Daily Archives: May 8, 2012

Do We Have a Plethora Yet?

A plethora, say, of pinatas?

Jefe: I have put many beautiful pinatas in the storeroom, each of them filled with little suprises.
El Guapo: Many pinatas?
Jefe: Oh yes, many!
El Guapo: Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
Jefe: A what?
El Guapo: A “plethora”.
Jefe: Oh yes, you have a plethora.
El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? 

Three Amigos – circa 1980s


Mindless outdoors work gives me a lot of time for my thoughts to ramble into unexpected places.  Theyve been doing that a lot lately. 

I’ve found myself pondering how a governed population can escape resp0nsibility for the activities of the government they put up with.  No matter how oppressive that government might be, no matter how inclined the members of that government are to ignore the wishes of the governed [or responsibility for the consequences of their decisions as fragments of the governing body].

If any of us gave a damn about karma we’d probably be concerned.  Everywhere on this planet human beings are allowing themselves to be governed.  Tacitly approving and being a part of what those governments do.  The bedrock fact is there… those governments couldn’t do what they do without the consent, at one level or another, of the populations giving them support. 

Nanking, say, couldn’t have been raped by Japanese if some substantial piece of the Japanese population hadn’t actively or tacitly participated.  The gulags in the USSR, the NAZI horrors, even the killing fields in Cambodia weren’t just a government job of work.  The insane, lazy, entrepreneural capitulation of US education, industry, economic solvency, labor and energy leading to where we are now didn’t happen because of single piece of government idiocy, corporate greed,  educator incompetence, Chief Executive dynastic aspirations.

Those pinatas hanging in the pic at the top came to be there because the citizenry of the US snort coke and toke marijuana through one breath and pretend they don’t through the next.  And they’re going to remain silent and pay for more penal institutions so long as the folks filling up the prisons for doing it have enough pigment to their skins to keep them out of the equation.

The prohibition against their behavior runs the price of it high enough so’s thousands, millions of people world-wide who are blessed with fewer alternatives find themselves involved in one of the processes.  It offers a legion of lawyers a product cycling through a system of human cages to enrich themselves.  It provides a river of money to fund so many layers of copshops nobody can keep track of them. 

But the bottom line is that it ain’t the government, the copshops, the brotherhood of  judges, lawyers, jailers and private prison corporations doing it.

Fact is, it’s humble us.  The people who sit on juries. 

This entire damned selectively-enriching, otherwise-bankrupting, oligarchy-growing pretended attempt to control the behavior of adults in their private lives, crimes without victims, can’t happen without a dozen citizens on every jury agreeing to help it continue.  Those juries, soberly listening to the somber prosecutors, the judges, are pronouncing death penalties every time they sell their souls to an abstraction.

Those people hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo were convicted and sentenced by US jury members who allowed themselves to believe they were just sending some black guy off to the slammer to get himself raped by his fellow felons for possessing a controlled substance.

Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? 

Maybe Jefe was onto something bigger than the knew.

Old Jules

First Observations – Brush Berms and Rock and Brush Dam

One of you expressed an interest when I was describing the project, so I’ll add a bit of detail on initial observations.

The effort appears to be doing exactly what it’s intended to do, the floating cedar leaves doing a better job than the Pinon I used in New Mexico.  The fresh cuts on the berms don’t appear to be doing much, but those where the leaves have dropped are blocking with dead leaves, slowing the water enough to cause it to release the silt.  And the dead leaves are sealing the parts of the berms where that’s far enough advanced to allow it.

Meanwhile, a rock and brush dam I constructed last week in the arroyo to the east is performing well, also.

The steel grille used to lie on the scoured bottom so’s to allow a truck to cross without blowing a tire on the rough bottom.  I stood it up and included it in the dam because earlier efforts have filled the bottom voids with silt enough to provide a comparatively smoother ride across, making the grille redundant as a bottom surface.

The brush and leaves on the right were what was left of the earlier effort, prior to the most recent rainfall.

Depending on the intensity of the coming runoff events, the grille might actually be knocked down and require some remedies if the water level goes high enough to put leverage on the top, but if it doesn’t I believe the bottom will catch enough to provide stability.  Those rocks are heavy enough to withstand water to a level of a couple of feet, catching more brush and dropping more silt.  Higher than that, they’ll probably wash downstream.

My thought is that the bottom might fill with enough siltation ahead of the dam to need that grille, again, to keep truck tires from going up to the hubs in mud, anyway.

Old Jules

Erosion by Time

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.  It’s raining again this morning and all that erosion mitigation I’ve been doing is in the slow process of sealing itself with floating cedar leaves, beginning to back up water and drop the silt burden.

There’s a timely, subtle irony in this.  While that miniscule effort directed at reversing erosion by time begins doing its job, my old friend Gale, [who owns this place] pictured above climbing a mountain in 1998 is in the intensive care unit of the Kerrville hospital.  He’s been there almost a week now, them searching for a different sort of erosion.

He was carrying a high temperature for an old man when he finally went to a medico, who sent him to Emergency.  In ICU they found he had pneumonia, a blood infection, and didn’t know what-all else.  Yesterday they finally discovered a massive kidney stone.  Today they’ll be doing surgery to remove it and hopefully he’ll begin the long climb to recovery.

I’ve been spoiled by good health and mostly robust physical condition.  I suppose, even though I’ve known he had a lot of aches, pains and vehicular problems, I still think of him as that young man of almost 60, climbing that mountain, or maybe younger.  I’ve probably been harder on him, less understanding of his limitations than I should have been as I watched him not doing a lot of things he knew he should, or I thought he should.

But it’s time I recognized he’s not as young as me anymore, that he’s grown to be an old man while I watched, not noticing.  Happened too slowly, I suppose, maybe like watching a kid grow up.

I’ve got to learn to show more respect and patience for old people.

Old Jules