Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Old Stone House, Pennsboro, West Virginia - 1910

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My granddad sent this postcard to my grandma at Parkersburg that year. He comments on the back that he stayed there the first time he was in that town, 10 years earlier. He would have been 20 years old then and already self-employed. Locals will notice that the back ell hadn't been built when this photo was taken. The building still stands and serves as a museum.

The Cannonball (old postcard)

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This shows Engine # 3 of the Pennsboro and Harrisville Railroad stopped at Pennsboro, West Virginia. There appears to be a policeman or constable standing on the pile of rails with some other men keeping an eye on things. I don't know if it was this line or another small narrow gauge line that requested able-bodied individuals to get off the train and walk up the hills when it was pulling a lot of freight for its size. That made things easier on the engine and allowed for a quicker trip. I suspect it was this line, due to my granddad's sarcasm on the back of the card. I guess I come by mine honestly! Granddad sent this card from Pennsboro to my grandma at Parkersburg on June 18, 1910. Being a rig building contractor required a lot of travel, and roads were deplorable mud trails back then, so he traveled by rail all he could and then rented a horse and buggy (or wagon) when he got to his destination.

Trump Jr. Names Leak On Intel Committee (a link)


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas - 1913

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Sent to my granddad at Odell, West Virginia, by my grandma at Parkersburg.

Saturday Night Memes

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Megyn Says Trump Degrades Women


Looks like she's doing a pretty good job of that herself!

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Military ballots MIGHT Give Moore The Victory (a link)


Wally-World Warning!

If you happen to be a shrimp lover like the missus and I, DO NOT buy "Great Value" cocktail sauce at Wally-World! A lot of their stuff is okay, but their cocktail sauce tasted like it was made from rotten tomatoes and rotten garlic, with no horseradish whatsoever. We both took one taste and threw it in the trash. Don't try to save a buck or two like I did, BUY THE GOOD STUFF; you'll regret it if you don't. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Chapter 12

Chapter 12

The Creek – Part Three – To The Pavement’s End

Above the interstate, the creek makes a moderate fifth of a mile loop to the south. High on the left, just beyond the overpass and above the Old St. Ambrose Pike, stands the large American Foursquare that served for many years as the farmhouse to the Robinson place. A short distance to the right of that house is the original barn from the days of the Burner family, previous owners of the farm. The structure is supported by a foundation of massive cut stones while the rafters are supported by a framework of large timbers. The center bay is open to the roof, but on each side is a hay mow where loose hay was stored for winter use of the dairy cattle that once lived there.
A tragic “accident” once occurred in that old barn; Rolf Burner, the owner of the farm, went out one morning to feed and milk his cows, but never came back. When the family went looking for him, he was in the basement of the old barn, dead from a 30 foot fall down the hay-hole up in the mow. Years later, a local ne’er-do-well told Iva Day that “Ol’ Man Burner” forbade his courting his daughter, so he “thanked” the elder gentleman by “helping” him down the hay-hole.
George Robinson bought the place from Burner’s heirs and lived there many years. There were a couple divorces and remarriages in the family and the farm ended up in the hands of John Perry, one of Robinson’s step grandsons. Perry had wed a city girl from Charleville and brought her to live in the beautiful old farmhouse. However, she had no appreciation for the historic home and demanded that he build her a new brick home. Unwilling to tear down the old place, Perry built her new home between, but behind, the old house and the ancient barn. He and his wife now live happily in what looks like a brick garage apartment on a nearly vertical hillside while the beautiful old foursquare is inhabited by renters.
About a third of the way around the previously mentioned loop of the creek is the site of an old swimming hole. Generations of area youngsters (and quite a few adults) have dove from the creek banks or swung on ropes tied to overhanging sycamore limbs to drop into the deep milky-green water below. The water there is shaded by the sycamores and, in the days before the interstate, you could find a good breeze there.
There, too, was the first of three swinging bridges that spanned Waddington at one time. It was built by George Robinson to reach the part of the farm across the creek when high water at the ford was too deep to wade. The current owner walks across the interstate bridge when the creek is up so that he can feed his cattle, thus getting some use out of the otherwise aggravating structure in front of his home.
The creek travels a little east of south, abutting the interstate, for about a third of a mile before it dog-legs northeast as it rounds the point of Mount Zion Hill. In doing so, it encircles what remains of the Ray Snyder place. Snyder used the small farm to fatten cattle that he’d bought to butcher for his meat market in Newport. Perhaps five acres remain around the Federal Revival farmhouse; the interstate got all the rest except for another little piece at the back of the farm which the interstate left landlocked. Snyder retired soon afterward. Uncle Sam never pays market value when he steals a man’s property, so there wasn’t enough money from the theft to buy another farm, thus the interstate basically caused the closing of his business in town.
Across the road from the Snyder place, a narrow concrete driveway cuts a steep angle up Mount Zion Hill. The hill unofficially sports that name in honor of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church at its summit.  A couple oak-shaded acres behind the church once served as the Methodist camp for the area. Eve Day, once a member of the community, went there some in the 30’s and remembers the old army-style canvas wall tents, his and hers outhouses, the hand-pump on the well and the campfires. Kids really “camped” at church camps back in those days, and Eve came clear from Worth County to do it.
The church had once been a hub of community activity, with many of the valley folk celebrating all their religious rites there before being laid to rest in the quiet hilltop cemetery. Sadly, it became dominated by two families who constantly bickered over control. The only time they voted in sync was when it looked like they’d lose control if they didn’t. Eventually, most members grew weary of the situation and went elsewhere or nowhere. As a result, a church that was often crowded during services is closed today.
In front of the church, the cemetery covers about half an acre; the names of the valley’s settlers are prominent there. Most graves are marked, some aren’t. Over the years, worshipers have occasionally arrived on Sunday morning to discover a new grave, though no one asked for permission or informed the trustees of the new tenant’s name.
If you travel the length of the cemetery and then drop over the hill, you’ll find yourself at the “end of the pavement;” of course only the old-timers know the term. Newport is located in the Newport Voting District of Stone County. Back in the days of yore, the Old St. Ambrose Pike was paved with brick out to the district line; from there the road became gravel.

The gravel marked the beginning of Federal Voting District as well as the western border of the Wesley Anderson place. The farm was one of the original holdings of the Anderson clan and was probably a full section (640 acres) in the beginning. Some land had been sold off through the years, yet 400 acres still remained when Wes inherited the place. He ran a dairy and a small sawmill operation for most of his life, but as he grew older he gave up the dairy and sawmill to switch to beef cattle. The place was purchased by R.W. Winterfield a few years before the death of Wes at age 91. Copyright 2008

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cultural Appropriation And Micro-Aggression

I was talking online with a lady from England, and she asked me to explain these strange American anomalies for her and her friends. I gave her the short version, which follows:

“These are catch-phrases used by liberals seeking another excuse for victimhood. Liberalism has been PROVEN by scientists to be a form of mental disease as the liberals utterly REFUSE to accept reality. You will never hear a conservative whining about cultural appropriation or micro-aggression. So tell your friends that an AMERICAN says that HALF of America is utterly INSANE and that, unfortunately, that includes the media who reports all such garbage.”

There IS a bit more to be said about it, though. Let’s take cultural appropriation first. The term is simply used to categorize one person making use of something that was not original to his/her culture. Examples would be white boys “singing” rap, or white people wearing dreadlocks. There’s a disgusting amount of both, and both nauseate me as much as black folks doing the same thing (singing rap and wearing dreadlocks). Other things that have brought complaints, usually from unrelated third parties, are white folks running “Mexican” or Oriental restaurants, or Hawaiian coffee houses. Also, using American Indian (OOPS! NATIVE AMERICAN) names for ball teams or housing developments. The important thing to remember is that only WHITE people can be guilty of cultural appropriation. All other races can do what they darn well please.

Interestingly enough, it’s usually the liberal whites who raise the most fuss about it. They seem to have some perverse guilt about the white race being the most culturally successful for the last 1000 years or so and want to make things “equal” by not allowing whites to make use of anything done by other races. Funny, they certainly are smart enough to make use of anything the whites have originated! If there was no such thing as cultural appropriate, Og’s neighbors would have continued living under bushes after his tribe moved into caves. After all, to follow his lead would have been the dreaded and dastardly “cultural appropriation.” That means we would nearly ALL still be living under bushes, even today.

Tribes gained knowledge from other tribes, races gained knowledge from other races. The Greeks adapted some of the knowledge of people they conquered. The Romans took the knowledge they got from the Greeks and built on it. Traders brought knowledge from the orient and incorporated that knowledge into European society. Nations stole and traded knowledge to and from other nations during the renaissance and civilization prospered by leaps and bounds. The anti-cultural appropriation folks, however, would have us all go back to living under bushes, at least the white folks among us. Bull pucky! I’ll do what I darn well please and copy anyone I want to copy, and they can do the same, as long as we don’t do anything illegal, hurt one another physically or purposely defame the other person in the process.

Now, as for micro-aggression, that ridiculous term is simply a more vague and meaningless version of “hate speech.” As you probably know, hate speech is anything with which a liberal disagrees. They are very delicate and easily offended people (except when they’re tearing down statues, burning buildings and beating up prayer groups) and can’t bear to hear anything which contradicts their ill-thought-out beliefs. The term is simply another way to shut up the opposition, stop open discussion or interaction, or shame anyone who is either white or male.

A white guy wearing a cotton shirt might remind some black chic that her great-great grandpappy picked cotton, so it is therefore a micro-aggression. It doesn’t matter if the white dude’s great-great grandpappy picked cotton, too. The white guy is guilty, period. Also, some white chick wearing dreadlocks is both a case of cultural appropriation AND a micro-aggression, since she’s using her “white privilege” to prove she can appropriate anything she wants. A man leaving his top shirt button unfastened can be a micro-aggression towards his female coworkers, unless he shaves his chest hair, so it won’t show. Otherwise, his masculinity might intimidate the females around him. There’s no stopping place for such insanity.

Personally, I believe there is a much more powerful force behind all this than stupid liberal garden-variety whiners. I think this is all an attempt to do away with the self worth of the individual and group pride and identity. But then what do I know, I’m a micro (or maxi) aggressive white male who studies Indian craft and woods lore!

SO, to all the whiny, guilt-dispensing snowflake liberals out there, GO TO BLUE BLAZES! You’ll go to other blazes soon enough anyway! Call that statement whatever you want. (Sound of manic laughter.) © 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dern Such Weather!

I’ve mentioned before about my dad telling me of a little cartoon character that was on the front page of the paper year ‘round that uttered those words, rain or shine. Like most any other statement, fate will ultimately make it true at some point. Today was one of those times. When I took the trash out this morning, it was 32 degrees, the wind was howling and the snow was blowing. When I finished, I just went back to bed. Why not? When I got up, about 1-1/2 hours later, the wind was still blowing, and it had dropped a degree or two, but the snow had stopped.

In our back room, which takes the prevailing wind head-on, there are two large windows and a door. For some strange reason, the missus never wants me to put plastic on the wooden screen door, yet always complains about the cold that comes around the home-made heavy door there. Also, when building that part of the house, I ordered two insulated windows. When they came in, they were what I think they call “double glazed,” which amounted to nothing more than sliding storm windows. I didn’t feel like waiting another three weeks for the right kind to come in, so I took them. They’ve been VERY unsatisfactory though, and leak wind and bugs like a sieve. Again, the missus doesn’t want me to put plastic over them. So every winter, the she puts a set of back-lined drapes completely across the outside wall of the room, blocking all natural light until spring. Once they were up today, though, you could feel the difference immediately.

She wanted to escape Alcatraz for a little while before it got dark, so we took a little ride. It was dark as we came back and an 8-pointer crossed the road in front of us. Just in front of its hind quarter, a piece of skin the size of a large saucer was completely missing. On the other side of the road, a slightly smaller buck was waiting for his chance to cross. My wife immediately assumed the deer had been shot, but I told her “no.” There was no blood or torn flesh around the wound, so it was either a scrape from a car collision or from fighting the buck across the road (or one like him). I guess it could also have been from colliding with a jagged tree branch while running or fighting. Regardless, I’ll be surprised if infection doesn’t settle on the bare flesh and kill him eventually. That’s a sad death for such a grand animal. Then again, the things are tough so maybe, since it’s cold weather, he’ll lay low, rest up and heal up. I hope so.

When we got back, there was still no snow, but the temperature was 10 degrees colder than the day had started and it’s supposed to go down another ten, I’ve heard. “Dern such weather” is right! © 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

I Reckon I Should Tell Ya…

what’s going on in my insanely thrilling life. I got up about daylight and put the dog out, then headed for the tire shop. I usually don’t put on my studded tires until after New Years, but the weather folks keep threatening snow. I was hoping to get a little more wear from my summer tread next spring, but the guy said that no good inspector would pass them. Normally, I bring them home to use as planters, but the back of the truck was full of tools and such and I had no room for four big tires. I need to convert to wooden planters anyway, since I hope to have my mill running sometime this winter. Incidentally, I looked for lead wheel weights in the cracks of the pavement at the shop, but didn’t find anything except the new ones made from zinc or something. I have more than enough to cast all the muzzleloader balls I’ll ever need anyway, so I won’t worry about it.

There was still a skim of ice on the creek as I came home. There has been for a week or more.
I went back to bed for a while once home, until I smelled lunch and got up. Afterward, I went outside and fastened the last two stakes to my sawmill frame and cut them to length. The next thing to do is actually bolting on hardware. Considering the weather predicted this week, that probably won’t happen soon.

After watching the first half of the 700 Club, the missus wanted to go for a ride. The Mighty Dachshund didn’t want to go, since we’ve taken her carry box off the rear seat. She has no place to hide and lick her feet now, so she doesn’t like it. She actually licks them raw sometimes, so we had to do something. She does it at home, too, so we really have to keep an eye on her.

I had to stop and get gas while we were out, so I checked the price of their 9V batteries. They wanted $7 for ONE, so I passed. My scale has begun eating batteries at the rate of about one a month, regardless of type. The first one lasted over a year, so I don’t know just WHAT the deal is.

When I checked the mail today, I learned that $12 over income for us to get a month’s utilities paid by DHHR has also kept us from getting a winter discount from the utility companies. Don’t THAT figure? Sometimes, being so rich just plain sucks.

I also got a letter from Social Security telling me that they were going to put me on Part B Medicare come April, unless I told them that I didn’t want it. I’d LOVE to have it; I just can’t give up the week-and-a-half’s worth of groceries and gasoline that I’d have to sacrifice to pay for it. I think I told you that Mom’s SS is going up, but her Medicare is going up the exact same dollar amount. THAT isn’t planned or anything; is it? I’ll be mailing in my Medicare refusal tomorrow. I just hope the Lord lets us die when the time comes, instead of lingering on and racking up medical bills.

I have a feeling that when we get our “huge” SS raise in January, that we’ll lose our big $15 a month in food stamps. I guess it doesn’t matter, but it’s just the idea of illegal aliens drawing up to $3000 a month for their families and us getting nothing after paying taxes all our lives. Thank you democrats!

As much as I may grump, I’m fully aware how blessed we are. We’ve never gone hungry that wasn’t our own fault. We’ve always had a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and a God that cares about us. I guess that’s why, despite all of life’s aggravations, I never get what the shrinks call “depressed.” It’s kinda like Paul Harvey used to say, “there ain’t no need worryin’ ‘bout nothin’, cause nothin’s gonna turn out alright!” I like to stay positive like that! – LOL © 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Easily Pleased

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to put me in a good mood. For the first time in days, I was able to tinker outside a little today. I pointed a couple stakes and drove them against the sawmill frame to make it more steady in its position. It was probably more than good enough the way it was, but two more couldn’t hurt. I didn’t get the screws in them, though, maybe tomorrow. I also raked some leaves around the frame, so the ground wouldn’t freeze under the “foundation.” A few grains of white “sand” fell from the sky as I worked, though they were few and far between.

There WAS one negative. I think my little DeWalt cut-off saw died in the process of pointing the two stakes. I had to finish the last cut with my Boy Scout axe. I’ll really miss it, if it’s gone, but I’ve got plenty of other types of saws; it’s just that it was REALLY handy. Time will tell.

I stopped by the cemetery today and put the decorations on Dad’s grave and those of his parents. I think they were the only graves there with current decorations. Most of the kids and grandkids of the “residents” are dead, too, by now. Walking back to the truck, a stone reminded me that a neighbor’s ancestor was a teenage volunteer in the West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry during the Uncivil War. So much history dies for lack of telling.

The weather here today was just barely above freezing and windy, but I dressed warmly enough, for a change. I even sat in the swing a while and listened to the wind in the trees (but without the pooch). It’s supposed to get steadily worse as the next few days arrive, and we may even have a dusting of snow this weekend. BAH! HUMBUG! Oh well, at least I had a good day today. © 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Rainy Day And Tuesday

It was supposed to start raining about midnight, but it didn’t start until 7:05 this morning. Not surprisingly, have started late, it didn’t end by noon as they said it might, either. For some reason, it seems to rain with some regularity on Tuesdays. I know, because that’s our trash day, and it seems if it only rains on one day of the week, it will be Tuesday. Needless to say, I was a bit damp after my trip to the end of the drive-way. I’m typing this just before 4PM and it’s pouring it down now, which was supposed to happen before noon. Oh, well, I always take weather forecasts with a bushel of salt anyway, since they’re more art than science, despite what meteorologists may think.

I went out to the Stihl dealer, only to discover that they don’t make saw cases for my 660. It’s considered a commercial size and they think “professionals” won’t want a saw case, apparently. So, I put most of the money I’d saved for that purchase in my gas tank. I should have enough left to buy a plastic storage box at Chinamart that’s big enough to use for a saw case. I shall see.

I took a completed walking stick, or staff, over to the house of an old high school buddy, the only one that I’m still in touch with from those days. He’s had some knee and ankle problems the last couple years, but he’s trying to wean himself off his cane, so I don’t know how much use he’ll get from the staff. He was on the phone, and I had the missus and the pooch, so I just gave it to his wife and moved on.

Yesterday, I scanned the back of all my antique Christmas, New Years and Valentine cards so I would have the messages preserved, as well as the pictures on the front. Today, I took them to the antique dealer, hoping to sell them. It turns out that the only kind of cards he can sell easily are the ones that show local or regional landmarks of old, like I’ve been selling him (and have yet more to sell). Of course, I scan the backs of them, too. The trip wasn’t a total loss, though. He finally admitted that he could sell them, but for less than half what he could get for the others, so I traded them for a stack of grinding wheels that he’d had sitting around for a while. I think the trade pleased us both.

Sunday, Mom gave me some Christmas decorations to put on the graves of my dad and his parents. I’d planned on putting them on the graves today, rain or no. However, by the time we were leaving town, we all three needed desperately to relieve ourselves, so we skedaddled for home. The graves will have to wait until tomorrow, I guess. Sometimes, ya just gotta do what ya gotta do! © 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Raven Revisited (apologies to Poe)

Today upon a noontime cheery, as I pondered, old and weary
Over many an odd and useless bunch of old-time lore—
While I snoozed, quite nearly gasping, suddenly there came a rasping
As a barn door slowly swinging, swinging in the wind on broken hinge
“’Tis some limb,” I grumbled, “rasping on some rough barked fringe—
“Only that which makes me cringe.”

I’ve seen precious few ravens in my life, none of them in my own neighborhood. I did, indeed, think it was a limb grating on its neighbor when first I heard the rasping sound coming from the woods behind the house. After about the third time, though, I knew it was some living thing, and that left only one option. Sure enough, about that time, the raven flew from its perch, just out of sight, to a new perch, 30 yards before me in the woods. I was in the porch swing and the pooch was on the welcome mat, neither of us moving. Still, the big black bird gave a couple of hoarse croaks and departed. As it flew away, I tried to mimic a hooting barred owl to see if it would come back to fight, but it didn’t. After making a couple large loops over the small hollow before me, it sailed off into the distance, as common crows debated near the opposite horizon.

Having lived so long to see my first one in the neighborhood, I have to wonder—will I see it again, or will I see it nevermore? © 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Visit To The Dentist

The first visit, about a month ago, was just for “inspection” and x-rays, and to try to get us to go along with the new scam that dentists everywhere seem to be into. They give you this huge plan that they want you to agree to, and a credit card application that has almost a guaranteed acceptance. That gives the dentist thousands of dollars up front, while you are then thousands of dollars in debt. We told them that she would choose which teeth got which treatment and that we would pay as we went.

This time, she went to get a tooth filled. I was surprised that she got called back only 15 minutes after her supposed appointment. Fifteen minutes late is EARLY in doctor time! Having once had rheumatic fever, she has to take an anti-biotic BEFORE any treatment. They are very specific that it be taken ONE HOUR before the appointment, yet they never get to her until 1-1/2 to 2 hours after she takes it. Regardless, she didn’t have to wait too long this time. Naturally, when she went back, I was left with some time to kill.

The first thing I did was visit the magazine rack. I had a choice of Good Housekeeping—but I’m not a shemale, Time—but I’m not a brain-dead liberal, Bloomberg Business Weekly—but I’m not a Wall Street type feller, People—but I’m not a brain-dead groupie, and Sports Illustrated—but I’m not interested in reading about black felons being paid more to play boy’s games than the president makes running the country. So, it was back to my chair.

Incidentally, the chair was one of those expensive and respectable-looking torture devices that would neither let you sit up straight nor recline. Though well-padded, it kept me in a constant state of discomfort. Other folks were either attempting unsuccessfully to recline in the chairs, or were sitting on the front edge of their seat leaning forward, as if trying to avoid their chair entirely.

Three of the six were staring at their phones and sometimes flicking the keyboard with their thumbs. One guy was holding a loud conversation on his phone with the volume turned to high (or maybe on speakerphone), so we could hear both ends of the conversation. He appeared to be a construction foreman from his demeanor and subject matter. He apparently noticed me looking at him and shaking my head, since he went outside for the next call. He may be rude, but at least he ain’t stupid.

One of the people waiting was a young black woman. She had one of those strange, lop-sided hairdos that was somewhere between dreadlocks and un-braided corn braids. I always wonder how often and how thoroughly such hairdos get washed. Eventually, the receptionist called out one of those made-up names ending in “asha” that black folks seem so enamored with and the young woman put away her phone and disappeared into the back.

I tried vainly to nap in my torture device but, luckily, about the time I gave up, the missus reappeared and I discovered that it was only an hour since her appointment was supposed to start. She said the lady dentist was good with both the needle and the drill. That was good. Time certainly hadn’t flown for me, though, so I guess I must not have been having fun. The day after Christmas, we get to go back and I’ll wait while she has TWO teeth filled. Oh, joy! © 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Night-Time Porch-Sitting Thoughts And Observations

Despite the cold, I’ve been spending a little time at night on the porch with the Mighty Dachshund. Even she doesn’t want to stay out TOO long, though she can’t resist a few minutes at a time.

The leaves are off the trees enough now that I can see the car headlights dip into the saddle-back out the ridge a ways. It’s probably only 200 yards or so through a corner of our woods but, obviously, it’s not something that I can see during the leafy months. If the car doesn’t reappear in 3-4 seconds, I know that it’s turned over the hill into the housing development. If it does reappear, I know that it will be passing our house in a few more seconds.

From the swing, I see little or no night-time evidence of the young couple who live in the house on the lot we sold his parents years ago. They apparently use different rooms of the house than his parents, so I see no light from the basement family room peeking through our woods. They have a little five-month-old baby boy. I bumped into her at Chinamart recently and she was pleased that I made over him a little. He gave me a big smile when I did.

It’s strange what things that you can go through life not paying any attention to. I’ve always known that the stars move in the night sky, at the same degree to the horizon as the moon, I would think. I’ve always tracked the moon to some degree, but never bothered with the stars. I guess that’s why I was surprised the other night that one bright star to the west moved through four feet of oak tree during our short sit on the porch.

There’s going to be a “super moon” tomorrow night. I’ve never been able to see much difference in them to tell you the truth. It’s a full moon, of course. Something I wonder – If that little sliver of moon is called a new moon, is a full moon rightfully called an “old moon?” I sometimes have profound thoughts like that. © 2017