Friday, March 27, 2015

Using A Dump Truck Tailgate (w/pic)

Most of you will have no interest whatsoever in this article, but a few will. Others already know all this. This is for those few who don’t know, but are curious.

Obviously, a dump truck’s job is not to load itself, that’s the job of other machinery. A dump truck’s job is to haul a load and unload it. For that task, it has a bed that can be raised to a steep angle, and a tailgate that can be opened either partially or completely. The average tailgate is hinged at the top. I didn’t show that, since the owner’s name is painted on this one and I choose to protect his privacy. The finger-like projection that you see at the lower left-hand corner is one of the latches. It has a mate on the other lower corner which doesn’t show well from the angle of the photo. The bed tilt and the latch are controlled from the driver’s seat.

Click image to enlarge.

When arriving at the dump site, the tailgate is unlatched and the bed is raised, thus allowing the load to slide out the back of the bed. A variation occurs when the customer wants the load spread, such as stone on a driveway. At those times, both the rise of the bed and the opening of the tailgate are both controlled, and the truck moves along the dump route, rather than sitting in one spot. Some refer to this as “tailgating” the load. Take a good look at the photo below to understand how the tailgate is controlled.

When tailgating, the opening between the bed and the tailgate must be severely limited, or you’ll end up leaving most of the load in a big pile, instead of spread along the driveway. To accomplish that, the chains are taken from their “dump” position on the tailgate, as on the right, and are put into a slot on the truck bed, as on the left. The length of chain left hanging partly determines how thick the stone is spread, as does the speed of the truck while spreading. I’m not so slick at spreading, having only done it a few times, so I luck out and get about 99% dump deliveries. A couple of my coworkers are absolute artists at tailgating and are downright fun to watch. They can look at how far the buyer wants the load to go and get it pretty-much on the money.

I showed the tailgate clamps for those who may have seen them and wonder at their use. When NOT being used, they are swung outward, where they lock down out of the way of the tailgate, as on the left. IF you’re hauling large stone or concrete pieces that could shift during transit and slam against the tailgate, you use the clamps to keep the gate closed (as on the right), since a hard enough jar could, theoretically, pop the gate loose from the latches. That could result in losing product on the highway, thus creating a dangerous situation. We also use them when hauling salt, since it’s dry and might try vibrating through a loose tailgate, plus, winter potholes could possibly jar a latch open and cause you to lose some of your load. Obviously, the clamps must be put in the outward position when you get to your dumpsite. Over the years, not doing so has resulted in a few trucks balancing on their tailgates, while the drivers sat in their cabs looking skyward.

There are also tailgates that hinge on the side, as opposed to the top. So far, I’ve seen them used only when hauling waste material to landfills. There are also grain tailgates, with a small lift-gate in the center of the main gate to control the grain as it pours out into a hopper. I’m sure there are other specialty tailgates as well, but the style shown is the most common. So there you have it, if anyone even cares. If not, there you have it anyway! © 2015

Another Old Bridge (w/pic)

This bridge is on Route 16, south of Harrisville, West Virginia. It's not the picture I'd hoped for, but it was the best that I could get one-handed at 30MPH. You'll notice the "posts" every few feet. Between the posts are several narrow, arched "windows," giving the side of the bridge an appearance somewhat like a porch rail. Keep in mind that the posts and areas between are one single casting of concrete. You'll never find such artistic work on highways ever again. That bridge was probably made in the 1930's, when craaftsmanship was still an honored tradition. Pity us. © 2015

Click image to enlarge.

New Economic Paradigm? (a link)

_It Don't Make Sense_: New Economic Paradigm?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

English Wooden Rescue Boats Of WWII (a link)



The doc took a cherry-size aneurism out of my left side today. I hope that I'll now be pain-free for the first time in many years. Bless you for your prayers!


This afternoon, I'm having an aneurism removed from just under the skin on my left side. It's been hurting for years and I finally decided to do something about it. Your prayers are appreciated. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Washburn General Store (w/pic)

Recently, I mentioned Washburn General Store and its porch sitters. There were four there today; the rest were across the road in the little park. Click image to enlarge

I had to over-brighten the photo a bit so you could see the folks sitting in the shade there on the right end. The photo is actually reversed, as it is a reflection in my truck mirror.

Houses For The Homeless (SOME of them at least) In Madison, Wisconsin (a link)


About Flint & Chert. The Quartz Page (a link)

Here's something for you "primitive" folks:

A Woodsrunner's Diary: About Flint & Chert. The Quartz Page.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Concerned With Propriety (w/pic)

Click photo to enlarge.

I sometimes pass the house in the above photo as I make my deliveries in a neighboring county. It was a place where I delivered chicken feed to an elderly lady, back 36 years ago when I drove a truck route. At the time, there was an old barn, back behind where the garage now stands, where I had to carry the feed by hand, as the truck couldn't be driven very close to the building. One day, I noticed two big wasp nests just a few inches above the tops of the sacks as I sat them down. The residents seemed rather aggitated by my activety. I told the old lady, who got really concerned about me getting stung. I assured her that I hadn't been zapped yet, but that I was concerned about her. She said that she'd get her nephew to get rid of them. Sure enough, they were gone the next visit.

The little ell to the rear was the kitchen of the house at the time, and probably still is. I was in it a few times. The lady offered me fresh cookies when she baked, and also offered me sweet lemonade on especially hot days. I always accepted, more to give her a few moments company than my need of lemonade. Old people who live alone crave company; I grew up in a family of old folks, so I understand that.

One horrifically hot day, when she invited me in for lemonade, she was dressed in a full-length slip. She apologized and said she hoped that I wouldn't think her indecent, but that the heat was just about to get her until she took her dress off. I told her her that I didn't mind a bit, and had a much-loved great aunt who did the same thing in such weather. I told that, in fact, she even reminded me of that favorite aunt, both in appearance and personality. She was even the right age (in her 70's) She seemed put at ease by my comments. As always, I chatted a few minutes with her in front of her fan before continuing on my way.

I didn't tell her that one of her neighbor ladies half her age had just answered my knock on the door wearing a half-slip, a bra and a smile. I didn't stand and talk there, however! ;-) © 2015

An Empty Lord's House (w/pics)

The delivery that took me past the Washburn General Store the other day also took me by an unused old building with intact white paint. I thought, at first, that it might be an old school house, but the "lights" over the door seemed a bit fancy for such a building. I leaned, therefore, towards it being an old church building. (Click photos to enlarge.)

The matter was settled when I drove a few yards farther and could look back and see what occupied a spot about 150 yards above the old building beyond a wooded slope.

No doubt most of the folks lying there once worshipped in the little frame church at the bottom of the slope. Hopefully, all the folks lying there are now "living the good life." Unused churches always make me sad, because there's rarely a shortage of people around them, just a shortage of interest in the Lord. © 2015

May you have a blessed Sabbath!

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19

There's A Table In Hell Reserved For The Clintons (a link)

_It Don't Make Sense_: There's A Table In Hell Reserved For The Clintons

"Doc Susie" Anderson (a link)

Coffee with the Hermit: "Doc Susie" Anderson..!

More Signs Of Spring

This week, I got my first mosquito bite of the year, heard the first spring peepers, noticed the robins have left the woods to hop on the lawn, noticed that the geese are pairing up more, and saw that the Easter flowers (daffodils) are up and forming buds. I'm all for it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Historic Drive-In Theatre Faces Shut-Down (a link)


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Plumbing Update

The plumbing problem is fixed. I sometimes wonder why the Lord puts me through such things, but this time, the answer was obvious: the situation put me in touch with a cousin that I hadn't seen for years. Thanks, Lord (And thank you to those who prayed for me. It was a real disheartening situation for a while).

It's A Country Thing !

Back when I was single (the first time), a city friend couldn't understand me waving at all the country folks we passed when we went to the mountains. He REALLY couldn't understand when they waved back, or actually waved first. "It's just a country thing," I told him. "City folks used to be like that, too, until they got too 'sophisticated.' Besides, you might need to use their phone someday, so be friendly." (That was before the days of cell phones.)

I was reminded of that yesterday, while making a delivery on the road that travels between Washburn, West Virginia, and Pullman. It was a beautiful sunny day and 75 degrees. A lot of folks were "porch sitting," enjoying the spring weather. Naturally, I waved at anyone I saw, and all but one or two waved back. As I passed the Washburn General Store (established sometime in the 1800's), I saw that a row of seven or eight old codgers were sitting on the store's full-width front porch. No doubt they, too, were enjoying the weather, one another's company and a good view of the passing traffic on the little country road. As my arm went up, so did the arm of every porch sitter. I wish I could have had a picture of it!

the very last old fellow then started pumping his arm, like he probably did as a kid for trains, trucks and river boats. What could I do? OF COURSE, I gave him a couple toots on the air horn! I could hear his friends laughing through my open window. It just goes to show, you should never outgrow friendliness, and you should never forget how to be a kid! © 2015

Putin Admits He Was Prepared to Use Nukes Against Us in the Recent Crimean Takeover (a link)

-"Rational Preparedness" : The Blog: Putin Admits He Was Prepared to Use Nukes Against Us in the Recent Crimean Takeover

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wooden Rake Details For Lady Locust (w/pics)

Click photo to enlarge.

The teeth of the rake are tapered octagons, and are about 4-3/4 inches long today; I suspect they were 5 inches originally. Despite the fact that you try not to let the teeth touch the ground during use, they invariably do part of the time. You'll notice that they appear rounded on the ends. They were originally flat, with the half away from the handle removed at 45 degrees. Also, you notice some variation in the thickness of the teeth. That may be due partly to being split out, rather than having been cut from boards. They average about 11/16 at the rake head and 7/16 at the tip. Taking wear and shrinkage into consideration, I suspect they were originally closer to 3/4 at the shoulder and 1/2 at the tip. I say "shoulder," because they are whittled into a half-inch dowel on the ends, which serves as a tenon to the half-inch holes serving as mortises in the head.

Surprisingly, the teeth are held in by friction alone. There appears to have been no effort to align the end-grain of the tenon in any particular way, as it varies from tenon to tenon when you look at the top of the head. You'll notice that there are ten teeth. The span is 24" from outside to outside of the end mortises, not the centers. That puts the teeth about 2-2/3 inches apart, but I imagine the builder walked them off with dividers, rather than measured them. The two end teeth tend to catch the most on the ground, in grass clumps and in vines, possibly explaining why they are a bit heavier than most of the rest. Also, to keep the ends of the rake head from splitting, either on its own, or from torque on the end teeth, two small nails go through the rake head between the end mortise and the end of the head. They are clinched over across the grain on the far side. I'm sure the holes were drilled.

Click photo to enlarge.

Here's a closer view of the way the handle is attached. The handle and head are both 1-1/8 inches deep, so their surfaces match. Both pieces appear to have been planed from sawn boards, rather than split out. The handle is one inch the other way, giving it a slight oval feel to its octagonal shape. A full-width tenon comes through the head's 1-1/16 thickness. The tenon is a half-inch thick and was originally wedged; however, somewhere along the way the wedge fell out. That leaves the head still held in place three ways. The friction of the mortise and tenon, the homemade iron joining plate (full width of the handle and about 5 inches long, held with one screw in the head and two in the handle) and the wire braces. The wire is about an eighth of an inch in diameter, so I suppose it's nine gauge, which is a common fencing wire. The braces are made from a single piece of wire, going through the handle and pressed against it for an inch or so, then angling out to where it contacts the head. There, also, it's pressed aginst the wood before going through the wood. A section of wire about 3/4 of an inch is clinched with the grain on the outside.

Click photos to enlarge.

Here are a couple more shots, just for good measure. The teeth were in a straighter row in their younger days. All are original, which is kind of miraculous, when you think about all the use this thing got. They're in better shape than I thought, but I may stiffen them by sinking a small diameter 2" screw in the mortise end of them. I'll also replace the wedge in the handle connection, give the whole rake a good cleaning and rub some linseed oild on it before I ever use it. With even that limited care, it may well outlive me, even if used moderately. © 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dad’s Old Wooden Rake (w/pic)

I think I remember it when it was new. However, it might have merely been ALMOST new. In other words, it might be younger than me, or it might be older. All I know is that I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t around. We always called it “the BIG rake,” as opposed to a much smaller, commercially-made model. The big rake was 24 inches from outside tooth to outside tooth and had an eight foot handle. The boughten one was probably 18 inches wide with a six foot handle and was technically a grain rake.

The big one was what is called a “bull rake” by experts, but we weren’t experts, except at using it. It was the rake that we used when gathering up hay cut with the scythe, and when gleaning the cut hay from the corners of hayfields, where the sickle-bar mower on the Ford Golden Jubilee could reach, but the tractor rake that we pulled behind the Ferguson 40 couldn’t. Dad never believed in leaving good hay in the field just because the tractor couldn’t reach it.

It got to where I probably used the old rake more than Dad, since he usually ran the tractors while I cleaned around the field edges. Besides using it on the farm, I used it in combination with Dad’s scythe, doing work for a couple who lived next door. Once a year, they’d hire me to scythe off the half-acre or so between their driveway and the hard road and haul off what I’d cut. Between those times, they often had smaller mowing jobs for me. Of course there was always some trimming and raking to be done at my great aunt’s, next door, and at my own place when I got a little older.

Of course, Dad’s tools passed to me when he left this life. For about 25 years, the rake remained in the barn that had always been its home. Then, it came to my place when the farm changed hands. I have no storage here, so it spent a few years under a tarp with a bunch of other tools. The trouble is, the tool cache is out of sight of the house, and sometimes the tarp got blown off. The tools rusted a little and the wooden handles got weathered-looking.

While once again replacing the tarp with a new one recently, I brought the rake up to the house. As fate would have it, it began its life either directly across the road, in the workshop of an old gentleman who once lived there, or in the log cabin that he lived in just beyond the back of my place, where he’d lived earlier. The rake has sort of “come home” in a sense, I guess. Not sure if the rake is really solid enough to use, I first asked my wife if she wanted it for a decoration, but she wasn’t interested. Then, I thought of giving it to a neighbor, slightly younger than I, who knew both my father and the man who made it. Finally, since I still have Dad’s scythe, and use it on occasion, I decided to make any necessary repairs and keep the rake myself. I think the basic frame is solid, but a couple of the hand-whittled, tapered octagon teeth may need replaced. I can do that.

I may try to give it to the neighbor someday when I grow too old to use it. Until then, I can hang it from the basement ceiling to keep it out of the way. Like most of my old stuff, the memories it holds are only for me. © 2015

Click image to enlarge.

The Crusades Are Not Jihad (a link)

_It Don't Make Sense_: The Crusades Are Not Jihad

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Primitive Woodworking At Wally World (w/pic)

In the picture below, you’ll see my hickory maul-to be after a recent trip to the Chinese Emporium. I’d been sent home from work after only three hours, because they just couldn’t get a load for several of us. I started to work on my maul with my hewing hatchet, but soon discovered that the slight back grind on it made it little different than a regular hatchet in use, and for this job, that made it too heavy. I guess that’s the danger of letting people make tools who have no hands-on knowledge of their use. It will take considerable grinding to right that wrong.

I’d just switched to my little Boy Scout axe, when my wife called from the door of the house that she’d like me to take her to town to pick up a few things. After putting the maul in the back of the truck, the dog on the back seat and helping my wife into the front, we headed off. The wife got out and headed inside and I wheeled the truck into the north lot and backed up against the curb of the outside edge.

At some point in the past, I learned that there are about a half-dozen parking places along the edge of the lot where the ground slopes up away from the curb at a fairly good angle. This allows me to put the tailgate down and sit with my feet comfortably on the ground. At such times, I normally have the Mighty Dachshund on a long leash and let her wander and sniff to her heart’s content on the sloped lawn. Today, after walking her a bit, and letting her water and fertilize the back lawn, I put her on a short leash and attached it to the gate-hanger. Then, I pulled out the maul-to-be, and my little axe, and went to work.

The handle was roughly square at that point (well, okay, more like a slightly out-of-square rectangle. First, I squared it up, trying to lessen any wandering of the handle in the process. I wasn’t splitting at this point, but scoring the high spots and then going back and “slicing” off the resulting chips. Then, I did the same to the corners. After truing up all eight faces as good as I could get them in a reasonable time, I repeated the process on the smaller remaining corners between the faces. Technically, that should make it 16-sided, but in reality, it was actually pretty-well rounded, especially considering that the grain was a little squirrelly.

At that point, I returned the maul and the hand-axe to the trunk. I picked up the pooch from where she’d been lying and soaking up the sun and put her on the back seat again. Climbing into the truck, I started it up and moved it around to near the door where I’d deposited the missus. Then, I lowered the visors, put on my shades, closed my eyes and thought I’d snooze a bit. Two minutes later, the little woman arrived with her purchases and we headed home. After getting my wife and the dog inside, I took the picture that you see below. The next hitch may involve a draw knife, a hand-plane, a spoke-shave, or some combination of said tools. Time will tell. © 2015

Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Signs Of Spring?

Just after sundown tonight, I saw my first little brown bat of the year. Then I heard a distant neighbor shooting in such a way as to make me think he was patterning his turkey gun. Finally, I heard what had to be a warbler in the hollow to the north of the house. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Didn't See This In The News, Didja? (a link)

_It Don't Make Sense_: Didn't See This In The News, Didja?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Good-Bye Diltiazem; Hello Herbal Tea!

I used to be on three blood pressure medicines. Then, my doctor divided one that was a combo, so Technically, I was on four.

Diltiazem used to be $10 for a three month supply. Then the manufacturer got greedy and doubled the price. Today, I went to pick up my latest supply and THAT price had doubled! I get really tired of companies thinking they have you right where they want you and can charge anything they want. I told the druggist that we all had to die of SOMETHING, so I was simply going to drop that medication and hope for the best. She was a little surprised, but understood my thinking

Actually, I didn't tell her the whole story. I recently read that a certain type of herbal tea has the same effect on many people, and can actually be substituted for that medication. SO, I went to the local health food store and bought a whole POUND of the stuff for HALF what they wanted for their dope. Now, I just hope that I'm one of the people that it works on! Time will tell. © 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Clinton's 20 Acre - $11 million mansion (from an email

Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York State Senator now comes under this fancy "congressional retirement staffing plan" which means that if she never gets re-elected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies.
If Bill out-lives her, he then inherits HER salary until he dies. He is already getting his Presidential salary until he dies. If Hillary out-lives Bill, she also gets HIS salary until she dies, Guess who pays for that?
It is common knowledge that in order for her to establish NY residency, they purchased a million dollar-plus house in upscale Chappaqua, New York....makes sense. They are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense.
Here is where it becomes interesting. Their mortgage payments hover around $10,000/month. But an extra residence had to be built by the government on the acreage to house the Secret Service Agents. Any improvement to the property is owned by the property owners...the Clinton's. So.... the Clinton's charge the federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of the extra residence to house the Secret Service staff which is just about equal to their mortgage payment .
He is the ONLY ex-president to use this loophole. This means that we, the taxpayers, pay the Clinton's, salary, mortgage, transportation, safety and security as well as the salaries for their 12 man staff and it is all perfectly legal.

Friday Night Steam (a link)


Just Do It (a link)

_It Don't Make Sense_: Just Do It

Feeding Hay (w/pics)

I’ve probably said all of this before, but I’m old and allowed to repeat myself. I won’t repeat the stuff about the heat and stickiness of baling, hauling and storing hay and the wonderful scents involved. With this foul weather, I’m thinking more about the feeding of it.

We always had the fattest cows in the neighborhood. That’s not always a good thing, since we had to give up A.I. and go back to the expense and bother of a bull. Cows are hard to time right for the procedure and fat cows are less likely to conceive. Still, Dad hated to see skinny cows, considering it a form of abuse to not feed them better. I tend to agree. I guess it should come as no surprise then that I always notice the condition of my neighbors’ cows. Some look pretty poor, fed once or twice a day with whatever the owners haul to them in the field. It seems the hay is sometimes cleaned up before the farmer makes it back to his house.

We had a nice barn to feed them in, with a concrete trough. We filled it up at daylight and again near sunset. If we discovered the trough empty through the day, we’d throw them a couple more bales. If the trough was completely empty either morning or evening, we figured we hadn’t given them enough and upped the number of bales we gave them. One of Dad’s favorite things in life was to watch his cattle wad in big mouthfuls of hay. There IS a certain peacefulness to the sight. We were very particular about when we cut and baled hay, so as to get the best-tasting hay we could get for them. As a result, they even thought that the old wild broom sedge we sometimes fed them was wonderful stuff. There were times, though, when we had some less than ideal hay that we needed to use, due to a low supply of better hay. A little salt water or molasses sprinkled over it and they acted like they were eating cotton candy!

A lot of people don’t seem to take as good of care of their stock these days. Two of my neighbor’s have skinny cows and one has fairly fat ones. Nothing would make me happier than to give the skinny ones an ample supply of good hay and watch them enjoy it. It’s not my place to interfere, though, and I couldn’t afford it anyway. However, I’ll always remember our cattle greedily eating the hay before them, and the look of pleasure on Dad’s face as he watched them. © 2015

Click images to enlarge.

Shot of our new barn in 1961. Note the gas tank on the left, the car axle that would later become a small log trailer, and the '47 Plymouth in the drive. Also, notice the elm tree to the left, and the last remaining corner of the old barn. If you look close, you'll see a couple cattle standing near the barn.

Here's the old barn that the new one replaced, circa 1954.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Intersting Read For History Buffs And Conspiracy Theorists (a link)


If We Know HIS Name, Why Don’t We Use It?

I read long ago that the REAL name of God was YHWH (pronounced Yahweh), not Jehovah. As the son, we call him Jesus, yet his REAL name appears to be Yeshua (pronounced yeSHOOa by most scholars). The names Jehovah and Jesus supposedly came about during translation to Greek, linking both names to Zeus, the pagan Greek idea of God. That basically paganizes the holy name of God. As with many things, we can lay this mostly at the feet of the Catholic Church, yet the protestants willingly continue the tradition. More and more, I’m trying to use the names Yahweh and Yeshua. Still, a lifetime of usage makes it hard to change.

I’m reminded of the guy that I called “Bob” for years, only to eventually learn that his name was Bill. When I asked him why he didn’t correct me, he told me that he knew who I meant, so he didn’t worry about it. Perhaps the Lord will look at it the same way; but why should he have to? Below are three links on the subject. © 2015


Marching To His Own Drummer (a link)


We Didn't Need This ! (w/pic)


The neighbor says that she measured 12 inches on the ground. I have no reason to doubt her. I haven't heard a snow plow yet. I don't look for one on our rural road for a couple days; we don't have enough "important" people out this way to motivate them. Even the berms of the local four-lanes will be clear before they send one lonely plow across our road.

There's 200 feet of curved driveway between the truck and the unplowed road. I used to have a tractor to plow it with, but I had to sell it to live on while getting my CDL. Ten years ago, I could have shoveled it by hand, but no more. I could put on the chains, but I'd then have to fight my way to town on unplowed roads. I just hope that I can get to work Monday, if there IS work. There was none today and, I'm sure, there won't be any tomorrow.

The electric has blinked off several times, but has always come back on - so far. If it goes off, we have no heat, except the stove-top in the kitchen. The woodstove continues to sit, chimneyless, in the living room for looks, like my wife wants it. She's afraid that if I hook it up, I'll use it all the time (and I probably would). She wants to sell out and move to town, but after 32 years together, I know that she'd be just as unhappy there as here, so I don't see any gain.

I'm trying to think SPRING! © 2015

Esther and the Second Amendment (a link)

Medley of Worship: Opus 2015-58: Esther and the Second Amendment

I Could Have Told Them THAT ! (a link)

Harvard study shows liberals have lower IQ's than conservatives (and you might be surprised by how much).

03-04-2015 – Riding Shotgun – Rain, Rain, Go Away

After delivering salt to Mill Creek yesterday, there wasn’t time for a second delivery, so I preloaded for today. At 6:50 this morning, I pulled out, headed for Glenville, West Virginia. Another driver and I travelled together down to Elizabeth on 14 and then took 5 over to Glenville. The road was full of standing water from the rain that had been coming down since yesterday evening, so we went a TINY bit slower than we might have otherwise. The rain, falling on the snow, still lying on the ground, created a certain amount of fog to mix with the falling rain. Driving under such conditions isn’t particularly enjoyable. The Little Kanawha was running near full bank on our way there. About halfway there, a couple more trucks caught up with us that had left just after we did. That told me who’d been driving the fastest. Our directions were a little better today, at least; the dump site was only a mile and-a-half farther from the stop light than stated, rather than ten miles like the other day.

Going back, we took 5 to Grantsville and then 16 to St. Mary’s and reloaded. Then, we headed the same way back to Glenville by way of Grantsville. Travelling the ridges was interesting. There was far more fog on the hills than there had been along the river. Between the fog and the rain, visibility was downright bad at times. I, and the guy I’ve been running with some lately, got started just after the other two, but they must have tried a shortcut, because we arrived at the DOH garage before they did without ever passing them. Once there, one of them pulled in as we were ready to leave, saying the other one broke down. I went ahead to the gas station down in town to use the restroom, while my “buddy” waited for the other guy to unload. I assumed they’d wait for me, but they didn’t. Apparently, the guy who’s been driving with me has no connection with me, particularly; he just doesn’t like to travel alone.

The guy had remarked that I’d been awfully quiet on the way up. I didn’t tell him that I was remembering all the times that my ex and I had traveled those roads. I was recalling the visits with her relatives, and her grandmother feeding us when we went up to clean the cemetery where the her father lay buried with his kin. We questioned relatives about her family history and were interested in the fact that they didn’t like to talk about the ancestor who was killed while serving as sheriff. Apparently, he was raiding a moonshiner’s still and got himself killed in the process. Local sympathies (even among his own relatives) seemed to favor the moonshiner! Many other memories from those days went through my head, too.

The strange truth is that we got along far better most of the time than I do with my current wife of 32 years, EXCEPT about money. She was completely obsessed with it, once working three jobs to make all the lovely green stuff that she could. I, on the other hand, was completely too unconcerned with the matter. As long as I made enough to cover my needs, I didn’t worry about it much. In fact, I felt that working an extra job, for most people, meant that they were refusing to live within their means. It also amounted to stealing a job that some other poor soul may have desperately needed. The truth is, I still feel that way, but I now realize how important money is if you want to lead a “normal” life. Ironically, my first decent job didn’t come until four months after our divorce was final.

Coming back to town, I chose to take Tanner road to Burnt House and in 47. I hadn’t stopped to think that maybe the Hughes River might be running heavier than thee Little Kanawha. It was. I got the driver’s side wheels wet three times and both sides once. The latter was when I drove through about 18-24 inches of muddy water for about 100 feet. I figured if the van in front of me could make it, my dump truck should handle it. It did. I spent a lot of the drive back to town talking to the Lord, asking Him not to let me get stranded for the night waiting for the water tom go down. He graciously granted my request.

When I got home, the rain was indeed going away (by turning to sleet), so I took the wife and the dog to town, got some gas, some groceries and some snacks. In the meanwhile, the sleet had changed to huge snowflakes. The road up our hill was just barely passable for my temporarily two-wheel-drive pickup by that time, but we got safely ensconced in our home before the lights started flickering. So far, they’ve only cut out twice and come back on. It’s a wet, line-breaking snow, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed and praying a little that our juice won’t go out while we’re house-bound. I hope you’re warm and safe tonight. © 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This link made me think of something!

Here's the link:

And here's what it brought to my mind:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Matthew 25:41-46

FUDD? (a link)

While designed for women in combat (which I don't believe in), I can actually see how it might be a good thing for female preppers to have.


This is actually just one of MANY such places in the U.S. !

Sunday, March 1, 2015



Everyone should start carrying $2 bills! I'm STILL laughing!!
I think we need to quit saving our $2 bills and bring them out in public. The younger generation doesn't even know they exist!
STORY: On my way home from work, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat. I have a $50 bill and a $2 bill. I figure with the $2 bill, I can get something to eat and not have to worry about irritating anyone for trying to break a $50 bill.
Me: 'Hi, I'd like one seven-layer burrito please, to go.'

Server: 'That'll be $1.04. Eat in?'
Me: 'No, it's to go.' At this point, I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill. He looks at it kind of funny.
Server: 'Uh, hang on a sec, I'll be right back.'

He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within my earshot. The following conversation occurs between the two of them:
Server: 'Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?'
Manager: 'No. A what?'
Server: 'A $2 bill. This guy just gave it to me...'
Manager: 'Ask for something else. There's no such thing as a $2 bill.'
Server: 'Yeah, thought so.'
He comes back to me and says, 'We don't take these. Do you have anything else?'
Me: 'Just this fifty. You don't take $2 bills? Why?
Server: 'I don't know.'
Me: 'See here where it says legal tender?'
Server: 'Yeah.'
Me: 'So, why won't you take it?'
Server: 'Well, hang on a sec.'
He goes back to his manager, who has been watching me like I'm a shoplifter, and says to him, 'He says I have to take it.'
Manager: 'Doesn't he have anything else?'
Server: 'Yeah, a fifty. I'll get it and you can open the safe and get change.
Manager: 'I'm not opening the safe with him in here.'
Server: 'What should I do?'
Manager: 'Tell him to come back later when he has real money.'
Server: 'I can't tell him that! You tell him.'
Manager: 'Just tell him.'
Server: 'No way! This is weird. I'm going in back.
The manager approaches me and says,
'I'm sorry, but we don't take big bills this time of night.'
Me: 'It's only seven o'clock! Well then, here's a two dollar bill.'
Manager: 'We don't take those, either.'
Me: 'Why not?'
Manager: 'I think you know why.'
Me: 'No really, tell me why.'
Manager: 'Please leave before I call mall security.'
Me: 'Excuse me?'
Manager: 'Please leave before I call mall security.'
Me: 'What on earth for?'
Manager: 'Please, sir..'
Me: 'Uh, go ahead, call them.'
Manager: 'Would you please just leave?'
Me: 'No.'
Manager: 'Fine -- have it your way then.'
Me: 'Hey, that's Burger King, isn't it?'
At this point, he backs away from me and calls mall security on the phone around the corner. I have two people staring at me from the dining area and I begin laughing out loud, just for effect.
A few minutes later this 45-year-oldish guy comes in.
Guard: 'Yeah, Mike, what's up?'
Manager (whispering): 'This guy is trying to give me some (pause) funny money.'
Guard: 'No kidding! What?'
Manager: 'Get this. A two dollar bill.'
Guard (incredulous): 'Why would a guy fake a two dollar bill?'
Manager: 'I don't know. He's kinda weird. He says the only other thing he has is a fifty.'
Guard: 'Oh, so the fifty's fake!'
Manager: 'No, the two dollar bill is.'
Guard: 'Why would he fake a two dollar bill?'
Manager : 'I don't know! Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?'
Guard: 'Yeah.'
Security Guard walks over to me and......
Guard: 'Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use.'
Me: 'Uh, no.'
Guard: 'Lemme see 'em.'
Me: 'Why?'
Guard: 'Do you want me to get the cops in here?'
At this point I'm ready to say, 'Sure, please!' but I want to eat, so I say, 'I'm just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this two dollar bill.
I put the bill up near his face, and he flinches like I'm taking a swing at him. He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and he says, 'Hey, Mike, what's wrong with this bill?'
Manager: 'It's fake.'
Guard: 'It doesn't look fake to me.'
Manager: 'But it's a two dollar bill.'
Guard: 'Yeah? '
Manager: 'Well, there's no such thing, is there?'
The security guard and I both look at him like he's an idiot and it dawns on the guy that he has no clue and is an idiot.
So, it turns out that my burrito was free, and he threw in a small drink and some of those cinnamon thingies, too.
Made me want to get a whole stack of two dollar bills just to see what happens when I try to buy stuff.
Just think... those two are of the age to be voting!!!
NOW do you understand why and how Obama got a 2nd term?

A Mixed Bag Of Blather

I forgot to mention something that struck me as hilarious that I saw along my route home Friday afternoon. Near the edge of one small town that I visit at least once a year, I passed a large Victorian home that had been added to in a big way many years ago (in an industrial sort of way). It’s now a bed and breakfast. I called my mom and she said that it was a hospital when she was a kid. As for me, I can vouch for the fact that for at least 40 years, it was a FUNERAL HOME! I have to wonder if they mention that fact to their guests.

For some reason, today, I got to wondering about the background of an old iron kettle I have. I remember Mom planting flowers in it every year out by the dinner bell post. (I have the bell, too.) Amazingly, it never rusted through or froze and cracked. So, I cabbaged it many years ago and it now sits in my basement, should I ever decide to make some lye soap or a REALLY big batch of stew. It turns out that it came from my dad’s side of the family, but she doesn’t know any more than that. That places it to at least my grandparents, but I don’t know if it was from earlier. It has a folding handle to go with it.

The Mighty Dachshund has long hair, but she’s still been shivering in the extreme cold when I take her outside to relieve her bowels. As a result, she’s decided to wait until spring to poop. When I take her out for anything more than just a quick drain, she sniffs the breeze, listens to any distant dog baying, looks for squirrels in the treetops, or does anything else to keep her mind off the subject that I keep encouraging her to consider. It’s not a complete success for her, though. Every two or three days, the pressure has to be relieved and she prances back into the house a colder, but much lighter dog.

Driving around back of the Chinese Emporium today to avoid traffic, I spotted a single Canada goose standing by the railroad tracks, turning his (her?) head and looking skyward. I had to wonder about the lone goose, since no other geese were anywhere in sight. Most of the geese are still in flocks, but I notice a few pairs starting to separate from the group. I’m sure they aren’t nesting in this horrible weather, though. The goose seemed to walk okay when it moved and I saw no ruffled wing to indicate injury, so hoping for the best, I drove on. Perhaps it’s lost its mate since last year or, maybe, it’s just waiting on its mate to return from a short excursion. I hope the latter.

For some reason though, as I looked at the lone goose, the sixth and seventh verses of the 102nd Psalm came to mind: “I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.” © 2015

What is a CINO, and Why Does This Concern Preparedness ? (a link)

I'm not in total agreement on a few of Jane's minor points, but these are things that should be considered by those of you practicing preparedness.

"Rational Preparedness" : The Blog: What is a CINO, and Why Does This Concern Preparedness ?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Speak Out? (a link)

Medley of Worship: Opus 2015-53: Headlines: Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Speak Out?

02-27-15 – Riding Shotgun – Barreling Down Memory Lane

I’ve been hauling salt this week, and seeing some old familiar places in the process. I’ve mentioned in posts past that the folks took me and my sister to the mountains for day trips and over-nighters when we were growing up. That often involved traveling east on the old Northwestern Pike as far Red House, Maryland, then heading south, back into West Virginia. Sometimes, we turned south at Clarksburg and traveled old Route 19 to points south. Occasionally, we’d even take the old Staunton Pike eastward into interior West Virginia. Along the way, we stopped at places of interest and had picnics in the road-side parks so common back then. When I was a teenager, we also traveled to Buckhannon quite often for a year, as my sister went to school there her first year of college. Lord only knows how troubled my parents lives may have been back then, but it was “the good ol’ days’ for me, though I didn’t think about it then.

We hauled salt to Mill Creek this week, a ways below Elkins. The directions that we received were extremely inaccurate, but we got there anyway. Along the route, I watched as best I could from the four-lane and compared certain points to the same spots during my youth. I have ancestors out that way, and I noticed family names on both gravestones and local businesses as I whizzed along. Needless to say, there have been a lot of changes over the years. The road-side parks are long gone, victims of disuse, vandalism and sexual deviants. The natural sites are intact, of course, and various signs still point the way to them. A lot of businesses from back then are gone now, either sitting empty or replaced by new ones. The mom and pop places have largely been replaced by restaurants, stores and gas stations owned by chains from out-of-state, further impoverishing our state.

I still remember the feeling of wind coming through the open car windows, the scents of local restaurants (and barnyards), and the scenic vistas that we encountered along the way. Then there was also the taste of sandwiches made with country ham, along with big helpings of potato salad, or a few deviled eggs, all washed down with strong, sweet iced tea (all made by Mom). As often as not, dessert was homemade cake with chocolate icing, transported in the huge, squeaky Styrofoam cooler along with everything else.

We hauled salt to Millstone this week also. The journey involved loading near St. Mary’s, then driving across Route 16, through Ellenboro, Harrisville, Smithville and Grantsville. We stopped before getting into Millstone proper, since the DOH garage was on the northern side of “town.” Two drivers were ahead of me and the driver that was running with me, so any chatter on the CB was just between the two of us. I suspect that he got tired of my comments about all the places we passed where I’d delivered for Red Rose Feed 36 years ago. There again, many of the places were still there, but many were also out of business or operated by other people. No doubt, many of the people that I dealt with then are in their graves now.

We came back by returning to Grantsville and taking Route 5 to Elizabeth and then 14 to Parkersburg. That happened to be the same route that my first wife and I sometimes used when returning from Glenville, where we’d visit her paternal grandmother. I didn’t mention that to the other driver. Along the way, I saw the little church where we once had to pull in to change a flat tire. She still has distant relatives there, proved by the sign on one of the businesses along the way. In fact, I also have cousins there that I’ve never met, for one of my family names is common up that way, and everyone in the country with that name is descended from one particular man. As we neared Elizabeth, we passed through Burning Springs. Oil from a well there lubricated the machinery drilling the well in Pennsylvania claimed to be the “first oil well in America.” So much for the accuracy of the history books.

My last run on Friday was to Spencer. The salt dealer sent me out later than they should have (2:30), considering that it was Friday and the DOH tries to close shop at 3:30 when possible. I decided to go Route 14 rather than south down the interstate and east on Route 33. I hit town just as two other drivers were leaving. I never saw them, but I spoke to them on the CB. The guy at the DOH knew I was coming, so he waited on me and, five minutes after getting there, I’d unloaded and was leaving. Knowing that it was an easier route, but would take 15 minutes longer, I still chose to go back 33 and I-77, rather than fight the crookedness of 14 all the way back. I got to the shop at 6:30 that morning and didn’t get off ‘til 6. That made sort of a long day, but started my next pay period off well.

I covered a lot of familiar ground on the way down. As a child, I often went with the folks when they visited my mom’s maternal uncle in Elizabeth. Most of the time, we’d go on to Spencer on Route 14 and visit with her maternal aunt, too. Lots of times, we’d take her parents (my grandparents), along so Grandma could visit her siblings. They lived down there a couple times when Mom was a kid, so there were a lot of memories there for them. My very first memory of life is of one of those trips, so there are a lot of memories there for me, as well. I wish I could have slowed down and enjoyed the journey a little more, but that wasn’t my purpose for being there. Still, it was nice to get my memory jogged, even if it was at a high rate of speed.

The way this old world is getting to be, those memories are growing more precious every year. I miss seeing those folks, but I guess I’ll see them soon enough since, like me, they trusted in the Lord. © 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hauling Salt And Rooms With A View (w/pics)

I’ve hauled two loads of salt to Sutton,West Virginia, this week, one to Gassaway, and another to Weston. We keep having snow just often enough to require continued salting of the highways, even though we haven’t had any serious accumulations in my area. Afraid they’ll run out of salt before they run out of winter, the various DOH garages are restocking at least some of their salt supplies. All four deliveries I’ve made have involved driving Interstate 79, so I’ve travelled it enough by now to have certain “landmarks” in my mind.

I’ve mentioned in other posts how “progress” always comes with a price. Almost anything done “for the common good” manages to destroy the livelihood or property of some individuals. A case in point is how large highways to help move the masses, destroys small towns and small businesses along the former route. Being a country boy, one thing that I’ve particularly noticed are the number of once-fine farms destroyed by interstate highways. Several are evident along I-79 (and every other major highway). I managed to get some photos of a couple farmhouses today that once had farms to go with them. Both are near Jane Lew, West Virginia.

Located in the head of a hollow that opened onto a slightly larger valley, the first one was obviously a cut above the more common brick homes of the day. Arches over the windows, rather than lintels, and gingerbread on the exterior woodwork show a level of craftsmanship missing from most country homes of the day. A small barn still stands out back, probably once holding a team of horses and a milk cow or two. The main part of the farm would have been in the valley, I believe. The one mostly filled with fills to lift the highway from the valley floor. What little may have remained of the farm is now on the other side of the four-lane, inaccessible from the house.

I remember when this road was built, decades ago, and back then, the house was obviously lived in. Now, I can’t be sure. One thing I know, the place is going to pot, and no-one will want to buy a house where strangers can look in the second-story windows as they cruise by only 75 feet from the front porch. Can you imagine looking out the window of your country home, only to see cars and trucks of all decriptions flying by with deafening results. I’m sure the government paid the farmer “fair market value” for the homestead that they ruined. That usually is computed AFTER everybody learns that a big highway is coming through, so it’s a pittance of the real value.

Click images to enlarge. 

The second home is a frame home located, once again, at the head of a small valley, but this one was up the hill a bit, above the valley floor. At least the highway is level with the downstairs instead of the upstairs. Unfortunately, you can still sit on the porch and chuck walnuts at the passing cars if you’re so inclined. Like the other place, it’s permanently cut off from any part of the farm in the valley. This house, too, is suffering neglect, whether from aging owners or renters, I don’t know.

It was a terminal blow to the old homes to lose the farms that went with them, I believe. Sometimes, it just takes a long time for them to die. © 2015