Southern Man

Thursday, January 31, 2013


At both work and church the Girl Scout dads are in full cookies selling mode...
The original. Oh, so delicious. $3.50 per box.

The generic imitation. Oh, so equally delicious. $1.34 per package.

What's a Southern Man to do? Why, use the online Wal-Mart product locator, find a store with fudge mints, and stock up.

Can't beat a plate of thin mints and a glass of cold milk!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Daniel Hannan

Why can't we have courageous and outspoken politicians like MEP Hannan?

Ah, but we do; their names are Rand Paul and Ron Paul and Paul Ryan and a handful of others. But why do they all have Paul in their name?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Road Trip Recap

Drove more or less straight through, occasionally cat-napping at rest stops. Added four new states to the geocaching list: Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. The most frustrating part of the trip was a side jaunt into southeast West Virginia (for no other reason than to geocache) where both phone services (T-Mobile on the phone, AT&T on the iPad) went dark in the mountains and that meant no phone, no maps, and no geocaching services: five hours in W-VA and only one geocache found, and that was at the welcome center at the border. But the mountains on Saturday morning were just beautiful.

Got to Fort Meade at eleven Sunday morning with almost exactly 1500 miles on the trip odometer, arranged for a room on base, and found that check-in wasn't until six. But Teen Daughter the Elder was delighted to see her father (or perhaps it was the car) and we ran around all afternoon and she didn't seem to mind that her dad smelled like an old boot.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and ran around a little more and then bid farewell at BWI where modern air transportation technology whisked Southern Man back across the country with its usual tedious efficieny and he was tucked into his very own bed by eleven that evening.

It was a great trip and a lot of fun.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eastbound and Down

Southern Man's Friday morning lab runs from 9:00 - 10:40. Be eleven o'clock he plans to be on the interstate headed to Fort Meade, MD to deliver Teen Daughter The Elder's car. Photos and commentary will be appended to this post over the course of the weekend.

In the meantime, here's a little Jerry Reed from one of the truly great road trip movies.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happiness is...

pre-ordering a book, forgetting that you did so, and finding it on your doorstep after a long day at work.

In case you might wonder just what is canon in Star Wars, the answer is simple: The Han Solo trilogy by Brian Daley, the three original episodes, and everything by Timothy Zahn, who in this case took a single throwaway line from The Empire Strikes Back - "That bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind" - and spun it into Ocean's Eleven In Space.

These should have been Episodes 1, 2, and 3. Daley had the Millenium Falcon flying sideways through canyons before The Empire Strikes Back and droid armies way before the prequels. He also invented the Z-95 Headhunter and captures Han Solo's character with absolute perfection.

And here's your Episodes 7, 8, and 9, right here. Disney, are you paying attention?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Be Kind, Please Rewind

Southern Man was watching a DVD with a friend a while back and was a little amused that when the movie was over she hit the high-speed-reverse button on the remote and backed up to the menu. Southern Man thought she wanted to watch another part of the movie again, but we didn't. He though no more about it. But he started paying attention and noted that at the end of movies she would hit that reverse button before removing the disc.

One day Southern Man dropped in a DVD and noticed that the first thing that came up was a "resume" option, and the light dawned. Most DVD players will resume a movie. This one has sufficient memory that it remembers the point at which any recently-played DVD was stopped and gives you the option to pick up again where you left off. This option doesn't appear if the last thing you do is reverse back to the menu.

Southern Man hasn't the heart to tell her that it's not really necessary to rewind DVDs before putting them away.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Update, Again

No blog updates for a week? Well, it's been busy, busy, busy!

OK, not that busy. There was a lot of prep to be done at work during the week but other than that it was sufficiently cold that Southern Man spent his evenings holed up in The Trailer drinking hot cocoa and watching movies, and much of Saturday doing the same and wondering if Friday's flu shot had made him ill. Of course there was daily geocaching (but often just one a day to keep the streak alive) and Sunday was filled with church and parents and friends and then church again (singles leadership team meeting).

And it's official: airline tickets are in hand so Friday noon Southern Man heads east on a 1500-mile journey to deliver Teen Daughter The Elder's car to Maryland. Southern Man figures he can get there in forty-eight hours (by noon on Sunday) if he drives half the time. He plans to catnap at rest stops rather than stay in hotels and there will be much geocaching; this trip will add five new states to his list. And it's his first really long road trip alone and he's rather looking forward to it.

Until then it's the first week of classes, the first of which meets in a few minutes. Let the semester begin!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Weekend Update

It is finally a bit warmer (which is important when one lives in an unheated trailer with no insulation at all in the walls) and, more importantly, a few days without many obligations, so the weekend was a lot of fun.

On Saturday Southern Man went to the monthly "coffee talk" with his church friends, which is always both fun and refreshing. There was an interesting moment that demonstrates how technology can actually make our lives easier: one of the girls was talking and it occurred to Southern Man that there was a book that she'd really like. With the iPad it took only seconds to find the book on, buy it (no charge for two-day shipping, yeah for Amazon Prime!), and have it ordered and sent to her address.

He then met up with old pal RCJ at his mom's house and we spent a few hours taking down Christmas trees and ornaments and such and toting them up to the attic. But it was not all work; we took a break for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant (they make terrific 'ritas, too) and then picked up several geocaches.

RCJ logs a cache.

Southern Man got home at about dark-thirty to enjoy his leftover lunch and watch movies and relax.

And Sunday was much of the same: a quick workout and shower at the gym, Sunday School (a good teacher and a terrific bunch of friends), lunch with Southern Parents, and then off to RCJ's (his wife is out of town for the weekend) for another afternoon of geocaching - which was interrupted by a nice long phone call from Teen Daughter the Elder, who is stationed up at Fort Meade and perhaps a little homesick. Southern Man is even now plotting how to get her car up to her sometime this month. There may be a 1400 mile road trip on Martin Luther King Day Weekend.

This geocache was hidden in a plastic dove.

And then Southern Man headed home, dropping by the office to download photos from the camera and update the blog and verify that is is indeed 1400 miles to Fort Meade, and then to the store for a few groceries, and then home for dinner and movies and more relaxation. He has Monday and Tuesday free and reports back to work on Wednesday. Spring classes begin a week from tomorrow!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Southern Son Moves North

After a - well, let's say tumultuous - year Southern Son has elected to head north and live with his mother for a time. Southern Man and Southern Parents agree that this is a Good Thing.

This also means that, as of today, none of Southern Man's children live in the same state as he. And that will be...different.