Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Simple Thought...

I wanted to post just a simple quote today...other than expound on things already said.

I feel this quote says it all much better than I could , even if I wrote all day.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain

See what I mean?

Now let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Roomies Are Under Attack...!

Normally, I'm a pretty easy going guy!

I don't like trouble, and will go out of my way to avoid it. However, this last week a couple of incidents have happened that really makes me angry!

Those of you that have been reading here for a while know that the two "roomies" are Siamese kittens...well, cats now...that I got when they were very young. They are a constant source of amusement and a lot of company.

Now, the boys like to stay outside at night and , if the weather is nice, they spend a lot of the day outside as well. You have never seen two more people friendly cats than these two. Both seem to love being around people, and will keep me company while I'm outside. They also are really good about helping out the nephew, Cygnus, in his garden. In fact, the largest of the two (Smokey) seems to have adopted the nephew as a second owner.

Anyway, a couple of days ago Smokey came home with a bloody spot with a large knot on it located on his right flank. It was very similar to a gunshot wound. It had no exit point, just the knot. Some time in the next two days, Smokey opened the wound enough to get rid of whatever was causing the knot and had cleaned the wound very well. He would not let me help with it, and it started healing almost immediately.

Yesterday, the smaller of the two (C.B. , short for cry baby) came home with almost an identical wound located in the same spot as his brother! Same size and location, but this time there was no knot and the wound was still bleeding. I cleaned it and put medicine on it as much as he would allow. Because C.B. is a lot smaller than his brother, the wound had more of a negative affect on him and he favored that side when getting petted. However, the wound seems to be healing OK.

What bothers me the most about this whole thing, is the fact that both of the wounds appear to be some sort of hole caused by something like a pellet from an air gun. My thinking on this is re-enforced by the fact that both wounds are located in about the same spot on both cats. Almost as though an inexperienced shooter was sighting at them while they were walking and did not know enough to lead them. Good thing, or else the wounds would have been a lot worse, if not fatal!

Now, I know that both the roomies are lucky, as I suspect the number of handguns in this neighborhood, given the makeup of the population, is probably quite large! Don't believe me? Ask anyone that has ever been in a neighborhood like this one on the 4th of July, New Years Eve, or Cinco De Mayo...you'll understand what I mean very quickly!

Now, there are only a few things that can really set me off to the extent that I want to do bodily harm to someone on the spot! Some things should NOT have to be taken care of by the courts , but should be handled by the families or friends of the victims. That's just my opinion, and like it or not...that's just the way I feel! These two people loving animals are both my friends, and part of my family!

So, let this be fair warning to any and all of the folks in my area, or any other area for that matter...

Hurt a child, ANY child, out of meanness or for profit, physically or mentally... and YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!

Hurt a woman, ANY woman, out of meanness or for profit, physically or mentally...and YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!

Hurt an animal, ANY animal, out of meanness or for profit...and YOU WILL BE PUNISHED!

If I get to you first, then the punishment will be handled by yours truly! It will be done in such a way that you will be introduced to a level of pain that you cannot even imagine at this point of your life! Believe me!

If you are introduced to your Maker before I can get to you, I'm sure that you will be taken care of in a very satisfactory fashion as well ! If I were you, I would opt for this option, again... believe me!

Now, with all of that being said, I invite you to join me in a fresh, hot cup of coffee! Oh, and don't mind the cats, my friend! They just like being around people!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some Thoughts On Wisdom...

To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.
Doug Larson

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
Herb Caen

He who devotes sixteen hours a day to hard study may become at sixty as wise as he thought himself at twenty.
Mary Wilson Little

Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere, wide awake, on tiptoe.
Josh Billings

Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.
Tom Wilson

Now I think the wise thing to do is for us to get another cup of coffee my friend!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time For A Little Saturday Silliness...

This is something mainly for the kiddies...or maybe for the kid in all of us!

I was going to write something about the escalating trouble brewing between Japan and North Korea, or maybe the latest financial fiasco of the Government, or the further collapse of the sanity of the so called leaders of our country...but instead I thought maybe we could just take time to blank out the reality of everyday madness.

Just for the briefest of moments, let's all go back to a time when we enjoyed the ignorance and bliss of childhood, when our biggest problems could be banished with a 3 minute cartoon, and the rest of the day seemed better for it!

I have a feeling the problems we have facing us will still be here after we take a small break...so sit back, grab a fresh cup, and relax for a couple of minutes! OK? OK!

Have a good day, my friends! The coffee is on me!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Crazy But Not Stupid...!

Let me tell you a little story this morning...

No, not like the last one. This one will have a proper ending to it! Trust me...

It seems there was a traveler driving down a country road about 10 miles outside of town. He noticed that the front end of the car started to shimmy and shake badly so decided to pull over and check it out.

He pulled over right next to a tall metal fence that seemed to surround the beautifully kept grounds of a mental hospital.

Walking around to the front of the car, he noticed that all of the lug nuts had come off of the right front tire. Although the tire was still good, he knew he couldn't drive the car in it's present state. The traveler stood there shaking his head, not knowing just what to do.

Standing on the other side of the fence, a patient was watching as the traveler, mumbling to himself, walked around and around the car trying to come up with a solution to his problem.

Finally the patient spoke up, asking "Do you mind if I make a little suggestion?" Startled, the traveler said " No, not at all. What is your suggestion?"

"Well, I noticed that you're missing all of the lug nuts on just one tire, right?" The traveler said "That's correct." The patient asked "Why don't you take one lug nut from each of the remaining 3 tires and place them on the front tire that has none. That will allow you to drive slowly into town where you can have the tire fixed properly."

Stunned, the traveler looked at the patient for the longest time and finally said "That's absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much!" As he turned back to the car, he stopped and facing the patient again asked " Say, how is it that here I am on this side of the fence and free, yet couldn't figure out this problem...and there you are on the inside of the fence, a patient of a mental hospital , and figured it out rather quickly?"

The patient just smiled a knowing smile and said "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!"

The point of this story is just to show how the traveler is a lot like most of the public that we sometimes call "sheeple". They realize that there is a problem with the way things are, but are totally dumbfounded about what to do.

The patient is representative of the prepping community. We see the problem, and even though we are considered a bit crazy by a lot of the so called "normal" world, we have some of the answers to reducing the negative effects, if folks would only ask.

After all, we may be a little "crazy", but we are NOT stupid! Now, how about a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Milestone Of Sorts...

Hard to believe, but I have made a total of 506 post as of yesterday...

My very first post was on 11/17/07. It's hard to believe it's been that long! I have learned a lot during the time that I've been blogging, and I've met a lot of really nice folks.

You know, it's a funny thing about something like a blog. After you do it for a while, it sort of seems to take on a life of it's own...a personality, of sorts. If for some reason I don't post, I almost feel bad.

It's true that a lot of the post I put up are frivolous and have no meaning. That's the desperation of someone that has a total block on a prevalent topic to expound upon. On those times, I tried to find some way to be entertaining, albeit somewhat shallow in content. For those times, I ask for your forgiveness and hope that you will overlook them.

If I don't dwell on the pitiful and sorry state of the political situation very often, it isn't because I don't notice. Believe me, I do. However, others can voice the concerns that we all feel far better than I. All I can do is to voice my concerns when something is so blatantly stupid, it reeks!

I consider myself a proud new-comer of the Prepping community and I follow the blogs of many more experienced people in this field. Most of them are very common sense folks, and I can relate to the content they share with us all. I would invite you to look at the links to the left and take time to look over these blogs, as I have learned a lot of very useful information from them.

To everyone that comes by daily, and those that only come by once in a while...I thank you for the visits and the comments. Many of you have almost become like family, many of you have become very real friends, and for all of that I can't thank you enough!

Now before this turns into a mushy, silly sounding post...I would like to say again "Thank you!"

Now, what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend? We can share a cup and toast to post number 507!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ode To The Chicken...!

Since it's Spring, I thought I'd post a little poem I wrote back in the 1990s about chickens...

I was raising chickens at the time, or they were raising me...you know how that is. Anyway, I had about 2o or so running around free. It was a learning experience, let me tell you!

The Chicken

You ever watch a chicken?
It's really hard to do!
All the time you're watching them
They're also watching you.

You ever feed a chicken?
Boy, it's really fun!
Doesn't matter what it is
Just throw it down and run!

You looked close at a chicken?
You know, they have no ear
But start to talk of eating one
And watch them disappear!

You ever counted chickens?
I tried with no success.
They move too much, they won't be still
I finally had to guess!

You ever talked to chickens?
Man, don't even bother!
They will never answer back
Not even if you holler.

You ever cross a chicken?
You make one mad, you'll see
They'll gang up and fertilize
Right where you need to be!

You ever train a chicken?
I think they're inept.
The only thing that mine have learned
Is where their feed is kept!

You smarter than a chicken?
You're not, I'll bet a dime!
I'll bet that you can't lay an egg.
A hen can, all the time!

You gotta love the chicken
And all the things they do.
Roosters crow and call the Sun!
I can't, friend, can you?

You want to buy a chicken?
I'll give you some for free!
I got a feeling here of late
They're staring more at me!

You want to watch a chicken?
It isn't hard to do
As long as you don't mind too much
That they are watching you

I had folks ask me what kind of chickens I was raising. LOUD! That's what kind! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the little poem this morning.

Now, let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Story Time Tuesday...!

Today, I am going to share a little story with you....

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?"

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other that he has ever heard.

The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say," We can't tell you. You're not a monk. "

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way.

Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car.

That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he again asks what the sound was, but the monks reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk. "

The man says," All right, all right! I'm dying to know! If the only way I can find out what that sound was, is to become a monk, then so be it! How do I become a monk? "

The monks reply," you must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and count the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk."

The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery.

He says, "I have traveled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth. "

The monks reply," Congratulations, you are correct and now you are a monk! We shall now show you the way to the sound. "

The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says," the sound is behind that door. "

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks," May I have the key? " The monks give him the key, and he opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man requests the key to the stone door.

The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it.

Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire. And so it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald,... silver, topaz, and amethyst.

Finally, the monks say," This is the key to the last door."

The man is relieved to no end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is astonished to find the source of that strange sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight !

But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk!

Now, don't hate me...don't hate me! Just having a little bit of fun with ya this morning!

C'mon, let me make it up to ya! I'll get you a hot, fresh cup of coffee! OK, my friend?

Monday, March 23, 2009

My East Texas Garden...!

About a hundred years ago, when I lived in East Texas...I had a small little garden!

Ok, so it wasn't quite that long ago. It just seems like it. I was married at the time and the wife and I had bought 13 acres just outside of Jacksonville, Texas. This was the garden that we put in.

I learned all about canning tomatoes that year. Also juicing, freezing, eating, giving away, drying...just about anything that you could do with tomatoes, we did! We ended up with three rows, each about 100 ft. long, of just tomatoes!

Just to the right of the garden clearing, right beyond the trees, was a creek. We sunk a tub out of a washing machine into the bottom of the creek and using a pump, used the creek to water the garden.

The only reason I put these pictures on today was to show you what I had before...and what I hope to have again soon. I could have fed a couple of families with that garden. After the wife left me, I sort of let it go, which is a shame...

Next time the garden will be a bit smaller, and I am.hopefully, a lot wiser! I still will can, dry, eat, freeze, and give away some of the goodies.

Hopefully, the next one will be a good and happier harvest. Plus I will be gardening for only one person, not four! Here's to better times!

Well, thanks for listening, my friend! Now, let's get a fresh cup of coffee!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Well Worth Repeating, Over And Over...!

Do you remember Red Skelton ?

This is a routine that he did about the Pledge Of Allegiance that bears repeating! He puts it in such a way that ALL can understand it! Please pay attention...

My friends, if you are not moved in some way by this, if you cannot understand the Pledge after listening, if you don't get just a little choked up when hearing these words...then I am sorry for you.

I will never forget this Pledge nor will I forget the original intent of the words. I will treat it as a blood oath and, by GOD, will defend the right of all Americans to say this Pledge...in schools, in church, in meeting halls, or on the street corner at any time!

Now, let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friends.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Morning Again...

I'm tired of talking about all the bad stuff and the unlikely future and the ignorance of our leaders on the Hill...

I think it's about time that I try and put up something a little more upbeat to start the day! If I had only half the energy and talent of this young lady, I could take on the world!

But some days it's all I can do to lift my coffee cup. Must be my old age catching up to me...that's why I like a tune like this to help get my juices flowing a bit! Try it and see if you don't get a little bit of a boost as well!

See what I mean? Nothing like a little youthful energy to make you want to dance! You just gotta love a little fiddle music on the porch in the morning to go with your coffee!

Well, you have a good day, my friends! Oh, and by the way...I'd like to say "Welcome!" to all the new folks that have joined us recently. I am really glad you came by and I hope to see you again!

Now why don't we all get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the porch a bit!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, Boys And Girls...Spring Has Sprung !!

Once again...wonderful news from the pages of the Farmers Almanac...

Spring has sprung!

Spring begins with the vernal equinox on March 20 at exactly 7:44 A.M. EDT.

The word equinox is derived from the Latin for “equal night” and is used now because the days and nights are of nearly equal length.

The vernal, or spring, equinox is the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north, signaling the beginning of nature's renewal in the Northern Hemisphere.

After the equinox, the Sun will appear higher and higher in the sky, and the days will grow longer. The tilt of Earth’s axis as it travels around the Sun causes the change of seasons.

In your area, you may find that March 20 does not have exactly the same number of hours for day and night. Why not?

Wind northeast or north at noon of the vernal equinox, no fine weather before midsummer.

If westerly or southwesterly, fine weather till midsummer.

I just know that all of you have been looking forward to this day for a LONG time, and as the bringer of both good and sometimes useless information...I am proud to tell you about it.

So now you can run barefoot through the grass (or snow), sit on the porch at dawn to drink your coffee, and play in the mud in your garden to your hearts content! After all, it IS Spring!

Now, let's have another cup of coffee, my friend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Privvy Police Files...

No doubt about it, folks! The Privvy Police are here...

This is a news story straight out of the pages of the Houston Chronicle...believe me, I couldn't make this stuff up!

An Amish farmer was sent to jail for 90 days Tuesday after refusing to make a pair of outhouses comply with Pennsylvania's sewage laws.

Andy Swartzentruber, of Ebensburg, cited his religious beliefs in refusing a court order on the noncompliant privvies, which are used by schoolchildren.

Judge Norman Krumensacker also fined the Cambria County farmer $1,000 for contempt.
-from wire reports

It seems to me that the madness that started in Washington is starting to spread all over the country! Here is a farmer furnishing a place for schoolchildren to go and relieve themselves in private, bothering no one in the Big Bad City...and the county Privvy Police are bound and determined to go after him, just to prove how almighty powerful they are!

I'm beginning to think that everyone in politics and in some lowly little city, county, or state office has totally lost what little was left of their minds, not to mention their dignity! This is the kind of thing that leads to bigger and more ridiculous flexing of the political muscle...and that will lead to a county by county revolt.

The abuses starting at the grass roots level are more easily understood and hated by the common man, than all the insane happenings on the Hill. THAT'S what the politicos will never understand!

I don't know about you...but I need another cup of coffee after this "crap" !

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Behold The Mighty Thunderbox...!

Today I have something very important to show you...

As we all strive to get back to a simpler time, learn some of the skills known by our forefathers, and learn to do many things differently....we are in a constant search for ways to conserve, to cut back, to do more while using less.

Those that came before us were doing a lot of these things, not out of choice but out of necessity. They made do with what they had and tried to improve the quality of their lives any way they could. Many of our modern conveniences were due in no small part to the small comforts of the times, primitive as they were.

Such was the case with the indoor bath room. Until indoor plumbing was fully accepted, the common outdoor toilet was the order of the day. Be it in rural areas or in most cities...it was often there to be seen. They were so common, no one even noticed them. Although the path to their door was often well worn, and found without much trouble...they were indeed not the most comfortable or pleasant place to spend any time

These necessary little houses where so many spent countless hours through the years, often with a Sears catalog or other appropriate reading material, went by many names...such as Moon House, privvy, library, two seater and the powerful moniker "Thunderbox", my personal favorite!

Recently in San Antonio, there was an art exhibit of decorated Thunderboxes, shown in a glory not known in the times of their common use. Here are just a few of the decorations and dressing up of these lowly "out houses".

I have a feeling that the artist did NOT intend for these little beauties to be used as intended! That's just a guess on my part, but I'm pretty sure that you would meet with some very strong objections if you were to approach them with a purposeful look in your eye!

Anyway, that's all I wanted to show you...and believe me...if you ever see one of these Thunderboxes in my back yard it will NOT be decorated to this extent and most importantly, it WILL be open for business!

Now, let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

The Side Effects Can Kill You...!

Well, I watched some television yesterday...big mistake!

I was watching some stations that had commercials, and even though I hate commercials I started listening to some of them. There were all kinds of products...everything from garden tools to clothing to travel aids.

The ones that really caught my attention was all the commercials for "Over the Counter" medications. There was shampoos, aspirin, cough syrups, sinus medicines, head ache cures, soaps, just about everything you could imagine! That alone wasn't so strange, but then they started with the reading of all the possible side effects. There might be about one page of benefits...and then four or five pages of possible side effects, ranging from increased blood pressure, heart attack, and most of all...Death!

Now, I am wondering if anyone ever reads these possible side effects, and if they do, why would they take something on purpose that could cause more problems than it cures? I guess that what they say is true in this case..."what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" Why would someone take a pill for a headache that might cause a heart attack? Why would someone risk a stroke to cure a skin problem? Why would anyone, ANYONE, in their right mind even consider taking something that already has proven to cause severe health problems, just to cure a backache? Sorry, but I don't believe I will! I don't like the idea that cure is worse than the bite, ya know?

In a way, politics today is a lot like this! Promises of miracle cures are made, but then we look at all the possible side effects. Not too good, not too good at all! My persona opinion is, for what it's worth, is that maybe it's time to get back to the old timey home remedies. Cures that come from tried and true practises of people long before us. Cures that do NOT promise quick solutions with all the possible side effects.

Maybe it would be better if we just started using some good old fashioned common sense. Maybe if we stop looking for cures that cause trouble, we should instead be looking for cures that could help without hurting!

I think that we could help ourselves more by looking inside, instead of looking for some " Over the Counter" or "From the Government" aids that might mean more trouble down the road. However, that's just my opinion...like I said!

Now that I have that off my chest...let me get you a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Want To Confuse People...?

When I was a young man still in high school, I had a friend named Biff.

Now Biff and I got into a lot of things together, but one of the favorite things we used to do was to practise our own brand of "Double talk". What is Double talk, you ask? Well, it's a lot like how the politicians talk!

Double talk is the art of taking simple phrases or sentences, and rephrasing them in such a way that they were almost impossible to understand. Like I said, it's a lot like talking like a politician!

Now if you are a parent, this can be a wonderful way to impress your children. It also helps to use this form of talking when fighting with your spouse, or when you want to confuse the in laws.

Anyway, I wanted to show you just how effective and easy this type of entertainment can be...you can start with this simple phrase.

"Never calculate too quickly on the possibility of juvenile incubation before the poultry is thoroughly materialized!" or , in other words, "Never count your chickens before they hatch".

See how easy that is? Now if you want to sound threatening and still talk like a politician...you can use this little bit of Double talk to do the job!

" If you continue to persist in this action, I shall be compelled to impel upon you you a terrific strain of blows, and you will succumb under my savage attack! Further more, I shall beat you bloodily, brutally, above and about the brow!"

Just keep saying this until you can say it very fast from memory, and I promise that everyone will think that you are surely a force to be reckoned with! But then, we already knew that, right?

Now, let's have another cup of coffee, my friend!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Being Old Revisited...!

I'm sure that I've posted this, or a variation of it, before...

I wanted to post it again because, first of all, I like it! Secondly, I find it to be very true. It pretty much says just how I feel about getting older...

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer the question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Now, what say we get some fresh, hot coffee, my friend?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Reason I Won't Fly...!

I just found this little jewel on the PTShamrock newsletter...

Just another reson why I don't like the idea of flying. When they start messing with my coffee and my chocolate...I have a problem!

Couple Charged By NY Drug Police For Having Organic Chocolate- Now Magazine

Feel like a little nip of organic chocolate while you're heading to the Big Apple, Chicago or San Fran? Careful now. If you're crossing the border with a fair trade sweet, you may get busted for drugs.

That's what happened to Nadine Artemis and Ron Obadia, owners of Haliburton based alternative health company Living Libations. Sure, the New York State Police dropped charges of trafficking a controlled substance late last month, thousands in lawyer's fees later.

The culprit? Narcotics identification kits (NIKs), hyper monitoring mechanisms ready to blow the whistle on your tea tree oil or natural toiletries.

The story starts in August 2008, when the two raw foodists were stopped at Pearson Airport carrying their own brand of organic chocolate made of unrefined cacao, maca root, hemp seeds and goji berries. When Canadian Border Services applied a NIK test, their sweet treat registered positive for hash, and Obadia was told he would be charged at a future court appearance.

The test, which takes a few seconds, involves a liquid interacting with the substance in a vial. If it turns any shade of purple,arrest. Not surprisingly, the more complicated follow-up test by the feds a few weeks later came back negative, and the two were exonerated.

You would think with everything else going on in the world today, the PTB could find something else to occupy their time! I mean, if they spend this much energy on something as harmless as a chocolate bar...how do millions and millions of pounds of drugs make their way into the country without detection? Call me dumb. but I just don't get it!

Now, let's go and get some coffee before they start stopping the import of THAT as well!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Something To Go With Your Coffee...

Just a couple of quotes this morning that I still find interesting...and very timely!

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Ayn Rand

A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.
Ayn Rand

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
Adlai E. Stevenson

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
John Adams

Now...how about that coffee, my friend?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well, I Finally Found It...!

Well, I finally found it!

You know how we are always thinking that there is something missing in our preps? We get those feelings that we have somehow missed a very necessary item and can't rest until we find the item, long before we need it.

That's when we always seem to find what the missing item is...when we need it the most! In fact we even have a very well used saying for just such a case...

So, before we find ourselves up there, maybe we should stop by here! This could save us from ever having to use that well worn statement again!!

A timely stop and purchase here, before we ever get anywhere close to there...and we could be that much closer to solving the mystery of the missing prep item!

So don't ever be "Up Shit Creek without a paddle" again...OK?

Now, I feel better! What do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As This Ever Happened To You...?

This morning I was sitting here drinking my coffee...and I got to thinking. Always a bad sign, don't you think?

Several things occurred to me about my past life, and I thought I might mention them here to see if anyone else has ever experienced the same.

All through my life, I have been talked at, talked about, talked down to, talked over, and talked around...but very few times has someone actually talked TO me!

For most of my life, my opinion has been demanded of me, given to me, subject to change for me, bribed for, ransomed for, offered to pay for, and misinterpreted or misunderstood...but seldom has anyone just simply and honestly ASKED for it!

I have been looked over, looked through, overlooked, looked in the direction of, looked at but not seen, looked at to size up..but very few times has anyone looked straight at me EYE TO EYE!

Often I have had my hand pawed, pumped up and down, drowned by a sweaty palm, engulfed limply, slapped both playfully and for real, symbolically shaken, and even almost raised...but only on a few happy occasions have I ever had my hand firmly shaken as a new or reunited FRIEND!

Far, far too often I have been pushed out of the way, pulled down, pushed aside, pushed down, pushed in the wrong direction, pushed to the edge, pushed to my limit....but only a few remembered times in my life, have I ever had anyone offer to help push me UP!

I have been picked on, picked last, not picked at all, picked over and even picked clean...but once in a great while, I have had the honor of being picked as a new acquaintance or maybe even an advisor!

Most of these actions hurt a little. Most are done without even thinking about it. Most are done by nearly all of us from time to time, either on purpose or by accident. No matter how they are done, the impression and the damage is always the same.

To make sure that I do the best that I can to avoid these negative actions as much as I can. For instance, if you (or I) are in a gathering, such as a party or meeting or group activity...take the time to look around you. Scan the crowd a little and carefully look at the faces.

You'll probably see at least one person, maybe standing with their back to the wall, not far from a doorway...that has a look on his or her face that can only be saying "What am I doing here?" When you find that one person, walk purposefully up to them, offer them your hand while looking them straight in the eye, give them a nice firm hand shake and say in all honesty "Hello, my name is (your name) and I'm really glad to see you!"

Most of the time you'll immediately see the lost look disappear and a smile replace it. You will have just made a possible outsider feel as though they are a participating member of a group, and you will quite possibly just have made a new friend! Best of all, deep down inside...you have the satisfaction of knowing you have done something positive FOR someone and not TO them.

Now, let's have another cup of coffee, my friend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Take A Bit Of Time...

I would like you to take a good look at this picture...or pictures, I should say!

What do you see? What you are looking at is the perfect example of nature's creatures in the simple act of getting along.

The fact that there is such a disparage in size doesn't matter! The fact that the horses are grown, while the fawn is newborn doesn't matter! The fact that the horses are happy with grass and the fawn would rather have some Mother's milk doesn't matter! What matters is that in this pasture...on this Texas morning...two totally different, yet somehow kin animals are sharing the same space.

What you cannot see is the fact that the horses are moving very slowly so as not to scare the newborn fawn. The horses are stepping very lightly, almost dragging their feet...so that they don't accidentally step on the newborn fawn.

The fawn is not afraid, but rather reassured by the silent strength and slow and gentle movements of the larger animal. The fawn's instincts are not telling it to lie down and hide. It doesn't feel the need to tremble at the obvious difference of size between itself and it's companions. It's inner voice is telling it not to fear, not to worry, and that it is NOT alone.

Soon the mother doe will return and be reunited with the fawn. Soon the horses will gracefully and proudly move in their regular manner across the pasture. Soon both species will move on into the beauty of this particular pasture, on this particular Texas morning...unaware that they have forever made an impression on anyone lucky enough to have witnessed such a marvelous sight!

Then again, that's what nature does best on a daily basis. She puts forth the beauty and the wonder and the sights and the sounds...all for us and all for free! There to simply be enjoyed by anyone that takes the time to see and hear and watch!

Take the time to look today. Take the time to notice what wonderful things are around us. Take the time to truly listen to the sound of the morning as nature intended it to be.

When you have done these things, when you are aware of what's really around you...take the time to simply say "Thank you for this day..."!

Now how about some fresh coffee, my friend?
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Just A Thought...

There comes a point in your life when you realize:

Who matters,Who never did,

Who won't anymore...And who always will..

So, don't worry about people from your past,

there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future..

Now let's get some fresh coffee...OK, my friend?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just Being There...!

Ever have one of those days...?

Do you sometimes get the feeling that things are closing in a bit? Ever just wish that folks, however well intentioned, would just leave you alone for a while? Ever get really worried about all the negativity roaming around the Internet and the airways?

Of course...we all have those days. Just a part of life, I guess. I know there are times that I would just love to get a cup of coffee, go sit on the porch and watch nature do her thing...all without the background noises and confusion of living in the city.

However, folks living in the country can get overwhelmed as well! Too many chores that just need to be done as soon as possible, animals that need to be tended to, family to be fed and cared for, cleaning that just won't do itself no matter how much you wish it would!

This may sound a little crazy, but I think the human being has a sort of internal clock, a warning system, if you will...that kicks in from time to time and lets us know that we need to back off from things a bit. Tells us we need to slow down some and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

I also feel that when you finally hit that zone, when you put yourself in that state of mind...something about the internal radar sends out a signal to others to give you some space. There are times when nothing that anyone can say or do will be enough to pull you out of that zone peacefully. Any attempt to do that will be met with a bad reaction most of the time. Most all of us need that time inside ourselves, that moment of aloneness, of solitude...

Let me make a suggestion here. If you run across someone lost in that zone, someone who has managed to get into the quiet spot inside, someone entertaining some hidden and private thoughts...just don't say anything. Don't ask them "what's wrong?" or ask "can I do anything?"

Just let them be where they are at for now. Instead of talking to them and maybe disturbing the inner reflection, just approach them quietly and maybe place your hand gently on their arm or shoulder. That simple act alone, with nothing being said, can go a lot farther to letting them know that they are not alone...than any words could ever do. Touching someone gently lets them know you are there for them, available if they need you, and most of all lets them know that you do understand their frame of mind.

A gentle touch, a quick little smile, and the room to be alone with our thoughts are sometimes all that we need to recharge our batteries a bit. Anyway, that's what I think, for what it's worth.

To me, the most important part of friendship is the being there...and believe it or not, that gentle touch can say a lot!

Now, what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Popcorn For Breakfast...!

Ever have trouble getting the kids to eat breakfast?

What about yourself? Are there times when you just don't want the usual stuff, like eggs and bacon, oatmeal, toast and jelly, donuts, pancakes...you get the picture!

By nature, we are creatures of habit. We have a tendency to have pretty much the same old thing for breakfast all the time...or at least some variations of the same old menu. If that's the case now, just think of how things are going to be if we can't run to the store and get something new and exciting for our morning meal!

So when you are trying to find something for breakfast that the kids will eat without turning up their noses, or won't make those "EEEEUUUUWWW" sounds...when you need them to eat something, why not feed them some popcorn? Sound silly? Why...?

I'm not going to feed my kid or my family Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? You give them cereal, don't you? Corn flakes, maybe? Guess what cereal is made from...CORN!

You see, to my way of thinking the most important thing is to give them something to eat that they WILL eat. Something to break the monotony of eating the same old thing. Go for different and strange...after all, food is food! The art is all in the presentation...and most Mom's are wizards at presentations!

For instance, feed them oats hidden in an Oatmeal cookie, raisins hidden in Raisin bread, eggs and milk and butter hidden in a piece of cake! See what I mean? They still get the same nutrition, maybe even more...because they will actually eat these things. I would even eat these things!

They don't want milk? Try hot chocolate...or chocolate milk (great way to use powdered milk, by the way). I guarantee if you follow the thinking along these lines, you can come up with something for breakfast that everyone will eat!

Today's breakfast will be a simple one...just for practise! Popcorn and chocolate milk...and to make sure that everyone has a good time at breakfast, I've even put a cartoon on the menu! I mean, it is Saturday, right? So...before you send the old man, or kids, or whoever out to play or do the chores...let's all have some breakfast, and watch a cartoon!

Oh, and by the way...after everyone is settled in and having fun...you and I can have a fresh cup of coffee! OK, my friend?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Stranger...

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town.

From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to our first major football game.

He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger.

Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' living room today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?...

We just call him 'TV.'

Now how about a fresh cup of coffee...my friend?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

That's Not What I Meant...!

Not long ago, I made a post about being sure you only stored what you would consume. Do you remember?

When I said that you should always try a sample of what you were going to store for future shortages, this was NOT exactly what I had in mind! While it's true that there may indeed be shortages in certain items...I didn't mean to sample each and every one of the containers to see if you liked them.

I think that in a package that contained ,oh, I dunno, maybe six containers...sampling just one would be enough to determine if the contents of said containers met the taste requirements for long term storage!

Now, let me also make a small suggestion here...that once the containers have been opened and sampled, they might be removed to appropriate holding facilities. There they could be held until such time as they would taken and sold, with the proceeds being used to replenish the samples.

Of course, you all realise that this post is all in fun. These pictures were taken in Canada...at an apartment that a young man had lived in for over two years! The landlord said that despite the large number of empty beer cans (the empty cardboard containers were kept in a separate room) the rest of the apartment's interior was clean!

Oh, and by the way...over half of the cans had already been removed by the realty company in order for these pictures to be taken. There were tunnels actually built under the many, many cans to allow the resident to move from room to room!

Now my friends...let's all go and have a fresh cup of coffee! All of these empty cans have made me want a drink...er, I mean, a cup!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Taking The Day Off...

Sorry, everyone...but I need a day off!

I have several things I have to take care of, and I don't know if I'll be through today or not. I'll get back on track as soon as I can, I promise!

I apologise to anyone that came over today looking for a bit of the twisted humor that normally resides here, and I hope you'll return when I have something worthy of your attention...

In the meantime, coffee's in the back. It's always free...so help yourself, my friends!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just A Little Warning...!

Don't know if any of you ladies are planning a wedding anytime soon, but just a word of warning!

You don't wanna let your men folk pick out the wedding cake, unless you have a real good sense of humor! They might just get carried away!

But then again, if you DO let them pick the cake out, it might go a long way to making for a long and happy union, if you know what I mean! Think about what you could ask for come the first anniversary...and the second and third and...well, you get the picture!

Now, guys...if you do get to choose the cake, may I suggest something that includes the little lady in the decoration. Maybe this picture will give you a starting point!

That's really all I had, just wanted to let the ladies have something to think about this morning!

Now, what do you say to some fresh coffee, my friend!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Surprise Award...!

My friend OWMom, from Confessions of an Overworked Mom gave me this really cool award!

It is made even more special by the fact that someone thinks enough of what we do to give us recognition of any kind. Makes me feel very humble indeed!

There are some rules that go with this award...but they're not hard! The rules are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.(If you don't have 10, its ok.)3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

The only problem is...it's hard to pick only 10 blogs, cause I like all of them, and wish that all could get some type of award. But in keeping with the rules, here are my choices in random order...

1...Cat's Collection

2...In The Wake of the Swollen Goat

3...Maddog's Yard

4...Missi's Blog

5...Old Lightning

6...Rod's Wanderings


8...My Road To Freedom

9...John's Blog And Review

10...A Solitude Of Hermits

How lucky we are in this day and age, that we have such a fine selection of wonderful blogs to read and learn from. These are only a few of my daily reads. I like them all, and am a great fan of each and every one of them. There are many, many more...just way too many to mention.

That's all I have for now, so what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee? C'mon, my friend!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Know I'm Old, But...!

You know and I know that I'm getting to be old...well, maybe older is a better choice of words!

Now I've heard that the mind is one of the first things to show signs of fading. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important that we keep mentally alert. The saying, "If you don't use it, you will lose it," also applies to the brain, so...

Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence. Take the following test (6 questions) and determine if you are losing it or are still "with it."

OK, relax, clear your mind and ... begin:

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: "bread." If you said "toast," then give up now and go do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said,"bread," go to Question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times. Now, spell "silk." What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said "milk," please do not attempt the next question. Your brain is obviously overstressed and may even overheat. It may be that you need to content yourself with reading something more appropriate, such as Children's World. If you said "water," proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks, and a blue house is made from blue bricks, and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said, "green bricks," what the devil are you still doing reading these questions??? If you said "glass," then go on to Question 4.

4. Twenty years ago, a plane was flying at 20,000 feet over Germany. If you recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines failed. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the third engine fails before he has time to attempt an emergency landing, and the plane crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between East Germany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors? In East Germany or West Germany or in "no man's land"?

Answer: You don't, of course, bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated. If you said, "Don't bury the survivors," proceed to question 5.

5. If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60 of a degree every minute how many degrees will the hour hand move in one hour?

Answer: One degree! If you said, "360 degrees" or anything other than "one degree," you are to be congratulated on getting this far, but you are obviously out of your league. Turn in your pencil, and exit the room. Everyone else proceed to the final question.

6. Without using a calculator -- You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading, six people get off the bus, and nine people get on. In Swindon, two people get off and four get on In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What was the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don't you remember? It was YOU!!

Now, don't feel too bad about this test! After all, no one but you will ever know how you did, right? If it makes you feel just a little better, let me pass on to you what we "Old Folks" call the definition of Success! Ready...?

At age 4 success is . . . not piddling in your pants.

At age 12 success is . . . having friends.

At age 17 success is...having a drivers licence.

At age 35 success is...having money.

At age 50 success is...having money.

At age 70 success is...having a drivers licence.

At age 75 success is...having friends.

At age 80 success is...not piddling in your pants!

Lot's of truth in the last part, don't ya think? Well, that's enough of this silliness for a while! Let's go and get some fresh coffee, my friend!