Friday, December 31, 2004


Well, naught four is just about over with and I am glad of it. We've had a run of piss-poor luck this year. There's no other way to put it. I don't think it would bother me so much if it were spread out a little more, but it always seems to come in clusters.

But, despite all my bitching and whining, I do have sense enough to know that there are lots of folks in worse shape and I count myself among the fortunate. I'm sure there are people who would be glad to swap problems with me.

Life is what you make of it. I decided a long time a ago that a bad attitude doesn't help matters when things are going bad, but a good attitude can help you survive the bad times. When things go wrong, the best thing to do is ride out the storm as best you can and not give up. Sooner or later the situation will change and you'll have a run of good luck. The best thing to do then is ride it until that horse falls over dead. In the end, most things will even out.

I hope everyone out there has a good 2005. I think the whole world could use a run of good luck for a change.

That's the end of my philosophizin' for the year. Happy New Year.

It's Friday again

Which means more Hound Blogging. Why? because I'm too lazy to write.

That is the Deutz 60-06 we bought over in Alabama in the background. Bigger brother had the starter rebuilt and I just got around to putting it back on today. Elvis stopped by to visit with me while I was digging around looking for a wrench, so of course he got his picture made.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Santa was good to me

Ok, actually my darling bride was.

But first, I have to talk about what I got for my bride. She went crazy a few weeks ago and repainted the kitchen and put up some goofy wallpaper border that has these little fat chefs dancing around on it. I was a bit uneasy about it at first, but it's starting to grow on me now.

First of all, I got her a little rug that matched her wallpaper border. One of my co-workers told me that there was a place in town that carried a lot ot accessories for that kind of decor, so I went down there and loaded up on "fat chef" knicknacks. A napkin holder, Some decorative plates, some little bowls, some sort of jug, and salt and pepper shakers, all with this same chef motif.

And since I also like to be practical, and since we will in theory (knock on wood) have three foals this spring, I had a buddy pick up a foal halter, a weanling halter and several matching lead ropes at the saddlery.

She seemed to be very happy, so I guess I done good.

Now, I have to brag about my loot just a little, because I loaded up on reading material. Those Amazon wish lists do come in handy don't they?

I had to abandon Hemingway, for a couple of weeks at least, because I have several other books I want to get to first...

Starting with the Sage of the Southwest, Baxter Black. My dear bride got two of his books for me, Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy (which is a compliation of some the commentary he's done for NPR over the years) and Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet. I hope to someday be able to tell stories the way that he can. I first heard of him through the pages of Western Horseman, (which is one of the best horse magazines on the market, at least in my humble opinion). As far as I'm concerned he ranks up there with Lewis Grizzard and Jerry Clower as a storyteller. The stories are pretty damn funny, but some of the poetry will make you roll in the floor... well, if you've spent a lifetime around livestock and country folk that is.

Moving right along, we come to Partisans and Redcoats, which is about the Revolution in the Carolinas. And I will confess, that's one I bought for myself. It arrived Tuesday and I've already made it 43 pages into it (while reading Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy along the way, as well as a book about the Knights Templars that I bought a couple of weeks

Bigger brother gave me a copy of Ford Tractor Implements, which is an interesting little book, full of nifty pictures. I guess you could say that the title gives the subject away, what?

The boys at the gunshop gave me a Frederic Remington book, which pleased me greatly as I have a copy of this particular work, but it was damaged in a fire several years ago.

My darling bride also remembered a book I read in the distant past that completely aborbed all of my attention for over a week. Literally. I did not accomplish anything until I finished it. Unintended Consequences. To be honest, I am unsure how to describe this book. I don't know what exactly it was about it that captivated me so, but the only other novel I can remember that I was that absorbed with was Tom Clancy's Without Remorse.

And finally (as far as books go at least), another one I got for myself, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War: The War in the West, 1861-1865. Yep, it is Volume III... but Volumes I & II are about the eastern theatre, which I've never had as much interest in as I have the war in the west. In scanning it briefly today I ran accross some nasty things Billy Sherman (among others) had to say about the Tennessee (Union) regiments. I will probably have some quotes when I do start reading the book.

My darling bride also gave me a CD, The Three Pickers, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs. This is one of the very best bluegrass CD's that I've listened to in ages.

And of course there was a bunch of other stuff, but this is what surprised and pleased me the most. I am blessed with friends and family who understand what makes my mind work.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Well, it's been a bit of a roller coaster the past few days.

About 7 AM on Christmas morning we got a phone call from the barn where sweetie is keeping one of her horses. They'd been around to check and found him down in his stall and thought he may be colicking. Naturally, she went to check on him and ended up taking him to the vet. Needless to say, I didn't get to spend much time with sweetie Christmas day.

Sunday, she didn't go to see about him because he seemed to be better Saturday night. and the folks at the barn thought he'd had a couple of small BM's. Monday morning we were back to square one. She called the vet out there who found what he thought was a growth in the horse's rectum. So, my bride loaded him (the horse) up and headed south to Birmingham to a vet down there.

She came rolling back in around 2 this morning. He didn't have a growth, but he did have two impactions, one at the front end of his gut, the other at the back end.

This morning they called her and told her that he had some sort of abcess that filled with fluid and was causing all this. Last night, they gave him a 50/50 chance, but today his condition is better, but we won't know for sure for another day or so.

Any other time, I would say "...if the horse had been at home, on grass, this wouldn't have happened..."

BUT, since this whole mess was caused by this abcess and not a simple colic, he would have most likely died had he been at home, simply because he would have been in a thirty acre pasture with eight other horses. It's hard to tell if one is eating, drinking and having normal bodily functions under those circumstances. I am very glad he was at a barn where they stay on top of things.

Now I need to find a liquor store to knock over to pay the vet bill.

Friday, December 24, 2004

A special Holiday edition of Friday Hound Blogging

Poor Elvis, he doesn't like the Santa outfit, or maybe he's just pissed because I woke him up from a sound sleep to humiliate him, or maybe both.

At any rate, Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

My bride is a cold, cruel, heartless woman

She made me go to Wal F-ing Mart. Today, December 23. In the cold. I had to park at Home Depot. Half a mile away. And walk. In the cold. To Wal F-ing Mart. The place was a freaking zoo.

Why? Because she forgot to get a present for someone, and rather than go out in the cold herself. She sent her proxy.

I suppose I could have told her to go herself, but I like to eat. And it's too damn cold for me to sleep outside.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Well, from riding around the blogosphere today, it seems posting a photo wish list of big ticket items along with funny commentary seems to be the thing to do, so here goes... I make no promises about funny commentary though.

Lets start with the most serious big-ticket item. A Ford 7610 (or 6610) four wheel drive, front end loader optional. I promise, when I ever find one I can afford I will shut the hell up about tractors... except for antiques, which don't count.

Which brings us to...

An Allis G. Just because I think they're neat.

And how could I neglect firearms?

A M1855 Colt revolving rifle. I've always wanted one of these, but somehow I don't think I'll be getting one. This one is only $14000... I am confident I could get the first item on my list for that much money. And I seriously doubt if anyone will ever repop one, simply because of liability issues. Y'see, they had a nasty habit of chain-firing, which means all the chambers go off at once. If your hand is on the forearm when this happens, folks will start calling you "stubbie."

On to the slightly more mundane.

I'd like to someday have another M1859 McClellan with all the trimmings. I've had a couple over the years, but both were rebuilt M1904s. I'd prefer to have one that's actually built on a '59 tree, preferably one built by Doug Kidd.

And finally

A mounted pattern greatcoat, such as this one. Sans NCO stripes of course.

And that's it for now. There are more guns, saddles, books, farm equipment, but sorry, nothing sexy. No motorcycles, no boobage, no sports car. I guess am just a dull boy...


I also think this radio controlled M5 Stuart is pretty damn cool.

Well, I ordered my Christmas presents today. Eat what you want and die like a man and Born Fighting : How the Scots-Irish Shaped America .

Of course it'll be next week before I actually get this stuff, but at least I finally got around to ordering it.

I tried to buy a mounted pattern Union greatcoat on ebay (made by Omar the tentmaker, so it would actually fit me) but some jackass wanted it more than I did, so alas, no greatcoat for me this cold winter season. I never should have sold my old one. Which was one of the many things I sold when I was in college, since I was too stubborn (and foolish) to get a student loan until my final year.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Hiding out

My darling bride is having a hen party right now, so I'm up here in my office hiding.

So I bring you more photography. I'm still getting the hang of this thing, so let me know how I'm doing.

Today I stuck it in my pocket whilst I went wandering about.

This is Beau, also know as Fat Boy, my baby elephant. The poor sod has been mistaken for a pregnant mare more than once.

This is what's left of either an "A" or "Super A" Farmall.

An old Case loader tractor. The thing in the foreground is a pop-up bale loader for picking up square bales off the ground and depositing them on a wagon.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday "Hound" Blogging

This is Elvis in his current habitat, since my bride has ruined him.

And this is his typical reaction when I call him now. Note the baleful glare from the one eye he has actually deigned to open.

He's taken over that particular sofa and woe betide anyone who dares sitting on it. He'll sit in front of you and whine until you move.

A fine specimen of a hound, spoiled beyond belief.


Got the ole Christmas bonus today...

Lets just say that I can now afford to pay my property taxes and play Santa Claus.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Not the best shot in the world

But here's a snap of the Case 450.

I can theoretically sell this thing and make money on it... provided I don't blow the motor up like I did the 933.

Y'know how most people, when they first get email, think they should forward every stupid joke in the world to you? Never pausing to think that everybody in the free world has already read it?

Sometimes one finds a gem amongst the drivel, such was the case yesterday, when someone sent me this (which is moderately funny)

Wal-Mart announced that they will soon be offering customers a new discount item: Wal-Mart's own brand of wine. The world's largest retail chain is teaming up with E&J Gallo Winery of California, to produce the spirits at an affordable price, in the $2-5 range. Wine connoisseurs may not be inclined to throw a bottle of Wal-Mart brand into their shopping carts, but "there is a market for cheap wine", said Kathy Micken,
professor of marketing. She said: "But the right name is important." Customer surveys were conducted to determine the most attractive name for the Wal-Mart brand.

The top surveyed names in order of popularity are:

10. Chateau Traileur Parc

9. White Trashfindel

8. Big Red Gulp

7. World Championship Riesling

6. NASCARbernet

5. Chef Boyardeaux

4. Peanut Noir

3. I Can't Believe It's Not Vinegar!

2. Grape Expectations

And the number 1 name for Wal-Mart Wine:

1. Nasti Spumante

The beauty of Wal-Mart wine is that it can be served with either white meat (Possum) or red meat (Squirrel).

I sent this to my darling bride since it was, after all, moderately funny. Today I got an email from one of her friends that she sent it to;

Wal-Mart wine - who'da thunk it? Sounds divine and it's great that it can be served with either red or white meat, but I do need to clarify one thing... Is it appropriate with my favorite MYSTERY MEATS - such as SPAM and Vienna sausages? Also, what about organ meats? The brains of the tree-rat are the best part. Downside - you need a couple of dozen squirrels to make a 'mess.'

To which I replied;

It is perfectly acceptable to serve Chateau Traileur Parc with either SPAM or Vienna sausages, however it has been determined by Wal-Mart's crack research team that it goes best with potted meat.

I wonder if it comes in a box or a bottle with a screw cap?

And for the record, Spam is NOT a mystery meat. Spam was in fact, one of my favorite foods (fried of course) before I got married. My darling bride won't let me eat fried Spam and biscuits anymore. I am sometimes able to sneak a fried bologna biscuit from the Favorite Market, but those occasions are becoming more rare.

Now that I've grossed out both of my loyal readers, I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I think the next time there is a Southeastern blogmeet there should be a steel cage match between Frank J. and the Puppy Blender.

Velociman could bring Frank up in the trunk of his car...

Monday, December 13, 2004

Indian Bob

Again, we're having to trust my memory here, but this story is told to the best of my recollection.

Indian Bob was driving home from work one night a couple of years ago and passed a policeman who had a drunk pulled over and was in the midst of a wrasslin' match with him. Bob slowed down and hollered and asked the deputy if he needed any help. The deputy hollered back yes, so Bob pulled over and jumped out of the truck.

Now, Bob is a pretty big boy... not fat at all, just build solid. He ain't nowhere near as big as I am, but I sure wouldn't want to tangle with him. At this particular time he was wearing his hair long and had a beard and on this particular day Bob was wearing overalls and no shirt...

Bob come up behind the feller the deputy was wrasslin' with between the two of 'em they managed to get him on the ground, whereupon Bob sat on his chest whilst the deputy went to call for backup.

While the deputy was still makin' his radio call, two carloads of deputies come pullin' up, jumped out of their cars and threw down on Bob.

Bob, of course put his hands up and said "hey guys, I'm on your side!" Meanwhile the first deputy came a runnin' back over hollerin' for his buddies to take it easy. The deputy thanked Bob and he went on home.

At this point in the story Bob's wife piped up and said "The worst part of this was Bob made us watch COPS for six months to see if he was on TV."

Yet another Skinner story

Once upon a time, many years ago. Donald was doing some renovations in Chattanooga and came across a great deal of lead that was going to be thrown away. Naturally he gathered it up and threw it in the back of his truck to take to Skinner, who liked to make his own bullets. Skinner of course was excited because there was about 150 pounds of it. He commenced to melting it down and making bullets. Minie balls, round balls, just about everything he had molds for.

After three or four evenings of making bullets after work, he noticed he that his beard was turning white in places. The next day it started falling out in big chunks.

He called Donald and asked him "Hey Donald, where'd y'git all that lead?"

"Up at _____ Hospital from the X-ray department."

Somewhere in the hills of North Georgia, way back in a holler out it the woods, future archeologists will find a large cache of radioactive minie balls and wonder...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Of local interest

So far they've not had a lot of luck catching up with the Chickamauga vandals. Patience my friends. Sooner or later, someone will start running their mouth and then it's only a matter of time. I expect this will likely help matters along.

In other local news, it seems that the soldier who took
Rumsfeld to task over armor (or lack thereof) is a local boy.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My bride awakened me this morning with some truly frightening words.

"Wake up honey. Do you know what day this is?"

"urhghmmp it's shut the $%^& alarm off."

"Happy Anniversery."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is."


I still think she's messing with me, I think it's Friday.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


As in Twitty, not as in Conway buckles.

About 17-18 years ago, I was in full cowboy mode. I wore big hats, dusters, stockman's coats, cowboy boots and big belt buckles everywhere. Yes, I am well aware now that I looked like an idiot then, but this is just to give an idea.

I was at a local truck stop one day, for reasons that escape me now. I, of course, had on a superwidebrimwilliambarrettravis hat, cowboy boots and of course a huge belt buckle. As I was walking towards the door, an absolutely stunning woman came walking in and walked past me towards the restaurant. I think I can safely say that if she wasn't the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen in my life up until then, she was damn close. So I stood there befuddled with my mouth agape. Of course she swept on by without even noticing me, or if she did, it was probably only to think "Gawd, what a dork."

As I stood there, transfixed by the vision that had passed me by, I became aware of a sawed-off little runt with a perm giving me the evil eye. It was like there was a stormcloud over his head. He looked pissed. If looks could kill I would have been a dead man a hundred times over. It was a look of pure contempt, disgust, scorn and just about any other negative thing you can think of, all rolled into one.

It took me a second to realize that he was with the young lady who had so captivated me a moment before. Of course my only thought was "you little sh*t, whats your problem?"

It took another second or two for me to say to myself "hmmmp, I wonder if anybody's ever told that little runt he looks like Conway Twitty?"

I shook the cobwebs out of my brain and headed for the door and as I walked across the parking lot I was greeted by the sight of a huge tour bus on the other side of my truck with "Twitty Bird" painted on the side.

To this day I have no idea who the girl was, whether she was Conway's wife, daughter, girlfriend or what, but I figure she had to be one of the three to earn the look he gave me.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Forrest Oglesby meets Jimmy, circa 1977

I gots to go peeeeeee!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Ray Stevens in Wildwood

I mentioned this in my previous post, so I'll get to the story now.

This whole thing came up when we were sitting around talking last night and I said something about seeing Conway Twitty at a truckstop several years ago. Donald piped up and said "Did I ever tell you about the time me an' my cousin Stacy met Ray Stevens?"

I of course told him no, so he proceeded to tell this tale, which I relate in the nearest proximity to his own words that I can muster.

Me an' Stacy was over in Wildwood and stopped in t' git gas when we seed this big ole gold limousine with a white top come pullin' in.

I looked over thar and seen the feller in the back seat and tole Stacy, "Hey! that's Ray Stevens in that car! "

Stacy said "Bullshit!" And I said "I'll betcha twenty dollars it is." Stacy said "alright, we'll jist walk over thar an' ask him who he is."

We walked over t' car and I pecked on the winder. He rolled the winder down and I said, "excuse me sir, but who are you?"

He said, "Hah! Who'd you think I am?" Jist like that. And I said "you're Ray Stevens ain'tcha?" And he laughed and said yes he was.

The first words outta Stacy's mouth was "You're fulla shit! Lemme see your drivers license!"
Donald swore vehemently amid all of our laughter and snorts of derision that these were the exact words.

He got out of the car, pulled out his wallet and started huntin' fer it. He pulled out a wad o' cash that'd choke a mule and pulled out a wad o' credit cards that'd choke another'un. He kept saying I know it's here somewhar and I finally said "sir we'll accept any major credit card whats got your name on it."

And whilst all this was goin' on this big ole feller about seven foot tall what looked like Mr. Kleen, shaved head and ear ring both, had somehow or another got up behind us and was standing right over my shoulder. I don't know how in the world he got that close to us without me knowin' it.
It was never said, but Donald implied the Mr. Kleen lookalike was Mr. Steven's driver or bodyguard.

This is probably not a funny reading it as it is to hear Donald tell it. Donald is a tall gangly looking feller with an voice similiar to Arthur Hunnicutt's. I can honestly say that he is probably one of the best tale tellers I've ever had the privilege of listening to. As far as that goes, half the crowd that was there are pretty good storytellers, but Donald could put Foxworthy to shame.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Stories from Skinners 40th B'day party

Food, firearms and a bonfire were involved and I can honestly say that this is the only party I've ever attended where buggy whips were handed out as party favors...

That's only a slight joke. One of the guys there does construction work and he found 40-some odd buggy whips on a jobsite. He had an armload of 'em he was giving away right and left. Now for the truly bizarre part, he found them underneath the floor of a Baptist church he's renovating.

What the hell? Did they beat the sin out of their members?

After everybody finished eating and all the menfolk where standing around in the cold around the bonfire, a fellow I shall call Donald (because that is, after all, his name. He somehow never aquired a nickname) broke out the .22's and a half-brick of shells and there by the light of the bonfire and the headlights of two F-150's, I saw something I've never seen before.

Donald produced a well-sharpened double-bitted axe with a broken handle, stuck it in a log, set two cans on either side of the blade and at 25 yards, on his third shot, in the dark (except for the aforementioned lighting), split a bullet on the axe blade, hitting both cans.

With a .22.

Then Skinner, not to be outdone, did the same thing.


I knew those boys could shoot, but I didn't know they were that good. Pretty soon, half the people there were pulling .22's out of their trucks and making all kinds of rackett. Can you tell we are in the sticks? I think I was the only one there unarmed. If I'd know we were supposed to go heeled, I'd at least have brought a pistol.

Skinner then took a pepsi bottle, loosened the lid to the point it would spin freely, stepped back with his rifle and shot the lid off. He shot it off by nicking the lid and spinning it off the bottle.

Had I not seen this (and the axe trick) with my own eyes, I would have never believed it.

I should've taken a tape recorder with me. There was enough blogging material there for a years worth of posts. But ut for now, I will leave you with a couple of things I overhead...

"Watch out boys, I dunno war the safety is on this thang." That's never a good thing to hear from a redneck...

Who's hands are warm? I gotta take a p*ss. I realize that's rather crass, but I thought it was funny as hell. It was just a wee bit cold out tonight and we'd been out there shooting for an hour or more at the time.

I heard some damn funny stories that I will try to relate if my feeble memory doesn't fail me, but the best one of all has to be the time Donald and his cousin met Ray Stevens at a gas station in Wildwood Georgia...

I'll save that one for tomorrow night.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

This is disturbing

on many, many levels.

I saw this article in the county paper and read it out of curiosity because I'd never heard of this stuff until about four-five years ago, but now it seems like the police are making a drug bust involving this crap at least once a week. But this line is what really made me cringe.

...80 percent of all meth labs found nationally are within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga...

I'm starting to wonder if Stick is correct in thinking that we do have more than our share of idiots around here.

I still say Moonshinin' is an honorable profession in comparison to meth.