New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Scullery Maid or How I started a career in dishwashing

I had surgery twice on this good ship.

In 1959 I took a little trip to the orient courtesy of the United States Navy. My ship the USS Mansfield DD728 had left without me because I was on the USS Haven hospital ship in Long Beach, California for a little surgery. When that was done and I was seen fit for duty the adventure of finding my ship began.
An oiler (tanker)(USS Taluga) was found that was going to Sasebo, Japan and it was leaving the next day. I was instructed to report immediately. I did not feel like it so I went AWOL instead. That's what they called it. I called it delaying departure until the last minute. You see I was newly married and I didn't fancy spending my last night in Long Beach for what could be a six months tour of the northern Pacific in a tankers berth five miles from my house and bride. I went aboard the next day just in time to cast off.

That threw the navy all out of sorts. I thought for a while that I had destroyed my countries dominance of the high seas forever. The country was in dire peril because I was 24 hours late. They didn't understand that I was used to making decisions, making them in my favor and making them quickly. Things being in the turmoil of departure I was given a disgusted look, told I would be written up and be given "Captain's Mast" when they had time. I told them that I was fully aware of the consequences and accepted them. The man in charge assigned me to the "scullery" for punishment. "Captain's Mast" is sort of like traffic court. It wasn't presided over by the captain or held anywhere near the mast and you are guilty. I never did get to go to one.

The "scullery" was a tiny steamy room for washing and sterilizing the stainless steel trays on which our food was served. A tanker is good duty because it carries a lot of groceries, almost always a world class baker and the best cooks in the world. The mess hall is also small and you have to eat in shifts. To top that off there were not enough trays for everyone to eat at once so the scullery was a very important place. Under the tutelage of the current scullery slave I learned everything I needed to know and shortly had him out of there as he just got in the way.

As I said the "scullery" was a steamy tiny room for washing and sterilizing the stainless steel trays consequently it was hot. My punishment turned out to be sort of like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the brier patch. I liked hot, I liked tiny efficient spaces, I liked noisy machinery and I liked working alone. I got to eat first because they needed the scullery running to feed the rest. When the cooks saw that the chow line never bogged down because of lack of trays and tableware I was treated very well. It keep me hopping and sometimes running but I got it done.

The other perks were: I always had access to the mess hall which meant the library since that is where it was. I had my first taste of Einstein's theory of relativity there and began a life long love of James Michener books. I had first choice of seats for the evening movie. I was off between meals without other duty so I spent my time on the stack deck getting a tan and reading. I didn't indulge in snacks but they were available.

The only problem I ever had was during the first week when they gave me the full load of shots for overseas duty in both arms. That compounded by the heat knocked me right on my ass but by that time I had a good reputation as a scullery maid so I was given special treatment and was quickly up and at it.

We stopped in Pearl Harbor on the way to Japan but only stayed for a few hours loading stores. We already were loaded to the line with bunker oil and aviation gasoline. A million gallons of aviation gasoline I was told. I don't know how much fuel oil. The gasoline was for the gasoline powered aircraft still in operation in the navy and the fuel oil was to fire the boilers on the ships. The US Navy was still a steamship navy in those days.

On arrival in Sasebo, Japan my ride was over and I figured I was headed for the brig. The bosun's mate in charge told me that I had done a good job and made the trip more pleasant for everyone. He said he was unable to find any record that I had been AWOL. Good luck and keep your nose clean, Goodbye.

My ship had been there but had moved on to Yokosuka. It must have been a terrible chore seeing they were shorthanded. How the operated without me must have taken monumental effort.

I was then thrown into another brier patch call the transient barracks where I polished floors and picked up cigarette butts by day and roamed the sweet smelling streets of Sasebo by night while awaiting orders.
This is what I remember of Sasebo along with a smell I can't really describe. It was neither good nor bad just different like fish mixed with shit, dishwater and sea weed.

I was now out of the scullery business and in the "transient crew member" business in typhoon season. That is the best duty in the Navy as for as I'm concerned. You are practically invisible with little in the way of responsibility. The down side is you are invisible to payroll as well.

Stay tuned for the next exiting episode of "As the Anchor Weighs" or "Avoiding a screwing by the entire U. S. Navy".

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old Fool Journal: Coming Soon. Pipeline Explosion.

This first photo shows the pipeline marker under the arm of the track hoe.
The track hoe may be sitting on the pipeline now. It's hard to tell but it's too close for me.
This is about fifty feet behind our house on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM. He is trenching next to a trench that has already been dug across the pipeline. It is the grassy area on the right.

This pipeline is owned by Gulf South and I was told by the responsible pipeliner that it is a ten inch pipe buried about four feet carrying 500 to 650PSI. It should be quite a show when it goes off. I won't see it because I'll be a crispy critter.

It will not go off right away unless these guys actually dig it up. Here is how it works. The ground here is a fairly firm layer of mud and clay floating on a deeper layer of mud. If you jump up and down on one part it moves all the rest. The house shakes all day from this activity and our rocking chair moves about three feet everyday. I had to pad some of my glassware the other day it was shaking so much. So this pipe is down there flexing all day everyday and has been for who knows how many years. It is very old. This recent activity could be the proverbial straw. If not now then any time from now on. Those doing this construction are gambling that they will be in the Bahamas spending the money they made when we get torched.

I am genuinely pissed off. I feel I am being crapped on and there is nothing I can do about it. That area was a bird and animal habitat. The birds have been driven off and I don't know where the animals went. The snakes and the deer flies came here.

When I came here I thought this was as good a place to die as any and that is still true. The only thing is I don't plan on doing it anytime soon so we are starting to talk about leaving. At my age that will be hard.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Further Proof That I Am Bent On Self-destruction

I bought another automobile. That very thing that is the object of my disgust, that machine that is a constant threat to my life and the life of my loved ones whether we are in one or not, that money sucking life robbing thing that is probably the greatest expense to most people and certainly to me. I am ashamed.Now that I've got that disclaimer out of the way I'll get on with an explanation. The automobile in question is a 1990 Nissan (Datsun) four door sedan with a 97(1.6 liter) cubic inch engine and 90 whole romping stomping horsepower. For the mathematically challenged that is a 20 year old car. I've only had one auto in my life that had a smaller engine and that was a 1956 Renault 4CV.
No visible signs of wear anywhere.

It was justified by the fact that it gets excellent gas mileage, has four doors, hand crank windows (important when you are upside down in a bayou), air conditioning and important for me it's white. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) hates white. She uses the H word a lot and believe me she puts real meaning into it. It saps her strength and mental stability but she smokes cigarettes too so that makes up for it. It has only 63,443 miles on it at the time of purchase and is one owner. It is in perfect condition with no signs of wear anywhere. The only car I have ever seen that was in better condition was sitting in the new car showroom. This auto looks better than my first new car after six months. We'll soon fix that.
There is a long list of reasons for buying another car but I will not bore you with that and cut right to the real reason. SWMBO wanted it. I seldom deny her what she wants. It's a weakness. The fact that it has 98 percent of my requirements did not hurt.
This is the first Jap car I've ever owned. I've had French cars and German cars but this is the first from the land of the rising sun.

Nissan was is just a new name for the very popular Datsun of the 1970's. I had a doper friend then that was really into Datsun pickups and swore by them. One of the girls I was seeing at the time called hers the Jesus car. Datsun had blanketed Southern California with "Datsun Saves" advertising signs and every time she would see one she say "see just like Jesus".

Going over it the last few days doing all the things necessary to insure that everything is in order has been a pleasure. The ease of maintenance and accessibility is impressive.

This car meets the "Brolin" standard for a practical worthwhile automobile. As told to me by my friend Bill Amberg that is when you raise the hood and look in you can see the ground. I am assuming this applies to operational machines.This may be what brought this all on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Death On His Relentless Journey Paid Us A Visit

Suds
Grave digging at dusk.

There be grieving here and since "Suds" was the Princesses favorite there will be more.
The grandson did not show for this ceremony. We fully understand why and he is excused.
May Suds Rest in Peace. We will all follow soon enough.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Practicing What I Preach

Trying my best to just be in the moment at all times I passed the last three days effortlessly. I didn't plan anything, I didn't organize anything but instead I just let things progress at random. Whatever I thought of at the moment is what I did unless I was distracted in which case I did that. I didn't think I did much of anything until I looked around this morning. There lots of changes in stuff that I must have made. I took a nap, played eye contact with the dogs, drove my car, watched people, watched animals, tried to smell the air (sense of smell is failing along with eyesight and hearing), rode my bike, started a new book (Lucy) and lived in my head. There seemed to be plenty of room in there. It was a really good time.I went for my weekly car drive on Friday since I have found from experience that this old jalopy has to be driven occasionally or it will turn into a static display. I found a source of sawdust for my composting toilet, some ripe avocados for cheap and experienced this young lady getting her first bike. It's under her in the grocery basket. Her joy bled over into everyone around her including yours truly. No loud mouthiness, no squealing just pure joy. I felt lighter for hours. When I look at this picture it comes back. She had her parents beaming with pride.Making haystacks out of the mown grass was therapeutic and somehow satisfying.
Looked at flowers. I don't know what they are but they volunteered in the asparagus beds.
Started on this 24 inch Free Spirit single speed. It was given to me by a neighbor that I repaired a tricycle for. It is complete and only needs tires and tubes. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) who does not like bicycles has claimed it.Suzy was my constant companion. I like her company. She doesn't talk much and always treats me with love even when I'm grumpy.
She didn't say anything about this alien from another galaxy in fact she ignored it like it wasn't even there. Perhaps it was invisible to her or perhaps she has prior experience. It didn't answer any of my inquiries just kept a wary bunch of eyes on me. I gave it a wide berth in case it was ill tempered and carrying a blaster.While riding my bike I chanced upon this young man who was sporting a wide grin.

How could he not? I had a pretty wide one myself. I defy anyone to not crack a smile when seeing someone on a set of spring heels go by. It reminded me of Pan my favorite Greek God.

When I was a child I really wanted a set of spring shoes but could never afford them. These are far better. If I had some I would have to camouflage them to look like the hind quarters of a goat and get some goat horns for my head. I would probably also need the services of the paramedics.
An authentic Pan "hind quarters of a goat" includes all of the equipment that goes with the "hind quarters of a goat" and Pans equipment is reported to be rather large. I would probably be arrested.









Biked to the library to pick up a book I had ordered.
I read fairly fast ordinarily although I try to really slow it down when reading a novel so that I can savor the material.
I should have finished this book already. The book is about a girl named Lucy who is the offspring of a English researcher (male) and a Bonobo and I immediately fell in love with this child. I suffer from a empathy condition in which it gets physically and physiologically painful. I know what would happen to this girl in real life humans being the god awful ignorant savages they are. I can't seem to keep in mind that this is fiction. After a few paragraphs it becomes as real to me as my nose so I am reading it in small doses. The anxiety level tells me when to stop. I have half the book to go and it's going to be really embarrassing if it brings tears.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Fishwife

A fishwife sells fish not buys them so the title is not exactly accurate. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) buys or catches fish but she can swear like a fishwife.

If a man is going to be married he might as well be married to a good looking woman that has a job, brings home the fish, cleans it, cooks it then washes up the mess.

This woman scored three red fish this size from one of the neighbors that fishes twice a week and is willing to share. It would be nice if she owned a vineyard (she is working on that) as well but I guess one should not ask for too much in fear of angering the gods.


First she checked it's breath for oil.
Then she cleaned it. You can see the smoker behind the paper towel.

Then she cooked it and serve it up. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the cooked fish as I was busy defending the territory around my share.
I did get a picture of some of the leftovers. This will be my lunch today. The meat in the cheeks is the best.

All the waste goes into the garden therefore it is not waste.

Regardless of the slick off hand way the government and the oil industry is burying the BP oil disaster it is still going on. The oil has for the most part disappeared from view but it is not gone. It has been found laying in a two inch thick carpet on the bottom of the gulf with a lot of dead sea life under it. BP (oil industry) not only managed to pollute the gulf with oil their evil alchemist devised a way to make oil heavier than water so that it sinks out of sight. That smacks upon witchcraft and someone(s) should be burnt at the stake.

Check this out for that sad story.

These three fish died for our sins but thankfully not because of them.
I hear we can get gulf shrimp now and I'll report when I do. I do hope so as I've tried the shrimp from Walmart and I'd just as soon not have any. My favorite eat out place gets theirs from South America somewhere and they are tasteless. I'm sticking to their fried zucchini and catfish both of which are excellent.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Happiness

Happiness: How can you be objective about happiness? My experience is that happiness has as many meanings as there are individuals on this water world.

As for me I stopped striving for happiness a long time ago and instead started striving to be less annoyed. It is amazing to me the results I got from just lowering my expectations. An old girl friend years ago told me that I could never be happy because I was never satisfied. That worried me for a very long time because she was right. I was never satisfied but my problem with that was I often felt happy. She had to be wrong about happiness being tied to satisfaction. Turns out that I am one of those people that needs a goal to be happy. What drives me toward a goal is dissatisfaction. Once the goal is met I am satisfied except I now don't have a goal so I am dissatisfied. Talk about chasing your tail. So at least for me satisfaction and happiness are connected only momentarily. I am mostly happy when I am dissatisfied. I no longer think about it except to try to constantly have a goal and try not to "over think" it.

During those years in the '60's when I was trying to understand "Life, the Universe and Everything" I ran across the concept of "be". As in "just be". I didn't understand it of course but I made it a goal. When I was in Hawaii (Maui) on the good ship "Serenity" I sort of discovered what that was about. There were people there that did it very well without being brain damaged, wealthy or otherwise disadvantaged. Believe me it was not something I found easy to do but I managed to do it well enough that I knew that overall I liked it. Sometimes it was extremely satisfying and sometimes it was uncomfortable. To just "be" is still my life goal.

Many years ago and I don't remember how many but at least forty five (about the mid '60's) I started eliminating "hate" from my life. I say started because it is a hard thing to stop doing. Once I realized that when I eliminated the word the concept quickly followed. Turns out that all the things and people I thought I hated I really just disliked. People who use the word really mostly dislike who or what they are talking about. How can you hate broccoli or rain? I hear it said and often. It has been said that you can not love without hate. That is just bullshit. I know of no other English word that so apply defines that statement. I believe that hate draws on the very energy that love does and that by exercising it the ability to love is diminished. I don't believe that really not liking broccoli or rain does that. Hating a person will wither you and make you fat. It's that bad for you. I have use the word more in this paragraph than I have used it over the last 10 years (I'm sure) and I really, really don't like it. Hate makes me feel like a "withered obese goblin" when I'd rather feel like Gonzo on a bike.

Want to see what happiness looks like just look into the eyes of a mother when she is breast feeding her newborn. I doesn't matter whether it is a human, a cat or a chimpanzee the look is the same. It transcends all species boundaries.
Or look into the eyes of a child still in diapers when you are cleaning its bottom and changing that full diaper. Those eyes will show you complete trust and love as yet unfettered by language, hate or violence. If you can see yourself mirrored in those eyes then you are not so bad.

Be excellent to each other. -Bill S. Preston, Esq
Party on dudes! -Ted "Theodore" Logan:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Old Fools Journal: News Stands and Magazine Racks or Worshiping at the Comic Book Stand


I started to learn to read more that 65 years ago and and I'm still learning. It has been both my salvation and my downfall. Comic books and magazines were what I had then instead of TV and the internet. Games did not require an electrical outlet but I wasn't a game player then or now anyway so following in my dad's footsteps I read or I adventured. We always had magazines with high quality stories and of course the newspaper. My mother purchased a set of World Book Encyclopedia early on but I didn't realize the sacrifices she must have made for us to have them. We had very little spare money in those days and I guess we were thought of as poor but I didn't know that.

The large grocery stores in the BIG city (Little Rock, Ark) had comic book and magazines stands as did Woolworth's that sometimes were extensive. There were at least a half a dozen magazine, newspaper and comic stands on main street so when I got run out of one I'd go to the next.

The public library was a Saturday target in my preteen and tween years and I was not only allowed but encouraged. When I entered the fifth grade at Brady School the class room was half the auditorium and it was the half with the stage. Let me explain. The fifth and sixth grade had a large folding door that separated them so that when opened it was one large room. The fifth grade class room had a stage at the end. The library consisted of bookcases on wheels that could be moved into the wings when the stage was needed. We had Christmas and Easter pageants there as well as magic shows, Halloween shows, Ventriloquist and Minstrel shows in black face. There were no dances as the area was primarily Baptist, Methodist and Pentecostal and that would have been a sin. They chose instead to drink beer/whiskey, smoke cigarettes and commit adultery. They also practiced racism and sexism devoutly.

Being in the room with the library had it's advantages. Everyone got to go there but if you hurried and did your work you could spend the remainder of the time in the bookcases. I turned out some really mediocre fast work to get that little perk. At the time I thought I was getting away with something but in retrospect I don't think so. I think that the teacher Mrs. Hogan just let it happen bless her heart. Little did she know she was turning me into a well read poor student. I also encountered my first writers block the first day in her class. I couldn't remember how to write my last name (Swaim). She discreetly showed me. I have waves of embarrassment wash over me when I remember that little episode. It's strange how things work out I feared that woman yet of all my grade school teachers she is the one that stands out. Her and Mrs Abacrumbie the one with the paddle.

I'm going to get back to Brady School in future post as it was a slice of life that is so close in time yet so unbelievable to many. It was in a world different from this one. When I started school there Markham St was a dirt road, the class rooms were heated with large coal stoves (the students brought in the coal), the toilet was a four hole a long way from the school house and the city limit was about a mile to the east at what is now University Ave. I learned to chew tobacco there (I learned cigarette smoking at church), that a paddling hurt but was way more embarrassing and girls were way different from boys in a good way.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Old Fools Journal: More Bugs or Aliens from a distant Galaxy?

I don't seem to grow a lot of stuff in all my attempts and certainly not anywhere the amount I could buy if I spent the money on store bought food. I do meet a lot of bugs.
Eastern Eyed click beetle. It makes a click when it turns itself right side up. SWMBO says all you have to do is touch them on the back. I don't know I don't spend a lot of time tormenting bugs. Explanation at the end of this post.

Those big black eyes are fake. The real eyes are little black dots on either side of what appears to be a nose but is really it's head.

The larvae eat plants and living things in the ground but the adults don't eat much I'm told.

They are fearsome looking but harmless.
Cicada Killer Wasp. They live in the ground and are very territorial. They will sting. The females have stingers but the male does not.
They kill Cicadas several times larger than themselves and they themselves are pretty big. This one is almost an inch and half long. They will then carry the cicada up a tree, building or post as high as they can then try to fly back to the nest with it. Sometimes they have to make several tries. Because they just don't have enough horsepower to maintain altitude. I know the feeling. They are persistent.
You can see a cicada Here.
This Milkweed Assassin Bug covered my tomato plants in the spring and our grapes. I had seen them before but I didn't know what they were. Turns out it is beneficial as it provides insect control. They wait in ambush for their prey and have piercing sucking mouth parts that are used to remove bodily fluid.

When the victim is captured and punctured, it is pumped full of a dissolving fluid so the insides can be sucked out. That's what I think is happening to me when listening to a politician or a talking head.

They go after flies, mosquitoes, beetles and large caterpillars. They are probably why I didn't have many tomato caterpillars this year.

They are are not aggressive but they will defend themselves injecting you with their insides dissolving saliva. It is said to be painful so beware. I had enough of them this spring to dissolve me. I'm glad they don't work in packs. There is a horror movie in this somewhere.

Ever since I saw "Men in Black" I treat them all as aliens from a distant galaxy with a blaster or disruptor on them although I find the thought of having my insides slowly dissolved then sucked out more disturbing. I once knew this girl in Calif...........oh never mind that is another story mostly unrelated.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Purses and Pockets

I started carrying stuff in my pockets as soon as I had pockets. At first it was treasures of opportunity, things that were important to a young man on a quest such as rocks, bugs and such. By the time I was eight years old I had requirements and the first was my pocket knife. It wasn't much but at that age I didn't need much. I didn't need a wallet because if I had any money it was a nickel or a dime and it went right in with the pocket knife. Some time later I added a ball of strong twine which is a handy item for a young adventurer. I would have added a compass but they were scarce and expensive. Sometimes there was wire, matches or some nails but there was always the pocket knife.

As I grew up the essentials grew with things such as a comb when I become aware of my grooming or lack thereof, a wallet when I started having paper money and nail clippers when I found that girls didn't like to be touched by dirty ragged fingernails and I was very much into touching. The first time a girl accepted a touch from me I was hooked for life. Clean neat fingernails became very important. Keys came along when I started driving a car.

As a young adult I had pretty much settled into a pocket knife, some change, a comb, a bandanna, a pen or pencil, car/house keys and a wallet. When I smoked a cigar lighter was included. What was in the wallet is a whole other story.

That was pretty standard for years. Sometime in my early 60's I added a tape measure since I always seemed to need one. Then when regular print started becoming fine print I added the all important magnifying glass. The last item I would have loved as a boy but I never had anything but cheap toy magnifiers and few of them would even start a fire. Probably just as well as I liked to start fires entirely too much. Now it is essential for reading the stuff that corporations would like for you to not know.

For the last few years it settled into a pocket knife, a comb, change, a tape measure, magnifying glass, magnet and a wallet. I added the magnet when I started finding a lot of stainless, bronze and copper for cheap. It is the only non-scarring way I know to detect plated iron. To that I add a compact multi-tool to my belt, a pen/tablet to my shirt pocket, a cell phone which doubles as a pocket watch although I really don't care what time it is, a spare battery for the camera I'm taking this picture with and sometimes a calculator. That's a lot of stuff but it gives me a sense of security.

There is other stuff that I don't leave the house without but it is more than my pockets can hold so I have a small backpack for that. It carries sunglasses, visor or cap, reusable grocery bags and extra bungees. I call it my "dirt bag" after the bags that the burnt out bums that congregated in Lahaina, Maui carried in the seventies. You would have to see them to understand.

I could use a belt pack commonly thought of as a fanny pack when worn in the back which is essentially a belt worn purse. I never liked the look of a fanny pack. The Scottish version is called a Sporran which is worn in the center front. Traditional kilt wearers believe you are not dressed unless you have one . I have one I've never used. Needless to say I am not traditional. The frontier version was called a "possibles" bag and held all manner of things. It might be belt worn or on a sling over the shoulder. Possibles bags carried wondrous things such as rifle balls, patches, flint & steel, dry tender and no telling what other magical things. The little boy part of my brain runs away with itself when I think about it.

The closest I ever came to a purse was back in the 1960's when we had colorful woven shoulder bags usually made in India or Mexico. Men and women carried them especially when wearing drawstring pants or beach wear. I mostly wore shorts with few pockets. They held a lot of stuff and since they were over your shoulder seldom left behind. They were great for carrying your stash. Then in the 1970's I carried a lot of cash and used a zippered bank bag but I tended to leave it laying around so I ditched that idea early on. I am in complete awe of women that can keep track of their handbags.

When I worked I had plenty of pockets and when it was cold I had jeans thus pockets.

I have pockets in all but one of my kilts (the store bought one) and since I sew my own I build them in. I won't buy shorts or pants unless they have at least two pockets but I prefer three. There is no sense in having more as I forget what's in them. I have some scrubs with five pockets and I have had some anxious moment when I couldn't find my wallet. This winter I'm going to sew up a portable pocket that hangs from your waistband for those times when you need one more pocket. Even my swim suit has pockets. I've never been swimming in it. I'm not into swimming in my clothes.There is one other thing I sometimes carry in my right front pocket and it is what I call my mojo. Usually it's the seed pod pictured on the right above. That was carried by my dad until he passed to the great model airplane flying field in the sky. Prior to this one he carried the one his dad carried until it wore out and crumbled to pieces. The river stone I carried before I inherited his seed pod. For many years I knew not why the need for these. Although in my younger days I had carried a medicine bag I did not see this was the same thing. Sometimes I have been a little dense. As I grew older I discovered I was holding and rubbing these mojos instead of gritting my teeth. I have lost count of the number of individuals that have been saved from being choked to death by these mojos. That is real magic.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Old Fools Journal: All is Well So Far

The Day After the Birthday. This is Grammas' not so world famous but world class chili con carne y frijoles. I make good edible chili but she makes great CHILI. Not to hot (I like it hot) so kids and the delicate can eat it but always spiced perfect. She says it's the sugar. She finally talked me into putting a little in mine and I have to admit that my chili now taste better.

Thankfully she doesn't read my stuff so I still live. I do tell her I write about her so it's not like she doesn't know. I passed on the Happy Birthdays.

We worked in the yard today. She cut the grass and I played with my bucket garden. These are all the carrots I got but they are a free bee. I had some seed so I put it in the buckets with the tomatoes. I did some basil as well and I have lots. It all seemed to be happy growing together.

This isn't much but I'm going to simmer them with home grown cayenne, basil and cane sugar. I think it will turn out fine. No one else will eat it but it will last me three days. Free fiber.

The yard didn't get finished today because that old women just pooped out. Says her chest hurts and I don't doubt it. It's mostly brought on by stress and believe me she has had plenty. It's too long a story to tell here but someday when I feet brave again I'm going tell what she has been through. It is not a happy story.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Old Fools Journal: Happy Birthday SWMBO

Today is SWMBO's (she who must be obeyed) 65th birthday. She has reach official senior citizen status and she is still a pretty hot
number to me

Look at the hair. She constantly complains about it but it is her crowning glory and I love it.

She might be 65 but she still has a nice figure. Better than most of the young and very young around here. In this part of the USA they tend to go to seed early.

She worked a full day today and came home with a smile. Last night on MissDonnamas eve we shared a very nice bottle of wine she brought home for my unbirthday. She tends to give presents on her birthday.


Never mind our very lived in and overworked kitchen just notice the back lit flowers. They are for allergies but the Cutty Sark is the antidote.



Over the years I have bought her a number of presents on her birthday such as a shovel, a hoe, rototiller and one year a wheelbarrow. This year it was a new carpet sweeper.

That tends to piss the romanticist off but we buy tools for each other then provide the labor to operate them. She is very good at knowing what tools I need and will use. For instance the Dremel that I said I didn't need and wouldn't use but have nearly worn out already. Oh yeah she likes to gloat when she is right which is often.


In the spring of 2010.



















It's hard to believe she can be such a bitch when she's doing this. I forget the bitch part pretty quickly.













1984 and it must have been in port. She is in the Serenity's galley and she is wearing clothes. Did I mention she can cook anywhere and under any conditions. She can build a fire with nothing if she has a match or more likely a cigarette lighter. She smokes like a steam train but she picks up her butts.







Fourteen years old. She never had to deal with being ugly or plain.

She's half Russian and the other half is Irish and French which means it could be anything. Her mother was not Miss Purity as she was working in a submarine dry-dock in Tampa in WW2 and managed to get knocked up by a sailor off a Russian Submarine. She tried to hide it but mylady found out through her Mexican stepfather that just loved her to pieces. She went to school with a Mexican last name for years. Her last name was given to her by another honorable man that just happen to love her mother a great deal. She never knew him. There is more to this story but I am going to be killed for telling what I have and posting the photos. If I go into greater depth there is no telling what she will do to me. There are things worse than being killed.

Her soul hears the music of Russian pessimist but her legs hear the music of dance.

I am proud to be seen with her anytime and anywhere. Well, except for the time we where thrown out of a bar near Salt Lake City because she was drunk and belligerent or maybe the time she puked on the bar in a dive in Carenco, Louisiana. Such sweet memories.