Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

I had a 0700 wake up call Christmas Eve Morning. A quick adjustment at the chiropractor was first on the schedule followed by an uptown Christmas delivery Dad and I had to get done by eight. I'm glad Dad came with me. We don't talk a ton, but driving around Charlotte is something we can both talk about. As usual, Dad took the long route back to Mint Hill. Both of us do that sometimes. I mentioned some houses around his office were pretty neat so we drove by and looked at those. Then we drove through some other neighborhoods talking about stuff along the way. It was nice. Once arriving in the Hill Aunt Bibus and Uncle Ben got to the house. We ate a big assed lunch and opened presents. Bibus got me a dress shirt from Belk's. It's probably the first shirt that she's purchased for me in years that I actually like! I love Bibus. I left shortly after that and headed to work. I don't mind working holidays, plus The Lady was working. I love her, too.
Tim Baier mentioned Saturday night at The Gin Mill that his mom was flying in Christmas Eve and they were having dinner and we were welcome. Since Tim lives a low, screaming four iron away from the back gate of the station, I gladly obliged. I got to Tim's place a little late thanks to your average holiday interstate fatal accident but there was still plenty of food. Mama Baier had whipped up some cheesy potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and green beans to compliment the ham Tim took care of. Jared brought an award winning chocolate creme pie. Producer Rachel(she left early to go back to work) and I brought only ourselves. Oh Billy it was good food! Thanks to the Baiers, Christmas Eve was great!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Everybody

Saturday brought forth another family Christmas celebration. Dad, Sister Anna and I(mom was sick with a fever) got in the car early in the morning and headed to Lincolnton for lunch and presents. Every year before we open presents, PawPaw reads the Christmas story like any other good 83 year old Methodist minister would. PawPaw rarely preaches anymore so it's great to hear him read in his preacher voice. After he's done reading, he closes his good news bible and says a prayer. PawPaw prays in an aching baritone that almost sounds like he's crying. I think he just does it for effect. Whatever it is, it works.

Merry Christmas everyone, and if you haven't' opened all of your presents yet, PawPaw has something he'd like for all of us to hear..
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grey Wednesday

I'd like to apologize to the readers about the poor photo quality featured since the blogs' resurfacing. I need to remember to start carrying the point and shoot with me every day. You've been looking at poor cell phone pictures. This will improve by the end of the year.

Your friendly neighborhood police officer Tim and I went to the mall Tuesday morning. You know, to go Christmas shopping, and shit. Hey, that reminds me of another time Tim and I went to the mall. This was probably back in 200 when my old roommate Brad, Tim and I decided to park my Mazda Navajo at SouthPark mall and drink beer until we almost peed our pants, then go shopping. That was a good time.

Anyway, Monday Tim met me and the mall and I quickly realized we were both wearing blue jeans and grey sweaters. Good thing I had a team colors polo in the truck or we would have looked like clowns walking around the mall. Maybe even gay clowns. Sure enough when Tim got to the Gin Mill Wednesday night for Christmas Karaoke Night, we both were wearing the same blue jeans and same grey sweaters. Then Campbell took off his jacket and he was wearing blue jeans and a grey sweater, too. Oh well, it was dark so I don't think anyone noticed. Except for when we all posed for this picture.

Oh, and a big Happy 29th Birthday to Tim Baier. By the way, Tim dated Christine Lakin of Step by Step fame in Junior High School.

Days of Yore


Your average news photographer knows a ton about local restaurants. The last three or four years, the Charlotte restaurant scene has greatly improved. Johnson and Wales moved their Charleston Campus here a few years ago and whip ass restaurants have sprouted all over town. This post is about none of those.

I typically bring my dinner to work. It's cheaper and healthier. Wednesday I didn't bring dinner so I was faced with the tough decision of where I was going to eat. When this happens I take the sat buggy down South Boulevard and see where the good Lord leads me. Sometimes I make a left turn somewhere and end up on Park Road, but Wednesday took me to the Skyland Family Restaurant. I used to go there a lot when I worked overnights for NBC. It's your typical 24 hour diner with an enormous menu that has damn near anything you'd ever want on it. Situated in a tiny shopping center with a pool hall and gay bar it looks like it's been open for fifty years. It smells like a smoking section. The plates look old and the food is slightly above average. I just looked at their website and they've only been open since 1994. Their site is really professional and flashy, too. Weird. A greek man named Jimmy Kakavitsas owns the place. He's a hell of a nice guy that fed 2,500 people at Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. He plans to feed 5,000 next year.

Anyway, I walked in and saw the wall of former professional wrestlers that's always there. It's full of signed glossies from wrestling legends. My favorite one is of Nelson Freakin' Royal. A nice waitress handed me a menu and told me to sit anywhere I'd like. Of course I choose a table by the window where the sat buggy was parked so I could keep an eye on it. After ten minutes I settled on a dinner salad with a side of spaghetti. The salad was the finest iceberg available in December and was soaking three or four pints of italian dressing and the spaghetti needed three or four more ladles of marinara, but I loved every bit of it. I miss old school Charlotte.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Extra Trips


Bryan Allman made his way to the Queen City via his home state of New York. He honed his shooting skills in Binghamton, Ft. Myers and Albany, NY before making his way to the one four along with his wife and two young boys. Bryan often talks of his multiple daily trips to the shitter and I'm certain it's 100 percent because of his diet. BAllman often downs pop-tarts and soda for dinner. This afternoon he grabbed a packet of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Mix with marshmallows, ripped open the top and and poured the entire son of a bitch down his gullet. He went home for dinner and returned with a Tupperware full of macaroni and cheese. Only there was tuna, onions and hot sauce in it mixed in. Wow!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

74 East

I'd go through a long, drawn out explanation about why I haven't written in more than two months, but I don't really have one. I guess my muse went away and I'm not certain it's back. I'm going to try writing some in hopes it will return!
After an exhausting Friday covering the nutty Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office race I put on some long pants and a sweet assed shirt and burned up Highway 74 to Wilmington for a rock show. Cousin Lee recently moved back to Wilmington from Atlanta and got the band back together. He and his pal Brent added a few new members to create the Monkey Junction Band.
I rolled into Wormwood's Bar and Grill about 45 minutes into their first set and I'll be damned, they didn't suck! In fact, they're actually pretty good. Lee does a good job fronting the band and sings with a lot of soul I didn't really expect. Along with a string bass and percussion, they've a fine sound.
Cousin Ty came down from Carey for the show. Ty can party and she's not skeered to let you know it. It'd be fun to party more with Ty. She oozes good times. Lee's sister, Cousin Anne and her hubby Cliff were there, too. This was the first time in the 16 years they've been married I've hung out with them somewhere other than a family holiday or event and I'm glad we got to see each other. It's a bit weird to see us all grow up and change in little ways, but I love it. Now we talk about careers and kids and drink beer together. It's great! Early Saturday after the show(I think around 3 am) Ty, Lee and myself were back at Lee's house having a few beverages, talking about old time and future times. It was great, something we all need to do more often. I think we will.

Monday, October 08, 2007

High Definition

I owe a big thanks to Janice Hollifield. That's Tracy's wife. Ever since Tracy bought the big assed Toshiba pictured above, she's been begging him to get rid of it and replace it with a flat panel. Fueled by a move to a bigger house featured here a few weeks ago, Tracy sold me the big assed Toshiba and bought a couple of flat panels. The picture really is spectacular. Better than your average LCD or plasma. It's hard to beat a tube. It's currently residing in Travers' basement until I find a house to put it in.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not a Whole Lot

It's been a slow week, at least for things to blog about. Actually Solarte and I went to Atlanta Sunday to cover the Panthers' game against the Falcons. It was rather uneventful except for I drove the entire way back with almost no brakes. I forgot my camera so no game pics. My bad.

The weekend starts tomorrow night for me when David Lee Roth returns for Van Halen's reunion tour at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. That won't suck.

Friday morning The Lady and I fly to Indianapolis for her friend Kathryn's wedding. It's bittersweet since we'll be missing the Shub/Barker wedding in Maine. That sucks but we'll have a good time anyway.

Sunday morning we fly back in time for the Panthers' game against the Fucaneers. It's always a good game. I hope we whip their asses. Many, many, many pics to come.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

From Ass Whippin' to Whippin' Ass

After that Centro-matic show I went to a while back I promised myself I'd go see more live music. A few weeks ago I was checking Interpol's tour schedule and saw they were playing in Raleigh Sunday night. It sounded great, but I knew it would be a long day if I went. The Panther's home opener was also this past Sunday and that means waking up early, getting the dog taken care of, getting food together and making it uptown by 10 a.m. to start grilling and beer drinking. I thought it'd be too much, but I remembered the promise I made to myself. I'm not going to be 28 forever and a lot of bands I really like evidently hate Charlotte so they play in places like Raleigh and Winston Salem and I have to make those trips. I'm damned glad I went up there Sunday. After the ass whippin' the Texans put on the Panthers, The Lady and I ducked into the Gin Mill for one beverage and headed to her house to drop her off. She made me a sandwich and I hit the road. I finally arrived at the Disco Rodeo(formerly The Ritz and The Longbranch) about 9:00. There was a huge crowd which struck me weird because I didn't realize so many people in North Carolina knew who Interpol was. Then I realized most of them were college kids from one of a dozen or so universities in and around Raleigh making me one of the older folks in the crowd. Most of those college kids were drinking Tecate and Modelo. Weird. I looked out of place with my two $4 PBR cans. Interpol came on around 9:30 and I had no clue what they looked like before. They were all wearing suits or ties. I guess I was expecting t-shirts but I reckon it worked for them. They were as good as I hoped they'd be. More importantly, they were LOUD! I hate going to shows where they could easily double the volume and still use some more gain. Sunday the mix was right.

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The band closed with Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down(bottom video) and PDA(top video.) They were great with the exception of the guitar player singing a little riff at the end of PDA. Dude didn't sing a word all night and came in at least a step and a half flat. It was bad. Other than that, they were extremely tight. I got home around 2 a.m. It was well worth the long assed day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunshine's 30

Jennifer Moxley doesn't suck. At her young age she's experienced a ton of things your average 29 year old womern hasn't. Oh, and she's wide open about all of it, that's why she doesn't suck. Most days she's running around Rowan county hauling a camera whilst fending off advances from law enforcement officers who can't get over how nice she is. Moxley has a special birthday this weekend. I'd tell you how old she's going to be but I can't remember. Her newly slim husband Jason took her to dinner Saturday then took her to Cans where a dozen or so of us surprised her with a little get together. In case you can't tell from the picture, she was indeed surprised.
Lisa Reyes was also surprised when her 35mm Kodak from 1987 didn't work. It's quite possibly the only still camera I've seen that's actually bigger than your average head. She's damned proud of it, though.

I've a real nice picture of Moxley, The Lady and I giving the proverbial thumbs up, but they looked so good in this picture I figured it was best to leave me out of it. I'm certain I made the right call. If you run into Moxley, be sure to give her a big ole' birthday hug, then ask her how old she is. Oh yeah, she drank a Miller High Life tallboy. Sounds like a good birthday.

Get My Motor Runnin' for a Wild Weekend

I love Fridays. It's the end of my work week and I get to shoot high school football. I love high school football. I never played it, but I spent three years covering nothing but high school sports and grew to love it dearly. It's my favorite thing to shoot. I've shot several NFL games, a couple of HUGE playoff games and with the exception of the 2003 NFC Championship in Philadelphia, I'd rather shoot high school football. It whips ass. Friday I had to drive to Kannapolis for the first of two games I had to shoot. This is normally a 40-45 trip. I always leave early because A.L. Brown High School invites us into their booster club pre-game dinner every week and it's typically good eating. Due to the first significant rain we've had in about six years, all of Charlotte USA forgot how to drive when the roads are wet. My Friday commute to K-town turned into a one hour and forty give minute fiasco up I-85. I missed dinner and the first touchdown. It was still better than shooting flash flooding.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Turd Up!

I really wish this story happened in Baton Rouge so Turdpolisher could tell it. This is my best and it's kind of shitty.Northeast Charlotte USA's Garinger High School was built in the 1960's. Back in those days it was home to some major riots as schools here became more integrated. Now it's one of two or three high schools in town that many people forget are still around. It's no longer in a great neighborhood. The student body primarily comes from poor families. Most of their athletic teams suck, and since it's an old school with little private money coming in for athletics, their facilities suck. And just when you didn't think it could get any worse, geese came in and shat all over their football field.
They've not been able to water as often as they normally do thanks to water restrictions and the geese take over from dusk until dawn. Turds litter the playing surface that already looked unplayable to begin with. They've had to move their home game Friday several miles away to North Mecklenburg High School.
If Garinger loses their "home" game Friday it will be their 50th loss in a row. Let's hope their next scheduled home game two weeks from now is actually played at home. No Shit.

Willie Again

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Blogger just added video uploading for blogs and I wanted to give it a shot. Here's Willie effing Nelson delivering a classic that even unfortunate fans of new country music will recognize.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Road Trippin' With the Weatherman

I've been to Boone many times. My old church youth group went every fall for a football game when I was in high school. As a high school sophomore in October of 1994 we got to see Appalachian State beat Marshall in a snowy night game. The campus went bullshit. It was great! Saturday Jeff Crum and I rolled up the mountain to make some television magic as the Mountaineers returned to Kidd Brewer stadium for their first game since their historic upset of Michigan.I picked up Crum in Huntersville and we kept on getting up I-77 to Union Grove where we traversed west for a few miles and picked up Highway 115 to Wilkesboro. This shortcut can save several minutes but you always have to be ready for the occasional tractor on the main road. This one only cost us about two minutes, but it's nice to see a shameless tractor on a big road less than an hour from a major city.
Television's own Kris Cook typically makes this trip with Crum but he's on the road working every weekend. I'm a big believer in traditions when it comes to sporting events and a trip to Boone Drug is mandatory prior to kickoff. We parked the buggy and commenced a walking tour of the ASU campus and downtown Boone. We finally made our way to the fountain and grill where Cook always ate a Parson's Choice. That's basically a double cheeseburger with onion rings. Ya'll know I eat healthy 75 percent of the time since I'll have at least one heart attack in my lifetime. A double cheeseburger and onion rings is something I do only on RARE occasion, but to keep tradition I ordered the Parson's without hesitation. It was quite good and I thought it would hit me in a horrible way in about three hours but my stomach handled it like I never started eating healthy five years ago. Since Crum's a meteorologist and not a "journalist," he figured it'd be fine for him to sport his Appalachian State ballcap like the pround alumnus he is. Since I didn't attend or graduate from the fine university, I kept it simple in short pants and the standard issue work polo. Crum grew up around football. I heard his dad was a college coach at some clown university in Chapel Hill for a while. Anyway, he shot ACC football for years in his younger days. He hoisted the Sony DSW-570 and shot some really good football in the second half. In fact, the 12 yard touchdown he shot made the highlights and looked no worse than my shooting. Crum enjoyed it so much he's headed back up the mountain again this weekend to shoot some more.
After the game, App coach Jerry Moore couldn't stop talking about the 28,802 fans stuck inside 16,000 seat Kidd Brew stadium. It truly was a wonderful sports atmosphere. The fans even get hyped up for the band up there. It was cool. By the way, the kid to coach Moore's left is Trey Elder. He's the backup quarterback but started the game Saturday, threw four TD's in the first half and promptly left the stadium after the press conference with three young coeds.

We stopped near the parkway on the way down Highway 421 and fed a piece to Tim Baier then had a suprisingly good meal at Crappleby's. America's great, so is Boone.

Happy Belated Labor Day

I was originally scheduled to work Labor Day like every other member of the media. However, my fantasy football league draft was scheduled for that evening and a switch was in order. That left me with a free holiday afternoon! Heather mentioned the Loose Lugnuts were playing Mac's that afternoon so Mark Campbell and I headed over for some pre draft beverages. The Loose Lugnuts specialize in covering classic country tunes poorly and Monday didn't disappoint! The crazy thing is, they've actually gotten pretty popular around town. Since Mac's opened a couple years ago it quickly became one of the coolest places to hang out and this isn't the first time the Lugnuts have whipped its ass. Mark even played an original tune that didn't suck too bad. I think it was about a homeless guy on a railroad track but I can't remember.
This dude was hammered and decided to ascend one of the poles like he'd done it a thousand times. He was up there for several minutes and did several acrobatic moves all whilst receiving folded dollar bills. I've never seen a more talented biker.
Brian busted out some special attire for the holiday. Everyone was talking about the Schlitz shorts he was wearing, but the real star of the show was the Jerry Clower t-shirt. I've only one or two shirts as cool as that Jerry Clower shirt. Brian literally has a store full of them and he always seems to break out the right shirt at the right time. Then again, there's never a wrong time to wear a Jerry Clower shirt.

Brian even forced me to pick up the Airline hollow body for a few songs. I haven't played guitar in a long time. Luckily we were playing nothing but real country music and I remembered how to play E, A and B7. I'd forgetten that playing in the band gives you a perk or three or four. Two songs in a tray of shots was sat down next to us!

A big thanks to Deitra for two of these pics!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grape Juice

I began my drinking years hating the taste of wine. I'm not sure I actually hated it or just wouldn't let myself like it because I thought it was girly. Ok, it is girly but so is my hair and affection for reality television and The O.C. I started to enjoy red wine when The Lady and I went to the mountains last October. Through the winter we drank a bottle damn near every weekend. With the recent really effing hot weather, the wine intake has decreased significantly.However, I felt like The Lady and I needed a day out of town so I surprised her with a trip to beautiful Dobson and Shelton Vineyards. It was real pretty up there. In the last ten years or so the Yadkin River Valley has exploded with new vineyards. That's good because before that, the area was known mainly for Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy.Here's a barrel room. Evidently a machine crushes the grapes a filters into those metal things o the left where our good friend fermentation takes care of business before it moves on to the wooden barrels on the right. We tasted six wines. They were alright I guess. I don't care for white wine at all. I enjoyed the port wine, but I think I made myself like it since it was 19% alcohol. The Pinot was good, too.
They've quite a few big assed trees on the estate. We saw another couple taking a similar picture and thought it'd be a great place to debut The Lady's new hair. I love it almost as much as the little girl who gets the ten inches of hair Erika cut off of her beautiful noggin.
Shenanigans like these are discouraged at Shelton Vineyards, although they do encourage buying a bottle of their wine from their gift shop and drinking it outside. It felt like Sideways on a much smaller scale. Kind of cool.
We finished up the afternoon at The Harvest Grill located next door to the winery. The outdoor seating whipped ass with a real nice view of the vineyard. I got a sesame crusted mahi mahi fillet and The Lady got crab cakes. We had a glass of wine, too. The cool mountain air got me giddy for fall. Oh, and white wine is for girls.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Friday

I ran an errand on the way to work today. I was cruising up 12th street and made a right on N. College when a green Altima stopped in front of me and tried to take a quick left. Two gentleman in a mid 90's model SUV blocked them in. I thought it was odd, but maybe they were both confused about the direction they were headed. It was about that time the two regular looking dudes jumped out of the SUV, pulled Glock 23's and pointed them at the dudes in the Altima hollering for them to get out of the vehicle. For two or three seconds, I thought I was about to see two dudes get shot in a fit of road rage until I realized the guns were sheltered in molded kevlar holsters common on the hips of police officers and military.
Did I mention this was unfolding eleven feet in front of me? Once I figured out they were cops I couldn't get my camera out fast enough!(Click on the picture for a larger, more detailed description of what happened.) It turns out these dudes were drinking malt liquor whilst cruising around uptown Charlotte in a stolen car. What a great start to the weekend!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Faves

I've come across a couple of blogs lately that really whip ass. Turdpolisher is a photographer in Baton Rouge who holds nothing back regardless of the subject. It may be local politics, producers or two dudes kayaking the Mississippi River. He provides a ton of interesting insight on his community where it seems half of the things he covers on a daily basis are still related to that big assed hurricane that hit his home state two years ago. His most recent post talks about how physically ugly everyone is in his home town. He's got good, HONEST stories and always relates them to a big pile of shit. Anytime you can take a serious story and relate it to a pile of shit, I'm reading them every day. You should be, too.

Many of you know what a huge fan I am of Sirius Satellite Radio. Sure I listen to Howard Stern 60 percent of the time but the music channels have opened my ears to some really good music I would never have heard on regular radio. Left of Center is my favorite music channel. They feature a ton of independent rock bands, some who are already pretty popular and others who are headed in that general direction. I heard a song there by Interpol last Friday and whilst searching for it on the interweb to listen to it again I stumbled upon Superb Live. It's got studio and live mp3's from a ton of bands, most of which don't suck. Check it out.

Speaking of Interpol, they play in Raleigh September 16th. I'm planning on going, but it's also the first Panthers home game of the year. I think I'm gonna go anyway. They don't make it down south too often.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday PawPaw

Today was PawPaw's 83rd birthday. Mimi had a doctor appointment in Charlotte this morning so I met them and we went to Bojangle's. PawPaw said all he wanted for his birthday was a sausage biscuit and a cup of coffee. He deserves a lot more than the moo cow keychain I got him in Savannah at a gift shop, but it makes noise so he liked it a lot. He told the cashier he was 29.

Subluxation

Greetings! My name is Adam Butler and I've a bad back. My television career started with more than three years of shooting nothing but sports. Most of those sports were off the shoulder. Tons of football in the fall, even more basketball in the winter and spring. Most of the things I shoot now are with a tripod, but I still carry a ton of stuff to and fro every day to different stories. Camera, sack and tripod way close to fifty pounds and it's only comfortable if I carry it on the right shoulder, thus the back issues. My back never feels great but rarely renders me useless. It's just constant discomfort that's a pain in my ass, I mean lower back. I crack my back every twenty to thirty minutes which i guess is bad so I decided to do something about it. Well, I started thinking about it and The Lady convinced me to actually do something. I visited the same chiropractor friend Jenny Lynn's been seeing for years. She's always said it's a huge help. I'm very skeptical about chiropractic care. I've always heard mixed reports, most of the reports not favorable.
I walked into the office and was greeted by some very nice people. We had good conversation. They were very professional and maybe even too nice for this skeptical blogger.

The first appointment was a simple consultation and x-rays. Everything they said in the consultation made sense. I could argue with nothing they said. Obviously my line of work isn't friendly to the spine. It was time for x-rays and it had to be the oldest x-ray machine I've ever seen. The technician "changed the film" after each of the four x-rays. I was certain they'd show me some random dude's x-rays who had a broken back or something.

Miller High Life proved me wrong I'm glad I left my belt buckle on. I really thought I was getting scammed. The whole thing seemed weird but I went along with it. Two adjustments later my back feels a little better. I think. Maybe.

Last of The Breed

I saw back in the spring Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price would be visiting the Cabarrus Arena in Concord last week. Why plan ahead? I waited until Tuesday to worry about going. The concert was Wednesday. I was scheduled to work nightside and I had a volunteer commitment Wednesday morning that I had backed out of twice before so I couldn't back out again. Oh, I didn't have tickets either. My chances of making the show were not favorable. Wednesday morning I got the ball rolling. I asked television's own Kris Cook if he'd go. He replied, "Fuck Yes!" Then I asked fellow photographer BAllman if he'd like to work five more hours in exchange for me working one of his weekend days. He said, "I'll ask the boss, and by boss I mean wife." She agreed so all I needed was tickets. Ticketmaster was no longer selling tickets but the box office was. The box office is in Concord, I'm miles away in Charlotte, but thank the Lord sister Anna lives and works in Concord. She left work and picked up two sweet tickets. Thanks Anna!

After a pre-show Natural Ice tallboy, Kris and I made our way to the seats and were greeted by Tommy sitting next to us. Tommy lives in Kannapolis and retired from the North Carolina Department of Labor as an elevator inspector. He also inspected ski lifts. Tommy was alright and refused a cold beer when offered. Heck of a nice guy. He said he was a widower and was tired of working on the house so he came to see Willie Nelson.
I didn't know much about Ray Price before he took the stage. By the time the show was over, he may have been my favorite performer that night. He's pictured above on the right side of the stage with Willie to the left and Merle to the left of Willie. They did a few songs together after Merle finished his whip ass set. I think Merle Haggard has the prettiest voice in the history of country music followed closely by Marty Robbins. Listen to Marty sing El Paso and you'll know what I mean.
I saw Willie Nelson several years ago and he whipped a lot of ass. He was just ok last week. He didn't suck or anything, but he wasn't the crowd pleaser he was the first time I saw him. He did his hits, some new songs and even a Waylon effing Jennings song.
The ENTIRE Wilson family was there. For some reason Brian is the only one I got a picture of. Maybe it was the sweet ass 1983 Willie shirt he had on, or Paige's Merle tanktop. I don't know. Heather risked a drunken night out despite starting a new job today. Hopefully that went alright. Brian accused me of being a hippie even though we were at a Willie Nelson concert.
Since it was Wednesday night we had to make a stop at the Gin Mill. Partly because it was media night, but mainly because it was Mark Campbell's 27th birthday! Happy Birthday you old clown! Here's a drunken Campbell with a much less drunk Jim Travers who still hasn't posted Halloween Party pictures.

It was a good night. It started with a trip to Wal-mart, and impending night shift and no concert tickets. It ended with a four hour shift at work, seeing three REAL country music legends and a birthday party at the Gin Mill. God Bless America!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Augusta to Amos'

Monday ended up being pretty busy. Well, not really that busy. I switched with a fellow photographer and worked a dayside shift. I was five minutes from the station when I got the call letting me know I was likely covering former Charlotte, USA mayor John Belk's memorial service. I quickly turned around, went back to the house and grabbed a suit. Broders and I got to Myers Park Presbyterian two hours before the service. I shot some video, ate a sandwich and got some more video as dignitaries walked in. Well, dignitary may be a strong word. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson, North Carolina Universities President Erskine Bowles were a few that I saw mosey in.

We had just finished interviewing former mayor Harvey Gantt when Bank of America founder Hugh McColl spotted him and struck up a conversation. The dude pictured above was hanging around with Hugh and looked damned familiar to me. So familiar that I came real close to walking up to him and saying, "Howdy. My name's Adam Butler. I'm from Mint Hill and I can't figure out where I know you from."

About that time he extended his hand to Mayor Gantt and said, "Hello Harvey, I'm Hootie Johnson."

Hootie Freakin' Johnson! Hootie was the chairman of Augusta National Golf Course for many years and gained fame when that feminazi Martha Burke got huffy since they didn't allow womerns to join the club. Hootie also prounounces the word 'tournament' better than anyone. He's from Columbia, SC and I guess they just say tournament weird down there. Hootie says, "tunament" and is a legend because of it. Oh, and I guess because he said Augusta National would not be forced to admit a female member at the point of a bayonet.

Monday night I went to Amos' to see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Isbell used to play guitar for the Drive-by Truckers. I'd heard some of his solo acoustic stuff and it didn't suck too bad so I figured with a band he'd whip ass. Turns out he and his band didn't do much for me. However, Centro-matic opened up the show and they whipped serious ass! I walked in, saw a vintage electric piano on the stage and figured I'd be in for a treat. They were great. They come from Denton, TX where a ton of good bands come from. It's where Slobberbone was formed and broke up. They are now a couple of different bands. That's the kind of sound I was expecting from Centro-matic, but it was completely different. The piano made a big difference and the loud assed bass helped a lot, too. I'd describe their sound, but I'm not sure how to. I'll be purchasing a Centro-Matic CD in the near future, and I don't ever buy CD's. Check these dudes out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mexican Coke

My buddy Bill and his pal JC have been telling me for a while how badass Mexican Coke is. Evidently American coke is much different. The Mexican bottlers use real sugar. The American bottlers use corn syrup. I was on Central Avenue today and dropped into the Bienvenido Supermercado to pick one up. I walked inside and promptly asked, "Donde esta CocaCola?" The nice young lady pointed to a refrigerator two feet away from me. I paid, got into my vehicle and realized I lent my keychain bottle opener to Pallone a few weeks ago and it's been in Savannah since. I eventually got a bottle opener and drank it rather quickly. I was disappointed. It wasn't that great. Perhaps it's because I don't drink Coke very often. About one every month or two. It was just ok. I was really hoping the words '"Hecho en Mexico" would make a bigger difference.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunday at South Point

Sunday didn't suck. I got up at 9:30, took a shower, kissed The Lady and the dog then took off for a good old fashioned trip to Lincolnton to see Mimi and PawPaw. Mom and other family went to see them last week and I couldn't make it, thus the trip Sunday. It's always good to be there. Mimi was upset because her purse didn't match her dress and she didn't want her friends to notice at church so she wanted to put it in PawPaw's office but he told her it didn't match his suit either so it'd be best if she just left it in the car.

They had a funeral to attend yesterday. It was for an old friend who was 94. Mimi said there may be twelve people at the funeral. That struck me weird but she explained to me that people that are 94 years old have few friends. Most of them have died leaving an already sad funeral downright gloomy. At the usual Lincoln Pancake House Lunch, talk of this funeral brought up talk of our own funerals which meant Mimi and I talked about it. PawPaw always refuses to talk about his own death. Mimi's already planned her funeral. I don't have mine planned yet except for the donation of my body to science. I hope I've got more time to think about it.

On the way back I dropped by the Hollifield household in Belmont. Tracy and family are building a new house a couple miles away from their current house and he hadn't made his daily trip over there so we hopped in the Big Red Truck for a looksee. They are building a big assed house. That's good since their little girls Tayor and Regan need a bunch of space to run around. They've got room for about four more kids in that house. It will also be the new world headquarters of Track One Productions. So Tracy's got that going for him, which is nice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Been A While

It's been damn near four months since I've updated this blog, and that sucks. I lost my muse there for a while. I've found it, at least for today, so here goes an update!

Last week I realized I was fatter than usual. I try to keep it at 180 or less but I've skyrocketed to 185. Yeah, I know 185 isn't bad, but I saw myself heading in the wrong direction and decided it was time to right the ship. The Lady and I went to Savannah last week and I figured I'd head back to the ole' YMCA and whip myself back into shape. Upon my return, I noticed three things that were there that weren't last time I was there signifying exactly how honkin' long it'd been since I was at the Siskey Y.

The land was cleared last time I was there, but it was just a big mud pit. Now it's a new CVS that's been open for more than two weeks and a huge town home development.
Around the 'track' at the Y used to be a bunch of muddy, dirty rocks. They brought in a ton of sod and it's only three or four weeks from looking real good. Needless to say it had been a while. I made it there twice this week and hope to go no less than three times a week. You really do feel good working out. Well, until you walk back to your truck when it's 104 degrees. That part sucks. Oh yeah, and number three. There was a ton of hair on my head that wasn't there last time I was at the Siskey YMCA. I reckon it's time for a haircut. It's approaching a very weird look and I'm not certain I want to be a part of it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

365 Days

369 days ago, I shot a story at an elementary school in West Charlotte. There was a cute teacher there and I asked her out. She said no. I figured that would be the case. I've never been real high on asking a girl out unless I've got a good idea they'll actually go out with me. Later that night Jim Travers, Mark Campbell and I went to the Charlotte Bobcats 2006 regular season finale. We sat in the team's luxury box with Hall of Famer M.L. Carr and drank a healthier than usual amount of free beer. I remember calling Kate and Adam at one point, I think they were coming back from the beach or something. I told Kate I was going to ask Jennifer out at the Gin Mill after the game. We got to the Mill, had a few beverages and I finally got the pelotas to ask her if I could buy her dinner that Saturday. I'll be damned, she said yes. Since she a vegetarian, I quickly recommended an Indian restaurant. Four days later, we were at Copper on a romantic April evening. We hit a couple of bars after dinner and had a nice time. I didn't throw any moves on her, though. The next week I asked her out again and for the last year she's yet to say no. Sunday we returned to Copper to celebrate one year together. It was another nice evening on East Boulevard.

I'm absolutely a better person now than I was a year ago. Not that I sucked before, but there are so many little things I think you learn from a significant other when you spend so much time together. I've learned a lot from Jennifer. I'm an extremely luck man.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vacationland

I'd mentioned last month that I was heading back to Las Vegas for my second National Association of Broadcasters convention. Unfortunately budget cuts within the company a few weeks ago shat all over the hotel room(Travers') I was crashing in. I still could have gone out there, but I didn't feel it was worth 600 bucks on a room for myself for a few days. So, what does a 27 year old man do when a trip to Vegas complete with parties, open bars, tons of television geeky fun and poker is canceled?? You go to Maine! I called Kate and Adam to make sure they didn't mind an impromptu visit to New England. It was going to work out well. I'd fly to Boston Sunday, meet them at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game, then head to Portland for a few days of fun.
Unfortunately, a huge Nor'easter was hitting about the same time I arrived. You may be wondering what a Nor'easter is. I went and asked Chief Meteorologist Jeff Crum and he responded with a couple of weather terms. I looked confused and he came back with, "It's basically just a big assed storm." I agree. Cold, windy, snowy and rainy are the four words that describe the weather for the duration of my trip. Weather really sucked. Company really didn't. Shub picked me up in Boston and gave me a quick tour of the city. We stopped at Fenway and grabbed a sandwich at a bar near Faneuil Hall. From there we rolled up to Portland, picked up Kate and headed straight to Yarmouth for a tour of her hometown. Above is the house where Kate grew up. It's a beautiful street in a small neighborhood that's so close, the neighbors all own a campground and a red pickup truck together.
Here's the North Yarmouth Academy. This isn't a picture I'd normally take, but the snow made it a nice picture and Charlotte, USA mayor Pat McCrory attended the school for a year when he was just a budding demopublican.
From Yarmouth we made our way south to the picturesque town of Freeport. If you're scratching your head trying to remember why Freeport, Maine sounds familiar, it's where L.L. Bean is headquartered. They've got a store that is open 24 hours year round. Weird. We had dinner at the Harraseeket Inn where the Shubs are getting married in that snowy courtyard you see above. Everyone hopes for better weather in late September. For dinner I tried a cup of lobster stew. It didn't really care for it, but I think it's just because there was a ton of butter in it. I don't know, maybe that's how's it's supposed to be. Kate and Adam went for a lobster roll which is basically lobster meat mixed with mayonaise and cabbage(I think) then layered onto a hot dog bun. I opted for an organic burger which was one of the best I've ever had. That's right, I ate a huge burger. I was on vacation from eating healthy, too. Getting gas brought back fond memories. I grew up filling the tanks on family cars at Gladden's Gulf on Lawyers Rd. It was cool to see a Gulf station. One of several in that general direction. Back to food. We ate well while I was there. Despite the hurricane like conditions, nothing closes. Bars and restaurants were wide open. Monday night we ate at the Flatbread Pizza Company down by the rapidly rising waterfront in Portland. It's an organic pizza resturant. You've noticed the organic restaurant theme in Portland. I like it a lot. One of the best pizzas I've ever had. Really effing good pizza.
When it's 35 degrees and raining in the middle of golf season you resort to playing golf indoors. With the help of our friends at Google Tuesday, Adam found this place and we were playing Bay Hill in minutes. It took a lot of getting used to, especially the putting. It was a good time. They even sell beer, which is nice.
Tuesday night we ventured to South Portland to another waterfront place, Joe's Boathouse. This night, I really ate too much. So much that I felt my heard beating faster than it normally does. It was a HUGE tuna steak with some amazing sides and a salad. Good eating. We even met Joe, who I noticed whilst resizing this picture peed his pants right before Kate jumped in for this shot.

Portland is a good place. The people were friendly. Indoor golf isn't really that bad. It's a beautiful place as long as a Nor'easter isn't pummeling the coastline during your trip. Adam and Kate are well. Adam started working at a law firm this week and Kate is whipping ass doing the morning reporter thing. Since we won't make it up for the wedding, I'm glad they let me invade their home on the Back Cove for a few days.