Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en!

So, what's a sock to do when he runs out of candy at 8:30 pm, and there are still trick or treaters roaming the streets of this little corner of heaven?

OK, so what if he didn't COMPLETELY run out of candy, but had like three Reese's peanut butter cups left in the candy bowl and had just gotten sick of answering the door?

Is hiding out in one's upstairs office, blogging in the dark and checking out your facebook page completely wrong?!?

So, what if it is?!? Pass the peanut butter cups!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

History of First Baptist Church of Pine Castle, Florida

I'm helping my great-aunt Carol and the rest of the history committee over at FBCPC to compile a book to be released next year to coincide with the opening of their new sanctuary.

So far, they've gathered quite a bit of odds and ends. This morning, they handed it off to me over breakfast at Carol's Place and asked me to go thru it and make additions, corrections, suggestions, etc.

I'm thinking the biggest thing they need to do is organize the material, and am going to suggest they group everything by pastorate. In that vein, I compiled the following list of all the church's pastors, and thought I'd share it with ye socks. Let me know if you can share any additional information about these guys, especially as relates to their time in Pine Castle:

  1. Thomas Jefferson Bell, 1887-?
  2. George M.T. Wilson, 1891-1893
  3. G. Alex Bryant, 1894-1897
  4. Alex Tindall, 1898
  5. Owen N. Williams, 1901-1902
  6. B.H. Guy, 1905-1906
  7. W.E. Murphy, 1909-1910
  8. S.R. Bowman, 1911
  9. E.A. Milton, 1913-1914
  10. E.T. Poulson, 1915-1916
  11. K.B. Tupper, 1917-1918
  12. J. Dean Adcock, 1919
  13. S.G. Symonds, 1920-1921
  14. Rev. Wheeler, 1922
  15. J.B. Webb, 1923-1927
  16. Sam B. Jordan, 1927-1937
  17. O. George Hall, 1937-1946
  18. Paul Henley, 1946-1947
  19. W.E. Murphy (again!), 1947
  20. V.N. Maggard, 1948-1953
  21. A.M. Glisson, 1953-1961
  22. Earnest A. Petroff, 1961
  23. Thomas A. Ellington, 1961-1965
  24. Elvin R. Hall, 1965-1987
  25. Mel Gentry, 1987-1988
  26. David McAlpin, 1988-1993
  27. Joe Boatwright, 1993-1994
  28. Bob Followell, 1994-2000
  29. Joe Boatwright (again!), 2000-2001
  30. Bill Burkhalter, 2001-present

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Abyss

OK, here's a good example of how our Thursday morning meetings tend to go off on a tangent.

I don't know how the conversation drifted to this twenty-year-old movie, but it did.

You remember the one that was written and directed by James Cameron, long before he became really famous with "Titanic."

It starred Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I'm pretty sure it was filmed--at least in part--at Lake Gem Mary, just south of downtown Orlando.

Do any of ye socks remember anything about this?

There's a defunct naval sonar lab on the site, and supposedly they've never been able to find the bottom of the lake.

Yes, it is that deep. The lake, not the movie.

May have to add this one to my Netflix list just to refresh ye olde memory . . .

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watchman Nee

That's the Anglicized name of a Chinese man who was born Ni Tuo-sheng in 1903.

He made the change after being converted to Christianity by an English missionary.

And, apparently, he wrote a lot of books about his new-found religion.

A buddy of mine gave me a copy of the first chapter of one of those books, "The Normal Christian Church Life," as supplementary reading material as we plow thru the Book of Romans.

I can't say that I'm a big fan of his writing style. It took him an entire chapter to relate a concept that I'm pretty sure could be just as effective if condensed down to a single paragraph.

I think I'll just stick to reading what St. Paul had to say . . .

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ye Olde Wine Cellar

One of the mid-range goals after moving into my new home over a year ago was to convert the utility basement into a funnctional and asthetically pleasing wine cellar.

Well, ye socks, a great leap forward occurred today.

The Key boys went to work down there while I was obliviously slaving away at my office.

When I got home this evening, I discovered that they had successfully removed the sooty old oil furnace.

Tomorrow they begin stucco work.

Then they will replace the two screened crawl space access points with real windows.

I'm thinking by the weekend I may be picking out new wineracks.

I'll have a 10x10 blank canvas to work with. Wall height is 76". Open to any suggestions!


Monday, October 26, 2009


Well, ye socks, this fine Monday evening found yours truly in the traditional spot on the couch prepared to watch the unparalleled CBS line-up of mindless sitcoms.

Imagine the disappointment that descended on this little corner of heaven when it became clear that all our favorite shows were already in re-runs.

So, it was to the most recent Netflix arrival we turned.

And, we were not disappointed.

"Changeling," is the critically acclaimed film directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich.

It is set in Los Angeles in 1928. Even if the plot and characters hadn't been amazing, this film would have been worth watching for scenery alone. Yours truly felt transported back in time, at least for an hour and a half or so . . .

Warning: This is a brutally true story, and not one for the faint of heart.

It centers on a single mother named Christine Collins, whose nine-year-old son Walter goes missing while she is away at work. After an extensive search, the LAPD finally announce they found him in some run-down diner in Illinois. But, when the boy gets off the train back in sunny California, his supposed mother doesn't recognize him. It's not her son at all.

And, then you're off to the races.

Certainly beats watching re-runs on a Monday night . . .

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gators 29, MSU Bulldogs 19

It's becoming a Sunday morning tradition around this little corner of heaven, dismissing Florida's lackluster performance with the mantra "a win is a win."

There is some reassurance in all of it, of course. The boys in orange and blue have indeed improved to 7-0; stretched their winning streak to 17; ended the 24-year "Starkville Curse"; schooled their former offensive coordinator; and put their Heisman-winning QB on level with the legendary Herschel Walker's rushing TD record.

But, all that didn't make last night's victory over Mississippi State pretty.

In fact, the most exciting player to watch was the Bulldogs' freshman safety Johnthan Banks (#13) who intercepted Superman not once but twice, and ran both picks back for TD's of his own.

The pack of bulldogs that will attempt to ruin the largest outdoor cocktail party in the world next week will be of a more rabid variety than those who tussled with the Gators this go 'round. Let's hope the excuse-making is over.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

All that for just a dollar?!?

This beautifully sunny fall day found yours truly running errands hither and yon until shortly before 1pm.

That's when I noticed a little sign at Chelsea and Bumby pointing the way to one of the greatest rummage sales I've ever seen.

It was at the Audubon Park Covenant Church, host to my old polling place back when I lived in that little nook of our little corner of heaven.

Anyway, I arrived just as the organizers were winding things down. They were due to close at 2pm, and were anxious to clear out all their remaining wares. And, their ingenious method was to charge all us new arrivals $1 for a big brown paper grocery sack and the permission to carry away anything and everything we could fit inside it!

Although I left with my bag full of second-hand treasures while the mayhem was still very much in full swing, I am pretty sure the rummage sale volunteers didn't have much inventory left by 2pm . . .

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill!

A quick congratulatory shout-out to my mom's baby brother as I head out the door this morning.

Devil's Food cake is (appropriately) on the agenda for later today in his honor!!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

No more Pioneer Days?!

Well, ye socks, it was brought to my attention today that this year's Pine Castle Pioneer Days festival had to be cancelled due to the ongoing finacial difficulties of the Methodist congregation.

Sad, really.

The church is due a lot of credit for keeping the festival afloat for the last decade or so since the collapse of the local arts center that originally founded it back in 1973.

I suppose it is now time for others to step up to the plate, or risk losing this hallmark of the community . . .

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I knew I was forgetting something!

Just remembered that I am meeting with the folks from First Baptist Church of Pine Castle tomorrow, and they asked me to bring any old family photos that might be of interest for the history book they are working on.

So, here I am up past ye olde bedtime hunting thru my attic the night before when I could've gotten this little task scratched off the proverbial checklist days ago . . . and at a more decent hour.

Oh, well, at least I'm sure the effort will be appreciated, and it's for a good cause . . .

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Check. Check. Double-check.

Wow, I am surprising myself today.

After all of yesterday's distractions in the office yesterday, I was sure I'd be playing "catch-up."

But, somehow, I managed to tie-up a lot of loose ends.

Dare I say that I'm actually enjoying a small sense of accomplishment?

Probably shouldn't push it.

In fact, maybe I should go over the checklist again to make sure I haven't overlooked anything . . .


Monday, October 19, 2009

Compliance is one thing . . .

Certification is something else altogether.

Our first real burst of autumn weather in this little corner of heaven had yours truly anxious to get the coffee pot a-goin' at the office this morning.

when I got there, I not only had a tough time trying to find a parking spot, but also found the java was already brewing.

And, there was a box of Kirspy Kreme donuts and a home-made loaf of banana bread (thanks to Valda!) waiting for me.

I forgot that the whole crew was going to be in the office this morning, undergoing OSHA certification.
It was an all day affair, actually.

Having this many people in the office all day was highly unusual, and made it difficult to tackle ye olde work load. But, I suppose, tomorrow is indeed another day . . .

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

A mini-reunion at Disney

That's MINI, as in small. Not MINNIE as in mouse . . .

Yours truly braved the I-4 traffic and unseasonably cool weather today to get together with some high school friends for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

(Tip: Don't bother trying to find a parking space in any of the lots adjoining DD. You'll just end up as frustrated as an FSU fan. Instead, try doing like I did and park across Buena Vista Drive in the very EMPTY lot of the Casting Center. You do have to wait for the pedestrian signal, but the hike is actually shorter than having to park on the other side of Pleasure Island as some unfortunate socks wound up discovering . . . but, I digress.)

I hadn't seen my classmates Chris Deason and Cristi Davis in twenty years, which is a shame since they're both great people. Geography used to be my excuse. But, since Chris and his wife Kristi (also a classmate!!) and their girls moved to Casselberry last year, that excuse has been supplanted by sheer laziness.

So, when Cristi told me she was coming to Disney for a convention, I decided to remedy the situation. Thus the exotic safari-style lunch this afternoon.

Unfortunately, Kristi was too ill to join us. But, the three Frenship Tigers who were at the table had a great time swapping stories, looking at old photos, and letting the kids take some new ones. Who'da thunk that three survivors of Mrs. Blackburn's infamous San Antonio adventures would cross paths again some twelve hundred miles or more away from where they diverged two decades ago? It's a crazy, yet wonderful world.

I suppose this makes up for missing the "official" reunion out in Wolfforth this summer! Maybe, we could lobby for the 25th to be held in Orlando . . . any takers?!?

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Great Escape

Hats off to the Arkansas Razorbacks this evening. They really gave the boys in Orange and Blue a run for their money up at The Swamp this evening.

With just 7 seconds left on the clock, kicker Caleb Sturgis put the #1 Gators ahead 23-20, preventing the type of embarassment Mississippi State dealt them last season (much less the disaster that the guys from Little Rock dealt Auburn just last week).

This was a real nail-biter of a game, ye socks--especially if you were a Florida fan.

Coach Meyer's squad trailed by 10-3 at the half, and things were looking pretty grim.

Brandon Spikes was out after only the 2nd series with an injured hamstring. Tim Tebow was getting sacked left and right. And, the Gator O suffered fumble after fumble in the red zone.

Yours truly had to take a walk at half time to cool off, or risk serious damage to the television set.

Fortunately, the reigning national champions eventually got their collective act together.

Some will say a win is a win, even if it's ugly. Unfortunately, style points still count in some polls, and I think this lackluster performance will sway a few waivering votes toward the Crimson Tide. (Probably not enough to actually topple the Gators, though . . . )

On the other hand, our Heisman contender did pad his already outrageous resume tonight by surpassing the combined rushing/passing TD record of another Gator great: Danny Wuerffel. Tebow now can boast 123 in that stat column, just one shy of tying the all-time leading Herschel Walker. If . . . nay, WHEN . . . he racks-up 125, I don't think anyone could deny him the second Heisman trophy he so richly deserves.

Orange and Blue!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Yes, ye socks, it was on this day back in 1948 that the sire of yours truly was birthed in this little corner of heaven.

A year later, he was presented with the cake pictured here.

Unfortunately, Dad lost his battle with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease a couple of years ago, so isn't around to celebrate with us in person . . . much less eat any cake.

But, methinks he was with us in spirit this evening as we toasted his memory with some fine Irish whiskey . . . and, we enjoyed a slice of cake, to boot!

Remember, ye socks. Life is short. So, celebrate it every chance you get!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The adventures of Uncle Lyman

Ye socks who are not already using Google's book search app are really missing out . . . for example, today I discovered this really cool, previously undiscovered biographical sketch of my great-uncle (brother of my Civil War ancestor Edson Blakesley):

Lyman Blakesley, a well-known citizen of Fort Wayne and one of the veteran passenger conductors of the western division of the P. Ft.W. & C. railroad, was born in Putnam County, Ohio, March 14, 1842. He is the son of J.B. Blakesley, who was a native of New York, but resided during the most of his life in Ohio, being employed as a railroad bridge contractor. He died in 1881 or 1882. Lyman was reared in Sandusky City, but when ten years of age left home and for five seasons was a sailor on the lakes, attending school during the winter months. At about the age of seventeen years he began railroading as a brakeman with the old Sandusky, Dayton & Cincinnati railroad. In June 1861, he enlisted in Company E, Seventh Ohio regiment, and served three years. At Cross Lane, WV, he was taken prisoner August 26, 1861, and for nine months was in prison at Richmond, New Orleans, and Salisbury, NC. He was honorably discharged at Cleveland in June 1864, and returned to railroading on the SD&CRR, where he remained until 1867, and then came to Fort Wayne and entered the service of the P. Ft.W. & C. RR as a brakeman. One year later, was promoted to freight conductor, and in 1872 he was promoted to passenger conductor, and has since been on the run between Fort Wayne and Chicago. The time covered by Mr. Blakesley's service in the P. Ft. W. & C. RR amounts to twenty-two years, and he is one of the oldest passenger conductors running out of Fort Wayne. He was married September 8, 1864, to Miss Mary J. St. John, who was born near Tiffin, Ohio, July 21, 1844; she died December 4, 1888. To their union three children were born: Harry A., Laura D., and Ralph. The latter died in infancy, and Laura D. died March 15, 1889. For fifteen years, Mr. Blakesely was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors, and he is the oldest ex-chief conductor in Indiana. He is a member of the Third Presbyterian church of which Mrs. Blakesley was also a member, and he is one of the executive committee of the railroad department of the YMCA.

[Excerpted from Valley of the Upper Maumee River, published by Brant & Fuller (1889), Volume 2, pages 77-78.]

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Painting update

For ye socks who have been following the progress of the most recent home improvement project, yours truly finally finished painting the entryway this evening.

Definitely looks a lot brighter (and, thus, I hope more inviting) than the old siding that used to grace the walls in there.

Looks bigger, too. But, that probably has something to do with removing all the artwork and furniture . . .

As always, one project leads to another.

In admiring my handywork, I've decided I now need to paint the inside of the front door. Just looks to shabby now with the crisp new paint all around it.

Ah, well, at least I'm doing my part to keep Home Depot in business during this recession . . .


Another one bites the dust

It seems none of the so-called "heavyweights" are interested in unseating Alan Grayson, the raving lunatic who hijacked Florida's 8th Congressional District last year.

First Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty bowed out of contention. Then State Rep. Steve Precourt said "no thanks" last week. And, now former Senate President Dan Webster has also declined.

This is somewhat disconcerting to yours truly, though I suppose it would be folly to nominate someone who didn't really have a fire in their belly . . . not only to defeat the blithering idiot who currently misrepresents this little corner of heaven in the vaunted halls of Congress, but to effect some real hope and change around here.

Time to start beating the bushes, I guess . . .

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Man Who Led Columbus to America

That's the title of a book written by Paul H. Chapman back in 1973 (ISBN 0914032011) about St. Brendan the Navigator.

Brendan was an Irish monk who led 60 pilgrims on a voyage to find the Garden of Eden, some time between 512 and 530 AD (almost a thousand years before Columbus). After sailing west from the emerald isle, they survived a battle with a sea monster of some sort to discover a previously-unknown land covered with lush vegetation.

Several accounts of the expedition were recorded and spread throughout medieval Europe, including one manuscript that an Irish scholar named Dougal carried with him to Italy when he founded the University of Pavia.

The U of P was old Chris Columbus's alma mater, by the way.

Starting to see the connection?

If you wanna be more "in the know," yours truly would encourage a persual of Chapman's book . . .

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Unborn is Unwatchable

Disclaimer: Yours truly is not the world's biggest scary movie fan.

That being said, it is October. Halloween is right around the corner. So, when The Unborn popped up in my Netflix suggestions, I decided to go with it.

What a mistake!

Corny dialog.

Poor acting.

A bunch of cheap, predictable attempts to spook the audience . . . probably more effective in a movie theater than it was on my TV screen.

I mean, it got so bad that I chose to pick up my paint brush to do some touching-up of the entrance way mentioned in a post earlier this week.

Bottom line: don't bother with this one.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Geaux Gators!

The excitement was palpable tonight, and not just in this little corner of heaven.

As the beloved boys in Orange and Blue returned from their bye week to confront the LSU Tigers, everyone in the Gator Nation was sitting on the edge of their seats to see how our star quarterback Tim Tebow would look following his recent concussion.

We were not alone.

Some 90,000-plus obnoxious Cajuns showed up to demonstrate their collective lung capacity within the reverberating confines of Death Valley.

If the Nielsen's are accurate, some 10 million more were glued to their boob-tubes to catch the CBS broadcast.

Truth be told, the Gator O looked about as trepidatious as yours truly has ever seen them . . . at least since the Era of Meyer began. They made so many dive plays that the commentators were speculating about Greg Lougainis having drawn up the game plan.

That being said, though, Florida controlled the game from kick-off to the bitter end--much more so than the 13-3 final score reveals. In my humble (!) opinion, the majority of the credit for said control belongs to Brandon Spikes and the Gator D.

A win is a win.

A win over the #4 team in the nation is much more than that.

How sweet it is!

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Bursting Boone's Bubble


That's all I can say after watching Dr. Phillips dismantle the Boone Braves tonight, 49-7.

The surprising part of all this is that I had received some assurances that the outcome would be significantly different. In fact, I do believe I was told this morning over breakfast that the score should have been 21-14 in Boone's favor.

I guess this is what happens when you underestimate a #1 squad. (How's that for some foreshadowing for ye LSU fans out there?!)

I don't care that DP snuck into the top slot due to MNW's failings.

And, with the comparative depth they have, it also didn't matter that two star players were suspended just prior to the game.

This was a gross mismatch.

Only made grosser by the sweltering humidity and 105-degree heat index.

When's the football weather gonna show up around here, anyway?!?!

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pushing Push (the Movie)

Well, ye socks, the latest DVD to arrive via Netflix in this little corner of heaven was "Push."

It got added to ye olde queue due to the interesting premise about an interesting subculture possessing a variety of paranormal abilities.

The story centers around three of said giften individuals, played by Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans, and the exotically beautiful Camilla Belle.

The Hong Kong setting added some more exotic flair to this already fast-paced flick.

How could you not like a movie that features a pair of Chinese dudes who can scream so loud as to shatter glass from fishtanks to windows . . . not to mention countless eardrums?!

Single disclaimer: the plot is not the reason to rent this DVD. But, get it for the action, special effects, and to see how the premise plays out.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Getting to know each other

If you've been tagged or you are reading this, you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions, writing your own response, and tagging 25 other victims.

You have to tag me so really you just need 24 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.

To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your title as "Getting to know each other!", tag 25 people including me (tagging is done in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6
2. How do you like your steak? medium
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Good question. Usually wait for the DVD
4. What is your favorite TV show? Survivor
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right here in good ol' Orlando!
6. What did you have for breakfast? skipped it (don't tell Mom!)
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican
8. What foods do you dislike? avocados
9. Favorite Place to Eat? home!
10. Favorite dressing? Ranch
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Chevy Blazer
12. What are your favorite clothes? blue jeans, t-shirt, ballcap, and vans.
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Ireland
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full
15. Where would you want to retire? see #5 above
16. Favorite time of day? crack o' dawn
17. Where were you born? Arizona
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Gatorball
19. Who do you think will not tag you back? not sure
20. Person you expect to tag you back first? not sure
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? everyone!
22. Bird watcher? yep, particularly the cranes & herons around Lake Ivanhoe
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? both, it's that big stretch in the middle that gives me fits.
24. Do you have any pets? 1 meezer
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Doing some interior painting at ye olde abode.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? I've never been little.
27. What is your best childhood memory? Going to see Empire Strikes Back
28. Are you a cat or dog person? Lean toward cat, but can deal with well-behaved dogs that don't smell.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes
31. Been in a car accident? Yes
32. Any pet peeves? people with a false sense of entitlement
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? chicken
34. Favorite Flower? orange blossom
35. Favorite ice cream? Publix Premium Key Lime Pie
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Burger King
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0
38. From whom did you get your last email? Mayette
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Home Depot
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Yes.
41. Like your job? What's not to like?
42. Broccoli? sure
43. What was your favorite vacation? pre-Katrina roadtrip to Biloxi
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? banquetroom full of people
45. What are you listening to right now? Sinatra
46. What is your favorite color? Orange . . . no, Blue . . . no, Orange . . . no, Blue . . .
47. How many tattoos do you have? 0
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? haven't decided yet.
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 8:19pm
50. Are you a coffee drinker? yep!

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I must've overdone it yesterday . . .

I was really dragging all day today. So, after washing up ye olde dinnertime dishes, I decided to squeeze in a nap on the oversize couch before NCIS came on TV.

Well . . . .

Slept right thru the show.

In fact, zonked out til almost midnight!

Now, I'll never get to sleep . . .



Monday, October 05, 2009

I thought I was being neat . . .

So, yours truly was sitting at ye olde abode watching the usual mindless Monday night line-up, when I got the sudden urge to paint the entry way.

Don't ask where that came from, haven't figured it out myself.

Anyway, I thought I was being extra careful not to spill, splatter, spatter, drip, or otherwise get paint anywhere except on the intended surfaces.

So I thought.

But, after I'd put everything away and went to take a shower before jumping in bed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Right smack dab in the middle of my favorite ball cap was the biggest, ugglest splotch of paint.

Oh, well. The headgear may look ghetto now, but at least the entryway looks a heckuva lot nicer . . .


Sunday, October 04, 2009

My patron saint

I suppose it's appropriate that this Sunday has yours truly contemplating the life of his patron saint: Righail.

For ye socks who have difficulty pronouncing ye olde Gaelic, the modernday Scots have simplified things by spelling his name the way it sounds to modern English-speakers: Rule.

Anyway, I'd always known St. Righail was the fellow who lived in a hermitage on Dundrum Bay in Western Ireland. That's where he supposedly predicted the Great Famine of the 1840's about a millenia and a half before it actually happened. Way back in the 4th Century, he wrote of a vision he had of a great broom that swept away three-quarters of the island's population.

But, what I just learned today was the connection between St. Righail and the Apostle Andrew.

Apparently, 'twas himself that carried the remains of the apostle from their original resting place in Patras, Greece, all the way to Scotland in or about the year 327.

Don't know what took him from Scotland to Ireland, though.

Any ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Name that ghost!

Let me preface this post by saying it is merely the result of there being no Gator game to watch today.

Thus, yours truly found himself watching the Biography Channel's new series "Celebrity Ghost Stories."

Thru with the mocking laughter, yet?

OK, so the new show included the story of Joan Rivers' supposedly haunted apartment in New York City. I won't bore ye socks with the absurd details of her consultations with a voodoo priestess, but she did make the claim that the ghost who continues to lurk around the premises is a niece of J.P. Morgan named "Mrs. Spencer."

The genealogist in me found that vague identification unacceptable. So, after rolling my eyes at my own willingness to watch such tripe, I decided to attempt to at least ascertain precisely who the poor soul is supposed to be doomed to sharing the same cramped apartment with Ms. Rivers.

So far, no luck.

For starters, there were TWO men named John Pierpont (JP) Morgan:

1. John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913) had four younger siblings, though only three sisters survived childhood to marry and have children of their own. The eldest was Sarah (1839-1896) who married kinsman George Hale Morgan and had at least one daughter: C. Lucy Morgan (1872). The second was Mary (1844) who married Walter Haynes Burns and also had at least one daughter: Mary Ethel Burns (1873). The third was Juliet (1847) who also married a kinsman, John B. Morgan, and had at least one daughter: Ursula Junius Morgan (1869). I couldn't find any marriage records for these nieces, but they were probably too old to be the culprits. Rivers said her ghost died only a couple of years before she moved into the apartment in the early 90s.


2. John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943) also had three sisters. I couldn't find anything about the youngest, Anne Tracy Morgan (1873-1952). But, the two older sisters did marry and have children. The first was Louise, who married Herbert Livingston Satterlee. They had at least two daughters, Mabel Satterlee Ingalls and Eleanor Satterlee Gibbs, but no Spencer marriage record for either. The second was Juliet (1870), who married William Pierson Hamilton (a grandson of Alexander Hamilton). They had two daughters: Helen, who married Arthur Woods (not Spencer!); and Elizabeth (who died in 1919).

I know, many of ye socks out there don't care for my postings of this much genealogical gibberish. So, I won't belabor the point any further. The bottom line is, I couldn't find any niece of either J.P. Morgan who carried the Spencer surname.

The thought did occur to me that the niece in question might have been a niece by marriage, but it's getting too late in the evening to go chasing down that line of thought. Anyone out there want to pick up where I left off?

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Friday, October 02, 2009

O, No!

Whether ye socks choose to believe that O stands for Oprah or ObamaNation doesn't really matter.

The answer to both--at least as far as the International Olympic Committee is concerned--was a resounding NO during their meeting in Copenhagen this afternoon.

The 2016 games will not be in Chicago.

Instead, for the first time in Olympics history, they will be held in South America.

How's that for some change we can believe in?!

Congrats to the team from Rio de Janeiro who bested their rivals from The Windy City and elsewhere.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

School Spirit?

We had a guest at our regular Thursday morning meeting: Eric Yearwood, who works with Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Eric recently returned from a summer in Italy, and told us a couple of distressing stories about the decline of faith in Europe and a couple of inspiring stories about reversing that trend.

Anyway, if ye socks would like to read more about his ministry, check out this link:

And, if ye feel moved to make a financial contribution or send words of encouragement, contact Eric at:

1700 Forum Blvd #1503
Columbia, MO 65203

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