Friday, January 29, 2010
Now to be honest, none of this stuff really surprised me. Edwards was well known as a ambulance chaser around here and other than in various liberal enclaves was watched with a certain wariness. And Elizabeth, while I have the deepest sympathy for her illness, I don't have the slightest doubt that if she didn't know what kind of low life John was, that she should have known. I again don't have any doubts she was involved in the cover up so that she could be the "First Lady"
So on many levels it is sad and tragic story, but still I can't help but to find some humor in it. Too many years of being a cop with "gallows humor" I guess. I mean Johnboy and his inner circle treated this aide who wrote this "tell-all" book like a piece of trash, forgetting what a training Sgt. once taught me. He told me, "Son, just remember all the A**es you kick on your way up, you will have to kiss on the way down." Now it's been revealed that this aide has voice mail recordings as well as a "sex video" staring Johnboy and the woman in question. The sex tape is a little hard for me to believe, since I can't visualize Johnboy being able to stop looking in the mirror and making love to himself long enough to make love to a woman. I mean PLEASE. I bet you a fat man, (and here he sits) you can look up the definition of Narcissist in the dictionary and 9 times out of 10 you will see Edward's picture. The goodwife told me the entire story reminded her of what happens when white trash falls into money.
So I will sit back and wait to catch the latest developments on this unfolding soap opera.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I should be standing up in front of you guys with a cup of coffee in my hand and say: "Hi, my name is Mike W. and I am a Democrat."
There, I feel much better. -grin-
Yep, been a registered Democrat since I was 18 years old.
This stuns all my friends when I share this little fact with them. You don't have to know me for very long, (Or for that matter, be around me) before you find that my views and opinions just don't match what you would think that a average (whatever THAT means) Democrat would have. So why the contradiction? Quite simple. North Carolina was at one time, before the time of Reagan, a very serious "yellow-dog" Democratic state. In national elections, the tendency was to vote conservative, but a Republican didn't even need to show up for a local election. It was said that if you wanted to run a yellow dog for office, all you had to do was to register him/her as a Democrat and it would have a very good chance of winning. Of course, times and people were different then and a Democrat of that time was more conservative than a heck of a lot of Republicans are today.
Another reason for my choice was that as a young man just getting into the field of law enforcement as a career, I looked fairly closely at various Sheriff's departments for possible employment. I don't know what other states or commonwealths are like, but in North Carolina the Sheriff is the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county that he/she works in. Until fairly recently, the only person who could arrest a Sheriff in his/her own county was the coroner. The power of a Sheriff was pretty much unlimited. If a Sheriff was newly elected and didn't like any of the staff that had worked for the previous Sheriff, then he could fire any person he so chose. No reason was needed, since by state law the deputies held their commissions by the Sheriff's discretion and good will. I saw this happen numerous times. No Sheriff would totally clean house the day he walked in the door, but you can bet that he would have a game plan that just as soon as he could, he would have his own people in and the others out. Another angle was that any potential recruit to the department would have a very thorough back round check done on them, to include a check of their voter registration and history of voting. Mind you, not who they had voted for, but rather if the voted in the primaries and general elections. A Sheriff would look at a person who didn't get out a vote much a lot closer than someone who did. After all, votes are blood. He would also make sure that your political party would match too. Most Sheriff's were`always planning their next election the day that they won their first. They like it when deputies on their days off put up signs and campaign for their favorite candidate. We have a long tradition of Sheriffs staying in office just as long as they can, 20/30 years on average and most die there. So in the past, there was a valid reason for picking your political party very carefully, perhaps not so much these days.
Why don't I change? I don't know, perhaps just sheer hardheadedness. But it's worked so far, and I guess it will keep working, so I ask myself, why should I change?
Well, that's my story, and I am sticking to it................
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Now I will start small amounts of fluid (1 oz. every hour) and they will figure out where to go from here. At least we are going forward, rather than backward or spinning around in a big circle. No matter how slow the trip, it's still good to be going forward.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thank you all for your concerns, best wishes, prayers and good thoughts. They helped more than you will ever know.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This is from the movie "The 13 Warrior" and I thought it was appropriate.
Merciful Father, I have squandered my days with plans of many things. This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness.
Write ya'll when I get back................
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Mexican Chef's Salad I
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 TBS. Chili Powder
1 can Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Tomatoes (chopped)
1 Head Iceberg Lettuce (torn)
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Avocado (chopped) -optional-
1 Bag Corn Tortilla Chips (coarsely crushed)
1 1/2 cups Thousand Island Dressing
Cook the ground beef until done, drain and mix in the chili powder. Mix in all remaining salad ingredients. (except chips and dressing) Just before serving, add dressing, toss and top with chips. Serve immediately.
Mexican Chef's Salad II
1 Lb. Boneless Chicken (diced)
1 large can Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbs. Chili powder
1 Med. Onion (chopped)
3 Med Tomatoes (diced)
1 Med head Iceberg Lettuce (chopped)
1/2 Lb. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 cup Picante sauce (or to taste)
1 Large Avocado (sliced)
1 Large bag Corn Tortilla chips (coarsely crushed)
Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large frying pan until it starts to smoke. Add the chicken and fry over medium-high heat stirring frequently until they are browned (2 to 3 minutes) Add the drained kidney beans, salt and chili powder. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Toss the tomatoes, onion, lettuce, cheese, salad dressing and picante sauce together. Add the avocado and crushed chips and add to the salad.
Mix the cooked chicken and bean mixture into the cold salad. You can decorate with any extra chips and slices of avocado and tomato. Serve immediately.
All the people we have served these recipes to over the years love it. Not the best looking thing in the world but I think taste trumps looks most of the time. It doubles and triples quite well if you are trying to feed a big crowd, which led to it's nickname among our crowd, "trash bag salad" I was making a recipe X 4 for a gathering and of course, didn't have a big enough container to contain it. I grabbed a large (clean) trash bag to mix in which worked quite well. To this day, my friends still ask me when am I going to make up some more "trash bag" salad.
Give it a try..........
Friday, January 15, 2010
It seems that Pal Martha (Martha Coakley, the lady who is running for the Senate seat vacated by dead Ted) just keeps on keeping on. Here's the latest,
This is a excerpt from a radio interview between Ken Pittman from radio station WBSM and pal Martha
Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.
Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.
Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.
Martha Coakley: (……uh, eh…um..) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.
I have my thoughts and comment on this interview, but unlike most times, I will keep them mostly to myself. You can read the rest of this interview at Big Government.com
All I can say is that I sure am glad Pal Martha is around. She makes the pols down here in North Carolina look like geniuses. -grin-
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Clarinet was invented in Neuenburg, Germany. This made Benny Goodman very happy.
A treaty between Great Britain and the United States was ratified ending the American Revolution. Most people think that the war ended in 1781 with the British loss at Yorktown Va. But it continued and became (at least to me) much more interesting. With the entry of France, Spain, and other countries into the war, it became a world war. The Americans under Washington were forced to keep a standing army around (Just in case) and suffered small attacks by the natives on the frontiers and had to deal with a civil war between the "patriot" forces and loyalist who were busy evening up their old scores.
I think this period was one of Washington's greatest moments. This was the time when he single handedly ended a movement among the Army's officers to organize a military coup and take over the reins of government. Around this time he also turned down the chance offered by the officers of his army to be the new American King.
For you trivia buffs, the last official shot of the American Revolution was fired at the battle of Cuddalore, India on June 20th 1783.
Kluski Kapusta Po
(Polish Noodles and Cabbage)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup yellow onion (peeled and chopped)
4 cups cabbage (chopped or thinly sliced)
1 tsp. Caraway seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 oz. egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
Melt butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute until transparent. Add the cabbage and saute 5 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Stir in the caraway seeds, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile cook the noodles in salted water as directed on the package. Do not overcook. Drain well.
Stir the noodles into the cabbage and add the sour cream. Cook five minutes longer, stirring frequently.
We tried it just as it was written with a big piece of Kielbasa roasted in the oven on the side. But what I like about this recipe is that it's like a broad canvas. Lots of room to play around with it. Such as rather than butter, chop up some (dare I say it) Bacon and fry it up crisp then saute the rest of the ingredients in bacon drippings. I did use some Pensey's Krakow Nights spice mix rather than the salt and pepper called for. You might also toast or grind up the caraway seed, just for a little bit more bump of the taste. (I love GOOD rye bread) Filling, reasonably cheap and fast. What more could you want?
Here is another cheap and filling meal.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
Boiling Potatoes (peeled and quartered but, you can leave the skins on if you like)
One head of cabbage (chopped)
One can of corned beef
Peel and quarter your potatoes cover in slightly salty water. Boil until fork tender. Add the cabbage, cook until tender, then add the corned beef. Stir until the corned beef breaks apart, then serve it up when heated fully.
You can serve it with a good crusty bread or even cornbread. Whatever floats your boat.
I know there will be purist who will scream bloody murder that I don't get all Irish with a corned beef brisket and bring in a leprechaun to assist me, but this is suppose to be quick, easy and cheap, remember? I will match you the price of a can of corned beef vs. a whole brisket anytime. And I also hate leprechauns too, so there........ -grin-
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison in California. This led to a great album and both a national and international reputation for Cash that hasn't dimmed to this day.
And wouldn't you know it, he is another Sun Records alumni. That studio under Sam Phillips was able to chain the lighting as no one else has ever been able to do in the history of rock.
The Great New Orleans, Louisiana Fire begins. FEMA slow to respond. Bush widely blamed.
In 1832 or 34.......
Author of multiple"Rags to Ritches" stories Horatio Alger was born.
Dr. William Brydon a surgeon with the British Army became famous for being the only survivor out of a Army of 16,500 who attempted to march from Kabul to Jalalabad during the First Afghan-English War. The Afghans are not people to play around with which makes me wonder if the Light Bringer knows just what he has gotten himself into. Kipling put it best when he wrote in the poem " The Young British Soldier"
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
The Wham-O company produces the first Frisbee. They made my dog, very, very happy............
(A h/t to Mostly Cajun who I stole some of this post from)
My project pile is shrinking just a wee bit, I started working on several items to include a walking staff for my sister-in-law, a renovation on a sword for my messmate Chris, and re-gripping two cutlasses for myself.
I have also tried to catch up on my reading. Still working on historical tomes (I am delving into the history of the Russian/Finnish war of 1939-1940) but also a bunch of other stuff. I am re-reading some of Col. Jeff Cooper's works, and just to break the trend, I added a wee bit of brain candy. I got a copy of Monster Hunters International as well as The Zombie Survival Guide from Rick and Miss Nancy for Christmas. I have just finished M.H.I. ( A cracking good read) and have started T.Z.S.G. This monster stuff is pretty good escapist stuff. Takes me back to the days of my youth and it's monster movies and models. I have my eye on two other volumes that I might get, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Miss Nancy is reading that one now) and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
And so it goes..............
Sarah Palin began working on Fox News last night, and of course the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity on the left started up with their comments calling her such things as ignorant, stupid, dumb, redneck and so on. Then came the sudden silence from the media about the comment from Martha Coakley. (Ya'll know Martha? She is running for the Senate seat formally held by late, unlamented Dead Ted Kennedy in Mass.) Ms. Martha said during a televised debate the other night that we need to pull out of Afghanistan since there are no more terrorist there. I would say that the families of 6 C.I.A. operatives would argue that point with her, but I digress.
Once again, if Ms. Palin would have made a comment like that, the libs would have been licking themselves all over with glee like a cat in sunshine and pontificating about her lack of smarts, but since it was "Pal Martha" the silence is again, deafening.
Hypocrisy, thy name is liberalism...........
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I got stuff hurting that I didn't even know I owned. So, enough of this crap O.K.?
And for all you folks that live in this mess, all winter long, you have my admiration and respect. I know "I" couldn't do it, but you folks that do, well, I figure you guys are tough enough to turn goat pee into gasoline, and that ain't no lie..........
Come on Spring.................
Nancy is one of my best friends. A woman of wit, warmth and wisdom and is the mother of my best little buddy, Miss Susan. I am sure that you will enjoy her post and growing to know her as much as I have at least, via her writings. Check them out at:
"In light of President Obama's decision to forgive Harry Reid's remarks about Obama's skin color and lack of a "Negro dialect," check out what Obama said about Trent Lott in 2002:
Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D-13th), who hosted WVON's Cliff Kelley Show, challenged the Republican Party to repudiate Lott's remarks and to call for his resignation as senate leader.
"It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate (Lott) suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do," said Obama.
He said: "The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party."
--From the December 12, 2002 issue of the Chicago Defender."
Sorta reminds me of the time when my daddy would tell me, Son, don't do as I do, do as I say.
I gotta admit I didn't like it then and still don't like it now...............
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The War of 1812 has to be one of the strangest wars that America was ever involved in. On the face of it, America was justified in going to war. England was using the natives as proxy warriors on the western American frontier to attempt to stop American expansion. The British who were engaged in a world war with the French and their allies who were led by Napoleon, were blockading most of Europe forbidding American trade with anyone other than England. The British Navy, always short of manpower, made it a habit of "pressing" seamen from American flagged ships to fill up their crews. So there was reasons for the war. However, I think that the war could have been avoided if enough people hadn't wanted to fight it.
For the most part, I think that both sides wanted a war and would have done almost anything to fight it. The English wanted revenge for the war that had lost America, the Revolution. There were some in England who could not swallow the fact that they were bested by the colonial yokels. (Even though the Americans didn't win the war as much as the English lost it) They also saw America as a very powerful and dangerous enemy in the world of trade. The America merchant fleet was young, vibrant and actively and aggressively looking for new markets for American goods, thus hitting England in the pocketbook.
The Americans on the other hand wanted to prove to the world that the revolution wasn't a fluke, that they had bested "John Bull" once and could do it again. The War Hawks, (Congress members who supported war) wanted to stop British influence among the western Indian tribes to allow western expansion and even wanted to invade Canada to try to make it a part of the U.S.
That is not to say that all Americans were in favor of the war, there were protest, riots ("Light Horse" Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee was almost beaten to death by a mob in Baltimore because he opposed a war with England) and at one time, the New England states (who's merchant ships were being affected by the English blockade) very seriously contemplated seceding from the union to negotiate a separate peace with England.
The war it's self was pretty much a tie. England troops were tied up in Europe fighting the French and it's navy was spread pretty thin so it was as if England was fighting the war with one hand tied behind it's back. Even with these handicaps the British managed to keep Canada safe, burn our capital in Washington and pretty much go where they wanted to up and down the east coast thanks to the British navy and it's blockade of our ports. The Americans did manage to win a few stunning victories, particularly at sea with our young navy. So when the treaty was signed in Ghent, Belgium in December 1814, everything was placed pretty much like it was before the start of the war. Status quo ante bellum as the term goes.
Which in my long winded way brings us to January 8th 1815. Notice the date? 1815, after the treaty had been signed. Information didn't travel as fast as it does today so both side thought the war was still on. The English having extra troops just finished fighting Napoleon brought them over to humble "Brother Johnathan" (They even asked Wellington to command, which he refused. No fool that man) They made plans to assault the city of New Orleans. For not only the loot that would be found there, but also to control the Mississippi River and also control the American frontier. They had what they thought would be a overwhelming force, 11,000 men in the expedition, 8000-9000 in the assault. Against this force, what did the Americans have to match it with? A thrown together mixture of U.S. Army regulars, Navy sailors and Marines, Militia from Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana, Free Men of Color, Choctaw Indians and even Baratarian Pirates. All in all, anywhere from 3500 to 4500 men.
The battle didn't last long and when the smoke cleared, The British had suffered 2055 killed and wounded and captured, while the Americans only suffered 101 killed, wounded and captured. The British were attacking the Americans in fixed defensive positions across open land. They also made several errors in coordinating the attack and they very much underestimated the Americans. But I would say that the biggest contributing factor to the American victory was the American commander, Andrew Jackson.
Jackson was a man of the frontier. He led from the front and was trusted by his men. He had the common touch and he was the kind of man you felt you could split a jug with.
He also had a almost pathological hatred of the British. You see, Jackson was a hard man and never forgave or forget an insult or injury, no matter how small. Jackson and his brothers had served in the American Revolution as scouts and spies. Being captured, Jackson was ordered to clean the boots of a British Officer. Jackson refused, and was slashed in the face with the officer's sword. He bore the scars for the rest of his life. Jackson's brothers had died from illnesses they had caught in British P.O.W. camps, and Jackson's mother had also died while attempting to nurse her sons back to health. So in Jackson's mind, the English had taken away every thing good and stable in his life and he was burning for revenge. On the killing field of Chalmette Plantation, Jackson obtained at least a small bit of satisfaction on the English.
So we have a battle which was fought after the war was over. So what effect did it have? None on the war, but much on the psyche of American people. Since the war was a tie, the battle built up the self-esteem of the people. After all, we showed those Redcoats. It also ushered in the age of the common man. The public made heroes of Jackson's "Dirty-Shirts", the long hunters of Kentucky. The fiddle tune, The 8th of January was written to commemorate their service and a bit later, another was written, The Hunters of Kentucky. As for Jackson, the victory at New Orleans was one of the major factors that landed him in the White House.
While Elvis was almost universally known, with countless fans world wide, he seems to have a certain special place in the hearts of people of the south. I think the reasons for this are varied, of course his talent, and ability to perform had a great deal to do with it. But I think that there were other things that impacted on his fan base such as his modest demeanor and his ability to reach out to the common person. But the most important thing was that he was a rags to riches story. Elvis came from nothing, and became a very rich and famous person. He made it by pulling up on his own bootstraps, which just showed that with work, talent and luck anyone could make it big. That is very comforting to someone in a dead end job, a poor person, a person who is down on their luck, they could say, "Hell, if 'ol Elvis could make it as tough as he had it, I can too" (You could also see a lot of this same mindset about Dale Earnhardt who was killed at Daytona a few years back, Dale being another rags to riches story)
Elvis's life was also a cautionary tale, about what happens went some one gets too much, too fast and doesn't have any safety net or support network. Elvis never had anyone to say no to him. This lead to his death at 42 from drugs. We see this over and over again, Michael Jackson, John Belushi, Jim Morrison, and so on. People just don't seem to learn from the past and to a degree we all suffer. What would have Elvis have contributed to the world with future music had he lived? What would have any of these artist who died too soon have contributed? Who knows.
As for myself, I will remember the Elvis of his early career. The days of Sun Music and the raw talent that just seemed to pour out of his every pore. He was like a meteor in a cloudy sky, and burned out much too soon.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Memsahib has been kissed and hugged, the cats have been scratched and the dog has had his belly rubbed and all animals have been given their treats. So things are back to normal. (Whatever that might be around here) However, while sitting back and toasting my toes in front of the fire, drinking a hot cup of tea, my eyes fell on my project list that I keep on the table beside my command chair. Before my road trip, I don't remember it being that long. And of course, it doth call to me and bid me take my place with it. So I guess that I will need to bundle up and go down to my shop and start getting some things finished. I keep forgetting that there is just no rest for the wicked.............
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Yesterday, I had a chance to go to a indoor range with Ms. Nancy. We went to The Range, just outside of Fredericksburg VA. (I think they are more properly in the town of Stafford)
Not a bad range, all in all. The staff were friendly and it beat standing out in the wind.
Miss Nancy and I worked on developing muscle memory and learning where all the parts of her weapon are. We did multiple magazine changes, malfunction drills as well as working on some of the basics of marksmanship and safety. Now to be honest with you I would love to be able to say that due to the keenness of my intellect and my skills as an instructor that Miss Nancy became a skilled and proficient marksman, but again, I didn't do that much. I am one of those folks who think that there are some folks that have a natural talent for various things. Miss Nancy happens to have a talent for shooting. She just needed a tweak here and there, more suggestions than anything else. In the meantime, she very happily blew the better part of the 10 ring out of a B-27 police silhouette target with her XD. I left her with a few ideas on how to include a flashlight in her shooting and told her to practice what she had learned until I could come up again in March. I am looking forward to seeing how she has progressed in that time.
Monday, January 4, 2010
True story. Since my surgery, I can't take in as much food as I did, so I crave taste and textures. More bang for my buck, taste wise. I discovered Jowl bacon was even better than regular bacon so I brought some up to share with Rick, Nancy and the little whipper. The other morning, Ms. Nancy cooked up some and when she placed the platter on the table, Rick, well I have only seen that kind of reaction from a well trained English setter going on point. Rick was actually trembling. He didn't take his eyes off the plate as he asked Ms. Nancy, "Do you have any plans for that bacon?" Ms. Nancy with aplomb replied that she "WOULD like one piece to eat."
Did I tell you my buddy Rick REALLY LOVES bacon?
We had a chance to take the shooting irons to some friend's house yesterday and put a few rounds down range. We didn't shoot as much as we would have liked, due to cutting wind and low temps but I was able to see how Miss Nancy and her Springfield XD work together. I was delighted to see that they are a very good team. Having had to work with people that didn't know the pointy end of the bullet goes in first, Miss Nancy has a darn good working knowledge of how weapons work and is going to make what I want to do a great deal easier. At 7 yards she was able to put most of her magazine into a circle about 4" in diameter. The ones outside the circle were within the gnat's a** of being in. If we had been shooting at a standard silhouette, they would have all been in the 10 ring. Not too bad for someone who started out shooting both a matchlock and flintlock smoothbore musket, without the benefits of any type of sights. Before heading back home, I hope to work with her on a few "helpful hints" (You may call me Heloise) I am looking forward to passing these things on.
In other shooting news, I now have a pellet riddled wolf target from Miss Susan as a collector's item. I thought I would put it up in my shop at home until she turns 16, at which time I would return it to her to show to her prospective boyfriends. Well, it's a thought.......
Rick, loyal and dutiful husband to Miss Nancy, got to crank off a few rounds from his Christmas present from Miss Nancy, a 1891/30 Mosin. We were delighted to see that the rifle performed quite well, accurate with mil surplus ball. Checking the fired shell casings didn't show any sign of head space problems, there were no difficulties with working the bolt, so it looks like the rifle is in very good shape. As I told Rick, it seemed to be a good choice for Zombie defence at 200 meters. Not to mention the bayonet which can be used for it's original purpose or as a field expedient tool to cook Shish-Ka-Bob on.
After the shooting, we all retired to the house where we feasted on leftovers and warmed up with good conversation, good company and fellowship. All in all, a good time was had by all......
Friday, January 1, 2010
I wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope that it is a good one, or at least better than the last one.
Last night I sat up until midnight and was reminded of a tradition that I thought was southern, but am finding out that it SEEMS to be universal. On both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, folks have a tendency to fire off firearms. I always wondered why folks did this, (Other than the Hell raising aspect of it all) It seems to be a very old custom, going back to the colonial period. When I was doing some research on law men of the old west, I found that the town codes of Tombstone, Dodge City and a few other cattle towns forbid the discharging of firearms in the limits of the towns with the exception of Christmas Day and the 4th of July. It's sorta strange to think of a time where it was considered "O.K." to step out in the back yard and touch off a few rounds. I will not address the safety issues of this, pro or con, I KNOW it isn't the safest thing to do.
In North Carolina, this tradition carries on in a small town named Cherryville, in the western part of the state. They have been doing a traditional New Years day shoot as long as anyone can remember. It has a lot of ritual involved and is very well received by the folks who live in town. They have a web site to check out with links to videos of the shooting. Check it out:
I keep on planing to be with them one of these New Years Eve, but haven't made it yet. Maybe next year....