New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Borders revisited or Look I found dem pitchers

Back on November 19, 2010 I wrote a post about Borders and an unfortunate event we had with my old pickup truck. I thought I had lost all the photos but low and behold I had put them where I was bound to find them the next time I was in a cleaning frenzy. My last post had some of them and there will be more. I went back and edited them into the original post about that event.

Meanwhile here are the photos if you do not wish to go back to that post.
She's down a little in the stern. That women never batted an eye but went to work setting up housekeeping. Living with me she is kind of used to "unfortunate events". I don't hang my ass so far out as I used to.
All the parts arrived at the same time except for the wheel but they were worn a little. Fortunately the wheel did not roll over the cliff or take off back down the mountain and when my heart rate got back down to 1000 beats/second I fetched it.
Her kitchen. I went off to gather some fire wood and while I as at that foolishness she built a fire and made coffee. Her opinion of men helping to make camp cannot be printed here as she uses words I have never heard (even in the navy) but I know they are nasty.

It's cocktail time here now and I think I'll go visit with that young lady for a while.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Old Memories

Whist going through some old photos I found stuffed away in the back of the bus the other day in a frenzy of spring cleaning I thought to share a few. Really I was trying to think of something witty to post about but lately I don't feel so witty. I have updates on the plants, the cats, construction in my backyard that has destroyed an entire habitat, the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and our entire way of life and I have plenty of comments on the crumbling of the rest of the thin fabric holding a so called civilization together all in the name of God. That's doG for dyslexics.
My only comment tonight because I'm trying to be mellow is "There are too many rats in this cage".
These photos were taken in Seattle, Washington in the winter of 1978 just prior to heading south toward Southern California.
The old bus is running as you can tell by the blue/gray haze at the rear and it's leaking oil. That's how you can tell when it's running. When it's off it just leaks oil.
That white stuff on the ground is not bird shit.
This is the driver, yours truly. He doesn't have a clue. He dresses like a cowboy and he does not know he is about to become as close as he'll ever get to that. Horse shoeing school is just a few years ahead. So are a lot of other adventures. He is only 39 years old and thinks he's an adult. He does not know that 33 years later he will be living in this pile of aluminum and will be very attached to it.Rose named for Hoyt Axton's Bus Honeysuckle Rose. Notice the sketched sitting brown dog on the aluminum. This greyhound has retired to the brown dog status. This browndog proved that it could still run with the greyhounds. This sketch and lettering was done by my faithful girl sidekick "Genie". If it wasn't for her I would not have this old bus now. I'll tell that story someday but I need to talk to her first and she is very hard to contact.

That orange headlight is the color the idiot that bought this jewel painted the entire bus when he bought it at auction in 1963. The man I bought it from changed it back to the Greyhound Bus Lines colors but somehow this headlight got left out. I've been going to fix that since 1978 and I may get around to it someday. No reason to be in a hurry.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Now You See It Now You Don't

I took this photo a little over a week ago in the yard next to the oral surgeon's office.
Imagine my surprise when I returned yesterday and found this empty spot.

Like any good Lorax I was incensed, dismayed and outraged. So with my Lorax hat pulled firmly down to my ears and gnashing my teeth so hard sparks were flying. I demanded to know who chopped down that beautiful tree and why. I assumed it was done in the name of progress for an extension of the parking lot for cars. It turns out however that the tree had taken a direct lightning hit the year before and that all efforts to save it had failed. Even the parasitic ferns that grew on the bark had died. You'll notice that in the top picture there are no green leaves. These trees have green leaves year around.

The tree was estimated to be in excess of 80 years old. I did not know this tree personally but I knew it's brothers and sisters and I am the caretaker of some of the younger generation so I felt a kinship with it.

R.I.P. old friend I'll be along soon enough. (even though we met after death as a unabashed flaming tree hugger I am a friend to all trees).

Written for the sole purpose of using the phrase "gnashing of teeth".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Vernal Equinox or Spring has sprung

Yes the Vernal Equinox is upon us again. 72 I've celebrated now and I am not tired of them. The juices of the entire northern hemisphere of the planet are flowing. I trust we will survive it again.
These dead Jalapeño are showing some green. I thought the freeze got them but they are coming back with great vigor. Our seven year old Jalapeño bit the dust but it was a prolific producer. I have planted a new one in it's place. The two above produced well last summer right up until after the New Year. I have six plants now and that ought to keep me in chilies. I have not planted Cayennes yet and I am looking for some Tabascos. Habaneros which are my favorite flavor I don't plant. They are so damned hot that I can only use about one a year. They require special handling for me so I let someone else do it and buy them already mixed and prepared in a hot sauce bottle. They are still really hot but you can taste them.
The Jalapeño garden. I give them good stuff to drink.
Two of the Five tomatoes. I not putting much effort into tomatoes this year. I will seed this in basil as well. That was a good bottle of wine.
This roommate did not make it but he (or she who the hell knows?) went to the Great Lizard from a silver bowl. He left a lizard turd behind. I live with lizards and spider. Mostly they mind their business and I mind mine. They seldom get out of hand but when then do I become GOD and smack'em.
This first day of spring has been a confusing and complicated day with too many things to do. I did what I could then found it all not so satisfying so I have kind of withdrawn into a grumpy shell. I am looking forward to the escape of sleep.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Old Fools Journal: St Patricks Day and Look what showed up

Today was my annual inspection of the VA clinic in Houma, Louisiana. It was spotless, efficient, courteous and very friendly as usual. My favorite vampire was her usual painless efficient self. About the time you start to get tensed up she is finished.

As you can see I brought them some St Patricks Day entertainment. Picture was taken by the head man himself at his request. He is probably running it through Interpol now.

There are three descriptive names for what we wear. There is the 'ensemble' and the' outfit' and then there is the 'get up'. There is a forth but it is more of a question and that is "what team did you say you a playing for"? Criticism not required as I threw this getup together this morning early and I know what it lacks. It probably shocked some of the local ignorants but it did not cause anyone to want to fight. It did bring a lot of smiles and some very friendly conversation plus picture taking. I was home having breakfast by 0900.
This bandit showed up about a week ago. Looks like he is staying for awhile. His spring juices are flowing and he is a horny bastard. The kittens are getting use to the idea but not without resistance.Here is one resisting.

Spring is gnawing at me daily. Things to be done and I am wallowing in it trying to do everything at the same time getting little done in the process. Of course since I cannot seem to shut up I will tell all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Sailing in My Dreams

When I awoke this morning I was lying naked on the pale blue deck looking up at a full dirty white mainsail and spinnaker. They were set for a broad reach, the sea was a calm dark blue and we seemed to be sliding along through the air between heaven and sea. The only sound was the swish of the hull knifing through the water. The sun was high and islands were barely visible in the distance but they were familiar so I knew where we were. My last recollection was a light conversation with a very blond very naked slim young lady in which she was telling me I was crazy. Looking around I saw her there and she was smiling that big toothy smile backed by those laughing clear blue eyes belying the heartache she would bring.........then I woke up for real. (Based on a real happening)

At least that was better than a couple of days ago when I was driving my old ford pickup and I had lost my way somewhere between desperation and disillusionment.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Life Happens or If I had a Job I would have to quit to take care of my personal life.

The kilt gets attention but mostly the complaints are from men. Most women are not offended at all nor do they feel threatened. Some men appear to feel threatened and most derogatory remarks are just silly indicating insecurity. I am happy to say that some of my readers are silly (thankfully) but all seem to be mature adults in matter such as these.The first asparagus of the season. Sweet and tender. Too good to cook. Eat them like candy from the garden. I ate these before Friday and I am glad because when the "blood letter" with the knives finished working in my mouth I was not in the mood for food. I thought he ruined my pie hole but it is getting better. At least now it doesn't hurt. I have gotten really familiar with various soups. Tomorrow I can have soft food. I think SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) has mashed potatoes and steak gravy planned for me. I love it but I think she is trying to kill me with good food. I no longer can eat corn on the cob, tacos or an apple but if I can get it past the gapping hole where my front teeth use to be then it's done for.

The surgeon called me last night to see if I was OK. I have not experienced anything like that in many years. I told him not to worry I had plenty of drugs and was feeling no pain. I ain't into pain.

The pain lately has been the computer and only because I have not been in the mood. My new computer came with Windows 7 and I decided to use it as long as it would work. I cannot say that it has been difficult. The only problem is that Windows only speaks windows and I have other stuff. Fortunately I still have a backup Linux machine that can interpret for Microsoft. I don't expect windows to last long. The way I use a computer MS windows goes south in about 6 months.

Microsoft wants you to use only their stuff and I don't. Most all my work is on the internet somewhere so I can work from any computer. The rest is on separate backup drives.

I don't take this computer stuff any more seriously than I would a radio. If one does not work move on to one that does. I used to be a geek but now I only want to know where the on/off switch is.
That 7 by 7 inch square is it. Don't look like much does it. Pencil is for scale. The backup USB hard drive is nearly half this size.
Wireless keyboard and mouse came with it. I have small hands so these fit me very well.

This report is not a complaint just a report of life happening. This poor guy only ran out of gas which seems to happen a lot these days however when he comes back he will find that life is happening for him too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Old Fools Journal:DoesThis Make Me Look Fat? or Why would anyone care what I wear under me kilt?

Why anyone would care to look at an old man in a skirt mystifies me but since you ask here it is. This is the Wallace tartan I just received (Birthday present from me). I really like red and black but the real reason for this one is my deceased step-son is a Wallace. He is gone but not forgotten.
The material has a wool look and feel but it is acrylic. The good part is it is easy to sew, holds a crease, machine washable and most importantly feels really sexy against your skin. The bad part is it burns like a fuse.
This one is from Stillwater Kilts in Minnesota and is the cheapest on the market. I can't buy the Tartan for the price of the kilt so I buy these then custom fit them for me. This one is going to be fitted with my first attempt at slash pockets.

I thought I was getting a head start on a failing computer but I just made it under the wire. After transferring everything to the new computer I decided to clean and straighten up some wiring. When finished and upon starting the computers the old one refused to boot. It did not just refuse to boot but refused to even do the pre-start check. It is now a shelf or a boat anchor.
It has some components I can and will use and the aluminum case will probably be used in the next project that requires some thin sheet aluminum stock. It has been a good machine and will live on.
The specs are: Refurbished E Machine bought in 2004. It was not state of the art then, it is an antique now.
The new machine is another refurbished E Machine less than a fifteenth the size of the old one, twice the features and half the price.
A full report is coming soon.It's name is Eryna MacHine.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old Fools Journal: First Day of Another Space Trip Around the Sun or Baby Boomers say 72 is the begining of old age

I use Google everyday and when I went to it yesterday this is what I got. When moused over it said "Happy Birthday Richard". I wonder if Google watches me when I sleep.

It has been brought to my attention that I am not a "baby boomer". Officially they seem to be those that are just turning 65. I was made before all those people went off to war. My child bride just turned 65 this last year and so have my delectable Exes. My child bride is a true baby boomer being a cross between a Tennessee girl and a Russian submarine sailor. I came out of the shoot before world war 2 so I don't count. Being married to a "boomer" however has given me honorary status.

Baby boomers have pushed old age up to 72 now (I saw it on TV so it must be true) so now I have entered old age. I look and feel a hell of lot better than the "boomers" I have seen. I can not say that I identify with people my age since I only know two so it is hard to get a grasp on what to identify with. I find I am more likely to identify with 6 year olds. They have more imagination, are more open minded and in most case they are better conversationalist too. If they have graduated from kindergarten they know all they need to know to have a successful and happy life.

All those people that went through the age of enlightenment in the 60's, those open minded experimenters that were out to change the world have mostly faded away and have become their parents or worse. All that most do is talk about their ailments and problems with their medication. Most put their underwear back on, exchanged recreational drugs for prescription drugs, found an external god instead of the one within and disappoved their children and grandchildren practicing free love. Many who marched against war now embrace it. The men exchanged their colorful clothes and flowers in their hair for waving their cane in the air and shouting "in my day we..........(fill in the blank)........" at the TV. Most accept the curtailment of personal freedom without a whimper and trudge on pulling a sledge with tons of useless baggage on it.

As far as I can determine most have not learned from history and I am constantly reminded of that when I see things coming around for the second and third time. It is not my problem just my observation. I became an observer and protector some time ago. What do I protect? Nothing really but I try to protect what you need to know to not make the same mistakes over and over. I find that few really care.

SWMBO ask me once who would read all those BLOGS? Then volunteered "I wouldn't". I did not try to change her mind as that is like trying to go through granite with nail clippers. She is mostly rational and eventually works it out herself I am happy to say. I volunteered that I would and I do. I read every blog that every one of my fellow seekers writes and post. I read every comment, answer every email and look for more. I read the post of people from 14 (the youngest I have found) to whatever age the old farts are willing to admit to, ranging from the arctic circle to the tip of South Africa. I have become connected and entangled in the lives of so many of all ages that sometimes I have to back off to breath. I am involved. Sometimes it brings real heartache and sometimes extreme joy. I am so glad that I get to live in this time of acceleration of world connection. This is not the world of the future I envisioned. I envisioned flying cars, space travel and robots. What we get with our steady diet of war and greed is connection. That is so much better than the flying cars and robots.

We also get those that would like to go back to the stone age, those that say "to much to soon" and many who say "lets do the right thing but not yet". The "not yets" would like to wait until they have made a profit.

Thank you to all those who read my drivel. Thank you for the comments. Some make me happy and when there is disapproval they make me sad but I wrote what I wrote and I cannot unwrite it. Some of you I have researched, some I correspond with outside the blog and all of you I identify with in some way or other.

As for me, what you see here is what there is. I am to lazy to play act.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Old Fools Journal: What the Hell Flora Belle here we are again


Well against all odds I have made another circumnavigation of Sol our local star. That is approximately another 583 million American miles or what the rest of the world would call 938 million kilometers. Americans do not like to be like the rest of the world. Just because another measuring system makes better sense does not mean Americans will go for it after all it is not American. What else do you expect of a country that changes scientific results to fit politics.

So grandma Flora Belle and I are celebrating, if you can call it that, another birthday. She is 143 today but she is quite dead.

My birthdays always are a celebration of my mother for me. After all that was when I met her face to face. Face to face is not usually what you would call poking your head out of a hole between someones legs but in this case it is just a figure of speech. The only thing different between me and a turd is a couple of inches. It is a good thing we do not remember our birth I guess. It happened to everyone unless you come out through the belly like in the movie "Alien". In the stories even Jesus Christ used that portal. I do not know for sure because I was not there.

Except for Hay-sus Cristo everyone's mother had sex and more than once. Most enjoyed it without even thinking about what was to come (pun not intended). I hope my mother got the full benefit. She sure deserved it. If she was anything like her offspring she liked it a lot. For her moments of pleasure she received plenty of work, pain and heartache and she never flinched.

Every year at this time I atone for my transgressions and remember that grand woman I call MOM.

This picture was taken at my paternal grandparents in 1941. I was two. I suspect that by this time the new had worn off but she never let me know it.

I was her darling baby boy right up until she made the great escape to that final peaceful place. She never berated me and always had a smile for me.

My new kilt came this morning in the regular mail at 10:30 AM. I ordered it Wednesday from located in Minnesota. That is quick and they are known for that. It is a casual, lightweight kilt made of acrylic and it is as cheap as pants. I like the feel of this fabric on my skin.
To my surprise SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) enthusiastically offered to hem it. I was not looking forward to that job so of course I accepted. Normally I like to sew but today I'm a little shaky for some reason and sewing was likely to be a bloody affair. I am a compact version of a real person so naturally almost everything I buy is too long.

It is machine washable and only looks like the heavy weight kilts made with 8 yards of wool the traditionalist are so fond of. It will cover my ass and if I happen to get potting soil, dog slobber or bicycle on it no big deal. I like to sew the material but you really do not want to get it near fire. Burns like a fuse. The tartan is Wallace.

I have one of these in the Blackwatch tartan and intend to get one in Irish National by St. Patrick's day. This kilt is supposed to be worn with a sporran but I am going to try my hand at retrofitting it with slash pockets. I will try to get some pictures of it soon.All these wine bottles showed up today and they are all full. Good wines all and way to good for me. My regular wine come in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box and I like it. This will be a nice change for starting but after a couple of glasses I might as well go back to the cheap stuff because at that point I am drinking for effect not taste.

A glass will be raised by me to Gramma Flora Belle tonight.
and thanks mom I hope I get to do this again next year.
One time free plug for stillwater

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Dickmas Eve

Dick, short for Dickie, being the nickname my mother gave me makes tonight Dickmas eve. It was the only mean thing she ever did to me. I expect it will be like any other night filled with wine drinking and revelry or something like that.

Yesterday was library day but I fucked off instead. Today is thrift store day but I am one day behind so I went to the library today. I can go to the Thrift Store tomorrow. I don't mind being thought of as weird but I do not want to be thought of as purposely stupid so I drove my 24 year old car using $3.25 (that is three dollars and twenty five cents boys and girls) a gallon gasoline. The stupid never know they are stupid that is why they are called stupid. If I wanted to purposely be thought of as stupid I could belt my pants around my thighs. I really wanted to ride my bike but it is raining and windy so not wanting to appear too stupid I drove. I realize that driving two miles for those trivial reasons is stupid in itself but whatever. Wet and miserable was not acceptable as long as I had spare change in my pocket. The alternative would be do nothing and sit on the money I would save while it gets worth less and less. I drove but I licked my lips while I did it so as to get the most out of it.

I brought home "America"-the book and "Earth"-the book by Jon Stewart and "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfield. I also brought two movies "Time Bandit" and "the Chronicles of Narnia" so expect nothing productive from me this weekend. Tomorrow being Dickmas you should not anyway.

While I am on the subject I watched the "Finding Neverland" last week for the second time. It was just as good as the first time and I shed another bitter/sweet tear. It is about the creator of Peter Pan. If you are a hard hearted old bastard then forget it but if you do not mind having your innermost tender feelings tweaked a bit this ought to do it.

My computer is showing signs of old age and so is my backup so I ordered a new one. Another refurbished one. A little tiny thing. It is hard to believe how cheap usable PCs are now. I will be tending to that heartache next week. I can not believe I am actually doing this before the old one started letting the magic smoke that makes it work out. That is so out of character. Maybe I am getting a little wiser as I get older. Nah.

My birthday present to me is a new cheap Pakistani made Kilt in the Wallace tartan. Wallace was the last name of my deceased step-son. He was a good guy that loved life and made others love life which is what got him killed. In his name I am supporting something for the Pakistani to do besides kill each other for Allah. Life is not fair but it is still good.

I will be making a few adjustments to this kilt and some major changes. I would have made it myself but I cannot buy the material for what I paid for the kilt. It will do.

At 0245 in the morning I will have completed 72 orbits of Sol outside my mothers body. I imagine that 72 years ago right about now mom was not feeling all that good.

More about this tomorrow if I am able.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Living-A Major Project or How to waste you life away

About day 5

Life does not go along as I want or as I expected. I suppose if it did then I would become complacent and cease to try to make it better. My ideas on "how to make it better" have change over the years but I am happy to say they still are there.

One of those ideas has occurred several times in my life and that is to use bicycles as transportation. In the pre-automobile days of my youth it was the other option (walking was the first), In the late sixties and early seventies it was chosen just because I had such a great place to do it. At both times it was not for entertainment it was to get from point A to point B. Fifteen or so years ago I started using bikes again for exercise. It was not fun, except for the working on them, but I was so out of shape I made myself do it. Then I started using them for transportation again. That was fun and satisfying.

I do not care for bikes that are only useful as a diversion. I want utility and reliability. I do not want to race, exercise, jump (or do other stunts) or play Polo on them. I just want to be able to take one out of the shed and head off to wherever I need to go and do whatever I need to do. I use old fashion components (mostly free) and I build them to do whatever specialty I need. I do not care for group rides and a group to me is more than one. As you might guess I am not a "joiner". Since I don't have any spare time using a bike as a diversion is pretty much out.With spring looming and the heat of summer lurking I have plenty to do such as cleaning off the potting bench and starting some heritage tomatoes. Four are started here. I am going for a minimal garden this year.
The table: $5.00-garage sale. There is about two dollars tied up in all those pots. All from the thrift stores or repurposed.I have another table that I just repaired. This old table was the table in my bus when I bought it 32 years ago. I added some legs that fell off a composite table my dad had (those composite tables don't last long outside) two years ago but the board I fastened them to did not last. This is this tables third incarnation since 1979. There are never too many tables
Save everything.
Fix everything.

The planter trike became a little tired over the winter but nothing a little scrap lumber and some screws could not fix. It is fixed now and with a new and improved rear brace made with thrift store hinges (50 cents). Screws were pulled from a scrap shelf that showed up one night at the outdoor fire pit.
Landing gear up

Landing gear down

Both the new and the old canopy are up. They are fastened and guy wired a little better this time. I usually get complaints from SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) when I guy the corners because of the trip hazard but she is amazingly quiet this time.
The new. It is in the down and secured position as we were expecting some wind that night.

The old. Notice the tasteful use of duct tape on the corner. Duct tape is your friend.

The original is that white stuff next to my DIY tomato cages. I decided that repairing it would not be worth the effort. SWMBO said it looked like a pile of spare parts to her. It will not be discarded.

We were invited to haul off a stack of pallets so we did. Some will be used in various projects and some will be for firewood. I used some pieces of rotten pallet wood this morning to take the chill off. If I get ambitious I may turn these into a floor in the old canopy for the garden tools.
As I said in my last post planting has started. From the front to the back there is the squash tub, avocado tree, mustard bucket and spinach (blue) tub . There is also the Detroit Diesel oil drip bucket. Nothing grows in it pretty much like the parts of the Gulf that BP improved with lots of crude oil.

I vowed when I started these post that I would never use animals as subject matter but here I am. I'm using the excuse that I was asked.

Old people need to keep pets and they need to see the cycle of life continuing. Just because you are old and about to die does not mean you need to hurry it up. I recommend to young parents that they keep breedable pets. There are life lessons there that can be learned in no other way. "Oh they are too messy" or "Oh I'm too busy". I can't imagine how barren my young life would have been if my parents thought that way. My parents did not think that becoming a parent was the end of it. They worked at finishing the job.

Until this winter our house has had a progression of animals and small children come and go. Then the children went, cats left, dogs died off, Hammy the hamster went to the great hamster wheel in the sky and the turtles were relegated to the back yard. The house was dying and starting to smell like old people lived there. You know the smell. Two little destructive asshole kittens have changed all that. It' s alive again.