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, September 30, 2011

Another Cool Reason TV Video

This is political. But it's the kind of political thing we need to be talking about instead of the status qua that comes out of Washington. As a country, we're in a position where we need to be making some real decisions.

Now, some of this hits home. I'm from the Mountains of North Carolina. Known for their breath taking views, clear streams and illegal white liquor. That liquor that our grand fathers were making (and some neighbors are still making)was illegal before prohibition as it was during. That was not a health concern, but one of revenue. Hince, "revenuers". It goes back as far as the Whiskey Rebellion.

We can call it a double standard. We can call it a paradox. We can call it grey. But, it created somewhat of a sense of pride in rural communities where liquor was made. We had this notion, and a rightful one, that we were upping one to the nonsensical Federal Government, one that was blind to anything but it's own political and bureaucratic desires. And, then we pitied and despised the alcoholic. Preached about the troubles he caused and lamented over his demise.

People often get into something over emotions and then later divorce it for a reason. That's life, it's a cartoon, we play our part and sometimes have fun along the way. But, better choices can be made when we look at the why and how of the way things are.
And I've got the notion there were as many alcoholics per capita during prohibition as there is today. Abstaining is a personal decision.

Sit back and enjoy some neat video clips as Nick Gillespie talks from the trunk of someones car.

stuck like chuck in the land of sand...
The Appalachianist

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So What's It Like?

We've got crappy plumbing over here. Yep, you read me right, we've got crappy plumbing. It was that way up in Iraq, and, it's that way here. Oh, it works, it's just shoddy work. Pipes laying on top of the ground with a ply wood fame over them is one example. A little hose that pushes water in a stream hanging over the side of a urinal is another. But again, to give it credit, it works. Nothing is leaking out onto the ground. Pipes getting baked brittle in the sun is more of a threat than freezing and busting.

Back...Way back, when I was an adviser to the Iraqi Army (a slave with two masters)the Iraqi shower and latrine was a filthy trailer with a rotten floor and leaking plumbing oozing sewage into a ditch, that if I remember right was dug to collect what was leaking. It was a matter of concern, but, primarily the Iraqi's problem. They wanted us to solve the problem. We couldn't do that. The whole idea was to ween them. Stepping into an Iraqi porta-john was a safety hazard. You could trip over all of the water bottles on the floor.

Which reminds me of another problem. At the time the Iraqis were only issuing their guards two little bottles of water, one to drink, the other to wipe their ass with. If more water was near a Jundi didn't have to worry as much, but spending hours out in a tower with one little bottle to drink and bowel movements beckoning put him in a predicament.

I don't know how many times I saw muddy boot prints on the seat of a western toilet where they tried using it in the eastern fashion. Or how many times one was stopped up. I never saw that problem with an eastern. And here, some porta-johns are marked "Eastern" with a picture indicating it.

What brought this all to mind was a beautiful marble floor. They like marble floors over here. So, here was this beautiful, shiny floor and a urinal with flexy pipes twisted around going into the wall and some plaster daubed around them.

Every building I've ever been in over here was like that.

It's 6 AM in Eastern US Time Zone, time to get out of bed.
The Appalachianist

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

ArifJan, Kuwait

I'm now at Camp Arifjan Kuwait. We flew in last night and after a short trip we were at our destination. I keep comparing everything to my trip to Iraq. That was very different. This is very different.

I had been writing my posts on Word and pasting them to the blog. Last weekend I dropped my netbook and the screen went out. So, I bought a new lap top, an HP Pavilion. That's what I had my first tour. Anyway, the deal is, I don't have Word on this thing, so posting was a little harder. To be frank, internet on Ft. Bliss sucks rotten eggs.

More to follow. I'm on a Replacements kick, so I leave you with The Replacements...It won't let me do it... But then it did.

The Appalachianist

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Thursday, September 08, 2011


1 September 2011
I use the internet at the PX food court. Ft. Bliss has a really unique and large Px and Commissary complex. I’m too lazy, you google it, either now or when your done reading. Just check it out. It has music playing classics and oldies. Allot of old school R and B. Now, I hate to be negative, but if you don’t speak up, nothing will get fixed. They play way too many Bee Gee songs. Way too many.
No one pays mind to this blog any more. And, I’m not too sure if I mind that. Don’t let that discourage you, dance around the campfire. Just don’t get crazy and fall in.

I regress. I previously stated that this is my first time in the southwest. Well, no. In July I was in Las Vegas. But, I don’t feel like talking about that. Not that what happened stayed in Vegas. It just didn’t leave.

2nd September

I’m a mountain boy. People have made comments to me about my accent. I’ve used words that have raised some laughs. These words I know are not exclusive to Appalachia. The Chief of Staff (A full Bird Colonel) used the same term… “A slew of”. They didn’t laugh at him, but he validated me and well, I hope it inspired them. Now, I don’t mind the laughs. I laughed with them. Damn Seattle people…

7th September
Believe it or not, I don’t like complaining. But somewhere I must have inherited paticuluarness. Or it’s my astrological sign, or just the way God made me or how he tolerates me. So, already you are wondering what I’m about to complain about. I’m going to complain about a place I’d love to be right now, Buttholeville. Yes, odd, quircky and overall great place to live, Brevard NC. County seat to Strangelvania…Uh, Transylvania County.

What happened is the county turned 150 years old. Who would have thought we’d make it that far. Being after the place became it’s own county it was a dangerous and depressing place to be during the 1860’s. But, it is what it is today. And, we’ve seen better times, at this point, it’s on a down hill slope in the economical sense. Socially it’s always been different, but not so much that it distracts you. Though, in my personal opinion, it’s socially depressed.

What distracted me was… I read about it in the Hendersonville paper. They had a big to do down town. The usual celebration stuff. Except a Barney Fife impersonator was there, “making the place feel even more like Mayberry”. People that place never has been, is not and never will be Mayberry. We’ve got a sandwich shop on Mainstreet now called Mayberry’s. I ate there once, it was OK. Service was decent. The waitress didn’t call me “honey, sugar, sweety” or nothing. I’m not holding that against her.
Oh, but, no. We’re not Mayberry. We’re Brevard. We’re unique as is Franklin and Waynesville is to themselves. That’s Mountain Communities. It goes for Sylva or Saluda. We’re a small town with our own riffs, secrets, politics, laughs and joys. We’re often divided, too damn independent to stand up together and never sure as how to do it, much less on what to do it for. And, yet, the “everybody knows everyone” syndrome is not all bad. You know who’s who and what’s what adding to the overall piece of things. But, that can get ugly all the same. On one of the most beautiful and peaceful stretches of road of the county a very gruesome thing happened once. And, the story only attests to how much someone can hate another. We’re not sadistic or mean people, but then we’re not always nice either. Things can be very personal in rural societies. That goes for kindness as well. I will repay a favor to someone for having the same last name of someone kind to me. Except for McCalls, Galloways and Owens. There’s too darn many of them…Just kidding. I’m related to all three, and not to all of them. Not all at once, that is. But, seriously, If I meet someone from another Mountain community with a possible tie to someone I’ve known through the Service, or I’ve hunted with, and, they were good people. I look after that person. Being nice is personal, and being a jerk is too. If one of those kind that I mentioned were not as good to me, I treat the person with caution. Meanness can be hereditary, birds of the same feather flock together.

Not to say all is meanness. At times we are naive, and at others we are as smart as anyone and no one is really that innocent. Brevard NC is a great place. No other place I’d rather be. That goes for the county. My people chose a good place all of those years ago. We struggle, we win we lose. Were not innocent, we’re not charmed. Please, don’t associate us with Mayberry. Mayberry was only associated with typical small town quirks. Not the other way around. You want to live in Mayberry? Turn on your TV.

What do they teach them in OCS?
The Appalachianist

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Dr. Bernice's Delta Eighty Eight.

H30th August
I’ve been around. That is to say I’ve traveled, and mind you, not always by choice. I’m more interested in the wonders of my own back yard (Southern Appalachia) than I am anywhere else. Yet, thanks to Uncle Sam and I admit, other endeavors, I have been to a few places. However, unless I was there long enough to get the dirt under my nails, I don’t consider myself as to having been there. I’ve passed through Ireland, Spain, Germany, Newfoundland and Hungary. I can attest to their beauty, but, I only saw it from a bird’s eye view. I was in those places no time at all. The same can be said for a few states.

This is my first time to Ft. Bliss, and believe it or not, my first time to the Southwest. I’ve gotten the dirt under my nails here. From a distance I can see parts of El Paso and Juarez across the river, but the river is not in view. I’ve been off post once, and that was in transit. El Paso appears to be a growing city. And, the mountains in the distance here are pretty. Yesterday I was on a range and I could look and see a big ridge to the east and across a gentle, sweeping valley was another low ridge of hills. The hills were sparse little knobs and the ridge just rose and bent over into a broad, flat valley. Of course there were the bushes and yuccas growing in the waterless valley. But, a man could see for a ways. It was like the set of a western. I could see Outlaws riding their horses in hopes of making it to Mexico and Hombres greeting them at camp fires while wondering what trouble they’re in. I tried humming a verse of Marty Robin’s song about El Paso and a certain Mexican Girl.

I think of the history here, little that I know. Longstreet was Commander here before he went and served in the Army of Virginia. US Officers watched Poncho Villa’s battle at Juarez from across the Rio Grande. Anglo culture of the United States met the culture of the Mexican populace in what came to be The Republic of Texas and then another State of the Union before a Confederate State and back to the Union. And, amongst it all outlaws rode through Hondo Pass in a desperate rush for Mexico. Now, Mexicans cross the Rio Grande in a desperate push for The United States. It’s ironic. I wonder what the Apache think?

1 September
I know that somewhere across the river in Juarez is where Dr. Bernice got the fake leather seats for her Delta 88 she spray painted black and on a hot desert night with the windows down wide the stars will spell out your name...

Sand in my eyes,
The Appalachianist

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