Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yard Sale, Day 2

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 89 degrees, mostly clear skies

Today was the second day of the yard sale, and we were up early to get everything ready for the expected rush of people that we hoped would make our shelves bare. The rush of people was pretty good, and we sold almost everything of real value. By 1530 hours, it appeared we were finished, so I started to load what was left, when up drove a car with a couple of customers who bought part of the stuff we had left. I waited another 30 minutes after those customers left, and no more arrived, so we took the signs down. We loaded the little bit of stuff that was left and took it to Terri's house. There is a possibility we will have another sale after she moves, but right now, we don't have enough stuff to make it worth while. It was a very successful two day sale.

After getting back from Terri's house, we rested a short time, then went with Terri and Thomas to Hardee's for a hamburger. Carolyn and I got the bacon cheeseburger, and it was very tasty. Terri had the new prime rib burger with au jus on chibata (hope that's spelled right) bread. Thomas decided he wanted a 2/3 pound meat lover's burger, and he ate the whole thing. I don't know where he puts the food.

Monday, we will be listing some of the other items that Terri has for sale. Those items include a Jon boat and trailer, a piano, Thomas's dirt bike, and several other items that seem more appropriate for listing in the newspaper. I hope we have as much success with these items as we did with the yard sale.

Terri told me today that she was reading the blog last night, and somehow our conversation led to the Today's Town feature. She was wanting to know what the significance of that section was. I explained to her that as listed in the introduction to the blog, that section identified a town and their motto that we had been to in the past. Obviously, we have been to more towns than we have listed, but we are only listing towns that have a motto that caught our attention. For example, Hico, Texas, has a sign welcoming people to their little town that says "Welcome to Hico, Texas, Where Everybody Is Somebody". Then there is Lott, Texas. Their motto is "There's Lot To Like In Lott". Catchy, isn't it? I'm always looking for these mottos, and many times we can get some insight into what the people think of their town.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Spokane, Washington: Near Nature. Near Perfect

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Yard Sale, Day 1

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 87 degrees, cloudy all morning, a rain shower in the afternoon, then partly cloudy

Today was the first day of the yard sale to dispose of some of Terri's stuff that she no longer has a need for. We started with about three truckloads of assorted tools, hardware, housewares, building materials, etc. Our first customer arrived about 0900 hours, and business was fairly steady until about 1600 hours, when it seemed to come to a stop. After about two hours, business started up again, and the last customer left about 2000 hours.

In the middle of the day, we had a little shower spring up that caused us to go through a Chinese fire drill as we rushed around covering and moving things so they wouldn't get wet. This rain came on a day when there was none in the forecast. After the rain, we let things dry out a little, then uncovered everything and started selling again.

I was pleased with the results of today's sale. We did not do any advertising, other than putting up some yard sale signs. It appeared we were getting some word of mouth sales, where people saw what we had to sell and told their friends. An interesting fact was that most of the sales were to men. That may have been because there were a lot of tools. Also, we didn't have any toys, and not that many household items.

If tomorrow goes as well as today, we will sell out by noon. Here's hoping that's what happens, because it was really hot out there today, and tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. After the yard sale, we will be putting stuff for sale in the paper, since we think that is the best way to sell some of it, especially the shop power equipment, Jon boat and trailer, piano, and other stuff.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Thermopolis, Wyoming: World’s Largest Hot Mineral Spring

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preps For Yard Sale

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 87 degrees, cloudy until noon, then mostly clear

The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday is for clear and hot conditions. Rain is not expected until Sunday at the earliest. That fits with our plans for the yard sale the next two days. After mowing Terri's yard, I spent the rest of the day loading almost three big truck loads of stuff and moving it to the RV. Here's hoping we sell all of it so I won't have to move it again.

Since Carolyn decided not to eat her birthday cake yesterday, we cut it today. She chose a white coconut cake, which was very good. It came from Publix, and now we know where we will want to buy cakes in the future. It's too bad Publix is not in Texas. By the way, we didn't put candles on the cake. Carolyn said she didn't want to start a wild fire.

We received an e-mail from my sister-in-law, Kathy. She reports that she is holding her own in her battle against lung cancer. That's news we are glad to hear. She has had a tough time with the treatment, and we wish her all the best as she continues her fight.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Rawlins, Wyoming: Pride In Service

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Carolyn

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 78 degrees, cloudy, showers all day until late afternoon

The rain today was the type that is really great for lawns and gardens. It was light showers that soaked in with no runoff that I saw. And a big plus was that it kept the temperature down. The next few days should be dry, which should help us with the yard sale.

Since it was rainy all day, we didn't do much outside. Come to think of it, we didn't do much inside. Some days are like that, and when they occur, we try to take advantage of them by taking it easy.

Carolyn's birthday is today, and we went to Ruby Tuesday's for supper, since that is one of her favorite restaurants in this area. I bought her a cake, but since we ate a little late, she decided she would rather have the cake tomorrow. Since we're not supposed to disclose a lady's age, I won't do it here. Most people who know her will know how old she is, anyway. To me, she is still the 17 year old girl I fell in love with many years ago. Happy Birthday, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gainesville, Florida: Hogtown

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 85 degrees, partly cloudy until mid-afternoon, then light showers until dark

After my morning walk, we visited the WalMart Mall to pick up some groceries. The bustle of people shopping and quick movements caused Carolyn to have some problems with her vertigo. Once we left the mall, the vertigo symptoms subsided. As a result of her problems, she is continuing to take things easy. One thing she did do was prepare a chicken pot pie for supper. It was a big hit with everyone.

I continued getting stuff ready for the yard sale that we are planning for Friday and Saturday. In addition, Terri has some things that we think would sell better through the newspaper, so I worked with those items to make sure they were okay. In the case of gasoline powered machines, I started all of them up to make sure they ran. Those included a power blower, a brush cutter, an extra weed eater, a pressure washer, and a 5500 watt generator. In addition, they have a 85 cc dirt bike that wouldn't start. I changed the spark plug on that and got it running. It might sound like I did a lot, but it wasn't that bad a day.

About 15 feet from our RV, some of the best looking tomato bushes we have ever seen are planted. The person who has the green thumb is our next door neighbor, and he also has some squash planted. Billy is his name, and he worked at the University until retirement. He says his boss was Bear Bryant, and he has another story about The Bear every time I talk to him. Billy says he is going to share his tomatoes with us when they start producing, and we can't wait.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mobile, Alabama: The Azalea City

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 87 degrees, cloudy until noon, then partly cloudy, hazy

Today is Memorial Day, and I hope everyone took a minute to think about the significance of the day.

Carolyn seems to be feeling a little better today. As I mentioned yesterday, she went through some slight dizziness, and took it easy all day. Even though she felt better today, she continued to take it easy. We are hopeful that she will feel better over the next few days.

We are getting ready to have a yard sale this coming weekend in an attempt to sell some of Terri's extra stuff. The people who own the RV park have been very good to us, and they said we could have the yard sale at the RV. That will make it much easier for us to do the sale, and the chances of having more people stop and browse are greater here at the park. Anything that we do not sell will be given to charity.

Terri has a Jon boat and trailer that she wants to sell. I spent part of the day repairing the seats and other items and cleaning the rig. Along with the boat, Thomas would like to sell his dirt bike, a Yamaha 85 cc model. We cleaned up the bike and tried to start it, but could never get it to fire. Tomorrow, we plan to change the spark plug and see if that helps. These two items will be advertised in the newspaper, along with some other stuff.

After a supper of Publix chicken and all the trimmings, Thomas challenged me to another game of HORSE in basketball. After a game that went back and forth, he finally hit a lucky shot that won the game. I think I'm starting to wear him down.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cody, Wyoming: Preferred Gateway To Yellowstone National Park

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Carolyn Was Under The Weather

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 87 degrees, partly cloudy, humid

Carolyn is suffering some of the warning signs that her vertigo may be trying to come back. Yesterday, she felt just a little off center, and the feeling was worse today. As she was making the bed, she had a spell of dizziness that caused her to have to lie down for a few minutes. As a result of the signs, we decided to stay at home, taking it easy to give her a chance to get back on an even keel. If the symptoms persist tomorrow, she will start doing the exercises that were given to her for times like this. We have our fingers crossed that she will not have a major relapse. The last time she came down with this problem, it took her about six months to recover.

The Alabama Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials have announced that they will be concentrating on people under the influence or not using their seat belts over the Memorial Holiday weekend. When I went for my walk this morning, I saw two highway patrol officers on motorcycles that had stopped cars. This was at a time when there was hardly any traffic on the road. Later in the afternoon, I saw another traffic stop. Again, very little traffic. It appears to me that people have slowed down their speed in an attempt to save some gas, so maybe law enforcement is concentrating on other issues. I heard on the radio that 1,046 people were killed in traffic accidents last year in Alabama, and over half of those were not wearing seat belts. If these traffic stops help prevent one death, it will be worthwhile.

I like to tease Terri and Thomas about how good the Florida Gators are in football and other sports, versus how badly Alabama has been doing. Since they are such ardent Alabama fans, it is easy to get them spun up. The truth of the matter is that I admire the University of Alabama very much, and always pull for them and other Southeastern Conference teams, except when they are playing Florida. At that time, I want Florida to beat them like a drum. One day, I was telling Terri how I became a Florida fan, and she liked the story so much, she asked me to write it up for her to place on her my facebook (or something like that). I wrote the story today and sent it to her on e-mail. I'm debating whether I should place it in the blog or not. The story relates what life was like in north Florida in 1950, and it was vastly different from life as we know it today. If the story shows up here, you'll know what I decided.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Daytona Beach, Florida: Big Beach, Big Fun

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 88 degrees, mostly cloudy, humid

It felt like a sauna outside today. The humidity was very high, with cloudy skies and no breezes. I had some chores to do outside that left me soaked with sweat, and seemed to take the strength out of me. We really miss the lower humidity levels to be found in the Glen Rose, Texas area, where we were for the most of the last three years. It would seem that growing up and living in this type of humidity would make it easy to adjust. Not so.

We helped Terri with sorting and storing her music cds and movie dvds today. Once that task is completed, it will make it easier to move these items to another house when she moves away from this one. After getting back home, I dumped the holding tanks while Carolyn prepared supper. Then a nice cold shower to wash the sweat away and cool off. Ahhhh!

Has anyone noticed how much money you can make on the Internet? I know I have been making a fortune, almost on a daily basis. I didn't know there were so many people that wanted to give me money, and I don't even know them. I didn't know there was so much money to be had from Africa. I thought that everyone there was starving. That shows what I know. I have been making up a list on how I'm going to spend my money, after taxes, of course. I can't seem to spend it fast enough. Every time I seem to be making some headway on plans for spending it, more of it flows off the Internet.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Kosciusko, Mississippi: Come For The History, Stay For The Charm

Not all who travel are lost.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Early To Rise....

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 84 degrees, mostly cloudy with a few sprinkles

Have any of you ever woke up early in the night and thought it was time to get up? That's what happened to me this morning. I woke up at what I thought was a fairly routine time for me (0530-0700 hours), washed my face, combed my hair (the little that is left), dressed, and went into the living room, ready to face the day. I looked at the clock and did a double take. 0430 hours? Is that right? Maybe the clock is wrong. I turned the TV on to the Weather Channel to check the weather and time. Hmmm, the Weather Channel time is also 0430 hours. Well, what do I do now? If I stay up, I will feel like crap about noon. If I go back to bed, I probably won't be able to go back to sleep. What should I do?

I got something to drink, thought about what to do another 30 seconds, and went back to bed. After reading for about 10 minutes, I drifted off to sleep and didn't get up until about 0830 hours. Half the day was gone already. But, I have no doubt that I was feeling better than if I had stayed up.

After getting up late, I went for my morning walk. During the walk, it sprinkled on me most of the way, but it wasn't enough to wet me. On the way home, I stopped at a roadside vegetable stand to pick up a few tomatoes for meals that Carolyn plans to cook. This little stand seems to have good quality vegetables at a fair price, so I'm sure we will be going back there.

We went over to Terri's house about 1400 hours to take care of a few chores. While we were there, Terri showed off her new air card that she picked up at Verizon yesterday. She has dial up for Internet service, which is very slow. After listening to me talk about being able to get Internet access with my air card from AT&T, she decided to get one with the hope that it would give her better access than she had with the dial up mode. I advised her to go with Verizon, since they seem to have better Internet service than AT&T. Since she works for the University of Alabama, she was able to get everything needed for nothing except signing the contract for service. Even though she is farther out in the country than we are, her Internet service is broad band with the new air card, and it is faster than our service. I'll be glad when my contract with AT&T runs out so I can switch over to Verizon.

Thomas went to a school dance tonight. As I related last week, he just turned 12 years old. I can remember when he was just born, and now here he is going to dances. They grow up fast. It makes us sad to see our grandchildren grow out of childhood, yet we are looking forward to seeing them grow as teenagers and young adults. They have so much to look forward to. We hope they make all the right choices.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Decatur, Alabama: A Grand City On A Charming Scale

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sam's Club

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 62 degrees, high 81 degrees, clear early, cloudy in the afternoon with scattered showers

Boy, what a slow day. After my morning walk, we didn't do much of anything except go over to Sam's Club for a few things that we use on a routine basis. We like shopping at Sam's because of the quality of their products, including their meat. In addition, we can find unique products that we can't find anywhere else. I especially like to visit the stores that offer samples of their food offerings. I could eat lunch grazing through the stations set up to showcase the products. Where else can you get your choice of several meats, vegetables, fruits, desserts, and drinks? Several courses within a stroll of a block or so. Then, to top it off, the snack bar offers a Nathan's hot dog and a coke for $1.70. It doesn't get any better. And, oh, I almost forgot. The coke comes with free refills.

After an exhausting walk through Sam's, we bought diesel ($4.55 a gallon, Ouch!) and returned home for a well earned session of mediation. The afternoon weather was cloudy and cooler than we expected. The temperature dropped to 69 degrees after a small shower passed through. It's too bad we can't bottle some of this cooler weather to use later this summer when it gets hot.

We went over to Terri's about 1430 hours so Carolyn could do our laundry and I could take care of a few small errands. Later in the afternoon, I started putting some wax on the truck, since it has been awhile since I have had time for that. I finished the hood and two front fenders, and I'll try to finish that job tomorrow. After supper with Terri and Thomas, we returned home so Carolyn could check the Weather Channel and I could get the blog updated. As I said, it was a slow day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brent, Alabama: Building Opportunities

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Helena, Alabama

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 85 degrees, clear skies

After taking care of an errand for Terri in Tuscaloosa, Carolyn and I decided to take a road trip. It has been awhile since we have gotten out and done any exploring to speak of. We headed through Tuscaloosa on US 82 east, passing through rolling countryside to the east of town. The first little town we came to was Brent, which is where my father was born in 1917. At Brent, we turned north on Alabama 5, which led us to the little town of West Blocton, which is where my mother was born in 1923. At the time she was born, that area was booming, with several coal mines running. Her father was a farmer and a supervisor for one of the mines. When my mother was eight years old, her father passed away, leaving his family with a farm but no money in the Great Depression. She eventually moved to Florida and married my father, and they lived there for many years.

Carolyn has done a lot of genealogical research on both sides of my family, and found much information about my mother's side. My father's side, however, is another story. It appears that his family set up and ran saw mills. When the timber was used up in an area, they would move on to the next place. That tended to make it difficult to track where they lived, or eventually passed away and were buried. The little bit she has found makes you want to dig deeper and deeper to find where the Simmons side of the family came from. My father said that our ancestors are from Ireland, but we have nothing to base that on. We probably have a lot of relatives in this area, but we don't know any of them.

West Blocton looks like it has been forgotten by time. The downtown area is nothing but old, falling down buildings, with only one building being used as a laundry. Kudzu is overtaking many of the older houses. It was probably a bustling place years ago. Now, it looks like it is waiting to collapse.

After leaving West Blocton, we drove on up Alabama 5, turning east on a county road that led us through one of the prettiest little valleys that we have seen in a long time. It was almost alpine in appearance, and if we didn't know better, we would have thought we were in the mountains of North Carolina.

Eventually, we ended up in Helena, which we had never heard of before. This area is really growing, and was listed on Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in 2007. It looks like the town is a bedroom community for Birmingham. While driving through town, we noticed that they have a Backyard Burgers restaurant. Since it was lunch time, and Backyard Burgers is our favorite fast food burger, we stopped and had lunch. Ummm, good!

After lunch, we continued looking around some more, then headed home. After getting home, we did the meditation thing. About 1800 hours, Terri called and invited us to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The food was good, and we enjoyed being with her and Thomas. After getting back home, I did some clean up on the truck, then we settled in for the night. All in all, a pretty good day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Helena, Alabama: Alabama’s Fastest Growing Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 91 degrees, mostly clear skies

After my morning walk, we had some more errands to do at the RV. I continued working on cleaning the outside, and Carolyn replaced the caulking behind the bathroom sink. We didn't go out to Terri's house until almost 1500 hours. Once we got there, I did some weed eating and Carolyn did a couple of small tasks inside. Weed eating is not normally that bad a job, but the heat and humidity seemed to make it particularly difficult today. I was wearing protective eye wear because of stuff flying up in my face, and the sweat pouring into my eyes really made it difficult to see. The yard is getting in better shape, so each time I clean it up, it seems to take less time and effort.

If we ever have a nuclear war, the only two things that will survive will be cock roaches and kudzu. For those readers who don't know what kudzu is, here's a little science lesson.

Kudzu is native to Japan and China, and it grows well in the Southeastern United States. Kudzu is a vine that when left uncontrolled will eventually grow over almost any fixed object in its proximity including other vegetation. Over a period of several years, Kudzu will kill trees by blocking the sunlight and for this and other reasons many would like to find ways to get rid of it. The flowers which bloom in late summer have a pleasant fragrance and the shapes and forms created by kudzu vines growing over trees and bushes can be pleasing to the eye during the summer months.

The following statement appeared in an agricultural bulletin in 1928, about 20 years after it was first introduced in Florida as a forage crop. "Kudzu is not without disadvantages. It is slow and expensive in getting established, is exacting in requiring only moderate grazing and mowing, is deceptive about its real yield, especially to those who do not know it well, and sometimes becomes a pest."

In the south, the first frost will turn kudzu into dead leaves and soon after just gray vines. The kudzu vine will continue growing the next summer almost from where it was stopped by cold weather the previous year. No one seems to care much or even pay much attention to it. Maybe that is because we accept it since there isn't much we can do about it except temporarily kill it with herbicide or let livestock graze on it when it gets to be too much of a problem.

Here's some pictures of kudzu.

The reason I brought up the topic of kudzu is because I have to work on controlling it on Terri's property. Each time I mow and weed eat, I pay attention to where the pest is trying to spring up. Since I last mowed about eight days ago, some of the vines have grown about a foot a day. Think about that. If you stand still, it will overtake you.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tacoma, Washington: The City Of Destiny

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Early Riser

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 62 degrees, high 87 degrees, mostly clear skies

Today I was corrected on Saturday's post about Duran Duran being one of the hair bands of the 1980s. Terri tells me that at that time, they would have been known as more of a New Wave band than anything else. She couldn't put a genre on their music type for today, but she said they are better than ever. Okay, got that out of the way.

When I was working, I would get up and be ready to go to work by 0530 hours when an outage was not occurring. When we had an outage going on, I would be at work by 0430 hours. Since I stopped working, I have gradually been able to break those early rising habits. Most of the time. This morning, I was up at 0430 hours and gone for a walk by 0530 hours. These early hours happen occasionally when I can't sleep past a certain time, so I don't fight it. Just get up and get an early start on the day.

We spent all morning at the RV, except for my morning walk and stop at the Walmart Mall to pick up a few groceries. Early in the morning is the best time to visit the Mall, with very few people and more choices. We don't go there on the weekend anymore unless we have to. After I got back from the store, Carolyn re-caulked around the bathroom tub, while I wiped down the lower half of the outside walls on the RV. After some meditation around noon time, we went out to Terri's house. I mowed the yard, while Carolyn worked on sorting stuff for a possible yard sale or to give to charity. Not a bad day. Now, let's see if I can sleep past 0430 hours tomorrow morning.

When we were coming home from Terri's tonight, the moon was spectacular. It looked like one of those harvest moons that you see in the fall.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cheyenne, Wyoming: Live The Legend

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ralph, Alabama

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy early, clear skies in the afternoon

We went for a ride in the country today, ending up in the town of Ralph. Calling this place a town is really an exaggeration, since we saw no stores, and only one church. There are several houses in the area. The area may have been more settled long ago, and more important to the needs of the people who lived there. There appears to be some evidence that new houses are being built, probably by people who work in Tuscaloosa. It is about 12 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa, basically in the river valley for the Black Warrior River. Some of the countryside on the ride to and from Ralph looks similar to what we saw in the Mississippi River delta. Flat, wet, and fertile.

This afternoon, we drove up to Bessemer to pick up Thomas from his dad after his visit to Athens. On Friday, the traffic was almost bumper to bumper. Today, it was almost the opposite. Traffic was very light, and it made the drive much more enjoyable. Also, on Friday, we only saw three RVs. Today, we only saw two. It looks like the fuel prices are affecting how much people travel. That's understandable, when you consider that the typical motor home gets 5-10 miles per gallon, while the typical tag along or fifth wheel puller averages 9-12 mpg. It doesn't take much traveling to start costing some real money. The fuel costs are probably affecting sales of RVs, too. We have heard that some manufacturers have closed their doors. RV sales have long been a barometer of how well the economy is doing, so I guess when more RVs start being sold, that will mean the economy wil be picking up.

After returning from our drive this morning, I spent some time finishing up a book that I have really enjoyed. The title is The Fallen, by T. Jefferson Parker. The premise of the book is that the lead character, a homicide invetigator for the city of San Diego, can tell when people are lying. Wouldn't that be some talent? Being able to tell if someone was trying to put something over on you would sure take some of the mystery out of life. Anyway, I enjoyed the book, and I like the author's writing style. The next time I go to the library, I'm going to see if they have any more books by him.

All in all, it was a pretty good day for us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Sulphur, Louisiana: Faith, Family, Community

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hair Band

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 74 degrees, mostly cloudy

When I went for my morning walk, the temperature was about 52 degrees. Bracing, but it felt good. It was a great morning for a walk. No sweating, no bugs, just nice weather. It reminds me of the trip we took out west in 2004. We left Texas in late March, and wore jackets almost every day until we got back in Texas in early August. Amazing.

Today was fairly slow. After my walk, we stayed around the RV until lunch, which we ate at home. Then we went out to Terri's and worked on getting some of her stuff that is no longer needed ready for sale. Terri went to Atlanta with some of her friends to see one of the old hair bands from the 1980s, Duran Duran. When we lived near Lakeland, Florida back in 1983, I took them to see the same band. No, I didn't stay inside for the concert, but they were allowed to see the concert, and I picked them up afterward. It will be interesting to see how Terri thinks the band has aged. Personally, that kind of music is not my cup of tea. When we were living near Glen Rose, Texas, Lori took her kids to see U2 in Dallas. Again, not my kind of music. Give me a good country music concert or a blue grass festival, or even better, The Eagles. Now, that's music.

While at Terri's, I noticed that the shop had some water, mud, and sand that had run into the building during the last rain event. When I looked for where the rain had come from, I noticed that a piece of siding had not been installed properly near the bottom, which allowed unwanted water and mud inside. I found some screws and tightened up the loose metal. Hopefully, that will fix that little problem. It's always something.

More history of the area we are in: Tuscaloosa suffered quite a lot of damage during the Civil War. The University was burned for the most part, as was much of the town and the bridges. As part of an effort to rebuild the city and civic pride, Tuscaloosa took the nickname of "The Druid City". The name is tied to the city's large number of water oaks. These great trees were revered by the ancient order of the Druid. The Druids were a priest class of the Celtics. They served the tribes and clans as judges, prophets, soothsayers, wise men and as keepers of the collective memory. They were the intellectuals in a warrior society. The word 'druid' is thought to derive from the Greek drus (oak) and the Indo-European wid (wisdom), "which produces the apparent absurdity of 'oak-knower'. In any case, druids are typically associated with oak trees. Some say they held assemblies in sacred groves, that they prized the mistletoe growing on the oaks, or that they worshipped the trees themselves.

Just another interesting bit of worthless (?) information.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Druid City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 70 degrees, cloudy until the afternoon, then clear

We had very little to do at the house today, so we were only there for about three hours. Since we had an errand to do up near Bessemer, we drove up there in the afternoon. It was surprising to us how bad the traffic was on I-59. It was almost bumper to bumper, and it didn't appear that anyone except us was driving less than the speed limit, which is 70 mph. When we are traveling with the RV, we like to take the back roads because we think that is more relaxing and we get to see more of what an area is about. Also, it tends to help us get a little better gas mileage, since we are driving slower.

Mercedes has a car factory about ten miles north of Tuscaloosa on I-59. It is a huge complex, and several other satellite businesses have been established to support Mercedes. I'm don't know how many people are employed by the total complex, but I'm sure it makes a significant contribution to the area's economy. While driving by the complex, I was wondering what kind of incentives and concessions Alabama had to give to entice Mercedes to move here. Off the top of my head, I can come up with reduced taxes for a period of time, and improvement of the roads in the area, but there are probably others.

As the reader may have noticed, our high temperature today was only about 70 degrees. The low tomorrow is forecasted for 52 degrees. We are enjoying the lower temperatures because when it gets hot and humid here, it will be tough on us since we have not lived in the high humidity for several years.

I washed the truck today for the first time in about two months. We have been too busy, or when I had the time, the weather was bad. Maybe it will look decent for a few days. Tomorrow, I will clean up the inside. Next week, I need to clean the outside of the RV and start putting some wax on it. The work never ends.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Vinton, Louisiana: Louisiana’s Gateway To Cajun Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Torrential Rain

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy, rain most of the day

It started raining about 0430 hours this morning, and the intensity built throughout the morning. By 1000 hours, it was raining so hard that there was little traffic on the road. The reason we know that is that we had to go to Tuscaloosa to take care of an errand. There were no holdups because of traffic, but the rain was a different story. The ditches and potholes are full of water. This rain reminds me of how it used to rain when we lived in Bay City, Texas. In that town, one time we got 12 inches of rain in 12 hours. This rainfall is not quite that bad, and it appears that it is moving on. This area doesn't need any more for a couple of weeks. The rain eased about 1400 hours, and the day finished in a beautiful sunset with clear skies. It looks like the next 4-5 days will be nice.

Today is Thomas's birthday as he turns 12 years old. He had a great birthday party over the last weekend, inviting several of his friends to the house for a sleepover. He had the party last weekend because he is going up to Athens to spend the weekend with his dad. It looks like more festivities are on tap up there for him. Happy Birthday, Thomas.

The rain today kept us in the RV except for the errand we had to run, and we didn't go out to Terri's until about 1600 hours. It was a day of lazing around, reading, and we watched a movie named Longest Yard, with Adam Sandler and Bert Reynolds. Later on, we watched 3:10 To Yuma with Russell Crowe. It was a remake of a classic western movie starring Glenn Ford. I think I liked the original best. It seemed like the remake had a lot of gratuitous violence.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: City By The Lake

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy, light rain late in the day

Today, we had to take care of an errand in Cottondale, a little town just northeast of Tuscaloosa. There is not much to the place, but we got a pretty good laugh out of the motto printed on their sign welcoming people to the town. The sign said "Welcome To Cottondale, The Beautiful". I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but we didn't see anything that we would call beautiful. The town consists primarily of a strip of small businesses along the highway, with a few houses. Maybe we missed something?

Remember I wrote on Monday about the sidewalk jumping up and tripping me? At the time, the worst damage appeared to be a bad case of road rash (or sidewalk rash, as the case may be) on the palm of my left hand. Well, the palm seems to be doing well, but today my rib area on the right hand side is sore. It is so sore that it hurts to move. I think what happened was a strained muscle in that area. As a result, I didn't do much beyond trying to keep from hurting. I should modify that statement. I didn't do much, compared to what I have been doing. I still gathered up a bunch of limbs that I had cut while trimming trees and piled them for burning later on. That little task probably took three times as long as it should have, since I was moving so gingerly.

Has anyone noticed the price of gas? Dumb question, right? How can you not notice when every time you go by a station the price has jumped? Up here, regular gas is about $3.65 a gallon, and it seems to increase every day. Diesel, which we use, is even worse. It is up to 4.33 a gallon. The only consolation is that our truck gets good mileage for the size of it and what it can do for us. I have noticed that the number of RVs on the road is way down from previous years. This would have been a good year to go to Alaska, because I have a feeling it is not going to be crowded.

Congress is talking about enacting a windfall profits tax on the oil companies. What that means is that the tax will be passed on to the shareholders. Who do they think they're fooling when they say those evil corporations are making too much money? Corporations are owned by people who buy shares. So does that mean the people are making too much money? What would Congress do with the money? Spend it on boondoggles? I think Congress would do us more good by passing laws allowing drilling wherever oil might be found and allowing more refineries to be built. And get rid of that sorry ethanol that is being put in gasoline and diesel. The mileage has gone down, the fuel does not have as much power, and we are subsidizing the production of ethanol. If ethanol can't stand on it's own, let it die off.

If you haven't noticed, I don't have much to write about today. It felt good to write about some of the stuff that gets to me sometime.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cottondale, Alabama: The Beautiful

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Capitol Building Ruins

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 74 degrees, mostly cloudy

Today was a rarity for us. We didn't leave the RV until 1600 hours except for me to take a walk this morning. As we said last week, the hard work is done on Terri's house, so now it's just a matter of maintaining everything. Thomas was at basketball practice, so we went by the school and picked him up before going out to the house. It was nice to be able to spend some time at our place.

Yesterday when I was in Tuscaloosa, I took some pictures of the site of the old capitol building. As I said in previous posts, Tuscaloosa was the state capital for a few years. Below is some information on that time.

Cahaba was the first state capital of Alabama. Tuscaloosa was incorporated in 1819, and became the state capital in 1826, which it remained until 1846. A building was erected to serve as the seat of government shortly after Tuscaloosa was named as the capital. In 1946, the seat of state government was moved to Montgomery, where it remains today. The former capitol building was given to the University of Alabama. The university signed a 99 year lease with a women's college in the 1850s. The building served that purpose until the 1920s, when it was destroyed in a fire. Today, the site is owned by the city, and community events take place there as well as many weddings.

Below are a few pictures of the ruins from the old capitol building.

The wall still standing is rounded, and has some ornate workings across it.

Note the columns in front of the building.

There were a lot of stone carvings in the building. Each stone mason had a unique mark that he used to identify his work, and supervision was able to track their production and quality by the marks.

I don't know if anyone noticed, but I used different spellings for "capitol" and "capital". From what I have been able to learn, and I hope the information is correct, "capitol" refers to a building, while "capital" refers to a place, such as a city. So, the Capitol Building of the US is in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States. I hope this makes sense.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tuscaloosa, Alabama: America’s One And Only

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 50 degrees, high 74 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

I was in Tuscaloosa to go to the library and take care of a couple other tasks this morning. As I was walking, a hump in the sidewalk jumped up in front of my feet and caused me to trip, sending me sprawling on the concrete. Have any of you ever fallen on concrete before? It is very hard, but even worse, it is rough. As I was sprawling toward the concrete, I put my hands out to catch myself. My left hand did a little skate job across the concrete, removing the skin and some tissue from a spot about two inches square across on the heel of the palm. There were some other minor scrapes that were not nearly as bad. I went home and Carolyn Nightingale put on her nurse's cap. She irrigated the wound with warm water, used hydrogen peroxide to boil it out, placed antibiotic salve on it, and put a bandage on it. So far, it is not hurting, but I will have to leave the bandage off in about day so the wound can start drying out and forming a scab.

Don't you hate it when this type of thing happens? I felt like like an idiot, but how was I to know that the sidewalk was going to jump up in the air like that at the exact moment I was passing by.

When I was taking pictures over the weekend, I took some pictures of the University of Alabama President's Mansion and the football stadium. Below are some of those pictures.

The President's Mansion was built around 1840, and it raised an immediate controversy because the state legislature thought it was too extravagant. It is a beautiful building, and is nicer than many of the state governor mansions I have seen in some other states.

This building was built in the early 1800s and used as a tavern and stage stop for many years. It still looks like it is in good condition.

This is the front entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Like most universities in the south, football is big at the University of Alabama. It seems like they take more pride in the success of their football teams than they do in the fact that the university is a world class school.

This is a statue of Paul "Bear" Bryant, the legendary coach of the football team for many years. They won numerous conference and national championships, and the success of the coaches who have followed has been measured by what the Bear did.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Sulphur, Louisiana: Gateway To The Creole Nature Trail

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 74 degrees, clear skies, winds gusting to 30 mph

Today's weather was the opposite of yesterday's, with a beautiful clear sky, low humidity, and moderate temperatures. I could stand weather like this all the time.

Today was one of those slow days, where we didn't eat lunch until 1500 hours. We went to a new restaurant in Northport named Steamer's. It specializes in seafood, and is located on the banks of the Black Warrior River, across from downtown Tuscaloosa. All of us had seafood, and it was very good. I had catfish and it was cooked the way I like it, lightly coated with corn meal. Carolyn had the fried shrimp and she said her meal was good. Terri had the fried oysters and Thomas had an oyster po' boy. The prices were very reasonable. This place is good enough that we will return.

Yesterday while I was taking pictures, I also went over to Tuscaloosa to look at some of different points of interest. Below are some pictures of downtown Tuscaloosa.

Note the tree lined islands in the middle of the street.

As seen from the pictures, Tuscaloosa is an old town, being settled in the early 1800s. At one time, it was the capitol of Alabama.

The downtown area has been worked on quite a lot over the past few years, and it has resulted in an attractive shopping and dining area. The area is alive and busy during the week, and tourism is a big deal on the weekends.

Downtown Tuscaloosa is located about a mile from the campus of the University of Alabama. Closer to the campus is a shopping area that caters to the students. This weekend was commencement for the University, and it seemed much busier than normal for a weekend. The strangest thing I saw on campus was a Hummer Limousine with at least five doors on each side and a U-Haul trailer hooked to the rear.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cameron, Texas: We’re In The Heart Of Things

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Northport Train Depot

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 83 degrees, cloudy, hazy, humid

I grew up in the south and was used to the humidity and heat until we moved to the Glen Rose area of Texas. It gets hot there, but the humidity is usually lower in the summer, averaging in the 20-25 percent range. In the last couple of weeks here, I have been reminded how humid it can get. Today while walking, even though the temperature was mild, I was wet with sweat because of the humidity. The forecast says we have rain coming and there is a thick haze in the sky, making the humidity terrible. It is so bad that I have been sweating while standing still outside. I'm ready for some drier air.

One of the things I like about the RV lifestyle is the great people we meet while traveling. When we are parked, I try to get to know the area as well as possible. That means we try out the restaurants, use the local stores for what we need, see as many of the local sights as possible, and try to learn something about the history of the area. Today, I decided to check out the Northport Train Depot, built in 1927. It belongs to the city of Northport, which can't afford to do the maintenance required to keep the building in good condition. While taking pictures of the old building and a caboose that looks new, a gentleman named Max Smith noticed and asked if I was interested in model railroads. I told him I was not as interested in the model railroads as much as I was in the old train depots across the country. It turns out that Mr. Smith is the unofficial public relations person for the Black Warrior Model Railroad Society. The city allows the club to use the old depot in return for them taking care of the building and grounds. He invited me into the depot to look around, which I really appreciated. The club has several model trains set up in the old freight area. The other areas are much as they would have been 80 years ago, with a type of wall board that would cost a fortune to use now if you could find it. The floor is the original wide wooden boards, and the blackboard used to list schedules is still on the wall.

It was easy to imagine the depot back when it was being used for travel and freight. I remember the depot in my hometown of Ocala back when I was much younger. The trains would pull into the station with black smoke belching out of the smoke stack, steam blowing, a great hissing and clanging, bells ringing, and the smell of the coal smoke. I would wonder where the people were going, and what they would do when they got there. It never entered my mind that the days of the great trains would end.

As I was getting ready to leave the train depot, Mr. Smith mentioned that I might be interested in the story of the caboose. The caboose and the labor, along with machines required to set it up, were donated. The caboose was not in the best of condition, but it was decided to go ahead and take it. A few years ago, the city spent the money ($43,000) needed to recondition the outside of the caboose. The inside is actually in good condition, considering how old it is.

The model train club conducts tours of the building on the weekends, and runs their model trains upon request. If anyone is in the area and would like to see this off the beaten track piece of history, it is located at 707 25th Avenue in Northport, Alabama. Guided tours will be given with a call to Max Smith at 205-534-0944. He is very easy to talk to, and obviously likes to show the building and caboose off. Below are some pictures of the depot and caboose.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Together We Can Build A Bridge To The Future

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 87 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

My birthday is today, so I decided there would be no work. I got up late, at least for me. Late was just after 0600 hours. After a leisurely start to the day, I went for a walk of about four miles. Then back home to rest for a short time. We went to lunch, taking our time in that world class restaurant of distinction, MacDonald's. After that sumptuous meal, we went to the WalMart Mall to pick up a few things for Terri for Thomas's birthday sleepover. With a final stop to pick up ice for soft drinks, we were ready to leave Northport and head out to Terri's house.

I iced the drinks down in preparation for Thomas and his friends, who started showing up about 1600 hours. Terri had several errands to take care of, including buying Thomas an X-box (I think), whatever that is. When she arrived, we came home to leftovers. I have been wanting to try a seafood restaurant in Northport, but it always seems as though there is a long line of people waiting to get in. We will try to get there earlier in the day soon so we can check it out. As busy as it is, it must be good.

I turned 65 years old today, being born in 1943. I was born at home in a wide place in the road named Scrambletown, an old sawmill town about 20 miles east of Ocala, Florida. Looking back over my life, I would have to say that I have had a good life. I have a wife I love who is my best friend, two daughters that I cherish, and three grandchildren that the sun rises and sets on. I have two sisters and three brothers still living and I love to get together with them. My career in the nuclear industry was rewarding, financially and professionally. I have friends all over the country that I like to get together with, and, most important, my health is good. I still have enthusiasm for life, and look forward every year to how the Florida Gators will do in football and basketball. Every day is important to me, and I try to do something worthwhile with each of them. The first 65 have been great. Here's looking forward to the next 65.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Palacios, Texas: Shrimp Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy, windy, rain

Rain was promised today, and arrived in a deluge about 1400 hours. It rained very hard for about an hour, with a steady drizzle for another hour. The wind was blowing hard all day, with winds to 35 mph. This area was in a drought last year, but the drought appears to be over. Since we have been here, it has rained an average of once a week. As a result, the vegetation is lush and green, and the ponds are overflowing. It has been great for the flowers and shrubs.

We have gotten the house ready for the real estate market, and will make a decision on whether to place it with a Realtor in the next week or so or hold it until the market gets better. The market is probably better here than most of the rest of the country, but that's not saying much. Now that we are in a maintenance mode, we can spend less time keeping it looking good. This week, we have been spending more time at home, and it has been nice.

Thomas will be twelve years old on Monday, and Terri is allowing him to invite some friends to the house for a sleepover tomorrow night. We will help her get everything together and leave early. Who knows, maybe we will have time this weekend to do some sightseeing. If so, I'll look for some interesting camera shots.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Texas City, Texas: City By The Bay

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pressure Washing Completed

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high

After taking my morning walk and picking up a few things at the WalMart Mall, we went out to Terri's house about 1030 hours. The bird that nested on the upper back porch appears to have left the area, so I pressure washed the vinyl on the porch walls and below on the rear patio. The vinyl had a lot of dust and bug stuff on it, but looks much better now. After finishing the pressure washing and taking a break, I started doing some yard work, including mowing in areas that only get mowed about once a month. Carolyn worked on spots on the carpet that the carpet cleaner did not remove.

Below is a picture of the master bedroom.

Next are pictures of the master bathroom.

Pictures of the living room.

We were tired, so left earlier than normal.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Beaumont, Texas: The Museum Capital of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pictures of Terri's House

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 50 degrees, high 83 degrees, partly cloudy

We started the day a little slow again, but we think we have earned that right after the work of the last six weeks.

As I posted previously, Carolyn usually cuts my hair. What most people don't know is that she usually cuts her hair, also. She has been disappointed so many times by the hair cuts she has gotten at beauty shops that she seldom goes to one anymore. Instead, she has learned how to cut her own, even though it takes a little time. Most of the time, I help her with the finish, helping smooth it out. She does a good job for someone who has not had any training. Since we did not have any thing that was pressing to do, she decided to cut her hair today.

While Carolyn was cutting her hair, I took a walk for the first time in about three weeks. I have not had the energy or inclination to walk because we have been working so hard. Today's walk was not as long as I usually walk, but at least it was a start back to doing the things we like to do. When I got home, I helped Carolyn finish her haircut. Looks good.

We went to the library in Tuscaloosa to return some books and check out more. We needed to buy some groceries, so we went over to Sam's Club for a few of the things we like from them. After that, on to the WalMart Mall for the remainder of the groceries we needed. Carolyn is cooking for four people now instead of the two of us, so she usually cooks dinner about five nights a week. Thomas says he loves her cooking, and Terri is just happy to come home at night to food on the table.

Below are more pictures of Terri's house. This is the dining room in Alabama Red.

Another picture of the dining room.

Below is the kitchen.

Another picture of the kitchen.

Terri's office, again in Alabama Red.

I'll attach more pictures tomorrow.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Meridian, Mississippi: A Carousel of Culture

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 5, 2008

We Have Pictures

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 80 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

We got a late start today, not leaving home until almost 1100 hours. When we finally got to Terri's house, I started mowing and weed eating, while Carolyn took care of some little tasks that she wanted to finish. The yard work took more than four hours, and really made the yard shine.
We took pictures of the house and yard today, and will share them over the next 2-3 days. I have to do some work on them to make them small enough to send out in the blog.

The two pictures below are of the front of the house.

On the left is the rear of the house, with a porch upstairs and a patio below. On the right is the driveway.

Below is the shop.

I'll send out more pictures tomorrow. We will have a little more time to do the things we like to do, now that things are slowing down a little.
More later, be safe.
Today's Town - Jackson, Mississippi: City of Grace and Benevolence
Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fried Chicken

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 53 degrees, high 79 degrees, clear skies

Today was one of those days we have been looking forward to. It was a nice day as far as the weather was concerned. Even more important was the fact that we did not feel the need to spend the day working at Terri's house. Can you imagine how nice this weekend has been for us? Sleeping in, taking our time getting out and about, only doing what we feel like doing. Ahhhh, this is nice.

We still have a few things to do at Terri's house, but tomorrow is soon enough to get started on those items. Once those tasks are completed, we will start getting stuff ready for a yard sale. She has some items that we will advertise in the newspaper on a piece by piece basis. The intent is to have everything sold or otherwise disposed of that she will not need in another place. Doing that also makes it easier to move.

Terri bought a new used car about four weeks ago. It is a 2004 Honda Pilot. Very nice car, and has more room inside than I thought it would have, seating eight people fairly comfortably. It has less than 60,000 miles, and is loaded with just about every option available when it was new. Below is a good representation of the car.

She had a car accident in October of 2007, where a man driving a pickup truck in the oncoming lane fell asleep and hit her car head on. Luckily, she was not injured as seriously as she might have been. Her car at that time was a Toyota Corolla, which is a relatively small car, and was wrecked beyond repair. She did not want another small car because there is not much to protect a person in the small cars. The Honda Pilot which she decided to buy is quite a bit larger than the Toyota, but is still not as large as most of the other SUVs on the market. So far, the Honda is performing well.

Does anyone fry chicken at home anymore? I can remember the time that if a person wanted fried chicken, if it was not cooked at home, you did without. Now, there are fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken everywhere, and you can also buy it in the grocery stores. When the cost of buying all the ingredients is calculated, plus the time to cook and cleanup, it doesn't make a lot of sense to cook chicken at home.

What brought this little bit of remembering up is the fact that we went to Popeye's Fried Chicken for dinner tonight. Now, think about this. We go to a fired chicken place for fried chicken. What does Carolyn order? Fried shrimp!! Got to be different. Oh, well, at least my chicken was good, but the cole slaw left a little to be desired.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Giddings, Texas: Come As Our Guest, Leave As Our Friend

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Restaurant

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 82 degrees, thunderstorms early, clear in the afternoon

This post marks the 100th entry into the blog. When I started the blog, it was with the intent that it would be used to allow family and friends to follow along with us on our journey through life. I think the original intent is being met. We have found in our travels and adventures that other people were also interested in following along with us. That is very gratifying to me. The most important thing to have come out of the blog for me is that it has become a labor of love. I truly enjoy writing about and sharing our days with our readers, and intend to continue as long as possible. As we saw last week, there may be times when I can't post through no fault of our own. As much as possible, however, I will post every day. Now, on to today's entry.

We were wakened about 0500 hours by a line of thunderstroms that passed through the area. Fortunately, there was not any severe weather in this system in our area, with the worse weather passing to the north and south of us.

Since we have gotten so much work done on Terri's house, we decided to take the day off. We had a movie that Terri loaned to us I wanted to see, so we watched Syriani with George Clooney. Not a bad movie. However, I'm the sort who doesn't think all the world's ills are caused by the United States, which I perceived was the thrust of this movie. When you look at the people who were involved with producing the movie, such as George Clooney and Matt Damon, who are vocal critics of just about anything the United States stands for, it helps explain the slant that this movie took. As I said, not a bad movie, as long as you were aware of the message that was being sent.

After watching the movie, we went with Terri to Mug Shot, a popular restaurant in downtown Tuscaloosa. As most people who know us realize, we are hamburger connoisseurs. We are always looking for the perfect hamburger, and our favorite so far has been Backyard Burgers, a small chain based mostly in the south. Of course, there is nothing like a burger made at home. Mug Shot is located in an older building that has been left much as it would have been in the 1880s. It has wooden floors, a tin ceiling, plaster falling off the brick walls, and a bar that looks as though it was used 100 years ago. Comfort is not the main intent, with the tables and chairs being built out of wood with no padding.

When we walked into the restaurant, we were told we would have to wait about 20 minutes for a table. I don't like having to wait for a table, but we decided to wait this time, since we had heard the burgers were so good. Instead of 20 minutes, we only had to wait about 5 minutes. Things are already looking up. We were shown to our table and the waiter took our drink orders. Before we had decided what kind of burger we wanted, he was back with our drinks. We asked for a couple more minutes to decide, and then chose the bacon cheeseburger. I ordered the seasoned fries, while Carolyn and Terri ordered onion rings. The food was on our table in a reasonable time. The fires were lightly seasoned and excellent. The onion rings were large and tasted great. Best of all were the burgers. They were large, with meat hanging over the edges. The flavorings used enhanced the flavor of the meat. The burgers were large enough that we could only eat about half of them, and brought the rest home for dinner.

Our anaysis of the food is that Mug Shot's hamburgers are excellent, and we will certainly return for encores. On our scale of quality and taste, these burgers are second only to Backyard Burgers, and they are very close to taking over the spot as our favorite. We recommend this restaurant to everyone.

After leaving the restaurant, we drove through the University of Alabama campus. It has been several years since we have been through there, and there are a lot of changes, all for the better. Terri showed us the upgrades that have been done to the football stadium, and we saw girls dressed in ante bellum costumes on the porch of the University President's residence. Leaving the campus, we went to Terri's office with her where she works with children with autism. I helped her get a small refrigerator into her office that we had found in the shop at her house. After that, we stopped at Hobby Lobby so the ladies could do a little shopping. I was content to sit in the car and wait. Then, it was back to Terri's house.

It was nice to take the day off. Since we are fine tuning the house now, we should be able to do this more.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Stephenville, Texas: Cowboy Capital of the World

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm Back!!!!

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 84 degrees, cloudy skies, gusty winds up to 25 mph

A week ago today, our computer crashed big time. It would not start up, and since we don't have another one, I was unable to access the Internet. I took the computer into a repair shop for them to check it out. Of course, they were very busy, so I couldn't get the computer repaired and back home until Wednesday evening. Something happened to the operating system, which is Windows XP on our computer, and it had to be reloaded. The only things we could save were My Documents. All of our programs had to be reloaded by us, which was time consuming. While all of this was going on, we were still working on Terri's house, trying to get it finished so we could have Realtors out to look at it. And, of course, with us being so busy, I did not have time to go to the library to post the blog. Anyway, the computer seems to be working well, and the posts are beginning again today.

The last time I posted, we were hard at work on the house. We estimated we had another week of hard work to get the house ready for sale. Our estimate was just about right, and yesterday we had two Realtors out to look at the property. Today, we had a private individual coming out that was interested. However, she called us and said she and her husband decided it was more house and land than they wanted to take on. Our perception of what we have heard so far from the Realtors is that the real estate market is a little soft, but better than most of the rest of the country. It seems that a lot of people are looking for acreage, and Terri has almost 12 acres. One problem is that potential buyers see what is happening in the rest of the country, and then when they are interested in property in this area, they expect the property to be reduced drastically. If we find that it is not in Terri's interest to sell at this time, we will discuss it with her and help her decide what she needs to do.

In the meantime, the house is finished and the yard looks good. The only things we have left to do are pressure washing the upper and lower back porches, a little more work on the yard, and some fine tuning in the house. After that, we will need to maintain everything, including the yard. That should be fairly easy, allowing us to start exploring the area, as well as the rest of the state and the eastern part of Mississippi. We will also be recovering from all the hard work of the last seven weeks. It will be nice to do something other than work for a change.

We went to Dreamland for dinner tonight, having the bar-b-que chicken, french fries, and cole slaw. It was not bad, but it is not Texas style brisket. Our biggest problem with Dreamland's food is that we find it to be too salty. So far, we have tried the pulled pork (twice) and chicken. Next time we will try the ribs. If they are salty, we probably won't go there again.

Tonight, we are watching the severe weather that has been hitting states west of here. If the current movement of the weather continues, the bad weather will pass north and south of us. We have our fingers crossed.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Iuka, Mississippi: Gateway to Mississippi

Not all who wander are lost.