November 16, 2010

The last week or so...

A couple of weekends ago we were in front of Scotts Book Store in Newnan for the sale that takes place on the court square the first Saturday of every month.

It was cold. Ridiculously cold.

I knew that the temperatures were doable, but combined with the wind, it was hell. We set up and were ready to go by nine that morning. Even though we were armed with "hot hands" (little baggies you put in your gloves that heat up), thermal underwear, layers, coats, and a huge quilt, we were still hurting.

I made several trips to the coffee shop on the square but it just didn't help, so we packed up around lunch time and headed out.

I took the camera with me and snapped a few shots, so when we got home and unloaded the car I began the process of uploading the pictures....

In the middle of said process I accidentally stepped on the on/off switch on the power strip that everything over here at the desk is plugged into and turned off the lamp, phone, computer, monitor, etc etc... I turned the power back on and was met with a message on the screen that I refer to as an "I got a rock" notation:

Smart failure predicted on hard disk 0: samsung spq802n - (pm)

WARNING: immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive, A failure may be imminent.

press f1 to continue

I stared at the screen for a moment and said, "That's nice..." under my breath and pressed f1 to continue. The machine began to boot up and went to the windows vista screen as it normally does, then promptly tossed up a blue screen of death for a millisecond, then the dread I got a rock notation hopped right back into place... Needless to say, all the pressing of f1 I did only created the same effect. Death to the hard drive.


I was prepared... I have lost tons of pictures and my writing before, so I had a nifty flash drive in the drawer loaded with a back up of all my current data. I waited until Monday morning and called the local computer fix it guy. I took the tower in after telling them what was going on and waited for over a week... The data was not retrievable and the hard drive was fried, so we went the uber cheap route, replacing it with a used functioning hard drive.

I wasn't looking forward to all the reloading of software and tweaking of settings that accompanies such a pain in the ass, but it's doable... Upon getting the tower back and deciphering the birds nest of wires and connections I was ready for a test drive. When I turned the thing on it seemed to boot up ok, then the monitor went blank and began clicking... I tried several times to get it to work, but it was a no go situation. I drove back to the local computer fix it guy's place and walked in, telling them what had happened. We dug around and I made it out of there with a nice monitor and speakers for around twenty bucks (the old monitor had speakers built into it). Thus it was back to the birds nest of bullshit and untangling. Once in place, the reloading process started.. I have most of that done now, except for the color scheme... I just can't get it like I had it before and it's irritating the hell out of me...

Last weekend we went to the local fairgrounds for another show. This one was put on by the Teachers Association. The day before we went I decided it was time to get the rear brakes on my car replaced because they had been squeaking for a few days... I left the car at the shop and picked it up Friday evening. We packed everything in the wee hours of Saturday morning and headed out. When we were almost to the fairgrounds I noticed that the car suddenly wasn't desiring to go forward with its usual gusto. I was afraid the transmission was going out and began cussing and spitting fire. Once we made it to the parking lot my wife jumped out of the car and said, "Hey look, that wheel is smoking..." The rear wheel was pouring smoke out of it.. Locked caliper.. nice. So I ran the mechanic down and had a talk with him. Several hours later a tow truck showed up and the frantic search for a ride home for the four of us and all of our show paraphernalia began. As luck would have it, my cousin showed up with an almost empty minivan while I was on the phone begging for a ride... I got the car back today and its sitting in the driveway right now waiting for me to test drive it... It knows I hate it and its basking in my fear...

I kept the camera with me through all this mess and decided to share a few shots of what was going on while the car and the computer were both laughing at me...

it was cold the morning of the show on the square...

set up and ready to go

lots of jewelry for sale

this woman picked through everything julie had out for sale... twice.

the courthouse in Newnan

scotts bookstore where we set up each month

the sign on top of the downtown library

the doughnut guys, if you see them anywhere stop and get a dozen, they are delicious..

me & "boomer" if you're from Newnan you know who boomer is...

my favorite alley in town

my 478th trip to the coffee shop that day

me & the mystical wood carver.. i love his work, go check him out

he is very good

one of his poplar walking sticks

this magnolia tree was planted by my great grandmother

there are many trees growing under its canopy..

i picked one and cut it down for walking stick material

the piece i got will provide enough for three finished walking sticks

the mule loaded up with the walking sticks and limbs i cut

being surrounded by deer hunters the dogs often drag up gifts for us... this was left in our front yard and james wasn't going to be satisfied until i had mounted it on a tree

the show at the fairgrounds, cramped quarters, but a steady crowd

different classes of students came around every hour or so during the day and sang christmas songs, they were really good..

my view as i talked to the mechanic and searched for a ride home...

james and his cousin played out back during the show

james spent many hours in deep discussion with this man...

hey.. sometimes you just have to build a rock city

james wanted to make new homes for his toys

the mario brothers...

the scarecrow guarding my mothers driveway

we ran down my older brother who was hauling firewood, while enjoying a wholesome snack

this far off wood pecker house was being watched carefully...

by this guy, my niece's new son...

we ended the day by taking a kawasaki mule ride down in the woods to check on an old friend...

this is the tree where the old hobbit lives that watches over the garden.. he was well, and all was right with the world...

November 04, 2010

The real danger of the Tea Party movement

I was listening to a speaker at a dinner given by the communist party when he began to talk about the Tea Party.

"The problem we have with this group of people is that they are in a position to sway the conscience thought of voters in this country. They hold no fear to speak about the things they believe in. They stand for capitalism and high import taxes, for building the labor force in this nation based on individual measure of the worker and not the collective bargaining power that labor has, they believe in the rights of the individual over the needs of the society. We see that they have gained momentum, because of this there is only one conclusion we can arrive at... we must dismantle this movement before it takes root."

I have never witnessed any group of people attacked at the rate the Tea Party has been over the last several months. Whether it's jon stewart, bill maher, or just the media in general, these people have been raked over the coals at an unprecedented rate. Having been interested in the libertarian party for some time I recognized the quiet ways they were being belittled immediately. Whenever you would see anything about the libertarians on television, the cameras always seemed to focus on the one burnt out ex-hippie with the multicolored top hat featuring the "legalize weed" buttons all over his clothes... He would be the only one in the crowd wearing this, but he would get seventy percent of the camera shots....

The Tea Party is suffering the same abuse. There is actually a website that features the following manifesto:

"WHO WE ARE: A nationwide network of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are all sick and tired of that loose affiliation of racists, homophobes, and morons; who constitute the fake grass-roots movement which calls itself “The Tea Party.”

WHAT WE WANT: To dismantle and demolish the Tea Party by any non-violent means necessary.

HOW WE WILL SUCCEED: By infiltrating the Tea party itself! In an effort to propagate their pre-existing propensity for paranoia and suspicion. … We have already sat quietly in their meetings and observed their rallies.
Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways which exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public’s opinion of them. We will also use the inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans

Sound like fun? … It is!!"

NPR featured a video on it's site making fun of the Tea Party.

I have sat down with these people, listened to them, worked with them, and talked with them about political policies. The picture being painted of them in the media is one of inbred, slack jawed, violent racists. There is a reason for this. They are uncompromising. They do not advocate moral issues at all, they do not speak of abortion, gay marriage, etc etc.. They talk only about fiscal issues, and they stay on message. Therein lies their danger.

I went back over all available interviews with candidates and supporters. Coupled with my personal experience of interacting with party members, this has shown me the biased nature of the media reports about the Tea Party. This, in truth, is a grassroots movement of people who are shockingly normal. I have encountered christians, atheists, conservatives, liberals, people who believe in the death penalty for drug users, and people who think drugs should be legalized within the Tea Party...

Evangelical movement supporters do not like them because they won't embrace religion in their doctrine. Liberals won't embrace them because, well ignorance is bliss... liberals tend to look at pictures, listen to stewart and maher, then parrot what they hear without the benefit of actually taking time to research what they are attacking, if the tv and the internet says it, its true. The extreme right doesn't like them because they are outspoken in holding politicians to their own words.

There are idiots in every movement, so when a woman affronts a candidate and she is thrown to the ground and stomped on by a Tea Party member it is disgusting, and said members should, and will, be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This was assault and he should be charged with such, just as the union members who beat Kenneth Gladney, a black Tea Party member, were.

Or the guy that bit off Bill Rice's finger.

Goodness knows the left in this country never say or do anything that advocates violence...

While it's in fashion to make fun of these people, perhaps the fear of what they stand for is what's driving the corporate media to attack them so vehemently. Zealots are on all sides, just as pure stupidity is... (see christine odonnell) but the real danger of this movement is that fad and fashion of what's cool may one day give way in the media and blogosphere to someone actually looking into what this movement is doing and what they stand for.

Less government intervention in our lives, term limits, the fair tax. In other words, freedom and personal responsibility coupled with accountable government.

Remember, you can usually measure the effectiveness of a movement by how many enemies it garners, and right now the list of people who wish to destroy the Tea Party is long and distinguished...