Tag Archives: senior citizens

Winkie Hodges – They still called him Winkie

Hi readers.  When Keith and I were kids in Portales in 1954,  a boy named Harold Hodges ran around with us a little.  For some reason we called him Winkie.  Keith and I discussed him sometime a while back and he knew Winkie a long while after I lost track.  Winkie was one of the really honest-to-goodness poor kids we knew.  Hardscrabble farm kid out in the sand hills off the Clovis highway.

I knew his dad died in the mountains deer hunting in 1955, I remembered that.  And I remembered his mom became a bootlegger to make a living in alcohol-dry Roosevelt County.

Anyway, I was remembering an incident on the school grounds involving Winkie, Keith and I getting into one hell of a lot of trouble with a teacher named Mrs. Tate.  The meanest teacher I ever had, maybe the meanest woman I ever encountered this lifetime, though she had stiff competition on both avenues.

But Winkie, Keith and I made her cry.  On the other hand, thanks to her I didn’t learn long division until a quarter-century later.  It wasn’t an even trade, but it was the best three 4th graders could do given the resources available.

Anyway, I did a websearch for Harold Hodges, then Winkie Hodges.  Just curious.  All I came up with was an obit for a name I’d encountered several years later when I lived in Borger, Texas.  Small world.  Winkie was still alive in 1998, still in Portales, and they were still calling him Winkie.

Abbie G. Friend
  BORGER – Abbie G. Friend, 85, died Monday, Nov. 2, 1998.

She married Deane Friend in 1975 at Borger. She was preceded in death
by a son.

Survivors include her husband; three sons, Wayne Vaughan of Mission,
Jack Vaughan of Pryor, Okla., and Gerald Vaughan of Long Beach,
Calif.; three brothers, Volly Hodges of Friona, Teet Hodges of
Roswell, N.M., and Winkie Hodges of Portales, N.M.; seven sisters,
Lorene Cunningham of Lubbock, Lois Hill of Odessa, Bernice Alexander
and Natoma Reigle, both of San Antonio, Geraldine Farmer of Ozark,
Ark., Maggie Rae Gibbs of Silver City, N.M., and Lena May Gibbs of
Portales, N.M.; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials be to the Women’s Abuse Center.

Sooooo.  Bound to be a story worth knowing why the family wanted memorials sent to the Women’s Abuse Center, but it didn’t have anything I could discern to do with Winkie Hodges.  Just Coincideneces trekking around roping and branding everything in sight.

Anyway, Winkie’s dad died of a heart attack early in life, but I think he might still be alive.  I didn’t find an obit on him, anyway.  If I ever figure out I’ve got enough heart left to travel I think I might try to look him up or find his gravestone.

Old Jules

Some Dick in Montana couldn’t think of anything original to say about war.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.  Let’s face it.  I’ll say with complete candor that the Army War College has been pestering the hell out of me for a long time to write something original for them so’s to get all this losing wars all the time fixed.  Naturally I’d like to do it, but every time I write a page I discover Robert Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, George Patton or come Chinaman or German already said it.  It’s lucky I’ve read so much of what they all wrote, or I might have fired off my own original words to the War College only to find out afterward I was saying what Dwight David Eisenhower donealready said already without citing my source.

So this dick running for the US Senate in Montana turned in his work at the Army War College and whooooooops!  Surprise!  Someone else donealready said it.  And Montana residents, almost all of whom have never had an original thought during the entire span of their lives, are pissed.

Montana veterans, especially.  Whatever the hell veterans think they might know about originality, war, or much anything else that someone [they can't even remember who] didn’t tell them or they read somewhere questionable.  They’d need to punctuate every sentence, every piece of every sentence with [I heard that from Charlie down at the sewer plant, or my 3rd grade teacher told me].

Hell the guy is a dick, same as everyone else in Montana and any reason for keeping him away from Washington is probably a good one.  But let’s not be hypocrites about it.  Just accept that nobody ought to be in Washington and set about making sure nobody goes there.

Let’s not obscure something that makes excellent sense with a lot of BS about citing sources and pretending someone alive today has original thoughts he could say and the rest of us could cite him.  Every damned opinion any of us have were tucked into our heads by Rush Goddamned Limbo, the Holy Bible, some magazine or book we read, or just crawled in waiting around the coffee machine and infected the minds of the entire workplace.

Army War College needs to quit making unreasonable demands on our service men who can’t be expected to know a damned thing or they wouldn’t have volunteered in the first place.  And where do they get off with expecting original thoughts.  The first thing a drill sergeant tells newcomers into the military is, YOU ARE NOT HERE TO THINK!  YOU ARE HERE TO FOLLOW ORDERS.

Which is good, because there’s an immeasurably better chance they’ll be able to follow orders than that they’ll screw up and think something.

Old Jules

Doctors Say Average Heart Attack Victim Doesn’t Clutch At Chest Nearly Dramatically Enough

Hi readers.  When I saw this in The Onion I realized it was probably true because I’ve been guilty of it myself.  Old Jules

News With VideodoctorsScience & TechnologyhealthISSUE 50•29• Jul 24, 2014

DALLAS—According to the results of a study published Thursday by the American Heart Association, most heart attack victims do not freeze up and grab at their chests with sufficient measures of theatrics when suffering a cardiac arrest.

“After analyzing data from the past 30 years, we found that when someone experiences heart failure, the most common reaction is fairly mundane; there’s unfortunately no stumbling around the room or frantic straining to enunciate the words ‘having…heart…attack.’

Typically, the person merely winces and slumps over in place until paramedics arrive,” said AHA spokesman Dr. Phillip Trainor, who also noted with disappointment that it is extremely rare for victims seated at dinner tables or restaurants to gasp loudly before falling face-first into a plate of food.

“As few as one in 10 victims even rigidly extend one arm out in front of them, much less reach out for support and accidentally knock several books and framed photos from a shelf or mantle before falling to the ground themselves.” Trainor went on to compare heart attack sufferers to electrocution victims, stating that in most cases, such individuals do not levitate with their limbs fully splayed and their skeletons visible to onlookers for nearly long enough

Protect our freedom by invading someone

Hi readers.  It’s time you younger readers hoisted your overalls up by the straps and increase the amount of geography the US owns.  You can easily tell we don’t have enough land, that the US needs more geography, by the screaming everyone’s doing about aliens.  The ones who don’t have PHDs and Asian surnames, I mean.

In 1849 our troops protected our freedom by invading Mexico, and Mexico does have a lot of ground with nothing on it but Mexicans, so that’s a possibility.  Last time we protected our freedom by invading Mexico we got California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and maybe some other places.

But there are also some Indian reservations with nothing much but Indians on them.  The only way we’re ever going to protect our freedom from those Indians is to invade the reservations and put them up for real estate development.  There’s some good hunting and fishing country in some of those, along with potential for ski slopes and other tourism.  Gambling casinos.

But Canada’s also a place been threatening our freedom too long and it has plenty of real estate with nothing on it but Canadians.  If we ever expect to solidify our security with Alaska we need the Pacific Northwestern Canada real estate.  And for all practical purposes it’s empty.  Nobody much from the US lives there at the moment, which is one hell of a provocation.

The truth is though, we’re never going to feel safe invading Guatemala until we’ve got our freedoms protected in Mexico.  We need International Boundaries that connect to places connected to somewhere else where there’s more growth potential.

We acquired Puerto Rico protecting our freedom in the Spanish American War, but what the hell did we get for protecting our freedom during WWI?  Guam?  How’d we get Hawaii?  I’m trying to remember which freedom it was we were protecting when we got the US Virgin Islands, and US Samoa.

Fact is, the US has really dropped the ball.  US veterans of WWII hardly gained us any real estate at all to savor our freedoms in.  And we lost our freedom in Vietnam and North Korea.  And all the freedom our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan protected didn’t gain one inch of new territory with nothing on it except Arabs.

Sheeze.  It’s fairly clear we need to be protecting our freedoms closer to home.  Starting with those damned tribal lands nobody’s been able to build condominiums on.  Finish the job on the damned Indians before having a closer look at Canada and Mexico and the freedoms we need to protect involving them.

Old Jules

Back in the game

hydrox june 2014

Hi readers.  Mr. Hydrox explained something for me I’d been wondering about a longish while.

Hydrox:  Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww.

Me: Jeeze Hydrox.  Ain’t it a bit late for this crap?  Something bothering you?

Hydrox:  No.  I just got to thinking about things.  Missing Niaid.  All those Y2K chickens and that cabin.  Mehitabel.  Tabby and that mountain place we used to live.  All I’ve got now is this other cat here, Shiva.  You.  And that woman who lives here with Shiva.

Me:  Well you do have that.  You’ve got to live for the moment.

Hydrox: I’m not asking for any of that cheap tripe philosopy.  You asked why I was weeping aloud and I told you.

Me:  I’m glad you did, amigo.  I was afraid you were getting sick again.

Hydrox:  So where’s that woman who lives here?  I haven’t seen her for a couple of days?

Me:  She’s off somewhere else, Hydrox.  It’s just you, Shiva and me for the next couple of weeks.

 Hydrox:  So I can meoooow as much as I want and nobody’s going to be kept awake?

Me:  I’ll sleep right through it.  You know that.  And who cares what Shiva thinks?  She used to be a good cow cat, earned her keep.  Nowadays she’s worthless.  I don’t know why Jeanne keeps her around.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but I’m glad she’s here anyway.  This place almost echoes.  I’d go crazy if there weren’t at least one more cat around.

Me:  You’ve got it then, amigo.  I’ll keep feeding her so long as the food holds out.  Maybe Jeanne will pick up some more when she gets back.

Old Jules

 

 

Audie Murphy, Cuba and a meaner baby face than Baby Face Nelson

Hi readers.  Most of you are too young to remember who Audie Murphy was.  Who he was was a killer the likes of which most wars don’t have the violent potential to produce.  Baby Face Murphy lodged himself on a burning tank with a machine gun and proceeded to mow down close-up and personal more Germans than is possible.  Armed and dangerous Germans.

Well, hell.  That got him the Congressional Medal of Honor because nobody wanted to have him come home carrying any grudges against anyone back here.  Made him a movie star and he stayed one until his death sometime in the 70s.  Free basing cocaine I think it was, and caught fire.  But that might have been someone else.  Maybe Ricky Nelson.

The Gun Runners 1958NR82 minutes A down-on-his luck charter boat captain is ensnared in the deadly machinations of a wily American who is smuggling illegal arms to Cuban rebels. More Info  Starring: Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert Director: Don Siegel

Anyway, most of you probably don’t remember that Cuba used to be a place where a Carib dictator named Batista did what Carib dictators do.  Did it enough worse than Papa Doc Duvallier to cause the US public to cheer the revolutionary splinters operating in the jungles.  Including one carrying the name Fidel Castro

Anyway, streaming on Netflix is the full version of Audie Murphy and wossname, the guy who played Marcus Welby, and a lot of Goldiloxes all getting into a lot of trouble between Key West and Havana.

Poor Baby Face Murphy.  Life was easier for him when he was just shooting a machine gun from atop a burning tank.  Wasn’t as dangerous as free-basing cocaine, either.  Or whatever it was got him dead.

Old Jules

 

Maybe to some it was a terrible tragedy. To others likely it was a blessing

Hi readers.  Wil pointed out in a comment that the guy in the White House mightn’t have known yet whether a plane went down when he made his might be a terrible tragedy statement.  I’ve been re-thinking the post and I hope Wil is wrong.

Maybe Wossname, the guy in the White House was demonstrating an uncharacteristic, Zen-like wisdom.  Maybe he was trying to exert some of the world leadership thing presidents are occasionally accused of, albeit wrongly accused.

Fact is, that airplane actually mightn’t be a terrible tragedy because someone the CIA or such had on a list of suspects of being terrorists.  In which case everyone else on the airplane was just part of the price of fighting terrorism.  Maybe the prez didn’t want to stick his foot in his mouth and be forever harangued about it until all the authorities went over the passenger list carefully.

It’s an ill wind that blows no good, any way you cut it.  While it’s tempting to think Wossname wanted to make certain someone he’d personally like to see dead was on the plane, or that someone he had to make a public display NOT being glad as hell, the crash was certainly a secret blessing to some peoople.

People can accurately be described as a pain in the ass to other people.  All of us.  If one of the passengers was the guy next door to someone and had a dog that barked all night, he neighbor would consider the prez a fool, or a liar if Wossname proclaimed it a terrible tragedy.  And so on 295 times.  Plus or minus the airline crew.  Lots of people collecting flight insurance, losing troublesome mothers-in-law, competing people on the career trail, it all reduces the equation when attempting to determine whether there was a whiff of good in the ill wind.

And Wossname!, the guy in the White House, might have recognized this!

Maybe.

In any case, we might as well be ecstatic because now we can make up our own minds whether anyone on the airplane needed killing more than the rest of the people aboard needed to keep living.

Old Jules

Prosthetic flagpole after-market extensions for that permanent half-mast look – Half-mast inflation

the forbidden door

Hi readers.  Jeanne and I pulled into the parking lot of the Olathe Community Center prepared to do serious battle with exercise machines.  But my focus was distracted by the half-mast status of the flag.

“Why’s the flag at half-mast?”  Me, trying to think of how many living ex-presidents might have kicked.

“I dunno.  I guess someone died or got killed somewhere.”  She didn’t pause from gathering her water bottle and unbuckling her seat belt.  “Maybe someone in Iraq or somewhere.”  She shrugged.  “Half-mast inflation.”

They seem to do that a lot in Kansas.  Running the flag up to half-staff as frequently as possible on the safe assumption somebody died.  But I suppose that’s everywhere.  When I was in Texas and only got to town every couple of weeks I noticed they held off dyings of important Americans to coordinate their half-staff flag-flyings with me being in town.

But it probably began a lot earlier.  Hell, it got in style when Elvis Presley died, I think.  Damned flags all over the country celebrating the day the music died.  Bye, bye Miss American Pie.

There are only, what?  365 days sometimes, and either 364 or 366 other years, and so damned many important people.  Finding some days when the flag flies from the top of the pole is going to leave someone who ought to have a half-pole lying dead with a full masted flag.  Not properly recognized.

The obvious solution is to retrofit extensions on all the damned flagpoles across our great nation so’s the default position is half-staff and there’s no option of insulting any deserving half-staffers.

Considering how many important people we lose every year to drug overdoses, suicides and downsizing there aren’t a lot of options.  Although they’ve got a Commemorative US Postage Stamp of Jimi Hendrix, I noticed.

But even having a postage stamp with your picture on it becomes inflationary.  Next thing you know they’ll be naming cars after the Killed In Actions [KIA] and changing street names every time a two-bit politician or a button pushing drone-jockey in Afghanistan falls off a bar stool and offs himself.

Old Jules

Getting rid of weevils in oatmeal and flour – rediscovering the past

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

I want to share something I’ve discovered with those of you who cook:

Have you notice that when you bring flour, oatmeal or corn meal home it frequently has weevils already in it?  Do you find it disgusting, annoying, irritating?

Well, here are a couple of things you can do.  First off, put the bag of grain product into the freezer a few days as soon as you get home.  That will keep them from reproducing, eating more of your flour or whatever.

But once you take it back out there’ll be a lot of little bug carcasses dotting things.  Your grandmother would have sifted those out before using the grain product.  Her grandmother would have shrugged, if she noticed them at all, and ignored their existence.

So depending on which generation of grandmothers you want to emulate, you might try one of those methods.  Or you can do what I do to make those dead bugs vanish in a heartbeat.

Flax seed.  Every time you use flour, oatmeal or cornmeal for anything, toss in a tablespoon full or hand full of flax seed.  All those dead or alive weevils will vanish.  I don’t know whether the flax seed eats them, dissolves them, or waves a magic wand and sends them to an alternate reality.

But what’s strange about it is the fact that flax seeds themselves resemble tiny roaches.  Or bugs of some other kind.  Maybe that’s what they are, predatory little bugs going around eating weevil carcasses.

Maybe grandma’s grandma knew that, maybe that’s what she did, too.  A lost old wives tale.

And here I am rediscovering it by modern science.

Old Jules

Being alive puts things into a whole different light

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those of you who’ve read here a while probably remember when I did my dramatic exit scene from Texas.  Middle of the damned coldest winter in memory, hopped in that RV trying to beat death to Kansas.  Two cats freezing and scared, me pushing things to a razor edge because I was determined to die somewhere the felines would have a home when I kicked.

Made it as far as one of those north Texas towns above Dallas, checked into a motel to croak.  And Jeanne’s sons dropped what they were doing and came down to drive me the rest of the way.

I had every reason to believe one of a couple of unhappy body parts was going on strike and planned to kill me.  The VA in Texas tried hard to avoid giving me the bad news by not examining me, but I sneaked past them into a private emergency room.  Old Gale hauled me to town when I was in bad enough shape to agree to it.  Took care of the cats while the Kerrville hospital made faces at one another every time they got the results of another test.

So I had every reason to believe my goozle was an ugly cancerous disaster, funny como se llamas on my lungs, but that those couldn’t get to me fast enough to kill me.  My ticker was going to do that honor.

So when I arrived in Oz and checked into the Olathe Medical Center through the Emergency Room I figured there was a middling chance I wouldn’t be coming back out with the amount of alive I had when I checked in.

But the cats were taken care of.  Every time a sawbones wanted to look at something else going ugly or stinking on my old jalopy of a body, I said okay.  And afterward he, or she would come around looking somber, suggesting we have a better look and by the way, I hate to tell you this, etc.

But I’ve digressed.  My point I want to make to you is that nobody anywhere along the program was saying, “On the off chance you don’t croak this is going to cost one hell of a lot of money.  Let’s discuss whether you could pay it in your wildest, most optimistic dreams.”

Hell, I’m a Social Security pensioneer.  Whatever medical care I get is through the VA, or Medicare paying the bills that have any reasonable hope of getting paid.  There’s copays, and I had a vague awareness of the fact it exists, but hell, I was having conversations with the grim reaper.  I wasn’t worrying about bill collectors.

And seemingly neither was anyone else.  Sons of bitches thought I as dying, every swinging Richard of them.  Maybe if they thought there was any hope I wouldn’t someone would have sat down with me and said, “Uh, you know, if you die you’re going to be okay.  But if you don’t, we’ve got people over in accounting who are going to try to make the REST of your life challenging.  Maybe you thought you had it bad before you came in here, but dying’s just a way to escape the accounts receivable people down the hall.  People do it all the time.”

Okay.  This defibrillator and the VA paying for physical therapy did a lot, and I believe, my home remedy herbal cancer killer took care of the goozle and lungs.  For a while it still appeared the damned ticker could still croak me, but it gradually slid down on the job.  Every physical therapy session I came away feeling better physically, and suspecting the financial world had some dark clouds looming on the horizon.  Lucky the national debt already admitted nobody gives a damn about paying debts anyway.

Well friends and neighbors, barring any unforeskinned circumcisions I won’t be seeing anymore doctors for a year.  They’ve got this ticker surveillance device hooked to me, reports to them all the time, and I’m down there three times a week on walking machines and sitting down peddler things, putting all this crap behind me.

And the bean counters are scratching their heads, dunning me and fretting over the phone about how I’m going to pay those copays that didn’t make any difference so long as I was exiting the vehicle.  Every month they get their $10 checks, and the big ones rack up a charge to neutralize that in the form of a penalty because it wasn’t enough.

And threatening to turn it over to the Roccos.

Sheeze!  I was needing a new adventure.  Aside from some help from a few good friends, I haven’t had any personal debt since Y2K.  If I didn’t have money I didn’t spend it, no matter what.  Sometimes they turned off the electricity, and it stayed turned off until I got enough money to turn it back on.

I suppose this could be called the cost of living.  I can send them $10 per month, they can call that $10 and raise, until nature can find some other way of wiping me off the Monopoly board.

But damn it’s good being alive.

Old Jules