Potato Guns, Whiskey, and Regret – Camping In My Hometown


The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!


I love to go camping. When I was young my parents used to take us to a 2 week long family reunion up in the mountain forest a couple of hours from my house. We’d spend the week playing in rivers and lakes, rafting, and cooking amazing food over an open fire pit.

Other times my Dad would just get a wild hair up his backside and decide that it seemed like a good weekend to take the camp trailer up into the woods and explore for a while. He’d call up several other families, and in a matter of minutes we’d be in our Chevy Blazer on the way to the market for ice, beer and hot dogs — an entire caravan of jacked up vehicles towing camp trailers behind us.

As an adult, I don’t get to camp as often as I do. We don’t have a camp trailer, and my wife isn’t fond of tent camping, so we just haven’t found a way to make it all click.

However on rare occasions, I travel back to my hometown and camp with old high school buddies. It’s usually two or three nights packed with games of horseshoe, music, and FAR TOO MUCH drinking.

One such trip resulted in a story that I will never forget…Read More »

Thursday Think Tank: Bad Bar Bands and Cowboy Brawls


At a certain point her table decided they needed some air, and stepped outside. The Buckboard had these massive windows on the front of the bar that allowed you to see outside to the front parking lot. As I stood playing “Brown Eyed Girl,” I saw my wife and her friends standing on the front porch of the bar, chatting and smiling.

Enter the villain of our story…


It’s 4th of July, and I don’t have any great 4th of July stories. I mean I could tell about the time that my Mom and her best friend took 4 of us children to a Native American reservation to purchase illegal fireworks for their husbands, but aside from the ludicrous premise, it was a relatively uneventful trip.

So instead I thought I might focus on one of my redneckiest of experiences growing up in Small Town, USA. When I throw a term like “redneck” around, understand that I do not imply any negative connotations. While I may have traded in my blue collar roots for what is now a very white collar, climate controlled, callus-free life, it doesn’t mean I don’t hold tremendous admiration for folks who live that life. I think most of them are proud of the “redneck” moniker in terms of the positive aspects of the label, and I hold those aspects near and dear to my heart.

Now about that time I almost got my ass kicked by a bar full of cowboy rednecks…


Tangent: Before I go any further, I just wanted to let you know that my stories are real. I may embellish a detail or two for the sake of telling a good story, and I may get a fact or two wrong due to the passing of time, but overall the stories mostly happened the way I detail them. In almost every case I have witnesses, and in the case of this story I’ve easily got 150.


I used to play in a bar band. Two of my absolute best friends in the world and I started “jamming” in my Dad’s shop when I was 12 or 13, and we eventually formed a cover band that played the local circuit of dive bars and honky-tonks. We got pretty good, and the owners of the various establishments would book us every weekend to play classic rock and country tunes for folks to dance to.

We were kind of a big deal.Read More »