Family, Vacation

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Well, another quick vacation has come and gone. This time we dropped by Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a few days. There is plenty to do in the area, and since we only had about three days to spend there we only got to hit the highlights.

This is “The Comedy Barn” right in downtown Pigeon Forge. If you find yourself in Pigeon Forge, this is a must-see show. Very, very funny! On Saturday, June 3, we went to see the show, and were right up front! Ryan even got to help Farmer Clem with a magic trick! (Be brave! Take a peek at the man-eatin’ chicken just outside the theater!)

We also went to Dollywood for two days where the kids had a great time riding the rides. Dollywood was packed with people on Sunday, and a mid-afternoon rain storm cut our day short. But Monday’s time there was more enjoyable, since it was less crowded and the weather was nice.

On Sunday night we went to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Very entertaining show. Great meal and exciting to watch. The pre-show in the Carriage Room was almost as good as the main program. The only complaint is how much $$$ it costs for a family of four. I’m glad we did it, because it was very memorable, but I don’t think I could afford to go again.

We also went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg on Monday, and visited some of the shops up and down the main street in Gatlinburg.

We also visited some of the smaller attractions along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Man, some of these places are expensive and are really not worth the $$$ for a 15-minute ride.

I will be posting a few pictures later.


Family, Holidays

Memorial Day Weekend

The kids have had fun this Memorial Day weekend. Here are two pics that I took at the Shinnston City Park on Sunday. They also got to enjoy some Dairy Queen ice cream after the trip to the park.

The weather has been very nice. It got close to 90° this afternoon, maybe even over it. It’s hard to believe I was scraping my windshield last week!

Have a great Memorial Day!


You know, I think it really is Elmo’s World…

The whole family went to see Sesame Street Live on Sunday at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.

The kids had a blast. I’m really, though, still trying to figure out how Elmo became the “breakout star” of Sesame Street. When I was little, Elmo was just this unimportant secondary character who only got a few lines. What did he do, have like major contract re-negotiations or something? That confuses me.

But the kids had a good time. When I get a chance, I’ll add some sucky pictures to the April slideshow. My camera phone takes really sucky pictures in the dark. This cover photo you see is actually the best one of the whole day. Geesh.



“It’s fun…. and educational, too!”

I enjoy working on this webpage. There may not be a single soul that visits it, but I’m learning a lot. I keep trying to throw new things on here, like adding the Upcoming Events thingy on the left. I had been using Google Calendar to try to do this, but I can’t seem to retreive the information in the correct order. Like, today’s 1:00pm appeared after Saturday’s 9:00am appointment, because I put Saturday’s in first. Weird.

Anyway, I wanted to say congratulations to Devon and Amanda. They were married on Saturday, April 8. Here is a funny photo:

Phunny Foto



Morons… Absolute Morons…

If you can at all avoid it, don’t get DISH Network. I don’t know, maybe it’s just an indication of what happens when a company gets too big. They assume all their customers are morons and can’t add two and two together. Let me explain…

On April 1, DISH began a “promotion” to upgrade their current customers to the newest DISH Network HDTV receiver. I have a DISH model 942 already (the last model) and was thinking about upgrading my equipment anyway. So, I accepted the deal.

I was told that they would ship me out an empty box and a receiver, and I was to return the old receiver after I got the new one. Then I was asked when I would like to schedule my appointment. “Appointment? For what?” They wanted to send a technician to install this box. Stupid. They’ve already dumbed it down so much with everything color coded and everything. Blue goes to blue… green goes to green… yellow goes to yellow. Duh.

So, anyway, they want to send a tech out to work for five minutes and go home. Whatever. I told them I was more than comfortable with plugging the blue cable into the blue hole… no big deal. But the CSR insists on sending someone out. I should have just been adamant, but I acquiesced.

I was assured the receiver would arrive within five days, so my appointment was scheduled for April 10. Fine. April 10 came, no receiver had arrived. What a shocker. So the installer calls and I inform him of the situation. No receiver. He said that he had one on the truck and would see if he could just use it. That was the last I heard from him.

So today, the 11th, the receiver arrives. Not knowing if or when the installer was going to arrive, I decide to hook it up. Five excruciatingly-easy minutes later, I was on the phone with DISH, as I received a message that my receiver “has not yet been authorized.” This does not surprise me. In fact, I expected such a message. So, call DISH.

The DISH CSR asks me for R# and S# as expected, which I give her.

“Is this the receiver the installer is supposed to install on the 24th?”


“Yes, you have an appointment for the 24th.”

“I had an appointment for yesterday. But I had no receiver yesterday. The installer told me he would be over after 5:00pm, but I figured he got busy. I never heard more from him, and besides, this was so easy to do, I don’t need him here.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t activate this receiver until the installer installs it. It’s an open work order.”

How FREAKING stupid. I just hung up on her. Morons. Absolute morons.

So now I’m stuck with a receiver I can’t use until the 24th, or whenever the installer decides to show up. Last I heard he had a three-room install to do. Must be gonna take him three weeks. He never called to tell me otherwise. I guess I’ll be hooking up my old receiver while the new one gathers dust. The good news is: I’m getting so good at this that soon I will be a DISH Network qualified installer.

STAY AWAY FROM DISH NETWORK. Oh, how I long for the days of Time Warner Cable. If they were here, I’d jump in a heartbeat. I’d even pay the frickin’ fee for cancelling my DISH early just to get away from these morons.

Have a nice day.


American Idol

Idol’s on…

To read my full AI Blog post, visit my American Idol Blog on the Official site.

This is just a mini-blog.

So, country this week, huh? Some will be strong, others may be week. What will Chris sing? Can I single-handedly keep Katharine out of the bottom three? These questions and others will soon be answered…

Hey! Whoopi’s in the audience! Cool.

I actually saw Kenny Rogers in concert when I was little. My mom and dad drug me to the concert when I was about seven years old. The good thing was that Gallagher opened up for him, and he was hilarious!

Alright! Taylor – singing Country Roads! This could be good. Hey, I’m a West Virginian, so I might be a little partial! Simon will hate this. I like Taylor’s voice, man, he is good. Simon will not like this. Randy’s right about the personality. “safe, boring, lazy” about what I expected from Simon.

Yes, I’ve been to the website Ryan. Thanks. You are just goofy.

Mandisa – Puttin’ her own flavor on this song. Something Taylor really couldn’t do. Not bad for the genre. This is not her strong suit, and she’s doing quite well. Different enough from the original, but still recognizable.

What’s up with Ryan and the judges tonight?

Elliott – Interesting song choice from him. He’s got good vocals, and I think he’ll be able to put his own spin on it. I like Kenny’s advice to him. Make ’em cry. That’s what I say. Not bad. A little safe to me. A little like Taylor, he needs to bust out a little bit.

Paris – Ewww. Bad opening. I don’t particularly like this song choice from her. She’s got a real big voice. It was a decent ending. I think she stuck a little to close to the original and didn’t own the song. What is Simon on? Hmmm… interesting.

Ace – Hmm… Kenny, interesting comments. Not bad, not bad. Ace did pretty well tonight. That was good vocally. He knows his audience and he sang straight to them. I don’t know, however, whether it’s good enough to keep him hanging on this week. I, personally, liked it, but will it motivate enough people to vote for him?

Kellie – This could be good. Her voice fits this song perfectly. You knew she would do good this week. She sounded as good as the original. That was well done. Not much else to say, really. I expected her to do good, and she did. Best of the night so far.

Chris – Actually he is doing quite well. He’s not struggling. He was a little shakey in spots, but the vocal was quite good. A little too low in spots, but I am glad he did well. I somewhat agree with Simon in the “boring songs” category, but not so much as far as Chris as concerned.

Katharine – That’s the kind of music she should be singing. I am so glad to see her having fun tonight after seeing the serious side of her for the past of couple of weeks. Vote vote vote. Keep her out of bottom three, people. That was very good.

Bucky – He shouldn’t still be here. On country week, he picks this? He is not a country ballad singer. He could’ve picked a little bit of anything. I didn’t like that song choice at all. Something just didn’t sound right. He needed something more down-home. Up-tempo. I really like Bucky (the person). He’ll be fun to watch on the tour. But I haven’t liked his voice since week one.

Okay, now to clean this up, slap it in some kind of order, and put it on