Tag Archives: HUMAN INTEREST

Poor Puerto Rico, Still!

Late last summer the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was struck by two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Along with the US Virgin Islands these American territories were devastated. The physical infrastructure and economies of these islands remain far from recovery.  NPR recently reported:

“Puerto Rico still has areas contending with terrible living conditions following Hurricane Maria and the lackluster response to the storm from the mainland United States. Even the deadly effects of the storm are far from over: With many still living without power or their lives otherwise disrupted, particularly elderly populations, the overall suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 27 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 levels.”

These people are American citizens yet, in many ways our government has turned its back on them. Somehow America’s president appears to think that flying into the scene and tossing a few rolls of paper towels is all that’s needed. It gave him his photo opportunity.

 

Mississippi; what’s wrong with it?

If your state is possibly the poorest, least educated, most conservative state in the nation; well, that’s what’s wrong with it. It also doesn’t help if your state’s flag still includes a version of the Confederate flag. Having too many of the people portrayed in the attached video also doesn’t speak well.

I’ve been to Mississippi many times and things are slowly changing. The state and local governments have done some amazing things in creating a blues and music based tourist economy. But despite the steps forward there are too many people who would take it back to the pre civil rights era. Mississippi’s overwhelming support of Donald Trump is a strong statement to this.

Couple of years ago I heard a black Mississippi judge speak of the new Mississippi. The fact that he was black and a judge speaks to things new. Unfortunately there’s too much old in Mississippi.

Pickin’ Pimples Has Gone Professional

They say a person is never too old to learn something new and that happens to me often. A couple of months ago I learned that there is an entire world-wide subculture that enjoys videos of people getting their pimples and blackheads extracted by dermatologists.  There’s even a dermatologist in California who has become world-renowned by the title, Dr. Pimplepopper. It’s been rumored that there is discussion about her hosting a reality TV show on one of the major cable networks.

Continue reading Pickin’ Pimples Has Gone Professional

Moby Dogfish, My First Shark

It was around 1997, off the coast of NC, that I brought my first shark aboard my brother’s center console. We were drift fishing around a manmade reef near Morehead City when some deadweight thing took my frozen shrimp and began pulling. There wasn’t any fight or sport. Just an exercise in lifting a piece of lead to the surface.

Once it surfaced my brother identified it as a dogfish and warned me about the sharp spine in front of it’s dorsal fin. We didn’t keep it but when I got back to Joe’s home I looked it up on the Internet and learned that it was the world’s most common family of sharks and highly prized for its food value. One major market is Northern Europe and the UK where it is sold in fish ‘n chip shops and labeled rock salmon.

American fishermen who harvest dogfish export almost all it to Europe. The fins are sold into Asian markets where it’s made into a cheaper form of shark fin soup.

Since that first dogfish I’ve caught a ton of them. In the colder seasons of NC they may be the only thing you catch and you’ll begin to see them as a nuisance. Most species of shark are great fun to catch. A common one in NC is the Atlantic sharpnose and a 10-20 pounder will let you know you’ve had your string stretched.

I’ve yet to eat shark meat but it’s on my bucket list. I have some trepidations about cleaning one since I’ve read that they urinate through their skin and if you don’t clean them properly the flesh will have the taste and flavor of ammonia. I need an old-timer to be with me and teach me the ropes.

The largest shark, and fish, I’ve caught was a 110 pound spinner shark. I caught it off the pier at Emerald Isle, NC. Took me about an hour to get it to the pier and I had to cut it loose since there was no way I could lift it.

Check out this short video of spinning sharks.

Wash Pot

WASHINGTON BAD: Jeff Pence, the dude Trump is appointing to be weedbudthe next US Attorney General is not a pot friendly person. He has said in public that, “good people don’t use marijuana.” Well in the state of Washington pot sales in the 2nd quarter of 2016 reached $212 million compared to $249 million for alcohol sales.

How To ID Kool-Aid Drinkers

All political parties have their Kool-Aid drinkers, those die hards who willingly ignore all the evidence against their beliefs and take one for the team.

I remember in the Johnson-Goldwater election in 1964 meeting an old Greenfield butcher who spent his day telling everyone he met that Barry Goldwater was mentally deranged and had spent time institutionalized. The claim originated with a totally unscientific poll a magazine had taken of psychologist and became accepted wisdom. After the election Goldwater sued and won.

So the question arises, how do you know if you’re one of the         Kool-Aid drinkers, that you would drink the cyanide laced beverage for the sake of your tribe? The answer was just made very easy. If when you look at the photo of Michelle Obama embracing George W. Bush and don’t see a high degree of tolerance and civility, you would reach for the paper cup.

michelle-george
Ex president George W. Bush enjoying the warm embrace of First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo was taken at the opening of the National African-American Museum of History and Culture.

Notes on Ageing, Volume 147

Our pepper mill broke so we went to a kitchen ware shop in Chillicothe to pickup a new one. Walking towards the door my wife commented on how much she enjoyed wandering around these kinds of places.

A little later I mentioned that if we were twenty years younger I’d like to have the kitchen remodeled with new cabinets, appliances, and the works. We both commented on how neither of us may live long enough to see it finished even if we did start such a project.

Continue reading Notes on Ageing, Volume 147

Dayton & The Golden Boys

We celebrated our thirty-seventh anniversary back in July but weren’t able to do anything special. Then our daughter called with news about a rock ‘n roll show in Dayton featuring Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and Fabian. I asked Janet if she was interested and she was. So, I got decent tickets, made a motel reservation and on the 6th of August we headed north.

The concert was held at the Rose Music Center in Hubert Heights and it is a fantastic venue. It seats about 4200 people, all under a roof, plenty of parking, easy access, good amenities, etc. The only negative was sitting on the east side of the venue. This event began at 7 pm and half way through the setting sun dropped below the

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Do you plan it or wing it?

I have a Facebook friend who stimulates the conversation by asking a Question of the Day. Today the question was, “Are you a planner or a winger?” Considering my response got me to thinking about some family and friends.

planning bMy wife is a planner, Rarely does she engage in anything without considering all the details and weighing all the contingencies. I’m not really being critical because it frequently proves that her way saved the day . She makes a good balance to my almost total impulse to wing it. This is especially true when traveling.

One of my best friends retired about the same time as I did. We had discussed what we would do and we agreed to be spontaneous and impulsive. He once said to me, “If I pull in your driveway and say jump in, we’re going to Connecticut for a hot pastrami sandwich, grab your toothbrush and kiss your wife.” I agreed and on a couple of occasions we did things just like that. On one occasion, while fishing in the too early spring we came off the lake and decided to pack a bag and drive south until the thermometer hit 80 degrees. By the next day we were in Key West, Florida.

Continue reading Do you plan it or wing it?

Ohioans, How Will You Vote?

weed

It was just announced that the AG of Ohio has certified a petition to force onto the November ballot the issue of both medical and recreational marijuana consumption. The question is, how will Ohioans vote? How will you vote?

Please take part in the following straw poll:

[poll id=”4″]

Our Bald Eagles

US 50 Eagles
Resting pair of bald eagles near Bainbridge, OH.

My wife and I were near Bainbridge this past week and spotted a pair of bald eagles perched in the top of a tree along Paint Creek. We’ve seen a single eagle in that area on several occasions but this was the first for a pair.

Today I sat in a meeting with representatives of the Army Corp of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The topic of our area’s eagle population came up and it was reported we have three nesting pairs and a fourth that “may” be trying to nest.

Specific locations weren’t revealed but one pair is near Bourneville, another near Bainbridge, and the third at Rocky Fork Lake.

A truck driving friend of mine reported being along the upper Mississippi River and spotting a grouping of around seventy-five golden and bald eagles. Wouldn’t that be a traffic stopper?

Scotland the Beautiful

I’m not Scottish but I do enjoy the occasional wee bit of their whiskey. Back in the 1960s I had the excellent fortune of spending three months in Scotland, courtesy of the US Navy and I totally fell in love with the land and the people. We were the first American war ship to enter the harbor of Greenock, Scotland since the end of WWII and we were greeted as saviors. The hospitality and warmth of those people will always be appreciated and never forgotten.

Continue reading Scotland the Beautiful

Drinking laws update

Jack Daniels LabelAt least twice in the past I’ve written blogs about the great diversity of laws in America regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It’s an interesting subject and the particulars are often changing. Today I came across an article about what states permit the sale of various alcoholic beverages in grocery stores. Instead of copy and pasting the whole thing I’ll simply provide a link. I’ll also provide a link to a similar article I wrote in 2012. Grab yourself a cold one and take a break.

Huffington Post article about grocery store sales. Click HERE.

2012 CGS blog about drinking laws around America. Click HERE.