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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

Perfect Man Shrine – Columbus, NM

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

Someone during the 1960s built this, put up a small RV park with water and electrical connections around it, evidently for potential pilgrims.  It’s on the boundary between desert and Columbus, New Mexico.  I used to go hang around there most times when I’d visit Columbus for other reasons.  Never saw anyone there, though the shrine did have palm leaves fresh every time during the early 1990s.

But the RV park is grown up with cactus and creosote, doesn’t appear to have ever been used.  The power boxes are full of mud-dobber nests.  I’ve been thinking for some while about the place as a winter refuge.  I gather the place changed hands after someone died, the new owners live across the street and aren’t followers of Meyar Baba.  They work for USFS in Arizona several months a year. 

I was talking to one of the cats about the place last night when I was trying to sleep and she was trying to keep me from it by kneading her claws on my chest.  She likes the thought of it being somewhat remote, while having the potential for desert mice and lizards.  Probably fairly warm, too.  Suggested, once I get footloose, if something else doesn’t get in the way, that I try chasing down the current owners.  Try to get a feel for whether they’d take kindly to having someone park in there occasionally.

I’m thinking that cat might be onto something.

Old Jules

Me, Being a People Person, And All

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

A nice little norther blew in here the past couple of days, cooled things down something awful.  I slept in the RV, and by ones and twos the cats volunteered to join me inside for a bit of quality time, sleeping on my chest, purring and kneading claws pleasantly.  They tell me, with reservations, they think they’re going to be able to hunker down and live in there.

Came just in a nick of time, too, because what?  Three daybreaks ago?  I noticed something coming out of the now-open chicken house just after dawn.  Double-take revealed it to be a bobcat, small for a bobcat, but large enough to make a meal out of any of these wannabe toughies.  Last night the cats and I played fruit-basket-turn-over, two inside alternating with two nearby waiting their turn to come up next time I got up to pee.

Got my ‘Work for RVers and Campers Newsletter by email this morning:

Work for RVers and Campers: Employment, Volunteer Positions, Jobs, and Business

http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/.

Nowhere near as many listings in there for west Texas, New Mexico and Arizona as there were last issue, which had a couple I found exciting.  This issue only has a couple in Texas, neither far enough west to suit me, and one in Arizona up in the neighborhood of Sedona.  They want someone in an RV park up there to do various things in exchange for a place to park. 

But me going to Sedona would be carrying coals to Newcastle, I reckons.  Besides, they wanted applicants to send a photo of themselves, along with a resume.  With winter coming on I reckons I’d have to figure out which winter pic of me to send:

I’d naturally want to throw out the best possible impression of myself I could.

And  they want the resume to demonstrate how I’m a people person, which of course, I am.   Ain’t hardly any more people people out there than I am, taken from certain perspectives.  But I’m not sure how I’d go about conveying it to them.

Been a long time since I wrote a resume, though I used to count myself a fair hand at doing it.  If I was the one doing the hiring out there, I’d jump at me.

Old Jules

Wyffie Mysteries, Trailer Possibilities and Nomad Farmers

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

Some matters, I’m finding, my mind believes it’s better if I don’t know and refuses to assimilate and process.  I’ve been hearing for years about fast Internet and more recently how a person can just pull his car up in front of someplace in town, turn on the computer and have fast Internet.  I just took things to be that simple without going into it further.

But I’ve been doing a lot of reading the archives of the Cheaprliving Forum, http://www.cheaprvlivingforum.com/, asking a few questions, and discovering a lot without having to ask questions.

For instance, I’ve quickly ridded myself of the popup camper notion by asking one question about it, getting two helpful answers, realizing it was an abysmally lousy option.

I’ve got this laptop computer here and it’s got things on wires to plug into the USB port on the comp.   I’d assumed I could drive into town, plug one of these into the laptop and whatever it is takes a person online with wifie happens.  Now I’m finding these pre-date Wyfie and are for some other kind of fast Internet the world outgrew and left behind while I was sleeping under a tree. 

I’ve read on the forum what’s being said about their ways of connecting to wifi and the special antennae they use, all manner of doodads to amplify them.  And I don’t understand a word of it.  Don’t have a clue what it is I’m going to need to do to be able to get online.

One of the problems is that despite the CheapRLiving moniker, I gather most of these members are, either rich, or rich enough to be able to afford to go out and buy things they want.  So when they talk about solutions they’re actually talking about cavalierly forking out a $100 bill, or several of them, and calling it a solution.

Today I’m going to town for groceries and I’m going to try to find someone who’ll tell me in simple terms what I need to park my truck outside the library and go on line.  Then I’m going on Yahoo Fredericksburg Freecycle and Yahoo Kerrville Freecycle groups and find out if someone’s got one collecting dust in a closet they’d sooner hand off to someone who’d use it.

Then, if that doesn’t work, at least I’ll have a list of the things I need to get it done.  Probably find something on Ebay.

Not much interest coming on the Nomad Farmer thing.  Only two folks expressed a firm interest and one an interest for a couple of weeks.  But it’s early times yet.  Maybe late-winter or early spring some people will be wondering what to do with themselves next summer.

Or maybe I’ll just have to settle for heading for Santa Fe and take in an opera.

Old Jules

Escape Route [or Rout] Projects and Such

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

I suppose any vehicle as old as this one and built as this one was built would inevitably require some fixup before becoming a cabin on wheels.  I mentioned in an earlier post about the springs sagging, and the springs have arrived, waiting for the new shocks to get here.

But I’m going to remove that AC unit up there to get rid of the weight, replace it with a roof vent, which is in transit.    That’s a lot of weight up there to be carrying around for something I’m unlikely to use much.  And there’s evidence the roof structure doesn’t need the challenge it provides.

I covered that crack in the front window with Gorilla tape for now, but ultimately I’m thinking I’ll cut a flat piece of panel to place behind it and fill in the bubble-void with insulation foam. 

Probably put a compartment in it for a GPS receiver with a better view of the sky than I’d get from the dashboard.

I’ll run Delorme Street Atlas on the laptop when I’m trying to navigate around towns, but I truly love Terrain Navigator where there’s enough variation in the terrain to justify using it.  I’m rigging a stand for the laptop to swivel from one of the passenger-side neck-support posts.

This thing just posted by itself.  I’m just going to finish it, editing in the rest, I reckons.

Anyway, once I get the AC off I’ll do a complete over on the roof with this stuff, and new caulking anywhere my imagination leads me.  The critical path on this part is that I can’t pull off the AC until the 14×14 roof vent arrives to replace it.

I’ve been feeling the walls and ceiling inside and out, drilling through and squirting in a lot of that Great Stuff foam where I find a void, of which there are a sufficient number to allow me a sense of accomplishment.

Then there’s the matter of the cats.  I’m making that overhead into a travel space for the cats to enjoy themselves in while we’re on the road.  A place where they can’t contrive to get underfoot, or jump out at a gas station to find a new life for themselves.

Once we’re parked somewhere it will go back to being a bed, whatever, but on the road it will be a cage.  They won’t like it, but they’ll like it better than all the alternatives they’d find in the alternative Universe they’d be choosing for themselves if they got loose.

And against the advice of people who know a lot more than I do about these matters, I’m going to find, or construct a small trailer to pull behind for large bags of cat food, tools, extra clothing, and probably some prospecting gear.

This thing’s for sale in San Antonio [Converse] on Craigslist for $100.  If I weren’t so far from SA I’d snap it up, gut it and convert it to a light haul trailer with a top to pull behind the Toyota.  Might be a ragged out popup is sitting behind someone’s house within a 40 mile radius they’d part with at a similarly righteous price.

But I’ve messed this post up enough for now.  Maybe I’ll go into this more later on a post I haven’t already posted.

Old Jules

Stick’em Up

My favorite manip of one of Jeanne’s art pieces

Hi readers.

The email forwards are telling me you fine, upstanding citizens are giving serious thought to electing a vice-king who’s committed to robbing me of the only financial resource I’ve got:  my Social Security pension check.  Paid in by me longer than most of you’ve been alive, by me and matched by those paying me.

Hokay.  For myself, I honestly don’t give much of a damn.  I’ve lived long enough and hard enough to be confident I can survive as long as I need to.  It ain’t a big deal in that regard.

But I’ve got four cats here depending on me to buy food for them.  Cats I value higher than I value the lives of the multitudes of folks who are venal enough, stingy enough, or indifferent enough to tacitly or actively select candidates who don’t give a damn about my cats.

All over this country there are people in similar circumstances, probably placing a higher value on the continuation of their own lives than I do, depending on those SS checks monthly to pay the rent, the mortgage, buy food for themselves.  People who paid in, and their employers paid in on the promise there’d be an eventual return when the cows all came home.

Those people grew up in a different time with an entirely different set of values than exist today.  They aren’t as accustomed being pushed around and bullied as the folks who’d help rob them might wish.

I don’t know how they’ll react if you rob them.  I don’t even know how I’ll personally react.  But I will tell you this:

Back me into a corner and take away my livelihood, force me to kill my cats as an alternative to having them starve, and a different man will come out the other end.  A man who has not a damned thing to lose other than his life, which there probably ain’t a lot left of anyway.

So do whatever you damned well please, vote in whatever greedy animal you wish to do your robbing chores.  But keep in mind there’s a piece of the population out there you’re deliberately and calculatedly choosing to back into corners without gaining a damned thing for yourselves except smug satisfaction.

And the folks you plan on doing it to are tougher than you, smarter than you, potentially one-hell-of-a-lot meaner than you, and almost certainly won’t take kindly to being mugged.

You don’t have the imagination to care, but life has a way of providing what the imagination doesn’t supply.

Old Jules

Naked City in the Sticks

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

I’ve resisted posting a blog entry about this incident a couple of days now.  Felt I needed to allow it to settle in my mind enough to think calmly and clearly about it.

I’ve explained before that the nearest property line is almost 1/4 mile away from here.  No line-of-sight to the nearest dwellings.  Woods, rough roads and rough country between here and the nearest neighbor.  Aside from Gale, no reason whatever for anyone to be anywhere near here, and Gale rarely comes, never without honking his horn at the top of the hill. [That bluelike speck right-of-center in the pic is the roof of the cabin.  The barely-visible white loop’s the turnaround.]

Sooooo.  A couple of days ago I’d just finished my afternoon solar shower, poured a couple of gallons of water over my head for a soapdown shampoo and rinse out in the driveway.  Went inside to towel off and stepped back outdoors onto the porch to let the sun finish things off.

“DAMMITTOHELLSHIT!”

A cammie 4-wheeler with two people aboard was creeping by about 30 feet from the porch.  I jumped back inside to throw on some trousers and by the time I got back outside it was gone.  Not a sign of whomever I was wanting to throw rocks at and shout lectures about respecting property lines and the not-to-be-aspired-to human trait of nosy intrusion.

Because that 4 wheeler wasn’t coming down the driveway.  It came from the direction of the chicken house.  Nothing in that direction for another quarter-mile to the north property boundary fence. 

Even though that new neighbor’s got 90-odd acres for himself and his family to fart around on knocking down trees and blasting away with every caliber firearm ever invented, 90 acres just isn’t big enough when a man’s richer than 18 inches up a bull’s ass.  Got rich early enough to get thinking he could run over everyone in reach, bluff whomever he couldn’t buy outright.

When he was coming down here trying to get me to go on wages working for him I had a vague suspicion this was the kind of thing he had in mind, ultimately.  Getting a leverage in place so’s he could do anything he pleased.  He’d already described every property and house within sight of here in enough detail to suggest he’d explored already what was none of his business.  Described it without blushing, as though it was a given.

Sometime during those visits he was making down here I asked permission to haul water from his well up beside the driveway, and he’d given permission.  His water’s nearer than Gale’s from here, and the road’s better.  I’d done it once already.

But after this incident I’ll be going back to hauling water from Gale’s.  And the only thing I’ve got to say to him about what happened the other day:

“Stay the hell away from this part of Gale’s property and keep the kids and grandkids away from it when they’re visiting.  One of the rare positive stereotypes about Texans is that they respect property lines.  Where the hell did you grow up?”

Says he reads this blog.  I hope he does.

Old Jules