Sunday, January 30, 2005

Roadkill, sort of

I was at the Gunshop yesterday and we got to talking 'bout roadkill. Toby asked me if I'd ever heard Jeff Foxworthy tell the story about the two yokels that came up to him after a show and told him about them picking up the dead beaver by the side of road which "came alive" when they started trying to skin it.

I've heard Foxworthy tell the story. The beaver jumped up and latched on to one of the guys chest and bit his nipple off. That must of hurt just a little bit.

Toby said he had one better than that.

One of the guys he works with was out deer hunting a couple of years ago and got off a shot at a big old buck with a pretty nice rack on it. The buck fell, so he climbed out of his tree stand to make sure it was dead. Walked up, kicked it. It didn't move. He stood astraddle of it and laid his rifle across its rack. Squatted down and reached around with his knife to slit its throat.

It "came alive" as soon as the knife touched it. The buck lurched to his feet, throwing the guy off his back. Shook its head pretty vigorously in an attempt to dislodge the rifle and then took off for the woods, still carrying the guys rifle. (the sling had gotten wrapped around its antlers)

He followed of course. But alas, his quest was in vain. The buck got clean away. He hunted for it for three days. Never found it, or the rifle.

Now the moral of this story for all you cityfolk out there is that you always need to make sure something's dead before you start trying to cut on it.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Just because I thought it looked neat.

Friday, January 28, 2005

An Artillery tale

There was a fellow several years ago what was one of the Rangers over at Nameless National Park who got himself transfered off somewhere, as these Gummint fellers are wont to do at times. Something to to do with money and promotions and whatnot. Anyhow, he was a pretty good fellow... for a Yankee. He also happened to be the gent what was in charge of the Living History program over there.

The last weekend he was there, they were having a big program, with a couple of Infantry units and an Artillery section.

As a bit of explantion, in Civil War terms, a Section was two guns. In the Confederate Army, two sections formed a Battery, while in the Union Army, a Battery was made up of three sections. Each gun was under the command of a Gunner, who aimed the piece and gave the commands to load and fire. Each pair or section was commanded by a Section Chief, who in turn answered to the battery commander.

Now, this fellow that was transfering was the one what always talked to the crowd, most of the time with his back to the boys manning the guns. Since it was his last day (or rather his last living history program at Nameless National Park), Scutter, who just happened to be Section Chief, decided to pull a little prank on him.

About two o'clock they had the biggest crowd of the day out there for the Artillery demo. Probably two to three hundred spectators.

The Ranger went into his spiel while they (the gun crews) fired off a couple of rounds.

Just as he was winding up his talk and the Artillery were getting ready to load their final round for this demonstration, Scutter started screaming at the top of lungs "MY GOD, THE REBS ARE ON TOP OF US! " (They were doing Federal that day)

"ABANDON BATTERY!!!!! ABANDON BATTERY!" Everyone on the crew took up the cry. "ABANDON BATTERY!!!"

Whereupon both gun crews threw down their sponge rammers, lanyards, worms and other implements and fled for the treeline at a dead run.

The crowd loved it. Thought it was part of the presentation. Abandon battery indeed.

The Ranger, to give him credit, never lost his cool. In fact, he never even turned around. He said later that if he had, he'd have cracked up. And I guess that's just not something they do in front of visitors...

Smells like burning money

Seems that a feedlot up in Nebraska has a problem with their manure pile.

It's smouldering and they can't figure out out to put it out.

I have the solution to their problem, but for that matter the answer is in the article.

Most big feedlots spread the manure over farm fields or compost it to spread later or sell commercially to gardeners.

Sounds to me like he needs to invest in a manure spreader or a spreader truck and not let his manure pile get that big. One would think the EPA would be all over him like a cheap suit. For that matter, instead of having one gigantic pile, why not have several smaller ones? There is no reason for this to happen when there are farmers within a short distance would be tickled to buy his cowshit to spread on their fields.

I'm just a dumb hick and I know that much.

I could be wrong, but it smells like piss-poor management to me.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Sweetie won the runoff election and is the new President of her horse club.


Remember, this is the same club where the previous set of officers tried to get her and Lambchop thrown out a few months ago. This was, IMHO, an attempt to keep her from running for President.

I've had to be kind of particular about what I say lately, since my darling bride found this mess, she's told all of her friends about it and periodicaly some of them come through and read my ramblings, so I don't talk about sweetie much. (Actually, because of her line of work, I never have talked about her very much, but that's not the issue here.)

No more. It's my freaking blog and I'll write what I want, dammit!


I told her two years ago what was wrong with the *&^%$ horse club. There are 50+ women in the club and maybe three men (who actually ride). That's what the damn problem is and always will be. They're like a bunch of blasted old hens pecking at each other ALL the time.

Which is a big part of the reason I want nothing to do with 'em. Heck, I used to think politics in Civil War reenacting was bad.

It ain't nuttin' compared to these females.

Let me throw this out at you.

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

But I'm proud of my bride. She won the runoff fair and square. They had to have a runoff because of a last minute effort by the other side to recruit husbands and boyfriends into the club to vote for their side when they had the general election back in December. That served to give them a tie, which is what forced the runoff.

I'm happy for sweetie, but I'm glad it's over with.

As a direct request from Big Daddy Possum

A few more Big John stories.

As some background, Hobbit and a few other folks sometimes referred to him as Big Dumb John. Not to knock the job, but Johns' position on the gun crew was #1. You'd think that's a good thing right?


#1 is the job nobody wants, because that's the guy who stands up front and rams the charge down the barrel. Y'know, the job where you're most likely to lose an appendage when dealing with muzzle-loading artillery.

Enough background...

Driving to a reenactment up towards Knoxville with a carload of the guys John pointed out a billboard and "looky there! That sign says Don't be Misled, M-80s are ILLEGAL." Whereupon everyone in the car with started giving him hell.


Because he pronounced Misled as Misl-ed, not Mis-led.

In fact he insisted, for quite some time afterwards that Misl-ed was a word, to the point of bringing a dictionary out to Nameless National Park to "prove" he was right.

Once when he was afoot and having a bad weekend at Nameless National Park he 'bout drove Hobbit crazy with demands to take him somewhere, to the point that until this day, there is a little sing-song litany of Johns' complaints that day that are still recited around many a campfire.

It's hot.
Mah feet hurt.
I got a bug in mah ear.
(He somehow or another got a bug trapped in his ear, which is no wonder considering the amount of earwax the boy produced... I mean, you could use his earplugs for candles)
Take me to Red Food Store (A local grocery chain now known as Bi-Lo)
I wanna go home.
And so on until infinity...

John once got in an argument with the manager of a Cracker Barrel up in Tennessee because John wanted to trade muskets with him. The musket in question being a pristine '42 Springfield that was hanging above the fireplace there at the Cracker Barrel. John also had a '42 that had been cobbled up out of spare parts and wanted to trade with Cracker Barrel for the nice one. The manager spent thirty minutes trying to explain to John that he wasn't authorized to do such things before the guys finally had to drag him (John) bodily out of the building.

At Saylers Creek one year, Uncle Goob got aholt of some bad vittles and had the running shits. That, coupled with a whole lot of marching, chapped him pretty bad you could say, so he decided to brave the cold and shuck his britches and drawers to sit in this little stream for a while to relieve his burning buttocks...

Scutter caught John downstream filling his canteen.

And with that we'll end it this. I think that's quite enough Big John stories for the time being.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

We passed on the 1150. It seems that the ad had a typo in it. The price they wanted was still fair, but it was getting away from what I considered a "bargain."

I'm still looking for my elusive "affordable" 10 series Ford.

Another Big John story

Warning! This one is very, very vile.

I went by the Gunshop last night and found Uncle Goob there, we got to talking about silly stuff and the topic of Big John (he of Evil Cannon fame) came up. Now, as I've mentioned before Big John is a good guy, but his elevator don't go all the way to the top. And although he is a good guy, there was this one kid what used to do Artillery with them at Nameless National Park that John loved to torment.

Now I like to aggravate people myself, but for some reason John had a meanstreak when it came to this kid.

What started this whole unfortunate chain of events was John being an ass to this kid. One summer day, whilst working out at Nameless National Park John caught the kid in the porta-a-john and commenced to rocking it. Now John is a bog ole boy. At the time he was about six-three and would field dress about two-fifty. Needless to say, when grabbed aholt of something, it moved. He came pretty close to turning the port-a-john over with the kid in it.

Of course this didn't sit well with the kid and he vowed revenge.

Since he was about half Johns' size and a whole lot smarter, he knew better than to mess with him in a physical sense, so he bided his time and waited for a chance.

This came later that summer at Another Nameless National Park where they had went to do Artillery demonstrations.

John was being his usual A-hole self, bossing the kid around and just generally being a jackass, when he decides that he'll make the kid fetch and carry for him. It was a very hot day, made worse by the wool uniforms. Big John told the kid "go get me some gatorade!" and throws him his tin cup. (This cup in question was one of those big ugly things that holds about a quart)

The kid told him to go jump in the river...

and then the light bulb went on.

"ok, I'll go get you some gatorade."

He came back a few minutes later and hands Big John the cup, which John promptly turned up and drained about half of it.

"This tastes kinda funny."

Yes, this story is going exactly where you think it's going....

"That's because I pissed in it."

"No you didn't."

John didn't believe him... at first.

When the realization struck him that his "gatorade" was in truth "urinade" he would've killed the kid if he could've caught him.

The other guys finally got John to calm down, but it took all of 'em to keep him from killing the kid.

One thing about it, he'd learned his lesson about picking on people.

This happened nearly twenty years ago and we still give him hell about it. The fact that he realized that he'd brought it on himself is what I think cured him of his evil ways. As I said, his elevator don't go all the way to the top, but when an idea finally gets into the morass he calls a brain, it takes root.

As for the kid, he was fairly smart, so he moved on to safer climes where he didn't have to worry about John taking an axe handle to him in his sleep.

Welcome Possumblog readers!

Terry evidently got a kick out of this story. I told him if I'd known he would enjoy it that much I'd have done a better job writing it. I do have a confession to make; Sadly, this incident took place before I joined the unit and although I've heard the story for years (and given John grief about it) I wasn't actually there when it happened. Uncle Goob refreshed my memory the other night and added a few Big John stories of his own. At least one of which of was also bathroom-related. I may tell it at a later date...

Thanks for stopping by.

Let me tell ya'll a story 'bout a man named...

Sorry, wrong story.

Anyway, I have a co-worker who must remain nameless (of course), who told me an interesting tale about her elderly aunt and uncle the other day.

These folks lived next to a local college and from what I gather, their backyard was adjacent to the campus. Now, as I have mentioned, these folks were elderly. The uncle was on oxygen and the aunt was, what in another time would have been known as "of nervous disposition."

They were doing some construction work at the college one spring day while the aunt was in the kitchen washing dishes or some such. Suddenly she sees a strange man come walking across their backyard carrying something. She panicked, thinking they were being robbed (remember the nervous disposition?) and called 911. She changed her mind, either realizing that the stranger was not a robber or just calming down on her own and hung up the phone.

Unfortunately the call had already gone through.

And of course she was no longer on the line.

Now, I'm not sure what the procedure is at the 911 center when something like that happens, but this was in the early days of the 911 system around here. They dispatched an ambulance and the police.

The ambulance arrived first and found the uncle sitting on the front porch with his oxygen mask on.

They promptly loaded the confused man up in the ambulance and took him to the hospital.

When they got there and figured out nothing was wrong with him, they called his son to come pick him up.

The son asked to speak to him and asked his father why he was at the hospital.

He said "I don't know! They just came and got me and brought me here!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Yes, I'm still playing around

I promise I will actually blog about something else soon.

I downloaded Firefox this evening. I may like it better than Safari. Partly because all of the blogger options you folks on the PC have always had are available in Firefox.

This could be scary. It also means I'll get lazy and promptly forget what little HTML code I know.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Through the magic of Google I was able to find a way to trick OS X into recognizing my secondary video card, which means I have a palette monitor again. And after a couple of false starts, I was able to get email up and running. I'm still trying to get used to Safari, but I have to say that almost every website I've looked at in Safari looks better than it did in IE5.

This cold weather seems to be sapping my brain. I've got a couple of good stories to relate, but I can't summon up the ambition to write 'em.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bigger brother called me today

He's found one of these

up the road a ways for a bargin basement price and wants to go look at it this weekend.

This critter is a Massey Feguson 1150 with a V-8 Perkins diesel. Really far more tractor than we would ever need, but I am a firm believer in too much horsepower instead of not enough.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


So far my biggest beef is the fact that my secondary video card that runs my palette monitor doesn't work with OS X, which means in order to run two monitors I'll need to buy a new video card. I don't quite think I'm ready to try and do actual work on this thing yet, but I'm hoping that in a couple of weeks I'll know enough to be able to.

Blogging on the other hand, is a different story. I really like Safari, especially when compared to IE 5, which is what I am running in OS 9. Now, if I can get my email figured out, I'll have it made.

Speaking of reading

In the book about the Knights Templars that I just just finished, the author made a point of referring to Richard I as a Frenchman who just happened to be King of England, rather than the much beloved Englishman portrayed by Hollywood.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Reading progress

I am about halfway finished with Born Fighting and as badly as I hate to admit it, I found it to be something of a dissapointment. The early chapters were concerned with Scotland and the author seemed to just skim over some of the things that I thought were important, while going to into more depth into subjects that the reader may have some (albeit skewed) knowledge of. I am of course, talking about the chapter on William Wallace. To his credit, I think one of his aims was to set the record straight for those unfortunate souls who think Braveheart was historically accurate.

The early part of the book is what Dimitri at Civil War Bookshelf would refer to as "Pop History." I really hate to even say that, because I was prepared to love this book. I think part of my problem may be in my own mind. I was expecting something with a more narrow focus, rather than a broad history.

The good news is that the further along I get, the better it is. Now that I've reached the part of the book that deals with the Revolution and the settlement of North America things have improved greatly. I think that's because Webb is on firmer ground with his subject. Some of the same things I'm seeing now where dealt with in Partisans and Redcoats, which I recently finished.

One thing I read that did surprise me somewhat was the comment that the Scots-Irish tended to side with the patriots during the Revolution, while a large group of later immigrants, who were primarily Highlanders and Jacobites that settled in North Carolina after the '45 rebellion, tended to be loyalists. I found that odd since these folks were only a generation away from being rebels themselves.

Overall, I still think it's worth reading, but I can't form a full opinion until I'm finished.

Well this is a bit different

I'm in OSX right now. Interesting, velly, velly interesting.

I'm not sure whether I like this or not, but it's past time for me to upgrade. I've played Luddite long enough

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


We've been busy as hell at the saltmine, plus I've had a very big side job that I just (hopefully) finished tonight.

In other news, I now have a working DVD burner. Internal no less. I could not see the point in paying an extra forty bucks for another box to put on my already cluttered desk. After all I'm running out of places to put all of my silly toy tractors. (Yes, I collect toy tractors the way a nine-year old collects Hot Wheels cars, I figure they're the only new equipment I can afford.)

For that matter, I'm thinking it's time for the Jaz drive and the Zip drive to go bye-bye. I haven't used either one in over a year and all they're doing right now is sucking up electricity. Once in a blue moon I use a Jaz at work, but only for authoring Mac/ISO hybrid CDs. I've never had to do that at home, so what's the point in keeping it hooked up?

The other thing holding me back is the laborious process of going through all of my Zips to see if there's anything there worth saving. Which is almost as bad as going through the pile of CDs before Christmas when I cleaned my pig sty of an office.


What malevolent diety has decided to visit Iowa weather upon my beloved South?

Do we need to make a heathen sacrifice to make it warm up?

Which leads to the question; what would a Hillbilly heathen sacrifice be?

I'm thinking a pouch of Red Man, a NASCAR cap, mud tires, shotgun shells...

Thursday, January 13, 2005


It's been a freaking madhouse around here lately. I have been (and still am) busier than a one legged man at an ass-kicking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Cowboys, gates and romance

There is an old joke that's been told by everybody from Baxter Black to Michael Martin Murphy that goes something like this...

There are three men in a pickup truck, dressed alike from boots to hat, can you tell which is the real cowboy from where he's sitting?

Well, the answer should be obvious.

The real cowboy is the one in the middle, cause he ain't got to drive and he don't have to mess with opening gates.

I was over at a neighbors a couple of years ago for a cookout. We were sitting in the backyard enjoying the evening when his dad came riding across the pasture on a four wheeler with his wife riding on the back. One of the girls at the cookout said something like "I think that's sweet. It's romantic for them to ride around together like that at their age."

I quickly burst her bubble when I observed, "Actually, he probably brought her along to open the gates."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Revenge is sweet

I got even with sweetie for sending me to Wal-Mart two days before Christmas.

I made her watch Viva Las Vegas with me Saturday night.

My explanation to her was "...but honey, everyone should watch at least one Elvis movie in their life..."

But I will admit that my primary motivation for watching it was to see the lovely Ann-Margret.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Revolving Rifles

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd like to someday own a Colt revolving rifle. I also mentioned a bad habit of chainfiring that they had, which means that all of the chambers would ignite at once, which could lead to anything from embarrassment to dismemberment. In spite of this, they were used by several Union regiments with great effectiveness during the war, most notably the 21st Ohio at Chickamauga.

I failed to mention at the time, that several years ago I did own a revolving rifle, but it was a Remington rather than a Colt. It was a cartridge weapon, so there was no danger of a chainfire, but it did have a nasty habit of it's own.

Which I discovered one day shooting while wearing a short sleeved shirt.

It would shave lead off the bullet as it left the chamber and entered the forcing cone on the barrel.

That stung just a little bit.

If I wore a jacket or long-sleeved shirt, it wasn't noticable, but bare skin was a different story.

I still have a couple of tiny pieces of lead in my wrist, sixteen years later.

As for the rifle, I traded it off for something many years ago. I sort of wish I still had it, but the sad thing is, I can't even remember what I traded it for.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Of all the silliness

in the world, this has got to take the cake.

Big Daddy Possum has some silly Canuck woman threatening to sue him for reprinting an article she had written. After getting her first email, he went into the offending post and removed all of her stuff and informed her of this.

She's still trying to hit him for $150 for "using" her article "all this time."

Go read Terry's post if you haven't already... and if you're a lawyer, tell him whether she's full of crap or not.

Update: I have no idea whether I've done right or not, but I have emailed the all-powerful and all-knowing Blogfather in Knoxville to seek his wisdom on Big Daddy Possum's behalf.

Social Status

First of all, let me say that the post title may be a bit misleading. I don't give rat's ass about social status. I could quite easily become a hermit and never leave the farm. Now, that being said, I have an interesting conversation to relate.

There is a local gentleman who is regarded as the county historian (he's written a few books and I have been trying unsuccessfully to get him to write one on Wheeler's Raid). He's been involved in politics for several years now and his very opinionated and not at all afriad to offend people with his opinions, which is a bit odd in this day and age. This has won him both friends and enemies, here at at home as well as in Atlanta.

I dropped by his office one day a couple of years ago to shoot the shit and we naturally got to taking about county history, whereupon he made this statement: "Fifty years ago, it was very easy to tell someone's social status in the community by where they went to church."

"How so?" I asked

"Well, it's really quite simple, the Baptists worked in the mills, the Methodists ran the mills, the Presbyterians owned the mills and the Episcopalians bankrolled the mills."

I was somewhat taken aback by this, but after thinking it over I saw that whether you agreed with it or not, there was a certain logic to it. I then asked him what about other religons, such as Catholics or Jews. The answer to that was also logical, there simply weren't enough in this area to effect the status quo.

I told him that I only had one concern about his statement. "What's that?"

"My family started out Presbyterian, became Methodists in the late 1800s and then Baptists in the 1930s. We seem to be moving backwards down the ladder."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


My darling bride made one of my favorite meals for me Sunday night.

Shrimp n' Grits. Being from the hills, I'd never heard of such a combination until we visited Charleston on our honeymoon. She wanted to go eat a Hyman's Seafood and I wasn't real keen on it, but since it was our honeymoon, we went anyway.

I wasn't in a "fishy" mood was my primary reason for not wanting to go. I'm more of a beef eatin' carnivore most of the time, but I will eat shrimp at every opportunity. I saw Shrimp and Grits on the menu and thought I'd try it. And it turned out to be pretty doggone good. If memory serves, it was a bowl of grits with shrimp floating in it, covered with gravy. Gravy which my bride insists is NOT "gravy," but "sauce." What's the difference? It's gravy to me.

Anyhow, the next day we rode out to Isle of Palms (or Pile of Lambs, which is how my bride referred to it) so that she could show me her old house and to eat lunch. I do not recall the name of the resturant, but it was right on the beach.

I saw that this place also had shrimp and grits on the menu, so I decided I'd like to try it again, since I'm not one to be very adventurous with food when I'm traveling.

I called the office and harrassed everyone while waiting on my food, just to be obnoxious. I'm good at that sort of thing.

I was in for a surprise when they brought out my plate. This was nothing like what I'd eaten at Hyman's. This was a slab of grits made into a cake and fried, covered in shrimp and more of that pepper gravy. When I commenced to cutting on it, I discovered this whole glorious mess was perched upon a thick piece of good ole' salty country ham. I had never before heard of any such combination and commenced to begging my bride (who is, in case I've never mentioned it, an excellent cook) to learn how to make it.

After we got home, she did some studying and was able to replicate this dish on her first try. Now, about once or twice a year, provided I'm a good boy, she'll make it for me. Which is more than I can say for some of the other foods I dearly love

She wanted me to invite Jeff (a good friend of mine) and DR over to eat with me, but I talked her out of it. Such a meal I said, would be wasted on those two tasteless reprobates. After all, both are middle-aged batchelors and will eat just about anything that doesn't eat them first, so fine cuisine is a waste of time with them.

Have I ever mentioned I've watched (with great revulsion) DR eat cold Van Camp's chili straight out of the can?

I finally relented and invited Jeff over, I couldn't raise DR on the phone, so he missed out. I'll get him over the next time we have a big feed, along with a few others. I need to be sure and have a tape recorder handy though.

Early Spring?

If you close your eyes and listen to the birds you'd think it was Springtime. The birds seem to think so anyway. I hope this lasts for a couple more weeks at least. After that cold weather a couple of weeks ago I was afraid we'd have a harsh winter, which may happen yet, but I surely hope not.

I'm not sure that this is a good sign that I'm reduced to writing about the weather.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Equine sugery

I mentioned our little holiday crisis the other day, so today I have a few pictures.

This is Ben. I have no idea what his registered name is, but we call him Ben. He's an 11 year old appendix bred Quarterhorse (which basically means he's more Thoroughbred than Quarterhorse). He has the height of a Thoroughbred, but he's built more solidly, which, along with his excellent disposition, came from his Quarterhorse bloodlines.

There's not anything really gross here, but for the squeamish, you may want to stop scrolling now....

Here we have young Ben standing in his stall asking "why in the hell are you taking my picture?" Note his belly has been shaved.

And here we have a closeup of his shaven belly with his nifty scar that he can brag about to the other horses.

Finally, we have a closeup of his new conversation piece.

I would very much like to see a colic surgery. From what Sweetie has told me, they pretty much cut him open, took out his intestines, cleared the two impactions and put everything back in. It sounds like a vile process, but I think it would be very interesting to watch.


Bingo is DR's new dog. He's some sort of curbstone setter, otherwise know as a heinz 57. He's a stray that showed up one day and DR took him in.

He's one of the smartest dogs I've ever met. Case in point...

Bingo was a mite on the skinny side, so DR commenced to buying this el cheapo canned dog food to fatten him up because he seemed to like it better than dry dog food. I reckon if I was a dog, I would too, but anyway...

A couple of weeks ago, DR got Bingo a big can of chunky Alpo as a treat. And of course the dog loved it. The next day he was back to the el cheapo canned stuff. Bingo sniffed it, then sat back on his haunches and looked at DR as if to say "where's the good stuff?"

The next day, DR came home from work to find his garbage scattered all over the back yard.

And the empty Alpo can sitting in Bingo's food dish.