Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fundraising auction this Sunday

I just received a really nice email from Be Bateman, president of the Annie Coleman Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

They are holding a fundraising tea and auction to benefit their awesome scholarship program.

I first learned about this outstanding effort last year when I was invited to speak at a chapter meeting about my recent book. Of course, I was more than happy to donate a copy for the auction.

Here are the pertinent details:

Sunday, Feb 4th, 2pm to 4pm
Sprint Building, 851 Trafalgar Court, Maitland, Florida

Park on the east side of the building (closest to I-4). The room is on the left side as you enter the building.

Also, Be needs some prayers for her father. He suffered a massive stroke on 1/6 and was at ORMC for 4 days before he stabilized. He is now at the Conway Lakes rehab facility on Curry Ford Road.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Diggin' up bones!

Ok, I'll admit a fleeting, morbid curiosity. I've often wondered what some of my ancestors looked like in the absence of photographs or painted portraits.

But, I think the descendants of Joseph Bridger have taken the cake.

Check out this newspaper article:

It seems poor Mr. Bridger's descendants have taken it upon themselves to exume his remains to--among other things--use his skull to do some facial reconstruction (like what they do with the remains of unknown crime victims) to find out what exactly he looked like.

Sometimes, I think it's better to let a dead dog alone . . . oooo, bad choice of words!

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Civil War comes to The History Center

The History Center in downtown Orlando just started a big Civil War exhibit, and I'm working on getting copies of my recent book into the gift shop there. Maybe, we can even arrange a day for me to be there for a book-signing event. We'll have to see.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The cold front is comin'

I can feel it in my bones.

That's probably why I spent most of the day boiling up a pot of beef stew.

Also did a bunch of furniture moving.

Should've been doing some writing, but procrastination reared its ugly head again.

Oh, well.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Steve's new dog

Got this picture in my email "inbox" today from my old frat brother Steve Price in Richardson, Texas.

He and his family adopted "Lilly," a 3-year-old labrador retriever from the SPCA.

Word is that she gets along well with cats, which is an important criteria in the Price household . . .and others for that matter!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Welcome Diane & BG to the blogosphere!

While talking to my Aunt Diane & Uncle BG about methods I used to market my recent book, I mentioned this blog.

Well, the curiosity bug apparently bit them. So, I drove over to Winter Garden last night to help them set up a blog of their own:

When they get back to Missouri next month, Aunt Diane plans to use the blog to post some of Uncle BG's Bible studies. So, keep checking that space, and leave her lots of comments if she procrastinates . . . . I know I will!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Oprah's roots

I saw a really interesting program on PBS last night, hosted by Dr. Louis Gates.

He used a certain internationally famous talk show hostess as a case study in linking modern African Americans to their ancestors using both traditional genealogical methods AND thru genetic testing.

Of course, I refer to Oprah Winfrey.

The funny thing was she has been running around talking about how certain she was of a connection to the Zulu tribe of South Africa. (Wonder if that's what compelled her to open that girls school down there last year . . .)

Anyway, the DNA testing proved that she was actually descended from the less-glamorous Kpelle people of modern-day Liberia.

Isn't it amazing how science is helping genealogists make connections in the absence of written records?!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Civil War Education Association

Enjoyed breakfast at my regular place this morning, but with a different cast of characters. That's mostly due to the fact that Doug Doudney was playing the role of casting director.

Ironically, the "guest of honor" was a no-show. But, the rest of us had a great time. And, I met someone who probably knows more about the Civil War than I do!!

We talked a little about my recent book, but more importantly about an organization he belongs to called "The Civil War Education Association."

Check out their web site at

They've got a pretty impressive conference going on this week down in Sarasota. If I'd had more advance notice, I would've taken off to attend. But, I am going to keep an eye on their schedule of upcoming events to see if any future conferences, etc., are going to take place in Florida.

Ok, back to work . . .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Casey's new Mustang

As if to rub in the fact that I am without a vehicle due to last week's accident, I received this photo via email from my cousin Casey.

Personally, I'd have asked for a Corvette over a Mustang. But, I guess you gotta take what Daddy's buying.

I'm going to have to do some serious work to bring her back from the "dark side" and convince her that Chevy is the way to go in the future . . .

Monday, January 22, 2007

A cold day in . . . Indiana!

Got this picture from my high school classmate Lisa Troupe. She and her three boys are enjoying the first real snow at their new home up in Indiana.

Hard to believe it's this late in the season, and they're just now getting their first real snow . . .

Anyway, I guess it had to be a cold day somewhere for the Colts to get into the Super Bowl, right?!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Photos of the wreckage

Just got around to downloading the pictures I took of "the incident" last week. Here's one. More to come when I get to the high speed connection at the office.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Trip to Pembroke Pines

Drove down to see Dad today at the VA Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines. Nothing new to report, at least nothing worth posting here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mission to Calcutta

A good way to keep things in perspective, regardless of whether or not you've been in an auto accident, is to check out this blog:

One of the contributors is an outstanding young lady named Hanna Blackford. She attends church with my co-worker Heather, and you will see what a remarkable person she has already become after only 18 years on this planet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Blazer is toast!

Fortunately, I'm okay, as are the two other drivers involved in a fairly serious accident that occurred this morning in front of my office.

There I was, minding my own business, waiting for an opportunity to turn left into our parking lot. Then, almost out of nowhere, some yayhoo comes flying thru the intersection behind me, trying to beat a red light.

She tried to swerve across a double yellow line to avoid hitting me. But, I guess she didn't count on any oncoming traffic. At the last minute, she tried to swerve back into my lane to avoid another car and ended up clipping my front quarter panel pretty good.

Then she spun a 360 into the oncoming car.

I got my Blazer out of the road thru sheer force of will, as my bumper was jammed into the front passenger side tire. And, the offending driver was able to limp her car into our driveway, followed closely by her second victim.

Long story short, we all walked away. All three cars had to be towed, but the human beings inside made it thru without a scratch. And, I'm thankful for that. But, it never ceases to amaze me some of the people the State of Florida will give driver licenses.

Without going into too much detail, the person who hit us has a record of criminal offenses as long as my arm. And, she was obviously enjoying some form of controlled substance this morning. At least, I hope that wasn't her normal "personality."

Ok, deep breath. Moving forward again. Just paying closer attention to the potential idiots around me when I venture forth!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One man's trash is another man's treasure

My mom taught me that saying when I was a kid and found a kite one of our neighbors had put out to the curb for the garbage man.

All it took was a little bit of tape and some ingenuity, and I had it flying high over our little house in Dogwood Park.

The memory came flooding back to me for two reasons today.

First, was the front page story in the Orlando Sentinel, about a bunch of personal papers belonging to local political gadfly Doug Guetzloe. The goofball forgot to pay the monthly rent on a storage unit, so the owner auctioned off the contents for the princely sum of ten bucks. The unwitting buyer was surprised by the material he discovered, and has now turned it over to investigative reporter Tony Pipitone. Something tells me he's going to get a few good news stories out of this trash-to-treasure incident.

Second, was a posting I saw on a genealogy blog I peruse on an irregular basis. The poster was bewailing the carelessness with which so many people dispose of the belongings of elderly folks who are "downsizing" or have passed away. At a recent yard sale, she discovered an original marriage certificate, social security card, tons of old photographs, etc. Evidently, the poor old lady's immediate family didn't see the value in all this "ephemera." But, oh, how the right genealogist would love to get a hold of it all!

Anyway, know what you've got. Hold onto it as long as it may have value to you (intrensic or otherwise). And, before you throw it out, try to find someone who might treasure it and give it a better home than the landfill . . . it's the "environmentally correct" thing to do!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You're never too old!

I enjoyed a great lunch today at one of my favorite local BBQ places: Cecil's (Texas-style!!)

What made it so great was the company, as my great-aunt Diane and great-uncle BG had driven . . . yes driven!! . . . all the way from Missouri to join me.

They couldn't have chosen a better time to come down here, either! I can't believe all the ice and nasty winter weather out there . . .

Anyway, I was struck by two things. First was Aunt Diane's admission that they were both in their 70s. It's hard for me to think of them in that context.

I wonder if everyone else out there in the blogosphere "freezes" people at a certain age in their minds . . . especially those people from your childhood that you don't see on a regular basis.

The other thing that struck me came when Uncle BG said it was "probably too late" for him to get the Bible translation he's been working on into print.

I assured him, "You're never too old!"

After all, I saw in the news today that NASCAR driver James Hylton is making a comeback at age 72! (He was Rookie of the Year back in 1966!!)

So, don't let age be your excuse!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tim Tebow's girlfriend

My brother-in-law Keith sent this from the "It's Great to be a Florida Gator" file.

Imagine what this guy will have on his arm WHEN he wins the Heisman!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Laptop and gridirons

Yep, I actually set aside time today to work on the sequel to my recent book.

The current chapter has been a bit of a challenge. It involves a train trip from Kansas City to Texas. Was hoping to do a little online research, but AOL failed me again. I've got to follow-up on the resolution to go high-speed in 2007.

Anyway, in case I haven't mentioned it here in previous posts, laptop computers are an author's best friend. You can pick them up whenever inspiration strikes you, and crank out a chapter or two.

So, now I only have my substandard internet connection to blame for my procrastination . . .

Well, that and the NFL play-offs.

I wonder how I can fit Rex Grossman into this chapter . . .

Glued to the tube

Well, not exactly.

I mean, I did get quite a lot of things done around the house today. But, the tv served up more than its fair share of background noise. It only got me to sit down and pay attention on two occasions:

1. Gator victory party in the Swamp. Coach Meyer was awesome, especially his recollection of stopping to visit the 50 yard line during a recruiting roadtrip back in 1996. Also got an eyeful Danny Wuerffel. Time has not been his friend.

2. A great series on PBS called "Battlefield Britain." In fact, they're running something of a marathon on my local station, and I'm learning all about the Battle of the Boyne as I type this . . . at least by osmosis!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Where's the mail?!

It's not in my mailbox. At least it wasn't when I stopped on my way home.

By the way, when did it become the norm for an entire subdivision to get its mail delivered to an unsightly grey monolith of mailboxes near the entrance?

I mean, I've seen most of the letter carriers who bring mail to my neck of the woods. And, the overwhelming majority could use the extra excercise that comes with going door-to-door like they did "back in the old days."

Now, all they've got to do is pull up to those monoliths, minimizing interaction with the actual human beings on the receiving end of their deliveries.

And, they can't even do that in a timely manner.

Wonder if they're starting their federal holiday a little early . . .

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Audio version of The Cats of Kilkenny . . .

Considering that, anyway.

I was talking to a friend today who has ordered some new CD/DVD burning equipment, and it sounds like this may be something I want to pursue.

Very preliminary, but I'd probably have to set-up some professional studio time to burn an original version of yours truly reading my recent book.

But, armed with that one original, I'm told I can burn 54 at a time in a matter of a few minutes.

54 sounds like such an arbitrary number, doesn't it?!

Anyway, just another sock in the dryer. I'll probably come back to this one sooner than later, though!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National political implications?!?

I have just been made privy to some information that I think has the potential of making national headlines if the right investigative reporter from the right media outlet gets a hold of it.

It was given to me for a totally mundane business reason. I don't THINK the person who gave it to me even realized the potential explosiveness of some of the statements.

I'm not going to repeat the mistake of putting sensitive stuff in writing, so won't post it all here. And, I won't email it, either. If you REALLY want to know, call me and I'll tell you.

But, mark these words:

There is a certain state governor, a Democrat, with White House ambitions in 2008, who could be brought down by this.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Three Numbers

41 :)

14 :(

#1 !!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Two words




Sunday, January 07, 2007

Note to Nancy Pelosi

As you were on the morning talk shows quoting constitutional separation of powers as if you were some sort of authority, I must remind you those same provisions call for a single commander and chief. Not 536 yammering yentas.

Oh, and we know that smile is disingenuous. You're just baring your teeth like any other rabid dog preparing to attack.

So much for bipartisanship.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Taking down Christmas

Wow, is this really the first Saturday I've been at home in over a month?!

The house sure looks like it.

Something had to be done.

Thought I'd start by taking down the Christmas tree. That's always a bummer.

But, we are nearly a week into 2007.

It was time.

Ah, well. Just over 11 months til we get to put it back up again, right?!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tavares book appearance re-cap

Yes, I found the Tavares Civic Center this time!

It actually wound-up being a good thing that I got lost last month, because turn-out at the North Lake County Civil War Roundtable is much better after the holidays according to the folks who were there last night.

They certainly had a good group of people, very well-organized. I talked for about an hour about my recent book, but enjoyed the question-and-answer period the most.

The book signings at the end were just icing on the cake, because they allowed me to speak to people individually. And, there were a lot of really interesting people there.

One of them I will mention here, because he has a website of his own:

Richard Johnson, President of the Civil War Study Group at The Villages.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I hate the new Yahoo maps

Yes, that's who I blame for getting me lost on my trek to Tavares last month.

The old reliable Yahoo maps utilitiy has been "improved" to the point of becoming obsolete, or perhaps "overdone" would be a better description.

Note to eggheads: we just need to know how to get from point A to point B. Nothing fancy that's going to eat memory and require a master's degree in cartography to decipher.

Anyway, rant over.

Mapquest has a new user.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reminder: Book appearance tomorrow

I will be addressing the North Lake County Civil War Roundtable tomorrow night at 7:30pm, at the Tavares Civic Center.

The topic of discussion will be my recent book, and research methods.

Be there if you can!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Annoying commercial

I need to let this go, but I get so irritated by the current Carmax radio commercials.

They feature a Roman lady who's trading in her old chariot for a new one.

Obviously, the premise is annoying in and of itself.

But, what really gets to me like nails on a chalkboard are the British accents used by the two actors.

Let's get real for a minute. If they're Romans, shouldn't they have an ITALIAN accent?!

I know this shouldn't bother me as much as it does.

I should probably add "let things go" to that list of resolutions I'm compiling . . .

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome 2007!

At the risk of adding to cliche, I thought I'd mark this first day of the new year by making some resolutions.

On top of the even more cliche items on everybody's list, to eat healthier and exercise more, I've only got two others (so far):

1. Finish the sequel to my recent book.

2. Travel more.

If I can think of any more, I'll let you know.

In the mean time, Happy New Year to all of you in the blogosphere!