Appalachian Patria

Appalachian Intellectual. To me that means plain thinking. I am A Non Commissioned Officer in the Army Reserves. Let me say...My views expressed here are mine and not those of The U.S. Army, Army Reserve or my fellow brethren in The National Guard. This is entirely Sua Sponte. This is My Thinking. I'm single and in my mid 30's. Politicaly, I'm a Libertarian. (Again, Sua Sponte.I do not represent the Libertarian Party.)I love my native Appalachia, Rock n Roll and...I love God.

Location: Brevard, North Caroilina

I started blogging for two reasons. I was concerned about the changes to the area I live in, Southern Appalachia and I was about to go to the war. I was in Iraq in 06 and 07 and now Kuwait in 11 and 12. Blogging was a means of documenting my experiences and hoping it would help gain clarity. I don't feel that way about it any more. It's said people write blogs because they are frustrated, that's why people read them too. That makes us sound apocalyptic. Are we? Let it be said, what I say here is of my own thinking. This is entirely Sua Sponte and not an official representation of the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government as a whole.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Loddy Doddy Every Body

Today was my "Good Bye Dinner" at work. The whole Company went out to eat. Every single one of us. Production may not allow it next week and I may not work all of it. My last week I'm taking Vacation. I'll be finishing up buisness.

One of the Chemist and her Husband gave me a real cool Sportsmans Bible. It's got a tough Camo cover. I think it's King James. That's great becuse I can't find either of my Bibles. They dissapeared in a move some years back. The ony one I have here is one that belonged to my Ex's late Grandmother( I ask permission out loud to use it). I wish the Ex would come and get it. I suppose I'll have to give it to her, but, it's been gone from her mind for over three years now. Also they gave me a Book Light and a Page Magnifyer. That will come in handy!

Heck, everyone gave me three cheers. They've all been really good to me. The Company, or the Boss rather, paid for everyone. Very good of him. I guess it's not too often you have an Employee go to War.We've been on hard times in these parts the last few years. I've been very fortunate to have worked with them all during this time. May God bless them all.

I'm tired and beleive it or not, I have Drill this weekend. I better git.
Appalachian Intellectual

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is above Wash Creek in Henderson County NC. It could use a low intensity fire. Awfully pretty country. The area down the creek use to be used by the National Gaurd and Reserve's for training. Some funny stories can be told about it. One time a fella was Bow Hunting Der, and, saw a ambush go down from his Tree Stand. He thought it was real, climbed down and went and told the Sheriff. He said he saw a "Cammondo style ambush". The Sheriff knew what was going on. Supposedly the guy was scared white. Everyone got a big laugh out of it. Why am I telling you this? Well, I figured you'd get a laugh out of it too. Now, come on, some one might be laughing.

Still getting things together. Three more weeks to go.
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Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't Call What Your Wearing An Outfit...

Go to your Grave Saying You Have Never Bowled.
I spent the evening with my Step Kids. At least they were, or still are. We havn't done anything together since I don't know when. Except use a Come Along for over four hours to get a Truck out from where it didn't belong. Well, I'm not going to fuss about the Boy, I've gotten a Truck where it didn't belong either.
We ate, cut up about things that happened and just spent time being ourselves I suppose. My StepDaughter is a beautiful Girl, and if a Boy ever makes her cry I'll make his life...Well, I've made people cry and didn't even try to.

They're Teen Agers. They wanted to go to the Bowling Alley. I don't Bowl and never go down there. It's prone to have riff raff hanging around. Yes, I said it and the whole County knows it. But, I had fun watching them Bowl. My Step Daughter almost begged me to Bowl. Nothing against Bowling. How many of you Hunt? Get the picture? I refused. I know it seems odd, but, it's if I ever put on those corny shoes I have crossed some invisable line. They think I'm crazy, they're probably right. I've seen the other side of the World , but, I've never picked up a Bowling Ball.

Now the riff raff. They couldn't even correctly draw a Swastika on the bathroom walls. Can't even get being prejudice right.

An Overwhelming Downpour of Freindship
My Dadd sent me the Laptop to take to Iraq with me. It's a fine Machine. I really am gratful. He had it shipped to my Civillian Work. All of my co workers "oohed and awed" over it and several volunteered a case to fit it. Well, the folks in my Department got together and gave me a real good Back Pack to fit it with my name and "US ARMY" embroided on to it. Also some movies for when the inevetible down time comes around. I'm blessed to have such good freinds. They have been really good to me and I know over the last few months I've become a real grouch at times. I'm very glad to have them and I'll lok forwrd to seing them when I come back.

At my Civillian Job, we're a small company and we're all on a first name basis. We know the names of each others Spouse, Kids and even their Dogs. Horses, Cat's you name it. Everyone get's teased about something. Some more than others. The VP/Salesman went out of his way today and gave me a well wishing, he didn't want to miss me the next week. He'll be out some of the time. I'll work this one and most of the next, then take the entire last week home off. Folks are being good to me.

The title is a Drive By Truckers qoute.
That's enough for now...
Appalachian Intellectual

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Leaving Transylvania

It seems about every minute is consumed about going to Iraq, in one way or another. It's planning, getting things together to take, financial and legal details and then the "Take care while I'm gone" stuff.

Today I went to the gun Show in Asheville(Now more commonly being callled ashevegas). It was the busiest one i've seen in a long time. Wich is good. Of course I've not been to one in over a year. There was this really attractive and sharp Gal selling Back and Foot Massage Machines. I tried it myself, but, I of course had no interest in the things. But, she had Men sitting in those chairs just a grinnning. She asked me to sit in one and not because she was so charming, but, out of politeness* I sat, felt the thing and actually thought it was pretty neat. I got up hoping she wouldn't try selling me the thing. For more than one reason, there's no sense in me wasting my money on it and it's a luxury, it will be inaccessable. I'm not complaining in any way, I'm just saying that it has been those little things that stay in the back of your mind. The last few months life has revolved around going to Iraq and even more so now. Alot of my Civillian freinds don't understand this. They have no idea.

It was crowded. I had to park all the way on the other side of Lexington Avenue. That's where all of the Freaks hang out up there. They weren't around, they mostly come out after dark. They are harmless, they are just vieing for attention and they mainly get it from each other.

I picked up decent cheap holster as a spare. I bought one from Tactical Tailor out in Taccoma Wa, it's my main one. Also a three position sling. I've also gotten some useful stuff from the Army Navy Store in Horseshoe. One was an "Elephant Rubber". It's a water proof bag about 6" in diameter and 18" long. So, you can imagine why GI's call it such a thing. I've not seen one since I left 3rd Ranger Bn back in 89. That was no attempt at vulgarness.

What's Bad?
I saw on my Stats that someone from Fayettville(way down east by Ft. Bragg) did a search for "bad things about Transylvania Co. NC". Now I get a kick out of that. Heck, I'm afraid when I come back from Iraq, I won't recognise the place. There's all kinds of stuff sprouting up and barely a place to work. Yeah, these Mountains look like heaven, but there's a touch of Hell here. Such things won't be found on the Internet. You can only find them here. And, that largley depends on ones point of veiw.

It's not like I dislike the new comers. I myself had to grow up in SC. So, it's not like I've lived here all of my life, but, it's allway's been home. Some of them are really nice folks, some...Well, they think that they are above everyone. When they find out that some of us go back five, six Generations, they're intimidated. They have already belittled everyone in their head. People ought to be judged on an individual basis. I understand Hubris.

I also understand Inferiority Complex's. Some of Appalachia has one. I know the good and the bad of the place. True, we have our share of "backwardsness", but, then there is true decentcy and clear Intellectualality.**

* It's Southern. Don't offend people, espeacially Ladies.
**My Pin Name comes from my preferance for anylizing things and putting it in a plain perspective. That's not an attempt at self blandishment.

Like Robert Morgan said in his Novel titeled the same,
"The Mountains Won't Remember Us"

Appalachian Intellectual

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Be Carful What You Say

Get a load of this. Elvis Drinkmo had this Talent Test over at his place. I gave it a shot and low and behold, I'm ...
Your Hidden Talent

You're super sensitive and easily able to understand situations.
You tend to solve complex problems in a flash, without needing a lot of facts.
Decision making is easy for you. You have killer intuition.
The right path is always clear, and you're a bit of a visionary.

Now, he had some others and I didn't want to know how evil I was. I kind of digged the Evil Chic though.

I have some complex problems to solve...

To Blog or not to Blog
Milblogging can be dangerous to everyones health. It should only be done in moderation. Everyone wants to know if I'll continue writing in Iraq. I intend to. My Father(who reads this) has offered to set me up with a Lap Top Computer to take with me. I'm going to have to load him down with some Deer Meat too. Of course the availabilty of the Internet will be another factor. That and time may hamper me some. The next factor is my Chain Of Command. Once in theator I have to inform them of my Blogging. At that time, they can restrict my posting or even shut me down. I know of the Man I'll be working for, but, I've never personaly knew him. However I'm optimistic that I'll be allowed to continue.
You may remember a while back I posted a request from another Milblogger that Money be raised to purchase a Wheel Chair for a crippled Iraqi Interpreter, "Kevin". Well, the boy got shut down for a while. Soldiers are not allowed to raise money, a new Wheel Chair would make "Kevin" a target as well. That's unfortunate but it's true. If such a thought had occured to me I would not have done it. There is much discretion to be used in Milblogging. Yet, we serve as unnofficial Public Realtions and a Public Service. I think the Founding Fathers would be greatful for the Common Citizen to relate with the Soldier. I don't work for the Government, I work for the American People.

I should have kept my mouth shut
I fired the Cat. She couldn't catch the rat, so I fired her. I bought a trap...a week and a half, nothing. I apologised to the Cat. This morning, it was dead. I have a good mind to go kick the thing around the yard. I was talking to My Ex's Dadd about it. He said once he put out some traps and a big Warf Rat(Wich is what I had) got caught in one of the traps, so he goes to it and it's stumbling around. He finished it with a Coke Bottle(back when they were glass). Being a Warf Rat, no wonder Pixie didn't get hold of it. I sure owe her an apology. I still have the mind to go and kick the darn thing around the yard.

Excuse me, I have a vision...
Applachian Intellectual

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Spring is an odd thing. One day it's pretty and warm the next it's cold and dreary. The wind can knock a body over in these Mountains. Cherokee elders taught their kids that the north wind was spelled defeat and cold. The winds have been out of the north for the last few day's. Saturday there was a controlled burn going on in Tennesee and it blew the smoke all the way up the French Broad River Valley. All the way to the headwaters here in Transylvania. The French Broad flows north. You could smell it...That sweet smell of the woods burning. Surely the Pisgah was on fire, but, it turned out to be the Cherokee National Forest...Far down the river in Tennessee.

Things can carry a long way. Look at our present technology. World wide communication has burst out. It's amazing. Thirty years ago you could only catch broadcast news at certain hours of the day, now, it's 24 hours. News travels in no time at all. But, that doesn't mean that it's accurate. Early news is usually inaccurate news. Bill Lind wrote of the German Commander that went and cut roses when he first heard of the Allied Landings in Normandy. He knew the first reports were excited and prone to exageration.

I wonder about this. Now everyone talks of the amount of Dead in Iraq. I may stand to be corrected, but, the first year of Conventional Forces in Vietnam about 6,000 Servicemen were killed. Just a pondering...No conclusion.

Yesterday I saw a Snake, today it sleeted. Spring is an odd thing.

It's officail, my Orders have arrived. I'm going to Iraq. The last few months have been a roller coaster ride. At times I don't feel like I could fully explain it. But, they are finally here. The wait is over. The whole ordeal has been like Spring. A tug of war between warm and cold. Like my freind Traveling Ed spoke of Spring....Like a Cat getting ready to pounce.

It's a funny feeling. It's releif, anxiety, excitment...It's like Spring. It's a roller coaster ride all over again. But, it's bonified...I'm going to Iraq. That in itself is a releif. No more "we don't know for sure", "They(DOD) have asked for troops, but, won't cut Orders". It's done. I'll miss these Mountains and my freinds. I'll miss my family. I'll miss the Dog and the Cat. Heck, I could use a change of pace anyway. Bachelorhood has gotten old again, but it's convienant when going to a War Zone.

I'm a member of the 108th Division, Institutional Training(DIV IT)based in the Carolina's, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, also Missisippi and Puerto Ricco. It will be our job to continue training Iraqi Army and supporting them where ever possible. We are releiving the 80th DIV IT, based in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. The two Division's compete for Missions, but, they will be glad to see us this time.

Here are some News Atricles about their Mission and soon to be ours. One of them has an AOL Journal.

My day is the 17th of April. It will be here before I know it. I have things ready, yet, I have so much to do. My Brother was here this weekend. He's down near Birmingham Alabama. He has selflessly taken on the job of looking over my affairs while I'm gone...all the way from Alabama. Thanks to the technology I mentioned a while ago. If everything goes smoothly, he shouldn't worry too much with it. He doesn't know how thankful I am. I'm going to have to load him down with Deer Meat when I come back.

I realise in some way's I havn't been myself latley. I don't like to admitt it, but, the inertia was getting to me. Now, I have so much to do...I have so much to say. Things I've wanted to say latley but, havn't. Now I've had enough of typing. I'm ready to get up from here and move.

The next year and a half of my life is going to be very interesting
Appalachian Intellectual

Friday, March 17, 2006

That's my crazy self cutting Ray's Tree Stand off of a tree. 20 minutes and and a pint of sweat later, I had it. Man I wish he hadn't forgotten the Climbing Pegs. We liked to have never found a log that would boost me up there. We had gone too far just to leave the thing. The Chain had grown into the back of the tree. It had only been 10 years. This is the day I found the rottening one, wich is finished. Recovered another old forgotten Tree Stand this last weekend. I won't be using it next year...not likley. I'm really to tired to be posting...

Have Bolt Cutters, Will Travel
Appalachian Intellectual Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wrong Answer

Logging Equipment above the Burning Town Community in Macon County NC. This is in the Waya District of the Nantahla National Forest.

Land For Sale. Well, not yet, and I predict in certain places not likely. Not in my back yard. Some of the people up there in the Belt Way have a plan to sell U.S Forest Land in order to pay for "rural schools". You have no doubt heard of this measure. Well, like Mr Horse would say..."No Sir, I don't like it." Not the least bit.

This is like having a Yard Sale, selling off your Guns and Power Tools so you can pay off ten times as much Credit Card Debt...And still buying stuff on credit. Controlling Government spending and making HR25(The Fair Tax) Law would be better in order to pay for "rural schools". Most modern Urban Minds may not realize it but, Tree's and open spaces are a National Resource. In my eyes Wildlife is as well. That is part of the purpose of our National Forest. Going and "oohing and awing" at Mother Nature is secondary. Essentialally, what they propose to do is sell resources, to make a quick buck. Throw it to the wind in the name of "the children", while not implementing any fundamental change to the Education System. This is not Conservatism.

The Forest Service has a listing of Lands under the proposal and the majority of the lands are in the East. I, of course will foucus on my corner of Appalachia, but, it's eqaully important for the rest of these Mountains and everywhere else as well.

Fortunately, none of Transylvania and Henderson County are being suggested. A tiny portion of Haywood and over 22 acres of Buncombe County are. Theses Counties make up the bulk of the Pisgah National Forest in the south and eastern sides of the Balsam Range. North of Asheville the Pisgah takes a hit in Madison, Mitchell and McDowell Counties mostly, but Burke, Avery and Caldwell counties have portions for sale as well. The Nantahala has quite a bit for sale. Most of it in eastern Macon County. Also parts of Swain and Graham Counties. In South Carolina the Andrew Pickens District of The Sumter takes a hit too.

Who would buy these parcels? Big Developers, mostly from Florida who intend to make them into "Upscaled" Neighborhoods. That means Golf Courses, sky lined Mansions that glitter in the sun light and ultimately, the land will be lost to any other use until our civilization falls. The land will be financially out of reach to most Mountain People that would want to preserve the land.

What would be lost? A clean watershed, a valuable timber source, botanical life and Wild Life habitat. Also the scenery that Developers are always trying to sell will become more scarred. The land is a vital part of the Culture here and it should not be regulated to Mueseums. Conservation measures such as Controlled Burning would become impossable. With Fire Supression being over emphasized for decades soome slopes. mostly southern slopes are tender boxes. A fire makes it's own wind and a steep Mountain Side aggrevates it more. The results could be disasterous. Not to mention that many species need such disturbance.

The loss of habitat from Development would be damaging. People complain of Bears getting into their yards now. Bears are having a hard time finding a suitable home. The Females like hollow standing trees, denning up high. Glitter Mansions spread across a Mountain Side are not freindly to that. If your a Wild Animal it's getting crowded here. If your a Hunter it's getting even more crowded. Those lands are Game Lands, Property that is open to public Hunting. Again lost until our civilization falls...

Who's against it? Well, about everyone I know. Everyone that uses the National Forest here. I'm yet to meet one person that is for this measure. Also some groups like The Western North Carolina Alliance are putting up a fight. I am too.

Conservation lost
Appalachian Intulectual

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Twisters Tale

Twister wrote me the story of the past weeks kill. Here he is.

I lead the 2 pups of Scott's, Gloria, and the terrier toward Jethro and the young pup of Bobby's who had the hog bayed...I could hear it as I got close. the dogs with me could too and they gradually made their way to the 2 bay dogs. I waited for Bobby and the others to get through the thicket (I found the easy way) but I was right below the action. 2 minutes later they appeared on top of the spur to my right 60 yards off. At that moment the dogs started pressuring and one of Scott's dogs let out a yelp and came whimpering down the mountain past me. Bobby and the rest got level with the hog and they shot it with a .22 LR in the shoulder ( I couldn't get a clear shot with my pistol where I was from) It then came off the rocks draggin dogs. I ran up on the other side of the hog but realised I was on the other side of the line of fire so I quickly got above and covered the boy for his final shot in the head. It was 250 lbs. boar with 1" tusks. Started draggin at 2pm and made it to the road by 3pm. Jethro got holed under the right ear. Patch got a little cut on the upper right front leg. I stapled Rosco's shoulder with 6 staples...he will be alright. He disappeared for a while (he was in the branch soakin his shoulder it looked like but he showed up when we got to the branch with the hog and among us that was draggin like he was helpin too. It was a blonde and black mottled hog...a lot of feral in it.

All those Dog's he mentioned are fine Dog's. Roscoe is young, but, he shows lots of promise. We figured that would entertain you'l. Hill Billy Adrenline Junkies share the excitement.

Got me a hit counter. I've wanted one for a while, just havn't made it a priority. It's pretty neat. I've gotten hits from the UK, Singapore and Italy. I like Itallian Women. Well, lot's of you'l sprinkled out over the USA. I wonder if I'll see how often Al Qauda reads me? Some came from word searches, looking for Steven's Shotguns in Vietnam, something called Appalachian Pliers and get this...Jello Dog! The ol' shaggy thing is famous! Oh Yeah, Hydra Shocks too. My Favorite round for the .45 ACP.

Speaking of Jello, I think I have him a new nick name. He really got a kick out of Jello Boy...I wanna call him the Reguvinator, because with his beard and grin he looks like he belongs on a Just For Men commercial. He thought that was funny too.

Any how, I'm working on a post in draft. I'm not sure how I'll organise it. Tough being you own editor.

So Hit Me...Go On I dare ya!
Applachian Intellectual

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm So Dark

My last post must have been my darkest. It even prompted calls from family. At least that's what I thought.

No. It was just a train of thought. No griping about going to Iraq. Just the world in general. The Iraq comment was an after thought. The News Media has to sensationalize the obvious.

I said in the Commnets, "I'd rather clean up George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld's mess in Iraq than King Rex's in New Orleans". People could misconstrue this.
That doesn't mean that I think that we can clean it up. There are many players and issues giving us Clauzewit's chance. That does mean that I think it's a mess. It's a Country with minimal infastructure, major outside influences, complex Social Networks and plenty of people willing to kill or be killed. To not think so is unreal.
I admitt, wich may make some furious, that Invading Iraq has proven to be a Strategic Mistake, however, I can't offer an alternative. So, I'm not going to sit on no high horse 'cause I got thrown off of one...
Now, for King Rex, who ever he is now, he rules Mardi Gras. New Orleans, runs around Mardi Gras. I'm not being judgmental of the Citizens and Tourist who participate in it. The behind the scenes stuff is all about the Social Elite. The Mayor and Governor knew it could and most likley would happen. They didn't do anything, it would be bad for buisness. I'm not saying people down there don't need help. I suggest reading Rising Tide.

My Activation...
It could happen soon. It may be a month, it may be months. More to come. Life kind of evolves around it right now.

Hill Billies Unite!
It's cool to be a Hill Billy now, unless you really are one. Our world is in chaos and we're surounded by people who think they're smarter than us. Well, thanks to Elvis Drinkmo, I've been introduced to the Applachian Blog Ring. Those people must be psychic. While I was heading off to a Bear Hunt this fall I thought of the need for such a thing. We may not agree on everything, but, we're a proud lot. Today your love, tomorrow the world!

Not only am I so dark, I'm so tired. (Good News, Twister n' Co. got a Hog down in Ga.)

Appalacian Intellectual