Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Best Lunch

I requested Cari to purchase a specific lunch meat last week. After hearing what it was that I wanted, her response was, "yuck!" The next ten minutes was spent convincing her this lunch meat is one of the best. It was almost to the point that if I wanted it, I'd have to make that purchase myself.

She really was that repulsed by it. She finally backed down and came home with some meat for a great sandwich.

Olive Loaf : A blend of pork and beef that is formed into a fine textured loaf. Whole pimento stuffed olives are added to the blend of pork and beef for added flavor. After the loaf is formed the meat is cooked. The loaf is sliced thin and used for luncheon meat.

Bologna is OK. Olive loaf is like high class Bologna. A co-worker asked, "What kind of sandwich is that? Bologna?" I stood up tall and lifted my head a bit to answer. "Nope. It's olive loaf.", I said with pride.

His response, "Blech!"

"Meredith, do you want me to make you an olive loaf sandwich?"
She asked what it was and I showed her. After looking at it she said, "Can I have something else?"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Table Rock

I have a few minutes to sit down and write before bed. Here's what happened on Friday morning.

It was around 40 degrees when we left the house. It was even colder when we got up to the trail head. Cari had gloves, something I did not. For Christmas, I got a pack of those Hot Hands warmers. You break the chemicals inside this packet and it produces a good amount of heat that you can put in your pocket. They work great to keep hands warm on days like this. Too bad I left those things on my dresser. MY HANDS HURT they were so cold.

The map of the trail said it would take 2-3 hours one way. It was 9:30am. We had to be back in the car around 1:30-1:45 to make sure we were home when the kids got off the bus. We knew we would have to get going if we were to make the whole trip.

About twenty minutes into the hike we realized how steep this was going to be. The steady climb up meant we were taking frequent breaks. Around half way up I offered to carry the backpack. Cari didn't hesitate to get that off her back.

At one point, the trail went up the side of a smooth, rock face. I started up what seemed like the right way. Then I lost grip and started sliding back to my starting point as Cari watched me. I got a hold of the rock and just sat there for a second, scared to move. Then Cari noticed a little trail to the side of this rock and walked right past me. I was laying like a turtle on its back. with the backpack, camera, and tripod strapped to my back, I laid on this rock for a minute. Finally, I gave up and slid the rest of the way down.

There are not many flat sections to the trail. As I was hiking, I kept looking up. Up at more rocks and more trees. That was always a reminder that the trail was still going uphill.

Walking among the trees on top of Table Rock we knew we were on top. Nothing was at higher ground then where we stood. We continued on past the summit to get a view from the side of the mountain. My goal was to get a picture of Caesars Head State Park. We have been to Caesars Head several times. There is a great view of Table rock standing at Caesars Head. Having reached my goal, I now have a picture looking back from Table Rock.

This is a picture taken from Caesars head. The lake on the left is at the base of Table Rock

This was taken from on top of Table Rock. You may need to enlarge this to see it, but the white rectangle in the center of this shot is a water tower. The rock below that water tower is the visitor center at Caesars Head State Park. The place you can stand out and see for miles.

There was a good amount of ice on the rock at the top. Water was flowing under the ice. It was one of the neatest things to watch. A picture would never show the movement of water and air traveling under the thin layer of ice. You'll just have to believe how cool it was. A few parts of the trail had ice on them. Enough to slow us down, but not enough to stop us. We took some photographs (roughly 40) standing up there. Then we realized it was noon. We were behind schedule!

Coming down was much easier. We also did it with some urgency. 7 miles round trip. 1,900 feet of elevation change. 3,100 ft above sea level at the top! The first goal was to reach the summit. The secondary goal was to view Caesars Head. Mission Accomplished (not like George Bush) for both!
Fall from here and you'll hit the ground in about 1,000 ft.

Tired at the top. Cari takes a break while I play in the woods.
We got home on time and both collapsed on the bed. Cari said that next week she was picking the hike, and it would be, ". . . around the block."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Most difficult hike, EVER!

After 7 miles, more than 1,900 feet of elevation change, and an icy trail, we have returned from the top of Table Rock. Over four hours of solid hiking round trip. More stories about this trip later. Here's a picture to hold you over.Here's a picture fo the mountain we climbed today. This photo was taken in June.

Now I have to go get the kids in bed. I'll try and get you more story tonight. Might not be until Saturday.

Getting ready to Hike

We are going hiking this morning. I sat down to have some breakfast and I read THIS.

That's not the kind of story you want to read before tackling a trail. I told Cari to grab a pen.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Randy has started to climb this tree in our front yard. He hasn't climbed this previously because I trim all the lower branches. He has to hold the lowest ones and pull himself up.

Guess I'll trim another row.

Just kidding....he has a great time climbing around, and I won't be the one to take that away.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Feed the Weeds

So I go out to fill my bird feeder this morning. It had been raining and there was some wet seeds in the bottom tray. I promptly dump the wet seeds and some scrap onto the ground below the feeder.

"What are you doing?" I hear from the porch.
"Feeding the birds."
"You just dumped all the seeds onto my flower bed." she tells me.
I look down at the ground and back at my feeder. "Where else would you like me to dump this?"

Cari is still standing in the doorway, "Dump it in the grass."
"Then I'll get weeds in the grass. I can't do that." I tell her as I start to pour fresh seeds into the feeder.

Now she sounded a bit irritated. "I don't want weeds in my flowerbed. Are you going to go out there and pull the weeds?"

I kind of laughed to myself at that thought. I certainly wasn't going to be pulling any weeds. I also wasn't going to pour this into my lawn.

Just a few moments ago, I told her that I was dumping the wet seeds because it wasn't healthy for the birds. Now, I just caught myself telling her that the birds would eat everything I dump. I needed a better excuse to get out of this.

"I thought you put Preen down to stop the weeds. This won't be a problem.", I told her with confidence.

As she went back inside, she told me that I would not be dumping seeds in her flowers again. The door closed, leaving her with the last word.

What she doesn't know is that when she turned around to go inside I spread a handful of seeds around the entire garden.

The true last word was "Surprise." The only person that heard it was me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Back Woods

I was out taking pictures today and taking a lot of back roads. I passed by this church. Thought I saw the sign wrong, so I turned around and drove by it again. Yeah, I read it right, so I backed up and checked the name of the church. Sounded like a real church. Here's the sign that had me confused in this back woods church. . .(be sure to enlarge the picture if you can't read the sign)

This must be about what translation of the bible you read.

Just a movie

I was having a follow-up religion discussion with the same guy at work. Today's topic: The Davinci Code. I recently watched the movie with Cari. My friend told me that it is trying to poison people's minds. He said it is blasphamy. I told him it was a fictional story that made a good movie. There was no way I was going to convince himself of watching this movie.

Cari said his faith must be pretty weak if it can be shaken by a movie like that. There are others that live around here, mostly Southern Baptist, that also refuse to see the movie.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Truth

I had a discussion at work about translations of the bible. He told me that the only true translation is the King James. He tried to quote the passage of Revelations that commands no words be added or taken away. I prefer to read the NIV translation and he told me that my bible is missing several thousand words.

"It's only missing words from the KJ bible.", I told him. "It's not missing it necessarily from the original text."

This went on for about half an hour. When I got home, I did an amount of research on the English bible. Although many consider the KJV the 'official' translation, it was written in the 1600's. More documents (dead sea scrolls) have been found since then and also the knowledge of ancient Hebrew and Arabic is more advanced now then in 1600.

My debating friend didn't want to hear any of that. The NIV is junk in his opinion.

Really, isn't the only important thing that people are picking up a bible and trying to learn about God and Jesus? It doesn't matter what translation you read, as long as you are reading it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Win the Race

quick link to the PineWood Derby video

I knew that you all would be so excited to see Cari win. Maybe all except RJ.
When I was putting my car on the track, Cari offered me a $100 wager on our race.
"You don't have a hundred to bet.", I told her.

I had excuses. "If I had all day to do nothing but work on my car for a week I may have won."
That didn't go over to well. Cari offered to let me do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc...
I retracted my excuse and accepted my loss. At least I didn't get beat by anyone else. There was also some amount of comfort knowing that it was so close. I said, "SOME amount of comfort." No loss in our house is easy. Everything is competition and winning IS important.

You all made Cari very happy today as she read all your supportive comments.

Don't worry about me, my tears will dry. . .eventually

working hard

I'm working hard to get the video done. It's been hard to get an hour of quiet in the house today. It's kind of hard to focus on what I'm doing. On top of that I just got back from a church meeting and I have a few other things to do before bed.

I have the video pretty much edited down the way I like it. It's about five minutes. Now, I'm trying to get the text and titles and music the way I want it.

I'm going to try and get this finished in the next hour. If not, it'll have to happen in the next few evenings.

Sorry for this delay.

Final Product

The races were today. I have taken several pictures and taken the video. I hope to get the video edited a bit and put on the blog sometime on Sunday. For now, here is the cars my family entered into the races...

Friday, January 12, 2007


I was *this* close to getting a post up here last night, along with about five other things I wanted to do. A headache after work prevented me from doing anything but going straight to bed. I feel better this morning but don't have time to tell you the story right now. Hopefully later will work out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Progress on the cars

We've been working on our Pine Wood Derby cars the past few days. Here are some work in progress pictures. I'll post the finished product by Friday. Saturday is the race. I plan on taking the camcorder. I may not have the video up on Saturday, but by Sunday I should have it edited and ready for the blog.

Here's the shots so far:
Cari in her workshop, or as she calls it, the kitchen.This is Cari's car. She added some fishing weights to the front as headlights. The underside was drilled a little bit to glue in more of these type weights.

This is Randy's car. Window carved through it is the main feature here. You can see the metal plate screwed to the bottom for extra weight.

This is my Formula1 / Indy inspired car.
Here is the underside of my car. I had to hollow out almost all of it to add metal as weight. The car can weigh up to 5.0 ounces. The goal is to be as close as possible to that without going over. Before adding weight, my car was 2.0 ounces.

I'm adding some more weight to it tonight and then I'll be ready to paint.

I'm still counting on silencing all of you that are cheering for Cari. Also, we are not racing Randy's car against either of ours. I would not want my car to be faster than Randy's.
I hope to hear what kind of design Mojo comes up with as well.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It's time again for the Cub Scout Pine Wood Derby. They hand you a block of wood, a small page of rules, and tell you to build a car. A car faster than everyone elses block of wood.

Yesterday we all got together to share a scroll saw and help each other get started. Randy didn't have much interest in how his car would look. I drew a profile on the side before cutting. When I showed Randy, he accepted what I had drawn. After my rough drawing I walked over and cut it out.

We were all having a good time talking and helping the boys get started. Until she came in. Cari came over to see how it was going and announced she would be making her OWN car. She declared it would blow away any car that the men would make.

That's all it took for one of our neighbors to start a second car. One for his boy, and one for him to beat Cari. Another father also started a car of his own to race against Cari.

It wasn't long after that, when the peer pressure got to me. Cari came up and made a personal challenge to me and handed me another block of wood. Now I too was building a second car.

Using a ruler, I made precise measurments, arefully marking the profile of my new car. My neighbor had already started on his car and was now sitting alone to the side of the room. When Cari went over to see how he was doing, he hid his work. Some kind of top secret design. This is serious competition. We were no longer talking and sharing.

One of the Cub Scout leaders came in and saw that we had abadoned our children's cars and were working diligently on our own. She commented that so much more precision and effort was going into these cars compared to the cars for the boys.

The contest is next Saturday. As I get my car completed, I'll post some pictures of it. It already is looking faster than Cari's car.

A lot faster.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tornado hits Elementary School

Just a few minutes before school got out today, a small tornado hit the parking lot. Picked up and stacked aproximatly eight cars. Only a few people recieved minor injury.

It has been raining off and on all day. Around 2:30 wind picked up and knocked our swing over in the back yard. Around 3:00 we wondered why the bus hasn't been by yet. At 3:15 Cari started calling other parents and tried to reach the school. Then someone called and said there had been a tornado at the school. We left and headed toward the school, picking up another mom on the way. TONS of traffic as two schools were being let out. As we sat in traffic Randy called and asked where we were. He was at home with Meredith.

He said during the afternoon anouncements they had a tornado drill, something about putting a book over your head, and the power went out. Meredith said her class had to sit against a wall with their heads at their knees. Randy told me that when the bus was leaving he saw cars in the parking lot on top of each other and mangled up.

This probably was scariest for the people that were in that parking lot waiting to pick up their children.

All of this happened just two minutes before school let out.

After we got home and found everyone to be ok I went out to take some pictures. I found a back way toward the school and parked a few blocks away to avoid traffic. Here's a few pictures I was able to get. I got there around 4:15pm so a lot of clean up had already started. The Cadillac in the center of this picture was on top of the flipped over car. There were also three news helicopters hovering over the scene. If you don't believe me, I took thier pictures too.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the Greenville News story. They have some great pictures that were taken before I got there and also a few witness accounts from people that were waiting in the line. (photo gallery on the right side of that page)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What to Say?

Sometimes I feel like I should post on the blog but I have nothing to say. Then I go out taking pictures and bang my head into a tree. Wow, something for the blog.

Unfortunatly for my head, it is a TRUE story.


I went out to take a few pictures today. I headed into Easley and found Town Square. A nice plaza behind downtown that I was previously unaware of. I took a few pictures as I walked around. There was a row of trees that interested me. I don't know what kind of trees they are. These trees have multiple trunks that are very smooth, almost no bark at all. The multiple trunks twist and turn together. After not finding just the right angle to get a picture I decided to check back in the spring. I walked down the sidewalk as I put my camera back in the bag.


Walking with my head down, a tree branch smacked me in the head. Oh, it hurt! My hat fell off and it took a second for me to realize what happened. There were several city workers in the park. I picked up my hat and kept walking like nothing happened. After I walked another hundred yards, I sat down and rubbed my head.

This is one of the pictures I took before I hit my head. The door to the clock tower. I just added a filter to it when I got home. You don't want to see the pictures I took AFTER I hit my head.

Once I got home, Cari said, "Are you ok? You look pale."
"I feel alright, but I did walk into a tree."
She had a smirk on her face, but she didn't laugh out loud. She took off my hat and found a nice bruise forming in the middle of my forehead. This is like something that happens in cartoons. The only difference was I didn't make the comic fall onto my back.

I'm going to go rest my head.