Category Archives: 2000′s

Mormon Gay Marriages

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.  I like to think I can’t bring myself to object if the Mormon Tabernacle Choir all want to marry one another in one fell swoop.  I almost got sucked into reading the Yahoo News article about it anyway, though.

Yahoo news headed things up with a photo of the male members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir all dressed up in suits, evidently having intended to get married to one-another and having been refused by the LDS Church permission-givers.  At least I assume so.  The pic and the headline, Mormon Leader Outlines Opposition To Gay Marriage [http://news.yahoo.com/mormon-leader-outlines-opposition-gay-marriage-173205476.html]

So what the hell am I supposed to care what the Mormon leaders think about the Choir engaging in holy matrimony with itself?  Brigham Young had more damned wives than anyone those days could count and history doesn’t even mention whether he could sing a note, nor whether they could.

I’ve never been offended by whether Brigham Young’s wives were women or men in drag.  Never even asked myself a question about it.  But I’m betting if they could sing, even if they were women, it would be the only thing non-dramatic about having that many women in a household.

Anyway, I didn’t read the article, but I hope the damned choir goes ahead and marries one another if they want to, no matter what the LDS leadership thinks about it.  Maybe all get on bicycles and scoot off to Alabama and find a judge there to tie the knot.

Old Jules

Post-Pyramidial and Post-Mass-Grave grave concerns

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates.  However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere.  A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates. However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere. A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

Hi readers:

The grave markers depicted here are located in the Olathe, Kansas, Desoto, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas [Oak Hill] cemeteries.  Lawrence is probably best remembered for the Quantrill raid and massacre of the men and boys of the town slaughtered by Quantrill’s Irregulars during the Civil War.  The town was burned to the ground and most of those killed are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in a mass grave.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here.  Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc.  I'm guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another.  However, Jeanne tells me this one is a 'deaf person' sign.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here. Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc. I’m guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another. However, Jeanne tells me this one is a ‘deaf person’ sign.

cable grave

This stone and the one below have been selected by geographers to serve a dual-purpose. Initially they both merely marked the location of buried telephone cables, as noted on the orange tape. But later circumstance conspired to make them useful as markers for human burial locations as well.

Phone cable memorial marker

Limestone or marble markers are probably inexpensive, but they are prone to become unreadable in a century, century-and-a-half. The stone dissolves in acid rain, accumulates lichens and moss, and break more easily than granite, steel, or wood of most types. This is unworthy of concern unless the people placing the stone intend the grave to be identifiable over a period longer than a few decades.

bookout

A person who went through life being called by the name, King David Bookout, probably won’t object to large granite stone sitting above him a few centuries afterward. Nothing any stranger says while looking at the stone generations later is likely to be original. It all got said while he was alive.

sitar or oud teachout

Patricia Ann evidently played the oud or sitar during her life and someone considered it enough a part of her to be noted on the stone. The name Teachout would be less intriguing if the grave were located further from that of King David Bookout. A Bookout buried 50-100 feet from a Teachout seems more coincidence than needed in death.

Finding a purpose in death isn't necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life.  Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Finding a purpose in death isn’t necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life. Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family.  Probably it's actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family. Probably it’s actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

Here's an example of what happens to limestone when it's utilized as burial marking material.  Fortunately there's nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Here’s an example of what happens to limestone when it’s utilized as burial marking material. Fortunately there’s nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: "She never met an animal she didn't like."

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: “She never met an animal she didn’t like.”

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

If those people killed in the Quantrill raid had survived they might have accomplished great things.  Some might have been able to be part of the Wounded Knee incident.  As the song says, “Only the good die young.”

Old Jules

Photos VA Chapel and Weston, MO house courtesy of Jeanne

IMG_2234

Possumly Jesse James, or a Younger or Dalton or someone else lived here, or visited here, or rode a horse by the place and gazed at it as he/she went by.

IMG_2237

!895 Chapel for VA Center at Fort Leavenworth in seriously bad repair. Protestant downstairs, Catholic further downstairs though the signs are somewhat misleading. No harm in a protestant attending Mass or a Catholic racking up some fire and brimstone occasionally, I reckons.

IMG_2245

Interesting stained glass work. Dunno whether it’s Catholic or the other one.

IMG_2238

Gargoyles are shared equally by Catholics and Protestants.

IMG_2239

The VA hospital environment surrounding this seems obliquely appropriate.

IMG_2240

The metalwork on those doors is probably symbolic of something, but everyone who once knew what it was is dead.

IMG_2243

This end of the building is in bad repair threatening collapse in places, but ain’t likely to get any better.

IMG_2249

Directly across the street from the chapel. It’s been through a long series of declines and repairs but we need another World War of considerable duration to bring it back to full bloom. Need to conscript all these young houdilums and get them on track to need a place such as this.

IMG_2250

The sign above the door reads, THE DUGOUT and can still be made out with a bit of squinting. I’m thinking it was a club for the people going through treatment, might have been used as recently as the Vietnam War.

IMG_2252

The Dugout

  IMG_2241 IMG_2242 IMG_2244 IMG_2246 IMG_2247 IMG_2251

Desalinated, molassted and tofued into submission

Believe it or don't, this stuff makes a tasty substitute for soy sauce and woostershire sauce.  Blend it with rice vinegar and it makes tasteless goop go down easier.

Blackstrap molasses:  Believe it or don’t, this stuff makes a tasty substitute for soy sauce and woostershire sauce. Blend it with rice vinegar and it makes tasteless goop go down easier.

Hi readers.

I’m not going to say I think cardiologists know what they’re talking about, but in the matter of no sodium/extremely low sodium in the diet I believe they’re correct in spite of the fact they said it.  I’d always thought if a person didn’t eat canned goods and didn’t salt his food he was on a low sodium diet.  But when I left the hospital they handed me a sheet of paper and took the trouble to read it to me as though I couldn’t read it for myself.

2000 mg.  2 grams of sodium per day these people were unsmilingly demanding I confine myself to.  And they sent along a list of food items in one column and how much salt each contained per one-measure-or-another.

I could see with one eye these ivory tower quacks didn’t know what they were talking about.  Heck, I’m betting there’s never been a day of my life when I wasn’t fasting when I didn’t consume more than two grams of salt.

So when I arrived back at Jeanne’s I slouched toward low sodium, waved the bloody flag at it, but was completely reasonable.  Non-fanatic, not any sort of no-salt extremist anyone need fear.  And noticed a rapid decline in my physical capabilities concurrently.

You all know by now I enjoy messing around cooking and experimenting with food preparation in sometimes bizarre ways.  And since I was losing my ability to walk any distance, I figured what the hell?  Jeanne got me a couple of books from the library on no salt and lowest sodium cooking, and I began concocting all manner of experimental food with no salt, or so little salt as to pass for none.  2 grams?  Ha!  I spit on 2 grams!  1 gram until I get this down pat.

cilantro corriander

Cilantro!  Onion powder!  Tomato powder!  Lime juice powder!  Molasses.  Garlic.  Dill.  These are the soldiers, the legions of the war against salt.

Began making chips from steamed sticky rice rolled down thin and baked.  Made the best catsup I’ve ever eaten in my life from tomato powder, lime juice powder, molasses and rice vinegar.  Made an absolute jewel of guacamole with garlic, green onion, jalapeno, avocado, tofu, and cilantro.  Deeeeelicious!

Made a soy sauce alternative from black strap molasses and vinegar, along with a few other spices.

And after a couple of days of less than two grams, yesterday I walked to the end of the block and back, one-way being an uphill grade.  Didn’t get knocked to my knees by my top-kick drill instructor, either.

So I doubt those cardiologists know what the hell they’re talking about, but sometimes even a blind hog finds an acorn.  A person doesn’t have to know what he’s talking about to be correct.

Old Jules

Scaring the high-tech scarable

Three wooden toothpicks under the hatband forward of the feather leaning backward scares the hell out of them

Three wooden toothpicks under the hatband forward of the feather leaning backward scares the hell out of them

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

During those upsy-downsey times when I was trying to squeeze out a living playing blackjack I picked my casino carefully.  Only casinos offering the surrender option allows the player to throw out the blackjack books and stack the table and the odds in his own favor.  It’s a cause for black looks and hatred from the other players, but deep suspicion on the part of casino security and pit bosses.

Surrender doesn’t exist in a lot of gambling joints.  It allows players, once they see both their cards and one of the dealer cards, to take back half his bet and bow out of the hand.  I’d spent a lot of time on the computer figuring out how to turn this into a slight, but significant bending back the fingers of the house advantage.

One day I was doing fairly well on third base at the Santa Ana Star Casino.  I was wearing the high roller, and I always kept a few toothpicks in the hatband ahead of the feather for easy access during moments of contemplation.

My splitting 10s and not splitting aces at times, not at other times, doubling down sometimes, surrendering others, was working despite the fact it defied the traditions, superstitions and religions of blackjack.

I’d been there an hour or two when the pit boss came over standing beside me, watching.  At one point he bent across the partition during a hand, close to my head.  I thought he was smelling my high roller.  But a few minutes later two security men came and stood with him, watching.

A couple of hands later two more security folks came and stood behind me watching the play.  I didn’t change my strategy, kept getting as much money on the table as I could when the advantage was my way, surrendering when it wasn’t.

When the dealer finished the shoe the pit boss leaned over to me and said, “Would you mind taking your hat off please?”

I reached up and pulled it off, thinking he was admiring my high roller.  He bent over and squinted, along with the four security guards.  I handed him the hat and he showed it around, feather side up.  They all squinted.  Then one of the guards carefully took one of the toothpicks out of the band.

They’re just toothpicks!”  He handed it around so they all could confirm it.

He handed my high roller back to me and shrugged to the security men.  “You can go.”  Then he turned back to me.  “Why do you keep toothpicks in your hatband?”

By this time I’d caught onto their suspicions and concerns.  I was barely able to restrain myself, keep my humor dry.  “Mojo.”

What?”

Mojo.  Three toothpicks brings me paired 10s and more blackjacks.”

Sneering, he shrugged and walked away.  Surrendered and never knew it.

Old Jules

Wouldn’t go to San Antonio, TX for a $100 bill plus gas

Hi readers.  When I got back from town yesterday and was putting the groceries into hideyholes and places they wouldn’t scatter hell-to-breakfast in the RV when it went up the hill again I came across a slip of paper the cashier put in one of the bags.  Had a ‘code’ number on it and said if I went to HEB.com/viva and put in that number I could win valuable prizes.

Well, heck.  I was thinking I wouldn’t mind winning a free bag of potatoes, a bag of onions, who knows?  Maybe some cat food or a pound of cheese.  A nice brisket would be nice.

So naturally I plugged in the website, went through my name, email address, zipcode and age to get all whetted down so’s I could find out if my number was a big winner.

Whoopteedooo!  I won a free pass to some museum 100, 150 miles away from here I wouldn’t go to without a gun to my head.  Those folks surely do take care of their customers and know how to build enthusiasm for promotions.


Hi D M,
Thanks for celebrating 70 years with H-E-B in San Antonio and entering the ¡Viva! SA Giveaway today! You’re now in the running for the chance to win free passes to exciting San Antonio landmarks, gift cards to great SA shops and restaurants and MUCH MORE.There are plenty of other spots on the iViva! SA Game Board to visit. Don’t miss a single chance to win – come back with a new code soon to unlock a space on the board!

Visit all 8 hot spots by October 1, 2013!

Good luck,

Your friends at H-E-B

I should have known a grocery store chain had better sense than to give away something valuable such as a bag of potatoes or onions.

Old Jules

Superb judge of character, me

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I slipped over to Yahoo News when I got online this morning, wanted to find out whether the world went up in smoke during the night.  Turns out all the news is piddly stuff mostly, nosy things allowing the non-celebrities spot checks into what life’s like for the sainted big named and big-breasted.

But something caught my eye about some 10 year old kid who found a mummy in the attic of the house his grandparents owned.  Brought to mind what a great judge of character I pride myself being.

Early 2000s a friend of mine died near Belen, NM.  He and I loved the same books about history, etc, and he used to joke he’d leave me that several walls of books we both cherished, when he died.  And I’d tell him I would kill him if he left me those books to have to drag around and find someone else to leave them to.

His house was a museum of artifacts he’d found.  We’d even done some artifact searching together.  I think some of those mini-balls on one of the lead pictures on this blog were found when we were somewhere together.

So when I saw in the Albuquerque paper that he’d died I was careful not to contact anyone concerning the fact we knew one another.  Not because I was afraid he’d left me those books, either.

Turned out he’d been robbing graves down in the neighborhood of where those mini-balls were found.  Maybe graves elsewhere, old ones.

Back room of that house was jam-packed with human remains a century-or-more old.  Bastard never showed them to me, all the time we were sitting around drinking coffee and talking about history.

Which I suppose is okay, because I put a high value on his friendship, enjoyed knowing him a lot.  And sometimes even then I’d forget how old I was and have to decide spur-of-the-moment whether to open a can of whupass on someone.

In his case if I’d known what he had in that back room we might have had to pick our weapons out of his museum and go at it.  I had a lot of mixed feelings swirling around inside me when the news came out and he had his brief day in the sun.

I’d have never suspected it of him.  So he’s the exception proving the rule.  I’ve got everyone else figured out.

Old Jules

Time to lighten up a bit – Communist hell on the Zuni Reservation

I wrote this after a weekend spent with a once-lady-friend who spent her career as a high school librarian on the Navajo and Zuni Reservations.

zuniland1a

Cataclysmic Doggerel
 
 
A schoolmarmish lady in Zuni
Had canines subversive and loony;
Her Communist felines
Made neighborhood beelines
With doctrines both outworn and puny.
 
The KGB cat was a lean
And speckled-nosed beauty serene
In appearance alone
For her countenance shown
Multi-faceted plots as she preened.
 
Her Weathercat history was tops:
She sprayed on dozens of cops
With a Commie aroma
But joined Sertoma
Cavorting with phonies and fops.
 
The ringleader hound was a red
And curly haired rascal it’s said
Whose Trotskyish leanings
And Maoish gleanings 
Were pondered curled up on the bed.
 
Princess Redfeather, they tells
Of this curly red bitch of the cells,
Forsook her fine lineage
To sip of the vintage
of Lenin, and Gulags and hells.
 
The worst of the felines, Bearboy:
Striped and cross-eyed and coy;
Politically weak, 
Had claws that could tweak
Bourgeois carpet, and bedspread, with joy.

The Uncle-Tom dog of the hut
Was Ernie, the gray-bearded mutt; 
Dog-tired, and dogmatic,
He thought,”Problematic:
dog-eared dialectic and glut.”
 
The Uncle-Tom dog she called Ernie
Began as a dog-pound attorney
Commuted from gassing
He pondered in passing
Discretion’s demand for a journey.
 
A calico hound lying dormant,
Most likely a police informant:
A capitalist clown
Took his food lying down
Resisting the commie allurement.
 
The Stalinish kittenish spies
Spread foment and torment and lies
To Indian curs
And mutts that were hers
And War-Gods high up on the rise.
 
Princess and Ernie and, Spot,
And Chester, the narc-dog; the lot:
For half a piaster
Would bring a disaster 
To Zuni, once called Camelot

shalako pot

Old Jules

SWAT teams and militarized police forces – An outlet for frustrating human needs

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

I’ve noticed a few scattered concerns on the WEB by people who think the 21st Century militarization of civilian police forces is a bad thing.  Seems to me those complainers aren’t looking at the bigger picture.

Time was when a person with a mean streak, or just a desire  to kill someone didn’t have many options.  He could sneak around and do it and maybe get by with it a while, or he could get drunk and do it, and go to the slammer.  Or he could unhealthily suppress it and go around frustrated and unhappy.

But nowadays there are plenty of outlets for a person with those needs.  Sure, he might spend years becoming a SEAL, a Marine Sniper, or a Green Beret.  But those are really too large and too institutionalized for the local badass who just wants to blow the face off someone without being criticized for doing it.   Municipal, County, or State Police SWAT teams offer a lot easier outlet.  Plus, they’re clubs where all the members have the same goals and can be depended upon to protect one another by keeping their mouths shut if it’s needed. 

For instance, there used to be a cop in Socorro, New Mexico, who was involved in a couple of extremely questionable shootings.  Residents and city officials had all witnessed, or heard about his blusterings, his posturings, his suspected desire to use that firearm as frequently as possible.  After the second shooting incident he was quietly encouraged to find greener pastures elsewhere.

So he applied for, and was accepted to the Albuquerque Police.  Trained for the SWAT team.  Wasn’t long before he got to put a bullet into a suspect and got a lot of praise for doing it.  Short while later they were raiding a drug house and an 80 year old neighbor saw what was going on, thought it was a gang.  Ran out of his house with a flashlight, yelling, and the Ex-Socorro cop stopped him in his tracks.  Turned out the raid was conducted at the wrong address, but the 80 year old was found ex post facto to should have minded his own business.

A year or two later someone was holding a baby over a freeway overpass threatening to drop it into the traffic below.  Ex-Socorro cop plugged him so’s the baby only dropped on the overpass.  Hero again.

I heard over the years he got to kill a number of other people who got downrange of the Albuquerque SWAT team, as well.  Managed to make what would otherwise probably just been a lifetime spent in prison, or sneaking around murdering people, into a healthy, productive life.

People who criticize militarized police forces aren’t considering the needs of the SWAT teamers and the healthy way they’ve dovetailed themselves into the greater good of society.

Old Jules

Should’a done its

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

The last post about creeping cowardice was going to have some of this as a part of it, but became too lengthy so I saved it with the thought I’ve got a while to live yet and might still work it in somewhere.

I believe one of the ways a person might attain valid perspectives about himself and his life events is through hindsight.  Might be the only way.  If a person can look back and seriously say to himself, “I should have done it,” probably he should have done it.

I can’t say that about those two mine shafts because I know even now I’d have done them if I could, and I recognize for whatever reason, I couldn’t.  No ‘should have done it’ hidden in there.

But around 2002, 2003, there’s a should have done it I still occasionally experience a flash of regret about.  Just until my insistence about not to regret anything in my life kicks in to trump it.

There’s an airstrip, or was an airstrip parallel to the old highway running between Belen, Los Lunas, and Isleta Pueblo I used to always swing into when I was in the area.  A number of old airplanes to walk around and look at, wonder about, kick the tires of.  The airstrip was gradually becoming inactive.

But at one end there was an old Cessna 140 tied down.  I’d always go over and walk around, check it out.  Sometimes sit inside it.  Watch the tires gradually lose their air and grass get taller around it.

I asked the guys running a motorcycle shop that used to be an airplane related business about it.  The 140 belonged to a man who lived in the neighborhood adjacent to the air park.  He’d been experiencing advancing dementia … quit flying the plane a couple of years back.  One of them heard he was in a nursing home, and that his wife had died.  The house and plane were in an ambiguous ownership state as a result of complicated family matters.

When I heard that I began to realize that old plane needed to be taken around the patch a few times before it rotted to the ground.  Or before it found its way into Trade-A-Plane and got sold to someone in Alabama to fly off or be hauled off.

I did a lot of planning about that plane.  The battery was going to be dead, and maybe the fuel would have gone bad, but probably not.  Avgas tends to last a long time in a tied down airplane.  But there’s probably water condensed inside the tank if it wasn’t left full.  Water under the gas that would be drained off before the engine started.

I borrowed an air bottle and brought the tire pressure up on one of the trips, checked the oil, got inside and tested the controls.  Everything hunky dory.  Just needed to draw the water off the fuel tanks.  Fuel guages showed one full, one 3/4 tank.  The 3/4 tank would be the one most likely to have water in the fuel tank.

I never made a conscious decision not to take that old bird around the patch, do a few touch and goes.  My bud in Belen,  Deano, died and other matters kept me from going into that area without a special trip.  I suppose it just slipped my mind.

Which didn’t keep it from creeping back into my consciousness for years afterward, including now.  I can tell you today, I should have done it.  The way I know I should have is that I can’t think of a single reason why I shouldn’t have.

I’d be remembering that as my last pilot in command this lifetime, if I’d done it.  And instead of a sense of loss when it sneaks into my head, I’d be remembering those touch and goes in a Cessna 140.

Old Jules