Saturday, November 14, 2015


OK, all kindsa things floating around in my brain, time to let some out. I once tried to whistle Purple Haze but it didn't turn out well. Got hung up on the drums part.

One of my pals identifies with sharecroppers. At least he says he looks like one. Might be true, what with his lifestyle and general demeanor. That got me to thinking, hmm, sharecroppers ... other than stereotypical hillbillies and Southern Poor White/Black Trash (we're all color blind 'round here, the only way to be) what do sharecroppers look like?

The Coen Brothers had an idea, but then again they're selling movies, uh?

Don't look like any of these guys is having fun.

 One thing in common was the bib overalls, which is what I really want to talk about. Besides, I can insert some down home music.

Levi Strauss

In 1853, the California gold rush was in full swing, and everyday items were in short supply. Levi Strauss, a 24-year-old German immigrant, left New York for San Francisco with a small supply of dry goods with the intention of opening a branch of his brother's New York dry goods business. Shortly after his arrival, a prospector wanted to know what Mr. Levi Strauss was selling. When Strauss told him he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers, the prospector said, "You should have brought pants!," saying he couldn’t find a pair of pants strong enough to last.

Levi Strauss had the canvas made into waist overalls. Miners liked the pants, but complained that they tended to chafe. Levi Strauss substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called "serge de Nimes." The fabric later became known as denim and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans.

In 1873, Levi Strauss & Company began using the pocket stitch design. Levi Strauss and a Reno Nevada-based Latvian tailor by the name of Jacob Davis co-patented the process of putting rivets in pants for strength. On May 20, 1873, they received U.S.Patent No.139,121. This date is now considered the official birthday of "blue jeans." Levi Strauss asked Jacob Davis to come to San Francisco to oversee the first manufacturing facility for "waist overalls," as the original jeans were known as.

The two-horse brand design was first used in 1886. A registered trademark that is still in use.

Overall (bib-and-brace)

 These are trousers with an attached front patch covering the chest and with attached braces which go over the shoulders. Often people use the word "overall" for the bib type garment only and not for a boiler suit. In the USA, boiler suits are also called "coveralls" to distinguish them from the bib-type overall.

Bib overalls are usually made of denim and often have riveted pockets, similar to those on jeans. Bib overalls have long been associated with rural men and boys in the U.S. South and Midwest, especially farmers and railroad workers. They are often worn with plaid flannel shirts, denim/chambray shirts, or hooded sweatshirts underneath, or with a T-shirt or no shirt at all in warmer weather.

All over America in modern times, painters, farmers, certain factory workers, some train locomotive engineers, carpenters and other tradesmen or workmen often wear overalls as protective over-garments. Since the 1960s, different colors and patterns of bib overalls have been increasingly worn by young people of both sexes, often with one of the straps worn loose or unfastened along the side and under the arm. The bib overalls fashion trend among American youth culture peaked in the latter half of the 1970s, and again for females in the late 1990s.

Osh Kosh

OshKosh was founded in 1895 as Grove Manufacturing Company, a maker of "hickory-striped" bib overalls worn by railroad workers and farmers. The company is now the largest maker of overalls in the world, manufacturing sizes to fit everyone from a newborn to an adult male.

The company was incorporated as the Grove Manufacturing Company in Wisconsin in 1895. Based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a town of 50,000 on the Fox River, the company went through several name changes before assuming its unlikely current name in 1937. Its name was changed in 1897 to Oshkosh Clothing Manufacturing, and in 1911 to Oshkosh Overall Company. Company legend attributes the current name to one of the company's former-owners, William L. Pollock, who heard the phrase in a vaudeville skit while he was on a New York buying trip. The company started labeling its bibs "OshKosh B'Gosh" as early as 1911.

The company has been run by one family since Pollock retired in 1934. That year, Earl W. Wyman bought the company with partner Samuel Pickard and over the next few years they rounded out the company's line with painter's pants, work shirts, and denim jackets. By that time, the company had garnered a reputation for manufacturing durable, dependable products. During World War II and the Korean War, OshKosh B'Gosh produced garments for the military, including pants, jungle suits, and underwear.

Close on a good note.


Thursday, November 12, 2015


We will see a lot of soldiers coming home soon. They had it lousy over there and probably feel betrayed by our incompetent leaders. Let's cut them some slack and show them that we are grateful for their sacrifices.

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard:

to listen to his son whine about being bored;

to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes;

to be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work;

to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep;

to be silent when people pray to God for a new car; 

to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower;

to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying;

to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to  
send their kids off to summer camp;

to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather;

to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold;


to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog;

to be civil to people who complain about their jobs;

to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year; 


to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house;

The only thing harder than being a Soldier...

Is loving one. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


We are all listening to rumors that something bad is going to happen on 9-11. Instead of cowering and hoping that it won't happen near us we should be fire-bombing Baghdad and other concentrations of Muslim terrorists. Can't find 'em? Enlarge the target area.
While all is being said, not much is being done.
To address a scourge such as Islam we must think in terms of extermination.
Think: Dresden;
Think: Hiroshima and Nagasaki;

Folks, as unpleasant as it may appear, going against spiritual principles that I and many others espouse in Christianity, the only solution for the Muslim threat is to kill every last one of them, their families, their friends, their neighbors; to lay waste to their crop lands and salt their wells, to slaughter and burn their livestock, to destroy their buildings such that no two stones lay atop one another.

The justification, if one is needed, is that the Muslims are Evil. Whether we are biblical or worldly, believers or atheists, young, old, gay or straight, male or female, White or Black or any other combination of the above, the paradigm in which we all repose dictates that some things are good, some bad, and some Evil.

I chose the word Evil to describe the enemy which threatens the world. There is a moral and spiritual dynamic assumed. Can there be any doubt that the followers of Islam do harm to all other people?


The remedy to the damage and destruction, the murder most foul and the barbaric actions of Muslims can only be met with a force strong enough to overcome once and for all that which threatens all others.
Death sudden, overwhelming, final, no hesitation, and thorough by whatever means will accomplish the end result — elimination of the Evil.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I am a veteran. I served my country 1966-1972 in the Army. I did not make the sacrifices so many others made. I am thankful, and to this day when the missus and I see active military guys and gals in the airport, shopping mall - wherever - we go out of our way to shake hands and thank them.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”
George S. Patton Jr.


Sunday, November 8, 2015


I am a Christian. Not the churchified all dressed up on Sunday and hope the neighbors see me kind. Not the fundamental and devout read the Bible every day kind. I am in the working world and the way I became a Christian was through a Pentacostal experience. I like to think that my belief is what I call "street Christian".

Before I came to the Lord I lived a not so nice life. I, ah, stole some horses in my past is the nicest way I can put it. The rough roads I travelled  strengthened my salvation. My past life experiences allowed me to take part in a Billy Graham Crusade, successfully helping young people out of the darkness and into the Light. I once volunteered in a Federal halfway house, helping cons transition into civilian life. I said to all those folks "I've been there, done that, probably did a few things you haven't thought of. Now the worst days I have are better than the good ones I used to have. I put all that darkness down and accepted Jesus."

I live my life these days having fun, jiving and joking, maybe cussing a little. My drinking days are long gone but I can still act goofy. Thing is, I want others to see that living a Christian life is not painful, boring, flat. What others see, if they want what I have all they gotta do is do what I did: quit their low-down ways and come to Jesus. It is an Inside Job, this faith thing. Actually, if folks don't want to accept Jesus, I'd settle for them merely having a belief in God. There's probably 23 different ways to get into Heaven.     

I've offered sermons, bible studies, inspirational articles. Today I'm serving up some music.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


There is a "doomers" mindset that is quite the rage these days. It vibes: fear.

 With our country tanking, the moral fabric of our society unravelling, wars we are not winning, squalid little third-world countries waving nukes around, Mother Earth ignoring us pathetic little humans and doing her thing with storms, drought, earthquakes, so forth as she has done before we got here and will do after we are gone, (BTW not a denial of God, merely anthropomorphing, making it easy to grasp the concept of global conditions), anyway with all this bad stuff happening or imminent, humans react in two ways: they either dismiss/ignore it or they take actions: y'know, get ready for it.

STORMBRINGER offers this, there is very good advice all over the blogosphere concerning Get Ready.

Get ready? Get ready? Ready for what? All the bunkers and mountain hideouts and cases of beans and toilet paper, some guns and ammo, ham radios, solar stills, and what if some space aliens come along, freeze everybody on the spot?

Or what if we get some weather?

Or a simple virus gets loose?

Or what if God says "Ach, that's enough" and lets the Apocalypse unfold?

Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth. Mike Tyson

No matter what we do and how much we prepare for everything, we will be
surprised. There is no time to get ready, we got to be ready. A bic lighter and a Spyderco in your pocket will get you through if you have the inner stuff.

Inner stuff? Blow wise to this: most of the preparedness is an Inside Job.

Meditate, pray, get your center balanced; do all you need to do to have inner strength and the externals will not matter.

Getting ready that way is highly recommended. Build on rock, not sand.

so mote it be

Thursday, November 5, 2015


After I got out of the Army I was restless and stupid so I ran out on a good marriage and a steady job, chased sex-drugs-rock&roll. I wound up in Canada, where those vices were in plentiful supply. The people in Canada were soft compared to my growing up in the Chicago area. I felt like a wolf among the sheep. They might still be soft; by that I mean they have no edge, no "Oh yeah, what are you lookin' at?" to them. I lived on the dark side for some years. Bad years.

The music scene I was in included rounders, thieves, dealers, bikers, hookers, the kind of people your momma warned you about. One such guy was Ray the Pill. He was on disability; the socialized medical coverage they have up there payed for his teeth and glasses and helped him fill numerous scripts for his real or conjured-up maladies. He was in and out of jail and the bughouse and when he was out he would wander around the fringe, slipping into a scene and out again like the morning mists, always carrying a gym bag full of pills. Many were from his own scripts, he somehow got them filled at multiple pharmacies, and others were from peoples' houses wherever he visited. He'd sneak into the bathroom and scoop whatever he could. This was interesting in itself as he wound up with birth control pills, blood pressure meds, he did not know or care. Aha, pill was all it took for him to be interested. Anyone dealing with him used a PDR (physicians desk reference) or took their chances. Ray was so strung out, he was up and down and sideways, he talked with an echo, like he was standing in a culvert, and he would always say "ooh, yeaaah, them're goood shit, mannn" not even knowing what he was looking at. The Indians and street girls up in Sudbury and northern towns thought he was Superfly and would cop pills from him based solely on shape and color, I think. Ray met his untimely and rather tacky demise by passing out face down and drowning in a half inch of rain water.

Another character I drank with was Dave the Wop. He was a petty thief and small time drug dealer and he always hinted at Mafia connections, like his cousins in Baltimore that would clip a guy for pizzas and beer, he said. Dave was a legend in his own mind even when he was down to cashing in the empties so he could cop a six pack. I once bought a vacuum cleaner from him, a Filter Queen that he lifted from some sleazy motel he was staying at while making one of his heavy drug runs. He sez he was "moving some serious weight" but he scooped the vac. Uh huh, right Dave. I gave him 20 bucks for it and I still have it, to this day. He almost never drove a vehicle, saying loudly and often that cars were dangerous, citing traffic death stats to support his position.  Dave met his sudden and somewhat ironic demise when he was driving his mother's car filled with empties to the beer store , intent on getting something into him that would cut the hair of the dog, as they say. He was puttering along at about 20 mph so the coppers said, and failed to stop for a stop sign. The truck that t-boned him was going about 40 and damn near cut that K car in half. So ended Dave.

Those two stick in my mind because they were in the crowd I ran with. I knew some paper hangers, somehow put together bogus cashiers checks, and went on a run to cash 'em and the second bank they went into the Mounties were waiting. I read all about it in the morning paper. I could tell all kindsa stories about street people but I am not going to. It's my past, and I will keep most of it to myself.

 Looking back, I think that God had plans for me that did not include any of the mess. I was in that world but not really of it, if you grasp that. I had to travel some rough roads to become the man I am today.

Epitath for all those poor bastards that didn't make it through:

A man born to be hanged will never drown. Some consolation, uh? 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I do not have anything to say. But I do have nothing to say.

I mean it. Nothing. Lots of it. Experts agree that there is more nothing than all the somethings combined. So there.

What's new?


What are ya doin'?


Who are you? Who do you think you are?

Sixty-nine years and still counting. Whatever age I am is the new normal.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Friends, usually I post something of a spiritual nature on Sundays but today, deviation from routine. I am right with God; He reveals His will for me and I endeavor to carry it out. Not always what I want to hear, not always easy, but I put my trust in God and He gets me through. Not what I want but always what I need. This is not blind faith. Some folks try that and it can get complicated. This is how I manage my life on a daily basis:

Serenity Prayer
attributed to Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

It takes time and effort to run a blog which turns out good material. The author must have a good "voice". Somebody, you want to hear what he has to say even if you disagree. Someone who has a good "come-from". (That is an old Lifespring term but you readers are clever, you can figure it out.) I am not spending time and effort lately on this site. It has a low priority for now. I picked out a few tunes that I like and they are here for you, whether you like them or not.

Remus has a good come-from.

This guy is a wordsmith. That is a good thing.

Van Der Leun writes better than he realizes.

Ahem, yes. The music.

These guys used to back up Ronnie Hawkins.

Uh? You don't know who Ronnie Hawkins is?

Politics? Politics? Get serious. You need to hear the "Nothing" post again?

Some union folks don't have it so good.


Omar doesn't say "they owe me" but does acknowledge the disparity twixt rich and poor. Hardscrabble, with a whiff of resentment.

 If Philistine were doing his Public Radio Interpreter job instead of being out there earning money (see? he understands one of the basic principles of Life: if ya don't work, ya don't eat), well if he were on the mark he would chime in with comparative analysis of the downtrodden working class under the boot of the Capitalist/warmonger/WASP/racist ruling class.

Sigh. Hard to get free help.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


In these troubled times many folks are getting nervous; well, scared would be a better word for it. Where are we headed? What's going to happen? Will the world as we know it and all the nations go up in a puff of smoke, will we suffer war and plagues? Good questions. Those of us who are Christians have some idea of what's going to happen, according to our Faith and Practice. Salvation is part of our end-times strategy. It provides some reassurance for us. We're gonna go to Heaven. There are prophesies, predictions if you will, based on scripture.  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. Although some interpretations differ, the four riders are commonly seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.


 White Horse
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come and see!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Revelation 6:1-2
The exact nature and morality of the apocalyptic white rider is not clear. He has been argued to represent either evil or righteousness by multiple sources. The other three horsemen represent evil, destructive forces, and given the unified way in which all four are introduced and described, it may be most likely that the first horseman is correspondingly evil. Artwork which shows the horsemen as a group, such as the famous woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, suggests an interpretation where all four horsemen represent different aspects of the same tribulation. The first horseman is often associated with military conquest. One interpretation—which was held by evangelist Billy Graham—casts the rider of the white horse as the Antichrist, or a representation of false prophets, citing differences between the white horse in Revelation 6 and Jesus on the white Horse in Revelation 19. In Revelation 19 Jesus has many crowns, but in Revelation 6 the rider has just one.

Red Horse

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come and see!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. Revelation 6:3-4
The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War and/or Violence in general. His horse's color is red (πυρρός, from πρ, fire). In some translations, the color is specifically a "fiery" red. This color, as well as the rider's possession of a great sword, suggests blood that is to be spilled. The second horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first horseman is sometimes said to bring. Other commentators have suggested it might also represent persecution of Christians.

Black Horse
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" Revelation 6:5-6

The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine. The horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine. The indicated price of grain is about ten times normal, with an entire day's wages (a denarius) buying enough wheat for only one person, or enough of the less nutritious barley for three, so that workers would struggle to feed their families.
Of the four horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal pronunciation. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying "and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." This suggests that the black horse's famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected (though out of reach of the ordinary worker). One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years or locust plagues than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply; the statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples such as bread are scarce, though not totally depleted. Such selective scarcity may result from injustice. Alternatively, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize the preservation of the Christian faithful, who used oil and wine in their sacraments.

Pale or Green Horse

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come and see!" I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.          Revelation 6:7-8

The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon/object; instead he is followed by Hades. However, illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe (like the Grim Reaper), sword, or other implement.
The color of Death's horse is written as khlōros (χλωρός) in the original Koine Greek, which can mean either green/greenish-yellow or pale/pallid. The color is often translated as "pale", though "ashen", "pale green" and "yellowish green” are other possible interpretations (the Greek word is the root of "chlorophyll" and "chlorine"). Based on uses of the word in ancient Greek medical literature, several scholars suggest that the color reflects the sickly pallor of a corpse. In some modern artistic depictions, the horse is given a distinct green color.
The verse beginning "they were given power over a fourth of the earth" is generally taken as referring to Death and Hades, although some commentators see it as applying to all four horsemen.