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OK. Here I go again about the clean windshield issue.

If you read this blog regularly (Terry and I call it the LABS project), maybe you’ve read a few posts I made about windshields and Aquapel by PPG.  And you would also know that my ’94 740 BMW (with over 230K miles … paid fo’) got smacked by a flying shock absorber a few weeks ago and I had to come off the hip for $635.00 + change for a new windshield. No tears, please. S–t happens. Stay with me, I’m almost there.

Anyway, since I had to replace the windshield, this meant I needed to re-apply the Aquapel rain repellant to my new windshield. Why? Because, as I posted before, the stuff works. And it works like magic. Ergo, I was not going to drive around for long with a new windshield and no Aquapel protection. I got around to doing this two weekends ago (Why am I just now writing about it? I don’t know – and who cares!). I also bought enough to re-apply my wife’s Explorer since it had been close to a year since I did both vehicles. See loves it, too. While I was at it, I put on some new wiper blades for her (she loves me!).

Anyway, it rained the following week … all day. To work and from work. Lots of rain. First time out with a fresh Aquapel application … awesome. This is the truth. I’m 1 mile from the interstate. Take it for about 13 miles then a couple of miles to the office on surface roads. For those 13 freeway miles, at 70 mph, I never used the wipers … NEVER. Rain just blows off the windshield at this speed. Unbelievable. You got to get this stuff – it’s magic. And you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to use it. Until next time.

Richard

PS – I do not work for PPG and no one paid me to say these nice things about Aquapel. It’s just good stuff that works!

UPDATE: 14 Mar 07 … I have discovered you can purchase Aquapel on the Amazon store – just search Aquapel.


Bubba’s Cake Baking for the Holidays

After the age of 50 some of us begin to assume different character traits.  Some of these traits may be due to a smaller dose of testosterone flowing through our bodies or it may be we have just mellowed over the years.  The kids are grown, weddings are done, and retirement is just around the corner.  Now is the time for those hobbies and pastimes we never took time for as younger individuals.  Some of us have even taken to reading Southern Living Magazine.  (There are some good looking young women in this magazine, and they cover SEC football during the fall of the year.) Southern Living also has features on golf courses and they always have several articles on one of our favorite pastimes…………FOOD.

Now the good news about cooking when you reach the double nickel (age 55) would be that your wife no longer tries to tell you how to cook or what you are doing wrong.  She does not generally care if you cook a whole pound of bacon or use a pound of butter on one dish.  My spouse is so happy she does not have to make another decision about food or a meal she says absolutely nothing about any of my cooking.  Let me tell you guys who think you have to be a girly-man to cook.  Get a grip.  This is the ideal time to partake of your favorite adult beverage.  The female of the species does not think it is inappropriate for men to drink while slaving over a hot grill or gas range.

Another benefit to cooking is the trip to the local grocery.  I have become fast friends with the wine section in my Kroger and women of all ages believe if you are a man and shopping for food that you will have the answers to all their cooking questions.  Go figure!  I do not cheat on my wife but it is always entertaining to offer sage advice to women and the occasional man regarding the proper preparation and cooking time for various dishes.  I try to stick to the basics such as pork tenderloin, chicken, steak and specialty burgers but every now and then I will offer advice on complicated dishes of which I know absolutely nothing. 

This past Thanksgiving I determined that I would make a special chocolate cake for friends and family.  The ingredients alone cost me $45.  Did I mention the recipe called for Bourbon and I figured what the hell, I may as well buy a half gallon since I was already at the store.  One can never tell when a friend or two might drop by while you are cooking and it would be downright inhospitable not to offer a libation or two.  Most of my friends like sour mash bourbon anyway and if they find out I am cooking they will make a special trip to: number one, watch me make a mess, and number two, to have a couple of drinks and solve the worlds mysteries.

The aforementioned cake includes 1/3 cup of bourbon (or was it 1 cup, I do not remember) but it was a great cake and eaten by all my friends and family.  I do remember the cake, frosting and glaze took a total of 1 pound of butter and 1 pound of sugar and ½ pound of brown sugar.  In addition there was buttermilk and powdered sugar included.  Needless to say the thing melted in your mouth and was totally consumed. 

The only bad news to the whole story is the necessity of clean up once you are finished.  When grilling the clean up is simple, burn the grease off of the grill, throw away the tin foil and disposable plates and clean up the beer cans.  Cooking inside is a totally different animal.  Your wife or significant other expects you to wash all the pans and utensils used during the cooking and to wipe off the stove and counter.  Why is that? You would think they would be so happy we cooked a meal or dessert that they would at least volunteer to clean up – I mean really – cleaning up ain’t brain surgery.  Not gonna happen.  Just go ahead and do it.

Bubba Terry


One of the rights of passage for a lot of young males and some females is the annual preparation and participation in opening day of deer season.  For some fortunate individuals this event can actually happen twice per year, once for bow season and once for gun season.  If one is really lucky and lives in a state that separates black powder hunting from bow and gun seasons, they get to participate three times.

 

I am not one of those people against deer hunting!  I have fond memories of participating in opening day and the entire season and I actually miss some of the camaraderie enjoyed with my family and friends.  Some of my best non-hunting friends never understood why anyone would want to shoot bambi or his mother and father but they never experienced the thrill of opening day.

 

In my part of the country deer season runs for a month or more and allows one to properly prepare their deer camp or leased hunting area in advance.  The preparation process begins in late August and early September when several trips to the woods are required to build tree stands.  My father-in-law was such a perfectionist. We had to build tree houses that included sides for our deer stands.  These structures were usually 4 X 6 feet and included chairs, an alcohol heater, and an empty can in the event mother nature beckoned.

 

Opening day morning began with breakfast at my father-in-law’s house and included myself and two brothers-in-law eating a massive breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and grits at 2:30 in the morning.  Some years we actually got some sleep.  The breakfast was completed when my father-in-law would reach for a half-gallon of Jack Daniels and announce to all of us that it was now time to quote “be somebody” and we would all partake of a least one shot of sour mash bourbon.  Well hell, when I was younger, drinking at 3 A.M. was accepted and besides we never loaded our high powered weapons until we arrived in the woods.

 

After a shot or two we would load up the vehicles with all manner of firearms, ammunition, food, liquor, beer, jackets, radios, chairs, toilet tissue, sleeping bags and anything else we would need for our day in the woods.  All of this paraphernalia was loaded into the back of an aging Ford Falcon and then four or five of us would pile in the vehicle for the 45 minute ride to the woods.  Upon arrival we would greet the hardy souls who had spent the night and then pour another shot or two just to be socialable.  The obligatory lies would be told and around 5 A.M. the caravan would drive the final 15 minutes to the hunting area. 

 

Prior to actually walking to the deer stands we had to apply doe urine to our shoes to cover our scents.  Then, under the cover of darkness we would stealthily find our way to the aforementioned deer stands (tree houses) by shining our flashlights on the path and looking for red or green plastic tape we had tied on branches.  I always had visions of Elmer Fudd walking to a deer stand on his tiptoes.  (If you do not know Elmer Fudd look it up on Google.)

 

Were the truth told just about everyone went to sleep as soon as they climbed into the stand.  There is always one exception and he or she usually got the first deer.  Naturally the truth has never been told in a deer camp so there were many stories of massive 10-point bucks walking just behind some brush so that no one could get off a good shot.  Whoever fired the first shot would wake up the rest of the fearless hunters and everyone would come down from their stands agreeing that all of the deer in the county were now long gone after the first shot was fired.  This normally happens around 9:30 in the morning.  Everyone would walk to the rally point and wait to see who had fired the shot.  If the person who fired the shot had no carcass to display as a result of his shooting then the razzing and kidding would continue for the remainder of the season.

 

By 10:30 almost everyone was back at the camp telling lies, smoking cigars and drinking their beverage of choice.  Two or three members of the hunting party would be cooking enough lunch to feed a third world country and someone would always have a portable TV with enough tin foil wrapped around the antenna to bring in some kind of signal.  The ball game would be on and drinking, smoking and eating dominated the remainder of the day.  Oh yeah, there were always one or two smart asses who wanted to hunt in the afternoon but we did not bother them if they did not bother us.

 

Deer hunting after all, ain’t brain surgery.

 

Bubba Terry


The following compilation of stories is based on true happenings. Some of the events may be slightly exaggerated but for the most part they really happened. The names may be changed to protect the innocent. Now there are a few stories from grammar school and high school that personify bubba but the true measure of a modern bubba is found in his college days. Ah college, the heady days when one learns that his bed need not be made up every day and that drinking beer any night of the week is accepted.  Going to class is an option and generally becoming involved in foolish and sometimes dangerous acts is commonplace.  The most memorable bubba I have ever know was an acquaintance of  mine during high school and once in college we were able to forge a friendship that has lasted for 4 decades.  (If I forgot to mention it Bubbas are loyal also.)  For the sake of saving a marriage and preserving some dignity I will refer to this individual as Jerome.    

Jerome and I managed to squeak by our freshman year in college with minor bouts of debauchery and alcohol abuse. Little did we realize we were in training for our sophomore and junior year?   One must keep in mind that the Vietnam War was in full swing and the military draft was alive and well.  For example in April of 1968 the total number of individuals drafted was 50,000.  The United States Marines were even taking draftees in 1968.  This was the largest draft since 1943-44.  The draft is important because the only way most of us stayed away from the draft was to make decent grades in college or as an alternative, get married and have a baby.  We were so young and stupid we envisioned the marrying and baby idea as worse than going to Vietnam.  A key comment in the prior sentence is the “decent grade” comment.  Now this seems like a fairly simple task.  All one must do is go to class and study enough to keep their young ass in school.  If this feat was accomplished then no worries concerning being shot at by some 5 foot oriental who was protecting his homeland. Fail to keep up your grades and it was “GOOoooood Mornin VietNam.”  We somehow managed to make it until spring quarter of our sophomore year before the reality of the real world set in.  (More on this later.)   

Fall quarter of our sophomore year.  Man what a great time.  I had a grade point average of about 1.7, my roommate had about the same and Jerome and the rest of our crowd had all achieved the sought after status of being drunk and stupid, but well liked by the student body, the local bartenders and some of our professors.  This distinction was not lost on my mother who often lamented that she hoped I saw her tears in the bottom of every beer that I drank. ( No, she is not Jewish but would have made a great Jewish mom.)   The art of assigning guilt was finely honed in our family and since I am an only child I managed to be on the receiving end more than the giving end.  After receiving my 1A status (eligible for the draft) she once told me that if I did not straighten up that I would go to Vietnam and end up coming home in a box.  Instead of feeling guilty I was now determined to prove her wrong.   Several circumstances during my sophomore year helped set the stage for my remaining college career.  One of these circumstances involved drinking beer at a local slop shoot, (a redneck bar).  Four of us, including Jerome, had ventured to an establishment we had named The Star.  The Star got its name from a beat up old fluorescent sign that was shaped like a Star.  This fine establishment would serve alcohol to anyone tall enough to reach the top of the counter and lay down some money.  The legal age in Georgia at the time was 21 and we were all between 18 and 19 with ID’s from various colleges that said we were 21, not that anyone at The Star every asked us for and ID.  Anyway after a few rounds of beers, the door to the bar opened up and one of our buddies said  “ohhh Sheeeit!  A neighbor from his home town over 220 miles away had dropped in for a cool one.  Upon seeing Mac, the neighbor came over and spoke to all of us and asked if we were having a good time prior to sitting down with his group.  Once the neighbor left our table Mac said, “Son of a Bitch.” And it was at that point that we knew were in deep kimchi.  As it turned out the neighbor was a state revenue agent and a great friend of Mac’s family.  During the dark ages of 1967 you could get into real trouble by drinking under aged and returning to the college campus drunk.   

A couple of more pitchers of the local draft beer took our minds off of the potential trouble we faced and once the locals arrived and cranked up the juke box we were all lost in the frivolity of the moment.  Hell, once we quaffed several beers we all were too tan, too tall, too smart and too good lookin.  We could do no wrong.  Then we screwed up big time.  We returned to campus to find the dean of men and his assistant waiting at the dorm steps for us.  When asked by the Dean if any of us were drunk Jerome spoke up, or rather the alcohol spoke and said “hell yes I am drunk and so are the rest of us.”  We did not receive double secret probation but social probation was tacked upon our records and believe it or not we were put on a curfew and relocated next to the dorm mother.  Our dorm mother was a closet wino and this turned out to be a great move.  More on that subject will appear in the next chapter. Life ain’t brain surgery but is sometimes more complicated. 

Bubba Terry


The typical picture painted of a “bubba” includes dirty overalls, a short haircut, work boots and a wad of tobacco firmly implanted in the left cheek. Everyone knows that a real bubba can chew tobacco and drink Budweiser beer with no danger of mixing the juice with the alcohol.

In the usual scenario bubba is probably driving a beat up Ford pickup truck with a decal on the window of a little boy taking a leak on his least favorite NASCAR vehicle number. The truck will always be equipped with a gun rack and if the owner is prosperous a spotlight will be attached for shining deer after dark. (For those un-indoctrinated to deer hunting, the spotlight is used to illuminate the deer and render the beast temporarily paralyzed so that bubba can get off a good shot). The practice is illegal and every October and November several bubbas are introduced to the fine dining available at their local country jail as a result of the “shining.”

The inside of Bubbas vehicle will be filled with a variety of snuff cans, beer cans, McDonald hamburger wrappers, empty potato chip bags and a couple of empty coke bottles. In addition the glove box will be filled with several rounds of ammunition and at least a 3 inch knife. The rear of the pickup will have the obligatory tool box and numerous tools and devices that Bubba may use in his day to day work activities. (Note: several of these tools will have broken handles). More likely than not their will also be a dog, usually a lab or pit bull, although the lineage of the dogs may be in question.

Now that we have painted the usual Hollywood or television picture of Bubba let me offer a more realistic description.

The typical southern bubba will be dressed in freshly laundered khakis or blue jeans accompanied by either a polo shirt or a pressed button down. His feet will be sporting either boat shoes or loafers and if it is Spring or Summer he may choose to be sans socks. Tobacco is a thing of his past and he has taken to drinking Miller Light or whatever import was on sale at the local Kroger or Wal-Mart.

Bubba is probably driving a truck more expensive than Volvo’s, 3 Series BMWs and even more than the new line of Mercedes.  (Mercedes has managed to join the league of inexpensive mass produced cars for the masses)  The truck will have a “W” sticker on the back and most likely the bumper tag from his University on the front or in a window decal on the back.

Bubba likes to go hunting occasionally just to get back to his roots. This hunting may be on leased property where he and his buddies have a deer camp. The camp is generally not used for hunting but rather for drinking and reminiscing about past conquests and plans for retirement. The thrill of sleeping in the woods in order to get in a good days hunting have long been overtaken by the desire to sleep in a warm bed with a good woman, so bubba will take his leave of the camp in the early afternoon and journey back home where he will share a good meal with his peer group and drink wine and Scotch rather than sit by a fire and swill beer with the boys.

The present day southern bubba works in a variety of occupations including the professional ranks. Some Northerners and a few individuals from the South confuse the term Bubba with redneck, good ole boy or some other commonly used derogatory term. I am here to tell you that bubba is nothing to be ashamed of. Bubbas were most likely Boy Scouts and members of the MYF or BSU and might have even gone to (God save us) Catholic School. Again, for those who are uninformed MFY is Methodist Youth Fellowship and BSU is the Baptist Student Union. Remember in the deep South you were most likely Methodist or Baptist because these were the two physical churches that dominated the most prominent landscape in any downtown region of most Southern Cities. The Catholic Church although prominent in some areas, Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans is of little consequence in the rural South.

Regardless of his outward demeanor and dress the usual Southern bubba served in some branch of the armed forces and although he is extremely loyal to the Stars and Stripes you most likely do not want to downplay the importance of the Confederate battle flag. A lot of second rate organizations attempt to use the Confederate flag as their own and hold rallies while waving the flag and speaking disparagingly about cultural changes in our country. Here again we have an incorrect stereotype concerning Southern heritage and the real meaning behind the Confederate flag. The whole concept of the Confederacy was not to deprive minorities of any rights, hell, the average Confederate soldier (Yankee soldiers too) was uneducated and fighting for his country, not because he was trying to maintain the practice of slavery. A vast majority of those fighting and consequently those killed did not own slaves and were not much better off than the slaves themselves. Bubba in 1860-1865 was fighting because he was loyal to the South, and NOT what the privileged land owners were afraid of loosing.

Bubba’s never have internal conflicts concerning the treatment of women, children, small animals or anyone who cannot defend or otherwise take care of themselves. The obligatory “can of whoop ass” will be opened on those who insist on mistreating anyone or thing that may fall in these categories. Simply put, bubba sees no excuse for anyone beating up on a woman, (although some women can damn sure whip most bubbas.) picking on a child in any derogatory manner, picking on those less fortunate either physically, mentally or financially and for damn sure never beat or kick bubba’s dog or his friends dogs or any dog he may know. Most dogs are one of God’s gentlest creatures and deserve a pat on the head and perhaps a good belly rub but definitely not a whipping or beating unless bubba sees fit to perform discipline.

All of us who recognize the term bubba as one of friendship and love also realize…..

Life ain’t brain surgery.

Bubba Terry


You’ve heard the saying before. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws with have guns. Well, now the PC crowd has decided that the age-old childhood game of Tag needs to be outlawed along with guns and pointy things and dodgeball and anything else that might offend someone or actually teach a kid some real lessons in life. To all of these PC’ers and politicians and bureaucrats who want to be into every aspect of every American’s lives – catch the clue bus – get out of the way.

Life is about Winners and Losers. Sometimes you’re IT.  Kids learn from playing games like Tag and Dodgeball and when I was a kid, mumbly-peg (played with a sharp pointed knife). When will this insanity end? When will Americans just get to the point that they have had enough of this BS? For me, I’m way past that point.

I was a kid during the 50’s and 60’s. Every boy I knew owned a pocketknife and took it to school – everyday. I never knew another kid who killed anyone with his pocketknife. For Pete’s sake, we play a game with knives in the schoolyard playground – in sight of the teachers. Back then, no one I every knew pulled out their knife and threatened anyone, much less killed them. You know why? Because our parents taught us better. Because when you got home you would have gotten your butt whacked with a belt or a switch because some neighbor would have called your parents and told them what you did. And there wasn’t any arguing about who told the truth either. The parent who ratted on you was telling the truth. Everybody’s parents kept an eye on everyone else’s kids. We stayed in line (except for the hoodlums – another post) because we knew the consequences. There are no consequences any more. They need to be taught to be more like a Timex watch than a Humpty-Dumpty – Take a licking and keep on ticking.

I really don’t know how I managed to make it through some 50 odd years of living. I played Tag and Dodgeball. Climbed trees 100 feet tall without adult supervision. Went swimmming in rock quarry lakes that had no bottom (they were a 1000 miles deep as far as we knew). Went off all day “exploring” on our bikes with no cell phone but had better be home by dinner time. Had rock battles at opposing fortresses hidden deep in the woods. Advanced to BB fights with slingshots – you knew not to shoot for the head – the “Kid’s Law of the Land” back then.

I really would hate to be a kid in this day and age. I feel sorry for them. No real freedom. No room to explore. No feelings get hurt. No winners or losers. Just a bunch of ignorant PC adults watching over them to make sure they don’t get a scratch or dent or ding or their feelings hurt. We’re building a nation of wussies, in my humble opinion.

Time to reverse the trend. Get out of the kid’s way. Growing up ain’t brain surgery.

Have a great day!

Richard


A few weeks ago I witnessed a scary incident with my grandson. My son and his wife and melded family of three kids were finally moving from his old home to a newly renovated home his wife of 1-year brought to the party. The adults were working away and the half dozen or so kids were playing and have a great time – not a care in the world – as kids will, and should, do. We hadn’t been working long loading the truck. The kids were playing on the neighbor’s trampoline between the two houses. They’re all above the age of 9 and need limited supervision.

The neighbor owns a Rottweiler – his name is Blade. The kids know the dog. Have for years. He’s a little agressive but all in all a good dog. Rottweilers are protective of their territory but are a good breed. Blade has shown aggressiveness on many occasions but the fence is marked “Keep Out” and the kids know to stay away from Blade and not to ever go in the yard or to aggrevate him across the fence.

During the loading of the truck and the playing on the trampoline, the boys manage to let their ball go into Blade’s territory – behind the fence – his domain. My grandson, 9 years old and smart as a whip, devises a plan to get the ball back. The other boys will divert Blade’s attention and he will retreive the ball through another gate entrance and sneak out before Blade sees him. Pretty good plan.

The plan works great until just before my grandson makes it to the gate leaving. Old Blade tracks him down and chomps down on the small and tender buttock of my grandson. And that is all Blade does. He didn’t continue to bite him or try to maul him or continue to attack him. Just one chomp to teach the kid a lesson … stay out of my yard!

Of course, you can imagine the panic and screaming and chaos that followed. Luckily, the kid is find. 48 stitches and a sore butt for a week. And old dad got to move his son and family with little help. But a mighty big lesson for a bunch of young boys.

Rottweiler. Fenced yard. Posted everywhere … KEEP OUT – BEWARE OF DOG.

People post signs for a reason. Read them. Teach your kids to read them and respect them. It ain’t brain surgery.

Richard