Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just For Fun


I took this picture in Land O' Lakes, Florida back in 1993 when I was working for the Small Business Administration.....never could get anyone to go bowling with me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just filled up my truck and paid $1.69 a gallon. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Frugal, Cheap, or Stupid?

I continue to work on removing the large Oak tree in my back yard and this weekend I have it down to almost a bare trunk except for the one leafy limb at the very tip top. I will definitely leave that one for folks that bring down the trunk (which ain't gonna be me!). All the while I have been cutting Susan has kept urging me to go buy a chain saw. Why do I need to buy a chain saw?" I remarked; It'll go unused after I cut down one tree. Hardly worth the expense. I know most are not going to believe this but I have cut the majority of this tree down with a simple Craftsman hand saw. Hard to believe, huh? Yeah, I know that I'm cheap. I call it being thrifty. Just no need to spend money on a chain saw when a hand saw will do. I am sure it has been a source of amusement for my neighbors. Last Saturday while I was working in the very top I could hear my neighbor yelling to her husband "Get the camera, and hurry. Oh yeah, make sure that it's got fresh batteries!". I sure hope they just wanted to get a shot of the old guy up a tree and weren't hoping to cash in by getting a shot of me falling out on my head! Anyway, I now have a huge pile of debris to cut up and get off to the brush disposal center. I'm through climbing for while!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No Country For Old Men


The old oak tree in the back yard looks like it's leaning more toward the house these day. It's always leaned about 20 degrees and I have begun to worry that it might fall on the house one day. Given all of that I finally decided to bring it down. I'm not finished by any means but I do have a great deal of it done. I had to stop because I was absolutely exhausted and Susan had fidgeted herself into a panic state watching me climb about from limb to limb. I'm thinking that I'll probably just wait until next weekend to finish up. Man are my arms sore!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Self Portrait 2008

I thought that I'd be a bit creative today since it's been a while since I did anything for Photo Friday or Illustration Friday. This is my piece created for the Photo Friday challenge: Self Portrait 2008.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Still Kickin'


The Triathlon that I have been preparing for the last 8 weeks is over and I finished 561 out 0f 612. Nothing to brag about but right about where I predicted I would be. I actually have to say that I surprised myself. I thought that I would finish about 11 minutes slower than I did. Here's the official numbers ( you can get the complete race results here)

Overall time 1:19:41
1/4 mile Swim......12:24
8.2 mile Bike Ride .....33:49
2 mile Run......24:06

I really didn't do too well in the transitions due to some bad planning on my part and by the time that I got to the run my legs felt like lead weights but I can still say that I am glad that I did this. I'll definitely be ready for it next year!
Susan walking me from the finish line back to my personal cheering section (probably wanted to make sure that I wasn't about to have a coronary right there in the middle of the road!)


I had an unexpected additions to my cheering section. My sisters Lisa and Dana came to town from Alabama to help cheer me on. It really was a good boost to see my daughter Tiffiny, son-in-law Jeff, grandson Braxton, and two of my sisters along with their families there at the finish line.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Countin' Down


The clock is ticking away the hours until my first Triathlon. I went downtown to pick up my race packet and do a walk through of the T2 transition area and the running course. Registering early definitely has its' advantages. My race number is 25 (out of about 500) and I've got a sweet T2 spot just inside the transition area. I'm getting psyched up ready to give it a shot. I figure by 8:30 tommorrow morning it'll all be over and I'll know if it was all worth it.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, August 03, 2008

The PayOff


Earlier I posted a couple of pictures of my meager little garden spot. Everything is starting to come in now and it's time to start reaping the benefits of my labor. We've already gotten a few green beans, some little squash, chile peppers, jalapenos, and grape tomatoes. Now it's time for the big tomatoes to start ripening. I have three varieties of heirlooms....Red, purple, and Mr. Stripey. These are going to space out very nicely with the purple ones ripening now, the red ones will be next, followed with the Mr. Stripey tomatoes in about another month or so. This has been the best little garden that I've had since we bought this house seven years ago!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Race Is On

I finally got the "unofficial" test report back from my nuclear heart scan yesterday. They say that my current physical condition places me in "minimal" risk for a coronary and that I can go about my usual activities as long as I recognize my limitations. They did tell me that I have some scarring of my heart muscle that would seem to indicate that I have actually had a Myocardial Ischemia at some point in my life.

Anyway, I've decided to go ahead with the Triathlon next Sunday (Aug 10). I've lost a week's worth of training but again, the goal is just to finish. I figure that I'l probably finish inthe lower 20% of the pack.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bummer!

Today I had my 6 month follow up with my lung doctor. I told him about some trouble that I have been having lately. I am exercising a LOT but I don't seem to be developing any endurance. I swim, bike, and run often but any time that things get strenuous I get terribly winded. I get to the point that I feel like something is trying to claw it's way out of my chest. When I run I get so winded after a half mile that I have to slow down to a quick walk, then recover pretty quickly, then run some more. I do this a lot but the distance or endurance level never seems to increase. My doctor confirmed that my lungs are working great. He feels that I may possibly have some coronary blockage so he's ordered a nuclear stress test for Monday morning. This all seems just a bit odd considering that I have done the following this past week:

Sunday - 19 mile bike ride
Tuesday - 5.8 mile run (actually fartleks, (look it up!))
Wednesday - 1/2 mile swim
Thursday - 5.5 mile bike ride
Friday - 5.8 mile run (more fartleks)

All day today I have been totally drained of energy. Maybe we can get to the bottom of this so that I can finally get straightened out.
I still plan to participate in the Triathlon on August 10. My doctor said that he will tell me if I have his blessing for this by Wednesday. He did ask me to scratch the practice run that is schedule for this Sunday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Time for a little training

Training for the Sports Barn Quintana Roo Sprint Triathlon has not been going quite as well as I had hoped. I hurt my right shoulder early on swimming and it hasn't gotten much better over the past few weeks. It is hurting so much that it wakes me up at night. Probably haven't ridden my bike as much as I should either. But I am running a lot more than I ever did. Still, I am determined to finish this challenge so it's off to the lake for some swimming.

Time's a wastin'

Simple Pleasures

I have always wanted have a nice spot to plant a nice garden but we didn't get quite so lucky when we bought our house. The back yard is steep and unlevel and there are so many trees around that plants can't get very much sunlight. I always try to grow a tomatoe or two and this year I thought that I would try to do a bit more with the limited space that I have available. This is actually turning out quite well. Everything that I planted has produced a little bit this year. In my tiny space I have three varieties of heirloom tomatoes, two kinds of cherry / grape tomatoes, carrots, chives, oregeno, thyme, squash, jalepenos, cayenne peppers, one plant each of red, green, and yellow bell peppers, some pole beans, and one okra plant. I'm inspired now and want to to see how much more that I can get out of this space next year!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Photoshop Fun


Here's a picture shot last week when we had most of my family on the back porch for a little visit. I couldn't resist doing little bit of Photoshop trickery with some of the pictures that we shot. Can you find the flaws (hint: there are actually quite a few)?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ready Set GO!

Well, I've probably lost my mind but I've laid down a new challenge for myself. I am going to enter my first athletic event in well over thirty years.
.25 Mile Swim - 8.2 Mile Bike - 2 Mile Run
Sunday, August 10, 2008 7:00AM
I have tried to get myself in shape since having a third of my right lung removed just a little over a year ago. Believe me, it's been a really hard road. I was a two to three pack a day cigarette smoker for over thirty years. It's now been six years since I quit. I've battled emphysema and the partial lung removal on a long hard comeback to getting in shape. I still have a long way to go. I've lost 34 pounds since I started a new job 23 months ago. I try to work out at least four days a week and now I have taken up running outdoors and bicycling (see my post from Dec 16, 2007 for more on this). I still can't run much distance at all and that is the part of this triathlon that worries me the most. Now I've got a reason to work harder. I am certain that entry in a paid sporting competition just has to be a motivating factor. And now that I've made this public to the world I just have to go through with it.
The one thing that I keep telling my wife and myself is that I am NOT in this event to win it, just to FINISH it! Believe me, just finishing WILL be an accomplishment.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

We Have Pictures


But still no name!!!!
My mother with her new Great-Granddaughter

Here she is..............

Big sister Micah shows how thrilled she is to have a new baby in the house......

a BIG thanks to my sister Dana for the pictures

Newest addition to our family


Today we got a new granddaughter. She weighed in at 8lbs, 6 ounces and is 21 inches long. At the moment she still doesn't have a name and I am sure that she is getting impatient with Michael and Kerry at not having given her one yet! I will definitely put a better picture on here as soon as it's available. Susan sent this one from her cell phone.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chattanooga Riverfront


This is a shot of the Chattanooga riverfront with the Market Street Bridge and the Tennessee Aquarium. This is two seperate photographs "stitched" together. Photography buffs might want to know that I increased color saturation by 70%.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Another Great Day!

Today I broke out the mountain bike and took a ride on the Tennessee Riverwalk all the way from the Chicamauga Dam to Coolidge Park in Downtown Chattanooga. The weather was perfect today and Chattanooga has come alive once more. The Riverwalk was teeming with walkers, skaters, and bikers and Coolidge Park was bustling with activity today and there were a lot families taking advantage of the huge fountain there. I'm estimating my ride at about 18 or 19 miles round trip. Not too shabby for an old guy.


I stopped from time to take a few picture. I've put a couple here and more on my FlickR page.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Long Overdue

Yesterday Susan and I did something that was long, long overdue. We've lived in Chattanooga for 8 years and we had never ridden the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain. For anyone interested, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway (or "funicular" if you prefer the proper name) is the steepest incline railway in the world. When you first enter the cars you're actually sitting back in an inclined position. You gradually become more vertical as you ascend the track and close to the top you feel like you're hanging over the edge of a steep precipice. This was really neat although I am pretty sure that Susan kept her eyes closed for most of the trips up and down the mountain.



When we got to the top of Lookout Mountain we took a short (3 block) walk past the Giles House over to Point Park. From there you can see all of Chattanooga. There are also several Civil War monuments there and the lanscaping is beautiful.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hmmmm

I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one that ever looks at this stuff anymore!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

My Favorite Time Of Year



Winter is finally over, the trees and flowers are in full bloom, and the kids are playing in the fountain at Coolidge Park again. Today was absolutely clear and 71 degrees. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Braxton with Stephanie Culberson


Here's my grandson Braxton with Miss Tennessee 2004 Stephanie Culberson. Braxton had a part as an extra in the (as yet un-released) Bartlee Norton video Back On The Ground.
Braxton got to miss a little school and have a bit of fun. It was great getting to meet Stephanie, who was both very attractive and quite friendly. It was also interesting to watch Bartlee and crew work on the video. It is unbelievable the amount of different shots and camera angles that are required to get the finished product. I'll try to post more on this at a later date.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Surreal





Photo Friday for March 7, 2008: Surreal

Something's Coming!

This is the Tennessee River Railroad Bridge which crosses the Tennessee River just below the Chicamauga Dam. This is just slightly past the beginning of the Tennessee Riverwalk where I love to run/walk on the weekends. When I was there last Sunday I decided to get a shot of this train crossing but I just could not find a location that would let me get the shot that I really wanted. For better or worse I've posted this one anyway. This really awesome when you're standing under this bridge and a train is crossing. One of the really neat things about this bridge is that the center span (see the large tower in the distance) actually raises straight up when very large boats (such as the Mississippi Queen) must pass to get to the locks of the dam.

Live At The Bijou

Live At The Bijou????Actually, the title of this post has practically nothing (almost) to do with the subject of the post. Susan and I recently celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary and she got me an ION USB turntable. I have been slowly converting my vinyl LP's to digital media and todays' selection was Live At The Bijou by Grover Washington, Jr. So far I've recorded several of my older Todd Rundgren albums (mainly Runt, The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, A Wizard A True Star, and Something/Anything). I've also recorded two Gong albums, Shamal and Expresso.
This turntable is pretty great in that you just plug it into the USB port of your computer and then use the software which was included to record albums directly into iTunes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lord Of The Dance

Friday was my and Susan's anniversary and I finally got tickets to a show that Susan has wanted to see for years. We went to see Michael Flatley's LORD OF THE DANCE. I have to say that every thing about this production was top notch. We had a great time and enjoyed this show very much. I have no doubt that we will see it again should it ever return to Chattanooga.
I would post some pictures but I did not take any (cameras were prohibited) and the official website does not have active links to the photos. You can check out the website and look at the photos and listen to sound clips there.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Something To Fall Back On

Today I was listening to some older Todd Rundgren. I still like the older Rundgren tunes now just a much (and many cases more) as the day they were released. Click on the album cover to follow a link to VH1 where you can watch and listen to some Todd Rundgren videos from the 80's.
GOOD STUFF!!




Released: September, 1985
Genre: Pop rock
Length: 39:42
Label: Rhino
Producer: Todd Rundgren

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Journeyman

Okay, I know that this is not the kind of post that I normally do but I've learned that NBC has cancelled one of the best new television shows in years, Journeyman. The show was often compared to Quantum Leap but it was so much better in my opinion. You actually believed the characters and plot lines. Both casting and acting were first rate. Monday night was the one night that I stayed up later than normal just so I wouldn't miss a minute of this very excellent show. I can only hope that this show will be brought back, even if on another network. Perhaps NBC is just not ready for such a well written show that challenges the mind and offers top notch entertainment. Now only time will tell.