Sunday, December 23, 2012

Humpty Dumpty

The heart of the matter is that our Humpty Dumpty culture has taken a great fall.  Like an iceberg, we only periodically see the psychotic manifestation, the tip of our shattered culture, but what lies just beneath the surface is a gigantic cultural cancer that is rotting America from within. The ugly and dangerous truth is that we live in an embarrassing, politically correct culture that exalts and rejoices in the bizarre; aggressively promotes an “anything goes” value system; and vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity. We’ve embraced a culture of contempt that attacks the very institutions that make for a healthy and strong society, and then we’re shocked when it spirals out of control. The only thing I’m shocked about is that anybody is shocked.

---Ted Nugent

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

I got my Christmas present a little early.  It is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone and I absolutely love it.  1.6GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a beautiful 5.5 inch AMOLED screen.  This thing has the same power as my laptop.  It has a small blue missed call or notification light on the top which is something I have sorely missed since my Blackberry days.  The thing is lightning fast and has every feature I could possibly want or think of.  It is big but for me it is great.  It is too big to carry in a pocket but I have never done that anyway.  I value screen real estate and this device is, to me, the perfect compromise between the larger size of a tablet and the smaller portability of a phone.  In the past I would travel with an IPad or Google Nexus, a smartphone and an e-book.  Now I will feel comfortable traveling with just this phone.  The screen is big enough to comfortably browse the web and the extended battery life (much better than any smartphone I have used before) will make the device fine for reading e-books.  Now a one device travel world for me.  I can't say enough about the Samsung products.  As a former IPhone user it is my opinion that Samsung has left them in the dust and Android is a well tuned system as far as I have experienced.  I have never had one problem, hangup, reset, etc, with my use of Android and the integration with my Google account is perfect.

The first pic is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the IPhone 4S.

The second pic are my devices stacked.  From the bottom up are the IPad, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Paperwhite, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S2.

(the quality of the pictures is lousy.  Sorry about that but I was in a hurry)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

7 Day Forecast

Damn!  I just got a new promotion, a new phone, some new clothes and now I see this weeks forecast.  Friday looks bad but Saturday looks worse.  I forgot all about the end of the world.  I don't know why I got the oil changed in the Jeep this week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where in the World is Tom?

Wow, over a month since I last posted.  Life has been hectic/stressful.  I got swept up in a job promotion and after three grueling interviews I was given the green light.  I can't believe I have gone from a voluntary jobless state where I could concentrate on 'homesteading' around here, to working a few days a month, to working full time and now to a management position.  I DON'T like the fact that I have had little time to devote to my home and plans for this place to be more or less self sufficient.  I also DON'T like that I have not had the time or state of mind for my photography.  Oh well, just a temporary suspension of activities.   

Sunday, November 11, 2012


And most people think the Statue of Liberty is sitting out in the water somewhere.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Time Change

Don't forget it's that time of year.  The time changes tonight so be sure to adjust your clocks back one hour.  Unfortunately I work tonight so I will have to work 13 hours instead of my usual 12 which is a bummer.


I like the message that this guy is trying to get across.  That similar intrusions of privacy by CCTV cameras slip by every day without any negative reaction from most people yet walk up with a camera and people freak.  Surveillance cameras are everywhere now, both inside and outside, in government offices and in private businesses.  It is rare now days where you will go anywhere where at some point in your trip you will not be recorded on camera somewhere.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Colors

This is a beautiful time of year.  The air is cool and dry.  The mosquitoes are gone and there are colors other than green in the trees.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

This is out the back door this morning as we get more Hurricane Sandy winds.  It's slowly been getting worse throughout the night.  I'm still waiting for the water to rise.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hard Boiled

I'm just sitting here listening to the rain and wind and worrying about whether the water is going to rise as far as the chicken coop.  We are having sustained winds of 30 - 40mpg out of the north right now from Hurricane Sandy and it is supposed to increase and last through the night and tomorrow.  North winds pile water up into the end of the bay where we are so I will be watching closely.  I'm not worrying about the house flooding like last year but it could easily get up into the chicken coop.

What do you do when you can't eat all the eggs that your chickens are giving you?  You hard boil them, chop them up, then feed them back to the chickens.  They love them.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Old Jeep

This is my 8 year old Jeep.  I just put a 2 inch lift kit on, some new shocks and larger, more aggressive tires.  Finished it off with a new stereo system and some new headlight assemblies to replace the old hazy ones.  That made a huge difference in the way it looks from the front.  I love this vehicle.  160,000 miles on the odometer and it has never required anything but some new tires and oil.  I had much rather spend a little every so often to fix it up rather than get back into making payments on anything.  I used to pay $450.00 a month in payments.  It only took the equivalent of 3 of those payments to pay for all of these upgrades.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last Harvest

Wow.  I finally finished my five 60 hour weeks and have been decompressing.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous which is helping to chill out.  Today I changed the blades on my riding lawn mower (bent them last time I mowed riding over a root), mowed the yard and harvested the last of my veggies (mostly peppers).  I then cut all the vegetation out of the vegetable planters and put it all in the compost pile to make compost for next year.  This years experiment of growing vegetables in the Earth Box planters was a complete success.  Next year I will install an automatic watering system with the boxes to save the daily watering chores.  Below is a picture of the vegetables I pulled today just before putting them into freezer bags and freezing.  The front center are cherry tomatoes.  Left to right around the tomatoes are bell peppers, anaheim and banana peppers, jalapeno peppers then carribean red hot peppers.  I won't be lacking for peppers this winter.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Guess what I did today?  Today was the first day of early voting here in North Carolina.  The courthouse was PACKED.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

4 More Days

Just four more days and I will be back posting.  Work and sleep have been my life (and a sad life that is) for weeks now. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Brilliant Mind

I have used my superior human intellect to outwit my hens which have refused to lay eggs in my special, custom built egg laying box.  I purchased some wooden eggs then placed a couple in each of the egg laying bays.  Voila!  The next day each bay had eggs in it and the corner of the coop where the chickens had been laying was bare.  If my employer could see how brilliant I am I would surely be CEO by now!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012


This is a picture of my pantry.  I like to keep a little extra in case of emergency.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

All Work and No Play

I am in the middle of a 4 week work stretch of 60 hour weeks.  12 hour shifts plus a 1 1/2 drive each way is leaving little time for anything other than work and sleep.  I feel bad as my daily posts are dwindling down to nothing.  When my posts dwindle down that tells me that I am not living life as I should.  In a couple of weeks things get back to normal thank God.

Today's pic is my micro 4/3's stable.  I started out with the Panasonic G1, then along came the Olympus E-PL1, E-PL2 and finally the OM-D.  The OM-D has completely filled my 'wish list of desires' in a camera and I no longer have any urge for something better.  The original Panasonic was a great camera but I had to have in body stabilization so that prompted my switch to Olympus.  All of the Olympus cameras have been great and I am totally satisfied with the Olympus line.  My lenses are a mishmash consisting of the Panasonic 14/2.5, 20/1.8, 25/1.4, 45-200 zoom, the Olympus 45/1.8 and 14-45 kit lens with wide angle adapter, Nikkor 55/1.8 macro, Minolta 50/1.4 with bellows and last but not least, the Pinwide pinhole lens.   The ability to use just about any lens on the Micro 4/3 cameras, plus the wide quality selection of lenses, is one of the big reasons I switched to the m4/3 world and I don't regret it for a second.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


A pic for my Democrat friends out there.  This is where the 30 Democrats that live in this county go to church. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Easter Eggs in September

I am averaging 4 eggs per day now.  The Easter Eggers are starting to lay.  Their eggs are a beautiful blue/green color.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Crosby, Stills and Nash live in Reno Saturday night.  Picture courtesy of Mongo.  I wish I had been there.

Friday, September 21, 2012


This is my stepson just before going in for Parathyroid surgery today.  I worked all night last night then spent all day at the surgical center so I am whipped.  He went in about 10am and got out at 6pm.  Everything went fine and he is complaining of neck pain right now.  I am going to bed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Work has taken over my life for three days which caused a little delay in my story.

Once upon a time there was a prince named Sir Patrick.  Sir Patrick was due to take a long voyage to far away lands (England) in less than a fortnight.  He had all of his papers in line for said voyage.  Before leaving on this voyage Sir Patrick decided to visit Sir Thomas, brave night of the Southern Lands.  Sir Thomas was going to introduce Sir Patrick to a new weapons system that uses iron rods with holes through them and small cylinders encasing a grey powder and a lead ball.

While visiting Sir Thomas, and after practicing with the new weapons which made a terrible roar when a small lever was pulled, the two brave Knights decided to return to the castle of Sir Thomas.  While riding down the road Sir Patrick suddenly slapped his thigh saying, "Thou'st mosquitos are very aggressive.  Slapping this one left a huge blood spot on my leggings."  Back at the castle Sir Patrick put his leggings in the washing tub.  After some time he pulled his leggings out of the wash.  Sir Thomas was then met with a terrible lamentation from Sir Patrick.  It seems that Sir Patrick was carrying his travel papers (passport) in his leggings and that the papers were completely ruined by the wash.  Sir Patrick then sent riders to all ends of the kingdom to ascertain if it would be possible to replace the papers before the upcoming voyage.  The riders returned.  Yea, they said, it can be done but only at great expense.  Rush replacement service will be over 500 gold pieces and will require an inordinate amount of substantiating paperwork.  Sir Patrick then sent messengers to his parents, the King and Queen of York, to ask that they supply some of this paperwork.  The riders returned saying that the King and Queen were displeased at the Knight's careless actions but that they would help out.  Sir Patrick returned home and today is at the head of the governmental offices attempting to get replacement travel papers from the bureaucratic quagmire of the Capital.

Wish brave Sir Patrick the Best of Luck.

The moral of the story.  Don't forget Karma.  The killing of the mosquito sent negative reverberations through Patrick's world which resulted in the destruction of his passport and the cost of many dollars.

The first picture is Sir Patrick at his Castle in York
The second picture is the mosquito that started it all
The third picture is Sir Patrick and his messengers trying to figure out how to replace his papers

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Because of one mosquito, this man (not me) is having to spend $500 to get a rush replacement Passport.  More to this story tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


My first meal from my new influx of eggs.  Yum, yum!  I got three eggs today so three of the eight chickens are now laying.  I can definitively answer the question, 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?'.  The answer for me is the chicken.  No more chicken or egg posts for a while I promise.  I have been so excited that I am actually getting eggs that aren't from the store, I have been overdoing it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


My Granddaughter, Elizabeth Carson, who was at 8 months gestation, was stillborn yesterday evening in Houston, Texas.  Please say a prayer for her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Like somebody throwing a light switch, we seem to have moved into fall.  It was hot and rainy every day then yesterday it was cool and dry with a north wind blowing.  Same for today.  Absolutely beautiful weather.  This is a portrait of one of my hens.  I still only have one hen laying an egg a day.  The others should start any time now.  I am getting ready to fry up a couple of the eggs and some bacon for dinner tonight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Killer Stairs

For the first time in my life, I fell down some stairs.  With all the rain we have had this summer a coating of moss and mildew is trying to grow on everything.  I was going out to check for eggs this morning, threw on some flip flops and opened the screen door.  When my flip flops hit that green moss on the edge of the carpet which was wet from all the rain last night, out went my foot.  I fell on my ass then proceeded to bounce down every step to the bottom step.  It might have been hilarious if it was me watching the event and not being the star of the show.  I thought I was dead for a second.  My butt was on fire, fingers on my left hand felt broken from me trying to grab something on the way down and both heels scraped the concrete.  The sad part is that as I hit the bottom I started looking around to see if somebody had seen me being 'uncool'.  Those stairs and rails are next on the painting list.  I am going to put some kind of non-skid surface down so that doesn't happen again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I amazingly managed to get most of the garage and chicken coop painted today even though I was really chancing it.  All morning seabreeze storms were rolling by and there I was painting like and idiot while tempting the Gods.  Those storms settled down but now there is a line of thunderstorms moving in from the west which means heavy rains just like yesterday and almost every other day for the last several months.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Key Lime

I absolutely love Key Lime pies and this place down in Beaufort, NC, makes one of the best.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Today's Egg Hunt

Well, I heard the squawking again today about 11am so I went out to start hunting.  First looked out in the run where she has been laying in the sand.  Nope, not there.  Then I went into the coop and started looking.  Anything in the custom laying boxes I built for them?  Nope.  I then looked behind a bag of bedding pellets and there it was on the floor in the corner.  When they are all laying maybe some of them will use my nest boxes but then, maybe not.  I spent all day today painting the garage and the chicken coop and guess what?  It is storming and pouring rain right now which is about 3 hours after I finished painting.  I sure hope it hasn't messed up any of my paint job.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More Eggs

I am up to 5 eggs now, and all from one chicken as best as I can tell.  I'm going to be swimming in eggs as soon as all eight chickens are laying.  I find the whole process amazing.  I can't believe I am getting daily eggs from a bunch of wacky chickens.  It's like a daily easter egg hunt with me going out mid-day to hunt around the coop and run for eggs.  I know now when a hen is laying by the sounds they make.  She will make several long squawks when laying the egg followed by cackles from the rest of the hens like they are giving their support or approval or something.  When they are all laying it is going to sound like a chicken chorus out there.

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Houston, we have eggs"

I got my first two eggs today which were laid by one of my three Buff Orpingtons (the gold colored chickens).  It didn't even use my fancy egg laying box inside of the coop.  It just found a corner in the sand out in the run.  Another one of the chickens is inside the coop rustling around in a corner so it is probably about to lay, again, disregarding my nesting boxes.  My feelings are hurt.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Land of Skittles

Isn't that what is at the end of a rainbow?  It's either skittles or a pot of gold.  It rained all day here again today and this double rainbow appeared just before sundown.  I would have gone out to look for the treasure but it was raining and I didn't want to get wet.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This is a Spider?

I have been seeing these little spiders for years out here and they are really strange looking.  They are real little, about the size of a large pencil eraser, and they look like a crab with a pointy shell.  Well, I finally decided to look on the internet and they are called 'spiny orb weaver' spiders.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Any Day Now

I just finished several 12 hour work days.  Now I get to have some time off thankfully to get back to work around the house.  I finished setting up the chicken nest boxes today in the coop and put some soft pine bedding inside.  Now I wait for that first egg over easy or maybe an omelet.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


This has to be the best tool ever invented by God and I can't believe I never owned one until recently.  This is a DeWALT 20V Lithium Impact Driver and it came as a set with a drill.  I bought this impact driver after a friend showed me the merits of using one earlier this year.  I have used this thing to build the chicken run and a thousand other things around here.  When you drive a screw with a drill and screwdriver bit you frequently spin the bit out of the head of the screw and strip the slots in the screw head.  Not with this baby.  It has high torque, low rpm and it hammers the bit as it turns.  I have never had it spin out or strip a screw even after thousands of screws and it has so much power it will drive the screw completely through the board you are screwing into if you don't stop.   It is loud and it sounds like a impact wrench at an auto garage when they put on your wheel lug nuts but I think it's cool.  It also has 'headlights' which I thought was a gimmick at first but now love.   It is definitely my most used power tool followed closely by my Dremel 3" hand held rotary saw.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Spider of the Day

This spider has a face that only a spider's mother could love. Click on the pic a few times and you get a bigger view.  I find these spiders to be fascinating.  To watch something with a teeny brain act in such a sophisticated way is amazing.  I never kill them, just occasionally knock down a web that is in the way or use a broom in the garage to get all the webs down from the corners.  Once it starts to cool down they all pretty much disappear.  With all the spiders that we have some years and all the webs that I have walked through I have never been bitten.  This spider has a body a little over an inch long, over 2 inches in diameter overall, so it's pretty big. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spider of the Day

Caught this spider today extruding silk.  Probably fixing the web that my face went through last night.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The spiders are everywhere this year.  Some years are worse than others for whatever reason.  After dark the webs pop up everywhere between objects so you have to take a lot of care walking around or ,'SURPRISE', your face is in a web.  These things all seem to be about face level for some reason.  When walking around after dark you definitely need a flashlight or a stick to hold in front of you as you walk.  This spider is about 2 inches in diameter from tiptoe to tiptoe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012