Halloween.....

.....I woke up this morning from the most amazingly vivid dream..... the type of dream that you forget almost as soon as you open your eyes and focus...... and are then simply left propped up in a pile of warm flannel sheets, scratching your crewcut, and thinking WTF.....

.... I decided to go ahead and get up..... and as I stumbled through to start a pot of coffee, the sunlight was peeking through the gold leaves of the poplars and pin oaks in the back yard..... a fine sheen of frost covered the patio and the fallen leaves.... the fresh morning made parts of the lawn sparkle..... The World was orange and gold and I reached for the coffee tin..... and as if touched by a live wire, a spark of color zipped through my memory.....

.... I didn't remember the dream..... but I remembered the sensation....... gold, yes..... heavy, cold, and smooth...... gold and red.... crimson..... the distinct smell of honey and raspberry sauce.... my goodness, I must have been dreaming about breakfast at IHOP again.....

.... then again, I did spend most of yesterday watching a long series of horribly bad Vincent Price flicks in the run-up to Halloween.... and there was a colorized scene in "The Tingler" that could have been the raspberry sauce culprit...... but as for the honey, I have no idea..... perhaps Autumn herself (the light, the leaves, and the frost) conjured the thought.....

.... oh, and by the way, a word of advice from Uncle Eric, boys & girls..... just because a Vincent Price movie is bad doesn't mean that it isn't worth the time and effort of watching..... for after all, Vincent is The Man when it comes to The Art of Cheese..... and one should NEVER pass up the opportunity to see him strangled by his crazy sister in "House of Usher".... it truly is a thing of beauty, grace, and quiet reflection.....

.... although, you guys do have my complete permission to give "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" a miss..... hey, not even inimitable presence of Vincent Price can save some storylines.....

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Men...

.... the Thought Of The Day today comes from Oom Keesie...... go forth and read......

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Next.....

..... you guys aren't going to believe this, but I have absolutely ZERO photos from this weekend's blogmeet..... (except for the one that Teresa sent me....) ..... bad, BAD host!..... how the hell can I have a blogmeet and completely forget to take photos!?....

.... I do have a video, though..... a surreal, spiraling, tangly sort of vodka-induced bongo/back-of-a-guitar showdown between Jimbo and John Cox...... good thing that Zonker gave me a pith helmet.... it went perfectly with the African beats that those whiteboys were churning out in my living room......

... but anyway, sorry about everyone's hotel catching fire..... hey, it wasn't MY laundry, but still..... I should have been out there with a bucket and a hose trying to keep all of y'all safe instead of snoring peacefully in my bed three miles away!.... although, Dax managed to keep a fire all night long in my back yard without the slightest singe....... so, perhaps I should just provide tents for everyone next year!....

.... so thank you all for coming to visit.... it was wonderful having you guys and gals here......

so, Jimbo & The Bodyguard
Denny
Zonker
Bou, Morrigan, & Stephanie
Jerry
Dax
Oddy
Richmond
Teresa
Erica
Johnny-Oh & Jennifer
Tommy
John Cox
Elisson & SWMBO
Redneck
Rick & Georgia

... and Confabulator, Yabu, & T1G for the phone calls!.... all of you rock..... oh, and those stains came out of the carpet just FINE!......

.... I'm off to stuff some bell peppers with my Secret Formula bolognaise and bake'em for dinner........ but, my goodness..... next October can't get here quickly enough, folks...... and yes.... according to The Missus, there will be another meet-up here next year..... so mark your calendars and start stockpiling ammunition........ and firewood..... and vodka......

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Bedtime.....

..... been cleaning weapons for the better part of the day, folks...... hey, you gotta have your AR-15 ready, waiting, and freshly cleaned these days, right?......... my goodness, looking back now, I should have recruited y'all to assist on Saturday afternoon!..... then again, that would have been a serious downer for everyone involved......... it's hard to eat ribs when your fingers are covered in Balistol & gun oil........ but hey, it was great to watch you guys and gals plug away with firearms.......

...... but anyway, I am TIRED..... I suspect that three nights of going to bed at 3 and 4 in the morning have laid my sorry bones low........ and hell, I've found myself caught in one constant, repetitive yawn since 5pm today...... so links, a recap, and photos will have to wait until tomorrow........ I'm worn right the hell out......

.... by the way, have any of the other recipients of Recondo32's 'birthday present' been actively searching for info on that 'porn star'?....... not that I have, or anything..... I'm just asking for asking's sake........ and to see if any of you guys have some handy URLs........

.... blogmeets, good god..... you - quite literally - can't make this shit up.......

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Quiet....

...... well, brothers & sisters, the last of the bloggers have departed........ and you know, there are times when parting really IS a sweet sorrow...... and this old house just doesn't seem the same once everyone heads for home......

.... still, though, thanks to everyone who attended this year...... ladies and gentlemen, wow...... what a party.......

.... oh, and I now finally own a real pith helmet........ oh yes, I most certainly do...... mercy......

.... more later once I've IV'd some orange juice.......

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Drumroll......

..... The Gathering has begun....... and it's raining...... mercy......

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Wood....

...... ladies and gentlemen, I am very, very, very happy to report that there is now a large stack of firewood currently residing in my back yard quite near the fire pit...... I know that there has been much worry over last year's lack of firewood, and as a beneficent host, I aggressively rectified last year's oversight.... I did, however, ensure that the kindly, toothless gentleman who delivered it placed each stick in a direct line between the fire pit and a fairly good-sized fire ant mound.....

..... hey, what?... after all, rubberneckers, nothing is truly easy in this world, is it?..... every pleasure is joined with an equal and opposing pain....... that's just life.... and since we'll all be toasty out next to the proverbial woodpile, at least those fire ants will keep us cosmically balanced...... karma requires that, you know?..... besides, I'm giving you all fair warning that they're there....... so, hey, my conscience is clear!.....

..... I did nuke the remaining un-trapped horde of yellowjackets, though...... y'all can just consider that one a 'gift' from an incredibly excited host..... after all, I do I want y'all to have a great time!.....

... so with that, boys and girls, I'm off to whip up some meatloaf for The Missus & pour myself a G & T........ good lord, I'm itching all over waiting for y'all to get here........

..... oh, and my first visitor arrives tomorrow afternoon...... so I seriously doubt that there will be any posting from me between now and when I throw everyone out at Sunday lunchtime........

.... ZULU!!!!...

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Bernard.......

..... I'm not one for the arts, really, but I will say that watching this gentlemen perform this once was a high point....... he was magnificent.......

.... here's a small clip of it....... the dialogue is beautiful....... and O'Toole is incredible........


..... I'm off to watch 'The Mummy' again....... for the fifteenth time.......... I hope that you ladies and gentlemen have a wonderful evening!...

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Done......

.... tonight's conversation around these parts has settled again on music...... and it is a strange, strange thing, I suppose....... apart from the odd Elvis, Hank Snow, Johnny Horton, or Marty Robbins' song eeking out from an old Magnavox cabinet unit in the living room, the first song that I really remember hearing was a jukebox favorite of my old babysitter.......

...... see, she'd arrange for my Mom and Dad to have an evening out..... and then she, her beau, myself and my little bro would find ourselves skating around the local rink in Madisonville...... until, of course, they found a way to distract us long enough so that they could slip back out to the van for some hanky panky......

..... I don't know - as I was much too young to figure with such things - but I've heard tell that the middle and late 80s were absolutely RIFE with such goings-on........ especially when the guys drove those vans with the velour-covered mattresses inside and those heart shaped windows in the rear 3/4 panel........

..... still, though, to this very day Queen's "We Will Rock You" always reminds me of those crazy days...... it is a bit of a stretch to watch those wild Cameo songs, though........ but yes, they WERE played...... good god, I remember nearly breaking my freckled, uncoordinated ass at least TWICE while twitching across that slab of asphalt when he screeched "WORD UP!".......

...... but hey, I am tired...... and I have one helluva weekend creeping up on me......... so I will leave you with a clip of some Queen..........

...... I swear, you really can't make this stuff up......... instead of a teddy bear, I had a big, blue Gonzo....... and instead of sweet aunts who took me to knitting lessons?...... I have roller-skating memories of brown vans with heart-shaped windows and Queen music.........

..... it's a wonder that I am still able to, well....... make up your own euphemism....... I'm tired.......

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Time.....

..... I manned the grill tonight and fed an Aunt and Uncle that had dropped in for a visit....... it was an enjoyable time, and the food was pretty good too....... I'm not The World's Greatest Cook by any stretch, but I certainly love feeding people and watching them leave here satisfied..... be it a hastily thrown-together tuna salad sandwich, or a bourguignon that I've slaved over for hours, I get the same feeling of satisfaction - regardless of the meal....

..... I suspect that I inherited that "eat well, and I will share with you" gene from my maternal grandfather...... he could whip up a hamburger steak and some pan-fried potatoes that'd make you quiver after each mouthful and beg for more......

.... but the evening ended on a bit of a down-note...... I don't believe that my guests noticed - as a matter of fact, I'm 100% certain - but I did..... and now I'm in a bit of a funk.....

..... after dinner, our conversation flowed..... running the gamut from HAM radios to college football.... and then the subject of hats came up......

.... I've never really been a hat-wearing kind of guy...... sure, if it is sunny out, I'll flop on a boonie or my old Stetson..... and I've been known to throw on a baseball cap if I put the top down on Sylvia..... but in a day-to-day tradition, hell, I haven't worn a hat every single day since I was in the Corps........

.... and that brings me to what I've been thinking about this evening......

..... see, as our after-dinner conversation revolved languidly around hats, I took it upon myself to begin fetching various examples from around the house and modeling them for the general amusement of my Missus and guests....... I slipped on my Glengarry bonnet for a few laughs..... and then my dad's old fedora for a few more...... hat after hat had them wondering what I would round the corner in next......

..... so as I marched around the corner with my old dress blues cover on, I was anxious for their reaction..... and I didn't have to wait long...... they reacted well.... and they thought that it was beautiful..... so much so that they both asked to try it on...... I let them, of course..... and the obligatory comments regarding the tiny size of my noggin came thick and fast as they tried to squeeze into my ancient, faded 7 1/4 cap.....

.... after they'd finished, I flipped it around in my hands so that I could look at the emblem..... and as I looked at the size, shape, and design of it all, I noticed that the straps in the front weren't as snug as they should be.... so I gripped each end of the strap between thumbs and forefingers, and gave them a tug.... and with that slight bit of pressure, each end gave way and fragmented off in my hands...

.... I hid the evidence as it happened, of course...... and then proceeded to take the rest of the cover apart..... removing the studs that held the straps, the emblem, the band and brim from the hoop... and the hoop from the cloth cover...... they could hardly believe that it had so many different components as I disassembled it......

... the whole tangled mess is now sitting on the suede couch here in the blogroom......

.... good god, how is it that I am old enough to have a piece of clothing that I wore AS AN ADULT dry rot?.... never mind, don't answer that..... for that, after all, isn't really the point...... no, the point is that my blues cover is no longer sitting at the top of my hat rack where it belongs.....

.... it's sitting beside me instead in dilapidated pieces........

.... perhaps there is some sort of Great Wisdom that one can glean from this - this loss of a trophy...... this destruction of a bit of history........ or maybe it is a sign that I need to put away old things and search out something new.... I just don't know..... perhaps there is another mountain out there that I need to climb and this was the sign?.......

.... then again, perhaps there is no meaning..... and I just need to buy a replacement......

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Hungry......

..... at the newly minted age of 18, I spent my first Christmas away from home in the warm, humid arms of Pensacola..... I mention this only in passing, of course, since while ransacking the kitchen in search of something for dinner (I'm batch'in it tonight..) I stumbled upon my Very First Cookbook..... a gift from my Sainted Mother, if memory serves.....

.... looking back now, I feel fairly certain of two things..... number one - that she likely thought I would starve to death during those first few months out of the nest..... and number two - as evidenced in her interesting choice of cookbook, I suspect that she wanted to remind me of just where I'd come from.... lest I find myself somehow perverted, seduced, and led astray by the combined influences of the US Marine Corps & the dazzling metropolis of Pensacola...

... it didn't work, of course...... but she gets A+ marks for making the attempt.....

.... so, yes.... I sit here now thumbing through my very own copy of 'Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook'...... and yes, there is a lovingly colored bit of artwork on the front cover that depicts Aunt Bee, Sheriff Taylor, and little Opie nibbling away on slices of a loving prepared cherry pie....... hell, it's downright heartwarming.....

... I've read this cookbook a hundred times, I bet, and I've never attempted to whip up any of the recipes.... and while that may sound mean and perhaps a bit disrespectful, I assure you that it is not..... see, one has to either have a highly advanced sense of adventure, OR an absolute, unshakable faith when it comes to cookbooks...... and while this little cookbook is 100% entertaining, I don't have much faith in it...... none, actually.....

..... and why is this, you ask?..... well, because there are "falsies" scattered throughout it...... recipes that aren't really recipes at all..... and while it may make you giggle occasionally to read about "Ernest T's Possum and Sweet Taters" and perhaps imagine just how greasy that baked possum would be, reading things like this just blows it for all the others....... check this out....

Rodney Darling's Blackened Pig

1 medium to large pig
Sauce (optional)
1 medium size house

Run the pig into the house. Shut all of the doors. Set the house afire. Return in 3 days with oven mitts. Search and serve. Serve with sauce if desired. Serves the entire Darling family.

Submitted by Rodney Dillard - cast member

..... and with that, gentle rubberneckers, I'm setting aside this cookbook and am off to forage for dinner......

.... and for the record, were I in possession of a young possum - as set aside in Ernest T's recipe - I might just give it a try....... sadly, though, I am without a young possum.... so I'm thinking turkey sandwich......

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More.....

....... I cooked up a batch of stuffed chicken breasts this evening and they were out of this world...... that Betty Crocker stuffing is an absolute godsend....... add a little Campbell's condensed soup to the baking process...... and, well, your sodium levels may skyrocket........ but the rest of your body will be loving some goodness........ I also added a bunch of butter-seared pecans to add to the stuffing....... and that worked out quite well.........

..... anyway, after having worked in the yard, burned leaves, shopped, and then cooked dinner, I am feeling a little bit goofy.......

...... and since I am off to bed very, very soon, I thought I would leave you with a little John Prine number that I have posted before........ sure, it is a bit cheesy, but it is STILL a great tune....... and I hope that you enjoy it.....

...... I'm off to bed....... time is short around these parts lately........ but tomorrow IS another day....

..... that said, I hope that you are all well...... it is bedtime around these parts!....... and I have to buy firewood in the morning to keep next week's guest from freezing to death!....... busy, busy, busy!.....

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Mumbling......

...... many thanks to everyone who wished me well on my birthday yesterday...... and honestly, I am quite touched..... hey, you guys rock..... and Zonker, well, thank you too......... you're a helluva guy.....

... things were mildly festive around here for the occasion of me turning the ancient age of 36...... I supped upon chili, baked potatoes, and pineapple upside down cake....... 35 was great..... and I suspect that 36 will be even better.........

.... but really, I think that this clip from The Fast Show probably tells a better story of yesterday than anything I could possibly throw together tonight......

...... oh, and since Helen was just a few days ago, I imagine that most stories told after 10pm at ANY blogmeet sound very much the same.......

..... oh, and for the record?....... for the last two days, I have been mostly eating Brazil nuts..........

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Boitdays

Since he's not gonna mention it, I figured I'd sneak in and warn everyone....today is the Straight White Gingerkid's birthday. I'm sure somewhere there's a poem for the occasion but that's better left for some of the more literary guest posters. Or better yet...how 'bout leaving some birthday poems in the comment section? Bet he'd like that. We're getting a late start here so there's no real deadline. Go for it, hammerheads...

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Congo.....

.... I've been sunk deep into my Vachel Lindsay today ever since I got whipped at Scrabble around noontime at the kitchen table....... I tried heading out and raking a few leaves, but it just didn't scratch the itch properly...... but Mr. Lindsay seemed to do the trick..... at least for a while anyway...... but now that that's over, I guess it is time to blog......

... do you guys like Vachel Lindsay's stuff?.... some of it is pretty damned good...... don't bother reading "Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan", though....... it'll ruin everything else he ever wrote.... trust me on that one, folks..... it's easy to shade some people some of the time.... but once you read that poem, you'd realize that Lindsay was a complete and utter hammerhead........ just trust me on that...... don't go there....

..... but does anyone remember "The Congo"?.... hey, it was killer....... and it's another of those interesting poems that's meant to be read out loud in a rhythmic, chanting kind of way......

.... hey, it's good for the soul to chant rhythmically every once in a while, right Jimbo?.......

..... that said, I shall keep you no longer....... enjoy "The Congo"...... or not..... but it is one amazing piece of onomatopoeia.... so, hey.... treat yourself..... go ahead!..... recite along and enjoy.......

I. Their Basic Savagery

Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room,
Barrel-house kings, with feet unstable,
Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table,
Pounded on the table,
Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom,
Hard as they were able,
Boom, boom, Boom,
With a silk umbrella and the handle of a broom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom.

THEN I had religion. THEN I had a vision.
I could not turn from their revel in derision.

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

Then along that river-bank a thousand miles
Tattooed cannibals danced in files;
Then I heard the boom of the blood-lust song
And a thigh-bone beating on a tin-pan gong.
And "BLOOD" screamed the whistles and the fifes of the warriors,
"BLOOD" screamed the skull-faced, lean witch-doctors,
"Whirl ye the deadly voodoo rattle,
Harry the uplands,
Steal all the cattle,
Rattle-rattle, rattle-rattle,
Bing!
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom,"

A roaring, epic, rag-time tune
From the mouth of the Congo
To the Mountains of the Moon.
Death is an Elephant,
Torch-eyed and horrible,
Foam-flanked and terrible.

Boom, steal the pygmies,
Boom, kill the Arabs,
Boom, kill the white men,
Like the wind
Hoo, Hoo, Hoo.
Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost
Burning in hell for his hand-maimed host.
Hear how the demons chuckle and yell.
Cutting his hands off, down in Hell.
Listen to the creepy proclamation,
Blown through the lairs of the forest-nation,
Blown past the white-ants' hill of clay,
Blown past the marsh where the butterflies play: -
"Be careful what you do,
Or Mumbo-jumbo', God of the Congo,
And all of the other Gods of the Congo,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you."


II. Their Irrepressible High Spirits
Wild crap-shooters with a whoop and a call
Danced the juba in their gambling-hall
And laughed fit to kill, and shook the town,
And guyed the policemen and laughed them down
With a boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom....

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

A Negro fairyland swung into view,
A minstrel river where dreams come true.
The ebony palace soared on high
Through the blossoming trees to the evening sky.
The inlaid porches and casement shone
With gold and ivory and elephant-bone.
And the black crowd laughed till their sides were sore
At the baboon butler in the agate door,
And the well-known tunes of the parrot band
That trilled on the bushes of that magic land.

A troupe of skull-faced witch-men came
Through the agate doorway in suits of flame,
Yea, long-tailed coats with a gold-leaf crust
And hats that were covered with diamond-dust.
And the crowd in the court gave a whoop and a call
And danced the juba from wall to wall.
But the witch-men suddenly stilled the throng
With a stern cold glare, and a stern old song: -
"Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you." . . .
Just then from the doorway, as fat as shotes,
Came the cake-walk princes in their long red coats,

Shoes with a patent-leather shine,
And tall silk hats that were red as wine.
And they pranced with their butterfly partners there,
Coal-black maidens with pearls in their hair,
Knee-skirts trimmed with the Jessamine sweet,
And bells on their ankles and little black feet.
And the couples railed at the chant and the frown
Of the witch-men lean, and laughed them down.
(O rare was the revel and well worth while
That made those glowering witch-men smile.)

The cake-walk royalty then began
To walk for a cake that was tall as a man
To the tune of " Boomlay, boomlay, Boom,"
While the witch-men laughed with a sinister air,
And sang with the scalawags prancing there:
"Walk with care, walk with care

Or Mumbo-jumbo, God of the Congo,
And all of the other Gods of the Congo,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you.
Beware, beware, walk with care,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom."
Oh, rare was the revel, and well worth while
That made those glowering witch-men smile.


III. The Hope of Their Religion

A good old Negro in the slums of the town
Preached at a sister for her velvet gown.

Howled at a brother for his low-down ways,
His prowling, guzzling, sneak-thief days.
Beat on the Bible till he wore it out,
Starting the jubilee revival shout.
And some had visions, as they stood on chairs,
And sang of Jacob, and the golden stairs,
And they all repented, a thousand strong,
From their stupor and savagery and sin and wrong
And slammed their hymn books till they shook the room
With " Glory, glory, glory," And "Boom, boom, Boom."

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

And the gray sky opened like a new-rent veil
And showed the apostles with their coats of mail.
In bright white steel they were seated round
And their fire-eyes watched where the Congo wound.
And the twelve apostles, from their thrones on high,
Thrilled all the forest with their heavenly cry: -
"Mumbo-jumbo will die in the jungle;
Never again will he hoo-doo you,
Never again will he hoo-doo you."

Then along that river-bank, a thousand miles,
The vine-snared trees fell down in files.
Pioneer angels cleared the way
For a Congo paradise, for babes at play,
For sacred capitals, for temples clean.
Gone were the skull-faced witch-men lean.
There, where the wild ghost-gods had wailed
A million boats of the angels sailed

With oars of silver, and prows of blue
And silken pennants that the sun shone through.
'Twas a land transfigured, 'twas a new creation,
Oh, a singing wind swept the Negro nation;
And on through the backwoods clearing flew: -

Mumbo-jumbo is dead in the jungle.
Never again will he hoo-doo you.
Never again will he hoo-doo you."

Redeemed were the forests, the beasts and the men,
And only the vulture dared again
By the far, lone mountains of the moon
To cry, in the silence, the Congo tune: -
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you.
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo ... jumbo ... will ... hoo-doo ... you.

.... you know, I tend to think that Mumbo-jumbo wasn't exactly laid low by those apostles back in The Congo...... and no, this is not a racist post.... and this is not a post about politics.... it is simply a post about a poem that was written a long, long time ago..... and one that sounds GREAT when you try to actually GET what Lindsay was trying to do with lyricism, sound, and words..... and besides..... it's fun to say 'Mumbo-jumbo".....and "Hoo-doo you".....

.... and for the record?..... I STILL need a pith helmet........ I mean, you can't read poems like this without a bible, a big bore game-gun, a gin and tonic, and a pith helmet...... and, hell, I already own everything but the helmet......

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Naptime.....

..... back from Helen safe and sound...... the drive over - crossing the mountains - was amazing.... beautiful colors, bright sky, calm lakes & sparkling rivers..... and lots and LOTS of curves for Sylvia to enjoy....

..... many thanks to Richard for organizing it this year AND being head chef...... the steaks that he grilled out by the river were awesome..... and RSM's green bean casserole rocked the house.....

.... and it was great to see everyone again.... Rick, Georgia, Richard & his bro, Michelle, Kelly & The Senior chief, Zonker, Denny, RSM, Velociman, Key & daughter, and Dax.... it is impossible NOT to have fun when you're having a few beers with that crowd of people...

.... you know, Helen exists in its own surreal little world, ladies & gentlemen...... hell, just like a lot of us bloggers, really..... and in weird, late-night bullshit session, alcohol-doused ways, well, bloggers & Helen, GA are as natural of a combination as a leaf bobbing along the Chattahoochee......

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Helen....

... off to Helen for Blogtoberfest..... be back Sunday...... y'all have a nice weekend!.....

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Monde.....

..... tonight has been interesting..... I've spent quite a while getting reacquainted with a few ancient Buffett albums that I've recently rediscovered....... and then, in the comments to my last post, Tbird had to go and bring up Thoreau & Frost....... good lord.....

..... and since way does seem to somehow lead on to Way, I figure that I should share a tidbit of life-changing verse with all of those knowledgeable poetry-types out there who stop by from time to time.......

.... behold Mr. Buffett's "The Wino and I Know"....... it really is a beauty if you can make out what he's saying....... but anyway, here's the whole thing..... give it a listen if you feel so inclined......

.... and for those of you who weren't paying attention, couldn't make out ole Jimmy's lyrics, or just plain didn't want to hear any music right now, here's a snippet from mid-track that you can read instead of listening to......

Coffee as strong as the Cafe Du Monde
Donuts that's too hot to touch
Just like a fool when those sweet goodies cool
I eat 'till I eat way too much

'Cause I'm livin' on things that excite me
Be they pastries, lobster, or love
I'm just trying to get by being quiet & shy
In a world full of pushin' and shove

And the wino and I know the pain of back-busting
Like the farmer knows the pain of his pickup truck rustin'
Strange situation, wild occupation
Living my life like a song.

..... see that?..... that right there is Poetry For The Masses, folks.... oh yeah.... y'all can trust Uncle Eric on THAT one....... well, at least it is for this mass sitting here typing this...... but I do so digress....

... aren't words just amazingly beautiful things?..... especially when used incorrectly over a consistent period of time?.....

..... damn, I'm suddenly hungry for a beignet.....

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Leaves.....

..... it rained a little yesterday morning and remained cloudy for the entire day.... it was one of those odd sorts of mornings that I've only seen right here, in the southern Appalachians, during the beginning of autumn...... temperatures hovering at that anxious degree where you struggle to decide whether to turn the central heating to cool, heat, or just switch it off & throw the windows open..... for the record, I ended up resigning myself that I was somehow going to throw the AC out of whack by my constant switch-flicking..... and I finally just turned it off and let the day do as it pleased.....

.... the dogwoods & poplars have already begun to let their leaves turn.... nighttime temperatures in the 50s have done that work.......

.... the world outside is damp again this morning - and the wet leaves are flat out like postage stamps across the back yard... no crunching in them today as I march out to the patio..... they're soft and supple..... and quiet.... it's one of those days where you could walk through the woods - scattered with fallen leaves - and hear nothing but the occasional raindrop crashing to the ground from some limb high above..... no footfall as you walked.... no crinkling of a red dogwood leaf or a discarded yellow poplar..... cool, damp, soft silence......

..... in a few days the world will be crunchy again..... and an angry orange leaf blower will whine the red and gold off of my strangled grass...... but right now?.... with hot coffee, zipped fleece, and flannel trousers?..... cool, damp, and soft is just about perfect.....

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Change

.... time for some change, folks....... and no, I'm not talking about politics...... I'm talking about a fellow named "Small Change"....... pure poetry, ladies & gentlemen........ and language used beautifully......... check it out......who knows, it might actually be "change" that you like.........

.... look out for these two beauties........

.... "as the siren tears the night in half - and someone's lost his wallet..... well, it's surveillance of assailants if that's what you wanna call it...."

... and later?......

.... "and the tuberculosis old men at The Nelson wheeze and cough, and someone will head South until this whole thing cools off..."

.... everyone should own at least ONE Tom Waits album..... and that is a fact.......

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Run-ons.....

.... I awoke this morning with a dedicated stance to do my very best to work, squeeze, and twist out of my body whatever insidious disease that had decided to take up residence in it.... and, boys and girls, did I EVER work it out....... good god, I feel great now..... and apart from a few blisters, I show few signs of being in bad nick at all.......

..... alas, my right hand does show some signs of wear, thanks to an antique set of post hole diggers that I inherited when my Daddy died..... but other than that, I seem to have successfully driven out the demons that had been tormenting my mucus membranes and causing me to sneeze, chill, and wish generally that my head would just go ahead and burst to relieve the tension instead of pretending it was Sevastopol ala 1854......

..... but be that as it may, I would also like to mention - yet again - that I sincerely hope that whatever heinous sumbitch that took it upon himself to invent the post hole diggers died a horrible, horrible death.... alone, in darkness, with lots and lots of little stabby & stingy things jabbing him all over....... for those of you who are interested in the Way Back Machine, I once wrote about a day - an entire day - wielding those evil bastards here.........

.... so yes, I am tired...... I am healthy....... relatively speaking, of course....... and I need lots and lots of liniment....... but hey, I'm definitely not sneezing anymore.......

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Sisters....

....... I've been under the weather for most of the day today....... fall allergies, or a cold..... or perhaps a Big Case of Bad Karma for having laid so many stinging insects low over the last day or so?....... who knows?..... but hey, what can I say?...... most of us feel bulletproof from time time..... don't we?...... whether we are or not..... but, in the end, we are not bulletproof..... and life invades........ but still, we do the best that we can........

....... so, I am off in search of a youtube video to take the place of actual content around here for today......... I'll let you guys know how it all turns out..... but right now?...... hey, I'm thinking something from the Pointer Sisters is in order......... not that I'm bent that way, per se, but I do think that they launched some catchy tunes back in their 1980s heyday.......

... stay tuned...... I feel like shit.....

Update.....

.... as much as it makes me want to go forth and do something that I would be ashamed of, here is the fruit of my proverbial labour.........

..... I hope that y'all forgive me.... and that at least SOME part of your body is jibbling (if even slightly) as you groove to this funky tune.......

.... after all, I do want you guys satisfied.........

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Beasts......

..... I've spent the better part of this afternoon researching pain and trapping yellowjackets.... I've run the subject pretty much to ground, I think...... thresholds, volumes, modes, types, etc..... it's been an eye-opening experience.......

.... so far, my favorite quote regarding pain still comes from 'The Princess Bride'... but that's another story...

.... however, I did read of a scientist from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center that curried my curiosity..... one Justin O. Schmidt.....

.... it seems that old Justin enjoyed spending his time researching the venom of various stinging insects and working out how it operates when interacting with humans...... AND how it feels..... mesmerizing stuff, to be sure..... hey, who among us hasn't been zapped by a bumblebee, wasp, fire ant, or hornet before?.... want to know the difference between the pain of a Bald-faced hornet's sting pulsing through your forearm or those little raised pustules you get from stomping on a fire ant nest?.... just ask Justin.... he's been there and done that......

...... anyway, it seems that Justin created the Justin O. Schmidt Pain Index to help us all rate our stinging-insect experiences...... it is a sort of pain scale for what different bites feel like - and the level of pain that is experienced.....

.... of course, this is all good and fine, and I applaud Dr. Schmidt for his good labors..... but as I actually READ his descriptions - ala wikipedia - I found myself thinking that either Dr. Schmidt was a complete masochist, or he was a little bit off his rocker...... or perhaps a little of both... here is an excerpt from the wikipedia article.....

Subsequently, Schmidt has refined his scale, culminating in a paper published in 1990 which classifies the stings of 78 species and 41 genera of Hymenoptera. Notably, Schmidt described some of the experiences in vivid and almost synesthetic detail:

* 1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
* 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
* 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
* 2.0 Bald-faced hornet : Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door .
* 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
* 2.x Honey bee and European hornet : Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.
* 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail .
* 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
* 4.0 Tarantula hawk: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.
* 4.0+ Bullet ant : Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.


..... quite a descriptive fellow, that Dr. Schmidt, eh?..... "like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel?"..... that's hardcore, folks........ I hope that I never meet an angry crowd of Bullet ants anywhere....... but in my neck of the woods?.... I've been dealing with the hot, smoky, almost irreverent types all day long.......

..... see?..... my goodness, rubberneckers.... y'all have no idea the lengths, trials, tribulations, stings slings & arrows that I put up with, dodge around, and go through to make sure that My Backyard in October is a suitable location for a festive blogmeet!...... next year I'm making Yabu come down a WEEK early just to help me beat all of the woodland creatures into some semblance of civilization..... doing this shit by myself isn't that much fun......

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Sunset.....

...... today has been an amazingly beautiful day here...... breezy, low-70s, blue sky with high, wispy clouds..... the leaves are just beginning to change..... and the first stirrings of Autumn are in the air....... damn, I need to go camping.... this weather is fine.....

... the Garden Gnomes were busy for most of the day as well..... and indeed, I have a brand new flowerbed in the front yard to prove it..... now all I have to do is decide on which species of poor, innocent herbage that I should condemn to a painful and tedious existence on Hell's Halfacre.... ahhhhh, but it is too bright of a day to spend too much time on thoughts of forcing some bush, vine, or shrub to eek and struggle for it's very existence...... oh no, rubberneckers, today is a day for enjoying....

... that said, I am off to scrabble around in the cupboards in search of something edible, wander out to the patio, and perhaps mix a highball.....

.... yea, verily...... I haven't seen the Sun set in weeks, and it is seriously messing with my mojo.....

.... oh, and before I head out for the evening, I feel like sharing this little photo that I took from the blogroom window yesterday..... I like to call it "Wishful Thinking"...... say hello to Bob, folks..... a kitty who dreams of venison......

bob_deer_small.jpg

bob_deer_small2.jpg

....... I've said it once, and I'll say it again.... if Fred OR Bob weighted 30 more pounds, my patio-sitting ass would be on the menu........ and that's a fact....

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