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.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Year

I intend to make this the last post for 2007. Folks ain't been crazy about this year. Being I started it off in Iraq, quickly followed by a 107mm Rocket slamming into the FOB, it's been eight hours longer for me. 2006 was eight hours shorter. It evens out. When I was a kid I'd feel a little moment of sadness when the year passed. Not anymore. I look forward. It's not the marking of time, it's a new beginning.

"We're all living proof nothing lasts"...Son Volt, Route

Route Lyrics

I feel that sums it up.

Son Volt, Chicamauga

Oh, the new pup, she's called "Wiggly" because she wiggles so much. She's done tree'd the cat.

I'll see you sometimes next year, until then...Happy New Years!
The Appalachianist

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

26th December 2007

We had a white Christmas here. It just waited until 10 o'clock at night. I had roughly an inch of snow but it was just a little slushy on the road. Well, Christmas is over.
There is an argument that perhaps December 25th is not really Jesus's Birthday, that it is actually Nimrods. I can't say if it is or isn't. But this is the day we celebrate it. I don't think he gets upset if we speculate. Consumerism aside, Jesus brought the greatest change to this world.

Saturday was spent Hunting in the fog. We did get to turn the dogs loose on a track, Sally and Bell went right on Squeaky's heals. It was not a big bear, ut we wanted them to run none the less. No sooner than I turned the tracker on Squeaky came around the bend of the road. He ran below the raod sniffing for the scent, but it wasn't there. The same thing happened with a hog track later.

Christmas Eve we killed a Bear. Squeaky ran it. We were leap frogging each other down the road until it treed then we hiked in to kill it. So many young dogs ran that Bear that Squeaky did not make it to the kill. I tracked him most of the way though. One boy asked me if I thought it was the same Bear. It may not have been. It made a sudden change in direction. It was rocky in there and it's claws were worn down from running across the rocks. It nearly killed two dogs. Still it cut a dog bad, with risk of bleeding to death and was on the verge of getting a dogs head in it's mouth before it was shot. I was bit on the leg by a zealous Walker Hound as we were dragging it out. It tore my pants and broke the skin (I have three tooth marks and a bruise) but it did not tare the black silk long johns I was wearing. Hmm. The said dog was on a lead tied to a tree and I was pulling another dog away from the bear when it but me or I would have put a Wellco into it's jaws. Another fellar smacked it with his cap. I'm not crazy about Walkers.

This is an obituary of sorts.
A friend of mine over in Franklin found one of his dogs dead. Her name was Jumper. She was a Kemmer Cur. She was quick and she stayed calm. She'd been on Bear and hogs, but wouldn't run Deer. She once ran across Hannah Mountain in Otto NC and into a ladies yard, where she was fed biscuits until we picked her up. Yet she would run loose shadowing you through the woods if she was let off the lead while not on a race. Sometimes Jumper would balance herself on all four paws on the box iron rig of the dog box. She was an odd looking dog and a funny sight. She wouldn't follow the same trail as other dogs with her nose, she sniffed other ground. She had patience and she'd grab a hog by the ear. Happy Hunting, Jumper.

Now, I took this test twice...
You Are 0% Sociopath

You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective.
In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!

Ed has answered me and the Gunners question from the last post. And, well, he is right, the Navy Recruitment Ad is true. Go see what the man has to say.

2007 is almost gone
The Appalachianist

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Something To Smile About

It was foggy on my way to Clemson Sunday morning. It was spent driving along at 15-25 MPH only able to see no more than 30 feet in front of me until I got part way down White Water Road, AKA NC 281. Suddenly along the State Line I looked out my side window and saw stars. That began a very chilly and windy day. I have made the drive in the past under the same conditions. Once along the White Water River I ran into a thick fog suddenly, I slowed way down and then saw the bank of the curve in my lights. I had come nearly to a complete stop and the bank was three feet from my headlights. Years ago I was coming across from Sylva and in a curve by Toxaway Falls on hwy 64 I was creeping along in the fog at 10MPH. I saw head lights shining around the corner at me. I was going down hill and could see the yellow line, I was having to follow it. The lights came around and he was in my lane, he swerved back over into his lane when he saw my lights. Thankfully he wasn't doing too fast himself. His lights were shining up hill making it harder to see. Chances are he couldn't see the yellow line. When he got next to me I saw the squad lights on top of the car. It was a Deputy. Probably a sighing of relief Deputy.

The drive takes me along the Oconee County SC side of Lake Keowee, named for both the Keowee River (fed by The Toxaway, Horsepasture, Thompson and White Water Rivers) and the Indian Town of Keowee. Lake Keowee has becomed very developed. The closer the road gets to the lake, the more big houses you see. The little town of Salem SC, and it's a little town, at a glance seems unaffected by it. Most of the development is closer to the Oconee Nuclear Station. Allot of history is on that ground down through there.

Even as I transfer to the Battalion headquartered out of Clemson, 3/323, it's the last time I drive it for that purpose. We're going to Athens Ga. We've managed to trade one college town for the other. Athens ain't so bad, it's roughly a two hour drive and being that the Navy has a supply school there, there is Government lodging available. For $24 a night you can get what I'm told is a pretty nice room. And, I'm not sure how it's working out, but the Army Reserve is paying the bill. I've not stayed in a Navy facility since I was at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in 1989. I know it's been tossed around about closing the Navy School, but I don't know where it stands. It's a bit of an oddity, a Navy School in land locked Athens Ga. I don't know if it's the greatest use of my tax dollar, but the $24 a night lodging is something to smile about.

I'm still yet to get orders assigning me to the unit. With the big rearranging of the USAR Training Divisions things are a little slow. None the less, it's my new "home".

I like a job where I have a product, where I actually see results. That is one thing I can say about being an Instructor all of these years, though I worked more so as a facilitator, I produced a product. I saw the students come and I saw them go. But the way a Reserve Drill Sgt works is a little different. You carry the mission for a couple of weeks and hand it off to someone else. Frankly, I didn't find it oh so fulfilling. Yet, while I worked as an Advisor in Iraq, progress was slow. Often, painstakingly slow. We wanted to high five each other over minor accomplishments. Things with us, and the Iraqis, were built piece upon piece. "Schway Schway"...Little by little...Slowly....Iraqis look upon changes cautiously. They are the ones with their toes in the water darting their eyes back in forth before hopping in. Then wade in and see the water ain't so bad. So, now after having not been a Drill Seargent for over thirteen years I'm going back to it. This time, there is the satisfaction of building a team with the company strength so low. As new people come in, we build the team. That part is exciting. I enjoy leadership. As for handing off the mission to another team else before it's complete, well,like Iraq, I'll attmept to take satisfaction in those little building accomplishments.

I've been drafting this post for days. I wasn't going t post a video, however, I'm caving in. It's nearly Friday.

You have to admire a rock star that drives a beat up old car.

Papa Roach...To Be Loved.

This will make it easier for you to sing along.

To Be Loved lyrics

Listen up, turn it up and rock it out
party on, I wanna hear you scream and shout
this is real, as real as it gets
I came to get down to get some fucking respect
taking it back to hardcore level
you better be ready, put your pedal to the metal
taking it back to hardcore level
you better be ready, put your pedal to the metal.


Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved
Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved

I want domination
I want your submission
I see you’re not resisting
To this temptation
I’ve got one confession
A love deprivation
I’ve got a jet black heart
It’s all fucked up and it’s falling apart

Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved
Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved

I’ve got another confession
I fell to temptation
And there is no question
There was some connection
I’ve got to follow my heart
No matter how far
I’ve gotta roll the dice
Never look back and never think twice

Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved
Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved

Take your past and burn it up and let it go
Carry on; I’m stronger than you’ll ever know
That’s the deal; you get no respect
You’re gonna get yours
You better watch your fucking neck

Take your past and burn it up and let it go
Carry on; I’m stronger than you’ll ever know
That’s the deal; you get no respect
You’re gonna get yours
You better watch your fucking neck

Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved
Whoa I'll never give in
Whoa I'll never give up
Whoa I'll never give in
And I just wanna be, wanna be loved

Never Give in never give up
The Appalachianist

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two Posts In One

I guess you ca see what I want for Christmas...Yeah somebody to shove...

Soul Asylum...Somebody To Shove

October 19th, 1925

As discussed both in the text and comments of the previous post the Shining Rock Ledge of the Pisgah National Forest had a wild fire, there were two, the first one in 1925 while it was property of Champion Paper, then another in 1942 after it became Forest Service Land. My Grandfather witnessed the first one from southern Transylvania County. He said the smoke could be seen for miles, as far as the Balsams could be seen. One site lists a reason for the first fire as being from a locomotive, while no reason is listed for the second one in 1942, it also says the fire was in 1924, but the Forest Service lists it as 1925. While I was a child it was my impression that the place known as Grave Yard Fields were called so because of the burned stumps of Firs and Spruces had turned white, looking like a grave yard. I may be wrong, something happens in old growth forests, trees are blown over and the upright roots eventually make into mounds, in this particular place they resembled a grave yard, hence The Grave Yard Fields. The mounds are now gone, the wild fire of 25 destroyed the soil. What was left, for the most part was just dirt. Now the place, once a conifer forest, is a high altitude savanna. And, the two are now rare climates. Sadly such a significant event is not well documented, at least not on line. The few people left that witnessed the logging, much less the fire are going.

I stand to be corrected...It happens...the Spruces were used for airplanes in WWI, not the Firs.

You can see the view from afar looking across Cold Mountain from this site, better look in daylight...

As well, this PDF File from USFS is worth a read.

Once, the piedmont of NC and SC was a vast savanna, as noted by early explorers. The French Broad River valley was a savanna. Willaim Bartram noted of the Little Tennessee River valley as having "grassy knolls". It was largely occupied by Cherokee Towns. We only see a glimpse of the great land this was.

Well, Southern Culture On The Skids will be playing The Orange Peel Saturday night. I won't be there, Saturday will be a thrilling day of Bear Hunting and Sunday will be spent in Clemson SC with the Army Reserves. My December Drill is being split up. The girls from the B52's made bee hive hairdos sexy, the SCOTS base player made them even sexier. First thing in the morning I'll pick a good SCOTS video out.

This is it, 69 El Camino

Hey, if you want music, go over to Ed's place. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor, John Birch taught us to beware of him.

It's darn near Christmas. Hmm.
The Appalachianist

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Post Deer Season Post

The Sun rise reflecting against Sam's Knob, Pisgah Game Lands, Pisgah National Forest, Haywood County NC.

If I was to go into detail of my Deer Season, I’d put you to sleep. Other than running into that one Skunk, it was pretty uneventful. I did not see one Deer. Hold on, I did catch a glimpse of one Saturday morning in the head lights.
I was to meet my partner, Ray, at the Pisgah Fish Hatchery at 0500…I was a few minutes late…He changed his mind once I got there, he wanted to head up to the Grave Yard Fields* and Shining Rock Country. That is the highest of the Balsam Range. Like about any part of the country here, it was once logged over and trees grew back, but, back sometimes in the 40’s or 50’s it fell to a wild fire. The result was a higher altitude savanna. Some areas were “bald” already, but it opened it up. Hunting there is long range shooting. We got there about 10 years too late. It was once covered in Deer, now they are very scarce. We did not see one Deer, where you can see hundreds of yards.

The last day of season is “Doe day”, the one day you can shoot a doe. But it has gotten so scarce of deer here I decided not to shoot a Doe if I seen one. It’s illegal to shoot one in the Shining Rock area anymore. Traditionally, Doe day is a bad day, it’s pouring rain, howling wind, driving sleet…It was down right warm this year. It was 45 degrees at 0630 at the Grave Yard Fields. The wind was fierce. We sent a few hours “glassing” Sixteen Canyon and moved on. We did see a black Coyote above Balsam Grove.

I was unable to hunt last Saturday because I found myself in Columbia SC for the day. It was to be my last Drill there. Long story. But, it never fails, I lose a Saturday of Deer season to the Army Reserves. Being that I returned from Iraq, I did not get vacation to use for Hunting. I’m doomed to Saturdays, unless I want to take a day without pay, and that would be irresponsible.

Sadly at one time about any where you went on the Government Land, you stood a reasonable chance of seeing a Deer. The deer population has been in steady decline for some years. Henderson County was hit by “black tongue” this year. I do know someone that manage to kill four in Mills River.
There is much speculation as to why this has been occurring. It has been blamed on the migration of Coyotes, but, I reject that. I know of places, Alabama for instance, where there are way many more Deer and Coyotes together. There is not that strong of a coyote population here anyway. Macon county has more Deer and Coyotes, you hear Coyotes pack there, but, extremely rarely here in Transylvania. There is the argument of food source, in the Shining Rock Country (Haywood County), food sources have remained pretty constant**, you very rarely see a Deer there. Word is, that that Country had a great deal of Bear in it this year. Anymore it’s smothered in hikers. That doesn’t affect it either, other than sometimes being uncooperative to Hunters.
Why this is so, I can’t exactly say. Other than to make guesses at it, what is needed is real hard data. Of course, more food sources could help, but there appears to more to the picture.
Nature follows cycles…

Season is always better when it opens on the fourth week o November. It opened on the third week this year. I see more sign of rutting Deer after deer season than I do during. Sometimes around the first of the year, a time when the rutt is getting in swing in Alabama.
My partners had more events than me, mostly with other people. Ray ran into some Mexicans doing “drives” and drinking beer. Twister had someone try to tell him to go hunt some where else…On Public Land. Funny enough, they were blocking a Forest Service gate and after he reminded them that they can’t block a gate, they changed their tune. He also saw a Dog running a Deer. Dogging deer is illegal in this part of NC. It is legal…and a method, Down East.

Monday reopens Bear Season. It gets harder in the second season. The smart and mean Bears are the ones left.***. It wasn’t a good year, just have to accept that….and work on the next.

I keep my dog food in an outbuilding, where I have a radio. I turn the radio on while I feed the dogs. Friday night The dandy Warhol's "Bohemian Like You" was playing..the part where he says whoo hoo hoo, Bell howled. It was really cool..I danced...Uhm, you had to be there. I was feeling pretty bohemian, the dogs were feeling pretty bohemian...It was cool. Feeding the dogs, "just a casual casual easy thing". I really like the uncensored video to that song, but that would get me in MilBlogger jail. You can find it on YouTube.

* Called so because the burned tree trunks had bleached white and it looked like a Grave Yard.

**To remain a savanna it could stand to be burned. The Balds are getting grown up and could burn.

***Bears can have very large ranges, unlike deer, they do not stay in one general area. Bears being killed, dieing, opens territory to Bears, that are constantly looking for food.

OK, your turn...
The Appalachianist

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Like I said...

I was going to post it...Buttholeville...The Drive By Truckers song that I adopted to my home town, Brevard NC. The song is really about Muscle Shoals Alabama, Patterson Hood's hometown, he wrote it, I adopted it, he doesn't mind the publicity. Me calling Brevard Buttholeville is part poking fun. Small town people tend to think that beyond their horizons are great wealths of whatnots waiting to be had. And there is a degree of truth to that. People tend to think they can get away with things too...They're not being rude, they're being buttholes.

Now the sound ain't great, but you will hear it. Interestingly, this was filmed in Asheville NC at The Orange Peel.

Now thats a seven minute ordeal, so you inpatient dial up heathens, here are the lyrics.
Tired of living in Buttholeville
Tired of my job and my wife Lucille
Tired of my kids Ronnie and Neil
Tired of my 68 Bonneville
Working down at Billy Bob’s Bar and Grille
The food here tastes like the way I feel
There’s a girl on the dance floor dressed to kill
She’s the best looking woman in Buttholeville

One day I’m gonna get out of Buttholeville
Gonna reach right in Gonna grab the till
Buy a brand new hat and a Coupe deVille
lay a patch on the road that runs over the hill
There’s a beach somewhere where the water’s are still
Gonna lay in the sun till my skin peals
Drinking the best scotch whiskey, eating lobster and eel
and I’m never going back to Buttholeville

Never going, never going, never going never going back!

The only thing is, noone is running me out of here.
The Appalachianist