Sunday, May 25, 2014

Campfire Guidelines for Residents

Summer is almost here and for many residents that means family, fun and food. If you plan to do any cooking in a fire pit, be aware that there are very strict rules about fire in a valley that is almost always dry. Please read the guidelines by clicking on the tab "Fire Dept" above. Penalties for not following the rules are severe, but the benefit of following them is keeping our beautiful valley safe for all to enjoy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Strut Yer Mutt Coming Soon

Well I'll be dawged...the community is hosting its first annual dog show on May 31st on the grass parking lot at the PV Chapel.

This oughta be interesting and the Shoofly is putting this at the top of my MUST ATTEND LIST!

I can't wait to witness the various judging categories; to wit:

Best Sniffer

Best Tricks

Ugliest Mutt (and Prettiest Owner)

Best Cuff Clamp (for Joan that means "bite")

Best Lookin' Leash (I heard someone has matching bow ties and leashes!)

Best Catch...With and Without a Plastic Bag (don't go there...)

Those are just a few of the categories but I'm down with 'em all! Not sure what entertainment will be provided beyond the much hoped-for dog fights, dog bites, and flea bites but here's my suggestion...

I would love to see a come back of the four dudes that sang for us all at the Fire Station Valentines Bash. If you don't remember them here's a photo to jog (or "walk") your memory back to that stellar performance:

                             Kenworthy, Dalley, Woodbury, and Grey...(with Reva tickling the Ivory's)

Not sure, but "me thinks" Dalley has his pants rolled up in anticipation of the "Best Catch" contest...let's hope so.

If Strut Yer Mutt isn't on your to-do list...put it there and attend...or your absence may be fodder for the Shoofly's next blog post.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Proposed Solution

If the Pine Valley dump was located in South Africa, you would have no problem with people filling the dumpsters with the wrong things—unwanted furniture, appliances, car parts, old flying saucers—because everything here is wanted. In the very day that those things were dumped, I can guarantee that the recyclers would have sorted it out, broke it down, bundled it up and hauled it away. These men don’t have trucks—with rickety little flat carts, they pull amazingly big and heavy loads, sometimes controlling them down steep grades. We often see them walking alongside the highway miles away from the places where they have gathered their recycled materials on their way to the collection points. 

But of course there are no hard working recyclers at the Pine Valley dump to take care of your trash so I agree, a more practical solution would be that people with large items to throw away would continue down the highway in their one-ton pickups for another couple of miles to dump it in the appropriate place (and where some of it at least will be recycled.)

Monday, May 12, 2014

UFO Sighted in Pine Valley! 

(Now there's a headline to sink yer teeth into.)

Mother's Day brought 10 to 12 inches of much needed wet heavy snow. The snow, besides breaking many limbs of various deciduous trees, (for those living near the Brandin' Iron...that means non-pine trees) it also brought down something even MORE unique.

In the past few weeks the Shoofly has reported on Big Foot sightings, funky refrigerators at the dump, and nasty couches that even a UHP Trooper would pass up while working' the graveyard shift. But the pre-dawn hours of this past Sunday brought a spin and whrrrrr and a sound louder than a dump truck's jake brake on deadman's curve. At first the Shoofly thought it was just the wind whippin' the snow through the trees at the corner of Grass Valley and Main. But then there was a flash an' clatter that made the cattle guard near the Udell's seemed muffled...

The Shoofly took a couple of turns around the area that were almost as thorough a Scott Vance "patrol" and came up empty.

Monday evening, still on the prowl, (well, I was actually making a very unromantic trash run) I found the probable source of the "flash and bam" from pre-dawn Sunday morning. (flash and bam...that's a toned-down version of "shock and awe"...) What I found was a large concave metal disk with scarring on the outer surface and with tears in the surface consistent with a violent collision with some of the famously hard Pine Valley rocks.

A FLYING SAUCER right here in the PV dump! What are the odds? Almost as likely as a camper-shell INSIDE a dumpster instead of OUTSIDE on the ground waiting for the community clean-up day.

Well, to prove anything is possible in PV, below are photos of the camper shell AND the flying saucer. As I close this tale the words of Ron Burgundy...Stay Classy Pine Valley!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Voting Day in South Africa

Gene sent this picture of a 6.65 acre American flag grown in flowers near Vandenberg AFB.  It was a touching image for someone who, although happy to be here, still misses home. We Americans take our flag and what it stands for granted most of the time. And although our government isn’t perfect, it is looked to as a model of democracy for the rest of the world. I can’t count how many people here have told me they wanted us to take them home to America with us. Today is election day in South Africa, and I’ll share the comparison.

Today is voting day in South Africa so another holiday of course (sometime I’ll write a post about the number of public holidays in South Africa!) If it were election day in America, we would be deciding between the Democrats, the Republicans and maybe the Independents. Here people have their choice of candidates from the ANC or African National Congress; the ACDA or African Christian Democratic Party, The APC or African People’s Convention, the AZAPO or Azanian People’s Organization; COPE or Congress of the People,  the DA or Democratic Alliance; The FF+ or Freedom Front+; the MF or Minority Front; the ID of Independent Democrats; The IFP or Inkatha Freedom Party; the PAC or Pan Africanist Congress; the SACP or South African Communist Party; the UCDP or United Christian Democratic Party or the UDM or United Democratic Movement. Those are just the parties that are represented in the South African Congress. If a voter can’t make up their mind from among those, there are another 70 or so parties that are registered and active but not yet represented in congress. We are told that the sheer number of parties is a problem because the votes are so split (you think? J) You would wonder how a decision is ever reached unless you look at the seats in congress. From the latest information I could find, the ANC or African National Congress has about 70% of the seats in congress with the other 30% being divided among all of the other 14 or so parties. The DA, which is the closest contender, has only about 16%. As you might guess, the majority party has traditionally been the black party, which would be expected since the black population far outnumbers the whites. The DA has been traditionally the white Afrikaans party, but both parties through times have been astute enough to gather members and supporters of all ethnicities, so now, at least in theory, it has become more a contest of political ideals than races. 

As the parties have been vying for voters, among the tactics used have been threats and intimidation with demonstrations and even some rioting leading up to voting day. Because of that, we are having an at home day, not wanting to get in the middle of any political squabbles. Hopefully there will also be great celebrations, since this voting day is the 20th anniversary of all people being able to vote in the country.

Anyway, the whole process makes us glad that we will go home to America with our squabbling but peaceful and predictable two party system and to a government with checks and balances that may deter the progress we sometimes would like to see, but also prevents the agendas of individuals from determining the destiny of the nation.