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!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Turkey tails on a log

We drove to Clark's Creek again today. It is a beautiful place this time of year, but there was barely water in the stream. Didn't get many decent pics, but it was still worth the short trip down there.
My mind is a bit more peaceful since the election. All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope for the best. Just a couple more months and President Dick Cheney and his mouthpiece—George W. Bush—will be a good lesson in bad history.
Now, I'm going to go look at some photos on Flickr ...
Have a good evening everyone!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One Fine Day

Unaka Mountain Beauty Spot

After yesterday's election slaughter, one might think it is time for this nation to heal old wounds and move on as a leading partner in the free world. I hope the new government will act wisely (snicker) and use its power of checks-and-balances to benefit the people of America and the world without any party ideologies or lobbyist $influences$ (LOL!) in setting legislative agendas.
Tennessee is still safely redneck and Republican along with most of its Old South neighbors. I am proud that Florida and Virginia seceded from the hard core Bible-belt conservatism that has strangled and driven this country into the disgraceful status it now "enjoys". North Carolina is also leaning toward Obama, but as I write this it is too close to call. At least the hateful Dole woman got her ass and her hat handed to her! She can go back to her real home in D.C. with her loser husband.
Carolyn has gone to the hair dresser and on to the grocery store. She will wind up beautiful and flat broke.
I dread to see the holiday season begin; everything is so expensive. I expect we shall have hamburger meat at Thanksgiving this year due to the financial crisis that is affecting us and a lot of other people. Last year we had to forgo turkey (which we really don't care much about anyway) for a pot roast that we already had in the freezer. It was delicious with dressing and cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, and other goodies. Meat isn't necessary anyway; Carolyn is a great cook and makes the best potato salad and baked beans I've ever eaten. She also makes a super-good meat loaf and her own macaroni and cheese dish. The only thing I give thanks for during the holidays is that every day is another day closer to springtime! For all the other good things in my life—especially people—I am thankful everyday.
Carolyn made vegetable soup yesterday, along with a big skillet of cornbread. It was perfect, even in the warm weather we are enjoying! There is enough left for us to have today, and I am heading to the kitchen!
Life is good when one has a reason for optimism!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Willow Springs Park

I'm so excited! I happened to go out on an errand this morning and I happened to drive by my polling place and I happened to glance in and I happened to see a fairly long line of pilgrims lined up to vote. If I had happened to vote, it would probably taken no more than 48 minutes in line. A happening, fer shur!

Upon my return home, I read where a couple of very small towns in New England had gone to Obama in a landslide. The last two times these villages voted Democratic, the Democrats lost the red state-blue state election.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Snow on Unaka

Tennessee football head coach Phillip Fulmer was fired from the University of Tennessee today.

I hope the nation will follow this by firing the Republican Party from Washington DC. Fulmer was dismissed for taking high school All-American players and turning them into a mediocre (that is being generous) football squad. The Republican Party has taken all of America and turned it into a financial and diplomatic wreck.
I was a little leery about going into the mountains last Saturday for photo making. The woods on the Limestone Cove side were full of hunters, and we didn't have a thing with loud colors to wear. These fellows have been known to shoot each other even when they are covered in blaze orange.
I read where a woman was wounded by a rifle bullet falling from the sky while she was inside her motor home at yesterday's NASCAR race in Texas. The shot was probably fired into the air by an NRA member or supporter!
I received an email from explaining why I should vote for Obama in a state that is obviously Republican. Following is one of the reasons:

People died so you'd have the right to vote. Self-government (by) voting to choose our own leaders is the original American dream. We are heir to a centuries-long struggle for freedom: the American revolution, and the battles to extend the franchise to those without property, to women, to people of color, and to young people. This year, many will still be denied their right to vote. For those of us who have that right, it's precious. If we waste it, we dishonor those who fought for it and those who fight still.

They also fight for the right of "choice"! I have the right to choose not to vote if I don't want to for any or no reason. My dad fought and bled for you and I to have the right of choice, and he never voted in his entire 65 years of life! It is called FREEDOM! You are sounding more and more like what you say you are trying to change. The Republicans use fear tactics and you use shame propaganda! I expect no one to march to the beat of my drum, and I sure as hell am not marching to to anyone else's! Give me an honest candidate whose heart isn't consumed by the greed for power! Give me an honest candidate whose heart is devoted entirely to what is best for the United States of America and not some party ideology, and that candidate will have my honest vote. If I can't trust the person whom will be commander-in-chief, I cannot vote.

I still support Obama on the principle of needed change, but I trust neither candidate.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Buffalo Mountain Park

We went riding yesterday with not much idea of where we wanted to go, so first place we went was Buffalo Mt. park. I got a few decent photos there and we left via the VFW road where the light and colors at Tipton-Haynes Farm were so good I couldn't resist a few shots from the roadway. We left there and ended up atop Unaka Mt. and Pleasant Garden. The view was again obscured by haze, only worse this time than usual, and Johnson City had a thick, brownish looking layer of smog hanging over it, LA style. There was some snow in shaded areas of the mountaintop. We traveled on over to the Beauty Spot, and I walked up the bald to where the Appalachian trail crosses at the TN and NC line. Carolyn has a bad cold and wasn't able to enjoy many of the sights.
Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween. When we first moved into our subdivision 14 years ago, the streets were impassable for close to two hours with outsiders driving their little ones (and not so little ones) here for treats. The neighborhood isn't very large, but the houses are on small lots and close together. The city was threatening to close some of the streets to outside traffic becuase emergency vehicles couldn't get through. The last few years haven't been so crowded on the streets as more and richer subdivisions have sprung up, especially in the north side of town and between Johnson City and Jonesborough.
This election is about over; I hope! Whomever wins has got to better than what we have now.
I think I saw Phillip Fulmer filling out his resume in the fourth quarter of last night's massacre in South Carolina.

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