Welcome to my website. I am a descendant of Scots Highlanders who were hunted like dogs by wealthier and better connected neighbors, and even targeted for extermination by a deluded King. If I’m skeptical of those who claim to be better than me, I come by it honestly.
I live southwest of Atlanta and I’ve had a web presence since 1996. I’ve also lived in Sacramento and Fairbanks; I may live in the South now but I’m a Westerner (not a Left Coaster) by temperament.
I favor individual liberty with all its attendant private responsibilities; I owe allegiance to a Constitution that limits federal power; I believe the strong need to protect the weak, mainly by ensuring the weak have the freedom to make themselves stronger.
And I believe faith should be reserved for higher principles, and not wasted on the promises of fallible, mortal men; no one will ever care as much about your life, your loved ones, or your hopes and dreams, as you do.
Saturday October 18, 2014
Adventures in Data Security
I finally got around to taking my surplus hard drives into the woods on my property and making them unbootable.
The .22 rifle did just fine with the two laptop hard drives -- one of the disks even poured out the exit hole like glitter -- but for the drives that came out of old desktop PCs I had to use the .40 caliber Beretta pistol.
I am well pleased with the versatility of these tools. And with the satisfying “bang” they make.
Sunday October 12, 2014
Columbus, Mississippi is a short drive east of Starkville -- which (Starkville, not Columbus) is home to the university from which Wife of Slog will be receiving her Master’s Degree in Applied Meteorology. She has one course and a comprehensive exam still to complete.
I was hopeful ahead of the LSU game, though certainly aware that the Tigers from Baton Rouge were not to be taken lightly. After that win, I was more confident about Texas A&M -- also a tough team, but given the victory against LSU I expected the Bulldogs to step up, and they did.
As for Auburn, well, we'd seen State beat Auburn before, in a previous season. After the wins against LSU and A&M I would have been surprised if Mississippi State hadn’t won yesterday.
It’s possible that by the time State meets Alabama the Tide may have recovered its mojo from before its loss to Ole Miss, but as of right now I think the most daunting team left on State’s schedule -- the most daunting team that’s been on State’s schedule -- will prove to be its cross-state rival, which it always takes on Thanksgiving weekend. Forget November 4, the Big Day in the Magnolia State will be the 29th. The Egg Bowl.
I think it will determine the SEC West, and whichever team wins it will win the SEC.
And of course whoever wins the SEC wins the national championship. That’s just the natural order of things.
Tuesday September 30, 2014
Apropos of Nothing
The best way to avoid being accused of belonging to a collective, is to avoid acting like you belong to a collective.
One of my erstwhile domains released last May has been claimed, linking products and services but not using any of my content. Previous domains I’ve released have long since been claimed, including one from the “Yippee-Ki-Yay!” days that links adult-oriented products and services. If your site has old links to McGeheeZone.com or Yippee-Ki-Yay.us content, you might want to scrub those, because these domains are now the kinds of sites that pingback spam links to.
Last time I looked at McGehee.cc it still seemed to be a blog rather than a marketing site, but scrubbing those links wouldn’t hurt either.
Friday September 19, 2014
So Much for ‘Scotland the Brave’
A couple of the cities voted strongly to secede from the UK, but Scotland as a whole voted “Nae.” My condolences to the English. Now it remains to be seen whether rumblings of more devolution will be honored.
I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the UK becomes a truly federalized state -- which it can only become when there is an English counterpart to the parliaments and assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And I think the English won’t stand for more devolution in those other countries without addressing the “West Lothian Question.”
In other news, it’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” me hearties! Yarrr!
We went to a lot of effort and expense to turn it into somebody’s dream home. Yours, maybe?
Thursday September 11, 2014
E Pluribus Unum
Count the letters in the national motto, and the stripes on the flag. Count how many years elapsed between independence in 1776 and the enactment of the Constitution in 1789.
Thirteen has historically been our nation’s lucky number.
I have no idea what that means. Today the streak might, for all I know, be broken in a new storm of ashes and tears.
What I do know is, I grow weary of noting the anniversary of the day the world stopped turning while most of my countrymen are distracted by celebrity hookups and hoodwinked by journOlistic narratives that wouldn’t deceive a sand gnat.
Then into the West from the Civil War days
The white and the black cowboy rode in like a blaze
Some will implore that all cowboys were white
I can tell you from facts, boys, that that isn’t right
For all of the cowboys that rode a-horseback One fourth of those hombres was sure enough black
---From Whence Came the Cowboy
The inventor of bulldogging as a rodeo sport was Bill Pickett and one of the most fearless -- and feared -- lawmen of the Old West was Bass Reeves. If you thought it was all Buffalo Soldiers, think again.
Friday August 8, 2014
But not on Grand Opening day
Effective immediately, and excepting only the Christmas shopping season, I will no longer be ordering items online via Cabelas.com
Of course, I’ll be compiling a shopping list before going all that way, and using the catalogs and website to do it. I’ve been in a few of the chain’s stores -- one in Utah and two in Nebraska -- but I’ve been waiting to have one close to home for... well, decades.
Saturday August 2, 2014
This must be how the TV detectives do it
Those who have read Murder in Coweta County or seen the TV movie starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith will remember Mayhayley Lancaster, the backwoods fortune teller who helped Coweta County Sheriff Lamar Potts solve the 1948 murder of Wilson Turner.
My mother-in-law recently read the book, and not being from around here she was impressed at how many local place names she recognized. For example, the crime scene was at a tourist camp in Moreland, a few miles south of Newnan, where U.S. 29 and U.S. 27A part ways in their separate southward travels. The orange structure still standing at the site’s southwest edge may date from when the tourist camp was still there.
As for Mayhayley, a recent edutainment TV segment on the case prompted me to look for information about her, and the most easily obtained datum was her burial site, the cemetery at Caney Head Methodist Church in Heard County, a few miles northwest of Franklin. The church flourishes still, and can be found from Franklin by taking Georgia 100 to Roosterville Road, thence to the fading Roosterville itself where an unwary passer-through will miss Caney Head Road if he doesn’t spot the church sign at the intersection to his left. Like I did at first.
Mayhayley’s gravesite is on the side of the cemetery nearest the road, a bit more than halfway from the church to the end of the fenced area. It’s a Lancaster family plot with a few other graves there including that of a Confederate veteran whom we took to have been her father.
In my reading I had also found a description of the house she lived in during her later years, with a sister who took care of her. That and some related family names led us right to the place. We only drove by -- it seems to be occupied still -- and I won’t give details on how to find it. Even so, anyone sufficiently motivated ought to have little trouble finding the clues and piecing them together.
I don’t know whether the current residents have any relationship to Mayhayley or any desire to talk to strangers about the house’s history, and since this hunt was a spur-of-the-moment inspiration I don’t plan on trying to contact them.
Tuesday July 22, 2014
Coming around again, I think
Wednesday July 2, 2014
Car Insurance Ads That Should Have Been Rejected, But Weren’t, 1
“What good is insurance if you get punished for using it?” asks the stupidest TV commercial I’ve seen all morning -- for Liberty Mutual auto insurance.
What good it is, is to train you to drive more carefully.
Mandatory liability insurance isn’t to protect you when you cause damage with your car -- it’s to protect the poor innocent person whose property you damaged because you weren’t paying attention to your driving.
“Nobody’s perfect!” whines the spokesidiot. Well, duh. If anybody were, liability auto insurance wouldn’t be mandatory.
Years ago, when I was at fault for an accident, my insurance paid, and my rates went up. I was more careful after that. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The trend toward protecting people from the consequences of their behavior is increasingly pervasive. It’s pernicious and destructive and unsustainable.
Civilization is made possible by grown-ups, but as it fails to ensure a working supply of grown-ups in each succeeding generation, it dooms itself.
Sunday May 18, 2014
A wrong turn calls for a U-turn
I submitted this just last Friday, and it was published today.
I expect to be the target of some seriously hateful anonymous commentary on the op-ed page in the next few days.
Friday May 16, 2014
Thoughts My Brain Made, 1
The Church of England is an actual, honest-to-goodness, real live Establishment of Religion.
In the last 60 years, it has done less to restrict the free exercise of religion than our own Supreme Court.