Saturday, December 30, 2023

Staying Alive

 So, it's Saturday night and I'm enjoying an icy cold snack featuring my favorite bourbon.  Watching YouTube shorts.  It's a mindless way to pass an hour..  One short video features a dancer strutting her stuff to the Bee Gees Staying Alive.

The dog goes crazy, barking at the back door.  I pause everything, take off the headphones, and take him outside.  The dog enjoys hutting "boogers" (coons, possums, and the occasional stary cat).  He makes a lap around the back yard, then is ready to come inside.

I go back to my videos.  After a while, another dance video comes up, featuring the Bee Gees.  The dog goes crazy.  I pause the video, ask him what the problem is, and he looks at me like I"ve lost my mind.  I start the video again, and he barks.

Evidently, the dog can hear what I'm listening to from my headphones.  This song drives him crazy.  Okay, I've figured that out.

I knew a gal once who had a song that drive her crazy.  This one.  When she heard it, her clothes came off.,  I used that to my advantage.


 Okay, let's talk about this.  Inflation is a measure of how the economy is doing.  There is an actual economic definition, but generally, it's an indicator of how your pocketbook feels from year to year.  High inflation numbers are bad, and negative inflation numbers are bad. Generally, we want inflation to hover around 1%.

Yes, we have had negative inflation numbers.  The Great Depression of the 1930s, We do not ever want to go through that again.  There is a pretty good list here.  It is important to remember that the US inflation rate is a US government statistic that shows the difference in price from a standard cart of goods and services.  Many things are not measured in the "standard cart" and many economists argue that the "standard cart" is not truly reflective of what the consumer is actually feeling.  Currently, the US Inflation rate is pegged at 3.14%..

Because I keep records, I know what I paid for a gallon of gasoline the day Joe Biden took office.  It was $1.87 for a gallon of unleaded gas.  I'm still paying $250 or better.  I know that everything is higher now than it was when Joe took office.  Eggs, milk, bread.  It's not that I distrust the governments numbers, it is that I use another cart.

I am old enough to remember when Jimmy Carter was president, and I'm old enough to recall the Great Malaise.  My fist home mortgage was over 10%.  I know that two things killed Carter's reelection changes.  High prices and foreign affairs.  I can draw some parallels between what we were feeling then and what we are feeling now.

Friday, December 29, 2023

I Don't Understand

 Honestly, I don't understand why the immigration crisis is such a crisis. Some of my forebears immigrated to the United States during the late 1800s.  Other of my forebears emigrated to Louisiana during the expulsion around 1760. I believe they all got here before Ellis Island opened. The Cajuns, certainly.  The Germans and Scots-Irish, probably.

They didn't get any social services or bus rides. They washed ashore and had to worry about what was for supper.  From all accounts, they were tough stock and managed not to starve to death, as evidenced by the fact that I'm sitting here talking about it.

Since the Biden administration threw open the gates, we're dealing with yet another "huddled mass yearning to breathe free".  Suddenly we owe them something?  Why?  Why is any tax money at all being expended on their individual behalf? I don't get it, and I certainly don't think that they deserve a bus ride and a hotel room.

I know immigrants, recent immigrants.  They did it the right way, and they are supporting themselves. They did it right, and while we all agree that it should have been easier or more straightforward, they are pissed that Biden is letting in all the illegals.  They don't understand why the wetbacks are getting freebies.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Hollywood Buck

 So, there was this jazzbo who posted a picture of a big buck he had taken.  He's thrilled, can't conatin himself, so he posts the picture on social media.

Problem is, people know this buck.  It's called the Hollywood buck because it lives in a local cemetery, the Hollywood cemetery, and the guy's story doesn't add up. Locals are outraged.

Charges are pending.  Rightfully so.  It seems that lots of people knew this buck, who had a very distinctive rack.  It appears that the guy poached the deer then put it on social media.

I hunted whitetail deer for many decades, but was never smitten with the idea of trophy hunting.  I would not pass up a nice buck, but generally my quota was satisfied with the hunt and the meat.  Guys who are trophy hunters have a vastly different motivation that I'm not sure I understand.  I'm not against trophy hunting, I simply don't totally understand it.  It's stories like this that give trophy hunting a bad rap, and guys who would poach deer simply for the notoriety deserve all the condemnation we can muster.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Under The Tree

 I readily admit that I am hard to buy for.  My kids know that I don't really need anything, and that if I do need something, I am blessed to be able to buy it.  My needs are met, and my wants are few.  It's a blessing.

I was pleased to find, among other things, a bottle of whiskey under the tree this year.  One that I haven't had any experience with. Yellowstone Select Bourbon. Never heard of it.

The label says that it comes from the Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon, KY.  That it is bottled at 93 proof.  Fair enough.  Bourbon whiskey must be bottled at a minimum 80 proof, and that additional 13 proof tells me that the bottlers are not proofing it down to the floor.  They are looking for a more discriminating market.  Fair enough.

I went over to Breaking Bourbon, a review website and learned some things about this bottle.  We don't know who distilled the liquor, but it is a Kentucky bourbon. Their review was simple enough.

A perfectly fine bourbon that easily blends into the sea of other perfectly fine bourbons available in the marketplace nowadays.

Plain and simple, some bourbons are just average. They deliver a decent enough sip that won’t blow you away, but won’t also make you want to pour it down the drain either. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everything produced is going to be an all star pour, and Yellowstone Select happens to fall into this category.

Fair enough!  This is a bottle of perfectly fine bourbon whiskey.  Not pretentious, not trying to be an outlier, just a solid representation what makes a good bourbon.  The world needs more of that. I'll put this bottle in the cabinet and leave it there for an appropriate occasion.  Then take it out and enjoy it.  Good bourbon is easy to enjoy.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

It's Not Christmas Until


I've been in the kitchen for about an hour now, prepping for the big meal at noon.  Family and friends will gather here in several hours, we'll exchange gifts, eat a hearty meal, then the kids will  be free to do whatever else they are obligated to do for their CHristmas celebration.

The banquet will have  a turkey, a ham, and all the usual fixings.  Myriad desserts.  When the crowd leaves this afternoon, Belle and I will adjourn to our bedroom and relax in quiet comfort.  Tomorrow will be blissfully peaceful.  We'll dine on leftovers and contemplate the coming year.

Merry CHristmas, Y'all.

Saturday, December 23, 2023


 It seems that our outgoing Democrat governor cannot help himself.  He has to do everything in his power to damage the state before he leaves office in January.  Fox New reports:

Outgoing Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards pardons 56 inmates, including 40 convicted murderers

According to the article, five were convicted of first degree murder and eleven were convicted of second degree murder.  Both of those crimes carry a life sentence in Louisiana.  And, in Louisiana, life means life. 

This is simply another outrage perpetuated on Louisiana by our execrable governor.  It will be interesting to se if any of these murderers recidivate.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Cedar Waxwing

 Cedar Waxwings are pretty little birds.  I use the plural, because I've never seen on, they come in flocks.  Generally, between 30 and 100 birds, they migrate from somewhere up north and get here generally around Christmas.

Sitting on the porch this morning, drinking coffee, I saw a flock fly past my acre.  Once again, they have made the trip and reminded an old man that time can be marked in many ways.  When I was a young boy, we knew that the appearance of the Cedar Waxwings meant that the Robins would be along soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Irish Cream

It's my birthday, traditionally the opening salvo of the Christmas season, and it's the day I make my Irish Cream liqueur.  It's a recipe I've developed over the years.

Irish Cream

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. (Keep the can, it's your measuring cup.)
1 can Half & Half.
1 can Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 T Hershey's Chocolate syrup
1 T Local honey
1 T Vanilla extract

Mix thoroughly. Pour into a convenient bottle.  Refrigerate.

This stuff keeps in the fridge for a couple of months. You're welcome.


 Two articles caught my eye this morning.

The Military Is Collapsing Under The Weight Of Its Own Wokeness

The US Army discovers woke doesn’t win wars — but is it too late?

I've seen this dragon rear its ugly head before.  When I entered active duty in 1976, the US Army was coming off 15 years of continual deployments and an ignominious retreat from Vietnam. The officers were demoralized and the NCO corps was exhausted.  It was a poor time to be in the US Army.

Today, in 2023, the military is coming off 20 years of continual deployments and a disastrous retreat from the Middle East.  It's easy to draw parallels.  When we came out of Vietnam, we had a weak, ineffectual president.  Today, we have a weak ineffectual president.  In 1975, "political correctness" was the order of the day.  In 2023, wokeness rules the agenda.  Neither of these is helpful in cultivating a strong military.

In 1980, it took Ronald Reagan to break the military out of its doldrums.  We need a leader like that today.

The high point of my military service was Desert Storm.  We had the benefit of 10 years of good training and the benefit of clear mission orders.  Eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.  When we did that, we came home.

I have great confidence in our fighting forces.  Properly led, the US had the greatest military the world has ever seen.  If the military is struggling, find better generals.

Trip Around The Sun

It's that time again, and this one makes 70.  If I had known I'd live this long, I might have taken better care of myself.  On the other hand, I have had a good time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Cold Weather

 I've known it since I was old enough to drive. Cold weather affects batteries.  When most of what I was driving was .. ahem... junk... senior vehicles, I learned that when I had a battery that was four or five years old, and the first cold snap hit, I was changing the battery in the vehicle. I learned to keep jumper cables in every vehicle.  It was part of the driving experience.

Even these days, when I have to put a new battery in the car, it's generally after the first cold snap.

But, now we're learning that cold weather affects batteries. Especially EV batteries.

This chart compares 12 popular EV models to show range loss in freezing temperatures, as compared to the ideal driving temperature. Note that the ideal driving temperature is defined as the temperature at which a specific model sees its highest average range. This exact temperature varies from car to car.

Expect about a 30% reduction in driving range in cold weather. 

One of these days, electric, self-driving cars will rule the road, and the idea of internal combustion engines will seem as strange to us as the steam driven cars of the early 20th century seem to us today.  But, that day ain't here yet.


 So, evidently, some young staffer had gay sex in a Senate hearing room.

And, he recorded it and put it on social media. And, the video got out, and somehow, that's homophobic and the Republicans fault.

Some young people think that just because you share something on a "private group" that it stays private. That is never the case.  We call this new communication tool the World Wide Web for a reason.

Look, if you are going to have gay sex in a Senate hearing room, and record it and put it on the web, don't be surprised when you get fired.  And don't be surprised when we surmise that homo sex is homo sex. That's not my fault.  I didn't put your homo sex tape out on the World Wide Web.

There are risks and rewards to everything. While it was cool and edgy to be a young, gay, Senate staffer, suddenly you are just another unemployed homo. In today's parlance, you literally "F**ked Around and Found Out".

Monday, December 18, 2023

Editing Video

 I'm still leaning that new video software.  It's fairly easy (thank God) and it's starting to become fairly intuitive.  Now, I need to cut some B-roll I have and come up with a story line, to make the video flow better.  It's just a matter of fuguring it out.  Old dogs, new tricks, that sort of thing.

The weekend was spent entertaining.  Our club banquets was on Saturday, and we hosted a kid's birthday party on Sunday. Last night before we turned off the lights, I chopped some ham, and Belle dropped a pound of Great Northern beans in the pot. We set it on Low, and went to bed. In another few minutes, I'll coax Belle into making cornbread, and we'll have white beans and ham for lunch.

There is a crew from the parish out front with a big piece of equipment. Basically a shredder on a boom, and they are clearing limbs and brush from the side of the road. It's quite noisy and the dog is concerned. He is convinced that nothing making that much noise could possibly be a positive development.

It's just another Monday here at PawPaw's house.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Clutch Those Pearls

Our favorite candidate was doing stand-up last week.  An interviewer asked him if he would become a dictator, and he said only on the first day.  Now, the Los Angeles Times is editorializing that Trump wants to be the first dictator.  And, one again, they would be wrong.

The first US dictator, by any measurable standard was a Republican named Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus and deployed US troops on our national soil. History has dealt quite favorably with Lincoln, and I an an admirer, but we must remember that he jailed political rivals, strong-armed Congress, and ignored the Supreme Court.

Now, Newsweek is saying that Trump might turn off the internet if he is elected.

What a boon that would be to the First Amendment.  Newspapers would have to crank up their presses, delivering papers to doors every morning, and folks would check the evening news to get the latest scoop. That is the way we got our news the first fifty years of my life. Our local paper is a moribund shell of its old self, because so many people get the news like I do, from the internet.

I predict a furniture boom in fainting couches. A revival of the smelling-salts industry. Gutenberg building new presses. Loggers fully employed cutting trees for paper.  Trump is about to make America great again.

Tis the Season

 It's the season for holiday cheer, and if you are white and elected in Boston, you are probably not invited to the Mayor's Christmas bash.  Yeah, she's throwing something called an "Elected of Color" party this year. That sounds horrible, and it is because racism is racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

I am reminded of office parties that I never got to go to, simply because as public safety staff, someone had to work the duty posts.  Cops, jailers, and to another degree, nurses and medical professionals don't get to go to parties that are scheduled during a shift.  The true professionals are generally at work while the big shots go to receptions, parties, and gatherings. For soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Christmas is a bittersweet day.

It's not the parties so much, but working on the holiday itself. For young parents, especially, not being there when the kids awake on Christmas morning.

So, we'll let the mayor of Boston put her racism on high display while the true professionals work.  SHe has that privilege. For myself, an old, retired fart who has been there, done that, we will enjoy the season with the people we choose to invite.  Belle and I are hosting a gathering tomorrow of our shooting club, where we will give out the annual awards, enjoy a meal together, and start preparing for our family gathering the following week.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Impeachment Inquiry

 It seems that the US House voted yesterday to formalize an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden. Whatever that means.

I don't know if this move is wise.  Whether or not Joe Biden is crooked is not the question.  We all know that Biden is crooked. A simple review of his government salary vs what he owns tells us everything we need to know. He didn't buy that beach house on a government salary.

Taking this to its logical conclusion tells us that they don't have enough votes in the Senate to convict. So this is just a fishing expedition.  Finding facts that might be useful later.  This inquiry may open a lot of roads for the Republicans to go down, but the question becomes; do they want to go down those roads? If Joe loses the presidency next year, he'll just be another dottering old fool spending his last days at his beach house.

I'm not sure what they think they might accomplish.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Editing Video

 Back in the day, Windows had a nice little video editor.  It was simple, intuitive, and easy to sue.  Of course, as in all things, windows updated and that nice little editor got deleted.  I want to make a video to promote an event we have coming up in August, and the video editors today are neither simple nor intuitive, nor easy to use.

In short, this old dog is having to learn new tricks, and my brain feels tired.  I'm using something called CapCut, which is supposed to be one of the simpler editors, but frankly, my brain is tired.  I've figured out how to open the program, get media into it, do splits and transitions,  then my eyes crossed and I had to call a halt.

Maybe between now and the middle of January, I'll figure this out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Nuttin' Happenin'

 I know, I've been slack on the blogging lately.  Nothing really happening to spark my outrage, or incite me to wax philosophical.  It's all kind of drab.

Our outgoing governor, the execrable John Bel Edwards, is on a speaking tour around the state, trying to cement his legacy. It's a horrible legacy.  He utterly failed to lead on Covid, shutting down business, closing schools, creating bankruptcy and presiding over the greatest contraction of individual liberty since Reconstruction. This led to a huge out-migration problem, with people fleeing for free states. Our taxes are high, our education system is in the doldrums, and crime has sky-rocketed.  That is the legacy of John Bel Edwards. Louisiana is a poorer place because Edwards ws governor.  Everything he did was wrong.

It is the Christmas season with all the attendant festivities.  Louisiana has hope, with a clean sweep of elected officials. We'll see in January how they intend to govern.

Sunday, December 10, 2023


 Boudin (boo-dan) is a Cajun-French sausage made primarily of pork and rice.  It's heavily spiced, with recipes that are closely guarded.  It's made everywhere in Louisiana that processes meat and is sold either raw or cooked, although the ingredients are cooked before they are stuffed into the casing.

Every place that makes boudin has their own recipe, and aficionados' in one region can taste boudin made locally and tell you which shop it comes from.  There is much arguing and discussion about which shop makes the best boudin.  Yesterday we had a gathering of Belle's siblings, and her sister brought some boudin from the Denham Springs area.

This morning I found the leftovers, put it on a cookie sheet and slid it under the broiler to crisp the casing.  Cut into bite-sized bits, it became a perfect breakfast.

This boudin came from a place called Jerry Lee's in Denham Springs. It's pretty damned good boudin.  I see that they have a website.  How about that?

Friday, December 08, 2023

Hunter Indicted

Everyone is reporting that President Joe Biden's son has been indicted in  California on tax charges.

Nine charges, seventeen years. Wouldn't that suck?

Of course, Joe's Justice Dept has let the statures of limitations expire on Hunter's most lucrative years.

Lots of Democrats' poo-poo Trumps chances, saying that no self-respecting individual would ever vote for a felon. As this latest tax evasion case becomes more clear, we might learn that ol' Joe has also been playing fast-and-loose with the tax code. Next years voters may get to choose between two felons on the national ballot.  Wouldn't that be interesting?

It's The Season

 It's the season for parties and gatherings.

Years ago, when Belle and I bought this house, it became immediately apparent that it wasn't a place for large gatherings.  We love to entertain, so I promised her that some day I'd build her a place to entertain. We did that, building a big multi-use shop with a huge kitchen.  Basically a 2000 square foot gathering place, with tables and chairs and lots of kitchen space.  It's not fancy, but it is convenient.

And, we use it a lot.  Tomorrow, her siblings are gathering.  A small group, as things go, we expect a dozen folks.  Every Sunday, we host a noon meal for family and friends.  Normally, 10-12 people.  Next Saturday, our club awards banquet.  That'll be two dozen or more.  That banquet will turn the corner into Christmas, and who knows what foolishness we might get into.

It's a busy season.  One that brings great joy and satisfaction.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Judge orders new election in Caddo sheriff's race

The crap-storm in Caddo parish continues apace where in a sheriff election, it came down to one vote.  A retired judge was appointed to hear the case, and he ruled that while we know that eleven (11) votes were cast illegibly, it is impossible to know who benefited from those votes.  So, he has ordered a new election.  A do-over.  

The unofficial winner has until Friday to file an appeal.


 Some questions in comments.

KurtP asks:

Do people even play Cribbage anymore?

One of the YouTube channels I watch is Smarter Every Day.  This guy got to take a ride on a US submarine, and he reported that among other things, sailors play a great deal of cribbage. 

Paul asks:

How do you feel about partnering with an ammo sponsor?

I've done that in the past, and I'd feel great about it. My email address is in the About Me section in the right sidebar. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Gunboat Diplomacy.

 It seems that there is a place in the South China Sea, a small reef that only has elevation at low tide, a place called Second Thomas Shoal, that is claimed by the Philippines, who has run a retired US Navy ship aground  and stationed a small contingent on board to bolster their claim. 

China also claims this spot, and has been harassing supply runs to the Philipine contingent.  The US Navy recently paid a visit to their brethren on the reef, I'm sure to swap supplies, tell sea stories, and play cribbage.

China took offense, saying that the US Navy has illegally intruded into its territorial water. Yeah, right.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Something New

 In the liquor story yesterday, I found something new to me, and decided to try a bottle.  J.T. Meleck rice whiskey.  Louisiana whiskey. Why the hell not?  The label says it is aged six years and comes in at 96 proof.  So, it isn't watered to the floor.

Opening the bottle and trying a neat dram, it reminds me, more than anything, of Spey-side Scotch. A mild medicinal note, with earthy undertones. It has a mild sweetness but is not fruity. This isn't some wierd bourbobn.  It's decidedly differently. Not bad, just different.

Friday, December 01, 2023


 In a floor vote today, the US House of Representatives voted to expel George Santos (R-NY).

Wow~  That is historic.

From what I've read, Santos had a corruption problem.  Now he is free to focus on his criminal defense.