Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love The One You're With

Someone commented recently on my blog. It was posted anonymously (I guess they weren't as proud of it as I am of my blog...but I digress) and the main gist of the comment was "If you hate the South so much, why don't you go back where you came from?" (Don't go looking for the comment, I never let it get published. comments like that don't get published.)

Obviously this person is misreading my posts or I need to be more broad with my humor. (I humbly suggest it's a bit of both!) But let's be sure: I love the South, ok? I love a lot about the South, which is why I try so hard in fitting in. You can't just move into the South and be considered a Southerner (Suthunah). The South is friendly, but it's also a close community. (The 'Good-ol-boy' network is alive and well!) The South is a place, but it's also a frame of mind. It's laid back and it's backward (in a good way). It embraces the new technology without losing it's roots in the past. What's not to love?

What I try to do in my little space on the net, is to draw attention to those few individuals and to those parts of the South that show us the difference between the South and the Rest of the world. The unique ability to look 'You can't do that' in the eye and prove them wrong...usually..mostly...ok, so at least they TRY. (Another of my jokes, did you all get that?) I poke fun at them because I love them. Sort of like the way you poke fun at a sibling, but in reality there's love there. Yes, I do love the South.

But there is also a lot to dislike in the South, or to change in the South. It's hot, humid and the bugs will eat you alive. Bigotry runs rampant even in the 21st Century. (And Bigotry runs both ways!) There's that constant memory of 19th century slavery which cannot (and should not) be forgotten along with a history of violence and a reputation for being backward (in a bad way). It's working for The State where the Governor considers spending $19 Million at his residence for an Underground Ballroom (nicknamed "The Bunker") and hasn't approved a raise for his state employees larger than 3% in the last TEN YEARS. That's not even keeping abreast of the cost of living! If you work for the State (and I do) then your income goes up but your buying power does NOT.

But rather than harp on that, it's much more interesting (and more fun) to see what marvels of invention, what incredible twisted thoughts and skewed foresight the South gives forth. No, I don't hate the South. I hate people who can't take a joke.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Southern Life - Forward thinking...

This picture was taken just a few blocks from my house. It's the front yard of a house which sits on the corner of two streets. I'm taking the photo from the street, looking up along the side of the house, which sits at an angle, facing into the intersection. Built in the early 60's, this is a great neighborhood. You can see that this house has it's own flag pole, and yes....right there in the front yard.....a horse shoe pit.

Now, I've played horseshoes, and I've played that new thing called "ring toss" (or rings, or washers, or something like that) which is similar but with large metal washers in place of the horse shoes. Both games require TWO pits for ease of use. You stand at one end and toss to the other. Looking here you can see this layout with a bit of study.

What caught my attention is the 'Suthun Placement' of the horse shoe pit. Not only is it in the FRONT yard, and on a hill to boot, but it's also placed next to the driveway and you can see Bubba's new Pick-em-up Truck. Is that truck there to catch the stray shoe as it bounces out of the pit? To stop it before it runs amok into the neighbors front lawn killing that yappy little chihuahua that they refuse to pen up?

Now, I hear you. The guy would move the truck to play horse shoes. Ok, but that means that when Bubba here has a party, NO ONE can park in the drive way, because of the guys playing horse shoes. And even with the truck moved, I'm still a bit worried about those windows in the neighbors house. I mean, let's face it, no one in the south plays horse shoes without one hand ahold of a nice cold non-light beer...which would affect one's aim, too I imagine.

I think my house down the street might also be in danger in such cases....

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Suthun Man's Swimming Pool

Here in the south people make do with whatever is handy. If something can be made to do 'double duty' then it's fair game to the owner as to what it can be used for. In this case, a large trash dumpster is remade into a small swimming pool for a couple of suthun kids.

Take special note that this guy went to the expense and time of putting in a pump and filter to keep the water clean. It's even got a tarp to keep out debris and a nice set up of redwood steps for entering the "pool". The fresh freckled faces of the kids seem to say that this 'swimmin hole' is the best.

Which means that it's a darned sight better than this guy did:

For people like this, I think a "No Diving" sign would be not only appropriate, but necessary.

We went the whole route of the above ground pool. Imagine a giant metal cylinder about 24 feet across and 4.5 feet deep. It's lined with a big vinyl liner and the liner looks like tile. (That's to fool everyone and make them think you actually TILED your above ground pool...) The big problem with our pool is that it is surrounded by trees. That means that during the winter the cover gets filled with leaves and water...a terrible combination...which ends up smelling like the hippo enclosure at the zoo which hasn't been cleaned in...ever... Yech.

This last year our cover broke, so all that muck ended up IN the pool. Now, add to that the fact that the pool sprung a leak and I was looking at about 6 inches of water full of muck and green slime in the bottom of my pool this spring.

So, for the last 4 weekends, I've battled against the green algae by running the pump ($$$) and using the chemicals (on credit: $$$) to where it now resembles an above ground POND, light green in color but with a mild chlorine smell almost masking the hippo enclosure stench. It's not bad, really, just not usable. I keep working even after work, and the real problem only comes in a) it's still not usable and b) I keep dropping things into the murky depths and have to go wadding in order to retrieve them.

I've finally got the pool to the point where I can see murky fuzzy blotches of color differences on the bottom and this is a good thing. It gives me hope. Now, if I can only stop dropping things, I'll do fine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Do You BonnaRoo?

Who in their right mind plans the CMA FEstival AND the Bonnaroo Music (and Arts!) Festival the same week? What, traffic wasn't bad enough downtown when the buses are trying not to run over those Country Music Fans in their bermuda shorts and white socks, they have to add the longest parking lot in the state along highway 24 near Manchester, too?

Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is what it's called. Great name, big time (well, maybe) acts all performing on a 700 acre farm in rural Manchester Tennessee. (Reminds of me of Woodstock...without the acid) But let's understand that the main reason for the Bonnaroo is Money. The main reason for Woodstock was for the experience: Love and Music.

At Woodstock we carpooled, sometimes with more people in one vehicle than was safe. We didn't care, it was WOODSTOCK! We brought our own food, shared what you had and generally experienced near nirvana while listening to the great musicians of the day. At Bonnaroo you pay through the nose for a ticket and bottled water is $5 a pop! Nirvana never paid for bottled water.

Woodstock was held in up state New York, out on a farm in the middle of the rainy season. Bonnaroo is held during the rainy season in a southern area known for high heat and humidity that can kill and mosquitos that can drain a body in under 60 seconds.

So, let's see here. Would I want to attend an outdoor concert in such conditions? Who am I kidding....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Suthun Man's V8 Slowblower

Here is another Suthun Invention. a Snow Blower mounted with a V-8 Engine. (It's nifty to point out that the item is indeed located in the Southern US...duh, like we didn't know that!)

Look at that monster! Never mind the mechanic ability it took to place the V-8 Engine on the snow blower, nor the fact that you're talking a step up from the usual 6-8 Horse power Snow Blower to over 300 Horse power. This thing is just Freaking COOL. Suthun Cool. I shall refrain from the usual rants about gas guzzling V-8 engines and the cost of running this thing.

But one does wonder what size of driveway that this guy has that is too short for a front mounted snow plow on his pick up truck, yet long enough to need a V-8 Powered Snow Blower. If anyone knows for sure, be sure to let me know.

Here is anothe rpic of the beauty.