I think I'll call her

Dear Paul,

I want to thank you for introducing me to Delilah. No, not the song. She's better than a song. You introduced us in Mom and Dad's front yard, and your Delilah and I have had the most wonderful time together. Oh how times have changed.

You should know better than to run off without your little friend. Surely you knew that sooner or later, she'd start going places without you. A little trip to the grocery store here. Another ride out to the ball game there. It's amazing how quickly those little times spent together can foster such a beautiful relationship.

You should know better than to try to wage a long distance relationship from a small South Pacific Island. And you should certainly know better than to find a temporary replacement for your one and only. I'm sure you've realized by now that temporary replacements don't work so well, and the two of you out there have endured a rocky relationship. I hear that your new little plaything gets a little stubborn sometimes, doesn't she?

I came across Delilah a few weeks ago, and I couldn't resist her. I drove her home to Charleston from our hometown, and she came back topless--all the way back to my place. Boy was that a sight to see. And as we drove along, wind in my hair passing mile after mile, I realized why her name was Delilah.

I call her Delilah because she always tempts me, and we always get off the highway in search of more exciting places for our fun, just like the biblical Delilah temped Samson off his proper path.

And, just like the Delilah who cut Samsons hair led him astray, Delilah tempted me, and our brief trip back to Charleston turned into a little escapade off the highway. I won't go into details, but let's just say that those shocks were rockin' somewhere off down a gravel road.

I know you miss her, but I couldn't resist this little tease. I'll try to take care of her until you come back to claim her as your own again.

P.S. Don't call my wife fat again, or I will not change the oil until 3,300 miles instead of the proper 3,000.


Webcam of the week, It's back from the dead

A little more than a year ago, I had a post for the new dental school clinic building construction cam. Well, it took pictures of dirt and stuff for about a year.

Since that time, Mark Sanford vetoed the final $7 million to construct the building. The legislature overrode his veto. And then there were several months of constant pile driving.

And now there's some random holes for a basement.

Enjoy. MUSC Dental Clinic Construction


Who said that?

So was it the Bible, Bin Laden or John Lennon? See the quiz at Murphys in American Samoa



(Part 3 of 3)

Yosemite was pretty cool. I tried to pronounce it "YOSE-MITE" with a nice southern twang any time we were around people. Amber usually turned red from the experience. Whether she was embarrassed or angry, I couldn't say.

We had some bagels and soup-can hot chocolate before heading off to the giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove.

Then we were off to Glacier Point for a nice overview of the valley. The tiny specs on the top, left of half dome are people. Whoa nelly.

Next we drove to the valley floor and examined waterfalls n' stuff.

We oohed and ahhed over El Capitan, and after some searching, we found some goobers crazy enough to climb that thing. Look closely, they're nearly to the top.

Ok... look a little closer
How easy do I have to make this for you?
The we went hiking to another waterfall. I can't remember the name. Maybe Amber will edit this and correct me. Vernal Falls

The setting sun makes for some really cool effects. The bright granite face of half-dome is brightly lit in contrast to the shady valley floor
And we drove back to our campsite.

And then we went home. Until the next adventure...


posted by Josh M on 12:37 PM


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You know what he did?

You probably remember this commercial from a few years ago. And... although this likely won't pass the Mimi test. It made me laugh uncontrollably for a little while. I hope you have a good chuckle too.


posted by Josh M on 11:14 PM


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San Fransisco


We got started on our big day in the big city around 9am. We looked up some google directions to the visitor's center in downtown San Francisco. It was on Market street. Despite what I'm sure were perfectly fine directions, we didn't ever find the visitor center, and instead wandered around some of the hilly streets.

Not really knowing what we were doing, whenever we saw other people standing around taking pictures, we went ahead and took pictures too. At one point, we found ourselves on some narrow, winding, steep brick road. Since other people were taking pictures, I took a few as well. I think it was called Lombard St or something. As it turns out, it's famous. (I ripped the first picture off wikipedia. The second is mine.)

Then we went to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was... well, it was a bridge that somebody painted red. We parked somewhere to the north and walked across. About half-way across, I told Amber that I thought I wanted 3 or 4 kids in a year or two...... And she threatened to jump. Then I decided on getting a dog instead, and she decided not to call whoever talks to you on the other end of the crisis phones.

The bridge didn't strike me as something particularly special in itself, a surprisingly short span, and remarkably flat for a bridge so storied--the Ravenel bridge in Charleston is certainly more of a challenge to traverse on foot. But the view is something to talk about, and it's quite high above the water below.

From there, we paid the $5 toll to re-enter San Francisco and we went to Fisherman's Wharf, but the parking was horrendous, and we had visions of El Capitan dancing in our heads. So we elected to leave the city and make our way towards the main event: Yosemite National Park.

Traffic was horrible. The radio traffic people routinely used terms like "The Tracy Parking Lot" to describe the less than speedy congestion that appeared to be accepted as normal. Places like that help me understand why anti-lock brakes are essential on modern vehicles. Our 4 hour trip turned into a 6 hour trip, but it gave us plenty of time to soak in the scenery. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like that part of Cali had a lot to show. Mostly just dead grass. Another hill, another curve, and another field of dead grass. My impressions of California are now that they basically build cities in the middle of desert, then harp about the necessity of conservation. No wonder they look like tree-hugging hippies to the rest of the US--conservation is a matter of necessity when you build large cities in the desert.

A few undesirable turns and a supply stop at Walmart lengthened our journey, but we finally found the twisties of the mountain roads.

At last, we arrived at the park and set up camp, warmed some canned soup for dinner, burrowed into our sleeping bags. Lows were in the 30s the first night, and I thought I was going to freeze, despite a sleeping bag and a jacket.


posted by Josh M on 10:49 PM


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For the record...

#756. I voted to brand it with an asterisk. You can vote too.


posted by Josh M on 10:18 PM


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A very UnMurphy Murphy vacation

Part 1 of 3

We got back late last night from our much anticipated, long awaited trip to the left coast. I wanted to tell you about our little vacation, partly to brag and partly to share.

Before pressing further, I'd like to thank Wendy's for a great promo and Airtran for coming to Charleston, SC to make our little weekend escapade possible.

5:30 pm We left home for the Charleston airport Thursday evening after work/school. Unfortunately, 526 turned into a parking type parkway instead of a driving type parkway and we were a little late for our flight.

7:30pm. But the same weather that hindered our drive also delayed our flight, and we had time to spare for an airport dinner.

Now, being a Murphy and especially susceptible to the laws that are attributed to Murphy, you might expect that our late flight out of Charleston turned into a late flight arriving in Atlanta. It did. But in a very UnMurphy kind of fashion, our Atlanta departure flight was also delayed and we had a few minutes to spare.

10pm. Now we were worried that the rental car place in SanFran might close before we arrived, and the hotel might overbook. I say we, but I mean Amber. She called both to confirm that our reservations were still intact, and they were.

And thanks to all the delays and the fact that our ATL-SFO flight was a late nighter, there was plenty of room for the 4 hour flight. Amber and I each took our own row, and in a very UnMurphy kind of fashion, slept pretty much the whole way there. Murphy's Law. hmmpff. What law?

Due to all the delays from that nasty little tropical storm, our 1am arrival in San Francisco turned into a 2:30am arrival. By my eastern time, that's way past my bed time, so we moseyed on over to the Hertz counter to find that nobody was present. After some searching, we found a pair of Hertz employees lounging in their break room. We coaxed them into giving us the car we had already paid for, and we drove off for the Hotel, 3 miles away.

At 3:30am other coast time, we pulled into the Travelodge only to find that, despite our advance booking, and despite our previous call to make sure we had a bed, there was no room at the inn. But just when Murphy's law of Vacations appeared ready to take hold, the night manager sent us to the Holiday Inn across the street with a letter that must have read something like, "We screwed up. Give them a bed and charge it to us." And so we had a room from Holiday Inn instead of a room from the critically disclaimed Travelodge.


Table Rock and get-togethers on Labor Day

Two years ago, I took my new girlfriend to Table Rock State Park for some old-fashioned camping and hiking. We tried climbing Table Rock mountain and got a mid-afternoon start. After reaching the summit, we turned around and made a quick descent. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the huge mass of granite on the front of the mountain that offers the best view. We weren't as fast as I anticipated, the mountain was taller than I remembered, and since the sun moved a little faster than I wanted, we ended up coming down the mountain in darker and darker conditions. Then and now... (the dark one would be the one from 2 years ago)

Eventually, darker turned into just plain dark. We had no flashlight so I took a picture of my white undershirt with her camera, and we used the white light from the playback screen to guide our steps down the last few hundred yards of mountain trail. I felt foolish for pushing her up the mountain, and a little more foolish for trying to go up so late.

I went back to the mountain again this past weekend. Except, this time, I conned my new wife and in-laws into coming too.

We started climbing much earlier this year. I was determined to reach the huge granite face this time, dragging my poor bride as I went. But along the way, we stopped at the same spot where we took a picture two years ago and took a few pictures. But this time, the sun wasn't setting.

The mountain was a little steeper and even longer than either of the in-laws signed up for, and they spent some time at the CCC shelter about half way up. And that's pretty much how I think I've been banned from planning activities for our get-togethers.

You see, last time I organized a camping trip with the in-laws, things didn't quite go as planned either. That was this past Easter when we went camping at Hunting Island in windy 30 degree weather. I still got sunburned somehow. This time I think I nearly drove them to heart attacks. The in-laws are probably beginning to think that my ideas are something straight out of a book on Chinese torture tactics. First, freeze them. Then work them so hard they can't feel their fingers. Who knows what's next. Oh yes, I know. Mental games.

So I talked everyone into posing for pictures in front of the Giant Cow at Aunt Sue's Restaurant.

Not a bad day for the world's worst son-in-law, where every adventure is a disaster waiting to happen.