This column only makes sense if you know that Frau and A-E moved to Greater Jasper from North Carolina to enjoy a four-season environment. Our last months in Dixie were hot and dry. Greater Jasper was “hottish” this summer but not as steamy as Dixie. Our last month in the Old North State found us trapped in air conditioned comfort but wilting when we stepped outdoors.

Read that second sentence again: Notice the last word? Walking around our lawn near Raleigh was like strolling on half an acre of the “Snap, Crackle and Pop” cereal only maybe a bit noisier.

Of course, that won’t happen in North Carolina this year. In the unlikely event your Spectator subscription lapsed, a hurricane named Florence has moistened lawns from the Outer Banks almost to the Tennessee border. A-E heard that some former neighbors have invested in Australian Crawl lessons and are thinking about trading in beaters for motorized flat bottom boats.

We’ve no idea how the person who bought our house drives across the Beaver Creek bridge that’s now under almost 10 feet of water at the last measurement.

Correspondent Pat has another ode to fall: “Summer is about over but we’ll soon enjoy bright golden rod, stubborn brown leaves and crisp days.

“My proudest botanical feat, thanks to our stubbornly warm and wet summer: Two big pumpkins on one JUMBO pumpkin vine. Now I can't lift them to move them to the road to show off to the neighbors.”

Pat’s long-suffering wife Susanne will have him “chain sawing the vegetables into pieces so she can bake them in the oven and scoop out the ‘meat.’ I love her pumpkin pies (they’re real spicy) but not looking forward to pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin-stuffed prime ribs, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin goulash, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin ratatouille at every meal until Thanksgiving.

Booze and guns won’t mix at Raleigh bar

That’s a serious "No Weapons" sign posted near the front entrance of The Player's Retreat restaurant and bar in Raleigh, the News & Observer reports. The N.C. General Assembly approved a bill that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to take handguns to a range of places, including bars and parks, and store them in locked cars on government, school or university property. (Raleigh’s the state capital so there are plenty of government buildings in the area)

On-line registration renewal

A-E’s trumpeted New York State on-line vehicle registration before but delights in taking fewer than five minutes to re-register. More good news: new plates arrive via USPS three days later. Kudos to NYSDMV. A-E knows Hornellians want everyone between Rochester and Richmond to renew at 7604 Seneca Road North, Suite B Hornell, NY 14843 but A-E saves enough fuel, time and beater wear with a few keystrokes for multiple trips to the County Transfer Station and the village yard-waste dump.

Yup, A-E’s tightwad Scot heritage still shows.

Liar or An American James Bond?

Wayne Simmons claimed on his Web site and in government documents he was part of the CIA’s “outside paramilitary special operations group,” and that he spearheaded deep-cover operations against some of the world’s most dangerous drug cartels and smugglers, the Washington Post reports.

Simmons got frequent gigs on Fox News and government contracting jobs overseas. He even wrote a spy thriller that seemed to have been drawn from his work.

But federal prosecutors say most of his pronouncements were lies. In an indictment, Los Federales said Simmons’s claim that he worked for the CIA for 27 years was a lie. He was charged with false statements, major fraud against the U.S. and wire fraud.

The indictment said Simmons won jobs with government contractors overseas only after he “falsely represented ... that he had spent 27 years working in ‘Outside Paramilitary Special Operations’ for the CIA.”

 

A-E scribbles his weakly column his Canisteo hut.