Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blog Catching On

In this world people seem to pay close attention to things that do not matter and are really not all that important. I am glad to see that this blog has drawn some attention. Pigs feet, squirrel brains and chicken necks have gone far to long without proper acclaim. Without those pigs feet, what would hold the ham and bacon out of the mud, I mean if a pig decided to get up. Squirrel's would not know to peep around that tree without their brains and chickens, well chickens really need to crow and cackle. It's just what makes them chickens. So spread the word and let's get the important issues out there for the public to enjoy or disgust over. Thank you. Thank you. Waves and bows as appropriate.

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Monday, April 27, 2009


Back when gas went to $4 a gallon the grocery stores raised their prices using that as a reason. I could understand that. The only thing is, the prices in grocery stores are still at the high level even though the price of gasoline has come down to half what it was. They must surely be making a good profit. Prices going up seems to be an easy action. I think of someone jumping off a cliff. It is just one small step to clear the edge and for a brief moment clear of the problem. It is another thing to undo that action. So it is with high prices. We could use a break here!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SUMER by Milton Southerland

Although Sumer was an old civilization, this book goes from there to the future and space travel. It explores the possibility of space travel before the flood that destroyed the world. I know that is a fantasy. It is true that men lived to be near a thousand years old. I wondered what they must have learned in such a long life time. They could have gained much knowledge and discussed it with generations before they died. Their minds were fresh and unpolluted. Suppose they discovered an entirely different way to leave earth and explore space. We use massive machines and massive amounts of fuel. Suppose they, instead, discovered a way to use the forces of nature to propel themselves at great speeds without the use of machines that would leave a trace of their efforts. True, we have discovered nothing to indicate that they left earth but are we smarter than they.

So, I wrote a novel that discusses in a fictional way how they are perhaps looking on as we fight and build devices to destroy each other and at our efforts to leave the planet. Suppose they found us so destructive that our venture into space would destroy their peaceful civilization. Would they not try to stop us as we would try to stop a virus from spreading? That is the jest of Sumer - Galactic Information Control Center, available as a download or hard copy here.

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Parking Ticket and Hacked

Did you see the story in AARPs newsletter where some people were getting tickets on their windshield (parking) and when they went to the website it attacked their computers? These are fake tickets and a new way to get personal information. The website ends in .com while government sites usually end in .gov. I recommend going directly to a government main site then going to a particular department. I never click on links directly from emails. Just a note in case you have not heard.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mall Visit

Like the annual physical, my annual visit to the local mall came due last week. Upon leaving the parking lot, I genuinely felt like I had been in another state if not a foreign country. It had nothing to do with nationalities. You see, we are country around here. Some people try to be something else but when it comes down to it, they're country. But you go into the mall and it is like dress up day and 'fool your friends' day.

For one thing, people are territorial. They have their direction and destination and you better not be in their path. For another, there are those who never buy anything, they just walk around, the guys looking tough and the women putting themselves on display like an advertisement or something. Their faces are frozen their manner is stiff and it looks like the night of the living dead. Spooky.

Then you go into a store, where do they get those styles? Do people really wear them anyplace besides the mall. And the sizes, it is like shopping in the land of the giants. "We have one pair in that style and we lost the sole off one shoe." "Those are seasonal, come back in the fall." Don't people wear work boots in the summer?

I once walked through Harlem, (got lost on the subway), it was okay. Back then I didn't know we all hated each other. I just thought people were people. But I admit, I felt a little out of place being one of only two white people there. We didn't get mugged or robbed and people smiled at us. Anyway, there is no comparison to the alienation I felt in the mall. One oasis of reality came when we stopped at the Chic-fa-la (if I even got close to spelling it right). The people were down home and went out of their way to be nice to us. Food was good too. We had the salad with chicken tenders. Um.

Finally let me say, if the people went to as much effort to please the customers as they do in rubbernecking to see if you stole something, it would be a much more profitable place. Some local people for marketing ideas might help too. I fully expected a squad of uniforms to jump out of every hiding place. I felt like confessing to something but we paid for everything we got, probably even the bags although it was not on the receipt. For all those watching eyes who think every country boy or girl in denim are thieves, I would like to say 'I am not a thief.' I got money. As Jeff Foxworthy said, (I paraphrase because no one can do it like Jeff) 'I got checks so I can't be out of money.'

I said y'all, yep, howdy and I reckon, to myself all the way home just to get back at myself.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

A Nail Won't Hold in Rotten Wood

Try nailing a piece of rotten wood to a good piece and you will find that it does not work. There are things about our country that are rotten. People can fix and fix but it will not change the quality of that stick of wood.

It will take time to rebuild our country to the strong state it once was. We are still able to defend ourselves but there are places where things need to be repaired and rebuilt. I won't go into a list of things. My point for saying this is that a lot of the systems that are set up are just plain useless. Others, we must have for the sake of the sick and needy.

The governments answer to all our problems is to grow itself larger and larger. Any program they set up requires a body of administrators or a bureaucracy. Right! All we need is more red tape.

I think the answers will come from the bottom up. People will privately change their habits as with driving during the gas business. They lowered the price but people have not gone back to burning more gas than they need. It makes the gas companies wonder but it is a good thing. Businesses are finding that they must change their attitude toward their employees. As in, better to do a 4 day week and keep the people working instead of working five and having to lay off people. People have become aware that their spending helps others keep their job, so a turn toward local spending is happening. I don't know if these trends will keep up but I hope they do. I also hope local businesses appreciate the trend and treat customers nice when they come in.

In other areas, people will have to practice self discipline. The drug problem will not stop until people stop drowning their troubles in dope. We need a generation of people (again) that will face up to their problems instead of sending themselves into oblivion and leaving the problems for others.

Homelessness could be slowed tremendously if bankers and mortgage holders would put themselves in the place of the homeowners and have a little patience with them. Give them time to find another job. What's wrong with tacking a few payments onto the end of the contract.

Obviously, we have some rebuilding to do. The government can help but they cannot solve the problem. They will never be able to police big business unto they get the bad guy at the top who starts the scams. Scams should be nipped in the bud and not allowed to continue to the point of doing national harm. They don't have to regulate everything, just lock up the crooks.

Rebuilding will come from neighbors helping neighbors.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Little Ford Tractor

I never really learned to drive. I just started driving. On the farm, we had a little Ford tractor. It was a four speed and would run 13 mph. Daddy made a trailer to pull behind it. It became pretty much my work machine. I hauled everything on it. I used it to mow the fields, to haul hay and to take off stuff. I even camped out in the back of the trailer. I didn't know it then but I loved that ol' tractor. Once the manifold came loose an I thought sure I had me a hot rod to drive. I got cautioned for riving it up. They said something about cracking the heads. The point is (and it probably means nothing to anyone else) is that by the time I could reach the accelerator good on a car, I already knew how to drive. I was lacking when it came to road sense though and it took me some time to learn how to share the road properly and that my foot did not always have to be on the floor. Farming is a good thing. It gives children real responsibility and helps them mature mentally and physically. Every child should have the opportunity to spend a year or two on a farm. If I knew where that little tractor was now, I think I'd buy it just to drive around the yard.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do They Really Mean It?

You live and learn. People say things either out of habit or to be polite but I wouldn't write it down or count on it too much. Maybe with one or two people you can.

-Why don't you just spend the night with us? Meaning: I'm getting sleepy and it is time for you to go home.

-Call me anytime. A good way to loose a friend or upset a family member. They mean you can call sometime to chat at a respectable time and if they are not busy.

- If you ever need anything, let me know. If it ain't Mom and Dad you best work it out yourself. Just about everyone has their plate full already.

-How are you? Do people really want to know that your back hurts, that the car is running rough, that you like a hundred having enough to pay the power bill, the doctor said the tests were inconclusive, ... I doubt it. Start telling someone how you really are and their eyes get sort of glassy and they start looking around at the furniture. Oh Okay. Fine. Hanging in there are all expected responses. I always wonder if the doctor is greeting me or he wants to know why I'm there.

-I feel your pain. They're kiddin' right?

-We were about to eat supper, would you eat with us? We have plenty. Phrased like that they probably do want you to join them. If they say, we are going to eat, have you eaten yet? Depends on how well you know them. 'Just some coffee or water would save embarrassment when the cook starts pulling out pots and pans again.

-You look good. Thank you. They are being polite.

-You really look good today. Sounds good to me. They probably mean it.

-You do too! Necessary but they may not have even noticed how you look.

Just a few of those everyday responses. The easy way out is: I'm fine, the car runs great, the kids are well and the bills are all paid. Well, honesty is out the window there. I just try to say OK. To me it means I'm dealing with it.

Two Golden Eyes

Way back when I was maybe 12 or 13 my brother and brother-in-law and I took off one night to track down what ever that was that was following us down the pasture fence at night. It would run along beside us in the dark. If we ran, it ran. If we walked, it walked. Once in a while we got a glimpse of two golden eyes in the moonlight.

There was one shotgun and two flashlights between us. Being country boys, we could always find a stick to use a a weapon against a snake or bobcat or that thing... We first crossed the pasture and edged into the tree line near the creek we had to cross. Walking that area in the dark was no problem. It was like our front yard we had spent so much time there.

Just beyond the creek there were two hills. A stream ran down the valley between them. We were out of the moonlight now, in unfamiliar territory, and so had to turn on our flashlights. We heard the cry of what we called a panther. It sounded like a woman in distress. It gave off a loud but weak sounding cry. We progressed up the valley using our flashlights sparingly, otherwise, we followed the creek always expected some snake or other creature to take a swipe at us. The cry continued and seemed to be closer now. It was on the hill to the right.

We were in total darkness now. The flashlights strained to show us a path then the batteries gave out. Every country boy knows to follow a stream downhill to get out of the hills, so we turned around. Just then another cry rang out from the hill to our left. We were now between two panthers or some other big cat. Getting out of that valley seemed more urgent now as we realized we were not stalking the creature but were being drawn into the valley and into a trap.

We got to the creek and walked down it. We were watchful but not overly afraid. Just then a shot rang out down stream where my brother-in-law (the big guy with the gun) was. We rushed to his side. He was excited. He had seen two golden eyes in a tree and took a shot at them.

A body was never found. We had our fill of stalking big cats. Still, once in a while, as we walked the darkened road, we would hear movements along the fence.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Stop Shooting and Talk about IT

I get away from the television for a few hours and the people go nuts. There are just some things you don't go around copying. Shooting people is at the top of the list next to diving into a septic tank. Perhaps that has a little humor in it but these stories are no way funny. What are people thinking when they shoot their family???? It does not make a statement for them. It does not undo what ever it was that got them angry or depressed. It solves no problem. None. So, times are hard. Americans cut their teeth on hard times. We can enjoy the good times and buckle down in the bad. It's tough sometimes but that's who we are. We tough it out and make do. There is no need to be embarrassed when the big house is yanked out from under you, people will respect you in the little house or apartment too. It may not have as much room but mostly we have too much stuff (that we never see or use) anyway. It is not fun - fun but it can be challenging fun to figure out how to split up a smaller income and beat the system by getting by anyway. Scam artists in fancy suits have ripped off the American people, we can get over them and most of them will have their payday as well. I am just begging people to calm down, take a deep breath and deal with their problems. Hurting others is not the answer. Put your heads together and hold hands and make a plan. Skip some things to make ends meet. Learn to like each other's company. Spend time together instead of going the social circuit and keeping up appearances. Learn to change a spark plug instead of paying ten prices to get them changed. Cook instead of going out. Turn off some lights. Try being a year behind on style and take advantage of the bargain prices. Forget the advertisements where sellers try to change your lifestyle to fit their products. You know, I don't mean to tell you what to do. I'm just saying, think about it, talk about it, take the hard times as a challenge and not as the end of the world. Someone makes you mad, feel sorry for their bad manners and ignorance. They too need understanding. Guns have always been a part of our lives. The police use them to keep order. The armies use them to win wars. We keep them for protection and the constitution gives us that right. Guns are not the answer to personal problems for intelligent people. We have reason and responsibility. We can solve almost any problem if we take the time to apply ourselves. If we go ballistic without thinking, the bad guys win. Please don't let that happen. Let the children grow up and have some happy times. They will need guidance but they will also find some happiness. They deserve for us to let that happen. Get help if you need it. People do people wrong sometimes but we all know that about everyone can be a bit looney at times. They will get over it. We must not let hard times and the friction of life cause us to make rash decisions. I don't mean to lay my problems on anyone but I've had cancer, I've lost my home and had all I own in a car. I can hardly walk a lot of the time but I have found that a rose still smells sweet if I take the time to notice and that God still listens. So hang in there, the storm will pass and please don't hurt anyone.

Link to previous post.

Salmon Omega 3

They tell me salmon has omega-3 in it. I personally have not seen it to verify this claim. They say omega 3 is good for you. I don't doubt it but all those people must know about it. So, I try to get my share of omega 3. Eating salmon and flounder fish at least once a week is my effort at doing this. The methods for cooking these two fish are much different. I know you can find better instructions than mine. But this is how I do it. First off, it takes a while to cook salmon while flounder cooks in about 7 or 8 minutes. Any longer on flounder and you get fish soup and the flavor is in the house instead of in the meat. So for flounder, you can toss it in a fry pan and put on basil, garlic, a spoon of lemon juice and some lemon pepper, fry it for a bit and flip it over. It'll turn white when it is ready to eat. I suggest cooking everything you are having with it first, put it on warm, then do the fish. Salmon, I marinade for a couple of hours in basil, garlic, lemon pepper and lemon juice. When I'm ready, I put it in a baking dish and add some of the marinade stuff perhaps covering the salmon about half way. Cover with foil and cook on about 375. After 15 minutes or so, I take it out flip it and slice it in serving sizes. It gives it a chance to tender up and makes it easier to get out when served. Another fifteen minutes and it should be done. Just one more thing, salmon is very filling. It is compact or dense meat, so it does take not as large a piece to fill you up as flounder. I get by with a piece about the size of my fingers held together measured from the knuckles down, about 3x3 inches. The first time I cooked salmon, I did it like regular fish and it was no where near done. You can also bake the flounder but I prefer to fry it so I can watch it closer. Salmon and flounder. That's my story on that. It taste good too and those packages where the pieces are individually sealed are a good idea too. I also like to get it where the skin is removed. I can cut it off (it peels off pretty easy) but I just don't like to. If there happens to be no omega 3, no big deal, it taste good and makes a pretty plate with some greens, corn or rice and a few carrots for color. That's my fish story. I said one more thing, sorry to ramble on after that.

Link to previoius post.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Preserved Intellect

Sometimes my mind goes off on a futuristic trip. It did in this book. Just suppose there was a time and place where the line between real and virtual could not be found. People exist in both worlds but the distinction is blurred so much, they cannot tell which is which. Some are so convinced of reality that they create virtual worlds within the virtual world they live in. I wonder, which world are we in right now? Read Preserved Intellect and you get Harvest 2050AD included in the same binding. Prepare to fear the future.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'm an avid race fan. I don't even mind left turns. NASCAR is doing good on keeping the drivers safe. I do see one problem. Much of the excitement is gone because the cars are so equal. I know drivers can make the difference but it is more about strategy than about great driving. Some of the drivers still have the thrill of driving in their blood but, I fear, many are turning into billboards. They ride around at a relatively safe speed holding up their sign. Others may have become fearful of a crash. I noticed that there are two drivers who were in burning vehicles a couple of years back and have failed to be contenders since then. I really understand, it is a terrible thing to be trapped. I don't fall out with them. The thing is, if they are afraid to race, it would be safer for everyone if they would retire. Cars going around at a much slower pace than the field cause extra danger for everyone out there.