Thursday, August 05, 2004

And now for something completely different

(requisite apologies to Monty Python)

After a certain period of time, political silliness, wars and rumors thereof and a general state of PO'dness at the world gets old. You have to just take a break.

Whoa, hold on! Least my audience (both of you) think I'm going to take time off from blogging, let me assure you it aint so. This is summer, when I and the family o' Freeholders are out and about. I don't do computer things (that includes blogging) as much, but I do still do some.

What I'm talking about is a break in terms of topics. For the next few posts, I'm going to point you to some of the more interesting places I've found in my surfing 'round the Internet.

If you've read any of my blog entries and gotten curious about me, there is a link to my web site, strangely named The Freeholder, over on the left. If you've looked at it, you may have noticed one of the sections is devoted to RVing--the art of Recreational Vehicle traveling and living.

RVing has some commonalities with boating. Not little boats, the ones big enough to live on. As a matter of fact, a lot of us RVers learn from the boaters and buy some of our toys from places like West Marine. We also learn from each other. I was taught much of what I know by a pair of brothers who also happen to be two of my best friends and who got us involved in this lunacy (thanks, Tony and Jim).

I've also picked up a lot off the Internet, and at long last, that leads us to one of my favorite RV websites: Mark's Fulltime RV Resource.

My name is Mark Nemeth. I'm 46, single, and a firm believer in the saying: "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

And boy howdy has he. He's traveled all over the country--several times. Unfortunately, it seems his multi-year travel log isn't on the site any longer. I hope he rectifies that soon. But all of the RV how-to and advice stuff is still there, and still interesting.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Australia's sinking into the muck

The Smallest Minority has these thoughts on some current events in Australia. Read them through first, I'll wait here...

I had always thought "Gee, if things got too bad in the good ol' US of A, I could always immigrate to Australia." Sort of like James Garner in "Support Your Local Sheriff". Then they passed a gun ban in a knee jerk reaction to a single attack. That alone was enough to take them off my list.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. I wonder how far they'll let themselves sink into the morass before they decide that current polices not only don't achieve the desired result, but make things worse.

Only a Southerner Knows

My cousin sent me this. I've seen it before in many places on the Internet, but I want to enshrine it here.

Only A Southerner knows.......

  • Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissy fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.
  • Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess of."
  • Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."
  • Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly."
  • Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar," is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
  • All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
  • Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!
  • Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.
  • Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
  • No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
  • A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or anadverb.
  • We don't do "queues," we do "lines"; and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!
  • Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines.
  • Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they'rerelated, even if only by marriage.
  • Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
  • Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
  • When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
  • Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
  • And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart," and go your own way.
  • To those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart! And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language! And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, ya'll need a sign to hang on ya'lls front porch that reads "I aint from the South but I got here as fast as I could."

    Bless your hearts, and ya'll have a blessed day.

    Attention Horticulturalists

    I think I may be getting on a theme, here...

    (via FOXNews)

    Cops Make Major Hibiscus Bust

    No, this wasn't some guy who is stealing rare or endangered plants (yes, there are such things), but a landscaper raising the Texas Star Hibiscus, among other things. Now the Texas Star Hibiscus has a superficial resemblance to the evil marijuana plant. Add a "concerned citizen" and the fun begins.

    "All of a sudden, they burst in with their guns loaded, pointing at me, screaming, 'Get on the floor! Get on the floor!'" northwest Harris County resident Blair Davis told KHOU-TV.

    Hm-m-m, OK. I can see this, even though I don't like it. A drug bust is a dangerous place to be if you're a cop.

    At one point, the officers discussed whether the bamboo in the window might be the demon weed as well, Davis told the Houston Chronicle. They also asked him what he planned to do with the watermelons and cantaloupes growing out back.

    Queue the "Twilight Zone" theme, please.

    Officers, even I can tell the difference between demon weed and bamboo. And what's he going to do--gene-splice pot and watermelon with his Tom Swift Home Genetics Lab Kit? ("You can get high and handle the munchies at the same time!") For cryin' out loud, doesn't Harris County, Texas train their drug cops on the visual identification of a marijuana plant?

    At least we have a decent ending for this guy. His house isn't damaged (or at least it isn't reported to be) and he does get a "citizen's information card" with the words "closed-report" written on it.

    I don't have anything particular against the police, but I do have a thing about stupid police. It seems to me that, as citizens, we have a right to expect that the law enforcement officers we pay for are well-trained and taught some basic manners, such as apologizing when you make a mistake--even an honest one.

    On the same link at FOXNews, the next story down is about a man, a pregnant wife about to give birth, a traffic jam, a cop and a traffic citation. The punch line?

    "The policy is to bring paramedics to the location," Sgt. Richard Perez of the Fairfax County Police Department told reporters. "There's no exception to the rule."

    I hope at some point in his life, Sgt. Perez has that same attitude applied to him by someone in authority.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Attention Wisconsin Gun Owners: Turn in Your Weapons!

    I've seen this in a few places in the blogosphere (sorry, I don't remember where--Kim du Toit maybe?) but I want to note it here.

    A cop in Oshkosh, WI was the victim of an unprovoked attack--shot standing outside his car. The perp was seen to flee into a nearby neighborhood. The police started a search--house to house, no warrants. Life got interesting.

    A few quotes:

    Terry Wesner said 'a couple of shotguns and a rifle' were removed from his home by SWAT Team members after he consented to a search, though officers did not tell him they removed the firearms after they completed their search.


    Ron Kendall, a resident of the 1700 block of Minnesota Street, said residents of the house that has become the focus of the police investigation refused to consent to a search without a warrant. (Bully for him!)


    He suspects it's a reason why police are giving the home so much attention. (You expected otherwise? Guilty until proven innocent, the new American Way.)

    Detectives, who went to the home with a search warrant Sunday morning, were seen using a metal detector, sweeping through grass and cutting down shrubs and branches in the front yard Monday evening. (Hey, people I know keep their guns in the shrubs. Not.)

    It gets more irritating from there.

    I understand the cops wanting to find this guy. But for them to commit warrantless searches, removing personal property without a shred of legality, is properly called breaking and entering. Doing it under color of authority makes it worse.

    Wisconsin Gun Owners, a local Second Amendment group, is keeping track of this situation. Last word is that one resident, Terry Wesner (mentioned above) got an apology. I'm sure it makes him feel better.

    Just goes to show you that you don't need to be the ATF to trample the public's rights.

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    Valor more clearly defined

    (Via Blackfive)

    OK, so now I know which one to do. Both.

    With the heros at Fallujah.

    The Johns' "Believe In America" Tour off to a good start

    (via WorldNet Daily)

    Yep, nothing like a US Marine to get to the heart of the matter.

    "He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands," one Marine said, adding, "I'm 100 percent against [him]."

    A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, "I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq," before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is "eager" to go and serve.

    I wonder how the Johns will fare with the rest of the military vote? Heh.

    The faces of heros

    (via Worldnet Daily)

    I'm so proud that this country still produces men like this that I don't know whether to get all chocked up or bellow defiance at the world. Since neither really makes sense, I'll just direct your attention here: Valor Defined.