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Change in Latitude

Tuco the Dog

Tuco the Dog

4:18am Saturday 12/21/2013.  The A/C just kicked on in the Princess Palace.  Tuco the Dog doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. A silly dog doesn’t care if it is necessary to run the A/C 4 days before Christmas.  Go figure.

The little trio that is us blew out of the pucker brush for some long overdue time away from anything that even remotely resembled oil patch commerce.  We latched the Princess Palace on to the big ass Suburban and headed east to the other side of Houston for Thanksgiving.  It was miserable cold and wet for a solid week before we left and I waited until the last minute to install the Reese 66074 Strait-Line anti sway weight distribution hitch.  I bought it back in August from Amazon and have no excuse for not getting on it earlier.  After the white knuckle drive from New Braunfels bringin’ the Palace home I knew it was a must to have that hitch in place.  Driving 800 miles right through the middle of Houston twice with the winds blowin’ to beat the band will make you a true fan of a good hitch.  The Reese hitch is good stuff, big ol’ hunks of massive steel and such. Still yet,  I get just a tad pissed every time I look at it.  It has Made In China stamped all over it.

We landed at the Houston East RV Park after a botched reservation at another RV park. I am not even going to go in to the devilment of the 80 percenters that dog my tracks at times.  Just gonna keep that good karma thing flowin’ you know.  9pm on a cold rainy evening 2 days before Thanksgiving and we didn’t have a place to light for the night.   You better believe I was a tired grouchy old bastard and not fit to be around.  Situations like this is when Miss Kathy comes to the front and shines. She got on that iPhone and googled and called and found us a place to stay for not just one night–but 7 nights!  What a gal!  I can count on one hand how many times I have been in an RV park.  I still find it extremely pleasing to park on asphalt or hard concrete and hook all the umbilicals up just right there!  No drone of a generator, no dust blowin’ everywhere –nada! It was a nice respite to say the least.  Good folks, big pull throughs and they reserve spots near the front for travelers doing the one nighters.  The spots are long enough you do not even have to unhook.

Pops and Hank the Tank.  Gotta wear ear plugs when you piddle around with Pops.  He has loud motors and such that might hurt a little man's ears.

Pops and Hank the Tank. Gotta wear ear plugs when you piddle around with Pops. He has loud motors and such that might hurt a little man’s ears.

Packing up our kit and taking such a trip is no minor feat.  I know it is a law somewhere that the longer you stay somewhere the more stuff gathers around you.  On top of that, the gate guard company we work for is of the no frills variety.  We felt obligated to hunt around and find our replacements.  Luckily, Tom and Lynn from the Gate Guard Forums stepped up to fill in for us.  We have been through some gate guards here at this two gate location in the past 15 months.  Slackers don’t last long here; just the way it is.  I gotta say Tom and Lynn were nothing short of aces. We had a multitude of reasons to undertake such a tough roadtrip. We have not had a single day off since March 2013 – not one. Thanksgiving is my Mom’s favorite holiday.  My Dad’s 80th birthday was a few days after Thanksgiving.  My BFF Cait and Hank the Tank were trekking in from Tucson for the do as well.  Cait has orders for South Korea 2/2014 so it may be a while before I see her and the Tank.  So you can see it was a no brainer have to just gotta be there event.

We visited, we ate, we napped.  Tuco the Dog loved the new smells as only a precocious dog can. We shopped.  I had talked to my Sis about a birthday present for my Dad.  She knows about that kind of thing.  She told me to forego the present; he needed a new computer and was relying on me and Cait to pick him out a good ‘un and get it functional.  Sure enough, he hit me up to help him soon after we arrived.  I went in the bedroom and checked out his old desktop which was probably 7-8 years old and just a rat nest of wires running everywhere.  He hated the rat nest so it was off to Best Buy for us.  I love guy shopping.  Guys don’t have to touch everything in the store before they go back and buy the second thing they looked at.  We were out of there in less than an hour with a desktop that had all the electronic guts built into the humongous monitor and a wireless keyboard.  No rat’s nest here for damned sure.  The part I was dreading was transferring the info to the new computer. Cait stepped up and took care of all that.   Way to go girl!  My Dad was pleased as punch with the new computer.  Good stuff.

 

We went shopping again — me and Miss K this time.  She was absolutely fed up with our lack of adequate refrigerator space in the Princess Palace.  We went to Lowes; we went to Home Depot.  We had a tape measure and we used it.  The door opening on the Princess Palace is refrigerator unfriendly at 24″ wide.  We went back to the RV park and Miss K went online to find the refrigerator she had decided on because the closest Home Depot only had one that had a big dent in it. We already had a dented fridge; didn’t need another one.  She found the one she wanted over in Pasadena and bought it for store pickup.  The tape measure said it would fit laying down in the back of the big ass Suburban.  It did.  We knew we would have to take the doors off the fridge to get it in the Palace.  Then we would have to horse it into the Palace by brute force;  one old man and Little Blondie who is decidedly light in the ass.  But I had a plan…….

Vassani 10.7 cu ft refrigerator

Vassani 10.7 cu ft refrigerator

I slid the the fridge out of the big ass Suburban right there in front of the Princess Palace.  Unboxed it on the spot and took those doors off.  Luckily this fridge had the little roller wheels on the backside and being as how we were on good asphalt smooth as  baby butt I just rolled that rascal right up to the door.  Now we come to the part of the plan I call ‘work smarter; not harder’.  When you get old you begin to understand the wisdom of that statement.  Let the young lions get out there and tackle every problem like they was fightin’ a bear. Not me.  I folded the door steps up on the Palace and they went to their hidey hole underneath the door. I cut out one side the the fridge packing box and layed it up across the threshold of the door.  Miss K was on the pullin’ side.  I was on the pushin’ end.  I leaned that fridge into the door on that cardboard and we just slid her right in.  Easy Peazy!

Cait ended up with a top of the line bowling ball package courtesy of Miss K and myself. It had a rampant horse roll marked on the side; figure it out.   I did some checking with the government folks that regulate the buying and selling of bowling equipment to sovereign citizens of the USA.  As much as they hated to acknowledge my plan; they acquiesced in the end.   Cait is a resident of Texas. She is stationed in Arizona.  As such, she can acquire said bowling equipment in Texas and mail it to her residence in Arizona via the US Postal Service. No government officials or licensed representatives of the government are required to participate in this transaction.  I absolutely love the fact that we are permitted to do this and the right to do so goes directly back to an oft referenced Amendment to the US Constitution.  I swear I will continue to exercise my freedom and rights in this manner until the day I leave this life.  Anything else is tyranny and slavery.

Every vacation comes to an end and I gotta say coming back to the pucker brush sorta felt like coming home.  Since we got back there has been a flurry of UPS/FedEx deliveries.  Santa Claus is living in the back of the big ass Suburban and I have noticed Miss K  surreptitiously stowing away some deliveries her own self.  We have been following the latest news and it don’t look exactly peachy for 2014 friends and neighbors.  I hate that Cait is going away to South Korea.  That crazy tyrant bastard in North Korea has troops 30 seconds away by fast jet from where she is gonna be….  and it appears he feels he can unleash the storm by just sending a fax to South Korea.  Lord, help us all.

Miss K and I have been talking much of late about the state of affairs and what we are going to do about getting our house in order.  More of that in 2014.

 

End Note:  Pistols and Rifles by Fred Eaglesmith from the Official Bootleg Series Volume 1.  A slice of Fred goodness makes any day better.

.

 

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14 comments to Change in Latitude

  • Richard

    “I love guy shopping”

    And I love the way you tell the story. Merry Christmas pucker bush pals, Miss K, Andy and Tuco.

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  • Bryan

    Merry Christmas! Our oldest boy spent some time in that region of the world not too long ago. He spent a whole lot of time doing field exercises and was pretty tired when he got back stateside.

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  • Good to see you with H the T. He sho nuff do grow!

    I hope yall picked out the Gold Cup bowling equipment. You can roll some strong frames with it, and they’re a beauty to hold in your hand. But any bowling equipment with the famous pony on the side is good gear. So Says I.

    Merry Christmas, you old coot, and to the little lady.

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    • Andrew

      Thanks Scott

      I am glad you are celebrating another one with us.

      That boy is a piss ripper let me tell ya!

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    • Andrew

      Gotta add

      That bowling ball was blacker than a pair of Sunday shoes and bigger than a bread box.

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  • Lynn Brashears

    We thank you for the high remarks, just was glad to give a much needed vacation to good folks like y’all that help so many of us. We kept telling everyone while on the gate that the “professionals were coming back.” Thanks for sharing your trip with us. That picture with Hank says it all, “priceless!”

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  • Miss Kathy

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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  • David

    Hey Andy,
    Just curious if the issue with our uncle was mailing the bowling ball, giving it to your BFF or the destination of AZ?

    We brought back a Christmas gift which had a scary reptile for a friend and fellow bowler.

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    • Andrew

      The issue was uncle does not have any paperwork indicating the transfer took place. Uncle had a hard time lettin’ go of that. All perfectly legal by the letter of the law.

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  • Lynette

    Glad we got to put a face to a name over on that Spanish-sounding road a couple of months back. Thanks for sharing Hank with us on this Thanksgiving holiday tale. He really looks like you. I met Lyn at a ladies’ gathering and liked her right away. They are good folks.

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    • Andrew

      Ditto Lynette,

      K kept wanting to go and talk to you about Hondo and before we knew it you were gone! She thought she saw your truck at a gate up toward Dilley the other day.

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      • Lynette

        The truck towards Dilley is not ours. We are over on 97 just past the salt water plant. A couple of miles east of Los Angeles – so kinda still in the neighborhood.

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  • joel

    Happy Hollandaise!

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  • Great, great post Andy…Saw a big ass suburban the other day in Longview, TX with a Viva Terlingua sticker on the back window and thought of you and Miss K. Thought it might have been you but realized the car didn’t have any hail damage. We have military friends stationed in South Korea for the next three years. He is Air Force. Grant and Catie. Hank the Tank is adorable, what a boy. Miss Kathy, enjoy that new refrigerator, glad you got it into the Princess Palace. Despite the outlook of the nation have a wonderful New Year! Will raise a glass to you New Year’s Eve!

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