Friday, October 31, 2008

Duty done......


Finally sucked up my courage and went to the Classic Center here in the Classic City.

Time to gird my loins and put on the softer pair of athletic shoes.

Went to vote in the much talked about (oh, please, why don't they STF up, already) National Election. Voted for almost every libertarian on the ballot. Wished after hitting the vote button I had thought to bring a list of people to write in for those races where there was no competition.

It was much different from my last experience of voting out in the wilds of Redhill at the Flint district polling location. Today my standing in line entailed a wait of 2 1/2 hours before getting to slid my card in the electric voting machine, rather than the typical 2 minutes to get in and have a neighbor look at my license and say, "yep, that's you all right, before letting me have access to the ballot.

That's why they call it a secret ballot........after you've left you wonder if the entries you pressed will really be counted or if the machine has been rigged. Hopefully someone actually goes around and checks on things like that.

The long wait wasn't a total waste as I looked around and tried to judge who people would vote for. Couldn't really get a feel for most of them as they all looked pretty pissed off..........

Well there was this one Goth girl with the black, purple and green hair. She just had a bored look on her face as she attempted through body language let us know she didn't care if we looked at her funny. Only saw her facade drop once as she looked so lonely she wished she were dead. (almost went up to her and just wanted to give her a big hug and say, "it's alright". Hope that's not really what went through her head. I also wonder if the multiple piercings of her left eyebrow and upper lip were painful.

I asked one young college student how the nose stud she was wearing stayed in. Whether it was just hooked or had some sort of clip that had to be inserted up her nose. Welllll excuse me.........I was just curious. Having had a head cold for over two weeks, I wonder how she would have handled having to blow her nose every 10 minutes like I have?

Anyhoo, went and fulfilled my civic duty one more time. I was number 26,211 to have voted in this county. Wonder what next Tuesday will look like. Poll worker says they expect a better than 80% voter turnout. What would it have been if we'd really had someone qualified running for office, I wonder.

Remember........Vote often.

Can you tell me

Why anyone would want to hear the opinion of this Twat.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

As Planned

I was at the VA's door early. Shuffled over to the window and said, "I feel like shit, could the doc take a look at me?".

OH, you should have called to set up an appointment. We'll try to work you in.

I got there at 7:45,I finally got in about 11:45. Left 10 minutes later with script for antibiotics and an inhaler.

I didn't mind the wait too much. As long as I sat very very still and took shallow breaths I didn't cough too much.

So I sat very, very still. There are rumors that I may live

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get a Haircut

I have been getting a little shaggy here lately.


is just one of the things I've listened to for the last 45 minutes.

Thanks to GuyK.

Most fun I've had this week. Give it a try, bet you wake up singing in the morning.

Still breathing

Someone once told me to just keep breathing in and out.........everything else would take care of it's self.

That may be, but it's hard to drain the swamp when you are in water up over your head.

Still fighting the chest and head congestion. I've now started to hack up the right lung a bit at the time. I'll be at the VA doctors door when they open in the morning..........along with the rest of the old farts, and a sprinkling of more recent Vets.

Speaking of old farts, on my foray into to the wilds last Saturday I stopped alongside an old Ford van that two guys were getting into while wearing blaze orange vests.
I asked if they'd had any luck and was answered in the negative. Turned out to be a Father and Son seeking the elusive white tailed deer. These were two guys that looked to be straight out of the movie Deliverance. Not so surprising as it wasn't too far away from where the movie was filmed. They might have had a mouthful of teeth between them. Instead of a banjo the son was equipped with a nice deer rifle atop which rested a 3X9 scope. Considering the average sight distance in these hills is much less than 100 yards...... a bit of over kill IMHO.

I was under the impression that the older gentleman was at least my age, or older, as he had that rode hard and put away wet look about him. I told him I was having a hard time walking the hills, being as I was so out of shape. Imagine my surprise when he said that he'd soon be 50 and was glad to walk mostly down hill during their hunt. Shit....9 years younger than me. I may not be doing so badly after all.

In other news the amount of doom and gloom combined with premature celebratory victory parties now-a-days is enough to make one wish to become a hermit. Preferably on a hilltop in Nepal or somewhere. Well, maybe back in the jungle on the Island of Yap,( Part of Micronesia)as I prefer the warmer climes myownself.

Damn I'll be glad to see the far side of this election cycle.

Folks, let me tell you something.........either way it goes, we're in a mess, because the Demo-cans want to tax us to death, and the Republi-crats want to spend us to death. If you ain't already figured it out and if you ain't already prepared......them's the breaks. Won't make much of a difference to me.

That may come across as a little callous, and I really don't want to be, but there are certain basic principals that make our time above ground a little easier. The first and foremost is, as John Wayne was reported to have said, "Life is's harder still if you are stupid". Don't be so stupid.

I've tried in the past to try to lead stupid mules to water, and have always found it to be a tiresome and unrewarding task. The urge is still there but I can fight it better with the advantage of hindsight. Now-a-days I just work on myself, while ranting and raving at the lack of progress I seem to have made.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shoot me......Shoot me now!

Well.........not really. I've been shot at many times and only ever hit once, and that was not in combat, but in a field of my grandfathers during a dove shoot. Not so bad as it didn't break the skin, having been fired from half way across the field. It was about like being shot with a strong BB gun from 5 feet away. The guy (one of my uncles) didn't even know I was there, but later he picked up a big black snake and it bit him on the thumb. (Poetic justice I thought.) Still # 8 shot packs a sting.

Being shot at with hi-powered rifles and the occasional anti aircraft weapons is some what less fun, but as I think Winston Churchill is supposed to have said......."there is nothing quite like being shot at, and missed".

No, I don't really want to be shot, but I would endure a good spanking by Jessica Alba to be rid of the sinus and chest congestion that I am experiencing. It's getting a little better since I hacked up the rest of my left lung and spit it out yesterday.

I had decided to travel north to the gentle hills we here in Georgia call the Mountains to do a little prospecting in an out of the way spot where many long years ago were several gold mines.

This required a two hour or so ride which included a rugged dirt path where my forward advance was stalled by a river ford I didn't think I'd try with only a 2 wheel drive. So I backed into a turn around and consulted my map and GPS and set off for the creek I was seeking.

Just Damn! Mankinds sway over nature in this area was limited to the sometimes maintained dirt road. Once you started trying to break trail through the thick under growth you wonder how man ever hacked his way across this land. Of course the Forest Service will not use the ol' Indian trick of using controlled burns to clear out this, waiting for the right spark, tinder. This was not helped by the UP and Down terrain. It wasn't bad as long as I was going down hill, but when I started to go up and sideways my heart was pounding like a drum in an African mating ritual. (come to think of it, I've heard a few of those just up the street, coming thru car windows backed by 5 million watt speakers.)

Just damn, I am out of shape. The more my heart pounded the more my lungs labored to get air into me through all the phlegm I keep spitting up. After about an hour and a half I just gave up and used the GPS to plot the straightest line back to the road. That trip in it's self was enough to make one reconsider the wisdom of hiking in the woods. My youngest grand daughter with her short legs would have out done me by a mile. I was just damn glad that no one else was around to see the pitiful husk of the stud I once was. I don't think I'm looking forward to starting middle age here in a few years. When does that start anyway??

Still the lure of the yellow metal does call. Don't ever catch gold'll likely be with you to the end of your days, and if you try it when out of shape, that won't be long.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Someone has to say it

Click over to Ann’s house

Angry young Blacks

Maybe we need to turn away from the coverage of the election here in the good ol' US of A for a few minutes and let our tempers cool off a bit.

Perhaps reading a little bit of recent history (so recent it's ongoing) might sooth our worried brows.

Lets take a look at the bread basket of Africa, that verdant green oasis formerly known as Rhodesia. The BBC gives us a look at this utopia that has flourished since they rid themselves of all those evil white people who once held their nappy little heads down with their hob-nailed boots and cruel Missionaries.

Living is more easy now that they have a socialist black man running the country.

This year's harvest in Zimbabwe has been the worst in the country's modern history.

In Mashonaland West province, some people are trying to survive by eating wild fruit and digging for roots

If we don't get help now, most of us are going to die. Nearly everyone here is starving

Mashonaland West villager

"It's very very bad. I've got 12 children and it's hard to find anything to give them," says a local village chief. "The whole of my village is struggling. No-one has food.

"There's nothing left here. So there's nothing I can do."

Driving deep into Mashonaland West is a reminder that most Zimbabweans live in rural areas.

The area around Karoi - 200km (124 miles) north of the capital, Harare - provides an illustration of the suffering currently being experienced in the countryside.

Farmers are without seeds, fertiliser and fuel. Next year's harvest is already being written off as a disaster as well.

As the political paralysis over the formation of the new power-sharing government continues, people are experiencing severe food shortages brought on by the catastrophic mismanagement of the economy and the virtual destruction of the country's commercial agricultural sector.

School dropouts

Some Zimbabweans get by on one meal a day if they are lucky, but there is a growing sense of desperation.

A person hold the amount of money needed to buy a loaf of bread in Harare in September 2008

Wads of cash are needed to buy what food is available in towns

One consequence is that thousands of children are said to be dropping out of school to look for food.

"In one district, 10,000 children of a population of 120,000 left school in a period of six months," says Rachel Pounds, country director of UK charity Save the Children.

"There's a lot of lost hope. Zimbabweans put up with things that get worse and worse, but you can see the despair in some of the poorer families in the villages.

"It's causing a breakdown of the community when people have to leave in order to find food," she added.

One villager in Mashonaland West pleaded for help before it was "too late".

"If we don't get help now, most of us are going to die. Nearly everyone here is starving."


He showed me three tins of stored maize, but said that with seven children to feed, the supply would only last for a week.

Earlier this month, the UN World Food Programme appealed for $140m (£86m) to provide vital relief rations over the next six months.

The UN warned that more than five million people (45% of the population) could need assistance by early 2009.

In the meantime however, non-governmental organisations working in Zimbabwe have been hit hard by the economic collapse of this once prosperous country, and the resulting cash crisis stemming from levels of inflation that are now completely out of control.

But it is not just the rural population which is suffering.

Bizarre and depressing

In the towns and cities, food is also in increasingly short supply.

A walk around a suburban supermarket in Harare is a bizarre and depressing experience.

We are distinctly aware that this is a food crisis that is growing

USAid's KarenFreeman

One store I visited looked as though it was in the final stages of a clearance sale.

Only two of the 19 check-out tills were operating, and most shelves were entirely empty.

There was no milk, cheese, margarine or yoghurt.

Some cabbages, onions and limp bunches of spinach were available, along with a few odd packs of frozen meat.

The aisles intended for household goods such as soap and toilet paper were empty and closed off.

The only fresh-looking food items in the shop were a few loaves of bread, priced this week at Z$30,000 a loaf (about $1).

However, Zimbabweans are only permitted to withdraw Z$ 50,000 a day from the banks.
A boy lifts a tin of water from a hole in Harare in September 2008
Residents of Harare are digging holes to find water

Most people often cannot afford what little food is available.

Only those fortunate enough to have access to foreign currency can circumnavigate the shortages.

"We are distinctly aware that this is a food crisis that is growing," says Karen Freeman, the director of USAid in Zimbabwe.

"The issue of urban vulnerability has never really been felt here before.

"You could go to the store and buy food in the past, but now you have no option.

"There's no food in the store and there's no food on the ground. The crisis now is one where you can neither buy food nor grow food."

This is almost entirely a man-made crisis, created by President Robert Mugabe's government, and his administration stands accused of having done nothing to help."

I see on Drudge the Celebration of the new regime has already started in Pittsburgh

No bias from this reporter

they simply report the facts.

Do we have more of this to look forward too??

If I'd only known

How much fun grand children were, we'd have had them first.

I don't guess it works that way, and besides, we like their parents pretty well also.

Nanny picked Callie up at day care this afternoon and she has been a hoot. Of course she had to watch her favorite cartoons and no body better get in her way. But then she came outside where I was working and we swung high in the yard swing, threatened to terminate the dalmatian with extreme prejudice for picking up a vial of gold panned out of the rivers and creeks, while we were checking the metal detector, and ran off with it. (she didn't know how close her brush with death was).
The last 45 minutes or so were spent listening to Shirley Temple sing as a young child actor. Callie sat so still you'd have thought she was asleep. But, she was staring at the monitor with her hands clasped in front of her and her ankles crossed. Of course her Pa Pa used to watch Shirley Temple back in the day, although the films were a couple of decades old at the time. But it never hurts to watch the classics with the grandchildren, and even sing along. (fortunately she doesn't recognize just how badly I maul the lyrics just yet)

Here's a picture of her helping Nanny at the kitchen counter a couple of weeks ago. It suddenly had gotten very quite.

She's our own little Curly Top.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keep your powder dry!

A phrase I've used many, many times over the years....

by Chip Wood

It must have been quite a meeting.

It began at 3:00 pm this past Monday at the U.S. Treasury’s plush offices
in Washington, D.C. On one side of the table sat U.S. Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson. He was flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

On the other side were the chief executives of the nation’s biggest banks.
They were arranged in alphabetical order, with Bank of America’s chairman
on one end and Wells Fargo’s CEO at the other. Between them sat
representatives from the Bank of New York Mellon, Citicorp, Goldman Sachs,
J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and State Street.

Although no reporters were present, journalists later pieced together what
was said. All accounts agree on the following: For over an hour, Paulson
and Bernanke told the assembled bankers just how grave was the situation
threatening not just this country, but all the known world. (All together
now, can you say, “the gravest financial crisis since the Great

At the end of Paulson’s and Bernanke’s remarks, aides handed each banker a
document. The pages contained the government’s terms for becoming their
partner. It detailed how much money the Treasury would “invest” in each
bank (a total of $125 billion for those present), how much ownership it
expected, what their new dividend policies would be, even the limits that
would be imposed on executive pay. (The top five officers at each
institution could not receive more than $500,000 a year.)

While discussion was permitted, negotiations were not. Paulson explained
the deal was for their own good and the good of the country. Then it was
time to “shut up and sign.” And every banker did.

Any questions, any doubts, any disagreements were blithely ignored. Thus
was born a new age in what was once the land of the free and the home of
brave. Government would “save” capitalism by becoming its partner ... nay,
its boss.

It may not be a Brave New World. But I can guarantee you, folks, it’s
going to be an expensive one. Time will tell how expensive – to our
wallets and to the free-enterprise system.

The ancient Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times,” wasn’t
meant to be a blessing. No, I’m told that it was always intended as a

To call the past two weeks “interesting” would be the understatement of
the decade. Whether in the markets, in Washington, or in politics, I can’t
remember a time when we’ve experienced so many startling reversals and
unexpected shocks.

The largest S&L in the country, Washington Mutual...gone. It’s younger
sister, Wachovia, is about to disappear.

The nation’s largest insurer, AIG, will have a new owner when Uncle Sam
steps in with $85 billion (subsequently raised to $120 billion-plus) and
ends up with 80% of the company.

Two of the most venerable (and, as it turned out, most vulnerable) of Wall
Street’s august institutions, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers...gone.
Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, exists in name only. The employees there are
about to call Bank of America “boss.”

Over the past two weeks, the stock market experienced what some have
called a “slow-motion” crash. Many investors felt as though they’d stepped
into a boxing ring against Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Bam!, down 500. Wham!,
down 300. Slam!, down another 400. Then last Friday came the most
incredible day of all. Moments after the opening bell, the market
plummeted over 700 points. The Dow dropped all the way to 7900. Then it
started back up.

What a recovery it staged over the next five hours. Before you could say,
“no mas!,” the Dow gained back all of the 700 points it lost and tacked on
300 more. I wish someone had rung the closing bell then, but no, worried
investors couldn’t leave well enough alone. Mr. Market gave up all of
those gains and a bunch more before the session finally ended at 4:00 pm.

When the dust finally settled, the Dow closed down 128 points last Friday.
Come Monday, a lot of investors decided all that selling was a mistake.
With a weekend to think about it, on Monday morning they became buyers
instead. And buy they did – in record numbers. By the time the final bell
was rung, more than 1.5 trillion shares had changed hands and the Dow had
gained a record 936.42 points.

On Tuesday, volatility returned with a vengeance. First the market soared
400 points. Then it plummeted 700. Like someone tied to a bungee cord, it
bounced back up again. Then it fell again. When the day was finally over,
the Dow finished down 72 points. That’s barely a blip on the radar,
compared to what the past few weeks had seen.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dow gave back nearly 80% of those record
gains it notched on Monday. I gotta tell you, my tired old ticker can’t
take much more of this. (Not to mention my wallet.)

Are we there yet, mommy? Is the bottom finally behind us? No one knows for
certain. Of course Monday’s explosion to the upside was a delight to see.
It was the biggest one-day point gain ever, and the largest percentage
gain (11.1%) since March 15, 1933.

Still, it was nowhere near enough to bring us back to break-even. The Dow
is still down 34%, or more than 4,775 points, from its record high back on
October 9, 2007. More than $5 trillion in investor assets have gone to
money heaven.

A lot of pundits are predicting the market will hit more lows before it
comes anywhere near its old highs – especially if, as seems likely,
President Barack Obama is greeted by Democratic majorities in both
branches of Congress when he takes office in January.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the legislation that’s supposed to end all of
this travail. I’m referring, of course, to the $850 billion bank bailout
bill, officially known as the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of
2008.” It’s got to be one of the most odious pieces of legislation ever
approved by Congress and signed by the President.

How did a $700 billion bank rescue turn into expenditures of $850 billion?
It’s simple, folks. In the words of an old television show, they socked it
to us. The Senate packed the measure with $150 billion worth of pork. The
so-called “sweeteners” included $397 million for a “domestic production
activities deduction” for the motion-picture industry (hooray for
Hollywood), $33 million for an economic development program in American
Samoa (hey, Samoans vote, too), $100 million in tax breaks for “certain
motor sports racing track facilities” (gotta love those NASCAR fans), and
even a $2 million excise-tax exemption for “certain wooden arrows designed
for use by children” (you aren’t against kids’ toys, are you?).

If there ever was an event where our elected representatives showed their
complete and utter disdain for the numbskulls who elected them, this was

By the way, some of you may have wondered how a spending bill could
originate in the U.S. Senate. Doesn’t the Constitution require that all
appropriation bills begin in the House of Representatives? (Not that
anyone in Washington, on either side of the aisle, pays any attention to
the Constitution anymore.)

Here’s how that particular trick was done. The Senate took a bill that had
been passed in the House some time ago – in this case, the Paul Wellstone
Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 – and voted to replace all
of the text with their spanking-new measure. Presto-chango, a new (but
unconstitutional) spending bill was transformed into an appropriations
bill that originated in the House.

Did I already mention how this measure, more than any other I’ve seen,
shows the total and complete disdain our representatives have for us? I
guess it doesn’t really matter if its origins were strictly
Constitutional, since the measure itself will finance the biggest
government takeover of business we’ve ever seen in this country. Would
someone please show me where the Constitution says that the Treasury can
take taxpayers’ money to buy stock in a bank, an insurance company, or
another financial institution?

But I keep forgetting; we don’t operate under the Constitution any more.
Haven’t for decades.

The authors of this monstrosity call it a “Troubled Asset Relief Program,”
or TARP. I think J.T., one of my Alert Readers, was a lot closer to the
mark when he said it should be called the Special Official Congressional
Institute for Assuring Liquidity In Secure Mortgages. What a perfect
acronym: SOCIALISM!

I’m running out of space for today’s rant. But before I say goodbye for
this week, let me make a few observations.

While everybody and his brother (including a lot of my conservative
colleagues and friends) agree that government had to rescue the financial
system, no one ever said what the alternatives were. What would have
happened if we didn’t allow Uncle Profligate to spend an additional
trillion dollars (which he doesn’t have) to bail out the banks? We’ll
never know.

What will the rescue cost? And will it work? Again, we don’t know the
answers to either question. I think it’s a safe bet that the final cost
will be many times higher than even the worst estimates we’re hearing now.
How can I say that? Because that’s been true about every government
program since FDR wheeled into office.

Whatever the nominal cost of this rescue plan, the hidden costs will be
many, many times worse. The Federal Reserve is about to flood the country
with a tsunami of new money and credit. In 2007, loans from the Fed to our
nation’s banks averaged $10 billion a month. For the first eight months of
this year, they soared to over $100 billion a month.

But listen to this: Last month, the Fed increased its lending to an
astonishing $2.7 trillion. The total for the year is over $3.5 trillion
and climbing. Makes a billion-dollar bank bailout seem puny by comparison,
doesn’t it? No wonder some wags say that FED actually stands for
“frantically expanding dollars.”

At this point, every single helicopter in Ben Bernanke’s fleet is in the

And what happens when tons of new money and credit flood into the economy,
class? Can you spell i-n-f-l-a-t-i-o-n?

The money masters in Washington, aided and abetted by academia and the
media, have fooled the public into believing that “inflation” means rising
prices. You and I know differently, don’t we?

Inflation is an increase in the supply of money and credit. Period. Yes,
it causes higher prices, as people realize their dollars are worth less
and less. But blaming rising prices on inflation is like blaming wet
streets for causing rain.

John Maynard Keynes, the famed economist, understood the process very
well. Nearly a century ago he warned, “By a continuing process of
inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an
important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

That is precisely what our government is doing to us, folks. It is
stealing your wealth – a lot of it through the direct and indirect taxes
you pay. But a lot more through the loss in value of every
dollar-denominated asset you own.

I’ll have a lot more to say about all of this in the future. But for now,
let me conclude by saying that we have just witnessed the greatest
financial heist in all of history.

We should be putting the culprits in jail. Instead, we’re going to elect
them to Congress – and one of them to the White House. Others will be
rewarded with fancy titles and plush offices in Washington and New York.

Truly, we live in a world gone crazy.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Chip Wood

......and might I just add............your HEAD DOWN

No Mas'


Do you want pap or can you handle roasted corn kernels and jerky?

Amazing isn't it, Wall Street's Disaster Capitalists screwed up, likely planned or let happen this meltdown and recession. Yet America's clueless taxpayers just reward them by giving the screw-ups massive bailouts, control over more than $2 trillion of tax money, and the power to clean up the mess they made. Oh yes, we are dummies!

This end game was planned for years in secret war rooms on Wall Street, in Corporate America, in Washington and the Forbes 400. Democracy is too cumbersome. It had to be marginalized for Disaster Capitalism to take over. Reagan, Bush and Paulson were Wall Street's "Trojan Horses."

Naomi Klein summarizes the game in "Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism." This "new economy" generates enormous profits feeding off other peoples' misery: Wars, terror attacks, natural catastrophes, poverty, trade sanctions, subprime housing meltdowns and all kinds of economic, financial and political disasters. Natural (Katrina) or manmade (Iraq), either way "disaster capitalism" creates fortunes.

So you, me and the other 300 million better get out of denial. America is no longer a democracy. Voting is irrelevant. Best case scenario: We're a plutocracy, a government ruled by the wealthy, the richest 1%, the Forbes 400, the influential wealthy elite, while the other 99% are their "servants." Meanwhile, the inflation-adjusted income of wage-earners has declined for three decades.

Worst case scenario: America's no democracy and as a result of the meltdown and the surrender of our power to Wall Street's new Disaster Capitalism we are morphing into what one WWII dictator called "corporatism," a "merger of state and corporate power," kind of like what's going on now with Goldman Sachs' ex-boss as de facto president.

Read the rest here

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Last Honest Reporter??

Are there any Honest Reporters out there??

A good question, and Orson Scott Card asks a few questions of the media to try and find out.

Well, I'll give Ann Coulter a while longer.

Anyway click on his name and read what he has to say.

Updated to reflect the accuracy of LL's astute comment. And of course Ann Coulter is also a commentator. Their observations are still worthy of thought.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So long, Farewell

In fashion typical to our family, today we bade adieu to my Beloved Aunt Margret, Matriarch of my direct paternal line. The Reins now pass to Uncle Jim.

As so many times in the past, we gathered at Tommy Wages Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, where the owners have laid to rest the remains of so many of my family over the past 50 years or so.

She struggled to shuffle off this mortal coil for a week after suffering a major stroke. Finally giving a last little sigh last Saturday morning.

We all gathered in the room with her casket and laughed and cried and fellowshipped with each other in a loud and joyful meeting and greeting of all of us who haven't seen each other since the last death. We're a talkative bunch.........always have been. I guess when you grow up close to the earth you know that death is a natural part of life and those that remain have to go on whether the dearly departed can talk or not.

A few funerals back we were gabbing as always with the noise level getting louder and louder, when the funeral director made an, almost fatal to him, effort to shush one of my aunts. He was soon made aware of the fact that this is how we pay our last respects and by damn if he didn't like it he could just go outside. The celebration of life well lived then continued until they shut off the lights for the night. We don't always suffer fools too well. This is our time to see friends and relatives from near and far, to catch up on what's happening in their lives. I'm pretty sure the dead understand. After all, they are part of a huge family, who, even if we don't always call each other up every week or so, still love and appreciate each and every one of the and out-laws alike.

One thing I think Aunt Margaret would have gotten a grand kick out of was my grandson Lee. Soon to be 9, and quick to inform you of same, almost as soon as we got there and he looked around, he started to go up to every one in the room, stuck out his hand and said I'm Lee. Knock me over with a feather..........I was under the impression of him as a shy young man. He claims he wants to be a soldier, but I think he might have a future as either a preacher or politician. Or maybe as a funeral director, as he had a great time helping the morticians lower the casket, take down the winch and fold up the chairs. He had to reach out to touch the vault as it was being lowered. I'm pretty sure his great-great aunt was thanking him for his service as the dirt was pushed in on top of her.

We may not be Kings or Queens in this life, but we know how to honor those who came and go before us.

So Aunt Margaret.........a last farewell to you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I ain't rich..........

Today was a reflective day.

I soon tired of the talk radio jocks as I drove up and down the highways. At my first stop they were busy as a three legged dog in a rabbit chase. Finally I sat my sorry ass down in a wheel chair outside the door and watched the customers come and go. Smiling every now and then at what people thought something was worth and what others were willing to pay.

I must have brought him good was nearly two hours before it slowed down enough to have our little bit of business. The weather was just right for sitting in front of the store, high white clouds scudded across the robins egg blue sky. Rednecks and outlaws went in and out of the restaurant next door and the gas station was selling gas for twenty cents the gallon less than yesterday. I saw one place that dropped forty cents between morning and afternoon.

At the next stop I didn't buy anything but we talked each others ears off for two hours or so. He did have one bauble that was nice. If anybody wants a radiant emerald cut diamond so white and clear that it almost hurts your eyes, for a hell of a good buy, just let me know.

This evening I'm listening to Bob Wills and Asleep at the Wheel on you tube. Faded Love and Amarillo by morning are just a couple.


...........but Lord I'm free.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The leaves are falling

For the first time in maybe five months or more I donned a long sleeved shirt today. I'd bought it and 3 others several months ago at a flea market/yard sale sort of place along Hwy 29. All brand new, brand name, still in the original plastic. The guy had maybe a thousand of them and I found 4 that were large (my size).....the rest were XL or bigger. Eight bucks apiece, about one quarter retail, I had been looking forward to the fall when it would be cool enough to wear them.

I look forward to fall each year. The cooler nights, while the days are warm and sunny. You can leave the A/C off and open the windows....let some fresh air in.

We drove west down Hwy 316, toward Lawrenceville, the four lane cutting exactly in half the old dairy farm I was raised on. The old homestead is gone now, the house, barns, trees and gentle hills scrapped flat in anticipation of another great slab of asphalt and concrete with shops and stores built thereon. The once fertile, productive sandy loam gone forever to instead grow monuments to consumption and the service society we have become.

But the trees that are left standing along the creeks and areas not yet ready to be developed are starting to turn here in early mid-October. The dogwood leaves are red, the poplars turning a bright yellow. Soon the mighty oaks and hickories will turn bright red and orange. They are beginning to shed now, but in a few weeks after a light frost followed by some brisk breeze, they'll shower leaves down to carpet the ground, crisp and cracking when it's dry and soft, spongy and quiet when wet.

Our destination is the Gwinnett Medical Center.........not a trip I had looked forward Aunt Margaret is lying there, with an oxygen tube under her nose, he five feet nothing or less height shrunken against the pillow, daughters, brother, sisters, nephews, nieces and in-laws and friends gathering around, speaking quietly, smiling sadly as they remember a life well lived.

She's eighty four years old, she'll not see eighty five in the flesh, and to say she had a good long life seems to diminish her somehow, for she was not just old. She was a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and great-aunt to so many nephews and nieces that I can't begin to name even a quarter of them.

Short she may have been.......she shrank even shorter as the years passed by. As long as I can remember her hair has been a beautiful white, like a glittering crown or halo on her head. Which seems appropriate to my memory, for I remember her as full of for her family, not just for her husband (long gone) and her two daughters, but full of love for her extended family. I can never remember a time when she didn't show that love to all who knew her. Unconditional love that was evidenced by a concern for all of us. She seemed to beam when she saw any of us, even if like mine, the visits were not as often as they could have been. She would ask after us, our spouses, children and grandchildren, remembering their names, for she had a capacity for remembering them all.

Our family tree is a massive old white oak, the trunk still sound, the branches spreading widely with many a twig growing wildly, but her leaf will soon fall, to become compost for young oaks that have sprung up around her, who will hopefully stand the straighter and taller for feeding on her love.

I know it's in the order of things, but........

Damn, I hate the fall.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The first comming

Of the Messiah is upon us............ready the young asses and strip off all the palm branches in the country side, for none other than John the Baptist, er that is, Louis Farrakhan has foretold it.

Bow down to the anointed one, for yea and verily his reign will begin in 25 days.

Bow down before our new master and saviour.

Someone should have spilled his seed upon the wall.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The things you can learn

from reading books are many, and sometimes strange.

Tonight I read about and found this piece, albeit not by the original.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Conspicious Consumption on The Street

As the sun started it inexorable slide down, between the towering sky scrapers standing like walls along the streets on the island of Manhattan, the daily late afternoon ritual began.

Like cattle, making their way down the chute, toward the final thump of the air gun just above and between the eyes, denizens of those same towers exited on the ground and basement floors and moved steadily along their designated routes. No eye to eye contact, no joyous chatter at being freed from their pen ‘til the next day, only a steady, straight ahead movement to the same destination they had every afternoon, the subway turnstile, the Checker Cab stand, the entrance to the parking garage, by the tens and hundreds, by the thousands and tens of thousands they paced patiently to their intermediate destination, to stand in line for something they wouldn’t remember in the morning.

For they were addicted, these chasers of the American Dream, addicted to the pleasures of needle sharp fangs, dripping with narcotic saliva, as they were applied to the inside of their left arms at the way stations along their route home, or to the eateries, theaters, and bars at which they would eat and drink, to replace the precious fluids and nutrients that had been delicately removed from their bodies, removed to satiate the ravening hunger of their overlords.

Mostly delicately that is, except for those occasional times when the hunger could not be satisfied with only a sip, or a mouthful, and the beast within came rampaging to the surface and instead of a slight sting and refreshed forgetfulness, they would be dragged to the ground and fed upon furiously, greedily, by beings with the instincts of packs of hyenas on the plains of Africa, consumed like the herd animals they were, their absence noted, if at all, by only a mild question in the memory of the rest of the herd, when one of their number didn’t show up at the designated time and place on the morning after.

He watched from the tops of the towers, hi-powered glasses at his eyes, just as he watched every evening…………..

Stupid is, as stupid does.

This just doesn't apply to Forrest, but to our Overlords in The Federal Reserve System and their minions, the politicians and appointed officials such as the Secretary of the Treasury.

Go HERE to see what a Professor of Finance has to say about it.

Stock up on Food, Fuel, Firearms and precious metal in .45 ACP, 7.62mm, 00 Buckshot, and hemp ropes for the nooses when we catch one.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Vice Presidential Debate

My views on politics these days generally go something along this line.....

.....A coalition of the unwilling lead by the incompetent.

Both of the candidates showed up with their shoes shined. Governor Palin's ass was much the nicer in that tight skirt, atop those great legs. After that I lost interest.

Besides, Jon Nadler says that we're fine.

Me worry??...........nah