Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The End of PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a beer I remember well.  It was the brew of choice for my old friend Junior and he always had a six pack in his fridge.  I understand that nowadays it's a hipster beer (and one of the low-end bargain beers.  But, it had a following, but now it's in a lawsuit with MillerCoors over production capacity.  It seems that MillerCoors is brewing Pabst beer.
MILWAUKEE — Pabst Brewing Company and MillerCoors are going to trial, with hipster favorite Pabst contending that MillerCoors wants to put it out of business by ending a longstanding partnership through which it brews Pabst’s beers.
I know that nowadays it is fashionable to get into partnerships or for a strong company to buy a competitor outright, but it seems to me that if you're a major player, it's not a good idea to let a competitor control your production capacity.

But, the brewing industry is just like every other industry.  Beers come and beers go.  Who remembers Schlitz, Falstaff, or Pearl?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Water Oak?

I've got this tall oak tree in the front yard that makes very small acorns.  I call it a white oak, because that's what we call threes like this.  I can identify white oak, red oak, live oak, and post oak.

Eaton Rapids Joe emailed me recently and told me that he is looking for water oak acorns.  I never heard of a water oak, and wasn't sure quite what he meant.  Maybe we call it one thing in Louisiana, and they call it another in Michigan.

At any rate, here's the tree.


And  closer shot of the leaf structure.


And a small handfull of acorns.


Is that what you're looking for, Joe?  If so, I can probably find a couple of pounds.  The mast crop wasn't real good on that tree this year.

Military Photo - Keen Sword 2018

A great photo of military might, the joint exercise Keen Sword is the subject of this military photo.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 8, 2018) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, sail in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2018. Keen Sword 2018 is a joint, bilateral field-training exercise involving U.S. military and JMSDF personnel, designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters
Let's remember today that US forces are still serving all over the world, and as we take a moment to give thanks to our veterans, lets remember to give thanks to our deployed forces.  They are still going in harm's way.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Sunday Dawg

Belle and I had some pulled pork left over from the shoot yesterday, so we warmed that in a slow cooker, and I decided that we had some taco fixin's that we needed to sue, so we put it all out and gave the kids a choice.  They could do "street tacos", or have a normal pulled pork sandwich.

We heated a bunch of corn tortillas on the griddle, and started the line through.

Elder son opted for the tacos.  Warmed corn tortilla, with shredded pork, sour cream guacamole, ad shredded cheese.  I opted for those too, and we probably didn't eat a dozen of those between us.

Grandson Quin opted to combine the two.  A taco is a bun.  He said it was quite tasty, but came back later for more tortillas.

The dawg, of course, got his ration.  Afterwards he decided to nap on the couch beside Belle, in his classic uncomfortable pose.


Later, he opted for a more conventional napping position.

We're back in the house now, getting ready for the week.

Passing Them Down

My good friend Russel has asked the question of what is going to happen to your guns, especially the ones that you filly intend to pass down to family or friends.

A decade or so ago, I started paying attention to guns in pawn shops.  Used guns, mainly, that wind up on the shelves of second-hand shops.  And I realized that these once belonged to someone and that, for whatever reason, that person decided to convert them to cash.  The simple fact of mortality means that eventually I'll shrug off this mortal coil, and whatever I leave behind will become a problem for someone else.  There are things that I cherish that will mean absolutely nothing to the people who follow me.  I get it.

But, some cherished possession might mean something to a particular person, and it's my job to find that person.  To that end, I've been giving away guns.  I still have a pretty good battery, but I've given away ore guns in the last decade than I've bought in that decade.  Each of my offspring and most of my grandchildren have a gun I used at one time or another.

There are some that I won't give up till it's done, but if I get notice of my impending demise, I fully intend to leave this world having given away my guns, and other cherished possessions.  Hopefully, I 'll give them to the person who likes them as much as I do, but we never know; they might be taken to a pawn shop and converted to cash.  It may sound fatalistic, but it is what it is.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thorn Valley

We went to Thorn Valley to shoot with friends today.  Every 2nd Saturday in November, they have a invitational shoot, and it's a lot of fun.


Blue Eyed Belle came in 4th overall.  I came in 5th in the men, and Zach came in 7th.  Overall a very good day, and most important, we got to catch up on friends.

It was a very good day.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Count on the Democrats

You can either count on the Democrats, or you can count with them.  It's funny, that after an election is over and the votes are being tallied, you can count on Democrats to find a big box of "lost" ballots that will swing a tight race in the direction that they want it to go.  As Liz Shield points out.
Literally, you can count on them or with them. The Democrats in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona are continuing to "count" the "votes" in the 2018 election and, curiously, as they continue to "count," the Democrats either take the lead or close the gap. I wonder how this is going to end? (Not really.) This is ridiculous. Has there ever been an election or a special county where a bunch of Republican votes are always "found" or "discovered" that switch the fate of an election?
As a friend pointed out this morning over breakfast, "I see that the Democrats just found a bunch of ballots, and as soon as they're filled out, they'll let us know who won."

In this day and age of digital record keeping, the idea of "found" ballots is repugnant, and frankly, it's getting old.  Election officials should keep strict controls on handling of ballots.  And, if you notice, it always seems to favor the Democrats.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida is noticing the same thing.



Really, guys, this isn't funny any more.  We're in the 21st centtry, and it's not too much to ask for an accurate, timely vote count.  "Finding" votes after the fact smacks of fraud and incompetence.  No citizen of either party deserves to this kind of kind of nonsense.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Supper Time

Three egg omelet, laid on a toasted tortilla.  Even the dawg got some ham and tortilla.  He loves tortillas.


Now, I'm going to finish my digestif and lay down.

Cry Me A River

Back in the news, it seems that the life of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has been disrupted.
She’s had to move four times, she wrote last month. She has had to pay for a private security detail. She hasn’t been able to return to her job as a professor at Palo Alto University. 
If she had been treated properly by her Democratic Congress-critters, she might have avoided all this.  Or, if she had any real evidence, she might have avoided all this.  But, at least her story has a silver lining.  She's being paid well. 
The GoFundMe Campaigns That Have Raised $840,000 for Christine Blasey Ford...
$840K for three months work isn't chump-change.  Why are we still talking about this?

None Of The Above

It's done kind of tongue-in-cheek, but a Hot Air article points to the fact that the Democrats don't have a candidate that they can rally around for the upcoming Presidential election.
Poll – Dem Choice For 2020 POTUS Race: None Of The Above
Actually, I think that's a pretty good choice and shows good judgement on the part of the Democrats.

And, I'm not tongue-in-cheek.  I think that every ballot should have a None Of The Above block to check.  If None gets a majority, then all the candidates in that race would be disqualified from running in the follow-up election.   Likewise a candidate who qualifies with no opposition would face a YES or NO vote.  If the electorate voted NO, then that candidate would be disqualified from any follow-up election. 

I know a lot of times in local elections, a candidate will get elected simply because no one wants to run against him/her.  For a variety of reasons, some of them having to do with retaliation on a local level when someone runs against a political strong-man. 

I think it's a good idea, and might bring better people into public service.

Idiot Memes

In the past few days, I've been seeing idiot memes trying to deliberately misdirecting us about the way we elect leaders hip in the US.    It all started when someone noticed that the US President is not elected by the popular vote.  I mean... Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump spanked her good in the electoral college.  And the Dems wept because none of them took high school civics and did not understand that we are a republic, not a democracy.

But in the last few days I've been seeing an increase in the idiocy.  To wit:


Before you believe that this guy is simply stupid, according to the link above, he is a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin.   So, he understand, or should understand how this stuff work.  If he doesn't, he should go back to is undergrad university and demand a refund.

No, this is misdirection.  Mark knows how it works.  He's simply being obtuse.  And, despicable, which is the main conduct of Democrats lately.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Worm Turns

They haven't even been sworn in yet, and they're already making plans for mischief.
Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., revealed plans for House Democrats to investigate and impeach Justice Brett Kavanaugh for alleged perjury and investigate and impeach President Donald Trump for alleged treasonous collusion with Russia.
The Kamikaze Wing.  Heh!

Looking At Election Returns

One of the cool things that we can do i n this day and age is to look at election returns and try to detect trends.  I live in Rapides parish, LA, and and it's interesting to note how people vote.  For example.

In the 2012 Presidential election, 58,019 voters cast ballots in Rapides Parish.
In the 2015 Governor's race, only only 28,503 people cast ballots in Rapides Parish
In the 2016 Presidential election, 56,844 votes were cast in Rapides Parish.
Yesterday, in Rapides Parish, with several important things on the ballot, 40,880 people voted.

The US Census tells us that Rapides Parish has 131,648 people, and that the population has been really stable since 2010.  But, if you look at the disparity between the '15 Governor's race and the '16 Presidential race, we see that only half as many people cast ballots in the Governor's race as cast ballots in the Presidential race.  That's odd.

Yet, yesterday in the midterms, over 40,000 people cast ballots.  This certainly bears more analysis.

A call this morning to the Registrar ofVoters reveals that we have approximately 86,400 registered voters in Rapides Parish.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

I Voted

This morning after Belle left for work, I piddled around for a bit, then went to vote.  We have voted at Philadelphia Baptist Church for the last 12 years, but when I got to the church, the doors were locked and a sign directed me to the new library at Libuse, LA.  No problem, that's on the way to the barber shop.

Went to the library and voted.  Thence to the barber, then next door to the grocer, where I picked u some corn tortillas, chorizo, eggs, baconn, ad other incidentals.  Went home and cranked up the griddle to make hurvos rancheros.  Basically, warm corn tortillas, with cheese, chorizo, fried eggs and more cheese.  It may not be heart-healthry, but there is very little carbs in that meal, and I'm watching carbs. I added bacon, because I needed the bacon grease to warm the tortillas, and why not?


I fed Zach and I lunch, then straightened up the kitchen.  One thing I'm learning about that griddle is that the longer I use it, the easier it is to clean.  Nothing sticks to it, and while it is warm, a quick rubdown with paper towels is sufficient.

Don't Be Creepy

Instapundit notes that one Pennsylvania Democrat is reminding voters that voting is public record.   If you go to the linked article, you find this:
Democratic candidate Scott Wallace, who is running against incumbent Republican representative Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's toss-up 1st Congressional District, is distributing door hangers in the area that oddly inform voters that "who you vote for is private, but whether or not you vote is public record" and adding that the campaign "can't wait to see that you voted on November 6!"
Well, that is all true, but it takes a special kind of stupid not to see the hidden threat.   It's Orwellian, and implies that people who don't vote..... you figure it out.  I know that voter rolls are public record, and I know that Louisiana is (supposed to) purge voter rolls if a citizen doesn't vote in five years.  Lots of good reasons for that.  You might have died, or moved, or any number of things. 

But, being reminded by a candidate that voter records are public record is just downright creepy.  I believe I would have to vote against any candidate who sent out that message.  In this case, he's a Democrat, which is another reason to vote against him.    I hope Wallace loses big today.

Monday, November 05, 2018

It Works

I think I have the stealth cam set up.  Still testing, but I did the basic setup while working a detail tonight.  This was a professional development for teachers, and while I was watching the lobby, I set it up on a table to see if it would take pictures.

A pic of a fat deputy walking out to his car.
And here's another.

That's one of the teachers moving between classrooms.  So, inn light, it works pretty well.  I cropped both of those pics out, it seems that this camera has about a 60 degree field of view.  And, I have the date/time stamp set up properly.

I have it set up in the back yard right now.  We'll see how it does in low-light or near-total darkness.  I'm sure that it will get pictures of cats moving around tonight.  We'll check it in the morning for feline activity.  But, so far, so good.

Monday Update - Go Vote

Nothing much to report today.  I've been playing for the last hour with a new trail cam, the Stealth Cam PXP36NG, a no-glow camera that I bought today for a project.  I picked it up an hour ago at Academy Sports for less than the MSRP you see at the link.I just finished setup, which was kind of tricky, but YouTube videos will show you things that the instruction manual doesn't, so there's that.  I'm testing it right now and may or may not review it later.  I simply hope that it's easier to use than it was to set up.  I'm probably over-thinking it.  We'll see.

But, I've been doing some reading today about the upcoming election.  They don't know what the hell is going on.  Even Larry Sabato, over at the Crystal Ball, isn't sure.  He thinks that the Dems have a pretty good shot at a majority in the House, but that the Republicans will keep the Senate and maybe even puck up a few seats   But, he admits it's too early to tell, and all the pollsters are hedging their bets.  After the polling debacle that gave us President Hillary Trump,, the pollsters aren't real sure what the electorate is thinking.

Personally, I think that the US is redder than the pollsters measure.  I know that some times I'll answer a poll and screw with the pollster just for giggles.I suspect that a lot of people are doing the same things and that the only poll that matters is the one we'll participate in tomorrow.  Get out and vote.

If you're not sure who to vote for, pick the first (R) on the list and vote for him or her.  What very you do, don't vote for the Donks.  They don't deserve to hold power.  I'd love to see a red tsunami tomorrow night when the polls close.  It may be a pipe dream, but after the way the Donks acted during the Kavanaugh debacle, none of them showed any inclination at fairness.

For myself, tomorrow morning, I'm going to get up, drink coffee, then go out to the shop to cook breakfast.  I'm thinking huevos rancheros.  Then, put on my hat and go vote.  Afterwards, find a barber shop and get shorn.  Then, spend the rest of the day piddling.  I'm off tomorrow, and I intend to enjoy it.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Dawg

Here lately, we've been cooking in the shop.  Today was chili dogs, by request, but Belle stepped it up a notch.  The buns were flattened by roller ad brushed with garlic butter before being toasted on the griddle, the franks (Ball Park, of course) were split in half and grilled alongside the buns with onions, also saude'd in that same garlic butter.  Of course, everything was covered in grated cheese and good chili.  But, that's not what we're here to talk about.

After lunch, we repair to the conversation area in the shop, a nice circle of comfortable  seating, where we discuss the week past ad the week ahead with family.  I happened to notice the dawg napping, He had snarfed his ration of chili dog and decided that a nap was in order.


He looks like he's in great distress, doesn't he?  Yeah, there's a cord in that photo, but it is not hooked to his sweater.  That's a random USB cord the kids use to charge devices.

So, just so y'all know, the dawg is doing well, and he's still hanging out with us.  I swear, he's a Democrat.  He doesn't work, he loves handouts, and he naps constantly in very comfortable places, but he does it all like he's extremely put-upon.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Spirit of Northwestern

We traveled to Natchitoches, LA today to watch a high school bad competition.  Grandson Zach was marching with his high school band,   Northwestern is my alma mater, ad another grandson, Michael is a drum major in the Northwestern band and I wanted to see him on the field.

He's a great kid, and we're very proud of him.  Frugal, a great student, and he loves music with all of his heart.    He'll graduate with a  bachelor's in May, and we might never get to see him on this particular field again.  This afternoon was a bittersweet moment for Beel and I, and we thoroughly enjoyed our day in Natchitoches.

The finale of the competition was the college band taking the field, and our grandson was directing the  band. 



I'm so proud I could pop.

Despicable

The #MeToo movement has once again revealed itself as a false-flag operation.  This headline says it all.
Woman Who Accused Brett Kavanaugh of Rape Admits to Judiciary Committee She Lied
Really.  It's despicable to commit rape.  It is likewise despicable to lie about rape.
 She admitted to Committee investigators that she “just wanted to get attention" and that “it was a tactic" and "a ploy,” according to Grassley. She also told Committee investigators that she had called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh confirmation process to oppose his nomination.
Senator Grassley has, of course, forwarded a referral to the Justice Dept.    And, you won't read any of this in the mainstream media.  It's simply not important that an "attention-seeking" woman makes the most horrific accusation possible about a man, simply because she doesn't like his politics.

Concrete Finishing

Concrete finishing gone wrong.  Stolen from Wirecutter's place.


I hope they got control of it.

We'll be in Natchitoches all day at a band clinic.  Y'all have a great Saturday.

Friday, November 02, 2018

About That Pot

MSgt Anthony says in comments, from this post yesterdayI hope that's a Lodge.

No, Master Sergeant, it's not.  Neither is it a Griswold.  It has no markings whatsoever.   I picked it up several months ago at an auction.  What it IS, is a good cast iron pot.  The side walls are uniform, the bail is securely fastened, and the lid fits properly.  When I purchased it, it was in fair shape and needed only a good cleaning and re-seasoning.  The seasoning isn't quite right yet, but that will come with time.

Lodge makes pretty fair cookware, but I don't like their "pre-seasoned" coating.  It's rough and the last thing you want on the bottom of a cast iron pot or skillet is roughness.  You want the bottom of cast iron to be as smooth as glass. If I get a piece of Lodge cookware, the first thing that I have to do is sand the interior with good wet-or-dry sandpaper until it is smooth, then re-season.  Most Lodge cookware is good cast iron, but you look for the same things in a Lodge that you look for in all cast iron ovens.  Uniform sidewall thickness, a flat base, a sturdy bail properly affixed, and a lid that fits properly.  I have been known to coat the lid/pot junction with valve grinding compound and rotate the lid against the pot until it fit properly.  We want a good seal and sometimes that is the only way to get it.

Good cookware is where you find it.  I find mine at auctions or garage sales, and I'll pass on about half of what I find because it's either over-priced or damaged inn some way.  But, there is nothing magical about the brand name on a cast iron pot as long as it is well constructed.  

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Temps Dropping

The temps have been dropping all day long and I decided to make a small pot of chili.  However, my pot is a lo larger than the chili I was making.  That's not a problem.


That's one sure way to take the chill off of the day.  Recovery continues from the tornado that our area experienced last night.  Thankfully, all across the area, I haven't heard any reports of fatalities or injury.  Lots of property damage, but it seems one was hurt.  God bless us this time.

Still no word if schools will be open tomorrow.  I'm sure that they'll make an announcement soon.

Accidental Holiday

I awoke this morning to find that my cell phone had exploded (figuratively) i the pre-dawn hours.  We had a run of severe weather last night, thankfully after all the children were home from Halloween.  Evidently we had high winds and at least one tornado.  Roads are closed and power outages have prompted the powers-that-be to close schools today.

I've been in touch with my minions and it seems that everyone is okay.  The electricity is working at my acre, and we're okay, but the day stretches before me.  While Belle is at work, I'll do some laundry, do some general housework, and take the opportunity to do some of those things at leisure that we often have to wedge between workaday hours.

It's going to be a good day to stay in jeans and sneakers.