Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ed

Dad turned 55 Monday. That meant it was time to party Sunday afternoon at the ole' Butler Homestead. Cousin Wayne, Aunt Agnes, Aunt Bibus and Uncle Ben made their way from Monroe to join Mom, Dad, Jennifer, Brad and myself for chicken and potato salad. The afternoon was full of guffaws that are the norm when Wayne, Bibus and Dad get together. They spend their time talking about how much they got in trouble as kids and laugh hysterically about it. It never gets old.

Speaking of old, Dad claimed to have an ingrown hair in his mustache and shaved that bitch off last week for only the second time in 33 years. In fact, it's allegedly the first time I've seen him without it in my life. I think it looks pretty good, but Mom begs to differ. I've a feeling it'll be back sooner than later.

Nice Ass!

Myers Park is one of Charlotte's oldest neighborhoods and perhaps its most beautiful. You ride through, look at the enormous houses and only old money comes to mind. The last ten years or so, it's been a haven for healthy folks who ride fancy bicycles and run. Many of those people ran or rode the same route over and over again. Many of those people were females with really nice asses. Eventually the route was named the Booty Loop.
Charlotte isn't a place for the politically incorrect. People whine, bitch and generally get bent out of shape if you tell a dirty joke or talk about a female in a derogatory manner. Well, at least if you do it publicly. In fact, the school board recently changed the name of a school for challenged students from Derita Alternative School to Turning Point Academy. Our feelings are easily hurt when it comes to possibly offensive content. Thank goodness that didn't deter the organizers of the 24 Hours of Booty. They've turned their passion for cycling into raising an absolute shit ton of money for cancer research. Their goal this year was to raise a million bucks in two rides this year. Their first one Friday night raised more than 800,000 dollars.
Some of these people actually ride their bicycles for the entire 24 hours with only a few breaks to pee and eat. Others ride for a few hours or a few minutes. It really doesn't matter as long as you're raising money. The second ride in Columbia, MD is in September. I don't think they're going to have a ton of trouble reaching their goal. Their should at least be some booty.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Howard Dean is Alright with Me

Yep, I'm ok with the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I don't hate democrats, just the majority of their views. If you care, that's also how I feel about most Republicans. Dean was on his, "Let's Get Everyone Registered to Vote" tour in North Carolina Friday and stopped in the QC that afternoon. After he spoke to the crowd two fellow photogs a scribbler and myself waited on his enormous bus to get a quick interview. After we peppered him with softballs he walked us off the bus, but not before offering us a Budweiser. It appeared to be a genuine offer I hated to refuse. Not too many politicians will offer a photographer a beer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Drano and Groceries

Tim Baier asked me last week if I wanted to play in the Wyndham Championship Media Day Tourney Thursday. I thought about it for about thirty seconds and said, "You Betcha!" Tournament Organizers moved the competition back to Greensboro's Sedgefield Country Club this year and it's in tremendous shape! The greens were some of the most beautiful I'd seen, the best with the exception of Augusta. I'll be honest. I wanted to take my pants off and roll around them for a while they looked so damned good. I played with a fellow Charlotte media pal and a couple of Greensboro people. One was a radio guy who has been in the business for years. It's always good to talk go people who have been in broadcasting four times longer than I. It helps me realize I've a lot to look forward to.
Once I got back to Mecklenburg County I hopped on I-485 and was surprised to see a big assed shopping cart cruising down the interstate at 80 miles per hour. I sped up to get a better look and realized there was a big block V-8 attached to the bottom and some tennis balls capping the cylinders. I snapped this photo, sped passed it and realized I helped pay for it and there's a great chance you did, too! Yep, the State of North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services decided a good idea to promote North Carolina Agriculture with a big fucking shopping cart. Yep, a big fucking shopping cart. Ain't government great?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


When I bought Jennifer's engagement ring in December, Friendly Officer Tim and I went to Diamonds Direct Southpark for a couple of different reasons. I'd heard it had ridiculously low prices, and it's the official jeweler of the Carolina Panthers. Those two were good enough for me. I figured my work was done there after the engagement, but I forgot about wedding rings. Oops. Diamonds Direct had a big assed designer sale last weekend. We went and saw my pal Tama, but the store was packed. Looking at rings in the cases was not unlike trying to get a Miller High Life at a crowded bar not unlike the Thirsty Beaver Saloon on Central Ave. at Hawthorne. It's a good place to drink beer. Go check it out.

Anyway, because it was so busy, Tama told us to come back Tuesday and she'd still give us the discount. Jennifer found one with some pretty diamonds on it that wasn't terribly expensive. I found a titanium band for 96 bucks. Touchdown! If titanium is good enough for Taylor Made, it's good enough for me and it was 500 dollars less than the other ring I was looking at. Ring shopping wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. Plus, all of the employees thought Jennifer was one of their co-workers. Turns out Jennifer looks just like one of their sales ladies who used to be a swimsuit model. Touchdown!


It's that time of year everybody! You know what I'm talking about. Wait for it...............................
Rush made their return to Charlotte, USA Sunday night! Ya'll know I'm not an enormous Rush fan, but television's own Kris Cook is and that's reason enough for me to make the trek for beer drinking, mini-bottle pouring and a show featuring some of the most technically sound music I've ever heard. Travers and television's own Danielle Cook joined in the fun once again. Plus we had Kris' brother Tim, his wife Michelle and their son in town from freakin' Egypt for the show!
This is Rush. Three dudes in their fifties, playing more than two hours without ever missing a note. Those three old dudes put out more sound than many bands I've seen with twice as many members. Huh huh, members.
John Elway is your typical Rush fan. He's in his late thirties or early forties, is not a snappy dresser and has no problem whipping out an air guitar. This may not sound much different than a fan of any other rock band, but this is where Rush fans separate themselves. They whip out air drums on every song. Rush's drummer has a big assed set of drums. It must have twenty heads on it with several cymbals and other accessories. He does a drum solo at every show. About halfway through it, he stands up, the drum set magically spins around, he sits back down and goes to town for another few minutes. It's badass. If you look closely, I'm pretty sure Elway's banging on his air drums. Rush fans, aren't the most hip folks you'd run into on a Sunday night.
It's a good thing they don't give a horse's ass! Kris Cook had front row seats with his bro. I mean front freakin' row. He had a similar seat for the show in TORONTO! a couple of weeks ago. He told his brother he had seats in the 19th row. He bought it up until they walked down to the front row.
I ran into teef making Bill. He used to wear a tye-dyed tank top to every show he attended. He doesn't do that any longer but he is growing his hair out. It looks slightly less creepy than mine did a few months ago. Bill's another enormous Rush fan who normally buys front row tix. I think he was slummin' it in the 25th row Sunday night.
During the intermission it was time for everyone not driving to reload on cold beers. Travers being Travers got four beers. He gave Danielle two of them and she promptly bumped into him spilling one of the beers all over himself. High, drunken comedy and a good photo.

Despite not being a Rush fan, I sincerely enjoy their shows. They whip a lot of ass regardless of their age, and if you appreciate music with a high level of difficulty, you'll appreciate Rush, too. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Thursday

Jennifer and I got up at the crack of 9:15 this morning to start preparing the kitchen cabinets for painting this weekend. We're turning them from stained to white. Chances are it will suck, but I'm sure it will look better. I've lucked out of priming since she has Friday off and her mom has agreed to help out. Touchdown! After sanding we hurried uptown to Tizzerts for our third wedding cake tasting. All the cake has been extremely tasty. The other two places gave us a plate of cake as soon as walked in. Tizzerts made is wait thirty minutes while we perused two big assed books of cakes they've made through the years. Some are ugly, others are pretty neat looking. The lady here actually took a lot of time with us. She tried to get a feel for exactly what we wanted and came up with a couple of neat ideas with help from Jennifer. I provided important insight such as, "That looks neat." And, "That's pretty cool." We liked this lady and the cake whipped ass. We've one more tasting Monday but I think we'll end up going with the one we tasted today. Another task off the list. Up next, we're picking out wedding bands this weekend. Oh Boy!
At work, we only had one reporter this evening rendering this the slowest Thursday I've had here in more than six years. I had one story this afternoon. Yet another wind tunnel opened. I've been to three of these in my television career. The first was back in 2000 when a small tunnel opened in Mooresville. The second was in 2002 when our old chief meterologist and I went to a different Mooresville tunnel for a story on hurricanes. They strapped him in and did some hurricane force wind testing on the weather guy. Today was business as usual as far was wind tunnels go. A huge room featuring a big assed fan complete with a stock car to paint the picture for television viewers. I'd say it was exciting but today's tour didn't include a demonstration. Weak. It is Concord's first wind tunnel which is really exciting if you own a race team located in Cabarrus County.
Since it was indeed a slow Thursday I went to the house for dinner to let Carmen out for a run. The previous owner had an 85 pound golden retriever he kept in the enormous pen featured behind Carmen. She likes to go smell it and look around for a while. In fact, that's all she did for 15 minutes. She never even hit the whizzer. I was disappointed. Here's to a more exciting Friday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm Sad

My company issued phone rang at 10:00 Tuesday morning. I was awake, but still in bed. It was the friendly assignment desk asking if I could come in an hour early for a court case. A former scout master was found to have child pornography on his computer. I got to court around 1:30, grabbed the truck keys from the morning photographer, finished my whip ass triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich Jennifer made for me, and ate an apple. Johnell called to see if I'd noticed a bearded man walk out the front door of the courthouse. I hadn't, but about that time I noticed the competition running past my truck. I grabbed my camera and took off about 15 feet behind them. We passed under what used to be the civil courthouse and I noticed Charles Knight in a small alley, leaning against the wall looking tired, downtrodden and about to cry. I stopped running, grabbed my pals from the competition and we walked over and had a conversation with him.

I'm sure he had child porn on his computer. That's unfortunate. So far, there's no evidence he molested any children he worked with in the Boy Scouts or at his church where he worked with another youth program. He told us he couldn't say much. He also told us he was sick, tired and needed to go home.

I not typically affected by stories I'm on. For whatever reason, I felt terrible for this 62 year old man as I witnessed what's likely the worst few minutes of his life as he politely asked us to please let him pass through our wall of cameras. After getting the required amount of sound for what passed for a television news package, we parted and let him pass. He asked us for directions to the bus station, I pointed west and he hobbled that direction on 3rd street with his cane.

I realize he had child porn on his computer, but I sincerely hope he's alright.