Sunday, February 21, 2010

sun of a niche

Cassie is a fellow blogger and Twitterer who often takes the time to post comments on my blog entries. I hope she takes advantage of the free symphony tickets available to bloggers this week. She was the first person to make an online donation to my camera replacement fund and recently gave me some old souvenirs that made me very happy.

Perhaps Cassie remembers a 2007 post of mine about some plastic cups I got at Patrick Sullivan's. Or maybe she has discerned over the years that I wish I had visited Knoxville during the summer of 1982. Instead, I spent that summer working for free at a bankrupt little AM station in Herndon, Virginia.

Today my wife and I took the items from Cassie back to their roots. It was a beautiful day for a visit to World's Fair Park, where I posed with a commemorative dish and snow globe from the 1982 World's Fair.

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, December 27, 2009

monster of the midway

The Christmas gifts from my daughter made me proud of her ingenuity and thoughtfulness. She gave me a stack of books she knew I would like and paid nothing for them by using PaperBackSwap. When she heard that I had seen a simply wrapped package arrive in the mail last week from a PBS member in Saucier, Mississippi, she sent me the following email:
So, I was just going through your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter and your Amazon wish list. Even if I had never met you in person, I would know a lot about you and your personal tastes. If you love someone and actually take an interest in their life, wouldn't you be willing to take 5 minutes on the Internet to find a simple and cheap gift that they would love?

I know that you were good and did not open the gift that arrived for you, but you will be proud to know that I paid $0 for it. That's right, I paid nothing for the gift, I paid nothing for the shipping and I only had to research for about 5 minutes to figure out that you would enjoy it.
The books from PaperBackSwap turned out the be "Give Me a Break" by John Stossel and "The Last Days of Dead Celebrities" by Mitchell Fink. I had put them on my Amazon wish list when they were new but never got around to buying them.

The book pile grew even higher because my daughter gave me her own gently used copy of "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. She had mentioned it to me when we visited a bookstore together on Labor Day. My wife also recalled my curiosity about H.H. Holmes that day and gave me a copy of "Human Monsters" by David Everitt, which is billed as an "encyclopedia of the world's most vicious murderers."

In addition to all the free books, my daughter gave me a 2½ ounce bag of Starbucks House Blend. A non-coffee-drinking friend of hers had received it in a gift basket at work. It's a re-gift I look forward to opening and brewing the next time I have a day off from work, so probably Friday during the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, March 17, 2008

the good, the bad and the ugly

While at Walt Disney World this weekend, my wife and I tried to visit some attractions we didn't see last year. We got home last night but the blog posts about the trip continue.

My wife was interested in the Test Track ride at Epcot. We saved a lot of time by using the single riders line. As long as you don't mind riding in separate cars, it's better than waiting in the long regular line. Because a light rain had started to fall, they made several announcements that the ride might have to close at any time. Since our line was moving fast, we didn't miss out.

When we went to the Magic Kingdom, I wanted to ride the Carousel of Progress, which was originally part of the 1964 World's Fair. The voice of the audio-animatronic father seemed familiar to me. It was Jean Shepherd, who I remember from childhood as a great storyteller on WOR-AM. Most people know his voice from "A Christmas Story." Last night my wife was complaining that the song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was stuck in her head. As much as I wanted to enjoy it, I had trouble keeping my eyes open during the show.

Two years ago I went on a face character photo safari. Instead of Disney princesses, this year I saw Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. They seem to have a lot more fun teasing the guests than Cinderella ever could.

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, May 03, 2007

teach your children well

East Tennesseans love their forensics like nobody else. Tonight I went to a function sponsored by the American Chemical Society. While I was there, I saw a flyer titled "UTK Forensic Chemistry Camp for Middle Schoolers." Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the Body Farm will address the 6th through 8th graders and will sign copies of his books. The summer camp is part of Kids U 2007. The course description says that students will "examine physical, synthetic blood and trace evidence."

Speaking of Dr. Bass, I just saw some 25 year old footage of him. I watched Tuesday's WBIR special about the 1982 World's Fair. They showed Dr. Bass talking to an audience about the ancient Peruvian mummy that was unwrapped at the fair.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

scruffy little city

While most people were watching "American Idol" tonight, WBIR preempted "Dateline NBC" to air a 10 News special called "25 Years After the Fair." President Reagan opened the 1982 World's Fair here in Knoxville 25 years ago today. has links to several articles about the fair including a MetroPulse retrospective and a 1982 Time Magazine preview. The News Sentinel has extensive multimedia coverage.

Unfortunately, the World's Fair wasn't on my personal radar back in 1982. It's too bad that I never saw a TV commercial for it or I might have realized that I "got to be there." Instead, I've been reading blogs about it. Over the summer I'll have to visit the East Tennessee History Center exhibit and then go see the giant Rubik's Cube when it returns to World's Fair Park.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, March 24, 2007


The bartender at Patrick Sullivan's said the cups were new. After all, who would want to drink from a 25 year old plastic cup? Despite what the bartender said, I want to believe that they were the real deal, not a reproduction. In my imagination, a box full of the 1982 World's Fair cups must have been recently uncovered in a dingy back room of the 119-year-old former brothel.

I brought some of the cups home from the bar. The words "Comet" and "Chelmsford, Mass. USA" are on the bottom in tiny molded letters. The cups are probably not old enough to interest the "History Detectives" on PBS, so I tried searching the Internet myself for anything I could find about them.

Cometware is made by a company called Waddington North America. I got the impression from their website that the Cometware brand is separate from their line of souvenir cups. I wonder if Comet was an older brand that was acquired by WNA and if so, when? If the World's Fair cups are new, would they say "Comet" or "WNA" on the bottom? Does anybody remember seeing a cup like this at the World's Fair in 1982?

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

a tale of three cities

Dr. Bill Bass was on "Live at Five" this afternoon. It shouldn't surprise you that I recorded the show and watched it when I got home tonight. The Big Bopper Jr. joined Dr. Bass by phone in the first segment and fingerprint expert Art Bohanan was in studio for the second segment. If you missed it or if you're reading this outside Knoxville, you can watch the interview online.

Do we have any readers in Burbank today? If so, you should know that my friend Anja Reinke is running for city council. Go Anja!

Remember the 1982 World's Fair shirt that I sent to Bean for Christmas? He wore it in Los Angeles the other day. Don't you think it looks better than the shirt the Fixx guy wore on TV last June? Check it out.

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, September 08, 2006

buzz off

Today is the final day for Patrick Holland's Buzz List on My blog entry today is a pale homage to the Buzz List. I'll miss it.

"Suddenly Seymour," "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and "Return to Sender" are three of the song samples you need to hear at Wing's Official Website. Thanks to my sister for the link.

Stephen Colbert was on a rerun of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on ABC Family tonight. I had forgotten that he guested on that show.

Seeing all seven celebrity contestants sing together on "Celebrity Duets" tonight left me thinking that Lucy Lawless probably deserves to win.

Jimmy Kimmel was interviewed by Joel Keller on one of my favorite sites, Thanks to Jessica for the link. By the way, one night last week Jimmy made me laugh even more than usual with his "Celebrity Barbershop Quartet" bit.

I've been meaning to do it for months but I finally added No Silence Here to my blogroll.

Joseph Mailander sent along a link to an update about his Rose Parade coverage that I mentioned in January. He loved the photo I took of Stephanie Edwards on my TV.

A friend pointed out a newspaper column called the Lean Plate Club. A recent article described several websites that help you track your calories including FitDay, Nutridiary and NutritionData.

The Knoxville World's Fair is the subject of the most recent of "Our Stories" on WBIR's website. It's a great history lesson for locals and transplants alike. My parents took me to the New York World's Fair when I was very young.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button