Another Study, Another Reason to Drink Red Wine -

 In the last month we've been given two reasons to drink red wine. First it was the resveratrol which was keeping overweight, out of shape mice young now it's procyanidins...

In the latest research, Roger Corder of Queen Mary's School of Medicine in London and colleagues analyzed various components of red wine. They found that substances called procyanidins appeared to have the most potent beneficial effect on the cells that enable arteries to power the heart.

Moreover, the researchers discovered that levels of procyanidins were highest in red wines produced in southwestern France, where French men tend to live the longest, according to a report in today's issue of the journal Nature.

Just for the record the article also mentioned dark chocolate, apples and cranberries as suppliers of procyanidins. Looks like a menu made for the holidays...I would like to know more about the diet of these men from southwestern France though.

Source: Another Study, Another Reason to Drink Red Wine -

Wednesday Morning Emails

The first thing up in my email que was the Washington Post this morning. The first headline that caught my eye was a story about the Freshman Senator from Virginia.

In Following His Own Script, Webb May Test Senate's Limits -

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Source: In Following His Own Script, Webb May Test Senate's Limits -

It's good to see someone who isn't taken in by George W Bush's good ole boy charm for a change.

Then there is this story...

Five Years After Enron, Firms Seek Weaker Rules -

Business interests, seizing on concerns that a law passed in the wake of the Enron scandal has overreached, are advancing a broad agenda to limit government oversight of private industry, including making it tougher for investors to sue companies and auditors for fraud.

A group that has drawn support from Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. plans to issue a report tomorrow that argues that the United States may be losing its preeminent position in global capital markets to foreign stock exchanges because of costly regulations and nettlesome private lawsuits.

Source: Five Years After Enron, Firms Seek Weaker Rules -

As someone who lived through the Enron debacle and had family and friends affected by it, I don't see how anyone can say that the legislature overstepped. As far as I am concerned, any time that corporations are complaining about regulations, you have probably not gone far enough.

From the weather email (My-Cast Weather Center) I see the Blue Ridges are have at least a few more mild days. We on the other hand are starting out at 68 and humid and heading up for the upper 70's before a front blows through tomorrow sometime. They are saying we should have freezing temps by the weekend...You really have to love Texas weather. At least part of the time you do.

News from the Vault...New Concert On-line

Visit the Concert Vault Bruce Springsteen

Winterland; San Francisco, CA

# of Tracks: 30 Total Time: 165:04

Two weeks before Bill Graham closed the doors of Winterland forever, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played a powerhouse set that ran for close to three hours.

They also announced a new concert from Joan Baez:

Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, CA

# of Tracks: 10 Total Time: 30:33

Go have a listen...These concerts are all really great...

It's time to hit the road and I've still got

Have a photo from last

Garden at rest...

In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning - New York Times

Thanks to Jason at 

Put simply, the rich pay a lot of taxes as a total percentage of taxes collected, but they don’t pay a lot of taxes as a percentage of what they can afford to pay, or as a percentage of what the government needs to close the deficit gap.

Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.

It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. “How can this be fair?” he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. “How can this be right?”

Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

I've listened to Ben Stein on more times than I can remember. This is the first time I can remember agreeing with him. The above story is his opening, treat yourself and go read the rest at the New York Times...

Source: In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning - New York Times

The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media

Garrison picked a good example of Horace's writings. I find it a prayer I could also recite on a daily basis...

On this day in 8 B.C., the Roman poet Horace died (books by this author). He hated the chaos of Rome, and when his patron gave him a farm in the Italian countryside, he wrote,

"I prayed for this: a modest swatch of land
where I could garden, an ever-flowing spring
close by, and a small patch of woods above
the house. The gods gave all I asked and more.
I pray for nothing more, but
that these blessings last my life's full term."

Source: The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media

Loose Leaf Notes: November Porch Vacation

Colleen does it again...She takes me to where I need to be on this the day before I return to the grind. She starts it thus...

A good book. A lounge chair. The sun makes freckles on my bared skin. A single fat fly buzzes by like a fighter pilot that doesn’t know the war is over. This one doesn’t know it isn’t summer. A clumsy yellow hornet goes down, crashes into my arm. I flick it off while sipping every color of the rainbow reflected off my cobalt blue mug.

Follow the link to see how she ended it...

Source: Loose Leaf Notes: November Porch Vacation

The Lighter Way to Enjoy Culture Shock

I have been reading a new blog. Kelly Harmon is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova. I love the way she looks at life and the slightly twisted way she writes. If you have a minute or two go have a look at what she has posted since moving to Moldova. Her perspective on the joy's of the back to the land movement seems to have an added depth now that she has some experience with 13th century living conditions...

- To All Hippies: I know having a farm and living off the land is the ultimate hippie reverie, I have had similar fantasies of self sufficiency. But no more do I have that aspiration; now that I have had a little taste of farm work and being partially self sustaining, I realize that is totally a pipedream. Farm work is hard, farm work is age you long before your years hard. So to all those hippies dreaming of getting a farm up in West Virginia and not having to live your life by anyone else’s lead, I hate to urinate in your breakfast cereal, but forget it.

Another of her posts deals with indoor plumbing...

I never realized how much of a luxury a fully functional toilet was until it was gone.
Now I see that the toilet seat is not a necessity, however, it makes toilet time much more pleasant. I must admit nothing wakes you up in the morning like the cold porcelain against the back of your thighs; better than a shot of espresso.

A bit of synchronicity in all of this is...I was reading Kelly's blog to my wife yesterday and one of the segments on this mornings "Sunday Morning Show" was about Moldova.

Source: The Lighter Way to Enjoy Culture Shock

Brazoria NWR II

 Posted by Picasa

Brazoria NWR

 Posted by Picasa

An Inconvenient Case for Supreme Court -

Since they selected him to run the country it's only fitting that they figure out what to do with him when he doesn't. Time for a little accountability on the part of some black robed non-members of the electoral college? 

WASHINGTON -- Things are bound to heat up at the Supreme Court Wednesday, when justices weigh whether the Clean Air Act requires the Bush administration to do something about global warming.

In the late 1990s, the Clinton administration determined that greenhouse gasses -- such as auto emissions, which contribute to global climate change -- fell under the Environmental Protection Agency's jurisdiction. Challenged by then-Rep. Tom DeLay (R., Texas) at a 1998 congressional hearing, the EPA produced a legal opinion concluding that carbon dioxide could be regulated if the agency determined it contributed to "adverse effects on public health, welfare or the environment."

You have to love it when Tom Delay is mentioned. The new scapegoat of everything politically incorrect in America today. Where were all of these "journalists" when Tommy was ruining the country?

But even if greenhouse gases were pollutants and Congress had authorized the EPA to regulate them, the agency said it had no obligation to act. It cited "uncertainty" over the way global warming worked and the best way to remedy it, particularly in light of diplomatic disputes over the Kyoto Protocol and other international approaches to the problem.

Isn't this the famous Bush environmental policy. Raise false claims of "uncertainty", hire hack scientists if you have to, and then since there is "uncertainty" put off acting until such time as someone else is in charge. We can only hope the court will decide that in reality they are the "deciders" not Mr. Bush.

Source: An Inconvenient Case for Supreme Court -

ASIA GRACE by Kevin Kelly

One of the nice things about the internet is the way you stumble upon the...the unexpected gem. One of the news feeds that I have been subscribed to for a few weeks is Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly. This morning while things were slow I was going through the archives at Cool Tools and decided to find out more about the site and Kevin. That led to the link for Asia Grace below. What an amazing and photos...If cultures from the other side of the world intrigue you go check out the site. Be prepared though to watch time run away from you. You wont realize how long you are mesmerized by the images...

Link to ASIA GRACE by Kevin Kelly

Happy Thanksgiving All

IN 1789, CONGRESS requested of George Washington that the young nation's first president, as he put it, "recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer." The grand traditions of the holiday that we all look forward to today -- grotesque overeating, traffic jams and airport delays, endless sports on television, and family squabbles -- had not yet developed. And the country then, having only just established the government we still enjoy, had a great deal to be thankful for, President Washington noted: "the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war," the "great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed -- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted -- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us."

Source: Thanksgiving -

It's early yet and the house is mostly asleep. We will be cooking in a bit, those dishes we will be taking to my mother's house. Eldest daughter and youngest son are giving thanks elsewhere this year. The newest splinter from our family tree has discovered what all young families discover about holidays...I hope they like to eat Thanksgiving Dinner thrice. We will end up with a combination Feast as both of our moms will be at the gathering.

I just wanted to drop this note out here to say I hope each and every one of you have something or someone to be thankful for on this day. Try to take the time somewhere in the course of the day to reflect on all the good you have seen this year...don't dwell on the might have beens, don't look into the sadnesses... Give Thanks.

Have a blessed day.

Morning Walk - Wednesday Edition

Today's walk wasn't near as cold as yesterdays. It also was different in that I didn't take my camera.

I started of at the Bayou watching the sun come up over the trees. I stood there a long while soaking up the rays and warming my face. From that meditative start I wandered sunward down the trail stopping and listening to the birds along the way. The predominate color here is still green even as some of the grasses and bushes turn the reds, yellows and browns of fall. I was struck by the flowers still blooming along the trail. Lantana and white asters are everywhere. Occasionally you come across some honeysuckle still blooming.

I mentioned earlier that I was looking forward to the flocks of Robins that hang out here in the winter. As I walked along the trail this morning a flock of about 30 flew overhead. Guess that means the winter visitors are here. Yesterday I had a small flock of Killdeers feeding on the ground out in the back yard.

When we moved out here I tried to set up birdfeeders and watering stations that first winter. Not a single bird chose to visit them. All I could ever figure out was that there was enough wild food and water around that they really just weren't interested. Considering we don't feed, we see an immense number of birds here each year.

I made a run down to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge yesterday afternoon. They still haven't begun flooding the impoundments so the birdlife is a little sparse. There was a few coots which are year round and a number of different Ibises and Herons. The main attraction for me was the raptors though. My favorite thing about this time of the year is the number of hawks that call SE Texas home during the winter.

From yesterdays walk


Frost on the asters...

Free Will Astrology : Aquarius Horoscope

Do you know what I love about Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology? It puts you on a different path of thought. You don't have to buy into anything, do anything or be anything other than you. But that little tweak he puts on his art makes you think about life from just a little be off your normal skew...

Aquarius Horoscope for week of November 23, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
Your assignment in the coming weeks, Aquarius, is to become a coordinator of synchronicity and director of synergy in all the environments where you hang out. To begin, remind yourself of what those terms mean. Synchronicity is the wonderfully spooky feeling that comes when two or more events occur in a way that might superficially seem to be mere coincidence, but that is actually a sign of a deeper underlying pattern that transcends rational understanding. Synergy is when two power sources collaborate on a surprisingly energetic creation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I like that...Coordinator of Synchronicity. I think this calls for new business cards, don't you?

Source: Free Will Astrology

On this day in 1963...

It was about 12:30 p.m. on this day in 1963 that President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. It was the only successful assassination of an American president carried out in the last hundred years, and the only presidential assassination ever caught on film. Almost every American alive at the time remembers where they were when they heard the news. Walter Cronkite cried when he made the announcement that the president was dead.

I was in 3rd Grade Music Class when they made the announcement on the PA. Almost everyone in the class cried. I can still remember the name of the boy who cheered. The music teacher would, down the road, become a friend when I became a Boy Scout in her husbands Scout Troop.

Where were you on that day when you heard?

It's a good thing JFK was president in the '60's because in today's world he would be in as much trouble as Bill.

Thanks Garrison, for the reminder...

Source: The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media

Leon Hale

 I am sure once upon a time every newspaper had a Leon Hale. Now I doubt there are many like him left. He has been a columnist in the Houston papers since before I was born. He now blogs in addition to his regular writing duties. Do yourself a favor and see what I grew up reading.

In 1946 I was living in Bryan. I was 25. One pay day I walked into the New York Café downtown, sat on a stool at the long lunch counter, and ordered a bottle of Bud and a plate of beef enchiladas. This was my habit then on paydays.

I was addicted to the enchiladas in that place. They came out three to the order on a metal plate, elliptical in shape. Dark red sauce bubbled up around the plate's edges. The enchiladas were covered in a sheet of melted rat trap cheese. They were always too hot to eat when they first came out. You had to sit there and inhale the fragrance and wait a while so the first bite wouldn't blister your mouth.

This plate of enchiladas cost 90 cents.

When I finished them I was still hungry so I ordered another plate, and ate those. A man of maybe 65 was sitting two stools down from me. When I got up to pay he said, "Young fellow, I'd give a hundred dollar bill if I could do what you just did."

Which puzzled me then, but not now.

Source: Leon Hale | A blog featuring Houston Chronicle columnist Leon Hale

Bankruptcy closes doors of historic Pig Stands | - Houston Chronicle

Another page turns in the local history books...

It's reputed to be the world's first drive-through restaurant chain and the place where the onion ring was invented, the result of a cooking accident. In 82 years at the corner of Washington and Sawyer, the last remaining Houston location has been a hut, a collection of stalls served by carhops and a sit-down restaurant.

But now, the Pig Stand's past looks rosier than its present. The city's longest-running restaurant sat empty Monday, a victim of bankruptcy and back taxes that threaten to add it to the ever-growing list of bygone Houston institutions.

I can remember eating at the one in South Houston on a number of occasions before it closed back about the mid '80's.

They are the last vestiges of a chain that started in 1921 in Dallas as the first drive-through and grew into a dozens-strong regional empire that welcomed the age of fast food during a time when meals were handcrafted at home.

The stands evolved into drive-ins by the 1960s, when they dueled Prince's in the Houston market. Both eventually became standard table-service restaurants as they ceded the fast food business to the large chains.

Over time, the Pig Stand has laid claim to a number of culinary firsts. Along with onion rings (said to have been invented in Dallas in the late 1920s when a cook accidentally dropped onions in batter and decided to fry them), chicken fried steak sandwiches and the barbecue pork mainstay known as the Pig Sandwich, owner Richard Hailey said Texas toast also was born at a Pig Stand.

Just wanted you folks to know we do make some history here in Texas. Onion Rings and Texas Toast...Culinary masterpieces.

Source: Bankruptcy closes doors of historic Pig Stands | - Houston Chronicle

Earth Friendly ideas from Ideal Bite: Your place for green living tips made fun and easy, green consumer, organic foods, organic living, eco-friendly, ecologically sustainable lifestyle website!

OK, I don't know how these might work out but the premise is right with me so I'll "Bite". I'll let you know what I think...Or jump on over and try them yourself...

We know that you would just love to "do the right thing" for yourself and the planet if it were convenient, fun, inexpensive, and made you feel good. But until now you have lacked a good source of advice for real people leading busy lives.

Congrats. Now you have a free one. See a sample of these short & sassy eco-living tips that arrive each weekday, then...

Here's their sample Bite:

The Bite:
Use water filters instead - tap water might contain contaminants, but (believe it or not) bottled water isn't always cleaner. Use home water filters such as faucet-mounted or pitcher filters - the best way to ensure a clean supply of drinking water at home.
The Benefits
  • Save the 1.5 million tons of plastic expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year.
  • Get rid of contaminants normally found in tap water such as chlorine, cryptosporidium, Giardia , lead and pesticide runoff.
  • Save money - check out the Bang for the Bite (left) for the juicy details.
  • Filters are a safer bet - up to 40% of all bottled water comes from a city water system, just like tap water.
Personally Speaking
We both have faucet-mounted Brita filters and are somewhat notorious for refilling and carrying hard plastic water bottles with us everywhere.
Wanna Try?
  • Brita - this is our favorite - $34.99 (refill filters are $32.99 for 2)
  • Pur - Very pretty, for you brushed chrome lovers... $49.49 (replacement filters: 4 for $37.98)
  • Top 10 home water filters , water purifiers & water treatment system brands compared by price, performance and ongoing costs
  • Nice cost comparison of various water filter options available


Source: Earth Friendly ideas from Ideal Bite: Your place for green living tips made fun and easy, green consumer, organic foods, organic living, eco-friendly, ecologically sustainable lifestyle website!

Obesity: Maybe We Share Some of the Blame -

Being weight challenged these days this article caught my eye since it says something I tend to think is probably true in a number of ways. 

The idea that we're too fat because we eat too much and exercise too little is based largely on "circumstantial evidence," according to a recent report in the International Journal of Obesity. Investigators from the University of Alabama point to at least 10 other possible reasons we are getting too big for our britches. Here are the top three:

  • We don't get enough sleep.

This could be a vicious cycle. What with sleep apnia being a bigger problem among those with excess weight.

  • We have more air conditioning.

I wouldn't count on this one going away anytime soon. If the past few summers are any indication, air conditioning will become even more prevalent right up until nobody can afford the energy cost.

  • Our hormones have been disrupted.

How well I can relate. Back in '97 I had a bout of Pericarditis that hung on for months. It took very high dose steroids to finally kick the problem but in the process my body changed and I haven't been able to get back to that point since. Each year it gets harder just to maintain.

This study sounds like it is headed in the right direction. Our concentration on just one cause of obesity is probably leaving many people wondering why cutting calories and exercising is not working for them. I know for me eating salads everyday and walking for an hour or better every evening and still not seeing a difference made it hard to maintain the practice (and I like salads). 

Source: Obesity: Maybe We Share Some of the Blame -

Morning Walk - Tuesday

A person could definitely get used to greeting the sun every morning. The frost was even heavier on the ground this morning before sunup. Each step had that crunch of frozen grass. Each breath was an even thicker cloud than the ones from yesterday.

Other than the "keeer-r-r" of the hawks greeting the suns warmth as it caressed the tops of the trees where they waited and the lonesome whistle of a far off train, I was alone on the edge of Mustang Bayou. The mists on the waters course was heavy this morning. The image as the suns rays started to light first just the upper tendrils was almost magical. And as the sun rose more and more of that writhing snake of fog was touched by it's rays until the entire waterway glowed.

I stood for a long while soaking up that first warmth under the cloudless blue of the heavens before wandering back to the house and the warm coffee.

And so the day began...


On eating locally in winter | By Umbra Fisk | Grist

 Another sustainable living piece. In case anyone notices, these stories catch my interest and go into the mental filing cabinet as I plan for that move to the mountains in a few years...

Eating locally in New Hampshire, though -- let's think about the specifics of that quest. For one, you'll need to adjust your diet (I may be presumptuous in thinking of turnips as outside your normal purview). For two, what is local to you? Is it Strafford County? Is it New England? In the winter you may need to broaden your concept of local to include not only your food's producers, but your food's purveyors. If none of the producer-related steps above work or entice, switch your winter focus from producers to locally owned grocers. In an era of megastores and giant corporate foods, all businesses in the local-foods chain need your allegiance.

Source: On eating locally in winter | By Umbra Fisk | Grist | Ask Umbra | 20 Nov 2006

Morning walk...Monday

One of the carry overs from when our children were all in school is my vacation schedule. Ever since my employer switched from sick days and vacation days to PTO which combined the two, I've tried to save a couple of weeks worth of days till the end of the year...Just in case. That means that I've usually scheduled the Thanksgiving week off along with the week between Christmas and New Years (making use of the Holidays to stretch the time off).

So on this my first morning off, I went for a morning walk as the sun came up. I must say this is the time of the year that Texas (at least my portion) is actually livable. Clear skies, morning temperatures in the 40's, a little bit of frost on the grass...You have to love it. As I walked the only companion I had was my breath steaming out ahead. That's the first time that's happened this fall on a walk.

I see that the Blue Jays are back for the winter. Now, when I make that statement you have to understand that we always have Blue Jays here but during the winter they flock. So during this time of the year you will see flocks of Blue Jays move through the yard looking for food. Soon they'll be joined by the Robins. Yea, I know what you're thinking. Most of you associate Robins with spring. Down here they are winter residents. The flocks of Robins can be quite loud as they move on their daily feeding circuit. From woods to fields to woods again. This is also a good time of the year to sit in the back yard and listen to all of the wrens and finches feeding in the Hackberry trees scattered around the perimeter of our oaks.

A photo from my walk...

mustang bayou

Mustang Bayou Fog

Leonids - missed them I did, or maybe they just missed me

 On Friday the 17th Fred posted the following;

Leonids: Time in the Dark

This is a timely selection from Slow Road Home. Tonight you can begin to look for the Leonids to zip past, a few or many, depending on which experts you listen to. But maybe it is more about just going outdoors. At night. With expectations. Happy hunting!
I left a warm bed, got dressed in every piece of clothing I could lift and carry, and stood outside in the dark for a half-hour this morning. With my neck craned, spinning slowly in circles, I waited in the cold to see the grand show of the Leonid Meteor Shower. My toes are still numb an hour later, and I need to find a good physical therapist to do some mobilization on my stiff sky-watcher's neck. Was it worth it? Yes indeed.

So, when something woke me at 2:30 am Saturday morning, I pulled on a long sleeved henley grabbed my hat and boots and headed outside to see what was up. It was brisk in the pasture out back, a bit hazy with a low hanging fog...There was lots of dew on the ground. Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, what there was of it, I started scanning the heavens. Sadly, I wasn't able to see more than 3 or 4 streaks at the edges of my vision in the 15 to 20 minutes that I hung out before heading back to a warm bed inside.

Every time I make one of these treks into the cold and the dark I think of the John Denver song, Rocky Mountain High, and the lines:

It's a Colorado Rocky Mountain High,
I've seen it raining fire in the sky
The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby.

Those lines and the story he once told about he came to write those lines after camping through a night of a meteor shower on a mountainside in the Rockies. I don't know if it was the altitude, the particular shower or the power of the herbs, but John Denver was definitely impressed by the "fire" raining down around him that night.

On Sunday morning before sunup I tried again. I had even less luck then. Oh well, there's always next year...and the next.

Source: Leonids: Time in the Dark

A Private Month - by Verlyn Klinkenborg

By now, the wind has emptied the milkweed pods. The goldenrod has gone mousy. All the leaves are down, except for a few tenacious oaks and beeches and an ornamental dogwood that is a reprise of the entire season. Each tree looks more singular — and the woods more intimate — in this bare month than in the thickness of summer. October’s memory seems a little lurid from the perspective of mid-November. The sumacs down by the road might have been reading Swinburne the way they caught fire and expired, vaingloriously, in last month’s light. But now that drama is over, as if the year had come up hard on a plain, Puritan truth and was the better for it.

Source: A Private Month - New York Times

I come late to this writing about place. I can remember a few books long ago that spoke of a specific place that I read and reread. The titles have long since passed from my memory, but the pictures of the places they spoke of still linger. Mostly they spoke of mountain villages and rural life.

When I first stumbled upon Fragments From Floyd it was that voice that caught my attention. That voice that spoke of something I was missing. Something I yearned for early but sublimated as the years of life happened. When Fred first mentioned he was publishing a book and offered a deal to those who purchased a copy prior to publication I jumped on the offer. Fragment's and A Slow Road Home led me on a journey to other voices of other places. It was the discovery of a quote by Verlyn Klinkenborg on (I think it was) Susan Albert's Lifescapes Blog that led me to purchase a copy of Rural Life. Then Colleen gave a glowing review of Jim Minnick's Finding A Clear Path that led to another internet purchase. So when the link popped up with the title and author of this Editorial I had to follow. After reading it I felt compelled to link...So follow and read.

Wolfgang's Vault

 If you are of an age like I am, loved the rock music of the late 60's and later, you really need to check out Wolfgang's Vault and Vault Radio. This morning I have been listening to live concerts by CSN&Y, Judy Collins (right now she's singing "The City of New Orleans"), Credence and on and on. They are showing 300 full concert gigs in the "Vault" right now, or you can listen to a random playlist of singles. Take a bit and go read the story behind this amazing collection of music and memorabilia. Me I'm going to finish listening to Judy and see who else I can find to listen to. Maybe it'll make the hair grow back on top like it was in the day I first enjoyed these songs.

Where LIVE Music Lives

Wolfgang's Vault is the world's most exceptional collection of poster art, vintage t-shirts, concert photos, concert tickets and other rock music memorabilia. The Vault's holdings feature the complete archives of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham, whose headliners included Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, Jefferson Airplane, AC/DC and Phish. Here, you'll find rock posters, concert photos, remarkably preserved vintage t-shirts and more from over 17,000 concerts worldwide.

Source: Vintage T-Shirts, Rock Posters, Concert T-Shirts, Concert Posters, Rock T-Shirts, Concert Shirt, Music Memorabilia, Concert Tees

Rediscovering Eliot Coleman

Ok, my earlier post has led to some time wasting (not really) on the web. Barbara wrote this article back in September 2000.

Eliot has a saying: “If you have $30,000, you’ll come up with a $30,000 solution. If you have only 30 cents, you’ll come up with a 30-cent solution. That’s nature’s way. If what you’re doing in the garden is expensive or complicated, it’s probably wrong.” The simplest garden wisdom:
Make compost, as much as you can. No fertilizer is better.

  • Keep tools basic. Eliot made many of our garden tools. Some of his designs, such as the “collinear hoe” and the “wire weeder,” are sold in the catalog from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine.
  • Keep rows of newly sown seeds moist; especially carrots, which germinate slowly. Sprinkle them daily until they germinate.
  • Alternate vegetables with green manures, such as red clover and buckwheat.
  • Don’t worry about pests. “Relax,” says Eliot. “Bugs are indicators, not enemies. They tell us that something isn’t quite right with our soil or growing conditions.” If you keep the soil aerated and fertile (that means compost again, of course), your plants will be less stressed and they’ll attract fewer pests.
  • Pay attention to your garden and learn from what it has to teach you. Look and see how Mother Nature does things, and take your cue from her.
  • Share what you learn. “Farmers and gardeners shouldn’t hoard secrets. An idea expands when different growers try it out. Information is like compost; it does no good unless you spread it around.”

Naturally, for Eliot Coleman, it all comes back to compost.

Link to americanprofile.pdf

Winter Harvest Manuel ::: Four Season Farm

Ok folks, I guess I am losing it. I first read Eliot Coleman back in the early '70's in The Mother Earth News ( I still have the first 10 or 12 years of issues), and I have been reading the "Cook's Garden" ever since I managed to start pulling in the Washington Post off the Internet. I did not know until today that Eliot and Barbara were married...I discovered the fact when I wandered over to their website for their "Four Season Farm".

Order Winter Harvest Manual

The traditional fresh produce season for market gardeners in the colder parts of North America begins in June and ends in September. For the past eight years, in defiance of our long, cold Maine winters, we have been developing an environmentally sound, resource efficient, and economically viable system for extending fresh vegetable production into "the other eight months." We call it the "winter harvest." Our success thus far is very encouraging. We currently sell freshly harvested salads and main course vegetables from the 1st of October until the 31st of May.

This manual records our recent experiences in planning, carrying out, and fine tuning a fresh vegetable production and marketing operation on the back side of the calendar.

Source: Winter Harvest Manuel ::: Four Season Farm

For me the first thing that came to mind when I red the above (and additional info on their site) was what a great way for someone trying to make it in small scale farming in this day. Not only are you supplying something needed in a time when most of that product is coming from far away, but you will be supplying a superior product locally when you command a premium.

It even sound like you could probably earn enough on the out side of the calendar to enjoy a bit of relaxation in the "season" when prices are down and everyone is competing for the almighty dollar.

Apple Blossom Time - November?

What is it about Australian apple trees? This tree was grown by Stark Bros and planted on my place a decade ago. It still puts on blooms every fall when it is spring south of the equator.This shot is from this morning...

Walking the Berkshires: Not Just Another Brick in the Wall

Talk about a neat idea. All you folks burning wood might want to keep a few boxes on hand for emergencies... 

Bio Bricks, a product that is clean burning, produces just 1% ash, is renewable and utilizes low value forest products.   A Connecticut producer makes fifty tons of these a day and can't keep up with demand.  In fact, the biggest challenge facing this entrepreneur is a steady supply of dry wood chips of the appropriate size and consistency (ideally not more than 8% moisture content).  The chips are fed into a hopper and compressed into bricks that are held together by the heated lignants in the wood.  Bio Bricks have no additives and use chips and sawdust from clean wood (not pallets).  You only need three of them to make a fire in your wood stove or fireplace, they are bug free, and can be stored indoors. 50 packages of these bricks are the equivalent of 1 1/2 cords of wood and are competitively priced.

Source: Walking the Berkshires: Not Just Another Brick in the Wall

From the morning emails...

Looking at the weather report I notice that this is one of those few mornings in the fall where the temperature here in SE Texas matches up rather closely with that of my blogger buddies on the Blue Ridge. Lets me close my eyes and at least feel connected to the mountains. You folks throw another log on the fire for me. We'll be heading up into the upper 60's by afternoon, so I have to enjoy the morning...Late Update: Once I got out and moving it became evident that we had a pretty good frost on every thing above the ground last night. Roofs were all pretty and white. And now the forcast is for low 70's...

I got an email from one of my old favorites from the printed media. Organic Gardening Newsletter is published by the people at Swing over an check out their offerings. I grew up with the Rodale Family of books and magazines and still depend on a number of those titles when I need answers in the gardening, food quality, or health areas.

Let Nature Decide What's For Dinner
By Lauren Sloane

Have you ever bitten into a bland, mealy peach in the middle of winter? That stomach-turning taste and texture may be nature's way of telling you to start eating seasonally.

Just because you see a mango in your local supermarket during the fall or winter, doesn't mean that it's "in season" in your area. In the United States, shoppers have gotten used to having almost every fruit and vegetable available for purchase year-round. Produce is typically imported from other countries during times of the year when these fruits and veggies cannot be grown domestically. Despite the obvious convenience of consistently having a large array of foods available in your grocery store, imported produce may be smaller, more expensive, and simply taste below par.

Source: Eating with the Seasons

Follow the link to a listing of seasonal foods.

From the same source is a article from Wendell Berry

The Pleasure of Eating

By Wendell Berry

Many times, after I have finished a lecture on the decline of American farming and rural life, someone in the audience has asked, "What can city people do?"

"Eat responsibly," I have usually answered. Of course, I have tried to explain what I meant by that, but afterwards I have invariably felt that there was more to be said than I had been able to say. Now I would like to attempt a better explanation.

I begin with the proposition that eating is an agricultural act. Eating ends the annual drama of the food economy that begins with planting and birth. Most eaters, however, are no longer aware that this is true. They think of food as an agricultural product, perhaps, but they do not think of themselves as participants in agriculture. They think of themselves as "consumers." If they think beyond that, they recognize that they are passive consumers. They buy what they want—or what they have been persuaded to want—within the limits of what they can get. They pay, mostly without protest, what they are charged. And they mostly ignore certain critical questions about the quality and the cost of what they are sold: How fresh is it? How pure or clean is it, how free of dangerous chemicals? How far was it transported, and what did transportation add to the cost? How much did manufacturing or packaging or advertising add to the cost? When the food product has been manufactured or "processed" or "precooked," how has that affected its quality or price or nutritional value?

Source: Wendell Berry: The Pleasure of Eating

Photo for today


From our summer trip to the mountains...

Morning Coffee Reading

Boy you gotta love the way a bureaucrats mind works. Or is it just typical of this administration? When the facts don't look very promising, change the definitions...

The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience "very low food security."

Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans' access to food, and it has consistently used the word "hunger" to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year.

I think the most telling paragraph in the story is this

The United States has set a goal of reducing the proportion of food-insecure households to 6 percent or less by 2010, or half the 1995 level, but it is proving difficult. The number of hungriest Americans has risen over the past five years. Last year, the total share of food-insecure households stood at 11 percent.

Now those facts just can't be redefined. But I can hear the report coming out of Washington next...Due to new data the percentages will be revised downward...

Source: Some Americans Lack Food, but USDA Won't Call Them Hungry -

On the other side of the same coin...

THE MIDTERM elections were in part a repudiation of Republican economic priorities. The economy has grown strongly for five years even though it is slowing now, but the fruits of prosperity have not been shared widely. While corporate profits and pay for people at the top have risen, the majority of the workforce has experienced a stagnation of pay that stretches back, with only brief respites, to around 1980. The Republican Party has veered between denying the data and acknowledging middle-class anxiety while offering nothing to assuage it. The Democrats have understood the nation's economic insecurity, and they have been rewarded.

Having diagnosed the problem correctly, Democrats need a prescription.

This editorial then goes on to "explain" why most of the Democrats answers to the problems wont work out unless they walk the fine line of balance. Funny how quick the shift in "accountability" after the election. One paragraph to explain the correctness of the analysis by the minority party coming into the election, then three paragraphs of what is wrong with the proposals thrown out to try and fix the problem. Seems like the level of accountability has risen a notch or two in the past week doesn't it?

Source: The Economic Agenda -

Let me return to the Op-Ed that I commented on yesterday at my other blog, Blues From the Red Side of Life. It ties in with the above nicely...

More troubling is this: If it remains unchecked, this bifurcation of opportunities and advantages along class lines has the potential to bring a period of political unrest. Up to now, most American workers have simply been worried about their job prospects. Once they understand that there are (and were) clear alternatives to the policies that have dislocated careers and altered futures, they will demand more accountability from the leaders who have failed to protect their interests. The "Wal-Marting" of cheap consumer products brought in from places like China, and the easy money from low-interest home mortgage refinancing, have softened the blows in recent years. But the balance point is tipping in both cases, away from the consumer and away from our national interest.

The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed.

And, damn, there's that "A" word again.

Looks like for the first time in his life George W Bush may find out what it's like to be held accountable for his actions. Sadly for both him and us, it will be the future doing the holding...And it will be us and our descendents paying the price for his policies.

Source: OpinionJournal - Featured Article

Well the coffee's cold and the road is calling...

From the weekend...DSC_1069

Lunch on the web

Still trying to find work a rounds for the new Blogger problems. I really like using Picasa, but not being able to post from Picasa is rough.

I am finding more that I like about Windows Live Writer (it's another Beta) (and it posts to Beta, too). It also seems to have some pretty nice picture formatting abilities. And a spell checker that appears to reach out to word's dictionary. Actually I'm using it here and on the preceeding post about Fred's Cards.

I see Doug is still on the B+W run of images.  Looking Good...I like this quote:

Photography is a window into two worlds: The one that is and the one that we see. The two are not always the same.

Is this a good photograph? That depends on your point of view. I like it and that's the point of view that counts most to me.

Goose Creek Press / Fragments Note Cards

Fred has a new product coming out...Wander on over and check out the images. 

Fish or Cut Bait, the old saying goes.

Well, I suppose I'm about to cast my line out and let it drop below the surface and see if there are any fishies about. That might be YOU!

I'm hoping here in this first effort to offer notecards to offer a high-quality product for a price that will serve the chief purpose of sharing my photographic passion with my blog readers, showing some favorite scenes to those would travel vicariously with me on a very local field trip around Goose Creek and Floyd County, and perhaps in some upcoming sets, introduce Slow Road Home readers to the actual images that either inspired a passage in Slow Road Home, or resulted after the words were on the page as a way of illustrating the narrative.

Source: Goose Creek Press / Fragments Note Cards

Wednesday Morning Coffee Muse

The north wind is whistling around the window frame as I sit at the kitchen table having my coffee and reading my email this morning. They were saying last night that this is a Pacific Cold front. I guess I should probably turn the AC off as this is more than likely the warmest it will get today and the outside temp just matched the inside temp...This place is just way too warm for this time of year.


I just love Rob Brezsny's horoscopes, this was in today's email...

Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
Goose bumps and burning sensations coursed through me as I meditated on your upcoming adventures. From what I can tell, your rambles will be both spooky and fulfilling. They'll knock you on your ass and lift your spirits, sometimes at the same time. They'll give you almost more blessings than you can handle, even as they invite you to take on responsibilities that will give you the chance to be a hero. Are you ready to have your certainties challenged in the most useful ways possible?

Free Will Astrology : Aquarius Horoscope.


Nothing in the news catches my eye this morning. So I think I'll go ahead an close this out...I am still having issues with Blogger Beta but work arounds are being found. I like the formatting of BlogJet but can't get it to post to Blogger Beta so I am running it cutting out the code and pasting it into Windows Live Writer for posting. Live writer has a plug-in for Flickr that let's you browse your Flickr account (or any other) and place the picture code into your post...I like. If it just had a browser button or right click menu command for capture like BlogJet I would be a happy camper. Since everyone seems to be in software beta mode maybe something will shake out in the near future to make these posts easier.


Today's Photo

From this past weekend.



Fulton Mansion State Historic Structure is on Fulton Beach Road three miles north of Rockport. The three-story, Second Empire house was built by George W. Fulton, Sr.,qv rancher and businessman; he lived there from 1877 to 1893. The unusual house features innovative heating, ventilating, and food-preservation systems. It remained in private hands until 1976, when the state purchased the 2.3-acre site. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was restored in 1983. It is maintained as a museum by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.qv

Christopher Long

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," (accessed November 15, 2006).

Ya'll be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday Coffee Muses

Good morning all.

Blogger Beta actually let me post a photo yesterday. Will it let me today? Sadly, I haven't been able to post from Picasa yet which is my method of choice. Oh well, this too will come to those who persevere. If you get down to the bottom of this post and see a picture be happy for me, life is blessed by the little things.

Leave it to a poet to really put Fred First's book into perspective. Tom Montag, The Middlewsterner posted an "Appreciation" of Slow Road Home over the weekend that has me chomping at the bit to dive back in and reread Fred's book...



The question is raised

in some quarters: all these bloggers scribbling, like all the monkeys in the zoo pounding typewriters, can anything ever come of it? Well, if the blogger is Fred First and the blog is Fragments from Floyd, the answer is yes, yes. Out of his blogging, which arises from his life and his place, Goose Hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fred has created Slow Road Home: A Blue Ridge Book of Days.* A second edition is already in the works for this collection of short essays, many of them blog-post length, about 750 words, all gathered around a theme: this man finding his way in his place.
The Middlewesterner.

If you haven't visited Tom's Blog you should, I discovered it a whileback on Fred's and Patry's link lists (and probably others also). When ever I see the same link on sites of folks whose writings I admire I have to check them out, 'cause usually I find a common interest.

And for the Photo...

Well as you see Beta worked again...Not.

Third times the charm...

This is Fulton Harbour, Fulton, Texas

I am a map nut and this just caught my eye on Lifehacker...
See the world as history's cartographers once saw it. A new batch of Google Earth overlays covers the globe with richly detailed historical maps.

The Rumsey collection includes 16 maps. Among them you'll find a 1790 world globe, a 1680 map of Tokyo, and an 1814 map spanning the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi--courtesy of Lewis and Clark.

To view these new old maps, you'll need the latest version of Google Earth (use the program's check-for-updates feature if you're not sure you have it). In the layers section, select All Layers, then look for Featured Content > Rumsey Historical Maps.

Pardon me while I scoop my jaw off the floor. This may just be the coolest Google Earth feature ever. I absolutely love historical maps, and there's never been a better way to view and interact with them. Thanks, Jatin!— Rick Broida

Google Earth goes back in time - Lifehacker -...

Monday Morning - Back to the grind...

After spending a couple of days on Padre Island, it's time to earn a living again, so it's back to the salt mines...Before I go though let me tell you a little story.

Last week Blogger invited me to move my blogs to BloggerBeta. I did. Don't, if you haven't already. There are still way too many holes in the system. For a supposed upgrade, it is a step backward in a lot of ways on the publishing side. As a matter of fact for me it's a pain to even log-in. With no Blog-it posting, not much third party publishing support at all you are better off waiting for the full rollout, which from what I am seeing will be a while. The only thing that seems to work (not that I'm using it yet other than to make posting work at all) is tagging, and that is evidently the bull in the china shop here. A lot of bloggers wanted blogger is trying to put the pieces back together after they broke it themselves. Oh well, I will overcome these problems but for a while it will be tough to post pictures with any control so you probably wont be seeing many, sorry.

But just for grins here is a little one from the weekend.

I give up...picture would not load. I'll try later...

It's much later and the photo upload worked...

Sunday Morning at the Beach

The neighbors were noisey and nosey this morning around sunup. Coffee on the balcony with a crowd of onlookers proved interesting. We'll be heading home in a bit so I'll be catching up later. More photos in the works...See ya down the road

Friday morning meandering through the back roads of my mind

Friday morning meandering through the back roads of my mind

For those of you who may read this through rss, let me apologize for the dump of old posts you probably got yesterday. I just migrated this and my other blogs to Blogger Beta and it would seem that in the process it republishes everything; sorry if anyone was put off by the mass. I made the move out of frustration with the problems of publishing to the old Blogger. I am not completely happy yet. For some reason the “Blog This” button on my toolbar just gets fried with the new login procedures. Sadly, the Google Team hasn’t yet put together any real documentation (that I can find) on settings and changes you need to make with this changeover. Oh well, work arounds are a thing of life when it comes to computers, hopefully someone at Blogger will begin to flesh out the Beta Help Files.

On another note, I have been noticing an increase in traffic on this site. In looking over the metrics I find most of the new traffic coming from two sites. Loose Leaf Notes was the first to link and start traffic coming this way, thanks Colleen. The newest traffic driver is Blue Ridge Blog. This is the site of Marie Freeman who is a photographer at the Watauga Democrat in Boone, NC. It was by stumbling upon Marie’s site last year that eventually led to Colleen’s so the circle closes. Again, thanks ladies.

And on another note…Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of my marriage to Sherry. So this weekend will be our annual run away from the kids weekend. So…blogging will probably not be happening till we return.

Ya’ll have a great weekend.

Democrats Take Majority in House

The American People have spoken. The question is...Has President Bush heard?
Democrats Take Majority in House; Pelosi Poised to Become Speaker -
"'The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,' Pelosi said. "
Let's hope Nancy and the rest of the Democrats now running Congress believe what she is saying. If they can't make a change in the way Congress has done business under the Republican Party of Tom Delay, they wont have much hope of a long run.

Democrats Promise Broad New Agenda -
"The American people have sent a resounding and unmistakable message of change and new direction for America," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). "It's time for the endless campaign to stop and the hard work of governing to begin."
Do me a favor Rahm, lose the Bush speak, we all know it is hard work...Stop telling us and just do it. If you want to guarantee a long run with a Democrat majority, do the job you are elected to do, protect the rights and lives of the American People. Forget about the corporate boards and the campaign donors with their deep pockets. Do something about the screwed up way with define our voting districts. Do Your Jobs...

First Light

This is the sight that greeted me as I left the house this morning...I hope your election day started as well. May the returns be gentle to the people.
 Posted by Picasa

What plant colored a rebellion? - Plants that Changed History

In light of the Scottish history and traditions that fill the valleys and coves of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I thought the following was interesting. To learn more about the history of tartans follow the link...What plant colored a rebellion? - Plants that Changed History: "Six colors used in the dyeing of thread came from a single plant, the elder (Sambucus nigra Linnaeus). Of the elder dyes, Mrs. Grieve wrote 'The bark of the older branches has been used in the Scotch Highlands as an ingredient in dyeing black, also the root. The leaves yield, with alum, a green dye and the berries dye blue and purple, the juice yielding with alum, violet; with alum and salt, a lilac colour.' (A Modern Herbal, Mrs. Grieve, 1931, reprinted 1996 Barnes & Noble Books)"

Just Vote!

I think anyone who has read my post would know my political leaning, but that's beside the point. Today's lesson in democracy is Go Vote. This really is one of those things where if you don't use it, you lose it.

What were the virtues of borage? - Herbal Folklore

I started reading KillerPlants a long tme ago, and still I find the daily emails informative. I discovered Borage quite a while ago also, and the flavoe of the flowers is still a delight ever time I taste one...
What were the virtues of borage? - Herbal Folklore: "Cool-tankard is now commonly known as borage (Borago officinalis Linnaeus). In A Modern Herbal (1931), Mrs. Grieve explains the use, 'When steeped in water, it imparts a coolness to it and a faint cucumber flavour, and compounded with lemon and sugar in wine, makes a refreshing and restorative summer drink. It was formerly always an ingredient in cool tankards of wine and cider.'"

Sunday Afternoon Walk

At this time of the year a walk through the woods behind my house is a real experience. Your main problem is fighting off the blood sucking flying insects this part of the country can be overrun with after a few good rains. If you make the effort though you’ll have some surprises. Although green is still the predominate color around here, yellows and browns are beginning to show their coming prominence. As you wander around you will occasionally come across the brilliant reds and maroons of later in the season.

The dichotomy of fall in southeast Texas within fifty miles of the Gulf of Mexico is best explained by the act that as some leaves show their fall colors, flowers are blooming in great abundance. Most of the blooms are small and you really have to look for them.

This is wild Lantana…
from “Lantana”:
Wild lantanas are hairy and often prickly-stemmed. If rubbed and bruised, their leaves usually have a pungent odor. Verbena-like flowers are formed in clusters from the leaf axils or at the ends of branches. The small, berry-like fruits contain seeds. In some regions, Texas included, lantanas grow wild as weeds, chiefly spread by birds that are very fond of their juicy fruits. The species name for the native L. horrida, refers to the pungent odor of the crushed leaves.
In my family this plant is known as “Stinkweed” because of the odor.

These little yellow jewels are not known to me by name. They are beginning to be harder to find as I walk around. Earlier in the year they were much more common.

Even this late in the year you can find some honeysuckle blooms along the edges of the wood in protected nooks. In spring it is the aroma of honeysuckle that lets you know that summer is on the way.

My Red Oak still is predominantly green, but I did find this leaf changing color. Most of our oaks are in the process of dropping a few brown leaves a day and will continue doing so for the next month or so.

And then there is my so confused Apple tree. It does this every year, waits until the end of fall and tries to set blooms and fruit. I knew when I planted these tree we were really too far south for apples, but I had to try. I manage to get a few small apples every year and every year they bloom again in the fall…


Posted by Picasa

Fall Sunset


About the only fall color around these parts is found when the setting sun paints the trees with that wash of oranges, reds, and yellows. The above view caught my eye last evening as I looked out the kitchen door. The trees are across Mustang Bayou from my house and a few hundred feet south of here I sit writing on this blog. The trees are still mostly green here even as they start to fall to the ground. The trees above are more of a yellow green in full light, but last evening under that setting sun they just glowed…

We enjoyed a few days of beautiful fall weather last week which is now changing into our normal warm and muggy with a chance of rain…Duh, seems like the way we spend our year. I guess I shouldn’t complain, the doors and windows are open and the sounds of the birds and wind chimes aren’t too distracting from the Sunday morning talk shows.

Speaking of the Sunday shows…How about those Democrats? Boy, nobody thought they would look this good at this point in the election season. Kinda’ makes you wonder what may happen tomorrow…Does anyone really think the Republicans don’t have a ace in the hole? They have already managed in 2004 to convince us that exit polls used around the world to check for the honesty of elections don’t have any bearing in America anymore. What are we going to buy into next? We already bought into the tall tale that Republicans keep us safer as they try to scare the hell out of us.

I guess the only thing I want to say is everyone go out and vote on Tuesday. As you stand in line waiting to cast your vote just reflect on the past decade and decide if you feel safer and better off than ten years ago. Do you feel like your leaders really reflect your values? What ever the answer, just vote your conscious…

Posted by Picasa

Nothing to say on a Thursday morning...

So have some proud Grandpa Photos.

  Grandson with his dad...and mom.
  Posted by Picasa

Study: Red wine cuts high-fat diet dangers in mice | - Houston Chronicle

So maybe Marie Antoinette had it right when she said "let them eat cake". Pour me a glass with that cupcake please...
Study: Red wine cuts high-fat diet dangers in mice | - Houston Chronicle: "Huge amounts of a red wine extract seemed to help obese mice eat a high-fat diet and still live a long and healthy life, suggests a new study that some experts are calling 'landmark' research.

The big question is, can it work the same magic in humans?

Scientists say it's far too early to start swilling barrels of red wine. But some are calling the latest research promising and even 'spectacular.'"

Good Morning Cyberspace…

Happy day after Halloween, otherwise known as November 1.

Have a cup of Joe and sit a spell as we wonder through the headlines from the mornings email updates. For those of you wondering where I get the time for these morning musings, let me say a few things about how my morning goes…Teenage daughter, school, and bathroom, enough said? That combination usually means I have about an hour in the morning for putting together these wanders through my slowly awakening brain cells as the coffee meanders into the veins.

After glancing at the mornings comments from the “Decider” I decided to forbear measuring for new drapes for another week. I wouldn’t want to give anyone new ammunition to chunk at the “loyal opposition party”. Not that anyone in this administration has really needed actual evidence to back up their statements about much of anything.

I also see the story from yesterday is still trying to float up into the national awareness. Another foodborne disease outbreak, and it seems that even though the E. coli outbreak has been contained we still don’t have a clue as to where it came from according to the following news story…
CDC Investigating Salmonella Outbreak -
"Illness linked to produce is a growing concern among food safety experts as Americans consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, on the recommendation of the federal government. Consumers are now more likely to get sick from a produce-related outbreak than from any other food source, said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety for the CSPI.

Every year, about 76 million people contract foodborne illnesses in the United States. About 325,000 of those cases require hospitalization, and 5,000 people die."
Folks, did you catch the significance of that figure? Over a quarter of the population each year is made ill from the food they eat. It all goes back to our corporate industrial food supply. With more and more of the food supply passing through fewer and fewer processing locations we are asking for disaster. To me this is a Homeland Security issue the government just wants to keep quite. I guarantee you I am just as bad as most of America when it comes to buying locally grown produce. I couldn’t even tell you how much of the produce sold at my local farm stand is local.

I just saw this from Garrison...
Early retirement |
"Nov. 1, 2006 | It took me an hour to turn the clocks back an hour, coordinating all the watches and digital alarm clocks and oven clock and kitchen clock and car clocks to Central Standard Time, during which a man starts to question the entire concept of promptitude, meetings, appointments, etc., which leads to thoughts of retirement, the End of the Trail, Old Paint, the part of your life when it doesn't matter so much if it's 9:30 or 10:05, or even if its Tuesday or Saturday, when you drift along as most mammals do, eating when hungry, sleeping when sleepy, and meeting whoever you meet whenever you meet them."
Lord I know that feeling these days, you drag yourself in to do what you have always done…But, you are beginning to here the words from the song run through your head…”Is that all there is?”. This piece of Garrison’s leads to ruminations on retirement. This of course must lead to thoughts of the coming retirement of the “Leader of the Once (Sometime?) Free World”. His closing is classic:
"Washington is a city where a bill to relax air-pollution standards would be called the Clean Air Act and a bill to protect government officials from war-crimes prosecution would be called the Military Commissions Act, and so a man's statement that he knows who he is and who his friends are needs to be taken as meaning the opposite, a cry for help. You come to office as a uniter and you wind up doing the opposite. You stand for American values and you wind up defending torture and the waste of resources. Knowing who you are is a minimal adult requirement, and you don't get there by being an object of attention. Retirement is recommended. The sooner the better."

Time to run on down the road…maybe later…

My Blog List