Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gardens and lotteries and picnics … oh my!

Tammy's Lettuce

Tammy sent this pic of her beautiful, naturally grown lettuce; I am so envious. In front of the lettuce seems to be a row of radishes for me and a row of purple, delicious beets for Mark.

Carolyn bought five Mega-millions lottery chances; we’re still broke.

I went to have blood work done yesterday for RA doc; the phlebotomist came out to the car and stuck me so I wouldn’t have to crutch along; I thought that was very nice. She has been drawing my blood for many years.

Not far from the house, I saw a pic of an old, blooming apple tree I wanted but Carolyn wouldn’t stop; the light was good but not great. On the way home, she did stop but the sky had clouded with an approaching thunderstorm. The light made for excellent color saturation but a lack of shadows cause a flat look to the scene. I will post one of the pics later on. Jola posted a new pic on Flickr from her most recent Podlasie trip and I hope she will allow me to use it here.

Tomorrow we plan to picnic at Wilbur dam on the Watauga River. The weather is a bit iffy but unless it is raining constantly, I’m a goin’.

Weekend salutations, my friends.

Friday, March 30, 2012

You know ...

I like my new mouse; I can type and edit my words again.
Only in southern United States can a simple three-letter word like “get” be made to sound like it has two syllables: “ge.ut” or “”. Hillbilly pronunciation is “git”. Only in southern conversations does each sentence of a statement sound like it ends as a question. It is the way we say “you know” like athletes do when they are interviewed on TV, i.e.; “I just, you know, drove for the basket you know, and the lane cleared you know and I made the easy shot, you know.” The difference is that we southeners begin the sentence like any other statement, but by the time we finish it, our voice has changed slightly in pitch or something to where it sounds like we are asking for confirmation, i.e.; “I’ve been working in the garden all day long and I just can’t seem to make headway?” Italics is where the voice change from statement to question comes in. You know.
I thrice tried commenting Mark’s blog this morning but blogger was contrary and gave an error message written in super-secret hyper code and I’ve lost my genuine Cheneyman decoder ring. Sorry, Mark.
Have a best weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Response to Tammy’s comment concerning my most recent post: ” … I think there is something magical about being raised in the country and I think it allows for a child to develop in a very unique way. The running all day long with my brothers in the woods, drinking from the garden hose, dirty feet, pet goats, barn owls, orange blossoms perfuming the air, fresh oranges picked straight from the tree for a snack, tire swings, tree forts, bee-bee guns, bareback horse riding across the field, etc. I also, yearn for those times in my young life. It was the happiest most carefree time I have ever known and I’d go back to it if I could. There is a connection with nature deeply ingrained in my soul and when I am barefoot in the garden a whisper of it brushes my hair to remind me. I understand your thoughts on this. I am sad for children who spend too much time indoors in front of a TV set – they miss out on so much.”

I surely miss my country life as a child and until a lot of walking became a challenge, I still enjoyed “playing” in the woods and fields of my youth, even as late as 10 years ago. If I could go back to a permanent summer of … say 1953 when I was eight, I would be very tempted. Life with my mom, my grandma, and my two irreverent uncles was good, probably too good because all the chores I did were voluntary and I have never been good at stepping forward. My dad was around, but our relationship was more one of semi-peaceful status quo therefore he doesn’t figure greatly in the things I remember best in that time period; later years were much better with he and I. The year 1953 was warm mornings of grandma chopping weeds in her large garden or she and I in the berry patch at first light; she insisted that while the air was cool snakes would be in bed and not bothering us. In all my years in berry patches in two counties, I never saw a snake at any time of day although I suppose many of them saw me. Concealed hornets nests and buried yellow-jacket wasp’s nests were a different thing; seems I always found them. The pain of the stings have mostly faded from my memories and worn from my hide, and I recall those days with fondness, too. Yes, the honest connection with nature is everlasting and transcends human religion in my heart. The scents of fresh-plowed earth from a turned garden, mown hay goldenly basking in rolling fields under a curing sun, decaying leaves and tree stumps in the woods, and all the wildflowers which spring from the soil are still smiling from my most revered reflections. Birds, bees, and butterflies; autumn spider webs across my path which all seemed to be built face high and unseeable until my mouth and eyes were full of buggy silk; sled-riding in deep snows down hills so steep I wouldn’t climb them in summertime; mushroom hunting in spring; these are all precious memories. Going back to “then” and staying there forever would be excruciatingly tempting, actually; I truly don’t know if I would or would not abandon everything that has happened since to enable myself to invade what have become beautiful memories of a personal Camelot. Perhaps though, everything wasn’t so good in the summer of ’53 … I never had a tire swing. Thanks, Tammy.
I am breaking in a new mouse; my old Logitech unit lasted six years, being used mostly for photo editing and correcting typing mistakes … in other words, heavily utilized. My crooked fingers need certain “modifications” made to the mouse, and the new Logitech is designed in a way which is making alterations difficult. I will.
Thanks to Jola for allowing me to use her photo.
Have a memory-inspired Thursday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Going home

You are aware that I write about my childhood memories and I do try to keep most of them as accurate as possible. Like most everyone, I tend to see those innocent days through rose colored glasses and at times I write what I think my life was instead of what it probably was. However, most of the old-time recollections are true, but at times I take a biblical cue say them in a metaphorical sense. Every once in a while I wish I had a time machine to take me back and have a look at myself in the first half of the 1950s and then bring me back to the present. It is a mental exercise only as it is obvious that backward time travel is very, very improbable. If it were possible, it seems we would be up to our ears in tourists from the future and I’ve never met one of them I knew for sure was time-traveling although I’ve suspicioned a few; maybe inside their own heads some were. Anyway, if I could go back why would I want to return here; I love each and everyone of you but if my memories of a Golden Age of misty spring morns, honey bees and apple blossoms, sunny lilac days, and lingering, honey-suckle evenings are even half-way accurate, I would say a teary adios and—hopefully—never glance back this way unless one of you hits a big lottery. But, as author Thomas Wolfe wrote, “you can’t go home again”. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to live the same life over and I don’t cavort with paradoxes. So be it. If you’ve never read Wolfe’s book, think about putting it on your “to read” list.

Have a great mid-week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We had a few spots of frost on the back lawn this morning; hope it didn’t freeze hard enough in the mountains to hurt the apple crop. Does anyone besides me know that ripe Winesap–Staymen–apples are the best there is for fresh eating? My mom and my grandmother knew it. Grandma’s biggest apple tree was a Winesap and much of her apple butter was made from its fruit. A fresh, ripe Winesap has a mostly red skin, crisp, white or light-yellow flesh which is sweet but a bit tart, makes great pies, and keeps well in a cool place. They ripen in late summer and early autumn in our hillside orchards. If you should decide to grow your own Winesaps, be aware that the trees do not make their own pollen and must be paired with another variety of apple tree, usually a red delicious or golden delicious.

Sammy was here yesterday; he is Spoiled! Not my fault, though.

Have a Tuesday!

Monday, March 26, 2012


American enterprise
Not much to write about other than eye allergies were strong over the weekend; it took Claritin and a lot of moisture drops to see me through. Pun intended.

Nice outside today; still a little chilly in the wind. Sammy is here so I will be happy playing with him some.

Have a splendid Worshday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

“a plack for your thoughts …”

Corby's Plack Shop

Carolyn is working awhile this morning and I am editing the last of Sunday’s photos. They ain’t great but they are satisfying to my need to shoot and edit.

I have several photos converted to b/w and have them in a special account on Megashot.  I know you are anxious to see them.

Megashot has surpassed the 4,000 registered member mark. Mark’s Black and White Community is one of the most popular on the site.

Obama is such a lying snake in the grass; I don’t know who he is depending on to reelect him; he has alienated the young, the middle class, and the higher educated groups. Unions don’t like him, geezers are very suspect of him, environmentalists don’t trust him,  and the One-Percent hate him. Fortunately for the president the only person he has to beat is a shaky Mit Romney it seems, and it is beginning to look doubtful if Obama can even do that. He had better come up with something new; if he stands on his four-year record, he will surely lose. Occupy may be his worst enemy.

As for the above photo, I wonder if the guy was wanting to spell the word “Plaque” instead of “Plack”? Lord Google tells me that Plack is a small Scottish coin worth less than a penny. I love the Hillbilly Way.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waitin' for the weekend

Carolyn is running errands and I am doing some more business stuff.  Sammy is with his mama. Another warm and beautiful May day.

When were were out Sunday, I noticed many redbuds in full bloom; I don’t remember them ever blooming and not being frost-bitten before early April. If possible, I am going to try to go to Wilbur this weekend; been about a year since I was there.

Cops are cracking Occupy heads once more; again change is in the air.
Have a nice weekend prelude!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For "Shaggy"

Cowabunga Dude!

You can have this guy for your collection when I see you; JJ found it in the yard when he mowed t’other day. Only 1.75″ tall.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Dave Amos — July 29 1937 – March 18 2012

Sammy was here yesterday as he is nearly every Monday. Between being spoiled by his granny Carolyn and having teething problems, he was a handful. Even at his worst, he is the best.

Worked on taxes from eight o’clock til 11 o’clock this morning and I like an hour or so to be finished with them … whenever. Most of what I did was itemized deductions on Schedule A. My estimates from last year for 2011 are fairly close; hard to see the future in these quaky economic times.

Have a Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Garden goodness

View from the sitting rock

Lettuce bed and other goodies
Tammy sent along a couple of pics of her garden area. The bottom photo is the new lettuce bed enclosure that Mike built. I suppose the fencing is to keep the honest critters out of the veggies and flowers. Thanks, Tammy; looks like you will have a summer of hard earned goodness.

The weather turned from sullen to splendid in just a matter of minutes yesterday; around noon time most of the clouds went wherever it is that unloved clouds go. I sat on the porch busily sunburning my knees while Carolyn went to work for awhile. When she came home, she asked if I wanted to ride and see if I could find anything to shoot. “Hell, yes” was my instant answer so she packed us a couple of ham sandwiches and caffeine-free sodas and we were off to the environs of Telford, Limestone, and Chucky. I didn’t get a lot of pics and the light was nearly flat for the ones I got, but at least I got some and proved to myself that the camera still works fine. The problem I was having was related mostly to stupidity on my part and one camera setting that got changed somehow. My own problem was that I was using insufficient depth-of-field. On the Pentax, the auto-focus point had gotten reset from center-point to auto-find. Anyway, we spent more than two hours cruising the back roads in places where we had often been, yet I found things to shoot at that I had missed before. All the pics I got were made from the van’s open window and most are sharp as can be expected in the ubiquitous Tennessee hill mist. A couple were not so good; one of the Limestone train station made while we were parked on the RR tracks is a bit off but Carolyn refused to turn the van engine off while I was shooting and the camera picked up a bit of vibration. I will post some of the shots on my photo sites and on this blog.

Have a great Worshday, my friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gray sky blues

Finally some rain; still not enough but we will take what we can get. Leaden gray skies greeted me this morning, temporarily quenching my fiery thirst for travels along the local roadways in search of elusive photo opportunities. More fine days will come my way; if one learns anything over the years it should be that patience truly is a virtue.

I had a “green-apple” type belly ache most of last night and didn’t get much sleep until after daylight this morning. I ended up not waking until 9:30am and had to force myself out of bed then.

Have a good week, my friends.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Emerald Greetings

Fly Boy

The skies keep threatening rain but they are not producing; we are well behind the average for the year. Hopefully we are not beginning another drought situation like we had most of last decade.

Carolyn took Sammy into the woods behind the house yesterday; she said he laughed and “ahh’d” at the trees. I hope they whispered to him like they did me when I was young.

I took about an hour last afternoon and did the editing work on the above pic. The work took less than an hour, but I did some experimenting beforehand; I try to keep my bit of hard-earned skill near its peak. The pic was rendered with Paintshop Pro 14 directly from the RAW file. The most difficult part was Sammy’s eyelashes; they are long and had to be worked on at the pixel level to get the original background color replaced by sky. They still aren’t as good as I want them.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of Ireland’s people, all descendents of the Irish, and all the rest of you whom wish you had Irish blood in your veins.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March”

My little buddy was here yesterday and we spent some time on the porch. Carolyn pushed him along the street in his car but she was tired before I could get out with the camera; I had to settle for some pics of him sitting in his machine. He will be back tomorrow. I will post photos on this blog, FB, and Flickr when I get them edited a bit. There is something wrong with my camera or the lens; everything is soft focused and I have to tweak the pics with software to get them close to barely useable.

A glorious morning in these hills and except for predicted thunder showers, the weather should be superb for at least several more days. Yes, I know. I jinxed it by praising it.

I just this minute found out that one of my very good Flickr and Megashot friends has only a few weeks to live. I’ve known him for five years and we became very good online buddies. He is one of the first Flickr contacts I invited to Megashot and he is an excellent photographer, bullshitter, Democrat, and family man.

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beautiful day!

Sammy is coming today and I hope to get a bit of porch time with him. Temp today is supposed to be 84°F (29°C). Time to put on shorts and sun-cook my white legs for a bit.

It looks like the Occupy movement wasn’t a movement after all; more like a sore but short-lasting pimple on the butt of corporate America. However, it did do some good and is still doing some good in limited ways. Looks like the next “big thing” may be a religious uprising by the Santorum movement and counter-uprising by the 17 percent of Americans who do not believe in religion. Tricky Ricky Santorum may become the first Pope of Pennsylvania Ave.

Sammy’s here … gotta go. Have a pleasant Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


A lazy day for me; I don’t feel enthused to face the tax forms, Sammy isn’t here–he has gone to visit his dad, and the weather is warm but a bit iffy in the rain department. Carolyn is hauling Ashley and Sammy and then will go to hairdresser and then to the bank and pharmacy. I am alone except for JJ in his room playing his guitar; hope how soon he starts mowing. Maybe some porch time for me later today?

By this time next year, I hope to have my right knee replaced and possibly one of my shoulders. The crutches are finishing wrecking my shoulders. Soon, just to be able to sleep, I will probably have to hang by my one good knee; “holy headaches, Batman!” I also hope to have some much needed dental work done. It all depends on Carolyn’s health and how much longer she can work and be willing to work.

Have a Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Man I’ll Never Be

Poor sleeping last night. Finally finished a Kindle book on the Droid and then went to Amazon and bought a $.99 detective novel. I think it will turn out to be a good purchase decision. I’ve bought several books from Amazon and several from B&N, but have yet to buy one from Google; for a long time their reader software was not near as good as the other two but is now up to par.

Lyrics for the video.

Sammy is here … have a good Worshday!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Soul song

What does the color yellow taste like? What does crimson smell like? Isn’t the world of humans a delightful place when we are the only species who can wonder about such poetic diversions?  The price we pay for being human is coercion by our natural uniqueness to remain selfish and alone … and oft times lonely.

Been a quiet but rather onerous weekend; it didn’t get quite as warm on Saturday as was predicted. In my personal opinion, warm begins at 80°F and any degrees above that are pudding in the cake.

Have a warm and wonderful Sunday, my friends.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Approaching the Ides of March

Assassination of Julius Caesar -- Vincenzo Camucini

I see where our General Motors, a company which has a 25 percent ownership by American taxpayer’s money, recently bought a $400 million stake in France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen company in an attempt to bail the French company out of sad financial woes. That means that We the People now own a part of that loser company. I suppose that if we didn’t own some of it, we would would be forced to take some kind of military action against it so we could rebuild it gratis. There isn’t much left in the world that we haven’t attacked. Maybe the U.S. should annex the rest of the world; that way, we would not dare attack ourselves.

I’m alone this morning and I don’t feel like doing taxes for the second straight day; I dreamed about spreadsheets last night. There are only 10 numbers I have to deal with–o-9–but there are more combinations and multiples of these numbers than I want to think about. Our finances are small, but there are still thousands of these combinations over a tax year and they seem overbearing. I think I know how Julius Caesar felt as the daggers plunged into his heart.

Y’all have a good weekend and get out and about if you can; I hope to do so Sunday.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Solar safety

Been working on taxes all morning; was going to do so yesterday but Sammy insisted on having my attention. If he is playing with his toys and he looks up to see that my back is turned to him while I work, he yells “ahh-ah” until I look around at him and he will smile at me and go back to playing.

I’m sitting here under my reflective 100 percent solar storm-proof umbrella, my self-designed baseball cap with a wire-mesh liner which is grounded to a water pipe, while wearing an old, metal chastity belt which I made Carolyn use back in the days when I was away from home for weeks at a time working in other cities; it is also grounded to the water pipe. Being it is a woman’s model, it is uncomfortable as hell; hope I don’t lose the key. You laugh now but when solar rays from the present sun storm pickle your brain and leave you so impotent that Viagra won’t help, I will get the last laugh. I would make a pic of myself but I can barely move and you’d just laugh that much harder anyway.

Have an ionized Thursday, my friends.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Summer fun
Snug bird

Summer fun

Tennessee Republicans once more show their arrogant ignorance by tying themselves to the American Taliban’s front runner, Rick Santorum. Amen? Of the four left vying for the Conservative denomination, Santorum scares me me the most. Amen? Newt is washed up, it seems; maybe he is now running for the vice job. Amen? Ron Paul has some good ideas but some terrible ones, too. Amen? Nobody likes Mit Romney, but he is leading the pack … so far. Amen? We better get used to saying a lot of “Amen’s” if Santorum should be elected president; he will probably make it illegal to not go to church. Amen? A Pox on the lot of them. Amen!

Thanks to Tammy for the photos; she better not peeve the bird or he may pluck her plants.

Sammy is here for the day, taking a nap while I wait to play.

Have a happy Wednesday! Amen.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Do you know that every word you write or every photo you upload to the internet will be archived and kept in the “cloud” forever, maybe longer? Many people think their chats are safe from prying eyes, but they have another think coming. After your death, close family members and other “interested parties” may obtain every email and every chat message you have authored, and every document of any kind that you uploaded. There is no privacy in the virtual world, and the real world is becoming much the same.

What happens when the law enforcement spy drones begin crashing and killing innocent people? I can just imagine a sheriff’s airborne drone crashing into a school yard filled with unaware children while it is supposed to be looking for nearby illicit drug activity. The American Patriot Act should be completely repealed and reworked to protect innocents from rogue law enforcement agencies and no arm of the law is innocent.

Grateful Dead: no pretenses from these guys. I love this bluesy-jazzy piece.

Have a Tuesday!

Monday, March 05, 2012

In the pink ...

I spilled nearly a half-bottle–large size bottle–of cherry flavored Pepto-Bismol down the front of my shirt and pants yesterday. Yes, I am pretty in pink. However, I hate the taste of cherry flavored Pepto therefore I won’t miss it; regular taste is much more palatable.

Snow flurries expected again today but warming into the pleasants tomorrow.

Only one dark of the moon this month, so y’all plantin’ taters better get her done on the 23rd. Eyes up, please.

With the song above, it is said that Rick Nelson was hitting back at “friends and fans” whom had abandoned him when he didn’t perform as they expected.

Have a warm Worshday!

Sunday, March 04, 2012


When I get to heaven, I hope Jesus is playing saxophone in a cool jazz band.

Sammy came by early yesterday morning and he had a good grouch going because his sleep was interrupted. After an hour being a grump, he slept for nearly two hours and woke up wired and ready to rumble. Yesterday was reasonably warm outside but the wind was chilly. We didn’t have any of his protective clothing for his ears, so I went to the bedroom and came back with my old hardhat liner which looks like a cotton version of an old-time flyer’s leather helmet. It was much too big for him but he didn’t mind. Carolyn took him out and they “drove” up and down the streets with Sammy holding the steering wheel like a big man. We celebrated his eight month birthday yesterday.

Happy Sunday and many vibes for an easy work week.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


Friday, March 02, 2012

Be "Suspicious"

The above image is solely owned by Cyrus Khamak. Cyrus is a professional photographer; photography is his main source of income and it pays his bills. He is also the owner of Megashot, a photo sharing site of which I am proud to be a member. While doing some sleuthing on the web, Cyrus found four of his photographs which had been copied without his permission; used not by some careless blogger but by a large corporation which should know better. A Facebook page with more info about this and other posts about image theft was created in an attempt to inform and educate people about the seriousness of the problem.

Maggie, another member of Megashot, also has had images stolen. She is not a professional photographer in the sense that she depends on image sales for a big part of her income, but she does make professional grade photos. Her pilfered photos were used in various ways, some by publications and companies which surely knew better than to do so. Here is a quote from her latest blog post:
“I have found many people using my Peace Rose, my David Austin Rose, my minature (sic) Yellow Water lily, and that was just a few minutes search.”
So far, I have found four of my own photos (one of them is on two different blogs and another is on three blogs which seem to belong to one person) on blogs and on a website which has it listed as free downloadable clip-art. If they are stealing my snap-shots, just think of what is happening with your worked-for images.
What this all means to you: If you post images online–anywhere online–and if you do not make an attempt to protect them, do not be surprised one day to pick up a publication or go into a gallery and see one of your photos which has been sold by someone else who stole it, removed your name, and claimed the image as their own. If that thief made a few hundred ill gotten dollars for his effort, would you be pissed? You ought to be. That is one reason why image theft should be stopped to the degree that it can be stopped.
Most people, such as bloggers, seem to be ignorant of the laws covering image ownership but there are some who just do not care. However, many of them are reasonable and will remove the image or images from their sites if they are asked to do so.

Always place the copyright symbol–©*–or the word “copyright” along with your name on each photo you upload to the net. Most people will not go to the trouble of trying to remove a name and will move on and give someone else grief. Remember, it is up to you to protect your work.

Here is a tip on another step you can take to help protect your hard work.
*On MS Windows® PCs, make sure the “Num Lock” is on on the keyboard, place the cursor where you want the symbol, press and hold the “Alt” key while using the numeric keypad to type 0169; this should insert © into your text.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


February and its sissy Valentine’s sweet-sh-t videos are back on the shelf. March is here and March ain’t to be taken lightly, therefore my first video for this incredible month is from the best metal band; Judas Priest … You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.

This is all I have for today; tomorrow I hope to have some more info about image theft on the web; today I found two more of my pics which have been stolen and Cyrus and Maggie each have several images purloined.

Have a great Thursday; it’s great to be alive and be in East Tennessee.

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