Saturday, June 28, 2008


With the exception of a few email addresses, new ones added since May, I have successfully recovered all my files.

Nero 7 is supposed to backup my files automatically every 3 days, and did routinely, but it failed to process the recovery process after the incident I had with Vista on Wednesday.

Luckily, I still had the backup that is done by Vista, and recovered most items through that process. However, the greatest assistance came from the backup labeled Windows.old that was created when the new installation of Vista began. From that file I located all my photo files previous to the crash and recovered the files that were missing from the “backup” files.

Prior to discovering that (actually I knew the file was there, but did not think I could access the files) I was missing my recently added Lily, Katie, hiking, Son Volt, ZZ Top, my class reunion, and New York trip files. I now have everything back and am currently backing up all those files using Vista’s backup utility, with the exception of some recently added email addresses and all emails sent to me on Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday.

Since Nero 7 failed me, I will probably not use it again, instead trusting a weekly backup using Vista itself.

Over the past few days, I’ve probably put a total of 24 hours into restoring my system and personal files. I grew tired of seeing all the dialogue windows and reading and re-reading all the processing and warning messages. Watching the progress bar on reloads of software (Office 2003, Logitech, Epson printer/scanner, Audigy 2 sound card, ATI Radeon video card, Outlook, etc.), drivers, then Vista updates including SP1, and logging on and off, was almost maddening.

I still have some appearance and sound tweaks remaining to do, but for the most part I’m back to, and maybe even better, where I was Tuesday evening.

As things began to happen, things like certain services failing to load, I first thought I had a bad hard drive. With the re-installation completing successfully, I now think, and hope, that it was a simple failure of Microsoft Vista and its recent distribution of Service Pack 1. I can not say for sure this will not happen again, but I do now have confidence in the recovery process and the backup reliability of Vista.

There only two things I want to pass on to you and one is “backup!” Backup your email address, archived email files, IE or Firefox favorites, and, of course, your personal data and photo files. Do it today! Do it on CD/DVD disks, or using an external drive, it doesn’t really matter how, but do it.

I don’t know if XP has a backup utility or not, but look in the System Tools folder by clicking START/ALL PROGRAMS/ACCESSORIES/SYSTEM TOOLS, and clicking on a “back up” utility IF there is one (if not you will have to install the utility from your XP disk). Or, check out this link

The second thing is…DON’T UPGRADE TO VISTA! There is
help on the way that promises to be much more stable!

With fingers crossed…I’ll be back.


Thursday, June 26, 2008


Things are going so well right now, but I’ll be back “full force” soon.

My computer crashed again night before last and taken away some of my photos, and several of my Outlook email addresses, phone numbers, etc. If you and I have done some corresponding, please send me an email with new information ASAP! Send either to FUZZBERT_1999 AT YAHOO dot COM, or to 7285 AT COMCAST dot NET!

My buddy Marion Henry recently underwent brain surgery for the removal of a tumor. Turns out it is cancerous, so please continue to pray hard for him. You’ll remember him from this tale “HUNTING WITH MARION”.

And, if that isn’t bad enough, my high school friend Danny Steve Webster died this week after a long battle with cancer. He was just a few months younger than me and had loads of grandchildren who adored him. Judy and I went to the funeral home this evening, and although there were a lot of old classmates there, it was a very sad occasion. Thankfully, I had just seen him about a month back and posted about him in “THE HARRIMAN CLASS OF ’64 RE-UNITES”.

Please pray for his lovely wife Regina who hasn’t been separated from him since they married just after graduating in 1964. They had a long and blessed marriage!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Check out my "food and beverage" report for our New York trip on Mushy's Cookings!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Well, it wasn’t actually summer yet in New York City, but you couldn’t prove it by looking at the thermometer…record setting days in June with temps over 95 and Tennessee-like humidity!

However, we hit the ground running Monday morning and were eating a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit in McDonald’s by 8 AM. It was all that was open within the first three blocks, and since we got in around 1 AM and it was too late to eat, we were all starved that first morning.

We then hustled on down to Times Square to see all the New York people celebrating New Year’s Eve…but, of course, they weren’t there, just a horde of “out of towners” in bright colored shorts and t-shirts – just like us! New Yorkers rarely go to Times Square, so you really don’t get to experience New York people or their various cultures by going to Times Square. It’s much like Gatlinburg in Tennessee, Honolulu in Hawaii, Daytona Beach or Disney World/Orlando in Florida! There is no one there but the visitors! A city, state, or country’s people and culture resides in its local neighborhoods or boroughs – in their backyards and hearts. Naturally, on a whirlwind 3-day visit, we experienced little of the “realNew York City.

After snapping a dozen or more shots of Number One Times Square, we wheeled around and headed for 49th Street and Rockefeller Center!

However, before we could get from the west side of the street to the east, we were stopped in the median strip by a TV crew filing shorts for a Canadian Kid’s TV show called YTV! The young man with the microphone asked Julie if she wanted to be on TV and, of course, what kid is going to say no?! They began taping her thumb wrestling the dude with the microphone, who pretended to be losing. I whispered to Judy that they were probably child pornographers! Anyway, the YTV part checked out.

Rockefeller Plaza and the NBC Studio area was the next tourist attraction that we just had to capture in digital format. Since we did not get up two hours earlier, we were relegated to the back rows of people ringing NBC’s Today Show, but, I did manage to get a couple “Mat Lauer” head shots. We then walked on over to the plaza.

Where’s the skating rink and Christmas Tree?” Naturally we were several months too early or too late, depending on how you look at it!

The “Rock Center Café” covers the skating rink area this time of year, and the only trees around are the locus trees that line the streets. However, it was a lovely area and we intended to return before leaving to view the city from “The Top of the Rock’s” observation deck. Sadly, we never made it back at night as we planned.

By this time, we had only two hours left to eat lunch and ride the subway over to “old” Yankee Stadium. Did I mention it was hot? Well, it was! Very hot!

Did I mention it was humid? Well, it was! Tennessee humid!

We hopped the “B Train” over to the Bronx and got off right in front of the stadium. We walked between the past and the future as we passed in front of the “new” Yankee Stadium and on into the “old” stadium. To me there is little difference in the look of the new stadium on the outside, but I’m sure it’s all very modernized inside.

Our seats were very high up in the stadium, but almost directly behind home plate. It was easy to see the little “ant” players swinging, spitting, scratching, hitting, and running around below us. Frankly, it took me several minutes before I ever got into the game, or even looked for the score. I wanted to take it all in…the people, the sounds, the smells, and most of all to feel myself sitting in an aisle seat and watching a professional baseball game – not just any ol’ game, but a New York Yankee’s ball game!

Finally, I was experiencing a truly New York cultural experience! Sadly, for the Yankee fans, they lost to the Royals 3 to 2 that day.

At the “seventh inning stretch” everyone stood and sang along to “America”. I choked…I could not sing more than 3 or 4 words; it was just too much for this ol’ fat boy! What a moment this is,” I thought, “I’m here and I am feeling so very blessed.” I looked out over the center and right field walls and on over into the Bronx and it was full of Americans…all kinds of Americans. Do they feel like I do? Do they realize how blessed they all are?”

Then, just as I succeeded choking that back, they began playing and everyone was singing, “Take me out to the ball game…

I looked out over crowd and wondered if they realized the tradition in the moment! “Man, just think of the people that have played in that stadium and who had watched them play…the luckiest people in the whole world. Thank God I’m an American,” I was thinking, “Why aren’t we all just blubbering around the stands and hugging each other, swapping hotdogs, and bumping plastic beer cups!?”

Sorry, sorry for that…I let my emotions run a little over half throttle…I’ll rein it in some.

Did I mention it was hot? And Tennessee humid? It was…very! But so damn American!


Saturday, June 14, 2008


Judy, Katie Bug (our granddaughter), and I went to New York this past week with Terri, Steve, and Juliana (their granddaughter).

Our flight to New York began on Flight 5881 at 10:29 AM (Eastern) Sunday (6/8/08) out of Knoxville, Tennessee to Chicago and was on time and smooth as glass to O’Hare. United Airlines boarded Flight 646 for New York at 1:15 PM (Central). The pilot announced a 30 minute hold at the terminal, which went by fairly quickly. We then got the go ahead and taxied into position behind about 25 to 30 other aircraft full of eager passengers.

The pilot soon came on and announced he was shutting down the right engine to conserve fuel, because the storm that had recently passed through Chicago was now between us and New York. Newark (New Jersey) had notified Chicago that it was not accepting aircraft for one hour.

The pilot told us that he was requesting a flight plan around the storm, so we sat and waited…hoping he was successful.

He then came back and said that he could not accept a “fly around” because there was not enough fuel on board, and that he would have to go to the terminal to fill up.

At the terminal, the pilot promised it only took about 45 minutes to take on the fuel (including the time it took for the tanker to arrive).

The tanker arrived and we finally backed out of the gate. I was watching one of the ground support guys as he flagged us safely backward. He looked down at his watch and then looked up and crossed the flashlights stopping the plane and then went forward to put the plane back at the gate.

Suddenly the engines stopped again and the pilot announced that the “flight crew” was now “illegal” and would have to be replaced – shift change!

While we waited for this, they announced that we could leave the plane and go back into the terminal until the new crew arrived. There was also a warning that the plane would leave (with or without us) when the crew arrived, so we needed to stay close to the terminal gate.

We quickly made it off the plane to find something quick for lunch, a meal that was now at least 3 hours overdue! We feed the young ones and ourselves and headed promptly back to the gate and onto the plane. We were greeted by a new team of attendants, all fresh and ready to tackle a grumpy bunch of short-tempered travelers.

We sat on the plane with a promise from the pilot that he would not back out of the terminal until he had his flight plan and a take off time verified by Newark.

We did back out eventually, but after we did, we keep getting notices of 30 and 45 minutes holds while on the tarmac.

Long story short, we spent in excess of 5 hours in delays in Chicago. When we arrived at Newark, it had taken us a total of 12 hours to fly from Knoxville to New York. Google says it is 751 miles from my house to 226 W. 52nd Street in New York City (Hotel Novotel Times Square), about 12 hours and 9 minutes!

I heard this made the national news this week, so you may have heard something about irate travelers in Chicago.

One side note, there were three passengers with small dogs on the plane, which was my first encounter with pets within the aircraft cabin. I felt sorry for them stuck there under the seats, but soon their owners pulled them out and onto their laps. I once dozed off and woke suddenly when something bumped me. When I looked up I was face-to-face with a big rat…I mean a Chihuahua!

On the way back to use one of the lavatories, I noticed the other two dogs standing on “pee pads” back in the galley! As I stepped across I pointed down at one of the dogs and said, “Better hurry, or I’ll use that thing!”

[I need to thank Jeff (FHB) for helping to keep me sane through this ordeal. He and I talked or sent text messages frequently. He was dealing with his own layover problems in Atlanta about the same time I was parked at O’Hare! Thanks brother!]

Sometime around midnight, after riding the bumpy New Jersey Turnpike we made the hotel, which was within eye shot of Times Square, which seems much larger on TV!

After showers around, we fell into bed with a cellphone set to awaken us at 5:30! We hit the ground running bright and early Monday morning and did not slow down until late Wednesday night.

More on that later.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


It probably isn’t necessary to post this, since no one seems to be blogging these days, but I will be gone for a few days.

See ya!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


We’ve been here before,” Billy Gibbons said, “…the same three guys, playin’ the same three cords!

ZZ Top has played Knoxville, Tennessee several times in the past, but back then it was to larger crowds at the coliseum. Tuesday night they played to a packed house of around 1600 at the grand Tennessee Theater. Ron, Gary, and I were three of the best entertained ol’ rockers there!

Prior to the concert, which started at 8 PM, we dined at the Downtown Grill and Brewery, which is a tradition with most concert goers. Ron always goes for the White Mule and I go for the Downtown Alt pale ale! Gary tries them, but loves his Miller Lite more.

Ron went for the big burger and fries, Gary and, for the first time, I tried the “Burro,” a gigantic burrito with beans and rice that repeated on me all night long! I didn’t mind though, it just served to remind me of the delicious meal I had!

After a little walk around Market Square, and another beer at the Preservation Pub we made it to the Tennessee Theater and ordered another round before taking our seats in the balcony.

The seats offered me the advantage of being able to steady my pocket Nikon on the railing, and use my zoom. I think they turned out pretty well for a little camera that easily hides in any pocket! Note the one with the shadow of Billy Gibbons on the wall. Ron pointed this out to me and I just had to get it. It you notice, there is a larger shadow that appears to be a cowboy wearing a hit! I don’t think this was intentional, just a coincidence of the lighting setup.

Blackberry Smoke,” a very good “southern rock” band kicked things off with about 45 minutes to an hour of hard hitting rock, sounding very much like early Lynyrd Skynyrd. I really enjoyed them and will be downloading some of their songs soon!

Billy recalled one of his first trips to Knoxville, explaining that he experienced an earthquake here worst than any he had in California. I had a room up in the Hyatt House (called the Marriott today), but I slept in the bus that night! Then the next morning I learned that a garbage truck had backed into the building!”

What do ya wa’na hear?” he asked, as the crowd began shouting out their favorites. It don’t matter ‘cause yer go’na hear’em all tonight! And we did!

There were two songs where the primary mics were over driven, but the rest of the song lyrics were easily discernable. The music, well, it was ZZ Top and it rocked us for about two hours.

The best part was that I was home in bed by 11:30, a little buzzy from the pale ales and the amplifiers! Life is grand.

Make these larger by clicking on them, and check out more photos on my Flickr page.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Some of you may remember my post “The Princess Theater” back in July of 2007. I said then that there was an effort underway to restore the theater. Well, I’m happy to report that is happening now and being pushed forward by two neighborhood friends Gary Baker and Bennie Lowery. You’ll remember Bennie, or Jaybee, from “It Was the Summer of ‘62”. Gary and Bennie (of Dallas, TX) have stayed in contact all these years and are business partners. They are now involved in “Share the Vision” a group dedicated in bring about the restoration of the Princess Theater and revitalize downtown Harriman, Tennessee.

Share the Vision,” is a program determined to restore Harriman’s Princess Theater, and is sponsored by the Roane Alliance and spear headed by Gary Baker and Muse Watson of Harriman, Tennessee. An awareness kick off was held Friday evening (5/30) in the O’Brien Theater on the main campus of Roane State Community College. Muse Watson and Bill Landry hosted the event, that featured Marshal Andy, Luke Brandon, the Pick’N’Grin Bluegrass Band featuring Larry Mathis and Bud Brewster and other area talent.

Bennie sent me an email last night telling me about the awareness party held Saturday evening at Doctor Terry Bingham’s home. Bennie was in town to help Gary with the “Raise the Curtain” program. He wrote:

“It started at Roane State Friday night and ended at Dr. Bingham's house last night. Gary (Baker) and Terry (Bingham) threw a great party to kick it off with Clint Black as entertainment. So if you hear rumors it was true he (Black) was in Harriman. In attendance were the likes of Bill Landry, Muse Watson, Archie Bell, Coach Pearl, Dr. Goff and a whole host of City, County and State officials.

It was done Right and now the awareness is in the right places. I hope money can follow the will to get a viable venue for talent in Roane County.”

The Princess Theater first opened in 1926, but the 900 seat Princess was damaged by fire six years later. In 1939, the theater was completely destroyed by a blaze, but was rebuilt in within 10 months with an “Art Deco” design with 854 seats, courtesy of Paramount Studios.

During World War II, while the secret city Oak Ridge was under construction a few miles away, there were three showings a day, each one sold out.

The theater screened its last movie in 1999, when Cecil Johnson, long time operator and lessee of the building, retired. It officially closed in 2001.

Local officials are now joining hands with Hollywood bad guy Muse Watson to restore and revitalize the theater. Their plans include a $1.9 million renovation with a vision of creating a new public access TV station for Harriman, run by Roane State Community College.

Other hopes are that the Tennessee Technology Center will teach theater lighting and stage design, while Roane County public schools may use the building for programs, plays and events.

It would be an ideal location for weddings, concerts, dance recitals and screenings of classical movies,” Baker has stated. It's hoped a vibrant Princess Theater will lure restaurants, specialty shops and other new businesses downtown.”