Friday, December 30, 2011

Heading into to the new year

Howdy. I see it's been a while since I last posted, and I have SEVERAL things to talk about, so I think I'll use this post as a teaser or maybe a table of contents. Of course the real reason is so I don't forget to mention some things... :-)

So - in no particular order...

Few days in Nashville
New stage shirts
New boots for Vanessa
Joes crab shack
Don Schlitz at bluebird cafe
Yamaha FG-180 from pawn shop
Helping a young songwriter
Woodie Guthrie & his new years notes
My personal music goals
Writers nights in Dyersburg
Jimmy Hopper

As usual, comments are appreciated and if you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Riding With Daddy

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, and I do apologize. I've ben busy with music (as well as business stuff) and have done some exciting things!

I wanted to post a link to another song that I wrote, but I wanted to take more than 140 characters to talk about it, hence this here blog post. :-)

First, I want to mention that I was fortunate enough to be in Nashville on a Monday night and got to play open mic night at the Bluebird Cafe. I was honored to just be there, then to share the microphone, but then to get a good response to my song and to make some new 'music friends...' It was truly awesome!

At any rate, I had this song written before then, but had not taken time to put in on tape, so to speak. This is, like my others, just a rough recording with a snowball microphone into GarageBand on my laptop. Nothing fancy, and I even had to stop for a minute while Vanessa's Halls pager went through it's 5 PM test cycle. :-)

I wanted to talk just a little about the creation of this song. I want to specifically thank Mr. Adam Levy - a wonderful singer/songwriter/guitarist who I've mentioned here before. I was going through one of the exercises that he mentioned in a blog post when I just started getting these words out and on paper - I almost couldn't stop, but at the same time it touched me so deep down inside that I had to step away from it...

The exercise? Take a song that you like and write the first line, then let your imagination (and subconscious) go wild and just write down as many lines as you can that match the tempo, etc. and just see where it goes. Well it went in about three different directions but when it kept coming back to my dad, who's now deceased, it was just a little too much for me, so I had to stop and put it aside. I then tried to change gears in my mind and that's when I literally wrote "the Pepsi song" in about 25 minutes. I really think my creative juices were flowing and that's what came out.

Anyway - fast forward a couple of months. I am trying another exercise that Adam (@stringjuggler on Twitter) mentioned and I wasn't really getting anything, but I pulled the notes to THIS song back out and it just started popping into place. I actually wrote probably two pages worth of "dialogue" and this is what it condensed to.

You'll probably notice right away that the song sounds a little like Paradise by John Prine. That's the song I started with on the exercise. I really feel that my melody (and especially the chord progression) changes drastically enough to not be a "copy" or even a "version," but that it still pays tribute to the song that influenced it. Family members, and long time readers, will remember that Vanessa and I sang Paradise for daddy's memorial service.

So - that's this song in a nutshell. It's all true (except one line, but I won't tell you which one and you'll never guess it anyway - and per Mr. Levy it's "close enough" to be true - it's true in spirit) and it's all from the heart. Hope you enjoy...

Follow the link below to my ReverbNation page - the name of the song is "Riding With Daddy"

Comments appreciated, and feel free to repost...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

next level

I've been thinking long and hard about this subject, and I've come to a conclusion... I'm ready for the next level (nod to Bobby Jack here).

As I've said before, I pour everything into it when I'm performing. As I've learned to sing, I've learned that it's the best way to relate to the song, to the dancers, etc. The more I put into it the more it shows and comes out.

Well, part of my singing has been to stretch myself. I've already expanded my singing range, and I've also expanded my repertoire. I have expanded my playing, as I said in the last post, as well, and am proud of that. I don't want to stop growing and learning, but at the same time I feel like there's only so much I can do with the group at Halls.

Now let me make this clear. I am not taking anything away from the musicians there or their abilities, but at the same time I don't think there's a lot more they can do. I've done this enough lately to realize that I still have a lot of maturing and growing, but the upside is that I'm still improving. To do so, though, you have to be challenged.

I feel like I've challenged myself with some newer songs and such, but I feel like the crowd is paying the price for it. If the band would get together and practice from the to time I think we could do so much more. But at the same time I don't know that they really care if they do more or not. And if the crowd is happy with the same songs, etc. then perhaps I need to back off of trying to push TOO hard too much and too fast...

So, I think for the near future I'm going to work on doing the songs that I've been doing and try to do them to the best of my ability. I want to still do my best but I think I'm going to go easy on the "new" stuff on Fridays. I'm still going to work on them for myself, of course, and keep doing stuff and trying to improve. Maybe one day we'll get a chance to work on some things, or I may get a chance to move on to another group of pickers and be able to continue to grow.

Either way - I refuse to limit myself, but at the same time I have to think of the crowd. :-)

Sorry - it's late and I'm tired and I feel like I'm rambling, but I wanted to record these thoughts... G'night!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

reflections on an off night

Attention - this is a post about Music. Big surprise huh? :-)

I want to record some feelings I've been having when reflecting on this past Friday night...

First, most of the people there that night probably didn't notice (even a couple of the musicians didn't seem to notice I was struggling, which is a good sign I guess) but I was really struggling. My timing felt off, I was having a little issue with some vocals, I was not "hearing" it while playing some songs that Jimmy Skiles was singing... It was really an off night.

At first I attributed it to being tired as well as being out of my normal groove. I even wondered if it was because my uncle was there, but that wasn't it. I don't get nervous any more and it was a JOY to see Uncle Ronald, so if anything I feel like that would have made it better.

But - having said all that - I've come to the conclusion that the reason I was "off" is because I wasn't feeling it... We usually start with Jimmy Skiles singing a two-step number, then I'll follow with Swingin' Doors. Since I want to continue to expand, I had chosen a new song to do for "number 2" - Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound. It was the first time I'd performed it with the band and it just didn't feel right... So, since I wasn't "feeling it" it didn't come out good enough (to me, it didn't - no one else seemed to notice).

I tried a couple of other songs during the night that I'd been wanting to try and they also didn't sound good to me. I could blame it on the fact that the band hasn't been able to "practice" so if a key is wrong or a beat is wrong you're just kinda stuck with it for that time, then it's a full week before you try it again. I don't work that way - I like to hone my craft. :-)

Anyway, to finish this thought, there were two songs that I felt like pulled me back on track - Bartenders Blues was NOT the best I've ever done it, but it flowed. The one that I feel like I could really look back on and feel good about was The Grand Tour. And the reason? I FELT it... As I've said before, I pour everything into my performances, but I felt like I wasn't able to connect with the songs or the music until that song.

Whew - okay - got that out of my system. :-)

While I have your attention, a quick note (for my own records) that this past week was a time I noticed I've started expanding my guitar picking in a particular way... A few weeks ago on Dueling Banjos I added a couple of notes (16th notes?) to a particular lick in the song. Well I started playing around with Down Yonder and Red Wing and adding some extra 8th & 16th notes to them.

Not a big deal to someone that picks guitar for a living, but I felt like it was a big step for me and helped to reinforce with myself that though I consider myself an "accomplished" player that I still have the ability to learn and raise that ceiling. It also helps to think back on that fact and know that Friday night was a fluke... :-)

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

old post - sunday night journal

Last old post for today... This one from October 25, 2009.

Just a quick note - trying to get back into a daily routine here. :-)

Yesterday’s competition went great! It was a “first year” for that school. We made some decent money to cover our time and they sold many more “extras” than I thought they would! We cut them in for a bigger cut because so many were sold and I’ve already started burning those to mail.

Big week ahead... Tomorrow is Colton’s 16th birthday! He’s getting his license tomorrow, barring any catastrophe. :-) Kyle has some “issues” with his bank that I have to follow up on. Vanessa is studying for her First Responder’s Certification as well. It’s also “denim day” at work. :-)

Tuesday promises to be a more normal day.

Wednesday will be... “different” We’re working on our presentation for TETC so I’ll be out of the office doing that at least for the morning. I’m traveling to Nashville that night for an ENA meeting Thursday and Friday.

Here’s hoping I can keep this blogging thing up... :-)

old post - band geeks

This is a VERY short one from October 24, 2009.

Getting ready to head out to do a side job. Vanessa and I are video taping another school’s band competition. Putting the computer skills to work... :-)

old post - we're going to jackson

Looks like this one is also from the same date - October 23, 2009. I see that I note some parodies I had written before, but I don't remember ever going back and noting the words to them... Perhaps one day I will find them and post them...

Another offline update... Remember, these are as much for me a journal as they are for others to read. :-)

Had a great time while at Summer Institute performing a surprise song... :-) Next year it will be at Liberty High School in Jackson, so we decided to have the promo be something... a little different.

Tangent #1 of ??? - for the past several years I’ve written a song toward the end of the school year. I don’t know all the old words, so I’m recording this one here, and will add the others as I remember.

Cat 5 Cable
Paradise (the Lauderdale version)
White Collar Hollar

Anyway - Lynn Tucker started a BORING Power Point showing details about Jackson. Slides said 1 of 87, 2 of 87, etc. while Vanessa and I were backstage waiting. Finally he said, “you know, there’s a better way to tell you about Jackson...” At this point I start in on the opening notes of Johnny Cash’s Jackson. Vanessa and I come out from behind the curtain and sing...

We got computers for our teachers, bought a bunch of servers too,
We've been needin' Summer Institute, gotta learn just what to do.
I'm goin' to Jackson, not gonna mess around,
Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town.

Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead to Liberty.
Go see your friends you big-talkin' man, learn all about technology,
Yeah, go to Jackson; go comb your hair!
Honey, I'm gonna firewall Jackson.
See if I care.

When I breeze into that city, vendors gonna stoop and bow. (Hah!)
All them technicians gonna make me, teach 'em what they don't know how,
I'm goin' to Jackson, get my wi-fi on.
'Cos I'm goin' to Jackson.
"Liberty here I come."

Well they'll teach you things in Jackson, and I'll be learnin' right by your side.
They'll lead you 'round town like a fast learnin' hound,
They'll take us both for a ride,
Yeah, go to Jackson, you big-talkin' man.
And I'll be waitin' in Jackson, laptop in my hand,

Well now, we got computers for our teachers, bought a bunch of servers too,
We've been needin' Summer Institute, gotta learn just what to do.
We're goin' to Jackson, and that's a fact,
Yeah, we're goin' to Jackson, be smarter comin' back.

The pic above is the handout, plus this address -

old post - music is a muscle

Since I've not posted in a couple of days (not because I've had nothing to say, just haven't stopped to type) I thought I'd post some more "old posts" that need to be archived... This one is from October 23, 2009. Yep - almost 2 years ago. :-)

I would like to comment, first, that I've actually thought back on this post (or at least the meaning behind it) many times lately, especially as I've grown as a vocalist. It's like the more I push myself the more I am able to do.

Anyway - here's the old pic and the old post...

I finally have my inbox under control. For the geeks among you, you might be interested to know that Snow Leopard has some issues with Apple Mail. For a time, I kept getting the same messages downloaded over and over and over and over and... yep - that’s how I felt too. :-)

Anyway - workorders and such are under control at work. Stress (at work anyway) is down somewhat. Things are getting back to the normal level of hecticity.

So - I’m in my inbox just now, working offline and looking through some things, when I see a note I wrote to myself on July 19th - “blog post - music is a muscle”

First, I’m waaaay behind on blog postings, but I’ve decided I’m NOT going to let that be a point of stress in my life. It ain’t worth it. :-)

Second, here’s what I wanted to say about this subject...

Playing music, like an instrument, is apparently much like using muscles in your body. If you don’t use them, they start to atrophy. When you do use them, they grow stronger and you can do even more with them. I experienced something like that at Summer Institute this year I believe...

When we went for our WTETA Picnic/Meeting in May, I took my guitar. Darbin brought his mandolin and Jason brought his bass. We played for a while after the meeting and had a good time, so I took my guitar with me to Summer Institute in July. Two different nights we played in the lobby of the hotel and one day we played during the day.

Now - how is this a muscle? The more I did that week, the more I COULD do. I was playing guitar, but I also played more banjo than I have in a long time and even played the standup bass on a couple of songs. I also felt I could do things that I normally would not be able to do. No, not be an overnight Chet Akins, but it felt natural doing things I would normally back off and say, “no thanks” to.

Bottom line - it felt great! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

dressing and chords shapes

My mother commented on my post from two days ago. She reminded me of the dressing at school. :-)

When I was in Grammer School (what they call Elementary now), I was going through the lunch line and Mrs. Melba asked me if I liked the dressing. I told her it was good, but not as good as my mama's. She NEVER forgot that and even told my mom one day, so that's been a running joke between the three of us.

This past Sunday, we got out to do some errands and since it wasn't too busy at DJ's in Halls, we stopped to see what their hot lunch was. Chicken & Dressing. When I took a bite, I told Vanessa it was good, but wasn't mama's. :-)

Also - I never did go back and tell where I found that Joe Diffe song... People that know my listening habits know I tend to not listen to the plain radio. I prefer podcasts, so I can pause, rewind, etc. There's one I stumbled on that I can't find right now, so I can't tell you the name of it, but it was a "live" thing recorded somewhere in Nashville. It started out pretty good with lots of Bluegrass but after a few episodes it started dropping off. I got to where I'd just skim it. But when Joe was there and talking about "Homecoming" (his new bluegrass album) he did that song. WOW.

Last night Vanessa and I met James & Phyllis and Steve & Elaine for some music making. We had a good time with me on picking rhythm, Vanessa on bass, Steve on rhythm and James on mandolin. James chooses not to sing, the other three of us carried the vocals while Phyllis & Elaine talked quilt making. 

I wanted to touch on two specific things... First, it was almost like old times having another guitar to carry that part of the rhythm while I did some picking. In other venues, there might be another guitar, but mine is still so strong that it carries the rhythm. Not with Steve! He's a great strummer and had no problem carrying it and letting me do some extra picking or even experimenting with chord shapes... 

Which leads me to number 2 - I played around on a song that was in D... I made a normal D but when it came to the A, I made it as if it were an F on the 5th fret, only I left the bottom string open. I liked the "ring" that it gave, so I tried it on the G on the 3rd fret, only this time leaving the third string open. It had a good "ring" to it I thought, and felt good to experiment.

Looking forward to the next time!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

old friends and being available

Okay - now that the song is posted (yesterday's blog), I have some other things to talk about...

First, we're on Fall Break this week. While Kyle was at work yesterday and Colton was with his friends, Vanessa and I went to town to pick up a few things. We stopped at Taco Bell to grab a bite before hitting Wal-Mart and were just about ready to leave when I saw her smile, then someone behind me covered my eyes. My first thought? Okay - this must be someone special, but who?

My eyes were uncovered and it was Jean Tittle ! I look around and there's Hershell at the counter. What a site for sore eyes! (that line reminds me of another song - gotta make sure to add it too...) This was the first time we'd seen them in AGES! We had already finished but moved to their table to sit and talk while they ate. We ended up staying for what had to be an hour or more just talking about old times and what we're all doing now. They talked about their great grandkid and Vanessa talked about our dogs. :-) They've recently lost two pets, which was sad. :-(

We talked about music, of course. When we were with Heaven's Echos years and years ago (more than 20, at the beginning), they were a big part of our lives! They weren't like a father and mother to us, but were more like an aunt and uncle that you really loved spending time with. And those of you that know how much I valued my aunts and uncles will know how large of a statement that is to me.

Anyway, I started by asking Hershell if he was offended by Country music. He said no, and I proceeded to tell him about my Friday night gig... I played his bass some back in the day (when he'd want to concentrate on singing a slow song, usually) so I wanted him to know that I was playing bass all the time and I showed him my callus on my right hand. :-) I also asked him if he'd ever thought he'd think of me as a vocalist. :-)

He said more than once he wished I'd come play with them. They have a piano player only and he said they'd like to have a bass, guitar, mandolin, whatever. I told him I didn't feel led to do that anymore, but that I'd love to sit in and just see what happens. We made sure we had each other's numbers and he said he'd talk to the keyboard player and see what happens.

After we left, I told Vanessa I can see three 'issues' with this... First, if I'm not called into that ministry, it's not the right thing to do - I firmly believe that. Second, I feel like I've really come a long way as a vocalist and I don't think I'm ready to give that up and go back to just being a musician. :-) Third, I'm afraid that it would come down to that OR Country and that they wouldn't 'let' me do both. Now I'm not saying that God won't call me back into that ministry - He did it once before, and He can do whatever He wants of course - but until such a time as that, I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing and having all the fun I can with it.

So - this begs the question - why even pursue that? I've decided that if I'm going to progress in my music that I have to make myself available. I don't believe in coincidences - the fact that we ran into them yesterday means that something bigger is at work here, and I'm not going to turn my back on that. Will something come out of it? I don't know, but I do know that if I close doors I'm cutting myself off, so I'll strive NOT to do that.

Before I go - I found a couple of old scanned pictures of them on their granddaughter's Facebook page. These were, of course, before we met them, but there is no doubt it's them!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Route 5 Box 109

I'm typing this on Sunday afternoon. We attended a surprise birthday party for a friend last night, and got to spend some quality time with a great group of people. They are collectively known as "TUS" - the usual suspects. Had a great time with some great fellowship. There was a fire built and we roasted hotdogs and just enjoyed each other's company. Before the night was over, though, I had taken my little "travel" guitar out and some of us did some singing. I also added some songs to my "songbook" that I use on Friday nights, so it was relaxing and expanding as well.

Okay - Tuesday morning early. Just didn't feel like I had much to say, so the draft above didn't get added to over the last 48 hours, but now I feel like I'm going to bust if I don't share what's on my mind...

I don't want to get too deep in 'catch up' to miss this moment, so I'm going to share this, and THEN I'll do the catch up thing...

Joe Diffe has a song that really struck a chord with me (no pun intended) so I wanted to add it to my repertoire if possible... It's not noted on any of the lyrics sites that I've searched, so I just used Spotify to listen to it and type the lyrics. I still have to go back and flesh out the chord progression, but here's what I'm hearing...


Somewhere outside of Gadsden I saw mama standing in the kitchen
And along about Decatur I started smelling taters and fried chicken
And then a Trooper pulled me over, said if I drive any slower
He was gonna lock me up for killing time.
He said, "boy have you been drinking?" I said, "no sir I's just thinking,
Bout Route 5 Box 109."

I was thinking about red wigglers and a stringer full of brim.
And the sound the king of spades made in the spokes of my old Schwinn.
I was racing Richie Coleman for a Grape Nehi.
Yeah lately I've been thinking 'bout Route 5 Box 109.

I pulled back on the freeway - found a country deejay out of Huntsville.
I called him up just hoping he'd keep my tired eyes open till I reached Nashville.
I talked and he just listened bout the place that I was missing,
Then he left, when he came back on the line.
Said son the switchboard's blinking, you got half of Alabama thinking,
About Route 5, Box 109.

Bout mama's cathead biscuits, Martha White Self Rising Flour.
And getting rabbit ears positioned for Glen Campbell's Good Time Hour.
And the sound of daddy snoring playing Gentle on My Mind.
Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.

And that bed of black eyed susans in a white washed tractor tire.
And a set of threadbare sheets hanging on a clothesline wire.
Mama's bucket full of Pine Sol making sure that we had shine.
Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.

Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.


Okay. This song REALLY gets to me - not sure why, unless it's just the nostalgia factor, but as I was listening and typing the words I kept having to stop and wipe a tear or just flat out stop and sob. This is one of those songs that make me realize why people that don't sing can sit and listen over and over to someone else singing... It really reaches into your heart and pulls at something DEEP down in our souls.

No, not everything in the song is from my memory, but there's enough there that it hits home... We walked the dogs down the road last night and I had to go into the yard where I did a lot of my growing up. You can still see the basketball hoop in the tree (boy it looks closer to the ground now than it did when I was 8) and the bank going up to the road doesn't seem as steep either. :-)

So - looking at the song - my mama spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and some days I'd come home from school and she'd have made tater logs and fried chicken, just like Q-Mart, only better! And as far as a Route, anyone from the South knows that before numbers on roads (for 911 purposes) it was just Rural Route 1, or 2 or 3, etc. - and a box number if you had to.

I didn't do a lot of fishing, so the wigglers and the brim don't mean as much to me, but I can still relate. I didn't do the playing card in the bicycle tire, but some of my friends did. And yeah, we'd race, but it wasn't for Grape Nehi - it was just for fun because sodas were expensive... Sometimes we'd find bottles to sell back to the grocery store for some candy, but we went home to get our drinks... Lots of time it was red kool-aid.

And then the whole thing about calling the DJ and getting the people thinking... It chokes me up to just think about that part, I guess because I tend to take my music and my feelings (and my words on this blog) and throw them out there hoping people can relate.

Cathead biscuits... We called them that at home, and they were truly home made. Mama would take the leftover dough after rolling it out, cutting round pieces with a glass dipped in flour, then rolling what's left - etc. Anyway, the leftover was just kinda folded up and was the 'runt' on the pan. That's the one I'd go for. I remember a few year's ago we all went to her house to eat and she said she had saved that one for me. :-)

I didn't listen to the Opry growing up, but I understand the importance and the significance of Martha White... And we didn't watch Glen Campbell, but we did have to turn the antenna if we wanted to get UHF or maybe wrestling on Channel 6 out of Kentucky.

And I can't think of Gentle on My Mind without remembering Travis Davison, Sr. kicking into (in the same tune) - "It's knowing that your door is always open and your furniture is gone..."

We didn't have a tractor tire flower bed that I remember, but I think I had a sandbox made from one... And of course clothes on the line were common back then, especially the sheets. 

"Yeah this song has got me thinking - bout Route 1, 38034"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Carson, Angels and new pic

Okay - trying out the "draft" function of blogger... I'm actually typing this right after publishing "yesterday's" post about my week in pics. I started out wanting to do a quick catch up and, as is normal for me, I had more to say than I thought I did. :-) I really must blog more often... I'm not even sure now what all I've said recently. :-)

At any rate, before I get to last night, I want to mention that as I was driving back from Murfreesboro I was listening to different things on my iPhone. I have one old podcast episode saved from a podcast that is no longer even being published. It's a song by someone called "Carsonator" and I've googled that many times in the past with no luck. Well, yesterday I had some luck... All of the google searches I did brought up the same old links with no info - except one... It listed a twitter address, which is interesting because Twitter didn't even exist back when this podcast was published.

At any rate, I found that it's a guy named Jason Carson and I have started following him on twitter -   I sent him a message to ask if I could have permission to perform the song locally, and of course he agreed right away. It's not the standard "Haggard and Jones," but I think it's a GREAT song with a great story & message behind it, and I'm looking forward to working it in.

So while I'm on his Twitter page I see that he's part of a group called Angels Landing - (geek side note here - while exploring their website I see they're using iWeb to create their site). I have several friends in the Nashville area and I implore you to find where these folks are playing and GO LISTEN TO THEM! I make several trips to that area each year and I look forward to seeing them in person. As you know, gentle reader, I was in their neighborhood just this week, but at the time I had no idea where this guy was from that did this song. Small world, eh?

Oh - quick insert here - while grabbing the links to share on this page I find this one -

So - about last night (finally). At the risk of sounding like I'm bragging, I nailed it. I know people come to dance and you have to play dance music for that to happen, but it was a smaller crowd and they were mostly two steppers, so that's what we keyed on, but I think they got bored of it because there was a point that they'd only dance to slow songs. And I noticed more than once that they weren't dancing, but they were having a good time anyway!

There's a particular couple that dance almost every song and I was singing a song I'd not done there before (Tennessee Whiskey, maybe? no - that came later - it was Wanted, by Alan Jackson) and they didn't get up to dance, but I noticed that they stopped talking and turned around and listened to the song. It seemed that everyone was paying attention to the music and the singing - and I got the vibe that they liked what they heard, which made me put even more into it. Well the applause after the song told me they were enjoying it, and not just tolerating it. :-)

One last thing - Vanessa took this pic of me before the show. I have my new shirt along with the collar tips she gave me, and my hat. We decided it looked okay untucked, so I wore it that way. I wanted an updated pic for blogger, twitter, etc. so she took this one for me to use...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

my week in pics

First, a bit of journaling housekeeping... Has been almost a week since I posted here, and the last posts were "old posts" I was archiving. Monday Kyle had his ear surgery. This is, hopefully, the last surgery due to his car wreck on New Year's Day. They went in and repaired some bone damage under the ear drum. He goes back Tuesday to get the "packing" removed. It was a 45 minute procedure, but he was in Pre-op for over three hours, then the actual procedure took about 20 minutes. The doctor said it went off without a hitch! Since he'd not had anything to eat since before midnight, we went to one of his favorite places...

I also want to mention that a dear friend actually drove to the surgery center to see us and make sure we didn't need anything. Thank you, David, for taking your lunch break and coming to see us! Very cool of you!

Spent a couple of days in Murfreesboro meeting with the TETA Board of Directors. Good stuff, but very tiring. Took some pics along the way. This was at a truck stop that had a "western" corner. The only shirt they had that was big enough was this one, though, and not "vintage" enough...

I thought it was encouraging to even find them though! For those that might not know (and I don't know if I've put it in blog form or not), I've been looking for something in vintage style for my stage clothes. When I started with NashVegas it was on a trial basis - to make sure they were comfortable with me, but more so that I could have an "out" if I didn't want to stay. Well, once I made the decision to stay I bought a new hat, started wearing my boots on stage, started doing my best to look "western," like I used to.

This next pic was taken as I checked in (on Foursquare) to a little town that me & daddy used to drive to. It's right on Hwy 96 between Franklin and Murfreesboro. This building used to be a retread plant where we'd take truck tires to and sell them. Brings back memories for sure...

So, while I'm in Murfreesboro, I stop at this specific store to get Vanessa something. I was going to find a Charming Charlies no matter how far I had to drive. Turns out there was one RIGHT BEHIND the hotel.

While I'm there I ask one of the helpful sales staff if she knew where I might find a place that sells western shirts - vintage, retro, etc. She tells me of French's Boot & Shoe, so I drive out. WOW! They had several of shirts that were EXACTLY what I was looking for. 

 I'm not good at taking those mirror shots like you see, but here's the one I finally settled on... Took this shot so I could send it to Vanessa to see what she thought...

The two ladies working the register were nice enough to give me their opinion as well, and I asked one of them to take a pic so I could send it to Vanessa, who approved. I know the pics don't do it justice, but it's a very nice black shirt with gold toned embroidery.

Okay - was going to talk about last night, but that's enough for one day's post. :-)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

old post - prayer

And here's the next "old post" - I shared a prayer request on August 24, 2009. The SPECIFIC request mentioned has not materialized yet, but there have been MANY small miracles (monetary and otherwise) along the way...

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted. School is back in session so things are more than busy. 

Here’s an email I sent earlier to a Christian mailing list I’m a member of. Feel free to join in as well. :-)

Okay, calling all prayer warriors...

I have a specific amount of money (no, not "a million" or anything like that) that I have asked God for. It is NOT an arbitrary number. I have added up some specific things that I need to pay for plus a specific item I need to buy without financing, so I have a legitimate, nice round number.

Just for sake of discussion, there are some specific things I'm keeping in mind...

1) we have not because we ask not

2) if a father who is evil knows how to give good things to his son, what about our Heavenly Father? How much better can he give?

3) during revival services last week, the preacher said this during an alter call - "what is your need? Whatever it is, God can supply it. It may be health, it may be relationship, it may be money - it may be because of something you yourself caused. Just because you're suffering from your own bad decisions doesn't mean God doesn't love you and doesn't want to meet that need.

4) I am bringing this up here because I want HIM to get the glory.

5) when Jesus was asked about paying the tax, he told his disciple to catch a fish and it would have the money in it.

6) the amount I'm asking for is GREAT to someone like me, but there are people out there that this would be a SMALL amount.

So - I covet your prayers.

Peace and Blessings to you all...

old post - dozen

My son is driving us to a conference so I’m assisting from the passenger seat. My imaginary break is not working as well as I’d like... I’m trying hard to let him listen to what he wants - but -

Anyway, I’m sitting here going through some emails and found one from a few days ago that was “too long” for a quick read. Boy am I glad I didn’t skim it and go on! I would have missed something big!

From my Bible verses emails - Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blessed Beyond Resources

   Late that afternoon, the followers came to Jesus and said,
   "No people live in this place. And it is already late. Send
   the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food for
   themselves." Jesus answered, "The people don't need to go
   away. You give them some food to eat." The followers
   answered, "But we have only five loaves of bread and two
   fish." Jesus said, "Bring the bread and the fish to me." Then
   Jesus told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took
   the five loaves of bread and the two fish. Jesus looked into
   the sky and thanked God for the food. Then Jesus divided the
   loaves of bread. Jesus gave the bread to the followers, and
   the followers gave the bread to the people. All the people
   ate and were filled. After the people finished eating, the
   followers filled twelve baskets with the pieces of food that
   were not eaten. There were about 5,000 men there that ate.
   There were also women and children that ate.

                           -- Matthew 14:15-21 (ERV)

Now - me again - I’ve heard that passage spoken, taught, preached, etc., but here’s a key point I’ve never caught before...

Don't you just love it that the disciples who didn't think they could
do anything to feed the whole crowd each got to pick up a basket full of pieces that were left over!

Wow! I’ve always just caught the fact that it was not only “enough” but that there was extra as well - more “extra” than He started with. But to look at it as “each one had a basket as a reminder...” Wow - that hits home...

Lord - may I recognize the blessings you bestow and not be so quick to assume it’s impossible. I don’t want a basket to remind me of my unfaithfulness, but if that’s what it takes...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

old post - home or work ?

Last old post of the morning - this one also from July 9, 2009.

Sitting here learning more about iWeb, I wonder when the line between home and work was made so small... I guess it happened when I started using a laptop for day to day business stuff. I have a separate email address for work and home, but I check them both at the same time. I check them both at my desk; I check them both at home in the recliner.

The question is now - do we “turn on” iWeb for the teachers at school? We’re using a CMS site at work - - and it’s of course cross platform (browser based). Some teachers are really using it like we want - most are not. Would they use iWeb like we’d like or would it be simply another thing that sits there and is only used by the people that would do it anyway.

Pros: iWeb is “free” if we host it locally
Cons: can’t update from home (I don’t think - have to check on that)

old post - iSummit 09

Next old one if from July 9, 2009. Yep - over a month since the last "old post..."

I’m in a colleague’s session on iWeb and we’re “practicing” so I’m taking a moment to make an update.

Twitter has been my friend the last couple of days... I don’t normally “hang out” on Twitter, but I’ve kept Tweetdeck open with #iSummit and #iSummt09. There has been lots of conversations going and I’m sure my “friendly” Twitter followers have been wondering “what the heck!?!” :-)

BTW - I’m jimmylogan on Twitter as well...

old post - saturday morning

Another old one - this one from May 30, 2009.

We have a cache called “A Drop of Water.” I felt that way last night when the new pump was installed (thanks Uncle Tommy!). After being without water for a couple of days, I had forgotten how good it felt to simply turn on the faucet and get good, clean, clear water. :)

Woke up this morning to a couple of new caches on my phone. I have “instant notification” for a 50 mile radius setup to go to my phone. That way I know when new stuff pops up and we can grab the FTF. :)

Anyway, they were both in Caruthersville, which is just across the Mississippi River from here, and ALMOST close enough to run grab. Vanessa worked on the yard last night and she wants to finish it today, so I knew it was out of the question. So, like all “new” caches, I added them to my watchlist. Less than five minutes later there’s a log on them. :)

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m fussing, because I’m not, just talking about my morning. :)

Oh - I’m also reminded of something Jimmy Minelli used to say (I worked with him at Riggs a LOOONG time ago - he loaned me the book “IT” and got me started reading King), “Gumbies, gumbies everywhere and not a one can think.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

old post - doctor's office again

Another old post - this one a quick recap of 'upcoming things' from more than two years ago. :-)

I’m writing this offline in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. We are winding WAY down to the end of a school year and trying to get Kyle graduated. Colton and I are here about his finger - he hurt it yesterday in P.E., but we didn’t think it was that bad. This morning it’s swollen badly, so we’re here to get it checked out.

The pic above *IS* by permission of the subject, though he wants me to point out, “you know that’s like from the 7th grade, right?”

Okay - finger not broke. Off to school for Colton and off to work for me. Did some business via cell phone already.

Also planning a trip to iSummit - an Apple thing to be held in Memphis sometime this summer. Summer is always busy but this looks to be a VERY busy one.

1)Summer Institute to attend (and present at)
2)Summer Institute 2010 to plan and present a promo for
3)Apple Summit to attend
4)Possibly attending Laptop Institute in Memphis
5)New server to install
6)Three servers to upgrade
7)Nine mobile carts to setup and roll out

Fun, eh? :)

old post - quick update

A quickie - from May 28, 2009.

Just a quick note - work is busy this time of year as we’re getting closer to the end of the school year. Not much to report for now, other than it’s almost midnight and I’m tired. :)

Big initiative coming up at the middle school next year. I’m making plans to upgrade all the servers to Leopard and we’re rolling out more laptops every week. Busy time, but fun!

I was also elected to be President-Elect for our regional tech group, which will give me the pleasure of serving on the TETA Board for the next three years.

We’re planning our Summer Institute as well and I’m on the committee to present the promotion for SI-10. This year it’s in Dickson and next year it will be in Jackson.

And one comment - from me - Forgot to change the default iWeb pic - changed it this morning to one of us at Geowoodstock.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

old post - geowoodstock vii

Another old post and an album - this one from May 25, 2009. Post is first, then the album below.

There is an associated album that goes with this post - same name - find it on the “albums” page above...

We had a GREAT time at our first GeoWoodstock. When we found out it was only 3-1/2 hours away, we made the effort to go. Some last minute “issues” meant we wouldn’t get to go the night before and stay the whole weekend, but we changed our plans and got up EXTRA early Saturday morning so we could travel up. We are SO glad we did!

As its namesake implies, it’s a MEGA gathering of geocachers from around the world. Though we met several new cachers and had some interesting conversations, the ones we already knew were the ones we had the most fun with - the JAG crew. Roger, Damon, John - the wives :) - we all had a great time visiting. Got to see Sonny & Sandy again (haven’t seen them in person since NECC a few years ago), met a cacher from Kentucky that we’ve had the pleasure of hunting his hides, etc.

We wound up staying one night because we were so exhausted, and did some caching Sunday with Yogi & BDD before heading home. WHEW - now we’re resting on a school holiday.

One last note - all the pics have the incorrect date. Sorry. I need to change my camera’s date. :) It was actually the 23rd of May, 2009.

And here's the album that's mentioned...

me & Vanessa


The Don

Diane & Mrs. T

Mrs T & Bashful

that's me

petting zoo

main stage

crowd shot

GeoWoodstock Store

me & TB

oversize TB's

more parking duty



here lies...


this little piggy




BDD again

reviewers on stage

stage ver 2

reviewers 3

BDD & Dolphin

Mrs T BDD and Dolphin

water bottle

country posing

hunting beaver

me in scenic