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A man can only drink so much coffee

Our neighbor across the caliche road

Our neighbor across the caliche road on a foggy and chilly morning.

It is tough to describe Texas weather to them that have not actually lived through a change of seasons down South Texas way.   When I am reading the various RV forums, seems like the wind is what rattles our Winter Snowbirds the hardest.   Livin’ with the wind day in and day out,  you get to where you don’t pay it much mind most of the time.  About the only time it gets to me is when you can’t push the door open or you have to tie down the garbage to keep it from blowing off into the pucker brush toward Del Rio.

This past week we caught the bottom end of those Polar Vortexes everybody was all balled up with in Yankeeland.  It was decidedly uncomfortable.  Days of outright rain, drizzle-rain, north winds and temps that never got out of the 30’s made me feel like we were earning every dollar. We are in the midst of a mega-frac which doesn’t  correlate to spending much time inside safe from the elements.   Some may recall I got all ten fingers frostbit in Mason City, IA  in 1978 and this wet cold especially pains me. Since there is no snivelin’ allowed in the Oil Patch,  I’ll just leave it at that.  They are settin’ up to frac 11 holes in succession on 4 different pads and I am thinking the crew and equipment mustered for this job exceeds the normal quota for an every day frac operation.  They put 111 frac tanks in for the first pad and we have seen nothing but an endless procession of sand and chemical trucks for the last 3 days.   Anybody that has ever dealt with sand truck drivers knows they can go cowboy-wild if you don’t keep ’em gathered up pretty good.   We got our hands full and then some with the frac and two different crews working on a facility and a pipeline.  Gotta add them lost folks into the mix that wander up to the gate all hours.  The ones that get my goat quickest are the fellas that start out with “My GPS says……”   We are in the middle of some kinda GPS Blackhole.   I don’t exactly know how the GPS fellas figure out what is a real road and what ain’t but I can tell ya somebody dropped the ball serious here in LaSalle County, Republic of Texas USA.  An oil lease road is NOT a public access thoroughfare and I don’t care if Scotty just beamed ya down from the Enterprise, you aren’t going to get there from here followin’ that silly GPS.  Even when I tell ’em exactly how to get to where they be needin’ to get to, some of ’em just cannot cut loose from that electronic tit.  I watch ’em go out the gate and turn the opposite way to what I told ’em.  I figger they got a meet-up coming with Mr. Rancher and his runnin’ buddy Mr. 12gauge if they don’t change their ways and smart up.  People got along just fine before there ever was that iPhone.

Mud out = mud in.  Just say NO to carpet on the floor.

Mud out = mud in. Just say NO to carpet on the floor.

Nothin’ like a good hot cup of coffee to warm a man up on these cold mornings but a fella can only drink so many cups before he gets all shaky and wound up tighter than an eight day clock.  Miss K keeps a deep pantry and knowin’ that;  I was pilferin’ through the cabinets looking for some hot chocolate to blunt that caffeine edge just a tad and warm up my insides.   Sure enough, she had a box of Swiss Miss stashed way in the back of the most likely location.  I haven’t drank hot chocolate in years because I guess I just got caught up in every day life and chose to miss out on that goodness.  Nothin’ quite like a good cup of syrupy thick hot chocolate after it sets for just a little bit and gets that skin on top. Takes me back to the days before I started wearing long pants.

Seein’ as how none of the news this week set me to hummin’ ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’,  we are still relentlessly stocking up with what we perceive to be needful things.  We added a regular fridge back in the Fall and this week we got a chest freezer.

Miss K and I studied and studied on the best way to go about this.  We looked at Home Depot, Lowes and Sears and plotted out the logistics.  The closest pick up point was San Antone for any of ’em and the price was cheapest to buy them in the store.  BUT.  You gotta figure in some things.  Gotta figure whoever went up there would be gone for the best part of a day.  Gotta figure the big ass Suburban is a thirsty rascal and you gotta figure I would have to take most of the goods out of the big ass Suburban and stack ’em out on the ground to make room for the freezer box…… and then load that booger right back up afterwards.

Danby DCF401W1 3.6 cu.ft. Chest Freezer paired with two Rubbermaid Action Packers

Danby DCF401W1 3.6 cu.ft. Chest Freezer paired with two Rubbermaid Action Packers

You know back in the day the Sears and Roebuck catalog was the lifeline for Rural America.  In the Fall of the year, the crops were in, maybe a pig or two or a fat steer was sold and the household had real dollars in hand that they may not see again till the same time next year.  That is when you bought the hard goods you couldn’t get locally.  Hell, they even had houses that were all pre-cut and numbered piece by piece that you could order! If they couldn’t ship it by the US Mail they put it on a freight train.

I don’t see our situation being a whole lot different right now.  We finally got shut of the Bad UPS lady (hopefully) so that has opened up the online gates paired with our PO Box over in town.  We decided to order the Danby DCF401W1 3.6 cu.ft. Chest Freezer – White from Amazon with Prime membership free shipping.  UPS delivered it the first part of the week with only a minor cosmetic ding.  I am gonna call that good.  For some of you sticks and bricks folks,  3.6 cu ft of space may seem ridiculously teeny.  It is cavernous to us.  We lived so many years with the RV fridge which had about 1 cu ft and would not get much colder than 10 degrees that the addition of the residential fridge and now the chest freezer makes us just plumb giddy.  We got some plans to fill that little dude up. Stay tuned.

I am embarrassed to report I got all lathered up the other week and went on one of my ‘There is shit everywhere!!’  rants. Miss Kathy, being the patient and compassionate soul she is, let me say my piece and then offered up a dandy solution.

Miss K and some kinda Yummy Trout Fish.

Miss K and some kinda Yummy Trout Fish.

Back in the day and before me, Miss K did a buncha drift boat fishin’ and campin’ in Idaho.  She told me that they packed gear in Rubbermaid 24 Gallon Action Packer Storage Boxes and she said they could hold tons o’ stuff and were tough sumbitches.  She was figuring they might serve us as well and clean up some the the goods we had piled helter skelter in the Princess Palace.  So off I go to Amazon and ordered up three of ’em.   When the chest freezer came in I did some measurin’ and cipherin’ and figured if I moved the end table that was screwed fast to the floor over against the fridge, I could slide two of those action packers right in there.  You can see from the picture it worked out dandy.  I also gotta go along with Miss K.  These tubs are a convenient size to move around and swallow up a surprising amount of goods. I think I am gonna get some of the larger ones as well to bring order to the tangle that is in the back of the big ass Suburban.

………………

 

A Puckerbrush Parable

We used to have a good sized rubber outside garbage can that I relegated to the storage unit at some point this past year.  Every time we moved, it was a pure bitch to find space big enough to transport it.   We get by nowadays with securely bagging the trash in large black plastic bags and settin’ ’em out of the way until I make a run to the trash trailer.  Somewhere during the past 18 months of being on this same ranch, a feral cat more or less adopted us.  She is a Calico Mama Cat and is a fearless and capable mouser. Rarely a day goes by that I do not see her walking by with a recent kill.  I credit her with keeping the Princess Palace mostly rodent free over the past two winters.

We started out throwing a few scraps across the fence for Mama Cat  –stuff that wasn’t fit for Tuco the Dog’s food bowl.  Raw chicken skins and such like other offal.   Miss K has a big heart for animals (and old obstinate curmudgeons) and somewhere along the way she picked up a few cans of low end cat food from the Dollar Store.  Just because.  Well, Mama Cat would not of thought a rib eye steak to be any better than those tins of cheap ass cat food.

But it ruint the cat.   We took a awesome hunter and turned her into a lazy ass feline dependent on the dole.  I am havin’ a hard time rememberin’ the last time I seen her on the hunt; much less the last time I seen her with a fat field mouse in her mouth.  Going along with her new lazy ass lifestyle, she felt entitled to start raiding the garbage as well. I can offer no other explanation.

 

Cat Land Mine

Cat Land Mine

For 15 months she never touched a garbage bag.  Even in the high summer, when the sun stewed the contents up right smartly and made it smell most attractive to a feral cat, she never touched them.  Once we started the canned cat food, tearing open the garbage bags as a nightly event ensued.  I intensely disliked picking up garbage as a morning chore.  As the days passed, she got bolder and bolder,  rending the bags to such a degree that many times I had to put them inside another bag for transport.  Feeling I was ever smarter than a cat, I put the bags up on top of our running generator; a good five feet off the ground.  Yeah buddy, take that Mama Cat!  It was to no avail.  Two nights later she started tearin’ into those bags as well.

Now let me visit with you a minute and take stock of things.

Perfectly good cat + subsidies = lazy ass cat.

Lazy ass cat + more time = entitlement mentality,  garbage-eating lazy lard assed cat

In today’s uber-polite and always politically correct/socially benevolent society, you be knowin’ I only had one course of action.  The subsidies MUST BE INCREASED.  MORE CANNED CAT FOOD…. and perhaps an air conditioned  and centrally heated cat house while we are at it?????  Just sayin……  If I was a responsible American, it would behoove me to re-allocate a portion of my wealth to take care of this unfortunate Mama Cat that is going through rough times.  According to our handlers in Washington, it would be the right thing to do, right?

“F”  that.

I took some American made hardware store old school mouse traps  and set ’em up on the perimeter of the garbage bags.  Cat Land Mines if you will.   If you are a PETA person, you can just get over it.  Right now.    At least one trap was sprung two nights running. None have been engaged for the last four nights and the garbage is untouched.

We continue to throw scant few cat-tasty items across the fence deemed superfluous to our needs. After all, I can’t throw all my good cat karma in the shitter.  Two mornings ago, Mama Cat went down the fence line toward her hidey hole with a fat field mouse in her mouth.  This AM,  she trotted down the line with a juvenile ground squirrel in her clutches.   I noticed for the first time she might be preggers as well.    You know what??????  Those new babies are gonna grow up to be bonafide feral bad asses.   I am thinking there won’t be a single garbage eatin’ lard ass in the bunch.  I got no anticipation of rodent problems in the Princess Palace in the near future.  Mama Cat will check that one spot across the fence where the kitchen scraps get flung.  Chances are there will be sumthin’ sumthin’ there most evenings fittin’ for a cat.

Quid Pro Quo friends and neighbors. Can the World stay right any other way?

 

End NoteThere ain’t one.  Seeing as how I am gettin’ pretty hard of hearing of late, sticking those Zune earbuds in my ear hole just don’t cut it when the gate is hoppin’.  Writin and listenin’ to music oblivious to the world leads to a whole string of trucks gettin’ by without notation.  Bad juju in the gate guard world.

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5 comments to A man can only drink so much coffee

  • joel

    I find that when I drink too much coffee, I have to pee a lot. Same with when I drink a lot of beer.

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    • Andrew

      You only rent beer Joel

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      • joel

        Don’t get me wrong–I like both beer and coffee (though not at the same time).

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  • joel

    Here’s an interesting story to read while you sip your coffee or beer and track your feral felines:

    http://stories.weather.com/fracking

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  • Those GPS thingies will lead you astray even in a city. I can imagine how much trouble they’d be out in the rubarbs. Glad to hear the fracing is picking up. Maybe Austin’s electric company will get more into natgas and stop investing in windmills.

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