Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent Officially Begins

Today officially marks the first Sunday of Advent honored throughout Christian churches in Western Culture as the four weeks preparation until the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day.

The main symbol of the holiday is the Advent Wreath which traditionally holds four - or five - candles on a green wreath: three purple (or red) candles, one pink candle, and in many cases a white candle set in the middle. Each candle and the wreath itself symbolizes some important aspect of the Christians faith. 

The circle of the wreath: The Eternity of God. 
The evergreen wreath: Life & Immortality. 
The first candle: Hope. 
The second candle: Preparation.
The third candle: Joy.
The fourth (pink) candle: Love. 
The fifth (white) candle: Jesus Christ.
The five lit candles: The Light of the World. 

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and the lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. ~Luke 2: 4-5

To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, may all of y'all have a Blessed Advent and a Happy Holiday Season.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Planetary Photography - 11-26-2015 - Thanksgiving Full Moon!

I took a good picture of the full moon through the trees on Thanksgiving night once the cloud cover cleared. 

In North America and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere the full moon of November is called the: Frosty Moon, Hunters Moon, or the Beaver Moon. This is the last full moon before the Winter Solstice. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Happy 30th Anniversary Calvin And Hobbes!

On this day 30 years ago a brilliant cartoonist named Bill Watterson introduced the world to an adventurous and mischievous six-year-old boy named Calvin and his anthropomorphic stuffed tiger, Hobbes.  

From their amazing debut on November 18, 1985, till their final appearance on December 31, 1995, Calvin and Hobbes inspired an entire generation of American children and young adults.  

The first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip published on November 18, 1985 by cartoonist Bill Watterson.
Calvin and Hobbes has been an inspiration for all of us guys who nostalgically remembered the days we were once young boys and only needed their active imagination and favorite toy/best friend to get by in life. These were the days when girls were still icky and stupid and parents were totally clueless -- at least as we saw it at the time. 

I was nine-years-old at the time and remember reading the very first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip in my grandpa's paper. I was hooked right from the start. 

As an awkward kid, identified with Calvin right from the start: a highly over-imaginative rugrat who was the constant target of bullying by jerks, teachers who could not understand his brilliance, parents who did not appreciate his sense of humor, and best friends with a stuffed tiger that came to life in his imagination. 

Actually, as an adult today I know that Calvin was a bit of a little arrogant snot who was usually kept in check by his parents and -- to a degree -- by Hobbes and his often sardonic sense of humor. He was also the outlet for a bit of anti-social behavior. Unlike Calvin, any kid today fantasizing about blowing up his school with an F-15 fighter jet, or writing school reports about natural selections that involve predatory dinosaurs eating his "arch nemesis" Susie, and building snowmen being eaten alive by monsters with today's (somewhat bizarre and ridiculous) zero tolerance policies would probably have resulted with a trip to a psychiatrist for said child, and a good deal of medication....a fact once parodied by the Adult Swim series Robot Chicken.

Still, the rebellious adventures of Calvin and his sidekick Hobbes never failed to entertain me as a youth. Every week, through the outstanding comic artwork of Watterson, I would follow the duo on countless adventures from the densest jungles, to alien worlds and outer space, to the height of the Cretaceous Period as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, or a Deinonychus, playing superhero, and even the film noir world of the private investigator. 

Also what kid can honestly say they never pretended that a simple cardboard box wasn't a time machine, or space ship at one time, or another?

Calvin & Hobbes Travel Back To The Jurassic Period. Artwork by Watterson.

The philosophy of Watterson, as told by Calvin.

Foxtrot By Bill Amend. A Homage By One Comic Genius To Another.

Calvin and Hobbes will always be one of my top ten favorite comic strips of all time, and certainly one of the most inspiring to this writer and blogger's overactive imagination. 

Thank you for helping make my transition from childhood to adulthood awesome, Mr. Bill Watterson!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Demonstrating The Divide Between Confederate Heritage Preservation And Social Justics Idealism

Allow me to demonstrate the vast difference between Social Justice mindsets (or as I call it: "Just Us" in terms of the mentality of such activists) and those of honorable Confederate heritage advocates. 

The Guardian of the Dead

On one side of the coin we have this young man, a 10-year-old Jesse Carney of Castlewood, Virginia. 

Ten-year-old Jesse Carney had one wish for his birthday.
Instead of having a traditional birthday party, this fourth grader from southwest Virginia decided to spend his birthday helping efforts to help restore the historic Old Presbyterian Cemetery in Waynesboro. Among those buried in the cemetery, Confederate soldiers. 

He noticed on the internet via facebook that the Virginia Volunteers of the Confederacy -- a local preservation group -- were gathering the Sunday before Veteran's Day to honor those who had fallen during the Battle of Waynesboro and he wanted to be there. His parents, Loretta and James wanted to make sure that was the birthday present he wanted.

“I wanted the graves to be nice and I wanted to come,” Jesse said.
The family left their home in Castlewood early in the morning in order to make it up to Waynesboro in time for the event, to honor the soldiers and help clean up the old cemetery.
“We wanted to help honor our heritage and those who had fallen in honor of Veteran’s Day,” said Jesse’s father James, himself a veteran who served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1989 to 1991.

When Jesse and his family arrived that afternoon, they along with more than a dozen volunteers from all over central and southwest Virginia -- many of them, like Carney and his family, descendants of Confederate soldiers -- went to work fixing up the aging cemetery, which holds the remains of 13 Confederate soldiers and one Federal soldier. 

The site served as Waynesboro's cemetery between 1798 and 1898. First Presbyterian Church transferred ownership of the cemetery to Waynesboro in 1935. Most graves lack currently lack headstones. Remaining headstones are broken, misplaced, piled beside oak trees or laying on the ground. Other headstones were broken or painted by vandals. Iron fences surrounding family plots have been bent or torn down.
As the family worked to clean up the site, Jesse said he was happy with his birthday present. “That’s what I wanted to do for them,” he said of the soldiers.

Young Mr. Carney's actions, and those of his family and the other volunteers that day, are typical of the respect and sense of personal honor shown by most who honor Southern-Confederate heritage. Were he a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mr. Carney would most likely receive recognition as a guardian -- a person who takes the responsibility to clean and watch over the graves of the Southern dead. 

This blogger is also a SCV Guardian and helped to see that graves were properly honored as a youth as well

The Social "Just Us" Pinhead

This is Alexa Rice, an anti-Confederate heritage reactionary, self-proclaimed "unapologetic intersectional feminist" and member of the Black Lives Matter movement from Matthews, North Carolina.  

In short, one very confused individual.

For some liberals, the passion to muzzle any thought, symbol or slogan that does not dovetail with their ideology is so strong, they can’t contain themselves. A fact that this regressive little member of the self-appointed Thought Police demonstrated.
On Veterans Day of this year, Rice decided to "take a stand" against a neighbor by removing a bumper sticker with a Dixie Cross banner from that person's truck and replacing it with a somewhat pretentious, incoherent, and self-righteous note that reads:

The Confederate Flag is inherently RACIST. Under this flag, the South fought to defend slavery. 
This version of the flag was reinstated in the segregation era, again to defend racism. I don't care if it's your "heritage", racism is nothing to be proud of. 
                                                                                                        A WHITE WOMAN 


Screen shot of the factually incorrect note. (Also note the incoherent writing style.)

In an interview with Charlotte news services, Rice explains that she was riding her bike back from work and saw a neighbors truck unfamiliar to her that had a Confederate flag sticker on its window. 

Rice apparently went home angry and plotting a regressive course of action befitting a typical Social "Just Us" Warrior narcissist. She wrote the note pictured above and returned. After making certain that nobody would see her, Rice videoed herself removing the flag sticker from the truck -- an act of vandalism and willful destruction of private property -- then leaving the note. She then turns the camera around to show her face and conform to the world that a white woman did it. A video she later posted on Twitter to the praise of like-minded little twits.

When asked about the other side of the story, the person having the freedom of speech to put up whatever they want on their own property, Rice responded in typical Social "Just Us" Warrior logic:

"That means the government won't put them in jail. It doesn't mean that I won't respond to it. That right is important, but people should want to keep it on, keep the legacy going." 

Translation for those who think using common sense logic: I am pissed off and projecting my own hangups on issue onto other people I disagree with and don't take the time to try and understand! You should listen to me! Me! MEEE!!!

Growing up in Charlotte, Rice says the Confederate flag is always something that she's disagreed with.

"My whole family is Southern -- it's not about Southern heritage or Southern pride. It's dehumanizing black people, enslaving black people, and some people just go waving it around. I think it's important we don't sit with the status quo -- it's not alright. We can't pretend it's going to go away -- it is not going to go away, obviously."

From what I can see of her writing style, Miss Rice is one really mixed-up individual psychologically. Her simplistic, incoherent rant is written in three (count em) three different styles: regular lower-case style for the body of the note, followed by cursive, then a signature and P.S. written in all capital letters. 

Pointing out the obvious factual errors in the note would be far too easy and would embarrass this little moron even more than she's already managed to do on her own. The typical reactionary attitude of a self-hating Southern-born person so willing to reject what she feels is racism based only on a narrow-minded, regressive perspective is sad and sorry enough. 

The fact that her view of that flag alone shows her in complete agreement morally with white supremacists rather than the vast majority of Southern and American people is an irony that would again go right over this delicate snowflake's hollow little head.


The huge difference between young Mr. Carney and Miss Rice is that one is 10 years old with the sense of maturity, humility and honor beyond his years, while the other has the mentality of an immature attention-seeking 10 year old that refuses to accept things can't always be her way. 

I hope that Southerners today compare the two and ask yourselves which of these young people would you rather have representing the future of our culture and heritage?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy US Veterans Day

In honor of all of America's veterans - both living and dead - from all of America's wars, this blogger wishes everyone a  
Happy Veterans Day! 

God Bless America!