Anyone Have A Spare Icecube?

Blue Bronc

Labor Day reminds me of a cool summer day when I was stationed in Mississippi.  The temperature is a cool 85.1F.  The humidity is 80%, without breeze.  The calculations worked and we end up with a feels like temperature of 100F.  Uck.  The way I make myself feel better is to look up the location where I was stationed in Mississippi and right now it feels like 101F.  Once again, I feel better.

Is this normal weather or not?  Probably not.  This late heat and humidity is not normal for Annapolis.  It should be lower humidity and about 83F for the day.  However, this is not out of the band of “normal”.  What is sad is the legislators, in particular the House, are not here to enjoy it.  The few times they have blessed the Capitol with their presence has been during an abnormal summer caused by a pocket of cool air from the Arctic.  For a group of them this would seem to convince their anti-science brains that global warming does not exist.

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc
But, getting back to my ice cube.  For those who have always had ice in the freezer and never thought about a cold beer on a hot day, think about our brave and adventurous ancestors sitting around the farm in the middle Atlantic colonies on September 1, 1776.   Sure they stored away ice in the ice house, but that melted a month ago and there is nothing left but sawdust.

What do we do for cold beer?  Well, the answer is dig a hole.   Several feet down in the root cellar is a fine place to get to 50ish Fahrenheit degrees.  When you are sitting around after a hard day of work and the resulting sweat, 50F beer is good.  Even better after a couple of pints.

The second answer, and one I can only reference from memory (at times I do feel that old), is that ice peddlers would bring ice down in wagons from the North where they had it stored in warehouses.  The story of Dolly Madison and her ice cream is why I remember that.  IRC she had it brought down to the White House from a warehouse in New York.

Off the Great Lakes, and Finger Lakes, along with rivers of the north, ice would be harvested like any other crop.  The ice would be stored in great warehouses covered with sawdust for insulation.  I can tell you the sawdust does not taste good.  From these warehouses, ice would be carried south for sale to those wanting a cold beer, or whatever.  This was also the time of the Little Ice Age, causing a lot of cold winters resulting in a lot of ice.

The cellars were where the cool was and that is where the beer was for most colonists.

Here is a raised, and ice cold, brew to my ancestors.  The Fosters, Shockley,  McGill,  Juntenen’s, Simo, Antonen, Taurianen, Moilanen, Shreeve, Russel, Davis, and especially the Hickmans (and whoever else in my family tree was around in 1776).

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor.

Political Spouse: Spice or Spoiler?

Let’s talk about the “other half” and the problems or benefits candidates have with them. What is fair game for the media and the voters to expose and consider with regard to the negative or positive influence and personal history of a political wife or husband?

Take Mitch for instance: How can he go wrong married to a Shirley Temple look-a-like? An experienced former cabinet member, his wife comports herself admirably in ads refuting claims of his Republican war on women and the questioning of her ethnicity.

It’s also helpful that she is rich. [My apologies here for wrongly insinuating on a previous thread that Harry Truman's "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" applies to the Senator.] “In truth, most of the growth in his wealth stems from his marriage and money his wife received after her mother died,” says the Tampa Bay Times.

hillary-bill-clinton-60-minutes-1992Then there’s the dynamic Clinton duo. Over the years in their spousal roles each have played spice, spoiler, sweet and sour for the other. Think back to the sensational accusations made against one or the other of infidelity, racism, financial improprieties … and even murder.

Notable wives in history include Rachel Jackson who “married Andrew Jackson in 1791, thinking that her first husband had divorced her, but they had to remarry in 1794, giving rise to adultery and bigamy charges raised against Jackson when he ran for president” — and Eleanor Roosevelt who “helped with Franklin’s political career, despite her devastation in 1918 to discover his affair with her social secretary.” (

Who is your most memorable politician’s wife, husband or significant other?

– Patd is a Trail Mix Contributor. Post a thread about Midterm races in your neck of the woods: Here’s how.

Hillary vs Mitt 2.0?

Nash 2.5
I know what you’re thinking: “Yes, Hillary will be nominated, but Mitt Romney? Again?”

The problem with all the other potential GOP presidential candidates is that either they are indicted (Perry), about to be indicted (Walker, Christie), the Tea Party hates them (Rubio, Paul), or they are just too crazy, even for the GOP (Cruz, Palin, Bachmann).

Then there’s Bush III (Jeb).  When you see him on TV, doesn’t he seem to be half-asleep?  Even his own mother thought he wouldn’t be a good candidate.

Paul Ryan?  He just doesn’t LOOK “Presidential.”  He looks like Hoody Doody, baby boomers’ favorite 1950s kid show puppet.  Check out this video and see if you agree…

Which leaves the GOP with Mitt, or rather “Mitt 2.0”.

He’s arrogant, he’s rich, and he’s still totally clueless, but if the “establishment” Republicans throw their support (and their money) behind him, he could wipe out all the other GOP contenders, one by one, as they emerge from the clown car.  He did it before, and he can do it again.

I think “Hillary vs Mitt” would be really fun to watch in debates.

What do you think?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Running Against Obama

The long anticipated U.S. Senate race for the seat left open by the retirement of Jay Rockefeller (D, WV) is underway and it is unfolding as expected. Democrat Natalie Tennant, the sitting Secretary of State is running against Republican Shelly Moore Capito, the sitting U.S. Representative from the second district of West Virginia.

Shelly Moore Capito (R)

Capito (daughter of disgraced but defiant ex-governor Arch Moore) is running against Barack Obama – well, more properly against Obamacare, the War Against Coal and anything with Obama’s name associated with it.

After seven terms in the House, Capito doesn’t mention a single law passed or any accomplishment of hers or the Republican House to help West Virginia or the country while she’s served. Tennant on the other hand lists things she has done, convictions from charges she has caused to be brought against corrupt businessmen and money she’s saved the state and unused funds she returned to the treasury from her office’s budget. Oh, and there is the obligatory shot at Elizabeth Warren, who came to a fund raiser for Tennant.

Natalie Tennant
Natalie Tennant (D)

Capito’s ads tie Tennant to Obama – even on issues Obama supports and Tennant opposes – like carbon taxes and more regulation of coal burning power plants.

RealClearPolitics ran a piece on the campaign, and the Charleston Gazette ahs run numerous pieces descbing the ads.

The latest Rasmussen poll gives Capito a 17 point edge.

It’s gonna be a long fall. Thank god football has returned to the TV.

Pogo is a Trail Mix contributor. Want to report on a Midterm race in your town? Click here.

What Should Happen to the Violent Demonstrators?

The ones who took the occasion as an opportunity to break into shops and businesses pilfering what they felt entitled to. Should they be identified, where possible, and referred to a Grand Jury? Or, should they simply be asked to repair the damage they caused and pay for the goods they stole?

Or, should the shopkeepers be forced to their knees on the sidewalks in front of their shops while representatives of the Demonstrators decide whether they should be held accountable for crimes against the People for charging for goods and services in a neighborhood in transition?

In all fairness, it only seems reasonable that some rules be codified as to if and when it is appropriate that mayhem and thievery be allowed in the interest of the broader community. And who shall be required to make the victims whole after the fact.

Flatus is a Trail Mix contributor

Potato Harvest

Nash 2.5

Autumn comes early in Aroostook County, northern Maine.

In about three weeks the potato harvest begins.

Huge monstrous machines that seem to be from a science fiction movie, will soon be crawling all over the countryside, and sometimes they come right down Main Street, as they move from one field to another.

This amateur video shows you what potato harvesting machines look like.

That’s how I know fall is here, and winter is not far away.

What’s your favorite sign of autumn?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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ISIS vs the Cops

Nash 2.5
The mainstream news media are nearly hysterical:  a REPORTER got killed by the Islamic movement called ISIS which is sweeping unopposed through Syria and Iraq.

Media pundits are all now asking “Should the USA send troops back into Iraq?”

You may recall that last week, the pundit consensus was that re-invading Iraq was a really BAD idea.

Suddenly, ISIS is now “the most dangerous terrorist threat in the world today.”

Meanwhile back in Ferguson, Missouri, we are all beginning to see the world through African-American eyes.

For black people, the police are NOT there to protect you, they are there to oppress you, and they may kill you if you resist.

They may kill you even if you don’t resist.

Be honest.  Who is a bigger threat to African Americans today: ISIS or the local cops?

The jail scene from, “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.”

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Damn the Police! Damn the Shopkeeper! Damn the Cigars!


We have all the evidence we need, to wit, that generated by the convoys of “reporters” and activists that have descended on Ferguson. Everything else is moot.

There was the autopsy by Dr Baden who said he found no gunpowder residue on Mr Brown’s remains. But, he qualified that statement by saying that he didn’t have access to the victim’s clothing that could have held residue.

Ferguson_RiotDr Baden did say that the number of shots fired was excessive.

And the shopkeeper who was “purportedly” being victimized by an individual that some say is Mr Brown. I would like to know more about that incident. Was it Mr Brown? Surely fingerprints must be available. Was that Mr Brown’s normal demeanor? Were the cigars laced with pheromones?

For goodness sake, get everybody together and have them share their bonafide evidence with every other individual in the room.

– Flatus is a Trail Mix contributor

Trail Mix Facelift

blog-facelift4We’ve got a new look, partly due to an outdated blog theme that became obsolete, and also because it was time for something different.

We’ve had so many iterations since launching nearly 10 years ago (June, 2005) I’ve lost count. But through it all so many of you have stuck around and kept our little corner of the “internets” a safe haven for reasoned and reasonable discussion.

I still have a few tweaks to do on this format. Hope this adjustment is OK with everyone so far. Thanks, Craig

Militarization of Police?

Most liberals, and many conservatives, are incensed by the “militarization” of local police departments.

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
Militarization refers to the routine use of SWAT equipment for ordinary policing situations, the use of military-style armored vehicles, and the treatment of the public as “enemy combatants.”  Peaceful protesters are treated as “rioters,” and reporters trying to do their jobs are harassed.  In addition, many police officers now intimidate, assault, and/or arrest anyone who tries to take a video of them during confrontations.

As I noted, even some conservatives are questioning militaristic police behavior, conservatives such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

I respectfully disagree.

In fact there are many OTHER public services that should, in my opinion, be “militarized.”

militarypoliceFire Department.   Fire at your house?  Militarized fire fighters will arrive, and treat you and your entire family as “suspected arsonists.”   Face down on the ground, with an assault rifle to your head, you will be given 30 seconds to prove that you are innocent.  If so, you will then be allowed to put out the fire yourself.

Trash Collection.  Did you fail to separate your recyclables?  Don’t be surprised when militarized municipal trash collectors break down your door at 3 AM, handcuff you, put a hood over your head, and load you onto a plane for extraordinary rendition to an Eastern European country for enhanced interrogation.   (“Are you now, or have you ever been, a global warming denier?”)

Public Library.   Talking too loud?  Rather than “shushing” you a librarian/sniper, from a perch above the circulation desk, will fire a warning shot into an arm or leg.  Overdue Book? (Don’t even ask.)

I’m sure you will agree that our local communities will be MUCH more law-abiding if these changes are made.


For the benefit of those who have not been in the military, I conclude with a clip from “Stripes.”

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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