Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Happy--Joy Joy

Happy thirty-ninth birthday, CMB! You don't celebrate the years on your birthday; you celebrate YOU! It is your day and no one can take it from you! Live and cherish every minute of it!

I was way in the dumps on my last natal anniversary, but a dear friend told me the same thing I'm now saying to you. And she was so right.

I am proud to have you as a friend, and best wishes to you for now and forever.


Even I received a nice surprise and present yesterday. A photo I made, along with a few others from Flickrites, was published in a Swedish magazine:

Mine is the tomato rows in white with my beautiful hills in the background and is on top of the two beauties (blush). I haven't a clue as to what the article says, because there is no English version of the magazine.

Thanks Jenny Maria for the honor!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's still chilly and I'm still wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt and..., I turned the heat on. I'm the modern outdoorsman type, I reckon. The gas fireplace still works, but like myself, feebly. Unless the weather warms up quite a bit, I won't be doing much picture taking for a while; maybe not 'til next spring. Be prepared for more of my graphic violence—or as I call it, abstract art—to show up on Flickr,

I have some stories in the oven, and I've begun editing (almost a complete rewrite) the novel again. I'm working with a local publisher on getting a volume of short stories printed in book form. Trouble is, I don't have enough stories, and when it comes to having to write, then it becomes work and I'm not a member of the working brotherhood. So, the odds of getting anything published in the near future is probably nil. The world will have to wait to be blessed with my interpretation of life. Poor world!

Monday, October 29, 2007 of a brass monkey!

We had our first frost last night. Enough of that crap; I'm ready for spring. I dislike wearing long pants, jackets and coats, fumbling with buttons and zippers. I don't like cold wind, the sniffles, fewer daylight hours, lousy network tv shows (what other kinds are there?), outdoor activities unless sex is involved, snow, cold rain, day-after-day without sunshine. I don't like Christmas.

I do like the winter night sky with Taurus, Orion, and the dog star prominent. I like the minutes and hours of daylight increasing. I love the first promise of spring, which is usually momma squirrels stopping by for extra peanuts in late February. I like going to the woods and mountains when fresh snow is on the ground. And while I'm there, I enjoy having sex on the seat of a pickup truck. Something about cold vinyl against lots of bare skin that makes one move in a certain way.

What do you like and dislike about winter?


We had a big to do Saturday, at least for a no-place place like this. On the one hand we had war protesters, and opposing them were quite a few Rolling Thunder MC members. The protesters began their day at a local park with speechifying and flag waving, and after enough speeches were spoken and flags briskly fluttered, they marched on a local factory where depleted uranium is used to produce military ordnance.

When the marchers arrived at the plant, they were greeted by the bikers. Police maintained order. The way I understand it, the bikers wanted a bit of a rumble but the demonstrators maintained discipline in the ranks. It was the same old story; one side wanted the US out of Iraq and the other saying it was encouraging the enemy. Basically anti-Bush and pro-Bush. Old Glory got a good workout. I think most of the protesters were local, but a lot of the bikers were from as far away as Illinois.

Anyway, everyone did their patriotic responsibility thing and went home. Local merchants reaped a profit, while taxpayers footed the bill.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yep! Today is Friday...

So far today, that is all that's happened.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A while back, I went to the Ford dealership to have the Escape serviced. They have a very small waiting room for their customers, and on that day it was full. I lolled around the showroom for a short while until a seat became available. Soon after nodding a greeting to my fellow waitees and settling myself, a woman about my age came into the room. I immediately got to my feet and offered her my seat which she declined to take, telling me it was unnecessary for me to get up for her. Nothing really unusual about that, except it left me in a quandary; I was raised to be a gentleman, especially when ladies are present. Maybe old fashioned, but it is what it is and I am whom I am. There the seat was with no one to fill it. She stubbornly refused to sit down—a feminist thing?—and I couldn't sit as long as there was no other chair free. The longer I stood, the more my ravaged knee hurt. If I had retaken the chair and left the woman standing, my mom would somehow have managed to arise from her grave and slap me. Finally I limped back to the showroom and managed to put part of my big butt on a window ledge just to relieve my knee. When the service on the truck was finished, I was obliged to go back through the waiting room, which was abandoned except for a middle-aged man (he didn't get up and offer the woman a seat when she came in) and the stubborn woman. Of course, she was sitting and merrily chatting with that particular doofus.

Who knows? Maybe she wasn't a feminist. Maybe she just didn't like my looks or thought I was going to try to make a move on her. Or it could be she was being a bitch.

I'll go on being an ardent supporter of the feminist movement, but I can't get above my raising. In the end and if a choice has to be made, I will chose to be a gentleman. I can tolerate the bitches and chauvinists of the world, men and women.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


After many months of shunning his children, Zeus unclenched his mighty fist and set the heavenly waters free. It has been shower after shower since late last evening, and as much as it is appreciated, it is a mockery to mortals. Some good may come of it..., if he doesn't again turn his back to us.


Live for today! Tomorrow is promised to no one. Plans for tomorrow are useless on our plane of existence; they are--at best--merely hopes and dreams. Love someone or hate someone; be nice or be naughty; hold a grudge or forgive; laugh or cry! Dreams and hopes are precious and a vital part of our humanness and sanity, but we must refuse to be a slave to them, and we cannot live in their wispy shadows. Don't wait for tomorrow; do it now!

Neither can we live in the past, for it is just that; past. Remember; learn; reminisce. Yesterday is merely a lesson for today; not a place in which to be lost.


End of sermon...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Skies still gray but not crying.

This so far has been a moody week; I don't know what mood I'm in from moment to moment, nor do I know what mood I should be in. I've been staying away from home so much on the weekends..., I feel like I must be missing something when I'm not away. I make an excuse nearly every day to drive the mile to the park and photograph something. Went today, but came back empty handed.

Maybe I won't sleep good tonight, and will think of something good to write about tomorrow.

One thing I do want to say: Thank you Oh Boy (Gary) for sending me the PsP XI software. I've been using it since Saturday evening, and have most of it figured out.

If anyone wants my copy of PsP IX, let me know and I will send it along to you. It is a simple program for beginners getting into photo retouching and manipulating, but has nearly all the advanced power of PhotoShop.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gray skies without rain all day; depressing at best. Maybe some rain tonight.

Slept well last night, so I didn't have an opportunity to think of anything to write about for today. A bunch of everything I write, be it fact, fiction, poetry, or any combination thereof, is usually formulated between 4:00 am and 7:00 am. Three hours of genius followed by 21 hours of being a dullard.

The Appy Trail marker is near the peak of Roan Mountain, and close by is where the 19th century Cloudland Hotel was located, straddling the TN/NC state line.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Drove across Sam's Gap into North Carolina and on to Burnsville, Bakersville, and to the top of the Roan. The summit of Roan Mountain at more than 5000 ft. elevation was covered with spectators and a swift wind that was more than a little cold against bare arms and legs.

The day began in pursuit of apple butter, my favorite vegetable, but none was to be found at any roadside markets. Deciding not to waste the trip—for some strange reason I had my camera with me—we drove to Burnsville, which is the little town where Carolyn and I became entangled in wedded bliss many years ago after eloping. She was a child of seventeen soft summers, and I was a lad of nineteen tough winters when we became as one. We didn't tarry in the village this time however, but continued on toward Spruce Pine, turning to Bakersville, which nestles against the foot of the Roan.

The most beautiful leaf color I've seen this year is on the Carolina side of Roan Mt. Apparently every Flickrite in the area was there, hogging all the pull-off places, and pointing their lenses at the spectrum of glory that ran from vivid green to deep crimson. Not one photo was I able to make of that particular overpowering beauty.

Topping the Roan, we walked a bit on the Appalachian Trail, but altitude and the ring of fat around my belly soon took its toll on my wind. Pooped I was!

All-in-all, I managed to pursue and capture a smidgen of photos, but none displaying the true splendor of of my mountain home. For appreciation, this must be seen with the eye, not through the artificial and uncaring camera lens.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I read in the city rag yesterday that the local hospital figured it is a good idea for people to wash their hands to try and control the staph infection which is hitting our area pretty hard. Welcome to the nineteenth century, Johnson City. My granddaughter has it, her boyfriend has it, my first cousin whom works at the hospital has it, plus some others I know. My cousin was admitted to hospital (yes, same one) today, and they think it has now spread to her foot bones.


We got a little rain overnight, but of little consequence. The sky is beginning to clear from the west, and tomorrow is supposed to be back to the same old grind: beautiful autumn weather.


I didn't sleep well last night—what else is new?—and didn't get up 'til past nine-thirty this morning. While I was in the doctors office an hour or so ago, I read a brochure about sleep. If a person sleeps eight hours each day, that adds up to about 122 days per year.

Now that is something to think about. If I had my druthers, I would take mine all at once, just getting up long enough for the necessaries. I'd choose to sleep from about November 1st through the end of February. I can eat turkey anytime, so Thanksgiving isn't important. Christmas sucks anyway. January and February are too cold and damp for much outdoor activity, so why not sleep through it all? If I couldn't get Flickr burnout in the following eight months, I'd be a hopeless basket case anyway, and another four months of beautiful dreams would get me ready to go again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


This will be the first year that Halloween comes on a school day during Daylight Savings Time. I'm wondering how this will affect the timing of the trick-or-treat urchins. They generally begin about an hour before full dark, but this year is an unknown. Will it be a later start? Most of them will have to get up and go to school next day. Dunno...


Haven't heard anymore about the little girl found walking alone on my street.


My life has been filled with much contentment for the past few weeks, with the exception of wondering about a couple of my online friends with whom I've lost contact...

All the rain that was predicted for today has probably come and gone. An insignificant sprinkle that that barely left some tiny dark specks on the porch has been our 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. The sky is partly cloudy and the temp is near 80. This is the heart of the Bible Belt; looks like if God was going to provide necessary moisture anywhere, it would be here. I might expect Him to except my house, but not so large a portion of the mid-eastern and southeastern US. All part of His divine plan, I reckon.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

At about 10:30 last evening, a police officer rang my doorbell. He asked if I was missing any children, and of course I'm not. Someone found a little girl about three years old wandering in the street near my house. The officer left to knock on some more doors, and I haven't been able to find more about this strange happening.


More on the kid that managed to crack my network security and mess with this remarkable blog; apparently I wasn't the only one to get a visit from him. He's been busted for stealing credit card info from another neighbor, maybe more than one. I didn't rat him out, but I did confront him and got a scared-to-death apology. The final outcome is pending...


The weatherman is threatening us with rain... again! The local television station spent one million dollars on a weather equipment and a computer setup called Vipr. The newscasts are crawling with "meteorologists" and each one of them has to have up to ten minutes to say what they don't know; they are completely clueless. But they do get to go into schoolrooms and tell our youngsters what they do know about the weather forecasting industry. That shouldn't take more than ten seconds and the kiddos do get free balloons with the station logo imprinted, and get to see a genuine "personality" and in some cases, a "celebrity".


C.M.B.—Where are you? Thank you for stopping by...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sleep! Not much to do when you're doing it, but you can't do much without it. Seven solid hours last night; first real sleep I've had in a month or so. I had to force myself out of bed this morning as too much of a good thing is enough; save some for later is my sleep motto.

The days and nights have been extremely beautiful, at least visually as far as weather goes. Otherwise, we are living in the future "American Sahara"! Now nearly 18" below normal precipitation this year; this in an area that averages 42+" per year. A person I know was kept busy this summer carrying water to his "crop". He was lucky, because visiting such a place too often can easily lead to a bust. Anyway, he had a pretty good season for such agriculture; some of the prettiest red and golden buds I've seen in a local variety. They should treat it like other crops; allow them to be entered and judged at the district fair. Oh, but the Age of Aquarius has passed..., and probably never existed in the bible belt.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Alice!

A friend is like a flower,
a rose to be exact,
Or maybe like a brand new gate
that never comes unlatched.
A friend is like an owl,
both beautiful and wise.
Or perhaps a friend is like a ghost,
whose spirit never dies.
A friend is like a heart that goes
strong until the end.
Where would we be in this world
if we didn't have a friend.
--By Emma Guest

Happy Birthday Friend Alice, all day long... And Forever

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I know, I don't do many Sunday posts...

Artists. Visual artists whom put pencil to paper or brush to canvas. Why do artists do art? Most of them will tell you it darn sure isn't for the money; a lot of them will tell you that it wasn't created for you to see. So why?

I can't answer because I'm not an artist; but I can say what I think is the reason and it has been said by many others. Need! Art is how people express themselves; their true selves. Artists need to put something in front of themselves so they may try to understand why they are. Expression is their passion, and when they create, they bring forth passion in those who see, feel, and try to understand their creations.

One thing for sure, artists are more intelligent than we non-artists. Not necessarily smarter, but they have a better grasp of understanding life's driving force than do we everyday people. I've never met an artist whom is a dolt.


C.; I know you've been stopping by and I appreciate it very much. Write when you can...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Today a picnic in a secluded area of the Cherokee National Forest. Such a sweet time it was; perfect temperatures, great blue skies, and a squirrel dinning and droping beech nuts on our heads as we dined.

We were in Dennis Cove recreation area near Laurel Fork Falls on the same named creek. Not much leaf color at the picnic site, but farther up Walnut Mountain, things were different. Apparently there has been rain in the area, because Laurel Fork was running better than most local creeks, supplying clear, cold water. The high meadows were lush and green, with some sparkling fall colors showing in places.

Yes, sweet was the day, and I hope yours was as good or better.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Imperfections..., those things that make us unlike anyone else. Some are big and some are insignificant; some are glaring and some are subtle.

Imperfections in appearance, be it skin blemishes, a big nose, or anything else that we may find as "not pretty" aren't the blemishes I'm speaking of.

I'm talking about blemishes in character, the things that matter in the real world. My character flaws are much different than yours, and yours are different than anyone else's. We all have them, and we all try to hide them to some degree, like we hide our physical defects with cosmetics, colognes, and plastic surgery, to name a few.

They are the things that differentiate the people we like from the people we dislike, the ones we fear and the ones we trust.

What we see in people may change from day-to-day, but we usually adjust to these changes in one way or another. That is to say, we overlook things in our friends that we might take issue with or even find disgusting in someone else. Being imperfect is being human.

All animate beings with the exception of humans are more or less perfect; they don't reason about how their neighbors look or how they think. They are driven by basic instincts, nothing else. Their world is perfect.

Our intellects, along with basic needs, drive us. We choose to be the person we are, but when we try to choose how our friends ought to be instead of accepting them as they are, is when relationships suffer. I understand this is a generality and maybe somewhat unfair, but it is the world our minds have created.

We shouldn't perceive things that don't exist, and when they do exist, we should strive to understand and forgive. Understanding and forgiveness of ourselves and others will overcome a lot of our own character flaws. Sometimes it makes us giddy with the euphoria of being the best we can be, and it will always make us smile.

End of sermon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


To my friend... I miss you!

News Break... Warning for MS Win XP users

The patches Microsoft released Tuesday caused the scroll function on my laptop touch pad to stop working. If you have this problem, update your touch pad drivers!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Naked in the Woods

I found out by whom and how my blog was compromised. A neighbor's teenage son cracked my wireless code I use to connect my laptop to my other PCs and the Net. It could have been much worse!

I've gotten all my passwords changed, deleted a bunch of unused accounts, and some email addresses I no longer use. Slimmin' down.

I am going to repost the link to my writing blog. There really wasn't any use in deleting it in the first place.


Ok, I get your points about bathing. Because you think it is a good idea to take more baths, I promise I will consider doing so. No promise though that I will actually commit to it. Do you know how cold creek water is in the winter? If I catch pneumonia and kick the bucket, will you feel bad about convincing me that "cleanliness is next to Godliness"? Shucks no, you wont! You'll say something like 'what a dumb-ass'!

And for you nosy-nates who want to know why I don't take a bath at home like "civilized" people do; I am far from being "civilized" and even farther from being domesticated. I happen to like being naked in the woods! Come join me sometime and see what enjoyment of life and freedom truly is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sometime last Thursday evening or night, my password to this blog was compromised. Some of the links to my friend's pages were messed up, my post for that day deleted, and some others were slightly rewritten. As a precaution, I removed the link to my story blog. If any of you I've invited to the site need the address, email me and I will send it along. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My Flickr account was hijacked last spring..., someone overwrote a few of my photos with porn.

The lesson from this: use a password with letters and numbers jumbled together, and change it often.


I finally got my bath over and done with last night. I went to the creek just after midnight, but there was just barely enough water to get wet. I did the best I could, and I should be able to hold out to spring before doing it again. I don't know if it's just me, but I feel a tingling exultation when I get naked in the wild, as if it is the way life is supposed to be lived. Probably some of the 60s and 70s freak still left in me.

No one has come knocking today, so I guess I was far enough away from the water quality sensors. The worst part about the time I got busted wasn't paying the court costs; it was having my name in the paper for committing such a heinous crime. It's my business if I only take one or two baths each year, but the ridicule I received was very unfair and unpleasant. Shoot, I'm proud to be a hillbilly, and being a hillbilly means I'm a free individual, not tied to the mores of hypocrisy and "civilization". In other words, my life is probably a lot more fun than yours.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bath Time

I was just calculating; I got my last haircut in March. That is seven months of Sampson-like, strength building hair growth. That makes me a pretty powerful man, I'd say. I remember the date, because it was the last time I was down to the creek for a bath. That makes me a pretty powerful smelling man, I'd say. I use a lot of smell-well products.

The weather is supposed to turn cooler tomorrow, so I guess I'll see if I can round up a piece of soap and return to the creek beforehand. I always wait 'til night's well on before taking my clothes off in the middle of the outdoor world..., I'm a bit shy. I never tell anyone exactly where I'll go, due to some "friends" with bad camera habits.

I hope I don't set off any water pollution alarms like I did a couple years back. I'd neglected to bathe for more than a year, and I had to use a lot of homemade lye soap, which set things hopping about three-quarters mile downstream. I didn't know the TVA had installed a flow meter and pollution sensor. Imagine my chagrin the next day when I was interrogated about my previous evening's activities. Someone had seen my truck go into the woods, and ratted me out when questioned about "unusual activity" in the area. Worse, I was cited by a Federal Marshall and had to go to court. The judge thought it was funny, but sentenced me to eight hours community service picking up litter form the same stream, plus I had to pay $240.00 court cost.

Now, I'm more careful about where I enter the water, and I try to bathe at least twice a year so as not to have to use lye soap. Live and learn, I reckon.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Grounds for Divorce

I hope y'all had a good weekend. I didn't get many photos made, but I had fun enjoying my contact's art, pictures and blogs. I've been drafted as administrator for another Flickr group, and I'm staying busy rounding up new members.


There are some things a man doesn't want to hear from his wife, such as 'I want a divorce', or 'I'm having an affair'. Shockers, for sure, but these pale in comparison to the one sentence that brings fear and loathing to a marriage: 'I think I'll eat some onions with my beans'. This from the woman one must sleep with. Making love is out of the question when rafter rattling noises and nose-hair singeing stenches arise from her side of the love nest. This is when you know you've been married too long!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Now that I'm almost over the funk that I put myself in somewhere around my birthday, I feel like doing things again. I reckon life isn't as bad as I thought it was.

With my photography itch needing scratching again, I'm seeing photo opportunities in just about everything. I'm rediscovering lessons I learned many years ago; there is a decent photo in anything I can see; at least to me they are decent. Just being in the right place at the right time is all it takes. If I could draw or paint, I wouldn't even need a camera.

Keep on doodling!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The drought deepens. We were supposed to have rain this morning, but none was seen at my house.

I went to the top of a hill and and sat in the shade of a turning dogwood tree, pondering the mysteries of life, as is my wont in times of inner turmoil. I settled a few of the points of contention I've had with myself, and opened the eyes of my heart to the natural beauty of the multicolored sky. Soon, I was away from my shady retreat with camera in hand and nothing on my mind except the self gratification of pointing a lens at something that evokes a religious-like reverence in my being. For a few moments at least, I was happy. I smiled at my father the sun, and he rewarded my joy with a display of light, shadow, and color which I haven't seen in quite some time.

Now I smile at you, and hope you will accept my smile. When it has pleased you, pass it on to someone, be it a loved one or a stranger. Sincere happiness is an honor to hold and to share.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Bro Hill

You would have been 58 today Steve, and you lived the 55 years you had to the fullest. I was and am proud the day you told me I was your best friend. Fare thee well, my Brother.

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