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Shangri-La?

NO Princess Palace on station. Spring 2017, McMullen County, Texas

17 days straight of 100+ degree temps before a little front broke it and we got a teacup full of rain. No matter and not surprising,  I have survived worse. It has been 6 weeks since I made a trip to the grocery store – or any store for that matter.  The dry pantry is holding up good and the baby Danby Chest Freezer  is still givin’ up goodies like the package of pulled pork I took out of there last night. When it was in the microwave it smelled just like I had pulled it fresh off the Church Smoker.  The FoodSaver packaging makes that possible and I am thinking I will talk about that some more later.

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I am not exactly a social butterfly.  Y’all figured that out yet?  No Book of Face-as of 5 years ago, tweeting feed – ever- or smart phone -ever.  My cell phone contact list has less than 12 entries and you better be in my best graces if you send me a text and expect a reply.  One of the most common comments I get is “I could never do what you do.” and I wouldn’t expect you to. This is my   Shangri-La ,  and the current population – me and a dog – is just about right.  Saturday is blog writin’ day and lotsa times when I go to bed on Friday night,  I think about making a blog out of thin air and it looms a dreadful chore.  Fact of the matter is I may be curmudgeonly private but writing a blog connects me to all type folks on the interwebz and I do get satisfaction out of all that. Once I set down and start writing it is pure pleasure.  The only thing that would make it better is some good whiskey to sip on like I used to do before I was a gate guard.  Those were some rollickin’ posts back in the day!

A common sight – Vela Von deep sleepin’ on my foot. Ignore the ruptured dinette cushion – this ain’t the Ritz.

The best thing about it just being me and a dog is I know full well where Vela Von stands.  I take care of her needs and she responds with unequivocal love and unbridled affection. My last several forays into human social interaction have not been nearly as rewarding.  I am a compassionate listener and I can’t help it, mainly because I have always thought that listening more than you talk is a polite behavior.  So why is it that once I gain some social intimacy with unrelated females they expect me to shoulder part of their burden or provide a solution to the ghosts out of their closet that haunt them?  It is unfair and I just don’t get it.  I am not saying I want to find a woman that acts like a dog; not hardly.  I just want to find one that thinks I am not a magic pill walking on two feet  that will make it all better.    I know plenty of folks who cannot deal with being alone with no partner of the opposite sex.  Settling for a relationship that is just marginally good enough because you are lonesome is not an option in my world any more.    I have endured that special flavor of personal hell women past and it was not pleasant.  .F. that noise.  With each passing year,  such an association becomes more unlikely and I am OK with that.  It simply is what it is, right?  Back in the early ’80s,  I found that one woman that I had been looking for my whole life and it was quite the ride while it lasted.  Turns out we were both mercurial comets flashing through the universe on a lone journey whose diverging paths could not be altered.  For a brief while, our orbits coincided and that is the long and short of it.  Now we call each other on our birthdays;  July and December;  without fail but the decades that have passed are bittersweet for each.  Neither of us dwell on the what could have been. Rarely is it even mentioned because a life lived full tilt is going to contain some regrets.  Own it and move along.

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NESCO Jumbo Jerky Kit

After six weeks, there are no fresh veggies or fruit on the NO Princess Palace – and that is a problem for someone like me who thinks 6 months without resupply is normative.  Y’all know I am a big fan of the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System and use it for just about all long term food storage.  I have fished 3 year old chicken, ground beef and such out of the freezer that was put up with the FoodSaver and it was still damn good.  Several months back, I was bitchin’ about my lack of fresh bell pepper and celery to cook with and a female reader told me to just ‘just freeze it in a FoodSaver bag silly!’ and I felt chagrined that I had not figured that out my ownself.

The freezing results were less than stellar.  Bell Pepper and celery thaw out to green mush when you do it thataway.  Maybe I need to blanch it or something or maybe it is not even possible; I dunno.  I do know that I need some way of having all manner of veggies available weeks  and months after purchase.  My research led me to a food dehydrator – specifically the Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator. I waited and waited until Amazon came down off the normal $244 price and picked it up for about $174. (BTW, I just noticed it is BACK at the same low price as I write this- might oughta check it out if you have it on your mind to add one of these machines to your preps. Amazon will jack the price back up soon enough.)

Ground beef jerky ready to go in the Excalibur

Since the Excalibur arrived long after the disappearance of fresh veggies at The Palace about my only opportunity to test drive the Excalibur has been making some ground beef jerky.  I bought the cheap Nesco Jumbo Jerky Works Kit and gave it a whirl with the included seasonings and 3lbs of ground beef.  I never intended to use the Excalibur for jerky because I have never been a big jerky fan but the first batch didn’t turn out half bad.  The cheap seasoning mix was definitely on the salty side but me and Vela Von are enjoying it as a late night snack.   With my access to all types of wild game,  I may have to explore the jerky side of my dehydrator.

The dehydrator plan is to use it on bell peppers, celery, carrots and even potatoes along with an assortment of fresh fruit.  I will pack the dehydrated product in FoodSaver bags and then store the goods in an airtight container.  Hell,  I have even been reading about dehydrating fresh shrimps and fish.  Who knew?  Anyway, that is the plan and I will let you all know how it turns out.

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

Finished jerky

My post last week about civil asset forfeiture  and the DC shit show resulted in scant few public comments and an inordinate amount of down votes on that star thingy at the end of every post here.  I was not surprised. My political views are mine and mine alone and Thank God we live in America where the First Amendment gives me the right to say -freely- what is on my mind.  For the time being anyway……..

What surprised me were the amount of very vociferous and volatile private emails I got agreeing with what I published.  Some folks prefer to keep their personal convictions close to the vest and I appreciate that behavior.  I do think I replied to each and every email. The sad, true, immutable fact is the assault on our freedoms is not going away simply because we choose to ignore it.  You got to face the music folks…..  To wit:

For the egregious crime of being in the right lane at the wrong time, a driver was pulled over in Lowndes County, Georgia. Thanks to the heroic efforts of one Georgia State Police dog, and his faithful officer, a major threat to the people of Georgia is off the streets.

The responding police dog, Brutus, made a major bust. The vehicle was transporting $36,000 of cash; an imminent danger to Georgians across the state.

The cash may have eluded officers if not for the quick thinking of Brutus. He sat down next to the car to let officers know the money was being stored in a speaker inside the vehicle. The officer was quick to confiscate the cash, take a picture of it for social media, and let the driver go.

Wait, the police let the driver get away? Yes, they did. The driver was not charged an actual crime, and no one was arrested during the “major bust” that took place. The driver’s only crime was carrying cash.

Read it all here.

MS-13 has been in the news quite a bit this week after Trump singled them out as a target and I would be foolish if I said this gang is not scary.  They are in San Antone and Houston and I would not doubt they travel the highway 30 yards out my front door.  They are not scared of Trump or prison or even death so they are bad actors for certain.

One single thing scares them and that is La Sombra Negra which is a paramilitary group of vigilante bad asses.  What law enforcement and the Mexican military has not been able to control is now being limited in scope by a vigilante militia operating outside the law. I wonder how long it will be before we see the same same thing here in the States?

Wake Up America!

 

End Note: They Call Me the Breeze by Charlie Robison from the Live at Billy Bob’s cd.

Charlie Robison (wiki) is most likely my favorite Texas Music persona.  He epitomizes the Texas Music scene in so many ways and I betcha these first two youtubes is something from him you have never seen.

Charlie did the whole Texas Local Boy done good and tried the Trashville Make Me a Big Star routine and then came back to Texas.  He was married 9 years to Dixie Chick Emily Erwin and they divorced in 2009; about the time the Chicks self-imploded. He released one more CD of new work in 2013 and nothin’ since.  He mainly tours in Texas these days and I don’t know if he fell off in the bottle or what after the divorce.  I wouldn’t count him out — just yet.

Check out these three youtubes………  Texas has Stubb’s, Antone’s, Gruene Hall and Floore’s Country Store with Charlie,  Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry et al.  Texas is more better when it comes to Americana Music.  Fact.

 

 

 

And I could not talk about Charlie without including BFF Cait’s favorite Charlie song………

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Shangri-La?, 9.8 out of 10 based on 20 ratings
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3 comments to Shangri-La?

  • Kerry Jackson

    I have found the same thing with the ‘volatility’ out there. We have been traveling the country and see it everywhere. I love to share opinions, but when someone feels they have to press that opinion on me sprinkled with a little intimidation and browbeating because they feel empowered to do so, it really is sad. It is even sadder to see our young adults indoctrinated to follow that behavior.
    It is also disappointing when your viewed as a traitor or turncoat when you see things differently then those in the club. It has always been my policy to not be a member of any of those clubs.
    Thanks again.

    Kerry Jackson

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  • Here’s an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did.

    The rest of the article can be found at the failing Washington Post.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/?utm_term=.06675b06fe4d

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  • Nancy1340

    I am the one that sent you some rosemary a few years ago.
    I have dehydrated tomato sauce. A gallon will dehydrate to a 1/2 pint jar. Two tablespoons will equal a 6 can of sauce.
    Celery, onions, garlic slices, pepper – halves and diced, sliced & diced potatoes, mushrooms. Even Anaheim peppers for chili rellenos. Blistered them and removed the seeds. Several pounds will fit in a half gallon jar. Use the Food saver to suck the air out and they will keep for years. Everytime you use some just re-vac ’em. When you take one out to use just soak it in hot water for 20 min. or so and you won’t be able to tell they aren’t fresh. Hardley. 😉 Watermelon, apples, strawberries. There are a lot of good Youtube channel’s on dehydrating.

    What I wish I could afford is a home freeze dryer. They run about $3,200 I think.

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