Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - a note of remembrance.

I did not vote for Obama. In fact, it may come as no surprise to anyone that I have not voted for the winning Presidential Candidate - ever. This may be one of those rants where you may want to just jump on over to ICanHasCheesburger and forget all this, but someone really must say something.

It's Memorial Day. A day in which we honor and remember those who have given us our freedoms, our way of life and our rich history. Throughout my life, I have spent part of this day watching our President place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Virginia. In so doing, a silent way of thanking all those who have given the greatest sacrifice by the one who has asked the most of them - our President, the leader of our nation, the one who takes us in and out of wars, taking the one day each year to say a prayer and thank those gone, yet not forgotten.

It's Memorial day. Where is Obama? Obama is not there. Biden is there. Obama is not. For the first time since it's inception, the Memorial Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery will not be attended by our Commander in Chief. Apparently it is more important on Memorial Day for Obama to be with family than to honor those who have given their lives at his command. Oh Obama attended some ceremony in Chicago, but it seems a hollow gesture to the nation, at least in my book.

It's not right.

I live in Tennessee, amid the rich history of the Tennessee Volunteers. So named because when the president called, volunteers came. Honored to fight for our nation, at the behest and command of our President, the commander in Chief of those armies. When Governor Brown asked for 2800 men to fight Santa Ana, more than 30,000 volunteered to fight. It is an honor to fight for this nation. At least to us.

For the first time, I am ashamed of our President. Did he not understand what the job entailed when he filled out the application? Does he not understand that Memorial day is not just Family and Bar-B-Que? The answer is yes, he does. Because even if he doesn't understand the job, the meanings and the history of Memorial Day, you can be sure that some informed staffer has told him. After all, he attended the ceremony in Chicago, as a sort of 'gee, I guess I should do something..' Obama then CHOSE not to be in Arlington. (Let's face it, it's not like he couldn't get a flight back to DC. Air Force One flies when HE wants and when he CHOOSES.)

I hope to return to my usual look at life in the south next week. Until then, please pray for the families of those soldiers who gave their all, and pray for President, that he may soon know the real reason of this day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Springtime in the South - No Such Thing.

Actually, that's a misnomer. The South DOES get a springtime, it's just that it only lasts a short time. I define spring to be that time when a light breeze is lifting the leaves in salutation, birds are singing, and you can stay out in the sun for more than an hour without turning into a puddle of hot chicken fat. Spring in the South lasts about 2 weeks, in a good year. Then, we are hit with the full force of the humidity and heat that only the South can offer. Yes, hot chicken fat time. I spend most of my time indoors, checking the air conditioning level to keep the humidity at bay.

This all comes about because I mowed my lawn yesterday. Yes, in the 88° degree heat, and about 150% humidity, I felt the call of the Lawn Ranger and saddled up the mower. As regular readers know, I have a nice rear-wheel Deere which saves a lot of wear and tear on yours truly. But the heat and humidity still is a killer.

I have a full outfit which I wear to mow the lawn. Along with the camouflage jeans, and white tee-shirt (advertising a proper Non Lite Southern Beverage) I wear a polyvinyl pith helmet. I am from Scottish heritage and have the kind of complexion where a large photo of a sunny day can give me a sunburn. The Pith Helmet does, in fact, do three things. 1) It keeps the sun off my face and neck. 2) it allows air flow over the top of my head, and apparently 3) gives my wife something to laugh at. Sometimes, when the heat gets the best of me I also carry a wet towel which I wrap around my neck. Yeah, I have a lot of trouble with the heat.

Oddly, none of my Suthun neighbors laugh at the outfit. They seem to know that the sun and heat must be kept at bay at all costs. Though none of them wear pith helmets they all have their own ways of keeping the heat off while the duties of the Lawn Ranger take precedence. I like to think that the pith helmet makes me some what special in their eyes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Things that Matter.

Not long ago I was at my Doctor's office (no, not for that) and among the many outdated magazines on his table in the waiting room was this magazine that is a testament to the South in the 21st century. (Heck, it even says so right there on the cover!)
Garden & Gun.  It seems like a joke doesn't it? The kind of thing you find on one of those photoshop contest sites a sort of mash up of House and Garden and Gun Enthusiast. Why not Duck Tape and Flowers? Why not Beer and Pretzels (Hey, that would be great if my doctor had beer and pretzels in the waiting room...)

As much as I am a devotee of all things suthun, I cannot seem to grasp what is so "suthun" about this magazine. Other than the obvious locales mentioned on the cover, it seems more like a copy of New Yorker. Well, ok, so the guns make an obvious difference. In New York, I imagine the average gun is chosen for it's ability to be hidden and accessible easily when a mugger appears, whereas in the South the average gun is chosen for it's ability to take down a deer or punch holes in highway signage.

And why GARDEN and Gun? In reality (rather than the fantasy world in which I spent so very much time) I suppose it is intended to appeal to a wider array of families and couples in the south. Gardens for the ladies and guns for the men. Or maybe it would be more PC if I put 'gardens for one and guns for the other.." I do this for my late father in law who loved to garden and collected guns as well as for Bev, a close friend who is a consummate hunter....uh..huntress. (Is that a word?)

So, I shall probably pick up a copy to find out how much more out of sync I am with the south and those who call themselves Suthunaz. Story of my life....

Monday, May 10, 2010

A New Suthun Tradition?

There is a new tradition sweeping our great nation, and it seems to have roots in the south. As I was standing in line waiting for my limousine, I got into a conversation with a lady about where her son asked to go for his 10th birthday. The answer elicited a few smiles, but when she said they TOOK him there, I nearly fell down. Where? HOOTERS.

Now, for those of you not in the know, or who live under a rock, Hooters is a restaurant chain born in Georgia, named after a slang term for a woman's breasts their OWL mascot, who's name is Dr. Hootie (owls 'hoot', hence the name.) That alone is not the questionable reference. The problem is that Hooters has these young nubile strippers waitresses who wear a uniform consisting of a pair of orange shorts and a rather tight fitting tee shirt (See reference shot above.) Since these young nubile strippers waitresses cannot help but show off their mammalian attributes (clever phrase, huh?) because of the aforementioned tight fitting tee shirt, one is immediately struck by the fact that the reference to HOOTERS may, in fact, refer to those same mammalian attributes. In addition, the restaurant is named Hooters, not Hooties or even more grammatically Hootie's. But that in itself is not the issue here. Not today anyway. (And just what is DR. Hootie a Doctor of, anyway? The quick guess is plastic surgery...but I I often do...)

It appears that a growing number of Suthunas are taking their pre-pubescent and teen aged males to this 'restaurant' for their celebrations and not just birthdays, either. New Drivers License? Head to Hooters! Little League Win? Take the Team to HOOTERS! First pair of Big boy Pants? Uh...Hooters?

Even this alone would seem only 'smirkable' by most standards, especially considering that Hooters does, in fact, make some good fare. (Hot Wings any one?) BUT it is the obligatory PHOTO OP with the well endowed stripper waitress(es) which gets me wondering "Exactly what are we teaching our kids today?' Now, we've probably all seen those pictures of the Frat Boy Wanna-Bees with the half empty mug of Non Light Beer standing next to the aforementioned strippers waitress, AND I'm sure that Bubba (No, Carl, not you) wants to have a photo with the tightly-tee-fitted strippers waitress, but why do we have to do that with little Timmy? I mean, let's take a look at the evidence, shall we?

This guy looks to me to be under driving age, and the kind of kid you see out mowing lawns. By the look on his face, he knows darned well why they named the place Hooters.

Yes, I had to edit the photo, due to the age of these kids as well as the incredibly large and inappropriate smiles on the faces of the kids at the right.

And it's obvious that this kid really doesn't care what the name of the place is. He's not trying to read the strippers waitress's name tag!

Now, these two appear to have SOME idea of what's going on, but seem incredibly uncomfortable in so doing.

I've saved this one for near the end. It appears as if the girl(?) on the left is patiently putting up with the photo op, and the guy on the right is all for it. BUT, let's add into that the celebration itself. They've been awarded something there...look close...YES, it's a bottle of Corona Extra - that's right, what looks to be a QUART BOTTLE of Imported Beer! Just what two little tykes need - and the obligatory photo op with a couple of young nubile< strippers waitresses...

I'll leave you with one last photo, the one that really makes you wonder why there is no licensing procedure for Parenthood...

Heck, even the kid seemssurprised at the turn of events.

I also want to point out what I had to endure to find all these photos. You cannot imagine the kinds of photos that pop up when you type the word "Hooters" into a search engine. (I should have expected it, I suppose...) I slogged through them all, for you, my fans....It was hard work, but someone had to do it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

There was Historic Flooding in Nashville

Yes, it sounds like it could be a country song, but thanks to 130 year record-breaking rains (more than 15" in 48 hours) the rivers (yes, plural) are rising even as the sun finally breaks through.

Take a moment from your blog reading day and say a prayer or send out good thoughts to those who have lost so much.

Being in the center of it all has been an incredible experience. You all know what it's like to watch the rescue efforts over the TV, but to go out and find your regular stores, places you frequent, even the streets you use regularly closed and under water is a very humbling experience.

We were very lucky. Our house sits on a rise and other than a bit of extra water under the house, we got off unscathed. The flooding in our area (east of town) is limited to those areas around the creeks and rivers. One river runs right from the dam into the area and ended up flooding two shopping centers we frequent on a regular basis.

I cannot imagine the amount of loss in personal effects, houses, and even cars (not to mention the known 12 deaths from the flooding) and then add to that the loss in tourism dollars, wages and lost items in the stores flooded. Editorials on this have been written by others, and I will only suggest you take a moment and donate a few bucks to some charity ( Yet, even with all this loss, the Suthunaz have come out in full force to help their neighbors. Earlier today the mayor announced that the shelters were innundated with donations and volunteers. Hey, this is the volunteer state, remember? There were not calls to action, no pleas for help. When the tragedy struck, people helped. No one asked, it just happened. Boats came out to ferry people to safety. People opened their homes, their wallets and their hearts.

Again, it's just one of the things I love about living in the south. Want to help?
Make a donation to a charity, visit (hands on nashville).

Thanks for reading, back to the usual stuff next post.