Thursday, July 31, 2008

one nation under

All things will be better once Obama is elected. He's not really a politician - he's a man with new ideas and hope for America and the World. We can believe in Obama. We can believe! Besides, he's a black man and this country needs to finally get a black president.
"So I think (Obama) definitely has convinced people that he stands for change and for hope, and I can't wait to see what he stands for." - Susan Sarandon
"I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. Obama comes along and he seems to have the answers. This is New Testament." - Chris Matthews MSNBC

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

new deity in town

Last week while watching CNN, I heard some female correspondent reporting on the Obama campaign. In this report, she referred to Obama as the Political Redeemer. I decided to make some appropriate web banners in favor of this new messiah. Let's face it, does our nation really want to trust in God or do we like to just pay Him lip service. Are we now at the foot of Mount Sinai building a little golden god for ourselves? I say if they build this thing, ready confiscate and melt down our nation's wealth - the image needs to be appropriate. This god should not be in the form of a calf - but rather a huge golden tit.

Here's a little project you can do at home. Every time you're channel surfing - stop for a moment or two at CNN. See how many seconds it takes for some anchorman/reporter to give an Obama campaign praise report. It's laughable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

happy birthday Gina

Gina was born this day in the year 1963 - you do the math. She doesn't mind the age - but it did bother her somewhat back when she turned 30. We were living in Bowling Green at the time and we did a good bit of celebrating in order for her to get through that sharp transition.

I wrote down some thoughts in a birthday card today that I meant from the deepest part of my being. I am so blessed to have such an incredible wife. I really can't imagine my life without her and glad God sent her my way. Gina is everything a fellow needs, wants, desires. She's the complete package from head to toe. From the start she attracted me. She is a beautiful woman with a love and light that radiates from within. I don't know of another woman that beams like she does. I tell you - I am so blessed. You hear people joking about their spouses being their "better half". I don't joke about it because I truly confess that Gina really is.

Today we had a quiet birthday. We had a gathering last Sunday to have a cluster celebration. Today though, my mother manned the phones and let us break away from the office during the early afternoon. We splurged at Red Lobster and I later picked up a whole sheet of teramasue (Gina's favorite desert) from Pasquetti's on Rainbow Drive. We then rented a movie from Blockbuster and made our way home to watch it downstairs as a family.

It's been a pleasant and quiet day today and Gina's seemed to have had a good birthday. I hope so. It hasn't been a big birthday but it's been a nice one.

This photo was taken at The River Inn Restaurant in Chattanooga, the weekend I drove out to ask Gina to marry me. I am glad she said yes. Time has changed us on the surface, but time will never change our love for one another. Thank you God for Gina!

P.S. Today she's forty-five - my favorite caliber.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ReNault LeCar

I used to work at Long Furniture back in the mid-eighties hauling furniture. Brook rarely showed up at my work but he couldn't wait to show me what he had seen at a foreign car lot down on West Meighan Blvd. So during my lunch break we drove over to look at a little limited edition 1979 Black Beauty Renault LeCar that was selling for $2,400.00. A small plaque on passenger side dash indicated that there were only 2500 of the Black Beauty LeCar's made that year. I drove back to Longs that very day with my new cool LeCar. I quickly sold my yellow 1973 VW Beetle and paid off the LeCar in a very short time. I really enjoyed that little car while I had it.

The images above were found on-line. My LeCar had fog lamps on the front that really made the look.  If you scroll down the page of the hyper-link you'll see what the dash looked like. I really loved this little vehicle. I remember getting a lot of comments from strangers because the car looked so unusual. The 1979 Black Beauty handled exceptionally well and was a fun drive.

I totaled the car back in 1987 while I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. The car was so little that the front crushed like a soda can. It was a rainy day and I was driving down an unfamiliar neighborhood in Cobb County. I hit the crest of a hill and the road took a sharp right and I didn't. There were no warning signs or light visible upon approach. I was driving the speed limit but too fast for conditions - meaning - I wasn't really driving the limit. I took out a brand new 1987 Oldsmobile that had come from the other direction. I tried to make the turn but it was too sharp and I was too late. I turned the car at an angle to miss the on-coming vehicle but we both crunched down along each other's sides. After impact, the LeCar slowly rolled down a hill and eventually scraped the pavement until it stopped. It was a bad day.
My car door was jammed up and my friend Jim sat motionless in the passenger seat, I guess, he was still in shock. I remember flipping open the canopy above me and jumping out the top. It was a very surrealistic moment. Jim later laughed at me for exiting the car that way. I remember I had a cassette of Tear For Fear's Song From The Big Chair playing SHOUT.
"Shout - Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on - I'm talking to you - Come on!'
So anytime I hear that old song I think of a particular bad moment in time - when the road went right and I went wrong.

Friday, July 25, 2008

another Friday

It's another Friday and the weekend already looks busy. I'll be setting up the popcorn machine at a kids health fair tomorrow at the Florence Boy's & Girls Club in East Gadsden. We'll be giving away popcorn, pencils, and coloring pages. I'm just glad it will be inside. I'd love to go to the drive-in tonight but afraid I'd be too tired and irritable to be hanging around so many kids in the morning. Children need to be around happy David.

I am almost finished with my first semester of Therapuetic Massage at Gadsden State. I started by taking just their on-line courses and glad I did. I started off slow by making a few stupid mistakes but have aced everything since that first week. I get my assignments on Wednesday and try to have everything behind me by Thursday. I've enjoyed taking the on-line courses and looking forward to learning some hands-on therapy. I am not looking forward the Anatomy or the Kinesiology Classes coming this Fall. I do know that if I can get past those two classes - the rest of the year should be a breeze.

I've had a lot of brake trouble the past few weeks with the Mazda MPV. I had the rear brakes replaced about two weeks ago and the had the master cylinder replaced last week. I've had to go back and forth multiple times to keep getting it adjusted. It's not fun driving around two unpredictable brakes. I think they've got it right this time.

Gina's birthday is this coming Tuesday - July 29. We've got a cluster party (gathering of multiple birthday celebrations) to attend this weekend as well. There are no surprises this year for either of our birthdays. Gina wanted a floor lamp she saw at Cracker Barrel, three sets of flatware that were on sale at Belks a few weeks ago, and a particular bracelet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a super season

I've been to a bunch of movies this Summer and it's been one of the best seasons in a very long time. I don't recall going to the movies as often as I have this Summer. My weekends have been too chaotic to go to the drive-ins. I've missed going. They are doubling up some great ones up there at Sand Mountain Twin and at the 411 in Centre (now with twin screens). I've avoided most of the comedies because most comedies are a waste of money - meaning - not very funny. I did go see Get Smart. I have yet to see Hancock or Wanted. There are new movies being released in the upcoming weeks that I don't want to miss. I read my friend Michael Bynum's great review of the new Dark Knight movie. Just click on the hyperlink below. It's well worth the read.

* * * * * The Dark Knight surpasses Batman Begins. Gina and I went to see it last weekend and it was very intense. I thought Heath Ledger did a better job as The Joker than Jack Nicholson. This says a lot because I loved Jack as The Joker. I haven't seen much of the late Heath Ledger's work but he was simply incredible.

* * * * * IronMan with Robert Downey, Jr was one of the early Summer blockbusters. IronMan is a Marvel Comic book character and it is a great action packed thriller. I am not a big Downey fan but he's wonderful. Can't wait for the next movie. I left the theater without seeing the surprize clip of Samuel Jackson showing up as Agent Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.D. after the credits. Darn it! I never pictured Fury being a black guy - but if he's gonna be black - Jackson is the man to play the part. I love Samuel L. Jackson.

* * * * * I loved the first Hellboy movie and the new Hellboy II is just as enjoyable as the first. Gina refused to go to the movie because of the name. The Hellboy character is an ugly - intimidating superhero that just wants to be appreciated. I like Hellboy because it's riddled with that familiar Marvel humor that I enjoyed from the comics I read as a kid. I didn't read superhero comics - I read Marvel's Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos. Hellboy is a cheroot puff'n, tough talking good guy that reminds me of ol' Sgt. Fury himself.

* * * Wall-E wasn't one of my favorites. I've bumped into a lot of people that love this flick but I just sat in the theater regretting that I didn't spend my money on Will Smith's Hancock (I have yet to see it). Wall-E is a cute movie. It has great animation and great character development. My twelve year old enjoyed it but it just didn't offer much to the 50 year old sitting there.

* * * * The Happening is a good movie but not for everyone. If you liked M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and Signs, you might like this one. My favorite of Shyamalan's work is The Sixth Sense. The Happening reminds me of Alfred Hitchcocks, The Birds - nature turned against man. Shyamalan's work doesn't always make sense but he weaves unusual stories together with eerie imagery.

* * * * I liked the original 60's television spy comedy Get Smart with Don Adams. The series was written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It was hard to imagine any actor filling Don Adam's telephone shoes but Steve Carell did it nicely. I went to the movie with little to no expectations. I was merely taking my kids to the movies. Get Smart is actually a funny movie with a lot of action.

* * * * * The Incredible Hulk is a great cat and mouse movie - only the mouse is big and green and can whoop cat tail all day long. Stupid cats. I had a hard time convincing Gina to go see this one with me because Gina had seen the first movie only a few weeks earlier. We were in Cheraw and I walked in the hotel room where she and the girls were laying on the bed watching it. I told them that they were wasting their time. Gina said that it was a terrible movie and didn't care to go see the newer movie when it came out. After the lights came back on, she looked at me and thanked me for talking her into it. She even gave me a high-five. I don't recall getting a high-five since I was in high school.

* * * * * I've already remarked in an earlier post regarding the newest Indiana Jones installment. Harrison Ford is a good bit older and crustier than he used to be - but it was every bit as good as the first in the franchise.

X Speed Racer is a loser of a movie. It's one big computer animated over-stimulated ride. It's as if somebody gave the director too much coke and candy during the production. If you want to really enjoy Speed Racer - just watch the original cartoon. It won't be as high-tech and glossy, but it's a lot better than watching this multimillion dollar waste of time and money. Funny thing, Susan Serandon (who plays Speed's mom) said that this movie is right up there with Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odessey. Yeah - riiiight.

* * * * Disney's second installment of the Narnian Chronicles - Prince Caspian was a good movie. It's not a great movie but being a long time C.S. Lewis fan, I enjoyed it. The movie is darker than the movie The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe. They casted the perfect children to play the rolls of Peter, Edmond, Susan & Lucy. Even if the story isn't an exact telling, it's well worth going to see.
Well, I think that's it. I'll post another personal movie rating at by the end of the Summer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

we have an enemy...

we have an enemy that must be stopped
we have media that we can not trust
we have politicians that serve only their own kind
to find truth - we must look around
we must open our eyes
to the horrific reality around us
we are at war

"Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me."
-Psalm 144

YouTube video is calledFitna (English) Part 1/2 (Full 16min version)

Friday, July 18, 2008

my friend jose'

I was sitting in my office last night - actually using it for work for the first time in four years. It's been a long road. I have a few pieces of furniture I'd like in there - one is a cabinet that'll need some painting and another piece of furniture to organize satchels, my laptop, etc. There's actually a nice looking cubbyhole cabinet I have my eye on at Big Lots. I also want to get to a place where I can buy some wooden blinds for my studio windows. One day I'll get my old fashioned door with the diffused glass window which I'll get Jimmy Henderson to paint my logo on. Yes there's still some work to do but for all intentive purposes, I have arrived!

I could not have gotten to where I've gotten without Jose'. I guess it was about five years ago when Gina and I finally decided we needed to do something about the flooding in our finished basement. The foundation man from Birmingham told me that everything in the basement had to be ripped out. I had to rip out the carpet, tear down walls, pull out the old bar. I had to completely demolish the place. Demolish we did. Jose' came in and helped me with much of it. What he didn't have time to do, he told me how to do it. There were even nights he would come over with crow bar and saw and work into the wee hours of the night. If I ever got to the end of my rope - Jose' would step in and pull me through. If ever I had a question about who I should use for hiring on to do some work - Jose' put me in touch with someone good and trustworthy. I can't tell you how many hours Jose' put into my home. He is a blessing to my household.
I specifically remember a day when I was at my wit and strength's end. I was scraping glued carpet padding from the cement floor with a one inch wood chisel. Jose' just happened by and found me with a lot of glue padding to go. He had work to do that day but stopped amid his work day - went out to his truck for the right tool and helped me finish the task.
He makes everything seem easy. I am not a patient fellow and have learned from his work ethic and quiet spirit. I confess that I get impatient with myself - being around Jose' has helped me take things one at a time. I still catch myself losing it while doing a task - but my thoughts of Jose's calm way come to mind and I try to emulate that calmness. Unfortunately, these thoughts come after I blow my gasket - I am a work in progress myself. His example comes nevertheless and has become part of my conscience. I need to be more patient - I need to take things as they come and not get impatient with myself. It's good to have friends that I can learn from. I have learned a great deal from being around my friend Jose'.

Jose' - I know you've got so many tasks in front of you. I know that your plate is always full. I know you've put tasks aside so you could help me. I can't count the times you've come to my aid. You've been more than a friend - you've been by my side thick and thin like a brother. You were there when in life others turned their backs. You were there without judgement, but offered advise and Biblical truth. I will never be able to express the depth of my gratitude to you and to God for a friend like you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

stranded @ home

Kelsey and I are home today. My Mazda MVP is back in the shop. I had just picked it up from Baker Tire Company with a new master cylinder installed. A mechanic had called me earlier in the day with concerns about a part that he had to remove in order to get the the master cylinder. When they called back with news that the van was ready - I asked if the car was running. The guy said sure - come and get it. What about the part that the mechanic was concerned about? We duct taped it - it works great!

I picked the van up at closing time and then picked up the girls. I made my way down Rainbow Drive and my care began to not accelerate. I pulled off the road and phoned AAA for a tow. Stranded again! I don't know what they did at Baker but it smoked and smelled something awful. We duct tapped it - it works great my arse!

Today I was going to be home anyway. I've got the Dish Network tech guy coming over to fix a box that's been out for over a month. They were wanting to charge me for the visit but changed their mind when I politely said that I wanted to cancel my service. They were kind enough to offer sending a repairman out if I would reconsider. Of course I would.

The Bellsouth Tech guy is coming out sometime today too. He's going to find where disconnect in my basement that keeps me from having my phone and DSL service downstairs. I can't wait to get my computer back into my office.

So today is the day to fix things. I am also going to do some house-cleaning while stranded. We spend so much time at the office that the house doesn't get the attention it needs.

Oh - don't forget that Aroma Friday is this Friday at the Coffee Vine Cafe'. Shane Sanford will have his worship team from Mercy Hill there. They are really sweet people and quite good. Try to make it - and if you can't - cover us in prayer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

tony snow plays the blues

one of the good guys

Tony Snow was one of my favorite guest hosts on the Rush Limbaugh Show. I got to hear and appreciate his views and the kind of guy he was. Tony died this weekend of cancer - leaving his wife and two kids.

Tony was one of the good guys in Washington. Keep his family in your prayers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Groovy Man

This is Cheraw, SC native Dizzy Gillespie with his big band in 1947. Cheraw has a statue of Dizzy downtown, across from the old Lyric Theatre where he used to work. While in town a few weeks ago, we passed a stopped by a park that was dedicated to him. They are very proud of him back in his hometown.

I don't recall ever hearing Dizzy Gillespie sing. After listening to this video, I gather he was pretty darn good. My grandmother taught piano (and voice) in Cheraw. Uncle Pat once told me that Dizzy got on to him about not taking advantage of getting lessons from his mother. He told Pat that he was missing a great opportunity. Pat told me that story during our recent trip.

I love hanging around Jennie Llew and Pat. There are so many interesting little snippets from the past to be gathered.


The back of these photos say 1990. So that makes them among the last photographs taken of Dad. He died in July of 1990. Mother said that this picture was taken at her sister Millie Barina's home during a Davidson family reunion. The actual time of year isn't that clear but most of the women in this picture are dressed for warm weather. Mother said that Dad wasn't feeling well during that time. Who knew. I was wondering if this was the last picture of Westbrook taken but she said there was another one that she didn't have - and would like to have. Mother said she believed it was taken on the porch of Dad, Charity, and Emily. If anyone has that picture - how about digging it up and making Mom a copy.

But that's not why I posted the above images today. In these photographs, both Florrie Noojin and Irene Elrod are sharing a comfy chair together. Sara is still just a little thing, she sitting on Florrie's lap. Maybe it's because the hair styles between the two are similar and both wearing white blouses - but here - Irene and Florrie look very much alike. Why they look like they could very well be are.

This is the photograph that I ran across the other day Florrie - as per your request. It sure doesn't seem that long ago. Everyone sure looks less grayer than we are today. There are some hairs missing from this photo - Don & Jennie Rakestraw family, who live out of town.

Gina and I married September of 1990. We immediately packed up and moved to Bowling Green, KY. That year was a very hard year due to my father's death and the move. I will say though that after the mourning - Gina and I awoke to a wonderful time together in Western Kentucky. The following year - 1991 - was indeed a great year!

Monday, July 7, 2008

puff puff

That's me on the tricycle. I can't make out if that's Jennie or Irene tending to me. Irene is just a few years older than I am, and this sister looks a good bit older than what Irene should've been. It sure looks a lot like her. There are baby pictures around that show Irene and Jennie looking a lot like each other when they were babies.

I think that's Brooky in the background playing in the flat area of our backyard. There's a swing-set on the flat as well. I don't ever recall one being there. I do remember it being on the other side of the house growing up - beneath a large mimosa tree. Even though they made a mess of the yard, mimosas were great trees to have around with kids. They were very easy to climb and little Finlayson's often did.

You can double click on the photo to get a larger image.

Dad is in the background reclining a the chaise longue smoking a pipe. I never saw Dad smoke. I heard tell that his sister Florrence Foster Finlayson once talked him out of smoking his cigars and pipes. The only evidence I saw of his puffing years was a pipe-rack and pipes that were stored in the front coat closet. The pipes disappeared somewhere down through the years. I wish I had them - like I wish I had that big old tackle box of his. He used to have it filled with big brightly colored wooden lures.

I'll smoke a cigar or a pipe every now and again - maybe three of four times a year. I don't care for the long lasting after-taste, that's why I don't do it as often. I do though love the smell of cherry tobacco. Even during the period of 1990 - 99, when I didn't puff at all, I would stop my grocery shopping long enough to smell the pipe tobacco. Once in Washington, DC, I followed a man to the street corner just to ask him what what delightful blend he had stuffed in that pipe of his. Another reason I don't smoke my pipe as much is because my beloved Gina can't stand the smoke.

So if Magritte says this is not a pipe....what is it?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

double duty

I just wrote a piece for that I'll let do blog double duty today. I think it might bring some memories back for my siblings.

I hope you are all having a great 4th weekend. I feel like I've done nothing but cook and eat all weekend. We've had a get-togethers Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I am tired and haven't cleaned house in days. It's a mess everywhere I walk, and I simply don't want to do a thing about it. It is Sunday - I'll use that as my reason to not lift another finger.

Mr. David B. Finlayson
Mayor of Boomerville, USA

Friday, July 4, 2008


I ran across this a few minutes ago while posting for Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

big sister

A while back mother had a flood in her basement. Many of the old family photos were destroyed. I am glad that they were not all destroyed. The photo above was taken in the living room of 2624 Scenic Hwy. Here Jennie is giving her little sister Cindy a ride. It's a sweet shot.

The top-hat Cindy is wearing was authentic. It was a hat Dad had back in his swing band days. Unfortunately, this cool collapsible hat didn't survive our childhood. We wore it till it fell apart. I remember wearing it many Halloweens to top off clown costumes. I wish we still had it. I do though still have dad's old dress dinner jacket. It doesn't fit me but it's still in great shape.

I really like this photo. Jennie was a big sister that played with her younger siblings. I don't recall as a younger brother, ever being shooed away or not wanted around by Jennie. I will say one thing that I could have done without. Jennie liked to tickle. I found out later in life, as I got older and bigger, that she doesn't like to be tickled either.

Now there are those out there who like to be tickled. The Finlaysons had a magic word for it. If you said it, you would get tickled relentlessly. There were children that would literally ask for it. So if you're a kid and want to be tickled till you cry - I'll be happy to give you a hint. Just a hint mind you - because I know better not to come out and say it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

home is where one starts from

The family moved up on the mountain when I was born (1958). The little house on Arcade Circle just wasn't big enough for the ever growing Finlayson family. This is the place I once called home. This is the place most of my childhood memories were born.

Our home on Scenic was a great place to grow up in. It was a crowded house with six kids (two to a bed) and thinned out as children grew and flew from the branches.  Most Sundays though, we'd be back together again, putting another leaf in the table to accommodate a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law. Then came the grandchildren! The family kept increasing and Sunday afternoons were crowded and fun. Conversations, guitars, laughter. I have heard from my in-laws that it takes time to get accustomed to the noise level. Once one attains the tolerance for the noise - then you can slowly learn to focus - learn to tune your attention through the different conversations going on all at once - like tuning a dial of a radio. It's a lot like acquiring a super power - being able to adapt to the Finlayson commotion. I can see how it would've been quite overwhelming to a novice - to have all those channels going on all at once. Being born into it is a different matter.

The above photo shows the area of the house that I came to enjoy the most - the back porch. It wasn't until the early eighties that dad had the arbor built and added a screen to diffuse the sunlight. Mom hung the potted plants and I guess Dad had his hand in telling what plant would look best where. I spent hours and hours outside alone on the old pew playing guitar. It took a long time for me to get decent enough a player -so it was best that I torture the neighbors instead. The back porch was a haven from the constant activity of the world inside. It was a place that one could often be alone and if someone joined you - a clear channel in which to talk.

I remember the day we moved out. I thought I was going to miss that place more than I did. It is after all a thing - a big thing - but a thing nevertheless. It's amazing how we humans can move on in life and adapt to new surroundings so quickly. We discover how easy it is to make new places into new homes. I know that my daughters see our odd looking yellow brick house as home (I do too). They know every nook and cranny of this house like I knew my first home on Scenic Hwy. But one day they will fly away too. I hope when they leave - they will have countless good memories of this place they called home. Maybe they will take something of this place and time to one day make a happy home of their own.

God bless you Katie and Kelsey.
"Home is where one starts from" - T.S. Eliot