Archive for November, 2009

Pinch me

November 23, 2009

I have been an Ole Miss fan as long as I can remember. I grew up less than one mile from the heart of campus and as hard as I tried to escape, I am glad that I decided to be a Rebel. In this time, I have had the opportunity to watch our football team win games we should have lost and lose games that should not have even been close. All this to set the stage for Saturday’s showdown with #8 LSU. There is no team out there that I have more animosity towards than LSU.

When in college, I travelled to Baton Rouge twice to watch the rivalry. In 1997 as a freshman and in the marching band, we won 36-21 in a day game. I will never forget the near-constant rain of bottles and cups that were thrown at the band throughout the game. That’s classy. In 1999, Jen and I drove down for a night game (in the rain) and we put it to them 42-23. With those 2 results, you might think that we have had the upper hand in the series, but 02-07 found us losing 6 in a row. If you look back on the series tally (since I was old enough to go to games), LSU has held the edge 15-9. All this to say, there is a lot of bad blood between these two schools.

Enter Saturday, Nov 21. The CBS SEC game of the week. The early game was dominated by Ole Miss with a couple of questionable calls that took the rebels out of the endzone twice, having to settle for a field goal and a LSU int for a TD. The defense held strong and we went in at the half down only 17-15.

The 3rd quarter was a field position struggle and the real excitement came in the 4th quarter. Dexter McCluster has been the hero of the second half of the season and completed his first pass ever for a TD with 13 minutes left to go putting us up 17-22. A clock-eating drive gave us a field goal to go up 17-25. Up by a TD with 2-pt conversion with 3:42 to go. What happened next is legendary. A methodical drive by LSU gave them a TD with 1:17 left pulled them to within 2. After 2 tries at the conversion, the rebels somehow managed to hold onto a 2 point lead.

Everyone knew the on-sides kick was coming and LSU ran it to perfection. At this point, I had indigestion. I could just see Ole Miss losing this to a last-second field goal. I could barely watch. The mental vaccuum that is the offensive minds in LSU somehow botched clock management and the tigers ended up on the Ole Miss 6yd line with the game clock expired. For once, things went our way. I waited for 10 minutes (well after the game coverage went off the air) to allow myself to breathe and enjoy the tally mark in the win column. At 8-3 with the Egg bowl left to play, the Rebels are finding a way to redeem what was supposed to be a great season. Will await bowl predictions soon.

The night only got more interesting as we went to a Mannheim Steamroller concert. Yes, the uber-popular Christmas music phenomenon tours and has been doing so for some time. Needless to say, it was a Laser Drum, Laser Light, Laser violin extravaganza. I lost it when the violin player pulled a spin move. It was a good day.

Next: Highlights!

Smokies Hiking Trip 2009

November 12, 2009

While the ladies manned the fort (8 kids), we went hiking on the Appalachian Trail. We put in at Newfound Gap in the heart of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We hiked northbound on the trail for 5days/4nights. We were weather channel savvy and hiked to the first shelter prior to the monsoon that arrived the first day. Thankfully, we stayed fairly dry. We had gusty rain through the majority of the night.

The following morning (Wednesday), was clear and cool. The hike took us by Charlie’s Bunion and over the sawteeth. Vistas were clear and beautiful. Several spots gave a 180-degree view. I’ll post some photos without many captions (too much effort involved). We hiked shelter-to-shelter backing off a little from the mileage obtained in the previous years. This made for a more relaxed experience. You will notice that there is a photo of a grouse. his name is Ricardo (don’t know how he earned that one) and he is a resident of the TriCorner Knob shelter metro area. Saw lots of bear scat but no bears. I do want to put a plug in for the new sleeping pad I bought this year. It is the REI Lite-Core 1.5. This pad was worth every penny. Light, compact, luxurious. I was not paid by REI to say that, but wouldn’t refuse it if they like the publicity.

The hikers this year were Andy Wells, Micah Lewis, Chad Bailey, and myself. We also had some rain on our hike out of the park, but a steak dinner made it tolerable.

All in all a great trip. Fun Facts about Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN:

1. These two towns have a pancake restaurant/resident ratio of 3:1. I was amused and counted twelve dedicated pancake establishments as we drove the main drag of Pigeon Forge. This is not counting the Shoney’s and TWO Cracker Barrel stores. What gives? Who decided that pancakes are the official food of Appalachia? Did I miss this in my schooling?

2. You can buy a Funnel Cake 365 days a year in Gatlinburg.

3. There were at least 5 stores that I’m confident sold a Braveheart-like sword.

4. Halloween is creepy in Gatlinburg. Hard to tell who is wearing a costume or just out for a night on the town.

The One Thing: 11/11

November 12, 2009

All I know about Glenn Beck is that he is on Fox News and called Obama a racist. I don’t know the context, so have no argument one way or the other. I watched a rant that he produced in regard to the Fort Hood shootings. Regardless of what you think of the guy, I recommend watching this. He’s a little dramatic, but his points are well made. It’s approx 16 minutes long and at times, the dubbing is a little off. Comments?

The One Thing: 11/11.

Happy Labor Day (and Halloween too)!

November 12, 2009

Yeah, I know, it’s a little late. The Baileys and the Wells came in town and we had a picnic. Also included is a few shots from the mountain house vacation and Halloween. I didn’t take the time to arrange them in the proper chronologic order. Things to note:

1. Avery (jr) is a slip-and-slide maniac.

2. Ghost costumes are cheap.

3. Watermelon is tasty.

4. No birthday party is complete without an inflatable monkey.