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A Mouse A Day

Cooking Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Cooking Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

It rained here in the South Texas Puckerbrush for two days straight.  2.9 inches of slow steady rain meant very little runoff and saturated ground.  The caliche county road had water all the way across it for much of the 5 miles between here and the hardtop.  Those folks unfamiliar with where the big holes are located found themselves in water deep enough to cover the bumper on the Big Ass Suburban.  Not that I was out driving in that soupy mess,  hell no!!  The Suburban has not turned a wheel in 3 weeks now.

UPS Charlie texted me on the second day of rain and wanted to know if he could make it out here for a delivery.  I told him to stay away because the Brown truck don’t mud for shit.  Matter of fact, I told him I had stuff coming in from Amazon the first three days of this week as well.  Just wait until Wednesday and deliver it all with one trip.   Part of the goods inbound are pieces for the  Yamaha EF200is extended run fuel tank.  I am using mostly marine fuel fittings simply because gas squirting here and there indiscriminately is always no bueno.  I screwed up the first go around BIG time.   I was ordering quick connect fittings that are designed for marine fuel tanks and it was all good.  You know how on Amazon when you are looking at an item and it has the little dealio that shows items Frequently Bought Together?   I had selected the female part of the fitting and the Frequently Bought Together showed the male part of the fitting as well.  I mean lookie here, why spend my time hunting and looking when somebody else had already figgered that stuff out that makes my brain hurt?   Well sir, when I hooked her all up and the fuel started running, those fittings leaked worse than the Old Girl’s roof after the Big Hails. It was an embarrassingly sophomoric effort on my part let me tell ya.

The male/female quick disconnect FUBAR

The male/female quick disconnect FUBAR

I pulled the blister packs for the expensive fittings out of the trash and right there on the side it said  ‘pair with part number 123xyz‘.  Of course, me as the ignorant mariner, had paired it with part number ‘youhaven’tgotadamnclue’.  So back to the Amazon and it turns out there are about eleventy hundred different possible pairings for these fittings.   Some which fit Evinrude, Johnson,Yamaha,Honda –enough to make your head spin.  More choices than women’s nail paint.  I figured it out-maybe.  UPS Charlie has the goods on board for delivery mid-week so we will see if I made the cut.

I made mention a few weeks back about Tuco the Dog being on Mouse Patrol.  While she was with Little Blondie off down south for two weeks sniffing crotches – the dog; not Little Blondie (I don’t think) , I continued to catch mice on a regular basis.  A trap on each rear leaf spring of the Big Ass Suburban baited with the mouse crack which is just peanut butter to us humans resulted in a mouse nearly every other day.   Tuco the Dog is back from Crotch Patrol on the Southern Border and is again alerting on the Big Ass Suburban.  Christ on a Cracker!  11 dead mouse bodies so far!  How many mice can congregate in one vehicle?  It seems to be approaching infestation levels.  Maybe I should have taken the truck out for a spin when the water was over the top of the tires?  Drown every one of those little furry wretches! This keeps up I am going to have to buy more traps and more peanut butter.  I fret over the mice getting in the bottom of the No Princess Palace. It is all sealed on the bottom side with that plastic cloth stuff.  Fighting those bastards in that environment would be a tough go.  So far Tuco the Dog has shown little interest in the underneath parts.  I hope it continues as such.

Panda guts

Panda guts

I killed the Panda.   Murdered it actually.  The autopsy results indicate death by drowning.  The Panda Portable Compact Washing Machine that is.  I bought this little Chinaman washer back the first part of August and it is one of the reasons I can hermit out in the Puckerbrush for months on end.  A couple of shirts, a tablespoon of detergent and turn her loose. It had worked exactly as it should several times each week.  With the arrival of a 600 gallon water tank, I was washing willy nilly with little regard for water conservation.  The Panda has two Cons.  One, it uses about 5 gallons of water for a wash and rinse.  Two, you can’t load it up too heavy or it starts to labor pretty hard.  I pulled it apart after the drowning and confirmed it is driven by plastic gears.   One pair of Wranglers loads it to the max; a large bath towel damn near does.

I know I have lost a step here and there; 59 years old next month after all.  Hair grows where it shouldn’t and doesn’t where it should.  The heat of a South Texas Summer lays me lower than before and my knees hurt.   I don’t hear for shit any more but I secretly sort of like that part.  I got an excuse to tune those folks out that chatter mindlessly.  Sometimes I think I am getting more forgetful and sometimes I just think I might be just be more easily distracted.  One the the reason’s y’all didn’t get a Sunday blog entry was the Panda Incident.

I loaded that rascal up with some tea towels and socks with it sittin’ on the counter next to the sink.  Hooked the water hose up to the spigot and turned her loose.   I sat down at the dinette –not 4 foot away– and got all caught up in something on the internet.  Next thing I knew,  I had water 2″ deep in the kitchen!  Holy Cats!  What a frickin’ mess!  The Chinaman Engineer that drew up the plans for the Panda decided all the water proofing necessary was to put all the electrical connectors in a plastic bag and zip tie it closed.  Now if you think this through on a higher level, you will realize as I did that the wires have to exit the bag.  Makes about as much sense to me as a screen door on a submarine.   I have to confess I had gotten the Panda wet before in the same same scenario though not close to the point of flooding the kitchen.  It would dry out in a few hours and I could get back to the clothes washing.   Not this time it appears.   I am going to chalk it up as an Old Age debit and order up another one.

The no bueno Bushnells

The no bueno Bushnells

Two things got gone when Little Blondie motor scooted south that I miss. She was perfectly within her rights to take the goods and I bear her no malice atall.   She did leave me some of the good stuff as well. She took one of a pair of our Broan-NuTone Big Heat Heaters.   Let me tell you friends and neighbors,  if you are tired of those flimsy ass electric heaters from Wal-Mart that do good to last one season, you need to grab one of these Broans.  They are tiny. They are TOUGH.  They put out beaucoup heat for their size.  The one I have left is going into Winter #5.  I ordered a new one this week.  The other item that went South was a fairly new pair of Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars 6 x 30mm leaving me with a ratty pair of Bushnell 7×35’s that I can’t even tell you where I got.

If you care to listen, I will impart some Old Fella wisdom.   There are certain things I do NOT skrimp on.  Buy Once Cry Once.  The short list?

  • Bowling Equipment
  • Boots
  • Hand tools
  • Glass, as in binoculars and scopes for bowling balls

It may sound odd but I find I  use a pair of binoculars several times each week to check the goings on here.  UPS Charlie has a pair of Vortex Optics Diamondback 12×50 Binoculars on the Brown Truck coming to me.  I found the 6×30 Leupolds to be a little light for the work here.  They were crystal clear with a good field of vision but lacking in magnification.  This pair of bad boy Vortex’s should solve that problem nicely.



 Tomorrow, November 11. 2014 is Veteran’s Day.  None us us should so much as consider dismissing it unremarked or leaving it unobserved.

End NoteSouth Side of Heaven By Ryan Bingham from the Mescalito album


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