Thursday, July 31, 2008

Art: food for the Soul

I was going through some of my favorite bookmarked YouTube videos the other day, and I ran across this beautiful live, impromptu rendition of "Shenandoah", played on the acoustic guitar by one of the Bluegrass greats Tony Rice. As a musician, I appreciate the nuances, phrasings, unique chordings and fingerings...and Tony is a master in his own right.

Apologies in advance if at some time in the past I blogged with this link. Not the shortest of pieces, or the most complex, but worth a listen, even if you keep the sound up and do other work...and even if you've heard it before. It's peaceful, from the soul:

Tony Rice playing "Shenandoah"

At the end, there is a great quote by another bluegrass legend Tim O'Brien. It really hit home to me, so I thought I'd pull it for you to read:

"One of the things about art is you give people an take some be quiet...and pay attention to something...and maybe, under the guise of enjoyment, think about important things in life."

Amen, Tim. Art that strikes your inner chords will instantly transport you to places of a very spiritual, even surreal peace and feelings. Well, truth be told, there are some shock artists who go the other extreme to rattle cages on purpose to get people to rethink their's or society's ideologies, but that's not the direction I wanted to point, this morning.

I receive my 'lifts' from varying situations and genres, not limited to music or 'art' but just inspirational moments that can occur anywhere, anytime, in their own way. Lately it's been music, and I hear a lot in my head that I want to get written and recorded if I could but find the time, the isolation, and the energy.

"All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, of inner stillness."
- Eckhart Tolle

I guess all of us who pursue artistic passions do so because to not do it would be a death unto itself. And so we continue to follow our inner yearnings, trusting in the process of the ultimate beauty we feel led to create.

Better get in to work...since I posted the Tony Rice link above, and if you like bluegrass, check out this video of the Tony Rice All Star Jam that has the greatest of the greats on stage...including ol' David Grisman ripping up the mandolin with his Dawg music, Bela Fleck, et al.

Tony Rice All Star Jam playing "Freeborn Man"

Boldly follow your passions. Even if you don't make it to the stars, you'll still be walking in stardust.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Triad's 'lone wolf' Tuesday...

I snagged this radar grab from home late yesterday afternoon...while there were other little minor showers around the region, this was the one cell with an attitude and a warning, dropping small hail and breaking off some large limbs in Yadkin County a handfull of miles south of Elkin:

(click on pic to enlarge)

Today's set-up is kinda sorta the same...just a roll of the dice as to what pops up where. But heads up for Thursday as the approaching cold front ups our rain chances to the 50% range and will most likely fire up some severe storm cells, as well, even into the nighttime hours.


Still catching up on my sleep and 'to do' lists from this past weekend. Won't be holding my breath to catch up fully today, either, but I'll give it a yeoman's effort. This next little story has nothing to do with anything except it came up in conversation yesterday with a friend. Don't know if I got it all right, but it's close enough...heard it years ago...

Three elderly siblings were sitting down in their living room for their afternoon tea. One sister said,
"I declare, I don't know where my mind is these days. I was upstairs getting ready for bed last night, and I looked and saw I had one foot in the tub and one foot on the floor - and I couldn't remember whether I was getting in the tub or getting out!!!"

"Well, then, I don't feel so bad," chimed in the other sister. "I found myself at the stairwell with one foot up on a step and one on the main floor, and for a moment I didn't know whether I was going upstairs or downstairs!"

Their younger brother was just chuckling to beat the band and couldn't wait to speak up.

"That's what happens when you get older! Sure glad I don't have that problem, knock on wood! (he knocks on table...) Was that the front door or the back door???"


May we all have a day full of pleasant surprises!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bele Chere afterthoughts...

Not too long of a post here this morning...still catching up on sleep, which came at a premium this past weekend! Thanks for all that came by my booth at Bele Chere in Asheville - always great to see old friends and make new ones!

I was not able to take Monday off because there was no one to cover my shift, so after the show closed at 6pm Sunday in Asheville, NC, and after breakdown, pack-up, and transport of show hardware and items, I got home at 11:15pm Sunday night...the alarm went off quickly at 2:30am and so began my Monday as a zombie. Wheeeedoggies!

Overall, comparing 2008 to 2006 at a very large festival of at least 300,000 attendees, this year's business was about half of what it was 2 years ago, for me...true testament to our lagging economy. Put Phil Graham or any other politician in my face and have them tell me that the economic situation is self-imagined and not as bad as many make it out to be, and I'll smack 'em into next week. The average person is hurting, plain and simple...and even with gas now coming down some pennies, many are struggling greatly to make ends meet. I heard it, up front and plain and simple from many visiting my booth.

If that were all, that would be understandable. But I experienced another twist above and beyond what I've seen before...

(soap box, please...)

I had one particular flute that was quite affordable, that had a butter-melting voice quality. One young man, with whom I had a mutual flute acquaintance, asked me to set the flute aside and he'd be back real soon to pick up the flute after he went to an ATM and ran one other errand...he never showed again. I put the flute back out the next day, and had an elderly gentleman then fall in love with the very same flute, telling me to hold it as he'd be back after mass the next morning to pick up 'his' flute. He never showed again.

I can understand watching someone try several flutes and fall in love with several and then not be able to buy the one they want...that's business as usual. But to tell someone you want a one-of-a-kind instrument, and ask them to take if off the sales floor and hold it for you, and then pull a no-show is not cool. Not cool, at all. Of course, I allowed them to do it, so it is a learning lesson for me, all the same. Too, it means that particular flute is still searching for its appropriate owner.

(okay, stepping off the box...)

So, that was the odd part of the show...Saturday morning showers weren't too heavy, and the crowds eventually came out...and luckily afternoon thundershowers didn't hit the festival, either. Being next to and downwind from a misting tent actually helped when the sun burst out, too, thanks to evaporative cooling!

As I said up top, one of the best parts of such a festival, especially with my having lived there a few years ago, was seeing old friends that I'd not seen in years...those kinds of connections and friendships that are timeless...

We now return you to your regularly scheduled workday...have a good 'un!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"We interrupt this blog..."

This will be the last post until next Tuesday, most likely. I will be vending my Ugly Boy Flutes at Bele Chere in downtown Asheville this weekend. It's an annual last weekend of July, Friday through Sunday festival of gargantuan proportions spread all over downtown, with attendance expected to be around 350,000. It'll be interesting to see how the economy will (or will not) affect turn-out and buyers. Arts, crafts, activities, demonstrations, and concerts out the wazoo...


WLOS clip

In case anyone is heading there, I'm booth #422 on College Street near Broadway, right by Pack Square. 2 six-foot tall turquoise kokopellis stand guard at the front corners...hard to miss the name banner, as well!

Am I ready? Does a chicken have lips? I never have done all that I wish to have ready, and this show will be no exception...but I do have a nice stock in a range of keys, and I'm prepared to be worn out...the days are long, and no time for blogging.

Too, it will be a hard turn-around to pack up Sunday and be at work well before the sunrise for my Monday weather shift, and I KNOW I won't have time to blog. So, Saddle Pals, enjoy your days and stay tuned!

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Me? I'm a fungi..."

(click on pics to enlarge)

No, really, I am...a fun guy...!
I do not profess to know my mushrooms and variants thereof...yet, in walking Mercy Sunday morning, there were more mushrooms than you could shake a stick at. And so I photographed 'em, with almost no information to pass along, unlike my normal posts...except maybe for a few one-liners...

Just taking 'sporadic' pictures like this one...

This one was glistening with wetness...part of its nature, I guess...

I would call this one "Flappus Jackus" because it looks like griddlecakes, even if a bit curled up...

The morning sun lit up this family grouping...

I'd call this one "Meringus cookiea" as it looks like baked meringue...

...and this one "Cerebralus cortexium" as it resembles the brain patterning...or a cabbage...or your brain on cabbage...

...and in the midst of earth tones came these bold red ones...

...amongst them the earth tone ones with proper 'morels'....

But the most enjoyable sight was the "Mercius playus"...

What can you do? No stopping her jumping in...the pup loves water and this little drainage area had just what she was looking for...thus ended our romp in the Land of Fungus for Sunday...

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Yesterday was D-Day..."

...Dentist Day, that is. For me, it was a monumental day as I am no fan of what should be a desire to keep up with regular visits ensuring mandibular health. Well, I suppose I do keep up with regular visits...if once every 5 years can be called 'regular'....(oh, I'm gonna hear it now!)...

Our dental plan at work is MetLife, and so I began the process of finding a 'network' dentist that was taking new patients. On their website I found a place not only close by, but on MY side of the extended road closure, which was a huge plus.

And so I called for an appointment - super nice person helping me, but, alas, the earliest appointment date was August 14. I nicely explained that wouldn't work on several levels, and then had the foresight to ask if I could be on a list for any cancellations, since I have decent daytime flexibility, certainly with their close proximity.

As she was taking my contact and insurance information down, we were just about finished when she said, 'hold just a minute'....there was some muffled talking back and forth, but pretty quickly she came back and said, "You won't believe it, but someone just called in a cancelation - can you come at 3:30p today?" It was just that easy.

The cool part was this's been in place about a office/shopping center area is still having businesses move in...the dental office was fresh and nicely decorated. The staff, of which there were a good many, were ALL friendly, easy-going, and made the office feel very welcoming. I sat down and 'signed in' on an electronic tablet that was feeding my information directly into the computer since I was a new customer...and in short order I was taken back for my check-up.

Now, mind you it's been years for me...and maybe they're all this way...but this office was 100% digital imaging. No x-ray film. No developing. Instant results. All camera snaps that were sent to a laptop...I then went to a room and stood in a machine that had two orbs which circled my head for 20 seconds, again digital, that got a complete panoramic shot of my teeth and jawbone structure...simply fascinating.

The affable dentist came in, and a welcome soul he was as he had a wonderful sense of humor. Dangerous around me, especially as I'd been up then some 15 hours, and I get giddy when I'm tired. So we hit it off in fine fashion, to say the least. He made some visual examinations and called out numbers the assistant logged in the computer. He then took a pen-like device (camera) and positioned it around in my mouth and periodically say "grab that one". When he was done, he whipped a flat-screen TV around in front of me and they began to open the photo files, showing me all that was going on in my mouth, down to every tooth. It was absolutely fascinating and extremely informative.

Of course, I was a regular patient when I was young as I have a river of silver through my dental work to prove it. He showed me what fillings were in great shape, which couple need to be watched as they were older and a little rough...and I knew one tooth was of concern as I've been missing 1/4th of it for
years....can you say "crown"? Can you say "second mortgage"? I saw that train a-comin'.

Anyway, as if you can't tell, I had a great experience there yesterday. Technology sure has come a long way. When he was done with the tooth photos, the assistant closed the file out, and up came the background picture of a black Labrador Retriever...I asked the doc if the pup were his, and he said, "No, it came with the equipment." That response left me no choice with the wide-open opportunity in front of me...

"Oh, so it's Lab-approved!"


Enjoy sinking your teeth into this Friday! I'll see some of you on News 14 Charlotte Saturday morning as I'm filling in for Tara Lane.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Tired of trash?"

Bit of a busy week in my weather world...lots of double shifts and mental I looked forward to heading the half-hour home yesterday, driving either in silence or listening to the local public radio station. There is a major road reconstruction near home that requires a 4-mile detour for at least the next 5 weeks, and I have several options to get around the ensuing mess.

I've written before about my long-distance buggy with, now, 260,000 miles on it...aside from the fact of how reliable it's been, it's safe to say I've driven a lot. When you are a road warrior, you become keenly aware of the traffic around you...the drivers and their habits, and you do see many, many accidents waiting to happen. You learn to drive very defensively, and you learn to be VERY aware of what's going on around you.

I was in a 4-lane through a red light, and a truck in the right lane turned in to a grocery store. I contemplated moving from the left to the right lane when I noticed an older blue economy station wagon up on my bumper, out of nowhere. It immediately cuts over to the right before I could even make a decision, with little space, and zooms well above the speed limit ahead of traffic. You learn to let people like that go their own way before they cause real trouble.

And so I approached the next light, which had just turned red...a car in the left lane, and Ol' Zippy in the right lane. I mused that if I get in the right lane that car is sure to zoom on ahead, and I can proceed without any slowpokes. As I pull up behind the wagon, I noticed the driver take the last gulp from one of those black energy drink cans I see everywhere...

With the flick of wrist, the driver let sail the empty can through the passenger window and clattering onto the sidewalk and into the grass! I instinctively hit my horn and shook my finger at the driver (and NOT the middle finger, either!) Oh, they were NOT amused...but ask me if I gave a rat's butt. This day and age you have to be careful with rude, arrogant people, and I did nothing more while their mouth moved all sorts of contortions that I could see in their mirror. The light changed and they gunned it.

But not before I grabbed a pen and took down the license plate number and information. Here's why:

The NCDOT has a program called
...I'd seen a billboard some time ago about it, and remembered that you can report litterbugs to the state, as long as it's a NC tag in a NC location. You better believe I went straight home, went to the website, and filled in the report form. You can also call or write a letter, your choice. While the NCDOT can't charge them with any violation, they will send the offending party a letter, explaining they were seen littering, reminding them of the fines for doing so, and urging them to be good stewards and not litter. Too, they'll have a record in case there are future reports.

I do not have much patience for mean people...bullies...people who steal and cheat others...people who mistreat elderly, children, and animals...and, among others, people that think so little of the environment that they throw trash anywhere they wish. I will speak up and stand up for not only my rights but the rights of all of us. While it is wise to choose your battles carefully, some come automatically to me...and this was one of 'em.

You can report litterbugs yourself; here's the website and info:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'Mater season is in full swing...

One of summer's delicacies are fresh tomatoes, the home-grown kind that aren't trucked in from states away...maybe they have imperfections here and there, but their freshness and flavor are unbeatable...

This past Sunday I was listening to "A Prarie Home Companion" on public radio, and it happened to be a highlight reel as the cast is on a one-month vacation right now. On it was a group whose name escapes me, and they sang an A Capella version of a cute old song about homegrown tomatoes. Yep, two things that money can't buy: true love and homegrown tomatoes!

In case you don't know the song, you can listen to the real deal on the following track, and follow along with the lyrics below. NOTE: to look and listen at the same time, you'll need to right click on the link and choose "open in new window/tab". Enjoy!


Ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin' out in the garden

Get you a ripe one don't get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
All winter with out `em's a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'
Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes

You can go out to eat & that's for sure
But it's nothin' a homegrown tomato won't cure
Put `em in a salad, put `em in a stew
You can make your very own tomato juice
Eat `em with eggs, eat `em with gravy
Eat `em with beans, pinto or navy
Put `em on the side put `em in the middle
Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle



If I's to change this life I lead
I'd be Johnny Tomato Seed
`Cause I know what this country needs
Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
I could be pushin' up homegrown tomatoes


Monday, July 14, 2008

Mystery solved!

(click pics to enlarge - caterpillar won't, though!)

Last week I blogged about the alien looking chrysallis 'bodies' all over the deck and house (and just about any vertical surface!) Don't know why I never took a picture of the caterpillar that made them, so here is one from a university's entomology site:

Finally, this past weekend I got to see one of the progenies from said Chrysallis Fest going on! Still have yet to catch it actually emerging from it's pod, but did catch this one shortly thereafter. Note the recently evacuated chrysallis in the upper right, with the winged wonder drying out and trying out its new wings...

Say hello to the Pipestem Swallowtail butterfly. What had been a quandry of similar-looking chrysallis forms, to even similar butterfly colorations....the chips finally fell out cleanly. In reading about the particulars of Battus philenor, the Pipestem's formal classification, it was noted how similar it looks to the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly....with one catch: the caterpillars are oh-so different.

These caterpillars are black with little paired red dots/protrusions, contrasted to the 'mimicking' green/black caterpillar of the Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Not that it's a big deal one way or the other...just an example of fun that I have discovering something new. I love nature and have seen a lot of it...but there are myriad details I don't fully grasp, and here is one more piece of my puzzle 'solved'. Plenty of other species to discover fully, too.

Like this one...

This little thing looks a miniscule piece of white lint as it 'flies' around...tee-tiny speck, it is, and this is the only 'clear' shot I got of it before it flew on it's way. Alas, now another to go 'discover' and read about...!

May your day be one of discovery as well!

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Fried Fridays: Get off me, you ANIMAL!"

I'll occasionally go out and see paw prints all over my car. It's the ol' classic "dogs can't run free but cats can" mindset our society has, but no biggee to me. My buggy has so many marks and scratches and dings and such that I don't mind one little bit.

But some people do.


Who doesn't like a Sunday ride in the country? OK, with gas now around $4 a gallon, the idea is somewhat tainted...but you get the idea.

Picture a toasty July Sunday in're out doing your own thing, minding your own business, and definitely not dealing with the normal rush-hour scenario. Certainly not on Highway 72.

I do this. I bet you do, too. You're heading down the road, see an animal front and center, and you apply the brakes to give said 4-legged the opportunity to get out of the way. That's exactly what a woman did as she toodle-looed down the road in her Mercedes.

Nope, no squirrel or groundhog here...rather, it was a goat. Well, a goat and a dog, actually playing together. A tad oblivious to the car, or not scared of it, apparently...and so the good Samaritan pulled her car to a stop to allow the unusual duo to cavort elsewhere off the road.

Some things just come naturally, of course. Goats like to climb. The Mercedes had this cool 2-level thing going on. The goat immediately vaulted onto the hood of the car. What could be more natural?

Except that the woman freaked out and called the Limeston County Sherrif's department. Sherrif Mike Blakely explained the woman was frantic that her paint job and sheet metal would be marred if she forced the goat off...after all of her pleading, the goat simply looked at her, bleated, and refused to get off the car.

And so a deputy arrived forthwith, apprehended the goat, put it in his patrol car officially under arrest...and to complete this strange scenario, the dog immediately jumped through the open cruiser window to join the goat.

And the moral to this story?

Oh,'s just a weird story, perfect for "Fried Fridays"...

have a good 'un, all y'all!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"A Knotty Situation..."

So much for writing about weird hurricane paths today...a birdie flew by Wednesday (inside joke that ENFPs [Myers-Briggs personality] can relate to!!!!)....

I went to walk Mercy in the woods behind a local elementary school...the past few days I'd noticed a whole bunch of root-looking material had been pulled up (more likely loaded on a work truck and fallen off). Nothing more than noted that observation...but today my eyes saw this little chunk at my feet. "Whattheheck..." I told myself, so I picked up the modest root knot and put it in my pocket.

It's not as if I don't have a gazillion things on my plate at any given what more natural thing than to take home a homeless knot and see what I can 'see' in it? Root burls can be really neat in terms of grain patterns and beauty. I have no earthly idea what species of tree or shrub this came from, but burls are burls. The first thing I did was determine a 'bottom' side and slapped it up against my orbital belt sander...


Add a quick wipe of moisture and, voila, the gorgeous grains appear!...

By this point I'm thinking there is enough surface area for this to be a block on a future flute...but what was I seeing in it? I began to lightly shape out the piece along it's natural lines, knowing that with the inclusions of bark there was the possibility it would split into pieces at the snap of a finger. I was also aware that the air outside was stiflingly humid and that I couldn't spend too long out in it with my gear on!...

At this point, I'm seeing a wolf laying down (more from pic below)...the tail curling to the right at the bottom...the yet-to-be-shaped head at the top, where I think the wolf will be turning its head and looking back up to the left...and in some way seeing some of the legs and paws off on the right side, the wolf lying down but alert...or you can tell me it looks like a hunk of shapeless wood! (Actually, from this angle it looks like a manatee...!)

And that's how this ol' brain on unexpected tangents at the drop of a hat...or the flight of an attention-catching birdie. For now it will sit while I look at it more and tend to other things. I have no doubt that when it's ready that piece will talk to me again and say 'bring me to life, friend.' Rest assured you'll see the finished product right here when it's ready!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Blogless in Carolina..."

Sorry, Saddle Pals...just not in my normal 'groove' as far as blogging goes. The weather has not been helpful for 'stuff' I've needed to do, given the myriad afternoon storminess for several days in a row, now...and Tuesday was no exception. We need the rain...we don't need the 65mph wind gusts....or the 1.5" hail...or the tornado warnings that some areas have had...the radar grab below tells the story for the southern Piedmont short of 530p on Tuesday, which was but the start of a very stormy night:

Only a handful of minutes past that image I lost all cable, phone, internet, thus ending the day right on my schedule! Talk about bringing home the bacon...soggy, storm-tossed bacon, no to enlarge the "storm total" radar image below. Understand that radar estimates are on the 'hot' side, having a tendency to over-estimate rainfall...but it's been a long time since I've seen imagery like this. To say the rains were intense would be an understatement:

I haven't even begun to add up all the severe storm reports from North Carolina alone, yesterday. There were humdingers all over the state, but especially over in the Raleigh market area and eastern NC. And yet, if you are a statistician and you go to the 'official' National Weather Service gauge for the Triad (at Piedmont Triad Airport), you'll see they picked up a mere 0.04" of rain through midnight. As they say in real estate, it's location, location, location.

Alas, it's summer in the Southeast, and we've had an unstable air mass overhead for almost a week, now. A slow-moving cold front should sink far enough south late Friday to take afternoon storms out of the forecast for this weekend - however, the rate things are going atmospherically, it won't take much for scattered storms to return to the afternoon forecasts this weekend.

FYI on Hurricane Bertha...still slated to slow and shift more north in its travel, grazing Bermuda to the east. There have been some wacky hurricane paths throughout our monitoring history...maybe I'll do a blog on some of those maybe tomorrow. Unless inspiration smacks me upside the head from another direction later today...!

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Greetings, Aliens!"

I've got a passel of chrysallis bodies awaiting their perfect transformation as winged ones...but I'm hard pressed to identify them. They arguably look like swallowtails (blacks and tigers), but the caterpillars don't match up. The ones I've seen make these are jet black with paired red dots down their backs. Just not up to snuff in that area of science, I.

What I liked was that they look like little aliens, most sitting upright. Should be hatching fairly soon (some already have) , so I hope to catch one doing so before too long.

Well, another July 4th has come and gone...lots of scattered storms with attitudes graced the Carolinas with their presence daily...not to offend the unstable air mass overhead, they'll have a curtain call again this afternoon...

In driving the interstates for several hours, I certainly saw an overall reduction in vehicles on the road, especially in the RV category. I used to full-time in a 31-foot Class C a few years ago...can't imagine now gassing up those twin 40-gallon tanks and shelling out over $300 to do so. Gas prices are certainly causing some noticeable shifts in almost everyone's life, no doubt.

And so I rather enjoyed turning the brain off from all the depressing news a while to marvel at these little guys and gals. Nature is spectacular in its intricacies yet simplicities at the same time, isn't it...

Keeping it short as I'm running a tad late...always a bit harder to get back to the schedule after a holiday weekend!

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Fried Fridays: I'll be right back..."

For the uninitiated, I created these "Fried Friday" blogs for a very good reason. For those that work a 'normal' job and hours Monday through Friday, we are all rather 'fried' when Friday rolls around. And given I work in the news industry, I see a lot of strange, funny, stupid, zany, and just plain, well, 'fried' news stories come across the desk. Hence my tribute every Friday sharing with you a story that is unique, to say the least. It goes without saying that the choices are many..

I do want to preface this post by saying alcohol and drugs mess up way too many people and families. While this story is humorous for what it is, we need to be aware of the tragedy that lies within such stories...


It was last Sunday evening when 74 year-old Lynn Rice decided she needed to run to the store to get a few items, so she got in her 1988 Cadillac and off she went...


She headed for Joe's Food Mart and Video (catchy name, eh?) and was going to run in and grab a six-pack of beer.

And what better way to run into a store than to be like Nike and "just do it."

Run into the store, that is.

With your Cadillac.

Right through the plate glass doors, which gave a whole new meaning to 'drive-thru service'.

According to Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Jenny Ha, Ms. Rice made it halfway through the store before coming to a stop. Luckily no one was injured, including Ms. Rice.

But she was a woman on a mission, and no little accident was going to stop her, no sirree...she got right out of the car, walked over to the cooler, and grabbed a six pack of Budweiser beer, and proceeded to the counter to buy it.

It stands to reason the cashier declined the sale and instead called the turn, they took the rather impaired driver to the hospital for examination as she had a pre-existing medical condition. I'll say.

Kind of reminds me of an old joke...

A man waited at a bus stop for the next pick up. When a bus pulled up, he leaned in and asked the driver,
"Does this bus stop at the river?"
To which the driver replied,
"If it doesn't, there's gonna be one helluva splash!!!"


May you have a 'splash' on this Fourth of July and long holiday weekend! Make it a safe one, and remember that doors are for walking through...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, Young 'Uns!

Happy Birthday,
Willie Boo and Ellie Sue!

Nothing like a first birthday to realize how quickly you've grown! And you're old enough to have now discovered the joys of a wading pool in your summer heat, even up in Massachussetts!

My morning ritual begins with letting Mercy outside, and then fixing my pot of a very early age (5 or so), one of my visiting grandmothers would let me sip her brew that had cream and sugar in it...we were both very early risers, so it was a special time to be with her while the house slept.

And to this day I use a thermal carafe machine and then pour in my amounts of Splenda and Half&Half, allowing me to sit here and write/research without having to get back up for more coffee...I just turn and pour. Just one of my little security blankets that makes the world all 'right' for me as I start my day.

This morning, I got to christen the mug my brother and his wife just sent and arrived yesterday, with the kids pics all over it. If I didn't know better, this coffee is tasting better already! Thanks, y'all!

Yep, nothing like a little family reminiscing while I pull pollen and air quality data for today, climo info from yesterday, and jot down ideas on various, creative ways to say "hot and sunny" without boring myself or the viewers....right now it's a very short list!

I was listening to a radio station yesterday when they ran a list of funny statements...probably all in some mass email out there, but I couldn't jot fast enough for them all. But I did retain a few of 'em...

If you write with a broken pencil tip, isn't it pointless?

The police were called to the day care center because a certain 3 year-old was resisting a-rest.

A dentist and a manicurist got in a bitter dispute and fought tooth and nail to the finish.

A short fortune-teller just escaped from prison: now there's a small medium at large.

Forget about the past, you can't change it. Forget about the future, you can't predict it. And forget about the present, I didn't get you one.

That's all I can pull from my craw...lucky to retain even those!Better go retain some weather data and head on in to work...have a good 'un, y'all!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"What a difference..."

...something so small can make. Figured you could all relate to a situation like this, a situation that is oh-so minor in the greater scope of life, but so annoying to deal with...

Sunday I was down in the woods cutting large kudzu vines, negotiating the steep, slippery terrain with pruners and a small brush saw. I had a heavy pair of work gloves on, and all was hunky-dory, outside of it was slow, buggy work. At some point I felt my thumb catching in the tip of the glove but I kept on doing stuff. Only after an hour did I realize, "Hey, that hurts!".

Took my thumb out an in essence a huge chunck of my fingernail had torn back, well below the quick, the kind of tear you have to go ahead and tear off to treat. Minor to look at, but oodles of nerve endings there firing bloody murder messages in pulsating manner.

And so t'was a good time to quit, clean-up, and bandage the oddly located damage area. Once all that was taken care of, two things started to immediately happen, things I'm sure you can relate to:

1. I quickly realized all the things I use my thumb tip for because all of a sudden I couldn't use it, at least how I used to use it. Couldn't hold certain tools safely, or grab items like I usually do, and I couldn't type on a keyboard worth a tinker's $#@&.

2. Murphy's Law corrollary 472 immediately comes into play:
"When a body part gets injured, however small it is, you will commence to strike said part on hard objects no less than 100 times an hour for the first 3 hours. At times your howls will mimic that of the Tundra Wolf in winter."

So, no biggee, but a temporary nuisance for a lot of what i do. " Desperate for a blog idea today, Bob?" Why yes, yes I was. My plate before me is full but soon will have some neat flute stuff to finally share. I'll be vending my Ugly Boys at Bele Chere in Asheville the last Fri-Sun in July, a monstrous craft/art fair, and I need this thumb to calm down quickly so I can forge ahead. More on that later, too, the fair.

No storms today, y'all! YAY!