Beaufort - 31 JAN 2008

I had to drive to Beaufort this morning to inventory their training manuals. This time the class room is located on the Community College campus. There is a Beaufort in South Carolina and one in North Carolina. While the North Carolinian's pronounce it ˈbyü-fȯrt, the South Carolinian's pronounce it as ˈbō-fərt and it’s very important you pronounce it correctly. Turns out, it’s the name of a British Admiral and the North Carolinian's say it correctly…I am the one who keeps wanting to say it like beauty.
Found this very unique mail box at the local car shop.

DOC - 30 JAN 2008

This is the second time I have spent the week teaching in a trailer behind a ‘Correction Facility”…interesting experience. 
I was beginning to think this was nothing but a town of old, run down store fronts until tonight when I discovered real civilization…shopping centers! By going five miles beyond downtown, and the large University this town hosts, I found Big Lots, Staples, Michael’s, Tuesday Morning, K-Mart, several restaurants and some upscale retail stores.

This Is The Pitts - 29 JAN 2008

I'd say I'm on the edge of nowhere...

Old Services - 28 JAN 2008

I'm in Greenville, NC this week. You know you're in an old town when you see signs like this:

Sunday Service - 27 JAN 2008

I attended a Sunday service at the Center for Conscious Living...I loved their opening candle lighting ceremony celebrating diversity and the threads of truth, that runs through the core of all spiritual paths: 
Christianity - love and forgiveness, Judaism - living by sacred law, Islam - submission to the will of God, Taoism - ultimate reality, Shintoism - tribal ancestry, Hinduism - knowledge, action and devotion, Buddhism - compassion and understanding, Baha’I - unity and peace, Confucianism - deliberate tradition, Native American Practice - primal spirituality, Science of Mind - Divine Principle of Love and Law, with the Heart representing the One Heart and the One love, that resides at the Center of all people and all life.
While I as being inspired by Rev. Mark’s message of surrender, Tinky Winky was with the children learning their lesson of being “Cool” or “Hot” and making new friends who know how to dance (a favorite Teletubby activity).

Sock Drawer - 25 JAN 2008

When I return to the room tonight, I heard a faint muffled sound coming from the dresser drawer. A voice was repeating over and over, “Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…” I opened the drawer and found:
Tinky Winky playing with my socks, trying to wear several pairs at once, and chanting like a cast member from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, “Sock it to me!”

Lady Liberty - 27 JAN 2008

I’m not in Philadelphia, yet Tinky Winky is wrapped in the arms of Lady Liberty. Well, North Carolina was one of the original 13 colonies and it is represented by one of the stripes on the flag so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to be driving down the street and see Lady Liberty standing on a street corner waving at the traffic...
Turns out it's Liberty Tax Service...but they have the goofiest costume I've ever seen! Bet it was made in China and they just change the hat and color to make Shirley Temple.

Candy Dish - 23 JAN 2008

I took Tinky Winky with me to work today. Every time I pass by the back door I see this beautiful empty candy dish. TW took one look at it and said, “I wonder what I’d look like with a zebra butt?”
 And now we know!

Southern Tea - 22 JAN 2008

At lunch today I asked, “What kind of hot tea do you have?” The answer, “Regular Tea.” At three different places I’ve gotten the same answer…now I finally get it. In the South, there are two kinds of cold tea: Sweeten and Not Sweeten; and, one kind of hot tea: Regular Tea. 
They do not have Green, Black, Oolong or White. They do not have Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey, Herbal or Chai. They do not have Lipton, Farmers Brothers, Tetley or de-caf…they have Regular Tea!

Needlepoint - 21 JAN 2008

It’s hard to catch Tinky Winky being mischievous if we both spend the day together in the hotel room avoiding the inclement sunshine. I found out needlepoint is not a craft for Teletubbies.
It might be a beautiful Lake Wobegon Spring day but at 30 degrees out, it’s nice to stay indoors. Oh My Gawd…am I turning Southern…nooo…just keep repeating “I am a Californian. I am a Californian. I am a Californian...”

Inclement Sunshine - 20 JAN 2008

Last night I was checking out the local SoM Center on the internet and it said: “Due to inclement weather, Services for Jan 20 are canceled." This morning I got up and this was the view from my door: 
In Lake Wobegon where I was born and raised, if it was sunny, 30 degree and no snow, it was Spring.

TW and I had lunch at my favorite restaurant and it finally hit me…this must be the only place in North Carolina with palm trees. No wonder I like it, it reminds me of home (plus the food is great). Tinky Winky is becoming quite the tree climber.

Rainy Day - 19 JAN 2008

Today was cold and rainy with snow to follow…but I was at the Ford Service Center when they opened. I need my left fog light replaced. Not the bulb, the entire light unit…somehow it got smashed.
In foul weather Tinky Winky teams up with Semore to help me navigate the roads and keep me safe.
I did have to stop and snap this sign…now is that Southern North Carolina or Southern Jamaica? Think I’ll eat there tomorrow and see what they have on the menu.

National Cemetery - 18 JAN 2008

TW and I visited the Salisbury National Cemetery where 11,700 Union soldiers were buried in mass graves…the causalities of captivity not battle.
Salisbury was the site of a POW camp designed to hold 2,000 troops but ended up with over 10,000 prisoners in 1864. I don’t remember any of my school history books teaching me the facts: During the Civil war, twice as many soldiers died from disease and imprisonment than from battle.
On another note…I found the house I'd love to own:

If I lived here, I’d post a sign: “People who live in stone houses shouldn’t throw glass.”

Snow - 17 JAN 2008

This morning my class was cancelled due to inclement weather, so Tinky Winky and I went out at dawn, to photography it. 
There was a light snow which turned into sleet and then rain.
I knew if I waited for the sun to raise the snow would be melted.

Salisbury - 16 JAN 2008

This week I was in Salisbury teaching in a trailer behind the Corrections Facility. I found this little church across the street. 
The name really intrigues me…would love to know the story behind it. After photographing their small cemetery, I noticed a headstone in the woods and went to investigate. 
I found several unmarked graves that were sunken-in.  Unfortunately, they don’t show up very well on the photos.
I did some research and found the Rose of Sharon is the common name for several different species of flowering plants and has Biblical reference which is actually a mistranslation of Hebrew word.

Fried Food - 15 JAN 2008

For lunch today we went to a local dinner…the lunch specials came with two sides. The list included: Pot – gravy, green beans, pinto beans, baked beans, cream corn, mac chee, broc and chee, okra, squash, slaw.

I asked the Waitress, “What kind f of squash is it?”
She said, “Fried.”
I ordered it. May not look great but it tasted wonderful! The "Fried" squash, tasted a bit like onion rings, the meatloaf was very good, but the baked beans (home-made) were excellent!

Pull Ups - 14 JAN 2008

Tinky Winky discovers duel towel racks will also work as parallel rings.
Meanwhile, my challenge today was figuring out how to turn on the shower. As you can see from the photo there was no switch. 
The knob does not pull or twist…it only rotates which changes the temperature of the water. I've stayed in over a thousand different hotel rooms in over 12 countries and the last time I was stumped it was ten years ago in Germany. I finally had to call the front desk and asked how to turn on the shower. The clerk said he’d check an empty room and call me back. By the time he called back I had figured it out and had finished my shower. He said to turn the switch…I told him there was no switch on my model and that I finally discovered there is a ring on the end of the water spout that pulls down.

Cemetery - 13 JAN 2008

Today we tried to check out a couple of Southern Mansions but found them closed. Since it was Sunday in the winter, many things were not open. 
I found a cemetery that was open and Tinky Winky found a creature, stuck up a tree.

Old Salem - 12 JAN 2008

Today we went to old Salem…it’s the oldest part of town where the Moravians started the city and several houses still exist. Some are private residents but others are open to the public where people dressed in period cloths demonstrate how life was lived in the 1700’s.
Tinky Winky got into the shades of the past…and also a little trouble by looking into a ceramic birdhouse and getting stuck! Sort of reminds me of Winnie the Pooh and the honey pot.
TW had to stay in a locker when I toured the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). This was the most unique museum I’ve ever seen! A guide walks you through 24 period rooms (covering 1680 to 1820) which are not roped off and the artifacts are open (no cases) for viewing up close and personal. It’s the only museum dedicated to exhibiting and researching original decorative arts of the early South (showcasing furniture, painting, textiles, ceramics, etc). Since it was the winter I was in a tour group of one. This allow me to ask all the questions I wanted and I just had the best time talking with my guide. One of the rooms had a desk like in the movie ‘National Treasure’ which requires special settings to unlock hidden compartments. 
After old Salem I found a cemetery and a couple of “Roadside America” items.  

Toning Up - 11 JAN 2008

Today Tinky Winky decided it was time to tone-up…but sitting in bed reading about it, was as far as the motivation extended. 
There were no dumbbells for the biceps curls, no bench for the triceps dips, no chairs for the seated leg lifts, and no knees for the squats! What could a Teletubby do?

Web Surfing - 10 JAN 2008

I return from work today to find Tinky Winky had been surfing the web...he spent all day looking for Teletubby porn. 
This one was on YouTube and it was called, “Teletubbies: Shake That Ass Bitch”…actually it was only rated PG if you turned off the sound.

Another Kind of Bar - 9 JAN 2008

While I was at work today, Tinky Winky discovered the hotel’s free coffee bar.  Now I know where that smile comes from and the wide-open eyes...too much caffeine.

No Wine - 8 JAN 2008

Found out yesterday afternoon I’m supposed to be teaching a class in Salem-Winston (110 miles away) at 8:00 o’clock this morning. Being told we can always get into remote teaching sites by 7:00, I got up at 4:00 AM, repacked my car (thought I was going to be in one place for a week) and drove to a location where I found the door locked. And of course no one was around to open, until after all the students showed up! TW was angry for having spent the entire day in the camera bag, but I still wouldn’t share my wine!

Sunny Day - 7 JAN 2008

I’m two blocks from work and I get this voice mail saying, “Where are you? It’s five to eight and you’re scheduled to teach a class at 8:00 o’clock.” So much for planning ahead and getting proper notice…I should have known it was only a shadow of things to come. 
At noon I run back to the motel for lunch and caught TW lying in the sun. This hotel doesn’t have a pool but TW was able to find a patch of grass (notice the color)…it was 70 degrees out and lovely!

Great Smokey Mts - 6 JAN 2008

This is the second time in two months I’ve been next to the “Great Smokey Mountains National Park” and both times it was cloudy and rainy. 
This time TW and I made a short detour regardless of the weather, discovering this great town, Gatlinburg. Sort of a mini Tahoe only the place was dry since it looked like they don’t make their own snow which is what we have to do in California. It has ski lifts, shops, restaurants, galleries and even a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.
We made it to Raleigh by 7:30 PM (EST). Tomorrow, I start work and TW is on his own. 

Round Safe - 5 JAN 2008

This morning we stopped in the small town of Ozark, Arkansas for breakfast. On the menu there was an item called, “ Ozark Country Breakfast” consisting of 3 Thick slices of Balogna, Hash Browns, 2 Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, Coffee or Drink…all for only $5.95. In the words of blue collar comedian, Larry The Gable Guy, “Now thaa thare is goood eatin.”

While looking for a post office, we found the “Ozark Historic Museum” located in the historical landmark train depot. It was actually a very impressive small museum with a large variety of local antique. I saw two items, I've never seen before: insulator tubes used in walls for wiring and a round safe! 
I was told the safe came from the Bank of Ozark. The poor farmers must have kept their money in the mattress since the local bank had a safe smaller then a washing machine.

BIG Cross - 4 JAN 2008

If you have driven I-40 across Texas, you have seen the “World’s Largest Cross”…at 198 feet tall (the size of a 20 story building) it’s impossible to miss. Plus, that part of the country is so flat, it can be seen for over 10 miles in either direction. Why do they have a sign?
This is the third time I’ve driven by "The Cross" and the second time I’ve stopped to photograph it. If there is a next time, I hope I’m hungry and it is during business hours so I can stop at this Cafe.

Roswell, NM - 3 JAN 2008

We made it to Roswell…I’ve always wanted to visit this town. Tinky Winky feels right at home as this place celebrates “little green men” (creatures from another world). 
TW wishes they made the “It’s not my fault” t-shirt in a Teletubby size, as this statement reflects the philosophy of accepting who you are, because your Creator made you that way.

NC or Bust - 2 JAN 2008

We're heading to North Carolina...30 miles from Yuma, Tinky Winky makes a comfort stop and uses a bush.
Ten minutes later, I pulled over at a "Rest Stop"...maybe TW had the right idea!!
For the next three months, I will take a different photo of TW every day.

Rose Parade - 1 JAN 2008

Tinky Winky and I rose before dawn, picked-up a few friends and headed to Pasadena for the Rose Parade.
TW really enjoyed the festivities.
I had to explain that not all "Pride" parades are gay and Jesus really doesn't kill.
Whatever happen to the days when Jesus Saves (Green Stamps)?