Category Archives: Kerrville

Kinky Friedman: “Israel is Texas in the Middle East”

Hi readers.  I’ve been enjoying Kinky Friedman’s songs since the early 1970s.  Back when his band was, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.  I don’t agree with him in a lot of ways, but his views are, at least, worth hearing and considering.

The only country-western song ever written about the Holocaust, Ride’em Jewboy, stands up as one of the best CW songs of the 20th Century in my opinion.  Give it a listen.

Heck, he’s the founder of the Utopia Animal Mission rescuing stray dogs.  He can be wrong about a lot without being wrong about a lot else.

In a lot of ways he didn’t intend I think he’s probably right when he says Israel is Texas in the Middle east.  It used to be Ireland in the Middle East until the Northern Irish got tired of blood feuding with the kinfolks over religion.  But Texas never met a war it didn’t like and killing and exploiting the weak and powerless is a song that resonates among them.  A lot more than Ride’em Jewboy ever did.

Old Jules

Clean laundry and civil discourse – Satanist style

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

Going to a coin laundry with the RV’s an entirely different experience compared to the various times in my life when I considered hanging around watching clothes tumble something akin to hell.  Just knowing there’s a fridge out there with cold tea, milk, or ice water at a reasonable price helps.  A comfy place to stretch out, a selection of books half-read.  Lawn chair if I want to use it.

But before I decide which way I’m going to enjoy my laundrying I look the place over.  Sometimes it’s worth the hard chair to allow surreptitiously watching the people sharing the place. 

So this time I carried my stuff inside, tossed it into a washer near the front door, and casually allowed my eyes to look everyone over while I walked to the back for quarters.  Sauntered back to the machine.  Several lower-financial-drawer women, several younger couples, and a few old guys.  Mostly ignoring one another.

But I noticed a scrawny old guy wearing a Vietnam War Veteran cap watching me as I fed quarters into the machine.   So when I finished I took a chair as far from him as I could get but still see my machine.  Guy’s wearing Vietnam War Veteran caps aren’t part of my repertoire of wanna-get-acquainted.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye while I pretended to do the ‘bored-people scan’, opened my book, read a page, put it down.  Twigged to the fact nobody in the place would meet his eye, and he was trying to get eye contact.  I figured, “Oh jeeze, this guy’s been here enough so everyone wants to avoid the nuisance he makes of himself.”

But he was focusing more attention on me, working up to saying something, or coming over nearer where I was sitting.  I groaned and stood up, stretching, to go out to the RV, head off anything he was thinking.  Too late.

I turned to the door and he caught my eye.  “Hey!  You’re a lefty!”

Um.  Yeah.”  Hell.  How’d he happen to notice that?  Whoopteedoo conversation starter.  He got up and headed to the door with me.

It’s been a chore, hasn’t it?”  Two of us standing in the shade of the overhang.  Me fidgeting to break loose and sprint for the RV.

What has?”

Going through life left-handed.”

Not when I could find a woman willing to sleep on the right side.”  Figured I might as well clarify my sexual preferences in case that was what was coming down the pike.

A few minutes later it came out he was a supply clerk in DaNang during the Vietnam fracas.  Tough gig.  Whoopteedoo.  “So what the hell’s the hat all about?”

“It’s because of my religion.  People around here don’t like me because of it, so I try to put my best foot forward.  Vietnam Vet buys me an edge.”

I shook my head, remembered getting cornered by the guy preaching Urantia outside the library in Grants, New Mexico.  Wanted to be my new best friend.  Real pain in the ass I never broke free of as long as I lived in Grants, always encountering him. 

I could either brush the guy off even though he was hungry for talk, or I could grit my teeth, be polite, and hear what he wanted to tell me.  Turned out he’s a Satanist.

Whaaa?  A Satan worshiper?”

No.  We don’t worship Satan.  That’s just something Christian preachers claim we do.”

At least I don’t have a dog in THAT fight.  “Well, hell.  Better than being an atheist, I reckons.”  I really didn’t want to hear this crap.  “Nice talking to you, but I need to take a nap.”

I left him standing in the shade, careful not to look back.

Old Jules

Tequila sunrise

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

Old Ms. Niaid managed to off Brother Rattler without any consequences evidently, so she’s going to have to find something else to flesh out her life experience, I reckons. Her long hair’s growing back from the sheep shearing when the hot weather hit, and it’s filling up with beggar’s lice and grass burrs, which might serve to fend off whatever’s around here dangerous to aging bachelorette felines.

Ms. Tabby, on the other hand, has a nose and front-of-her-face of the usual Tabby-summertime variety. Can’t keep her nose out of cactus, or out of the business of something capable of adding color and romance to an otherwise nondescript Tabby face. I’m thinking when we get out of here she might turn out to be a regular-looking cat.

I decided yesterday I’m going to add mothballs to that storage building to get those rattlers out where they can enjoy life instead of bickering and snarling inside that dark storage building. Can’t tell when someone’s going to want something else out of there and the anxiety level trying to find it ain’t worth not stepping on a snake some night going from the RV to the cabin to check my email.

Today I’m going to nurse the Escape Route V 2.51 into Kerrville on three tires on back and have the two blown ones replace with respectable 10 ply exceptions to the rule. Provided the spare on the ground right-rear doesn’t decide to blow the plan. I’ll try to take back roads and get the roadwork done early before the pavement gets too hot.

Keith emailed me a while back he’s planning to be in New Mexico late August or September, and I’m going to tentatively plan on getting out to visit while he’s in the area. Hopefully by then everything will be settled out here and I’ll be able to think of out-there as home for a while.

Maybe get me a nice little piece of ocean-side ground on the east, or west coast of New Mexico, once all the damned ice goes away and raises sea-level to a reasonable altitude. 4000′ mean sea level might be about right. Maybe the cats and I will open a little bait shop on the west coast near where Arizona used to be. Or maybe rig a surfboard and hang ten mornings after we pray the sun up.

I figure the west coast will probably be less jam packed with Arizonians than the east coast will be with Texans because those Texans already all go to New Mexico deliberately to ski and gamble at Ruidoso and Angel Fire. Arizonians and Californians never go to New Mexico deliberately unless they’re just going through it to get somewhere else.

By the time they wake up and discover they’re living in a salt-water swimming hole I’ll have things nailed down on all the corners, wave to them as they swim to shore, or ride in on their bass boats. Sell them some bait, maybe.

Big plans for the future here.

Old Jules

The Brother of Invention

Humane gunfighters

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

Life’s so full of happy surprises here it took me a while to remember to be surprised when I awakened warm, still parked where once chickens scratched and pecked on mornings such as this.  Then I remembered what it was I ought to be surprised about – that I’d expected this post to be made on a fast WIFI connection somewhere out where it’s probably colder than it is here.  Which is plenty cold enough to satisfy the needs of the feline population, I’m informed.

I thought it was the money situation keeping the delays coming hot and heavy, but when I managed yesterday after the temperature dropped to 20 degrees F, to get the propane heater working in the RV, I knew a new reality had dropped in to flex its muscles.  That heater had to be why the Universe kicked in to impose good sense into my activities.

I don’t know how I fixed it.  Maybe just pulling things apart and putting them back together, tapping on things, testing, and taking them apart again was what did it.  Or maybe it was my genius brother, Invention.

So this morning I woke someplace warm for the first cold morning in at least a couple of years.  I hope today I’ll be changing the oil on the RV, wrapping up a couple of other details, and try to round up the cats to hit the road before the end of the week.

But it’s not easy to feel much dissatisfaction with life when there’s warm out there to be had.  I’m going to have to kick myself with some determination to impose a sense of urgency into my intentions.

But I’ve digressed.  I’d planned to tell you about that truck I saw parked in front of the Humane Society Thrift Shop new construction area.

Can’t recall now what I was going to say about it.

Instead, here’s wishing all of you plenty of warm.

Old Jules

Calamari Gumbo Over Saffron Rice

Hi readers.  Grocery stores always make my mouth water, but I actually got started thinking about calamari at the tire store.  Wandered over to the Chici Pizza Buffet, Senior Special $5, while I waited for them to mount and balance my new tire.  Thought an uncomfortable amount of pizza might rid my mind of calamari.

Went to the AutoZone for brake pads, found a pair for $10 and change, mind still in orbit around calamari.  Bent down for a look under the car to check out the oil leak as a precaution.  Going up the hill the lower clearance because of the donut sized spare caused a rock to puncture the oil pan, so I was keeping an eye on it.

That oil pan leak’s going to be a blessing until I can lift the car and whittle a wooden plug to stick in the hole.  Keeps me from having to change the oil.  I’ll just add oil, top it off as it goes down.  Voila.  Automatic oil change constant.

Anyway, went to the HEB and bought a few essentials, actually went by the fish department to have a look at the calamari, thinking actually seeing it might help rid my mind of it.  But it didn’t.

Meanwhile, I was over on the isle for bread and tortillas and a guy with a hand-carry basket walked up pretending he didn’t know his wife as she studied a shelf, took a big chuck roast out of his hand carry basket and stuck it in her backpack.  Looked me right in the eye.  Snake eyes.

His wife, kid in her shopping cart, edged to get around me.

“Hey man!  Let me show you something!  You like to barbeque?”

He gave me a what-the-hell look while I reached inside her backpack and took out the roast.  “See this crap?”  I held the roast out to him.  “Shoplifting meat is a felony in Texas.  They’ll barbeque her if they catch her.”

Asshole!”  He mumbled and turned back toward the meat section.

You going to stick around and take care of the kid, hotshot?”  I stayed on his heels.  “While she’s doing time you going to change the diapers?”

He ignored me, kept walking.

Screw it.

I cashed out and headed home.  Still thinking about calamari.  Calamari over saffron rice.  When I arrived I checked the freezer, but there wasn’t any calamari in there.  Must have used the last of it sometime before Y2K.  And I’ve been trying to cut down on my saffron intake.  Since around Y2K, as I recall.  Coincidence Coordinator thing.

Old Jules

Spang Blew It!

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

Having a running vehicle I can just brush the cats off of, scare the chickens out from underneath and drive somewhere is surprisingly uplifting.  Not having to borrow Little Red wouldn’t seem to the disinterested observer to be that big a deal, but it is.

Got me feeling uppidy in ways I’m going to need to treat with circumspection and discipline so’s I don’t run myself dry buying gasoline for trips I wouldn’t have made in a borrowed machine.  But damn it feels good anyway.

Those trips to TimeWarpVille [Junction, Texas] trying to get something they’d accept at the courthouse as valid to transfer the title, trips to Kerrville trying to chase down the guy who sold it to me would have been frustrating teeth-grinding to me most of my life.  But they were pure joy, driving along looking at the country, looking at whatever, ignoring the 100+ F. wind blowing through the windows in favor of the freedom it represented.

So yesterday I thought of a reason to drive into Harper.  The day before I’d noticed a piece of the right front tire peeled back on the side, probably something on the driveway flipped up and cut it.  So I was being careful, occupying 30-35 MPH when it blew.  Got her stopped without ruining the rim.

Sweated blood and bullets getting the car up on the jack.  Crumpled a piece of the underbody before I found the secret, unlikely place the top of the jack has to go to lift it.  Discovered the spare is a wheelbarrow tire, which was under-inflated, but left part of an inch of inflated tire between the rim and the ground.  Inched that money-maker home at 2.5 miles per hour.

Gave me time to shoot gratitude affirmations for it all out to the Universe and Old Sol.  Because that blowout’s a major blessing.

When I pulled the tire off the brake disk rotor was exposed to me, badly eaten because there was nothing much like a pad.  Bare metal just grinding pleasant rings into the rotor.  A lot of people would probably replace that rotor, but I think I’ll try just buying pads.  No reason to get extreme, over-react, do anything dramatic. 

But if that tire hadn’t blown I’d never have noticed I had problem needed immediate attention, not to put off until the next Social Security pension check arrives to provide me a something for nothing entitlement [as these Texans are fond of calling it].

So today I’m going into Kerrville and buy me a spanking new tire, buy a set of brake pads, and even let the guys who sell me the tire put the new one on the ground.

Christmas.  It just don’t get much better than this.

Old Jules

Quid Pro Quo Chainsaw-wise

The old Poulan chainsaw’s always done me a good job of work until the priming bubble burst:  For Want of a Nail – Something Worth Knowing Chainsaw-wiseI eventually found a replacement at a place a few miles out Highway 27, midway to Center Point.  Double M Equipment Service.

I installed the primer bulb, but no joy.  It wasn’t sucking gas.  I pulled things apart enough to see the fuel line had become brittle and a piece of it was broken off inside the gas tank.   The whole thing appeared to be iffy, and I honestly didn’t want to spend any of my frustrations messing with it.  I need those frustrations for other things.

So I decided to put that saw into a place where they did that sort of thing, let them do it.  Never put a chainsaw in a shop before, but it’s the experience I’m after this lifetime.  I ain’t in this for the money.

So I went back to Double M Equipment Service, midway to Center Point on Highway 27, spang walked in and whistled to myself until the lady looked up from something important she was doing.  [Fans, Compromises and Drowning in Over-My-Head Math].

I could tell right away I was imposing on her, but I explained about my saw and she handed me a piece of paper for me to write it down, which I considered prudent.  She handed me a tag with a number on it.  “Be sure you put your phone number on there.  I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

I couldn’t remember my phone number, so I wrote down what might, but probably wasn’t Gale’s number.

How long you reckon it’s going to be?  I only get into town every couple of weeks.  I’ll just swing by and check.”

“No.  It’s running two-and-a-half weeks, average.  I’ll call you as soon as it’s ready.”

“I’m a hard man to get on the phone.  I’ll just call or stop by next time I’m in town.”

“No.  I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

This friendly lady was Lisa, according to the business card.  Mark and Lisa, it said.  Double M Equipment Service.  Lisa.

Three weeks later I stopped in, asked about it and Lisa advised me it wasn’t ready yet, but she’d call when it was.  “Eh?”  My hand behind my ear.  “I’m sort of hard of hearing.  Can’t hear the phone ring.

Two weeks later I stopped by again.  This time it wasn’t ready, but it was next on the list, friendly Lisa explained.  Next week it wasn’t ready again, she didn’t know why. 

Heck, maybe I’m getting the time passage mixed up.  It went in around April 17.  At least that’s when I mentioned it on the blog post.

Anyway, after X number of trips by there and X number of weeks without a chainsaw, I stopped in and friendly Lisa said it was ready.  $65 US.  Called Mark from the back and he brought it up.  “I replaced that gas cap for you so you don’t have to take it off with a wrench anymore.”

The cap’s slotted so’s a screwdriver can be fitted in perpendicular for taking it off.  Never had a problem with it.  Guess Mark never noticed that feature.

Anyway, I got the saw home, found it still doesn’t prime, but if a person pulls the recoil starter long enough mostly it will eventually start.  Runs a few minutes, long enough to cut down a cedar as thick as your bicep before it runs dry of gas.  At which time a person does the whole process again.

$65 US.  Double M Equipment Service, Highway 27 E & Laurel Way, Kerrville, Texas.  Mark and Lisa.

Tell ‘em I said hello.

But I’ve digressed.

What I wanted to tell you about in this post is that when I was picking up that chainsaw I asked Lisa whether there was a good cafe anywhere nearby.  She told me about a good hamburger joint just beyond the crossroads in Center Point.

Good place, decent price.  Middling better than average hamburger.

I’m obliged knowing about it.

Old Jules