Category Archives: YouTube

Firecrackers Day Celebrations – Name Your Poison

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

A while back I was talking on the phone with my bud, Rich, in North Carolina.  He’d just returned from a visit to the Georgia Guidestones and was telling me about them, and the general history of the area where they’re located.  One anecdote involved the local hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Seems there was a woman settler in the area famous enough for her contribution to be recognized as a hero and locally a focus of veneration.  She got a bunch of British soldiers drunk and murdered them while they slept.

I don’t doubt a few more dead enemy soldiers was a boon at the time, but I found myself wondering how the woman felt about it after the dust settled, say three, four decades later.  It ain’t as though your average British soldier was a lot different than the people he was fighting against at the time.  Just grunts, following orders, doing what they were told to do, same as soldiers everywhere.  Probably it’s possible to assemble a set of reasonings to appreciate the impact the event had on the outcome of the Revolution, but it’s less easy to bring up any admiration for the lady who did it.

In fact, I’d guess her neighbors and husband were careful not to offend her during her time around them later.  A person who’d do what she did is nobody to be trifled with.

But thinking about all that led me to consider the whole issue of the way we humans celebrate history.  Fairly bizarre, when you consider it carefully.  The British celebrate a guy who attempted to blow up Parliament, but was thwarted, for instance.  Lots of fireworks, but I wonder if they’re cheering the attempt to do it, or the failure of the effort?

For that matter, I wonder if they do much celebrating out on the Rez, shooting off fireworks and cheering the ethnic memory of, say, Custer’s Last Stand.  Or the slaughter of Fetterman’s troops during the Red Cloud uprising.  If they don’t, are they being sufficiently true to their own tribal histories?, I speculates.

Or, at least as grotesque, are the black citizens of the projects all over the US going to be cheering for the institution of slavery that brought their ancestors to this geography so’s to allow them to be here, not Africa?  Whatever the shortcomings of life in modern US ghettos, probably the average modern resident of their ancestral homelands would gladly change places.  Can I hear a few “Amens!” for the institution of slavery in this land concurrent with [gulp, sigh] remembering our noble founding fathers?  Their unselfish efforts and sacrifices along the avenue toward ‘freeing themselves’ from British oppression and tyranny?   

Is anyone in Georgia going to be singing, Marching Through Georgia tomorrow?  Cheering Sherman’s scorched earth burning of Atlanta, and churning across the state burning and looting the citizenry, civilian and military, all the way to Savannah?

Fact is, it all comes out of the same cauldron.  Sip a spoonful of it and you have to either like the overall taste, or focus on the flavor of the meat while ignoring the onions and garlic.  Here, and everywhere else.

For instance, the Japanese probably have enjoyed their post-WWII / pre-tsunami affluence, freedoms, non-involvement in military adventures.  They’d never have gotten any of that without Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa, the Bataan Death March, the Rape of Nanking, Midway,  Tarawa, et al.  The destruction of the Japanese Empire.

But I’m betting they don’t have a day of celebration for it.

Probably somewhere in Georgia there’s a community of UK citizens visiting, or living out their lives.  Or folks who came here from the UK and became US Citizens.  Maybe tomorrow would be a good day for them to visit the Georgia Guidestones, wave a US flag around to acknowledge that history’s a different place for them now, than it used to be.  In any case, maybe they ought to be conscious of how much they drink and where they do their drinking.  Georgia still has woman patriots.

History’s not an overly hospitable environment without some selectivity and flexibility.  Going out tomorrow and killing a few Brits, Japanese, Yankees, whites, Mexicans, Spaniards, Germans, Vietnamese, Apache, Navajo, Lakota, maybe a few Russians for good measure would help everyone remember, better, what patriotism’s all about.  Or get’em drunk and cut their throats.

At least it wouldn’t be as boring as a parade.  An honest tribute to our ancestors, whomever they might have been, would help us make the same mistakes they did.  Which we will.

Old Jules









Who needs fireworks anyway, when you can have the real thing?


Jeb Stuarts, Jeb Stuart MacGruders and the Fallen

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

I’m five years older than old Bob Lee was when he had his little problem at Gettysburg.  I’ve fingered a lot earlier than when I was 65 that I could have avoided what happened to him if it had been me, instead of him dealing with a particular horse soldier.  Jeb Stuart, or Jeb Stuart MacGruder, I think it was.

Bobby Lee should have had the good sense to follow the advice of Longstreet and not become an invader, I always figured.  Should have stayed the hell down in Virginia, fought in defense of his home soil.

Lee was plenty old enough to know the great majority of the leadership on both sides was composed of the spiritual kinfolk of Stuart, Lincoln, Custer, Fetterman, Hooker, and other dandies too absorbed in what the newspapers were saying about them to keep their eyes on the ball.

Bobby Lee didn’t think that way, but he got the smell of blood in his nose anyway.  The men following his orders and getting shot to hell would have been just as happy defending Vicksburg, but they trusted his wisdom, they had the smell of blood in their noses, too. 

Same as these today.

But while I was thinking about that last night the damn tree fell on the storage building, so I don’t know where I was going with it.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Escape from Reality?

Old Jules, why is escaping reality ultimately harmful?


Pardon Me, Roy, . . .

Roy Rogers had a new pair of boots made for him by the best bootmaker in California.  But it was raining when he got back to the ranch and they got muddy on the way to the porch, so he took them off and left them there on the steps.  Later, when he came out to clean them he found they’d been ripped to shreds by a bobcat. 

Roy took his good dog Bullet, hopped on Trigger and went after that cat with a rifle.  In a while he rode back to the ranchhouse with a bobcat draped across his saddle.  Dale Evans came out on the porch, sang:

“Pardon me, Roy,

Is that the cat-that-chewja new shoes?” 

To the tune of the song below.


Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:   Plan for Life?

Old Jules, what’s your plan for life?

Betting on Future Sheep, or Locating the Moth Balls

While you earthlings are fretting over whether your next king is going to be friendly to your preferred nuances of greed, waste, envy, scorn and target identification, you might want to squeeze in a few minutes to find those moth balls.  The days for protecting your brass monkeys might not be completely over for the year, but keeping the emphasis on the right syllable is as important now as it ever was.

Even though those Pendleton blankets might seem anachronistic today, and knowing there are plenty of sheep still out there grazing, there’s going to be another October and November eventually.  Betting on the come, figuring you can just toss the holey blankets and buy something Chinese to replace them might problematic by then.

There’s a rumor going around the Chinese plan to devote the entire planetary wool production to their world-wide-near-monopoly on steel.  Chinese statisticians and accountants have discovered crescent wrenches and pliers made of wool will do the job as well as the ones made of steel they’re selling now.  And they’ll be worth as much as the dollars US consumers use to pay for them.

Save some of those moth balls for your toolbox.  Next year that might be where you’ll find your Pendleton blankets.

Old Jules


The Great Escape

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

Some happenings on this planet are so unlikely as to probably have transpired somewhere else, not here.  The scene below is a US Forestry Service outdoor toilet located at a mountain picnic area near the road running from Silver City to Reserve, New Mexico.  From a distance it looks innocuous enough.

I’d imagine that’s what the guy who was sitting on the john inside thought when something important happened.  In the bottom pic the unlikely is somewhat conveyed, though it doesn’t show how thoroughly the saturation of bullet holes targeting the piece of space he occupied.

The Great Escape

Call yourself a cop

I’ll call myself a robber

Corner me in an outhouse

Call in your backups

Talk to me through bullhorns

“Come out with your hands up

We know you’re in there

Watching flies strafe dust particles

In sunlight shafts

Savoring the odor and the old news

“Come out or we’ll come in after you”

Tension builds. No answer.

Anti-climax gun and badge hero makes a perfect icon

Of an eyeball peeking through a knot hole.

But I’m not scared.

I’ve escaped down through the hole

Into the real world

Old Jules Copyright©2003 NineLives Press

Most things in this life just aren’t worth worrying about.  The Universe has enough surprises and cards on the bottom of the deck to make the focus of the worry obsolete, or absolescent.

Old Jules


One Toke Over the Line Sweet Jesus


Hi readers.  Some of you evidently come to this blog for the humor, but my brand of humor frequently falls flat for a lot of other readers.  So for those of you unable to appreciate my dry, subtle, sometimes off-target attempts at humor I offer perhaps the funniest scene ever to appear on television.

Note the squeeze-box player attempting to keep a straight face while introducing the song.  Afterward, the followup by famous wit Lawrence Welk caps the entire performance as he expresses his appreciation for “modern gospel music” performances by young people.

Unlike so many young performers of the time, these already had perfect teeth.


Meanwhile, the songwriters, Brewer and Shipley, were awarded a position on President Nixon’s ‘Enemy List’ and enjoyed honorable mention by Vice President Spiro Agnew before he went down in flames.

Old Jules

The Forbidden Door

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

I know a lot of you are submerged in issues of who wants to be king and whatnot, and I appreciate you tearing yourself away from reading all that to come over here to read this, which isn’t.

But I’ll ask a favor of you insofar as what you contribute here commenting.  The blog’s a fortress against the intrusion of party politics.  I prefer not to delete any comment by readers here, but it is not and will not be a place for inserting cheers for people who want to be king.  It also won’t be used to assassinate the characters of politicos, except in bipartisan, general terms.  

Meanwhile.  We’ve been blessed here with three days in a row of cold and wet.  I was premature a few days ago telling you it was time to switch from felt to straw.  Likely you’ll want to chalk that up to me being no better at predicting the future and the weather than you are.

Switch back to felt and count yourself lucky you didn’t put them in mothballs yet if you didn’t.  If you’re like me you were probably folding up your Pendleton blankets and everything else the moths might feast on, wondering where you put those moth balls last year, when this last gasp of winter hit.

I’ve been spending the time when there were no embedded thunderstorms stalking the sky trying to narrow down what’s not happening.  I finally just decided to use TYC 6835 143 for the galactic center.  And Eltanin, in the constellation Draco, for the solar system vector.  Those, combined with what I’ve mentioned in recent, previous posts appear to take care of a lot of what’s needed to get a firm fix on what isn’t happening.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Is Hiding Emotions Ethical?

Old Jules, is it ethical to mask your true emotions in order to get along with others? Is being honest in a relationship always the best policy?


‘Squirrelly’ Armijo Survives his own Funeral

A legendary man in the Quemado/Reserve area nicknamed ‘Squirrelly’ Armijo had a good working claim down near Queen’s Head in the Gallos near Apache Creek in the 1940s  through the 1960s. Maybe that’s where he came across a skeleton, and probably just figured he might as well take it home, so he put it in his truck.
Driving up those winding mountain roads he lost control of the truck and rolled it. Squirrelly was thrown clear and the truck caught fire. He must have been out of his head, maybe with a concussion, because he evidently wandered into the mountains in a daze.

The police arrived and found the burned out truck with a skeleton inside and assumed because the truck belonged to him the remains were Squirrelly’s. He was pronounced dead, an expensive funeral held, and he was buried.

Twelve days later Squirrelly wandered out of the woods several miles away, which was a source of, first joy and awe, then suspicion. Initially it was thought he’d killed the person the skeleton belonged to. Then the lawsuits began, the Armijo family and the Funeral home arguing heatedly about who owed money to whom for burying some anonymous skeleton.

The story is so well-known it was used in a book about forensic pathology in New Mexico during the 1990s, the forensic pathologist explaining such a thing could never happen these more enlightened times.  Journey in Forensic Anthropology, Stanley Rhine, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1998.  Author Rhine elected to change Squirrelly’s surname to Aramando to avoid any sort of civil action.   The Armijo family’s been herding sheep in that country since the time there was nobody out there but them and Mimbres Apaches.  A lot of them are still there.

“A Premature Funeral

“Bones and Fire
“On June 4, 1959, Forest Service lookouts reported smoke rising from what was assumed to be a small forest fire just east of the Arizona state line, among the 8,000-feet peaks of the San Francisco Mountains of southwestern New Mexico. A firefighting crew dispatched to the scene discovered no forest fire, but an automobile burning furiously on the side of a gravel forest road. Dousing the flames, they found a mass of burned flesh, a skull, some other bones, and some teeth resting inside the burned-out hulk.

“The car was found to belong to a Mr. Armando, well known in the
lightly populated region. His fiery demise prompted the organization of a six-person coroner’s inquest in Catron County. According to former Catron County Sheriff and now Washoe County ( Nevada) Coroner Vernon McCarty, the “six responsible citizens” required by 1950s New Mexico law were most easily found by the justices of the peace at a local bar.

“McCarty observed that an insufficiency of able-bodied citizens could be remedied either by visiting several such spots or by prolonging the official quest at one of them for as long as it took to empanel the necessary six people.

“The resulting coroner’s jury in this case was made up of ranchers, Forest Service firefighters, two bartenders, and a service station attendant. It concluded that the remains were “badly burned and charred beyond positive identification,” according to the Albuquerque Journal for June 17, 1960. Nonetheless, an identification was made by Armando’s two brothers-in-law and the district attorney, apparently functioning in his multiple roles of death investigator and skeletal “expert.” That it was Armando was attested to the by the fact that the human skull was accompanied by some impressively large upper incisors. These prominent choppers had . . .”

Probably Squirrelly never paused to wonder about any moral or ethical issues when he put that skeleton into his truck. He just did it absent-mindedly the way any of us might.  Probably somewhat as Mel did on Gobblers Knob:

Exploring Alley Oop’s Home Circa 1947.

I suppose the Squirrelly story came to mind because it’s a synopsis of the possibilities carried to the ultimate extreme, accompanied by the fact I recently had an email from his great-nephew wanting to ask some questions about my mention of his Queenshead claim in my lost gold mine book.

Old Jules

Previous posts:  Skulls, skeletons and homicides:

The Ruin Skull – A Long Day Ago

Cold Mystery, Fevered Romance and Lost Gold

The Strangeness – Background Context of Unsolved Homicides

Meanwhile, today on Ask Old Jules:  Mirror Holds Information From the Past? -

Old Jules, if someone had a mirror from 40+ years ago, could something be gathered from its backing?

Old Jules replies:  The pastametric pressure of all that stored history would almost certainly explode backward opening a hole into a parallel universe carrying with it the identities and souls of everyone who ever looked into the mirror.  Read more …..


Picking Your Own Hills Worth Dying For

“Hey!  Congratulations man!  You picked a hill worth dying for and just got your leg shot off instead of dying.  Cool!”

“I didn’t pick it man.  I don’t know who picked it.  Maybe the General.  Maybe the Colonel.  Maybe the other side.  I din’t do any picking.  Nobody asked me anything.”

“Wow.  You got your leg shot off and didn’t even make your own choice about whether it was worth the effort?”

“Higher than my paygrade.  Not my job to figure out whether hopping around on a stump of a leg the rest of my life or spilling my guts across the landscape is worth why they think I should do it.  It’s up to the big brains to decide that.  The Generals, and Colonels and Lieutenants.  The people who see the bigger picture.  I’m not into long-term thinking.”

“Sheeze man.  Tough gig.”

Bloody Valverde.  Measured in percentage of casualties among those participating, the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Texas Mounted Volunteers were on that mesa, coming down to cross the Rio Grande just below the left end.

Federals and New Mexico Volunteers were below and across the river trying to keep them from doing it.

You can’t get over there anymore without breaking some laws.  The railroad police will arrest you for trespass if they catch you trying to cross the RR bridge.  Last I heard, Ted Turner owns the ranch the mesa is on.  He has riders out there who’ll haul you off for trespass if the RR police don’t get you.

A few cows graze up there and Ted Turner can’t have people up there bothering them by poking around among the pockmarked hideyholes and artillery placements.  A lot of men on both sides died so Ted Turner could keep the right to keep you off his holdings and bothering his cows.

If you sighted across the top of that monument across the end of the mesa and drew a tight bead you’d be looking at a mushroom cloud about 50 miles away when they fired off the first atomic bomb in 1945.

But by 1945 the government and scientists all finally realized the place wasn’t worth anyone getting excited about, getting legs shot off or dying for.  By that time they knew it wasn’t worth anything except for blowing up with an atomic bomb.   You can’t go over there, either, for what that’s worth.

Pretty big hunk of granite for such a little event.  But nobody much winds around those desert roads to look at it.

I used to have a pretty nice cannon ball that came off that battlefield.  Wonder what ever became of it.  Hope I didn’t scare any of Ted’s cows or stir up any future atomic bomb attacks on the place by the US Government.

Old Jules


Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

If I believed in representative democracy I think I might be tempted by this, even though I don’t smoke dope.


There’s something refreshing about seeing someone injecting some humor into all the scowling.  This modern religion of self-important in-your-face sneering between opposing political illusions and conflicting certainties about ‘What this country needs‘ and who’s most worthy of hatred and purple scorn ought to get boring for those doing it.  For the good of their souls, maybe.  Or, failing that, just as a means of demonstrating a human brain resides inside the human skull.


  • Willie Nelson was busted in Texas for possessing marijuana on Nov. 26, 2010. Following the arrest, Willie founded the Teapot Party, declaring: “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it! Stop the border wars over drugs. Why should the drug lords make all the money? Thousands of lives will be saved.” Since then, Willie clarified the focus of the party. “The purpose of the Teapot Party is to vote in people who believe the way we do,” he stated, “and vote out the ones who don’t.” With that in mind, we’ve embarked on a campaign to find candidates to support in upcoming elections. So far we’ve made four endorsement and there will be many more to come. We encourage Teapot Party supporters to use this site to their advantage. Learn who we’re supporting, read the latest blogs, find out what’s happening in the marijuana-reform community, order free stickers, buy Teapot Party merchandise, keep up with our Facebook and Twitter feeds and upcoming events, such as rallies and meetups. With your support, we can make a difference by ending cannabis prohibition in our lifetimes. Please send donations to the candidates of your choice. Then go out and “vote in people who believe the way we do and vote out the ones who don’t,” just like Willie says.

I suppose old Willie still believes in representative democracy.  I’ll try to forgive him being stupid by believing something I don’t.  I’ll reciprocate by being stupid enough not to start smoking dope again.  Too damned much trouble. 

I’m trying to remember when it was I figured that out.    Sometime a long time ago, but before too much later, I think it was.  I had the High Roller already, but I don’t think I had the gray John B. Stetson yet.

Old Jules