Thursday, December 31, 2009

Your Ancestors Are With You

And some times it gets really spooky. I've had several encounters with the dear departed in the last decade, and for better or worse each was a life-changing event. I'm not writing about ghosts or goblins, or troubled spirits that linger in our world. This is about real events, real people and the effect they have long after they are gone.

My Grandmother ( on my father's side ) was a grand manipulator, and at ninety-five the matriarch of a Klan that spanned most of the North American Continent. Her annual family reunions are attended by thousands. But, I never knew the extent of her power till my wife and I visited my sister last Thanksgiving. Grandma blew my mind ( ok, she used my sis to do the work, but it was Grandma pulling the strings from...where-ever... ).

After my wife, my sister and I carved and ate the turkey, the pumpkin pie and all that...we retired to the living room where Sis had recently put much af Grandma's relics up for display ( crochet hooks and hoops, butter molds, etc ), it was well done. My Sis has an eye for art ( and craft ), and the new additions to her home reflected her respect and affection for her family and culture. She's like that, my Sis is...

In a casual voice, Sis said, "Hey Wally, listen to this."...and out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed her hand touch the play button on her answering was the voice of my dear Grandma, calling Sis from the Hospital several years before;
"...Hey sissy, it's me and I'm going home now...Grandpa's not doing well, but we'll talk about that when you visit this weekend. I don't know If I'll be able to lift that big skillet to fry chicken, but oh well...I have a few knick-knacks you'll probably want to look at..."
I froze, immobile where I stood. That voice, it shook me and still affects me. Grandma's out there, in a virtual world of her own creation.

That message ( and more ) have since been transferred to other digital media, and she ( Grandma ) has gone This is the spooky part, there is no stopping her. And here's the kicker, Grandma was tied deeply into Illinois politics ( Democrat in a traditionally Republican State ). She was a huge asset to our most recently elected Governor, Rod Blagojavich who has been impeached, ousted, whatever...Grandma's pissed ( ok, this is just my speculation, but I know what angers the old bird ).

I want anyone that reads this to suspend their dis-belief for just a moment. You don't believe in spooks, you don't believe in ghosts. But, many ~do believe in~ the Internet. You can feel the effect of a voice from the past. Please understand where I'm coming from.

Some of your departed parents, some of your grandparents and many of your ancestors gave a lot to get you where you are today. A few of them where crafty enough to reach into your present tense. Obama is a master of that hyper-rhelm that you hold so dear.

It's not about bits and bytes. It's about logic, reason and the desire to affect the world long after you have departed. Like Grandma...( God bless her ).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shot Gun Season

Deer hunting has begun in Illinois, and the woods are full of Shot Guns loaded with deer slugs. Half the men I know preparing to climb a tree to their deer stand in the early pre-dawn hours, hoping to bag that big buck at the crack of dawn. Southern Comfort sales are at a seasonal high, so I would advise everyone to stay out of the woods this morning.

And the deer a running everywhere! You can't drive down the road without worrying that one will leap in front of your vehicle. And in the twilight of dawn, obscured by recent fog there have been more than a few road-kills in this area. That's when cell-phones come in handy, drag that doe to the side of the road and call your buddy for a tow and some help loading her into his pick-up. Meat is meat, and times are hard.

The State calls it a Harvest and several thousand will be taken this week. White Tails are plentiful in Southern Illinois, and many years see an over-population that leads to leaner, smaller animals. Not so this year, they should be well fed by the crops still in the field ( corn harvest has been delayed six or eight weeks by rain ). Many fields will remain unharvested till the ground freezes enough to bare the weight of the heavy equipment required to get it out. That's good news for the survivors of this years harvest.

A neighbor sent over a large meatloaf she made with venison last week ( road-kill no doubt ), it was fantastic! I have several friends that have promised to sell me Deer Sausage ( it looks like Salami, about two feet long ). Most mix the sausage 50% Venison, 25% Pork, 25% Beef. I like it with Ritz Crackers and hot mustard. I've still got a Deer Heart in the freezer from last year, I suppose I should put in a crock-pot tomorrow to make room for more.

It's Shot Gun Season, you folks be careful out there!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Children Did Not Come Out Tonight

My wife was disappointed but not greatly, when no kids came Trick-or-Treating on this Halloween. Disappointed because she enjoys handing out treats to all that come to our door, dressed as goblins and monsters. Not greatly disappointed because she was feeling poorly, and I was at work and not able to enjoy the night with her. This leaves us with much candy to enjoy for the next few weeks.

The weather has been foul for weeks, cold and drizzling rain that tends to dampen any festive spirits. And, the flu season is at it's peak so I doubt if many parents were eager to take their children from door to door. Fortunately for the kids, there was an alternative this year. Church.

Several local Churches got together and invited everyone to the local school gymnasium to celebrate(?) Halloween. Which seems rather odd to me, as most Churches are dead-set against anything to do with witches, goblins and the like! Oh well, if Jesus can tolerate Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas Trees perhaps a few Zombies would be ok too.

But I remember when Halloween was more than a Sugar Rush, better than a Costume Contest. It was an opportunity to get even with Teachers, Preachers and the local cop for all those little things they represent to kids; rules, manners and social graces.

Halloween was a night when latent Juvenile Terrorists went out armed with bars of soap to decorate neighbors windows with vulgarities. We waged war on out-houses, tipping them over ( even better if a teacher was in it ). And toilet paper, roll upon roll of tissue to adorn the trees of the grumpiest neighbor.

It's kinda sad really, my wife and I with all this candy and those kids at the school with the preachers. It almost makes me wish I'd wake up to find the wind-shield of my car soaped, "Eat Shit Wallace! You Suck!".

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Rain Came to Stay

It's been raining for a week or more, and there is no sign of the sky clearing for weeks to come. The ground is saturated, and the water is backing up in the streams and creeks that feed the rivers. It doesn't happen every year, but often enough to be called normal weather for this land between the rivers.

The farmers' corn and soy bean crops are left standing in the fields. Fields too wet to support the harvest equipment. Farmers may have to wait for the ground to freeze before they can get their crops out.

The deer and other animals are moving to high ground, leaving the safety of the brush and moving across the many highways. Driving can be hazardous on rainy nights, and moving deer add to the danger.

My roof leaks...drip...drip...drip...

Friday, October 2, 2009

google-site-verification: google644b6d51e87d3f13.html

Monday, July 20, 2009

Early Morning Thoughts

Again, my mind wanders as I wait for my ride to work in these early am hours. I ponder the nature of Wealth, and Worth and my mind drifts back to memories of my Grandfather who died several years ago. He was a farmer, a Family Farmer which is different from most farmers these days as they own their land, do most of the work themselves and answer to themselves and the market.

Grandpa worked till the end, and when he stopped working the end came as he knew it would. His farm wasn't large, as he never intended it to be so. The farm was his retreat. That battle-scarred old man probably never read about Waldon's Pond as he only finished the sixth grade in school. But, he embodied that spirit more than anyone I ever met.

In the end, the entire family ( except for me, as I knew his secret ) was shocked to find out he had no money, no wealth, and they were not pleased to find that over the years he had been giving it away, acre by acre to my brother who had been working beside him for decades. He knew all along that you can't take Wealth with you, and that if his life was to have any worth he'd have to pass Wealth on.

What is Wealth? Grandpa knew that there was no way in the world that my brother could ever buy a farm of his own with money he had earned. That's what Wealth is, more than you could ever acquire honestly. And he knew that my brother's dream, and goal in life was to find his own seperate peace, and work that dream for him and his. For them work is the goal, not the means to an end. This definition of Wealth is quite different than what you'll find in the dictionary, or on the Oprah show.

I'm of to my job now, a job I really do enjoy because it suits me. And I'll be daydreaming all day, probably thinking about how I no longer have to help my brother take care of those damn hogs...

Thanks Grandpa, thanks Ed, dream on...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Rainy Fourth of July

Storms moved across the area all day on this 4th of July weekend. Me and mine kept ourselves dry inside all day ( except for a short trip to the local mini-mart in Cutler IL ). Most of the local fire-works displays and festivities were scheduled for this evening, so I imagine a lot of folks will be disappointed.

It looks like storms will continue through the weekend, I hope everyone drives safely.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blues celebration fills Grant Park - Chicago Breaking News

I'm seriously thinking about taking a day off work so that I can go to Chicago. I sure hope somebody takes some video of this event, and posts it on youtube! Let me know if you're in the Chicago area. I'd need a place to crash ( late Saturday night till early Sunday morning ).

June 12, 2009 7:29 PM | No Comments

The 26th annual Chicago Blues Festival is underway this weekend in Grant Park in downtown Chicago, on five stages spread out around the Petrillo Bandshell on the corner of Jackson and Columbus Drives.

It's the world's largest free blues festival, and will be held through Sunday. We will be adding to the photogallery throughout the festival.


Vince Agwada performs with the Chicago Blues Experience at the Chicago Blues Festival on Friday. (Tribune / Zbigniew Bzdak) MORE PHOTOS

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Sunday, April 26, 2009


A friend of mine's mother sent him a pic of a funnel cloud that
crossed the road in front of their vehicle several weeks ago. If
you've ever seen a twister, or if you've ever heard one passing near
by with the sound of a freight train you'll never forget it.
It's tornado season here in what we call 'Tornado Alley', stretching
from Texas to Chicago in a N by NE line. Often, twisters come in pairs
and triplets that can devastate entire towns and villages along their
At noon, in the village I live in Church Bells chime. In the next town
down the road sirens scream at noon. They have memories of
destruction, and test their warning system daily. We pray a lot.

Posted via email from Wallace's posterous

Smooth - Carlos Santana

Friday, April 17, 2009

Learning To Mow From An Expert

The sun was out for two days in a row, so we finally had a chance to get the lawn mowed. We've been looking for a riding mower for weeks now, but have had no luck. So, we hired an expert ( that's her, standing next to the young man on the mower ), that is to say we talked to a neighbor lady who had a son that needed to earn some money ( he mumbled something about a hat that he really wanted at Walmart when I asked him what he would spend the $15 on ).

Mom was a patient teacher, and was standing close by from beginning to end. 

Things got a little tough, that is to say the lawn wasn't quite dry yet. So like a good Mother, she gave her son a 'little boost'. Sometimes there's no better lesson than a little applied energy. 

When he got going again, he finished the lawn in short order. 

The young man is eleven years old, but big for his age. In another year or so I'm sure he'll be hiring himself out to local farmers. By then, he'll have developed the skills, and the confidence to handle much larger equipment. But I think he'll always remember this day, when Mom had enough confidence in him, to allow him to take his first step into a 'Man's World of Great Big Toys'....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Talent, Poise and Presentation

I got this replacement video from Linda, thanks Linda!

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Of Captains and Pawns

Captain Richard Phillips was taken from his ship ( Maersk Alabama, a US flagged ship ), about 500km off the Coast of Somalia yesterday. 

Posted via email from Wallace's posterous

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I, Government

I'm wondering if Assimov's 'Laws of Robotics' should be applied to Government ( as if the Government was an artificial person ). Our Government isn't really alive you know, but it does present that illusion. That illusion does have power though, and power must be managed well. So, why not manage Government as Assimov suggests?

I would rewrite the laws to state;

Government may not injure a human, or through inaction allow a human to come to harm while it obeys the will of the people. Nor should Government allow itself to be altered or abolished as long as it protects and serves the people above it's own interest.

These principles could marry the American Conservatives passion for the individual, and the American Liberals desire for a Nanny-State.

This, of course assumes that Government has it's own interests, identity and spirit.

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Subterranean Economic Blues

With huge bonuses going to executives of many large corporations, I have to as, "What do they do with all that money?" My personal contact with the wealthy is limited to short trips in the taxi that I drove for twenty years, so my understanding of that social class is limited to that perspective. Those folks do tip big.

I left that job eight years ago when I returned to the agricultural community where I was born and raised. Most of all I miss the tips, that little bit of 'dash' that provides the instant gratification that is practically non-existant in a rural setting. Tips are a large part of the under-ground economy that you will find in any city, subterranean so to speak. I liken my sense of loss to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. So, what is the connection between the underground, Bob Dylan, corporate bonuses and my blues? Let me explain;

There is a line in Bob's song ( click on link above ), '...the pump don't work, cause the vandals took the handles...' That particular lyric has mystified myself and many others for years. Now I understand; Without the bonuses, corporate executives can't support the thousands of low-lifes ( like myself ) that depend so much on their filthy lucre. The pump is the economy, and the handle is instant gratification ( TIPS = to insure prompt service ).

When those executives left their homes to appear before the US Congress, I have no doubt that they tipped everybody they met along their route to those hallowed halls. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet they laid out thousands of dollars in largess that they fully expected to 'trickle down' through the economy, and thus 'stimulate' that same economy. Limo drivers, sky-caps, and valet parking assistants are just a few of those that benifit from their 'cash flow'. That is just the way the weathy contribute to society ( except for wealthy Canadians, they don't tip ).

How much of our lives, our jobs and our Government is dependent on an under-ground economy? For the last eight years, my wife and I have supported ourselves with minimum wage jobs, so we really don't feal the pinch like we would have 'back in the day'. The blues I feel are more nostalgic, than financial.

I'm also grateful that circumstances put disance between myself, and a very corrupt system that depends so much on instant gratification.

And about that pump, my neighbor has an old one in his back yard that works well ( if you work it )

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Thursday, March 19, 2009

President Obama fills out his March Madness Bracket

Barry likes Duke ( but says they won't go all the way ). I can get behind the Pres. on this issue ( especially since he proved himself with his Super Bowl pick ( he went with Pittsburgh, I liked Arizona ).

Sports Videos, News, Blogs


Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rumors of Wars

I am worried that the US and Mexico may soon escalate the 'War on Drugs' from a strategy of enforcement by civil authorities, to a shooting war on the border between the nations. Mexico has been using it's military for several years now in it's efforts to battle the Drug Cartels influence and control over several of their states. The US has supported Mexico's efforts with much money, and advisors under the banner of 'The Merida Initiative', but has refrained from deploying Federal Troops to the Mexican border ( although National Guard Units from the region have been alerted to the possibility of such a deployment ).

Living far north of the border ( in Illinois ) doesn't remove the affects of a conflict on the Rio Grande, as so many folks from south of the border live as neighbors and work beside mid-west citizens. If the US where to use Federal Troops to battle the Drug Cartels in the States, or ( God forbid ) in Mexico, would fear dictate the relationship between this minority and Non-Latinos? Certainly different states and regions of the US would react differently, but would the Federal Government be able to establish a workable general policy for dealing with conflicts inside the US?

One would hope that the Obama Administration is looking for models of past conflicts, and judging them for their successes and failures. The Internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War comes to mind, which brings up the issue of immigrants and Americans of Mexican descent that are ( or will be ) serving in the US military.

I have asked several questions, to which I have no answers. While we all worry about our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps we should also be concerned about events that are not so far over the horizen..

DoD photo by Staff Sgt Adam Mancini US Army - Released

Thanks to Sgt. Mancini for the photo.

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"I'm just glad I have a job," is a phrase heard more often lately. My thoughts echo that sentiment as I 'tag' news articles that focus on the economy, bailouts and legislation aimed at keeping American's on the job ( and in their homes ).

My shift at the Pasta Plant is scheduled for the weekly start-up, which means that in a few hours I'll be walking into a production area all gleaming and shiny from Saturday's clean-up shift. All the chrome will shine, the floor will be empty, and the plant will be relatively quiet for a few hours until production ramps up and the flour dust begins to fly.

Pasta is cheap food, and is not likely to suffer in the market-place like so many other products. Also, most of your major brands of pasta that are sold in your super-market are produced by a few companies. So I'll probably not get that pink-slip that so many are seeing lately.

Concerning my home, I am buying one but not with the help of a bank. I guess my wife and I didn't qualify for a loan as so many upwardly mobile folks did in the last several decades. We found a man willing to sell with a 'contract for deed'. Looking back, I think we are the fortunate ones ( not having to worry about banks and loan companies ). As long as 'our man' is solvent, so are we, and since we haven't missed any payments I'm sure he considers us an asset, rather than a liability.


Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don Surber » Blog Archive » Jesus and the Democrat

Today’s viral e-mail that’s making the rounds. It’s cute.

Come on. You want to read it:

A Republican in a wheelchair entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that Jesus sitting over there?’

The waitress nodded ‘yes,’ so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

The next patron to come in was a Libertarian with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea.

He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that Jesus over there?’

The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, ‘My treat.’

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, ‘Hey there, honey! How’s about gettin’ me a cold glass of Miller Light?’ He, too, looked across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that God’s boy over there?’

The waitress once more nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold glass of beer. ‘On my bill,’ he said.

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him and said, ‘For your kindness, you are healed.’ The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door.

Jesus also passed by the Libertarian, touched him and said, ‘For your kindness, you are healed.’ The Libertarian felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands, praised the Lord and did a series of back flips out the door.

Then Jesus walked towards the Democrat. The Democrat jumped up and yelled, ‘Don’t touch me. I’m collecting disability.’

I wonder how the Democrats would tell it…

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

State of the Individual

Much attention has been given to Pres. Obama's 'State of the Union Address'. Sadly I couldn't watch the speech as I was at work, fortunately the entire world was watching so I can read all about it today ( I'm taking the day off work ).

My question is, "What about the 'State of the Individual' ?" Is Individuality still an issue in this new age ( 2000+ )? From what I've seen lately, most people still think, speak and act as a herd while making little effort to express their individual hopes and needs.

I may be very similar to the many people you meet in life, but I still flatter myself with at least an illusion of uniqueness! I still try to be creative, and look for new ideas that are relevant to my life, and my dreams. These are a few things that I do to seperate myself from the herd, and establish myself as an individual;

  • I sing out-loud in public. I don't have a voice that people would pay money to hear, but singing the music I like tells the world that I am important, and my feelings are relevant.
  • I make up new words. Inspeculation is my latest effort at word-smithy. It refers to the uncertainty of enquiring minds, a bit more than an educated guess, but without the research required to establish something as fact.
  • I challenge assumptions. Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn't mean that things always have to be done that way. Most of the time it is a best-guess solution to a problem that is accepted as policy.
What is the State of Your Individuality, and what do you do to express your uniqueness?

Word for the day; Intactitude ( Humpty Dumpty's condition before his fall ).

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Barry

And here it is folks! White is still on line! It looks like Barry has moved in!

photo host site

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Breaking News; A New Year Has Arrived ( 2009 )

It's time to put up the new calendar, 2008 has passed away! And right on schedule, 2009 is up and running.

How many folks make the mistake of dating checks with the old year instead of the new in January? I bet a lot do!