Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Real Heroes

Ben Stein discusses his recent book The Real Stars in the video below:

Monday, October 29, 2007


Our low last night was a chilly 30º. The same low temps are expected tonight.

After the sun comes up over the eastern treetops, things warm up pretty fast. Now at mid-morning, it's 43º outside. That's good, because Wendell is smoking a Boston Butt.

Speaking of Boston ...

We were pulling for the Red Sox in the final and winning game of the World Series. Apparently there was a little bit of celebrating going on. Can't say that I blame them.

And for Red Sox fans who want to watch their team's 2007 championship over and over again, it's actually available in an 8-DVD boxed set. That's right – all 2,105 minutes of coverage, along with a bonus disk featuring Red Sox 2007 season highlights.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Handy Dandy Device

Less than ten bucks!
Finally I got around to ordering the Smart Media Card Reader/Writer. Jeff enlightened me on the fact that this neat little helper did not even need to be installed because Windows XP recognized it and, with a Smart Media Card inserted in it, it immediately started putting the photos on the computer.

Sure wish I'd had it all along. But I just didn't know how handy it was going to be and how much expense and time it would save me, and at such a nominal cost.

Thanks, Jeff!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Flat Out! The Rollie Free Story

Flat Out! The Rollie Free Story
Flat Out: The Rollie Free Story

I've begun reading this book, which I received several days ago from its author, motorcycle historian Jerry Hatfield. Jerry has authored over a dozen books, and I can already tell that this is his best work ever. It includes an audio CD of Jerry's interview with Rollie Free, which I intend to listen to after I've finished reading. Even though he was quite a daredevil, Rollie was not killed in a motorcycle accident. He lived into his 80's and was a legend in his own time.

My nephew, Scott Hatfield, received his copy back in August and has lots more to say about his dad's book on his own blog at I GOT MINE!

Ed Youngblood's MotoHistory review will really make you want the book. You will need to scroll down to Ed's 10/6/2007 entry:
Ed Youngblood review - Flat Out: The Rollie Free Story by Jerry Hatfield

Also, Jay Leno mentioned the book on a video called Vincent Black Shadow on his website, Jay Leno's Garage.

* UPDATE 12/12/07: I was even more impressed with this book after I finished it! Visit my December Flat Out! blog post to find out why.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Return of the Blue Angels

Last summer while we were volunteers at Devils Tower National Monument, a Blue Angels Photo Flyover took place. It was very exciting, and they passed by what seemed like a dozen times. This morning Yahoo Videos featured this Blue Angels footage from San Francisco. Since it was filmed this year, I'm guessing the same crew was doing this show.

(less than 2 minutes)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Halloween is only a week away. Wendell recently discovered a Halloweenie photo op before the morning dew had dried:


Halloween is a mysterious holiday, and it's really amazing how much has come to be associated with it. People decorate for it, and it's sort of combined with fall festivities with the pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns. Hope I can find my Jack-O-Lantern earrings I've had for years.

While visiting HR Optical in Somerset, Wendell and I agreed that everyone needs a pair of the Halloweenie sunglasses they had on display:

Jack-o-lantern colored glasses

My friend Chris recently shared a Halloweenie game with me. People who watch Wheel of Fortune on a regular basis will probably do pretty good on this. I'm not sure if I caught on or not -- I scored 70. Here's a few hints from someone who earned a high score of 430: "It's a matter of the most frequently used letters in the English language, plus the subject matter." (But she also admitted that she had help from Lee.)

Test your skills at Halloween Hangman

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome Forecast

Whew, we sure did need it! It will have to rain and rain and then rain some more to catch up from almost no rain all summer.

Kentucky Rain keeps pourin' down ...

Today is a big day here at the fish hatchery, and we're ready to shine! In addition to the official launch of the Biologist in Training program, representatives from other area fish hatcheries will be visiting to see what makes Wolf Creek hatchery so special.

*Want some mood music?
· · Hit the Play button to hear Elvis Presley's Kentucky Rain

Friday, October 19, 2007

Biologist in Training

Biologist-in-Training bookletAfter lots of planning and preparation, Biologist-in-Training was unveiled this week at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. Wolf Creek's own Environmental Education Specialist Amanda Patrick was a member of the BiT development team.

This outstanding educational program takes advantage of the unique opportunities presented by hatcheries to build lasting connections between children and the outdoors. Children can become certified Biologists in Training by completing the BiT Activity Guide available from any National Fish Hatchery in the Southeast Region.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The best dam tour we've ever had

Yesterday we had the pleasure of touring the Wolf Creek Dam. We are currently volunteers at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, which sits just below the dam. Our dam guide was so well informed about its operations and history that many of his explanations were going right over my head. But one thing I can testify to ...
It sure is big — over a mile long!

Wolf Creek Dam · Jamestown, Kentucky

Dam facts:

  • On the Cumberland River near Jamestown, Kentucky
  • Construction began in the 1940’s; completed in 1950, with the final power generator installed in 1952
  • Lake Cumberland, which was created by the dam, is the largest manmade reservoir east of the Mississippi River and provides over 40% of the total flood storage in the Cumberland River basin.
  • Benefits include:
    • Flood damage reduction - Provides a maximum flood storage capacity of over 6 million acre-feet
    • Hydropower - Produces 22% of the hydropower generated on the Cumberland River
  • Currently undergoing a seven-year Seepage Rehabilitation Project through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

And some surprising Lake Cumberland trivia:
  • The lake's shoreline is longer than the Florida coast.
  • It receives even more visitors each year than Yellowstone Park.

related blogs:
The Perpetual Vacationers: Dam tourists

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Many Uses of Gourds

The Mississippi State Fair's crafts chairman told me last fall that she purchases gourds and then resells her gourd crafts for a profit.
I recently learned from Mark Holdaway's Kalimba Magic newsletter that these traditional African thumb pianos are now being made out of gourds. One can actually purchase gourd kalimbas to play very lively and pleasant tunes on them. If you have ever seen anyone twiddling their thumbs, the following video will show that if you add a kalimba to the mix, it can be a productive and enjoyable pasttime:

The Catania 12 Note Gourd Piano
(less than one minute long)

Gourd kalimba
Kalimba and Mark Holdaway

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kentucky Wildflowers

YellowWe saw these flowers while we were on our way back from Stearns, Kentucky. I wonder who might know what these are. I have not seen them before, and I haven't a clue. These flowers just seemed to be in one small area. I suspect these people shared the seeds. Do you have any sources that could tell me what these are?

These were taken on Hwy 92 between Stearns and Monticello, Kentucky, as we were on our way back to Jamestown from having taken the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ridin' the Rails

To set the mood ... listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford's coal mining classic:
Sixteen Tons
Ya load 16 tons -- whaddya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter don't ya call me cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company stoooohhh...

We hopped aboard the Big South Fork Scenic Railway and took a ride into Kentucky's past.

Stops along the way:

Stearns Coal & Lumber logo
And what a view!
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area has a photo gallery that actually does justice to the scenery.

Mae Dean and Wendell ridin' the rails with their travel mascot

The photo above was taken by the person in front of us on the train. Since it's slightly out of focus, it's what I call a Doris Day photo. In some of the later movies Doris Day made, she was playing parts that were supposed to be much younger than she was at the time. The cinematographer's solution for the closeups was to have them slightly out of focus so her wrinkles, etc., were not as obvious as they would have been if they were in focus. I actually think lots of such closeups in many movies were done this way to have the appearance of more perfect human beings much like airbrushing portraits so they do not reveal "flaws."

See our photos on flickr:
Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Wanna know even more?The Perpetual Vacationers: Kentucky's coal heritage

Friday, October 05, 2007

Humble Beginnings

Kentucky's rich history and our "cents" of adventure have been a perfect combination.

Read all about our recent visit to
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
National Historic Site

Birth of a Leader
The Perpetual Vacationers

Log Cabin Lincoln Birthplace Presidential Parents
Mae Dean with the 16th president Looks cozy ... Centsible museum display

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Picture Speaks For Itself

May I see your photo ID?
'Nuf said!

Thanks, Joe, for this comical scene.

All aboard! Before we met Jerry and Ella for lunch in Bowling Green, we stumbled onto the recently-opened L&N Historic Rail Park and Museum.

Monday, October 01, 2007

WellsFest 2007 Is History

WellsFest is an annual outdoor party that offers food, music, arts, crafts and fellowship in a drug and alcohol-free environment. This year's event benefitted The Common Bond, a local organization that serves the needy.

Wellsfest: Clean Fun · Great Music · Helping Others

I was happy to see a collection of WellsFest 2007 photos in this morning's Clarion-Ledger Wellsfest photo gallery. I recognized at least one person from Wells United Methodist Church in them, and probably overlooked others.