Monday, May 31, 2010

The Rain

I woke to rain this morning, not a hard rain particularly, just a rain with the promise of more to come during the day. Gray clouds blocked the sun but were not hanging low enough to give that dreary, claustrophobic feeling......more a 'oh, it's raining, it'll stop in a few minutes and I'll step out back without getting wet, do some things that need doing and if it rains more I'll be dry under the tool shed or the canvas shelter.

And it did.....rain some more off and on.

Kinda like my and on....on the task at hand....on the tasks ahead.

Off into the mists over Khe Sanh.....onto the hill just north where lie the ashes of Carl and John, for there wasn't anything left but a watch after hundred of pounds of JP-4 hit the hill a fraction of a second after they did..

Onto the rain dripping from the leaves on the to that tall dead tree 20 feet higher than the surrounding jungle that was the last thing Wendall and his pilot Cpt. whose name I forget, saw.

On to plans for tomorrow, which is about as far into the future as I ever can get... to Tony's house for a short visit.....back home to peel 4 spuds to be fried with onions and served with love and pieces of dead cow to me and the old grump by my better half. Better by far.....that she's still around after 4 decades is a wonderment to me.

On to the road for a 20 minute trip to buy a little scrap and some old coins that were around when the soldiers of the first and second World Wars went marching off to what they could not at that time visualize. Off to the thoughts that some things are worth fighting, living, and dieing for.

On to the interwebz to check up on the state of the world. Off into the dark corners of my mind when Borepatch led me to this......

And soon off to bed, glad to be there and listening........

to the rain.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

For Carl, John Paul, Wendell........

And so many others that have fallen in service to this country and the ideals it was founded upon.

Ours was a small piece of the quilt put together by the thousands upon thousand who looked with reverence on the Grand Old Flag in it's many incarnations, and your names are engraved along with so very, very many more.

Thank you Brothers and to so many more, Thank you, you are not forgotten.

In Vino, Veritus

In Wine, Truth

I don't know if there was much wine consumed, if any this past evening, but there were plenty of cool brews and margarita's along with something called 'apple shots' (whatever that is).

The occasion a grand 'Deck Party' ostensibly for the purpose of celebrating the oldest Grandson's matriculation from high school which actually occurred on Friday in the Gwinnett Civic Center, the culmination of 14 years of hard work by the young man from pre-k to the 12th grade during which time he, hopefully, obtained the necessary knowledge and skills to begin to learn some of the really important lessons in life, graduation from which will, again hopefully, come at the end of a really long and fruitful lifetime with the hardest quiz of them all.

One question;.........answered by those left behind,... have I been a good man?

Good BBQ, corn dip, cheese dip and chips, washed down with diet Pepsi and Diet Mtn. Dew in my case and somewhat stronger libations in other's cases according to preference and in part by the time of night.

Much good conversation, reports on the latest safari to South Africa to include comments on the size of pecker on an old bull elephant, dwindled down to a hardy 4 or 5 discussing the state of the economy, the country, the world in general and the abundance of, or lack of in some cases, sufficient ammunition to withstand the Zombie Hoards waiting to descend upon the unlucky and un-wary.

All-in-All a good way to celebrate the accomplishments of as fine a young man as I have been privileged to know and to wish him God Speed on the trip of a lifetime that lies ahead of him.

He'll do alright.......he gives as good as he gets in our ritual hand squeezing these days. I think he may have been milking a few cows in his spare time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do you know your neighbors?

Have you got more firepower than they....or do you think they're going to consider your best interests if TSHTF?

Yuba says it all much better than I.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Home grown tomatoes

I does love me some home grown tomatoes.

Went out back to the postage stamp sized garden we tried to till into our rocky, rooty ground here this evening and sprinkled a bit more fertilizer around some of the plants that are up and growing, tomatoes, straight neck yellow squash, okra, and one row of beans that haven't yet made their appearance. Just a tad, I'd put some fertilizer down when the tilling was almost done and churned it in, but the plants are needing a bit more nitrogen right about now, along with a gentle sprinkling of water from the rain barrel that catches the gutter run off from the left back corner of the house. There is a chance of rain and maybe like washing a car, watering the garden will ensure it.

I was rewarded by spying the first quarter sized fruit on the Rutgers tomato plant. The Better Boy and the Goliath plants are just starting to bloom and I'm sure they'll be sporting some tiny green tomatoes any day now.

I really need to get some landscape timbers and make this a raised bed garden by next year. I'll have to bring in some potting soil to mix with some of the leaf mulch and a bit of cow manure to fill the beds since the dirt we have here is a mixture of rocks and gully dirt that will grow dandelions in abundance but grass, flowers and vegetables need something a bit more fertile to do well.

Maybe I can get the grandson to use the pick and dig out the rocks and build a stone wall...
..nah.......lets not get too ambitious.

In the meantime I'm gonna dream of tomato sandwiches on Honey Wheat Bread with Blue Plate Mayo a bit of salt and generous helpings of black pepper. You purists can have your white bread......I prefer a bit more substance to mine.

There is something immensely satisfying about watching your garden grow, and especially eating something you've grown yourself.

Might be it'll be good practice for the times ahead.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where is my Muse?


Actually since the word is used to mean the spirits which lead us to artistic expression, one could logically say that I've never had one, as I typically write about my frustrations with day to day life, seemingly, concentrating on things which the gubbermint has done on that particular day. Not too much artistic expression there.......outrage might be more correct.

Whatever the reason for the last two or three weeks I've not felt much like putting fingertips to keyboard and trying to construct semi-cogent sentences out of the deranged thoughts cascading willy-nilly from synapse to neuron amongst the convoluted twists and tangles of the graying matter between my ears.

Other than enjoying the company of wife, the ol' grump,the offspring, and theirs traveling to and fro for all too little remuneration, I've just sorta let the events of the days proceed as they will.....realizing that any comments I make either for are against will have as much effect as spitting into a'll like as not be hurled back into my face, or be lost in the excitement.

Still, unless one wishes to crawl back in the deepest recesses of the grotto and pull the blackness and echos in around him like a cold, damp blanket as you suck on your thumb and pull at your earlobe you can't help but hear and see the events of the day unfolding.

The politicians have painted themselves into a corner with little hope of being able to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat this last time. Their lack of caring about the Constitution which they swore to uphold, their only desire to be able to return every 2 years to Washington with the lukewarm approval of their constituents , there to seek their own remuneration and aggrandizement over the benefit of those they supposedly represent have led to an uprising by a significant percentage of the voters and as recent days have shown they have little stomach for keeping the same old tired assholes in control.

Yet as the events in Greece and the European Common Market countries are showing the time will eventually come when the pied piper must be paid, and he, savvy musicians he is, will no longer accept pretty pieces of paper representing nothing but hollow promises.

We, here in the good ol' US of A have not yet had disgruntled hostiles heaving Molotov cocktails at the police in the streets.......but it's still early yet......summer doesn't officially start for another month.

The simple fact is that everyone was too concerned with living the good life, consuming more than they produced.......after all it kept getting cheaper and cheaper down at Wally World, never mind that the labels all say "Made in China", besides Master Card and Visa would give you terms on anything you could think of as long as you made the minimum monthly sacrifice of old tired presidents who are in point of fact not worth the paper they are printed on.

Speaking from unfortunate personal experience I can tell you that when the position becomes increasingly untenable.......when the demands simply become too great to meet or bare.... becomes better to bow to the winds of fate and let yourself be blown away.

For much like the coconut floating on the sea, you'll likely be washed up on a distant shore, there to have an opportunity to send out a root and try to regain tenuous grasp of hope of growth once more.

Joseph Tainter wrote in 'The Collapse of Complex Societies'

"Systems of problem solving develop greater complexity and higher costs over long periods... the destructive potential is evident in historical cases where increased expenditures on socioeconomic complexity reached diminishing returns, and ultimately, in some instances, negative returns...where [the system] starts to become vulnerable to collapse"

Which is academic speak for The fixes are more costly than the problems.

W. C. Fields put it: 'If at first you don't succeed, try, again. Then give up. No sense in being a damned fool about it.'

Little appreciated are the benefits of giving up and letting things collapse. This is a pity. While successful fixes are celebrated, it is to the failed fixes that we owe much of our contentment and our progress.

Joseph Tainter explains, for example, that while the first fix may be beneficial, later ones often produce negative returns. Then, you're better off letting the whole system collapse. By examining ancient human bones, for example, he reports that nutritional levels actually improved, for most people, after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

We've allowed ourselves and our elected servents to in-debt the current and future generations to the point of futility. Why would any thinking, reasoning, rational being allow themselves to be subjected to this kind of slavery, and make no mistake about it, it will be slavery as the government demand greater and greater efforts to produce the taxes required to pay the obligations currently owed.

People go bankrupt all the time......hopefully they emerge on the other side a bit wiser and more resistant to the siren calls of conspicuous consumption.

Countries go bankrupt less often and the reports of those that do are muted by the controlled media so we in this country have little knowledge of how they do there after.

You might, if you are interested enough consider the example of Argentina in 2001 or Chile even earlier. Did their world end? Did they all put a gun to their heads? Or did they rebuild, wiser and better than before?

We'll survive the coming collapse of the debt bubble that has brought us to this pass.

But it will not be easy, nor will it be lessened by our attempt to patch things together yet another, and another time.

Me thinks it's time for a loping off of the gangrenous limbs that weaken us with their putrefying infection, set free the maggots to eat down to healthy tissue and take some of the anti-biotics that will enable us to regain our countries health.

Which limb or tentacle would you cut off first?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back again.....

.......or an attempt to recall just what the hell I've been doing with myself.

An important exercise in knocking the rust, caused by standing in the rain wrasslin' with the black dogs, from the creaky working of a feeble mind.

When last we heard from the former boy sky warrior he had just advised everyone to go read much better writers than himself. This was and remains good advice and those who wish to exit now will have their entrance fee refunded in full except for a small charge used to feed the poor starving waifs in rural Appalachia....

40 million or so of them at last count according to official statistics on the number receiving food stamps. In the last 45 years or so thanks to the remarkable efforts of the Federal Government's War on Poverty the percentage of poor has not diminished one percentage point. I wonder what the number of people working on the problem has grown to?

Shortly after the last communique' from our intrepid hero we find him in the remote hinterland of Hwy 985 at the Hwy 52 intersection where he was beguiled by a most remarkable lady only slightly older than himself...

Still possessing all the qualities that drew men to her for thousands of years the Lady Liberty retains the ability to quicken a young mans heart and cause old men to smile at memories fondly recalled.

Some little time later a few moments were spent in attempting to teach the pooch to fly. Unfortunately the effort failed as the required lift over his ears was not sufficient at any of the speeds at which we could get him to stick his head into the slipstream.

The end of the week found the wife of my youth, the non-flying pooch and I trekking northward into the semi-rain forested area NW of Clayton, GA out Persimmon Rd. to the Tullulah River, there to spend a night camping out with the youngest daughter and her family to feast on freshly caught trout then sitting around a cheerful campfire later after the oldest daughter and her family arrived, dodging the smoke, roasting marshmallows and making smores (sic).

(at our age the wife and I find sleeping in a tent in 40 degree weather, even on a pneumatic mattress and with comfy sleeping bags a sure way to guarantee plenty of aches and groans for the next few days as we try to work the knots in our backs out.)

Mothers Day was spent catching more trout and watching the youngest granddaughter frolic in water that would keep beer and cokes chilly and cause manly parts to retire to warmer locales behind the nearest liver or spleen, but to her was just right for splashing in

Or getting mad at Paw Paw for not letting her out on the slippery rocks where every one else was fishing

But soon all was forgiven as she found pretty little flowers of blue to bring me.

Later the Son and his family would arrive and we would pile into the back of the trucks for the ride back to the campground looking for all the world like a bunch of Clampetts heading for Beverly Hills

There to partake of a non-traditional Mothers Day feast of hot dogs, hamburgers and best of all wild turkey breast, cubed, smeared with cajun spices and deep fried in the fish cooker.

Tell me and the grand kids that we don't know how to live.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


As usual Bill Whittle hits it out of the ballpark.

Go Read

You can thank me later.

This little piggy went to market

It seems the Greeks, heirs to an ancient culture that celebrated freedom and individual expression both in politics and art, are reacting with the same outrage as any young child, hell, as even most people of any age who, being used to living the good life and consuming more of anything than they actually earned by the sweat of their brow, including metaphorically speaking, the seed corn for the next generation, will express.

MAY DAY protests in Greece turned violent yesterday as youths in gas masks and hoods set fire to vehicles, smashed shop fronts and threw molotov cocktails and rocks at police in an explosion of fury over austerity measures they claim will hurt only the poor.

Did the poor, the less productive, the less disciplined, the less entrepreneurial, the less inclined to live within, or below, their means, ever complain when the party was rocking along at full steam?

“I cannot help but blame my parents a little for what’s happened,” said Achilles Zacharoulis, a 36-year-old cardiologist. “They were here all that time,” he added, referring to the past three decades of mismanagement and fiscal insanity. “But what did they do to stop it?”

Vaggelis Gettos, 24, is just as alarmed at the burden being heaped on the young by austerity measures expected to be announced today, and has pledged to resist them in more protests this week against what he sees as a plot to impoverish Greece.

“We will live much worse than our parents,” he said. “Why should we be made to pay for their mistakes?”

You're 36 years old big boy. In the last 18 or so years did you speak out about the excesses, the freebies? Did you cry a warning and refuse your share of them in protest? I doubt it.
I'll wager that if you look at some of the old timers in the small villages who lived plain and simple lives, you'll be able to see many who saw the insanity, perhaps spoke out within their small circle of friend, yet realized the futility of stepping in front of the rushing freight train the gimme crowd were riding high on.

Economists regard the bloated civil service with its jobs for life and generous pensions as a cancer consuming the country’s resources. The older generation, the experts grimly concur, turned the state into a giant cash machine to be plundered at will.

Does that sound vaguely like our own country where the government sector earns more than most of the private sector? With no new jobs being created other than within expanded federal agencies grasping ever new and greater influence and power, is it any wonder that young people are applying in droves to those same agencies?

The unfortunate thing is that unless we are able to halt the growth of Leviathan within our own country the same outrage, riots, clashes, upheaval will soon burst forth in our own neighborhoods.

Perhaps not this summer, maybe not the next, but if we don't recognize and stop the same problems within our culture, one oppressively hot day soon the flames of ........what?.. will be fanned by an errant puff of wind into a conflagration that will make the wildfires in Yellowstone and the west a few years ago seem like only the spark from a lighter out of fuel.

And this little piggy cried, "wee, wee, wee all the way home".