Saturday, December 15, 2007

Travels for Fun

Along with traveling for work this fall, Rachel and I were able to make it to several UT football games. The California game is well-documented in earlier blogs, as was my ranting following the Florida game. We also made it to several games in Knoxville, including the home opener against Southern Miss, Arkansas St. (me only), the woodshedding of Georgia, and the South Carolina cliff-hanger.
At each of these games, we were able to catch up with friends and enjoy the atmosphere of Knoxville on game-day (Steve and Erin Rodgers win "most loyal tailgaters" this year, as Steve made all Kennedy tailgates, and Erin missed only one. Mark Clark was also present at each tailgate. Prior to the Southern Miss game, we bumped into Rachel's Uncle Tommy at Gus's. We also saw Pace and Marin at Gus's (pictured in "Reflections"). Lindsey and Shaggy also snuck into town for this game.

The Big Orange BANDitos, shown as the Main picture of this blog were present at the tailgates for the Georgia game. If you read this blog and are not a UT fan, or if you are somehow a UT fan who is not familiar with the work of the BANDitos, please ask me about them sometime. They are well worth the explanation. Larry and Kerry Wray, Larry's brother Steve and friend, Cooney (just like a Brazilian soccer star, she needs only one name), and my college roomates - Tharp, Bean, and Timey and their MUCH better halfs were all present for this tailgate.

The weather turned cold for the South Carolina game. Johnson's wife, Erin, is pictured here "freezing". It was nice to reunite with Johnson for a win, following the debacle that we last attended together at Cal. The Johnson's have settled into TX with Shell Oil.

REFLECTIONS - Follow-up to the "Liquor Pack Mule"

As I had hoped, my recount of the lady that used her 4 year old boy at the Georgia game to smuggle liquor into the stadium, generated quite a bit of debate and banter amongst my blog readers. I wanted to follow-up on this particular topic, as many of you have provided some nice additional insight. Pace, pictured with Rachel and I at Gus's is the daughter of one proud Reed Stephenson - fellow blogger. Reed will be glad to know that his best friend, Bill Langston, volunteered Pace as a pack mule. Pace is WAY too classy for that task, at least until she enters college herself.

Others offered up the question, "Exactly how much alcohol could you smuggle in on a kid?" That is a very good question. One could likely turn this into a successful entrepreneurial venture by using a Cub Scout Den to smuggle the goods through security and then sell and distribute to others once in the stadium.

Perhaps the most astute observation was made by Mark Jones, Esq., who commented that he was, "pretty sure I could get at least a fifth in if I was carrying an infant."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Travels for Work

Since moving into my new job, I have been traveling a lot more. While we were living in the friendly confines of the Residence Inn, this was a little more palatable, as I was just exchanging one hotel for another. However, now that we are in our place, I dread traveling a little more (mostly because I miss my wife).

Over the past 6 weeks, I have traveled for work to Atlanta, Providence, Rhode Island, New York City, Orange Co., CA and Phoenix, AZ. The Phoenix trip was the highlight of my travels. I got to stay at a very nice resort. While there, we arranged meals with our larger customers who were attending the show. We took two of our biggest customers to Elements, where Chef Beau MacMillan cooks some AMAZING steaks (his claim to fame is that he beat Bobby Flay in an Iron Chef American competition). I typically don't care for high-end food (most of you know I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy), but MacMillan prepared the best Ribeye steak I have ever eaten.

I laid over in Phoenix for the weekend and had the opportunity to catch up with Jeremy Graves. He came up and spent the night on Friday evening, and we joined the Phoenix Chapter of the UT Alumni Association to watch the UT vs. Arkansas game. If you are ever in the area, be sure to join them, as they are a great bunch to hang out with. Their Vice President is a riot.

Reflections - What is this bathroom doing in NYC?

Before Thanksgiving, I rode with one of our Account Managers and Research Chemists to see a customer on the outskirts of NYC. It is amazing to believe that we are so close to "The City" now. We drove through Staten Island, across the bridge into Brooklyn, through Queens and to our final destination, which brings me back to my question - "What is this bathroom doing in NYC?"

The fact is, I don't know. I included this for 3 reasons: 1) I am establishing a pattern. I hope to include at least one bathroom photo of some relevence in this blog every 6 months (you can search my history to find my last bathroom posting); 2) Rachel will not like it. She is fun to annoy; and 3) It is thought provoking. I really have no idea what this bathroom is doing in NYC. Feel free to leave your comments on why you think it may be there.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sorry For the Absence

On Friday November 16, Rachel and I escaped from Captivity (the Residence Inn). We have finally moved into our place, and it is great to no longer be living out of a suitcase. Well that is not quite true, as I am still traveling quite a bit with work. However, we do have a place to call "home" again.

Now that we have internet access again at our house, I plan on writing several blogs over the next week or so to catch up on what has been going on for the past couple of months.

Mom and Dad came up for Thanksgiving and helped us unpack and situate furniture. Since we didn't have all of our kitchen stuff unpacked, we booked reservations at Maggiano's for Thanksgiving Day lunch. It was a massive amount of food, most of which, we ended up taking home with us for leftovers. We hung blinds, watched football and showed them around the area some. They agreed that the area outside Philadelphis is a little more rural than what they expected.