Yes, I can be bought

Overly made up vixen at Starbucks

Overly made up vixen at Starbucks

Everyone has his price, and mine seems to be a Vente Iced Chai Latte at Starbucks.  I wandered in there this afternoon to get out of the rain, and after I ordered the barista told me she would buy my drink if she could snap my suspenders.  I know that sounds awfully weird, but this is Gatlinburg, after all.  So she got a good snap of both straps, and i got a $4 drink.  I guess we know my price now.

I was wandering after playing my part in the afternoon session, the first session of a new KO since we got trounced by Mark Lair’s team last night.  Just walked from one end of town to the other, wondering if there was anything interesting to buy, or to photograph.  No to the former, yes to the latter.

There was pink dogwood:

This is a very good week to be here.

This is a very good week to be here.

Dogwood comes in pink and white, sometimes on the same tree.

A few raindrops don't hurt.

A few raindrops don’t hurt.

We’ve had rain off and on all week.  It isn’t cold, just a bit wet.  Pretty pleasant, in general.

There are things here you thought you’d never see again:

Is this sign even legal?

Is this sign even legal?

That’s the way the world works here in Tennessee, where we are 2150 miles east and 75 years behind California.  I don’t much understand the no photography sign, either, because it was just a shop full of gaudy crap nobody would want to copy anyway.

Remember that I’m in a place where the State House passed a law a couple of days ago making the Bible the state book.  Even the Attorney General says it’s unconstitutional, so when there is an inevitable challenge in Federal court the AG won’t defend it.

The State Senate Majority Leader, Mark Norris, is against the bill, but not for the obvious reason.

“I sure hope it won’t pass. I think it’ll be a dark day for Tennessee if it does,” he said.

“All I know is that I hear Satan snickering. He loves this kind of mischief. You just dumb the good book down far enough to make it whatever it takes to make it a state symbol and you’re on your way to where he wants you.”

You just can’t argue with that kind of logic.

Meanwhile, I saw this sign on the street:

" an open space outside a mosque that is mainly used for praying."

” an open space outside a mosque that is mainly used for praying.”

You might not think a Muslim prayer area would be too accepted here in the middle of the Bible Belt, but there it is.  I noticed a family walking today, man, woman and two children, and the woman was in stylish clothes talking on her phone wearing a head scarf.  Hardly  any black people in town, but at least one Muslim family.

Tonight’s dinner was at the Texas Roadhouse, which is incredibly cheap.  Some of the guys had the $8.95 early bird dinner and a glass of water and got out the door for $13 including tip.

Gail is strongly opposed to anyone eating farmed salmon, but since I thought it would easily be the least worst thing on the menu, I blew $14.95 on the fish, salad and baked sweet potato. There are no tables in this joint, just booths.  We are 6 large men, crammed into a booth with a table littered with plates, glasses, bread baskets, a pail of peanuts and another pail for the shells.  Just another adventure in G’burg.

On my walk, I saw a local delicacy you won’t find in the Bay Area:

I don't know what they do with the rest of the bird.

I don’t know what they do with the rest of the bird.

Just a small rotisserie with turkey legs.  The nice thing about eating one of these is it makes a good weapon if somebody tries to take it away from you.

Now it’s time to go to bed.  I played all day, then came home and played a session online with Gail–where we had a section third and won 0.39 points, so I can be the high point winner among the team this week.  In the morning we play Billy Miller’s team in the final of the morning KO, then play the semi-finals of the prime time KO at 1.  I gripe about the food and the rednecks, but we sure have a good time here.

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