Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bad, bad stuff


Maria was jonesing for a gas station slushie the other night so we drove down to the Brookland Citgo.

We found ourselves waiting in line behind a young woman in her early 20s who was obviously tweaking on meth as she danced around snatching up a bag of chips and some other stuff and fumbling with her wallet to pay.

The cashier noticed the woman’s behavior too and commented after she left that her (the cashier’s) brother had been hooked on meth for a time, but finally got clean.

Meth is some evil shit.

Monday, January 30, 2012

They’re back

We live in a small wooded subdivision that is built out, except for the lot that borders our north property line.

That lot is mostly wooded and slopes down to a small creek. The contours of the property and the drainage have assured it was the least desirable lot in the subdivision and thus the last to be developed.

The other neighbor whose property borders on the unsold lot and we share theJMF_5173c opinion that we like it wooded and undeveloped. We’ve both toyed with the idea of buying the lot to make sure it stays that way, but haven’t pursued the idea.

That may change.

A young couple parked their GMC extended cab pickup truck at the end of the cul-de-sac (in front of our house) last Thursday afternoon and the guy got out and poked around the woods.

They were back again today. This time she arrived in a Nissan Murano SUV and he in the pickup truck. He pulled blue overalls over his dress slacks and put on boots and headed into the woods with a big surveyor’s tape. The wife followed, gingerly making her way through the underbrush and briars.

They look to be late 20s, early 30s, young professionals. She is pregnant.

They seemed to spend most the time exploring the area farthest from our property and bang up against the neighbor’s cleared back yard. It’s the highest ground on the lot and the most logical place to build a house.

My biggest concern is that they won’t build to the standards set by us and the two other families on our cul-de-sac – quality houses with brick veneer – and will instead throw up some crappy structure with hideous vinyl siding. We already have a couple of houses like that in the subdivision and don’t want another.

It occurs to me that it would probably be a good investment to buy the lot to protect our property value and to sweeten the deal if and when we want to sell.

We shall see.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another killer deal on Westward Ho dinnerware

Having had several bad experiences with U.S. Postal Service gorillas breaking delicate items, I’ve been sweating it out since Monday afternoon when I won the eBay auction for these four Wallace China Boots & Saddle dinner plates.
Even though they were indifferently packed and not marked “Fragile,” they arrived this morning in perfect condition.
I got the four for $90.77 ($22.69 each) plus shipping, which I consider a killer deal, especially since my dear Maria once paid considerably more than that for a single Boots & Saddle plate for a Christmas present for me. I guess she really likes me.
The same plate sells for an insanely overpriced $179.95 from Replacements Ltd.
I’ve resumed my long-suspended Wallace China collecting after discovering I didn’t have as much cowboy dinnerware as I thought I did. We hosted friend Susan and her two little foster daughters for dinner a few weeks ago and I trotted out all of my Wallace stuff, noticing that I barely had enough for five place settings.
I continue to be amazed that the original Wallace Westward Ho series is selling cheaper than the repro dinnerware made by True West, who bought the copyrights for the Westward Ho series after Wallace went out of business and was bought by Shenango China Co. in 1964.
The Westward Ho line, which includes Boots & Saddle, Rodeo, Pioneer Trails, and Longhorn patters, features the work of Western artist Till Goodan. Boots & Saddle and Rodeo stuff is characterized by borders of cattle brands. The Westward Ho dinnerware was introduced in 1945, the year of my birth, and I first encountered it during the summer of 1955 in restaurants in South Dakota and Wyoming when my parents took me to Yellowstone National Park.
(There is also a Chuckwagon series, but the graphics are crude and don’t reflect the Till Goodan style, so I have no interest in collecting Chuckwagon stuff.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breakfast at Panera

mepanera I’m enjoying an Asiago cheese bagel and a mocha cappuccino for breakfast at the new Panera restaurant.

So far, I’ve identified two electrical outlets near dining tables – one of which I’m using right now to power my netbook. Not having outlets wouldn’t have been a deal-breaker, but it’s a relief to see I don’t have to run on battery power here.

As much as I love driving my old ‘94 Honda del Sol, I have to admit it’s a beater and I’m eager to get my Lexus SUV back from the body shop. I have no illusions that I’ll see the Lexus this week since there’s painting involved. I haven’t decided what to do about the del Sol. I guess I need to look at what it will cost me to keep it plated and insured versus how much fun I’ll get from driving it once convertible weather arrives.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Side yard trailcam update

I checked the SD memory card on my Bushnell trailcam yesterday afternoon and found a few decent videos of deer, including this clip of two bucks in a brief dispute over the pile of corn, but the card was filled with nearly 1,000 blank files – cases where the camera was triggered but failed to record anything.

This is my second trailcam from Bushnell, being a replacement for one that had a malfunctioning power switch, and I’m running out of patience with this company.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Almost like being back in Indiana

paneraWe took advantage of an invitation last night to attend the soft opening of the new Panera Bread bistro on Stadium Boulevard.

We first encountered Panera in Carmel, Ind., several years ago and were absolutely giddy when we learned the St. Louis-based chain was coming to Jonesboro.

I had my favorite – the Asiago Roast Beef sandwich – and it was almost like being back home again in Indiana.

Asiago Roast Beef - Oven-roasted beef, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions & creamy horseradish sauce, on our Asiago Cheese Demi.

Some of our Arkansas friends seemed a bit puzzled by the fare, but I expect they’ll warm up to it.

Panera has free Wifi and once things settle down after the official grand opening tomorrow, I may make it my official morning coffee and Internet stop. It’s more like home to me than Seattle Grind.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Senior cords–Unique to Indiana?

cordscopyThe back of a Speedway (Ind.) High School senior’s cords, class of 1962.
Pegged pants were in fashion back in the late 1950s, when I was in junior high school and the first few years of high school.
No purchase of jeans or slacks at Clifford’s clothing store on the courthouse square in Delphi, Ind., was complete unless they were turned over to the store seamstress, Lurine Rider, to have the legs tapered below the knee. The idea was to get the cuff so tight you could barely get your foot through it. In some cases, guys had zippers installed in the inseams.
That got me to thinking about senior cords – the yellow corduroy pants and skirts worn by high school seniors in those days. As nearly as I can tell, senior cords have gone in and out of fashion in Indiana high schools for the better part of the 20th century. The practice in earlier years was to decorate them with images and words, sometimes kinda racy and lewd.
By the time I became a senior (1963-63 school year), the principal had banned graffiti on senior cords in school, so we were obliged to wear plain yellow cords to show our upperclassman status. Some of my peers, however, had a set of cords painted for wear to ball games and other extracurricular events.
Searching for images of senior cords with Google, I find only pictures from Indiana. Since Delphi is less than 20 miles from Purdue University, where the concept of yellow senior cords is believed to have arisen (Purdue’s colors are black and gold), it seems likely that senior cords may be unique to Indiana.
What the Purdue Reamer Club says about the origin of Boilermaker senior cords:
In the fall of 1904, two seniors noticed a sample of corduroy in the window of Taylor and Steffen’s and decided to have a pair of trousers made out of it. Other seniors liked them so much that the next year they were adopted as the official garb of the senior class. Only the seniors were allowed to wear them, and they made sure that underclassmen did not take over this fashion. Along with the cords, the seniors also wore derbies and carried bamboo canes. Freshmen often tried to steal these items and if they succeeded they defaced them. The freshmen, however, did give them back to the seniors by the first football game, where the seniors marched with them in the senior parade. During the first game, the seniors would throw their derbies after the first touchdown or at the end of the game if no touchdowns were scored.
Senior Cords have come and gone over the years. Recently they have found their way back into the more common traditions of Purdue University. In the fall of 1999, approximately 12 student organizations have begun to bring back Senior Cords, which they wear to the home football games. As was tradition, cords are to be decorated with marker or paint. They are marked with the student’s major and graduation date as well as any student organizations one has been involved with. Many seniors use various patches to cover the cords and include depictions of their favorite Purdue icons.
I thought about writing a more comprehensive piece about senior cords, but discovered that Deborah Curtis Drummy beat me to it with this splendid overview she wrote for the Vigo County Historical Society in Terre Haute:
The year is 1962, the place the hallowed halls of Garfield High School.  The girls are wearing raccoon-collared coats, Liz Taylor and Ben Casey blouses; the boys wear pegged pants, white socks and Cords-adletter jackets.
The fads will last a few seasons, as fashions generally do.  But take a look through that year’s “Benedictus,” Garfield’s yearbook, and you’ll see a more extreme fashion which reigned as tradition in area schools for at least 20 years; “Senior cords continue to be the accepted fad for the ‘big wheels,’ the seniors, as they proudly don brightly-painted senior cords, symbols of their arrival at senior status.
The year 1963 “Scarabaeus,” Gerstmeyer High School’s yearbook, offers a similar observation:  “No one knows exactly when or where the idea of senior cords began, but . . the fad soon took hold at Gerstmeyer.”
A search through the 1950s and 1960s yearbooks at the Vigo County Public Library show evidence of the tradition at most other area schools, including Wiley High School, West Terre Haute High School, West Vigo High School, State Laboratory High School, Blackhawk High School, and for one year at least, Terre Haute South Vigo High School.
The 1972 South Vigo cords in the collection at the museum were donated by Gregg Reynolds.  The cords appear to be the carryover of a long-held (1951-1971) tradition of Garfield senior class presidents passing on cords painted with each president’s name and year.  Reynolds, who was sophomore and junior class president at Garfield during that school’s last two years, became president of South Vigo’s first senior class.  His senior cords seem to be a last hurrah to Garfield tradition.
Several accounts also have been made of seniors at Purdue University wearing painted cords, and there is reason to speculate, given the tendency of high schoolers to imitate their college elders, that the tradition may have trickled down to this area via Purdue.
Talks with baby boomers from various parts of the country–Nebraska, Colorado, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island–suggest that the tradition may have been very Midwestern, perhaps even centered mostly in Indiana.
What exactly were painted cords, and what were the traditions surrounding them?
Painted cords were brightly painted corduroy skirts and trousers worn by senior high school students.  Senior cords were yellow as a rule and were worn only by seniors.
Underclassmen wore cords of their own colors:  freshmen wore green, sophomores pink or red, and juniors light blue.  Underclassmen were not allowed to paint their cords, and anyone bold enough to show up at school breading that rule faced the real possibility of having their garment forcibly removed and raised on the school flagpole.
Seniors could wear their cords plain or decorated.  The decorations can best be described as personalized graffiti.  Popular comic book heroes of the day–Denise the Menace, Daffy Duck, Alfred E. Neuman, Snoopy–showed their bright faces from the seats of skirts and trousers.
Other graffiti represented personal data–nicknames, boyfriends, girlfriends–and school activities, both academic and extra-curricular; chemistry flasks, thespian masks, sports symbols, National Honor Society emblems or music symbols.  School identification and status appeared on every example seen:  graduation year, school name, mascot, school colors.
Humor inevitably crept into the artwork, some it bordering on the objectionable.  The girls tended toward the tame, with skunks painted across the seat of their skirts or “one-hour parking only.”
The boys tended to test the limits of good taste a little more rigorously. At my school one boy wore a pair of 1966 trousers with the words “Spanish Fly” painted across the crotch, and another wore a pair of 1967 trousers with the words “Slippery When Wet” painted down the front of one leg.  Rumor said both those seniors had to get dean approval before wearing the cords in school, which they apparently received.
The quality of artwork on the painted cords varied tremendously, ranging from crudely hand-lettered names done all in black, to professional quality designs in a rainbow of colors.
Evelyn Roberts, a teacher in Indiana schools during the cord years, remembers students coming to her house and paying a token $3 to $5 for her artistic renderings.  She recalls painting class rings, mascots, club emblems and symbols representing class trips, such as cherry blossoms to indicate a trip to Washington, D.C.
The most frequently repeated sentiments are the wistful regrets of those who failed to save their painted cords.  Imagine the quantity of folk art torn into rags and used to wash the family car!
Another frequently expressed wish made by women was that they could still fit into those size 8 skirt waistbands.  One 1959 Wiley grad very proudly wore her cords to her 25th class reunion in 1984, observing that only a few others managed to do the same.
So what led to the demise of such a colorful and long-held custom?  It’s a question posed to many of the people who shared their memories of painted cords.
The answers have been similar:  “It got old.”  “They just got tired of it.”  “Something new must have come along.”
Something new certainly came along, and the “something” was a whole new way of looking at the world.  The year 1968 seems to have been the turning point–the year of assassinations, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Democratic convention in Chicago, women’s liberation, flower power, our brothers’ backyard war games being played for real in distant jungles for reasons they didn’t even understand.
At any rate, the tradition of senior cords came and went in the Wabash Valley, and just as no one knows exactly when or where the idea of senior cords began, “no one knows exactly when or where” the idea made the inevitable transition from tradition to history.

Weekend catch-up

325309_10150595493991005_614296004_11244375_1172186370_oWe had a delightful brunch yesterday with Indiana friend Jim Shillings at Boscos in Memphis.
Jim’s company sends him to their facilities in Olive Branch, Miss. occasionally. We had hoped to hook up when he was there in December, but finally made it happen yesterday. Even after four years here, our intimate social circle is pretty small and he and his wife Lauri are among our closest friends so it was a time for fun, witty, edgy conversation.
A powerful storm front swept through last night, spawning large hail and tornadoes in the southeast part of the state, but it only amounted to torrential rain and winds at our house. The power went out about 9:40. It didn’t bother Maria as she continued reading her novel on her Kindle Fire. I played a word game on my iPod for another half hour or so before we hit the sack. We were awakened about 12:30 a.m. when the power came back on, waking the dogs and inspiring them to want some backyard time.
I was up at 6:45 a.m. today to get the Lexus to the body shop by 7:30 to repair the rear-end damage done while on vacation in Indiana three weeks ago today. They’ll probably take a week to get everything sorted out. I’ll miss it, but with the del Sol and two motorcycles, I’ll stay mobile.
I watched Fox and Friends on Fox News while waiting for Maria to pick me up at the body shop and was startled to see longtime Carmel (Ind.) Mayor Jim Brainard in a remote panel discussion about unemployment along with the mayors of Fresno, Calif., and Mesa, Ariz. He sounded pretty thoughtful and reasonable this morning, although I came away puzzled that he was speaking in front of a background shot of London, featuring the Thames River, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. It certainly didn’t look anything like Carmel. I exchanged emails with him Tuesday morning and learned he's in London working to attract British businesses to Indiana and Carmel.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Family history

hinkle discharge

Today’s mail brought a pleasant surprise – a family document I thought had been lost.

My ex said she found it while going through papers concerning her family and thoughtfully returned it to me.

It’s the receipt given my great-uncle Anthony Hinkle on July 11, 1897 when he bought his discharge from the U.S. Army for $100, as was the custom in those days. He was a private serving at Port Townsend, Wash. at the time.

I earlier published his Army sharpshooter certification.

Anthony married my mother’s paternal aunt Daisy Dietz. He was a rural mail carrier in Cass County, Ind., and died in 1930 at the age of 63. Daisy died in 1970 at the age of 91.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three bucks

I dumped about 20 pounds of corn and a 50 pound salt block closer to the trailcam over the weekend and got this splendid footage of three bucks around midnight Sunday.

Kodak files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

kodak brownie

Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning.

Like most photographers who got started before the digital photography resolution, I used a lot of Kodak film

My first camera was a little Brownie Holiday Flash like the one in the photo. My first camera is long gone, but I found this on on eBay a few years ago. It takes 127 film and yields 4x6 prints.

My parents bought it for me in the summer of 1955 when we went to kodakYellowstone National Park.

Over the years, I’ve used Kodak 4x5 sheet film in cumbersome old Speed Graphics and miles and miles of Kodak Tri-X black and white film. I used so much Tri-X in my Pentax Spotmatics that I found it cheaper to buy it in 100-foot rolls and load my own reusable 35mm cassettes with a bulk loader. I used to process and print my own black-and-white images but relied on commercial processors to develop and print the stuff I shot on Kodachrome and Ektachrome.

I switched to Fuji and Agfa color films in the 1990s because I wanted more color saturation than I could get from Kodak films.

Kodak partnered with Nikon in the mid-1990s to produce the first real digital SLR, but somehow they failed to exploit their early digital advantage.

Chapter 11 doesn’t necessarily mean the company is done for. Kodak may emerge as a leaner, more competitive company once the reorganization is complete.

I hope they’re around for awhile. I just bought a Kodak copier/printer a couple of months ago and would hate to have to retire it prematurely for lack of ink cartridges.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Damn! A cold!

red nose[6]

After several months of good health, I find myself fighting a head cold.

My biggest concern with these things is that they shift to my chest and leave me coughing long after all of the other symptoms have left.

Encouraged by the way hemp seed oil alleviated my sore throat and throat swelling, I’ve continued to gargle and swallow hemp seed oil first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

And I’m taking maximum doses of Benadryl to try to dry up my head.

The upshot is that I feel very sleepy, but I hope I can slow the advance of the cold enough to let my immune system get on top of it before it turns into a chest cold.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hemp oil sore throat relief

hemp[4] I went to bed with a little upper chest congestion and the vague feeling I was coming down with a cold.

I awoke about 2:30 a.m. with the most painful sore throat I can remember, the result of sinus or post nasal drainage. I gave it a couple of shots of Cepacol throat spray and two aspirin and managed to get back to sleep, but it was even worse when I woke up again at 6:30.

Remembering claims that hemp oil alleviates pain and reduces swelling – my throat was so swollen that it felt like I was being choked and it was hard to speak – I padded out to the kitchen, got the hemp oil bottle out of the refrigerator and gargled and swallowed a big slug of the stuff.

The pain was gone inside of 20 minutes and now – about two hours later – the swelling has receded.

Would I have had the same results with olive oil coating my throat and protecting the tissues from the irritation of drainage? Maybe, but I think this goes beyond simple protective coating.

All I know is that I was ready to take my wife’s advice and report for morning sick call at our doctor’s office to get a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling and now I’m almost completely recovered.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Horrible, nasty, syrupy sweet wine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe drive over to Mr. T’s Riverside, just across the state line in Missouri, every now and then to raid their clearance wine selection.

Most of the time we find good, but underappreciated wines marked down to $5 a bottle.

The selection was sparse this time and the only red wine they had was Augusta River Valley Red “Missouri Table Wine.”

The Missouri origin should have been the tipoff. We bought a bottle of blackberry wine made my a local Missouri winery back in November when we were en route to Carthage, Mo. to buy a puppy. It was syrupy sweet and undrinkable.

Not wanting to stereotype Missouri wines, I imagined this “Missouri Table Wine” would be tasty, yet dry – kind of like a Chianti – so I bought three bottles of it.

I removed the twist-off cap from one bottle and poured a glass as soon as we got home.


It was sweet, nasty-sweet like the Mogen David swill my mother used to drink.

So until I get proof to the contrary, I’m going to assume all Missouri wines are undrinkably sweet and put Missouri on my wine boycott list along with France.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cheddar’s–good food, insanely slow kitchen



We drove into town this morning intent on a late breakfast and some grocery shopping.

It was about 11:35 a.m. when we decided to try the new Cheddar’s Casual Café that opened a couple of months ago. We’ve cruised the parking lot a couple of times previously, but decided the place was too crowded for immediate seating.

This morning was no exception. The foyer was jammed with people, mostly families, waiting to be seated in the absurdly noisy main dining area and the wait to be seated was estimated at 20 minutes.

Learning there was immediate seating in the bar, we found a table there and waited for someone to notice us. A pleasant waitress came around after about 10 minutes and took our orders – two three-cheese hickory burgers. Then began about a 40-minute wait for our food, a wait that I considered intolerable.

The burgers were excellent when they finally showed up, but the damage was done. It will be a long time before I let the Cheddar’s kitchen waste my time again. I didn’t blame the waitress because she has no control over kitchen efficiency and tipped her the standard 20%.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wildlife in the side yard

Bushnell sent me a new trailcam after the one I bought last spring crapped out.

I set it up facing the woods in our side yard on Jan. 6 and pulled the SD memory card this afternoon to see what we had.

We got lots of footage of a group of four does helping themselves to the pile of corn I put out for them. Also at least three bucks, one of them a six- or eight-pointer.

But I think the most interesting sequence is this one where the four does hear a coyote sneaking up on them and head for cover.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Water wars


This is the dog watering station I bought shortly after we arrived in Arkansas four years ago. It served us well until Jack the Aussie pup decided it was a dog toy and started knocking the 2.75 gallon jug off of the stand and batting it around the back porch, dumping the water in the process.

It only took about a week of this abuse to crack the jug. This destroys its ability to hold the water in place by vacuum and causes the water to overflow the feeding bowl until the jug is empty.

Dogs need ready access to water, so I went to Petco in search of a replacement. I found this Petmate Replendish waterer with a 4 gallon jug with a bayonet locking mechanism that secures the jug to the stand.


Since a pint of water weighs a pound and there are eight pints to a gallon, the filled jug weighs a hefty 32 pounds. Twist-locked into place, it should withstand the battering of a four-month-old Australian shepherd puppy, I reckoned.

I reckoned wrong. Even though Jack is just a tick over 30 pounds, he had the jug detached and emptied within 10 minutes of its debut on the back porch. I didn’t witness the actual deed. The first clue I had that something was amiss was when I heard the jug being bounced around on the concrete. How in the hell a 30-pound puppy can defeat a waterer that outweighs him is a mystery, but I think it has a lot to do with him being an Aussie.

So the new waterer has been moved into the back hallway, just inside the back door and I’ve taken to refilling the base of the old waterer from a pitcher a few times a day in the hope that Jack will settle down and realize that dumping his water results in unquenched thirst.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reagan proves, once again, that a good joke is based on a truth

Too good to be true? We’ll see


A friend who has a dog with health problems visited over the weekend and was lamenting the fact that drug laws make it illegal to make healing oil from the marijuana plant.

I did some online research and found there are several quite legal purveyors of hemp oil, which is expressed from the seeds of the non-psychoactive hemp plant.

The brand that caught my eye is Nutiva, which has a 4½ out of 5-star rating from Amazon.com customers and tons of impressive reviews. Here are some examples:

    • I am already feeling the benefits as I have colon cancer, and the Hemp oil has helped regulate my system and kept my energy levels up.
    • I've been able to drastically diminish the affects of my asthma. I was using 4 puffs a day on my inhalers and now my down to a couple of puffs a week. Omega 3s decrease inflammation, which is the source of many of the health problems we have today from asthma, arthritis, and even depression.
    • I bought this product because my fiancée has irritable bowel syndrome and always has painful bowel movements accompanied with nausea. After using this for a week I saw instant results! He is feeling so much better and looks healthier! This is better than any of the medicines that were prescribed.
    • Stuff cures many things. Unlike other reviewers, we find the taste DISGUSTING - tastes like you would expect grass clippings to taste, flying out of your lawn mower. But that does not matter. One daughter caught foliculitis. Hemp oil cured it. (Applied externally, and taken internally.) One son caught a nasty MRSA staph infection at the local school gym. Doc put him on antibiotics, which ultimately failed to cure the problem. After that, we tried hemp oil, and it worked - quickly. (Again - internal and external applications, several times a day.) Experience seems to be that we all need more oil, not less, as long as it is good oil, like this.
    • I suffer from Rosacea, which for me, is basically a bumpy rash on my face that burns and itches simultaneously (and looks hideous). I heard that Hemp Oil could help, and for the price was willing to try anything. What I found was astonishing! It was instantly soothing and much of the rash cleared up overnight. It's also a light, non-greasy moisturizer that doesn't make the rest of my skin break out. I have spent hundreds of dollars on prescriptions that did nothing but make my face burn and itch more and in months could not do what this stuff did in days. My rosacea is not completely gone. I still have flare ups, but it is under the best control it has ever been. I am not a doctor and have no idea why this works, but in my opinion its a miracle. Plus, it makes a darned tasty salad dressing too. What other product can do that?
    • I take a daily tea spoon of hemp oil and let me tell you, this thing killed my toe nail fungus in about 3 weeks and also cured my light arthritis on my hands. I know this hemp oil has trace amounts of THC and I'm sure that's what helped me with my ailments. I would highly recommend this product and i will order again.

So I ordered a 24 ounce bottle for $12.10 (free 2-day shipping with my Amazon Prime Account) on Sunday afternoon and the UPS guy brought it to our house late yesterday.

Some people like the taste and some hate it. I’m somewhere in between and, by no means, consider the taste to be a deal-breaker. I slurped down a tablespoon of hemp oil last night and again this morning.

My digestive tract has been unhappy ever since I got food poisoning at a local restaurant, so I’m looking for improvements in that area.

Time, as they say, will tell.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bud Select? Horrible mistake.

I drove up to the county line beer store last evening – we live in a dry county, you know - because I thought it would be nice to have some beer BudSelwhile I watched the Alabama-LSU game.

I decided to try something new and bought a 12-pack of Budweiser Select. It was my first – and last – Budweiser Select purchase.

When I got home, I put 9 bottles into the fridge and poured three into a big liter-size glass Spaten mug. The first taste was uninspired and before long, drinking the stuff turned into a chore. By the time I gave up on the game, late in the fourth quarter, I’d only consumed about two-thirds of the liter. The rest went down the kitchen sink.

This is a Budweiser attempt at a low-calorie beer. It has a flat flavor and no character and I’ll never drink it again. I’ve never thrown beer away, but there is no way I’m gonna drink this swill and I couldn’t possibly serve it to guests.

Are you a Democrat, Republican, or Southerner?

Here’s a little test to help you decide:

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.

Suddenly, a Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife and charges at you…

You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?


Democrat’s Answer:

  • Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!
  • What is a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP?
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 911?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!

………… ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… …….. ……… .

Republican’s Answer:


………… ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… …….. ……

Southerner’s Answer:

Click….. (Sounds of reloading)

Daughter: ‘Nice grouping, Daddy!’
‘Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?!

Son: ‘Can I shoot the next one?!’

Wife: ‘You ain’t taking that to the Taxidermist!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Congratulations, Skip Hess!

My old Indianapolis News buddy Skip Hess will be inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame on April 28. I plan to be in Bloomington for the occasion!

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft and retired Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News reporter Skip Hess are among five people who will be inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in April.
The others selected for induction are Indiana University journalism professor David Weaver; the late Mark Ferree, a Marion native and longtime senior executive of the Scripps-Howard newspaper company; and the late Kate Milner Rabb, a daily columnist for The Indianapolis Star in the 1920s and '30s who also was president of the Woman's Press Club of Indiana.
-- Kroft grew up in Kokomo and has been a correspondent for CBS News since 1981, including more than two decades with "60 Minutes," and has won many national awards for his work. news93
-- Hess spearheaded numerous prominent investigative projects during more than 30 years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News and The Indianapolis Star. His work included exposing inhumane treatment of mentally ill patients at state hospitals that led to state reforms in the 1970s and disclosure of the misuse of taxpayer money, after which the state schools superintendent was convicted of official misconduct.
-- Weaver joined the Indiana University journalism faculty in 1974 and has done groundbreaking research about journalism and those who make it their career. He has written or co-written several books, three focusing on national censuses of journalists he helped conduct that were published in 1986, 1996 and 2007.
-- Ferree was a national free press advocate as president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1960-62. His career also included reporting for the Marion Chronicle and the Evansville Courier, advertising director for the Indianapolis Times and vice president of the Richmond Palladium-Item.
-- Rabb, a Rockport native, was an author, historian and pioneering newspaper columnist, writing for The Indianapolis Star from 1920 until 1937 -- a time when few women had such opportunities. She was president of the Woman's Press Club of Indiana in 1929-31.
The Journalism Hall of Fame is also presenting its first Distinguished Service Award to Walt Tabak, who spent 25 years providing technical support to Indiana newspapers and broadcast stations that received The Associated Press. He is credited with helping steer many of the state's newsrooms through technical changes that saw the delivery of wire stories and photos go from the teletype days to satellite transmission.
They will all be honored during an April 28 ceremony at IU's Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Excuses, excuses

I apologize for the lackluster posts of late.

This has been a chaotic period, what with traveling to Indiana and becoming embroiled in the drama of Maria’s ex’s dysfunctional family. As much as we want to insulate ourselves from that pack of crazies, we’re forever connected because her ex is, after all, her kids’ father.

His father, the kids’ paternal grandfather, died on Friday night as we made the 7½-hour drive to Indiana.

We made sure the kids were dressed to the nines for the visitation and the funeral where it was obvious to all – including the evil stepmother – that they were the rightful and true bearers of all that is good and noble in the family bloodline. Grandpa was a prominent farmer and the kids were swarmed by longtime family friends who wondered aloud what had become of them after their father abandoned them for his three new stepchildren.

It was a stressful few days, but the social success of the kids made it all worth it. They carried it off with dignity and poise and made us enormously proud.

Now that we’re home, I can turn my attention to getting the Lexus repaired as a consequence of my distracted backing into a steel signpost in an Indiana restaurant parking lot. The repair estimate is $2,775.44, but the cost to me is the $500 deductible. And, of course, the damage to my ego.

And now that the holidays are in our rear view mirrors, I can make good on my pledge to sign up with the St. Bernards Wellness & Fitness Center and get serious about weight loss and muscle tone.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Somewhere to ride in 2012


Our post office box was jammed tight with a week’s worth of mail this morning – so tight that it took me a couple of minutes to wrench the stuff free without shredding anything.

Included in the postal deluge was my Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Passport. There are 24 designated Civil War battlefields, historic sites, museums, cemeteries and landmarks scattered around the Natural State. If I visit each one and put its stamp into my passport, I can earn a commemorative coin or commemorative patch.

Sounds like a good excuse for a bunch of motorcycle rides in 2012.

If you’re interested, you can read more and request a passport at http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/civil-war-sites/passport/

It’s official: 6,716 BMW motorcycle miles in 2011



I logged the I logged the odometer readings on my ‘03 K1200GT and K75S this morning and subtracted those numbers from the readings on Jan. 1, 2011 to determine I rode 6,716 BMW motorcycle miles last year.

Hardly my best year, but probably better than the average motorcyclist.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Homeward bound


Maria is taking a turn at the wheel and I’m online via my Sprint aircard as we roll south on I-57 through central Illinois.

We’re headed home after five days in Indiana, looking forward to reclaiming our dogs and wishing we had more time to spend with Indiana friends.

We dropped Morgan off at Indianapolis International Airport, which has been radically reconfigured since I was there last. Thank God that our Garmin GPS knew all the new routes in and out of the airport. Morgan should be well on her way by now, but we should be home before she is.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bagels for breakfast


Truth be told, I like Einstein Bros. bagels better than Shapiro’s and maybe even City East Bagel from Memphis.

Einstein Bros. have a dizzying array of bagel flavors, including my favorite – asiago cheese. They also have my favorite breakfast bagel, the Santa Fe. So that’s where we went for breakfast this morning. Specifically, the Einstein Bros. Bagel shop on East 116th Street in Carmel, Ind.

We also bought a dozen bagels and a couple of travel mugs.

Then it was off to Quilts Plus where Maria shopped for fabric, and to Roberts Distributors to visit with our favorite camera saleslady Melanie.

We cruised Carmel’s quaint faux old Main Street and discovered Auntie Em’s Custard and Cupcakes, where we had some dessert and bought a half-dozen cupcakes to share with Maria’s family.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Attention burglars: skip to the last paragraph

We have great neighbors.

We had good neighbors when we lived in Thorntown. We lived between a pair of Mikes – Zimmerman on the north and Hankins on the south. Mike Zimmerman was a commercial electrician and cheerfully sorted out a couple of wiring problems for free and his oldest son mowed our lawn for a very modest fee. Mike Hankins and his family were unstintingly friendly.

We didn’t know anyone in our new hometown or subdivision when we moved to Arkansas four years ago, but we have since become friends with most of the families in our subdivision. Shannon and Sophie Holland, our next-door neighbors, treat us like family and invite us to their family get-togethers. Maria and Sophie swap cooking supplies – last week the Sunday morning trade was Bisquick for a can of tomato soup – and Sophie knows I’ll whip up a cup of espresso whenever she wants one. Tony and Misty Micenhamer live the next house over and, being on the entrance road to the subdivision, Tony keeps a sharp eye on every car and truck that passes. He and Misty are dog lovers and thoughtfully brought dog treats over for Ruthie after her knee surgery a year ago. They also opened their garage and home to Zeb and the recently deceased Frank, free range dogs belonging to the cattle rancher who lives on the other side of the woods from us. We consider the rancher, David Head, and his wife to be friends as well.

I don’t know if it’s because people in the South are friendlier or if we just got incredibly lucky.

It’s also nice to know that when you go out of town, you have hypervigilant neighbors, some of whom have guns and maybe would enjoy shooting burglars.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Adios, Bob. Kudos for Steve.

Bob Dunbar and his tractor at the Boone County 4-H Fair, July 23, 2002.

Bob Dunbar, Maria’.s ex father-in-law, died Friday night at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

Services will be Wednesday in Jamestown, Ind. There will be drama.

On a more cheerful note, my son Steve was part of the opening act for Stevie Wonder on New Year’s Eve at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It’s a new hotel/casino.