Good morning, GoGo. Well, fall has finally reached the Smokies. All week down here it has started out around 50 or so. But right now it's 42 and the weather guessers on TV last night were talking about frost in some spots. It's supposed to shoot up to 72, though, so it should be a sunny, nice day. For anyone heading down here, a few of the trees are just starting to turn, mostly the yellow ones. Only decent red I've seen is just certain spots on certain sweet gum trees, just what you'd expect. But we can almost see the change from day to day, so I'd say in another week they'll be showing quite a bit more color.
Well, I escaped the Smoky Mountains Knife Works with only about a $130 dent in my credit card. That 10% sales tax down here adds up, but then I asked about a military discount and I think I got 15% off due to that. I've been learning how to put scales on knife blanks, so parts for that is mostly what I bought.
The Bud's Gun Shop across the street was pretty nice, too. I asked if they were directly connected to Bud's in Lexington and was told yes and no. Best I could tell the one in Lexington is the original and apparently where the owner lives. Then he started buying up gun shops as they went up for sale all across the country. They said most of the time if the shop was well established and the name was worth anything, they left the name the same. The shop here apparently was a new build and kind of a franchise deal, with Bud and a part owner. At least that's how I understood it. My hunting/traveling buddy looked at a 9mm Ruger ECS that the Knife Works had for $209 and it was $219 over at Buds. Buds did have just about any semiauto pistol you could want, so I got to handle/fondle several that I'd only seen pictures of, including the little 9mm Glock 43. Also saw several S&W 7-shot .357 Mag revolvers at both places that were sweet, sweet handguns. Ruger makes a 7-shot .357 Redhawk that I've been lusting after for awhile and the Knife Works had one of those for something like $550, I think. If I ever retire, that might just be my gift to myself. For whatever reason, I gravitate toward revolvers, and if I can't get out of a jam with seven rounds of .357, then I doubt the other 10-12 rounds a 9mm high-cap holds would have helped.
JR, if I'd known about your Italy trip a little farther ahead, I have several cases of MREs we could have shipped there ahead of you. One thing they have over there that's pretty good is this fancy rolled-up bacon they call pancetta. I've only bought it to make one or two fancy dishes and remembered it being pricey. Just checked Walmart online and they offer some that's $5.74 for 3 ounces. Yep, you heard right. If it's cheaper over there, you ought to bring back a suitcase full and recoup some of your expenses. Probably drive the drug-sniffing dogs crazy. Ha!
Greyfox, are y'all camping in the big Harbor Freight garage? Put the front on that thing and I have some kerosene heaters that would work beautifully and be totally safe to heat that thing. Hope you're having a big time and seeing some birds. I learned at the Sugarlands Visitor Center the other day that a kingfisher doesn't build a nest, it burrows into the bank like a dang muskrat and lays its eggs in there. Never knew that.
Dean, I didn't get signed on yesterday, so I'll wish you a belated birthday. Hope it was a good one.
That's all for today from the Smokies. We have to check out of our "cabin" by 10 in the morning, so I imagine I'll be busy and won't get to read the good morning post until we get home. The Tennessee Vols have a home game at 3 against Alabama, so I sure hope we don't get hung up in traffic as we go around Knoxville. I imagine tailgating is pretty big down here, so Lord knows when folks head to the stadium.
Y'all have a good day and be safe out there.