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, August 30, 2007

Dog Box Confessionals

The Box

Everyone that see’s that Dog Box brags on it. It’s home made from a mix of bought and scrounged materials. It’s mostly ply wood with a 2x2” frame. Everyone likes the color, especially me (tell me you like the color). Some people question it, but, you can squeeze up to six dogs into that box. Four is ideal.

The angle iron frame is for “Rigging”, where a “Strike Dog” dog is snapped onto it and slowly driven along to see if they wind something. Sometimes it can be a useful practice. It also has uses of Hunters riding on it, a dog that is caught and won’t fit into the box or strapping a cooler onto it. I admit I’m hauling it around right now for not much, but, truth is put a step ladder on it while its in the truck and you can really reach the eaves of the house. I’ve been staining my house.

The Rifle
I did the Duracoat job on the Socom 16 (308 Winchester). It was color schemed in “grey wolf”, “sniper green”(OD) and “flat dark earth”, which I think is not all that dark, I darkened it up with some grey. That was the first time I did a digital Duracoat job and I admit it was a little difficult. Yet, it does make the rifle less detectable in the woods, and the polymer coating will add to it’s durability. It’s fitted with an Aimpoint short red dot sight. I just managed to get it sighted in last week. That rifle likes those 180 grain bullets, which is fine, I like a 180 on a Bear. Bears are not all that hard to kill, but they are hard to stop, and when it’s you and the Dog’s up against an angry, hissing Black Bear, you want to stop it.

One of the boy’s I hunt with some has taken to the 450 Marlin, which ought to do the trick. Still the 30/30 and 12 gauge with slugs are popular.

The Natural World
There’s concern this year tat they will be “Stove Pipe Bears”, lean from lack of food and will be able to run more (on account of the late freeze). From what I can see acorns are spotty. But, where there’s acorns, there’s acorns. There is a white oak down the drive way that is loaded. I’ve been told of a place on the Jackson County line that has “all kinds of acorns”. Bear, Deer, Squirrels, Turkey’s they all prefer white oak acorns over the others. Unfortunately, they bear every other year. Bear and Squirrels are at the advantage that they can climb after them, the others have to wait for them to fall.

You can do your best scouting right after the last season, but, you get to see the food supply in late summer and early fall. It’s time to get out and look.

I did say that the locust are doing better, well, that is spotty too. I have some here that have some leaves eaten, while, in other parts of Transylvania County locust tree’s are either eaten up or just as green as spring.

Now, I know this post is a little…Mountain Nerd…But you’ve gotten a dose of…Mountain Nerd…Oh to be a Hill Billy Adrenaline Freak…Any way if It’s your first time here, “dance around the camp fire, hang around a while."

I just heard this song on the radio as I wrote the last paragraph. "It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else"...

Jimmy Eat World, The Middle.

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out
Or looked down on
Just try your best, try everything you can
And don't you worry what they tell themselves
When you're away.

It just takes some time, little girl in the middle of the ride (over, and over)
Everything, everything will be just fine (over, and over) Everything, everything it'll be alright (alright)

Hey, you know they're all the same
You know you're doing better on your own (on your own)
So don't buy in.
Live right now
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough
For someone else

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride (over, and over)
Everthing, everything it'll be just fine (over, and over) Everything, everything it'll be alright (alright)
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride (over, and over)
Everything, everything it'll be just fine (over, and over) Everything, everything it'll be alright (alright)

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out
Or looked down on
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts, are gonna say

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride (over, and over)
Everything, everything it'll be just fine (over, and over) Everything, everything it'll be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride (over, and over)
Everything, everything It'll be just fine (over, and over)
Everything, everything it'll be alright (alright)hang around a while”.

I've got an appitude...
The Appalachianist...

Friday, August 24, 2007


The last few days thunderstorms have been hit and miss around Transylvania County. Thursday night while I was at work we were able to watch a storm in the distance. It started around Hickory and did the unusual thing of of moving south west. For hours we would see the lightening flashing high in the clouds and not hear the thunder. The storm grew as it moved closer, hitting Pisgah Forest about 2330. Through the evening it had been an awesome show of flashing lights silhouetting the the thunderhead. From high in the Balsams and the Blue Ridge you can watch the storms across the Piedmont, but, rarely do you see such a thing down in the valley.

On Friday rain finally fell for the first time in weeks at the house. The thunder sent both Squeaky and Bosco crouching from it's furry. Bosco worries about thunder and lightening so much it's bound to strike her one day. The thunder sounded as if it was splitting Wolf Mountain apart. The air felt refreshing and cool before the rain fell.

Law we need the rain. It's 9" plus behind and growing. I was hearing it was being a dry year here while I was over seas. Of course if your in the South East, this is not news for you.

I've seen the moon and the stars a thousand times, I've seen countless storms every where from the Great Lakes to Panama to the Mesopotamian Plain. But there are certain times that stay in my mind. That one time, that moment in time when there was a special quality to it. That one time you could feel the awe of a world far bigger than you.

Time is a precious thing. It is infinite. Yet time stands still and it disappears. Life in the moment is then and there, life in the future is always on the horizon, life in the past is time that has left. Times come in our lives that we do not hold, it holds to us. That moment of joy that was a wink of an eye or days gone by. That precious time when souls touch and love flows, they feel the happiness, find the harmony in their soulfulness, truthfulness… In their respect of, trust of each other. Souls intertwining in gratitude for the growth they feel with each other…Of each other, feeling it in themselves, having the understanding, the support for and loyalty to one another, finding the intimacy starting with the emotional, culminating in the physical that they reach up gracing their fingers into a higher realm and know that they have Heavens blessing. A time does sometime hold to us. A time is a precious thing.

The Appalachianist

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rothko Chapel

Today I heard what I thought was...Is, a way cool song on WNCW. Just as I was getting to work, I had to sit and listen to it finish. It's by David Dondero and the song is "Rothko Chapel". It's an MP3, so, if you have dial up, be patient, try it late at night. It struck me. There is a Rothko Chapel, I found, way down in Texas. I couldn't find the lyrics...Shucks, I beleive Charlie Parker may be the Jazz legend, yet, I'm not sure.

"If you don't live it it won't come out of your heart, chances are you'll never be reborn".

Yeah, I know, rockabilly hill billy nerd...
The Appalachianist

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Lving Post, Complete

This morning (Friday) the fist song I heard on the radio was Soul Asylum's "Misery". I ain't heard it in a while, even if I have the CD. Monday I heard Jimmy Hendrix's "Purple Haze" twice, right after I got up and while I waited for the Dr. in the ER that night. It's not every day you hear Purple Haze twice in the same day. Tuesday morning my eye was all swollen and matted, looked like I had been in a fight, and it has gone down gradually through the week.

Today, as I begin writing this, is the 17th. Dog Days are done. Most everything now says they are between the 3rd of July and the 11th of August. The"old" Dog Days according to the Book of Common Prayers (which is not the Gospel, by the way) they are between the 6th of July to the 17th of August. Why it mentions Dog day's, I'm not sure. Beyond being hot, it's a period of stagnation. Dog day Storms often sit in one place. Haze hangs in the air (Purple Haze is in my brain). Heck, it's often hard to get along with folks during those 40 days...40 days and 40 nights...So, when we go into them, I see it as a stagnant time to be made the best of, and when they are over, I'm like, "Hot Diggedy Dog!!"...Get it? We can be out of our Summer Time Misery now..."I'd do it for you, would you do it for me?"

Time for work, to be resumed later....

I'm going to do something different here, this is a living post, I am going to post it and add to it as I see fit through the weekend. It just strikes me...

Back, the thing about a living post is, well, I hit energy...Then I had to put it off...and, it changed with my thoughts. I want a break from being the rebel me...

It's mid August, time for the "shift" when you feel that little twinge in the night air. Katydids making their sweet racket...And that little hint in the night air of the change to come.

Last year I did not hear that sweet racket, the night was filled with distant gun shots and explosions. As well as the constant buzz of helicopters and UAV's. I stood in 130 degree heat this time last year. All together my tour, even as much as it sucks over there, was not a "bad" tour. When you get over there, it sucks to be you, and, sometimes it sucks a little more. I, along with my comrades, was handed lemons...We made lemon aide. No, by no means was it all rosy, but, by holding our heads up and (from the old song) "keep it on the sunny side", the tour came out better. I believe that.

We were handed a complicated mission. Not all of my guys hearts were in it. I can't honestly say my heart was in it, I just said to myself that I would do what was right and and strive for what was best. I believe what attributed to our degree of success was we did not strive for perfection, but improvement.

It's Sunday evening. The last of the living post, not nearly as fun as I thought it was going to be. Uum, yogurt. I like yogurt with granola in it, it's darn good. The smooth yogurt and the crunchy granola, it's like p-nut butter and jelly.

I suppose you heathens ( I call you that affectionately) have noticed my ads. Well, Google and myself ought to get something out of this, no such thing as a free lunch. Besides, it contributes to the Daniel Wilson Fund. By clicking on Plott Dog, you help feed mine. Which, Squeaky struck a Bear this weekend. Which speaking of I'm supposed to check on the Dupont Hunt. I don't know if we will do it or not.

When I came home from Iraq I saw the Hemlocks were a hurting much more than before I had left. I've noticed something else. Locusts are looking good. For a few years at the end of summer they all looked brown, a bug was eating on their leaves, killing the leaves. I'm not sure what happened to the bug, I know a Forester I could ask the next time I see him. So, when I look at the Locust now, I do have hope for the Hemlock. There are insects that will eat the Aldeged that eats at the Hemlocks needles. The Hemlocks have a chance.

So when I look around at dysfunctional, codependent (I use Robert Burney's definition), eroding Appalachia, I still see hope. Our ancestors came here because they were independent, now folks are ashamed of their Mountain Heritage. They use silly stereotypes to haul in tourist. The open spaces that were...still are, our trademark are turning to suburbia. There is nothing wrong with us, other than we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. What's the big deal? When are we going to wake up and stop giving away our power?"God gave you life. So get out of mine, and take your sorry ass back to Florida"

So, I figure I'm back to being the rebel. I don't beat my chest over it, I just am. You've got to stand for something, or your going to fall for anything, particularly, when it comes to yourself.

Now, I'm not damning anyone from Florida. I'm damning those that's "only delight is others demise". But, truthfully when Cracker does that song here in Appalachia, it gets a big cheer.

Heck, Squeaky is hollering his head off, he done winded a Bear. He did one night just over a month back. When that happens I go and praise him. So, Squeaky done broke my Hill Billy Rave.

I ought to write a Manifesto...
The Appalachianist

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's a Jungle full of trees out there

Someone was obviously gullible enough to beleive this picture. Those bullets have not even been fired. The lady in the picture was most likely paid to pose with the bullets. Being an OIF Veteran, I can tell you news coverage of Iraq sucks. I'm not telling you that it is slanted, it's just goofy. This picture is obviously slanted. But, you don't need a smart guy like me to tell you smart boys and girls that. Oh, the deciet. (Did I spell that right?)

I could get on a soap box about both sides of the fence. But, most of you reading this have an accute eye and would rather be entertained.

Actuallly it rings with a news story this morning on WLOS. An area of the Dupont State Forest which has been traditional Bear Sanctuary is beng 0pened to Bear Hunting by special permit only. Well, the place is a suburbanite magnet. All interviewed said that they didn't want to go if there were going to be Bear Hunters there. The thing they didn't realise is, it's already open to Deer Hunting and Small Game. There has also been the mention of wild hogs. I'd link all of that stuff, but, it's work time.

When we step outside and you see those trees, we need to make sure we see the forest.
The Appalachianist

Friday, August 10, 2007

60 Days

I'm not sure what to write about. My mind is in different directions, usually is, but, a bit more so now. Iraq is there, I lay down at night and it's as clear as day. All of the faces, the voices, the sounds and places. Not in a bad way, just amazingly clear. There is of course my hobbies, keeps you young, then my mind wonders into the human. T.E Lawrence said that Arabs believed in people, not institutions. They did. I said before, here, that I can't blame them...Because, I share the belief. I developed the realization years ago. It's a part of my Appalachian up bringing, it's a product of my life. I owe the foundation of that to my dad and my late uncle Charlie, I know when someone is pouring water down my back.*

Over there no one trust any body. No one tries. No one tries to be trust worthy. I see that my old counterparts are up to their tricks. I never tried to change them, A leapord doesn't change it's spots, they have to come to realisations to change themselves. I tried to help them solve thier problems, sometimes succesfully, but more so futily. They would do so in face, with a smile, then revert to the norm...Smiling. Not all of them, the low rung guys would cooperate on their level, the higher up, the more stone walls(except a certain Col.). Cooperation was usually on a short term basis and you were constantly dealing with a new charector. Corruption is a part of the institution, a person has the good in their heart. Frankly, some people are leapords and don't change their spots, and these people thrive in the institution. It was chronic in Iraq and allot of nice people suffer for it over there.

If you dwell on bad you will get bad. You will believe a lie and deny the truth. If you affirm good, you will get good, see truth and the truth will set you free. Why did I post that picture of Tori Amos, because I appreciate beauty. I've always loved that picture of her. May the truth set me free. She looks so positive. And since I just got through talking about Arab Leapords it is nice to see a beautiful, smart, talented woman with a Manlicher across her lap...and muddy feet.

I began writing this on the morning of the 10th and finish it on the evening of the 12th. I've been home from Iraq for 60 days. Heck, I ain't fed Squeaky yet, so, I'm going to post this.

*Yes, I am hard headed, in the 2nd definition, but I'm also open minded. "I'm a wild hearted son".

Sua Sponte...
The Appalachianist

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kosher Individualism

I learned somethng this week. Pick up a bottle of Heinz ketchup, now look at the label. See a "K"inside a circle? It's been deemed Kosher by a Rabbi. Same thing with a "U" inside a circle. I guess it means there are no pigs feet inside this pea nut butter. Orthadox Jews look for these labels. What does that mean to you? Well, I don't know, because if you were Jewish you would know. I'm not sure what this means to you, but, I wanted to tell you anyhow.

I met a Rabbi in Iraq, he was 2nd Bgd 2nd ID's Brgade Chaplain, a LTC (O5). Nice guy. Interesting conversation.

I'm not ashamed of the fact that I went to Iraq. I did my best, I did what I could and I did nothing wrong...Though, I could have done better. That doesn't make me better or privledged, just reinforces my ideal that I don't want nobody to fuck with me(I'm not anti social, I'm pro Me. I'm also pro You. That makes me pro individual). But, to what I am saying. I have a shirt, that says I was on Taji. No bosting, just not ashamed. The first time I wore it to the Diner a former B52 Pilot bought my breakfast...Very kind of him. The second time, this last weekend, a man asked if I was on Taji. He had just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan filming a documentary on Military Chaplins. He was there a short time and found it fascinating, and it is in the short term. Speaking of I got an e-mail from one of my old terps' and everyone is safe and sound.

The girl that first got Bosco from her mysterious past was blind and wanted her for a seeing eye dog. Every morning as I go down the drive way she's out in front making sure there are no rabbits or any thing to hold me up. Just like she did before I went away. Bosco was going to be a Guide Dog one way or the other.

I've written this in bits and peices. If it reads oddly, rememebr, I'm pro individual.

It's all Kosher
The Appalachianist