Friday, January 27, 2006

The Little Things

A change of pace, some thoughts I wrote in my journal during the spring of 2005.

“The past week was stressful.” I stated as a matter of fact to myself while sitting on the edge on my bed. The demands of work upon my free time had taken a toll. I was mentally and physically tired. Several twelve hour shifts during the week and one on the weekend had left me numb. Cradling my head in my hands as if I had been on a three day drunk, I knew I had to do something different. I had to break the cycle of waking up, showering and heading to work. So, I sat on the edge of the bed. “There” I said, “I’m in charge now.” I had nine hours to kill before going to work, hmmm. Reading material was in short supply, there had not been enough time to go by the library for a book or a magazine. Watching television was out of the question, I was sure there was nothing on worth looking at. I mean isn’t that always the case when you have limited time. Ah….. a thought materialized in my mind. I would do something simple, yet productive. I would tie some fly fishing lures.

Like most normal fly fishermen, if there is such a thing, I can’t dedicate an entire room to the art of fly- tying like the professional fishermen in Fly Fishing Monthly. Neither do I own custom-made oak cabinets to store my materials. Nope, I simply reached under my bed and pulled out a wide shallow cardboard box and proceeded to spread out the contents of my fly-tying box upon my desk.

My desk, a particle board unit I caught on sale at Home Depot. Now what fly to tie? More bluegill flies? Some mayfly patterns for the coming mayfly hatchings? Naw, let’s be bold and tie that crazy looking bass fly that I had seen online, “The Gartside Gurgler”. Repeating the name of the fly over and over in my head I realized there is only one other hobby that has names for it’s tools as shameless as fishing. That would be bowling. I have seen bowling balls with names like the hammer, switchblade, oh and the ever popular barbed wire. I was starting to suspect that the fly tiers and the bowling ball manufacturers were one in the same.

The Gartside Gurgler, when tied properly, irritates the hell out of largemouth bass. It makes a sound that can only be described as a gurgling noise. Mr. Gartside lacking a fertile imagination , but possessing a above average ego , simply called the fly” The Gartside Gurgler”. I reviewed the tying instructions, “The Recipe” as they say in the fly tying world, and got right down to business. Twenty minutes later three Gartside Gurglers lay on my desk staring at me with animated eyes. That’s right, prismatic doll eyes are called for to tie this monstrosity. I just happened to have some. All in all the Gartside Gurgler is a very easy fly to tie, ugly, but easy. It had rained most of the day, but as I looked out of the window I saw that it had stopped. At that moment I decided to go give the Gartside Gurgler a little field test, make sure I had followed the instructions properly, and to get out and get some fresh air.

I arrived at the local county reservoir within ten minutes and a few minutes later a Gartside Gurgler was tied onto the end of my 8 weight flyrod’s leader. A couple of false casts and the Gartside gurgler was doing it’s thing. My goodness, it worked as advertised. My hat off to Mr. Gartside , expanded ego and all. For the next thirty minutes I cast and retrieved my newly tied fly, slowly falling into the effortless rhythm that has captured fly fisherman all over the world. For the first time in over two weeks all was well in the world. I was shedding stress layer by layer.

The wet, rainy day had transformed into a calm, peaceful evening. The lake smoothed out and became a mirror reflecting the setting sun, a sight I never tire of seeing. But like most peaceful moments it didn’t last. Splash!! Mr. Largemouth exploded up from the depths in a attempt to destroy the Gartside Gurgler- in mid gurgle. I raised the rod tip and set the hook. Adrenaline raced through both our systems, there would be no quarter given by man nor fish. Mr. Largemouth made a run for deep water but I managed to take up the slack and he went air-borne. There are few thrills in life like having a outraged largemouth bass on the end of your line that decides to jump. Time seems to slow down. There is a clarity of vision that is surreal. You are alive.

Mr. Largemouth made two more jumps and succumbed to my skill. That and the technology of the Three River Forks rod makers. Mostly the technology. These days fast action graphite fly rods in the hands of a half decent angler can be very effective. As I lifted Mr. Largemouth out up out of the water I realized, it’s the little things that really matter.


Monday, January 23, 2006

God, Guns, and Grits.......

“I can imagine that because a lot of you live with guns as an everyday thing the mentality must be a lot different.”
-Dave Bones

Dave bones comment on the post I wrote concerning the late Tookie Williams inspired this post.

Here in Georgia, my ancestral proving grounds, and all over the South, we have very liberal gun laws. We like it that way. Reading Dave Bones comments I was reminded of the fact that the gun laws I take for granted are unique. I have owned some type of firearm since I was 14, not including BB and Pellet guns, I started receiving those at the age of 9, and to be honest, some of those pellet rifles were just as dangerous as .22 rimfire rifles.

My mother bought my first shotgun for me at the age of 14, a single shot Stevens 410 gauge, for those of you out there in the know, yeah, it was a damn good shotgun for rabbits and squirrels. Moms was hardcore country and capable as hell. I guess she felt that her five sons should at least be able to do the things she could do.It would not be the last firearm she would purchase for me. There would be two more until I was able to do so myself at the age of 21. As I have stated before, my Mother’s family was, and still is in some cases, deep undercover country folks. They had and still have a tradition of hunting and most of us, my cousins and I- male and female, were happy to learn the skills and carry on the tradition.

Guns were everywhere in my Grandparents household, loaded and ready to fire, as if they were strategically placed so someone in the family could get to a gun anywhere in the house if they needed to. Years later, when I was older, I was told stories of the “bad old days”, and I knew perfectly well why there were guns all over the house. Besides it was a normal thing, nothing unusual, most country families had the same practices to some degree.

We were exposed early to the effects of firearms. We saw the game our Grandfather and Uncles brought home, the damage bullets and shot did, and had no desire to play around with a firearm. The rules were simple- you did not handle a firearm without permission, nor point one at something you did not want to shoot. I can remember at the end of a long hot summer day of helping my grandfather in the garden, feeding livestock, and whatever else we were asked to do, my Mother’s family had not been made aware of the child labor laws, a few of us would ask our grandfather if we could do some target practice. Nine times out of ten my Grandfather would go into the house and come out with an assortment of rifles and shotguns and we would walk to the edge of the hay field and shoot at targets penned to bales of hay. Everybody that desired so took a turn with whatever firearm my Grandfather thought they were big enough to handle. My cousins and I become very good marksmen and women. Those of us that grew up and own guns have educated are children in much the same manner.

Most people from countries with strict gun ownership laws are astounded when they hear about my childhood and my exposure to firearms, along with some liberals here in America. Crimes committed with guns back then are no where in numbers like they are now, and I don’t expect them to be. It’s a different society now, very few patient Grandfathers teaching grandkids the do’s and don’ts of firearms. Most children see a real gun for the first time minutes before they accidentally shoot themselves or someone else.This tragic ignorance will not change, no more than thugs buying guns illegally.

Basically the firearm laws in the South have pretty much stayed the same over the years and as I stated earlier, we like our firearm laws. I like our firearm laws. I don’t really know how to explain to Dave Bones our insistence on keeping our gun laws simple. For myself, and some of my family members, we remember the stories of the “bad old days”, and we will never be without the means to defend ourselves and our family- it’s just that simple.


Friday, January 20, 2006

And You Know What I Mean.............

I am still pissed about Hillary Clinton’s dropping of the “P” word, what’s next, she’ll be referring to Al Sharpton as “ My Ni&$a”?

The use of the “N” word by our enlightened hip hop artists, and others, has always been a thorn in my side, especially the double standard they reserve in it’s use. You know the rule, “let no one born of woman that lacks dark skin pigmentation, and be not of Negro origins, use the “N” word.” I hate it when some hold others to a standard that they themselves can not keep. It is one of the things in life that really fires me up.

Hillary looked pretty damned cozy, hanging with the brutha’s and sista’s, shootin’ the shit, talking about, “the Man”. I don’t ever remember in the entire eight years of her husbands Presidency, seeing here so relaxed, and at ease around the same group. Hillary is not a people person, never was, never will be. All of a sudden she is. Who’da thunk’ it.

Well, it’s Friday and the weekend calls, to keep this post short and to get to the point, I guess my problem with Hillary using the “P” word is I have always believed she is infinitely more knowledgeable about the “H” word. As in Ho’s, like all the woman she had to keep away from Bill, and as she says, “and you know what I mean”


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Advice to a Friend..............

I received a call from a friend yesterday, I could tell by the tone of his voice something was bothering him. He finally admitted to me that being a black conservative was ruining his social life. He knew I’d made the switch from liberal to conservative in the early 80’s and he was interested in how I was received by the fairer sex during those years.

I told him He is in a better environment these days for being a black conservative. When I switched there were very few black conservatives, yeah it was a lonely world, and the looks I received when my political affiliations became known were less than encouraging. While attending social gatherings the conversation would always get around to politics. In those days it was President Regan that everyone was all bent out of shape about and when I admitted to voting for him- I was attacked from all sides.

I remember meeting one lovely lady at a gathering, we were clicking within minutes of being introduced to each other, yes, the evening was off to a great start. As the night went on we tended to gravitate back to each other and finally we just hung out together. Then disaster struck, yeah, somebody started talking politics.

It took all of 3 minutes to undo what had took me all evening to establish, ole’ girl looked at me as though I was the Anti-Christ. That beautiful, sensual face of hers turned into something I can only describe as ghoulish and hard. She immediately asked, no she didn’t ask, she told me not to use the telephone number she had given me- it would be in my best interest she said. That was the beginning, there would be more episodes like that to come. I told my friend that there were six common misconceptions that we black conservatives suffered from back in the day and today.

  1. We don’t party- yes we do.
  2. We are all republican- I am a Libertarian
  3. We are boring and stuffy- I’ve met that type in conservative circles, but it is no way representative of us all.
  4. We are Uncle Toms, confused, wanna-be white, miserable people- Total bullshit
  5. We are Evil- I wish evil was restricted to a political belief, it would be a simple matter to identify and deal with.
  6. This last one probably does more to hurt a black conservative’s social life than anything else. We are not good in bed- Nonsense, sexual performance has nothing to do with political leanings. There are a few liberal women I’ve known that have had first hand experience with this misconception being false, much to their delight.
I told my friend that things started to get better once I learned to do one simple thing, keep my mouth closed when the conversations turned to politics. I also told him things started changing during the late 90’s, more black conservatives became noticeable, and life as a black conservative became much easier. People seemed to be at least open to hear our view point, we could participate in political discussions without worrying about not getting invited back to a get together.

Yes, our star was on the rise, then, a funny thing happened. George Bush was elected President of the United States of America. All hell broke loose, liberals started ranting and raving a rate that made the early 80’s seem like a cakewalk. Political discussions started to degenerate into chaotic name calling sessions, no matter how logical a argument a black conservative put forth, he/she was wrong.….. Back to square one.

My friend told me he had recently met an interesting woman, she was intelligent, talented, very attractive- okay those are my words, he said she was,” finer’ than a motherf^%$$#, and sharp as a tack”. He went on to describe how they had so much in common, they both frequented the same places, and are jazz lovers. Yet when the subject turned to politics, like it does sooner or later, she cooled to him so fast it was shocking. She explained to my friend she could never get involved with someone that was part of an evil ideology, and if his political beliefs were not changeable, then there was no reason to continue seeing each other. Being the great friend that I am I told him she did him a favor, his time would be better spent with someone else. He agreed, but I could tell he was talking with his head, his heart was not into the statements he made.

So, with the dating game being tough enough without politics being an issue, why would anyone add the hardship of being a black conservative to it? Conservatism is more sustainable over the long haul. Conservatism rewards those that reach and exceed their potential. In a lot of cases it’s the only alternative for some of us, since Liberalism as it is practiced now, is so out of step with reality. Unlike most Liberals, we black conservatives have to deal with the reality of our beliefs, even if it means heartache.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Yesterday was Martin Luther King’s Jr. Holiday. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, a day to reflect back upon what used to be and what is now. A day to dedicate ourselves to further advancement, a day to unite with all people in the hopes of building something better and lasting—Yeah, right.

I grew very irritated as I watched one politician after another pad his or hers so-called legacy, this they did in spite of the fact that the day called for honoring MLK’s legacy. I expected the usual suspects to crank up the rhetoric machines, but Al Gore and Hillary Clinton pushed me over the fuckin’ edge.

Dayum, the words that spewed forth from their mouths was amazing. Hillary is campaigning for the Presidency, I expect every time she has a mike to speak into to blow smoke up as many asses as she can, but dropping the “plantation” word on MLK day- Al Gore, what the hell was he running off at the mouth about. Al has the knack of latching onto to an issue right about the time everyone else has turned it loose. Didn’t he get the memo, you know the one the Dems passed around saying that since President Clinton exercised similar authority concerning eavesdropping, proceed cautiously? I guess not.

Politicians used to rise to the challenge when called upon to honor someone universally held in such high esteem as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. History is filled with lesser politicians delivering eloquent speeches on days like yesterday. I think what bothered me the most is MLK is a childhood hero of mine, and still is, and I would have really liked to see our politicians and activists act like they have some damn sense, at least for one day.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Been There, Done That................

Monday, January 09, 2006

What If...................................

NORFOLK, Va. - Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has suggested that Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's
land." God considers this land to be his," Robertson said Thursday on his TV program "The 700 Club."
"You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.' "

Pat Robertson has been on my “Stuck on Stupid” list for a pretty good while now. After initially being outraged at his above comments I wondered, “could Ole’ Pat be onto something”?

Let’s all just think for a moment, think outside this little politically correct box that is so popular these days, and remember some basic Biblical beliefs.

  1. God gave the land area call Israel to the Jews.

  2. God has punished leaders of said Nation in the past for forsaking his will.

  3. God has time and time again delivered unto Israel it’s enemies and land.

Ole’ Pat might have a point, especially if it’s God’s will that Israel should not cede land that he has given them, and or delivered unto them.

Once I entertained the concept of “lands God delivered unto Israel”, a whole new set of thoughts emerged, and I started thinking about recent history.

Hm……. I have often said in the past to friends and family that I would be reluctant to wage war on Israel even if I possessed nuclear weapons and they only had bows and arrows. Why, when God has desired for them to prevail, it don’t matter what you bring to the fight, your ass is gonna loose. Recent history supports my thoughts.

You don’t have to go back to biblical times to see Israel survive and prosper when basic survival seems doubtful. During the Israeli War of Independence (1948-1949) Israel was invaded by six Arab nations- Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, plus the local Palestinian forces threw in with their Muslim brothers. They all limped back home, and to this day can’t figure out what went wrong. If you read the military history behind this war you will see most military experts thought due to the imbalance in ordnance, along with the entry into the fight of the regular, relatively well-equipped and trained forces of the armies from the neighboring Arab states, the new State of Israel would be defeated within two weeks, but it didn’t happen.

During the Six day war (1967) Israel jacked up the military forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and took large amounts of land from each. (This is important, the lands Sharon is instrumental in giving back, The Gaza Strip, which was occupied by Egypt up until the Six day war, was taken at this time, or delivered unto Israel as some Jews believe.) Oh, a little footnote in history- Iraq also participated.

Let’s look at the Yom Kippur (Ramadan) war (1973), a surprise attack carried out on Yom Kippur(Ramadan) by guess who…. Yeah, the usual suspects- Egypt, Syria, plus a little help from Iraq. Once again this combo failed to defeat Israel.

Can you see a trend developing concerning Arab countries attacking Israel with armies- I thought you did. Hell that’s why these countries encourage the Palestinians to wage terrorism upon Israel, they know militarily alone or together, they can not defeat Israel.

Here we go, the slippery slope that so many of us slip and bust our asses on- Believing that God plays an active role in everyday affairs- I believe God does, but it’s not Kosher these days to think so in mixed company, mixed company being liberals. As a matter of fact, thanks to the heavy handedness of the religious fundamentalists (the Religious Right, as called by Liberals), most of us back peddle away from such comments in public. For arguments sake, if God did desire Israel to keep the lands Sharon was giving back- hey, we have a problem. The Bible is filled with leaders of Israel going off plan with God- the results were disastrous, for the leaders and Israel. This brings us back to Ole Pat and the statements he made, he might just be right, especially if God is not pleased with the giving back of land.


The Holidays are over......................

The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday and attended his television and radio broadcast on Sunday.

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people … support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast.

Okay, I had sworn off making political commentary, I was burned out on politics period- but this shit is too much. I just want to know one thing- what possibly could Harry, Cornel and Danny have discussed with Hugo Chavez? What’s the end game here? Did they go to Venezuela to solicit aid for inner city youths from Chavez, did they go there to encourage Chavez to extend more freedoms to his own people? Is there a common cause these men share?

It’s my belief that there is only one issue these men all have in common- They hate George Bush. Why else would three highly visible, famous, black Americans sit down and have a pow-wow with a known Castro wanna be like Chavez. Oh, speaking of Castro, Mister Belafonte visited him also, with much the same to say about George Bush during his visit. Look folks, if you can’t stand Bush fine, if you think Our Presidents policies are wrong, fine- but don’t go running to communists and dictators making alliances.

America is not perfect, never was and never will be, yet we do have a system that addresses our short comings, and we only have to live with our Presidential leaders for 8 years max. Can Cuba say that, can Venezuela make those claims, no and hell no.


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