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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

I Ate Scambled Eggs Yesterday

On Sunday mornings I fix breakfast for us.  Yesterday (pun intended and you'll see why) I got to thinking about just what the "experts" say about how they prepare scrambled eggs.  I was specifically interested in the old do you add water or do you add milk to the eggs before putting them in the pan?  

Well, it seems that everyone's got their own "expert" opinion on what to or what not to add (click here) and then review these recommendations from Bourdain and Martha (click here.)

Did you know that Paul's song Yesterday started off as Scrambled Eggs?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Justin Verlander - Clutch

Houston Astros beat the Yankees last night so they will now go on to face the Dodgers in the World Series.  Charlie Morton pitched 5 shut out innings for the Astro's to get the win for them. 

However, it was  Justin Verlander who pitched the Astro's to a win over the Yankees Friday night to set up a Game 7.  Verlander's post-season record is now 11-5.  Plus in elimination games i.e. win or go home, he has won 4 of the 5 that he's pitched.  In 2006 as a rookie he lost Game 5 and the World Series to the Cardinals but since then he has won 4 elimination games such as Friday night's do-or-die one against the Yankees.  He was named MVP for the Championship Series.

Verlander's Postseason Record follows:
The bad news for Astros' fans is that Justin's record in 2 previous World Series when he was a  Tiger is 0 and 3.  He lost twice in the aforementioned 2006 Series against the Cards and then once to the Giants in 2012.  

However, all of that was BK - Before Kate, so Justin should be good to go against the hard hitting Dodgers.  (Good pitching beats good hitting as the old saying goes.  Or in Yogi-speak "Good pitching beats good hitting and vice versa.")  Verlander and Upton have been an item since 2012 and they recently got engaged (click here.)  

peaking of romancing Super Models, this video came to mind:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Oyster Festival

Yesterday as I was driving down the road to Buzzy's Country Store, I saw a sign advertising this weekend's Oyster Festival.
Later on I had a couple of visitors in the Store who were here staying in one of Peggy's rentals so they could attend the festival.

Shown here on the right is Sal Sunseri from New Orleans.  He is here because one of his employees is entered into the Oyster Shucking Contest.  Paul White (on the left) was also in the Store at the time and he is one of the designated shuckers at the festival.  I'm glad Paul was there because he was good at informing Sal of all things related to the oyster festival.

Sal informed us that he is owner of the P and J Oyster Shucking House in the French Quarter.  It is the oldest shucking business in America and was founded in 1860.  Great story of how it has been a family-based business throughout its operations.  The following is an excerpt from their website
Another reason Sal is attending the Oyster Festival is to make note of what criteria is being used to judge the shucking event.  Since St. Mary's hosts the National Shucking Championship with the winner going on to represent the U.S. at the International Contest, Sal noted that he wanted to ensure that their New Orleans event is consistent rule-wise. 

Here is a video from one of New Orleans' previous events  You can see Sal speaking at the 1:15 mark.  (I think he is wearing the same shirt that he has on in my Buzzy photo above.)  If you see him today at the Oyster Festival, tell him you recognize him from the Buzzyblog.

Friday, October 20, 2017

New Firehouse and Rescue Squad in Second District

This past Monday night I attended a Community Forum on building a new firehouse and rescue squad facility in Valley Lee.
By my count over 100 folks showed up to hear about the plans for the new facilities.  After presentations from Fire Department personnel (click here) several residents were given an opportunity to comment on the effort. 

As Jason Babcock noted in his Enterprise article, the majority of speakers were against the $8 million expansion.  A couple of the speakers recommended that the issue be put on a referendum for Second District citizens to vote on.

As with just about everything nowadays there is a Facebook page Concerned Citizens of the 2nd and 9th Districts where you can review of some of the questions and reservations about the effort.

If I absolutely had to take a side in this, I would land on the side of supporting the Fire and Rescue in their efforts to go bigger and better.  These are issues that deal with health and safety.  Anything we as a community can do to support them we should.  

In the Second District, the Rescue Squad and Fire Department are combined and in a way this makes perfect sense.  Studies show that responses for fire are down, while emergency service responses are up because all us boomers are getting older and needing transport to the hospital  For more info (click here.) 

I think George had a different "emergency" response in mind here.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

DM (Dumb Me?)

Dodgers and Cubs are playing to see which one of them advances to the World Series.  Cubs have their work cut out for them as they are down 3 games to 1.  We'll see if the Cubs did not  expend themselves and all of their karma against the Nationals.

Here is a photo from Game 3 with a  caption I did not understand.

DM? Found this as a possible explanation (4:00 mark.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown

Continuing with my unusual-consequences-of-things-theme of this week, there is a report the other day of California Governor Jerry Brown vetoing a bill that would have required Presidential candidates e.g. President Trump, to disclose their tax returns before appearing on the California ballot (click here.)  Who would have predicted that Brown would not sign such a bill?  However, Brown vetoed the bill citing "slippery slope" arguments.  In addition to vetoing that particular bill, Brown vetoed several others (click here for story.)

I respect those who do something for a long time and do it semi-successfully.  Accordingly, I give Governor Brown credit for his lifetime of service and in particular for his 4 terms as Governor of California.  His bio is worth checking out and not just because he was Linda Ronstadt's boyfriend at one time. 

Fiscally, Brown has helped turn California's economy around (click here.)   Socially too, he has managed to juggle a number of controversial issues ranging from fracking to sanctuary cities.  His approval ratings are up close to 60% among Californians.  (By way of comparison, our Governor Hogan's approval ratings are also in the 60% range (click here.)  What makes Hogan's numbers more impressive however, is that he is a Republican leading a very blue state while Brown is a Dem in a Dem state.)

the 6th largest economy in the world, the Governor of California has to be one of the more demanding of all political jobs and for sure the most demanding Governorship.  That Brown has managed to serve 4 terms at the helm of California is quite a feat.  

Back in his first term as Governor, Brown ran for President against Jimmy Carter in 1976.  I attended a fund raiser concert for him at a sold out Capitol Center that starred Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt (click here for related story.)  I don't know if that concert had anything to do with it, but Brown eventually would win the Maryland primary.

Since I have mentioned her twice in this little review of Governor Brown, here's Linda.  Maybe she should have run for office.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Only Way You'd Leave This Town


Related to the whole karma thing of hard-to-explain-events (previous post) there are also those Moments in Time where historical events mysteriously coincide (click here for some examples. One of the most famous ones in history is the whole Kennedy-Lincoln parallels.)

We may be witnessing another of those historical/coincidental moments as currently there are 4 secessionist movements in various stages underway around the world.  In England, the Brexit movement is hashing out it's details for the UK to withdraw from the EU.  In Catalonia, Spain citizens recently passed a referendum declaring their intentions to secede from the rest of Spain.  In northern Iraq, the Kurds have similarly declared their independence from the rest of Iraq.  And here in the United States, folks in California are talking about secession from us.

All four of these movements involve areas that feel they are ponying up more to support the parent State than they are receiving back.  The Kurds for instance are sitting on the majority of Iraq's oil  fields and accordingly feel that they should be independent from the rest of Iraq.  A civil war over the issue appears imminent and guess who is right smack dab in the middle of it?  

Yep, we are currently allies with both sides of the warring factions.  Don't you think that this would be a perfectly good time for us to secede entirely from having anything to do with either side while they figure all this out for themselves?  Our President Trumpster says we are not taking sides, so go figure if that's true or not.  (Keep in mind that the Donald is not well known nor widely hailed as being as "Honest Don.")
As for our own internal secession issue of California wanting to say "See ya" to us, Californians are probably wasting their time trying to put the issue on the 2018 ballot for a vote.  Even if the majority of California voters did elect to secede, the matter must still pass our Congress and be approved via a Constitutional Amendment process and that's just not going to happen.  For better or worse then, we are stuck with one another.  (If those wild fires keep burning however, there may not be much of the Golden Bear State left anyway.)

Here is John Hiatt writing about the ultimate secession - his first wife's suicide.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Karma or Something Else(?)

Why do things happen the way that they do? I'm talking weird, out of the ordinary things which appear to have no apparent explanation(s) nor reason as to why they occurred.

One theory posits that it all has to do with karma.
I mention this because I wonder what the Washington Nationals have ever done to offend the Baseball Gods such that "karma" keeps kicking them in their post season posteriors.  For the 4th time now in the past 5 seasons they have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. 

Thursday night's crazy 5th inning may just have been the ultimate example of Nats' bad karma.  View for yourself their 20 minutes of anguish and bad karma (below.) 

Nat's pitcher Scherzer gets the first 2 outs but then karma comes a calling (starting at the 3:30 mark) beginning with a Cubs' infield scratch hit, a bloop single and a double. 

All of that was but a prelude to what Lady Karma really had in store for the Nationals because from there things got very weird. 

Go to the 12:30 mark in the video where you will see Baez striking out for the apparent third out.  However, the ball gets by Nats' catcher Weiters allowing Baez to take first base and another run to score on Weiters' subsequent throwing error.  Next batter is awarded first base following catcher interference.  Scherzer then hits a batter to walk in the third run of the inning before he (Scherzer) gets the third out.  Keep in mind that Scherzer is one of the favorites to win the Cy Young this year so for the Cubs to do all of this after 2 outs is all the more remarkable and unbelievable.

However, looking at this from another perspective, maybe karma did play true to form in that for years it was the Cubbies who got snake bit by bad karma. Remember the Bartman incident?  Not to mention the whole Curse of the Billy Goat.  Maybe Game 5 was a case of good karma siding with the Cubs more so than it was bad karma screwing the Nationals. 

Trivia bonus question for you - who was manager of the Cubs when the Bartman incident played out?  Maybe Dusty is the one with the bad karma cloud following him.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Football

For those of you who don't give a damn whether NFL players stand, sit, kneel, fart or whatever during the National Anthem and just want to watch some football, here are some options for you to consider:

And at Buzzy's Country Store, we will have both the Ravens and the Redskins on today.  (Race fans will have to jostle with football timeouts, of which there are a lot, to catch up on Talladega action.  Bart would always tell me to turn on the race at Talladega with about 10 laps to go.  One year I had only tuned into the race for a few minutes when a huge accident/crash wiped out several cars.  I remember being impressed with his prediction and asked Bart "How did you know that that was gonna happen?"  Bart said "Last ten laps is when they all make their moves and things get crazy."  Made sense to me. )

Did you know that Jimi was a 101 Airborne Army dude (click here:)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Our Souls at Night

Remember the Megan Kelly/Jane Fonda dustup?  Jane was on the show to promote the movie Our Souls at Night.

Those of you of a certain age, ok make that 60ish, will enjoy the movie Our Souls at Night now showing on Netflix.  If you are younger, don't bother watching because you probably won't "get it."  It being the dark hole of being older and alone.  (Funny, but when you are younger you never, if rarely, think about being alone.  In fact, being alone can sometimes be a good thing.  As you get older though, it becomes the feeling you don't want but yet can't seem to avoid for one reason or another.)

For instance, in the very opening scene of Our Souls at Night you see Louis (Robert Redford) eating alone at a kitchen table and you immediately know the deal:  home alone, set in one's routine, eating  T-V dinner and just doing life by the numbers.  Been there.

Enter Addie (Jane Fonda) and things start to happen.  (Some people say a woman's to blame and in this case that is the truth.)  She "propositions" him by asking if he wouldn't mind sleeping over with her at night as a Friend With No Benefits.  He accepts her offer and they go from there dealing with town gossips, family members, some of whom are not too keen on the idea, and their painful reconciliations with past issues.  It's funny and sad but all in all captures very well that point in your life where your yesterdays, tomorrows and todays all sort of blend together. 

Good little movie.  Nothing blows up and no histrionics but worth a look see.

I know it was Streisand and not Jane in The Way We Were but I always liked this Redford video as well as the song.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Out of Darkness

Here is a very worthwhile cause to support.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of Darkness Community Walks is an annual walk to raise money for the prevention of suicide and to assist survivors of suicide loss. 

Locally, Janet Whitt and her Granddaughter Brittany Hammack (right) are coordinating contributions in two ways: There is a collection jar on the counter at Buzzy's Country Store and/or you can contribute  at Brittany's site https://afsp.donordrive.com/.

The issue of suicide always makes me think of m
y friend Doug Courtney who took his life at 22 years old.    I was with him earlier and still often wonder if there was anything I could or should have said to him as he talked about killing himself.  I don't think I have ever quite gotten over it.  I don't think I ever will.
As I have noted before, this was Doug's song - ominous lyrics and all.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Charlie Party - Car Show Photos

Bob Mann provided me with the following photos he took at Sunday's Charlie Party/Car Show.
Man of the Hour (Make That Decade)

Me Hitchcocking Shawn, Brian and Mark Checking Out Joe Nelson's Bad Machine

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dennis and Izzy

Mention of Guns N' Roses in my previous post reminded me of this Dennis Miller video I was able to track down for you. 

After his departure from GNR in 1991, Izzy has appeared off and on with his former bandmates.    Here is an article detailing some of what he's been up to (click here.)

Miller continues to do stand up and has a daily radio show on Westwood One (click here.)  Known for his conservative politics, Miller once was a Ross Perot backer.  Check out this story:  

Here's hoping that Miller's joke about there being a fake or a stunt button is really the case in today's Trumped up environment (click here.) 

Miller is married to Carolyn Espley who appeared in a music video for the group Kajagoogoo.  Who are they you ask?  Don't worry, once you hear this 80's tune you will remember it and be humming it all day.  (Carolyn is the bartender in the video.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gerrymandering Around

Last week the Supreme Court began reviewing a Wisconsin Gerrymandering case Gill vs. Whitford.  From most accounts, the Court's decision could have some significant impacts on the whole Gerrymandering business.  About time something was done. 

According to one summary that ranks the most gerrymandered states, Maryland is the worst offender and landed at Number One (click here.)  (Also, check out this article on how Maryland successfully gerrymandered it so that we became famous for the "broken wing pterodactyl" district shown in the photo above (click here))

As for a gerrymander fix, a Princeton professor has a solution that will ensure fairness across the board and take politics out of the mix.  His solution is based upon something known in statistical circles as Student's T-test but has little to do with real life students.

The Student T-test was developed by William Gossett, a chemist who worked for Guinness Beer.  Guinness would allow their scientists a couple months off each year to work on research.  However, because Guinness would not allow the scientists to publish their results under their own names, the scientists were forced to use pseudonyms.  Gossett's nickname was Student.

Stay tuned for how the Supreme Court rules on this and then standby for the States' reactions to it.  Since we live in such crazy and chaotic times, epitomized at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., I'm betting that the whole Gerrymandering thing will just end up even more screwy than it currently is.  Then again, like John said "It couldn't get no worse."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Charlie's Birthday/Buzzy Car Show

Good time yesterday celebrating Charlie's 91st birthday.  (In a FB post earlier in the week I erroneously stated that he was turning 92.  I started to correct it on FB but felt funny saying "He is only 91.")

Kim and Lisa Wishing Charlie Happy B'day

Greg, Ned, Jack and Mary Beth as Charlie Prepares to Cut the Cake
 The rain held off.  Had some great vehicles in the Buzzy parking including Mark Domniak's 57 Chevy that was parked there early Sunday morning when I arrived at the Store.  I may have to have copies of this made and title it "Two Icons."
Later on several more classic cars would fill the lot.
Highlight for me was Robbie Norris bringing the Bartmobile to reside on the hill.
Always feel like Bart is on hand with us when his ride is there.  My thanks to Robbie for all his work in getting the Cobra to the Store.   
Chris and Joan
Jack and Barb
Robbie, TK and Jimmy

Also, my thanks to all who brought their cars down for the event, to all who brought food and to all who attended.    Special thanks to Pat Birmingham, Brian Barnhill and Kayla McKay for their help behind the counter.  I appreciate everyone's support.

As I noted, the rain held off despite several people saying "God knows we need it."  Whenever I overheard someone say that,  I agreed with them but mentally added "Just not for the next couple of hours."

And speaking of music, my thanks to Joe Norris for playing some tunes for us.  I had heard that he was going to be in South County for his nephew's wedding at Woodlawn, so I contacted him at the last minute to drop by the Store and play for us.  Thank you, Joe.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Message Received - 11 Years Ago Today

Back in 2006, Pam and I had been dating for several months when the subject of marriage came up.  As we were discussing it, the Ridge boy in me reared its stubborn head and I was bobbing and weaving as to how and if to proceed down that path. 

Having been fooled and burned once by marriage,  I had vowed that I would never pursue it again.  Whenever such thoughts on the subject did cross my mind, an old Chinese proverb served as my mantra  "Only a fool drinks twice from a poisoned well."  The fact that second marriages actually have a higher divorce rate than first timers also gave me pause about doing it again.  Like someone once asked "Would you jump out of a plane if the odds of the parachute not opening were in the 50-60% range?"  Think about it.

It was a Sunday morning when we had had our little talk, which was mostly Pam talking and me listening, so I decided to escape and go to Church.  On my drive out Rt. 249, I shot one to St. Joe along the lines "Hey Joe, I know at first you weren't too wild about getting hitched to Mary, so hows about helping me out a little here and send a sign my way."

At Holy Face Church I assumed my customary seat in the back and settled in to await whatever sign may or may not be coming my way.  I looked ahead at the many older couples seated before me and noted how contented they all seemed with one another.  They possessed that look of familiarity with one another that only comes from years and years of having been together.  Some of them even looked alike.   But the cynic in me took over and I smiled thinking that they were probably just going through the motions and had reconciled themselves long ago to being bored with each other for all of their adult lives knowing that they couldn't do any better than what they had.  They obviously were not the sign(s) I was looking for.

I too saw the younger couples before me worrying about and admonishing their kids for squirming and acting out. I secretly thanked the fertility Gods that my procreating days were over marriage or no marriage.  Too, I wondered how many of those "young" marriages would make it for the long haul after the kids were up and gone and the parents only had each other to focus on for the rest of their lives.  I mulled over that empty nest syndrome and concluded that it may have more to do with being home alone with one's spouse than it does with the fact that no the kids are at home.

Thus, obviously Joe wasn't giving me any signs that I could see.  Mass had begun and I began  to blues out like I usually do when Mass starts.  I picked up the Missalette to follow along with the readings and what do you know, Joe came thru in a startling way.

Imagine my reaction to seeing the following intro and the First Reading:

My sign delivered, it was then that I knew I would re-marry.

I looked for Ace of Bases's "I Saw the Sign" but got diverted to the following one of theirs' instead.  (Plus, that Sign song was never one of my favorites to begin with.) 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Penny - For Your Thoughts

Spotted this beat up penny in the Buzzy's Country Store parking lot the other day and paused to see if was showing Heads or Tails so I would know whether or not to pick it up.  However, it was so disfigured that I had a hard time determining if it was displaying a Head or a Tail.  

After a couple moments spent trying to ascertain just what the penny was showing, it dawned on me "Why am I doing this?" 

Concluding that it was a Heads, I pocketed the penny, made my way back into the Store where I hit the ole WWW and learned the following:
Not sure that this explanation clarifies much.  However, I have made a life decision that from here on out, my penny picking up days are over.

P.S. I also found this photo in my internet travels and just may have to put such a display up in Buzzy's.  Of course I will have to ensure that all of the pennies are facing Heads up.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Charming Billy

I recently finished reading Charming Billy by Alice McDermott.  She tells the story about an alcoholic dying and how following his funeral, the family sits around and reminisces about him.  Simple enough right?

Well, you quickly find yourself drawn into a complex web of "family stuff" complete with lies, deceptions and all the bs that goes along with being in an extended family of folks you mysteriously manage to somehow love and hate at the same time.  For more discussion on the novel check out this summary https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-374-12080-1

I recognize that none of the above will make you want to rush out and read Charming Billy but trust me, it's worth a look.  The plot may sound a bit boring but McDermott won the National Book Award due to how poetically and lyrically she writes.  Some of the scenes that she describes, such as the cottage at the end of the story, you feel like you are actually witnessing it live.  She is that good.  

On a personal note too, Billy reminded me a lot of my Brother Steve and my Grandfather Harry Raley.

Speaking of drinking to escape your blues, Eric knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Bacchus and Buzzy

The first of October and the harvesting of the grapes led to a Roman god named Bacchus launching a series of parties at this time of year.  He was so good at partying that the word bacchanalia was coined in his honor.  Some background for you:
Bacchus was preceded by the Greek god Dionysus who also was a partyer.  Later on, some guy named Jesus would make His mark using wine and even performing His first miracle at a wedding party where He turned water into wine.  Although there is some controversy about the parallels between Jesus and Bacchus, it all makes sense to me in a hocus pocus kind of way (click here and scroll down to Parallels With Christianity for more info.) 

Maybe these originators had something to with Buzzy, whose birthday is next week, and his "Party, party, party" approach to life.

Eric's last big hit and War's first talked about wine and partying:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

It's Only Rock n Roll

Started to do something Tom Petty-related but it bummed me out as I thought my way thru it.

Instead, here is a dump of some items that I have been storing and thinking about doing  a post or two on.  You can make up or attach your own comments accordingly.

Redneck Engineering Courtesy of Joan B.

Robbie Wood Handiwork