Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog Preview

Here's what's coming up this week on
Duck Notes.

"Another dam place I found."

"Spider bites do not get you out of work."

"Restaurant Review - sandwich edition."

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Flower Child

We took a trip over to the Hartwell dam with the kids and found this field of yellow flowers. Brenna was stooped over picking at the flowers while the other two ran wild in the open space.Cari sat in the field next to Brenna and picked a few flowers. She put one behind her ear and one behind Brenna's ear.Brenna quickly pulled it away from her ear so that she could examine what had been placed there.

Then she looked up at the flower behind Cari's ear. It was awesome to watch her quietly figure out what she was supposed to be doing.

Brenna tried to recreate what Cari had done and picked a flower, but didn't manage to get any of the stem. She took the flower head and started to place it IN her ear. She seemed proud of herself initially, but after a few moments, pulled it out.
After pulling it out, she looked at it and immediately shoved it into her mouth.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Over Memorial weekend, we went camping.  Tent camping.  In the rain.   It was great.  
We went with some friends of ours who also tent camped in the rain.  I think people that camp in a camper are not really camping.  There must be another name for it, but if you have a bathroom, kitchen, and a bed, you can't call it camping.   Anyway, that's a topic for a different post. 

While we were camping, my friend said he wanted to show the kids how to hunt for snipes.  It was evening and the kids were starting to get a bit rowdy around camp.   He took the kids to the side of the campsite near some trees and gave them each a plastic bag.  He told them to hold their flashlights into the bags to catch a snipe.   I had never hunted snipes before and I was just as interested as the kids.

A snipe is a small, rabbit type of creature and you have to be very quiet to lure them into your bag.  Once you are shining your light into the bag, you should quietly call out, "Here snipe."

Once he got them started he told me to follow him back to the camp fire.  That's when I realized that it was a lie!  This wonderful little game kept the kids nice and quiet at the base of those trees.  After about five minutes my friend called the kids back to the camp fire and told them it was too warm to catch snipes that night. 

And to think that I was about to ask for my own snipe catching bag.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My (older) Children

The girl:
She comes to me holding a "C" battery in her hand and asks, "Dad, do you have a battery like this. . ." Before I can answer she thrusts forward her other hand holding a "AAA" battery and says, ". . .but this size?"
The boy:
While on vacation he decided to climb an antenna tower on the side of a building. He didn't get too far up and I watched him do it. I decided he would get scared and not get too high. Well, his mom saw him doing it and forced him down. After our visit with family, we were getting the baby back in the car. When I looked up, I saw the boy climbing the tower again. When Cari saw him she fussed at him to get down and get into the car. She wasn't too happy. His answer, "Dad was encouraging me."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twin Groves

As we drove through Illinois on our vacation, we saw the giant wind turbines in the distance. The spinning blades continued on over the horizon and I told Cari that on our way home I wanted to drive out and see them up close.

On the last day of our vacation, Amanda told us that she knew where they were. It seemed like the place we had seen them on the interstate was about an hour away but she said it would only be a fifteen minute drive from her place.

I followed her directions and, sure enough, we approached a field of towers. This is the Twin Groves wind field in central Illinois. It is the largest wind farm in the United States that is East of the Mississippi.

240 turbines, each standing at 221 feet into the air, stretch over 22,000 acres of farm land. Each blade is 128 feet in length. Only 200 acres were removed from farming to construct the field and the benefit is enough electricity for 120,000 homes per year.
The quality of my above video isn't great but I wanted to post it to show you how large these towers are as well as how far into the distance they stretch. Most of the audio in the clip is wind, but I will tell you that these turbines make very little noise.
This was my first opportunity to see one of these in person and I was very impressed. It was somewhat peaceful to stand below these quiet pinwheels. They seemed to be gently spinning as far as the eye can see. With such little impact on the overall farm land, it seemed like the perfect place for this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation Numbers

Number of days on our trip: 5
Number of home cooked meals for the week: 1
Number of miles traveled: 1,690
Number of children in the car: 3
Number of Tylenol taken by Cari: 6
Number of McDonald's mocha's consumed: 4
Number of minutes stuck in Louisville traffic: 30
Number of Corvettes seen on the highway: 8
Number of family members visited: 19
Number of wind towers in the wind farm: 120
Number of conversations held with no children around: 0

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Land

We have just returned from a week in the land of unsweet tea.  Also known as the Land of Lincoln.  Also known in my car as the Land of Un-ending Corn.  Also known as Illinois. 

Restaurant after restaurant, I watched as people drank, bitter, unsweet tea.  They must have some severe personal issues to drink that, I thought.  Well, it didn't take long for me to realize that it may not be the fault of the people.  It may be the fault of the restaurants FORCING people to drink their tea the wrong way.  When I tried to order my tea, I was informed that they don't even make it sweet.  

WHAT!?  Even in South Carolina you can order tea UN-sweet in many places.  So why is it in the Prairie state they can't make a pitcher of tea with sugar in it?  It's because they REFUSE to!  Is it because the SUGAR is produced in the South?  This is a case of being held back by "the man!"  

God forbid the North do anything that would benefit the South!

It's great to be home.   

Monday, May 18, 2009


When two opponents match up in a game multiple times how many wins does it take to be declared the champion? 

Two in a row?  That may be just luck.  
Three in a row?  Sounds like a trend, but does that make you a champion?
Four in a row?  When you win four in a row you may want to jump up on the table and start fist pumping in front of your opponent, but I wouldn't recommend it.  

At what level can you print out a certificate that says you are the ultimate champion and then have the loser certify it by signing the loser column?  

When I won my fifth game in a row of Carcassonne against Cari I was ready to print out my champions certificate.   I had already jumped up on the table and did my dance after the fourth win and Cari said it wasn't over yet.  

It turns out that you can't declare yourself the champion until the other person surrenders to your domination.  Unfortunately for me, Cari wasn't willing to submit to my awesome game play.  There would be no signing of the certificate. . .yet.  

Game six began, and if I'm being honest, I was a bit nervous.  Cari and I are pretty evenly matched in this game and at some point she was going to get me.  She had become very frustrated after her fifth straight loss and winning a sixth may push her to declare me the champion.   This game was big.  Her morale was low and my confidence high.

Cari took an early lead but I fought back bit by bit.  Throughout the entire game it felt like she was in control, but she couldn't seem to ever gain a large lead.  During the final scoring I came up a few points short of the win.  

This felt like a major defeat to me and a huge victory for her.  Then I reminded myself that she hasn't ever beat me FIVE TIMES IN A ROW!  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Not long ago I gave you a peak into my cell phone and shared a few of the photos stored there.  Today I'm going to share a few of the text messages in my inbox. 

"Wow..not a good trade..see if he can kick your knee."

"are you driving naked?"

"I have figured out that sitting in the bathroom is the only place to rest at work.  But then your butt goes numb from staying too long."

"2 in.bowl. dead?"

"did you bring a mask? can you move over?"

"Smart ass"

"Did you buy sparkle chap stick?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Run for your lives!!!!!

Oh... it wasn't 2,500 real tigers.  It turns out it was just Clemson University's graduation. They released 2,500 graduates into the (non-exsistant) job market.

Run for your lives!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Should Have Known

Wednesday night was a horrible night at work. Everyone I encountered had an attitude. One person even took off his glasses and raised up at me as if to physicaly threaten me. My kids were acting up at church dinner. Then my favorite pen started acting up.
I would start to write and no ink would come out. I moved to the top corner of the paper and scribbled quickly and it worked. Moved back down to write and. . . no ink. After three attempts, I threw my (favorite) pen at the cement wall. It bounced to the floor. As I picked it up, I seperated the halves and pulled the ink cartridge out, bent it in half, and threw it away. Then I clipped the inkless pen to my shirt with my now inky fingers. UGH!!!
When the night was over and I was walking to the car, I looked up.
A full moon... of course.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Baby's first haircut!

Trying to keep her hair out of her face was becoming a constant struggle, and keeping clips or bows in place is easier if you are trying to place them in her mouth.

Imagine living in a house with Cousin It. When she runs up to me, I look down and see hair.

It was time to give her a haircut. Cari was crying - on the inside - as she got the scissors ready.

Initially, Cari didn't like the result. She was going to miss those long bangs. I was going to miss Cousin It.
Five minutes after the haircut we all decided we liked it. The baby is discovering a whole new world not covered in hair and I am discovering my baby's face!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Last week I read this article about the Georgia Guidestones.  I just happened onto the article and as I read, realized that the location is only about an hour from home.  

After church on Sunday I gave my family a choice.  Visit a lake we have never been to or go to a secret location.  It was a bit cooler outside and looking like rain so they chose to save the lake for this summer.   We drove into Georgia and headed toward Elberton. 

Before we got to the "Granite Capital of the World", we arrived at the Georgia Guidestones. 

Initially I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be.  Or maybe as much as I thought I should be.  From the car, they just didn't look as massive as I had pictured in my head.  We got out and walked up to them.  

Standing at the base of the massive granite slabs and looking at the amount of words carved into each one, I was now impressed.  The same message is written on each of the eight faces, each in a different language.  

Here is the text inscribed onto each slab:











Apparently, the writing upsets people from various groups for various reasons.  There have been times of vandalism at the site with people having religious and political disagreements.  The spray paint had all been cleaned off at the time of our visit.  

It surprised me that we saw several other people show up while we were there.  This is a place in between two small towns and I didn't expect to see anyone else. 

After a few pictures and taking some time to read the descriptions we headed back home.  

The Guidestones were a cool thing to come check out, but reading the history first makes the visit even better. 

Monday, May 04, 2009

On My Phone

I love taking photos with my phone. I actually use it pretty frequently to grab random stuff throughout the week. On average I take at least one photo a day. A lot of times, I'll take a picture of myself hard at work and send it to Cari.

Here's a few items that recently found their way onto my memory card:

This is a spot that I go to eat lunch somtimes. The park is only five minutes from work.

There are several church signs that I drive past every day. This one got my attention about a week ago. It was even worth stopping the car and getting out for the shot.

Me...hard at work. Cari's text back to me was something like, "are you crazy?".

This was Meredith on the way home from our camping trip with Rake. She was loaded up with Burger King and wiped out tired.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


I need a haircut, the lawn has to be mowed, the trees need trimming, and I have to be to work in a few hours.  

I was trying to see if there was a way to get everything done but unless I want to get my haircut done with a lawn mower, it seems that something won't get done today.