Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Brunch

 
Jeremy and Courtney update: Courtney flew back to Chicago alone on the 22nd, went for her first radiation treatment on 23rd  and flew back to Atlanta that night; she could not bear the thoughts of being in a strange place alone for five weeks. The doctors there had her treatments transferred to Emory University in Atlanta. She will still have to occasionally return to Chicago for tests, but is happy to be home with Jeremy and the dogs … at least she was happy until this past Monday. While Jeremy was driving her to hospital for her first Atlanta treatment, they were involved in a seven-car accident which totaled their car. They are both ok, but very bewildered.
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Keegan update: He is in beautiful South Korea where he is due to spend the next six months; his FB comment upon arrival: “got to korea today, very nice place :).
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Allergies which have plagued me for many days are about gone; yesterday was a good day and I hope for 7,000 consecutive and similar days in the future.

Something to play with when you have the blues: http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix. Play me a tune.
Click on the other links at the bottom of the square for more interactive fun stuff.
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Have a smiling Wednesday, my friends.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dr. Pav

 
 One of my college professors died last week; Dr. John Pav was my art history teacher. I don’t particularly remember much about most of my college mentors, but his presence has remained with me for more than 30 years. He was a nice guy but took no prisoners when it came to correctly spelling artist’s names. For the course final exam, I got up at 4am and began cramming; if we misspelled three names, all from the the Renaissance up to the modern period, we failed the entire course. I naturally made sure Carolyn didn’t sleep if I couldn’t sleep, so she got up and made coffee and then helped me study. When classes began at eight o’clock, I felt reasonably confident. Art History was my last class of the day; by the time it began at eleven, I was mortified. I knew the history ok, but names like Botticelli, Valazquez, Van Eyck, Masaccio, and Caravaggio were screaming through my head and seemed to be one long and impossible to spell word. Dr. Pav flashed art photos on a screen and we had to write the names of the various artists. Anyway, I passed.
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Mornings are now nippy, cooler than they should normally be for late August. I haven’t seen a robin in more than a week; most are now on the way to Tammy’s gentle care for the next six months. I dread the gloom of winter; Rio is very appealing as the northern days shorten and the skies darken to seemingly perpetual gray.
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I am definitely now living in the country; a John Deere tractor just putt-putt-putted by on the road. I love it!
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The video is of Ed Snodderly, an excellent musician and all around good guy who lives in Johnson City. If you saw the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, he played the part of a town dofuss in the scene where Baby Face Nelson is being escorted to jail; he is playing a fiddle. The amateur video is not the best in the world, but it gives a glimpse of the real man.
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Have a Tuesday, dear children.
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Monday, August 29, 2011


Another nice sunrise over the Appalachians; the normally ubiquitous haze of the Unakas was absent and only morning mists were to be seen about the blue hills, softening the scenes and pleasing my eyes. The farthest peak I can see from my office window is that of Unaka Mountain itself. It is one of my favorite mountains and home to the Beauty Spot, waterfalls, and historical human habitation.
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I have been watching Ken Burns’ The Civil War on Netflix. It is a nine-part documentary about the bloodiest war Americans have ever fought and the terrible truth is that we were killing each other. Father and sons, brothers, and best friends often chose different sides and then tried to kill or maim each other for what all believed to be just causes. I have been somewhat of a Civil War buff since high school and am learning some new stuff from these shows. The song “Lorena” from the video was a favorite of troops on both sides of the conflict; it is easy to understand why a lonely soldier would be drawn to its simple beauty. It is said that soldiers from both sides were encamped on opposite shores of the Rappahanock River and that before evening taps, they would declare a truce and regimental bands and troops from both sides would play and sing their favorite songs together. They would at times ford the river to exchange stories and swap tobacco for soap and other items in short supply in either camp. Next day they would be once more trying to kill each other.
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A belated Happy Birthday to a friend no longer with me except in fond memory. Her birthday was Saturday, and as usual, I am late remembering it. However, Brenda was always one who understood the failing recollections of men when it came to anniversaries of any kind. I miss you, my friend.
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Have a super Worshday, my friends.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

When Nightmares End


The first day after the nightmares are over, Paul’s music comes purer and so much sweeter. On this morning he made a deal with a pawn shop owner who lent him a chair and an electric extension cord for his Pignose. All he had to do in return was play well enough so that people would pause in front of the shop’s display windows where fake Rolex’s and sometimes-real engagement rings were on sale, alongside boomboxes, gold neck chains, and other items young people might be interested in buying. Paul sucked in a deep breath of cold air, diagnosing the scents and tastes of the waking street, then removed his tired old Stratocaster from its battered case, plugged it into the little amp, and began gently stroking the strings, running a few chords and adjusting the tuning for the morning chill. From years of experience—lessons learned on mean streets of many cities and towns across America—he placed a couple of folding dollars and a few cents change in the open guitar case at his feet; a small amount of seed money was important to tease passersby to ante up even more; it was Paul’s living. Soon enough, his eyes were closed against the bright winter morning sun just edging over the building across the street, and from self satisfaction in the riffs and chords flowing from his Pignose, coursing along on ragged air currents and flowing like water across the sidewalk and pavement. His socks didn’t match but his blues were real; he played his soul and his heart, he played the sunshine and the warming air, he played the smells of the city and rustle of an old newspaper blowing by his feet, and most importantly, he played the emotions of the people who stopped to listen. Music, life, world, all perfect; it was always thus the first day after the nightmares ended.
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Not much going on today; the move continues in fits and spurts as all the photos and artwork have been removed from the walls and, along with other small stuff, has been carried to the new house. The bedroom which we used as a tv room is now empty and there are once more lonely echoes in the place I’ve called home for 17 years. I will lie if I say I won’t miss it, especially the furry and feathered friends who have entertained me so graciously and well for 68 seasons.
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Have a Thursday, my friends.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pissified I Am


I’ve said it and said it, my ass is numb from sitting in this chair so much. Ol’ dead-ass missed the earthquake yesterday; in fact neither Carolyn nor JJ felt it. Some houses close by experienced shaking and some felt only mild vibrations but I didn’t know one had happened until Vicky came into work and told us about it. Though I missed this one, I have twice had the dubious pleasure of feeling the ground move slightly in the past; there are many small faults criss-crossing the southern Appalachians. Yesterday’s quake was the largest in the East since 1944 … must have been on the day I was born.
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Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball coach Pat Summit has been diagnosed with early dementia which will lead to Alzheimer’s disease; she is only 59 years old. I send my best wishes and healing thoughts to her and the millions of other sufferers of this debilitating and oft deadly intrusion.
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The three wars the United States is now publicly involved in are expensive not only in American and other nationality lives lost, but also in tax payer dollars. So far, the unsuccessful attempt to ouster the Gadhafi regime has cost us at least $1.1 billion, and the war in Afghanistan is costing we the people $6.2 billion each month and in Iraq the ante is $3.5 billion each month. Stop it!
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I’ve been on YouTube watching and listening as fundamental Christians explain why yesterdays earthquake happened Around the DC area. “God is angry” seems to be the consensus. Well, God ain’t no more pissed at DC than I am. In fact, he ain’t nearly as riled as a I; had it been me causing the quake, it would have been centered below the capitol building while a full Congress was in session. I hate to lose such a fine building and part of our heritage, but it would be worth a few sticks and stones to be rid of the political status quo. Next time God, don’t wimp around; do it right!
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I don’t even know what day of the week it is … whatever, have a good one!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bush in '84


Are Tuesdays the most boring days of the weeks?
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I finally watched the movie 1984 last evening. If I had not have previously read Orwell’s classic book, I would not have known what was going on. However, the pretty girl did catch my attention; she inspired the title of today’s post.
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I go for my annual eye exam tomorrow; I hate having my eyes dilated; makes computer work very troublesome for the remainder of the day.
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Have a Tuesday!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Do I know you?
The way things are going, we probably will not be in the new house by this coming weekend. Some of our help did not show up and will not be available next weekend either. The move will go on one way or another; there is no real hurry. All the kitchen has been moved except for the refrigerator, the living room sofa has been sold and is gone, and much of the small stuff is boxed and in the new place. The sofa was huge and heavy; it converted into a queen-size bed … a very uncomfortable one. I am giving away many of my old paperback science fiction novels from the 60′s and 70′s so that is something I won’t have to deal with.
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Sammy was over Saturday and met his great-great-great-aunt for the first time; I don’t know which one was the most fascinated but he seemed to like her blue hair curlers.
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Have a good Worshday, my friends.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sammy's left foot


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jeremy's Dreads
The move has begun; Carolyn and Vicky took a van load and a car load of boxed stuff to the new house yesterday. Most of the remaining small stuff will go today along with some of the larger items. The electric and water are turned on in the new house, and as soon as internet is on, His Majesty (me) will be ready to go; I should sleep in the new place by next Saturday night. I hate moving anytime and anywhere, but by pretending I am crippled, I am able to worm out of most of the heavy work. It is an art form.
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I’ve missed y’all this week and hope you are doing fine. I miss blogging as much as I miss photography; both are a way to tell stories.
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One good thing; I haven’t much kept up with the news this week but I am sure the good ol’ boys in D.C. are legislating or vacationing in the best interest of the people.
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I don’t feel sorry for the big corporations whose stock is taking a hit from the continuing recession, but I do feel badly for folks whom have their retirement 401k plans heavily invested in stocks. Hopefully stock managers learned something from the 2008 fiasco and diversified people’s portfolios but if history is an indicator and if diversification did take place, it likely didn’t last long. I have a very few gold coins stashed back and although their numismatic value hasn’t increased a lot, their bullion value has soared; I bought them when gold was $35 per ounce.
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Have a splendid weekend, my friends.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Muddlin' through

 
The lease has been signed; the electric and water will be turned on tomorrow. As soon as I can get internet, I will be ready to park my butt atop Berry Ridge. The address is 465 Berry Ridge Rd., Jonesborough TN 37659. We won’t have a landline phone but I will accept collect incoming semaphores. To better emulate Mark’s new house, a busy RR track is located a few hundred feet behind the place. Y’all come!
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It finally rained a bit this morning and threatens to do it again; I hope so as our drought continues. Without a lot of rain over the next few weeks, the mountain forests will be tinder dry and autumn will bring many fires, some set by natural causes or carelessness by people, and some will be caused by cowardly arsonists.
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Jeremy is flying in with Courtney today; she is getting a few days back in Atlanta before leaving again Sunday to Chicago to begin radiation treatments for six weeks. I have a feeling that their parting Sunday will be one of the toughest moments of their lives. They will take the dogs when they leave here today or tomorrow and we will miss them; we have all bonded and become one big hairy family. Remy is 10 years old and I hope I get to see her some more before her doggie days are over; Bubba is only three and acts like a big baby tough boy. He thought he was going to be a bad-boy bully one day when Carolyn let them outside; he spotted a small poodle tied up in a neighbors back yard. He took off running toward the other dog just as hard as he could with his tail straight up in the air in his “threat” demeanor but when he got there the poodle promptly nipped him on his butt and Bubba came back home even faster with his tail between his legs; he kept looking over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t about to be devoured by the ferocious, silky-haired white monster.
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Sammy just came in … I gotta go!
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Have a sweet Thursday, my friends.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New adventure

View from rental house

This afternoon we meet with the owner of the house we will be renting so as to to sign the lease; we should be able to begin moving stuff Saturday; I want everything moved by August 31. There is much to do with getting electricity and water turned on, get an address change, getting internet service switched, and other small tasks I cannot think of right now. Odd, I was on crutches when we moved into this house 17 years ago and I will leave it on the same pair of sticks; there were some very good free-walking years in-between. I will probably be off the net for an unknown period, but will still have the Droid to check on a few sites. I already feel better with some of our living pressures reduced.
Have a great Wednesday, my friends.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Housing

Mutts at my feet
Michelle Bachmann won a test vote among Iowa Republicans; that is the best political news I’ve heard since McCain picked the Alaskan airhead as running mate. I hope the 2012 Republican ticket consists of Bachmann and Rick Perry.
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We are house shopping again today; We now have a choice of two that we like. One is near where we now live and the other is the one we applied for two weeks ago; the owner called yesterday and said it was ours if we want it. It has a view of the mountains.
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My blogging will be more erratic than ever as we go through this process. Wish us luck, my friends.
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Have a great Worshday, Dear ones.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011: Weekend #32


Cyrus is moving Megashot to the new servers; from what I’ve seen so far, when it is a done deed the site will be back as fast as it was two years ago. He is also coming along nicely with v.2 of the site which promises to be more streamlined and much easier to use. All I need to do is get out and shoot and rejoin the world of the living.
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Carolyn slept in the living room with the dogs last night; she said there wasn’t much difference in sleeping with two medium size dogs than with the one big one she is used to. I am offended. Remy has taken up with Carolyn and Bubba has adopted me. Bubba mostly keeps his nose pressed to the window watching for his daddy to come back and get him.
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We’ve found a couple of rental houses we like, but one we didn’t get. We will look at the other tomorrow; it is inside the city limits of Jonesborough and near where I grew up.
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Eye allergies again today … bad. Hope I am not allergic to the mutts.
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May your weekend wase be comfortable.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Thursday

This summer has felt like 600°
My cup runneth over.
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This morning, Jeremy got to meet his baby nephew for the first time and I got to hold Sammy for the first time. Of course as soon as he was on my lap, he filled his diaper with a mighty stink.
Jeremy is taking a direct flight to Chicago from Tri-Cities and will meet-up with Courtney at the hotel; she is having the scans done today at the hospital.
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Dog Days end today; maybe the rains will come as we exit the hottest and driest part of the year.
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Some of our schools have been in fall session for more than a week and others began classes this week. The district fair begins next week and autumn will rapidly be snapping at our heels. When this area was largely small-farm dependent, school did not begin until after Labor Day, the first Monday in September. As the farms were being displaced by subdivisions and farmers were punching time clocks at local factories, the beginning dates for school began easing into August and the fair followed suit. I used to love the fair; it was a highlight of the year. I worked for local farmers in hay fields and tobacco patches during the summer so as to have money for a one night stand watching Cleo and Chloe perform their hootchie-kootchie exhibition on a stage in front of their tent. I was too young to buy a ticket to see the “show” inside, but the hawker once took my dollar and allowed me to sneak under the edge of the tent to watch the ladies gyrate. I wanted to see titties, but it never happened. One time I even had the courage to take a neighbor girl to the fair with me; being an extremely shy young man, she had to ask me for the date. I suppose I was 16 and she was 13 or 14 but, to my delight, I found that she was much more “worldly” than me. Very educational evening by the time I got her home.
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Since the local power board installed self-reporting meters in our neighborhood last year, my electric bill has declined by an average of 40 percent. Either I was getting screwed for many years or I am about to get screwed; nothing good for the consumer lasts long in the world of corporate profits.
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Have a Day of never ending Love!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chivalry


Yesterday’s “Let’s get naked and get into a pile” is a quote that a friend of mine used to say at every party and get-together we had. He is the same friend that once asked me for permission to take dear Alice to the movies. Today, it may sound weird or silly for one friend to ask another friend if he cared if he asked another friend on a date, but under the circumstances of the time (and times) he was being countrified chivalrous and polite.
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The Gang of 12 Senators and Representatives being chosen by political party leaders to decide how to further screw American taxpayers in this so called budget crisis seems to be coming together as one might expect. Much bickering and very little positive results will come of it and in my uneducated opinion, it is all most likely unconstitutional anyway. They are giving 12 people the right to do what all of them are supposed to do, according to our Constitution. This is so biased as to not be funny because the 12 will first listen to their particular constituents (I hate that word) and that is going to leave nearly all taxpaying Americans out of any decisions that will affect us for years to come.
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Silly municipal ordinances like this one are a big part of America’s sickness. Let’s all eat store-bought, processed eggs provided to us by some faceless Big Agriculture conglomerate who gets government subsidies and doesn’t have to pay taxes. Phooey!
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The photo is courtesy of Jola and was made by her husband during their weekend getaway to Poland’s Podlasie and Biebrza National Park. I like rusty fences and old fence posts.
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Have a splendiferous Wednesday!
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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Let's ...

Let's all get naked and get into a pile!
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Tuesday beat ...


Today Courtney is flying from Atlanta to Chicago to be diagnosed as to what the correct methods should be to address her cervical cancer. She will probably undergo surgery while there and may be in the Windy City for a week or more. Jeremy is supposed to drive to our house from Atlanta and drop off the dogs for us to sit and he will then fly from here to Chicago to join Courtney.
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Carolyn is off to hair dresser; she is now going on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. Then she has to go to post office and send our satellite receivers back to Directv. Their representative was very nice in dealing with our situation and except for the skyrocketing prices, they have been a good company to work with. I don’t entirely blame them for the consumer costs because the production studios are the main culprits in gouging Americans for what has become their staple entertainment feature. For less than $10 per month with Netflix and the ability to receive my local channels off-air, I have as much visual entertainment as I can stand.
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Did anyone read the CNN article concerning school cheating on standardized tests in Georgia, especially Atlanta? It isn’t the students cheating, it is the teachers and administrators. These people are entrusted to provide the best education possible for children, but are instead changing test scores so that they will receive monetary bonuses because the kids do so well on the tests. Administrators are threatening teachers and school principals with their jobs if they don’t get better test results from the pupils and in many cases, have followed through with their threats.
America is very sick.
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Have a Tuesday, y’all.
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Monday, August 08, 2011


Nothing of import to write about today; hell and high water both have visited us this weekend but we have weathered the storms of family strife … so far.
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Have a great Worshday, my friends.
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Saturday, August 06, 2011


Capitalism as we’ve known it since the late 19th century is finally on its way to collapse. Although the problems began with unrestricted imports of automobiles and electronics to the U.S. in the latter 1960′s by Japan and other nations, the final trigger mechanism for the present decline was put in place with the laissez-faire total governmental deregulation of big business by the Ronald Reagan administration. The G.W. Bush era compounded the problems with its policy of starting unwinnable wars with the purpose of keeping Republicans in office to make sure a huge portion of taxpayer money flowed into the pockets of big business. Much of it could still have been averted in the past few months by having a bit of ballsy leadership in the nations highest political offices. Now that Standards & Poor’s has cut America’s credit rating for the first time ever, the voters will have to empty their pockets to pay for the thoughtless mistakes they made when they went to the polls five times in the first decade of the new millennium. People, you better know whom you are voting for … or against; voting for the lesser of two evils is not the way to govern a nation, but it can quickly send a great country into economic distress. Don’t forget, we the people are the government and the blame and pain lies at the feet and on the shoulders of our individual selves. YOU can do something and you can do it now; send emails showing your displeasure of the partisan shenanigans by government to your elected representatives and senators and to the White House in D.C. Be sure to include your first and last names and zip code on all correspondence. You can demand that each political party present us with real choices for the future of our nation and not just the party-line talking heads they have shoved at us since 1980.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Grouch & grumble

 
 
Not much going on as all is fairly quiet on the home front. Most politicians have thankfully abandoned Washington D.C. for five weeks vacation at taxpayer’s expense. Obama is most likely off somewhere telling whomever will listen about how big a favor he did America by signing the Republican debt legislation. Paying these jerks for their leisure and campaigning time is the fucking we get for the fucking we got!
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Have a prosperous weekend, dear hearts.
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday gleanings


Carolyn drove Ashley and Sammy to his doctor yesterday; he is in good shape and is now at nine pounds three ounces and is twenty-two inches long. Those are big gains since his last checkup two weeks ago. He is now one month old and is becoming as grouchy as his g.grandfather.
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Please visit Mark’s blog and view/listen to this video.
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I hate unwarranted censorship. Facebook banned me from using my account for one day because of a happy birthday video which I placed on my friend Dave’s wall; it is the same You Tube video I’ve used several times before on FB. The Facebook-Google war continues. Fuck ‘em all!
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I had a good quiet birthday with plenty of greetings and well wishes from friends and family. Carolyn surprised me with a great supper of meatloaf, green beans, mashed taters, slaw, and corn on the cob; local Chucky watermelon and cantaloupe for desert. It all softened the outrageous blow of becoming another year older.
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Brown leaves are beginning to cover our lawn which has almost stopped growing and is looking somewhat winter-ish. The severe heat and returning drought along with the lessening sunlight as daylight shortens are all causing environmental distress, at least as far as we mere humans are concerned.
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Robins have reared their second broods of the year and are now fattening up on worms for the soon coming migration back to Tammy’s house. In just three more weeks, most will be well on their way southward. I am happy for Tammy and the people of the Gulf Coast, but the annual loss always brings a gloom over me as if a bit of my soul takes wing and journeys with the birds … never to return.
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Sam and Dave video dedicated to my friend, Bro. Steve Hill; he loved this soulful duo. Can you see how much the Blues Brothers were influenced by these guy’s stage show?
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The reason Mark’s comments on this blog have to be approved by me is because I have my security set to where a person must be identifiable or their comments will not display without my approval. The cure is for Mark to get a WordPress account. However I don’t mind approving his comments if he wishes not to create an account; it is a hassle to get anything done on the web.
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Have a Thursday of happy consequences, my friends.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A laid back Thank You!



Thank y’all for the birthday greetings and wishes; you place a smile on my life …
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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Obama or Judas?

Just which people are you talking about when you say “the American people want …”, Mr. I-again-sold-my-soul President? There are other patriotic Americans in this nation besides selfish Tea Party hard cores, wealthy Republicans, and wimpy Democrats. I hope next election you and your Congressional handlers find out just whom we are and how mad you and your ilk have made us. Shame, shame, Barack. Phooey!
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If the Tea Party has its way—and it seems to be doing just that—the American economy will be set back to pre-Civil War days. I admit, that should take care of the illegal immigrant problem; simply put African-Americans back in the fields where the belong. This should starve the illegals plumb back across the border where they belong. These American “people of color” have been emancipated for almost 150 years, but maybe the Republicans can pass a law requiring them to become indentured servants where they can work for no wages and be taken care of by owners of the fields where they will be laboring. In return, these semi-slaves will receive housing and all other necessities from their pseudo owners. Individuals cannot be sold, but families may be traded between different owners. The workers will also have the right to drive their own automobiles each Sunday afternoon so they can visit kin and friends; however they will not own autos because they cannot afford them. Half of these servants will have Sunday’s off from work one week and the other half will can be off the next Sunday; it all depends on harvesting. At times, none will be allowed off until the crops are gathered.
Having black folk doing the stoop labor will make available more “regular” work for the white folks which should go a long way to putting all Americans back to work; we will all once again be prosperous. God Bless the Conservative Right! Double Phooey!
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Hopefully I will be over my mad enough by tomorrow that I can get back to regular, mundane blogging. Have a Tuesday, my friends.
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