Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Joys pf Christmas Shopping

Quick blog to relate what just happened to me regarding the search for a Christmas present for the eldest offspring. Since eldest offspring may read this, I will call the desired present a "widget". I know it's common, but it is easier to type than "thingamabob" or "doohickey".

Momma Squire & I shopped around some stores yesterday for the widget, but couldn't find the complete set of widgets we wanted, just individual widgets. So, SuperDad/Hubby sprang into action this morning at the crack of dawn and searched the internet. Found the widget for desired for $108 online; uh-oh, shipping is $128. Don't think so. Next I searched for the widget on the Sears website & found the set of widgets in the outlet section for $63, which was $96 off the suggested retail price. Great, I'll take it and this clearance/outlet item is at the Sears in Bellevue! I have the choice of printing a piece of paper out & giving to store personnel to retrieve & then purchase or purchase it on-line & then pick it up. Not being able to check the "accept as/is" disclaimer box, I chose to print & go.

I get to Sears and waited for the nice retired man who didn't diversify his 401(k) to finish helping the retired lady who evidently did diversify and had tons of time. I handed him my paper after clicking a couple of buttons said "We don't have this in stock". "But wait, the piece of paper and website say you do" exclaimed the Tennessee Squire who was on his "lunch break". Thinking that I might have somehow "reserved" the item, I kindly ask him to please check in the back after he offered. After about 5 minutes, he returns and asks me to follow him to the pick-up area. SUCCESS!!! They had my widget!!! Jim Ed Bob from Possum Trot comes out & asks for my credit card as I think he is going to take my payment. Here is the conversation:

JEB: "I need it to match your payment in the system."
TS: "What payment?"
JEB: "The payment you made when you bought it online."
TS: "I didn't pay for it on-line, I printed the paper."
JEB: "Oh"
TS: "So, my widget is back there?"
JEB: "I don't know. I didn't look. Wait right here."

After another 5 minutes, retired man retrieves me & leads to a checkout station after informing me that they do have my widget. I could hear Handel’s choir singing as he swiped my card and I paid for my widget which was delivered and placed in my truck about 2 minutes later.

Success can be had if one perseveres. Happy Shopping.

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Nashville is so Cool"

The words in the title were uttered by my oldest son Will on the way home from a show at 3rd & Lindsley the other night. The band was Random Play. The idea behind the title is that listening to them is like hitting "random play" on your iPod or CD player. You never know what will come out of the speakers. It was also described as a "plugged" writers night. For those outside of Nashville, that means each band member takes turns singing a song they wrote or enjoy singing. They played about an hour and a half. The talent on the stage was great and the cello added some nice touches on a couple of songs.

Oh, did I memention who was in this band? It reads like a who's who of Nashville talent. The members of Random Play:

Jaime Kyle - A songwriter and singer in the Nashville music scene for sometime. Jaime wrote Wild One (Faith Hill), Stranded (Heart) just to name a couple. She had some commercial success herself in the 1980's with a solo CD and success in Europe. I have been a JK fan for years and the Clayton family considers her a friend. She has helped us with diabetes fundraising as well.

Jonell Mosser - Nashville's own soulful songtress. Long considered the best "unsigned" singer in Nashville, she pours so much energy into her songs and performances. Highlight of the nigh was her cover of Al Wilson's Show & Tell. You can't consider yourself a true Nashvillian if you haven't seen Jonell play live.

Bill Lloyd - half of the 80's group Foster & Lloyd, Bill is considered a great guitar player and he proved it on stage. While a great guitar player, his songs were witty and touching. With a shout-out to the Three Stooges (step by step, inch by inch), Niagara Falls was a sing-a-long with the crowd. However, Bill's highlight was "Tryin' to Love You."

Dave Jenkins - While the name may not be easily recognizable, his bands from the past are - the upbeat country band Southern Pacific who charted with Midnight Highway and the late 70's and early '80's band Pablo Cruise. We were treated to Love Wil Find a Way and Whatcha Gonna Do (when she says good-bye) by Dave. I can honestly say that I would have bet the ranch that I wouldn't ever hear those songs live. Glad I didn't bet.

The backing guys were Todd Cerney on keyboards who wrote (I'll Stil be Lovin You by Restless Heart), Lance Hoppin on bass, Charlie Morgan on drums (toured with Elton for years), and Gary Tussing on cello. I must say that Untangled by Jaime is not coplete without a cello. All of these guys are "A list" writers and session players.

I guess the cool part of the night was watching these musicians on stage having fun. Most of these guys could easily fill a set by themselves, but they were actually playing as a band and having fun - the way music should be played.

I guess Will did sum up by saying "Nashville is so cool". Where else can you go and see a band like this doing what they love to do on a Tuesday night @ 7:00? Nashville is a cool city.

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Will

Fourteen years ago, Momma Squire & I welcomed our first born into the world. Will came in with fanfare via a rushed (not emergency) C-Section at 9 lbs 2 oz & 21 inches long. He has brightened our lives ever since. He now shaves, talks very deep, has a girlfriend, plays basketball, plays football, and is obviously thinking about driving in a couple of short years.

Thinking about Will turning 14 got me to wondering about when I was 14 – what I was thinking, who I liked, and what was happening in the world. Well, since I can’t remember take the garbage out on Wednesday morning; I couldn’t rely on my noggin for what was happening in 1978 when I was 14. Thank goodness for the Internet. Based upon information @ www.thepeoplehistory.com, here is what was happening in 1978:
• The Dow closed the year at 805. It is 10,281 as I type this.
• Gasoline cost $.63/gallon.
• Cult leader Jim Jones instructed 400 church members to commit suicide in Guyana.
• Illinois Bell introduces the first ever Cellular Mobile Phone System.
• Space Invaders launches the computer video game craze.
• First test tube baby (Louise Brown) is born in England.
• Popular films included Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Animal House, & Jaws 2.
• TV shows included Happy Days, Charlie’s Angels, Love Boat, Three’s Company, and Quincy.

Wow. Think about how much and how quickly things have progressed from then until now? What will it be like for Will when he is 45? Will we finally be at “the future” as portrayed by the Jetsons? We are partially there now.

Birthdays in our house are always happy days. Today is not an exception. Happy Birthday Will.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Monday, November 16, 2009

Styx/REO Speedwagon/Night Ranger – November 15, 2009 – Sommet Center

Yes, it was the ‘80’s all over again in Nashville on Sunday night as these bastions of the arena rock era were on a single bill. Contrary to my old college roommate’s question, I did not wear my Jordace jeans or Members Only jacket. Yes, I know these folks are getting long in the tooth and haven’t have any commercial success for a while, but it was an opportunity to see some of my favorite bands, on the same stage, and relive some old memories.

Right off the bat, you noticed that the crowd was older, like uh middle age. Yikes – that’s me. Going into the show, I wondered how these three could fill Sommet’s 15,000+ seats. Well, with a little bit (ok, a lot) of strategically placed curtains, the arena was now about a 6,000 seat arena. The stage was set directly under the jumbotron with curtains blocking off the half behind the stage. Also, the entire upper level (300 section) was curtained off. One thing I will give the bands, they know how to keep a show moving. Night Ranger came out right at 7:00 and except for an issue with Styx’s keyboard, the time between bands was right at 15 -20 minutes. They know that most of the folks there were out past their bedtime and had to go to work on Monday.

Night Ranger – Ironically, the first (and only) time I saw Night Ranger, they opened for KISS in Huntsville, AL, so it was kind of like déjà vu. They powered through a 45 minute set with the energy that Jack Blades is known for. I mean, the guy never stops moving. NR’s drummer, Kelly Keagy (who lives in Nashville) had his drum kit set out front on the main stage (vs in the back) with it turned with the front of the set facing stage right. This worked well since Kelly has lead vocals on some songs. The highlight of the set was when Jack Blades invited Tommy Shaw (Styx) out and they sang Damn Yankees’ HIGH ENOUGH. Granted, only half of DY was present, it was good to hear the song live & plugged again. Do you realize it has been 20 years since Damn Yankees was released? Wow.

REO Speedwagon – Having seen REO numerous times before, my expectation was set kind of high. Sadly, I would say this was the least of the three bands. While they performed all the songs they were supposed to, it just didn’t have the energy that it once had. Even the songs sounded about a half a beat slower. They did do ROLL WITH THE CHANGES which happens to be in my top five songs of all times. They were joined on the chorus by Martina McBride and Brad Paisley. Lead singer Kevin Cronin mentioned that when they were starting out, they played every club they could, including a “…skanky rock & roll club called the Exit/In.” With that reference they dug way back to REO T.W.O. (recorded in Nashville) for Golden Country. The one most vivid memory of prior REO shows evidently has been taken away by the fire marshal – the flash pots at the end of RIDIN’ THE STORM OUT. I recall the heat from those things as they exploded at the end of the song. Now, it is a laser light and a small jump by the band. The price of age…..

Styx – If you don’t know the band’s history, Dennis DeYoung left the band a decade or so ago due to “internal tensions”. Tommy Shaw has taken the mantle of band leader and run with it. He was quoted at one time as saying “If I have to do another song about robots, I will go crazy.” Well, obviously dude outside the Sommet saying “They didn’t do MR. ROBOTO or BABE” didn’t get that word. There were numerous other songs for them to choose and they did. They still have the high energy and put on a great show. Original, now part-time, bassist, Chuck Ponozzo, joined the band about halfway through the set. They also dug back into the archives for classics like Loreli and Suite Madam Blue. They closed their set by inviting REO and Night Ranger back out for a Volunteer Jam style play along. Members from all three bands came out to perform the Shaw/Cronin penned CAN’T STOP ROCKIN.

All in all, it was a good walk down memory lane last night. It also seemed that each band mentioned the hard times we are facing; we know we have people to pick up, etc. Just two thoughts – regardless of political beliefs, I came to listen to music, not a political speech and the people that have lost jobs, etc., probably (at least hopefully) aren’t spending their money on concerts.

Thanks for the memories and hopefully, these guys can still ROCK IN AMERICA for several more years.

Zach, an '80's rockin Tennessee Squire

Set list:
Night Ranger:
This Boy Needs to Rock
Sing Me Away
When You Close Your Eyes
High Enough (with Tommy Shaw)
Don't Tell Me You Love Me
Sister Christian
You Can Still Rock in America

REO Speedwagon:
Don't Let Him Go
Take It on the Run
Keep Pushing
Golden Country
Can't Fight this Feeling
Son of a Poor Man
Time for Me to Fly
Back on the Road Again
Keep on Loving You
Roll with the Changes (joined by Martina McBride & Brad Paisley)
Riding the Storm Out

Miss America
Too Much Time on My Hands
Grand Illusion
I Am the Walrus
Blue Collar Man
Suite Madam Blue
Foolin Yourself (Chuck Ponozzo joins)
Come Sail Away
Can't Stop Rockin

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Concerts - Then vs. Now

Having just seen KISS at the Sommet center and with Styx/REO Speedwagon/Night Ranger coming up in a couple of weeks, I have been thinking about concerts and how they have changed over the years.

My first concert was my sophomore year in high school - Eddie Money played Vanderbilt Memorial Gym. My friend Joe and I got us some dates and off we went. Having heard all the stories about concerts and the debauchery that occurs there, we were pumped. That evening I proved that a bottle of ice cold Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill could be drunk in the time it takes to get from 31st & West End to Memorial Gym. It can be drunk, but keeping it down is another story. I can’t remember the cost of the ticket, but it couldn’t have been more than $10. Well, it wasn’t the drunken orgy that we imagined, but I was hooked on live shows.

Most of the concerts I saw in the ‘80’s – 90’s were at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. My first show there was Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam. The Municipal is a round venue which held probably about 9,000. In the 90’s, most shows moved to Starwood amphitheater in Nashville, which was a completely different perspective. Being able to lounge on the ground under the stars was cool – unless it was August and raining. An added benefit of Starwood was the fact that it sold BEER. Wow, you could drink at a concert without having smuggled a bottle into the venue in your shoe, crotch, or wherever. They even had an area where corporations could buy box seats and have servers bring you drinks, food, etc. Maybe this is when the transition started. What transition, you may ask? Let’s compare yesteryear to today:

Yesteryear – My buddy Joe & I decide to go see Journey on the Escape tour. We drive to Nashville & find a Sound Seventy ticket outlet. We shell out our money for the exorbitant amount of $10/ticket. The tickets have raised lettering with cool designs custom-made for the particular show. We roll to Nashville, probably sneak a bottle of Jack (bought underage) by the searching Metro police at the Municipal, and we are ready to rock. (Side-note – wonder if a Metro policeman on Municipal duty ever bought liquor?) We arrive about an hour and a half early so we can get good spots standing in the general admission area in front of the stage. We park on the side of James Robertson in front of the Capital and walk to the auditorium. The opening act, Loverboy, comes out after the house lights go out. Occasionally during the show, I glance up towards the ceiling. There, through the haze of smoke, cigarette and other, I make out a faint glow – NO SMOKING. This warning can be seen hanging from the ceiling. For encores and power ballads alike, the crowd (even non-smokers) holds their lighters aloft begging for more. Before Journey comes out, the question is “what will they open with?” or “wonder if they will play Lights?” After the show, Joe & I make a most difficult decision – which shirt do we buy to wear to school the next day? While either will smell like the interior of a Cheech & Chong van, we have to choose between the $5 t-shirt or splurge and get the $7.50 jersey.

Today – You decide to attend a Sommet Center concert. You sit at your computer and log on to the Ticketmaster website. You hope your 45 yr old eyes can read the random letters and numbers that allow you to proceed with selecting tickets without having to resort to the Dick Tracy decoder glasses. Once you make it past scalper security, you select your ticket with prices starting around $40 (top row, back of arena) and ending at $1000 (backstage 5 minute photo op with the band). You can either print a bar code or have the generic looking tickets mailed to your house. The night of the show, you pay another $10-$20 to park and then walk about 4 blocks to the arena. The menu choices have changed, but so have the prices. You can get a $4 hot dog or even more expensive burgers, BBQ, etc. Wait, what is that – BEER & LIQUOR!!!! With no crotches or socks involved. Yes, you pay for it, but it is available. You can see clearly because smokers have to go over the river & through the woods & hang about 3 blocks to reach the smoking area outside. You already know what the band is playing because you have checked the band’s website, clicked on the tour button, and saw the set list for all the stops prior to your city. You also notice something else – there are kids. I mean middle and elementary school kids. This is ROCK & ROLL, not Yanni @ TPAC!! You admit to yourself that probably the folks on stage may be getting Medicare currently or within 5 years.

Anyway, you get the picture. Yes, it is different, more expensive, and in some aspects, not as fun. But as Billy Joel says “It’s still rock and roll to me.” Also, don’t forget that if it’s too loud, you are too old.

Zach, a rock & rolling Tennessee Squire

Friday, October 30, 2009

You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world.....


Yes, that intro has been around for years & it was still in use on Wednesday, October 28, as KISS took the stage at the Sommet center in Nashville, TN.  Below are random thoughts and happenings from the show.

The opening band was an angry rock band from Los Angeles named Buck Cherry.  They were the typical angry rockers - boney with tat's over every inch of skin that was visible.  Lot of prancing and shock vocals.  The folks that brought their children, or grandchildren, were probably shocked by the band's closing song - Crazy Bitch.

You know you are in Nashville when you are in the beer line behind Heidi Newfield (formerly of Trick Pony) and then see her again in the souvenir line.  Wonder if she's stalking me?

The show's opening was pretty cool.  After the lights went out, Google Earth appeared on the side video screens.  It started zooming in & eventually showed the roof of the arena.  It quickly cut to a live (assuming) shot of the band walking backstage toward the stage.

While speaking of video screens, the kids who didn't get shuffled out with Buck Cherry's last song got a treat.  Well, some adults got a treat as well!!  There was a large high def screen behind the stage.  It was as wide as the stage and was probably 20 feet tall.  Well, toward the end of the KISS show, they were showing crowd shots with an occasional close up of fans.  Well, kudos to the camera operator who chose the right lady to zoom in on.  Right as they zoomed in, she chose to give the guys universal rock & roll two gun salute, if you know what I mean.  What a high def treat!

I have seen KISS about 6 or so times; both masked & unmasked.  I must say that the make-up provides an extra edge to the performance.  Musically, they were solid with a very large, loud sound. When Peter Criss and Ace Frehley departed the band the first time, each replacement was given a new character and make-up scheme.  Flash forward to today - with Gene & Paul supposedly having bought out Peter & Ace's rights to their characters, KISS is now free to use all four original characters and basically "plug & play" with the Ace & Peter characters.  Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) are great musicians and have the moves of the former members down.  Crazy, you may ask?  Just look @ Eric Singer.  He previously had long blonde hair & now has short black hair, just like Peter Criss.  I would dare say that some people in attendance who do not keep up band members could have sworn that was Peter or Ace up there.  The special effects were great as usual except for Tommy Thayer's guitar solo.  Typically, Ace's guitar would twirl & shoot out "rockets", but not in Nashville. I read that a malfunction occurred.   Gene dripped fake blood, breathed fire, and flicked his tongue out no less than a thousand times.  There were rising and spinning drumkits, flash pots, flames, smoke, confetti, etc. 

Interesting take from Paul Stanley on modern day politics.  He said that some bands try to tell you who to vote for, what causes you should support, etc.  He then said that if you came to the show expecting that from KISS, you were in the wrong damn place.

In closing, it was a great show.  It is hard to imagine that some of these guys are close to 60 years old.  Paul Stanley still looked & sounded like he was in great shape.  Gene still owned the stage and prowled it all night.  Gene did look like he was struggling at times due to heat, running make-up, or something.  However, it didn't slow him down.  Modern-day bands should take a lesson from KISS.  They came and delivered the songs and show that people wanted.  No political talk, just good four/four rock & roll.  The treat was to see all the folks, young and old, dressed as their favorite KISS character.  Momma Squire even got in on the act:

Here is the set list from the show.  You can see that it is a good ensemble of older and more popular cuts.  Detroit Rock City is still my favorite
  • Deuce
  • Strutter
  • Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
  • Hotter Than Hell
  • Shock Me
  • Modern Day Delilah
  • Say yeah
  • Dr Love
  • She
  • Parasite
  • 100,000 Years
  • I Love It Loud
  • Black Diamond
  • Rock And Roll All Nite
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • Lick It Up
  • Love Gun
  • Detroit Rock City
Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

When babies are born, pets adopted, and businesses formed; a lot of emphasis is put on choosing a name. Often names are chosen based on family lineage, current media darlings, sports stars, description of services offered, etc.

I want to address a name that many people are given and sadly they many accept that name and let it define their lives or being. In the case of a family name, that may be acceptable; but not in this case. What’s the name you ask? It’s DIABETIC.

Many people are diagnosed each year with Type I or Type II diabetes. In most circles, they are immediately given the DIABETIC label. There aren’t many other, if hardly any, diseases which use the disease name and “ic” to label the person. You don’t hear of “canceratics”, “lymphomatics”, etc. Why diabetes? I don’t really know, but I can tell you I don’t like it.

The “D” word is not used in our household. If you don’t know, Momma Squire & I’s youngest son, Kyle, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was 18 months old. Early on, I heard other parents talking about the use of the “D” word and how they don’t like it. After pondering on it, I finally figured it out about a year later why I don’t like it. Using it makes one prematurely define Kyle. It makes the disease front and center over all other things Kyle. Yes, diabetes does require a lot of effort and care, but Kyle is much more than his diabetes. We have tried to instill in him this thought – “you have diabetes, it doesn’t have you.” If he lets this disease define him, it has won.  My baby is more than diabetes.  I won't let him forget that.

What’s my point in this rant/blog? I don’t know. Maybe I can get one person to say “he/she has diabetes” vs. “He's DIABETIC”. Maybe I can get you to think about labeling people without knowing the person. 

Is there a term that you have let define you?

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things You Don't Want to See in a Restaurant Parking Lot

Went this week to a restaurant for lunch & got a shock as I was getting out of the car. I saw something that I didn’t want to even think about. Let’s make it a quiz. Each of the following items you wouldn’t want to see in a parking lot of a restaurant, but what did I see:

A -

B -

C -
If you guessed “C”, you were correct. It was field trip day for the group @ the Lakeshore Retirement Center. They cleaned the buffet out! A scary sight indeed.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire


Distance from house to nearest store - 7 miles

Distance from house to nearest restaurant - 7.5 miles

Distance from house to boys' school - 8 miles

Seeing the above on the way to get the paper @ the end of the driveway makes it all worth it. Treat each day as a gift.
Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On Rocky Top

Just finished a very good book entitled "On Rocky Top". It was written by a life-long UT fan, Clay Travis (http://www.claytravis.net/on-rocky-top.html). Clay has also written a book (Dixieland Delight) about SEC football.

Clay started writing this book prior to Phil Fulmer's last season (2008) as the Vol's head coach. The premise of the book was to follow his favorite team from behind the scenes as the season progressed. He didn't realize it would be one of the most tumultuous seasons in almost two decades. Clay was given access to parts of the big-time college football machine that few get to see. Examples include riding with the 18 wheeler hauling the UT equipment to a South Carolina game, spending time with the UT managers as they apply the "T" to the helmets, running through the T, and being in the locker room before and after the games.

Whether you are a Phil Fulumer fan or not, this book is a must read. I admit there were times when I was glad that I was reading it alone vs. reading it in Grand Central Station. It reflects how much Coach Fulmer cares for the University and the players. So, if you are looking for that "perfect gift" for a UT fan, this might be a good idea. Enjoy the read and the walk down memory lane.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Amazing Race - Jack-style

Just came back from Mecca, I mean Lynchburg. What a great weekend!! For the last 6 or 7 years, Lori & I have volunteered for the MS Society's Jack & Back bike ride. Our neighbors, Tom & Charlene, have a daughter who was diagnosed with MS over a decade ago and we got involved. This weekend 880 cyclists left Page High School in Franklin and rode either 65 or 75 miles to Motlow Community College in Tullahoma, TN. After a party on BBQ hill @ the Jack Daniel's Distillery, they got up Sunday morning & went back to Franklin on their bike. Wow. I got tired driving the truck there.

There were young people, old people, healthy people, and some actually had MS themselves! They raised over $540,000 for MS research and local support. I know it seems weird that Mr Squire is talking about a charity other than JDRF, but I volunteer with JDRF for selfish reasons; MS is true volunteerism.

Of course, being a Squire, I loved being around the Distillery. I sacrificed myself and sat through a tasting where you really learn how important that trip through the charcoal is to the process!!! Then, we got to go to a party on the BBQ Hill where the amber liquid flowed and much BBQ was had. I did to get visit the Squire room @ the Distillery which is always a treat.

Everyone needs to take a day and drive to Lynchburg. Great day trip & the Distillery tour is worth much more than the price paid (FREE!). Mosey on down to the Square & hit the Hardware Store. If it is made, they have stuck a Jack Daniel logo on it & will sell you one. Momma Squire stopped in there, so I better be good between now & Christmas so I can get my presents from there!

Before I leave, hats off to all the ladies @ the MS Society office. Great job on putting on a great event this year!

All this Jack talk is making me thirsty, time for a refill.

Zach, a Tennessee Squire

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheerleaders -

Momma Squire had best be getting her elbow warmed up for the game tonight. No, she isn't going in as the starting QB for the middle school football team. She will be sitting next to me in the stands as we watch Will play football. The elbow mysteriously finds it way into my side a few times during football games. It may be for me reminding Mr Zebra that the yellow hankie in his pocket actually has a purpose other than padding his butt. However, lately it she has been elbowing me due to my criticisms of the cheerleaders.

Whether it is screaming "We want six more!!!" when the score is zip to zip, "Touchdown, touchdown we want a touchdown" when we are on defense, or "take that ball away" while we are on offense, these things make me want to fling a stadium chair. I tried to correct them from the top bleacher, but alas, they couldn't hear me over all their yelling. I actually mentioned it to the school principal. She just shook her head when I suggested passing a football 101 test be a requirement for cheering.

So hopefully, as the season winds down tonight, our cheerleaders have at least learned to know when to cheer what cheer and I can relax and enjoy the game in peace with this off my chest...no wait, pom-poms - have you seen what the pom poms look like now or whatever happened to that classic cheer - Rock Steady.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

From out of nowhere.....

Being an only child of two only children, I never got to experience the typical interactions of brothers and sisters. Even my best friend growing up had two sisters, but he was an "oops" about 8 years behind his youngest sister. Think about it - I have no aunts, uncles, or cousins. Family reunions could be held in a Smart car.

I digress. I mentioned the absence of sibling interaction to say that when Lori & I had two kids, the interaction between them was foreign to me. I have no doubt that deep down my two boys, aged 13 & 11, really love each other. When smaller, they always played great together and would occasionally pick on each other. However, as the years have passed, the "picking" has become more frequent, more aggressive, and much more annoying to Lori & I. Often, she will say "you know, they are just being brothers." Well, no I don't know. I really wondered sometimes whether or not they really did like each other.

Then, it happened. As all kids do, they surprise you when you least expect it. I was performing the never-ending task of "sign-this", "fill this out" for Will one morning. He had to fill out a questionnaire for one of the teachers which asked various questions about the students' likes, dislikes, and favorites. The last question, or should I say the last answer, restored my belief that they really do like each other - they just don't always show it.

Question: What would you do if you won the Powerball lottery?

Answer: Donate it to JDRF so they could find a cure and Kyle would not have diabetes anymore.

'Nuff said.

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What exactly is a Squire?

You may notice my sign-off or e-mail address references a "Tennessee Squire". What is a Tennessee Squire? If you have to ask, you don't need to know!

Just kidding. A Squire is an honor bestowed upon an individual by Jack Daniels Distillery. The individual must be an upstanding citizen, enjoy Jack Daniels, & some other "secret" things. You also have to be nominated by another Squire. There isn't a secret handshake, but there is a Squire room @ the Distillery that is limited to just Squires. When you are "Squired", you are actually deeded a small (very very small) piece of the Distillery. It is said that if you visit your plot and stand on one foot, you are probably standing on five or six other Squire's property! You receive a membership card and a very nice deed. My deed and first Squire card are framed and hung on my office wall.

I was nominated by a Squire about 15 years ago & have nominated four individuals. Ironically, folks have seen my Squire name on Facebook & MySpace and have asked me to nominate them. No way, no how. Have to know the folks before I nominate them!

You may have not even wondered what a Squire was, but now you know. Speaking of Jack, it is about that time.....

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stepping into the blog world.....

Well, this is my first attempt @ the blog on this site. I've blogged a couple of times on MySpace, but this appears to be the blogspot of choice.

Some blogger friends post deep, philosophical blogs, while others post humorous ones that take a lot of thought. Mine will be a little of both. They will also vary in length. Some things merit more words than others. Mine will be a mixture of all of the above or maybe even just a picture.

Please enjoy.

Zach Clayton, a Tennessee Squire