The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year

Spent this afternoon Geocaching with the son. We found three, including one with a SPECTACULAR view and one that was hidden at the end of elaborate maze of rocks and slot canyons.

What about the guns you say???

Well, I was out hunting all day yesterday and this morning with my father in law and old friend of the wife's family who basically owns a mountaintop. He spent 40 years or so as the local Forest Service ranger and a couple of decades in the State Senate.

Enjoyable time and I learned a lot about politics and forest management and hunting.

More of the same tomorrow.

Happy New Years and may Saddam enjoy his eternity burning in the fires of hell.

Friday, December 29, 2006



As I stated the other day, the FM Modulator on my Sirius Satellite Radio sucks. Big Time.

We drove in to Atlanta yesterday - about a 2 1/2 hour trip. While its pretty bad here - where there are very few radio stations competing for air space, it was unlistenable in Atlanta. I was pretty resigned to having to cancel the subscription and return the radio, and then I saw this Sirus FM Direct Adapter at Crutchfields. Apparantly it connects through the antannae input to the radio - cutting off reception over the FM antannae whenever the satellite radio is on. At only $19.99 its cheap enough. My question - any one have any experience with it? How easy is it to install (I have a Grand Cherokee) And is it really the solution to my (sirius) problems?

Cost of Living

Forget Honey Baked Hams. I've got a better deal.

I needed new brakes, and rotors, for my Jeep for a few months, but had been quoted a price by my local garage of about $700 installed. Yikes. Well, while driving back from Atlanta last night, my radiator decided to empty itself of coolant. Turns out, its shot. Not a surprise, they go at about 100k miles on Jeeps (my GC has 94k miles on it). Similar thing happened to my sister in law's GC two years ago. Cost her over $1000 parts and labor to replace.

Took it to the garage down the street from us here in NW Georgia. $390 they fixed both. $200 for the radiator. $35 labor. $35 for labor on the front brakes and $45 for the rear. $60 for the pads and $15 to turn the rotors.

Savings - at least $1300.

Why do I still insist on living in DC????

Score One For The Good Guys

Fuck You Brady Bunch

Apparantly, a VCDL board member thwarted a Bank Robbery.

On Tuesday the 26th of December I went down to the Sun Trust bank in
Hopewell to complete some financial transactions. I got there just as they
were opening and entered with a woman who had been waiting outside. There
were three tellers in position to the left, one customer service associate
at a desk to the right, and the manager was seated in his office to the
rear right, so there were seven of us in the bank.

I have been banking there for years and know the tellers fairly well, who
are quite used to me walking in with my holstered 1911 government model
.45 and two reserve magazines. As I was transacting business with my
teller, a man came in through the front door on this warm December morning
wearing a full ski mask, with only his eyes showing. He was wringing his
hands and glanced furtively toward the office and then swept his eyes
across the room, finally towards me and the tellers. At that, he turned
and BOLTED back out the door!

The teller next to my position was the first to recognize the implications
of what had just happened, and yelled for the manager who came rushing out
from his office. He glanced toward me before sticking his head out the
front door, looking both ways down the sidewalk, and pronouncing that the
suspicious character had apparently left the area. The same teller then
expressed her relief that I had been there, and mentioned that the next Sun
Trust down on Route 10 (Iron Bridge Road) had just been robbed the week

I regret to say that I was pretty oblivious to anything but the business I
was immediately conducting, and walked out thinking no more about it as a
non-incident at the time. In fact, even later that evening I only
mentioned it as a casual after-thought in a conversation with Philip. He
urged me to write up this account of what had transpired, and I will leave
it to him to dissect and analyze the facts, psychologies, probabilities and
possible alternative outcomes.


I went by the bank again today to make a deposit - same three tellers on
duty. I asked them if the police were called over the ski-masked intruder.
They said no, but they had all discussed the incident yesterday afternoon
and agreed that it was me standing there with a gun at Sharon's window
(first one from the door) that spooked him into changing his plans, and
they all thanked me again (although I didn't DO anything).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Thoughts (Sirius and Camel Jockeys)

On Sirius, and damn ferners.

1) It would be nice if radio had an option for dimming the display. Its awfully blue, and awfully bright. My brother has a similar radio (same pricepoint and features) on XM and it comes with a scrolling choice of display colors and brightness. As it is, its awfully distracting to have on at night - and I could see the glare from it on the windhsield causing an accident.

2) The FM Modulator sucks - seriously. Its ok if Im listening to talk radio - I guess - and willing to deal with a little static. But beyond that - for music (I was trying to listen to some opera and jazz today) it makes it almost unbearable. Of course, it might be my actual unit - I have to bring it back in to the store.

3) Still, Sirius - or at least their tech support staff was fully less than helpful. If your going to have a tech support line, at least staff it with people who know the language spoken by 99% of your customers, don't have a camel jockey's attitude, and know basic things about your products (like the fact that nearly all Sirius Radios use an FM Modulator to transmit the broadcast from teh Sirius Radio to the car stereo.

Which brings me to a rant on these people generally.

Here I am, in a small small town in North Georgia and I go to the gas station to use their air pump and fill up the tires on my kids bike. Its the local Chevron, and right next to the building is an air pump. These days, they charge for air, and so I dutifully deposit my 50 cents. Nothing happens.

I go inside and the Indian kid behind the counter (his mere presence is shock enough) tries to explain to me that they don't control the pump, that someone leases the space from them, and that they ought to put up a sign saying its broken. All is well, and civil, till I ask for a refund of my 50 cents (not so much cause it was 50 cents, but cause I needed to get air somewhere else and they were the only 2 quarters I had on me). Immediatly, he bagan to fiegn no understanding of english. Wouldn't answer me. Told me - not our pump. I only emplyee. I asked who I should speak to, he again says - I only employee. I asked who owned the store - his response - I don't speak english, I only employee.

At that point, I had enough, and needed to get back to make it into Chattanooga to see Night at the Museum and left.

There was a major NY Times article on the race relation problems that have erupted in this county in Georgia between the recent indian immigrants who are working (and owning) all the convience stores and the local population. The sheriff busted hundreds of them in alarge meth sting and the NY Times screamed foul. Frankly, as far as I am concerned, if even a small percentage are as dishonest as this piece of shit was (and from what our neighbors tell us, they are) then the whole lot ought to be thrown out.

Cost of Living

Prices for an 8 1/2 pound ham from the Honey Baked Ham Company.

In Washington, D.C. (Falls Church, VA) for Thanksgiving . . . . . $65.00

In Chattanooga, TN (Hamilton Place) for Christmas . . . . . . $45.00

In Dalton, GA (35 miles from Chattanooga, 80 miles from Atlanta) for New Years Eve . . . . . . $30

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Thoughts

Hope everyone had a merry christmas.

Here's some random thoughts.

Saw two movies. Yesterday we saw We Are Marshall. Excellent (though not the usual CHristmas Day fare for me). Not a dry eye in the entire theater, and I have to say my respect for Randy Moss, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich and every other football player the school has produced has increased markedly.

A tragedy and tremendous story. The school most deserves the success it now holds.

And Bobby Bowden - Florida State's current coach - legacy from WVU and the sportsmanship he exuded there should be an everlasting part of his legacy as are the record number of wins as a Seminole.

Saw A Night At The Museum tonight. Dumb ben Stiller/Robin Williams flick - pales in comparison to Jumanji - but my 4 1/2 year old son was mesmerized by it, so it did its job. He'd watch it a hundred times, so for that it deserves some kudos - certainly played to its audience (though to the two teenagers sitting next to us who decided the girls panties were better off around her knees - seriously inappropriate behavior when a 4 year old is sitting inches away from you)

Sirius Satellite Radio

Got it for Xma - the Starmate Replay Radio. Its pretty cool, though I am a tad depressed they are carrying so few bowl games - and that the NFL coverage ends in pretty much a month. Have no desire to listen to tennis or the NBA (but others do) or soccer. But its still a decent service - pretty good selection of material to choose from, and I get to listen to Howard Stern in the morning. Still, except for some points in SW Virginia along my drive from DC to Chattanooga, I've never really been at a loss for entertaining radio programming. We'll see how long Howard Stern can command my money.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Made my annual drive from DC to Georgia last night, and along with it the annual visit to that gunnie mecca - Coal Creek Armory in Knoxville, TN, where I enjoyed some fine time at the firing line with Uncle Gunnie (who has built a sweat 9mm AR-15) and Les. Saw Tam, of Books Bikes and Boomsticks fame there as well, but the store was bustling and busy and every time I turned around she was helping a customer out and I didn't get a chance to say hi.

Oh well, maybe next time (are they open New Years Day???)

Left DC at 4:30 am
Made it to Knoxville by 12 (CCA by 12:17)
Left CCA around 2:30
Picked up our honeybaked ham (christmas dinner) at the store on Gun Barrel Rd in Chattanooga around 3:30
Got to our house at 4:20

One bit of sales advice to the Coal Creek people - they didn't seem to have any more of the Automatics For The People shirts. Thats too bad. When (if??) they get more in, they need to get some toddler and onezees sizes for the next generation. Remember, kids are people too!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Glenn Reynolds:
Helen's cardiologist is now encouraging her to have a glass of wine most days, which I think is good for most of us. Plus, it can add life to your years, which is important, too.

Plus it can add life to your days (and nights), which is important too.

Nancy Pelosi

As if there was any doubt (though, of course, I love the Dead)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mor Mor


Sverige skrik för dig

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'll give you all the Article 16 you want, for just a brief preview of Article 20


only at American Drumslinger

and the lawyer in me really digs it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Morning Coffee Cooler Conversation

Secretary - Ouch, I banged my finger on the coffee machine (holding up left hand showing me her middle finger and ring finger)

Me - You did?? Which finger?

Sec. - This finger (holding up same two, I don't see anything)

Me - Oh, I don't see anything. Is there something to see?

Sec. - Yes, this!! (holding up ring finger)

Me - (still not seeing anything, but noticing a small ring with a stone on her ring finger) Oh, did you get engaged?

Sec. - (obviously annoyed by now at my cluelessness and utter inability to understand her pain) No!!! Thats a p&%SDKJHDTty ring

Me - A what???

Sec. - A Purfityehflkjhty ring?

Me - Huh?

Sec. - A P-U-R-I-T-Y Ring - i took a vow to remain sexually pure until marriage and its my daily reminder.

Me - oh . . . .

just then, sensing my bewilderment (and amazement at the utter waste of an attractive and good working set of 23 year old hormones this represents - but to each their own), the office manager comes up and says "Dude, your right, I checked at church, there REALLY ARE 666 hymns in the Baptist Hymnal. I can't believe it. I totally didn't believe you but your absolutly correct"

Score one for the office heathen!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


you know . . . . . Dustin Diamond.

he's got a video.

yep, that kind.

I've got a copy.

Its awful. In a totally awesome sort of way.

What a dog.

email me for a copy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Oh, I thought I had escaped it for good when I left the law firm world 3 years ago.

Alas, I was mistaken.

Its 11:00 pm. I just finished a motion to intervene and our opposition to a motion for TRO that was filed against one of our interests. Ah the joys of going in house.
Luckily I have top notch attorneys backing me up, and don't need to do it all by myself, but in an effort to avoid $100k legal bills over a trivial matter, here I am.

Nevertheless, I've actually enjoyed the fast paced action of litigation. I had forgotten how much fun it could be, but then again, I'm not doing this every day either.

The best of all the worlds

well, except I'm not paid like I was in a law firm. But thats ok. I have a life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Travels

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