Tag: beer

Snow, Ice, Batteries, Bread, And Milk

If you live in the southern United States you know exactly what I am talking about. Whenever we get a weather report that even hints of snow, sleet, or ice we storm the grocery stores, and clean the stores out of bread, milk and other necessary commodities. Oh, don’t forget the beer and booze.

Since the recent ice storm in Georgia was probably the most publicized in recorded history, not only did we get to raid the stores once, we got to do it again as the storm arrived a day late. The big items were bread, milk, flashlight batteries, ice-melting salt mixtures, beer, and spirits.

I had gotten the milk, bread, and beer a couple of days before the rush. I don’t know why I got the milk. You see, I am lactose intolerant and milk is not my friend. What an idiot I am, but I was caught up in the heady moment of hoarding. The only thing I forgot was the batteries.

You see, I am flashlight nut. I have about half a dozen flashlights and battery-run lamps just for those emergencies when the power goes out. Once, we were without power for over two days and we never forgot it. At Super Target I got some D cell batteries, AA batteries, and AAA batteries for the various devices we use. The D cells were for regular flashlights; the AA’s were for a couple of smaller lights I keep in the night-stands; and the AAA’s were for the newer LED lights that cost about five bucks at finer hardware stores, everywhere.

Yep! I got batteries. As a matter of fact, I bought four packages of Energizer Alkaline D cells with four cells per package. I only got a dozen AA’s because I had another dozen at home. It is the AAA’s  where you overstock because they sell them in packages of two to three dozen. Wow! Do I ever have AAA’s.

Since the ice has come and gone, what the heck am I going to do with all those batteries? I have sixteen D cells in the package, two dozen AA’s in the package, and two dozen AAA’s in the package. The beer will disappear all on its own. But, what am I to do with the gallon of milk that I am not going to drink?

I guess I will keep the batteries for the next emergency. The gallon of milk can go to my daughter and her kids.

Does anybody need any batteries?

It’s Cool In The Mountains

My brother tells the story of when he was on a US Navy ship stationed in the Phillipines. On a very hot day in Manila Bay, the sun was turning the ship’s steel hull into an oven. A little breeze came up, and a young sailor from south Alabama climbed topside to get some air and observed, “It’s a little cool up here in the mountains, isn’t it?”. Everything is relative.

This weekend I am at this same brother’s house in the East Tennessee mountains, and I can attest that it is a little cool up here in the mountains. It is also beautiful.

Our little trip this week started with a couple of days in the Asheville, NC area. If you haven’t been there, you need to go. Asheville is the artsy capital of western North Carolina, and is most famous for the Biltmore House, a 175,000 square foot, 250 room mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt in the nineteenth century. The estate is on about 8,000 acres. Today’s rich people have trouble imagining such opulence.

On any night downtown Asheville is hopping with live bands, street corner entertainers, and just plain interesting stuff. It is an island of cultural insanity in a beautiful setting, coexisting with back country mountain traditions. If you have been to New Orleans, this is Asheville on a weekend night.

In stark contrast to the liberal, and loose society that Asheville has become is the religious community. In the Asheville vicinity are some major religious mountain retreats. Ridgecrest, Lake Junalaska, and others are nearby as is the town of Montreat, North Carolina, home of world-famous evangelist Billy Graham and Montreat College, a Christian liberal arts institution.

Next to Montreat is the town of Black Mountain. It is a town of about six thousand people. It has more good restaurants than it has gas stations. Art boutiques and antique stores abound. It us one of those places that is a pleasure to explore. We stayed with some friends in Black Mountain, and recommend its inclusion on everybody’s itinerary.

If you like beer you will love this part of North Carolina. The Asheville area has some great micro-breweries and some really good barbecue like that found at The Twelve Bones Smokehouse in Asheville. One of the best breweries is the Pisgah brewery in Black M0untain. I am adicted to the Blueberry Lager they make there. Not only do chicks love it, but men love it, too.

The sailor from Alabama was right. It is way cool up here in the mountains.

A Saturday In June

picture of a beachSomewhere, children frolic in swimming pools and oceans under watchful parental eyes. Somewhere, people are taking the opportunity to drive around the country to see what they can see. Somewhere, people have paid cash money to enter an air-conditioned movie theater to view the latest movie of whoever about whatever.

I don’t have a swimming pool, and learned a long time ago that kids pee in swimming pools. I also do not own a beach cottage, and my kids are all grown so I don’t have to watch them lose themselves in the sun and surf. Movies? I gave up going to the movies a long time ago, unless a really great science fiction flick comes along. Nothing worthy has appeared since the first Star Wars.

So, what’s an old guy to do on a Saturday afternoon? Since I am not a golfer or a gardener, my preference is to stay home and play computer whiz and wannabe intellectual guru on the internet. I have twisted interests, but, so what? It keeps me off the streets.

Of particular interest is the Obama Re-Election Campaign. It’s not working too well when, in the middle of a severe recession with the number of jobs dropping like a rock, he says, “The private sector is in good shape.” He could be a star on a reality show if he applies himself.

On the climate front, a young wannabe climate scienctist and PhD, Joelle Gergis, published a new paper that made questionable conclusions. When asked for her data and methods, she got snarky. Apparently, Dr Gergis’ people skills are even worse than her science skills. The very same people whom she refused found egregious problems with her statistics and methodology, even without all the data. Her paper was put on hold until by the other authors of the paper! Imagine, a half-dozen PhD’s spending over $300,000 on a paper that was written so carelessly.

Unfortunately, much of climate science falls into the category of junk, just like Gergis et al, and sometimes for the same reasons. This was a PEER REVIEWED PAPER!!!  None of those PhD dummies at the American Meteorological Society who reviewed the paper caught the problem. Apparently, those so-called scientists at the American Meteorological Society can’t do weather or climate science. Why are they there?  It took an informal bunch of bloggers to call attention to the crime. A. W. Montford at Bishop Hill gives a good layman’s explanation. Steve McIntyre and colleagues at Climate Audit did the work.

Turning to things personal, this is the second week of my wife’s retirement from the public school system. Today was her first foray into the world of nutrition and grocery shopping. I helped her with a list of things needed, and kissed her for good luck before  she disappeared around the corner headed for stores unknown. Things were good. I had her doing some things to relieve me of my difficult duties.

She just returned from the store. There were no chips. There was no beer. Oh, what have I done? Where is that lawn mower? I need to work out some frustration.