Monday, March 8, 2021

Just filling and moving that has me breathing like a.... well.... it's ridiculous whatever it is.

That's four gallons of straight pure cherry juice, plus 8 pounds of white cane sugar, for a specific gravity of about 1145 (ish).  That should drive the yeast to near full yield of 17-18%, with some sweet left over.  I don't mind a little back-sweetening if I need to.

I left the headroom because I expect it to get a bit uppity in the short term.   It will foam, and attempt to crawl out of the jug most likely.  Once it calms down I'll go in with another gallon of water to temper the straight juice.

When it's ready, somewhere from 1 to 3 months from now, I'll stabilize, degas, and bottle the 2021 Cherry wine.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Sunday Sunday Sunday.....

Montmorency cherry juice acquired. Carboys scrubbed. Hydrometer found. RedStar Champagne yeast in the fridge. Sugar should be here by days end.

I figure to bring 'er to life by tomorrow, and be bottling in a month or two. As my 21% Jewish blood would say.... L'chaim!

Also done today, application to join the local shooting club. I was a member for years and years, years ago. Lost touch when I forgot to re-up one year, and that was the year everyone lost their crap and decided they HAD to be a gun owner ASAP.

That application involved a briefing, and a two hour walking tour of the ranges. I did it... mostly. With a cane. No less than six people asked me if I was okay, and the old guy giving the tour offered me a gator to ride in several times. He looked mighty worried, I tell you. Not worried enough to fetch me a beer when I asked, but otherwise concerned.

Anywho, I'll be a member again in about three weeks. No letting it slide this time! The club only accepts new members on four mornings thru the year now.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

I'm just going to say this now, and get it over with....

 My favorite thing about the Biden administration was all the healing and unity building.

Comfortable with that

I am a deplorable Neanderthal, and I'm okay with that.

If I wasn't okay with it, I'd still be okay with it just based on the putrescent lumps of dementia that have proclaimed me as such.

It brings to mind a phrase an old friend used often. "Mind over matter.  I don't mind because they don't matter".

Journal update, 3/6/21

 Retirement/forced/grumble.   I'm learning to accept, adapt, and....  well, still learning.

Health:  Harumph!  10-20 minutes of light chores still leaves me breathless.   But, I'm doing it.  Setting small goals and accomplishing them.

Perspective:  Around Thanksgiving, I was working 70 hour weeks with 60+ students a day. 10,000+ steps a day was the norm.  Now?  Yesterday I walked 1/3 mile and was quite pleased with myself.  Of course, I had to sit down and rest for an hour afterwards.

I'm looking for more each day, but also running head-on into some limitations.  Park near the store and walk into the pharmacy means breathing heavy.  That shocks me every time.

I'm headed to the club tomorrow to re-join after years away.  I think going to the range will be a fine and gentle exercise.   I've also spoken with a local farmer, and he reports happiness at the idea of me wandering his property in search of woodchucks eating his kids dinner.  Good gentle exercise for me, and bad news for Marmota Monax I hope.

I must live in a cave....


The Government run CDC has had a Zombie Planning site up for 10 years, and I just heard about it.

Folks, I am too old and fat to run away from even zombies.

Friday, March 5, 2021

All the ills of socialized medicine in one easy article.....

In Kansas, the guv'ner is using control over vaccine supplies to force counties into line with planning.

Let me rephrase that.   The state government is holding peoples lives hostage in a battle of political wills.

Can anyone explain how this is not evil?


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 Skirt steak from our butcher, treated with nothing but sea salt and fresh black pepper, seared in a cast iron pan.

I have a theory.  NOTHING is better than steak when it comes to topping a salad.


I tried to post this on FaceBook, and not only did it not post.... now I can't post anything.

Those racist bastards..... lol.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Surprise! Samsung Galaxy 3


Eldest son surprised me with this today. A Samsung 3 Schmart Watch.

I suspect he chose it primarily for the health options, but lets not forget the shear gadety toy value.

Upside... it's cool, and does.... things.  

Downside.... I usually only wore a watch for work, and almost never elsewise. I figured being forced into retirement meant the whole slave-to-the-clock thing was in my past forever.  Now, I have to wear this device just to play with it.

The list of what it can do is loooong, and it also shows me the time!

Friday, February 26, 2021

It being Friday....

We'uns is going to get our vaccination on this morning.  

Yes, I 'm aware it changes little.   We don't even get super powers, I'm told.  Doc also said an old fart like me isn't worth a microchip, so I don't get the fancy one.

Meanwhile, here's a few things that made me chuckle, or think, or groan.

Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band

Setting to post as a reminder.......


Hey Big Damn Fans,

Our next live stream will be Saturday February 27 at 7PM ET. Once again we will be accepting donations, instead of holding a “ticketed” streaming show. If you are out of work and are struggling to get food for your family, then enjoy it for free. If you are able to donate, you are asked to do so via PayPal and Venmo (@bigdamnband). Also, become a member of our Patreon page - for exclusive content, special videos and big damn deals!

Also, on February 9th you can pre-order our new CD Dance Songs For Hard Times. That same day the first single/video "Ways And Means" will be released. Watch our website for more details
Your Pals,
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wow, is it nice outside

It's so lovely outside, I thought I'd clean and sweep the front porch.  You know.... so I'd have a place to sit and enjoy the lovely day.  

20 minutes later.... and I damn well NEED that place to sit. Blood-Ox made the finger thing go flashy flashy.

Um... okay.  I got the message.  I'm going to work at this physical rehab thing a bit at a time.  No wonder the docs didn't want to offer any guidance on this.

Meanwhile...... breath...... breath......breath......


A disturbing question.

If Ashley Babbit had been black, would we know who killed her?

Would the media be asking why she was executed?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

An open letter to BJ's


To whom it may concern at BJ's... if anyone is concerned about the customers, that is.

This image is my what I had in front of me as I tried to leave the store with my purchases today.  The line to leave the store took longer than filling my cart, waiting for checkout, having my purchases scanned, and dealing with paying.... all added together.

The long line of people trying to leave resulted from the staff person chosen to 'check' carts and receipts at the door.

When I got my turn dealing with this person, she required me to count my lunch meat packages before she would make her little checkmark on my receipt and allow me to leave the store.  I'm not kidding here.

Okay BJ's, let's talk.

I will not ask you why that situation must be dealt with every time I shop at BJ's.  I won't ask because the answer is meaningless to me.  Whatever it is, it's not for my benefit as a customer.

I have two points to make.  First, every second I spend dealing with having my purchases checked as I exit the store is time stolen from my life.  I'll never get those minutes returned to me in any form.  Once spent, they are gone forever.   That's why I won't ask for anything here, since nothing BJ's could offer will compensate for charging me the most precious commodity any human being has....our time.    When I shop at BJ's, I know going in that part of my expenditure will be having minutes of my life wasted without anything offered in return.  Yes, that does effect my decision when I consider shopping for the family.  A store that goes out of the way to make my experience negative should expect to reap the rewards of that.

This leads in to my second point.  Do you see that line?  All those people being forced to wait... just to be able to leave the store with their purchases.  Do you realize that is the last opportunity BJ's has to make an impression on every one of those people?  It's an impression that BJ's is forcing on every customer by having staff stationed to stop buyers from leaving the store till their receipts and purchases are needlessly handled one last time.

Those people waiting in line just to get out.... what impression is BJ's making on them?  Do you think those folks are happy to be waiting?  

Lets face it. The very best BJ's can hope for is indifference in their customers here, and the most likely impact this procedure has is negative. It certainly is on me.

Is this really the best you can do, BJ's?

Yes Virginia, the media in all it's forms lied to you....

I understand there are good folks, intelligent folks, who will disagree with me here.  I'm okay with that. Hell, It may turn out I'm wrong, and I freely admit that.  On the other hand, I don't think what I'm saying here is wrong right now, and I'm willing to put my position out there for discussion.  So, read on.....

Have you read or been told that people were killed during an armed insurrection at the US capitol on January 6th?  Specifically that a police officer died after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher by a rioter?

Well.... this may come as a shock.... but none of that happened.   If you read it, or were told it happened, then you were lied to.  Total fabrications.  Thin air coalesced into pure unadulterated BS.

There was no 'armed insurrection'.  The only people in the capitol building that day with weapons were police officers.

Nobody was killed by rioters, including the police officer.  The only person killed was an unarmed young  protester, as she climbed through a small window, executed by an un-named official 

The police officer died at the hospital, without any physical injuries, and authorities will not release the autopsy.  They have also failed to charge anyone in his death, and refuse to say what his cause of death was.

Were there protesters at the capitol that day? Yes.

Was there a riot there that day? By classic definition, yes. By modern Antifa/BLM burning cities definition, no. It was a very peaceful protest demonstration by Summer of 2020 definition.

Was there an armed insurrection in the Capitol? Unless it was the Capitol Police doing the insurrecting, no. They were the only ones armed.

Did protesters kill people?  No.  The only person who died as a result of violence that day was Ashley Babbit, executed by an unidentified person we are told is a police officer.

So..... why the lies?

I can guess at reasons. First and foremost, if it bleeds it leads... blood equals money for the media.  Reality, accuracy, honesty, and actual journalism come last. Well, if they are even on the radar at all.  The past year or so has proven most media outlets have little concern over such archaic matters.

Secondly... a huge swath of suckers want it to be true. Plain and simple.  They want it so bad, they don't care if the claims have any basis in reality. It meets their beliefs, so it must be the truth.  Such 'faith' has supported every religion invented by humans throughout history, and this is no different.

Third.... I suppose there are those who profit from the lies.  

Hasn't it always been so? 

Tuesday again?

Hard breathing morning.  Allergies, CHF, or just Yes?  I'm going with Yes.   Fuck it all... I'm still doing what needs doing.

Saw something rare these days... some shop advertising 5.56 in a 'sale', and only 3x what I would have paid a year ago.  Huh.... I guess supply is catching up to demand.  At least til the PHB's do something boneheaded again.

Me, my shooting has been curtailed by health and weather.  I'm at the point of saying 'screw it' to both issues, and just doing the things.   

Monday, February 22, 2021


Thoughts, fleshing out, for future....

Peoples perceived probable futures, and the roles they elect to play in them.

Also...  Being manipulated.  People get angry when others lie to them, and manipulators use that to control peoples emotions.  Lies used as mental bullying.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Tire review/bad weather: Goodyear Assurance Weather Ready

 Not a lot to talk about here, which is the real story.

Wednesday I had 4 of the Goodyear Weather Ready tires mounted on my Toyboggan.  Thursday is snowed, and sleeted, and snowed some more, and rained a bit, and then just snowed a little while.

Today, Friday, I brushed off the car while Herself finished a few shovels full on the driveway.  It was by no means clear, still being covered with ice and snow.

The driveway is gentle up-slope to reach the road, where a minor hillock of snow and ice from the frequent plowing had to be breached.  Last week that would have meant slipping tires and much histrionics.

We loaded the people in the car, buckled up, put the Toyboggan in drive, and pulled out of the driveway.

That's it... just pulled out.  Like it was a sunny day in the old homeland, and not even a hint of complaint.

The rest of drive, all 3 hours of it, was on various road types.  Snow, ice, slush, and mostly just wet. No dry pavement at all to be found.  Also no hu-hu.  We just drove all normal like.  Boringly normal.  Just the way it should be with a car full of womens and chilluns.

Yup, damn good tires by every measure so far.  Too expensive, while also being worth every penny.  I have zero regrets buying these.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Goodyear Weather Ready tires.... a first blush report.

Goodyear Assurance Weather Ready, as recommended by friend Brian Cameron.

Vehicle: 2019 Camry.

First ride report: Bloody expensive, but NOTHING feels as good on a vehicle as brand new high quality tires. These are no different.

The old tires (Nexen from the factory) were okay, and not even worn out. They were just not the tires I needed on the car right now. I needed better, and all puns aside, more assurance in bad weather driving. For reasons.

The real initial test will be Friday, as we must venture into the aftermath of the upcoming snow storm. That will tell me about the crappy road capability on these.

For the ride home today, I can report a serious level of confidence transmitted to the driver. They FEEL good, and take any road sticking issues down to zero.

My driving style is not aggressive, unless there is cause to be. I'm normally very laid back, low pressure, and forgiving. In that mode, these tires are comfortable, with a quiet and smooth ride.

For some of the ride I switched to zoomy mode, and that's when the car climbed up onto the rails. It cornered with not a shred of complaint, feeling firm and responsive. In corners where I expected histrionics, both car and tires behaved in a civilized manner. Almost boringly glued to the road even when taking back road corners at well over twice the limit.

New brooms sweep clean, and time will tell. Here and now, I am pleased with these tires.

Karma just smacked me right in the feels.

I came home from having new tires installed and shopping for tomorrows 'storm'.... to this. Total shock and gratitude.

Anyone want to fess up? 



I'm a man without an income at the moment, and I expect to be for quite a while.

Yes, I 'should' be covered, if all goes to plan. I paid for both short and long term disability with my employer because.... I'm a fat old bastard, ya know?

That disability 'should'... and I'm growling as I say that, cover me til I get something permanent worked out. 'Should'.... but Lincoln Financial is basically an insurance company.  They behave like an insurance company.  That means anything they can do to avoid paying claims translates to money in their account.

That means they authorize the claim from doc visit to doc visit, and from medical test to medical test. Each time it has to be gone over again, leaving me in limbo as often as not.  Dance fat man, dance.

Now the docs have run out of things to say, and Lincoln wants ... um... something more before they will honor the claim.  What do they want?  Um.... something more... waiting to hear from the doc... hear an answer to a question they never asked.... just something more.

Yes, I knew this battle was coming, and I'm girded (which sounds kinda creepy).  I'll make do.

Part of making due is changing my spending decisions.  What would have been an easy choice, is now something to give long consideration to. Hey, time is all I have now, until even that is gone.

Example:  I've had a Kindle Oasis in my Amazon cart for two months. Yes, I spend a LOT more time reading right now, but yes I have a cell phone to do it on.  The Kindle would be easier, more pleasant, and a relief on these aging eyes. On the other hand, I'm reading now, and it's not costing me another device.

That's an example of a buying choice I can let sit and stew.  Not a big deal.  

Here's an example of one I can't let go.  Tomorrow we are looking at 8" of snow fall, with some tasty ice and sleet to cap it off. The day after tomorrow, I need to drive herself and the little girl to a doc appointment in far away land.... and It's Not  Debatable.  Little girl WILL be at that appointment, or her upcoming spine surgery does not happen.

Today I'll spend a grand putting new winter tires on my car. A decision made yesterday when I read the weather report for tomorrow, and like many snap decisions I'm throwing money at time to make something happen.

In other words, I'm spending about $200 more to get it done NOW, by the only people in town who have the tires I need in stock NOW, rather than get them cheaper by waiting to order in.

That's new Kindle money right there.... and I don't care.

Priorities matter.

In the reading queue....


In my stack of electron-centric books to be read, Gun Runner.

Here's an article/interview with Larry Correia, who I have been following since his self published blog days.   It points a spotlight at his writing philosophy, which I believe is central to his stories being so enjoyable.

Given the time I have on my hands now, my reading has gone up exponentially.   Where a few months ago it was a stolen 15 minutes here and there, I can now count on hours of peaceful alone time if I wish.  That changes my reading list quite a bit, and I feel free to invest a few more shekels into improving the queue.  Larry has benefited in a way from that, and I am proud to have financed a fraction of a square inch on his home mountain.

I'm considering a kindle, to make the reading time a bit more enjoyable... and easier on my elderly eyes.  But, one more device.... at some point they take over, right?

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Fruitcake.... (hiccup!)

Herself mentioned she likes fruitcake.

Yeah, weird, I know.  Seems to be a relationship prerequisite for me.

Anyway, she mentioned she likes fruitcake, and that made it a moral imperative that I master fruitcake-ery.

Think I got it in one go.  With a little help from an Alton Brown video, WAY too much alcohol, and a happy accident with the sugar (I left it out).

WhissBamm.... Fruitcake!   Oh, and whatever you were gonna ask, yes, it's in there.  'Cept those weird jellied green and red things that look like Tammy Fay Bakers ear rings.   None of that garbage.  Just wholesome dried fruit and nuts.

Also, rum, whiskey, brandy, and cherry white lightning.

Little girl tried a bite, and coughed for about 10 minutes.  Yup.... I think I got it  right.

Tuesday? I never quite got the hang of Tuesdays.

The weather today is supposed to clear up.  Some weird ball of fire is predicted to appear in the sky, and hurt all our trollish eye thingies.

Good.  I NEED to get off my lazy butt and do something.  Even if it's just sweep the porch and hang some targets.

Yeah, I know there's a non-zero chance of seeing the dude in the black cloak, but hasn't that always been the case?

Monday, February 15, 2021

This level of stupid should hurt more than this.....

Dain Bramaged women glues her hair to her head.

Dain Bramaged man thinks it was all fake.... so he glues a solo cup to his face.

Meanwhile, Dain Bramaged members of the media are trying to play this spate of stupid off as some kind of .... no..... I can't.  Just go read it

I never in my life imagined I'd do a search on the terms 'Glue, Hair, Care'.

Darwin!   Darwin to the red phone please! Paging Darwin!

Different opinions carry different weight...


A member of my chosen-family posts this image, and points out the problem of finding unity in the face of attitudes like this.

True point, but it needed some research.

This mope, 'Rob Gill' is some failed local politician from Canada.  His own neighbors rejected him for some petty position monitoring sled dog feces inventory or something.

In short, his opinion carries less weight than one of my cats thoughts on quantum entanglements.  In fact, I'd bet on the cat being more logical in his argument.

Everyone has an opinion.  Some are worth listening to. Some ain't worth dog poo.  Gotta sort the point from the pointless, ya know?


 So..... this is a discussion I used to have with my students every few phases.  The 'Please drive with sanity, especially near the school' talk.  There were a few regular points to make, depending on the circumstances.

  1. The notion that I really didn't want to go to any more funerals.  They were depressing, and my black suit doesn't fit anymore.
  2. The 'Big Jacked Up Truck' discussion. 'The school has a line on some wonderful councilors, so if you feel the need to build an IBD truck, let me know and I can hook you up.  Save you a ton of money in the long run, and get better results too'.  "What's an IBD truck?" they would say.  "Well, that's what the sharp female students here call the smoke spewing 4x4 trucks some guys drive.  It stands for 'Itty Bitty Dic.... well, you get the idea".   
  3. And, the Fart Can Rice Burner edition:   'Look, it's embarrassing.   Students with Fart Can cars standing on their throttle, trying to make it up the hill.  Loud fast cars are fun.  Loud slow cars are embarrassing.  If we can hear your car for a real long time after you leave, it means it's too slow to get away.  This is CAR COLLEGE, and we have certain reputations to uphold.  It sucks when the old people living next door laugh at our students.  Those geezers know what real cars sound like.