Friday, September 30, 2011

1st class priority mail

Save our rural post offices! The United States Congress is on a rampage of rape and pillage throughout the nation—targeting mostly the poor, the young, the ill, and the elderly—and closing 2,600 postal facilities across the country is another slap-down to the people who most need their local offices. The U.S. postal system is a government corporation and is supposed to be self-sufficient but it needs help. Obama, McCain, and most of the rest of Congress busted their asses to bailout Wall Street, so now it is time to serve We The People by saving the oldest public institution in the U.S. Wake up, America!
The photo of Sammy which I posted yesterday was made by Ashley but she used my camera so I should get some of the credit!
I think Carolyn may have her old van sold; I hope so because she has little use for it and it is a gasoline hog.
Gonna get cold tonight and be very wet and chilly tomorrow, more like November than October. I suppose I will have to start wearing long pants, socks, and underwear again.
Have a pleasant weekend, Dear Ones.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sam I Am

Sammy was here

Sammy and Ashley were over for most of the day yesterday. He has grown quite a bit since I last saw him and he now stays awake more than he used to. He still eats like a piglet. He smiles at everyone as soon as he sees them and so far doesn’t demand to be held every minute. Spoiling will soon come, I suppose but we will have to wait and see who spoils whom.
Did a bit of editing on two older stories yesterday; they are now as good as I am going to get them. They, along with The Hunter, still don’t give me but about 9,800 words. I’m getting there as I have several more shorter stories to go over.
Carolyn bought some sweet taters at the market; she baked them as usual and they are the sweetest and tastiest yellow variety I can remember having. Overall, the produce we’ve bought this year is very good.
Don’t forget that Oct. 10 is Columbus Day holiday in U.S.; go discover something new.
May your Thursday theody be heard in heaven.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Village scene
We went to a couple of markets on Hwy. 107 yesterday. The roadsides were ablaze in autumn colors as wildflowers put on their best show trying to compete with brilliantly painted and inked soda and beer cans and plastic snack bags and wrappers which adorned the green ditches. Carolyn got herself some turnips and yellow squash and got me a jar of pear honey. I was going to buy a watermelon but the proprietor told us we could have a couple free of charge as there are few left this late in the season and they were small. This particular market will close soon for winter and don’t have much variety left. They do have taters and will have more sweet corn on Thursday. The other market will probably stay open until Halloween, speaking of which Carolyn bought Sammy his first punkin to decorate. I made some more photos from the car, but nothing very interesting. I may plague you blog readers with a few of them this week.
Some economists are now saying that the U.S. is into the second part of its double-dip recession. They must be speaking about the well to do folks out there; us peons haven’t been able to get any kind of foothold but have continuously slid farther into a seemingly endless nightmare. I am hearing mixed thoughts about a raise for Social Security recipients in 2012. Some say there will be none while some say there will be a small one of one or two percent, and others say there may be as much as three and one-half percent increase. Most agree that whatever there is, if any, will be eaten by higher Medicare premiums. If there is no increase in our checks, we will once more lose money to Medicare just as we did last year. We will know in mid-October. Do any of you have a preferred brand of dog food for we Americans geezers to eat?
Carolyn got a bit of good news for a change; one of her customers is expanding his business and wants her to clean more office space for him. It will help some but will not make up for the two customers she is losing at the end of this month. For the first time ever, she is looking at a very good possibility of laying off one of her people who has been with her for 13 years.
Thanks to Jola for the photo of a small gallery in the scenic village of Kazimierz Dolny, Poland. Cities seem to exist for the sake of existing whereas villages exist for people.
I placed my edited story The Hunter on Brasstacks and will leave it there for a few days. There may be minor future edits but as of now the story has 3938 words. Thirty more stories of this length and I will have enough to publish a respectable length book; I better get busy.
A blessed Wednesday to all of you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Missing Dot

Dot (seated holding Uncle Wallace), Uncle Roy and Uncle Fred (back l-to-r)
My Mother would have been 92 years old today had she lived.
The U.S. needs more religious holidays so that Congress can take a week off with pay for each one. At least they won’t be doing any mischief in the name of We The People. Of course, members of the House of Representatives didn’t have to be working for the Senate to sell out on F.E.M.A. support legislation.
I edited The Hunter story but instead of it becoming shorter it became several hundred words longer. Over the years, I’ve had a few people tell me that my stories need to be broadened a bit, that they were too concise. I suppose that comes from my schooling as a newspaper reporter/editor. Anyway, I added a few paragraphs; one concerning enduring in the cold smokehouse and another about my beagle shunning me just like the rest of the family.
Have a Tuesday, y’all!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Corel Paintshop Pro X4 -- my first review

For several weeks, I've been using the latest version of Corel's Paintshop Pro dubbed X4 or just plain version 14. The first thing I noticed is that it is a HUGE improvement over version 13, or X3. It is quicker to load on my old XP GUI, seems to be very stable with no crashes so far, and it either uses less memory resources or uses them more efficiently. The only problems I have found is that the tool, etc., icons are not in color making it hard to select the one I want but the worst thing is that the workspace is not staying the same from day-to-day. Overall, I highly recommend the new version if you want a full-fledged photo editor that is very easy to learn and use and priced much less than competing Adobe Photoshop.
When I do someone a favor, I prove to myself that I am not absolutely worthless in the world.
I am having a very listless day so I will bid you a happy Worshday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nic!!!

Happy Birthday, Nic. I know your mom and granny Alice are very proud of you.
If I ever have to grow up, I want to be Kurt Vonnegut. I hope I don’t grow up.
A train woke me at 3:30 this morning; must be the same sadistic horn blower who plagues Mark. While awake, I thought of world peace just like I know the rest of you do when sleeping is difficult and the following is what came to my mind:
The People hushed as She glided by
Passing wind upon the sky
Peace filled The People’s heart
They all heard the White Dove fart
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Hunter - part 4

This is the final segment of The Hunter story It was written this morning and took 4 hours. Part four has 1,406 words and the entire story has 3,460 words making it the second longest (by 105 words) short story I have done. As I edit it, it will probably become as much as a few hundred words shorter. I will place the entire story on my writing blog and change it there as it is edited. It still has many ragged edges.
Thank all of you who have read it, and many more thanks for the encouragement you have given me and my limited talent as a writer.
Roy was was opening the side door to the covered back porch as I ran clopping down the hard packed dirt and gravel road. He paused until I got up close, asking “where’s the possum”. Suddenly he knew what had happened when he got a whiff of me from about ten feet away.
“That’s far enough; if you go in smelling like that they’ll have to burn the house to get rid of your stink.”
He was in deep thought for a few seconds and then said “You’re going to have to stay in the smokehouse tonight and we can try to figure out what to do with you in the morning.”
I thought he would go into the house and get me some blankets but I should have known better.
He said “Stay right there”, opened the smokehouse door and went inside. I heard him rattle about inside for a few minutes and he came out grinning and said “Your bed’s ready”.
About the same time, my mother, Dot, came into the yard, having gotten off at midnight from her job at a textile mill in Johnson City. A special bus ran to Jonesborough for the many employees who lived in the area and she had exited about a mile from home and walked to the house.
She started to say something, sucked in a stuttering breath, and finally let out an “Oh, God! Wayne I hope it’s Roy stinking and not you!”
When Roy laughed she realized the truth.
Roy quickly sized up the situation for her and at the same time granny came to the back door, having heard the voices. She took one sniff and slammed the door shut.
Dot and Roy stood well back as I eased into the smokehouse to see what accommodations he had prepared for me. I found the old, rust encrusted fold-away bed with a pile of feed and tater sacks laying on it; my penitence was beginning. Dot thought about coming in to help me, but the stench was just too much. She said “I hope the sacks are enough to keep you from getting frostbite and I hope you remember this lesson for a long time.” I for one was sure the lesson would be permanently engraved on my brain’s blackboard.
Thankfully my stinking coat was thickly lined with flannel and cotton batting so that it would ease the discomfort of the bed springs. For a pillow, I wadded up a ratty smelling flour sack that had at one time held a ham for curing, laid down on the bed, and arranged the pile of sacks over me the best I could. There, I shivered the 20 degree night away as even colder moonlight sliced between ill-fitting boards of the shed and I thought over a long and sinful life, wondering if I had a future or would soon die from pneumonia; in the back of my mind I could hear the church bell tolling my 14 wasted years. No one would want to attend the funeral of a boy who smelled so gamey.
At 4:00 am, I heard some stirring inside the house; granny always got up at that time and built a fire in the living room coal-burning fireplace. I heard the back door creak open, heard her sniff the air a couple of times, go to the coal pile where she picked up a few pieces of kindling wood and a bucket of coal and went back inside. I could imagine the warmth of the fire soothing my frigid body and a cup of coffee easing the chill from around innards. However, I knew I might as well be on the back side of the full moon for all the sympathy I would get from my loving family.
Somewhere around seven o’clock, the house began coming to life as Roy and Uncle Fred had a cup of coffee in a warm kitchen and granny laid out their breakfast at the small kitchen table. Biscuits, gravy, and some of the last jar of the previous year’s canned pork sausage. My repenting gained in seriousness as I heard the activity and smelled the goodness of country life.
As the sun broke over the hill, Fred and Roy came outside and checked to see if I had weathered the night. Opening the shed door just enough to see if I was moving, Fred gave me his fake scolding look and Roy grinned from one big ear to the next. “You can come out and sit on the sill and get some sun if you want to” he said. As quickly as I could unlimber, I did just as he advised.
Fred removed a round washtub from the side of the smokehouse while Roy squatted and built a fire beneath the iron outdoor kettle-stand near the coal pile. They both got buckets from the back porch and began drawing water from the cistern near the house corner and pouring it into the tub which was now perched over the fire; the soon warming water was very attractive to my still chattering teeth.
In a while, granny came out and shaved some lye soap into the water which was just beginning to mist. On a large chunk of nearby tree trunk, she placed the remainder of the bar of soap, a wash rag, a fairly stiff brush more fitting to curry a horse than to clean a human, and a couple of worn out towels.
Uncle Roy, a wannabe sadist, timed everything just right. He had me reluctantly stripped naked just as my school bus came by and stopped in front of the house. About 25 of my peers rushed to the near windows to see that my pitiful pale body had not yet grown one hair other than the ones atop my head. I heard giggling screams from the girls and guffaws from the boys as the windows were lowered and the bus door swung open. The boy I disliked most in the whole world jumped out the door, pointing and laughing at my embarrassment which caused my body to flush away the last vestiges of the cold night. Fortunately and before I swooned, my uncles had lifted the tub to the ground and I jumped into it, not caring if it was hot enough to scald my already ruddy skin. Not quickly enough, the grinning bus driver waved, closed the door, and drove off with my future history besmirching the faces of 25 kids aged from six to eighteen. I would long rue that day.
I grabbed the rag and soap and began washing while granny closely watched. As soon as I had enough scent off me to be approachable, she picked up the brush, soaped it good, and began scrubbing; again I had to stand up, naked to an uncaring world. This went on for three tub-fulls of hot water and scrubbing. My mother finally came out to help descent her only child and when I was declared legally if not morally cleansed of skunk perfume, I was given old and ragged clothing and instructed to spend the remainder of the day repenting my sins and washing the stink from my good school clothes. The coat never did come clean enough and had to be buried behind the coal pile. They did allow me to go onto the back porch for meals but I was not let into the house proper until that evening after getting a good sniff test from granny. It took several days and many more baths before I was finally and completely cleansed.
Granny’s stern gazes mellowed a bit when Uncle Roy told her what I had been trying to do when I misjudged a skunk for a possum. My family never punished me for my crime, but I was never allowed to forget it either. The minute I boarded the yellow bus the next morning wearing a borrowed coat, my hatred for school and burning dislike for many of my fellow students began, which of course made things worse for me until the day I graduated. From that day on, I could never make eye contact with any of my female classmates but I could imagine the disparaging grins on their faces.
As far as I know, granny never had her possum for supper but she didn’t again mention craving one, at least not when I was within earshot.


Marian Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. Their race-driven refusal placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level usually only found by high profile celebrities and politicians. With the aid of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Let Freedom Ring … yes, let it ring. This song should be the anthem of every freedom loving and liberty seeking people around the world.
Have a great weekend, my friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Hunter - part 3

Knowing that possums don’t get in much hurry, I lit another cigarette and thought over a new plan of action. It looked like the critter was heading downwind along the fence toward the woods and I knew I would have to sack him before he got there for up a big tree he would go and I wasn’t in any mood for more climbing. Then I heard a noise; something big was making its way along the fence in my direction. At first I figured it was a wandering cow but I remembered the farmer wasn’t using the pasture in winter. I jumped to my feet ready to run away; I was a 16 year old boy with a creative imagination and at that moment I was creating a lot of things which could do me much harm in a cold, lonely field at midnight. I flicked my light toward the noise and saw my uncle walking toward me and the burden of imminent and lingering pain or death was lifted from my shoulders.
“What are you doing out here, Roy”, I squeaked?
“You go first”, he replied.
“I’m about to catch a possum for granny.”
“Havin’ a possum toss you out of a simmon tree is a new way of catching one.”
He lit one of his long Pall Mall cigarettes.
“Well, yeah I guess he won the first round,” My voice had become meek.
“I was over to Rick’s and just started toward home when I saw someone coming across the field in the moonlight so I headed over. Didn’t know it was you ’til I heard you cussin’.”
“The critter has gone off down the fence toward the woods,” I told him.
“Well, get your coat and let’s get to the house; it ain’t getting any warmer out here. Don’t you have to go to school tomorrow?”
“Yep, I’m going to school but I ain’t leaving this field without that critter.”
“You better not stay out much longer or your mammy will skin you.”
“This won’t take long”, I said.
I thought I heard him snicker as he turned toward home.
Roy was right about it not getting any warmer so I put my coat on and headed along the tangles to the point where I last saw the glowing eyes of my quarry. I stopped and listened, but heard nothing but a freshening breeze slipping through the barberry thorns. Easing on, I flashed the light into every place he could hide, but saw nothing. Then a few yards ahead of me, I caught a glimpse of a small animal daring out of and quickly back into the messy growth along the fence. Got him now, I thought. I got my sack ready and moved a little quicker to where I saw him and then shined the light into the bushes where two eyes glowed back at me. He once again came into the edge of the field and began ambling away from me. He looks different, I thought but my lust for the capture had my mind set on one track. Being upwind of the critter, I didn’t realize there was another, very strong smell in front of me, and I did several things at once; I flicked my light on him just as I made my lunge to put the sack over him, I saw that I was about to bag a skunk, I tried to stop in mid air, and I thought, Oh, shit!
I was able to barely twist my body and pull the sack away from the stinking devil which had just reared on his front feet with his tail high in the air and was turning loose on me with his most potent perfume. The only good thing to come out of my peculiar situation was that the sack blocked most of the disgusting spray, especially from my face and particularly from my eyes. However, most of my coat, pants, hands, and boots caught some large droplets of hellish foulness.
When I hit the ground I was rolling and kept doing so until I figured I was far enough away from ol’ stripe that it would be safe to get up and run and run I did right in Uncle Roy’s tracks until I was home. It was obvious in my brain that my life as a free human being might just end when the family was awakened to my careless escapade; I would be grounded at hard labor until I was 50.
To be continued … Crime and Punishment
(Part four will be the conclusion … I promise)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Carolyn!!!

A beautiful flower she is
Happy Birthday, Carolyn. Sixty-five and still Beautiful!
About to get my body fluid balance back and when I do so, I should be back to normal as far as writing goes. The possum story is finished in my mind and I have to get it to run down my arms and through my fingertips into the PC.
Another subsidized and legal murder is about to take place in Georgia. There are serious doubts about the convict’s guilt, but the God fearing people of that state have decided to kill Troy Davis anyway just in case he is a murderer; his execution is due to take place tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be nice if the United States were to take its place alongside the other civilized nations of the world by outlawing capital punishment? It would be a way to begin regaining some of the international respect we have lost over the past decade.
I just saw Chicken Little running down the road hollering the sky will fall come Friday! Hell, why not? Everything else has happened.
The$10 million per year salary of the C.E.O. of Bank of America has convinced him that the company needs to fire 3,000 every day people. Makes my milk curdle!
I’ve been watching via Netflix the very first episodes (1975) of NBC’s Saturday Night which later was renamed Saturday Night Live (SNL). I watched the show fairly often back in its early days, at least until most of the original players moved on to bigger and better things. The cast was made up of young men and women whom were pretty well just breaking into big-time show business. The original group had a mix of men and women, but only one black person, Garrett Morris. In the late 60′s through most of the 70′s, a lot of TV shows had a “token” negro mainly because it was “the thing to do” because of the Civil Rights movement, and because producers and studios were beginning to realize there was a huge audience of black consumers whom were becoming more affluent and able to buy sponsor’s products. Yep, many of the promos also had a token black person onscreen. I always figured Morris was SNL’s token negro.
The old shows got me to thinking about then and now, and how African-Americans are presented on modern TV. Of course, much has changed and a black actor no longer has to be a Fred Sanford to be appreciated by most people. Much to do yet.
I wonder if Barack Obama considers himself as a token black president?
Congratulations to Cyrus and; they finally were able to get the new servers online and everything seems much faster and snappier.
Back to the eye doctor for me tomorrow; more dilating to bear through.
Have a Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!!!

Nolichucky sunshine

Today is Vanessa’s (Alice’s daughter) birthday. It would also have been Vanessa’s father’s birthday and Alice and Fred’s wedding anniversary. Sadly, Fred left us 31 years ago, forever altering the lives of his family and friends.
With his “the tax the rich” proposal, President Obama has set himself a superb opportunity to finally be a leader instead of a mere fence-straddling politician. I’m betting on more compromising and lip service.
I probably will not finish the possum story today and I know you are heart broken to hear that bit of news. My fingers are a bit better today and I think I will wait until tomorrow to put them to work. Actually, I use only two fingers for typing; my middle finger on my left hand and my ring finger on my right hand. That is a better situation than what I used to have; I had only one workable digit for typing.
Have a Worshday of happiness!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inquisitive sparrow

Finally got out and made a few photos yesterday. All my attempts were from the car and are not as good as they could have been had I been standing. I would have made several more shots but my camera batteries finally died and someone had removed my spare sets from the Escape console and from my camera bag. Anyway, I had fun shooting what I was able to get and I was actually tired at bedtime last evening.
I hope to finish the possum story tomorrow; I am having to do some heavy-duty recollecting and a bit of exaggeration on a point or two. I need to finish it and a few more I have begun; my ability to type is becoming more difficult seemingly by the day. I may have to begin using dictation software but I don’t want to; I tried it once and it is almost as much hassle as typing with sore fingers.
Thanks to Jola for today’s photo; it is a native Polish sparrow; a female, I think. Jola is a very good photographer and she precisely nailed the depth-of-field and focus on this little bird.
Have a thoughtful Sunday, my friends.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Hunter - part 2

Now possum hunting isn’t supposed to be a big challenge and I reckon that is the reason you don’t see many of the stuffed critters in your local taxidermist’s display window along with deer heads, bears, and that bald eagle Billy-Bob “accidentally” shot. My plan was to first find a possum up a tree enjoying a midnight snack of ‘simmons, climb up, and grab him by the tail and sack him. That was my plan.
Eventually I crossed the wide pasture and came to the first and smallest fruit tree and without using my flashlight, could see that no possums were dining in it. I moved up the vine-tangled fence row until I came to the next tree which was by far the largest. Most of the leaves had fallen from the berry-laden branches and the ground was thick with fallen ‘simmons, one of which landed beside me as soon as I got there. Persimmon trees are not very large even when full grown with a trunk that can easily be climbed especially when a lower limb is reachable from the ground. I flicked on the flashlight and sure enough, two sets of possum eyes were peering down at me as the critters munched on the wild delicacies. I lit a cigarette and carefully looked them both over, electing to go after the one nearest the ground, he being closest to the tree trunk and only 10 feet above my head. I removed my coat so as to make climbing easier, then stuck the tater sack inside my shirt. Lighting the cigarette was probably not my best move as both possums became a bit agitated when the match flamed; one gave a menacing hiss. I waited a few chilly moments and they settled down as I finished my smoke. Reaching a lower limb where it joined the trunk was a stretch but I jumped a little and was able to get a good hold on its frost-sprinkled surface. With my other arm wrapped high around the trunk, I used my knees to grasp the bark and slowly inch-wormed my way up until I could grasp an even higher limb which happened to be the one below where my quarry was becoming mighty suspicious, once again hissing a waning in my direction. I finally was able to get my foot on the lowest limb and stand up where my eyes were just above the possum which I intended to become granny’s supper; he was within reach but was inching away from me. I pulled the sack from my shirt and made ready for the capture. Above me I heard the other possum hiss and he sounded too close to my ears. I looked up and he was easing down the tree head first and was only about a yard above my hat with a “move it bub” look in his eyes. He was determined to keep coming and I made a quick decision to grab the possum I wanted, sack him, and quickly shinny back down to the ground before I was evicted by the descending critter. I held the sack in my left hand along with a small branch of the tree for steadiness, then reached for and grabbed my prey by his tail and tried to pull him back to me. He was hanging onto the limb tighter than I thought possible so I moved my right foot a bit farther out on the limb for more leverage and it hit a heavily frosted patch of smooth bark, slipped, and down I went still holding onto the desperate possums naked tail, foolishly hoping he had enough grip to hold us both; he didn’t. My straddle banged hard across the lowest limb, the possum was falling and growling just above my face, and I was screeching in pain from the squashing my groin had just endured. However, a semblance of luck was on my side; I landed hard on my back where the breath was knocked from me and there were extra stars twirling in the sky, but I was alive. The possum also landed hard on my chest but apparently unharmed; I must have turned loose of him somewhere in mid-flight because he quickly scurried off into the undergrowth of the fence line. As I regained my senses and began inventorying body parts, I realized I was probably going to escape with no broken bones but there was still a dull aching in my straddle which peaked with each heartbeat. I found my flashlight and saw that the other possum once more easing back onto his fruit-covered limb for another snack; I figured that was a good place to leave him. I also saw my tater sack and hat hanging on some low twigs and after catching some deep breaths, was able to retrieve both. I shined my light around where the critter had disappeared into the tangles of honeysuckle vines and barberry bushes which all but obscured the fence, and about 20 feet from me I caught glimpses of his eyes moving through the tangles. I’ll get granny’s supper yet, I thought; I was on a mission.
To be continued …
Have a happy weekend, sweet childs of mine …

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Hunter

Light of the full moon across rolling meadows caused acres of icy jewels to serenade my eyes as I swiftly walked from the forest shadows toward my target, a set of three persimmon trees growing along an old barbwire fence line. The day had been warm for late October, but with lowing sun had come a chill which quickly condensed air into dew and by a few hours after nightfall, the dew transformed into a layer of shivering frost across the world of farmland and low hills I called home. As the hour approached midnight, I shoved my hands deeper in my coat pockets as meadow grasses crunched beneath my boots; I made a beeline for the tallest fruit tree. I carried no weapon save a small folding knife in my pants pocket and an old tater sack tucked beneath my heavy coat; I intended to take my quarry live.
My quest began that same afternoon when my grandmother stated that she would like to have a possum for supper and not for one moment in my mind’s eye did I see her and a guest critter sitting at the eating table enjoying a meal of beans and taters. Nope, I knew that the guest critter would be sizzling in the frying pan before he ever saw granny’s checkered table cloth. Granny was the only person I have ever known who admitted a liking for possum. Not that possums aren’t good to eat; they are just plain too ugly to want to eat. They are nocturnal marsupials having a layer of short fur and wiry bristles like a hog wears and for some reason they look half naked all the time. In fact, their tails are mostly hairless and are prehensile; they can wrap it around a limb and swing in the breeze like an autumn leaf. Possums are endowed with a permanent grin; their mouths curve slightly upward at the back and a row of needle-sharp teeth are always showing on each side. Fortunately, the critters are not very aggressive and the grin is mostly a ruse just like their ability to “play dead” when they feel threatened. Possums also make various sounds, mostly hissing, growling, snorting, and grunting when they are agitated and, on my midnight quest, I expected to hear plenty of everything they could say. I was going possum huntin’ for granny’s supper.
~this partial tarradiddle is to be continued …
Jeremy has a great post on his blog today; please give it a read if you have time.
Have a thoughtful Thursday, dear children

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The Republican Party is a collection of very sick-minded individuals. A strong faction of that herd seems to think that ill people whom are poor should be left to die without any public aid to keep them from doing so.
Since before the American colonies became an independent nation, events similar to 9/11 have always made this country stronger and become basic building blocks of our purpose and self guaranteed freedoms. However, the September 11, 2001 tragedy caused Washington’s demigods to obliterate or ignore many of those freedoms which had been won with more than two hundred years of blood, sweat, toil, and tears. Other than knee-jerk rhetoric, little is being done to regain any of our Constitutional guarantees of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. In fact, our liberties are being further eroded on a seemingly daily basis but all we do is complain and condone; airport full-body scans/strip searches along with video cameras recording nearly every facet of our lives in public are two such abominations which receive the most gripes, yet the over-zealous airport searches and government and private sector surveillance increases. Then every two years, we jump upon our papier-mâché “freedom of choice” horses and, with an aura of dignified self-righteousness, we wobble off to the polls to reelect the same or newly elect worse people who are passing all these laws detrimental to the nations foundations. Do you remember the awe and hope for “real change” that came over the nation and all of the free world the night in 2008 that it was announced that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States? Even skeptical I was gaining some hope. Have we in any way substantially bettered ourselves in any national election since Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992; actually since Lyndon Johnson was elected in 1964? If your answer is “yes”, you are probably not of my generation and know little or care less of the terrible sacrifices that have been made on your behalf by good people who preceded you throughout our nation’s history. If your answer to my question is “no”, then why are you not taking real steps to correct the evils that we have perpetrated upon ourselves? Freedom cries out for strong leadership and honest leaders; we must not continue to allow it to be a cry in the wilderness! Wake up America!
Friday the 13th falls on Tuesday this month; that cannot be good!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here is a link to Jeremy’s new blog on Word Press. Welcome to our blogging world, grandson!
Ginger or Mary Ann? If you don’t know who they are, they were cast members on the 60′s TV series Gilligan’s Island. The show is still seen around the world. Looking back, even with racial and social strife and the Vietnam War going on, the United States seemed a very innocent place compared to 2011.
Went through many of my grandmother’s and mother’s things yesterday. I found some pics I hadn’t seen in years and all the greeting cards from her family my grandmother had saved during her last 15 years before she died in 1972. I found some WWII era photo prints that have been colored and I put them on my Flickr. These were probably sent to my grandmother by either her son Jack or son Roy before shipping out to fight Japan. They are most likely from Jack because Roy was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone before being shipped off to China. Notice that on some of them, parts have been deliberately not colored. I also found my grandmother’s funeral home memorial and guest book. Oh how I loved that gentle woman.
Even using the Chrome browser the PC still crashed on You Tube. It also crashed while running Linux/Firefox on the site. I did a memory test and it showed as being good, but sometimes the tests can be wrong. If the memory is good, that leaves a probable software snafu as the problem with Adobe Flash player. I uninstalled the flash player but haven’t tried much on You Tube yet.
Have a worsted Worshday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Henry Moon

Has anyone ever seen the movie Goin' South?  It is the funniest western I've seen, even funnier than Blazing Saddles. Goin' South was filmed in 1978 and headlined by Jack Nicholson as outlaw Henry Moon and by Mary Steenburgen as a gold digger ... literally. Some little known actors at the time who also played the funniest parts were Christopher Lloyd, John Belushi, and Danny DeVito. It is not on Netflix streaming video but a DVD rental is worth the price if you can find it. If any of you studs think Mary Steenburgen is cute, she appears in the flick Melvin and Howard wearing a beautiful smile ... and nothing else.
Sammy was over yesterday for the afternoon. He is nine weeks old today and is a good baby; he doesn't cry much. I noticed yesterday that while Carolyn was twisting her mouth to make funny noises at him, he would watch for awhile then try to get his own little mouth to do the same as hers. Babies learn fast, and though he will not remember one bit of what he is seeing and hearing and feeling in these first few years, it will be with him for the remainder of his life; he is writing the preface for the encyclopeda of his existence. The house (and our lives) seemed so empty when he left with his mom.
I haven't recently read any books that I think you will be interested in but back in June I read Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom It is a Swedish novel mostly set in Stockholm and the plot is basically the work by police to intervene in the Polish Mafia's attempts to completely rule the illicit drug operation in the country. It has many plot twists and interesting characters, but is a long book at nearly 500 pages and becomes a bit boring in a few spots. However, the story lines and the few characters that are well created kept me reading through the slow parts.
Eye allergies today so if there are some misspellings and more grammer slips than usual, please overlook them.
Have a great mid-September week!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

War and Pieces of Brakes

Thanks to Tammy for the beautiful butterfly metamorphosis images

The Escape is at the mechanic having the brake problem repaired. Mark may be interested in this because it is a problem common to many Ford light trucks and SUV's for many years.The Automated Braking System has a slotted sensor disc located on each front axel just behnd the brake rotor. Via a magnetic field, the disk tells the ABS computer how to independently apply the brakes to each wheel so the car will stop straight which is especially good on icy or wet roads. The discs are pressed onto the axels and and they sometimes come loose. However more common is that they are very thin metal to begin with and after several years they tend to rust and break apart; living near saltwater accelerates the decay. The discs cost less than $10 each, but each axel must be pulled, the old disc removed, and the new one pressed on; it can be expensive. Jerry's dad is a mechanic, and he is doing the work for us and I am hoping the cost won't be great. Another way to alleviate the problem is to discconect the ABS system which I do not reccomend because it can make you lose control of the car under hard braking situations. Or you can buy a new car.
I just finised watching Ken Burns' The War, a seven-part documentary about WWII. Burns has a different approach than do many such war sagas; he concentrates on the people living in four American communities and their reactions to the war and war efforts at home. There are plenty of horror stories and much film footage that I had never before seen; some very gruesome. If you are interested in that war, these are shows to see. Avaliable on streaming Netflix.
I don't know why I am so interested in that war unless it is because I was born during the period of some of the fiercest fighting or because my dad and two of my unles fought overseas. Another reason may be that the war was still being talked about and many war movies were being made in my early learning years. The Korean War came along about the time I began attending school and there were many comparisons between the conflicts by grownups.
Happy Trails to you!

Friday, September 09, 2011


I watched excerpts from Obama's tax speech of last evening. The tax cuts are good ... if you have a job and intend to use the extra money to buy goods. $450 billion is a lot, but compared to the first $800 billion stimulus which was largely ineffective at invigorating the economy by job creation—although it did save a lot of jobs—it will do very little to create good or long-lasting jobs. It all boils down to pandering to Republicans once again. If I were Obama, I would have proposed at least twice as much as he did and then rubbed the screaming, knee-jerk nay sayers nose in it on the campaign trail. Obama has yet to understand that Americans desperately need a leader in the White House and not a middle-of-the-road compromiser. Grab you Vaseline jars and bend over America; you know what is coming once again.

Firefox gave me a pop-up yesterday saying my flash player was old and could cause my computer to crash. I installed the latest edition of Adobe's flash player, cruised over to You Tube and mucked around with some videos and what do you know; it crashed again. Since Mark is having a similar problem, I have concluded it is Firefox defect. Therefore, I am doing today's blog from Google Chrome browser. Chrome is the fastest of the "big three" browsers but my complaint is that it does not have s sidebar for my bookmarks; instead, it uses an aggravating dropdown menu for them. However, several bookmarks can be placed along the top beneath the address bar so that if a pseson does not often use a lot of them, it is ok once you get used to it. I've heard that the next generation Chrome browser will have an oprion for a sidebar. Also many of your favorite Firefox plugins also have Chrome versions ... such as Scribfire from which I am writing this blog.

I've been geeky aplenty this week, so I will attempt to make my future blogs a bit more upbeat and relative to "normal".

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Win woes

I don’t have much to say today so here goes:
Just what Hillary needs; a push from a puke!
I hate to do it, but I suppose I am going to have to shell out nearly $200 for Windows7 Premium; my WinXP is becoming harder to manage each day. Except for one needed program for Carolyn’s business, I could get by with Win7 Home but I needs Premium’s virtual machine to run the old software. Actually, if not for needing the one bookkeeping program (Quickbooks), I could happily get by with Ubuntu, Fedora, or one of the other Linux distros which are all as good as windows and free of charge. I don’t need anti-virus software slowing down my machine with Linux. Nothing would please me more than to tell Microsoft to go to hell. Win7 is good, but MS could still get very rich by selling it at $50 a pop. Linux does have a good accounting program, but it is old fashioned double-entry which can be hard to learn if you don’t know accounting basics to begin with and it does not import Windows Quickbooks files.
I have Ubuntu Linux on a partition on this PC, but usually boot to XP because I use the bookkeeping program nearly everyday. I took XP off of my laptop and run only Ubuntu on it. My Droid X phone uses Google’s Android OS which is a version of Linux. Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Chrome browsers were originally built for use on Linux. Linux has all but replaced Microsoft in the server market which means that most pages you visit on the net reside on hard drives controlled by Linux. One thing that Linux doesn’t have which Microsoft is lousy with is marketing money, thus they remain a niche OS.
This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
~ Will Rogers
Have a good day, my friends!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Sammy now weighs more than 13 pounds. I’ve a new nickname for him: Grumpy!
Mid-week and the world is slow. Taliban Dixiecrat Perry is getting better poll ratings than is Obama. Republican candidates duke it out tonight on Ronald Reagan’s hallowed ground. The nation seems to be either flooding or burning. Life drags on.
As MTV proceeded to help destroy what was left of rock-n-roll in the early 80′s, a few bands emerged from the New Wave fiasco that were pretty good. Men At Work was one that I liked and two others were The Police and The Pretenders. All had good front people and Chrissie Hynde was one of the best. Boy George was right cute, too.
There were a few more bands and individuals I listened to despite MTV running them into the ground. Billy Squier was a rebel with a cause and was a good transition from 70′s mainline R&R into the 80′s Glam. I also liked The Clash and a several more bands had good one-hit wonders. Most of the eras groups were born terminally putrid; the one I disliked the most was Human League. I won’t even talk about MJ.
Have a Wednesday, sweet children.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ball-Mason jars

Wouldn’t ya know it; all night long and not one train!
Carolyn has changed her “getting my hair done” day from Wednesday to Tuesday; now I will be more confused for the rest of my life. Only her hairdresser knows for sure.
For Tammy: Once upon a time I inherited all of my grandmother’s blue Ball-Mason canning jars, everything from pint to half-gallon. There were also hundreds of glass-lined galvanized lids and sealing rubbers. As of my previous move, I had less than a dozen of the jars left, one or two lids, and no rubbers. I don’t know that there are any left after this present move, but if there are and you want them and if I can find them, you are welcome to them. One of the half-gallon jars was found by me in 1975 in the hole-in-the-ground root cellar that was once under my g.grandmother’s house; it has to be very old; the house was abandoned in the early 1920′s. I hope I still have it.
My PC just crashed again giving me the old Microsoft B.S.O.D. salute. It does it most when I am browsing You Tube videos. The problem probably lies in interaction between outdated Windows XP and Adobe Flash Player or my video card. I’m thinking video card. Anyway, I won’t have a video for today.
Have a Tuesday!

Monday, September 05, 2011

A minimum of two each hour 24 hours per day. In the front part of the house, they are a minor sound on the periphery of the mind. In the back part, they sound like they are crawling in bed with us. The Wabash Cannonball lives on with all its jingle, rumble, and roar! The Norfolk-Southern mainline is closer to the house than I suspected; in fact, only about 100 feet away from my bed. The worst is the air horns; there are grade crossings not too far from each end of the house and the trains blast coming and going. Everyone says I will get used to them and not pay the racket any attention, but it is difficult to believe anything that loud can be ignored. For some reason, there have been far fewer trains this weekend; I suppose they also have holidays. However, the number is steadily increasing as this day wears on.
The moving is basically over; all the big stuff is here and mostly what is left are my boxed-up books. Just in time, too; our first threat of eviction came in the mail Saturday. Life is good in hard-working middle America.
Like Tammy said, there is not much to celebrate for America’s working people. Jobs are still being lost at a much higher rate than new ones are created and more people are depending on their already stressed families for support. Foreclosures are once more on the rise as home values fall and banks are putting the pinch on small businesses. No one seems to care except the people most affected.
It is a wet Worshday in East Tennessee; have a good one, my friends.

Labor Day

Friday, September 02, 2011

Celebrating the Workers that make it Happen

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, Canadians and Americans
Live better … work union!
Neil Young for those who love him …

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ain’t gonna study war no more

In my post about the Civil War, Mark left a comment to the effect that we did not learn much from the war and I agree with him. It is my thinking that making war is a natural state of humans; we want to study war but to forget lessons. We are the only species that collectively makes war for any reason or for no reason. I don’t know if the primitive ancestors of modern humans waged war without cause, but I believe that only a large-brained species capable of logical thought would do such a thing. I do not think it is possible for homo sapiens to not make war on each other; it is a part of our evolutionary makeup and can only end when we evolve into a new homo whatever. The need for war may be so deeply imbedded into our brain stems that evolution cannot erase it and in fact, we may become more warlike in our next incarnation as a species. First, however, we must survive before we can evolve, and the way we go about killing each other for no reason may prove to make it a moot point; maybe monkeys will have to start evolving all over again. If my theory is not the case, then God must be playing one hell of a game with his children as pawns.
I wager that at least some of the children in the video will someday find themselves on some foreign soil trying to kill other people for reasons they will never fully understand. We are what we are.
Speaking of children: “New statistics from the national Feeding America network of Second Harvest food banks show 30.8 percent, or nearly one-third, of children in Northeast Tennessee do not have enough food to eat due to limited family income and lack of access to resources.”
We The People feed children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq better than we nourish our own. Wake up America! Read more:
Big girl

The photo is a quick snapshot of five-year-old Breanna modeling “Ganny” Carolyn’s glasses. Bre is my first cousin twice removed but she considers Carolyn and I as another set of grandparents. I hope she knows no war.
Thursdays are good days; have one on me!

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