Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another week ends, more uncertainty begins

Just got done with a pile of dead limbs in the backyard with the family. The smell of burning wood sure takes me back to when I was a kid down in Mt. Vernon. I was talking to the head of our office's cleaning service today and he grew up in the country just like me. His experiences were similar to mine. Let me share some of the stuff about 45 years or so ago.

We first talked about chickens. Both of our families raised chickens. His was the standard production chicken house while we raised ours mostly for eggs and consumption. We both remembered getting the baby chicks or biddies in and how cute they were, little balls of yellow fluff. I remember going to the old Cohn and Bock feed mill in Princess Anne to get chicken feed and how it smelled in there, so rich and exotic. Todays kids would just think it stunk, but smells were a unique part of any experience for me.

Anyway, our methods of getting chickens ready for a meal were similar. Our mothers held them chickens down on the chopping block and we used the cleaver or axe to behead them and then let them run around until their nervous systems realized they were dead. I have heard that people that were guillotined during the French revolution talked a bit after their heads rolled into the receiving baskets. That was parodied in the film version of Whitley Streiber's The Wolven.

Next, the bodies would be put in scalding water to loosen the feathers and the chickens would be plucked. Feathers would pile up around the back of our house and would blow around for a while. Once plucked, there were still fine, hairlike pin feathers left. My mother would take a piece of newspaper and roll it into a cone shape, then light it and singe off the feathers. The other fellow's mom would use paper grocery bags. We also found out that we liked the hearts and livers from the chicken. I still like chicken livers and miss the old Bonanza in Delmar.

We heated by wood until I was a teenager. We had two stoves, a big one in the dining room and a smaller one in the living room. They were nice for the room you were in, but beyond that, the rooms were cold. In the winter time, we all slept in the living room by pulling the mattress and box spring out of the bedroom and my grandmother slept on a studio couch. After my grandmother died, I got her room, but by then we had oil heat and you could sleep in the bedrooms during the winter. Mother kept a woodstove in the dining room up to the end, though.

I see by the papers and blogs there is a big scandal down in my old Somerset. My advice to readers is not to believe everything they read. Blogs and newspapers get viewers/readers by gussying up trash and innuendo. Remember the old Glen Frey song "Dirty Laundry"? Some things never change. Like William Randolph Hearst, one of the original Yellow Journalists said when it was reported that there was no civil war in Cuba: "You provide the pictures and I'll provide the war."

I also see that nobody wants to give Obama a chance. He's be president for less than a month, handed a worse crisis than any president has faced since Pearl Harbor, and nobody will cut him any slack. I am not happy about all in the stimulus package, but hey, he did something and he admitted that he wasn't perfect. Better than some other folks claiming unrealistic stuff like "Peace in our time" and "Mission Accomplished". If things aren't better by the end of this year, well, maybe I'll change my tune, but for now, I am willing to wait and see. If the folks I see at the office are any indication, its very, very bad and we need to pull together as a community and a nation to help the folks who are worse off than we are. I thank God I have a job and a roof over my head. I get a handful of people each week who have neither. What good would more tax cuts do them? Their houses are being foreclosed on and their usually guaranteed year round jobs have gone to seasonal.

Maybe the Tribulation is starting? Who knows? When a day's wages only buys a loaf of bread, then I'll wonder about that. The pre-Nazi Germans under the Weimar government carried a wheelbarrow load of paper money just to buy a loaf of bread and Hell surely followed after them. Is it our turn next? I pray not. I really mean that. Come visit your Humble Scribe again.


  1. nice blog andy... we'll but heads on politics, but that makes america the greatest country in the world; differing views and an acceptance to disagree.

    get off the mission accomplished banner... it was only meant for that aircraft carrier not the war...

    a war that obama will continue though he promised to end it...

    santelli had a good point... why bail out those that over bought with the money of those who played by the rules and tried living within their means...

    the free market only works when government stays out...

    didn't mean to hi jack your blog. plenty of political sites to ponder these questions...

    as for the tribulation... bring it on and lets get this over with.

    tom t

  2. No, good comments, Tom. Both sides have good points on these arguments, but nobody seems to be able to successfully get the two sides to talk to each other and not past each other. I promise to stay off the "Mission Accomplished" banner as long as the discussion stays civil. Meanwhile, let's hope that something positive comes of all this.