Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Don't Know What To Say...!

Been watching the news all day about the winter storms raging across Parts of the Ohio valley. Kentucky and Arkansas were extremely hard hit and not much relief seems to be forthcoming in the weather.

The jobless numbers just keep on climbing with more and more layoffs in the news. Large companies are folding, as well as smaller companies. Locally in my neighborhood, Home Depot is closing their store in this part of town. They are laying off 7,000 people company wide, many local.

The thing that hurts me that so many of these people are so unprepared. No savings, no stores in the pantry, no emergency fuel supplies of any kind, no alternate source of heat, no extra water supply....NOTHING!

What could I have done personally to help prevent this? How much more could I have warned these folks to prepare? Would anything I could have said or done really have made any difference? I'm sad to say I don't believe it would have.

So many of these people KNEW the storm was coming. So many suspected the layoffs were coming. So many knew they had no extra stores of food or water or fuel or medicine. How could I ever convince someone like that?

Some had their emergency plans in place. Some had emergency stores in place. Some followed the weather predictions and pretty much knew in advance what was coming. Some...but not enough!

I am getting completely worn out from all the bad news. I worry about all the folks that refuse to take control of their own destiny. I worry for all the families put in harms way by the lack of planning and facing the uncomfortable issues that are coming. I worry that the leaders of our government are failing to deal with the issues facing the average working public.

However, I have decided that I can't spend the time I should be spending getting myself worrying so much about those that won't help themselves. I'm sorry, but I just can't do it.

My heart goes out to all that are being hard hit by the Winter storms and power outages. My heart goes out to the families that are caught up in unemployment and reduced paychecks. My hearts go out to families that wanted to prepare but couldn't for some reason.

To those that could have prepared and didn't...I feel bad for you and ask "why didn't you?" Where will you and yours be in another month?

As for me, I'll continue to put aside what I can in the way of extra food, fuel, and such. I'll continue to work on my own emergency plans. I'll continue to make sure my vehicle is gassed up and road worthy. I'll continue to do what common sense tells me I should do...prep!

What I won't do anymore is feel guilty for the bad decisions of others. I can't...I just can't!

All I can do is keep the coffee pot on and hot...want to join me in a fresh cup, my friend?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Please Pay Attention To This...

By Keith Carradine

Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the same
I thought I knew the rules of the game
I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer stands
I’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of Rights
My creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow I have remained
I hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea

Please!! Go to this website and check it out!!

Candlemas Is Coming...!

Once again, a treasure of information from the Farmer's Almanac.

You have to love this can find out anything that you need to know about gardening, weather, history, old sayings, just all kinds of things. keeping with my reputation of being a warehouse of trivial information, I give you this little treasure.

Candlemas was originally a Celtic festival celebrating the fact that the days were getting longer and spring was not far off. The Christian church expanded this festival of light to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and her presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.

Since the traditional Candlemas celebration anticipated the planting of crops, a central focus of the festivities was the forecasting of either an early spring or a lingering winter. Sunshine on Candlemas was said to indicate the return of winter. Similarly, "When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day / There it will stick till the second of May."

A bear brought the forecast to the people of France and England, while those in Germany looked to a badger for a sign. In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, or woodchucks, there, they adapted the New World species to fit the lore.

Today that lore has grown into a full-blown festival, with Punxsutawney Phil presiding. For all things groundhog, visit the folks at Punxsutawney and see what Phil is predicting this year.

Now wasn't that more information than you ever needed to know about February 2nd...? I thought so!

Now let's have some coffee. What say you, my friend?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Truck Ransom Paid...!

Remember when I told you a while back that I had a bad water leak in my '91 pickup?

Well, I finally broke down and had it towed to the shop Tuesday. I probably could have taken a chance, filled it with water, and driven it...BUT, I decided to bite the bullet and have it towed because I wanted to avoid blowing the engine. I talked to the mechanic and explained the problem to him, and he promised to call with the prognosis and cost before doing any work!

Now, this leak was NOT in the front by the radiator, all water hoses looked good with no notable leaks, and no water was visibly leaking inside the truck which would indicate to me a leak in the heater core. It was located toward the rear of the engine close to the firewall. I didn't know if it might be a freeze plug broken loose, a crack or blown gasket in the manifold or something serious like that...and I figured I would leave it to a pro.

Anyway, Wednesday I get a call from the garage and Earl, the mechanic, with the prognosis and probable cost. I already knew the tow was $ I braced myself for the bad news! Total repairs, including the tow truck...$208.02!!

The cause of the leak was a piece of pewter pipe used to connect two rubber hoses together. Located at the rear of the block, close to the firewall and manifold. Earl replaced the pewter with a piece of steel pipe, replaced the old hoses, and did an oil change...all in a day! Went and picked it up Wednesday afternoon, filled it with gas and took the old truck home again!

Looks good to have a repaired, ready to roll truck in the drive again! Feels good seeing it there as well! I think that's called peace of mind, my friends...peace of mind !

Even with the cost of a full tank of gas, which is still running $1.65 a gallon, I feel very blessed to get the repairs done and come out without having to rob a bank!

So tonight my mind is clear, my body is less stressed, and my wallet is relatively still intact! I think that now would be a good time to have a fresh cup of coffee and relax before turning in for the night! Want to join me, my friend...?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tips From The Farmers Almanac...!!

I know that most of you already knew this, but with the weather like it bears repeating. So here it is...

One large log lasts two to three times longer than the same volume of smaller logs. See
which woods provide more heat value.

If you humidify your house during the winter months, you can turn your heat down to 65 to 68 degrees; when you’re out of the house, turn it down to the 50s.

Wear extra clothes and use blankets to trap body heat. For a cozy throw, buy a 2-yard length of polar fleece; it’s cheaper than a blanket and needs no hemming.

To increase the efficiency of heat, close off rooms. Try to stay in rooms on the "warm" side of the house, away from prevailing winds. Avoid rooms with large windows.

Work with Mother Nature! Close drapes at night. Let the sun in during the day.

Stuck on the ice without sand or kitty litter? In a pinch, you can take the mats out of your car, place them behind or in front of the tires, and slowly inch the car onto the mats.

To restore proper windshield wiper blade action, smooth the rubber blades with fine sandpaper to remove any grit and pits.

Avoid driving when you have the flu, which can reduce your reaction time almost six times as much as moderate alcohol intake.

For cold weather driving, put together a canvas bag or covered storage box with emergency items. See our Emergency Car Kit.

If it’s balmy all winter where you live, be thankful that you don’t need all this stuff. Of course, being prepared virtually guarantees an uneventful rest of winter!

Sounds a lot like the information that we have been trying to share with everyone for a long time, doesn't it?

Well, to warm up...what do you say to some fresh hot coffee, my friend?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who Sold This Guy A Gun...??

Sighting in your expensive new deer rifle

1. Shiny new, high-powered deer rifle.....$ 1,200.00

2. Quality, high-powered scope................$ 550.00

3. Bore sighting device............................$ 140.00

4. Hospital Visit......................$ 4,893.00

5. Forgetting to remove the bore sighting device prior to actually shooting the thing?


"Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid."
John Wayne

The scary part is that this guy lived...and can buy another gun! Watch out, my friends! He may live on your street...

Now how about some fresh coffee...before this moron reloads!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Way Too Cold...!!

These pictures were taken in a town called Vernoix in Switzerland.

I'm afraid this is a little too cold for me! When I look at pictures like this, I'm glad I live in Texas! With the present temps in Houston running in the 50s...and expected to be in the middle 70s tomorrow, I feel guilty when I see this kind of picture!

I only have one question when I see places with this kind of ice...why would anyone want to live there, especially in the Winter?

That has GOT to call for some hot coffee...want to join me, my friend?
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Sounds Like Me...!!

I know we all have days like this one...

What's scary is when they come so often and close together! I have heard that we get used to it, but I don't remember who told me ...

What I wanted to say is...heck, I forgot what I wanted to say! Must not have been important, I guess.

Now let's go get some fresh coffee...while I can still remember where the coffee pot is! OK, my friend?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Should Convince Anyone...!!

You want to know just how bad things really are? You think all of us that are telling you things are going downhill fast are just "Doomsayers"?

Well, I just read on MSNBC that daytime soaps may be on the way out! Lack of advertisers, lack of new viewers, salaries that are way too high, production cost....sound familiar?

There was ,at one time, 16 daytime "soapies" that had tons of faithful there are only 8! The demise of at least 2 more soon will definitely signal the end of this icon of TV as we know it. Or at least, as our Mothers and grandmothers knew them.

While I was never a fan of "soaps" I'll admit to a funny feeling that the ending of something so ingrained into the culture of this country is dying. More than many things, this should be a clear sign to even the most hardheaded of doubters, that this country's economy is on the road to ruin!

Can the economy be saved? I don't know, but it is going to need a serious overhaul in order to stand a chance at all.

Can the "soaps" be saved? I really don't see how! Should they be? Probably not! No need to have an ad-driven show when folks don't even have enough money to keep up with food and gas and house payments.

Hell, we watch too much television anyway! The younger generation is finally starting to see the thinly cloaked lies in the news shows, the secrets and scandals of the pop heroes and game show host are more and more becoming public knowledge, even the majority of cartoons on the airways now days are naught but post-apocalyptic stories!

Maybe Television itself as we know it is on it's last leg! Soon it may be just as described in George Orwell's "1984", all run for and by the State!

Think on this...when the Pope, yes, THE POPE...wanted to reach more folks and become more visible, did he go to the major television companies? NO!! He will soon have his own Google channel...!

Sign of things to come, I'm afraid. Well, for now, I'm gonna make another pot of affordable coffee, make myself a non-recalled peanut butter sandwich on homemade bread, and maybe see if I can still find any Tom and Jerry cartoons on YouTube...cause they don't appear to be on T.V. anymore!

Like I said...a sign of the times! Want a cup, my friend ?

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Need Some Help Here...

As you know , my nephew Cygnus and I are both planning a move to the country!

In trying to cover all the basics of what we need for our separate adventures, we have talked about many things. Things from food supplies, power requirements, shelter building, transportation, gardening, homestead animals, self protection devices, just about everything we can think of!

The reason for us bouncing ideas off one another, is to make sure that when we move...we don't forget anything that would help to get us started. We have to do it now, because when the time comes...nephew is going in one direction and I in another.

Also, I'll be gone and on the way before Cygnus. With our different time frames and destinations, any discussions and brainstorming needs to be done now. You see, both of us are headed to places where we will be furnishing our own power and water and all the other "necessities"!

Here is where I need some help! I need to find the most reliable and effective way to obtain Internet access. Remember, there will be no phone service, no cable, nothing. Now, do we try and get satellite Internet? If so, which service can be best powered with solar or wind generators or a combination of both? Is there a better or alternative way to access the Net from the country, when the closest town is at least 20 or 30 miles away?

I'm hoping that someone has had at least some experience using one or more of these options ...and will share their ideas and suggestions with me. I've been searching and searching on the web, and I have explored a number of ideas. Most of them are very short on information, and very long on hype! That's why I'm looking for someone that has some actual experience and can shed a little light on this quest!

I'm looking forward to your input, and let me say "Thank you" in advance...and as a reward, I'll put on a fresh pot of coffee!

Care for a cup, my friend?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Song Says A Lot...!

There may be a lot of people singing this song before the end of the year!

I can't think of any two men that could sing this song any better...just my opinion, of course!

That's all I'm posting today. Have a good one, my friends!!

I'm going for another cup of coffee...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Howard Beale Had It Right...!

Although he wasn't talking about people not seeing the need to get prepared, but it just could be that a speech like this is what we need to wake up those still asleep!

The movie was made in the 70's, but you'll notice that the bad tidings talked about are still the same! The problems only get worse and worse with each decade until finally...someone can reach out and touch the vast majority of the "non-believing" public.

I wish that we could spread the message with as much impact as this crazy newscaster managed to do! In the meantime...we will just keep doing what we can, when we can, with the tools we have on hand!

Want some fresh coffee, my friend?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Maybe Single Is Good...?

There are times when it becomes obvious that being single is a good thing! This may be one of those times...

To my darling husband,

Before you return from your business trip I just want to let you know about the small accident I had with the pickup truck when I turned into the driveway. Fortunately not too bad and I really didn't get hurt, so please don't worry too much about me.

I was coming home from Wal-Mart, and when I turned into the driveway I accidentally pushed down on the accelerator instead of the brake. The garage door is slightly bent but the pickup fortunately came to a halt when it bumped into your car.

I am really sorry, but I know with your kind-hearted personality you will forgive me. You know how much I love you and care for you my sweetheart.

I am enclosing a picture for you.I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.

Your loving wife.


P.S. Your girlfriend called !!

Coffee anyone...?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Say What...???

When I read this little bit of news in the report from MSNBC, I was amazed!

Is it just me, or does anyone else find this statement to be so ridiculous that is almost funny! While people world-wide are celebrating the exit of George W. from the House on the Hill...he has the audacity to make a statement like this!

AP wire service...

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush said Friday that while the current economic crisis has sent shock waves around the world, he believes steps taken by his administration have "laid the groundwork for a return to economic growth and job creation" early in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama

Now can someone explain to me how the present PTB have laid the groundwork for anything positive, when the present unemployment rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.2% and may hit 10% by the end of the year?

I know that I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack, but I just don't understand. I really don't! I welcome any comments about the groundwork started by the present administration to help anyone but the rich types like bankers and auto manufacturers. Tell me of any future plans that would help the average working man to keep his job. Tell me why he thinks any plan he and his crew has come up with could do anything but rub salt in the wound.

I truly hope this man and all his cronies just slink away and stay hidden...and please, PLEASE don't help us any more! What's left of our economy can't stand your kind of "help" any longer!!

Sorry, but that's just my opinion! Now...while I calm down, why don't we enjoy a fresh cup of coffee? Who knows? Soon we may not be able to afford it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Second Post...!

A rare occasion indeed! I'm passing this video along 'cause it was just too good NOT to!

Good opportunity for those that believe all will be well, all has been well...and things will always get better!!

See what I mean??

Good News For Me...!

Well, it's about time for a little good news for the hermit. In a time when all the media seems to put forward nothing but one bad news story after another, it is refreshing to get hold of something positive!

As you know, or should know, I love my coffee! I just read that if I continue to drink coffee like I want to, I stand a good chance of not coming down with dementia! Take a look!

People who drink coffee during middle age are less likely to have dementia or Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to a study in Finland.

Researchers from the University of Kuopio looked at 1,409 people who had beenevaluated every five years from 1972 to 1987 and then again in 1998 when they were between 65 and 79 years old.

Sixty-one of them, 4.3 percent, had some form of dementia.

People who drank three to five cups of coffee around their midlife examination in 1987 had a 65 percent lower risk of having dementia, researchers said.

See...? I always knew that drinking coffee was good for ya! I really did ! So what do you say? Let's stay smart by having a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Looney Tunes Saturday...!

Since things have been on the road to really being Looney Tunes in government activity as of late, it seemed to me a very appropriate time for some Saturday morning cartoons!

We used to do this every Saturday, remember? Then I got caught up in other things that weren't nearly as much fun! keeping with a forgotten (almost)tradition, I present to you the old classic favorite..."Roadrunner" cartoons!

See, all that entertainment and we didn't even have to go to Washington, D.C. !! How cool is that? I understand they are only expecting around 2 million extra people to show up for the big now we can stay at home and not even have to pay for parking...!

See, the Hermit is always looking out for his friends! Now, pass the pop corn and let's have another fresh cup of coffee, OK?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Start Your Day With A Grin...!

I'm sorry, but when I saw this video, I just had to put it on here!

I'm thinking this dog is smarter than nearly all the present day politicans I can think of! He certainly knows how to follow the directions better, don't you think? Probably a lot less likely to rob or cheat or steal or get messed up in some scandal...

See what I mean? Hey, maybe if we contact the owner, we could get this dog to run for office soon! Couldn't hurt...

Now let's get some fresh coffee, my friend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Very Strong Words...!

This is a very strong speech and it touches home for me each time I hear it.

"Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose.

Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat - the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man.

Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words."-

Colonel David Stern Crockett (August 17, 1786, died March 6, 1836 at the Alamo.)

I couldn't agree more! Now...let's get some fresh coffee, my friend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Struck Gold...!!

Well, it really isn't gold, but something almost as good for storage minded folks!

I found a lot of lids, the Tupperware type, that I don't have any containers for. Quite a lot of them, actually! There was only one place I could think of where I might find a large number of containers without Mother's house.

Mom has a big drawer in her kitchen cabinets, way down on the bottom, where she keeps most of her Tupperware type storage containers. Just on a hunch, I took all my orphan lids to her house. Sure enough, I started finding containers that I had a lid for!

Big ones, little ones, in between ones...light, heavy, medium weight! I found clear and colored and opaque ones with names like Tupperware and Glad and some with no name at all! I found a LOT of containers that I was able to match and reunite with a proper lid!

For nearly 20 or 30 minutes, I sat there and played with all those containers and lids! It was like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle in 3D plastic! Finally, I was finished! I had the top of Mom's stove covered with storage containers, most all with proper lids. What a find!

Where did all the containers come from? Well, you know how people do when they come over for a family get-together? They bring least the folks in my family do. Most of the food they bring is guessed it, plastic storage containers with lids! Now sometimes when they go home, they'll take any left over food or dip or cookies or cake or whatever with them. Sometimes they just leave it for Mom. At the end of the day, the icebox is full of containers, more containers than Mom had before the get-together.

Now, in the old days when we all went to a gathering where everyone brought food containers, most people would put their name or initials on the bottom. That way most of the containers would eventually find their way back to the proper family when all the food was gone, and the container was properly cleaned. But, like so many other things today, that practise has all but disappeared.

That's where all the containers come from. As far as not being with the proper lid, Mom takes the lids off to store them, one inside another, because it takes up less space! Then, the next time you need a container for something you reach in the bottom drawer, take out a container, maybe a lid or maybe not! Soon plastic wrap or tin foil or something that looks like a shower cap for containers replaces the proper lid. Presto...orphan lids and semi naked containers, each in a different place!

After I managed to find lids for so many of the containers, there was a nice little stack. Mom said "I don't need all of those!", and being the good son that I am, said "The ones you don't have room for, I'll take home with me!"

So I came home with a LOT of new storage containers, some with lids and some without. I have big ones and little ones and in between ones...light, heavy, and medium weight. For me, it was a very useful and rewarding way to obtain some extra storage space without having to buy more containers. And the best part, they were all free! Free is good!

There was only one problem with bringing all those containers home, They were all empty! Every one of leftover cake, no cookies, no extra dip, nothing...! I guess you can't have have everything!

Now how would you like to have a fresh cup of coffee, my friend? It's free, and free is good!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Change Of Pace...!

Instead of the usual stuff today, I thought I'd share this little beauty with you.

It's called an Albino Peacock and it's very rare! It's also very beautiful! Just goes to show that if we don't manage to totally destroy every living creature on this old Earth, we will have the opportunity in the future to see this treasure and many, many more!

Let's hope that the PTB manage to control themselves long enough so that our children and maybe our grandchildren have the chance to enjoy sights such as this.

However, with that being said, I want you to know that I truly enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. That's one of the reasons that I want out of the city.

I want to be free of the ugliness of concrete and the smell of gasoline and exhaust fumes. I want to wake up to the sounds of gentle breezes and birds singing, instead of the head splitting sound of sirens and traffic jams.

I want to be able to see the blue of the sky without it being polluted with the smog and poisonous fumes of the petrol-chemical plants nearby.

I want to be able to sit on my own front porch on my own land at night, unafraid, with no sounds to disturb me except the gentle sound of night that nature makes. All I want in this life is peace of mind.

I want to eat food that I grow, from seeds that I plant, on land that I own. No following rules made by people I don't know, agencies I don't recognize, and powers that don't have my best interest in mind at all!

In short, I want to live as a free American, in the fashion our forefathers intended. I want to be free to oppose unjust laws, to speak out against any injustice, and to defend myself and my loved ones against all oppressors, foreign and domestic!

I give you this quote by someone much more eloquent than I...

" I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
Patrick Henry

God Bless America, the true America!

Now, let's go get some coffee, my friend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well Worth Watching Again...!

I found this video the other day while looking around...and I just wanted to share it.

Most of you have probably already seen it, but it's well worth watching again. For those that haven't seen it, keep in mind this was a speech made by Charlie Chaplin in the movie "The Great Dictator" released in 1940. It was considered very controversial at the time, but the message was then as it is now very important!

The text of the speech is available online and if you cannot understand the video, may I suggest you read the text? Very strong words...

Now let's go get some coffee, my friend !!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Sounds...!

All days have sounds all their own...

I've written about this before, but thought I would mention it again. I like Sundays, but I have to admit there is a quietness about this day that makes me both sad and peaceful at the same time. Guess it's just the rain...or maybe my age catching up to me.

You know, I like being alone for the most part. I mean, I don't have to answer to anyone, I don't have to impress anyone, I keep my own counsel and I make my own plans.

Sure, it would be nice sometimes to have a helpmate, I've tried that and it didn't work out. But that's alright...probably for the best, at least for now. In the coming storm, I may be better suited to being alone and able to change direction on the fly, so to speak. I don't want to put anyone in harm's way because of poor planning on my part.

Anyway, Jonny Cash said it better in this song...and the feelings that sometimes overtake me are expressed pretty well in his music. Give a listen, it's a hell of a song!

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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Really Don't Like Spiders...!

For some reason, spiders and I don't get along!

They have never done anything to me personally, but they are UGLY! Even more ugly than my ex mother-in-law! I find spiders to be very creepy. They don't make any noise and they always seem ready to attack or something. They hide...not showing themselves unless they have to!

Knowing this ahead of time, you'll understand that I was really creeped out when I first got this from my cousin! But when you get pass the creep factor, you have to marvel at the realism in this program...and it's safe. I've scanned it. I think that you'll have fun with it.

Poke and prod the spider with your mouse, also 'grab' one of its legs with your mouse and drag it around the screen. Tell me it's not alive!

Also, put the cursor anywhere on the map and then hit the space bar and it leaves little bugs. Watch the spider go after them and when she catches them they disappear, this is totally crazy and creepy too!

When you get through playing with the spider, put it back into the jar and take him outside, OK?

Then...come in and we'll have a nice cup of coffee !

Friday, January 9, 2009

Too Good Not To Pass On...

Thanks to my friend in New Zealand for this little bit of silliness! Scary but true stuff...!

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good home. You want it, you take it".
For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal. It looked to good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50". The next day someone stole it. Caution! . . . . . . . . . . . . These people Vote!

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was North because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning. She asked, "Does the sun rise in the North?"When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, (and has for sometime), she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff". . . . . . . .She ALSO votes!

I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day Igot a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, "Uh, Pacific" . . . . . . . . .He ALSO votes!

My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but "didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving". . . . . . . . . She ALSO votes!

My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car. It's designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the trunk . . . . . . My sister ALSO votes!

My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount . . . . . . . He ALSO votes!

I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip out every time she turned her head?" I explained that a person's nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned. . . . . . . . . . My friend ALSO votes!

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet? ". . . . . . . . SHE ALSO votes!

While working at a Pizza Parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6. He though about it for some time before responding. "Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 . . . . . . . . . Yep, he votes too.

Now you know who elects the politicians!

God help us all...!! Now let's get some fresh coffee, my friend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

True Then...True Now...!!

This, in my opinion, is one of the all time greatest movie speeches of them all ...!

The reason I wanted to play this today is because the points made in this speech are even more related to what's going on in the world today, than they were during the time frame of this movie. In case you can't hear the video, I'm also putting the words of the speech on because I think they are that important! Watch the video, read the words, and see if you don't agree!

The speech was from a book written in 1943 by Ayn Rand titled "The Fountainhead". The clip is from the movie of the same name, released in 1949.

Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived, and he lifted darkness off the earth.

Throughout the centuries, there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators -- the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors -- stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed; every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid. But they won.

No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered.

His truth was his only motive.

His work was his only goal.

His work -- not those who used it.

His creation -- not the benefits others derived from it -- the creation which gave form to his truth.

He held his truth above all things and against all men. He went ahead whether others agreed with him or not, with his integrity as his only banner. He served nothing and no one. He lived for himself. And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement.

Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. The man who thinks must think and act on his own. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be subordinated to the needs, opinions, or wishes of others. It is not an object of sacrifice.

The creator stands on his own judgment; the parasite follows the opinions of others.

The creator thinks; the parasite copies.

The creator produces; the parasite loots.

The creator's concern is the conquest of nature; the parasite's concern is the conquest of men.

The creator requires independence. He neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice.

The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others -- that he must think as they think, act as they act, and live in selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own.

Look at history: Everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots -- without personal rights, without person ambition, without will, hope, or dignity.

It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: "The individual against the collective."

Our country, the noblest country in the history of men, was based on the principle of individualism, the principle of man's "inalienable rights." It was a country where a man was free to seek his own happiness, to gain and produce, not to give up and renounce; to prosper, not to starve; to achieve, not to plunder; to hold as his highest possession a sense of his personal value, and as his highest virtue his self-respect.

Look at the results. That is what the collectivists are now asking you to destroy, as much of the earth has been destroyed.

I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live. My ideas are my property. They were taken from me by force, by breach of contract. No appeal was left to me.

It was believed that my work belonged to others, to do with as they pleased. They had a claim upon me without my consent -- that it was my duty to serve them without choice or reward.

Now you know why I dynamited Courtland. I designed Courtland. I made it possible. I destroyed it. I agreed to design it for the purpose of it seeing built as I wished. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid. My building was disfigured at the whim of others who took all the benefits of my work and gave me nothing in return.

I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life, nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine -- no matter who makes the claim!

It had to be said: The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard in the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others.

My terms are: A man's RIGHT to exist for his own sake.

Now if those words don't address the concerns facing us today, I don't know what does! I think you would agree! Now, what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ever Have One Of Those Days...?

You know the kind I mean...where the smallest and most innocent of activities can lead to some really embarrassing moments? Well, it appears that we humans aren't the only ones that have them. This horse is having a really bad day just because he wanted to explore the fork in this tree.

Sorta makes you feel like you are not totally alone in all this mess, doesn't it? I mean, if you and me and even horses can have these kind of days when all we wanted to do was just have a little bit of fun, live our lives, and NOT get our heads stuck in places they shouldn't be...then obviously the world just isn't fair!

Luckily, a friendly passing rancher just happened to see the trouble this poor guy was in and stopped to help. With a carefully placed chain saw, the rancher was able to remove the tree branch from around the poor horse's head, but not before snapping a couple of pictures.

Maybe some poor passing rancher will stop and lend us a hand...oh, sorry! I forgot. Ranching is being run out of business because of additional taxation by the government to pay for banking bailouts and new road construction and auto industry bailouts...

Looks like we are on our own! So why don't we just sit back, relax and take a deep breath, and I'll put on a fresh pot of coffee...!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baby Sis's Birthday...!!

Yep! Today is my baby sis's birthday...

I don't think I'm supposed to tell how old she is, but I'll just say she is younger than I am. Come to think of it...dirt is younger than I am!

Anyway, I want to wish her a very happy birthday today!

Now...I want to share with you another recipe from the 1936 cookbook I've been reading. These recipes are from a time when folks made do with what they had, and very little got wasted. Most of these came from country folks, just doing the best they could.

I haven't tried this recipe, but as you know, I like peanut butter so I may give it a shot. Who knows? In a worse case scenario, it could come in handy!

Creme of Peanut Soup
Mix together 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoons flour.
When throughly mixed, add 1 quart of milk and heat in double broiler.
Season with salt and pepper. Beat with a Dover (?) egg beater before serving.

Now, like I said I haven't tried I'm not responsible for any internal injury you may suffer while eating this soup! Also, if you get a bad case of gas...please step outside before taking steps to get rid of it, if you know what I mean...

Now how about a fresh cup of coffee to go with that soup, my friend?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Little Treasure From The 1930's

I found this bit of humor in a cookbook full of recipes from as far back as 1936...

I just thought some would get a kick out of it! I know I did...

Chase wild bullfrogs for three miles, then gather up the hops.
To them add ten gallons of tan bark, 1/2 pint of shellac and one bar of homemade soap.
Boil for 36 hours, then strain through an I.W.W. sock to keep it from working.
Add one grasshopper to each pint to give it a kick.
To test, pour a little in the kitchen sink; if it takes the enamel off, it's ready for bottling!

Now while that is aging, let's go get some fresh coffee, OK?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How About A Quicky...??

Just a quick note to let you know about this nice little site I found!
$5Dinners is the name, and right now they have a give-away going for a Kroger gift card!

Could help with some preps, I'm thinking...can't hurt to check it out, ya know?

All In How You Percieve It...!

You know...trying to explain to someone who is a nonbeliever the reasoning behind why you prep is like selling ice to an Eskimo ...!

I tend to think of prepping like planning for an extended camping trip. I used to go camping a LOT, and I don't remember ever going hungry or running out of something due to a lack of planning! However, one thing that I have seen very little mention of in most of the blogs is...entertainment!

For those that have families, especially younger children, some form of entertainment is almost mandatory. Be it games, books, crayons, is as vital to the mental and emotional health of all concerned. Ever been cooped up in a car on a long trip with a bored child? How about being snowed in with several active children for days at a time? I can guarantee that if you don't have some form of distraction and entertainment for them, you'll soon wish that you did!

And it's the same for adults. Setting aside food, medicine, firewood, and all the other things needed for extended self reliance is a good thing! A necessary thing given the times we live in. But without something to break the cycle of worry or concern or cabin fever feeling from time to are in for some even rougher times ahead!

My suggestion is this...if you are married, sit down with your spouse or partner and discuss what your individual likes and dislikes might be, entertainment wise, for an extended camping trip. Then discuss the same things for the children, including them if they are old enough. After the discussion, just plan accordingly and include some form of pleasant entertainment in your preps!

Oh, and if I may say one more thing here...never forget that any situation out of the ordinary adds extra stress to any environment. Try as we may to hide this from the children, they will ALWAYS pick up on additional stress or anger or negative feelings to a certain degree. Children are very intuitive, more than we give them credit for sometimes. Keeping this in mind, try and stay as positive as you can. Positive attitudes attract positive results!

Whatever the situation, whatever the reason for extended enclosure ...try and put a little "alone time" in the schedule. A few moments alone in total peace and quiet can do wonders for both the mind and body. Allow every member of your particular tribe, or group, or family, or mob the same "alone time" if they wish it. Believe me, it will pay off in the long run!

Even though I am single living only with two cats as "roomies", they understand when I really don't want to deal with them, and I pick up on their "leave me the hell alone" feelings as well! Life can be good when you deal with it in a positive frame of mind!

Now, speaking of a positive frame of mind...let's go get some fresh coffee!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Food For Thought...

No pun intended with the headline, OK?

As if we needed any more of a reason to grow what we can of our own food, this little video should be a validation for us. Here is a professional telling us what we already know. This is some sobering stuff, and worth repeating!

Certainly got my attention...

This video makes some very valid points, in my opinion. So, when getting all the preps together let's not forget those seeds...preferably some Heirloom seeds.

That's all for now. What do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Time For Reflection...!

Well, it's the first day of the new year and time for me to look at my plans for the immediate future...

First, let me say that I'm a simple man. I don't ask for much, nor do I expect it. Like most people, I've had a dream for a long time of having some land in the country paid for...not a big spread, just big enough so that I could move myself and my family out to it and live a simple life.

The only problems with that idea were that no one shared my enthusiasm for them. When I was married the last time, my wife and I discussed this idea at great length. She was really behind the idea...or so I thought!

We ended up buying 13 acres in east Texas, just 6 miles outside of her home town. The land was all woods (mostly hardwoods with some pine), had a small creek running through one side, and was about a half mile from the small lake outside of town. Perfect!

Since we were living in Austin at the time, the wife and kids (2 step children) stayed in Austin, and I got out of the cab business, sold all of my cabs, and moved to east Texas. I put a small travel trailer on the property, had some of the trees selectively cut and sold them to a tree harvester, and started work on the property.

I had got a full time job at that time as the sporting goods manager at W**-Mart, an ideal job for someone living in the country that liked to hunt and fish. I would work all day at the store, drive home to my small trailer, work on pulling stumps and clearing brush, running all the water lines from the county road at the property's edge by hand, took care of getting the electric company set up and power run to the trailer. Took me the better part of a year to get a place cleared and cleaned where we wanted the cabin.

I met a lady in town whose husband had died and who had a 2 story barn shaped workshop in her back yard. She said if I would tear it down, I could have the wood if I would haul it off. So I did just that! Hauled that lumber out to my place, pulled nails, organized boards by size, burned the bad ones in my wood burning stove and heater (my wife's uncle had given me one) and with my then father in law's help, laid out the stakes and ground work for the cabin.

During this time, the wife and kids would come and visit off and on...never staying very long. That is, until the time came to start building. Somehow I lost all control and input as to how I wanted things done. The wife moved down with the kids, her brother showed up for a visit with some friends and nail guns and plans, the father in law came over daily...everybody started building . The framework, sub flooring, walls, roof, windows, outside doors...everything was completed in 2 days time. Most of which, I was at work and not included in the construction.

Now, don't get me wrong...I appreciated the help...but didn't like the fact that everything was done to conform to how everyone but me thought the cabin should be done. Short version of the rest is that after the framing, all left. I did the rest...the siding, tin roof, the whole thing.

Four months later while I was at work, the wife packed up the kids, took what she wanted, threw everything else in the front yard and started a fire with it, and left. No note, no explanation, just gone. Just me and the dog left in the dream cabin (unfinished) in the woods near the wife's home town.

Within a year, I had lost my job, my family, my cabin and land, my dog was killed by a wandering pack, my truck blew up, I had heart trouble and had to leave the country and move back to Houston to be close to the V.A. and slowly began to dream and plan all over again.

That is when HermitJim came about. I learned a lot of lessons during that year! Lessons I won't soon forget...

No more letting others take over my dreams and plans. No more letting others decide my future. No more trying to shape what and who I am to please others. No more living in places I don't really want to live in. In short, what you see is what you get. If you ask, I'll share my plans...but they are NOT open to discussion.

I don't do crowds. I don't do clubs. I don't do anything to put myself in harms way just to impress or show off. If you don't like what I say, don't listen. If you don't like what I do, don't watch. If you don't like my lifestyle, I DON'T CARE !!! It's mine, not yours.Got it? Good!

Sorry for the long winded post...just wanted to get that off my chest first thing this year! I appreciate you taking the time to read my little rant...

Now, let me buy you a cup of coffee, my friend!