Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rumbles from below


Concerning the latest publicized TVA screw-up; the ash spill is a tragedy, and should have been expected. With years of drought lowering underground water levels and leaving immense dry caves that are sometimes close to the surface, a sinkhole can happen anywhere in our area. With all the rain we've had this month, and with the added weight of wet soil and the ash atop that, it wouldn't surprise me if the aquifers gave way, causing the events. It wouldn't take much of a drop in land level to do the trick. There was no long range planning for such an event, which is poor foresight, but not expected from a large corporation such as they. The TVA is a government corporation, owned by you.

Do you know the Tennessee Valley Authority has power of eminent domain throughout its seven state jurisdiction, and a lot more of the same rights that states have?

Do you know that the TVA hires lobbyists to get favorable laws passed and unfavorable regulations overlooked just like a private corporations?

Do you know that the TVA furnishes tritium—which is used in nuclear weapons—to the US government National Nuclear Security Administration? The TVA is a major corporate entity in the United States of America.
Not much going on on the home front. It is still winter!
A printing company that has been a reliable employer in this town for 25 years is closing its doors and putting 180 people out of work. They were told not to expect to receive their final paychecks. Happy New Year, George W. Bush!
I see where General Motors received $6,000,000,000 in relief money from us, and turned it over to its financial arm, GMAC. Very little of it will trickle down to Joe carbuyer! GMAC also produces mortgages, so you can figure where the money went.

The car companies are pushing tv ads saying they are selling cars at up to $2k below "factory suggested retail" pricing. No one in his right mind pays the sticker price anyway. Carolyn's 2006 model van had a sticker price of nearly $24k, but she bought it for well less than $19k. Had we haggled another few hours, we probably could have saved a few hundred dollars more. There are always factory incentives from which dealers can reap a profit.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A clarification on yesterday's post: It may read like I was saying all hippies were like the Charles Manson family, but that is not the way I intended it. I was using that bunch of crazies as a model for the worst of the counterculture. To tell the truth, had I made the trek to San Francisco back then, I would most likely have been fried all the time, seldom taking a bath, and enjoying as much sex as possible until it all killed me. I wanted that life so badly!

I got most of my info of the differences in the true (but dirty) hippies and the regular run-of-the-mill flower children from people who had lived in the various counterculture communities in cities around this country and abroad. Most of the flower children types didn't like to be referred to as hippies, because of the stigma. Many of these same people now embrace the word, because it has come to help define and even to a degree glorify their generation. All-in-all, there were many more people of that generation who were not hippies or flower children than that were. The success of The Movement was a result of being in the right place at the right time.
Not much happening today; got a makeup shot from missing one last week. Went to Lowe's for bird food, and to Office Depot for a chair mat which I refused to buy because I found the same thing online at Sam's Club for $15 less. Bought tags for both vans, and have been online paying a few bills the rest of the day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

On the fringes of the "in crowd"

A berry

There is a Flickr group/game going around where if you are "tagged" (as in 'tag; you're it'), you are to write 16 things about yourself, and "tag" 16 more of your contacts to do the same. One of my contacts, Cheryl, had this as one of her self descriptions:
3. I’m an aging hippie and glad of it. Those WERE the days, my friend.
Did it all, don’t regret a bit of it. Walked out a lot of doors in my
mind and back in through others. If you were there you know what I’m
talking about.

I left her a comment saying that "I enjoyed living with the 60's more than living in that era. There is a difference." I suppose the difference was mostly just a very few years in my age and the actual hippie age. I was a war baby and not so much of a baby boomer, and a couple of years almost—if not in fact—made a difference of generations. To my thinking, the world changed with the advent of the Beatles in 1963 and 1964. They introduced mid-America teenyboppers to the concept that being different and nonconforming was ok, and that there was more to music than American Bandstand. Long (for then) hair and a different beat to their music made them and many wannabe bands the new mainstream. At the same time, the United States was becoming deeply involved in a war in Southeast Asia that had already been lost by the French at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ in 1954, and there was no way for the US to win, either. To go along with nonconformists and the war, there was the very important Civil Rights Movement, and there were the hipsters, a group of nonconformists in their own right that frequented "quaint" coffee houses, read poetry, and were big in making ballads a mainstream music force in the early and mid-sixties. Greenwich Village in New York City was their unofficial headquarters until about 1963 (I'm guessing) when another "colony" was formed in San Francisco in the Haight-Ashbury area. The westerners were into a more esoteric genre of music that marched to the beat of "get high and get laid", later to be called acid rock. They became the roots of the hippies as we know them today, but the word "hippy" has come to be a catchall for anyone with long hair and that had other non-mainstream or undesirable characteristics of the era. Actually, most of these folks did have meager jobs and had the wherewithal to get by in the world. However, the true hippies were usually stoned most of the time, weren't too familiar with water as a cleansing agent for their skins, and tended to live completely off the charity of others. They took nonconformity to its highest (and lowest) level. I would say that Charles Manson and his "family" were hippies, and the band Jefferson Airplane was not, even though the the latter were definitely "hip".

My view of the 60's was from the working and married-with-children class. Just being born a couple of years before the first "boomers" came along probably made the difference of my living in Tennessee or being part of the West Coast cultural scene. I had all the feelings that a lot of things were wrong with the world and I wanted to be in the forefront of change, but I was also aware that I had brought children into the same world and that I had a good wife, and even though I had no Christian or other religious scruples, I did love them and I did have a moral conscience at that particular time. Myself and others like me co-existed and shared a lot of views similar to the counter-culture, yet we managed to exist within the system. That made us live with the 60's happenings yet not be a true participant of the culture, but man, we did do a lot of the same things they did, and enjoyed the hell out of it, but under self imposed limits.

I could go into this for many boring pages because I loved the 60's and I love being associated with them. I just barely touched the civil rights crusades, and didn't mention the women's rights movement, but I hope I imparted some of what it meant to be "we" instead of the "me" that so many of us have become.
If you lived in and remember the 60's, please share with me (us) your stories from "the day".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just feelin' good

12/25/2008--The most water I've ever seen
in Clark's Creek

It sure feels good to be over the Christmas blahs. We will have our Christmas meal today because Jeremy couldn't come in from Atlanta 'til now. He has a new job with Boeing and didn't want to take a chance on asking off.

I will should get the Escape back within the next week or so. I think Chris has her car problem straightened out, and it shouldn't cost her anymore than just enough to have the a/c charged.

A wondrous day! The temp is at 71°F (21.6°C) at 11:00am (16:00GMT), the sky is mostly clear, and I'm one ecstatic s.o.b.! I know Mother Nature is only teasing me with a taste of spring, but it sure eases the pain of winter.
My uncle Roy once told me that being old allows him to sneeze, cough, fart, and pee on himself all at the same time. He was a wise man.
The local sheriff's office just purchased a "late model" S.U.V. for transporting certain people to hospital and for evaluative mental health services. Seems like these citizens do not like to be hauled around in the back of a marked police car like common criminals (what is the difference between a common criminal and an uncommon one?). The price tag of the vehicle was a mere 29,000 taxpayer dollars, and they will also require specially trained officers to drive the luxury machine. We as funders of government services have been screwed again! The sheriff is a Republican, and those members (the few that are left) are supposed to be fiscally conservative. He is just another politician sucking on the lifeblood of the people whom he is duty-sworn to serve and protect! Would not it have been easier and and much less expensive to let these poor stigmatized souls ride in an unmarked county car and wear a mask to hide their identity? I wonder whom will get to take road trips and vacations via this sweet ride? My "screw you taxpayers" award goes to Washington County sheriff Ed Graybeal.
I saw an Associated Press article saying that "amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home". This is old hat science to me; I've been trying genetic engineering in the bedroom and back seat of cars ever since I found I had reached puberty! For the past few years my lab assistant hasn't been willing to undertake new experiments, so my endeavors have mostly been of a one-handed kind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Broylesville Mercantile Establishment

This has been a very good day; nothing lost and nothing gained. Anytime you are old and in an economic era like the present, breaking even is a very good thing.
Carolyn and I had a little picnic yesterday while I was looking for something to shoot. All-in-all it was a pleasant day. I finally ran across a little community called Broylesville which lies between Jonesborough and Limestone. It is one of the oldest communities in Washington County, and I've known of its existence for many years but didn't know its exact location. You may be able to tell from the above photo of the general store that is was a fairly important village in the 19th century. In the next day or two, there will be a few more photos on my Flickr.
Now for the good stuff; The Smoking Gun Mugshots of the Week!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

364 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Christmas night and all is well; except I still have no wheels. Rats!

Carolyn drove me to Clark's Creek and on into Greene County. Didn't find much to shoot at, photography-wise. It was good to get away from the house for a spell; first I've been gone since Saturday last.
Alice: How did the family breakfast go? Everyone seems to be down-sizing these days except the number of your little ones (and not so little ones).

Maggie: Glad to read that you and Pat are making progress with the renovations; especially the carpet. That was a nightmare!

Mark: Give Barbie a hug for me!

John and Milly: Hope you all are well and that Skye isn't being too bossy with Sam.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Over it!


all intents and purposes this Christmas is over. Presents have been opened and goodwill has been prevalent throughout the world. This is actually the worst one ever for me. I suppose I am the only man alive whom could be lonely in whorehouse; even if I could afford to be there. They do charge for services in such places, don't they? I wouldn't know because an upstanding citizen like myself would never frequent a house of ill repute. A life of walking the straight-and-narrow has been mine, with nary a glance left nor right. I am such a good person!
Thank you dear ones for reading my drivel over this past year, and especially thanks to my loyal friend Alice who has been a sweetheart for more years than either of us care to remember. Thank you my true internet friends. Most of you I have known for only a year or two, but each one of you has enriched my life with your kindness and wisdom. You have come to mean as much to me as anyone I've ever known, and I consider you as the milk chocolate of my existence. The virtual world can be most unkind at times, especially when one becomes comfortable with others and all of a sudden they are gone into the ether.
I hope I have come through this season with my sense of humor intact; sometimes it is all I have to see me through. Now that the difficult period is past, we can all dwell on more mundane things ... like INCOME TAXES! One damn sure better have a sense of humor between now and April 15.
Last, I thank Carolyn. She is the one with the true sense of humor for allowing me to get by with writing about her in this blog. Either she has a sense of humor, or she doesn't read my stuff. Most likely the latter!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas with granddad

Mom and granddad just
weeks before he died

I remember only one Christmas with my maternal grandfather; I was three years old in 1947, and he died the following July. First, some background on him. He was born in Washington County Tennessee in 1863. His father died of pneumonia in 1865, possibly in a Confederate prison camp. He labored on farms, in sawmills, and in mines for most of his working years, but he had wanderlust and did not stay in one place very long. He married in the 1890 when my grandmother was only four years old. Does that pique your curiosity? No, he didn't marry her then—although such arranged marriages did happen in Appalachia until at least the 1950's—but wed another girl from the community where he grew up and they had several children. His wife died in West Virginia in 1910, and he married my grandmother in 1916 just before her 21st birthday. He was 53 years old when they wed, and their first child died soon after birth. My mother was second born. In 1936, and after becoming a successful country store owner and operator, he had built a small frame house where I was born in the front bedroom in 1944. My granddad was 81 years of age at the time of my birth.

In 1947, my mom and dad were recently married, but my dad was staying with his aunt who lived nearby because there was no more room in my grandparent's modest house where my mother and I were living. My dad worked in Detroit most of the time anyway, and I hardly knew him. Also living with my grandparents were my two unwed uncles.

At Christmas, all the adults acted adult by being nonchalant; all but granddad. He kept a gleam in his eye and a smile on his weathered face through all our meager festivities. Where I happened to be, so was he. I think he enjoyed me being an only child, because he could give me his undivided attention. We went into the local fields to cut a Christmas tree, and at three years old I was deemed big enough to tag along with him, my two uncles, and my dad. After crossing numerous barbwire fences, we came into an overgrown pasture where some beautiful cedar trees grew. This is when I learned how to pick that "just right" tree. If it can be found, a shapely, single-trunk tree about 10 ft. to 12 ft. tall that has had the bottom branches rubbed off by cattle is first choice. Cut it just below the lower branches and it is ready for decorating. This time however, there were none available that met the description. Granddad had the boys cut down a large tree that he deemed suitable, and then the actual Christmas tree was cut from its top. It was carefully toted home under mine and granddad's watchful supervision. To this day, I feel it isn't Christmas without the nostalgic scent of red cedar in the air.

Electricity had been installed in the house the previous summer, and my mom had scraped together enough money to buy a couple strings of colorful lights to go along with tinsel, ribbons, and wooden icicles and trinkets from past holidays. Granddad retreated to his rocking chair while the tree was being trimmed, the sly little smile still on his lips. My mom gave me strict instructions to stay away from the finished tree; but of course I did not and managed to turn it over on myself. Just as I was about to get a switch laid to my legs, granddad did a little "Ahem", and his smile had been replaced by a reproving frown. Mom put her hands on her hips and muttered something in his direction, but I didn't get whipped. Again, he was smiling.

On Christmas morning, he was the one to awaken me and scoot me into the living room to see what Santa had brought. His little smile was now spread from one big ear to the other. Again he took to his rocker by the fire, and did the oos and ahs as I ripped open the many packages that a spoiled brat received.

That was my first great Christmas, and even though I had some good ones thereafter, it was the last great one until my own kids and grandkids came along.
I wish I had a similar story to tell of my paternal Granddad, but he was killed in a workplace accident many years before I was born. I understand that he too was a good man, and it was only five years ago when I found where he was buried.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am about over my grouch; no use to fret when one is fretless. I still don't have a car, and may not have one for a long time, but it is ok; too damned cold to go anywhere anyway. Carolyn and I had planned to go to Roan Mountain on Christmas day being she isn't cooking, but that is on hold. I have never been up there in winter time, but winters are long so I may get there yet.

This will be the first year I can remember when she hasn't prepared a Christmas feast. Life is full of change.
It is very cold here; it was 8°F (-13C) this morning on my back porch thermometer. This has been the coldest winter in my memory. Of course, this winter is only one day old. One Christmas eve in the late 80's, we had deep snow on the ground with temperatures near zero and high winds to boot. We left The Cottage Christmas party at 5:00pm, and went to Carolyn's mom's to pick pick her up and take her to our house for gift openings. When I took her home about 8:30pm, I noticed a lot of flashing lights in downtown. Later I found that there had been a fire in an old hotel that was being let for efficiency apartments. Several disabled and old people were killed in the blaze. It made CNN news, and it showed the fire trucks and firefighters covered in layers of ice as they fought to save lives and buildings.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I brought the Escape home from Chris' yesterday afternoon late, and returned it to her this afternoon late. Her brother whom did the repair listened to his father-in-law whom told him they usually came filled with compressor oil when they were rebuilt. It didn't.

I am trying to convince Carolyn to give it all up and and we can walk away from this entire existence. I've been after her for years to escape, but there is no way she will leave them to fend for themselves.

It is myself mostly at whom I'm pissed.
This may be my last blog post for awhile; I just don't feel like it anymore ...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Beaver lodge on Wilbur Lake

I got the Escape back today. Maybe the world isn't such a bad place after all!
If anything else is happening in the world, it will have to wait until tomorrow for me to catch up.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Carolyn had to go to the bank today and I hitched a ride with her to get my shot.
My cousin is in hospital with an infection in his hip bone. He is a paraplegic from an auto accident two years ago. The doctors asked him if he will allow them to remove his leg if that is the only thing that will save his life and he told them he didn't want it taken.

His mom works for Carolyn, so she didn't get to come in tonight and Carolyn and she decided to wait to Sunday to do their buildings.
The Escape still isn't back, so I didn't have a way to the creek for my final bath of the year. It has been fairly warm today, but we've had some high winds and gusts knocking down trees. Carolyn probably would have driven down to Clark's Creek, but I don't want her to see me naked!
Here is a link to the latest installment of The Smoking Gun's mug shots of the week. Yes, at least one of the gentlemen on page one could pass as my twin brother. It is up to you to figure out which one he be.

Here is a link to the best of 2008 mugs.
If you wonder why I don't post an amazing photograph each day, it is due to not having a way to get out and about to make any. I know they are sorely missed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wet Drought

If your monitor is correctly adjusted, you
should be able to see 33 shades from pure
white to deep black
. Squinting isn't allowed,
so you may as well click on it to enlarge.

Enough already! When the drought breaks; it sure breaks big time. "I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when ..." is the way Johnny Cash said it about being in Folsom Prison, and several days without sunshine and no car to drive is much like a prison for me.
Our largest local employer—Eastman Chemicals—is planning on trimming its 2009 budget by $100M, and most of it will come through labor cutbacks, of course. One of the local plant's main products is material (cellulose acetate) for cigarette filters, and as they trim the payroll here, they are investing in a new plant in South Korea to manufacture the product. All this is for the long term benefit of local area employees. Oh, yeah!
It seems like no one is alarmed about bad economic news anymore. So much has gone down that I fear we are becoming numb to the consequences. If this major recession should slide into a "minor" depression, it will be many years before we are recovered instead of the many months that a recession will take. Meanwhile, Dubya and company—along with the fat-cats on the Hill that were defeated—are grabbing as much "loot" as possible before getting out of town. Think tanks and lobbying firms will be up to their asses with high profile employees and "consultants". What the hell is a "consultant" good for anyway? If ever there was a job title manufactured for a plain old adviser, it has to be that of "consultant". I believe it goes like this: "If you want my advice, it is free, but if you desire to consult with me, my fee is $20 each minute of my knowledgeable time you use; minimum is ten hours worth of my precious minutes. My free advice is for you to consult with me."

I don't even want to know what a "think tank" is!
Locally, eleven people are being charged for probing prostitutes, or something of that nature.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not much ...

Not much on the home front today. Chris' car part was delivered last evening, and the new computer arrived today. Carolyn's old machine that I built more than seven years ago finally bit the dust, figuratively and literally. The person whom was in charge of keeping it clean on the inside and claimed that he was doing so, didn't. The processor heat sink became clogged and the cpu burned out. It would have taken a new motherboard, cpu, memory modules, and video card to repair it. A new one of two year old technology cost almost less than the above parts would have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Money

A proud campfire girl

The Fed cut prime interest rate to .25% today. This is the rate that banks lend to each other. What does this mean for Joe and Jane America? Very little in the short run, and not much in the long run. By borrowing from one another, banks will be able to build large and elaborate facilities in an expensive game of one-up-man-ship. Bank CEO's will get larger bonuses via loans from one another. Just a Wall Street screwing for the taxpayer; because the big money is still not going to be turned loose into the economy until the economy stabilizes, and it must reach bottom before it has stability and can begin the de-recession.
Have you noticed how the big oil companies like BP, Exxon, and Chevron are all acting like they have been on the "Green Earth" wagon ever since green is the "in" thing? It is propaganda to get their corporate mitts on off-shore, Alaskan, and eventually Antartic oil leases. Another big time polluter—Waste Management—is in on the "green is good" act. Any lie is a good lie if it makes a company look like responsible caretakers of the very earth which they have raped and pillaged for so many decades. Tell me this, since the price of gasoline has fallen so dramatically in the past few months, have you thought as much about alternative fuels as you did when it was $4/gal?
We have two deer visiting our backyard each evening and night. Looks to be a doe and a nearly mature fawn. They are apparently bedding in a thicket just behind our house. Carolyn is now sharing my apples with them.
Chris' a/c compressor is supposed to arrive today; finally! If I have the Escape back by Thursday evening, it will be off to the creek with me and off with my duds for the last bath of 2008, and probably the last until spring. The temps are forecast to be near 70 degrees on that day, but rainy. Maybe I will wait until after dark and just take my clothes off in the back yard and scrub real good in the rain. Probably go to the woods, though; I like to get naked and frolic about amongst the trees.

Monday, December 15, 2008



A story in the local rag tells of a family struggling at Christmas. A single mother of eight children and one grandchild is disabled due to Crohn's disease which was diagnosed 14 years ago.

This brings up some questions in my Grinch-like and bah-humbug soul. Why does a woman in this modern day have eight children? Birth control methods and abstinence still exist don't they? Well, abstinence probably is way out dated (except in my case; I'm married), but the pill is still widely available last I heard. Why did she keep having kids for ten years after being diagnosed with this debilitating and sometimes deadly disease? Where is the father of these children, or their individual fathers? The oldest child is 18 and one of the older children is either the father or mother of this woman's grandchild. Where is the father or mother of this little one? The article is about the newspaper's Christmas box for needy families, and I can't imagine anyone needing help more than do these small children. The mothers—or father—are a different story, but one cannot help the kids without aiding the parents. My thoughts are this: Ladies and gentlemen, if you have no intention of properly caring for the welfare of any kids that you may ever have, then don't have them. Simple!

There are mothers and fathers struggling whom have fought the good fight and tried to provide a decent home for their families, yet many of them will fall through the cracks of generosity and not get the help they need and deserve. I see too many of these situations each day, and the welfare system is straining every American taxpayer and our charitable morality, and it only gets worse.

I believe these "hit and run" fathers should be castrated and made to support their children or face time on a chain-gang. I also believe these prolific mothers should be sterilized after their third unwed welfare child is born.
As you may imagine from reading the above, I did not sleep well last night. While lying awake pondering this and other weighty issues, I began wondering what I would need for regular sleep like normal people say they get. One thing I do love is a pitch-dark bedroom. No light of any kind! Even though I have normal human anxieties (fears) about being in complete darkness, it is not bothersome in the safety and comfort of my home bedroom. Another thing I want is complete quiet in the room. The normal night sounds of of nature filtering in are ok, but any sound inside the house is sure to either waken me or keep me from going to sleep. Snoring and farting are two problems I haven't been able to control. Another thing I desire is adequate ventilation in the room. I detest stale air and the ambiance of the above mentioned flatulence.

If you want to sleep with me, you must not have any phobias concerning darkness, you should love peace and quiet, and you should get used to feeling your way. In my dark bed, their will be lots and lots of feeling.

Saturday, December 13, 2008 ... NOT!!!

Buffalo Mt. in ice

Carolyn is working, and I'm alone; well I was alone until my granddaughter came by to use the laundry stuff. Carolyn is cleaning a house, and I don't know how long she will be away today. She didn't finish all her buildings last evening, and she must go out tomorrow to wind up the week. That puts any photo session in peril, as I am still carless. I am bored out my ass!
Speaking of no ride, yesterday I emailed about the part for Chris' car, but they didn't bother to respond. Carolyn phoned them yesterday afternoon, and they promised to email us by 5:00pm PST and let us know the FedEx tracking number. They said they would knock off the two-day shipping premium we paid for, but as of this morning, we have heard nothing from them! I checked their website, and the order is still being "processed" six days after it was placed and charged to Carolyn's credit card! Stay away from doing business with this sorry outfit.
I read where Hugh Jackman has been selected by People Magazine as the sexiest man alive and he will host the 81st edition of the bestowing of the Oscar awards on the gods and goddesses of cinema. How can the magazine say he is sexiest when they didn't allow me to make a case for myself? The readers of that gossip publication have been mislead and if groupies purchased the issue just to see the sexiest man, they were ripped off!
Tara Reid, the star of the movie American Pie, has checked into a clinic. Maybe her tits were becoming too floppy and need rehabilitation.
Obama promised to change the way business is being done in Washington, and it is bearing fruit. His inauguration committee is selling four tickets to his swearing in ceremony, parade, and a few more perks for $50K. Bush charged $250K for his shindigs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Domestic bliss

Blogging from ScribeFire.
Looks like it is going to be a sad Christmas for domestic automakers because Congress has rejected the bailout they say they need to stay afloat. The United Auto Workers (UAW) are refusing to make the huge concessions that Congress wants. I have mixed feelings about this in that I am very much pro-union, but still feel the UAW has to give up some long fought for benefits, including wages. This big "screw you" from our elected leaders to the auto industry is not a pretty thing in that Congress is one of the most over-paid and and over-benefited jobs on the face of the earth. By not making concessions, the UAW may be committing suicide.

The companies are now hoping Bush will take some of the money from the Wall Street giveaway and help them keep some manufacturing jobs in America. Good luck with that! If Bush were to do so, it would be the first wise thing he has done while in federal office. George the Savior! Makes tears come to my eyes ...

Ford says they can hang on for a while, but General Motors and Chrysler say they can't. If GM and Chrysler fails, Ford most likely will also because they use a lot of the same parts suppliers and vendors, and these smaller companies will be facing their own bankruptcy if they lose big contracts.

This can be fixed! Some people are going to have to be a bit less greedy, but that in itself will be difficult. Ever since the early 1980's when Reagonomics taught us that greed is good, people don't know how to sacrifice.
Our rain event was supposed to turn into a 3" snow event by this morning, but as I write this at 7:30am, there is no snow and the sky looks partly clear. Sunday is supposed to be a decent day weather-wise, so I may be able to get out for some shooting. Damn; I miss the Escape.
Today is another shot day. I will hitch a ride with Carolyn when she goes to Sam's Club. At least I can get away from home for a little while. Tomorrow Carolyn has to clean a rental house for a guy she knows, so I will be stuck here all day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ScribeFire and AutoPartsWarehouse

Rare rain event

I am trying a new blogging tool called ScribeFire that runs inside my Firefox browser. Actually I've tried it before, but it had too many issues to be effective.They released a bug fix today, but at least one remains; I am supposed to be able to load images from the computer to the browser by selecting a file, but I am having to drag and drop to the browser and i don't know if it will post the picture. If this entry is all screwed up, you have my apologies. If it does work, blogging will be a lot easier.
Man, are we ever getting some much needed rain! They've even had flood watches and warnings out for most of the day. If at all possible, I will persuade Carolyn to drive me to Wilbur come Sunday and see if the little waterfall is finally running full blast. Last time we were there, it was spouting some water toward the lake, but not much. This past summer it has been mostly dry.
The part for Chris' car is still not here. I am getting all kinds of emails from them asking me to buy more stuff, but not a peep as to when they will be done "processing" and shipping the a/c compressor. I am getting pissed! The name of the place is, and I advise anyone thinking of buying from them to look elsewhere.
Bank of America is cutting 35,000 jobs over the next three years. This is Carolyn's business bank, and no matter how busy the drive-up window is or how many are using the auto-teller, there is still only one person inside to wait on automobile customers. They probably think everyone is going to place deposits in the ATM, but they are sadly mistaken. This is the same bank that "helped" the Fed bailout Wall Street by buying one of the sorry investment companies, then receiving giveaway money themselves.
Well, here goes; I will attempt to publish this turkey from ScribeFire.

It would not upload the photo; I had to upload as a draft, and then add the photo. ScribeFire is not ready for prime time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hillbilly art

If the human race disappeared from this universe, and if there is only one thing that we have created left to allow whomever or whatever finds our remnants in some future millennium know that we existed, I hope it would be our art. We have defined and defiled our world, and our art reflects our successes and our failures, our greed and our charity, our joys and our tragedies, our hate and our love. The good and the bad and the ugly, the pretty and the petty, the mundane and everyday existences are all chiseled, molded, cast, painted, drawn, written, inscribed, and photographed, and should be secured so that in case of any human terminating event, mankind won't be completely eliminated from the Cosmic memory. Maybe these relics will be seen and understood; maybe we don't even deserve that.
Still haven't heard from the heart doc. I checked with the local funeral parlors to see if they have received any inquiries from him about me, but none had. Que sera sera!
The part for Chris' car still isn't here. Looks like when one pays for two day shipping, he should expect two day shipping. The vendor's website says the order is still being "processed". They surely don't want repeat business.
I see where people are stealing Christmas scenes and ornamentals from private lawns at an "alarming" rate. All I can say to these robbers is, folks, if you are going to risk jail time for theft, why don't you steal something useful that can be sold year-round? A woman in Texas had a $500 Jesus stolen from her lawn. Is a $500 Jesus worth more than a $1.99 Jesus when it comes to going to heaven? Would she have reported a $10 Jesus as being stolen? Christians (she is Catholic) have put a price on their most sacred holiday, even when the bible plainly teaches that communion each Sunday is the only required Christian observance. The bible teaches us to honor the sacrifice of death that Jesus made, but does not mention any special thing should be done to celebrate His birthday. Teachings, death, and resurrection are all a Christian need know of Jesus; the rest, including Easter, is fluff written on the wind.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

O joyous day! We were able to squeeze enough piggy banks—along with some borrowing—to get sufficient money to order the a/c compressor for Chris' car. By buying online, we saved nearly $80 over local prices. There were none to be found in area junkyards, so we wound up paying $300 for the rebuilt Hyundai part, which is actually made by Ford.

We still must find a way to get the car transported to Jerry's so he can do the installation. Then the compressor will have to be charged—at least with oil—before it is ready for her to drive. Hopefully I will have the Escape back in a week or so.
The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, sure has—or did have—a big set of balls, trying to sell the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. The Richard Daley legacy lives on!

The jerk governor knew he was already under investigation by state and federal agencies for suspicion of corruption. Greed and stupidity know no party lines.
Haven't heard anything about yesterday's heart echo test. Not hearing is probably good news in itself.
Is it Spring yet?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Small orb weaver

I hope I have all this doctoring out of the way for a long while. Had the heart echo done this day, but haven't learned the results.
Chris doesn't have her car repaired, therefore I remain grounded ... she still has the Escape.
I see that some economists think we may be headed for a full blown depression. We are eight months into the recession, and it is still worsening. A couple months back, I predicted we were looking at a highly depressed economy if nothing was done, and all that has been accomplished so far is Bush getting his way with the Wall Street giveaway that helped no one except his buddies.
If the Iraq war ended this moment and not another penny was sent over there, the monetary cost to America will not be repaid in by the year 2050. The price of needless human misery and sacrifice can never be repaid.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008


Ever get your nut cracked and shoved in a knothole?

Went to my MD for my semi-annual checkup. Like the heart doc and RA doc, she is astounded by my health and that I'm in as good as shape as I seem to be. Actually, this is quite worrisome for me; I think as old as I am, there should be something wrong. I feel like a ticking time bomb! Another thing; we oldsters like to gripe about our health and I can no longer do that except for the RA which seems to be under control at this time.

Monday I am scheduled for a heart ultrasound which should give me final clearance for the ol' pump. It had damn sure better as I am completely burned out on seeing doctors and having tests for this year. I dearly appreciate every doctor, nurse, and medical worker that helped me along, but I feel we need a break from one another.
Alice, you may be pleased to know that I can still dance just like I did in the old days. I was warned by the tv weatherman last evening that there would probably be black ice this morning, but didn't recall it until I stepped onto the back porch. I cut a mighty fine jig for the neighbors before finally catching myself on the railing which was eight feet away! I was so pleased with myself that I did it all again going down the steps! Busted my ass I did!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The true meaning of Christmas

This is a re-post from last year:
We treat it (Christmas) like having one-night-stand sex; slam, bam, thanky ma'm and it's over 'til next year. Flirting begins in September, then by Halloween we're booking a cheap motel room, and at Thanksgiving we are naked and in bed. Now comes the good part; a whole month of foreplay, followed by twenty-four hours of unbelieveable intercourse, climaxing in an orgasm of give and take; grunts, groans, and screams of delight ... and it is over. But wait; O my God! The sleazy encounter has resulted in us having caught a transmittable disease; in-debt-up-to-our-ass-itis! We didn't practice safe holiday. We reached into our pants and whipped out our well endowed credit card and stuck it in every slot available, even allowing strangers to handle it. For the next nine months we curse, threaten, promise, and pull our hair and swear "Never again"! September rolls around once more, and though we haven't paid our full price for the previous year's dalliance and indulgence, we begin anew.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ford has introduced a new car model in Europe that gets 65 mi/gal, according to company hype. As you may imagine, it is a very small car and would be great for short commutes and such, even in the SUV plagued United States. It meets US emission specs, but it won't be sold here ...; it is diesel powered.

A few years back, the oil companies jumped on the environmentalist's band wagon and "convinced" their Congressional puppets to levy a huge tax on diesel fuel. Big oil's and environmental lobbyists were "concerned" about the pollution of diesel engines, which was a problem at the time. Since then, technology has caught up with the difficulty and bad emissions have been reduced many fold.

The real reason behind the big oil concern is profit. It costs much more to refine gasoline than it does diesel fuel, therefore they place a larger at-the-pump profit on gas. As long as the diesel tax is inflated, the oil companies can publicly blame the government for something they endorse in private. They not only endorse it, but also enforce it through huge "donations" to politicians. This is unlikely to change with the new Congress or administration.

If you want it to change, you personally must contact your Congressional representative and your Senator and let them know that enough is enough! I did so.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Watauga Flats

I am car-less. Chris' car broke down, and she nor we have the $$ to get it repaired, so she is using our Escape. To say the truth, I don't see her ever getting it fixed, so I just may be out of a ride. Seems like our kids and grand kids get a hold of something of ours, and then take up squatters rights on it. What the hell; only place I have to go is to get a shot once a week. I should be able to cop a ride for that.
I like the new 50mm camera lens. I took it to Elizabethton and tried a couple shots there, and they turned out very well. (The above photo isn't one of them.) It is very light weight, and has no major distracting habits.
If God is a traffic cop and does this, just think what old Scratch could do! Wonderful religious witnessing!

As a Pastafarian, I can attest that we of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) do not condone such action by followers of our one and true religion. Ramen!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Watauga Flats home

Wonder why it is that deaths come in threes? I've noticed for years that when someone I know passes, two more family members, friends, or acquaintances will die soon after. Last weekend, one of Carolyn's employees' mom died, them a cousin I've known all my life died, and now the brother of an old neighbor has died. Don't always happen like that, but enough so to be unsettling.
Another Christian holiday is off to a good start. A fatal shooting resulted in a fight over a toy at a Toys "R" Us store in California. In New York, a Wal-Mart temp worker was trampled to death by shoppers lunging into the store as he opend the doors for business yesterday morning. Yep; that good ol' boy preacher is right by suing to make Christmas a holiday for Christians only.
The preacher that helped Congress to decide that the words "under God" just had to be added to the US pledge of alliegence has died, according to the Associated Press. I wasn't taught to say those words when reciting the pledge in school, and I still will not do so; it is not the way it was written or intended. Good riddance, Rev. George M. Docherty! By the way, doesn't the Christian bible say to call no man "reverend"? If so, there are a lot of "no mans" out there.

Keep religion out of government and keep government out of religion!
Thanksgiving was lousy, as are many of our family get-togethers. Someone has to start an argument every year. Carolyn has now sworn off preparing dinners for Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter form now on, and I don't blame her one iota! I've always looked forward to the feasts, but I would much rather have a peaceful peanut butter sandwich.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shetland pony or Steppes pony?

Good news: Carolyn had the low bid on the medical building job.
Bad news: They informed her that her bid was too low; they had given her wrong information on the building size. It is about one-third larger than they originally told her. She must now rebid.
Friday shot day came on Wednesday this week because of Thanksgiving.
Not much going on today, so I'll shut up by wishing everyone whom celebrates Thanksgiving tomorrow a safe and happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We sent in the bid for the medical building. It was too low for my comfort zone, but was probably too high to get the job. Should know tomorrow!
I just read that the space station urine recycle unit may be fixed. I'll drink to that.
From the New York Times:

The police in Kandahar have arrested 10 Taliban militants they said were involved in an attack earlier this month on a group of Afghan schoolgirls whose faces were doused with acid, officials in Kandahar said Tuesday. The officials said that the militants, who were Afghan citizens, had confessed to their involvement in the attack on the schoolgirls and their teachers on Nov. 12 and that a high-ranking member of the Taliban had paid the militants 100,000 Pakistani rupees for each of the girls they managed to burn. The girls were assaulted Nov. 12 by two men on a motorcycle who were apparently irate that the girls dared to attend high school. The men drove up beside them and splashed their faces with what appeared to be battery acid.

Why are we there fighting and dieing there if we have no intention of helping bring these barbaric people into the 21st Century?
If Obama continues to choose Clinton people to surround him in the White House, I wonder what position Monica Lewinsky will fill? Got any ideas?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watauga Flats

Yesterday afternoon was mild and pleasant, and Carolyn had to check one of her buildings in Piney Flats. Being she was driving the van (I have her convinced I can't drive it because of the arthritis) I grabbed my Pentax and tagged along, riding shotgun. I made several photos, most without getting out of the van. It sits up high, and it is easier to shoot over obstacles.
Went to heart doc today to make up for last Monday. He finally took me off the rat poison (blood thinner) and now I'm on a daily aspirin. Have to go for for an echo test next month; a precautionary thing. Everything checked normal on today's visit.
Carolyn went out this morning to check at a building that is looking for cleaning bids. It is a three-story—plus basement—medical complex belonging to ETSU's med school. She placed a bid on one floor back in February, but was under bid. The people who did get the job didn't work out, so now Carolyn is asked to rebid for all four floors consisting of 40k square feet total. I'm helping her with the bid and keeping my fingers crossed.

She wore her brand new coat for the first time; the one I got her for Christmas ... in 2000! No wonder I hate that particular holiday.
Jerry said he was going back to work today, bad back and all. It's bad when folks can't afford to take time to recover from injury or illness.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Covered bridge detail

Another day with not much accomplished. We rode around a little, and visited our parents graves at two different cemeteries. No worthwhile photos made. At my age, I don't dare tarry long at such places.

When we got home, Carolyn made a pot of chili. Other than tomatoes which I dislike in chili, it seems to be pretty good.
All those mild winters we had over the past eight years look very good in retrospect compared to what we are enduring now. This is my first winter on blood thinner and I'm colder than ever, even on a low dose of the stuff.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another shot Friday. Noticed gasoline is $1.78/gal. for regular. I wonder why W isn't taking credit for this big drop in oil prices? No, I don't really wonder about that!
We had snow showers last night and today, but the sky seems to be clearing from the west. Supposed to get down to -8C tonight. My friend from Alberta, Canada says she still has roses blooming. I can't understand why folks that live so close to the Arctic circle have better winter weather than do we so called southerners. No wonder I didn't do well in school; I maintain a state of confusion bordering on desperation!

Some things I don't like about winter:
  • No matter how many clothes I put on, I am never completely warm when I go outside
  • Elderly drivers slow down even more in winter
  • My suntan fades completely except for my left arm
  • Christmas
  • February
  • Not enough daylight hours
  • No wildflowers
  • Colds and flu
  • People whom drive four-wheel drive vehicles on slick roads seem to think they will stop quicker than two-wheel drive cars
  • I can't get a decent bath until the spring thaw
What I like about winter:
  • What would spring be without it?
I saw in the local rag that our large metropolitan airport now has non-stop flights to Tampa. Didn't say if any of them ever come back. Tough titties, Mark; you may have to keep them.
Obama promised to put the best people in his cabinet, and I see where one of the best is a wealthy contributor from Chicago and a man instrumental in buying him the election. Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doe River

I've just decided I am too old to care what happens with our auto manufacturers, our banks, and our economy. We oldsters got you youngsters into this mess, now get yourselves out of it or leave it for the even younger to worry about. Phooey!
If the human race disappeared from this universe, and if there is only one thing that we have created left to let whomever or whatever finds our remnants in some future millennium know that we existed, I hope it would be our art. We have defined and defiled our world, and our art reflects our successes and our failures, our greed and our charity, our joys and our tragedies, our hate and our love. The good and the bad, the ugly, the pretty, the mundane and everyday existences are all chiseled, molded, cast, painted, drawn, written, inscribed, and photographed, and all should be secured so that in case of any human terminating event, mankind won't be completely eliminated from the Cosmic memory. Maybe these relics will be seen and understood; maybe we don't even deserve that.
I'm hoping to go to Fort Watauga this weekend for a reenactment of an Early American Thanksgiving. Not to partake or participate, but to shoot a few photos.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Screwing ourselves

America's new owners ...

Not entirely true, but Communist China will be the majority shareholder ... OPEC shall have the remainder. There is a very good possibility this will happen if we allow Communist China to intervene and bailout American auto companies by purchasing them.

Let's look at this. We see a lot of advertisement for a company called HSBC, which is not only the largest bank in the world, but also the largest company in the world. They are the largest consumer lender in the United States and Canada, so there is a good chance they own a piece of you if you are in debt. You are definitely in debt if you pay taxes to the US government, because HSBC is providing most of the money for the Wall Street giveaway that we taxpayers must pay back! What exactly do the initials HSBC stand for? How about The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation! Where are Hongkong and Shanghai located? In Communist China of course!

The Republicans used scare tactics to get George W. Bush elected in 2004, even though the fears were unfounded. Folks, if you are going to fear, now is the time. This selling of America to Communist China is happening, and it will continue to happen if we allow it. Americans must bailout the car makers. Canadians too must help. Last I heard, there are automobile production and auto parts production factories in Canada, so you good folks need to be heard by your government. The hell of it is, we all have to borrow from foreign nations to be able to do this. The price of democracy is expensive, especially when we must pay tribute money to insure its existence. That is what an unfair and unbalanced "free market" economy has given us.

Don't think for a moment that domestic auto makers are the the only ones in dire straights. I read yesterday that Japan's Toyota is petitioning the English Parliament for bailout funding.

Actually, anyway we go appears to weaken us and strengthen Communist China, but we cannot allow our last, great industries—the very ones that have defined the American dream for a full century—fail or be owned by a Communist government! We can borrow from them and promise to pay them back, but that doesn't mean we have to pay what they want and when they want it!

North America isn't going to get many more wake up calls; the dead—whether it be people or nations—cannot be reanimated!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cold day for American autos ...

I feel some better, and JoJo was able to get into and sleep in his bed last night.
I have to put my two cents worth in on this auto industry bailout. First, I am a union man! Always have been and always will be. The only non-American made car I've ever owned was a Dodge mini-van that was assembled in Canada, and I personally consider Canada as not being very foreign, per se. Every thing else has been Detroit iron, so to speak. Yes, I know modern American made cars have foreign parts installed and the 1987 Dodge van had a Mitsubishi engine/transmission. The Ford Escape that I now drive has a Mazda engine. The unions say they will not give more concessions to the people whom employ them. I say we all must give concessions to get this mess straightened out. Congressional Republicans would have us believe it is all the auto industry's fault that they have become needy. I agree that they are partially to blame; but the biggest problem has been the Clinton/Bush free trade policies, and the Bush unwillingness to say "no" to big business, whether it be domestic or foreign.

Don't get me wrong, I think free trade is the best way to go; if it is also fair trade. NAFTA has worked fairly well with Canada and the US, because neither one can afford to screw the other. Our economies are too closely linked for us to try to beat them or them to beat us. Mostly! Mexico is a different proposition. They being a "poor" country has caused the US to forgive any big trade discrepancies.

Free world trade has never worked, and it cannot work as long as major foreign industries are partially owned and/or funded by the governments of their respective nations. Take France's Airbus for example. It has huge government money involved, and it is liable to put American civilian air industries such as Boeing out of business. Yet the French accuse Americans of being unfair because of our farm subsidies, which they also have but somewhat disguise them. I don't even want to start on Communist China at this point.

As for our "Big Three", they should get government loans, even if the interest rate starts at zero but adjusted for inflation. Whatever the inflation rate for the year is what the interest rate will be. That will give them incentive to keep auto prices and economic inflation as low as possible on all makes and models, and not make us buy a package of stuff we don't want just to get a feature we desire. In these East Tennessee hills, we don't particularly need cruise controls for commute driving because it is aggravating to use on the hills. It is constantly dropping in and out of overdrive and converter lock-up, or hitting a passing gear to go up a hill. I can understand where they would be handy in places like Florida or Iowa that have straight and mostly flat roads. I don't want to buy it just to get power windows and door locks. Power windows for an arthritic hippie are the handiest thing ever put on a car.

Chrysler was once before loaned bailout money and New York City was loaned bailout money. I know times have changed, but I want to know that some day America will again be great, and to do that, it must become self-sufficient. Vital manufacturing is a good place to begin our road to recovery.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today has been one to remember.
Not because is it unusually cold, but my eldest son's back locked up on him with muscle spasms. It did it yesterday afternoon, and he couldn't even get back into his house. He had to sit on the porch in the cold till his wife missed him. He had to crawl into the house where he ended up sleeping on the floor last evening because he could not stand up. We all begged him to call an ambulance and get to hospital, but he refused until nearly noon today, when he realized he was in deep trouble. They finally convinced him to let them call an ambulance, and when those guys got there, they couldn't get him up on the stretcher, so he had to crawl back outside and enough of them were able to get him in the ambulance and transport him. They did a cat-scan which was negative, and came to the conclusiuon his muscles were knotted, gave him a few pills and sent him home. He couldn't get out of the car when he got home, and my youngest is on his way down there to try and help him.
Needless to say, I canceled my doc's appointment.
Now I have a case of nausea; nerves, I suppose.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter Lament

Veterans monument; Elizabethton, Tennessee

Looks like spring shall be here faster than I expected. I went to bed last evening and it was November, but when I awoke this morning it was January. At least it is what the weather change felt like. Sadly, I would have missed the Thanksgiving feast, but gladly I would have skipped Christmas. The temp is supposed to go to about 43F (6.1C) today, but it won't make it much past 35F (1.6C). The wind is moving along at a nice clip, and of course that is the killer-chiller.
I tried to make some pics in and around the covered bridge in Elizabethton, but my hands got so cold I was nearly helpless. Can't wear gloves due to crooked fingers, so Carolyn is threatening to make me wear socks on my hands. I already look enough of a dofus!

I want to go back there at night and get some shots around the bridge, park, and Doe River.
It is easy to see where a big hunk of the Wall Street giveaway money is going; Congressional Republicans are pocketing it. They know that if any of it is used to help auto makers, there will be less kick backs for them. For Christ's sake, do what is necessary to save the little dab of industry we have left. Then spend some big bucks to get more of it back from communist China! Hell, borrow the money from China to fight that same country tooth and nail for manufacturing industries. Getting this country back as a manufacturer instead as just a consumer is imperative.
People seem still to be awe-struck at Barack H. Obama being elected president. Four the past four years, I have been awestruck that George W. Bush got elected president. It is mind boggling to know the American people did such as unwise thing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Red Oak

It is sad to hear of the uncontrolled fires burning in and around Los Angeles, especially the one that wiped out the mobile home park and making a lot of retirees homeless. I imagine the news will deal more with the multi-million dollar estates of the Hollywood types.
My Flickr account's language somehow got changed to German last evening. There is a language selector on each page, and mine was set to English. It took a while of switching between options to get it back.
Mark has some timely advice for us and the auto industry on his blog. Give it a read.
The weather is cool and blustery today, with rain and snow showers forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Goodbye autumn ... hello winter ... come on, Spring!
Not much going on today so I shall shut up!

Friday, November 14, 2008


The air is cooly mild, with a family of fog slipping in and out of the neighborhood. Typical November, and another day closer to spring paradise.
I must now get ready to go for some blood work. I may or may not get my shot while I'm out, or I may go back later today. I'm pretty well burned out with being stuck.
Complete dementia! I got the blood work done, but forgot to get my shot! I also left the Escape unlocked and my dslr lying on the front seat! Now I have to go back and get the shot! If you hear no more from me, it shall mean I have forgotten how to get home and am endlessly wandering the streets! Criminy!
The price of gasoline has fallen to $1.98 here. It will most likely increase during the holidays, so enjoy it while you can. All this isn't due to supply and demand as the oil companies want us to believe. They fear a day of reckoning is coming with a backlash from distressed motorists. They also fear the new Democratic government. I don't think the Saudi oil sheiks will own Obama as they did the Bush boys.
Well, I finally got my shot. I'm glad I live only a few minutes from all my doctors offices, speaking of which I have an appointment with the heart doctor Monday for a regular checkup. It will be amazing if I don't forget it, even with the computer reminding me!
I really am losing it. I pay most of our bills online, and this month I selected them to pay on my bank's site, but forgot to click on submit! All of a sudden I am very popular with the people whom I thought were paid.
It is 18:20 EST, and I have just looked at some new economic figures. I now fear we are headed for a full blown depression. All the indicators are not only falling, they are falling very fast; too fast. I believe that the only way out is a lot of job creation over the next five years, and the government will have to shoulder the burden of getting it started and maintaining its momentum. If our leaders act responsibly for a change, the world will have to follow. I hope I am wrong about the recession becoming a depression, but after all, it is a matter of semantics more than a matter of money.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Walk this way ...

Today is a bit rainy, with some mist. Instead of floating gently to the earth, leaves are falling with disquieting thunk! April is another day closer!
I know very little about churches. A while back, Carolyn was asked to look at one for cleaning. It is a very large church on a very large parcel of prime real estate. It is so big that they have four full-time people cleaning it, and three more part-time to help out on weekends. It has to be cleaned seven days a week. It is so big that they have two Sunday morning services for about 700 regular attendees. This is in a town of 55k population. They are in the middle of a major expansion which is supposed to double the size of the facility. As far as I know, it is non-denominational.

What I want to know is this: How did it get so big in less than twenty years of existence? It has lovely facilities that have obviously been decorated by professionals. So do other churches around the area. All this elaboration in the name of God and for celebrating His Glory! Tax them to the brink of hell, and a lot of this country's problems will be solved. I believe in tax exempt organizations like churches and charities, but I believe their overblown monuments to themselves should be taxed at fifty percent. These places steal from the poor, they steal from their members, they steal from the government, and they steal form tax payers. Worst of all, they steal from the very God they pretend to worship. This is just religious humanism and worshiping a false god—money—and hiding it behind the First Amendment!
Well, I've been drafted to start the auto oven cleaner. How hard can that be ...?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nothing Important ...

Red Maple

The weather is supposed to be plenty Novemberish for the week's remainder, with rain each day and maybe snow showers Saturday night. Today is overcast, threatening, and beautiful; it is another day closer to SPRING! If anyone in the USA (or Canada) needs rain more than do we in East Tennessee, they are in very deep doo-doo!
Carolyn is making her weekly journey to the hairdresser this morning. This time she will have color put on her hair and a bit of trim work done. I wonder what she looks like gray haired ...?

She will go from there to Lowe's for bird food, suet blocks, furnace filters, and vacuum cleaner electrical repair parts and bags. We may get hungry, but the critters will eat. Rightfully so!
I must agree with Robert Reich's blog of 11/11/08 concerning the giveaway to Wall Street; it would be much better for the American taxpayer if firms like AIG and the "banks" were to file for bankruptcy protection instead of leeching from us. Mr. Reich is an adviser for Mr. Obama and was so at the time of the bailout vote that the president-elect embraced. Either this advice wasn't given then, or wasn't heeded. I feel it is the latter, due to the fact that large corporations do, did, and will continue to own elected American government officials. As I could not forgive Hillary Clinton for her Iraq war vote, I cannot forgive Barack Obama for this particular bit of incompetence.
We had pinto beans and fried taters with onions for supper last evening. I like simple food like that better than anything. It was what I was raised on and may end up killing me, but I hope to go with a belly full of it. Another good thing; I don't have to pretend to know what kind of wine to have with it. I usually have a caffeine free diet Pepsi with my meals or just plain flltered water.

For you out of staters, in Tennessee you can't buy table wine in a grocery store. You have to go to a liquor store and tote it out in a brown poke. 'Tain't no wonder we is Republicans! We still has to sneak around to sin.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

January 09, 1945
Battle of the Bulge

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wilbur Lake

We ventured out for a while yesterday and drove back to Wilbur, but still very few ducks, especially Buffleheads, were on the water. There were several Canada Geese, and a few Mallards within camera range, but the Buffleheads kept to the far side of the lake. I was able to watch them dive for insects, and they stayed underwater for about 10 seconds. We spotted a couple of Great Blue Herons, but they were too far away for successful shots.

I didn't have enough sense to wear a jacket or sweater, so my shooting time along the lake was limited by cold wind coming up the valley.
Carolyn made the spaghetti that I mentioned yesterday. One small incident kept it from becoming a delicious meal, but still left it as a memorable repast. She put the French bread in the oven, went down stairs for something, and forgot about the loaves. French bread burns with the same color flames as does dry wood!
Yesterday was one of those times where nothing goes right. At least I don't have to spend the day editing a bunch of photos.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shadow; Appy trail marker; dog turd

Cloudy this morning. The air is cool and the remaining tree leaves seem to be limply hanging on, waiting for their fateful fall to the comforting breast of Mother Earth. Very little of the bright colors are left in the larger trees, although some smaller types such as dogwood and some shrubs are still showing various shades of red. The yellows have quickly and quitely turned brown.
Carolyn is threatening to make spaghetti for super today. Hope so. She has decided to do pot roast again this year for Thanksgiving. We don't feed as much family as once we did, and simple food is always best.

I'm not really dreading the Holiday season this year as much as I did the last one. In years past. I allowed the simple life to become too complicated and it became extremely depressing. As for Christmas, I am not religious and have no reason to celebrate the 25th day of December. Instead, I have a personal celebration on the day of winter solstice, which is December 21 this year. To me, it marks the beginning of more daylight as we move toward spring. I also mark the Earth's closet approach to the sun which will be on January 4, 2009. On that day, about 7% more sunlight covers the earth than in our summer time. Every little bit helps in our dead of winter!
The Tennessee Vol football team has reached its lowest point that I can remember in my life time. They had some bad seasons in the early 60's, but back then they didn't have a lot of talent, and they always fought to win. Now, the field is covered with good-to-great players with a tremendous propensity for under achievement! I've seen this day coming since the season after the National championship of 1998. There must be discipline on sports teams, both physically and mentally and from players and coaches. It isn't good to see the head coach and his assistant head coach bumbling around the field with huge pot bellies.
Today is the 16th anniversary of Carolyn starting her own business.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Alice; this is our old camping
spot on Clark's Creek

Today is sunny, cool and breezy; the way mid-autumn should be, with musky scents of wet and decaying leaves flavoring the air. I just about have my fall photo shooting wrapped up. All the colorful photos I've placed on Flickr and this blog may seem like a lot of overkill, but I say get 'em while I can. I've seen so many autumns so less colorful than this one, and I'm not getting younger as the seasons roll by.

I usually go out on Saturday or Sunday to find stuff to shoot at, but I have nothing planned for this weekend. Whom knows, though?
A lot of the people I know around here are down with the flu. Carolyn had a mild case for several days, but others are being ravaged by it. Sadly, most of them don't have medical insurance and cannot afford to see a doctor. This includes old, young, employed and unemployed. Carolyn has only hospital insurance. Flu shots should be available and free of charge to those US citizens that do not have insurance coverage to pay for them. There has to be more come from paying taxes than just starting and fighting wars.

If Obama's first care is the economy, his second should be some kind of universal (socialist) health care for middle-class America. The poor are already covered by Medicaid and charities, and the rich can afford to help themselves. If you are unemployed or under employed like so many are these days, and if you are a disabled or retired person not yet eligible or able to afford Medicare, you are just out of luck. Non-profit hospitals usually won't turn you away, but if you can't pay your bill, they will take your checking account, your car, and even your home! And don't even think about going to see a doctor without having insurance coverage. Some may see you once, but if payment isn't quickly forthcoming, you will have to go elsewhere or suffer and die. This is what Republicans and lobbyists have brought America.

All I can say is, don't get sick or injured. There are cracks in the system that people whom think they have good insurance coverage are going to fall through.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Poison ivy and burning bush

Another shot day shot. Haven't slept well of late, and seasonal allergies have my eyes looking like a sore-eyed cat. I am nodding off as I try to write this.
The sky has become completely overcast in the last hour, and maybe we will get a bit of rain. How dry is it here? When I was at Clark's Creek yesterday, a steady stream of crawdads had their bags packed and were sidling toward the 'Chucky river. As dry as it is, one carelessly tossed cigarette can cause widespread hell. To top that, I'm sure some idiot hillbilly or set of same will start a few forest and brush fires in the next week or so. All that depends on rain and plenty of it to keep destruction to a minimum.
On local tv news a day or so ago, they showed a woman thet clipped coupons for grocery buying purposes. She said that she waited for stores to have sales, discounts, and two-fors before shopping. They showed her in a Kroger store buying stuff that came to well over $200, but after checking out with her coupons, the goods totaled just more than $80. She had a large notebook stuffed with the coupons, but they were all neatly arranged in some system so that she could easily retrieve team. From the looks of what she had, and the way she said she goes about couponing, she surely does not work outside her home, and she must spend nearly every waking hour collecting and clipping the little papers from internet downloads, newspapers, and magazines. It is good to be thrifty, but lady, you need to get a life!
I was trying to set the clock on the Escape radio for standard time today, when I accidentally tuned in my old buddy Rush Limbaugh. He was in a self righteous tizzy. One minute he was cutting the incoming administration, and then slamming the liberal idots that voted for Obama. Then he started cutting the present administration, then John McCain, and then Sarah Palin! Well, he has me convinced that on January 20th or shortly thereafter, the world will come to an end. Rush will rise into the clouds and sit beside God on his Heavenly throne, where They will cast crackpot liberals to hell and They will applaud as the fools burn forever!
I'm actually having much fun watching the Republican Party systematically destroy itself. Poor old Sara Palin. She may not be the brightest star in the political galaxy, but I hope she comes back in four years and kicks some conservative ass for them treating her like they are doing. They are blaming her for everything from losing the election to serving grits with hash-browns! Most of the trash talk seems to be coming from John McCain's staff. Looking at the results of this election, there is no way McCain could have won. It didn't matter to the outcome whom was his choice for vice-president. Sure, she cost the ticket a lot of votes, but not enough to lose them the presidency. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did that!

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