Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31, 2011 – No Water For Swimming, More Cake

We ditched Jake (The Master of Come-Backs) to give him some time in the man-cave with somebody not related to him that would not drive him up a wall. There is a little bit of testosterone-fueled up-wall driving going on these days. Having grown up in this same house, but under the harsh, cruel majority rule of estrogen, I’m a little unprepared. I’d like to say that one is crazier than the other, but honestly I can’t tell. Angst is angst. All I can do is record as much as possible to show to future girlfriends and wives at the “So You Want to Date my Son” Power Point presentation that I’ve been working on.
After tossing Jake out of our slow-moving open van window on the side of the road, we went in search of a water hole to drown in. Summer is a bee-otch. Summer in the Tennessee Valley is a really fat bee-otch in a tube-top drinking Milwaukee’s Best while she watches NASCAR in a deer-skin-covered Lay-Z-Boy with a busted recline lever. With apologies to Don Mclean, we drove our Kia the creek, but the creek was dry.
On a normal day I’d be standing in four feet of cool blue-green water to take this shot. Not so much today.

I did see this Eastern Hercules (Dynastes tityus) beetle. This is only the fifth such beetle I’ve ever seen in this area. All I’ve found have been dead, or close to death.

We found a pool of water but there was no stream feeding it and it was full of baby gar. Anybody with any sense knows that gar live for one purpose: to bite off your ding ding. We did not swim in the pool.

There was some unfortunate business with a flat tire on the Kia as we left the creek. I changed it for the may-pop spare and drove on home (Sunday in Alabama = no tire store open). Sadly, the day was not what we had envisioned but there was…
MORE CAKE! I baked Esther a birthday cake with awesome chocolate-on-chocolate action. She ate the whole thing, all by herself and has not recovered yet.*

Happy Birthday, Esther!

A couple more pictures are available for viewing here. But no flowers that I don't know the names of because Summer in North Alabama sat on all of them and they are dead.

*Not really.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30, 2011 – Food Day: The Foodening Part IV

Well, the day started out with Esther taking That Girl One to see a local production of Little Orphan Annie while I stayed home with Poke and Prod, the Mutually Assured Destruction Twins. All was fine until Jake discovered a piece of glass with his foot. Eventually I managed to dig it out. Ouch.

The girls came home soon after that and we jumped in the van for The Foodening. Lumpia with pork and Chicken Adobo. I was also introduced to Banana ketchup. Not merely the sauce from a banana, but something more like Rooster Sauce. This cartoon very accurately describes all the reasons I love Rooster Sauce. All of these things were both awesome and yummy.
Then from out of nowhere, like a pastry ninja throwing star, appeared an ice-cream cake for Esther!

A pack of ravenous photo-bombing wolves descend upon the ice-cream cake.

I have only one more thing to add…

A few more pics are available for viewing here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011 - Random dog pics!

This is our little dog. Sometimes she’s our simple dog. The other day while mowing the yard she was our GRASS IS SO COOL dog. Mowing the yard is like The Best Thing Ever… for her. It provides her with grasshoppers to hunt (and presumably eat), wet grass to lie in, and provides her with an ecotone between the high grass and the mowed grass- which really just facilitates the grasshopper hunting and wet grass wallowing. Brothers and sisters, it’s all about the wet grass.

I found this the other day and I think it very accurately illustrates the diet choices of our three canines.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7th, 2011 - Nashville: All the Other Stuff

One other stop we made while in Nashville was at the most awesomest of toy stores, Phillips Toy Mart, off Harding Road. This place is every but as incredible as I remember and then some.

Here's Esther in a rare moment of PINK-SPLOSION!

Chan skipping through the Playmobil isle (yes, they had the same set we saw at the museum earlier in the day.)

Speaking of Playmobil, here's the super cool display above the front door.

Ben checking out the bendy guys while Jake scrounges up a new set of dice from the random dice bowl.

Then there are the pictures from random moments or when we were in transit.

Pill bugs off the Natchez Trace.
The Everybody else but me in the car before we got to Nashville.

These and a few others can be viewed by clicking here.

July 7th, 2011 - Nashville: Fannie Mae Dees Park

But first, a bee! There used to be a geocache right under where this bee is.

Fannie Mae Dees Park, also known as the "Dragon Park" is located in the West End section of Nashville, not far from Vanderbilt University. It's prominent feature is the enormous sea-serpent-like dragon covered in chipped and cut tile in a multitude of designs and images. Depending on how you count your dragons, there's actually more than one- the large wyrm that stretches the length of the "pool" and one or two other smaller beasts.

This was a favorite of ours when we lived here. Honestly, the dragon has looked better. The blue that predominates the scales has faded somewhat and there's a large section missing on the right side of the main dragon's head. It's a little sad. I don't know if it's the result of neglect or outright abuse but I hate to see the big guy in such sad shape. Still, most of the features are present and even a new-comer would be able to appreciate the work that wnet into creating and then maintaining the mythical creature.

I'll link to the gallery of all the images, but here are a few of the details on the dragon:

On especially hot days, there's nothing better than a spray from the cooling nose mist of the yellow dragon!

The park also contains an impressive playground area that is getting a little small for my kids. Maybe. Some day.

And finally, the happy couple.

The link for all the other pictures of the dragon is right over... here.

July 7th, 2011 - More of Nashville

Historic Union Station as we drove into Nashville.

I'm blogging out of order, but we actually started our day with a quick run through the Nashville Library. (Parked in their garage, $2.50 for about four hours, after validation inside. Just one of the perks of having lived here and knowing a trick or two.) The Nashville Public Library system is what all library networks in the South should aspire to. I love this building, the efficiency and effectiveness of the workers, the shear amount of books and resource material available. 

Just outside the entrance to the children's theater: big giant head.

Home of Buttercup, the mouse in the children's section.

View from the window, again just outside the theater.

Pictures just outside the Tennessee State Museum and the War Memorial Auditorium.

View looking down Deaderick Street, with the statue behind me.

War Memorial to the left, Tennessee State Capitol Building to the right.

Turning a near 180 degrees, looking down Capitol Boulevard towards the Nashville Library.

Snapping turtle detail on the doors to the library.

The kids standing at the marble stack of books outside the library.

Top of the Customs House and, across the street the Hume-Fog High School.

Now, take a look above the glass of the entrance to Hume-Fog High School. See the supports under the ledge of the second-story row of windows? This is just one of the little dudes that hangs out under there:

Next we drove over to the Parthenon. We did not pay the $24 for the whole family to get into the interior of the Parthenon to see Athena (this trip; we have seen her in the past) but we did walk around the park a little and take pictures outside the building.

Chan taking a snooze in the multi-directional park bench.

Lion detail on the doors to the Parthenon.

Griffin on the upper corners of the building with lion spout below.

The kids walking along the outside between the columns and the outer wall. (Is that a satyr running off in the background? I think so.)

All the pictures from downtown Nashville, the Library, and the Parthenon can be viewed here.