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Facing the Music

"For those who still believe what happens over there does not affect us over here...."

“For those who still believe what happens over there does not affect us over here….”

On Chattanooga………  Catastrophic happenings  of the world might be held out arm’s length until some event hits home and it becomes up close and personal in less than the single beat of your heart. Folks are just funny about that.

And so it went this week when I got an email from BFF Cait “Have you got the news on?”  Well, nope.  Haven’t even got the TV on or the cell turned on.  I am at the Hideout fer chrissakes.   So I fired up the DISH and the flat screen and tuned in some FOX news.  

I grew up more or less in East Tennessee; graduated from Oak Ridge High School in ’74 and then blew around the country for the next 15 years.  Somewhere toward the end of the ’80’s I ended up in Chattanooga with a wife and two young ‘uns in tow.  We would remain there until the Texas Immigration in 1995.

It was a homecoming of sorts……  the cute little Tennessee Blond AKA the Ex Who Goes to Eleven was raised up in the Seventh Day Adventist enclave at Collegedale which is just two ridges removed from Chattanooga Proper.  This week’s act of domestic terrorism rattled BFF Cait.  Even though she has been in uniform all over the world, even when she has seen the final chapter of terrorism; the wreckage of war manifest.  Looks like it was not truly personal until this week for her. “How could this happen in Chattanooga????”  she asked.

I don’t really remember when my innocence and sense of invincibility was taken.  Maybe it was during the 70’s when I was driving a big truck to New York City several times a month.  That mighta been it.  I learned PDQ there was folks about who could care less about my personal safety and could give a whit about my overall welfare.  Oh hell, it coulda been all the way back to the Cuban Missile Crisis in October ’62 when we had sand bags piled up around the windows and practiced hiding under our school desks just in case we saw a bright light like another sun in the sky.  Fact of the matter is there have always been bad men at large in this world.  There always will be.

We can cower in our basements overly fearful of the sword or we can fill our hands and step out to face the foes we dread most.

If not me, then who……”

**************

 

Work Sharp WSKTS knife sharpener

Work Sharp WSKTS knife sharpener

I guess it finally sank in this week that I will be returning to the Eagle Ford for another stint at gate guarding.  There are some other options available that are more traditional.  All of the Plan B opportunities require me to leave the NO Princess Palace and go somewhere else to perform the work.  Several drawbacks to this such as having to pay lot rent and utilities but the biggest one is leaving Tuco the Dog cooped up in the RV for 10-12hrs at a stretch.   She has done nothing to warrant that manner of  imprisonment so it looks like it will be gate guarding (again) for us. Plus the security work is rent free and pays better!  This July heat is becoming oppressive and I still do not have AC until after 2200 most evenings.  I honestly do not know if I could survive the oppressive heat of a Central Texas August without some sort of refrigerated retreat.

The jist of the TO DO list is puttin’ up, fixin’ up and packin’ up.   Many, many items I used to tote around from gate to gate are not makin’ the trip south for Fall 2015.

The Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener came out from under the bed where it lives and I sharpened every knife in the house. The Danby Chest Freezer is filling by the day and trips to the store now involve buying 3 instead of 1 of most items. The pantries are slowly stocking back up.  The Wahl Pet Clipper Kit got put to use and even though it was a dog trauma event for an hour or so, Tuco the Dog feels all the better for it.

Tuco the Dog - BEFORE

Tuco the Dog – BEFORE

Tuco the Dog -- AFTER

Tuco the Dog — AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I filled a 5 gallon bucket with dog hair.  Ain’t nobody fixin’ to tell me that dog don’t feel better with that hair gone.

Remember last week when I was so confident I had found the source of the water leak on the Palace?  Well,  I was dead wrong.  Still leakin’.   I decided this week it was time to see just how the cow eat the cabbage and find the source of the leak.   I started at the front of the trailer and cut a slice in the under fabric, moving toward the back of the trailer progressively.

Pinched water line

Pinched water line

I got all the way back about even with the middle of the entry door before I hit a dry hole. WTF?  How could that be?  I sliced a big hole right there and stuck my head and a flashlight up in there for a look see.  What I discovered was an 80 per center nightmare.  The Palace is typical RV construction.  A steel trailer frame, some two bys for floor joists and plywood sheeting atop that.  Somewhere along the way up in Yankeeland where they put the Place together some 80 per cent sumbitch pinched the hot water PEX line between the steel frame and a two by.  The fella that laid that two by down saw it, so did the yahoo that put the bats of insulation in,  so did the slacker that laid the plywood sheet down.   I figure 3 people minimum saw that pinched line and did nada to fix it.  Took me all of 20 seconds to correct it.  I got a fair sized pry bar and was able to separate that steel beam and two by enough to snake that PEX line outta there.

The leak is not one of those high pressure streaming leaks; I already knew that.  The water pump seldom comes on of its’ own accord.   It is a miniscule seapy type of leak at best but to get the amount of water I drained out, this musta been going on for months if not years!  With all that said,  I am still not convinced this is the source of my aggravating leak.  Water travels to the lowest point and it could be leaking somewhere else and running down that PEX line to the low point.  There was so much water under there I could not tell for certain.   Rather than cut the pinched section and splice it with a Sharkbite, I decided to run one more test.   I tore a soft t shirt rag into long strips and wrapped it around the PEX line above and below the pinch point.  If either of those wraps turn up wet after 24 hours, I will know the water is running down from elsewhere.  If they are both dry, I will know the PEX is leaking where it was pinched.    I’ll let ya know how this works out.

Every RVer I know bitches about their RV refrigerator when things start to heat up.  They just struggle way hard to keep things down around that 40 degree mark.  When I was on the gate with plenty of juice flowing out of a big diesel, I just put the perishables in the big Vissani residential fridge and relegated the Dometic RV fridge to cold drinks and such until the weather cooled.   Since I don’t have that option here at the Hideout, I hit upon a work around.   I keep 6-7 one liter Smartwater bottles around for drinking and just refill them from my potable water supply as needed.  I try to drink at least 4 liters of water each day.   I figured out if I freeze those bottles in the Danby and then put one frozen bottle in the bottom of the fridge and one in the freezer compartment, it keeps that little Dometic cranking along real nice.

It is about 99 degrees out there now with the heat index and the Dometic is sittin’ at 35.4 degrees as type this at 1PM on a Sunday.   I know it has become intolerable hot here in the Palace even with the fans runnin’ so it is time to wind this post up.  Me and Tuco the Dog are going to retreat to some shade and a breeze and try to last out the rest of this day.

 

End Note:  For What Its’ Worth  by Buffalo Springfield from the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary cd.

Stephen Stills and Neil Young from well back in the day…….

“There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound?

Everybody look what’s going down”

 

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15 comments to Facing the Music

  • David

    Hi Andy,

    I tried to vote 10 stars but on my iPad it’s hard to click accurately.

    Reckon there will be a sneaky assault on bowling now? Always need to watch the other hand and with all the hubbub on a historical flag, a classic TV car, and what the Donald is saying, they might probably try to pull something when everyone is watching the shiny objects.

    I was concerned earlier when I got a funny message from Go Daddy. Happy to see everything is up and running.

    Also, Onyx the Cocker Spaniel is past due for yer summer cut. Maybe if I show her Tuco’s before and after pic she may not bite me.

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    • Andy

      Yeah, we had a little glitch with renewing the domain name. Looks like all is well now.

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  • David

    Hey Andy,

    How did the clippers work on Tuco? Does she have fur or hair?

    Onyx the Cocker Spaniel has very fine hair and my 30+ year old Oster Lucky Dog clippers are about shot. My concern is the plastic guards tend to,get tangled in her hair. The Oster clippers didn’t have guards but had changeable clipper sets.

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    • Andy

      Tuco has long silky hair which tends to get matted. The clippers are so-so; you get what you pay for. Obviously, they clipped her hair. A better pair would have been quicker and less frustrating.

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  • David

    Me again,

    RV question this time.

    Our Coleman Hybrid is on our property and hasn’t traveled in about a year. The tires need topping off and it has Nitrogen filled tires. Of course they say don’t use air, use only nitrogen… I’m sure they didn’t draw a vacuum on the tires when they were mounted so it’s already an air mixture. Plus, last time I checked, air is I think 80% nitrogen anyway.

    I say use air, others say follow the directions.

    Thoughts? Stupid question?

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    • Andy

      The Palace has a sticker that says that too. I just top them up with air.

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    • Joel

      David, I think the idea is that nitrogen stays in the tires while the other gases (oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, etc) leak through the rubber. If that’s true, and as you say, air is mostly nitrogen, then a couple of re-fills with regular air should make it nearly all nitrogen anyway. I doubt your RV tires are different from regular car tires in this regard.

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  • Vince

    Morn’n,

    Terrible, terrible thing in Chattanooga. Terrible things happening all over the world.

    EVERY single military person should be able to carry if they wish. ANYWHERE! except bars
    or when drinking of course.

    Where did this “political correctness” bull shit come from? California?

    Good idea about the rags on the water line.
    Gonna file that away with other “Tid-bits from the Pucker Brush”.

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    • Andy

      Vince
      The way I understand that is as part of the law that no US military can be deployed on American soil.

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  • Nancy from South Georgia

    I have a very liberal longtime acquaintance, from way back in high school, who never fails to let anyone know where he stands politically. He has a very condescending attitude that lets you know that if you don’t believe as he does, you must simply be an uninformed idiot. Encourages anyone go “get out and see things, read a good book, get to know what’s REALLY going on in the world.” He is a genius of sorts, got a full ride scholarship to an Ivy League school, has travelled the world and has owned several successful businesses.

    He lived in California, in particular in San Francisco for several years. Wants to see Hillbillary ascend and doesn’t see any problems with the current administration nor current state of affairs. Thinks the NRA is a bunch of knuckle-draggers. Doesn’t see any connection at all with the ongoing murders of US citizens at the hands of Muslims and terroristic activity.

    Well, he recently moved back home to put down some roots, he says. A few months into his return, upon fully seeing the condition of things here, and having had a few rather interesting encounters of his own, apparently had a change of heart. Totally surprised me that he bought not one but three handguns.

    Oh, he still sneers and pontificates when certain topics arise, but he now wears a rather nervous look about him, along with wearing his gun, like he’s expecting to be robbed at gunpoint at any second. And this is not an unfounded fear on his part, as our town ranks about #2 nationally in per capita murders and armed robberies.

    Kind of amusing to see this oh-so-sure genius, who defends liberal causes and decries anything to the contrary, now going about looking over his shoulder, with a holstered pistol under his jacket.

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    • Joel

      Great story, Nancy!

      This triggered a memory for me. All the time they lived in Tennessee, my (liberal) parents owned a .32 semi-automatic pistol of some German make. When they retired to upstate NY, they brought it along. Years afterwards, my mom traded it for a spud gun. We got way more use out of that potato gun than they ever did out of that useless pistol!

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      • Nancy from South Georgia

        Thanks, Joel. I’m glad my “great story” could “trigger” a memory for you. Slow and cumbersome as my rather conservative mindset might be, I am nevertheless able to detect a hint of sarcasm from time to time.

        I used to deplore and absolutely fear guns for most of my life. However, in 2005, I found myself in a situation that changed my viewpoint forever. If you’ve never had to deal with anything like this, count yourself fortunate.

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        • Joel

          Nancy, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a memory is just a memory.

          While I’ve fired a number of guns in my life and never feared them, I’ve never owned one or felt the need to own one. However, I was nearly killed last year by a car going >90 mph through a red light that sheared off the front of my Honda with me and a teenage passenger inside. Had I entered the intersection a second earlier, I wouldn’t be here to post this. If you’ve never had to deal with anything like this, count yourself fortunate.

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          • Andy

            You know what I like? We can CHOOSE to own a firearm or not. Just as we choose where we worship, where we work and where we live.

            These rights must never be infringed.

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  • FWIW, ’tis said that Tennessee is ground zero for jihadis of the homegrown variety. A target-rich environment.

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