Sunday, December 25, 2011

Three of our own won't be home for Christmas...ever!

On Thursday (12-22-2011) three U.S. citizens were killed while riding a bus in Veracruz Mexico. These Americans along with several Mexicans were murdered when gunmen attacked the bus they were traveling in. Just traveling for the holidays, hurting no one and died for it.

Veracruz has become another hotspot as the Zetas gang and the Gulf drug cartels battle over control of the area. Reportedly, this was not a single incident and other busses were attacked and more innocents were killed on the same day in the Veracruz area.

While everyone seems to have a solution or opinion about what should be done along the border to end this drug war, one thing is certain, Mexico is no place for American citizens right now. When you cross the border into Mexico you are on your own. The police can’t help you. The drug cartels are not afraid of the local police. To them they are just more targets to shoot at.

One solution to this problem could be that the Mexican people need to stand up and fight for themselves. Over 46,000 people have died in this senseless drug battle during the last four or five years. The main problem that keeps the citizens from standing up to these gangs is that guns in Mexico are illegal. Only the military, the police and the criminals have guns. What’s really sad about the whole mess is the criminals are getting the guns from the U.S.

The United States could greatly help the Mexican government by drying up the gun and ammo streams flowing across the border. Without their supply of weapons coming in the gangs would soon begin to suffer at the hands of the military and police. Right now the local police are out manned and out gunned.

It’s going to take cooperation from both countries to get a handle on this borderline bloodbath. It probably won’t happen any time soon. So until it does, my advice to all U.S. citizens-Stay out of Mexico.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Tribute: To Clay Leopard

Now some of you reading this will not have a clue who Clay Leopard is. For those of you that do know him…no he has not passed away, or at least to my knowledge. For those of you that have ever heard him play guitar, you know what one God given talent he has.

I first met Clay years ago as an eighth grader. Even at an early age he was an amazing musician. While his mom and dad paid for his music lessons so that he could play his guitar in church, secretly he spent his free time learning Ted Nugent and Lynyrd Skynyrd. And boy did he learn good. Hoop if ya happen to read this, please comment and tell everyone I’m telling the truth. On up in about the tenth grade Clay and I were at a friends house listening to some music. We happened to be listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s double platinum album, which by the way hadn’t been out very long. Clay heard the first few notes crank up when he said something to the effect of hey I can play that. Now I new he was pretty good, but I had to challenge him just a little. I said “ so you can already play that whole song.” He said, “no I can play that whole album.” We spent the next hour testing him on his very brazen statement. We started the record over and Clay fussed over his guitar for the first few minutes, tweaking and tuning. We figured he was just stalling until he found the sound he wanted and a big smile came over him as he began to play. Note for note…he played perfect.

About half way through the record we decided to test him a little more. As he would play we would turn the volume down so that he couldn’t hear it then gradually bring it back up, he was always in time. We were blown away. He was a perfectionist when it came to his music. Even to the point where he had trouble finding just the right group to play with in order to succeed.

Sometime after high school we parted ways. Clay made a few really bad life choices that to this day seem to have him weighted down. I hope someone out there that knows him now will show him this little tribute. I have made some bad choices too my friend and I don’t hold yours against you. You have a talent that somehow the rest of the world needs to see. What do you say ole’ friend…shall we play. Stop by anytime, I have two guitars strung and ready.

If a song ever reminded me of someone this one is Clay's.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Witnessed a Good Deed

Today I was waiting patiently as the lady in front of me used the ATM machine outside the bank. When she finished her transaction, she turned to me and told me she had found a debit card. Someone had forgotten their card and left it out there on the machine.

Immediately I felt sorry for the person that lost the card. You see, not long ago I lost my card and it is quite nerve-racking. Luckily for the loser of this particular card the little ole’ lady and myself are honest. The lady asked me what she should do with the card. The bank was closed so first I wasn’t really sure what she said do.

Her first thought was that the person may come back in a few minutes, she wondered if she should just leave the card where she found it. I told her I thought that might not be the best thing in this case. I figured someone not so responsible might come along and wipe some poor souls account clean.

Had the bank been open I would have suggested we turn the card into the bank manager, today however was a holiday and would be closed for several more days.

After a little more thought, we decided to put the card in an envelope and place it into the after-hours slot in the drive-through. Although the person can’t use the card over the weekend at least all his money will be safe until Monday when the bank should contact him. Losing a debit card or credit card is a pretty frightening thing. It can be even worse if you don’t use the card very often and don’t realize it is missing right away.

If I ever lose my card again, I hope the little old woman that found this one today finds mine.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Writng Isn't Always Boring

The past few days I’ve written several articles for clients on a variety of subjects. Baby strollers, home safety, Pillow Pets and a few more and all boring. Writing for money isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, but I like it so I hang in there. Every now and then a topic comes along that lets me know that somewhere someone has smiled on me.

Today as I browsed through the job board I wasn’t very inspired at what I was finding. Mostly technical stuff that made no sense to me whatsoever. I try to stay away from these types of jobs because you spend more time researching them than they end up being worth. Just as I was about to give it up and go snoop around on Facebook, there it was, my article…natural breast enlargement. Now that’s an interesting topic.

Finally, an article I didn’t mind researching. I mean hey, you can’t just jump in there write about stuff uninformed. You have to go to lots of places and check out your topic from a lot of different angles. Well, after it was all said and done I found out there are quite a few ways out there to make boobs bigger…good to know. I also found out that that are about a billion scams out there that tell you ways that don’t actually work…bummer.

So on a whole my day in writing today wasn’t as boring as usual. But, I just excepted an article that has something to do with BlackBerry unlocking codes. I’m sure this is gonna be quite a let down from writing about making boobs bigger. Oh well, gotta go for now…you guys and gals have a great day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

For the Friends of Bobby Smith

For those of you that know Bobby, I think he might need our help. You see…I don’t think his mind is quite right today. For those of you that aren’t quite sure of what I’m talking about, let me fill ya in just a little.

Bobby Smith is a huge football fan. His team of choice is the Tennessee Vols. That alone makes me wonder about him a little, but that’s not really todays main concern. You see Bobby has stuck by his team through thick and thin. He has suffered each week as they seem to continuously be going through a rebuilding process. After having weathered many years of terrible storms I think that Bobby has finally snapped and even turned to the dark side.

This morning upon entering our workplace I witnessed a horrible event. Bobby walked in with a brand spanking new LSU hat on. Needless to say, I was in shock. Now I can understand Mr. Smith being upset over the fact that the Crimson Tide beat the dog out of his beloved Vols, but an LSU hat…really! I have to wonder if maybe already has been forgotten the beat down that LSU gave TN only last week.

Well, I did my best to console him but he wouldn’t have it. I even told him I would bring him my brand new Alabama hat if he would just please throw that nasty purple and orange one in the trash where it belonged. He just looked really lost and confused and wandered off muttering something under his breath. Sounded something like “that damn Dooley.” So I think that now is the time for all of Bobs friends to rally around him. Give him plenty of hugs and any extra Alabama gear you have around the house and let him know we will welcome in with open arms.

No finer time could be found to welcome such a great fan of the game into the Tide Nation…as we march toward another national championship.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just thought I’d write down the events of my day, to see if when I read them back I’d have enough to use in my blog. Well I rode my Harley to work when it was nice and cool outside and back home when it was hot. Gotta love this weather here in Alabama.

Well, after arriving home after work I needed to run an errand. So without much debate, fired up the hog once again and headed out. Had a wonderful ride from the Garden City area all the way to Holly Pond and back. 91 is an awesome road to ride a motorcycle on, so many long sweeping curves that you almost get the sensation you are flying. This truly is one of my favorite roads to ride on.

Ride being over it was then time to feed the horses. All three were ready and waiting for me by the fence. I’m not exactly sure how good a horses eye site is supposed to be, but my three can spot a feed bucket at least a half a mile away. They are some sweet feed addicts for sure.

Ok, work done, riding done, chores done, it’s now time to sit down and do some writing. Well, I did sit down after my long day…and woke up an hour later. Guess I really am getting old. It’s funny how when I was young mom had to make me take a nap, now I seem to take one pretty regular without being told.

Well there’s my day in a nutshell. Hope it didn’t bore ya too bad. Maybe tomorrow will be a little more exciting…or not.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Video Killed the Radio Star

Years ago, MTV played their first video which changed millions of lives instantly. As “The Buggles” played their one hit wonder “Video Killed the Radio Star,” music lovers of all ages became glued to their television sets. I personally don’t think I changed my channel for two or three months. All the musicians I was listening to on the radio now had faces I could see, like millions of others I was blown away.

Critics, always looking to find something wrong with everything, didn’t cut MTV any slack. They said the wildly popular TV station was going to ruin the youth of America. While MTV has seemed to have lost it’s way over the past few years, I don’t really think it ruined a generation of kids. If anything it opened our eyes to new cultures and people. Having graduated high school in 1983, I am quite proud to be a part of the MTV generation…it was a blast.

As the 90’s rolled in video game technology was really coming on strong. Once again the critics fired their comments all around but hardly anybody listened. They said these games would rot the brains of the children that played them. Well video games can’t really rot anything but they can be quite addicting. These gamers are now referred to as the “Nintendo” generation. This gaming addiction which started back in the 90’s has gained steam and is rolling hard and heavy here in 2011.

Evidence of this gaming madness is pretty easy to find. Any employer that hires very many young adults can verify this quickly. They say that most young people that are entering the workforce these days have never hit a lick at anything…except playing games. What does this mean for the workforce? Well, it seems that kids that have never worked any at home or at the occasional odd job are completely at a loss when it comes to working a job. Many can’t even comprehend how to push a broom. Too bad we don’t have joysticks that can run a broom where I work, we would be in good shape.

I blame all this gaming addiction crap on MTV. They let us down when they quit playing music videos and started running the most God awful programming. Kids had to have something to fill the void and Nintendo wryly smiled and said “come in my children.” So MTV, do us all a favor…bring back the rock and roll and save our kids. Hurry please before it’s too late!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

After putting my eight hours in at work today, I decided I needed to head to the river for a little bass fishing. The weather was perfect and the fish were biting, so all in all the day turned out pretty good. The bass in the picture was one of about fifteen I caught this afternoon. These Mulberry river bass are the strongest fighting fish I have ever had the pleasure of catching.

If you look closely in the top photo, the black and blue jig I was using is still hanging out of the fishes mouth. Sometimes when fishing a jig it’s hard to tell when they pick it up…not today. They were slamming it pretty hard. I think they were concerned about another fish trying to steal it. These types of days make it fun to be a fisherman.

For me today was a much needed get out of the house day. It’s been awhile since I took a good walk through the woods down to the river. I need to make the same walk everyday, by the time I got back up the hill and to my truck I was huffing and puffing. Getting old I guess. Thank you guys so much for reading, have a great day…Lowell

Monday, October 3, 2011

It was another beautiful day here in northern Alabama. The temperature was in the seventies by late afternoon and we were blessed with tons of sunshine. After a long day at work I decided to go sit on the river and do some writing. Normally that’s a wonderful idea, today however the sound of the rapids below me lulled me right to sleep. Needless to say I didn’t get much work done.

There’s just something especially relaxing about the water to me. I think if everything works out just right I would like to spend my retirement years on a houseboat. No yard to mow or weed eating to do and a sunrise in a different location anytime you choose…sounds awesome.

Catching and eating fish is one of my most favorite things to do, so I’m sure I would very rarely be bored. With wireless internet my office could be anywhere and finding the peace and quiet in which to write in shouldn’t be a problem either. Might even make for a new more interesting blog.

So now that I completely have my own attention, I wonder just what lake or river should my boat call home. Well for starters I will have to stay here in the south, not a big fan of being cold. I think the Tennessee river would be an interesting choice. The fishing is great, the people I have met on the Tennessee have been friendly and it seems to just stretch on forever. This would be a good thing for my own little exploring journeys.

Yes, this is definitely a project I will be looking into. I am curious if any of my readers have a houseboat or live on one. If so, what advice can you give me to make my leap from dry land onto the water an easier one. As always comments from everyone are welcome. Stay tuned…I’ll keep ya informed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What a beautiful October morning. It’s clear and cool with tons of sunshine. Took my granddaughter to Carinas for breakfast and then back to the house to watch cartoons. Cartoons just aren’t what they used to be. What happened to writers that actually had an imagination. Now don’t get me wrong, the Pixar movies are pretty much all awesome but the thirty minute cartoons the kids see on T.V. everyday well…they’re lacking a little.

Ok, I’m done with that rant for now. Tonight is the Lake Catoma Classic. This is the last of the night tourneys for the season and I have fished enough to qualify to fish in the classic. The weather is probably going to be one of our toughest competitors tonight. It’s been warm fishing up until now, but tonight the temp may drop into the lower 40’s which I am totally not used to. Might be a test of wills.

Well the dryer has buzzed so it’s time to fold the towels. Guess I’ll wrap this ole’ blog up for the day. Good luck to the Tide tonight, may they roll through the swamp like a tsunami.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Motorcycle Stroll Through Blount County

Recently, I took the opportunity to ride my new bike through some of Alabama’s beautiful countryside. Riding partner Ronnie Holloway and I, took full advantage of the warm afternoon to cruise through some of Blount County’s fine back roads. The landscape in Blount County reminds me a great deal of riding in Tennessee, which by the way has some wonderful riding roads too.Ronnie had to stop a minute to yak on his phone.

One of the stops we made was at an old covered bridge that is no longer in service. This bridge is located on Easley Bridge RD and doesn’t look to be in all that bad of shape. It’s kind of a shame that the repair work hasn’t been kept up to date so that it can still be used.

As the cooler weather sets in, there will begin to be many more shorter rides as compared to our normal one to three hundred mile rides. Alabama has many historical sites and locations to visit and the surrounding counties are home to quite a few of them…more pictures soon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

What a good song that was, way back many years ago. Seems fitting for today with the relentless rain we are receiving. However, the line of the song that says “rainy days and Monday’s always get me down” doesn’t hold much water today. We here in Alabama very much need the rain falling right now and most of us are off work today, that makes the wet situation a little more tolerable.

Rainy days are great for freelancers like myself. The steady drum of the rain on the roof is quite relaxing. A relaxed writer is a happy writer. Today is my day to work on whatever comes to mind…no deadlines to beat. I can work on my book that I have been putting off for some time now, or I can simply start a new project that may take me in a whole different direction entirely.

What will you choose to do with your rainy day? Will you let it get you down or will you appreciate it for what it really is…a gift from someone much bigger than ourselves. Our water supply which was dropping every day will now be replenished, our grass will turn green again and all the baby ducks will splash and play…what a nice day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are we alone?

Is life on other planets really that far fetched, or is the notion just good movie fodder? Well, water has been found elsewhere so the whole idea is possible I guess. What exactly would that mean to us if suddenly we did find out we aren’t alone? What if from out of the bright blue sky tomorrow a spaceship full of beings from somewhere else lands in our back yard. What will we do and how will we act?

The chances of us being able to communicate with them probably aren’t very good. Maybe if they have been monitoring our TV for a while we could just hand them a coke, they would know we were friendly then. Well, that’s how it works on television anyway.

I also have to wonder how long before we put together our own self sufficient space craft. One that can stay gone for years at a time, and truly explore our solar system. Many laugh at such an idea, but we have the technology readily available to us. For those of you that remember watching the original Star Trek series, just think of all the things they had that were not possible then but are everyday now. They used communicators to talk to each other…we have cell phones. They had gigantic super computers that ran their ship…we have laptops equally as powerful.

I doubt our government will play much of a part in this bold new venture into space…we are broke. More than likely some multi billionaire with more money than can be spent will fund such a project. I wouldn’t doubt that such billionaire will find a way to make even more money while doing so. After all it takes money to make money…least that’s what I’ve always been told.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anywhere can be a classroom

Ah…what a beautiful morning down here on the river. The sun hasn’t been up long enough to make it too hot yet. Birds are busy chirping, singing and just generally doing whatever it is birds do. As for me I am enjoying my off day and my first cup of coffee. Not much better than an off day and coffee in my opinion.

Took my grand daughter Kadince on her first canoe ride yesterday. She did very well, had a great time and we didn’t turn over. Although it was pretty hot at times, she was a trooper and didn’t complain much. I think she was in awe most of the time at simply being out on the water and how much wildlife there was around us. It’s amazing the things you don’t see any more as a grown up. The world is truly a different place through a child’s eyes.

Each little thing that went on around us seemed to spawn many new questions for me to answer. Why do those little bugs on the water not sink and what do they eat, these were only two of about a hundred I had to answer. She got to see where beavers live and all the sticks they had stripped the bark from, which were scattered all around the edge of the pond.

All in all it was probably a good learning experience for both of us, I hope she never loses her zest for learning and her love for mother nature. I can see many more canoe trips in the near future. Have a great day…Lowell

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Old people can be so funny!

A nurse walked into a room with her patients lunch tray. “Would you like me to put it here” she asked…pointing at the table by the bed. “ No, no, it’s way too early for beer” he replied. You see the “Price is Right” was on and he was totally engrossed in it, and a little hard of hearing too. Shaking her head she put the tray on the table and walked out.

After about an hour of making rounds the nurse came back into the patients room to check on him and collect his tray. He was then sitting on the side of the bed and talking to an old friend that had stopped by to visit. She quietly collected the tray and headed for the door. Just as she was exiting the room she heard the friend say “why didn’t you get us a couple of those beers she told you about earlier.” She couldn’t help but smile all the way back to the nurses station.

Another day and another patient, this same nurse had another humorous situation. Her morning had been a little frantic, everyone in the place seemed to want her for something. She enters the room of her patient who had pressed his call button…or so she had thought. “Hello Mr. Jones, can I help you with anything,” she asked. “No” he replied. “Not unless you are a TV repairman” he added. He went on to say that he didn’t want to watch the show that was on but he couldn’t change the channel. She quickly reached up and flipped the channel until he saw what he wanted to watch and then headed back on down the hall.

About thirty minutes or so went by and Mr. Jones’s call light went to blinking again. Once again she headed back to see him. Upon entering she found him once again muttering about his TV. Now this frustrated her just a little. She really didn’t have time to run up and down the hall all day to change TV channels. Then she saw it, the call button remote was sitting beside the patient and the TV remote was sitting on his table. She picked up the TV remote and fiddled with it for a minute and handed it to him. Without letting him see, she put the call button on the table… “there I think I fixed it for you Mr. Jones,” she said. Mr. Jones didn’t mash his call button anymore that day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucy Turns 100 Today

Glamorous publicity shot of Lucille Ball from the waist up, dressed in a blue strapless gown and smiling.

If you have clicked on the little T.V. that Google has on their homepage today, you already know that today would have been Lucille Balls 100th birthday. Having grown up watching “I Love Lucy” reruns it still hard to imagine that she’s no longer with us. Even though she passed away back in 1989 she is still missed by much of the world.
The very beautiful comedienne was one of my favorite actresses of all time. Not only was she pretty and talented, she was good in business as well. She sold her production company “Desilu” back in the 60’s to the tune of 17 million and simply started herself another one.
Her syndicated shows to this day are seen all over the world and never seem to lose popularity. This lovely redhead left the world a better place than she found it as far as I can tell. Happy birthday Lucy…wherever you are.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Internet is So Cool!

For those of you that graduated back in the early 80’s, you probably will relate to this a little more than today’s kids. Today’s young people have grown up with the internet always having been there. For those of us a little older, we clearly remember when there was no internet, or even cell phones.

The internet has changed our lives probably as much as when electricity was first being used…if not more. I remember vividly bill paying day. Usually on Friday, I would get in my car and ride all over the place, going to places I really didn’t want to go to and giving them money. Now with a click of the mouse, all bills are paid. I still don’t like giving anyone my money but I do save a bundle on gas.

I remember when the internet was first being offered. We were told you would be able to “surf” the net and go anywhere in the world. I thought to myself “how stupid, no ones gonna do that junk.” OK, now I wish I’d have bought stock in all that junk. I have surfed the net and been all over the world and travel to new places every night.

I regularly chat with people and friends from not only all over our country but the world as well. People used to do this long ago but they were called pen pals back then…and it took weeks to get a reply. The internet has brought me back in touch from friends from my past and from school, many I am sure I would have never seen or heard from again. These are the things that us 80’s folk understand. Before the internet, most never saw most of their classmates again after graduation. Now we are constantly shown where each other is at, what we are doing and even when we are going to bed. The world doesn’t seem quite so large and scary anymore…the internet is so cool.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Know Any Lazy People?

Ever so often at work the conversation comes around to the topic of lazy people. We all know a few of those kinds of people, either they won’t work at all, or they gripe about it constantly. Some spend more time trying to get out of work than they do actually doing their job.

I’ve often wondered why some people are just natural born workers, while others are well…not. I often see people in jobs that to most of would kill to have, but they b---h and moan about little trivial things that really don’t matter at all. They seem to have life by the tail, but instead of thriving with what they have they choose to complain about it. I think these people even though they have jobs…are actually lazy on the inside.

I doubt we will ever really know what makes a person a real worker by nature or not. I do know, that some people now matter how good a thing they have, will always find something about it they don’t like. If you don’t believe this to be true tell this little story to a few people and see how many of them tell you how they would find an easier way to do it.

Their new job is this, they will work four hours a day. They will have an air conditioned office with a nice comfy chair and desk. Their window will have a beautiful view…the whole nine yards. They will be given a stack of typing paper every morning and a brand new pen to write with. They will write on each sheet of paper…This sheet of paper is now worth 1 dollar. At the end of the shift they will be paid 1 dollar for every sheet they did correctly according to the instructions.

No one will ever actually have that job, but how many people do you know that would find a reason to either complain about it or try to cheat the system…I think you would be shocked at the number of those that would fail the first day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New NCAA Rule Changes...Suck!

Yes I said it…they suck! Especially the unsportsmanlike like conduct one. If a player breaks away and just before he crosses the line to score he turns and taunts the other team, the touchdown will not count. That is ridiculous! If a player launches himself into a somersault as he crosses the line…same thing, no touchdown.

From what I can tell football is still played by big, strong, fast and pretty mean grown men. These are not a bunch of sissies out there, I think they can take a little taunting. Might even make them a little more determined to not let the son of gun break away next time. Football is after all a game…let them play it.

Wonder how the great rule maker that came up with this one actually wants them to act after scoring? Maybe they should gently lay the ball on the ground and solemnly and without looking at any of the other teams players walk back to the sideline. Jeez…all the announcers that work in this state would probably quit because of boredom. We’ll have to hire golf announcers. Next they’ll be holding up little signs that say “shhhh” the quarterback is about to give the snap count. I mean really….

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome to

Well today has been long and hot…hmmm, must still be Summer. But there’s always a good side to everything if you look for it. I guess today’s good thing for me was that it didn’t storm again. Seems like here in Alabama it has been storming pretty regular lately. The lightning has been brilliant but it has done a lot of damage this season, we needed a day without it.

Tonight just before I started writing this post, I found a new tool on my blog dashboard which allows me to see what countries hits are coming from. I was totally shocked to see that my little blog has been read in quite a few countries across the world. Other than here in the United States, Romania has the second highest number of hits. Germany and Canada follow in that order in second and third. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this…my little blog stretches all around the world.

For all of you that take time to read what I put out each week I’d just like to say thank you for reading. You can follow my blog simply by clicking the join this site button…that way you’ll never miss one. Comments are most welcome…even if you disagree with whatever I’ve said, it’s all good to me. Comments just let me know someone’s listening. For all of you from other countries this includes you too. Would love comments from places like Romania and Germany…don’t be shy, speak up.

United States
United Kingdom


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Investigation Not Over for AU

Will Auburn’s woes over the whole Cam Newton recruitment deal ever really go away…well they haven’t yet. The New York Times has reported that the NCAA is not finished looking into the matter. The Auburn Tigers will more than likely be surrounded by controversy again this year.

The news that the investigation was not finished was made public last month in Destin FL at the Southeastern Conference meeting. Coach Gene Chizik was told in no uncertain terms by an NCAA official that “you’ll know when we’re finished and we’re not finished.”

One can only wonder at this point if Auburn will indeed start the season with this same controversy hanging over their heads. Personally I hope the issue is resolved before the players hit the field this fall. I think the season is going to be tough enough for Auburn as it is. I think that they may be fortunate this year if they win seven games. They aren’t going to need the added distractions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thunderstorms...are they stronger these days?

After the tornado outbreak of April 27th 2011 we all now seem to be very weather aware. Darkening skies and the far off sound of thunder makes us a little jumpy and nervous. We have weather apps. on our phones and news/weather stations saved on our computers. So with all this information available to us at a moments notice…I have a question for all you part time meteorologist. Are the storms stronger now than they were say…five or ten years ago? Many say they are.

Some blame the stronger storms on global warming. While this seems a little far fetched to most I can’t bring myself to rule it out either. Global warming is supposed to be melting away the polar icecaps which would in turn put more moisture into the atmosphere. Moisture is one of the key ingredients for a thunderstorm to develop.

Another factor needed for storm development is heat. Heat provides the lift that a thunderstorm needs to grow and gain strength. Hmmm…could global warming actually be providing more heat to our planets atmosphere thus making our storms stronger here in the south? For that matter, storms all over the world the past couple of years have seemed increasingly devastating.

The other main player in building a strong storm is instability. This too can easily be attributed to global warming. More moisture and more heat equals more unstable air. So this takes me back to my question I asked…are storms stronger now than they used to be? Or perhaps do we just simply pay more attention than before…what do you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time to Unwind

After work today I decided to go off by myself for a little while and unwind a little. My favorite fishing hole on the river near my house seemed to be calling my name…so that’s exactly where I went. One rod an reel and some live night crawlers in hand and I was set for at least a couple of hours anyway. With all the rain we had today and the river rising I thought surely I could catch me a couple of catfish for supper…but unfortunately the catfish had other plans.

Well any trip to the river for me isn’t always about how many fish I can catch. The river is like a live show that you don’t need a ticket to see. Wildlife abounds and is visible in every direction. Schools of minnows often remind me of synchronized swimmers, darting to and fro and jumping out of the water all in unison. I can only imagine what was chasing them from below…five pound bass maybe.

I watched a beaver swimming along dragging a branch…where he actually took it I couldn’t tell you. In a little while he came back and a little ways up river from me he climbed out and disappeared into the bushes, I’m sure he was off to cut himself another. A small turtle popped his head up right in front of me just long enough to see me and grab a breath of air before he dived back out of sight. I understand why turtles have been around so long…they are very cautious creatures.

As all this was happening around me I had the pleasure of the river music in the background. The shoals below me always have a little roar to them and the insects behind me in the woods were also busy singing their songs and doing their things, you know…bug things. With exception of the turtle the wilderness around me took no notice of me and carried on their day as if I wasn’t even there. To me this evening was a success even without catching a fish. I took a little time to relax and wind down and that’s exactly what I did…you should try it sometime.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Dark Reminder

While on my way to a fishing tournament Friday afternoon (6-24-2011)I had to pull over and take a few pictures of the storm rolling into the city of Cullman Al. For those of you reading this outside the Cullman area, Cullman suffered major tornado damage on April 27th 2011 along with much of the southeast portion of the United States. This ominous looking storm I’m sure got many people’s attention as we are all now very weather aware.

As this storm came through our area there were some power outages reported but fortunately no tornadoes developed. The work is still ongoing to cleanup the entire county after the April storms. Thank God we didn’t get another round of severe damage to add insult to injury yesterday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lost My Debit Card!

Well today started out like any regular ole’ day…but it quickly went down hill. I woke up before the clock went off climbed out of bed and dressed for work. Nothing wrong with any of that…feels good to be a little ahead of schedule. Just as I finished putting my shoes on, my son strolls in and sullenly admits to having lost my debit card the night before…my calmness turned to OMG PANIC!

Having had my PayPal account hacked not too long ago I was terrified that I would be broke before we found my card or cancelled it. I quickly asked him the usual questions such as where did you use it and see it last which didn’t help. He had already backtracked looking for it and searched all through the car…no card.

At this point I decided the best thing was to just quit wasting time and call and cancel it. I pulled up my account online and checked first to see if I was broke or not, I was not…whew! Next I found the number to call and went through the many steps you go through in order to speak to a real person. Once I got a real person on the line things began to go a little smoother. She quickly got my information and canceled my card and assured me that my new one would arrive in just a few days.

In our great time of information we can quickly do business over the phone or internet. We can transfer our money from here to there in a matter of seconds, unfortunately so can crooks. If you never had an account hacked or lost a debit or credit card it is a very scary situation. All your hard earned money can be gone in a flash. I may have re-learned a valuable lesson today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What the Hell happened to MTV?

Sure I know MTV is still on the air…but why…I couldn’t tell you. MTV is all reality trash now. It used to be the coolest channel on the tube. I can remember watching the very first video played and being completely mesmerized. Now I have trouble finding a video to watch. Only thing you can find is rap or some odd ball version of it.
What happened to the days when your favorite band could be found actually playing music. What I see and hear these days I’m not always sure qualifies as music or as playing. Most of the time it just sounds like a group of guys who are mad at each other. That is if a video is playing on the music channel at all.
When MTV played the first video they grabbed our attention and held it for years. Rock bands that would have never made it past the club stage got thrust into fame and fortune almost overnight. MTV gave the coolest bands such as Bon Jovi and Def Leppard a tremendous stage in which to play on and they took it and ran. They spawned one hit wonders by the hundreds and put faces to all the players we listened to on the radio. So how with all the success of the old format did they get to where they are now?
It just seems a little sad to me that a channel that was so good that I didn’t change it for weeks at a time, I now hardly stop at it at all. Video really didn’t kill the radio star but reality TV did kill the video star. I’m just saying…

Monday, June 20, 2011

Neighbors dog in my what?

Just the other morning as I walked out my door to go to work I stepped on something laying on my porch. Being dark I reached back in the house and flipped on the light and found that my neighbors dog had gotten into my trash…again. There were coffee grounds, baby diapers and many other wonderful things scattered all over my porch. Well…as you can imagine I was not very happy at the start of my day.

The actual trash bag that the trash had been in was no where to be seen. I quickly looked around the yard and next to where my truck was parked…still no bag. I thought to myself oh well…I’ll find it and clean it up after work. But, as I walked up to the building where my motorcycle was parked there it was…laying in my neighbors yard. Seems the beast had stolen it’s prize and took it home to play with. Ha…my day wasn’t going to be quite as bad as I thought. And also to my delight was the fact that the majority of the trash was not on my porch but in the neighbors yard…which they cleaned up later.

Unfortunately this is an incident that has happened more than once and usually the trash is all in my yard…which I have to clean up. So as a good neighbor what should I do? I could shoot the dog when I catch it on my porch or feed it something that will make it go away for good…but that’s not very neighborly. They already know the animal is causing problems so I am open for suggestions. Does this happen to any of you on a regular basis? If so what do you do and how do you handle this sort of thing? I can’t wait for the feedback on this one. Have a great day…Lowell

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Solar Energy Uses

With the cost of gas once again on the rise it seems that many of us are looking for ways to save money. Solar power is becoming more and more popular, not only with individuals but business owners as well. Tax breaks are offered to help offset the cost of installation and the lower power bills are a blessing for years to come. Just imagine how much money you could save a year if you didn’t have a power bill to pay. For a business this would be a small fortune for most of us.

Just about anyone can benefit from solar energy and the good thing about it is that once set up and in place it is virtually maintenance free. Cities, counties and states are all finding money saving ways for solar uses. Bridge and overpass lighting can be run with solar panels as well as road crew signs, landscaping lights, speed limit signs, fishing piers and so much more.

I have seen many businesses and office buildings that would be excellent places to install solar panels. High rise buildings with thousands of windows would work very well and so would most factories with their huge open roofs with nothing on top but wasted space. These would be pretty big systems to install but would easily pay for themselves in a fairly short amount of time.

Pendleton, an Oregon farm town has made available to it’s citizens interest free loans for the purpose of installing solar systems. I’ll give you the link to that story in case you’d like to read more. One man’s power bill for three months in a row was only nine dollars and forty cents…awesome!

Not only can solar power help a home, business or city save money but it is it’s own form of PR simply by being there. Passersby look up and see solar panels at work and they automatically know that this company is environmentally aware. This type of PR will bring in more business and increase your standing in the community.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Writing for Income

So many of you out there are still looking and searching for anything online that will bring you in regular income. Most programs you will come across each day will turn out to be scams, many others depend on other people under you in order for you to earn money. Why not take charge of this situation yourself and quit depending on others?

Can you read and write and speak English? If you can and have a good imagination you might just make a good writer. Better yet you might turn it into a good living. Everyone has an opinion on things why not share yours with the world…and get paid for it.

There are all kinds of writers out there that get paid for what they do every day. Some are jingle writers, some are poetry writers and some are recipe writers that help bring great new food ideas to our tables. Others are song writers, novel writers, instructional writers, [boring] and even general article writers like myself. Chances are what ever you are interested in someone else will be too.

Triond is a pretty good site for new writers to start with because it is fairly user friendly. The writers here have written many articles that can greatly benefit anyone just beginning to write for pay. Keep in mind always that the idea is to write quality articles as often as you can and begin building yourself a long term residual income.

I’ll leave you links to a few more articles I’ve written to give you a little better understanding of what I do to earn my money. The very last link will be my referral link in case you’d like to join Triond today and start yourself on the path to earning. I would be very glad to have you join under me and even more glad to help you succeed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why have so many rules?

Ever wonder why we have so many rules? Ever wonder why some of us break so many rules from time to time? I guess it’s just human nature to both make and break rules. But as I’m about to point out there are times when rules do need to be in place and observed. Many rules often seem silly or trivial to us but you can bet that they are most likely there in place for our well being.

I fished in bass tournaments for many years and was out on the water sometimes two and three times a week. I was as about as comfortable driving my boat around as I was my truck. Matter of fact I was probably more confident on the water than I was on land. It was just this sort of confidence and complacency that could have gotten me seriously hurt or killed. This type macho thinking is common in outdoorsmen…not just fishermen, and often does get people hurt.

Now as a boater I knew perfectly well all the rules…even though I was guilty of not always following them. Rules such as wearing a life vest, having a fire extinguisher on board and not overloading a boat with too many passengers I pretty much obeyed but sometimes felt they were unnecessary. That was until one hot summer night while fishing a night tournament in my home town on my home lake.

It was around nine or ten o’clock pm on a clear hot August night. My partner and I were fishing a stretch of bank we had fished many times before over the last few years. The night was quiet except for the low murmur of our own conversation. As we were talking I had him to stop and listen for a minute for I had thought I had heard a voice. Sure enough somewhere in the darkness we both heard it…sounded like a woman yelling. Next we heard a man yelling and then came the sound of a small outboard motor. A small boat was slowly coming up the lake toward us. We had up until then been fishing with our lights off so as soon as we heard the other boat coming we turned them on so they could see us and would know to go around.

The boat approaching was traveling very slow and it took them several minutes to make their way close to where we were. They didn’t have the first light shining on their boat and by the sound of things they were pretty well intoxicated. Lots of yelling and swearing going on and it sounded like they were all trying to give directions. The boat got within about twenty five or thirty yards from us before the driver ever even saw us which caused him to suddenly swerve [to the dismay of his passengers] and cut between us and the bank. This caused more yelling and swearing. As the small craft was passing I shined my own flashlight over in their direction to get a better grasp of the situation and was totally amazed at what I saw. There were five grown ups riding in a ten foot aluminum jon boat. The waterline looked to be about two inches from pouring over the side of the boat. I heard my partner say “Lord help um” when my light shined on them and he could see what was going on.

Well none were wearing life vests, the boat was very overloaded, much alcohol was being consumed and their were no lights on their boat anywhere…I’d have to say they were breaking a few rules.

As they slowly passed us by one of the drunks stood up and let me know without a shadow of a doubt that he didn’t like me shining that light on them. And when he stood up and waved his beer bottle at me and said his piece that’s when it happened…they sank. When he stood up and rocked the small craft it was just more than it could handle and with one sucking kind of a sound it vanished. My partner during and I sat there with mouths wide open in awe of what we had just seen.

Beer bottles and trash floated all around while the drunks made their way the short distance to the bank. Luckily no one was actually hurt but had this happened out in the middle of the lake things could have been a lot worse. Once out of the water the soggy five began a very long sobering hike back to the main road. The last we heard of them as they made their way through the woods and out of earshot was that someone’s daddy was gonna be real mad about his boat.

Needless to say as my partner and I prepared to head back down the lake to the weigh-in a short while later we both were wearing our life vest, made sure both flashlights were working and the boats running lights were on. And we have fished and boated in a much safer manner ever since.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Safe and sound in my own bed...or so I thought

Last night I was finally in bed after a long and tiring day. Tried to read a little but kept falling asleep after only a page or two so I just gave up and shut off the light. It didn’t take but a couple of minutes I’m sure and I was probably snoring and headed off to dreamland…or so I thought. Sometimes not even sleeping goes as planned.

I must have gotten very comfortable and still when I felt a slight pressure on my hand which immediately caused me to open my eyes. It felt like someone had very gently touched me on the hand. Without moving I strained to look around the dark room only to find no-one was there. But then only a second or two later I felt something touch my hand again but this time it felt like someone was scraping it with their fingernail. I guess instinct took over then and I jerk forward and knocked something off the bed up against the wall. I flipped on the light in time to see the tiniest little mouse scamper away in the dark.

Now all my friends that are close to me know that I’m not generally scared of anything. Not snakes, spiders, dogs or anything else that crawls, hops or flies. But this little mouse that just chewed on my knuckle completely un-nerved me. I went and put out rat poison all around the room, shook out my covers and even tried to go to sleep with the light on…which by the way didn’t work.

Well tonight I’ll be better prepared if I have any little fury visitors in the dark. Hopefully I won’t forget and step on half a dozen mousetraps on the way to the restroom in the middle of the night.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Be a Writer

Ever thought of being a writer…well what’s stopping you? I got my start through local newspaper…writing for free. I now write for many sites and earn a residual income for my work. If you’d like to share your work, poetry or stories across the world and earn a little at the same time here is the link to a good site to help you get started.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Second Hand Smoke!

Second hand smoke is a term we have all heard of. This is the smoke that us non-smokers get to breath when we hang around smokers. It’s also known as passive smoke or involuntary smoke. We’ve all heard bad things about it, but is it really that big a deal? Considering that tobacco is made up of over 4000 compounds and 60 of these are suspected to cause cancer…I would say that it’s a pretty big deal.

Second hand smoke is linked to heart disease, reduced lung function, lung infections and increased severity for asthma. Over 750,000 middle ear infections in children are also blamed on second hand smoke. Non-smokers that choose to not smoke in order to be healthy and live longer, are having their lives shortened by the bad habits of others.

It has been estimated that 46,000 non-smokers die each year from smoke related heart disease that live with smokers. I myself am a non-smoker that lives in a household with three smokers. These are real concerns for me especially since I also have asthma. It’s hard for me to understand why family members subject their loved ones to known health hazards.

It has been proven that there is no level of second hand smoke that is safe. Even in small amounts when we breath it in it is doing damage. It affects our heart and circulatory system immediately. There is no way to protect non-smokers if smoking is allowed indoors. You can’t simply separate the smokers from the non-smokers in any building because smoke simply travels freely with the air currents. Air currents are constantly changing as doors are open and shut, as people walk around and even our breathing in and out change the air flow around us.

The workplace has always been a problem when trying to deal with second hand smoke. Many businesses are now banning all smoking indoors as well as bars and restaurants. While this is helping quite a lot there are still more workplaces that need to get on board. I have always believed that smokers have rights but at the same time everyone should have to right to work and live in an atmosphere that doesn’t harm them.

As a non-smoker I hope to live to see the day when smoking will no longer be allowed indoors…including homes. I know that sounds severe and drastic but the smoke lingers in the air for us to breath long after the cigarette has been put out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway stretches from Nashville TN to the south banks of the Mississippi river in Natchez Mississippi. Abundant with wild life and beautiful scenery this historic trail has much to offer. This 444 mile long history laden parkway has many views and attractions along the way. One of my favorite stops is the Pharr Mounds. These great mounds of earth are where the early Indians buried their dead. The literature here tells of how and when these mounds were painstakingly built by hand many years ago.

My buddies and myself have ridden part of this wonderful stretch of road on our motorcycles and are planning to ride even more of it this fall. We got on the Trace at Alt. highway 72 and rode south to I 78 just north of Tupelo MS. Included in this part of the Natchez Trace is the only official visitor center. The center is full of history of this very old roadway and is definitely worth stopping in to check it out.

The Trace not only offers a very nice road for motorcycle enthusiast but has primitive camping facilities, horseback riding trails, hiking trails and is a favorite among bicycle riders as well. Fall seems to be the most popular time of the year here on the Trace due to the gorgeous colors the cool weather brings out.

Anyone traveling through Alabama, Tennessee or Mississippi the Natchez Trace Parkway should most definitely be added to you list of things to do. I hope you and your family will enjoy this beautiful ride as much as I have…Lowell Henderson