Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm joining my friend Cookie and imposing a blog freeze! I'm tired of the stress of it. I'll be back one day soon, maybe, but for now I encourage you to cease and desist blogging. It's stressful, takes you away from your family, and makes your ass bigger!

If you even care, go to Bloglines and sign least you'll then know if I ever come back!

Love you all.

See ya.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I was contacted again by my old friend Mickey Jones Monday. He sent me two separate pieces his brother, Larry Jones, had written and compiled. One was a poem he called “Harriman Nicknames”, and the other was a compilation of the nicknames he could remember from Harriman, Tennessee, and the surrounding Roane County area, that were not used in the poem. Had Larry not been a few years older than Mickey and me, I’m sure ol’ Mushy would be among those listed. After all, Jerry Lou (a.k.a. Cleo) did not hang that moniker on me until 1963!

I found the poem and list to be very entertaining, often breaking out in ear-to-ear grins, and I’m sure if you had lived in the area it would mean a lot to you as well. However, chances are you had friends that got saddled with some of the same nicknames!

The piece has been published once before in a little local tabloid, but I’ve decided to give it some wider distribution. It is my hope that you will comment and/or post about the nicknames you remember from school and your home town. That should give a lot of readers something to chuckle over!

So, ol’ Mushy offers for your pure enjoyment, Larry Jones’…


The Sanitary Barbershop was a place of renown

If you wanted the scoop on anyone in town.

Tom and Claude were the first to know

The nicknames of those folks so long ago.

There was Blackie and Whitey, Brownie and Red

And some were names we all would dread.

Like Skinny and Puny and Slim and Fat

Or Big Sis and Little Sis, now how about that.

Kitty and Squirrel, or Chicken and Goat.

None of these names would cause me to gloat.

Biggun and Littleun, Shorty and Runt

And Pop-up Wright who couldn’t bunt.

A Cowboy, a Sailor, a Monkey and a Snake

Any of these you like, you’re free to take.

Curly and Salty, and a guy named Chug

Remember Sandy and Rusty, or how about Shug?

There was Booger and Junior we remember well

Gimme Nichel was a name that should ring a bell.

Walking Tom often perched on the bridge day by day

And then walk down the road as he went on his way.

Speedy and Sticky and Stogie and Hy

Betsy and Wimpy and a guy called Ty

Peanut and Buddy and Bum and Bo.

Are more of the names from long ago.

Cake Eater and Crit and Gas and Butch

Happy and Dub and Jug and Dutch.

There was Mule and Toad and someone called Hog

Poss and Shep but no one named Dog.

There was Foot and Sox and also Boots

BadEye and HogEye and also Toots.

Bullhead and Humpy, Jabo and Doc

Were more of the folks in this nickname flock.

Derail and Limber I don’t know at all

But Duggan and Floppy I do recall.

Pikey and Tut and Hop and Churn

Are folks whose names I have come to learn.

Sparky and Squirt and Betsy and Sal

Could be names for either a guy or a gal.

Shag and Moon and Turk and Goof

No exactly a name I’d shout from the roof.

These names bring back memories of folks I once knew

Some were just strangers, but only a few.

If you think of others to add over time

Include another verse to this “nickname” rhyme.

Larry D. Jones - 11-12-2005

Okay, so you knew I would have to try a verse myself…

Remember Cleo and Castro and Cay-Woody

Shaky-babe and Henry and just a plain ol’ Woody?

There was Harry Melon and Porky and even Musky

And who could ever forget ol’ Mushy!

Thanks so much Larry for the use of your poem!

I know many of you are sitting there thinking, “How thankful I am I was never tagged with a horrible nickname!

However, down deep inside, you secretly wish someone had thought enough of you to leave you branded for life with the legacy of a “cool nickname”.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The holiday of Christmas actually last from the time I either accompany my son (Corey) or my granddaughter (Kaitlyn) on their separate shopping adventures. Both experiences are always unique, as you saw from the earlier post on this year’s trip with Corey or from my last adventure with Katie Bug!

The Christmas holiday plays out after New Year’s Eve for me, but between now and then I have a couple of more opportunities to enjoy family, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Knoxville with four of my brother-in-laws and Steve’s son Matt.

The actual celebration begins with our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast with our daughter Tracy’s family. That order of business is always negotiated with a decision between pancakes, breakfast pizza, or something new everyone wants to try. This year it was pancakes again. Eddie had to work that morning, so it was just Tracy and Katie, and Judy and me. Everyone looked very sleepy that morning, so I’ll spare them the usual embarrassment by not posting any shots!

Then there’s the annual Christmas Eve party at Neena and Ron’s. There is between 15 and 20 people, including kids (this year it was Jason (Neena’s son (holding brew) from Michigan), Joey (Terri’s son) and Krissy from Minnesota, Tracy (Judy’s daughter) and Katie, and Denise (Linda’s daughter) and Mark from Maryville, TN) and sometimes friends! Everyone brings their favorite finger food, dessert, and libation! Of course, over the years everyone been has tagged with a group favorite that they are obligated to bring. For me, it’s fried pork tenderloin with rolls, Charlotte must bring the “bacon wrapped Smokies”, and someone has to bring “Cherry Yum Yum”, another coconut cake dripping in Eagle Brand Milk (actually I didn’t get any of that this year and I feel cheated), and so on, and so on!

After working your way through all the hot cheesy dips and chips, besides all the regular things, you must try some “apple juice and cinnamon” infused moonshine! It doesn’t matter that you’ve already had 3 to 5 beers; you must try it and still have clear enough vision and concentration to answer the “Dragon Call” to get your camera ready to take the obligatory “sister” photos by the tree or fireplace. Without these photos, there has been no Christmas, there’s no peace for the Knights!

We have matured over the years - sort of. There was a time when we almost watched the sun come up on Christmas, and then paid the price by having to kneel before the “porcelain god” the next day! These days, the crowd begins thinning out by 8, and usually are all gone by 9:30 or 10. Yes, the core of the family unit is getting older, but the younger generation will never out do the things we have done in the past! We are ‘60s kind of people after all!

Gone are the days where someone different was obliged to throw up each year! Gone are the stories of vehicles ruined by the party food coming back up! Gone are the stories of partiers who ate one of end of the tequila worm! Gone are the days of skinny dipping in my pool! Today, we toast a few good memories, burn a couple of cigars, fight a nap while others reminisce, rub out stomachs a time or two, and then start gathering up leftovers to leave.

Maybe for me and Judy it’s because we know we want to be up early on Christmas Day and visit with the grandkids. Of course, we have to split up. Judy goes to watch Katie open gifts, while I’m off to enjoy Lily’s morning.

Judy actually had to wake Tracy, Katie, and Eddie up Thursday morning, while I found Corey in the backyard roasting two turkeys on his charcoal grill. Corey, like me, has to do some cooking on Christmas Day.

Corey cooks the turkey and makes wonderful dumplings, and I either grill steaks or hamburgers! That’s another negotiated meal, but it always involves me cooking something that’s non-traditional! Lucky for Corey and me both, Christmas mornings have been quite warm the last few years.

Lily was already up and running through the house, playing with her Granny and Papaw just in from Africa, where they serve as missionaries! She had opened all the “Santa” presents, leaving the grandparent gifts under the tree to be opened as each one arrived. My turn had arrived and she tore into the packages I brought and immediately began flicking the flashlight around; first into her Papaw Dwight’s mouth, then straight into mine, and up my nose! She loved it!

Unfortunately, the “Bounce Back Racer” I bought back in November didn’t work! We did find the sales receipt, so it’s to Walley World on Monday! There was also a little money for her college fund, which I slipped to Tia before Corey could spend it!

Christmas afternoon came and my mom arrived just before Tracy, Eddie, Katie, and her boyfriend Zach. The traditional Christmas day dinner was underway!

Judy baked both sweet and “Irish” potatoes, made a great salad, and Tracy brought Vanilla Pudding! We again stuffed ourselves and moved from the dinning room to the living room to relax. It wasn’t long before Katie broke out the game she brought, and before I knew it my team was losing at Taboo!

We had such a great time playing this game with the family. Although mom didn’t play, she seemed to have a ball laughing at us!

Makes you feel good when you granddaughter and her boyfriend would rather spend time with the “old folks” rather than be out running the roads.

So, it’s not over yet, tomorrow (Saturday) morning the Knights hit the Knoxville road to another post-Christmas adventure, and I can’t wait!

Oh...the photo at the top...that's what I have to contend with...a happy family who isn't afraid to be themselves! I lov'em!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Everywhere you look it is Christmas!

Christmas has many meanings, and some are more heartfelt than others. However, everyone seems to search for that spirit this time of year, and some lucky ones find it.

Judy and I gave up “old fashioned” Christmas back in the early 90’s, but have kept the spiritual part of it in our hearts, mostly reserved for our children and the those of the extended family. As for us, we don’t search for personal gifts that will dazzle each other anymore. Instead we buy what we want throughout the year, and look at them as shared possessions. We don’t frantically run about looking for that special gift for others, or decorate our yard or the external part of our home anymore.

Recently, however, we have allowed some ornamentation back inside, with a ceramic tree we’ve had for years, Judy’s collection of Santa’s, and few special standalone items from the past. Gone are the real tree, balls (except those she put in a bowl on the coffee table), the wreaths, the mistletoe, the ribbons, and the blinking lights that once adorned our home. Instead, just a few items that visiting grandchildren will appreciate.

I realized, from an in-depth religious search I did years back, that Christmas was not mentioned, or mandated, in the Bible, and that Christmas had long since grown from a simple way of remembering the birth of Christ and sharing warm gifts and food with the family, to a full-blown Madison Avenue sales scheme – all about the money! We decided not to buy into it anymore, and let our true faith and feelings become void of tinsel, ribbons, and gift giving.

We let card giving fall by the wayside as well. Each year we get Christmas cards from people important to our lives, but we do not reciprocate. I’m not sure they even notice or care. A person should do what is right in their heart and not be concerned about getting back. Sometimes I want to tell them not to waste their good money on us, especially during these tight times, but that wouldn’t be right. If they simply give in order to receive, then they’ll stop soon enough. But we do read each card, and appreciate their messages, and send up a small prayer for the well being of each represented family.

So, if you’ve sent us a card this year, you may recognize it among those I scanned and posted here. Thanks!

They all sit on my desk. I look at them a few times during the holidays, and ensure the addresses are updated in my Contact list, and around the end of January they go to be recycled.

So, to you, and everyone else that stumbles upon my blog, I give you a few Christmas shots from around the house (click to enlarge each). I took them with my new DSLR! Maybe they will bring the same kind of smile to your face as your greetings brought to ours.

Santa has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, or the Bible either, but he does represent the kind of warm-hearted, gentle old man that I hope to grow into one of these days. With your help and patience, maybe I will.


P.S. If you wanted a Christmas memory from me, then CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Corey had a lot of Christmas Shopping to do Saturday, so he called me and asked me to go with him. As I’ll explain in my next post, I don’t shop for anyone but the grandkids, but I don’t ever miss an opportunity to be with me son. I’ll even cancel doctor’s appointments if necessary, because my time with him has always been short and scheduled. Corey time” is special and I live for it, no matter how short it is!

We hit the road and headed for Oak Ridge for a very important stop. I can’t reveal to you the details of this stop, because Tia reads my blog! Suffice it to say that she will be totally surprised and very pleased. ‘Nuff said!

From there we drove on to West Town Mall in Knoxville. There was a little “Tinker Bell” house at the Disney Store just waiting for Santa, and Papaw Elf, to pick up! Check out Corey on the phone to his wife, Tia, making sure this was the correct item! It takes concentration and coordination to get all the shopping done correctly and on time!

Eventually, as we wandered the mall, we came upon the traditional Santa Claus photo opportunity. This little girl was very frightened of the bearded old man, and it took her “papaw” to calm her down long enough for a photo, and for Santa to ask her questions.

Out in the parking lot, as you will see in the red circle of the attached photo, I spotted one of the new Police mobile watch towers! I don’t know if they are there year-round, but I suspect so. There are always break-ins, muggings, and even rapes in and around most mall parking lots. This is the city’s way of reducing that possibility, and ensuring its residents and visitors have a safe shopping experience.

From the mall, we headed for Dick’s…I love Dick’s – don’t you?!

At Dicks, Corey found a nice jogging suit for his brother-in-law, and I had a great time searching through the sale items. However, I came away empty handed, having talked myself out of a couple of nice shirt purchases. I often do that, and then end up regretting having passed up the deal.

It was then on to Best Buy, where Corey again looked for something another special gift for his wife. He found it too, but I’ll not tell!

I purchased a Bejeweled 2 game for Judy, having lost her Jewel Quest game during the conversion to her new laptop! She still wants her old game back, so I’ll have to shop some more!

Finally, we made it to Wild Wings! I know, I was just there a couple of days ago, but I love Wild Wings!

I did not have wings, I had one of their yummy wraps instead, and Corey had the “buffalo wings” and lots of tea! I couldn’t resist having a couple of Yuenglings…they just tasted so good Saturday!

On the way home we played WIMZ very loud and played “Guess that band”! We always have a great time, and I’m already looking forward to next time!

Friday, December 19, 2008


It was rainy again Thursday, so Judy and I decided to take in a movie at The Pinnacle in Knoxville’s Turkey Creek shopping area. It was our first IMAX adventure for just a regular movie. However, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is not a “regular” movie. It is the remake of one of my favorite movies of all time!

Here are the original and remake trailers:

I will say no more about the new movie until later in this post.

When you see this…“SPOILER ALERT”…

Read no further if you intend to see the movie!

I will give you my opinion on the remake later.

The Pinnacle is a beautiful theater, with a large concessions and entertainment area. This theater is where most IMAX premieres of movies made either about Knoxville, East Tennessee, or by local celebrities occur. The theater is very clean and beautifully decorated. This includes the restrooms…even at the risk of Judy fussing at me; I took a couple of photos! I just love the new hand dryers!

They not only have the intense XLERATORs, they also are trying out the ultra-modern dyson airblade! I’ve been fascinated by the Xlerator since our Key West trip to the Green Parrot! My first thought was that my hands are going to be blown off!

After the movie, Judy and I made a stop at the restroom, and when we met outside, I had discovered a “Friday the 13th” poster. I couldn’t resist getting her in the shot!

We then made other stops at Bath and Body Works (my aftershave), Wal-Mart, and even all the way over to West Town Mall for some blush…not for me!

Then it was time for a late/early lunch/dinner at Wild Wings! I had been “Jonesing” for spicy wings for some time!

Yuengling 12 oz. drafts were going for $1, so we indulged, and Judy made her “shandies”!

I got smart with the waitress, saying I wanted a regular size beer, and she had to prove to me the cup contents would fill a 12 oz. glass! I apologized, but look at the photo…doesn’t seem likely does it?

Now this is when the movie discussion began…between bites of hot wings and wiping our faces, we talked about the movie. It soon dawned on me that Judy had slept through a key event in the movie, an event that occurred about 10-15 minutes into the film!

She has a tendency to dose off watching TV, and I rarely know it until the show is over. If we are watching a recorded program, I realize she’s asleep when I have to wake her to advance through the commercials. I had no idea she would dose off in an IMAX movie, which cost a few dollars more than normal movies!

I was somewhat upset for two reasons: I once took a girl out to an expensive steak dinner, only to discover when we got home that she was bulimic and in the bathroom throwing up my money! I kind of related this to Judy’s falling asleep in this expensive movie!

Secondly, I assumed she had been anticipating the movie as much as I was. We had just watched the 1951 version a few days prior to going, so I was looking forward to comparing notes and impressions!

I liked the remake a lot. As a matter of fact, I went to the movie not wanting to like it. I loved the simplicity of the original movie and the concept, so I doubted that Scott Derrickson could out direct Robert Wise! I also seriously doubted that GORT or Klaatu could be improved! However, here’s the thing – they are based on the same theme, but are two completely different interpretations!


First, the spaceships are different! The original was saucer-like, making the eerie whirring noise that you have heard in movies for decades! The new ship is a sphere, with multiple smaller spheres, or arks (you’ll eventually understand this term if you see the movie), appearing in various places around the globe.

In the remake, Klaatu is shot almost immediately and whisked off to a government controlled facility for surgery, examination, and interrogation. GORT comes out at the shot and waves his hand over Klaatu, and Klaatu speaks to him (unintelligible) and he then assumes the position…like in the original. There is no “klaatu barada nikto” exchange in this movie! So, don’t go expecting it for nostalgia sake, and don’t dislike the movie because of it! To do so is to short change yourself, and overlook the updated storyline and very creative circumstances surrounding it.

No, Keanu Reeves is no Michael Rennie, but he does do a good job of depicting a non-sympathic alien, devoid of human feeling. True, it’s basically Keanu’s normal acting style, but it comes off well as the Klaatu of the 21 century! Klaatu’s appearance, which is that of a human, is simply an acceptable disguise hiding an alien shape, and allows mankind to look upon him without fear. Therefore, to show human feelings would be totally out of context – he’s almost Spock-like in this version. (Some say God came as a man (Jesus) to prevent us from being afraid too!)

In the original, Klaatu is not shot until toward the end, and it requires the heroine to interact with GORT to save the world.

In the remake, the world is not to be destroyed…just mankind and all he has made…the spheres are arks for the other living creatures that are to be saved!

Klaatu can stop the annihilation, but not as easily as he did in the original, and there is a terrible cost to mankind for being saved! To me, this is the only loose end in the movie…if things are left in place, what’s keeping mankind from cranking them up again!?

The “earth stood still” for 30 minutes in the first movie; it stands still much longer in the second, and that’s where it leaves us.

I remember Klaatu saying the “creator” in the first movie, giving hope to the world that God existed. The remake offers no such hope…Klaatu only says he cannot bring back the dead, however, there was no rapture of the living and/or dead believers prior to the wrath of GORT, nor was there any type of interference from a superior being!

One last spoiler – Klaatu never calls the robot GORT…it is an acronym assigned to the entity by the government!

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the modern version! It stayed close to the intent of the original movie, only instead of trying to save us and the universe from nuclear disaster, it came to get rid of a species that was not only determined to destroy its own kind, but other species right down to the very planet beneath their feet.

In the original, the “universe police” were trying to protect themselves by destroying everything, but this time they endeavor to save the planet and every living thing except mankind. If you live, the planet dies. If you die, the planet lives,” Klaatu explains.

The Day the Earth Stood Still” is the ultimate “save the planet” movie, and, if you believe in a “higher being” and an “end time”, I suppose that one day this same scenario will play out along a similar storyline.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I lost my right wisdom teeth when I was in my late twenties, and best I can remember only because one was impacted and infected. The logic in removing both on that side was that I would eventually have problems with the upper one. So, the dentist removed them both surgically the same day.

Because of the required cutting, he began by giving me a shot of Valium and a “spray” (as they say in drag racing) or two of nitrous, I was off to "happy land". When the dentist finished I even begged him to pull some more! I loved that “laughing gas” and asked if he had an extra bottle I could take home!

I remember commenting on how pretty the lights were in the room and then dropped to my knees and began rubbing the carpet with both hands saying, “Wow, look at all those colors! My wife, at the time, was completely embarrassed, especially with me giving shout-outs to everyone in the waiting room!

Well, as it turns out, he should have gone ahead with the left side, because last evening around 7 PM I had another yanked! It was not the tooth's fault, but a little pocket in the gum next to it that kept getting infected from food particles!

I had been anxious all day, dreading the 5 o’clock appointment. Judy decided to wait in the car, mostly because she had refused to fix her hair and makeup that day. So, there she sat from 4:45 until about 7:15…trying to read in the dark!

I immediately went to their restroom, having had an early supper and a diet Mountain Dew before leaving. I knew I would not get anything decent for about 48 hours, so I ate hardy!

I sat in the waiting room, watching the 8 or so birds fly around in their glass house and feeling sorry for them, for some time. Finally, the assistant came out and said that they were backed up and it would be another 30 minutes. At the end of that time I had to pee again…mostly nerves at this point!

It was somewhere around 5:30 when I was called back to room 3, where the dental assistant prepped me for the dreaded numbing shots. I sat there for what seemed like forever, listening to the sounds of the dentist and assistant working on someone in the next room, with that yucky red stuff running down my throat.

Finally, the dentist takes a break from the other patient and comes in, shakes my hand, as he is accustom to doing, then pokes his fingers to the back of my mouth and begins the big squeeze and shaking motion that seems to make the shot less painful…however, the pinching is almost as bad.

With that, they both were off - back to the other patient.

Time ticked by as I squirmed, and twiddled my thumbs, when suddenly I realize I had to pee again! So, I endeavored to get up and out of the room as quietly as possible, not wanting them to hear. My plan is spoiled when I get my right foot entangled in the floor drill control and its cable. You alright in there,” the nurse asks?

Oh…yeah, just got to go to the restroom,” I say, half embarrassed at their knowing.

Finally, at around 7, the dentist comes in and begins to test my numbness by poking sharp instruments into my gums. Luckily I feel nothing, unlike the time before when he had to inject me a second time!

He begins groping around in my mouth and bumping my upper teeth with his pliers and hammer, and other implements I imagined! The metallic taste removed the sickening sweet of the prep swab, and I began to get very anxious again.

All of a sudden there was a sharp crack and release that caused me to jump! Not to worry, that was just my instrument slipping off…nothing happen yet,” he said calmly.

Well, the slipping gave cause for the screwdriver looking pry tool! Oh my god,” I was thinking behind my tightly shut eyes! I didn’t want to see what else he was going to use!

Just when I thought he might get it over, another doctor stopped by on his way out. The two talk, with my dentist still holding my mouth open and crammed full of “implements of destruction” while he looked at the doctor speaking to him. He would answer questions, and then look back in my mouth and tug a little, then the other fool would ask another question, and he would look away still holding the implements. At one point, one of the tools went up my right nostril…and there I sat…eyes wide open now, waiting the next humiliation!

Why don’t you go home…we’re trying to pull a tooth here,” I wanted to shout at the other doctor!

Finally the stories and goodbyes were all said and the dentist again gave his full attention to my tooth. Then it breaks!

He got the large chunk you see in the photo (click to enlarge), but the other pieces had to pulled out separately. One dug out fairly easily, while the other had to have a ridge drilled into it so he could get a better grip!

In the photo you can see why I’ve had room for my wisdom teeth; the last molar toward the front ,on the side of the extraction, has always leaned in toward my tongue. This space gave the wisdom teeth room to grow in fairly normally. The “leaner” has never caused me any problems, other than being hard to clean.

The doctor packed the “hole”, about the size of a .38 “wad cutter”, with some kind of foamy gel and antibiotic, to prevent a “dry socket”. I called it a “pocket” – it’s all a matter of perspective!

We got home around 7:45 and, as of this post, I have had no pain…just a little soreness from the hand and instruments of destruction being in my jaw for nearly an hour and a half!

Yahoo…I still have another…maybe I’ll have more wisdom tooth fun in the future!