January 29, 2009

C-c-c-Craaacck Whoomp!

That's the sound we listened to all Tuesday night. It's a sickening, surreal sound. The phone rings at three in the morning. It's Abby calling to tell us her power is knocked out.

Morning came after a sleepless night and I wandered outside. I'm surprized the newspaper is in the box. All the trees are bowing down in supplication to mother nature. There's a terrible beauty to the whole scene. The back of our home looks to be under a game of pick-up-sticks in progress. There's a huge branch resting against the power line to our house. The cable line is completely knocked loose. We have power but no phone, internet, or TV.

My neighbor comes out to talk. The whole time we can hear the c-c-c-crack whoomp! throughout the neighborhood. Our front yard looks like it's covered with a thick coat of fondant icing. A little later it starts snowing so hard it becomes a white out.

Our Governor declared Kentucky federal disaster area because "Lost" is on tonight and there are many, like us, that will be unable to see it. I go out and buy a digital antenna and hook it up to the TV. I'll try and get reimbursed for this cost by the federal government. I don't think it's unreasonable to tack forty dollars onto the 825 billion in economic stimulus appropriations now on it's way to the Senate.

January 27, 2009

Lose Power? Crap!

Freezing rain is predicted to glaze Louisville with a quarter inch of ice tonight. Please don't let us lose our power..pretty please...with sugar on top.

Kids pay attention whether you think they are or not, so watch what you say. Three year old Tristan wanted to go home with his Aunt Noelle and Uncle Ben tonight "to watch crap on TV".

January 23, 2009

Sainab's Shoes

Raphael Saadiq

The first time I heard Raphael Saadiq on the radio I thought it was Smokey Robinson. It has that definite Motown sound. This is "100 Yard Dash" from his album 'The Way I See It'

January 21, 2009

The Grilled Stilton-Cheddar Sandwich

We got home from the gym about eight o'clock and had the usual debate on what to eat. We decided on grilled cheese sandwiches. We were out of bread so we used the Pugliese bread from the local Blue Dog Bakery. Their Pugliese bread is damn fine. It's a little larger than a french baguette with a crusty outside and a light and airy interior that's positively toothsome.

As Elf ear cut the bread into grilled-cheese-sized rectangles, I remembered the stilton-wrapped-in-sharp-cheddar cheese I got recently at Fresh Market.

"You want this stilton-cheddar on your grilled cheese?"
"SICK! you can have it, I want cheddar and pepper-jack on mine."
She's not a big fan of any kind of blue cheese....she's weird that way.

Elf ear buttered the crusty outside of the Pugliese rectangles and I put my stilton/cheddar cheeses on mine and the cheddar/pepperjack cheeses on hers. It took a little longer for the heat to work it's way through the crust and melt the cheese but it was worth the wait.

The outside crust was perfectly toasted and the cheddar& stilton had melted into all the pores inside the Pugliese bread. It was the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had.

We Have a Winner

My brother, Brad McClain, was the winner in naming the profile photo. I didn't think anyone would figure out where the banner photo was taken but Brad got that right too. Good eye Brad. The profile photo is Berea Christian Church where my grandparents went to church, (well...at least my grandmother did.)

The banner photo was taken exactly where Brad said it was, behind our grandparents barns facing toward the tree lined hollow. Toward the left, beyond the hollow is one of the highest points in Henry county, KY. When we were kids, jets flew very close to the ground over this hill on training maneuvers. On the rare occasion when we were on the hill as the jets flew over, you could see the silhouettes of the pilot's in their cockpits. I think the jets were out of some Air Force base in Tennessee.

I recall hearing the occasional sonic boom and my grandfather on the phone trying to contact the Air Force people to cease super-sonic flight over the farms in the area. I guess the booms panicked the sub-sonic chickens.

January 18, 2009

Name That Profile Pic

The first of my immediate family or any others to name the photo on the right, under my profile, wins a prize. There's a bonus prize for identifying where I was standing when I took the banner photo above.

In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Barry McClain may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize which is the full sized photo emailed to the first person to post a comment, identifying the photo. The bonus prize hint word is "JETS".

January 17, 2009

Ghost Face

Every once in awhile my wife comes out of the bathroom with her white facial mask on. It has become a tradition to try and make her laugh because,while the mask is on, you're not supposed to screw your face into a grin, smile, smirk, laugh, or any other kind of expression. She looks as though she's attending a funeral.

Tonight she looked particularly Marcel Marceau-ish.

"Hey hon, can you moon walk against the wind?"
She says "STOP!" through her clenched teeth.
"Hey, how about leaning against an invisible wall?"
"STOP!"
"Pick petals off a flower."

I keep it up until her death masque starts to crack and a smile squeaks through. "Barryyy!"

Later, she washes the facial mask off and becomes the woman who people will ask if Noelle and Abby are her sister's.

I recently went back to wearing contacts lenses and without my glasses, I look like there's a bunch of tent caterpillars camped under my eyes. Maybe I should try the mask treatment.

January 15, 2009

Hearth

It's so cold it feels like mother nature just slapped you across the face when stepping outside. Walking on the back deck causes loud cracks and pops. It felt good to come inside and start a fire. It's getting down to 4 degrees tonight in Louisville. I'd gripe but it doesn't do any
good.

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with our Franklin Stove. You have to deal with finding the wood, pack-mule it inside, take out the ashes, enlarge your carbon footprint...etc. This little
video shows the advantage. I don't know too many people who don't enjoy watching a fire in the hearth.

video

January 14, 2009

Duffy

Aimé Ann Duffy, who calls herself Duffy is a new singer/songwriter who is from Wales. They've been playing her alot lately on WFPK. She has a soulful retro sound and is becoming very popular lately. This is "Stepping Stone" from her 2007 Rockferry album. I liked this song the first time I laid ears on it.

January 13, 2009

Forefathers

The burgers and dogs were on the grill and it was the last Fourth of July gathering at the home where I grew up. It was 1976 and we were playing a bicentennial game of jarts. I remember almost everything sold had something about the bicentennial stamped on it; from bicentennial soup to bicentennial nuts, the tacky American way of commerce making itself bicentennially known.

200 years earlier and seventy-five miles southeast of what is now Louisville Daniel Boone commanded Boonesboro, a settlement he founded. They defended themselves against attacks by the Shawnee Indians who, allied with the British, wanted Boonesboro wiped from the face of Kentucky. The British and Shawnees did not succeed. In 1779 Daniel Boone would return to North Carolina and head up more émigrés to settle more land in Kentucky. One of these settlers was Abraham Lincoln, grandfather of the sixteenth president.

In May 1786 Abraham was clearing land one day twenty miles east of Louisville and was shot dead by an Indian. His son Mordecai ran to the cabin to get the gun while eight year old Thomas stood by his father’s body. From the cabin Mordecai saw an Indian reach for Thomas. Mordecai shot and killed the Indian

Thomas Lincoln grew up, married Nancy Hanks, and settled in what is now Hodgenville, Kentucky and on February 12, 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born. This February 12th is the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

January 12, 2009

Kings Of Leon

The Kings Of Leon are coming to the Louisville Palace on Inauguration Day. The band is made up of three Followill brothers, Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and their first cousin Matthew Followill. Both the brothers' father and grandfather's first name was Leon, hence the bands name. Their father was an interant Pentecostel preacher and the Followill family moved from town to town for his father to preach.

The concert was sold out in two hours. These guys improve with every album. This is "Closer" from their fourth album Only By The Night.

January 10, 2009

Sun Damage in The Land of Cement Skies

Driving to my appointment the skies looked made of cement that Kentucky skies make a lot of this time of year; it's about forty degrees. Wait around and it'll change, as the saying goes. We set a record of seventy-two a couple of weeks ago.

I pull into the little row of identical little offices and I see a sign which says doctor so and so and below that is “Naturalcologist”. I supposed it was a holistic place with a guy treating you who looks like Mr Natural, complete with long white beard and tunic, to smear some gunk on my hand that would clear things up more than the last dermatologist I saw.

I'm hoping for the doctor to be older than me but seemed about the same age. "Is it just your right hand?"
"Yeah, my left hand is fine."
"Huh, that's uncommon."

He lifts both my hands, inspects them carefully, and scrapes some skin off my right hand to look at under a microsope. He informs me that it's a fungus. There's a FUNGUS growing on my right hand. That's just great news.

"That falls under the main heading of dermatitis doesn't it?"
"Yes it does."
Let's not call it a fungus, I have One Handed Uncommon Dermatitis, or OHUD.

He gave me pills to take and told me to come back in a month. After the OHUD clears up he wants to remove some spots on me that were caused by the sun. It's called Actinic Keratosis and I have a fews spots of it on my hands and my head. It's pre-cancerous sun damage.

That's the other reason I went to him. My big sis didn't fare so well because she kept putting off things like having a dermatologist check that spot. Get your body to a dermatologist and have it checked out...it could save your life.

A Badge From Sweet Mango

Sweet Mango gave me
A little something from
Her place to mine.
Be careful SM, Mrs. McClain is
watching you from the banner now.

Aw shucks Sweet Mango
Thanks

Sweet Mango
From down under
Where I've heard
The birds
And the fish
Move around
Upside down.

January 5, 2009

The Dream

Bill Stankus is a fellow blogger I follow. He requested comments from readers asking what his next post should be about, as he was kind off stuck on what to write. I told him to write about the last dream he had. I thought 'hey, that's not a bad idea for this post'.


I was on my Grandparent's farm and looking at the threatening black skies. There was bad weather heading our way. I could hear the warnings on weather radios which many strangers around me were carrying. From a distance I could see many tornadoes appear several hundred feet in the air heading straight for me. The crowd of people had gone down in their underground shelters and I was left alone to fend for myself. I ran for my Grandparent's empty farm house. I was Dorothy Gale in drag.

The inside of the house was nothing like I remembered. It appeared that I was inside a castle with a very high tower looming above me. I heard the dark clouds pounding against the wooden door above me and then saw the black clouds coming in the tower, making a creaking noise as they passed through. I woke up very frightened. I heard the creaking sound again and realized it was Charlene grinding her teeth.

I stayed awake until I heard the clock strike two and awaited the ghost of economic future to hover into our bedroom to show me some real horrors.

January 3, 2009

Old Photos

After Christmas my brother and I took Mom & Dad out for a birthday dinner since both of their birthdays are in January. Before leaving for the restaurant we looked through some old photo albums which I hadn't seen in quite awhile. Mom let me take a couple of albums home to scan a few pics out of them. PhotoShop did a good job sharpening these B & W photos.



The farmhouse
where Mom was
raised.







My grandmother
holding Mom.
c. 1932







Mom
You could
have a picnic
on that dress!




Dad visiting
Mom at the farm.










The happy
couple.
What a tie!






Childhood friend
Mia McGuire.
She looks the same
now as she did then
(minus the gum.)
July 1970.