Thursday, July 20, 2017

With Age Comes Wisdom

Marian, my blogger friend from Vicksburg sent this to me.

~ Dennis ~
This guy is 80 years old and loves to fish.
He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say, “Pick me up.”
He looked around and couldn't see anyone.
He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say again, “Pick me up.”
He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog.
The man said, “Are you talking to me?”
The frog said, “Yes, I'm talking to you.' Pick me up then, kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your bride!”
The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front pocket.
The frog said, “What, are you nuts!? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride.”
The old man opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said…,
“Nah! At my age I'd rather have a talking frog.”
(With age comes wisdom.)

Thursday Memes

Click images to enlarge.


Slithering Breezes - Quaking Leaves And Other Porch-Sitting Observations

Having taken her out just at grey dawn, it was nearly 11AM before I took the Mighty Dachshund out again. Despite the heat, she wanted to porch sit after draining and dumping, so I took my place in the swing and she assumed her spot at 1:30 just beyond my right foot. Unnoticed at first, the slightest of breeze was coming from the west end of the porch. A few oak leaves were aflutter at the edge of the woods, 30 feet away, but few leaves through the woods seemed to be moving. Only here in the clearing did the breeze seem free to move.

The breeze soon died, much to my displeasure, but then revived a bit stronger. This time, I spotted movement in the quaking aspen tree about 50 yards in front of me and on a lower level of the ridge. Its top was higher than many of its oak neighbors growing higher on the hill, though. As I watched, there were times that the moving air seemed to come in a layer no more than 20 feet thick, staying near the ground and not rising beyond the lower limbs of the trees. Other times, all movement was at the crowns of the trees and air near the ground seemed dead. Some breezes were narrow in scope and slithered through the woods, or my little clearing here, while not affecting the leaves only a few yards away. I was reminded of a snake crawling along or of pouring water from a bucket on a stubbly hillside and watching it divide into multiple rivulets as it encountered small obstructions on its way downhill.

As a kid, I learned to watch the quaking aspens when I began hunting, to see if there was any breeze. Aspens, even the species out west, I believe, have a flat stem on their leaves, making them very sensitive to the slightest breeze. I learned that they don’t indicate wind direction very well, though, only the movement of air. Often, you can see an aspen tree all aflutter with dancing leaves while their round-stemmed neighbors indicate no breeze at all. Aspen trees are true poplars, unlike the member of the magnolia family which we call yellow poplar here in the east. Like yellow poplar, aspen is a relatively tasteless wood, making it good for bowls and wooden utensils. Few craftsmen seem to use it, though, perhaps because it requires hand tools, rather than power tools, to work it best. It tends to string and fuzz with power tools. It IS the predominant species used for oriented strand board (wafer board), though, and it’s used for pulpwood, too.

The plantains are still coming on like gang-busters in the area around the porch (and everywhere else, for that matter), and the little bumble-bees are working them prodigiously. I see a few honey bees at times. I don’t know if they’re from the swarm I saw recently, having found themselves a home, or if some local guy has bees.

The birds seemed quiet today. Maybe they’re saving their voices in the heat. One warbler seemed to be the exception and a boat-tailed grackle that lit in the closet oak for only a few minutes. The latter didn’t have a very melodic call—more of a subdued caw, like a quiet crow.

Eventually, the missus came out and told us that lunch was ready, so the pooch and I retired to the air-conditioned house. We always try to keep our priorities in order. © 2017

The oldest aircraft design meets the newest aircraft technology (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: The oldest aircraft design meets the newest aircraft technology

Disappointed In Sessions

Like Trump, I was disappointed when Jeff Sessions recused himself from the false “Russian” fiasco immediately upon taking his position. His decision set in motion the growth of the whole situation by encouraging the bogus press and by bringing on Comey’s friend as a special investigator into the whole imaginary affair. Millions upon millions of tax dollars better spent elsewhere will be wasted and the population kept in a constant state of aggravation by Session’s one simple act.

He then lost even more of my confidence when he commented that he wasn’t going to take sides in the Bundy situation out west. The judge in that case has literally told the defendants that “THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS!” Those men have been severely mistreated and denied their rights over the last few YEARS that they have been wrongly imprisoned. I believe that judge’s plan is to make the trial last as long as possible to stave off appeals that would probably go in favor of the defendants. Quite simply, they are political prisoners, locked up for fighting the Clinton/Reid/Obama land grabs.

The latest gripe that I have with Sessions is his proposed expansion of the use of asset forfeiture in “fighting crime.” That practice is already one of the most abused tools in the law enforcement arsenal, enriching police departments and government agencies, often by legal theft from INNOCENT bystanders. I’m not against the property of drug dealers and kingpins being taken, but you shouldn’t lose your property just because a deal went down on your place.

In the beginning, I had high hopes for Jeff Sessions; those hopes were short-lived. © 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mom Burns "Teen Vogue" For Promoting Anal Sex (a link)


Michigan Court Tell Grandpa He Has To Give Up Gun To Keep Grandchild (a link)


Later May Not Come (a link)

Medley of Worship: Opus 2017-228: Digging into Deuteronomy: Later May Not Come

Shooting The Cat

Kittens are cute little things. I know very few people who aren’t charmed by kittens. Sadly, kittens have the despicable habit of turning into cats. For that reason, I’m a dog guy—always have been, always will be.
We once had a cat on the farm, though, thanks to my slightly deranged sister. I don’t remember where she got the cute little ball of fluff but, despite being six years her junior, I knew that no good would come of the affair. Sis was probably in her mid-teens and thus old enough to care for the thing so, of course, the responsibility ended up falling on Mom anyway.

Most farm cats don’t have litter boxes; that’s what the great outdoors is for. Naturally, once the cat arrived, you had to watch your step in dusty areas of the lawn, barn and driveway, and even in the gravel of the driveway. The kitten eventually turned into a beautiful grey Persian cat, which the folks made sure to get spayed before its presence became common knowledge among the neighborhood tomcats.

Now, most farmers think that having a cat around the barn is a good thing, since most cats are good at catching mice, but sis’s cat didn’t seem to like either cattle or mice very well, so she didn’t travel the 400 feet to the barn very often. That may have also been in part due to her ample pear-shaped body from her love of spaghetti and other people foods. Cat food just wasn’t her thing. Unfortunately, such things gave her extraordinary gas which, in typical cat-like fashion, she figured was OUR problem, not hers.

While the cat would on occasion kill a mouse, if it attacked first, she much preferred songbirds. Plus, more than once, I caught her with a baby rabbit, hide torn almost completely from its body as she tortured it to death. For those who have ever wondered, you CAN drop-kick a cat, but I don’t suggest it as they tend to walk funny for a few weeks afterward.

After my sister went to college, all home improvement stopped on the old farm house and the cat got less attention, as well. That combination seemed to cause the cat to look for additional ways to be aggravating. She found that she could climb the screen door on the back porch and get into the rafters that had been uncovered during some planned renovation. She then found a hole that she could squeeze through into the half-story attic room over the rear ell of the house. The room was used only for storage of ancient odds and ends and was in some disarray. As a result, there were times in the night when I would lie sleeping, only to be awoken by the sound of some object falling beyond the door going from my bedroom into the attic. Talk about things going bump in the night! But, at least I knew who was responsible.

One day when the folks were gone and the cat was milling around the back porch, I looked at the sagging screen of the back door and the gap at the top, where the overweight feline had pulled the screen from its frame, and an idea struck me. Going to a closet in the next room, I found an old hot-water bottle and the accompanying hose and nozzle used for things that I won’t discuss here. Filling it with water and mounting the hose and nozzle, I sat a chair a few feet inside the screen door and WAITED.

I didn’t have to wait long. Soon, the cat decided to climb the screen to its upstairs territory. Tucking the water bottle under one arm and aiming with the other hand, I clamped my arm down on the bottle for pressure and gave the cat a good hosing. The look of shock on its face was more than I could handle without laughing aloud. The cat dove from the screen, ran a few feet and shook the water off as best it could. A few minutes later, it tried climbing the screen again with the same results. It left the porch that time.

That evening, Mom was in the closet for some reason and asked if I’d been using the hot-water bottle. When I told her that I had and what for, she and Dad cracked up. A few days later, Dad got the ladder, found the hole into the attic and patched it. I never did break the cat of climbing the screen even though I “shot” her a few more times. Cats are cats, after all. With the hole blocked, she sometimes just sat on one of the rafters and stared down at me with a disgusted look on her face. Life’s rough for a farm cat with an ornery boy around! © 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Too Dern Hot!

It was entirely too hot for this old geezer to do anything outside today, so I ended up napping for two hours this afternoon, rather than one. My sleep pattern is all messed up, but with this heat, it’s not like it’s affecting anything worthwhile. There’s nothing on TV worth watching, but the missus perseveres and I spend too much time on the computer. The dog naps a lot.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that I put some Freon (or whatever it may be) in my truck A/C, but I did and it helped. It got up to 93 in town today when we went in to run an errand, so I’m glad the A/C was “percolating.” It hadn’t been bad on my side, but it wasn’t blowing very cold on my wife’s side, so she was really happy about the change. As near as I can tell, I only used about half the can.

Somewhere along the way, somebody lost the little cap that covers the valve where you put it in, and the ones in the “kit” I got to tighten the valve were both too large. So today I got a little rubber stopper at the hardware store and rasped it down where it would “screw” into the opening above the valve.

We’re trying to sell a few things on Facebook, but no-one around here has any money, so we basically have to give it away. Rather than fool with people for pennies on the dollar, we sometimes just take stuff to the Salvation Army and let THEM deal with it. It doesn’t put any money in OUR pocket, but at least whatever few cents they get out of things goes to a good cause.

All my jeans are basically worn out, except one miserably uncomfortable pair that I bought online. I wear them anyway, though, since there are none to buy around here. Maybe I’ll just get some gunny sacks and turn them into kilts; THAT should turn a few heads and be cooler besides! (I suspect a good dose of fabric softener would make them more comfortable, especially if I go “commando!”)

I think I’ll leave you tonight with that vision of loveliness rattling around your head. Stay cool! © 2017

Feminist Leaders Had Terrible Mothers (a link)


200 Pound Cannon Ball From 1759 Found In Quebec City (a link)


This isn't just an injustice, it's a moral obscenity. (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: This isn't just an injustice, it's a moral obscenity

Have You Checked Your First Aid Kit? (a link)


Let’s Talk (a link)

Perpetual Proverbs: Let’s Talk

Monday, July 17, 2017

FACEBOOK Is Still Messin' With Me!

I was COMPLETELY OFF FACEBOOK for a couple minutes doing something else, but when I logged back on and made my FIRST post, I was given a "captcha" with this message: "It looks like you’re using this feature in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. Please slow down, or you could be blocked from using it." If there's a "posts per hour" regulation, maybe they should make it well known.
Actually, the practice has gotten rather hit and miss lately, so I suspect that there's ONE INDIVIDUAL FACEBOOK EMPLOYEE who despises my religion and politics and does what he/she can to cause trouble for me when I'm using the service.

Reebok Mouths Off (a link)


Video On Making Wagon Wheels (a link)


Responsibility (a link)


Congress (meme)

Click image to enlarge.


According to the highest number I could find, 15 million people have Obamacare, yet "Trumpcare" opponents claim 24 million people will lose their insurance under Trump's plan. EXACTLY HOW DOES THAT WORK?

I'll Be Watchin' For Ya! (pic)

Found this on Facebook. Click image to enlarge.


Cop Called On Boy Who Mentions Brownies (a link)


Need A 1911 Anyone? (a link)


The war on cash is now being subsidized. (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: The war on cash is now being subsidized . . .

Allen West Made A List (a link)


Another Big Pedophile Bust (a link)


Have you noticed that haven't arrested Slick Willie yet? I suspect they never will.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Wearing Me OUT!

I can't seem to find any real news anymore on the TV. I've COMPLETELY given up on MSM and get my news from CBN and some from FOX. Even FOX doesn't want to talk about anything but Trump. Though I voted for the man, he's not my only interest in life!

Trump Blocks Lifting Sanctions On Bloody Sudan (a link)


A Question For Us Pious Souls

I just saw where a lady on Facebook posted several posts from a friend about self-righteousness and being judgmental. Ever the devil's advocate, I replied "LOL - Sorry, I just HAVE to ask this question! - Isn't telling OTHERS not to be self-righteous and judgmental BEING self-righteous and judgmental?"

Feel free to comment.

Decisions, Decisions! (meme)

Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day By Day, And Calling Out Greed

There are a couple problems with getting older. One is that you can’t do what you once did. Another problem is that you don’t remember if you do. (Actually, there are MANY problems with getting older, but I won’t go there today.)

As best as I can remember, the only thing that I accomplished Monday was to get my finger nails and toe nails trimmed, and those of the pooch as well. I’d been putting both off for far too long, since the dog was beginning to walk sideways and the circus approached me about being one of their side-shows as the long-nailed man from the West Virginia woods. I suspect that I may have done something else that day, but that’s all I remember.

Now Tuesday, I took my recently acquired garden sickle and cut the grass and weeds that try to grow along the front porch where the mower can’t reach. I’m pretty sure that there were two other things that I did that day, but they’re lost to history. I DID go to Kroger’s and pick up a med that they would normally have charged me $34 for, but sold to me for $11 by price-matching Chinamart.

Today, I took the truck to the shop to learn why it began blowing steam or something out the AC vents yesterday evening. (We were able to get by just by turning the AC off and putting the windows down, since the main heat of the day was past.) I’d been asking the Lord to make it a cheap fix and He answered my prayer to the affirmative. I had to spend $4 to get a “kit” so I could tighten the valve at the “in” port of my AC. Whew! I suspect it’s been lose for about five years now, since I’ve had to add Freon every year. I’ll see if that ends the problem. I also got one of those cans of Freon that’s been advertised showing the thieving dog. I think it’s to the point of needing a little added.

I also picked up another med at Kroger’s today. They would have charged me $24, if I hadn’t mentioned that they only charged me $4 last time. Once again, it was a Chinamart match and I got it for $4. Now what gets me is this: I seriously doubt if Chinamart is using the drugs as loss leaders. I could be wrong, but I’d lay money that they’re still getting some mark-up. In that case, Kroger’s probably is too. So is it REALLY necessary to add $23 to the cost of the first med and $20 to the second? That seems pretty greedy to me.

I originally started getting my meds at Kroger’s because Chinamart was ridiculously understaffed and the wait was too long. That was remedied long ago. I continued getting them at Kroger’s because I LOATHE giving so much money to Chinamart, since we do nearly ALL of our shopping there. What I’m struggling with is this: Does a company THAT greedy, deserve my continued business, even if they DO match Chinamart’s price when asked? © 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wrong Side Of The Bed

My wife and I grew up on farms, so we used to be early risers. Somewhere along the way, maybe due in part to 12 years of afternoon shift, four years total of unemployment and now two years of retirement, we’ve become night-owls. We both have trouble getting to sleep, so stay up late, and then sleep late, which re-enforces the problem.

Another problem for me is that I need a little time for my system to wake up before I can eat anything, whereas my wife wakes up hungry enough to eat a horse. Worse yet, she usually wakes up a few minutes ahead of me. Then she hollers “Lunch!” Now it might be 11AM, or it might be 8:30, but it’s lunch and it’s NOT a small meal!

Lunch was reasonably late today at 10AM, but my belly still wasn’t awake yet. As soon as I sat down, the Mighty Dachshund began a terrific session of rolling on the floor right in front of me. That’s her way of saying, “GEE, I’m thrilled to see you, I’ve missed you and I’ve got to go outside RIGHT THIS SECOND!” So, I left my meal untouched, put on my jeans and took her out. She proceeded to drain a while and then, for the next several minutes, purged her bowels over twenty feet and in three piles. I’m sure she felt better afterwards. After cleaning her off (Who wants poop on the carpet?) I took her back inside and washed my hands.

Returning to my then cool meal, I ate my green beans and macaroni and cheese with gusto, the fried chicken thigh—not so much. I prefer breast meat, but any and all chicken is okay. My wife prefers thighs, which she invariably rolls in flour and fries. Unless they’re grilled, I’ve always found them to be fatty and don’t much care for them. However, she loves them and they’re the best price so, when we have chicken, we have thighs. Wonderful! (Could you cut that sarcasm with a knife or WHAT?)

After turning on my computer, my own innards seemed to be calling my name, so I headed for the little room at the foot of the stairs. My wife asked if I was headed there and, when I answered in the affirmative, she told me to hurry up, because she needed to go, too. Strange, I wonder why she hadn’t already drug herself away from the TV and gone? Actually, my wife rarely needs to go to the bathroom until I start there, then she needs to go worse than I do. So this time, as I usually do, I told her to go first. A minute later, she emerged, telling me it was a false alarm.

Sometimes, I think her constant need to go only when I do is related to women in public never going to the bathroom alone when other women are available to go with them. Did you ever notice they make a social event out of it? Now I can see if they’re in a seedy section of town and in fear for their life (or their purse), but in a fancy restaurant with a crowd of people nearby? The government should take away some of the money that they use studying cockroaches and tree frogs and investigate that phenomenon. Men around the world would like to know the reason.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, as soon as I emerged from the bathroom and sat down at the computer a lady from the doctor’s office called about some meds. Then my wife brought me a phone number and wanted me to take care of a matter for her. Maybe her “dialing” finger is hurt and she never told me.

As I finished my morning grump here, I looked out the window, thinking that I might tinker around outside before it gets too hot. Unfortunately, I missed my narrow window of opportunity—it’s raining………AGAIN!

Maybe I’ll go back to bed! © 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Little Stuff Today (except the last item)

When I was a kid, there was a miniature set of screwdrivers on the shelf over the cookstove in the kitchen. Why, I’m not sure, but since I started wearing glasses in grade school they came in handy many a time. Today, one lens fell out of my wife’s “kitchen glasses,” so I tightened the frames with a set of miniature drivers that I keep in my desk drawer. Then, I checked my own and found one temple looser than I expected. Another “save” for little drivers.

The big wind yesterday knocked a tree over in a cemetery across from our city park. In falling, it took down the cemetery fence and the power lines, closed the street and probably demolished some gravestones. Several other trees around town came down, too, and power still isn’t restored a couple places. We noticed that tree along the front of our property succumbed to the wind, also. The power company half-killed it a few years ago with spray and it’s never been the same since. Apparently too many roots were killed, too.

The insurance company sent me a card the other day to record the mileage on my wife’s car, in hopes that she would lose her low mileage discount. They’ll be very disappointed to learn that the care has only been driven 101 miles in the last 16 months! I LOVE IT! The greedy jerks!

I went in McDonald’s to use the restroom, before we got the three of us an ice cream cone apiece today. The whole time, some black chic was on the PA moaning, groaning and screaming. I assume someone considered it “music” to dine by.

There’s a kayaker missing from some who were swept over a local dam today. I hope it’s no-one from my daughter-in-laws group. © 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Day’s Porch Sits

It was already light when I got up to take the pooch out. It had rained some and stormed a bit for two days and we were supposed to have another day of it today. Therefore, I wanted to be sure the pooch didn’t just drain, but dumped as well, since it wasn’t then raining. It had apparently rained just before light, since everything was wet, and the Mighty Dachshund is rather cat-like in her dislike of water. Still, I made her drag her low-slung belly into the grass of her dumping ground and wouldn’t let her leave until she dropped a load. It was a small load, but she hasn’t eaten too much the last couple days, so that was okay. (I just KNEW you’d want to know all this! – lol)

Afterward, we took our positions on the porch and surveyed what we could of our estate from our observation point. It was cloudy and rainy-looking, but there was no wind or thunder. The humidity was so thick that it looked almost foggy. A few birds sang inside the edge of the woods. A couple tufted-titmice made the chirring sound that can sometimes be mistaken for a distance squirrel scolding an intruder. I heard no dogs or roosters, but a couple nearby crows gave the pooch and I something to listen to.

The pooch first lay down near the west end of the porch, where she very rarely goes. Eventually tiring of that view, she turned 90 degrees and propped her head up on the double 2x4’s that run along the north end of the porch under the posts. Eventually tiring of that view also, she finally took her usual position just beyond my right foot and facing the county road 200 feet to the east. There she remained.

After a few minutes, she saw a fawn come out into the lawn from the north and gave a slight growl. I quietly told her to hush, and she did, but the fawn heard me anyway and looked our way. The pooch wanted to growl or bark, but I kept “shushing” her and she managed to just barely resist making a racket. The fawn, deciding it wasn’t in danger took a drink from the biggest water-hole in the drive-way. Eventually, it grazed its way back the edge of the lawn and soon entered the woods, not to reappear. Had it been my wife with the pooch, there would have been no quieting her. I’m not sure if it’s because she thinks that she has to “protect” the missus, or whether the missus simply doesn’t make her mind.

After a little over a half-hour, the pooch decided that she’d had enough nature observation, stood up and walked the short distance to the door. She left behind a good-sized wet spot on the cement floor of the porch, which was half the reason that I gave up a half-hour’s sleep, to let her drain her belly hair and keep the water off the carpet! I then took her inside, where she lay back down by my wife’s bed and I returned to my own for a while.

We were watching one of our favorite shows on TV this afternoon when the pooch made it clear that she was ready for her third sashay outside. The tater-wagon was on the move, though, so she wanted no part of porch sitting. I let her back inside, and sat in the swing to watch the weather. The thunder was wide-ranging and varied from nearby to far away. Sometimes, it seemed to originate at one horizon and travel slowly to the opposite horizon. Considering the distance involved, though, that ol’ tater-wagon must have had a team of fast horses. A few times, it seemed the thunder was circling the house, like a band of TV Indians circling the wagon train.

Eventually, a sprinkle of huge raindrops began falling, but stopped after a few minutes. Soon, a gentle rain began, which grew increasingly harder until it turned into a downpour. It was then I heard the first of only a few lightning strikes some distance away. The wind soon picked up and my left knee began to feel damp, so I got up and walked to the leeward end of the porch to watch from there. It wasn’t long, though, before some of the rain was blowing the full 25’ length of the porch and striking me on the cheek. It was time to go in, as much as I hated to do so.

An hour later, the tater-wagon seems to be leaving the area. Maybe the pooch and I can work in another porch sit before dark. © 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ain’t Technology Wonderful?

I haven’t been able to go online at home with my laptop since the old router went bad a couple years ago. No problem, I still have my desktop. However, it’s Windows XP and is slowly becoming worthless.  I decided to buy a new router, so I could once again use my laptop, which is Windows 7.

Well, I hooked the thing up just to the modem and my laptop said there was no internet connection. I hooked it up both to the modem and the desktop and it said the same thing. I tried it when the desktop was turned on and it said the same thing. I tried going online with everything hooked up and the desktop said it had no internet connection, either. I tested the wire and it was good. I rebooted 40 'leven times throughout all this, AND to get my desktop to work again after it all. I figure the router is either bad or incompatible with my system.

I guess I’ll be calling the cable company tomorrow to ask about compatibility, then I reckon I’ll have to go to Chinamart and take it back either way. © 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

An Unholidayish Holiday

Maybe it’s not just me. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old coot in a county of grumpy old coots. The missus and I went out for an early lunch today at Cracker Barrel. We also went back in town later in the day and got a turkey gyro at Arby’s. The pooch snubbed the chicken sandwich we got here from Wendy’s. We didn’t grill a hot-dog, and the missus spent her early morning cleaning before I got up, so the planned macaroni and cheese never materialized. We never even broke into the potato salad we got at Chinamart yesterday. The only “holidayish” food we had was a slice of watermelon.

The restaurants were filled with other old geezers like ourselves who didn’t want to cook. The streets in town seemed rather empty. Even the city park was mostly empty when we drove by about 1PM. Only a few folks were walking around or picnicking. The carnival was in place there, but it wasn’t open. There weren’t that many flags flying from the front porches of the homes in town, either. I don’t even know if they had a parade in town. When they do, they never amount to much, anyway. Apparently, some civic group had put small flags along the sidewalks of some main streets in town. There were hundreds, or maybe thousands of them. That was mildly uplifting. I tried not to think about them being plastic and probably made in China.

Things are different an hour south on the four-lane. At Ripley, West Virginia, the Fourth of July has always been a big deal, and probably always will be. They even have a page on Facebook for it, God bless ‘em!


Monday, July 3, 2017

To Post Or NOT To Post; That Is The Question.

I haven’t felt especially profound lately. Nothing has come to mind that needed discussed that my links from other folks haven’t covered pretty well. Plus, if I DID say anything, it might be mostly my usual grumping, for which this blog is all too well known. Still, just to let some of you know that a grumpy old man yet lives behind the provided links, I guess I may as well yammer on a little.

My mood hasn’t been improved any by the apparent arrival of actual summer in the past week or so. You can’t always go by the calendar, as to when a season arrives, at least not as to the weather. This year, though, summer pretty-much arrived on schedule, with enough heat to keep this old geezer sitting in the air-conditioning, rather than being outdoors, where 1001 things need done around the place. It’s bad enough just being poor and old, it’s even worse to be poor and old and behind in your work.

I need to build a short ramp onto the porch for my wife and the dog. I’ve let the night water pile up to where I have several jugs to empty. I need to take the sickle and the scythe and do a little trimming around the porch and the yard. I need to spray a few wisps of poison ivy that I see trying to invade the area. I need to put another tire in my “garden” and move the chicory plants (that will be covered by the ramp) into fresh dirt that also needs to be put in the tire. I need to tie some strings to the oak limbs that are hanging too low into the yard, so I’ll know where to prune them next winter, when doing so won’t cause oak wilt. I need to start splitting the wood that I cut to length last week. I need to remove and re-install my bedroom window to give me access to the roof. The list seems to stretch onward toward perpetuity. Luckily, I have firmly embraced the attitude of Scarlett O’Hara—“I’ll think about that tomorrow!”

Motorists have given me some excitement this week, but then they do so EVERY week. Every time I think I’ve seen the stupidest thing possible on the road, the next guy comes up with a new stunt. My wife has gotten after me lately for calling such people names, not loud enough for them to hear, but not under my breath either. The names are rarely foul, but I suppose I really should quit calling half the people on the road morons and idiots, no matter how well the terms DO seem to fit them. I SWEAR people get crazier by the day. Incidentally, they push their buggies in Chinamart with the same crazed abandon with which they drive their automobiles; it amazes me that you never hear of any fatalities in the aisles.

We’re planning an exciting Independence Day—an early lunch at some moderately-priced restaurant, a visit to Chinamart, and maybe taking the pooch for a ride that evening. There are no family get-togethers on either side, and we probably wouldn’t go if there were (nor would we probably be invited in the first place – lol). Nothing of interest is happening in our area and if there WAS anything, we wouldn’t be able to take the heat anyway.

HOWEVER, in spite of all my grumping, I feel deeply privileged to have been raised in the nation that I was, in the time that I was, and by the Christian parents that I was. As twisted as this country is becoming, it’s STILL the best nation on earth, past. present and future. I hope all of you feel the same way, and I hope you have a truly enjoyable Independence Day, whether it’s noisy or quiet. Please pray for our troops, praise God and may our Holy God (YAHWEH not allah) bless America! © 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Just Another Day

I took my wife to Chinamart to get her hair cut. It’s about the only place she can afford anymore, and even there, it varies from girl to girl. I did my best to beat in some time, but ended up sitting by the magazines on the handicapped scooter I was using and trying to nap. It didn’t work; it never does.

I DID get a laugh while I was there. I once worked in the Ames shovel factory here, before they moved most of their production to China and the rest to Pennsylvania (to be done by Mexicans). As a result, I can’t resist checking Chinamart’s tools to see what sort of crap Ames is putting out. Today, I saw a sharp-pointed wooden-handled “digging shovel” shaped like an elongated pentagon, with the company name deeply embossed on the blade in letters probably 1-1/2 inches tall. Can you imagine trying to get red clay to let go of a blade with such a texture? Laughable if it wasn’t so stupid. The blade looked just like the ones on the shovels Ames used to get in from Mexico on occasion. We laughed at the pine handles, too,back then.

I’d planned to do a couple things today, but the plans of the missus always seem to interfere with my plans, so I ended up not doing diddly-squat. It didn’t help that I was up late last night reading an editor’s handiwork and writing a sidebar and so slept later than I intended. Whenever I get paid for the story (probably autumn), I’ll have to use the funds to have one of my molars pulled. Another chunk of it about the size of a small pea came out tonight. I hope I can wait that long, or I’ll have to raid my truck-repair budget.

For a couple years, I’ve had two plants at the edge of my yard that have concerned me. They look somewhat like berry canes, but appear to have a zillion more briars. Just by chance, I found out on the internet that they’re wine berries, a type of Asian raspberry. THAT’S a relief. I looked at them again today and they have a good-many berries, but the birds will probably get them before they ripen.

We dropped by my stepson’s for a few minutes this evening so the missus wouldn’t forget what he looked like and so she could give our youngest granddaughter a couple little patriotic bracelets for the Fourth. I was glad to hear that the granddaughter is going to a camp this summer where they spend a lot of time outdoors and (hopefully) learning about nature. That will be good for her. I guess she isn’t going over to visit her mom anymore, as her dad says the woman is hanging with druggies again. She’s got a new baby (illegitimate) which she’ll lose if she falls off the wagon. Some folks never learn,

Time to go. Hope your day was more thrilling than mine! © 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nothing Exciting Here

It was awfully hot here the last week or two. Between the heat, our schedules and my low energy levels, the last jag of tacky wood from the back yard finally just got cut to length today. That was after me trying to get to it for a couple weeks. When it’s split and stacked, I’ll advertise it cheap for campfire wood, since it’s too buggy and punky for other use.

The lawn is past due for a mowing. It’s not so heavy, but the plantains have shot their heads up several inches in the air and look really ragged. Of course the neighbor is still mowing ten times to my one, but that’s HIS problem. Looking at all those plantain stalks, I remember when I was a kid and we’d fold the lower stalk over the upper and pull back until the head flew off. We thought it was neat to “shoot” one another with them.

I’m not getting any foraging done these days. I used to do a good bit when the missus was in Chinamart, but now that she needs me to get the heavy stuff, and I have to pick up Mom’s groceries as well, I just don’t have the time. The milkweed and the cattail heads both got too far along before I noticed. I need to remember to check them both the first of June and then keep watching.

A guy followed me nearly the whole way to town the other day, mostly at the speed limit, and then passed on a double yellow line with a bend coming up. The only places that I dipped below the speed limit were on some rough spots and a couple bends that are banked reverse from what they should. He flew me the bird after he passed, too, despite being more than old enough to know better. Some folks never grow up and stay trash all their lives.

Our nearest Chinamart had just closed down the other day when we arrived. It turns out they had a water main burst directly over the customer service area. I guess they ended up with four inches of water between there and the pharmacy. They opened again the following day with the cleanest floors they’d had in YEARS!

My wife got a big fern for the front porch a few weeks ago. It wasn’t real green when she got it, and she’s neglected it slightly with the water jug, so it’s not improved its appearance any. Tonight when I took the pooch out, I poured a half-gallon of well-fermented night water in the huge container in which it’s planted. I hope the breeze takes the odor away by morning or the missus will beat me about the head and shoulders if she figures things out.

Well, on second thought, there MIGHT be some excitement soon! © 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Most Treasured Books (w/pic)

Click image to enlarge.

I’ve decided to sell some of my most treasured books. It’s not that I’m desperate for money, though more is always better. It’s that I pretty much know how to do those things that I’m able and willing to do at this point in my life, and I’m just too unhealthy to start many of the things that I’d once planned to try. And so, I’m offering them to you folks before I advertise them elsewhere.

You might call them original homesteading books for the “back-to-the-landers” of the Great Depression and the war years. With a couple exceptions, they are compilations of articles about things that folks can do to better their lives. Considering when they were written, quite a few articles are hopelessly out of date. However, many more are timeless—just as valid today as when the books were first published. These books contain ways to recycle, to do your own plumbing, electrical and construction work, and build everything from bird-houses to homes for people. In between are shelters for swine, fowl, sheep and cattle, and equipment to handle them with. There is advice on how to set up the home shop, how to do finish work and build doors, do metal work, and make lamps, furniture and crafts (mostly for men). There are also plans for “toys” for both kids and adults. The books are listed below:

Carpentry, by Gilbert Townsend, basically a start-to-finish book on homebuilding from the craftsman era. Originally copy-righted in 1918, this is a 1943 printing.

Make it Yourself-900 Things to Make and Do, originally published by Popular Mechanics in 1927, this volume is in new condition and was republished by Lindsey Publications in 1998.

Five Acres and Independence, by M.G. Kains –  1944 printing of the 1935 timeless classic on all things homesteading.

380 Things to Make for Farm and Home by Glen Charles Cook, a book on improvements mostly with wood and concrete, still valid today, 1941

500 More Things to Make for Farm and Home, also by Cook – one of the most varied books for ideas, 1944

It’s Fun To Make It Yourself by Stacey Maney – a lot of general wood-working, furniture making and metal work, 1944

Farm Mechanics – Text and Handbook – by G.C. Cook, L.L. Scranton and H.F. McColly – the actual mechanical section is the most out-of–date of any of the books, but it has excellent sections on welding, construction, heating, plumbing and lighting, 1946

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Listening To The Rain

Only a couple minutes after I posted a couple old family heirloom rocking chairs on Facebook, a lady wanted them and said she’d send her husband out just after dark tonight. I hated to part with them, but we have no-one to pass them on to and we need to declutter some more. I remember the one chair in my parent’s home from my earliest days. It was a wedding gift to them from Mom’s paternal grandpa in 1948, and was over 100 years old even back then. The other is a Shaker rocker and sat for many years on the front porch of the Jenny Lind home of some elderly cousins in the Volcano, West Virginia oilfields.

The tater wagon had been making circles around us for a couple hours or better, before it finally began raining early this evening. I was sitting on the porch enjoying the wind and the distant rumbling until huge drops of rain began falling and within a couple minutes turned into a downpour. Soon, the wind picked up a bit more and my seat in the porch swing was no longer a dry one, so I went back in the house.

About 15 minutes before the earliest the guy could supposedly come for the chairs, I went out and sat in the truck. The wind had died down, but I knew that the mosquitoes would soon find me in the swing, whereas I’d be safe in the truck. The rain was coming down at a pretty good clip, so it made an obvious clamor on the roof of the truck. It reminded me of the days when I was a kid, and would open the door in my bedroom to the back attic room so I could hear the rain hit the tin roof on that part of the house. During the day, I’d sometimes sit on the back porch when it was raining, since it also had a tin roof.

I sat in my truck for 45 enjoyable minutes before the guy showed up. During that time, I didn’t hum or whistle, nor did I play the truck radio. I did like I did as a kid and just sat and enjoyed the experience, though I DID watch the deer wander around the neighbor’s yard across the road. I can only imagine a kid of today sitting quietly for 45 minutes listening to the rain—no talking, no texting, no video games and no fidget spinners. Times have changed; people have changed; thank goodness the sound of rain on a tin roof remains the same. © 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More On Music

The missus wanted a salad badly enough today that she was willing to buy it, so we ate at Wendy’s before going to Chinamart for our main weekly grocery run. As we ate, she grumped about the loud and lousy music. She was right about being loud, but the music was from my youth, so I rather enjoyed the trip down memory lane. The missus is just enough older than me that she doesn’t care for the music that I listened to as a kid and young adult.

One number they played was from Saturday Night Fever. I didn’t remind her that I once knew the line dance from that show. Nor did I tell her that, during those days, I had a leisure suit, a “Disco Joe” shirt as we jokingly called them and a pair of platform shoes. Pretty strange threads for a kid who liked everything from classical to bluegrass and usually dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, a straw hat and a pair of western boots with traces of real honest-to-goodness horse pucky in the welt.

When I made my customary visit to the men’s room before leaving, they were playing the Cat Stevens’ version of “Another Saturday Night,” so THAT was the song that stuck in my head today. The words aren’t anything special, but I like the sound.

I’ve been lucky the last couple times that I’ve been in restaurants that their playlist was of original music, not flaky repro stuff by unknown bands. I stopped in a fast food joint on the far side of town to use the john the other day where that wasn’t the case. The beginnings of two songs played while I was there and on both, the band and singer sounded just like the originals for about two lines, then the sound went to total crap.

I’ve heard it said that one of the surest signs of old age is when the music of your youth starts turning up on the playlists of elevator music. That began about 10 years ago. So now you know folks; I’m officially over the hill! © 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Meds And Music

No, I’m not buzzed out on painkillers and listening to old records of acid rock. Those are just a couple subjects that I dealt with today.

I went to see one of the nurses at my heart doctor’s office and she found where I can get my cheap meds cheaper and my two expensive meds for free, UNLESS some unforeseen problem comes up. Afterward, the missus took me to the sign of the tarnished arches for a late breakfast. Personally, I wouldn’t go there as long as they have queer fries, but the missus was paying, so what the heck. As we ate our sausage gravy and biscuit, we were noticing how one of the “songs” playing over the PA system managed to have a repetitive pattern to it, but with no melody and no really definable rhythm.

After that, I sat in the truck a few minutes with the AC running, while she ran into Chinamart to get some milk. During that time, I was wondering if, years down the road, the young people would discover the idea of melody again and think it was something entirely new that they invented. A wonderful old song came to my mind and got stuck there, as sometimes happens. Have you ever heard the old song “After the Ball?” Before we came home, my water pill struck and I had to stop at a fast food joint to drain. While there, Marvin Gaye’s version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was playing—a very different classic from a very different era.

Here’s a link of a 1925 recording of “After The Ball,” and further down are the words that are closest to what I remember (There are different versions, including parodies.)


A little maiden climbed an old man’s knees—
Begged for a story: "Do uncle, please!
Why are you single, why live alone?
Have you no babies, have you no home?"
"I had a sweetheart, years, years ago,
Where she is now, pet, you will soon know;
List to the story, I’ll tell it all:
I believed her faithless after the ball.“
”Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom,
Softly the music playing sweet tunes.
There came my sweetheart, my love, my own,
‘I wish some water; leave me alone.’
When I returned, dear, there stood a man
Kissing my sweetheart as lovers can.
Down fell the glass, pet, broken, that’s all—
Just as my heart was after the ball.“
”Long years have passed, child, I have never wed,
True to my lost love though she is dead.
She tried to tell me, tried to explain—
I would not listen, pleadings were vain.
One day a letter came from that man;
He was her brother, the letter ran.
That’s why I’m lonely, no home at all—
I broke her heart, pet, after the ball."
After the ball is over, after the break of morn,
After the dancers' leaving, after the stars are gone,
Many a heart is aching, if you could read them all—
Many the hopes that have vanished after the ball.

I Guess I’m An Arminian – as opposed to a Calvinist

I find it interesting that some folks can speak of both predestination and “the joy that passes understanding.” I realize the term “predestined” is used in the Bible, but even after many years of reading and trying to study God’s word, I continue to believe that what is alluded to is “foreknowledge” not exactly a choiceless situation where you can basically be saved against your own will. Salvation is a free gift for all who CHOOSE to believe, but like any EARTHLY gift, you don’t benefit from that gift if you refuse to accept it.

I also find it interesting that most of those who believe that you have no choice in your salvation, believe that once you have it, you CAN choose to throw it away! I guess the important question for those folks is, “Are you saved TODAY?”

Unfortunately, due to the limits of human understanding, there are verses in the Bible that would seem to back up both views on receiving salvation and on keeping it, so some folks will insist on arguing about it. I have friends and relatives on both sides of the issue and I believe both sides are saved. The real question for anyone reading this is, “Have you accepted Jesus as your savior?” If not, you should shake a leg, we aren’t promised a tomorrow. As for whether you’re predestined to do it, or are choosing of your own free will, the results will be the same, since you have Heaven to gain and Hell to avoid. © 2017