Sunday, July 26, 2009

Walking out to get the mail.

When I lived 'elsewhere' (Colorado) my house had a mail slot. Mail was delivered to the house and slipped into this slot and the mail fell into the house. Our mail slot was behind the door (not in the door) so mail actually piled up behind the door and didn't prevent it from opening like others can.

Here in the south, the mail is delivered to a box. Usually this box is located on the street. So, depending on how long your driveway is, this can be a nice walk every day. Now, for one reason or another (read: bored teenagers with beer) these mail boxes seem to be the target of agression and end up being knocked down now and again. How the Suthunah fixes this damage is what I would like to share today.

This guy got tired of buying those expensive metal mailboxes down at the Home Depot and used this bucket. YOu can see that the lid has been hinged across the center which give it a nice closure AND keep mail from sliding out when it's opened. (The angle keeps rain from collecting in the plastic interior.

This guy went one better and at least used a bucket with a hinged lid. Heck, everyone knows it's for mail, so why even take off the label!

Here's another one where they got tired of buying new boxes, but this guy used a metal can. I like the way the rust gives it a nice 'antique' finish which blends in with the surounding countryside.

I think this guy just got tired of replacing the post on which the mailbox sits. He's got a nice rig here, with just enough weight to keep it from being blown over.

I think this guy got tired of replacing the base, and just hooked the box to the side of the post using some baling wire.

And of course, there is the 'double duty' of using something else entirely to hold your mail box, like a non-working washer AND dryer:

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Southern Life - Ingenuity at it's Finest

One of the things which sets Suthunahs aside from the rest of the world is the CAN DO spirit. It's the idea that we can do what we want, regardless of convention or accepted standards. If I want to go to town by using my riding lawn mower, then I'll see you on the highway. If I want to wear overalls to dinner, then by golly that's what you'll see. And there's this guy who, for some strange reason, decided that he needed to go camping in the middle of the city in which he lives.

Now, that is not the real interesting part of this photo. The most important part is that although he wanted to camp out, he didn't want to put up with all that humidity. So, he ran a long extension cord and plugged in small air conditioning unit. Positioned up on top of a cooler there at the back of the tent, I can imagine that this good 0l' boy was sleeping soundly - and cooly - all night.

Ingenuity. Makes the South great.

Now wait a min. Let's take a closer look at this picture. I'm also noting that there at the front (?) of the tent is most assuredly a cigarette disposal container like we have in front of our office. What on earth is that doing there? Could it be that this guy borrowed the tent from his sister who asked that he not smoke in the tent? Ok, that's possible, but why not just get an ashtray? or a coffee can? He goes out and gets an expensive container capable of holding several HUNDRED cigarette butts. Now THAT's a nice guy!

No matter how long I live here in the South, I love seeing stuff like this. It proves that the South is just a bit better than the rest of the world.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Dog Won't Hunt - Hunting from The Marvinator's Perspective.

I have a great respect for hunters. Much as I have a great respect for Fishermen, too. They can do something which, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to do. Regular readers will remember me writing about my friend, James - The Catman. A better more consistent fisherman does not exist. His wife, Bev, hunts.

Not too long ago, I inherited the perfect hunting rifle from my father in law. It's a 7mm Browning with a fine powerful Bushnell scope. Kept in a padded case, it's a lot like that chain saw I got, in that my testosterone goes up just hefting it. Many years ago I owned a Smith and Wesson hand gun (a dual action semi automatic 9mm with a brushed alumimun look that had 'Bond, James Bond' written all over it's sleek grip!) That experience was very enlightening. There is something inherently macho about owning a gun, or a rifle. But I don't (read: can't) hunt with either one. I took the gun to the range dutifully several times and got to where I could group all my shots the way the professionals say. But get in the out of doors and hunt? No way!

It's not the gun, and it's not the idea of killing defenseless animals that keeps me from being able to put meat on the table. It's talent, or rather, lack there of. I couldn't shoot fish in a barrel. This is even worse of a statement for me when Bev learns that I now own a gorgeous Hunting Rifle and will probably invite me along next deer season. Oh I'm so looking forward to that (NOT). Leaving at Oh-dark-thirty to sit in the cold forest covered in Doe Juice...oh you don't know what doe juice is? Basically, it's DOE URINE or something which SMELLS like Doe Urine and will draw the big bucks to you. Yeah, I just am itching to get out in the woods and be covered in Doe Piss. THAT would really get my targeting skills up. I've seen Bev in action. Or rather, I've seen the fruits of her hunting labors. She dresses in the camo gear, carries a big gun much like the one I have in the closet, and she always comes home ever time with a big buck. I would not do well in her company. Suthun men would look askance at me.

When I was a kid, we spent our summers up on a farm in the Rockies. We stayed with an old friend of my mother's and her husband, Vernon. Vernon was also a consummate hunter. He would sit in one spot for hours waiting for the right shot. I still remember seeing that buck with his eyes shot out -straight through- and Vernon explaining that by taking out the eyes (with a single shot), the deer cannot run as far as easily. In addition, the bust is more usable (to sell to tourists, he wouldn't have one in the house) the skin is entirely without holes and every cut of meat is unblemished, and usable. Not trying to gross you out, just pointing out how he would wait for the shot that would take the deer out and down. No tracking for hours on end through the woods. I can still see that deer hanging in the barn while they skinned it.

Ok, enough of that. I'd like to be a hunter, just like I'd like to be considered a Suthunah. But, let's face it. Until they make a gadget for the big rifle which aims it more accurately than I can, well I guess I'll just carry the chain saw out to the back yard and chop me down a few defenseless trees. Yeahhhhhhhh....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Suthun Way with Fireworks!

Here it is July 5th. The day after and I'm musing over the celebration last night. I'm not exactly sure why, but there is something which draws the Suthuna to fireworks. Well, I mean, come on, what's not to love? Fire..gunpowder..explosions!

Here in Tennessee, fireworks are legal year round. There are fireworks stores here the size of Walmart. You can pick up a grocery type cart and find near professional grade fireworks on long tables and shelves (hey, is that a freezer section over there?) And because they are so easy to get, fireworks play a big part of every celebration. Wedding Anniversary? Get some Fireworks! Kids Graduation? Get some Fireworks. Sun came up? Get some Fireworks!

The only problem for those of us who DON'T need fireworks for every family gathering is that come Saturday night about midnight is that we can't get to sleep since the neighbors are still shooting off fireworks over our house. Sunday morning, bleary eyed due to loss of sleep, I have to go out and pick burned out bottle rockets and bits of unburned cardboard out of the lawn and out of the pool. This may be one of the reasons I no longer set fire to them myself. That and all the kids have moved out. Not that you need kids to build the excitement.

Many years ago, we had a friend who threw a big party every July 4th. He would rent out the top floor of a hotel in downtown Nashville where a bar had closed several years before. We would all bring our own drinks, someone would provide music and we'd party until the fireworks. Then we'd go out on the big deck while the professionals set off huge explosions that sparkled overhead. After, while the rest of the city fought to get their sleeping children into the car and navigate the traffic jam to get home, we were still partying. We'd usually get a room so that we wouldn't have to drive home after drinking and Sunday morning we'd all have breakfast together.

So, with the remembrance of fireworks overhead from many years past, it really is nice to have big fireworks to watch before bed. Now, if we could just get them all done before midnight.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This Southern Life - Weekly versus Biweekly

Big News!
I'm considering making this a weekly blog rather than bi-weekly as it has been. I want to keep the quality of the writing high and fear that with other constraints, I won't be able to give it the effort it requires. So, if you're here looking for Wacky Wednesday, just reset your alarm clock to Monday morning.