29 May 2014


Twenty years ago today my first redhead was taken from this world by cervical cancer.*

I didn't deserve her for the short time I had her, and like a fool I walked away from her. This was long before her death, more than 10 years in fact. We were still in high school when I decided I didn't want to be "tied down" and I have since had plenty of time to regret that decision.

Today I remember her. Perhaps I will get the chance in the next life to admit to her what I never could in this one.

RIP Leonaye A. Bulger, 10 May 1966 - 31 May 1994

*I hate this disease. Damn I'm hard on my redheads, if the good Lord ever grants me another I will endeavor to take better care of her.

26 May 2014

25 May 2014

Aaaand...we're back

Home again, home again, after our little trip. Almost 3700 miles, average 24MPG with the top down on the highway in most cases, two graduations, a funeral (Brother In Law's father passed while we were there) and a wedding (Eldest Sister, much to my mother's consternation as she doesn't care much for her new son-in-law).

We got back home last night a little after 11 PM. Eldest Son took good care of the dog in my absence, but he was glad to see me anyway. It was really good to climb into my own bed last night as well.

Late this morning I rode my lawn mower around the Field of Dandelions (otherwise known as my yard) which I'm sure made my neighbors happy as it was rather...overgrown. This exercise revealed my need for a new lawn mower battery and sharpened blades as I had to use the battery charger to start the mower and the grass wasn't so much cut as it was beaten into submission.

Back to work tonight.

23 May 2014


some people consider this to be humorous.

I think they're just mocking me. Because they're jealous.

In the Oven

Strawberry cream pie for Niece and a plain cheesecake for another niece's boyfriend (it's his birthday).

For the strawberry cream pie, use the glazed apple pie recipe for the cream and then substitute the following for the apple filling:

2 lbs strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
2 T flour

First cut the strawberries up and combine with the sugar and flour, mix well. Now make your cream filling as directed and put it in the bottom of your prepared pie crust. Mix the strawberries up again very well, by now the flour and sugar have mixed with the strawberry juice to make a syrup and you want all of the strawberries to be well coated with it. Pour this in your crust over the cream, put your top crust on and bake as directed. Let it cool for an hour and a half, mix up the glaze, pour it on the top and then refrigerate for a couple of hours before cutting into pieces.

Niece has to go to work tonight and has threatened death and destruction on anyone who touches her pie before she gets home. I believe her, too.

20 May 2014

Once Again

I like open carry. I'm an open carry advocate, although I'm not rabid about it. I belong to a group here in the greater Raleigh area that goes to different places for lunch while open carrying. Our goal is to show the normal folks that we are more like them than the nuts they see on the TV.

Chipolte restaurants recently became the latest battleground on the War on Guns, and as is typical once the jackasses got wind of it they thought it would be a good idea to bring their Evil Black Rifles in to, I don't know, "make a statement" or some such bullshit as that. (I have been informed that there was no organized response, it was a photo taken while having an after-event meal that the antis jumped on and another completely unrelated photo that they astroturfed on to increase the visibility.)

Chipolte has now "made a statement" and that statement is, don't take your guns to town.

It would serve our cause much better when the antis pick the next battleground (as they have picked Starbucks and now Chipoltes) and the business in question says they will follow state law, to just say "thank you," perhaps with a nice letter to Corporate, and let it go at that. Leave the EBRs at home, don't bother the individual storefronts with our "show of support" (the exception would be to have a quiet word of support for the manager of any store that is besieged with antis), and most of all...DO NOT ENGAGE ON A BATTLEFIELD OF THEIR CHOOSING (please do take the time to notice very carefully where that last link points. It was deliberately picked. Know your enemy).

 We may be winning the legislative war so far, but the activists will always win the PR battle if we choose to engage them on their own ground. Let the public see them acting like nuts, not us, is what I say. I'll carry the Glock in a holster on my hip in plain view, but I haven't ever run into a situation where I've said "Man, it sure would have been handy to have that Saiga with me." (Yes, yes, I know, a pistol is what you use to fight your way back to the rifle you shouldn't have left behind in the first place, but seriously folks, the biggest point of risk assessment is determining likelihood and in my mind the risk of alienating the public on an otherwise unremarkable day is far far greater than the risk that I will have to engage zombies at range on the same unremarkable day.)

Starbucks and Chipoltes, all they wanted to do was run restaurants, but we...yes WE...allowed ourselves to get carried away and now both of those places have decided they don't want our business. Boycott if you like but given the numbers I don't think there is much danger of them folding, and keep in mind our goal is not to alienate John and Jane Public, it's to show them we're not rabid foaming at the mouth lunatics. What do you think they think of us now?

Nice job jackasses. I guess it stops when every business in America posts signs to leave the guns outside.

19 May 2014

Rest Day

Two graduations and two graduation receptions, followed by a night out with Brother.

I think I'm going to do nothing today. I expect it to take all day, so I'd better get started on it.

Note to my children: don't let your uncle get your cell phone if you have the Book of Faces app on it.

17 May 2014

On The Side

My mother makes this and it's great, so I really have to try making this for myself.

1 can cream style corn
1 cup dry macaroni
1 stick margarine/butter
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup cubed Velveeta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and pour into greased baking dish. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring several times. Remove lid for the last 15 minutes to let brown.

This can also be cooked in a crock pot on low for 4-5 hours.


We arrived safe and sound in Iowa yesterday morning, tired but otherwise unharmed. It rained on us halfway through the night when we left Roanoke, we got a peek of moonlight halfway through Kentucky that was gone by Indiana, but when we got to St Louis the sun came out and shone all day. It didn't warm anything up (it never got above 55 degrees) but at least it was dry.

Today is only supposed to get in the 60's but starting tomorrow we will have a week of warm and sunny. The convertible was definitely a good choice this time around.

Doglet didn't get to come, Eldest Son is staying at the house with him.

And now I'm off. Things to see, people to annoy...you know how it is.

11 May 2014

Catch Up

And once again I have folded, mutilated and spindled Blogging Rule Number One, which is post something every day. Not like I've ever been one to follow that rule anyway. What can I say, I'm a rebel.

So, lately I've been working on cars again. The Subaru developed a noise in hard turns, so I replaced the drive axles. While I was there I also put in a fresh set of ball joints. Unfortunately this has not solved the problem, and the real culprit - wheel bearings - has been getting more and more evident. They will be replaced soon, along with the front brake pads and rotors. I think I'll hire that job out to a shop that has an alignment rack.

The reason I haven't taken it in yet is I finally took the bumper cover off the Mustang and got the dog damage repaired, so I had to drive it to work all week. While I had the bumper cover off I pulled the windshield washer pump and discovered the filter clogged with what looked to be algae. I didn't know algae could grow in windshield washer fluid, but it's clean now and operating properly.

The bumper cover got put back on Friday, just in time for the sporadic rain to start Friday night and all through Saturday. It's supposed to be nice this week so I'll probably give in to the temptation and drive it this week. If not, there's always next week.

Youngest Sister's anniversary is next Saturday, Niece D is graduating on Sunday, and now Older Sister is getting married on the 23rd...and Niece M, Youngest Son and I will be there for all of it. We were going to head back home on the 23rd, which is a Friday, but now it looks like we'll be leaving that Saturday instead.

And that's what the next few weeks have in store for me.

Happy Mothers Day

to all the mothers who read my pathetic attempts at scribbling..and to at least one who doesn't.

Happy Mothers Day Mom. You're the best.

05 May 2014


It's May, and I have yet to post the ROTM!

So, without further ado, I give you...


I don't have a name to go with the face, perhaps one of you do?

04 May 2014


My sheds are empty and so is my driveway. My living room is clear of the moving boxes that have been piling up for the past month. The spare bedroom is now completely empty, ready to be cleaned and painted and the wood work finished and then closed off.

The coffee tables do not have computers on them and the diaper pail is gone from the living room. I'm not tripping over things and have clear paths everywhere. Toys and toyboxes do not litter my floors (not that they are clean, but at least they are now uncluttered).

The house is quiet.

This morning while Youngest Son and I were in Fort Mills SC for the Pro Dyno car show, Middle Daughter and her hubby and 3 year old baby boy climbed into their cars and the loaded moving truck and moved to Jacksonville FL.

Son In Law has been wanting to go back for quite some time now and the jobs for Middle Daughter in the profession for which she has trained are more plentiful there, so this should be a good opportunity for them. Plus, it gives me another place to stay when I come visit.

Of course this means that I will have to take my own trash to the curb on Sunday nights, there will not be the occasional prepared meal when I get up to go to work, and my poor dog will have to stay outside when I'm not home. He will get to come with me when I travel overnights though, so he will perhaps enjoy that. It will, however, limit my travels unless I can find pet friendly hotels.

I have one more at the house, he turns 18 in three more years and then I am done raising kids. I keep telling him I'm going to burn the house down and buy an RV, but I'll likely just sell the house and just get a smaller place within a days drive to the folks (west Tennessee perhaps). I'd really like to design and build my own house, but we will have to see how that works out. Whichever way it goes there will only be a single bedroom, that much is certain.

I am definitely ready to live by myself. I'm kind of funny this way, but I've always been OK by myself. I liked having someone to share my life with but I don't need it, and if there ever is another I want someone who needs me because she loves me and not the other way around. Maybe this makes me a horrible person but I am oh so ready to not be the answer to everyone else's problems.

I will miss having the kids close, but I will not miss them living with me.

02 May 2014

A Tale of Two Companies

Bachmann and Model Power. Two companies offering products for model railroading.

One has consistently and steadily improved both its lineup and quality.

The other one is going out of business.

A little effort still apparently goes a long ways.