Thursday, March 30, 2017

Aubrey-Maturin Book Report Update

Just to give everyone an update on my reading, I've made it 61% of the way through The Thirteen Gun Salute, which is, incedentally, the thirteenth book of the Aubrey-Maturin series.

I've been enjoying the books and my Kindle immensely. Now that I'm deep into the books, the characters are like old friends, and I enjoy hearing about their exploits. For me, the Kindle has been a wonderful replacement for the old leather-bound books I've pictured above. True, the Kindle isn't leather bound and doesn't smell like rich mahogany, but it allows me to highlight, share passages, jump back and forth easily, and I never lose my place.

Best of all, unlike a real book, I don't have to worry about a dust jacket getting creased, or setting a glass on it and it getting a water-ring. It's actually much hardier than an actual book. And the space savings? Forget about it.

My goal is to make it through the entire series before the Fourth of July, so I can start in on the Marine Corps Reading List that I've already set as my next goal.

What is everyone else reading?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

News Roundup for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 Lots of things shaking in the news this week. Here are a few:

1. Brexit is happening. It sounds like Great Britain going through with the breakup. I beleive the next step is where it asks for its old CDs back and the old t-shirt that it left at the EU's apartment in Brussels.

2. Friday is the day that the Gorsuch nomination goes to the Senate floor. It's still unclear if the Democrats are going to filibuster him and force the Republicans to change the rules in what is being called the "nuclear option". If Democrats were smart, they'd keep their powder dry over this, and fight on a subsequent nominee. But they have to appease the rabid base, so it looks possible they're going to die on this hill.

3. Gamecock Men and Women basketball teams both reach the Final Four. Everyone expected the women to be in the Final Four. No one expected the men to crash the party. Should be an epic match-up for the men against Gonzaga on Saturday

4. Speaking of events on Saturday, the Carolina Cup is also this Saturday morning. Break out your sun dresses and bow ties, it's a tradition unlike any other.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Greetings From the Big Apple!

That's Permanent Press, Jr. in front of the "Big Apple" at the arrivals terminal of JFK airport. He and I are in New York for a weekend of sightseeing, Gamecock Basketball, and eating some hot dogs.

Tomorrow morning, we're off for the Museum of Natural History!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton Can't Let Go of the Salt

My law partner told me a story today about Dave Chappelle. If you didn't know (and I didn't) Chappelle turned down a lot of money when he decided not to keep going with his very popular comedy show.

He was already a millionaire many times over, and he was happy. The added money would certainly be more money, but it wouldn't really mean much. Obviously, walking away from millions of dollars was something that isn't normal in show business. He explained it with the following story:
"I watched one of these nature shows one time, and they were talking about how a Bushman finds water when it's scarce," he said. "And they do what's called a salt trap. I didn't know this, apparently baboons love salt. So they put a lump of salt in the hole and they wait for a baboon. The baboon comes, sticks his hand in the hole, grabs the salt, the salt makes his hand bigger and he's trapped, can't get his hand out." That baboon, Chappelle recalled, is later placed in a cage and given "all the salt he wants" until thirst strikes. "The first place the baboon runs to is water, the Bushman follows him, and they both drink to their fill," Chappelle said. "In that analogy, I felt like the baboon, but I was smart enough to let go of the salt."
I thought about that, and I was glad for Chappelle. He's figured out that he's got what he wants in life, and he's content with it. He's not going to go chasing after money that he doesn't need when he's got happiness and fulfillment already. Too many people can't let go of the salt, which brings me to Hillary Clinton.

Last Friday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech in which she said she was "ready to come out of the woods" which I suppose means she's looking to get back into the spotlight of national politics. I sort of thought we had seen the last of Hillary, but apparently she has other ideas. Maybe it's because all she's done over her adult life is to be a political animal, she doesn't know what else to do with herself. She's obviously a millionaire many times over. It's not like she needs the money. She's set for life (financially) and she'll be 70 in October. Her political career is over. Why not retire and enjoy the rest of your life?

She can't let go of the salt.

We all have our own "salt" in our lives. I hope that when I come up to that decision, I can let go.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sweet Victory Over Duke

Last night, the men's Gamecock basketball team shocked the world and beat the highly ranked, storied Duke Blue Devils.

Duke was widely picked as one of the teams to win the entire tournament, and now they're out. To make it even sweeter, this win was the very first time the South Carolina men's basketball teams has gone to the Sweet Sixteen since the tournament was expanded to sixty-four.

The Gamecocks are now heading to New York, New York. They face the Baylor Bears in the Sweet Sixteen this Friday.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sen. John Courson Indicted on Ethics Charges

He's been charged with charged with conversion of campaign funds for personal use and misconduct in office, according to the P&C. These charges are the latest development in the corruption probe by special prosecutor David Pascoe.

Is this still the tip of the iceberg?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Main and Blanding: Coffee Is Coming

Since I'm a lawyer with a new downtown address, this re-development is right next to where I work. As my new law partner and I were walking* to lunch today, I took a quick snapshot of the artist's rendering of what the corner of Main and Blanding will look like after the development of the old Hennesy's is completed:

The sunken courtyard is slated to be a coffee shop. It's going to make a lot of money.
If you look just past the sunken courtyard, down Blanding, my office building is the first building there. Accordingly, I'll be right next to a brand new coffee shop. And lawyers and coffee go together like peas and carrots. We live on the stuff.

The development of Main Street is really going well, and I think it's going to keep picking up and spreading bit by bit. Hopefully, some of our good Main Street mojo will rub off on the Bull Street development. In any event, I'll be set for coffee for the time being. Just like Reagan had the "Western White House" in California, I might have the Coffee House Office every once in awhile.

*I love being able to walk out of my office and have so many options on where to eat lunch. I can walk everywhere and have everything I need. I'm getting a few more steps in during the day, feeling like a real downtown citizen, and seeing lots of people I know on the street. I love walking around downtown.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mattis is still the only Trump Appointee at the Pentagon

Mattis and the Trump Administration seem to be having a hard time getting together on some important jobs.

Mattis has said little publicly about the pace of getting a new team installed, but officials familiar with the process say he and the White House have been at loggerheads on some picks. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Mattis may be about to prevail in one important appointment — Anne W. Patterson, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan who recently retired after serving as the State Department’s assistant secretary for near eastern affairs.

Officials expect her to be announced soon as Trump’s nominee to serve as undersecretary of defense for policy, a position of broad responsibility for steering policy. Critics, including some Republicans, opposed her selection on grounds that as ambassador in Cairo she was too accommodating to former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among other key Pentagon offices still without a presidentially appointed leader: intelligence, budget chief, weapons buyer, technology chief and personnel policy.

I don't know about y'all, but those sound like moderately important jobs.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sporting Clay Review of Old Hudson Plantation

It's been a long time since I've done a review of a sporting clay facility. Too long. I've been shooting locally at my two great "home" ranges of Hermitage Farms in Camden and Palmetto Outdoors (formerly Live Oaks) in Swansea, so I haven't traveled anywhere far away to do any shooting worth reviewing. Until this weekend, that is.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to go shoot at Old Hudson Plantation, near Lake Oconee in Georgia. Old Hudson Plantation has been owned by the same family since 1779, it's a full-services facility for anything you want to hunt or shoot. From quail to deer hunts, from trap to sporting clays, this place has it all. They even have their own hatchery where they raise game birds.

Our group was there to shoot sporting clays, which is sometimes referred to as "golf with a shotgun". Since we were mostly experienced shooters, we had our own guns, ammo, gear, and all we needed was a gas-powered Kawasaki mule that the folks at Old Hudson let us use.

The course was wonderful. The sporting clay course is little over a mile loop through the tall Georgia pines and rolling hills. You could tell that the folks at Old Hudson really took care in setting up the course, as the target presentation was very precise, well-done, and challenging for an experienced shooter, but accessible to newer shooters.

The most creative bird presentation was one station where the trap dropped the clay target into a metal chute that was essentially two rails which made the target roll on its edge until it dropped out of the chute where it immediately fell downwards, forcing you to break it on the fall. I'd never seen that before.

The owner, instructors, and staff at Old Hudson Plantation were friendly, made us feel like old friends coming in for a shoot (as opposed to customers) and were generous with taking care that we had everything we needed without being overly pushy in the way some veteran instructors can be.

I had a wonderful time, and my only regret was that I had to leave. If you're ever around the Lake Oconee area (about halfway between Augusta and Atlanta) I highly recommend you stop by Old Hudson Plantation for some shooting. They'll treat you right.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Open Thread

I'm heading out to Georgia with Mrs. Permanent Press and the shotguns for the weekend of breaking some clays.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Trenholm Little League Tee Ball - People Will Most Definitely Come

Tee Ball 2017
Today was the distribution of team uniforms for the Trenholm Park Little League teams. Permanent Press, Jr. is on the Hood Construction Company Team, and here he is showing off the new uniform. Note that he rocks the high socks as is the traditional baseball look, not the modern long pants. Baseball is a game of tradition, and you might as well look traditional - like Ian Kinsler.

He's also got his Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn glasses on. He'll wear some sports glasses for real games, but for today, he was just being him.

Baseball. It's marked the time, it's part of our past, and I'm now proud to pass it along to another generation.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Clemson Takes the Palmetto Series Due to Awful, Self-Destructive Decisions by Gamecock Coach

Clemson won the rubber game of the the three game set yesterday, and it was mostly because my Gamecocks just handed it to them.

Carolina was one strike from victory when Beer homered to deep right field in the 9th to tie the game at 3-3. The Gamecocks loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but the contest went to extra frames when Carolina was unable to push the winning run across.
What this article doesn't tell you is much about the way the Gamecocks failed in the ninth inning. Allow me to walk you through the wreckage of bad-decisions.

When the Gamecocks got the first two runners on in the ninth, Alex Destino (arguably the best hitter on the team) came to the plate. Seems pretty promising, no? All the Gamecocks had to do was get the winning run from second base home, and there was no one out with our best hitter up.

So Chad Holbrook promptly decides to not only bunt the runners over to second and third in that situation (wrong, yet forgivable) but he decides to pinch hit for the best hitter on the team to execute the bunt. Yes, that's right campers. Alex Destino was told that not only was he not trusted enough to get a hit, but that he wasn't trusted enough to get the bunt down.

Oh, and the replacement guy? The guy who's one job it was to drop down a bunt? Yeah, he promptly popped the bunt up and it was caught by the Clemson catcher in front of home plate, so the entire plan utterly and completely failed.

Failure all around.