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The Fabric of Life - Post Paucity

Another Saturday morning in South Texas Brush Country.  Unremarked and quickly lost in the whirl of over 100 sunrises Tuco the Dog and I have watched from the same window looking at the same mesquite tree.   Sanity conservation and silly habits ensue during long and interminable oil field gate guard assignments like this one.  It is the week end, marking a change of wardrobe from Wranglers and long sleeves to shorts and t shirts.  The Company Man will be along directly and address me as Jimmy Buffet instead of Cowboy.  Even though the gate guard job varies little day to day,  a wardrobe change breaks up the week for me.

Smoked chicken wings and chunky homemade bleu cheese dressing

My biggest concerns on such a stellar morning should be simple.  Getting the latest crop of sticky burrs out of Tuco the Dog’s hair and polishing off the last of some fine, fine smoked chicken wings and chunky homemade bleu cheese dressing Miss Kathy blessed us with this week.  Pipe dreams of  a simpler time, perhaps once common but fast fading from memory.

An absence of blog posts on my part usually means

  • I got nothing to say.
  • I have nothing intelligent or interesting to say.  (arguable most days)
  • I have nothing I want to share – which could range from my vow back to the first of the year to keep politically-bent subjects to a minimum to the ever-popular noneofyadamnedbusiness category.
  • I am otherwise occupied.

Back in the day,   my eyes were better and the boundaries stood out clearly.  It was easy when that world was 4 rows of West Tennessee bottom land cotton stretched to the horizon and a 4 row cultivator was sighted down the hood of a Ford 5000 farm tractor.   Thoughts never ran much deeper than the kissability of the latest nubile young female or the availability of cold beers vs. the veracity of fake ID’s.   I am not saying my youth was misspent but it was atypical. I reckon it set me off on the 6 great adventures that would make up the life I claim.  All said and done, 3 EXs trail in the wake and 2 kids survived obvious and abject parenting fraud and still managed to turn out and make me proud.  I don’t expect those numbers to change.  The statute of limitations has run out on most everything else.

I am far from being a smart sumbitch.  I don’t have that piece of paper from an Institution of Higher Learning  that says I am smart.   I have been accused in the past, and rightfully so, of having  an untrained mind.  That’s what them with the bona fides from the Higher Learning Institutions call it  — an untrained mind.  I have done little or nothing to dispel that notion.  To wit,  my last printed business card listed my occupation as Raconteur and Part-time Pirate.  Hell, I don’t have a criminal record either but that doesn’t make me Oliver Wendell Holmes or Clarence Darrow.   I can’t help but think an ‘untrained mind’  might be coming ’round to be advantageous the way things are looking.

Smoked Federicksburg sausage.

My last hopes of a mentally unchallenged Saturday morning went by the way when  Scott the Fatguy  threw this one at me.   So instead of Smoked Wings,  Tuco the Dog and and I settled for a  cheddar cheese and jalapeno link that a sausage meister up in Fredericksburg conjured up.  Some heavy smokering  along with a cup of that Keurig Jet Fuel made it a just right snack for the heavy work ahead today.

Miss K and I make no secret of our plans out at the Desert Refuge ( a Fabric of Life link and a good ‘un if I do say so myself).   The Desert Refuge is why we are grittin’ it out in the Old Girl instead of a new(er) RV with slideouts.  The Desert Refuge is why we drive a 9 year old Suburban and PACO, the piece of crap Camry.  The Desert Refuge is why we work months on end without a break and call installing a septic tank ‘vacation’.   Oh, let me tell ya, it is a neat and tidy little plan.  Steps 1 through D;  just as rational and thought out as you please.   The last month has been one of daily discussion regarding our plan, our timeline and world events.  The whole month I have felt like a dancing chicken, it has been that bad.   Plainly said,   I think we are running out of time to skedaddle out to Terlingua.

As goes California, so goes the Nation.

In my experience, California has always been the harbinger of what is going to happen to all of us eventually.  As goes California, so goes the rest of the Nation. I have seen it happen in such fashion over and over and over yet again in the past.   TFG’s link  I cited above is a well written article  which drove some points home that I was just not ready to acknowledge as probable – within the next few years anyway. Dmitry Orlov preached  cascaded failure  earlier in the week.  Looks like I might have been dreadfully mistaken and short sighted about the future of the world as we know it. amount of time left where reasonable anticipation of a normally lived life is still applicable within these United States of America.

Now before all of y’all decide Miss K and I are preaching anarchy and our plans include sneaking around in the pucker brush in camo britches and face paint  — it ain’t like that at all.  Texas is all right for men and dogs, but hell on women and horses.  If living out in the Big Bend Country is part of the plans,  life becomes doubly hard.  Cash money is hard won, water is scarce and the climate will kill you.  You gotta do some real figuring before you fall off down that way for good.

Our Terlingua plans always included a hard roof over our heads and a few ways to make enough dinero to live there year ’round.  None of that has changed.    When Miss Kathy and I first hatched up this plan, we figured we had a couple of years to get things lined out.  Now, not so much.

I ain’t trying to be an alarmist but everywhere, and I do mean everywhere I look, things are changing.   Even my untrained mind can tell when a change is good or bad and the preponderance of changes are bad.  As in f’d up bad, as in directly effecting me bad, as in you best pay attention now bad.   Over the course of the last 30 days the two of us have decided to accelerate our timetable as much as we can.  We are paying attention to some details that deserved more attention.  Things like Miss  K pays attention at the grocery store and lays in a few more cans of this or that especially if she knows that product is soon to be in short supply and pricey;  peanut butter is a perfect example.   We generally gate guard out at the farthest reaches and the most remote assignments they have and The Desert Refuge is not exactly Suburbia.  Emergency medical care has always been a concern and the best we could do was some gauze and peroxide in the medicine cabinet.  Miss K  is pretty adept at horse doctorin’ and I figure, with enough Jim Beam in me,  she could stitch me up as well if push come to shove.  Now we have the equipment to do just that.  The Old Girl needs some new tires as does the Suburban.  That is gonna be taken care of PDQ.   Assembling all of the different filters and oil to service multiple vehicles and engines has been a hated chore.  I sat down one morning and ordered two years of worth of filters and oil for each vehicle the other day.   Get my drift?

We are not building some underground survival bunker out in the desert chock o’ block full of  weapons.  We are not lining up empty Jim Beam bottles on the floor, filling them with gasoline and stuffin’  strips of my old drawers in the top to fire up and toss at zombie hordes. Nope, it ain’t like that at all.

The good news is that our dream is a little closer to reality.  It is to be my last Great Adventure I reckon being as how I tend to engage  in mildly interesting antics, it should prove to be interesting reading as well.   So what if my untrained mind is way off base on this one?  The worst thing that can happen is me and Tuco the Dog are gonna have a fair amount of peanut butter and tuna fish to eat up on.  We sorta dig that anyway.

 End Note:  My Hometown by Charlie Robison from the Life of the Party.  Go ahead and wax nostalgic.  Go ahead.

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9 comments to The Fabric of Life – Post Paucity

  • The Postman is one of my favorite movies. Great soundtrack and a possible roadmap for the future. Plan for the worst, hope for the best :^)

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    • Andrew

      Good to hear from you again Keith. Anytime you want to do a guest author post for me about your place out there, I would welcome it.

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  • Change a few more lyrics, give it a try – change some more

    Modified a little (they stole it from Jethro Tull, ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sJA_VF5c7U ) so I guess Don Henley won’t mind)

    On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
    Warm smell of purple sage, rising up through the air
    Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
    My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
    I had to stop for the light
    There he stood in the roadway;
    I heard the stop sign bell
    And I was thinking to myself,
    ’this could be heaven or this could be hell’
    Then he lit up his spotlite and he showed me the way
    There were voices down the corridor,
    I thought I heard them say…

    Welcome to the hotel california
    Such a lovely place
    Such a lovely face
    Plenty of room at the hotel california
    Any time of year, you can find it here

    His mind is tiffany-twisted, he got the dream act bends
    he got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that he calls friends
    How they dance at the border, sweet summer sweat.
    Some vote to remember, some vote to forget

    So I called up the senator,
    ’please bring me my rights’
    He said, ’we haven’t had that spirit here since people were ready to fight’
    And still those voices are calling from far away,
    Wake you up in the middle of the night
    Just to hear them say…

    Welcome to the hotel california
    Such a lovely place
    Such a lovely face
    They livin’ it up at the hotel california
    What a nice surprise, bring your babys crys

    Mirrors on the ceiling,
    The socialists on ice
    And he said ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
    And in the master’s chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    I said God bless the USA,
    But they just can’t kill the beast

    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back
    To the place I was before
    ’relax,’ said the ICE man,
    We are programmed to receive.
    You can checkout any time you like,
    But change your thoughts before you leave!

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  • Joel

    LOL! Andy, your career in prophecy has been mixed, at best. But you own it, and something tells me that that’s the important thing!

    I’ve always felt that California is a bit overrated. And Joe Walsh was the worst thing to happen to the Eagles.

    Good luck living among the reptiles and arthropods.

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    • Andrew

      I hope you are right and I am wrong in this case Joel.

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  • Lived in Cal. for a while, Andy…you are right about the prophetic ways there…glad your untrained mind is learned in the ways that count…

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  • AndrewH

    It’s blatantly obvious that we are continuing down an accelerated dwindling spiral of our “leaders” self induced stupidity. Unfortunately stupidity is contagious. Our upcoming future generation X, leaves little to be desired.
    Unlike hollywood productions, the future resembles ones nuts being slowly disintergated in a slow closing vice.

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  • Clay

    As always, I love reading your entries. As much as I would wish otherwise I deem this prophecy as being fulfilled even as I write a response. I have had for some time an inner (gut) feeling that harsh times are just over the horizon. As such I believe those who survive the post-apocalypse (whatever you wish to call the fall of this nation) will be those who have the ability to fend for themselves. I hate what I see. And I wish I could believe that there will be enough of those who have looked into the abyss and seen what lies ahead that come November the powers that be will be voted out and true Americans will be voted in. However I see at least two primary obstacles to that dream: #1 – There are now enough people living off and dependent upon government assistance that they will continue to vote themselves a paycheck rather get a real job and earn one. #2 – I have seen not one single individual running for any office above the local level whom I would consider as being in touch with the middle class and the desires of those who make up this class. (It may be that one or two exist and that I just have not been able to recognize them.) We used to laugh and make fun of all the “liberals” in California and all of the laws and regulations and social programs etc that they imposed upon their people. I don’t laugh anymore because it seems that so many of those same ideas have permeated the rest of our country. Which begs the question: “How could we think this contagion would not spread like the plague when so much of the last 2 or 3 generations have let “Hollywood” dictate what is acceptable and what is not?” I used to be concerned when I was labeled as a paranoid because of my gut feelings. I used to be concerned that I was going nuts and would be labeled as a fanatic, racist, bonafide, certifiable, illiterate, backwoods, hillbilly, redneck, bible toting, God fearing, gun nut, extremist. Not any more. Call me what you will. But as Hank Jr. says, “A country boy can survive.” While our plans may differ a little from that tin foil hat wearing psycho that lost all his guns in a boating accident in west Texas writer of this blog, Miss Stinky and I are almost ready for anything that happens. I say more power to ya Tin Foil Hat Man! Viva La Terlingua! That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

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  • AndrewH

    Have a look at this Bill that has been reintroduced to congress in 2012. One has to really wonder why one would introduce a bill like this unless they knew something that we do not.

    H.R. 6010 (111th): To prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr6010

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