Mule Day

I was travelling west on Highway 78 this past Saturday going through Washington, GA. Unlike all the hapless Georgia fans going to the slaughter in Athens, I had the good sense to stop at Mule Day at the Callaway Plantation. There’s a little bit of everything there – old mechanical things, things that go bang, animals, old architecture, and good food.

Here’s just a few pictures to give you a flavor of the day. Click to embiggen.

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Revolutionary era backwoodsman firing a flintlock. This is the first picture I’ve ever been able to take this close to ignition. Normally there are two separate puffs of smoke floating off away from the rifle.

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John Deere Model E Hit and Miss engine making ice cream. There was no hidden electric motor plugged into a wild currant bush ( sorry – old Euell Gibbons joke ) spinning the churn – it was being done as Mr. Deere intended it. And in case you were wondering, yes, the ice cream was excellent.

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Allis Chalmers Model G. I thought the rear mounted engine was cool.

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My dad has talked about plowing with mules when he was a teenager. I was hoping I’d have a chance to try this year and I did. The main thing to remember is to put as little lateral pressure as possible on the plow – it’s real easy to overcorrect. I did the math later and figured that you might be able to plow about 3 acres in a 12 hour day. The organizers brought over a John Deer Model B after we all had a chance to play and finished plowing lots faster than the mules were going. It helps you understand how easy it was for farmers in the 1920’s to decide to give up the mules and buy a tractor.

If you’re wondering about the guy holding the reins, let’s just say that the mules got a little skittish when the Confederate reenactors fired their cannon.

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Sheep dog demonstration. They herd ducks as well.

Final picture of the day:

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I was trying to get a close up of some of the harness on the mules from about 50 feet away. I didn’t notice until downloading the picture what was in the background. Yes, 20th century aviation technology that’s framed by important 19th century agricultural technology. I wouldn’t have been able to take that on purpose in a million years.

Good bosses and bad ones

I’ve had a few craptastic bosses in my career. I remember all of the stupid things they did. I don’t plan to pay them back – I just want to make sure I never do any of them myself.

Fortunately for me, my current boss is not in this group. He’s a smart guy and quite funny at the same time.

As an example, I give you this:

If you step in a pile of sh*t, stop moving around.

Someone tried to tug on Mike Rowe’s cape

Via Og via Firehand, Mike Rowe destroys a stuffed shirt who made the mistake of using Mr. Rowe’s likeness when spouting off. My favorite:

SK – Some might say that people working in a “shadow economy” are part of the symptoms of an economic system breaking down.

MR – I have no idea if the economy is breaking down or just evolving, but regardless, low-paying, part-time and off-the-grid jobs are here to stay. We can either talk about these jobs with a measure of dignity and respect, or we can adapt your labeling system of “Bad, Unpleasant, Dangerous, Not-Worth-Having, and Hellish.” Honestly, I don’t see the point of attacking honest work under any circumstances (although the Futility Clause of the DJCC prohibits me from expecting a cogent reply from those who do.)

In the interest of full disclosure, my son has worked at a location featured on Dirty Jobs. He was happy to get the job and sorry when it ended.

And if the title was too subtle, I’ll let Jim explain.

My memory is like a trail of bread crumbs

As I get older, I find that my memory is like a trail of bread crumbs.

As an example, I’ve never been concious of my age. If someone asks me how old I am, I have to remember:
1) What year is it?
2) What’s today’s date?
3) Have I had my birthday yet? ( In an emergency, I can skip steps 2 and 3 and still be greater than 95% certain of getting the correct answer. )
4) What year was I born?
5) How to do the math. ( This step has gotten significantly harder moving into the 21st century. )

I’ve always been this way but it’s getting worse. I started to ask a friend a question this morning and drew a complete blank on his name. The only way that I could remember was to ask myself:
1) What’s his wife’s first name? ( It’s always been easier for me to remember a pretty girl’s name than the name of some baldheaded dude. )
2) What’s was her name before she married him? ( I’ve actually known her since before she could drive, him not so long. )
3) What’s her last name now?
4) Fill in the blanks – if his last name is ______, then his first name is _____.

I shared this with the lovely Mrs. Roscoe and she has kindly agreed to say, “Caw! Caw!” whenever she sees that someone has eaten some of my breadcrumbs. I’m so relieved.

Now the good people of Marietta will get to pay for this one

It appears that the trial for De’Marquise Elkins has been moved from Brunswick to Marietta.

In case you’ve forgotten, Mr. Elkins is either the innocent victim of a fascist police cover-up or a baby shooting thug. The point of the trial is to present evidence to 12 unbiased jurors and let them sort it out.

I’m just glad I don’t live in Marietta.