Monthly Archives: November 2012

Whine Country

For the sore losers petitioning to take their respective states out of these united states, let’s all pitch in to create an off-shore refuge and call it Whine Country.

Such self-centered souls remind me of nothing more than the sandlot narcissist always threatening to take his ball and go home if he were not allowed to play quarterback. Spoiled beyond belief from living in an abundantly blessed culture, I can only hope there is a special ed section in purgatory for re-training these latter-day secessionists.

Products of their own times and the societies within which they have been spawned, today’s secessionists suffer from chronic short-sightedness. We went down Secession Road once before, people. A correct and proper reading of our founding documents asserts citizens’ right to change our government, not to divorce ourselves from it. Yes, my native state Texas was once an independent nation. Those first Texans also were hell bent on joining the United States as quickly as possible, knowing full well that they could not fight off another effort to be “reclaimed” by the Republic of Mexico. And when the great travesty of secession was laid to rest in this country, Texas, too, petitioned to return to these United States as did every other state of the late southern confederacy.

Good Lord, people, this nation was founded on dissent and differences of opinion. Somewhere, somehow along the way we seem to have lost the ability to disagree without becoming disagreeable. We are a lesser people for that loss. Divorce, clearly, has become all too easy in our corpulent, overly indulgent culture.




Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Back to Basics


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Get It Fast: GIFs for a nation with the attention span of a monkey

I may be old-school, but I try to keep up. Old writers can learn new tricks. Tackling one new topic every day or so not only helps one stay current in a too-rapidly-changing world, it’s essential for keeping the old brain in the game.

So this morning when the powers that be my blogger host posed the question: Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior highschool hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millennium? My initial response was, “What kind of Tom Foolery is an animated GIF?” If you don’t know, either, GOOGLE it! Same as I did. You’re reading this on some kind of electronic device, anyway; so open another window and do your homework!

They’re freakin’ EVERY where, these little micro movies. Mostly moronic or sadly sophomoric, a few of them do rise to the level of artful communication. But the same may be said for every form of communication since the first sub-human blew a mouthful of dye over his own hand on a cave wall. More than anything else, these MEMEs with movement are symptomatic of a society and culture that increasing suffers from mass attention deficit. The pace of daily living has become so unrelentingly gawdawful fast, we can’t focus on anything for more than a fleeting few seconds.

If animated GIFs are where it’s happening, well, you can find me downtown in the local library.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Back to Basics


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From the bottom left drawer

Damn! Am I ever glad THAT(election)’s over! Hope your guy won ;0>

Some years (all right, decades) ago when I was a country newspaperman running two weekly newspapers out of Quanah, TX, I had the proverbial novel-in-progress tucked away in my bottom desk drawer. My protagonist–nearer an amateurtagonist, actually–was, of course, me thinly disguised as investigative reporter David Forest. Best I recall, David slipped into his drawer back about 1983 and has not been heard from since.

Until this morning. Yeppers, David returned from seclusion, considerably older and no wiser, in a dream. It was right about the crack of dawn, and I gotta tell y’all, the bed covers were feeling mighty comforting. So I tucked ’em tighter under my chin, closed down my eyes and suggested that David make an appointment to see me later today. He commenced to tell my this story about these two Oligarchrist brothers, Shuttle & Babs Cock, on a mission from the Antichrist Himself to take over the world. Their Top Gun Henchman and favorite lacky, turns out, is none other than Texas Gov. Dick Cherry, and that brings me to the point of this rather rambling post….

What do you call a dude who secretly wears women’s underwear ‘neath them high-dollar Crooks Brothers suits?

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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Genesis


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(I’m Dreaming of) An Old Thanksgiving

Spatchcock the turkey, nog down some eggs…or shall we do ham instead?

Thanksgiving seems no key, on its last legs…must we invite Uncle Fred?

Such planning seems pointless, I mean, who gives a damn?
Thanksgiving is so passé!
Take away football an’ what do you have?
Just a kickoff for Black Fri-day!!

I’m dreaming of an old Thanksgiving like we used to do at gran’ma’s house.
All the women in the kitchen, and the men folk bitchin’ ‘bout traffic on two-eighty-seven south.
I’m dreaming of the smells of November with all the cakes and pies and such;
And Aunt Faye’s fruit salad, so bland and pallid, even the dog wouldn’t eat that much.
I’m dreaming of a house full of cousins, the ones we saw maybe once a year.
They’d come up from Houston and out from Midland. The oldest, Frank, would sneak us beer.

I’m dreaming of an old Thanksgiving just like the ones when we were a bunch
‘Round that old card table on the porch with Aunt Mable who didn’t like nobody very much!
I’m dreaming of the folks who have left us; gran’ma, gran’pa and Mom an’ Dad.
Sure we had some hard times, some lean and sad times; but looking back, those days were not so bad.
I’m dreaming of good times together, be it a crowd or just a few.
May your day bring happiness and light and a happy old Thanksgiving Day to you!

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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Genesis


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Sunday Morning Big Honkin’ Biscuits

BIG HONKIN’ BISCUITS as requested by Sally Midkiff Struck

Sunday morning sausage biscuits made with Big Honkin’ Biscuits

2 cups flour — pick your poison; all-purpose, bread, whole wheat

1 Tblsp baking powder — If you can’t remember the last time you used that can in the cupboard, go get a fresh can!

1 tsp salt — sea salt, kosher, “Singin’ in the Rain” salt, etc.

1 Tblsp white sugar — nothing racist here, gotta wonder what brown sugar would do?

1/3 cup shortening — lard, butter; heck, I’m even thinkin’ bacon fat!

1 cup milk — Use powdered, mix up a big baggie of the dry ingredients and you’re that far ahead when you wanna take ’em camping!

CHILL the fat and the milk. If you use butter, cut it into small cubes and put it beside the cup of milk in the FREEZER at least 10 minutes. Fat and milk should be COLD, not frozen.

Set oven to 425F.

Mix all the dry ingredients If you dare break out a food processor or stand mixer, well, what can I say? You’re a CANDY ASS and don’t deserve great biscuits. Get your HANDS in there! Coat your hands WELL with flour. Actually, I’ll pull on vinyl gloves AND coat my hands. Work the fat into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarsely ground meal. Add the milk a little at a time, blending well. You’re looking for a moist dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. If it seems a touch TOO wet, don’t worry.

Turn out the dough onto a well-floured board–DON’T skimp on the flour– and knead the dough until it FEELS right, about 10 or 15 “folds” or roughly 5 minutes. Pat or roll the dough into a flat round about half an inch thick.

Flour the rim of something akin to a mason jar to cut out the biscuits. Original recipe says “juice” glass; but if you go that small, you’re gonna have a biscuit that looks like a stack of poker chips! These puppies WILL rise; they WON’T spread out. You’ll have to reshape and cut a couple or three times, but don’t be surprised if you only get about six biscuits, max.

Original recipe says to bake on an ungreased baking sheet, but my grandma NEVER baked anything on an ungreased surface. I like to spray the sheet lightly before putting the biscuits on it. Let ’em bake about 15 minutes, just until they start to brown up good around the edges. If I were you, I’d start peeking at ’em after about 12-13 minutes.

Sure, you’re busy. I get it. So, you can’t give yourself, not to mention any significant others, half an hour of your time to make a great scratch-built biscuit? Here’s what you do. Make up a couple or three batches of this dough ahead of time instead of rotting your brain with Desperate Housewives or some such toxins. Wrap the dough ball well with plastic wrap, put that in an air-tight freezer baggie or other container and stash it in the fridge. It’s good for up to to weeks.

You’re welcome!

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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Back to Basics


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Roll Up a Doobie

As a salute to the voters in Colorado and Washington state, I have morphed yet another ditty to my growing collection, The Elderly American Songbook.

The seed for this one is Bobby Vinton’s 1975 recording of Beer Barrel Polka.


In a garden, closet garden, only leaves and big buds grow there;

And there’s scarcely any room there or a whisper of dark doom there.

Here is music, loads of laughter, toking happily e’er after.

When we pass around a fat one, we all get in the mood.

Every time that grass cloud starts to bloom.

We all feel the sweet smoke fill the room.

Then we throw all cares into the pot,

Feelin’ fine with what we’ve got.

When the munchies hit we hardly care.

Grab a bag o’ chips we all can share.

Or we’ll make a Stoned Soup pie

With whatever we find nigh.


Roll up a doobie, we’ll have a doobie-doo high.

Roll up a doobie, we’ll put the blue in the sky.

Who‘s up for nachos? Let’s make a run to Taco Bell.

Now’s the time to roll up a doobie, and pass the pipe as well.

Here’s to tokin’, we’re not jokin’, though our Golden Years be broken.

There’s no hurry; what, us worry? For the voters now have spoken.

Colorado, in the Northwest, where the finest herbals grow best.

Fire our bowls up without protest, and just blow all cares away.

When that old “Black Water” starts to flow

Through that place in which all dreamers grow.

Just kick back and light a fire;

Into the haze let us retire.

Roll up a doobie, we’ll have a mellow good time!

Roll up a doobie, tokin’s no longer a crime!

So what if it’s taxed now? Give Uncle Sammy his cut!

Everybody roll up a dobie, and smoke us out of this rut!

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Genesis


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[May be sung to the tune of “Tenderly”, that great old American Songbook standard by composer Walter Lloyd Gross]

You take a slip and break a hip. Elderly.
Your still in bed. She thinks you’re dead. Elderly.
Then you start for the store and get to the door
But can’t find the goddam keys!
There’s another face that you can’t place. Elderly.
It’s just a shame to feel so lame. Elderly.
But let fools rush on by because you and I
Don’t give a damn, we’re on the lam so elderly!

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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Genesis


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