Southern Man

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Resistance Is Not Futile

Every driver in this video is a hero.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Southern Man Shivers In The Dark

Well, the "winter storm" was a complete bust; a light dusting of snow and lots of howling cold north wind but the next morning hardly any was to be seen. The ground wasn't even frozen and Southern Man had to contend with mud yet again as he forged his way up to The Hyundai. But, in typical Rural Southern State fashion the power went off at about 9:00 PM and hadn't come back on when Southern Man left for work. This was a fine lesson in "disaster" preparedness. Southern Man has already purchased a rechargeable lantern and replacements for the (several) dead flashlights in the flashlight inventory and will soon shop for an indoor propane heater. It was highly annoying that both the phone and the iPad were dead by 10:00. Not an emergency; in a pinch he could have gone out to The Titan and charged them up with the car chargers; but annoying. However he did have plenty of blankets on hand and made use of them all last night!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Southern Man Gets Booted

Rain, rain, go away! Well, Southern Man shouldn't say that given that we've been in a drought and it's the best kind of rain, the slow, steady kind that soaks into the ground and fills the lakes and ponds and rivers. But it has reduced The Land to a sea of sticky red mud.

The Hyundai is safely tucked up at the top of the driveway on the gravel road but getting there and back is something of a challenge. So given the current forecast (rain, rain, and more rain) Southern Man explored The Barn (which is a mess) and found an old pair of rubber wading boots and stashed them in The Trailer, thinking that those boots would get him to The Hyundai without sacrificing his dress shoes.

So this morning Southern Man packed his gear and pulled on the first of those boots. Hmmm...they're a bit smaller than he remembered. And after a bit of struggle and about 80% success with one boot he realized that there was no way those boots were going on his feet and tried to pull it off.

Yes, tried would be the operative word here.

That boot was not going anywhere. It may as well have been glued to his leg. And the not particularly limber Southern Man tugged and twisted and pulled and pushed and struggled. It is possible that there was some cursing. And after a good twenty minutes of this finally got that boot off his foot.

Well, so much for plan A. Plan B was a backup pair of shoes and a long meandering hike to The Hyundai, mostly through the neighbor's slightly higher and thus slightly less impassable ground. And those boots are in the back of the car to be delivered to the charity where Southern Mother volunteers.

This rain is supposed to blossom into a winter storm later today. We'll see...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Lunch

Actually Sunday was unremarkable - morning geocaching, the gym to shower and change, Sunday School followed by lunch with eight friends - but it's an excuse to post a pic of P and D with D's cute little BMW.

Well, it would have been awkward to take a pic of just the car.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Birthday Party

Today RCJ's mother (and Southern Man's Second Mom) celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends. It turned out to be quite a houseful, including a brother that flew down all the way from Minnesota. So after a morning of geocaching and errands Southern Man headed that way.

Front: E, Mrs. RCJ, and B. Back: RCJ and Uncle C (the C in RCJ's name).

Why, yes, Southern Man had a terrible crush on B 'way back in the day, when we were junior high kids and RCJ's two older sisters were lovely high school girls with mid-60s Mustangs and (or so it seemed to us at the time) exciting and glamorous lives.

A couple of guys from church provided live music. These guys were great!

And there was plenty to eat!

Then Southern Man cruised over to the Ancestral Manor to visit the Southern Parents and clean The Hyundai.

Southern Father hard at work.

The ever beautiful Southern Mother.

Cleaning The Hyundai.

There's no better way to spend a Saturday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Southern Man Enjoys The Decline

Frustrated economist Aaron Clarey has a new book - Enjoy The Decline - and has been posting photos of readers with the book on his blog, Captain Capitalism. So Southern Man took his newly-arrived copy and the new camera to Dave and Busters a few weeks ago and conned one of the guys into taking a couple of posed photos (and a good sport he was about it, too, considering that his girlfriend is in the pic) and sent one in to see if Clarey would post it.

He did!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Southern Man Plays In The Mud

The greatest fear Southern Man has about living out at The Land is not the isolation or lack of water or plumbing or heat in The Trailer or nonexistent cell or phone service - it's that the unimproved "driveway" - native red clay and shale - that runs back to The Barn gets slicker than snot when it rains and he worries about getting in and out. So far so good - there have been a few slippery mornings but he's always made it up to the gravel road OK. And having lived out there for several months now the clay has gotten pretty packed. But every time Southern Man wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of rain he always wonders if he'll make it out in the morning.

Well, it's been a grubby week, weather-wise; lots of rain and sleet and snow with temperatures hovering at about freezing, so it's wet and icky and mucky and muddy. And Wednesday morning The Hyundai couldn't make it up the driveway. And in his efforts to do so Southern Man managed to slide off into the ditch and get pretty mired in. Fortunately The Titan, even though it's rear-wheel-drive, did make it out and Southern Man got to work on time, where he spent the day pondering on how he was going to get The Hyundai un-stuck.

This was no small problem. The Hyundai was a couple hundred feet off the gravel road - way too far for a winch to reach. That is, if Southern Man had a winch. He's had The Titan for six years now and ever summer he thinks "I ought to put a winch on that truck." A tow truck could probably navigate the muddy driveway and yank it out - and it would be "free" thanks to State Farm's roadside assistance coverage - but Southern Man has his pride. So he thought about it all day and got home at six-ish (greeted by freezing rain and wind) and decided he'd give it his best shot so he put on his work boots and some old jeans and an expendable jacket and put a headlamp on his head and got to work.

So using various combinations of boards from his woodpile and buckets of rock and no small amount of slipping and sliding and mudslinging and cursing Southern Man slowly but surely worked The Hyundai out of the ditch and into the driveway and all the way up to the gravel road. And in the process became thoroughly coated with slimy red muck. And, sadly, the interior of The Hyundai is also liberally decorated in red. It took about two hours, well into the freezing dark of the night. But it was out!

So tomorrow will be Hyundai-cleaning day. And laundry day, with a special load of muddy clothes. And possibly a bit of celebration for completing a difficult task, albeit messily, without having to ask for help. Yes, that actually means something to Southern Man, who is heartily tired of people telling him "you can't do that." Oh, yes he can!

And with finances increasingly in order he's already budgeted for ten tons of gravel, to be delivered as soon as weather permits. That'll be a start on getting a solid foundation under that driveway. Lord, thank you for providing all of my needs. Amen.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


It snowed again a little last night, leaving everything sheathed in glittering white.

Since this is Southern State by mid-afternoon it was in the mid 60s and that snow was a distant memory. Southern Man had lunch with Southern Son, did a little geocaching, ran errands (which included twelve sheets of sanded plywood for the Woodshop), and made it home by late afternoon to start putting that plywood up eat dinner and drink beer and play computer games all evening. What a life!

Friday, February 15, 2013


There's no better way to end a work week than bowling with twenty of your closest friends.

A couple of Manly Men. Photo by J or M, probably.

Then we went to Denny's. Yes, when Southern Man is in the house the party never stops.

Various folks took lots and lots and lots of pics with the new camera but only a few came out. Looks like Southern Man needs to read that manual! Lord, thank you for good friends and good food and good times. Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Perfect Day

The rain has moved on
And left a new day
Nothing seems to move, everything is still
It’s just a perfect day...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland

A surprise snowstorm left the campus blanketed in white.

There was enough snowfall that the school closed at 3:00. Well, a quarter of a snow day is better than none at all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Telegraph Road

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches
Then came the schools
Then came the lawyers
Then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the Telegraph Road...

Saturday, February 09, 2013

BBQ and Geocaching

Today was the monthly meeting of the local area geocachers.

We had reserved a pretty good sized room at a local BBQ place but quickly overflowed into the main dining hall. There were about sixty present. The group is growing!

This Girl Scout troop earned their Geocaching badges and sold lots of cookies.

As always there were introductions and give-aways and news about future caching events and - door prizes!

After the meet Southern Man picked up several caches in the area, then met up with a friend and went out caching again until the cold and rain drove us back indoors for pizza and beer and Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns. Including a favorite two-parter that Southern Man hadn't watched in years.

Geocaching is irrelevant. You will be assimilated.

The geocaching event pics were taken with the brand new FinePix S4200, fresh in from Amazon Prime (sixty bucks a year for free two-day shipping to The Land is a bargain, and the postal carrier even brings my packages all the way back to The Trailer and tucks them under the steps!) is one of the great blessings of Southern Man's life.

This is a much better camera than Southern Man is a photographer. He's still wading through the manual and may someday figure this thing out well enough to take decent photos with it.

So in all a full and fun day. Lord, thank you for friends. Amen.

Dave and Busters

There is a Dave and Busters in town so the church singles group decided to combine Guy's Night out and Girl's Night Out and check it out.

Let's eat! And also, watch basketball!

R with lots of tickets. See that 500 she just spun? Jackpot!

Ride that bike!

All photos by A using Southern Man's brand-new camera.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Pro Choice

If you're interested in the counterplay between government regulation and free markets Southern Man highly recommends a couple of free pdfs: Bourbon for Breakfast and It's A Jetsons World. Both are collections of essays by Jeffrey Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in which he also explains how to overcome the regulatory obstacles of low-flow shower heads and toilets that won't clear.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Beautiful Weekend

Old Man Winter has temporarily forgotten Southern Land, with early February temperatures in the fifties and sixties. What a great weekend to be outdoors!

Saturday Morning was the monthly "coffee talk" with the church singles. This month J (who runs the animal outreach program Critter Tales) brought some of her critters and told tales.

J with a Great Horned Owl. Photo by A.

Southern Man with an African boa. Photo by A.

And of course there was geocaching. The faithful Hyundai may be a city car but it was raised in the country and took Southern Man well off the beaten path this weekend.

In the piney woods.

On the old spillway at the north end of Lake O.

Sunday morning was spent with friends at Sunday School; Sunday afternoon, geocaching and visiting Southern Parents, and Sunday evening, ignoring the Super Bowl and relaxing out at The Land. Southern Man may actually be ready for another Monday. Lord, thank you for the beauty that surrounds us and for giving us the ability to appreciate Your creations. Amen.