“Top Shot” Terry Vaughan entertains the crowd at ProShots Range

Princess Gail and I had a very nice time tonight at ProShots Range in nearby Rural Hall, NC, about 15 minutes from our house. The owners of the range, Lonnie and Betty Ashby, hosted a little event for Terry Vaughan, who has now achieved “celebrity” status by being a competitor on this season’s Top Shot show on the History Channel. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Sure, he’s a rough and tough former British Royal Marine Commando, and an expert marksman, but he is also a warm and humorous person oozing with personality. We got to watch the second Top Shot episode again tonight, with Terry giving us the background stuff and inside scoop. Fun!

It was a nice family event, kids welcome. ProShots Range is that kind of place. Terry’s wife and children were there, too. First Community Bank helped sponsor the event, providing good eats and a door prize. All in all, a really nice evening!

Terry is a public speaker on the topic of Body Language. You can also keep up with his shenanigans on his “Public Figure” Facebook page.

Business and Pleasure in Nashville

Princess Gail and I just got back from a short little trip to Music City, Nashville, TN. We decided to drive the 7 hours from Winston-Salem to enjoy the Fall colors in the mountains. We were so fortunate this year to have taken four separate car trips into the mountains in the past 3 weeks, and enjoyed all the altitudes from the top of Mt Mitchell to the floor of the Piedmont. I think I saw the best Fall colors of my entire life! You saw some of my memories in my last post. 🙂

If watching the Fall foliage wasn’t enough, I also downloaded a fun iPhone app. I was thinking about the old car game we played with the kids during long car trips, counting license plates from as many different states as we could. Well of course there is an app for that! License Plate Game was a lot of fun. I got 21 plates during this trip! 🙂

I had to be in Nashville for a work-related meeting, which turned out to be very informative, and held at the beautiful Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.

I knew we were going to be there on a Tuesday, so before we left I had purchased tickets for the Grand Ole Opry. I have been there several times before and I love it! You never know the exact line up of entertainers for this live radio show until the last minute, because you never know who happens to be in town on any given show day. It turned out that Keith Urban, who lives in Nashville with wife Nicole Kidman, decided to play! After that, the show rapidly sold out!

Our favorites of the night were Kip Moore:

Sunny Sweeney:

And of course the headliners, Little Big Town:

And the fabulous Keith Urban!

All in all, it was a short but wonderful little trip to Nashville! Good memories made! And as always, we were grateful to return home, safe and sound. 🙂


The Big Year – Steve Martin gives birders some street cred

Besides the iPhone 4S, another great thing rolls out tomorrow: The Big Year! Steve Martin will be giving one of our favorite hobbies some serious street cred! Owen Wilson and Jack Black will certainly add their own style of fun and snark. I’m really looking forward to it.

Too bad they didn’t cast these good looking real life birders in the movie!

Grab some popcorn and some bird seed and enjoy the show! 😀


We missed opening day, but Gail and I saw The Big Year on day two, and it did not disappoint! Maybe it’s because we are birders ourselves, but we could relate to all of it! Of course Hollywood exaggerates everything, but we all know and expect that.

Steve Martin was his usual lovable self. Owen Wilson and Jack Black gave surprisingly toned-down performances, actually showing more of their acting chops. Who would have guessed I would ever like Jack Black in a semi-serious role!? There were many other good actors in smaller roles. Rashida Jones shines with her natural, girl-next-door attitude and beauty.

But it was really all about the birds! Appreciation, fascination and obsession! I am happy to say I truly understand that.

Gail and I just agreed that in the future, if I ever see a first year in retirement, we will do a Big Year of our own. What a great thing for our bucket list! 😀

Vertigo and Mission Dolores

Last week Gail and I received the next movie on our Netflix quiche (that’s what we call it): Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. She had never seen it and I last saw it over 40 years ago so I didn’t remember much. I remembered it starred Jimmy Stewart. I didn’t remember Kim Novak. I forgot that it was set in San Francisco and I had no idea Mission Dolores was an important location in the film.

Gail and I were in San Francisco this past December for a conference. It was a quick trip but we did squeeze in a few touristy stops. Gail really wanted to see Mission Dolores, so we made sure that was one of them. Our weather was foggy and overcast that day, so we didn’t take as many pictures as we usually do. But I’m glad we took a few.

So, back to our movie. Vertigo was shot in 1958, when I was three years old, and only four years before Gail was born. It’s weird to think that the movie is now basically a period piece. I enjoyed seeing how people related to each other back in the late 50’s, the cars, the clothes, all that. It was even fun seeing how different the city of San Francisco looked 50 years ago. The movie itself is Hitchcock wonderful, but it is forgettable by today’s standards. I was a little disappointed that we got the colorized version. I’m certain it would have looked better in black and white.

Our favorite part of the movie, though, was to discover that Mission Dolores played such a big part in it! We had been right there just a few months ago! We walked the same steps that Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak and Alfred Hitchcock had 53 years ago! That was really cool!

A few pics off the web:

And a few of our own: