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The Only Way Is Up

My slice of Pucker Brush

My slice of Pucker Brush

What is it they say?  ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too.’  There was a shit ton of cake eating going on around the No Princess Palace  prior to July 5th, 2014.  I have never backed up to the pay window to collect my pay.  Never will. Some folks do it with nonchalant aplomb.  So it went down kinda like this. 900 miles straight driving out of Tucson with few strategic fuel stops. Definite deja’ vu back 3 decades when I was a slim, trim truck driving diesel daddy high ballin’ that garbage sea to sea.  The Old Guy still got it when it gets down to nut cuttin’ time.  The Big Ass Suburban was maulin’ the rail straight on through – 12.2mpg was the best fuel mileage I saw but then again,  that is 8.1 liters of American V8 iron slammin’ down the road.  Transit time was just a hair less than 14 hours. Carbon footprint be damned!

Pulling into our gate,  the snout of a strange to me Dodge Durango was pointed outbound, ready for launch.  A drive-by glance showed the cargo area piled to roof with goods. 1 + 1 = 2.   More goods stacked outside the door of the Palace.  2 + 2 = 4.  I knew this was coming down, knew it before I left outbound for Tucson.  Problem (for some) is I arrived unexpected and unannounced 36 hours before I should have.  Jacked up the escape logistics it did.  1 in the plus column for home slice.  Dissolving a life is never polite business in my experience.  Women seem to go from zero to bitch in a nano second.  Who knew?  🙂  Credit goes to all parties for containing it to just a mini-fracas without the assistance of a single law dog.  Said my good byes to Tuco the Dog and a tip o’ the hat to Little Blondie and they roared off into the caliche dust of a much too early Sunday morning.  I have never much cared for me no Dodge. Less still now.  I miss that damned dog though;  Es verdad.  Little Blondie is moving on to bigger and better. God Speed. Sincerely.

Being the sole survivor of an oil field gate guard dust-up is an odd dealio.  For one thing, you got the responsibility of a 24 hour gate sittin’ square on your shoulders.  For another, you’ve had another human person underfoot and close for almost 4 years.  Even with the steady 30db drone of the generator in the background,  the silence inside the Palace was a palpable entity.  Still now, I catch something out of the corner of my eye, and quick glance expecting to see that Tuco Dog looking at me with those soulful eyes.  Damn dog got to me no doubt.

Renogy 4x250w reporting for duty

Renogy 4x250w reporting for duty

Gotta do a changeover from a double nest to a man flavored single nest.  Inventory taken to assess the goods absconded.  Gotta clean up this nasty ass trailer house.  Mucho time spent on that Amazon replacing, regrouping and moving the agenda forward. You are my hero Bezos.  Y’all need to do some of that Amazon clicking your ownself. It is cathartic and goes a long way towards me paying off The Man every month.  Doesn’t look there is a rocking chair on tap for me in the near future.  Don’t even own one.  I got some rollicking and ranging left to do before I plant my ass in that rocker.  One of the benefits of throwing your life out in public sphere via a blog is there is more than a few folks content to stand in the shadows, reading but not being counted as present.  More than a couple of readers came forward with positive comments of a personal nature after the dust-up.  A handful were of the female persuasion and I can guarantee that trend will be encouraged in the future.  There is nothing quite so evocative as a true southern drawl.  Texan southern speak has a hard, brassy edge to it that I find unpleasant at times to be hearing.  Those Southern Belles from deep in Dixie – Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas- have a smooth, easy lilt to a conversation that is just pure ear sex to me.  God, I love it.  So keep those cards and letters pouring in friends and neighbors.  It damn sure makes for easier going.

I had pure intention to turn this into an Amazon feed when I put the first words to screen before daylight this morning. Here I am at near 800 words and I veered off into rocking chairs, that fracas on the Frio and ear sex. Jeez o’ petes already!  I am going to do the Amazon-o-rama anyhow.

Silent fly assassin  - Fly Web Fly Trap

Silent fly assassin – Fly Web Fly Trap

Waiting for me when I got back were 4 RENOGY® Grade A 250W Watt Solar Panels duly received and cared for by Little Blondie in my absence. Muchas gracias baby! You did good. The panels are going to be teamed with my TrippLite RV 2000W 12V DC to AC Inverter already in hand. You don’t spend this type dinero without some research.  The Renogy panels are top notch quality and I have had a 100w panel in service now for a good many months with no problems. The Tripplite Inverter is plain jane no frills industrial strength.  When somebody hits the kill switch and the electricity fades from the lines,  I will still be drinking cold beers.

……and then I had this fly problem, remember?  A biblical plague of flies forced me to prowl the scant square feet of The Palace with a fly swat in each hand.  Dead fly bodies littered the floor and forced me to sweep just about every hour on the hour.  It is one thing to track a little caliche dust inside the house; quite another to have dead fly guts mashed into the linoleum.  Obviously, a man can’t live like this.  To the rescue came the Fly Web Fly Trap machine.  It is a silent fly assassin luring the little bastards to a sticky card of death that just balls them right up.  You’ll be needing some extra sticky cards as well – Fly Web Glue Board 10 Pack. Ain’t technology great?

C Crane in the house

C Crane in the house

I ain’t saying for sure but something extraordinary was done sometimes this month.  We I use the Millenicom aircard for internet -20gb limit.  Never and I mean NEVER have we bumped that limit. It just don’t happen!  Well, I got an email from Millenicom on 7/21 saying the limit had been exceeded.  On the 21st!  WTF!?  Did someone stream the whole season of Downton Abbey while I was otherwise occupied. This is just hinky as hell.  Millenicom said they were going to suspend the account until it rolled over on the first or I could pay them another $89 for another 20gb.  These folks just raised my $59 plan to $89 and I am still pretty touchy about that rape-in-progress-just-because-you-can.  Another $89??  – as if.   It is pretty normal for there to be multiple wifi networks floating around even this far out in the pucker brush.  These oil field folks manage their far flung holdings with the best technology out there.  Problem was my wifi  signal was always one bar or less.  Well,  I could pay Millenicom their blood money or I could buy the C. Crane Super USB Wifi Antenna for the same same money. Hell! Decisions, decisions! Let me tell ya this C Crane antenna is an all over beast!  My none sometimes one signal went to a 4-5 all the time.  I had 8 networks visible before; now I got over 30!  Holy cats! Shoulda done this long ago.  I ordered the 33ft Active Extension / Repeater Cable as well because I wanted to put this rascal up high on the antenna farm that lives top of the Wooster Extension Pole 8-16 feet. Height is king when you are fetching those signals out of thin air!  Man, does this thing scream!

Regular visitors know I got this obsession about potable water especially during the high summer.  Maybe I am touchy on the subject and maybe not so much.  3 days without water and you die.  Gets my attention every time.  So I got to thinking being as how I am the sole occupant and ain’t nobody around much to run a welfare check on me, maybe I oughta be making sure the water in my tote tank was spec.  Yeah, I drink the water my service guy delivers.   Always have figuring it was good practice for the Pocky Lips.  If I can purify the water that comes out of a tank 3 feet from a shit tank, whose original source is unkown and pumped by the shit truck guy that, maybe, washed his hands yesterday I oughta be golden right?  I figure so. I treat the tote tank with these tablets – Kem-Tek Chlorinating Tablets 1-Inch. 2 tabs weekly during the cool months and 3-4 tabs weekly during the summer. My only way of figuring correct dosage fell between the parameters of a slightly bleachy smell at the outlet and green shit growing in the tank. Always the consummate true professional folks, always.   Obviously, redneck organic chemistry is not the proper route where life and limb are on the line.  So I tightened up and got a bottle of Sensafe Free Chlorine Water Check Test Strips – EPA Approved to tell just exactly how the cow eat the cabbage when it come to chlorine.  I was spot on.  At the outlet, I measured 1.5 -2.0 mg/l  free chlorine. Once the water went ’round and ’round up and down in my Rube Goldberg Water Filter System I was measuring a scant trace at the inside faucet.  Works for me!  I ain’t saying I could take a dose of muddy water out of a cow track and filter it up pure but then again, maybe I could if I had to.

Dakota Alert on the job

Dakota Alert on the job

Lastly, many of the comments on my previous post concerned how I could hope to deal with running a 24 hour gate single handed.  It works like this.  You pray for a long term gate where you know most of the folks and their dogs on sight.  You hope for light traffic.  You pile the bedroom and bed full of cardboard boxes therefore negating use of aforementioned bed.  For years,  I depended on the Mighty Mule FM231 Wireless Driveway Alarm to alert me to traffic.  It is accurate mostly 97% of the time, easy to set up and move, durable and value priced.   Sometimes it misses a vehicle and sometimes I don’t hear it because I am a mostly deaf sumbitch. Not good enough when your ass is on the line solo.  I had to bite the bullet and get the Cadillac of driveway alarms – the Dakota Alert Break Beam Driveway Alarm. Pricey for sure but a stellar example of you really do get what you pay for.   This rascal does not miss. EVER.  It is a break beam system and catches man, beast,vehicle when they come inside my space.  The sensors are solar powered fer chrissakes.  Can’t even run down the battery and miss a vehicle!  I can crank the volume  up to where it near raises the dead.  The inside receiver will accept up to 4 transmitters with different tones for each.  Good stuff and I have plans to add a second one soon so I can get ’em going AND coming.

My life. My World.

South Texas Pucker Brush, USA  July 2014
Jeff Cooper says

“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.”


End Note:  I am a Keeper by the Band Perry from the Pioneer cd, Trashville – uh huh but sometimes they cannot even screw up good talent. I dig it; what else matters?

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3 comments to The Only Way Is Up

  • Miss Kathy

    Great post Andy. I hope you future life is grand beyond measure. I wish you all the best.
    Take care,

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  • Joel

    Good luck with the solar panels! We look to close the first year right at 6 MWh. I gather where you live it pays to clean them fairly frequently, with all the wind and dust.

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