Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Day

 Sammy was with us yesterday and was wired to walk. He still has to have a helping hand for balance, but he is getting better at it each day. I was in my desk chair and he had hold of my left thumb; he started walking and around and around we went until he decided it was enough and turned, changed hands and grabbed my right thumb and went the other direction for a few turns. He then went walking through the house several times with Carolyn’s and JJ’s help. By the time he had to go home, we were worn out but he had taken a long afternoon nap and was ready to go again.

The photos were made with my f/1.4 50mm lens which I plan to use a lot more since my fingers have become so sore. It is lightweight and easier to keep around my neck for long periods. Sorry about using the flash; it is a necessary evil at times.

I planned to begin writing the body of my new story today, but for some reason I am a bit tired and have a sleep hangover; I downed half a Xanax last night and it put me down hard. I have 2.5 of the pills left in the bottle and no refills; soon, I will have to depend on Ambien. It works well and leaves less hangover, but for some reason I don’t trust it.

From Rocky Top to each of you; have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Here is a link from Maggie’s blog which is very interesting
President Obama writes his daily to-do list in the Oval Office:
  • Hug Hillary
  • Hug Michelle
  • Hug Geithner
  • Shake hands with Joe the vice-president guy
  • Orange juice, grits, and jammy toast for breakfast
  • Kill some foreign terrorists
  • Kill some Americans who may be terrorists
  • Wink at Hillary
  • Kiss some corporate ass
  • Kiss some Israeli ass
  • Kiss some Saudi ass
  • Ignore Pakistan
  • Ignore all of Africa
  • Ignore South America
  • Continue ignoring Cuba
  • Threaten Syria
  • Make a decision about some minor something and smile for camera recording event
  • Call the Pope and ask if he has heard from God today
  • Call Pat Robertson and ask if has heard from God tomorrow
  • Smile at Hillary
  • Call Donald Trump’s office; when he comes on the line, laugh and hang up
  • Call Putin and ask for more vodka
  • Order vacation brochures from S. Pacific Islands
  • Do anything to keep Hillary off my ass
  • Lunch salad bar with Boehner; beg if I have to
  • Afternoon golf with P.A.C. chairpersons
  • Evening meal with family if they are around
  • Watch The Jeffersons reruns on TV
  • Catch late Fox News
  • Do a presidential pee, salute and go to bed
  • Lewd suggestions to Michelle and thank God she isn’t Hillary

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Think rain!

I ain’t going to complain about the hot temperatures we are having because about six months from now I will be wishing I had them back. But, we sure could use some rain.

Ashley didn’t work today so Sammy was not here for a visit; maybe tomorrow. Carolyn bought him an inflatable swimming pool and she has plans for him to get into it tomorrow. Like most boys, he don’t even like a bathtub so I don’t have much hope for his taking to the pool very readily.

That’s all from Rocky Top; have a Tuesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorable Memorial?

Overall a pretty bad weekend with some nice highlights. Hope y’all had a good one. Sammy was supposed to come over today but he is with his dad. Carolyn has gone to work to finish up what she didn’t get done Friday.

I rode to the market with Carolyn on Saturday afternoon and made one of my best “social commentary” photos. A lot of hay being mown around the farms so the old eye allergies decided to kick in full blast yesterday. Today is sore all over day but I am gradually working some of it out.

It is sweltering hot in these hills; we badly need rain.

This coming week would have been very busy at my grandma’s house when I was growing up there. Plenty of crepe paper of many colors would have been bought along with galvanized wire for creating stems, and flower making would be under way. Back then, Decoration Day was the first Sunday in June and it was for all our past family members whether or not they were veterans. Each and every grave in our two local cemeteries got at least a small bunch of flowers, and and many plots in other graveyards around the area were visited so that passed family could have a colorful memorial. For many years, the flowers didn’t last long on the graves, night time dew took its toll on colors and shapes, the sun bleached out colors, and the least bit of rain made them look awful. Finally someone came up with the idea of dipping the finished flowers in melted paraffin and this helped them to last for a few weeks instead of just a few days.  The wax did have a propensity to dull the colors as soon as it was applied.

I have begun writing another story and it is unlike anything I’ve ever attempted. It is set in Dark Ages Europe, a time which seems dark only to historians because the people in my tale had fairly normal lives.

Have a memorable Worsh Day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Gotta love the this time of year when daylight comes before six o’clock each morning and stays late so the lightning bugs will have time to play. Wish I had a way of keeping late May and early June all year long except for one week of autumn’s most beautiful colors. What a wonderful world it would be.

Got my haircut yesterday and did a bit of shaving this morning which I will finish up tomorrow before the main man gets here.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Carolyn is about to drag my reluctant carcass out to the porch and give me a haircut. She has become a fiend about my hair; it was cut only last September. Next thing I know she will be wanting me to shave. Being on these crutches causes me not to be able to get to the creek for my ritual baths; been nearly a year since I was soaked in cold mountain water and scrubbed down with good old lye soap. Lye soap is the big secret to a long-lasting cleanliness; it takes about three months for my skin to grow back and another three months to mentally prepare myself to do it again. In the meantime, a shower with one of Tammy’s scented soaps does a pretty good job.

No Sammy today; Ashley is off from work. Maybe tomorrow or Friday.

Looks like rain coming; have a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

KISS concert abt. 1978

Carolyn, Quentin Hayes, KWA at KISS concert. Photo courtesy of Alice.

'Take it from me, there's nothing more terrible than someone out to do the world a favour.'

Feelin’ better today; at least I can touch the typing keys without much pain. Layin’ in bed sure ain’t my life calling. Still need a few days to get balanced as well as possible.

Mark is talking of maybe supporting the Green Party this year. I will give them a look; no way can I support Obama and certainly not the cruel rightists.

Title quote by Terry Pratchett.

Have a Tuesday!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Sat on the porch this morning until heat drove me back indoors. The yard and trees are filled with fledgling birds of many kinds and my feeders look like they are wearing gray fur coats. Not one train came by to louse up the peace of the countryside; a laid-back kind of day.

Sammy was over Wednesday but had a cold; we had to play with him twice as hard to keep him entertained.

I am having RA problems; I think the last prescription refill for methotrexate was not a good one. I am sore all over.

Have you noticed President Obama has said little about the latest Wall Street fiasco?  He knows who greases his wheels.

Art. You have to create it before you can know it.

Have a good ending of May; June is nigh.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday satire

The bitch I have with Elton John coming to Freedom Hall is the well known fact that he is g-a-y! He was also gay the last time he was in Johnson City. No, I am not anti-gay; I'm anything but anti-gay. Unless you are an American whom is dead, blind, deaf, and have no sense of smell, you know what a stink our religious/political leaders are raising about gays being an "abomination" in the eyes of God. Yet, since it was announced that John would be here in concert, I've not heard one squeak of a desent, either for his appearance 12 years ago or the forthcoming event in September, about an openly gay person performing for the clean, heaven-bound souls of Johnson Citians, God's chosen people. For Christs's sake, Elton Twinkie has been seen wearing huge, pink-framed eye-glasses with windshield wipers on them ... that actually work! How perverted can a person be! Apparently his freakish attire and ungodly mannerisms are fine with the religious-political community. Heaven help us. Welcome back to Johnson City, the new Heart of Old Dixie. Mr. John.

In the late 1990's when it was announced that Marilyn Manson was supposed to perform in concert at the same Freedom Hall Civic Center, all hell (literally) broke loose. Many a pastor, preacher, priest, reverend and saint for miles around bombarded the local rags with letters of protest about the "Devil Worshippers" bankrupting the precious young ears of the community of their God-given Souls. City leaders were inundated with a united effort using everything from reason to pleads to threats against their families if Marilyn Manson was allowed to soil the pristine and holy mountain air. In the end, the City Commission voted to disallow the concert and once more peace and harmony was waged across area. The good people went back to their Sunday pews, pulpits, and hangovers, knowing the only devils left to fight were other religious denominations—mainly Catholic—doing business just up the street.

After the dust settled, JC found that it had been blacklisted by most rock-and-roll musicians, as well as jazz and bluesmen; this delighted the religious bigots. All the city could book was an occasional country act, a washed up opera singer, ice shows, rodeos*, a few religious or gospel music events, and a few "I-used-to-be-somebody" acts like Elton John; wholesome stuff no young folk wanted to see. The city and its businesses have lost hundreds of thousand of dollars in tax revenue and income because the few were allowed to dictate to the many. Young people now travel to Asheville, Knoxville, Charlotte, and Roanoke to see concerts that Johnson City could have presented.

Both these entertainers are showmen, and the people of the area should be able to spend their money to see them if they so choose; if citizens don't want their children exposed to such, keep them at home and deny them access to television, newspapers, radios, and internet. Parents and preachers shouldn't blame their own inadequacies on the rest of us.

Have a Yee-Haw Thursday, my friends!

*Rodeos, circuses, etc. should be banned due to their cruelty to animals.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big Burley

Last week, our water heater went bad. Had I been a homeowner, I would have to come up with the money to have it replaced. Being a renter, Carolyn made one phone call and a new unit was in place the next day.

Johnson City’s last tobacco warehouse is no more. Sunday it burned into mostly ash and wreckage. JC used to be a hub for burley tobacco sales from farmers to corporations which produce cigarettes. In my day, there were at least three of the huge buildings around town but when cigarette sales in the U.S. fell and the government no longer supported tobacco prices, the city bought two of them and and had them demolished. The Johnson City Development Authority moves in a mysterious manner. The last time I was inside the one which burned on Sunday was the mid-1980′s when they had car shows in summertime. Burley tobacco was for years the main cash crop of local farmers; it mostly sold in November and December and it made clothing and Christmas presents possible for many children in the “Burley Belt”. In the 1940′s and 1950′s, JC was the home of a football bowl game; the (you guessed it) Burley Bowl which took place on Thanksgiving Day. It usually pitted the team from East Tennessee State College–now University–against one of the college teams from across region. JC had their Christmas parade the morning before the big game and people came from miles around to enjoy the revelry.

Elton John is coming to town in September! Oh, glorious day. Thoughts about this in a later post.

Have a Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mr, Gnome

Bless his ever-lovin’ blue-eyed soul


Sammy now has five teeth; he is ready for corn-on-the cob … or an unwary finger.

Sammy is now crawling … forward. He could crawl backward for a long time but it only made him mad at the world. Hopefully, he will be with us again Wednesday.

A man I admired for most of my life died last week. Carroll Shelby, a designer of such performance cars as the Shelby GT, the Mustang Shelby Cobra, and many other performance rides, died in Dallas, Texas.

I am not a winner, at least when it comes to prizes, bingo, lottery, and such. However, one of the blogs I read almost everyday had a jellybean counting contest. There was a candy jar nearly full of the multi-colored sweets and I had no idea as to the count. The blog owner was good enough to furnish us with the brand of beans therefore I asked for help from a higher power. I googled and found that a bag of that brand had a certain number of  beans. I went back an took a good look at the jar and decided it must have two bags of the delights so I sent in my guess of 935 after deducting a few and behold, I won a little gnome. He is at present on my desk watching me write this blog. He has his eyes turned up as if saying “I can do a better job than that” or maybe it is because my desk is so messy. I will post a photo of him as soon as I make one. I wonder what happened to the jelly beans? Other than a yellow ducky sponge at a fall festival in school, I’ve never won any kind of prize. Maybe my luck has changed; mega-millions is next.

Have a good Worshday; mine is unsettled weather.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Carolyn is working this morning and has to work this weekend. She and Vicki put in 10 hours of stripping and waxing floors last Saturday and she will be working at least one day of each weekend this month. We need the extra money but I hope it does not hurt her health. She had a doc checkup yesterday and all was ok except her blood pressure was up a bit. The clinic also did a diabetic eye exam for her but we won’t know results for a week or so. They dilated her eyes and she came home wearing ZZ Top’s cheap sunglasses; clinic issue. That woman cannot keep up with her own sunglasses.

I remember when farmer’s markets were little more than a few local gardeners getting together and selling produce from roadside stands. They have evolved into not only veggie purveyors but also flea markets, live music pickers and grinners, mimes, and some grocery sales all with hundreds of shoppers on Saturday mornings. A discerning browser can find about anything at today’s farmer’s markets.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Pat the Pope

East Tennessee State University graduated more than 1700 students last weekend. Mountain States Health Alliance (local hospitals, etc.) is firing 160 workers, blaming it on Medicare. Balanced economy.

America has a new self-appointed Pope! There has been a void in our communications directly to God since Jerry Falwell died a few years ago, but now televangelist Pat Robertson has had instructions directly from the Creator appointing him as the sole Soul-man and spokesman for God in what is becoming Godless nation. Somehow, God failed to mention his choice to anyone but Reverend Robertson. Praise the Lord and send Him your Social Security check via Pope Pat’s ministry.

Have a great Wednesday, my friends.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Is it Friday yet?

Nolichucky Valley

Another “down” weekend; feeling a little better today.

Don’t you just love those smiling, lying faces on the BP TV commercials? They would have us think BP has been the Gulf’s savior instead of its destroyer. The sad part is that enough people will believe them so that it will be ‘business as usual’. The company will no doubt have record profits this fiscal year.

Hooray for the voters of France and Greece; they know austerity on its own will only destroy what has been hard earned by middle-class workers over the past decades. There is always a balance somewhere but, unfortunately, there are also greedy people who will quickly have a thumb on the scales. America, take heed!

Have a great Worshday!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Pieces ...

An encore salute to a great movie and song

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Walking the walk ...

Sammy was here yesterday. As per this photo which his mom made, he really does grin like this when he is walking. He came strutting into the office–with Carolyn’s aid–with a smile and when he saw me watching him, he smiled even bigger. He is also learning to keep rhythm to music by moving his body; going to be like his uncle Jeremy. I will try to get good videos when he comes back next week.

Let Freedom Ring … today is Constitution Day in Poland.

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A good garden may have some weeds. ~Thomas Fuller

Looking at the pic of Tammy’s garden made me realize a thing or two. People these days can grow a lot of good stuff in a small space. Urbanization has shrunk our personal worlds from acres down to square feet yet we probably get as much yield from the smaller places as we did from what seemed like endless rows when I was a boy on my grandma’s (mom’s) land. Another thing, even though she had huge vegetable gardens each year, but she never grew flowers in or near them … with one exception. Gladiolas. Every year saw a single, long row of  glads of various colors smack in the middle of the garden, and until I was looking at the pic, the fact that mom did this hadn’t tweaked my mind. Now, I wonder if the flowers were there for decoration or if she had a purpose for them, such as maybe some scent from them deterred bugs or birds. She kept a lot of old traditions and notions about how things should and must be done. Mom loved flowers and her house and yard were surrounded by as many kinds as she could get to thrive from March through October. Were the glads banned form the yard or were the other flowers banned from the garden? Anyone have a clue? Personally, I think they were there to break the monotony of seeing the same green plants all the time. Mom was quite a lady; shy and old-fashioned but still a woman who loved the beauty of nature.

Did you know that if you plant certain tomatoes close to potatoes that the potato plants may grow tiny green tomatoes? Fact!

If the weather was any prettier than what it is today, it would be taxed by the government.

Sammy is on the way … O’ glorious day!

Have a great Wednesday, my friends.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence' ~Benjamin Disraeli

Tammy's 7' (2.1meter) tomatoes ('maters)
I began preparing this post last Friday before going to doc’s office. After her examination, I wasn’t in much mood  to finish it. Except for some unexpected degeneration in my hands, wrists, and shoulders, she said I am exceptionally healthy for 90 year old man, and much better than most 67 year old men. She is continually astounded by the results of my blood tests over the 18 years she has been seeing me; she says I have the blood of an 18 year old which made me feel good because my heart doc says I have the circulatory system of someone many years younger than I. I’ve told them both the reason for the anomaly is because I refuse to grow up; no way do I want to completely mature emotionally, mentally, or physically. That little white-haired boy I knew in 1948; I must forever be seeing the world through his eyes; I must feel the cool spring mornings as he felt them; birds singing over a misty lawn, scented apple blossoms surrounding the house, bees and critters making so many tiny sounds that they became a a needed part of the ambiance. I became aware they were a necessary part of my world an my life and I must seek out the same  secrets of summer. I am 67 going on 10; a perfect vintage in any man’s age.

Saturday I was sick; the doc’s examination necessarily consists of checking flexibility of all my joints and most of the joins are very limited in any kind of movement, at best. Other than the artificial joints, I am mostly stiff in them. Doctor was gentle, but the slightest rotation on a non-replaced knee causes excruciating pain as well does any slight lateral movement to the knee. Using the crutches are wrecking my shoulders and she had to flex and rotate them, also. While talking about my young blood and for the first time ever, she asked if I was still sexually active. I suddenly had many cute retorts for any number of conceivable scenarios, but I reddened, hung my head, and muttered that I still got stiff erections. The answer seemed to satisfy her without really addressing the question she asked; ‘am I still getting any?’ She knows how shy I am.

Even not being at my best Saturday, we went driving to the Nolichucky area to the market and I persuaded Carolyn to drive across highway road and a mile or two into the mountains along Clark;s Creek. Quiet, peaceful, beautiful. By the time we got back home, I was barely moving; my old body was revolting against its young counterpart and filling with fluid. Most of it was gone by Monday night and I am back to near-”normal” today.

Monday morning came and no internet except for the 3G DroidX, which served to answer  a couple of short emails and do yesterday’s blog post.

Sorry I was late getting your photo posted, Tammy; the maters are probably ready to pick by now. I like the sunflower, too.

Hope y’all had a good Worshday and that you are having a Tuesday.

Blog Archive