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    Gibbs’ Rules June 29th, 2010

    From my favorite current TV show, NCIS. Of course, being born and raised in the south, rule #9 comes easily for me.

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    Uncle Jay Explains The News — June 28, 2010 June 28th, 2010

    Uncle Jay’s news word for this week is candor.

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    Uncle Jay Explains The News — June 21, 2010 June 21st, 2010

    Uncle Jay’s news word for this week is posture.

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    El Caminito del Rey June 15th, 2010

    From the EHOWA website:

    El Caminito del Rey (English: The King’s little pathway) is a walkway or via ferrata, now fallen into disrepair, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Álora in the district of Málaga, Spain. The name is often shortened to Camino del Rey. The walkway has now gone many years without maintenance, and is in a highly deteriorated and dangerous state. It is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and is over 100 meters (350 feet) above the river. Nearly all of the path has no handrail. Some parts of the concrete walkway have completely collapsed and all that is remaining is the steel beam originally in place to hold it up. One can latch onto a modern steel safety-wire to keep from falling, though it can’t hold much weight. Several people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years; after four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances. To this day it crossing it has been banned. However policing is extremely minimal and many adventurous tourists still find their way onto the walkway to explore it.

    Here’s a video crossing.

    There is no way I would attempt that and I like heights.

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    24th Wedding Anniversary June 14th, 2010

    Today marks the 24th wedding anniversary of my wife and me. My wife and I met in college and were married shortly after I graduated. We give God all the credit, praise and thanks for our marriage. Since I work on Monday we plan on having the special anniversary dinner this upcoming Saturday (place still to be determined although we’re leaning towards Spring Creek Restaurant).

    Happy Anniversary

    A couple of years ago I posted the following entry highlighting an anniversary card my wife bought and then added to in order to make the card extra special. I still have it. I thought it appropriate to revisit that blog entry from almost 2 years ago.

    -={0}=-

    Going through some stuff in our storage room, actually called a garage, I came across a pleasant reminder of my marriage to my wonderful wife. It’s an anniversary card my wife customized on our third anniversary. Well specifically our 3 and 1/12th anniversary.

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary
    My wife added 5-oclock shadow and bathroom stuff in the top part and “noise” in the bottom part reflects the noise made by some parakeets we had at the time. Noisy little suckers.

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary
    The “fight” in the bottom part of the page above is an in-joke. We were jokingly arguing if we were going to get a microwave oven or a parrot with the birthday money we got from our parents. We didn’t get either (already had a microwave oven my maternal grandparents gave us and a parrot was never in the plans anyway — we already had too many parakeets).

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary
    The top part of this page needs some explanation. Borelli’s was an Italian restaurant in Gulfport, Mississippi that had wonderful food but it was mostly cream based stuff and very, very rich. So rich that it made both of us miserable when we got back to our inlaws’ house. We never ate there again.

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary

    1989 Anniversary Card -- 3rd Anniversary
    This was a pleasant surprise to find this old anniversary card. I showed it to my wife and it made us both smile. Again. I’m a hopeless romantic and this sort of thing really remains in my heart. We’ve now been married over 22 years now and I love her as much if not more than I did back then.

    -={0}=-

    When I initially wrote that we had been married 22 years. Now it’s 24. We have been married longer than we have been unmarried…er…pre-married?…uh…you get what I am saying? Next year will mark a quarter century of marriage. Wow! It just doesn’t seem that long. We may do something extra special for that anniversary but then again we may not. We just don’t know. A friend of ours wants us to take a cruise but getting enough time off from work for a cruise is difficult and neither of us want to take a cruise during the summer since my wife doesn’t handle hot climates very well. Since she is a college professor she gets a nice Christmas vacation each year so we may plan on that for 2011. But my sister-in-law wants us to visit her then. Oh…the conundrums we face. Whatever. My wife and I will figure it out as we go along. It’s worked well for us thus far.

    Uncle Jay Explains The News — June 14, 2010 June 14th, 2010

    Uncle Jay’s news word for this week is obscure.

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    Hungry? June 13th, 2010

    MysteryGuitarMan — Soda Pop June 9th, 2010

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    Uncle Jay Explains The News — June 7, 2010 June 7th, 2010

    Uncle Jay’s news word for this week is gurgle.

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    Possibly The Awesomest Drummer Ever? June 4th, 2010

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    Wrestling Masks Revisited June 3rd, 2010

    In recent weeks, I have been attending local wrestling matches presented by the Great American Wrestling Federation and taking photos which I upload to my Facebook page. I was asked to be the “official” photographer and I accepted. Some of the GAWF wrestlers wear hoods in the ring which got me thinking about my personal wrestling mask collection. I remembered my blog entry on collecting wrestling masks and decided to revisit it. I didn’t realize that I initially posted it almost 5 years ago. Time flies, doesn’t it? One day, now that I have a good digital camera, I’m going to have to take the time to photograph my collection (need to find a decent styrofoam head — anyone got Al Snow’s cell number?) and make a graphic.

    ~={O}=~

    Wrestling masks made by Iron Mike Woody

    People who know me also know that one of my passions is watching professional wrestling. They also know that I come from a family of collectors and I have collections of various things like soda bottle caps (Nehi, Barq’s, etc.), hockey jerseys, CD’s and one of my most unique collections; professional wrestling masks.

    So it was nice to see my favorite mask maker “Ironman” Mike Woody back on ebay with a great selection of his creations. The masks you see above are just a few examples of his outstanding work. I’ve been collecting wrestling masks for several years now and frankly, Mr. Woody’s are some of the finest I have seen. Through ebay, I’ve managed to acquire several masks including pro-grade replicas of some of my favorite masked wrestlers (like Mil Mascaras, the Assassin, Rey Mysterio, Jr., the Masked Superstar, the Grappler, the Spoiler, etc.) as well as some very cool original designs.

    Collecting professional wrestling masks is an unusual hobby in the U.S., but in Mexico and Japan it’s more common. In fact, at shows in Mexico as well as in Central and South America, masks are sold as souvenirs like t-shirts are sold at shows in the U.S.

    There are three basic levels of quality in regards to wrestling masks – pro, semi-pro and commercial. Pro quality masks are the masks the wrestlers use in the ring. They are created to hold up during ring use and abuse. They normally have double-stitching with liners to give seams extra support. The materials used tend to be of heavier and highest quality. Stitching on the face patterns are tight and consistent. Pro masks also are custom-fitted for the wearer. Semi-pro masks look very similar to pro quality masks but usually are single stitched at the seams with lighter weight fabrics. The face pattern stitching tends to be a little less consistent, but pretty good. These masks tend to be made in standard sizes and are intended for fan use. If you want a very good looking mask for less cost than pro quality masks then this is the choice I would recommend. Commercial masks tend to be the bottom line choice. They are usually made from cheap materials with a foam lining. Stitching overall varies from mediocre to poor and face patterns usually are sloppier than pro and semi-pro. These masks are made in mass quantities and are the ones most commonly sold at lucha libre shows. If you are serious or even interested in collecting professional wrestling masks, I really recommending avoiding commercial grade masks.

    I know that some people are going to think this hobby of mine is weird and may picture me as some fetish freak. Definitely not true. Frankly, the only time of the year I ever wear a mask from my collection is at Halloween (as a teen, I wore a wrestling masks each year for Mardi Gras as well as Halloween but that’s about it). One year I wore one of Mike Woody’s Rey Mysterio, Jr. masks he made for me and got a great reaction from the trick-or-treaters. Another year I wore a classic Mil Mascaras mask Mike made for me and not only got great reaction from the kids, but a lot of their parents recognized it and let me know it. I feel collecting the masks I have gotten over the years is a harmless outlet for one of my passions and is no stranger than when I collected coins and BSA council strips or my current collection of old soda bottle caps. I enjoy it and that’s really all that matters, right?

    Anyway, if you are interested in starting a collection. Searching on ebay is a good start. If you’d like a custom mask, I suggest emailing Mike at ironmanaries@netzero.net for information.

    Mystery Guitar Man June 3rd, 2010

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