Nasty.....

.... the foul weather that has played here today has not taken a break since well before daybreak - and it still shows no sign of abating now that darkness is approaching..... rain, sleet, wind, and gloom....... actually, it probably isn't even safe to use the term "darkness is approaching" since it has not brightened in the least since dawn.... it's almost like Today just really didn't want to show up for work.... so he slithered in quietly - hung over and rubbing his unshaven chin- and promptly fell asleep at his desk.... and now that it is quittin' time, the guy in the next cubicle over roused him, told him he stank, and pushed his sorry ass out the door towards home, a shower, and his bed........

... good god.... the past ten hours of precipitation, mist, and heavy cloud have dulled the Heart and Soul of My Day..... in fact, I haven't seen a wind-driven, plodding, incessant rain like this since I left Scotland ten years ago..... and that, gentle rubberneckers, is saying something.....

....however, all things being equal, my fortitudinous soul has persevered over these adverse weather conditions with the assistance of homemade chili-cheese nachos and a few cups of cherry yoghurt..... and soon?..... the subtle, warming relaxation of a sapphire Gin and Tonic (lightly stirred & served with a slice of lime, of course...).... after all, just because Mother Nature is in a beastly mood there is no need for US to act uncivilized, is there?...... indeed, no.....

.... so, how's it been where y'all have been?.....

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Donald.....

.... no post tonight, rubberneckers...... however, I do love the words that Mr Prine starts using around the 6 minute mark in this video......

.... I've always loved "Donald and Lydia" for a hundred different reasons....... and if you've never heard John Prine, give him a listen...... he's one of the true poet-song writers.......regardless of his politics, he writes beautiful words......

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Carolina.....

..... I'm not 100% sure how this works, but I do believe that we live in cycles........ and today, this song has been on my mind all day without end........

...... James Taylor at his best, I suspect.....

.... three years ago, I wrote about this song again in regards to my two friend's son........ how short those three years have felt?.......

...... anyway, it has been a hectic and sumptuous Thanksgiving here, and I am completely worn out........ I hope that you all had an equally fulfilling holiday!......

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Overmountain.....

.... history is a funny old thing sometimes..... I read with great glee today an article in the November 2010 issue of Military History magazine...

... here's a snippet of the article that had me laughing hysterically.... the article itself is about The Battle of King's Mountain .....

To those living beyond the Appalachian Mountains, the American Revolution was a faraway war that had begun in the villages of New England and concerned places like New York and Philadelphia. Most of the "overmountain people", as they were called, descended from immigrants who had come not from England but from a vast Irish territory know as the Ulster Plantation. These Scotch-Irish had defied King George III's 1763 proclamation that prohibited private settlements west of the mountains. They claimed the forbidden wilderness for their own, felling trees to clear the land for small farms, building dirt-floor log cabins, growing what they needed and living as they pleased - a people apart.

Their "low, lazy, sluttish, heathenish, hellish life", shocked one Anglican missionary sent over the mountains in 1766 to convert them. He had particular difficulty averting his eyes from the "young women", who had "a most uncommon practice, which I cannot break them of. They draw their shift as tight as possible to the body and pin it close to shew [sic] the roundness of their breasts and slender waists (for they are generally finely shaped) and draw their petticoat close to their hips to show the fineness of their limbs."

The ogling missionary was witnessing a new American breed: People who had not migrated from England, people to whom Scotland was a folk memory, a place few of them had even seen. And, as Presbyterians, they had eschewed the hierarchal structure of the Anglican Church in favor of the democracy of the meeting house.

.... bhwahhahhaahha!!!.... "low, lazy, sluttish, heathenish, hellish life"....... I can't quit laughing about that one....... and the "generally finely shaped" young ladies???..... bhwhahahaahah!.... he's talking about my GGGGGrandmothers!!!!....

.... welcome to My World, rubberneckers..... my ancestors - with few exceptions - have been "overmountain men" since 1755..... and as best as I can tell, I had five ancestors at The Battle of King's Mountain all serving under Cleveland....

.... one of the overmountain exceptions, I found out yesterday, was a Virginian who crossed the Delaware with Washington......

.... one thing is for sure, though...... folks from "over the mountain" had and HAVE a whole different attitude towards just about everything......

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Carnivores.....

.... according to a txt message that I just received from The Missus, police in the small town where she works have broadcasted for all downtown Athenians to stay indoors for the next few hours......... evidently there is a 250lb black bear roaming the abandoned evening streets.......

.... hey, Welcome to Tennessee.........

.... I sent a message back asking her if she'd like me to put the top down on Blanche, load up my bear rifle, and tool through town a few times, but she said that probably wasn't a good idea.........

..... never a dull moment around these parts, that's for sure....

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Buffett..........

.... I've been humming this one all day long for reasons that absolutely escape me.....

..... heh.... sounds like something Acidman could have written if he'd been a Floridian instead of a Georgite.........

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Saws....

.... I've spent the better part of the morning watching three lumberjacks hammerheads fell various trees on the lot adjoining my property, and after three hours?..... well, I am hugely unimpressed.... so far they have managed to crush nearly every dogwood into a mangled, broken pulp....

... growing up in Tennessee in the 1970s, my family used wood as the main heating source through my childhood winters... every other spring, my father and I would head off to the farm of one or another of my relatives.... he'd pick a tree, size it up, and know exactly where he wanted the tree to fall so as to not damage any other standing tree..... he was a master of The Fall..... he'd saw, wedge, saw a little more.... wedge again.... and when all was finished, he'd drop that baby exactly where he wanted it.... the guys that I've been watching today?.... good grief.....

.... owning a typewriter certainly doesn't mean that you know how to use it..... and after today, the exact same thing can be said about owning a chainsaw....

..... now, far be it from me to belittle skills in someone that I certainly lack myself, but goddamn!.... I may not have sawn down a tree with a chainsaw myself, BUT I certainly have seen it done - and I know HOW to do it... (.. for the record, chainsaws give me the heebie jeebies.... and when I spent time watching - and learning from my Father - HE did all the chainsawing while I stacked, piled, and gathered...) .... and besides, I have felled many, many trees with only an axe and a few wedges, so I DO KNOW how to make one fall where it should......

.... hell, during my freshman year in high school I built an authentic log cabin out behind my Dad's old barn using only pine trees that I had dropped, skinned, and notched with only an axe....

..... ahhhh.... it just seems like such a waste of perfectly good flowering trees.... it also boggles my mind how a 65-year old Southern Man either doesn't know how to properly cut a tree down, OR harbors such a blatant disregard for a Thing of Beauty..... whatever the answer is, the thought is still depressing as hell.....

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November.....

.... I awoke this morning well before daybreak to the creaking and moaning of the bedroom windows... I rose, stretched, and made my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee - arriving just in time for a gust of wind to slam an armful of discarded autumn leaves heavily against the kitchen window..... I nearly jumped out of my skin in the warm darkness of the kitchen.... what a way to begin a morning....

.... there is a way that the wind blows here that causes the entire house - from north to south - to creak in a spooky, systematic way.... as if the hand of god is gently nudging......

.... the garage door rattles first - bucking against the hinges.... and then the pink dogwood shakes itself against the southernmost window in the living room - scratching and tapping the panes of glass..... then the large, double window near the front door groans in displeasure..... and finally the wind is rebuffed by the double window in the spare bedroom.... and then, with a low howl and a whistle, it disappears around the corner of the house and off into the woods.....

... it has been like that all day...... wind, rain, respite, wind & rain again.... I sat in the blogroom this morning after dawn had broke and watched as the damp leaves were ripped by the wind... huge swirling clouds of red, orange, and gold were picked off of tree after tree all morning.... I read and typed between November squalls, but when the wind really picked up I would stop what I was doing just to sit and watch.... sometimes you need to just sit and watch once in a while, I guess.....

... the weirdest part of it all was the juxtaposition of calm, centrally heated comfort..... to the chilly, damp, tumultuousness sweeping by the window... my goodness...... those poor, torn, lifeless, drained, discarded leaves.... I suppose that is part of why people get so depressed in November... it's hard to watch something that was once the life-giver be cast aside and tossed in the proverbial & literal breeze with such random nonchalance...... then again, that's Nature for ya..... that which is no longer useful is simply recycled.....

... which, incidentally, reminds me that I need to start recycling...... lest my blogmeet attendees heel & hide me next year when I lay out eight bags of refuse for the garbage men to take to the landfill.......

.... you know, I love October..... I love it........ but I'm really not a fan of November......

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Auguste.....

.... good afternoon, Fellow Travelers, I hope that you are all well on this fine November day.... as for me, I'm tolerable..... and it appears that the Volunteers have successfully manhandled those Ole Miss knuckledraggers, so all is well....

.... oh, and I was negligent yesterday in wishing a very happy birthday to Auguste Rodin - who, had he still been with us - would have celebrated his 170th birthday..... and so, since I'm off to peel some potatoes for my pot roast, I shall leave you with The Kiss..... out of all of his work, it is my personal favorite...... with The Gates of Hell running a very close second.....

the_kiss_small.jpg

.... nice, eh?..... nothing like a SEC win and a fine piece of art.... and a plate of my pot roast, of course.....

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235th....

...... back in the 1920s the Commandant of the Marine Corps ordered that this message should be read to every formation of Marines throughout the world on this day.....

MARINE CORPS ORDERS No. 47 (Series 1921) HEADQUARTERS U.S. MARINE CORPS Washington, November 1, 1921

759. The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.

1.On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

2.The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

3.In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

4.This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

JOHN A. LEJEUNE,
Major Genera,l Commandant

... happy birthday, Marines..... may there be a Marine Corps for the next one thousand years.......

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Creepy....

... and by the way, rubberneckers, if any of you want to get into the true spirit of Halloween (just passed), I recommed giving this a read...... best Halloween post I've read in years........ and hey, feel free to add a tale of your own once you've finished reading......

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2010!....

.... well, boys & girls, I am happy to report that another successful Hysterics at Eric's has gone down without a hitch...... as a matter of fact, I may cease doing ANY cooking since I now know the True Caliber of Pure Cooking Power that many of my guests possess.... honestly, I think this Saturday's meal was the best that has ever been served when I've hosted a blogmeet - and my happy little hands were banned from the kitchen AND the smoker all weekend!.... Mr. Elisson and Bou owned the kitchen this weekend......

.... the Intrepid Travelers began trickling in early Friday afternoon, and they were immediately greeted by 40 degree temperatures and a rain/hail/sleet storm.... needless to say, we didn't bother with a campfire on Friday night..... Saturday broke cloudy, though, and after the usual breakfasting at The Tellico Junction Cafe, a roaring campfire was raging out back until, well, quite recently actually......

... as always, it was a pleasure to have so many interesting, colorful, friendly, humorous human beings wandering around my property for a weekend..... I enjoyed every minute that you guys were here..... and I cannot WAIT until next year!.....

.... here's a quick list of those that braved the cold weather and partay'd this weekend.....

Denny

Elisson & SWMBO

John Cox

Jerry

El Capitan

Bou

K-Nine

Big Stupid Tommy

Rick & Georgia

Teresa

Erica

Leslie

Jimbo & Da Bodyguard


.... you guys are the best...... thank you for coming!....

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Butts...

... the smoker has arrived, gentle people....... the hickory arrives tomorrow morning........ and the chicken, sausages, brisket, ribs, and butts will be entombed within it come Saturday morning...... it's November, of course..... but all I keep thinking is, "damnation, I do so love October.." .....

... where are you this weekend?....

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Poets....

... if you've ever sat and wondered who might the greatest unsung American poet/songwriter that you've never heard of, well, let me introduce you to him..... Mr. Townes Van Zandt.....

..... brilliant, tragic, flawed, broken, and talented as hell........ I just wish I could have heard him play live in some dive with sawdust on the floor....

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