Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Honor of The Recent Miss America Pageant

My dad always said you could tell when you crossed the border from another state into North Dakota by looking behind the gas station. If you saw an outhouse, you knew you were in North Dakota.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our Feathered Welfare Queens

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 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

Haiti=Katrina X 10

Received this e-mail from a friend. If anywhere near true, it's no wonder the Haiti mess is bigger than the Katrina mess. I wonder if the mainstream media will report how screwed up the USAID people are?

To All,

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

Sunday Morning

I shouldn't say it too loud, but I believe another one of my epic bouts with a winter cold is about over. I actually woke up this morning feeling half-way human. I’m still congested and have a lingering cough, but compared to the last week, that’s nothing.
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

Checking In

I'm in the fourth day of a nasty head and chest cold, so all I've been doing is lounging around, drinking lots of liquids and grumbling far more than necessary. If it follows the usual pattern, I should be feeling better tomorrow, but I'll probably be a grouch for several more days. Just like the Democrats, I have to take advantage of a good crisis and get the grumpies out of my system when the opportunities arise.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Odds and Ends

The news has sure been strange in this part of the state recently.

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 Is Texas...Who Let The Arctic In?

Yes, I've been hibernating. The temps have been in the low teens the past three nights, so I thought it was time for us old bears to crawl into the cave and get some sleep. I believe there is something to the hibernation instinct, because I've had no ambition since the cold arrived, and I've been eating everything in sight.

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

How To Fix The Economy

I'm sure the numbers are wrong, and Snopes would probably have a heyday with it, but sometimes the simple answer is the best one. It certainly wouldn't be any worse than what Congress did by flushing several hundred billion down the toilet.

"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

One Marine's Day in Afghanistan

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.
Saucy Jack
Recon Marine in Afghanistan
Semper Fi"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Who Will Keep their Oath?

A sobering thought to start the year. Here

Saturday, January 2, 2010

For Oldest Granddaughter and Her Guy

Congratulations on your engagement.

The New Year Begins

Thank goodness, the world is slowly drifting back into normal mode. I managed to spend the entire first day of 2010 without seeing a single parade float, without watching a single down of football, and especially, not suffering through yet another pre-recorded recap of the 2009 news headlines.

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.