Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Defeatism in New York

Continuing the advent to the first Independence Day, it was on this date back in 1776 that New York's provincial assembly disbanded.

Unlike their counterparts in Virginia the preceding day, they failed to declare New York a state instead of a colony.

Furthermore, they instructed their delegates at the Continental Congress to oppose American independence.

To be fair, they were staring down the barrel of a gun. Actually, there were a bunch of guns . . . big ones . . . on the British fleet that Admiral Howe had sailed into New York's harbor before the convention hastily drew to a close. So, I suppose they may be forgiven.

It's always darkest before the dawn. That was as true in 1776 as it is today.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Give us liberty!

In these days leading up to our big national holiday, I've been thinking about how those days leading up to the orginal Declaration of Independence must've been like for our foresocks in the dryer.

According to my handy almanac of American history, I find it was on this date back in 1776 that Virginia ceased being merely a colony by adopting its first state constitution and making the great patriot Patrick Henry its first governor.

Years ago, while visiting the old Morgan family ancestral stomping grounds in Campbell County, Virginia, I took a brief detour to visit Governor Henry's retirement home at Red Hill.

The grounds are a lot more rustic and secluded than those of Mount Vernon or Monticello, allowing visitors to feel a more personal connection to the place.

I suppose that's why Henry remains my favorite among the founding fathers. Kind of an offbeat selection, I suppose. But, I'm known for such . . .

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gone too soon?

The events of last week had a bunch of the talking heads running at the mouth more than usual this Sunday morning.

One of them, almost dismissively, pointed out that the American public has been "stunned" by the premature death of some pop culture icon every decade, then cited a litany of examples.

The 50s had James Dean.

The 60s had Marilyn Monroe.

The 70s had Elvis Presley.

The 80s had Natalie Wood.

The 90s had Princess Diana.

And, now the first decade of the 21st Century has Michael Jackson.

That list left me pondering, and not so much by the seemingly arbitrary representative selected for each decade. Rather, I spotted a pattern. Do ye socks see it?

It's more obvious if you include the icons' vital dates:
* James Dean (1931-1955), age 24.
* Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), age 36.
* Elvis Presley (1935-1977), age 42.
* Natalie Wood (1938-1981), age 43.
* Princess Diana (1961-1997), age 46.
* Michael Jackson (1958-2009), age 50.

See it, now?

Collectively, we seem to be pushing that "too young" or "too soon" bar increasingly higher. Maybe, we should be contemplating what *that* says about our culture and us as individuals . . .

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP Harold Simmons (1924-2009)

Can't believe three consecutive posts have marked someone's passing, but it's been one of those weeks . . . Today, I offer condolences to my brother-in-law who is mourning the loss of his grandfather. The obit from the Greenville [SC] News:

Harold E. Simmons, 84, of 305 Trotter Road, husband of the late Leecie Owens Simmons, passed away Thursday, June 25, 2009, at Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home.

Born in Pickens, he was the son of the late Lawrence and Ernestine Hendricks Simmons.

Mr. Simmons was retired from Sangamo Electric Co. and was a member of East Pickens Baptist Church. His career began with schooling from Packard Marine School while serving in the U.S. Navy. There, he mastered the trade skills necessary to advance him to Plant Engineer at Sangamo. After retiring, he raised cattle and used his skills in repairing small engines. He also was a member of the South Carolina Farmers Association.

Surviving are a daughter, Carolyn Ross and her husband, Roy, of Easley; a sister, Joy Simmons of Pickens; six grandchildren, Angela R. Dalton (Spencer), Cristal S. Day (Chip), and Autumn S. Clark (Johnny), all of Easley, Keith Simmons (Alice) of Mt. Pleasant, Shana R. Dalton (Jason) and Alex Simmons (Stacy) of Pickens; and 13 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by a son, Gary Harold Simmons; a grandson, Jason Roy Ross; four sisters, Inez Littleton, Emroy Kelley, Ruby Byers and Betty Gillespie; and two brothers, William Frank Simmons and Carl Hendricks Simmons.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 28, 2009, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home, with burial to follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park and Gardens. The Men's Sunday School Class of East Pickens will serve as honorary escorts.

The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.The family is at the home of the daughter, 130 Camelot Court, Easley, SC 29640.

Online condolences may be expressed by visiting www.dillardfunerals.com

Memorials may be made to Richard M. Campbell Veterans Home, 4605 Belton Highway, Anderson, SC 29621.

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the Simmons family.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

For this child of the 80s, Michael Jackson was the Thriller, not the freak show that emerged over the last few decades.

His sudden death yesterday brought to mind a personal encounter with the King of Pop.

Ye socks will have to flash back to the summer of 1991, when yours truly was interning with the Walt Disney World College Program and working at the Kodak camera shop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.

This was in the pre-digital era, so park goers would drop off their rolls of film to be developed, and I would hand them a little claim ticket with their name written on it.

Anyway, the encounter occurred one rainy afternoon about 3 o'clock. The daily parade was making its way down Main Street, which meant our store was completely empty of guests. That's when a figure clad in a yellow hooded rain slicker approached my counter to claim his photos, and the name on his claim ticket said "Michael Jackson."

I made some sort of remark at that, "Oh, like the Thriller?"

"JUST like that," he replied as he pulled the hood away from his face.

Yep, that's right. It was Jacko!

I didn't know what to do or say as he perused his snapshots. For once in my life, I was completely speechless.

Anyway, one of his "handlers" paid me for the photos, and he turned to go back to the parade with a wave of his (ungloved) hand and the admonition, "Have a magical day!"

When I looked down at the counter, Michael had left one of the photos. It was a shot of him with McCauley Culkin and Mickey Mouse, almost a foreshadowing of all the crap that would come in the not so distant future.

When I flipped over the picture, I saw MJ had autographed it for me as a memento of our brief encounter.

I ran across that photo last year while I was packing up to move from Apopka to College Park. So, I know it's around my house somewhere. I'm gonna have to do some searching for it over the weekend . . .

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Farrah Fawcett (1942-2009)

Yours truly was a little too young to have thought much of "the poster" everyone is talking about today upon hearing of the death of Farrah Fawcett.

What I do remember about the stunningly beautiful girl from Texas who entered our pop culture conscious back in 1976 was that she was married to the $6 million bionic man. Charlie's Angels was something that would have interested my sister more than me at the time.

Sadly, that marriage to Lee Majors fell apart a couple of years later.

And, the blonde bombshell's career was something of a roller coaster after that.

Then, a couple of years ago, we heard she was suffering from cancer.

So, while still sad, the announcement today was not at all unexpected.

I suppose one of the lessons to be drawn is that beauty is fleeting. And, in the case of this angel, it was all too fleeting.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keeping my fingers crossed

Well, ye socks, I *think* I received some good news this morning.

As with the recent Magic play-offs, though, I'm worried about jinxing things by posting too much here.

I know. Thanks for being cryptic.

But, if the news proves correct, it will be a tremendous blessing and relief for yours truly.

And, who couldn't use some good news AND good things *happening* nowadays?!?

I'll keep you posted . . .

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I don't know if it's my predisposition for all things genealogical, but I am often pleasantly surprised when I stumble upon unexpected kinships.

Well, it happened to me again today.

This time it was over a business lunch over by UCF, not too far from Rouse Road.

Somehow the question was raised about who or what the namesake of the road was, and two of us simultaneously answered that it was named for the Rouse family cemetery. The angel pictured here stands guard over the burial ground.

If not for the extreme heat, said cemetery would have been in easy walking distance from where we were partaking our meal.

Anyway, we got to comparing notes, and it turns out that we are at least related by marriage, if not thru a common ancestor.

Don't run into a whole lot of that in this town full of newcomers. But, it's cool when it happens!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

ABC = All Barack Channel

If ye socks haven't heard this one, yet, it's probably because you've been getting your "news" spoon-fed to you by ABC.

Apparently, they have agreed to give the ObamaNation a free 90-minute infomercial disguised as a town hall meeting to pimp socialized medicine.

It won't be a very good disguise, though.

In real town hall meetings, there's a good cross-section of the community present. And, they don't all march lock step behind The Benevolent Leader like a bunch of Maoist lemmings.

ABC has explicitly said they will not only disallow those who oppose socialized medicine from offereing a rebuttal, they won't even be allowed to attend. Period.

I'm not much one for boycotts, but this sort of behavior does not deserve to be rewarded.

Ironically, in my search to find out who was underwriting this free infomercial for the ObamaNation, I discovered a lot of pharmaceutical types on the list. Hmmmm . . .

Check it out for yourselves at: http://www.nationalcenter.org/ABCNewsSponsors.html

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

Were ye socks aware that today marks the 100th observation of Fathers Day in the good ol' USofA?

Well, it is. And, that got the genealogist in yours truly wondering how they would've marked the occasion back on the first Fathers Day.

My handy database tells me, if a time machine could carry me back to that date, I would have to take no less than 14 Fathers Day cards with me. (That's how many direct male ancestors I had living back then.) And, I'd have to deliver them over a pretty broad swath of this country, from Alabama to New Jersey.

As a group, I suspect those 14 men were more prolific than their modern counterparts. The "winner" by that criteria was my great-great grandfather Peter Madison Cox (1848-1931), who fathered fifteen children by two different wives. On that first Fathers Day, he would have been 61 years old, and was living at 810 Delaney Avenue right here in Orlando. His youngest child Sarah, my great-grandmother, was still living at home along with four of her older siblings.

The Morgan side of the family wouldn't arrive in these parts for a couple more years. My two earliest namesakes were celebrating down at Crystal River on the Gulf Coast, where they were working in a citrus crate mill.

A few miles south of Orlando, in the village of Pine Castle, my Patrick and Macy forebears probably attended services at the Baptist church on Lake Conway.

My Arnett and Bonner ancestors, on the other hand, probably attended the Old Salem Primitive Baptist Church on the Randolph/Chambers county line in eastern Alabama--2 of whom were Confederate veterans. I wonder if they put much stock in federal holidays?

There was one Union veteran of the Civil War in this motley bunch, too: Edson McClure Blakesley (1845-1931). He had retired to St. Petersburg, Florida, after working many years with the railroad. I have the old pocketwatch he used to keep track of all the trains' comings and goings, and wonder if he checked the time with it on that first Fathers Day, too . . .

My mom's side of the family--the Gleesons and Nortons--was still clustered up in the densely-packed Irish Catholic neighborhoods of Jersey City, the urban "frontier" across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Patrick Norton, a 52 year old brewery collector, had fathered nine children. But, only 4 had survived to adulthood. One of those, my great-grandfather Tom Norton, had recently caused a bit of a scandal by quitting college to marry my great-grandmother Lil Irving . . . her father was an Englishman!!

My great-grandfather William F. Gleeson stands out from the lot, as he was 38 years old and still living at home. He's the only 1 of the 14 who seems to have lived my a modern biological clock . . .

And, finally, I come to John Jackson, whose nearly anonymous name appeared in a Long Branch, New Jersey, city directory at 132 Rockwell Avenue. The census record that year shows he fathered 5 children, all of whom were still living --- including two spinster daughters in their 30s who were teaching in the public school system.

I suppose a lot has changed since the original Fathers Day. But, this little genealogical trip down memory lane has revealed that some things are fairly universal.

I hope all the modern fathers out there enjoy their day, and keep an eye on posterity!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Last Day of Spring

So, the weather people on local tv down in this little corner of heaven assure us all that this is in fact the last day of spring.

But, the beastly heat and humidity tell a different story.

Summer has already arrived.

In fact, it feels much more like late August than mid-June around here.

I keep telling myself to remember how bitterly I complained about the cold just a few short months ago, but to no avail.

Better to stay inside on a day like this, and admire the view from the picture window!!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Benjamin Button

Oh, how times have changed! Nowadays, Friday nights involve watching the latest from Netflix. But, I suppose it's just as well.

Tonight's feature was last year's best picture, according to the folks over at the Academy Awards. And, I suppose, they know what they're talking about.

But, did ye socks know "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is an adaptation of an old F. Scott FitzGerald short story?

Yep, it was. Written back in 1921.

I don't often say this, but the film is better than the book . . . er short story . . . in this case.

The original kicked off in Baltimore back in 1860, with a baby born speaking perfect English and sporting a long white beard.

The film version, however, is set in New Orleans, and begins with a victory celebration following the First World War. Also, the curious newborn neither speaks nor sports a beard.

The overarching theme, however, is the same . . . just better related on screen than in FitzGerald's prose.

Check it out for yourselves, and have a good weekend!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mortal vs Venial sins

I had an interesting discussion with a friend this morning on the subject of mortal sin.

I know, not exactly the light fare one typically expects either over breakfast or here in the dryer.

But, the discussion has been replaying in my head most of the day.

So, what do you socks think 0f the subject?

My friend was of the opinion . . . or, perhaps, the hope . . . that all sins are forgivable.

I, on the other hand, am pretty sure there are some people who are burning in hell as the result of their mortal sins.

Obviously, there are distinctions to be drawn. There are mortal sins, and there are venial sins.

It is much worse to, say, commit genocide, than it is to . . . oh, I don't know . . . jaywalk?

Anyway, we basically had to agree to disagree, because of my steadfast resolution that people like Hitler crossed a line and are paying for it in perpetuity . . .

OK, off the soapbox . . .


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Independence Day

No, I haven't skipped forward a few weeks on ye olde calendar. Rather, that's the title of a Richard Ford novel I started this evening in my ongoing quest to read all the Pulitzer Prize winners.

This one won the prize back in 1996.

It centers on Frank Bascombe, a middle aged former sportswriter turned real estate agent in the town of Haddam, New Jersey.

I have to admit, it's a little tedious so far.

Maybe, it's just my impatience with middle aged angst, regrets, and what-ifs.

Ford . . . or, rather Bascombe, though I believe the two are one in the same . . . seems particularly concerned about permanently boxing himself in, thus questions every decision he's every made or is in the process of making.

Hope this thing turns around . . . soon . . . or it's gonna take me til July 4th to finish it!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whaddaya mean you've never heard of Bloomsday before?!?

OK, ye socks, it's June 16th. We all know what that means, right?!


Well, don't be ashamed if that was your answer.

Apparently, yours truly belongs to a more obscure subculture than he thought.

I mean, I guess in the age of the DVD and cell phone, fewer and fewer folks are sticking their noses in James Joyce novels.

But, come on, people! Pick up a copy of Ulysses between now and next 06/16, so you'll have an excuse to party like an Irishman on more than just St. Patrick's Day!!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Historic currency conversion


If ye socks have ever stumbled across a value mentioned in an historic document and wondered how it would translate into today's dollars (or pounds, for that matter!), you can now click on the above link and get a quick answer!

For example, if someone today wanted to have the same buying power as a millionaire from 1909, they would have to amass a fortune of $23.8 million.

Should be interesting to see how those relative dollar amounts will stack up under the increasing scope of federal spending . . . but, that's a rant for another day.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Now, there's an image . . .

Whoa . . . little confusion around this little corner of heaven this evening.

I was flipping thru the channels on ye olde boob tube in the wake of the event which shall not be mentioned, and saw this image pop up on my screen.

At first, I thought it must have been broadcast out of Tehran, or somewhere else in Iran.

Then the newscaster explained the rioters weren't clamoring for democratic reforms, but were instead celebrating a far-away athletic victory by destroying property, endangering lives, and generally behaving like hooligans.

Nice town, Kobe, et al.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

All the way up to Micanopy . . .

If that sounds like a snippet from a John Anderson song, that's because it is.

Yours truly found himself in this little corner of heaven on one of the muggiest days we've had this spring.

But, it was fun anyway. Here's the laundry list.

* Stopped by a roadside produce stand, and got some fresh roasted peanuts and some blueberry cider.

* Watched some cows chew their cuds.

* Inspected some thoroughbreds and their foals.

* Visited with Big Red (the turkey who formerly ruled the roost at S&S Ranch).

* Toured Windsong Ranch.

* Went to a museum.

* Ate some ice cream.

* Rummaged thru an old book store.

How's that for a Saturday?!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

OK, that didn't work . . .

Guess, that leaves yours truly with nothing left on the weekend agenda beyond the Netflix film du jour.

Anybody else seen "Knocked Up" with Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl?

Kind of a vulgar title, but Heigl should make it worth watching, no?

Certainly more worthwhile than a certain professional athletic team that shall remain nameless . . .

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

How supersitious is this?

Maybe, it's the Irish in me, but I'm convinced that my actions somehow have an impact on things beyond my front porch.

Not everything, just some things.

Like, say, sporting events.

In fact, I've recently convinced myself that I'm something of a jinx. The more I talk or blog or otherwise stoke the flames of fandom regarding a certain team, the worse they perform.

And, they actually seem to do better during those minutes when I am *NOT* watching them do their thing.

So, pardon me, ye socks, if I become cryptic from here on out, but I fear it may be the only method we have to reverse the current trajectory.

And, for the greater good, I'm going to turn in early tonight. And, pray.

I hope you'll all be thanking me in the morning . . .

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You know you're from Orlando when . . .

* You know the meaning of OBT, and don't go anywhere near it after 5pm.
* You find yourself humming the jingle for Premier Adult Factory Outlet.
* Your AC bill is higher than the annual budget for most small countries.
* You call Amway Arena the O-rena.
* You refuse to go in the pool because the water temperature is hotter than the air temperature.
* You won't go swimming in the lakes either, because you're scared of amoebas.
* You don't think twice about wearing your sunglasses while driving in the rain.
* You still haven't worn that sweater your auntie gave your for Christmas . . . in 1986!
* You know who Marla Weech is.
* Your social calendar revolves around FSU/UF/UCF athletics.
* You have your heart broken by The Magic every year.
* You can not only name all five Backstreet Boys, but can also point out their homes.
* You have more flip flops in your closet than anything else.
* You know who to call if you find a gator in your swimming pool.
* Your idea of mass transit is the monorail at Disney World.
* You will actually post something like this on your blog.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No plan at all would be better . . .

More annoying little statistics have emerged since yesterday's rant to demonstrate the ObamaNation's failures are not limited to unemployment.

Now, we discover his "Mortgage Rescue Plan" has been an abject failure.

Remember, ye socks, when he came riding in on his white horse earlier this year, full of promises of "hope and change?" One of those promises was to help five million households who were struggling to make their mortgage payments. And, once again, he has failed to keep his promise. In fact, just last month alone, another 15% of the nation's subprime mortgages fell into foreclosure.

At the risk of offending the cult of the perpetually correct, I offer up the following real numbers [courtesy of Alan M. White at the Valparaiso Law School] to measure the depth of this latest "plan" failure:

* Of the approximately 3,200,000 subprime mortgages out there, only 19,041 were actually modified under "plan" rules . . . that's just shy of 0.6%.

* Of that 0.6%, only 11,200 households saw their monthly mortgage payments drop.

* 5,141 households seeking relief actually had their monthly payments INCREASE!

So, why is the idiot-in-chief's plan failing? Why did 464,983 homes fall into foreclosure last month alone if he had used his infinite wisdom and compassion to structure a plan that was supposed to save us from ourselves?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

According to the "rescue" plan, struggling mortgage payers are disqualified if they are unemployed, if they owe more than 5% of the appraised value on their home, if they are already in default, if they haven't yet missed a payment, or even if the lender simply doesn't want to participate. And, the if, if, if list goes on and on.

It's almost as if Barack the Great wanted the plan to fail . . . wait, maybe he did?!?


I am so glad there's a basketball game on tv tonight to get my mind off all this twisted logic, at least for a while . . .

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Ambiguity: The ObamaNation's Key to Perpetual Correctness

I didn't think Democrats could be more annoying than when they try to be politically correct. But, I was wrong. Now, at least among those affiliated with the ObamaNation, the penchant has shifted to being perpetually correct.

A lot of stars have to align to accomplish the latter, of course. Fortunately, they have the unquestioning loyalty and devotion of the "mainstream" media. (BTW, how absurd was all the bowing and scraping during Brian Williams' recent visit to the belly of the beast formerly known as the White House last week?!?)

The key to being perpetually correct, however, is ambiguity. You can always claim you are in the right if you do away with the measuring sticks.

And, I'm not just talking about the lack of a moral compass we all witnessed during the last Democratic administration. At least the ambiguities back then had to do with defining things like the word "is."

Nowadays, on the other hand, the idiots who have hi-jacked our federal government are using more dangerous open-ended terms to apply to our current economic mess and their half-baked strategies for dealing with it.

For example, ye socks may have forgotten that the ObamaNation's celebrated "stimulus" bill was supposed to keep unemployment from exceeding 8%. They were going to "create or save" millions of jobs. Cue the trumpets!

HA! Piffle and balderdash!

The most recent numbers show 1.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since the idiot-in-chief put ink to paper, and unemployment stands at 9.4%.

How do they get away with still pimping their agenda? Good question.

The answer THEY are giving is that the numbers would be much worse if they hadn't taken such "bold and decisive" action. By their slippery way of reporting economic data, true measures like raw job loss numbers and the percentage of the American workforce that is currently unemployed mean nothing. It's much more convenient for them to run at the mouth about what could have been in some alternate universe.

More piffle and balderdash!

Watch the news tomorrow, ye socks. I believe you will discover many of the biggest banks in the land will announce they are going to hand back the "bail out" money they were forced to take over the last few months. The Obama-sponsored bogey man never materialized, and they don't want to hang themselves on all the strings that are attached to his cash.

The rest of us need to come to this realization. Soon. And, there's nothing ambiguous about that!

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Too wound up to sleep tonight . . .

If only plastic-masked rookie Courtney Lee could have made that lay-up at the end of regulation, the Magic would have split the 2 game series in LA and avoided a 101-94 overtime loss . . .

If only.

I'm trying not to let the ifs and onlys keep me awake, but am losing the battle.

Maybe, I should turn my thoughts instead to the great time I had over at David & Jessie's cook-out this afternoon . . .

I thought we were going to get rained-out. It did drizzle a little, but eventually we were able to do a little fishing in Lake Jennie Jewell. And, a good time was had by all.

Maybe, the Magic's storm clouds will clear up, too . . . or, maybe, I'm still fishing for something positive?!?


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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Avoid this place like the plague

The usual rounds of Saturday errands found yours truly in Winter Park this afternoon, doing more than our fair share of dodging thunderstorms.

Unfortunately, shelter from the storm and mid-day nourishment was sought at the El Potro in Winter Park.

What a disappointment!

Other locations from Apopka to St. Augustine have never failed to satisfy cravings for Mexican comfort foods. But, this franchise was the most poorly-run dining establishment I have had the displeasure of visiting in a very, very long time.

The laundry list of offenses:

1. None of the staff acknowledged our arrival, and even after we seated ourselves in a booth we weren't spoken to for 10 minutes.

2. Drinks listed on the menu were "unavailable at this location."

3. Second choice drink selections weren't delivered without reminder, and then without straws or napkins.

4. The napkins were practically thrown at us.

5. The "manager" carried our hot plates from the kitchen to our table with the nastiest looking oven mits I had ever seen.

6. My order of enchiladas verdes never arrived. Instead, I got the enchiladas supremas. But, at this point, I just wanted to eat and get out of there so I just ate what they gave me.

7. Our drinks were never refilled.

8. In fact, no member of the staff ever came back to our table after the food arrived, not even to drop off our check.

9. Finally, we went to the counter to pay without a check and the "manager" tried to ring us up by memory . . . faulty memory, as it turned out.

Next time I find myself starving in this neck of the woods, I'm going to take my business to one of the several other dining establishments in the area. El Potro in Winter Park is a complete disaster . . . at least is was this afternoon.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Frost Nixon

The centerpiece of this Friday's entertainment around ye olde abode was the "Frost/Nixon" DVD that arrived courtesy of Netlix.

For ye socks who haven't yet had the pleasure, the film recounts the post-Watergate interview of the disgraced former president.

In what was supposed by many to amount to nothing more than a puff piece, a British talk show host succeeded in getting Nixon to admit to his wrongdoings.

Compelling stuff.


Thursday, June 04, 2009


Well, ye socks, it was not a good night for Orlando Magic fans.

First of all, Game 1 started so late that I imagine most struggled to make it beyond the half and our usual bedtimes.

In that regard, we fans were much like our home team.

They struggled tonight against LA. Big time.

Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu were dismal, hitting a combined 5 of 21.

This really put the squeeze on Dwight Howard, who made a valiant effort. But, as we all learned in the recent series with Cleveland, one superman does not a team make.

Misery and heartache have been the twin hallmarks of this franchise for a very long time. Unfortunately, we've sorta gotten used to this sort of scenario.

But, this season, we've also seen some amazing comebacks. Let's hope THAT history repeats itself on Sunday, and not the 100-75 beat-down we got tonight at the Staples Center.

Go Magic!

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Salvation from bad reality tv arrived at ye olde abode in the form of a DVD this evening: "Traitor," starring Don Cheadle.

The protagonist is a half-American, half-Sudanese guy from Chicago with way too much experience with explosives.

He gets arrested for terrorism and thrown in a Yemeni prison, where he befriends a guy named Omar who is so anti-American that he could be a keynote speaker at the next Democratic National Convention.

Anyway, the two of them end up plotting a major attack on US soil.

I won't ruin the film for ye socks who may want to go out and rent the DVD for yourselves, but there are several interesting twists and turns. All of them leave you wondering just who Cheadle's character is betraying, maybe himself?

Bottom line: worth renting, especially if you're not in to watching those "celebrities" on reality tv.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Uh . . .most of you are NOT celebrities at all . . .

In my failed attempt to find something worthwhile on tv this evening, I am embarrased to say that I found myself watching one of the most embarrassingly bad reality show's in the history of that genre: "I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!"

First of all, the show's title is a misnomer.

Of the eleven "celebrities," I recognized only five of their names . . . the "biggest" name belonging to Lou Diamond Phillips.

Ye socks will remember him from "La Bamba" and "Young Guns."

Anyway, this train wreck is supposed to be polluting the airwaves Monday thru Thursday for the next three weeks.

Guess that's reason enough to turn off the tv and find something more constructive to do . . .


Monday, June 01, 2009

RIP Mrs. Waldrep

Some sad news out of West Texas today. I heard from a classmate that my high school accounting teacher passed away.

Mrs. Waldrep was one of my favorite teachers at Frenship High School. We always had fun in her class, and actually learned a lot, too. She will be missed.

Here's the complete obit from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal for ye socks who may remember her:

Sandra Young Waldrep
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sandra passed away Friday, May 29, 2009 at Lubbock Heart Hospital.

Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers will host a gathering of friends and family to remember her life of 59 years, Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral Services will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Lake Ridge Chapel, 6025 82nd Street.

Sandra was born May 17, 1950 to S. J. and Opal Young in Plainview. She graduated from Plainview High School and Texas Tech University. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Sandra taught business courses at Frenship High School for 27 years. She married Tom Waldrep on August 10, 1985 in Plainview. Sandra was an avid golfer and a member of Hillcrest Country Club.

Survivors include her husband; daughter, Leigh Montgomery and spouse Rik of Frisco; three grandchildren, Rily, Ryder, and Ryan Montgomery; father, S. J. Young of Lubbock; sister, Ann Nelson and spouse Mike of Lubbock.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Opal Young, March 15, 2006.

Memorial tributes may be sent to Lubbock Meals on Wheels 2304 34th St. Lubbock, TX 79411 or South Plains Food Bank 4612 Locust Ave., Lubbock, TX 79404.

We welcome you to visit www.memorialdesigners.net to offer her family words of encouragement and to view a life tribute of Sandra.

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