Fleece.....

…. The Missus and I drove up to my Aunt’s ‘house warming” party this afternoon and spent the better part of two hours peeling slow-boiled shrimp & munching on them in the shade of a few trees…… lots of cousins and their children were around to keep everything interesting – as only children can do…. so splinters, skinned-elbows, and multi-colored Band-Aids were the menu-of-the-day….. along with the rest of the goodies in the slow-boiled pot…..

…. The weather was beautiful…. a cloudless day with a deep, blue sky that almost made you dizzy as you stared up at it…. limitless almost….. Autumn is definitely here now and the lack of humidity makes everything seem clearer and more vibrant….. cleaner, I suppose…

…. The first day of fleece-weather….. cool in the mornings and evenings…. And just warm enough in the afternoons to still flash you with a quick sunburn if you aren’t careful….

…. And my giant, freckled forehead is sporting just that courtesy of a slow drive home in the convertible….

…. driving the backroads out to my Aunt’s new house brought back a lot of old memories….. years and years ago, my Grandparents lived back near there…. the last house at the very end of a dead-end road….. and after they died and the house was sold, there really was no point in going out that direction again….. but now, FOUR of my family members live on that same road just ˝ a mile from the old homeplace……

… it is funny now to drive those roads in my own car all these years later…. I cant help but picture me and my little brother arguing in the back seat of an old Impala…. fake leather seats, no seat belts, and a young couple with their whole lives ahead of them sitting together in the front seat….. Mom scrooched over all the way across the seat so that Dad could drive with one hand while his other arm slipped over her shoulder…. gravel roads that are now paved….. old fence-lines covered with honeysuckle and blackberry briars….

…. I am kinda glad that they’ve moved back out there….. I hadn’t realized that I’d missed that little stretch of road quite as much as I did…. now I just need some aloe for my sizzled noggin…..

Read the Bullshit »

Completely......

...... as much as I totally fucking hate Zombies, this clip still appealed to me today so very, very much today.....

... listen and learn, gentle rubberneckers........

..... for today, equally, I hate everyone..... absolutely everyone.... you, and you, and you...... and you in the corner..... and even you over there in the funny hat..... and you.... and you...... and me..... and you on the television..... and you over on ESPN scoring the touchdown.....

.... oh, and you too......

.... tomorrow will be better though.... just trust me...... I'm having a bad day......

Read the Bullshit »

Oscar....

… you guys ever watch “House” with Hugh Laurie?.... good stuff, no?..... yeah, he may be a bit fleabitten, but he has character out the ying-yang……

…. how about the second, third, and fourth seasons of “Blackadder”?..... ever seen those pieces of brilliance?.... (you are exempt, Jimbo…. I know that you’ve seen a season or two already on DVD)….

….. well, tonight has been spent watching one of the DVD collections that I received for Christmas… “Jeeves and Wooster” ala P.G. Wodehouse….. cunning, cunning stuff….. I suggest that any fan of the now infamous “House” go out, forthwith, and buy “Blackadder” AND “Jeeves and Wooster”…..

…. oh, and speaking of Hugh Laurie, one must also mention his co-star in "Blackadder" and “Jeeves and Wooster”, Stephen Fry… you might remember him as the actor who also played Oscar Wilde in the film “Wilde”…. Anyway, I bring him up only in passing… and to mention that The Missus advised me the other day that one of our new lifegoals is to spend the night here…. in room 16....

…. As for me, I’m not totally downtown with the idea of hoisting my dusty bones into the same rack that some guy popped his clogs in, no matter HOW famous he is/was…… yeah, call me strange, but I prefer my choice places to bed-down to be virginal when it comes to death…..

… but I do have to admit, the whole thing is pretty damn intriguing…..

… so, what do y’all think?.... should my next adventure be to plod off - bedroll in hand - towards a hotel in Paris where ole Oscar met his ‘maker’?.....

… or would the fact that a straight, white guy from the backwoods of Tennessee was fouling those immortal linens by his heterosexual presence totally skew the juju of the joint and deny myriads of other rubberneckers the pleasure of feeling the prickly, ghostly presence of Mr. Wilde in those darkest Parisian nights?......

….. after all, while I would hate to be awakened from a vacation-snooze by a ghostly visit from Oscar Wilde, I most certainly don’t want to be the gargantuan kill-joy who would mess it up eternally for the REST of the hammerheads who wanted to visit……

…. So, thoughts?..... yes or no?....

…. Then again, with enough liberal application of Scotch before bedtime, perhaps I could scare a publishable conversation out of the old haint while The Missus snoozed…..

…. It’s definitely something to chew on, folks….. pros and cons, and all that……

Read the Bullshit »

Curvy.....

….. the Missus awoke this morning with “adventure” on her mind… and her idea of “adventure” was a day-trip up to a 3-star restaurant, lunch, and then a slow drive south to a museum…. The Sequoyah Museum, to be precise……

…. And initially, the plan flowed pretty smoothly… we lunched, strolled up and down the quaint street afterwards to assist with proper digestion, and then jumped in the buggy and launched ourselves southwards……

…. As we neared the museum, I suggested that we might also stop off to visit the Tellico Blockhouse as it was “on the way”…. she agreed and I immediately turned Sylvia off of the main road and down towards where I thought the colonial blockhouse to be……

…. Fifteen miles after turning off, I realized that I had made a wrong turn…. But instead of turning around, I was told, “well, we’ve never been on this road before…. let’s see where it comes out…”

…. Well, 50 miles later and we’re in Robbinsville, North Carolina…. And the road that I’d just successfully navigated to get there?.... the infamous Highway 129 and “The Dragon”… or “The Tail of The Dragon”…. did I mention that it was raining as well?..... no?.... well, it most certainly was…. 318 curves in 11 miles, folks…. It is billed as “America’s number 1 motorcycle and sports car road”…. and coming back, we had no choice but to go down America’s #2 road…. the Cheohala Skyway – another 50 miles of wilderness….. Sylvia’s svelte Audi frame handled the curves just fine and she only squealed her tires twice….. the VW Jetta in front of me barked non-stop at nearly every hairpin…..

…. so, adventure, rubberneckers?...... according to the graphic showing the Tail of The Dragon/Cherohala Skyway Loop, it is 118 Miles of Adventure…..

… but now?.... I am one tired fella, let me tell you…… once upon a time, I was hard…… now a little adventure wears my ass out……

Read the Bullshit »

Wishes....

…. This morning I drank coffee and watched the squirrels – which seem to be much more active lately – play a dangerous game of tag with both of the cats…I wonder if they can sense that the time for nut-gathering is creeping closer and closer as each day passes…. (the cats, I mean, not the squirrels….)

… I suspect that they can, those cats….. and the idea of catching something as big as a tree-rat must be the kitty equivalent of a welfare Mom scoring a boon on Georgia Lottery day…… indeed, most of the squirrels are almost as big as young Bob…. Them sitting up in the tree swishing their flea-bitten tails and scrawny little Bob fidgeting his OWN little predator-tail at the base of the tree…….it is funny to watch, really….. hell, I bet one of those souped-up little rats would kick his ass if he ever managed to finally pounce on one… but there he sits anyway…. Waiting and wishing……

… I wonder if he’d be happy if he ever had the chance to grip what he desired…. If somehow, through the battle that would ensue, he’d find some odd kind of kitty-validation…. like Elisson wishing for his roadster….. or Oom Keesie setting his sights on a distant water buffalo….. or me dreaming of subduing the perfect Reuben sandwich….

.... I definitely need more coffee..... good grief....

Read the Bullshit »

Today....

…. today has been spent running in & out of various hospital-type places scattered all over Bradley County… the goal of which was to allow my Sainted Mother to be 100% ready for her upcoming knee replacement surgery…. So, as you might guess, we’ve all been absolutely awash in a steady, all-day-long progression of shots, scans, jabs, x-rays, questionnaires, consultancies, red-tape, telephone calls, insurance, and elevator music….. and the waiting room of the first appointment (to which the doctor was 1.5 HOURS late for, incidentally) was pumped full of old reruns of ‘Green Acres’ and ‘The Munsters’ playing back to back from two different television sets…. so let me just tell y’all right now – for the record – that once you’ve watched Eva Gabor in a cocktail dress peel carrots at a kitchen sink in STEREO, well, you don’t truly know what mind-numbing really is, folks……

… ole Mamma, though, she’s doing just fine……she’s one tough old bird, and that’s a fact…. the doctor kept telling her that he’d only do a full replacement if what he found once he opened her leg up was bad enough for a full one….. and she kept right at him telling something like, ‘fix it all… I don’t care about the pain and/or the recovery time, I just want it all fixed!.... I don’t want to have to come back here in five years…”….

… she’s got a point, though….. but hey, since I am highly allergic to any form of pain, I suspect that I’d have opted for the ‘partial’ approach vice the ‘complete’ deal…. but hey, that’s just me….

… on the upside of the day, I did managed to wolf down two incredible meals courtesy of local roadhouse throughout my adventure…… and not counting the large tumbler of Bushmills that I am cradling right now, my day’s consumption has included about nine species of animals, a few cups of pasta, about seven different cheeses, and enough green vegetables to choke a proverbial horse…..

…. Also, after dinner, it was requested that we take Sylvia’s top off and enjoy the late evening sunshine for the trip home…. And you know what?.... it’s hard NOT to have fun in a convertible when the sun is setting and most of the fields on the way home have been freshly mown for their hay….. the warm breeze and the sweet, sticky smell of the laying hay can be one potent balm for a heavy soul, rubberneckers…… just trust me….. personally, I cannot recommend it highly enough…

… as of now, she goes under the knife on the 2nd of October….. one week from today……

…. Oh, and now that I am thinking of it (and on a completely different note..), has anyone else been roped into watching that ‘Week of Hitchcock” on DirecTv for the past few days like I have?..... I swear, ‘Marnie” just deeply, deeply disturbs me on levels that I really don’t want to talk about in this public forum….. it is just fucking dire…… and the only saving grace – in my world – is the fact that Bruce Dern’s character gets beaten to death with a fireplace poker….. that is always good to watch….. I’ve despised every character he’s ever played since he shot John Wayne in “The Cowboys”…… but, anyway…..

…. And don’t even get me started on ‘Vertigo’….. Jimmy Stewart is just plain creepy in that role…. And the ending of the flick?.... Hitch deserves to be dug up by a herd of trained chipmunks and then have his corpse publicly attacked by a large group of slightly-sexy blondes wielding industrial staplers and wearing bad tweed suits….. but hey, maybe that’s just me……

…. ‘Rear Window’ rocked, though, I will give him that…… and even though blondes aren’t my bag, both Grace Kelly AND Tippi Hedren definitely knew how to bring on the sexy…… Hitchcock may or may not have been a great director….. but he definitely knew how to pick a leading lady…..

Read the Bullshit »

Shaking.......

... I cannot describe to you all JUST how much this song speaks to me......

.... and I will never view stationary bikes quite the same again...... no..... not EVER....

.... enjoy.....

Read the Bullshit »

Photos...

.... as promised, here are some photos of the village of Winterspelt.....

.... oh, and congratulations to Supergurl on being my 15,000th commenter..... you guys & gals rock.......

germany_1_small.jpg

germany_2_small.jpg

germany_3_small.jpg

germany_4_small.jpg

germany_5_small.jpg

germany_6_small.jpg

germany_7_small.jpg

germany_8_small.jpg

germany_9_small.jpg

Read the Bullshit »

Shelled.....

…. during the course of my latest travels, I visited many beautiful and intriguing places…. but really & truthfully I only had one true mission for this trip…. and that was to visit a tiny German village that sits just across the border from Luxemburg where my Grandfather was captured on December 16th, 1944…. Actually, it was the whole reason that we visited the Ardennes & Low Countries instead of doing like we usually do and just hitting Scotland…….

…. So after a restful day and night in Bastogne, the whole family, sans the Mother-in-Law, daytripped out in Duncan’s Mercedes to try and find Winterspelt…. with me navigating in the front passenger seat…..

… the Michelin map that I had was a bit old, and it wasn’t long before I realized that the easiest way to the dot on the map was by taking B-roads instead of the looping, interchanging, dull-as-hell motorways…….

…. And it did make for a more interesting journey – taking those roads less traveled….. and we spent the better part of two hours speeding through the rolling countryside of Luxemburg dodging cows, tractors, and logging trucks….. at one point, we took a right instead of a left and ended up winding down a steep gravel road through thick forest and crossing a wooden bridge at the bottom of the hill that spanned a small stream…. which, as luck would have it, that little creek represented the border….

…. and as we slowly climbed out of the creek-bed & rattled across the rickety bridge, we were then in Germany….. and Winterspelt sat half a mile away on the top of the nearest ridge…..

… there wasn’t much there, really…. a row of farm houses, a catholic church, a hotel, a pub & restaurant, a pre-school…… not even a gas station…… there was a roadsign though… pointing the way towards St. Vith…… I took a photo….

…. My Grandpa’s name was Carl Hull and he was 20 years old when he was captured… he died in 1988 and I only remember a few of the stories that he told me when I was a kid….but I always remembered the name of the towns where he’d been when he was overseas….. I guess that I was just curious about the war and tried to pry the history out of him…. But either way, I always remembered what he’d told me…. each little story stuck in its own little way…..

…. He told me that he was captured at daybreak on the 16th of December by a group from the Volksgrenadiers…. All between the ages of 16 & 17…. He claimed that their ages were the only thing that saved him and the rest of his mortar team….. that if they’d not been ‘children’, they’d have killed them instead of taking them prisoner……. Looking at the facts now, it seems hard to imagine that a 20-year old is much more or less of a child than someone of 16, but those were the words he said…… and he was there….. I have a much longer lens to see things from, I guess…… and truly, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be there…….

…. He said that he’d been wounded in the foot by shrapnel just before the daylight of his capture… no blood, just a smashing wound that broke the arch of his right foot…. And that they were marched 90km eastward to the small town of Limburg, Germany and held at Stalag 12…. And there they remained until the Russians liberated them in April of 45……he said that he’d used an M-1 rifle with the bolt taken out as a crutch while he marched through the snow……. he said that when he landed in France he weighed 196lbs…… and when he made it back to Great Britain he weighed 98lbs……

… it was strange to visit there……

…. We parked and headed our separate ways once we’d arrived…… I made a bee-line straight to the church and snapped a few more photographs…..

….. he’d said that they’d been hit first during the initial push and had fallen back into the village from their pickets….. and later they were forced to evacuate from there as well…… and were captured after running out of ammo and mortar rounds in a ditch on the outskirts of the village…..

…. The church intrigued me more than any other building, actually…. It was built from the huge stone blocks that are typical of the mid 1880’s style, and it was pockmarked high and low by shrapnel-scars….. even though every other building was newly-spackled, newly-painted, or newly-built, it was obvious from the tears and abrasions on the church that this little village had seen serious shelling once upon a time….…… there were few people on the streets as I walked around, but I found the church’s door to be unlocked…. A catholic thing, evidently, leaving the church doors unlocked at all hours so that wandering people could meander in and pray….. so I walked in and sat down at a pew….

… everything everywhere was calm, serene, clean, and quiet…….from the pews to the Saints…. to the flowers at the lecturn….. it was a typical country-church that one might find in a thousand villages throughout Europe…. And yet it mesmerized me more than any of the grand cathedrals that I had visited before…… a simple place where – no doubt – my young Grandpa had been long, long ago…. scared, angry, and resolute…. more scared than anything, I suspect.....

…. my goodness…… I could write more, I guess, but I don’t feel like it…… my inspiration has been silenced for the night……… but it’ll be back in the morning…..

…. But I will post the photos of Winterspelt tomorrow….. with no words…… there is no need for words, really….. it is just a place…. A church with a few buildings surrounding it…. but I was there….. and I will show you guys what I saw……

Read the Bullshit »

Sets....

…. Whilst self-educating myself on the patio this afternoon, I happened upon a wonderful little tidbit of useless information and I feel like sharing….. ready?.... ok… fish have two sets of nostrils….. that’s right, boys and girls….. two sets of nostrils!!….. one set is forward-facing to suck in water…and the second set is rearward-facing and, you guessed it, that’s where the water that the fish just ‘breathed’ gets evacuated….. marvelous stuff, to be sure, but here’s the bit that I found most entertaining……

… since human beings evolved from fishies, we also have two sets of nostrils!... we’ve got the set that everyone knows about, of course…. but then there are another set (the rearward-facing ones) that attach back to the rear of our necks….. pretty groovy, no?..... and if – for some reason – that second set of nostrils don’t attach correctly then we’re left with a cleft palate!....

… so there, my mission here is done…. Y’all are now armed with one helluva fine piece of information about your own bodies that I bet you didn’t even know…. so go forth and bask in the knowledge of your new nostrils….. get to know them.......

.... I’m off to swizzle myself a gin & tonic…. Teaching definitely takes a lot out of me….

Read the Bullshit »

Falling....

…. the Black Widow that hunted in my backyard most of the summer has gone on to the Great Spider Web in the Sky….. winter seems to be just around the corner these days…..

… I walked out this morning in the cool, autumn air to check on her and found her little nook empty…. well, empty except for an egg-sack about the size of a grape with two or three fire ants slowly peeling away the layers of silk that encased it……a long-ago wound that had healed haphazardly at the base of a sweet gum tree had been her home for many months…..

… I went to the garage and found my Amdro and sprinkled it around the base of the tree where the genocide was taking place…. It’ll take care of the ants in a few days, I suppose…. but the damage to The Next Generation was done…. you can’t take stuff like that back… once a nest is cracked, it is finished……

…. It was a bit depressing, really, finding her gone…. and then to see the foragers robbing her nest…. secreting the embryos down the scaly bark towards the ant-burrow….

… that’s just the way it goes, though….. life is a struggle…. sometimes you eat the bear… sometimes the bear eats you…. sometimes you’re the windshield…. sometimes you’re the bug…. sometimes all you can do is the very BEST that you can do and then let the chips fall where they may….. etc, etc….. y’all get the point….

…. It is as one of Anne Rice’s vampires once said, I guess….. “we go into legend… or into the fire..” ……. Fuck….

…. I heard today that an old workmate of mine – from years ago – took a nosedive off of a Scottish cliff a few weeks back and ended her young life…. intentionally…... leaving behind a husband and a son….. and lots of heartbroken friends…..

….. sitting here now, I cannot help hearing the same phrase run through my mind…. again and again and again…. like waves hurling themselves at the hull of an anchored boat… connected to Earth by a tether but still rocking and bobbing with each new assault…..

…. “I love life…. I adore life…. I will never let go… no matter how horrible everything becomes, I will hold…. I will claw…. I will live…. I will try….. I will rage…. I will struggle…. I WANT to live…I lust after the marrow that every new day brings… I want to feel, to eat, to drink, to breathe, to touch, to kiss, to find, to reach, to search, to create…. “ …..

…. but I guess that life isn’t really like that…… no matter how hard some of us struggle to survive & provide….. with enough time and pressure, that whole old “diamond” analogy just doesn’t pan out, does it?…… with enough time and pressure, we become diamonds?..... I am torn….

… some days I believe it… and some days I don’t…. but one thing is for certain – and that is this……. I will never give up….. no matter how shitty this whole stinking world can get sometimes, I know that if I look hard enough, and long enough, I will find beauty….. if not inside me, then from some other source……. but it will always be there…. waiting….. I just have to choose to see it…… to find it….. to want it…..

…. And I want to see it…. I truly, truly do….

Read the Bullshit »

Word....

..... Cake is incredible.... they truly are..

..... best version ever...

Read the Bullshit »

Razing....

…. As many of you may know, one of my most favoritest things to do while drinking beer and schlepping through the Ardennes (and the rest of Europe) is to find ancient castles and storm them in a fit of mock-bezerker rage and then claim them for the Great State of Tennessee….. it’s quite fun, let me tell ya….. and to date, I have successfully stormed about fifteen castles, towers, monasteries, and other minor fortifications throughout Holland, England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxemburg…. many while armed with only a rolled-up newspaper & a fierce grimace, I might add….. but hey, I am a conqueror at heart….. and you’d be surprised just how well a heavy slap from a copy of the Times of London works in subduing a bookish, be-spectacled castle tour guide….

… anyhoo, in my most recent expedition, I managed to capture the fortress of one Godfrey de Bouillon…. Some of you may recognize the name there, of course, as he was eminently involved in the First Crusade and later became the first “king” of Jerusalem… or “defender of The Holy Sepulcher” if you’d rather… either way, despite his fame & legend, I had very little trouble wresting his mountain-top castle away from his dilapidated minions and making it my own….

… of course, the way was made a wee bit easier by the fact that he died in Jerusalem in 1100, but that is not really the point….. hey, a castle is a castle….. and they’re made for stormin’….

…. This trip I even managed to convince my dear ole Father-in-Law to assist me during two particularly daring day-time assaults…. Indeed, there was even a ‘war correspondent’ there to document our bravery….. see?...

storming_castle_small.jpg

.. oh yeah, we kicked ass…. That was he and I boldly rushing the gates of the monastery in Clervaux, Luxemburg…. here’s a better shot of it……

clervaux_small.jpg

…. those trappist-addled meditating monks never stood a chance, people…… I even shot a few German tourists in the chest with my finger-gun just for good measure and to instill that extra little-bit of fear that you need to conjure when taking a walled city by force…..

… but the true jewel in the day’s crown was the assault on ole Godfrey’s pad……

… here’s a shot of my Father-in-Law and I about to clasp each other in celebration of our victory like real men….. Godfrey's castle was ours!...

storming_another_small.jpg

.... trust me, folks... my life would kill most people.....

Read the Bullshit »

Elegant....

... morning in Clervaux….

… coffee, white sugar, dark sugar, fresh spring water, double cream, chocolate covered peanuts, raisins, & almonds…. and a silver spoon…..

… not a bad way to begin a morning, if you ask me……

table_service_small.jpg

Read the Bullshit »

Cash....

…. during the course of my beatific explorations I experienced many pleasant things and spied many lustrous wonders of great beauty…. most of which I will not show you hammerheads here, however, but that is another matter all together….

…. Instead, I hope that you’ll enjoy a small clip of a very interesting Belgian that I happened upon near a street corner in deepest, darkest, Brussels…… I managed to get him to quiet down long enough for me to officially invite him to the upcoming blogmeet in Helen, GA, but I don’t think he’ll be able to attend…. Something about having too much ‘merde’ to do that weekend or something….

…. Oh yeah, and old Johnny Cash songs never sounded so good….. but that might have just been all the shots of schnapps I’d been downing…..

... "doop doop diddly dee doop!"..... Belgium, friends and neighbors, it isn't just all about the waffles......

Read the Bullshit »

Back...

…. Well, boys and girls, I survived my European vacation…. I know that y’all were worried – I could feel the disturbance in The Force from time to time…. and actually, ‘survived’ is probably not the best description of my past-week’s station…. Indeed, I managed to cuddle most of the seven deadly sins close to my bosom for the better part of two weeks… Lust and Anger remained elusive – as always – but the other five and I had quite a high ole time…..

… I had a particularly enjoyable ride with Gluttony and Sloth through Luxemburg & bits of Germany… but hey, they have always been my great go-to pals…..

…. So, yes, I am back…… and thanks to all of the fine gentlemen who dropped in to keep both of you entertained while I was marinating in trappist beer through The Low Countries….

…. And later?.... video of dancing Harlequins in Brussels!!.... I just know that you guys are literally bursting with excitement…

Read the Bullshit »

Squirrel sex

Lest any of Eric's faithful readers get bored in his absence...

Note that if you watch closely you can see the one squirrel's eyes roll back in his haid lahk a pown stah.

Read the Bullshit »

The people have spoken

I put up a poll the other day...

SWG_PublicHumiliationPoll.jpg

The results are clear...

SWG_PublicHumiliationPollResults.jpg

57 responses in about 36 hours. Not exactly rocking the vote, folks, but we're all painfully aware of how many hits this site gets from people searching for stuff like "squirrel sex", aren't we? So let's just skip over that and dwell for a minute on the fact that apparently only two voters felt that public humiliation of bloggers is wrong. Not too surprising to me. It certainly explains the never-ending photos/photoshops of me that appear on the net. And the fact that a photoshopped image of me graces a t-shirt. Oh, well...it's not like any potential employers in the IT field ever use the internet and are therefore likely to stumble across my picture, right? Besides, it'll make for a lovely way to break up those occasional lulls in the interview process.

Okay, back to the main topic here. It seems to me like an awful lot of you want some payback. Very well. Without further ado, I am proud to present to you a most strange beastie discovered in the mountain wilderness of north Georgia...

More Straight talk »

Read the Bullshit »

Just wondering...

September 17th is coming fast so if anyone's gonna trash this place, time's running out. Originally I thought of trying to solicit photoshops of Eric but sometimes....just sometimes...reality is stranger than fiction.

You see, I've got this picture of Eric from about two years ago. Actually, I have a few pictures of Eric from about two years ago but I'm thinking of one in particular. No photoshopping is needed. It's awesome and yet horrible. I've been meaning to post it for ages now. But would it be tacky to post it here while I'm a guest on Eric's site? Tell me, dear reader, what should I do?

Should Eric be publicly humiliated for not taking his loyal readers along on his latest jaunt to Europe?
Hell, no! Public humiliation of bloggers is wrong.
Gee, I dunno...doesn't Eric have a short temper and a buttload of guns?
Oh, sure. I'm bored. Amuse me!
Yeah! Just don't tell him I voted "yes", okay?
Absolutely! Eric pinched my nipples and I want some payback.
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

ps: don't forget to encourage your friends to exercise their right to vote!

Read the Bullshit »

9/11 again

Well, it was six years ago today, huh? Anyone else look at a calendar this morning and wince? Any of you folks out there spend your September 11th's in a daze? Am I the only one who gets through this day on auto-pilot; letting routine take over as I think about the thousands people who were murdered on 9/11? Somehow I don't think so.

And now what? It's been six years. My anger has cooled somewhat and I no longer feel the fiery blood lust that I felt on that autumn morning. What do we do now? How best to honor the men, women and children slaughtered by Muslim fanatics? Six long years have passed and a lot of water has flowed under the metaphorical bridge. I'm not quite ready for a candle-lit prayer vigil, though. I am thinking it'd be nice if we tossed a dozen or so Tomahawks into Riyadh. Just key in the coordinates for random minarets within the city and press the big, shiny red button. Not so much destruction that we flatten the entire place but enough to make them look to the sky with apprehension. We need to let them know that we're not done just yet. We need to let them know that we haven't forgotten.

attacked.jpg

Read the Bullshit »

Grits...

There are, I’m sure, jokes a-plenty about Kentucky weddings - the ones involving close relatives and/or a bride on the flat-chested side of thirteen - but I won’t be telling any of those here. Kentucky, after all, is not all that far from Tennessee, and both have their mountainous parts where...well, parts is parts. And people - like my Bloggy Host - have big knives and large-caliber firearms.

But let’s face it - there is something deeply different about Suthen Weddings.

The Missus and I were at an honest-to-Gawd Georgia wedding this past Saturday. The ceremony took place at a Baptist church a couple of three-woods north of Stone Mountain: the north face of the mountain loomed above us as we headed out toward the reception.

The ceremony proper was traditional in every respect, with the standard musical accompaniment, wedding party, et cetera. There was nothing to distinguish it from, say, an equivalent sort of wedding in any Northern state, save for the mild drawl of the minister.

But you knew you were south of the Mason-Dixon line once you got to the reception. For there, in addition to the usual Reception Buffet Fare, there was a Grits Bar.

That’s right. A Grits Bar. How many of you rubberneckers have seen one of them? Be honest, now.

You’d step up to the bar and a uniformed cheffy sorta dude would dump a couple of ladles of hot grits in a Martini glass, and then you’d select from a choice of toppings. Butter...sour cream...sliced scallions...bacon bits...shredded Cheddar...hell, if you felt like being creative, you could slide in a few boiled shrimp or fried scallops from elsewhere in the room.

It’s not something you would ever see in, say, Brooklyn...but that’s not a slam, by any means. I like grits - they’re the closest thing to Romanian mamaligeh this side of Bucharest - and besides, my Daddy has been a grits fan since Hector was a pup. Or since Miles was a block. So I come by my love of grits honestly.

[Just don’t ever let me catch you putting sugar on ’em. Grits ain’t Cream of Wheat, fer Gawd’s sake. Sweet grits? You oughta be dragged off and shot.]

You can keep your chocolate fountains, your caviar and blini. But set up a Grits Station at your wedding, and ol’ Uncle Elisson may just have to be a wedding crasher...

Read the Bullshit »

Casing the joint

As if the internet wasn't already chock-full of examples of Eric's poor judgment, he gave me keys to this place shortly before departing for Europe. So, here I am. Just wandering around, seeing what's on the bookshelves, checking out the liquor cabinet, etc.

It's a nice place and all but as Jimbo's post has made clear, some of the stuff here is kinda embarrassing, ya know? I mean, I realize that Eric isn't exactly the most politically-conscious fellow out there but still...someone's gonna have to explain to him who Fred Thompson is because Eric's got this weird-ass poster on the wall. Check it out.

I worry about the guy, folks. Really, I do.

Read the Bullshit »

Knock Knock.

Damn, I forgot. No need to knock; I have the keys.

I promised Eric before he and Mrs. SWG winged off to Europe that I would stop in and check on the place. So, let’s see what we have here.

The front room appears to be in reasonable order. I see his guitar in the corner. I think I’ll give it a test run. Oooopsie! Way out of tune. Hell, no wonder he has trouble figuring out those simple twelve-bar blues tunes. I’ll tune it up for him, goddamned Prince that I am.

His bookshelf is as I remember it -- well-stocked. Not surprisingly, there are a bunch of Ogden Nash Books, a couple of well-worn Robert Service volumes. Uh oh. I wasn’t aware that Eric subscribed to so many Muscle Guy Magazines. A couple of them are still wrapped in brown paper and, yep, there’s his name on them. WTF? Wait! Tucked in here between two Marine Corps books are several issues of American Transvestite. The cover story on one is called “Strut Your Shit in a Boffo Black Lace Bustiere.” … mercy…

I’ll just take a quick peek into the bedroom to make sure all’s OK. Yikes! There are even more penguins than I had remembered. I had often wondered why Mrs. SWG was such an avid collector of everything penguin. I’m still not sure, but I’m thinking she must spend lots of time shopping once Uncle Eric begins prancing around the house in women’s dainties. Memo to self: Check the Guinness Book of Records for “Penguin Collection, Largest.”

On to the kitchen. We all know that Eric spends a good deal of time here, quite the cook he is; at least he says he is. Let me just open this cabinet here. Yep; it figures. Twenty-four boxes of macaroni. Now, let me just guess what’s in the refrigerator. Bingo! Five pounds of cheese. The boy must have to swallow a cherry bomb to take a shit. Oh, look! I see his “famous” spaghetti recipe on the counter in the corner. The damned thing is ten pages long! Ginger Snaps and Lime Jell-O in spaghetti sauce? Who knew? That would be a capital offense in Jersey.

Next stop: the most interesting room in the house – the oft-spoken of “Blog Room.” Yes, rubberneckers, this is where the magic happens. I’m pumped. I think I’ll just sit myself down in the SWG chair in front of the SWG computer – not to write anything (I’m not worthy), but just to bathe in the atmospherics of the place. I want to gaze through the window, the world outside of which has spawned such … wonderful … prose. Yo! Wait just one farookin’ minute! There’s a dime store fake spider hanging on a string outside the window. W … T … F…!

Not being able to grapple with the notion that all those spider posts were 14 carat bullshit, I’ll spin the SWG chair around away from the direction of the window to gaze at where I know Eric keeps all his rugged outdoorsman stuff – heavy duty cammo duds, mountain climbing gear – crampons and shit. OMFG! Ballet slippers! I think I might hurl. I need a bathroom.

I’m happy to report the bathroom looks perfectly normal. It’s nicely decorated with matching towels, and it even boasts matching toidy paper. I feel myself beginning to calm down. As I begin to wash my hands, I notice a can of shaving cream, on which is an image of one of those muscle guys – like on those magazines. The label reads, “Ramrod Nad Cream – Specially Formulated for Sensitive Stindeens.” Jesus H. Christ!

Yo, rubberneckers. Let’s keep this between you and me, OK? I’m goin’ back to Jersey. I plan on telling him that the place was just fine.

Read the Bullshit »

A Word From Spanky...

Once again Eric has ventured abroad without requesting my stunning gifts to grace his flea-bitten site. Further discussions on this matter in Helen.


ape.jpg

Read the Bullshit »

Frontiers...

Back in the days before Political Correctness became a societal bugbear - and when children actually played outside and got dirty - we littl’uns used to enjoy playing Cowboys and Indians - or a thousand variations of the same. Kings of the Wild Frontier, we were. Deerstalkers, muleskinners...we did it all.

Nowadays, I suppose it’d be Western Animal Husbandry Workers and Indigenous Americans...but the game is the same. I chase you, you chase me, we pretend to shoot and/or scalp each other unto death, we flick a few boogers at each other, we find something else to do.

On a related note, I remember when kids would wear their Hallowe’en costumes to school. You could get away with this only if you were in elementary school. In third grade, I wore an Indian Indigenous American outfit to school. Feathers, warpaint, leather fringed vest, the works. It was fun, except for the merciless razzing I got from the fifth-graders. Truly a Nerdly Moment...but that’s what the old Snot-Nose Days are all about, eh?

The Great Mythos of the American Frontier, that was a big thing. The Fess Parker-inspired coonskin cap craze died down before I was an age to care about such things, but the epic stories of how the American West was settled rang loud in our ears, as did the names of the many heroes of those stories: Dan’l Boone, Davy Crockett, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, and all the assorted characters of the Wild West era. Fictional ones, too. Mike Fink, Pecos Bill - we knew ’em all.

I was reminded of all this when I found a treasured old volume in a box in the basement. The box, crammed with chess and checker pieces, poker chips, dice, and a Roulette Wheel in working condition, was an unlikely place for a book to have hidden itself away, but no matter. What mattered is that I had found an old friend, a treasure from the days when kids could still play Frontiersman...

Nasty Bumppo
Why, it’s...Nasty Bumppo!

This Photoshop, incidentally, has its basis in fact...Eric, on more than one occasion, has copped to wearing buckskins back in his Snot-Nose days...perhaps it’s a Tennessee thing, but I suspect there’s more to it than that...not everyone can channel Dan’l Boone, but if anyone can, Eric can...

[Posted at my place some time back...but it seemed to be at home here...]

Read the Bullshit »

Belgium...

Good morning, rubberneckers...It's your old Uncle Elisson here, filling in for Eric while he fills his gullet with 800 different varieties of Belgian beer...mercy...I hope the Belgians have laid in some stores, for it will be a long siege...and both Eric and the lovely Fiona have been known to bend the elbow on occasion...

The Belgians are quite an interesting lot, consisting of both Flemings and Walloons...they know how to do up a mess of mussels quite nicely, thank you...and there is something to be said for a country that has a chocolate shoppe on nigh every street-corner...

The beer - did I mention the beer? - is of an extraordinary quality and variety...nondescript lagers like Stella Artois...lambic-style ales fermented with wild strains of yeast...Trappist ales possessed of amazing flavor and alcoholic strength...I do hope Eric's liver is prepared for the onslaught...

...one of the unique products to be had in this little country is the fruit lambic, in which macerated fruit is added to a lambic for a secondary fermentation step...cherries (the famous Kriek Lambic)...raspberries (framboise)...peaches (pęche)...black currants (cassis)...don't be fooled, rubberneckers...these are manly drinks despite their fruit content...nothing quite sets off a fiery dish of Hunan Beef quite like a cool, astringent Kriek Lambic...it is also perfect for washing down the local specialities...

Carbonnade Flamande, that's the ticket...hearty hunks of beef, stewed in the local beer...

...I foresee an extended session with Helga upon Eric's happy return...

Read the Bullshit »

Reminiscing

Hang out over here for any length of time and one cannot help but start reminiscing about past events and childhood. I don't know what it is but Eric just brings out the child in some of us. Maybe it's that poetic prose that lulls me into a numb sleep or maybe it's just that guy lurking in the background with a shovel ready to beat the hell out of. I guess we'll never know. Shovel Boy and the wife should be in Europe by now and I hope they are having a wonderful time. I was pleasantly surprised when he asked me to come back after posting that picture of his manboobs the last time he was on vacation...

One thing I was reminiscing about was my tenth birthday, which is one that I remember with great clarity, or at least enough fondness to retell the story enough times that I won't forget...

We never had a great deal of money growing up. We weren't by any means poor, but sometimes it was a stretch to make ends meet. One year my dad decided to go out with a friend from work and help cut down trees. I don't know if his friend sold firewood or what, but he got paid and got some firewood so it took care of a couple of birds. It so happened that he was going on my tenth birthday and dragged my ten year old self with him.

I do remember that we got up at the crack of dawn, earlier than I was used to at that time, although now it doesn't seem such a big deal since I do it every day.. Before meeting his friend we stopped and had breakfast at a Denny's, just me and the old man. French toast and sausage. I guess the palate holds memories for awhile as well, because I can still remember the smells.

We spent the great majority of the day (or so it seemed to a 10-year-old) out there cutting wood. I carried logs, but mostly rolled them. I am not a huge man by any means and 30 years ago I was most definitely smaller than I am now so I probably rolled most of them. I don't remember if I was really any help at all but at the end of the day I received $10 from my old man and another $10 from his friend for working. Holy crap! Back in 1976 $20 was like a million for a ten-year-old. I don't remember what I spent it on. Most likely candy and other garbage the kids buy, but I remember thinking I was just completely rich and I remember the feeling I got when my dad thanked me and handed me the cash. Appreciated. That was a nice feeling.

I had more to say on it this morning but have run out of words. It's been a hella long week and I have to get ready for work shortly. Luckily I am off tomorrow and may get a bit of nice shut-eye tonight provided everyone shows up for work.


I will most likely post this at Shadowscope as well and may stop back in later in the week to piss on the carpets.

Read the Bullshit »

by Shadowscope | Permalink | Bullshit(2) | TrackBack (0)

Impression: Eric on Crack.

We all know that Eric is laid-back poet down to his bone marrow (except, of course, for the occasional booze-fueled blade thing), so I thought it would be cool to do my impression of Eric on crack. Here ‘tis:

Morning …… … … fog …..dew ……. poplars …. …. …… ……. ……. ……. …….. …… ….. … ….. . …… … .. …. mercy …… ….. .. .. ……. … …. ….. ….. ……. …… … Rubberneckers ….. …… ……. ….. … … …. ….. … …… Sylvia … …… ….. …… Knoxville … …. …… ….. …. .. ……. …… Tom Waits … …… …… ……. ….. … ….. ….. ….. …… … verily … …… ….. …… ……. ….. …. ….. ….. ... …. ….. …. Robert Service … …… ….. ….. …… …. Marines … ….. ….. ….. ….. ……. Uncle Eric …. …… … … ….

Read the Bullshit »

Howdy All

I was gonna post THIS PICTURE of Straight White Guy's place but mu.nu. allowed the picture was too big. Pretty nice but does need cleaning up some. I was trying to get JIMBO to help me this weekend and really do the SWG a favor..but Jimbo allows he is gonna be busy doin' lawyerin' stuff and besides he needs to slam the Joisey politicians some more this weekend. But I think it wuz just because I said I would bring an extra chainsaw...

By the way, if the vehicle I saw here is named Sylvia it damn sure ain't no straight vehicle. Than sumbitch is a Sylvester if I ever saw one like in Sylvester Rambo ... I may clean the boat up though..hell, he might take me fishing on one of those TVA lakes if I do that...

Posted by GuyK

Read the Bullshit »

Gone....

…. well, it is time to set sail, folks….. I’m off to putter around a few cities, buy some diamonds, eat a bit or two of chocolate, tour a few battlefields, and sample some Flemish beer while watching the Walloons do whatever it is that Walloons do……

.. if anyone needs me, I shall be here…. (for a time, anyway) …. safely ensconced in the fortified city of Koblenz…. by way of Antwerp, Brussels, and Bastogne......

….. oh, and I have also arranged for a few guests to drop by here from time to time while I am wandering…. So, who knows?.... perhaps y’all might be treated to a tale or two while I’m away……

…. and so with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’m off……

… we’ll see you rubberneckers on September 17th…….

.. and hey, it looks like I will miss my own 4th blogoversary!..... September 10th, 2003 this whole wild ride began...... good God..... four years..... no wonder I'm going to Belgium where the pubs have 800 different beer in stock!.....

Read the Bullshit »

Goofy....

..... goodnight, hammerheads…. Tomorrow is another day, as Tara Scarlett said in Gone With The Wind…..

….. we’re about to travel far around these parts….. heh….. I can hardly wait….

… you guys be careful out there….. it is a big old goofy world, after all….. right?...

Read the Bullshit »

Blues....

…. On and off for the past week or so, I have been attempting to research an old photograph of my Father…. it’s the only photograph that I have of him (other than the standard pre-graduation shot from bootcamp) where he is wearing his dress blues…

.. the whole thing hasn’t really turned out as I expected… initially I was curious about a piece of his uniform…. And after researching the item, I found myself laughing about finding my Father out-of-regs and out-of-uniform (… trust me, there is nothing that a Marine loves more than catching a fellow Marine that 1/8th of an inch out of alignment with his ribbons or badges…. Hey, attention to detail is followed as a religion almost…) ….. and to think that I caught dear ole Dad, well, I laughed….

….but as I did more and more homework, the “gotcha” moment faded as I realized just exactly what I was looking at when I held that photograph in my hands….

… most US Marine uniforms hold only the most basic of information…. rank, awards, ribbons, badges, medals, and service stripes…. And they usually lack unit patches or devices of occupation…. So when you see a Marine in his blues, well, all you see is a Marine…. Not a cook, artilleryman, or office pogue…

… there are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule…. And those exceptions are what triggered this information-chase and possible discovery… mainly, well, the wearing of the French fourragčre by the 5th and 6th Marine regiments .. however, before I go any further, I will say that what I have concluded is still up for debate…. So if anyone can identify the uniform item differently from my own deducing, then I will be very interested to hear your ideas…..

… and so, here is the shot that I’ve been talking about…. behold, my Pa circa 1966….

fourregere_small.jpg

….. alright…. for those of you non-Military types, here is what we’re lookin’ at…. He is a Lance Corporal that qualified as a “Rifle Expert”…. And he wears three ribbons above his shooting badge…which, from left to right, are as follows….. the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal…. The fly in the proverbial ointment is the gold-braided fourragčre which he is wearing around his left shoulder….. as far as I can figure, the gold braid signifies that he is perhaps an attaché to either a general, admiral, or The President (… which he most certainly wasn’t as he was a combat engineer…)

…. any ideas?..... yeah, quite a mystery…..

…. I’ve dismissed this curiosity for years… simply assuming that because he was attached to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines during his first tour in Vietnam that this was their fourragčre…. But after some major groundwork, I find theirs is green and scarlet…. This bit of news got the ball of discovery rolling faster than ever….and pieces of information began to fall into place…

… for one, this photograph was dated 1966…. He didn’t arrive in Vietnam until January of ’67… which means that he hadn’t earned the two service medals that he was wearing yet and was only authorized at that time to be wearing the National Defense Medal…. Secondly, I know that he qualified as a “Sharpshooter” in bootcamp and not an “Expert”… and after doing his Combat Engineer training, he went directly to his AIT in California and never re-qualified with his rifle….. so he remained a sharpshooter for his entire time in the military….in short?... well, that ain’t his shooting badge…..

… thirdly (and I cannot believe that I overlooked this glaring fact for so long), he was never issued a set of dress blues… and he never purchased a pair either since he spent his entire enlistment deployed…..and yet, here is this photograph in my hot little hands…….

…. So after a week of searching and head-scratching and wondering why he was so blatantly out of uniform, it slowly came to me…..and it caught me quite unaware…..

… I made some phonecalls to a few Vietnam-era Marines, and they confirmed much – but not all – of what I suspected….

…. Wearing dungarees everyday, far away from home for the first time, and preparing to enter a combat zone for 13 months, he must have been wondering if he’d make it back alive…. personal cameras were still expensive items, and I seriously doubt that he could have afforded one on a 1966 Lance Corporal’s pay….. so what would someone in his situation do to ensure that if he didn’t make it back from the war his family would have a nice keepsake?.... a cheap snapshot of him in herringbones taken by a buddy?.... or a quick ride into Oceanside to use one of their backless, anonymous sets of dress blues for a ‘proper’ momento?...

… how incredibly scared and uncertain he must have been – being so incredibly far away both mentally and literally from the rolling farmland of eastern Tennessee….I can barely even imagine….

… and that is when my original curiosity – that had morphed into a laughable attempt to catch my Father (and fellow Marine) in a uniform hiccup slowly led to the realization of what I was really looking at - Quite possibly the last image that his family would ever have of him…. A cheap five-dollar portrait from a California street-booth….

…. I’m still blown away by it all, actually…..but I do understand a bit of where he was coming from…. And a bit about how he’d much rather have his folks remembering him sitting straight, clean, and dressed in a polished uniform… instead of sweating, muddy, and bone-tired……

…. I suppose that I’d have done the same as he if I’d been in his situation… that last minute photo before being sent off to combat….for them to remember me looking handsome and proud…..

… even if I was out of uniform….

Read the Bullshit »

Bloomers....

…. Ya know, there are mornings where I awake, pour myself a cup of coffee, light a cigarette, and ponder the great mysteries of life…. And then there are mornings where I fire up the old blog and try to think of something to post about…..

…. For some reason, I don’t believe that Brother Elisson has those same moments of “… Gee, I wonder what I should post today..” …..

.. you, sir, are an inspiration….. and I mean that….

…. there’s nothing quite like waking on a sunny Sunday morning to see a hairy-chested fellow blogger sporting a flaccid, uncircumcised weenie to put you right off of your frosted mini-wheats…. Which, of course, is exactly what blogging is all about…..

… but, wow..... after reading that post about fine art and debasing, I cant help but wonder what Baroque goodies lie in store for me when I hit Antwerp next week……

Read the Bullshit »

Obtaining....

….. well, even though it certainly may not feel like it with the heat, humidity, and ragweed pollen, it appears that college football season is truly upon us…. and after checking the various schedules, it looks like I have an impossible task ahead of me….. that’s right, folks, I have to find myself a sports bar/pub in Amsterdam that’ll be showing the Tennessee-Florida game on September, 15th…..

… hell, I may have to see if I can break into the US Embassy as a last resort….. but you know, I am pretty optimistic…. I mean, my track record for obtaining the nearly impossible while traveling abroad has been tested quite a few times now… and I’ve always managed…. I once scored a half-gallon of Johnny Walker and two lovely fifths of Beefeater gin during an Islamic holiday AND a general worker’s strike in Dhaka… so surely I can find a SEC fan or two in a great seat of civilization such as The Netherlands……

… then again, it’s not that my beloved Volunteers are predicted to defeat those nasty Gators…. but I’d still like to watch it even if it turns into a bloodbath…

… the upside?.... well, if I cant find the game on, I suppose I could just hit a coffee shop and sip some tea while the locals puff their blunts…. I mean, after all, it is Amsterdam…. And if I cant catch the UT game, at least the Europeans and their dope-smoking will be mildly entertaining…

Read the Bullshit »