Mar 31, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like that Duke is in the Final Four. I have been on the edge of my seat during Duke's last 2 game against Purdue and Baylor. West Virginia kinda scares me too. I mentioned my wonderful cousin Margie in a post back in February and the fact that she sends me an autographed team poster each year. Margie contacted me a few weeks ago to verify my mailing address. Because I'm a little superstitious, I asked her to keep this year's poster until the family reunion this summer. Duke hasn't lost a game since! Of course...I just jinxed them.

Here's a photo of the very first team poster Margie sent me from the 1997-98 season (STACKED team!). Duke was a #1 seed in the south region that year and lost to #2 Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Kentucky came back from a 17-point deficit (if I recall correctly) and went onto win the national championship. That's Steve Wojciechowski posing at the very front. He's an assistant coach for the Blue Devils these days.

This week, I love that Master's week is just around the corner! Unfortunately, 109% of all pre-tournament coverage will be about Eldrick Woods. I don't have any doubt that Tiger will win, and that upsets me. Why? Because a win at The Masters, in his first tournament back, will instantly erase the tarnish from his image. America will love him again. That being said...I can't wait for next week!

This week, I don't like having a song stuck in my head. Especially a corny song. I've had this song from this Saturday Night Live clip stuck in my head for several days now. DO NOT listen unless you need a new tune for the shower. Because it WILL get stuck in your head. (Sorry about the ad)

Mar 25, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like banana-flavored Tootsie Pops. Who knew that Tootsie Pops came in flavors other than chocolate (brown wrapper), cherry (red wrapper) and grape (blue wrapper)? They now have exotic flavors such as lemon lime, pomegranate and my new favorite – banana. Don’t get me wrong…this banana flavor does not taste like a banana at all. It tastes like a syrupy chemical version of a banana. Mr. Owl never knew what hit him.

This week, I love our new microwave. Our old microwave had been around since Julie’s house was built. We’re talking early-1990s. I tried to cook something in it this past Saturday morning and it made a sound like no microwave had ever made before. I’m all about trying to fix something before replacing it but I knew my simple skills would be no match for a microwave. Julie and I bought a new one and installed it that very night. The new microwave is so much more advanced than that older model. I feel like George Jetson every time I use the new fangled microwave oven!

This week, I don’t like the delay we’ve experienced receiving our state tax refund. I know…we always receive our state refund after our federal refund. But it’s been over a month now. And we filed online. I’m most troubled at the signal this delay is sending me regarding the fiscal health of the state of Alabama. Methinks times aren’t good for the Cotton State*. Alabama officials probably aren’t unlike any other politicians in their inability to manage funds without waste. That’s what frustrates me most about the ongoing gambling issue and those that cry for taxation of gambling. But that is another post for another day. I’ll close with a thought shared with me a few years ago: Governments need to be run like businesses but can’t because politicians try to please too many people. Politicians don’t make for good businessmen.

*I was not aware that one of Alabama’s nicknames was the "Cotton State". See for yourself here.

Mar 24, 2010


I know some of you never thought I would finish reupholstering the sofa, but I am proud to say that I am done!

the finished product

I somehow neglected to get a good "before" picture, but you can see it somewhat in the background of this picture.

lots of cutting

lots of cording

finished the cushions first

Nick helped me get the old fabric off


I am not quite sure I am ready to tackle another sofa anytime soon, but upholstery is a lot of fun and I know it is a hobby that will come in handy!

Now I just have to finish the throw pillows!

Mar 22, 2010

New golf videos

My golfing buddy, Clay, and I have been taking on local golf courses with regularity since Christmas. Actually, Clay's been at it a little more than I have. But, we've battled rain, cold weather and wind and have enjoyed ourselves each time. We've had entire courses to ourselves lately - which is a pretty odd experience.

But with the warmer temperatures we've experienced here lately, fellow golfers are coming out in droves. This past weekend, we played the Valley Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail site at Oxmoor Valley. Here's some videos. Don't judge me. I'm not quite yet in form. Clay is, however, as evident by his shorts and sharp game.

Here's a great side shot of one of Clay's bombs. This is from the par 5 12th hole. Smooth and balanced.

This is actually my third shot from the same hole (the 12th). Like I said, don't judge me. Clay's drive is well past this point and he has yet to hit his second shot. I hit this shot fat and not p.h.a.t. (pretty high and tight).

I was pretty pleased with my performance on the par 3's. I shot even par for the round on all of the short holes. Here's my tee shot on the 13th hole.

One more example of how well Clay is hitting the new driver he received for his birthday. This is the par 4 15th. And it was waaaaaaay down the fairway.

Mar 21, 2010

Productive Weekend

I love the feeling at the end of a weekend that I have really accomplished something or at least marked a number of items off of my endless "To Do" list. Below is what my weekend entailed.

Grocery Store
Learn to Knit
Buy new microwave
Install new microwave
Work on sofa

All in all a fairly productive weekend.

My friend Emily Branch was nice enough to spend several hours with me on Saturday to teach me how to knit. I have wanted to learn for some time now, but never seem to find the time. Nick and Emily's husband, Clay, decided to play golf so it was the perfect time to us to get together. I am working on a dish rag and am almost done. I think I am going to like knitting as it is something easy to pick up and is pretty mindless. Thanks again Emily!

I am happy to report that the sofa is ALMOST done. I have just a few finishing touches then I will post some pictures. I am very pleased with it so far....just can't wait to have it all done!

Mar 18, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like I helped my dad do a little yard work in the family cemetery down in Florida a few weeks ago. I'm always impressed at his ability to rattle off facts and describe the linage of all these people in the ground. I've been seeing a lot of commercials for lately. Since I can't retain genealogy the way my father can, I figured I'd check out the website. It looks to be very impressive and useful. I would like to give it a shot but the hefty $155 annual service fee means I'll have to continue to rely on Dad's stories for now.

This week, I love Daylight Saving Time. Now if we could just get some sunshine! I'll definitely take the longer days. Please note that the correct term is daylight SAVING time...not SAVINGS. However, using the plural form is accepted.

This week, I don't like Tiger's timing. I haven't addressed the Tiger Woods situation because you can get that info anywhere else. There's no secret that the PGA Tour needs Tiger to return for numerous reasons. Most people point to TV ratings but I note the level of competition he brings. Sure, he doesn't lose often but when he does, it makes your heart swell with happiness. He's definitely a "heel" in my book and it didn't take a busted fire hydrant for me to come to that conclusion.

I'm here to say that I don't like Tiger's decision to mark his return at this year's Master's tournament. I called this shot back in December and wouldn't you know it? The guy is not going to heed my warning! Tiger has always been given credit for turning on millions of new fans to the game of golf since his pro debut back in the 1990's. There's no denying this achievement and what he means to golf. But these days, Tiger is drawing a whole new crowd of people to golf in the form of The National Enquirer and Billy Bush. I sorta feel that Tiger's return is tainting Augusta.

Want another golf prediction? How about this: Tiger will only play in the major tournaments this year (Masters, US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship).

We should all kick ourselves for not seeing Tiger's infidelity at an earlier age. Watch in the final seconds of this clip as he scans the audience with his eyes for his next female victim.

Mar 9, 2010

Girls Beach Weekend

As most of you probably know each year me and three of my best friends from college (Whitney, Courtney and Margaret) always get together for a beach trip. We all look forward to the weekend and cherish the time together especially now since we all live in different cities.

Last year the wedding posed a problem, even though we did get together twice for wedding related functions so this year we were determined to get back on track. However with babies on the way and Margaret living in Missouri for 3 months we had a few hurdles.

Whitney is due in early April and Courtney is due in May so we figured that we needed to get the trip in before the babies come. So rather than our usually June/July trip we opted to go in February.

In January, Margaret found out that her husband John was going to have to spend several months in Branson, MO for his job. Rather than be apart for that long (with a 1 year old) Margaret decided to go with John. We tried to figure out a way for her to make the trip, but it just didn't work out this year. We missed her so much, but her absences gives us a reason to try to get together again later this year!

No trip to Destin is complete without shopping. So since babies seemed to be the theme this year we hit up the Carter outlet and found these cute outfits!

This picture proves that you do carry boys lower. Whitney is on the left and having a girl. Courtney is on the right and having a boy. Now look at their hands!

Just for the record...I would like to make note that this year (and probably ONLY this year) I was the thinnest in the group!
It was a wonderful trip, and I cannot wait to meet this two precious babies!!!

Mar 8, 2010

Let the Birthdays Begin

We had the privilege of celebrating my mother-in-laws birthday several weekends ago when they came in town for a visit.

Her birthday is the first of our family birthdays...Since then we celebrated the 2nd birthday of year with my sister Ellen on March 2nd (sorry no pictures). Dad is up next in April!

Below are a few pictures from our birthday dinner with Mrs. Susan!


Since Nick likes to make fun of me when I don't quite get the blog background changed fast enough I have decided to move away from the holiday themes and just do seasonal themes. So here is your Spring themed background!

Thank goodness I can leave this one up for a few months!

Mar 4, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like


This week's installment is going to be lite on the "Like" and "Love" and heavy on the "Don't Like". BUCKLE UP.

This week, I like the prospect of warmer weather. I mentioned my disdain for cold weather in a recent post (and admitted that other parts of the USofA have it a lot worse). This week, the temps have started to climb. We've got our fingers crossed for a beautiful 64 degree day on March 13 when Clay "Bomber" Branch and I take on Ross Bridge.

This week, I love coming home to a good meal. Having nearly reached the 1-year mark in our marriage, I have come to take Julie's lip-smackin' cooking talents for granted. It seems that the days when the Arby's staff in Atmore (AL) not only knew my name but also my nightly order are long gone. But I want to take this opportunity to publicly express my appreciation for my loving wife. Even after battling Hwy 280 traffic each night, she always comes home in a pleasant mood and works her magic in the kitchen. I'm like Pavlov's dogs...sitting there watching her cook, letting the aroma waft into my nostrils. The stimulate in my case is when Julie looks into my eyes and softly says, "It's ready." When I hear those words, I know IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!

This week, I don't like the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HDC. This, my friends, is the name of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) supplied to us as part of our HD cable package from Charter Communications. This device has a mind of its own, and not in a "this is NASA-level technology" kind of way. I'm so disappointed in this DVR for the following core reasons:
  • The menu and guide function is 1992-level. Very primitive.

  • The audio regularly fades out during TV viewing.

  • Many programs schedule to record simply do not record.
That's right, the chief objective of a DVR is not met by our DVR! It didn't record LOST last night! Luckily, Julie was smart enough to set her early-version TiVo as a backup. The list of disappointments could go on so much longer. I miss the ease and capability of that little TiVo. There's loads of online message boards that feature endless complaints about this DVR. If you have any stories, please throw them my way. I really would like to hear them.