Oh ... Really?

Category: Local News

Friday, July 18, 2008

The move is on ...

The work of moving ... the packing, sorting, trashing of all my stuff ... is well underway. When I moved into this place a year ago, I knew I would not be staying more than a year. At the time, I didn't have a precise plan in place, but I knew I would be leaving soon. I kind of had a small one bedroom or studio in mind, closer to the center of the city, where I would live alone with my two cats. That's not quite how it has turned out ... instead I am moving out to the country, into a huge 6 bedroom house, with 3 teenagers, a toddler, 3 dogs, 3 puppies and a noisy bird ... and my best friend, soul mate and life partner.

A major impetus to moving away from here was my unfortunate miscalculation of the quality of this neighborhood. Just off Cedar Bluff, in the heart of West Knoxville, this used to be a really nice apartment community with a mix of young families, single professionals and retirees - folks that seek out lower cost rentals. But it has also become attractive to some unsavory elements ... drug sellers and illegal immigrants. There is one apartment here that was housing what seemed to be about a dozen young Hispanic men. They spent most of the day sitting out on the front lawn, and every now and then a van or pickup truck would stop, several of them would get in and it would drive away. This routine repeated itself several times every day. Sometimes there would be women and small children about, hanging out with them. They clearly were not outside having a neighborly barbecue, they would quietly sit, speaking softly, watching other people come and go ... it was a bit creepy. No head nods or waves of greeting, just stares. Distrustful stares.

There were some other problems here as well ... several incidents of domestic disturbances, a carjacking and my own conflict with a neighbor. When I first moved in, I had arranged for garbage pickup at the curb. They told me the to place my bags by the curb and they would pick them up and leave a big trash can for me to use. However, they did not pick up the trash as promised, and it sat out there all day long while I was at work. Upon returning home, I called the waste collection company but they were closed for the day. I called first thing the next morning and was assured they would come get it that day. When I got home, there it was still ... but now it was in my parking space. I moved it so I could pull in, went inside and started searching for a number I could call to get this taken care of. While I was inside, someone had come out and threw all the trash bags back into the parking space, right next to my car!

I went out and at this time the next door neighbor came over and started yelling at me. He would not hear any of what I was saying ... that I DID have trash collection arranged and paid for, THEY just didn't pick it up like they should. He was aggressive, threatening and verbally abusive. Someone called the police, who came, heard my story and told the dude to simmer down. He did, for the time being. However, later on he exacted some revenge by having my son attacked by two thugs ... which resulted in his spleen being contused and a small tear in a kidney.

The trash collection company, after 4 days of my yelling and threatening to complain to the county commission, FINALLY picked up my trash. Without so much as an apology for my inconvenience, of course. I so look forward to canceling this service ...

Anyway, my new home is in a rural area of northern Sevier County, and I look forward to the peace and quiet and sense of safety out in the country. Or at least I did until I saw this:

KODAK — Dozens of officers launched a pre-dawn raid in Sevier County today, beginning arrests of 39 people indicted on drug charges.


Hopefully, this is just a one-off incident, they will get this cleaned up and the druggies will all be run off or incarcerated.

Heh ... who am I kidding?

Oh well, back to packing, sorting and trashing. We are taking this weekend off to rest, and spend time with family. Rich's son Adam is back from his honeymoon, and will be returning to Iraq next week. We are having a cookout up at the lake house with the whole family getting together for food, swimming and lying around the pool, watching movies on a big inflatable screen out on the deck and just chillaxin - as the kids put it.

Time to rest, relax, and reconnect ...

Posted by LissaKay on 07/18/08 at 11:13 AM in ~ Happy Crap ~ Local News ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogfest Out West!

Ii is finally officially official ... Blogfest will happen again, next Saturday, April 12! Spread the word!

The place: Wild Wings Cafe - (Google Map)

The time: Be careful asking Rich that question, his answer may be more than you bargained for ... but the festivities will start around 6:00 that evening.

The people: Bloggers of all sorts, shapes, varieties, ages, colors and heights, from various locations around the greater East Tennessee area, and points beyond, along with their significant others, if they wish ... plus a kid or two, or three or four or fourteen (depending on whether Cathy and Doug bring any, part or all of their brood). Blog readers are welcome too!

The special guest: A local candidate running for the state House may grace us with his presence. (And no, it's not the asinine one that I took to the wood shed a couple months ago!)

Let us know if you can join us in comments here or there, post at your site to spread the word and we hope to see you there!

Posted by LissaKay on 04/07/08 at 06:35 PM in ~ Blogging ~ Happy Crap ~ Local News
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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Snips and Snails

Puppy dog tails ... that's what little boys are made of. And boys will be boys. God love 'em ... And us girls, we have our own traits as well, and those lovable guys love us for them too.

One of the hot topics in the Knoxville blogosphere recently has been the opening of a new barber shop, Gentlemen's Top Cuts. It is an establishment that caters to men and promises "atmosphere, beautiful women, and quality services unlike anywhere else." While most of the guys have met this news with great enthusiasm, some women have voiced, or blogged, some objections.

Calling it a "meat market" or questioning the manhood of the men who would patronize such an establishment or questioning the women who would "allow" their men to go there, usually wrapped in a mantle of feminist righteous indignation that women would market themselves in such a manner - what it usually boils down to is that women are competitive as hell ... with each other, with our appearance as the measure of our comparative worth. Yes, girls will indeed be girls, and that's why we have Sephora, Victoria's Secret whole industries dedicated to helping us look the best we can. To compete for the attention of the male, we have to be more attractive than the woman next to us. It's just the way it is.

So what, exactly, is the big deal? What's wrong with all that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. When we recognize, appreciate and even celebrate the differences between men and women, we can then live in harmony and peace with each other.

Men like to look at women. They are visual creatures, and they are attracted to potential mates by how they appear, at least initially. While we have adopted certain cultural traditions and habits that have altered our behavior, we are still, at our core, instinctual animals. The male of the species seeks to reproduce with the female that will most likely be his genetic complement, and one that is healthy and capable of easily bearing his offspring. The human female is in prime childbearing state when she is between the ages of 16 and 28. So, to the male, the appearance of this youthfulness is a prime attraction. Indeed, the prime biological directive of the human male to reproduce as much as he can. That means sex, and lots of it. With the prettiest, youngest looking female that he can attract.

So, sex sells. And why not? If it appeals to your target customer, why not use it? And if a woman has the physical traits that make her attractive to men, why not use those to her advantage?

In one of the blog discussions about GTC, Say Uncle said, "Basically, Gentlemen’s Top Cuts is applying the Hooter’s concept to hair cuts. Men don’t go to Hooter’s for the overpriced beer and the crappy wings. They go to check out the women and watch the sports on HD TeeVee." That's pretty much it, in a nutshell. It's entertainment.

But I guess some women are offended at being considered "entertainment" ... even as they spend hundreds of dollars trying to make themselves attractive. Some women get it though, like Cathy. After Doug went and got all gussied up at GTC, she says, "Doug did not go someplace sleazy. He did not objectify women. He did not cheat on me in body or mind. He hung out with people who have similar interests. He got pampered. He acted silly and had fun. Yay for Doug. He deserves it."

The so-called feminists have done more to screw up the ability of men and women to get along and enjoy each other for what we are than anything else they have done. At the same time as they campaigned for the right of women to enjoy their own sexuality, they also degraded that same sexuality by inferring that any male appreciation of it was making them a sex object. That is what I don't get. They want to be sexy, but they don't want men to notice it?

Men are wonderful beings, and their appreciation of women and all that we have to offer is one of their more endearing qualities. There is nothing wrong with appealing to men in that fashion at all. At least not to women with a healthy self-esteem.

Maybe one of these days, I will write about what exactly it is that women want ... it seems to be a common and perplexing question. Maybe it should stay that way ...

(FYI ... it appears that an "Uncle-lanche" is three times better than an "Insta-lanche" - Welcome Uncle readers! While you're here, mark your calendars for the next Blogfest, next Saturday, April 12 at 6:00 at Wild Wings Cafe in Farragut ... more here! And stayed tuned here for an announcement of a special guest that may make an appearance at BlogFest!)

Posted by LissaKay on 04/06/08 at 01:30 AM in ~ Local News
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Unimaginable Heartache, Unimaginable Joy

Since Friday, much of East Tennessee has been reeling with the news of the tragic accident that took the life of 12 year old Ashley Paine in Oak Ridge.

It is one of those cases that makes you want to seek out your own children, hold them close and thank God for every day you have with them. Many also wonder why awful things like this have to happen. We comfort ourselves with the faith and knowledge that God has a plan for us all, and He has His reasons that will be revealed to us someday. It is not often that the bereaved get their answer so soon ...

“Momma, they got me a heart.”

Those are the words Jessica Hensley heard Monday when her phone rang at 1 a.m. in her Kingston home.

Jessica’s 12-year-old daughter, Jordon Hensley, called from Vanderbilt University Medical Center with the news that her cardiologist needed her to get ready for a heart transplant.

“Jordon called me before the doctor did,” Jessica said Tuesday in a phone call to The Oak Ridger.

“She told me, ‘The doctor’s about to call you. I am so excited.’”

Jessica said, “We are so thankful to the Paine family. I have not got an official word (about the donor), but I know it was Ashley.

As one family suffers the unimaginable grief of the loss of a child, another revels in the joy that theirs has been given a second chance at life ... both resulting from the very same incident. The mind, and heart, boggles.

It was exactly a year ago that I was watching a friend lose his beloved wife, the mother of his two boys, his soul mate ... helpless to comfort or help. A mutual friend and I lamented that such a horrible thing was happening to two wonderful, good people and it wasn't fair. WHY? We wondered ... why them?

While nothing ever can replace a loved one, ripped tragically from our lives, there can be some comfort from knowing there was another purpose, some good that came from it. One child is lost, another lives, and a dangerous intersection gets school zone speed limits and warning lights. A beloved wife is lost, and another jaded, cynical, and lonely woman is inspired by their story to give love another chance, and hundreds of others who also followed the story* reassess their own lives, relationships and faith. Who knows what else came of the story of Jake and BJ? Other than Jake has moved on and has been able to find yet another worthy recipient of all that wonderful love he has to give ...

As I stumble through my own life, coping with challenges, trials and tribulations, it is very difficult to remember that there is a reason for everything, reasons that oftentimes, only God truly knows. We can only let go and let God ... the very measure of faith.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

*Start here and read forward for the whole story of Jake and BJ. Bring tissues. Lots of them.

Posted by LissaKay on 11/14/07 at 02:22 AM in ~ Local News ~ Oak Ridge
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pampers Alert!

On the count of three, EVERYONE PANIC!

Ready? Set? Go.

In a press statement, BWXT, the plant's operator said "appropriate protective actions" have been taken for Y-12 employees who are not involved in the emergency response.

"No protective action recommendations have been issued for areas outside the Y-12 boundary and none are anticipated," the contractor said.

Nothing to see here, folks ... move along. You can go change your britches now. You, and everyone else, is safe and sound ... at least from the scary radiation. You put yourself in greater danger and at higher risk when you drive to the grocery store, take a bath, mow the lawn or any number of other ordinary, normal activities. The only significant news out of this incident is that the emergency procedures worked. If the paper reported on each and every incident that happened in the workplace wherein no one got hurt, no environmental damage was done and all the safety procedures worked, the daily paper would be three inches thick!

Geez ... the paranoia over radioactive materials is just amazing!

Posted by LissaKay on 03/15/07 at 12:39 PM in ~ Local News
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When Schools Ignore Bad Teachers

A rather intriguing scandal has rolled through the little city of Oak Ridge, TN. Montgomery (Monty) Koons is just the latest teacher to be accused of innappropriate behavior with a student in what seems to be an epidemic of teachers gone bad. The latest from WBIR also has a video of the news report, be sure to watch that. Now keep in mind, that school has had two opportunities in the recent past to take action with this teacher. What did they do in response to the second incident? They gave him a month long paid vacation, "to help him overcome the stress" from his job. That incident involved him shoving an 11 year old girl against a desk, and swatting her on the behind. He played it off as horseplay, and it was her word against his. The school took no further action. She was left to feel betrayed, and that she was being called a liar. In addition, she was rather well developed for an 11 year old, and says that this teacher seemed to pay a lot of visual attention to her chest. After she reported the butt swatting incident, she was made to feel so uncomfortable in his classroom that she had to transfer to another in the middle of the school year. Now, with this incident, she is reliving the trauma of that episode. The damage from this kind of thing is forever.

I wonder if the school had taken stronger measures back then, would another girl and her family be going through this now?

I am seriously pissed off right now, for a number of reasons, which I may or may not discuss here.

Posted by LissaKay on 09/20/06 at 12:48 AM in ~ Local News ~ Oak Ridge
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Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer in the South

Yes indeed, the weather radar is looking ugly and scary. It's probably time to take cover.
(The pink arrow is where my house is)

But heck ... this is the south. Where a forecast of an inch of snow sends people rushing to the grocery stores to buy up all the milk and toilet paper, but severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings send people rushing to their porches to watch the storm roll in ... I'm sitting here watching a couple of teenage boys toss a football back and forth out in the street. People are walking dogs, and babies in strollers. Huh ... go figure. Me, I am making sure the bathroom under the stairs has candles, matches and a radio with good batteries.

Posted by LissaKay on 07/21/06 at 09:34 PM in ~ Local News
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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Blogger Get-together?

This will only be relevant to those in the Knoxville area-

The new Borders store in Turkey Creek is having their grand opening today. Tonight at 8, Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere will give a free performance. (Again, only East Tennesseans will get the joke in their name ... cute!). I am going to try to make it, after I get some errand-running done. A few other bloggers might make it too. Join us! I'll buy you a coffee drink!

Posted by LissaKay on 06/03/06 at 03:26 PM in ~ Blogging ~ Local News
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Sad Irony

In today's newspaper, there were three articles ... two refuting the first in a very tragic way.

Allstate study ranks Knoxville drivers among safest in U.S.

This first article reports on an Allstate Insurance study that shows Knoxville, TN ranking as the 6th safest city to drive in, with drivers averaging an accident every 12.6 years. The national average is one every ten years. In the safest city, Sioux Falls, ID, drivers averaged one accident every 14.3 years.

Then we have these two other pieces today ...

Child, 3, hit by car several times
A 3-year-old Campbell County boy was repeatedly run over by a car at his home when a soured drug deal escalated into a violent confrontation between his parents and some of their alleged customers, authorities said Wednesday.

and Powell junior, man die in Clinton Highway collision
A junior at Powell High School and a 68-year-old man were killed Wednesday afternoon in a head-on collision in North Knox County, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Rhiannon Galford, 17, was driving a Chevrolet Cavalier southbound on Clinton Highway near the Beaver Creek Road intersection when she crossed into oncoming traffic and hit an Oldsmobile driven by the man, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley.

Horrible tragedies ... the stories published almost side by side with the 6th safest city article. Sadly ironic, indeed.

An additional note ... what is it with Powell? The place eats kids up and spits out the bones! A local TV station noted that over a dozen teens in Powell have died in motor vehicle accidents in the last 7 years. Even before that, when I worked EMS in Knoxville, we all knew that Powell was a dangerous place to live for young people. I even declined to rent a big house, dirt cheap there because I would be terrified for my kids constantly.

But still ... it's nothing compared to 1982 in Oak Ridge. Population ~28,000 ... that year saw 11 young people die in tragic accidents. I graduated from ORHS that year. I knew several of those kids. It still freaks me out.

Another tie ... Assistant chief deputy dies in wreck - Deputy Kevin Lyon was killed in a wreck ... in Powell ... two weeks ago. He graduated with me from ORHS in 1982.

Sad ...

Posted by LissaKay on 05/25/06 at 08:02 PM in ~ Local News
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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Storm of the Century?

They have been warning about this storm system for two days ... it's here now. Tornados have already touched down in Middle Tennessee. There is now a tornado warning in Morgan Co, about 40 miles due west of here. It's coming this way.

Will update as long as I have power and cable internet!

Local radar

7:19 TV news is now telling people in Morgan Co to take cover immediately. Tornado Warning.
7:27 The storm with tornadic activity is head straight for me. Yikes! (I have a bathroom under the stairs I can shelter in)
7:42 It looks like this first storm is tracking to the north some. But there are more cells behind it. It is going to be a long night.

I'm going to try to get some video of this.

Internet service just hiccupped ... TV cable didn't even flicker. And my web server is all flakey tonight too. Gotta do something about that ..

8:25 - Just confirmed, 10 people have died as a result of this string of storms.

Dark now ... which makes this even more scary. You can't see the funnel clouds form ... you don't know there's a tornado until it's right on you. Gah ..

10:10 The second line of storm is here, not as strong as the first, but this time it is right on top of us. The TV news has already gone back to regularly scheduled programming. They spent several hour going on and on about the storms. The weather guy was having a joygasm while he talked about the storm cells, funnel clouds, and on and on ... then one of the news anchors reminded him that the storms that were getting him all excited had killed ten people so far. Man, what a sheepish look he had then!

Yep, gonna be a long night. Noisy one too. Meanwhile, Preston wonders "Where is George Bush?" Nice snark, Preston. Heh.

Posted by LissaKay on 04/08/06 at 12:18 AM in ~ Local News
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