McGehee’s Freehold


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.

Find more about Weather in Newnan, GA


December 15, 2014

Have a Happy

I think if I have anything to say here I'll hold it in until after New Year's. Not that I've been talking anybody's ear off this year.

Once I do have something to say in 2015, the 2014 stuff will be moved to an archive page that I'll link at the bottom of the 2015 version of this page.

Meanwhile, I am on Twitter, but not much more often than I'm here. I comment some here or here or here.

I wish Merry Christmas to Christians, joyous holidays to the rest, and hope for the future to all.

2015 won't be any easier than 2014, so be ready to come out swinging.


December 3, 2014

In Case You Hadn’t Noticed

Google Maps’ mobile app is usable (provided you’re willing to accept MapQuest-quality placefinding). Its web interface is not. Try to use its “Earth” setting to see satellite imagery overlaid on the map, and despair.

The older version, which didn’t use Google Earth to serve satellite imagery, worked.


November 28, 2014

And another move

If you're seeing this entry, it means DNS propagation has taken you to the new home of my domain.

The previous host migrated servers last week and broke my email. It may take a while for the new host to take over receiving and delivering. Fortunately nobody has any urgent need to reach me until then who doesn’t know other ways to do so.

Update, later on Friday: Email seems to be up and running now, at least as tested from one alternate account.


November 26, 2014

Suburban castle sold

The domicile formerly known as Castle McGehee is now Castle Davis.


November 24, 2014

It was Shutout Saturday for the Mississippi schools

In sympathy to that other Mississippi school after our own loss a week previous, there will be no song lyric update this week.

They were, after all, the only team to beat the only team we’ve lost to. That’s worth something.

We’re still going to beat them like a rented hobo on Saturday, but until then...

But I will admit, I liked our shutout better.


November 20, 2014

Ends and Odds

So there I was last week, taking a last run around the field out front of The Freehold -- to make it look kempt for the winter, and give any snow we might get a nice surface to cover -- and on the second circuit, in the lowest part of the field, the mower ... stops.

The engine was still running. The cutting deck was still operating. The mower simply wasn’t moving anymore.

I’d chosen the day because it was going to be rainy soon and I didn’t want to be trying to drive around on wet ground. Instead, I had to leave the mower sitting there, first to get rained on, and then waiting until the ground had firmed up again.

It’s not a gigantic piece of equipment, but it is a riding mower -- and being a ZTR it has a lower profile than your standard Hank Hill lawn tractor. My soon-to-be-53-year-old back isn’t fit to push this thing from a low spot all the way back to the driveway, and bringing the trailer to it wasn’t going to do any good because the ramp incline was going to be even steeper than usual in this spot.

I wound up using a cargo strap, with one hook on a long bolt under the front of the mower, and the strap wrapped multiple times around my car’s towing hitch and the other hook hung in a hook loop on the receiver. I never actually thought it would work (I was sure something would pop loose, or the strap might fail) but I got the mower into the front yard proper and placed the trailer on a slope where the loading ramp wouldn't be so steep. I still needed a hand getting it up the ramp even so, but first thing in the morning this machine is headed for the repair shop to fix whatever’s wrong with it and get new blades while it’s there.

I got a lot of practice backing up with that trailer today.

By the time I get the mower back, the erstwhile Castle McGehee will (knock on wood) have new owners; closing is just before Thanksgiving.

Update, next afternoon: I was wrong; they fixed the mower the same day. What a difference it makes taking it in in November instead of April.


November 16, 2014

New Chorus (Dammit)

The outcome of yesterday's game calls for a new chorus to "Mississippi Saturday Night:"

Well my team's nine-and-one
His is eight-and-two
I bleed maroon and he
Wears the red and blue
His team beat 'Bama
And mine couldn't quite
Mississippi Saturday night.

It's okay. We'll beat the team that did beat 'Bama.

And then, of course, there's the playoffs.


November 8, 2014


President Jerry Brown.


November 6, 2014

A Message for Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)

Dear Governor Walker:

Having contributed some $45 to your re-election campaign, I now claim sole responsibility for your re-election.

Since you now owe me, I have a list of things you will have to do in the coming years.

In the matter of governing Wisconsin, you seem to have that part down. Carry on.

During the first eight months of 2016, I require that you leave Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Karl Rove, et al, crying in the dirt by refusing to let them tell you how to run your presidential campaign.

(Oh, by the way: you're running for President in 2016. Yes. You are. You are. Don't even think about saying no.)

You're going to tell those Establicans that you already know how to win elections, and I'll do my part. I may even give you $50.

You're welcome.


November 2, 2014

Mississippi Saturday Night

With apologies to Mel McDaniel and music lovers everywhere:

Well my team's undefeated
His is seven-and-two
I bleed maroon and he
Wears the red and blue
You look at either of us wrong
And there's a-gonna be a fight
Mississippi Saturday night
I'll never figure out how
We got to be brothers
He'd change his last name
If I had my druthers
But we have a lot of fun
Underneath them big lights
Mississippi Saturday night
He named his kid Bo
And I named mine Dak
Mine'll score touchdowns
And his'll get sacked
Both're gonna win a Heisman
If we raise them right
Mississippi Saturday night
If we win the title
It's a sign that we're driven
But the only game that matters
Is right after Thanksgivin'
They'll do their best to win it
For Laquon, that's all right
Mississippi Saturday night
Well my team's undefeated
His is seven-and-two
I bleed maroon and he
Wears the red and blue
You look at either of us wrong
And there's a-gonna be a fight
Mississippi Saturday night

Update, Sunday, November 8: Need to change the first two lines of the chorus to

Well my team's undefeated
His is eight-and-two

The rest stands as written.


October 29, 2014

A Month of Maalox Moments

November is going to be a twitchy month around here, despite the elections being over less than a week in. You see, the school from which Wife of Slog is obtaining her master’s degree -- Mississippi State -- is firmly in the #1 spot going into the first-ever playoff-decided national college football championships.

Their last regular-season game will be the "Egg Bowl" on November 29 against cross-state rival Ole Miss, which fell out of the AP Top 5 last week, but managed to get ranked #4 in the Playoff Committee rankings just released last night. According to the playoff scheme, the first round of playoffs pits the #1 team against the #4 team.

Now, obviously the rankings will have changed by the end of next month, but what if they still required M-State and Ole Miss to have an Egg Bowl rematch just five weeks later? And you thought a four-year Civil War fought across several states was bad?

November will be twitchy as we watch the rest of the season play out; State still has to face Alabama (#3 AP, #6 Committee) on the 15th in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas on the 1st and Vanderbilt on the 22nd are two other challenging teams. If M-State -- which has had the toughest schedule in college football this year, and is undefeated -- is still #1 when it’s all over, it’ll be because they damn well earned it. Florida State (#2 both), by contrast, hasn’t played anywhere near as tough a schedule this year, and has no big plans for November either. In my opinion, they’re ranked so highly solely on the basis of being undefeated -- by schools like Syracuse.

By that standard, the middle school serving my neighborhood could make it into the playoffs.

But after a twitchy November will come a twitchy December. Maybe I should buy stock in several antacid companies.


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.


October 12, 2014

Columbus Day?

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.

A few weeks ago that school’s football team was unranked. Today it’s #1 in the nation.

You may have heard about it.

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.


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.


September 22, 2014

Thoughts My Brain Made, 2

Gosh, do you suppose making war on your party’s base might turn out to be electoral suicide?

Who’d-a thunk!?


September 21, 2014

Down Right-sizing, Updated

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 or 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 it still seemed to be a blog rather than a marketing site, but scrubbing those links wouldn’t hurt either.


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!


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.


September 4, 2014


The title track on a certain Sons of the San Joaquin CD includes the following verse:

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.


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

And why is that, you ask?

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.


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.


July 22, 2014

Coming around again, I think



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.


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.


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.


May 15, 2014

Celestial Clearasil

So now it appears Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is dwindling faster than America’s global influence.

Is there no end to the Koch Brothers’ perfidy?


May 8, 2014

Down Right-sizing

My online empire is now down to one domain, In name as well as fact.

The other two had been virtually nonexistent for some years, and I finally decided this year rather than renew them I would let them lapse.

It just didn’t make sense to keep paying to renew them if they weren’t serving any purpose. The one that remains will still be useful even if I were to delete every last web page, so it stays.

© MMXIV Kevin McGehee