Friday, December 19, 2014

Sights Along The Way (pics)

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I see a lot of old barns that are still salvageable, though barely. I'm afraid this one is just too far gone. It was a large one, too, so more's the pity. For comparison, notice the country-style two-stall garage to the right.


I've seen buffalo, ostriches, emus and alpaccas, but I think these are the first llamas that I've seen on a farm in my area (hour's drive away).


They don't build bridges like this anymore. It may be only concrete, but it still has style. Today, they just over-engineer some big steel and flat concrete and get to the other shore with safety to spare, but there's no beauty to them. When this one finally goes, it probably won't be replaced, as I think there's access from another direction that needs no bridge.


Click photos to enlarge.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

More Old Iron (pics)

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Here's some stuff that caught my eye on Rt. 74, just north of Pennsboro, West Virginia. I have no idea as to the make and model of the trucks, but I love their lines. The red one was obviously used as a semi-tractor, to pull trailers. The other may be sporting a water-well servicing machine, but I'm not sure. I know nothing about steam boilers, but they look neat sitting there. Who knows what they may have been used for? maybe to power a sawmill or an old style oil-drilling apparatus.


Here's a closer view of the trucks.

Click photos to enlarge.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Drove All Day And All I Got Was One Measely Picture! (w/pic)

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Click photo to enlarge.

Monday, Some coworkers and I drove from Parkersburg, West Virginia, all the way to Hanover, West Virginia, picked up a load, took it to Ashland, Kentucky and unloaded, then went home. It took all day and put excactly 500 miles on my truck. My only chance to snap a photo was when we were stopped by Asplundh personnel pretending to work.

I thought it was an intersting old building that stood across the hollow from the highway. It was originally a small building of square hewn logs. Sometime later (much later, I suspect) an upstairs was added, using small, round logs (poles). I'm guessing the original building is from the 1800's. while the addition was added between 1920 and 1950. I wonder if they didn't use small poles for three reasons. First, there may not have been any large logs available locally to make squared timbers, so they used second-growth poles. Second, there may not have been anyone available with the skill to hew timbers. Third, the small poles would be much easier to lift to the higher level.

You'll notice that they cantilevered the front gable end, and I believe the back gable, also. Thus, the upstairs is larger than the downstairs. I think the building would be just barely salavageable at this point, but not fot long. More's the pity. © 2014
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Cash vs. Cashless (a link)

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http://www.rural-revolution.com/2014/12/cash-vs-cashless.html
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Going To Commencement

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My wife and I attended my stepson’s college graduation Friday evening. He’s 44, but a long way from being the oldest graduate there, though there were plenty of “kids” there, too. It’s a shame his father died when he was 11 years old and never got to see him grow up. I know he’d be proud of him for the fellow he’s become. I know that it wasn’t easy balancing school, work and family responsibilities, but he did it. I hope it allows him to get the job that he wants now.

I was somewhat amused at the knowledge I gained during the short time that I was within those hallowed halls of learning. Reading the program was a logical way to break the boredom while waiting for the program to start and suffering through the self-congratulatory speech of the “honored guest.” Through name recognition (and later visual observation) I learned the following:

My neighbor’s ex-wife just became a nurse. I regret almost any divorce, but I suspect he was mean even when he was sober.

The grandson of one of our late “great” local crooked liberal politicians graduated.

The daughter of one of my former coworkers graduated.

A relative of one of my current coworkers graduated.

The rude, slovenly, unshaved guy at Walmart, who never washes his hands after going to the bathroom, got a degree in Criminal Justice. I much as I hate to see him become a cop, it COULD have been worse; he COULD have gone into medicine!


Considering what I learned, I guess a little schooling is good for ALL of us! ;-) © 2014
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Look Ma - No Scaffolds!

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Things are done differnetly these days. Sometimes that's bad- someimes not. I've been watching them build a motel from the foundation up as I've delivered limestone there and hauled dirt away. The only scaffolding used so far that I've seen was a huge, long affair that raised and lowered with air or hydralics, and that was only to install the insulating sheathing panels. Now that they're doing the windows, they're using what I'd call a "cherry-picker," were it mounted on a truck. I've never seen that done before, but I suspect it's common.

Click image to enlarge it.

Also, for thousands of years, men have worked in high places like bridges and building roofs (and modern sky scrapers) with no protection what-so-ever. Finally, they're having them hook personal lines onto a main line that runs the length of the building, so no-one falls off. I suppose it took the age of lawsuits to make it cheaper to buy rope than replace workers.

You may need to click the image and enlarge it to see the "lifelines" more clearly.
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Our Choking Oceans (a link)

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http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-worlds-oceans-are-gasping-we-cant.html
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Modern Maintenance

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I believe this conveyor and shed are still in use by a local chemical company. Yes, the building IS rusted that bad and MANY of the windows are gone.

Click image to enlarge it.
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Salt Fumes?

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This week, I hauled some crushed limestone to one of the DOH garages, where they’re building a new salt shed and laying some pavement. The old shed hasn’t gone bad, I don’t think; I believe they’re just expanding their storage capacity. We don’t think of salt giving off fumes but, apparently, it does. So much so, that it can damage the roofs and wooden sides of the sheds where it’s stored. I’ve included a photo of salt damage to the wooden sides of their current storage shed on that site. I think, with wood, the damage comes primarily from the hydroscopic nature of the salt, for I’ve seen the same damage on the shelves and floor of an old smoke that used to be on the farm next to where I was raised.


Notice the "fuzzing" on some of the wood.
(Click photo to enlarge.)


The old shed is to the right in the photo.
(Click photo to enlarge.)


I also got a less than perfect photo of the new salt shed, but you’ll notice that the roof is a plastic membrane. Interestingly enough, it appears to be stretched over light-weight galvanized steel frames. Its life expectancy is 25 years. It sits atop solid concrete walls 14-16 inches thick. I asked one of the workers if the walls would last as long as the top. He grinned and replied that he wouldn’t count on it. © 2014
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lasgna With A Spoon?

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Yep, that's what my wife gave me with which to eat my supper. It was one of those po-it-in-the-oven frozen things, purchased for when my wife didn't want to cook a meal. I asked why a spoon, and she replied that it was too hard to eat corn starch with a fork. She was right; it was as bad as Chef Boyardee!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Wonder As I Wander

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It’s only Tuesday, and I've already made numerous trips to two different chemical plants this week. Besides getting a chuckle from their “security,” I find it amazing that they let me drive 70,000 pounds of potential destruction, through a maze of pipes, tubes, bins, hoppers, stacks and wires. As I move along, there are pipes to the left of me, pipes to the right of me and pipes over my head. Some are hissing, some are humming, some are spewing steam (yeah, I know—water vapor) and some are dripping who knows what (probably just condensation). One place, a sign says “Do not enter – the ground here becomes dangerously hot while flaring heavily.” Oh, and did I mention all the tanker-type rail cars mixed through all this mess, some with hoses connected to some of the pipes. I have to wonder just how big the fireball would be if they flared a little TOO heavily sometime! © 2014
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Linda Needs Water! (a link)

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MUSING BY THE CREEKSIDE: Linda Needs Water!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

No Doubt He's A "MODERATE" muslim!

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Take a good look at the shirt, not the Muslim that wears it: THE shirt!



THIS SHIRT IS PRODUCED IN LARGE QUANTITIES AND SOLD ON THE STREETS OF MANY MUSLIMS COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, INDONESIA, PAKISTAN AND INDIA, WITHOUT ANY LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS MAKING ANY NOISE.
THEY MAKE FASHION CREATIONS AND THE MUSLIMS WEAR THEM WITH PRIDE AND REMEMBER THE TWIN TOWERS ATTACK IN WHICH MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE DIED.
RACISM AND OFFENSES TO OTHER RACES AND BELIEFS DO NOT APPLY TO MUSLIMS ... WHY? .
THEY THEN DEMAND HUMANITARIAN AID AT THE SMALLEST CHANCE, AND WE'RE ALWAYS READY TO OFFER THEM ASSISTANCE, HELPING THEM TO EVEN OPEN NEW MOSQUES.
KEEP ON LIKE THIS, IN A FEW YEARS THEY WILL MEET THEIR OBJECTIVE: THE DESTRUCTION / CONQUEST OF THE WEST.
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Interesting! (a link)

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http://coopfeathers.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-falkirk-wheel.html
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War of the American Indians : Documentary on the History of the Iroquois

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A Woodsrunner's Diary: War of the American Indians : Documentary on the History of the Iroquois
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

We COULD Have Been Toast!

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Smokers tend to aggravate me. Most of them (but not all) just throw their cigarette butts down wherever they find themselves. When smoking was legal in stores and restaurants, you’d see the butts all over the floor, even if ashtrays were provided. I’ve worked places where washtubs with sand in the bottom were used for outside smokers, just so they couldn’t say the containers were too small to use easily. Still, most didn’t even bother to throw them in the general direction of the huge ashtrays, but just tossed them down in whatever direction they were facing. I suppose they had the typical modern American attitude that someone else would clean up after them. Still, I’ve never seen anyone act that way in their own home, so there has to be a deliberately anti-social, belligerent twist to their personalities. Some will say that the habit is so ingrained that they don’t even think. I don’t buy that for most, but with a few, I do.

One case in point is the woman who, with her husband, bought my old homeplace. You may have met people who so severely lacked intelligence that you pitied them. This poor woman is one of those people. I could give you examples of why I say that, but simply telling such true tales would make me sound cruel. Sadly, on top of her severe lack of intelligence (and any common sense what-so-ever), her husband is now bedfast, her grown children take advantage of her generosity, both monetarily and with her time, plus, she has decided that she doesn’t want to spend her old age alone, on a hilltop in the country, taking care of her husband. She wants to move to town (and I can’t blame her), but he doesn’t, so she lives a frustrating life. With all this going on, it’s rare that I get a payment on time anymore, which causes US problems with paying our own bills.

Unfortunately, she also smokes. Besides the negative effects on her health, it obviously stretches her funds even further to pay for her habit. Still, none of that is technically my business. What IS my business, is that the morning after the night that she brought the payment, I found her cigarette butt lying on the leaves that had blown around our front porch since the last raking. (With thousands of acres of forest on the windward side of the house, there’s no way to keep the area leaf free.) Luckily, this was after a few days of rain. The problem is, she would have probably thrown the butt the same place if we’d been in the middle of an autumn drought (and we’ve had them).

Cigarette butts won’t ALWAYS set leaves afire, but they do so often enough to be dangerous, and all it takes is a sunny day or two to dry out the leaves. Considering that she came after dark, if the butt had started a fire later, the porch may well have been engulfed before we ever knew it, and we have no insurance. Had some leaves smoldered until after we went to bed and THEN burst into flames, we might never have seen the morning. The problem is, there’s no need to say anything to her, as I’d be wasting my breath.


So, now I’VE got a new concern, if only once a month. (The evidence is in the lower left of the photo below.) © 2014


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Our Tattered Justice System (a link)

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http://freddsez.blogspot.com/2014/12/us-justice-system-is-frayed-and-tattered.html
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Making Birch Bark Oil (a link)

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http://buzzardbushcraft.blogspot.com/2012/03/making-birch-oil.html
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

IN THE FATHER'S HOUSE (a link)

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Spreading God's Love: IN THE FATHER'S HOUSE
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A December View From 51 Years Ago (pic)

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This was the view towards town from our living-room window, before the interstate went through. Notice the frost, or ice, on everything.
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Living Across The Creek OR "The Bridges Of Doddridge County" (pics)

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In the country, a stream often seperates a person's home and/or farm from the county road. A few folks depend strictly on fording the creek when it's low and staying home when it isn't. Some have low-water bridges (sort of a dam full of holes, so you can drive across the top, if the stream isn't in flood stage). Some folks have invested serious money and time in building a good bridge. Others get by with parking on the road side of the stream and walking across a swinging footbridge to get home, or use one in conjunction with a low-water bridge. Below are a few of the bridges on a ten mile stretch of Doddridge County, West Virginia backroads that I've been traveling some lately.

Some common homeowner type bridges are shown below; five in fact, though you may have to blow the picture up to count them. I think there's also a ford across the run just this side of the arched bridge in the distance. (Remember, clicking any image will enlarge it.)


Then you have the farmer-style bridges:





AND, you have a few"cadillac" bridges that surely cost their owners an arm and a leg:

(You'll have to enlarge the photo to see the bridge.)

Here's a better shot of that bridge. I think it's made of six inch well casing.


Then, there's the low-water bridges:


If you download this photo and blow it up
 you'll notice a swinging bridge on this side of the low-water bridge.

Here's the swinging bridge near the first low-water bridge,
but was too far away to get it in the same photo

Not all bridges are to get to the house, though. Some are to get to the barn out back (or oil well and its probable free gas, as in this case).

Click image to enlarge enough to see bridge.

A closing thought - us old-timers know what a ford in the creek is, but I wonder when such things are mentioned around young folks, if they wonder why people would put old cars in their creek, and also wonder how you'd "cross" them?
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Burlap Hillside (pic)

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What more can I say?


Click photo to enlarge it.
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Friday Night Steam (a link)

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http://coopfeathers.blogspot.com/2014/12/friday-night-steam.html
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Ain't It The Truth!

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Found on Facebook:

I was shocked , confused, bewildered
as I entered Heaven's door,
not by the beauty of it all,
nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
who made me sputter and gasp--
the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
the alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
who never said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake!.'
'And why is everyone so quiet,
so somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said,
'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.'
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Love Them Ol' Trucks (w/pics)

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I don't know what kind of pickup it is, but I'd like to have a new one just like it!


I'd like a new one just like this one, too. I think it might be a Federal, but I have no way of being sure.

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Thoughts On Ferguson (photos may not show)

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Looters in Ferguson, Mo. , were met with little or no police resistance Friday night and store owners were forced to protect their businesses with their own guns.  One store owner said on the first night of the protesting, "There are no police here. We trusted the police to keep it peaceful, but they didn't do their job."

This is fact… real history, and should be sent to every home in America.
  Sadly most won’t forward this message and many people will quickly delete it, and run and hide from the message contained here.  Dozens of businesses along West Florissant Ave. in Ferguson, Missouri were ransacked and robbed by rioters, including Target, Dollar General, Wal-Mart, liquor stores, automotive stores and a QuikTrip was burned down.

In essence, they are surrendering to mob rule, thieves and murderers, who turn out in times of trouble to break into stores;
 steal, burn, and destroy the property of innocent people.  Often, the police hide or watch from a distance;  sometimes because they are out-numbered or would be criticized for police brutality if they interfered, and could even be sued if one of these low-life criminals would be injured by them.




Hundreds of business owners and their employees had to run and hide in terror as waves of rioters arrived; some with guns.


MANY HIDE THEIR FACES.






Cleanup by shop owners in the after math!



But not everyone cowered in fear… some took action!


History shows us that those who are armed and protecting their homes or businesses cause the thieves to seek easier targets for their violence and theft.


Some businesses in the Ferguson riots escaped looting.


Why these businesses avoided destruction of their property and saved their livelihood should be a lesson for politicians.


Some business owners with their employees and friends stood firm, right outside their establishments, ready to take on all comers.


Why?
 Because they were armed to the teeth!

At Riverfront Tattoo and the adjacent gun store, owners Mike Gutierrez ( below left) and Adam Weinstein (third from left) brought AR-15s, body armor and lots of high-capacity magazines (the type Obama wants banned) to guard their store against bedlam.

Rioters passed right by the store.
Mally’s Supermarket was protected by armed men and it was untouched.

As was Sam’s Meat Market.

And a beauty supply store owned by Asians.


No looting or damage to any of these businesses.


Do you wonder why!


And the lesson for politicians and all liberal gun-grabbing Democrats is that being armed — and armed to the teeth — is the ONLY defense against a rioting mob.

The lesson should have been learned for good after the 1992 L.A. Riots, when only shop owners in Koreatown were sparedbecause they defended their stores with force of arms:

The right to bear arms must be sacred!


The shop owners and people in these examples worked hard for the life they have. To deny them of the best tools possible to protect themselves and their property is criminal.



Pass it on and if for no other reason just to piss off Al Sharpton
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Trash Call (a link)

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Medley of Worship: Opus 2014-299: On the Street: Trash Call
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Treasure House (pic)

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No tell me that you wouldn't love to take a peek inside this old building!


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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Five Things You Can Do To Build Community (a link)

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Family Fountain: Five Things You Can Do To Build Community
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The High Road Beats Getting Your Ankles Wet! (pic)

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I've seen and heard of foot-bridges that were only logs across the stream, sometimes with the top hewn flat. At least this one has a handrail. They park by the road and walk across. The water can be up a ways and they can still get home. If it's up too much, they're either trapped in or kept out.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Don’t Get It! (w/pic)

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Click photo to enlarge.

I really don’t get it. This house was across the road from where I sat waiting to unload today. A frail-looking middle-aged man came outside once for a minute and then went back in. I don’t know his story; but why all the trash? The sofa might have been given away at one time. It could still be burnt, or he could probably find someone to haul it away for free if he pled poverty. The old car could have been parted out for cash; maybe it could be still. Someone might take it as is if he’d GIVE it away. Why have junk at the side of your home?


I took the picture because I thought the little beagle at the foot of the evergreen to the left was tied and was forced to live under the old car but he turned out to be loose. It appears that he or some other animal still spends a considerable amount of time there. At least he seemed to be well fed. He also seemed to enjoy watching the traffic. I hope the guy takes him in at night, but I wonder if he DOES tie him up then. There’s a hand-painted warning on the door under the porch that says “We are home.” I suspect someone assumed the place was abandoned at one point and tried breaking in. Understandable, I’d say. © 2014
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Rainy Days And Shanties

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They barely had enough work to keep me in the saddle today, but one of my deliveries was to a place near Center Point, West Virginia. There’s a compressor station being built there on McElroy Creek, just off Rt # 23 on Riggins Run Road. Such technology doesn’t impress me, but the drive there did. It was raining all day, sometimes fairly hard, but sometimes barely sprinkling.

All along the rural roads leading to my destination were farms and little country homes, some lived in and some abandoned. What caught my attention the most, though, were all the little sheds and shanties that were part of the “dependencies” of the old homesteads. Most were built of rough lumber from the local sawmill back in the day when mills were more common than now. A few were built of corrugated tin. Some were locked up, some had doors standing open and others were so deteriorated that the roofs were lying nearly on the ground. Through some of the open doors I could see old farm tools, auto parts, rusted machinery and masses of rusted and dusty items that defied identification from a moving truck.

How I wished that I could snoop in all those old buildings! Of course I wouldn’t even know who to ask most places, since the most interesting ones were usually abandoned. I have a fetish for old tools and farm items. Some of the tools that I love most to use around my shop and yard have come from older relatives, antique shops, abandoned sheds and junk piles. Such things have personalities, and stories, that modern tools lack. The quality is often better, too. However, even those things too far gone to be used are interesting to look at and speculate as to their age and use.

In my youth, many rainy days were spent at my grandparents’ places, snooping around the outbuildings, learning about the past and asking questions when I got really stumped. It’s amazing the things I know about today because of that hobby which many people my age have no clue about. I’ve never harnessed a horse in my life, for instance, yet I know all the parts of the harness, their purpose and how to get it on the horse—all from studying old junk and asking questions.


One of my favorite spots was the tool shed up the hollow behind the barn of my paternal grandparents. My granddad had put a sawmill up there during the war, and though he never roofed the mill, at least he built a small building, perhaps 12 feet by 20, where he could put stuff out of the weather and even hole-up, himself, if the rain got too heavy. Many of my teenage hikes, hunts and horseback rides mysteriously swung by the old shed. Perhaps I should have closed it in and made it my hermitage; there were four springs and a running stream, all within 150 yards of the place. Closed in properly (or otherwise), it would have heated easily with a woodstove. I found myself thinking of the old loafing spot often today, as the rain hit the windshield. I reckon some days are custom made for memories. © 2014


Very poor photo of the old tool shed up the hollow, taken in 1973.
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Of Justice And Ham Sandwiches (a link)

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_It Don't Make Sense_: Of Justice And Ham Sandwiches
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In The Mind Of The Beholder

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I was sitting in the porch swing earlier today, enjoying the quiet of the woods before me, when the big bird sailed gracefully over the head of the hollow beside the house. I was instantly transported to a distant place and an earlier time. My wife, my mother, a couple of my mother’s friends and I had signed up for a train ride into a gorge of our lovely state during prime leaf-peeping season. It turned out to be a rip-off with the “antique rail cars” looking like converted cattle cars and “supper on board” being a couple of lousy hotdogs which we had to pay extra for. Also, the staff acted like they’d been trained in the gulags, but the scenery saved the day.

We were still on a steam train beside a rushing river with beautiful mountains of autumn color all around us. It was then that some folks noticed the eagles circling high overhead in a thermal. They seemed to be curious about the strange vehicle and its riders, as they began to follow us down the gorge and gradually dropped closer as we traveled.

Probably, Adam and Eve were the first of our race to watch such birds in flight and envy their grace and freedom. I suspect no-one ever lived who, at least as a child, didn’t dream of sailing through the sky with only his “wings” to lift and guide him. Even today, I have to admit that the ability would be both frightening and thrilling.

And so, the crowd watched the eagles, and oohed and aahed as they circled and swooped through a clear but slightly breezy sky. As they grew closer, some folks commented on the rarity of seeing a pair of the few eagles living in the canyon and at our good fortune at being this close. I held my peace and waited for the inevitable.


Finally, someone with binoculars realized that we were watching turkey vultures, instead of eagles. The oohes and ahhes turned to ewws and yucks as everyone quickly lost interest in the still graceful fliers. I raised my bottle of soda pop in a silent toast to the two birds that had put on a beautiful performance. I couldn’t help but look with disgust on the fickle crowd that now pretended to never have been so foolish as to admire a pair of vultures.

In my mind, they were no better than pretentious idiots who went from cheering a ballerina for a flawless performance to booing her, when they noticed a wart on her nose. Such is mankind. © 2014
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Their Brother’s Keeper

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The O’Dares (not their real names) were simple people—salt of the earth farm folks, and honest, hard-working Christians. They lived just a few miles across the county line headed south out of Stone County on the road to Charleville. There in McClellan County, they were well known and liked as just another set of neighbors that could be counted on to help others when the chips were down, whether it was gathering in the crops of a man with a broken leg or cutting firewood for some widow-lady up the holler. They weren’t well off, but they had a good farm with a lot of bottom-land for crops, hillsides for cattle, and hilltops for hay. Hillsides too steep to be mowed as pasture grew trees for lumber and firewood. Their eggs, meat and vegatables all came from the farm. Mr. O’Dare loved his farm and treated it as well as he knew how to do. It repaid his efforts bounteously. Like many of their neighbors, they had a coal stove in their parlor and a wood cookstove in the kitchen. There was no other heat in the house, but sleeping two to a bed atop one feather tick and under another kept them warm on the coldest night. In summer, the extra tick would be put on another bed so they could sleep separately through the sultry months.

As a result of the hard work and frugality of him and his wife, the O’Dares had saved enough to send their oldest son, Sherman, to college. He’d be the first person on either side of the family to take his education beyond high school at a time when many people didn’t even finish high school. There was just one problem; they could afford to send Sherman to college, but not his brother and two sisters. So they got their kids together and laid out a plan. After Sherman graduated, he would pay his parents back by sending the next oldest to college who, in turn, would send the one just below him, to be repeated down to the fourth and last child. The plan would be slightly easier than it would have been by the fact that there were a few years between each child. The children all agreed.

It took a little longer than it might have, since the first two boys went to medical school and became doctors. However, they stuck to the plan and both boys and the girls all ended up with college degrees. By each paying back to their parents some of what they’d spent on the eldest son, the parents had an easier retirement than they would have otherwise, also.


If it were a perfect world, or a made-up story, I could tell you what happened to the two girls, but I honestly don’t know. The boys had their medical practices in my hometown and I met them both as a child (had them both as my doctor then, in fact). Neither forgot their farming roots and ended up with farms that seemed to mean as much or more to them as their practices. The eldest used to go out to my future in-laws and discuss farming with my future father-in-law, so my wife actually knew him better than I did. The plan that the parents had was a good one and it worked. I wonder, though, how many young people today would make such a commitment and stick with it. © 2014
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Reexamining Relationships at Thanksgiving and at Christmas (a link)

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"Rational Preparedness" : The Blog: Reexamining Relationships at Thanksgiving and at Christmas
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Personal Prejudices Regarding Race (repost from 2/10/2011)

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Growing up in my area, black folks were a city phenomenon; there simply WERE no black farmers in my area. As a result, I didn’t go to school with any black kids through grade school. As it turned out, there weren’t even any blacks in my end of town, so when I went to junior high (middle school + 9th grade), I still shared no classes with black kids. That didn’t happen until I went to high school.

I didn’t really think much about it the fall of 1970 when I first started being in class with black kids. I just assumed kids were kids. They were a decided minority in my class of 1200, and I doubt if there were more than 150 in all three classes put together, which probably totaled about 3000. I did gradually notice that black kids averaged a bit louder and a bit rowdier than whites. (The politically correct may start screaming “Racist!” at this point.) One by one, I started noticing that they had “the attitude”—something that I didn’t even know existed until then.

At that time, I didn’t fully realize the impact of the civil rights movement on the attitudes of young blacks. I did know that most of them had never lived under the worst of the “Jim Crow” laws that their parents and grandparents had endured, and which my parents had told me about. All I saw was the entitlement thinking of the black kids and the fact that they would scream “Racism!” if school officials tried to give them the same punishment for bad behavior that white kids received. Most of my white classmates noticed what I noticed, as well, and a quiet, mostly unspoken resentment developed among many of us. I can’t speak for others, but I entered high school supposing black kids were pretty much like white kids. Three years later, there were only two black kids that I actively liked. Even about them, I was growing concerned, for I suspected the black guy whom I liked and respected was gay (another whole subject), and the black girl whom I liked had started dating a black jock with the worst attitude in the school.

Quite a few years went by before I once again had to deal with blacks on a daily basis. That was when I left the farm and went to work in a small factory. Out of 400 employees, only three were black, any others who’d worked there had either moved on or retired. Two of those three retired while I was there. The fellow remaining turned out to be a friendly sort who loved to tease and would take a lot of teasing himself, even about race, as long as he believed there was no disrespect intended. If he thought someone was showing him deliberate disrespect, however, he’d rare back and fight like anyone else. I couldn’t blame anyone for that and soon considered him one of my “work friends.”

He had 20 years seniority on me and usually addressed any problems that he had with management by himself, despite the fact that I was his shop steward. I was both flattered and surprised the day he came to me for advice. He insisted that it was the color of his skin that caused a problem between him and an older foreman and was going to open his discussion in the office with that statement. I disagreed and said it was jealousy. “Besides,” I told him, “us white folks get sick to death of black folks whining about discrimination every time they don’t get their way. If you start your argument with that premise, you’re gonna p___-off every other person in the room. Present your case using every other argument that you can think of. THEN, if it looks like things aren’t going your way, pull the race card out of your sleeve and play it.” We then discussed other angles from which to approach the problem.

With a smile on my face, I said, “You know, Freddie, you should remember that a lot of folks are like me and don’t like black folks very much, but of course, unlike a lot of them, I’m not racist.”

“How do you figure that?” he asked.

“Simple,” I said, “I’m equal opportunity, ‘cause I don’t like white folks much either!” With a grin, he told me that he reckoned that was fair enough. A few hours later, he dropped by my work area and told me that he’d followed my advice and had won his case without using the race card.

Now, I fully admit to being a jaded soul. However, in the decades since, I’ve come to realize that, had the situation been reversed, there would have been a good chance that the white kids would have screamed about prejudice and gotten away with everything they could. Human nature is pretty much the same in all races. Still, the damage is done. I generally accept white folks as being okay until proven otherwise, while I tend to be suspicious of blacks until they’ve proven themselves as okay. That’s not racism, but it is prejudice. Still, it wasn’t white folks that made me that way.

Now if I could just conquer my growing dislike for Muslims. © 2011

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Whiny Liberal Tastes Her Own Karma (a link)

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_It Don't Make Sense_: Whiny Liberal Tastes Her Own Karma
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Visiting The Community Cannery (a link)

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http://sunnybrookfarmus.blogspot.com/2014/11/friday-1128.html
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Friday Night Steam (a link)

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http://coopfeathers.blogspot.com/2014/11/friday-night-steam_28.html
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Fertile Farmland To Sterile Warehouse (pic)

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Here's a photo that's been stuck on my phone since summer. My stepson finally got it off for me yesterday.

At the left of the photo is what remains of the best crop of soybeans the renting farmer ever raised. To the right is a pile of dirt that will someday support a new warehouse to make the rich property even richer. In a couple of countries, "developing" farmland is illegal, because it's needed for food production. Not so in this country, perhaps because food is so cheap here BY COMPARISON. At least the property owner re-imbursed the farmer for his loss.
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What Is It, You Ask? (pic)

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I didn't notice that the wand of my fuel oil sprayer had vibrated against the main rail of the dump bed a couple weeks ago. So, when I dumped and dropped the bed back down, the tip and the end of the wand were crushed beyond use. First, I just cut the wand back to about six inches and used it that way, but the larger hole let out too much volume to let me reach the far end of the bed. A new tip would have cost as much as the sprayer, so I used a piece of tubing and an inflation needle to make my own. Of course, I had to cut it back below the side hole. It works fine and I've got less than $5 in it, though I had to buy all the parts. Plus, I've got a second needle that I can use to air up the soccer ball that I lay on to pop my back in place!
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Good Little Emergency Gun

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I bumped into a former coworker the other day. After catching up on jobs, families and so on, the conversation turned to guns, hunting, farming and prepping. He was telling me about a little project that he’d just completed. He’d wanted a hidden gun to put meat on the table with, should the feds get all paranoid and steal all the ones they know about. He bought one of those little Cricket kid’s rifles at a swap meet and made a couple changes in it to suit him better.

The first thing he didn’t like was the safety. It wasn’t designed as a safety you use when the gun was loaded, but you aren’t quite ready to shoot at the critter out in front of you. It was designed to keep the gun from even being loaded, when you’re teaching a kid to shoot at a range. When the safety button is pushed in, a brass rod comes up between the bolt face and the chamber, not allowing the bolt to be closed on a round. It then takes a separate key to make the gun “fireable” again. Not a good thing if you’re trying to hunt with it and accidently bump the easily “all-too-bumpable” safety button. The solution? Take a hacksaw blade and saw the rod off as low as possible when it was in the up position. Problem solved.

Then, he didn’t like the fact that it took a special screwdriver to remove the barrel. So, he replaced the barrel screw with one that took a regular Phillips screwdriver. He said he always carries at least one multi-tool, so if he is ever that unprepared, he doesn’t deserve to get the barrel off.

The next thing he did didn’t involve a problem. He removed the plastic butt-plate from the hollow plastic stock and filled the cavity with .22 shells. He estimated that the hole held 100-150. He then replaced the butt-plate and sighted the gun in for 20 yards, with shells from the same box. He said it shot minute of squirrel for him, though an expert might have done better. At that point, he put it in a container designed to protect it and buried it on a neighbor’s property next to some land he owns out in the country. (He never told the neighbor.)


He said it wouldn’t be his first choice for any purpose, but the price was right and it would sure beat hunting with a stick. Since I never saw the rifle, I couldn’t get a picture of it, but here’s a link to the manufacturer’s site: http://www.crickett.com/ © 2014
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014