Highway 431 Blog

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summertime Veggies ::

Well, some fruits also. Yesterday I visited the farmer's market in Guntersville and picked up some green tomatoes, some squash, and about 3 pounds of okra. Oh yeah, there were a couple dozen ears of Peaches and Cream corn thrown in there also so I prepared everything except the squash and put it in the freezer yesterday evening. I picked up another 15 pounds of squash this morning from some local growers I have been dealing with for the past 12 or 13 years (squash at 75¢/lb) so I put about 20 pounds in the freezer. I'll do this for the next couple of weeks with a mixture of squash and zucchini. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a bushel of okra locally. The past few years have been so dry that local okra has been scarce, but my fingers are crossed for this year.

I also spent a couple of hours back in the lower forty (the back 1 1/2 acre) picking wild blackberries. I promised one of my co-workers that I would pick some for her grandmother. The blackberries are doing pretty well given the rain we've had this year and the next 2 or 3 weeks should be really good. The only downside is that the tick problem is terrible this year and I have already picked 3 off myself this evening.

It's hard work preparing all of these things for the freezer!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Morning Democrats-June 22, 2008

Let's try this again. Thanks to the Daily Dixie for leading me to this Alabama Republican party web site where they apparently try to get some digs in each day. Yesterdays was probably more telling than they had hoped for!

Birmingham, AL – We would like to welcome Michelle Obama to Alabama as the Obama campaign brings their liberal ideology to Mountain Brook today to raise a little money, funds that will go towards the advancement of radical socialist ideas and policies. The move by your Party to bring the Obama camp back to Alabama shows that your local leadership believes strongly in the platform laid out by the campaign – a platform of big government, higher taxes, gay marriage and weak national security. The visit by Obama also gives Parker Griffith, Bobby Bright, and Josh Segall another opportunity to vocalize their support for your nominee, something they are apparently hiding from. We call on Griffith, Bright, and Segall to show the people of their districts that they stand for something, either support Barack Obama or publically let the leaders of your Party know that they do not agree with your platform and will not allow funds raised by Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Howard Dean, or any of the other liberals who have walked out of Alabama with handfuls of cash, to be used in their races. It comes down to principle and the taxpayers don’t need fence-sitters in Congress. Voters need to understand that if these three can’t decide whether to support the Party that they represent, then they can’t be counted on to make decisions on the future of America – decisions that are undoubtedly a little more difficult. We need convicted leaders in Congress, not Pelosi pawns whose decisions are made based on the direction of the political winds. – Griffith, Bright and Segall are proving that they represent the latter.

Ps: bet there will not be any talk of eliminating the federal income tax deduction at the fundraiser!

The added emphasis is mine, but I'm happy to see that the Alabama republicans realize just what their leaders are!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David Prather On "Policing The Police"

I sent Prather an e-mail Monday evening expressing some thoughts on his column which is presented over on the left in PDF form. I was pretty forceful in my condemnation of The Huntsville Times as being a mouthpiece for the city and the local chamber of commerce. Prather apparently took this personally in his reply. I sent him a follow-up e-mail expressing my dismay that he took this critique personally, but he has not responded and I doubt that he will.

As far as "policing the police" goes I am now, for the first time, going to express my thoughts on the disastrous chase across Redstone Arsenal earlier which resulted in the death of a NASA employee. The powers that be, both within the city government and the military organization of Redstone, have determined that the chase was within local guidelines. I find this to be a ludicrous finding and I am appalled that, given all of the hype related to security in the aftermath of 9/11, the security situation on Redstone is so porous that this breach occurred! Redstone Arsenal should have the ability to be locked down in a matter of scant minutes and a high speed chase should never have been allowed to happen.

It's too late now and one death and several injuries resulted from poor decisions by police officers of the city of Huntsville as well as Redstone Arsenal security.

Incompetence by any other name is surely nothing more than incompetence and I certainly feel less safe than I have felt in years!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More On A Huntsville Police Officer Shooting An Innocent Citizen ::

I put a link to a pdf of the Huntsville Times article over to the left.

Read the article and try to determine who was tailgating whom, but we'll get back to that in a later post.

The story says that Scheuerman was shot 3 times. Actually there was a 4th shot that wasn't counted although there is a lip scar as a result. This one happened as Scheuerman was trying to get away from the attack, but let's move on a bit although I will come back to the initial scene later.

Ricky Scheuerman is suing the city of Huntsville for several reasons not the least of which is false imprisonment. The Huntsville Times article states that the hospital stay was 69 days although I think the actual stay was much longer. After the shooting incident Scheuerman was taken to Huntsville Hospital, but was not officially placed under arrest. Due to the severe nature of his gunshot injuries he was placed in a chemically induced coma, but a police officer was stationed outside his door and his family, including his mother, was only allowed visitation based on official jail policy which, if I'm not mistaken, was just a few minutes on Sunday although all of the doctors recommended that family be allowed liberal visitation given the nature of the injuries. If he had been officially arrested prior to the hospital admission then the city of Huntsville would have been liable for the medical charges incurred by the actions of one its employees.

More to come on the nature of the charges against Ricky Scheuerman soon, but I have been wondering why the Huntsville Times has not been reporting on this story although it is common knowledge in legal circles around town. I have long felt that The Times primarily functions as an extension of local government and the Chamber of Commerce, but why the story now?

Obviously the city is feeling the heat, knows it is a losing position, and is throwing a rogue police officer under the bus in an attempt to mitigate it's losses! I'm waiting to see what sort of follow-up the Huntsville Times will offer. My guess is little unless prompted by the city government!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Trigger Happy Huntsville Police Officer ::

The Huntsville Times finally got off their collective asses and printed a portion of this story although most of what is written is mis-characterized or totally off base. I long ago tried to get The Huntsville Times to cover this injustice, but, given that The Times is little more than an mouthpiece of the local government and the chamber of commerce, nothing was ever written. My take on why this story has now been written about is that the city of Huntsville has finally realized that their position is untenable and their potential liability is huge. The city is now tossing Jeff Weaber under the biggest bus that can be found in order to try to limit its liability!

A Huntsville police officer could face federal and state charges for shooting a motorist in the chest and stomach after the man allegedly tried to run over him.

And the federal court opinion in the case also says the officer violated several department guidelines for using deadly force. The department's shooting review board and representatives of the Madison County district attorney's office cleared the officer in the shooting.

I plan on writing about this story for the next few days and, in the interest of fair disclosure, let me say that Ricky is a friend and my wife's ex-husband. He also often dog sits for me when we're out of town.

This tale is long and involved and I don't pretend to know all of the ins and outs, but I know enough about what transpired to write about what I do know and what is, or should be, public knowledge.

Check back in over the next few days for a truly frightening tale of the Huntsville police department and what is known inside the department as "The Wild, Wild West"!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bitten By A Tick For The First Time

This year I have learned to spray myself pretty well with Deep Woods Off since I have found several ticks crawling around on various parts of my body in the past few weeks. Just a few minutes ago I took a shower and noticed an itching on my upper left thigh and looked down. At first I thought I had scratched a bit too much and had drawn a bit of blood which had died, but it turned out to be a small tick which had chomped down on my leg. I have spent a good portion of my 60 years living in the country and this, to my knowledge, is the first tick bite I've ever had, but luckily I caught it quickly.

I don't know the symptoms of Lyme disease but if I become incoherent in any writing here (moreso than usual) and threaten to vote for a republican then you will know that the tick bite went to my brain and I need to be put out of my misery!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Discount For Being A Democrat?

I am afraid that I'm in dire need of a new set of tires and let me say upfront that I absolutely hate buying tires! I have been pricing them at some of the franchise shops and the Wal-Mart in Huntsville and it's pretty depressing.

I took this afternoon and tomorrow off. Today I had some bidness to take care of and tomorrow I'm going to let my 3 week old granddaughter drool on me as much as she wants, but I stopped in a small local tire shop here in New Hope to get a price on a set of tires. There were a couple of guys in the office when I entered and when I asked about the price of tires one of the men said that if I were a Democrat then I would probably get a better price. I had no problem admitting to my political affiliation! Now, I don't know if I got any sort of deal, but their price was not out of line with the discount franchise places and I will probably buy from them. I am a firm believer in keeping my business in my local community and away from the big-box stores!

Election Outcome

Everyone for whom I cast a vote came out on top, but I'm curious about why the Huntsville Times did not print the precinct results for the Sessions/Figures outcome. I was looking forward to seeing how my neighbors down here in New Hope voted. I guess I'll spend some time wandering around the Madison County web site hoping to find some results!

[update] Well, that was quicker than I expected for the total results:


Which seems to pretty much mirror the percentage of Republican vs Democratic turnout.

OK, I found New Hope City Hall results:


Seems as though some work needs to be done.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We Voted This Afternoon

I will be curious to see how my precinct went. I didn't ask about the turnout, but I was surprised at how many people were in the small room in New Hope.

I will be watching the news closely later this evening given the conflicting reports regarding what Hillary Clinton may, or may not, do. When James Clyburn of South Carolina broke for Obama I knew that the writing was on the wall for Clinton and tonight should be the tipping point.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Tomorrow, June 3, is the day and I'll be casting my vote late in the afternoon. Parker Griffith will get my vote to replace Bud Cramer and Vivian Figures will, of course, be my choice in the U.S. Senate race.

I have seen a lot of signs around opposing the sales tax increase to benefit the county school system. I have no children in the Madison county schools, but I care about the future of our educational system so I will be voting for the tax increase. This is probably another instance of our progressively tilting at windmills, but I will at least make the effort!

Whatever you do tomorrow go out and exercise your right to vote. I never miss an opportunity to cast my ballot no matter how minor the issues involved!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I finished mine just in time today as the heavens opened once again!