20151004 – At Last A Black Bear

Sunday – sun and clouds but at least no rain.


Biltmore estate.

Biltmore estate.

Drive down to the Biltimore estate. The largest private house in America, their equivalent of a stately home.

The grounds are big. Must be a 5 mile drive to the actual house. Now I guessed this place was going to be expensive but I needed resuscitation when I saw the price, $60, plus tax $4, plus if you want an audio tour gizmo thats an extra $10. And that’s each. But we go for it, how else will we ever manage to fritter away our kids inheritance.

The grand staircase.

The grand staircase.

Go to watch the short video. Oh it’s not playing. Ask one of the band of many attendants outside when does it start? Oh we’ve had a power cut it’s not playing. As I realise common sense and customer service are rarer than bacon butties in Iran, I point out that, “You know a sign at the entrance might not be a bad idea, there’s people been sat in there that long waiting they’ve died of starvation”.

The dining room - not at our home exchange I might add.

The dining room – not at our home exchange I might add.

At those prices you’d think they’d have no problem with you taking photos in the house. Oh no we’re told, by some rude arrogant facist attendant, it’s not polite to take photos in peoples home. Yes, and it’s dam right impolite to charge $64 to come in. But hey get used to the rip off.

Wander around at our own pace, hindered only by the occasional conglomeration of audio tour snails. At one point there’s a queue, created by the inevitable photo opportunity. But I thought photos weren’t allowed? Health and safety issue goes up the cry – always a good excuse, either that or data protection. It seems that when it comes to our health and safety, Baltimore’s wealth takes precedence. Dam the peasantry. We along with a few others jumps the queue to pass on the opportunity.

If only they'd had a Kindle.

If only they’d had a Kindle.

I suppose coming from England, with so many stately homes, we’re a bit blasé about these places. Bear in mind this ostentatious monument was built in the 1890’s but copied and furnished from centuries earlier. Just a blatant show of rampant ostentatious ugly wealth. Why did these people have no imagination or minds of their own? Who ever would want to live in all 175,000 square feet of such ancient ugly dark and gruesome interiors amazes me. If you woke up in some of those bedrooms you’d think you were having a nightmare. The awesome but horrific gargoyles on the outside were equally matched by the furnishing and decor inside. Enough to give a grown adult nightmares, never mind kids. There’s certainly no need for “Do Not Sit On Furniture” signs. It’s all so uncomfortable looking, certainly made for a “sit up straight” era, no comfortable slouching.

Glad we’ve seen it, we did enjoy it and overall an interesting place to visit, along with the grounds, but no way is it worth $60. Nor does the rampant greed stop there. Food and merchandising tat, including the inevitable “Upstairs Downstairs” memorabilia, is exorbitant. As a taster, a $1 energy bar is $3.95.

Some Islam jokes – go on lets broaden their minds and desensitise them – it about time they learned to have a chuckle at themselves:

Q: How do you tell a Sunni from a Shiite?
A: The Sunnis are the ones with the Shiite blown out of them.

Q: Do you know what the secret of an islamic marriage is?
A: The man get’s to see a striptease every night.

Q: How does every Islamic joke start?
A: By looking over your shoulder.

Q: What’s the difference between a Muslim and a vampire?
A: At some point the vampire will stop being bloodthirsty.


Monday – hot and sunny.


Asheville trolley tour.

Asheville trolley tour.

Go down to Asheville visitors centre and take the trolley bus guided tour around Asheville.

Asheville town council offices.

Asheville town council offices.

What a great tour it is and a good way to see Asheville. Drivers give a running commentary, full of all sorts of important facts and interesting trivia. I’m not a great fan of tipping but these guys certainly deserved one.

Hopped off at Pack Square for lunch, had a wander around but didn’t find anywhere suitable so it’s back on and up to the Grove Arcade. Wendy gets fed there. Then we have a very pleasant stroll around that district before finishing off the tour.

Now that's what I call a proper iron - outside Asheville Flat Iron building.

Now that’s what I call a proper iron – outside Asheville Flat Iron building.

Asheville is lovely and what a great day we had. Interesting when you come to realise that Asheville came to fame around 1900 for it’s good mountain air, people thought it would cure Tuberculosis. Of course they were wrong but it didn’t stop them flocking here in their droves hoping for a cure. As a result Asheville is now a thriving tourist town, sans TB, but with some of the best medical facilities in the country.

Q: What’s the difference between Mike Tyson and Osama Bin Laden?
A: Mike Tyson can take a shot to the head.

Q: How does a Muslim close the door?
A: Islams it.

Q: Did you hear about the Catholic Iraqi?
A: He was a Shite Muslim.

Q: How do you play Taliban bingo?
A: B-52…F-16…B-1…

Q: How did you get out of Iraq?
A: Iran

Q: What is Al Qaida now learning after Osama Bin Laden’s death?
A: Don’t put your contact info on the Playstation Network!


Tuesday – hot and sunny.


Our home exchange in Black Mountain.

Our home exchange in Black Mountain.

A lazy day. Sat on the balcony enjoying the sunshine and the views, with a coffee and a Kindle. Time to catch up on some reading, a biography of Mohamed (know thine enemy) and some words of wisdom from Pat Condell. Still struggling with “Gone with the Wind”. I suppose it must be the original Chic Lit book.

Eventually manage an exciting trip to the supermarket and the obligatory Starbucks to while away the hours.

Tea on the balcony - still no bear.

Tea on the balcony – still no bear.

Just love it. Me to manager “where’s the tinned fruit, please?” – yes It’s me in the supermarket. Manager “tanned fruit? Tanned?”, he looks that perplexed anyone would think he’d seen a ghost. I resort to the universal communications protocol and point to a shelf of tinned soup. “Oh you mean canned fruit!”. Me “no I mean tinned fruit”.

Q: Why don’t they teach Driver’s Ed and sex education on the same day in the Middle East?
A: They don’t want to wear out the camel.

Q: Why aren’t there any Walmarts in Afghanistan?
A: Because there is a target on every corner.

Q: What do you call a building full of Taliban?
A: Jail

Q: What’s the difference between a microwave and a Islamic extremist?
A: A microwave doesn’t blow up every time the timer goes off.

Q: What do you call a Muslim looking for a toilet?
A: Mustapha Shiite

Dawkins and Maher have a chat. Why are the ‘Regressive Leftists’ Giving a ‘Free Pass’ to Islam:



Wednesday – hot and sunny.


At last we get to see a black bear. Relax the only meat he eats is carrion.

At last we get to see a black bear. Relax the only meat he eats is carrion.

Take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 400 mile stretch of awesome road through the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the prettiest drives in America especially at this time of year, but not one of the fastest, would have been quicker on the back of a 3 legged arthritic donkey.

Another waterfall - Lindville falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Another waterfall – Lindville falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Call off at Grandfather Mountain. Must be owned by the Vandervelts, of Biltimore estate greed, judging by the entry fees – $18 each. At least we finally get to see a Black Bear. Famous for having the only restaurant in America that’s run out of coffee. Actually more likely a case of acute idleitis, it was 30 minutes before closing time and the pimples 13 year old didn’t want to put another pot on.
Autumn trees on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Autumn trees on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A few handy Arabic phrases translated to English — in case you’re ever kidnapped by terrorists.

AKBAR KHALI-KILI HAFTIR LOFTAN.= Thank you for showing me your marvelous gun.

FEKR GABUL CARDAN DAVAT RAEH GUSH DIVAR.= I am delighted to accept your kind invitation to lie down on the floor with my arms above my head and my legs apart.

SHOMAEH FIKR TAMOMEH GEH GOFTEK BANDE.= I agree with everything you have ever said or thought in your life.

AUTO ARRAREGH DVATEMAN MAMO SEPAHEH-HAST.= It is exceptionally kind of you to allow me to travel in the trunk of your car.

FASHAL-EH TUPEHMAN NA DEGAT MANO GOFTAM CHEESHAYEH MOHEMA RAJEBEH KESHAVAREHMAN.= If you will do me the kindness of not harming my genital appendages I will gladly reciprocate by betraying my country in public.

TIKEH NUNEH BA OB KHRELEH BEZORG VA KHRUBE GOYAST INO BERGERAM.= The water-soaked bread crumbs are delicious, thank you. I must have the recipe.

Grandfather mountain mile high swinging bridge - not much of a swing.

Grandfather mountain mile high swinging bridge – not much of a swing.

Then people ask why we flee the country for 9 months of the year. Well one of the reasons is to avoid this sort of dhimitude.

A decision to remove a large Christian cross from Accrington Crematorium Chapel has been labelled an ‘absolute disgrace’.

The wooden cross had been permanently located in the chapel off Burnley Road since 1956. But it was removed by Hyndburn council as part of a recent £17,000 refurbishment of the building and will now only be put back if requested for individual services.

Wendy coming back from the mountain tops.

Wendy coming back from the mountain tops.

Coun Ken Moss, Cabinet Member for Cemeteries and Crematoria, said: “General guidance for crematoria is that the building should be non-denominational so that it has the flexibility to make all families welcome whatever their beliefs”.

Like it or lump it we’re a Christian country. Why should a cross offend. If the cross offends then tough titties. There are plenty of countries where the cross is banned, so why not bugger off to one of them.

Another Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall.

Another Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall.

Just goes to show how truly dhimi our council is. Christians have to request it be put back up. Surely it should at least be the other way around in that you have to request it be removed if it offends.

Hang on a moment I thought councils were strapped for cash and staff, yet they can create all this extra work. Someone needs to be looking into excess staffing levels in the Cemeteries department, and while they’re at it Ken Moss obviously needs his bumps feeling.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply