The Sweetwater flea market is a terror taget!

TheNew Your Times has a story on the porkbarrel antiterror funding going on, and it's pretty amazing to see the Sweetwater Flea Market listed as a potetial terror target. I first heard about the flea market on the Colbert Report and thought 'hmm, no way they mean Sweetwater Tn.." But it's true.
It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”


Angela McNabb, manager of the Sweetwater Flea Market, which is 50 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “I don’t know where they get their information. We are talking about a flea market here.”
Holy crap! They are talking about the flea market in Sweetwater Tennessee.

Now folks, I've been to the flea market in Sweetwater and I am reminded of Dave Attell's thoughts on going to a bus terminal. No terrorist is going to attack it because once they get there they'll say "Daaamn, somebody's already done this bitch!"

And yet, it makes me shiver to know that I am so close to a potential terrorist target. In one fell swoop, a coordinated terrorist attack on the flea market could wipe out the entire southeastern Tennessee supply of NASCAR memorabilia and surplus As Seen on TV gadgetry.

It is my only hope that the DHS has the forethought to protect many of Tennessee's other flea markets and I pray that they have my favorite anatomically correct flea market ceramic horse in a safe undisclosed location.


Dick Cheney hearts torture

The State Department is fighting Dickhead Cheney and Pentagon intel weenies' attempt to do away with Geneva Convention Article 3.

It used to be that this blog had a general theme to it, but one could easily devote all their time calling attention to the things this administration is doing that is illegal and un-American and have no time for anything else.

And these are just the things we know about...



The NSA has direct fiber optic hardwires built into AT&T's backbone net hubs. And people think Tim May is a paranoid crank...


It just doesn't get much funnier

than Dick Cheney accidentally shooting his friend while hunting. This stuff writes itself. Well, if we overlook the journalist who filed the story of course.

According to a Cheney adviser
"The vice president was concerned," said Mary Matalin, a Cheney adviser who spoke with him yesterday morning. "He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the [rules]. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do."
How many shooters out there would agree? Let's see, never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot and always identify your target are two simple rules that come to mind.



We finally had some real snow this weekend, and I had the chance to try out the Jeep in the white stuff! It was pretty bad Saturday morning. This is a small hill climb near Windrock's "play area". The top is about 200 feet away and you can hardly see it for the snow and clouds (yeah, it's not fog, this is a mountain covered in clouds).

The day was sort of dissapointing though. The snow wasn't very deep, probably about 4 inches base but deeper in some places.

The real dissapointment is that the ole Jeep did extremely well in the snow, so well that there was no challenge. I did hill climbs that I usually slip in when it's wet without spinning for a second in the snow. It got sort of boring after a while. The tires didn't slip once driving normally. They only slipped once as I was trying to go around a fallen tree with about half an inch of clearance on the tree side and a quick trip to the bottom of the mountain on the other. That was a little scary, but the rest of the day was sorta ho-hum.

But not to worry, the snow started melting about noon and was almost completely gone in the valley later in the day. But mud and snow make a really disgusting mix, making the trails look like a sewer pipe had exploded, so I ended up calling it a day.


I'll never understand Tennesse's weather



That's right, it was warm enough to drive with the top down yesterday and it's snowing today. (And yeah, it's time for an offroading post. It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand)

Ok, I was sort of on a mountain and there was only snow on the top, but it's snowing like hell right now in the valley so the comparison stands.

But it's not really a good snow. I want to see about 2 feet of snow but the only thing we can hope for these days is a dusting, and we only see that every few years.

When they forecasted wintery weather I hoofed it to Windrock to play in the snow and all I got was mud. And what a lot of mud it was too. Windrock is always muddy but I was slipping and sliding in places where I usually have no trouble when it's wet.

And those are mud tires! I was just idling down a gentle slope when I realized I wasn't idling at all, I was sliding! Of course, if it became a problem I could have just spun the tires to clean them off but today was the first time I've actually had my mud tires caked up and it was a little surprising to see it happening every few minutes.

I didn't have any problems though. I even surprised myself by making two hard hill climbs that I clawed, slipped and slid all the way up. I'd been up them before, I was up them last weekend in fact (that's why my Jeep is muddy in the first photo), but I dreaded them today. They weren't really any problem though. Thankfully I didn't have to get out and use the winch in the cold today.

I finally got a chance to test my new Old Man Emu springs. Sure, they flex all the time on the trail but I rarely stop on the trail, so it was nice to find a couple of places to "pose" and check out the springs' articulation. I'd felt that the Jeep was staying more level on the trail with these springs and I think I was right. The front springs are about 3/4 flexed in these photos (or at least 3/4 of the way I'm willing to go without extended brake lines) and, although you can't tell it, the Jeep was perfectly level. The inclinometer read 0 degrees.

Compare that to these photos of my jeep posing last year with the suspension under even less articulation.

You can tell the whole Jeep is tilted to the left with the old springs. Now I see why Old Man Emu suspensions are so highly rated. And now you see why people pose their Jeeps for photos. It's for science!


The insidious republican conspiracy to infiltrate old minds

My grandmother has been sick recently and spent two weeks in the hospital. Since she was laying around in bed for a couple of weeks they didn't want to let her go straight home. She's lived alone since my grandfather died the year I was born so, they put her in a nursing home to do therapy for a week before she goes home.

She isn't the type of person you'd find in a nursing home. She's 80 or so but she acts like a 20 year old but to combat boredom she even plays bingo and other games with everyone else. That's totally not her type of game, but whe there's nothing else to do, I suppose bingo starts to look pretty cool.

Today she played a goofy game with pennies. I didn't really get the details of the game, but the gist of it was that everyone was given 15 pennies and they went around asking questions and if they got them wrong they lost some amount of pennies and whoever had the most left at the end won, and got to keep the pennies as well.

She was doing pretty well until the nurse asked the last question. The question was "Have you ever voted for a democrat?"

My grandmother's answer was "yes" and the nurse said that was wrong and took her pennies away.

Now what kind of sense does that make?

We both had a laugh about it and joked that the pennies were probably furnished by the republican party in order to influence the old vote.

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