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It Rings Hollow

The To Do list of Friday past:

  • Transfer fuel from one of four 50 gallon drums to the generator
  • Fill the on board water tank with potable water
  • Dump the grey tank
  • Take down the Gadsden flag flying from the rear ladder of the Old Girl
  • Replace it with the Stars and Stripes.  It is Veteran’s Day

On Election Day, we were 60 days in to this assignment in the Cotulla area.  As Gate Guard assignments go, it has been mundane and predictable.  Easy to get into a recluse funk when one day is like the day before and will be like tomorrow as well.  Gate traffic has been buzzing about the election all week — politics in the oil patch is best done with a Republican outlook because oil companies don’t fare well in an overly regulated environment.  Dire predictions and knitted brows after Tuesday were overwhelmingly the order of the day.  Consensus seems to be 4 mores years of the same-same will see a demise in the Oil Boom.  Mebbe so.  Those Democrats do like to blow up the house just to kill the fly.

I found this comment nestled in below one of the blogs I read.   From an English reader:

You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up to China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.

RIP American Exceptionalism

 

I thought about that comment as I was hoisting the flag Friday AM into that stiff South Texas breeze.  The very act — it rings hollow.  Of course, the  reason was to honor those Veterans who had pledged to defend our country from all enemies for close to two and a half centuries.   All week long,   I have watched sound bytes of  grizzled and once mighty American warriors talk matter of factly about the their service and their sacrifice in conflicts that have faded from the front pages.  Chokes me up at times, it purely does.   Looking into the eyes that have seen the elephant, I wish I could put my Tom Brokaw hat on and ask them “Was it worth it?  Would you do it again — in today’s world?”

The Death of American Exceptionalism  — aptly spoke I reckon and I knew what it meant before somebody else’s words fell to paper.  Unspoken directly yet I felt it in my heart of hearts. Conversations with Miss K instigated by events of the day,  discussions with My Bro as two quinquagenerians figuring best how to ensure the future of their grown children just serve to tell me.  I knew it before I acknowledged it as reality.

At a time in my life when I should be thinking about taking up golf and studying up on medicare benefits or a bungalow in South Florida,  Miss K is returning from grocery shopping with canned goods selected for  long shelf life.  The UPS truck is making regular stops here with Amazon booty like quart bottles of Hoppe’s No.9,  HAM radios and 5 gallon containers for extra fuel and water.

When we sold that property in Terlingua, we became homeless itinerants and that is vexing to Miss Kathy.  She yearns for a  few acres and a solid roof over our heads.  We are steadily working on that to relieve her angst. We have to balance that goal with the knowledge that we need to work while their is still work to be had.  I know full well that this post will not be equally received by everyone that reads MyOldRV.  Some will say it is just the paranoid meanderings of  a curmudgeonly old fool with a tin foil hat.  That crowd needs to look me up two years hence and we will compare notes.

End Note: Watching the Sun by Kevin Gordon for the cd O Come Look at the Burning

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7 comments to It Rings Hollow

  • Joel

    Looks like you have some kindred spirits:

    http://news.yahoo.com/doomsday-preppers-reveal-theyre-crazy-brilliant-235740365.html

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    • Andrew

      Thanks for the link Joel.

      Who would have ever thought the power would not be on in NYC almost 2 weeks later? An empty 5 gallon gas can is going for $50 on the street. Full of gas they bring $100.

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      • Joel

        Hmm.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57544627/power-returns-to-much-of-new-york-city/

        So the statement “the power would not be on in NYC almost 2 weeks later” is demonstrably false. Yes, there are certainly thousands without power, and that is certainly a problem. But there are over 18 million people in the New York metro area. Even if there are still ca. 200,000 without power, that’s 99% with power. Under the circumstances, that’s pretty impressive. Falls a bit short of the apocalypse, in my opinion. YMMV.

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        • Andrew

          Unless you are one of the 200,000. We did 10 days without power in the Blizzard of ’93 with no appreciable emergency supplies. Never again.

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          • Joel

            Of course I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

            Three days without power in the middle of winter was enough for me to wire in an inverter so I could drive our hot water radiator (the heat is gas) using a car battery. I say “me,” but it was my engineer brother Mike who knew the technology. He’d used it a couple years earlier to cook a loaf of fresh bread in his car during the 14 hr drive from CO to MO.

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  • You are always welcome where I rest my hat. Good help is hard to find.

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  • Hey Keith, do you need any horse wranglers? I can hold my own easily and I can cook.
    Low maintenance too…

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