Monthly Archives: January 2022

Navajo Rug song lyrics

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

One of the savorable aspects of being alone is the way the mind wanders according to incidental, routine events.  I’ve noticed that when I’m cooking up a breakfast of eggs up on whiskey toast with home fries there’s only one song starts running through my head:

Navajo Rug
Tom Russell
Well it’s three eggs up on whiskey toast
Homefries on the side
Wash it down with truckstop coffee
Burns up your inside

Just a Canyon, Colorado diner
And a waitress I did love
We sat in the back ‘neath an old stuffed bear
And a worn out Navajo rug
Well old Jack the boss he’d close at six
Then it’s Katie bar the door
She’d pull down that Navajo rug
And she’d spread it ‘cross the floor
Hey I saw l ightning in the sacred mountains
Saw the dance of the turtle doves
Lyin’ next to Katie
On that old Navajo rug

Ai-yi-yi, Katie, shades of red and blue
Ai-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?
Well I saw old Jack about a year ago
He said the place burned to the ground
And all he saved was an old bear tooth
And Katie she left town
But Katie she got her a souvenir too
Jack spat out a tabacco plug
He said “You shoulda seen her runnin’ through the smoke
Draggin’ that Navajo rug.”

Ai-yi-yi, Katie, shades of red and blue
Ai-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?

Now everytime I cross the sacred mountains
And lightning breaks above
It always takes me back in time
To my long lost Katie love

Ah but everything keeps on movin’
And everyone’s on the go
They don’t make things that last anymore
Like a double-woven Navajo
Katie, shades of red and blue
Ay-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?

Tom Russell
From the album Song Of The West – The Cowboy Collection 1997

For some reason that song always gets me vaguely reliving one or another of several incidents, 1958-59, working on a ranch outside Kenna, NM, as an impressionable youth with a ’40 Model Chevi.

I think the first time I ever heard Navajo Rug must have been mid-1980s in Austin, Texas.  Bill and Bonnie Hearne were on tour performing in a small place somewhere over west of the University.  I’m not sure whether Tom Russell wrote it, or someone else.  It’s been a Jerry Jeff Walker song, Ian Tyson, in addition to Bill and Bonnie Hearne and Tom R.

I do know I once spent half a day moseying around Canyon Colorado, which is mostly empty spaces, looking around the weeds for evidence a diner was once there and burned down.

Life’s a good place to spend it, amigos.  Full belly of eggs up on whiskey toast, home fries on the side to all of you this morning.



Case of mistaken identity

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

A few days ago I was messing around out front (trimming the tree those guys said they were going to come back about, prior to the yesterday visit).

A pickup truck pulled to a stop and an elderly Hispanic lady rolled down the window on the passenger side, stared past me, squinted, pointed at something up near the house, and said something to the driver.  By now she had my full attention.

“I want to get my cat back.”  Pointing to one of the cats on my porch.

I looked over my shoulder, mistook which cat she was talking about, but she corrected me.  “No that one.”

“That’s not your cat.”

“Yes it is.  It only ran away a week ago.”

Well, I happened to know this cat has been around a long time, but what the hell.  Cats are metaphysical beings.  I moseyed up to the porch, talked to the feline in question, picked her up and cradled her upsidedownkitty style.  “That woman accuses you of having two homes.  She’s going to take you to the other one now.”

I stood on this side of the gate, she on the other, maybe three feet apart, she, eyeing the feline.  “This your cat?”

“That’s him.”

Well, I knew this particular cat is a female.  But what the hell.  Cats are metaphysical beings.

“She says you went through a sex change without telling me.”  I lift the cat, still upside down cradled above the fence and the lady reaches up to take him/her.

At the point the cat decided the gag had gone a bit far, did what cats do.  Probably an experience the lady’s still thinking on.

“Does that cat have shots?”



Dancing lessons from God, I calls such experiences.  A way to get acquainted with the neighbors.


Autobiography of Jack Purcell

Jack wrote this as an assignment in his final year of high school. His grade was an A.

  November 19, 1943, long before the first suggestion of dawn, the icy wind howled menacingly  around the corners of Florence Nightingale Hospital in Dallas, and bit vainly at the apathetic windows, barring the warmth from boreal gusts. A few fleecy clouds spread their tentacles over the city, while the rest of the night sky sparkled rapturously, exalting the commencement of the first snowfall. Still, on the wind blew, indifferent to the torpid, confident state of a young nation, the cries for peace, the prayers for victory; and indifferent also to the birth of Jack Purcell, his future life, and his unalterable death.
  Within the corridor of the hospital only an occasional nurse or orderly broke the silence of the sleeping building, and only in the maternity ward was there continuous evidence of animation. Here, in an incubator, lay the small, somewhat scrawny, two months premature figure of Jack Purcell.
   Jack was the youngest of three children, two of which were girls. By these two, and by his mother too, I suppose, he was pampered almost continuously until he became old enough to show his spoiled nature, at which time they gradually slackened off with this treatment.
  At the age of five young Jack started to school in Portales, New Mexico, while living on a small farm just out of town. Here, he became accustomed to the routine of daily life, and had may lessons in self-discipline, and how to get along with people. He discovered that his desires were not always the same as those of other people, and that conformity and compromise were necessary ingredients in virtually all his dealings with his fellow humans.
  Through his life on the farm, his relationship with nature became much more intimate, while he developed a knowledge of life, and soon learned to love his surroundings.
  From the time he learned to write, he began turning out short essays dealing with life, short stories, and sometimes even short poems. Only after he was a freshman in high school, however, did he begin to consider writing as a profession, rather than a hobby.
  After finishing his sophomore year in Portales High School, he moved to Dallas, taking with him only the memories of his boyhood in New Mexico, and naturally for a short while he was repulsed at the city and all it stood for. Given time, however, he grew to love this city; for it too, he discovered, had its own form of beauty. The year he spent in Dallas, and the friends he made became some of the most treasured memories of his life.
  All too soon, however, certain over-emphasized problems within the home made his departure imperative, and he spent a full summer traveling over the United States, working here and there until he came to rest in Borger, Texas, where he now lives with his brother-in-law and sister. There at present, he attends his final year at Borger High School.

A few words about ‘Allies’

Jack wrote this in October, 2005:

On the thread about how Brits are becoming an assortment of on-line gamblers I made an observation involving the geography of the island as it pertains to nastiness of attitude and civility.  Another poster, claiming to have spent a number of years on the island hopped on like ugly on a monkey to set me straight.

I don’t have a problem with that.  Personal experiences differ, and generalities, while they tend to contain enough truth to sting, also tend to be riddled with exceptions.  If the poster had stopped there I’d have to agree with (most of) (or some of) what was posted.

Unfortunately, the poster went on to express a smugness and spillage into some matters that went beyond my, admittedly flawed, generalizations.  The poster was obviously oblivious to history, both of the US, and of Britain.  Actually included in the post the allegation that Britain’s been a consistently good and strong ally to the US.

Patently absurd.

Britain, and every other country on this planet, has sponged the blood and tax money of Americans whenever they could, so long as it furthered their own interests.  American blood spilled all over the world to protect the interests of Britain throughout the 20th Century.

True also of France, the Philippines, the USSR and China through WWII.  Post WWII, American tax dollars rebuilt Japan, Italy, the Philippines, France and West Germany, while Americans bore the burden of the cost of defense of all.  America and Britain created Israel, and provided the weaponry for it to defend itself during the early years, while American taxpayers paid the bills.

America has no allies.  There’s not a speck of gratitude in any of those countries for the Americans rotting in their graves, their lives forfeit to the best interests of Britain, France, Germany, indirectly, the USSR, Korea, Japan.  Those countries have drained us dry, bankrupted US taxpayers, and bought us with the industry we built for them.

I have to respect scam artists who know how to spot a mark and bleed him dry, toss him off when he’s no longer useful.  I have to respect those countries I’ve named.

Because, blogsters, we Americans are the folks who love being scammed.

Eventually, we’ll probably learn, but we’ll be dead broke in the learning.

The poster on that thread is a person well-scammed.  But a scammee who loves the feel of it.


That millionaire dumpster diver

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

Think about that guy for a moment.

He was tuned into all the possibilities.  His antennae were wiggling and waving around, discounting nothing, searching for a stroke of luck, open to the possibility, the hope that a lightning strike of fate would drop something of value out of the sky on him.

That guy wasn’t looking for the ‘big win’.  He was looking for anything.

The dumpster diver was surrounded by wise, upright citizens who weren’t dumpster diving.  Every one of those people had an equal opportunity…. they passed within feet of that million dollars.  But their consciousness wasn’t sniffing the air for possibilities.

The dumpster diver was the only human being in the place who was listening to the song of abundance the universe sometimes sings.

He heard the song and he danced.


Wednesday morning

Jack wrote this in October, 2005:


Morning blogsters:

It’s a good morning for gratitude affirmations.  Every day’s good for that, but this one holds some particularly thorny challenges, making it a better candidate than most.

Aside from having a nest of dragons to fight, it’s a good day.  Gonna be a good day.  I’m grateful for it, grateful for those particular dragons, the particulars making up the ten, or so, things I’m going to remind myself to be grateful for, and figure out reasons why.

Additionally, this morning I’m gonna throw in some other kinds of affirmations so’s to remind myself that we’re all just a bunch of flawed humans, that I’m no exception, that we’re all just stumbling along making a lot of wrong turns and occasionally running red lights.  And that I’m no exception.  That anger is a destroyer of the soul of the host, that the damage is internal, not external.  That it’s a responsibility each of us carries to cleanse ourselves of anger, else it will damage, maybe destroy us.

Yep, I’ll have to spend some time on that one.

Other news:

Predawn cat fight between one of mine and one of someone else’s got my juices flowing…. They hadn’t finished their business, and they felt cheated, resentful having a human being interfere.

One of the cats got an unusual bird, left the wings, crop and legs/feet on the porch as a trophy.  Looks like a small hawk or owl from the wings, but no talons.  Dunno.

That’s about it here, this fine morning I’m grateful to be alive in.


Negative truisms and luck

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

A wealthy senator somewhere wins a jackpot and immediately the grumbling aphorisms of barely disguised class warfare mentality, jealousy and reinforcement of the ‘poor man’ mentality bob to the surface of threads.

“Yeah, grumblewhine, the rich get richer.” As though those words represented some wisdom, some worthy truth about life.

A truth that didn’t apply a few days earlier when a dumpster diver found a million dollar ticket.

The irony is obvious. People are playing the lottery because they hope to become wealthy. But they hear of something good happening to a wealthy person, and they hate it.

Let me say that again. Lottery players want to become wealthy. But many of the same players feel a dislike for wealthy people. They hate to see something good happening to a person who is what they wish to become.

In my unique reality the universe listens to that sort of words and the underlying feelings and motivations they portray. The underlying pride, the identification at some gut-level of being ‘poor’, which they almost certainly aren’t.

There are a lot of reasons for a human being not to embrace negativity, ill wishing, resentment for good that comes to others, but this one is particularly damaging, in my view.  Damaging to the soul, damaging to the psyche, and damaging to the kinds of positive energy we’d like to have in our own lives.

Throwing an anchor into the rocky bottom where misfortune resides and dragging the vessel toward it doesn’t stand much likelihood of bringing in wealth. Thumbing the nose at the incarnation of what one hopes to become isn’t one of the best ways to bring it into a life.

Strange, strange world we live in, master Jack.


The down side of unified numbers theories

Jack wrote this in November, 2005:

Morning blogsters:

I’ll be the first to acknowledge it.  Looking at number behavior as a fixed phenomenon that follows some sort of physical laws, or seems to, has a definite down side.

Last night the numbers I had picked for Powerball tonight hit on Mega Millions.

Something I’m trying to figure out how to be grateful for this morning.


I’m grateful my Powerball numbers didn’t hit on Powerball instead of Mega Millions because the Powerball jackpot’s so low I’d have only gotten enough lump sum to try all this again.

Yeah.  That’s it.


A Quick Change of Pace-Old Jules Asks:

When Jack was answering questions on a now-defunct web site (see the Ask Old Jules posts) he also asked questions in different categories. Some of them are as mundane as “How do you change from Windows 10 back to the Windows 7 version?” but others are more along the lines of the amusing posts that you’re familiar with.
Here are a handful of those, just for something different.

·  Is second-guessing the future a driving force of human history? Is the belief in logic the cornerstone?

Humans are addicted to predicting the future and betting on it.

The ancients had their oracles and prophets and based vital decisions on them. 2000 years of Christians have believed judgement day was coming during their lifetimes and the fear of it has kept the institution of Christianity alive and influencial throughout that 2000 years.

Those massive 20th Century wars happened because leaders, rulers and governments believed they could predict the future and they predicted they’d win. Half of them were completely wrong and the others weren’t right, as things played out. The sides that lost were rebuilt by resources of the sides that won immediately after WWII and the result was the collapse of the empires of the winning sides, and the eventual destructions of their own economies, industries, manufacturing infrastructures and employment.

Human beings are absolutely lousy at predicting the future, but they constantly rely on the non-ability to make vital decisions in their lives. If 20th Century leaders hadn’t believed, despite all evidence to the contrary, they could predict outcomes, the 21st Century world would be an entirely different place.

Seems to me a part of the problem is the belief in what is invariably labelled ‘logic’. That’s what rulers and leaders call their prognostications. Faulty logical constructions appear to occupy a huge place in human tragedy involving wars.

Would humanity be better served examining the history of prognostication and abandoning attempts to indulge in logic as a basis for decision-making?

Can the statement, “There’s no proof that [fill in the blank]”, ever be valid?

Doesn’t the assertion there’s no proof require a foundation of the person doing the asserting having examined [not only] all evidence, but also every other facet of existence where evidence not yet discovered might be hidden?

Proof is a difficult enough matter involving almost any assertion. But isn’t the statement, “There is no proof” just a sloppy way of admitting, “I don’t know of any proof”?

Or possibly, “I know so much about everything and I haven’t seen proof and I’d certainly have seen it by osmosis or assimilation if there was any, therefore there mustn’t be any proof”

Is the emphasis on feelings in philosophical discussion [QA] the result of feminizing?

A surprising lot of Q/A in the philosophy category are about emotion and appear to be the result of a blurred distinction between thought and emotion. Questions and answers of this sort appear to come predominantly from females, though it’s certainly shared by a lot of males.

I’ve mused on the phenomenon a considerable while and sometimes think it’s the result of commercializing emotion, using it as a sales-tool for, say, television commercials and fund raising. The fuzziness encouraged by avoidance of analytical thought in favor of ‘feel’, I’ve wondered, might have bled across into the habits of expression of lifetime viewers?

But feminization has been the source of a tsunami of subtle changes in our western perceptions of reality during the past half-century, and a deeper incorporation into, or respect for the place feeling or emotion occupies in individual and societal decision-making.

Is it the female influence leading to questions such as, “How do you feel about philosophy?”

Can the arrogant enlightened individual be redeemed by insincere displays of kindness and compassion?

When an individual is pronounced to be arrogant, though the arrogance was inadvertent or unintended, would mawkish, dishonest displays of conspicuous courtesy, compassion, emotion, and a fawning care for the feelings of others help him return to the state of non-arrogance?

Just curious.

  Does studying philosophy confuse the issues, or clarify them?

I’ve studied philosophy half a century and been into more areas of spiritual and metaphysical examination and discipline than I can remember without considerable effort. I wouldn’t swap any of it for not having done it, but having been-there-done-that puts me into an awkward position of wondering whether all that was actually necessary in terms of where I am and where I intended to be.

But reading the questions on the philosophy section and the overwhelming percentage of the answers it seems to me that maybe cutting out a lot of the heterodyne from the past couple of thousand years, pulling the kinks out of things, and cutting out some of the middle-men might provide a better platform for understanding how to think. Particularly in an environment where so much is abbreviated anyway, attention spans are limited to a few impatient moments, and half the gurus, PHD philosophy instructors, wise men, shamans, sensei[s] and martial arts enthusiasts are semi-literate anyway.

Would something along the lines of the old Volkswagen repair book, “Philosophy for the Compleat Idiot” be helpful?

·  Is there a relationship between morality and behavior?

Some of the more memorable and passionate affairs I enjoyed in my life involved women who could quote scripture chapter and verse and spent post-coital breaks sanctimoniously condemning the sluts they believed their husbands were running around with on the side. I’ve never doubted the husbands and their other women held similarly outspoken high regard for moral behavior.

I eventually came to regard morality as a distinctly different phenomenon from behavior among the morally outspoken.

Is there sometimes an overlapping between morality and the behaviors of those who possess it?

Is trust a contract on the part of one individual to fulfill the expectations of another individual?

The concept of trust appears to manifest itself in at least two different ways.

In one, it’s passive. Acceptance and recognition derived from observation of individual traits and behavioral patterns.

In the other it frequently appears to be an active, manipulative attempt of the trusting to control the behavior of the trusted without regard for the demonstrated traits, inclinations and behavior patterns of the recipient. When trust rears its head in this way it often becomes an ambiguous fabric of Chinese handcuffs gradually constricting the options of the target. A tightening ownership of the person trusting over the only-vaguely-aware trusted until breaches, tear-filled betrayal accusations and pain of the trust-web weaver inevitably result.

Is the mere projection of trust of one individual on another an implied contract on the part of the trusted to not hurt the trusting and to march in lockstep with the other slaves of the ‘honor’ of being trusted?

Is there any obligation at all on the part of the trusting if the trusted has no similar web of expectations?

Would it be unethical to sell your ID?

I saw on Yahoo news a while back that people are paying big [real] bucks for imaginary land and facilities on an online simulation game. I know a lot of people on this site probably wouldn’t buy into a thing of that sort, but there’s a segment of the user community constantly wishing they could be someone else. And a lot of them aren’t happy and wish they could buy happiness.

I’m just wondering if there mightn’t be a market for being me. I’ve spent almost seven decades becoming me, and I’m happy. A cabin, a flock of free-ranging [good] chickens comes with me, along with four great cats.

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be anyone but me, but tastes differ. A lot of people might want to be someone they could pick up a cheaper deal on.

Is this the reason they’re offering extra points for every answer? Are they trying to help their longtime, loyal users by running the prices up?

I haven’t made up my mind to sell and I’d have to consult with the chickens and cats before I agreed to it, but I’m a caring sort of man and I feel sad sometimes knowing there are so many people who can never be me.

Moonset dawn

Jack wrote this in February, 2006. To be honest, it feels almost insensitive to post given the events of the last couple of years, but since he wrote it over 15 years ago, I’ll post it anyway. –Jeanne

You made it.

No monsters, no drug-crazed uglies, no cancer from second-hand smoke, no cops kicking down the door with guns drawn interrupted your sleep-path to set you loose from this reality.

It’s another day, and all those things you feared haven’t robbed you of getting to plod through it as best you can.

There’s something to be learned from that:

All that worrying and fretting you were doing yesterday, being scared of germs, or bosses, or cars running over you, or terrorists from somewhere else in this madhouse crawling up on the beaches of America with butcher-knives clenched in their teeth didn’t come in and set off a bomb to destroy you, didn’t poison your water because they’re jealous of the perfect existence you have.

The economy didn’t collapse during the night, dissolving the value of that plastic card with the strip on back telling whether you like cream in your coffee and other essentials about you.

All’s well with the world.  The things you worried over yesterday didn’t happen.


Ho hum.


You might conclude all that worry and fear you allowed to sneak into your life yesterday to influence your thoughts and choices was wasted?

No.  It did exactly what it was supposed to do.

All that fear caused you to project negative energy and anger all around you.

It helped you make lousy choices to give you more challenges for this life.

But the sun’s up for a new day.  Time to decide whether to repeat yesterday, or leave some of that fear behind and try something else.