Saturday, August 05, 2006

I’m Eatin’ “Goober Peas”

…and I Want My Money Back

Consider with me for a moment, if you will, ladies and gentlemen, the humble Legume called the Peanut.

You know…the Peanut, of Peanut Butter fame.

I’m quite proud to tell you that I’m a Peter Pan man myself (smooth, not chunky) and you can have Skippy and Jiff and all of that expensive organic crap they sell for $8 a jar.

I actually think that I eat my own weight in Peter Pan Peanut Butter each year.

By the way, did you ever wonder who the heck named all the brands of peanut butter in the first place?



Peter Pan?

Why not Betty and Barney and Fred and Ethel Mertz...but I digress.

Could it have been someone like Walt Disney that’s responsible for the names on today's Peanut Butter jars?

Any way…forgetting the various processed versions, my topic this morning is the native pea, in its native pod.

One, two, three, sometimes four, and IF you’re really lucky—FIVE luscious blobs of fat, protein, and starch—all neatly prepackaged in a fiber shell that splits right down the middle when you press in between your fingers or crunch on it with your teeth.

Specifically, I’m talking about BOILED PEANUTS.

I made myself some yesterday, and they absolutely, positively, are horrible…but it’s not my fault.

I bought them in the grocery store, green, to cook on the stovetop; but after I had finished 24 hours of soaking, salting, seasoning, and lovingly tending to my ambrosia, I was aghast to find that not only were my peanuts “green,” but they were REAL green.

In fact, they weren’t completely ripe.

Gosh dang it.

You see, I’m a bit of a peanut connoisseur, having grown up in southern Alabama in a major peanut producing area, and spending summers on a farm that in it’s day produced hundreds of tons of peanuts.

In fact, there are peanuts either growing or being processed practically everywhere you could look around where I’m from in LA (Lower Alabama.)

There’s even a monument dating back to 1919, in the little nearby town of Enterprise, Alabama, dedicated to the Bowl Weevil—a little critter that forced the post Civil War southern farmers out of cotton business (in spite of Mr. whitney's Cotton Gin) and into crops like Peanuts and Soybeans.

It seems that back in the late 1800’s a black dude named George Washington Carver was convinced by another famous African American, Booker Taliaferro Washington, to come down to Tuskegee Institute and once there Mr. Washington gave Dr. Carver some cash, along with all the peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes that he could handle.

We're not talking eating or snacking here either...

Massive research ensued.

When it was all said and done, there were thousands of new products and a number of US Patents issued as a result of his efforts.

I wish he’d (Dr. Carver) would somehow come back from his grave here this morning and fix MY peanuts.

Oh Well...It doesn't hurt to ask...

Here’s another thing about peanuts that many of my fellow ignorant city slicker southerners and most of you Yankees out there probably don’t know.

Peanuts are STRANGE plants.

They grow their stems and leaves and develope their blooms ABOVE ground, then the peanut plant turns around and somehow manages to dive the stems with the pollinated blossoms BACK INTO THE GROUND, where the peanut proceeds to develop like a carrot or potato.

You can take that little known fact with you to the TV show "Jeopardy" or go out and try to win some cash hanging around your favorite watering hole betting with ignoramuses that don't know peas beans about Peanut farming.

Heck...I’ve had doctors and lawyers and snake oil salesmen threaten to beat my brains out arguing about that fact…but it’s a FACT none the less…

All I know is that it looks like I cooked me the crappiest batch of boiled peanuts I’ve ever had tonight I said earlier…I WANT MY MONEY BACK…ALL $4 WORTH..Dangitttt.

My Grandpa Rushing is probably turning over in his grave right now if he knew how much I paid for RAW peanuts…


Ironically, if you look closely at the picture of Enterprise's Bowl Weevil monument, you'll notice that the marble statue is not actually holding the bronze Bowl Weevil insect...about 10 inches long...because it is a long standing tradition for various pranksters and high school kids to steel the "bowl Weevil " off of the top as a joke and hold it hostage.

I'm happy to report that when I last drove past a few weeks ago that the image of the bug was comfortably resting on it's perch atop the gothic maiden's vissage. I think that they had to make it a Felony or something to keep the bug in place for public viewing.

I can just hear the commentary of the times..."a spending a five hundred dolllllarssssss a building a monument to a gosh dang buuuuuugggggggg."

The descendants of those same people are complaining here in Brunswick today about "a spending thirty five THOUSAND dollars a carvin' on a stupid dang treeeee stumpppppp..."


Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally...From the NY Times...

Something I Can Agree With

OpEd contributor Billy Shore writes a piece entitled "The Flags of Our Sons" in today's edition of the NY Times.

"They stood at the window between Gates 43 and 45 and watched as a full Marine honor guard marched up the tarmac, coming to attention between the plane and a silver military hearse. The unloading of their son’s coffin from the cargo hold was very slow, and every time someone inside the terminal noticed and stopped to stare, someone else noticed and did the same, and this kept happening until about 20 people stood in silence watching out the window...

Except for a handful of us standing frozen at a respectful distance from the window, the war and its carnage might as well have been on another planet. The disconnect between those who serve and those of us who are beneficiaries of their service has always felt great to me, but never greater than at that moment.

The mom and dad stepped away from the man in the T-shirt and to another window, still not touching, their movement synchronized by grief. They waited until the marine in charge came back up from the runway to escort them to a government vehicle. I went to my car and drove to work with no ambition for the day other than to be worthy."

A free registration with the website is required, but I think that you'll find it well worthwhile.

Stop by and take a read, if you will...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Random Thoughts & Cogitations

I Have Very Little To Say, So I Will Resist The Urge To Say Much More...

Although the old adage "If you can't say something nice, don't say nuthin' at all" rarely applies here on this blog, I have to admit that I'm a bit short on words these days.

It could be because my mind—at least the part of it that hasn't atrophied—has been occupied elsewhere recently.

Rather than following the political landscape and cheering the Israeli forces onward toward downtown Beirut, I’ve been doodling park layouts and designing amphitheaters.

Rather than wandering around the pool deck in the 100 degree heat, I’ve been E-mailing government officials asking questions about DUNS numbers and getting permission to be an AOR (Authorized Organizational Representative)…silly crap like that.

The good news is that tropical storm Chris is having a bit of trouble strengthening or even staying organized as a tropical system because of “tropospherical sheer resulting in an offset of the center of circulation from the convection boundary at flight levels…blaa blaa blaa”

I didn’t make that last statement up (except for the blaa blaa blaa part)—I got it in an e-mail from the NOAA web site. Regardless, everything is just peachy here on the Georgia coast in the middle of what was predicted to be a record hurricane season.

I noticed that the Hurricane forecasters somewhere out in Colorado just reduced their predictions when it comes to the total number of named storms and the number of severe hurricanes this season.

What I wonder is why do we let people in Colorado worry about hurricanes in the first place?

Could it be that maybe they are the only ones with enough sense to stay far, far away from the Atlantic and Gulf coast between May and October.

Then again, very few people freeze to death or are buried in avalanches here on St. Simons each winter…so I guess that I’d call the situation a commercial wash.

There’s lots of juicy stuff out there, just read the news y’all…click on some of my links and go over and see what the lawyers at Powerline or Captain Ed over at
Captains Quarters is up to these days.

I’ll try to wander back by and peck on the keyboard a little later if I see something worth commenting on.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Government Spending???

Playing in the Spoils of Institutional Raping, looting, and Pillaging

I have to admit that I can hardly face myself in the mirror these days.


Just Because.

Because I realize that I’m just another Bureaucratic Wannabe, caught sticking my hand out to grab some of the public dole.

“Arts Funding” is my drug, and my second “drug of choice” is something called Federal “Block Grants.”

I’m currently wallowing in the application for both right now.

It’s actually ridiculously easy to fathom the process, and you can do it electronically on line now rather than spending your time licking envelopes and pasting postage stamps.

Anyone need their roof replaced or a swimming pool in their back yard...I be 'da MAN.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just In Case We Forgot Where We Are...

We're Almost Back In "The Cone Of Death"

Twenty Thousand Hits

Queue The Fireworks…

Well Folks, you actually did it.

What took my readers sixteen months beginning in August of 2004 to do, has now been done in slightly over seven months.

My hit counter here on this blog passed 10,000 visits on December 20th of 2005, and later today or early tomorrow I expect it to pass 20,000 hits (and over 1,060 individual postings.)

Now don’t get me wrong here, because I know bloggers that get 20,000 hits in one day, but they generally are selling something and most definitely paying for a hosting service and their blogs are loaded up with ads and pop-ups and stuff, but, here at “What I’d Liked to Have Said”…

All you get is just little old, hairy chested, ever graying, ever balding, pompas, arrogant, opinionated…


And this blog cost me nothing, except my time. And I find it to be a whole lot cheaper and infinitely more fun than therapy.

Thanks so much to my regular readers and commentors (all six of you), and I hope that some of the total strangers and accidental visitors will find something interesting and entertaining enough to make my humble piece of cyberspace a regular stop in your ramblings through the internet each week.

I am, therefore I blog…

It’s just that simple.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Quiet...I'm Actually Working...

Anyone out there know anything about applying for Federal Grants?

I've got 14 days to come up to speed on the process.

In addition, I've added a small outdoor amphitheater to the design--something that the kids and various performing arts groups can use when the weather isn't 10,000 degrees outside like it has been the past week.

Something that looks like this, on a slightly smaller scale:

Am I entirely crazy or what? Why can't I just settle for carving my tree, then crawl back onto the island and leave well enough along?

Because---I'M INTO PAIN AND ABUSE...not to mention PUBLIC RIDICULE.

Please wish me luck, because if they got all fired up and crazy over "a carvin' on a giant treeeee stumppppp", what will they think of bringing Shakespeare to the 'hood?

Yeah...I thought so...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Truth

I Almost Forgot To Mention This...

You know that I'm a news addict, and I thought that I would point out to those that care to read it The Jerusalem Post Website. It's only of interest if you really want to know what the hell is going on on the other side of our planet.

The local media is so busy screaming "oh my God...more dead soldiers and civilians" that they can't actually manage to pass on much information.

Any way...stop by if you will...

Landscape Architecture

It’s Tough Being Me…

I just don’t know if and how I can get everything done these days with my hectic schedule.

As an example, take a look at Saturday:

Wake up at 12:30 AM
Blog and read news on the internet
Take a nap at 4:30 AM
Wake up and snack
Go to the pool
Come home and shower.
Stop by the Art Gallery to pick up unsold photos from the last exhibit
Stop by Grocery store
Cook and Eat Dinner
Sleep on sofa
Crawl in bed
Wake up

You get the Idea…

Sunday is going to be even more hectic, because I have to spend part of the afternoon making pizza dough for another one of my monster white pizzas. I also have to manage to make time to cook a hearty brunch in there somewhere because Pat is getting tired of cereal and toast with Apple Butter for breakfast.

I’ve gotten back my enthusiasm for my K-Street Tree project because I’ve met a local landscape architect that works for Sea Island Company, and he is willing to help me develop the project.

For Free.

Well, at least he’ll provide some free advice.

I bounced my latest idea off of him about designing an ENTIRE PARK around our carved tree and he liked it. By “entire park”, let me add that the City of Brunswick already owns about 1.6 acres right beside where the tree used to live that are completely vacant, except for an old basketball court and a newer playground structure that must have been built in the last five or ten years. There is a Boys and Girls Club right across the two lane street from the parcel.

Talk about the perfect place for a park.

If I can get Jerry to lend his ideas and support to my effort, it will be MILES ahead of where it could be with just me sitting here all by my lonesome—because this guy is THE MAN when it comes to landscape architecture in this area.

See, the idea is to restore a bit of the native coastal landscape to the inner city, in an area between a school and several public housing areas, where the little kids never get to understand what living on coastal Georgia is really like—unless they get in a car or school bus and take a ten mile trip.

Due to “progress” and development and “urban renewal”, all they ever get to see is concrete, asphalt, and bricks, surrounding areas of flat bare dirt and wilting worn out grass.

My park idea would import back to Newtown Brunswick a slice of native coastal Georgia sub-tropical forest, with playscapes, a walking/jogging trail, and exercise stations mixed among the water features and our carved tree.

I know that building a park costs money, but it doesn’t hurt to do some preliminary planning and at least think about what you would like things to look like if you had the dollars to spend.

We may just end up carving and erecting our tree in the right place, then building the park over a period of years as the money trickles in.

It doesn’t hurt to dream, does it?