Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do the Roads Close?

We have the newest entry for The Book. During our recent trip we decided we would cover as many miles in one day on the road trip as possible. We are talking the distance from Maryland into the Louisville, Kentucky area after a number of stops, some shopping, a couple of pit stops, and of course stops at the historical markers along the route. That is a lot of car riding.

As we arrive late into the Louisville area, without a hotel reservation, we make a few calls to begin checking out the options. There is a "Huge" car show according to everyone we talk with in the Louisville area, and it is the night before the American Idol stop in that town, there are no hotel rooms to be found. So, we cross the Ohio River and push on. This is about 10:45 p.m. on a beautiful Saturday evening.

Continuing on the highway the discussion turns to the hour of the evening. So after another hour of driving we start the process of looking along the highway for lodging. First stop gets us a call down the road to another place that has rooms. Due to the hour they will not take a reservation. We arrive and sure enough there are now no rooms. As we continue heading west on the interstate a voice from the back of the car asks, "What time do the roads close?" At first I wasn't sure I had heard the comment correctly so I asked for a repeat. Yep, same question.

It dawns on me that this member of the family, who likes to go to bed early doesn't usually see the time of night we are up and driving. So, it is a good question. Then it occurs that this young lady hasn't really been up on the trips that we would drive late to various places. Usually, she was asleep so she didn't really understand the time of night or morning as the case may be. The lack of traffic on the highway was also an indication to her that just maybe we were out riding along on a stretch of highway that was closed.

We chuckled at the question and explained that it is really late. The highways don't usually close unless there has been some kind of accident or weather reason to close them. The roads are not like stores they are open all the time.

That is good news. The rest of the story is that after a number of stops we pulled up in the parking lot of three hotels and a fast food place. Found some secure parking and slept. We didn't find a hotel that evening.

We experienced a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Did some freshen up and completed the next 6 hours home. We saved a good bit of money and added a new chapter to our travel adventures. We also discovered a new entry to The Book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Gonna be an Uncle!

Last Wednesday my youngest brother and his lovely wife made the announcement that they will have a baby. That makes me an Uncle! Very Cool! I am very excited for the two of them and the arrival of the newest member of the family.

On Uncle stripes this will be number eight. Not that I am counting. All of the kids are important and I am glad to be their uncle. This one is fun because this is my youngest brother. He is sixteen years younger than me. Which of course makes him closer in age to my kids than me. So he is one of the cool uncles to my kids.

Anyway, in March of 2009 we are expecting the arrival of the newest member of the family. It was joyous news when shared. We all can't wait for the arrival. Let the naming game begin.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tax Free Holiday - Know yours?

Many states have a tax free holiday coming up in preparation for back to school shopping. I was with a number of people who are planning their shopping around the two or three day period. This was somewhat surprising to me that the savings in sales tax would make a difference in the purchasing behavior. But, it appears that in todays market every little bit helps.

So, to my blogging friends let's put together the list of Tax free holiday's, what state, and the dates of the events. Hopefully, this will help save some folks some money in 2008.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Honoring My Hero

Duty, Honor, Country, and Family.

A soldier will be buried today in a place of honor with others who have served this nation as guardians, statesmen, astronauts, presidents, and citizens. Overlooking this Nations capital, across the Potomac River, in the fields that use to be owned by George Washington and within view of the house of Robert E. Lee. Arlington National Cemetery will receive a new resident on this day.

His fellow soldiers will escort him to his final place of rest and honor him for his service. Draped in the flag of his country, that he loved, defended, and represented, he will, in the sight of his family, and friends, in the tradition of his beloved Army, receive their final honor.

We pray that Almighty and eternal God,those who take refuge in you will be glad and forever will shout for joy. Protect this soldier as he discharges his final duty at his final post. Protect him with the shield of your strength and welcome him in to your formation of angels. May the power of your love enable him to return to you. Please watch over all that love him and may we ever praise you for your loving care. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Giving someone the "Stink Eye"

This may surprise my readers that occasionally I have a day to two that makes me somewhat cranky. Without words I can share my mood with a look, a stare, or a head shake.

A few years ago my sister shared a phrase for the look that absolutely cracked me up. She called it a "Stink-Eye." We laughed so hard hearing the description. She just couldn't show us what a good "Stink-Eye" looked like at the time. So, time passed before we could actually find an example.

The strange thing about the joke and the description is that the perfect example came from a beautiful young lady who is our youngest child. While taking pictures with her mother she turned toward the camera and presto. A "Stink-Eye" was captured.

The next time time you are having a rough day or disagree with something you have heard, bust out a "Stink-eye"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Cow Appreciation Day -

My friends at Chick-Fil-A have invented a new Hallmark holiday. Today is Cow Appreciation Day. It is time to go to your local Chick-Fil-A to have some chicken. On Friday, July 11, 2008 all you have to do is dress like a cow and you can receive some cool things.
I have always been a fan of Chick-Fil-A this promotion just makes it fun. They are also the makers of some of the finest sweet tea in the country. So, help a cow today, eat more Chicken.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tour De France Update

Posting on The Tour de France

Sunday, July 6, 2008

News from the US Olympic Trails in Eugene

Checking in this past week with a couple of my sibilings I was making calls to see what is happening when I reached one of my brothers. We chatted, shared upcoming travel plans, stuff about work, asked about the spouse and kids, then I asked what are you doing tonight? His response floored me. "I'm at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, so I am going to work and watch a couple of races." This would be at Haywood Field at the University of Oregon, the land of the ducks.

Well, that night is much cooler than I'm going to run a couple of errands, cook some dinner, and finish off my last John Grisham novel. It was kind of the adult version of my night is cooler than your night. Charlie won and I didn't even know we were competing.
Both he and my sister, who are runners, in the athletic business and are from the west coast. So it was not unusual they would be doing something fun and athletic, my sister has competed in four Olympic Trials, but Charlie won the evening events prize.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Fat Lady has Sung

It is a sad day in the sports world, Dan Cook, the sportswriter and reporter from San Antonio, Texas, who popularized the phrase "the opera ain't over till the fat lady sings," has passed away.

Mr. Cook, age 81, passed away on Thursday after an illness. Mr. Cook's name may not be remembered too all, but he introduced a phrase into the American culture that has been repeated in movies, television, and on every sports show on the planet. My condolences to Mr. Cook's family.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Today our country celebrates the two hundred and thirty second anniversary of the signing and announcing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Many people see this as a day off, a trip to the lake or the start of a three day weekend. It is the anniversary of a statement of discontent that turned into revolution then the creation of self government.

Below are the words that were used to tell old King George the Third to take a heave hoe. Take the time to read the full document written by committee of five (John Adams, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Thomas Jefferson.) I wonder how many people have ever read the full document.

You should also take the time to go visit a copy in the National Archives in Washington, DC. It will make you think about then and today.

Have a Happy Independence Day.

The Declaration of Independence

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; what they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among theses are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of governments become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute any new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shwen, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariability the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security, Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constraints them to alter their former systems of government. The history of present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of the fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause other to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws of naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration o justice, by refusing his assent to laws of establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of the legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his asset to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us; For protecting them by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transposing us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and he has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is in undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every state of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character, is thus marketed by every act which may be define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend and unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitability interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace, friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembles, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies, are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from the allegiance, to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Devine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.