Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Comments On The Corporate Greed Post From A Friend

Re that link to a shortage of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

I can remember overseas how doctors would mix their own sodium bicarbonate solution, as well as many others.  It did NOT take a factory to make many of the medications, infusions, etc.  they could be compounded in the pharmacy by the trained pharmacist using books of formulas or even doctor's orders.  

I remember when BFI powder stopped being produced for several years (before making a 20 year comeback, then going defunct forever).  BFI powder was almost a miracle powder that dried up and helped heal things like staph sores, belly/boob roll sores, etc. in very short order.

The pharmacist compounded it (we were in Pakistan) and it was sprayed into my 3 year old adopted sister's ears and onto into the sores on her scalp (she had gotten the staph infection in the orphanage in Iran where we had adopted her as a newborn).  

American doctors were unable to get rid of it, no matter what they tried.  

When the Pakistani doctor in Pakistan said BFI, got it compounded, and it was used for less than 6 months, the staph infection vanished.  Then-cutting-edge surgery was performed to rebuild her staph-ruined eardrums by the Pakistani doctor, returning her hearing from 0% to 95%.  55 years later, she has never had a staph relapse and her hearing is equally as good.

So, perhaps, doctors need to stop complaining and the pharmacy in the hospital start compounding items in short supply.

But then the lawyers would have their heyday.  

Probably best to simply let the patient die and blame it on the shortage.

Oh well ...

PS: ever looked at Neosporin ointment.  It's only active ingredient is Bacitracin (recently using other more pharmaceutical-sounding names to break the visual link to bacitracin).  You used to get tubes of bacitracin for under a buck ... then Neosporin came along, jacked the price up and made a lot of publicity claims while at the same time significantly increasing the price of bacitracin to almost 8 bucks a tube (later shrinking it down to one oz, and dropping the price to about $6).  Ultimately it was priced at $9.50 an ounce, while Neosporin sells at just under $7 an oz.  The better buy, and far cheaper if it were not for Neosporin, would be the 1945-invented bacitracin.

That's marketing.

Australian Firearm Owner’s Freedom at the Cross Roads (a link)

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Australian Survival and Preppers..: Firearm Owner’s Freedom at the Cross Roads.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wasted Effort

I just heard Chris Wallace on the TV in the next room. He was talking to Rex Tillerson and was trying his best to undo any good Trump might do in the Middle East. Personally, I don't think Wallace will have any effect on Arab thought, as they have no respect for lapdogs.

When It Rains…

…it pours, they say. However, there’s nothing major going on, really. I got a call from the therapy center yesterday at 9AM telling me that Mom had dropped her lower plate and broken it. We were going to town anyway, so we left early, picked up her broken denture and swung by her “denture doctor,” but he was closed on Saturday, as I suspected. I called Mom later and told her that she’d have to “gum it” over the weekend. She didn’t seem to think that was a problem.

The rehab center keeps moving her boot-out date up for some reason. I don’t know if they want the bed for someone else, or just what. It was set for this coming Saturday, then Friday, and now they’re talking about Tuesday. I’m going to try to reach her regular doctor tomorrow and see if she thinks that’s wise.

I picked up my lower-priced meds from Kroger’s today and they were about three times what they quoted me on paper the other day. I think they quoted me some co-pay or some such thing, instead of the full retail as I’d asked. I’ll be looking into it. So far, four of my followers have given me links where I can find less-that-retail prices, plus, I found one in my files. I go to my heart doctor’s office tomorrow to get some samples, so he may have some suggestions, too.

After I came out of Kroger’s, the missus went in a few minutes, while I dog-sat. When she returned, she was worn out from walking (I don’t know why she didn’t use a rider) and left the cart between our truck and the car in front of us. As my wife climbed in, the old f_rt in that car came back to the rear of his car looking angry and accusing the missus of hitting his car with the buggy. I told him to save it for someone who believed his lies and pulled away as he shouted that he had my license number. I told him that I couldn’t care less and drove on. I suppose he was hoping to extort some cash from us. The WORST that could have happened was that the cart rolled a foot or two on its own, AFTER my wife had left it (the lot slopes), but even if so, it might have touched the BUMPER of his car, NOT any painted area. Some people are real pieces of work. It was an OLD car, by the way.

That was my life in the geezerly lane for this weekend, folks. Hope yours was a good one! © 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stand Firm!

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This was on Facebook this morning.

Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January,1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”
Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.
In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.
Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally …
“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.
“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?
“Seventeen inches!”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause.
“They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? Or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?"
The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline.
We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!”
Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”
Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”
“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”
I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.
From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”
Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”
And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!
"Don't widen the plate."

Security warning for users of HP laptops (a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: Security warning for users of HP laptops

Surrender or Fight

Republicans, in particular the Trump administration, are approaching a historic decision that will shape America for generations to come.
The endless hostility of the Left, exemplified by violent fascists on college campuses, thugs in the streets, determined disrupters at town hall meetings, and the dishonest elite media are all part of their efforts to defeat the reforms and changes that President Trump was elected to implement.
The constant, anonymous leaks from disgruntled federal bureaucrats aim to provide ammunition for the propaganda news media to press the attack.
The Left’s dance of destruction is stunningly choreographed.
I have been overseas for the last three days, and it has been sickening to see so many foreigners terrified because they unknowingly believe the news media’s false reports and vicious attacks. The only version of President Trump they know is the one portrayed in the 24-hour cesspool of CNN and the daily acrimony of the New York Times. Sadly, our own nation’s news media is doing more to undermine America's image than Al Jazeera or Pravda combined.
As the media continues to serve as a megaphone for the nameless federal employees who have axes to grind, remember that 95 percent of 2016 campaign donations from federal employees went to Hillary Clinton. At the State Department, 99 percent of employees who gave supported Clinton, and that figure is 97 percent at the Department of Justice.
Congressional Republicans are rapidly approaching a crossroads. Some have already surrendered by giving up on town hall meetings. Others have accepted the news media's false narrative as the truth. Republicans must decide if they are going to fight for what they believe in or retreat to the tenuous safety of the beltway bubble.
The Trump White House faces an even greater challenge. Trying to reason with, placate, or even respond to the Washington news media is a losing game. Each day, the opposition media is fiercely committed to either magnifying a supposed problem or inventing a new one.
We are today in a one-sided cultural civil war. The Left has picked the battlefield and defined the terms of engagement. If conservatives respond to this aggressive, sometimes violent hostility from the Left with confusion, uncertainty, and appeasement, we are guaranteed to lose the struggle to drain the swamp and reform Washington.
Further, surrendering will destroy America as we know it. Far from making America great again, we will have yielded our country to left-wing thugs, liars, and intimidators.
Those of us who truly want to make America great again have one choice: Fight. Our situation is similar to President Lincoln’s in 1861. He had to make the choice between fighting until he won or giving up on the idea of the United States. Once again, our country is at stake.
Senate Republicans are well-positioned because there are 10 Democratic senators up for re-election in states President Trump won last November. These Democrats should be made to carry the burden of the collapsing Obamacare system and the pain it is causing in their states. They should be made to own every strand of expensive red tape they vote to keep and every Homeland Security measure they oppose. They should be held accountable for every crime in their states committed by criminal aliens protected by sanctuary city laws.
If Senate Republicans implement an all-out campaign, they could pick up all 10 seats and have the largest GOP majority since the election of 1868.
House Republicans have a more difficult challenge. Political polarization, compounded by a number of incumbents retiring, make it harder for them to expand their majority. But here are some numbers for perspective:
12 congressional districts carried by President Trump are currently represented by Democrats.
These Democrats won by an average of six percent, or just 19,000 votes.
Four won by less than two points.
On the other hand:
23 Republicans are in districts won by Secretary Clinton.
They won their races by an average of 12 percent, or 37,000 votes.
Only one Republican in a Clinton-won district won by less than 2 points.
Defeating the Left's attacks will require House Republicans to engage in significantly more training and planning than they are used to. Most House Republicans have spent their congressional careers in a safe majority. Very few lived through the disaster of 2006, and only a handful of current members were in the so-called permanent minority before 1994.
This House GOP has never faced an all-out political war like this. House Republicans must dramatically reorganize their thinking and restructure their activities – or resign themselves to accepting Speaker Pelosi and the impeachment effort of 2019 (which will be the Democrats’ first priority, should they gain control of the House).
House Republicans must change now. Fighting to retain a majority is far easier than fighting to reclaim it. Remember, before the Contract with America, House Republicans had been in the minority for 40 years.
The Trump White House, however, faces the biggest decisions. Members of the Trump team have used harsh words but timid tactics when dealing with the unending, dishonest, and vicious assaults by the left-wing media.
The President seems to understand how serious and how bad the situation is. He has said:
“As you know I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth." January 21, 2017
“But there are some terrible, dishonest people, and they do a tremendous disservice to our country and to our people. A tremendous disservice. They are very dishonest people, and they shouldn’t use sources. They should put the name of the person. You will see stories dry up like you’ve never seen before.” February 24, 2017
“The Washington media is part of the problem. Their priorities are not my priorities, and they're not your priorities." April 29, 2017
When your opponents are "among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” “do a tremendous disservice service to the country,” and are “part of the problem," then you need a strategy and system that is built around that analysis.
The next few months will see one of the greatest decisions in American history. Do we fight to make America great again, or do we surrender to those who claim the elitist power to dictate to the rest of us?
There is no middle ground.
Your Friend,


Chinese View Of American Liberals

“Baizuo” Is The New Derogatory Term Millions Of Chinese People Are Using To Describe America’s “White Left” Regressive Liberals — Daniel Lang, May 17th, 2017

After the last election, the far-left in our society became a laughing stock. The social justice warriors, the progressives, the regressive left; whatever you want to call them, they became a joke after Trump was elected. And it wasn’t because they lost the election. It was because of how they reacted to losing. We all witnessed what amounted to a nationwide temper tantrum on November 9th. And in the weeks that followed, it became apparent that these people aren’t just childish. They are freaking insane.

However, it may surprise you to learn that these people aren’t just a joke in America. They are the laughing stock of the world. They are looked down upon, even in countries where they don’t have a significant presence.

In China for instance, they have a word for these people. They are called “baizuo” or the “white left” on social media. Which is interesting, because even though China has its fair share of socialists and communists, they don’t have a direct equivalent to our liberal snowflakes. Most of the Chinese are still fiercely nationalistic and anti-immigrant, regardless of political affiliation. That country just doesn’t have a large population of politically correct, affluent liberals (presumably, they were all killed off during the Great Leap Forward). So what does this term mean to the average Chinese citizen?

It might not be an easy task to define the term, for as a social media buzzword and very often an instrument for ad hominem attack, it could mean different things for different people. A thread on “why well-educated elites in the west are seen as naïve “white left” in China” on Zhihu, a question-and-answer website said to have a high percentage of active users who are professionals and intellectuals, might serve as a starting point.
The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the ‘white left’. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

Baizuo has basically become the go to word for Chinese social media users, who want to trash other people in online debates. It’s also frequently used to make light of what is viewed in China, as the inherent weakness of western democracies. So not only has the far-left made themselves into a joke, they’re making everyone else who supports Western civilization look bad all around the world.

It just goes to show, the people who speak the loudest in society often become the face of that society, even if most sane people aren’t taking them seriously anymore.

Update On Mom

She seems okay this evening, so I'm praying and keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for your prayers, folks.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Making History - Making Charcoal (a link)

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Making History - Making Charcoal

(GASP) Donald! Say it ain't so! (meme)

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Life just gets funner and funner!

I got the word today that I have, indeed, lost my medicaid. $800 a month for meds? I don't think so! I'll see what the other options are and, if nothing makes sense, I'll just leave everything in the Lord's Hands. That's where they've been all along anyway.


My wife just got a recorded call from someone about her "social security." I told her that Social Security NEVER calls, they send things in the mail. I googled the number and sure enough, it's a scam out of Texas. BEWARE!

A Very Short War (a link)

Coffee with the Hermit: A Very Short War From Hermit's History...!


I got a 6 AM call from my mother at the rehab center. She was very confused and agitated. I'm not sure just what the problem is yet. Your prayers would be much appreciated.

Things Women Need To Know

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Geronimo (a link)

Coffee with the Hermit: Geronimo On Western Wednesday...!

I Really Couldn't Say (pics)

The first photo was posted on Facebook. All was fine and good until I noticed something it had in common with the second photo. I guess only the photographer and God Almighty knows for sure. The hair-dresser isn't even in the running. (Well, MAYBE he is.) Click the images to enlarge.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Four Model T Engines for Sale

Joshua Thomas of Salem, Virginia is asking $1500 for four Model T engines or will sell separately. I don't have a number or address; I just saw his ad on Facebook.

In Praise Of Kerosene (a link)


More Aggravation

Well, I went back to Kroger’s to get my medication today, only to discover that Medicaid says that I’m no longer covered. I have to wonder why they bothered sending me a new card recently, then. I guess I’ll be calling the DHHR tomorrow.

Then, I get home and hear of Comey’s insinuation that Trump tried to influence him to drop the “Russia/Trump Investigation.” First, Comey is a proven liar. Second, IF IT DID HAPPEN, he should have spilled the beans back in February, when it supposedly occurred. Third, with Trump getting ready to take a trip to visit foreign governments, the timing of Comey’s release looks VERY suspicious.

Concerning BOTH of these matters, it’s a shame there’s no hunting season on bureaucrats, they definitely need thinning.

OSHA Strikes AGAIN! (a link)


Monday, May 15, 2017

Some Evening!

I didn’t have my Entresto (a kill you or NOT cure-you heart medicine) last night or this morning, so I planned a run to the Kroger Pharmacy this evening to get it. First, I went to my sister’s house where she was supposed to be parting with some tools that belonged to my maternal grandfather. I could tell they weren’t his, but I DID take an old Austrian-style scythe blade that was hanging on the wall. Then, I went to Mom’s apartment to see if anything in the fridge needed ditched, since she’s been at the physical therapy place for a week now. I ditched about a cup of blinky milk and gave some un-opened chicken salad and three bananas to the neighbor lady. I also kept a half container of ham salad for myself. The missus was getting hungry by that time, so we made a “run for the border” and got a couple tacos for more than they were worth.

On the way to Kroger’s, I was going the suggested safe speed of 20MPH around a bend of a city street, when the thirtyish buckeye behind me laid on the horn, then sped around me on a double-yellow line, almost hitting the motorcyclist coming in the other lane, talking on his cell phone the whole time.

At Kroger’s, I realized that I hadn’t gotten my wallet when I’d changed jeans earlier in the day, so I went back to the truck to get some change out of the ash tray and went back in. Then, the new guy at the pharmacy counter tried to charge me $490 for the medicine. I told him that that was a bit much, so he eventually had to get an older employee to help him get it straightened out. THEN, the computer demanded that I show my new insurance card, which I didn’t have, since my wallet was at home. So, I guess I’ll go back tomorrow!

Although it was a minor thing, when I got home, I couldn’t check the mailbox, because the neighbor was mowing around them. I went back later, but it turned out there was no mail for us today, anyway. I should have just stayed in the house today! – LOL © 2017

Porch Time And Other Sundries (w/pics)

I’ve been hearing a whippoorwill about dark every evening as the pooch and I porch-sit. I duly reported it to one of the wildlife folks who’s doing a survey on whippoorwill numbers. I guess their numbers are down, which doesn’t surprise me. I suspect they do best with a mixture of woods and fields, and a lot of one-time fields around here are woods these days. I may (or may not) have mentioned that the resident mockingbird does a poor imitation of the whippoorwill, giving an occasional “poorwill” at irregular intervals.

I know the bob whites have disappeared from this part of the state since we no longer have any small farmers who do row-cropping. The bob white was a southern bird that moved north with the clearing of the land. As the small farmers have disappeared and the state has returned to forest, the bob white has gone the way of those small farmers.

The tom turkey beyond my neighbor’s house is still gobbling just before dark at night and just before good light of a morning. I don’t know if he’s hoping to stir up a lusty hen somewhere, claim his territory or just mouthing off for the heck of it.

I’ve been hearing some Indian hen’s (pileated woodpeckers) in my woods lately. This morning, as the Mighty Dachshund and I enjoyed the start of the new day, one silently streaked through the side yard not twenty feet from us. Considering how loud they can be, I’m surprised it wasn’t doing its Woody Woodpecker imitation.

My four-o’clocks are in full bloom, what few there are. I set out a couple roots from my paternal grandparents’ place before my infamous aunt dozed everything years ago. I noticed my first iris is blooming, too right amongst the four-o’clocks. The iris came from my old home place, an 1865 farm house still standing and being fixed up by its current owner. My little wild rose is blooming just outside the iris bed; at least I suppose it’s a wild one.

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Cleaning around the front porch and in the basement the other day, I came across a couple things that I don’t need anymore, so might as well sell. One is a set of brick tongs; I’m beyond such work anymore. The other is a gizmo that lets you use a ball hitch on the three-point hitch of a farm tractor. I used it a lot when I was still logging and sawmilling, but I’m not doing that anymore. Besides, I had to sell my tractor to have money to live on while I was going to truck driving school. Considering that I only drove a little over a year before my heart problems came on, that schooling looks like wasted effort now.

I recently mounted the handle off an old Goldblat concrete finishing trowel to the corner porch post for my wife to grab as she steps up on the porch. Besides being a convenience for her, it’s a reminder to me of the little hardware store where I bought it many years ago and the kindly old gentleman who ran it. I wouldn’t have cannibalized the tool, except that the blade had some sort of finish on it that’s now peeling off, making the concrete rougher instead of smoother. The longer float is doing the same, I might as well save the handle on it, too. For some reason, they’d bored in from both sides, leaving less than 3/8 of an inch of wood for the screw to come against. I plugged and glued both sides, so now there’s about 1-3/4 inches of wood holding when she grabs the handle for stability.

I don’t pitch ANYTHING that I think I can use. I guess it comes from being raised by parents who grew up during the Depression. © 2017

Give a bureaucrat an inch...(a link)

Bayou Renaissance Man: Give a bureaucrat an inch . . .

What’s for Dinner? (a link)

Perpetual Proverbs: What’s for Dinner?

Two Monday Memes

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Getting Your Money’s Worth (or not)

The missus and I splurged and got salads for lunch at Panera Bread today. Even though the cost was about four bucks higher than it was a few years ago, the quality was considerably lower. There was WAY less chicken than they used to include and they didn’t even put any olives in my wife’s Greek salad. She went back and got some!

Later, as she checked out Big Lots, I drove by the front of Rural King and looked at what they had outside. Everything is more costly than it SHOULD be, but one item absolutely shocked me. They had a little chicken house that measured about five feet high, by four feet deep by six feet long. The access door was only large enough for a child or VERY small adult to get in and clean it. It seemed to be well made, but there was NO WAY that it was worth the $1020 they were asking for it. The amazing thing is that there must be a few idiots out there willing to pay such prices or they wouldn’t carry them. It must be the barn-red/white-trim paint job. © 2017

So THAT'S How It Works!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Long Ago But Not So Far Away

I found this in some family papers and thought a few of you might find it amusing. Note the date.

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Oddball Observations On A Rainy Morn

We had a short storm just before bedtime last night and light rain nearly all night. It began showering again just after the pooch and I returned from her dumping ground this morning. As I sat in the swing, she lay on the welcome mat where I’d insisted she go to keep her off the cold concrete. The breeze picked up slightly and the left knee of my jeans and my bare ankles felt cool from the mist that was blowing into the windward side of the porch. The Mighty Dachshund, though, was protected by the swing and my ponderous bulk, so lazed moisture-free on the mat. After a few mutually enjoyed minutes, the missus came to the door and told me it was too damp and cold to have the pooch out there. Translated, that means she was getting lonely inside by herself. Even the pooch knows there’s no need to argue, so she turned obediently to the door and we went inside.

As I tried to get to sleep last night, I was remembering some of the kids that I went to high school with. I eventually remembered one girl that I had a crush on, but she was always dating some scruffy little tough-_ss who she thought she was in love with. Ironically, I sometimes dated the girl’s best friend. She once told me that her friend said that I was a good kisser and immediately asked if her friend was a good kisser, too. I grinned and said, “She is NOW!” the girl was DEEPLY offended by the implication. The following year, she got angry at the guy and took a temporary break from dating him, but I was still on her black list and knew better than to ask her out. She eventually married and quickly divorced the scruffy little character. A couple years ago, I noticed her name on one of the posts of a Facebook friend and checked her page, only to discover that she’s now a loyal democrat and what the Bible calls a “respecter of persons.” The information sort of turned a pleasant memory sour.

After a short trip outside with the pooch during the night, I realized that I would have some trouble getting back to sleep. Therefore, I took a couple minutes to glue a wooden plug in a tool handle I’m working on. Unfortunately, I dripped glue onto my belly hair and my jockey shorts. The Gorilla Glue came out of my belly hair this morning with a little scratching from my fingernails, from the jockey shorts – nada!

I’ve always had trouble with a blood vessel in my right nostril that’s right on the surface. When I got in a round of fisticuffs on the grade school playground, it was easily set to bleeding so that I looked like I’d lost, even if I’d won. It would also take to bleeding if I blew my nose too hard, or even just sometimes in my sleep (if my sinuses dried out too much). Last week, it got painful and swelled up, as if it had herniated vessel walls, or was a small aneurism or something. I put some antibiotic crème on it, in case it had gotten infected somehow, but that seemed to have no effect. THEN, I remembered that hemorrhoids are basically aneurisms and Preparation H always worked well on the small one that used to bother me on occasion. In fact, I knew that I had some of the magic compound in the bathroom drawer. SO, I tried it and five days later the pain and swelling is gone. Was it time or the ointment? I don’t know for sure, but it seems that what’s good for the bum is good for the schnoz. I just thought you’d want to know that. © 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Playing Catch-Up

I haven’t posted an article for a few days, not that many folks probably miss it. It seems like I haven’t been able to accomplish anything lately, between the weather and things coming up. I HAVE been able to porch-sit with the pooch a few times. She always enjoys it. We were sitting there the other day as a soft rain was falling and a crash resonated through the woods before us. I glanced up in time to see a large limb fall and catch in another large limb. Looks like I have a widow-maker to watch for if I’m down that way.

The day before, I was watching a squirrel scamper through the limbs when he jumped onto a limb in the big white oak in the shop yard that serves as my “shop roof.” Both the large limb that he jumped onto and the one below it are now dead—victims of the natural pruning that’s occurring from it growing near a red oak on the lower side. At least the dead limbs are not above my work-shop/log-yard area on the upper side of the tree, but I’ll still be walking and mowing under the limbs at times. Back in the day, I’d have put the 40’ extension ladder up the tree and cut them off. I still have the ladder, but my climbing days are long gone.

I finally managed to get 14 gallons of accumulated night water distributed around some volunteer daffodils in the lawn. I’m curious to see if it causes them to bloom, as they never have before since I’ve lived here. My wife just shook her head when she saw what I was doing, as she thinks I’m perverted for not wasting the fertilizer value of it (11% nitrogen). Also, she won’t eat anything I grow, as she wrongly thinks that I water my vegetable plants with night water and that there’s still cat crap in the soil from the cats of our neighbor who died 20 years ago. She refuses to believe the truth, so I gave up trying to convince her.

My mom fell in her apartment a couple days ago and has been crippling around since. She called 911, as she couldn’t get up and they took her to the hospital and x-rayed her. She has a fractured left arm, which they don’t think will need surgery, but they want to look at it again after the swelling goes down some. They sent her home, though. My sister stayed with her the first night, and my aunt the second. Tonight, she’s decided that she’s going it alone. I think my aunt was driving her batty, so she prefers the inconvenience of doing things on her own to the emotional stress! – lol

I noticed that water keeps blowing or leaking under the tarp covering my mill frame, causing the 3x4 foot piece of plywood near the front to sag and hold water. I drilled some 3/8” holes so it would drain and left it uncovered. After it dries a day or two, I’ll creosote it and cover it back up again. It seems like there’s always a problem of SOME kind! Oh well, I guess it helps keep me humble that things don’t go TOO well. ;-)

I go to my heart doctor tomorrow for a regularly scheduled pow-wow, but I don’t expect anything to come of it. © 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

It’s Frustrating Being A Know-It-All!

It’s been said that the true object of education is to show us the endlessness of our ignorance. I reached that point long ago, when it became obvious to me that a single lifetime is nowhere NEAR long enough to learn everything that I WANT to know, let alone everything that there IS to know.

Understand that not everything holds interest for me, but many things DO intrigue me. As a result, I’ve read endless articles and books on those subjects. History, politics, religion, farming, language, writing, gardening, blacksmithing, pottery, woodworking, basic science, beekeeping, homesteading, hunting, fishing, camping, prepping, antiques, and old-time ways of doing things are but a FEW of the things that pique my interest. Also, having grown up on an farm around two older generations, and lived in the country all my life, I’ve been personally involved in many of those pursuits. Naturally, you can’t be inquisitive, a compulsive reader and approaching your final sundown without picking up a few things along the way.

Still, a simple crossword puzzle can often school me on my own ignorance. What amazes me, though, is how ignorant so many OTHER people are by comparison, because I know that if I’m capable of knowing what I do, many other people should know as much and more. The only thing that I can figure is that they heard the old saying about ignorance being bliss and decided to be thoroughly happy little clams.

One thing my “self education” has done is to make magazines, once one of my favorite sources of knowledge and entertainment, almost worthless to me. This is for two reasons. First, as you age, you learn that some things are simply unimportant in the greater scope of things. That makes three-fourths of the articles of no value to me. The other thing is that many of the remaining articles are written by people that have no idea in the world what they’re talking about.

Particularly good examples of the latter are some (most) of the articles on survival and living off-grid. It soon becomes painfully obvious that most of the authors have very little camping, hunting, fishing, homesteading or survival experience. I dare say that most of them are city-slickers who wouldn’t know a ringed-neck racer from a NASCAR driver. But, they’ve read beaucoup articles on the subjects they choose to write about, so, on they write.

Not to pick on them, but Outdoor Life recently put out a special magazine on off-grid living that I wanted to buy, but the magazine was NOT one that I’d want to pass on to the younger friend that I’d planned. Many of the articles would have been good for a neophyte like him, but some would have been very misleading.
For instance, they showed a drawing of ramps, but called them wild onions, instead of wild leeks. There are such things as wild onions, but they look very different, somewhat like a POISONOUS plant in fact. On one page they had the headline “Avoid Folk Remedies.” The next THREE pages were on medicinal plants. One short piece was on “hanging a handle;” in fact, the piece was so short as to be almost useless, except under PERFECT circumstances. The next thing I noticed was the advice to cut high stumps, so they would be easier to remove later. No, you either recut the stumps at ground level, so you can mow over them, or you leave the stump attached until the tree is on the ground, either by digging or by dozer. The piece on generators pretty much ignored the idea that you shouldn’t be depending on oil-powered electricity in the first place, IF you’re truly off-grid.

Then there was the section about building log walls. It showed flat joints as being an option, forgetting to mention that anywhere but in VERY arid country, they’d rot out in only a few years, likewise with the flat joints between the logs that were entirely too “fine” a joint. At least they showed the Scandinavian log bond; unfortunately, they printed the drawing upside down so the joint would CATCH water instead of SHED it. In their trapping section, they showed several types of snares, leading the reader to believe they were an efficient way for a BEGINNER to catch game (not so), while completely ignoring deadfalls, which wouldn’t have required the miles of cordage  that you’d need to set out a line of the snares like they showed. Lastly, I found it amusing that they separated animal movements into both “galloping” and “full bound,” even though the tracks and descriptions were exactly the same.”

Considering that they wanted $13 for their glorified magazine of misinformation and overly basic stuff, it stayed on the rack. Yes, indeed, it’s frustrating being a know-it-all! © 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

And We Think We Have Problems!

Coming back from Chinamart today, I’d noticed that the old con-man panhandler with the “homeless veteran” sign, the grungy clothes, the weeks’ beard, the backpack and the fancy car with out-of-state plates, parked out-of-sight around the corner, had left his post. When I saw a panhandler ¾ of a mile down the road, I assumed he’d changed locations until we drew closer.

When we stopped for the light, I gave the panhandler a good looking over as my wife said “Oh my.” He was probably in his twenties, tall, very thin, cleanly washed and dressed and cleanly shaven. He was wearing a T-shirt and his arms were free of needle tracks, and his eyes looked clear, though a bit bashful and embarrassed. His sign said, “not homeless, just need some extra money.” Hm, honesty, that’s unusual.

The sad thing was that he appeared to have no legs. In fact, his torso seemed to end at his navel, though I don’t know if that could be. I saw no bulges indicating a secretion bag on his side, whatever they call them. Partly for that reason, I gave him a closer look to see if there was any way he could have hidden his legs in the thicker than average pad on the wheel-chair seat. There was no way.

My wife gave him $10 that we really couldn’t afford, but we really couldn’t afford NOT to give to him, either. He thanked her very sincerely, I felt, still looking embarrassed. We had to move on. And we think we have problems. © 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Stroll On The Lawn (w/pics)

No panoramas here today—just photos of three things in my yard. The first is the “garden” I’ve mentioned. You’ll notice it’s confined to three old tire casings and contains three dock plants, which seem quite healthy, I might add. A couple poke roots have sprouted in the center casing; it remains to be seen if any more will follow. I have at least three more old casings that I hope to put to use before the summer’s end for something, maybe dandelions and chicory.

Click images to enlarge.

The second photo is of some bluets, though they probably would have shown themselves better from a side shot. They’re bluer than they appear, but still a LIGHT blue. I usually just mow them off, but I left a couple clumps of them this time, since my wife enjoys them. She remembers picking them as a child.

The third photo is of some Easter flowers (daffodils) that come up every year, but never bloom. Since the early ones bloomed a month ago, I suspect these will be white ones like the ones in the upper left of the photo if they ever bloom. I’ll probably dose them with night water if they bloom this year and move them next year.

It stormed here all last night and the big creek in the main valley to town is running ¾ bank. It’s miserable hot here today, and humid. The missus wants to go for a ride, but the AC in the truck won’t be fixed until at least Tuesday, so we may wait a while. Frankly, I wouldn’t go until a cooler day, but some folks have to learn the hard way. I hope everything is okay where you are. © 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sunset, Sunrise, Mowing, A Bee Swarm And Senility (w/pic of #4)

Click image to enlarge.

I’ve always enjoyed sunsets, even as a kid, so it felt like old times as The Mighty Dachshund and I put the sun to bed last night. Actually, I was watching the sun and our surroundings from the porch swing while she mostly watched the country road in the opposite direction. We continued to sit there as darkness fell. In the distant east (the way the pooch was looking) a tom let out one last gobble about 30 minutes after sunset. A few minutes later, (also to the east) a whippoorwill let out its first call of the evening just after a tom gobbled on the roost. As the darkness slowly grew, the dusk to dawn light out by the road came on, overpowering any remaining light coming down from the sky. It was the wife’s third request before the pooch finally consented to go inside.

I stayed up until midnight watching FOX last night before taking out the dog, so I didn’t have to take her out again until nearly dawn. Once again, we parked on the porch, this time to watch the day aborning. (I like sunrises, but I’d much prefer them later in the day.) A mourning dove began its sad-sounding song a few minutes into our vigil. The east slowly brightened and other birds soon awoke to add more cheerful airs to the scene. When the first sunbeam hit the wall just above our heads, I decided that I was going back to bed, so we went back inside.

The lawn has needed mowing for a couple weeks but, unknown to my wife, I was giving the wild greens a little more time to grow. I made my picking yesterday, though—mostly chicory, but with some dandelion and a tiny bit of narrow-leaf plantain. So, around 11 today, I started mowing. I knew my gas was limited, so I mowed next to the house first, then the main part of the lawn between the house and the white pines by the road, then another small level section on the opposite side of the driveway. That left the 200 foot long strip between the pines and the road, and a fair-size sloping area next to my “garden.” I’d planned on going to town then and getting more gas, so I could finish up, but the missus didn’t want to, so I guess I’ll finish Friday, since it’s supposed to rain Thursday.

Not long before I finished up, I drove through what I knew was a bee swarm that seemed in the process of settling into a small (35 feet) maple on the south edge of the main lawn. Swarms are usually pretty tame, as they don’t have a home to protect yet, but these seemed a bit defensive and followed me several yards and tried to land on me. Maybe they were just confused, but I made the next two passes at a much higher rate of speed. By that time, they had settled onto a limb about 20 feet from the ground. It was a good-size swarm—16-18 inches long and 6-8 inches in width. I called the county extension agent and told the secretary there was a swarm here if anyone wanted to work that hard for them, but I never heard from anyone. I hate to see them go unused, as they’ll probably die of mites if they go untreated. Incidentally, there’s an old adage: “A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.”

Late this evening, we went to town so I could get some mower gas and some for the truck as well. Unfortunately, I had it all in the truck before I remembered the gas can. SO, tomorrow, I’ll have to go back to town with the check book and get the mower gas. I hate being senile! © 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

My Day’s Work – Complete With Photo (Brace Yourself)

Click image to enlarge.

See the outhouse door handle/outbuilding door handle/toolbox handle mounted next to the door? That’s it—my day’s work! Well, okay, about five minute’s worth of work, maybe 10 if you count getting my tools and consulting the missus on the proper height for her usage in making the step up into the house more safely. It’s only the first in what I believe will be a long list of things to make our dotage more favorable to its healthy extension.

I DID go to the doctor this morning for my “six-month check-in so he can collect more money from the state” appointment. I managed to snag an application form for a new handicap tag for my rear-view mirror, and one for my wife, while I was there. Mine runs out in June and she’s never had one. Despite all of her efforts to stay healthy and active, she sometimes has a harder time getting around that I do these days. Of course she’s got a few years on me, so that shouldn’t be a surprise.

I also took her and the pooch on an early evening truck ride in the rain. We splurged and used a coupon at Arby’s for three roast beef sandwiches for $5, one for each of us. Having bought drinks at Burger King and eaten our sandwiches, my wife hand fed the Mighty Dachshund her sandwich while I was visiting the "little room' there.

The little pooch is now sleeping soundly in front of the TV now, since her belly is full. I dutifully watched MASH with the missus for an hour, before typing this up. It’s now time for my nightly call to Mom and then I’ll either see if the missus has found something interesting on the idiot box, do some research online or go upstairs and check for something on TV myself. All in all, it’s been another exciting day on Tick Ridge! © 2017