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an email

this mail was sent to kathy aka miss k aka little blondie on 11/24/2015. excerpted below……..


6 weeks ago I thought Tuco was a little off.  Some discomfort maybe, I don’t know. I thought maybe I was just being hypersensitive.  She needed her shots anyway so I took her to the little vet in Carizzo Springs.  He gave her a good exam and his best guess was a little metritus  and recommended getting her spayed.

A week later I got a gate farther north and took her to the good vet with the expertise and diagnostic equipment to give her stellar treatment. By now, she was panting more than I thought she should and had some very slight weakness in her legs.  The vet did a total workup and her bloodwork, kidneys, liver everything looked normal. He also did a tick panel for Lyme disease and Chagas which was negative.  An EKG showed minor abnormalities at this point.  We scheduled the spay for the following week.

By the next week she had degenerated even farther with the panting and weakness.  She was still eating and drinking OK and bodily functions were fine.  When I took her in, they were concerned she had lost 6 lbs and her respiration and heart rate were up.  They decided not to operate and did a sonogram.

The next day they called and said to bring her back.  Her heart was greatly enlarged from 2 weeks previous and she was building up fluid around it, in her lungs and abdominal cavity.  They definitely diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy at this time. They gave me some pills to ease her pain and some more pills for the heart condition. The vet said cardiomyopathy is a recognized congenital disease of Gordons FWIW.

I took her back weekly for the next two weeks. The last time was this past Wednesday.  Each time she was markedly worse and weighed only 41lbs on this visit.  She had quit eating on her own though she till drank.  I was feeding her baby food 6X a day with a syringe. It had gotten to the point she could no  longer go up and down the stairs on the RV or even jump up on the couch.  I carried her in and out to do her business and even walking a few steps caused her chest to heave.

I do not believe she was in any pain at all and the discomfort seemed minimal with the medications.  I fixed her a soft pallet on the floor with a pillow to lay her head on and I would put her up on the couch to rest as well.  She was sleeping comfortably it appeared most of the day and night.

Yesterday, I contacted the vet and told them I thought it was time to put her down.  She had quit drinking and I  had to resort to giving her water with powdered gatorade via the syringe.   I requested them to come down here and do it in the RV where she felt safe and comfortable even though the charge was going to be $250. She had gotten to the point that loading her up in the Suburban was very stressful because she knew we were going to the doctor.  It was scheduled for today and I had secured permission to bury her here in a nice spot behind the RV.

Last night at around 2300 I carried her outside to pee and then lifted her up to go back inside.  I closed the door and went to lock up the Suburban.  I heard a thunk sound like she makes when she lays down. When I came back inside the RV she had collapsed and was dead.  I figure a massive heart attack with instantaneous death. There was no sign of thrashing around.  She just fell over dead and I believe it was painless and she did not suffer a single little bit.

I am crying now-   again.  Fuck

Ok, so I got the brush and brushed her coat out all nice and pretty and wrapped her up in that  patchwork blanket my Mom made for me decades ago that Tuco laid on in the back of the Suburban.  We buried her this morning just after daylight.

It is what it is and I miss her horribly.  I am sorry.



 Tuco the Dog

Tuco the Dog    2008 -2015.     Loyal, steadfast, ever vigilant, much loved



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The Resurrection of Little Blue - EPIC FAIL!

Early Summer at the Secret Hideout

Early Summer at the Secret Hideout

If y’all have been following along, you will recall my Yamaha EF2000iS Inverter Generator failed me back in June when I was about 100 days into the hanging out at the Secret Hideout. A fairly serious event bein’ as how the Secret Hideout is off grid and a generator was my sole source of electricity.

Now one of the reasons I bought a Yamaha instead of one of those Chinaman generators from Home Depot was reliability and service after the purchase.  Gate guarding down here in the Puckerbrush you live or die by your generator and I don’t pussy foot nor cut corners when it comes to a generator.   I know that. I have lived it.

I had good thoughts about getting Little Blue fixed up;  I really did.  I looked up the closest Yamaha Factory Service Center and it turned out to be  Marineland Boating Center on the south side of Waco.  I called ’em up and spoke to TJ who is the Service Manager at Marineland Boating Center in Waco.

I am repeating myself on purpose here folks  (Marineland Boating Center Waco)  because I want Google to pick this blog entry up and make the Google Fu strong on this page for anything to do with the Yamaha Service Center at Marineland Boating Center in Robinson.TX.   Seems like my tolerance of unruly, poor behavior is going up here lately.  A good thing for damned sure. I did not enjoy managing my temper every hour of every livelong day.  Been some time since I did a good cut-the-meat-off-the-bone rant much less cut loose on some 80 percent sumbitches.  But that is ‘zactly where we are headed this Saturday before Thanksgiving 2015.
Best send the small chl’rens outta the room now and strap in.  Oh, there might be some cussin’ — so’s all you Good Baptists know before hand ’cause I can feel it building up inside me.  By the time I sup through 2-3 more cups of coffee and a good pipe, there just might be some folks all butt hurt by this post.  It is what it is.

So where was I? Yeah, TJ, the Service Manager at Marineland Boating Center in Waco (more fu).  I told TJ what was going on with Little Blue and he let me know right up front it would be 2-3 weeks before they could even look at it.  I did some mental arithmetic to see how that was gonna gee haw with my planned departure out of Central Texas in August.   2 months or more to get ‘er done?  Pshaw!  I  reckon!  I loaded Little Blue and Tuco the Dog up in the Big Ass Suburban and headed out for a 150 mile roundtrip.  No small decision when you barely have the jingle for the necessities like cold beer.   We found Marineland Boating easy peasy and checked in with TJ.  I dropped off  Little Blue and was surprised when he told me no paperwork was necessary and no receipt for the drop off was due to me.  That shoulda been my first red flag.  Lack of documentation is a refuge for scoundrels.

I was at my servile and mannerly best over the next few weeks.  I would call TJ on the schedule he suggested to get updates and status reports. I respected the supposed fact that he was a busy fella.  Even when it niggled in the back of my mind that everything took at least a week, whether it be ordering parts or diagnostics,  I went along with Marineland Boating’s wishes.  The drop dead date of me heading back out to South Texas was getting ever closer and still no firm pickup date for Little Blue.  More problems were found with the brushes or stator or somesuch after the generator had already been in-house for a month and we were all the time creepin’ up on the day when I was going to be 300 miles south of Waco.

Well, ol’ TJ missed my cutoff by 10 days -even though I had give him 30 days heads up.  When he called, all happy and shit, to tell me the generator was ready for pickup all I could ask was for him to hold on to it until I could schedule a full day off to make the roundtrip to Waco and pick it up.   I finally got around to making the trip and just this past week I got enough time and purty weather to test run Little Blue.

Good times at the Secret Hideout

Good times at the Secret Hideout

I pulled the back cover off to check the oil and noticed it was sort of twisted askew and not joined up right.  The top right screw that secured the cover was new and longer than the OEM screw on the other side.  Evidently, the longer screw was required to catch the threads now with the cover all whomper jawed to one side.   I also noticed oil in the case  — most likely left over from before the fix, right????  The oil level was OK and I went around to the front panel to fire it up and when I turned the fuel shutoff on, I noticed it was mighty hard to twist.  A closer look showed it had been put back on crooked.  When I reached up to turn the Run switch on, the rubber cover was only catching on one side of the switch.   The little soft clear rubber cover protects the switch form the elements and it has little feet on it that the panel cover catches to hold it in place.  Someone had just overlooked proper placement when they put it back together.  ‘S alright,really.  After all, Little Blue is not pristine and new and some things are gonna get messed up if you use a piece of equipment.  I could live with it I guess.

It was cool day with no AC required in the NO Princess Palace; a good day to hook up Little Blue and run him through the paces.  3 hours into the test, I had oil obviously leaking in the same location as before.  6 hours in, I had a puddle of oil beneath the generator.  7 hours in, I was on the phone with my best bud TJ, the Service Manager at the Yamaha Service Center at Marineland Boating in Waco, TX.  That conversation went something like this here:

me:  “TJ,  Andy Jones from South Texas.  I brought in that little Yamaha 2000 leaking oil, remember?”

TJ:  “Yes sir.  What can I do for you?”

me:  “I finally had the chance to run it up today and it is still leaking oil.”

TJ: (silence)

me: (after a longish pause because I wanted him to jump in there, he didn’t) “You still there?”

TJ:  “Yes sir”

(another pause.  I was waiting for him to take control and FIX me.  That is what a real man woulda done in this situation.  This 80% deal flew all over me and I got mad– real down deep, hurtful,mean mad.)

me: “TJ, listen up.  I was nice and polite and never pushed you when you kept a piece of equipment vital to me for 9 weeks over a problem that should have been resolved in 1/3 of that time.   You screwed around and I had to leave the generator with you and then make a day long trip to retrieve it.  That little roadtrip cost me $200 in lost wages, a hunnert bucks in fuel and a day of my time.  I never said the first cross word to you or complained. Not once!!!!   The ball was in your court start to finish!  So now here we are back at the same place as we was the first part of June.  I got a broke generator; the only difference being I am not a nice fella any more.  Tell me what your plans are to fix this clusterfuck if you would please sir.”

TJ: “Mr Jones, I understand.  I will need the generator back in my hands to fix it.”

me: ‘How do you suggest that to happen TJ?   I am 300 miles south of you and working 24/7.”

TJ: “That is up to you Mr. Jones.  I need the generator here in my shop to fix it.”

me:  “C’mon TJ, think outside of the box and tell me how you are going to make this right! Do I need to remind you we would not be having this conversation if the job would’ve been done right the first time?”

TJ: ” I need the generator here.”

me:  “I can think of several different options you could choose TJ to help me out here.  Step up and take care of business man!”

TJ:  “I need the generator here sir.”

You know you are f***ed when people go all Chatty Cathy stoopid on you.  Remember that Chatty Cathy doll from back in the day, you pulled a string in her back and she repeated the same phrases programmed into her brainless head over and over?   TJ was giving me the company line and I realized in that crystal clear moment that his role as Service Manager at Marineland Boating Center was not to provide stellar service to his clientele.  He was a salesman.  It was his job to sell shitty service and then make you think it was OK. 

Not likely.

me:  “Do you take me for a fool TJ?”

TJ:  “Oh no sir!’

me:  “Then why would you expect me to repeat a scenario nearly verbatim and blow for blow that we just went through and was such an abject and utter EPIC FAIL on your part?”

(long silence that I allowed to drag on and on)

me (finally): “Answer me TJ.”

TJ:  “I need the generator here at my shop to work on it.”

me: “You know it is bad enough the generator is still leaking oil but whoever put it back together half-assed that operation too.  I got covers on crooked, knobs askew and switches screwed up.   Truth be known, it would have been almost cheaper to throw your expensive and over rated generator on the junk pile and save all my time and travel expenses and just buy a new ‘un.  I figure if I follow your instructions and bring that little Yamaha back up to you, I will have the most expensive EF2000is of all time and most likely, it will still leak oil.”

TJ:  (nothing)

me:  “You leave me little choice TJ.  I am going to have to go over your head to solve this problem.  Do you understand what I am saying?”

TJ: “Yes sir”

me:  “Alrighty then.  I gave you opportunity to make it right and fair intention of my next actions.  You are on notice.”



Over the years, one thing I have come to understand is an employee is a direct mirror for the attitude of the management he works for.  It really can be no other way if you think about it.  If a fella wants to keep his job he toes the corporate line.  Been there and done that.  I don’t hold it against TJ as he is either following the orders of Marineland Boating Center or Yamaha USA.  I intend to find out who is what.

I honestly believed (and maybe I still do) that Yamaha Motorsports USA puts out a product that is above average and worth the premium price they charge for their offerings.  Maybe  Marineland Boating Center is the bad apple?  We are gonna get to the bottom  as I got time to squander digging into this.

Stay tuned, this is far from over.


End Note:  Good Life by James McMurtry from the Candyland cd.




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My Way or the Highway

Doin' laundry

You been following the events of the past week? Mizzou? Paris? Obama saying “ISIS is contained”?  How about toddlers using iPads or childhood obesity rates?  Does this surprise me?   NO.  Does it startle me?    NO.  Am I paying attention to world and national events?   YES.

Am I going to write about it?

Not directly.


Doin’ laundry

Aye God, I reckon I was a handful two decades ago.  Stubborn, bull headed, irascible, unmoving, overbearing – you name it;  I musta been an asshole to live with.  I did my damnedest to impose my collective will on everybody I encountered.

This summer

Continue reading My Way or the Highway

Missed the Bus

Fine looking women willingly kissed on me in public. Well, back in the day anyway,

Fine looking women willingly kissed on me in public. Well, back in the day anyway,

You know those two kids of mine are gonna fall down, paralyzed with uncontrollable laughter, when I tell you how cool and hip I once was back in the day. Honest to God fact, I was a cool, cutting edge techno-savvy mamma jamma sumbitch. Truly.  Ask anybody……

See, what happened was I came along about 10 minutes after Al Gore invented the Internets and I embraced it.  I understood it all, knew it all and took it in like the very air I breathed.  Seriously!  No

Continue reading Missed the Bus

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