Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cardinal Sins

There are things in this life you just don’t do, In the words of a song from earlier in my life:

You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,


You don’t pull on Superman’s cape,


You don’t spit into the wind, and

you don’t mess around with Jim.

My first mid-watch aboard the USS Independence,  I was assigned to guard the hatch that leads into the Ships Intelligence center. I was okay until about 2am, when I looked at the ‘Coffee Mess’. It consisted of two 25 cup pots, rules were “There will always a pot of coffee.” Then hanging on the bulkhead were rows of my shipmates coffee cups. I might add ‘filthy looking cups’.  I am in some ways a neatnic. ‘I will clean this up’, thinks me. I dumped the black syrup out of the pots.

I scoured the pots (that were filthy inside). I took them apart and cleaned the sight glass. I still had time so I washed and cleaned EVERY CUP!  I made two fresh pots of coffee. Looked am my work, tasted the coffee and said that is good!

The leading chief was first thru the hatch the next morning, reached for his cup and yelled at no one in particular, but I knew he was talking to me.

“Who in hell messed with my cup, sixteen years of seasoning down the $hi—er.” he turned and looked at me. “ This coffee is terrible, what happened to the good mid-watch coffee?”

I am the new seaman in the shop so I did what any smart seaman would do, I lied, “I have no idea Master Chief, it was like that when I came on watch.” (He knew better)

I learned a lot my first few days aboard ship. LOL

Most of you  do not remember the treadle sewing machines. That treadle was designed to go just close enough to the floor to mash little boy’s fingers whilst mama is sewing. You commit the sin of putting your fingers in the wrong place, you suffer.

You don’t mess with mama’s tension settings on the old Singer Sewing machine.

Paula mentioned her mama could look at a dress and go home and make one. Mama could do that. I have done a little sewing, but I have never been able to adjust the thread tension to keep from breaking the thread. Amazing what some of the older ladies could do. I imagine it can be done today, but most folk get the store bought clothes.

Thanks for coming by the Log, I appreciate your time.

Nite Shipslog


You cannot look at a human, and know what talent lies within that person.



The top one look like a forerunner of the Crosley.

The bottom like a Morgan.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I have questions….

Do you eat chocolate covered cherries? How do they get that runny syrup and cherry inside that chocolate? When I was a kid I pictured them freezing the cherry and syrup in something like a formed ice tray, then dumping them in warm chocolate. How do they do it?

Messie factory 031
(Picture is at Meesie Candies, I should have asked while there, shoot!)

Why do I consider all dogs male and cats as female?


An attorney from NC called Sherry today asking about a house I sold many years ago. No,I don’t remember there being a problem with the survey, I couldn’t have sold it if there had been. The latest survey shows my surveyor was wrong. I cannot talk on the phone, or I would ask how do you know YOUR surveyor isn’t wrong? Anyway, my question is, why can’t I even place the year I sold the house?

I do remember the house though because I bought the small town block and built three more houses there. I especially remember this group of houses because the lot beside this house was interesting. The first man  wanted a two story house but did not want any closets or inside stairs in it. I tried to explain before I would build a house like that He would need the money up front, because if he did not take the house I would be stuck. Would you buy a house with no closets and outside stairs to the 2nd floor? I didn’t build the house.

I have only built one house on a concrete slab, I built it on that lot, and the lady wanted carpet thru out the house, kitchen and baths. I had never done that before and never since. But She kept that house immaculate. I was invited back a couple years later and it looked as good as it did when I turned it over to them. But why can’t I remember the year? I remember the trusses were cut wrong, and the truss company replaced them, but I do not remember the year.

The other two houses I built there were for single mothers. Great people to work for, but both had a problem picking light fixtures, both decided at the last minute.

But I cannot remember the year. The years all run together in my mind. 

Anyway, we will assist of course, I hate to hold a closing up.  We will sign the Quit Claim deed, because I have no claim on it anyway.

It is good to think of those houses anyway, they were fun.

Nite Shipslog


I feel normal, but normal is being a little forgetful in your old age.



Is this a round car convention?


Neat delivery vehicle

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Some folks are ‘turned off’ by church. I don’t get upset at them, I get turned off by some churches myself. Ministers themselves are in a position to be super crooks or a wonderful inspiration to the people they are serving (Most preachers I know fall into the latter group, great guys (although I do have acquaintances in both categories Devil)).

Scanoldpic9 040

(This is the last church dad pastored and the church I met my sweetheart in, I didn’t mind church when I sat with her!)

As most folks know I was raised in a parsonage, my dad was a preacher. Up until I was 16/17 and left home, I was in church a minimum of three times a week, many times 5 times a week, sometimes 8.  I am sure it never hurt me, but as I got older I am not sure that the number of times you attend  church a week, makes you a better person.  It is hard to find in scripture for the number of times a person is expected or required to attend church.

My daddy said you should be in church if possible every time the doors are open. Methinks that was a personal opinion, he never gave scripture for it.Nerd smile

Now since I am older, and driving at night is really not very smart, usually we attend once a week. Most of the time it is in different churches, and several denominations. I quit judging folks a long time ago, Winking smile. I attend now, mainly because my Sherry appreciates me going to protect her.Surprised smile 

I cannot understand what is said, and even if the words are on a screen, I can’t follow along. So, the Kindle is my escape.  I do like to read the Bible.  I love the stories and the intrigue of the Old Testament. Many times I will read the area of the Bible the minister puts on the screen.  If I get lost, I may read ‘Bleak House’ (would you believe I have been trying to finish that book for over a year?) I might even read Treasure Island or Uncle Tom’s Cabin..

I have a friend I met on the net from Ireland, Nick Park, who writes very well. I sometimes read his books. His life is interesting his books hold my attention.

Since I cannot hear/understand the music, it doesn’t bother me unless it is SOOO LOUD even I cannot think, then I am a little miserable. We attended a church few weeks ago that the music was so loud it vibrated the seat I was sitting in. I am at a loss for the reason.

MONEY, that is another problem. Some churches have over extended so far that they must continually pressure the attendees to give more. If a church owes too much it cannot help the homeless, poor, the lost, the prisoners, the widows and down trodden the way they should. To me that is the main thrusts of a church.

Thanks for listening to this diatribe.

Nite Shipslog


Learn something ever day. If nothing else watch an animal or insect, there are times they will amaze you!


This is a super guy I met in Wisconsin, showing me how his dad taught him to put a frog to sleep!



Interesting! Does that top one look like it has leather skin?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Skill and Luck

In my life I have been very lucky. I have been known to make some delicious soup. Once someone tells me it was good (folks you can trust) I try to duplicate it and never can. I just start putting stuff that I like in a pot sometimes and it comes out great. Like making a tomato basil, shucks I love apples, I will put one in, no one knows unless I tell them.


(pic from the net)

Once the Organ in the church would not come on, the organist and pastor were worried, and minutes before service they asked if I would look at it. There was only time to smack it.  So I looked at where the power supply was and gave the case a hard slap, and it came on. Usually in the old days, with mechanical switches, the problems were usually just a bad contact. So all it took was a good jarring to make it work. Most older folk have done that.

Ma  pa kettle

Does anyone out there remember hearing or watching “Ma & PA Kettle”? He always smacked the radio to get it working, or bounced his chair and the vibration would fix the radio. You very seldom have that problem with the new switches in electronics.

I have problems with this computer, I usually get it working and sometimes have no idea what I have done. So I am sort of a fixer around home and the motor home.  Sherry and I have in the past been able to catch fish, but we are not fishermen. I have never been lucky at a lottery or that kind of thing, but I still buy the  lottery ticket.

Is that luck or educated guesses?

I am skilled at certain things. I can do most anything with wood. I can build a complete home myself, except the Air Conditioning (I don’t mess with that).  I can get an old car  running but am lost at anything above a 1960 auto.

Paula, down near San Antonio, is good at finding things, she has a knack.  Some folk are naturals with pets and training.

There are folks who can look at a blanket and make one. OR look at a dress and sew one. I had a cousin and  a sister who could make coats.

Shirl my sister can put 10 lbs in a 5 lb sack, she is a good packer. Sherry has an uncanny knack for  volume. She can hand me a bowl exactly the size I need for left overs. I’ve quit doubting her. LOL

I love being amazed at seeing what other folks can do.  Ever watch a bee keeper? WOW!

help in the escape

(Some folks specialty is helping others escape!)

Do you have a specialty? Or a special interest?

Me, I can never estimate words and always use too many.

Nite Shipslog


Each of us has a talent, some nurture it, some hide it and forget it. But we are all GOOD at something.



this is a great life. live upstairs and business downstairs. then Extra bedroom and supplies in trailer.  Looks like a patio on the back side.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What has happened to my ‘Words’, my world?

A friend was describing a bum or con artist that had approached him. He said, “You know the kind, he fakes a gimp, gives you a sob story about his mama, he is wearing a ‘Members Only’ jacket and you can tell he hasn’t bathed in days.”

WAIT a minute,” says I, “What is this about a Members Only jacket. I have a perfectly good Members Only” jacket.

“You what? those went out 40 years ago.”

Well it is still in good shape,” I said, sorta mousey.

about to be annoyed

(I’ve about had enough!)

So I says to my self, what has happened to my world?

Who ever coined ‘Cool’ as super good, done well, it has stuck around a long time. Then someone enforced the word ‘Bad’, as cool. as in: “Man that bike is BAD!”  So then Bad became good. Bad was Cool.


(I found it, it’s cool)

What about 2 bits? When I was a kid that was a quarter or 25¢.  Also on change, did you ever hear of a ‘case dime’?  That means not 10 pennies or 2 nickels, but the actual dime, the 10¢ piece, ‘ats a case dime.  Then automatically you should know what a case quarter is.

I had a friend in 1952 who was always using the term “Made in the shade with table grade.” I think he meant it was cool.

At a shoe store do not dare ask for ‘Tennis Shoes’, they are ‘Sneakers?’ or is that word gone already?

Clutch? remember that? Not a ladies change purse, but the left pedal on the floor board beside the brake. Some car had the starter under the clutch, you had to push the clutch in all the way to start the car.  I don’t remember seems like it was a Chrysler make.

Anyway my vocabulary needs updating. I have a habit of asking for a couple hamburgers, some folk don’t know that is a couple is 2.


(Ignore me, I am just sitting here lamenting the loss of some of my vocabulary.)

If Paula saw a couple turtles or Jean saw a couple puppies, both of them would say I want them two, too!

Thanks for coming by the log, YOU are so COOL!

Nite Shipslog


Things change and because we must to stay current, most of us do okay but it is seldom fun or a pleasure.



I have no idea!


The ultimate Snow Mobile!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Small World

I am always amazed that within  the population of the USA which is about 314 million (the last time I counted Winking smile), that miles away from our home town we can run into someone we know or that you know the same people.

Once in Montana we had a man knock on our door. “I noticed your name plate says Belmont, NC. My uncle was the Postmaster there. He is  Ed Bullard, he is in real estate now.”


(These were taken after one of our BIG snows, Okay, Ma, Mel, Dar, Cher & Woody, don’t laugh!)


(All these houses are built on land I bought from Ed, we still own the acreage behind this one, it is up for sale.)

“Yeah I know, I have bought several tracts of land from him.”  It is so strange when that happens. We knew some to the same folk. I remembered ED, because although much older than I, could do interest calculations in his head.

Once hiking up Mt. Rainer, we ran into a couple who lived in Washington but were from near Belmont, NC. I have no idea how folks can tell Sherry is from the south Be right back and strike up conversations with her.


In Palmer, Alaska, we ran into a preacher from Shelby, NC, who knew many of my family.

When we volunteered to work in Pascagoula after Katrina, we ran into folks who lived there but knew folks we knew.

I met another man there who had fished with a good friend of mine, and was still his fishing partner in Kannapolis, NC.

It really is a small world sometime. I ask that all the time, what are the odds of running into someone you know 400-2000 miles from your home town?

Elsie and Yogurt

(I am looking forward to seeing this girl who is 2,000 miles away, Elsie)

And then there are look a-likes. In a restaurant once, in Marquette, Michigan I saw a man who looked exactly like my deceased Brother in law Dick. I could not take my eyes off him. Amazing.

In Bangor Maine, some lady came over and started talking to Sherry like she knew her, but she didn’t, she swore Sherry looked exactly like her cousin.

Churches have official ‘greeters’ now, like WalMart. It was once just a friendly thing, some of the friendliest folk always welcomed someone new. Anyway this greeter in Tucson, Arizona asked where we were from Sherry said North Carolina. The lady said, “I have a sister there, but it is a small town you probably never been there, called North Belmont.” We laughed and said we know exactly where it was. We even knew her sister.

Yesterday we were walking and met ‘E.L. & Doris Turner’, from Kannapolis, NC. He asked my name, he knew my dad and he knew the fisherman I mentioned earlier. He also knew Fred Alton and Frances. EL & Doris are retired missionaries. Tomorrow they are leaving for Lawtey:


It must have happened to you, the strange meetings and especially the look a-likes.

Nite Shipslog


In Cuba I once tapped a guy on the shoulder when he turned I said, I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else. He looked at me and said,

 “I might be.”

OH no

I have always wanted to use that line.



Another strange one.. The couple seem dressed from the 50’s?

Friday, February 22, 2013

What is for Supper?

We are not too big on variety in meals. We have our favorites and they are definitely not elaborate. We seldom have beef anymore, but one of my favorite meals is stew beef in gravy over rice or mashed potatoes, and throw in a green veggie.


Just before sundown, one of our favorite meals.

supper 024

(This meal looks pretty danged bland, but we had left over cabbage and mashed potatoes  with two drum sticks)

But my most favorite meal, taste wise and very simple to fix, is Chicken with rice or mashed potatoes. I use a can of fat free broth and either two thighs or 4 legs (all skinless since I want to live forever,lol) in the pressure cooker for 25-28 minutes. We like to eat part of the bones, our parents taught us that was good for you. I like green peas and some carrots. I have started adding a little honey or a pack of sweetener to the carrots (I will take advice on alternate  sweeter for the carrots).


(Garlic hanging in the French Quarter, Nawlins)

I  use two tablespoons of Corn starch to a 1/2 cup cold water and pour in the broth for the gravy.  I know nothing about herbs and spices so I use a spoon full of minced garlic & Ms. Dash original on the chicken in the pressure cooker. 

We seldom have bread, sometimes Sherry will use the GRANDS. (Or Evelyn will give us some of her famous cheese biscuits) I like to fry bread in the skillet myself (if I fix it), mama called it a hoe-cake. I am sure I could eat his every day for supper, but my girl likes a little variety.


(Supper with Jim & Shirl, dat’s Shirl’s BIG dessert!)

Sherry is a great cook, but in our later years I am trying to relieve her of the responsibility. She always thanks me when I cook,  It is about my time after all the thousands of delicious meals she has cooked.  I really do enjoy cooking, and most of the time it is pretty good.


(Supper with Darla & Bill in WI, she sets a pretty table and delicious)

Sherry has chosen her favorite meal to fix as Salmon patties, cabbage, pinto beans and cornbread. Adding chow-chow and onions.  We drink prepared green tea in a jug(I hope that is good for you), we have skipped sodas altogether.


(Supper with the Conrad’s at David Luke & Holly’s house, We have never had the Island, but I love them)

Those are our staple meals. For filler days I love to make homemade fresh vegetable or tomato basil soup.

I see what many of you have, and it always looks delicious. Any favorites of your family?

Nite Shipslog


I have an aggravating habit of trying to wash dishes and clean up as I go, so after the meal there are few dishes to wash.



The original back seat driver was a man!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The First time…..

ready and willing

The first time I rode a bike, I was 5 years old, I was  a little scared, but my sister taught me how.

The first time I went to school in the first grade I went by myself. I liked it.

lifeis good

The first time I got a paddling in school was in the first grade, then the second, then the third grades (then I learned, I am a little slow)

THE kiss

The first time I kissed a girl was in the first grade. (That lead to the first paddling).

The first time my daddy let me steer the car(I was 5yrs old), I about ran it off a bridge. But of course daddy saved us.

pig life on jewish farm

The first time I saw the ocean (the Atlantic), It was the most impressive thing I had ever seen.

The first time I saw peaches growing was in South Carolina. Dad bought a bushel and we could eat all we wanted. Then mama canned the rest.


The first time I saw a lot of apples growing was in the mountains of North Carolina, again dad bought a bushel, we could eat all we wanted, mama made jelly from the rest.


The first time I saw my dog Ace (not above) it was love at first sight.

The first time I saw my 1948 Chevy, it was love at first sight.


(Sherry (starting a bubble gum bubble) I didn’t have a camera the first time I saw her!)

The first time I really saw Sherry I think I was in love.

The first time I saw our son, it is hard to explain the deep feelings.


(This is about a year old, Of course He didn’t look like this the first time I saw him! He is 54 now)

We go thru life experiencing ‘First times’. Do you remember the first time you spoke in front of a class? or the first time you had to sing or play an instrument by yourself in front of a crowd?  Some first times are daunting. But mostly we get over them and live to enjoy our lives.

But first times, are sometimes hard!

Nite Shipslog


You are a special person, no one in the world is like you, That mold was never used again.

I imagine there will be ‘first times’ until we die. I hope I live to see the first days in a home for the aged.



Continuing with the odd and strange cars…

(The first time folks saw this guy, they probably thought he was crazy!)