A Lesson From Bob Cochran: Happiness Is:

Emotions and how they effect us. I recently read we have six basic emotions or possibly just four if you can believe some researchers. The six emotions are Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise. Some researchers claim Fear and Surprise may be the same emotion and Anger and Disgust may also be the same emotion. Obviously there are different stages of emotions but FullSizeRender1313IMG_2154I wanted to share with you my latest and strongest interpretation of the emotion I consider the one most important to all of us: Happiness.

The attached article was written by my old friend Bob Cochran and it is from “The Taylor County News and The Butler Herald” dated Thursday December 24, 2015. Due to my lack of expertise with all things computer I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures and the article but I hope you can read this without straining your eyes too much.

I leave it for you to decide if this kind of friendship as described in Bob’s tribute to his fishing buddy, Doc Frank who had just passed away six days earlier isn’t one of the purest forms of Happiness.

Oddly enough Bob did not elaborate in the note he sent me with the paper about Doc Sams and Doc’s given name but since he had sent me the entire edition of that week’s paper I had the opportunity to thumb through it and I saw the obituary (also attached) of Dr. Frank H. Sams of Reynolds, Ga. He was 77.FullSizeRender1213

His life and life’s work was one of much giving and caring. Not only was I impressed by the life led by Dr. Frank Sams but I am equally impressed that Bob Cochran was moved to express the love he had for fishing and spending time with “Doc Frank.”

And that is one of the best definitions of “Happiness” I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thank you Doc Frank for your service and your life’s work and a special thank you to Bob Cochran for sharing your story with us.

The Saga of Hunter “Hard Boiled” Brooks – Call Me H.B.

The Way It All Began

I had been around a while. I sensed the folks were getting short tempered with me. I’m pretty clever at picking up on signs of discordancy. About the third time my old man said, “You’ve been hanging around here doing nothing for over three years. Why don’t you get out and get a job? Do something constructive,” I knew I had to make a break for the wide open spaces. I also knew I could not make my own way in the world without a grubstake to get me started. I needed money and lots of it. I managed to get out to Uncle Ben’s house with some people on a stagecoach. At Uncle Ben’s I knew I could disappear right before their eyes. It was time for me to go. I was more than fed up with all that cheek-pinching, jowl-shaking and old-woman chin-clucking. I knew I could make it on my own.

First I headed for the back yard. I knew that’s where ‘Ol Ben kept his fastest horses. I  worked my way around the yard to confuse the crowd. Uncle Ben grabbed me a couple of times to chat but I was like Wiley Coyote. I did some serious gurgling and he thought I was going to throw up on him so he turned me loose…pretty fast too.

FullSizeRender 26FullSizeRender 25After I got up and brushed myself off I saw my Cuz Shay Briggs watching me out of the corner of her eye. Then she watched me out of the corners of both her eyes and when her eyes crossed I knew I had her where I wanted her. Grabbing the soccer ball I quickly maneuvered around her and headed for the horse barn. I had almost made my way clear when ‘Ol Ben grabbed me again. This called for more serious measures. We were at a picnic table with a group of seriously boring people. I think most of them were goat farmers. I could smell goat in the crowd somewhere. It might have been “Ol Ben’s breath. Whewwww!! It seemed to me I was trapped for a minute but the Wily Coyote came back to me in a flash and I started doing some world class gagging. ‘Ol Uncle Ben dropped me on my head so fast I didn’t  think I would ever get it back up out of my rib cage.

FullSizeRender 27I took off again. This time I tried a new tack. I headed for the fireplace in the sun room. I found a book and sat down in front of the fireplace. I had known for years how to appear obsequious and fawning. I stayed by the fire waiting my chance but there were just too many of these completely boring old people milling about. I edged my way back toward the kitchen.

I circled around behind the kitchen counter and leaped up on it. I grabbed my top hat and immediately went into my old Sinatra-Astaire routine but it proved to be too much action for me. Wild women were clutching and grabbing at me. They plied me with adult drinks. I ran for it. I made my way backstage for a wardrobe change. I used my next routine to divert their attention as I fine-tuned my escape plan.  FullSizeRender 31FullSizeRender 9                                FullSizeRender 29

Nothing can conceal your true intentions like wearing the original Cat in the Hat-hat. I did  FullSizeRender 4my first impression of the Dr. Seuss Crazy Cat while juggling at the same time. I am expertly expert at juggling (with one ball) but I did discover, almost too late, that you need to be able to see the balls if you juggle them. Even if you use just one ball. As soon as I got a good chance I managed to slip under the wire and make my get away back to a secret room inside the bathroom where this guy had slot machines set up. The guy looked vaguely familiar. He looked a lot like my Daddy but I think there was a human hand hanging from his mouth. I turned my back on him and worked magic on his one-armed-bandit. There was no way he could catch me. I was too quick for him. I could see him frowning in concern but it didn’t matter. My plan  was working. It only took me a few minutes to outwit the                                                                                                                               FullSizeRender 5

FullSizeRender 2        FullSizeRender - 3slot machine.  With a wicked grin I showed the strange man the loot I had won from his stupid one-armed bandit. Laughing hysterically I ran out the back door, mounted one of Uncle Ben’s trustiest steeds and rode off into the moonlight. I have never been seen or heard from since that day…..until now. I only share this story with you because I miss my dog………..and sometimes my Sister.

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Fuji Water and Body Wash- Do Not Use It! It Can Kill You!

I know most of you have led a sheltered life and you don’t have the faintest clue what Fuji Water is and I know you are not going to worry about it  because you feel sure that I am going to tell you whether you want to hear it or not.

Well don’t be so damned sarcastic. This is serious business. You can lose various body parts or your head and even your life just by wearing Fuji Water or any sweet-water in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It just happened to me yesterday. I’m lucky to be alive but let me tell you how it all happened. I have a cousin who lives far from civilization. Her name is Pearline Packard and she lives in Downtown Atlanta. Every year along about Christmas, Pearline sends me a gift. I never reciprocate because I am afraid this thing may escalate and ruin my reputation as a real man.

Pearline sent me a bottle of Fuji Water. It gets worse. Katie Mae insisted I use it! I would have flat refused to even open the bottle but Katie Mae is still pretty strong and I have aged a good bit. I’m pretty sure she can whup my ass. To tell the truth I think she always could. I just had her believing that I am a martial arts expert. I told her I know Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Karate and some more Oriental words like that. I had her water-buffaloed…… I thought.

Anyhow, being a survivalist, in my own small way, I took this bottle of venom into my shower. My son Paul had already sniffed the top of the open bottle and declared this stuff was too sweet and too loud. When I had first smelled it I decided it was a bit more subtle than I had thought it would be but once I got the shower hot and steamy I opened that bottle and a pure Satanic essence of hell floored me. I fell down in the shower. I was worried about using it but I was afraid not to. I finally overpowered my intense fear and washed my left leg with the body wash. Just my left leg and suddenly the bathroom smelled like a shuttle bus full of French whores. I fell again.

When I left the house I found my car wouldn’t start. Kay got me half-way to the Coumadin Clinic before the scent overwhelmed her and she made me get out of her car. I walked to the Coumadin Clinic where the pharmacy student who checks my blood made me move from one side of her desk to the other. Then she made me leave the room and sit in a hallway. She ran by my chair and threw the needle at my finger like a dart. It wasn’t as embarrassing in the hallway as you might think because everybody cleared the hall when I got out there.

I’m telling you, if you are a manly fellow, steer clear of Sweet Water, Loud Fuji Water and Body Washes. They can only get you killed unless you are a girly man and it’s expected you will wear pretty perfumes.

I tried to catch a bus back home but we had only gone a couple of blocks before the students on board kicked me off the bus and then they began to throw heavy volumes of scholarly books at me. I still have knots on my head. The sorry bus driver took advantage of my pathetic circumstances and tried to run me over with his bus. He ruined my right foot. It’s flatter and longer than the left one.

It took me three hours to hobble back to the house. I had to limp through the hood and I was apprehensive about my safety but I shouldn’t have worried.

Nobody came within fifty feet of me.

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Christmas in NYC? Beware the Clowns in Comic Costumes.

Getting caught between the moon and New York City is a piece of cake compared to getting punched in the eye by Spider Man.

If you are planning a trip to the Big City be sure you do not take any selfies with Spider Man or any other Bozo in a weird outfit  for that matter. Times Square seems to be filling up with idiots costumed as cartoon and comic book characters. They want you to have a photo taken with them but once the picture is snapped, they expect a big tip for blessing you with their presence in the photo.

In recent months two different Spider Man characters have attacked people. One guy punched a woman and another struck a cop. Cookie Monster shoved a two year old and Elmo has unleashed an anti- Semitic tirade on the street.

Super Mario was accused of groping a woman. I always thought Super Mario was a sneaky looking dude. Look at him. You can’t even see his lips and how can you really tell what Cookie Monster and Elmo are thinking? They both have the wide-eyed, slack-jawed look of true idiot savants.

So whatever you do if you are seriously planning to visit New York City, do not mix, mingle or fraternize with local zombies who are out to scam you out of your money for a cheesy photo. Remember that hot temper of yours. Your first impulse may be to smack the hell out of any cartoon character tugging at your sleeve or reaching for your wallet.

Be sure you restrain the urge to kill the offender. Just two things can happen if you hit Mickey Mouse with your fist and neither one is a good thing. Either millions of kids are going to hate you intensely for smacking poor Mickey or………………you will be the laughing stock of America after Mickey whups your ass.         Maybe you should just stay home.


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Your Pet Lives on…..in the Form of a Drone.

It’s best to wait until your pet has died before you decide you want to have it stuffed and turned into something as practical as a drone. Who wouldn’t want a Labrador Drone to use for cruising your neighborhood while all the while sending back exciting photos of your neighbors jabbering, gesticulating wildly and excitedly pointing directly at your camera lens which is conveniently, also mounted……up the dear dog’s derriere.

I recently mentioned on Facebook that Dutch inventors Bart Jansen and Arjen Beltman are incorporating stuffed bodies of dearly departed pets into mechanical parts of drones that will actually fly. Now pets and other animals that go through this transition receive a sense of freedom they never experienced in life.

I first read of 13 year old Pepeijn Bruins losing his pet rat Ratjetoe to cancer. He asked the enterprising inventors to stuff his rat and turn it into a radio-controlled drone and they eagerly agreed. Now young Pepeijn has a flying rat these two ingenious men turned into a precious and cute lean-mean-flying-machine.

They also built a shark drone. You get the idea of what these fellows can do when you hear they turned a dead shark into a drone. How would you like to be relaxing in your pool just sunning and floating around on an air mattress when you happen to look up and instead of swimming under you in the water at a beach, a big fierce looking shark is hovering over you grinning and leering at all your old wrinkled body parts. Now that is a perfect reason to blow a drone out of the air with a double barreled shotgun. When your friends see it on your living room wall and say, “Where did you get the shark?” you can honestly answer, “Oh, I shot that big mother about a hundred feet over the top of my house.”

They also built a drone out of a dead ostrich. I hope he was dead.Forget about the ostrich. They are big, bulky, mean-tempered and ugly and the one they built should have been made into a blimp.

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I believe their crowning achievement has been referred to as their “epic” taxidermied cat  “Orvillecopter.” I really like Orvillecopter. He looks like an action cat to me. I’ll bet if old Orvillecopter were still around he would be super proud of his ability to soar with the birds.

So this seems to be the direction drone makers are taking nowadays. Think about how much fun you can have flying your ex-pet around the neighborhood and spying on the folks you really want to annoy. I suggest you keep the size of your pet to a minimum. I recently asked the inventors if I could get a number one South Georgia feeder pig stuffed and all rigged out as a drone and they laughed and laughed. They thought I was kidding.


The Tom Ross, A.A.A.D.D. Detection System

It’s finally catching up with us. We thought we could last forever but we were wrong. They say the first thing to go is your plumbing but just read these notes from our old friend Tom Ross. Tom is a retired barrister and now lives out near the North Carolina coast. The rankest of amateurs can follow these few simple symptoms that Tom describes and successfully self-diagnose the degree of memory loss suffered. Since he first wrote these notes Tom’s lovely wife Diane keeps him chained to a post on the front porch.

If he had this problem back when he led our fearless Albany (Georgia) High School football warriors to a state championship in 1959 we would have been in sad shape. Anyhow read Tom’s notes and you decide if you think there is any help for him……or for any of us poor souls who have now fallen headlong into our seventies.

Tom Ross Says : "A.A.A.D.D. - KNOW THE SYMPTOMS!"
(Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)          

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

I go to the garage and I notice mail on the porch table that I brought from the box earlier. I decide to check the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table. I notice that the can is full. I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first. But then I think since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Pepsi aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The Pepsi is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye. They need water. I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.  I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

  I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and
suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. I set the remote on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I go down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: The car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid,
there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter. The flowers don't have enough water, There is still only one check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm totally baffled because I know I was busy all day and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first        ..........I'll check my e-mail....

At least Ross knows where to find his e-mail. Mine disappeared into the icloud while I was looking for my car keys.


Is It the Cat’s Pajamas……or the Cat’s Commode?

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the prototype pet commode recently donated to the town of El Vendrell, Spain by inventor Enric Girona. The commode is a hole in the ground with a flush handle that is connected to the sewer system. There is also a drain grid next to the hole for tinkling purposes. It’s built on a twenty square foot platform that is self-cleaning. In Spain you can be fined up to $1,000 in Madrid and $2,000 in Barcelona for not cleaning up after your animals.

But we should have no problem in America because I have become acutely aware in the past two or three years that our pets know how to use a commode. I recently saw a film of a dog hopping up on a commode in his owner’s house and doing his business in the right spot. He even had the strength to push the flush handle when he was finished. He was a pretty good sized dog so I guess all that extra weight helped him complete the flush.

We can also teach our kitties the proper use of a commode if we will simply be patient and be willing to spend the time in the bathroom petting them and coaxing them to do the right thing. Then we have to figure out how to make the commode flush. I suggest an electric flushing apparatus that is triggered by the cat jumping to the floor and landing on a small pad that has a built in switch which signals the electronic flusher to flush the commode.

I told my friend Bubba Jack Johnson all about my idea for a cat commode that could actually be flushed by the cat. Bubba Jack is mechanically inclined and when you can get him to settle down and put his mind on the business at hand he can’t be beat at fabricating things like cat commodes.

I think I made a bad mistake in getting Bubba Jack so involved and excited about the idea. He lives with his Mama and that’s where I found him when I told him about plans for my new project.

I never dreamed he would use his Mama’s cat as a guinea pig. Kitty (his Mama doesn’t have a lot in the way of imagination when it comes to naming pets) weighs about twenty-five pounds and she has about ten or twelve more pounds of hair.

Bubba Jack got it all put together and he took Kitty and put her on the commode. The commode flusher chose to malfunction at that very moment and the water blew out the top of the commode and all over Kitty. Kitty screeched and leaped four or five feet in the air. When she came down on the pad with the flush switch built into it the commode flushed again and threw water all over the bathroom. Bubba Jack had failed to make the flush pad water-proof. That pad lit Kitty up like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

I had never seen a cat explode. Luckily she didn’t really blow up. Fire raced along her entire body. Bubba Jack grabbed her by the neck and slung her into the commode and put his big foot on her to hold her down until the fire went out. He saved her. I just thought he saved her. His mother did not think so.

The cat commode project has been temporarily suspended. Lately Bubba Jack lives out of his car and his Mama is living by herself in her house. Just her and a naked cat.

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Be Kind To Your Dominatrix

I do not believe in torturous love making and I think that people who think pain is pleasurable should be shot right away.

I think some people are awfully pure and sweet of heart and don’t have much of an idea what a dominatrix is and what she does. This story is indicative of how these perverts operate.A strangely motivated woman I just read about in an equally strange article hired a female she could dominate in an even stranger way than most of us can imagine.

This is the weird story. It actually came from the newspaper feature, “News of the Weird.”

An Illinois woman was convicted of beating her dominatrix with a baseball bat because she and the dominatrix had a simple misunderstanding. The woman had hired the dominatrix to work as a slave. The slave’s duty was to take snapshots of the woman who employed her while the employer did her housework in the nude.

This is where I think the judge should have immediately stopped the proceedings and ordered the bailiff to shoot them both dead directly in front of his bench. It’s got to stop somewhere. Hell, I’m afraid it’s highly contagious and spreading like wildfire.

This is where the great misunderstanding could have occurred. The tiny piece of a mind left in the head of the dominatrix/photographer must have come unglued when the camera began flashing. She suddenly became like a wild tigress. She declared she was the master and began dragging her employer around by the hair. This supposedly happened right after the dominatrix made a phone call to someone she had met on the “Christian Mingle” dating website.

So you see, the gal who hired her had no option but to whip her crazy ass with a ball bat…..and all this while she was still in the nude and all dusty from whisking the furniture.

It must have been terribly humiliating to have to stop doing the housework in the nude to discipline someone you hired to discipline you.

I think she should sue the dominatrix. After all right is right, misunderstanding or no. I also think the dominatrix needs to remember and understand who was batting a thousand after the game started and when the game was over.

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The Demise of Hog Heaven.

And now it’s all over for poor old pigs like us (because we’re too old to tango..very much) and for poor old pigs like boar hogs. The romantic allure of hog heaven is no more. No more romancing in the pig pen. The sty has gone dry….for handsome hogs.

Hogs in love

He loves her true but all is lost in this modern day of artificial insemination.


You hanging around here this evening , big mama?

Back when being a papa pig was hard work, and a lot of fun too,  there used to be wonderful chances for a poor pig to find love right in his own backyard….sty. Those days are gone. Nowadays over 90% of pig farmers inseminate their sows artificially. This is up from less than 5% in the 1980s. Now one boar can do what 20 boars did back then.

pretty pig

Midnight madness with a sweet sow is no longer the same sweetness.

more laughing hogs

And then Susie said to me, “Horace, you are the most delightful hog I have ever shambled and galumphed with in a mud wallow.”







Don’t you just hate it. This is probably a lot more than you ever wanted to know but a single boar ejaculation can impregnate a whole heap of sows and the precious little piglets will all be pretty much alike especially in shape and size. Grocers and restaurateurs like for their pork chops to be uniform. One bag of boar semen can be transported by express package handlers or even a pickup truck instead of having to move the boars around to the sows. That one bag of semen can service 300 sows when it used to take 20 boar hogs to handle the same job. That’s cold-hearted, really cold-hearted, but true.

looking for mama hogs

Boy I wish they would hurry. I can hardly wait to be artificially inseminated. Maybe that cute FedEx driver will bring the bag.

grinning pig

Farmer Jim may have screwed up my love life but he ain’t going to be eating many pork chops while I’ve got his teeth.

A downside to this whole pathetic story is about China almost destroying the Spanish swine producing industry by manufacturing shoddy boar hog semin bags. Chemicals in the semin bags diminished the fertility of the semin.

Now consumer pressure is forcing hog operations to put their pigs in larger, roomier shared pens so there is a little relief being created for the poor porkers but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is ever going to replace the old hog heaven standards.

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Remembering a Favorite Fourth of July.

Charleston Battery

Charleston, South Carolina


Kay Swilley, Sharon and Skip Laney eagerly awaiting the paddle wheeler we boarded.

The Fourth of July, 2009. My wonderful and lovely sister-in-law Sharon and her equally wonderful and handsome husband Skip invited Katie Mae and me to visit them at their home in Summerville, South Carolina. Summerville is a bedroom community for folks who work in Charleston so it only took twenty minutes or so for us to get from their house to the picturesque harbor at Charleston and that’s where we went. We headed straight for one of the greatest Fourth of July fireworks celebrations I have ever witnessed.kay's camera 011

Ben and Kay enjoying a couple of adult beverages before the meal.

         In no time we were hustled aboard a mid-sized paddle wheeler that had us churning out across the bay to Fort Sumter. As we circled Fort Sumter we were served a delicious seafood dinner while a trio of accomplished musicians played old favorites from the forties and fifties.

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter


Trio on board our paddle wheeler.







Carolina Queen

The Carolina Queen – Just like a Mississippi river boat.

USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown – WWII era aircraft carrier.

I asked a member of the trio if I could sing with the group. He said, “I wish you wouldn’t.” Then a guy with big arms asked me if I thought I could find my way back to the dock if he gave me a dinghy and an old paddle. They threatened to set me loose in a little boat and how I got back to the dock would be my problem. I went back to my table.


The brilliant sunset on the horizon seemed to be a subtle prelude to the greatest fireworks show I have ever seen in person.

As the sky darkened we went out on the open deck to better watch the fireworks. It all started from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. The Yorktown is a WWII era aircraft carrier that is permanently docked in the Charleston Harbor. The carrier now belongs to Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.

The night enveloped us and as the show got started I think I had the best seat in the world for watching aerial bombs and fire exploding overhead. It gave greater significance to our proximity to Fort Sumter where the first shot of the War between the States was fired.

Bridge 2It seemed like it went on forever. They must have spent a huge fortune on fireworks. Just when I thought the show was ending, at least a dozen or more communities and island populations surrounding Charleston began to ramp up their own Fourth of July celebrations.

It was fascinating to sit quietly docked out in the Charleston Harbor and watch the horizon set afire once again by the luckiest people in the world. Thousands upon thousands of people showing their love and appreciation for this country. A country with no equal for greatness throughout history. This country so exceptional that no better civilization has ever existed………ever.


Sharon and Skip Laney

Fireworks 3Fireworks 2









Thanks to Skip and Sharon for allowing us to join them for such a spectacular show.

And for those of you who deny American exceptionalism and have been complaining about the USA for years, please find the place on this planet where you think life is better. Let us know where it is. The rest of us want to help you pack.