, t-bonin' her when she wasn't lookin', tryin' to cross the tracks. Beat that signal. Remember when she was so hot? It hasn't been that long ago, has it?

Anyway, it's a great flick. Check it out. Cheers!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Havin' a nice weekend in Kentucky.

We got up late on Saturday and had bagels for breakfast. Denise went to a place called Panera Bread for those. They were wonderful. She lived around here for twenty some odd years, so she knows all the good spots to get the best stuff.

Later Saturday afternoon, we all (Denise and I, her eldest daughter Chantal and her two sons Bryce and Collin, Denise's younger daughter Lynn and her husband Dale) piled into two cars and drove about an hour south to Nashville. We went to a huge mall and resort down there, the Gaylord Opryland, and paid about twenty bucks a piece to see ice sculptures of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".

Seein' as how it was about 72 there, with folks walkin' around the mall in shorts and flip flops, the 9 degree temperatures inside the "Ice" show were much more to my liking. It turned out to be really cool, and I got all sorts of good pictures of it, including one of my breath as I blew condensation like a chimney. But, being here in Bowling Green, I don't have access to my home PC. I can't download them and work on them till I get home, so you'll have to wait a bit to see them. Maybe this weekend.

After the chill of the Grinch, and after some wonderful hot chocolate after, we spent a few hours walkin' around the mall. It's friggin' HUGE, with an Imax theatre and a half dozen restaurants, all packed. At one point it occurred to me that we could see "The Day The Earth Stood Still" at the Imax, but the ladies poo pooed that idea. Not enough time. Then I became enthralled with the idea of eating there in Nashville and having a Yuengling off the tap. Nope, that didn't happen ether.

The first few places we looked at were ether the wrong food or there was a two hour wait for a seat. So, after the walk around the mall, we hit the road, thinking we'd find a place to eat off the highway. Well, before you knew it we were in Kentucky again, rollin' into a TGIF here in Bowling Green, where they don't have Yuengling. Muh! The food was good, if maybe a bit overdone. I couldn't help but feel a bit gypped.

Oh well, It was a fun time anyway, so I can't complain. Denise is really enjoying her time here with her kids. She keeps asking me if there's anything I want to do, but I tell her that I'm easy. Whatever she wants to do is cool, and that's the truth.

Today, Sunday, She and I drove up to Elisabethtown, near Ft. Knox, to visit a few old friends of hers from her Ft. Knox days. That was a lot of fun. Of course, the day was darkened by the dismal performance of the Cowboys.

Friggin' Cowboys! Here I am, in a nest of Satan worshipers (Packers fans - well, imps of Satan anyway), havin' to put up with their abuse, and the 'boys played like rank armatures! I'm glad I was on the road all day with Denise and didn't have to watch it. These boys, her grandsons, would have learned a whole new collection of expletives!

Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Maybe another trip to E-town or Nashville. We are plannin' to go to a movie at some point, but I don't think I'll be able to talk them into the Imax thing.

Whatever goes on, I'll tell you about it in a few days. Cheers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Just chillin', here in Kentucky, in nauseatingly warm temperatures.

Nauseatingly warm! It's like 67 now. I might as well be in Texas! The drive up to Wisconsin has been called off. Ironically, too friggin' much snow! Denise's relatives all told her not to try it. I was yellin' "We're comin'!" from the other seat, but it' ain't happenin'. I'm destined to go without a white Christmas this year. Baaaa, humbug!

Otherwise, everything here is cool. The drive was painless. We left Mom's place in Temple after having a brief Christmas thing there. She made us more fried chicken and baked beans. We left there, me ballin' like a fool (Only after we left. Didn't want Mom to see.), and got on I-35 at 3PM.

We drove to Memphis Wednesday night, making a few gas and pee stops here and there. We got to Little Rock and crossed the Arkansas river at 10:30. We were still feelin' good, Denise drivin' and me relaxin', and decided to keep goin'.

We stopped at that rest stop on the way to Memphis, but that stray dog was nowhere to be found. Hopefully someone has found a way to take her in. We drove on and crossed the big, lit up bridge over the Big Muddy at 1AM.

We stopped at a La Quinta on the East side of Memphis and had a great nights sleep. I think we both drank about three adult beverages while we wound down from the road. After getting up, giving one another a special Christmas present, we enjoyed the complementary breakfast and hit the road for Nashville and Denise's kids and grand kids in Bowling Green Kentucky. We drove up her daughters driveway at 1:30.

After we got here we exchanged presents. I got some cxool stuff, but Denise's grandson Collin made out like a basndit. I had a wonderful time last night, watchin' him put his Leggo planes and controle tower together. I resisted the temptation to play Godzilla a few times.

Now, were sitting' around the house jawin', gettin' ready to eat a big dinner. There's a plan to head down to Nashville in a few days and take the youngest kid to some sort of ice show they have goin' on down there. We could still drive up to Wisconsin, but the latest report predicts snow AND freezing rain, so I'll probably veto that. Too much of a good thing!

So, all is well. I'm takin' lots of good pictures to show ya later. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a wonderful New Year! Cheers!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

I think I've been really good, but I guess all things are relative.

Have a wonderful holiday, and smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

I'm in Kentucky, probably on the way to Wisconsin. I'll be standin' out in the snow, bundled up in my Uggs and fur hat, lookin' for a chance to kill a cigar. Bliss! Love it!

You guys take care, stay warm and we'll talk again soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Went to Austin last Saturday.

Like I said, Saturday was taken up with a trip to Austin. Gun Show fun and good food at Pappasito's. Originally it was just gonna be Denise and I, but she told a friend from work we were plannin' to go. Next thing I know this friend and her husband are goin' along. We're droppin' Denise and her friend Karen off at the outlet mall in Round Rock and then her husband Rick and I are goin' to the Show.

Got a few shots of some interesting stuff at the show. This is some sort of clip fed shotgun. You tell me. That's an AR-15 knock off in front of it. Looks like it shoots .308 or somethin'.

This is a .50, all broken down in it's case. I suspect that you won't see stuff like this for sale too much longer, what with the gun grabbers in power again. That's an M-14 there in front, and there's some nice, now very expensive AKs at the top of the shot. I will miss seein' them. End of an era. Very sad.

We drowned our sorrows over the sorry state of the body politic with beer and margaritas at Pappasito's. Karen and Rick had never been there before. It's always fun to take virgins down there and introduce them to the wonders of the spicy beef queso and such. It's fun to see the look in their eye when they bite into that dip for the first time.

I tell ya, the four of us went through that stuff in record time. Before you knew it you were down to crumbs in the chip basket and lookin' for the little swishy waiter to sashay his ass over with another one.

None of the others were shrimp eaters, which meant that I couldn't introduce them to the excellent bacon wrapped delights of the brochette shrimp. That's it there, with one sitting, marinading in the butter and white wine sauce. Of course, them not bein' shrimp eaters meant I didn't have to share, which was a good thing.

Denise went for the chicken fajitas this time...

While Rick and I went for the combination enchiladas. One chicken and one beef, smothered in their special sauces. Wonderful stuff. Of course, lookin' at this shot, it all looks kinda mixed up. That's because I dove in when the plate arrived and didn't remember to get a shot till one of the enchiladas was almost gone. I shoved the rice over into the sauce that was left to get all of it. Waste not, want not, someone said.

After the food we all went to Highland Mall to walk it off and try to get some more Christmas shopping done. I hadn't been there in many years. Turns out it's gotten very run down since I was there last. Lots of stores are closing, and the place has gone ghetto. I guess the white folks in Austin must have found a different place to shop.

Good news, there's a F.Y.E. Music store there that's having a going out of business sale. I got several CDs and a few DVDs there that I'd been lookin' for. The Black Keys, Grinderman, Joe Bonnamassa Live, and a Dickey Betts thing from the late 70s.

When we got back home I spread some of the spoils out on the computer desk and took pictures. That's about a hundred bucks worth of Bulgarian clips... three 30 round clips and one 40.

I saw several irreverent t-shirts I was dyin' to buy, but I was a good boy. I just spent $2 on this bumper sticker. Can't wait to get it scanned and on the sidebar here, and on my bumper. Love it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday feed with Mom.

Got to Mom's place Friday evening and noticed that the leaves on her tree had turned and one of her plants was still pretty in the front yard, so I decided to try to use the Macro setting on the camera to capture it all.

Not sure what this is, but it's always beautiful, sittin' in a pot by her front door.

I tried to get right up close to these leaves. I think it turned out
OK. Next, I need to get right up to them and see how clear the shot is.

I would have done it last Friday, but I was distracted. You see, Mom had whipped up a batch of her famous fried chicken for dinner. We'd decided to eat in this Friday.

She'd cooked fried chicken, tater wedges, french bread, broccoli and peas, and there was cranberry sauce there for me. Wonderful!

Not only that, but when we arrived she'd already had the blender out and the Strawberry Daiquiris were ready. Thing is, she'd made a little boo boo, using about twice the amount of rum, So they were stout! Denise put a bit more ice in there and tried to dilute it as bit.

In the end, it all turned out great. We sat in her living room and chowed down. I think I had about three of those drinks.

After chowin' down, I abused Mom's yellow cat. He loves it when I grab him and squeeze him. Growls the whole time, but doesn't do much to try to escape. He's just a growler.

As Mom cleaned the kitchen, her big Main Coon came out from hiding. He's only barely socialized, so he doesn't let other folks near. He saved their house once though.

Dad had put a pan of grease on the stove on high, thinking he'd turned it off, and when it burst into flame, this cat came to get mom, who was sitting in her chair in the bedroom. She grabbed a fire extinguisher out of the cabinet and put the fire out. They got a new kitchen out of it.

Also, after dinner I hooked up mom's old, antique sewing machine.

She'd found a place that would fix the peddle on it, and I was tasked with getting it all plugged back in. No problem. Mom showed me how to use this thing when I was a kid. I've always been fascinated with the gears, tryin' to figure out how the thing worked. I used it once to sew a zipper on an old down comforter, turning it into a sleeping bag. I took that bag on many canoe trips, and I took it out on the ships with me. It kept me warm when the friggin' Navy was tryin' to freeze my ass.

I also got this shot of this funky cat toy mom's picked up for her babies. There's a nob on one end that controls the rod with the thingy on it. The nob sets the rod to spin, wavin' the thingy, dingy ball, thingy, around in a tantalizing way... if you're a cat. Trust me, it works.

After dinner, Denise and I went to the mall for a while, Christmas shopping. One task mother'd given me was to get her another universal remote for the TV in her bedroom. We stopped at Radio Shack and got one, then stopped back by Moms and I programmed it for her. She called me yesterday to tell me she loved it. Success!

Saturday was Gun Show fun and great food at Pappasito's, but I'll cover that in the next post. Cheers!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How's about a Friday post?

Today is the end of school for the year. I've given all the exams and graded them, so all I have to do is post the grades on the schools computer and turn in the grade books and I'm done. It all starts up again on the 5th of January, when I'll start driving back down to Florence and then out to San Saba. Ft. Hood doesn't start again till around the 12th, so it'll be an easy transition back to work.

The principal of the Windham School district out at San Saba had a big Cajun feed for all the school folks yesterday after school. It was GOOD. Lots of shrimp, gumbo, dirty rice and such. At one point, a guy who must work for the city walked in and told the cook (the principal) that he was from Louisiana (you could tell from the accent), and that the food was really good and authentic.

He looks at me at one point and says somethin' like "I think I read somethin' on the web you posted about San Saba. Don't you have a web site?" I was like "Huh? Uh, yea. You mean Fathairybastard?" Everyone in the place laughed. I was shocked. I thought at the time, "Cool, recognition!", but then I thought "Oh Shit, now everyone here's gonna be readin' the friggin' thing." It was like walkin' into that blogger meet last spring and everyone there knowin' who I was while I had no clue who they were. I've gotta take my pictures down from this thing, or do a new avatar like Mushy's done where you can't really tell who it is. For some reason I'm not really jazzed to have everyone there know I have this thing set up, but maybe they'll forget. What are the odds?

I'll start playin' 9 Ball in January, switchin' from Wednesday pool nights to Thursdays. The 8 Ball team I've been playin' on is breaking up (people gettin' out of the Army and goin' to school full time), and several of them have invited me to play on this other team. It should be fun.

Talked to Mom yesterday and she was distressed. Some bureaucratic agency, maybe Social Security, sent her a letter tellin' her she was no longer qualified to get Medicare, or something like that. She's in a panic, but I'll go over there today and see if I can figure out what's goin' on.

There have been a few of these panics since dad died. It's a huge mess, tryin' to deal with several government agencies when apparently, one doesn't know what the other is doing. And yet, people seem to want MORE government. Bizarre!

There's a Gun Show in Austin this weekend, so Denise and I will be heading down Saturday. We'll turn it into a Christmas Shopping trip. First, sleep in. Critical detail there. Then drive down and go to the Gun Show. Then hit Pappasito's for the great shrimp and dip. It's been a while since we hit that place, so we're both lookin' foreword to it.

After that, once we've gotten sufficiently full and liqueured up, we'll hit Highland Mall and do some shopping. Denise has several family members she's still got to buy for, so it should be intense. There'll be a lot of me saying "Why don't you get this? Why don't you get this? Why don't you get this?", and then her saying "OH, I don't know"... to the friggin' point of distraction. You know, it's the whole men shopping vs. women shopping stereotype. I'm thinking three or four beers for me and two margaritas for her with dinner and things might get smoothed out a bit. You think?

We're plannin' to have the Wilson family Christmas on Christmas Eve this year. That way Denise and I can hit the road for Kentucky that afternoon and get to her kids place by the afternoon of the 25th. Yep, another road trip. I want to be here for Mom, it being the first Christmas without Dad (Christmas was their wedding anniversary too), but she insists she doesn't care. We'll make sure the holiday is a good one, and then we'll jet out of Temple in the afternoon. Try to get to Little Rock by the night off the 24th, so the drive is broken up. Nether of us mind the drive. I actually enjoy it.

We were gonna fly and rent a car in Nashville, but driving is SO much cheaper and handier, we decided to do that instead. We'll drive home some time like the 30th and have New Years here with Mom. Denise has to be back to work on the 2nd, and me, as I said, on the 5th. So that'll give us time to rest.

Anyway, I've got to start posting grades. You guys have a great weekend and we'll talk again on the other side of this one. Cheers!


UPDATE: Well, I got a call from Mom. She finally got hold of a lady at Dyess AFB named Katie. This is the sweet lady That guided Mom through all the drama with the feds when Daddy died. She's a wonderful lady and I'm plannin' to contact her and tell her so. Anyway, Mom found out that not only is everything cool with the medical coverage, she's also gonna end up gettin' $50 more each month. Good news!

Also, she's cookin' fried chicken, taters, peas, french bread and a salad for dinner tonight, and we're just about to head over there. Yea, I can feel your envy.

The gun show is on for tomorrow, but Denise and I are gonna have company. A friend of hers from work and her husband are goin' with us. He and I will leave The girls off at an outlet mall in Round Rock and then he and I will go to the show. We'll take out time and then pick them up again after, and then the four of us will got to Pappasito's.

So everything is cool. I turned my grades in and I'm off till the 5th. You guys chill and we'll get together again later. Maybe I'll have food pictures to tease you with. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Excited! Very excited.

It's just too bad we have to wait till friggin' May to see it. I'll be sick of the hype by then.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saw some cool stuff on the way to San Saba the other day.

Stopped at a local stop-n-rob here on the way back to work one day. You know, I have about three hours to kill here on Mondays and Wednesdays. Spend most of it here at the library on their nice computers, tryin' to get stuff done.

Anyway, I was on my way back to work one day when I stopped to take a piss and get a Dew. I came walkin' out and a truck had parked next to my car. When I went by I glanced in the back and guess what I saw?

"Holy shit", I thought. "That's an RPG... and a Ma Deuce?" I hadn't even noticed the welded mount sitting in the bed. The digital cammo bag could be a big clue, but you can get that stuff almost anywhere now.

I was surprised, to say the least. But then when I looked closely I realized that both were fake, designed for training purposes. There must be somethin' goin' on from Ft. Hood.

As I backed out I saw the OPFOR sign painted on the right side of the bumper (click to enlarge). Aaaaa, so they must be doing training out here somewhere. I'd seen choppers from the base from time to time, Apache gunships flyin' over the scrub as I drove down 190. That must be what they're up to. Help train the chopper guys to be able to recognize the rag heads in trucks tryin' to lay an ambush.

Of course, my very first though was "I wanna play!" Hell, I've got blanks for my AK. Why not?

Anyway, this last weekend was very relaxing. Denise and I went to eat Chinese food Friday after Mom begged off. She'd been busy all day and worn herself out, so she didn't feel up to it. We went over there after dinner and enjoyed her company anyway. She brought out the Chateaus Monet and we enjoyed a little tipple.

We found out when we got there that she'd picked up a little toy for her cats. It's a motorized thing that tosses a fuzzy ball around on a string. She'd put the batteries in wrong, so I fixed the issue and got it working. The cats were freaked out by it at first, and then fascinated.

After the road trip last weekend it felt really good to sleep in both Saturday and Sunday and rest. We went to a Christmas party Saturday night, but that was all the excitement we had.

Now the temperatures had gone south on us, down to freezing, and we're lookin' forward to bein' able to use the fireplace. Light up a little blaze, lay down the sheep skin rug and get a snuggle goin'. Mmmmm, good times.

This is finals week at school. I gave two this morning in Florence. I'll give another down there tomorrow, two more on Wednesday here in San Saba and then Three on Thursday. I'll be done in Florence after tomorrow, so I'll be able to sleep in the rest of the week.

Found out today that the principal at the prison here in San Saba is putting on a big feed Thursday afternoon. He says he'll have all sorts of Cajun stuff. Lots of shrimp, sausage and gumbo. It should be cool. I'll run by and scoop up a meal before I have to head to Ft. Hood to give my last exams. I'll be sure and take pictures.

Anyway, I'm off. You guys have a great week and we'll chat later. Cheers!

Friday, December 12, 2008


This'll be short.

Busy, busy, busy! Workin' on somethin' cool. Maybe one of these days I'll show it to ya.

We're lookin' forward to this weekend. Gonna relax and take it easy. Last weekend was fun, but both of us are payin' for it. Denise came down with a cold and I think I ran out of steam some time late last night. I've been draggin' since then. So sleepin' in the next few days will be cool!

We're takin' Mom out to eat tonight. Chinese food! Woohoo!

Goin' to a Christmas party Saturday night. Good friends of Denise's from work. Nice folks. It'll be fun.

That's it for now. I'll get back with ya Monday. You guys take care. Cheers!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I finally got those shots done from Nashville. If you want to see them all, go to the FlickR site here. Otherwise, here are some of the better ones.

This is me, grading tests in my room at the hotel Friday night. Yea, I know. But I had stuff to do.

Of course, I was assisted in me work by a few tall glasses of George and Diet Coke. You ever wonder if your teachers get loaded before they graded your stuff in school? Well, yep. Whatever works baby.

This is my buddy Mushy, taking a shot of the long line we found when we walked up to the fairgrounds, with lots of folks wanting to pay to get into the regular gun show Saturday morning. We chose to avoid this line and went into the Civil War show first. There wasn't any line there.

As you can see here, the Civil War show was HUGE. We were both amazed. And this is just a shot of one of three showrooms.

There were lots of reenactors around in their period gear. I love it, seein' these folks glorying in their love of our history, and/or their heritage. Makes me want to join up, but I ain't there yet. Maybe some day.

I loved seein' all this Native American stuff too. It was a surprise, and I really enjoyed seein' it.

Check out that war club on the left, with the spike jutting out of the ball. It's like an eagle talon holding a rock. Cool, eh?

Lots of cool stuff on sale, including original uniforms and other artifacts.

After walkin' through the show for a few hours, we got back in Mushy's truck and he drove us up to town and we looked for somewhere to get a beer and a meal. He's always tryin' to plug in an address into his GPS, which is built in to his fancy "King Ranch". Accept for a few u-turns in the projects, and a short stint up the wrong way on a one way street, we did just fine.

We ended up choosing Bailey's Sports Bar, just down the way from the Ryman.

They guided us up to the second floor. It was great. They brought us two tall mugs of Yuengling and we ordered lunch.

It was great stuff... Some sort of chicken tenders, slathered in a sweet and mildly spicy sauce, over apple slices and greens (Check Mushy's post for all the details of everything... He's got the time to look it all up). It was all great! The chips and queso were even decent.

Being two camera geeks, we both got the waitress to take our pictures, with both of our cameras. She did a damn good job too. The one you see over at Mushy's place was taken just after we sat down. This one was after we'd killed one round and seriously wounded another. Notice the more "relaxed" poses. That's two good pals there, and we were havin' a wonderful time. Real quality time.

Four beers and lunch later, we walked around, checkin' out the bar and cigar lounge, and then headed out onto the street. We wandered over to the Ernest Tubb record store, which turned out to be filled with country music (Duh, slapping head with palm). Who'd a thunk it? It was cool anyway.

After that we headed back over to the fairgrounds and walked through the conventional gun show. The lines were gone by then, but the place was still full. Both Mushy and I fingered a few things, and I spent $10 on a pistol grip for an AK. Ya can't have too many of those, right?

Later on I got this picture, showing both our hands, stamped with the mark that a lot of liberals would dearly love to erase. I've been goin' to gun show ever since I was in high school, and I'd sure miss them if the upcoming regime gets it's way and makes them impossible to hold.

Later, we went back to my room at the hotel to relax. Mushy busted out the Chivas Regal and we watched the first half of the Alabama - Florida game. Eventually we decided to find a sports bar somewhere where we could watch the game, drink another Yuengling and smoke a cigar. The place we found turned out to be very nice, all but for one drunk who kept thinking that he needed to sit and talk to us.

The place was really nice. The fact that Mushy and I were just about the only White folks there kinda had him weirded out, but the folks there were very welcoming. Each time the drunk drifted by I could see that other folks were ashamed of him, and feeling sorry for him. They quietly assured us that he was OK. But we knew that.

The next morning Denise drove down from Kentucky and the three of us went off in search of a Cracker Barrel. This was where Mushy's GPS really came in handy. The food was great, as usual. We said our goodbyes in the parking lot, with me giving my big brutha a good hug, and then Denise and I headed West for home.

On the way to Nashville Friday afternoon, about 50 miles West of Memphis, we'd found a stray dog living at a rest stop. The attendant told us that the dog had been there for about 6 weeks and that she was being fed by just about everyone who drove through. We decided then to try and stop by there again on the way home and bring what Denise called "proper food".

When we stopped there again on the way back, sure enough, the dog was still there. Her name is "Sugar". Some guy who goes through there regularly named her, and wants to catch her, but she won't let anyone near, unless the have food in their hand. She ate ham from Denise's hand once or twice. We sure hope someone gives her a nice home.

The con trails in the sky were cool to watch, as we sped home on I-40, just east of Little Rock. You see a mix of old ones, drifting off in the wind, and a new one there at the bottom. The sunset really made them look cool.

We stopped there at a Ruby Tuesday's for dinner, and to watch the rest of the Cowboy game. I got in there and two shitty things happened. I found out I was in a dry county and had to settle for diet coke, and the fuckin' Cowboys figured out how to lose the game to Pittsburgh.

We ended up gettin' home by 1;30, and were snuggled up in bed by 2. It was a great trip, but we probably won't do it again for a while. At least until next December, when the next Civil War show goes down. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Guess why this had to be animated.

That's right. No real film footage of French soldiers in combat could be found.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Chillin', literally, in Music City.

Denise and I had a great time on our little road trip last weekend. We got back at 1:30 this morning and were in bed by 2. At one point I looked at her and said "Did we just do that (meaning a drive that put over 2000 miles on her car in a little over three days). She smiled, and we both agreed it was worth it.

I haven't had time to work on my pictures yet. No tellin' when that'll be. But if you want to check out my buddy Mushy's shots, and his recap of our side of the trip, go to his blog and check it out. He probably got home by noon Sunday and then had all day to work on his shots and get a post up. Check it out. It's a great read.

So, let's begin at the beginning.

Denise and I left home at about 10PM Thursday night, after I finished giving a test on base. The plan had been to leave a bit earlier, drive through to Nashville and get there by noon on Friday, but I'd taken longer to finish my school stuff than I though I would. So facing a long night, we talked one another into stopping at about 3:15 AM in Texarkana.

We got up at 9:30 at the la Quinta and drove around to the office just in time to see some lady handcuffed and taken off by the fuzz. Maybe she didn't like the cheap assed complementary breakfast they offered. Nothing like a little excitement to start your day.

We headed East on I-30 until we saw a Cracker Barrel where we could have breakfast. It was cold out (we were used to 70s in the day time and maybe 40s or 50s at night, but it was in the 20s that morning), so the glow from the huge friggin' fireplace at the Cracker Barrel was really nice. I told Denise, If we ever build a house I'm gonna make sure it's got a huge fireplace like that.

After Breakfast we headed east again. For whatever reason, whether it was the huge load of Chinese food I stuffed myself on Thursday afternoon, or something at the Cracker Barrel, as we drove on through Arkansas and Western Tennessee I came down with a case of the trots. And were not talkin' a little discomfort here. Were talkin "Oh shit, I need to find a crapper NOW", kind of stuff. We must have stopped 4 or 5 times. It was very tedious.

On one such stop, West of Memphis, we drove into a rest stop and found a stray dog that had wandered up there weeks earlier. We asked the attendant and he said that it had wandered up, skin and bones, about six weeks earlier. He said that folks, passers by, had been feeding it, and that it had fattened up, but that it wouldn't let anyone close enough to get a hand on it.

Denise was very upset to think that someone would drop off a dog like that, but I'd bet the friggin' thing gets fed twelve times a day. We gave it ham and cheese forom what was left of our sandwiches. We decided to stop on the way back Sunday with some good dog food ("proper food", as Denise would say), and see if the pooch was still there.

We drove into Nashville and found my hotel on the South side by about 7PM. Denise left me there and drove on to Kentucky, where her kids and grand kids live. I was concerned for her, but she'd slept a bit on the drive up and knows that part of the country really well. She got to her kids place, about 2 1/2 hours North, and spent Friday night there with her grand kids while their mom took a physical up in Ohio at Wright Pat. She's going into the Air Force to be a nurse on a flying hospital. She's already a nurse, so she'll be going in as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Meanwhile, I called my buddies, who were already going through that Civil War Gun Show (they got special badges to allow them to wander the place as the tables were being set up). They drove up to get me and we went to a Piccadilly's Cafeteria just down the road for dinner. Turned out to be half assed food, but it filled a spot.

They took me back to my hotel and I settled in for the night. I talked to both Denise and Mushy that night, makin' sure she was Ok and seein' when he was gonna be arrivin' Saturday. I got out of my clothes, turned on the TV and relaxed. I started drinkin', and then decided to try to get some exams graded. I think, about two tall glasses later, I got one set of exams done before it was time to shut it all down.

My alarm went off at 9am, and a few minutes later Mushy called. By the time I got down there he was checking in. We took his stuff to his room and then hit the complementary breakfast.

OK, that's enough for now. The library is about to close on me. Maybe by Wednesday I'll have some pictures to show you and we'll finish this story. Or again, just go over to Mushy's site and read his version. He tells it like it was. I'll get mine done eventually. Until then, cheers.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Headin' to Nashville tonight.

Denise and I are driving her car to Nashville tonight, loaded with stuff for her daughter. Her eldest daughter is getting divorced and has had to leave her house with the two boys and needs lots of stuff, so we're gonna take her a load of household items. Of course, Denise wants to see her kid, and her grand kids, and let them know she's there to help. It tears her up to be here in Texas while this stuff is goin' on in Kentucky. You can imagine.

We'll leave late tomorrow night after I give a test and then drive all night, like we did last August on that last road trip. We left here at 9PM then, drove all night and got to Memphis by the time the sun came up, so we should easily be in Nashville by noon on Friday. We might drive till some time like one in the morning and get a room somewhere. There's no real urgency, since I can't get into my room Friday till 2PM.

Denise will take the wheel then, leave me there at the Holiday Inn Express on the south side and drive on about another hour North to her kids in Kentucky. I'll drive all night while she sleeps, so she'll be OK on the road. No worries. She lived up there for over twenty years, so she knows her way around.

My friend Dave and his reenactor buddies, the Civil War nuts, are gonna drive to Little Rock Thursday and spend the night, then drive to Nashville Friday. They're gonna pay a big fee to get into this huge (he tells me) Civil War Gun Show early, dealers badges or somethin', and they'll wander the show Friday night while the tables are being set up. Then they'll spend all day, and I do mean ALL DAY Saturday wanderin' around the place, arguin' about whether the buttons on a coat are correct, and shit like that. I've been down that road with them before, so I'm not interested in doin' that.

I figure I'll sleep some Friday afternoon, recover a bit, and then try to talk them into hittin' the town in the evening. I've looked online and there are Blues places with live bands all over, including a B.B. King place (He's playin' there next week, by the way - too bad it's not on this Friday or Saturday!). We'll find somethin' to do, somewhere. There's gotta be some place the in town that has Yuengling on tap and that'll let me smoke a cigar while I eat a good meal and listen to music.

Saturday, my buddy Mushy is supposed to drive West from Harriman and join me. He and I are gonna hook up and go to a that Gun Show. It's an annual thing there, on the South side of town at the State Fair grounds, so it should be easy for us to find. As I said, it's all Civil War stuff, which should be cool, but my buddy Dave says there's supposed to be another gun show next door that has more modern stuff. I figure each show should probably take an hour or two to walk through.

Anyway, after that, Mushy and I'll be looking for something else to do. Food to eat. A museum or somethin'. They have several there in town. Then we'll try to have a night of good music, food and fun. The two of us should be able to find somethin' fun to do in "Music City". He's reserved himself a room there in the same hotel as me, so when Denise and I hook back up again Sunday morning, when she drives back down from Kentucky, the three of us will go out and find a Cracker Barrel, or somewhere good where we can have a big breakfast. He and I will say our goodbyes then and head off in different directions towards home. I love that man to death, so it will have been great to have been able to hang out with him again, even if it's just for a short time.

My other buddies are gonna drive back to Little Rock Saturday night and take two days to get back to Gatesville, but Denise and I will take most of the day Sunday to drive home. We've both got Monday morning off, so we can both recover a bit after the day on the road. I won't have to be in San Saba till noon.

Anyway, it's nuts, granted, but I wanted to see this Gun Show that Dave's been tellin' me about for years, and I also wanted to try to get a chance to see my buddy Mushy again. It should all be fun.

You guys take care and we'll reconnect next week. Knowing Mushy and I, we'll probably both have lots of good pictures to share. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mom's birthday, and Thanksgiving.

Last Wednesday was Mom's 81st birthday! I told you about it back then, but I'm just now getting to post about it. Denise and I went over there in the evening, after Denise got off work ( got to sleep in and be lazy all day).

She had a hunger for Italian food and wanted to go to the Olive Garden, so that's what we did.

Thing is, Denise and I had gone to Fuddruckers for lunch (I went over to the college at about noon and picked her up), and she was still feelin' the effects of her burger. Both she and Mom ended up having only the salad and bread sticks for dinner, after a little combination appetizer. I on the other hand, was not gonna let that Buffalo, bacon-cheeseburger get in the way of enjoying a salad, bread sticks and pasta. I think I had the pasta with Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara.

It's a new thing they have... "Chicken and shrimp with bucatini pasta in a pancetta bacon and parmesan cream sauce, baked and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs". I'll have you know, it was GOOOOD!

After that we took Mom back home and she opened her presents. Denise got her a few of those cool glass plant watering globes. I've seen them around and they looked cool, and sure enough, Mom loves them. Denise did good.

I got mom one of those digital picture frames. It holds a hell of a lot of pictures. I downloaded a bunch of old shots and new ones to it before I gave it to her, and I think she had a great time watching them as they flashed across the screen. By the way, that shot you see there is of my sister and I in Bermuda, where I was born.

After all that, Denise and I headed home. But we planned to come back the next day for the big feed.

I had FTD send mom a centerpiece for her table, and it got there in time. She loved it.

By the time we got there, at about 3PM, Mom had the ham, dressing and everything else all laid out.

I LOVE Mom's dressing, and I prefer ham to Turkey. Mom asked us wait we wanted and we all decided to wait till Christmas to have the turkey. That's good vino there too, by the way. Denise got the bubbly, and also fixed a green bean casserole and mashed taters. I just showed up and ate it all (OK, I did cut the ham). That's my job (consuming mass quantities), and I'm damn good at it!

Mom made two pies for dessert; a Pecan and a Lemon Chess. you can see what I prefer.

After dinner we sat down to watch the Cowboys beat the Seahawks like step children, and I took a little nap in Denise's lap. It was a wonderful few days.

Well, the library is closing on me again, so I'm outta here. Later folks. Cheers!