This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Buzzy Christmas Party

It IS the most wonderful time of the year.  And the Buzzy's Christmas party is one of the most enjoyable ones of the year.  Come early, stay late and put a good buzz on.  (Those of you who get that reference have a drink on the house coming to you at Buzzy's.)  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Cops at Buzzy's

omeone made the comment to me just the other day that things had been fairly quiet at Buzzy's Country Store with regards to drama, b.s. and crazy incidents.  As I agreed with this person, I secretly thought to myself "Uh oh, that means we're due for some churn."  (It is similar to those occasions where you hear a weather-related comment along the lines  "Gee, we haven't had a bad (fill-in-the-blank) for quite awhile now."  And like clockwork or some kind of twisted self fulfilling prophecy, you can bet that the fill-in-the-blank will hit the very next week.)

So maybe my friend's comment did or did not have anything to do with the victim of an armed robbery rolling into Buzzy's Tuesday night upset, distraught and asking that the cops be called.  She had just withdrawn money from the ATM up the road from Buzzy's when someone with a gun robbed her and ran off.   Worried that the robber was still in the area, she got in her car and for some reason drove to and came into Buzzy's.  (We all know about going to Buzzy's after making a dump run, but going to Buzzy's after someone has robbed you?  That is a new one.)  

Once the lady was at Buzzy's, the cops were called and arrived at the Store shortly afterwards.  The lady's husband and brother also arrived to provide her some support as the cops took down her story.  All in all it was too much excitement for a Wednesday, or for that matter any other, night at Buzzy's.  Here is the account from Southern Md. News:
It reminded me of another Buzzy's and cops-called incident from several years ago.  One Saturday afternoon a "situation" involving a couple renting one of the apartments behind the Store developed such that one of them called 911. Next thing  I knew there was a State Trooper parked in the front driveway of the Store.  It was a female trooper who asked me where the couple lived.  I directed her around back to deal with the situation.  She went around back but left her vehicle parked in front of the Store.

Over the course of the next 20 or so minutes I had several phone calls from would-be customers who wanted to know what was going on but they were leery of pulling in.  I assured them it was ok but still, no one came in.  This was right around 4 o'clock when Buzzy's starts to get busy.

I went around back to the trooper where she was still interviewing the couple and politely asked her if she could move her car around to the side of the Store.  She gave me a dirty look and I hurriedly explained "Your car is scaring off my customers."  She assured me that she was almost finished and would move the car shortly which she eventually did. 

My bottom line - I don't care for any sentence where the words "Buzzy's and cops called " get mentioned together.  Just one piece of advice too, if someone robs you at the ATM in Ridge, the American Legion is a lot closer to you than is Buzzy's.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Awhile back Mike Raley's son JJ was in Buzzy's Country Store with his girlfriend Aimee.  When JJ introduced her, she informed me "My name isn't spelled A-m-y."  I immediately shot back "So lemme guess. It's A-i-m-e-e like in Aimee Mann."  

Now, keep in mind that's not often (as in IT NEVER HAPPENS) that I am able to impress a young lady, but this one time I did!  Aimee was impressed with my response and replied "You're the first person to ever get that.  My Mom named me after her because she liked her."

I then went on to tell Aimee how I too liked Aimee Mann.  I told her how my buddy Mike Whitson and I used to catch her annual Christmas show at the Birchmere Club.  All in all, it made me want to listen to some Aimee Mann tunes.

For those of you not familiar with Aimee Mann, she is a bit of an acquired taste.  You have to listen to her awhile before she seduces you with her voice.  I first heard her when she did several songs for the movie Magnolia and liked what I heard enough to buy the movie soundtrack as well as some of her other Cd's. 

I thought of her just the other day when I posted the Washington Post's top 100 Christmas songs and You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch was rated Number 1.  While I don't particularly care for that song, I do find it listenable to when Aimee covers it:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Reverse Mortgages

Camped out behind the counter in Buzzy's Country Store I hear a number of stories involving both good and bad luck. One of the bad luck stories that I have heard frequently thru the years has to do with folks who obtained a reverse mortgage. (Now that I think about it, I have never heard any good luck story about the advantages of getting a reverse mortgages.) It made me want to do some research on the subject. 

First, a little history on how the program came to be.  I learned that while federal oversight and involvement in reverse mortgages did not appear on the scene until a law endorsing it was passed in 1988, the program was actually started by a Maine banker in 1961 (click here.)   The Maine banker devised a rather ingenious way for the widow of his high school football coach to stay in her house following her husband's death.  

The widow was "house rich - cash poor"  meaning that she lived in a nice house that was paid off but still she didn't have enough money to live on.    Since she did not want to sell and move out of her house, the banker set up what we know today as a reverse mortgage.  It is essentially a bank loan with one's  house put up as collateral.  In that regard it is very similar to a second mortgage with one big difference - you do not have to make any monthly payments on the loan. 

When you take out a traditional bank loan to buy a house, your "forward" mortgage is structured such that as you make payments and pay down on that loan you have a falling debt and a rising equity situation.  With a reverse mortgage, it is the other way around in that the debt rises and the equity falls.   

The program is often mistakenly simplified as the "bank buys your house" but that is not entirely correct.  The homeowner continues to own the home, pay for it's upkeep, property taxes and insurance on it.  Too, the homeowner can always pay off the loan if he or she wanted to do so.  

So why have I heard so many hard luck stories about reverse mortgages?   Turns out I may have only been hearing from the unlucky folks.  Several surveys show that an overwhelming majority (80-90%) of folks with a reverse mortgage express satisfaction with their decision to have obtained one (click here)  and (here.)

As for those "unlucky" reverse mortgage folks, it is a case of any other money management endeavor - if you piss it away, it doesn't come back.  One fellow in Buzzy's admitted as much to me quite frankly that as soon as he and his wife got their reverse mortgage "She went on a QVC spree and I bought a motorcycle.  It wasn't long before we were right back where we were before we got the mortgage and not able to make ends meet only now we'd signed away our house.  It was our fault, and not the bank's."  

After his wife died, this guy ended up selling the motorcycle and the house, paid off the reverse mortgage and relocated to Florida to move in with his daughter.  Maybe you could say that he "reversed" his ways.

And since this has been about houses and homes, what better song to play than this:

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Price IS Right, Happy

Bob Barker turns 95 tomorrow.  Did you know that he once was an official member of the Sioux tribe?  Bob at 95 and our Charlie Simms at 92, maybe it has something to do with that Indian connection?.
Still one of the funniest scenes ever filmed.  I know I have showed it previously but it's still worth another look even if my wife would disagree with me.

Interesting backstory to the fight scene is that the original script called for Happy to win the fight. However, when Bob agreed to be in the movie he insisted that the fight scene be re-written such that he won the fight.  The movie's producers and writers tried to talk Bob out of it.  They noted that he was 73 and it wouldn't be believable that he could take out the much younger Happy Gilmore.  Bob insisted however and the rest is movie history.


Monday, December 10, 2018

"Woah, Mom, What the Hell?"

Although I don't agree with the NRA when they say stuff like the above, nevertheless, it did cross my mind when I saw this funny 30 second clip from a South Park episode.

Here too is another look at Mothers/Sons and guns:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Best Gift

A Christmas poem for you from the following (click here.)

Even though my favorite Christmas tune Father Christmas was not on their list, the Washington Post had a good article yesterday ranking 100 Christmas songs.  Click here to see the entire article and as you do so be sure to check out Patti Labelle's funny video at Number 18.  Then listen to this Kelly Clarkson tune that was ranked  Number 3.  See what you think.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Re-watching Movies

My wife Pam and I are sympatico on most things save for one - the re-watching of old movies.  I can and have watched some movies numerous times and still enjoy them regardless how many times I have seen them.  Pam, on the other hand, regards re-watching movies as a complete waste of time.  She'll note "How can you watch over and over something you've already seen?  You know what's going to happen.  Why waste your time?"

I'll concede that she does make some good points that I really am at a loss to argue with.  (I once tried a counter argument "Re-watching-a-good-movie-is-like-having-good-sex" line of reasoning that didn't resonate with her for some reason.  My logic went - even if you know how it ends, it's still enjoyable getting there.)

This all came to a head (no pun intended) the other night when, much to Pam's chagrin, I re-watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation for like the umpteenth time. Pam sat next to me on the couch shaking her head and reading her book.  Even Randy Quaid's arrival as Cousin Eddie (below) did not garner her attention; but I laughed like I was watching it for the very first time.  Here is an article with a more scholarly discussion on why folks enjoy re-watching movies (click here.)

For me, the simplest explanation that the author of the article lists is the most salient:

Here's Cousin Eddie and his family making their surprise arrival at the Griswold house.  Randy rules, but for my money Beverly D'Angelo steals the scene when she takes a quick peek at Snots' you-know-what (1:20 mark).  I still can't understand why Pam doesn't find this funny and wouldn't want to watch it over and over with me. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot.........

Just in case you need something to jump start you into the Christmas spirit in spite of your Bah Humbug self, here are some events that might help get your Yuletide motor running.

And if part of your Christmas traditions involves visiting Bubby Knott's Flat Iron Christmas Farm you may want to check out the following.   
Mabel Scott recorded Boogie Woogie Santa in 1948 but it wasn't until 10 years later that Chuck  recorded this tune which may well be the first "Rock and Roll" Christmas song.  Little trivia for you - it was written by Johnny Marks who also wrote another famous Rudolph song that you may have heard - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Gene Autry recorded that dreck in 1949 and we've been suffering every Christmas since then having to listen to it.  Guess you can tell which Rudolph song I prefer.

P.S. That opening guitar riff held up pretty well for Chuck as he also used it on Johnny B Goode, Oh Carol, Roll Over Beethoven, Little Queenie and who knows how many other of his songs. For a good article on the "Chuck Berry riff"  click here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Girl on a Bike (Sub Title Moves Like Dickie)

You know that I am a hard ass when it comes to all that cutesy crap folks pass around on Facebook.  It's the main reason that I try to avoid FB as much as I can.  I'm not talking political items here, because I can tolerate the stupid political stuff that some folks post. I just ignore it for the most part and skip over it.  If/when they get too "out there" though,  I will hit the unfollow button on them.

But what I really can't stand however, are most things that fall in what some would call the "cute" category.  You know what I am talking about - all those postings having to do with critters cutting up (cats in particular,) kids playing, folks falling down, wedding first dances, turkeys blowing up in cookers, and anything else that can be defined as "cute."  If I want cute, I'll re-watch an old Hayley Mills movie.   (Guess I should update myself on that and find a more current example of "cute".  Yet, truth be told, I can't stand any of the current and former "cute" child actors.  I don't care for any of them.)   

So are you with me so far?  Now that I've set the stage for you as to just how much I dislike cute kids things, I'm going to take a little detour to Hypocriticalville.  

Waiving my hard-ass-I-don't-do-cute-ways for a minute, check out this Gif below.  You may have already caught it because it is now 4 years old.  However, yesterday was the first time that it's ever crossed my threshold.  (Be sure to Check out the little boy's reaction.)
Little girl parking bike from r/gifs

I like it because I think this little girl has the potential to become a Buzzy Car Show girl when she grows up. At a very young age here she's got some serious Dickie Cullison moves in her. 

Thinking of Moves Like Dickie led me to this video:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Couple at the Bank

I was talking with him while we were standing in line at the bank.  He and his wife had visited Buzzy's Country Store several times previously, but I had not seem them in awhile.  As I small talked with him he kept looking out the window at his car and finally said to me "I'm not being rude.  I'm just checking on my wife to make sure that she's ok."  Still in small talk mode, I played it off as a joke and asked "You worried she's gonna take off and leave you?"

He replied "Actually yes.  She's got full blown Alzheimer's and I never know what she's going
to do."  I immediately apologized for my dumb joke and asked him when did all this happen.  He said "It just hit her all of a sudden."

It was my turn to make my way to the teller and do the little bit of banking business that I had to do.  My friend made his way over to the other teller and did likewise.  We both finished up about the same time and then walked out together.

Again, I told him how sorry I was to hear this news and asked him how he was holding up.  He said something along the lines about just doing it day by day and hanging in there.  As he opened his car door I asked if I could say hello to his wife and he said "Don't bother.  She won't know you and she's not going to say anything to you."

As I looked into the car I saw her sitting there expressionless and just staring straight ahead.  Too, I noticed that she looked very different from how I had remembered her from before.  When she had visited Buzzy's previously with her husband she was always very fastidious about her appearance and had always looked very attractive and nice.  In the car though, she looked plain awful.  I said hello but as her husband had warned, she did not acknowledge me at all.

I then bid the husband goodbye, told him to take care of himself and wished him well.  As I got into my vehicle though, I was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of sadness and disbelief about the couple's situation and teared up a bit.  I thought - how could that have happened to such a nice couple?

When I cranked up my vehicle, the radio guy was talking about George Bush Senior's death and how he had lived such a full and productive life.  I glanced over at the couple in the car as I drove out and wondered about their future and how tough the next couple years are going to be for both of them.  

I headed down the road.   The chorus from this Randy Newman song ran thru my mind.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Holiday Office Parties/Luncheons

I invited a friend to lunch awhile back but she declined saying that she had to attend her Office Pot Luck Thanksgiving luncheon instead. I wished her good luck and secretly thanked God I didn't have to attend any "office luncheons" that I didn't want to any more. 

You see, back when I worked on Base I used to hate all those office luncheons.  At these affairs you sat around the conference room with plates in hand and made small talk with annoying folks who,  while you had to work with them, you didn't necessarily want to have anything more to do with them than you had to.  It was one of the few times in my work life that I wanted lunch to be over with as quickly as possible.  All I wanted to do was get back to my desk and do something else, even it meant work.  

As for the Office Christmas Party Luncheon it was more of the same only worse.  In addition to sitting around eating and making small talk, now you had to participate in some White Elephant gift exchange crapola that went on forever and just prolonged the agony.  Towards the end of my career I would actually fake a Doctor or Dental appointment and take leave to avoid those dismal, dull affairs.  (In case you didn't get that reference it's from Mick's 19th Nervous Breakdown lyrics "You're the kind of person that you meet at certain dismal dull affairs.")

Following the Office Christmas Party, then there was the big Department Christmas Party for everyone in your extended workplace.  This event was usually held away from the office and somewhere that served alcohol.  Bear in mind now that the bulk of my 37 years working for the Navy coincided with the bulk of my heavy drinking period.  This was not a coincidence now that I think about it.  

So, at those affairs where alcohol was served, I had to be really careful because after a couple shots of Egg Nog, a few beers and several trips outside to get high, I completely lost my filter so to speak.  Needless to say, there were some early career embarrassing moments.  I quickly learned that me, drinking and drugging at the Office Christmas Party while socializing with my bosses and co-workers was not a very good combination.  Accordingly, the office Christmas Party became one of the few and rare occasions where I wouldn't party.  

This article from Deadspin summed up my approach:
There are lots of drinking songs about doing something dumb when drunk, but this one is in a class by itself mostly because of Hank Jr.'s appearance:

Monday, December 3, 2018

Bart - Miss You

Gina Mettam and her son Arturo dropped by Buzzy's Country Store Saturday afternoon to commemorate what would have been Bart's 71st birthday.  It was nice to catch up with them and talk about the guy we all knew and loved.  

I still can't believe he's not here with us and that it's now been 4 years since he's been gone.

Randy Newman wrote this song to and about his ex-wife.  However, it's way too good a song to waste on an ex-wife wouldn't you agree?  Instead, how's about I dedicate it to Bart:

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lower Notley Hall Farm

My wife Pam is a member of the Health Share Board and each year we help out with their annual Homes Tour Fundraiser.  Yesterday Pam and I along with other Board members and all home owners who have offered their homes to be part of the tour, conducted a preliminary tour of the homes.   

The following is from an article that appeared in Friday's Enterprise:
The first home on the tour is Lower Notley Hall Farm and if you can't manage to do all of the homes on the tour today, this stop alone would be worth your time to check out.  Situated on the Wicomico River, it is a beautifully restored house that is more like a museum with furniture and furnishings that have been passed down thru the family for centuries. 
Again from Friday's Enterprise.

When I saw the owners names listed as Cindy and Jack Pratt, I wondered if that was Buzzy's Jackie who worked several summers for him at the Store. When Cindy invited folks to check out the third floor I took this photo of the 3 stairwells:

I then asked Cindy if her husband Jack was the same Jack Pratt that I knew.  She laughed and said yes.  Sure enough, I caught up with him back downstairs where Pam grabbed this photo of us.
Jack filled us in on what he and Cindy had gone through in doing the renovations.  In doing so he pointed out the restored plaster walls that another Ridge boy Dwayne Sullivan had recently reworked and restored.

 If you visit today and see Brother Jack, tell him that Buzzy would be proud of him.

(The other homes on the tour are also worth a look see even if they don't have a Ridge/Scotland boy connection.  The 7th District is like the 1st District in that you are never too far from the water.  All of the homes on today's tour are on the water and worth checking out. You can also stop at Still Creek Vineyards to get a bite to eat and sample some local wine either before or after you tour the homes.  Pam and I are at Amy and Benji Thompson's home at Stop E on the tour.  Drop by if you can.) 

I always thought that Al Stewart was singing "On The Water" in this song.  Proves again, that what counts in life is what you learn after you know it all.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December - Lots of Parties

It's December and you know what that means right? Party, party, party.

December Buzzy birthdays include the following:  Brother in-law Jerry Taylor on the 7th; Greg Madjeski 10th; Jimmy Cullison 16th; Mike Fenhagen and Steve Bradburn 18th.  

The Buzzy Christmas Party is set for 15 December and should be a good time. Capt. Jimmy Cullison is bringing his oyster fryer down and there will be all sorts of good things to eat.  We're starting at 5 pm this year so come early and join the fun.  Sunset Cove has a party later the same night and I think the American Legion also has their Christmas party too.  So play your cards right and you can hit all three.  As I said above - party, party, party!

On December 31st, at Buzzy's we will celebrate 2019 by dropping the Bud on the hour starting at 6 PM.  

Bare Naked Ladies with Sara McLachlan doing Christmas carols?  I know it sounds a little off but give it listen and you'll agree that it's pretty good stuff:


Friday, November 30, 2018


Guilty pleasure confession time - I can and will watch a Hallmark movie if the plot summary catches my eye and sounds interesting.  It doesn't happen much.  Usually the Hallmark movie plot summary goes something along the lines "Successful city girl returns to her small hometown to help out in the failing family business, meets her former high school boyfriend and wild sex ensues."

OK, I just threw that wild sex thing in there because as you well know, in a Hallmark movie - there ain't no sex whether it's wild, tame or otherwise. 

At Christmas time (defined by Hallmark as starting in October) Christmas-themed movies pop up.  With the addition of some fake snow and some decorations however, there is no variation in the standard plotlines.

But when I stumbled upon the following blurb for the movie Evergreen mentioning restoration of an old general store, it got my interest.   
As usual, the movie was dumb and hokey as could be but as I said it's a Hallmark movie so what's new?  The more interesting facet of the movie however, is that it was filmed in Vancouver at a museum that features a 1920 village with an old timey general store.
Mention of Evergreen though led me to this video.  I haven't seen Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's update of A Star is Born yet, but I'm betting they didn't top this.

P.S. The Evergreen movie is airing again Monday nite at 8 on Hallmark. I'd recommend you watch the opening scene if nothing else to check out the red truck, then quick, turn the channel!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Green Door

My mentioning the Green Door the other day reminded me that I haven't done any posts on the Door in awhile.

Brian Tarleton has owned and operated the Green Door since the early 80's.  Here he is shown on the front page of the Enterprise in 1982 in an article discussing raising the drinking age from 18 back to 21.
Here is a photo from the Green Door FB page of how it looked before being renovated a couple years ago.  
Mike Fenhagen and company completing renovations:

Also, in my Internet travels I landed upon these Yelp reviews that I thought did a nice job summing up the Green Door experience.  (I like the first one here where the reviewer states that "it's a little divey - but what do you expect?")

I've played Toby several times before, but he's always on tap when discussing great bars:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hockey Time

Here is a good joke told to me by Brian Barnhill:

A man in a Florida Supermarket tries to buy half a head of lettuce. The very young produce assistant tells him they only sell whole heads. The man persists and asks to see the manager.

The boy says he'll ask his manager about it.

Walking into the back room the boy says to the manager, "Some asshole wants to buy half a head of lettuce".  As he finishes his sentence, he turns to see the man standing right behind him, so he quickly adds "and THIS nice gentleman offered to buy the other half".

The manager approved the deal, and the man went on his way.

Later, the manager said to the boy, "I was impressed by the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who can think on their feet. Where are you from son?"

"Canada, Sir" replied the boy.

"Well why did you leave Canada?" the manager asked.

"Sir, there's nothing but whores and hockey players up there", said the boy.

"Really" said the manager, "My wife is from Canada".

"No shit" said the boy, "who'd she play for?"

Warren Zevon co-wrote this tune along with Mitch Albom.  (I think of Albom most Tuesdays as I grab lunch with my buddy Charlie Harless.  Mitch met Morrie; I meet Charlie.)  The song also features David Letterman singing the refrain "Hit Somebody" (1:30 mark etc..)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Higher Education?

In my previous post on alcohol-related news from around the country, an item from Massachusetts caught my eye about Amherst College trying to obtain a liquor license for their on-campus pub (click here for more info on that effort.)  

It got me wondering about our St. Mary's College pub and how it was going.  Turns out that it is not going at all.

In April 2011, St. Mary's College conducted a trial pub-operation on campus where alcohol was served to students and staff over the age of 21.  Here is an excerpt from an article by Jesse Yeatman that ran in the Enterprise.  (Click on link below to read full article.)
In 2012 the College applied for and received a liquor license for their pub.  Here is the Enterprise story on it:

I talked to the Head of our local Alcohol Control Board Tammy Hildebrand who informed me that after the College tried it for several months, they decided that it wasn't worth it and did not renew the license.  Thus, St. Mary's does not have an on campus pub serving alcohol.  I joked with Tammy that maybe Brian Tarleton's Green Door was just too much competition for the College to make a go of it. 

I found this good article on the benefits of having on campus bars (click here.)

And speaking of the Green Door, here's a 3 Doors Down video that is guaranteed to make you tired as you watch this dude run and bounce his way all thru it.  However, hang with it if you can because it's ultimately not bad - literally!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Liquor News Across the USA

In spite of my adherence to the Groucho Marx take "I wouldn't belong to an organization that would have the likes of me in it," nevertheless I am a dues paying ($250/year) member of the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association.   This membership also enrolls me into the national American Beverage Licensees organization.  ABL sends out monthly and weekly updates on various topics concerning our beverage industry.  

One of the sections of their updates includes a survey of what's going on in different states.  It's always interesting to check out what other states are doing or trying to do regarding various liquor laws and trends.  (Note in the following recent ABL roundup how the Marijuana issue is mentioned several times.)

And because November is Package Liquor Store month here's Bruno singing about them:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My New Girlfriend

Pam's friend Karen sent her an early Christmas present.  Had Karen known that this would cause a relationship rift between Pam and me, I doubt that she would have sent such a nice present to us.

You see, Karen's gift has resulted in me falling for another woman.  I still love Pam but this other lady I have met courtesy of Karen has quite a lot going for her.  For example, unlike Pam, this other lady does exactly what I ask and tell her to do.  Check her out here in action.

Smithereens know what I'm talking about to have a girl like that.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cooler Here

New Cooler - Stocked and Ready
It's in, it's up and it's running!  I'm talking about the new Buzzy's Beer Cooler that replaced the old one.  I purposely haven't mentioned anything about this process because I didn't want to jinx anything.  As it turned out though I probably should not have been worried about that because it's been a very long five months replacing the old one with or without any perceived jinxing on my part.

The old cooler caught fire on 9 June of this year (for previous post on this click here.) Thanks to the efforts of Ray Mercure and his co-members of the Ridge Fire Department the fire was quicky extinguished.  What could have been an ugly incident was quicky contained thanks to the Fire Department's efforts.  

The old cooler had seen its better days and the fire damage was sufficient enough to decide that the best course of action was to purchase a new one vs. putting anymore Buzzycoin into repairing it.  Thus, the fire served as the catalyst for pursuing a replacement. 

For insurance purposes I got replacement estimates.  Thanks to Rick Raley and his staff's 's efforts at Combs Drury Insurance this part of the process went very smoothly.  That said, it still took some time to work thru it all before I could place the order for a replacement cooler.  

I then learned that the purchase of a big, commercial cooler is not a simple matter of buying one off the shelf or from say Best Buy.  You have to go thru a dealer who then orders it from a manufacturer.  Accutemp Robbie McKay guided me thru the purchase process and around the first of August we placed our order with Ashland Equipment located in Aberdeen, Maryland for a replacement cooler.  Lead time for manufacturer Beverage-Air was 8 weeks which meant mucking my way thru the rest of the summer season without a full up-and-running beer cooler. 

And then that schedule slipped until it was more like 3 months before the cooler was completed and delivered from Beverage-Air's Winston-Salem North Carolina factory.  Thus, the new cooler wasn't delivered to Buzzy's until the first of November.  Ned Pratt and Bob Wright helped me prepare for the new one as we upgraded the electric and shored up the flooring to accommodate it. 
Ashland Crew Installing New Cooler
On the day that the new cooler was delivered, I was so excited to receive it and have it put in place that I never noticed nor thought to ask about the exterior compressor for the unit.  I called the driver after he left and was informed that no compressor was included in the order.  I immediately called Robbie.   

For a couple stressful days, Robbie negotiated back and forth with the Ashland folks to ensure that the quote we received had indeed included an external compressor.   Thanks to Robbie's efforts in working with Sheila at Ashland Equipment the matter was resolved and a compressor was delivered a couple days later.  (However, during the interim, I had to endure inquiries from some of my Buzzy friends along the lines "How could you be so dumb to order a cooler and not the compressor to go with it!?")  

When the new compressor was finally delivered, Robbie hooked it up and got Buzzy's back to once again having a real deal beer cooler albeit 5 months after the old one had crapped out.  

My thanks to all the above-mentioned folks who assisted in this effort including Jenny, Anna, Pam, Lisa, BJ, Teri and Kayla who had to deal with constantly re-loading beer into the smaller coolers.

Kim and Tim Ridgell Sitting in Old Cooler; JW Unimpressed
Ultimately however, it was well worth all of the hassle and the delays.  What's the old saying about good things coming to those who wait?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday?

When I saw Walmart's Black Friday flyer I thought of my cousin Father John. He used to comment on and laugh about the number of folks who would call him and ask what time is Midnight Mass. Here is the Walmart flyer noting that Black Friday started Thursday at 6 pm.

Other stores had similar Thursday starts.  Here is Belk's flyer noting a 4 pm Thursday start:.
Pat Guy was in Buzzy's Country Store the other day and saw the Belk flyer on the counter.  The 32" T-V ad for $79 caught his eye.

He said, "I need a new T-V and that's a good deal.  I'm going to go there and get one."  I asked him  "Are you serious?  The sale starts at 4 o'clock on Thursday and they have limited quantities.  Do you really think you'll be able to get one?" Pat replied "Yeah, man. No problem I'm on it."  

As I watched the Skins and Cowboys game Thursday evening and saw a Black Friday commercial, I wondered how Pat had made out.  So I called him around 5:30.  He laughed and said that he did not go to Belk's but, as we spoke, was on his way to Walmart because they were selling a 40" T-V for $99.  I wished him good luck and hung up.  

About an hour later Pat called me back, said that he was successful and was on his way home with one of the 40 inchers.  He described Walmart as crazy with lines, cops and shoppers all over the place.  He said "There were only 3 T-V's left when I got mine so I don't know if there will be any there if you are trying to get one."  

Now it was my turn to laugh as I told him I'd have to pass on that one and that there was no way I would be heading to Walmart Black Thursday or not.  

Later Thursday evening I caught Neil Diamond doing his thing on a PBS special.  When I went looking for one of his videos I found this from a David Letterman appearance.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Making Steak Great Again

OK, there you be - sitting around the Thanksgiving table wanting to say something non-political but still semi-topical.  Here's something safe you can trot out (pun intended) - the Donald likes his steaks cooked well done and then doused with ketchup.  (If you need to verify this factoid, just Google Trump+steak+ketchup and you will get approximately 14 millions hits discussing it.) 
Leave it to Larry David to sum up Thanksgiving dinner as follows:

Happy Trumpsgiving or something like that!  

P.S.  Another little Thanksgiving dinner factoid for you to throw out there is that today's celebration is the earliest it can ever be in the month of November.  Because Thanksgiving always falls on the 4th Thursday of the month November 22nd marks the earliest date.  I'll leave it to you and your dinner companions to figure out what the latest celebration date would be.  (Hint - it rhymes with Great.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


So tomorrow we do the Thanksgiving thing.  But here is a rather simple question for you inspired by the above KoC sign - what are you really, really thankful for?

The quick and easy answer is usually family and friends.  

But is that really your bottom line answer?  After all,  we are all very selfish and self centered creatures.  Doesn't your real answer about what you are thankful for involves things like being somewhat-healthy, semi-happy and feeling fairly good about your life and yourself?  Anything more that you get out of life is merely icing on the cake.