Saturday, December 1, 2007


There is nothing I can write about this place that the web site hasn't covered. This is an amazing habitat, for an amazing animal. Please, thoroughly enjoy this inspiring site. Copy and Paste.

Friday, November 30, 2007


It's 3:30PM Friday and I took Sigh, Douglas, Happy and Shade down to the ruins for some fresh air. A really bad cold with flu like symptoms hit me yesterday at work and I awakened this morning at 3:00AM feeling terrible. Couldn't get back to sleep. I talked to Douglas for a little while and he seemed to think I should just put him in the truck and get out in the woods. He always has that opinion. But I feel better today, especially since I'm here at the ruins site with my friends. The sky is blue and not a breeze is stirring. I can hear where the dogs are by listening to the crunching leaves. Gorgeous day! I am not usually very vocal about political thoughts but there is something that has me wondering and a bit concerned. I'm not sure anyone has thought about it. Our Southern border is wide open. Everyone knows that. We have all heard the rhetoric directed to higher health care, escalating education costs, fewer jobs, social security depletion, and much more due to the influx of "millions" of Mexican illegals. I use the term illegals purposely. They are not immigrants. They are not migrants. They are not second class citizens. They are not even any kind of citizens. They are illegal persons who have crept across the border of our United States of America. Anyway; Picture this. Envision a clear gallon container filled with water. That's 128 ounces. Then empty an eye dropper of blue dye into the water. Not much difference. Now, empty half a pint of blue dye into the gallon of water. The water becomes stained. It is tainted. Pretend the blue dye is Mexicans and the gallon of water the United States. This exercise is not about money or border lines on a map. This has to do with our way of life. You see, the more Mexicans who infiltrate our population, the more influential they're customs and traditions will be upon the American traditions and customs and OUR heritage. The problem will materialize, I believe, when the American government will institute changes in our systems in order to compensate for the foreign influx of aliens. For instance; already there is talk of creating a Mexican Independence Day in the U.S. New Mexico and Colorado Mexican residence's are already suing government for the right to hang their Mexican flag along side of Old Glory. A little bit at a time and a piece at a time; a melding of heritages will occur until the purity of the heritage that our nation is built upon will be eroded and be reconstructed into a new blend of Mexamerican tradition. The greater the Mexican population (blue dye) the greater the influence on our heritage. Our politicians are already changing the tone of this country as when addressing the immigrant situation. Listen to them. I'm hearing "let them stay" and "grant them amnesty." Why? Why? Theodore Roosevelt stood on a table in a square in New York one chilly day and addressed the crowd about him. He said "our door is open to any honest man or woman who wants to come in, but they will do it legally." "There is but one flag; the American Flag in this country." "The spoken word in the United States of America is English; learn it." "There are not French Americans, Russian Americans, Polish Americans or any foreign Americans of any kind." "The United States citizens are Americans period." Now, think of what has happened since Teddy's speech. Any problems using the word Christmas to describe that holiday? How about Thanksgiving? Oh, where have all the Christian murals gone in front of government buildings? When have you heard the pledge of allegiance lately. How about wishing everyone Happy Holidays. This all goes beyond political correctness. Political correctness can never be exacted in a perfectly uniform fashion. Never ever! The term political correctness, I believe, is a cop out for politicians who do not want to stand their ground and demand the term American be accepted by all who live here. African American, Polish American etc. That something to be proud of personally. But this is America. Not Poland and not Africa. Those people are Americans period. Nothing else. Our politicians have sold all Americans short on that topic. What's wrong with pledging allegiance to the American Flag? If your an American you should be proud to. So who are all these people who don't want to? If anyone wishes to enter this country, I feel exactly as Teddy Roosevelt did when he made that speech. I feel they should accept the social and traditional environment as it exists in OUR country. Or stay out. But there is a slow process going on that is undermining our traditions and heritage and it has reached our education processes and that plants the seed of change in our children; the future of this country. You can take that to the bank....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007



Saturday, November 24, 2007


don't forget to click on the photo to enlarge The photo above is a rare shot of me at my favorite place to take the dogs and to write. I love the ruins. Its quiet and peaceful. Well, it is until Happy starts chasing Douglas and Shade. I just got back today from a motorcycle ride that took me over toward Chilhowie Lake. Chilhowie is a favorite lake of mine because it is pristine and the water is cold. Very cold. It is one of the premier lakes for trout habitat in Tennessee. The shoreline and scenery is unblemished. It seems free from the trash of mankind. Of course, when I beach my boat I can find trash that has been washed up onto the shore. But the volume of trash on Chilhowie is very minor compared to the other more popular lakes near by. Late this afternoon, when the sun was setting, I was compelled to stop and shoot the pictures below. I don't know why, but I value the simple things in life more and more. A beautiful sunset is something I try to engrave into my mind. My eyes scan every corner of the lake and shoreline. I attempt to memorize the colors of the trees and the shade of blue and green of the water. Must be getting old I guess. The pictures at the end are of a little dog that is staying here with my guys for a little while. The Spay Neuter Clinic is in charge of him. They are out of beds over there and this little guy will be here only for this weekend during the day. He has been shot with a shotgun. I guess there aren't enough deer out there. Or maybe he posed a threat to the lives of peace loving villagers. Sarcasm! No animal deserves that. He will be alright. The Spay Neuter Clinic operated on him and removed all the led shotgun pellets. Chilhowie Lake as seen from Route 129 Yes, that is snow on top of those mountains This little dog was shot with a shot gun. He had some pretty serious surgery to remove the pellets. I didn't get a good picture of his injury, but it looks like white fur where the incisions were made to remove the lead pellets. He could have been hit in the eyes just as easily. If you absolutely must shoot a dog, please be certain you kill it. Don't think you are "dusting his hide" to teach him a lesson. Those pellets become infected and fester. It is a very slow, painful death. No animal deserves that. Or just call me and I'll come and get him.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


The word Thanksgiving congers up visions of Plymouth Rock, American Native Indians, venison and Turkey. One might think about people long, long ago dressed in black and white clothing with bonnets and tall black hats with wide brims and a buckle in the center of a hat band. Out in the bay float three ships, sails furled, silently rocking with the incoming tide. My mind's eye reverts back to my childhood on the farm where Thanksgiving promised every conceivable food known to farm folks at that time. The food was all grown at home and prepared by people who were close to the earth. Those were good days. But tonight my thoughts are of our soldiers who are in harms way, holding the line against tierney. We sit here enjoying laughter and friends, thankful for the day off, getting ready for the game on TV and awaiting the second call for food. But there are sons and daughters out there in the sand, their heads constantly moving right and left; looking everywhere, on edge, contemplating fate, each wondering how he or she will react in that moment when action is called for. Even though temperatures are cold; beads of sweat run from just under the hair line and trickle down between the shoulder blades causing the body to shiver and shake uncontrollably for a brief moment. The unknown is out there. To know the unknown is unthinkable. It can not be comprehended. To comprehend the peril is to meet it. The unknown will become reality for many of our warriors. They are the seed of our nation. They are in harm's way. Many have gone and will go. But "all" never, in any war, return. Tonight I remember another time and place. Another continent and another war. It was a vicious little skirmish that proved unpopular at the time and I doubt gained any additional justification from Americans in present times. Vietnam was my war. It was my unknown. My first view of Vietnam was from a jet plane attempting to land at Tann Sun Neut Air Base in South Vietnam. When the plane banked, I saw nothing but enormous craters in the ground. They were so many that each touched the edge of another beside it. I thought, "Good God". Where am I? My first thoughts were that nothing could stay alive on that crater pocked ground. I guess that was the whole idea. The holes went on for a mile in all directions. The results of mortors, bombs and rockets. I'll never forget it. I guess Vietnam was similar to the present day war. The folks sent cookies, and an attempt was made to feed the guys turkey at Thanksgiving. Friends were made. Friends were lost. A deep comradery was existed between the guys who came "in country together." Rice paddy's and mud was the rule of thumb. I guess sand is the terrain of choice today. There wasn't any imaginary line seperating the good from the evil. No enemy territory. The evil ones would appear from nowhere and dissappear as quickly after they did their damage. I suppose it is the same for our warriers today. There is one thing very, very different. And I give thanks for it more than anything else I may have to be thankful for. America is behind our fighters in this war. America is proud of our sons and daughters. America has chosen to stand united behind every soldier. America has sent her best to defend her principles. There was another war where returning soldiers were chastised. Americans in airports yelled "baby killer" directly at our returning men. Eggs were sometimes thrown at them. Folks passing by would turn their faces away as if in shame when nearing a returning GI. Soldiers would shed their uniforms at the airport if they had civilian clothing with them so not to be identified as military. But that was a different time. Blood is still red and it flows just as freely now as it did then. Our nation has sent the best it has; our son's, daughter's and friends in harm's way. They are the barrier against evil. They are putting it on the line. Think about it just a little before that next mouthful of stuffing. Give thanks and appreciation to all those who have served this great country. And remember those who have sacrificed their very lives in wars gone by so that we can enjoy what and who we are today. Happy Thanksgiving...

Monday, November 19, 2007


Actually the two "rants" below came before this most recent rant. I shouldn't even be writing this right now. But I'm hot! I am angry! I am very disturbed over this Japanese tradition of eating whale meat and not being able to break from tradition. Its all crap, really. I just am having a hard time understanding why the destruction of an ancient, highly intelligent animal; an animal that has fought hard for its space on the planet; an animal that inhabits a section of turf that in no way infringes on human population in any way, must be again hunted and slaughtered. The reasoning is that its Japanese tradition to kill whales. It was Japanese tradition to commit hari kari too. Are they out there doing it? World might be a better place if they did. Tradition indicates that they moved around in rick Shaw's too. Guess the move to autos was forced on them. They accepted cars pretty quickly. And swords and spears are tradition. Everyone knows what happened when they figured out what guns were. So what's so hard about letting whales alone? I guess the whales are there. They used to kill em. Might as well go on killing them. I mean, they can't buy fish in the store. And then theres that all important item called whale oil. Without that, Japan would crash. They would be without light for their lanterns. Oh, electricity? No, oh no. They wouldn't want to break from tradition by using electricity in place of whale oil. Oh my! Folks; its all bull! I never had a dislike for any group of people. Live and let live; accept when they used to shoot at me. That was a long time ago. But damn --------- I'm starting to get a pain in my chest over these Japanese whale butchers. Tradition my a--. Its fisheries dollars. Don't even get me started on the Harp Seals!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the insensitive nature of my statements and the poor verbage. I should have gone to bed. And as a last note; if anyone thinks they can justify the slaughter of whales; hit the comment box and explain it to me. I'll take anyone to task who has a favorable opinion toward it. I'd like to delve into the mind and heart of such a person.


I wrote a little "rant" below about whale killing. I have admired whales all my life and respect them for their tenacity to coexist with human kind. But it seems humans just won't let them be. No matter how much time passes, or how much more knowledge we gain by studying them, no matter how much more intelligent we are than the other minions of the sea, no matter how much effort we have made as human stewards to the natural world; we aren't happy to coexist with them. We gotta kill them. We have to maim them and cut them. We have to slaughter them. Its all justified in the name of tradition. Look at the pictures below. Its an honorable way to take the life of an ancient creature that lives on in the face of adversity. Driven to near extinction in the 50's through the 80's, these gentle creatures have finally gained another rung on the ladder up toward a safe population that will ensure their presence on this planet. That is until the pallet's of our oriental neighbors cry out for blubber. The Japanese fisheries see their chance to pick up a buck. Again the killing will start. What the hell is it with Japanese? It's always an oriental instigated killing rampage on the whale in the name of tradition. It's time, I think, for human beings with the larger brain to start using it. Like what's the problem with omitting whale meat from the diet? Where is the ability of the vast reasoning abilities of our Japanese neighbors to be able to adjust to modern times and be sensible about this "Whale issue.". I mean; they aren't willing to allow the whale to live in peace because their tradition demands their pallet's be satiated. I don't seem to observe any problems with the Japanese pallet accepting McDonald's grease burgers in their diet. They seemed to be able and willing to break from tradition for tasty grease burgers. Its all BS!!!! It's the buck for Japanese fisheries. And it's heart breaking and its a crime for the world to sit idly by and throw words of condemnation at Japan. If its fish dollars that drive Japan; then a boycott on Japanese products, especially, fish should be immediately levied. Fast and hard! We, human kind, especially Japanese, are turning the natural world to crap in the name of tradition. Look at the photo's below and be proud to be a human. It doesn't seem to bother the Japanese. After all, the Japanese empire will fall apart if it doesn't get its daily dose of whale meat! Japan can be proud. Actually the photo below is from Greenland. They're smart too. A whale with an explosive harpoon embedded. I can't believe this is happening!


The topic of Whale destruction is something I can't bear to speak of. The practice of harpooning and destroying Whales for the sake of continuing a Japanese heritage is absolutely absurd and totally unnecessary. It is big money. It's all about money. Everything is about money. EVERYTHING is about money. It really gets me when I hear the Japanese say they won't relinquish their practice of eating whale meat. They could give a dam'n!!! It's all about money! Look at what nature has relinquished to human kind. Why not eliminate all whales from the environment? What would they eat over in Japan then? I'm really glad that Japanese haven't tasted Elephant meat, or Whooping Crane meat. I'm absolutely sickened at mortal man's ability to justify the destruction of creatures who have "earned" the right to life. Man is a destroyer of all things natural! The conservancies and the animal activests are facing a challenge that is noble. But in the end all will be lost. Because there is no profit in it......... Sorry. If your interested; hit the link below and read about the "all caring Japanese and their hunt for the protected hump back whale in the name of science"--------------and dinner. And just what the hell is it about orientals and killing fish and stabbing live puppies and dissembowling them before they're dead. Just what is it with them???????

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I took my guys down to the ruins today for a run. They have been cooped up for an entire week and needed the exercise. They got it too. I wanted to read a new book I bought written by Cesar Millan called "Be The Pack Leader." I am trying to understand and use his processes of dog control with my dear friends. His methods are unique. The concept he uses is Calm Assertive Energy. Dogs, and animals in general, tune in to this invisable energy and react to it. I just completed another book named "Rescuing Sprite", written by Mark R. Levin. It is a story of a dog taken out of a shelter by a loving family and the short life it lived while in the care of the Levin family. A series of illnesses plagued the little guy and his life was cut short. The story portrays the anguish and yes, the happiness, that Sprite brought to the Levin family. It is a touching story. No, it is a painful story to read. Yet, it is a beautiful story. It took me a long time to read through that short book. Tears constantly ran down my cheeks. My dog's gathered together and constantly, quietly watched me until I put that book away. Were they reading my energy? More than anything, it is a story with an ending that projects the future of all dog owners. It makes me especially happy and proud that I have the little guys that surround me here today. Yet it makes me very afraid. The time will come for each of them when I, their trusted keeper, must help them on each of their final journies alone and without me. This all comes after I received a message that a friend, who is the owner of a beautiful Italian Greyhound named Bandit was faced with the decision to help her little friend find peace. Bandit was very, very old and could no longer do anything for himself. His life had become miserable. His loving keeper had to make that horrible decision that all dog lovers hate to even contemplate. Bandit is now taking his final journey alone. The message about my friend, the book Rescuing Sprite, and the beauty of my little friends here about me on this gorgeous hillside have instilled a feeling inside me that I can't quite put my finger on. I am a rational person and fairly down to earth. But I am moved internally and mentally by the perfection of what we call dogs. They are inspirational. They live for the moment in total innocence. And their lives are so very short. It isn't fair. And those that love them so much all their lives must be the ones to send them on their final walk into the unknown alone. The one thing about the day that is pleasant are the beautiful surroundings here on this little spot. The tree that Douglas chased the squirrel up is in full color. There are colorful leaves upon the ground and the air has a clean fragrance. I always want to remember my guys in this environment. I've often heard it said that the country has gone to the dog's. Ha---We should be so lucky!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


CLICK THE PICTURE TO ENLARGE Douglas is limping. He sits and licks his right front paw. I rush over and he rolls onto his side extending his front legs. There is a long thorn protruding from between his pads. Carefully I grasp it and pull straight out so as not to break it off in his paw. It comes out in tact. He licks his paw once, my hand once and runs off to be with Shade and Happy. I am constantly learning about dogs. Each trip to the ruins with them brings some new piece of knowledge to the forefront about their thinking and why they do what they do. For instance. Right now Shade, Douglas and Happy are sitting with me in the grass while I "try" to read a chapter or two of Cesar Millan's book Be The Pack Leader. Actually Shade is rambling about on this grassy mound I'm sitting on. But she is here with us. She is not blasting about out of sight. As I think about this simple activity of subdued leasure, the magnitude of it strikes me. They are here with me because I am their leader. I am their commander and chief. I am the neucleus for all that they do. The ramifications go further. If this all is broken down, it equates to total loyalty, unquestioned love, complete and total gratitude to me for the life I provide for them. No, they don't think it. They express it through action. They walk the talk. Dogs react to their environment, and their humans. They don't rationalize. Sitting here with me on this grassy noll are completely dedicated, loving companions. They do not question my authority or the reasons I go where I go or do what I do. They just want to be a part of it. They are over joyed that they are included in my ramblings. I have said it before and I will say it again and again ---- I am honored to be in their presence. I hope I can give them the interesting and safe life they deserve. They have put their trust in me. Dogs are the deciples to human's. Don't forsake them. Honor them. They are the truest friends imaginable on this planet. Number one and Happy wait patiently for me to show some significant sign of movement. Shade is laying off to the right just out of camera range. They sit patiently waiting for me to get up and move off in some direction. The amazing thing is that they are "waiting" for me. It is all about me with them. I love them. A perfect match up. Well, sort of. Go Girl! It's good to have you back home Shade I guess this could be called Teamwork Go Shade!!!! There is one very happy dog. Shade - The Shady Lady - Beautiful

Monday, October 29, 2007


Shade! "Where is that dog?" "Happy; get away!" "Good Boy Douglas". I brought my kids down here to the ruins for a morning romp. I needed to rest up after a vigerous motorcycle ride with Kevin yesterday. We rode three hundred miles in the country side that lies North and West of Oakridge, Tennessee. After about two hours into the ride we took note to the fact that my rear tire was nearly bald and Kevin's battery in his BMW was almost stone dead. After a carefull evaluation of the situation we decided what the heck, and kept going without a second thought. This was not a very professional course of action for the situation but then neither of us call ourselves professional at much of anything. So why should we act responsible and professional about this? Guess you had to be there. We rode West out of Oakridge, TN toward Dale Hollow lake. The roads were specifically designed for motorcycles. Every road we took was flawlessly engineered for motorcycle tires to travel over. A couple of stops that impressed me were Dale Hollow State Park and Dam, The greatest BBQ place I have ever eaten at and the Tomkinsville Ferry. Yep, a ferry. Look at the pictures. It appears to be just a floating barge with a steel deck powered by an enclosed metal box attached to the right side. Very antiquish looking. It was free too. I love things like that. We left the ferry and drove up into Kentucky for a few miles and dropped back into TN and home. My rear tire is toast. We stopped in Oak Ridge to say good by and Kevin's bike barely started with his dead battery. It's amazing we got back at all. (Look at the BBQ place. I took pictures of the road signs for map identification. This place is absolutely the finest BarBQ in the world) It's Monday now and I'm laying on the leaves under an enormous tree watching my guys having fun. It will be another week until they can get out again and I want them to enjoy this fine Fall day. Enjoy Fall!!!!!!!! A picture from the parking lot at Dale Hollow Dam. I am always impressed by dams. They are awsome! Sometimes they are scary......Don't forget; you can click once on the pictures to get a full screen view.
This is a pretty little pull off in Dale Hollow State Park. We just pulled in for a breather. Gorgeous day!
"Hey Kevin!" "Where we going?" "Don't know Gary". "Do ya care?" "Nope!" "Why don't ya shut off your bike Kevin?"
A shore line on Dale Hollow Lake. Note the water level has dropped. A recent drop in water has been accomplished as can be seen by the still damp shoreline.
This is only one of several corners all in a row. I giggled as I pushed the bug bike through these curves. Absolutely the finest road I've been on in months. The Smokies have nothing on these North Tennessee roads. Hope the tourists don't find about all these great Northern hills
I pulled off on this corner and took some shots of Kevin as he came on around the corner. Lots of leaves on the road and an extremely short, tight curve. Kevin negotiates it in his usual professional manner.
Ok now. Drop whatever you are doing and get in the car, on the motorcycle or in the boat and drive on over to this place. You have never, ever tasted Bar-B-Q anything like this place got. Endless menue. If it can be put in you're mouth; they can Bar-B-Q it. I even photographed the road signs out in front of the building so you can find it on the map. Oh my! Mouth's watering!
Oh Boy!
And here we are on the Tomkinsville Ferry