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notoriously nice™
Yes, he's really that nice.
Recent Activity
In 1970 I drove through the night from Kentucky to the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville NC to see that total eclipse and it was amazing. Not only the eclipse itself but the landscape as darkness quickly moved across campus and as the birds, which has been active and noisy until then, went quiet. If the weather here is clear on the 21st I could sit on my lawn and watch my second eclipse, but we'll probably drive to Isaac's workplace on the other side of town for a view that lasts about 30 seconds longer. If the weather isn't clear I'll probably drive west to someplace where it is clear. Two total eclipses in a lifetime is something not a lot of people get to enjoy.
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2017 on August thoughts at Stargazer
Cheese in a can?
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2017 on Did I ever tell you? at Stargazer
27 years after Hurricane Hugo and I still dread the wind which is one of the reasons we fled to Atlanta ahead of Hurricane Matthew. Sorry I'm too far away to help if you need it.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2016 on Stormalooza at Stargazer
I'm glad you like the Lewis Trilogy.
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2016 on What I know at Stargazer
Before every general election I ask some of the candadates on the ballot in my precenct questions about the issues that are the most important to me. First up this year, like in 2008, are the candidates for County Council in District 6, which covers part of West Ashley and a small part of North Charleston. Vick Rawl is the Democratic incumbent and Carolyn Hughes is his Republican opponent. These are the questions: 1) Now that the SC DOT has voted to not take over the I-526 extension what do you think County Council should do? If Council decides that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
Those of you who know me know that I prefer to keep a low profile. More like an invisible profile. But after watching a crew fill the same potholes for the third time, and after watching the city repave the streets leading to the Country Club but not the smaller streets I figured that someone had to step up and since no one else volunteered, that someone evidently is me. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know who my District 10 council person was until a few minutes ago. I might have voted for him in the last election.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
Looking over my playlists on iTunes and Google Music (there's some overlap but they aren't the same) two things struck me. 1) Evidently I haven't listened to any new music since 2007 and 2) How drunk was I when I downloaded Hanggai's "Drinking Song" and was it because I'd had a good time somewhere that I don't remember? Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
Other People's Money is the first Brit one. It probably helps if you appreciate British humour while you read it. Everything about this novel is great until you get to the last chapter entitled, appropriately, 'The End', when Justin Cartwright ties up all of the loose ends quicky. I hate when an author does that. Other than that it's a great read. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
Snow Drops is set in Moscow in the early 2000's. Nick, a lawyer for a Brirish law firm in Moscow, falls in love with Mahsa, only to discover that nothing in the new Russia is as it seems. A.D. Miller was the Moscow correspondent for the Economist during those years so he's well aquainted with what life was like then. It is his first novel and it was a Man Booker Prize finanist. (If you don't know what the British Man Booker Prize is think of our Nationial Book Award, only with more sales.) Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
I think one of the biggest victims of the end of the cold war was John le Carre. He lost his enemy and his focus. With the rise of the oligarghs in Russia he seems to be back on track. Our Kind of Traitor isn't Smiley but it gives me hope. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
It's been a long time since I did mini-book reviews (I blame Netflix) but get ready for a flood of them. Don't be surprised if most of the books I review are by British authors. That's the way I roll. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
I bought two pair of Wrangler jean shorts at Walmart because 1) I needed them to replace two that I'd worn for 10 years and that now have holes in them in places that might get me arrested in South Carolina, and 2) they are the only ones I've seen that didn't hang below my knees, or worse, hang mid-calf. (Not a good look for old guys like me even if I could slam dunk a basketball.) The only problem I had with them is that they were dark-blue-jean color and I really wanted something more bleached out like the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
Golfers with wicked hooks drive them into your yard. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
All I know about this photo is that it was taken in the mid-to-late 1920's near Whitesburg, KY. That's my grandmother, Harriet Johanna Upington Courtney and her father-in-law (my great-grandfather) Michael Henry Courtney*. Dad is on the left, Uncle Bob is next to him. And Uncle John is the one with his fingers in his mouth. Of the five, Bob is the only one still living. *My grandfather was William Henry Courtney. My father was William Henry Jr. I'm William Henry III. Because there were so many Williams my parents decided to nickname me Mike after Michael Henry. It stuck.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
While boxing up books to make room for more books on my shelves* I came across my paternal grandmother's astronomy textbook from when she was a student at Campbell-Hagerman College**. I hadn't looked at it in years and glancing through it today I was struck again by how much our knowledge of the universe increased over the 20th Century and a bit of the 21st. In fact, in the 1904 text the only time the word "universe" is mentioned, and then briefly, is as the "stellar universe". In other words, our Milky Way galaxy was thought to be the universe.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2012 at Notoriously Nice ®
You can read Champ by watching his ears. Treat? I thought I was getting that treat. I swear I didn't do it. Do I still get the treat? Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
I have no idea what you are saying but I love the way you say it.
Toggle Commented Sep 2, 2011 on Intent, art and the 21st century at Xark!
As I’ve mentioned before on Facebook, Chuck Norris is a hummingbird that sits in my willow oak tree all day, every day guarding the feeder under the tree. If another hummer tries to feed, Chuck swoops down and chases it away. This morning another hummer, I’ll call it Sylvester Stallone, evidently decided it didn’t want to put up with Chuck’s shit any longer. Sly landed on the feeder, Chuck attacked, and that started an epic air battle that lasted almost 30 minutes. If you’ve seen film of the dogfights that took place between British and German fighters during the Battle... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
I went to the barber shop to get my usual haircut. #4 clipper all over, neaten the sides and back. I had my eyes closed to keep stray hair from blowing in them and that's when I heard the young lady cutting my hair say what I never wanted to hear. The #4 blade guard had fallen off of the clipper, which proceeded to shave a 5" long, 2" wide swath across the top of my head from back-to-front. Where there should have been 1/2" long hair there was 1 mm long hair, and lots of white skin. Once the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
I hooked Champ to his leash and we went outside. As we rounded the house into the backyard he saw three ducks under the bird feeder and lunged after them, like he always does. Except this time his leash snapped in the middle and it was off to the races. The ducks made one lap around the yard with Champ in close pursuit before they headed for the lake. I heard four splashes. Duck, duck, duck, Champ. The lake in this summer heat is stagnant, fetid, and scum-covered. To make it even worse, when Champ finally came out he had... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
When I was a kid we had a Dazey ice crusher in the kitchen. It was attached to the cabinet next to the back door. I have no idea what happened to it. Mom probably sold it in a yard sale. I bought this one on eBay for cheap. As far as I know it’s the one we used to own. It certainly looks like it. Why do I love the Dazey ice crusher? It makes better crushed ice than an electric model could. Nothing will cool you off quicker from the summer heat than a tall glass of crushed... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
You have to learn what works and what doesn't. I suspect this photo captures the essence of Barney better than a stop-action one would.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2011 on The blur of Barney at B is for Bet
1 reply
I stole this from Carly because it's about food. A: is for Apple, what’s your favorite variety? For fresh I like apples that are slighter sweeter than tart. Gala and Fuji are two varieties that come to mind. For cooking? Anything with Rome in the name. Rome, Red Rome, Rome Beauty. They hold up well when baked. B: is for Bread, regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of? Salt rising. It’s a Kentucky thing. I buy it whenever I’m there. I still have half a loaf left from... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
Because Amazon refuses to believe that I have Firefox 4.0 on my laptop (or any browser as it turns out) I downloaded the new Lady Gaga album to my old laptop in the office. From there I could sync it with my iPad and Touch. After all iTunes is iTunes, right? Wrong. When I plugged in my Touch (and iPad) I got this message - “The iPod (iPad) cannot be used because it requires iTunes 10.1 or later. Go to to download the latest version of iTunes.” I had nothing better to do so I went to and... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®
Kiribati. You still have time. Time for what? Beats me but I have lots of beer in the fridge. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at Notoriously Nice ®