The Edge of Tomorrrow

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. I confess it is hard to think about anything other than the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, which is set to begin at 3:30 on Saturday. The tables have been set with heaping plates of intrigue and mystery as Coach Richt has announced he is starting third string quarterback, Faton Bauta, today. Wow, talk about your bold aggressive moves. I would love to think Coach Richt is saying, “see, I can beat you with my third string guy”. I’m praying he’s had a vision of the future. By 8PM, we’ll know.

Speaking of visions of the future, Mulva pulled a rabbit out of the hat, or I should say the $2.99 video bin at Walmart, with her selection of the date night video this week. Mulva selected “The Edge of Tomorrow”, a sci-fi flick starring Tom Cruise. I am not confused by Mulva’s intentions here, she is not forgoing her aversion to all things sci-fi for my benefit. This is strictly a Tom Cruise play. I guess you could say Mulva feels about Tom Cruise like I feel about Jennifer Lawrence. I’d be happy just watching her eat a cheeseburger. The fact that Jennifer Lawrence has been in some really good movies is just icing on the cake for me.

Getting back to Mulva’s obsession, though, Tom Cruise is up in the list of all of the things that are wrong with Hollywood to me. Let me start off by being real petty. He is short, I don’t mean 5’9” short and with heel lifts he’s close to 6′, I mean he’s 5’4″ short. Even with heel lifts, they still have to put him up on a box to say his lines so he’s still in the same frame as his co-star. Now, you could say that his overcoming his vertical challenge is an example of his acting skills; he acts taller than he is. You could say that, but I wouldn’t.

Cruise’s status as a leading “man” has long been rumored to be as false as his height. There are rumors that Tom Cruise resembles Rock Hudson in his proclivities. The rumors were more pronounced during the filming of “Eyes Wide Shut”, when director Stanley Kubrick had to teach Cruise and Kidman how to be sexual with one another. Normally, one could expect there would be some awkwardness between actors playing sexual roles with each other. Cruise and Kidman were long married at the time. I guess the flame had gone out, if there every was one. Being gay is fine, and Cruise supporters will point out again that this is just another example of his fine acting skills.

Cruise made the news again last night in a tell all on Scientology. Cruise is like the number one head honcho most VIP member of Scientology. There is so much material on Scientology that I’ll save the rant for another time, just let me say that at its core it begins with aliens invading the Earth. Maybe with “The Edge of Tomorrow” Cruise is building a body of work supporting the Scientology premise, kind of like Charlton Heston did with all of the Bible movies. Who knows if  a “The Edge of Tomorrow” series would be as successful as “The Mission Impossible” series has been. The one thing in Hollywood that is always true, “money makes the pony run”. Unless “The Edge of Tomorrow” makes money, no one will be interested in seeing how the sequel plays out.

I’d watch a sequel, by the way. The movie had a fairly good premise, it was well acted and had good special effects. The added bonus was Tom Cruise gets shot in the head about a hundred times so he can relive his experience until he gets it right. A movie that has something for me and Mulva, a good date night pick.

Check out “The Edge of Tomorrow” after you watch the Dawgs rip the Gators a new one.

Go Dawgs.


The Gift That Keeps On Giving

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. I’ve just finished cleaning up the Rec room after our Republican debate party. The group was more subdued this time, no food fights, and a couple of the tenants actually stayed behind to give me a hand. I’m a big believer in “many hands make light work”, so I always let folks know I appreciate them when they help out. I figure I’ve got one or two more elections in me before we have to retire the tradition.

Speaking of retiring, how about that Jeb Bush shout out to Marco Rubio to retire? Loved it! Marco comes back with, “somebody just told you to pick on me because your numbers are bad”. It would have been a good rejoinder if Marco’s lip wasn’t quivering so much. Marco looked younger in the debate this time and really came across as a dweeb. The other end of the spectrum is John Kasich, who seems to have staked out the “wise old timer” role. Now, normally I’d say that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king; which should give Kasich the advantage, but the Republicans seem to be perfectly happy driving while blind.

These debates were hosted by CNBC and were supposed to be about financial matters. A bunch of the CNBC analysts were on hand to ask the deep questions only an analyst like Jim Cramer can ask. Cramer’s question was so deep I don’t even remember what it was. No matter, it wouldn’t have been answered anyway. The Repubs were in full attack mode of the bias left wing media and were refusing to answer questions. Ted Cruz chose to take his full time to rail against the unfairness of the questions as opposed to trying to separate his brand from the others. It is amazing how delusional these guys are. They find a question of Hillary about Benghazi totally appropriate, even though it has been asked and answered one hundred times before, but ask The Donald about his bankruptcies, and the bias left wing media isn’t playing fair. What a whining bunch of rich kids.

Anyway, here are my impressions of the “candidates”:

The Donald – I may not have ever noticed his hair before beyond the fact that it was a giant comb over with two gallons of Aqua Net sprayed on it to hold it in place. Tonight, there was something new going on, and it was not attractive. Neither were his responses to questions about his bankruptcies, the wall that Mexico is going to build for us, work visas, and whether or not he had cut CNBC back from a three hour debate to a two debate.

Ben Carson – seems to not be able to add, but I guess that’s not required much in brain surgery. When confronted with statistics about his proposed tax plan, Carson was everywhere but on point. While it looks like he’s altered his medication enough to not be appearing to fall asleep, he did get tripped up by another medication issue. Carson was called out about his involvement with the supplement company, Mannatech. Carson denied knowing that his picture was on the Mannatech website promoting the company. I don’t think anybody believed him.

Carly Fiorina – It is hard to not judge her on her looks and her harsh tone. I don’t think America is ready for an “Iron Lady” president, ala, Margaret Thatcher. Carly seems to be trying to convince everyone that she’s the meanest S.O.B. in the race, and she probably is. Her line about being “Hillary’s worst nightmare” rang true with me. If I saw Carly in a dream I would classify it as my worst nightmare, and I regularly dream about Zombies.

Jeb Bush –  whoever is running his campaign should be taken out and shot, and I’m sure will be. The only spark coming from Bush all night was when he called Marco out. Too little, too late. Time to say goodbye.

Marco Rubio – “my parents came here as refugees and were handed everything by the federal government and I want to deny those same opportunities to other Hispanics seeking asylum because they don’t deserve it, but my folks did. Wa Wa Wa! Don’t pick on me cause I don’t do my job, elect me as President and I’ll change, I swear”.

Ted Cruz – “we’re just as smart as the Democrats, we’re just not good at answering questions. So we want to pick the questions we’re asked, or I’ll just attack the moderators, the network and the biased liberal media. Cause it’s not possible people don’t like me because I’m a doofus, it has to be because of the media.” Cruz also has that swarmy quality of making my flesh crawl. Nothing presidential about that.

Chris Christie – by far the best politician on the stage and should be in the lead. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I get the feeling I’m watching a Cosa Nostra crime boss talk when Chris Christie is on. Chris has too much baggage, no pun intended, and doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance. He’s still the best politician on the stage though.

John Kasich – Most knowledgeable, and also has a strong history in politics, so you can actually see what he’s done, unlike Ben Carson and others. Would be the best president of the bunch, so it’ll never happen.

Mike Huckabee – “let me be your vice-president, please” “I know I’m not qualified to be president and if I got nominated people would start digging into my past and find a million reasons to not vote for me. Let me be your vice-president, no one ever scrutinizes the V.P.”

Well I think that’s all of them. A motley crew to be sure.


Would Brenda? Brenda Wood!

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. A break in the weather allowed me to blow some wet leaves into a pile that I hope I’ll be able to add to the compost bin. We need a week of dry weather to let the leaves get dry, but it doesn’t appear that dry weather is in our stars for a while. Better here than Texas, though. I feel sorry for them folks. First of all, they live in Texas, and second they’ve had just horrific weather the last couple of years. Droughts to floods and back again. I believe after a couple of years of that I’d move on. Texans are a hardheaded lot, though.

Speaking of hard heads, or maybe it’s hard hearts, did you catch Brenda Wood’s “Last Word” last night on Channel 11? I know, she keeps saying it’s her last word, but it never is. She just keeps on coming back breaking down some news item so that the great unwashed, her viewing public, can gain the deep insight into the topic that only Brenda Wood can divine.

Tonight’s show stopper was the video of the big white guy throwing the black girl around like a rag doll while he was placing her under arrest for disrupting the class. Here’s a link to the video, if you haven’t seen it a hundred times already on TV. It is fairly obvious that the girl was outclassed, and really wasn’t putting up a defense to the jacked-up policeman. The fact that the policeman was so out of control that he attacked the girl physically should be the “last word” on the matter. The average person sees an adult assaulting a child, it couldn’t be any clearer, and the fact that the girl’s neck wasn’t broken when the policeman body slammed her to the floor is a miracle.

There are so many questions that could be asked just about what we see in the video that we don’t need Brenda to drag a red herring across the screen to try to cloud our vision. Question one,would this have happened to a white child? Question two, if the policeman had been black would it have happened? We know it wouldn’t have happened if the child had been white and the policeman black. Question three, have we become so crippled as a society that a teacher needs to call in the storm troopers when a student finds his class less than engaging? Whatever the infraction is, there has to be a policy in place to handle the discipline that doesn’t involve assaulting a child.

“BUT!!!!!!!” , says Brenda Wood, while she starts off on her rant about how we are living in the last of times when it comes to school discipline. Brenda started her rant by showing the video and saying that while the officer’s actions were over the top, it wasn’t as obvious as it looked. I beg to differ, it was an adult assaulting a child, we don’t have to dig any deeper than the video. “BUT!!!!!!!” , says Brenda Wood, “discipline is out of control in schools these days.” “It’s understandable that teachers call in the police to help maintain order in class.” Brenda seems to think that the other children will not be able to learn without the police snapping the necks of the unruly children.

I need to scream BS in my loudest voice. First off, Brenda’s children went to a very expensive private school. I assure you Brenda never heard any tales about a policeman body slamming a student at her children’s school. If she had, she would have done a 90 minute special on it, and the topic of the special would have been police brutality, not urchins out of control. So where does this disconnect come from? Shouldn’t the kids going to public school be as safe from police brutality as Brenda’s kids were at private school? Is the problem that Brenda has lost compassion for the less fortunate in our society? Is Brenda angling for a job on the Faux network where the victim is regularly blamed for the crime?

Like the policeman in the video, who has been fired by the way, Brenda needs to examine her heart and try to figure out why her elite status in society has caused her to lose touch with the majority of folks. Brenda also needs this to be her “last word”, no kidding. At the rate she’s going she’ll be proposing a final solution for disruptive students next. After all, “it’s a war out there, and the teachers are losing”.


Dead Men Walking

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. A cloudy, rainy, windy, cold, nasty day here in the mountains. We seem to have caught the convergence of two fronts at the same time. Cold air coming from the North and wind and rain coming from the remnants of hurricane Charlotte.

It’s a good time to stay inside and re-watch this season’s episodes of The Walking Dead. This is a solo act for me as Mulva doesn’t even like to hear the word Zombie, much less watch them. I’ve tried to promote the social significance of the themes of the episodes, even played the “age” card, but to no avail. If being socially engaged and hip means keeping up with Zombies, you can count Mulva out. According to Mulva, when folks die and you put them in the ground, they’re supposed to stay there. That’s why it’s called the “final resting place”.

Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, or Alabama, for the last six years, and haven’t heard about the Walking Dead, well, let me tell you. Zombies have come to Georgia. Not just Georgia mind you, the Zombies are everywhere, but the show is based in Georgia. I have to admit it is pretty cool seeing Zombies on TV overrunning places that you’ve been. The fact that the production has setup in the little town of Senoia, which looks like a hundred other little Southern towns, really makes the scenes personal. You feel at home, which makes the experience way more scary. It’s not like watching Zombies in New York city, where you would typically pull for the Zombies over the natives.

The series is based on a comic book, which I guess isn’t too strange when you consider SuperMan, BatMan and the thousands of Marvel characters that have been brought to life on TV or the movies. What I find surprising is the richness of the characters in the series. The characters seem to be too real to have come from a comic book, so kudos to the writers.

For the most part, each episode has logically followed a progression of events after a man made apocalypse. The survivors are learning about themselves at the same time that they are learning about the nature of the apocalypse. The visit to the CDC in the first season should send chills down everyone’s back when considering the hosts of things that could be unleashed in the air that would bring about the end of mankind. I was hoping that the prevailing winds from the CDC would pass by our area, but I think we’re right in the path.

Anyway, each season has progressed with the group of survivors gaining and losing members, while seeking out a sanctuary. For the most part, the episodes have been high action, high drama, and highly entertaining. There have been some lulls, which I describe as the “angst episodes”, but predominately the episodes have been go, go, go. I will point out that the most chilling scene I have ever witnessed has come from an episode of “The Walking Dead”. I have watched thousands of horror, gory, slasher, scary movies, and the one scene that almost made me turn away came in “The Walking Dead. I won’t give it away other than to say it’s in season five. You’ll know it when you see it. Again, kudos to the writers and all involved.

The economic impact to Georgia apparently can’t be calculated exactly based on the fuzzy math of film studios, but let me just assert that it has been huge. The number cited is five billion dollars, which accounts for the tourism and ancillary businesses that have been created since the dead started walking in Georgia. In fact, there’s even a Zombie school in Atlanta teaching folks to be Zombies.

I see my next career looming. Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.


Getting Into The Spirit of Things

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. A cloudy, rainy, windy day here in the mountains. Looks like we’re going to be feeling the effects of hurricane Charlotte for the next few days. We needed the rain, not begrudging it. I just hope “The Great Moderator” can keep it in perspective for us Appalachian folks.

Giving a nod to “The Great Moderator” starts me off on another spiritual train of thought. Maybe it was the telecast from The Full Gospel Original Church of God, yesterday, or maybe it’s just the shock of seeing my old face in the mirror this morning. Whichever, I seemed to be focused today on wondering about the great hereafter.

Man has been wondering about what comes next since before he was able to put one stone on top of another one. Look at my face, I know, I was there. In spite of my age, and my incomprehensible wisdom, I’ve not put together a formal statement that I can personally guarantee is correct. Uncle Bud’s “follow this path” program would have to be void at death. I’m thinking there’s probably going to be lawyers in Heaven and Hell, and I’m not prepared to give afterlife refunds.

Is belief in the afterlife a binary decision? I mean, think about it. If folks didn’t believe in Heaven and Hell would they behave? If you view, Heaven and Hell as the carrot and the stick, would we donkeys continue on the right path without the proper motivation?

Seems like Jewish folks are devoid of the concept of life everlasting, whether walking the streets of gold, or cast into the fiery pit. For our Jewish brothers and sisters it’s about the journey, not the destination. I like this system for its simplicity. Live a moral life and the afterlife will take care of itself. Sounds good to me.

A slightly more complicated view of afterlife is the concept of reincarnation as espoused by the Buddhists and Hindus. You get to keep coming back until you get it right, at which point you join with the “universal consciousness”, which I guess is their God. In reincarnation, life on Earth is Hell, which you keep repeating until you attain the spirituality to attain Heaven. Now, this is a decent enough concept, except that part of the repetition process is that you are reborn into the same family group each time. You keep being reborn with these same people until you get all of your issues resolved. Believe me, I know infinity is a bigger concept than my little mind can handle, but infinity isn’t a big enough time to work out my family issues.

There are some religions, like the Catholics, that believe in a middle state between Heaven and Hell called Purgatory. Purgatory is a nice catch all for the question of what happens to children that die before they’re saved, or adults who don’t receive the last rites. It gives hopes to the faithful that even if they die without being in a state of grace, there’s still hope for a heavenly reward. The Baptists refer to Purgatory as “Hell’s Waiting Room”. The Baptists are pretty adamant about attaining grace before dying. The Baptists don’t want any souls wandering around without a final destination.

One group that believes in souls or spirits in transition are the Spiritualists. Many years ago, Mulva and I happened into a Spiritualist church while traveling down in the Orlando, Florida area. Seems Central Florida is a hotbed for mediums and circus performers. Anyway, Mulva was still struggling with the loss of her mother, and was impressed by how the Spiritualists handle what we would call the “altar call”. Spiritualist leaders give “readings” for the people in the congregation that raise their hands.

Mulva was so impressed that we setup an appointment with a private medium who was highly recommended by the folks at the church. Ever the skeptic, I inquired of the medium how the process worked. She told me that when she went into a trance, her “spirit guide” would take over and handle the contact to Mulva’s mom for us. I asked about the “spirit guide” and was told that it was a Cherokee Indian named Blue Flower that had passed in an untimely death. By the way, Native Americans are the de facto standard for spirit guides.

Well, the medium closes her eyes and the next thing you know the medium is speaking in a slightly different voice, identifying herself as Blue Flower. At this point I say, “Otahitsu” to Blue Flower and wait for a response. “Otahitsu” is “how are you?” in Cherokee, which I just happen to know because of my great grandma Lowe. The normal response is “Hawa”, but Blue Flower only wants to know who we want to contact. I try again to no avail, and then let Mulva proceed.

Probing questions from the medium get Mulva to reveal enough information for the medium to give a “reading” and twenty minutes later we were done. A forty dollar “donation” was left in the basket as mediums can not charge for their “gift”, lest they run the risk of losing their “gift”. I’m sure taking remuneration as “gifts” is a lot easier than filing for a 501c deduction for tax purposes. Anyway, Mulva feels better, and for forty dollars it was a bargain.

I wonder if mediums go to Purgatory.


Holy, Holy, Holy

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. A cloudy day here in the mountains as we wait for the wrath of Charlotte to dump copious amounts of rain upon us. I hope Charlotte wears herself out before she gets here, she’s certainly done a bunch of damage to the folks in Texas. Like my sister Charlotte, the hurricane has set records for the devastation left in her wake. Maybe the folks in Texas will be forced to use their pocket change to repair hurricane damage rather than finance political campaigns. It’s a hope.

Speaking of hope, I did wind up cleaning out the compost bin yesterday and taking the organic waste and spreading it about the various flower beds here at TackyToo. My giant hope is that I can bring my irises back from the dead after the Reverend Bread’s urchins stomped them flat. As I was spreading the compost, I took the time to offer up a silent invocation to Mother Nature, The Great Spirit, and The Eternal Now to bring back my beloved flowers and to grant them protection in the future from harm. Since my “awakening”, I’ve always felt like these little silent entreaties, or prayers as some people call them, are just like talking to myself. I don’t know if they help, but like they say, “couldn’t hurt”.

Keeping with the spiritual theme, I was able to watch the first ever live broadcast from The Full Gospel Original Church of God today. Let me say that all of the comparisons of the Reverend Helen Handbasket to Carrie’s mom in the movie in “Carrie” are not unfounded. Even viewing from our trailer on the little RCA TV, the Reverend Handbasket grabs your attention and keeps it. Even before she gets to the altar call and the grand finale, the Reverend Handbasket infuses into the congregation, and now the folks watching at home, a sense of other-worldly presence that I have not seen before.

Now, I know old Oral told everyone he had seen a 900 foot Jesus, but I when I saw the broadcast I thought Oral had just gone off his nut on national television. The Reverend Handbasket seems to be “connected” to some other plane of spirituality. It will obviously require further analysis to see if I can determine what that special connection is.

I know some of it is presentation. The red hair, the white flowing robes, the dancer like moves on the stage and the voice as strong and confident as any man’s. The thing is, I’m not sure presentation can make folks want to get up out of the pews and come forward to participate. I mean, the NFL puts on a pretty good show, but how many of us would come down out of the stands to take our chances on the field?

The Full Gospel Original Church of God has got folks jumping and jiving even before the altar call. After the Reverend Handbasket makes the altar call there’s just a few folks left in the pews. It is a sight I have never seen before. Even after the snakes are brought out, the crowd stays on their feet dancing to the music of the choir and the rhythm of the Reverend Handbasket wrangling the serpents. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd of folks as caught up “in the moment” before. What’s really strange is that the experience transcends the airwaves and the whole program is very impactful to the home viewer.

It looks to me like Channel 99 in Blairsville has got itself a hit.


Running Back U.

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another glorious day in the mountains and we’ve got a bye week. My “things-to-do” decision making process is reduced to watching either Alabama or Auburn on TV, or clean out the compost bin. I’m leaning towards the compost bin, less crap to sift through.

Anyway, I have been quietly reflecting on the Georgia season and what could have been, particularly now that our star, Nick Chubb, is down. We are blessed to have a great back up in Sony Michel to fill in during Nick’s absence. While I curse the misfortune that costs us Todd Gurley last year, and Nick Chubb this year, I feel lucky that we have developed the reputation that brings top talent to our team, and that there are qualified backups waiting in the wings.

Being an old man, I think back to days of yore and the wealth of riches that we have had at running back. While any list is somewhat subjective and always up for discussion, or a fight in a bar, I’ll detail my top ten and why I think they belong in the elite.

1. Herchel Walker – goes without saying but here are some stats. In just three seasons, Walker rushed  for 5,259 yards and 49 touchdowns with every member of the other team focused on “Stopping Herschel”. Herschel averaged 159 yards rushing per game and was one of Georgia’s two Heisman winners.

2. Frank Sinkwich – going back aways here. Sinkwich was a two time All American and a dual threat. In his Senior season, Sinkwich passed for almost 1,400 yards while rushing for 795 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was Georgia’s first Heisman winner.

3. Charlie Trippi – still in the “way back machine”. In 1946, Trippi won the Maxwell Award for the nation’s most valuable player, led the SEC in scoring and led UGA to an undefeated season. Amazingly, Trippi finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Glen Davis of Army.

4. Garrison Hearst – getting to the modern era now. Garrison rushed for a total of 3232 rushing yards in the three years of his career with 1,547 coming in his Junior year. He also holds the single season touchdown scoring record with 19 tallies.

5. Knowshown Moreno – Moreno rushed for more than 2,700 yards and scored 30 touchdowns in his two year career at Georgia. Had he not been red-shirted and available to the NFL draft after his second year on the field, there is no telling what might have been.

6. Todd Gurley – In three seasons, Todd gained 3,285 yards with 36 touchdowns despite being hobbled by an ankle injury in 2013. The suspension in 2014 and the season ending injury prevented him from breaking all of Georgia’s rushing records, in my opinion. 

7. Rodney Hampton – Becoming draft eligible after three seasons, Rodney managed to rush for 2,668 yards and had 12 -100 yard rushing games during his tenure at UGA. Rodney went on to a very successful NFL career.

8. Lars Tate – Lars gained 3,017 yards with 36 touchdowns despite playing in the backfield with Tim Worley, Keith Henderson and Rodney Hampton. A wealth of riches.

9. Nick Chubb – If Nick decides to forgo his Junior season to train for the NFL, and who can blame him if he does, he will still have finished his career with 2,294 yards and 21 touchdowns. Nick will still own the most consecutive 100 yard rushing games record and he’s yet to play a full season. Personally, I hope he comes back and moves to number one on this list.

10. A player to be named later – I’m copping out a little bit here, but watching these new guys coming along, like Chubb and Sony Michel, I can’t help but think there’s a young fellow waiting in the wings for his chance to go in the Georgia record books. Afterall, we are “Running Back U”.

Lots of good memories there. Maybe I’ll just put off cleaning out the compost bin and watch Youtube highlights of Georgia running backs. Yeah, that’s the ticket!


The Princess Bride

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another gorgeous day in the mountains. There’s nothing like breathing deeply of the cool mountain air and having all that pure clean oxygen reach your tired, worn out brain. I don’t know how folks in the city can get by without fresh air. I hear tell they’ve even opened oxygen bars in some cities.

This sounds like an opening to chose “Twelve Monkeys” for the date night movie, but my plans were derailed. Pitching the movie based on its stars Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt, would have been an easy sale. Unfortunately, Mulva had other plans. As previously discussed, we are now the proud landlords to the Reverend Dale E. Bread’s soon to be ex-wife, Alva, and their brood of seven curtain climbers. The little monsters range in age from one to eleven or so, and it’s clear that the Gospel wasn’t the only thing that the Reverend Bread was inspired by.

Anyway, in the spirit of “doing unto others”, Mulva has decided it would be the Christian thing to do to use our date night as a family night for the Bread’s. I’m thinking that my suggestion of scattering small animal traps around the park to keep the local vermin in check didn’t sound to Mulva like the correct response to the little monsters trampling my irises. I wonder if I can get a license plate that says, “Hell, No, I Ain’t Fergettin'”, but with an iris in the background instead of a rebel flag. I’ll need to look into that.

Well, now I’m supposed to find a family movie that will hold the interest of the little monsters while not sending the adults into a coma. I chose, “The Princess Bride”. In case you’ve been living in a cave, or Alabama, for the last thirty years and haven’t seen the movie, shame on you. It is truly a great movie, a family movie, and the best babysitting investment you’ll ever spend. My kids never tired of watching the movie over and over, even on our little RCA. The fact that they would routinely quote pieces of the movie was a source of parental concern. Kids are supposed to quote Aristotle, not Fezzik, right? Fezzik was played by Andre the Giant, though, which I’m sure made him more relevant to the kids than Aristotle.

Princess Bride quoting leads to one of the weirdest encounters I’ve ever had. A few years ago, I was picking up some landscaping rock from a landscaping supply yard. The yard is one of those big places where they move everything with front end loaders and dump it in the back your pickup truck. Normally they kept three guys behind the counter to help folks and answer the phone. The owners were all in their fifties and I assumed brothers or really tight friends.

Anyway this other customer comes in and he’s about to pay for his purchase when the smell of the sandwich in his hand hits everyone. It’s lunch time, and I guess it wasn’t too weird that this guy is eating a sandwich while taking care of business, I think they call it multi-tasking.

So, the smell is very pronounced and the lead guy behind the counter asks, “Did that come from Italiano’s?”. Italiano’s is a little place down the street. Sandwich guy says, “Yeah, it’s their ‘Genovese ham and peppers'”. My counter guy goes, “I thought perhaps it was a Sicilian”. Since I’ve never eaten at Italiano’s, I just assumed they were discussing the menu until lead guy replies, “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line”. Counter guy responds, “that would have been one of the classic blunders”. To which lead guy responds, “Inconceivable”. The third counter guy, who has been talking on the phone hangs up and says, “Inconceivable, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” At which point, sandwich guy says, “Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?” Lead guy responds, “If there are, we all be dead”. Phone guy answers with,”No more rhymes now, I mean it”. Lead guy responds with, “Anybody want a peanut?”

At this point, I am standing slack jawed at this complete mastery of the dialogue of a movie from a bunch of old-timers. My counter guy returns to reality by asking, “Do you want to put this on your debit card?” I respond with, “As you wish Buttercup”. Everyone laughs. A bond has been formed by five strangers in the most masculine of circumstances over a children’s movie about a princess bride. It is completely surreal. Art trumps all.

Art trumps all, except for the descendants of the Reverend Bread.  Alva Bread conked out shortly after the three youngest Breads went to sleep on their pallets on the Rec room floor. This left Mulva and I dealing with the four oldest Breads’ interminable questions throughout the movie. The movie ends, we wake Alva and walk her and her kids over to Number Thirty Nine.

So much for a date night. You’ll have to watch Princess Bride for yourself without further review from me. You won’t be disappointed.





A Good Joe

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. As beautiful as the weather has been, it’s a shame to spend any daylight hours inside. Unfortunately, I have to admit my curiosity of what the Republicans have on Hillary got the best of me. I spent the day yesterday glued to CNN on the big screen in the Rec room. I’m embarrassed, but we already know I’ve got issues.

Before I tear into the whole Benghazi kerfuffle, I’d like to comment on another piece of political news. This piece of news actually has some meat on the bone, unlike Benghazi. Joe Biden has finally announced once and for all that he is not going to throw his hat in the ring and attempt to derail the Hillary train. If there has every been a better public servant than Joe Biden, I don’t know about him. While his decision has been linked to his grief over his oldest son dyeing from brain cancer, I suspect that Biden’s interest in being part of the first female presidency also plays a part of his decision.

That’s the kind of guy Joe is, always looking out for others and working hard to ensure that people of all stripes have the opportunity to live the American dream. Biden is that rare individual that took the opportunities he had available to him and used them to better himself and those around him. He was the youngest elected Senator and was fourth in seniority when he resigned the Senate to be Vice President. There is no doubt that little of President Obama’s progressive agenda would have ever become law without Biden’s massaging Congress. The fact that Biden is willing to step aside from running is another example of his selfless devotion to the principles of the Democrat party. We need more like him.

What we don’t need more of is twits like the Republican congress. Now, I admit I am showing a bit of the twit mentality by staying glued to the TV for ten hours in anticipation of Hillary pulling an Uzi from her purse and mowing down her tormentors. I mean, that’s what “stand your ground” is based on, right? If you feel threatened, you’re legally obligated to open fire, right?

Well, Hillary didn’t seem to be interested enough in the prosecution to get involved in a shootout. In fact, most of the time Hillary exhibited the traits of a person who has successfully attended ten thousand rubber chicken dinners without throttling the boorish diplomat sitting next to her. Clearly, I say again, this ain’t Hillary’s first rodeo. If experience is what you’re looking for in a presidential candidate, look no further.

The Democrat members of the committee did provide some context for the viewing audience. Pointing out that this was the eighth investigation was damning evidence that it was partisan motivated and not an attempt to find the truth. I mean, to launch an eighth investigation into a matter would be saying that the seven that came before where flawed, right? Does that mean we can haul the members of the other seven committees before the American people and question their motives for not sending Hillary to Federal prison for treason? The mind boggles.

My big take away, and with respect to the family members of those who died there, stuff happens. Stuff in the Middle East happens more violently and more unpredictably. Accepting a foreign post, whether with the State department or the military, comes with inherent risks. Trying to hold the Secretary of State responsible for a terrorist attack is lunacy. As Hillary pointed out, the “professionals”, the CIA, NSA, and the military are the ones responsible for assessing the risk and moving the proper resources into play. If a position is thought to be indefensible, we abandon it. We’ve done it a hundred times before.

Clearly the “professionals” didn’t think this was the case in Benghazi. Why Congress is not questioning the heads of those agencies is a puzzlement if they truly believe Benghazi was preventable, and the hearings aren’t a partisan witch hunt.

I mean the concept of Hillary strapped with bandoliers and an AK in each hand being dropped behind enemy lines at night by a BlackHawk helicopter, ala Rambo style, is somewhat titillating. Realistic, no, but keeping with the theme of what the Republicans appear to be defining the Secretary of State job to be.

As previously stated, the Republicans seem to be having a problem with reality. Might be the home-schooling.


You Get The Government You Deserve

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another beautiful day here in the mountains. I imagine most folks are proud of where they live, and I guess for the most part I am proud to be a Georgian, but I do see a lot that could be better. We Georgians seem to be the example of a pendulum that swings to extremes on a great many issues.

The placement of a “Freedom Bell” at Stone Mountain seems to be another example of the extreme viewpoints some folks hold here in Georgia. Fortunately, we have a champion of the people, Nathan Deal, as Governor. Now, I know some of you folks are asking, “What’s Nathan’s take on the issue?” “Why, old Nathan has been struck mute”,  I reply.

While Nathan was generally approving of the measure when it was first announced, he has since decided to lead from the rear. Brother Nathan recently commented, “I thought it was a unique idea. But like any good idea, unless you have people to buy into it, what may be a good idea may not prove to be so good after all.”  That’s politic for, “I need to see which decision is going to cost me the most business before I really say whether I’m fer or agin’ the measure”.

Now, in all honesty, I can see how having a cross burned in your front yard might effect your thinking, particularly if your yard is the Governor’s mansion. In my humble opinion, Nathan should just tell his cousin Daryl to quit burning crosses in his yard every time it looks like the Sons of The Confederacy aren’t going to get to revert society back to the 1860’s. In spite of all the “Sons” can do, the War is over, The South lost, and we don’t have slavery anymore.

I know it’s a tough pill for some folks to swallow that there’s a whole race of people that aren’t automatically subjugated at birth anymore. But times change, women don’t wear corsets anymore. There’s also this little Constitutional amendment, the fourteenth, that guarantees all Americans the same rights and privileges. It would seem that allowing the folks to exercise the right to put a “Freedom Bell” on top of Stone Mountain to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a native Georgian, would be a win – win. Some folks aren’t interested in a win – win, though.

I’m sure that the symbolism of the Freedom Bell being displayed above the stone carving of the Confederate heroes has not been lost on the haters. What is not being lost is the opportunity to make money off of a group of people who don’t normally visit the Cathedral of the Confederacy, the birthplace of the second coming of the Klan. I can almost smell the rubber burning over here from all of the wheels turning on the Nathan, “Can We Make A”, Deal bus. The thoughts of how to maximize revenue from two very disparate groups must be causing a complete brain lockup. Hence the,”unless you have people to buy into it“, remark.

Lest you think I’m too hard on our illustrious Governor, please let me point out that Nathan Deal is making bank closer to his electorate than when he was Congress, because Congress gave him the opportunity to leave rather than be charged with corruption. This is an interesting article in the Washington Post detailing the events, along with a link to the actual  review of the congressional investigation. As a Georgian, the only question you should be asking is, “if you are too corrupt for the U.S. Congress, why in the world should I vote for you for Governor?”. Like I said, we are a state of extreme pendulum swings.

Googling “nathan deal corruption”, will bring up enough reading material to keep you going for weeks. Nathan kind of puts me in mind of ex Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, but without the charm. I once asked one of my buddies from Louisiana why they kept re-electing Edwards after all of his scandals. His reply was, “we expect all of them to cheat and steal, we just expect them to be smart enough to not get caught”. Nathan Deal, disqualified in Louisiana by virtue of not being smart enough to not get caught.

So, yes, sometimes, I’m not proud to be a Georgian.