Cooper.....

..... spent the evening re-watching Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe fiddle about underneath waterfalls & run around through the woods in 'The Last of the Mohicans'..... well, I did do some lawn work first, but it was mostly inconsequential......

... anyhoo, how is it that Daniel's flowing locks always looked daisy-fresh while Madeleine always looked like she'd recently been hit by a logging truck with a fully loaded cattle trailer spewing Holstein dung being dragged behind it?.....

..... and Mr. Lewis firing a damnable blackpowder musket in that foggy funk, too??...... I swear, the mind does boggle...... he never broke a sweat nor had the first twig embedded ANYWHERE in his mane during the whole damned movie.....

.... not that I'm a 'hair' kinda guy, not by any stretch, but I'll bet Miss Stowe gave her make-up ladies a Royal Old Time while they squatted out there in the mountains around Asheville attempting to make her look less disheveled than ole Daniel... which, if you really think about it, is kinda sad.....

..... I mean, sure, everyone watches that movie and thinks of the epic scenes of love, revenge, etc..... and hey, what man OR woman hasn't viewed that scene just before he leaped out into the waterfall after saying "Just STAY ALIVE!.... I WILL find YOU", and not shed a tear or two........ but that's 'art', isn't it?..... art is the ideal, and reality is that he'd have an extreme case of bed-hair that would rival one of those rat-like creatures that lives in a burrow somewhere in Africa that I saw on the Discovery Channel recently, and a case of halitosis that would make most women melt into a tiny puddle after one feigning breath.......... but, no..... instead, poor Madeleine is left to only have better eye-shadow and only slightly better lip adjustment.......

......if I were to actually have an imagination?...... I would imagine that James Fenimore Cooper has probably spun in his grave continually since 1992........

.... then again, when the OTHER Munro sister jumped to her death rather than be taken back to Magua's crib for a little slap and tickle, that was kinda inspiring.......

..... so, yes, I spent most of the day doing manual labor and creating 'flower beds'........

... and I was just kidding about that whole Magua/Munro sister thing being inspiring........ that was just in bad taste, and I know it......... but I DO really want a copy of Chingachgook's warclub.......

.... no, seriously..... he rocked with that thing........ and it would look GREAT hanging on the wall of my garage.......

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Newman.....

...... I drove into town for lunch today at one of the new, white table-clothed up-market Mexican restaurants in Athens...... and as I sipped my sweet tea and waited for my chimichanga to be carted out, I saw on the television screen above the bar that Paul Newman had checked out...... the broadcast cut between clips of 'Cool Hand Luke' & 'The Hustler'..... with a few shots thrown in of his racing team......

..... but sitting there - looking up at that television framed between a hundred different bottles of exotic tequila - I couldn't help but be reminded of the film that I most associate with Mr. Newman......... Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"......

.... this is how I will always remember Paul Newman, folks......

..... why he never brow-beat one of the servants into bring up another bottle of bourbon and then spent the rest of that sweaty evening spanking the living hell out of Liz at the end of that scene, I'll never know...... but hey, it was still one amazing movie.....

..... so farewell, Mr. Newman....... the word "mendacity" never sounded so good as when it slipped out from between your lips....... and hey, say hello to Burl Ives for me...... and tell him that I KNOW that he secretly had the hots for your Maggie....... and I know how he must have internally shuddered slightly each time Liz looked at him with those big, doe eyes, fanned her neck against the sweltering Southern heat, and called him "Big Daddy".........

... in short, Paul, you were one lucky sumbitch..... and your acting was pretty good too........

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Tired....

.... good evening, boys and girls...... I hope that you are all well and fit, happy & well-fed..... as for me, I have had what most people call A Very Bad Day...... so I am off to toss in a Mr. Waits album and pour myself a large Scotch & water, put my feet up, and let the evening wash over me until bedtime.....

...... sing along if you wish...... sorry about the 'Sin City' stuff, but it was the first version of his song that I found.......

...... after all, tomorrow is another day........ time to write this one off, folks.......

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October.....

..... so, like, does everyone remember how to get to my house, or what?..... no one has asked for directions yet, so I am assuming that y'all are good.......

.... oh, and remember, turn left at the pillar with the eagle on top...... then follow your the road until you see all of the interesting people milling about in my front yard......

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Subite.....

.... if you ever find yourself casually wandering around the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg - and you make your way to the highest point of the keep - you will be greeted with this amazing view......

.... of course, most people do a one-eighty and gaze wistfully at the Alsatian plain and the valley of the Rhine..... but not me, oh no!....

..... hey, valleys are all good and fine..... but I'd prefer the mist-covered mountains instead..... them's where the mystery hides, non?...... indeed..... hey, I've seen Pathfinder.... twice..... so, here you go.....

.... my goodness.... can't you just imagine a horde of seething, bloodthirsty, pissed-off Swedes lurking out there in between those peaks? .... cloaked in the cloudy, pre-Autumnal mists just waiting to lay siege, pillage, and plunder your pencil-thin mustached Hapsburgian ass?.... good god, I certainly could.....

.... so I made my way quickly back to ground level and ordered up a big plate of beef stroganoff and a tall glass of Mort Subite to calm my red-headed proto-Viking nerves.....

..... what?..... hey, never underestimate the restorative properties of properly stroganoff'd beef & an ice cold beer, gentle reader...... especially after having just daydreamed about marauding Nords storming your castle......

.... you guys will just have to trust me on that.....

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Laughing....

.... and now for something completely different........ enjoy...

.... hey, there's logic... and then there's logic..... even in The South....

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Gods.....

...... I sidled outside to the patio this morning with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Smithsonian.... and I was happy to see that it contained an interesting article on the baroque sculptor Bernini.....in particular, it showcased his "Apollo and Daphne"....

.... so while I sipped coffee to the tinkling of the wind chime and pondered the soon-to-be creation of a turkey & cheese omelet, my eyes feasted on the delicious, smooth, cool, gently aged marble of a 17th century genius.... I mean, just check this out.... here they are in all their glory.....

apollo_daphne_small.jpg

..... poor Daphne, no?.... poor Apollo?... most definitely...... I mean, it's pretty damn rough when you'd rather be turned into a laurel tree than be the plaything to a horned-up Greek God for a few hours.... but hey, I digress......

.... oh, and as way continually leads on to way around here, I found this beautiful little tidbit via the wikipedia article about ole Bernini once I wandered in from my enjoyment of the patio..... read carefully, it's a classic.....

Another of Bernini's sculptures is known affectionately as Bernini's Chick by the Roman people. It is located in the Piazza della Minerva, in front of the church Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Pope Alexander VII decided that he wanted an ancient Egyptian obelisk to be erected in the piazza and commissioned Bernini to create a sculpture to support the obelisk. The sculpture of an elephant was finally created in 1667 by one of Bernini's students, Ercole Ferrata. One of the most interesting features of this elephant is its smile. To find out why it is smiling, the viewer must head around to the rear end of the animal and to see that its muscles are tensed and its tail is shifted to the left. Bernini sculpted the animal as if it were defecating. The animal's rear is pointed directly at the office of Father Domenico Paglia, a Dominican friar, who was one of the main antagonists of Bernini and his artisan friends, as a final salute and last word.

.... damnation, folks... that right there is some serious chutzpah..... the Pope commissions you to sculpt a base for his obelisk and you decide on a crapping elephant AND point its backside at the office of your biggest critic??.... those wacky Italians, they crack me up...... he was one helluva sculptor though......

.... and I'd so love to have discussed the vast, universal, epic wrongness of Daphne with him over a few cups of beer or wine.......

.... oh well..... just another dinner date to add to that long, long list of things I need to do once I get my Time Machine finally working.......

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Chase.....

...... some days you just gotta chase some buffalo......

..... damn, what a movie Lonesome Dove was....... Gus was The Man......

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Windows....

...... well, the bags are unpacked.... the kitties are back from their Spa & Relaxation Therapy courtesy of the local veterinarian..... and I am knee-deep in dirty laundry..... I suppose that I should make a mental note to take more than six pairs of socks the next time I set off for an eleven day adventure.....

..... ahhhh, no rest for the wicked though, or so the saying goes..... I mean, one day it's a fine meal at a gourmet restaurant and it's nothing but chew, chew, chew.... the next day?.... sorting whites from jeans and it's wash, wash, wash...... see, folks?.... work is work no matter where you find it...... still, though, it is nice to be safely ensconced back in The Compound..... it was time to come home...... besides, the weather in Alsace had turned coolish and my bones were hankering for the gentle breezes of September-time Tennessee....

.... all in all, it was an interesting trip...... two days in Belgium, one day in Holland, and the rest of the time in the village of Riquewihr, France..... with daytrips out to Basel, Switzerland and a few of the surrounding cities.... The Hotel Le Schoenenbourg (just outside the medieval walls of Riquewihr) was our base camp during our time in France..... not a bad place, really...... quite comfortable..... excellent restaurant...... oh, and here's a shot looking out of the room that I stayed in.....

vineyard_small.jpg

.... evidently they grow a lot of grapes in Alsace....... like, a lot...

.... anyway, more later once I finish washing all of these damned dirty socks........

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Home.....

.... well, I'm back...... and I see that The Gentlemen have been keeping the place dusted while I was away...... thank you, kind sirs.......

.... tomorrow?.... riveting tales of Alsatian wine, braised pork-knuckle, and choucroute by the bucket-loads....... as for now?.... well, I just flew in from Amsterdam..... and my arms are killin' me..... heh heh....

Update: Jeebus Christmas, Redneck..... 35-3??..... dayum......

Update 2 ..... it's wonderful....... here's a sample of what I heard on the radio while touring Europe...... enjoy.....

..... chips, chips!..... heh!....

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Wrap up and roll out?

Well, apparently Elisson has a better grasp on Eric's social and vacatin' calendar then I do. Sumbitch ain't back yet. I'm, uh, glad, he was out of country when my team had is ass handed back to it in a helmet last Saturday night. Can't believe I stayed up to watch that assassination. But I did. I even "dvr'd" it. Glutton for punishment I reckon.

When I drag my stankin' ass outta here... I'm gonna miss the pleasant smell of gun oil, and ol' scotch. It's hard to beat that combo, 'cept for maybe bacon and eggs in the mornin'.

I hope he had a good time playin' jet setter. I'd imagine he's gettin' pretty good at it by now, but lordy lordy lordy, who in the hell wants to spend that much time in an airplane. That's a lot of time now. You've got to leave last week to get here by today.

I've had some fun, only told half my crabbin' story, 'cause, well, I guess my coherent thoughts were rendered useless after last Saturday night. Like I ever had any to start with... Havin' to face "Trojans" twiced on consecutive Saturday's could give a team a "Singapore Whore" complex. It has me... I want one. ;) Either one. Or both of 'em. It don't matter at this point.

I'm sure his return will result in "daily postings" of all things "good and right" with the world. Hell, in the end, that's why we stop by here ain't it? Hell, you can read "the news" all day long, and say WTF? Then, you roll through here and when he's not jet settin' somewheres, he describin' a sunset or sunrise like it's the first he's ever seen one. Or spiders screwin...

I am glad(kinda) that he stopped writin' 'bout squirrel copulation though. Anybody can look out their window and see one ... animal doin' another. Even if it's spiders...

Are you scared bitterman? I remember readin' somewhere around here, you two were quite the spider hunter-killers...

Lord knows what new torture implements he's learned of 'crossed the pond, but I bet he took notice of one or two. In case of emergency, of course.

Welcome back Eric, if you're in fact comin' back today. I think Elisson might be pullin' our collective chains on that one but what do I know. Maybe 11-1. Wishful thinkin' at this point.

Birthday present suggestions for Eric: Sarah Pailin Doll. He'll either treat it like a Voodoo doll, or worship it as the best damned librarian lookin' moose huntin' veep canditate in the worl'. Trust me, one of those is gonna be hotter than a early model StarWars figurine.

I reckon it's time for me to mosey on down the road...

This post in no way reflects the opinions of the owner of this blog. Especially if scribbled by 'Neck, but it might.

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Working...

What with Eric and his lovely bride returning from Europe tomorrow, I figured I might actually stick some content up here. Cause, you know, thats what friends do. Hijack one anothers web-logs.

And since Richard has already done a masterful job of lampooning the SWG Writing Style (such as it is), theres no point in my cross-posting my Chicken piece from a few weeks ago.

But this business of chickens does play into a little discussion I was having via the ol electronical mail earlier this very day. It seems that El Capitan and I were sharing a reminiscence today concerning the vilest jobs in Texas...a reminiscence that was triggered by this post at his site.

Of course, there are plenty of nasty jobs in Texas right now. Cleaning up after a hurricane - especially a hurricane-driven flood - is unspeakably vile. Floodwaters pick up everything and strew it all around together, and I mean everything. Dead animals. Insects. Snakes. Household chemicals. The crap in Grandmas attic. Boogers. Turds. Used bandages. Bodies from the local cemetery. All brought together and simmered in the late Texas summer sun to create the Soup from Hell. Piquant...and pungent.

Ye gods.

But aside from disaster recovery, there are plenty of horrible jobs around, jobs upon which some people must depend for their livelihood. And it sucks to be them.

Years ago, Texas Monthly published an article that enumerated the ten worst jobs in Texas. It was, if I recall correctly, in the May 1976 issue, a copy of which I am certain to have stashed away somewhere in the monstrous Archive dElisson.

Without digging out the actual magazine in question, I can recall a few of those jobs.

One of them - the worst - was the job of chicken sexer in a poultry plant. Yes: Chicken sexer.

It seems that male chicks, much like their human counterparts, are mostly useless. And so the chicken sexer, working at the breakneck pace of one chick every second, grabs a tiny peeping chick from a bin, sticks his finger up the chicks ass, and feels for the little nubbin of flesh that indicates a Chicken-Dude. Female chicks are kept. Male chicks are simply tossed into the trash...still cheeping away.

Nice work if you can get it, eh? But theres more.

How bout the guy who glues the ceramic Botts Dots onto the highway lane marker stripes in the 100-degree-plus heat of a Texas summer?

Or the guy who works for the rendering plant - you know, the one who gets to pick up all the squashed dogs, cats, and cows from those sweltering Texas roadways? You just know that some of those critters are gonna be majorly ripe by the time you get to them: bloated and stinky. And horribly soft. One entertaining vignette in the article had to do with a roadkill collector who had to pick up a dead cow. He hooked up a rope to the front legs of the cow and started the winch...whereupon the beasts decomposing corpse split in half, right in the middle. Dwayne, get me that big ol shovel, willya?

Yeah, its rough being a used cow dealer.

Next to some of those jobs, the lot of the poor bastard in Cappys post may not be all that bad...

[Cross-posted at Blog dElisson]

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A Secret War ....

.... there is a secret war going on behind the old casa right at this moment rubberneckers ...

.... I tell you, sometimes one need but sit back to soak in the quiet of the great outdoors in order to notice the strange happenings going on around you ...

.... on the back deck, perched precariously on my kitchen window there sits a hummingbird feeder that is visited often, not only by the tiny flyers but also by a group of the most heinous, evil creatures one might imagine ....

.... wasps ...

.... when the great blogger in the sky set out to create this ball of mud he threw in a few things just to baffle the human consciousness. The duck-billed platypus, armadillos and wasps. Wasps are the scourge of my back yard, second only to fire ants but faster as well as being on wings ....

.... over the months the hummingbirds have grown used to me. I sit upon my back deck enjoying a fine smoke and a cup of coffee and they whizz around merrily to get a drink and fatten themselves up for the flight south ....

.... as I spoke to Zonker on the phone about the upcoming festival of carnage otherwise known as the yellin' in Helen I watched as a tiny wasp chased away a hummingbird. Also small but oh so much bigger than the interloper into it's supper ....

.... speaking of supper (and what would a post be at SWG without speaking about supper) we dined upon a fine repast tonight. It was a concoction of cheese and rice and some unnamed meat tossed within and then baked to a golden brown by the wife ....

.... it'll be days before I can pinch a loaf ....

.... but I digress ....

.... it is amazing to think on how long this secret war has been going on, if it will ever end ....

.... the hummingbirds will fly south only to return in the spring and the wasps will die when old man winter comes rolling in to town, only to be reborn next year ....

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I don't know how...

But this song ain't never been listened to through this blodge... I imagine it's been sung once or twiced... I don't know how to put it in "place" here in MT worl', but here's a link to it Bubba Shot the Jukebox last night right about the 3rd quarter of that sorry assed football game I stayed up to watch... Got damn... I hope Bubba shoots me next...

We were all down at Margie's bar
Telling stories if we had one
Someone fired the old jukebox up
The song sure was a sad one
A teardrop rolled down Bubba's nose
From the pain the song was inflicting
And all at once he jumped to his feet
Just like somebody kicked him

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box last night

Bubba ain't never been accused of being mentality stable
So we did not draw an easy breathe
Until he laid that colt on the table
He hung his head till the cops showed up
They dragged him right out of Margie's
Told him "Don't play dumb with us, son"
"Know damn well what the charge is."

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box last night

Well, the sheriff arrived with his bathrobe on
The confrontation was a tense one
Shook his head said, "Bubba Boy,"
"You was always a dense one."
Reckless discharge of a gun
That's what the officers are claiming
Bubba hollered, "Reckless! Hell!"
"I shot just where I was aiming."

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night
Well he could not tell right from wrong
Through the teardrops in his eyes
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
It was justifiable homicide
Bubba shot the juke box stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night

That football game last night... sucked hind tit...I might be bubba. Got damn I wanted to shoot somethin' after that curly steamer(tm(sam moore))....

You really didn't think I was gonna let that Spike Lee shit stick around too long didja?

The best horn I've had blown is mine. Now if I could only find her again...

This post in no way reflects the opinions of the owner of this blog. Especially if scribbled by 'Neck, but it might

Thunderman... Elisson... bring it baby. Don't let this crib get dusty.

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Shovels...

There was something about this old Spike Jones video that seemed so right...

...enjoy...

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Y'all think Eric would like this YouTube?

Or perhaps it's to violent?

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Ramblin's... Get 'em here

Well, I ain't lettin' 'em fly at my place. I'm savin' my best for JarHead palace. My best probably won't be good enough, but hey, when your 40+, you get used to that line. Probably in a similar way to a 3rd week BT Marine does in boot camp. Except without all the hollerin' and push ups.

If I offended any Marines with the JarHead term, I eternally apologize. I did not mean any such thing. JarHead was a local term I had to enquire about because, I did not get it either at my age. I spent many of my summers in Norf' Calina close to Jacksonville and had a grandmother who spoke her mind and was the antitheses of politically correct. God bless her soul. She taught me some damned good lessons growin' up.

It's true, you can rip a crabs arms off while pinnin' it down in the bottom of a tub with a six and a half ounce co-cola bottle. One at a time. I've seen her do it. With extreme prejudice. She threw back those cokes like I do Budweisers's so there was never a lack of coke bottles layin' 'round. Arms in one tub, bodies in the other. Now that's segregation...

She looked after us youngin's really good now. Candy, cokes, cakes, to our hearts desire. She was one hell of a woman. What the hell, she wasn't payin' the dental bill though.

Lord knows, I don't know when she took time to pee. I do know when she farted though. She'd whip my ass if she knew I was writin' this. When I get to heaven, which, lets be real here people, take a vote, which of you really thinks I'm goin' there. I'll get lost in the titty bar on the way up. Trust me on that one.

Anyway, back to the fartin' thing. After the day was done, everybody would be bedded down. I'd be in the "middle bedroom", mom and dad in the "front bedroom", grandma and grandpa in the "back bedroom". It'd get quiet. The sun takes it's toll on a body. It wasn't the Walton's. There wasn't no 'night grandpa, 'night grandma, etc, etc, etc. Granddaddy would rip one off. And he was spent. Next thing your heard... Man, I ain't sure how to describe this, but grannie would squeak two or three out. As a kid, I knew it was a fart, but, I didn't know what to compare that sound to. Now at an advanced level of stupidity, I do, it sounded like cats copulating. No, I don't think it was "that" kind of fart, just a regular pass wind thing that had an odd sound to it. Once that was over with, it was nighty night time. Cheese biscuits, grits, oatmeal and bacon in the mornin'.

I don't know where this "Dreams of Sugar Plums danced through his head" horseshit came from. Damned Yankees.... I want a cheese biscuit now, and I ain't lying...

Back to crabbin'. Granddaddy worked his truck stop. He owned it. He used to let me work there when I was a kid. That was hellacool. I could eat and drink my ass on. Yeah, I mean on. They didn't have microwave ovens back then. You put your cheeseburger in a glass box that got hot as hell, and when it went "ding"... your food was ready. Weights... we didn't buy weights for the crab lines at the bait store. We used, used spark plugs for that. Bait was chicken gizzards purchased packaged at the Piggly Wiggly.

Part two later if I can be semi coherent for that long...

This post in no way reflects the opinions of the owner of this blog. Especially if scribbled by 'Neck, but it might

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Confused

Thunderman here. I thought Eric was heading to Europe on this trip. Am I wrong? Did I misunderstand something? If not, then what the heck am I to make of this tale from Iowa?

Man told to get a job accused of chair attack

IOWA CITY, Iowa A man was arrested after he allegedly responded to someone telling him to get a job by picking up a folding chair and striking another man with it three times.

Coralville police responded to a fight in progress around 5 p.m. on Sunday, and arrested the man and charged him with assault causing bodily injury.

According to police reports, the suspect was drinking beer with a friend when the victim, whose name police are not publishing, told the suspect to "get a job."

The man then allegedly picked up the folding chair and hit the victim.

The man was in custody as of Monday afternoon with a $2,000 cash bond.

Most confusing, indeed. I suppose we ought to just be glad that our host didn't have a shovel handy...

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SEC Bloggin'... Damn, it's fast.

Wow! I just got my scholarship to the school of Eric's hard knocks, and wound up on an S.E.C. blog. I was barely recruited. I think I was in Scout's top 2000. Things sure are different up here in the big league. I usta could stutter, slur, and mangle words 'cause my readers were slow and they wouldn't know the difference. You can't do that in an S.E.C. blog. You got to be quick, and crisp. And if you play indirectly for "Uncle Phil Fulmer"... stay outta jail. That's why I didn't go to Penitentiary State. That's gonna take some work, but hey, that's why I'm here.

I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with y'all but I'll try "rubberneckers". That term brings "head on a swivel" to a whole new meanin'. I guess if you spin it hard enough one way, it'll unspin and spin back until the rubber stiffens. Yeah, that was good... Stiff rubber, ... easy ladies, I didn't mean it that way, but if the shoe fits... wear it out.

I ain't Eric, I notice pretty mornin's and beautiful sunsets, but I can't put descriptions of them to paper or bits like he can. I'm not smooth, and I have a limited vocabulary. Kinda like, whoa SHIT, look at that! It's hard to get a blog post out of that kind of an observation.

My posts won't have no rhyme or reason. I remember back in school when they tried to teach you how to write essay's. Eric listened, I didn't. There ain't no, "Intro", "Body", and "Conclusion". I just ramble when I twist the etch-o-sketch.

So, in closing, I'd like to say, I think in a beauty contest, Pailin would beat Hillary, and Michelle all to hell in a wet t-shirt contest, and at Moose killin'.

This post in no way reflects the opinions of the owner of this blog. Especially if scribbled by 'Neck, but it might

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Gone.....

.... you know, it probably isn't the best of ideas to watch 'Flight 93' the night prior to boarding lots and lots of aircraft..... but still, I have..... and I am........

..... for all of those who have working keys to Ye Olde Blog, please feel free to pitch in....... I didn't send out invitations to guestblog this trip as I feel that I have taxed most of my blogbuddies pretty hard (taking two extended trips each year for the past two)..... so, yes..... my guilt-complex kept me from actively sending out invites....... but hey, if you DO have a set of keys from Days Gone By, please use them....... the cobwebs need to be blown out from around these pages anyway.....

.... in other news, the kitties were packed into their little plastic carriers without too much bother this morning...... and at the Vet, they are......... Bob, of course, put up a fight...... but it seems that The Missus has been practicing without my knowledge....... and while Bob baulked when presented with the carrier, she (quite literally), shoved him in like Jordan used to dunk when back at North Carolina...... I was impressed and intimidated at the same damned time..... all I can say is, "thank Jeebus that I weigh 200lbs and not 20lbs..... otherwise, good god, there is no telling what'd happen to me once I fell asleep on the couch!..... it does beg the question, though..... why has she secretly been stuffing poor Bob into his carrier when no one is around & no trip to the veterinarian was imminent??........

..... I think she just doesn't like the poor little bastard, if you ask me........

...... anyway, the bags are packed and we set off in the morning...... I've been told that a stick-shift Volkswagen Golf with a Tom-Tom strapped to the dashboard awaits me in Amsterdam...... hey, how much more fun could a fellow expect than that?.... hitting the Autobahn in a real German car?......

.... ahhh, well...... you guys have fun while I am gone........ I will be touching down in Atlanta on evening of the 18th......... you guys take care until then........ I should have quite a few new tales to tell by then....

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Prep.....

..... due to the upcoming sojourn to the Olde Country, my Sainted Mother invited The Missus and I over for dinner tonight..... good, solid, 'country' food was the fare for the evening..... homegrown green beans, corn on the cob, potato pancakes, salad, baked sweet potatoes, and pork chops...... good grief, I am stuffed up to the proverbial gunnels....

...... indeed, were I an actual ship, I'd be heavily listing to starboard right about now....

... still, though..... she was in good spirits and the evening passed quickly......

.... but tomorrow?.... well, therein lies the rub, rubberneckers..... for tomorrow I get to attempt to nab the kitties and shove them into their plastic boxes for toting to the Vet..... it should be one helluva interesting morning...... Fred is ok with the whole deal..... plop the 'carrier' on the pool table and he is in it like a shot..... Bob, on the other hand, will wound me.... of that, I have no doubt...... there shall be much cursing, furrowing of brow, and gnashing of teeth........

... you know, it's almost enough to put off taking a vacation - wrangling those damned cats twice a year..... I mean, it is bad enough catching the little bastards.... but then there is the vet's invoice as well!..... I say we should just scatter 50lbs of cat food on the floor of the garage and let them duke it out with the possums and raccoons.... I mean, hellfire, they've already had their rabies vaccinations.... I say we should at least get our money's worth from THAT expenditure......

... besides, at my core, I truly believe in the Survival of The Fittest..... and what is the point of being King of The Lawn if you never have any real competition??......

.... but yeah, so anyway, tomorrow should be interesting.....

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Alsace.....

.... good afternoon, gentle blogreaders...... I hope that you are all well..... as for me, I'm surrounded by a whirlwind of activity in preparing for my upcoming trip....

.... that's right, boys and girls...... in a scant few days I will be safely tucked away behind the fortified medieval walls of Riquewihr...... there I plan to wile away the hours by sampling sausages, nibbling on sauerkraut, and sipping Riesling...... then again, perhaps a red would go better with pork?..... hmmmm.... I guess I'll have to find out once I'm there.... I suppose that you really can't go wrong with a beer though....

.... anyway, I shall be utilizing a suite at the Hotel Le Schoenenbourg as my Headquarters to plan daily raids upon the unsuspecting countryside.... and as is my idiom, as referenced in this post from last year, I hope to put quite a few more castles under my subjugation..... I hear that there is a doozy in Strasbourg...... I'll be sure to let y'all know how it all turns out....

... that is, unless all those sausages and tankards of vino slow me down too much..... we shall see....

..... as it stands now, we jet off from Knoxville on Sunday afternoon... hop another flight in Atlanta to Amsterdam.... and then drive southeast over hill, dell, and through the Ardennes until we reach the Rhine valley and Alsace..... from there, we divide and conquer....... and drink lots of wine.....

..... it should be an interesting trip...... I'm definitely looking forward to having a slice of Black Forest cake at an inn in The Black Forest...... maybe next year I can have a hamburger in Hamburg... or perhaps venture off to pet a rottweiller in Rottweil?... the possibilities are absolutely endless..... perhaps even a safari with Oom Keesie?.... you just never know.... ..

..... and hey, I'm not sure what kind of internet access that I will while have wiggling around all of those vineyards & castles.... so if anyone would like to guestpost here while I'm away, feel free to cowboy-up..... otherwise, I may be dark for a while over the next few weeks.....

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Roles.....

.... good evening, all..... as promised, here are a few shots that I took over the weekend of some DragonCon'ers...... see what y'all missed?!?.....

.... first up, Catwoman......

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.... and hey, what best to follow Catwoman than Batman?...

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.... how about a Swedish chef waiting to cross the street?...

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..... and I did mention corsets yesterday, didn't I?... well, here you go....

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... these gentlemen were waiting outside.... not sure exactly what they were dressed as, per se..... but their tee-shirts caught my attention...... perhaps they row for Georgia Tech?.....

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.... in all honesty, this guy scared the shit out of me...... painted bright red, sporting devil's horns, and wearing high-heeled shoes like he knew how to use'em.....

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.... in comparison, this young woman was completely un-scary.....

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.... this guy was only slightly scary.... once you saw the look on his face, he was absolutely frightening.....

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..... here's Hellboy enjoying a cigar....

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... this guy?.... absolutely no idea.... he never moved an inch the whole time I saw him....

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.... and those Princess Leia outfits?..... well, they seem a bit drafty, if you ask me..... her "Luke" seems to be smiling though....

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.... and another...

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... this guy had gone all out....

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.... this was probably the best costume that I saw.....

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.... this one looked like the girl I took to the prom my freshman year in high school..... talk about scary, you have no idea....

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.... I never noticed it before, you know?.... but I think that Jessica Rabbit is probably double-jointed..... what do you think?...

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.... I'm not 100% on this one... but I think she was some kind of Super Hero Heroine....

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... for some reason unknown to me, there were lots of girls running around in mini-skirts & knee-socks..... no idea why, really..... but still, it is an interesting 'look'....

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... this guy was awesome.... the first and only zombie that made me laugh instead of fleeing like a scared little girl..... evidently Darth Vader shot down his X-wing.....

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.... I asked these folks, and they said "Sweeny Todd"...... nothing is creepier than seeing an innocent looking, young, doe-eyed lass smiling at you and holding an over-sized straight razor..... you guys will just have to trust me on that one.....

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... once again, no clue who this large fella was supposed to be.... but he kept shooting at everyone with that big weird gun of his....

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.... again, no idea... but someone had already asked them to pose, so I snapped off a few rounds....

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... and lastly, we'll close with Wonder Woman and her sidekick........ all in all, it was one helluva interesting weekend.....

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