Monday, May 30, 2022

2022 MEMORIAL DAY MUSINGS: McDonald's Russia, MTSU Shooting, Uvalde Texas Shooting, “Amerika” (published 5-30-2022; article #331)

 Introduction

On Memorial Day, I trust that my readers are doing well. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are doing well enough. By the way, we are hunting a replacement car, for her (our) '08 Honda Civic – the long-suffering car that she drives. The air conditioning system need to be replaced. The cost is almost what the car is worth. We won't “throw good money after bad.”

Since 5/17/2022, I have had working documents, in draft forms, for this article. Yesterday, I started to incorporate my drafts into one document. I'll write about McDonald's in Russia, the MTSU shooting, and the Uvalde shooting. Do you remember the “Amerika” TV series? Before I conclude, I'll mention it.

McDonald's in Russia Closed, 5/16/2022

On Monday, 5/16/2022, I published our wedding anniversary article, for my “long-suffering” wife. She published her comment later that day. Dear, why don't you be a co-writer, on this website? I've offered to set you up as a writer!

That day, I'd heard, on local TV and radio, that McDonald's was closing all its restaurants in Russia. That brought back a few memories.

When we were missionaries in Russia (10/1/1994 to 9/30/1999), we bought those “Улыбки бесплатно!” meals a few times. Our first apartment was within walking distance to a McDonald's on Ulitsa Tverskaya. We also walked past that McDonald's to the Kremlin several times.

On 5/16/2022, bne IntelliNews published, “McDonald’s to continue operating in Russia under new name – RBK,” by bne intellinews, May 16, 2022. The image, from that article, is below.


McDonald's is reportedly hoping to open the new restaurants as early as June. Image: bne IntelliNews.

That's a long line! By the way, our first office location was in the basement of the building, behind and to the left of that McDonald's. Our first apartment was a short walk to the right (or west) of that McDonald's.

This is my fourth article that mentions the 2022 Slavic War. See my articles of 3/8/2022, 3/20/2022, and 5/12/2022. I read those articles again yesterday. Sadly, the casualties of the 2022 Slavic War (Russia invasion of the Ukraine) are far more profound than the temporary loss of a fast food chain.

The Moscow Times section “Ukraine: As It's Happening” contains day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, coverage on the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The section has recent (current month) coverage. The Moscow Times lists their older coverage on their 24LIVEBLOG website: The Moscow Times - Ukraine.

MTSU Shooting, 5/18/2022

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. On 5/18/2022, Wednesday, a shooting and loss of life occurred.

That day, NewsChannel 5, in Nashville, was one of several news sources that detailed that tragedy: “One dead, one critically injured in shooting outside MTSU's Murphy Center following graduation ceremony: The shooting happened after Riverdale HS held its graduation ceremony,” by Emily West. Posted at 9:31 PM, May 18, 2022. Last updated 6:54 AM, May 20, 2022.

On 5/18/2022 and again yesterday, I searched MTSU News, by “5/18/2022 shooting.” Both times, my search generated: “Not Post Found!” MTSU, apparently, chose not to write about that shooting.

On 5/18/2022, brother in Christ, Phil Robertson, on Substack, wrote about the shooting: “What I Want You to Know About Deadly Shootings & the Broken Culture of America: The Buffalo massacre, the California church attack, and God’s solution to a land filled with depravity,” by Phil Robertson, May 18, 2022. I suggest that y'all read his words of biblical wisdom.

Brother Phil referenced the Columbine High School shooting (4/20/1999). My wife and I were in our final year in Russia. Our Russian brothers and sisters could not understand how or why anyone would kill school-aged children like that. We were all shocked.

The Columbine High School shooting was the first school shooting, in this once great nation. It would not be the last.

Uvalde, Texas, Shooting, 5/24/2022

Six days later, on 5/24/2022, Tuesday, the Robb Elementary School shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, occurred. The various media sources have detailed and commented on the tragedy, for six days. (It seems to have been longer than six days.)

The Uvalde Leader-News did not have an article, until 5/26/2022: “Robb shooting claims 19 children, 2 teachers,” May 26, 2022. On 5/24/2022, I had found that newspaper website. I had searched that day and the next, to find no local articles yet. Their 5/29/2022 article, “They were smart, funny, loved,” May 29, 2022, lists the names and short biographies of each person who was killed.

Amerika”

On Saturday, 5/28/2022, I had endured enough of the opinions, on the 5/24/2022 Uvalde shooting, in the various media sources. Several government employees (i.e., politicians), including the President, were spinning the sadness, in various directions. Some, including the President, wanted to make political hay, from the sadness. I pray for the souls of those politicians.

So, on Saturday, I did a “Norton Safe Search” for “USSA propaganda.” The reply was, “Did you mean: USSR propaganda?” The search gave me a few options.

One option was The Harvard Crimson, The University Daily, Est. 1873, article: “Back in the U.S.S.A.,” by Martha A. Bridegam, February 23, 1987. That 1987 article was about “the ABC television miniseries, 'Amerika,'” which was “the portrayal of life in a United States controlled by the Soviet Union.”

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were in Charleston, Missouri then. I was the minister of the Charleston Church of Christ. I remember watching that miniseries – or most of it.

Conclusion

What is the conclusion to this article? The problem, in this once great nation, is the lack of morality and family values.

Morality emanates from God, the Divine Lawgiver. God places the sense of morality (i.e., conscience) in us at birth. Many, sadly, corrupt that God-given sense of morality.

Family values are based on biblical values that include a God-centered home, a Christian man and woman, as husband and wife, and their children – raised accordingly.

Gun control” legislation is not the solution. In high school, 1974 to 1978, some of the older students drove pickup trucks to school. Some had shotguns or rifles, hung on the rack, by the rear window, inside the cab. They had either gone hunting or were going hunting. It was not a concern. Biblical values were the norm. The only school shootings were when we shot rubber bands at each other, during study hall.

By the way, “gun control” is when the shooter aims, fires, and hits the target. The target could be a bullseye, for practice. It could be game, for hunting. It could be to stop the imminent threat to life. A shooter who fires to murder “controls the gun,” by wicked choice. The gun does not fire itself. The evil shooter controls the gun.

“Gun control” legislation is a political sidetrack. “Shooter control” legislation is impossible, logically. Not even the Good Lord can force a person of free will to decide to do right and to avoid evil – freely. It is a logical contradiction. Legislation will not resolve the moral decay that has led to increased violence in this once great nation.

The solution to the manifold moral problems, in this once great nation, is to repent and to return to God.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV).

On Memorial Day, this once great nation is supposed to remember and honor the countless number of soldiers, who died in the name of freedom. The day is not just a day off work, to eat hamburgers.

Dear Lord, may everyone, of age, in this once great nation, turn from evil, honor the sacrifice of your Son and our Savior, and seek your face – before it is too late. Amen.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

THE 1982 WORLD'S FAIR: 40th ANNIVERSARY (published 5-22-2022; article #330)

Introduction

Let's brag on Knoxville - Knox County, Tennessee, a bit, shall we? My “Advance Knox Update” series has hammered the county a while – properly. (See, for example, my fourth article of yesterday.)

Forty years ago, I was a younger man. (I ain't old yet! I still feel my oats, on most days, despite my three 'bionic' joints.) Two friends, who are still friends, and I visited Knoxville's 1982 World's Fair (open May 1 through October 31), on Saturday, 10/16/1982. Tennessee Volunteer football fans were noticeable. We gathered, to hear the radio broadcast of the Tennessee - Alabama college football game! Multitudes of fans gathered around several speaker systems. Tennessee upset the number two-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, 35 to 28! Tennessee Vol fans were celebrating! The international and out-of-state folks just looked confused. That was a great third Saturday in October!

The 1982 World's Fair

Early this morning, while looking around on my home office bookshelf, I found a postcard, with images of the 1982 World's Fair. The postcard folds out and contains fourteen images. The image below is only one.


I didn't remember that we still had the postcard. I'm glad that I found it. Ronald Reagan was the President. The USA was improving – economically and morally. As a 22-year-old young man, it was a good time to be alive. I had been one of many, to be laid off, by my employer, due to the waning effects of Jimmy Carter “stagflation.” (I had been working as a computer programmer-operator.) The young lady, whom I had been courting, had decided to be courted by another man. I had overcome that hurt. I was attending ETSU (East Tennessee State University), in Johnson City, TN. I was renting a small apartment. I was home on weekends. That was the basic setting of my life, “such as it was,” back then.

The 1982 World's Fair was a positive event – mostly. The financial trouble, by the Butcher brothers, was one negative aspect of the fair. (It is common knowledge.) The fair, however, was mostly beneficial. The fair was inspiring, in several aspects.

2022: 40th Anniversary

The 40th anniversary celebration, of the 1982 World's Fair, was yesterday. World's Fair Park had informational details.

Visit Knoxville has more details, including Stories from the World's Fair. Various other media published details. We saw what some of the local TV stations broadcast.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I did not grace the 40th anniversary celebration, with our presence. We were too busy, with “life, such as it was,” events.

Conclusion

I am tempted to, but will not, get into another “poly-tics” theme! You are welcome to consider, in your minds, the differences, from 1982 to 2022 – in personal life and in national and global history.

My writings are on many themes. This website is my written journal and commentary, on various subjects. I'm glad that I found the 1982 World's Fair postcard. The distraction and reflection on life, over the last forty years, has been refreshing.

Dear Lord, refresh us with your Spirit! Fill us with your Spirit – as we turn to you! That is my prayer – individually, nationally, and globally.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

ADVANCE KNOX UPDATE: DRAW THE LINE – 5-23-2022, MONDAY (published 5-21-2022; article #329)

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! Thanks for stopping by to read a while! I hope that you have a cool glass of water with you – not coffee. It's hot and humid enough, around here, at least. I'll get to the meat and potatoes of this article, in a minute. I'll unload a bit of “life, such as it is,” first.

This morning, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, bravely, took our '08 Honda Civic (her car) to the fix it shop. The air conditioner isn't working. (Do you remember when cars didn't have air conditioners? How did we survive?) She came back. We will decide what to do. I know the estimated cost, to fix the air conditioning system, and the value of her car. Afterward, we hauled trash (in my '06 Frontier, whose air conditioner continues to work fine). Then, we helped her cousin. One side of his double garage door was off track. Using her cousin's tools, I put the door back on track.

Now, are you ready for my fourth article, in my “Advance Knox Update” series of articles? I need to change the series title from “Advance Knox Update” to “McMansion Subdivision War Update,” but I've already started this theme. It's another “poly-tics” article. I may change the series title later.

To my readers, both national and international, I apologize for another local “poly-tics” article. To my local, Knox County, Tennessee, readers, PLEASE JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST MORE “McMANSION” SUBDIVISIONS – by any means that you have to do so!

Spider Web of Bureaucratic Websites

My article of 5/18/2022, Wednesday, was my third article in this series. That article referenced several websites. I concluded that article, by stating, “I will email the various known folks, after I publish this article. My email will reference this article.” I sent the email to the folks. I have received three email replies (including one reply to my reply) – so far. I have sent a total of five email replies – so far. I have saved all the emails, for my records.

Since 5/18/2022, I've taken some time to research, even more, the following websites:

Knox County (TN) Commission: https://commission.knoxcountytn.gov/

Advance Knox (TN, my friends now): https://advanceknox.org/about

Knox County (TN) Board of Zoning Appeals:

      https://www.knoxcounty.org/codes/bza.php,

     with nine board members – one from each

     county district.

Knox County (TN) Planning Alliance (KCPA), established 2018:

      https://www.kcpa.us/about-us

Knoxville-Knox County Planning, established 1956:

     https://knoxplanning.org/about

In my prior three articles, in this series, I've written details about these folks – except Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals. I was trying to prepare for the 5/23/2022, Monday, Knox County Commission meeting (7 PM), which would include discussion on 4–M-22-RZ/4-G-22-SP. I know! I'm starting to write “policy-wonk, psychobabble!” Just see my my 5/18/2022 article, for the “fun.”

I was getting lost in the spider web of bureaucratic websites! I saved several PDF files, by download. I grew tired of trying to wipe my way through the spider webs! I almost gave up!

Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA: to the Rescue!

Yesterday, my friends at Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA, via their “Farcebook” page, informed me (and all who follow their page): “The rezoning for 7921 Thompson School Rd. has been deferred to June at the request of the applicant, so it will NOT be heard Monday at County Commission.”

That was a bit of good news. I wish that Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA would have someone create their own website page. It's easy to do! They could then link their articles on their website, to “Farcebook,” as I do.

Then, on their “Farcebook” page, in the early hours of 5/21/2022, Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA referenced an article that I was glad to find and read.

The article that GPA referenced, in the early hours today, is to a WATE 6 On Your Side article: “'This is becoming a crisis in Knox County’ Residents fight to stop Dry Hollow development,” by Wes Cooper, posted May 20, 2022 / 6:17 PM EDT, updated May 20, 2022 / 6:55 PM EDT.

That article mentions the same developer (that I know is I-75 Land Partners, LLC), which has “McMansion” subdivision plans in the Dry Hollow area. That developer has the same plans for 7921 Thompson School Rd. / Gibbs (near our neck of the woods).

(By the way, via Dun and Bradstreet, I see I-75 Land Partners LLC details. It is in La Follette, TN. It started in 2021. That's all I know – for now.)

Knox TN Today - Great Article!

This morning, I decided to avoid my efforts to untangle the spider web of bureaucratic websites. I happened to find a Knox TN Today article.

By the way, growing up, I had heard the expression, “Don't piss down my leg and tell me it's raining!” (Sorry, Mom, I had to write the crude word for taking a leak!)

That Knox TN Today article is “Just don’t trickle down my leg,” by Betty Bean, May 19, 2022, Knox Scene. To my Knox County, Tennessee, readers, you might want to sip on some ice water and read that article! I have the article downloaded as a PDF, on my computer!

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs wants to stop Knox County citizens from appealing Knoxville-Knox County Planning (established 1956) decisions (for “McMansion” subdivisions) to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Instead, Mayor Jacobs wants citizens to “get a lawyer” and“take it to court.”

In other words, Mayor Glenn Jacobs takes a leak down the legs of Knox County citizens and tells us it's raining.

Conclusion

The context involves several factors. Folks from “blue” states are moving to “red” states, such as Tennessee (including Knox County). Property values are increasing exponentially, as the cost to rent is. Inflation is setting records, not seen since the Jimmy Carter “stagflation” days. “This country is about gone, boys.” That's what Dad said, for years, before he passed (1/25/2008). Owners of large tracks of land, which were once farm land, want to sell to the highest bidder. Developers, a dime a dozen, are eager to buy – and to build more and more “McMansion” subdivision.

The “rubber stamp” machine has been hard at work – for decades! Owners keep selling farm land to developers. Developers keep building “McMansion” subdivisions. Folks from “blue” states buy those “McMansions.” The cycle repeats.

Or does it? I helped my wife's cousin put his garage door back on track today. I'm trying to help Knox County stop the “McMansion” subdivision insanity. (The “mushrooms” need to stop popping up, after the “green” money rain.) On 5/23/2022, Monday, I plan to send an email to Mayor Jacobs (with copies to various folks) – to help put Knox County BACK ON TRACK! We will see what happens.

Until then, it's almost supper time. I'm hungry. Let's eat, dear!


Friday, May 20, 2022

APPALACHIAN HERITAGE: “BLIND PIG AND THE ACORN” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (published 5-20-2022; article #328)

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! I'm enjoying my fifth day of State of Tennessee retirement! Today, I spread the four bags of mulch that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I bought at Lowe's, on 5/15/2022 (Sunday afternoon).

Yesterday, my '06 Frontier and I tried Lowe's first. Their fancy saw was not working – despite what the lady had told me by phone, on 5/18/2022. So, we (my truck and I) went to Home Depot. I bought a piece of wood that Chris sawed to the proper dimensions for me, at no extra cost. My 'bionic' right foot endured the walking on concrete and asphalt – well enough. Conclusion, you ask?

See my Monday, April 6, 2020, article “4/5/20, SUNDAY, UPDATE.” In that article, I mentioned the purchase of my L-shaped home office desk – with a couple of parts missing. In time, Office Max-Depot sent me one part. They never sent the drawer for part AA! I fought them hard. I'll never buy anything from Office Max-Depot again!

Yesterday, I installed the Home Depot manufactured drawer for part AA (bottom left drawer)! My 3/21/2020 purchase of L-shaped home office desk is – FINALLY – fully installed!

That was a “life, such as it was,” update, by introduction. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of this article!

Blind Pig and the Acorn

Last weekend, I was going through my list of about twenty-six “blogs” that I'd bookmarked, starting in 2006. Most of those websites are either down or no longer active. I found a few that were still active – having transitioned from “blog” websites to ongoing websites.

I was glad to know that Blind Pig and the Acorn is still active! The website will explain the reason for that title.

On 5/14/2022, Saturday, I posted a comment on the article “Shocking Mountains,” May 14, 2022:

Howdy, Tipper! I hope that you and yours are getting along well enough! It’s been a while. You made a great comment, on my Saturday, December 12, 2009, article, “House Mountain & Devil’s Nose” (https://www.appalachianirishman.com/2009/12/house-mountain-devils-nose.html). I’m glad to “stop by, with a cup of coffee,” to visit you a while! I am very glad to know that you have been keeping your website active! (I’ve been doing the same.) If you don’t mind, I plan to link your website, in my “Appalachian Heritage” section of websites. May God bless you and yours! I’m still standing here. I ain’t breathing hard! See my “I’M STILL ALIVE – WHY? (Published 8/26/2016)” article for details.

Tipper replied to my 5/17/2022 email, on 5/19/2022. She granted me permission to cite her website, in my “APPALACHIAN HERITAGE” section! Her website, as of today, joins the other four websites in that section.

Thanks, Tipper, for your permission, your daily articles on Appalachian heritage, and for having kept your website going all these years! We are a few, from almost a decade ago, who are still standing! May God bless you and yours! Thanks, by the way, for your 5/19/2022 comment on my “I’M STILL ALIVE – WHY? (Published 8/26/2016)” article. I'll express my appreciation here. I'll send you an email reply, once I publish this article!

Conclusion

I have several more articles in rough draft, or in my mind. I have more time to write my articles! State retirement is great – so far! Dear Lord, may the situation continue!

Y'all keep turnin' right and goin' straight out there! It's the only way to wind up on the right side, at judgment day. It's the only way that this once great nation can return to its godly roots.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

ADVANCE KNOX UPDATE: KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR COUNTY COMMISSION! (published 5-18-2022; article #327)

 Introduction

How are y'all? I hope well. I'm enjoying my third day of Tennessee State retirement! (See my 5/15/2022 article.) I spent the late morning and early afternoon, planting Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's five sets of roses (four pink and white and one RED, not pink). (See my 5/16/2022 article.) The proof is in the photograph, below!


Yes, that's my '06 Frontier (new, ol' truck) enjoying the shade in the “barn” (i.e., garage). Mrs. Appalachian Irishman must inspect the flower bed, before I spread the bags of mulch that we bought, in the afternoon, on 5/15/2022, Sunday.

Please forgive the personal sidetrack. This article is my third, in the “poly-tics” series on Advance Knox. (See my 5/9/2022 article that linked to my 5/8/2022, first, article.) I like those folks now. This article focuses on the need to keep an eye out on Knox County Commission.

Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA: 5/16/2022 “Heads Up”

I have a “Farcebook” connection with Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA. It is a fine group of community volunteers that want to retain the mostly rural status of this area. I write, today, to help that group.

On Monday, 5/16/2022, at 7:54 AM, that group gave the “heads up,” about the 5/23/2022, Monday, Knox County Commission meeting (7 PM). The meeting will include discussion on 4–M-22-RZ/4-G-22-SP, which is a known developer's attempt to turn farm land into a “McMansion” subdivision.

Yesterday, I commented, on the 5/16/2022 Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA post:

Thanks, Gibbs Planning Advocates - GPA. I have website and PDF files. I'm working on an article, for my website (https://www.appalachianirishman.com). We must stop the LLC property buyers from creating another "McMansion" subdivision, in the Corryton/Gibbs area! That road will NOT sustain the traffic! We, who live in this area, KNOW! Keep the Corryton/Gibbs area mostly RURAL! There are too many "McMansion" subdivisions here already! We don't have the roads for more!

Those folks “liked” my comment.

Knox County Planning Alliance, Knoxville-Knox County Planning, and Knox County Commission – Layers of Bureaucracy – Websites & Information

The above is a complex section title that involves three sub-sections (below). I apologize. This section involves layers of bureaucracy.

Knox County Planning Alliance (established in 2018)

Their “about” section of their website is https://www.kcpa.us/about-us. They are “a volunteer-organized community established in 2018.”

I have bookmarked their https://www.kcpa.us/post/a-very-long-april-planning-meeting. The area of interest is: “Northeast County. #20 4-G-22-SP / 4-M-22-RZ 7921 / 7923 Thompson School Rd, Sector Plan Ag to LDR, Rezone Ag to PR @ 5 du/ac. Transportation Analysis. 108 acres total. Same applicant as Dry Hollow neighborhood in South Knox. Commission 8. Contact Gibbs Planning Advocates (gibbspa@kcpa.us) for neighbors interested in this issue.”

Knoxville-Knox County Planning (established in 1956)

I mentioned these folks, in my first 5/8/2022 article. From their https://knoxplanning.org/about:

Knoxville-Knox County Planning (Planning) was established in 1956 by Knoxville and Knox County as the agency responsible for comprehensive county-wide planning and administration of zoning and land subdivision regulations.

These are the folks that started, before I was born. Their incompetence allowed the various “malfunction junction” roads and “McMansion” subdivisions.

I have four of their links saved:

https://knoxplanning.org/cases/?filter=4-M-22-RZ: Case search for 4-M-22-RZ.

https://knoxplanning.org/cases/4-G-22-SP#case_next: Plan Amendment. Northeast County Sector Plan Amendment. 4-G-22-SP Related Case(s) 4-M-22-RZ.

https://knoxplanning.org/commission/2022/04: April, 2022, Planning Commission, Meeting Information.

https://knoxplanning.org/cases/4-G-22-SP: Plan Amendment. Northeast County Sector Plan Amendment. 4-G-22-SP Related Case(s) 4-M-22-RZ.

Note: via https://knoxplanning.org/cases/4-G-22-SP#case_property, you can see the farm property that the known developer wants to turn into “McMansions.” The link is https://www.kgis.org/maps/PlanningCases.html?run=SearchCases&casenumber=4-G-22-SP: Description: File Number: 4-G-22-SP. Applicant Name (1): I-75 Land Partners, LLC. Current Sector Plan Designation: AG (Agricultural), HP (Hillside Protection) & SP (Stream Protection). Requested Sector Plan Designation: LDR (Low Density Residential), HP (Hillside Protection) & SP (Stream Protection).

I know how to follow their bureaucratic psychobabble! I am watching them!

Knox County Commission

The Commission website is https://commission.knoxcountytn.gov/. On 5/10/2022, my Commissioner replied, very cordially, to my 5/9/2022 email to him.

He is the Chairman of the Commission. Neither he nor I want to see another “McMansion” subdivision – especially in our “neck of the woods.” The winding, two-lane, country road will not handle the traffic – if the “McMansion” subdivision is built. My Commissioner has assured me, in email, that he wants to defeat the known developer's desire to build a “McMansion” subdivision on farm land.

Conclusion

As a side note, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had called me, about 4:30 PM, to ask me to peel some 'taters for her. I took a break from writing, to peel those 'taters! An Irishman must eat!

I'm one of many, who are keeping an eye on Knox County Commission! We are watching y'all! Y'all do right by the unknown number of folks, who want to retain the rural area of rural areas!

By the way, my new friends, at Advance Knox published my three comments (5/1/2022, 5/6/2022, and 5/9/2022). My comments are part of several comments on the basic theme of this article. Keep rural areas rural! No “McMansion” subdivisions!

In close, I will email the various known folks, after I publish this article. My email will reference this article.

Monday, May 16, 2022

THIRTY-SIX YEARS AS BUT A DAY (published 5-16-2022; article #326)

 Introduction

Howdy, dear. You will be home soon – Lord willing, as I had started to write.

This is not a made-in-China anniversary card, to Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. I hope that she likes it. It doesn't matter, if y'all like it – well maybe a little. HAPPY 36th ANNIVERSARY, DEAR!

5/16/1986

Well, the courting started, on the visitation for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's paternal grandfather, who had passed. I remember the details. I had decided to attend the funeral visitation, instead of having some Saturday fun with my friends – since I was the fill-in preacher, at the Rogersville Church of Christ, for those few months.

Over the course of various courting details, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I became husband and wife, on 5/16/1986. It was a Friday evening, in Etowah, Tennessee. The weather was sunny, cool, and crisp. A high pressure system was dominate. I remember.

Today, I copied the above photograph, from the wedding photographs that have been hanging on the Master's bedroom wall, where Mrs. Appalachian Irishman sleeps also. My wife looks the same. I've grown a beard (started 10/1/1994). My hair has turned gray, mostly. I don't know why I have aged, gracefully, but my wife has not. It's a mystery.

5/16/2022

On Sunday, 5/16/2021, I wrote, “5/16/2021: THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AS BUT A DAY.” I would not change a word now. I'm glad that my wife finally got around to posting a comment for that article. Will she post a comment, for this article? We will see.

Yesterday, I wrote, “I RETIRED: MY FUTURE, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY AWAITS! (published 5-15-2022; article #325).” Today, 36th wedding anniversary date, I commented on my own 5/15/22 article, at 1:52 PM:

5/16/2022 ADDENDUM by my comment: Happy anniversary, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman! What's the number? It's year 36, as far as I recall. (That was a little sidetrack.) The ADDENDUM, to my 5/15/2022 article is: on 5/12/2022, while working at home, I had removed my “Hadean Realm” office key, from my key ring. I had figured that I would remember, on 5/13/2022, to take that key. WRONG! (I had been “too efficient!”) So, on 5/13/2022, at “Hadean Realm” office, I informed office manager, re: I'd forgotten the office key, as stated. Office manager consulted with district manager (who is older than me and needs to have retired years ago). Conclusion: email from office manager: I need to hand deliver the @#$% office key and SIGN that I delivered it by hand! The mail-it-in option was, apparently, a violation of some type of bureaucratic policy insanity. That's what I was TOLD, by email and in person, on 5/13/2022. Therefore, on 5/16/2022, wedding anniversary day, my '06 Frontier and I drove – via the longer and very curvy route, through the “great metropolis” of Luttrell, Tennessee – to the “Hadean Realm” office. (My last drive past the “kill spot,” at the Ailor Gap Road intersection with Beard Valley Road; https://www.google.com/maps/@36.2154803,-83.8327022,60m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4, where I almost died, on 3/29/2016, was on 5/13/2022). At “Hadean Realm” office, I hand freakin' delivered the @#$% office key, to a secretary. The office manager, having been secluded in her office, with door shut, appeared. APPARENTLY, I DID NOT HAVE TO SIGN ANY @#$% FORM! I left and returned home – as a free man – free from the State of Tennessee LYING bureaucracy! This comment is for my future article, with subtitle “Opening the Soup Pot.” This comment starts my rough draft document. I AM A FREE MAN (from Tennessee State bureaucracy) – in a once free and great nation.

After I returned home, I got a bunch of sheddings off Molly (our 'ol puppy) – three times! I washed the laundry that we usually wash on weekends. I did a few other things. I ENJOYED my first day of FREEDOM – from the Tennessee employer “Hadean Realm!”

I almost decided to send my wife a dozen roses today – by the call and credit card route – as I have done many times. Yesterday, however, my wife and I graced the Lowe's location near us. We bought four bags of mulch, four pink-looking flowers, and a RED (not PINK) rose plant. After, we visited her folks a while. Well, at bedtime, I assume that y'all will figure out what this red-blooded Irishman did, for my wife!

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a wedding anniversary a day early – yesterday. I ain't buying any made-in-China anniversary card for her. We bought her RED rose plant yesterday. Today, she'd better not give me a made-in-China anniversary card!

Conclusion

Well, dear, I've enjoyed my FIRST day of Tennessee state job retirement, so far. How are you doing? We will see, in about an hour or so, when you arrive home – baring any (God forbid) disasters!

Well, what do you know? About 5:10 PM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman arrived home! Will she comment on this article? We will see.

Love you, dear! I mean it!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

I RETIRED: MY FUTURE, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY AWAITS! (published 5-15-2022; article #325)

Introduction

It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The man, in the image below, is saying a thousand words.


From Pikwizard. “FREE image of Senior man relaxing in hammock. Photo by Authentic Images.”

I am not that man. That man was in a relaxing and enjoyable moment in time. I am entering what Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I both hope is a more relaxing and enjoyable season in my life. I will not write a thousand words about it – yet.

4/16/2012 to 5/13/2022

On 4/16/2012, Monday, I started my State of Tennessee employment job. It was my sixth job, since my wife and I had returned from Moscow, Russia (10/1/1994 - 9/30/1999). One of the “Five Scars” that are in my yet unpublished book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” is “Occupational Scar.” (I started writing that section on 9/1/2016.)

Others and I endured eighteen weeks of training. I drove to Johnson City, Tennessee, on Sundays. I drove home on Fridays. I resided at the Carnegie Hotel, Sunday through Thursday nights. I was mowing our yard back then. Since Fridays were half days, allowing for paid drive time, I mowed our yard Friday afternoons. I usually mowed the yard for my in-laws on Saturday. On Sundays, after church, I drove back to Johnson City. It was a “ground hog day” weekly repetition.

On September 27, 2012, Thursday morning, I left the Carnegie Hotel for the final time! The grueling eighteen weeks of training were done. I cranked my old '95 Nissan hard-body pickup. I turned on the radio. I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Free Bird!” I was free! (One YouTube version of the song is here.)

I will not regale you with the details of the next over ten years – yet. (I have an idea for a future article, with subtitle “Opening the Soup Pot,” but I won't write it, until I'm ready to do so.)

I endured the “good, bad, and ugly.” It was mostly not good. There were a few good moments. I did the work. I was paid. That's all.

On Tuesday, 3/29/2016, I almost died, when an uninsured, age 18, driver failed to yield to my right of way – while I was driving home. My old truck died. I have written about the details. (See my Friday, August 26, 2016, article, “I’M STILL ALIVE – WHY? (Published 8/26/2016),” and later articles on my 'bionic' life.) After my “sabbatical,” of recovery and getting my new, old truck ('06 Nissan Frontier), I returned to work, on Monday, 12/19/2016.

I continued to endure the “good, bad, and ugly” – about which I plan to write in the future. I'll get to it. Give me time!

On Friday, 5/13/2022, I worked my final day for my Tennessee State employer! (Yes, Friday the 13th was an ironic date!) As my new, old truck and I were ready to leave, my “MWF Classic Rock iPad” radio station played Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Free Bird!” I didn't plan it. It was serendipitous! It was fitting! I enjoyed the moment in time! I was free once more!

My Future, Undiscovered Country

I will begin receiving my Tennessee State pension. I have taken the initial steps toward Social Security Retirement. I hope, by God's provident grace, that I will continue to work (remotely), in a position that I will enjoy. The plan is educated wisdom, God's providence, and “flying by the seat of my pants.” My wife and I have done the number crunching. One way or the other, we will be fine, financially.

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? - Matthew 6:26, KJV.

My wife and I trust in God's benevolent providence. My yet unpublished book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” will have an appendix, “Punctuated Providence,” that I started writing, on 11/3/2016 and concluded on 11/30/2016.

What does my future hold? It is an undiscovered country. God knows. I don't know. I trust God.