Tuesday, December 5, 2017

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things...."


Maria is one of my favorite things!
It's always a great family debate, "why is this song always included among the Pantheon of Christmas tunes?"  It's certainly not what you would call a traditional Christmas Carol.  And by Christmas Carol I mean a tune that Wiki says "whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas and which is traditionally sung on Christmas itself or during the surrounding holiday season."  A few of my Favorite things surely does not rise up to those carols like Good King Wenceslas or the Holly and the Ivy whose origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages and when Santa Clause was a young stud.  The song got it's original Christmas introduction by being performed by Julie Andrews on the Gary Moore Show Christmas Special in 1961.  So I guess by definition then, because the song is sung around the holidays and talks about snow, by loose correlation it can be deemed a Christmas Carol.  It just goes to show you that if you are consistently complicit enough you will eventually get associated with whatever you are tying to be complicit with.

Anyway, I love this time of year because I get to do so many many of my favorite things.

Which by they way, looking up and retelling useless facts about music is one of my favorite things!

Another one of my favorite things this time of year is the annual Oxford Dictionary "word of the year."  Yes, I admit I am often complicit in all of these annual end of the year events.  Oh wait, complicit is actually this year's word of the year!  :)  Wait that was 2015's word of the year.

Well, I guess that is a good word for me as it's really questionable why I continue to make silly blog posts and continue to log into a ridiculous social media site dedicated to "married dating."  And yet here I am continuing to be complicit to all!!!

Well my other favorite thing to do this time of year is JZ's annual holiday cookie post.

And so to be complicit in choosing to continue to be involved in a few of my favorite things I'll give you a cookie idea from a place I've know for many years and is truly one of my favorite places.

Moravian Cookies

If I was going to accuse smells of being complicit with the Christmas spirit, the following would be at the top of my list:  ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  And where would you find all of those complicit smells?  Well one place is inside of an Old Salem style Moravian cookie!

There is just something about Old Salem, NC and its Moravian roots of brotherhood and peace that makes the area so special at Christmas.  I love the beautiful Moravian Stars, the crisp Carolina pine air, and of course the smell of baking cookies.

So here is how to make those cookies:

Ingredients:

0.5 Cup         Light Brown Sugar
0.75 tsp         Baking Soda
0.5 tsp           Salt
0.75 tsp         Ginger
0.75 tsp         Cloves
0.25 tsp         Nutmeg
0.75 tsp         Cinnamon
0.25 tsp         Allspice
1 Cup            Molasses
0.5 Cup         Shortening
4 Cups           All-Purpose Flour

Instructions:

*     In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, soda, salt, and all the spices
*     In a medium saucepan heat the molasses just to the boiling point but do not boil (does not take long so don't get involved in a Charley Brown Christmas).
*     Stir in shortening into molasses until perfectly smooth and cool slightly.
*     Transfer molasses and shortening to a mixing bowl and beat in sugar and spice mixture.
*     As you are mixing add small amounts of flour, stirring to combine.  Continue adding flour until mixture becomes a sticky dough texture.
*     Empty dough mixture from bowl onto a well floured counter surface.
*     Knead the flour with hands until dough holds together.  Dough does need to be stiff.
*     Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate until firm.
*     You may wish to wrap dough in plastic so it does not dry out.
*     Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
*     Cut off portion of dough and roll on floured surface until paper thin.
*     Cut cookies into 2" circles (or your favorite cookie cutter image).  You may need a spatula or even a sharp paring knife to lift cookies off counter and onto baking sheet.
*     Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies 0.5" apart.
*     Bake 4 minutes; rotate tray and then bake for 2 more.  Allow cookies to cool on tray before you remove.
*     Store cookies in airtight container and they will last for some time, though usually not long enough to go stale as I usually eat them in one sitting!


Here are the rest of those complicit cookie bloggers!

May the cookies be with us.  :-D








And here is that original Christmas version of Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things


Thursday, November 30, 2017

I Can't Get to Sleep, I Think about the Implications



Well the good news today is that I am writing a post which means I survived my bi-annual trip to my in-laws, the DINKS.  I've written about them before (here); DINK's meaning double income, no kids.  This trip was particularly stressful because we were there a full three days.  An overnight at the DINK's is survivable, just like when you get a colonoscopy; you simply need to make sure you are hydrated and you pretty much can survive the 36 hour period with no non-alcoholic infused liquid intake.

Just to explain the DINK's (by definition) don't have kids so they don't live or eat like normal human beings.  Mr. Dink lives off of approximately 3-4 cheese and crackers, micro-brewed IPA's, and small batch artisanal bourbons.  Mrs. Dink lives off leaf lettuce varietals, old world grains, and various nut milks including Cashew, Almond, and free range organic pistachio infused acai coconut water.

To be fair we disrupt their lives by bringing a very scary invasive species into their virgin ecosystem; namely two common teenagers.  The teenagers lie down on couches that are not even supposed to be sat upon, they wipe their face with ornamental towels that are not actually supposed to be used at all, and wash their hands with decorative soaps that you don't actually use.  The teens don't understand stuff you look at but don't touch and the DINK's don't understand being around humans who expect constant service, technology, and nourishment.  Heck, Mr. Dink is not even on Facebook so he has no concept of the need to check Snap Chat every 8.5 seconds!

The mixture of these worlds is difficult at best, dangerous at worst.  Hell, they don't even have cable for Christ Sake.  And that doesn't mean they have like a satellite dish, they actually don't have ESPN. How do you not have ESPN in a first world country.  I couldn't even watch my second favorite college rivalry game on Thanksgiving Night and had to keep track of my idiot Redskins via stats-tracker; in a word I felt violated!  I felt like I was in Antarctica!  I had to make major logistical plans to make sure I would be in a place I could watch Big State U last weekend and had to go through considerable angst when we then determined to watch the game at one of the Dink's favorite pubs. Until I actually saw the game on TV I was sure I would find myself at a wine bar with a jazz band and a pack of 40-something hipsters talking about net-neutrality and their short game.

Yesh!

The first night I woke up around 2 am and my mouth feeling like I had woken up in the Sahara Desert.  I walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.  In a normal human home (or at least mine) you could hydrate with fruit punch, OJ, sweet tea, lemonade, maybe even Kiwi-Strawberry lemonade but bottom line you can go back to sleep with your thirst quenched.  As my eyes blearily perused the refrigerator panic slowly infiltrated my soul.  The refrigerator was completely full yet with nothing a normal human could drink.  There were, as stated above, no less than 4 varieties of organic nut related milk; bleck!  There was enough beer varieties to put an Irish pub to shame.  And yet nothing to actually quench a normal persons thirst.  And then I saw it a small bottle of clear liquid.  WATER!  Yes water, I can drink that!  I grab it and start to twist off the cap.  DAMN!  It's Club Soda.  It's Mr. Dink's club soda he splashes over his small batch artisanal bourbon.  That's not water that's fizzy water that fakes you out, kind of like ocean salt water. OMG, I'm going to die!  I finally had to settle for tap water.  But first I had to gently grab a glass glass to pour the water into.  Who drinks out of a glass glass?  In our home we have all plastic cups, like normal people.  If it drops on the floor, no worries!  At the Dink's, weary and unstable from dehydration, I have to gently handle a glass from the 1998 Kiwanis Golf Scramble, knowing it simply can't be dropped and broken as that is the one Mr. Dink won the closest to the hole competition.

Also disturbing was the presence of the Thanksgiving bird sitting uncovered in the fridge wilting from dehydration just like me.  I walked away somewhat hydrated by lukewarm tap water but couldn't help but worry about what that dry old turkey would taste like tomorrow.

Btw, Shannon and I are both pretty good cooks having both served in the hospitality industry for many years.  In spite of our differences, in the kitchen we are a power couple churning out food like a well oiled machine.  But that bird was not bound to be well oiled, it was likely to be as dry as my tongue.

On Thanksgiving Day after a long walk I broke down and found an open grocery store and brought home enough hydration to get through the rest of the weekend for myself and the teens.  To my teens delight I even found Cheer Wine, a delicacy hard to enjoy when outside the Carolinas.  But when I got home I saw the trepidation in my teens eyes.  I asked what's wrong?  Apparently Ms. Dink had been seen with Brussel Sprouts!  Brussel sprouts ain't for Thanksgiving!  My daughter mumbled "I just want the regular Thanksgiving stuff like turkey and potatoes and green beans..... I don't want anything organic."

Thankfully the meal ended up OK.  Ms. Dink basted the turkey in garlic butter and it was fine.  The brussel sprouts ended up as a salad which I tasted and survived.  Dessert, OK as well; though I have to admit enjoying the frustration Ms. Dink exhibited after thrice failing at her home made chocolate tart dough; not understanding the concept of flouring the table to roll your crust.

I know I'm a jerk, but when you can't watch the State-UNC game you take entertainment where you can get it.

Friday, I did convince the group to go out and see a live college basketball game which gave me the opportunity to load up on needed sustenance from the vegetable, starch, and processed cheese food groups with a large popcorn and nachos and cheese from the concessions stand.  For a moment I felt like a married man again!

Oh speaking of married.  Over dinner the married Dink's asked about Christmas.  They were looking into treating each other to a spa weekend in Sonoma and asked what we were doing.  Shannon and I mentioned that we were considering buying for one another a sexy stainless steel refrigerator washing machine combo!  Yes the contrast is pervasive.

Oh well, I'm not such a good house guess myself.  I don't start drinking until 5 pm and I don't know when or why you would use a 5 wood vs a long iron.  Anyway, I gleefully made everyone stay to the last second of my favorite college rivalry game, merrily watching to the bitter end Big State U's gazilianth straight #ss kicking of Pompous Preppy U.

And now I'm home and comfortable and glad I don't have to venture back into the desert until well after the rainy season.  I'm sure the Dink's were happy when we left, able to get back to their novels, golf game, and aroma therapy.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ooh woo, I'm a Rebel Just for Kicks

"let me kick if like it's 1986...."


Wow have I been enjoying that "Feel it Still" song by Portugal the Man on my daughters terrestrial current music stations.  It's a really groovy retro break from all the crappy rap talking about how many millions the dude has in his bank account.  And who knew there was more to Wasilla, Alaska than our own favorite retro Tea Party politician Sara Palin (yes, that is where Portugal the Man is from)!  Reminds me when we thought crazy people only ran for VP.  The song really does feel like one of those old Phil Specter "wall of sound" songs.  I guess given all the harassment going around I shouldn't be talking about him either.  I mean who knows who might be hacking this and get offended by me and I'd have to render a public coming out and apology.  Kind of makes you just want to stay and home and curl up in a ball in bed with a cat.


But you know I can never do that can I.

I mentioned last month that I was back on AM just for kicks and to finish out my last credits.  I wrote to Ms. INTJ (Alexa) but she opened my note and then promptly shut down her account.  Disappointment for sure because I wrote such a great note, you know.  Well the next day I open up my mischief e-mail and see "AlexaBell is interested in you...."

I opened my AM and Alexa had written the following note back:



"Thanks for the message. Tennis, work, are about it for the weekend. 

As to the INTJ, I am a true INTJ, there is no border (you spelled it boarder...) for me, though I'm also in sales so a persona is adopted as needed. Yep, very familiar with that site. 

And the dominant aspect, I am so dominant that if I meet a man than can challenge me consistently, yet not arrogantly, highly unusual. Much nuance involved. It's a welcome break. There has only been one Dom, and it seems he's becoming more rare by the day. I have to assume by your second to last sentence that by confident you meant dominant, but in a very understated and subdued way."


So when you read about AM advice you hear a lot about how to construct that first message, how to get that door open by being interesting, engaging, and making sure the recipient is cognizant of how much you are considerate of who they are and what they are looking for on the site.  And that is good advice.  But in my experience I have learned that following a few good recipes will get you that "read receipt" message and a few good quick responses back like "thanks for reading my profile you seem like a nice guy, what are you looking for here..."

The reality on AM or rather key to getting laid is not so much that first note (impression) but the critical second note.  For that is the note that is going to start a conversation and ultimately that super critical segue to e-mail.  Only then can the action start, so only after that second message is delivered and received with interest do you truly start on the road to AM success.

Clearly Alexa had poked some fun at me by my misuse of the word "boarder," would I use that effectively or get put off.  Well, the offended rarely get laid, so I try to turn stupidity into something fun and intriging!


Here was my second note to Alexa:


Ha, ha, yes I am about 51% E and 49% I; I am not a resident or occupant (boarder) of that Myers-Briggs axis! Perhaps it would better to say I straddle the line betwixt the two! 

So INTJ and sales you must be adaptive. One does not typically consider INTJ congruent with sales. Are you in technical or corporate sales? INTJs are not typical "do I have a bargain for you today..." type of people. 

For me I get the opportunity to make plenty of decisions at work every day, perhaps too many at times. When I'm on my own time, and that is often outdoors, I like to just be. I am confident and as an I/ENTJ I can be contrarian so it's often hard to TELL me what to do though I am happy to be encouraged and influenced to do so. I think INTJs need to feel like they control or at least affect the decision and their opinion (or expertise) is valued and being considered. 

You say "I am so dominant that if I meet a man that can challenge me consistently, yet not arrogantly, highly, highly unusual.." Wow, I so want to be challenged! Throw something my way, I love challenges! 

Sorry you had to work over the weekend but glad you got tennis in. I've gotten back into tennis a bit of late but I'm better at racquetball. Saturday was work and fun for me as we had a big annual running event in town ********. 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. And throw something challenging at me! I love a good debate and don't mind a difference of opinion. 

Btw, I've checked my spelling and grammar three times knowing now that you will proof read! :) 

Take Care Alexa! 


I think a popular comedic trait these days is the Will Ferrell effect of being wittingly ignorant or seemly ignorant in a clever way.  Or maybe its curiously silly.  Oh well, I seem to do it OK and seems to get the ladies interested.  You must always know that the entire AM process has to be fun for all so MAKE IT SO!  I must have made it so as Alexa wrote back:


And I can tell that you're exactly that, split between the two. The exclamation points are a dead giveaway. I seldom use them unless I have to feign enthusiasm. 

Yep, I am very adaptive and have to put on a persona many a day, some days not as much as others. When I do, it can be an effort, but I then have the benefit of getting back into the car to recover. Despite that, I have been relatively successful at sales. All sales have some level of technicality, and most sales are via a corporation of some sort. I work in ********* sales. Sales has come a long way from that mentality of the bargain aspect. I've never been that way as it is. Relative to the company and type of sale that I am engaged in, it's from a position of consulting and providing solutions to customers rather than pure selling for selling sake. 

Of course, agree on the INTJ descriptions you've noted That's certainly me. And it also seems to be you. It is me looking for the challenge, and you've got a huge challenge in simply e-mailing me and keeping me engaged That's the one that has dropped into your lap. 

If you don't mind my asking, which **********? And if you mind my asking, never mind. What type of administrator are you? 

I've never played racquetball. I assume I would enjoy it since I like most racquet sports. 

So I've now gotta ask how long we'll be e-mailing here vs off the site or are you simply looking for a pen pal? Though I enjoy writing immensely, being a pen pal is very far from my only interest. I assume you're taking a real low key approach. 

What's the name behind the R? 

Your checking for typos and checking grammar goes a long way, thank you. 

A


OMG, "exclamation points," she is definitely "effing" with me, I love it!!!  How is that for over exclamating!  :)
I couldn't help it though I had to continue to play along.  I was even more pleased with my next note:

Oh snap Alexandra! Exclamation points to feign enthusiasm! Love it! 

I'm sure my writing prof in college would mark off for using exclamation points and while one needs to be concise here, projecting a degree of emotion can be a good practice. I would say my writing has evolved over the years, or rather devolved. I've learned a well place OMG, lol, :), or ?! helps innumerably when communicating with those Gen NeXters presently around me all the time. 

  *********** distribution sales - very interesting; makes sense. In that you really need to know the customers end needs relative to packaging, delivery, engineering, production flow, and of course the end customers needs and desires. All that is pure INTJ. 

I oversee ******** services here at my little place in the world. Nobody ever knows what that means so I often say ******** services.  My career came through ******* services in the ***** ***** sector and I grew into my current position about five years ago. 

As you can tell I do take a low key approach. As I like to say five years from now it won't matter if we shared pictures or met for coffee this Tuesday or next but by being overly anxious you can preempt yourself from something you desire. Not sure if that is passive or Dom? I do think it is confident that things will turn out OK if you are a good person and treat people well. 

So it is true that this (AM) is not the best word processing program and editor. Gmail et al are demonstrably better. I am happy to segue to that format. If you wish, send a reply to ryanbeaumontregularguy@gmail.com. Yes that is a tip of the hat to one of my favorite bands REM. And, pen pal is not my only interest as well! 


So tell me how your day is going?

Take Care, 

Ryan


Just an FYI, I realize that ryanbeaumontregularguy is certainly not a tip of the hat to REM, my favorite band; but I'm sharing my mischief e-mail here any more than I would share my blogger e-mail with an AM lady.

Alexa wrote back:


Hmm, that's pretty cool that you're interested in hearing all about my day. Is this normally how you are or unusual, wanting to know all about my day, that is? 

And how did you come to pick "amidujour", which I know means "friend of the day" in French? Is this your modus operandi? 

I shall write more later, I'll betcha you're not surprised (I enjoy writing). I'd like to hear much more about you. After all, I never want all the spotlight.



OK, so this is looking pretty good.  I seem to be hitting on the write language.

"Might be over now but I feel it still,
Might've had your, but I feel it still...." 


Saturday, September 30, 2017

And You Can Feel it All Around You, but it's Something You Just Can't Touch

Brett Favre, Muhammad Ali, Dirty Dancing - Havana Nights, Vanilla Ice, Van Halen....., sometime you should really know when to quit.  But you keep thinking, I still have a few more credits why not try a few more times and try to recapture that past glory.  So recently I've been scrolling through those 40-something profiles within 50 miles and looking for a lady between 5' and 5'10" that has written something "not canned" and does not have a profile photo in a bikini and makes no mention of wanting to have a "sausage party," or have a profile name like CumNGetit, all indications of an on-line host.  As an aside, with my new sign-ons to AM I sure have become popular in China, everyday some K-pop looking chic winks at me and sometimes they even send me a cherry imogi gift.  Who knew!?

But seriously I do have a few credits and just like Brett I can't walk away from that urge to throw one more TD pass.  So I continue to look for interesting ladies.

The other night it came down to three ladies.  One seemed very sweet, with a fogged picture of a brunette that appeared to be your third grade teacher.  All she wrote was "I'm looking for a man who can offer me the passion and excitement that is missing from my marriage," with no checks.  That just looked like a host with carpal tunnel and can't write anymore (seriously AM got a lawsuit once from a host who sued from getting carpal tunnel).  A 50 year that is 5'2" and 115 looked very interesting particularly given that she's into "daring rendezvous" and has 17 checks for "looks better in person!"  That has to be a slam dunk, right?!  But then again who wants sloppy 18ths on "pursues fantasies" and "salacious!"

So I settled on Alexa.  Here is Alexa's profile (slightly modified to protect the guilty).  I thought she was pretty interesting and who can resist the same Meyers-Briggs personality type as Jane Austen!  I speak Meyers-Briggs and happen to be, on some non-social days, an INTJ; except when I'm more in my Ryan personality and then I'm more ENTJ.  Anyway, she was too much of a challenge to pass up.  My note is below.  I thought it was pretty good!

AlexaBelle
Seeking Dom
  • Age: 49 (*******)
  • Location: *******, Virginia, United States
  • Height: 5'4" (157cm)
  • Weight: 125 lbs (59kg) - Fit
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • My Limits: Something Long Term
  • Status: Attached Female seeking Males
  • Gender: Female
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian (white)
  • Smoking Habits: Never
Preferences and encounters I am open to:
Being Submissive/Slave, Bondage, Spanking, Blindfolding, Role Playing, Threesome, Open to Experimentation, Aggressiveness, Gentleness, Good With Your Hands, Sensual Massage, Extended Foreplay/Teasing, Likes to Give Oral Sex, Likes to Receive Oral Sex, Someone Who Can Teach Me, Likes to be Watched/Exhibitionism, Lots of Stamina, Dressing Up/Lingerie, Kissing

This is more than just hard sex. Has to be a physical attraction, first. Then, you have to be intelligent, quick-witted, and be able to string together more than two words to form a sentence. If you're the least bit arrogant or conceited, I will feel it. If you are not able, due to your schedule, or not interested, in daily communication, preferably a combination of e-mail, text, or another chat app., do not contact me. If you do not live in the DC Metro area, do not contact me If you have no sense of humor, really don't contact me. I expect well-educated, well-traveled, well-read. I have no time for game players or men who only want to chat erotically, so if that interests you, move on. And if we do decide to meet, dress like a Dom, not like a slob. A three piece suit, while not necessary, is noticed. Put some care into your dress. I expect to meet you at least one time to chat over a meal, to determine if there is any substance and depth, or if there is only a shallow surface. Most importantly, be discriminating, as I am very much so, and be capable of caring about a woman outside of the sex. I look for patterns and notice this more than words or your actions. Patterns speak volumes. I'm an INTJ. Read up on what that means before you contact me. If you do, you'll know much of what you need to know.
What really turns me on:
A Professional/Well Groomed, Stylish/Classy, Muscular/Fit Body, Sense of Humor, Imagination, Creative and Adventurous, Aggressive/Take Charge Nature, Confidence, A Good Listener, Good Communicator, Good Personal Hygiene, High Sex Drive, Dislikes Routine, Likes Routine, Has a Secret Love Nest, Disease Free, Drug Free, Casual/Social Drinker, Discretion/Secrecy
What I'm looking for:
Travel, Shopping for Sexy Clothes/Lingerie, Fine Dining/Candle Lit Dinners, Music Lover, Dancing, Theatre, Motorcycles, Visiting Adult Swing Clubs, Daring Rendezvous, Watching Sports, Playing Sports, Erotic Literature, Physical Fitness, Photography, Skinny Dipping, Long Drives, Wine Tasting, I Am a Social Drinker

Member Feedback:
(0)
gives good chat
(0)
pursues fantasies
(0)
worth the time
(0)
better in person
(0)
hot to trot
(0)
salacious
(0)
better over time
(0)
keeps promises
(0)
popular

Here is my note to Alexa:


Wow Alexa, (Zodiac sign) and INTJ I feel like I need to write to myself. So what would turn me on in a note, let me think....? Oh wait you don't want arrogant and conceited. That's good because its really about how we feel together in that certain moment. Sure I'm confident but I'm confident enough to go on the journey side by side making sure each is equally fascinated by the trip.

So Ms INTJ did they tell you in school it's lonely at the top as an INTJ. Good to have someone to walk along side you that is as imaginative and thoughtful; and likes to be precise with plans. How's that for a run on sentence with WAY more than two words. So how about a walk at Great Falls and some wine tasting at a spot where we can discuss the change of seasons, your thoughts on Balanchine vs Vaganova, or even how the Nats will do in the playoffs and be back in time to beat rush hour. I'm balanced and precise that way!



I have a BS in Business, a Minor in English, and an MBA so I'm fairly thoughtful unless you are a *** grad and then my degrees from Big State U make me somewhat lacking in cognitive sophistication. But at least I can be self deprecating and funny!

So please take a few of your 2,000 available characters to tell me what inspires you so I can be a good listener!

And even though I'm an INTJ as well you don't have to just stick to the 5W's and H and just the facts, maam!

Take Care and have a great evening!

R



Well the next day I got two messages from AM in my in-box, YEAH!  But when I checked closer one was "priority message opened" and the other was "key access request."  Wow, Ms. INTJ, such mixed messages; I thought us INTJ's were all about "fish or cut bait."  OK, OK, so I sent her my private photos; all classy mind you!  No, chesty mirror shots, and private parts.  My favorite is me in front of the alligators at Disney!  Yes I think it says daring with enough liquidity to afford a pricey vacation as well!  :)

Unfortunately an hour later she pulled her profile.  DANG!

Or did I miss again
I think I missed again, oh
Oh, I missed again, oh
I think I missed again, oh......


Note:   As of this morning she is back on line but now do I spend another $79 to follow up????


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's Been the Same Way for Years, We Need to Change....

"Are you sure Hank done it this way" is a 1975 song originally performed by one of my country favs Waylon Jennings.  Waylon was part of the "Outlaw Country" movement of the 1970's, a somewhat "raw" return to roots country and away from the cross-over Country-politan Nashville sounds of the late 1960's.  The song references "rhinestone suits" and "new shiny cars" as ostentatious overtures to pop-culture by country artists and asks for a return to the true purpose of the country troubadour.

The other week Donald Trump, our President, conducted a grotesque and brutish press conference in his Trump tower New York home.  He made overtures to the South, taking on the role of protector of heritage.  He defended the iconography of Southern heritage through the use of monuments dedicated to Confederate generals.  In the aftermath many said this was the speech he had been wanting to give.  This was his statement to the liberal elite and the political correctness police to go shove it and let those Southerners determine how they remember their past and how they chart our future.

And so I'll write the post I've been wanting to write for some time.

Before I do though let me lay some groundwork.  As Southerners go I'm about as Southern as you can get.  I have to be careful now so I don't "out" myself but who cares, this is my Trump moment.  My parents are from, my extended family is from, and I was born into what many have called the most Southern place in America.  No, not Key West, we are talking philosophically!  One of the great southern college sports fields is even named after a distant relative.  I didn't grow up in that most southern place, my parents moved to another state also in the south.  If my birth state is the most southern place in American, the state I grew up in was the epicenter of the Civil War and birthplace of so many of those Confederate icons.

So let's just say I have a lot more reason to be desirous of expressing my southern heritage.  And for many years I would have said the playing of "Dixie" at Ole Miss football games, Colonel Rebel as the Ole Miss mascot, waving the Confederate flag were all expressions of love of home and heritage and had nothing to do with hate.

But time passes and we reflect and we take stock in our heritage and the icons that represent that heritage and perhaps more importantly how my icons affect others and finally if the positives I get from my icons are worth the mental costs borne by others as I express my heritage.  Wow, long sentence to say is it really necessary to fly the Confederate flag when we know it's offensive to others!

So here are my few thoughts on the subject and be wary, sometimes I am contrarian in expressing a point.

First, if you are a fan of the Confederacy I would say that you are probably a fan of "state rights."  After all, all those neo-rebels love to say the Civil War was not about slavery it was about states rights.  Not sure if I agree but for the moment I'll give you that.  So if you are for states rights why are you marching in protest of a freely elected town council voting to preserve self-determination and taking down a Confederate statue.  I mean that is kind of flawed logic isn't it? If you want to keep the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottsville then move to Charlottsville, run and get elected to town council, and make a motion to put the statue back up.  Otherwise are you not like one of those dastardly Yankee carpet-baggers Southerners so despise?!

Second, what is up with all these Confederate generals?  I have to admit I'm a bit luke-warm about uniformly taking down monuments to Robert E. Lee.  He had a very successful pre-Civl War career as an army officer and Commandant of West Point.  His post-bellum career was also of merit as he was the President of the prestigious Washington College, later becoming Washington and Lee University; a very fine institution in the Old Dominion.  I also always find myself admiring Stonewall Jackson and other Confederate officers for their military acumen.  That being said I find to hard to figure out why there would be riots when New Orleans determines to take down a statue of Confederate General PGT Beauregard, a rather mediocre general who gained fame with rather hallow military victories at Ft. Sumpter and First Manassas but had rather large losses at Shiloh and Corinth.  I mean I love his name Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard and he had two hot wives Marie Antoinette Laure Villere and Marguerite Carolin Deslonde but I think having Beignets at Toutants is a more reasonable preservation of his memory than a statue.  You say you would like to have a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis?  You do realize he was a miserable failure as a President and one of the key reasons the South lost the war.  His inability to control his government and his incessant poorly executed micro-managment of the war have always been identified as key reasons for Southern failure.  Nathan Beford Forrest?  I love his most famous quote "get there fustest with the mostest" but other than that he founded the KKK and allowed the massacre of Union troops at Ft. Pillow.  Hardly someone to admire.

Bottom line, statues to Confederate generals really does not pass the historical smell test.

But we all still need a symbol of our heritage right?  And lacking other things isn't that old Southern flag the reasonable icon of our love of the south?

Well thirdly, not really.  See the "rebel flag" if you will was never the flag of the Confederacy.  That stars and bars confederate flag was actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and used throughout much of the war.  Elements of that flag were picked up on later flags of the Confederacy (after 1863).  Btw, the Confederacy lasted four years and had three official flags; I mean can you make up your mind?  The flag was also sometimes used by the Confederate navy.

Bottom line, that "rebel flag" that people proclaim to be heritage really only represented a portion of the South and was only in use for four years of the south.

You know now that I think of it I have Spanish and Scottish Southern heritage.  Spanish exploration of the south began in the 16th century making our collective (in addition to Native American) Southern heritage about 500 years old.  But let's factor that down to the American South which of course starts around 1776.  That means that "rebel flag" people want to use as our "icon" represents about 2.9% of the American South experience.

OK, here is my contrarian viewpoint.  Here are some very Southern things that in official public use have lasted longer than the Confederate flag:

*     Biscuits are probably the most southern food in the world.  They evolved from Scottish scones.  The biscuit (or quick bread) as we know it today was formulated into it's identifiable form in the mid-19th century.  This makes the biscuit about 150 years old and occupying 62.5% of Southern American history.
*     Pecan pie has origins going back to Native American history in the south.  After European settlement pecan pie were made with eggs, butter, honey, molasses, and other natural sweeteners.  The pecan pie we know of today is from a recipe developed by the Karo Syrup company as a way to sell more syrup.  That recipe was developed in the 1930's making pecan pie 87 year old and representing 36% of Southern American history.
*     Nothing is more Southern than Southeastern Conference football!  The SEC was formed in 1933 making it 84 years old and representing 35% of Southern American history.  If you want to support the South say "roll tide," "hold that tiger," or "rim ram, flim flam, Ole Miss by Dam."
*     Finally, Elvis Presley lived to the age of 42 representing 17.5% of Southern history.  Who is more revered in the South than Elvis?  Who made the South more cool than Elvis?  The answer is nobody, nobody in the South was ever more cool than Elvis.

So by my calculations any of these Southern icons are much better representation of my Southern heritage than the "rebel flag."  My reverence for Southern heritage is based on the great Southern work ethic.  My pride is in the great cuisine based on the fusion of French, Spanish, African, and Native American foods that formulate Cajun, Creole, Carolina Low Country foods.  I love that the South (with Memphis as the epicenter) gave birth to rock and roll when the blues fused with Southern gospel and folk music.  These are things I can revere that don't hurt others and make them feel excluded.

Like Waylon's song, I'm not sure all those great Southerners ever really thought we should use "rebel flags" in the way so many people are doing now days.  I'm quite sure George and Thomas and even Robert "never done it that way!"

So many things to love about the South that have nothing to do with slavery, with oppression, and about someone preserving their heritage at the detriment to others.

I say give it up and move forward.  We as Southerners have a lot to be prideful of, we don't need to attach hate to that pride and we certainly can include everyone in our love of the south.

And with that in mind here is my icon of heritage and flag of the South!  And Donald you can keep your Yankee opinions about my South locked up in your tower in New York!

Here is another great interpretation of Southern heritage by another Southern populist like me.