Showing posts from 2010

Brew Day Shenanigans ( Originally a post on

Oh my head. It feels like it's gonna burst. Let me tell you a little story... So I have made enough beer now that when asked " Man, I'd like to see that done - can I come over next time you brew" I told an acquittance "Why not - be there at noon Saturday. I'mma brew an IPA recipe I think will work - we'll have a blast." If I had only known..... If I had only know than when I went to the LHBS I would get struck with the crazy notions that 1) I want to do a brown ale from grains and 2) You know that BIAB method has been pretty smooth - I can do both in a day. Some of you more seasoned folks are probably all ready shaking your heads - new brewer, 2 AG BIAB batches , and you KNOW we're not just gonna sit around and sip tea..... Brew Time was set for 12:00 noon. As I have with all my past brews, I settled in an hour ahead of time to drink one of my recent brews, sanitize, check equipment, you know. Well, that turned into another beer because since the

Thanksgiving 2010 - Some Good, Some Bad

It's that day again. My favorite of all Holidays, even over Christmas. I do not know why, maybe it is not that I LIKE Thanksgiving so much, as I dislike the other ones each on a different level. I guess I am obligated to list the things I am thankful for, but to be honest, I think I do that plenty enough. I mean, everyone I know knows I love my wife and kids, my parents and my sister, and all my extended family. Who is not thankful in these times if they have a job? Of course I am thankful for living in a c ountry where I can bitch and moan and not worry about some secret police taking me out in the middle of the night ( for now atleast ..) Here are some you may or may not know - I am thankful for two dogs this year - Biscuit, who we lost in June after having only for a short while, was an amazing dog that every person who met seemed to love. Biscuit was quite the hit at the spring cookout we held, and I miss that dog. Wish he could have grown into an old age - I think he would hav

Fellow Workers - Unite! For Coffee!

The morning finds me about 3 1/2 hours due west from my bed - I'm in the beginning of the mountains of NC to attend a class in order to maintain some certifications I hold. It is beautiful here - I would love to move here I think. I think that every time I am here. But I also know I spaz out after 24 hours of snow , so in truth it should never ever happen. But, being I am far from home, I am awake early. I have already walked about 2 miles, down into the little fast food / gas station oasis down the road from my hotel, just to kill some time and not awaken the coworker who I shared the room with. And as I came back, I watched the hotel as it came to life - lights popping on in rooms left and right, top and bottom floor. And I looked at the parking lot, and despite the fact we are in a most beautiful scenic location, in the peak of leaf season, I realized the parking lot has probably no more than 1 or 2 cars I would attribute to tourists or vacationers. By and large it is work vans


It’s Halloween again. That night again. The night that monsters will roam in the moonlight, without hiding in the shadows, and witches will promenade down the street. Such a farce – none of the monsters are real. They are plastic masks worn by plastic people. A man who wears a mask of being whatever passes for normal 364 days a year gets to put on the mask of what he dreams he could be for one night. Sad. I see them, teaching their offspring ho tow act like all the others, how to do what is expected of them. That is making a monster – forcing your ill conceived dreams and plans upon the innocent. If you want to see a monster, go to the local ballpark and watch a 35 year old father with a beer gut and a bald spot yelling and instructing an 8 year old on how to play a child’s game. I watch as they tell their kids that monsters are not real, that witches are fairy tales – and then they turn around and warn them not to take candy from strangers or get in the car to help someone look fo

HATE - Original to Facebook 1/13/2009

Ever since a visit from a an old friend ( and I would hope a few new ones) , a statement I made has bounced through the corners of my mind like one of those supermrket hi-bouce balls. Omitting the build up, I made this observation (or something close to it - Heather can correct me if i have it wrong or too far out of context): " I don't hate anyone. Its a waste of time. I used to think I would hate 2 people forever, I actually fed on it, and then one day years later i thought of one of them and realized i had not for years - so how could I hate them? " At this point, I was asked the identities, which I declined to provide, only an allusion to one, and the conversation grew on and meandered like all good ones do. Thats enough of that - lets leave it to those of us who were able to share each others time. But the thought, the phrase - HATE. It has bounced, jumped, crashed around in my mind, and now I have to excise it to set it free - kinda like when you get a tune locked i

The Unspoken Unemployment Problem - Original to Facebook 7/01/2009

Unemployment in my home county was 11.7% in May, as reported in the Dunn Daily Record. Everyday it seems that a new story rips through all the other headlines, and it is always another plant closing, a lay off, a reduction in force, a cutting back, whatever. The point is, there are an amazingly alarming amount of people out of work. So it would lead one to believe that there are no jobs to be found. That is sure enough a common refrain “I’ve been out of work for 6 months” “I have not worked in 2 years” Ad naseum – You hear this all the time, all over the place. But take a second to check out the jobs websites and the classified ads – there are lots of jobs out there – and therein lies the small part of the bigger problem I want to address. Lets work our way up – shall we. There are lots of unskilled jobs, but no one wants them. Fast food, cleaning motels, washing cars, working for a local farmer. These are the jobs people do not take because “I can’t make a living working for minimum w

Right Way, Wrong Way, My Way - Original to Facebook 6/16/2009

So kiddos – it’s time for another one of these stream of consciousness rants and raves and whatever I want to say note thingy. As always, hope you like it. Some thoughts are expanded upon, others just flashes in my brainpan. First off – Gay Marriage. I do not know why this is so much on my mind – pretty sure that after almost sixteen years of marriage to a wonderful woman and 3 sons I am not gay. But this is an issue that I am so tuned into right now. I really do see it as a civil rights struggle – being fought mainly by a generation of lawmakers who should understand what civil rights are! I do not see marriage as a religious institution in a country that attaches medical, leagal and social applications to those who are ( or can be) married. I think love is love – I found mine years ago and it ages and grows like an old oak tree – getting stronger every day. I think all people should be granted the same privilege. The argument that they can be in love without being married – sure, I w

15 things I am NOT thankful for.... or .. The 2009 Thanksgiving Note Part 1 - Original to Facebook 11/24/2009

The Hillbilly Philosopher has been impressed with all of those who have managed to post what they are “thankful” for this month as they reflect upon the Thanksgiving Holiday. So he decided with his usual smarminess and a little profanity to make a list of shit he is NOT thankful for, and see where it lands. 1) I am not thankful for mosquitoes or fire ants. I am thankful that they do not seem to irritate and bite me like they do other people, but the little bastards themselves – nope, not thankful at all for them. 2) I am not thankful for yogurt. No person should ever have to be even close to a supposed food that smells like a baby just spit up breast milk in it. Yogurt is fucking nasty. 3) I am not thankful Mello Yello. It is a far inferior version of that sweet nectar of the gods, Mountain Dew. They cost the same in almost all markets and formats – why cheapen yourself with Mello Yello when you can get the real thing? 4) I am not thankful for non-alcoholic beer. Do I like beer? Certai

50 things I AM thankful for -or- The 2009 Thanksgiving Note, Part 2 - Original to Facebook 11/26/2009

After the fun ( and liberating experience ) of my “NOT Thankful list”, I figured I should at least show I’m not a total putz, and make a real list of things that I am thankful for everyday. They start of kind of serious, I must admit, but then quickly run to the silly shit I usually write, and I figured that if I could find 15 things for the first list, I should be able to find ten fold as many for the second. I did 50, and it got kind of long, so I stopped. Gotta leave something for next year, right? So go get a drink and a snack - this is going to be a long one. I AM THANKFUL FOR : 1. My family as a whole. I have a wonderful family, in each area of description, and will mention them individually, but I am thankful overall for the fact that I have such a large and complete family that can get along, and enjoy each other. 2. My wife, my sweetums, my best friend, my honey bunch, my Beth. We stuck it out when folks said it would never work, we fought it out when we had to, we have manage

Pieces of lint, shards of Glass - Original to Facebook 12/19/2009

Sweet Mercy, I have a damn headache. I did not drink all that much, despite my postings and such - but I have an ass kicker of a headache this morning. Maybe it's the weather - who really knows? So, Christmas is gonna be her in 1 week. Cool. This year is gonna be the year that defines " It's the thought that counts" - because my happy ass is broke. Hello Dollar General - It's good to know thee. Seriously, I am cutting way back. And am not worried about it. IF anything, I am kind of ashamed of the over the top manner in which I have given gifts in the past. So I'm done - Fuck the Joneses, I ain't keeping up anymore. I need some coffee. I'm going to go get some, and leave for a few minutes, but you'll never know it as you can keep reading. Kinda blows the thinly woven fabric f a lie of a note being like a conversation, huh? If it were, you'd know. As it is, I already have my coffee, and you never missed me. Ta - Da! I spent some time this past we

Jeffrey Davis is 35 - a few memories...Original to Facebook 1/06/2010

Jeffrey Davis is my boyhood buddy, my "bestie" in today's lingo - but he will always be "Boo Dog" to me. Here are a few memories I have some of our exploits ... * I never won many fights - as a rule I avoided them at all costs. But in fifth grade, when Jeffrey and I had done some school work ahead of time, and a classmate was going to "tell on us", I broke crazy and jumped across a desk and tackled him to get my notebook back. Jeff occasionally still reminds me of this. * Boo Dog called me 'Slide" - the only person to do so, and it would sound funny from anyone else, but from him, it fits. ( Kinda reminds me of his dad , too ) * Jeff used to ( and still may , I admit I don't know ) love to draw "graffiti" on notebook paper. He could produce subway quality work at a young age, but sadly, our small North Carolina town had no subways. * Jeff was always polite and generous to a fault. I was the bad guy, he was the good guy. And have

Jell-O Shooters and Texas Pete Cupcakes - Original to Facebook 1/22/10

I have been a little grumpy lately, and I think I know why - it has been a while since I cleaned out the filing cabinet in my head, and maybe mental constipation has taken its toll on me. So, like you have seen before, here is my off the top of the head and a few better thought out thoughts. * I have been enjoying the little writing project for THE SUMMIT that some folks and I have been doing. I think it is interesting to see how folks craft story lines, and to see folks get involved. I have to admit it is grown a little bigger than I expected after the first few - hell - I never expected a second one - but all in all I am having fun with it. If I had to find any fault with it at all, it is that I have stopped with my "one off" pieces of drivel, like the one you are reading. Lately if I write anything, it is SUMMIT material. I did write a short at Christmas, when I promised to write 12. I did one, or actually two, but did not post the second one out of a last minute case of r

Pancakes with a side order of Chlorophyll Original to Facebook 1/24/2010

My last rambling note, upon reflection, was full of deep, almost serious thoughts. Here is another helping, with a little bit lighter fare. As always, thanks for reading. * I like a good fart joke, or poot reference. Most folks I know do too, even if they do not mention it polite company or to the world in large, in a small group they will make a joke, poot sound, or tell an embarrassing story. Which leads me to believe that all people actually like fart humor. This then makes me wonder about famous, respectable people. Like when the Presidents of two major countries have a meeting after a meal of broccoli and onion salad, and in the middle of intense discussion one of them rips off a good one. Or if the Pope has ever asked a Cardinal "What died in there?" I know, obscene - but makes you wonder, huh? * I think that banks ought to have to be open any hours that the people in their community are at large. Not an ATM - but during the night, when third shift guy gets his lunch br

The Vacation Notes - Before and After ( Originally separate - combined here )

Before OK, so I'm on vacation. And by vacation, I mean that I am not at work, but I still get phone calls all day, and the email does not stop. And by vacation I mean we have to clean the house and cut the yard before we go. Oh, and laundry. And then there is the ride down to Myrtle Beach ( North Myrtle Beach by the way - apparently there is some difference to where you address is in Myrtle Beach, I guess like living in 90210 or right next door in 90077 ( Bel Air btw ). Check in is at 3:00 - then you have to unpack, go buy provisions, and then rest for two days before packing it all back up and returning again. This is gonna be fun, if it kills me. ( LOL ) This is kind of nice, because it is a break in the absolute busiest time of our work schedule. Of course, that means I am getting hella calls, because I am not at work at the absolute busiest time of our work schedule. OK, so if you know me, really know me, you know I am not, and have never been, a beach guy. I pretty much avoid

"Hello! Welcome to-" "Oh shut the Hell up!" - Original to Facebook 8/25/10

My Dad is a world class greeter. He really is. When my Dad sees you, you know it. It can be in his yard, or in town at the Food Lion ( irony to follow ), or where ever - but if he sights you, he's gonna make sure you know it. He does it with flair, and with respect. You feel like you are at that very moment the very center of the world. As you should when someone greets you. He does not have a pat greeting, not a repetitve " Hey (insert name) How are ya?" or a " Well look who's here, ( insert name). " Rather, he just naturally has a way of thinking up the right words and cadence and phrase to tell you hello. It is honestly something I fail miserably at. Being a natural greeter is just that - natural. You either can do it, or not, and to force it is worse than no greeting at all. The best greeting's are from friends and family or folks that you do business with on a very regular basis. Who did not wish they were "Norm" on Cheer's and hav

Everyone Farts - Get Over it - Original to Facebook 9/01/10

It's a Wednesday. I have a slight buzz from a sampler pack of Shiner Beer from Shiner Texas. My mind is like a broken merry go round - lots of screaming, a little blood, and a clown over to the side with a grin and a meth habit. Here we go kids - this one's gonna be adult only material... *** You know what's fucked up? Gas Prices. Not in the "Man this gas is too fucking expensive" - We all go through that, and truthfully, gas in not THAT expensive when you look at other indexes. ( really, it's cheapr than Coca Coal by the cup at a gallon pric from McDonalds, and much more diverse, but I digress). ANYWAY - my problem is the changing price index. I am sorry - I understand supply and demand, I understand availibility versus futures, but come on - there is no way the market is that damn volitile. If it was EVERY product would be that volitile, due to shipping costs alone. Think about it. You understand now, don't you? *** Drama - I hate it. But I will not

Let's get serious for a moment - A little Girl Named Emily

Usually I use this space to kill some time,maybe spout off a little bit of my odd mix of politics, witticism and such, and have a good time gauging the reactions. Occasionally I write a little fiction, or pen some rather dark fiction under a nom de plume of Hilton Stiles. And of course, if you know me, you know I love to write my not really a review restaurant reviews. I have not however tried to write any science fiction. At least not since I was a middle schooler and had a crush on an adorable girl who was mesmerized by Issac Assimov, but as the phrase goes, that is a whole another story. If I did write some science fiction, I might write about this awesome weapon that some dark goverment ageny was going to try, one that would be unseen in the air or food, but once in a body it slowly turned the fluids of the body into crystals. It would grow in the cornea of the eyes, so that if untreated they would cause pain, light sensitivity and blindnes. Perhaps it would make a persons blood so

What I have learned ... "Our Lives" Column Essay Entry * NEW TO PUBLIC

** Never made public prior to post, this is the 250 word essay I entered to The News and Observer as my bid to secure one of the "Our Voices" columnist slots. I have heard nothing, and guess that they were not interested. Enjoy. The HP ** After 35 years, I have been taught many lessons in school and in life, but what I have learned, I have learned from my heart. Sadly a lot of what I once thought I had learned turned out to be either incorrect – or I learned that it had changed and what I had learned was no longer valid. I learned in my sophomore year of High School I loved a special little girl. Then I learned she did not love me. Then I learned what heart ache was. Later I learned that I loved another young lady, more than any other, and we married. Have been for 17 years now. Back when we were young folks said “You will never make it – you are too young – you are being foolish”. I learned that they were being mean, or trying to help when they had no place of interfering. N

Barrel Monster Mania...Original to Facebook 6/20/2009

OK - this one is gonna be short. If you did not know, I work for a larger than average construction company in NC. ( By disclaimer, I will not name them, but I will say I like my job, my employees and the things I do. I work with some pretty cool people, and have a great boss. Sure, I have the occasional shitty day, but even a pie taster gets a case of the shits every now and then.) Anyway.. Recently the news, including local and national, and internet based, have all had a story, a blurb, or a photo of the infamous Barrel Monster. This was created by a student at NC State, and showed up on a constuction project. Appaerntly, the barrels for the structure were liberated from the project, without consent of the owner. I have mixed fellings about this whole thing. I am not going to take a side, just let you in on my thoughts. 1) It is cool. It is cool as hell. Shows imagination, and I like it. 2) Is it art? Sure, I will give you that. But that is all I know - i do not know weather it is f

Facebook, Friendship, Life Changes and Attitudes Original to Facebook 9/11/2009

Chris Jeffries made a passing statement a while back about how facebook is changing the way we look at "friendship". I thought this was spot on, as the same thing had crossed my mind. The comment thread seemed to gloss over it though, and deal with a more pressing issue ( which was the real point of his note anyway, I think) and I decided then and there I was gonna let that baby stew and brew in my head till I got it right. And I hope this is it. So, you are on facebook, and your new. The first thing you do ( if you are like those I have asked) is you look up your current buddies, pals and family. Then you get a suggestion, or a request from someone you have not seen in years. Someone you actually think about on a semi bi-monthly basis or so, but figured you would never see again. Facebook is now awesome, and becomes to quote the Sony Piece of Shit commercial, a mother fucking time vampire. You look up third cousins. You look up ex-boyfriends or girlfriends. You look up peopl