Thursday, August 28, 2008

Window on the world

Some of you have requested more landscape photos taken from the window of a jetliner, so I have finally gotten around to selecting some of my unpublished favorites. I hope you like 'em and understand why I always request a window seat.

Provo, Utah

Mississippi River

Gooseberry Mesa, Utah

Jacksonville, Florida

Colorado River, Utah

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Delta of the Mississippi River in Louisiana

Cliffs above Orderville, Utah

Rockville, Utah

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taxes are voluntary

If you've got about five minutes to spare this snippet from an interview with U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid presents a crystal clear picture how to be a consummate straight faced liar. It'll also cause you to double over in laughter (at least it did for me) as well as clue you in to what our masters in DC really think of our intelligence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Among the many wonderful amenities and pleasures of being a citizen of Chattanooga, Tennessee is the fact that I can walk to nearby AT & T Field and take in a minor league baseball game on a warm summer's night. Every Tuesday I can use my Bi-Lo grocery store discount card and get in for $2! Such a deal!

The Chattanooga Lookouts are a AA franchise of the Southern League and a farm team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds. The stadium is situated on a bluff above the Tennessee River that affords expansive views of the surrounding mountains and ridges as well as the North Shore district of Chattanooga where we live.

The team has two, count 'em two, mascots: Lookout Looie and Slider, who regularly make the rounds in the stands and perform the Chicken Dance atop the home team dugout during the bottom of the fourth inning. What more could one ask for the price of general admission?

Lookout Looie

Last night the Lookouts pitcher Travis Wood lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth inning but still prevailed with a 3-1 win over the Jacksonville Suns. A great time was had by all, including me.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Dawgs Are #1

Georgia cheerleaders with Hairy Dawg in Sanford Stadium

The Georgia Bulldogs are the #1 ranked team in college football according to the AP. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a jinx. After all the SEC ain't no Saturday picnic in the park like the Big or the ACC.

Personally I think Florida has as good a shot at the SEC East title as the Dawgs and can see Auburn emerging from the brawl that is the SEC West with a champions crown upon their head (with apologies to my dear friend Darrell who loyally bleeds Crimson for the Tide).

It should be an interesting campaign this year and I think everyone should keep an eye out for Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. I see them winning games that nobody expects them to win and generally upsetting the apple cart of teams tempted to take these two feisty programs a tad too lightly.

Can't wait for the season to start. See y'all in the stands! [www_nytimes_com]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A quick jaunt into the Smokies

We live in a beautiful part of the country and it has been a lot of fun exploring the many parks and preserves located within about a two-hour drive of our home. So far, some of our favorites include Cloudland Canyon State Park in nearby Georgia as well as Frozen Head State Park and Falls Creek Falls here in Tennessee.

Yesterday we took a short trek up the drainage of Abrams Creek which is located in a wild and remote corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Reputedly the most heavily visited national park in the U.S., it would have been hard to glean that impression from where we had chosen to hike.

After setting out from the Abrams Creek campground, under unbelievably tall hemlocks, we followed the densely forested Cooper Road to the Little Bottom Trail which led us up and over a very steep ridge and then down into the valley of Abrams Creek. During our entire time on the trail we saw no one else, not even old footprints. I took a lengthy dip in the cool refreshing waters until I couldn't stand all of the nips and bites I was getting from the multitudes of fish that inhabit this stream. My wife said it proved that at least the water was very clean.

Enveloped in the depths of the Smokies

The Smokies are a real treat for those who love their nature wild and omnipresent. I can't wait until we set out again to explore this magnificent mountain range in the Fall when the leaves will be turning beautiful colors and SEC football will be blaring from the radio in our campsite. I'm sure my wife can't wait for that either.

Tall hemlocks along the Cooper Road

Steep uphill grade

View of the Abrams Creek drainage

Little Bottom Trail

Abrams Creek

Back down the ridge

Vonore, Tennessee

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Green hills of home

We spent the past weekend visiting relatives in Kentucky and decided to return to Chattanooga on back roads to see what we could see in the beautiful Cumberland Plateau country that is now our new home. I'm happy to report that many of the old ways of life still stubbornly persist and I saw many more Confederate flags waving along U.S. 27 than I ever expected to find in this section of Dixie but still dutifully saluted each one as I passed.

Rugby, Tennessee

Butterfly outside Lost River Cave
Warren County, Kentucky

Clear Fork River
Morgan County, TN

An ancient barn
Simpson County, KY

Forbus General Store
Forbus, TN

Whittling away the day on the front porch of the Forbus General Store

Mennonite produce market
Allen County, KY

Laurel Dale Cemetery
Rugby, TN

Kentucky girls