Autumn

Autumn

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Seafood

My fish stock is at a slow simmer. Our house smells wonderful, its filled with the sharp briny scent of the ocean. The smell promises spicy and rich flavors filled with memories of salt marshes and long forgotten meals of Autumns past.

It's time to cook. Three pounds of Snapper await my attention, after I stand and stir a rue until its nut brown. I must chop onions and celery and green pepper and garlic and fresh thyme.

I'm  happy.

Standby.

Stephen
 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fish Stew

For some odd reason I want a nice large bowl of fish stew. This need hit me today as I chauffeured Sweet Wife point to point. At each stop Her Highness allowed me to sit and wait. Thankfully I keep a couple of books in the car just for such emergencies.  Today I read Peter Mayle, his 'Year In Provence.'

As I'm sure you know chapters of the book cover each month of a year and if I remember correctly it was November where he wrote of fish stew...doesn't really matter, because tomorrow I shall make a batch of this delicious gift of the sea with a large baguette of toasted bread soaked with garlic and butter.  

Wish you were here to join us for dinner. Or, better yet, find a recipe and make your own....

Take care,

Stephen

Thanks & Welcome

To a long time friend and new follower, Paladin. My friend I promise to always answer your comments. Of late it's taking me a bit longer than normal to reply but rest assured I will indeed leave a comment.

I've been a quiet fan and reader of my friend Paladin's blog, The Reluctant Paladin for many years. I've always been one of those quiet readers, and yet, I've seldom missed a day when I didn't at least check in to find what project, or animal video he has posted. Paladin is a restoration expert with a tendency towards 'steam punk' projects. Please, run by and say hello for me. And, for the guys in the audience, never miss a Friday....trust me.

Again, thank you and welcome, Paladin. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Friday, September 28, 2012

Founders

So very busy today....which is wonderful. My copy of 'Founders' arrived. This is the third installment of James Wesley, Rawles novels in the Survivor series. Since its arrival, in those moments between work, I've read bits and pieces. So far - very good.

Give it a try.

Now - I'd like to thank each of you for the nice support and kind comments I've received since yesterday when I posted my thoughts on the problem I've experienced with my zombie medication. You've touched me deeply. God bless each of you.

Stephen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bumps In The Night

For several weeks now I've felt not quite myself. As many of you know I do not sleep well. I roam the darkness. Catalog the song of owls and spend time down at the river with my rear firmly planted on the dock with my feet in the water. My waking hours nothing more than a daze.

Now, I feel like a fool.

Several months back, after a long conversation with my family doctor, he prescribed an anti-depressant. I dutifully had it filled. When I arrived home with this new medication I carefully read the accompanying instructions and was taken aback by all its possible side affects. Then Sweet Wife read the same and since we both agreed the side affects too dangerous I agreed not to take this medication. I chucked the bottle on the kitchen counter and forgot it.  

The seasons change. Spring into Summer and now Autumn. Somewhere within the fabric of time I began to change. I did not notice this change within myself, but Sweet Wife knew something wasn't the same. I ignored her warnings.

My energy was gone. My will to care left me. I just flat didn't give a damn about life. I worked as normal and each afternoon locked my shop and drove home, and sometimes, made dinner. Often I'd just stop along the way and grab fast food. Weird.

One afternoon I awoke to find I'd been standing in place with a framed photograph in my hands. I wasn't aware of when I'd taken the picture from its place nor how long I'd held it. Very unsettling, to say the least.

Then, one day I dropped by the pharmacy for my prescriptions. Returned home and placed them, as I normally do, on the vanity. Later, went to bed. Same routine. Stare at the ceiling, think, toss and turn, glance at the clock, moan and mumble, again and again. Then, for some odd reason, I thought of my medications. I remembered the bottle tucked away in the kitchen. Where was it, I asked. Maybe, just maybe, it would help. The moment slipped away but some slight fragment of this brief thought remained the next day.

I'm uncertain if I searched the next morning or a day later. It doesn't matter for eventually search I did indeed. The bottle had disappeared. Forgot about it.

One night recently I'm about my routine of popping pills. I reach and take yet another bottle of medicine and for some odd reason read the label. Turned to Sweet Wife and asked her if she'd remind me why I'm taking this medication as I can't remember to save my life. She reads the label, repeats out loud, 'Citalopram.'

"Oh,"

She said.

I'd been taking the medication all along....for all these months, I'd without awareness, altered my brain chemistry.

I'd become a Zombie. The bottle of poison had magically made its evil way into my nightly routine and had each month been refilled by the pharmacy.

And, here's the sad part. I can't just quit. There is no cold turkey. I must slowly over a period of time reduce its hold over me, at least so said the doctor.

We'll see.

Isn't Fall best of all.

Stephen





  


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Done

The restoration is completed.

She even wears a new Coleman logo.

I completely rebuilt her tank. Nice shiny brass.

The finish on the grill is the result of two hard days of labor.

And, she works. See that pretty flame. Not bad for a forty year old camp stove.


Not long after I shot these photos I began to dissemble stove number two, a smaller model. This restoration stuff is addictive. Perhaps after its finished I'll move on to a lantern.

Later

Stephen






Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thanks & Welcome

To my new friend and follower, kwani. My new friend I promise to always reply to comments. Now, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and let's have a chat.

Again, thanks and welcome. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Excuse Me

You'll have to excuse me today - I'm a bit distracted.

Tonight is my first Basic Rider's class and I've much on my feeble mind.

And, it seems Blogger has changed my post layout without my permission and I'm fumbling with this new format.

Oh well.

Stephen 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's Chew the Fat

As I write I'm busy with dinner prep. This laptop is at place in my kitchen so that I may turn and type and turn and flip and turn and salt and turn and make a mess. Flour and keyboards simply don't mix.

Take a guess at my menu.

I knew you guys were sharp...

It's been a busy weekend. We've spent the last two days hanging with the Harley crowd. I felt like a child lost in a cavern. Visited two different Harley dealerships. So many models from which to choose. Big and small and medium and just plain little bikes. All I know for sure is I do not want a monster bike. Think I'll stick with the middle sized monsters.



Yes, I have enrolled in the Basic Riders Course. My first class is Thursday. Then the next weekend will be spent astride a bike. I will not make a purchase until I have my bike endorsement and am legal to ride.

I like what my friend, Duke, said to me last week - motorcycles are the modern day horse.  I agree.

I did buy a new Boss helmet, and gloves. These are items, along with a few other things, I'll need for the class. I goofed and made my purchase at the dealership. I'm telling ya, those folks are awful proud of their merchandise. Expensive. I went with a half-helmet...it's hot enough down here and I'm darn sure not wearing a whole head helmet.

Excuse me. I need to flip the fish.

At the first Harley dealership we visited, Sweet Wife said she wanted a tee shirt. Said fine, grab one. She walks away and moves over to check out the helmets. A wee bit later she returns and whispers, "No way." I asked why and she takes me by the arm and walks over to the chick section and hands me a shirt. Its thin, wimpy even, and priced at forty-one dollars. The shirt is about what you'd expect to find at your local wally-world. A cheap and very poorly made Chinese garment priced as if it were holding space at Macy's New York birthplace.

I thought about it a moment and told her if she really wanted the shirt to ignore the price. Later, she walked back over and chose another shirt with the wings and logo of Harley. With my discount and registration in their class they gave her a coupon and she 'stole' the shirt for thirty bucks.

At least they were kind enough to grease their poles....

Excuse me. I need to again flip my fish. I see smoke.

Stephen



Thanks & Welcome

I'd like to give a warm hello and welcome to Shaun and Steve. My new friends, I promise to always reply to your comments. It's nice to have each of you aboard.

Steve writes the blog, A Life In The Day, so please take a moment and drop by and visit and tell him Stephen said hello. Shaun also writes a blog but its private and visits are by permission only.





Again, thanks and welcome. You are now among friends.


Stephen



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back Soon

My lack of sleep is quickly whipping my butt. Think I'll pass out now....please, continue without me for a few hours.

I'll be back later today when I need to thank a couple of new followers.

Stephen

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sons of Anarchy

In my quiet moments I've been watching season one of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix.

I really like this show. Now, I really want a Harley.

Sweet Wife has given me permission (chuckle) to buy one. First though, I shall enroll in the basic riders course at one of our local Harley Davidson dealerships, this weekend.

It's been well over thirty years since I've had a bike between my legs, so I think of myself as a beginner. Better safe than sorry. Once I finish the course the State, in its nanny glory, will deem me worthy and allow me a motorcycle endorsement upon my drivers license.

Hope I don't make a fool of myself and fall down and go boom....

Stephen

Bits and Pieces

It's been a busy week. You might have noticed I haven't posted much of late. In between work I'll walk back to my office and pour a cup of coffee and sit to write and the bell rings. This is good. The bell means cash. The blog can wait.

*****

The 'Pimp' called yesterday and asked if he could drive over and show me, 'a gun.' I said sure, come on. Most of the time he never shows. I was just about to flip the closed sign when he walks around the corner and knocks.

I don't trust the Pimp. Instinctively, when he approaches, I'll reach back and touch my carry piece. I can't  help it and truly don't understand my reaction other than I know sooner or later he'll try to rob me and then there will be one less pimp in this world. (Off track here.)

Anyway, he reaches into his baggy shorts/pants and digs out a little black Beretta 950 Jetfire. Cute little booger. .25 caliber, and of course, she needs a good bath. I unloaded the piece. All firearms are loaded - remember that. The Jetfire is a pocket pistol and as such fits in the palm of my hand. Production ceased in 2002. I asked his price.

Him, "What 'ya give me?"

I excused myself and grabbed the Blue Book, returned and gave him my price. Surprisingly he didn't argue. He took the cash and without another word, walked out.

Even he is a child of God.

*****

I lucked out and won another camping stove on Ebay. She's a Sears. Made by Coleman. Light blue with black wind screens and tank. She'll be my next restoration project. Due to our increased rain of the last three days I can't do paint work on my current build. So I wait. After paint I can begin reassembly.

Above is a stock photo of my next attempt at restoration. Should be fun.

*****

(Two hours later.) A good friend and customer just left. He informed me he was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.

To top off this news, sadly, yesterday, my best friend ShooterSteve called and said his doctor found a large mass, tumor, on his lower spine.

Sometimes there are just no words.

*****

Please, take care out there.

Stephen






Thanks & Welcome

To my new friend and follower, Scott Way. Scott I promise to always answer comments. It might take me a few hours, even days, on rare occasions but sooner or later I'll get around to it...and if I fail, remind me. I do sometimes miss a few.

To my other friends please take a few minutes and check out Scott's blog, http://thescottcarpdream.blogspot.com/.

Again, thanks and welcome Scott...you are now among friends.

Stephen

Thursday, September 13, 2012

American Handgunner and Flooded Ammo

The November/December issue of American Handgunner arrived yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I notice a teaser title on its cover, 'Flooded Ammo: Ruined?'

Now I wonder what influenced the author.   





Perhaps not, but I can dream, can't I.

Stephen

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Matt Bracken Fiction

Do yourself a favor and skip over here and read a nice piece of fiction written by Matthew Bracken. Matt is the author of the Enemies series of novels.

Trust me, you'll enjoy both the short piece and his novels.





Stephen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

Many write - never forget. Isn't it a shame so many have forgotten.

Stephen

Eight Year Old Pleasure

So here I am once again awake when I should be snug in bed with my lovely wife. Normal behavior of late. Anyway thirst is like a tiger this morning, and I want something cold and different.

I walk around and check our pantries and way in the back I find two six packs of Moxie. Moxie became a habit for me many years ago while on vacation in Maine.

I take one from the sixpack and try and remember when I'd purchased the soda. It really didn't matter, I was thirsty.

I poured the brew over ice and kicked back, satisfied. Then I remembered when I'd purchased and stored  the cans.

I'd just drank an eight year old Moxie. 2004 was a fine vintage.

Stephen

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Restoration Continues

I'm kinda tired so will keep this brief. The restoration of the 413G Coleman stove continues. I tackled the gas tank, its fittings, and the grill. Afterwards came the gas burner assembly. The grill alone took three hours but I believe it came out well.

I'm proud of the gas tank. Never thought I'd get all the rust from inside the tank but finally after repeated applications of brake cleaner and gasoline and then alcohol she ran clear. In the photo she's wears her first coat of paint. She's pictured upside down with her brass parts taped or removed.

As always I can't seem to shoot a clear focused photograph to save my life. Sorry.

I believe I have the correct color. Sure is bright and pretty. See the little tabs at the top of the tank, good, that's where you'll find a date code. Remember, she's shows her tail...

And here's the grill. Simple enough isn't it...but trust me it took me three hours of hard work to clean her to the point where I could take it inside for a hot soapy bath. This is her first coat of paint too. Grills are a pain to paint.

Above are the bottom and top burner assemblies, screws and nuts. They, along with the grill are painted with silver 1200 heat resistant paint. The inside burner plates and waffles are not painted, just gently cleaned with a bit of steel wool.

So there....

Stephen

Thanks & Welcome

To my new friend and follower, Rob. I promise to always answer your comments.

It sometimes takes me a few hours to reply and occasionally days, but rest assured I shall reply.

Again, thank you and welcome to my humble blog. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Sunday, September 9, 2012

If

The day ever arrives when the government knocks on your door and demands your firearms - how, pray tell, shall you respond.

Here, is a wonderful post by my friend Craig. Take a few minutes and read, please.

Then, think about it.

Stephen

Thanks & Welcome

A big warm hello to Misty and Suzann. Thank you and welcome to my humble blog. I promise to always answer your comments. Sometimes it'll take me few hours, and in a few rare cases days, but count on it - I'll reply.

If either of you have blogs, as I found no indications, please leave a comment and I shall make corrections and link your blog/s/ here.

Again, thank you both and welcome. You are now among friends.

Stephen

I Want A Harley

So, I've asked for advice.

Stephen

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Flea Markets

I give up. There isn't a decent flea market left in North Florida, or at least in my neck of the woods. Today, after I closed shop, Sweet Wife gave me a cute smile and said climb into the car. I asked why and she said you will take me to a flea market. I sighed. 

I knew I was in for a great sweat. But, I thought, I might find some interesting items. Things I need. Prep items, ammo cans, perhaps a good book, Coleman stoves and lanterns. It was possible to even shop for a bit of fresh produce; a few bananas, tomatoes and green peppers and then, perhaps later, I'd make a big salad for dinner

What do I find instead. A third world country. Black market junk.

Bangles and bobbles and broken trash and the sweet sickly scent of dollar a gallon perfume and rusted bits of sad cast iron and old ladies trailing fifteen ragamuffins each in full scream as their weary mothers trail behind with both hands filled with plastic grocery bags of ten for a dollar strings of Christmas lights and tacky shower curtains and torn tube socks and that, 'oh just perfect black velvet bulldog painting.'

I find dirt lanes and oppressive heat and dust and sun bleached wooden tables filled to the brim with day old cabbage and wrinkled vegetables and paper bins filled with small watermelons - most burst, covered in flies and wasp where older black men stand with dangled cigarettes and whiskey weary blood shot eyes long past care or ambition.

Piles and piles of old VHS tapes and broken children's toys and little glass topped containers filled with Chinese made knives and fake silver dollars and as you walk the hucksters monotone shrill chant of buy one get one free, over and over, and my ears ring and I'm thirsty and my shirt is heavy with sweat and my throat begins to burn and when I take her hand to hurry us along she resists and my anger grows. I can't catch  my breath and I'm about ready to punch someone, anyone, to escape.

The crowd deepens. Finally, I've had enough and take her hand and demand an exit. She relents. Then, as I'm almost free I see the thin man, his shiny black face covered in sweat with dirty towel wrapped around his neck and he too yells, "Come on man, buy one, buy one, buy one man and I will give you the second for free."  To me. He yells this to me.


At that point I am not a man you want to piss off. I'm ready to hurt you. I make my move towards him and he finally sees me. He steps back and lowers his voice and pats the container under his bony hand, and it sounds like, 'bong bong.' I take in the bong. Two twenty mil ammo cans. The price on the side indicates ten dollars.

In one smooth movement I reach inside my pocket and slap a twenty in his hand and reach and take both cans. 

Never again. You can have your flea markets.

Stephen  

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Ugly Pink Walther

She just bounced in off the street - a working girl, and laid the ugly pink Walther P22 on my desk. She said, "I don't know if its loaded. You want to buy it?"

It was loaded.

I asked her price. Her, "Give me a hundred and its yours."

I must have a hole in my head because I gave her the hundred after I checked the bore, gave it a function test - it passed. Hey, I'm a capitalist, so sue me.

Thing is, its pink. Pink with silver highlights. The is a drag your butt in the mud slap ya mama ugly handgun.

Some dude will make his wife or daughter happy some day soon - when I find a willing buyer. Or, I just might throw it in the safe for my granddaughter.

Blurry picture is my middle name.

Later.

Stephen



Sorry

Just a quick one....I am truly sorry for my post of yesterday. It was not my intention to make so many, so sad.

I only wanted to report a brief, and for me shocking, glimpse of my grandchild. It caught me totally by surprise. It also ruined my day.

Thank you all for your kind and wonderful support. I have tried over the last few months to keep such reports and post to a bare minimum, and shall try to continue in this vein.

Please, bear with me.

Now, back to our regular programming...
 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It Was Purely by Chance

I haven't seen her in months and this morning it was purely by chance as traffic came to a halt at a public school zone. The crossing guard flipped his red sign to 'stop.' I watched as the children began their walk and there she was, her father in escort. He did not hold her hand. She walked with her head held down.

I lowered my window and was just about to yell her name when some little inner voice held me back. I knew if he saw or heard me he'd alter his and her arrival the next morning. So, for a few brief seconds I was able to watch as my heart crossed the street. She was so very close, yet so far from my reach.

She wore jeans and a flowered shirt with white shoes. Seems strange not to see her in her private school uniform. Seems he's taken her from her school and willingly placed her into the state's arms where she'll be indoctrinated by socialist.

I drove away from her in a daze. It had taken all my will power not to call her name. All I wanted was a simple wave; a brief, "Papa," thrown my way.

I'll park nearby tomorrow. All I want are a few seconds, a tiny glimpse of my heart, as she walks across the street.

Stephen
 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bits & Pieces

For me the scream of a crow is an evocative and melancholy song. The call of crows reminds me of clear cool Fall days and the scent of ripened pumpkins and brown broken corn stalks and small boys hunkered down with shotguns in anticipation of the next flight of the slick black birds.

With coffee in hand I stepped outside the shop this morning.  As I sipped two crows, high in the oaks, chattered. Their music evoked old memories of long ago crow hunts. As a blood sport not many of today's generation still practice the art of shotgun and crow. Then again, few hunt. Crows are not easy targets. 


I eased to the backyard of the shop where a fairly large oak spreads it limbs. The birds continued to caw and skip limb to branch and without conscious thought I raised my arm as if taking aim. The crows went silent.

They too remember those long ago Fall days of cornfields and little boys with shotguns.

*****

Nice fella came in yesterday and sold a couple of his closet queens. I purchased a nice Remington model 700. She's a beauty, a classic. Dated the rifle to 1962. She's dressed in walnut with a fairly nice 3x9 scope and an older military style leather sling. I might keep her. I'll slip a picture in here, a stock picture off the web, as I clean forgot to snap pictures.



Anyway, this gives you an idea. She's chambered in 30/06. Now, with it in my 'armory,' as the liberals say, it makes me want to pack and head to the mountains for an elk hunt. 

The second firearm he sold me was an old Westernfield shotgun. It's been a long time since I've handled a Westernfield. She's really just a Mossberg 500. Mossberg slapped the designation of 550 on her and set the line aside for Montgomery Wards. (check spelling) Wards stocked the shotguns for years and as you know have been out of business for a long time. Not many of these old girls are still in action. 

Again, stock picture. The old girl has an adjustable chock, and no it isn't a Polychock. She's a twelve gauge. I gave next to nothing for her so again, like an idiot that cares nothing for profit, I might keep her. As if I need another shotgun. If, I sell her I'll triple my investment. Decisions, decisions.

Gotta run. See you guys later.

Stephen