Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A broad assumption

I'll assume that everyone who has visited this site in the last couple of days has either been having too much of a Merry Christmas, or you enjoyed my recipe and movie suggestions to the point of overload. Either pathway is cool.

The lack of commentary suggests I'm hitting bull's eyes on my targets. I'm going to go to bed for a few days, and wait for the turkey to wear off. Meanwhile, they'll hang Saddam, blow up the rest of the civilized world, or re-instate Miss Teen USA. Am I supposed to care?

I thought I might stir something up when I said I don't want John McCain or Barack Obama as my president, but it's too early in the year to care. No one cares for politics at Christmas. The new year's going to be groovy, when Queen Nancy takes control of America's future. Everyone will get along then!

I really don't want either of these clowns, Osama Bamalama as Ted Kennedy drunkenly called him, or chipmonk-face McCain, as my president. Senator McCain has more impressive credentials, but I don't trust him. Senator Obama needs more bark knocked off him by the DC political system. Pelosi's already proven more of a political joke than Al Gore.

If I had to cast a vote today, Joe Liberman would get it. Yeah, I'd even vote for a [former] Democrat again.

Hillary should not take this as a positive sign. I don't like the war, and you're the most poisonous woman in America. That's a dangerous mix. The girls get you every time. I have two ex-wives with keys to my Corvette and the bankbooks for all of my life's savings who can tell you about the politics of payback. I'll sit this one out, thanks all the same.

Nobody listens to my ravings. I don't know why I bother to type this. Hillary will be the next president, a nuclear incident will occur, and we'll continue to buy junk that's pushed for $19.95 on TV.

After I take the dog to the vet next week, I'm going to hibernate in bed for about four years. I don't want to see my nuclear nightmares come true when we try to "reason" with the forces of illogic and totalitarianism. We'll all kiss, get warm and fuzzy, and the knife will steal in like a thief in the night.

Hopefully, we won't feel it when they cut our throats. It's about dhimmitude or death, infidel!

Happy New Year, 2007! You have the best government money can buy; enjoy it!

Okay, we're down to sharing recipes!

I’m gonna take a wide end run here, and share a recipe.

Grits are a Southern thing. You go to New York and ask for a bowl of grits, and you’ll get stared out of the neighborhood. I like mine simple, with lots of butter and a little garlic salt, but I have strange tastes.

This is for all my Yankee friends, and y’all know who you are. It’s not as tasty as deer liver cooked over an open fire with green pine straw, but it won’t get you cussed out in fine restaurants. I once had an elegant diner in a tuxedo hurl a plate of pasta at me for divulging the secret recipe for deer liver.

Start with a pie crust of crushed Rice Krispies™. Roll them up in a clean towel, grease your casserole dish with butter, and proceed.

This is not a low-cholesterol meal. We have a saying down h’yar: “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t cooked.” I promise you this can be made in the oven; start by pre-heating to 400°.

Then you add the first layer of grits. About halfway up the dish will suffice. Instant grits will do, but you should really cook them while the oven pre-heats. Grits are traditionally made from cracked corn, and you need to cook the dickens out of them. Quaker Oats™ and some of these other companies have versions that can be microwaved in two minutes, but that’s cheating.

Once you have the first layer of grits smoothed out over the Rice Krispies™ crust, you start with the bacon. This also requires pre-cooking. We have to have something fried in the mix. Raw bacon is a bad idea. Iron skillets are best for this chore; they give you a ration of iron in the preparation.

Lace the bacon strips like you’re weaving a basket. Don’t be stingy; the cheese comes next. Completely top the bottom layer with strips of bacon, and then add the cheese. I prefer pepper jack, but you might want to start with something milder.

Then you add the second layer of grits. Smooth them out with a spatula, like you did the first layer. Then lace some more bacon strips across the top, and smother that under grated cheese. As mentioned, this is not for the calorie- or cholesterol-conscious.

Then you pop this terrible concoction into that 400° oven, and wait for the edges of the cheese to turn brown, like a pizza crust. Then you pop it out, cut it with a knife, and wait for it to cool sufficiently.

This will probably take ten years off your life if you are one of those politically correct cholesterol-counters. It’s also some mighty fine eatin’ if you’re from the South, where we eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, because that’s supposed to bring us prosperity in the coming year, and a possum or squirrel is often our only source of protein. Actually, I think the black-eyed peas are supposed to bring us luck, and the collard greens, the color of money, are supposed to bring us good fortune.

Whatever, if you’re some benighted Yankee who wonders how we nearly won the Civil War powered by grits, this casserole will make you a believer. It’s not something to indulge in every day, but for the holiday season, it beats green beans with onions and pecans.

I only shared this recipe because my buddy Shelly [over at Shelly’s Place; check the links] did a little something about holiday cooking. She’s a lot funnier than I am, but I guarantee this casserole will make you a grits fan, and it’s tastier than deer liver cooked in green pine straw.

A shameful admission

I have a shameful admission to make.

In addition to voting for Jimmy Carter in 1976, in 1988 I told a liberal friend that Al Gore might make a decent president once he got some of the bark knocked off himself by the DC political system. Let’s call that the last misguided vestige of liberal thought in a misspent life.

Al Gore has since proven to be as crazy as an outhouse rat, and that’s putting it kindly and family-friendly. I rather like global warming; if it means fewer of my dollars go to Iran for heating oil.

I don’t want John McCain or Barack Obama as my president. Even my liberal friends like Red Liz despise Hillary, so she may be pretty much DOA. I don’t much mind Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, or Mayor Giuliani’s liberal viewpoints on certain issues. Obama needs some more bark knocked off, and Senator McCain has been too badly treated through the years to earn my trust. The 2008 election is going to be very interesting, indeed.

It’s fun to sit here with the dogs at my feet and prognosticate. It’s also way too early. Early estimates put the cost of the 2008 election at a billion dollars, win, lose, or draw.

Since Libertarians aren’t yet in a position to supplant Democrats as the alternative party, I just hope we can come up a decent Conservative candidate in the next couple of years. The alternative is unthinkable.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Celebrity cat fights

I'm writing this off the cuff, no backup. No storage in MS Word.

Donald Trump has more money than God. I never paid much attention to him; some rich guy who owns big pieces of real estate. Good for him; he prospers.

Then he chose to get it on with a fat, ugly lesbian militant. He started off by declaiming that he's not running for office, and can say whatever he wants. He certainly can.

Then, he proceeded to say what many of us think. Rosie O'Donnell is an unattractive woman. People of my generation would call her a diesel dyke. She seems to have a long-term relationship, and is a loving mother to four children. I don't think this establishes superior mental health standards. Rosie is a sick puppy.

While never paying much attention to Donald Trump in the past, I am suddenly seeing him calling truth to power. I never cared much about the real estate or "Apprentice" stuff, but I am massively impressed with the way he has muscled up against looney-toon Rosie. He would make a great honorary redneck; a guy who'll spit in the dust and exclaim a non-printable remark. Them's my kind of people.

"A Midnight Clear"

There is a wonderful movie that gets little attention this time of the year. It is titled “A Midnight Clear.” Based on the 1914 Christmas truce between German and Allied troops, it is a tragic tale of War II. Directed by boy wonder Keith Gordon, this is not what you’ll expect.

There is nothing as touching as soldiers hurling snowballs instead of grenades at each other. I own this on DVD. It is outstanding, and virtually ignored. It’s a small movie from the 1990’s that is totally disregarded. I don’t know that Keith Gordon [of “Christine” fame] has ever done anything better. He couldn’t have done better the first time out of the box. I am endlessly impressed with his regard for the human experience.

Reviews on the Internet Movie Data Base [IMDB] slag this movie as a pacifistic number. They cite War II movies as superior, especially “Castle Keep”, a nihilistic wipe-out that stars Burt Lancaster.

Okay, I’ll go for “The Guns of Navarone”. “The Longest Day” is pretty good, too. We won the war. There is no arguing with history. "A Bridge Too Far" chronicles the greatest airborne operation ever attempted. Wartime legends of the greatest generation abound.

“A Midnight Clear” is a great Christmas parable about peace. It may be fiction, and ends badly, but there is a message of humanity that flows throughout. This is a Christmas keeper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How Dad did it, Pt. 2

I think it was around 16 December that Adolph Hitler launched the last great offensive of the European war. The Allies thought that things would be wrapped up by Christmas, but Der Hitler had amassed tanks and troops, and had one last surprise.

Much has been made of the “Battle of the Bulge.” Hitler’s troops drove deep, and caught Allied soldiers by surprise. It was a crucial battle .

My father was born in l907. He’d be 99 years old this 15th December. He didn’t live that long. He was murdered by a serial killer in 1985. I saw an incredible statistic about how many War II veterans are lost to old age every day. If you have someone you can sit down with a video camera, or an audio recorder, do it now! There is no greater legacy than the courage of those who fought the Greatest War. They didn’t ask for it; they answered the call. Japan, intentionally or not, had pulled an act of treachery. Nazi Germany was a self-evident threat.

My father traveled the country during the Depression. He became a barber, and cut hair to put himself through Georgia Tech and learn radio technology. Those who called him,a name referred to him as a '"happy pappy”. He was an older man, caught in a younger war. He and his jeep driver, a man called “Sticher”, went ashore on D-day. They fought their way across Belgium and the Siegfried Line. They were a component of the 3d Armored Division, a unit that gets periodically mixed up with Patton’s Third Army. It was the Spearhead that drove across Belgium, not Patton’s Third Army. Patton got the glory; Dad’s unit got the heavy lifting

I wrote an earlier story detailing the events of how my father came to possess a Silver Star. He took a Panzer commander prisoner, and he and Sticher ran him through enemy lines against concentrated fire. The Panzer commander said my old man was nuts; Dad didn’t seem to think it was a big deal...

Details are available upon request; I won’t tell my dad’s tale unless asked. He charged Panzers in a jeep, and he won. At the age of 78, he was murdered by what appears to be a protected federal witness who does serial murder as a hobby. Dad was the 3d of four victims.

We never know how things are going to turn out.

Dad would be 99 years old on Dec. 12th. The odds are he wouldn’t have made that 99th birthday, but he should have had what the Bible calls “the fullness of his days”.

I do not sleep easily when the day is done. I am dreaming of the day; come back, murderous demon. I have an automatic pistol, I am waiting. I know that vengeance is cursed of The Lord, it is also impossible to stand by. It is wrong by my Christian beliefs to desire such bloodthirsty vengeance. I cannot help myself; there is no excuse for murdering my father. Bring it on I. am waiting. I am the last of Dad's family left.

I am angry that Van Susteren and her ilk cannot recommend a cold case detective. This 21 -year-old muder will never be solved. My stand against the killer is meangingless. Bring it on, I have a few hundred dollars in my wallet. Unlike my dad, I also carry a pistol.. Draw down, gutless wonder! I wait every day; I carry a pistol in advance of your heartless defiance. You killled a war hero, march on me!

Love and affection,

The Possum


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Horses, cavalry, and missing things...

I should be physically restrained from watching the first 20 minutes of “The Horse Whisperer”. Despite reading the book, and knowing what was coming, I scared hell out of a movie house full of people when the horse encountered the 18-wheeler, because I screamed. If movies are supposed to elicit emotion, Robert Redford succeeded. I cannot watch that first few moments when the horse skids down the hill into the path of that truck. It's only a movie, but...

I have a history with horses. I was fortunate to be a client at Flag is Up Farms, the HQ of Monty Roberts, the original horse whisperer. I never used spurs on my horses again. It was always about teamwork from that point forth.

There is no point to this mention, except that I miss my horses. I am riding Cadillac in the picture, a.k.a. “Three Socks”, as a cavalry provost. I also rode an older brood mare named “Scooter”. A stumpy-legged old mare, she could run and jump with the best.

Horses have been a part of my life since my early teens. I don’t think Redford and I would ever agree on politics, but his moviemaking is superb.

It’s an old movie, recycling onto my satellite. The book is excellent, and the movie ain’t bad. I own the DVD, but if you don’t, catch “The Horse Whisperer” while you can.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Those People" redux

For the record:

Robert Edward Lee used to use the term “Those People” when referring to his enemies. He would not denigrate them further, their actions were self-evident. General Lee was a Christian, and a gentleman.

I am neither, but “Those People” is still a perfect term for those who have taken control of Congress. I do not suffer from Post Election Stress Trauma [PEST]; I have my own fish to fry. Politics supersedes the NFL and NASCAR as the ultimate blood-sport, but I remain an amused observer. I am, in fact, delighted that America has fallen into the “progressive” hands of the modern incarnation of the Socialist party. One of the upsides of hermitage is that they can do little to harm the crest of Scorpion Hill. Life continues apace here, and a nothing from an Iranian stranglehold on oil to a nuclear incident will have much effect.

I wish I could say that for the rest of America, but y’all are getting the best government money can buy. Enjoy it…

I have a lot of phrases for those of the liberal mind-set. Such comments are hurled at my TV, as I watch the nightly circus. C-SPAN is as boring as this blog, but I find it highly entertaining. Despite “Kramer’s” rant, I suppose my predilections and personal preferences are “just me”, as Jerry Seinfeld said.

“Those People” is a perfect fit. I am anxious to see a transformation in the Middle East, an end to “the culture of corruption” described by speaker-designate Pelosi. Ya…she is going to change things. Among many other citizens, I have a Bronze Star and two Hearts with the “V” device. Jack Murtha is constantly described by the NY Times as “highly decorated”. I'm just a guy.

One word for Murtha: ABSCAM.

Don’t shame our mutual trinkets. They were earned honorably, but you have lost your way.

You have earned your rank among “Those People”.

I can think of a great many epithets for American servicemen from Nam who turn their yellow backs since they've obtained political office. Nothing is publishable here. I am giving breaks. The 173d Airborne owned the night; go read your history. Career politicians have forgotten their roots.

I will stick with R. E. Lee: “Those People.”

Lee was a conflicted man. He made the Devil’s choice. He fought for what he ultimately believed, although it cost him, in the Founding Fathers’ words, his life, fortune, and sacred honor.

Today’s politics carry no such sense of history. They are all about cheap whores making street corner deals and spreading their legs on animal skins in back alleys.

If I have to pay for it, I’d prefer something with a bit more class than what Washington offers.

I can’t wait to see how the “new leadership” will raise the price of prostitution.

Beginning the psychology of illness in the Cyber-age

I have been away for a few days. I have a chronic illness, and occasionally the local hospital enjoys keeping me overnight—sometimes several nights—for “observation”. I’m not sure what they “observe”, but it’s apparently interesting, at least to them. I feel like a lab rat. My GP is also a deacon in my church, so perhaps I shouldn't refer to him as a "croaker". He does look in on me once a day, even if he's leading a gaggle of young croakers and teaching them bedside manners.

Life in a small community has its ups and downs. I’m not sure which term applies, but when the local hospital staff wants to “observe” me, they won’t let me near a computer. They know my propensities all too well. Perhaps it raises my blood pressure, or something, if I go a-blogging. Hence, my blog has been without refreshment for some time.

A web log, i.e. “blog” is defined as a daily diary of the more mundane aspects of life. I was recently characterized as “boring” by a troll on another web site. The irony is that this troll was intimately familiar with the subjects of my mutterings. He/she/it said I would be a lot more interesting if I transcended my sarcasm and commented on things other than cigarettes and rock and roll. In search of a real life, this sweaty little demon reads what I write, despite protestations to the contrary.

If one gives up drugs and booze, what is left besides cigarettes and rock in the realm of defiance? Smokes will kill ya, and hard rock will make you deaf. We grow up to be our parents, if we get the chance to live that long.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m listening to rock & roll as I write this: Roy Harper—“The Game” from the “HQ” album. That 13+ minutes of perfect rock has rung inside my empty head since its 1978 release. Cigarettes are a personal choice, but they’re a bitch to quit once you start.

Illness, and the premature end to my Biblically allocated days, makes me slightly philosophical. I am not trolling for sympathy or commiserations; “it” with an “sh” happens. I have read all the essential books by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross on death and dying; I am not terminal, but I like to do my homework. I ignored my assignments and faked it for Kindergarten—Master’s [Poli-Sci], but I know now why people my age read The Bible so much: we’re cramming for the final exam.

I hope I pass. As Ricky said to Lucy, I gots a lotsa ‘splainin’ to do.

I had an original vision of a blog site as a place to make jokes. Then it became a legacy for my daughters. There are things about their old man they’ll never know otherwise. Now I have a place on the net, and what’s left of my mind has gone blank.

I speak above of being philosophical, but that is one of the universe’s jokes. A true philosopher adds to the reality of human experience. I have always been a follower; not someone who will buy the shiniest idea ever offered, but one who embraces a common-sense ideal. I have nothing original to add, so I can never be a real philosopher. Therefore, I am a Libertarian, in the true Ayn Rand sense of that term of definition. I may follow the herd, but don’t tell me what to do. I am what old-time sheep- and cattle-herders would call “an outrider”.

God doesn’t grade us on political ideology. Looking at the harsh reality of being closer to the end than the beginning, I hope I have done [mostly] the right things. I think [hope] that's what the curve is based upon.

While being “observed”, I had my own observations about the psychological effects of being a patient, and surviving a chronic illness. These will congeal into various boring mutterings if/when I live long enough to figure them out and find the words. Irony abounds, but I won't spell it out.

[It’s the “C” word, so don’t ask again, please. I wrote obits for a major daily paper, and we always used the euphemism “long illness”.]

From time to time, this blog will contain certain reminiscences that are aimed at my family, specifically my daughters. These little mutterings may have some resonance with others who lived through the turbulent times we shared as kids in the '70s. They may have no interest to anyone; that’s a risk that bloggers run.

I’m a mess, and if you think this is boring, sign out and read no further. I will re-explain “Those People” in a moment. Stay tuned if we’re having fun.

This is Part I. I don't know where this may go, but the pathology of illness has its own direction. I'll try to stick to the psychological, like an "Oprah" segment.

Like she and Van Susteren care. Can you say "ratings"?

Sure, you can.

[Fred Rogers, R.I.P.]

If this is not what you expected, go surf some porn.