This Thing Still On?

I Googled myself this morning and found something interesting. This blog comes up near the top of the search results.

That isn’t a good thing, seeing’s how I haven’t so much as posted or logged in here in 2 years. Who needs a blog when you have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+?

Anyway, that’s where you can find me now but I’m going to leave this blog up so I can occasionally look back.



On Holiday

We’re off on holiday as the Brits like to say.

Loading up the truck and headed to LA (lower Alabama) for some sun and sand (and maybe some oysters).

What is it though about getting out the door and on the road? There’s so much yelling in our house this morning you’d think we’re going to church. “I don’t want to take a shower!” and “Dad, she’s not taking a shower!” is the hot topic right now.

I’m busy loading up. Not the suitcases and bags but the iPod and other electronics. It’s going to be a long drive and I need my own music and earbuds. That way Cameron can turn up Lady Gagag as loud as she wants. I’ve also loaded up 8 episodes of “This American Life” from NPR. The last time the kids and I took a long drive I introduced them to Ira Glass and they loved it. So last night I cherry-picked from my podcast downloads with children-friendly stories.

I did the man stuff too. Checked the oil, filled the tank, cleaned out the hiding places under the seat for extra legroom.

We’re staying in a condo instead of a hotel so we’re discovering things we need to take with us. Extra towels, tp, coffee filters etc.

The beach forecast couldn’t be any better: upper 80s during the day, 60s at night. I’m going to be blogging and posting some video as part of the Travelling’ Mama’s vacation prize package. They didn’t ask me too, but I want to send some traffic their way. Full disclosure, they’re picking up the tab for the whole condo stay.

Off we go

I Cannot Wait for “The Amazing Race”

Check out this teaser for the upcoming season of The Amazing Race on CBS.

We’ve actually got the start date (September 26th) marked on a calendar

Back To The Beach

“If we decide to go somewhere on your fall break, where would you choose?”

My kids stopped what they were doing. A Corn Pop dangling from his upper-lip, Trey was speechless for a full 9 seconds. “I’ll give you a choice” I said, “Gatlinburg or the beach”.

Now that’s quite a decision for my kids. The beach is a place we skipped out on this past summer because we (or I) didn’t want to spend a lot of money only to be close to a black oily mess.  My children associate Gatlinburg with shopping, mini-golf, go-carts and eating candy as we watch it being made.

So this was no easy decision.

First, some perspective: my children have never been to the beaches on the Florida panhandle.

I know, I know…but before you pick up the phone to call child protective services, let me explain. When we go to “the beach” we go to Southwest Florida. Every year or so we hop on a plane and fly to Fort Myers, then rent a car to drive to south to Marco Island. My wife grew up there, has family there, and in the summer months it’s off-season there.

My kids do love it but Marco Island has spoiled their idea of what a beach is like. The sand in Marco is hard and with lots of shell-fragments. Nothing like the mounds of snow-white sand I grew up visiting in Alabama and Northwest Florida.

Last year after leaving Marco Island, we had a serious discussion about shaking things up and going to Gulf Shores or Destin. I told them stories about vacations when I was their age and how different the sand and beaches are there. We talked about how much fun it might be to drive instead of fly, take the dog, talk their grandparents into going with us.

I sold them. June 2010 would be our first family vacation on the white beaches that I grew up visiting.

Then the oil.

We kept holding off on going anywhere. We waited to see what would happen, how far the oil would spread. And before we knew it, vacation was over and school started. We could have gone of course, I know that now.

“Gatlinburg or the beach?”

They both said Gatlinburg.

But remember, their idea of ‘the beach’ is limited to about a 200 yard span of sand in south Florida. Mom placed her vote for the ‘beach’ (she always chooses the beach by the way) so the final vote was mine.

I went to Destin, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Panama City, Pensacola, or Fort Walton every year as a kid. Some summers we’d go 2 or 3 times. Once I remember sitting around with a couple of buddies and someone said “Let’s go to the beach” and we went.

I thought every beach was as white and sandy as those beaches. My children think every beach is like the ones they’ve seen in Marco Island. This morning as I write this, my 12 year old looked at the picture and asked “Is that sand real?”

Yes it is and for the first time my kids are going to feel it between their toes.


Oh, I wrote this because we’re pretty excited about going to the beach in a few weeks, but I also write this as part of a contest and I need to include the following sentence.

“This post is part of the Tripapalooza Contest.”

Which, by the way, I found this morning while looking for vacation deals. If you love the beaches of Alabama and NW Florida, you’ll enjoy their website.

This years #Emmys are gay. Are there any straight people working in Hollywood?

The funniest man on tv just won an Emmy.

@Noah, quick question: moles?

Wow! In the ESPN 30 for 30 on Michael Jordan, there’s a little kid getting an autograph wearing a Carson Newman t-shirt.

Watching “Jordan Rides The Bus” ESPN’s 30 for 30. A very cool story about 1994 when MJ played baseball in B’ham.

Whatever Happened To: Jason Standridge?

Funny how you can be going through the day when a name pops in your head. A name that you haven’t heard, read or even thought about for years and years. It’s maybe not even someone you know.

A few minutes ago I was grabbing my keys to walk out the door when the name Jason Standridge came to mind. The name probably means nothing to you. He isn’t someone famous. At least not anymore.

13  years ago, 1997, Auburn signed a quarterback out of Trussville high school that was supposed to be the one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Here’s what a recruiting service said about him not long after he signed a letter of intent to “take his talents to the plains.”

Strong-arm, drop-back QB with surprising speed from same high school (Hewitt) that produced Alabama’s Jay Barker; No. 1 QB prospect in Alabama; rated top passing QB in South by Pigskin Preps, which projects him to contribute in first year; Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Super Southern 100″; rated 9.75 by Jeff Whitaker; as senior, hit on 50 of 95 passes for 698 yards and seven TDs; playing for run-oriented team, was No. 3 on Birmingham Post-Herald “10 Most Wanted” list and The Birmingham News “Super Seniors” list; “Alabama Super Seven” by Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine; No. 5 on The Tuscaloosa News “Sweet Sixteen”; member of Mobile Press Register “Elite 18″; member of Forrest Davis “Alabama’s Top 12″ and “Southeastern Top 40″; “Gifted athlete who runs extremely well. May need a redshirt year because he plays for a running team,” says Davis, who rates him 4 on 5-point scale; Standridge also has a very strong arm (BP 315) with big hands and a great knowledge of the game. As a 90 MPH pitcher, he also expects to play baseball for the Tigers; selected for 1997 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic.

I remember Auburn fans were ecstatic about Standridge signing with the Tigers. He was going to be the next Pat Sullivan, the qb to take the team to championships.

But he never showed up

Standridge opted to play baseball, notice that “90 MPH” in the bio? For some reason ( football being a month away, baseball on my now perhaps), I wondered what the heck ever happened to that guy? I don’t remember seeing him in any baseball highlights. Ever!

Here he is, playing for the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese Baseball League. I wonder if he ever wonders what might have happened….

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