Showing posts from October, 2010

With one swing of a pick axe

Well, a few people have been asking me where the foliage pictures are, so I thought I would share some fall shots from the yard, taken before the leaves really started covering it. First, though, here is proof of the old adage that you can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

I finished restaining the deck a few weeks ago. I'm glad that's done as it looks considerably better than it did a month ago. But, I won't be happy until I have a new one. Or at least do something about the rails. Why it was built with four rails on one side and three on the others has been bothering me for some time. Further, those four rails are all 2X6s while the other sides were made from 1X6s, suggesting that the last side was probably made from leftover wood. Still, if I take the picture emphasizing the nicely turned maple a bit better, the imperfections on the deck don't quite stand out so much...

Here's one of my burning bushes. Travel prevented me from seeing them in their dee…


So, the drive to Fredericksburg and back wouldn't have been bad, but the shorter drive to Manassas on Saturday was desirable because of what I planned on Sunday: a day trip to Charlotte, NC.

Yep, I was ticking another football stadium off the list.

And, Bank of America is a fine place to watch a game. You can't tell from my picture, but just to the right of the frame, some of the city's nice skyline comes into view. One thing you might notice from the picture, however, is the number of empty seats, which may be expected when an 0-5 team hosts a 1-5 one. And there were plays in the game that reflected their records, including a pathetic pass right into the gut of a defensive tackle, although that led to a remarkable TD return, not to mention that there was a 55-yard field goal, and, most important, a nice 10-point fourth-quarter comeback for the home team.

Plenty of fans for the 49ers were present, but there was no anomosity shown by the friendly, easy-going Panthers fans.…


After visiting Antietam last weekend, I decided to visit another battlefield this past Saturday. Which one, though, was the question. Even at breakfast, I was torn between Fredericksburg and Manassas. I've been to both, more than once in fact, but not to either in 10 years. The last time I was at Fredericksburg, it rained most of the 4 or 5 hours we had alloted for this stop (one of about seven battlefields my Dad and I saw on that trip), and we knew there were things we missed.

Manassas, though, was the shorter trip this weekend, and one of my favorites based upon earlier visits. The impressive statue of Stonewall Jackson that welcomes visitors sets the mood for the day: You sense right away the history that took place here.

I also like that it is so easy to cover much of the battlefield with some nice hikes right from the visitor center. Before doing that, though, a 40-minute movie about the battles is a must see, as is a remarkable lighted map that shows the movements of the two…

Burnside's Bridge

For all the travel I have done, for all of the magnificent places I have seen, few move me as does this scene. I've been here at least a half dozen times, and in different seasons, and there is a always a serenity felt here.

The scene was much different, though, on September 17, 1862. This bridge was one of several key fighting spots at the Battle of Antietam, the single most bloody day in American history. On one hand it is easy to see the strategy employed, but then again it is so hard to grasp the magnitude of the number of deaths that took place on the bridge and by those crossing the creek during the afternoon fight on this date.

I hope this battlefield is forever as well preserved as it is now, and that the events of that day are always well honored.

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Acknowldeging those NFL cheerleaders

If you’re anything of a loyal reader of this blog, you know I am a fan of the New York Giants. The New York Giants do not have cheerleaders, and that is fine with me. Conversely, the Dallas Cowboys do have cheerleaders, and that has led me to something of a negative disposition toward those pompom-waving ladies who try to dance, prance, and whatever their fans into loudly cheering for the home team.

As I have traveled to different NFL stadiums, however, I have certainly taken note of some cheerleading squads, which I will guess more teams have than don’t. I have found it amusing to see them bundled up like high-kicking Michelin Men in northeast and mid-Atlantic stadiums; then again, I have seen them doing their thing in more temperate stadiums... Since a recent post focused on the different stadiums, I thought one about my “favorite” cheerleading squads may be in order.

At a Chargers game in 2000, I had a seat with something of a bird’s eye view of the cheerleaders. The Chargers played…