LOI: American Civil War Sesquicentennial

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. On April 12th, 1861, Confederate forces in Charleston, South Carolina opened fire on Fort Sumter thereby marking the commencement of hostile engagement with the US government. In this edition of Links of Interest, I’ll be linking to Civil War resources which pertain to my local area in Knoxville and East Tennessee.

Finally, although its content doesn’t cover my local area, I’d like to recommend a book on the Civil War. Bruce Catton’s A Stillness at Appomattox: The Army of the Potomac Trilogy is a riveting book of history. One reviewer has commented that if all history were written as well as this book, there would be no need for fiction.

I’ve been working my way through A Stillness at Appomattox during the past month, and Catton makes the final months of the Civil War come alive with his vivid description of the events and the men and women who took part in them. All of Catton’s accounts are taken from documents and interviews; therefore, although it reads like good fiction, the book is completely factual. I highly recommend it.

The Old City Buskers

The Old City Buskers from Michael Wender on Vimeo.

This past weekend, Beth and I happened upon the Old City Buskers as we were taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of the Farmer’s Market on Market Square. Next time we go, I’m going to be sure to have my monopod in tow as opportunities like this one abound.

Taste Testing Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola

Fentiman's Curiosity ColaWhile I was visiting the Emery 5&10 in South Knoxville this past weekend, I happened upon their stock of Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola. The owner, Ron Emery, told me that he imported the drink from the UK. It’s botanically brewed in the fashion of old apothecary colas. Always in the mood to try a unique tasting beverage, I purchased a bottle and offer this review:

The label says UP END BEFORE POURING in order to unlock the natural taste found in the sediment left behind by their brewing process. Dutifully following the instructions, I held the bottle upside down for a moment before pouring out a tumbler full. 

My first sip reminded me of Coke mixed with ginger ale. Continuing, I found Curiosity Cola to be very pleasant indeed. One tumbler led to another, and before I knew it, my bottle was empty with me wishing I’d bought more. If you’re a fan of old-style colas or ginger ales, I can definitely recommend Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola.

On Knoxify: My Loose-Leaf Tea Obsession

Over at Knoxify, I’ve shared about my loose-leaf tea obsession. Read the article to find out my locally-owned source for Knoxville’s finest loose-leaf tea.

Market Square Cathedral

Market Square Cathedral 02For the past month or two, I’ve noticed a beautiful rendering of a cathedral on the plywood along Wall Street which runs on the north side of Market Square. This weekend, my friends and I made a special trip to see it, and I snapped these photos:

Market Square Cathedral 01Market Square Cathedral 02Market Square Cathedral 03Market Square Cathedral 04

Snow in Ktown


Earlier this morning, I heard it raining. About thirty minutes later I looked outside to see snow covering everything and still coming down hard. Given that it has been many years since we’ve had a good snow around here, I had to get out my camera and shoot the scene.

Recent Photo Round-Up

It has been a while since I’ve done a mass upload to my Flickr photostream. Given the time lapsed, today I was able to upload quite a few gems from the recent weeks:

UT Campus TiltshiftSunsphere TiltshiftTwas the night before Christmas...The Christmas CrewPlaying the BluesBlues Brothers IBrown Family GatheringOrchids IIPurple OrchidsHappy Birthday ConnieWe're helping Jana move back to MississippiHigh Flying DolphinsWaiting to see the dolphin showJust rode the KrakenPure CutenessPlaying on the stairsThe balloons are buzzing the neighborhood.Beth and I have happened upon some hot air balloons this morningSebastian  FLBig Orange SantaHeading Home for the HolidaysHigh FiveThumbs Up!Chocolate Berry Pancakes II

Knoxify Knoxville Calendar

The fine folks over at Knoxify have put together a really nice 2009 Knoxville calendar featuring pictures of Knoxville (including one by yours trully). All proceeds will be donated to the Dogwood Arts Festival.

Stories from Sing-Sing

Bernadette West spent 18 months in prison. Now she’s out sharing her stories with the Metro Pulse.