Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plenty of Snow

We got hit again last night with a snowstorm here in the southeast, leaving in my area about 8 to 10 inches, considerable more in the mountains a little north of here.

Of course I'm working the closing shift this week, so it meant driving home at 3:30 in the morning through the stuff. And again, having to leave in a couple of hours to go back there. Getting out of here might be a little sporty, but if I can make it to the main road it should be fine.

I was happy at least that the power didn't go out this time, so I had lights and heat. But as always upon arriving home, Tanner meets me at the door for my hug, then emphatically tells me he needs to go out. Explaining that it's not very nice out there, but we'll do it anyway, I swept snow from the porch to open the door, and away we went. It's like a kid at Christmas time...the snow came up to under his belly, and it was playtime. Even though I was pretty wet and cold, it was fun to watch him run and jump in the snow like a puppy. Then of course this morning it's the same thing, go out and play, make yellow snow at every tree and bush we can get to. I don't know where he gets all that stuff....

But here we are today, it finally stopped snowing early this morning, so in a few minutes it will be time to begin my usual ritual of getting ready for work. I don't expect much business tonight, so I think I'll carry along my putter and get in some practice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drivers License Renewal

Well, today being a day off from work, I decided I might as well go to the DMV and get my drivers license renewed. It expires next month, today is a nice day outside, so why not get it over and done with.

I knew that sometimes it's a little crowded there at the DMV, but wow.... it took me 2 hours for a simple 5 minute test and picture being taken. As I went in to the desk, I gave the lady my current license and told her I was there to renew it, she gave me a number "A174", and was told to take a seat. Where??? There are about 30 seats in the place, but they were all in use, so I, along with a couple of others, stood by the door.

After about 45 minutes there were a couple of empty seats, so I chose to sit down. Good choice. Another 45 minutes later, I was watching the numbers on the screen as they were being called, and up came 174! I went to station 3, sat down in front of the examiner, and looked at the signs, did the eye test, and was finished in about 3 minutes. Then went to another desk to have my picture taken, and that was that. Instead of giving me a new license, I got a piece of paper. They now mail your new license to you from a central location in Raleigh, so they should come in about 7 to 10 days.

I can't help but wonder, if there are so many people every day, why don't they just hire more examiners? Oh well, it's ok because I don't have to worry about it for another 5 years. I'm home now, I'm legal for another 5 years, so I think I'll gather Tanner up and we'll go outside and hit some golf balls in this beautiful weather.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tanner, the Makulit...Love of a Dog

That's my boy...Tanner. Another day at work, after waking up at 5:00 AM for the opening shift, getting through the day without too much trouble, and looking forward to some rest after a long day. NOT!

Oh, it's nice that Tanner meets me when I come in the back door, and he sits up to give me a great big hug. In fact, it's one really important part of my day that I look forward to. Moments of pure, unconditional love. Then of course, it's time to go out, because my boy has been waiting for hours for this moment too, and what relief it is for him. We usually take a little walk, and play a little in the yard, though not as much right now as it's winter, and it's a little too cold for me to stay out for any real length of time. But we are still able to get our bonding time together.

Now for the next treat. You see, Tanner knows I work as a restaurant manager, and he also knows he gets his grilled chicken breasts for dinner when I come home. Little wonder that he hasn't touched his Purina all day, the bowl is still full. But, after he finishes his chicken breasts, that's the Purina time.

Now I get to sit down and relax on the couch for a little while, watch some TV, and simply rest. Oh, let's not forget the makulit....there has to be 120 pounds across my lap, turning to lick my face, and don't even try to stop scratching his head, oh no, that won't do. But can I get mad at him? No way! Just more unconditional love.

OK, let's play the banjo for a few minutes. He's always ready for that. So as I play, he sits in front of me and watches until I nod my head, then he begins to sing along. This happens usually several times during a song, and believe it or not, he knows most of my ending licks. As I start one, he comes up to me, and as I finish my last note, he lays his head on my lap so I can tell him what a wonderful singer he is. It doesn't do a lot for my concentration when I practice, but again, how can I get mad at him for joining in.

Let's fast forward to bedtime. Now I really get to relax. I just finished my shower, I'm tired, so I lay down in the bed, usually to read. But first things first. When it's time, he's already on the bed waiting for me. It's treat time! First the 2 butter cookies, then the rawhide stick, and lastly a couple of snausages. So now I can read. Oh no, not yet. Now we have to play. It's snuggle time, so after rolling around and again laying all 120 pounds across me while I scratch him some more, he has to do his cuddle. That's when he comes and lays across the pillow with one leg across me and the other behind my neck, to make me totally available for all the dog kisses he can muster. You have to understand, all these things are nightly rituals, and he must do them without fail or he just can't rest.

Well, after all this, I actually do get to read, he goes to the end of the bed, and we sleep until the alarm goes off again. Snooze button? Who needs it. My makulit is right there, standing beside the bed, looking me in the eyes, with his tail thumping against the dresser like a drum until I open my eyes and decide to get up. A couple of mornings I have told him to go and let daddy sleep some more, but that just brings out the squeaky toys next to my head. Have you ever been in that place between sleep and waking, and had a stuffed monkey 6 inches from your head going "squeak squeak squeak".... well, nothing to do but get up and start the day.

My makulit boy....there's nothing like unconditional love.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tanner and Me

I was just sitting here thinking about all I have to be thankful for, and it came to mind that there is really quite a lot. I have a decent job that I've been at for quite a few years, which even though it sometimes gets pretty stressful, still allows me to have the things I need in life.

Then there's Katherine and the family, which I can't say enough how complete it makes my life. As in everything, there are rough spots and hurdles to cross, but in time things always seem to work out for the best, and I'm truly thankful to have that.

Then of course there's Tanner. In my day to day life here at home, he's the constant presence in everything I do. I had to work the closing shift last night, so I had the whole day here with him and we watched a movie on cinemax that I thought I wouldn't watch after having heard about it, but I'm glad I did. Many of you have probably seen it, the title is "Marley and Me". So with nothing to do but wait until time to go to work, I sat on the couch, with all 120 pounds of Tanner laying across my lap and we began to watch the movie.

For me to say it's a really good movie would be an understatement. I think it was great, even though it brought tears to my eyes toward the end. But that's the reality of life. I kept thinking, it's a movie, they could just write a different ending, but then the reality would have been lost in a big way. Throughout the movie I laughed, watching Marley grow up, and in a lot of ways it was just like my makuilt boy Tanner. The things he did, the way he got into trouble, just like when Tanner ate my Levi's the other morning when I wouldn't get up early enough to suit him, and I watched for 3 days waiting for him to pass the button snap from the waistband; the way he cocked his head while watching me go through his poop, with his eyes wide in astonishment. I'm quite sure the neighbors got a thrill out of that also.

Before Tanner came to his forever home with me, I had a Siberian Huskey, Yukon. That too was just like the movie Marley and Me. I had Yukon for about 11 years and finally old age caught up, and the day came when I too had to sit in the vet's office while he was put to sleep. He couldn't even walk, so I had to carry him inside. But then I've mentioned that before too, so I won't go into details here again. Suffice it to say that it went along with Marley's script to a tee.

I guess the thing is, this is my way of giving tribute to the things that matter to me. I won't ever forget Yukon or the years we had together, and Tanner was truly a Godsend in the aftermath of that loss. If you're a dog person, or a true animal lover then you understand what I say and feel. Tanner is quite contrary at times, hardheaded when he wants to be, but he never meets a stranger, and I wouldn't trade my days with him for anything in the world. He is as my child.
Oh, and if you want to watch a great movie that will make you laugh and cry, try "Marley and Me".

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adams Redline Woods....Overlooked in Golf ?

I wanted to take a minute here to give my personal review of some golf clubs that I recently hit, the Adams Redline series. This is not a paid post, just my own views because I was truly impressed. This past summer I tried several brands of clubs, and my personal favorites don't tend to go with the newer flashy clubs, or game inprovment irons. I guess you could say I'm sort of a traditionalist for the looks.

Currently I play with Titleist 990 irons, which aren't new by any means, but I like the look and feel they give, and the feedback from shots. Another favorite of mine is the old tried and true Tommy Armour 845s originals. I've hit quite a few good shots with them, and have no problem recommending them to anyone.

Right now I've been playing with Titleist woods, the 975 series, 1, 3 and 5 woods. I like them, especially the 3 and 5, for some reason. Good trajectory and control. But now, I have tried the Adams, and I am surprised at what I did.

To start with, for a traditionalist, I wasn't sure about the driver. It has a 460cc head, neutral, which to me is large since I'm used to a fairly small driver head. It felt almost like swinging a Volkswagen on the end of a stick. But, the distance I got on the first hit shocked me, and straight! After a few shots, I could tell that even with the bigger head I can work the ball with a fade or draw, and the distance is good even for off center hits.

Now to test the 3 wood; I am truly impressed with this thing. No trouble at all getting it up, it has a good trajectory, and the distance is about what I get with my Titleist driver. And working the ball, I like to hit a draw when I can, and it was so easy with this club.

The great thing is, these clubs can be bought for such a low price compared to the new fancy ones you see advertised today. And looking at places such as Ebay, brand new ones can be had for a steal!

Will I give up my Titleist? No way! But, I do think there will be a place in my bag this coming year for these Adams Redline woods. That's how much I was impressed with them. And as for my Titleist irons, well, I have a birthday coming in the not too distant future, so I think maybe it's time to get them refurbished and re-gripped for the coming season.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trade Show Booths

For quite a few years I did my work travelling to special events, festivals, and one very important thing I learned was that you need to attract your customers to your products. Your setup and display in your trade show booth says it all. If you're in the market for an attractive display, then the place to go is Camelback Displays.

Here you will find the largest variety of tradeshow displays on the market today. When you're in competition with others at a trade show, your merchandise has to be eye catching to those going by, seeking out a particular product or service, and Camelback will certainly fit the bill for you in every area. They offer banner stands and banners which are very useful advertising tools, lighting and light boxes, flooring, tents and canopies, overhead displays, table cover that can feature your own artwork or logo, and so many more options and tools that can't be listed here.

With over 10 years experience, and more than 19,000 satisfied customers including many universities, government organizations, top fortune 100 companies and more, you won't go wrong by letting their dedicated and experienced staff do it right the first time.

Visit and browse the large variety of trade show booths, props and accessories they offer along with the years of experience and dedication to optimize your exhibiting and event needs. The customer satisfaction can be seen in the many testimonials from satisfied customers. I'm sure you will be very happy with the increased visibility and professionalism you can gain, which of course will translate into even more increased profits for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cooking for Christmas

Christmas means a lot is happening, especially in the kitchen. During the holiday season it's no wonder that people gain those few extra pounds; I know that I certainly do. And there's one thing my family can do exceptionally well when we all get together during this time of year, that's eat!

Since tomorrow is Christmas day here we will once again come together at my sister Barbara's house for dinner. Oh, the nieces, nephews, other siblings, etc. all have other things to do and places to be during the day also, so we will meet there in the afternoon to have dinner. It's always good, with lots of food, good social conversation, and with my family, always music since we're all musicians.

So today, even as I type this, I have about 3 dozen eggs boiling because I have been chosen to make the deviled eggs, and I think I'll do a batch of cheese rolls too. I had thought about baking a cake, but I'm sure there will be plenty of dessert, there always is. Barbara told me she already had two barbecue shoulders, Peggy made a gigantic batch of potato salad, and there's no telling what all might be there. Needless to say, I already know that tomorrow night I will be moving slowly again.

I tried out my hand at making homemade pimento cheese yesterday, and I let Peggy taste it to get an opinion when she stopped by today. Now I have an added task of making her some, so I'll be doing that later tonight and refrigerate it overnight.

I can't wait to talk to Kat tonight (morning there) to see how everyone is doing this Christmas day. As much as I enjoy being with loved ones here for the Holidays, I sure do miss being there even more. She's going to try her own hand at baking a cake, so I'm really interested in hearing how that turns out.

Well, better go check my eggs.
Merry Christmas to everyone out there........

Playing in the Snow

While I'm definitely not a cold -weather person, I really don't like to stay cooped up inside all the time, so I have to make allowances. I certainly do enjoy playing the banjo and guitar while stuck in the house, but there are moments when I just need to be outdoors, and Tanner even more so. One thing I have found out is that he truly loves to play in the snow. He loves to jump in it, run in it, and just lay down in it, so I figured what the heck, and grabbed an iron out of the bag, and we headed outside.

This was my first experience at "snow golf", but I have to admit, it was fun. Watching the snow splash was almost like watching a good bunker shot, and I enjoyed seeing Tanner jump and chase balls in the white stuff. Only this time instead of putting them in a little pile as usual, he would pick them up and toss them, maybe he just liked watching them hit the snow too. But we had a great time, and I'm sure that if any of the neighbors were watching, they were quite amused also.

This spring I would like to build a nice putting green in the back yard, so I've been looking around the web for designs. There are a lot of styles to choose from, and since I have a good bit of room, I"m wondering about making a fairly large area for practice. If I actually get it done, I'll be sure to post some pics of it.

For the time being I'll have to keep my practice area as it is, with my flag and hole design which works well, as it gives me practice shots from as far out as 30 to 40 yards. To me, this is a critical area as it really helps to lower your score.

Anyway, while it's still cold, and all the snow hasn't yet melted Tanner and I will continue to enjoy our little backyard golf games together. It's a small price to pay for watching him have so much fun.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Miss the Sound of "Taho, Taho" !!!

This is a post I did a good while back on another blog about just one of the little things I miss when I'm away from the Philippines...Taho! I was sitting here thinking about what I might cook on Christmas, and with sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on my mind, for some reason I started to think about the taho and how much I miss that in the mornings.

These are words I love to hear when I'm in the Philippines. When manong starts through the village and I hear him calling out, I know I'm about to get a real treat for the day. It almost makes me feel like when I was a child and would hear the bells and music of the ice cream truck coming through the neighborhood, only now I'm quite a bit older, but the anticipation of what's to come is just as strong.

This taho is a soy product and it's actually healthy for you. But from learning of what goes into making this, you will find it's an astounding amount of work. Besides dehulling the beans by hand, then soaking them for about 8 hours, there is a lot of cooking. This is only a small part of the process, in addition to having to make the syrup, which is quite a cooking task in itself.
Knowing just how much work goes into making this delightful treat only makes it taste better, in my opinion. To have such dedication and patience to make a product that people will love, and continue to buy every day, shows a determination and pride that I admire.

So how about you? Have you tried this tasty treat? Let us know what you think, maybe you look forward to it as much as I do. And if you haven't tried it and have the chance, do yourself a favor and get the bigger glass!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finally...Not A Good Golf Day

Did I say before that it was never too cold for hitting golf balls? OK, I take that back. We got hit yesterday here on the East Coast with a bit of a snowstorm while I was at work. It started in my area about lunchtime and lasted until late in the evening. Though we didn't get hit as hard as a little further north in the more mountainous areas, it was enough for me.

A little north of here they had as much as 16" of new snow, but here much less than that, we stayed at around 5-6 inches. Still, coming home last night from work was a little sporty, and when I got home and had to take Tanner out for his walk, he acted a fool. He loved it! Oh, it was pretty, and more so if I could just stay home and enjoy looking at it, but I had to leave again for work this morning at about 5:30, and if I wasn't awake before then, that did the trick. I live out here in the sticks, so to speak, so the plows and salt trucks really don't come back here. which makes getting to the main roads, especially before the sun comes up, an experience in itself. It took my 4WD with a load of wood in the back to make it, so I was lucky. They are calling for something on Thursday again, maybe snow, maybe sleet and freezing rain, just have to wait and see.

Didn't I just write something about Kat being at the beach this week? And last night on the phone she was telling me how hot it was there yesterday.

Makes me miss it more then ever....