little fish...

... there is an old concrete bridge on highway 39 - halfway between Englewood and Athens - that crosses a brown-water creek.. the creek is a tributary of the Conasauga, and it winds slowly around my Uncle's farm... the backside of which is covered in a mixed hardwood and pine forest.... grazing cattle kept down the saplings and undergrowth... and in my youth, my Father and I would wander back to sit by the creek bank and fish for bluegill... it was a rare pleasure.. neither my Father or I really had the patience to sit and fish.. our temperaments usually found us perpetually in motion... but, as if pulled by some Fatherly unwritten rule, we'd sometimes find ourselves spending a sweltering Saturday dangling our feet in the cold water and playing a hand with the mosquitoes...

.. we never were very successful at catching fish, though.. in all fact, I doubt that the pickings were very good in the small creek anyway... but I do remember one particular occasion when I caught the tiniest bluegill ever.. probably about three inches long... but perfectly formed and colored... a miniature version of its pan-fry parents...

... we'd taken a five gallon bucket with us on the trip just in case we caught anything... in retrospect, my Father must have been attempting to use the Power of Positive Thinking... but that was before that catchphrase has been invented... this time, though, it worked... and I proudly dipped the lip of the bucket in the creek to fill it with the silty water... when I was finished, Dad removed the hook from the mouth of the fish and splashed it into its new home.... I was pretty damn pleased with myself..

... of course, with our trophy bluegill now in our possession, we decided to call it a day.... the long walk back to the truck passed easily with the splashing of the water onto my legs as I carried the half-full bucket... and before I knew it, I was standing tall before my Mother back at the house... displaying with pride my darting victim in the pail...

... I kept him for almost a week in that little bucket... I'd caught him on the Sunday before my Father headed back to work... and as the week passed, I refilled his home with fresh water from the well... plucked insects from the garden to feed him... and cared for him as best I could...

... the following Friday night, my Dad arrived back home... I began excitedly telling of how I had fed and kept the little fish alive.. given it clean, fresh water... and spent time with it every day... he was horrified.... I suppose that he had expected the little guy to expire after a few hours... instead, when he found out that I was still holding him captive, he realized the error of what we'd done...

... the next morning, he began softening me up.. explaining how the fish was probably missing his mates... and how he needs to be back in the creek... and after a while, it worked... my Mother made us some sandwiches as we loaded the bucket in the back of Dad's truck... we drove back to that concrete bridge, parked the truck, and walked back to the spot where we'd caught the tiny fish... my Dad took off his shoes and socks and waded into the creek with the pail... once he was in the middle, he slowly poured all of the contents into the dark water... and my little prisoner was gone...

... we sat in the shade of a huge sycamore that day, and ate our sandwiches... the sun was hot, as it often is in mid-August, but we didn't care... and I remember us talking about that fish, and what adventures lay in store for it...

... here's the strange thing, though.. every time I go over that bridge, I remember that little bluegill.. I really don't understand it... even more so because I left Tennessee for so long - one third of my life... but now that I'm back, it just seems strange that one particular trip, one fish, and one circumstance is brought to the fore of my mind every time I pass one section of road... I know there must be some importance there... but I just can't put my finger on it...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
» Velociworld links with: PRISONERS

Shark update...

... the shark was a hit last night... but I don't think it'll be on the menu again any time soon... a bit too chewy for my taste... and if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I'd rather buy halibut... still, it was an interesting experience... halfway through the meal, the Wife remarked that we might be eating the flesh of a beast that may have bitten off a human leg or two...

... and I have to admit, whilst gazing down at a plate full of half-eaten shark, the idea of inadvertent cannibalism was kinda off-putting... even with good tartar sauce and melted butter..

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Handmaidens...

... truth in poetry... inspired by Michelle Malkin.. great, great stuff...

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Blogcrawl...

... I was just sitting here having an ice-cold sapphire gin and tonic, and a wee fruit fly fell into my drink... in the blink of an eye, I snatched up the magical mixture and retrieved the poor devil... deader than Hell, he was... pickled in an instant.. you know, there is some strange comfort I feel just now.. I'm not sure if it is that I have self-protecting drinks.. or the fact that I am far, far superior to a common fruit fly... but yet, it is a comfort...

... that reminds me, Contagion's Blogcrawl is kicking off in a few hours... I appear to have the jump on the rest of those losers.. I mean, c'mon... my Saturday night libations have already claimed lives...

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Phobia vs Karma...

.. once again, I shall be diving into the deep end of culinary adventure.. this evening's meal holds real promise... well, at least it sounds good... the proof will be in the tasting... on today's menu is grilled shark, asparagus, salad, and mashed potatoes... and I plan to be chief Chef... apart from the potatoes and salad, we're breaking new ground here.. all in all, I'm pretty stoked...

... but here's the thing... my aversion for sharks is well documented on this blog... in fact, it is impossible for me to properly express in written words how much I hate them... to truly understand, you'd have to hear me express it in person... audibly... just think combination of squawk, scream, roar, and loose bowel movement all at the same time, and you'll have a pretty good picture... and yet, thanks to the combined actions of The Discovery Channel and National Geographic, I can identify most species by their bite mark, skin coloring, dorsal and pectoral fin configuration... tis best to know your enemy, I suppose...

... yea verily, sharks amaze and terrify me like no other beast... which brings me around to today.. when perusing the aisle of the local shoppie for pork chops, I spied the two hunks of shark flesh.... marble white under the clear cellophane... and instantly, I knew I had to buy them... after all, cooking up a few slabs of dead shark for my enjoyment might just cure me of my phobia... especially with some melted butter and lemon juice... then again, it might totally hammer my karma...

... so, really... what are the odds?.. next time I'm flailing around in the Gulf of Mexico with a Corona in my hand and a shark swims by, is it going to sense that I once ate his Auntie and immediately snip my leg off at the knee?... or will it sense that I once dined heartily on one of his neighbors, and think... "better stay away from THAT whiteboy.. he might eat ME... "

... personally, I just don't know... but the way that meat looks, I do believe it is a risk worth taking...

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Guestposting...

... I'll be keeping this blog going for the next few days while The Princess is away... so, word up... if I ain't posting here, more than likely I'll be over there breaking things... you know, as you do when you're guestblogging...

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Donations..

... it must be that time of year again.. yesterday I walked my sweaty ass around the house just in time to catch a glimpse of the postmistress speeding away... and after plodding down to the mailbox, what did I find?... fifteen junk mails from various charities...nice to see how they're wasting my donations on postage... but it gets better... they've upped the ante, it seems... see, tucked into each piece of unsolicited junk were personalized mailing labels with my name on them... not just one or two either... but sheet upon sheet of colored doggies, cats, and flag stickers... March of Dimes, Cystic Fibrosis, Paralyzed Veterans, Disabled Veterans, , VFW, Juvenile Diabetes Society, American Legion... Vietnam Veterans Half-way House for Kicking Crank... give me a break...

... I send them donations once a year... once a year, just like clockwork... and yet I get spammed by them two or three times every month... and as the anniversary of my donations closes in, they send me address stickers?... that stuff can't be cheap... and I don't even write letters... a total waste of their time and my donation money...

.. seriously... how many people are guilt-tripped into throwing a tenner at some charity because they sent you unsolicited address labels?... not me... I am either going to donate or not.. I always do.. and I do it at the same time every year... I wish they'd use the money for a proper purpose.. I've got enough guilt already.. and the absolute LAST thing I need is stickers with bunnies alongside my name and address...

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Changes...

... lately, I have been enjoying the multi-faceted wonderfulness of Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk... ladies and gentlemen, it is wonderful... every house in America should have a can of it... it's good for drizzling over your Key Lime Pie.. dobbling into your hot lapsang souchong... even dunking a loaded spoonful into an early morning coffee is a pleasant pastime... for that matter, just scarfing a sip late at night when no one is looking can cure what ails you...

... to be honest, I'm not a sweet eater... not really.. if faced with a choice double-chocolate cake and a steaming tureen of macaroni and cheese, I'd choose the cheese every time... savory is where it's at, you can keep your sweets...

... but recently, I've been having stirrings... deep, deep down... almost primal in their yearnings... yes, a long-buried need seems to be crowning.. funny, too... I never thought I had it in me... but much like the occasional squirrel who wigs out and starts nibbling on your vinyl siding to quench some hidden vitamin deficiency, thus am I with my evaporated milk...

.. truly, I can not explain it... but then again, why should I even try?.. when we're faced with drastic personal evolution, we scurry about looking for answers... well, not any more.. at least not for this camper... for when it comes to Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk, I can forego the usual explanations...

.. I don't know how long this love affair will last, but truthfully?... I'm just going to go with the proverbial flow.. not rock this particular boat.. after all, we are creatures of continual change... even when we think we're stuck in a rut..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(16) | TrackBack (1) | Psycho Rants
» smokingtoaster.com links with: jogged

...on...

... Consolidated Edison is being sued... but not for any reason you might imagine.... see?...

.. the poor girl... I really don't see that she has a case... after all, the brand said "on"... and in fact, a chick with the word "on" branded on her ass is pretty cool... on the other hand, it could have been much, much worse.. having a girlfriend with "Ed" seared onto her butt cheek would be one helluva mood-killer....

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Crushes...

... I changed the sidebar photo... why?... well, Blondage has confessed to having a secret internet crush on me... the thing is, I was really flattered until I read the rest of her list... whoa.... she's got crushes on some pretty shady characters...

... anyway, there is no better way to scare off an internet crush than by showing them a photo of you in the buff... well, at least, that is my experience.... so, there you go....

.. as a result, the rest of you will just have to deal with it for a while.. have no fear, though... the real, grown-up me will be back this evening...

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The hits just keep on coming...

... well, another poolnight has come and gone... I was well and truly stomped 8 to 5 by Biker Steve as his main squeeze watched on.... nothing like being crushed in your own garage in front of a woman you hardly know... still, it's all cool... you can't win them all.. being humbled by the hand of a tattooed martial arts expert is not for the faint of heart... but I can deal... Hell, I always have...

... sometimes the shoe is slid onto the other foot... and he is the recipient of the asskicking... but not tonight.... just another evening with friends... crazy people, of course.. insane, even... but still friends...

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Downtime...

... sometimes I read a poem and I'm amazed at how the intricate use of language conveys such simple ideas... especially when the message of the author is brought out so clearly... take the poem below, for instance... I have a feeling that Dax knows how old Oggie was feeling when he wrote it... Hell, I guess we all want to be that lama from time to time... oh, and read it out loud... it's just better that way...

I Will Arise And Go Now... by Ogden Nash

In far Tibet
There live a lama,
He got no poppa,
Got no momma,

He got no wife,
He got no chillun,
Got no use
For penicillun,

He got no soap,
He got no opera,
He don't know Irium
From copra,

He got no songs,
He got no banter,
He don't know Hope,
He don't know Cantor,

He got no teeth,
He got no gums,
Don't eat no Spam,
Don't need no Tums.

He love to nick him
When he shave;
He also got
No hair to save.

Got no distinction,
No clear head,
Don't call for Calvert;
Drink milk instead.

He use no lotions
For allurance,
He got no car
And no insurance,

No Alsop warnings,
No Pearson rumor
For this self-centered
Nonconsumer.

Indeed, the
Ignorant Have-Not
Don't even know
What he don't got.

If you will mind
The box-tops, comma,
I think I'll go
And join that lama.

... Ogden Nash was a genius...

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Maintenance...

... pruning the blogroll today... she was getting totally out of hand.... so if you fell off, complain... if you think I should be reading your blog, email me... if you have me linked and have secretly plotting my demise because I have not linked you back, let me know... what am I, a mind reader?...

... anyway, I don't bite, I promise.. you can trust Uncle Eric...

... no, seriously.. you really can...

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Marion....

... the Wife's Grandma is long dead, but I've got a photo of her on the wall above my computer screen.... a little 3X5 in a pressed frame.... in the snapshot, she is seated in a tall, comfy chair wearing a knitted, bright red cardigan... she was probably 92 or 93 years old at the time, and always cold.. thus the cardigan.... the family is all lined up behind her... and her head is craning back and to her right so she can stare up at me... everyone else - including me - was smiling at the camera and not paying attention to her antics... we didn't even know she wasn't paying attention until the photo was developed.... a few months after that photo, she died quietly...

... I often forget that the photo is up there.. but when I notice it again, it makes me laugh... she was one interesting lady... always doing what she wasn't supposed to... always breaking with convention... even in her latter years... and much to the distress of her young daughter, I might add....

... for instance, back in the day, she used to race motorcycles.. all through the 1930s and up until 1940 she'd head off alone for cross-country races... she won, too... not often, but enough to keep her trying.... but that's what it is all about.. keeping trying...

... my Mother-in-Law has an old, black and white photo of her by her bike... a BSA, as I remember... she's dressed in leather from head to toe.. leather helmet.. leather goggles... and a knee-length leather greatcoat... she's also covered in mud and smiling like a schoolgirl... the number that was placed between the handlebars read "28"...

... sometimes I hope I go out just like that... having lived a life of adventure and excitement and surrounded by people who love me.. of course, nothing is ever certain.. and I'm too lazy for much adventure these days.... Hell, when it comes right down to it, I'd probably just settle for an interloping whippersnapper writing a blog post about me once I head off to the hereafter... fame and glory are almost as fleeting as blogging and bloggers these days...

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Niiice....

... I've seen site re-designs before... but Naked Villainy takes the cake... go and check out their new digs.. Back in Black, people...

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PETV

... "Give peas a chance"... go on over... there's more... Jane Fonda should be ashamed of herself...

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Bequeathed...

... not that I'm planning on checking out any time soon, but I see this as a pretty good idea... plus, it's always good when people promise to give you free booze... I'm truly honored, Dax... and on the day you die, I promise to only drink bourbon in remembrance of the incredible Dax Appalachian Montana..

.. you have my most solemn word...

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Meek...

... living in the valley, you get a unique view of thunderstorms arriving... like the other night... it started off in the distance... 30 miles away and slow out on the horizon... the sky flashed for almost an hour before the sound of the thunderclaps were ever close enough to be heard...

... and as it settled over the house, the rain came... hard, slanting rain... and the sound of thunder booming the very same instant that the lightning flashed.. pure closeness..

... sometimes I think that Mother Nature doesn't have a subtle bone in her body... we often think we see it in sunrises or gentle breezes, but we're wrong... subtlety is a manmade idea... we humans dreamt it up as a tool for civilizing each other... Mother Nature may abhor a vacuum.. but she fucking despises a weakling... in like a lion, she comes... and she sure ain't gonna apologize about it...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | TrackBack (1) | Psycho Rants
» Gut Rumbles links with: fuck you mununvians

San Diego...

... I'm torn... I mean, all the crooked politician wanted to do was assist in the repeal a bad law.. but still, this looks pretty bad...

Michael Zucchet, who became interim mayor over the weekend, was found guilty of conspiracy, extortion and fraud on his first business day in office. He was immediately suspended from the position, his attorney said.

.. amazing... yeah, emphasis mine.... I mean, c'mon... one day?... doesn't it usually take politicians at least a week before they start accepting bribes?... no decorum, that's what they've got... no stinking decorum...

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Buffy...

... you know, every now and then, the news provides a spark of hope... the world we live in is full of crime, war, terrorism, and natural disasters.. people suffering.. but sometimes, we see good people doing good things... like this, for instance...

... all she wants is for us to see her in her prime.. I say that is a truly noble cause... I just wish more starlets would follow her example...

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Afteraction...

.... the peaceful Sunday morning calm of Eagle Glen was shattered at 10AM EST today... T1G's green Harley was the culprit as it rumbled to life... heh.. I do believe we woke up the chickens.. anyway, he's off on his return journey of 12+ hours... I do not envy him the ride....

.. we toured the mountains and National Forest around Tellico Plains yesterday.. and snuck in dinner at The Bistro by the river... crab bisque, grilled salmon, and pulled pork sandwiches, people... seriously good eating...

... afterwards, we talked and drank and laughed till late into the night... subjects varied from blogs, bloggers, and blogmeets... to mortars, Mothers, and motorcycles... I even managed to teach T1G the secrets and finer points of the perfect Gin and Tonic...

.. even though we had a great weekend visiting... we couldn't help but be envious of Christina, Denny, Velociman, Zonker, Sam, Yabu, Dash, Kelley, Key, and Shoe... trust me, people... many, many glasses were raised in their honor... and I know they had a good time... I just hope they all stayed out of jail...

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an evening with T1G...

... last night, T1G watched on as I prepared my world famous spaghetti... he was impressed... I think that Tammi might get paid back for all of her Mexican Manicotti labors by having T1G actually prepare HER a meal for a change when he gets back...

... anyway, after the meal, we had a few drinks and settled in to watch Zulu... see, T1G had never seen that movie before.... being a former Marine, I discussed one of the books from the required reading list for NCOs... The Defense of Duffer's Drift... this brought the movie Zulu to the conversation... when I found out his life had managed to stay bereft of Zulu's pleasure, well, we just had to watch it...

... hey, what was I supposed to reward 12 hours of riding on a Harley with?...

... besides, I think he enjoyed it... either way, he's still asleep and snoring like a freight train in the spare bedroom... if I listen carefully, I can hear the dishes in the kitchen at the other end of the house rattling.. heh... being glutted with my spaghetti sauce, topped up with Shiner Bock, and forced to watch Zulu is hard on a man, I guess....

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Pretty in Pink...

.... Breaking News!.... the four horsemen of the apocalypse have been sighted in New Orleans.... truly, the end is near.... word, children... it ain't pretty... but I'm still jealous....

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Another Visitor...

... I just received a telephone call from a truly deranged man... a man who has just driven a Harley for 12 hours... in the rain... at night.. from northern Illinois to Knoxville, Tennessee... I can't believe it... 12 hours at night in the rain... damn, the things people do to come and shoot pool... y'all never cease to amaze me...

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often misunderstood...

.. half-asleep on the couch last night, a rare moment of clarity crept in quietly... allowing me to see a brilliant flash of genius... beautiful in its subtlety.. .... Everyman's secret wish... simple, really... but as true as any proverb brought down by a prophet from on high... yes, I'm talking about Cingular's latest advertisement...

... being a victim of shortsighted, religiously overwrought, dry-county legislation, this Tennessean could relate perfectly... and droopy-eyed, the often heard one-liner bypassed my normal brain activity and struck my unconscious core....

... "more bars in more places"...

... indeed... if they promised that as their campaign slogan, you could color me onboard for Cingular's gubernatorial run... and no, I'm not talking about those damn cell phones...

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Seafood...

... the latest thing to freak me out?... two words.. "aerial predation"... close behind it?... "vertical predatory attack"... in short?... flying sharks.. FLYING sharks... it's true... I just saw it on tv...

.. the Discovery Channel's Shark Week is in full swing and for me, well, it ranks right up there with Zombie movies for pure shock value...

... for instance, I've just spent the afternoon watching 2000 pound sharks launch themselves into the air from the cold South African depths.. nightmarish stuff, to be sure... cute, fluffy, baby seals were for supper... I swear... my fear of sharks has just reached a whole new level.. watching those seal pups get chewed and mangled makes the whole crocodile/baby gazelle battle seem like a witty line from a Dr. Seuss book....

... see, it is bad enough to get eaten alive... but the way those South Africans do it is just plain overkill... it's one thing to see a largemouth bass rise to the surface and whisk a floating bullfrog off to oblivion... but when the fish is 16 feet long?... well, thank God I don't live near the ocean.

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Ouch...

... whoa... still alive... but only just.... hangover the size of Nebraska... 1968 Glenfarclas did it.. Blackfive is evil... you've all been warned...

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Joke of the Day...

.. heh... tripod...

.... it's a little long, but definitely worth reading....

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Another Wednesday...

... today is Wednesday, and it should prove interesting... the original drunken Irishman is scheduled to arrive this evening for a meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club.. that's right, children... Matt of Blackfive shall be given the pleasure of hanging with the infamous band of curious people who arrive at my house on any given Wednesday...

... actually, they are a fine group... and we're pretty stoked about getting to welcome Matt into our fold... sure, we may not be a fair and balanced slice of East Tennessee Hillbilly culture... but we sure as Hell ain't boring...

... and here is a thought to ponder... if you've read this rambling blog for very long, you're probably just as warped as we are... and you'd fit right in even if you don't shoot pool... after all, a few brave bloggers have already made the trip, and they all survived to tell the tale... that kinda makes me smile...

... Jimmy Buffett had no idea how true it was when he penned the words... "we are the people our parents warned us about"...

.. but that's just it, I guess... I never would have imagined that shooting pool in my garage with friends would become such an Institution... one of these days, I think I'll design a tee-shirt...

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Frightening....

... some mornings you wake up and read things that just immediately make you wish you'd stayed in bed.... take this, for instance..... now, don't get me wrong... I'm fairly pro adult entertainment.... but, damn...

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Tuesday...

... the Wife and I spent most of today driving the backroads of Meigs, Roane, Loudon, and Monroe counties... we had no place to be.. no roadmap... and no timeline... just slowly cruising the narrow roads of a few rural counties... the elements played along well for most of the trip.. a few thunderstorms forced us to close the sunroof... but other than that, it was a very nice drive...

... no place to be and no timeline... it feels perfect just to type that...

... a lot of people need to be driven by a goal... they strive... my goals have nothing to do with being a certain place... or arriving at a certain time... sure, I do have goals... but I guess they are just different from the norm.... today, after all, was a Tuesday... a day of toil for most... soon, it will be just another day of toil for me... just like it has been in the past... but today?... in a way, it wasn't a Tuesday at all... today was just a day of pleasure out with my mate... today was a day when we bought ice cream in the rain... today was a day when we pulled off to the side of the road to watch Canada Geese root junebugs out of the freshly mown grass...

... today was a great day to have no place to be..

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Quality Control...

.. I cracked the sunroof and tooled over to my gunsmith's house last Sunday afternoon... it's a killer ride through the backroads to get there... but once there, we managed to put a few hundred rounds downrange before the heat and humidity made us surrender.. and I have to admit, the .45 is really growing on me... the more I fire it, the better I like it.. you people can say what you want about Beretta, but I am a born-again fan... my Cougar rocks.. and I get that warm & tingly feeling when I hear her growl.. she's one special lady...

... anyway, we set up at 30 feet and my first group was 2.5 to 3 inches... that was with Winchester .230gr target loads... next up, I loaded her with .230gr PMC brand ammo... good Lord.... my group was 8 inches... I switched back to the Winchester and again fired a 3 inch group...

... something foul is afoot in the wind at the PMC factory methinks... sure, I know that different weapons like different ammo... and shopping around and trying them out is the only way to make sure... but that much of a marked difference was just shocking... so for those of you who have the full-frame Cougar, a word of advice... Winchester, Remington, and FMJ are about the only brands mine likes... don't waste your money on the cheapest ammo you can find... it ain't worth it... it may go boom, but you'll miss what you're aiming at as likely as not... at least that is my experience...

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..care package...

.. cough up some ideas, people... I'm fresh out.... a week or so ago, Maeve from Bartender, Another Round told me a tale of a homesick Tennessean overseas in the military... evidently, he was craving things from here in God's Country... well, I jumped at the chance to help him out....

... the problem is, after a week of shopping, I've run out of ideas... here's what I have piled on my kitchen counter so far:...

a box of Quaker instant cheese'n'ham grits..
two boxes of assorted chewy granola bars...
a pair of wrap-around sunglasses...
a box of baby wipes....
a gigantic tube of SPF 30 sweatproof sunblock...
two tubes of chapstick with University of Tennessee's logo on them..
a box of assorted Southern Home's instant oatmeal...
a box of ziplock 24oz sealable plastic bags...
four ziplock 1qt microwavable bowls...
a 60 minute telephone calling card...
a 24 shot disposable Kodak camera...
two SEC football magazines...
a large squirt bottle of "liquid bandage"
and a box of Little Debbie oatmeal snack cakes... because, well... nothing says The South like Little Debbie snack cakes...

... yeah, it's truly a varied mix.. but that's what happens when someone as eclectic as me goes shopping... sure, the plastic bags and bowls are unorthodox, but very useful... very good for waterproofing/dustproofing stuff...

.. anyway, I will be sending all this stuff off to his wife in Miami later in the week... the question is... what else can I send?.. c'mon people... give me some ideas..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(17) | TrackBack (1) | Military Stuff
» basil's blog links with: Lunch: 7/19/05

Old Movie Day...

... rain's coming on again slow and steady again... none of the past 10 days have seen respite... maybe just one or two showers each 24 hours, but still it rains...

... the potted plants on the walkway are moldering and the air is thick and hot... the ground just won't dry.... Somerset Maugham would be proud... this is Joan Crawford weather if I ever saw it.. we've even got a few Marines and raving Preachers laying around to complete the scene... violence, sex, lust, and jealousy... boredom and complacency... even sloth, rage, and religion... all rolled into one nice, bouncy ball of humanity... if you think about it, you don't even need to turn on the news...

... I think I'll dust off my old copy of Rain.. take it from the shelf and slip it into the VCR in a bit... kick back with a gin and tonic and just soak it up... if all goes well, Of Human Bondage will be next... Hell, I'm more Philip Carey than Sadie Thompson anyway... although I do admire Sadie's style...

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Been there...

.. this post speaks to me on more levels than you can possibly imagine....

"Um... yet another "hypothetical" q2uewstion:

eSay that you 3were sdharpening a knife, and wehile honing the blade, you managed to make a nice incisdion through a finger... let'sd juwt sday your ring finger on your left hand. The bleeding hax sdtopped, but the finger juet saeemd to flop around a bit too much. You decide that it'ds probably a xsdmart thing to do sxdomething more... what type bandage ewould you usae? WSponge Bob, or Po32wer Rangerx? And do you week further axsisdtance?

Hypothetically, an immediate anw3der 2ould be appreciated."

... at the time of my accident, we used Super Glue...

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Decking...

... well, I've just returned from spending a few hours with the builder... it seems we have reached the proverbial fork in the road... the place where way leads on to way..

... I have two options... pressure-treated wood... or a new product called ChoiceDek..

... here's the deal.... real wood costs 1/2 as much as ChoiceDek... easy choice, right?... well, there's where you'd be wrong... see, the real wood will need to be replaced in five to ten years... and stained/sealed every couple of years... now, I may be wrong, but staining and sealing sounds like work... the ChoiceDek, on the other hand, is a one-off.. no shrinkage... no rotting... no bleaching of the color by the elements... sure, it costs more.. but much carries the guidon of Much Less Maintenance with pride... I'm down with that..

... now, as you all know, I avoid manual labor with a well-honed diligence... my ability to dodge breaking a sweat is legendary... and on those days when I am forced to froth about under the hot sun at some menial task, I usually come back inside and bitch about it on my blog... and I know how much you rubberneckers hate that.. so the options before me are thus:... if I go with the ChoiceDek, I'll have less blogfodder about back-breaking, mind-numbing, mosquito-bitten escapades while working in Hell's Half-acre.. but on the upside, I'd have more relaxing, self-indulgent Scotch drinking stories to tell about birds twittering from limb to limb, glorious sunrises, etc..

... as you can see, this decision will ultimately change the tone of this blog... at least in part... it'll still suck, but if you choose wisely, it will be less sweaty...

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Killin' a Muse....

... the deck I often speak of here is about to be demolished... sad, sad stuff... the many happy hours of sipping libations and watching the World pass by shall be suspended for a while... many, many a post was birthed in her wooden womb... the enjoyment of a morning coffee and an evening Scotch often assisted with the delivery... she will be missed...

... and this is all happening through no fault of her own... but that's just it, isn't it?... truly, life is not fair... not even for shady decks... see, she's 10" X 20" as I write this... and that just ain't big enough... a meeting was held yesterday and decisions have been made... her fate is sealed...

... her replacement shall be 18" X 28" with frilly railings... I truly hate to see the old girl go... I am skeptical, but excited... my baby has served me well... I could find no fault with her services... but like I said, times change..

... I hope that whatever muse haunted her boards will find the same comfort in the new one... otherwise, this blog shall shrivel on the vine...

... tremulous times, people... my days of writing about absolutely nothing while sipping Scotch could be numbered... y'all have been warned...

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Contagious...

... the blogworld is a strange place.. yeah, yeah... I like to state the obvious... but this morning it just got worse... as I rolled out of bed a few minutes ago, the Wife greeted my morning with this....

... "wait.. let me tell you about my dream"..

... now, of course, this immediately grabbed my attention.. sometimes her dreams are quite entertaining... and I've read that they often offer a rare insight to the psyche... needless to say, I settled back to hear the tale...

... "you and I were snuggled on the couch watching Sex and the City when the doorbell rang... you walked over to the door, and this creepy, geeky guy was looking through the window beside the door... you turned to me and said.. 'oops... 'I forgot to tell you... all of the Munuvians are coming over for a blogmeet... you opened the door and the entire front yard was filled with people standing around waiting to be let in.... there were camera crews, news helicopters.... it was horrible... my hair was a mess..."...

... lookit.. I've dreamt of bloggers and blogging before... Hell, I've even read about other bloggers having nocturnal emissions dreams about bloggers... but I have never heard of one's spouse dreaming about bloggers before... much less showing up at her house for a blogmeet...

... you know, in a way it was quite funny... deeply, deeply disturbing, of course, but strangely funny as well... after all, I've never been able to sit through a whole episode of Sex and the City...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(7) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: Blogzilla!

How to kill a shark...

.. you know, I read a lot of blogs.. and I usually read the comments to a post that I really liked... well, I was cruising Queenie's site a few days ago and I read a comment that will forever remain embedded in my mind... it was in response to a guestpost by Velociman... and it was quite possibly the biggest display of cajones and bravado I have ever witnessed on the type-written page, and considering some of the bloggers I read, that is saying a LOT... anyway, the post is here.... and here, dear ones, is the comment... bear witness:

I find that when I ram my penis, like the snout of a dolphin, into a sharks gills, that they tend to notice.

There is something extremely erotic about having those wicked teeth snapping and gasping a foot away from my blood-lubricated member, as I fuck it into it's dying, tiny brain.

With luck, as I cum, I can watch the beast choke out a cloud of my swimmers into the salty womb of Mother Gaia's uterus, slipping past those triangular teeth as they champ their last, and its black eye rolls up in death.

... amazing stuff, eh?.... so, what blogger is this that envisions himself skullfucking a shark to death when it attempts to attack him?.... Bane, people...

.. that is the best comment I have seen at any blog in a long, long time...

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Mothers & Drinking...

... you know, I really enjoy the way Skippy runs with a story... certainly a unique perspective.... here's the last line...

"Jesus, that was a pretty good editorial, huh? Fox News should give me that shithead John Gibson's job."

... yep...

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choices...

... I'm just back from making a run to the grocery... what a trip... usually when I go, I just get the essentials... beer, bread, and beef... but today I had been asked to buy some plain cornflakes... now, I'll be the first to admit that I am a newbie in the breakfast section... but I searched that aisle for ten minutes before I found them... I guess nobody likes plain food anymore.. everything was either frosted, coated, shellacked, impregnated, or otherwise filled with sugar, chocolate, fruits, nuts, or berries...

... look, there is no reason whatsoever for us, even as a Great Nation, to have an entire aisle full of breakfast cereals.. I'm all for decadence, choice, hedonism, and starting the morning with a sugar buzz... but 2000 varieties of cereal is just ridiculous... no wonder we haven't cured cancer yet.. all of our brightest minds are busy designing new flavors of bran flakes...

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Good Will Hunting...

... after The Wife hit the rack last night, I stayed up and watched the end of "Good Will Hunting"... it's not that I really like the movie that much... it's more that I like watching Robin Williams in real roles rather than comedy...

.. anyway, at one point in the movie, Mr. Hunting is asking the psychiatrist if he "married the wrong woman"... it was definitely a sore subject for Williams' character...

.. in a flash, things started to get intense... and after two warnings, he snatched his sorry ass by the throat and told him, and I quote... "if you ever disrespect my Wife again, I will END you. I will END you."....

.... bloody Nora... what a line.. I loved it...

... and what's more, I have been there.. once upon a time, I snatched one of my Uncles up by the hair on his head at Thanksgiving dinner... it was about three years ago... one of those surreal moments that just happen after years of watching someone be a prick... now, don't get me wrong... I was always brought up to respect my Elders and I always try to.. but he was being an ass.. look, it's one thing to be an ass to me.. I'll just laugh it off... but it you make fun of someone I love, I'm going to be in your shit faster than you can choke down a bite of holiday dressing... which, incidentally, might be your last...

... anyway, to cut a long story short, he took a shot at my Wife's hair... she turned beet-red.. she is a shy creature... perhaps I have always been overprotective.... but her brunette hair is naturally curly, and I love it... so there we were with the whole family at the table... my Uncle had been on a kick all night and the liquor was flowing, but he was just plain out of line... I let the first two jibes of the evening run... but then he went too far... he was sitting to my direct left.... and as soon as the words left his mouth, my left hand grabbed the hair at the base of his skull and lifted.. my right hand grabbed his right hand at the wrist.. and I kicked back my chair as I rose up behind him... he was mine.. all mine... he tried to move in the shock, but I brought his right arm around behind the chair he was seated in... he was fucking mine....

... the table grew still as everyone watched me... I looked up and quietly eyed everyone at the table... other than the first small "yelp" that my Uncle let out when I grabbed him, no one said a word... until I began to speak...

... "I am sorry it has come to this, everyone... but he was out of line... ".... eyes all around the table cast a downward glance as I continued to stand...

... "now, dear Uncle, apologize to my Wife for being an asshole...and if you say another word about my Wife's hair or anything else, I'll ensure that all of yours is pulled out at the roots right here, you vain, arrogant, insensitive bastard"...

... well, he did... he apologized.... and after I let him go, he stormed off to the kitchen and I have not seen him since.... for that matter, I have not been to that side of the family for Thanksgiving since... I don't feel I am missing a lot.... but you really want to know the funny thing?... cousins I hardly ever speak to have called and written since that episode... they say things like... "yeah, he used to hit on my dates when I brought them home"... and "he would say stuff just to embarrass them.. creepy stuff.. sexual stuff.. Hell, we were only 17 and 18 at the time...".... and MOST of all, they say "... I am so glad you did that.. no one has a right to make fun of anyone else like that... and it's not like he is doing it playfully... he is just being mean... I've wanted to do what you did for the past twenty years but just never had the nerve... "...

... Family... Jesus Christ... I still love them all, of course... but, damn, they are assholes sometimes...

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Experiences...

... I've read a lot of sad posts lately.. you people need to buck up or something.. it's damn depressing... Hell, I am unemployed and you don't see me complaining... anyway, one of the saddest was even written by my buddy from the Parkway Rest Stop...

... see, Jimbo has a list of fruits and vegetables that he has never seen growing... produce that he has only ever encountered in the crisper section of his local market.. go and read the list.. it's depressing to know that a fine man of his caliber - one who has traveled the world and been in a band.. a man who served his country in the Army... a "been everywhere and done everything" type of guy... has led such a sheltered-from-nature existence...

.. it reminds me of a Lieutenant Commander I knew... he was 44 years old and told me that he had never walked barefoot in the grass.. not even on a lawn... yeah, he was from Boston... that kind of shit is just plain wrong...

.. you need to come down here, Jim... we'll knock quite a few things off your list in one balmy afternoon.. then we'll shoot pool and drink Scotch...

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On Blogging....

... driving through the rain today while on my way to fetch an extra long cheese coney from Sonic, I had you rubberneckers on my mind...

... I was flicking through the CDs in the car as I waited for the bellhop to bring my chow, and ran across my Robbie Williams... I slipped it into the CD changer and started grooving to the funky tunes...

... and then it hit me... this song could be about blogging... not every blog, of course, but a few that I know... I mean, just check out the opening lyrics...

Hell is gone and heaven's here
There's nothing left for you to fear
Shake your ass and come over here
Now scream

I'm a burning effigy
Of everything I used to be
You're my rock of empathy, my dear

So come on let me entertain you
Let me entertain you

.. heh.. "shake your ass and come over here"... indeed...

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Church...

... I saw this, and immediately started laughing... not because of the post, but because of a tale it reminded me of....

... I was brought up very near the buckle of the Bible Belt... and what's more, two of my Great Grandfathers were Church of God ministers back in the day... if you aren't aware of the Church of God, then let me clue you in... in their prime, they were so strict that they made Southern Baptists look like flaming infidels... we were like Baptists on steroids.. as straight laced as laces can possibly be laced straight... how I ended up the husk of a man you see today is still a mystery to me...

... anyway, after reading that post, my mind harked back to a sunny Sunday morning at Church.. my Uncle was sitting directly in front of me, and my Mother and Father on my left and right.... well, the Preacher commenced to preach.. the deacons started speaking in tongues... and general Church of God holiness was in full swing... and then, for some reason, my Uncle started sweating... perhaps he was getting into the spirit of things... perhaps he was afraid the next speaking in tongues session would out him in some way... but regardless, as the perspiration came on, a bright red mark appeared on the back of his balding head... my Mother became mesmerized by the blemish... the longer the Preacher spouted, the brighter the mark grew... finally, she leaned across me and whispered to my Pa...

.. "what's that mark on your Brother's head?.. it seems to get brighter and brighter... I've never noticed it before.."...

.. Dad turned his head and eyeballed the offensive mark...

... "Oh," says he... "that's from stealing watermelons... we were crawling under a barbed wire fence at Stephen Daugherty's and he cut his head bad.. it bled for a week.. but boy, those watermelons sure were good..."....

... was it a sign of a guilty conscience?... was it merely the spirited commune with Godliness?.. was it just the summer's humidity?... we'll probably never know..

.. but my Mother laughed out loud when Dad said that... and not just a giggle... a good, old-fashioned, Southern Woman HEE HAW... right there in church...

... had it been the Church of God of the 1880s, we'd probably have been stoned to death out back after the service...

... still, this doesn't have much to do about anything, but I felt like sharing.... Rob's right about one thing, though... nothing is quite as sweet as when you've risked a little of yourself to get it..

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Kung Fu...

... I grew up watching a barefoot David Carradine pretend to be a Shaolin monk on television... although it probably warped me for life, that show, on so many levels, just plain kicked ass... maybe it was the idea of a wandering monk/hippie/spiritualist... or a kung fu master let loose amongst heavily armed western hicks and bigots... maybe it was just the thrill of watching a bald white guy try to convince us every week that he was Chinese... whatever the reason, I totally dug that show...

... but as much as watching that show taught me not to go hand-to-hand with a Buddhist, this little story takes it to the next level..

... see, it's not a Shaolin priest, but a Hindu priest so badass that cobras die when they bite him... now that is a man of the cloth... I bet he'd wipe the floor with Kwi Chang Caine...

UPDATE:... if memory serves, I seem to remember Caine getting all messed up in one episode when a little scorpion laid the whammy on him... compared to that Hindu, he's a total wuss...

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Uncle Eric...

.. I love the aquariums in Chattanooga... I'm usually partial to my fish lightly battered and served with a slice of lemon, but I love those aquariums.. they are the epitome of a lazy man's afternoon... air-conditioned havens from the broiling outside heat with gently sloping downward walks... even the lights are turned down so as to keep you in mind of dusk or early morning... marvelous stuff... and after today, I think that Boudicca's three boys are singing from my songsheet.... they took to the aquarium in a flash and have already promised to come back for another visit... their favorite exhibits were the turtles and the sturgeons, though... that was kind of disappointing... sure, I can go halfers on them with the turtles, but sturgeons are just foul.... but hey, her boys are just nippers... the nuances of the jellyfish and the sea dragons are lost on such wee men... maybe as they grow they'll realize that sturgeons are creepy and jellyfish are where it's at...

... anyway, one thing struck me about the whole affair.... how like Bou they are, and how totally unalike to each other they are.... for instance, her boys were allowed to choose gifts at the end of the day... each resulting gift perfectly represented the outlooks of those little guys... in just a short time of being with them, their differences were obvious... but one of their similarities was remarkable.. they are all charmers.... early on during our festivities, Boudicca explained them to me thusly:

.... "I like to think of my kids like this... as if they were in the airplane business... Son #2 would design it... Son #1 would build it... and Son #3 would FLY it.. "

.. a more perfect analogy does not exist for her babies... check it.. I made my escape from the gift shop and found a shaded wall to smoke against... this left Bou and her three gentlemen inside shopping... upon exiting, I asked them about their choices of souvenirs....

... Son #2... a drawing kit with gigantic plastic eyeballs embedded into every page... artistic to the last....
... Son #1... a puzzle... 1500 pieces, no less... a young man trying to figure everything out..
... Son #3... kickass ubercool sunglasses with sharks on the side.... definitely a fighter pilot in training...

... I'd tour them and their Momma around Chattanooga anytime...

... the only strange (and yet, very pleasant at the same time) was that as I helped herd the kids around the exhibits.. talked to them in the foyer of the hotel as Bou checked in... and passed them the nachos in the restaurant... everyone kept looking at the boys.. and then Bou and I... smiling and nodding... and saying stuff like "what nice boys you have!"... wow... I've never felt more like a Daddy in my life... it was a trip.. it almost made me want to have some kids of my own.. almost..

... but still, I'm a much better "Uncle" figure than I am a "Daddy"...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(8) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
» Boudicca's Voice links with: We Love Eric!

lunch, dinner, and a cruise...

... in a little while, I will be headed down to the Chattanooga Choo Choo to hook up with Boudicca and her boys for lunch... if we survive that, we'll take in a tour of the aquarium.... after that, the plan is to have dinner on the Southern Belle as she cruises the Tennessee River... man, I love meeting bloggers... it provides me with the perfect excuse for honing my creative loafing skills...

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Quote of the Day...

... feeling a little stressed?... worried about your relationships?... well, have no fear... today's Quote of the Day comes from a German with the answer..

"A German man has been arrested after a marriage guidance counsellor advised him to run around naked shouting at trees."

... strange, strange stuff... of course, we here at SWG can only condone half of the prescription... running around naked is fine, of course... but yelling at trees is just mean...

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Mother Nature..

.. a slow drizzle fell last night, and by daylight everything was damp and glistening... a gentle rain, slow and steady... I awoke this morning to the sound of the coffee pot popping with a sign of completing the task... I took a cup and spent almost an hour on the deck.... nothing on Earth smells quite like a morning of mist being warmed by an angry Sun...

.. I watched on the television yesterday as hurricane Dennis hit the coast.. but the results being felt here are mild... making the face of the beast that bit the panhandle seem less malevolent....

... I was just out back playing guitar when the wind started... stirring the trees at their tops and causing the wind chimes to begin making music.... the rain stopped around four this evening... it is just past 8:30 here, and it now looks like we will have a night of Dennis' pleasant breezes to enjoy... Mother Nature is a fickle lady.. the original la donna e mobile.... it is truly amazing what 600 miles and 24 hours can do to a storm...

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Comfortable...

... after five years of constant companionship, I have said goodbye to a great friend today... and on many levels I am laid low by the experience... I met him in Bangladesh.. in a dusty market just across the bridge that spans the Brahmaputra River... we became instant buddies... fast friends.... and from that day until this morning, he was at my side every single day...

... but the past two years have witnessed his deterioration... slowly, he lost his luxuriant hair.. the dappled blonde and brown locks were worn smooth by my constant patting... especially when I'd ask him to give me some money... the fruit of our friendship was in the showing of the gray and mottled skin that emerged as the hairline receded... a sad and woeful shape for such a fine and loyal companion to be in... but he never flinched.. never complained... true, steadfast, and doing his duty right up until the end...

... so it is with dull and heavy heart that I report the passing of my old friend.. Mr. Handmade Furry Leather Wallet... purchased on the eve of a monsoon for 150 taka and loved by me and all who saw him...

... I laid him to rest in the gunsafe this afternoon.. stuffed with a few hundreds.. some folding money from various nations he's visited with me... and a two dollar bill that my uncle gave me when I was 12... he is now resting in the warm darkness of his new home...

... you never really understand how much you'll miss something until it is well and truly gone...

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Dead and gone...

... when the time comes for me to check out, I hope my family & friends do something like this...

... I imagine a tumbler of Scotch... Zulu on a continuous loop... and a bowl of my homemade spaghetti.... I'd rather people remember me doing what I enjoyed... instead of having their last memory of me be of a corpse shoehorned into a coffin...

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Pets...

... I was forced, kicking and screaming, to visit Pet Smart the other day... our cats needed new beds, evidently, and the trip was necessary... as I strolled around the aisles of captive critters, I was impressed to see a large selection of snakes, toads, frogs, and lizards of all shapes and sizes... it was pretty impressive... and for a split second, I rolled the idea of procuring a pet snake for the blogroom...

.. of course, not anything that would grow to 12 feet... just a corn snake.. pretty red, yellow, and black stripes... something to provide me with a little blogfodder on occasion... the tank that the bugger was in was built in such a way that I'd never have to let the thing out... never have to handle it.... I'm not afraid of snakes, but I'm not exactly lining up to handle them either... so it would be purely an exercise in watching the varmint do its thing behind the safety of 1/4 inch Plexiglas...

... but then I balked... I don't need a pet... much less a snake... and if you're going to own an animal, you should handle it and lurve upon it.... and that got me to thinking... I've never really had a pet of my own... the Wife has two cats and they're pretty cool.. but they aren't mine... when I was a pup myself, my Father would bring home the occasional stray dog.... it'd last a few weeks and then get hammered flat by a passing farm truck... the scene repeated itself though most of my youth... thus, I never cared too much about pets... I could take them or leave them...

.. only once did I have a dog for more than a year... a wooly, snaggletoothed English Sheep Dog.. his name was George... he was fully grown when my Dad brought him home and he took to me and my little brother immediately... in the end, he went the way of the farm truck as well and tears were cried... that was the one and only time I ever got attached to a pet...

... you know, perhaps I am a lesser man because of it all... perhaps my childhood was hampered by never having a close relationship with a family pet... I just don't know... but I do know this.. I have never loved ANYTHING enough to let it shit in my hair...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(17) | TrackBack (2) | SWG Stories
» A Swift Kick & A Band-Aid links with: For The Birds
» On the Patio links with: The Only Good One Is a

Abracadabra...

... I've spent the better part of this 100 degree afternoon sipping New Castle ale on the deck and trying to find the hidden wisdom of The Steve Miller Band... no luck yet, but I'll keep you guys informed... progress, after all, may be slow, but I'm keeping the faith...

... remember, children... any project, once started, is worth following through... quitters never win, and all that..

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ghosts...

.. T1G called me a tease... that's just wrong.... I'd never do that to you people... y'all know that I love each and every one of you like perverted little Brothers and Sisters.... (and some of you like 3rd Cousins in the hayloft when no one is looking...)

... anyway, a few of you gentle people wanted to hear of my ghosts.... well, since my sole purpose on this planet is to please you rubberneckers, I shall comply...

... I once lived in a small cottage that overlooked the Montrose Basin... from my living room window, I could easily see where the South Esk River emptied into the North Sea... the garden was small and enclosed by ancient hedges... it was a "gardener's cottage".. and as such, it was of basic design.. two bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bath... but before I begin my ghost story, I want to describe the layout of the rooms...

... in the front of the cottage, there was a break in the hedges where the path crept up to the door... the entirety of our "front yard" - meaning the area between the hedge and the house - was a gigantic rose garden... upon opening the door, you were immediately faced with a door to the left and right... on the left was the master bedroom.... on the right, the bathroom... a dark hallway lay directly ahead... five or six steps down the hall, and you were again faced with doors on the left and right... the left took you into the sitting room... the right entered into the spare bedroom... directly ahead, steps flowed down into the tiny kitchen...

... that's it.. a spacious master bedroom with windows looking onto a bed of roses, buxom hedges, and gigantic holly trees... a large sitting room with views of the ebb and flow of the tidal basin... a tiny bathroom and bedroom on the other side of the hallway.. and a kitchen that had been added on in the 1860s as an afterthought...

... the house stood just outside the rock walls of a genuine castle... Craig House.. sometimes simply referred to as "The Craig".. our cottage was built around 1793 as a home for the working help... I am sure that it was not the only residence to have been built on that site... Craig House had existed - in one form or another - from the 1300s, and I am sure that their servants had to stay somewhere... Edward I, the "Hammer of the Scots", is reported to have burnt the first version of Craig House when he had ventured North to teach John Balliol a lesson...

... the house was a treat to live in... cold in the winter, but comfortable and quaint... and the Wife absolutely loved it... but the house was also haunted.. we didn't know it at the time we signed the lease, but we soon found out that we were not alone in the house at times...

... oops... to be continued, folks... gotta do some work on the patio... heh heh... tease, indeed...

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it takes a village...

.. heh... someone broke Mu.nu's comments and it wasn't me... no, honestly.... check it out... maybe Mr. Pixy can figure it out...

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.. see?... wasn't me.....

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Shout Out...

.... whoa... one blogger I've met (and one I am about to meet) have scored a mention on MSNBC... the Political Teen has the video... that's bigtime.. congrats, ladies... you two rock...

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Bowties...

... Blondage of The Perverted Republican has finally slipped off the deep end, people... when I first started reading her, I thought... "Perverted Republican?? COOL!"... but after reading this post though, I see she wasn't joking.. keep up the good work, Blondie.. we likes a girl with an imagination...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3) | TrackBack (1) | Psycho Rants
» The Laughing Wolf links with: A Woman I Like

Life...

... I dragged myself away from the television yesterday and headed into town... my turn to cook dinner had arrived, and I was hungry... I bought two stuffed flounder filets and some potatoes for baking... but as I wandered towards the check-out line, I passed a stand of fresh fruit... they were plump and full of color... and for some reason, I purchased a few pieces of each selection... apricots, raspberries, peaches, plums...

... but I don't plan on eating them... I'm going to plant them... I've never been much of a gardener, but I want to see if I can cultivate something that will bear fruit... take something that is normally discarded and give it a chance to live... watch something sprout and grow and mature...

... they may not germinate.. but then again, they just might.. and that's what its all about, right?... Hope...

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Tennesseans in London

.. it appears lots of young people from East Tennessee are currently in London... at least one young woman from Knoxville has been wounded...

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London...

... the dawn came with a slow drizzle of rain here in Tennessee... and news that the World has been attacked again... my Wife woke me up around 4am this morning with the news of bombs rocking her Nation... phone calls were made, emails sent, and we've been watching the television all morning... as reprehensive and morally corrupt the cowardly attacks were, we both sat viewing the events as they unfolded with an aching realization... it could have been much, much worse...

... my heart goes out to all of the victims of this latest barbarity...

... on BBC America, Condoleeza Rice was asked by a British reporter if she thought these attacks were a result of "the deeply unpopular war in Iraq that the British are involved in"... she responded by saying that the attacks on 9/11 were not the result of an invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq... and she pointed out the salient fact.... a fact that we had all better realize.. and the sooner, the better..

... "this is a war of ideals"...

... this is a war of Civilization against Barbarity.. all civilized nations are targets... the scum who perpetrate such actions as this don't want political change.. they want a New World Order.. they want to bend you to their will or behead you...

... in case any of you are mistaken, this is a war for the survival of our way of life... there is no point in trying to deny it... the theory has been proved time and time again... these people can not be reasoned with... and they cannot be placated except with capitulation... today in London, another exclamation point has been added to the old sentence...

... It is either us, or them...

Blackfive updates with "A Defiant Britain"...

and WitNit has a great collection of links..

Instapundit has a huge collection as well...

Everyday Stranger shares her views as an American working in London...

The Maximum Leader quotes Churchill and has more links..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(2) | TrackBack (3) | Military Stuff
» .:.WitNit.:. links with: The Cowards and the Heroes
» Boudicca's Voice links with: A Little Perspective
» Gut Rumbles links with: it's all over the place

Poolnight...

.. Biker Steve and his lady companion came over last night for billiards and libations...good times, people... lately, Steve has taken a shine to malt liquor thus he brings his own refreshments with him.... I stock very few beers and a malted variety is not among them.. anyway, totally unrelated to the malt liquor, he showed up with his hand bandaged from a fresh slash... Cold Steel in action again... his six inch Voyager made quite a work accident...

... it didn't seem to slow him down though, and he proceeded to wipe the garage floor with me... 8 games to 1 in 8-ball, and 7 to 7 in 9-ball... hey, we all have our down-days, I guess... then again, malt liquor is a mystery to me.. perhaps that foul elixir is the reason for his recent resurgence... I guess we'll find out next week...

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...slow and easy...

... for the past two days, I've been driving the Caddy... meanwhile, the Wife has been forced to demean herself by puttering around town in the Audi... demean herself, indeed... I finally get shed of the beast this afternoon... for me, it is a relief beyond words... truth be told, I'd rather drive my car than the V any day of the week... too much power... I mean, c'mon... six speed manual transmission?... that's just insane... for instance, when driving it to the shop yesterday I used all of three gears... 1st, 3rd, and 6th... and I burnt rubber in the beast at every shift...

... I think you need a special mindset to work her out every day... to give a good stretch to the her shapely 400 horsepower legs... you've gotta be part Evel Knieval, part Michael Schumacher, and part Mad Max to get her moaning just right... I just ain't got that... my killer instinct does not carry over onto the road... when I drive, I drive slow and take my time.. with the Caddy, it is impossible to drive slow without feeling like you are breaking the heart of some motor-headed engineer somewhere.. talk about a guilt-trip... if I wanted a guilt complex, I'd go read my archives...

... so, today I say goodbye to the Cadillac... and let me tell you, I'm more than happy to welcome my 1.8L Turbo back into my encircling arms... 5.7L V8?... I'm sure it'd light fires for some of you guys... but for me it just doesn't... why would I want to drive a car that'll go 180mph and torque my body with three g's when I never plan on getting it over 70?...

... yeah, yeah... I can hear some of y'all now... accusing me of being a wuss... questioning my manhood... giggling over my lack of speed-addicted testosterone... well, guess what?... bite me.. today I get my Audi back...

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Craig Cottage....

... once upon a time when I was about 9 years old, I saw a ghost.. I had been spending the night at my Grandpa's old place in Madisonville... he lived on Hull Road.. a tucked-away corner of old tobacco patch out behind Hiwassee College.. the land bordered a rise of hills that separated the first branch of the Tennessee Valley from the nearby Sweetwater Valley... the eastern edge of this state being a whirlwind collection of peaks and troughs until you rise up to the Cumberland plateau....

... that night long ago, I saw a horseman on a gray mule riding up to my Grandpa's house... he looked like he was dead.. slumped in the saddle.... I had been told to fetch firewood, and it was then that I saw him.. in the moonlight, I heard the sound of hooves on the gravel road.. I remember the smell of the autumn night air and smoke from the chimney.... and I stood there with my hands full of hickory logs while the rider approached... when his mule finally reached me, the rider turned his white head... he looked at me and then the house and said... "anyone home inside?.. I'm awfully cold"... I was fucking mortified.... his mount never stopped as he spoke, although it was flea-bitten and bone-tired (and likely long ago dead)... as for me? I was frozen where I stood... unable to scream or cry... unable to do anything but hang on to the split wood and gape... but the ghostly mule kept going, and it vanished as it reached the clapboard of the house.. after that night, I never laid my head on a pillow in Grandpa's house again... ever...

.... that was my first ghost.... I was 9 years old... after it, I forced myself to believe that I had imagined the whole thing.... it wasn't until much later that I realized that I truly believe in ghosts... then, I was 21 years old and serving my country as a United States Marine overseas..

... anyway, apart from the mysterious rider, I have felt I was in the presence of the spirits of the dead on three more occasions... all three of them took place at my old home in Scotland... the house had been built in 1793 and had undergone many restorations... lived in by countless peoples through war, famine, pestilence, and disease... my Wife and I lived there from 1993 to 2000... and the house was haunted... haunted in a way that was not benevolent.. but instead, in a way that was deeply, deeply threatening... three times.. always in April... we would be visited... between 10pm and 2am, something mean would come into our home... if y'all are interested, I'll share... why this sudden shedding of these stories?.... well, The Wife told me of another experience last night... one that I hadn't heard before... one that she had never told me about while we lived in that cottage... it brought back, again, all of those little memories that I had thought I had forgotten... so yes, rubberneckers.. as much as it shames me to say it... I believe in ghosts.....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(17) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
» Drunken Wisdom links with: Tell Us More...

My dream....

... for years now, I have had a recurring dream.. I'd call it a nightmare if I thought it qualified, but it really doesn't.. I do have trouble describing the dream, though.. the only thing that remotely comes close is that initial crashing break in a pool game... you know, everything is calm.. many parts collected together.. and then, boom.. a million fragments bouncing in a thousand directions.. and then it all comes back together with such force that the whole scenario repeats... like an explosion followed by an implosion... strange stuff.. a feeling of total out-of-control chaos after an awkward calm...

.. last night I watched Resident Evil 2... big mistake.... there are only three things that'll put me on the run... sharks, bumblebees, and zombies... in that order... anyway, that's not really the point... see, in one scene, an unsuspecting idjit is creeping through an abandoned school.... things are deathly quiet... and when she turns around, she is faced with a room packed full of 9 year old zombies who immediately pounce on her cute oriental-bod and chew the ever-loving bejesus out of it... it was scary as Hell, but I have to admit... those kids have excellent taste... I'd been imagining doing much the same thing to her for most of the movie...

... anyway, here's the thing... I hadn't thought of my recurring dream in a long time.. it's probably been six months since the last time I woke up with my heart racing from its damage... but last night it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw her getting munched by the little people.. pretty strange, right?..

... so what's my point?... hard question.... and as you all know, quite often I have none... and today is no different... so there you go..

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Freedom....

... as is my idiom, I shall wish you all a happy Independence Day by harking you back to the freedom fighters of antiquity... in particular, The Declaration of Arbroath... a fiery document signed in 1320... and many say, a document which inspired our Founding Fathers to pen the Declaration of Independence in 1776... regardless, it is worth a look... here is a selection from the text...

For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself

... thus endeth today's history lesson... celebrate your Freedom, people... and happy 229th birthday, America... may you have many, many happy returns...

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Exiled....

... it's not often that I am found at a loss for words... but you know, I really don't know what to say about this story...

... but something makes me feel deeply sympathetic for the poor guy's plight...

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Curry and Rice...

... sweet Christ on roller-skates, I've killed the kitchen... as I type this, the wallpaper is peeling and my eyes are watering....

... you see, today found the missus heading off to work... this left me with a wonderful chance to cook our evening meal... but my mind was unusually skewed from being hung over and watching "Bend it like Beckham" the other day.. in my cloudy state this afternoon, the idea of a fine curry had me giddy.... so I dashed off to the local Ingles to fetch ingredients for an ethnic feast... what the fuck was I thinking.. I'm a Tennessean, for goodness sake.. I am genetically incapable of cooking good ethnic food...

... anyway, after procuring the finest ingredients, I was set... skillets, woks, and boiling pans were at the ready... spice racks had been laid on and positioned for easy access... it was rock and roll time and I had George Thorogood throwing his mojo at me from the stereo.... at first, I attempted a variation on Chinese fried rice.. well, let me tell you... the Chinese make that crap look a LOT easier than it actually is... but I digress... next, I waded into the waters with a variation on Indian chicken curry... again, the mysteries of far-away cuisine appear to have confounded me... both dishes are currently sitting on the stove reeking with pure meanness...

... I suppose the good news is that I have not tasted either one yet... wow.. I just felt a strange wave of calm and safety flow over me when I typed that... quite frankly, I am petrified at the notion of actually trying to consume my day's fruits... yes, children, I am afraid to try them... the curry is bubbling forth an evil smelling cloud right now... the deep-red color of the curry stands stark against the whiteness of the dead fowl.. and the fried rice?.. don't get me started.. it is just sorta sitting there looking ominous...

... it's at times likes these when I realize why I grill food so much... hard to screw the pooch when all you have is meat, marinade, and fire... but add spices?... now that is a challenge, children...

... one thing is for sure, though.. if we actually attempt to eat any of this stuff I've made... tomorrow's fireworks shall not be limited to lighting things impregnated with gunpowder... if the curry acts anything like it smells, our bowels shall soon wish cholera as a relief from their spoutings.... have no fear, though... I'll be sure to let you all in on the details tomorrow evening...

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$1,000,000,000,000

... a while back, I found a copy of the first "complete history" of World War II... it was in an antique shop in Charleston, Tennessee.... I knew when I first laid eyes on it that it would add perfectly to my military history bookshelf... an original.. published in 1947... the first few pages had areas for attaching photos of veterans and describing their service.. in other words, this was a history book made for the families and veterans to show their impact on the History of the World... a novel idea, indeed....

... anyway, as I began reading it, I was mesmerized by the two page "foreword"... and to this day, the numbers still strike me as incredible... shocking to the extreme... and since tomorrow is Independence Day, I feel like sharing it with you people...

Historian's Foreword

This is the first History of World War II to present a complete panorama of the greatest struggle in human history, with authentic text, official photographs, maps, records, and documents in a single volume.

Its service is to give homes, schools, and libraries a standard work in which the reader may obtain a comprehensive understanding of the epoch-making events through which we have passed. Here we witness the organization of the greatest armies, navies, and air forces the world has ever known - the gigantic battles on land, sea, and in the air - the might of industrial power and production.

We have lived through the most stupendous struggle in the 7,000 years of recorded history. The destiny of 70 nations and 2,000,000,000 people has been at stake. The homelands of more than three quarters of the population of the earth have felt the iron heel of war. More than 100,000,000, one out of every twenty human beings on the globe, have been engaged in the fighting forces of belligerent nations.

The records of World War II, as set out in this volume, challenge the imagination. The official lists of numbers killed and wounded are a tragic commentary on civilization: more than 20,000,000 casualties; 30,000,000 more men, women, and children driven from their homes; 10,000,000 more massacred; hundreds of thousands of homes left in ruins.

The cost of this "War for Survival", with its destruction, devastation, and economic losses, is estimated at the sum of $1,000,000,000,000. The great wealth of the world, with its resources, industrial power, and man power, has been concentrated on destruction. Nations have accumulated and indebtedness which far exceeds all the money in the world. The responsibility for meeting this obligation is placed upon future generations to carry the burden.

This is the price we have paid for human freedom. The amount of money consumed in this war is sufficient to build a home for every family in the world, or to give an education to every child on earth. It is far greater than all the moneys every expended for schools, churches, and hospitals since the beginning of the human race.

We have, therefore, endeavored to make this History of World War II a human history, treating men and events as they directly affect our own lives. The causes which created this human tragedy are herein analyzed, with sketches of the leading personalities and backgrounds of the nations involved.

Military events are clearly visualized from the outbreak of the war to its final battles. Our purpose has been to present these with such clarity that you may follow your own "boys" through to the final victory and re-live the experiences through which they passed.

This service has been accomplished through the organization of a staff of experts, specialists, and analysts under the direction of a historian-general. (This list of staff authorities and writers is given on pages iii and iv, and in the section, "Authorities and Official Sources; on pages 939-941). Divisional chiefs are "on duty" at desks over which more than 60,000 words from the battlefronts passed every day.

Official communiqués from all parts of the world were analyzed each day, with reports and proclamations issued by all Governments. As each even was officially confirmed, it was transcribed into historical narrative for this book and coordinated by the historian-general.

Throughout the war, conferences were held with official sources, military authorities, and communications with diplomats and statesmen, and supplemented by the information organizations representing thirty nations.

While it was the first great "War in the Air" coordinated with land and sea forces, it may also be called the "War of the Scientists," in which invention, discovery, mechanical genius, and mass production take a foremost part. Through this new age of radio, with the elimination of time and space the whole world was in instant communication. Through cinematography and radio photography, the scenes of action were brought immediately into our homes. The war passed before our eyes on motion picture screens and was preserved on films to pass before the eyes of generations to come.

Another war on this gigantic scale, with further developments of instruments for destruction by scientific genius, would place the human race in danger of self-annihilation. Therefore, a clear understanding of World War II is essential for our own self-preservation. The time has come, if we are to survive as peoples and nations, when some cooperative plan must be agreed upon whereby wars can be stopped at their point of inception - some plan whereby we can all live together in peace and security.

This History of World War II is dedicated to that great forward step in human progress. It stands also as a memorial to those who fought and died for this achievement. The colossal magnitude of this war may be visualized when we state that the armies and navies engaged in World War II would forma a marching line of men in combat reaching four times around the earth in continuous procession.

May it never happen again.

Francis Trevelyan Miller

... absolutely incredible....

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Drinking with Washington...

... soon, our Independence Day will be upon us.. a day that once saw brave men sign a document that would forever change their lives and shape the world... a world that we live in today... if anything, this should be a day of personal reflection... regardless of social status, bank account size, race, religion, or sexual preference, it should be a day of introspection.. interspersed liberally with moments of celebration, fun, and family... but also weighted with reverence... for it is true that every member of our society lives within the protection that those visionary men created

.. once upon a time, the most powerful army of the planet saw drummers beat "The World Turned Upside Down" as it surrendered Colors and Men to an army of dreamers.. it is truly hard to imagine their courage, strength, guile, and tenacity... but it does make me wonder.... see, I sit here now reclining in my soft sofa... a fresh tumbler of Talisker in my hand... and Dire Straits booming from the stereo... free... happy... and wondering what I would say if Washington, Knox, Jefferson, or Henry were here today... I mean, just imagine for a moment.. would they be proud of the American that I am?... just a typical, everyday citizen and veteran who votes, pays his taxes, and tries to enjoy life.... sure, I'd pour them a drink and offer them a seat at my table... Hell, I might even open up a bottle from my prized wine collection... after all, they'd need some heavy lubrication to handle hanging with me at my house..

... and that is just my point... I can't help wondering what they would think of me and how I live... and how I have lived my life... my personal freedoms taken to excess as often as possible (and with great pleasure, I might add)... my public freedoms crimped in ways that their Constitution never dreamt of... I have a feeling that after reading the papers, checking out Fox News, and chatting with me for a few hours, I'd need to do a booze run up to Knoxville... why?... well, if our Founding Fathers saw where we are today, I think they'd make short work of my liquor cabinet...

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It's a Girl...

... well, I suppose it is time to come clean... another blogdaughter has claimed me as her Pa... yes, yes.. I know.... three blogkids and all of them are girls... hey, I can't explain it... one of life's little mysteries... then again, it might have been one of those parties where a gargantuan bar tab was created.... either way, here she is in all her shining glory...

... as a proud Papa, let me point you to some of my favorite posts.. some mean... some thoughtful... and some just strange... truly a chip off the old blog block....

... oh, and my latest blogdaughter just sent me two CDs.. one autographed even... Guy Forsyth and Jon Dee Graham... so, I've been grooving to the funky - yet soulful - tunes today..

... ahhh, sigh.... my blogkids... I surely do love it when they send me presents... thanks, babe... we're you here, we'd sing along together..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(5) | TrackBack (1) | Psycho Rants
» A Swift Kick & A Band-Aid links with: A New Sister

more on gardening..

... yesterday, I saw a wasp crawl up under the light on my front porch... so, being that I have been engaged in Japanese Beetle jihad recently, I immediately grabbed the nearest can of Bengal Wasp Killin' Spray... (it can spray 20 feet, rock on)... Bengal makes some kickass stuff... see, instead of being a water-based product with added insecticide, that baby is petroleum-based... heh heh... kills bugs dead on contact... just don't get it on any plants... it'll kill them too.. anyway, I gave the light a good spraying down and went back inside to finish reading this month's Smithsonian...

... later, as the sun began to set, I turned on the porch light... well, I accidentally left it on all night...

... this morning, I have a carpet of critters 1/2 and inch deep on my front porch.. moths, wasps, flying beetles, lightning bugs, you name it... I guess the light attracted them.. but once they bumped into it and came in contact with the residue of the Bengal Wasp Killin' Spray.. (it can spray 20 feet!)... their wee life-forces were snuffed... not good news for the bugs, let me tell ya...

... anyway, apropos of nothing in particular, along with all my other manly duties set out for today, I now have to sweep off the dead bugs... and wash the porch light... what?... hey, I just thought you guys might like to know what I'm doing today while you're all working...

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