Gut Rumbles
 

July 31, 2008

Why I pay cash

Originally published July 17, 2005

I chuckled when I read this post. Politicians always TALK about creating jobs and boosting the economy while they constantly pass laws to make that sort of success as difficult as possible.

Try to open a bar and see how many asses you have to kiss, how many licenses you have to buy and how many palms you have to grease just to get started. THEN see how many regulations you must comply with once you've jumped through THOSE hoops. It's ridiculous.

I am PART of the "underground ecomony" in this nation today, and I'm PROUD of that fact. I pay my neighbor's daughter to cut my grass. I pay her in cash and NO taxes are paid on what she earns.

I know a good shade-tree mechanic who occasionally does work on one of my vehicles that I don't have the tools to do. I pay HIM in cash, and the government never sees a dime in taxes on THAT, either.

I once had my house painted and paid cash for that, too. Government never got a finger in that pie.

Is that stuff illegal? Maybe so, by the rules of the federal government. But the guy who painted my house did a damn fine job for $1,500 (I bought the paint, so the total was about $2,000) but the lowest-bidding LICENCED contractor wanted $5,000 for the same job. Some of those guys wanted $10,000 to do it!

What was the difference? Federal regulation and taxes. I gave my painter fifteen $100 bills and he (and his helper) walked away happy men. I was happy with the job they did. Uncle Sam never got a cut of that action.

I'm all FOR the underground economy. If love of money is the root of all evil, then government is evil. That's just one more reason why I believe that John McCain is a flaming asshole.

You want to get money out of politics? Then get the government out of everything we do.

(By the way... if you work for the IRS, everything I just wrote is complete bullshit. I made it all up.)

Sunburn

Originally published July 17, 2005

My face is as red as a beet and my hair now has blonde streaks in it to accent the gray silver that I've been sporting for years. I allowed an attractive woman to spray me down with some kind of 100% organic, naturally-grown, sweet-smelling, henna-free hair lightener while I was shitfaced having a good time on my last day in Key West.

Let me assure you... that shit WORKS as soon as you spend some time in the sun. Let me ALSO assure you that the Key West sun is a merciless sumbitch that will cook you like a lobster if you're foolish enough to stay out in it the way I did.

I want my missing underwear back. I would wear it over my head today.

My Grandmother

Originally published July 17, 2005

She was feeling depressed today.

She's 94 years old and has already outlived her husband and two of her children. She worries about ME now. I wish that she wouldn't.

She's going blind from macular degeneration but she can still get around on her own. I went outside to smoke a cigarette today and she wanted to come outside with me, in the blistering Georgia heat. I told her to get back inside, that I'd be there in a minute, and she told me not to sass her.

That's my Mommie. She don't put up with NO sass, from NOBODY--- not even a copperhead snake. She insisted that I finish my cigarette before I went back inside, too. I put it out and told her that I was done with it. She couldn't see it anyway.

As we were talking, she said something that disturbed me. "I'm such a burden on everybody today. I can't go to the store, I can't go to the doctor, I can't do ANYTHING anymore without somebody's help. Sometimes I wish that I could just go to sleep and not wake up."

I grabbed her and hugged her (gently, because she is a small, frail woman now--- Bejus, but I remember when she was a BIG, strong farm-wife!) "Don't even think that way, Mommie," I told her. "Too many people love you."

And that's the truth. I am one of those people.

July 30, 2008

The Southern test

Originally published July 17, 2005

I learned this lesson the hard way. I took a car trip from Tacoma, Washington to Savannah, Georgia. That trip was quite an education.

I rode with Recondo 32 and we stayed on the back roads and saw just about every small town on the map along the way. While out west and in the midwest, we ate at small diners when we saw a bunch of pickup trucks in the parking lot around lunchtime. The food usually was very good. But if you ordered iced tea, it sucked. Weak, watery cat-piss.

We didn't find a damn place that knew how to cook grits for breakfast, either. Washington State, at least around the Seattle-Tacoma area, is filled with yuppie, leftist pricks, by and large. They've got an espresso shop on every corner and "NO SMOKING" signs everywhere.

The eastern part of the state might be somewhere I could live. But they don't know how to make grits or iced tea there, either.

Montana is stunningly beautiful. I've never seen such wonderous landscape before in my life. The people are friendly (except for that funny accent they have) and they know how to cook a BIG steak. But they can't make grits or iced tea for shit.

You can lump Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois into one bowl. Lots of corn, but not much else. At least ONE hostile policeman we were unfortunate enough to encounter. And THEY don't know how to cook grits or make iced tea, either.

After five days on the road, we stopped in Lexington, Kentucky to spend the night. A Cracker Barrel Restaurant was right across the street from the motel. We went there to eat and ordered iced tea while we perused the menu.

The tea came Southern Style, in a glass big enough to drown a horse and sweet enough to kill a diabetic. Recondo took one sip and said, "GOT-DAM! We're back Down South again!" I echoed his comments.

It felt and tasted good to be back home. The iced tea (and the side order of grits I had with my meal of country-fried steak, okra and tomatoes and collard greens) made the difference. I wouldn't call Lexington a TRULY Southern town, but they know how to make iced tea and grits.

I am convinced that you can't find that stuff worth a damn outside the South.

Quote of the day

Originally published July 17, 2005

Let's get one thing straight--- I LIKE Texas (and most Texans I've met). The people are friendly, the wimmen are beautiful and they have GREAT food. Hell, they probably know how to chicken-fry a dog turd and make it taste good.

I just don't believe that Texas is a truly Southern state. That's NOT an insult--- it's just an observation. Texas is... well, TEXAS... and there's not another place like it in the United States.

Yeah, a lot of Southerners migrated there and kicked Santa Anna's ass when he got too uppity. Texas joined the right side in the War of Northern Aggression and fought bravely. Did I already mention that the wimmen are BEAUTIFUL? Texas has Southern roots, but it evolved into its own self over time.

"Anyway, you Crackers can call yourselves whatever you want -- you'd still rather associate with Texans than with Noo Yawkers."

Posted by Kim du Toit at July 17, 2005 04:01 PM

Damn right! In my several trips to Texas, I noticed two things (other than the BEAUTIFUL wimmen)--- #1) Texans look you in the eye when they speak to you. #2) If you're NOT from Texas, they don't treat you as if you had a contagious disease.

That's called GOOD MANNERS, which I've found to be sorely lacking in some parts of Yankee-land. Give me Texas (anywhere in Texas) over Cincinatti any day.

Texans appreciate firearms, too, which is a worthy Southern attribute. But it's NOT really a Southern state.

Witty

Originally published June 17, 2004

This is a goddam lie.

July 29, 2008

Words that chap my cracker ass

Originally published July 17, 2005

I've ranted before about the Orwellian state of our language today. We've come to believe, like a bunch of sheeple, that it's not WHAT you say that matters--- it's HOW you say it. Try these:

1) "Insurgent." That's a got-dam terrorist who is at war with nothing else than civilization. Call his nasty ass what he (or she) really is.

2) "Pro-Choice." That's someone who wants abortion used as birth control. I think "Anti-Pregnancy" would be a better description.

3) "Pre-Owned Cars." Those are USED CARS, people.

4) "Diversity." That means losing your fucking mind, accepting reverse discrimination and believing (somehow) that Balkanizing the United States is a good thing.

5) "Moderate." That's a politician who lacks the balls or the spine to stand for ANYTHING except reelection. It's also any politician who isn't left of Ted Kennedy. Reporters love such people.

6) "Sexual Harassment." THAT was a brilliant idea to put into law. "The Right of Total Neurotics to Sue the Shit out of Somebody" is a more accurate description.

7) "Racism." That's probably the most abused word in the English language today. What it means now is, "I'm Black and you disagree with me."

8) "Profiling." What the hell is WRONG with that? The Savannah Morning News went through a spasm of Political Correctness a few years ago, when they wouldn't mention a crime perp's RACE for fear of offending the Black community. "The murderer, rapist and thief was a young man, about 6' tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds." You couldn't say that he was BLACK, even though everybody knew that he was. Sad but true: Black people commit most of the crimes in Savannah.

9) "Abuse." My aching ass. We have leftist shit-kabobs pissing all over themselves about Koran desecration and how we're mistreating prisoners at Gitmo. I'll guarantee that not a one of those whinebags ever played football for a tough coach. Plus, what a lot of government officials call "child abuse" today was called a good, old-fashioned ass-whuppin' when I was a boy. NOT being nice is NOT the same thing as "abuse."

10) "Compassion." Gag me. Then, feel MY pain. Compassion is the new code word government uses to take away more of your rights and turn you into a sheeple. They're doing it FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! Because they CARE! Taking MY money, which I worked for, and giving it away to someone else, who DIDN'T work for it is "compassion." Fuck me dead. I can do without that kind of help.

Okay, that's my morning rant. I'm going to visit my grandmother, who is 94 years old and still knows right from wrong.

Key wasted

Originally published June 16, 2004

My last day in Key West was a memorable one; unfortunately, I don't remember all of it.

The day started on a sour note when the quaint little restaurant where I had breakfast caught fire and burned damn near to the ground about an hour after I left. I finished my eggs and grits, walked down to the internet cafe (hoping for someone to put some more fruit punch on my tab) and went back to the hotel when no good-looking wimmen tried to pick me up.

I turned the corner and saw thick, billowing coils of noxious smoke boiling out of the restaurant. My first thought was... "I DIDN"T DO THAT... DID I?" No, I couldn't possibly be responsible. Florida has their new-fangled anti-smoking nanny-law (one which most bars and restaurants aviod by having open-air seats and rear "gardens" for the nicotine-addicted wretches who frequent such places), so I never even lit a smoke in the place. Hell, I didn't even go to the bathroom there.

Okay, I didn't do it, but the place was on fire. I arrived on the scene just in time to watch the fire trucks and cops cars come rolling to the rescue. Firemen in full turnout gear poured from the trucks and began stringing hoses all over the place. The cops started tying yellow barricade tape on anything that wasn't moving. I almost became taped in yellow myself.

What the fire didn't destroy, the firemen did, with axes, sledgehammers and water hoses. They tore that place apart. I was pissed, because I needed to find a new place to eat breakfast after this disaster. I wondered if my waitress got out of there alive with the generous tip I left her that morning.

Thinking made my head hurt, so I went down the street, away from the smoke and toward beer and Bloody Marys.

I'll try to sum up the rest of the day as quickly as possible. I lost my hat and my sunglasses sometime around sundown. I believe that I bought another hat and gave it to someone I met in a bar. A homeless guy came up to me, rolled up his shirt sleeve and showed me a USMC tattoo on his arm. He asked for $2 to buy a drink. I gave him two dollars and then saw the lying sumbitch in the Key West Cookie Store not five minutes later. I started to confront him. I was willing to buy him a drink, but if I had known he was going to piss that money away on FOOD, I never would have given it to him.

I ended up in an obviously gay bar for a while. I got up on stage and sang "Piano Man" on a dare, with accompaniment from the piano "man" employed there. I received a standing ovulation from the crowd, and I also got a free beer from Paul, the bartender.

I'm not sure what all happened next, but I believe that tequila was involved. I made it back to the hotel late last night. I asked a couple in the lobby as I was checking out this morning about whether I showed my ass or not during my revelry. They told me that I staggered into the lobby the night before, took one look at the stairs, pointed an accusing finger at the steps and said, "FUCK THAT!" and rode the elevator up to the second floor.

I must have gotten my key in the door, because I woke up in the right bed this morning. Actually, I woke up ON the right bed this morning. I never bothered to turn the sheets down. I was a fucked-up Cracker boy.

Now... I remember going out wearing underwear. I woke up in commando mode this morning. I don't believe that I WANT to know everything I did last night.

Food

Originally published June 15, 2004

For a while, especially before I took my vacation in Costa Rica, I couldn't eat. I had no appetite. Even when I felt hungry, I would take one bite of food and want no more. I believe that I almost corroded my stomach lining out during that time.

Thank Bejus those days are past now. I've eaten like a rutting hog since I've been in Key West. You name it, I've eaten it. Sea food, prime rib, conch, soups and stews, and even one very rare redheaded woman.

I LOVE this place.

July 28, 2008

My little leftist troll

Originally published July 16, 2005

I'm starting to like PJ. Did you ever go to a zoo and watch monkeys screech, masturbate and fling feces? It's an amusing show as long as you're standing behind a plate of plexiglass. PJ reminds me a lot of one of those monkeys.

"I've fired a lot of people in my life. In fact, I did it to one person while his wife went into labor in the company parking lot." -Acidman

Somehow this doesn't surprise me ONE BIT.

So what show did your boss use as an example when he FIRED YOUR SORRY ASS? I just hope he did it in the parking lot on a hot fucking day and your AC wasn't working in your piece of shit truck. That and a flat tire would be at least a little justice for the poor bastard you fired at the worst possible time of his life. But at least he got the last laugh knowing he still HAS A WIFE AND KID AT HOME.

PJ

Posted by PJ at July 16, 2005 05:59 AM

That's an example of compassionate leftism for you. Plus, I like the way he describes the guy I fired that day as a "poor bastard." I'll tell you why that guy was fired. His attendance record sucked. He fucked off constantly on the job. I documented all of that stuff (wrote him up twice and suspended him once) and then caught him asleep at his desk at 6:00 in the evening. He had falsified his production log sheets all the way to the end of the shift. He also smelled strongly of liquor.

THAT'S why the "poor bastard" got fired. I would think that if he really gave a shit about his wife and child, he wouldn't have done such a thing. But I'm not a leftist. I'm just not that "compassionate." I fired his worthless ass and replaced him with someone who WANTED the job and did it the right way.

And PJ, if you think you sting me with bullshit about how I got "fired," you are sorely mistaken. I walked away with more money than I can ever spend. I'm 53 years old and I'll never have to work another day in my life unless I WANT to. EVERYBODY should get "fired" like that.

Oh, you've got me on the wife and son thing. But you're welcome to my bloodless cunt ex-wife. She's good-looking on the outside, but totally rotten on the inside. Vicious, cruel and a complete shitass.

The two of you have a lot in common.

I am not making this up

Originally published June 15, 2004

I didn't come to Key West to get drunk, get stoned or get laid. I came only for a change of scenery and to swim through the hot, humid air down here. So much for plans.

I've always said that if you can't get laid in Key West, you can't get laid anywhere in America. I got laid, just minding my own business.

Yesterday, I came here to the Internet cafe and checked my mail, threw up a quick post and started to leave. The cashier said, "That'll be $3.00 for the internet and $3.00 more for the fruit punch." I explained that I didn't order any fruit punch. She said "That lady out there ordered it and said to put it on your tab." The lady in question was sitting on a picnic bench outside and reading a local newspaper.

I paid the tab and walked outside. I sat down next to her on the bench. "How was the fruit punch?" I asked.

"It was good. Thank you very much."

"What would you have done if I refused to pay for it?" I asked.

"I would have kept putting it on someone else's tab until somebody coughed up three bucks." I thought that her approach was audacious. I ADMIRE audacity. She was a redhead with a very attractive line of freckles running across her nose. In fact, she was a good-looking woman altogether.

I offered to take her down the street and buy something more substantial than fruit punch, but she refused. "I have to work starting at 1:00 down at Rick's Bar. Why don't you come see me there?"

I did. The rest is history.

Small world

Originally published July 2, 2004

From my email:

My father just emailed me and told me about your article. Thank you very much. I can use all the help I get. I stopped talking to the people at Irish Kevins because the conversations were one sided. I also quit drinking 2 1/2 years ago and lost some of my balls. My partner, Jake tries to put a bug in my ass to talk more. I am getting better, but Jake takes care of most of that now. Thanks again for the write-up and stop in to Kevins or Ricks and I will give you one of my CDs........Gary

That's in response to this that I wrote during my trip to Key West.

I'm not kidding, folks. Gary is worth going to see. I never thought he would see what I wrote about him, but the internet is a sneaky bastard, as I well know. You throw it out there, you never know who might see it.

I would LOVE to sit and pick with that guy some day.

July 27, 2008

Late night rant

Originally published July 15, 2005

I am a LIBERAL in the true sense of that word. I believe with all my heart in the freedom of the INDIVIDUAL to set his own course in life and to handle his own affairs. I also believe that with such freedom comes RESPONSIBILITY. If you fuck up, you pay for it.

I am NOT a leftist. Leftists do not believe that ANY individual is capable of running his own life without government control and "compassionate" help. I strongly disagree. Get out of MY yard. Take your village and stick it up your ass. I don't need YOU to take care of me.

Just read THIS bunch of tripe:

What is a liberal? Acidman doesn't know shit about liberals and wouldn't tell the truth about them even if he did.

What is a liberal?

He/she is strong: You have to be strong and competent to carry out your responsibilities.

A liberal his/her family to be safe, which requires that they protect them, and themselves, from harm. The motivation to protect others comes from empathy, and the ability to do so comes from responsibility and strength.

Liberals want fulfillment in life: When we empathize with others and take care of them responsibly, we desire their well-being, and want their dreams to come true.

Happy and fulfilled people want to see others happy and fulfilled. Correspondingly, unhappy, unfulfilled people tend not to want others to be happier than they are. It is, therefore, a moral requirement to be a happy, fulfilled person.

See? Leftists can't even explain what they THINK they "believe" coherently.

I have a very solid position on one idea. This world doesn't owe me a got-dam thing. Nothing is free. I love and trust people who EARNED that respect from me. I don't run around handing those kind of feelings out like alms. People who do, from "empathy" or whatever, make their alleged "love" absolutely worthless.

If you GIVE IT AWAY, how important is it, really?

I catch a lot of flack from loving leftists who call me cruel and nasty because of what I write. Fuck 'em. I PAY for this space myself and I can write whatever I want. But I defy ANYBODY to read my blog from end to end and find ONE POST that's as "nasty" as what leftists have to say REGULARLY in my comments.

Yeah. Hold hands and sing "Kumbaya." But you'd better do it OUR way, or we'll call you a racist and burn down your house and cut your tires and call you all sorts of nasty names because our hearts are so filled with LOVE.

Yeah, right. Leftists are filled with love. Except for when they hate people who don't think the "correct" way.

My house is filled with GUNS. I like that a lot better than leftist thinking.

Trembling earth

Originally published July 2, 2004

This is a dangerous path to walk. I'm going there anyway. Unpleasant truths make delicate ears uncomfortable, but somebody needs to say this. It speaks about a real problem in this country.

"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n------ as they're walking up and down the street," Cosby said during an appearance at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference.

"They think they're hip," the entertainer said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."

PUSH probably didn't want to hear such rhetoric, because Jesse and his compatriots have a vested interest in keeping black people at the bottom of society. As professional grievance brokers, black leaders would be up the creek without a paddle if their flocks actually began to SUCCEED in life. They don't want black people to succeed. They NEED a downtrodden minority to justify their own existence.

In MY humble opinion, a lot of blacks simply squander golden opportunities for success in this country today and then blame their own failure on "racism." I dealt with too many of these assholes as a supervisor in a chemical plant to delude myself into believing otherwise.

Opportunity is EVERYWHERE in this country, and it's wide-open for anyone who wants it. But it comes with a price. Learning to read and write is a really, really BIG help when you want to climb the ladder of success. Understanding before you start the climb that the ladder may be steeper for YOU than it is for someone else is no reason to quit climbing. In fact, knowing that truth should make you MORE DETERMINED to achieve the climb.

Don't sit on your ass and whine about life being "unfair." OF COURSE LIFE IS UNFAIR!!! Who ever told you that life WAS fair? It ain't and it never will be. Government can't make life fair and God doesn't seem to give a shit about it, so just adapt to the circumstances and endeavor to persevere. The best thing YOU can do is to arm yourself with enough knowledge and a solid work ethic so that you are PREPARED for the curve balls you see in life.

"I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk," Cosby said then. "And then I heard the father talk ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth."

Imagine that. If I axe you where yo' hoe be tonight, and you tell me that she be eating skrimp down the skreet at da club, I definitely want you to perform brain surgery on me.

Now, I'm going way out on the trembling earth. It doesn't have to be this way. Too many immigrants have come to this country and carved out a piece of the American pie for me to believe that blacks can't do it, too. I don't buy slavery as an excuse.

I worked with too many Vietnamese people who came to this country after the war and couldn't speak English at the time. They worked their asses off, spoke English only in their homes and pushed their children to excellence in school. Every one of them prospered. If THEY could do it, anybody can.

Cosby elaborated Thursday on his previous comments in a talk interrupted several times by applause. He castigated some blacks, saying that they cannot simply blame whites for problems such as teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates.


"For me there is a time ... when we have to turn the mirror around," he said. "Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you're sitting in."

Cosby lamented that the racial slurs once used by those who lynched blacks are now a favorite expression of black children. And he blamed parents.

I WILL NOT use the N-word here. See? I've learned MY lesson.

"When you put on a record and that record is yelling `n----- this and n----- that' and you've got your little 6-year-old, 7-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car, those children hear that," he said.


He also condemned black men who missed out on opportunities and are now angry about their lives.

"You've got to stop beating up your women because you can't find a job, because you didn't want to get an education and now you're (earning) minimum wage," Cosby said. "You should have thought more of yourself when you were in high school, when you had an opportunity."

Whoa! I said pretty much the same thing in more angry words a few months ago and I was massively de-linked by a lot of "sensitive" bloggers. Well, I've got news for you. Blacks in this country are making their own bed and then bitching about having to sleep in it. Opportunity is out there, but it won't come knocking on your door. You have to go out and GET IT. That's just the way life works, no matter what the color of your skin.

Be-bopping down the street in baggy pants with your underwear hanging out when you should be in school, and learning to say "muthafucker" before you learn your alphabet ain't the way to success. It's a dead-end street (excuse me...SKREET) and the best that you can ever hope to find there is a welfare check, a prison sentence and a flock of illegitimate children, who see life as nothing but another dead-end street.

It's all a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am not a racist. I am a realist.

Stormy weather

Originally published July 15, 2005

Mother Nature has been lifting her skirt, dancing like a drunken slut and really kicking up her heels for the past few days where I live. The mornings are bright, with lots of sunshine and clear blue skies. But the evenings are different.

VIOLENT thunderstorms, with lots of rain and tremendous lightning have rolled over the Crackerbox for four straight days. I've had my power knocked out during two of those episodes and I see the clouds building off to the west again. I hear distant thunder.

I think I'm getting another BOHICA--- Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

July 26, 2008

Becoming popular

Originally published July 2, 2004

What makes people want to read a certain blog while they ignore others? I've asked myself that question numerous times and I still don't have an answer. I receive more visitors in one hour than many blogs get in a week and I don't understand why. Some of those people with no audience write better than I do.

Here is my theory:

*I blog a lot. I usually put several new things up every day. Yeah, freshness counts.

*I beard the lion. I don't fear controversy and I believe that I can back up what I have to say with facts. I don't care who I piss off. If you can't take a joke, fuck you.

*No other blog out there is like mine. I've never tried to copy anyone or pretend to be somebody I'm not. Yeah, individuality counts, too.

*I do it because I like doing it. That fact shows, too.

*I am a Blog-Pappy, many times over. My children are loyal to their daddy and I try to treat them well.

*I don't write about politics all the time. I don't post only snippets of the news. I write about what's on my mind RIGHT NOW. If I were a Jeopardy category, I would be "odds and ends." (or po-por-eee, if I knew how to spell that word.)

*I am literate and I write with style. Yeah, I'm proud of that fact.

*I've been doing it for a long time without burning out or quitting. This blog is a journal, and I've kept it up for almost three years now. Sam Clemens once said that everybody starts a journal at some time in their lives, but very few keep it up for more than a month. I've done better than that.

*I keep 'em guessing. Admit it. You never know WHAT you're going to see when you visit Gut Rumbles. If I wanted to be consistant, I... well, I don't know what I would do. Consistancy ain't my forte.

*You know it's ME here. A blog with no personality is no blog at all. Why do you think I get all those red toenail pictures via email? Wimmen KNOW I like 'em and they send them to me. They remain anonomyous but I have their feet on file. Bejus, but I love that!

*I'm just a wonderful person. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

My first supervisory act

Originally published July 2, 2004

As long as I'm pontificating on the subject of football, I want to tell a story. I don't remember who we were playing at the time, but they had a fourth and one on our thirty yard-line. I was defensive captain and I called the signals. We huddled and I announced ""6-5 spread."

I got a protest from that asshole Billy Holland, who always thought that he should be team captain. "6-5 SPREAD? That's crazy! We oughta to run the pinch. They need less than a yard."

I said, "Billy, shut up in my huddle or I'm getting you out of this game. We're gonna run a 6-5 spread."

"You can't get me out of this game. Only coach can do that."

I stepped from the huddle and called a time out. I jogged to the sidelines and told my coach, "Either you take Billy out of the game right now, or you take ME out. He's causing dissention in my huddle and I'm not gonna put up with that."

Coach took Billy out of the game. I still remember the stunned look on his face when that happened.

I went back to the huddle and called a 6-5 spread again. "Anybody got any questions?" I asked. Nobody did.

We ran the spread, the other team tried a sweep, the way I expected, and I tackled their all-state 230-pound tailback for a three-yard loss. Billy Holland never lined up in my huddle again after that.

That was my first act as a supervisor.

Not my idea of joy

Originally published July 15, 2005

I've fired a lot of people in my life. In fact, I did it to one person while his wife went into labor in the company parking lot.

I never liked doing it. But that was my job, so I did what needed to be done. I also agree with this quote:

... Actually I believe that Ive never fired anyone. They fire themselves. They quit but just dont realize it. If you tell your boss to fuck himself, it s the same as saying I quit. If you dont show up for work or show up late, it says, I quit. The moment someone steals, its as if they say, I quit! Being fired is having the boss tell you that you quit. You were just too damn dumb to say it yourself.

When I once trained new supervisors, I used Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke" as an example of what they might have to do. You make your "rounds" on the street with a hog-leg strapped to your hip. You never WANT to pull that gun, but you'll be left with no choice sometimes.

If you ever have to draw it, shoot to kill.

I did it, I taught others to do it, but I never enjoyed that part of my duty. I never liked seeing someone lose a good job, but they always fired themselves. All I did was compile the paperwork and present the case. POOF! they were gone. I received no joy whatsoever from their misery.

Jennifer had to pick two people from her group to let go in the last "downsizing" I saw at work. She LOVED doing that. She fired the shit out of two people who had 20 years at the plant (not for poor job performance--- just for head-count) and came home HORNY after she did it. She was proud of her display of POWER and she wanted to fuck.

I didn't understand it at the time and I still don't. Hell--- she's done the same thing to ME and I still don't understand it.

A supervisor is paid to enforce discipline in the workplace. Sometimes, that means firing somebody. I just never liked that part of my job. It was "dirty work" to me. If you don't have the stomach to do it, you're in the wrong job.

If you ENJOY doing it, however, maybe you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

July 25, 2008

I wanted a sister

Originally published July 1, 2004

I grew up in a male-dominated household and I played with boys when I was young. I thought girls had cooties and I wanted nothing to do with them until my hormones kicked in and made me a lust-crazed teenager. But by then, I had missed the boat on a whole lot of things a sister could have helped me with.

I didn't understand wimmen and they scared the shit out of me. I WANTED ONE, but I didn't know how to go about accomplishing that goal. I was tongue-tied and foolish in their presence. Asking a girl out for a date once took me three days to work up enough nerve to actually pick up the phone and call. Then, if she went out with me, I acted like a frightened asshole the entire time.

A sister could have helped me. An OLDER sister. If I had a sister when I was growing up, SHE could have familiarized me with feminine undergarments, told me that girls like sex, too, and that wimmen are just as afraid of men as men are of wimmen. Alas, I was cast adrift in those days and I had to learn all those hard lessons on my own.

Damn! I miss the sister I never had.

Sharks

Originally published July 14, 2005

I know that some of the coastal natives who read my blog have dealt with sharks before. But for all you flat-landers and know-nothings, I want to tell you something about sharks.

#1) They usually don't bite people. But they are VERY nearsighted, and they MIGHT mistake you for something else. That's when they bite people.

#2) If you ever catch a shark on a fishing rod, you'll think you've got a monster on your hook. The damn thing starts swimming in circles and fights like hell. If you managed to haul it in to the beach or your boat, you'd better be ready to kill it, usually by beating the life out of it with a sawed-off baseball bat, or that fucker will try its best to kill YOU.

#3) I was talking about three-footers in the previous line. If you hook anything bigger than THAT you need a shotgun on board to make him stop trying to bite you. I recommend TWO slugs to the head, too. (Do that BEFORE you put him in the boat.)

#4) Shark meat is very good grilled. Cut off the tail right below the asshole, cut the meat about 2" thick and it makes really good steaks. Tastes almost like swordfish if you cook it right.

#5) Did you know that a shark can't stop swimming? It's true. They are such primitive animals that they have to MOVE to keep water pumping through their gills. That's one reason why you never see a picture of a shark with its eyes closed. They don't sleep as we know it. Plus, they NEVER shut their eyes anyway.

#6) Wanna KNOW that you're safe from sharks in the water? Just get a bunch of dolphins swimming around you. They'll scare the shit out of YOU when they come up and bump you with their noses, but they are just curious, and a set of water skis must fascinate the hell out of them. They want to know what in the world you're doing and they'll chase you for miles down a salt-water river. But they run the sharks away.

#7) I am more afraid of jellyfish than I am of sharks. If you ever get a jellyfish sting, you'll FEEL it right away. I know only one remedy. Urine and wet sand. Piss on it and pack it. Then, suffer.

#8) Ain't salt water a wonderful thing?

Tina Turner

Originally published July 15, 2005

I was about to go to sleep when a music video came on my TV. I HAD to sit there and listen to it. It was Tina Turner singing "Proud Mary." GOT-DAM!!! Did she tear up that song, or what?

I saw her perform sometime around 1974 in Savannah. She was still married to Ike back then. I had nose-bleed seats in the arena and ended up sitting with a bunch of Black guys who all had half-pint bottles of liquor stashed in their pockets. I shared their wares. After about three songs, we all agreed that we should drag Ike off and shoot him and keep Tina for ourselves.

She's STILL a damn good-looking woman and she can sing her fine ass off. Bejus! She's got to be about 60 years old now. I hope I LIVE to see 60, let alone look the way she does.

Those legs... ohhhh... those legs....

July 24, 2008

Yellow jackets

Originally published July 1, 2004

One of the reasons I always carry chewing tobacco with me when I hike or camp is for medicinal purposes. Yeah, I enjoy a good chew and I like the sizzle it makes when I spit in the campfire, but that's not the real reason I bring it along as an essential supply.

I've scared up a nest of yellow jackets more than once in my life, and a wet tobacco poultice is the only thing I've ever found that will take away the sting and reduce the swelling when you get hit by a dozen or so of those bastards. Yellow jackets live in the ground and you won't know they're there until you step in the wrong place. If you make that mistake, the sumbitches come boiling out like orcs in Lord of the Rings and they are seriously on the warpath.

A single yellow jacket can sting you more than once, too. One flew right down my shirt one day and hit me five times before I could kill him. If you find yourself in a cloud of them, you'll be doing the damnedest boogaloo you ever imagined as you run for your life. The stings feel like small-caliber gunshot wounds.

A commenter suggested on a previous post about hornets that you should just stand still and don't move in that situation. Try that trick on yellow jackets. They'll sting the ever-lovin' piss out of you, whether you're moving or not. Yellow jackets are about the meanest insect I've ever encountered.

Maybe that's why I hate Georgia Tech so much.

Stealing watermelons

Originlly published July 13, 2005

I confess. I am a criminal.

In my younger days, I STOLE watermelons from a farmer's field. Those things dotted the landscape everywhere and I figured that he wouldn't miss JUST ONE, and I learned to grab my pick, tuck it under my arm like a football, run like hell and jump the fence before I got caught.

My friends and I weren't particular about how we sliced it, either. I usually had a pocket-knife, but if I didn't, we just bashed the melon on a piece of brick, broke it open and ate with our bare hands.

There is NO bigger treat for a bunch of young boys than a stolen watermelon on a hot summer day. Bejus, but I remember that.

The ones I buy today aren't nearly as sweet.

How odd

Originally published July 1, 2004

Yesterday, my Site Meter just disappeared from my page. It was there one minute and gone the next. I saw it missing and thought, "WTF?" I tried to figure out what I might have done to cause it, but I hadn't messed with any of the guts on my blog. I just posted a few things and went off to surf other sites.

I like my Site Meter. I use it to read a lot of blogs that I wouldn't know about if I didn't find them on my referral list. I wondered where the hell my meter went and what caused it to go away. I never did discover what happened. I just turned off the computer and went to bed last night. Hell, I knew that I could install another Site Meter if I had to.

But this morning, everything was back to normal. Except for one thing. I had about a 12-hour gap where no hits or visitors were recorded. Site Meter came back by itself, but I still don't know where it went and what it did while it was gone. If Site Meter were my teenage daughter, I'd ground the living shit out of her until I got a very contrite explanation of that AWOL episode.

But what do I know about computers?

July 23, 2008

Cancer survivor

Originally published June 19, 2004

Lookie here. I've been invited to join a Cancer Survivors Group. I wonder how they got my name and address? I also wonder what in the hell a cancer survivors group does. Do people stand around, swap horror stories and compare scars?

I don't believe that I want to join. First of all, I agree with Groucho Marx-- I don't want to join ANY club that would accept ME as a member. Second, I don't think of myself as a cancer survivor. I didn't do anything heroic or brave. I got lucky, that's all.

Having cancer damn sure changed my life in ways that will never be repaired, but the only real struggle I had during that time was keeping my head on straight while my not-yet-ex-wife moved her dope-smoking, unemployed lover into my house. That was a bitter pill to swallow. It also was the most heartless, bloodless thing anyone has ever done to me in my life.

Jennifer knew how frightened I was by the high PSA test and how I watched my father and my best friend die from prostate cancer. She knew how worried I was about the biopsy results. Still, she picked that time to become an adulteress, throw me out of my home and start a torrid affair with a person not fit to kiss my ass. She's a class act all the way.

I remember the night before the surgery. I had to be at the hospital at 5:00 AM and I didn't sleep much that night. I did a lot of thinking. I wasn't afraid of dying--- the thought of dying has NEVER frightened me. It's gonna happen some day and I hope to spit in the Reaper's face when he comes for me. I just didn't want to be ALTERED and live as only a part of what I once was.

I had a radical prostatectomy. It knocked me flat on my Cracker ass for a month. I wore diapers for three months after that while I practiced Keagle exercises to relearn how to control my continence. My dick was dead as a doorknob. I was one miserable sumbitch. I'll NEVER be right again, but I appear to be cancer-free. August 16th will make three years since I received the positive report on the biopsy. My last PSA test was a big, fat zero.

If I had it all to do over again, I'm not certain that I would consent to the surgery. I probably could have lived a good 10 to 15 years with the slow-moving cancer I had, and I believe that I would have been a lot happier, right up until I died, than I have been since the surgery.

Am I supposed to be PROUD and join a club because I didn't die (yet) of cancer? Am I supposed to consider myself as a "cancer survivor?" I don't feel proud and I don't consider myself to be a survivor. In fact, I wish now that I had never gone to the doctor for that biopsy.

I wouldn't fit in with a group of cancer survivors. I would rather have my old body back and die wearing it.

The best revenge

Originally published November 19, 2004

I am off to live well for a week. Maybe two. Hell... maybe THREE!!! If I decide to stay in Costa Rica longer than my reservations reach now, it won't be the first time I've done that. I can handle la pura vida. Life played on the first bounce ain't bad.

I've been through a lot of shit in the past three years. I've lost a lot of things that were important to me, and the experience has cost me a WHOLE LOT of money. Lawyers are gnawing prime rib and drinking expensive wine in fancy restaurants on my tab, and they've been doing it for a while now. That's okay.

I'm gonna eat huevos fritas, con arroz y pintos for deseuno every day, con frutas frescas and I will flirt with las chicas every time I get the chance. I've been on the wagon for a while now, but I'm going to have a few cervesas Imperials, con no hielo y no vaso on this trip. I also intend to gamble. If I win, that's great. If I lose, what the fuck? I'd rather piss that money away on cards than pay it to a lawyer.

Yeah, Jennifer. You beat me up bad, but you didn't kill me. I'm still living well in spite of you. Or maybe just TO spite you.

Maybe I'll send you a post card from Costa Rica. Cunt.

A money belt

Originally published November 19, 2004

You ever had one of those? I bought one about a month ago and I think it's cool. It looks just like a regular belt with a plastic zipper on the inside (should cruise right through an airport metal detector) that exposes a narrow slot just perfect for the storage of folded-up American greenbacks.

I loaded some cash in mine this morning and I feel like James Bond now. Acidman with a money-belt. Ain't life a hoot?

Okay, that's it. I'll blog from Costa Rica or I'll see y'all when I get back.

July 22, 2008

Liar!

Originally published November 18, 2004

This story is too good to be true.

She made that shit up.

People watching

Originally published June 19, 2004

I have a habit that drives some of my friends crazy. I enjoy watching movies with the sound turned off on the television. Without sound, I can pay better attention to body language and the physical techniques of acting. You should try it sometime, then apply what you learn to watching people in a grocery store or a Super Wal-Mart.

Everybody is an actor, every day. Some people are just better at the craft than others.

Anybody ever been subjected to morris massey? I was, years ago. I watched the tapes and read a couple of his books. I agree with a lot of what he has to say, especially the part about having all your values set by the time you're six years old and the "comfort zone" you seek to find after that. But I still believe in free will.

Why do people get tattoos and weird piercings? I've never felt the urge to decorate my body that way, even though I was a semi-professional musician for several years. A LOT of people I knew back then did, but I didn't. I've never had a permanent tattoo and I've never worn an earring, let alone a nose-stud, a cock-dangle or something that resembles a fishing lure stuck through my eyebrow.

That crap was out of my "comfort zone."

I like to watch people and try to figure out what sort of comfort zone they have. Take the 350-pound woman in the bright pink stretch pants at Wal-Mart. Watch her walk the aisles where her ass will barely fit between the rows of merchandise. Deep down inside, she knows that she's fat and a hideous sight in those day-glow stretch pants, but that's her comfort zone. She's never gonna change.

Same thing with the acne-faced kid of eighteen with the nose ring, tattoos all over and a sunken chest, which he displays in a ratty tank-top shirt with an obscene logo on it. Looking like Fido's ass is his comfort zone.

Businessmen and "executives" are just as bad. Take away the suit and tie and you take away their identity. They couldn't do business nekkid.

Think about it. If you put the coat and tie on the fat woman, put the pink stretch pants on the teenager and dress the businessmen in ratty tank tops, they'd all have heart attacks and need EMS to come rescue them. Once you change their CLOTHES, you've driven them out of their comfort zones. They'll nut-up. They'll panic. They won't know who they are anymore.

I know my comfort zone. I'll probably spend the rest of my life trying to figure out why I'm comfortable there, but I'll never change. I picked up my values a long time ago.

Everybody's comfort zone is different. That's what makes people watching so interesting.

It all fit

Originally published November 18, 2004

I have everything I'm taking to Costa Rica packed into one bag. This is good. I ain't taking a whole lot with me, but I think I've still got more than I need. I am ready to go tomorrow.

I went by and had a nice visit with my mama today. She and my grandmother think I am very handsome now that I have a short haircut and no beard anymore. Awww... they love me even when I'm ugly.

I arrived back home this afternoon and had a typical polite, articulate message from Recondo 32 on my machine: "Hey, asshole! Turn off the porno movie, get your cock out of your paw and stop jacking off. Pick up the goddam phone, shit-bird!" See how MY FRIENDS talk to me? No wonder I'm so depressed all the time.

I watched a movie that had a hysterical woman in it. If I were a feminist, that kind of shit would piss me off. EVERY movie that has action and violence in it features at least one hysterical woman, you know, the one who goes to screaming pieces at the sight of blood, who can't see through the torrents of tears streaming from her eyes, who walks backward, trembling with fright and whimpering like a whipped dog, until she bumps into something she didn't see and screams some more.

What kind of message does that send? I AM WOMAN! Hear me whine and watch me act with the maturity and intelligence of a three year-old boy in a crisis situation. Got Dam! I can't call 'em "broads" anymore, because that's a sexist term. But Hollywood keeps showing hysterical wimmen by the truckload. Go figure.

I got a holiday greeting card from the US Post Office today. Why? What am I going to do if I DON'T receive that greeting card? Take my business elsewhere for home mail? What a useless gesture. How much did that shit cost?

I almost signed up for an internet dating service today. I chickened out at the last minute, mainly because I'm leaving the country tomorrow, and I want to be around to see what kind of fucked-up woman might be interested in ME when I post the bio I composed especially for the ad. Yeah, I like candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach and taxidermy. You oughta see my stuffed armadillo collection.

I may have a guest blogger posting while I'm gone. I dared him, and he SAYS he has cast-iron balls. We'll see. He has the keys to the joint.

You gonna miss me while I'm gone???

July 21, 2008

Teach your children well

Originally published November 17, 2004

This idea may seem somewhat drastic to some parents, but it doesn't to me. I don't think smart-ass kids get enough humiliation in their lives for acting like smart-assed kids. If they did, they wouldn't be so smart-assed.

Compared to what I see today, my parents were goddam TYRANTS! Corporal Punishment? FUCK! My folks didn't stop at "corporal" when they launched an attack on my ass--- they went all the way to Five-Star General Punishment. My "self-esteem" never entered into the equation. Self-preservation did, because if I showed my ass, my parents busted it, and I learned quickly not to do that kind of shit.

I don't believe that my parents ever lay in bed and night and wondered whether they were too tough on me or my brother, either. I think they lay there and wondered what we got away with that we needed our asses busted for if they only knew about it. They had us there. We were ALWAYS guilty of something.

My folks didn't make their sons little angels, but they damn sure taught us how to behave in public. I don't think enough parents do that dirty work today. I cannot abide an undisciplined child, nor can I abide parents who allow a child to behave that way.

If you're not willing to bust your kid's ass when he or she needs it, don't bring that ass into the world. It's YOUR job to teach 'em to be civilized; if you can't handle it, don't volunteer.

It's not an easy job and sometimes... you have to get your hands dirty.

Movie review

Originally published June 1, 2004

I'll probably go watch this movie, just to see if I can get through the entire propaganda effort without barfing in my popcorn box. The review I linked to isn't negative, but it does fuel my suspicions that the movie is a cliche-ridden, Gaia-worshipping, tree-hugging manifesto of environmentalist bullshit.

Of course, as an exercise in the pure Willing Suspension of Disbelief, it might be a good way to kill a couple of hours. I like cheesy, end-of-the-world movies, and the more ridiculous they are, the more I like them. I grew up watching B-grade science fiction movies at the Avon Theater on Broughton Street in Savannah. I always liked the scene at the end, where some dignified-looking "scientist" in a lab coat said, "There are some things best left alone by mankind."

Sounds a lot like today's "Precautionary Principle" to me.

Al Gore probably believes that the movie is gospel truth, just weeks away from actually happening if we don't ratify the Koyoto Accords.

Some things never change

Originally published June 1, 2004

I watched the movie Blackhawk Down! for about the fourth time today. I also read the book twice. Let's stop and think for a minute about what happened in Somalia.

We went in there with a multi-lateral bunch of United Nations "allies" who didn't do shit to help when we needed them. We also sent our troops into harm's way without the armor they needed for street fighting, because Bill Clinton didn't want to offend our "allies." Too much force displayed on the streets might piss somebody off.

As a result, 19 Americans died; then, we cut and ran like whipped dogs, even though our troops inflicted tremendous casualties on the Somali "insurgents."

Doesn't that remind you of some of the philosophy coming from the left-leaning, anti-war crowd today? Don't fight a war if we might piss off a country that doesn't make a pimple on a rat's ass. If we DO fight a war, let's not fight too hard, because we might piss off the country we're fighting against, or we might anger the French. Also, let's cut and run at the first opportunity, because war is a bad thing.

Thank Bejus these people weren't in charge during World War II. We'd all be goose-stepping and speaking either German or Japanese now.

July 20, 2008

alligators

Originally PUBLISHED May 21, 2005

The guy who wrote this asked me not to link to his blog (it's "not ready yet" in his opinion), so I won't, but I liked what he had to say. I've SEEN alligators take dogs and racoons when the gator was in a hungry mode and it's an amazing thing to watch.

Ever seen an aligator hunt something? Its pretty damn impressive. I remember when I was younger watching a friend with his dog on a lakeshore taunting a gator. His dog would bark like crazy at the gator. That scaily bastard would go under and pop up so close to the dog that it would scare the ass out of the lab. As soon as that lab saw it pop up within a few feet, it'd tuck tail and run. For me it was scairy, for my friend it was fun, and I think the dog enjoyed it too. I knew very well that gator could take the lab whenever it wanted to, and it was us that kept it from getting too close. The gator eventually got that dog. It was while we were in school. My friend came home to find his dog missing, and later found its corpse left under a pine tree in the lake. Him and his father hunted that gator for a while and eventually got it. This was back when that kind of thing was legal.

Alligators LOVE dogs, racoons, possums and small children when they can catch them. Most of the time, their prey isn't in the water. A clever alligator will cruise up slowly to something on the bank until he gets within striking distance. Then, he will execute an amazingly fast 360-degree turn, hit whatever he was after with his tail and knock it into the water.

If he makes a successful strike, the gator will grab its prey in its powerful jaws and do what I call the "alligator roll" with it. They just twist around and around in the water to stupify and drown what they just caught. Then, they'll go stick whatever it was under a log beneath the water to let it tenderize a while before they eat it.

Alligators generally won't mess with a full-grown human, even if you're in the water with them. They'll leave you alone unless you start fucking with a mama gator's babies. If you are foolish enough to do that, mama will declare jihad on you in a heartbeat, and she'll come after you with her mouth wide open. And gators are FAST when they want to be.

She's not looking at you as food--- she just trying to protect her young'uns, and she'll do it fiercely. I find that trait amazing in a creature that's probably the closest thing to a dinosaur that we still have roaming the planet today. The bastards are difficult to kill, too. If you shoot at one, you need plenty of gun and a good shot to kill a big one. The fuckers are armor-plated.

Alligators aren't as aggressive as crocodiles, but it's still not a good idea to allow your dog or a small child to wander along a creek bank where alligators live. Gators see a meal there. And they'll catch it if they can.

Don't EVER feed the bastards. I've seen dumbasses do that and I want to push them into the water every time. The LAST thing you want is an alligator associating human beings with food.

I agree with my friend Catfish, who has made a project out of ridding his creek of the gators that were there when he moved in. "If I see one, I kill it," he says. He's nailed a couple of dozen so far, including two BIG ones. He had a mama come after him the other day when he was shooting "babies" (about two feet long) and he nailed her with a couple of rounds of .00 buckshot from a .12 gauge, right into her open mouth from about three feet away. She sank under the water and never came up again.

I was hoping she would float, because from Cat's description, we could have AT LEAST made a couple of fine belts and maybe a pair of boots out of that one. Hell... she may have had enough hide for a wallet or two.

Just take some good Cracker advice here. Alligators are NOT your friends, and you don't want them around if you have dogs or small children. Gators have no predators to menace them, other than man or bigger gators. They breed proficiently and will eat anything in or around your creek if you allow them to thrive. Don't do that.

I say kill them. Kill them ALL!

coyotes

Originally PUBLISHED August 11, 2005

The last time I was in North Georgia, somebody told be that coyotes were starting to become pestiferous. I've never seen one or even heard one howl at night. But this guy swore to me that wild coyotes raided chicken farms and even killed young calves on farms in that area.

If anybody sees one, they shoot at it up there now.

Do YOU have coyotes roaming in your area? The worst things I have to worry about where I live are rabid racoons, armadillios and rattlesnakes. I can handle those.

But a pack of feral dogs... that's a different story.

a 'coon-dick bone

Originally PUBLISHED August 11, 2005

Have you ever seen a coon dick bone? They exist, and Jerome gave me one to hang over my office door for good luck.

Yes. When racoons have a "boner," they ain't kidding.

racoons

Originally PUBLISHED August 11, 2005

I didn't know until I stared working at the chemical plant just how popular 'coon-hunting is around here. Catfish can attest to this--- one guy we worked with at the Steam Plant had a champion coon-dog and he was paid $1,000 a pop, plus the pick of the litter to BREED that dog. (We told a joke--- on cold nights, Jerome brought the dog inside to sleep in his bed and threw his wife outside to sleep with the other dogs.)

Racoons are smart animals. They'll drown a dog if they can get it into water. They'll push it's head under and hold it there until the dog stops struggling.

Most of the time in the woods, racoons will run up a tree to hide. Those fuckers are better than squirrels at making themselves invisible. If you don't see that bandit face peeking around the trunk to look at you, you'll never even know that they are there.

My problem with them is that they like to raid garbage cans and they carry rabies. I've shot several of them while the bastards CAME AFTER ME when I tried to run them off at night. I NEVER went outside on the mini-farm at night without a shotgun. I never knew what I might find.

I've eaten racoon once in my life. It resembled a big rat, after it was skinned and cooked, and it tasted about like what I imagine rat-meat would be. I didn't want a second helping. I might try it again if I were on the verge of starvation, but no other way.

I read once that you can trap a racoon by carving a hole in a tree and sticking a shiny dime in there where the coon can see it. The coon will reach in to grab the dime (they like shiny objects), then its fist is too big to come back out of the hole. The greedy bastard will hang onto the dime until you walk up and knock its brains out with a club.

I've never SEEN that, but it makes sense to me.

Makes more sense than $10,000 coon dogs and walking the woods at night to hunt those nasty critters.

July 19, 2008

the usual

Originally PUBLISHED August 13, 2005

A lot of people talk about "Old Bay" for cooking seafood, but right here where I live is something better. It's called "Old Savannah Seafood Seasoning" and it's perfect for almost anything you want to cook.

Just Damn! I thought I still had a tin of that stuff around the house, but I must have used the rest of what I had when I cooked shrimp the other night. I wanted to list the ingriedients.

Don't matter. I can make something close to it myself. It's salt, ground red pepper, black pepper, celery salt, oregano, garlic, Cayenne pepper, terragon, and you throw some Worchestershire sauce in on top of that. Man! That will make your house smell like a good seafood restaurant.

It also makes any kind of fish, shrimp or crab you cook taste delicious.

Still... if you ever see a tin of "Old Savannah Seafood Seasoning" in the grocery store, buy it. It's the best out there. And if you like barbecue, try the Original Johnny Harris sauce in a bottle, or a pint of "B.S. Mutha's Home-Made Sauce." Both are great.

Yeah. I live near a restaurant called "B.S Mutha's."

stormy weather

Originally PUBLISHED August 13, 2004

Rain has fallen steadily all day, thanks to tropical storm Bonnie. Hurricane Charlie is supposed to come in through the back door tonight and tomorrow. Did the NWS miss a golden opportunity with these back-to-back storms, or what? Charlie should have been named CLYDE! Then, BONNIE AND CLYDE could be on the warpath again.

The Crackerbox is under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning now, but I'm not worried about it. Charlie isn't that much of a badass and by the time it gets here, it won't be much more than a good windstorm. The local weather is predicting 60 MPH wind gusts and up to 6" of rain, with possible tornadoes. I see that crap all the time with our ubiquitous "early afternoon and evening thunderstorms" in the summer.

I've got beer, cigarettes and a Coleman lantern, plus a pot of green peanuts boiling on the kitchen stove. Charlie can kiss my ass.

bats

Originally PUBLISHED March 6,2005

I read THIS POST and it triggered a lot of memories. I've never had a "bat box" (In fact, I've never HEARD of one before) but I would have put up a dozen when I had my mini-farm, if they attracted bats. But I had a barn and so did almost everybody else, so bats had plenty of "boxes" to rest in.

Bats always swarmed the skies just after sundown in the summer. I sat on my back deck and watched them hunt. They are amazingly good at finding and eating mosquitos in the dark. They've also got moves in the air that no fighter pilot could ever duplicate.

Once, Jennifer and I were drinking wine on the deck and I was watching the bats perform. It was quite a show. Must have been at least 50 of them flying around at the time. "What kind of birds are those?" she asked.

"Those aren't birds," I replied. "Those are bats." She ran back into the house, terrified that one would fly into her hair.

I always liked bats, but occasionally one would fly down the chimney and end up in the house. (How the hell do those blind bastards DO that? They can't see what they're doing but they damn sure WILL fly down a chimney.) Total panic ensued among the wimmen and children until I could either catch or kill the damned thing. I always tried to catch them and turn them loose again.

I caught one in a beach towel one night and spread it out for Samantha and Quinton to see. Have you ever studied a bat up close? It's a mouse with wings. A fucking flying rodent and ugly as hell. Among choruses of "KILL IT, Daddy!!! KILL IT!!" I took the bat out on the deck and threw it up in the air. It flew away.

I was proud of myself, both for the biology lesson I gave my children and for my bat-kindness. I hope that one ate a ton of mosquitoes.

blackberry "brandy"

Originally PUBLISHED May 28, 2005

That chemistry experiment in my kitchen has simmered down somewhat from the way it started. Now, it's sounding like a clock with a second-hand that ticks about twice every second into the blow-off can. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! So far, so good.

I like the color. It's dark and murky and looks exactly like.... BLACKBERRY JUICE, with lots of foam on the top and bubbles in it. I figure that in about a week, it'll be ready for the finishing touches. (Heh. Some of you people probably thought that I was making this shit up. Well... I AIN'T! Oh, I'm making the shit up, all right, but this is NOT a fantasy.)

My Uncle Virgil was at mama's house today and when I told him what I was doing, he insisted that I save some for him. He always liked my home-made beer and wine. He never tasted any of my moonshine, but HIS DADDY (MY grandfather) taught me how to do it, so I suppose that I owe him a slash or two.

I have no idea how this chemistry experiment will turn out. If all goes according to plan (which it has, so far), I should be able to make close to a gallon of brandy, once I water it down to around 100 proof and if I don't blow up my got-dam still in the cooking process. I should have about 20% alcohol in the mash (I put 10 pounds of sugar in there) when it's through percolating in that 5-gallon carboy.

I bought twelve Mason jars on my last trip to Wal-Mart, which will be MORE than enough to catch my squeezin's when I perform the ILLEGAL part of my plan, probably sometime around next weekend. I've got the still ready, just not fully assembled yet. If the cops raid me tonight, I am doing NOTHING against the law.

Right now, I'm making home-made wine and THAT'S not illegal.

When I get ready to run it off, I know what to do. The trick to making good stuff rather than bust-head is to toss what comes out of the worm onto an open flame until it explodes like gasoline instead of making a steamy hiss when it hits the fire. Then, allow about half a Mason jar to go to waste. That's the BAD alcohol that evaporates first. That's what will give you headaches, make your hair fall out and cause you to go blind.

After that, catch it all until you throw some on the fire and it hisses again instead of exploding in a bright, blue flame. Quit when that happens. You're done.

Of course, I'm lying about every bit of this. But if I WERE going to do such a thing, that's how I would do it.

July 18, 2008

Speaking spanish

Originally published November 17,2004

I took two years of high school Spanish, where I learned very little, then 20 hours of Spanish in college, where I learned a lot. But I let every bit of that knowledge rot on the vine until my first trip to Costa Rica. I was surprised at how fast some of my old lessons came back to me.

Vocabulary in a foreign language goes to shit in a hurry if you don't use it. Mine ossified. But I still remembered the basics, and once I started hanging around people who spoke nothing but Spanish, I got better fast. Gerio, my driver, was VERY impressed by the great strides I made from the time he dropped me off in San Jose and the time he picked me up to return to the airport two weeks later, since I spoke nothing but Spanish with him that time. When he first met me, I remembered about five words in Spanish. The second time, I was putting together sentences.

"Roberto! Es muy impresiontante. Hablas espanol ahora! Bueno!"

I'm not fluent in the language, because I still have to think in English and translate what I want to say, and if somebody gets too rapid-fire in Spanish with me, I can't understand a word they're saying, but I am one hell of a lot better than I once was. I would like to go spend about six months there, take a couple of Spanish courses (They teach conversational Spanish EVERYWHERE down there) and immerse myself in the language.

I believe that I could become fluent. Spanish is a very melodic language and I enjoy trying to speak it. Right now, I speak it like a retard, in the present tense all the time and with a limited vocabulary, but I get better every time I go to Costa Rica. Practice makes perfect.

I would like to speak a second language. Just because.

My top ten

Originally published June 1, 2004

My ass is still chapped from watching that Top 100 Country Music Songs countdown last night. I totally disagree with the judges. If "Stand By Your Man" is the greatest country song of all time, I'm a got-dam brain surgeon. Here is MY Top 10:

10) "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass.

9) "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash.

8) "Help Me Make It Through The Night" by Kris Kristofferson.

7) "Orange Blossom Special" by any of dozens of people.

6) "Gentle On My Mind" by John Hartford.

5) "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard.

4) "Faster Horses" by Tom T. Hall.

3) "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

2) "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.

1) "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams.

I had to leave off a lot of really good songs, but that's my Top 10. I like my list a lot better than the one the judges chose last night.

I love it

Originally published June 1, 2004

Nothing brings more joy to my heart than the fact that I occasionally inspire someone. That's not a bad list, either.

Eddie Arnold had a voice almost as sweet as Jim Reeves did. Did you know that "The Dance" was written by a guy who lives at Tybee Island, Georgia? I love that song. I play it often because it's a good finger-picking number on the guitar.

I had to leave two of my favorites, Marty Robbins and Roger Miller, off my list because I ran out of room. Just damn!

"El Paso" and "King of the Road" should have been in there somewhere.

July 17, 2008

I don't mind

Originally published November 17, 2004

I'm always surprised when I write about my experience with prostate cancer and receive a lot of emails (well... four or five PRIVATE emails on one post are a lot to me) from guys going through the same thing I did or just getting ready to face it. That's some pretty spooky stuff for a guy, and I damn sure don't mind talking about it if I can help anyone else through a rough time. I wish I had known someone to talk to when I was going through it.

Breast cancer gets a lot more publicity, but prostate cancer kills more people than breast cancer does every year. That's a fact, and the treatments for prostate cancer are myriad. I suggest that every man past the age of 40 have a PSA test done every year, and if you come up positive on a subsequent biopsy, do a lot of reading before you make a decision about what to do. Once you make that decision, there's no turning back.

Talk to more than one doctor. If you're an old fart with a slow-moving cancer, tell everybody to kiss your ass and wait for something else to kill you first. That's a good bet. If you're 48 years old, the way I was when I was diagnosed, you have to weigh your options and select the best one. There IS no good one, but you can choose the lesser of several evils.

I made my choice and it appears to be the right one, because I'm still at a zero PSA more than three years after a radical prostatectomy. The doc killed my dick, but he saved my life. I consider myself to be a lucky man.

Yeah, I wish none of that shit ever happened to me. But it did, and I was stuck with it. Knowing what I know now... if I had it all to do over again... would I make the same choice? I've spent more than three years thinking about that question and only recently have I made up my mind about the answer.

Yes. I would. I did the right thing.

Guys... don't hesitate to write me about this problem. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'll tell you what I know from my personal experience. I won't lie to you, either.

I may not be much more than a candle in the dark, but that's more light that I had when I walked into that tunnel.

Out of touch

Originally published November 30, 2004

I sat around the beach on Sunday and felt lonely. I moved from the Hotel Robelar to the Canciones Del Mar that morning and I liked my new digs a lot better than the old ones. I had a TV, air conditioning and hot water now. All I needed to complete the perfect picture was a woman to keep me company.

I decided to get one. I figured that if I could find dope for Herve without even looking for it, I could find myself a woman if I asked The Right Person. That's one of the tricks about Costa Rica. You can engage in any kind of vice you want, but you need to ask The Right Person first.

People here do not act the way Jamaicans do, crawling out of bushes and doing everything short of an open-field tackle to get you to buy what they're selling. Costa Ricans are more subtle. YOU have to ask first. If you ask The Right Person, you're exactly where you want to be.

I went down to a street (called "Calle de Putas" by the locals-- but I didn't know that until later) and I saw a well-dressed, greasy-haired, important-looking guy standing on the corner. I walked up and asked him where I could find some nice company for the next couple of days.

That was easy. He shouted "Oye! Muchachas!" and three absolutely beautiful wimmen appeared from out of nowhere. I asked "how much?" and greasy-guy told me that the girls set the deals--- you make your own bed, so to speak, and he stays out of the negotiations.

I picked a short, shapely black woman, a genuine Caribe, and I've been lost in a time/space continuum ever since. Her name is Rosemary. She has been a most entertaining partner and we settled on a price of 40,000 colones (less than $100) for two days, which was a bargain at the price, even if I did feed her, water her and buy some clothes for her, too. Just having fun, that's all.

She's gone today to visit her mama in San Jose, but she wants to see me again tomorrow. That sounds good to me, because I could use a day off after some really intense sport-fucking. I leave here on Thursday and I wouldn't mind going out with a bang.

Rosemary likes "la machine," which is her name for the bionic Roscoe. She tried her best to wear it out, but she lost that battle. I endeavored to persevere and I came out on top--- to use an apt phrase. And I'll tell you something else, too. If Costa Rican wimmen fake their enjoyment of sex, they are the best actors I've ever seen.

I learned a lot over the past two days. I will share some of the details when I get back home.

Killer toads

Originally published June 1, 2004

Maybe I shouldn't have picked up that big, fat toad I saw on the street in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. It might have been one of these.

Can you imagine dropping dead on the street and having your grieving family ask, "How could this happen?"

"A killer toad got him. There was nothing we could do."

"What?"

"A killer toad got him. I'm sorry, but it happens all the time."

"Rob was killed by a TOAD?"

"Yes. He never should have picked it up. But he died quickly and painlessly, except for getting pissed on by the toad as he was expiring. We have the toad in custody and it will face prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."

I think that Death By Killer Toad might be a good way to exit this world. That way, death could be just as ridiculous as life.

July 16, 2008

Child support

Originally published May 5, 2006

At the end of last month, I noticed that my April child support check still had not cleared the bank. I sent it off with a letter I wrote to my son, so I wondered if the darlin' ex-wife simply saw the letter and threw it away, along with the check. I hoped not, because it's been a while since she sent sheriff's deputies to my house, and I would prefer to keep it that way.

I sent her an email at work, asking about the check. She replied a day later, saying that she received the check and she just hadn't gotten around to depositing it yet. (That's how badly she needs the money--- that check STILL has not cleared.) I noticed from the address on the email that she must have remarried, because she has a new last name now.

I resent like hell paying her that money. I see it as a got-dam award for shitting all over me. But it could be worse. I could be paying her for somebody else's son.

Florida would become the 17th state since 2001 to alter a centuries-old legal principle that holds men responsible for children born of a marriage regardless of whether the men are the biological fathers, says the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington, D.C. The principle, which comes from English common law, is designed to keep children from being left without support.

You GO, Florida. I resented being treated as nothing more than a human money-tree in divorce court, and Quinton is MINE (At least I'm pretty sure he is.) If I went through that same experience over a child fathered by somebody else, I might nut up and go postal.

Divorce law treats fathers badly enough when they ARE the daddies. It's a double-clutch fucking when they aren't. That crap just ain't right.

Of course, a woman would NEVER lie to a man about who is the father of her baby, just as a woman would never lie about rape, either.

I spoke too soon

Originally published May 17, 2006

Bejus! I was feeling a lot better today... UNTIL... I went out to my garden and moved my sprinkler. I reached down, picked it up, turned to move, and WHAM!!!!

The next thing I knew, I was on my knees in the dirt with a pain in my right shoulder that felt like I had been shot with a taser. I was electrified and temporarily blinded. I felt another episode of Tourette's Syndrome bubbling from my neck, but it got all choked-off and all I could do was croak like a sick bullfrog, and praise the ex-head-coach of Georgia Southern University: "ERRK!!!"

Got-Damn!!!!

So much for the success of the steroid shots...

Decision time

Originally published May 18, 2006

I've gotta make a choice, and I ain't sure what I'm gonna do. I know good and well that I AM NOT going back to the doctor for another torture physical therapy session, and I know good and well that I can't stand the pain I'm feeling now.

I read this scare-you-to-death article in the Savannah Morning News yesterday that said prescription pain medication abuse is an "epidemic" today, and THE CHILDREN are taking them, so we've gotta cut that shit OUT. Doctors are in fear of having the feds investigate them and take their licenses if they write script today.

My aching ass. Do ALL laws exist "for the children" anymore, or do we have ADULTS running this country? I'll be damned if I know.

I hurt. I have something chronic wrong with me, and it is affecting my life BADLY. But if I see a doctor, he pretty much says, "Suck it up and pay me $150 a visit to tell you to... well...suck it up some more." Fuck that.

I have another question: if you go to the doctor and almost EVERY question Nurse Ratched asks is about your INSURANCE, do you REALLY think she gives a shit about how bad you feel? Do you get the feeling (which only adds to your pain) that's you're being milked like a COW? That it's all about MONEY?

Naw. Me, neither.

But I WILL NOT live as I am much longer. And THAT is a promise.

She meant well

Originally published May 18, 2006

From my emails:

Rob, I'm sorry you feel bad. I will send you some drugs if you want them. I have extra-strength Tylenol, some buffered aspirin and some kind of little yellow pill that I think is either a muscle relaxer or maybe a sleeping pill. Those are about six years old, so I think you might have to take a bunch to feel anything.

I have your mailing address (Ha! Ha!) but I've never sent drugs in the mail before. Can I be arrested for that? How do I send them? I'm not asking for any money. I just want you to feel better.

See? I have spammers bugging me and NOW I have a pusher tryin' to get me hooked on buffered aspirin. What the hell. I told her (Ha! Ha!) to send me the little yellow pills. I'll take a bunch and tell HER what they are... or WERE... or whatever.

Good friends are hard to find.

Care package

Originally published June 7, 2006

carepackage 001 (Small).jpg

I received a care package today from a reader in Florida who obviously felt my shoulder pain and wanted to cheer me up. When I first opened it, I thought she was playing a cruel joke on me. I saw a box for a Samsung T-mobile cell phone, complete with a hands-free headset. I almost wrapped it back up and stuck a "Return to Sender" notice on it.

But I decided to open the box and I'm glad I did. It wasn't a cell phone at all, thank Bejus. I LIKE beef jerky and Slim Jims. I'm just wondering now if that "Classic Woody" tee shirt is evidence of sarcastic wit on her part. She DID, after all, include a book of Sudoku puzzles and a bottle of OTC Pepcid that I left out of the picture.

Thank you, darlin.' That was mighty thoughtful of you.

July 15, 2008

Outsourcing jobs

Originally published October 27, 2004

Little children, and all ye others of dimwit understanding, gather around and let me tell you why large companies "outsource" jobs today. Two reasons: Unions and government.

Unions have mutated into a drag on EVERY company that has one, because the Union mentality is "Pay us MORE for doing LESS." The typical Bull Steward doesn't have the nickname "Coffee Break" for nothing. That "I get paid by the hour" bullshit won't fly anymore, either. You can't compete in the modern business world that way. Unions are tearing down their own temples and they don't see that fact.

The government makes it almost impossible to expand an industrial operation today. We have the EPA, the EPD, OSHA and hoarde of environmentalists with their lawyers in tow to scream "NO!" every time a company wants to build something new. I know what I'm talking about.

I once supervised an existing steam plant. We had old, inefficient, highly-polluting boilers there. We wanted to install a new unit, with the low-NOx burner and all the clean-air controls available at the time and the PERMITTING PROCESS cost more than the goddam boiler did, and it took five years to accomplish.

I could have gone to Mexico and built a brand-new steam plant for less money than that one boiler cost. I could have done it in less time, too. The company I once worked for spent $100 million every year for Superfund costs, for cleanups that never end, on land that they never polluted. What utter bullshit.

When a company has to spend $100 million a year jumping through hoops of government regulations, where do you think that money comes from? It damn sure didn't fall from the sky. It comes out of wages, medical benefits and head-counts. That's NOT free ice cream.

John Kerry is gonna fix THAT problem? Yeah, right.

We're cutting our own throats every day and Unions and government share the knife.

I call bullshit!

Originally published June 1, 2004

Here are (allegedly) the top ten country music songs of all time:

10) "Mama's Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Cowboys" (Waylon and Willie)

9) "Behind Closed Doors" (Charlie Rich)

8) "Galveston" (Glenn Campbell)

7) "I Fall To Pieces" (Patsy Cline)

6) ""Friends in Low Places" (Garth Brooks)

5) "Your Cheating Heart" (Hank Williams)

4) "Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash)

3) "Crazy" (Patsy Cline)

2) "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (George Jones)

1) "Stand By Your Man" (Tammy Wynette)

Bull-fucking-shit is all I have to say. "Help Me Make Through The Night" didn't make the top 100. Neither did "Gentle On My Mind." I still believe that "I Walk The Line" is the best song Johnny Cash ever recorded. Go through the grist-mill of divorce court the way I have and listen to "Stand By Your Man." You'll want to upchuck.

I don't know who picked that Top Ten, but I think they need to dig some serious wax out of their ears.

Non-musicians won't understand

Originally published June 1, 2004

Tonight, when I was watching that dumbass Greatest Country Songs countdown, they hit #3 and brought out some finalist from American Idol to sing "Crazy," which is my all-time favorite Patsy Cline song and the best thing Willie Nelson ever wrote in his life.

I sat on the floor totally unmoved by the performance. That woman hit all the notes and the band was good, but the song just didn't feel right. She sang "Crazy" as if she were happy to be on that stage. Patsy didn't do that. She broke your fucking heart when she sang that song. There wasn't a damned thing happy about it, and she let you know.

Why is it that some people FEEL music and other people don't? I'm talking about both listeners and players. How can a woman with a voice as beautiful as the one I heard sing tonight just totally butcher Patsy Cline? How could people not feel the difference between going through the motions and really FEELING the music?

I'll have to think about that question while I play my guitar.

The World series

Originally published October 26, 2004

I went to the store and bought some beer and chips for the game tonight. I'm not really a big baseball fan--- I think the players are pussies, they spit too much and they dig at their crotches as if they have a case of crabs--- but I'll watch the game because it IS the World Series.

I don't have a dog in this fight, so I really don't care who wins. My Atlanta Braves went tits-up early in the playoffs (again) and that left me with no team to root for. I'd like to see Boston win just to break the Curse of The Bambino, but I can't find it in my heart to pull for such a yankee-assed team. Yes. I am regionally biased.

But I'm not fond of the Cardinals, either. I am in a dilemma here. I don't know which side I'm on. The Cards are down 2-0, so I suppose I'll root for them tonight. My heart won't break no matter which way the game goes.

As long as I don't run out of beer, I'll be happy.

July 14, 2008

Boredom

Originally published May 29, 2004

I've been in a really existential mood lately. I spent a lot of time in Costa Rica just examining my life, thinking about how I got where I am today and where I'll go from here. I didn't come up with a whole lot of answers, but I did come to realize one thing.

Most of my life, from the age of six, has been run by schedules, time-tables, deadlines, and the relentless ticking of a clock. I always had to be somewhere on time, do something on time or finish my work on time. I had assignments to complete, classes to attend, "deliverables" to deliver and places I had to be. Bejus! No wonder I have gray silver hair.

When Kerr-McGee fired me retired me, they gave me a nice watch as a going away present. Isn't that ironic? Why the hell would I want a fucking WATCH when I don't have to work anymore? I lived 24 years of my life on a Work Schedule, and I was on call for 24-7 most of that time. I looked at that watch and laughed out loud.

I've never taken it out of the box it came in and I doubt that I ever will.

I like being bored now. I'm not talking about sitting around a twiddling my thumbs. I mean the freedom a person feels when he or she doesn't HAVE to do much of anything. On my trip to Costa Rica, I really didn't plan a goddam thing. I bought my plane tickets, arranged for lodging and transportation, but other than that, I played everything on the first bounce.

If I felt like touring, I toured. If I felt like reading, I read. If I didn't feel like doing a damn thing, I didn't do anything. In Martin Antonio one morning, I was nodding in a lawn chair by the hotel swimming pool and I thought about getting up, walking about 50 feet to the bar and buying myself some fruity rum drink with an umbrella in it. But that seemed like too much work for such a beautiful day, so I just went to sleep in the chair.

I don't fear boredom. In fact, I wrap it around me like a warm, fuzzy blanket today, and I find it very comfortable. I like not needing a watch anymore. My body clock is all the time-keeper I require.

I met two retired school teachers from Colorado when I was in Arenal. ("Recovering educators," as they described themselves.) They were very friendly ladies and I had dinner with them a couple of evenings.

But they did one thing that drove me nuts. They had every waking moment of every day planned right down to the minute. They had a SCHEDULE to follow. That's not a vacation; that's just work by a different name. I got tired just watching them dash after tour buses and worry about where they were supposed to be next.

I'll never live like that again. Anybody want to buy a really nice watch? I have one that I'll sell cheap.

I don't need it anymore.

Do you own stock?

Originally published October 27, 2004

I own stock in several companies. I invested in those "evil corporations" with the hope of making some money. I want to see those businesses do well, because that's where my dividend checks come from. I don't follow the stocks closely, but I DO check my quarterly returns.

When they do well, I am happy. When they DON'T do well, I am sad.

And when ANY Presidential candidate says that he is determined to make it MORE difficult for American business to do business in America, he makes my blood run cold. WTF? I don't have any money in drug company stocks, but if I did, I'd pull it out right now. Those companies, who have saved thousands of lives through their research, are now villified by Democrat politicians who don't know what the hell they are talking about.

John Edwards knows how to sue 'em. John Kerry knows how to demonize them. The government know how to put them out of business. The flu vaccine shortage is no accident. Government did that.

In the early 1990's there were five companies that made flu vaccines. When Hillary Rodent tried to nationalize health care she failed, but she did have one success. She decided that the gummint should take over vaccinations "for the children". Y'see, she thought that every child rich or poor should be vaccinated and it was the gummint's job to do it.

Being the good little socialist that she is she also didn't think those evil drug companies should make a lot of money so she used the gummint's clout to mandate very small profits. As I said, businesses exist to make profits. If the profits are not high enough, they get out of that particular business. That is why we only have two companies that make the flu vaccine. Thank Hillary.

You can listen to that anti-business horsehit all you want to, but you're a fool if you do. We'd have plenty of flu vaccine if government had stayed out of the fray. Government doesn't create anything and it doesn't deliver anything it didn't steal from somebody else first. Government is the PROBLEM, not the solution. Left alone, people do pretty well by themselves.

You decide. Do you want government to leave you alone, or would you prefer a "Plan" by a dickwit such as John Kerry?

My boy

Originally published May 28, 2004

I talked to Quinton on the phone last night. He said that he hasn't received any of the letters that I sent him from Costa Rica. I don't know whether the mail is that slow or whether Jennifer got my letters and didn't let Quinton see them. Divorce sucks, and it keeps on sucking long after the initial ordeal is over when a child is involved.

Hell, I suspected my ex-wife of being behind the crash of my blog. It's the kind of thing she would do to me.

But... I digress. I wanted to brag like the proud father that I am. Quinton made the Effingham County All-Star team as a starting shortstop in his age group. I TOLD you people that he was good!

I want to see if I'm any good, too. My blog became quite popular for a while, then I let my posting slide and I took a long vacation, after which I had nothing but a blank page to display. My readership took a nose-dive, which I expected, and now my archives have vanished except for the posts I saved on disk. Can I lure readers back here with what I write when I start from scratch?

I don't know, but I still believe that if I build it, they will come. Long ago, I described this blog as an exercise where I stuffed notes in bottles and threw them into a vast ocean where I hoped someone would find the bottle and read the note. But that's not really what I was doing.

This blog was my lifeline that towed me to shore when I was totally shipwrecked. It kept me alive for more than two of the worst years I've lived in my life. I wasn't stuffing notes in bottles. I was standing on the shore and shouting frantically for rescue.

People came. I WAS rescued. And I will always appreciate that fact.

So... I'm starting over now. Can I do it again? I don't know. YOU tell ME.

A golden oldie

Originally published May 28, 2004

The earliest memory I have is catching a butterfly with my bare fingers in the front-yard flowerbed by the fence in my Old Kentucky home. I may have been four year-old at the time. I remember a lot about living in the coal mining camp and I remember being very happy there, except for the trips to Dr. Begley's office for typhoid shots and polio shots and smallpox vaccinations, things my son will never know (unless terorists have their way).

I remember listing to my grandmother tell stories about her childhood (she was about 45 at the time, but she was OLD to me) and I recall vividly thinking about a path through the wildflowers on the other side of the railroad trestle where we lived, and how she had travelled a long way down that path where I was not allowed to go. I envied the memories she had.

I am five years older than she was then. I have travelled FAR down that path in my lifetime, not only through the wildflowers, but into the weeds, the briars, the poison ivy and the quicksand, too. I look back now and I really don't understand how I went from being Beaver Cleaver (although a lot of those traits still survive), to a high-school jockstrap, to a dope-smoking bohemian English Major in college, to an advertising copywriter, to a six-year professional musician, to a 23-year employee in a chemical plant. I had about one hundred "girlfriends" along the way and never contracted a single STD during my swashbuckling days. I never cheated on a wife. I am loyal, if nothing else.

I have two ex-wives and two ex-children to show for it. I really don't know whether I have been blessed or extremely unlucky. (BAH! As my late Daddy would say, "You make your OWN luck, son!") I have more stories to tell than the average man, whatever THAT is, but all the stories aren't pleasant ones. I don't like what the prostate surgery has done to me. I once swore that I could never become a heroin addict because I HATE NEEDLES! Now, I have a prescription for them, and I get all I want. And I use them, too.

Who would'a ever thunk THAT? Not ME!

I like living by myself now. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. The Crackerbox is a nice home (Joan? What would it cost to buy this place on 1/2 acre of wooded land where YOU live?). I own all the toys a man my age should own (except a trophy younger woman). I'm not rich, but I have more money than I know what to do with. I spend it freely; that's what it's for.

But I keep looking back and wondering how I fucked up everything in the rear-view mirror. It's too late to go back now.

I hate that.

(Originally written almost two years ago... in 2002.)

July 13, 2008

That was dumb

Originally published October 27, 2004

I don't believe I did what I just did. I was hungry, so I went to my refrigerator to find something to eat. I looked in the freezer first, I didn't like what I saw there, so I looked in the bottom of the refrigerator, too. I also did not close the freezer door.

I found a big chuck of pineapple that looked pretty good, so I grabbed it and straightened up--- only to damn near knock myself out when my head hit the open freezer door. Bejus! That lick set me down right on my ass. I think I bent the freezer door.

I had a hand on my head and I was saying, "OW! That HURT!" as I watched the pineapple roll across my filthy kitchen floor. I struggled to my feet to close the freezer door. That's when I noticed all the blood on my hand. Oh, great moobley-goobley. I'm bleeding like a suck hog, all over one of my favorite tee-shirts.

Sure enough, I sustained one hell of a scalp wound from that encounter. I grabbed a wad of paper towels, put a compress on my laceration, then added an icepack once I got the bleeding stopped. I thought I might have to go to the hospital and get some stitches, but it doesn't look that bad to me in the mirror.

It's a nice cut, about 4" long, but it's not deep. Now that the bleeding has stopped, you really have to look for it to see it. I believe that I'll be fine with an icepack, a couple of Tylenols and a nap.

That was a stupid thing to do.

Words of wisdom

Originally published May 29, 2004

My daddy was a wise man. (he also looked kinda like Clint Eastwood) He taught me three lessons that have stuck with me for most of my life, and I see more truth in them every day.

1) "If it looks too good to be true, it IS too good to be true."

2) "Nobody else in this world is going to give you something for nothing except for me and your mama, and even when WE do it, you'd better step back and examine our motives."

3) "If you're lucky, you don't have to be good. But I've noticed that the harder I work, the luckier I get."

If people want to tear down the Ten Commandments in public places, let them post my daddy's advice instead. If more people took those words to heart, we'd have a much healthier country.

Oh yeah. Daddy was also fond of saying, "If it was easy, any asshole could do it."

I love my family

Originally published May 29, 2004

I went to see my mama and my grandmother today. My Uncle Virgil was there, too, and we had a nice, long conversation about a lot things other people wouldn't understand. We laughed a lot, but my family is famous for witty repartee and a good sense of humor.

My grandmother just turned 93 years old. She's tiny and frail now, but she was a pisscutter in her younger days. Virgil told about how, when my grandfather administered haircuts to him and his two brothers, Mommie (that's my grandmother) always made sure that all three had enough hair left on their heads so that she could grab a handful and snatch them around when they fucked up. She would check the length of the cut, nod approvingly and say, "That's a good haircut. I can grab that."

Mommie was fixing supper one afternoon and wanted to make some cornbread, but she was out of buttermilk. She gave my Uncle George some money and told him to go to the store and buy a quart. George became distracted by some game he was playing and didn't scoot off quickly enough to suit Mommie. "I thought I told you to go to the store and buy a quart of buttermilk," she said to George, who was still playing in the yard and oblivious to his responsibility.

"I'm going in just a minute," he replied, which was the wrong thing to say to Mommie. She grabbed a switch and laid a nice lick on one of his bare shoulders. "You'll go RIGHT NOW!" she said, drawing back for another swipe. George went, kicking up a cloud of Kentucky dust behind him.

When George came home with the buttermilk, he had a nice, red welt on his arm from the switch-mark. "Look, Mommie," he said, pointing to the V-shaped stripe on his arm. "You made me a private."

"Yes, I did," Mommie replied. "And if you ever ignore me like that again, I'll promote you to sergeant."

She meant it, too.

I have hundreds of such stories to tell. I've heard a lot of them more than once, but I never get tired of hearing them again. I come from a long line of good storytellers. A meeting of my relatives is a lot like a blog-meet. If you want to get a word in edgewise, you'd better talk first and talk loud.

My family is quiet and shy, just like me.

July 12, 2008

Breaking the law

Originally published May 31, 2004

I believe that Martin Luther King wrote an essay when he was locked in the Birmingham jail during the civil rights movement that pretty much sums up my philosophy about being a law-abiding citizen. I may go Google the speech to see if I am correct, but I don't really care. No matter where I read it, it is the way I live my life.

I am a free man. Government puts certain constraints on me through the threat of overwhelming force, which means that the faceless assholes can seize my assets, throw me in jail and TRY to humble me, but nothing they do to me will change what I believe.

I remain a free man.

I don't obey laws that I think are senseless. I also don't consider myself to be a criminal for doing so. I consider myself to be a free man. I carry a handgun in places with strict gun-control laws. I exceed the posted speed limit on the highway. I gamble on illegal games of chance. I have rented a prostitute.

If I were your neighbor, you would like me. I would never break into your home, steal your belongings or molest your children. If you needed help with a home-improvement project, I would be the first to volunteer assisstance. If you went on a two-week vacation, I would collect your mail and pick up the newspaper from the driveway every day, and keep an eye on your house while you were gone.

I don't behave that way because of any laws. That's just the way I was raised. I don't NEED laws to make me act like a decent human being. And I won't obey laws that I think are stupid.

We have way too many laws in this country now. Government has taken a nation of free men and women and transformed them into sheep through excessive regulation, excessive taxation and excessive intrusion into things that are none of government's business. I sometimes believe that if our Founding Fathers could see what their ideal of freedom and a true republic has become, they would be twisting like windmills in their graves.

You can heed the shepherd if you want to. But I won't.

(ADDENDUM: I didn't write this post lightly, nor am I drunk. I am a free man staring right into the maw of the monster, and it is poised to take everything I own. I expect to go to jail for "Contempt of Court." I will be guilty, because I hold divorce court in total contempt. But I WILL NOT DO what that Court Order says that I'm supposed to do. That is a law that I refuse to obey. And I'm willing to back up my words with my actions, no matter what price I have to pay. That's a true American attitude, if you ask me.)

Monkeys

Originally published May 30, 2004

I stayed at a place called "The Hotel California" when I was in Martin Antonio, about a mile away from a Costa Rican National Park. I had some kind of big, flowery bush growing right up to the handrails of my second-story porch and a three-foot iguana lived there. I went out for a morning cigarette and said "buenas dias" to him every day. He just sat there in the bush and munched leaves.

I was accustomed to my friend, the giant lizard, and I kinda liked having him in that bush. He didn't bother me and I didn't bother him-- plus, his presence added to the tropical atmosphere. If you're in Costa Rica, you're SUPPOSED to see some giant lizards, right?

But The Day Of The Monkeys was something else. I bought a pack of Belmont cigarettes the night before and I was smoking one of those locally-manufactured sticks when I went outside to say good morning to my lizard. I heard a loud ruckus in the trees. It wasn't screeching or chattering that I heard--- it was simply the sound of large objects bending limbs and rattling the leaves. I watched to see what it was.

The next thing I know, I have a FUCKING TWO-HEADED MONKEY looking at me from about a foot away in the same goddam bush the iguana lived in. I took a step back and glanced down at my cigarette. What the fuck did Costa Ricans put in their tobacco? Back in my college days, I smoked some heavy shit, but I NEVER saw a two-headed monkey before, not even in my worst nightmares.

All of a sudden, the trees were swarming with monkeys, eating mangos and dodging some kind of brown birds that dive-bombed them with the aggression of a southeast Georgia mockingbird. I realized then that I hadn't seen a two-headed monkey. I saw a mama with a baby on its back. There were several such pairs racing through the trees. The babies hold on so tight while mama climbs and jumps that they LOOK like one monkey with two heads.

I watched them for almost an hour; then, they went away.

I finished my pack of Belmont cigarettes, but I didn't buy any more. The sight of what I thought was a two-headed monkey in an iguana bush at 6:00 in the morning was more than I could stand.

Yeah. I had serious adventures in Costa Rica.

Feeling depressed

Originally published May 30, 2004

I miss my son. I wanted to talk to him today, but every time I called I got nothing but the answering machine. I left a message for him to call me, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

I wonder where he is?

I have a bag full of goodies, gee-gaws and other things I bought for Quinton in Costa Rica. I want to give it to him, if I can ever track him down. I don't give a damn what the law says--- what Jennifer has done to drive a wedge between me and my son is worse than her slipping off in the dark (and later in broad daylight) to throw her pussy to the wind. I don't give a shit what she does with her pussy anymore.

But I still love my son.

My father made one hell of an impact on my life. We didn't agree on a lot of things, but he was one hell of a man and he helped me a lot through the years. He was my Yoda--- the wise one I consulted with when I wasn't certain what to do next. He drove me hard, and he often barked at me when he thought I needed it, but he never failed to give me good advice. I didn't always follow it, but I'll miss him until the day I die.

I want to have that kind of impact on Quinton's life. I may be a crazy old buzzard, but I've learned a lot through 52 years of fire and rain. A boy needs a father in his life and I still remember what it feels like to be a young boy. I could help him a lot with things NO WOMAN understands, even if she does believe that she's Supermom.

Yeah, I've fucked up. But I don't believe that I'm a bad man and I'll never believe that Quinton is better off without me. I am his father and I always will be. Nobody else can ever change that fact, no matter how many men Jennifer decides to sleep with.

I miss my boy.

July 11, 2008

Raising children

Originally published October 28, 2004

Human beings are gluttons for punishment. Due to some insane, primordial instinct, we INSIST on having children.

A woman spends nine months being pregnant and experiencing hormonal upheavals and the man spends nine months living with that crap. It's a bitch of an experience.

Then, when the precious little bundle of joy is born, it can't do a damn thing for itself. It shits its diaper, pisses all over itself, cries long and loud in the middle of the night and can't tell you what's the matter. YOU have to feed it, YOU have to clean it and YOU have to figure out what's wrong and FIX IT when the banshee howls start at 2:30 in the morning.

You teach the little fuckers to walk and then spend the next ten years yelling, "Sit DOWN! Hold STILL. Come BACK here!" You teach the little fuckers to talk, and you can't shut them up--- EVER again.

Little girls like to scream in a high-pitched voice that will shatter glass. Little boys like to do stupid things and get hurt. If you have a woman-child, buy a set of earplugs to soften those screams. If you have a boy-child, get a good first-aid kit and the phone number for the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Later, they turn into teenagers and hate your guts for a few years. That's REALLY fun, especially after all the work you've put into raising them. Ungrateful shits.

Still... I wouldn't trade either one of my children for the world. That's flesh of MY flesh and blood of MY blood. That's my one tenuous hold on immortality. My children. I'd go back and do it again tomorrow, even KNOWING what I was getting into.

You'll never feel such overpowering love as when you smell the first breath that your child takes in this world.

Mama

Originally published October 31, 2004

I woke up feeling a lot better today. Maybe it was that extra hour I had added to my life last night that did the trick. I missed that extra hour, because I slept right through it, but it must have done me some good.

I felt well enough to drive into town to visit Mama, so I did. Catfish lives along the way, so I stopped by to see him, too. I didn't stay long, because he has three new kittens in the house, and those sharp-clawed little fucks kept trying to climb my legs. I HATE cats.

This last round of chemo did a number on Mama. She spent eight days in the hospital because of the reaction she had to it. She won't know whether or not it did any good until next Tuesday. She's tough, but NOBODY is that tough. I hate to see this crap happening to her.

I also went by to deliver an apology that I owed her for something very wrong, very mean and very shameful that I said to her right before she ended up in the hospital. I shouldn't have done what I did, and I regret it deeply. Mama knows that fact now.

I love you, Mama. And I always will.

The fine art of cursing

Originally published May 31 2004

The proper use of profanity has been cheapened and defiled by gangsta rappers, professional athletes and people who never were trained in the art of good cussing. I really hate to see poor, ignorant foul-mouths abusing our colorful language that way.

I was trained to curse by some true experts. I never heard my father use a foul word until I started playing golf with him. Then I learned that my dad could cuss a golf ball as well as anyone on the planet. He was imaginative and creative in his cussing, too. He didn't use the same lines over and over.

"Sit DOWN, you wicked bitch! Don't fuck me like that! Awww, you heartless whore. Go on into the water, you rotten piece of shit! You need a goddam bath anyway, cocksucker." My dad could have been an excellent Marine drill sergeant.

I pride myself on have a very educated foul mouth.

But I also agree with this guy
that turning off the cuss-instinct is difficult to do sometimes. I try not to cuss around Quinton or Jack, because little pitchers have big ears. If you say "fuck!" one time around a young'un, you can bet your sweet ass that it's coming back at you very quickly. I don't want my son to cuss until he's old enough to know what he's cussing about.

I learned to cuss well from a lot of time playing guitar in bars and working 24 years in a chemical plant. Some people just can't understand the message you're attempting to send unless you reinforce it with some creative cursing.

Handle a heckler in a bar. If you can't out-cuss that troll-like bastard, you're fucked, right there on stage. You've gotta put a big chomp on his nasty ass right off the bat, humiliate him in front of his audience, or he'll heckle all night long. I could chainsaw those assholes.

Working in heavy industry, I found myself bossing a lot of rough cobs. If you tip-toe around such people, say please and thank you, they'll eat you alive. I am not a big man. In fact, I'm kinda short and a lot skinnier than I want to be. But I had a job to do, and I relied on sheer, unmitigated attitude, combined with creative cursing to keep those people in line.

If I ever cursed an employee in front of a witness, I was subject to a grievance from the union, so I usually did it with no one else around. But when the time was right, I let fly.

"Just what the fuck did you think you were doing? I ain't puttin' up with that kind of assholery on my watch. If you can't get your shit in one sock and do your job the right way, I'll have your nutsack flying from the front-office flagpole tomorrow. I'll cook you like a goddam Christmas goose. And if you think I'm lying, you dipshit, just go back out there and fuck up again. I'll have your ass on a stick over the hottest fire YOU ever felt."

Mr. Rogers, I wasn't.

Cursing sometimes is a very effective way to get an important point across to someone who doesn't want to listen. I keep practicing every day.

July 10, 2008

understand my upbringing

Originally PUBLISHED July 11, 2004

I was raised by a long line of Kentucky hillbillies. My grandfather once made moonshine so that he could sell it and buy shoes for his 5 children to wear to school. I see no evil in what my grandfather did. I knew him well and a more honest, fair man you'll NEVER find on the face of this planet.

My dad was the youngest section foreman ever to achieve that position in the Harlan County coal mines. He was 23 years old when he was promoted, and he worked with rough cobs in that hole. He did well and earned their respect.

I remember seeing my father come home from the mine looking as black as any African American I've ever seen. Coal dust was a part of life in Harlan County back then. My daddy wore it proudly because it put groceries on the table and clothes on my back.

I was taught to achieve. I was taught to read and write. I was given the tools I needed in this world by MY PARENTS, who wanted the best for me and my brother.

"Given?" No, that's the wrong word. I had a work ethic and a sense of responsibility HAMMERED into my head. Second best didn't mean shit to my father and he always set the bar high. Mama was always there, but she expected the best you could do, too. My parents taught both me and my brother to do well in life.

I played football on a championship team that lost a total of three games in three years. I was the youngest General Foreman ever to achieve that rank at the plant where I worked. I was making more money than my father was when he died.

I suppose that he was proud of me, but I'll never know for sure because he never told me. My brother is a high-octane litigator, feared far and wide in courtrooms all over the counrty. For a couple of hillbilly boys, we both did well.

So, when you want to call me a "virulent racist," just stop a moment and think. I grew up poor and didn't KNOW that I was poor until I hit high school. The first steak I ever ate I bought with my own money and cooked for myself. I was 20 years old at the time. What black people call "soul food" today was a staple at my house. Cornbread and pinto beans ("miner's strawberries,") according to my dad, and fried fatback (salt bacon) was a delicacy. We ate a lot of potatoes and leftover stew.

I got a college degree. The first person on EITHER SIDE of the family to actually graduate from college. I'm still proud of that. I did it, and I worked two jobs the entire time I was in school.

I'll never use the N-word again. That just distracts people from the real meat of the matter. You can start from the base roots and make something of yourself if you are bound and determined to do it. Or, you can sit on your ass and whine about the curve balls life throws you.

Those who sit on their ass and whine deserve the N-word. They don't have to live that way.

You want a really obscene word? Try "choice."

roots

Originally PUBLISHED April 6, 2006

I am a true American mutt.

I know very little about my family's heritage. All the old birth records in Kentucky went up in smoke when the Harlan County Courthouse burned down in 1910, so my grandmother's family bible is about the only document remaining that details my family tree. This much I have learned:

One of my great-grandfathers married a native American woman. He was a squaw-man and I have some redskin blood in me.

Another great-grandfather married a red-headed Irish woman. That's a good story, because my great-grandfather met her while he was in jail for some kind of crime involving moonshine or violence (or both) and my red-headed Irish great-grandmother earned money by feeding the prisoners. He saw her chopping wood for the jailhouse cook-stove one day and he walked over to her and said, "Let me cut that wood for you. You're too pretty to be doing that." The rest is history. (Yes, I come from a long line of charmers.)

I also know that I have some Dutch (I suspect that my mama's side of the family came to the Kentucky hollows from Pennsylvania during the Whiskey Rebellion, but I can't prove it.), English and French connections on the family tree. As I said, I am an American mutt.

But none of that crap makes ME want to wave a Dutch flag, call France my "homeland" or feel any kinship with Ward Churchill, especially since I have more Native American blood in me than he does. I'm an AMERICAN, pure and simple. Stick your hypenated shit where the sun don't shine.

I know exactly when calling yourself an American, with no hypenation, became politically incorrect--- somehow akin to being assimilated by the Borg collective. It started with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. "I'm Black and I'm Proud" resonated with the population, and when blacks started calling themselves "African-Americans," EVERYBODY wanted to attach a cool ethnic appendage to celebrate THEIR roots, too. Thus, we had an outbreak of diversity, resulting in lots of hypenated-Americans.

Italian-American. Irish-American. Spanish-American. Where you came from suddenly became more important to your identity than where you were. All hail diversity!

Bullshit. That kind of thinking led directly to the anti-American (THERE'S a legitimate hyphen for you!) demonstrations over immigration that we recently witnessed. And if you don't believe that the demonstrations WERE Anti-American, just look at who was involved.

Roots. Become too obsessed with them and they will strangle you. And tear down this country, too.

July 09, 2008

watermelon rant

Originally PUBLISHED July 19, 2005

One of the foods on my list of things I can eat as much of as I want anymore is watermelon. I've LOVED watermelon all my life, so I thought eating all I wanted was a good thing.

The first time I went to the grocery store, Kroger's had a bin full of "seedless" melons. I know you've seen them before. They don't even LOOK like a proper watermelon. They are round, slightly smaller than a basketball, and they may as well be packed with wet newspaper as watermelon meat.

They don't taste like ANYTHING. And they aren't "seedless," either. They are chock full of little white seeds that never grew up. They remind me of what you see when you slice an over-ripe cucumber. Some got-dam yankee must have created those things. They are an abomination.

I bought two REAL watermelons yesterday. I mean the elongated, Georgia-grown, field-ripened, seed-filled specimens I grew up eating. The guy selling them off the back of his truck wanted $3.00 apiece for them, and I asked for a taste before I bought one. He cut me a nice wedge and I ate it right there on the side of the road.

Juice ran down my forearms and the melon was delicious. I offered him $4.00 for TWO of them and we agreed on a deal. He helped me load my purchase in my car.

I cut one of 'em today, and it's as good as any melon I ever tasted. It's ripe to PERFECTION, so that when you start to slice it, the melon almost rips itself in half with a sound like somebody ripping up linoleum from an old kitchen floor. (And I cut it LENGTHWISE, too!) BEJUS! That's what a watermelon is supposed to be.

It's seedy, but it's also sweet, juicy and GOOD. I've decided something now. Keep your "seedless" watermelon, you damn yankee wimp.

Give me the real thing any day.

the death of civilization

Originally PUBLISHED July 22, 2005

I gotta ask a few questions. I look around today and I see a lot of spoiled-assed people running around acting as if they know their asses from a hole in the ground when they don't. Life is just too soft anymore.

1) How many of you people know how to drive a vehicle with MANUAL TRANSMISSION?

2) How many of you people can make popcorn on the STOVE, in a POT, the old-fashioned way?

3) How many of you people ever saw a drive-in movie?

4) How many of you people know how to bake a potato without using a microwave oven?

5) How many of you people can build a fire, first time every time, in the woods? Even when it's raining?

6) How many of you people know how to skip a rock?

7) How many people know the way to tell when a watermelon is ripe without touching it in the field?

8) How many of you people ever handled a firearm and hit what you shot at, without being "afraid" of the gun?

9) How many of you people take care of yourselves without relying on government to do that job for you?

10) How many people ever stood up to a bully and never had to fight him again? Even when you lost the fight. How many people have balls enough to do that today?

I see this country becoming totally pussified. I refuse to be a part of it. I can live in the woods. I know how to fish, and I've never had "buck fever" when aiming a gun at a live animal. I can build a fire and skip a rock. I can grow my own food. I know how to make moonshine, too.

Can YOU do it? If not, how many people do you know who can?

community

Originally PUBLISHED July 13, 2004

When I was talking to the reporter from People Magazine today, she asked me why I kept blogging when I began to suspect that it might cost me a lot if I kept doing it. I gave her three reasons.

First, I know good and well that I would be dead now if I didn't have this blog. Only people from the Original Crew or the ones who go 'waaaay back in the archives know just how hurt and broken I was when I started writing on the internet. I DID wake up every morning and look at my alarm clock on one side of the bed and a .38 pistol on the other side and wonder which one I would reach for. I was that bad off.

Second, writing every evening gave me something to do to fill in TIME, which weighed on me like a ton of bricks in those days. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I knew the woman I STILL loved was screwing around like a mink in heat, right in front of my face and my friends, and I had a dead dick and an ugly scar running from my navel to my crotch. I lost 30 pounds and I've never gained it back, and I wasn't a real hefty guy to begin with. If I wasn't busy doing something else, I dwelled on that shit and it sucked me into a black hole of depression. I could fill in the sunset hours at my keyboard and I didn't think about anything else. That was a blessing.

Third, I feel a sense of "community" in the blog-world. If you look down my blogroll, you'll find some interesting people there. I've met a bunch of them by now, and I hope to meet many more, but I know it's unlikely that I'll ever see 'em all. Still, I believe that I KNOW THOSE PEOPLE!!! They are like an extended family to me. Some of them piss me off, some of them make me laugh and some of them make me want to hug them--- you know, just like family. I don't know what it is, but something about blogging makes me feel connected and I got that feeling at a time in my life when I needed it the most. I thought that I had lost everything. I was sinking fast.

But I didn't drown. I always reached for the alarm clock instead of the .38. I did that because of the Original Crew and the outlet for my emotions that I found here. You can like me or you can hate me--- I just ask that you understand one thing: this blog cost me my job and it's causing me problems in divorce court. But it saved my life.

That's the truth.

wisdom

Originally PUBLISHED October 18, 2004

Somebody laid this quote on me the other day and I've been thinking about it ever since. "All a poor person has is his word. If he loses THAT, he ain't worth nothin'."

Think about it. What is YOUR word worth to YOU? Even better, what is your word worth to OTHER people?

Honesty is NOT the best policy. I've learned that fact by paying for mistakes I made by being honest. You've got a whole bunch of crooks out there who PREY on honest people. Fuck. Just look at the U.S. Congress. Those soul-less asswipes are everywhere, and you'd better watch out for them.

Still, I keep my word.

That's important to me. I pay my bets when I lose and I do what I say I'm going to do. If I shake your hand and say, "It's a deal," we've got a deal. I don't need a lawyer to hand me a stack of paperwork for signatures and notorization if YOUR word is as good as mine.

I know a lot of people who are just like me in that regard. I also know many others who would steal the gold out of a dead man's dentures and lie their asses off about doing it, even if caught red-handed. YOU know people on both sides of that equation.

Wisdom is being able to tell the difference.

July 08, 2008

cost rica is nice

Originally PUBLISHED August 22, 2004

hottie.JPG

That really is a beautiful country with some VERY friendly people.

biscuits and gravy

Originally PUBLISHED August 26, 2004

I read THIS POST and my mouth started to water. Biscuits and gravy were a staple for breakfast where I ate during my youth, be it Grandma's house or mama's, until I flew the coop and went off to college. Got-dam if I don't miss that sometimes.

These biscuits didn't come out of a can. They were home-made and hand-patted and you can't BUY anything like that in a store or a restaurant. They smelled wonderful in the oven. The gravy was brown, almost the color of a pecan out of the shell, and it was made in a cast-iron skillet using the grease from the sausage and bacon cooked in there right ahead of the gravy.

Tiny bits of bacon and sausage swam in that gravy and it was delicious. I used to get two or three over-easy eggs, a couple of biscuits, some bacon and sausage and make a giant chopped-up pile of goop on my plate; then, I'd slather gravy all over the top and eat like a hog. I always saved one biscuit for sopping my plate.

Dessert was biscuits with honey and real butter. If you've never tasted that exqusite dish, you need to be dragged off and shot.

My grandma doesn't make biscuits anymore. She's 93 years old and that's just too much effort for her today. But my mama still does on special occasions, and I never miss a chance to eat them. She got her recipe from my grandmother and it's a good one.

Biscuits and gravy. I took that food for granted back then, but I don't anymore. It's special.

fender mustang

Originally PUBLISHED July 2, 2004

If you want to talk about a good, reliable, easy-to-play electric guitar, I offer the Fender Mustang as a perfect example. It wasn't an expensive guitar, but you could make any sound you wanted to make with it. I don't know why Fender quit making that model.

The closest thing I can find now is the Telecaster, which I really like as an all-purpose electric guitar. The Telly has a raw, buck-nekkid sound by itself, and you can soup it up with some electronics to make it sound REALLY bad-assed. I own a Telecaster and I like it, but it ain't a Mustang.

If I ever find an old Mustang at a guitar show or a garage sale and I can buy it for a reasonable price, I'm going to add it to my guitar collection. I have a lot of fond feelings for that old axe and I want one.

I'll play "Little Black Egg" on it. That's the first rock-n-roll song I ever learned to play

July 07, 2008

I'm packed

Originally PUBLISHED August 3, 2004

I believe that I will blog a lot today. I've got all my shit in one sock and I'm ready to fly to Seattle tomorrow morning. I'm going to do something that I've wanted to do all my life. I'm going to see my country, with a friend that I love like a brother. We have no deadlines and no places we have to be. We'll just go where we feel like going when we feel like going. It's Easy Rider in a hot-rod Mustang convertable.

I hope to meet a few bloggers on this trip and I already have several phone numbers that I intend to call if I am in their general vicinity. I've never had a bad experience doing that. If I show up, I won't ask you for room and board (don't let my clothes fool you---I have plenty of money) but I wouldn't mind buying you a lunch or just stopping by your house to say hello and chew the fat for a while.

I'm taking my laptop with me and I intend to BLOG ACROSS AMERICA. I want to describe what I see and tell of my adventures. I don't know how much posting I'll be able to do, but I'll do it when I can, and I'll have everything on the laptop when I get back home if I can't post on the way.

I may be off the radar screen for a while, but when I get back to the Crackerbox, you can depend on a lot of Gut Rumbling. I have no idea which way we'll go from Seattle to Savannah, and I like it that way. We'll just play it on the first bounce and see what happens. Hell--- we might even end up in Key West.

Recondo says that he wants to go through Nebraska on the way back. I have no idea why. I can see all the goddam cornfields I want to see right here in Effingham County, Georgia. But what the hell--- I've never been to Nebraska. If that's where he wants to go, we'll go.

I just wish I had the chance to do this when I was 25 years old.

(UPDATE More phone numbers keep rolling in on my email. Are you people SURE you want to meet me?)

(Another Update: If I take everybody up on the offers for beer, I won't remember anything about my trip. But, what the fuck. You only go around once in life.)

long day i

Originally PUBLISHED August 5, 2004

I am Kalispell, Montana now. Recondo and I left Tacoma this morning and took US Highway 2 all the way across the state. I wanted to drive through the Cascade Mountains and they certainly were as spectacular as I imagined them to be. Beautiful, towering mountains, covered in tall trees except on the rugged rock outcrops and a few jagged peaks, some still frosted with snow. Crystal clear streams ran along the rocky bottoms, creating waterfalls and rapids as they twisted their way downhill. Some of the views were downright breathtaking.

We drove down a final long grade and found ourself in the town of Levenworth. I told Rick, "Buddy, we took a wrong turn somewhere. We're in goddam Helen, Georgia." Sure enough, Levenworth is a "Bavarian" town, just like Helen, with all the fake-German names for the shops and the Heidi architecture everywhere. I never suspected that TWO places like that existed in the US, more than 2,000 miles apart.

Something else changed drastically, too. We still were surrounded by tall mountains, but gone were the trees and the lush, green vegetation. When I first saw those mountains, I thought they had been clear-cut to nakedness by loggers, but that wasn't the case. We we into a part of the High Desert, where nothing grows except a brown, mangy grass and a few hardy species of scrub-brush due to lack of water. I was amazed as how quickly the scenery changed, as if an artist painting a green landscape suddenly ran out of paint right in the middle of his work.

Down in the bottomland outside Levenworth, orchards of apples, pears and other fruits grow in abundance, where irrigation is provided. I thought the sight was incredible. Right at the base of a mountain that appeared as barren as the surface of the moon, fruit trees thrived.

The land began to flatten out into rolling hills that reminded me of some parts of Middle Georgia. We passed a place called Waterton and that same almost-gray soil on the mountains was transformed in to fields of wheat, grain and hay that ran for miles and stretched out on both sides of the highway as far as the eye could see. The land was empty except for rows upon rows of grain, with only an occasional lonely farmhouse or a combine harvesting a crop to punctuate the monotony.

After that, we passed a series of very impressive coulees, huge canyons of eroded, decaying rock walls. I never knew that Washington state had such a varied landscape.

We passed through Spokane right at rush hour and decided to spend the night somewhere in the panhandle of Idaho.

long day ii

Originally PUBLISHED August 6, 2004

We didn't stop in the panhandle of Idaho. Recondo wanted to put some more miles behind us, so we kept going through some more beautiful country. We were in the Rockies by then. Rick wanted to make Montana before we stopped for the day, so I checked the map and decided on the town of Libbie, about 50 miles across the Montana border.

I was ready to quit for the day. I was getting a serious crick in my ass by then and I KNOW how Recondo gets on a road trip. He'll "We'll stop at the next town" every time we come to a town until you end up driving all fucking night long. Also, motels aren't that common in Idaho or Montana. In fact, NOTHING but MOUNTAINS, RIVERS AND STREAMS are common there.

Gas stations aren't that common, either. The Snake has a tank that holds only 15 gallons and it drinks it pretty fast. Places to eat aren't common, unless you plan to butcher and eat the got-dam mule deer you hit in the highway because you insisted on driving those twisting roads through the wilderness at night. He was beginning to piss me off.

We arrived in Libbie as the sun was sinking below the mountains. When we crossed the Montana border, we added another hour to the clock because we went from Pacific time to Mountain time. It was growing late. I saw a motel with a vacancy sign aglow and "Internet in Every Room" advertised on their sign.

"There. That' a good one," I said.

"I think I know a better one up ahead," Recondo replied. "If I can't find it, we'll go back there." We drove to the end of town and couldn't find this mystery motel. "Okay, we'll go back," Recondo said. "I must be thinking of a different town."

We went back and I tried to get a room. A guy was checking in at the desk at the time. The clerk told me that he had no vacancies. "This gentleman just rented the last one I had." If we hadn't pissed away the time driving through town, we could have had that room.

We went to another motel and--- you can believe this or not, but a guy was checking in when I asked the clerk if he had a vacancy. "I'm sorry, but I just rented our last one to this gentleman."

There were NO VACANCIES anywhere in town, so we ended up driving another 89 fucking miles and trying THREE MORE MOTELS in Kalispell before we found the last room available for another 100 miles. It was 10:00 at night by then. We had been on the road for 12 hours.

I intend to see Glacier National Park tomorrow, because it's a short damned ride to get there now. We ain't doing this shit again tomorrow.

And I intend to drive all the way across Montana and visit South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore on Satuday.


montana is big!

Originally PUBLISHED August 8, 2004

I'm just outside of Billings now, after a very nice eight-hour car tour of Montana. This is without a doubt the most beautiful state I've ever seen. I went to Glacier National Park today--- and you've never been there, I suggest that you go. I've seen Lake Tahoe, I've seen the Cascades, I've seen the Rockies, and I've seen Costa Rica, but I've NEVER seen anything as spectacular as that.

The mountains are HUGE, and in profile they resemble the serrated teeth of a saw. They are tall and old, carved into bizzare shapes by eons of ice, snow and running water. If you go up high enough, you get dizzy looking down and STILL the jagged crests tower over you. I have never been so impressed by a work of nature in my life.

We left there and drove through the Rockies, crossed the Continental Divide and headed into the Butte country. More magnificent scenery. I felt a real sense of just how old Mother Earth is by seeing what I saw today.

I took a lot of pictures. None of them will rightfully display the magesty of the place,but I am going to post some of them when I get home.

July 06, 2008

Pensive thoughts

Originally published July 29, 2004

I took a nap this afternoon while rain fell hard outside the Crackerbox. I woke up not knowing where I was. For a moment I believed that I was still in Costa Rica with bags to pack and a plane to catch. When the fog cleared from my brain and I realized that I was at home in my own bed, I wished that I was somewhere else.

My good neighbor Henry collected all my mail while I was gone and he delivered it today. In the mix was a letter from Jennifer telling me that I still owed her $106 for Quinton's medical bills. I wrote the cunt a check.

The biggest mistake I ever made in my life was siring my son. I love him like a rock and I am proud of him, but if I take a step back and analyze my situation carefully, I know what a mistake his birth was. Jennifer wouldn't have the stranglehold on me that she does without Quinton. And I haven't seen or heard from my boy since Father's Day.

I married Jennifer and I was totally in love when I did. I was totally in love with her the day she divorced me. I left the Effingham County courthouse and pulled off on the side of the road the first chance I got. I sat in my truck and cried like a baby. She went merrily off to fuck somebody else and never thought about me again, unless she wanted some money.

Having prostate cancer is no picnic in the park. Sometimes I wonder if just dying from it wouldn't have been better than what I've been through the past three years.

I wonder why so many sheeple hate George Bush and love Bill Clinton. Clinton is a complete slimeball, the dick-directed asshole. But a lot of people prefer HIM over what I believe is a good man. Bush doesn't please me all the time, but at least he's not getting blow-jobs in the Oval Office. Yeah---I believe that a President of the United States should have more self-control than to do what Clinton did.

Jimmy Carter should either shut up his face or be dragged off and shot. Bejus! The guy was a totally incompetent President. He was a complete fuck-up, and a lot of the problems we have in the Middle East tiday are the results of HIS assholery. If I were going to make an idiot burrito, Jimmy Carter would be right in the middle of the wrap. He wasn't worth a shit when he was Governor of my beloved state of Georgia, and he's not worth a shit today. The Dems love that grinning bastard. Go figure.

I love living in the South. I like the weather, I like the pretty wimmen and I like the way people interact here. I can't see me EVER living up north. And people who vote for a flip-flopping prick from Taxachussettes deserve what they get. Kerry won't carry Georgia, because too many people here think the way I do. The guy is an asshole.

My bullshit detector ran over the red line and broke while I was watching the Democratic convention. That circus of morons wasn't even worth a TV brick hurled at the screen.

Okay, I am finished with my rant.

Catfish

Originally published April 30, 2005

I like to fish. I am NOT a Bill Dance kind of fisherman and I doubt that I'll ever win a tournament among really good competetors. In fact, my idea of a good day fishing is to sit in a boat and drink beer with my shirt off while I enjoy the sunshine. If I catch some fish, that's fine. If I DON'T catch any fish, that's fine, too.

I've caught a lot of bream around here where I live. Worms or crickets make good bait, but I've seen bream bite on bread-balls, too, if you get into a hungry swarm of them. If you catch them "bedding," you can tear their asses up.

"Bedding" is when the female lays her eggs on the river bottom and the male comes around to squirt his manly juices all over them. They don't have face-to-face sex. The female just lays a few thousand unfertilized eggs and the male swims by to fertilize them. And he won't swim away, either, as long as he still has a stirring in his fishy loins. (Do fish have loins?)

Catch a male bream during the bedding and he feels like he's been greased with vasoline. He'll also jet a stream of cum all over the place while you're trying to get the hook out of his mouth. Those fish are totally hormone-driven at that time of year. Some of the redbreast and bluegills are damn near as big as a dinner plate, too.

Bream are bony fish, but I believe that they are delicious pan-fried. I've learned to pick out the bones and enjoy the fish. Just gut 'em, scale 'em and cut off the heads. They are ready to cook.

But my FAVORITE fresh-water catch is catfish. I usually use chicken livers or some other really funky bait for them, but I don't think the bait really matters. A catfish will eat anything. Just bait your hook and put enough weight on it to make it sink to the bottom. A catfish will find it there.

Once you catch one, the fun really begins. You can't just grab a catfish in your bare hands the way you would would a bream. That cat has barbs behind his gills and he'll throw those razor-blade-like contraptions out as soon as you haul him out of the water. Getting a catfish off your hook without being cut or stabbed is a delicate art. I've seen a lot of blood in a boat from someone mishandling a catfish.

After you catch them, you've got some work to do. Catfish have SKIN, not scales on them. I used to nail their heads to a tree, cut all around the head and then use a set of needle-nosed pliers to pull the skin offa them. After that, gut them, cut the head off and cook them.

You end up with delicious, tender, white fish-meat, with very few bones in it. Breaded and fried, they are incredibly good. For a turd-wrestler, a catfish makes good eating. When I pooted around running a trot-line, I caught as many as fifty in a single day.

You wanna fuck with a rookie over some catfish? Just tell him to stick his hand in the cooler and haul out a fish. He'll get cut by one of those slashing barbs and damn near pull back a nub where his hand once was. I once saw a guy get his foot stuck to the bottom of the boat when he dropped a catfish when the barbs were out.

The fish landed on his foot and one of the fins went clean through his flesh and penetrated the bottom of the boat. He was stuck there as if he had been nailed. What really made it funny was the fact that he was demonstrating a home-made catfish de-hooker at the time. It was a device he made out of a coathanger.

"You just run this loop down the line, find the hook, then twist like this... and... BEJUS! GODDAM! OY, OY OY!"

Actually, his invention was a good one. I have one of my own and I have used it many a time. I like to catch catfish. I just try never to drop one on my bare foot. And I keep a pair of work gloves in my tackle box, just in case.

You ever done much fishing for catfish?

Adios

Originally published July 27, 2004

I leave for home tomorrow. I really do not want to go back to the Crackerbox yet, but I am ready to leave San Jose. This place is too busy, too full of hustlers and too much like St. Patricks Day in Savannah for me. I prefer the hinterlands of Costa Rica where everybody really does live on Tico Time.

I have about 150 pictures from this trip (some of which ARE NOT suitable to post on my blog--- I had some fun with both Aila and Maria with the camera-- but forget about seeing those. I am NC-17, not XXX.) and I look forward to sharing a few. I have a pretty good eye with a camera and a lot of the pictures turned out very well.

Just some random thoughts before I catch my plane tomorrow:

*You have never been righteously cussed until a Costa Rican woman does it in Spanish.

*DO NOT walk the streets of San Jose at night with a lot of money in your pocket. All I lost on this trip was a six-pack of beer, but the thieves and footpads are out there if you are foolish enough to let them rob you.

*Bought pussy is just as good (and maybe better) than all the "free" stuff any woman offers you.

*Mangos are evil. Stay away from them.

*Costa Ricans in San Jose do not like George Bush--- and I took pctures of some graffitti on walls to prove that fact--- but people at Jaco do not give a shit about politics. That is why I prefer Jaco over San Jose.

*I took my daughters advice (apostrophies do not work on a Spanish keyboard) and I have not paid ANY attention to the news for almost two weeks now. I made the mistake of listening to highlights of the speeches from the Democratic Convention last night. I started to call room service for a barf-bag.

*If you decide to visit Costa Rica, first talk to someone who has been there ahead of you. You can save yourself a lot of money and confusion through good advice.

*242,000 colones goes fast when you spend it like you are the federal government. Unlike the government, however, that was MY money I was pissing away, not somebody elses.

*I will sleep alone tonight. My choice.

*Somebody said in my comments that the BC will have a field day in court because I blogged about buying a piece of ass. I hope that she DOES bring that up in court. She sits on the most expensive piece of pussy I ever had in my life, and I will pay for that gash for years more if she has her way. And she GAVE IT AWAY to someone else when she was still married to me. Yeah--- let us discuss that in court. THAT is a true puta. Fucking whore.

*I am going to spend the rest of my colones tonight on food and drink. I hope to sleep on the plane ride home.

July 05, 2008

Truth

Originally published April 30, 2005

It's like the old joke. Ltttle Johnny talks Little Sally into a "You show me yours and I'll show you mine" contest. Johnny drops his pants and waves his Roscoe proudly. "What do you think of THAT?" he asks.

Sally says, "Not much," as she drops her own pants. "Mama told he that with one of THESE, I can get all of THOSE that I want."

It's the truth, too. Wimmen know it and they play the pussy-card all the time to get their way. I've heard numerous wimmen say it before, including Jennifer one night at the Chart House Restaurant. "I can have any man in this place if I want him."

Is that pussy-power or what? A semi-good looking woman knows that she has it, too. I saw MANY a woman cruise the bars on River Street without a dime in her pocket back in my guitar-playing days. (I gave a lot of them a ride downtown.) She expected MEN to buy her drinks and it usually worked out that way.

"The fair sex," my ass.

Conniving, hormone-riddled, greedy, heartless, cruel and insane, I'll believe. But "FAIR?" That word never enters into a woman's mind. She's got a pussy and that makes the world her bearded clam. If the damn thing had teeth a lot more men would be walking around with Bobbit-wounds instead of paying divorce lawyers and watching another man live in his house.

Do I sound bitter? Good! I AM bitter.

Wimmen ain't right in the head. I'm sorry, but that's a fact. Wimmen hallucinate regularly, which is what makes them such good detectives. Don't tell me you've never heard this: "I heard what you said, but that's not what you MEANT!" See? SHE knows what you meant, even if you simply said, "Good morning."

What you REALLY meant was my ass is fat, you don't love me anymore, you think I'm a shitty person and I'm going out to get some reassurance from my female friends, who will take my side and understand my telepathic prowess, and then encourage me to go to a bar and exercise my pussy power.

If my insurance will cover it, I'm going to have my bionics removed. It ain't half the dick I once had anyway, and all it's ever done in my life is get me in trouble. I am ready to become monkish.

Pussy ain't that big a deal to me anymore. It damn sure ain't worth the price you pay for it. Especially the "free" stuff.

I'll write about marriage vows next.

What a shitty day

Originally published July 31, 2004

Young Jack came over to see me today and I gave him some Costa Rican coins that I brought back from my trip. I really like that boy. He's like a second son to me. He calls me "Uncle Rob" and he never misses a chance to come visit.

He went to Clarke Hill Lake with Quinton last week. He told me that Quinton was very proud of the post cards and letters I sent him from my last trip to Costa Rica. "Quinton talks about you a lot," he told me. "He misses you." I was happy to hear that. I just wish that Quinton would say the same thing to me.

I have no idea what goes on in my boy's life anymore, but I know his mama well. She is a true bloodless cunt and she'll fuck with Quinton's head every chance she gets. Maybe some day all will be well, but right now, it sucks. I miss my son. I've never been treated so badly by anyone else in my life than what Jennifer has done to me.

I'll never understand why. I never did her wrong the way she's done me.

Now the rain is falling and Jack has gone back home. I am depressed and I feel the walls closing in on me. I need to get out of here. I'm going down to Weisenbacker's to get something to eat.

I have friends there.

I don't like it

Originally published July 30, 2004

A lot of people believe in things that I don't. That's okay with me as long as those people don't try to shove THEIR BELIEFS down my throat. I'm a live and let live kinda guy. Don't tread on me and I won't tread on you.

But don't fuck with me, either. Too much of the world today is dedicated to the mission of FUCKING with people who just want to be left alone. Look at the federal government. That octopus fucks with me all the time. Look at environmentalists, anti-smokers, lawyers and my ex-wife. They ALL live and breathe for the sole purpose of fucking with me or somebody else. I don't like it.

I don't like goddam "customer service" that runs me through a machine and keeps me on hold for 15 minutes before I get to speak to a human being. I don't like it. I don't like dickweeds who drive in the left lane when they are not passing another vehicle. I don't like it.

I don't like political correctness nor do I like people saying "gender" when they mean sex. I don't like losing my job because of my blog. I don't like a system where what I do on my own time scares the shit out of a multi-billion dollar corporation who would rather fire (excuse me..."retire") a valuable employee than risk a stupid lawsuit from some neurotic nitwit.

I don't like neurotic nitwits who believe that the sun rises and sets right square in the crack of their asses, and insist that the entire universe should stop expanding and cater only to THEM. I don't like whiners. I don't like people who encourage whining (yeah... I watched the Democratic Convention).

I stick by my friends. I don't like squishy people. I don't like being told what to do by someone who doesn't know me or care about me. That uniform doesn't impress me. Any asshole can get one of those. In fact, aside from the military, a LOT of assholes wear uniforms and try to tell me what to do. I don't like it.

I want to be left alone. What is wrong with that?

I mind my own business and I try to live a good life. I believe that the world would be a better place if EVERYBODY behaved the way I do. I am not petty, vindictive, venal or vain, and I don't like people who are. Hollywood celebrities piss me off when they talk politics. Politicians piss me off, period. Leftists piss me off because they are barking moonbats. Our divorce courts piss me off because they side with a bloodless cunt over me.

I stay pissed off a lot.

Slavery was abolished in 1863. Look around today. We are ALL becoming slaves to a government that cares nothing about the individual. Government exists to stretch its own power and it is damn good at that job. Government tells us how much water our toilets can flush, how fast we can drive on a highway, where we can and cannot smoke, what we can and cannot do in bed, and they TAKE OUR MONEY to pay for this shit.

I don't like it.

July 04, 2008

Short attention span

Originally published July 1, 2005

On Independence Day, I sometimes reflect on the struggles our nation has endured since July 4th, 1776. Many wars. Even a war among ourselves. Lots of military cemetaries and a lot of dead soldiers. Incredible sacrifice and bravery.

Was it worth it? In MY humble opinion, it was--- every bit of it. Some of our history is downright tragic, but we wouldn't be the greatest country in the world today without a few fuck-ups along the way. Kids grow up to be responsible adults the same way.

I liked this post, but it depressed me when I read it. How many World War II veterans do YOU know? How many people who LIVED THROUGH WWII do you know? Not many, I'll bet. Most of 'em are dead now.

The war that seems to define us as a nation now, especially in the Mainstream Media and politics, is Vietnam. That pathetic effort is the racing stripe in the drawers of the USA. It was one of those fuck-ups that I sincerely HOPE made us stronger in the long run. But that micro-managed effort in futility should NOT be the bloody shirt idiotic dip-sticks wave every time the United States goes to war.

I am not certain that the United States has the backbone anymore to endure the kind of effort WWII took. I look at the great weeping and gnashing of teeth about casualties in Iraq and I want to hang my head. Buncha gutless wonders. We lost more troops in a SINGLE BATTLE in WWII than we EVER will in Iraq.

The tree of liberty sometimes must be watered by the blood of patriots. Truer words were never spoken.

I mourn every casualty we have in Iraq. I've met a lot of those fine troops and I've bought them dinner and drinks, just to show my appreciation for them doing a dirty job well. The JBs of the world can argue until they're blue in the face about Halliburton and OOOOIL all they want to, but it doesn't change one simple fact.

WE went to war. When we're IN, we're IN, and you don't quit, get cold feet or start yelling "quagmire" when it's not over in two days. Or even two years. What would the world be like today if we'd done that in WWII?

Was Iraq an imminent threat to the United States? Probably not. Iraq wasn't about to invade and conquer this country. But was it a festering boil on the ass of the world that needed to be lanced in the War on Terror? Yes. It was.

War is ugly, but sometimes it is necessary. Holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" around a campfire doesn't impress maniacs such as Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein. Bullets do.

If we listened to the screeching peace monkeys of today back in 1776, we wouldn't be the USA now. If we listened to them in 1941, we'd all be goose-stepping and speaking German today. They are WRONG!!!

That's MY humble opinion. And I wish you all a happy and delightful Independence Day. A lot of people died to give you what you have today. Appreciate that fact.

And take the time to read some history about WWII--- that just might clean the Vietnam racing stripe out of your drawers.

(UPDATE: Yeah. what he said.)

228 years old

Originally published July 1, 2004

Do you ever stop to think about what a YOUNG country we live in? We went from a ragged bunch of colonies to the greatest superpower in the world pretty damned quickly. I'll tell you how we did it, too. We allowed people the freedom to achieve.

I am delighted that I was lucky enough to be born and raised in this great nation. We may not be perfect, but we're one hell of a lot better than any other place I see out there. Let freedom reign.

Happy Birthday to the good, YOUNG USA!

My daughter

Originally published July 4, 2004

Samantha and Stacey made it to mama's house shortly after 9:00 last night. I went to visit this morning. I don't really mean to brag (Oh, yes! I DO!), but I have a beautiful daughter. She got a lot of her looks from her mama, but I'm still proud to call her the spawn of MY loins. She's a looker.

I like Stacey a lot, too. She and Sam make an odd couple because Samantha has always been petulent, tempermental and quick to fly off the handle. Stacey is laid-back, mellow and the kind of person I feel comfortable around without being able to decide exactly why. Stacey is just good people. We had a nice, long visit today.

We're going crabbing on Wednesday. I checked the tides today and we need to leave early in the morning to catch the water right. I told them that I would pick them up at 7:00 AM and they both promised to be ready. I have no doubt that Stacey will be, and she'll probably bog a foot in Sam's ass to get her out of bed on time, too. I look forward to the adventure.

I hope we catch every crab in that creek.

Independence Day... from my old computer

Originally published July 4, 2003

My modem died on me last night. Just upped and died, as we say down South. I turned the computer off and hoped that it would do like that Ox beetle and revive itself during the night, but it was still dead as Dillinger this morning.

Well, I was ready for a new computer anyway. I got one, too.

July 03, 2008

My boy is here

Originally published September 20, 2003

I am a weekend father tonight and, as usual, I have inherited Young Jack from across the street to go with my son. I don't mind at all, because Jack is a good boy and TWO boys are easier than ONE to handle. They can pester each other instead of just one of them pestering ME.

I have been seriously down in the dumps all week, and I suppose that the emotional downturn showed on this blog. I get that way sometimes. But I have something other than my own dismal thoughts to occupy me tonight. Both boys are supposed to be "sick," according to their mamas. I have two bags full of medications to administer to them tonight.

By my unskilled medical evaluation, they appear to be suffering from Acute High-Energy Syndrome, which manifests itself in wild scooter rides up and down the street, a rollicking game of "hallway tackle football" in the house, and a primordal scream of "WE'RE HUNGRY!" when they notice that it's dark outside. I'm gonna feed them health food: hamburgers and french fries.

It's all cooking now, and I had better go watch what I'm doing before I burn my Crackerbox down.

Have mercy

Originally published September 20, 2003

It's tough being a complete ignoramus in a world full of computer-literate people, especially when you try to operate a blog. The experience brings back bad memories for me. In school, I always was an outstanding student, picked for Advanced Placement classes and accustomed to seeing lots of "A's" on my report card. I believed that I was one smart cookie.

That delusion came crashing down around my ears when I ran my Cracker head into Trigonometry in my junior year of high school. The teacher laid some kind of mysterious "F of x" on me, and I was waylaid, ambushed, booby-trapped and fragged. I made my first and only "F" on a report card that year. The really disturbing part was the fact I CRUISED to "A's" and "B's" in other subjects and I WORKED MY ASS OFF at Trig and still failed. I listened in class, I attempted the homework and I studied the book, but I reminded myself of the monkey that picks up the legbone in 2001: A Space Oddesey. The monkey farked around with the legbone long enough to gain a flash of insight and understanding. THIS THING CAN BE USED AS A CLUB! I CAN USE IT TO SLAY MY PREY AND FIGHT MY ENEMIES! I GET IT!

That never happened to me with trig. I just sat there pounding the bone in the dirt without a clue, letting drool run down my chin and appearing very simian to those who tried to explain that incomprehensible shit to me. My parents paid for a tutor. The tutor gave me up for being utterly hopeless. I managed to pass with a "D" in that class, and I'm pretty sure that I became an English Major in college because I didn't have to take many math courses to earn a degree. I never wanted to experience such humiliation again.

Looking back, I can explain THAT vacuum-lock of the brain by saying that I was a raging sea of hormones at the time, awash in the throes of puberty. Once I outgrew that problem (I think it took me AT LEAST ten years), I did fine with math. When I went to work at the pigment plant, I soon found myself making all sorts of mathematical calculations to prorate treatment batches, determine inventories, predict chemical usage and factor costs of reagents, energy and labor per ton by grade of pigment. I was doing that "F of x" thing without realizing it.

Then, I started a blog. I've been doing it for nine months now, and I remain a lost sheep in the rolling meadows of computers. Listen: hear that forlorn "baaa....baaa" from WAY over THERE in the dark, when all the other sheep are warm and happy in the barn? That's ME!

It's TRIG all over again!

July 02, 2008

If by chance

Originally published September 21, 2003

Here's an INTERESTING NEW BLOG that inspired me to try some "if by chance" ruminations of my own.

If by chance, you take a wrong turn on the road of life, at least have the courtesy to use your turn signal first.

If by chance, you see the opportunity to do someone a favor, seize it. The person will OWE YOU after that.

If by chance, you wake up in bed with a stranger, and both of you are naked, all the sheets are on the floor, and the musky aroma of raw sex hangs heavy in the air, try to remember EXACTLY what you did the night before to achieve these results so that you may repeat it.

If by chance, life hands you a lemon, figure out who is responsible for it and try to get even.

If by chance, you see a young child behaving like a raving savage in the Super Wal-Mart, do not scold the child. Cuss his parents.

If by chance, you have things of unremembered origin turning strange colors and MOVING BY THEMSELVES in your refrigerator, it's probably time to dig a deep hole, bury THAT refrigerator, and go buy a new one.

Another recipe

Originally published September 21, 2003

It's still too hot in Southeast Georgia to be cooking chili, but I couldn't help myself. Here's My Recipe:

One 2-pound chuck roast
Some olive oil
Two softball-sized Vidalia onions
One green bell pepper
One red bell pepper
One gallon bag of the blanched and frozen tomatoes from my garden (a 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes will do, if you don't grow your own)
One 28-oz. can of purreed tomatoes
One 12-oz can of Guiness Stout
Two heaping tablespoons of ready-made minced garlic in olive oil, available at any Super Wal-Mart
One 3-oz container of Mexene Chili Powder
Five home-grown, diced jalapena peppers
One 5-oz toxic bottle of "Dat'l Do It" Habanero Gold hot sauce
One tablespoon of cumin
1/4 stick of real butter

Daub the roast with olive oil and roll it in the cumin and about 1/2 the tube of chili powder. Throw in some salt, pepper and worchestershire sauce just for the hell of it. Pack the mixture all over the roast. Slow-cook the roast in a crock pot until tender, where you can shred the meat into tiny strips with your fingers. Discard the fat and any gristle you find. Pour all the juice from the crock pot into a large standard kitchen pot. Set the burner on medium high.

Dice the Vidalia onions and the bell peppers. Melt the 1/4 stick of butter in the pot with all the meat-juice, then toss in the onions and peppers, plus two heaping tablespoons of minced garlic. Throw your head back and enjoy the aroma.

When the onions begin to brown slightly, add all the tomato stuff, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour the 12-oz can of Guiness Stout into the mix as you add the jalapenas and carefully count FIVE DASHES of Habanero Gold hot sauce into the pot. DO NOT get carried away with this stuff. Five dashes are plenty, even in a BIG pot. Trust me.

Add the shredded meat and the rest of the Mexene chili powder (yeah, the whole tube). Keep the pot on a slow simmer until all your friends show up to enjoy the outcome. The longer it takes them to get there, the better the chili will be. Have plenty of beer and corn chips on hand. Keep the number of the local EMS handy in case the faint of heart can't handle this dish.

Put any leftovers in the refrigerator overnight, then freeze them in those individual plastic bowls with locking lids that you can buy at any grocery store. The chili actually GETS BETTER when it sits in the fridge overnight. You can eat for a week off this stuff.

I may not be a Texan, but I cook GOOD chili.

July 01, 2008

vegemite

Originally PUBLISHED June 27, 2005

Thanks to loyal reader and frequent commenter Henry Blowfly, I now possess a TUBE of genuine Australian Vegemite. I'm going to try some today and see if I survive the experience. I think I'll test it on toast first.

I liked the note he sent with the Vegemite:

"Most kids in Australia grew up with this stuff spread on toast for breakfast, spread on sandwiches for lunch, sometimes in combination with cheese or lettuce, and on crackers for school snacks, and it would be rare to find a home in Australia that did not have a jar stored in the pantry. .... It always makes me smile when I see a little Chinese/ Australian or Italian toddler with his face smeared with Vegemite."

Well, Pete, this Jawja Cracker intends to have some smeared on HIS face today. I owe it to my Australian "mates" to at least TASTE their "national food." I'll try ANYTHING once.

And I will post a review of my experience.

vegemite, part ii

Originally PUBLISHED June 27,2005

Okay, I'm an adventuresome guy. I figured that to try Vegemite for the first time (since the sample I have is in a tube, much like squeeze-on butter or hemorroid medication), I should run a line of it on my finger and taste it straight-up. I did.

WOW!!!

THAT is a strange flavor. It is powerful and yeasty at first, and there's a definite "yuk!" factor involved, but it simmers down and leaves a very remarkable aftertaste lingering on the tongue. I went ahead and had a second slash, right offa my bare finger. That one went down easier than the first one did.

Hmmm... really not bad once you get used to it.

I popped a couple of frozen waffles in the toaster and decorated those sumbitches with butter and Vegemite when they were done. I ate both waffles. I'm not dead yet, but I can damn sure taste Vegemite every time I burp now.

I'm convinced that I could develop a liking for that stuff. It's not nearly as bad as most people claim, and the taste kinda grows on you, like a malignant wart, the more you eat of it.

I'm going to have some more this evening. I'll bet that it tastes pretty good on broiled fish. I intend to find out.

Thanks again, Pete. That tube of Vegemite will NOT go to waste around the Crackerbox

vegemite part iii

Originally PUBLISHED July 11, 2005

Wanna know something else Vegemite tastes pretty good on? Try it with boiled shrimp. I went to the seafood market today and bought two pounds of fresh medium shrimp.

I was thinking about making a Low Country Boil, but I didn't know how my belly would handle the sausage, so I just boiled the shrimp with some good Old Savannah seasoning. When the shrimp were done, I made a cocktail sauce and sat down to eat them. After one bite, I thunk a thought....

You know--- Vegemite might taste good on these. So, I tried it. Just DAMN!

If you put a little dab of Vegemite on a boiled shrimp, it's like an entirely new taste experience. That dances on the tongue for a while. The only mistake I made was NOT buying some beer to go with this feast. Well-seasoned boiled shrimp, a dab of Vegemite and a good beer could be food for the Gods.

I'll do without the beer, but I HAVE discovered a new way to eat boiled shrimp.

excuse me!

Originally PUBLISHED June 6, 2006

Dayum! We've got some really blue-nosed tomato-nannies in this world today. Yesterday, I posted a picture of some 'maters that I picked from my garden, and I had the unmitigated gall to write that I intended to put them in the refrigerator to give them a nice chill before I ate them.

I might as well have said that I was gonna barbecue a neighbor's pet cat, too. Read the comments on that post and TRUST ME about the haughty, up-yours emails I received over that post. The bottom line is: I need to be dragged off and shot for even thinking about putting my tomatoes in the refrigerator. That's some kind of terrible, blasphemous thing to do to a tomato.

Well, folks, it's too late now. I never intended to KEEP the tomatoes in the refrigerator. I just wanted them chilled before I ATE THEM--- which I did last night--- with just a little salt on them. They were delicious, too. MUCH better than they would have tasted at room temperature.

If I offended you by chilling my tomatoes--- MINE, not YOURS!!!--- before I ate them, or if I rubbed your back-fur the wrong way by saying that I was gonna do it, well, I ain't apologizing to ya. Treat YOUR tomatoes any way you want to. Just don't hector me about how I should treat mine.

Good grief! People... why can't we all just get along?

If you ever wonder where anti-smoking Nazis, fat police and drug warriors come from, just tell folks that you're gonna put some home-grown, fresh tomatoes in your refrigerator. You'll find out. Do-gooders come swarming out of the dark to club you with aluminium baseball bats and string your intestines like ribbons from nearby trees.

Just for your own good, of course.