Charity Spotlight – H.A.B.I.T. – Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee.

H.A.B.I.T.Established in 1986, H.A.B.I.T., comprised of representatives from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, volunteers from the community, and private veterinary practitioners, work to explore the circumstances and consequences of the human-animal bond and to promote this valuable bond between people and animals.

As a program of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, H.A.B.I.T. sponsors animal-assisted therapy programs for those of all ages in a variety of settings such as nursing and retirement homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers, and area schools.

H.A.B.I.T. is currently seeking people and pet volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, contact H.A.B.I.T. at (865) 974-5633 or

Golden Rules of Genealogy

For several years now I’ve been been doing genealogy research for my family and my wife’s family. So far, things have gone well and I’ve been able to get quite a bit of information for immediate family members on both sides. Most often, it is easy get details back to grandparents or even great-grandparents. That’s where I start hitting brick walls. Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated and just give up. Well, a couple of days ago I came across this from and it really helped to put things into perspective.Golden Rules of Genealogy


The Tree and Vine – Knoxville, TN

The Tree and VineWhile my wife and I were in downtown Knoxville this past Saturday for the Market Square Art Fair, we made a short side trip to The Tree and Vine. The Tree and Vine is an olive oil and balsamic tasting shop just down Union Avenue from Market Square. Not being a fan of balsamic vinegar and having only used “plain” extra virgin olive oil, I was surprised at the number of infused oils and balsamics available to sample and purchase.

We were invited, even encouraged, to try all of the different olive oils and balsamic vinegars and to even try a combination of a couple. For example, we sampled a combination of their chipotle infused olive oil and blueberry infused aged balsamic. Separately, these two are very good, but combined you get an amazing mixture of heat and sweet. Perfect for a marinade or topping. They also had a sample of brownies (store bought mix) made with their blood orange fused olive oil instead of regular oil. A simple recipe replacement with a completely different result.

As I learned how the different oils and balsamics could be used or combined to enhance the flavors of any food, my biggest treat came with the lemon infused white balsamic. I’m somewhat of a simple kind of guy, so vanilla ice cream has almost always been topped with chocolate syrup. Well, not any more. I have now discovered the absolutely delicious addition of lemon infused white balsamic vinegar to vanilla ice cream. I guess I’m finally growing up.

So, if you are ever in the area, I encourage you to stop by The Tree and Vine at 439 Union Avenue, just off Market Square, in downtown Knoxville.

Gerber Outrigger Knife

Gerber OutriggerIf you are looking for an all-purpose knife to carry on you pretty much everywhere, then the new Gerber Outrigger Knife should do just fine. Gerber has put the best of their three top clip knives over the past ten years into one beautiful blade, and the results are going to be legendary. The Outrigger features a fine edge blade, the company’s Assisted Opening 2.0 technology for quick access, dual thumbstuds for one-handed operation, a pocket clip for keeping it handy, an open frame design to reduce the weight, a plunge lock for carefree closure, and a rubberized overmold for comfort. The Outrigger is also available in mini and XL versions.

Fish Bone Knotless Gear Tie

Fish Bone Knotless Gear TieProper knot tying is just one on a long list of dying arts, being pushed yet further into the past with this American–made knotless gear tie called the Fish Bone. It’s designed for use with paracord, which is awesome for a million uses but often impossible to untie when a knot gets cranked tight. The Fish Bone keeps every locked-down and solid but eliminates the nasty knots.