Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Of the thousands of Belmont students who attend the university, I was chosen basically by drawing a number out of a hat so-to-speak. The audience to the debates numbered no more than 500 people and about half of them were students. Besides students, there were famous politicians, music artists, and of course the media. It was really a rare opportunity...

After a light luncheon, we were given our tickets and assigned seats. Really, the gathering was a smaller scale one in which there were basically no bad seats. At the end of the night, I had this ticket signed by Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley. I saw Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, John Rich, and Josh Turner and most sat fairly close to where I was.

There were exhibits of each President in the history of the United States. It was interesting to see the newspaper articles about the elections before recent presidents' campaigns. This aspect provided a good learning atmosphere besides the fact that this was held at a university.

I have always loved listening to the songs of Vince Gill and when I saw him taking pictures with other people, I had to squeeze one more in. He was really limping for some reason and could no longer stand so I just crouched down next to him. I hope he didn't feel embarassed. Vince Gill was the country artist/Belmont Alumni who donated the money which built the auditorium where the debates took place. Above the doors to this room his name is displayed designating it as his auditorium. Super nice guy. I also had a chance to talk to his wife Amy Grant as she made her way over to him. She is incredibly down to earth and very approachable.

Above: John Rich of Big 'n Rich

Above Right: Brad Paisley and I--who by the way is a really nice guy. Stood next to him afterwards while we waited for our busses and talked with him for a minute.

On the right: Josh Turner

The country singers who were there that were Belmont Alumni were Josh Turner, Brad Paisley, and Vince Gill. Trisha Yearwood is also an Alumni but she wasn't there.

Behind the scenes of the networks setups. Five major networs had areas partitioned off opposite the stage and elevated above the audience. To the right is Shepard Smith of Fox News. It's funny to hear their voices in everyday situations because you say to yourself, "I know that voice," especially when you are walking next to them and don't realize they are there.

This is a picture of the set opposite of where I was sitting. My seat was basically the far left of the picture where the audience is lit up. With all of the secret service walking around, the red carpets and blue walls and seeing all of the politicians walking around, there was a very patriotic atmosphere and I felt honored to be there at that moment.

A picture from where I was sitting. The ladies sitting in front of me and to my right were obviously Obama fans. After everything Obama said, whether they understood or not, you could hear their "Uh huh" 's and every time McCain said something they didn't agree with you heard "pssh". One lady who seemed bothered by this (since everyone was supposed to be silent) turned around and gave them a slap across the face. Actually she didn't but I thought that would be fun to make up. She was pretty worked up over them though.

We were instructed that there was to be no picture taking during the debates, but as everyone was clapping I was able to catch this photo. Really blurry, but it was the best I could do. This is John McCain. Couldn't see Obama unless he moved to this area of the stage.

Following the debates I was able to move down to the bottom of the seating. You can see Obama right behind the camera man at the foot of the stage closest to where I am taking the picture from.

John McCain shaking hands with one of the members of the town hall style debate. McCain shook a few hands and then left fairly quickly. Of course the media commented a lot about this since Obama stayed for a few hours after the debate talking with each member of that meeting. The media suggested that McCain left as if he were admitting defeat. Whatever the reason, I was disappointed I couldn't get more pictures of him.

Another close up from stage left. Beautiful stage set up.

This was my favorite picture of the evening. Belmont is a beautiful campus and as we were leaving the building to get on the shuttles, it was pouring rain. As I turned around I thought it was a beautiful sight and caught the moment on camera.

What an awesome experience to be able to be at one of the most historical debates yet. There was a lot of tension in the air as people from many different walks of life and political views came together for one purpose--to listen to the next president of the united states fight for office. I feel that both had strengths and weaknesses and that it gave america a better understanding than we previously had. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ok ok, here it is....Conny doesn't do blogs, so it is up to me and since I can't find the memory card attachment I can't update any photos. Plus, to be honest we really haven't taken very many pictures. Oh, but I do have every angle possible of our cat. <---(Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first two sentences Conny has ever written on our page. Thank you Conny). Now, after my little drink break I can get back to the update. I am midway through summer school where they are totally taking advantage of me. A three credit hour class at Belmont is devastatingly expensive and every time I think of it, I have to fan myself so I don't pass out. Plus if for any reason I get below a C, Conny will sell Kitty and my life will be over. So I have a little incentive to do my best. But don't worry, I turned in the first of my two term papers and got--oh, a 94%. I was happy. I got literally one hour of sleep that night. I had to reread what I wrote and I have to say I am pretty surprised what I can come up with being half conscious. So school is going great. As for sales and servicing, Conny continues to leave me behind in the dust. She and the other top sales reps daily rape and pillage the poor wealthy people of Nashville. well, I am at 94 and she is at 128 or something. She isn't that far ahead of me, but at the same time she has only been doing it since May 10th--so about a month and I have been going at it since the beginning of April--but, I was only doing half days until May 10th. I really should have a whole lot more than I do. This is horrible for me. I am used to having 5-7 sales a day. Well anyways, they are excited for me to graduate with my Entrepreneurship degree in December because they want me to open a new office for HomeShield Pest Control in a new market. They haven't told me where yet. It is all up in the air. I don't want to leave Nashville. I love it here. Conny does too and so does Kris. Bytheway, Kris is doing lovely. I watched him lathering up a bunch of soap and water and vigorously washing his face cause he sprayed himself with pesticide. Poor guy. Now, don't get mad at me for not looking out for his safety because--trust me--I have told him to wear the goggles. Have I told any of you how much fun it is to work with my wife and brother on a daily basis for the same company? I love it when Kris services my accounts because he does such a good job. I always brag to my customers how good of a technician he is. He is a hard worker. He has told me on occasion how good he feels about himself because of how hard he is working. I am proud of him. He also is feeling very good--health-wise. He has been trying to quit smoking and living with Conny and I--he doesn't get many opportunities to do it. I have learned that I can't ask him how it is going because it makes him want to go smoke because it feels like I am nagging. So, I don't say a thing and just tell him that I will help him in any way he needs me to. Surely, he is giving it up and you can tell a difference. Conny and I think it is cute cause sometimes he will ask one of us to give the blessing on the food so we can eat. He cooks the best food! He makes this chicken cordon bleu that is bomb! We had a girl over yesterday that is one of our married friends and she ate with us cause her husband is in England for the month. She asked Kris if he had thought about going to culinary school. This morning he asked me if I thought he could do it? I told him, "Sure you can, you just have to find a way to do it." What is so cool is that from where Kris has been in his life to where he is now is a lot different. He is the same person. He wants to do things his way and that is perfectly fine. I wouldn't want him to do anything other than what he wants. But it is great to see him slowly changing into the person that is who HE wants to be. I love Kris for Kris. He is such a good buddy. I tell him all the time that he is my favorite little brother. And it's true. I am glad that Nashville has given him the ability to get away from influences that have kept him from progressing. Most of his friends damned him from being anything more than what they were. And it is good to see Kris doing things because he really wants to do them--not because he has to because his friends have the power to influence him.
Isn't it nice that sometimes we can uproot ourselves from one place and go somewhere totally unfamiliar and create a new life again. Have the freedom to find ourselves again and create a life that we want.
Ok, I am a rambler. What can you expect, after all I was named after Richard... :). As soon as I can I will post a picture of us servicing and knocking--get some action pictures.

I better go to sleep. I love you all and miss you. So does Conny. And Kris...and Kitty.
I'll blog soon.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our new widdo kiddy...

Well, for Christmas, Conny gave me about the only thing I wanted: a kitty. Kitty's name is Bella which is Italian for beautiful and she is about the cutest cat we have ever seen. She loves to get into anything and everything she can--as you can see and whatever we are doing, she wants to do. If we're eating, she eats; if we're reading, she sits on the book, if we're in the restroom...well, let's just say she even walks right under our feet--all the time. She is super cuddly and loves us to death and always makes us laugh. I've never seen a cat with as much personality as Bella.