Saturday, October 31, 2009

Puttin' the biscuit in the basket

If you've been doing as you were told, you've been coming here on a daily basis and checking through my blogroll for updated nuggets, and at least clicking the Ann Coulter link on a weekly basis so some of her brilliance might rub off on you. Something tells me, though, you've been remiss. This is me...telling you. Consider this blog your vital FAVORITES FILE for kick-starting your websurfing. Don't make me come down there.

Case in point, if you haven't visited Miss Coulter's site recently, here's your chance to catch up. Last week, she tried to help the Obamination fit a difficult decision over troop-strength (and honoring the input of his chosen military expert) between rounds of golf:
The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point.

What Obama really needs to do is: Invent a time machine, go back to the 2008 presidential campaign and not say, over and over and over again, that Afghanistan was a "war of necessity" while the war in Iraq was a "war of choice." (Oh, and as long as you're back there, ditch Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett and that gay "school safety" czar.)

The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason.

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 -- or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over "regime change" in Iran in 1979. Both countries -- and others -- gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.

As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. military swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.

By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot.

It's always something with the Muslims. You either have mostly sane people governed by a crazy dictator -- Iraq, Iran and Syria (also California and Michigan) -- or a crazy people governed by relatively sane leaders -- Pakistan and Afghanistan, post-U.S. invasion (also Vermont and Minnesota). There are also insane people ruled by insane leaders (but enough about the House Democratic Caucus). Sane people with sane rulers has not been fully tried yet.
And this week, she (once again) takes Matthews and (my favorite whipping-boy of hers) Olbermann out behind the woodshed. This is Ann going five-hole on Keitheepoo:

Every informed student of the 1988 campaign knows that the Bush ad didn't show Horton's picture. And yet in Keith's discussion of Bush's allegedly vile, racist use of Willie Horton, he used a phony version of the ad, doctored to include a photo of Horton.

I don't blame Keith personally for this blatant distortion: He gets all his research material from Markos Moulitsas and other left-wing bloggers, so he can't be held responsible for the content of his show. Keith's principal contribution to the program is his nightly display of self-congratulation and pompous douche-baggery.

Remember, Keith, like his MSNBC colleague Contessa Brewer, majored in "communications" in college, not a research-related field, such as political science. In his coursework, he learned such skills as: Dramatically Turning to Camera, Hysterical Self-Righteousness, Pausing Portentously and Gravely Demanding Apologies/Resignations From Various Public Figures.

Given this background, it's understandable that Keith will make errors. As viewers witnessed recently, he can't even pronounce the name of prominent American economist and philosopher, Thomas Sowell. (Although he did spend three weeks at a Berlitz course in Arabic honing his pronunciation of "Abu Ghraib" to razor-sharp prissiness.)

The bloggers and Keith bring different skill sets to the game. They provide the tendentious half-truths, phony opinion polls and spurious social science, while Keith provides his booming baritone, gigantic "Guys and Dolls" suits and gift for ridiculous, fustian grandiloquence. Keith is far better equipped than, say, the pint-sized, girly-voiced, Frito Bandito-accented Markos Moulitsas to deliver the party line.

But here's the fly in the ointment: Keith has once again been victimized by left-wing blogs into thinking that the 1988 Bush ad showed Willie Horton's picture, when in fact, Horton's race was deliberately scrubbed from the ad.

Again, in fairness to Keith, he's never been a "content guy." He was a communications major. (The agriculture school Keith attended offered a degree in this field.) He lifts the material for his show from liberal blogs, overwrites it, and throws in his trademark smirking and snorts. But that's all he does because, again, he was a communications major.
When you read Ann Coulter's work (and why don't you have Godless on your nightstand?) you can't help but be better-informed. You'll get a chuckle out of how masterfully she beats down the Ostrich Media, but you'll also glean wisdom worthy of Krauthammer, and likely be a better person for it. The text above represents only a portion of her those weekly essays. Click the respective links for the full articles. Yes, reading is not as effortless as listening to Oprah or The View. But, your time will be much, much more well-spent.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Sports Report

I'm just now getting around to this. What a tough week it was, through Sunday, for sports teams who were unlucky enough to have me rooting for them!

A short sequence that included a holding call that negated a touchdown pass, an interception that crushed another promising drive and the ensuing play where a defender inexplicably slipped, all conspired to upend the Tar Heel football squad's fortunes. A third-quarter, 18-point advantage vaporized, and perhaps with it any confident hopes for bowl eligibility. This one will sting for a long time.

The Hockey-Hurricanes lost two overtime games on the road. Fantastic that they picked up a couple of points for the regulation ties, but both games could have been victories. Those two points that went unearned will prove regrettable come playoff-race time. I can't quite put my finger on it with these guys. Doesn't seem like they're all pulling together, or in the same direction, every night. Not sure if that's coaching or rather a question of all those guys having the same level of want-to each night.

The game that kicked my ass, though, was the Panthers on Sunday. Joke DelHominy just ain't got the grits. He is, by himself, responsible for two losses. Before that game his QB rating was 33rd in the league. Think about that. There were 32 starting QB's better than him and one scrub better than him. If there has ever been the epitome of one game being the proverbial last straw, the scenario Delhomme found himself in Sunday just had to be it: Before this game, he's the worst there is...and he gets even worse by throwing 3 interceptions.

Jake is probably the most likeable guy on the team, and the fact that his teammates rise to his defense is admirable. But, he can't play the position because A) he can't throw the football, and B) he won't throw the ball where only his receiver can catch it (or away).

If he had four wide-receivers named Steve Smith, he'd still manage to screw the pooch at least twice a game. The nuances of being on the same cerebral plane (and how did those two disparate personalities ever acheive that?) are fickle. The ad-libbing that they were sometimes memerizingly great at, just isn't dependable enough to win with any consistancy.

Of course, that makes you wonder what the hell is going on with the coaching staff. Am I the only one that slings the remote across the room after...?
  • Possession One: 3 running plays earn a first down, followed by 2 running plays, then an incomplete pass on third and two, followed by a punt
  • Possession Two: Incomplete pass, incomplete pass, incomplete pass. Punt.

Fox and Davidson have to know this guy is incapable of playing the position. Every defensive coordinator that has ever coached a game is telling his team, "the thing that will win us this game is if we get the Panthers to put the ball in Delhomme's hands. Even if they're successful in their running game, some force of idiocy will inspire them to actually want to throw the ball." Fox/Davidson abandoning the running game (the one thing they're good at) isn't a matter of if, but when.

The O-line is great at run-blocking, but look like the Keystone Kops every pass play. For the love of George Halas, Fox, let them numbnuts do what they're good at! Quit trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

For the past two years, the best quarterback in the state of North Carolina has been Armanti Edwards at Appalachian. That includes all the D-1 schools and the Panthers' entire roster. Here's a revolutionary idea for you: Cut Delhomme immediately (so there's no temptation to revisit that failed experiment) and run the Wildcat exclusively. Take turns letting DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith, and Julius Peppers receive the snap. They may not win any games, but they'd be a lot of fun to watch, contrary to what we're getting now. And before you whine, "...Oh but, once you remove the receiving threat of Steve Smith, defenses will put 10 in the box, and you'll never get anywhere...blah, blah, blah"...consider the fact that Travelle Wharton has a QB-rating roughly the same as Delhomme's. That is, anybody on the team is more threatening to a defense, throwing-arm-wise, that the Bum from Beaux Bridge. Cut him and draft Edwards.

Want one more very good reason to shit-can Jake? Here 'tis: In today's Observer, Tom (worst sportswriter ever) Sorensen offers the headline : Let's give Jake one more shot (I try to never read past his headlines any more, thanks to lots of, ahem, "teachable moments"). Okay Sorensen, but only if that shot is in a 1.5oz glass, in a bar on the way outta town.

My new Panthers cheer: Geaux Jake! And take Sorensen with you!

The only thing I enjoyed for having wasted that much time in front of the TV? Ford Trucks' new commercial that tries to rag on Chevy and Dodge trucks. "Our Ford trucks have Smart Truck technology...they'll help you if you get lost or lose your tools, and they'll provide voice-recognition that helps you play all your favorite lite-rock hits from the 80's. Don't forget our man-step, too!" I'll bet they dump the King Ranch version in favor of a sponsorship arrangement with a beer company that markets their products in cans that change color when the contents are at the appropriate temperature.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A feller you'd like to know

I was immediately convinced post-9/11, that winning a war in Afghanistan was a necessity. And that fighting and winning in Iraq would undoubtedly be necessary, eventually, too. And I also, very quickly, considered the same might hold true for Pakistan and Iran and Yemen and Somalia, because there are people in those places who've been taught the value of blaming and hating us for decades, specifically those young men from the Madrassas. I knew then, and have not changed my thinking since, that our war against terrorism will be an unflinching battle that will take decades, itself. And if we mistakenly elect so-called leaders who vacillate on that point, the real fighting will take that much longer to bear fruit.

And I know how unpopular that notion is: a war on many fronts that lasts longer than a Pocket Fisherman infomercial, and longer than a season of American Idol, and a Presidential term, and a new car, and the birth-to-adulthood generation of your children. But, like it or not, I accepted the truth of the matter. There is a religious war. It was (un)declared on my country and my culture and everyone else who refuses to acknowledge and accept Islam. And, any Muslims who have not yet distanced themselves from their radical brethren aren't just peaceful bystanders. They're along for the ride, and will happily stake a land-claim on your vacated country after you've been routed on your own trail of tears to an infidel's reservation.

I didn't know Uncle Jimbo back then, and have only enjoyed the benefit of his work since launching my own blog (and the ensuing search for like-minded people). He just reposted this video. I like it so well, I'm posting it also.

Here's a hypothetical scenario. Let's say you're a Dakota Sioux American Indian, and people who practice the Religion Of Peace, Christianity, have started murdering other tribes over their unwillingness to conform or assimilate to Christianity. Would you not want to be forewarned of that impending danger? How loudly or authoritatively would you, Miss Dakota Sioux American Indian lady, need to be shaken from your stupor, to pull you away from the Oprah channel long enough to read the smoke signals? Would you suggest that there's plenty of time for someone else to do something to stop those Christians' schemes? Would you just pretend it's just a matter of extending them more tolerance and understanding?

Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Get well soon, Darcy Tucker.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's war, candy-ass, not tiddlywinks

Very briefly, because I'm busy with trying to shake some new clients off the new-client tree, I'd like to relay a measure of rememberance. Today is the 26th Anniversary of those terrorist murders of 241 of our Marines and Sailors in Beirut. To those who gave their lives that day, and those friends and family members who grieve, my eternal gratitude for your willingness to stand in the way of those who wish harm upon my country.

I'm feeling a sadness today, brought on by that memory and the very real fear that our country is being led down a path of vulnerability from which we will not return, or even survive.

For those who would like a photo essay on the difference between a Commander in Chief and a Coward in Chief, please see my friends at Flopping Aces. If you've come to grasp the concept of cause and effect, that is, that leadership (and of course, the lack thereof) has its rewards and consequences, then you'll join me in a prayer of thanks for those in our Military and for effective leadership like President Bush, and another prayer that we survive the current state of our exposed underbelly. Very enlightening, and poignant. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

Anybody else sick of the fact that the current adminstration can orchestrate an effective war on Fox News, but can't man up on the job for which they were elected?

BLOGBURST: Regarding the official construction documents

Construction drawings released: Flight 93 crescent now points less than 3° from Mecca

Blogburst logo, petition

From Error Theory:

The original Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 faced less than 2° from Mecca. That made it a mihrab, the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. (Some mihrabs are pointed-arch shaped, but the classic mihrab is crescent shaped.)

The Park Service dismissed concern about the Mecca-oriented crescent on grounds that the construction drawings had not yet been finalized. “Those trees could move fifty feet, or three hundred feet,” said Project Manager Jeff Reinbold in the Spring of 2006, as if this kind of "tweaking" would make any difference (Crescent of Betrayal Ch.8 p.145-6).

The construction drawings have now been released, and yes, they moved the lower tip of the half-mile wide crescent about 300 feet, enough to change the orientation of the crescent by about 4.5°. Instead of pointing less than 2° north of Mecca, the giant Islamic-shaped crescent now points less than 3° south of Mecca.

Here is the original Crescent of Embrace:

"Qibla" is the direction to Mecca, which you can verify using any online Mecca-direction calculator (just type in Somerset PA). A person standing between the tips of the giant crescent and facing into the center of the crescent (red arrow) would be facing 1.8° north of Mecca, ± 0.1°.

Here is one of the new construction drawings:

Instead of facing a titch north of Mecca, the giant crescent now faces a titch south of Mecca (2.7° south ± 0.1°).

As with the original Crescent design, the upper crescent tip is the end of the 50’ tall Entry Portal Wall and the lower crescent tip is the last of the 50’ tall Maple trees on the bottom. The landscape overlays make the details hard to see in the thumbnail image above, but at full resolution they are fully legible. (Copy of source PDF, without the superimposed orientations lines here. Large file warning. Graphic is on p. 30 of 233.)

The Park Service was SUPPOSED to remove the Islamic symbol shapes

When architect Paul Murdoch’s winning Crescent of Embrace design was announced in September 2005, it appeared to show a bare naked Islamic crescent and star-flag planted atop the crash site:

Burned by the resulting firestorm of protest, the Park Service to agreed to get rid of the Islamic symbol shapes, but they never did. They added an extra arc of trees, and they call it a broken circle now, but the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is still a giant Islamic shaped crescent.

This is explained on the Park Service's own website, where the extra arc of trees is explicitly described as a broken off part of the circle:
In summary, the memorial is shaped in a circular fashion, and the circle is symbolically "broken" or missing trees in two places, depicting the flight path of the plane, and the crash site.
Those two breaks are the two ends of the extra arc of trees:

The extra arc of trees extends from blue circle to blue circle, marking the two “breaks” in the circle referred to in the Park Service’s official explanation of the broken-circle design. One is where the flight path breaks the circle (left), the other is near the crash site (center).

What is symbolically left standing (the unbroken part of the circle) is just this:

Remove the symbolically broken off parts, and you get the original Crescent of Embrace design.

The only change is that the crescent has now been rotated clockwise a few degrees. In the construction plans it faces slightly south of Mecca instead of slightly north of Mecca. For a parallel, imagine airline security discovering a terror bomber, then playing with the fit his suicide vest before escorting him to his plane.

They said they were going to remove the giant crescent. They claim they HAVE removed it, but they haven't. Symbolically, the design remains completely unchanged. The terrorists are still depicted as smashing our peaceful circle and turning it into a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.

The giant crescent is actually a mihrab

Here is the mihrab at the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain. Face into the crescent to face Mecca, just like the crescent memorial to Flight 93:

Confronted with evidence that the Crescent of Embrace is actually designed to be the world's largest mosque, the Park Service sought advice from a pair of Muslim scholars. Both acknowledged the almost exact Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent and both offered overtly dishonest excuses for it. One said not to worry about the likeness to an Islamic mihrab because no one has ever seen a mihrab this BIG before:
...most mihrabs are small, rarely larger than the figure of a man, although some of the more ornamental ones can be larger, but nothing as large at the crescent found in the site design. It is unlikely that most Muslims would walk into the area of the circle/crescent and see a mihrab because it is well beyond their limit of experience.
Right. That's why everybody scratches their head at Mt. Rushmore. No one has ever seen Abraham Lincoln so BIG before. They just can't figure it out.

To be fooled by this excuse, you have to really really want to be fooled. The other Muslim scholar said not to worry, the crescent cannot be seen as mihrab unless it points exactly at the Kaaba:
Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.
In fact, a mihrab does NOT have to point exactly at Mecca, for the simple reason that, throughout most of Islamic history, Muslims in far-flung parts of the world had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. As a result, it was established as a matter of religious principle that what matters is intent to face Mecca. This was recently affirmed by Saudi religious authorities, after Meccans realized that even most of their local mosques do not face directly towards the Kaaba. “It does not affect the prayers” assured the Islamic Affairs Ministry.

Faced with evidence of an Islamic plot, why would the Park Service send this evidence exclusively to Muslims for appraisal? Have they forgotten who attacked us on 9/11?

The Service has long since been apprised of the patent dishonesties retailed by its two Muslim advisors but they don't care. They wanted to be lied to, they knew where to go to be lied to, and they got what they wanted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Proud infidel refuses to submit to allah

The Crescent of Insult Project Marches On

Can you imagine the justifiable horror if 19 Baptists plotted against and killed 2996 citizens of, say, Yemen?

And, how much worse would it be if somehow some radical Baptist-sympathying element in Yemen then also tried to commission a structure to memorialize the victims and the killers, and submitted a design resembling a giant baptismal font? Yemeni-friendly folks the world over (not to mention more than a few non-Baptists) would have a colossal bug up their collective butt. And every (ahem!) journalist from Taterhill to Timbuktu would be climbing over each other for their own version of the "local angle."

Paul Murdoch, architect from Beverly Hills, CA was responsible for the design of the Flight 93 Memorial project, originally named "The Crescent of Embrace." His unadmitted goal is to complete the mission of those four terrorists, which would have been otherwise thwarted by the efforts by the passengers aboard Flight 93: a victory for islamic terrorism.

On September 11, 2001, United Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field, after some of its passengers, who had been in cell-phone communication with loved ones on the ground and being informed of the recently attacked World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, decided to die fighting, if necessary, trying to divert this plane from the fourth target.

Paul Murdoch received his Master's Degree in Architecture from UCLA specializing in Middle Eastern subjects. His website has this to say regarding their philosophy:

As architects, we are uniquely qualified to help formulate and translate policy into tangible form; mitigating pressures of urbanity with the need to heal the natural environment. Each design solution is seen as a contribution to the human condition; as it exists today and evolves into future generations.
What a steaming pile of runny post-TexMex! "Uniquely qualified to formulate and translate policy"? "Heal the natural environment"? As if the natural environment is flawed, or sick? You're a doctor for the blighted land, or maybe a faith healer? This all sounds way too self-important to me. They're also self-affirmed LEED professionals, which stands for "forced subjugation to climate-warming-hoax mania as a method to justify our inflated fees under the guise of a perceived 'greater collective good'" Murdoch and his gang are a bunch or modern-day Ellsworth Tooheys.

If the memorial gets built as it is currently designed, and you go visit there someday to pay your respects to those 40 heroes, you will be standing in a Mosque. Your intention may be to honor the Americans who died in the first battle against islamic terrorism, but you would be unwittingly paying homage to the murderers.

At right, you'll see a picture of the Tower Of Voices, which is also in the shape of a crescent, and which is also a sundial that accurately marks the time for a muslim's afternoon prayers.

The forty chimes in the tower are representative of 40 damned souls suspended in mockery from Heaven. After all, those 40 passengers kept the terrorists from becoming martyrs and are infidels to Murdoch and other muslim sympathizers.

The best way to make sure that the worst that can happen does happen, is to sit there and do nothing to stop it. For my part, I will speak out in opposition, and encourage others to do likewise.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You can't eat your principles

I declined the biggest project I've ever been offered.

Tuesday, October 6

I suspect that this post may evolve into a small series of essays, as it takes here would be the first installment...

Today, I sent an email to a potential client, declining work whereupon he'd asked me to quote my services. I've never turned down work, so this was a first.

Since shortly before the 2008 election, the trickle of work to my business had dried up. I had a little ray of sunshine in March, which I'd hoped was a trend of better days to come, but proved to be only a blip on the radar screen. In about a three-week span this March, I got 5 projects to work on. I performed the work on all of them, and all but one of those clients paid me. Since that time, however, and until the last week of August, there was nothing.

Then, some of my tireless marketing efforts began to bear fruit. I got a project in NH (which I'm still fighting to get paid for), then two more in PA, then two in TX, and two more in Texas...and then I got a reply from another company in PA, to which I had sent a request that they consider my company to fill a void in their estimating workforce. They'd like me to look at a job called "The Flight 93 Memorial."

On my blogger profile, I say that my profession is "Dirt Counter", but more specifically, I perform quantities analysis on construction projects, some of them very large. A client sends me the paper plans and/or an AutoCAD file, and I analyze the proposed finished product versus the existing "lay-of-the-land" and calculate the amount of earthwork involved. Those people I work for, then apply their own costs and profit margins to the amount of work required, and bid (or negotiate) the construction contract. I invested thousands of dollars on the software to process these calculations, and thousands of hours making individual contact with potential clients. I've helped my clients win projects in New York, Delaware, Florida, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and New Hampshire. I've introduced over 4000 different companies (one at a time) to my services and abilities.

This year, I've barely fended off the collections and foreclosures, and lived mostly on favors from family. So, it is particularly hard to reject work, any work, for any reason. For most of my projects, the invoices range from $450 -$1,000, but for this one, as I looked it over (238 plans sheets) my proposal would have been $5800. But this morning, I sent the following note to my would-be client declining to perform the work. Names changed for the purpose of guarding their anonymity...


I truly wanted to win your company's takeoff business, but I think I should politely decline this project. Based on what I had read before Mr. ["Smith"] asked me to consider doing this work, and the research I've done in the brief time since, the nature of the memorial's design is a personal affront to me as a patriotic American.

I view those people who died trying to retake control of Flight 93 as heroes for having diverted the plane from a fourth symbolic target. And I suspect that the symbolic weight of the memorial's resemblance to an islamic mosque is the architect's complicity in finishing that mission.

It is fair to say that, "if I do not do this work, someone else will..." But, I do not accept that as validation for contributing to what I feel is a heinous perversion. Perhaps that is your company's rationale for bidding the work. Or perhaps, without the architect's proven or confessed intent, someone involved in the execution of the work (like you or me) can always claim ignorance regarding the design's symbolism. Apparently you and your company have found some justification for proceeding, but I can't square it in my own heart. If the symbolism were reflective of the Jewish Star of David or even the Dallas Cowboys' star, I'd have no reservations at all. I've read that unprompted muslims viewing the artistic rendering immediately identify the drawing as a mosque. That's enough for me.

And for me, it is no less sinister than the notion of chiseling out Teddy Roosevelt's face on Mt. Rushmore to be replaced by Bin Laden's, in an effort to appease the terrorists and those who would do harm to me and my countrymen.

Please, if you have better information than I do, I urge you to share it. The project is more grand in scope than any on which I've worked before, and I'd cherish the opportunity to contribute to something worthy of the victims' sacrifice.

Lastly, I apologize for dragging my feet on this response. I wrestled with my conscience over the decision, and finally came to the conclusion that I'd rather go hungry than abandon my principles. I would say good luck on the job, but if I'm right, I hope your company similarly walks away from it, and it doesn't get built according to it's current design. Personally, if it only takes one person saying "No!" to keep it from happening, then I'll be proud to make that financial sacrifice.

Witness photos of the plans on my digitizing table...

There were a number of articles I had read before being asked to help with the project, but I hadn't exactly bookmarked any of them, and had to try and retrace my steps from memory. Like so many things we read, my initial reaction on reading them was that there was no way such a design would pass scrutiny through to the implementation stage. But it looks like I was as naive as everyone else on this point.

My research on this included the National Parks website, CNN's reportage (sorely uncritical, as you might imagine), and fellow bloggers:

The offensively named "Crescent" has been re-labeled "Allee" and the original design, reported to have included 44 glass blocks (40 of them for the passengers plus four for the terrorists!) has evolved into forty "STONE SLABS WITH NAME INSCRIPTIONS" instead.

More on this soon. Construction is slated to begin within one month...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend adventures

I awoke Friday morning with the first symptoms of what I'll call the Flying Pig Flu. So named because I never get often as pigs fly...and reminiscent of the recent health scares they've been warning you about: the bird flu and then the swine flu. In spite of a sore throat, I finished a new project for a new client (woo-hoo!) then got out and did a very pleasant trail ride from near the house.These first three pix are a semi-panorama from above and behind (about 700 yards) mi casa. Click for enlargement.

The leaf colors are just beginning to change, and should really be popping into all their fall glory in the next 3-4 weeks.

Our ride was to Barrett's Mountain, which is about 90 degrees clockwise from this view. My grandfather used to take his family, which included my Dad's family of six and my aunt's family of six for a tractor ride (pulling a flatbed sled for all of us to ride on) every summer...before there was any pavement on the mountian. Actually, I'm not sure the youngest of my siblings and cousins ever got to make this ride, since Pa passed away when I was about 9. I barely remember it, myself.

I'm pretty sure we took a watermelon or three. I definitely remember Pa, though, and how much he loved it. I can see his big smile now, like it was yesterday.
Speaking of family, on Saturday we got to spend the day helping to make molasses. On the trailer there, you'll see some very juicy sugar-cane. So juicy, in fact, that we had a hefty surplus after getting the boiler full. See if you can identify the "Cane Boss" in the above photo.

The molasses as it begins cooking.

Cane Boss-in-training studies the nuances of cane-steam...mesmorized by their hypnotic dance. Photographer mesmorized by cane-boss-in-training.

Dont' ask when it's ready. The cane will tell you when it's ready.

The dinner-bell rang for some venison-shoulder stew. Best ever. The cook is an absolute master.

It's been said that unless you spill some (over-heat and boil it over the top), that it won't be any good. Well, we had a tiny amount of spillage, but no over-boil. Gas heat is the way to go. Used to be, cooking with a wood fire below the vat, if you got it too hot and it boiled over, you'd have to "pull the fire out", and in a by-god hurry. Many a caner got scorched by the overflowing lava of molasses.

One-quart jar of the finished about a cure for what ails ya...