Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a pain in the neck

I get a lot of clients with the same kind of neck pain.  A lot of neck pain comes from repetitive movement.  People who sit at a desk, or carry heavy objects.  Carrying those huge purses can cause that pain too girls.  All of this weakens your muscles.

Try this.  Set up your workstation so that the top of your monitor is even with your eyes.  Get a chair with good lumbar support.  Don't just sit at your desk for hour after hour without getting up.  Do your neck and back a favor.  Get up and move around (15 - 30 seconds) every thirty minutes. 

I'll be happy to show you some stretches next time you're in the office for a massage.  Are you also experiencing back pain?  Walking can strengthen your back muscles.  Oh, I almost forgot.  A good  therapeutic massage might do wonders

-David B. Finlayson LMT, NCTM
 Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why a duck?

This is an image of Kelsey steering an amphibious landing vehicle - a DUKW.  Chattanooga Duck use only the WWII GMC DUKWs on their tours.  We were told that many like touring companies use replica's of the DUKW - not these guys.

The DUKW saw action in all theaters of World War II and Korea as a ship-to-shore transporter of soldiers and supplies. DUKWs proved to be critical to the even flow of supplies from ship to shore. The initial intent was to develop a lighter vehicle that could ferry supplies from ships anchored offshore and drive right up over the beach to support the supply lines.  The DUKW's were used in all theater's of war during WWII as well as in Korea.  It's a great experience learning about history as you're riding history.
The captain of the 'Daffy Dukw' was kind enough to let our 7 year old take the wheel as we circled around Madellan Island.  This was our second tour aboard a Chattanooga Duck.  The first time was when Katie was little.  We wanted Kelsey to have the same experience that Katie did.  Both times, the captains were knowledgeable about the history of the craft, and the history of Chattanooga on and off land.  It's also nice to have a tour guide with a sharp sense of humor.
Above is an image that Gina took just prior to the Captain asking his passengers if we wanted to do this slow or fast.  We of course all said, "FAST!"  That was the only fast thing about the tour.  DUKWs don't go that fast in water.  That's why so many who had the privilege of riding them under fire during WWII called them 'Sitting Ducks'.  We were told that all of the DUKWs found in the U.S. never saw combat.  No one was fond of them and so they did not make it back state-side after the war.  All the GMC DUKWs found in the U.S. today never left America.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coolige Park

Just across Market Street Bridge in downtown Chattanooga is one of my favorite spots.  Coolige Park is a free place to go and a pleasant place to spend an afternoon - or an evening.  Last Saturday night we found out that a free movies were played at the park through out July.  So we headed down there just before night fall and found a nice spot in the lawn.  The show was Monsters Vs. Aliens.  I was pleasantly surprized that they showed an old Warner Brother's Bugs Bunny Cartoon before the main feature.  It was a pleasant evening.  The day had been a scorcher, but the evening was pleasant, cool and breezy.

During the show my eyes kept being drawn to the Delta Queen paddle steamer that had recently been retired and docked at Coolige Park.  It's a big boat and her lights lured me to her deck.  Gina and Kelsey stayed with the show, Katie caught up with me as I approached the sidewalk leading to the peer.  I found out the day before that the Delta Queen was the paddle wheeler used in the move Maverick (1994) that starred James Garner, Mel Gibson, James Coburn and Jodie Foster.  The Delta Queen, launched in December of 1925, was the last fully operational, overnight passenger steamboat in the country.  It is now retired and shore-bound and goes by the name of the Delta Queen Hotel.  

I half expected that we were going to be kicked off at any moment.  It was so calm and beautiful that night.  I could hear some live music somewhere from up-top.  Katie and I ventured around the old ship and marveled at all the incredible woodwork.  Still, no one asked us to leave - we ventured up a second flight of stairs.  There was a really classy looking bar up there.  I took Katie to a side door and we explored the decks.  The water reflected all the countless lights of the park and the city across the river.  We followed the music to the bow.  Two men were playing acoustics for a small audience there - they sounded good.   Katie and I found a small table and sat there for a little while.  It was a good moment.  I could tell by the expression on Katie's face that she was enjoying the moment as well.  

Promenading the old deck, hearing the music, people moving about,  all those lights, made me feel like the old boat still had some life in her.  I do feel as though I had missed out on something special - by not having ridden her up a winding river on one of her countless voyages.  I had the feeling that the movie would be over soon and figured we needed to get back to Gina and Kelsey.

Katie and I traced our steps back to the lower deck and made our way off the boat.  The movie was over.  I had no idea how it ended, but I am glad that we dared venturing the sleeping Delta Queen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a very smart man

say it with a bullet

A-TEAM * * * * * I don't recall ever watching the A-Team television show.  All I can recall is that there were a million rounds spent and no one got hurt.  I also remember the commercials that ran showing a vehicle being flipped each week.  It seemed that they were doing the same stunt over and over again, only with a different vehicle.

I don't know why I kept being drawn to see this movie.  The only pull was that Liam Neeson had taken on the roll of Hannibal Smith - filling the combat boots of the late George Peppard.

So what did I think of it?   Roger Ebert hated it -  I loved it.  A-Team is thoroughly entertaining - full of explosions and one-liners. Gina wanted to go with me.  I highly doubted that she was going to like it - but she also loved it.  It looks like they're setting this up for sequels and I hope they do.

The A-Team (2010) reminded me greatly of my favorite comic book as a kid, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (Marvel).  There is this scene where the A-Team are in a tank descending via parachute.  Face uses the MG on the turret to take out one of the attacking aircraft.  It immediately reminded me of a yellowed page from Sgt Fury comic book where Corporal Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan blew a German Messerschmitt out of the air with a hand-grenade.  There is nothing remotely plausible regarding the A-Team.  The movie is what it is.  I didn't go into the theater with the idea that I was going to experience plausible entertainment.  I just went in wanting to be entertained.  I was not disappointed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

weekend at the movies

 Knight and Day * * * *  Gina and I got away for a date Saturday evening. We had no idea what this movie was about or if it would be good or not.  I knew that Gina likes spy thrillers - Bourne Identity type action.  The on-line trailer seemed to indicate that it border-lined being a romantic comedy.  After seeing it, I believe this could describe the movie. We were both pleased with the movie even if the online critics weren't happy with it.  I am not a big of Tom Cruise, but this is one of his good movies.  Anyone who liked the Mission Impossible flicks ought to enjoy this one.
Toy Story 3 * * * * *  The entire family was looking forward to seeing this movie.  None of us were disappointed.  I am not going to spoil movies I'm rating here, but this is a must see.  All of us enjoyed it, and it's well worth the ticket price.  As much as I enjoyed the last installment of the Shrek franchise, I think this one is the better.  This fifty-something year old was moved by this toy story.  It's wonderful storytelling and it's just as good as the first installment, if not better.

Both of these movies were thoroughly entertaining.  Too many movies out there are predictable - I can usually see what's coming within the first thirty minutes of the feature.  I appreciate something fresh - both of the above flicks were just that.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

best sandwiches around

Last Friday we were invited to an outdoor event in Ohatchee.  We were told that there was a Pizza place in the strip mall that served a great Muffuletta sandwich.  It has been years since I've had a Muffuletta.  Gina and I drove the girls out for dinner and an outdoor concert.  The restaurant is called Custom Made Pizza of Ohatchee and it's great food.  I live on the edge here in Southside and am delighted to know that this place is just a short drive down Hwy 77.  A piece of advice, don't order the large if you are going alone. I bet you could split a large between four people.  This hole in the wall is worth finding.

One of my other favorite sandwiches in the area can be found at Pas'ghetti's in Rainbow City.  It's called the M-5 (five meat sandwich).  It is an incredible sandwich that is hard to finish in one sitting.  I noticed where they also serve Muffuletta's but have yet to try it.  Pas'ghetti's also has a good Stromboli Steak sandwich too. I'm sure most people think of Pas'ghettis as a good place to get pasta.  I highly recommend their sandwiches as well.

I went to The Flip Side Cafe' (Gadsden, AL) this afternoon.  Having their Reuben is what inspired this post today.  They have the best Reuben in town.  I enjoyed my sandwich with an order of their crispy thin sweet potato fries.  Make sure you get a fresh hot batch of the fries when you order.  It's worth the wait.

That's my top three picks.  What are your local favorites?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My favorite Martin

I have never owned a Martin guitar before.  I always wanted one.  I own two old red label Yamaha acoustics.  They have aged well and have a nice rich sound.  Though I've always wanted a Martin, my Yamaha's sound better than most Martins I've ever tried out.  For years I just couldn't justify the sound quality with the big price difference.

Last week while at my favorite pawn shop, I saw my Martin hanging on the wall.  I had seen one just like it about four years ago in a guitar store in Atlanta.  I didn't have the money then, but had never forgotten it.  The guitar is a CF Martin 00CXAE Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar.  It is a beautiful thing.

I spent the week thinking about it.  I have never had a guitar on my mind like I had that one.  Like Obama says about himself, that guitar was THE ONE I had been waiting for.

I still don't have the money to buy a guitar, so I had to think of something of mine that my pal Ron Greer wanted.  I had my old 1960 Fender Champ Amp.  It was an amp that I've used to play blues harp with for well over twenty years.  My brother Brook gave it to me years ago.  He bought it for a song and gave it to me.  I loved that amp, but I wanted the guitar more.

Ron sweetened the deal by tossing in a CRATE GX-65 amplifier into the trade.  Losing the Champ meant that I didn't have an amp in which to play my Fender Telecaster.  I plugged my Tele into it last night and played it for a long while before going to bed.  It's a nice amp.

 So I made the trade and drove on to work.  I showed Gina my new Martin and she flipped.  I let her hold it and she claimed it as HER guitar.  I admit that the size of the guitar makes it easier to learn.  I was surprised.  She is just as excited about the guitar as I am.  So even though I no longer have my little Fender tube amp - I'm very satisfied with the trade.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Goodbye Byrdy

Senator Robert Carlyle Byrd (Democrat)
November 20, 1917 – June 28, 2010