Friday, December 17, 2010

Dinner and a movie

Last week, several of my work lunch friends invited me to go with them for lunch out and to see the newly released "Tron Legacy" this Friday. I decided to go since I could always use an afternoon off of work :-).

We first went to lunch at Jasmine Thai and Sushi. This restaurant is located at Jordan's Crossing very near the Cinemark theaters. I've had take out food from there once but never eaten there. It's very nice and new inside. I have no taste for sushi at all, so I went with one of the most basic of meals - Sesame Chicken. Several of the guys with me ordered sushi. One complaint they had was the menus no longer offered pictures of the various items. I could understand why they might want to confirm what they were ordering.

I started off with some very good Japanese vegetable soup. It was vegetable soup in a clear broth with large chunks of chicken. The Sesame Chicken was good along with a generous portion of fried rice. Our waitress was very attentive and keep up refills of Diet Dr. Pepper. She mentioned desserts. The fried won ton stuffed with cheesecake and chocolate sauce with banana sauce for dipping sounded good, so I got it. I wasn't really impressed. I later confirmed there should have been powdered sugar and chocolate sauce on it (there wasn't). The consistency of the cheesecake was a bit too runny as well. I much prefer a Triple Chocolate Meltdown or Chocolate Wave. We then headed to the Cinemark.

I have not been to the Cinemark since I saw "The Dark Knight". I have nothing personally against the theater. With the advent of Netflix, it's just easier to either have the movie I want delivered to me for viewing or to use the "Watch Now" feature. We went to the 3D version which was more expensive. They gave us special glasses to watch the movie. I was expecting the one red one blue lens type I was familiar with, but they looked like ordinary sunglass type glasses to me.

The previews started and told us at one point to put on our glasses. The 3D effects were honestly better than I expected. Then, it was time for "Tron Legacy" to start. I'd seen the original Tron movie at the old Arcade theater in the summer of 1982. Being a computer guy, I enjoyed the first one, so I wondered if I would like this one. I did enjoy it. I won't try to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but it involves the original Flynn character and his son. It did seem almost a bit rushed at the end as the movie winds down to its climax. There was also use of actual Unix commands in several scenes that I recognized.

I had a really good time. I met Jonathan at the newly opened "Dick's Sporting Goods" to look at some fitness equipment we were considering buying. I went by Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and headed home. I was pleasantly surprised to find Josh had already gotten home from Lexington for Christmas break. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day.

Monday, December 6, 2010

St Jude run...

Running in the St Jude Marathon (and half Marathon) has become a regular event for Jonathan and I. He's run the marathon twice and I've run the half marathon once. We registered early this year to be ready to run again. We both trained over the past few months to get ready. I barely missed getting in under two hours (2:00:01) and was looking forward to trying to beat that time this year.

We left out Friday afternoon. The drive went fine. Donna dropped us off at the Convention Center to get our race packets. That went well also. We checked into our hotels. Jonathan stays at the Doubletree right next to the finish of the race (on Union next to Autozone Park). It minimizes the walk after the race is over. Donna and I stay at the Residence Inn on Monroe a few blocks over. We all went to bed early to be ready.

When I woke up and checked the weather, I was shocked. The forecast all week was for low 40's (a perfect running temperature in my mind). Imagine my surprise to find the temperature at 60 with 85% humidity. There was also a 10-15 mph wind blowing as well. We got down to the start and lined up to go. I made it through the first 6 miles on pace to break 2:00. Then, I just lost it. I couldn't keep up the pace. I was hydrating at every stop, but I could not keep enough liquid in me given the weather. I made it to the end OK, but my time was much slower - 2:09:34. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Donna encouraged me though so I felt a bit better. I found out Donna met up with Amber Tatum (Jim and Donna Faughn's daughter). Jonathan got to run with her husband Jeremiah over the first 13 miles. I went and rested for a bit and we waited for Jonathan. He came in at the same time as last year - 3:51. Given the conditions, I thought he did quite well.

We went back to his room to watch the rest of the UK - North Carolina game. We came close to getting tossed from the hotel I'm sure with our complaints about the NC biased officiating. UK came close but lost by two. I went back to the Residence Inn and spent the afternoon resting and watching football. Later that afternoon, I got take-out from Dyer's on Beale Street. They have excellent burgers and Donna even enjoyed her chicken tender sandwich and fries. I confirmed Jonathan was OK when I delivered his food. Later that evening, Donna and I foraged out to get some dessert. We grabbed some candy and snack cakes at the Family Dollar near our hotel. While walking to the Doubletree, we found store that sold cake. On the way back, Donna got a piece of coconut cake. I went to bed early.

We got up that morning to temperatures in the 30's! We checked out and went to worship at the Getwell church of Christ (which we always enjoy), then headed for home. We ate at Zaxbys in Blytheville (Again, I wish we had one of these at home) and made it home fine. Jonathan was in good spirits since he found the Giants pounding the Redskins.

Was I disappointed? Yes, I was. Anytime you work hard to hit a goal and miss, you feel a bit disappointed, don't you? I've already resolved to run another half in the spring in Nashville. If that goes OK, I may try something new in December. I'll leave you to figure that one out...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Fall Trip (Part 4)

We got up on Wednesday and went to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. There was not a huge crowd (given that most kids were not out of school). We traded in our vouchers for what they called "One Plus" passes. These are in effect two day passes. They allow you into the "Governor's Mansion".

One we had our passes, we walked across the bridge to Colonial Williamsburg. They have markers on the bridge telling your of the changes that occur as you "go back in time". For example, "You've never seen TV" or "You've never been more than 20 miles from home". My favorate was "You've never paid income tax and you won't get Social Security". I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. The first thing you pass is a working plantation and then an area where you can get an orientation to the settlement. Then, you reach the actual area.

It's spaced out very nicely and covers well over a hundred acres. You first reach the Governor's mansion where the Governor of Virginia lived at the time (Lord Dunsmore). You can tour the mansion (we didn't). You can walk the garden and go into the back courtyard where famous men speak. The first day, we heard Patrick Henry. I found it very interesting as he spoke for almost 45 minutes about the current situation (pre Revolutionary War). Donna lost interest a few minutes into the speech.

Afterwards, we started walking around. You can actually walk the streets freely without a pass. The buildings that require a pass (and that you can enter) have a British flag in front of them. We went into the courthouse and observed several trials. We walked into a few shops as well. We finally headed to the edge of the settlement to look for somewhere to eat. The University of William and Mary is right next to it. There was supposedly a Chick-Fil-A there, but we could never find it. I could tell Donna was kinda bored, so we left (you could come and go) and went to a Wendy's to eat.

I took Donna back to our resort and headed back to CW. I first went to see the "gaol". It was very interesting to see. The jailer and his family actually lived there. The cells had "indoor plumbing". It was used until 1910. Afterwards, I headed to the Capitol Building - the location of the House of Burgesses. Then, I walked around to the Wigmaker and Shoemaker's shops.

I then waited in line to go in the Coffeehouse. It was very interesting. We first sat in the parlor where men would talk and play cards, dice or checkers. We went into the common serving area where on the men working there told us of rumors going around. The lady doing the tour would occasionally lean conspiratorially up to one of us with a rumor about something going on. We finally went down to the basement where we were given a free sample of coffee or "chocolate".

Once I got it, it was nearly 3:00pm. At this time, they put on a performance starting with the reading of the newly received "Declaration of Independence" at the Capitol Building. Then, a young man gathered us around to give news of the Colonials victory at Saratoga. We then went to a stage behind the coffeehouse, where a captured British officer was brought forth to be condemned for his actions in attacking and scalping Colonials. There was more to come, however a strong rain began to fall. So, I left.

We had been invited when we were at the Williamsburg church of Christ on Sunday night to eat with them before Wednesday night Bible Study. We went and had an excellent meal with them. We also enjoyed the Bible Study.

On Thursday, I really wanted to hear George Washington speak. So we went back to CW to hear it. He spoke in the time frame of right after the Boston Tea Party. He was urging Colonials not to buy British goods. He played his character well. Several people asking questions called him General and he corrected them and said he was a Colonel. Others used the word "boycott". He said that he was not familiar with that term and perhaps the person meant "embargo". The term "boycott" did not come about until the 1880's. He kept stressing how we were to be "loyal" subjects to the crown.

After this, there was a reenactment of the Scioto Indians who were guests of the Governor. At this point, they were very worried because the Governor had left because he was worried about his safety with the possibility of the Colonials revolting. When it was over, we saw some more of the artisans. Watching the brick maker was especially interesting. We left and went back to the resort.

After lunch, I went out on my own to see Jamestown. It is a national park as well in the "Colonial Triangle". It was kinda neat to see it. My admission was included in the Yorktown pass I'd bought a couple of days before. However, the one thing it lacked was the park rangers to "bring it alive". I grabbed us something to eat on the way back and we ate and packed to leave the next day.

What was my overall opinion? If you are a history buff, you'll love Colonial Williamsburg. If you're not, it's mildly interesting but not something you'd spend two days at (like I did). Historic Jamestowne (yes with an e) again is interesting if you are a history buff but not that great if you're not.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Fall Trip (Part 3)

We got up on Tuesday and ate at a place called Mama Steve's Pancake House. The food was excellent and there was plenty of it. Once we finished, we headed out.

Donna has always wanted to visit a lighthouse. We've never really gone anywhere that is close to one. I had found the Cape Henry Lighthouse on the map about an hour's drive from Williamsburg. So, we decided to take the plunge and go. We also found there was a zoo in Norfolk right on the way back, so we could stop there afterwards if we chose.

There are actully two lighthouses. One is the one that is actually in use and the other is the old one built originally in 1792. They are the Cape Henry Lighthouse. They are both located on a military base - Fort Story. You have to show ID and get a pass to get in. Then, they have you get out of your car and check all over for security purposes. I totally understand that. The man leading the search said he had a grandmother with the last name of Yancy. Since I know my ancestors came from Virginia, I wish I would have had time to talk to him more about that...

We got to the lighthouses. The newer one is a black and white structure there on the Chesapeake Bay. You are not allowed to go up in that one. We could go up in the old lighthouse (pictured above). It's a very imposing brick structure built in 1792. You pay 4.00 and you can go up the lighthouse. Of course, I was game to up so off we went.

Donna as you may know has a fear of heights. I was concerned about her going up in it and unfortuantely, she got about 3/4 of the way up and couldn't go any farther. It is somewhat intimidating. There is a long spiral staircase leading to a ladder to get to the top. I made it up and the view was wonderful. It it warm up there even though there is no light in it any more. The glass all around allows the sun in and makes it very warm. I made it back down OK. I didn't see Donna so I went back down the to our car, but she wasn't there either. Turns out she was on a bench outside the lighthouse and I somehow missed her. She saw me taking pictures of the other lighthouse and came out to meet me and we left.

We went on to the Zoo in Norfolk. It was not a huge zoo, but we found it very nice anyway. There wasn't a huge crowd, so we were able to take our time in viewing the animals. We saw all sorts of animals. We were able to get really close to the giraffe. We also saw some striped antelopes called bongos. We left and went to eat an early dinner at Chili's. We were watching Cash Cab later and the video question to double the money showed a picture of striped antelopes and asked "This creature shares it name with a type of drum". We both immeidately shouted out "Bongo".

We rested for the evening in our room. We planned to go to Colonial Williamsburg the next day. I'll give you my review of that in my next post.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Fall Trip (part 2)...

Now that we were settled into our rooms at the resort, we started planning the week in Williamsburg. We took a walk Monday morning and then went to that survey/lunch I had mentioned we'd signed up for. When we walked into the building we were supposed to be in, I got an immediate bad feeling. There was the usual high pressure look of a bunch of tables with couples and a salesman at each. We went to the front of the building to sign in and were told to wait. We were sorely tempted to just bolt...

After about ten minutes, a gentleman came out and called out our names. We went back with him. There was actually some food in the back. I got a polish sausage and Donna got some barbeque. We went to his office and ate and he came back and asked questions about our stay and our experience with Wyndham. He then started talking about our home resort where we have ownership (Nashville). He asked if we were concerned since the resort had to considerably rebuilt after the recent floods. He offered us the chance to trade for another timeshare there at Williamsburg. He came back with the terms. We'd get to do this for only 300.00 a month (for 60 months!). I told him "Absolutely not, We don't borrow money for anything". He was very nice about it (unlike our last experience in Nashville where we were literally told we were stupid not to accept). He escorted us to the exit survey and we got our tickets to Colonial Williamsburg. They were even the more expensive two day passes, so it wasn't a bad experience at all!

I've said this before, but if we had it to do all over again, we wouldn't buy the timeshare. When we bought it in 1997, Nashville was the home of Opryland and we envisioned being able to stay there and literally walk to Opryland. The park closed only a few months after our purchase. Also at that time, the Internet was in its infancy and it was much more difficult to find places to stay than it is now. We've gotten a lot of fun out of it, but I still wouldn't do it again.

Donna wanted to rest so I decided to forage out to Yorktown. This of course is the site where the Revolutionary War ended so I was very interested in seeing it. One thing you have to realize is there are two places to go. One is the actual National Park at the site of the actual battlefield. The second is "Yorktown Victory Center". The latter is more for entertainment purposes from what I hear. The true history buff would much more enjoy the actual park.

I paid 10.00 which covers your entrance there and to the Jamestown National Park. There is a small museum to see plus the battlefield around the Visitor Center. The best part though were the tours the Park Rangers gave. They talked about the different type of cannon (I had no idea) plus how the actual battle was fought. They discussed how the war actually turned here for the Colonials. It was very interesting. I then took a short walk to see the Yorktown monument and the acutal city of Yorktown. There are a few shops and things to see there (including the cave General Cornwallis hid in for a while) but nothing stupendous. I finally took the driving tour of the rest of the Yorktown Battlefield. The neatest thing was seeing the site where George Washington camped and to realize you were standing where he stood almost 230 years ago!

I went back to the resort and picked up Donna and we went to the Longhorn Steakhouse and enjoyed an excellent dinner. We came back and watched a bit of Monday Night Football and went to sleep.

Part 3 is about our foraging out of the "Colonial Triangle" to see something Donna has always wanted to see..

Friday, October 29, 2010

A fall trip (part 1)...

For years and years, we went to Myrtle Beach with our sons every fall. We had some very great fun times. Now that they are in college, we don't do that any more. Donna asked about going again and I simply cannot bring myself to go there without them.

Last year we went to Nashville because we just had to go somewhere for a week. We planned it out a bit better this year and decided to go to Williamsburg Virginia. We saw that our route would take us right through Lexington on I-64 to give us the bonus of seeing Josh twice in one week.

We left on a Friday and headed to Lexington. We picked up Josh at UK (he's working a few afternoons a week in computer support for the Math Department). He wanted to go to Red Lobster for the "Endless Shrimp". His roommate Cory met us there. We polished off about 240 shrimp between us, but I was the only one to break 100. We went and got our rental car at Hertz at the airport. You are probably asking "Don't they have rental car places in Paducah?". Indeed they do. However, I could rent a car there for 169.00 with tax and everything for a week. To rent a car for 10 days to cover the whole trip in Paducah would be closer to 350.00. We just drove our van and left it with Josh while we were gone.

On Saturday, we stopped to see Josh before we left, then headed out. We got to West Virginia. I found out the state is very hilly. It seemed like we were either pulling up a mountain or speeding down one the whole time we were in the state. We stopped in Lewisburg since it was about half way. We got there just in time to watch the UK South Carolina game. It did not go well. Uk got down big at the half so Donna and I went to dinner at Applebee's. I noticed Kentucky making a slight rally but was still not optimistic. We got back to the room and KY really started coming back. They shut out South Carolina the whole second half. UK finally took the lead with a minute or so left on a 4th down pass from Hartline to Cobb and got the 2 point conversion to go up by three. I was on the edge of my seat now (I am surprised I didn't get us tossed out of the hotel by my yelling). South Carolina drove to the end zone. With a few seconds left, South Carolina went for a TD instead of a field goal. UK tipped the pass in the end zone and intercepted it. I was ecstatic. This was the first time UK had beaten them in 10 years and the first time they'd beaten Steve Spurrier in EIGHTEEN tries.

We got up Sunday and ate at the hotel (Hampton Inn of course). We went to the Lewisburg church of Christ. Everyone was very nice and friendly. We headed out after that. The rest of the drive went well except for the part of I-64 that combines with I-81. I've never seen so many 18 wheelers on one stretch of road. Donna was a nervous wreck.

We got to Williamsburg and checked into our resort. It was beautiful. I did get talked into signing up for a free lunch and survey the next day (more on that later). We unloaded and headed for Williamsburg church of Christ. The brethren were very nice as well. The preacher there is Bill Butterfield the brother of Tom Butterfield who preached a Gospel Meeting at Central a few years back. We grabbed something to eat and headed back to the resort.

In Part II, I'll let you know about we we saw and did in Williamsburg

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little Political Humor...

I read this in the Reader's Digest today. I found it quite funny, based on your political leanings you might not...

A Republican and a Democrat were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. The Republican gave him his business card and told him to stop by for a job. He then took $20 out of his pocket and handed it to him.

The Democrat was impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided it was his turn to help. So he reached into the Republican's pocket and gave the homeless man $50.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Big E

I saw on the news today that the Executive Inn was going to start being demolished tomorrow. For those of you non-Paducah people, the Executive Inn was the hotel in Paducah from the early 1980's until a few years ago when it was allowed to fall into serious disrepair. WPSD asked for people to post memories of the hotel, so I thought I'd blog a few of mine.

  • I remember right after it first opened, Brent Starkey, Kenny Martin and I (and probably a few others) walked from their house to the hotel. We were just wandering around the place taking in how huge it was when we were approached by a security guard telling us "You boys ain't allowed in here".. We laughed about that all the way back to their house.

  • I took this girl I was dating to "Mr. G's Gourmet Room" (I think it was called) to impress her. It had beautiful views of the Ohio River. I remember they gave us sherbet between the salad and our main course as I found out later "to cleanse our palates". I also ordered a dessert I always wanted to see it flame up when they made it (Cherries Jubilee). I was horrified to see how they made it burn. Fortunately, it burned away as fuel before they poured the hot cherries on vanilla ice cream.

  • Later I took her for her 21st birthday to see some red haired country singer she really liked in the showroom. I wasn't a big country fan at the time, but I remember thinking "Hey, she's pretty good, she might really make it big some day". Her name was Reba McIntire. I remember the girl I was with talked me into buying Reba's latest album for sale right after we left the showroom. Donna and I still have that album.

  • I saw several more shows in that showroom. We saw John Anderson. I remember he sang with his eyes closed (yes, we were that close unfortunately). He also sang one of my least favorite songs "Just a Swingin" and that he looked like "death warmed over". We also saw a pretty good Beatles tribute band (1964 I believe). I remember "John Lennon" throwing picks at Donna trying (I felt) to flirt with her. She's always been beautiful, so catches a lot of guys eyes.

  • Their restaurant had and excellent prime rib buffet on Sunday where they carved it right in front of you. I enjoyed that several times. Makes me hungry right now just thinking about it.

  • USEC would hold "galas" every year there for their employees in the showroom. They'd feed us really well and then have entertainment. Bowser of Sha-na-na was there several times, but I remember most Paul Revere and the Raiders because they are Jim Faughn's favorites.

  • They had some pretty good events in the convention center. I remember baseball card shows and taking the boys to a train collectible's show. I also remember in the infancy of quilt show that Donna wanted to go see it so we went about 4 on a Saturday afternoon only to be turned away since "we're ready to close up the show". My how that has changed.

  • Our house had a minor fire (burning our basement and smoking up the rest of the house) in the summer of 1984. I was on my first business trip ever (to Boston for computer training). My parents and sister Melissa stayed at the Executive Inn for the first few weeks while the house was being cleaned. I remember ordering room service one night while there and getting asparagus. I never ordered that again.

It was sad to see the place fall into such disrepair. I hope they build something just as neat when they rebuild (although I doubt they will). Oh, maybe you are wondering why it was called the "Big-E"? I had some visitors they were coming to our plant from Oak Ridge ask that once. I told them just to watch as they approached the hotel and they'd know. There was a large E (it was lit up as a green "E" at night) that you could not miss as you got close.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

At the Dollar General store...

For several months, we've noticed a building being built on Highway 60 a few miles from our home. It's right down the road from our mechanic (Mansfield's). A couple of weeks ago we finally found out it was a Dollar General store. This seems like a strange place to build. There are now five Dollar General stores in a thirty mile stretch of road in our vicinity. Starting with the one at Cardinal Point in Paducah, then the store west of the mall. Then, after the new one, there is one in LaCenter and finally one in Wickliffe. The other four are at least built around some city or town. The new one is closest to Future City and Cimota City. Do you know where the name Cimota City comes from? I'll let you know at the end of this post.

I went by there last weekend. It's a very nice Dollar General store. The parking lot is very spacious and easy to get out and back from. I was able to get a great deal on 2 liter Diet Dr Peppers. They are always 1.25 but these had an immediate savings coupon of .55 on each. However, as my father-in-law says "Not everything in there is a bargain". It's a good lesson to remember about stores like this. Just because it's in a discount store doesn't mean its the best price.

Figured out that Cimota City reference yet? Think about what major business is close to it....

"At the Dollar General Store" was a famous ad campaign for the stores years and years ago. I looked on YouTube and other video sites and alas I couldn't find a copy. It's been running through my head since I noticed that new store. I'm still amazed that there so many of these stores around. They must be very profitable. I wonder what will happen to the local Supermarket (Food World)?

Oh yes, what's the answer? Spell Cimota backwards and remember that it's close to USEC and it'll make sense.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The age old question...

Ahh. Sports and science together. How could it get any better? I am glad to know what I've told kids for years as a coach (and yelled at Skip Schumaker several times a year) is proven by science. And this isn't even counting the risk of injury by diving into first as opposed to running through the bag.

Is it better to dive or run past first base?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Almost Perfect...

If you are any type of sports fan, you've heard how Armando Galarraga narrowly missed pitching the 3rd perfect of the year on a missed call by ump Jim Joyce. I've been very impressed at how Armando Galarraga has handled this. He hasn't ranted and raved about the call. He's accepted that this is part of baseball. It is amazing how many calls umpires do get right considering all the plays that happen so fast.

I am glad Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig didn't reverse the call. One, I believe this would have tainted the perfect game. Secondly, I don't think a game result shouldn't be reversed like that. There are other games that end on bizarre calls that could ultimately be pushed to be reversed. You never know when a game you lose in April that you should have won could be the one game you needed to get in the playoffs later in the year.

I will also tell you that I am firmly against instant replay. Jonathan and I get in this argument quite often. He's all for it. I am a purist who loves wooden bats, detests the DH and wouldn't like instant replay. How would you handle it? Would you have a certain number of challenges? What would the penalty (like losing a timeout in the NFL) be for an unsuccessful challenge?

Finally, this of course reminded me of the 1985 World Series. I remember watching game 6 with my girlfriend. The Cardinals had taken a 1-0 into the bottom of the ninth. Despite having lost Bruce Sutter to free agency over the winter, the Cardinal bullpen had not blown a lead in the 9th and lost a game all YEAR. The rookie flamethrower Mark Worrell was in the game and he'd been lights out over the last part of the year. Jorge Orta was called safe at first by Don Dekinger in similar play to the one last night and replays showed he was out. Of course, the Cardinals still could have won, but a couple of misplays by Jack Clark and Darrell Porter plus a key hit by former Cardinal hero Dane Iorg (who they never should have let go) beat them. They couldn't recover and got creamed 10-0 in game 7. But, I still have fond memories of that game. As I sat there devastated by the loss, my girlfriend put her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek and said "It'll be OK honey". She could have said "It's just a stupid game, get over it", but she didn't. I thought "Wow, what a wonderful girl this is!". I still think that to this day and she still cheers with me when my teams win and consoles me when they lose.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time to "fess up"...

Well, I have to admit something today. Something I've always taken care of for years, I didn't do yesterday. I didn't VOTE.

I've gone to the polls to vote for years. I just don't miss it. I am registered Democrat even though I am not in any way favorable to their platforms. In the state of Kentucky (especially in this end), all of the local races are on the Democratic ticket. The primary elections decide the local offices. There might be token Republican opposition in the November election, but they never win. So, I had offices to vote for (jailer and magistrate) besides the Senatorial primary to decide the two candidates to run in November to take retiring senator (and MLB Hall of Famer) Jim Bunning's seat. I just simply didn't make the effort. It's been all over the news about Rand Paul's victory in the Republican primary. "Cussin" Jack Conway narrowly took the Democratic race. It'll be an interesting campaign.

I am always the one who says "You can't complain if you don't vote" or "That is one of the great things about America and you should never pass on it". There's no good excuse (and that's all it'd be). I'll take my crow medium well..

Friday, May 7, 2010


Adam Faughn's blog post reminded how much I love this song and the video. There are a few too many Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in it for me, but there is a good shot of Stan and brief shots of Lou and the Gashouse Gang. BTW, the young man in the picture is the "brown-eyed man" mentioned in the song.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Practice

Since I get Good Friday off from work, we decided to make a long weekend of it and go visit Josh at UK. I found out that UK Spring football practice would be going on and that it was open to the public. I wanted to see it of course, so I planned to do that Saturday morning.

Donna and I parked our car close to Josh's dorm and started walking. Josh called afterward wanting to know what was taking so long. He knew some direct path through campus to the Nutter Training Facility and got there a lot quicker than we did. The Nutter Training facility is right next to the UK baseball field. These were both new to me, the baseball field was in a totally different spot when I was there and the Nutter Training facility wasn't there. Ervin J. Nutter was a mechanical engineering graduate from UK and gave money for Mechanical Engineering scholarships as well as the training facility.

They have multiple practice fields there including one with artificial turf. There were about 50 to 100 people watching. You could get right up to the edge of the field and watch. They were running multiple drills in blocking and running. The UK QBs were practicing their throws. There are three QBs that have a shot at being the starter. Mike Hartline is a senior and was a starter last year unless being hurt in a bizarre situation at South Carolina (he was nailed on a Delay of Game dead ball of all things). Morgan Newton stepped in a as a freshman to run things after that. Ryan Mossakowski is a redshirt freshman with a strong throwing arm. It'll be interesting who ends up being the starter.

I of course was mesmerized. Donna and Josh watched for a while and then left when I started to rain. I stuck it out though. They ran several more drills (including punt blocking). Finally, they ended up moving to the artificial turf field and running a kind of scrimmage. That was really interesting. The receivers looked to have a lot of trouble hanging on to the ball though. The QBs all had red jerseys on to signify they were not to be touched. A lineman bumped one of them at one point and got a severe tongue lashing from a coach.

Speaking of which, I also saw new UK head coach Joker Phillips. He played there when I was in college at UK (he's a couple of years younger than me though, that makes me feel old). He was very active running from groups of players in various drills giving encouragement and instruction. I'll be interested to see what changes happen when games start in the fall.

I saw several Kentucky sportswriters I recognized including Alan Culter, Chip Cosby and Larry Vaught. Tom Leach known as "the Voice of the Wildcats" was there as well. The players were very nice and signed autographs and talked with people afterwards. It was a very neat experience. I am looking forward to the fall to see how things fare with the team. Besides the QB battle, UK must replace standouts Travard Lindley, Micah Johnson, Sam Maxwell and Corey Peters on defense. They also must replace 4 of 5 starting Offensive Linemen as well as their vastly underrated fullback John Conner. I am hoping we can make it to five bowl games in a row.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Date Night..

Over the past few years, Donna and I have made it a priority to have a date night every couple of weeks. With me being out of town, Josh being home, and several church events, we hadn't been in a while. So, last Friday night, we went out.

We went to our favorite Paducah restaurant (Red Lobster). It is as you know Lobsterfest right now which cemented my desire to go. I got a lobster tail, crab legs, and shrimp scampi platter that was really good. Afterwards, we split a Chocolate Wave. It did make me miss Josh. Whenver he was with us, he and I would split one. We would both eat as quickly as we could so that the other wouldn't eat more than their share.

We usually try to run any errands that need running after we eat out. Donna needed to get some walking shoes. Shoe Carnival was having a buy one get one half price sale so we went there. After quickly purusing the men's aisles, I left while she looked. The area around the Shoe Carnival used to have several stores I liked to visit. I could go to Circuit City or Office Max. I could even clothes shop at Goody's. However, these are all gone now. I ended up going to Gander Mountain.

If you know anything about me, you know how out of place I am at Gander Mountain. It's like a polar bear in the Sahara. I am not an outdoorsman. I have nothing against those who enjoy hunting, fishing and camping. I have several relatives who are avid sportsmen and I live in one of the best waterfowl hunting areas around (Ballard County). I am always intrigued by the varied amount of equipment there. I looked at the different kinds of bait which reminded me of Hank Hill and his disdain for "cheater bait". Hank's a staunch worm man. I made it around to the plethora of camping equipment. I was looking at the video section (on how to track down the "Big Buck") when one of the employees spoke to me. I started to protect that I was "just looking" but he remarked about my UK2K shirt I had one. This started a 15 minute converstation about UK basketball past and present. I finally dragged myself away just in time as Donna was getting ready to check out at Shoe Carnival.

On the way home, we stopped at the Dollar General Store. We'd been unable to find any cheap two-liter sodas so we knew we could get them for 1.25 there. Turned out they were on sale and we got several for 1.00 apiece. We finally got home in time to check out a little NCAA tourney action. It was an excellent date night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue Orleans...

What a year it's been for UK fans! Never in my wildest dreams did I believe we'd do so well. We lost several players and had to bring in a whole new group. We had four new starters (three of them freshmen). Coach Cal has done a great job in getting this team to play as a unit and they have great chemistry.

For the first time in several years, I went to a couple of games. First, I went with Josh to see Ole Miss at UK. The UK students are allowed to buy tickets for 5 a piece. Since the team is now so popular, not all of the students who want tickets can get them. you go and wait in line then they draw for who gets the chance to buy them and who doesn't. Josh hadn't gotten drawn. I wanted to see a game and of course see him so went. UK won by double digits and we had a great time.

Later, Jonathan and I went. We went to see UK try and avenge one of its losses (to South Carolina). UK won by 20. Jonathan ended up getting to hang out with his brother and get a taste of UK life. We really had fun there too.

I figured I'd seen all the UK games I'd get to see in person this year. We bounced around the idea of possibly going to the Milwaukee "pod", but hadn't really seriously planned it. I found out on "Selection Sunday" that UK had been placed in the New Orleans pod. When I got home from church Sunday night, I (just for fun I thought) checked out the ticket prices. They were pretty reasonable for lower arena seats (100 apiece for corner 20 rows up). This was also spring break week for UK and WKCTC. I talked with Donna and decided to go for it! I got a couple of tickets to UK's first round game with East Tennessee State. I tried to get Josh to go with us, but he'd promised his friend Cory King to take him to Lexington that Thursday.

We decided to drive to Memphis Wednesday, go to church there, and then drive the rest of the way Thursday. We thought about getting tickets for Saturday. Jonathan wanted to get back for the singing at our congregation Friday night. I also wanted to go to the annual Leadership Conference at Briensburg church of Christ on Saturday, so we passed.

We left Wednesday afternoon and got to Memphis with no problem. We actually stayed at Horn Lake Mississippi since it was right off of I-55 (our main route to New Orleans). It was only 20 minutes to Memphis. We stayed at the Drury Inn there. Drury's (as I've mentioned before) is one of my favorite places to stay (my only beef with them is there aren't enough of them around). They've now added a light dinner to their ammenities. We had egg rolls, wings, baked potatoes and salad.

We went to Bible Study that night at Getwell church of Christ. They publish an excellent Christian periodical called the Spiritual Sword. I've been there numerous times and everyone there is very friendly and hospitable. The preacher there is Gary Colley who is a an excellent preacher and teacher. It seemed like he'd only been teaching for a few minutes when we ran out of time. We got to talk a little basketball of course before and after services. We went back to the hotel to rest up for the drive the next day.

Our drive went fine. We drove about six hours stopping only once for gas. You drive to the end of I-55 and then head East on I-10. We got there faster than I thought we would. Our hotel (Drury Inn and Suites of course) very graciously allowed us to check in early. It's a very nice hotel. It was about 6 blocked from the stadium. Parking was right outside in a lot saving walking through a parking garage labyrinth. I'd had reserved a suite (it was only a little more expensive then a regular room. Our room was fabulous! Two flat screen TV with HD and plenty of room. We threw our stuff down and went to find food.

I had wanted to get a Po' Boy sandwich (what we'd call a sub around here). I'd found several recommended ones online. We went for Mike Sergio's which was a short walk away. I wanted to try a fried shrimp po boy. As we waited to get our food, the owner started talking basketball of course. He had a UK helmet prominently displayed on his counter with Coach Cal's signature on it. He said Coach Cal and his family had been in several hours earlier. I guess it was possible since there was a Hilton Hotel right next door. We took our food back to the room. The sandwich was better than I even hoped. We enjoyed watching games and especially Murray State pulling out a last minute win.

About 5:15pm, we headed for the game. The game was to be played at the New Orleans Arena (home of the New Orleans Hornets). It's right behind the Superdome and only six blocks away. We of course were subjected to many scalpers along the way plus all sorts of celebratory posters and images of the recent New Orleans Super Bowl win. We got in and took our seats. They were as good as I'd hoped and we had a great view. However, the gym only ended up being about half full. I was a bit disappionted in the turnout. Most of the fans there were UK fans though. UK started off a bit slow but then got hot. Patrick Patterson scored on numerous inside moves and Eric Bledsoe hit seven threes. UK lead by as much as 40 before winning 100-71. We ended up staying for half of the Texas/Wake Forest game. We talked with several Texas fans sitting around us. We got back to the room and saw Texas lose on a last minute shot. Made us glad we weren't at the arena.

The next morning, my goal was to go to the Cafe Du Monde for beignets. If you don't know that those are, they are a cross between a doughnut and a funnel cake. I walked a mile to get there and get some to take back to the room. I took the way back to the hotel that allowed me to take the Riverwalk and see the Mississippi River. I got back and Jonathan and I enjoyed the beignets thoroughly.

We left and headed back. We only stopped once (to gas up and grab lunch). Jonathan subjected me to some of his music and I subjected him to Dave Ramsey. We had a lot of fun. As a lady at church tells me "You made another memory".

Monday, March 15, 2010

Walkin' in Memphis

Being a Denver Nuggets fan, I don't get many opportunities to see them in person. They do play the Memphis Grizzlies a couple of times a year so I finally took advantage of that and found a date they would be in Memphis.

My brother Kevin and his family live in Memphis. He's a Grizzlies fan so I checked with him to see if wanted to go. He was all for it and said he'd get the tickets. The game was last Saturday so I drove up Saturday morning. I listened to the first half of the UK-UT game. I listened to the UT network. It was funny to hear them complain about Wayne Chism being beat up under the basket. I thought "well, what's good for the goose.." I went to my brother's and saw the 2nd half. UK really cranked up the heat and blew UT out in the end.

Kevin's wife Kim and daughter Kristen were not going to be there that night, so we had the run of the place. My sister Jody came down to watch Zach so we could go the ballgame. We played some Wii basketball and I pretty well stank at it. My brother pulled out an old Intellivision game console with his games. I ended playing one of my favorite archive games - Burgertime. We let Zach decide where to eat and he chose Dyer's downtown (more on that later).

We drove downtown and parked. We walked to the restaurant down to Beale Street. This of course led me sing "Walkin' in Memphis". We stopped and grabbed the last table at Dyer's. Dyer's is a hambuger place on Beale. They are supposed to have excellent burgers. Their claim to fame is the grease they use to fry the burgers. It's supposed to be the same grease used since 1912 (a special blend). They just filter it out each night and reuse it. My triple burger and fries did not disappoint, they were excellent! Zach and Jody headed for their house and Kevin and I went to the FedEx Forum.

Kevin had gotten us club seats and they were great! We had our own private section with concessions and even areas with padded chairs to relex in. We even had our own bathrooms just for Club level patrons. The game didn't start off well. Memphis played well and Denver played rotten defense. Memphis let all of the first half. Denver finally rallied to tie the game at the end of the third quarter. In the 4th quarter, JR Smith went off. He was hitting three pointers like mad. Denver got out to a 24 point lead and ended up winning easily. I forced my brother into the tradition I have of never leaving a game til the end. We went back to my brother's house. We ended up playing Intellivision Baseball til late and then went to bed.

I got up that next morning and my brother surprised me with bacon and eggs. I left about 9 to head for Getwell church of Christ. I enjoyed worship there and hearing Brother Gary Colley speak. Afterwards, I headed for home. I listened to the exciting UK-MIss State game. I almost drove off the road when Cousins hit the putback with .1 seconds to go to force OT. I hated not seeing it on TV, but I had a thourougly enjoyable time in Memphis.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Steak 'n Shake

Friday night, Donna and I decided to go out. First, I went to Kohl's and she went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. She bought some new curtains. I bought a new pair of ASICS running shoes for 39.99. I also had to buy a new winter coat (my good one somehow traveled to Lexington with someone else). I got a 100.00 coat for 30.00.

We went to eat dinner at Steak 'n Shake. It's the first time we've been there in years. We used to go a lot when the boys were younger but quit for some reason. Donna and I discussed it a bit and couldn't remember why. I'm thinking it's that their service got slow (see IHOP - Paducah). I can report that the experience this time was fine. They have a 3.99 menu with multiple items on it. I got a triple steakburger and fries for 3.99. Donna had a single with fries. I was planning to get a milk shake. However, there was a delectable looking Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae on the menu, so I tried that. It was great. A couple of soft chocolate chip cookies with ice cream and fudge sauce and only 2.99! Primeau. Donna had a Butterfinger milk shake that she really liked too.

Our waitress was very enthusiastic and attentive. The food came out reasonably fast and was really good. Donna got on me once for wolfing it down so fast. The manager even asked what I thought of the sundae when I left.

Steak 'n Shake is now back in the first tier of restaurants for the Yancy's.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats are highly ranked and are having one of their best seasons in years. They are a lock for getting an NCAA tournament bid after not getting in last year. They are eagerly awaiting a game with highly ranked Tennessee. But, I but you didn't realize I am talking about the WOMEN's team.

The women's team is now ranked 17th in the country with a stellar record of 20-3. Matthew Mitchell has coached this team to 2nd place in the very competitve SEC. Victoria Dunlap is being mentioned as a possible SEC player of the year. But, with the great season the men are having, the women's team isn't getting much publicity. They haven't has this good of a team in years.

When I was at UK from 1981-1983, UK had excellent women's teams (they were called the Lady Kats then). I used to see several of the players at the cafeteria at Blazer Hall when I ate dinner. They were not thronged like the male players were of course (Melvin Turpin, Sam Bowie, Jim Master, etc). They were congenial and would talk to anybody. Lea Wise was one of the guards, she was easy to spot with her blonde Farrah Fawcett hair-do. Her running mate was PJ Hedges. Their top scorer was Valerie Still. She was the younger sister of all-time UK football defensive great Art Still (the 2nd pick in the 1978 NFL draft). She is the actual answer to the trivia question "Who scored the most points in their UK basketball career?". Most people answer "Dan Issel". They were actually ranked #4 in the nation my junior year. They lost to eventual National Champion Louisiana Tech in the Elite Eight.

They play Tennessee in a couple of weeks. UT is to women's basketball what UK is to men's in the SEC. Pat Summit has coached them for over 30 years winning numerous SEC championships and NCAA titles. She has the most NCAA wins as a basketball coach (not that obnoxious guy who used to wear those red sweaters). They've already named the court after her at UT ("The Summit").

It's nice to see other sports excel at UK (football, women's basketball, not to mention gymnastics, soccer, baseball and even softball)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Krispy Kreme

Anybody who knows me, knows I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I've been known to go across multiple lanes of traffic when the "hot light" is on. If we go to a town that has one, I have to go get some. Fortunately for my weight, the closest one is in Evansville.

Well, that was the case until a few days ago. While exiting I-24 and heading toward WKCTC, I noted what you see above on the marquee for the gas station across the street from the college. I had just resolved to try and drop a few extra pounds I seem to have accumulated over the winter and there this is. I thought "OK, I never stop at that gas station any way, I can resist that". Then yesterday, Donna called me from Supervalu to tell me "They have Krispy Kreme doughnuts now". They of course had my favorite - the chocolate frosted creme filled. She asked if she should get some and of course I said "Yes".

I eagerly rushed home from work and had not one but two. I was hoping they might be stale but alas they tasted great. Jonathan had one too and Donna said "I thought those might last a couple of days". My answer was "You're kidding, right?" We've already talked about her NOT bringing home a half-dozen box every week.

We'll see how good I am at resisting temptation over the next few weeks...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why They Gotta Mess with Stuff???

I was doing my morning perusal of and came upon this a few days ago. Monopoly is releasing its 75th edition. It uses credit cards and it replaces the game pieces with colored tabs. And the board is going to be round??? I've played Monopoly for close to forty years. I cannot imagine anyone changing one of the all time classics. I've played Monopoly for close to 40 years. Josh, my nephew Adam, and I have a family tradition of playing a game every time we get together for a holiday. Other players drift in and out, but we three always have a game.

Credit cards instead of money? What does that teach? That borrowing money instead of paying cash is better? Especially in buying real estate? Obviously, these guys don't listen to Dave Ramsey. How do you handle having the fines pile up in the center of the board til someone hits Free Parking? What about the satisfaction of having a pile of 500 dollar bills? I'm always the banker when I play, what happens to that? I even stay the banker if I get bankrupted.

Colored tabs for the game pieces? One of the cool things about the game is the varied game pieces. I was the dog for years until Josh started playing and wanted it. I gave it up and have been the top hat ever since. My nephew Adam is always the race car. Whenever the game is brought out, those three pieces are always brought out immediately. Nobody ever tries to usurp those.

And a round board? What's up with that? Next thing you know, they'll try to change the shape of the Pentagon.

I've got a battered Monopoly game that actually has the wooden houses and hotels that Donna got me years ago. I guess I'll be hanging on to that one now til it rots away.

By the way, the post title comes from this (One of the few Hardee's commercials that I don't automatically turn off). Jonathan says the I'm the old guy of course.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It all started early Thursday morning. I felt sick to my stomach. I ate a couple of Mylanta pills and went back to sleep. I was awakened a few hours later and couldn't keep anything on my stomach. I hadn't felt like this in a long long time. I was reduced to laying on the couch. Jonathan went to school and Donna to work, so I was on my own. I tried a cracker and sipping water but it "just came right back out".

I spent the entire morning watching "Retro-TV". This is a new digital channel we can pick up now. It has a bunch of old shows I watched when I was a kid. I watched Marcus Welby and then Ironside (which I remember watching with my dad when I was young). I watched Kojak and then one of my favorites - Leave it to Beaver. Finally, I topped it off with Magnum PI and the Rockford Files. I was reminded (again) of a time when TV shows could be very entertaining without being vulgar.

I finally stopped throwing up about noon, but had no appetite at all. I just rested for the day. I was still weak the next day, but steadily improved the rest of the day. Jonathan went to see his girlfriend at her high school game (she plays in the band). He woke us up about midnight sick. Even though he's 20 years old, his mom and I still felt as bad as we did when he was little. We tried to do all we could for him. He felt better by day's end. However, Donna started getting sick about 6:30pm. There is no more frustrating feeling for a husband then watching your wife hurt and not being able to do a thing about it. She finally felt better by early in the morning, but she wasn't able to attend worship services. She missed them terribly. She felt a lot better Monday.

I haven't been that sick in a while. None of us have. It makes you really appreciate your health to go though something like this. And it doesn't even compare to what some people go through on a regular basis.