Saturday, December 31, 2005

Home Sick

Okay, today I was the sickest I think I've ever been, or at least that I can remember. I almost NEVER call in sick to work, but I did this morning. Found out later, that they were all suffering the same illness to varying degrees themselves. Thanks again, Becky!

The sinus problem I mentioned in yesterday's post exploded into a mean post-nasal drip. I'm hacking and coughing up all kinds of lovely stuff. The nausea was unbelievable. About 9pm, I tried to eat some pasta. Thought that would be bland enough. But, it all came right back up. I'm running a fever, alternately breaking out in a sweat and shivering with spine-tingling chills. This is not an auspicious way to be greeting the new year . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Typhoid Becky

My assistant Becky came into the office this week despite the fact that she's been fighting a nasty flu bug. I really wish she wouldn't do that, because now I'm starting to feel sick myself. My sinuses are so congested, the pressure is making my teeth ache. ARRRRGGHH!

New TV

Santa got me a new flat panel TV for Christmas this year, but I didn't get it hung on the wall of my livingroom until last night . . . just in time to watch Clemson beat Colorado in the Champs Sports Bowl. It was a lot more comfortable watching the game on the couch in my livingroom instead of going downtown to see it in person, especially since I don't really care much for either team. (Sorry, Keith!)

Anyway, this flat panel is so cool! It hangs on the wall like a framed picture. Currently, you can still see an electrical cord and a cable line. But, I'm going to have those run back behind the wall in question (in a coat closet). So, when all is said and done, you won't be able to see any wires, cords, or anything. Just this awesome picture hanging there on the wall!

Oh, yeah, and did I mention it has a built-in DVD/CD player?!

I am so spoiled.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tater's close-up

Just got some e-mail from my brother-in-law Keith with photos he took over Christmas weekend.

Here's a close-up of Tater for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day

No, I didn't get into a fight. Didn't even witness one.

Boxing Day is an old English tradition. The day after Christmas, you're supposed to go thru your "stuff" (nod to George Carlin) and figure out what you don't need anymore and box it up for charity.

I observed the occasion by passing along my dad's old leather recliner. It had been sitting in my garage for several months, used only by the cats in between trips to the litter box. But, I found out one of my employees just got a new apartment and was in desperate need of some furniture. So, off we went!

Now, I can park my car in the garage again, and he has somewhere to perch when he's watching Monday Night Football! (Did I mention "Go Packers" in this blog lately?!)

Christmas Day

I had my uncle Bill Gleeson over for Christmas this year. (He just moved back to town from Jacksonville.)

Unfortunately, he didn't stay this happy all day long. Later in the day, he actually ripped-off that Brett Favre jersey he's wearing in the picture and stomped on it repeatedly. Go Packers?!?! HA! . . . . or should I say "HO! HO! HO!"?!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve

Mom came over to help me wrap presents, etc. Don't ask me what she's pointing at in this picture. Might've been something one of the cats dragged in from the garage. They're famous for that!

Oh, and my apologies for the tree this year. Only the bottom strand of lights would work after the first week. Pathetic, I know. I may have to invest in a new tree for next year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cheesecake Factory

Okay, the holiday revelry is getting WAY out of hand around here!

I can already tell that a diet is going to be on my list of resolutions for 2006, but I had to join my fellow office workers for one last holiday hurrah at the Cheesecake Factory up in Winter Park.

Two words: Strawberry Martini!

Happy Day.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Why Do I Love These People?

That's the title of a book I bought recently. I intended it as a gift for a particular so-and-so on my Christmas list, but thought I better "preview" it for content. You know, make sure the content was appropriate . . .

Anyway, it turned out to be a really great book. Earned my stamp of approval.

The author is Po Bronson. Check out his website at


Just got a Christmas card from my old frat bro Brandon "The Beave" Wilson, with the following picture enclosed. Thought I'd post it here for those of you not worthy enough to merit a spot on their Christmas card list.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What an appetite!

Looks like my niece Morgan has inherited my healthy appetite.

Ok, so the picture is a bit out of date . . . from Thanksgiving. But, my brother-in-law Keith just got around to emailing it to me. And, I couldn't resist posting it here!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Breast Cancer's toll rises

Karen Michael (1974-2005)

For a complete obituary, see The Orlando Sentinel.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Colorado Crew Cab

Okay, here's my latest obsession: The 2006 Colorado Crew Cab.

I've spent most of the day haggling with my friend who works at Holiday Chevrolet down in St. Cloud, seeing what kind of deal we can work out before the end of the year.

I'd sure like to take advantage of the tax incentives . . .

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Rainy day

Since the weather was so dreary today, I spent a lot of time up in my office working on updates for The Morgan Family Genealogy Index. ( Scanning copies of old newspaper articles, etc., including one that featured this photo of my parents at The Citadel's "ring hop" in 1969.

Friday, December 16, 2005

We'll miss you, Leo . . . er, John

Sad news out of Los Angeles today. Veteran actor John Spencer died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. He will probably be best remembered for his portrayal of White House Chief of Staff and Vice Presidential candidate Leo McGarry on the hit series The West Wing.

I never cared for the man's politics, either on or off the show. But, his performances were always compelling. And, I will miss him.

As morbid as it may be, Mr. Spencer's passing has actually piqued my waning interest in TWW. I wonder what kind of midnight oil the writers are burning right now trying to figure out how to re-tool their scripts.

All I can say is: Vinick in '06, baby! (Sorry, Leo . . . er, I mean, John.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I'm pleased to announce the arrival of my new nephew:

Charley Keith "Tater" Simmons

born Thursday, 15 Dec 2005, 12:37pm
Charleston, SC

8lbs, 4 ozs - 21 inches

Parents both doing well.

Ain't life grand?!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Air pollution

Check out this new air pollution database:,0,4704190.htmlstory

It will let you plug in your home address (or, any address for that matter) to find out how bad the air is in the neighborhood. I'm a 1.9, in case you're interested.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!

News yesterday came out of Nease High School down in Ponte Vedra Beach, that Urban Meyer has convinced quarterback Tim Tebow to sign with the GATORS!

Tebow led his high school team to the state championship this year, and is statistically the best quarterback ever to play in Florida on the high school level.

In fact, analysts at say his decision to go to Gainesville next year put the University of Florida atop the list of recruiting classes.

With an arm like Tebow's in our arsenal, it looks like the fun 'n gun is back to stay in The Swamp!


Monday, December 12, 2005

National Archives

The National Archives has made it easier to search their online databases. Check it out:

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Everyone has ancestors . . .

Saw this quote, and had to preserve it for posterity:

Per Howard Kenneth Nixon: "Everyone has ancestors, and it's only a question of going back far enough to find a good one!"

How true!!

Christmas Party

Our company had its annual Christmas party at Charley's Steakhouse in Orlando. That's a bit unusual for us, as we typically have it in somebody's private home. But, it was nice and the steak was awesome. They grill their meat over citrus wood, which I think gives it a pretty unique flavor.

Unfortunately, Cathy and her camera didn't show up. So, I don't have any pictures to post. Probably a good thing, since we all made pigs of ourselves. Who wants to see that?!

Oh, yeah, I also got the new unrated/uncensored DVD of The Dukes of Hazard in the gift exchange. This should be interesting . . .

Friday, December 09, 2005

Why search Ysearch?!

I got some email from Bill Morgan in DeLeon Springs today. He's one of the guys whose DNA markers are so close to mine.

Anyway, Bill had a more extensive test done and has posted the results at

I had been unaware of the site prior to his email, but found it's search tools, etc., a lot quicker and easier to use than a lot of the others out there. Check it out if you've got the inclination. I've posted my own markers under User ID #KDPCN.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gift Basket

Karen Ekdahl at Sandbill Realty in Cape Coral sent a HUGE gift basket to the office today. I mean, it was so big that they had to wheel it in on a cart! It had 6 bottles of wine, countless boxes of candy, jam, cookies, whole cakes, etc., etc., etc. I guess we paid her enough real estate commissions in 2005 to justify this?!

Anyway, I'm taking the bottle of Merlot and some macaroons home. They should make Survivor night all the better!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Nothing Like it in the World

I'm reading a great book by the late Stephen E. Ambrose, entitled Nothing Like it in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869.

Ambrose also wrote another of my favorite books, Undaunted Courage, about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Anyway, I picked this book up for $1 in a book clearinghouse up in Gainesville recently. I knew I liked Ambrose's writing style. And, I've got a mild interest in the history of railroading, which I picked up while researching my Blakesley ancestry. But, this book has really surpassed my expectations.

I've only just begun reading it, and have already found an interesting tidbit. Jefferson Davis, acting as Secretary of War during the 1850s, had recommended a southern route for the transcontinental railroad--from New Orleans to San Diego. But, Abraham Lincoln owned 17 pieces of property in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was determined to see the line run from that point to San Francisco. So, it seems these two titans of the Civil War had a beef beyond states' rights, slavery, etc. Interesting, huh?

Back to my reading. Oh, yeah, and remember Pearl Harbor!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Texas Tech makes the NY Times!

David Burden forwarded this link to an excellent article about Coach Mike Leach and the Texas Tech University football program.

Monday, December 05, 2005

1880 Worst Names Contest

If you have as unhealthy an obsession with genealogy as I do, you no doubt have discovered the 1880 U.S. Census search engine. But, you may not have stumbled across these truly horrible names recorded by the census takers. I challenge anyone out there to add to this list:

1. Lousy Price of Hendersonville, North Carolina.
2. Pig Ballad of Bossier, Louisiana.
3. Fannie Cheeks of Carolina Mills, North Carolina.
4. Plenty Payne of Harrison, Arkansas.
5. Pussy Slaughter of Hampton, Virginia.
6. Large Hunsucker of Morehouse County, Louisiana.
7. Girly Craps of Gilbert Hollow, South Carolina.
8. Gay Wimp of Dallas, Illinois.
9. Sucky Gross of Madison County, Mississippi.
10. Lick Yu of San Francisco, California.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

War of the Worlds

Let me just preface this post with a statement: I can't stand Tom Cruise as an off-screen human being.

That out of the way, I really enjoyed "War of the Worlds." My old fraternity brother Steve tried to get me to go see the movie while it was still in the theaters. But, my disdain for the general public persuaded me to wait until it came out on DVD. Now, I'm glad I didn't see it on the big screen. It was bad enough on my tiny little television! Bad, in a good way, that is.

The aliens were all-too-realistic. I actually felt the panic of the people. The ending left a little to be desired. But, overall, Mr. Spielberg dished-up another fun flick.

4.5 stars out of 5.

UCF vs. Tulsa

Well, Tulsa handed the Knights their hats . . . or would that be visors? Anyway, the score was 44-27. My accountant, a die-hard UCF fan, is going to be inconsolable. But, what I don't understand is how they're still talking about sending this team to a bowl game in Hawaii . . . I mean, I know they set an all-time attendance record today, but how are they going to get that many "fans" to book flights out to the islands at Christmastime? They're not the Gators after all, not even Noles or Canes. Just trying to "keep it real." They can't even fill up the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando . . .

Friday, December 02, 2005

Steve Johnson

I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Steve Johnson, founder of my favorite restaurant: The Catfish Place.

He and his wife started the business down in St. Cloud, and their son Bob carried on the tradition by opening up the Apopka location.

I guess I'm going to have to round-up some folks and head over there for a memorial dinner.

Some old family photos

My aunt dropped by the office today with some old family photos that I'd never seen before. Thought I'd share them:

My grandparents, Bill & Alice Morgan,
Orlando, Florida, ca 1947.

My grandfather and his four sons, Orlando, ca 1960.
(l to r) Wayne, Dan, Barry, and Skip.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Key Lime Pie

A distant cousin asked me to dig out the old family recipe for Key Lime pie, so here goes . . .

Note, this is a "no bake" pie. That not only makes preparation extremely easy, but it's also very practical when you live in the home of the Key Lime. I mean, who wants to fire up an oven in the middle of a Florida summer?!

- 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk.
- 4 eggs
- 4 Key Limes
- 9" pre-made pie shell (graham cracker is the best.

- Separate the egg yolks/whites.
- Juice the limes.
- Mix the yolks, juice, and condensed milk in a bowl.
- Pour mixture into pie shell.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (until a toothpick can stand on its own in the center of the pie).
- Option: use the egg whites to make a meringue topping. (We usually "cheat" and use Cool Whip, instead . . . )

Do not be discouraged when your pie turns out looking like an off-color cheesecake. No TRUE Key Lime pie is green.

Oh, yeah, and don't worry about the calories. Live a little now, and pay for it later!