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Friday, March 29, 2013

Some people I love dearly

There are three people I wanted to mention today (not my immediate family, although I love those three dearly).  These are three people I go to church with (or used to).

The first is an older gentleman - I won't name him, but he is just a great guy.  He is widowed and walks down the aisle a little slower than he used to.  He's not a flashy man.  When I consider the "movers and shakers" in the big city of Cleveland, Tennessee, he won't necessarily come to mind. However, I've admired this man for years now.  He is solid as a rock, kind, and I'm sure has no idea how much respect I (and probably others) have for him.

The second is Buddy Patten, who passed away in January of 2001.  Buddy was a fixture of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and leader in the community. I'd like to tell you my favorite memory of him:  In the late '90's, Buddy came to my office - I was just a year or two into my practice, trying to earn a reputation.  Anyhow, Buddy comes in and tells me that he has decided to pull his accounting from a very respected local CPA firm and let me do the work for him. His rationale was that since I did volunteer things for the church, he wanted me to do his work - I think he was just being kind and wanted to help me get going in my practice!  I'll always be grateful to him for this.

Buddy was so meticulous about his income taxes, he would work through them via a Lotus 1.2.3 spreadsheet (remember that program?), and already have a VERY close estimate as to his final tax liability.  I worked harder on that return than almost any other, terrified that I would make a mistake and disappoint him!!

Jane Patten passed away on March 18 of this year. Jane, as you might know, was Buddy's wife.  When my family moved from Haverhill, England to Cleveland, Tennessee, Jane was the first person to take the time to make us feel welcome - She showed my Mother great kindness as Mom transitioned from an English Air Force wife to a transplanted Tennessean.

After Buddy passed away, and as it became more difficult for Jane to get around, I would deliver her tax returns to her.  Jane would always have a pot of flavored coffee and some cookies waiting for me. We'd talk for a while and then I'd go back to the tax season rat race, having enjoyed a little time with a gracious woman.

I'm glad the first gentleman is still around, and I'm glad to have known both Jane and Buddy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Here is a list of some things I'm pretty sure about:

If I eat more calories than I burn, I will gain weight.

I will die if I don't exercise; I will also die if I do exercise. However, I've probably got a better shot of being healthy while I'm alive if I exercise.

President Obama is not Kenyan, is not Muslim, does not want to kill your grandparents and is not Coming For Your Guns.

The entrance ramp to I-75 south at Exit 25 in Cleveland, Tennessee, has the most poorly thought out traffic light placement in the Country - Nay, the World!

The war in Afghanistan is defensible.

The war in Iraq was a huge mistake.

Buffalo Wild Wings mild sauce is too mild, and their medium sauce is too hot.

If a girl tells a boy no, or is passed out drunk, it is NEVER ok to have sex with her. When the boy goes ahead and has sex with the girl, he is NOT the victim.

The world is against us left handers.

I will never break 4 hours in a marathon.

It's not as bad as the Republicans say, and it's not as good as the Democrats say.

Reverse the previous statement when a Republican gets back into the White House.

People shouldn't drink > 16oz soft drinks.

Government shouldn't legislate the size of soft drinks.

That's all for now. I've got more, just ask me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Repeat Offender (¡Basta Ya!)

One more strike against me and I'll go to The Big House, I'm convinced.  Yes, I'm a repeat offender.

I was in downtown Chattanooga today, having lunch with a friend at Community Pie (check it out, It's pretty good), and overstayed my parking meter.  "What?!?" You say, "again?" Yes! Doubtless you all remember  THE WORST DAY EVER - because, you know, you live vicariously through me, right?

So, I come out to get in my car, and what do I see?  Another parking violation!!!

I stood in front of my car, looked up at the sky, balled my fist and yelled ¡Basta Ya!, which means Enough Is Enough in Spanish (OK, I didn't really, but think of how dramatic it would have been if I had!)

Here is a video of the song "¡Basta Ya!", performed by the late Jenni Rivera (my Spanish isn't very good, but I'm almost positive that the singer is bemoaning the fact that she just received a parking ticket):

I know how you feel, Jenni, I know how you feel.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meanness - a mini rant

I was watching "Downton Abbey" the other day - well, my wife and I have been watching it almost solidly for the last week or so - we are halfway through the current season.

Aren't you amazed at how plain old mean Thomas is? Mrs. O'Brian is sneaky, conniving and disagreeable, but she at least seems to have a heart.  Thomas, on the other hand, takes delight in his meanness.

(Unrelated, I don't think I would be comfortable with someone dressing me, although it would be nice to have someone put my shoes and socks on for me. What would that title be?  A Footman? hahahahaha. I crack me up)


Thinking about Mean Thomas somehow lead me to think about the meanness of today's online culture.  I've been noticing how verbally ugly and snarky people are on the internet - I don't mean the good snark either - the kind of snark where people are good naturedly sarcastic (you know, how I think I am), but the kind of snark where people are negatively and maliciously mean - using their words to hurt people. I see some of it on Twitter, in 140 character bursts (and do you not understand that when you make pointed comments about someone, they can see them, or is that what you are going for?) I think that Facebook lends itself more to out and out nastiness, though. Maybe it is because there isn't such a small limit on the number of words in a post.  I guess you have to be both clever and mean to do your damage on Twitter, while you can just bloviate on FB.

And have you ever read the comments after seemingly EVERY story posted!  I mean, some nasty stuff said!

I guess it is the relative anonymity of the internet, don't you think?  You can get on your computer, in your parents basement, in your boxers, with yesterdays spaghetti stains on your T-shirt and spew out whatever venom you want.

I've been really, really amazed at the nasty stuff that is posted about our politicians. There seems to be no repercussion to what people say, either.  I believe that a lot of what is said wouldn't be, if it had to be said face to face.  Of course, who hasn't hit the send button a half a second before your brain says "STOP, THINK"? I know I have.

So, what's my point?  Idunno.  As much as I (obviously) enjoy social networks, I really hate the way some folks use it.  As a weapon. To hurt people.

Oh, if I drank as much as the Downton Abbey folks do, I think I'd be in a stupor most of the time. I'd probably come to dinner in black tie instead of white!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My favorite albums

These are my favorite albums, in case you were wondering (in no particular order, except for the first one, Duh!):

Also, when I say, "In case you were wondering", understand that I realize that A. "you" weren't wondering, and B. "you" are a readership of about one - two if my Mom would ever get on the internet.


Where was I?  Oh, yeah, the unveiling, what you were wondering about:

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

Tapestry - Carol King

Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson

Blond on Blond - Bob Dylan

I and Love and You - Avett Brothers

Sigh No More - Mumford and Sons

(Babel by Mumford is fast catching up with Sigh No More)

Mariachi El Bronx II - Mariachi El Bronx

Fashion Nugget - Cake

Sublime - Sublime

There are more that hang around the periphery of my top album list, and come and go, but these seem to be here to stay.

So, "you", go out and buy these, if you don't already own them.  Record labels, you can send my checks to "Ian, The Internet"