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One Year and One Year

A Hound of the Puckerbrush at home

A Hound of the Puckerbrush at home

Vela Von – Hound of the Puckerbrush – is one year old.
I have been on this gate 24/7 for one year straight.

The arrival of more agreeable weather is welcomed.  Most evenings now Vela Von and I set out until well after Saturn turns bright in the southwest sky.  She enjoys playing unbounded as a dog is wont to do and I enjoy the pleasure of a good pipe.

Just for the hell of it I checked back to what I had going on two years ago and four years ago.

Interesting to observe what has changed:

  • The Big Ass Suburban has 21k more miles on it.  This job is synonymous with a short commute.
  • I am no longer responsible for a worthless harridan.  Look it up.
  • I lost a great dog.
  • I found a potentially amazing dog.
  • I took a 30% pay cut.
  • Went from contractor to employee and cut back to contractor.  I pay the fine for not having Obamacare.  The Affordable Care Act is not affordable for me.
  • I am still present with vitality.
  • Getting older is a mother.


Over 600 days of electioneering is drawing to a turbulent close and I wonder if the framers of our Constitution could have remotely envisioned the raucous and rowdy event it has become.   I know they patterned the Legislative Branch after the British House of Lords and the Roman Senate with the hopes citizen statesmen would step forward to guide the country like Cincinnatus did for Rome centuries ago.  The idea of citizen statesmen has always been more prevalent on the state level  than the national arena.  My paternal grandfather was a good example.  A cotton farmer from very rural McNairy County Tennessee, he served as a State Representative from 1933-1941.  He returned to the farm full time in 1941; just in time to send his oldest sons to war.   Troubling times with the entire world at war but is it better or worse here now 75 years later?  After that war was over, the country enjoyed decades of prosperity.  I truly do not think prosperous and happy times are on the horizon now.

Vela Von models her guard gear

Vela Von models her guard gear

I know what I am seeing……….  The Border is wide, wide open.  Border Patrol is doing catch and release (for the small percentage they apprehend)  with nothing more than an admonishment to appear in court at a later date.  The illegals are rushing to the Border in remarkable numbers for two reasons according to Border Patrol guys on the front lines.  If Hillary is elected – they believe she will grant blanket amnesty and they want to be here for that.  If Trump is elected  – they believe his Wall will appear almost immediately.

“Immigration without assimilation is invasion.”  – Bobby Jindal

I know I go out the door of the NO Princess Palace with fair trepidation when a vehicle pulls to the gate at 3am.  It could just as well be an illegal as it could be legitimate oil patch traffic.  Being on a well traveled highway is not comforting these days.   I fear the narco traffickers most as they do NOT play around.  Vela Von is learning to go from attentive and watchful to all teeth and bark with two words from me.  We have had occasion to practice this training live more than I would like.

3 emails this past week wanting to discuss bowling equipment and that advice has not been sought in such numbers since the previous election cycle.

From decades past, Colonel Jeff Cooper says

`Tis the season to be jolly, so let us make every effort – despite the disgusting situations we have got ourselves into. People get the government they deserve, and we Americans voted in the current administration back in November of last year. We hope we are satisfied.

However, it does no good to complain. The place to do our complaining is at the polls. At home now and among friends, we should all strive to develop the maximum amount of good cheer in the places where it will do the most good.

I know I am not the only one concerned about the direction of the Republic.  I read daily entries from writers infinitely more eloquent than me.

There is this from my past week’s reading……

“Nearly everyone thinks of the United States of America as a place, a physical location, some place you can live, visit, touch and see. And nearly everyone is wrong.

The United States of America is an ideology, a thought meme, a belief, a political religion, a concept and an idea. I am reminded of this every time Mrs. Cog and I head southeast down the mountain and cross over from Virginia into North Carolina. Other than a few road signs and a change in the pavement (clearly two different companies at two different times from two different directions paved right up to the border and no further) there is no discernible difference.

To the left is a hay field, to the right a driveway leading to a private home. If I didn’t know where the political border was, nothing I saw on either side would indicate a change in control was evident. The hay isn’t greener or taller on one side or the other. And as best I can tell, that driveway, while appearing to meander back and forth across the border several times, isn’t worse for the experience. Though I suspect the respective taxing authorities might be a bit confused.

And yet the differences between the practices and beliefs of these two states are at times remarkably dissimilar. To cite just one example, the overall tax burden in Virginia is remarkably less than that of North Carolina. For me, a particularly detested tax is the state gasoline tax (added to the 18.40 cents Federal gas tax) which is significantly higher in NC (35.25 cents) than VA (22.33 cents).

But neither Mrs. Cog nor I can actually tell if the people in either state are happier because of, or despite, the political borders they live within. Sure, there are local variations (Mount Airy, NC residents sure do seem happier to be living in Mayberry RFD) but overall each person’s happiness quotient depends to a large extent upon their personal life configuration. Unless, of course, that person has decided the state of their state is the source of most of their problems. A perfect example is the continuing exodus from California.

But I digress.

The cities and towns, the highways and byways of America are physical manifestations of the ideological belief there really is a socioeconomic entity called America. This doesn’t mean nothing would be ‘here’ if America wasn’t an ideology, only that something else which manifested differently would be ‘here’ in its place.

Therefore the most threatening enemy to ‘America’ is not Russia, China or Iran (other political ideologies manifested in physical form) but doubt and rapidly deteriorating belief in the doctrine itself. This is why every political ideology since humans gathered into groups has demanded allegiance and, at worst, feigned faith and belief.”

“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” – Goethe

Homemade french toast with all the trimmings.

Homemade french toast with all the trimmings.

Still and even yet, I am not cowering in some miserable hideout eating mush and jerky.  I no longer buy any bread at the store because the Sunbeam bread machine has become familiar and even though the bread becomes stale quickly there are ways around that like french toast with sausage, bacon, Ben’s Sugar Shack Dark Amber Pure Maple Syrup (nectar, truly!)  and real butter.  Don’t ask me how many calories because I will tell you I don’t care.  It tastes fantastic and it is mostly natural ingredients. Maybe by this time next year I will be eating sausage and bacon I cured out my own self. That is the plan anyway.   I did finish out a beef chuck pastrami this week.  Homemade pastrami on homemade bread is hard to beat.



Up now is a blog excerpt from a one-legged hermit fella that lives off grid in a tiny house in the California High Desert….

I don’t really believe I’m doing anything positive about ‘the betterment of society.’ I’m doing something positive about the betterment of me, because I was always most miserable when trying to fit in with society. Almost certainly most people aren’t that way at all, and so I have nothing much to teach most people.

But I can live my life in the best and most positive way I have found for me, even though I never prescribe it for others, and I can recount stories of the way it’s going. And if people want to read that, and if they take something away from it they can apply to their own attempts to find their own way, then that’s great. Because the people who think that way, frankly, are the only part of ‘society’ I give a damn about. And if they think reading it advances their ‘betterment,’ then that’s cool too.

But bottom line: I don’t really think I’m affecting the future. The future will prove to have a lot more inertia than I can reverse.

Him and me think along the same lines plenty.

Lastly a quote especially for our mainstream media which is now as far removed from the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite as a chicken is not a Rolex.

“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me its’ raining.”


End Note: Why Can’t We Live Together by Joan Osborn from the How Sweet It Is CD.  A recycled End Note from 12/2014.  All rules still apply.

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5 comments to One Year and One Year

  • Joel

    ” . . . each person’s happiness quotient depends to a large extent upon their personal life configuration.”

    Yep, that about nails it. My current personal life configuration is good. Hope yours is, too.

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  • Rich

    A hard wind blew across the Texas puckerbrush scattering sage words far and wide that sadly fell on deaf ears. Our countries cohesiveness has withered and is near dead. The only thing that can save us is us and that doesn’t seem very likely. Someone said, “Hold on tight, keep your powder and beans dry, this could be a bumpy ride.”

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  • Kerry

    How long until you qualify for Medicare?? Obama care won’t affect you then.

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