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Tough it out? Not so much.....

Mexican Chicken Leg Quarters from the Dutch Oven and scratch made Mexican Rice.   Spicy!

Mexican Chicken Leg Quarters from the Dutch Oven and scratch made Mexican Rice. Spicy!

I lurk in an internet forum where the topics are focused on preparing for some epic fiasco of the world. Some of it gets a little farther out there than my antenna can pick up. Know what I’m sayin’? Seems like the majority of the contributors are young fellas, full of piss and vinegar, ready to go all Rambo on somebody’s butt at the drop of a hat. So mostly I just read and stay quiet and do my best to separate the fly shit from the pepper. One of those young fellas started a thread a month or so back about how him and his wife were going to do a ‘dry run’ and live off what they had on hand for 30 days.  No trips to the store for nada.  Now, mind you, he wasn’t going to flip the main breaker and go without electricity or turn off the water out at the meter or put police tape across the toilet bowl.  Just he wasn’t going to go to the store.  I filed his project away as mildly interesting and was floored when responses to his endeavor started flooding in.  You woulda thought he discovered penicillin or somesuch.  I grabbed some popcorn and settled in for some infotainment.  He posted just about every day about warming up his MREs in the microwave or grabbing some steaks  out of the freezer and how bland canned food was yada yada yada.  He was one tough sumbitch you know and they was sure nuff roughing it.  Little Wifey started complaining on Day Two seems like and she was progressively amping up the volume. Poor fella.

I guess it was Day 6 when he came online and said they had just got back from the store.  Him and Little Wifey had a kitchen table discussion the previous night about how unhealthy it was to NOT be eating fresh food.  His shopping list at the store was fresh vegetables and fruit, milk, eggs ……. and yogurt.  Yogurt was important!  Oh BEER!  They were out of beer.    His Scenario played out for the full 30 days and all the internet fanboys were piling on talking about what a ‘learning experience’  it was and how ‘hardcore’  him and Little Wifey were. The weekly trips to the store continued the full 30 days. I had to set back at that point and figure out everything I knew about this little dealio.

I am no handsomer nor smarter than the average guy but I stamped the project ‘Epic Fail’ at Day 6 when he went to the Super Saver!  Come on dude!   If Katrina just wiped your ass out or the zombie horde swept up your driveway, you seriously going to pressurize and fall apart over yogurt and beer?  I been living pretty much his scenario real life since July 5th when Little Blondie blew off down South.  So looks like I am about 48 days in to my little lifestyle change  — except I ain’t playing.  I knew she was leaving before I went to Tucson for the week.  I expected her to stick around long enough for one of us to make a supply run to town plus I was beat down from driving 900 miles non-stop.  Didn’t happen that way;  she headed South a little more than an hour after I pulled in.  She had been to the store 10 days previous so supplies were pretty low on most perishables.  My first supply run was 23 days later.  And you know what,   I made it pretty good.   I was out of charcoal for the Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove but some chunks of mesquite out of the right of way worked just fine.   The pantries were deep and the freezer was full.  My  supply runs are now set at 30 day intervals and the grocery list and pen live right beside the lap top all the time.


Long hair hippie man

I preach all the time about buying goods and equipment and then leaving it sit until you are in the middle of an emergency to drag it out.  That just will not work I am tellin’ ya!  There is always something else you need to go with it or the learning curve is too steep to do it on the fly.  That means I had to make adjustments to my plan and I am still tweaking it.  When I go to the HEB up at Pearsall, they generally have some sort of family pack meat on sale.  I load up and when I get back to the Princess Palace, out comes the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System and I portion the big packs out and then right to the freezer.  Doing it versus talking it to death showed me I had to do something about dirty laundry and haircuts.  I solved the laundry problem real handy with the Panda Compact Washing Machine which continues to do a great job.

The hair cuttin’ was something else altogether.  Little Blondie steadfastly refused to cut my hair and with good reason I reckon.  She knew I would be a whiny little bitch if she messed it up but this long hair curling over my collar was driving me bat shit crazy not to mention it being hotter than 5 kinds of hell these days. Somethin’ just had to give.  Well, I figured one of those hair clippers with the cutting attachments was the way go but I wasn’t all that sure I could contortion up enough to cut my own hair.  I got an empty water bottle I figured was about the same same size as a set of clippers and run it all over my head just to see if it was doable.

They call me MISTER Buzz Cut dammit!

They call me MISTER Buzz Cut dammit!

Well, it seemed so anyway and Amazon Prime came through with a Wahl Hair Clipper-26 Piece Kit that looked pretty good to me PLUS it is Made in the USA. I read the little pamphlet that guaranteed me to cut hair like a pro in 10 easy steps.  They said nothing about the hair cut being self inflicted.   I waited till the gate slowed to nothing and stepped in the bathroom to get it done.   When that first double hand full of hair fell in the sink, I knew I was all in.  About the only part I couldn’t see really good was the backside down at the bottom.  It may be as curvy as a county road in West Virginia;  I couldn’t tell you.  Wouldn’t be exactly manly to ask one of these roughnecks if I cut my hair straight in the back so I reckon I will just live with it however. The waste basket in the bathroom ended up being over half full of hair.  Lord help, no wonder I was overheating!

So life goes on and it is always worth getting up each morning. Labor Day will mark our my two year anniversary here on the same ranch.  It sure is a good gig.

Colonel Cooper says

Having been mildly annoyed by the commonplace salutation, “Have a nice day!” for some years now, we were delighted recently when, after filling our tank and taking our money, our local friendly fuel dealer waved at us and said, “Shoot straight!” We intend to adopt that expression, and we hope that our friends will too.

End Note:  Keep On Keepin’ On by Jack Ingram from the Electric cd  –  Last one before Nashville ruint a good man


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I got a dog

You ever heard of a divorce that was all rainbows, puppies and soft bunnies?  Me neither; I think it not possible. Everybody has weeds in their roses. It is called Life.   Seeing as how I have been here and done this a few, uhhhh, times in the past,  I can rate this one as a 7 out of a possible 10 on the ‘F You UP’  scale.  The Long Marriage closed out a decade ago and it was a soul searing Perfect 10. I still twitch and gibber when I recall that personal hell on earth that lasted an interminable time.

Little Blondie can’t not lie.  I think the grammar Nazis call that a double negative but no other sentence describes it in more perfect fashion.  Many things can cause a marriage to fail.  Not keeping your panties on could be one. Then again,  keeping your panties on when your husband would clearly prefer them to be kicked over in the corner ain’t so great either.  Stealing from your spouse could be a reason to split but speaking from personal experience,  it can be easily forgiven.  Stuff is easily replaced and mostly inconsequential in the Cosmic Continuum.   But being a consistent liar is a deal breaker.  It has to be and I don’t get to make the rules on this one.  A liar introduces doubt with every word uttered into a Holy Union where I count on my partner to have my back without question.  A liar also disrespects the person they lie to.  Every lie cut away a small piece of my heart to the point I had little left to live on.

Tuco - The Good Dog

Tuco – The Good Dog

So it came to pass Little Blondie worked really, really hard and landed a good security job here in the oil patch.  I was truly proud of her because I was fearful her physical disabilities, prescription drug addiction daily prescribed opioid use due to pain and mental/moral lassitude would be a hindrance. She pulled it off and did what she had to do.  When the chips are down, she is a hard bitten true survivor.  I got an email along about then that started out sorta like this here ‘Pay attention.   Have I got a deal for you……’

Hmmmm.  Somehow or the other I had gone from being a doormat at the shithouse threshold to a stellar and magnificent man in 24 hours.  Something must be amiss; ya think?   In oil patch fashion, her new job was two weeks on /two weeks off.   I thought to myself that will suit her well because the grind really drags her down and two weeks to recharge is a good thing.  The reason she was all kissy-kissy was she wanted me to keep Tuco the Dog while she was doing her two weeks at the man camp.  I was nonplussed at such aberrant expectations and sent back this one line reply ‘You can’t be serious?????’   Move on, end of story.

3 weeks later, 4 days before she was due to start the new job, she made a trip to the Palace to exchange bowling equipment for direly needed cash.  Nothing like buying the same same bowling equipment twice. She also filled a supply list for me since I was two weeks past the last town trip. Thank you for that caring act LB. There was a kissy-kissy tang in the air and my spidey senses were jangling. As I was unloading the Durango, I noticed a case of Tuco food in the back.  Uh oh I says to myself.  We visited around a little bit and I was enjoying the company and seeing the both of them when the tears and hand wringing commenced.  She had found a kennel to board Tuco the Dog for two weeks but, you know, Tuco the Dog was a sensitive and precocious animal and she had never been caged and she knew how much I loved that dog………….

People our age with a loved pet know when I say a dog is almost like a child to us.  Especially a fine dog that spends every waking minute with you as a companion,  never relegated to a back yard or neglected on the end of a tie out chain.  They become a part of your life just as intrinsically as your young children did decades previous.  Tuco the Dog admirably filled that role and I have never known a finer animal.  In any divorce, the children suffer most.  Even the dog kids.  How do their little lemon sized brains process the fact that one of their masters is no longer present?  I couldn’t tell you and it pains me a great deal to even ponder it.  I will say Tuco the Dog did her best to crawl right up in my lap while I was sitting at the dinette.  It made my heart swell out of my chest.  Abiding and true love is a wondrous thing.

So I stepped outside of the lies, stealing and cheating perpetrated on me by a woman with a heart of obsidian and agreed to dog sit for Little Blondie for two weeks.  Tuco the Dog is loving life and so am I.  She knows who she is and what her role is at the Princess Palace.  Just like she never left. Fine silky dog hair wafts on the floor fan breeze in the Palace. Errant caliche dirt makes its’ way inside on dog paws. Little enough price to pay as I would gladly pay a cost far higher. My heart sings when I glance down at her laying at my feet.  One day at a time. friends and neighbors, one day at a time.

Parting Shot: Today is Little Blondie’s 46th birthday.  Many happy returns of the day.  Honest.


Colonel Cooper says

As we approach the birthday of Theodore Roosevelt we are tempted to enjoy as much of his writing as we can. I was shown the quotation that follows in connection with the popular discussion of “The Multi-cultural Society.”

“The one absolute certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to be become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”

End Note: Ain’t Love Strange by Paul Thorn from the So Far So Good cd.  Sometimes you just say F**k It! and spin up some Paul Thorn. What other singer you know crawled in the squared ring with Roberto Duran?

“God will love you if you put on that blue polka dot mini skirt with black stiletto heels.”

What he said…….

Paul Thorn, Elvin Bishop and Delbert McClinton

Good and tight – rockin’ the night. If you don’t know of Paul Thorn; you should.

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