Greetings From The Road

Writing this on my phone so expect many typos.

After over 13 hours in the car we are about 30 minutes from our hotel. We left 20 degree weather and 8 inches of snow and are now at 53 degrees at 9pm. We were able to avoid a closure of 95 south due to a major accident by taking backroads. We saw another closure on 95 north later. Both were major accidents involving semis. Hopefully, the drivers were OK. We stopped at Cook Out in Dunn, NC for lunch and my son was very happy. It’s weird to have the option to get a corn dog as a side. The only mishap so far is my son apparently yet again losing a beanie, most likely by having it in his lap and the getting out of the car and not noticing it fall out of the car. I used to do that with my cell phone. I’m not very smart.

Tomorrow we head to Magic Kingdom.


What’s Good in Tater Town 1/13/19

This will be good for me today. I can focus on thinking about the good of the week instead of worrying about my son who refused to drive home last night before the snow got bad and instead will be driving home today. I’m not sure why no one ever listens to me. I’m a genius.

  1. The Ravens lost, but it was fun going to a playoff game again. Even if I sell my PSL I would still try to get tickets to any playoff games. It’s a fun atmosphere.
  2. My daughter made it safely to and from New Jersey with a group of her friends from college.
  3. I’m happy that she has a good group of friends at school. I knew she would be fine academically, I’m glad the social part is good as well.
  4. Kentucky won both of their basketball games this week.
  5. I got my outside Christmas lights down before the snow hit this weekend.
  6. I had a free sandwich at Mission BBQ to eat this week. Free food is the best food.
  7. While it was a boring week, it was not a particularly stressful week. That was a nice change.
  8. While others have already gone back to school, I have another couple of weeks before we go back to the empty nest.
  9. We are going on vacation as a family gain starting tomorrow.
  10. Assuming we make it out of town, we will trade snowy Maryland for sunny Florida for a week.

Not sure if I will post much next week. I’m sure the handful of people reading this are very sad about that.

Tater’s Weird Super Powers

I have a major announcement to make – I have super powers. I was going to say that I am a superhero, but that would be stretching it. I’m no hero and my powers are not good ones and I can’t control them. Here is a non-definitive list of my powers:

Inadvertent control of the weather – If I make plans to do something outside it rains. If I need to do yard work it either rains or it is the hottest, most humid day of the year. If I plan a trip anywhere near winter, it snows. It snows on my birthday weekend every year. It snows more if I take birthday leave that weekend. If you want to know what the weather is going to be, ask me about my plans. This would be a great power if I could control it.

Radio ESP – I routinely have a random song stuck in my head in the morning and then turn on the radio in the car and hear the same song there. I can’t control when this happens and even if I could, it can’t exactly save the world.

Positive Negativity – When I say negative things about my sports teams(or the players) during a game, they do better. It doesn’t always work and tends to fail at the worst time. I have not tried it with random teams.

Street Light Extinguisher – Street lights routinely blink out when I drive by. I guess I could use this for nefarious purposes if I could control it.

Traffic Light Changer – Traffic lights turn yellow as I approach. If I’m early and want to be slower, street lights are all green.

Suggestions for my “Superhero” name welcome.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 1/11/18

I came really close to skipping this post this week as I don’t have much to report, but I decided if I’m going to do a regular feature it should actually be regular. That being said, I’m traveling again next week so there might not be any posts at all after Sunday. Maybe I will actually blog my trip and post each night with my pictures and such. I’m sure everyone is excited about that. It will be like those fabled boring travel slideshows in blog form. Yay! OK, my week:

Movies – I mentioned four movies in my post last week as on deck. I’ve watched none of them. I did watch Super Troopers 2 Wednesday morning before work. If you liked the first one you will like this one. If you didn’t like the first one I’m not sure why you would be watching the second one. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it is a fun hour and a half. I liked the additions to the cast in this one. Rob Lowe is good as the mayor of the town. The three mounties are funny. It was a good way to be lazy on a morning off.

TV –  I’m not sure I watched anything new this week. We are at the end of the winter hiatus for most shows. This week and next is when shows return and new shows premiere. I did just remember I did watch one new show this week – Schooled. I have never watched The Goldbergs and had no reason to watch the spinoff until I heard that two of my favorite music people, Jaret Reddick and Kelly Ogden, wrote and performed the theme song. I recorded the show to hear the song and then decided to watch the full episode. I enjoyed it. I probably would like it more if I knew the character from The Goldbergs. I’m not sure I will record it and watch it regularly, but if it was on and I was home I might watch it.

Books – I finished Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly. I always enjoy his books and this one was no exception. This time he combined his longtime character Harry Bosch with a  newer character, Renee Ballard,  he introduced recently. It appears going forward the books will be a combination of the two. It makes sense. Bosch is older and retired and it is harder to realistically give him access to what he needs to solve the crimes. Ballard gives him police access and she is a good character. I like it.

On deck – We are traveling again next week so movies and TV viewing will likely go down and reading will go up. I am trying to finish Target by James Patterson before we leave so I have fresh books for the trip. The books I have set aside to take with me are Wrecked by Joe Ide, What You are Getting Wring about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte and The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. The good news is that if I read too fast and finish them before the end of the trip or if one or more of them suck, I can easily download something else from the library. I don’t read ebooks a lot, but that they are good for travel and for emergencies when you run out of print books.

Some Quick Tater Takes

I don’t have one topic that’s worth a full post today, so here are a couple of quick thoughts:

I’m reading the new Alex Cross novel by James Patterson. I have stopped reading all of the Pattersons except the Alex Cross books. I still read them even though so much of it is ridiculous. All of his kids are superstar athletes or geniuses. His 90-year-old grandmother has lived through things that would kill people half her age and has also won the lottery. Cross is good at everything. Yet, I still read them. This time, though, I ran into something even more annoying than the above – part of the book took place at a Georgetown basketball game and he said they were in first place in the ACC. Georgetown is not, and has never been, in the ACC. How hard would it be to find out the conference to get it right? Is it some weird way to make this a fictional world? Was it just sloppy writing? Whatever it was, it was annoying and it’s made me change my thoughts of moving forward with the story. I probably will. I started the book because I thought it would be a quick read I could finish before I leave for Florida on Monday.


Speaking of leaving for Florida – We are scheduled to drive to Florida Monday morning. Our son is supposed to drive home Sunday to be here to leave with us early Monday morning. There is now the possibility of snow Saturday night and all day Sunday. Right now, it looks like it won’t affect the drive on Monday. They will have all night to clear roads and we will be on the interstate the entire way. I am worried about my son’s ability to get to our house on Sunday night. I think it will all work out if the heaviest snow stays south. Any shift north could really complicate our plans. I tend to find something to worry about when traveling. Now I have an impending snowstorm to add to my worries. This is two years in a row our first bog snow has come on the eve of my travel day. I don’t like it.

And now I have to go to work.  I really need to find a way to become wealthy while I’m away next week.

What’s Good in Tater Town 1/6/19

This one will cover the last couple of weeks, so hopefully, it will be easier to find a list of good things to report. It would be sad not to have 10 good things from a period of time that was mostly vacation.

  1. The way the holidays fell, I was able to take 4 days off but get  10 days in a row off. That’s always nice.
  2. We were able to visit family in Kentucky for the first time in a year. We missed our usual summer visit. It was nice to be home with family again.
  3. All four of us were able to go for the entire time. It’s becoming less usual for all of us to be together for more than a couple of hours. Having 10 days together was nice.
  4. I was able to stream both of the Ravens games while stuck in a house with no NFL Network and in Bengals territory. Technology is great.
  5. Kentucky basketball won both games while were away against North Carolina and Louisville.
  6. After the holiday obligations were over we had time to do some fun stuff with my brother’s family. We went ice skating, to an escape room, the arboretum and played games together.
  7. We didn’t have to deal with winter weather on our drive to and from. We had rain and some fog and there was some snow on the ground on the way there, but nothing that made the trip difficult.
  8. I made my goal of 100 books read for 2018. It was close, but I was able to read 101 by the end of the year.
  9. We have one more week and then we all travel together again for a vacation before school starts again. We still have 3 weeks before we have an empty house again.
  10. The Ravens on their division, I have tickets to the playoff game today and a coworker was willing to work for me today so I could be at the game.

I have one more week of real life a then I get another week reprieve before the real world sets in for an extended period of time. I’m going to try to take the time to enjoy this while I have it. I’m hoping that the new year will bring some new beginnings that will make the What’s Good posts easier to write.

My Recent Weeks in Books, TV and Movies 1/4/19

My time away over the holidays did not have much TV and movies, but I did manage to read three books. The hope is that my reading will continue at a nice pace and my screen time doesn’t increase too much. Here’s what I watched and read.

Movies – I have not watched a new movie in a while. I’m pretty sure the only two movies I’ve watched in the last month are Elf and Miracle on 34th Street. It’s possible I had another old movie on in the background while reading at my mother-in-law’s house, but if so, I couldn’t tell you what it was. I did enjoy my regular Christmas movies.

Television – While I was away, the only time I watched TV was to watch sports or for background noise while I was reading. I have watched two new shows since I’ve been back this week. My daughter found the show Derry Girls on Netflix and liked it so much she insisted we watch it with her. I was leery, but I ended up really liking it. It’s funny and with six 30 minute episodes, it’s easy to finish quickly. I would recommend it. We also watched The Masked Singer. It is a really weird show where famous people wear elaborate costumes to hide their identity, sing in front of judges and are unmasked when they are eliminated. It isn’t something I should like, but it is oddly compelling and I think I will keep watching. The “judges” are terrible but I like Nick Cannon as the host and I like the mystery aspect and guessing who is behind the mask.

Books – I read three books over the break. Iron Flower by Laurie Forrest is the sequel to The Black Witch. I loved The Black Witch. Iron Flower was OK but really felt like 500 pages of set up for a third book. I hate that. Elevation by Stephen King was a Christmas gift I knew nothing about it and was surprised when I saw how small it was. It is a weird little story of a man who is losing weight(but not mass) and his life in Castle Rock. I liked it even though it was not what I expected from King. I also got The Outsider by King for Christmas. It is the normal big, 500 page King book. There is a murder of a kid and a respected baseball coach is arrested. There is plenty of witness and DNA evidence that he did it, but also witnesses and evidence that prove he was in a different city when the murder occurred. Midway through the book, a character from the Mr. Mercedes series shows up and becomes part of the story. I really enjoyed this one.

On Deck – I’m reading Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly. I think Connelly is one of the best mystery authors around these days. I love his books. I got four movies all at once from the library: Mission Impossible: Fallout, Equalizer 2, Smallfoot, and The House With a Clock in the Wall. I think we will end up only watching the first two. I’m really happy about the return of Brooklyn 99 this week and will be trying the new comedy Fam as well. We will probably also watch America’s Got Talent: Champions. I like a lot of the acts who are returning and I think Terry Crews will be very good as the host.