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


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.


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.