Thursday, December 30, 2010
I took down the Christmas lights, drastically pruned the weeping cherry, picked up trash and fallen branches from our last windstorm, cleaned gutters, removed and stored tomato supports and cleaned the garden, dug compost into the garden, filled the bird feeders, watered hanging plants, picked up two weeks worth of dog poop from the back yard, cleaned leaves and trash out of the septic tank pump housing, filled the treatment tank dispenser with chlorine cakes, and finished off the day by poisoning several fire ant hills. Now, the yard should be in good shape until the next warm day arrives.
I imagine I'll vividly recall all that exercise when I try to get out of bed tomorrow, but with a cold front moving in, I'll have some time to recover in front of the computer. With tax time just around the corner, I have to get all the financial records updated and ready to go.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Even the birds are confused about the date. I finally got around to setting up the feeders and have seen very few customers. One nuthatch visited several times today, and gave me a scolding each time he arrived. I guess he doesn't know who paid for his lunch.
Speaking of birds...the baby whooping cranes made it to Florida well ahead of their normal arrival. Usually, the migration team has to take a holiday break and finish after the first of the year, but this time the weather was more cooperative and they arrived about a week ago.
The house is sure empty without Belle. The big, lumbering oaf was such a wonderful dog...funny, well mannered, gentle, loving, loveable, playful. There just aren't enough complimentary adjectives to describe her. She had a puppy mind encumbered by a body that was too old, too broken and too tired to keep up with her happy spirit. I'm just glad that we were the ones blessed to share her all-too-short life.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
November 6th, has always been a day to remember, as it was my dad’s birthday and for some reason it was the one birthday I never forgot. Now, that date will be etched even deeper in my memory, but not for the joy of celebrating someone’s birth.
My first wife…the mother of my children…passed last night. Barely seventy, in a time when octogenarians are the rule, she was far too young to go. I’ll leave writing her eulogy to those who are more deserving and more talented, and will only say that the world is not a better place with her gone. Too many people will miss her kindness and selflessness.
The second loss of the day was our oldest Shar Pei, Belle. If those who believe in reincarnation are correct, somewhere a loving, happy, gentle, soul arrived on this earth the moment she left. Only minutes before she died, she found the strength to wag her tail when I stroked her head. She was a good dog, and we loved her like a child.
Be it human or animal that is stricken, cancer is indeed an evil disease.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
When I started this blog, I imagined I had an unlimited number of things on which to comment. For a few months I did, but then we had an election and the nation began to quickly slip into socialism while politics transformed into nothing more than a mud-slinging hate contest. I’ve become totally disgusted with the evil Democrats and the spineless Republicans, and I don’t even want to talk about them anymore. I’ve tried writing several political entries recently, but have given up in frustration.
There was a time in my youth when I was an old school Democrat, but my opinions matured when I saw what their tax and spend policies did to our nation. I evolved and eventually moved my allegiance to the Republican Party, but over the years, it became what the Democrats used to be…spendthrifts and power-hungry liars. Instead of two parties that put America first and forgot our differences on the nation’s shores, we now have one party that wants to turn our country into a new version of the old Soviet Union, and a leaderless party that doesn’t have a clue how to prevent the destruction from happening...a pox on all their houses!
To make a long story short, I’m taking a break from blogging until the American public makes a decision. The Texas legislature also convenes in January and there are several state sovereignty issues on the agenda. No matter who wins the election, I expect Texas to become a leader in efforts to wrest power from Washington, and it could get ugly very quickly.
If “we” are smart enough to clean house in November, there might be a chance to resurrect our country from the depths of bankruptcy and collectivism, but if the Democrats retain control of the legislative branch and pursue their current agenda, I fear we could see the beginning of a new civil war…and Texas could be at the center of the maelstrom.
The time has come to quit talking about the mess we are in, and to begin doing something to fix it. To that end, I intend to concentrate my energies and my interests, so blogging is one of the things that will have to take a back seat for the time being.
Heartfelt thanks to my regular readers.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.
The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking.
Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.
The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.
When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thanks, Justice Roberts...you so-called right wing radical, you sided with the communists in the White House and DOJ. Put the razor wire manufacturers on overtime. Obama will need to build concentration camps after he declares vets, tea partiers, religious groups, and those with conservative stickers on their cars, terrorist groups.
We'll never be able to vote our way out of this socialist quagmire!
RIP Free Speech
Monday, June 21, 2010
GOP's New Mascot
John Boehner's threat to pull Texas Representative Joe Barton's committee chairmanship for his Obama putdown is the type of stunt that has eroded grassroots support for the Republican Party in recent years. What a spineless thing to do.
Boehner...get a clue! No matter how much you grovel and try to get along, the media will never like you, and the Democrats sure don't like you, so all you are doing with this gutless stunt is making certain that half the conservative voters don't like you either.
If you can't stand up for the Constitution, do the honorable thing and resign. We don't want career politicians that don't represent us.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
So Warren Buffett and Bill Gates believe that all American billionaires should donate half their wealth to charity. Wow! Warren will have to shop for Hamburger Helper to get by on the measly 31 billion remaining after he gives half of it away, and Bill will likely have to clip coupons from the Sunday paper to make it on his mere 26 billion.
I have a better idea. Instead of giving half to charity, why don't you all keep 10 or 20 million for walking around money, and donate the rest to the US Treasury. Then your good friend, Chairman Obama, will have a little seed money to buy more votes and redistribute wealth to the really needy folks, like SEIU members. It's a win-win situation.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The grass had gotten so dry, it looked like late summer with yellow, thinning patches and uneven growth. Now, it looks like April...rich, green and lush...and all within two days. No matter how much you water from a hose, it doesn't begin to match the results of natural rainwater.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
If I don't post for a few days, I'm building fences and gathering rocks.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I hope the pattern is broken, because we only have a few weeks before the long hot days of summer are due to arrive.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you're in bed with a relative.
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with 'Guess' on it. So I said 'Implants?' She hit me
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America?
Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.
I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!
When I was young we used to go 'skinny dipping,' now I just 'chunky dunk.'
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?
Wouldn't you know it... brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed outside?
And remember: life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I’m Sixty-Three and I’m Tired.
by Robert A. Hall
I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.
I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela.
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.
I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.
I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.
I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.
I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.
I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the citizens we need.
I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes.
British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.
I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.
I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.
I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.
Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.
Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate and the actor who plays the coroner on CSI.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonight was one of those nights. We just finished a delicious meal of blackeyed peas simmered for hours with several pieces of thick bacon, fried okra, fried yellow squash, homemade bread, and fresh tomatoes. Eating just doesn't get any better!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
It was my war, but I wasn't there. Though I wore a uniform during part of it, I didn't deploy to SEA, and I'm often nagged by guilt. Now those slimy, dope smoking protesters who worshipped Mao and Che, and who spit on our returning troops, are running the damn country and running it into the ground!
More than 50,000 died in a valiant, botched effort to defeat collectivist thinking, but when I look around today, it's obvious the communists won anyway. What a terrible waste of young men and women. I knew several whose names are etched on that wall, and they were all far more patriotic and honorable than the entire Congress, the Administration, and the mainstream media, put together. It's enough to make me want to puke.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Remember who the DOJ listed as potential radicals in their memo last year?...Tea Party participants, returning veterans, tax protesters, Oath Keepers, anyone with anti-government or right to life stickers on their bumpers, among many others.
If this legislation comes to pass, the feds will be able to prevent anyone from purchasing guns and ammo, as well as confistcate legally purchased guns from anyone the Attorney General decides to add to his list.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
We were fortunate that none of the trees in our yard were damaged, but between here and town there were at least three trees lying across the road that had to be cut up and moved before traffic could get by. We were also fortunate that a cool front arrived after the storm passed, so the house stayed comfortable without air conditioning.
As I was sitting in the dark, trying to read a book by the light of a dim flashlight, I vividly recall another storm last winter when I swore I was going to buy an emergency generator so this wouldn't happen again...but this time I'm really going to do it...if I don't forget again.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I sure hope this dry spring is not an indication that we're going to have a similarly dry summer. The price of water has more than doubled since we moved in, so I hate watering the lawn.
Well, tomorrow is the day for the big armed demonstration across the river from Washington DC. The Second Amendment blogs are deathly silent as the authors are on their way to attend the event. I only hope their message will be taken to heart by those arrogant politicians who refust to realize there is extreme anger in the heartland. What's scary is that it would be the perfect opportunity for a radical leftist to goad a violent response from a short tempered protester, which could result in the feds overreacting and creating another Concord Bridge situation.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We celebrated by going out to eat at Pop's cafe. Every Tuesday night, they serve a tasty hamburger, fries and a drink for a special price of $3.95, which is cheap compared to the local competition. They even offer entertainment in the form of an older couple who sing along to tape recorded country music. They sing reasonably well and create a comfortable small town Texas atmosphere for the motley collection of farmers, ranchers and laborers that frequent Pop's. When you hear songs like Luckenbach, TX, He Stopped Loving Her Today, and Four Walls sung with a strong East Texas drawl, you can't help but feel there is still hope for this country.
No matter what happens in the years to come, I hope that part of Americana never goes away.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
This dog really does work, and he shows up as reliably as any factory worker. Every morning, rain or shine, he arrives carrying a ball or an old stick and then goes from house to house hoping he can convince someone to throw the ball so he can fetch. He’s especially happy on weekends when homeowners are working in their yards and the kids are out of school. He can wear out the arms of a dozen people before he tires, so the more cooperative ball-throwers he can find on any one day, the happier he is.
We don’t know much about him, and we don’t even know where he lives, but according to his tag, his name is Dakota, and he looks like a purebred Black Lab. He’s a big lovable oaf, always clean, healthy looking, and always appears to be well fed. He wears a collar and knows some basic commands, so he’s not a stray, but he certainly doesn’t spend much time at his home during the day.
He’s also very smart. He keeps his favorite fetching balls where he can find them. At one time we had three stored in our yard. He would come trotting down the driveway, pick up one of the balls, take it next door and play there for a while. Then when they tired of playing his game, off he’d trot to another neighbor. At the end of the day, he’d bring the ball back into our yard and drop it off before going home...wherever that might be.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I've been nursing a toothache since Easter, so I haven't been in the mood to write, or do anything else. The dentist said I'd probably have some discomfort after he filled it last week, and he sure had that right.
Think I'll go to bed and read until the Tylenol kicks in and maybe I can get to sleep.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
This morning, I awoke stiff and sore, and tried to work it out by digging a new flowerbed. I managed to get it half done before I called it a day, but it's supposed to storm tomorrow, so it might be several days before I finish.
I saw the first hummingbird of the season...a male Rubythroat...and he announced his arrival by slamming into the kitchen window. He wasn't hurt, but he had better learn which flight paths he can take and which ones he can't.
I got a letter from the IRS today that nearly gave me cardiac arrest. They said we missed listing a substantial amount of income, but it turned out that the bank that transferred Judy's IRA when we moved, mis-coded the paperwork so it looked like she had withdrawn the entire IRA.
Monday, March 29, 2010
This time I know it’s spring! Temps are forecast to be in the low 80’s this week and everything is either blooming or leafing out. The photo is of a weeping peach that we just purchased and planted a few days ago. The color is far more vivid than the puny weeping cherry in the front yard. It has only a few pale pink blossoms and if it doesn’t get busy, next year it will be replaced by another peach like this one.
The hollow stump where a Tufted Titmouse nested last year has been taken over by a pair of Nuthatches. They are already feeding babies, so they might raise more than one brood this year. Multiple broods seems to be the norm for Texas songbirds.
The front yard Bluebirds have built a nest in their house, but the world might be better off if this pair doesn’t preserve their gene pool. They have to be the dumbest pair of birds I’ve ever seen. At first light, the male attacks the kitchen window, and he’s been doing so for over a month. He goes through this battle until about noon and then the female joins him. Those two idiot birds spend most of the day fighting their reflections and are totally exhausted by evening. If she starts to sit on eggs, he’ll probably kill himself in his futile battle to defeat his glass enclosed nemesis.
Another pair of Bluebirds has been building a nest in the backyard Martin house, but their progress has been slow and erratic, as if they’re not too sure they want to move in, or maybe they forget what they’re doing. They might be related to the mentally challenged dummies from the front yard.
I found a dead Red Bellied Woodpecker in the yard today. It showed no sign of injuries, so I have no idea what killed it, but its mate has been calling all day from the dead tree where they had chiseled out a home.
Final bird report. Last fall, a male Carolina Wren began spending nights in a fern that was hanging on the patio. When the cold weather arrived, the fern froze and stopped providing much cover for the wren. I felt sorry for the little guy, so I cut a hole in a plastic bucket and hung it beside the fern. The wren moved in immediately and spent the rest of the winter roosting in the bucket at nights. He must have really liked his accomodations, because he has now built a nest inside. I suppose that ugly bucket will have to hang there for the entire nesting season!
I ordered 12 yards of pine bark mulch and 10 yards of topsoil to be delivered Wednesday, so I’ll have enough work to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. Wore myself out cleaning a bunch of weeds from the flower beds today, so I’m ready to mulch...after I rest a couple of days.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Test Question: The recently passed healthcare bill was supported by about 30 percent of the American public and opposed by 70 percent. After watching the video, to which group do you believe these voters belong?
Thanks to The Old Hippie for finding another good one.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Now we are faced with serious decisions. How do we fix the mess? Do we sit back and wait for the next election to get us back on track? Do we engage in civil disobedience demonstrations that mimic those of the left in the sixties? Do we do as some hotheads are already suggesting, and destroy property as the Sons of Liberty did before the Revolutionary War? Do we goad the DC statists into an act of violence so as to trigger a violent response? Or do we do something else to put fear in the hearts of those who would destroy our country?
I wish I knew what was the right thing to do. What I do know is that it will no longer be business as usual for me.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Last week, I hauled a bunch of plants from their cozy spots in the house out to the patio, and I'm too tired to haul them in again, so that's where they are going to stay. The palm should be okay, but a couple of semi-tropical plants might be in trouble.
Global warming my butt...bah-humbug!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Concord Bridge Patriots
Restore The Constitution
On April 19, 2010, an armed rally will take place on the grounds of Gravelly Point Park in Washington D.C., and it’s no coincidence the rally falls on the anniversary of the 1775 battle between British troops and the Minutemen at Concord Bridge in Massachusetts.
A year ago on that date, a few members of a newly formed group known as Oathkeepers reaffirmed their oath to defend the Constitution at the site of the original bridge. They were a small group that was mostly dismissed by the media, but since then the number of Oathkeepers has grown by thousands and can no longer be ignored.
This time a protest takes place on the back porch of the federal government. It will be difficult for the media to ignore hundreds, and perhaps thousands of armed modern day patriots standing together in a peaceful display obviously meant to spit in the eyes of an increasingly overbearing federal government intent on pushing our country into the gutter of Socialism as they blithely chip away at the very liberties those Minutemen died to gain over 200 years ago.
Let’s hope April’s show of force sets off a chill in the spines of the elitist tyrnants, and that it successfully conveys the atmosphere of discontent roiling among the citizenry. Additionally, let’s hope nothing happens during the rally that triggers a response from either side that can’t be controlled. And let’s also hope we can find a peaceful way to prevent Washington’s Marxists from destroying our country until we can hold an election to evict their sorry asses from government.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Between the warnings from Glenn Beck and articles like this, I've finally accepted the fact that a US economic collapse is not only possible, but probable. During the Carter administration, Similar fears were commonplace, and many of us prepared by storing enough food and supplies to weather several months of chaos. Thanks to the leadership of Ronald Reagan, those supplies weren't needed then, but the situation today looks far worse than the Carter dabacle, so it's time to prepare for survival again.
Over the past several weeks, I've been adding more and more survival items to our shopping list, such as camping gear, lanterns, fuel, ammunition, etc. I also enlarged the size of our tiny garden so we can at least grow some of our food.
This morning, I ordered a three month supply of freeze dried meals to supplement our pantry and freezer stock. Along with the food, I bought a 72 hour emergency survival kit that contains all the little things you tend to forget when stocking up. One of the neat items in the kit is an AM/FM radio/flashlight/lantern that is powered by household AC, solar cells, crank generator, or batteries. It even has the capability to charge a cell phone and flashlight batteries.
The food is advertised to store safely for 30 years, so even if we don't use any, someone will have a supply available long after we're gone. I hope none of these things will have to be used, but as Glenn Beck says, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I recall a time when I wanted nothing to do with the state of Texas. As a youngster, I had endured four weeks of basic training in San Antonio and made a quick trip to El Paso while on temporary duty with the Air Force. I quickly decided that those were not places I wanted to live, but with time, my opinion changed. Years later, my employer sent me on a couple of business trips to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I fell in love with the state. Now, I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I think this youtube video does a good job of capturing the spirit of the land, and feelings I have about the state.
Thanks to Taxidave on the oldhippie website for finding this.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
For those who don’t know, the new house is located just outside of the small town of Mineola, which is about six miles from where we live. Naturally, the area has gone gaga over all the activity generated by the event.
The house replaced one with an $80,000 mortgage, and those who know the area said that houses in that neighborhood are mostly in the $100,000 range, which means they are modest two and three bedroom homes no larger than about 1500 square feet. ABC sort of overbuilt the neighborhood with their upscale 4500 square foot home that would be valued at a half-million dollars in an area where houses that size were the average. If the family can’t pay the property taxes, utilities and insurance on that monster, they will have a hard time selling it for half the assessed value.
As of last week, they were still $20,000 short of paying off the mortgage on their old house, so that could still be a worry if no one comes up with the money they still owe.
Makes you wonder if the television folks ever bother to think beyond the feel-good aspect of the show.
Tyler Morning Telegraph photos
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Bossier Parish is far from being a rural parish filled with rubes, rednecks, Bible thumpers, and old fat guys with guns, as the lefties in this video would like you to believe. It is located across the river from the city of Shreveport, that together with Bossier City, have a population of over a quarter million. One of only two B-52 bases left in the country is located within the parish. It also has several large casinos that are filled with thousands of people around the clock, so it is certainly the type of place terrorists would consider for an attack.
You can almost smell the fear when those lying, elitist idiots do their pontificating.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I stopped to check on any progress they might have made on my convertible, but it's not going very fast. The rear end has been changed, and he's working on the suspension, but nothing has been done to prep it for paint. I have a hunch it's going to be well into convertible season before I get it back.
Except for the governor's race, the local tea party supported candidates did very well. Our over the hill local RINO was defeated by the very conservative young man who visited our coffee group last month, and another woman who visited us was elected county clerk against tall odds. Her opponent was supported by the party and all the big name politicians, but she easily defeated him. A few years ago, he organized a union for county workers and that unpopular effort came back to bite him. I enjoy watching RINOs defeated almost as much as I enjoy watching Democrats go down.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
You might have read in the national news that there have been a series of church burnings in East Texas. Well, they’ve charged two young men with the crime. One was an honor student in high school, regular church goer, a talented artist and an Eagle Scout. Yep, he got into drugs. Sad to say, but they both lived within a few miles of our house. They burned ten churches in four counties before they were caught. Story is that they were turned in by a sister of one of the boys. She happens to be a dispatcher with a local law enforcement entity.
The law says they could get life in prison, but despite the anger in this Bible thumping part of the state, I doubt they will get that much.
The Lindale motels are filled with folks from the Extreme Makeover television show. They are going to build a house for a family in the Tyler area. We don’t know exactly where, but it should be revealed later this week. Everything has to be hush-hush until the builders have been assembled and trained. So far, over 300 construction workers have volunteered.
Got our second taste of snow earlier this week, and every flake adds to the decades-old record. Temperatures have been 10-20 degrees below normal all month, with only three days over 50 degrees. Normal for February is 60-65. Thanks for the global warming, Al, we’d really be freezing our buns if things were normal.
The weather seems to be keeping the birds from migrating, and I’m tired of feeding the hungry little buggers. They manage to empty the feeder at least once every day. I'll run out feed bythis weekend, and then the welfare is going to be cut off. They can clean up their spillage and then point their little beaks north
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
There is no doubt the man was deranged and morally weak to take the lives of innocent people in his battle with the IRS, but he had experienced enough government ignorance and incompetence to send him over the edge.
Another man bulldozed his $300,000 home to send a message to the banks who were trying to foreclose and the IRS who destroyed his business.
One man was willing to die to send a message, and another is willing to go to jail to prove his point. At what point do stronger people say they have had enough?
Will the government take steps against private plane ownership and operation in a knee-jerk reaction to one incident? Will they step on the tea party goers with jack boots in an attempt to intimidate those who protest against an incompetent, overbearing government?
The idiots in Washington had better seriously look at these and other recent events and ask themselves if their policies and their disregard for the Constitution will only invite more extreme reactions from a frustrated populace.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you ever had the honor to wear the uniform of our country, you can't help but hold these soldiers in awe. The guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier come from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment...The Old Guard...and I salute each and every one of them for their dedication and love of country.
Photos courtesy of Dan Bell from a post at: www.old hippie.com
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
This picture was taken just after dawn yesterday.
A long power outage is a marvelous way to remind us how spoiled and dependent we have become on the outside world.
When the storm arrived Thursday afternoon, I expected to see the the ground white in the morning, but when I got up, about 5" had already accumulated and it was still snowing heavily. At dawn, both the Internet and television were down, and our power was off by 10 AM.
It was a long, dark, uncomfortable night, but the kerosene heater I bought last month kept the house temperature in the high 50's, so our suffering was minimal. Last night turned into a three dog night that was cold enough to make Cricket burrow under the covers and convince the two big dogs to snuggle together at the foot of the bed. I always wondered what that saying meant, but now I know.
What a wonderful surprise to return from eating dinner in town tonight to be greeted by lights, Internet, a furnace cranking out a bunch of btu's, and a television signal again!
I think the time has arrived to seriously consider buying an emergency generator.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The religion of peace is exposed once again.
Dave Gaubatz, the author of the book discussed in this interview, and his family were Thanksgiving dinner guests at our house back in 2001 or 2002. Judy had sold them a house when he retired from the Air Force, and being a people person, she often invited her clients to join us for holidays dinner. He had recently been hired by the US Government (CIA?) and his family was living in the DFW area while he attended Arab language school. His son, Chris, also rented a room in a rental house we had in Denton.
I only recall that Dave was a quiet, soft-spoken guy, and little did I know that he would be the first American civilian to enter Iraq with the invasion, or that he would be involved in the rescue of the Iraqi lawyer who saved the life of POW, Jessica Lynch, or that he would write a book about terrorism.
You never know who you will rub shoulders with as you stumble through life.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I watched an interview with his son, Rand, a few months ago and was very impressed. He doesn't come off as an extremist in any way, and has the common sense of his father. Rand is now running for the senate in Kentucky and has been endorsed by Sarah Palin, which gives him a lot of credibility.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Take Their Guns
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
A cold front moved in yesterday and whenever that happens all sorts of birds flock to our feeders. This morning, I’ve seen Juncos, Bluebirds, Cardinals, Chipping Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Mourning Doves, Inca Doves, and dozens of Goldfinches.
As you might be able to make out in the photo, the males Goldfinches are shedding their drab winter coat and taking on their bright yellow, black, and white, spring plumage. They must be about ready to begin migration, because in past years they leave our feeders just before they turn color completely, and we never get to see them dressed in their finest.
Bird migration is difficult to understand sometimes. Purple Martins leave this area between late August and mid-September, when food is still plentiful. Then they begin their northward journey in late December, and reach as far as the Oklahoma border by the first week of February, when flying insects are few and far between for days on end.
I just checked the map at http://purplemartin.org/scoutreport/scout.php?Y=2010&S=TX and the first scouts have already been reported about 100 miles south of here, so they are once again on schedule. All I can say is they better enjoy eating seeds and berries, because 30-degree weather is going to keep the flying insects in hibernation.
Friday, January 29, 2010
I just returned from Haiti with Hebler. We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.
Port o Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact.Our team was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble. There are easily 200,000 dead, the city smells like a charnal house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetent or outright anti American. Most are French or french speakers, worthless every damn one of them. While 18oo rescuers were ready willing and able to leave the airport and go do our jobs, the UN and USAID ( another organization full of little OBamites and communists that openly speak against America) These two organizations exemplared their parochialism by:
USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami, yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.
Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.
Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn't release a drop of it to the rescuers.
No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and decon equipment, as well as air conditioned tents.
No latrine facilities, less digging a hole if you set up a crapper everyone was trying to use it.
I watched a 25 year old Obamite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the air force, because he countermanded her orders, whilst trying to unscrew the air pattern. " You don't know what your president wants! The military isn't in charge here we are!"
If any of you are thinking of giving money to the Haitian relief, or to the UN don't waste your money. It will only go to further the goals of the French and the Liberal left.
If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans. Where the hell is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society.
Bad place, bad situation, but a perfect look at the new world order in action. New Orleans magnified a thousand times. Haiti doesn't need democracy, what Haiti needs is Papa Doc. That's not just my opinion , that is what virtually every Haitian we talked with said. "The French run the UN treat us the same as when we were a colony, at least Papa Doc ran the country."
Oh, and as a last slap in the face the last four of us had to take US Airways home from Phoenix. They slapped me with a $590 baggage charge for the four of us. The girl at the counter was almost in tears because she couldn't give us a discount or she would lose her job. Pass that on to the flying public.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I missed out on a lot of great weather while I was sick. Temps have been near and above 70, and except for one day, it’s been dry and sunny. The warmer weather has the birds singing and checking out our bird houses, though one male Bluebird is being a pain by jousting with his reflection in the window every morning. One day I even saw a Cedar Waxwing checking out that handsome stranger in the glass, but he apparently has a higher IQ than the Bluebird, as he quickly left to attend to more serious errands.
A few spring flowers are also tentatively checking out what’s happening above ground. If it doesn’t get cold again, we should be seeing daffodil buds in a couple of weeks. Once they appear, spring seems to arrive pretty fast.
I was hoping to get my car in the paint shop last week, but needless to say, I wasn’t up to stripping out the interior and removing exterior chrome. I did get part of it done, and on Friday, I called the paint shop to see when they could begin. As luck would have it, they had suddenly taken in a bunch of work that everyone wanted done immediately, so he said it now might be a month before I can get mine in. I’m not too concerned yet, since serious top-down convertible season doesn’t really arrive for another two or three months.
It’s been a pleasure watching the panic beset Washington DC after the Massachusetts election. Some of them are actually beginning to understand what’s happening out here in flyover country. Maybe they will finally realize that strange smell in the air is a tar pot warming. I just hope we can keep the pressure on until November. I don’t think Obama can restrain his arrogance enough to placate the anger that exists in the country.
Even here in Texas, our two Republican gubernatorial candidates are feeling the heat from an irate constituency. Last week, a young libertarian-leaning Republican nurse, businesswoman, and rancher, who has been ignored by the media and is woefully underfunded, was declared the unofficial winner of a debate held in Dallas. She had both Perry and Hutchison playing defense, and is suddenly being looked at as a serious candidate. She definitely has the smarts and the integrity to run the state, but I doubt if she has the mean needed to stand up to experienced political hatchet men. I’d love to see her beat them both in the primary election in March. That would really send a message to the Republican Party.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Last week, a Smith County deputy was hosting a party in our little town. One of the guests brought another man to the party and the uninvited guest stabbed and killed a friend of the deputy. The deputy subdued and handcuffed the man, but in a fit of anger, he punched the guy while he was handcuffed. The deputy was arrested by the Texas Rangers today, charged with first degree felony assault. I’m taking bets that the killer will get off without much punishment…not sure about the deputy.
The Sheriff must be tearing his hair out with all the things happening in his department. Three weeks ago, a deputy died in a traffic accident after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree, but not to be outdone, another deputy was killed last week when he ran off the road in his private vehicle. It wasn’t a bad accident, but he wasn’t wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the car. His nephew, who was belted in, was uninjured.
Even the State Troopers got in on the action. Last year, a trooper was decorated for stopping a felon trying to flee after a traffic stop. The trooper was dragged nearly a half-mile with his arm stuck in the driver’s window of the felon’s car. Earlier this week, the same trooper was arrested for choking his wife. She lived, but she wasn’t happy, and the trooper is in jail. He appeared before the same judge who had given him high praise during the trial of the man the trooper stopped last year. In this case, the judge recused himself.
This morning’s paper had an article about a raid on a homemade still where nine gallons of moonshine were confiscated. As I said in another post, we live in the wettest dry county in the state. Our silly liquor laws are only supported by moonshiners and Baptist preachers. However, most of our bootleggers buy legally in other counties and sell illegally in Smith County. Not many make their own products these days. And here’s another strange little story that has to do with our liquor laws. A Muslim cleric, who ministers to convicts in our jails and prisons, fought a winning battle to prevent a neighboring town from voting wet. However, he has a weakness for something that’s as bad as demon rum. He was arrested in Dallas for smoking marijuana in his car, which was parked in the city jail parking lot.
Even the obituary column was interesting yesterday. There is a small town south of Tyler by the name of Whitehouse, and the paper reported the demise of one of their residents with the last name of Outhouse. I kid you not. How would you like to be a kid in high school with a name like Outhouse?
As weird as some things are around here, at least we don’t let prisoners vote, as they will be doing in Washington State. If they ever do get that law passed here, maybe prisoners on death row will be able to vote early, since not many of them get a stay of execution. We wouldn’t want to deprive them of their right to vote…which brings up another oddity. I wonder why they use an alcohol dampened swab to clean the arm before they stuff a needle in the guy being executed?
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This weather would be considered mild along the Canadian border, but here in Texas, things slow way down. Most houses aren't built for extended cold weather, so water pipes freeze, and space heaters cause fires. Two houses burned down in Tyler yesterday when space heaters were not used properly.
I had to run a kerosene space heater in the garage for a few hours to protect all the plants we stored there last fall. The price of plants has skyrocketed the past couple of years, so I try to winter-over everything I can. Yesterday morning, before I got the heater operating, the thermometer inside the garage read 32F, but I don't think any of the plants got nipped.
According to the latest forecast, the weather should be getting back to normal tomorrow. As for me, I'm ready for spring.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
"There recently was an article in the St. Petersburg Fl. Times. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on:
"How Would You Fix the Economy?" I think this guy nailed it!
Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy.
Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":
There are about 40 million people over 55 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early
retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.
It can't get any easier than that!!
If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes...
Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs
would be fixed pronto!"
Monday, January 4, 2010
I found this post in another forum, so I can't speak to its authenticity, but after the depressing story in my last post, it makes a good read.
"From the Sand Pit it's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains , along the Dar 'yoi Pomir River , watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.
I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod. Hurts like h.... The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water. That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy. I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware. We bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement. It's all about intelligence. We haven't even brought in the snipers yet. These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for. We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin. I dream of bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him with my boot on his throat as I spit into his face and plunge my nickel-plated Bowie knife through his frontal lobe. But you know me, I'm a romantic. I've said it before and I'll say it again: This country blows, man. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government. This is an inhospitable, rock pit **** hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs.
Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your options. Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that's your idea of a party. But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.
I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtuns, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, all of 'em, are Huns... actual, living Huns.They LIVE to fight. It's what they do. It's ALL they do. They have no respect for anything, not for their families, nor for each other, nor for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other's barbarism. Cavemen with AK-47's. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky. I'm freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours. Oh yeah! You like to write letters, right? Do me a favor, Bizarre. Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban 'smart.' They are not smart. I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is 'cunning.' The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines. They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart. Pfft. Yeah, they're real smart. They've spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter. Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.
OK, enough. Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole. Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I'm good at it. Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives. The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bull**** and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials.
We've got this one under control The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here, because you have no idea what we're doing, and really, you don't want to know.. We are your military, and we are doing what you sent us here to do.
Recon Marine in Afghanistan
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Our holiday dinner included black-eyed peas and cabbage, so we’ve now complied with Texas tradition in the food department. Well, not exactly. We didn’t have tamales, but I think that tradition is a late add by illegals anyway, and probably doesn’t officially count. No matter, since I’m not fond of tamales we’ll pretend that’s the case.
The house was also clean when midnight arrived, so we won’t be cursed with a dirty house for the rest of the year. And except for the tree, our Christmas decorations are down and packed away.
Now, I hope we can begin a new week with all the usual radio and Fox News personalities back in harness, refreshed, and ready to go. I haven’t heard if Rush will be back on Monday, but he probably will, since he said the chest pains were not related to his heart.
I love turning the calendar at the end of the year, and can hardly wait for the spring flowers in February and the hummingbirds in early March. Meanwhile, I’m taking care of our feathered winter visitors. I bought a new thistle seed feeder for the Goldfinches and another two-level feeder for the rest of the seed eaters.
Only one resolution this year. I resolve to work harder to return Constitutional law to the country.