The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dynamite: Vandy Wins!

I just read in the Nashville's City Paper that Vandy beat Ole Miss in Oxford, 28-14. Before they won today, the 'Dores had lost ten straight conference games. Man, we've got a real winning streak going now. Vandy has an open date next week and then faces UConn next week. We'll crush 'em. Here's "Dynamite," the Vandy fight song:

"Win or lose, the fates will choose." So that's it. It's not that Vandy's teams haven't been quite as good as those other brutes in the SEC, it's just that fate's been against us all these long years. I understand and accept that. I really do. I'm also a Cubs fan.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nashville Lower Broad Tour, Part I

Sorry I haven't posted since Tuesday. It's been a busy week here in the Hollow.

On Monday, I rode with Joyce uptown to drop off her car at the Body shop to get it repaired. On Tuesday we made a short trip to Murfreesboro to pick up something Joyce's brother's wife had given her and we stopped off at Lower Broad on the way back for a quick tour. More on that below. Then on Wednesday I returned to the doctor for a checkup. He adjusted my coumadin level, said I was doing okay and sent me on my merry way. Afterward we ate at Ruby's Cafe in Hendersonville, our favorite Meat and Three.

Now, as to the whys and the wherefores of the body shop excursion... Back on Saturday Joyce was involved in a crash in the Publix grocery parking lot. She wasn't hurt, thank goodness, just shook up pretty bad, and still trembling like a leaf when she got home. She was driving straight down the lane toward the store when she was "T" boned by a guy cutting across the parking lot. The crash damaged the bottom of the driver door slightly, the back door, and the back fender panel. Thankfully, the other driver was gracious and admitted fault and his insurance is taking care of it. Three panels: $5500. Here's a pic of our car (note: you can click on any pic in this post to make it bigger):

I thought we might get a Yugo rental but instead we got a Chevy Impala. Not bad.

Like I said, on Tuesday after getting our rental we stopped off on Lower Broad in downtown Nashville and pretended to be tourists for about 45 minutes. It was fun and Joyce got some good shots even though the weather was overcast. I'll be showing some more of these photos over the next few days. I can do a pretty quick post that way when I making my morning blog rounds and then get to work on cleaning up the mystery novel, which I hope is going out next week sometime.

We dropped the car off, got the rental, and headed downtown. Here's a pic or two I took from the car. First, as we crossed the railroad bridge, we passed the old Union Station, built in 1900 as the city's main train depot. In recent years the depot was restored and turned into an upscale Wyndam Grand Hotel. But in 1956 at the age of 16, I caught L&N's  "Hummingbird" at Union Station and rode it to Cincinatti and then from there I went on another train to Detroit. It was my first "solo" like that and will be the subject of a post sometime in the future.

Here's another pic driving on Broadway headed downhill toward what people refer to as Lower Broad. In the 60's and 70's it was a mess, drunks on the street, porn theaters, etc., but the city cleaned it up and it's a big tourist attraction now. The tower you can barely see at the right of the pic is on top of the Bridgestone Arena. I'll show more of it in a later post. Right now, I'll just say the "Stone" is where the Predators play hockey.

After paying an exorbitant fee, we parked our car on 5th Avenue. Here's a closer view of the building you may have noticed in the previous photo. We locals call it "The Bat Building." I think you can see why.

We walked down 5th and took in the grandeur of the Mother Church of Country Music, the "world famous Ryman Auditorium," as the Opry announcers like to say. I'll stop today with this shot and continue the tour in a day or two. There'll be more shots of the Ryman, plus Tootsie's and other Lower Broad hot spots. Happy trails!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shortnin' Bread

My banjo pickin' buddy Ed lives up on the Ridge and I hoped to find a little "Salty Dog" to start his day. But the pickin's on the Tube of You were slim. So how 'bout a little Shortnin' Bread instead. Made with Martha White, naturally.

Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

Set Me Free, Somewhere in the Middle of Montana

Last Fall, my buddy George decided to leave life in the big city and head for Montana. George came back and got Lady Sara this summer and they're both up there in Big Sky Country preparing for winter. Here's a pic George posted on his blog (and a link to same) recently.

For a retired academic, old George sure looks like he knows what he's doing with that Stihl. Happy trails George and Sara, and stack that firewood high. Here's a song that you've probably heard many times; the most appropriate line: "Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in Montana."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Browning and Browning, Inc.

Browning and Browning. Now there's a company I would like to have worked for. It exists only in my imagination of course, but still having the two fellows I'm discussing today as my bosses would have been most interesting...
Over the 40 years I spent in academia, I developed a taste for some, not all, poetry. One of the poets I came to admire was Robert Browning (1812-1889) an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. He had a famous romatic relationship with a woman poet (Elizabeth Barrett) who later became his wife (not the second Browning in my title btw). There's a lot of info about him all over the Google, so I won't pick any specific article to link to.

In a dramatic monologue, which is like a long speech lifted from a play script, a single character speaks. Browning had skill as a writer and as a psychologist and so these monologues are like portraits that reveal a person's true character through his or her language whether they intend to or not. One of Browning's most famous dramatic monologues (and my favorite) is "My Last Duchess" in which an Italian Duke, who's speaking to an emissary of the family of a young girl he may marry, reveals himself to be a jealous monster who murdered his last wife. The wife in question, his last Duchess, was a quite young, innocent girl with a bright and cheerful disposition. Here's a quotation from that famous monologue.

She had
A heart--how shall I say?--too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 'twas all one! My favor at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace--all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least....Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together.

Now I ask you, what kind of guy is jealous of the attention his wife pays to the sunset or a white mule? Let's hope the emissary from the family of the girl he's now considering marrying rushes back
and warns them that the Duke is a jealous monster who murdered his last wife.

The second Browning in the imaginary company in my title refers to John Moses Browning (1855-1926), said by the Wiki to be "the world's most prolific firearms inventor." Most of his designs were so successful that they've been "manufactured by other companies, Winchester, Colt, Remington, Fabrique Nationale de Herstal of Belgium, and Miroku."

Browning's most famous pistol design is arguably the M1911 (although I'm sure others might argue for the famous Browning Hi Power). Wiki says the M1911 "is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, and recoil-operated handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It was designed by John M. Browning, and was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985, and is still carried by some U.S. forces. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Its formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 in the Vietnam era. In total, the United States procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in military contracts during its service life."

The innocent young wife in "My Last Duchess" is a fictional character of course, and she lived before John Moses Browning's time, but had she packed a 1911 45 caliber, Robert Browning might have written a different poem, one entitled "My Last Duke."

Two Brownings. Browning and Browning, Inc. Like I said, it would have been an interesting company to work for. They could get after you with either poetic rhetoric or ammo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wanna Burn Something?

Ground Zero

On this the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, CNN, reports that 70% of all Americans oppose the mosque planned for Ground Zero. The breakdown of the percentage of those opposed to the structure includes 54% of Democrats, 82% of Republicans, and 70% of independents.

Victor Davis Hanson says Imam Rauf, the mosque project's sponsor,
claims he is for free expression, even when it so obviously offends tens of millions of Americans; but he has no problem criticizing the Danish cartoonists for their supposedly unnecessary and gratuitously offensive drawings. In a variety of ways, he has praised the Iranian Revolution, whose end result is horrific violence against women, homosexuals, democrats, and dissidents of any stripe, whether novelists abroad or reformers at home. Others have pointed out that there is no reason to believe the ecumenical Ground Zero Islamic complex will introduce gender or sexual parity into its protocols in the American tradition that Rauf keeps invoking.
The respected Thomas Sowell says

The proposed mosque near where the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed, along with thousands of American lives, would be a 15-story middle finger to America....
Our betters are telling us that we need to be more "tolerant" and more "sensitive" to the feelings of Muslims. But if we are supposed to be sensitive to Muslims, why are Muslims not supposed to be sensitive to the feelings of millions of Americans, for whom 9/11 was the biggest national trauma since Pearl Harbor?...

There is no question that Muslims have a right to build a mosque where they chose to. The real question is why they chose that particular location, in a country that covers more than 3 million square miles.

If we all did everything that we have a legal right to do, we could not even survive as individuals, much less as a society. So the question is whether those who are planning a Ground Zero mosque want to be part of American society or just to see how much they can get away with in American society?

Can anyone in his right mind believe that this was intended to show solidarity with Americans, rather than solidarity with those who attacked America? Does anyone imagine that the Middle East nations, including Iran, from whom financial contributions will be solicited, want to promote reconciliation between Americans and Muslims?...
There are people for whom moral preening has become a way of life. They are out in force denouncing critics of the Ground Zero mosque....

They think the United States is somehow on trial, and needs to prove itself to others by bending over backwards. But bending over backwards does not win friends. It loses respect, including self-respect.

September 11, 2001

Friday, September 10, 2010

Living in Clot City

I've wrestled a bit with posting this, but finally decided to since I've always used writing as a way of dealing with and actually coming to understand what I believe or feel about whatever is weighing on my mind.

First the bad news: I had some pain in my leg, upper thigh, week before last and thought it was a muscle sprain or tear. Over that weekend it continued to hurt a bit (but nothing excessive). On Monday I felt a little less pain but still decided to see the doctor at the clinic near our house. He immediately sent me for an ultra sound. Turns out I had two clots. A superficial one about half way down the thigh and another, a deep vein one (DVT), in the groin area. The groin clot was the large one and the most dangerous even though the pain from it had barely registered on me. Guess I'll be living in Clot City for a while; that's the bad news.

The good news is that I apparently caught it in time before it broke loose and went to my lungs, heart, or brain. My regular doctor prescribed the blood thinner coumadin in pill form and a series of ten shots of Heparin that would take me to the point where there is enough coumadin in my system to do the job. In addition to reminding me of my evening coumadin pill, Joyce gave me 5 of the shots in my stomach over the next two days. I went back to the doctor last Thursday to check the coumadin level and it was already within the desired range, so we stopped the shots. That's another good thing!

Maintaining the desired coumadin level for the next 6 months to a year will prevent further clotting and allow the deep clot to begin to dissolve (actually only part of it dissolves, the rest, as I understand it, attaches to the vein wall and is covered over by a new layer of skin, or whatever they call the insides of your veins). During this time I'm supposed to keep my feet up when I sitting and never cross my legs (I'm finding this part pretty hard to do). I'll be visiting the doctor on a regular basis for a while to ensure that the coumadin level remains stable. And at some point a few months from now I'll probably have another ultra sound to determine if the clot has been taken care of by my body.

I know this isn't a trivial event and it did get me down when I got the news. But I'm feeling okay now, mentally and physically, taking it easy as per doctor's orders. No heavy lifting, elevating my legs when sitting, etc. I'm also getting up from the computer or tv frequently to make sure there's little chance any more clots will form. My neighbor Ronnie had a clot about three years ago and it did get to his lung. But he was lucky and they were able to treat it in a fashion similar to mine. He was hospitalized for a time however, since it got to his lungs. He's fine now and does more yard work in a day than I could ever do in a week.
BTW, some of the causes are sitting still too long in a car or on a plane or at a computer, standing too long, etc. Any kind of prolonged inactivity that doesn't allow the muscles in your legs to move the blood back to your heart is a risk. Hospital stays, surgeries, etc. can also lead to clots. Take my advice, stop the car, get out and walk around some as you travel. I suspect my two long recent car trips plus some other factors may have contributed to my problem. If you're traveling by air, get up and walk up the aisle and back from time to time. If you're not traveling, get your butt up from the computer or tv and move around frequently.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama's Stimulus: Graphic Visual Shows Epic Fail

I just got this interesting video from my friend Jeanne. Take a look at it. View it more than once. It's an amazing graphic display of the current administration's failure to deal with the economic crisis, specifically unemployment. Note that the real action doesn't begin until 2008.

The Last Straw

The Washington Times comments on the Obama Administration's report to the UN regarding human rights issues in the US.

Move over Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. The State Department has made it official: The United States violates human rights. In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration submitted a report to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights detailing the progress and problems in dealing with human rights issues in this country. The document is a strange combination of left-wing history and White House talking points.

It describes how the United States discriminates against the disabled, homosexuals, women, Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics and those who don't speak English. There is the expected pandering to Muslims, noting that the government is committed to "challenge misperceptions and discriminatory stereotypes, to prevent acts of vandalism and to combat hate crimes," offenses that the American people evidently keep committing. And the current economic woes are blamed on the housing crisis, which itself was the result of "discriminatory lending practices." The implication is that if Americans had only been less racist, they would be enjoying prosperity today.

The report notes that until recently, the U.S. engaged in torture, unlawfully detained terrorist suspects and illegally spied on Americans communicating with terrorists - but the report assures readers that Mr. Obama has been putting a stop to all that.

Whisky and NASCAR: Unintended Consequences

Many conservatives have spoken before about a huge liberal blind spot. No, I'm not talking about their blind stumbling drunk binges. The whisky stuff comes later.You know the blind spot I'm talking about. Unintended consequences.

Libs are so so smart, they just know this or that program when instituted will look as good as George Clooney's hair, they know they've thought of everything--all the amazing benefits that the unwashed and not so smart masses will enjoy as a result of their benevolent genius.

But they always forget the law of unintended consequences: Whatever you do will always lead to results you can't possibly predict, and some of those results will invevitably be bad.

And since liberals are never wrong, when they get a negative result, they just double down and get more funding to do whatever they did in the first place again. Usually this leads to another huge bureauracy at the federal level. Or more lost jobs if the word "stimulus" is involved. Or perhaps Hollywood steps in and produces a movie starring George Clooney or Matt Damon that blames the failure of the whole heroic (read shitty) enterprise on the CIA or a sleazy Republican senator or a greedy corporation.

To better illustrate the point I'm making, and to get that whisky picture and the reference to NASCAR explained, George Will in "Another round of Prohibition, anyone?" in the Jewish World Review talks about the unintended consequences of the prohibition movement.
Women campaigning for sobriety did not intend to give rise to the income tax, plea bargaining, a nationwide crime syndicate, Las Vegas, NASCAR (country boys outrunning government agents), a redefined role for the federal government and a privacy right -- the "right to be let alone" -- that eventually was extended to abortion rights. But they did.

American Thinker: Paris Video Shows Possible Future of Ground Zero

From Sunday's edition of the American Thinker, "Paris Video Shows the Future of Ground Zero." The accompanying article is by Stella Paul.

Ms. Paul notes that
Sharia will be preached there, as it is in 80% of the new mosques in America, all funded by Saudi plutocrats to spread the delightful barbarities of wahhabism. For Americans who enjoy forced child marriages, polygamy, honor killings, and other brutalities against women, Jews, gays, Christians, and infidels -- well, the future's so bright they've got to wear shades.
Ms. Paul then shows a prophetic video from Paris, which was
secretly filmed by a loyal Parisian to show the world what's happening to the city he loves. Here we find the final piece of the Ground Zero Mosque puzzle -- the conquest of the surrounding public streets exclusively for Muslims, with the active complicity of government.
For some reason (ineptitude?), I was unable to embed the video. So please, click on the link above to view it. I think you'll find it very revealing.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mosque Building at Ground Zero and Koran Burning in Florida Are Similar Actions

Though not considered by "Main Stream Journalists," the planned construction of the Ground Zero Mosque and the planned burning of the Koran by the pastor of the church in Florida are quite similar.

First, both are alike in that they are symbolic actions. The Imam who plans to build the GZM says it will symbolize the peaceful intent and "bridge building" of Muslims. Those opposed to the Mosque say it will be a disgusting symbol of triumph for the terrorist actions of 9/11. In the same way, the symbolism of burning the Koran seems quite clear to the Florida pastor. He says his action will show that Americans don't always give in to threats. 

Second, both are provocative acts. Again, the Imam says his intent is benign, peaceful, but the fact remains that his original name for the project (the Cordoba House) was clearly provocative. Also, polls show a large marjority oppose the construction of the Mosque at that particular place; this also is indicative that the action itself is provocative whatever the Imam's intentions are. Similarly, the pastor who plans to burn some Korans seems to understand that his action is provocative, especially to Muslims and that's apparently one reason why he's doing it.

Third, from a purely "rights" standpoint, both actions are also similar. Everyone from Bloomberg, to Clinton, to Obama has said that the Imam has a constitutional right to build anywhere he wants to build. Likewise, most lawyers as well as Bloomberg seem to agree that the Koran burning is a protected First Amendment freedom of expression right in the same way that the burning the American flag is a right.

The opposition generated in America by each proposal constitutes another similarity. Despite support from Obama and others, the Imam's plan has caused a firestorm of protest from conservatives, some Democrats, and others. Even some Muslims are voicing opposition to the GZM. Meanwhile, the pastor who plans to burn the Koran is under enormous pressure from General Petraeus, the State Department, Christian leaders, and others to not carry out his plan.

The fact that on the surface one action is constructive and the other destructive, may seem to be a difference. But open closer examination, this apparent difference can easily be shown to be another similarity.

In truth, both actions are clearly destructive, no matter their intent.

The Imam plans to build a Mosque at Ground Zero, on the surface a constructive, creative act. But this construction ultimately will be destructive. Once it's built, it's built. And because of its proximity to Ground Zero, it will stand as a constant and ironic reminder of the so called "peaceful" nature of the religion professed by the terrorists who killed nearly 3000 Americans on American soil. Many American Christians, Jews, and even some of those of little or no faith will be so filled with anger and fury at this provocation, that it will seriously damage if not destroy any hope moderate Muslims here may have of being truly accepted in the U.S. The Mosque will be like a flaming scimitar thrust deep into the heart of American tolerance. The destruction generated by this act could continue for a long, long time.

The pastor of the Florida church plans to burn a pile of Korans, certainly an inflammatory, destructive act. And, when the fire burns out, only ashes will remain. (These burnt Korans are of course not the only copies of the Koran, there will be millions of copies of that book still available.) But when news and images of this action go around the world, Muslims will respond murderously and destructively as they did in the cartoon episode. Indeed, they have already given notice that they will strike back violently at American soldiers, embassies, and possibly individuals if the pastor carries out his plan to burn what they consider their sacred book.

Why hasn't the MSM considered these similarities?

And, in closing, a final question: if these two actions are similar, why does the symbolic and provocative act of building the mosque at GZ get considerable support and/or defense, while the symbolic and provocative Koran burning gets almost none?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Late Labor Day Post: A Work History and Some Country Anthems

To answer CCR's lyric, I was a "fortunate son." Fortunate to be born in the U.S. of A. But I wasn't born with "no silver spoon in hand." My family was working class.

If you detect a bit of pride in the following history, you're right. I'm proud of the work I did. All of it. It helped me understand what it is to work for a living, to exchange your time and your physical and mental effort for pay to be used for sustenance.

I cussed some here and there, but at the same time came to understand that beside the pay there was pride, dignity, and honor in what you were doing. That understanding stayed with me throughout my academic career and became the personal safety net that caught me and sustained me when my illusions about the liberal political philosophy came crashing down. Looking back, this understanding of the nature of work is probably what made me at times very uncomfortable with some of the liberal elitism I sensed in academia.

First, my family. My dad worked as a fireman on a steam locomotive for the Tennessee Central Railroad in 1939. In the early 40's he drove a city bus in Nashville, and from the late 40's through the late 50's he drove a truck. During those first years as a truck driver he drove for a company and was pressured (threatened) to join the union, which he never did. Later he owned his own truck, a cabover White, and continued to haul loads all over the country--New York City, Chicago, Miami, Omaha, etc. From the 60's on till his retirement he worked in construction, most of that time for a pipeline company.

My Mom began work as department store clerk when I was in high school. She made sure our breakfast was made and our sack lunches were ready before she got on the bus every morning. And then, after working all day, she still had a hot supper prepared and ready in the evenings. She worked five days a week, standing on her feet, dealing with customers, and replenishing stock for twenty years.

Mom and Dad both worked hard and their example gave my brother and me our work ethic and taught us a few things about survival.

In high school I worked clearing brush for the county ($1 per hour) for a summer, and I clerked at a dry cleaners for a year and a half. I drove a short haul truck during the summer I graduated high school and saved every penny to go to Junior college. It paid for my whole first year (tuition, room, board=$700).

The second summer I worked for the Nashville Electric Company as a ditch digger. Most of the time they made us wear green or yellow hard hats. The senior guy in front me in the ditch (his name was Coleslaw) used a high tech hydraulic device called a clay digger to break up the earth. I used a similarly high tech manual device called a shovel to remove the dirt from the ditch. I got home at 3:00 in the afternoon, bathed, and went to work at the local grocery until 10 P.M., sacking, facing canned goods, and sorting empty soft drink bottles. The money I earned in those two jobs paid for my second year of Junior college.

At the end of my second year of college I worked again at the electric company and the grocery to pay for tuition at Middle Tennessee State U. While I attended MTSU (my 3rd year of college), my wife worked as a receptionist at a Ford Dealer. When she had to quit three months before our son was born, I had two semesters to go so I got a job that summer selling tickets at what was called a Trampoleena (trampolines at ground level stretched over holes dug in the ground). After that, to finish my last unergrad semester I got a job as a cashier at a drug store; my hours began when my last class ended and I stayed till closing time, around 9:30 P.M. There were also a couple of other short term gigs in there including a two week stint as a Santa at a local strip mall.

We used what was called a federal "Defense Loan" for would be teachers and a loan from my parents' church (both loans paid off long ago) to finance my first year of grad school. We were going to try to make it (pay tuition, rent, buy groceries, etc.) on just the loans. But those were some lean times. During this time, my wife went back to work for a couple of months for the state in downtown Nashville and later worked two weeks picking cotton with her parents to tide us over. She came from a working class family too. In my last quarter at Peabody (fall 1962), I worked as a drug store delivery guy (I drove a hot Chevy II wagon) and then as a short order cook in the same drug store. I'm not ashamed to say that we also searched for and collected deposit bottles to turn in for small amounts of cash. Like the man says, every little bit helps.

After graduating that December in 1962, I worked as a college instructor, except for the summer in '66 before my second year in grad school when I worked at a construction company driving a grease truck and operating a steam cleaner to clean the heavy equipment. That was a jolt of reality for a "prof" who had spent the previous three years in a shirt tie in front of a class.

I'm not going into my academic work history here, since it's mostly a different kind of work from the kind I'm celebrating. I will include this little poem I wrote back in 1983 which was published in our college's literary journal, Number One. It's called "English Lab Tech" and I think you'll see why I included it here.


Another hard day's light
in the English Lab.

I sit on the bench
By my own locker.

Bone tired, smelling
My own sweat.

My coveralls are dirty
And smudged with

Verb grease and
the gunk of prepositions.

I remove my
Safety glasses.

They are flecked
With punctuation grit.

I remove the grimy
Steel toed boots.

Again today,
They saved me.

Two low-down,
Base sentences

Suddenly fused
At my feet.

I peel off
The heavy work gloves

And whack
The cuffs against the bench.

Fragments shake loose
And drop to the floor.

I open the locker
And hang up my hard hat.

Some young techs
Don't wear them.

I do. You never know
When a whole

Damn paragraph
Will fall on you.

Sutton, late
For the next shift, enters.

"It's a dirty, dangerous
Business," he says.

"But I love
The challenge, the risk."

He grins, and buckling
On his tool belt, rushes out.

Sutton is
A wiseass.


Country Music has had many songs celebrating the working man (and woman) over the years.

Johnny Cash sings Merle Haggard's "Working Man Blues."

Mo Bandy and Joe Stampley sing "Let's Hear It For The Working Man."

"Mama Was a Workin' Man" by Mary Duff

And the last one, "Working Man's Ph.D." by Aaron Tippin

"If it works
If it runs
If it lasts for years
You bet your bottom dollar
It was made right here."

Dancing With the Stars: Next Season

Guess who's on Dancing With the Stars next season? And guess who's taking the lead?

(great photoshop)

Thanks to Ed for sending this along.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Photos

There was a big hoopla in the MSM over the Glenn Beck rally the other day. They seemed to want to make the main storyline about the size of the event. And, of course, most of them said the number was low, below 100,000. CBS even hired a group to do a "professional" estimate. As I said, I believe the MSM's main motive in all this was to turn attention away from the peaceful gathering and it's message.

[Update: They're still running with this angle: today the LA Times has an opinion piece--what else is there in that rag-- on Google News called "The Science of Crowds" which focuses on what they call Beck's "controversial rally." They even get into a little "mine's bigger than yours" with a reference to Obama's Inauguration rall. This all tells me they're still worried about the Tea Party movement and want to make sure they've done what they can to crush this sizeable manifestation of it.]

Since the "teabaggers" as they love to call them weren't foaming at the mouth and randomly attacking black people on the Mall, the MSM had to make the narrative about something else: its size. They used a low ball pitch, both visually and verbally, knowing that it would generate hostility among the conservative pundits and blogs. They pretty much succeeded in this and also in leaving those few misguided souls who still get all of their news from the MSM, with the impression that the event was not that well attended.

I was struck by the photos they used to support their contention of a low turnout. The following photo suggests that attendance at the Beck rally was light. 

I found this, I believe, on Drudge. A little different perspective, dontcha think? [And I wonder if the "scientific" analysts in the LA Times article counted any people under all those shade trees on that hot day?]

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Other Side of Jimmie Davis

Some of you may not know of Jimmie Davis. I know Andy does since he drives across a bridge bearing Davis' name frequently. And I'm sure Ed does since he once lived down that way. Davis was the singer who made famous the songs "You Are My Sunshine" and "It Makes No Difference Now." He appeared in a number of movies during the 1940's. He was also a successful politician and was elected governor of Louisiana twice.

But there was another side to Davis. According to Wikipedia
His early work was in the style of early Country Music luminary Jimmie Rodgers, and he was also known for recording energetic and raunchy blues tunes like "Red Nightgown Blues." Some of these records included slide guitar accompaniment by black bluesman Oscar Woods. During his first run for governor, opponents reprinted the lyrics of some of these songs in order to undermine Davis's campaign. In one case, anti-Davis forces played some of the records over an outdoor sound system only to give up after the crowds started dancing, ignoring the double-entendre lyrics. Davis until the end of his life never denied or repudiated those records.
Here's a couple of those old raunchy blues numbers ("High Behind Blues" and "Red Nightgown") followed by Davis' version of a song that became popular with many country music singers in the 40's and 50's.

Being a man of a certain predilection, I do like "High Behind Blues." Wiki calls this lyric "double entendre." Seems pretty straight forward to me.

Red is my favorite lingerie color. Or black. Or white which is nice. But here's "Red Nightgown."

Country singer Moon Mullican had a successful recording of this way back in the day, but this is Jimmie Davis' version of "There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder."

UPDATE: Spelling of Davis' name corrected. Thanks Andy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Talkin' to Me?

Yahoo's the Upshot says, ‘Don’t tread on me’ flags start disputes around the country

They're widespread in the blogosphere. Barry the Barbarian uses one as his icon or avatar or whatever you call it. The Gadsen flag is a great flag with an interesting history and the message rocks! I'm flying both of mine today.


Wikipedia's explanation of Jung's "synchronicity."

Synchronistic events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework that encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems that display the synchronicity. The suggestion of a larger framework is essential to satisfy the definition of synchronicity as originally developed by Carl Gustav Jung.

Have you heard the Wood Brothers? Their music, and this song in particular, hit me at a really, really down time earlier this week. Synchronicity? I don't know. A larger framework? I don't know. I do know that at times there seem to be some powerful horses out there pulling against you and some "mysterious forces" pushing you down too. And I know the Wood Brothers are being ironic when they say "luckiest man." But still, this is some good blues.

Lyrics to The Luckiest Man :

My whole saturday and sunday too
I was thinking about ways not to lose
I lay down my weapons is what I've done
Too late to hide, feet too soft to run
But people say I'm the luckiest man
Yeah they say

Running is useless and fighting is foolish
You're not gonna win but still you're the luckiest man you're up against
Too many horses and mysterious forces
What you don't know is you are the luckiest man
You're the luckiest man

I done talked to the devil when he calls my name
But sometimes when I'm losing, it all seems the same
And when I fall I'm back up again
Just to slip on the same mistakes and slide right back in
But people say I'm the luckiest man
Yeah they say

Running is useless and fighting is foolish
You're not gonna win but still you're the luckiest man you're up against
And too many horses and mysterious forces
What you don't know is you are the luckiest man
You're the luckiest man

Try to keep my faith and keep my mind
Hate to lose either one when the whip cracks behind
And I can't help but mourning just a little each night
People say everything is gonna be alright
They say I'm the luckiest man
Yeah they say,

That running is useless and fighting is foolish
You're not gonna win but still you're the luckiest man you're up against
And too many horses and mysterious forces
What you don't know is you are the luckiest man
You're the luckiest man
You're the luckiest man