Monday, January 30, 2012

Southern Math

Sort of a "DUH" moment here.  We were sitting in the bus station downtown and this bus drove by.  For those who can't quite make out the writing on the ad, it says "Saving $600 feels like saving $100 like 6 times."  Well, those of us who didn't flunk 3rd Grade Math are all going "Like DUH".

I asked a couple of the other people on the bus to take a look at the ad and tell me what they thought.  Two of the three said (I kid you not)  "Well, DUH!"  The third just laughed.

The reason I include this here is that a) it seems like some sort of slight toward the Suthun Mentality and b) it happened here in the South, so why not?  The problem is that this is a national company so I can only surmise that this ad may not have been regional.  The fact that the man in the ad is wearing what we might construe as a protective suit worn by a professional race car driver is only compounded by the fact that I know nothing about Nascar, its drivers or their costumes.

Over to google I went and did  some searching.  Nascar shows only one driver for any sponsored vehicle for the company in the ad and that's not the guy in the ad.  A search of race cars and drivers and the company yielded zero results.  Who is this guy?  Why is his math so strangely compelling? Why do I care?  Why is Like used so many times like so  Like.

Just another side effect of life here in the South.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Southun Idioms and Some Such

There are a lot of Suthun idioms and phrases that make life in the South colorful if nothing else.  One of my personal favorites is 'getting yer picher made.'  This is what folks say when they stand in front of a camera and have someone trip the shutter.  Where the rest of the country says "I'm going to have a photo taken." the suthunah says "Ahm gonna git muh picher made."  The photo above attests to this, (like you may be thinking I make these things up) and this photo I took myself just a couple of weeks ago.

Idioms and phrases which identify an area of a group of people fascinate me.  (Hey, I'm easily entertained.)  Some even are restricted to a such a small group that it may only be two or three people.  Sometime ago I heard a story about a couple who could bring about the end to arguments when one of them said simply "I can see the mailbox."  (I hear you..."Huh?")  It seems that this couple had a story in their past in which one of them drove into a mailbox while the other one gave directions with the phrase "I can see the mailbox."  They use this now to tell the other "I can see something which you cannot." and this gives them a handle on such things which fuel arguments. Point of view.   I think a lot of families and couples have similar things.

My wife and I have our own.  "Sharp Metal!"  (yeah, "Huh?") Allow me to explain.  Not too long ago we got rid of our above ground swimming pool.  The liner had stopped holding water and we made the executive decision to take it down. The WE turned into just me and there I was carefully pulling all the parts out of the pool, disconnecting hundreds of connectors, screws, bolts and what not.  Soon it was just a 75 foot piece of metal pool wall and me. 
Metal Pool Wall after many hours of hard work. 
I carefully put on my heavy leather gloves and told my wife to stand back while I attempted to roll the wall up.  I also pointed out to her the spot where the pool filter had been taken out.  "Careful," I pointed out, "Sharp Metal there."  I went about working on laying out the wall so that I could roll it up.  It took me more than an hour or two to pull, jerk and yank this thing into a long line so that it would be workable. (That S*&^t is HEAVY!)  At one point I took off my gloves and took a drink.  Forgetting to put on the glove, I reached out and - yeah - cut myself on that very same small section of 'Sharp metal.'

Now, we use it to identify those things which are obviously going to come back to haunt us.  Watching TV we will see some clue that the director wants us to see. The clue on which the cops will catch the bad guy.  That's when one of us will say "Sharp Metal."   That says "I caught that reference and I bet it's going to come up later."  My scar from where I cut myself throbs ever so lightly.

I'd love to hear some of your own phrases and idioms.  Especially if they are Suthun in nature. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Didn't See You There! (#1)

Along with the usual posts of "Can Marv ever become a Good Ol' Boy" and "Invention Interventions" I've decided to add a new irregular post. "I Didn't See You There!" which will highlight those things you cannot see. Items that are Camouflaged. That's right, things so well disguised that they blend in to their surroundings. Items like this.

My first impression of this display is of course "Oh I didn't see those there!" They are too well camouflaged to see them. Then I begin to wonder at the need for such things. A camouflaged drinking cup.  Hmmm...

Let's see, you're out in the forest hunting a deer. You're wearing camo jeans, camo boots and a camo jacket.  You've got your deer stand camouflaged and you've completed the entire thing with camo equipment. You've even got a camo hat to go with  that bright orange vest. Suddenly the deer you are waiting on steps into view. But then without warning, he bolts into the underbrush! "Gracious!" you scream (actually, you probably scream a few obscenities but let's go with "Gracious!") "What has caused this?" Looking around you find it: a plain drinking cup filled with non-light beer. In your ignorance, you purchased plain cups instead of camouflage! You shake your fist at the sky and vow never to make that mistake again. 

Of course, the idea that you put down the camo cup in order to pick up your rifle may mean that you won't be able to find your cup later. Can't find it among the brush and grass - why?  cuz it's CAMOUFLAGED.  Years from now someone will come across it and wonder why a full cup of non-light beer is sitting there on that log.

Or. Just. Maybe...

You can more easily throw your cups into the underbrush without fear of of them being seen. Unfortunately, we'll probably see these scattered about on the roadways where they are quite visible. 

Yeah. Makes more sense.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions in the South

No matter where you live, the first day of the new year it is considered tradition to set new goals, make changes in your life and set yourself on a better path with the "New Year's Resolutions."  Here in the south, I can only imagine the typical new years resolutions a Suthunah might make..."Get tickets to NASCAR"...."Drink less/more non-light beer"... or even "Clean up around the yard".  That last one got me to thinking.  No, it's not that I have a lot of rusting appliances, cars on blocks or pieces of projects yet unstarted laying about, it's about the biggest thing in my yard.  The Tool Shed.

My Tool Shed.  The ubiquitous out-building found on most Southern Plantations the size of my homestead.  Plantation may be a bit of a stretch, but let's not get too wrapped up in that.  Let's concentrate on that Shed.  I use my tool shed for storage of all my WGD (Weapons of Grass Destruction - aka: Lawn Mower) and storage for some of the stuff which I plan on working with on down the road, but mostly, I store my tools in the shed.  (Hence the clever moniker "TOOL" Shed. I am nothing if not obvious in my naming of outbuildings.)

Not too long ago, I wrote about my problem in finding and organizing my tools.  And so, it becomes my New Years Resolution (cue fanfare) to finally and once and for all, organize my tools in such a way as to be able to find them easily and quickly.
Yep, that's really MY tool shed.  
Now, of course, I have no idea how to do this, so I'm giving this a lot of thought (read: sitting here typing about it) before I go out with a new handful of designer bins and buckets.  I have two problems when it comes to this organization:  The first: Moisture. Even though the Shed is fairly dry (no leaks in its roof) the moisture in the air is enough to rust items sitting in the shed for any particular time.  To combat this, I have collected together an impressive array of plastic jars, bins and containers to package some of my more important tools.  (This means that even though I've gone to great trouble installing a heavy pegboard, I don't use it because anything hanging on the pegboard would just rust in its place. Go figure.)

The second problem may, in fact, be the most difficult: I have no freaking idea what I'm doing.  Yes, I have the plastic bins, and plastic jars and I have the determination to get this done, I still really have a long way to go.  My mind fairly boggles at the simple idea of where to keep that special $15 tool which is only for putting  wall mud in the corner joints of a room.  By itself?  With the wall mud?  In a designer bin labeled "Why did I buy this instead of borrowing one from my neighbor the Professional Handyman."  Sorry, getting a little off track there, but you get the idea.

So, that brings us to regular reader (even the first time reader).  I'm enlisting your aid.  What I'm going to do is create an organizational set and hope to get your input on this endeavor.

So, here is my New Years Resolution Tool Organizational Plan (opus 1) I'm going to put the tools in groups.  Ok, this is nothing new, but I"m adding a new level to this group, the "Main Tools" or even the "Emergency Tool Kit."  This is that bag of tools which you grab when you need to do something rather fast, or even rather simple, and you know you keep all the standard tools - (and supplies such as Duck/Duct Tape) in it.  I can imagine it holding a Hammer,  Pliers, Screwdriver (both slot and phillips) and the aforementioned Duck/Duct Tape but there the mind freezes.  What else?  What do you put in to the "Emergency Tool Bag" that is important to keep handy?  And while we're at it, what other bins do you create over and above the first?  You can post here, or on Facebook, or even email me if you prefer to remain anonymous but your input is most assuredly needed and appreciated.

In a while, I will edit this post and give you the official list.  (Even then if you see something left out, let me know!)

First addition from Brother Bubba: I recommend adding to the emergency box: box cutter or all purpose scissors, a level (fer pitcher hangin'), and a jar of small nails fer said hangin'.  (I don't know why he talks like that, he's not from the south and he lives in Colorado.  Must be too much snow on his brain...)

Second addition: Neighbor Bubba suggests a large box of band aids, especially for me. Neighbor Bubba would like to be a stand up comic some day.  Don't quit the day job, Bubba.