Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Captain Obvious

In our local edition of the Greenville News paper today there was a story about the city of Easley hosting a New Year's Eve party.

The organizer of events for the city, Scott Buckhiester (VP of operations for DunBurks Premier Events), is quoted in the story as saying, 

"This is the last event for 2008"

No crap dude.

Mobility Upgrade

Over the past two weeks she has been able to walk more and more without falling. Initially, crawling was still faster and was the preferred method when trying obtaining stuff to shove into her mouth. Especially when "stuff" was not food. Over the past few days, walking has been gaining ground on crawling.

Monday, December 29, 2008


The things you can do when mom leaves for a few hours...
Don't worry, we got it cleaned up before she got back.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Do you want to play a game?

Cari and I have started finding and playing board games over the past few years. I'm not talking about Monopoly or Risk. I'm talking about real board games.

It started with the Settlers of Catan. Next we purchased the card game, San Juan. For Christmas Cari picked up another game. We now have Carcassonne in our collection.

I'm not going to take the space here to teach you the game. If you want to know more here's a link.
The game can be played with up to six people, but works very well for just two. Cari and I played for several hours on Christmas while the kids were playing with their toys. The first few games we figured out how the game plays and started working out strategy. We would help each other out during those first few games. If I started to miss something good, Cari would stop me and point it out.

We're past that now. Now when I miss an opportunity in the game Cari jumps out of her chair after I make my mistake, she points her finger, and shouts, "HA!" It's all about the competition now.

We are on the look out for more players, but haven't found many yet. The last time we had some friends over to play a game things got very competitive and someone (not Cari) said I was the devil. You know you have found some friends with a competitive spirit if they call you the devil.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Goodnight. . .Merry Christmas

It's 1am. Santa is going to bed. The children will be up in a few hours. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Textile Mills

Remember me? The textile industry.

I didn't get a bail out.

In fact, it was the action of the US government that helped kill me.

From 2001 through 2003 over 320,000 textile jobs were eliminated in the United States. More than 20,000 of those jobs were from the state of South Carolina alone.

Still no bail out.

What makes one manufacturing industry more valuble than another?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to Eat This Thing

I mentioned that Cari picked up a pomegranate fruit for me the other day. When I held it I just turned it over in my hands a few times. Then, while still examining the fruit, I asked, "What do you do with this thing?"

I carried it into my office and started setting up for a photo shoot with the pomegranate. Amanda laughed and reminded me that I should be eating it.
But how?

I did a Google search on how to open and eat one of these reddish fruits. One of the top results linked to a great little video on Youtube.

After the photo shoot and studying was complete, I carried it back to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. First I cut the top off. I didn't just straight chop it off, I cut it like taking the top off a pumpkin. When I lifted the top off, it revealed the first look of the red, juicy parts. The seeds (what you eat) were packed in there.

I next made a few cuts starting at the top and moving down the sides. Those cuts didn't go all the way through the skin, but allowed me to pull the fruit open.
It is a really unusual fruit to examine. The seeds are packed into separate chambers that reminded me of a honey comb. A white membrane creates the separation.
I plucked a few of the red pieces out and put one in my mouth. To me, it has the texture of a grape skin. I broke it in my mouth and tasted a bit of the juice. The juice is strong, but eating one seed doesn't provide that much. It must take a ton of these to make one bottle of juice. That might be why it costs a fortune compared to other juices. I would describe the taste as a more bitter and stronger grape juice. Not sure if that makes sense, but that is what it reminds me of.

Inside each red piece is a white seed. Initially, I was sucking the juice out and spitting the seed onto a plate. I later learned that it is perfectly ok to chew the seed up and swallow it. It was much easier to eat a pomegranate after learning that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Birthday #33

Thanks for all the comments wishing me a happy birthday!

My birthday was a great day. Here's a few things that made it great:

  • I turned on Wii fit for the first time in two weeks. I had lost four pounds. I thought for sure it would be the opposite of that, then I quickly turned it off before I was prompted to do any sort of exercise.

  • I had a request for a print from a wedding I did last year. I made the edits she requested on the print and then told her I would get it to her at no charge. She was very happy and it made me happy that I was able to do something for her.
  • Cari and Amanda made me a German chocolate birthday cake. The cake was great but it turned out we didn't have any candles, so we substituted matches.

  • Cari came home from the store with a present for me. A pomegranate. I became interested in the fruit last year after finding a flower from a pomegranate tree. I like drinking pomegranate juice once in a while, but have never eaten the fruit. (more on that coming soon).

On top of all that I didn't feel any older. Not until Meredith got home from school and said, "You look old."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

As Promised

We headed out to Atlanta to pick up Amanda on Monday, as promised.  After we parked and started in to the terminal I realized that I hadn't seen Amanda for about five months.  What if she didn't recognize us?  

I grabbed a piece of cardboard off of someones shelter and made a professional looking sign.   I went and stood in the proper location for guys holding signs and waited. . .

Cari quickly pointed out that I was holding the sign upside down.   (Everyone that was just about to write a comment alerting me to my error - Cari just saved you that step!).   I argued that if she thought she could do it better, then she should hold the sign.

Not only did she hold the sign right side up, but she made friends in the chauffeur waiting area. . .

Initially, he tried to shove her out of his box like a basketball player setting up for a rebound.  He was quick to point to the sign as she moved behind the ropes, but she ignored him and got into position.  Maybe he didn't see the professional looking sign Cari was holding at first.  The bright white copy paper he used for his sign reflected a lot of light and might have obstructed his vision.  Either way, when she challenged his authority he quickly gave in and smiled for the picture.

Amanda eventually did get off the plane and found us quickly, thanks to my sign.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Almost Time

On Monday we will be going to pick up my sister-in-law so that she can stay with us for the next several weeks.  As soon as I get some embarrassing stories about her, I'll let you know.

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Excited Co-Worker

As the salespeople came in and sat down at my sales meeting on Wednesday I was feeling pretty pumped.  There were about three already seated when Mike came in.  "Mike, it's going to be a great meeting today, are you excited?", I asked him.  

He very plainly looked up at me and said, "no." as he sat down.  
More people came in and sat down and after a minute Mike looked at me from his chair and asked, "When you said excited, did you mean aroused or enthusiastic?"

I answered quickly, "enthusiastic."

"In that case, yes, I'm excited."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It started raining today and it still hasn't finished.  
I guess that's what prompted my co-worker to ask about Noah and the Ark.  
"How long did it rain when Noah built his boat?"

I told her the water covered the Earth.  I didn't think the three inches of rain today was going to do it.  

She asked me how long it took Noah to build his boat and I told her I wasn't sure.  Then she asked, "more than a week?"

I really don't know what she was trying to get at, I just answered, "Are you planning on building one?"  She walked away without answering me.  If she starts to build one, I'm going to get some pictures.  

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Bailout

I'm on my way to Washington to apply for my bailout.  I'm only asking for five million dollars, just the table scraps the other guys didn't pick up.  I don't really see how they can turn me down.

I'll be riding my bike there.  I don't want to come across like some high and mighty driving my big ol' non-hybrid car.  

Getting my bailout will be a huge boost to the economy (local) and create jobs (especially since I'll quit mine).  It'll also help small businesses (China Buffet) and contractors as we build the third and forth stories on our home with a swimming pool on the roof (next to the helipad).  

There you have it; I have a plan, I have humility, and I have no money currently.  Those seem to be the only requirements to collect a government bailout. 

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The (non)Hunter

Previous to using Duck Hunter online, I used King David as an alias.  That was a long long time ago.  Maybe in the times of using dial up BBS's.  I wonder how many people remember those.  Anyway, I didn't use King David for very long before I switched over to Duck Hunter.

I have been asked several times about why I chose the name Duck Hunter and if I really hunt.

First of all, I am not a hunter.  I have never hunted.  

The name originates from playing a video game online with some coworkers almost fifteen years ago.   The game: Warcraft.

We would arrange a time to meet online and battle it out in the game after work.  There were a few times at our scheduled match that one of us didn't show up.  After one time of me missing, he said I was ducking him because I was scared to lose.  

The next time he missed a match, I told him he was ducking me.  I told him I was determined to beat him in our next match and if he tried ducking me I would hunt him down.  

Duck Hunter.

Friday, December 05, 2008


We all played in the leaves on Thanksgiving day. Here's a few shots.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The legend of Manse Jolly

There is a road in Anderson, SC that I pass each time I go to work and again when I return home. This got me started thinking about roads named for people and what that person meant to the community for a road to be named for them. This road, Manse Jolly Rd, was named for a Confederate soldier from Anderson.

Manse was known to be a brave soldier and he survived until the end of the war. What got him into legendary status was his actions after the war when he returned to Anderson. At the end of the war, the Union set up a garrison in Anderson. Manse was upset about losing his five brothers during the war and seeing these soldiers occupy his town irritated him further.

Manse made it his mission to take the life of five Union soldiers for each of his brothers lives.
The stories I have read say that his legend has grown over time. He isn't viewed as a criminal or murderer. He is sometimes described as a Robin Hood for the way he defended all the local people against the soldiers. One story describes him killing two Union soldiers that were guarding some stolen cotton and then Manse returned the cotton to the owner. The soldiers of the garrison were known to loot and pillage the area and Jolly went after each one.

The story says that the soldiers became terrified of Manse Jolly and back up was brought into the area. Knowing that he was a wanted man, Manse fled to Texas, taking more Union lives as he left. On his way out of Anderson, he rode his horse straight through the Union camp firing his rifle into the air and making a bunch of noise. The troops became so scared they scattered and ran as if they were attacked by an army.

I can't find an exact number of people he killed, but all accounts say that he revenged his brothers deaths times five (25) and then some before leaving.

His life ended a few years later in Texas. He was crossing a flooded river on horse back and one story said that his horse became tangled in some vines, killing horse and rider.

There is a lot of information on this local hero if you are interested to read more.
THIS is about his last ride through town.
THIS is a summary of information available on Manse Jolly.

While I was reading about Manse, I came across this song written by Jeff Rose of the Cane Creek Bluegrass band.

Now when I cross Manse Jolly Rd each day I am reminded of this important legend of local history.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Brave Pastor

Yesterday at church, the pastor called all the kids to the front as usual. The kids all ran up and sat in a circle around him quietly.
It must take a brave pastor to do these lessons with the children in front of the congregation because they can never predict what will be said.
Then the pastor asked them, "What is a prophet?"
Randy looked up at him and proudly said, "It's an amount of money."