You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

This year we appreciated Halloween for what it really is — one of the best holidays on the calendar. Several qualities of Halloween make it special, and even virtuous: 1) no gifts are necessary other than treats, 2) it fosters and rewards imagination, 3) Butterfingers and Skittles, and 4) celebrating Halloween, for us at least, means celebrating with your neighbors.

Jackie was into Halloween this year, and consequently, Katie and I were really into it. We decorated the house and carved a total of five pumpkins. Jackie wore different costumes on the 23rd and 31st (lamb and ladybug), as did her buddy Drew (dragon and giraffe). Five Points businesses sponsored a breakfast and trick-or-treating on the 23rd, and the annual parade was held at Fallon Park prior to the main event on the 31st.

Grandaddy and Mama JJ were on hand for Halloween night, and pushed monkey McLain around as he participated in his first parade. We loved having my parents involved in the festivities. McLain might have loved it too, but he slept the entire afternoon and evening.

Here’s a video recap of Halloween day/night.

The following pictures span the last few weeks of October. And, yes, that is a Lil HalloWayne pumpkin (sans dreads).



The second best thing about November, as far as I’m concerned, is the veritable plenty of North Carolina leafy greens. Kale, mustard, the almighty collard…you get the idea.

In case you’re wondering about the absolute best thing about November, it’s the start of college basketball. The Heels host Lipscomb on Friday night. We’ll be having chard for our pre-game dinner.

The photo above shows Jackie leading a leafy-green cheer. The pompoms are new bunches of red chard that came in our Papa Spud’s box earlier today.

Content from Halloween is still in post-production and not yet bloggable, so I thought I would post a comparative video study of McLain.

The first video features footage from mid-October, a phase of McLain’s development that I classify as the end of being a newborn. His eyes are usually closed and eyelids swollen, his range of movement is limited to the space he was used to in the womb, and the only sounds he can make are frail cries. The video shows one of his first horse baths (and a large wet spot on my shirt), lunch with his mother, floor time with his sister and canine brothers, and his first real bath (no one was peed on during that one).

Note: The large wet spot on my shirt in the beginning clip is not water. Katie wouldn’t be laughing so hard if it were.

The second video shows him about a week ago, as an infant. He spends a few hours a day alert, soaking in the sights and sounds of home life with his family. I used to think that new humans developed so slowly compared to other animals, but now I know that what’s going on in the human brain is complex beyond comparison to, for example, Robah’s cognitive growth during his puppyhood.

The Carrboro stop of the “Classic Lineup Reunion Tour” did not disappoint me. Going into it, I knew that 80% of what GbV would play at Cat’s Cradle a couple of weeks ago were songs from Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Provided that Mr. Pollard was sober and coherent for the show, how could I have been disappointed?

The two aforementioned albums were recorded about the time I was finishing high school and leaving Burke County once and for all, so you can imagine how much the band and its fans have aged. I’d guess that the average show-goer was around 35. But, when Bob did the Roger-Daltrey-style kick, he still could get his foot up around eye-level, and there were several fans who were partying and throwing stuff like it was 1995 (don’t worry…I kept a safe distance from them).


Highlights of the 30-some song, 3-encore set included Quality of Armor, My Valuable Hunting Knife, Shocker in Gloomtown, and Don’t Stop Now. Bob and the boys were energetic and their sound was tight. I’m glad to have had a last opportunity to see one of my favorite acts of all time.

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.