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You Tell Me..............

Coming up on the July 4th holiday and besides being a traditional time to get out on the lake, drink beers and cook up something on the grill, it also happens to mean this; lest we forget:

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

(UNRELEASED) Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Public Affairs personnel in action June 30, 2012 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

(UNRELEASED) Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Public Affairs personnel in action June 30, 2012 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

No secret to most of y’all that I have strong leanings on certain holidays and I have written about it before.  My BFF Cait crept too close to the flame and the nightmares wake her still yet.  It is worth a re-read;  3 years is a stretch of time but still very much in my thoughts daily.

Some of what follows will be bothersome to a few readers; it always is.  But seein’ as how this is (still-for now) the United States of America, I can still share what is on my mind freely with little thought to negative consequence.

You tell me………..  are these quotes and verses from centuries long in the dust still meaningful and relevant? Do they still hold water?  Or are the talking heads right? They are relics of a time gone by which do not apply to our present day.

You tell me……



    • “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”  — George Washington


    • “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”   — Thomas Jefferson


    • “I think my self that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. “  — Thomas Jefferson at age 81


    • “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”  — Thomas Jefferson


    • “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”   — Thomas Jefferson


    • In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” –Proverbs 21:20


    • “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” — Thomas Jefferson


    • “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” — Benjamin Franklin


    • “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”  — II Thessalonians 3:20


    • The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  — Proverbs 22:3


    • “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights


    • “Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?” — Patrick Henry


    • “By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there would be an explosion in crime.” — Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence


    • “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.  Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  — John Adams


      • “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them.”  — George Washington


      • “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”  — James Madison


      • “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” Thomas Jefferson



I couldn’t tell you what the Bank Holiday this week  in Greece means; nor explain the unconstitutional machinations of recent Supreme Court decisions or understand how Congress can pass a trade bill whose details are held secret from the American  People.  I am not smart like that.  I can tell you I hear the bad dogs that bark through the night and wake unsettled.

“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams

**I would encourage you to leave comments and/or your favorite quotes in the comment section.**

End Note:   yeah, this

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June Vignettes

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At the Secret Hideout

Tuco the Dog and I have been at the Secret Hideout 104 days now.  The Monsoons of May have passed and My Bro headed out last week to finally get back to work.  You can’t push dirt if it’s mud ya know.  Worked out just ’bout right.  He graciously offered his generator which is the twin to my ailing Little Blue.  I made the 100 mile roundtrip to Waco to drop Little Blue off for repair.  The guy said it would be 2-3 weeks before they could even look at it  — and this at a Yamaha Factory Repair Center.  I didn’t exactly get the warm fuzzies after that exchange.  I will reserve judgement and see how it plays out.

It has settled into the warm up for the High Summer here in Central Texas.  Temps in the 90’s and high humidity run us out of the NO Princess Palace by shortly after noon each day.  Even with fans running full tilt and all the windows open, the heat is insufferable.  My Bro quipped that “living through a Central Texas Summer with limited AC might be a good learning experience.” Oh sure.  10-4 on that!  Last night it was 90 in here at 10pm.  Thank goodness we have the Frigidaire Mini Window Air Conditioner to rely on for some good sleeps at night.  Once the AC compressor kicks in, the Yamaha EF2000iS Portable Inverter Generator will run the windowshaker at low idle. I am getting through a sweltering night on less than a gallon of fuel.  BTW, fuel run this week to Bremond was @ $2.59/gal.

The last 3 pieces of surplus bowling equipment have been liquidated.   One via local sale and the last two over the internet when a local buyer did not readily step forward.  The internet sales were all done on the square to satisfy the .GOV boys.  Normal routine for an internet sale is payment via USPS money order and then the item is shipped to the buyer’s FFL.   The auctions closed on the same day and I dutifully contacted the buyers with contact and payment info.  Had a money order for the lesser of the two items 3 days later.   The other one?????   We played the nasty and personally demeaning “the check is in the mail game”.   He drug his feet for a few days before even contacting me and then two days later he said he had mailed the money order.   I waited 7 days and emailed to inform him I had yet to receive payment.   His reply??  “What can I say?  I SENT it.”   Yeah right,  I suspicioned his game.   The check did arrive  -postmarked 6 days later than he had told me.  Oh well!  Only cost me about 6 extra trips to the Post Office, right?  I detest someone who thinks my time has lesser value than theirs.  I briefly considered waiting 6 days to ship the item.   Nah, gonna stay on the High Road and get on with it.  It is what it is.

Gonna miss a good place to work on stuff

Gonna miss a good place to work on stuff

Things are winding down here as the To Do list gets shorter by the day.   It is inevitable; the return to the South Texas Puckerbrush.  The piles of stuff have already been started.  One to stay; one to go.  The Go pile is going to be much smaller this go ’round.   To be thinking I have learned a great deal during this sojourn at the Hideout would be an understatement.   I regret my procrastination on some items.  I should have replaced all 4 tires on the Big Ass Suburban before it moved up the list to a #1 priority.   I had the money then, not so much now.  I procrastinated on a back up for Little Blue as well.  That morning when I walked out and saw the puddle of oil beneath the generator was a horrid moment.  The ONE piece of equipment I could not do without and I had no Plan B should it fail??  All things mechanical eventually break — that is my axiom is it not?  Silly, silly man!  Some things worked great, some things worked as expected and I fell on my face in other areas.  One thing about it………..   I don’t have any critical systems sittin’ in the corner unused and waiting on the day when they are much needed.    Most everything has seen use and been vetted.   There are some glaring omissions in my equipment and this will be rectified when the bank account is again fat.  Count on it.

I will not be going South this month, maybe not even next month.  When I do head out,  I will be streamlined and traveling light.  No more DTB in tow, 4 pairs of jumper cables, 3 sets of tools, 15 gas cans, 6 bottles of propane and such as that.  The rule is that if the item was unused in the last year of gate guarding,  it stays.   I have some concerns about the last quarter of this year and decided it might be best to be able to get out of Dodge quickly if things deteriorate.

104 days straight off grid has opened my eyes to many things; not the least of which is it takes plenty of work just to provide the basic life necessities.

Tuco the Dog in her front yard.  She will miss the Secret Hideout

Tuco the Dog in her front yard. She will miss the Secret Hideout

Got an anniversary of sorts coming up the first of the month.  Hmmm, maybe a date of record is a better label than an anniversary?

Almost a year.  Want to know what I think?  It sorta goes like this here…….  I have been working steady since I was 14 years old.  45 years folks.    I can say with some surety I have worked nearly full time since I was 16.  Hell, I bought a new car and paid for it just soon after I got my license.

So,  a job has always been a factor in my life.  The other continuous factor has been a female partner.  Always.  If one partner was put out by my decision or if they ran away screaming into the night of their own volition,  a replacement was soon found.  Always.  While I am thinking about it,  raising kids was in the mix for 25 years straight as well.

A man’s greater responsibility is to take care of those dependent on him.  Wives, kids, GFs  – if you are Old School; you put their well being, safety and comfort above your own.

I did not realize what an f’n drag on a man that women, kids and a job was!

Been a year almost with no female contact to speak up.  Oh sure, a few old girlfriends drug up and we talked.  I got on one of those internet dating sites and used up some energy.  That little experiment ended when a good lookin’ gal from San Antone just had to talk to me!!!  We had traded emails back and forth for a week and she was certain I was the one!  Hah, as if!   She was physically attractive, smart in her own way, well off, socially acceptable and she drove a Mercedes.  Ummm, all things she was very eager to share with me.  Money, status, keeping up with all things one must keep up with to be the star of the party was her life.  Christ on a Cracker!  I knew where this was headed.   Might as well give her my phone number and let the train wreck play out. The conversation started out with her at her sultry and desirable best.  Questions were asked.  I didn’t mince words; she needed to know how the cow eat the cabbage.   Her provocative flirting  grew less as each question was dutifully answered.

  • No, I do not get any time off for a date.  I work 24/7 and plan on continuing the same same.
  • I do not know how I expect to maintain a relationship.  You called me.
  • No, I do not have a house someplace else.  I live in an RV and I dig it mucho.

And the torpedo that blew the ship out of the water?   “How many times have you been married?”  Yeah, that one.  What can I say,  I have had an interesting life.

“Yeah hon, you have a nice life too.”  CLICK

My last foray into the internet search for a mate; that was.  Once I blew up out of the Puckerbrush, I figured it was pretty pointless to keep up the hunt since I still had all the fatal flaws listed above PLUS I no longer had a J.O.B. Horror of all female horrors and I liked it that way!

Off all the things I though my future held, I never even considered being without a partner.  Now that it has been a year gone by,  I find I actually prefer it……. and not just a little either.


End Note:  Get It While You Can by Danny Barnes from the Dirt on the Angel cd.

Mondo banjo



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Solar Arrays, Pukin' Oil, Boiled Batteries and Memphis BBQ

Renogy 100w 12v panels alongside the Renogy 150w 24v brutes

We were sittin’ out in the shank of the evening doing the happy hour thing and wishin’ the heat of the day would just get on out of here.  A cold beer does help mightily to dispense the heat and the YETI Tundra Cooler was doing its’ exceptional job of keeping the beer stock at a temp just above Arctic ice water.  The Yeti doesn’t move from its’ corner of the wood deck these days and it is automatic when anybody goes to town to stop by David’s and get a big bag of the ‘good ice’.   My Sis-in-law was

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Stocking up

Hooked to the DTB to go scavenging

Hooked to the DTB to go scavenging

I have been off grid at the Secret Hideout for 10 weeks.

My typical day along about now?   Well, let’s see….  Up between 0600-0700 and first order of business is to fire up Little Blue to make some coffee.  I have an Aeropress Coffee Maker that doesn’t require electricity but the water still has to be hot. No way I am firing up the stove inside the NO Princess Palace for anything these days.  Little Blue also tops up the house battery on the RV while I watch the news and run the

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