Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two Clocks

Driving on Easley Bridge Rd just west of Greenville you will find two restaurants next door to each other. They basically share a parking lot they are so close together. They are both "CLOCK" restaurants. The first is Clock Drive In #5 and the other is the Clock Family Restaurant.

I've heard two stories about how this came to be. Both versions agree that the Clock Drive In #5 was first. It opened approximately 1987. Story one says that the business was family owned and during an argument the family broke up with one side opening a competing restaurant adjacent to the original. 

The second version of the story says that the brothers that owned Clock #5 were leasing and had a falling out with the land owner. So approximately 1996 they purchased the adjacent lot and started another Clock restaurant. Clock #5 was purchased by new owners and remains in operation. 

I did some brief Google searching yesterday and couldn't find any hard evidence on either story but I do know this. Both of their signs advertise nearly identical items and the decor of the restaurants is very similar. Leading me to believe that there is some relation and history between the two and they use their signs to continually take jabs at one another by mimicking.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Should I Keep It?

We were sitting in our new hammock swings when I saw something poke up out of the grass.  When I got down to investigate I found a rather large snake.

My daughter questions if it's a Cobra during the video. I think she says that because, for kids, it's either a cobra or a rattle snake. This one didn't have a rattle.

I let this one go and he crossed the road into my neighbors yard.  When Cari got home I showed her the video.  Her first, and only, question was, "Did you kill it?"  I told her I contemplated keeping it.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hidden Treasure!

We went in search of some dinner in Clemson and accidentally found Abernathy Waterfront park.
After we found some dinner we drove back to the park to have a picnic and walk on the boardwalk.
While we were there a neighbor that attended Clemson University called and we mentioned where we were. She had never heard of the park. Apparently we had discovered a hidden treasure.

There were no ducks in the park so we through some bread crumbs into the water and fed some fish and sat on some of the benches. 
Have you ever found hidden treasures after living in a town for years?

Monday, June 24, 2013

You Have TOO Much Stuff

I started to notice the amount of storage businesses I drive past every day and it got me thinking.

We have too much stuff.

Look at all the junk that we buy.  We have so much stuff that we can't even it hold it in one house.  I suppose if you live in a museum and you feel the need to change your displayed collection every few months you may need a storage container.

I know that there are legitimate reasons why people use storage containers.  Maybe someone is getting ready to move and needs a place to hold their belongings temporarily.  Or maybe someone had a flood in their home and they need to clear it out for a short time.   But that doesn't account for the huge amounts of storage that is available out there.  I also suspect that for many people, once they start filling a storage container, they keep filling it until it is full and then leave their stuff there.

It's a tough thing to fight clutter.  It's fun to shop.  It's fun to bring home new things.  I appreciate those feelings.  But when you fill up your house maybe it's time to give away or sell some of your belongings instead of filling up someone else's garage with it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Father's Day Part 2 - the hike!

Sunday we got up and headed to the Blue Ridge Pkwy.  One of my favorite places to spend an afternoon.

We stopped at a few overlooks for pictures as we made our way to the hiking trail.

Our hike was also one of my favorites, a stretch of the Art Loeb trail that takes you to the top of Tennent Mtn.

Because it was father's day there was no complaining allowed.  In a way, I was kind of surprised that the rule actually held up the entire day.  The weather was PERFECT for hiking and we slowly made our way up the hills to our lunch spot.

There were quite a few other people out on the trail and a good number of them were hiking with their dogs. This meant that our youngest daughter wanted to pet each one of them.  She knows that she can't just run up and start petting a dog without asking permission from the owner, but her friendliness was getting out of hand and we had to tell her she wasn't allowed to ask about the dogs anymore.   She did restrain herself pretty well but I could tell it was hard for her to do as she longingly looked at each puppy.

When we made it to the top of Tennent Mtn we had "lunch".   I use quotes because lunch was actually just a feast of snack foods.   Who's going to complain about that?
After lunch we headed back to the car surrounded by amazing views.

Near the end of our father's day hike I started to see one of the kids wearing down.  She came close to complaining but stopped at a minor whining.
The car ride home was nice and quiet as well.  Guess she was a little worn out.

No father's day tie could have been better than the trip my family treated me to in the mountains of NC.  We had a great time!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father's Day Part 1

My family treated me to such a great Father's Day this year that it won't all fit into one post.

Here's part 1:

On Saturday we drove up to Franklin, NC for the Scottish festival that they hold each Father's Day weekend.   This was our first visit to this event and it was great.  Downtown Franklin is beautiful and they had plenty to see.

We ate some Scottish themed items for lunch including bridie and meat pies before we did anything else.

After lunch we checked out some of the vendors and listened to some bagpipes.  Yes, they played Amazing Grace.

Some of the other highlights included these strong guys wearing skirts throwing a 50lb weight in a field:

Some dogs rounding up sheep while being directed mostly by whistle:

And cutting rocks in half at the gem museum:

We also spent several hours in the pool when we got to the hotel.  We figured we would wear them out but it turned out that the adults fell asleep first that night.

 Oh, I almost forgot.  Funnel cake.  You can't say you attended a festival if you didn't have a plate of funnel cake.
Our trip was off to a great start!  Sunday would bring even more adventure!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DirectTV is Dead to Me

I've talked about it for a while and even written about it more than once.  It's finally done.  We called Direct TV and told them that after ten plus years we have decided to end our relationship.  They politely asked us if we would consider staying.

They suggested that maybe we should just take a break, suspend our service instead of cancelling it, and maybe see other people.  We'd be back they suggested.

We rejected the offer and the kind words.  We have given them too much money over the years and the kids watch too much TV.

Direct TV is dead to me now.  I don't ever miss it or think about it.

It's partly because we are all too busy falling in love with Netflix.  It turns out we'll probably watch more TV than ever trying to absorb all the awesomeness of Netflix.  At least we're saving money.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Losing the Trophy

Two games.  One night.

We had played one game for the trophy (a game of Pit), and I quickly won.  So quickly in fact, that I suggested we play another game.  Then one of the kids asked if I would put the trophy up during the 2nd game.  When I suggested the second game it hadn't thought about putting the trophy back up for grabs so I refused.  Then another kid asked for the trophy to be on the line for this second game.  Finally, Cari spoke up and said it would be nice to play for the trophy.  So I gave in to the pressure and agreed.  Our second game was a game of Dixit (quickly becoming one of the favorite games of the house).

As the game of Dixit neared the end I felt my reign with the trophy coming to an end so I picked up my phone and started recording.  Here's how the final moments of my possession ended...
Every time we play a game for the trophy, it gets logged on a small paper rolled up and tucked into the trophy to create a history of winners.   When I lost the game of Dixit to a tie between Cari and the boy, both of which had not previously been listed on the winners history, I had some satisfaction knowing that my name is on the record seven times in a row.

Let's see if anyone can do that!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hanging Around

For our anniversary Cari surprised me by getting us a pair of hammock swings to put under one of our trees.

After a quick trip to Lowe's for some clips and some rope, I was on the ladder getting our swings put on some heavy branches.

We spent the next few hours hanging around under the tree.

These things are so comfortable.  When you get all snuggled in and the breeze is coming across the yard you just want to stay there all day.  You start thinking about naps and reading books.  
And then the kids realize that you are outside relaxing so they come out to join you.  They also want turns in the new hammock swings and the nap you were just thinking about is not going to happen.

These hammock swings are something we've talked about getting for a while but never made a decision.  I'm glad that Cari made the decision to surprise me.  We're going to have some relaxing days hanging around under our tree.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

YouTube of the Week

A valedictorian from the local high school made national news about a week ago for the speech he gave at graduation.

He stopped giving his pre-approved speech and then he did this:

A lot of this started because the school board is being sued to stop allowing students to pray before a school board meeting. Mr. Costner believes this is a bad thing and used his moment at the podium to express his faith.

A few days later he was flown to NYC to be on Fox News.  LINK to video.
Around the same time, Roy's dad appeared on CNN to talk about the issue.

During all the media attention, everything I have seen from this young man makes me proud that he is from our little town of Liberty.  He has been a good ambassador for his home town.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You Were Not Invited

There was two large trees next to each other in the parking lot as I searched for a shady lunch spot.  Three spaces were covered in some shade and I took the one on the left.   With the windows down and my shoes off I enjoyed a quiet lunch.

It wasn't long before another car pulled up and took the shady spot on the right.  I looked over to see who my new neighbor was and saw a man eating his lunch while reading a book.   He didn't seem to notice me and I continued to finish my lunch.

That's when I heard it.  Bzzzt.  Bzzzt.  Bzzzt.   The familiar sound of a wasp's wings hitting the windshield.  Without looking I knew I had a visitor in the car with me!  Sure enough the passenger side of my car was now occupied by a rather large wasp that was buzzing around the dashboard and coming my way.  I jumped out of the car to think of a solution.   As I stood outside of my car barefooted and looking into the windshield I could feel my neighbor look my way with a curious expression.

The uninvited guest continued buzzing around inside the front of the car. The top of the passenger window caught my eye because it wasn't completely down.  I wanted to give this wasp every possible chance to get out of the car so I hopped back in, turned the power on, rolled the window down, and hopped back out to watch.  I was leaning over the hood of the car with my face pressed up to the windshield watching the action unfold inside.

The wasp floated to the rear of the car and I let out an audible "Nooooooooo."  I again felt the gaze of my book reading neighbor.  I shut the driver side door while still standing outside.  Looking in, I didn't see the wasp.  Maybe it was still hiding in the back seat.  I leaned in the driver window cautiously.  There is no way I could drive back to work with a wasp behind my head and lunch was over in six minutes.

As I stood on the hot asphalt I was thinking of my next move when the wasp appeared again.  He was floating in front of the driver seat this time and slowly coming toward me.  FINALLY!

You won't believe what happened next, but I swear it to be true.   A strong breeze blew across the parking lot as the wasp approached the window and pushed the thing back to the interior of the car!

I stomped my foot on the ground and looked up to meet eyes with my neighbor.  I smiled and he looked back to his book.  I wanted to explain what must look like odd behavior but he didn't seem interested in an explanation.

The wasp continued on the path across the inside of the car and exited out of the passenger window.  I immediately pulled open the driver door and hopped in.  I turned the key to give power to the windows and hit both window controls up.  I watched in slow motion as the windows moved upward.  With every second that passed I felt like my uninvited guest would reappear.  My heart beat faster and the windows weren't moving fast enough.

Windows fully up I leaned back in my seat and took a deep breath.  I felt drained from the drama that just took place.  The temperature in the car was rising quickly.  It felt like 100 plus degrees in the car now.  My neighbor was looking my way again and I mouthed the word wasp.  Partially as an explanation for my crazy behavior and partially as a warning before I started the engine and drove back to work.

Next time I'm parking in the sun.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The big One Seven

Today makes 17 times that Cari and I have woken up and said, "Happy anniversary" to each other.

After seventeen years of being married we are just getting started!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

What's this Cloud?

Took some time on Saturday just trying to identify the shapes that the clouds gave me.   What do you see in the clouds?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Babies First Game

It was time for family game night and we chose to play another game of Dixit.

I went on to retain the family game night trophy (for the sixth time in a row), but the significance of the night was the fact that we let baby girl play her own hand in the game.

She had some issues with strategy initially but after a few rounds she was playing better and not giving away her cards.  She did good and I was glad to have her participating in our games on her own.

She's not quite ready to join us (on her own) for most of the other games, but she's getting closer!