Sunday, 4 January 2009

Wetumpka, Caveman Joe & Natural Bama History

Recently, I've blogged a couple of items on Caveman Joe and Meteors. True, I do have a fascination over both. Last week, I had a fellow Bama-ite who commented on my article and reminded me of events in Wetumpka, Bama.

You see....over in Wetumpka....about 83 million years ago....a significant meteor came to impact there....creating what exists today as a five-mile circle of impact. Most folks over Wetumpka don't really get up and peppy over the event....after all....it was a while back (83 million years), and folks tend to get over things like that eventually.

I sat and pondered this. I had read this information years ago but had forgotten about it. So I sat there....pondering and wondering how things were in those days of Bama. So I had to put Caveman Joe out in the middle of prehistoric Wetumpka....to think in a Bama sense.

There was Caveman Joe.....sitting there with his cousin Larry, his best friend Spooner, and his brother Marvin. The four youthful cavemen likely had been out all day....screwing around like most youthful cavemen....and likely drinking. They might have hunted up a couple of wild turkeys....and probably around discussing women, hunting, and what would have been prehistoric NCAA ratings....before the BCS bowl system....you know.

As Caveman Joe from Wetumpka finally came back to the cave....he likely came to find his wife (Wanda) and the regional Baptist minister caveman. There was likely a confrontation over the amount of alcohol consumed and how ill Joe had been treating Wanda lately. There was likely criticism over Caveman Joe's lack of sanitary habits, his hanging out with the wrong crowd, and his lack of attendance at the Baptist's cave. Then Caveman Joe from Wetumpka finally got all upset and probably said "Damn you and the Baptists!"

At that moment....from the heavens....and just plain bad luck for Caveman Joe....came this meteor and impacted Wetumpka.

Caveman Joe from Wetumpka was no more. As folks remembered the entire episode....this is what eventually drove the folks throughout the entire state to stay clean and pure, as possible, by being dry counties. And today....82 million years later....this clean and pure scheme works well....because of the actions of Caveman Joe from Wetumpka.

My version of history....with a Bama twist, naturally.

Hell Will Have to Freeze First


I rarely if ever make a point of criticism against my mom. But since she isn't web-savy and considers computers to be the "tool of the devil"....I'll make a comment here today.

About thirty years ago....I went back home on leave, and found that my mom had a regular TV show that she had now started to watch. It was the "700 Club"....run by Pat Robertson. I sat there and watched about thirty minutes of it...and tried not to laugh. What I was viewing....were some guys who were Christian pretenders...acting like international affairs experts....preaching everything from the Bible to oil drilling, from the Russian mafia to taxation.

Over the years, my mom has stayed tied down to this show. She believes Pat and the "700" disciples entirely. Nothing could change her around.

On Friday....Pat and the "700" disciples decided to go onto the next trend.....socialism being acceptable. I kinda sat there this morning....reading over his comments. The Lord had apparently decided to speak to Pat.....and Pat said "What the Lord was saying, the people are willing to accept socialism to alleviate their pain."

Yes, the Lord had spoken...and socialism was now OK.

I'm pretty sure....my mom was standing there on Friday afternoon....and maybe a time or two this weekend....telling my dad that God had spoken to Pat, and socialism was OK now. I'm pretty sure my dad gave her a chance to just speak her piece and get over it....then around the second time.....he probably revealed to her that God had also spoken to him.

You see my dad is a product of the 1930s and 1940s....and God didn't normally come around to help you....and God didn't come around to announce what was ok or not ok. In fact, except for Sunday around church time.....you need not get yourself all upset or disturbed over worrying about what someone says over what God told them.

Adding to my dad's atitude.....was a simple idea....the only charity you ever accept in life....is from your family or your friends. You don't accept charity from strangers and certainly not from the US government. If you are that bad off....you need to get off your butt and get a job.

So this speech by Pat Robertson and his "700" disciples....is probably having a drastic effect over 500,000 die-hard viewers. They are all sitting there this weekend....talking about socialism. They are likely all meeting up with people like my dad....who just won't let them get away with some Christian pretender status.

What's his intention here....as Pat preaches socialism? Well....I'm thinking he sees the Obama years and "changes"....with more socialism sprinkled around society. His view is that its Christian in nature, and we can surely accept it. He uses his pretender status....to help make the sell....telling you that God "told" him that this was in the plans. I can play the pretender status just as well....saying that God told me that all women should wear tube tops. What? You don't believe me? Shouldn't your common sense kick in and ask the same questions about Pat and God's "ok" on socialism?

So, somewhere in Bama tonight....my mom is sitting there....meeting an absolute wall with my dad on Pat's message. Hell will freeze....long before my dad accepts Pat's word on socialism.

The Audience Awakens

During the past week....there was a ski incident down in Austria. Normally, no one really cares about stuff like this. On a normal big run....on a average Saturday....at least four people are brought down by stretcher or airlifted to a hospital. If you go around all of Europe.....there are around a dozen deaths reported. The news folks mostly overlook this and most folks think skiing is fairly safe.

This time however, it was a German state governor, Dieter Althaus, who was involved. It was a guy that most Germans have seen on TV and he has impressed folks with character and charm. If you ranked him....he might be in the top two hundred most recognized Germans around the country.

From the description of the incident, Dieter was coming down one hill at a medium speed....and there was a second trail which intersected into his....which a female skier was exiting...and merging into his trail. It was a nice day....sun out....not alot of traffic....but they missed seeing each other until it was too late. They collided. Dieter was wearing a helmet....the female was not. Dieter is alive, the other woman (who had three kids) is dead.

Across Germany over the past three days...it is shocking. The news analysts are sitting there....repeating the entire scenario over and over.....milking every single bit of information. They offer up a minute-by-minute update of how Dieter is doing. They are showing various clips of the hill and then offer up dozens of reports this ski season of accidents and collisions.

Frankly, Germans are now shocked that ski accidents are occurring at the rate they hear about. They are all asking why helmets aren't made mandatory. So you can imagine the top priority for the political figures in this new year....a mandatory ski helmet law. The Austrian DA in the region where the accident occurred has launched an investigation and Dieter's actions are being looked at. Whether there are witnesses to this or not....it'll be difficult to judge. People did come upon the two rather quickly, so I assume that they saw something.

The unusual part of this story is that they all thought it was a safe sport. Now, the media is correcting itself and admitting that accidents occurred daily.

For a redneck like myself....you'd think that I never skied in my life, but thats untrue. I actually took a course in 1984 for two weeks....and actually became fairly proficient. I came to enjoy the workout that you'd get on a day of skiing. Up until January 2000....I was still into this....and then came to a ski lift episode in Italy where this 200-lb Italian woman fell on my ankle while exiting the damn lift. I laid down in the snow and really felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on my ankle. After I got up....I could barely stand...and was at the top of some hill. I was able to somehow move at a very slow speed to the next lift going down....and exit the mountain. Nothing broken but that was the last time I ever skied.

So I can understand this entire mess and how the guy came to hit the gal....and all of the discussion on helmets. Its just strange to me that every one thought this was safe....and it never was.

Not Your House, Thank God


For years...I've sat and watched Jimmy Carter's Habitat for Humanity charity do its work. In my mind, there were always negatives mixed with the positives. Everytime they did a video piece....they interviewed people who were real carpenters, and then you came to the majority of the group...who were regular people like myself, with no construction background whatsoever. I usually got the impression that a good sixty to seventy percent of the participants had no background in construction. It was a charity support thing...which I can apprciate but then I kept thinking...would I want a house from these guys?

Around a decade ago...in Florida....a 17-day "event" occurred with Habitat for Humanity in Florida, entitled...Fairway Oaks. It was built in northern Florida...on what was formerly declared "wasteland". At its peak....by its admission...there were 10,000 volunteers there on the construction site.

As things have kinda settled there in Fairway Oaks over the past eight years....problems have started to come to light.

Today, they have a huge problem with cockroaches. There is a continual mildew issue. And a number of folks report strange skin rashes.

Naturally, this is Florida...so you know what happens next.

There is a courtroom battle underway which will take on the reputation of Habitat for Humanity. Some folks are thinking this might shift and even halt the charity because of a philosophy that they've attached themselves to. Their belief is that amateurs rather than professionals are triggering massive screwup's and problems on down the road.

Part of this problem in Florida....is that they built right on top of garbage dump....which few of the owners ever realized when they took the property. In the case of one guy there....he actually took up his floorboards to discover almost five feet of garbage there under the kitchen area. Between the rotting walls and floors....various problems are now attached to mildew.

Its a curious thing to look back at American history and home construction. From the 1800s and on up to the early 1900s....most homes in America were built by folks in your local area. You might refer to them as amateurs but to be honest....they had practiced their skills over and over...and were fairly accomplished at home and barn construction.

At some point in the late 1800s...especially with well-designed middle-class homes...folks started hiring real carpenters. The trend kept going through the early 1900s and became an absolute rule. Today...one person out of ten thousand might be building their own house, with the help of relatives or friends. Its extremely rare.

Carter's charity might have great intentions but the truth of the matter is that people have come to expect a house with no issues. And when you rush in with thirty people...of which only four are professionals...you are getting questionable workmanship. I'm thinking this is going to be a tough sale in the future as people began to realize what you are getting. In some ways...you might be better off just spending $30k and buying a RV trailer....or $60k to get a house trailer...rather than accept charity at your front door.