Bernie C. Milam, Oct. 28 1928 – Feb. 19, 2011

My Uncle Bernie, my father’s last remaining brother, passed away this weekend.  Uncle Bernie loved staying in touch with family, often calling just to “check in.”  Sometimes, he would call my cell phone and claim he dialed the wrong number while trying to reach my dad, but then want to talk to me anyway.  I suspect he did it on purpose.  The night before he died, he left a message on Mom & Dad’s answering machine, just another one of his “checking in messages.”  I digitized it and saved it.  It’s one of those priceless things.

Uncle Bernie’s Last Phone Message

Uncle Bernie was also a big fan of the Internet, but never really got into those newfangled things like facebook.  He loved E-mail, especially forwarding jokes.  He also was one of about four regular readers of this blog, back when I actually used to update it.  Therefore, it’s only appropriate he gets a mention here.

Headshot of Bernie Milam
Bernie C. Milam

Bernie C. Milam, 82, husband of Jane Anderson Milam, died Saturday, February 19, 2011. He was born October 28, 1928 in Shepherdsville, son of the late Bernie B. and Bertha Wise Milam, and was a graduate of Shepherdsville High School. He was also a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. degree in Agriculture and M.S. degree in Extension Education. He was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant. After completing his tour of duty in Korea, he returned to the University of Kentucky to complete his degree. He taught Vocational Agriculture at Meade County High School before going to work for the U.K. Cooperative Extension Service. He went to Nicholas County as a 4-H agent until December 1957 when he became the 4-H agent in Bourbon County. He served the people of Bourbon County for 36 years before retiring on his 65th birthday.

He is survived by his wife Jane Anderson Milam and three sons, James, John, and Robert (Sonya). There are 10 grandchildren; Christopher, Daniel, Elizabeth, Josh, Adam, Lauren, Alexandra, Justin, Conner, and Matthew. He is also survived by one sister, Helen Newton; and one brother, Dr. Robert Milam.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 22, at the First Baptist Church of Paris, KY. Visitation will be 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday at the church.

Casket bearers will be his nephews, Mike Milam, Charles Milam, Steve Milam, Todd Milam, Kevin Cundiff, Eric Cundiff, Mark Cundiff, Mike Anderson, and Brad Newton.

Donations in lieu of flowers are requested to First Baptist Church Building Fund, Hospice of the Bluegrass, or one’s favorite charity.

Some Random Stuff

Yeah, this might be a placeholder post, I’m still avoiding just buckling down and posting the five or six half-finished posts I’ve started.  Sorry, Amy. I’ll get on that real soon.

Random thoughts:

  1. Perhaps twitter has fried my brain and I can’t write more than 140 characters at a time?
  2. This is a weekend of some historical significance–
  3. Three years ago, The Shaner died.  RIP, my brother.  I haven’t been on a motorcycle since.
  4. Two years ago, I was at Norwich University graduating from my Master’s program.
  5. One year ago, I was at my brother’s graduation in Houston, obsessively checking the iPhone for updates on the Stanley Cup Game Seven, and texting my favorite hockey fan about it.  The next day, I drove one of my brother’s  cars home from Houston to Kentucky solo.  That was a LONG trip.
  6. Tonight, Dad and I met the guy who builds covered docks down at the lake.  I hope this covered dock thing actually happens.  You have no idea how much easier it would make life down at the lake to not have to struggle with that messy, nasty “canvas.”
  7. Nashville once again reminds me it is a fun town…I had a great time on Monday at the NHL Tweetup and flood relief fundraiser.  There might have even been some photos. Shortly after that photo of me was taken (you did look, right?), the ladies confiscated my belt clip for my iPhone.  Katie called it “Chick Repellent.”  Ok, so looking at the photo…she might have a point.
  8. Mike is here tonight, we continued our tradition of watching non-family-safe movies while he’s away and has the chance to do so.  Tonight’s selection: Shutter Island. Freaky.
  9. I got the Jetta back!  More testing is needed, but we think it was all due to a faulty crank sensor. Time will tell.  For the first time in my life, I now have a backup vehicle.  It’s about time!
  10. I’ve managed to spend time in Nashville the last 2-3 weekends (I think), it’s all a blur.  It’s true what they say about time seeming to go faster as we age…is it really June already?  I never thought summer would get here, now it’s flying by WAY too fast.
  11. I’m still hoping to make it to Wisconsin for a summer visit, but I don’t know if my [lack of] “vacation” schedule will allow for it.
  12. I’ve been slacking on the running due to injury and illness.  Time to get back on the horse.  Also:  Strength training.  Time to push through the soreness and pain.  Ouch.
  13. I discovered there will be a Field Day operation here in Hopkinsville.  I think I’ll offer to help out as an operator rather than try to set up my own single-op station.
  14. Clark Milam is the best dog ever.
  15. Oh, and I hope to cross a couple of “bucket list” items off this weekend.

Finally…I’ve been staring at this quote from a text I sent a while back for too long and I need to just drop it here and get it over with because I’m sick of seeing it in my drafts folder:

“I just wonder if anyone in the old Nashville crew ever wonders what happened to that Chuck guy from Kentucky.”

When I wrote that, I was kind of maudlin.  Now, after some recent events…I’m cool.  The old reliable Nashville crew never forgot me…and there’s some new members that are all kinds of awesome.  With that, I’m out…time for bed.  Friday tomorrow!  Oh, that reminds me:  Fridays used to be party nights…now it seems they’re for rest, packing and preparation for the weekend, and it’s not just me doing it.  We must be getting old.  Heh.

Hello Again, Louisville…Much Nicer to See You This Time.

We traveled to my brother’s in Louisville tonight for my nephew’s big fourth birthday party, which is tomorrow.  Everyone else is asleep upstairs.  I’m down in the basement “man cave” watching the Predators game on TV, E-Mailing friends, and waiting for the road coffee to wear off so I can get to sleep.  The setup down here is very nice:  Big HDTV, wireless internet, my own bathroom, and a comfortable queen bed.  I can’t complain.

However, I am reminded of the last time I was here, almost two months ago.  The breakup was fresh, only two days old.  That Saturday morning, on the good advice and encouragement of a friend, I left Clark in good hands and pointed the old, worn-out Jetta east to Louisville.  I had to put some distance between myself and Nashville.

I arrived in time to go to dinner with some friends I hadn’t seen since Mike and Ashley’s wedding, and had a rather good time—mojitos and light chatter did wonders for keeping me distracted.  That night, however, I had all kinds of trouble sleeping.  In fact, I was jarred awake almost every hour on the hour.

Those were not fun times, but those times are in the past.

I’m going to bed now, and I’m going to sleep just fine, because it’s time to start living life again.  It’s my nephew’s birthday tomorrow, and he deserves a great one.

…And The Snow Keeps On Coming…

There is a serious snowstorm raging outside. Clark is hunkered down in front of the fire here in the living room.  With the cold and swirling winds, the temperature in here is just barely reaching 68 degrees. Normally, the fireplace can get the temperature up to almost 80 in the living room and near 70 in the adjoining master bedroom.  I guess I could turn on the heat pump, but it would likely just hammer away all night and not raise much but my electric bill.  Sometimes I miss having a real basement with a real furnace like the houses I grew up in.  Then again, it’s really only about six weeks out of the year here that it gets cold enough to consider any winterizing effort.

Tomorrow, we will have to see what we wake up to in terms of snow accumulation.  They were predicting 7 to 10 inches here in Hopkinsville, but so far, it looks like we’re going to be on the light side.  Daylight will reveal the truth.

4th of July

I’m writing this at the end of yet another too-short weekend (on my iPhone, by the way). The 4th of July (more appropriately called “Independence Day”) weekend is winding down. Despite my intention to be in the old Oshkosh neighborhood this year as I was last, it was not to be. While I did miss being at what is always a great reunion of childhood friends, life kept me home this year–and I mean that in a not-so-bad connotation.Photo of Downtown Nashville Fireworks

Perhaps I’m getting old, or perhaps social networking tools help “take the edge off” needing to see everyone in person, maybe I’m just more determined than ever to keep costs down, but the “need” to get back home to Oshkosh isn’t as strong as it was. Perhaps this is just a melancholy phase that will pass in time. Perhaps having certain people here makes it easier to stay south of Indianapolis now. Or…maybe I really am starting to despise air travel and the Jetta isn’t getting any younger. Alternators aren’t cheap.

Anyway, I had an enjoyable weekend. I got to spend some time at the lake and hang with Mom and Dad. I got to spend some quality time with @janeqpublic, both at home and in Nashville. We watched most of the Nashville fireworks before we finally could not even see them through the blinding rainstorm. I managed to snap a photo from our vantage point before things got really wet and we had to run for the car.

We then proceeded to get stuck in the post-fireworks traffic, which was exacerbated by the Steve McNair crime scene investigation– we ended up going right past it in the bumper-to-bumper crush. Speaking of the Steve McNair murder, chalk that up to yet another news story I learned about on twitter first–something that happens with increasing frequency.

On the professional front, I’m still very much enjoying using open-source tools to solve business problems. You know I’m in deep when I’m stopping to take notes when I get a flash of inspiration at odd hours. I find myself thinking in SQL code snippets, too. It’s exciting when projects hit this kind of critical mass. I’m excited to see where it goes from here.