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"It seems to me what you lose in mystery, you gain in awe."
Sir Francis Crick

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
--William James

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Camp McCall Video

We are off to Carowinds tomorrow bright and early. Here's a video of Camp McCall I put together after my nap today :-)

Back from Camp

We survived 2 days and 2 HOT nights at Camp McCall. We had 3 Dads and 7 boys with our group. Although we didn't get to everything at camp due to rain delays and thunderstorms, I think all of the boys in our group had the time of their lives. Dylan enjoyed all the birthday attention on Tuesday too. I am checking my emails and doing a little work but taking it easy as we are heading to Carowinds for a fun day with the boys tomorrow. Friday is my only "full" day at work, I am enjoying the break. Well, more later when my energy meter shows "charged". See ya!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dylan's 7th Birthday Party, Change of Plans

We had a blast yesterday for Dylan's 7th birthday party. It was a Ben 10 themed party and the boys made aliens with cut-outs of alien body parts to start the party. Then, they played some Game Cube (of course). After cake and ice cream, they played a mean game of pin the Omnitrix on Ben 10. Don't mention it to Dylan but a girl (his friend, Nick's sister Jessica) actually got the best spot on the poster. But, they didn't care. It was fun. Dylan was more than overjoyed with his presents of Bionicles, Indiana Jones lego set (he told me this was his favorite this morning, and the reason we heard him at 0630am going downstairs to play), a hologram Omnitrix and some Godzilla toys and a couple of cool laser guns and water soakers. Needless to say, he got plenty of new toys.

We will actually be at Camp McCall on his birthday, which is Tuesday. Looking forward to that and I will be on vacation Monday-Thursday with a big day at Carowinds on Thursday.

Given all of that planned fun, we decided to skip Bele Chere this year and just hang out today. The good news is that we get to go to the Freedom Fellowship baptism tonight, which will be at Lake Cunningham. Plus, the BBQ afterwards won't be bad either!

See ya!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Freedom Update, Garage Shelves, Camp

God is working some very cool stuff. You may remember back in May, I wrote about a guy who came into Freedom way beyond drunk... About Last Weekend.
Well, that guy is now in rehab and is working through that misery and looking up as he works on the healing that needs to take place.

Check out this letter from someone who is working with him as a sponsor during his rehab.

Hey yall,

I wanted to follow-up with everyone at Freedom that I had an email address for regarding Tony White. On behalf of Tony's accountability group (Scott, Jimmy, Rocky, Ray and myself) we wanted to give you an update on how Tony is doing.

The five us had the opportunity Sunday afternoon to sit down and visit Tony during their visitor's hours. Tony is doing as well as expected. The days are long and monotonous, the environment is stale and pretty negative, and the presence of God is hard to find amidst everything. As Tony put it, "people are here for 2 reasons: either the judge made them come or they are here in order to get their kids back after DSS came and took them away." Scott and Rocky had a chance to participate in a meeting last Wednesday and they will be the first to tell you that it is a sad place to visit. There is no positive energy, no warmth, and honestly no hope as the program expects that people will be back soon after they relapse. What a tragedy! Even Scott brought up the name of Jesus in a meeting and people started attacking him immediately about Christianity, etc.

I say all this to give you a small glimpse of what Tony has to endure for 26 days. He said their days are comprised of basically 4 things (eat, sleep, meetings and smoke breaks, repeated over and over) It is against the rules to talk to a female, let alone even look at one without getting written up, so all Tony has for fellowship are the other guys who are there, of which none share the victory that Tony has in Jesus Christ. So a friend is not to be found and as a new follower of Christ, Tony is basically alone.

We, the body of Christ, have the unique opportunity to have a tremendous impact on our brother in Christ these new two weeks. Some of you have written letters or sent cards to Tony and what a difference that has made. Not even 5 minutes into our conversation with Tony, he pulled a folded-over pile of cards out of his pocket that some of you have sent. Some people he knew, some he didn't....but honestly it did not matter one bit. Each card spoke one consistent message loud and clear: Tony, we love you, we are praying for you, and we are here for you....and he kept those words literally on him all day long.

Some of you may not know Tony at all and that is okay because in some ways, your words of encouragement to Tony mean more than the rest of us that do know him. You see, to this day Tony is still blown away by the fact that he literally stumbled into Greer High School one Sunday morning and found God. And he is just as blown away that someone he doesn't know would care enough about him to send a card or a note encouraging him. We simply do not realize the power we possess as followers of Christ to breathe life into a dark world. The world Tony has to live in for 26 days is dark but you have the power to give him the hope he needs to survive each day, keeping his mind clear of the spiritual warfare that surrounds him.

If you have not yet sent a note or card to Tony, please consider doing so. If you have already sent one, send another. Your words of encouragement and prayers cannot be measured in their level of importance to Tony. They are truly the food that he hungers for spiritually and will sustain him through this test of faith, patience and endurance.

I'll leave you with this, when we drove into the parking lot of Holmesview Sunday afternoon, Tony was standing at the window waiting. Scott told him Wednesday that all 5 of us would be there Sunday and Tony told the people who worked there that he had 5 sponsors (not just 1) and all 5 of his sponsors would be there Sunday afternoon. God has used the body of Christ at Freedom Fellowship to make an eternal difference in the life of Tony White. Your prayers are priceless, your love is unconditional, and your words of encouragement to Tony are keeping him alive throughout these 26 days.

Thank you in advance for sending cards, notes and letters in the coming days. Tony's last day is August 8th, so from now till then let's send him reminders of how much we love him, care about him and are praying for him. Here is the address one more time:


3799 Old Easley Bridge Rd.

Greenville, SC 29611

Attn: Tony White

BTW: Feel free to send this email to anyone in the church I may have missed that would be willing to pray for Tony and send a card. God bless, -Dan, Scott, Jimmy, Rocky & Ray

Please consider lifting Tony in your prayers as he struggles with finishing his course of rehab and continues his walk with Jesus. Even better, send him a card encouraging him in his course.

Miles comes home from camp today. We are all ready to see him. This is the longest Tricia and I have ever gone without speaking to him. I know he has enjoyed himself. It's amazing that he is already at this stage of life. Dylan is ready for his turn next week too. Dylan's birthday party is tomorrow. It's a Ben 10 theme and we will have about 10 6-10 year olds here for a few hours. Shouldn't be boring!!!

Check out my cool storage shelves I put up with Charles Lamb last night.

They are super strong and I can walk on them without problems. The garage is looking great and I can park the van and walk around the back and front of the van (with the door closed). Sorry, but Keller still has to stay in the yard. Well, gotta get back to work. See ya!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Father's Day 2008 Picture

Our friend, Jeanne Brown from Freedom, took pictures on Father's Day. I really like this picture. Thanks Jeanne!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rush in Review

What a fantastic night of music on Sunday. The band was engaged and somehow more "on" than usual. Geddy's voice is still hanging in there despite this being the end of the tour. Note for note they were tight and the energy from the crowd and the stage was electric. Miles had the time of his life, he was dancing and singing to the tunes. He was so proud of his "Hold Your Fire" tour shirt and he got a lot of compliments on it as well. We also got a new tour 2008 shirt too for him along with a cool poster and tour book. The poster is now laminated and up in the hang out room. It looks great.

Some of the highlights in the 1st set were "Digital Man", "Ghost of a Chance" and "Between The Wheels". I think I could listen to those every night and never get tired. 2nd set started with "Far Cry" with the dragon fire pyrotechnical display. They changed the set break video from the last tour which really made the 2 different tours stand alone. The set list was close to the last tour but some gems like "The Trees" and "2112: The Overture" back in the mix. Although the tour is heavy on the new stuff, you can't discount the band for maintaining a fresh outlook and not just giving you the standard greatest hits package. I mean, come on, after 34 years on the road, they could play just the hits and long run over time. But, they pick and choose as they see fit. "Natural Science" and "Witch Hunt" were also standouts in the 2nd set. The new tune "Spindrift" got my attention this tour and I may have overlooked that tune from the latest album. See, their strategy does work :-)

So, I was all set to talk to Miles about "Passage To Bangkok" and the reefer madness bit and they go and show just the band playing during that tune. The pot references were stuck in the middle of the tune and I don't even think Miles was looking at the screen for those quick 15 seconds of footage (and it was fast moving too). So, when I asked him about it on the way home, he said he didn't catch that because he was dancin' with his eyes closed during Alex's solo. Oh well, save that for later. But, we did have the first real "sex" talk on the way to the show on Sunday. I figured since we had a good 1 1/2 hours alone, we might as well start talking about it this year. It was more me talking and him looking at me like I was crazy but I feel like it really opened a dialogue for us and I assured him that I wanted him to know that I was there as a source of info and wanted him to be open with me and that that would save him a great deal of trouble and possibly some regret later. I stressed monogamy and marriage and we talked about STDs and that type of thing. But, the anatomy stuff really kinda caught him off guard. It won't be the last discussion on the matter, I'm sure. So, one conversation postponed, another started.
Overall, it was a great concert to enjoy with Miles. He said it was the best ever for him. I know how he feels.

Miles is now up at Camp McCall and will be back home on Friday. He has some friends from Alice Drive in Sumter in his cabin too. He also has buddies from Freedom up there this week too. So, I know he is having a blast and will be very tired on Friday. Dylan is enjoying the 1:1 time, except at night when he is looking for someone to sleep next to and Shadow doesn't count, according to Dylan. On a good note, our neighbor, Calvin has decided to be friends with Miles and Dylan again. Tricia and Dylan took some homemade treats over to their house on Sunday and Dylan asked if they could be friends again. So, now Dylan is enjoying playing again with Calvin. Of course, Nick (lives behind us) has been over just about everyday or Dylan over there everyday. As Dylan's parents, we really appreciate having close buddies near the same age as Dylan. Actually, both of the boys are older than Dylan but he keeps up with them and they seem age appropriate for the most part. I think having Miles as an older brother helps Dylan more than these other boys who don't have an older brother or sister.

Speaking of older brothers or sisters, I don't think I posted that Tricia is now an aunt again. Her brother's wife had another son last week. Little Dominic Edwards came into the world last week in Sandusky, Ohio. Everyone is doing great and now that makes 7 grandchildren on that side: 6 boys and 1 girl. Poor grandma better keep working to pay for all those Christmas presents!!!
Tomorrow I am working in the garage with my buddy from church, Charles Lamb. We are going to put in some seriously strong shelves suspended from the garage ceiling with chain. It will make a ton more room in there and clear the clutter. I am waiting on the temperature to cool right now so I can start moving things out of the way. I made the big trip to Lowe's last night and got the necessary supplies and lumber. He has the same system in his garage and I was impressed at the strength of the system. Makes good use of wasted space too.

I am out the door to walk on the trail in the shade of the trees with Tricia and Keller while the temps cool some (it's still close to 100F). Stay cool!!!

See ya!

Dance = Smiles

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Favorite Tune

Between The Wheels
on Blackberry

Rush Now

Well, here we are. The sun is hot and high in the sky. We are dead center at the front of the lawn, smiles and high fives abound. This is what summer time means to me. Or is it summertime, one word that means something so much more than the sum of the two? I don't know but I do know I am so pumped for the next few hours of music under the sky and stars with good friends, my son and my heroes. More later!!!

See ya!
on Blackberry

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Just hanging out today and working around the house, inside and outside.

I went to a very cool workshop this morning over in Spartanburg put on by Upstate Forever for rain barrels. It's a very cool way to collect rain water to use for your lawn and garden plants. The rain barrels are actually recycled pickle barrels from Del Monte or some company like that. The usual cost is around $100 but I got this one as part of the workshop for $50. I am going to put it in the backyard later next week. It will also slow down some of the erosion in our yard that we are working on as well.

Miles and Tricia are packing for camp. He goes to Camp McCall on Monday morning. I am taking him up to camp after we get back from the Rush show. We are spending the night in Charlotte with my good buddy, Matt Hopkins. Then, Miles and I are going to hit the breakfast and showers before heading back to Greer to pick up the camp supplies and head to the mountains. I really don't know which he is more excited about: Rush or camp but it's cool they are back to back, so a big weekend and week for him. Hard for me to believe he is old enough to head off to camp for a week by himself. If he makes it home with any clothes and his retainer (+ case) it will be a miracle. Luckily, he has been to Camp McCall twice with me as part of the Dad and Lad camp but this is his first time alone...anywhere for this long. It's going to be an amazing week for him.

Dylan and I head to Camp McCall the following week as part of Dad and Lad (through 3rd grade you go with Dad). He has listened to Miles talk about Camp McCall for so long and it's finally his turn! I think it's such a great idea to go with Dad for a few years to learn the camp and get to know the site and the staff. Makes the transition to Crusader (when they go alone) so much easier on everybody involved. Miles is looking forward to the big slide into the lake, the zip lines, the hikes to the waterfalls... the list goes on and on.

Back to the Rush show... Miles is about 6 feet off the ground in excitement about this show. We are leaving tomorrow after church (and a nap for me :-)). This will be the 7th time I have seen Rush since 1989 and it's very special to finally take Miles to see a band that has meant so much to me over the years and kept me sane and alive at times too. Their message is very uplifting and focused on who we are and what we can do here and now. It's amazing to think I first saw them 21 years ago as a high school senior. I have changed and they have changed but it's always for the best. To have Miles there with me and to know how much he is into the band is a great feeling because I know it will serve him well as he grows into a man. Of course, the 1970's were rough on everyone and Rush does have 1 tune, "A Passage to Bangkok" (out of all the tunes on over 30 albums) that references pot smoking. It's going to be part of the encore if the setlist holds true. They also show some old Reefer Madness video on the screens with this tune. It's all tongue and cheek for them but it will also be an opportunity for me to continue talking to Miles about choices he will have to make as an adult. I want him to be informed and armed with education, not hide his head in the sand. So, pray for my words to be the right ones. We are going to have some fun and learn a little too.
The 1970's


To quote "New World Man" from their 1982 Signals album:

He's got a problem with his poisons
But you know hell find a cure
Hes cleaning up his systems
To keep his nature pure

Well, that was a heavy topic for me. I need to take a break and enjoy a lazy summer Saturday afternoon at home with the family. More on the show later!

See ya!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Working from the beach

The boys are with Nana and we are at the beach. Life is GOOD. See ya!
on Blackberry

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not a good place for a bee sting

It's not what you think!! Dylan didn't hit him. He was under the back deck trying to get the soccer ball and got a couple of stings to the cheek and eye. Ouch!
on Blackberry

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday night in Greater Greer

It's a hot and humid Saturday night in Greater Greer.

Watching the Allgood Music Festival on iClips. It's THE Big Jam Band festival. Thought about going but the crowds and the heat don't suit me these days. But, I am enjoying watching Widespread Panic on stage right now. Jimmy Herring is a great addition to that band. Maybe I will see them again down the road, it's been a few years.

We went to see a great movie today, WALL-E. It's a Pixar animation movie about the future and a lonely robot who falls in love with a search droid. Miles had read the book and told us all about it, so we went and we all enjoyed it. They also saw Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D yesterday with friends from church. All 3 of them were excited about that and all said "It was AWESOME". I stayed awake for the whole movie today! I did take a nap before the movie this time.

I got home from Tennessee last night around 10pm. That's the main reason I took that nap. Two days of all day training a new site and then the 5 hour travel made me low on fuel. We turn around and do it again next week as we head to Myrtle Beach. I am training a site about 20 miles from North Myrtle Beach in the boonies and Tricia is going to hang out and shop while we are down there. Should be fun and interesting. Miles and Dylan are going to hang with Nana and Drew/Carley.

Put new strings on the acoustic today. I will forever love that sound of new strings. Any open chord sounds like magic. I got a strap for the bass this week and have put more into that since I can now stand and play and work on the funk :-)

Well, back to the festival online. We are planning to just hang out tomorrow and enjoy the day.
I see a creek swim for Keller in the plans too!

See ya!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I am in Crossville for the next 2 days working at Cumberland Medical Center. It was a wet and stormy drive over the mountains yesterday; but, it was a beautiful drive. I had forgotten that those really are mountains! The gorges and hills in the misty fog and rain were amazingly beautiful. God is awesome!
I made it to the hotel, did some work and headed out to find the hospital. No problem there and only a few miles from the hotel. Crossville kinda reminds me of some of the small towns in South Carolina. Looks and feels about the size of Camden or Sumter with an old downtown section with the hardware stores and beauty salons. Then there is the area near Interstate 40 that has the usual Wal-Mart and every strip mall eatery in the region. I did notice some large plants (that looked fairly new and modern) near the interstate; so, maybe that is where the jobs are around here.
Well, time for coffee and out the door. If you are reading this and playing Scrabulous with me on Facebook, it's your turn!

See ya!

Ugh!!!! I just figured out these guys are CENTRAL time. I was wondering why my wake-up call came at 7am instead of the requested 6am. Duh! I guess I can doze a little and watch TV or read after I get some breakfast downstairs. Better early than late!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

If the Thunder don't get ya, the Lightning will

This picture shows one of the reasons why I don't have phone or dsl this morning. The tree was struck by lightning with the thunder so loud it knocked pictures off the wall on our bedroom. It's right next to the back fence and the fork in the tree spared the fence. It was a major storm. But, the blackberry still works!!!

I have to drive to Tennessee today for work and I have my fingers crossed for good weather; but, the forecast says otherwise. Tricia and the boys are looking for clear skies too as they continue VBS outside at Lake Robinson. So far, so good with VBS this week- check out Cliff Marshall's blog for more on VBS (look in the links). Well, my thumbs hurt!

See ya!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Post Reunion Blues and the "Egg in the Snake"

Wow! Somehow I survived the frontal assault on my stomach yesterday. We started out with Mom's biscuits (butter and apple butter with a dash of brown sugar for good luck) and coffee. That lead to hamburgers and hot dog snack for a late lunch. That was soon followed by the 2nd 7-churn round of homemade ice cream. The banana remained a top contender but I think the strawberry and peach made some serious ground on Saturday's round. I ate way too much ice cream; but, so did everyone else. Here's a picture from Friday to give some idea of the setup and the associated frenzy.

We then swam some more and hung with the family under the live oaks with the big industrial sized yard fans making a breeze keep the gnats at bay. It was warm and humid and the pool felt great even if there were 30 people in there at one time.

For the weekend, I was one of the monster adults who had to fight off 5 to 6 boys (and an occasional tough girl) under 10. It can be exhausting after about 15 minutes of swimming and throwing kids into the air. I remember sinking to the bottom of the shallow end and just listening to the sounds of so many kids in the pool having the times of their young lives. It was then I thought about all the boys in the pool and was so glad to know chlorine is a powerful chemical!

After trying to swim off some of the ice cream the hour we all waited for arrived! Time for the swine on which to dine. Once again, Uncle Marion McLeod came through with a fine feast of pork and sauce. We had all the fixin's possible including Tricia's great crunchy broccoli cole slaw. It was here that I made my first mistake of the weekend. I decided that since the first plate was so good, that the 2nd would have to be twice the reward. Well, I got twice the case of stuffed abdomen. It took a few laps around the farm, 2 Pepcid Completes and some cool air conditioner to get me straight. Boy, I hadn't done that in a while, maybe I will learn next time that the formula for that disaster was printed in the sky all weekend. I took a good nap and then we exploded (best term available) the remainder of the fireworks for the weekend.

We made it to Alice Drive for the 11am service this morning but not before a round of orange dannish and cinamon rolls at Mom's place. I had a brief spell on the way down the long drive way sipping coffee and retrieving the Sunday paper. If I didn't eat a bite for 2 days, I would be fine. But, of course, after a great visit to Alice Drive, we had a big spaghetti lunch and I had two plates and a little more BBQ. My scheduled Sunday afternoon nap was a great opportunity for Miles and Dylan to swim more with their cousins. Of course, this was also another opportunity for more homemade ice cream. Mom threw together a batch of chocolate and a batch of peach for the afternoon. It was the best of the weekend if you ask me (and I know you did).

As we were sitting around under the oaks saying our goodbyes and talking about the weekend, some of the boys playing over by chicken pen excitedly began to report they had found a snake in the egg nests of the coop. Of course, snakes are a favorite interest to boys of all ages, especially on the farm. Once we all got in there, we saw it wasn't a poisionous snake but a very large garter snake. But, the coolest thing was that it had an egg already swallowed. Robert Calcutt, my brother-in-law, got the snake out by the head and into the yard for all to see the snake with the egg in its stomach. By this time, all the boys were in a frenzy wanting to kill it. Tricia was doing a mighty fine version of the chicken dance due her high state of nervousness around snakes of any kind, much less one in the flesh with an egg bluging from the side. To our sheer delight, Robert moved position on the snake and the snake began to unhinge it's jaws and the egg made it's way out, completely intact. Miles and Dylan were enjoying the show along with the rest of us. Tricia, by this time, was on the verge of "falling out" and was running into anyone within 5 feet of her dance. It was a site to behold for all. Once the egg was out, that was the sign for "let's kill this snake now". Any boy with a stick or club or rock had free reign on this poor reptile's head. Within five minutes, he was headless squirming coil on the sandy floor of the big tractor barn.

Now, where else can you get that kind of fun for free? My only regret was not having a camera. It would have made a great video with the snake in the foreground and Tricia jumping around in circles in the background. Miles and Dylan got to see it up close, so it was something we will laugh about for many years to come. "Remember that snake with the egg in it's belly?"... "yeah, remember how much Mommy was dancin' around while it threw up the egg?"

We finally got the boys rounded up and calmed and then we got in the van and head home. We had a long band of storms for the drive but made it home around 9pm.

Keller was happy to receive his prize for the weekend, a leg from the hog (feet included). I also have another bone once he's done with that one. Shadow had another earful for us once we got home too. But, he was glad to see us. I'm glad to be home again and ready for a full week. A week that will take me to Tennessee for work and a week of VBS for Tricia and the boys. I hope you had the kind of fun we had this weekend in your own way, with good friends and family. I was proud of how my family got along so well this weekend. We might be rough around the edges on some branches of the family tree but its a mighty tall tree with lots of branches. Granny and Grandpa Charles would be proud of their children and their children's children... Remember to thank those who make the freedoms we enjoy, so easy to enjoy.

See ya!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


So far, so good. A very big crowd yesterday for the 4th. We had hamburgers and hotdogs (what else could you possibly serve for the 4th in South?). We then had 7 churns of homemade ice cream for dessert. The banana was the best for me. Then for the night finale before the huge thunderstorms rolled in, we set off a very large amount of fireworks. My Mom rents the house I grew up in to a woman who works for a fireworks distributor/factory. She pays her rent in the months of July and December with fireworks, sometimes partially and sometimes, like last night, in full. Needless to say, we had a ton of fireworks! It was a blast (pun intended).

Today is round 2 which will include a full hog BBQ (with an extra special spicey pineapple sauce that my uncle has PERFECTED) and more ice cream (of course). The boys will get a few more hours logged in the pool. I think I counted no less than 25 in the pool at one time yesterday afternoon. That included many with floaties on their arms and some who didn't need to be wearing that bathing suit in public.

We spent the night in Sumter with my cousin, Sally. She is a nurse manager at Tuomey, where I worked from 2000 to 2007. She is actually my cousin on both sides of my family as my Dad and his first cousin married two sisters (my Mom and her sister, who is the mother of Julie Ann, Michael, and Sally). I thought I would share that since it best illustrates what a redneck family reunion in south Sumter county is all about! Praise Jesus and pass the BBQ!

See ya!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


My updated office wall part 1
on BlackBerry

Summer Holidaze

Well, Keller survived and even went for a long walk with me this morning without any attitude. I think he slept under the deck and not in the dogloo but he'll figure it out (maybe). Hey, I'm not sure if you noticed or not but I posted that last post yesterday from my Blackberry. It's cool to be able to do that and now I have to figure out how to send pictures and postings at the same time to the blog from my Blackberry.
We are heading to Sumter tomorrow for the big reunion and the neighbors are watching after Keller again. He is looking forward to his play time with their 4 dogs. I'm sure he will tell them about how we have kicked him out of the garage.

Couple of quick random music thoughts:
1. The new Drive By Truckers' CD Brighter Than Creation's Dark could be some of the best music I have heard in a long,long time. I have had it in constant rotation for a few weeks and it's in my blood and in my head all the time now. It's got Neil Young gone to Georgia written all over it!
2. I downloaded another cool tune (heard it on WNCW first- of course) from Kathleen Edwards called "Run". Of course it's not my mother-in-law but it is great music. It was free thanks to Pepsi Points too!
3. Also, downloaded some free (Amazon Pepsi Points again) Otis Taylor this week. Recapturing the Banjo takes the banjo back to Africa and then to Neptune and back! Wow! Great stuff!
4. Nothing beats "Jessica" by the Allman Brothers when walking with the dog in the woods on an early July morning in South Carolina.
5. I still get a kick out of Van Halen. Downloaded some of Diver Down last week and have found myself cranking it up!
6. Lynyrd Skynyrd remains great music, despite the fact that I have never seen the world in the same view as some of their fans. I should clarify and say "classic" LS, not the WWF version that runs around today playing the same old tunes and waving the Confederate flag in your face. It's funny, we tuned into the classic rock station the other night and they had a twofer Tuesday going from LS. I was singing at the top of my lungs and Tricia made the comment "I'm surprised you don't listen to them more often". She didn't hear me playing them just that same afternoon in my office. Not sure if she knows all of their tunes either. Miles told me "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" sounded like Jerry Garcia Band and the Allman Brothers. He's a smart little fella!
7. Speaking of Miles, I got out my 1987 (I can hardly believe that) Rush tshirt from my first Rush tour. I actually tye dyed it as a freshman at Clemson back in 1989. I am going to let him wear it to the show coming up on July 20th. He doesn't know that yet and it's going to be such a treat. He is talking to anyone who will listen about that upcoming Rush show. The shirt was up in the attic storage. Tricia won't let me wear it as it looks a little tight (well, a lot). Can't wait for that show.
8. More music posters make my office look even cooler than before! Thanks Tricia for making me take them out of the hang out room. You rock!

Ok, back to work. Breaks over. I wish you a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

See ya!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Garage

Well, Keller has a new dogloo from Pet Smart. It's big enough for me
to crawl in there; so you know it's good for Keller. We think we have
a good spot by the back deck that should work good. Tonight will be a
good test for him (and us). I think he has figured out that is his
new home and that the garage is closed. The head butt to the closed
doggie door is a BIG clue.

More tomorrow! See ya!

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

Dead Squirrel Meat

Tricia and I went for a walk this morning with Keller. As we were coming back home off the trail, I spied a dead squirrel that had just been hit by a car. It wasn't there on the way to the trail, so it was fresh. I said out loud "that looks like a dead squirrel". I could have testified that Tricia heard me and made some motion or sound of acknowledgement. Of course, Keller didn't see the squirrel until we were right on top of it. At that point, he pounced forward and grabbed the squirrel in his mouth. At the same time, Tricia shreaks "Oh My gosh!" and jumps back in complete surprise. It was as if I had never said a word and she accuses me of ignoring her!
Well, Keller was just too proud of himself as he strutted home with the dead squirrel in his mouth like some mighty hunting dog. He was so proud and also a little weary of us looking at his prize and not willing to let us get close. He has been in the back yard running up and down the hill, tossing the poor dead squirrel into the air and trying to practice his hunting and killing skills. I don't have the heart to tell him that the squirrel is dead.
Speaking of hunting dogs that live in the yard...Keller secured a new dog house in the yard last night by continuing to scratch at the garage door (it's styrofoam and can't withstand dog claws for long). Tricia and I decided that was the final impetus we needed to make the move we had discussed about moving Keller to the yard now that he is no longer a pup. Given he has plenty of shade under the back deck and the trees on the hills, we are going to close the doggie door for Keller. He will be allowed to come in for bad weather and cold nights but the free pass to take over the garage is over. The new van needs the garage more than he does at this point. Don't feel bad for him, he will still be allowed to come inside the garage and house as needed. He will still get treats and walks with us. He's a dog and a part of the family but he is also a dog with big paws, large teeth and a full fur coat. We will be shopping for a dog house today. Just think, he can chase squirrels in the back yard all day now!

See ya!

P.S. Oh yeah, I got a new wireless printer for Tricia's new upstairs office last night. It just amazes me that I can use that thing from downstairs via the wireless network. Once the settings are made, you just need a place to plug in the power cord. Very cool and it's the HP All-In-One type. Very cool! Just a neat gadget toy for me (and Tricia). Hey, we also had some nice chilly temps last night, we set records for low temps and it was very nice and cool to sit outside and eat ice cream at the Village on Woodruff Road and watch the sunset. It's the little things that make this life so amazing!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home Again

Well, we made it home on Saturday night around 9pm after an all day journey South. I think we left around 8am but we had a 2 hour stop in Beckley, WV for lunch and then stopped in Gaffney at Zaxby's for supper under the shadow of the Peachoid. We also picked up some more Peach cider at Abbott's while we were there (just to make us feel more at home too!)

It was so good just to sit on the porch and relax with a cold beer after that long ride. The breeze was blowing in the trees across the street by the creek and the neighborhood was so quiet. It reminded me how much I really love the comforts of home and how much we have been blessed here in the Upstate.

I also feel so blessed to have been able to work all week from Ohio without taking any vacation. It required just a small amount of coordination on my part for the job. I had broadband and the cellphone and was able to easily handle working all week which was good since I was also covering the Left Coast while another consultant is in Mexico on vacation. Tricia got to spend some good down time with her sister and boys, just hanging out and enjoying the summer. I think this will be a trend for us since she will have summers off as a teacher.

July is going to be very busy. We have a BIG family reunion in Sumter this 4th of July weekend (BBQ and homemade ice cream, my 2 favorite food groups) and I have to train 2 new sites in July. One of the new sites is near Knoxville and I will be gone there while Tricia and the boys do Vacation Bible School at Lake Robinson park around the corner from home. Then, I have another new site near North Myrtle Beach. Tricia is going to stay with me at the hotel while I am there. The boys will be in Sumter or Columbia with my Mom. We are also going to schedule a fun day at Carowinds Park with the boys and family in July and a few trips to Sliding Rock are on the agenda too. I know the month will fly by.

Keller is actually sitting here next to me in the office today. He lost his mind last night and scratched a fist-sized hole in the garage door. Not sure if there was something outside the door as he has never even bothered the door. Of course, it's nothing more than styrofoam but he's treading on thin ice. So, I'm keeping an eye on him today :-) He got an ear full, I can promise you that! He's been pretty good with the garage, not sure what that was all about, hoping he got the message too. Shadow doesn't know Keller is inside yet (I won't tell him).

We have been down to the creek by the trail with Keller every afternoon since we got home. He just jumps right in and lays in the water with a big smile on his face. That cool sand and water hits the spot. Of course, he waits until he is right next to you, regardless of where you are, before he shakes off the water (starting at the head and working back to the tail like a funky dance). He wants to share the cool water, I'm sure!

Tricia has been busy rearranging the hang out room upstairs this week. She is making it so she can do her crafts and school work in there. That will help us all once school starts. We have a huge multiple purpose desk that she is getting arranged just right. It also meant I had to take down some posters from the hang out room; but, it also meant I could decorate the office with a little more rock and roll flair. It's still in progress and looking good (the hang out room and the office). Ok, I'll stop there. I missed posting on my blog and my full-sized keyboard too!

Just know we LOVE you and God does too!