Monday, September 18, 2017

South Korea as the wild card in the North Korean game (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: South Korea as the wild card in the North Korean game

Collateral (joke from Facebook)

An old farmer wanted a loan for $500. He approached his local banker. “What have you got for collateral?” queried the banker, going strictly by the book.

“Don’t know what collateral means.”

“Well that’s something of value that would cover the cost of the loan. Have you got any vehicles?”

“Yes, I have a 1979 pickup.”

The banker shook his head, “How about livestock?”

“Yes, I have a horse.”

“How old is it?”

“I don’t know; it has no teeth.”

Finally the banker decided to make the $500 loan. Several weeks later the man was back in the bank. He pulled out a roll of bills, “Here’s the money to pay loan,” he said, handing the entire amount including interest.

“What are you going to do with the rest of that money?”

“Put it in my pocket.”

“Why don’t you deposit it in my bank?” he asked.

“I don’t know what deposit means.”

“Well, you put the money in our bank and we take care of it for you. When you want to use it you can withdraw it.”
The man leaned across the desk, looking suspiciously at the banker, and asked, “What you got for collateral?”

Federally subsidized flood insurance program needs to be killed! (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: THIS is why the Federally subsidized flood insurance program needs to be killed!

Monday Memes

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Best Gift That You Can Give Your Kids (a link)


Sunday Night Memes

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The Total Fraud Of Wind Power (a link)


Red Cross Almost As Corrupt As The Clintons! (a link)


So It Ain't Decorative, Huh? (a link)


That's strange; they use cattail heads and water chinquapin heads for decoration!

"You Have Been Warned" (from Facebook)

H/T Barbara
Bill Brugman shares his thoughts on America: "You Have Been Warned"
"Simply because I am 75 I am witness to things and have first person knowledge of things most Americans don’t. I was 18 in 1960. My father was born in 1914 and joined the Navy in 1932 and retired a Lt. Commander in 1957 when I was 15. My grandfather was born in 1885 and was a cattle rancher in South Dakota until the crash of 1929. I met him in 1952, the same year President Eisenhower and I locked eyes and he waved at me. My father was a story teller so I know the history of my family and certainly my own history. I am a witness to the Old America.

It was an America where God wasn't taken for granted, marriage until death, working Dads and housewife moms and respectful children were the norm. Divorce, unwed marriages, homosexuality, drug use and alcoholism were shameful. It happened but it wasn’t celebrated. By the end of high school boys could fix engines and bicycles, paint the house, tend to animals and little kids, do household chores, read and write and do math and were outside playing sports or exploring or fishing or hunting or swimming all day long. The girls were usually right behind us but they also knew how to sew and cook.
Families went to church on Sunday, or to the park or to a ball game or to the beach together. Boys either went to work, went to college or signed up but they left home when they finished high school. We got married young and had kids.

My kids don’t know this world and to my grandkids it must seem like the old west seemed to me. A distant time never to be like that again. The old west changed because of the Industrial revolution but my Old America changed for another reason and it began around 1960, which is why I mentioned that date. I was old enough to know both worlds. My world growing to be a young man and today’s world. My world changed for one reason and one reason only. The Bolshevik communist revolution in Russia in 1917 finally reached our shores in full strength and after Kennedy was murdered these communists gained a stronghold and ultimately took over the media industry, the entertainment industry, the university system and our federal government. Progressive secular humanism (communist atheism in which the STATE is supreme) has eliminated God from our culture and attacked the family with the end result being an explosion of sexual perversion, unwed marriage, single mothers, infant sacrifice for convenience, welfare, section 8 housing projects, food stamps, illegal immigration, gang controlled inner cities, sexually transmitted disease, Muslim terrorism, working mothers, rampant drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, depression, murder, rape, rioting, looting, political corruption, over regulation, taxation a militarization of police and a feminization of the military. The people who were demonstrating against our country as communists as young people when I was working and raising kids were Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Bill Ayers, Bill Clinton, Barak Obama and his entire family and cabinet and their supporters. They are communist traitorous enemies of our constitutional republic and should be tried for treason and hung. They were aided and abetted by greedy industrialist oligarchs like the Bushes and Rockefellers. Reagan was a speed bump for them and Trump is a big problem for them.

But if you think the election has stalled them or even slowed them down, think again. This is the movement talked about in the Bible. It is the godless, atheistic movement seeking a world government with total control over all private property, the environment and the demographics of the world population. They will be seeking a uniform economic system with a one world digital currency, universal medical care with rationed care for the elderly and marginal members of society, a one world religion in which humans are worshipped as the caretakers of mother earth, and a world military with total martial control.

Conspiracy? Give me a break! I have spent 57 years watching a DIRECT move in this direction ever since Khrushchev said he would take us from within. Nonstop. With each new democratic (communist) administration it gets worse. Starting with the Lyndon Baines Johnson. JFK was the last democratic patriot. Jimmy Carter was simply a bumbling fool. But with Clinton, that’s when the communist revolution got rolling like a boulder going downhill. By the time Obama pulled the wool over our eyes we were sheep being led to slaughter.

I have the hope that the United States of America will be the bastion of Christianity that stands to the very end. The Bible alludes to this. We already are that last hope. If the US falls to communism, Christianity will perish. Those who remain will be hunted down, marginalized, imprisoned and executed for refusing to renounce Christ in order to partake of the digital currency necessary to buy food, clothing, medicine, transportation and housing. If you people who aren’t Christians think this brave new utopia you are being sold is going to be a picnic, you are in for the shock of your life. My generation will be gone soon and we are the only people you can trust because we saw the way it used to be with our own eyes and watched as they forced this new atheistic world down your throats. You won’t be able to trust schools, film, books or the media to tell you the truth because they are re-writing history as I write this. That’s what the Marxists did in Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and Eastern Europe and they’re doing it here. You have been warned."

My Day’s Work

I spent the last 45 minutes before typing this up outside working on my sawmill frame. I’d already driven six anchor stakes for it the other day. This afternoon, I drove the other six. The stakes are only 1-1/2” square and have a double taper 3” long on the lower end. Still, the ground under the White oak tree in the back yard is like concrete and all but one hit roots on the way down. I was only trying to sink them 8” into the soil and one wouldn’t even go that far. I was using an eight pound sledge, but only using about a half-swing, since the stakes were pine.

The sledging was hard enough, and my condition bad enough, that I had to sit down and catch my breath before starting the next one. As I sat there, I remembered the days, nearly 15 years ago now, when I could roll logs weighing nearly 1,500 pounds up 10 foot skids onto my high-bedded pick-up truck using a cant hook with a four foot handle. Now, it’s all I can do to lift a 25 pound dog out of the shower (as I found out yesterday). It’s aggravating to be so worthless.

Oh well, my sawmill frame is one step closer to completion. Maybe I can get it leveled up this week and the stakes fastened to the frame. As my comical mother-in-law used to say, “Live in hope if you DIE in despair.” Nothing pessimistic about her; was there? – LOL © 2017

Self Deportation (a link)

Medley of Worship: Opus 2017-322: On the Street: Self Deportation

Warning About Islam From An English/American (a link)


U2 Cancels Concert Due To Rioting Blacks. (a link)


Mower Boy Sent Obama A Letter, Too, Response Different (a link)


Foggy Morning Porch Sit

The Mighty Dachshund was out last at 12:30 last night. Amazingly, she didn’t get desperate and wake the missus, or I’d have heard the cordless doorbell ring in my bedroom. (It was as cheap a paging system as we could think of, so I arrive a couple minutes after the ring, like any good butler.) Despite being up until 3AM watching FOX, when I awoke for another drain at 8AM, it felt like I might as well stay up. So, unlike the other times I’d awoken, I didn’t ask the Lord to keep the pooch content, but decided to get up and put her out. She was ready.

I could see a little fog in the woods, thirty feet away, the second that I opened the door. It was much thicker when I turned to the right and noticed that the neighbor’s place, 300 feet across the road, wasn’t to be seen. After the pooch drained and dumped, we took our positions on the porch. Through the light fog in the woods, it was easy to see the yellow speckles of dying leaves preparing to join their fellows who’d already hit the ground. The woods are obviously thinner than a week or two ago and I can see nearly across the little hollow, even with the fog.

The small birds, so plentiful earlier in the year, have apparently abandoned my edge of the woods for better foraging elsewhere. The woods sound so quiet without their singing and chirping. The crickets were still singing, though. Out near the road and through the fog, the sound sometimes came of a blue-jay squawking his delight over an acorn, or whatever it is that blue-jays squawk over. Once, I thought I heard a small bird chirp in the woods to my right, but I decided that it has just a cricket that had his legs crossed the wrong way. Perhaps on my place, or maybe on the neighbor, an Indian hen issued its Woody Woodpecker impersonation (and a poor one at that).

As the fog slowly thinned toward the neighbor’s place, his pole barn and house began to appear. I don’t think it was any actual movement of the fog, but as the view across the road grew clearer, the thickness of the fog in the woods to my right increased. About the time I could see the neighbor’s pole barn clearly, a couple crows beyond it began telling everyone that things were clear enough that it was time to get to work. Apparently, the Mighty Dachshund wanted no part of that, for she gave a whine that meant she was ready to go check on the missus.

Once inside, she reluctantly ate a slice of ham that I offered her, but was delighted with the slice of cheese that followed. After she got a drink of water, she took her position at the edge of the bed under my wife’s protruding elbow and settled in while I turned on the computer. © 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Memes

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Slow Day - But Then They ALL Are

Since it was the Sabbath, I didn’t even try doing anything outdoors, maybe tomorrow. We went to Chinamart and picked up some of our groceries. I swear we spend a little more money each week and bring home a little less, and the quality is crap.

My stepson called the missus on the way home, upset because he’s called her several times lately (he says) and she didn’t answer. He has no idea how hard of hearing she’s getting. Among other things, he told her that our oldest granddaughter got engaged today. I’m glad he told us, as she’d never bother to tell us herself. I like the boy, so I hope everything works out for them.

This evening, the missus saw another commercial for Dairy Queen’s “Chocolate Cake Blizzard” and decided that we needed one. I was surprised she’d go for it, as tight as money is, but I wasn’t about to argue. We got a small and they were STILL $4 apiece for a 12 ounce serving. Despite what they insinuate, they tasted exactly like an ice cream bar with the thin chocolate coating that I sometimes ate as a kid. Granted there was a bit more chocolate flavor, but only slightly so. It did have chunks of something in it which I assumed to be cake, but which could have passed for brownie pieces just as easily, considering how firm they were. It also had little thin slivers of chocolate exactly like the ice cream bars I mentioned, so I suspect they throw some in for texture. Overall, I thought it was worth about half what we paid for it. We won’t be getting any more of them.

One the way home, the fall bugs were singing loudly, even in town. The mighty Dachshund growled and barked every time I had to stop for a light or stop sign. It’s her way of saying “Get this heap moving!” I would respond with “Yes, Your Lowness,” since there’s certainly nothing high about her. She DOES consider the whole world her domain (turf) though, so she sure has the attitude.

Not long before we left town, we passed a house that has a small front yard that has been completely paved with concrete. Beside the front door stands a six foot concrete cat. We jokingly call the place “the cat house.” I’d love to sneak by some dark night and post a sign that says “Free Customer Parking.” Unfortunately, the missus won’t let me. I wonder if anyone would get the joke. © 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Life’s Aggravations And A Wasted Day

My wife is having excruciating pain in her right hip these days after any kind of physical effort at all. We don’t know if it’s arthritis or if she could’ve cracked a bone the last time she fell. I’m thinking that it’s time for an X-ray but, since we have no healthcare, she doesn’t want to spend the money, fearing we’ll need it later for something else. She’d dropped off to sleep when I took the pooch out at 5AM. I stayed up a couple hours before going back to bed, so I finally arose at 10:30AM. As the missus was still asleep, I didn’t even take my morning pills, for fear of waking her, since I knew her suffering.

At 1:30PM, the Mighty Dachshund told me that she couldn’t wait any longer, so I took her out again. After relieving herself, we sat on the porch a while. Not a bird could be heard, though an occasional crack would come from the woods when an acorn hit a tree limb on the way down. The acorn crop is light this year, since it rained a fair amount during the oak bloom this spring. The deer’s ribs are showing and there won’t be enough acorns to fatten them any before winter.

It’s downright criminal the way that our DNR manages for license sales instead of herd health or carrying capacity. They’ve already priced hunting and fishing licenses out of the reach of the poor residents who need them most. THEN, they issue extra permits, but ONLY if you pay in advance for a ticket that you may never fill. It’s an obvious racket. A former DNR biologist once told me that, for the DNR, the deer herd is the goose that lays the golden egg. Call it what you will; I call it corruption.

The company that was supposed to contact me about whether they could supply me with one of my heart meds never has contacted me, so I called my heart doctor’s nurse again. She’s going to re-contact them and gave me some samples to tide me over for awhile again. I picked them up this afternoon.

We put gas in the truck and then stopped at McD’s to get a cheeseburger for the pooch and let me drain my tank. On the way back out a guy seemed determined to run me down as I walked back to the truck. I shook my cane at him and he hollered that he’d stick it up my _ss. Having too many hormones and too much male ego for a guy of my decrepit physical abilities, I told him it would be the LAST thing he ever tried. I’m sure he wasn’t scared, but he drove on anyway. Actually, I was pretty good at fencing in high school and would go for someone’s ankles, not their head, if I ever had to use my cane to defend myself, but I wouldn’t tip my hand. I’m pretty good at feigning one move but doing another; I guess means that I’m just naturally sneaky. Incidentally, the woman riding with the guy looked embarrassed - LOL

When we got home, there was something I wanted to do outside, but I just felt plain worthless, so I didn’t work on anything at all. That means I can’t do anything until Sunday, since the Sabbath starts at sundown tonight. Oh well, I’ll never get caught up on things as long as I live anyway; I guess there’s no need to worry about it. © 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bureaucracy At Its Best?

Some of you remember that after the missus began drawing her Social Security that I lost my Medicaid, leaving me with utterly NO healthcare. In fact, I was supposed to start paying out medication costs of more than $200 OVER what she was drawing. That doesn’t include all OTHER medical costs.

Well this month, DHHR sent me a form that I was supposed to fill out if I wanted to continue getting the grand sum of $16 in food stamp (now SNAP) benefits. I figured that since I’d paid taxes all my life so mostly deadbeats could prosper at my expense, I might as well fill out the form and keep getting what I could for all the money the government had stolen from me over the years.

It turns out that they thought we had $13,000 in the bank for some reason. We don’t. I was sort of hoping that once they learned that fact they might up our SNAP benefits. I guess that was too much to hope for. We got their latest ruling in the mail today. They are going to REDUCE our $16 worth of SNAP benefits by ONE DOLLAR! That’s right folks, even though we have less money than they thought, we’re now going to get $15 instead of $16.

We haven’t been using the money lately anyway, having decided to save it for what might be closer times this winter. Still, I feel like telling them to put their $15 “where the sun don’t shine.” However, I always come back to the fact that I’ll have nothing to show for all that money I paid in if I don’t take every penny that I can get in benefits. I’m just glad that after a lifetime of work, I’m getting so much help from my government “benefactors.” © 2017 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Church

People have often asked why there are so many Christian denominations. The simple answer is: sin. Those who read the Bible know that there was sin within the church from its earliest days. The overwhelming sin of the 16th century Catholic Church brought on the Protestant Reformation. The Protestants, being just as human as the Catholics, soon started pointing fingers at one another, finding sin in everyone but the guy in the mirror. Today, division has gone so far that not only is there a large handful of differing sects among Catholics, but over 30,000 Protestant denominations as well.
Jesus speaks of the church (singular), yet we turn it into many. Bible scholars understand that there is still only one church; unfortunately, many Christians want to insist that only their branch is the real McCoy. As a result, a ridiculous number of sermons on Sunday mornings are concerned with defending the “rightness” of the denomination rather than proclaiming the righteousness of God. Still, some strange beliefs by certain sects, or their political or financial arrangements, guarantee that ecumenicalism will never work without accepting the attitude that “anything goes.” Few serious churches can swallow that, either.

And so, the followers of Jesus struggle onward, well intentioned, but unnecessarily divided due to their belief that everyone must think alike. Few realize that by requiring perfect understanding of the scriptures (which they think they have), they turn their religion into a works doctrine, the antithesis of what the scriptures teach us. Still, in spite of self-righteousness, Christianity has found enough true righteousness along the way that it has changed the face of the globe over the centuries, and more importantly, has changed the hearts and minds of millions of people. © 2017

Wedging Sledges - as opposed to sledging wedges (w/pics)

This afternoon, I went to the one place in town that I thought might have the handle wedges that I needed. I would have gone there yesterday, but they closed earlier than the place I checked then. Today, I was lucky. They not only had the usual smaller size metal wedges, plus the usual assortment of wooden wedges, they had the larger size metal one that I wanted for one of the sledges. I got two axe-sized wooden wedges at 39¢ each. The 1-1/8” wide metal wedges were 75¢ each, the 3/4” were 40¢, and the 1/2” were 25¢ each.

The handle on the straight peen sledge was made by an old neighbor gentleman, whom I great respected, about 40 years ago. It was made from split stock, not a board, so it’s far better than what you can buy off the rack. Normally, the wedge would run front to back, but he chose to install it cross-wise for some reason. Having put in a stub wedge to drive the original deeper, I sawed the extra length from the too-tall stub wedge to make it almost flush with the end of the handle. I then installed one of the large metal wedges the long direction of the eye and across the wooden wedge. It was thick enough that it went in with great difficulty, but I finally got it.

The splitting mall had two of the worthless circular wedges installed by the factory (which was probably in China) and neither the handle nor the wedges would stay tight. I put one of the 3/4” wedges cross-wise near the narrow end of the eye where it would reach from side to side. The circular wedges tried loosening just from me driving in the regular wedge. If I have to, I can drive in another regular wedge between the two circular ones. I’ve never seen one out of the handle, but I assume the circular style is basically a short piece of pipe with the outside turned a little bit cone shaped while the inside remains straight. I could have reset the handle a little deeper, which should also have made the handle tighter, but since I’d already wrapped the handle near the head, I didn’t want to go to that effort.

I’m sure the regular sledge will stay tight for a few years now. I guess time will tell about the splitting maul. © 2017

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Yesterday And Today

It was another sunny day here yesterday. I got in a 5AM porch sit with the pooch. I was in my skivvies and a T-shirt, but there was a stiff breeze out of the east and I wasn’t very comfortable. I noticed that it was cold enough that only one cicada was still singing and not very many crickets. Even they quieted down as it seemed to grow colder toward dawn. A couple deer came out of the woods to graze in the lawn and were silhouetted by the dusk-to-dawn light we have out by the road. The Mighty Dachshund wanted desperately to tell them that they were on her turf, but I wouldn’t let her. She’d have never kept quiet for the missus.

We went to the other Chinamart a little early to finish up our grocery shopping. On the way, we stopped at the sign of the fallen arches and got some breakfast burritos. They weren’t that full, so I tore a lot of the tortilla off mine and fed it to the English sparrows that had just arrived in the bushes by our vehicle. I tore the stuff into pieces the size of a quarter or smaller and they all got a piece and some was left over. I imagine they came back to check for scraps later, but we didn’t stay to find out.

When we got to Chinamart, there was some well-fed black dude panhandling at the entrance that I’d never seen before. In the store, the missus informed me not to get too much, because we didn’t have much money this week. I resisted the urge to tell her that we had exactly the same money that we do EVERY week, since I budget it. I didn’t get anything at all, but I noticed that along with the regular groceries, she got some potato chips and a magazine she wanted. I bit my tongue. OUCH!

Leaving the lot, the black dude was still there. I looked at his sign, but he tried putting too much on it and you couldn’t see what it said. Some of those guys don’t understand that brevity, and thus big letters, is a virtue on signs. I did some serious porch-sitting again with the pooch when I got home but, didn’t get anything constructive done except go to the basement to locate and carry out some pieces of 2x2 to use as stakes on my chainsaw mill frame.

Today, I cut the stakes to length and pointed them. They’ll be used to keep the saw frame from sliding around on me. It’s measures about five feet by eight and is sitting on cement blocks at the corners. There are already six stakes holding it in place, driven about eight inches into the hard soil; when I get the rest driven, there will be six more. Once the final leveling is done, I’ll use drywall screws to fasten them and the frame to one another.

The missus wanted to escape Alcatraz for a while late this afternoon, so we went to town and got a Coke at McD’s and drove over to the other side of town and back. On our return, I stopped at a store on that side of town that would pass for a general store, I guess. I was hoping that they’d have an assortment of metal handle wedges, but all they had was a “kit” with a wooden wedge and two small steel ones.

I have two sledges that need tight handles before I can drive the stakes for the mill, or finish splitting the firewood out front. One had the handle that the old man who once lived across the road put in it 35-40 years ago. I made a stub wedge the same size on the bottom that the old wedge was on the top, put some gorilla glue on top of the old wedge and drove the new one down as far as I could. It didn’t go far, so I suspect the old wedge bottomed out in the notch. I added some more glue around the new wedge and stood the sledge on end to let the glue dry for a day or two.

The other sledge is actually a splitting maul that I bought cheap in Amish country a few years ago. It has two of the circular “wedges,” one about ¾” across and the other one about ½ inch. I tried to drive them tighter using a center punch and the other sledge, but it was a wasted effort. The circular wedges are worthless, I think. That was the sledge that I was trying to find a regular wedge for at the store. Maybe they don’t even make them anymore except in the one size. It wouldn’t surprise me; I may have to make my own. I swear, you can’t find ANYTHING you need anymore. I guess that’s what I get for trying to use a factory-installed handle.

Until next time, y’all stay safe out there! © 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nice Weather, Storm Thoughts And A Struggling Economy

The weather has been beautiful here the last couple weeks. We only got two days of drizzle in the Mid-Ohio Valley from Hurricane Harvey. I’ve noticed for years that whenever there’s a hurricane down south, we normally have beautiful weather here. Days have been in the 70’s and a little breezy; nights have gotten down as low as 47. We’re predicted to continue having nice weather until Tuesday, but some rain then and maybe again on Thursday. That’s okay, we can use it here, though I’d gladly send it out west to the fire zone if I could.

I love the weather, but it’s always on the back of my mind that as I enjoy the weather here, the weather down south is killing people and destroying lives and property. That certainly takes the edge off the pleasure. All we can do here, of course, is pray for those down there. Naturally, those with a few extra dollars can donate to the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing or some other good cause. Just PLEASE don’t waste your money on the RED CROSS, it will do more good elsewhere!

The Mighty Dachshund and I have been getting some good porch time during this nice weather. We get the longest “sits” before dawn. There’s been a full moon this week and you really don’t need a flashlight to get around. I use one for her sake, though, since she’s down there at snake level. I just check the area and turn it off, though.

One morning as I stood beside her in the lawn, what looked like a slow-moving fireworks rocket appeared to be shooting straight up into the dark sky in the east. The “rocket” shined brighter than the morning star, although it looked smaller. It was a jet, of course, leaving its vapor trail behind it. The funny thing was that the vapor trail was glowing not from the sun just below the horizon, but from the full moon that still hung in the sky. A couple days later, I took the pooch out to be greeted by a fairly thick fog. It was only at ground level, though, and the still visible moon made the fog glow as if it was illuminated from within. I felt a little exposed in my skivvies in such light, yet the fog was dense enough that vision as far as the road was still very limited.

Daytime porch sits have been slightly breezy, but not windy. The woods are getting quieter by the day; fall is definitely on the way. Only an occasional crow, or a noisy Carolina wren or blue-jay swings near sometimes to break the silence. Clouds are many, but generally small, and the sun is no stranger. One day, I put the long leash on the pooch and let her lie in the grass, as she often likes to do, while I sat on the edge of the front porch. Even she seemed to enjoy watching the clouds roll by. Eventually, though, she wanted to go to her spot on the porch. There was a beautiful moon that evening and I tried to get a photo as it rose between the pines at the end of the driveway, but I never have any luck trying to capture the moon.

Despite having heard that West Virginia had the second fastest growing state economy last quarter (or month) things are dead around here. The streets and the mall and many other places seem nearly deserted. The restaurants, even the fast food joints, don’t have the business they once did. The friend that I call the guru recently was down-graded from full-time to part-time. His wife lost her job about a year ago. He says that they could go south and find work readily, but they hate to leave the grandkids behind.

We went to Chinamart today and bought some groceries. The paltry amount that we brought home for the money was ridiculous. The missus just got peeved at me because I have no money left for gasoline and she’s going to have to foot the bill for the ride that she wants me to take her on in a while. That’s nothing new; she hasn’t lived within my means the whole time we’ve been married. I’m not about to expect her to change in our old age! LOL

I tried watching The Woodwright Shop earlier, but I fell asleep during the first one and didn’t wake up until the second one was half over. I might actually have used the information in the first show, but I think I got still enough to put it to use anyway. I tried to nap a little longer, but the neighbor decided to do some target practice, so I got up. I would go outside and tinker, but it’s the Sabbath, so I’ll behave myself.

I’ve got five relatives and a friend in Florida, so I’ll be doing a little more praying than usual this weekend. If you happen to live down that way, I’ll be praying for you, too. Y’all stay as safe as you can, wherever you are. © 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Writing Off Jack

I met Jack back when I was doing telemarketing. He was young, hot-tempered, idealistic, and thoroughly brain-washed by the educational system and the media, so he was basically a politically correct socialist. Still, he was honest, stood up for what he believed was right, and seemed basically kind and compassionate towards others. He also had a high IQ, I believe, and a surprising amount of knowledge. I told him once, with all sincerity, that if I’d had a son like him, I would think that I’d done fairly well in that department. The problem was that knowledge and IQ do NOT add up to wisdom. Jack was unwise in many ways, but I wrote that off to the lack of experience that is youth.

I’ve stayed in contact with him online and have enjoyed most of our conversations. Unfortunately, His “Bernie bias” doesn’t let him see anything positive about conservatism or constitutionalism. Over the years, we’ve had many discussions over political matters, mostly when he disagreed with my posts. Strangely, for someone with the amount of knowledge and education available to him, he often questioned my words or beliefs without getting the facts that were readily available to him. Plus, in the years I’ve known him, he hasn’t shown one iota of movement from the left toward the center. With all the historical facts available to him and with all the wisdom to be gleaned even from a few years of living and watching world events, he still has the mindset he did when I first met him.

A few weeks ago, I told him that I was done debating him. There were no hard feelings, but that I knew that we would never change one another’s outlook, so I wasn’t going to even go through the motions anymore. It wasn’t that I expected him to like who I like politically, or believe everything that I believe, but it was so clear that he was permanently brain-washed that any facts that didn’t back up what he’d been taught would be ignored or totally disbelieved. I guess what I felt the most was disappointment in him and sadness, knowing that his mind would never break free of the chains that held it.

Tonight, he took an opposing view of a meme that I’d posted. He may even have been correct in what he said, but he said it without considering the facts about the other side of the issue. As it turned out then, his point was basically mute, since HIS political heroes were guilty of what he was accusing one of my political preferences of doing.

Somehow, it just felt like enough was enough. Not only did I unfriend him, I blocked him. I’m just simply done with him. Six years is long enough to wait for a kid to start growing up. They say whatever you are by age 30, personality-wise, you generally remain. Jack isn’t too far from 30. I guess I should be thinking of someone else to leave my antique hand tools to when I croak. Life always has to get complicated; few other folks would even be interested. I’ll still pray for him some, but that chapter in my life is closed. It saddens me some, though; I had high hopes for him. © 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Holiday And Thoughts About Being The Last Spouse

It was so long ago that I can barely remember, but I know that we went to the Chinamart across town yesterday. I always get my mom’s groceries over there, since we get most of our own groceries at the other store and I’d need two carts to get both. The missus always picks up a few things on Sunday that we forgot on Saturday. I also got some burlap to scour grime off a couple transitional planes that I want to refurbish and sell. I think the original owner wiped them down with crude oil on occasion and they’re rather black. I needed something to use with mineral spirits to scour them that wouldn’t be coarse enough to hurt the wood and thought of burlap. I’m hoping the stain from the grime colors the bare spots where use has worn off the original finish. I managed to get a couple nice porch sits with the Mighty Dachshund yesterday, too.

Today, we took a walk on the wild side and went to the Chinamart upriver and in enemy territory. I picked up three items that mom forgot to tell me that she needed yesterday and looked once again for her hair mousse. None of the three local Chinamarts carry mousse of any kind, so I’m wondering if it’s gone the way of the dinosaurs. I picked up the new Backwoodsman magazine while I was there. It’s the only magazine that I buy anymore, as it’s the only one that has more than one article a month that interests me. At the prices they charge for “mags” anymore, most just aren’t worth it to me.

On the way home, we noticed that the air conditioner was dying, so I recharged it before we went out this evening to take Mom her stuff. I got in one round of porch-sitting with the pooch this morning and it was blowing pretty stiffly, so it’s probably “puckering up to rain,” as the old man who used to live across the road would phrase it.

After the delivery, we cruised downtown and around a couple old neighborhoods that were nice in our youth, but are slums now. People have no pride anymore. It’s one thing to not be able to afford paint, or to let the yard get ahead of you, but there’s no excuse for trash and junk piling up in the yard or on the front porch.

We didn’t hear from any relatives this weekend. We’re too religious, too politically conservative, too boring or too poor to interest them anymore, depending on which one we’re speaking of at the time. Years ago, the missus didn’t call her closest relative for ages, just to see how long it took the relative to call her. She gave up after FIVE months and called the relative. He wondered why she hadn’t called earlier. I guess phone lines, like highways, only work in one direction.

Whenever my wife or I croak, no-one will ever know when the second one passes. It’ll be one of those deals where the meter reader calls the cops because the grass isn’t mowed and he/she smells the odor of rotting flesh. If it’s me that’s left, I might set up a daily call with another old geezer, so we can keep track of one another. Family is where you find it these days. © 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

My Holiday Weekend So Far

I took the Mighty Dachshund out a half-hour before first light on Friday. It was cool and very breezy. We sat on the porch a while and I felt under-dressed in my skivvies and my rubber mocs. The fall bugs were silent in the coolness, but the crickets were still singing. On a spring morning of that temperature the birds would have been awakening by that time, but the silence of fall is growing daily. The breeze kept me safe from mosquitoes, but the back of the swing felt cold to my skin if I moved away for a second and back again. I was sort of glad when the pooch decided that she was ready to go back inside and check on the missus after about 20 minutes.

After sleeping again for a while, the missus and I cashed a mortgage check, went to the bank and drew our retirement for the month, made a deposit and then went and paid some bills. The bank was full of people! Later, we went to Chinamart to pick up a few things and THAT place was packed. Still, we were early enough that we both got a handicapped scooter. By the time we came out, the place was even busier and the traffic was horrendous. It was obvious that other stores and the mall were busier than usual, as well. The obvious reason was that this weekend is a triple whammy. The welfare folks got their money Friday, and due to the 3rd being on a weekend, the social security folks did, too, PLUS it was a holiday weekend.

That evening, about a half-hour before dark, I took the pooch out on her last daylight bathroom run and we sat on the porch again. Obviously, that time I was dressed. It had been raining lightly since 10AM and even though it was only misting at the time, the leak in the porch gutter and the dripping of the tree leaves still made for a pleasant rainy sound. Both the cicadas and the crickets were too waterlogged to feel like singing much. The wind had mostly died down, though, and the mosquitoes found me after about ten minutes, so it was my call to go back inside that time.

It was still raining slightly when I took the pooch out before dawn this morning, but on the porch, I knew the mosquitoes would find me again, so I went quickly back to bed. The electric went off about 8AM. We went to Chinamart again, since the missus prefers to do her main shopping on Saturdays. I couldn’t get a scooter, though, so I spent my time sitting on a bench by the front door waiting for one. A couple guys I used to work with came by and chatted a few minutes each; that helped break the monotony some. I shared my bench a while with a black woman waiting on her husband, and later with a tall, handsome Hindu fellow who was 84. He could have passed for 20 years younger and was pleased when I told him so. After an hour I gave up on the idea of getting a scooter so, of course, a couple soon became available, though not for long. None of their stores have enough handicapped parking and that one has half the scooters they need. If it wasn’t for the missus, I’d never shop there again.

We took the groceries home, got the pooch and went out again, since I called the power company and they said the juice might not be on again until 5:30. We ran a couple errands, and then just went places to beat in time, and arrived home at 5PM to find the power back on. It rained all day, but never heavily. Tomorrow is supposed to be dry; I guess we’ll see. © 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Murdering Neighbors, Using A Lousy Tool, Asking For Prayer And Other Fun Activities

I can’t remember if I mentioned it earlier, but I murdered some of my neighbors Sunday night. I found their company extremely unpleasant, so I waited until after midnight (since I’d forgotten earlier) and gassed them. I killed hundreds of them, no doubt, probably thousands in fact. At least I didn’t burn their home, like many murderers do. Now, the next time I mow the yard I won’t have to watch for yellow-jackets.

I went out yesterday to see if any activity remained at the crime scene and took along the new pruning saw I mentioned the other day. A decent-sized ash sprout, which I thought would make a good walking staff, was growing in the forsythia bush. I was using the little saw for the first time, but it cut like it was already worn out. An inspection showed that Fiskars’ Chinese manufacturer thinks that adding a non-stick coating means that you can do away with setting the teeth. I have a saw set, but the teeth are supposedly hardened and I wonder if they will take a set, and if the teeth will break off if I try. It looks like Fiskars is no longer maintaining quality. What a shame for a formerly wonderful line of products.

I was so aggravated with having to “wear off” the ash sprout that I forgot to check the yellow-jackets, so I guess I’ll go back again before I mow. Incidentally, I looked up the sapling’s leaves in a 1949 Yearbook of Agriculture and it was a white ash, not that it matters, but we have at least a couple other varieties around here.

The missus is having a lot of pain these days, some probably due to serious reasons and some just plain old-fashioned arthritis. I have arthritis problems myself, plus two symptoms which aren’t bad separately, but could signal a serious situation when considered together. We don’t have healthcare of ANY kind, so our health and our lives are totally dependent on the grace of God; which is not a bad thing. I ask my Christian friends to say a prayer for the both of us that God might heal whatever is ailing us. We’re good-to-go spiritually, but would prefer to stick around a little longer if possible. Thanks in advance, as I know you will pray.

 The missus had her eyes checked today for the first time in years. The doctor found no disease or cataracts and only changed her lense prescriptions one notch. He said her eyes are in excellent shape. That was nice to hear.

It was another nice day here, cloudy but nice. Unfortunately, I squandered it by watching the 700 Club, taking a nap and then taking the wife and pooch for a spin after the news this evening. Oh well, if I die and leave work undone, it’s no skin off MY dead nose! – LOL

Thanks for your patience with my semi-coherent musings. May God bless you every one. © 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Good Laugh

We took the Mighty Dachshund for a spin just before dark this evening. We ended up near the downtown in what’s known locally as “the traffic circle.” The “dance troop” from our local high school was having a car wash or something down that way and they were on the sidewalk in their tall white boots and high-cut uniforms. They perform at half-time when the team plays. If they stuck with reasonably modest costumes and didn’t go into the bump and grind moves that pass for respectable dance these days, we’d have no problem with it, but they don’t. The high school on the other side of town pulled a copy-cat deal and now has one of their own dance groups.

Anyway, they began one of their routines, which started with some rocket-style leg movements, to get the attention of passersby. I ignored them, since that’s my usual response to folks who go out of their way to get attention. My wife, though, leaned forward and with her index fingers gave the hand signal that once meant “shame-shame” to generations of Americans. Maybe it still does, because she said their jaws absolutely DROPPED. Having only seen that reaction once in my life, I would like to have seen it, but it was too late. I cracked up as my wife shamed them and then described their faces, though. I told her that some may have cussed her; some may have said she was just an old fuddy-duddy, and some may have said she was just a religious “freak.” It doesn’t really matter; it was funny.

It’s kind of a shame though that girls aren’t taught to be ladies anymore, although, I’m sure they didn’t have time to get to the hip-grinding moves before my wife “commented.” They actually had the same thing when I went to the local high school, but it was relatively new then and they had yet to get quite as bold as they are now. Being the lusty young male I was, I thought it was fine back then. Times change, people change, human nature NEVER changes, but it’s still good for a laugh once in a while. © 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Week’s Review

The days all run together like flowing water in my old age. The sun is nearly set on another Sabbath; my Saturday is nearly ended, so I know that I’m a week closer to eternity. I don’t dread that fact; I know who and WHO is waiting on the other side. I NEVER know when this evil world that we live in will grow even worse, so I plan on enjoying what I can while I can, and often that means the little things.

Probably Monday night, I heard a whippoorwill singing deep in the main hollow when I took the pooch out at midnight. It was good to hear him sing. It was a sound from my youth, one growing less in frequency, they say, as West Virginia habitat changes. A couple nights ago, as I lay in bed at 3:30 AM, I heard a screech owl. Knowing how basically quiet they are, I suspect it was in the white oak that towers over the roof of our house. The small attic and the roof gave it a far-away sound, but that can be deceiving. I remember years ago, when I still lived with the folks, coming home in the wee hours of the morning to hear a screech owl somewhere in the back yard. I listened intently and checked the nearby trees with a flashlight to no avail. Finally, I thought to look straight up and there he was, only ten feet above me.

A week of beautiful September-like weather may soon be drawing to close. It’s been in the 70’s through the day and in the 50’s at night, sunny or partly cloudy through the day. Strangely, I’ve got little to show in work accomplished for such nice weather. I’ll blame it on the missus; that’s always a good plan. She’s been having me take her to the mall most days so she can walk. It’s hard on her but good for her. Of an evening, she wants us to take the Mighty Dachshund on a ride. Actually, the pooch DOES enjoy it and has even whined at us to take her when we hadn’t planned. Though the pooch is obviously spoiled, it’s normally the missus who seems to need it most.

I did manage to make a small needed repair to the porch swing this week. And, I assembled the wood needed to make a small ramp onto our porch, so the pooch wouldn’t have to jump in her old age. The boards are lying loose, but in place, and she’s decided that she likes the idea already. The ramp makes it easier for my old bones to get on the porch, too, and I’m making the ramp wide enough that a wheelchair can use it if ever needed. It will only be four feet long, but it will have a handrail on one side. The missus suggested that I paint a gritty surface on the thing. I thought that sounded like a good idea.

I tried disassembling the drawbar assembly that I’d tried to sell earlier, so I could get started on accumulating parts to convert it into a trailer axle. However, one of the bolts is rusted fast and I need to locate some bigger wrenches in the basement (wish me luck). Yesterday, I went around the yard spraying weed-killer on some poison ivy sprouts I’d been noticing. Plus, I finally got located the yellow-jacket nest I’d come across when I mowed the yard last time. Maybe I’ll gas it tonight (and maybe not). I located a couple of “transitional planes” in the basement I’d hoped to sell for gas money, but the antique shop guy said he had trouble moving them, so it looks like I’ll have to clean them up real good and sell them online; that’s a bother. I have plenty of planes, both wood and metal bodied, to do what work I’ll ever do.

The Mighty Dachshund and I have been getting in some good porch-sitting this week. Yesterday, I bumped into a former telemarketing co-worker at Chinamart. He was an honest-to-goodness stone mason in England before he moved here. Now, he does tire, brake and wiper installations at Sam’s club. Stone masonry is a dying art in this country, though I do have one on my friends list on Facebook. The latter fellow is a stone-carver now, though, more than a mason.

Today, I bought a Fiskars 13” straight pruning saw at Chinamart for $5 that usually sells for $13.92. That’s cheaper than you could buy a replacement blade, which I don’t think they offer anymore anyway. Everything is supposed to be disposable these days. If I eventually get the diamond needle files I want, I can resharpen such blades, though. Fiskars is one more sad story among thousands. They used to be of the highest quality and manufactured in Finland. Now, like most companies, the bulk of their products are made in Communist China by near slave-labor. It’s a sign of the times, I guess.

I just finished watching a couple Gaither shows on TV, the first about Cliff Barrows, the second about the Goodman’s. Good music (mostly). Such shows remind us how thankful we should be for a loving Father and a victorious Savior.

Well, it’s time for me to make my daily call to Mom and then check out the internet. Please pray for the folks being battered by what’s left of Hurricane Harvey. © 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hill Hay Versus Holler Hay – A Hillbilly Dilemma

I was raised on a 135 acre hill farm in West Virginia. For those who’ve never been there, MOST of West Virginia is hill or holler (hollow). Only about five acres of our place was bottom-land that would flood, and that area was in the pasture, not a meadow. A lot of our fields weren’t all that fertile, though we did what we could afford to improve them. We had some clover and orchard grass, but we also had a lot of wild grasses mixed in some sections, and no small amount of broom sedge. Still, if we could get it cut at just the right time and dried to perfection, our cows would eat it like candy.

We had neighbors who cut hay on low ground next to the creek, and the land there was fertile and the grass grew tall. Unfortunately, there were also a lot more weeds there. However, if you could get it cut and dried perfectly, the cattle ate it decently. Strangely enough, they would eat our generally “poorer quality” hilltop hay better than the often more favored species of hay from the hollers and valleys of the area.

The reason wasn’t hard to diagnose, though. When you worked the hay in the hollers and valleys, there were often wet tire tracks in the grass stubble and the tractor tires would be moist. The hay dried, sitting there atop the stubble, but it was never far from a source of moisture, and it often took an extra day to dry. The ground often had a slight musty smell and so did the hay.

One winter, a neighbor was running low on hay and his cattle weren’t eating his valley hay very well, despite it being red clover and timothy. He asked if we had some to spare and we did, but it was nearly 100% third cutting broom sedge. However, it was perfectly cured and caught early before the tops got fuzzy. Our cattle ate it fine and it turned out that his did, too. In fact, he ended up wanting all we could spare, because once his cattle tasted it, they didn’t want his hay anymore. He ended up mixing the two to get rid of his hay.

The situation was a source of amusement for us all, but it made Dad and me thankful that we had hilltop meadows. © 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dirty Laundry And Witching Water

My only sibling, a sister a few years older than me, was always what I’d call “different.” She went through three majors, seven years of college and multiple thousands of the folks’ money to get a four year degree. She used her education for five years before marrying a worthless Pentecostal “preacher” and living with him in a school bus as he did “campground ministry.” Every few months, he’d return to town to do a little work as a remodeling contractor to get a grubstake before going back to his ministry. I think he may have hood-winked my mom, but my dad, and my wife and I soon figured out that he was as lazy as a 15-year-old hound and as crooked as a barrel of snakes.

He eventually decided to build a small house on a part of the farm my folks had offered them to give them a “home base.” He built a bank basement with an upstairs, but stopped after he got the roof on and never finished the inside. Still, they lived in the basement during the winter and decided, come spring, to sell the bus and try to do ministry locally. I won’t go into details how they lived or what they did for the next few years except to say that they continued to live in the basement. On three different occasions, my dad and I sawed out the lumber that he said he needed to finish the house and all three times he let the lumber sit in the weather and rot.

After my father passed away unexpectedly, my brother-in-law thought for sure that he was going to weasel part ownership of the farm from my mother. Thankfully, mom didn’t go for it, though she was tempted. The promise had always been that I would inherit whichever two of three pieces of property the folks had and my sister was to get the remaining piece and her college education. What went to who was well decided by that time. When he didn’t get his way, he packed up some of his stuff and my sister and ran off to Florida to pout. There’s a lot more that could be told about him, but you’ve probably heard more than you wanted already.

After a few years, people figured out that no-one was living in the house and things started to be moved around and some things disappeared, so we gave the building to a kid we went to church with for the materials that were in it. He used it to add a couple rooms to his house.

I decided to disconnect the water line to the place where it connected to my mother’s line, but it wasn’t marked. So, on a lark, I made a couple “dowsing rods” from a couple old coat-hangers and soon found the line. Oddly enough, I also found something else running roughly parallel to the line about six feet downhill and angling further away as it ran toward mom’s line. Ironically, I couldn’t find the last 75 feet of the line where it attached to mom’s line. Whatever the other thing was piddled out also, but not to shooting over the hill on a hogback.

Frustrated, and remembering that dowsing was also called “witching” by some, I asked the Lord to either help me find the rest of the line, or give me a sign if he didn’t want me doing such things. From that moment on, the rods wouldn’t move an inch, no matter where I walked. That was the first and last time that I ever dowsed for “water.”© 2017