Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I've got to admit I don't get Facebook. I've been on it for maybe a couple of months now, and I just don't see the draw. I've heard stories of people whose entire social life is driven by it, but for me it's a big day if I spend more than 5 minutes on it. I'm a little worried that it just means I'm becoming an old fogey, and in a sense I know that's true, but at another level I really don't care: I think Facebook is overrated.

On another topic, if you'd like to see pictures from our vacation, go here:

I know I'm biased, but I think Vicki takes great pictures!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Career change?

And you thought there was only one use for buoys. Buoy, were you wrong! Apparently they make nifty porch ornaments as well. And believe it or not you can apparently make a living selling the aforementioned accoutrements.

Upon closer inspection, Vicki and I found out these things aren't even real buoys. Who'd a thunk that? They're just styrofoam balls cleverly painted to look like buoys and strung together on a rope. Now really, how hard can that be? Especially given the fact that most genuine buoys I've seen are hardly little Picassos artfully disguised. Now all I have to figure out is how many bogus buoys I need to sell in a summer to afford the mortgage on a million dollar seafront estate. I've heard it's a buyer's market. If the math works out...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beaufort, NC

Sitting in Taylor's Big Mug coffee shop on vacation in Beaufort, NC. This is the first place we've been with internet since we left home on Friday. The withdrawal has been intense.

Beaufort is best known for being the home of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard the Pirate. The house he lived in is just a few blocks from where we are right now. Legend has it he hung one of his wives from a tree that's still in the front yard. Charming, I know.

It's a beautiful day here. Sunny skies and the high is supposed to reach 95º. Perfect vacation weather. Actually, Vicki would disagree with that statement- it's about 20º too hot for her, but that's why God made air conditioned coffee shops with free internet access.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Katie Reider

Katie passed away this morning just before 7:00am. Our hearts ache for Rob, Karen and the kids, and the entire Reider family.

A few years ago Rob invited Vicki and me to a live radio concert at WVXU featuring Katie and her band. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I've ever had. Katie was so fun to see perform, so engaging with the audience and just genuine. And, of course, immensely talented. But she always remained one of the friendliest and most gracious people I've known. After she moved away from Cincinnati, I was always surprised that every time she came back to visit and came to the Vineyard she would stop by the audio booth just to say hi.

We're lucky that Katie's music will remain with us forever. But she will be missed incredibly by those who knew her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Things that sting

For the first time in what seems like a really long time, Vicki and I have had a chance to do some things together in the evenings. Tonight we were working in the yard. We've had problems with carpenter bees on and off for years. I don't know if you've ever been around them or not, but they're big and scary looking and I'm dead certain they were NOT part of God's original plan for creation. They dig holes into wood to live in, and in our case that means they dig into a fascia of sorts just under the roof line of our solarium. The only way I've been able to control them (I've failed at trying to eliminate them) is to occasionally climb up on a ladder and plug their holes while they're sleeping. I don't know what happens to them after that, but they don't seem to be able to dig their way back out.

I don't think carpenter bees have stingers, but I've never gotten close enough to one to find out for sure. But while I was up dealing with the carpenter bees, I happened to notice two wasp nests just under the peak of the roof. I kind of thought they were maybe old nests that weren't active, but I decided to be careful. Good choice on my part. When I knocked the first one off, angry wasps went everywhere. Luckily they mostly flew up rather than down at me, so I had time to escape before they figured out who was responsible for disrupting their hitherto happy home.

In general I really dislike anything that can sting me or looks like it can. My friends Greg and Cindy Dean actually keep bees. On purpose. It makes no sense to me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goin' to the Brickyard

Thanks to our good friends Fred and Rhonda Maess, Vicki and I are going to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Woohoo! This will be our second NASCAR race- we went to Charlotte last year to see the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It was a great time, in spite of my bad back at the time, and my boy Jeff Gordon won the race. Perhaps lightning will strike twice: he's won the Brickyard 400 four times.

This race has some special meaning to me because it was the initial Brickyard 400 that turned me into a Jeff Gordon fan in the first place. I was a pretty casual NASCAR follower until then, but I watched that race because it was a big deal for stock cars to be racing at the hollowed home of the Indy 500. Everyone wanted to win that race, especially all the good ole' boys of NASCAR of the time like Dale Earnhardt Sr., Bill Elliot, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace. Instead, this 24 year old kid (a ridiculously young age to break into NASCAR at the time, much less start winning) who could speak English without a drawl won. I was hooked. And it ends up I picked a pretty good driver to follow as well.