Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Project

A project that Belle had been lobbying for, a pathway from the bath house to the gate to the barn.  I've been meaning to do this for a while, but with winter approaching and two grandsons spending the night, I decided it was tie.

Rolled into Lowe's at 8:00 and we  finished before 11:00.  Not bad for a morning's work, and we finished in the rain.  We laid ground cloth, staked it in, added landscape timers for edging and staked them in, then laid down stepping-stones, and graveled the whole thing.  I could actually use another yard of gravel, but it's raining.  We'll get to that later.

That's not a bad morning's work.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

New Lawnmower

My old Craftsman lawn tractor has been showing it's age for a while, but I kept limping it along during this season.  I'm loath to spend money on a lawn mower., even thought in semi-tropical Louisiana, the mowing season is 8 months long.

Today, my sons presented me with a new (to me) lawn mower, ad I admit that it has a learning curve.  Second son has built a nice little part-time business buying used zero-turn mowers and refurbishing them.  He's learned the hydraulics, and he's always been a good small-engine wrench.

Elder son was using this one, but it really didn't suit his purposes, so he passed it on to me.  It's slow, but it's faster than the old Craftsman lawn tractor.

It's an old Cub Cadet zero-turn.  It's powered by a big Briggs, ad the boys have gone through it to make sure that everything works.  It needed a new battery and I put one in this afternoon then mowed the front yard with it.  It's going to take me some time to learn to do ditches, but once I figure out how to mow a straight line and a gentle curve, the ditches shouldn't be much problem at all.

Thanks, boys.  The old man appreciates it.

Those Little Acorns

Joe wanted to know how big those little acorns are.  While I didn't do a scientific mass measurement, I'll admit that they are small, about a 1/2 inch sphere.  Here's one sitting on a common dime.

That's a mall acorn.  Now it's time to go outside, turn on the shop and start browning meat.  We're having taco soup for lunch and I want everything to simmer for a couple of hours before lunch.

Y'all have a blessed Sunday, and we'll talk later.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Picking Acorns

Eaton Rapids Joe wants acorns from a water oak tree, and I happen to have one inn my front yard.  This morning is pretty, so after the dew lifted, I went outside to see if I could find a few acorns.  Yep, they're everywhere.  So, I got down on all fours and started picking acorns out of the grass.  After just a little while I decided that it was better to get down on my belly ad pick everything in a small area, then scoot over a foot and do it again.

So, anyway, I'm laying on my belly under that tree, sifting little tiny acorns out of the grass, and I hear someone holler at me from the road.  "Are you okay?"

"Yep", I reply, "I'm fine."  I get up off my belly, and dust off.  "I'm collecting acorns for a friend"

This guy is a neighbor, lives down the road, and he thought I had had a stroke or something.  So, I explained to him that Michigan needs acorns from a water oak tree.  We visited for a few minutes ad he went on with his morning, and I went on collecting acorns.  In another half-hour, vertigo had gotten the best of me, so I decided to call a halt for the time being.

Three pounds of water oak acorns fills just about half of a gallon zipper bag.  In case anyone needs to know that.  I don't know how many acorns are in that bag, ad   I may finish filling the bag, or I may not, or I may press grandkids into service when the come over this week.

Send me an address, Joe.  You have my email..  In another few days, those acorns will be on the way.

Friday, November 16, 2018

White Women Trying To Look Black

A friend and I were discussing this earlier this week, ad I started to post on it.  Rachel Dolezal, for  example.  A woman who is white, trying to be black, or Indian (our lily-white senator from Massachusetts, for example).  There seems to be some cachet these days to be anything but white.  And I don't understand it. 

I thought that perhaps my own perceptions were seeing something that wasn't really there.  But, evidently, I"m not the only one who is noticing it.  Ann Althouse, for example.
"In a trend that is not new or surprising, white women seem to be adopting the features of black women on social media in their quest..." "... to develop themselves as models and influencers. 
I remember a time when light-skinned black women would attempt to pass themselves as white, assuming that some sort of advantage would flow from it.  I don't know.   The whole thing confuses me, mainly because we're supposed to be i post-racial America, the great melting-pot of the world, and rankly I don't care what color anyone is.  At this stage of my education, I tend to judge people, but I judge them more by the content of their character than by the color of their skin.  I just don't care  what color someone might be.

I'm not sure if that education came from my time in Natchitoches, which has a vibrant, Creole community, and I had friends and associates of every hue, or if it came from my time in the Army, where I depended on every color and gender of soldier, and the only thing that mattered was professionalism and performance..

The whole thing confuses the crap out of me, and it's Friday ad time for my afternoon whiskey.

Whaddya Mean, Joe?

It seems that the election returns were submitted late from Broward County, FL, and the Secretary of State refused to accept them.  They were two minutes late, but they missed the deadline.
The secretary of state's office did not accept the new numbers and so, after days of painstaking work, Broward's count Thursday remained the same as it was on Saturday, when it submitted its initial unofficial election results.
 "Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing," said Joe D'Alessandro, the director of elections for Broward County.
We can take two meanings from that, Joe.  Did you mean that the work you did was rejected?  Or did you mean that you failed to to flip the election to a Democrat?

In other news, the Democrat candidate in Georgia wants a do-over.  The election was ten days ago, and we're still counting votes?  That doesn't make any sense at all.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Swatting is the recent mischief of placing a hoax call to police, telling them that an horrific crime is being committed, and then watching the mayhem from another location.  It's a despicable act, placing both the police and the people at the called-in address in great danger.

As a cop, when you respond to one of these call and "go in hot",  adrenaline pumping, hopefully someone is able to figure out quickly that it was a hoax call and no one gets hurt.    But, sometimes things go horribly wrong.  Like in this case in Witchita KS.
Most of the time, the police respond and figure out that nothing was going on before anyone gets hurt, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
Now, a man responsible for a fatal swatting call has pled guilty to 51 charges stemming from his actions.
Fifty-one charges?  That prosecutor was busy in the books.  I can think of a half-dozen charges I could cite for making a prank call that resulted in a death, but 51?  And as a part of a plea deal, I wonder how many charges they dropped?
 Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told The Wichita Eagle he will recommend that Barriss be sentenced to 20 years in prison, providing he writes apology letters to police, dispatchers and the family of Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father of two who was shot by police who responded to the hoax call in December.
Twenty years is a long time.  He'll get lots of time to think about the consequences of his actions.

Season's Change

We had the first frost of the season this morning, with temps in the high 20s.  One small now flurry yesterday, which is unheard of in central Louisiana in mid-November.  The season's are changing, and I've even put the liner in my duty jacket, which doesn't normally happen till after Christmas.

One other change, is that I've switched from my summer vodka/tonic to my winter bourbon and coke. Y'all know that I love whiskey, but believe in moderation in all things, except loving a good woman, which should be done enthusiastically.

My to-to, day-in-and-day-out whiskey for mixing with coke (or diet coke, in my case), is either Jim Beam white or Evan Williams, whichever strikes my fancy at the time.  But I buy it in the transmission size.  You know, the big bottle.  When you turn it on its side, it looks like a transmission.

When I was a young'un, whiskey came in several sizes.  half-pints, pints, fifths, and half-gallons.  Those were good, imperial measurements that everyone understood.    I haven't seen a pint of whiskey in a while, and I imagine that they're still available.  The last time I saw a pint of whiskey, the counter-guy at an old country store kept a case of pints of cheap gin under the counter to sell to the winos who wanted to mix gin with grapefruit juice.  He sold a lot of Tex-Sun grapefruit juice out of that store.  But I digress.

I still buy my good sipping whiskey in the smaller 750 ml bottles, but my mixing hooch is bought in the larger bottles.  I understand those larger bottles are 175 cl, whatever in the hell that means. (I know that it means 0.46 of a gallon, which ain't a half, and we're getting screwed, but that's the world we live in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Red Beans

Cold, breezy day today, and I was yearning for red beans.  So, on the way home, I picked up the fixings.  You can start with dried beans and those are great  Belle is the master of dried red beans, but my recipe is quick and dirty.  About an hour from the time you start until you're eating.

Red Beans

1 lb good link sausage
1 lb good bulk sausage
3 cans (15 oz) red beans.


Cut up your sausage.  Drop the bulk sausage into a good black iron pot and fry it loosely, like hamburger.  Add link sausage and let it simmer with the bulk sausage.  Remove from fire, drain.

Add oil and flour to the pot, make a roux.  When the roux is done, add a little water.  Add beans ad sausage and turn the stove to simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make a pot of rice.  Bon apetit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Beer, In Comments

Kamas Kid says:
Grainbelt was big up here. My Grandpa had a bunch of signs and paraphenalia with the logo on it when he owned a bar. I was watching an old football game on youtube the other day and they had a bunch of commercials for Schaefer Beer. I tried some once, and it wasn't for me. I remember my parents drinking PBR and Old Milwaukee when I was a kid.
In early 1976 I moved to Fort Knox, KY to attend the basic course for armored officers.  I remember Shaefer beer.  It was available at the Class 6 store for $16.00 a keg.  Shaefer was the beer that was served at company parties.I have helped to float several kegs of Shaefer beer.  One beer that I always thought tasted like stale horse-piss was Blatz (the fire-brewed beer).  But, my father-in-law, a Cajun, came up to visit us ad fell in love with it.  He took a couple of cases home and insisted that I bring it to him when I came home on leave.  I never understood his affection for that beer.

Old Milwaukee was the beer of choice when I was in high school and early college.  There was a local store, The Pak-N-Sak that sold it for $1.00 a six pack, or $4.00 a case.  Back in those days, it was legal to drink at age 18, and in places in Louisiana, the age limit was very flexible.  I'm pretty sure that the Pak-N-Sak was selling us "skunked" beer, but with Old Milwaukee,  it's hard to tell.

When I was at Riley, Coors was unavailable in Louisiana, but in Kansas, it was everywhere.  For some reason, it was not sold east of Texarkana.  My Dad loved Coors and I had standing orders to bring him four cases whenever I came home on leave.  As soon as Coors became available in Louisiana, he switched to Budweiser.  Go figure

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?