Archive for May 2013

05-30-2013   Leave a comment

It appears that Spring Is really here this time.  The night time temperatures are rising and yesterday they made it into the mid-eighties for the first time.  Maybe just maybe we can put the worries about frost and cold air behind us.  We suffered a light frost two nights ago which was more than a little unusual for late May even here In Maine.

The garden’s been completed with all the plants in the ground and on their way to producing the things we require for next winter.  The herb garden had some recent issues with space requirements due to an out of control apple mint plant that was determined to take over the entire area.  It grew up and over an oregano plant that I’ve had for years and killed it.  I was forced to attack that plant with a shovel and cut away close to sixty-five percent of it.  I then surrounded it with a box that extends deep into the soil to stop it from spreading it’s runners in every direction.  I replanted three new oregano plants nearby and hopefully they’ll grow healthy and keep us supplied through next winter.  I need to be extra careful that I don’t harvest too much or I’ll be the idiot responsible for killing them.

Last year at the beginning of the season I planted two rhubarb plants.  I knew it would be at least a year before I could harvest any of them for jams or jellies. The plants need to be firmly established before you can start chopping away at them. I think I’ve been successful because both plants are growing out of control already.  Normally my neighbors, who also grow rhubarb plants, see theirs grow not much more than two feet high.  Both of my plants are going strong and are already three and a half feet high and I can just about taste that strawberry-rhubarb jam we’ll be making later this Fall.

I can now sit on the deck and watch the garden grow for the next three months.  I’ll be forced to kill some insects, slugs, and other assorted pests but that’s just normal gardening activities.  My biggest fears are the deer that love to show up once the plants are a few inches tall and chew them off a ground level. This is the same battle my father fought for years and never was able to completely win.

Everyone I know has their own methods for dealing with deer but honestly they don’t have much more success than he did.  I’ve been told to spread powdered blood around, hang human hair in panty hose from the trees, build a six foot high fence, and the best and most disgusting solution was for me to urinate around the garden  whenever possible.  As much as I like peeing outside, I think I’ll skip that one.  It could very quickly make my neighbors a little uncomfortable.

My better-half has suggested we build a human size scarecrow in the hopes it will scare the deer away in those early hours of the morning when they usually visit.  I think I’ll try and create one that looks as much like my ex-wife as possible.  It should certainly scare the hell out of them just like it will scare the hell out of me.  I guess I can deal with that kind of trauma if it keeps the freaking deer out of my garden.  Man just thinking about that sends a cold chill up my back. 

Thank God there aren’t many moose in this general vicinity.  Even a scarecrow of my ex-wife wouldn’t scare those big bastards away.  Life in Maine is always interesting.

5-29-2013   2 comments

I’ve never had the opportunity to raise an infant and I think that’s why it fascinates me so much.  I’ve been around infants a few times in my life but never for a long periods of time. I was always a little intimidated by babies because I had no clue how to approach them or care for them.  They were more like little lumps of a person who couldn’t speak and in some cases couldn’t’ even focus their eyes.  I won’t even get  into the hazards of diaper changing and other cleanup chores.

When my ex-wife and I decided to adopt she was interested in adopting two sibling sisters under the age of six.  I was thinking to myself, OMFG, what am I going to do.  That adoption didn’t work out but luckily we later adopted a twelve year old boy.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and our life proceeded forward.

Many years have passed and at this late date I guess I’m making up for lost time.  My better-half’s grandson who just turned six months old has become a huge part of my life.  After watching his growth and development I can’t wait until he starts speaking.  I can tell he already has things to say but just hasn’t figured out how yet.  It won’t be long now and I’m actually looking forward to really meeting him for the first time with sound and words.

During my surfing on the net I found this collection of assorted quotations from kids under the age of six which made me smile.  That’s what I like about young children, they speak their truth.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  Just picture that cute little child standing in front of you with those innocent eyes and speaking the following:

  • Dear God, I read the bible. What does "beget" mean? Nobody will tell me.
  • The wind is like the air, only pushier.
  • One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
  • You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don’t hear it, you got hit, so never mind.
  • The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down.
  • Lime is a green-tasting rock.
  • Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils, while others preferred to be oil.
  • Dear God, My brother told me how babies are born but it just doesn’t sound right. What do you say?
  • Genetics explain why you look like your father, and if you don’t why you should.
  • In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H’s as O’s.
  • Clouds are high flying fogs.
  • Water vapor gets together in a cloud. When it is big enough to be called a drop, it does.
  • Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog’s tongue will kill the strongest man.
  • Dear God, My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?
  • A blizzard is when it snows sideways.
  • I’m being haive! — 2 year old son, when his mother told him told to behave.
  • Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. You can look it up.
  • A hurricane is a breeze of a bigly size.
  • Dear God, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house?
  • Daddy picked them up and looked underneath. I think it’s printed on the bottom. — 3 year old son, when his mother asked how his father knew the genders of four new baby kittens
  • I had a fraction in my neck and had to go to the hospital for a long time.
  • Dear God, Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There’s nothing good there now.
  • Mommy, you said it would be a shot; instead it was a needle!
  • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email.

In another few months these types of statements and questions will become a part of my life and I pray to God I can come up with the proper answers.   It could go either way.

05-28-2013   4 comments

We have an over abundance of street gangs in this country who’ve staked out certain areas of many communities as their "turf".  Battles over "turf" seem stupid to me but so do many other gang related things.  I’m really not interested in all of the excuses made by society that try to explain membership in these groups.  I’m trying to understand how you can casually walk down the street and kill someone for no reason other than as part of an initiation rite for membership.  And thanks once again to the History Channel for making it a regular program available to millions of our kids.  Gangland is the show and it’s a damn disgrace.

The more I learn about gangs the less I understand.  One thing I seem to hear quite often is the word "dis".  He "dissed" me in front of my friends.  He "dis"respected me so I came back later that night and shot him. As I was growing up I can honestly say I never heard that word ever used.  It’s only in the last fifteen years that it seems to have become part of the lexicon in this country.  How is it that a small innocuous three letter word has caused the deaths of so many.  How is it that a small three letter word which has been in use for decades has been turned upside down and now becomes a reason to kill.  Many words contain "dis" but don’t require deadly action to defend.


None of these words need defending at the cost of a human life.  Maybe it’s just a convenient excuse or rationalization by these gang members for committing violent acts.  Maybe it eases someone’s guilt feelings by using the word to convince themselves their protecting their gang.  Maybe it’s the gangs peer pressures and fear of exclusion that make a thirteen year old kid turn into a killer.  It might even be fear of reprisals that force these violent acts to take place.

I must sound vaguely like some of the so called dumb-ass experts making excuses for their bad behavior.  Maybe it just comes down to the basics.  If you don’t like school, other people, the government, the police, your parents and you do like drugs, violence, murder, and prison.  Your destined to be a gang member.

Believe me I have no answers to this problem but I’m sure sick to death of seeing it broadcast on TV over and over again.  The program Gangland needs to be discontinued.  In it’s own weird way it’s romanticizing the gangbanger way of life like nothing before.  I can just see groups of gang members bragging it up that their gang was mentioned on TV and really showed the world what a bunch of bad asses they are.  It’s probably one of their best recruiting tools these days and it costs them nothing at all.

05-27-2013   4 comments

Most people consider themselves to have a great sense of humor and so do I.  I’m sarcastic to a fault with an extremely dry sense of humor.  Some people like it, some people don’t, as in all things.

One of the first things I look for when I meet someone new is their sense of humor.  Do they like to laugh?  Are they quick witted and enjoy being kidded?  That’s the difference between being my friend or just being an acquaintance.  I’ve been told that making a decision on someone based solely on humor just isn’t fair.  That’s probably true but that’s the way I do it.  I’ve met really intelligent people who have no sense of humor at all.  Is that how you would like to spend your time, with them? Not me.

Everyone thinks they have a sense of humor.  That really smart guy who I just met and accused of having no sense of humor thinks he’s the funniest guy on the planet.  That’s one of the reasons attending a comedy club amateur night can be so much fun.  That smart guy will stand up, say a few so-called funny stories, and bomb terribly.  While some drunken schmuck will get up and have the entire place in stitches almost immediately. As with beauty, humor is in the eye of the beholder.

Here’s a collection of so-called humorous quotations by so-called celebrities.  You be the judge on who’s funny and who’s not.

  • “You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named "Bush", "Dick", and "Colin." Need I say more?”
    ― Chris Rock
  • “I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.”
    ― Woody Allen
  • “When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”
    ― Stephen King
  • “It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
    ― Dr. Seuss
  • “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.”
    ― Winston Churchill
  • “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
    ― George Burns
  • “Mom says it’s because she has PMS.
    Do you even know what that means?
    "I’m not a little kid anymore. It means pissed-at- men syndrome”
    ― Nicholas Sparks
  • “Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”
    ― Steven Wright
  • “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”
    ― Steve Martin
  • “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein
  • “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
    ― Woody Allen
  • “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
    ― Groucho Marx
  • “I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally. ”
    ― W.C. Fields
  • “Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer?”
    ― Marilyn Monroe
  • “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
    ― Albert Einstein
  • “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”
    ― Oscar Levant
  • “Life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.”
    ― John Wayne
  • “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
    ― Albert Einstein
  • “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.”
    ― Groucho Marx
  • “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”
    ― Billy Sunday
  • “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
    ― Mark Twain
  • “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.”
    ― Jane Austen
  • “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”
    ― Mae West
  • “Happiness is a warm puppy.”
    ― Charles M. Schulz

Are all of these quotations funny, not really, but the person making them thinks they are.  It just goes to show that a well developed sense of humor can change people’s perception of you one way or another.  Good, bad, indifferent, what does it matter, at least they’ve noticed you and you’ve made an impression.  That’s the first step to a possible life long friendship.

05-26-2013   Leave a comment

I love cooking, I love eating, and I also love living.  If the experts out there are correct those three things are no longer compatible with each other.  For most of my life I’ve had one group or another of so called experts explaining to me in great detail what in their opinion would shorten or end my life.  I’m not talking about guns or knives or any type of weapon but food and other consumables.

I can’t drink the water because most of it contains harmful or deadly toxins that could be fatal with extended consumption.  I can’t breath the air because it’s polluted with toxins that could give me a cancer.  Those two things are basic to all life on the earth of which there is plenty but they could kill me. Do I stop consuming them?  If I do I’ll die for sure.  A seriously flawed conundrum.

Don’t eat eggs.  They’ll cause your cholesterol to soar putting you at risk. Don’t eat bacon.  It will kill you.  No more red meat. It will kill you too.  Don’t eat too much oil. It will kill you. No sugar. It will also kill you.  No sugar substitutes. They’ll kill you too.  Stop eating salt.  It could kill you.  Drink only low fat milk.  Whole milk contains something that will kill you.  No dairy products.  They can kill you too.  Don’t eat fish or seafood. Too much mercury. Don’t eat potato chips. They’ll kill you.  No fried foods. They can kill you. No coffee. It can kill you.

Carbs are bad.  Protein is bad. Oil is bad. Salt is bad. Sugar is bad. Water is bad. The air is bad. Being fat is bad.  Being skinny is bad. Being too active is bad.  Not being active enough is bad too. Drinking alcohol is bad. It will kill you.  Smoking is evil. You will day a horrible death. Don’ eat sweets.  They have sugar and will kill you.

I guess my point is that if you never want to die you should stop doing and eating all of the above things. Wait, that can’t be right.  You’re going to die anyway.

Let’ try this.  I could become a Vegan who eats nothing but bland unseasoned organic veggies.  I’ll drink nothing but pure filtered water, wear a mask to filter the air, and never touch any food that tastes good or even looks good.  I’ll exercise just enough to keep me healthy and skinny and never consume caffeine, drugs of any kind, alcohol, or sweets.  People would praise me as someone doing things the natural way, the way things ought to be for the entire world. I’ll form research groups to reinforce my opinions and write books and sell DVD’s to become rich and influential.  I’ll then use all of my money and influence to pressure politicians to pass laws that will force everyone to be healthy.  Once the entire country has been converted then I’ll do everything in my power to convince the world.  After I’ve become the voice of reason for all things health related, I’ll live just long enough to finally die.  Just like everyone else.

All that effort and BS just to die like every other unhealthy person on the planet.  Hardly seems worth the effort to me.  Just give me a cold beer, a bag of chips, a good bacon and egg breakfast, a nice juicy salted steak with all the trimmings, and a good smoke and glass of brandy. Then I’ll be ready to die too.

I’ll rather die happy eating a banana split covered with whipped cream, nuts, and a huge cherry on top than being a stinky and unhappy dead Vegan.  If I’m gonna go I want it to be on my own terms.  It’s something called freedom of which we have very little these days.

Bon Appetite

05-25-2013   2 comments

I was just sitting here today preparing to write a post and became distracted and sidetracked when I began to mentally list a number of things that annoy me. I enjoy "free association" as a means of clearing my head because it’s like wiping my mental blackboard so I can restart with a fresh train of thought.  I recorded that list for some unknown reason and thought I’d share it with you.   It could just as easily be called a list of Things I Hate but I like to save my hatred for people and things that really deserve it.  So this list is officially Things That Annoy Me in no particular order of importance and exactly as I recorded them.

People who constantly talk over me
People who answer a question with a question
Pop-up ads
Taking a dump in a public restroom
People who don’t get sarcasm
Tyra Banks
Fake handicap spot parkers
OBX stickers
Street performers
White people with dreadlocks

There’s the first ten.  I see nothing too startling there and can only assume most of you would agree with me that these things are annoying.  Moving right along.

Chatty Customer Service people who won’t shut up
Authority of any kind
Wannabe gangsta idiots
Finally being in bed and realizing you forgot to turn off the lights
Country music
Toddlers & Tiaras
Game requests on Facebook

Are you still with me?  Have any of these struck a chord with you? I would hate to think that many of these items really don”t bother other people because that would then make me something of an oddball.  Let’s keep going.

Anything Kardashian
People talking while blocking a grocery store aisle
People who don’t thank you after you hold a door for them
People who start panicking by slamming an imaginary brake in you car
People that don’t do their job
Foreign people that make fun of America
When people make a movie out of a book and screw it up
No Wi-Fi
People who correct me

It’s amazing to me just how many things that occur everyday can be so bothersome.  Have we become so numb to this continuous stream of annoyance that we are now desensitized to it?  I sometimes think that’s true.  Here are my final ten.  I stopped after fifty because I was becoming bored with this whole thing.  Maybe I can make your list as “Someone who is boring  and annoying”.”  That would be ironic and yes really annoying, a two-fer.

People who are skinny and on a diet
Wet or gooey door knobs
Slow Internet
People that call Soccer football
People using text abbreviations out loud
Hostesses who ask “Would you like a table?”
Projectile vomiting

This list could go on and on but I think my point’s been made.  Now my mind is clear and I’m ready to face the day refreshed and less aggravated.  I wonder just how long it will take for something new to annoy me so I can start working on my next list of fifty.

05-24-2013   Leave a comment

Today is Ladies Day here at Everyuselessthing.  I know In the past I’ve had a lot of fun with you ladies out there but I’d like to get a little more serious today.  During my normal cruising around the net I discovered that today is what most women would consider a very special day.  I think it’s only fair that the women in this country have more than one day like Mother’s Day to celebrate their femininity.  With that in mind I’m sending out good wishes to all of my female readers and a big HAPPY INTERNATIONAL TIARA DAY.  I’ve included the following blurb I discovered which  explains the origins of this observance and who to blame.  I’m sorry, that must have sounded a little catty and I apologize.

I was surprised a little to discover that’s it’s an "International" observance.  For some reason I thought that this could only be an American thing.  I guess I should have realized that you women folk all would love to have and wear a tiara regardless of what country you live in. As the article explains this observance was created to help every women feel like a princess.  How sweet and somewhat disturbing is that?

So before all of you ladies race off to your local Tiara’s "R" Us, please read along to learn the history of this special, special day, International Tiara Day.

The first International Tiara Day was held on May 24th, 2005 in conjunction with Barbara Bellissimo’s Seasons of Success. In 2009 Lynanne White of American Rose Bridal along with a few of her employees decided everyone should be able to wear a tiara, not just brides. Lynanne researched to see if there was a tiara day. After contacting and receiving permission from Barbara, Lynanne took over International Tiara Day in hopes of helping all women feel like a princess. Lynanne thought May 24th was an appropriate day since it was Queen Victoria’s birthday. We hope to continue this tradition every year. Please help us spread the word.

Now that I’ve properly informed my female readers about this previously unpublicized day it’s back to blog business.  I love listing new followers to this blog along with my special thanks.  Spending time surfing through their blogs is in my opinion time well spent.  They contain a lot of interesting information and diverse writing styles.  Check them out and enjoy them as I do. 

Thanks to: meganlbarr, Glenn Folkes, Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger, sunnysleevez, ArchangelTravels, Cristian Mihai, taylor oceans, Michael Armstrong, Sorina M, Daniel Gonzalez, Ashley, The Overstand Podcast, jamesrevelsthecomposer, immodiumabuser, The CoF, talin401, kirstywirsty, Spy Garden, SipofFashion, and dasitton309.


05-23-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve been around for what seems like forever and just through longevity alone I’ve become reasonably well versed in dealing with women in almost any circumstance.  Most men would agree, we’re tired of hearing about all the problems of women, girl power, ERA, PMS, men are bad, and women should run the world. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! It’s time for me to pass on some of my knowledge  to the younger generations of men out there to assist them in surviving relationships with their current or future partners.  Let me help you “guys” make those “girls” out there a little crazy before they do it to you first.  This double standard against men needs to stop and I’m here to do my part in making that happen.  Sit back and learn from the master, grasshoppers.

  • Develop the ability where you seem to be calmly listening to their every word. If we as men insist on dating, marriage, and all that follows  we must be good listeners. Women want to be heard and over the years mine always were. I’m known for being a good listener, ask anyone. I may only hear every other word but that’s still listening, Right?  Look interested, nod a lot, and when they’re done just smile.
  • Develop the ability to "Zone Out". I seem to be there paying close attention to her every word but in fact my mind tends to wander to other places and other times. Certain of her key words or voice inflections will snap me right back to the current conversation without her noticing. They sometimes develop the ability to recognize when this is happening and that’s when they get really crazy.  Spend the extra time to learn to disguise this talent.
  • You must learn a number of different ways to check out other women without being obvious.  These are basic methods used by men for decades to hide their ogling.  Use reflections in windows to check someone out casually.  Wear very dark sunglasses so you can look at anyone at any time but without turning your head in their direction. As you should already know this has always been mandatory male eyewear on any beach for years.  Lastly, you must develop the ability to look at other women openly enough to make her crazy but not so obvious as to get you in real trouble. I usually use this move for revenge when she’s done something thoughtless and I want her to pay.  It’s worth it’s weight in gold if you learn it and use it properly.
  • Casually bring up memories of old girl friends or sexual partners. This will drive your woman over the edge especially if you can do it in an innocent manner.  If she thinks your doing it just to make her crazy you may reach a whole new level of OMG.  Use this ability with care, it can turn ugly and she may attempt to reverse it on you.  You have to be prepared to listen to  her experiences if your not really careful.
  • You must create in your mind a series of answers that you can draw upon instantly when you hear this question, What are you thinking? It’s been my experience that if more than a minute of silence occurs when you’re together that question will almost certainly be asked.  They want your every thought to be about them and it makes them crazy when they imagine that’s not the case.  Try blurting out, "I was just thinking of our first kiss." or "I was remembering the first time when we made love in the backseat of my old car."  The faster you are able to tell her these things the more believable and convincing they become.
  • Learn to use compliments to your fullest advantage.  Casual meaningless compliments that will send a chill up her spine.  Have you lost weight?  You really look sexy in that dress. When you walk like that you make me crazy. This can short circuit almost anything she is currently preaching to you about.  It can derail her train of thought just long enough for you to change the subject to something you deem important. Use them sparingly because overuse has it’s pitfalls.  If you have actual sincere compliments save them for times when sexual activity is eminent.  It’ll payoff big time.
  • Learn how to Fake Flirt. This is the ability to make it seem like other women are giving you the eye or being overly friendly.  This is simple to do but takes some practice.  If you’re ever feeling unloved or taken for granted this is the weapon of choice.  This skill develops over time but you must be subtle about it.  It will drive her completely nuts.
  • Make PMS your friend.  Most women deny every having PMS but they know when they’re suffering from it and use it against us at every turn.  It’s time to turn that around.  The better you treat her without ever mentioning the dreaded PMS the more guilty she’ll feel if she begins snapping at you for no reason.  She’ll never admit that’s the case but it’s true.  Make her crazy. It’s time we defuse the ever present PMS once and for all.

This is just a partial list of things we can defend ourselves with.  Women have apparently learned many of these same skills at a much earlier age than we first guessed.  It’s time for us to play catch up and level the playing field a little.  I’ll be sure to pass other things along to help make all of you out there the excellent lovers and partners your women are looking for. If it makes them a little crazier than usual that’s just a huge plus.


05-22-2013   Leave a comment

Today I get to play winemaker.  I’ve been making homemade wines for more than twenty years and plan on making it for twenty more.  My better-half became so interested that she began making her own batches about five years ago.  She leans toward berry wines and her specialty has become Tripleberry Wine. It’s made from a mix of blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.  I have to admit it’s damn tasty and goes well with almost any dish.

For years I only made your basic wines.  Some were made from fresh fruit while other were made from professionally produced concentrates.  I’ve always tried to be creative with my winemaking and I’ve even made excellent wine from the fruit of the Mountain Ash tree.  My all time favorite over the years has been dandelion wine made from blossoms collected from nearby fields. It’s a killer to make because you sit for hours removing only the yellow petals.  The first time I attempted making it I found out much too late that rubber gloves should be worn.  I had really disgusting yellow fingers and hands for weeks.

I enjoy experimenting a great deal and in recent years have made a number of cooking wines which turned out rather well.  I first made onion and garlic wine which turned out to be an incredible marinade.  Then I made twenty-five bottles of habanero wine to be used for marinades and cooking.  I found as time went by it actually became hotter as it sat in the bottle.  Some people actually like drinking it but that’s not for me.  If your doing a stir-fry adding a cup of it will spark things up nicely.  Again a safety tip, when making anything with habaneros wear a double layer of latex gloves.

Today is bottling day for a fifteen bottle batch of the better-half’s wine and a twenty-five bottle batch of my latest experiment, gin wine.  I’m a big fan of gin but drinking the hard stuff is a little much sometimes.  I decided to make a wine out of the same ingredients that actual gin brewers use.  If recent taste tests are any indicator this batch isn’t all that good.  It has an alcohol content of about ten percent and might just make a great tar remover for our cars.  The smell of gin is there but that’s about it.  It tastes like a cross between battery acid and Lysol.  I’ll bottle up a few bottles for long term storage but the rest will unfortunately be discarded.  The better-half’s Tripleberry tastes great and will be bottled and stored today.

Making wine is always risky and ever so often you’ll get a batch that is just God awful. I’m hoping this summer is hot and sunny making our blackberry crop fat and juicy.  We have a few secret spots in certain areas of the county where we harvest blackberries by the bucket full.  They make the best jams and wines and we’re looking forward to doing it again this summer.

I’ll be sure to have a glass or two today to toast the arrival of Spring and the demise of the gin wine.

05-21-2013   Leave a comment

With the Memorial Day weekend approaching it seems that every blogger is obligated to acknowledge our military in some fashion with patriot slogans and photographs.  I’ve done that myself in the past but always felt a little odd doing it.  Being a former enlistee in the Army automatically makes me a fanatical supporter of our servicemen and servicewomen.  When I was actively serving I never really wished for a lot of hoopla about it, just a plain old "thank you for your service" would have sufficed.  Of course being of the Vietnam generation we received very little in the way of attention that wasn’t biased by the ever present anti-war movement and media. Years later in a politically correct move the country finally decided we should be acknowledged by building us a freaking wall.

The following list is an approximation of the countries where our troops are assigned and the number of troops in each country as of 2010. This is an official Thank You from me to each of them.  I thank them not only for their service but their sacrifices as well. It’s not an easy thing to leave your family and friends and be shipped off to God knows where to possibly fight and die.  I pray they all stay safe and return home as soon as possible.

United States – 1,123,219

Afghanistan – 68,000

Alaska – 21,280

Australia – 183

Bahrain – 2,902

Belgium – 1,165

Canada – 146

Qatar – 800

Diego Garcia – 516

Djibouti – 139

Egypt – 292

Germany – 45,596

Guam – 5,646

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – 988

Greece – 361

Greenland – 138

Hawaii – 49,242

Honduras – 388

Italy – 10,916

Japan – 52,692

Jordan – 200

Kuwait – 15,000

Netherlands – 374

Norway – 90

Philippines – 131

Portugal – 713

Puerto Rico – 162

Saudi Arabia – 278

Singapore – 180

South Korea – 28,500

Spain – 1,600

Thailand – 114

Turkey – 1,491

United Arab Emirates – 193

United Kingdom – 9,310

This posting also remembers those soldiers who’ve paid the ultimate price in protecting this country as stated so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson: 

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. — Thomas Jefferson

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