Monday, February 28, 2011

The Last Of His Kind...!

Looks like one of the last of a dwindling generation is gone.

One can only imagine what stories this man could share with us all. At least he died of natural causes and can finally rest in a more peaceful place!

Last veteran of WWI dies in W. Va. at age 110
© 2011 The Associated Press
Feb. 27, 2011, 11:35PM

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A spokesman says the nation's last surviving veteran of World War I has died in West Virginia. He was 110.

Biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement that Frank Woodruff Buckles died early Sunday of natural causes in his home in Charles Town, W.Va.

Buckles lied about his age to get into uniform at age 16. He served in England and France, working mainly as a driver and a warehouse clerk. He did not see combat.

Buckles also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II.

He turned 110 on Feb. 1. He had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in Washington, D.C.

More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18 for the war.

The truth is, we are getting older and older! Members of our family and circle of friends are getting smaller every day! Time to start the mending of old torn fences in the family, patching up old quarrels, making some over-due peace with those we hold old grudges with.

Time to start living each day as though it were our last! It very well could be, my friends! Look around at all the goings on in the world and you'll realize that!

C'mon, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Have A Great Sunday...!

Well, after is Sunday!

Because of that, here's a little Johnny Cash with what may just be a very good song for a Sunday! Certainly can't hurt!

Have a great Sunday, everyone! Coffee on the patio this morning...!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

From A Friend In New Zealand...!

With everything else that's going on in the world, especially the middle east, let's not forget about the tragic happenings in New Zealand!

As you know, not long ago I had a friend from New Zealand come for a short visit. Mom and I have been wondering if all was well with her and her family since the quake in her country, and today I finally got an email from her assuring us that, indeed, she was OK!

That was certainly outstanding news for us! There was a lot of information about what's going on there...and I thought I would share her email with everyone. I'm sure she would not mind!

If you could, I would appreciate you including all of the fine folks in New Zealand in your prayers! I'm sure that it would mean a lot to all of them!

Thank you so much for thinking of me.

I am safe in Auckland, which is many miles from the earthquake. I have heard from family & friends in Christchurch, who are ok.

The devastation in Christchurch is just ghastly. New Zealand is welcoming all the international help that is offered. Our national airline, Air New Zealand, is working with civil defence and the NZ Air Force, with many extra flights, to get people out of there, people who don’t need to be there, i.e. tourists and NZers who were visiting there.

The electric company is supplying free bottled gas to households as most electricity is off, so they can boil water and heat food. A RNZ Navy ship is berthed there, cooking in their large ship galleys, to feed masses of people who are displaced from their broken houses.

There is a USA Rescue team of 80 with 10 tonnes of equipment and dogs. LA County Fire dept has joined the SARs. 300 Australian police have just arrived and been sworn in as NZ police, to help our exhausted police. USA and Australia have set up big field hospitals treating the injured. There are over 1000 experts, searchers, doctors, surgeons, plus dogs, from 15 countries, arrived in the last 2 days to help. I am awed by that.

This makes me very proud to be a Kiwi -

Sometimes I get so caught up in the bad news from all over, I forget to be thankful when some good news comes along! This is good news, to find out that so many are helping the victims and that personal friends are all OK!

Sort of helps to make everything seem just a little bit better! God bless all of the people of New Zealand!

Now let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio. Better enjoy it while we can!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Your Rest, And Reduce Your Stress...!

It won't be long until Spring is here, believe it or not!

In fact, here on the Texas coast, springtime weather conditions have come around and seem ready to stay a while. That's fine with me, for sure!

As the days get longer and the garden work beckons more and more, many of us will begin the never ending cycle of tilling the soil, growing our share of nature's bounty, and putting up the harvest as an investment against hard times.

With the current happenings in the world today, it's easy to become stressed out. Worry about all things affecting our families, our friends, and our country!

In keeping with my efforts to help all my friends as much as possible, I have gathered some information from the Almanac that may be of some use in relieving some of that stress and in helping get a good night's sleep!

We all have times when stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness enter our lives. Here are traditional herbal remedies to help.

First calm thyself. If gardening or another relaxing activity doesn't calm your nerves and make you sleep well, try a tea (really a tisane, from the Greek for "medicinal brew.)

Herbal Teas

* Teas of chamomile, basil, marjoram, or basil help ease stress. Use about 1 ounce fresh herbs (half of that if dried) for every 2 to 3 cups water.

* A tea of elderberry flowers is considered relaxing to the nerves and is sleep inducing, too. (Caution! Avoid if pregnant.)

* For insomnia, drink bee balm which acts as a mild sedative, calming the nerves and aiding sleep. Take an infusion of 2 teaspoons chopped leaves in 1 cup boiling water.

* Drink rosemary tea to alleviate melancholy or depression.

* Native America tea ingredients for insomnia included lady's slipper (decocted), yarrow, mullein, hops, and purslane (decocted).

* Valerian tea (or capsules) is a natural sleep aide. In infusions, 1 ounce of the roots in 1 pint boiling water is a common recipe, consumed by wineglass as needed. (Caution: Too high a dose may lead to negative side effects!)


* First, do not eat your final meal late in the evening, and keep the meal light.

* Eating lettuce with your dinner is supposed to be calming, helping you to sleep and have pleasant dreams. Some say you should not have vinegar with your lettuce.

* Mandarin oranges are soporifics, so consider adding them to your evening meal to help insomnia.

* Native Americans reportedly ate raw onions to induce sleep. (They also used a variety of herbal syrups and poultices but they're a bit too complicated for most of us today.)

* Trying to remain relaxed but alert? Some studies suggest that the smell of apples, apple cider vinegar, or spiced apples have this effect. The right smell can make all the difference.

I truly hope that none of you ever need to make use of this list, but at least you have it ...just in case! After all, better to be prepared for any circumstance, right?

Now, to fight the stress level today...why don't we get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio for a bit? Maybe I can share a little of our sunshine with you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crazy Thursday...!

I just couldn't do anything too serious today!

So instead, I figured I'd give us all a little Steven Wright! That should you something to think about for the rest of the day, ya reckon?

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.
Steven Wright

Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.
Steven Wright

Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
Steven Wright

Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?
Steven Wright

Don't you hate when your hand falls asleep and you know it will be up all night.
Steven Wright

Ever notice how irons have a setting for permanent press? I don't get it.
Steven Wright

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
Steven Wright

For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier... I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
Steven Wright

George is a radio announcer, and when he walks under a bridge... you can't hear him talk.
Steven Wright

Hermits have no peer pressure.
Steven Wright

How young can you die of old age?
Steven Wright

I bought some batteries, but they weren't included.
Steven Wright

I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.
Steven Wright

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
Steven Wright

I got this powdered water - now I don't know what to add.
Steven Wright

I like to reminisce with people I don't know.
Steven Wright

I live on a one-way street that's also a dead end. I'm not sure how I got there.
Steven Wright

I met this wonderful girl at Macy's. She was buying clothes and I was putting Slinkies on the escalator.
Steven Wright

I play the harmonica. The only way I can play is if I get my car going really fast, and stick it out the window.
Steven Wright

I poured spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.
Steven Wright

I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time.
Steven Wright

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.
Steven Wright

Coffee on the patio this morning. Maybe we can beat the rain!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Guess This Is Fair...!

Now this is a novel way to voice your opinion!

Sort of makes your point without a noisy protest or getting in trouble with the law! I have to admit that this is the first time I've heard of this being done, but it could be one way to get the message across, depending on how many restaurants are available in the area!

Seattle-Area Restaurant Refuses To Serve TSA Agents

By Chris Morran on February 22, 2011 11:15 AM

Fed up with what he views as crappy treatment from the TSA, the owner of a restaurant near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has decided to put all TSA agents on his No-Eat List.

"We have posted signs on our doors basically saying that they aren't allowed to come into our business," one employee tells travel journalist Christopher Elliott. "We have the right to refuse service to anyone."

She says that whenever a TSA agent attempts to dine at the restaurant, "we turn our backs and completely ignore them, and tell them to leave... Their kind aren't welcomed in our establishment."

The restaurant claims that 90% of its patrons are in agreement with their stance and that the local police have actually helped escort TSA workers of the premises.

"Until TSA agents start treating us with the respect and dignity that we deserve, then things will change for them in the private sector," says the employee.

I figure that these folks have the right to NOT serve anybody they want to! Still, I just hope that they haven't shot themselves in the foot in doing this.

It will be interesting to see the public reaction to this! I gotta admit it's a gutsy move for a restaurant to make!

So, tell me what you think...right or wrong?

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? We can discuss the world situation...or NOT!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here's Something Really Stunning...!

Here's an idea that I would have never thought of!

Just goes to show you that everything and anything is possible if you just use your imagination! When you see the final product, it makes you want to say "why didn't I think of that?".

I can see a multi-level storage for preps, a guest bedroom, or even a good place to keep your fire arms! Sort of hiding them in plain sight, ya know?

Thinking outside the box, Real Estate?

Check out this sweet little pad
Wait until you scroll down to the bottom!








This place seems very modern, perhaps like something you'd see in a swanky high rise condo or town house near the city, right?


This 1 bedroom loft apartment was built inside a 1940's grain bin.
It was renovated into this upscale unit after it was purchased and relocated to the grounds of the Gruene Homestead Inn in New Braunfels , TX . If that's not creative craftsmanship, then I don't know what is!

Now would you have thought to do that with the old silos on the farm? Some yuppie would pay mega bucks per night to stay in this little B & B.

Just think! If you did away with the porch on the front, scattered a few hay bales around, covered the windows with some climbing vines or the would have a good place to hid anything you wanted! Like I said, hiding in plain sight!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! OK?

Monday, February 21, 2011

How About A Monday Mystery...?

Isn't it amazing how many mysteries in history have yet to be solved?

Here's one from 1947 that still baffles everyone! Very unusual and very spooky! What a way to start out the new week, with an old mystery!

In June 1947, a chilling SOS message was picked up: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead." This was followed by some indecipherable Morse code, and one final grisly message... "I die." Then, silence.

It was picked up by nearby ships and listening posts, who identified the vessel as the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan and located it within the Strait of Malacca that separates Indonesia from Malaysia. The nearest merchant ship, The Silver Star, raced to her aid. The Silver Star was soon alongside the Dutch ship and their boarding party found a macabre sight: every member of the crew lay dead, their corpses scattered on the decks. More than this, their eyes were still open and expressions of sheer terror were etched on their features. The Silver Star’s party found the radio operator dead too, his hand still on the Morse sending key, eyes wide open and teeth bared. There were no sign of wounds or injuries on any of the bodies.

The decision was made to tow the mysterious ship back to port, but before they could get underway, smoke began emanating from the decks below. The boarding party hurriedly returned to their ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the SS Ourang Medan exploded and swiftly sank.

It has been claimed that clouds of noxious natural gases could have bubbled up from fissures in the seabed and engulfed the ship; even aliens and ghosts have been cited as possible explanations for the Ourang Medan’s macabre and mysterious demise. To this day, the exact fate of her crew remains an impenetrable mystery.

Nothing like a good mystery, but I really prefer one with an ending! This is just one of the many mysteries I found while researching on the web!

Ya know, a person can learn a lot on the web if you want to. So many interesting things that I probably would never find out about if it weren't for the information super highway! Guess I'm addicted...sort of an information junkie, if you will!

Would you like some fresh coffee this morning? We can sit outside again, if you'd like!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Doesn't Exactly Inspire Confidence...!

There is useless...then there is TOTALLY USELESS!

If this doesn't prove just what a bunch of "less than professional" jerks work for the TSA, I don't know what does! The saddest part of this whole thing is that this is probably the norm, and not the exception!

How long is it going to be before folks have had enough and demand some changes be made in the present system? It's obviously broken and non-fixable, and someone needs to start holding the people in charge of this circus responsible!

I guess it's going to take a murder on a plane, or another major crash, or a hostage situation to make the public mad enough to stand up and start shouting! There has to be something or someone that can be punished for this kind of crap!

I say fire all these TSA bums, rip out their worthless, overpriced machines, put back the old fashioned metal detectors, and get things moving again! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

TSA Source: Armed Agent Slips Past DFW Body Scanner

Updated 9:00 PM CST, Fri, Feb 18, 2011

An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.

The source said the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport's body scanners every time she tried, the source said.

"In this case, where they had a test, and it was just a dismal failure as I'm told," said Larry Wansley, former head of security at American Airlines. "As I've heard (it), you got a problem, especially with a fire arm."

Wansley said covert testing by the TSA is commonplace -- although failing should be rare.

The TSA insider who blew the whistle on the test also said that none of the TSA agents who failed to spot the gun on the scanned image were disciplined. The source said the agents continue to work the body scanners today.

Wansley said that is a problem.

"This was only a test, but it's critically important that you do something, because if that person failed in the real environment, then you have a problem," he said.

The TSA did not deny that the tests took place or the what the results were.

The agency would only provide the following statement:

"Our security officers are one of the most heavily tested federal workforces in the nation. We regularly test our officers in a variety of ways to ensure the effectiveness of our technology, security measures and the overall layered system. For security reasons, we do not publicize or comment on the results of covert tests, however advanced imaging technology is an effective tool to detect both metallic and nonmetallic items hidden on passengers."

TSA agents who spoke to a reporter agreed that the body-imaging scanners are effective -- but only if the officers monitoring them are paying attention.

As far as I'm concerned, the TSA is just another case of too many thugs with a bad case of "I'm better than you and I'm the Boss" attitude! I say it's time for us to start providing a little attitude adjustment for these folks!

Best thing for everyone to do away with the TSA, the EPA, the FDA and all the other alphabet agencies that are manned by nothing more than power hungry morons, probably just because they maybe didn't get chosen to be on the base ball team or something when they were children!

Well, it's time to grow up, own up, and get out! We don't need you and really never did! LIVE WITH IT!

C'mon, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Short Saturday...!

This just about says it all for me today!

More coffee anyone...?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Now This Could Be Confusing...!

Most of us don't have any trouble remembering what our birthday is.

Poor ol' George Washington might get a little confused because of how many times the celebration of his birthday was bounced around! Guess that's what happens when you become president! This article in the Almanac talks a little about it!

George Washington's Birthday (observed)

Although George Washington's birthday is celebrated on February 22, it is observed as a federal holiday on the third Monday of February. To complicate matters, Washington was actually born on February 11 in 1731! How can that be?

During Washington's lifetime, people in Great Britain and America switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar (something most of Europe had done in 1582). As a result of this calendar reform, people born before 1752 were told to add 11 days to their birth dates. Those born between January 1 and March 25, as Washington was, also had to add one year to be in sync with the new calendar.

By the time Washington became president in 1789, he celebrated his birthday on February 22 and listed his year of birth as 1732. Upon entering office, Washington was not convinced that he was the right man for the job. He wrote, "My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit, who is going to the place of his execution." Fortunately for the young country, he was wrong. You can read more about Washington at the official White House Web site.

I like things to be much simpler than all this. Probably one reason I'll never be president, ya reckon?

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio for a while!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think I'll Avoid Florida...!

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking this guy's wife may just be having a hard time trusting the medical profession!

At their age, being pronounced "dead" just once usually does the trick. Then, just a short time later to find out your spouse isn't really dead could lead to a healthy distrust of medical folks!

Man declared dead twice in four days

By Barbara Hijek February 16, 2011 06:57 AM

A few weeks ago Leroy Tarver, 70, was pronounced dead by EMS after collapsing with chest pains, but then woke up when the mortician arrived, reports WBBH News-2 in Fort Myers.

According to a Fort Myers police report, the paramedics began CPR to resuscitate Leroy, but pronounced him dead about 30 minutes after the 911 call.

Mortician Horace Barrett says he will never forget that day when he arrived at the home to get Leroy's body: The body began twitching and gasping for air, WBBH reports.

Barrett told WBBH News he ran to get Leroy's wife and said, "He's not dead! He's not ready for me yet."

The Tarvers called 911 again — almost two hours after Leroy was initially pronounced dead.

But the miracle was short-lived: Leroy only lived another four days.

Could Leroy have been saved if the paramedics had rushed him to the hospital on their initial visit?

Officials with Lee County EMS say they are investigating the paramedics' actions.

Now, I'm only hoping that they double check before they begin an autopsy on someone like this! In fact, just to be sure, I'd want to have another opinion just before they put him in the ground!

In a case like this, I'd much rather be safe than way too sorry, ya know? But then, that's just me!

Just to celebrate being above ground this morning, let's get some fresh coffee and sit out on the patio! Life is pretty good, all in all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Caught Red-Handed This Time...!

Sometimes you just have to wonder at the total lack of good sense shown by those in power!

Just because they have gotten away with illegal acts for so long here in the US...some of our so-called "leaders" decided that they didn't have to follow the laws of other countries either! WRONG!

It appears that Argentina has no problem with called a spade a spade...and certainly plans to enforce their own laws regardless of who the law-breakers are!

Cargo sparks dispute between Argentina, U.S.

By the CNN Wire Staff
February 15, 2011 1:43 p.m. EST

Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNN) -- Tension between Argentina and the United States continued to simmer Tuesday as the two could not see eye-to-eye on the seizure, by Argentinian authorities, of materials that arrived on a U.S. Air Force cargo plane last week.

Argentina has accused the United States of trying to sneak weapons, drugs such as morphine, and communications equipment into their country without permission. The United States says that if there was a problem with the items, it should be resolved privately between the two parties.

The spat revolves around the arrival of a U.S. cargo plane in Argentina. Its mission was to provide materials for a joint training course with Argentinian federal police on hostage rescues. Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said the Americans did not properly declare about a third of the items that were aboard the plane, violating local laws.

The material had not been included on a list from the U.S. government that the Argentinian government approved.

Such material cannot enter the country without proper authorization, Timerman told CNN en Español.

"Argentina has suffered two terrorist attacks, and we have very strict laws about what can enter and what cannot enter the country, to prevent a third incident," he said.

The items that were not declared included wiretapping equipment, communications equipment and what Timerman described as "secret things."

American troops on the cargo plane at first blocked Argentinian agents from examining some of the undeclared cargo.

"When finally, after six hours of talk, we convinced the American soldiers to open this famous green suitcase, they pleaded with us not to open it outdoors, but in a closed space, because if it were photographed by spy satellites, U.S. security would be at risk," Timerman said.

He added, with emphasis, "What were they bringing? That's what the Argentinians want to know."

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela denied that the United States had not declared certain items, and said that everything on the cargo plane was for use during the hostage-rescue course.

"We're surprised by Argentina's reaction to this issue," Valenzuela told CNN en Español.

His view is that if there was any problem, it could have been handled privately, "with respect," and not in the public sphere.

"There was no intent here to violate Argentine laws," he said.

The United States also wants its cargo back.

"It's absolutely necessary that those materials be returned immediately," Valenzuela said.

Timerman said the items would be returned only after investigators are done examining them.

It would appear that the big boys don't like getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar! What's worse, they must be really embarrassed to know that they can't push Argentina around in a way that has been the norm by the PTB here for so long!

You know, so many of these uncomfortable moments for the government could be avoided if they would only try and obey the same rules as everyone else! However, that would seem to be something that's not going to happen!

This time, though, it's going to be talked about in the light of day. Not in the back office shadows, but in the light of the day! Pretty refreshing for a change, huh?

Now, my friends, how about some refreshment on the patio? Another beautiful day ahead!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ever Hear Of The "Leatherman"...?

Here is another one of those characters that pops up in our history from time to time.

I had never heard of this man until I was doing a bit of research on another subject. I got so caught up in this story, I just had to share it with you!

This man could be the poster boy for words like personal freedom, privacy, and making do! Making his own clothes, finding food the best way he could, finding a way to weather out the harshness of brutal weather, finding out a way to avoid being treated by doctors he obviously did not trust and being held in a hospital against his wishes! That, my friends, is what freedom is all about!

An extreme case? You bet! Does it prove a point? You better know it! Would any of us go this far? Unfortunately, probably not! Certainly makes for a good read, though!

Leatherman, June 9, 1885

The Leatherman (ca. 1839–1889) was a vagabond, famous for his handmade leather suit of clothes, who traveled a circuit between the Connecticut and the Hudson River from about 1856 to 1889. Although of unknown origin, he was thought to be Canadian, or possibly French, because of his fluency in French, his broken English and the French Language prayer book found on his person after his death. Although sometimes identified as Jules Bourglay, his identity remains unknown.

Living in rock shelters and "leatherman caves", as they are now locally known, he stopped at towns along his 365 mile loop once every 34 days for food and supplies. He was dubbed the "Leatherman" as his entire adornment, from hat, scarf, clothes to shoes were handmade of leather.

Fluent in French, he communicated mostly with grunts and gestures, rarely using his broken English. When asked about his background, he would abruptly end the conversation. Upon his death, a French prayerbook was found among his possessions. He declined meat as food on Fridays, giving rise to speculation that he might be Roman Catholic.

It is unknown how he earned money, although one store kept a record of his order: "one loaf of bread, a can of sardines, one-pound of fancy crackers, a pie, two quarts of coffee, one gill of brandy and a bottle of beer".

Leatherman was quite popular in Connecticut. Reliable in his rounds, people would have extra food ready for him, which he often ate on their doorsteps. Ten towns along the Leatherman's route passed ordinances exempting him from the state "tramp law" passed in 1879.

The Leatherman survived blizzards and other foul weather by heating his rock shelters with fire. The Connecticut Humane Society had him arrested and hospitalized in 1888, because of a spot on his lip which they thought was a result of the blizzard of 1888. He finally died from cancer of the mouth due to tobacco use, having escaped before he could be treated. His body was found on March 24, 1889 in his Saw Mill Woods cave near Ossining, New York.

His grave is located at the Sparta Cemetery, Route 9, Scarborough, New York. The following inscription is carved on his tombstone:

Jules Bourglay
who regularly walked a 365 mile route
through Westchester and Connecticut from
the Connecticut River to the Hudson
living in caves in the years

Sometimes the most interesting characters can be found quite by accident. I'd be willing to bet that if you checked your local history, you would no doubt find some interesting people lurking in the background, just waiting for you to discover their story!

History can be so much fun...! The secret is to learn from it, and not repeat it! Know what I mean?

BTW, in the article the reference is made to a "gill" of brandy! That is equal to 4 US ounces! Just thought you should know!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio! I'm sure liking this warmer weather!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Good For The Swiss...!

Now, this is enough to make you proud of our Swiss brothers, for sure!

What makes it more surprising to me, is the fact that against the wishes of many women's groups, the vote went as it did anyway! Guess it's safe to say that the Swiss are NOT persuaded that easily by gun control folks, no matter who they are!

Given the choice, Swiss vote to keep their guns

By FRANK JORDANS Associated Press © 2011 The Associated Press
Feb. 13, 2011, 12:45PM

GENEVA — Neutral Switzerland is among the best-armed nations in the world, with more guns per capita than almost any other country except the United States, Finland and Yemen.

At least 2.3 million weapons lie stashed in basements, cupboards and lofts in this country of less than 8 million people, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey.

On Sunday, Swiss voters made sure it stays that way, rejecting a proposal to tighten the peaceful Alpine nation's relaxed firearms laws.

The decision was hailed as a victory by gun enthusiasts, sports shooters and supporters of Switzerland's citizen soldier tradition.

"This is an important sign of confidence in our soldiers," said Pius Segmueller, a lawmaker with the Christian People's Party and former commander of the Vatican's Swiss Guard.

In Switzerland, where all able-bodied men are required to perform military duty, many choose to take their army-issued rifle home with them even after completing military service.

Gun clubs, too, remain a popular feature of village life in rural parts of the country, with children as young as 10 taking part in shooting competitions.

Doctors, churches and women's groups tried and failed Sunday to require military-issued firearms to be locked in secure army depots. They also wanted the Swiss government to establish a national gun registry and ban the sale of fully automatic weapons and pump-action rifles, arguing this would help cut incidents of domestic violence and Switzerland's high rate of firearms suicides.

The clear defeat of the proposal — 56.3 percent of voters rejected it — may seem surprising for a peaceful nation that hasn't been at war with its neighbors since Napoleon invaded two centuries ago. But this is a country that cherishes the myth of William Tell and its soldiers' supposed defiance of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The measure had little chance of winning over the independent-minded Swiss, who have resisted the lure of joining the European Union and recently shocked the world with a vote to ban the construction of minarets.

"Switzerland is different," said Dora Andres, president of the country's sport shooting association. "In many countries the government doesn't trust its citizens and feels it has to protect them. In Switzerland, because we have a system of popular referendums, the state has to have faith in its citizens."

Martine Brunschwig-Graf, a national lawmaker with the left-of-center Social Democratic Party, blamed the defeat of the measure on women's reluctance to vote on an issue she says affects them most.

Women are the main victims of domestic violence, and are also the ones left behind when their fathers, husbands or boyfriends commit suicide with an army weapon, she said.

About a quarter of Switzerland's 1,300 suicides each year involve a gun, and those calling for tighter rules claim military weapons, such as the army-issued SG 550 assault rifle, are used in between 100 and 200 suicides a year.

There are signs, however, that even in Switzerland attitudes to guns are changing. Young people are among those most likely to favor curbs on gun ownership.

In most shooting clubs the average age is "closer to 50 than to 40," says Gerhard Schneider, president of the pistol shooters association in Bueren an der Aare.

Maybe one reason the Swiss are such a peaceful people, is the fact that the government knows up front that the citizens are armed, and plan to stay that way! Might not be a good idea to try and forcibly take away their guns, if you know what I mean!

How about some fresh coffee, my friends? We can move out to the patio this morning! It's plenty warm enough, I think! BTW, Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Comes Softly...!

It's time to soften things up a bit.

It's Sunday, supposed to get warm, the sun is going to shine and life is good! As you can tell, I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude today.

It's time to make some changes in my life, but before I do anything too drastic I wanted to clear some of the dust from between my ears, drive the bats out of my belfry, and try to mentally prepare myself for the mind trip ahead!

One good way to do that, is to fill my head with the sounds of beautiful music! This is some of the most hauntingly beautiful music I know, so I'm going to share it here today! I hope you enjoy it like I do!

I hope your day is a calm and pleasant day! We all could use one, I think! Now, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen, OK?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just Leave The Buffalo Alone...!

Why do we insist on killing large numbers of the buffalo?

The government would have us believe that the buffalo can spread some diseases to cattle, despite the fact that there is not one recorded case of such a thing happening!

More than likely it's really because of big cattle growers wanting to keep the bison off of their natural grazing areas, so that the cattle herds will have a larger range to feed on! This has been an ongoing argument ever since cattle have been allowed to graze on public lands! Lots of money to be made off cattle, very little off of buffalo!

However, history has shown us that once the government has decided that the buffalo is going to be slaughtered, the rest is almost automatic! Many times in our past, we have allowed the buffalo to be killed almost to the point of extinction!

BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials halted plans Friday to ship bison to slaughter from Yellowstone National Park after saying they first had to review a court challenge filed by wildlife advocates.

Almost 400 of the animals were being held in corrals inside the park for testing to see whether they have been exposed to the disease brucellosis.

Officials had planned to begin this week sending to slaughter those bison that test positive.

But environmental and American Indian groups are seeking a restraining order from a federal judge in Helena to block the shipments. No shipments are expected while the legal challenge is reviewed by the Park Service, Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said.

Brucellosis can cause wildlife and livestock to prematurely abort their young. About half the park's bison carry the disease, although no bison-to-cattle transmissions have been recorded.

"Our plan at the moment is to continue testing and sorting these animals. We'll see what next week brings," Nash said.

Court filings indicate the government plans to respond to the request for a restraining order by Monday. No hearings have been set. The case is before U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell.

The legal maneuvering comes as the park's iconic bison herds are suffering their worst winter in several years, with deep snows forcing many of the animals out of the park and a much-heralded initiative to expand where they can roam on the verge of failure.

Park workers and state livestock agents have been trying for the last several weeks to halt the animals' exodus from the snow-packed park to lower elevations.

Bison periodically attempt to migrate out of the park in search of food. But many end up in government-operated corrals under a controversial program meant to guard against the spread of the disease brucellosis to livestock.

Christian Mackay, executive officer of the Montana Department of Livestock, said Friday that scheduling shipments of any captured bison is primarily a federal responsibility.

Through Friday, 224 of the 368 captured bison had been tested. Seventy-six tests came back positive and 148 negative, Nash said.

There is no guarantee the animals that tested negative will be released. Holding them until spring in the corrals along the park border could prove impossible if bison keep pouring out of the park.

The corrals hold only about 400 animals.

Those involved in the legal challenge said the chance of livestock being infected by bison is too low to justify the death of so many bison -- the largest wild land animals in North America.

"It doesn't make sense why they have such a lethal approach," said Tom Woodbury with the Western Watersheds Project, one of the plaintiffs in the case. "There are no cattle on public lands [adjacent to the park] this time of year. This seems to be more about population control than disease control."

Meanwhile, a $3.3-million initiative to give a small number of bison more room to roam outside the park was down to a single animal.

It has been just two weeks since 25 of the burly animals were herded onto the Gallatin National Forest, where bison had been prohibited for decades. But some of them repeatedly left the 2,500-acre patch where they were supposed to spend the winter. One was shot after entering private property, and 23 were captured and shipped back to the park or returned there on their own.

Government officials said it was uncertain when or how they would attempt again to carve out a new habitat for the species in Montana. The state's Democratic governor, Brian Schweitzer, suggested another batch of 25 bison could be herded from the park down to the forest land, but there were no immediate plans to do so.

Few cattle remain in the immediate vicinity of the park. Wildlife advocates said those conditions make it possible for government agencies to ease their restrictions on where bison can move.

But a spokesman for the Montana Stockgrowers Assn. said the livestock group is closely tracking the pending legal case and remains wary of any move to expand where bison can roam outside Yellowstone.

Jay Bodner, the association's director of natural resources, said cattle producers whose animals are infected with brucellosis can face economic losses if buyers are not willing to pay as much for their animals.

"Management actions still need to be taken," he said in reference to the government-sponsored capture and slaughter program.

In 2008, a record 1,600 bison were killed leaving the park, including more than 1,400 that were shipped to slaughter.

The people in power seem quick to kill off the bison, as well as the wild horses in places like Nevada based only on the one thing that they are impressed by...big money!

If we continue to assault the creatures that Mother Nature has placed here, sooner or later Mother Nature is going to start kicking butt and taking names! We all know how that will work out!

My suggestion? Why not just leave the wild horses and the buffalo alone? OK?

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Reason To Stay In Shape...!

I'm thinking this would certainly be one way to get your morning work-out!

If nothing else, it would make for a good way to get your juices flowing! I can just see it fool trying to chop the head off of a neighbor! One of the scariest parts of this whole story is the fact that both of these guys had such ready access to swords and machetes!

Looks to me like these boys are going all medieval on one another! A nice change of pace from guns, to say the least!

Collision prompts Sunnyside sword fight

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — A hit-and-run collision Wednesday followed by a brief sword fight led police to arrest a 25-year-old man for assault.

About 4 p.m., the Sunnyside man spotted a 27-year-old rival and intentionally rammed his 1981 Ford F-150 pickup into the man’s vehicle as he backed out of his driveway in the 100 block of South 11th Street, said Charlotte Hinderlider, Sunnyside police spokeswoman.

The alleged assailant brandished a sword, swinging it at his enemy, who had climbed out of his own vehicle, Hinderlider said.

The suspect fell, giving the victim time to pick up a machete that happened to be laying in his yard and defend himself from his alleged attacker, Hinderlider said. Meanwhile, the victim’s mother, still in the vehicle, dialed 9-1-1 from her cellular phone.

After minutes at most, the attacker left in his truck and police caught up with him at a house several blocks away in the 1400 block of South Sixth Street, Hinderlider said. No injuries were reported.

Hinderlider said the two men had a long-running feud but its origin was unclear. She also said the victim may have been using the machete to whack away some of the shrubs in his yard.

Police plan to ask prosecutors for charges of first-degree assault for the sword attack and two counts of second-degree assault for the crash.

— Ross Courtney

Looks like a hard way to get the neighbors attention! I guess the old days of talking out your differences and settling your arguments in a gentlemanly way are long gone, huh?

Well, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Please check your swords at the door!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hard Times Ahead...!

As if the cold, snow, and ice wasn't enough...looks like the price of most of our basic food items is getting ready to sky-rocket again!

According to all the articles I've been reading lately, by the summer we are going to be taking a beating in the grocery store. Either that, or we'll be eating off our Preps in a big way!

Shaping up to be the year where lots more folks better be putting in a garden, or expanding the one they have! See what you think!

Higher food prices ahead after corn reserves sink

I think that most of us have started seeing food prices going up in our local stores...and then to find out that coffee prices are starting to climb another 10% very soon really hits me where I live! For those that are interested, that's three times in the last year for coffee increases!

An era of cheap food may be drawing to a close

It's not only corn, but all grain crops and seed-oil crops that are going to be scarce! Looks like I'm going to have to double up on my coffee and nearly everything else I like! I can't take too many more 17% or 18% increases during the next year without coming up with some way to bring a little extra money in!

Maybe I'll have to cut back on eating for a while, ya think?

Let's get some fresh coffee, my friends, before they price it completely out of my reach!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some Quotes About Cats...!

Love them or hate them, you have to admit that cat's are pretty unique animals.

When you read some of these quotes, I'm sure that you'll see your cat in some of them. Even if you don't own a cat, I'm sure that you've heard one of your friends that have cats say almost the same thing!

Cats names are more for human benefit. They give one a certain degree more confidence that the animal belongs to you.
- - - Alan Ayckbourn "Table Manners"

Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives.
- - - Stephen Baker

Most beds sleep up to six cats. Ten cats without the owner.
- - - Stephen Baker

Drowsing, they take the noble attitude of a great sphinx, who, in a desert land, sleeps always, dreaming dreams that have no end.
- - - Charles Baudelaire "The Cat"

Any household with at least one feline member has no need for an alarm clock.
- - - Louise A. Belcher

Cat: a soft indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.
- - - Ambrose Bierce

Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you.
- - - Mary Bly

The real measure of a day's heat is the length of a sleeping cat.
- - - Charles J. Brady

A cat isn't fussy - just so long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow, rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it, and eat it off the floor.
- - - Arthur Bridges

A cat's rage is beautiful, burning with pure cat flame, all its hair standing up and crackling blue sparks, eyes blazing and sputtering.
- - - William S. Burroughs

Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.
- - - William S. Burroughs

The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don't buy love for nothing.
- - - William S. Burroughs

Most cats, when they are Out want to be In, and vice versa, and often simultaneously.
- - - Dr Louis J. Camuti

Your rat tail is all the fashion now. I prefer a bushy plume, carried straight up. You are Siamese and your ancestors lived in trees. Mine lived in palaces. It has been suggested to me that I am a bit of a snob. How true! I prefer to be.
- - - Raymond Chandler
( letter, Christmas 1948, from Chandler’s cat Taki to Mike Gibbud, Esq., “A Siamese Cat of imperfect blood line.”)

I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul.
- - - Jean Cocteau

There are no ordinary cats.
- - - Colette

A Poet's Cat, sedate and grave
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.
- - - William Cowper

I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days.
- - - Bill Dana (William Szathmary)

Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.
- - - Robertson Davies

Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.
- - - Missy Dizick

Before a cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream.
- - - T. S. Eliot

When a Cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except to put up with it until the wind changes.
- - - T. S. Eliot

The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.
- - - W. C. Fields

The cat is the animal to whom the Creator gave the biggest eye, the softest fur, the most supremely delicate nostrils, a mobile ear, an unrivaled paw and a curved claw borrowed from the rose-tree.
- - - Sidonie Gabrielle

The cat is a dilettante in fur.
- - - Theophile Gautier

Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.
- - - Paul Gray

What's virtue in a man can't be virtue in a cat.
- - - Gail Hamilton

A feather kitty's talent lies
In scratching out the other's eyes.
A feather kitty never dies
Oh immortality.
- - - Ernest Hemmingway, written in 1942, for his cat, F. Puss

Cat: A pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs and patronizes human beings.
- - - Oliver Herford

Some people say man is the most dangerous animal on the planet. Obviously those people have never met an angry cat.
- - - Lillian Johnson

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.
- - - Garrison Keillor

If cats could talk, they would lie to you.
- - - Rob Kopack

The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.
- - - Doug Larson

If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.
- - - Doris Lessing "Particularly Cats"

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
- - - Abraham Lincoln

I purr and your blues fade away.
I snuggle close and a frown turns to a smile.
I play chase and your world fills with laughter.
And in return, all I ask, is two meals a day...
...and all your love.
- - - Stuart and Linda Macfarlane

I gave my cat a bath the other day ... they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that . . .
- - - Steve Martin

There has never been a cat
Who couldn't calm me down
By walking slowly
Past my chair
- - - Rod McKuen

Cats are the natural companions of intellectuals. They are silent watchers of dreams, inspiration and patient research.
- - - Dr. Fernand Mery, The Life, History and Magic of the Cat

When the tea is brought at five o'clock
And all the neat curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.
- - - Harold Monro "Milk for the Cat"

When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime for her more than she is to me?
- - - Michel deMontaigne

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to look at the Queen.
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under the chair.
- - - Mother Goose

The trouble with a kitten is that...
It becomes a cat!
- - - Ogden Nash

Cats are to dogs what modern people are to the people we used to have. Cats are slimmer, cleaner, more attractive, disloyal, and lazy....Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as some people (expensive girlfriends, for instance) that it's often hard to tell the people and the cats apart.
- - - P. J. O'Rourke

A cat pours his body on the floor like water.
- - - William Lyon Phelps

The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an axe murderer.
- - - Paula Poundstone

People who wish to salute the free and independent side of their evolutionary character acquire cats. People who wish to pay homage to their servile and salivating roots own dogs.
- - - Anna Quindlen

People who hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life.
- - - Faith Resnick

Cats are a waste of fur.
- - - Rita Rudner

When the cat's away, chances are he's been run over.
- - - Michael Sanders

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
- - - Albert Schweitzer

One is never sure, watching two cats washing each other, whether it's affection, the taste, or a trial run for the jugular.
- - - Helen Thomson

One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
- - - Mark Twain

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
- - - Jeff Valdez

It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.
- - - Cynthia E. Varnado

A dog is a man's best friend. A cat is a cat's best friend.
- - - Robert J. Vogel

Even overweight, cats instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.
- - - John Weitz

If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.
- - - Alfred North Whitehead

It's obvious to me that most of these folks had a cat or two. So many of these quotes are true, it's scary! Trust me...I know!

Let's have some coffee in the kitchen this morning. Terribly windy out today!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Better Treat Your Neighbor Right...!

If you are going to steal from someone, you may want to make sure that he doesn't have a lot of security cameras around his property!

It might be a good idea to make sure whether or not he has a snow plow as well! If you don' could pay the price!

CHICAGO - David Welles got sweet, snowy revenge on a snow shovel thief.

It's Welles business to watch what goes on around him. He owns Tunnel Vision Technology. Cameras are all over his house, inside and out.

So, when his shovel went missing during the third biggest blizzard in Chicago history, he logged on to find out who the culprit was.

A neighbor he does not know took his shovel right out from under his nose. Now it wouldn't be so bad if she had returned it. David would have gladly let her use it.

But, to make matters worse, his 2 year-old daughter, Mayson, was waiting for daddy to finish building her igloo.

Welles got his snow blower and walked back and forth, literally burying the shovel-thief's car in snow. It took the woman four hours to brush the snow off her car Friday morning.

David got his revenge without being malicious. He posted video of it all on YouTube.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Just like it's not neighborly to take someone's parking space after they've marked it, it's not neighborly to take a man's shovel.

Especially when doing so makes his daughter cry.

I guess that some lessons are best when learned the hard way! One lesson you can bet this lady should learn real quick...and that is "Know Thy Neighbor"!

Of course, learning not to steal would be a good idea as well!

How about some fresh coffee in the kitchen? Maybe some hot biscuits with maple sausage patties to go with it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

This Is For Real, Folks...!

Many of us have been warning about this kind of thing for a long time, and now it's here!

This is for real, folks, and really does point to the fact that Prepping is now more necessary than ever before! We can stop thinking about when in the future this sort of thing is coming...and start realizing that this is going to be more the rule than the exception from now on!

Better be on board, or get left behind when it comes to survival and making the best of the bad times coming!

This is a major city here in Texas that we are talking about, so don't think it can't happen in your city as well!

Frigid El Paso limiting water use to drinking only

Feb. 6, 2011, 8:36PM

EL PASO — El Paso's mayor declared a water emergency Sunday to stiffen enforcement of a ban that restricts residents and businesses from using water for anything but drinking.

Mayor John Cook took the step after frigid temperatures put some of El Paso's water distribution network out of commission, prompting a water shortage.

The emergency proclamation allows the city to cut off water service to customers found to have violated the restrictions. Hospitals and other emergency services are exempt. A citywide alert continues urging the public to boil water before drinking.

A statement issued by the city says the restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely.

Some improvement had been seen in reservoir levels Sunday, City Manager Joyce Wilson told the El Paso Times on Sunday. However, El Paso Water Utilities customers have been asked to boil their drinking water and refrain from showering, using dishwaters, washing cars and other activities that might use large quantities of water.

You can read the rest of the story here!

If you think for one minute that this sort of thing isn't possible in your area, just keep on dreaming, Sparky! Ready or not, here it comes!

Let's have some fresh coffee in the kitchen this morning. Patio is too chilly to be comfortable!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hey, You Trained Me, Fool...!

Why should we be surprised when animals actually do exactly what they were trained to do?

Like the old saying goes..."you play with fire, you're gonna get burned"! Either way, I think this is an example of some prime payback by Mother Nature!

EARLIMART, Calif. -- Investigators say a 35-year-old California man who died at a hospital on Sunday was killed by a rooster.

Jose Luis Ochoa was stabbed by a knife attached to the leg of a fighting rooster, the Kern County coroner's office said Friday.

Officials said an autopsy determined Ochoa died as a result of a stab wound to the calf, and the death was ruled accidental.

The coroner did not specify exactly how the calf wound killed Ochoa, whether it was excessive bleeding, infection or something else.

Investigators said it was not known if a cockfight was under way at the time of the accident.

The rooster was trained to fight, trained to kill, equipped with a razor on his spur, and then turned loose to do as much damage as he could! That's exactly what he did! No matter if the target in front of him didn't have feathers, the rooster did his job!

I say, more power to him! As far as the guy that got killed, reap what you sow!

Hot coffee and chocolate in the kitchen this morning! Still chilly outside!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You Say It's Snowing ? Fire Up The Grill...!

I guess you all know by now that folks in Texas like their bar-b-cue.

Doesn't take much of a reason to fire up the ol' grill. The weather doesn't make much difference either! Rain, cold, hot, snow, or ice...all considered to be good for grilling! Freshly grilled meat from the outside, fresh baked bread from the inside! Talk about a winning combination of aromas! Makes my mouth water, that's for sure!

Of course, there always seems to be folks competing to see who's the best at the art of the grill! One thing I always wanted to do was to get a job as a taster! Not necessarily a judge, but a taster!

Thought you might like to read about just how seriously these cook-offs can be taken!

Houston team wins tailgating championship

By KEN HOFFMAN Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle
Feb. 4, 2011, 4:02PM

FORT WORTH — Hundreds of fans crowded into Sundance Square to watch America's best parking lot chefs compete in the Bing National Tailgating Championship.

Or maybe they were just trying to stay warm.

Tailgating contestants started cooking at 5 a.m. Thursday and fans began gathering around 10 a.m. The temperature was 26 degrees at eatin' time.

When the smoke cleared, the Bull's Eye Tailgaters from Houston won the top prize of $15,000 and a gold-colored, fully functional gas barbecue grill.

It's a little glitzy.

The event was hosted by New Orleans Saints star Reggie Bush and Joe Cahn, the "Commish" of the Tailgating Institute of America.

The Bull's Eye team won the Houston semifinals back in November. The judges were former Texans lineman Steve McKinney, H-E-B president Scott McClelland and me. Ah, we remember those pork ribs well.

The Houston cookers defeated tailgate teams from Denver, New York, Phoenix, New Orleans and Seattle.

Do they even know what barbecue is in those cities? From now on, the winner of the Houston event should be given the national trophy to save everybody time and trouble.

The Bull's Eye team cooked (take a deep breath) brisket, jalapeño cheddar sausage, bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin, smoked Cajun sausage, beef ribs, pork ribs, Cajun pork tenderloin and chicken. Plus all the fixin's.

"We're a Southern state so we wanted to impress the judges with our volume of beef and other meats," said Jason Saldivar, who founded the Bull's Eye Tailgaters with his brothers Troy and Ray.

"This was definitely the coldest weather we ever cooked in. We were prepared with propane heaters, though. The biggest hurdle we had was timing everything so it would be hot off the grill when we served the judges. That's what we do: timing and execution."

Gotta love guys that are always thinking ahead and prepared for the competition! Probably some good people to have on your team, don't ya think?

What say we have fresh coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen! That way we don't have to mess with the ice on the patio table!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let's Give This Man A Gun...!

I have a couple of new heroes today!

I'm proud of this couple, and I don't even know them! Now I'm not saying that what they did was that smart, but I'm proud of the fact that they were willing to stand up for themselves and say "enough is enough!"

If there is one saving grace in the jungle-like world we live in today, it's that so many of our elderly are still brave enough to stand their ground and not roll over just because some punk is trying to scare them!

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (WCCO) — A 91-year-old Minnesota man and his 82-year-old wife say they weren’t scared, but the guy trying to rob them sure was.

A masked intruder wanting money barged into Wally and Betty’s apartment in St. Charles over the weekend. However, he got something in return.

Wally was sitting at his computer when the man entered his home.

“He just stood there in that doorway, standing there with a shovel,” said Wally. “I thought, ‘what the hell is going on here?’ I thought it was a joke!”

After hearing all the commotion, his wife, Betty, went to the front of the house and found him on the floor. Wally had been punched in the nose and it was bleeding.

“I sat on the edge of the bed. He says, ‘give me your hands! I’m going to tie you up!’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t think so,” Betty said.

They both resisted. It happens to be in Wally’s blood. The World War 2 veteran wasn’t about to give in to the guy’s demands — his wife wasn’t either.

After a couple minutes of struggling, the man ran out the door with nothing.

“I’m damn near 92 years old. So, I’ve lived my life. He’s got his ahead of him, and it might not be too rosy, you know?” Wally said.

The couple will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary in March.

“I’m just thankful that everything turned out OK,” said Betty.

The man is described as a white man in his early 20s, with a black stocking cap and gray ski mask. He’s said to be about 5-foot-10, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black nylon jogging pants.

Despite the couples’ bravery, police generally don’t recommend being uncooperative with a criminal’s demands, because it is better to play it safe.

You know, it doesn't matter if it's some punk with a shovel, some crook with a gun or knife, or some jack-booted thug with an automatic weapon...there comes a time that we all need to stand our ground and say "enough is enough!". A time we need to make up our minds that we are NOT going to be pushed around anymore, not going to be victims anymore, not going to just sit back and allow ourselves to be targets anymore!

In my opinion, we need to start taking charge of our own future, our own safety, and our own destiny as soon as possible! I feel that our time may be getting shorter and shorter every day, and those of us that don't take charge of ourselves, will be put in someone Else's charge! I'm just saying...!

Coffee in the kitchen as it's way too cold to go outside. Again, that's just my opinion!