Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eagles vs. Cowboys

Heading in to the game.

Tailgating prep

Before the Eagles and Cowboys play.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Opening gifts

Christmas at Mama and Daddy's.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Way Back When-sday

My youngest brother Brandon had this thing for the ornaments that looked like Santa Claus. This photo is from December 1973. Brandon was about 1 1/2 years old here. In the photo he is clearly reaching out for and then pulling the one Santa ornament closer so he can give it a kiss.

In an unrelated note, Brandon looks like he's carrying a load of "presents" in his long underwear thingy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blue, blue, blue Christmas

I sang with Elvis...

You can record your own short duet with Elvis thanks to this Web site to promote an Elvis duets album. Go to and follow the instructions ... and don't forget to send me a copy of you singing when it gives you an option to e-mail it to people. I could use the entertainment. Send it to

Gum surgery this morning

Lower right quadrant is all stitched up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

The pants kill me ...

WARNING... The link below has sexual related content.. Words only. No nudity...

One of Rod Stewart's claims to fame is as a member of this rumor club.

UPDATE: Joe's comment to this post is a must read. After you've read it, watching this will prove what he's saying.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Way Back When-sday

The photo above is of Pops in his baby carriage in 1944 in Florida. This was when Papa was stationed there while he was in the Navy. Grandma wrote a note on the back of it as if it were Pops writing it. I don't have time right now to go through and type it in. If you click on the picture, it will be big enough you can attempt to read it. I'll post more about this after I get home from work.

UPDATE: I got an e-mail from Mama transcribing the words on the back of the picture. She fixed some of the spelling. Grandma did what a lot of people, especially women, did in those days and stopped going to school after the elementary grades. Still a very smart woman, though.
Here's the e-mail Mama sent me Wednesday night:

Hey Son, Just thought I would decipher what Mrs. Gentry wrote on the back of the picture for you. You probably could read it but I thought I would help you.

I'm some boy Grandma. You should see me in my get up, my long pants. I'm about 28 inches tall. Guess that's enough for now. I have pretty black eyes and long black eyelashes, just as pretty as Uncle Clayton's. The girls will like me just as much. Well that's enough for now. Wait to you see me. Love, Michael

He was a cutie back then. Wonder what happened? Ha. Just kidding.

I love you, Mama

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

This version of The Sound of Music classic is growing on me...

Check out their YouTube channel...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is a picture of my brother Stephen from Feb. 17, 1969. He's about 17-18 months old here. I love the way he's got a grip on that bottle. It's like he's in prison and he wants to make sure none of the other baby prisoners are going to take his food.

But the reason I chose this picture is because of the great tiger print slippers Stephen is wearing. Those babies are the bomb diggity.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

That time of year

It's turning colder and the field mice are looking for winter quarters.
This house is protected by two mouse-hunting kitties. This is victim
No. 1 of the winter.

In related news ...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

Crank it up and jump... this is a dancing song ...

John ... this Santogold song -- Lights out -- has a running beat for your chilly morning runs if I've ever heard one... Download it here NOW before it's gone. It's a good workout song, too, Bugz.

Yeah baby

$1.59 --- shell 5 cents off on Thursdays

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is my senior photo from Concord High School near Wilmington, Del.
At first I didn't think I could call it 'Way Back' until I realized it was taken
24 freaking years ago

This picture was included in a package of goodies my Uncle Tony sent me a little over a month ago. I'm just now getting the chance to go through it and read some of the writings and look through the books. I'll share some of those later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Way Back When-sday

It's getting to be that time of the year again. Walmart and Kmart have had their decorations up here since before Halloween. I swear it used to be Thanksgiving before this would start ... maybe I just have kid memories wherein I focused on one holiday at a time and didn't notice all the encroaching trappings of the other holidays.

  • Halloween meant costumes and pillowcases full of candy.
  • Thanksgiving meant being out of school, going squirrel hunting with Granddaddy, eating turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and Mammy's gravy with sliced boiled eggs.
  • Christmas meant every happy thing you could think of -- including no school -- rolled into one old big ball and bounced from one set of grandparents' house to the next set's house. It meant trying to fall asleep so Santa would come. It meant hearing Pops ring his jingle bells and pretend he was Santa leaving the house. It meant Mama in her housecoat smiling as she watched us all tear through our things to find the next surprise.
There was no need to rush to get from one holiday to the other since each had its special things that went with it.

Anyway, enough daydreaming .... the picture this Wednesday is of my very first Christmas tree. How do I know that? Because Mama and Daddy did a great job of writing on the backs of the many photos they took of us growing up. That's something many of us in this digital age are going to miss out on. I can go back through all these photos and see their handwriting, their little marks, etc. It's a special treasure our family is lucky to have. I hope some of you have the same treasure from your parents or are creating a photo treasure for your own children.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Never thought the price of gas would be this low again.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

And what comes next, hey bust a move ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This photo of Stephen (from left), me and Pops was taken in February 1970, about three and a half weeks before Russell was born. Stephen and I are each in our footy pajamas -- mine have musical instruments on them and Stephen's have little cowboys, I think. .... Anyway, I loved these PJs because you could slide around on the wood floors in the hallway. I may have to get me another pair soon.

By the way, that couch we are sitting on didn't finally bite the dust until a couple of years ago. It made it through countless incarnations, moves and parties before finally begging for mercy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It was good to see the guys ...

A few video clips from our 2008 annual backpacking trip ....

A few more to come later....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

200-plus camping photos ....

Click on the arrow to start the slideshow...

You can make the slideshow bigger by holding your mouse over it and clicking on the four-arrow thingy in the lower right corner.

If you don't like seeing things in a slideshow or just want to look at specific photos, the 2008 camping photos can now be found in a set on my flicker account here. I will add more details in the captions as I have time.

Movies still to come....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We survived another one

We survived another of our annual backpacking trips. There were 10 of us this year, including a mix of veterans of the trip, a couple of people who have been a few times and two rookies. It rained on us for part of Friday night into Saturday early afternoon. Just enough to wash some of the stink off us.

More photos -- about 150-200 of them -- and some videos will be coming later today and over the next few days. Stay tuned.

Thursday Thing-along

I've delayed posting it -- but Jeezuz -- this song is just so darn catchy....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This photo is from 1968 and is of me (almost naked boy to the right) and my best friend at the time, David Isner. David lived down the street from me in Grifton, N.C. His parents and my parents were good friends. Our fathers worked together at DuPont and our families were members of the neighborhood golf course and swimming pool. David and his family moved north to Pennsylvania a few years before our family moved north to Delaware. We ended up within 25 miles of each other but rarely saw each other. The last I heard, David was back in North Carolina working as a commercial fisherman on the Outer Banks.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

From backpacking to tailgating

We hiked off the mountain early this morning to make it to the Eagles
game against the Giants. Full weekend of mandom.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Boys will be boys

The annual backpacking trip has started.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

Love Chevy Chase in this one ...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Way Back When-sday

After our day hike the other day we stopped by our parents' house and had dinner while watching the Eagles game. Looking around the den at us all with plates in our laps, it reminded me of the holidays. Why? Because holiday meals were often spent eating wherever you could find room to sit in the grandparents' houses.

The photo above is of Pops' brother Uncle Tim with his plate during Christmas 1972 at Grandma and Papa's house. It was typical of Uncle Tim and Uncle David to go hunting before the gathering so the hunting pants and boots were just as much of the holiday scenery as the big plates of food.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted....

.... Did you?

Always prepared

The annual guys backpacking trip on part of the Appalachian trail is coming up this weekend. I thought it would be a good idea this year to take a trip up a few days ahead of time and hide some beer and water near where we will set up camp. Every year our backpacks seem to get a bit heavier. So on Sunday, we took a day trip up to the trail section. I'm only posting a little bit of the video here. I didn't want to show the hiding spots .... just in case you were thinking about searching for the beer.

Here are some camping photos from 2007.

These are photos from our 2006 trip.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dance little doggy, dance

My brother Stephen and his family have an older dog named Chelsea. She is almost completely blind and deaf .... but she loves to dance.

I guess she's just scratching her back but it's fun to watch.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

Nothing wrong with a little old Journey now and then.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Way Back When-sday

It's starting to get cold here now. Anyone who's been tuning in to the World Series has been able to see the weather change in this area. It's made me think about snow a bit.
The picture at top is of Pops holding me beside a snowman he and Mama made was taken in 1968 at our house in Grifton, N.C. The smaller picture at right is one I posted a couple of years ago on a different blog of Mama with me beside the same snowman. I think it's neat they took turns posing with me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

I feel like I'm back in high school after listening to that ...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is me in my stroller in 1966 when I was just a few months old. This stroller looks like it was a pretty stiff ride. I see no suspension to speak of on it, all metal frame, hard rubber wheels, no springs nor any give in it all ..... I hope I was at least sitting on an inflatable donut to protect my coccyx.

Guess where I am right now?

Getting my truck washed...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crab Picking

The annual Tilghman Island Day was Saturday. As always, it was a blast. Below is some video clips from the crab picking contest. More pictures and video to come soon.

I also just upgraded my account on Vimeo to the paid membership and have changed my settings for uploading. That should make these videos look better than ever -- and I thought Vimeo did pretty good anyway.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A little Sunday silliness

Found this while looking around YouTube.

The Onion has always been a fave of us in the newspaper business.
Check it out here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New friend

One of the many friendly people enjoying the crabs and oysters during Tilghman Island Day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

Sing it ....

I was made for loving you baby
you were made for loving me
and I can't get enough of you baby
can you get enough of me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is a picture of Pops (older one on the left) and David, one of his younger brothers. It was taken in 1949 in Ca-Vel, a Collins & Aikman company village in Roxboro, N.C. The neighborhood of homes was built next to the textile plant for workers to live in. These mill villages were pretty common.

It looks like Pops is trying to point out the camera to the diaper-wearing David who seems none to sure about what he's supposed to be looking at. Uncle David died in April 2004. He was just 56.

He died of Lou Gehrig's Disease. I wish I had taken up shooting video before he passed so I could have more to share of his North Carolina drawl. I can still hear it in my head, many times barely understandable because of the thick accent and quiet tone.

Keep going down


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

A little live H & O ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is a picture of Pops from the early to mid 1980s doing some paperwork while sitting at the couch in the den. Pops mostly did his paperwork there or at the dining room table -- which was otherwise known as Pops' desk because we never 'dined' at that table and it was always covered in his stuff. Tax forms, warranty books, DuPont work, planners, etc. He had a desk upstairs in their bedroom but that was just to hang his pants over when he took them off at night and a place to keep return address stickers and postage stamps top drawer on the right).

Now that he's retired, he has a home office. Go figure. I guess they needed to get us four boys out of there so they could use the rooms the way they wanted.

Anyway, the reason for using this picture for Way Back When-sday is to share some advice with you that Pops -- a workaholic if there ever was one -- recently gave me. He said: Remember son, it's just a job. No one on their deathbed ever said they wished they'd spent more time at work. He said it took him forever to start figuring that out.

He went on to say -- as if I didn't already know -- that he placed so much importance on his work, his job became a big part of his self-worth. He climbed the corporate ladder, traveling three or four days a week for management meetings at other DuPont sites. He was proud of his work and he was damn good at it. He spent as much time as he could with us, don't get me wrong, but he worked an awful lot. Work was almost everything to him.

But he recently told me that putting that much importance on his work -- letting it be a measure of his self-worth -- was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. He said that once DuPont started going through cutbacks, layoffs and buyouts and the company stock started sinking, so did his feelings of self-worth. Even though he was still there, still employed, he felt like he could never do enough to feel his job was safe. It ate at him for many of his final years with DuPont, up until the day he took one of the buyouts.

There's a reason Pops shared this with me. The newspaper company I work for -- like most other print media companies -- is having a tough go of it right now. We've laid off more than a 1,000 people company wide and it's doubtful that round of layoffs will be the end of it. It's put a real hurting on a lot of people, not just the ones let go. Most of us wonder if we will be next. No one feels safe. For those of us still standing, there is now much more work to be done and less time to do it. More and more time is being sucked into taking care of work tasks and less and less is being gained from it. And just like happened with Pops -- I am my father's son -- I've found that my feelings of self-worth have also taken a hit.

It sounds selfish, I know. After all, I still have my job. What would I be feeling if I was staring at a table piled with bills and I didn't have a job?

Perhaps it's time to start reassessing things a bit.

"The work you do is not important. It is what the work does to you that’s important."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dear John,

I am not your friend so please stop saying "my friends" when answering questions during tonight's town hall debate.

Thank you

UPDATE: He said it 22 times, my friends.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I'm leaving the house in 10 minutes to go tailgate before doing this.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Happened across this just now while mowing the grass.

UPDATE: To answer Mama's question in the comments, this is a common Eastern garter snake. They are found all over Maryland and are pretty much harmless to humans.

Way Back When-sday

This is me from 1967. I had to retouch the photo just a bit to blur out the package :-)
I don't want any accusations of kiddie porn headed my way -- or my parents' way. This was taken in an inflatable pool in our back yard in Grifton, N.C. I'm not sure what my hand was doing but I think I had a scratch that needed itching.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some vacation photos....

Below is a flickr slideshow of some of the photos from the family vacation to Emerald Isle, N.C. There are more I need to download off another media card. To see the slideshow in full screen, click on the four arrow thingy in the right bottom corner.
If you want a little music to listen to while you watch the slideshow, I've put a song in a player below it ... just hit play.

To get a better look at the pictures, check them out here on my flickr account. You can click on the individual photos to see them bigger.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did I ever mention I <3 ribs?

... and I love doing the guy thing and cooking them outside on a charcoal grill with a few beers on a weekend afternoon. There's something about the process that makes me want to make grunting noises and walk around with my knuckles dragging.

This is from a couple of weekends ago. FYI -- weekend for me means Sunday or Monday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Reading is Fundamental

Read, write, dream ....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

Pure Madness at their best ...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Way Back When-sday

The photo quality in this one is not that good but it's a striking photo if only for the wardrobes. This is a photo of all the Gentry brothers and the two Wiggins brothers waiting for our bus one day before school in 1978. At this point, we were all going to Grifton Elementary School, which was K-8 at that time.
Pictured is (from left) Stephen, David Wiggins, me, Brandon (in front), Billy Wiggins and Russell. Striped shirts must have been all the rage and I think my pants are folded over a good six inches to keep me from tripping over them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Night Football

Getting the wings ready for a little football watching.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Going in

Heading in to the Linc!!!!

Tailgate continues

Eagles play at 4 so the tailgate goes on ......

Urban horseshoes

.... Or hillbilly horseshoes or washers. Whatever you call it, we're
playing it right now.

Eagles game

This morning the tailgating before the Eagles/Steelers game started
with pancakes cooked on the grill.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Thing-along

I can remember this song from one of my parents' K-Tel albums. It was a perfect song for those first awkward junior high slow dances.

I wonder if kids nowadays even have those awkward slow-dance moments? Anyway, enjoy the song and sing along if you'd like. The lyrics are below....

The ballad "I Go Crazy" was featured on Paul Davis' 1977 album "Singer of Songs -- Teller of Tales." The song slowly climbed the charts, peaking at No. 7 eight months after its release, according to Billboard's Web site, and stayed in the Top 100 for 40 weeks. Davis died April 22 of this year. He was just 60-years-old.

Here are the lyrics in case you feel like crooning...

Hello girl it's been awhile
Guess you'll be glad to know
That I've learned how to laugh and smile

Getting over you was slow
They say old lovers can be good friends
But I never thought I'd really see you,
I'd really see you again

I go crazy
When I look in your eyes I still go crazy
No my heart just can't hide that old feelin' inside
Way deep down inside
Oh baby, you know when I look in your eyes I go crazy

You say he satifies your mind
Tells you all of his dreams
I know how much that means to you

I realize that I was blind
Just when I thought I was over you
I see your face and it just ain't true
No it just ain't true

I go crazy
When I look in your eyes I still go crazy
That old flame comes alive, it starts burning inside
Way deep down inside
Oh baby, you know when I look in your eyes I go crazy

Oooh, Oh Oooh, Oh
I go crazy
You know when I look in your eyes I go crazy
No my heart just can't hide that old feelin' inside
Way deep down inside
I go crazy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This is a picture of Aunt Betsy -- Mama's cousin -- that was taken around 1962 or so, I'm guessing. Aunt Betsy, who now lives in Georgia, is visiting my parents now in Delaware. I wish I had a picture of her daughter to post so I could show you how much they would look alike. Maybe Mama or Aunt Betsy can e-mail me one.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Parker the kitty

This kittycat likes to make herself at home on my chest and stomach.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

If the birds and the bees can do it ...

... so can these things. At least I guess that's what is going on here. I'm afraid to look too close at it. When I took the picture I just thought it was one strange looking bug.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Still a somber day ...

Click here for photo source.

Below is a player containing the Fire Department of New York's radio dispatches from the morning and early afternoon of 9/11. They are haunting ....

For a better way of understanding the dispatches, here's a link to the N.Y. Times version of some of the recordings with transcripts. It's powerful stuff.

Quick clip from vacation

This is a short video from vacation.

I still have not gotten around to all the photos and other video, but I will soon ...

Thursday Thing-along

Darius Rucker (Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish) has a country hit ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Way Back When-sday

This photo of Granddaddy holding me is from June 1966. I was 3 weeks old at the time. Not having any kids, I still find myself amazed at how tiny babies can be. I was struck in this picture by my foot and toes as compared to Granddaddy's hands and fingers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

And it's Monday Night Football

So I had to add some burgers :-)


Looking good.