Monday, November 30, 2009

Okay, Here's The Issue

I need to put up a post this morning so I can make my 30 post for the 30 days of November, like I promised I would do.

I have to post this morning, because tonight I will be having company for dinner- and afterward- and today is going to be slam-packed with work.

But I got nuthun'. Saturday's activities I have already blogged about (did I mention there were around 4000 lights on that tree?), and Sunday was spent on a project for work that is more exciting in the finish than in the process.

Even the recent news has been unworthy of my time. Obama's decision to try our Marines for giving an Iraqi a fat lip doesn't cut it- we all know he's an idiot, surrounded by idiots and worse; it's a foregone conclusion that he has booted that decision, so its not controversial at all.

Oh well; the greatest hitter in baseball only hit .400. I guess I can't expect a home run every time I sit down at the keyboard.

The picture is I-74 headed through Indiana. That's how low I am right now; that's as close to a picture of nuthun' as I could find on my computer this morning.

Tomorrow starts December, and another 30 new posts.

31 days in December? Oh crap...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is Just Too Funny

So I had to share.

I found this through the comments section of Truth About Cars.

Is there anything you can't find on YouTube?

Here's What I Did Yesterday

No, that's not my house, but that tree is a beauty, ain't it?

Just for perspective, that ceiling is 15 feet tall.

I'm only referencing this crap to prove it is real. As always I was listening to the BBC this morning and heard about this report. I got so riled up I had to get up early to blog about it.

I freely admit I have never been to the Tora Bora Mountains. But, based on the news reports I read at the time, This 'report' sounds like revisionist history, And to be leaked a day or two before Obama announces his new and improved Afghanistan policy is just too much for me.

This is typical politics, and one of the prime reasons we need to get rid of both the 'D's and 'R's in Washington. Notice how the blame stops in 2001, when Bush allegedly wouldn't support the troops?

Why did we have just a hundred commandos (does the US even have commandos? Do they mean SEALS?)? Was it because Clinton had so gutted the military we were lucky to be able to after al-Qaeda at all?

Back to the Tora Bora Mountains; this report makes it sound like we had him narrowed down to an area the size and appearance of Central Park (which is probably the wildest area most of these idiots have ever been in. To them a 'Yard' is the potted palm on the terrace), but Tora Bora is actually a little different. A series of caves in a remote and mountainous region, just getting the thousands of troops in there, much less supporting them, would have been a logistical nightmare.

And, this 'report' is based on published and unclassified sources, and has John Kerry's seal of approval.

Well, isn't THAT special?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Like Bigfoot

I hope you'll pardon the poor quality of this photo, but, just like Bigfoot, other rare and strange creatures seldom can be caught posing for pictures.

This creature started life as either a Dodge Omni or a Plymouth Horizon, and at this point is somewhere between 20-30 years old; an exact age is not discernible at this distance and with this degree of disfigurement.

I saw this car on the road a few weeks ago, and like a classic UFO (Unidentified Filling Object) confrontation, by the time I was ready to snap photographic proof of its existence, it was gone. And, like those of us who have witnessed events for which there is doubt of their actual existence, I kept my mouth shut. Who would have believed me if I HAD described this car?

The headlights have been removed and replaced with bolt on units; the grill has been replaced with a 1930's style of round and upright one; the wheel wells have had fenders added to them; all of the windows have had external visors attached, and then there are the whitewall tires and baby moon hubcaps.

As luck would have it, on Thanksgiving my brother approached me, somewhat warily, as if he didn't want the word of his sighting to become general knowledge, as ask if I could I identify the car he was unable to.

No wonder he couldn't figure out what it was. New, this car would have looked more like this:

Not a beauty by any means, but acceptable in public, unlike its twisted sister.

Since I had already had a close encounter with the rare (thankfully; do you really want more than one of these creature roaming around?) critter, I was happy to oblige with an identification; if he would allow me publish the photograph here.

This cars existence proves one thing though.

It proves I can be wrong.

I always said you couldn't ugly up a Dodge Omni.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Kinda Feel Like Jerry Seinfeld

I had a funeral today for the mother of a coworker. I got to the church early and watched the servers light the candles. They made a production out of it that would have astounded Busby Berkeley.

First a little background, for those of you unfamiliar with the routine. I actually served my first Mass in this church- back when we were still Altar Boys- and lit these same candle stands many times. You grab the combo device that holds a taper on one side to light the candles and has an extinguishing cap on the other, light the taper and go to work. The candle on this combo device is long enough that you can reach 4-5 feet past the end of your arm. A 3 foot candle in a 3 foot candle stand on a 3 foot altar is no problem (or wasn't) for your standard 10 year old.

Today they were double teaming the candles.

Sort of.

They had a short boy and a taller girl (by almost a foot), both about 12 or 13. The young man came out of the sacristy first, carrying a small step stool; the young lady followed with the combo device. Our young man went to the altar and stretched up to the first of the candles and removed it from the candle holder (he could barely reach it- he was on tiptoe, on the stool and was able to have maybe the bottom 6 inches of the actual 3 foot candle he could reach. After he pulled it out of the holder he lowered it so the wick was eye level to our young lady.

At this point I figured the wick was broken or bent and he was helping out his fellow server. After the candle was lit he put it back in the holder. I was afraid he would set something on fire; holding a lit 3 foot candle- which is good inch and half to 2 inches in diameter- by base and trying to fit it back into the candle holder. After he had replaced it, I figured the show was over.

Then they proceeded to light ALL EIGHT CANDLES on the High Altar the same way. I was amazed. I don’t attend this church often, so I don’t know if this was standard procedure or not, but if this standard procedure, who ever developed it needs to rethink the directive; unless they have a large fire policy on the building. Absolutely nothing about it made sense.

I kept thinking; just how surreptitiously can I get a picture or two of this? Video would have netted me $100,000 on a funny video show.

Why do I feel like Seinfeld? Aren't I making something out of nothing?

It's Been a Little Busy Lately

I have been busy lately with work, some projects and around the house. I think there must be an unwritten rule that says we need to be over whelmed from Thanksgiving to Christmas so we will be forced to sit down and enjoy the week between Christmas and New Years.

But that's not the topic of this post.

Obama had his first State Dinner last night.

Tony Blair gets a box set of DVDs and the Prime Minister of India gets a State Dinner.

China's Premier will probably get the keys to the White House; I guess I shouldn't complain.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Note From My Mother

A couple a days ago I blogged about fixing a car for my brother. It was an old Honda I had that I figure will get him around for a few months while he works out a permanent ride.

Anyway, yesterday we went to transfer it and for the first time in years I needed a note from my mother to get something done.

It turns out that in Kentucky a transfer between immediate family is free from sales tax- which is 6% of whatever the state says the car is worth. In this case the sales tax was $37, which means the state thinks a car that I gave away is worth over 600 bucks. One of us is full of the old crapola on the value of this thing, and I'm the one who drove it, so who do you think knows best? But, I digress.

Anyway, in order to prove my brother and I are brothers, we had to have a statement from Mom saying we are brothers, and then we can cheat the state out of... I mean not PAY the state thirty-seven bucks. Strange that they won't take our word for it, but will take Mom's.

Any rate, that's the story of why I needed a note from my Mother to sell a car.

Next thing ya know I'll post a video of paint drying.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Obama and Holder Have Just Realized They Erred

Just in case you have been out of touch with news for the last two weeks,
has been a hot item.

Some of the comments have been mild.

I'll be a little stronger. Obama and Holder are f***in' idiots.

Here is my reasoning:

1. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed first and foremost IS NOT A US CITIZEN! Why is he able to enjoy the liberties and protections of one?

2. Federal Law has many protections for evidence that have not been followed in this case (such as Miranda Rights and freedom from enhanced questioning). How do they intend to work around the idea that he was not read the Miranda rights as required prior to questioning?

3. What are Obama and Holder going to do if he is acquitted? Obama has already said he will get the death penalty. Whoop-de-do. More people have died of natural causes on the federal death row than have been executed in the last 20 years. But does that mean the trial is a sham, and the fix is in?

4. What will Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s conviction mean to American justice, if he is sentenced to death based on the way he was arrested and treated prior to the trial? Does this set a precedent that if you are accused of terrorism you can be convicted because the government WANTS you convicted?

It is the precedent this trial sets that scares me the most. Is he to be afforded all constitutional protections or not? If yes, then will we be required to arrest terrorist on the battlefield; ship them to the USA and try them all in Federal Court?

Or, if he is not afforded constitutional protections, then what does that mean for anybody else accused of terrorism, whether or not you’re a US citizen? Can the US Court system deny me my rights because I have refused to comply with some Federal directive, and the President invokes the Texas defense- He needed killin’- against me, instead of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

Friends, there are no good ways for this to turn out. The trouble is they are stuck now. They have announced the trial and they need to try these bastards in Federal Court.

But look for this out, since I think they have realized they have erred: we wind up with a few delays and postponements and stays for the start of the trial. My guess they won’t actually get around to opening arguments until December of 2012; right after Obama loses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The New Poster Boy For Term Limits

What is the most important piece of informantion in this article?

No, its not the Senator Robert Byrd has spent 56 years and 320 days in Washington. Since TRUMAN was president.

Truman; Eisenhower; Kennedy; Johnson; Nixon; Ford; Carter, Reagan; Bush; Clinton: Bush and now Obama- 12 Presidents. Over 202 million people have been born into this country since Robert Byrd went to Washington. 72% of the population, give or take a percentage point.

Its not that he has a 98% attendance rate, or that he has cast more than 19,000 votes, or that he has been elected 9 times to the US Senate.

To me, its that he spent $326 million in 2008 alone on earmarks for West Virginia.

That's MY money dammit, and I want it back.

It is impossible to travel inWest Virginia without driving on a Robert Bryd Memorial Highway, crossing a Robert Byrd Memorial Bridge or dropping a load at the Robert Byrd Memorial outhouse.

I sometimes think the state motto is actually West By Byrd Virginia.

The one saving grace about today is that I doubt even West Virginia will elected his dessicated corpse to a 10th term.

Damn; I need some bourbon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I happened to be reading Instapundit a few minutes ago and felt compelled to add one more post this morning.

Insta linked to this post about an article asking if law school was a good investment in today's market. The post was okay, but the money (and rim) shot was in the comments:

jim said...
Do you, hereinafter referred to as the Party of the First Part, desire, wish, or otherwise intend to possess (or consume) longitudinally cut peeled portions of tubers which have been subjected to a cooking process, consisting of being immersed in oil of an appropriate temperature, to accompany the items, specified in the initial offer to purchase, which was initially executed in the first contact between the Parties of the First and the Second Part?

(Disclaimer: longitudinally cut peeled portions of tubers which have been subjected to the aforementioned cooking process involving immersion into oil of an appropriate temperature, are capable of inflicting thermal injury on mouth parts if they are consumed prior to having been subjected to an appropriate period of cooling. The Party of the First Part does hereby hold harmless the Party of the Second Part for any injury which may be incurred in the use or consumption of the merchandise herein described.)

Allow me to translate for those of you not currently up on your legalese:


Do you want fries with that?

Are You Ready For The Next Four Months?

I'm not. I am starting to feel that chill in my bones in the morning that really, really makes me want to roll over and go back to sleep.

I was working through some old pictures this morning and found this one that I took last January back in my pasture, that and my aforesaid chilly bones remind me that Thanksgiving is coming (Thursday a week) and Christmas is only 4 weeks after that.

And it will be as cold as the dark side of the Moon for the next four months.

I hate winter, but will survive, as long as they don't outlaw bourbon.

I was in Frankfort Kentucky yesterday on a semi-business excursion, and made a pilgrimage to Daniel Boone's grave in the Frankfort Cemetery. The cemetery was founded in 1844, and the re-internment of Daniel and Rebecca Boone in 1845 were among the first burials.

On the way out of the cemetery we stopped at a spot called Government Hill, where there is a memorial to Kentucky's war dead. Originally a column inscribed with the names and battles of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, it was recently expanded to a set of granite plaques that list all of Kentucky's war dead in every conflict from the War of 1812 to the Persian Gulf War, except the Civil War. The names from WWII alone take up almost 4 of the 6 panels.

This marker and grave are in a very prominent spot and I wanted to find out more about the author, Theodore O'Hara. the plaque only has a few lines from the much longer poem, which apparently has been used many times, most notably at Arlington National Cemetery.

I just I would have had this photo and story for Veteran's Day.

Amazing the things you find when you go off the beaten track a little.

My Sunday morning surfing led me to this on one of the sites I regularly visit, The Truth About Cars, an interesting site, if you like cars.

One of the things this article reminded me of was when I was in the Air Force. I am unsure how much of what I know is still classified (probably none of it; it was a LOONNGGG time ago), so I'll leave out some details, but basically I worked in an office that tracked U.S. Air Force vehicle traffic in a Minuteman Missile Field. We had specific routes the vehicles had to follow between the sites and the base and also had specific times that these routes took.

If you arrived at your destination too early, you were either speeding- and got written up- or you had taken an unauthorized route- and got written up.

Some folks knew the time frame for arriving at a site and would delay calling in to our office to announce their arrival on site until the specified time. But they would occasionally lose track of the time and call in late, or forget to call in at all, and we would need to track them down, to make sure the Russians (or the Canadians) hadn't hijacked them.

These folks thought they were scamming the system, but forgot that the time they checked in on the site with security would be logged. You may not have called us until the proper time for a 55 MPH trip, but Security knew you were there 25 minutes earlier than that. Can you say BUSTED?

Does anybody seriously think the government will turn their back on the few extra bucks a speeding ticket will bring in, if all it takes is the evidence from your own GPS?

Give it 5 years- or less if we can't get rid of the Democrats and RINOs- an your handy little On-Star won't just be sending the cops when you've hit a tree; it'll be sending them around when it discovers you're speeding on you way home from the bar.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday The 13th-3; Me-0

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday fixing a car for my brother.

It started off he needed a hood and hood latch from where my son wrecked the car about a year ago.

Then we got it started and found out it needed an alternator.

Friday the 13th- 1; Me-0.

We got a good price on a used alternator, but Japanese Cars are not designed to be worked on by Large American Hands.

Seriously; my hands are probably 8 inches long and almost 2 inches thick. The average Japanese Hand probably looks like a scale model of mine.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. But '57 Chevy is built so my hand can work on it; a '91 Accord is not. And yesterday I was working on a '91 Accord.

I used to work with an old mechanic who started working on cars when Model-T Fords were still on the road, and he had one iron clad rule. He never worked on anything he couldn't cuss at in it's native tongue. He knew some German cuss words, so he would work on a Volkswagen, but that was about it.

My Japanese consists of basically two words; Sushi and Sayonara; neither of which sounds remotely threatening. Yesterday it was getting so mad I couldn't even understand what I was muttering myself, so I guess it didn't matter.

It must have taken us 3 hours to change this alternator. Hell, it took an hour to install one bolt. The second time.

And that is a second issue with Japanese cars; they are engineered differently. Not bad engineering. Just different. I know my American Cars (by American Cars I mean Front engine, rear-wheel drive 6 passenger sedans. That Front wheel drive stuff is Japanese), and I can change a transmission in less time than it took me to change the alternator on that Honda. And I am beginning to learn German engineering- they like to hide a bolt or two.

But Japanese? If I think it should be left; its actually right. If most are up, these are down; if I need 6 inches, I get 3. Like I say, it's not bad engineering, just different. Hell; they got a reputation for reliability from somewhere; maybe its because only a pro can work on them?

Anyway, we get the alternator back on, and then the hood. we get everything adjusted and go for a test drive. Before we leave the driveway my brother rolls up the driver's window.

And it shatters. Friday The 13th- 2; Me-0.

Luckily we have a spare window on the property (What? You don't have a spare driver's front window for a '91 Honda Accord in your basement? Maybe that's why I'm a Redneck), and we test drive the car while my son vacuums up the glass from the driveway. We come back and get the other window installed and my brother is ready to go.

Except now the door won't shut and latch.

Friday The 13th-3; Me-0.

We take the door back apart and cannot find anyting wrong; except that the door won't latch. Put it back together, and it now works.

As I said then; something must have been bumfuzzled, and we un-bumfuzzled it.

But he has been driving it ever since, and appaerntly is happy. So I guess in the end it was Me-1; Friday The 13th-0.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tonight I Went Out To Eat With The Family

At a place called Golden Corral, which is a Redneck Heaven. All you can eat and they serve red meat. 3 trips through the food bars- plus 2 slices of carrot cake for dessert and I never touched a green veggie.

What a meal!

But to the point of this post, and the picture.

I saw a guy at the Golden Corral wearing this t-shirt, and I had one question (which I didn't ask him obviously)...

Did he buy that shirt or was it a gift?

Either way, you gotta wonder.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Eleventh Day of This Month has Special Meaning

Veteran's Day is today. Originally called Armistice Day- and called that by my Grandmother until the day she died- originally it was set to commemorate the end of The War to End All Wars. World War One ended at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11, 1918.

Veteran’s Day was not moved to create a 3 day week end, like so many other Federal Holidays were because of that connection to a specific date. After the second War to End All Wars the day was renamed to commemorate all veterans. Most schools will be in session tomorrow, and unless you work for the government or a bank, you’ll be going to work. Probably one of our least celebrated holidays; unless you sell mattresses or used cars.

And that’s a shame.

It was the Veterans of the Revolutionary War who earned our Freedoms initially; The Veterans of the War of 1812 who secured them. The Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic kept the country whole in the Civil War, and it was the Doughboys of WWI and the GIs of WWII who fought back the forces that would have made it harder to keep our freedoms.

Countless battles of the Cold War were fought on all corners of the globe; Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama and the Cuban Missile Crisis, plus the years on watch in Europe and Japan preventing an attack. Veterans all.

Over the last 240 some years men and women of all backgrounds all raised their right hands and took the same oath I did to protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Yes, I am a Veteran (Air Force 70’s and 80’s). So was my Dad (Navy in the 50’s) both my granddads (Paternal was a Marine who fought in the Philippines 1916- 1918; Maternal was Army in Europe for the same period) several uncles (Army in Vietnam; Navy and Air Corps in WWII); an aunt (WWII WACS) and a Great- Great Grandfather fought with the Confederacy in the Civil War. So far none of my sons have volunteered, but I do have a neighbor who is a Marine, preparing to go overseas. So I have a stake in today.

But I’m torn. Memorial Day we celebrate our fallen comrades and family; today should be for the veterans who are still with us. The trouble is I don’t know a single vet who wants praise for their service. Recognition that we have served and sacrificed for our country, but we were just doing our jobs; you don’t earn praise for doing what’s expected of you. Praise is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thanks we’ll accept. Recognize that we have done our best to keep the country as free as it was when our predecessors handed the duty off to us. Shake our hands and buy us a beer.

Sometime today, take a minute to Thank a Veteran.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Right Place, Right Time and I Look Like a Genius

So much of taking a great picture is to be in the right place at the right time.

With the right equipment.

Here I am about 6 months ago cruising back from West Virginia and the perfect sunset pops into view as we top a hill.

The cell phone comes out and the picture is taken before the scene disappears forever.

My Mom's Dad was a great photographer and movie maker back in the day when point and shoot still mean a .45 caliber and not a 35 mm. I still have the camera he took pictures of me with when I was a baby, and some of the movies he shot as well.

Taking good snapshots is more than aim and shoot. Composition of the shot, color or shading, focus for depth of field, use of the light and shadow; it all adds up.

I like to flatter myself and believe I inherited his eye. A few more shots like this and I may be able to start to prove it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sometimes I wonder about using the Internet for some things.

I just put up a post that mentioned the Air Force.

Immediately in the side bar I had a link to this site. Offering badges for sale.

One of them is a Chaplin's Badge. Seriously; is there much call for a Black market Chaplin's Badge?

Just for the record, for those of us who may not recognize it, that is the official US Air Force Buddhist Chaplin badge.

Just one of those things a may ponder if I am ever struck by a bout of insomnia.

Good Lookin' Women and Better Lookin' Guns

Wait; did that come out right?

Anyway, I hope y'all don't read Instapundit daily (like I do), otherwise you will realize a lot of my stuff is second hand.

Like this post. I seem to remember a young airman who was in the Air Force at the same time I was who got booted for posing semi nude (and semi in uniform, which was the real issue) for Playboy.

And now a member of The Royal Army is competing for Miss Universe.

Did I mention her nickname is Kat?

She says it was either that or Combat Barbie.

Still kinda sounds like somebody I know...

Here's What I did Today

No, I didn't create a new Galaxie; I just modified this one a bit.
A month or so ago I cleared a lot of brush- mostly wild grape, honeysuckle and kudzu- and today I...


The picture is the final coals as we let the fire burn out a few minutes ago. Yeah, I know I crab about my iphone some, but I did take this picture with it earlier tonight. Criminetly, its only 7:30 and dark as the inside of Jonah's whale already. I hate the time change.

Hell, it is the 8th of freaking November and it was 70 degrees today. If this is global warming, BRING IT ON!!!!

So hopefully, my small contribution of carbon today will allow us to remain this warm until December.

If the temps do stay this warm you can thank me later.

With small, unmarked bills.

What Else Can You Do on a Sunday Morning?

As I have mentioned, I am not a fan of Google anymore. I have been using BING, which has some pretty cool features. Their daily photograph is usually incredible. But, I digress.

I was reading Instapundit this morning and found a link to a Google site that tracks ships worldwide. Pretty interesting. But the Edjamikated Redneck does not just view; he explores.

Not only can you track a ship on the Oceans of the world; you can track a tugboat on the Ohio River. As I said; I'm not a fan of Google anymore, but Google does THIS, and nobody else does, so I guess I have to man up and use it.

Not only does it show position and direction, you can also click a button so it will show the name of the ship. Then click on the VESSELS tab and click the ship icon. You will be able to see a picture of the ship and some data on the ship and its current trip.

There is also a neat feature where you can search on a ship by name. Grandma on a cruise? You can search on the ship to see where it's at and where it's going and how fast.

You can also search on a port (unfortunately Cincinnati doesn't classify as a port) to see what kind of shipping runs through it on a monthly basis.

Locally, if you see a tug on the river you can check the map, see the ships name and see where its headed.

All in all a rather cool site.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Sometimes Think I Need Another Hobby

I have quite a few books. Basically, because I never throw anything away, and to me books are unchangeable history. A later edition may say different things about a given situation than an earlier edition, but nobody can change what the first edition said. That’s why I collect old encyclopedias. They usually have facts that are unfiltered by events between then and now that will change the importance given to them.

Like if you read an item in an encyclopedia from 1940 about Germany and Hitler that is not completely evil. The editors may revise the article later on, but they cannot claim they knew Hitler evil from the beginning; you have it in black and white that they did not. Unlike electronic media that can change as soon as the original becomes a liability.

I also have all of my college textbooks. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t read them back then, and certainly have no intention of reading them now. I guess I keep them because they look impressive on the shelf. Most of them are completely useless, and totally worthless, even on the used book market. But I paid for them, and I am not throwing all that money away.

I also have a collection of old Westerns. Cloth covered pulp editions; the paper backs of the 1940’s & 50’s. They were my Grandmother’s on my Mom’s side and I have read them all at least once. Back in January of 1978, when we were snowed in for a month I basically read one a day. My Dad always said if you read the first page and the last page of a Western, you had the whole story. That’s basically true, but you would miss the poker playin’; hoss thievin’; gun fightin’ and rancher’s daughter kidnappin’ in the middle.

I get my books a lot of places. Garage and yard sales; flea markets, friends of the library sales, and I even buy one or two new every so often. Or I get them as gifts. Some I think were given to me as a joke, but I still kept them. They only eat shelf space, and that’s fairly cheap.

I was going somewhere with this I thought…

Oh yeah. My collecting methods mean I have a rather eclectic collection. I have some 5th grade reading textbooks; biographies, fiction and research texts. I have a whole collection of old paperback almanacs. Why? I don’t know. I just never threw them out I guess. I have books on psychology, architecture and electrical engineering. The history of cars and the history of man. I even have a couple of books I bought in grade school.

And I have read almost all of them. There was one I got in a box of books called Alligator that I never finished; it just got too weird. But other than that I think I’ve finished them all; including the encyclopedias. And the dictionaries.

Well, at least the ones by Jeff Foxworthy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cousin Throckmorton Drops Us a Line or Two

Dear Cousin Red,

I was out on the town last evenin’ enjoyin’ a few cold beers and a little satellite TV, and happened to catch that show Mythbusters. Have y’all ever seen that? That’s my new dream job right there; being on TV and getting’ paid ta blow things up. But you remember what Granny usta say about me. That I had a face made fer radio and a voice made fer silent pictures. But any way, last night the show I saw had ‘em tryin’ to get a fire ball outta a grease fire. And they did it.

But it put me in mind a’ the time Cousin Henry set fire to Uncle John and Aunt Martha’s kitchen; y’all rec’olect that evenin’? Cousin Henry was making french fries and started the grease ta cookin’ in a dutch oven on the stove, and turned his back on it to peel and cut the taters. After about 10 minutes he heard a little ‘pop’ behind him and turned ‘round to see flames shootin’ up of’n his grease. He followed his first reaction and dumped water on the fire. That turned out to be a bad idea, an’ after seein’ last night’s show I know why. Seems that the grease is hot enough to turn the water to steam RIGHT NOW, and that steam carries the grease an’ the fire with it when it goes up.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Cousin Henry. The fire ball went up onto the stove hood, set the filters on fire, came out the vent on the front a’ the hood and up over the face a’ the cabinets and a’crost the ceiling. All the little plates Aunt Martha had hangin’ by the ceiling got black, and the ceiling was one a those fancy ones with the pops and swirls on it and the tips a’ all a’ them pops got black. It kinda looked like an upside down mare-rang pie.

But wait, it gets worse.

Uncle John and Aunt Martha weren’t home when it happened, and Cousin Henry was doin’ his damnedest to make the whole place right afore they got home. But his timin’ was off.

Uncle John and Aunt Martha came home an’ started walkin’ up the front walk, an’ spied the dutch oven, black as midnight sittin’ in the yard. They didn’t have long to puzzle on that, cause then they saw the filters outta the range hood, black as sin with holes burnt in ‘em layin’ next ta the dutch oven. Seein’ the range hood layin’ next to that, lookin’ a little crispy, started to cause them a little concern.

When they stepped in the door an’ looked inta the kitchen, there was Cousin Henry, smellin’ a little like soap an’ a lot like smoke, up on a chair tryin’ ta wash down the cabinets and nick-knacks. Uncle John an’ Aunt Martha looked at Cousin Henry an’ he looked back at them an’ said the first thin’ that came inta his head.

“Well, it ain’t as bad as it looks.”

Best wishes from all of us in the Holler,

Throckmorton Q. Sheisseschnitter

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well, I Guess I Was Only 2/3 Right

Hoffman lost, but not by much. Considering he had only 3 weeks on the campaign trail (according to Sean Hannity; I didn't do the math myself), and considering over 6000 people voted for the RINO... I mean the Republican who had already withdrawn, he had a damn fine showing.

You have probably heard about how this is the first time this district has gone Democrat since the 1880s. I think that is a bunch of crap. There isn't a district in the country that hasn't been realigned, redistricted and/or completely relocated in the last 50 years, much less the last 130. Yeah its possible that this district number has been Republican that long, but I find it hard to believe that this number and this territory have been the same that long.

If that is what the Donks need to spout so they hold their heads up today, then let 'em spout. Knowing we replaced TWO Dem governors last night- one of them an incumbent- with Repubs will keep me smiling while they spout about how Hoffman's loss means Sarah Palin is done for.

Yeah; they wish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day

I may as well make a few predictions.

First the easy one: McDonald will win in Virginia. How's that for going out on a limb?

New York Representative race- I am pulling for the Conservative Hoffman, and can't wait for his victory today- although the recounts may be an issue. I can see the Dems and Repubs banding together to defeat this upstart party. Hoffman winning will do more good for us than just the one seat. It will send the message to Washington that we are really, seriously tired of them.

New Jersey I am pulling for the Republican, but worry that there won't be enough votes to "Overcome the corruption". Hows that for having faith in the electoral process?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wrong Religions Keep to the Left, Please

I hope you can read this cartoon; because it has a great punchline. In case you can't, it says: "Funny thing is, they never get the joke".

Religion is an interesting topic. Occasionally it includes God, but usually very seldom. Most discussions about religion usually center on the differences, instead of the similarities. You would think the Methodists and the Pentecostals worshiped different Gods, instead of merely having different ways of worshiping the same one.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. I have absolutely no trouble with the idea that you may have a different method of worship. Your tastes in music, libations and food are different than mine; why would I expect you to have the same tastes in religious rites as I do?

Do you really think it matters to God whether you worship him as a Baptist or an Episcopalian? Do you think he cares if you read the King James version or the New American Version of the Bible?

Then why do we?

The old schisms are fading, not because the religions are getting along, but because people are dropping religion. Fewer and fewer Lutherans care if you are Church of God or not; because there are fewer Lutherans, and the Church as a community means less to them as a whole.

I was born and raised (and still consider myself) Roman Catholic, although I am not a regular church goer anymore. I remember the old days of the transition from pre- to post-Vatican II. Most congregations still have a Ladies Altar Society, I assume. But what is the average age of the group? 60? Younger people are not as defined by their church as people were 30 or 40 years ago. They don't have the same need for the community as we did in the days before Television, Computer games and the Internet.

As usual I am drifting a little off topic. How much does religion still matter? Not a belief in God, or even a belief in a Christian God, mean to us in our daily interpersonal relationships? Do you personally shun non-fellow (FILL IN YOUR SECT HERE)? Non-Christians? Non-Believers?

I know there are still people- and sects- out there that are 'my way or the road to Hell'; do they still have any real validity in the modern world of non-sectarian believers in God?

I don't know for sure (the Lord and I haven't actually sat down and discussed it over a beer {What? The only reason they don't mention beer in The Bible is because they left the recipe in Egypt}), but I have always been taught God is merciful and forgiving. I believe he would be happier with me for keeping His laws than some random man-made regulation governing the type of worship I am allowed to do.

I could be wrong. God could be 100% behind the Presbyterian method of worship, and everybody else is scheduled to wail in Purgatory for most of eternity.

If He is, then the merciful and just God I was taught to worship doesn't exist, and I am scheduled to burn a little anyway.

Damn the bad luck.

Hidden Treasures


A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to visit an old home now being used for business offices. The place was built about 1890, and has basically been untouched since. The title picture is the back, or servant's staircase, and the wainscot you see is leather.

Yep, leather. Approximately 40 feet of hand tooled leather. Every room I saw on the first floor was treated the same way, each with a different pattern. I can't imagine the cost of reproducing this today; the work must have taken years.

And the place was full of hand carved wood. This shot is the front parlor mirror top detail.

And this stained glass window in the entry hall:

Every time I turned around I saw something else that fascinated me. Like the front doors:

Or the front parlor light fixture:

This is what's called a transitional fixture. See how some of the arms point up and others point down? The upward ones burned gas, a very common method of lighting in the 1890s. The new technology was electricity (the downward arms), and it was still unreliable. When the electricity was working, you used it; when it didn't, you lit the gas.

In this picture you can also see the front parlor mirror and the stained glass window reflected in it.

Have I Ever Mentioned I Like Beer?

A couple of months ago I scored this 5 liter mini keg of Hofbrau Haus Oktoberfest beer. Yeah, it was great!

And no, I didn't drink all of it.

Quite a bit of it, but not all of it.

I am quite a fan of the dark beers, and I enjoy the Hofbrau Dunkel every chance I get, and this Oktoberfest was something else. I found it sweet and fruity, and exceptionaly strong.

I can't wait for next September!

Today is November First

And I blew it. My goal was 31 posts for October and I missed it by 4.

In my defense, the weather has been beautiful (I took the title shot with my iPhone on the way home from work the other day) and I have been outside quite a bit.

New goal is 30 posts for November!

One down, 29 to go!