Tag Archives: Kerrville

Kinky Friedman: “Israel is Texas in the Middle East”

Hi readers.  I’ve been enjoying Kinky Friedman’s songs since the early 1970s.  Back when his band was, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.  I don’t agree with him in a lot of ways, but his views are, at least, worth hearing and considering.

The only country-western song ever written about the Holocaust, Ride’em Jewboy, stands up as one of the best CW songs of the 20th Century in my opinion.  Give it a listen.

Heck, he’s the founder of the Utopia Animal Mission rescuing stray dogs.  He can be wrong about a lot without being wrong about a lot else.

In a lot of ways he didn’t intend I think he’s probably right when he says Israel is Texas in the Middle east.  It used to be Ireland in the Middle East until the Northern Irish got tired of blood feuding with the kinfolks over religion.  But Texas never met a war it didn’t like and killing and exploiting the weak and powerless is a song that resonates among them.  A lot more than Ride’em Jewboy ever did.

Old Jules

Tequila sunrise

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

Old Ms. Niaid managed to off Brother Rattler without any consequences evidently, so she’s going to have to find something else to flesh out her life experience, I reckons. Her long hair’s growing back from the sheep shearing when the hot weather hit, and it’s filling up with beggar’s lice and grass burrs, which might serve to fend off whatever’s around here dangerous to aging bachelorette felines.

Ms. Tabby, on the other hand, has a nose and front-of-her-face of the usual Tabby-summertime variety. Can’t keep her nose out of cactus, or out of the business of something capable of adding color and romance to an otherwise nondescript Tabby face. I’m thinking when we get out of here she might turn out to be a regular-looking cat.

I decided yesterday I’m going to add mothballs to that storage building to get those rattlers out where they can enjoy life instead of bickering and snarling inside that dark storage building. Can’t tell when someone’s going to want something else out of there and the anxiety level trying to find it ain’t worth not stepping on a snake some night going from the RV to the cabin to check my email.

Today I’m going to nurse the Escape Route V 2.51 into Kerrville on three tires on back and have the two blown ones replace with respectable 10 ply exceptions to the rule. Provided the spare on the ground right-rear doesn’t decide to blow the plan. I’ll try to take back roads and get the roadwork done early before the pavement gets too hot.

Keith emailed me a while back he’s planning to be in New Mexico late August or September, and I’m going to tentatively plan on getting out to visit while he’s in the area. Hopefully by then everything will be settled out here and I’ll be able to think of out-there as home for a while.

Maybe get me a nice little piece of ocean-side ground on the east, or west coast of New Mexico, once all the damned ice goes away and raises sea-level to a reasonable altitude. 4000′ mean sea level might be about right. Maybe the cats and I will open a little bait shop on the west coast near where Arizona used to be. Or maybe rig a surfboard and hang ten mornings after we pray the sun up.

I figure the west coast will probably be less jam packed with Arizonians than the east coast will be with Texans because those Texans already all go to New Mexico deliberately to ski and gamble at Ruidoso and Angel Fire. Arizonians and Californians never go to New Mexico deliberately unless they’re just going through it to get somewhere else.

By the time they wake up and discover they’re living in a salt-water swimming hole I’ll have things nailed down on all the corners, wave to them as they swim to shore, or ride in on their bass boats. Sell them some bait, maybe.

Big plans for the future here.

Old Jules

Quid Pro Quo Chainsaw-wise

The old Poulan chainsaw’s always done me a good job of work until the priming bubble burst:  For Want of a Nail – Something Worth Knowing Chainsaw-wiseI eventually found a replacement at a place a few miles out Highway 27, midway to Center Point.  Double M Equipment Service.

I installed the primer bulb, but no joy.  It wasn’t sucking gas.  I pulled things apart enough to see the fuel line had become brittle and a piece of it was broken off inside the gas tank.   The whole thing appeared to be iffy, and I honestly didn’t want to spend any of my frustrations messing with it.  I need those frustrations for other things.

So I decided to put that saw into a place where they did that sort of thing, let them do it.  Never put a chainsaw in a shop before, but it’s the experience I’m after this lifetime.  I ain’t in this for the money.

So I went back to Double M Equipment Service, midway to Center Point on Highway 27, spang walked in and whistled to myself until the lady looked up from something important she was doing.  [Fans, Compromises and Drowning in Over-My-Head Math].

I could tell right away I was imposing on her, but I explained about my saw and she handed me a piece of paper for me to write it down, which I considered prudent.  She handed me a tag with a number on it.  “Be sure you put your phone number on there.  I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

I couldn’t remember my phone number, so I wrote down what might, but probably wasn’t Gale’s number.

How long you reckon it’s going to be?  I only get into town every couple of weeks.  I’ll just swing by and check.”

“No.  It’s running two-and-a-half weeks, average.  I’ll call you as soon as it’s ready.”

“I’m a hard man to get on the phone.  I’ll just call or stop by next time I’m in town.”

“No.  I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

This friendly lady was Lisa, according to the business card.  Mark and Lisa, it said.  Double M Equipment Service.  Lisa.

Three weeks later I stopped in, asked about it and Lisa advised me it wasn’t ready yet, but she’d call when it was.  “Eh?”  My hand behind my ear.  “I’m sort of hard of hearing.  Can’t hear the phone ring.

Two weeks later I stopped by again.  This time it wasn’t ready, but it was next on the list, friendly Lisa explained.  Next week it wasn’t ready again, she didn’t know why. 

Heck, maybe I’m getting the time passage mixed up.  It went in around April 17.  At least that’s when I mentioned it on the blog post.

Anyway, after X number of trips by there and X number of weeks without a chainsaw, I stopped in and friendly Lisa said it was ready.  $65 US.  Called Mark from the back and he brought it up.  “I replaced that gas cap for you so you don’t have to take it off with a wrench anymore.”

The cap’s slotted so’s a screwdriver can be fitted in perpendicular for taking it off.  Never had a problem with it.  Guess Mark never noticed that feature.

Anyway, I got the saw home, found it still doesn’t prime, but if a person pulls the recoil starter long enough mostly it will eventually start.  Runs a few minutes, long enough to cut down a cedar as thick as your bicep before it runs dry of gas.  At which time a person does the whole process again.

$65 US.  Double M Equipment Service, Highway 27 E & Laurel Way, Kerrville, Texas.  Mark and Lisa.

Tell ’em I said hello.

But I’ve digressed.

What I wanted to tell you about in this post is that when I was picking up that chainsaw I asked Lisa whether there was a good cafe anywhere nearby.  She told me about a good hamburger joint just beyond the crossroads in Center Point.

Good place, decent price.  Middling better than average hamburger.

I’m obliged knowing about it.

Old Jules

A Few Noticings in Town

The sign and that line of people outside the building suggests the Christians in Washington mightn’t have anything in common with regular old actual Christians of the old actual Christianity faith.

I don’t know what they’re doing to help those people in there, being a non-Christian, but they must be doing something.  That line stretches all the way out into the parking lot.

I don’t need a gas grille, but if I did I’d have snapped this one up from the Salvation Army:

It’s missing the burners and regulator, cheap to add and retrofit, looks barely used, but the price is amazing:

Only thing I can figure is the Chinese have bought out Harley Davidson:

Damned thing is 200cc and has a pull starter like a lawn mower.  They charge extra for ape-hangers.

But it looks as though they’re also wanting to cash in on some of the automotive company bailouts:

Notice the suicide shift above the right fender.  You have to turn loose the steering wheel to shift gears.  Can’t imagine how they got that through Ralph Nader’s US Department of Transportation and Welfare.

Best for last, though.  Here’s a free crapper and exercycle from Habitat for Humanity:

Tempting, but I’ve already got the one, and I get my exercise just trying to stay alive.  Fact of life.

Old Jules

Loudon Wainwright– Glad To See You Got Religion

White Trash Repairs – The Dumpster Telescope

The Salvation Army Thrift Store, July 2009

Tube, flange and swivel – Salvation Army Thrift store – July 2009. No eyepieces, broken tripod.  Looked too much like junk to find a willing buyer.

It’s been a longish while since I owned a good telescope, an 8″ tube with a tracker drive to allow watching deep space objects or the moon without having to constantly chase the targets.  Since that time I’ve confined my star gazing to a pair of binoculars on a camera tripod unless some acquaintance owned a good one and invited me in for an evening.

But in July, 2009, I found an Orbitor 8500 Chinese tube in the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Kerrville with a sad, badly-used look to it and an unrealistic price tag.  I examined it carefully, then wandered around the store pretending to look at other merchandise while watching other customers when they got near it.  My thought was that if I saw someone getting too interested and likely to snag it I’d beat them to the counter and plunk down the unrealistic money with a pre-emptive strike.

After a while I moseyed back and talked to a couple of guys who were scowling at it.  I shook my head about it, talking about it not having a drive, speculating how much it would cost getting eyepieces, what a shame it was the tripod was junk.  We agreed a person would be a fool to take it home at any price.  Likely that mirror, I pointed out, was as much a piece of junk as the rest of it.

We all wandered away, and I picked up a couple of books off the 25 cent shelf.  After those two guys left I went back and made a show of frowning at it a while longer before I went over to the counter to talk it over with the lady I’d done a goodly amount of haggling with in the past who knew what to expect from me.

Somebody’s going to be back arguing with you if you sell them that telescope and they take it home and try to use it.”  I fiddled around in my pocket for change to pay for the books.

What’s wrong with it?”

If they don’t know what they’re paying for they’ll get it home and end up with something they can’t use.  It’s a cheap Chinese-made thing to start out with, but the tripod’s broken, for starters.  Someone didn’t take care of it.  Probably a kid got it for Christmas and lost interest by New Year, pushed it into the corner until he broke it.” 

I plunked down my money for the books.  “Do you suppose the guys in back let the eyepieces get separated from it?  Nobody can use it without eyepieces and they’re expensive.  Might not even be able to get the right diameter ones easily.  If you could find the eyepieces someone might buy it at some price.”

Eventually I agreed to haul it off for five bucks if she’d promise to try to find the eyepieces and hold them for me if they turned up.  She doubted seriously they’d be found, but I had in mind to buy salvage lenses off the web and turn down something to put them into out of wood on Gale’s lathe.

But there was still the problem of the drive and the tripod.  I spent the next couple of years picking up junk telescopes and parts at garage sales and other thrift stores.

Collecting parts from other stores:

Primarily I was after a tracker drive and eyepieces but I ended up with a lot else.

Then, this summer I found this for $5:

Batteries are dead, telescope is trash, wrong size cove for tube. Tripod’s great. One good eyepiece. Great price. Humane Society Thrift Store July 2011.  In a thrift store environment dead batteries most equal disfunctional. They might be right. These are still dead.
 But all that can hopefully be managed.  Meanwhile, back in the Salvation Army Thrift store this summer I was down at the end of the glass counters and noticed a dusty baggie with eyepieces in it.  When the lady who sold me the telescope in 2009 finished ringing up a customer I got her attention.
That bag full of lenses in that end counter,” I pointed.  “How much are you asking for them?”
She came for a look.  “Oh, I can’t sell those.  They told me to hold them in case the guy who bought the telescope comes back for them.” 
Then she looked at me, down at the lenses and back at me her face dawning realization.  “YOU’RE the one who bought the telescope!”
Yeah, I am.”
 It’s still got some work ahead.  I have to do some figuring how to get a cove that fits the tube attached to the drive, if the drive can be made to work.  But something will turn up one way or another.  The Coincidence Coordinators will make certain of that.

I have a permanent position selected out in the meadow for the observatory once I’ve got something with a tracking drive put together and have hauled enough rocks and tin for walls and dome.

If I’m around long enough and if this place remains available for me to live here, I’m going to have an observatory.

Meanwhile I use StarCalc 5.73 [free download] to keep track of what’s going on in the sky, along with the Multi-Year Interactive Computer Almanac software from the US Naval Observatory for fine tuning calculations.

Old Jules

Pendulum Star

Pendulum star
Swings to and fro
While maggot-earth
Digests his legions
Tick tock
Tick tock

Minute-hand moon
Sucks tick tock tides
Through Paleozoic hours
Quaternary days
Pleistocene weeks
Tick tock
Tick tock

Scurry flourish
Scratch peel
And rot
Tick tock
Tick tock

Pendulum star
Swings to and fro.
Minute-hand moon
Sucks tick tock tides
Maggot-earth digests
Tick tock
Tick tock

Copyright 2003, NineLives  Press

Choose Something Like a Star– Randall Thompson
words by Robert Frost