Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monkey Business.......

I decided to make the bed up earlier than usual this morning.  I usually drink my mornin' cup o' joe before I do much of anything, but today was different.

When I began to remove the pillows from the bed, I saw something strange on Cindy's side.  Hmmmm.......I moved closer to investigate.

Hiding from me, under one of Cindy's pillows, was a cute li'l stuffed monkey.

When I asked her about it, she told me it belongs to our grandson, Canyon, who left it at our house last week.  She said she thought it was really adorable and decided to sleep with it by her pillow.

But my question is.........she's got me, so why does she need that monkey?  DON'T ANSWER THAT!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Crazy Mom.......

Here is a Shot From 1954.  My Mom is Pouring Booze at a Company Party, and It Looks to Me Like This Isn't The First One She's Had.  Or, the Second, Either.   This is Funny Because She Seldom Drinks Alcoholic Beverages.  That's My Dad on the Left.
I was leafing through one of the family picture albums this morning and ran across some photographs of my mom.

Taken at Her 85th Birthday Celebration 3 1/2 Years Ago.  Hmmmm.......
People often wonder why I am as nutty as I am.  I think it's a genetic thing.  Ha.  I blame my mom---and dad, too.  It's certainly not MY fault.

This is Mom, Age 83, Swimming With the Dolphins in Florida Six Years Ago

Taken Near Monterrey, Mexico in 1953.   Dad Used to Say This Picture Shows Him on His A**.  Ha.  That's Dad on the Left Donkey and Mom on the Right.  Right After this Picture Was Taken, the Donkey Bit Dad and He Had to Have Medical Treatment.  This Turned out to be the Proverbial Trip From Hell---A Friend Who Went to Mexico With Them Got a Tapeworm and Had to Be Hospitalized.

Well, I guess I better stop because when mom sees this post I'm  gonna hear about it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brothers and Sisters in Blue and Gray.......

Ladies Dressed in Authentic 1860s Era Garb
Today, Cindy and I took six year old grandson Canyon down the road to Pigeon Forge to visit the Civil War Memorabilia and Reenactment show.  It was spectacular.

Cindy and Canyon Pose With Friendly Reenactors
There were men and women dressed in period garb; lessons on customs of the day; reenactments involving firearms and cannon; over a hundred tables containing relics of the era; music of the mid 1860s; and some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable folks we have seen in a while.
Canyon Loves This Naval Cannon

Canyon was entranced.  And I got to bask in the glory of one of my passions as I visited with reenactors and exhibitors. 

Civil War Bullets and Other Artifacts

This Battle Flag Was Not For Sale, But is Worth Approximately $100,000
This was the first show of its kind that Cindy attended with me, and she was drawn to the culture so much that I had to forcibly pull her out of the exhibit hall. 

Canyon Meets Honest Abe Lincoln

Most People Don't Know That African-Americans Fought in Great Numbers For the Southern Cause

The Regimental Surgeon Provided Us With a Wealth of Information Regarding Medical Practices of the Day

Preparing To Fire the 12-Pound Cannon


In the Field With Troops Around Their Tents

Checking His 1860s Era Timepiece

Canyon and His Musket

The Regimental Surgeon Demonstrates Amputation Following an Arm Bone Being Shattered by a Minie Ball

Cindy and Canyon Pose With a Union Naval Officer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reenlistment Rate: 92%

One of the most notable naval stories in world history is the lore surrounding the legendary warship, USS Constitution (nicknamed "Old Ironsides").

This battlewagon is today docked in Boston Harbor, and is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel.

Construction began on Constitution in 1794 in Boston.  Approximately 2,000 trees were used to build it.  It was christened in 1797 and launched in 1798.  In the war of 1812 it defeated five different British warships.

There are many, many tales surrounding the exploits of this ship and her crews, but my favorite is as follows, taken from the ship's log:

On 23 August, 1799, USS Constitution set sail from Boston, loaded with 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of water, 74,000 cannon shot, 11,500 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum. 

Her mission:  To destroy and harass British shipping.

On 6 October she made Jamaica, where she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.  Three weeks later, Constitution reached the Azores, where she provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 2,300 gallons of Portugese wine.

On 18 November she set sail for England, where her crew captured and scuttled 12 British merchant vessels and took their rum aboard.  By this time, Constitution had run out of shot.  Nevertheless, she made her way unarmed up the Firth of Clyde on a night raid there.  Here, her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 13,000 gallons to her stores.  She then headed for home port.

On 20 February Constitution arrived in Boston with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum and no whisky.  She did, however, still have her full crew of 475 officers and men and 18,600 gallons of rancid water.

The math is quite enlightening:

---Length of cruise: 181 days

---Booze consumption:  1.26 gallons per man per day (not including the unknown quantity of rum captured from the 12 British merchant vessels in November)

---Reenlistment rate:  92%

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Joyous Family Sunday.......

L---R  Me, Canyon, Tracy
We were up early on Sunday mornin'.  There were Big Doin's planned!  Excitement was in the air!
L---R  Canyon, Tracy, Lucinda, Patti

Cindy's sister, Patti, was coming over, along with Cindy's daughter, Lucinda, son-in-law Tracy and the center of everyone's attention, grandson Canyon.
What a Photogenic Family!
A hearty repast was planned---scrambled eggs, cheese grits, sausage/cheese balls, and various juices and fruits.

What a Great Meal!
Ummm Ummm Ummmmmm!!!
Thanks, Cindy!
No, my friends....when you come to eat at our house, you will definitely NOT be leaving hungry.  None of that stopping off afterward at the local Burger King because you didn't get enough to eat.  Uh uh.
Shovelin' It In!
Matter of fact, you might just request a wheel chair after eating.
Someone Said I Look Like I'm Gettin' Ready to Barf---Not True!

We had a great time talking and munching our way through the morning.

Then, I took a nap.  Ha.

Friday, August 19, 2011

News of the Weird.......

I swear you can't make this stuff up.  Yes, truth is stranger than fiction.  And, once again, as regular readers of this blog will attest, I have included the newspaper article to document the story as being authentic.......straight from the pages of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 19, 2011.
Click to Enlarge

It seems that Mark Evry of West Knoxville left his home the morning of April 15 to walk his dog, Jack, around the neighborhood.   Evry, who had his dog on a leash, did not think to take along his cell phone or billfold or house keys, figuring he would be back home within 30 minutes or so.

But Jack got away from Evry and began to run off.  Evry gave chase through the large neighborhood and soon became hopelessly lost.  The dog was nowhere to be found, and Evry was all alone and without a clue as to how to return home.  Evry and his wife had just moved into their West Knoxville home; and the four bedroom, brick and vinyl siding, short driveway, well manicured lawn home looked exactly like all the other hundreds just like it in the large, upscale neighborhood.

Evry said he wasn't too concerned at first, but because he had just moved in, he had not had time to get to know his neighbors, and he had not memorized his address.  He spent the next four months roaming the neighborhood, looking in vain for his home.  He subsisted on grass clippings and water he collected in an old boot.

Then one day last week, he was overjoyed to see his wife, Janet, emerging from the front door of their home.  He had been gone four months, however, and she had thought him gone for good and had remarried.

His advice:  "be sure you memorize your address and your wife's phone number if you move to a new home.  And above all, make sure you are wearing pants."

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The ordeal is over.  Let us cut to the chase:  Doc says I'm fine.  Wants me to come back for another colonoscopy in 5---7 years.  Praise Jesus.  I can live with that (literally).

So the bottom line is this---went 42 hours without anything but liquids.  Not eating makes me irritable (wife says I'm that way whether I've eaten or not), gives me light headaches and produces a gnawing, hollow clawing in my stomach.  I can only eat so many cans of chicken broth, bottles of 7-UP and banana popsicles.

Two Large Bottles of This Mixed with 64 Ounces of Gatorade
 But the kicker was the 48 ounces of laxative I drank on Tuesday night and then repeated at 5:00 AM on Wednesday before my 10:00 procedure was scheduled.  Darn near killed me.  Of course, I am the first to admit that I am a baby in situations like this and require lots of sympathy and attention. 
Two of These the Night Before and Two in the Morning
Anyhoo, Cindy drove me to the clinic.  The staff was truly phenomenal.  The nurses and doctors were just outstanding---professional, knowledgeable, experienced and CLASSY. 

I was wheeled in to the procedure room, hooked up to all kinds of monitors, and reassured about what was going to be done.  Then, the nurse anesthetist leaned over and whispered, "G'night, Clint". 

"G'night", I replied.  I was only out 25 minutes.  Don't remember a thing.  No pain at all. 
This Is How It Looks
They wheeled me to recovery.  Did I want an additional blanket?  "Why, yes", I said, "that would be nice."  The blanket they   brought me had been preheated.  Verrry nice.
My Doctor---He Was Great!
The doc appeared.  Nice guy.  We chatted.  Basically, I'm healthy as a horse.  He showed me some pics he had taken of my innards.  Not real pretty, but I'm more a fan of outdoor landscapes.  Gave me copies to keep in my files. 
One of Cindy's Favorite Spots for Lunch, But I hated It
Cindy took me to a favorite place of hers to eat---Ali Baba's on Kingston Pike.  I had never been there before.  She had the specialty, a falafel, which I noticed she devoured with gusto.  I had a Reuben.  It was the worst sandwich I had ever attempted to eat.  Watery, salty as hell, tough bread. Had to hold it with napkins to keep from getting soaked.  I asked for a fork and knife but they don't have any at this establishment.  Had to find the bathroom.  This was an ongoing problem all day.

Cindy Said Her Falafel Was Wonderful
Then Cindy wanted to go to Fresh Market.  Had to find the BR there, as well.  Two more stops, and then we headed home (thank God).

Nice Selection of Foods---and a Very Nice Restroom, as Well...
The ordeal was over.  I slept like a baby last night---11 hours.

Conclusion:  If you are over 50, please get a colonoscopy.  Colon cancer is almost entirely preventable with early detection.  Yes, you will have to force yourself out of your comfort zone for 42 hours.  But think about how much better that is than dying a slow, miserable death.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's THAT Time Again.......

A few years ago I made a sales call on a new client.  As I spoke with him on the phone for the first time, I asked him if he would like to have lunch.  He agreed.

I drove to his office to pick him up, and when I arrived, he was ready to go.  I met him in person for the first time in the foyer of his place of business.  I judged him to be a man of about 50 years of age.  He had a satchel slung over his shoulder.  As we exchanged a handshake, I told him to just leave his satchel in his office.

He said to me, "I can't---it's my chemo."

He noticed the quizzical look on my face and explained that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and was having to take continuous chemotherapy.  His satchel contained a pump and his medication, which was being infused into his bloodstream on a continuous basis.

He told me he was terminal.  They thought he might have two years to live.  He said he was advised several years previous to have a colonoscopy, but he put it off.  He said he felt fine.  By the time he began experiencing problems, it was too late.

Well, tomorrow is my colonoscopy date.  But actually, today is the hardest part.  To prepare my intestines for the procedure, I must go all day without eating anything except clear liquids---broth, clear juice, soft drinks, etc.  This is also designed to put me in a foul mood.  I love to eat!

Then, tonight at 6:00, I must drink 48 ounces of liquid with laxatives.  This is designed to keep me up all night while reigning on the throne. 

Tomorrow morning at 5:00, I have to drink another 48 ounces of laxatives to completely blow out what is left of my bowels.  Great.  All of this is meant to clear me out so the doc can see what is going on inside Clint.

Cindy will drive me to the clinic in the morning.  I will be asked to strip naked and put on one of those really fashionable robes that fasten in the back.  I will be led to the OR, where a friendly and knowledgeable nurse will talk to me in soothing tones as she places a tube where it will do the most good.

Then, I will be given a general anesthesia.  Goodnight, Clint.  Immediately after I have become unconscious, the stupid robe I am wearing will be removed and I will be naked as a jay.  Not that anyone cares, mind you, for in the OR, there is no such thing as modesty.  Ha.

Then the doc will snake a tube with a camera in it up my innards to see what's happenin' in there.  If polyps are found, they will be removed painlessly.  Pictures will be taken.  Not the kind you would want to frame and hang on your living room wall, but they do provide the doc with some evidence.

Afterward, the results of the ordeal will be discussed with me.  Hopefully, nothing untoward will be discovered and I will be told to come back for another colonoscopy in five to seven years.

Colon cancer is one cancer that can be almost entirely avoided by early detection.  And the colonoscopy is the procedure of choice.  Colonoscopies are troublesome and inconvenient.  But I do not want to wear a satchel as I die from a cancer that could have been avoided.

So I hope everyone enjoys a good, hearty dinner tonight!  I'll definitely be thinkin' 'boutcha'!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Local Art Show.......

Yesterday, Cindy talked me into attending our local Sunday afternoon art show.  It was only five minutes from our house, and we had a great time.

There was a pretty darn good crowd!

Floral Arrangements
There was all kinds of artwork---paintings in oil and watercolor and pencil and other media; sculptures of all descriptions; craftwork; floral displays; musical entertainment for the attendees and refreshments.

Easy Listening Entertainment



I Really Like This Painting

And This One


I Love Soaring, Bronze Eagles

Larry, Curly and Moe

Had a great time.  Cindy says she will display her art next year!