Tag Archives: redneck repairs

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

The Fantastic Foreign Flip-Flop Flim-Flam

There’s a grave crisis looming, readers.  Time was when good American foots were protected by good American-made flip-flops.  They never failed.  Those old timey flip-flops lasted until they’d absorbed so much foot odor a hog would turn up its nose at them.  Normal landfills rejected them, demanded they be treated as hazardous waste.

But that’s all changed.  You see how those straps come out?  See how the layers of soles separate, sneakily intended to render the entire thing useless?  That’s the Asian plan for taking over the flip-flop world.

They think there’s nothing a good American can do about it, but they’re wrong.   If you can remember to pick up some Gorilla Glue you can make those babies run until they stink, just like the good American ones did.  In the top pic you can see those had been glued, but not sufficiently and the soles peeled open elsewhere.

I ran out of glue in the process, so I’ve had to store up my flim-flammed-flip-flops until I can remember to pick up another bottle.  Which is going to need to be soon, because I’m down to two [2] intact flip-flops, both for the same foot.

Next trip to town for sure, I’m getting me some Gorilla Glue, get my foots back into some respectable footware for two different feet.

Old Jules

Seven Dollar Air vs Renewable Air

Hi readers.  Thanks for the visit.  I’ve got the side-panel back onto the comp and the dust is settling, so I suppose I’ve cheated computer-death once more.

I’ve neglected the redneck repairs side of blog entries for a while, so I’m offering this up for the poor, the hungry, the huddled masses without air conditioning or filtered air in their homes.

Texas is determined to find its way into my computer.  I read blogs and websites offering reminders to “spring clean that comp!”  and I just shake my head in wonder.  Every computer I’ve owned during the past 20 years I’ve been living without air conditioning would have needed a jackhammer and backhoe to get the dirt out if I cleaned it once a year.

Probably the never, never, never school of 21st Century certainties will find the following inadvisable.  I suggest you believe them if it resonates with you.

But if you’re a person who’s not confident buying cans of compressed air at $7 US per whack to blow dirt out of your computer presents an unacceptable level of risk, you might try this.

These are air pumps.  They’re designed to take air out of the sky and blow it in a fine stream under pressure at a target of opportunity.  Maybe an air mattress.  Maybe a bicycle tire.  Or perhaps, the inside of a computer.

Each of these was purchased from a thrift store at a cost of less than $3 US.

They have the disadvantage of allowing themselves to be used for years, repeatedly doing the same thing without going empty.  They have a second disadvantage of not providing the user with a stack of empty cans to dispose of.  And they have a third disadvantage of not costing $7 anytime during their lifetimes.

The people who sell compressed air for $7 per can will tell you the reason a person shouldn’t do this involves the risk of humidity, compressed in the pump, condensing on the computer parts when it decompresses, venturi-like.  You should be able to test the premise by directing the nozzle of your pump onto the surface of a mirror and observing whether any moisture condenses there.

 The other risk they’ve thought up involves static electricity being created by the friction of the pump damaging something inside the computer.

The people who believe them will verify for you that the reasons the the expensive canned-air bidness folks have dreamed up to justify the need for their product are valid. 

If you prefer to believe them you’d be well advised to just buy air at the going price.  And if you have some extra money lying around, invest in air futures.  It’s already a lot higher than gasoline at the pump, and the air-manufacturing brothers-in-spirit of the folks selling you gas are learning from them.

I suppose I’m just old fashioned.  I drink water out of a well, mostly, instead of buying bottled water.

Old Jules


A few previous Redneck Repairs posts here:

White Trash Repairs and Fixes – Owls and Rock ‘n Roll

Artful Communications – White Trash Repairs 3

Fire Ants, Dishwashing and Drought

Building A Salvage Chicken-Hilton – One Man Band

Cat houses and such

Cathouse urgencies

House Coon and Cat Houses Update

Weird Thrift Store Haul

I don’t have a clue what this thing was originally intended to do.

Neither did the people running the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I watched the value reflected in the price tag for about six weeks falling from the original $50 to $14.95. 

Every time I went in there I folded it, unfolded it, stood it up this way and that way, squinted at it trying to figure out what it was for, but seeing other possible uses the people who designed it never thought of.

This thing is a tough, expensive piece of work. 

It was evidently intended to lock something in, or out.

And clamp to something along one side.

Whatever it might have been, it’s about to become a part of something else.  I pointed out to the manager that it’s been there at least six weeks.

He picked it up and examined it every which way, same as I’d been doing.

What do you suppose it is?”

“I figure it’s a way to block off the wind going through the chainlink door into my chicken house.  They just added a lot of extra parts.”

“Five bucks?”

“I’ll take it.”

“Bring me some eggs next time you come to town.”

Old Jules

Artful Communications – White Trash Repairs 3

That’s my telephone line running horizontally across the pre-dawn.  It used to didn’t look precisely as it does now.  For a while, maybe a couple of years that piece of plastic electrical tape wasn’t hanging down from it, giving it a tidier, more professional appearance.

Before that, even, it had the standard non-innovative, regular stretched-across-to-the-house look you find in other, less interesting, living places.

When I moved into this cabin several years ago that phone line was one boring piece of wire with plastic insulation.  All over this planet unimaginative people are gazing at telephone lines going to their houses, probably wondering what they could do to add some savoir faire, something with flair, to the scene.

Luckily, mine was the result of careful planning and artful inspiration.

The first few years I lived here this land was plagued with cows the owner of the place didn’t own, but didn’t want to put the money into fencing out.  Fencing this place well enough to keep cows out would run in the neighborhood of $10,000, maybe higher.

But Texas, being the forward-thinking place it is, doesn’t require a person who wants to run cows to provide fences to keep them inside grazing on his own land.  Texas figures if someone doesn’t want livestock belonging to someone else running all over him eating his grass, tearing things up, knocking things over, Texas, I was going to say, figures a narrow-minded person of that sort needs to put his money where his mouth is and build a fence.

The default position is that a cow’s gotta do what a cow’s gotta do and the onliest way a cow can be kept from doing it is for someone who doesn’t like it to belly up to the bar and pay to keep her from doing it.  Beef prices being what they are you sure as hell can’t expect the man running the herd to pay for fencing them in.  He’d be robbing himself of graze surrounding his own holdings.  He’d be cutting into his own profit, lifestyle, devil-take-the-hindmost image, and he’d be eroding the tradition ranchers all over the west have worked hard for generations to maintain of being lowlife, cheap, greedy, penny-pinching scum who would do anything for a buck.

But I’ve digressed.  I wanted to tell you about my phone line, how it came to pass that it needed to change from a regular piece of unbroken wire into the work of art you see before you in that pic.

There were cows running all over this place when I got here.  They weren’t scared of anyone, nor anything, because they’d had it demonstrated nobody was going to shoot them and go to jail for it.  The man who owned them lived a long way off somewhere, never checked on them, never fed them, and the drought going on here had left them some of the poorest, scrawniest, lousiest cows a person could want.  There wasn’t a blade of grass on this, on any of the several other unfenced properties where they ran, more than an inch high.

But cows get lonely, even when they aren’t wanted.  Out in the woods spending the night they can’t find water hoses to chew to pieces, things to knock over, break, buildings to rub up against to get rid to the fleas and ticks plaguing them.  So, when those cows were here they loved to gather up around Gale’s house up on the hill, and around this cabin.  We tried everything short of building an expensive bunch of fences to keep them out.

But I need to get to the telephone and quit this rambling.

One night when I’d had a bellyful of cows already I heard them outside the window.  Things were falling and the sounds of them rubbing against other things told me to get the spotlight and have a look-see.  Might have been 20-30 cows out there, a few feet from the window.

I grabbed the 12 gauge from behind the door, ran outside in my birthday suit, lifted that shotgun to my shoulder and carefully shot my telephone line in two.  It was dark, but I heard it fall, knew something was amiss, but I could hear the fridge running, so I knew I still had electricity.
Next morning I looked around for something I could use to splice it back together, then twist around to get it back up sky-level instead of hanging around low for someone to forever be tripping on or cows chewing to pieces.

Art is function.  Art is simplicity.  Art conveys emotion, the human condition, the need of humans to communicate with other humans.

When you’re driving along and you see this sign it means you are in a free-ranging area and that the man running cows without having to fence them off the public right-of-way will get a prize-breeding-stock price for his beef from your insurance company if he can arrange a way for you to run one over.

That’s the reason you see straw scattered on the blacktop and in the grader ditch.

Old Jules

Afterthought:  One positive thing about having those cows around was that Shiva the Cowcat and I used to spend a lot of quality time together running around the hills chasing those cows off with a slingshot.  It kept me in shape and provided Shiva the Cowcat with cheap thrills of having something big run from her. Shiva misses those cows something awful.

Eddy Arnold – The Lonesome Cattle Call