Friday, October 4, 2013

Snake Hollow Road; Or Deliverance 2?

So we were on a drive last Sunday - over to Sneedville, Tennessee.  On the way home, we drove from end to end of Snake Holler (Hollow) Road. The pavement to dirt to pavement road.

I remember my friends mentioning how the "Foreigners" lived here and there - while pointing at places.  I asked finally "by Foreigners, do you mean people from India, Turkey, and etc.? Or do you mean from Michigan and Florida?" It turns out that "Foreigners" means "Northerners", "Yankees", and anyone hiding from the world move there to Snake Holler.


I did not time it, but it took what seemed like FOR-EV-ER from entry to exit of this road. No gas stations, no stores. I think there was only one church even. Ok, maybe two, but I only remember one.

At several points I thought I could hear the faint twangings of banjo music echoing from the trees and dirt. My Sneedville friends did NOT appreciate that sentiment. Oh well.... True story.

Even my friends had to hang there heads and shake them when they saw "The Trailer" on the side of the road. We were still in the 'dirt' portion of the road when we drove past (and subsequently backed up to take a photo of) a ratted out trailer. This thing hardly had any walls or roof left. Insulation, and the like, was hanging about. It was like the trailer had been on fire at some point - yet there was NO SIGN of smoke or fire damage.

If you look hard, you can see a dining chair and a rocking chair. And take note of the closet full of neatly placed clothing and a basket on the shelf. WTH?


Did someone not want to finish paying the bank note but also didn't want to have it repossessed? Was/is it a drug hang-out?

Did someone start to move the trailer to their property and they got hijacked by mountain folk?

Never to be seen again??????

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Dog Named Earl

Not to be confused with the band "A Dog Named Earl"... :)

So, in August of this year I had to put my Cleo dog down unexpectedly...  It was a traumatic experience to say the least. At first I was like "I am not doing this again, no more dogs..." then I went to, "ok, I miss having a canine pal... I will look for a dog to adpot." Then I decided that I was not supposed to look, one would show up. One would find me.


It sounds crazy...

Two weeks ago tomorrow, I found a very cute stray dog limping around. Turns out the sweet baby child had a broken leg, super bad breath, and was under-nourished. I fed him canned dawg food and water. He started eating until I sat down several feet away. He immediately came to me. He would rather be loved on and petted than eat - even though he was obviously half-starved.

I cried.

A lot...

This was the face.... 
Beagle, setter or pointer, and Great Pyrenees
He landed several names very quickly - EarlBob Chainsaw Jones was the more creative...

One trip to Emergency Vet, one trip to regular vet, and one trip back to the Animal ER because it also happens to be a specialty place where they do more complicated bone repairs... $2700 via benefactor...
Femur, rotula/knee cap, tibia

Earl is not even a year old and he already has 7 pins and a plate in his left rear femur. His leg had been SERIOUSLY broken between 2 and 3 months per the vet. I cried when I saw the x-rays. The bones in that leg are soft - from non-use. It will improve if we can keep him calm. No jumping, running, playing, bouncing...  Did I say he was a puppy?


He now has parents (many), siblings (feline as well as canine), a collar of red, a leash, a harness, a dog igloo home, a 10W'x20'Lx6'H kennel, a 42" crate, chew toys, dog biscuits, puppy food, cooked chicken breast, yogurt.....  You see where this is going. He isn't spoiled. But he does like being on the bed with me.

OK, so meet Earl (otherwise known as Bosco for some reason)...
His leg is healing and his breath is improving. I have him on a pretty serious diet to help him heal and bulk up a little. He no longer has to scavenge for food, shelter, or love.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beaches and Bit@e$

So a couple of months ago I went to the beach for the first time in several years. I vacationed in Chincoteague, Virginia (where they do the running of the wild ponies) back about 2008 and Myrtle Beach about five years before that.

Not so little me...
So the last of July, this year, a few of us drove to Charleston, South Carolina, spent the night, saw the Angel Oak Tree and got bored? Yes, I was not the bored person. But, since I had seen Charleston before, I did not raise a ruckus. We drove to Myrtle Beach for the rest of the week. No reservations, just pulled in and got a room for $80 a night. Not bad...

The view during the day.


The evening view.

I actually road the Sky Wheel. I am scared crazy of those things, but was talked into it. As you can see, I am alive still yet. Who knew? It was kind of fun.

I woke up at 7-something each morning and went out on the beach to hunt shells. I don't remember hunting shells before...

I found shells! 

I instagramed shells! 
How do you like my new yellow Myrtle Beach towel?

I took shells home!

We went to Dick's Last Resort - and we got a good laugh out of the GPS screen on the way. 

I got a new paper hat from the waiter... I unveiled this little beauty in an earlier post.

We also went to the adult only "Wild for Hyposis Show". It was a little distance from Myrtle Beach itself. It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! I suggest going to it if you find yourself down there...

Oh, you are possibly wondering where the Bit@he$ part comes in?  Well, I was just plainly cranky the whole trip because I had a bit of a reaction to the sunscreen. Apparently I am not able to use those Dry Oil deals... Yea, I just wanted to throw Bit@he$ in there...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This Idiot's Guide to Technology

So I am struggling to figure out my iPad Mini, GPS, phone...  I never thought I was an idiot. I took 9 credit hours of Management Information Systems and Computer Information Systems in graduate school. I made A's. Just saying...  Yet, I am suddenly struggling with what seem to be the simplest things. I have managed to master Swype technology on my phone and wish my iPad had it... Just FYI folks, I can text/type fast on my phone with Swype! I managed to tether my phone so I would have Internet use on my laptop - before Verizon got its hands smacked in an FCC ruling and was forced to allow Android tethering (Story Here) above board. That meant I did not have to purchase Internet for my home. Heck, I am impressed I even know this about Verizon/FCC deal. But when it comes to storage and data usage, I am getting SCHOOL'D, and how, right now. 

So, I have had to step up my game and take to this SCHOOL'N because:
  1. I was very irritated at the fact that my cable went from something like $55 a month to over $105 a month without my lifting a finger and no one at the cable mafia cared.
  2. My cell phone DATA wass being et up - specifically this past 2 months.
  3. I couldn't ever remember to take my Starbucks "Pick of the Week" card and download cool songs, books, apps and etc.
  4. I couldn't download books and etc., or take videos, on my iPad because I didn't have enough storage.
Well, I am getting warm and cozy with technology question googling...

Keep in mind that DATA is ~~~~

 Not Data~~~ 
I feel ya pain Data...
First, I got rid of the mafia - that is officially known as Comcast/Xfinity. No more cable TV. I was given digital Rabit Ears and I get like 15 channels... FREE!!! No monthly fee. Screw OnDemand.

Then, I realized just now that my monthly DATA usage jumped from 3-4GB to nearly 8GB last month - after I got rid of the mafia cable. So I did some reading. NetFlix speeds/quality adjusts according to available bandwidth. I used up 3GB last night on 2 movies with a total of 3-3.5 hours of viewing. Now I know what causes that. Answer to problem is RedBox and manage my available DATA better. Oh, and I added 2GB for $10 more. Apparently I can adjust the speed and quality of NetFlix and maybe slow usage a bit...

Oh, and FYI, I also figured out the 4G.LTE uses a lot more DATA than 3G, and even 4G. So Verizon gave us better faster service then limited our ability to use it without spending spending spending.
(Purely my opinion anyway)

I found a website that allows you to download samples or free songs, books, and etc for my iPad. It is called IOS Pick of the Week. It has the Starbucks "pick of the Week". I even found this little puppy on it...  Check it out... 

Lastly, I learned that movies and videos and such EAT UP memory on my 32GB iPad Mini.
Taking a ride in Ol' Blu the truck...
I was told I needed to manage my data and storage. I went online and found help with buying iCloud space. Then I figured out today that I needed to just stop with the HBO TV show clutter (seriously, how many times do I need to watch Carnivale) and delete it off my iPad and only keep one episode at a time on there. Leave the rest - IN THE CLOUD...

Oh, and as a little side note, I ditched my unlimited DATA plan so that my mother could get away from DIAL UP Internet and get on a HOTSPOT through our joint cell plan. $20 cheaper a month...

Wait!  I am not completely looney...............

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Wedding, Music and a Sunset Progresses

So this past weekend I was the Hoof Wiggins Band's "plus-one" at a wedding held at King Family Vineyards in Crozet, VA.

"~~~Cookie, what in the name of all that is holy do you mean by that?~~~"

It means everyone I was hanging out with, that day, was a musician/vocalist for the Hoof Wiggins Band, for the wedding. I was just an invited tagalong...  This, at a wedding, leads to something called "feeling out of place". So, my main objective Sunday (wedding day) was to stay out of everyone's way and not horn in on the festivities. I think I did ok at it, altough I was a little bored during set-up and sound-check, plus I got cold as the sun went down, but the view was stunning.

We started out wataching Polo, noshing on snacks, and drinking wine before the wedding planner's schedule took complete hold of the band. This day was a stunningly perfect day of mild temperatures and sunshine.

Boredom, during set-up, brought on the beginning of photos.

This is my dress, the bench and the wooden floor where I sat quietly.  I know - when am I ever quiet..... 


I think this is called the "headstock" or "scroll" of an upright bass. I am not sure. I looked at a parts list. All I know is, I think it is beautiful. I have, on two separate occasions, managed to take photos of this particular upright-bass. I know very little about musical instruments, I just know that I am infatuated with Fiddles,Violins, and Stand-up Bass instruments. I changed it to a bright black and white photo after cropping it to death... I think it is pretty.

As I sat outside during the reception, I enjoyed the mild weather on the porch under a lattice cover with vines growing all about. I really like these...

Then came the sunset. At first I thought "awww, that is nice!"

Then came "wow, how pretty!!"

That developed into "holy cow, the sky's on fire!!!"

All that excitement melted away into "oh, bye bye pretty sunset..."

It was actually a pretty good day...
And the band sounded great~!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Technology and the Big Loser? Oh, and a Little Gun Control

Okay, maybe not so much a loser, but I sure do stay lost a lot apparently.
I have a really nice Motorola Razr Maxx (not a cheap phone, even by smart phone standards) running on Verizon, yet I see way too much of this…. Nice way to play on “FacePlant”. But I get lost in the spotty signal and no cell zones way too often considering I am using the NUMBER ONE NETWORK for coverage. WTFE...

My mother and my ex-husband got me hooked on the Weather Channel. Well, not actually the channel, but hey, there is an App for that…!!! And yes, I have it. But one day, actually several times this year, I pull up my current location and it gives me bogus info, like this. “Dry conditions will continue”? Uh, at that time we had had days and days of rain and it had rained earlier that particular day and rained again after this screen shot was taken that day. WTH? DrY???

So this past weekend, on the way up to Staunton VA, I was using Google Maps trying to find Long John Silvers – I wanted LJS. No, I did not, and still do NOT NeEd LJS... I started getting frustrated so I shook my phone, cursed (a lot) around the words “What is wrong with you, give me something here…” Well, it gave me this. No kidding. Actual screen shot. Google is BrILLiAnT! A little creepy, a lot of big brother going there, but brilliant…

Dead End
I was headed to work one day early this year. I had to take a detour (translation? I got lost). I punched in my destination in my Garmin nuvi GPS, and GPS lead me to this….  Not kidding. A DeAd EnD. That has happened twice this year.
That I remember...

If your GPS cannot figure out where you are, does that mean you are in BFE? True Story...

Upside – YES! CrackBucks is programmed in.

On a totally unrelated CrackBucks note, I just read this article about Starbucks seeking to keep guns out of their stores... I do not open, nor do I concealed carry a firearm. I will even go so far as to say that many folks who do - aren't responsible enough to do it because they do not keep up with their practice enough to really be comfortable and remain comfortable with firing a weapon at all - let alone in a stress filled situation - at a human being.  I also believe owners of companies and stores have the right to choose their side for their establishments. "Service dogs yes", "wheelchairs yes", "crying children yes", "guns no".
I also have the right to mull over how I feel about their decision and purchase accordingly. I will be keeping up with this series of events as they unfold.
Lastly, on a positive note:
I was introduced to a button that I never realized existed for Microsoft Word documents today; Format Eraser. If you work in documents much at all – you know you want this!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sometimes moments present themselves, you just have to take back control of yourself to have a chance to savor them forever. ~Me

“A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into.” ~ Ansel Adams
The below photo really isn't as sinister as it looks, but...  I just happened a chance to snap it while waiting on Chinese Food.  I used an Instagram filter on the photo, but I could not tell you what that filter was. 

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” ~Dorothea Lange
The power went out at work one day this year. We could not work because the computers were zapped, the phones were about to shut down, and the emergency lights were about to go out. It takes over 30 minutes of running on battery for everything to finally shut down. We were bored and I snapped a few photos with my iPad mini.

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”
~ Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above
On the drive home from a fancy Arbonne makeup party (we did little pedicures and facials) in Oak Ridge Tennessee earlier this summer, I caught this sunset. I had to pull over - and click, click, click. As far as I remember, there is no filter on this. Just took it with iPad mini.

The photo-machine culprit and some of my favorite things...  What do you see?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Critters on Parade; Part deux

So many furry babies, so little time.

I thought I would break the photos into a few blog posts. I would hate to blind folks with such wonderous views.... Yea, I said that...................................

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ~ Ansel Adams
Sake (as in Saké the Japanese Rice Wine), was old when he came to us via a pretty bad animal hoarder situation quite a few years ago. He often gazed at us so intently.

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ~Robert Frank
Okay, actually Saké stared at us all the time. Such cute little ginger-eared sweetness...

“Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” ~ Alfred Stieglitz
Blu is always piled up in the bed with me, demanding attention. Neurotic little blue baby (of about 13 years old)...

“It is through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us.” ~Henri Cartier-Bresson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
Kat is a fat little chunky girl who is all over me when I visit her parental unit. Every once in awhile I manage a photo of her...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Critters on Parade

Letting off steam.

Trying to unwind for a minute or 12.  Took a look-see through the Interweb, reached the end and landed back here.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is credited with saying “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”  Just so you know, while I like some of my photos, I do not think I have reached 10,000 yet. So, if you do not find some joy in them, it is ok.

But I hope you do.

I wanted to share photos I have taken of some of my 4-legged extended family members...

“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.” ~Edward Weston
My most photogenic animal ever... I swear he basks in the limelight....

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”~Karl Lagerfeld
My Cleo dawg loved riding in the car...

“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”~Brigitte Bardot
Levi kitty's cuteness factor is what keeps him alive around the house. He can rip apart a large cardboard box in an hour....

Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference” ~Robert Frank
Chester dawg is just so cute, I want to pinch the cuteness off his face...  It took 25 attempts at clicking the shutter to get him looking at the camera...

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer”
~Walter De Mulder
"Wicked", otherwise known as CatCat, is just a beautiful girl.
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