Tag Archives: home

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

The Illusion of Urgency

Lying in bed last night distracted from sleep by gallons of sweat pouring off my body I found myself wondering just why the hell the Coincidence Coordinators seem to be throwing so many obstacles in front of me and the cats getting the hell out of here, one way or another.  It just oughtn’t be this difficult if I’m not chasing a wrong path, or am avoiding one I ought to be chasing.

I take this stuff seriously [and honestly don't give a damn whether anyone else believes it's insane for me to do so].  Seems clear to me in moments of insight the function the cats serve in my life is that of an anchor.  The weight of my contracts with them keep me from taking the easy way out and living in a tent, a cave, somewhere I’d rather be.  Somewhere the humidity’s not so high and the heat’s more bearable.

On the other hand, I’m not certain I’d find life worth living at all without these damned cats.  That’s another feature of my life a lot of people might find insane, and another feature of it I don’t need to explain, even to myself.  It’s good enough just riding the satisfaction I get sharing my life with them without demanding sanity out of it.

I think I’d do just fine without them if they exited my life without my having violated my contracts with them.  But violating the contracts as a means to drive my life somewhere I’d rather be would cut just about everything I value in myself off at the knees.

Of course, there’s this damned project over there dancing around in the wings waving its arms around demanding a particular uncertainty principle be dismantled, provided the Coincidence Coordinators continue providing the means to pursue it.  Which, thus far, they’ve continued to do.

So where’s the urgency in it all, thinks I?  Where’s the source of the fire I’m building under myself to provide a driving ‘need’ to be in a tent or under a bridge?

Physical discomfort, thinks I, must be a big piece of it.  Cripes, I think of myself as immune to allowing that to influence my life, but there it is. 

And of course, I allowed a number of expectations to creep into my mind, demands on a future I’ve no reason at all to believe will come to pass.  Things involving smelling pinon burning beside a stream, looking at rocks through a magnifier.

Enough of all that was still lingering in my mind this morning to get me asking the I Ching about it.  He ain’t always all that helpful, but “any port in a storm,” eh?

Consultation on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 8:04 AM.

Present: Hexagram 61 Centering in Truth

Question:  What about just blowing it off and going to live in a cave or under a bridge somewhere?

Truth involves establishing an aware relationship between your inner core and the circumstances in your life.  Centering in truth involves the ability to perceive a fundamental wisdom, reflected within yourself – and also in others.

Truth is transformed into power when you disperse all prejudice and make yourself receptive to the world as it really is.  This power can be a remarkable force indeed – yet is rarer than generally imagined.  It can be maintained only by cultivating a genuine openness to things as they are – a willingness to see, rather than merely look.

Whenever your inner life is clouded, your influence in the world is under a shadow.  If you are fearful, you will be attacked; if you cloak genuine mysteries in dogma, opportunities for new insight will be lost.  If you vacillate in upholding your principles, you will be tested.  Yet, when you are firm and strong, the power of truth can break through even the most stubborn minds.

In any debate, the power to perceive the truth in the other side’s argument is essential to achieving success.  It is possible to influence even the most difficult people, or improve the most difficult circumstance, through the power of universal truth – for truth is something to which all things naturally respond.  Get in touch with that part of yourself that is aware of this universal force of truth.  Cultivate this inner resource, and you will become adept at using it to bind others to a common purpose.

The condition of things in the present is fairly stable. There are no specific changes indicated right now.

———————-

Guess I’d better dig out John Richard Lynn and read the judgements on Hexagram 61.  Otherwise I might get thinking it matters whether I’m crazy.

Old Jules

Certainties, Self-Examination and BS

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

If I hadn’t carefully avoided ever typing the words, “I’m dismantling Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle here,”  I’d find it easier to understand how a casual acquaintance could call this blog BS.  Anyone who’s certain Heisenberg’s correct usually has a conviction at a religious-level and genuflects muttering Hail Marys and Amens to the concept enough times per day to keep it fresh.  If I’d ever come right out and flatly stated it’s a fig-newton of the imagination I’d expect to be damned from hell to breakfast.

But I haven’t.

So I’m forced to conclude there must be something else I’ve posted here during the past year that a person considering himself prudent, reasonable, intelligent, could disagree with.  If I had time I’d scroll back over the entries and try to figure out what it could be.  Seems to me everything I’ve ever posted here is so patently obvious as to be absolutely outside the scope of rational argument.

For instance, I’ve frequently implied, but probably never come out and actually said I consider cops to be lowlife scum no better than the people they’re sworn to chase and catch.  Motivated by greed, lust for power, and cowardly, weak-kneed, vacuous need to find something inside themselves to rhyme with an ambiguous concept of self-worth.  Admittedly, it’s probably an over-generalization.  No doubt there are exceptions. 

Exceptions that prove the rule.

Same with politicians, rabid rabbit-frightened patriots, flag wavers, lawyers, CEOs of multi-national corporations, Texans, people with “WHOOPTEEDOO!  I’M A VETERAN” bumper stickers and mostly the rest of us.  Whomever we might be.

What’s not to like, what’s to disagree with in any of that?

But, of course, I’m a man with a weakness for brutal, honest self-examination, so I’m going to have to think more on all this.  Possibly scan over some past posts in an effort to find some slip I’ve made in my posts someone might be able to construe as BS.

Old Jules

Running Around Bare-Assed Naked – Visitors, Telescopes and Determination

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

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outdoors reading Mitcheners, The Bridges at Toko-Ri [a truly bizarre piece of twisted logic intended to explain why the US was fighting a war in Korea nobody understood] wearing nothing but a pair of shoes.  Nobody much comes here, but I heard a vehicle on the hill, glanced up and saw a truck making its way down.  Ran indoors and slipped on a pair of trousers, still zipping up and pulling my galluses over my shoulders when the newish neighbor pulled up in front of the cabin.

Which has happened occasionally since he moved up there.  Something just to get used to, me being a guy who ain’t interested in what neighbors think of me if they have to use binoculars or come unexpected to get around to thinking it.

We talked a while, had a pleasant visit, and he left without commenting on the fact he’d probably gotten a forbidden view of my almost 70 year old traffic stopping bod.

But this morning when I logged on and glanced through the daily digests of Yahoo Group posts I came across this posted yesterday on the “Not Your Usual Goat” list:

Re: OT: Zillow
 
Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:33 am (PDT) . Posted by: “Cheridehart” thumber_smiget
I am to open to even consider going out nude more or less even in my nighty
. We are to open for that . Even with the neighbors on the next 20 acre lot
We are in farm land area my place was a wheat field at one time what trees
I have around the house I planted . I was adjusting the telescope one day for the hubby for sky watching and
focused in on a house going up on the hill side say about 25 miles away . I
did not think anything of it it was being built did not know someone was
staying there had not seen any one . Had hubby check it out if I had it set
for him okay it was a little blurred for me he wears glasses . Well when he
looked the guy was taking a shower in the garage part of the place right
where I had it pointing Hubby ask me if I was spying on the neighbors and
how many times have I watched him shower . I told him for now on he can
adjust it for him self from now on I am sticking to my own scope which is
pointed a Venus at the moment be going back to the moon soon . We have very
few out side lights so makes for a very good night sky watching around here
Can not believe how may satellites are up their blinking there way across
the skies. The last three good sky events we have had we where so clouded
could not see anything. Cheri
Led me to consider the big house someone built on the ridge about 10 miles away from here, which I watched them build through a telescope.  As it happens, I shower outdoors every day pouring gallon orange juice jugs of water warmed by sunlight over my head.  Direct line of sight from the big house on the ridge.
 
Got me wondering whether Cheri might be up there looking at my private stuff through a spyglass pretending I’m Venus.
 
Which I ain’t.
 
Maybe I need to start keeping one hand over my crotch.
 
Old Jules
 
Afterthought:  About The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Paraphrased
 
Navy Task Force Admiral character:  “No, this war isn’t necessary.  We could let them have it [read, let the North Koreans have Korea].  But what would we give them next?  Japan?  Hawaii?  California?  Besides, it’s honorable.”
 
Soon-to-be-dead fighter pilot:  “I’ve got to do this because the bastards shot down a guy I admired while he was directing fire on their advancing troops.  I can’t let my buddies down.  Wouldn’t be honorable.”
 
Soon-to-be-dead helicopter rescue pilot:  “I do it because I hate communists.  I’m a gutsy guy.  Not some coward.”
 
Weepy wifee of soon to be dead fighter pilot:  “I was against the war, didn’t want my hubby killed.  But I changed my mind after the Admiral explained why it’s necessary.  Now I’m okay with it, though I still whine and weep.  Now I whine and weep in a noble, more courageous way.”
 
 
 
 
 

Unplanned Protrusions

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

A person with his ear to the ground listening for possibilities and interference from the Coincidence Coordinators can find himself in unexpected places, which I did.  Yesterday.

Had to go into town for groceries and animal necessities, but I’d been watching that bus for about six weeks.  Thought it might be time to begin feeling around in the head of the man who owns it. 

We were sitting in the car lot office circling the issue, nobody putting a toe in the water when a Lincoln pulled up in front and a guy got out, shouting, “I put serious stuff up my nose!”  He was shouting it non-verbally, but body language communicates sufficiently sometimes.

He jitterbugged into the office – it was clear he and the owner knew one another – and pointed across the lot to an older model American somewhat small car. 

Tweaker talking a mile a minute:  I’ve got checks out I need to beat to the bank with cash.  Would you buy that car from me for $1400 cash right now?

Owner:  No.

Tweaker:  $1300?

Owner:  No.

This progress worked its way down $100 at a time to $400, the owner nodding negative.  The tweaker paused.  “No?”

Owner:  NO.  I’ve got a cash flow problem here.  When I sold you that car I’d taken it on a trade in.

Tweaker turns to me:  Would you buy it?:

Me:  No.  That ain’t my kind of car.

Tweaker:  Huh.  I guess I’d better try to sell it to someone else then.  I’ll get my stuff out of it.

Tweaker goes out to the Chevi, takes a lot of stuff out of the back seat and carries it over to the Lincoln.  Meanwhile, I’m thinking.

Me to owner:  Would it be any problem for you if I bought that car from him?

Owner:  He bought it from me.  I don’t have anything to do with it now.

So, I got to the car about the same time as the tweaker returned to it, asked him about it.  Keep in mind, he’d talked to me in the office a few minutes earlier, asked if I’d buy it for $400.

Tweaker:  Would you buy it for $1400.

Me, scowling:  No

Tweaker:  $1300?

Me:  No.  Do you remember me?  I was in there with you and him a few minutes ago.

Tweaker:  Sure.  Would you give me $1200?

Me:  No.

We worked our way back down, me assuring him I honestly wasn’t certain I was interested at any price.  So we went over it, looking at everything, listening to the engine, driving it around the parking lot.

Tweaker:  Are you going to buy it?

Me:  You only got down to $600.  We aren’t down to talking about it yet.

Tweaker:  But you haven’t made any offer.

Me:  I’ll give you $400 lock stock and barrel.  No sales tax, no nothing else.

Tweaker:  That’s just the amount I was hoping for.

Turned out the papers from him buying it hadn’t come back from DVM yet, so I sent him off to get whatever was needed to sign it over to me and he left, saying he’d be back there at 2:00 pm.  I went off to a couple of thrift shops and returned at 2:00.  He was nowhere to be seen, so I hung around chewing the fat with the car lot owner until he arrived back and we did the motions of transferring things him jittering and jotting, talking incoherently.  We had a blank form and he signed it, wrote out a bill of sale on a piece of notebook paper.  Barely readable.

The story should have ended there, me coming back here to get Gale to haul me to town to pick it up.  But the tweaker had a lot of dances and fast peter-piper-picked-a-pail-of-pickle-peppers left in him he needed to get out.  Asked me if he should give me $100 back on the car.  No idea why.

Me:  No.  We’re okay. 

Eventually I nudged him friendly out to the Lincoln so he could go take care of the bank.  Went back inside the office shaking my head, made arrangements to leave it in the lot a few hours, or until this morning so’s I could come pick it up.  We all shook our heads at one another, shrugged, shook our heads some more and I was on the road home.

Gale was ecstatic, knowing he won’t be loaning me Little Red anymore for my necessaries.

Me, I’m just tickled the Coincidence Coordinators are so much smarter than me.  When the time comes I’ve figured out I don’t need it I’m comfortable I won’t lose money on it, provided it still runs.  But even as junk I won’t lose much if it comes to that.

Old Jules

Dragging the Past Around Like a Cotton Sack

Until you forgives it, I reckons. 

The Coincidence Coordinators will rub our noses in the alternatives just for the hell of doing it.

I’d stopped into the Office Max store in Kerrville to pick up a cheap flash drive when I saw the little bastard.  He and what I figured must be a lady employ of his [now] were looking over the copying machines, taking notes, asking a clerk questions, frowning and muttering to one another.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, changed positions pretending to look at other merchandise on other counters to get a better view of him.  Shaking my head in disbelief.  He’d put on a bit of weight, hair’d gone gray, but it was Tony.  The very man I used to swear to myself if I ever caught him out somewhere I’d whip his ass until it thundered.

And here he was in Kerrville, Texas.

Shortly after I came into Grants, New Mexico, after I gave myself a Y2K, discovered I couldn’t find a job paying higher than minimum wage, I went to work for Tony.  He was managing the Rodeway Inn, needed a graveyard shift clerk.  I hired on.

During the interview he drifted to personal conversation.  “What kind of music do you like?”

“Old stuff, mostly.  Rock and Roll, pre-1980s CW.  Bluegrass.  Opera, classical.  I’ve got promiscuous tastes in music.”

“Any kind of music you especially don’t like?”

“Yeah.  I never cared for disco, and what passes for country music now drives me nuts.”

I had no idea.

After I’d trained for a week with one of the day shift clerks the place was all mine from 11:00 pm until 7:00 am.  The radio/stereo was locked in the office behind me, but I didn’t have access to it.  Tony’s apartment was back there, too, but the speakers to the radio were in the lobby.

11:00 pm every night I’d report to work, 11:10 pm every night, just so’s I’d know it was deliberate, the volume would go up almost so’s I couldn’t hear anything else allowing me to check in customers.  Modern all night country music station out of Albuquerque.

When they came down to check out early or to grab some breakfast the customers would often get nasty about it, ask me to turn down the racket.  All I could do was shrug.

I got this far writing the draft before I thought of the ‘Bypass Surgery’ post and song.  Thought it might tell some other tales about working in that motel, and about Tony.  But it turns out it might as well be this post played 78 rpm.

Spark and Tinder for the Next Country Music Wave

I suppose I ought to begin all over and tell you some other tales about old Tony, maybe sometime I will.  Because there are a lot of them, and many were codified in letters I wrote to Jeanne while I was working those long nights.  She’s pestered me plenty of times to post some of them here, though some weren’t about Tony. 

Good stories, though.  The night clerk at the other motel Tony managed across the street giving $25 bjs to the customers and Tony’s reaction when it got back to him.  How he got to banging the woman-prisoners from the State Women Prison who worked daytimes cleaning up, and how pissed he was when he discovered they were also screwing the customers.

How he’d rent the ‘suite’ room out a week at a time to the local crystal meth dealer, then spend his time up there rolling #100 bills, the motel register showing the room as vacant and closed for repairs.

But I ain’t going to waste my time telling you all that.  I’m just going to forgive old Tony for being among the lowest scum tyrants I’ve ever met this lifetime, then do my best to forget that entire episode of my life.

Actually, now I think about it, there are a couple that don’t involve Tony I might get around to telling.

Old Jules

Divine Intervention – A Blossom Fell

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

I was relaxing in a camp chair just before dusk yesterday when the Coincidence C0ordinators gave me a nudge to remind me my priorities are too much anchored in the chicken, cabin, drainage issues recent past.  The bachelor roosters were loose for their afternoon free range and my attention was directed to making certain neither of them sneaked off to bloody TGSB.

KERWHUMP!

Suddenly a few feet away I had an oak tree poking into my affairs.  The chickens were going crazy running every direction, guinea-mania drowning out the chicken-panic, me just trying to fathom what I was seeing.

Turned out one of the remaining trunks of the oak that fell on the roof of the storage building a while back decided to put the squeeze on the Bachelor Rooster Containment Center.

Spang blocked off the chute between the pen and the night fortress, raising all manner of questions about protected places to house the roosters for the night.

But more importantly, forced the awareness that this cabin, all the storage buildings, even the main chicken pen, surrounded by dying oaks waiting to fall on something important.

Nobody got crushed in this one.  The cats were well away, even I was far enough out of reach so only a few leaves and a bit of dust got to me.  But I’ve got lots of trees and not-all-that-many cats.

I pondered it all last night for a considerable while.  If that tree had come down on me there’d have been a lot of hungry, thirsty chickens and felines lying around with Xs over their eyes before anyone got around to wondering how long it had been since they’d seen me and why.

And the fact is, even though I’m a fair-hand at the one-man-band act, I can’t figure any way in hell to bring a lot of these potential crushers down in a way that doesn’t include them falling on the cabin roof.

So I did a lot of weighing and juggling what I ought to be thinking and doing.  Concluded I first need to scout around for a home for the chickens.  The lady who runs the Habitat For Humanity Thrift Store has a lot of free rangers, along with some goats and two dogs to protect them all.

I reckons I’ll be talking to her next time I’m in town to find out whether she might give them a home.

Meanwhile, maybe put up a tent out in the meadow for summer sleeping until I can feel some confidence the tin roof won’t be sleeping beside me if I snooze indoors.

When I left New Mexico a lot of the reason I felt pressured to do it was the fact of a roof arguing in favor of collapse and an 18 inch adobe wall looking for an excuse to fall.  If Gale hadn’t offered the use of this cabin I’d have had to find a lot less wholesome place than this before the snow flew.

Back to square one, thinks I.

Old Jules

Harmless Lunatics, Constraints and Contracts

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

Back during the last century I used to know a guy in Socorro, New Mexico named Dennis Tolliver, who’d dropped in from some other century and could never quite get the hang of things.   He ran a successful business, worked hard, was considered trustworthy in most ways, even though his business involved selling used automobiles.

In that part of the country everything’s located far enough from everything else to argue compellingly that a person needs a vehicle.  Among the people who went to Dennis to fill their vehicle needs were those who’d proven themselves unworthy of credit.  But Dennis didn’t mind.  He’d sell anyone a car and if need be, he’d carry the note himself.

But even though Dennis was a local legend, even though everyone who bought a car from him knew precisely what to expect, people sometimes wouldn’t make their payments.  They knew Dennis didn’t mind.  He didn’t worry when they fell behind three months.  He’d spot them stopped for a red light, walk up and throw them out onto the pavement, and drive the car back to his lot to sell it again.

A few years before I became acquainted with him Dennis got himself a felony record for armed robbery and resisting arrest.  He was on his way through Grants, New Mexico one Sunday morning and decided he wanted some booze.  Stopped into a grocery store, went through the “NOT SOLD ON SUNDAY” ribbon blocking off the alcoholic beverages section, and took his bottle up to the register.

Clerk:  I’m sorry.  I can’t sell that to you.  I’d lose my job.

Dennis:  Why?

Clerk:  It’s against the law.  They’d fire me.

Dennis:  Hold that thought.

Dennis left the bottle on the counter, went out to his car and brought a Government 1911 Colt .45 out from under the seat.  Went back inside, showed it to the clerk and racked a round into the chamber.

Dennis:  Okay.  The price on that bottle is $7.95.  Here’s $20.  I’m taking it.  You do whatever you need to do.

Dennis settled into his car and took a few swigs while he watched through the store window as the clerk called the cops.  He was on the tarmac opening a can of whupass on the first one that showed up when two more arrived and he was hauled off to the slammer.

As nearly as I could tell the felony record never bothered Dennis, never influenced his behavior in any way.  The police were prone to leave him alone, which was appropriate, because Dennis was a fundamentally honest man.  He lived by his own contracts and promises, and he gave others the benefit of a doubt when it came to living by theirs.

But I’ve digressed.  I was actually going to write a bit about my own lunacies, my contracts with my cats, with my chickens, and the vice grips of necessity and options a person can find himself examining.  Even if he’s a lunatic, a hermit, and lives close to the bone.

At least I never had to be Dennis, or someone else.

But I guess I’ll just have to leave you with Dennis to think about and I’ll mull my own business over in private.

Old Jules