Dear Jack: The Old Abandoned Silo Tower On Main Street in Spring Hill, TN (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: The Old Abandoned Silo Tower On Main Street in Spring Hill, TN (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Dear Jack,

On the drive in the Lexus RX 450h this weekend to go see the progress on our new house, I explained to Mommy that I have always been curious about that old abandoned silo tower that sits right there on the side of Main Street of Spring Hill.

It’s right past Starbucks and right before McDonald’s. I’ve always been fascinated by such an old country relic being left intact on the busiest and most fundamental road of the city.

Mommy decided to remain in the luxury chariot (the Lexus RX 450h) while we literally raced to the tower.

Once we got there, we saw that it was basically empty. I discovered a ladder that leads to the very top. Maybe I’ll save that climb for some other time…

Dear Jack: The Old Abandoned Silo Tower On Main Street in Spring Hill, TN (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Spring Hill has been around for a little over 200 years now, but here in the past decade especially, all that boring ole farm land has begun translating into major dollar signs to the descendants of the original farm owners.

They sell it to development companies who then go on to make cute houses for families like ours; just another hard working middle class family who drives back out of Spring Hill each day to actually make money.

It’s a classic case of a developing bedroom community.

I predict in the next 5 years, the land with the tower on it will be sold and the tower will be knocked down to make room for new houses.

But you and I will always be able to say that we visited that tower and poked our heads in it; getting our picture made right in front of it. In case it fades to a vague memory, let this letter and these pictures serve as a reminder of what we did.

Actually, I’ve never heard of anyone actually visiting that tower. We must be pretty cool or something.

Love,

Daddy

Catch up on the entire series of the Lexus RX 450h Weekend. A lot of exiciting things happened!

2014 Lexus RX 450h 5-DR SUV (DVD Player Equipped): Family Friendly Review

Dear Jack: Marvel Universe Live- Family Friendly Review (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Dear Jack: Meeting Santa With Sophie At Bass Pro Shop (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Dear Jack: Jacob’s 5th Birthday Party In A Tractor Store (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Dear Jack: The Old Abandoned Silo Tower On Main Street in Spring Hill, TN (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

Dear Jack: Our New House’s Shutters, Mailbox, & Interior Paint (Lexus RX 450h Weekend)

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Strange But True Stories in Fort Payne, AL: My Christmas Tree Reappeared in My Driveway Yesterday; A Month and a Half after I Threw It to the Curb

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, you’re kinda freaking me out.

Like most responsible people, around January 3rd I took my live Christmas tree out to the driveway where the trash is picked up.  Strangely, it was gone within a couple of hours, though the garbage men didn’t come that day.  Then yesterday afternoon as we were pulling out of the driveway, my wife shouted, “Hey!  Is that our Christmas tree in our driveway next to the mailbox?”  She was right.  And even as I write this, it remains in the driveway next to the mailbox.  At this point, I’m curious to see if it magically disappears again.

How can I be positive that it indeed is the same Christmas tree that was in our house?  Fortunately, I have well documented the process of getting the tree in this “dad from day one” post.  You can clearly see it is the same shape; and also, the way the very top of the tree is sort of broken off makes it obvious this is the same tree.  I highly encourage you to click that link above if you haven’t already, just to compare the pictures.

One of the weirdest parts of the story is that both when the tree disappeared, then reappeared, it was in broad daylight in normal weather.

So what are some possible explanations?  Here’s the best I can do:

1) The wind blew it out of sight for several weeks.  Then the wind coincidentally blew it right back in our driveway.  The thing is, this tree is solid enough that it would take a severe thunderstorm/small tornado to lift it off the ground- both times.  There has been snow, but definitely no strong enough winds to move the tree twice.

2)  Someone is playing a prank.  A person who has too much time on their hands during the daytime came in a pickup truck and deliberately did this.  As far as I am aware, I don’t know of any person who fits that description.

3)  A wild animal did it.  No dog would be strong enough to drag the tree away.  Unless it was Bigfoot.

I firmly believe that I will never know how this happened.  Forever a mystery.

Every Breath You Take of the Air Tonight

What were Phil Collins and Sting really singing about?

It happened just a few weeks after I was born, then again exactly two years later in May of 1983. A man living out the final months of a dying marriage releases a song that goes on to become one of the biggest hits of the ‘80’s and most replayed songs on syndicated radio stations like Jack FM. Both of these men’s songs were destined to be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Songs that were sad realizations from a man watching the love of his life slip away from him, though she shared his bed every night. I’m referring to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and Sting of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”.

Known for its memorable drum introduction over two minutes into the recording, its ghostly atmosphere, and its refrain of “oh Lord” that allows the song to exist not only has a premonition of his soon divorce and confrontation with his then-wife, but also as a desperate acknowledgement that God is overwatching the nightmare unfold, “In the Air Tonight” remains the perfect song for a drive on the interstate on an overcast day in October.

However, to many fans of the song (who wouldn’t be?), the meaning has always been vague and abstract.  Obviously some mysterious big event is about to happen and the accusing tone reveals anger, distrust, and sadness. So it only makes sense that a believable urban legend was born: A man watched Phil Collins’ brother drown and didn’t try to save him. Phil Collins years later invited the man to his concert and gave him a front row seat and sang the song to the man to drench him in guilt. The man later died of a heart attack. I believed this story for three years, until I did some research myself (on Wikipedia) to find out the truth. The Drowning Man Theory makes sense and it’s easy to want to believe it. But once I found out it’s a song about Phil Collins’ fading first marriage, the depth and weight of the song became so much clearer to me.

In a strange parallel, Sting woke up in the middle of the night and wrote “Every Breath You Take” as he watched his first marriage disintegrate. It went on to become the #1 single of 1983, surprisingly beating out all of Michael Jackson’s mega-hits that year (Thriller, Billy Jean, Beat It, P.Y.T., Human Nature, The Girl is Mine, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’). While the song comes across as a vow of undying love to many, with its promise to keep watch over his object of affection, it’s actually the opposite. It actually described Sting’s feeling of deep loss, knowing he would never fully get over losing his first wife. He didn’t want to let her go, but the marriage was ended regardless. Therefore, the “stalkerish” feel of the song is completely intentional.

Two British men who fronted successful pop rock bands in the 1980’s both wrote a song at the end of their marriage that went on to be a classic and unforgettable hit. And many people will never know the truth about the background of the writing other than what is written here. That’s often the case though: Some of the biggest legendary things in life are surrounded by mystery, only adding to the intrigue.

Readers’ Expectations 7: Chicken with Teeth, Jorge Garcia’s Haircut, and the Adorability of Betty White

Scary mutant birds, instructions on how to wear pants, and a surprising Jewish conversion all brought me recent traffic here on Scenic Route Snapshots.  I attract a weird bunch, sometimes.

“chicken with teeth”- I heard a rumor several years ago that the folks at KFC invented “the boneless chicken” thanks to their ethics-out-the-window scientists who were trying to create a chicken with as much white meat as possible.  If that rumor is true, I would have to say that if anyone could create a chicken with teeth, it would be those infamous KFC scientists.

“who doesn’t like betty white?”- Her evil arch nemesis, Betty Boop.

“mystery hole”- Let’s keep it a mystery.  Please- I sure don’t want to know about it.

“ethnic routes to becoming American”- To become an American, ethnically, simply arrive from your native country onto our shores.  That will make you ethnically American.  Unless you’re Canadian.  Now, are we all clear?

"Out to get Betty White since 1930"

“wear khakis to club”– Two words: “Don’t’”.  Unless you are coming straight from your job at Best Buy or your Sunday School class.  Or the club you’re referring to is a high school chess club.

“wearing pants with a gut”– One word: “Do”.  Please wear pants, whatever it takes: drawstrings, rope, Velcro.  I’m trying to imagine how big and out of control this gut must be for a person to need advice on how to wear pants.  But worst case scenario, there is always the option of losing the gut, right?  After all, onset Diabetes and heart disease are surprisingly not worth the empty calories and lack of physical activity.  If only Jillian Michaels were omnipresent…

Voted "Best Men's Haircut" in 2010

“Jorge Garcia haircut”– He played one of my favorite characters on LOST; Hurley Reyes.  What a lovable guy.  But I have to admit I’m a little surprised to see a man searching for pictures of Jorge Garcia’s haircut to use as a model for his own upcoming haircut.  I would be less surprised if it was a women searching for this.  I could understand “Ashton Kutcher haircut” or even “Alec Baldwin” haircut, but “Jorge Garcia haircut”, not so much.

“daryl hall” converted jewish–  Oh yes, you just now heard the word?  He’s changing some of the titles of his hit songs he recorded with John Oates to make them more Jewish, like “Kosher Eater”, “Sarah Silverman Smile”, “You’ve Lost that Shalom Feeling”, and “Yiddish on My List”.

“Hating seagulls I like being racist”– Having an enjoyable prejudice against a scavenger bird that hangs out at the beach doesn’t make you a racist.  It makes you a… specist?…

Don't make her angry...

You wouldn't like her when she's angry!

Movie Guy, at Your Service: Inception

A captivating, culture-relevant movie that explores the mysterious capabilities of the human mind and the weirdness of our dreams.

I realized that the movie Inception would be an inescapable movie for me after at least 37% of my facebook friends had a status update praising it the moment they walked out of the theatre.  Then my sister and brother-in-law told me it reminded them a little bit of LOST; at that moment it became official that I would not only see Inception but that it would be a movie worth writing a movie review/recap about it.

In my first official Movie Guy post (click here to read it: Movie Guy, at Your Service: My Top Ten Favorites), under the “Basic Do Not Watch” criteria for movies I listed “simply by watching the trailer for the movie, you fully understand the plot and possibly the resolution”.  That definitely wasn’t the case with Inception.  When I first saw the preview several weeks ago all I knew was that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was having some trouble finding the floor while for Ellen Page accompanied by Leonardo DiCaprio the floor was becoming a wall.  Perfect.  That meant it would be worth seeing.  Though I had no idea what the plot was.  Perfect.

While the movie does have a strong plot, I see Inception as a vehicle for interesting theories which attempt to explain and explore the mysteries of the dream world and the human body (especially the mind) as it is in a dream state.  For example, the facts that often we usually wake up from dream if in the dream we are falling or if we get killed in the dream are vital to the plotline.

Surprisingly, there were two ideas about dreams in particular I have written about before (which I thought were unique) which the movie touches on:

1)     Years after the memories are made, what really is the difference between a good memory from an actual event and a good memory from a dream, as long as in that moment of the actual event or dream you were truly happy and it remains in your mind as a positive place you can return to when you remember it?  Read Adventures in Thailand: Man Cave Time Machine.

2)     A dream only last a fraction of the time that the dream seems to take place (in Inception, five minutes equaled one hour).  Therefore, if a person could be forced to be trapped in a dream, it could be a horrible type of punishment for a person.  Read Lowercase Punishment.

Aside from being a little like The Matrix (which I never really got into, even after seeing it twice) and LOST, it also reminds me of Vanilla Sky, The Butterfly Effect, and even The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  There is nothing not to enjoy about this movie: A+.

Bonus: Ethnic Backgrounds of the International Cast

Leonardo DiCaprio (as Dominic Cobb): American- 1/2 German, 1/4 Italian, 1/4 Russian

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Arthur): Jewish-American

Ellen Page (as Ariadne): Canadian of English descent

Tom Hardy (as Eames): English of English and Irish descent

Marion Cotillard (as Mal Cobb): French

Cillian Murphy (as Robert Fischer): Irish

Ken Watanbe (as Saito): Japanese

Tom Berenger (as Peter Browning): American of Irish descent

Dileep Rao (as Yusuf): American of Indian descent

Pete Postlethwait (as Maurice Fischer): English

Luke Haas (as Nash): American- 1/2 German, 1/2 English

Michael Caine (as Miles): English

The spinning totem started to wobble before the screen cut to black. While there easily could be a sequel, I believe the totem ended up falling over.

The Sussudio Effect: Why We Secretly Love the Mysteries of Life

Whether we will admit it or not, we like unexplained mysteries.

Do we really need an answer for everything?  Isn’t omniscience (the ability to know everything infinitely) a trait we reserve for God?  Could we handle the responsibility of having all the answers?  We like to think we want all the answers, but if we did, that would be a life without surprise, suspense, and ultimately, much excitement.

Much of the mystique we deal with revolves around our origin, purpose, and ending.  But even without all the big idea concepts like “why am I here?” and “what exactly happens the moment I die?,” both of which the element of ignorance is attached to, life is still full plenty of petty mysteries to think about.  Which at best, simply reflect the fact that mystery is a part of life.

Like the song “Sussidio” by Phil Collins.  It became a number one hit in July of 1985.  And though I wasn’t quite in pre-school yet at that point, the song has definitely kept a solid spot in the Soundtrack of My Life.  I can’t say that I like the saxophone-enhanced song just because of its feel-good vibes and groovy melody.  A big part of why I like the song is because of its quirkiness.  Because let’s face it, no one really knows what a “sussudio” is.

In recent years, thanks to Phil Collins’ interviews that have surfaced and have been referenced in Wikipedia, I have learned that Phil always did a lot of ad-lib and improvising in the studio.  He often would record the music to the song before he wrote the words, just making up random words and phrases to hold the place; then coming back later to replace the gibberish with actual lyrics.

“Sussudio” was a place-holding made-up word that he never came up with a replacement for.  And so it remained.  The word still doesn’t mean anything.  It’s not the name of a girl, as some have assumed.  It’s just a mysterious word.  You get to decide what it means.  Weird concept, but after all, the song did make it to the number one spot.

Why?  It’s a great catchy song.  And it’s mysterious.

I will deliberately bypass the way-too-obvious fact that LOST’s popularity is associated with its strategic and clever uses of mystique (LOST- Answering Questions that Were Left Unanswered) and instead close with the fact that we can spend a lifetime just unveiling the mysteries of the people closest to us in our lives.

It’s not like we sit down with our parents or spouses or best friends and interview them with a #2 pencil and steno pad about their childhood and see what we can learn about them that we didn’t know before.  Instead, we just wait for those random trigger words to show up in conversation, which prompt a story that we’ve never heard before about them before.

Sometimes when my wife and I are out at a restaurant, we (being “people watchers”) will notice an older couple sitting in silence, only really speaking to say predictable things like “How’s your steak?”  We want to be cooler than that when we’re older; we want to have cool stuff to talk about, even now.

There are so many hidden stories in each of us.  We can only try, in a lifetime, to extract them from each other.  Not that they all can be told even in one lifetime, we ourselves can’t remember them all.  Because unlike God, we mysteriously ended up without an omniscient memory.

Stranger than Deja Vu

Sometimes DJ’s read our minds…

Here’s a unexplainable mystery that has happened to everyone at least once in their lives. I get a random song in my head I haven’t heard or thought of in years, then it comes on the radio later that afternoon. What would cause that DJ to want to play the same random song and what would cause me to happen to listen to that same radio station at the exact same time he played it?

In August of 2007 I was in Dallas for the Great American Trucking Show (made famous from my photo albums on facebook). As I sat down in the hotel lobby to wait for the charter bus to take me to the convention center, The Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” was playing. In particular, it was the end of the song, “Na na na na… hey Jude…”

Ten minutes later I stepped up into the bus and as I found a vibrantly decorated New Mexico–style embroidered seat, the elevator music version of “Hey Jude” was playing. And it just happened to be the end of the song: “Na na na na… hey Jude…”

During my lunch break today I was in a store picking out a card when I heard the worst song ever recorded in history. I’d never heard it before. But it was awful. Sounded like they made up the melody on the spot. Or lack of melody, I should say: “I… miss… you”. Sounded like Amy Grant in the late ‘80’s. As I paid the cashier teen boy, also named Nick, I said, “So the radio station here. Sucks, don’t it?” He politely agreed.

An hour later I’m back at work. I call our legal guy to ask him a question about a title for a vehicle. I’m put on hold. There could only be one song in the universe that plays in elevator music form. Yes. It was “I Miss You”.

This “hear a song on the radio, then the next song I hear is that song, but the elevator music form of it” event has happened to me twice in the last two years. With a little help from some co-workers and a consultation with Wikipedia, I found out more about the worst song ever recorded in history. “I Miss You” was a 1985 hit by a group called Klymaxx.  It’s worse than any song a Hollywood actor recorded during the 5 months they tried to also have a career in music. It’s bad, man. Bad.

Not important in the grand scheme of things, but if nothing else, this “deja vu song” concept sometimes happens to us.  During what would have been another ordinary day. 

Do you, the random or regular reader, have any weird stories like that?  I’m currently collecting them in my mind.  It’s fascinating.  You can leave a comment about it.  I will care.  I will read it.  I will be fascinated.  I want to know this truly doesn’t just happen to me.