New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Huaraches or the Height of Fashion in Homemade Cheap Footwear

"Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -unknown-

Not being a fan of footwear I have spent a good deal of time in my life staying out of them or at least making them comfortable.  I started making my own as a pre-teen with a kit (from Tandy I think) given me by my parents. The kit was for mocassins. In those days I thought I was an American Indian. It turns out I was mistaken but that is OK I learned a lot from them and after all I am  a Native American born in America with roots that go back nearly 400 years.  Those native Americans that occupied this land before the white man raped, killed and pillaged his way from sea to shining sea came from somewhere else too.  They just came a few thousand years earlier.
These ugly shoes I bought about five years ago for three American dollars. They have proven to be comfortable but they have their drawbacks.  One of the drawbacks is that they are too hot and another is they trap stuff inside them like shell, grass, dirt and leaves.  The holes on the top are dirt and stick magnets and they are one way valves. Stuff goes in but never comes out.  They also let in enough sunlight to tan your foot with polka dots so that when barefooted your feet always look dirty.  I aim to fix that.
I did not bother to clean them since I am putting the dirty part that shows in the landfill. Notice I did not say trash or  "throwing away".
Cutting the tops off I have a serviceable set of soles for homemade sandals.
Trimming them up and punching tree holes  then threading some six foot long shoelaces I paid 35 cents for at the thrift store they became sandals.
These feet have a lot of miles on them but there is still a lot left in them.  They don't hurt usually although the ankles do and occasionally my right heel but I take that as a warning to get my dumb-ass off my feet. These sandals are like being barefoot on a soft surface. It doesn't matter if they last a long time or not as I can make them in less than 20 minutes.
With the heel-strap they stay firmly in place.

I made mocassins, sandals, belts and leather jewelry back in the 1960's but the sandals I made then were far too complicated and required to many parts and pieces. These are simple and cheap. I can and probably will make a pair using cardboard, duct tape and string just to show that it can be done.

This idea came from the invisible shoe a website devoted to running barefoot. What I have done here is not what they mean. The running barefoot movement aims to get as little between the foot and mother earth as possible. Check them out and you will see what I mean.

I don't know why I have become such a tender foot because I ran barefoot when I was a child and never notice the rocks and sticks. Only broken whiskey bottles and nails slowed me down. My bride can walk on this shell we have here barefoot but I am unable. What a sissy.

Another good websight for making shoes is Paleotool's Weblog.  He has really gotten into making shoes of all kinds.  That isn't all either there is lots of interesting stuff there.
Sniffing house shoes is addictive and leads to hard drugs. Next
it will be sniffing butts then who knows maybe even smoking

Monday, April 25, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Cats, Plants and Stuff or I been just dickin' around takin' pitchers

Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars. - Hobart Brown

This cat is not dead
Spring is in full swing and the live oak trees have stopped shedding the old leaves.  The cats love the sun warmed leaves. I love to pile them up and watch them turn back into dirt. I never burn them.
Endless entertainment for an old fool
I guess I should move this hose before the tree gets any bigger. Oh bother.
I haven't used this hose in a while as you can see.  The tree is a fast grower and they are everywhere. I may just let it grow there. I have a hard time cutting down trees. I am the Lorax.

First tomato
SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) found six more.  My eyesight is not what it used to be.  At the rate these two plants are growing I may be writing about "Oldfool and the Tomato Stalk "soon.
Those red things are good to eat
I have never been into the growing of strawberries but these are so sweet that now I am. These were a novelty for the Princess that we haven't seen in a year and if her parents have their way we will never see again because we do silly things like grow strawberries.  I know that things have a way of changing however.

 This is a sham.  For those that don't know a sham is a decorative pillow case that opens in the middle and usually has a edge or fringe around it.  
I use it to store some of my extra sewing fabric instead of just stacking it around all over the place.
Looks like a stack of pillows on the back of my nest in the back of the bus but it is shams and pillow cases full of stuff.  Two king size pillow cases hold two comforters that are unneeded in the summer. The sham has fabric and another has extra sheets.  Shams and king size pillow cases at the thrift store are about 35 cents and regular pillow cases are 10 and 15 cents.  I guess a real man would pile his guns and extra beer back there but not me I pile them over in the other corner.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Pinwheel windvane for a Pinhead or what to do with your trash

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the
last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.  
~Cree Indian Proverb

Day before yesterday was Hitlers birthday, a name known around the world just as well as Jesus or the Beatles, yesterday was my daughters birthday, a much more important event to me and today is Earth Day.  Earth Day sounds like some hippy tree hugger day and the Corporations (bless their black hearts) are trying to turn into another shopping day but to us that think and feel ourselves a part of Mother Earth it is a serious day to at least make token attempts at not trashing our home. So I'm going shopping. We need dog food and so far I haven't figured out how to do without commercially processed and packaged dog food.  I am going barefoot, I am taking my own packaging (as much as I can) and I am going by bicycle. I will bring home no plastic bags. I have picked up plastic non-biodegradable crap other people have trashed the Earth with today and I will pick up more today.  I will buy only what the dogs need and some anti-itch cream for my ears so that I don't go berserk trying to scratch an itch I can't reach.

I did not write about Hitler or the people that fell for his BS for the same reason I will not write about George W, his percieved threat and the people who fell for that BS. I have plenty to say about it but it is too negative.

I love writing about my daughter as it brings on a euphoric feeling that is better than any dope.  My connection to the Earth is something else I like to think and write about however I always come away thinking I do too little.

This collection of trash was originally a plastic wind thing that just stuck in the ground for Easter five or four years ago. It blew all to pieces in hurricane Gustav but SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) pick up the pieces, stuck them together and got it to spinning again. It went along like that for a while but the sun was getting to the plastic and it came apart again. I picked it up and wedged into the fence and it kept on spinning. Finally there was nothing left but the impeller

 I took that impeller and put it on this stick, cut the bottom out of something in the trash for the tail feathers, stuck it on a old broom stick and put it up in the garden. After a few storms over a years period with 60 knot plus winds the wire and fabric of the original tore itself asunder. There were pieces everywhere. A trash explosion.

The other day I decided I was tired of looking at it just showing the wind direction and needing a little entertainment I made this one. The pinwheel is an old aluminum "no trespassing" sign complete with a few bullet holes that was on the fence when we moved here. It has been buried in the leaves under the front porch but recently blew out in another wind storm.  So swearing as best I could without my front teeth.  I formed it into a pinwheel only hurting myself once and bleeding very little.  One of the bearing pieces is from the original so there is continuity. Sort of like the logger that after 20 years still had his original axe. He had replaced the handle 12 times and the head 7 but it was still the original axe.

I am so easily entertained. Things going around like record players, pinwheels, cats chasing their tails and such. Spinning bicycle wheels. A real genius. I guess I could watch TV but that always pisses me off so I think I'll stick to spinning things. Now where is my top.

Seems I cannot get home from running errands without a few plastic bags even though I carry my own shopping bags. Do you know that you are considered eccentric and weird if you carry your own shopping bags and show any interest in being good to Mother Earth? Those strange people silly people that do that are like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. I heard it on the radio so it must be true.

So I get home with these things and I have shown in the past that I braid them into rope but aside for their use as semi-waterproof trash can liners and bike seat covers this is one of the best uses I have found.  I cut the bag so I can stretch it out then twist it to make a tie-up for the plants that I was not going to plant this year. Works better than anything else I've tried and it is free. It is very easy on the plant.

I said it was free but the cost to Mother Earth to make it and then assimilate it I fear are just delayed.  This only delays that assimilation. Like all things of the earth it will have to go back to the earth.

The Queen  with her minions gathered around worshiping. They are actually worshiping the treats she is handing out. The orange cat that was found in the middle of a highway, the black puppy that just showed up one night and Sparkle Plenty.  Sparkle Plenty showed up a couple of years ago starving. Both these dogs were drop offs by some white trash the didn't want them anymore.  The black pup has been named Beebe or BB. Short for Black Bitch.

George Carlin's verse to America the Beautiful.

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~George Carlin

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Samanthaeve and tomorrow is Samanthamas

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

On this date fifty years ago a miracle happened in a hospital in Long Beach, California. It was not noted by most because this kind of miracle happens to people all over the world everyday. But it was my miracle.

I did not know my miracle was happening as I was on a US navy ship in the North Pacific far off shore adjacent to San Francisco on a training exercise called "Evergreen".  While my bride was struggling with this miracle I was performing my duties as a radioman playing at war.  We were protecting a US navy carrier from marauding submarines. A submarine actually. One.

Standing watch in the radio shack tending to the teletype machines that were constantly clattering away I was reading the address on each one looking for those messages that pertained to my ship.  I spied one for my ship and went to tear it off when I noticed my name followed by the notice of the successful birth of a girl. I was not a weak kneed sissy in those days but I had to sit down. I even teared up a little. My life had changed and little did I know how much.

The other radiomen were laughing, congratulating and slapping me on the back. I had been on this ship with these guys since before I married so they knew all about it. One or all had the forethought to buy some cigars for me to hand out as I had not even thought about it. We couldn't light them indoors of course and that is just as well because I was shaking so hard I could not have.

She was named Samantha after a character Grace Kelly had played in the movie "High Society" that I had seen when I was 17. I vowed then that if I ever had a daughter that would be her name. In that same year a teenage disc jockey friend on a local radio station had given me a 33 rpm longplay record of the sound track from the movie. I still have it and I will play it once again today and tomorrow. You see I'm not just an old fool. I am a sentimental old fool.

I was a fool for her mother, although I did not know it at the time, and now I had the good fortune to have someone else to be a fool for.  I am happy to say that she and her mother are among those people I can count on one hand that never took advantage of that foolishness. My life has always been at their mercy.

She is a love child conceived in a third floor walk up in Oakland, California by lovers that wanted her and were doing their best to make her on purpose.  She was born in Long Beach, California, schooled and raised in southern California.  She is truly a "California Girl".

Fifty years and she is still hot looking and smart besides.  How many fathers can say that their daughter has never disappointed them. Not once has that happened to me.  Not ever.  She even married a guy I like. What a girl.

I feel I owe her something besides undying love and devotion but that is what I have and I don't hand it out to just anybody.

My thanks always to her mother.  Without her this could have all turned out differently. I believe that her good judgement and love made it all happen in this very good way.

Happy Birthday Samantha.

Oh Yeah. That submarine radioed us a day or so later to inform us that "they were in San Francisco and the crew had gone on liberty. Thanks for the fun".  It seems that they had passed us by, sat under the carrier for 24 hours then sank it.  It was all make believe but it was documented.  I was already uneasy about submarines (sneaky bastards) but it made me realize that being on a surface ship in the day of the submarine was not a good thing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Hands

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.

I recently saw a young man playing a guitar better than I with his toes. He had no hands, in fact he had no arms. I have hands and arms but he still played better and with more feeling. He wasn't near as grumpy either. Here are a couple of examples.

Music is good medicine. It cures ailments we do not know we have. For me when all else fails I just listen.
When I depart this vale of tears I hope it is with some uplifting music.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Old Fools Journal: More on Telephones or I wonder what mssrs. Bell and Gray would think of it now.

This is in response to the comments on my last post. Seems cell phones are on peoples minds. I have done a considerable amount of research into what is cheapest or best but I am reluctant to post it because people have such differing needs. My household is a good example.

I do not complain about cell phones because they have connected this world. Without them there would be no connection with a good portion of earth. Building towers and providing power is costly but the old wire phone system is more so. I think the only reason it is still used is that the infrastructure is already in place. Communication does more to relieve oppression than all the AK-47s and F-16s in the world. My early complaint was that they seemed to be for the elite but that is not true today.

In the 70's I found that as often as not the pay phones had been vandalized. The hand writing was on the wall in the '90's when I was on the road and found a payphone in West Texas that required a quarter to call the operator. 25 cents was also required to call 911.

AT&T wants $78.00+ a month for me to have a house phone which it likely as not routes over the internet and it goes up every few months. I have found voip(internet) phones for less than $2.00 a month but you have to have a computer. At $8.50 you only have to have a broadband internet connection. Internet connections are going to go the way of the telephones. Eventually all will be wireless. Buying a place to build a tower and building one is just simply cheaper and vastly less complicated than stringing wires. I plan to live long enough to see the end of wired telephones, cable TV and wired broadband internet.

The reason for having a wired telephone is the false belief that in a power outage the phone would still function. In the not to distant past that was true because the telephone was powered by a bank of wet cell batteries. It may still be but all those relay and booster stations are not. So when the power goes out it is likely that the phone goes out too. To top that off the junction box for my street is at ground level. According to my drivers license I live in SE Louisiana which means I am in a flood zone. The vast amounts of water around here is at or above ground level as well. Fill that junction box with water and see how well the phones work. During hurricane Gustav when the power went off (wind at about 90mph) the telephone quit. The cell phone still worked for an hour or so. So why have I kept a landline? The answer is simple. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed). A compromise has been made. We still have a wired phone only now it is wired to the cable coax at a cost of about one third of AT&T. For that I get to keep my old number, two phone lines, voicemail (which I disabled) and the household phone network is unchanged. All calls within the USA (including Puerto Rico) are local calls. If I should need to make a crank call to Gaddafi the long distance charge is cheap. With AT&T the next town (12 miles) is long distance. Oh yeah I also get a clean clear loud connection which I have not had with AT&T in over 15 years. Domestic tranquility is preserved.

Meanwhile for thirty bucks (in the USA) anyone can get a cell phone with 300 minutes for 60 days even if you live in a ditch. That's cheaper than an AK47 or an F-16.

A telephone is just a telephone. You can hang it on your wall, set it on a table or carry it in your pocket. That is up to you. You can also choose not to have one at all. I am closer to a hermit than most anyone else I know who claims to be on the internet and I choose to have a telephone. It was a struggle to get a telephone in 1948 but it is easy now. It was luxury then and it is a luxury now.

You want to call me? Then do so. If I want to talk to you I will. If I don't want to talk to you I won't.

If I am home I will probably answer. If I am in the library, my car, the dentist or doctors I won't. It has an OFF switch just like the TV and lights something my grandson does not comprehend at all. The TV and lights I mean.

There are no gold stars stuck on your forehead for not having one or not using one just as there are none for not having or watching TV. The same people that disgust you for the way they use them in public disgusted you in some other way before the cell phone.

It is just a tool and it is here to stay, that is, unless the Sun explodes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Record Player

The record is the Benny Goodman Orchestra with Peggy Lee singing My Old Flame. Youtube has threatened to send the death squad to protect Sony's lack of honor if I play it.

Not long ago while looking for something essential (or so I thought) I stumbled across a record player that just seemed too good to be true. You see I have a box or two of records* That date back to the 1940's. 78's, 45's and 33 1/3. Record players that will play 45s and 33s are easy to find but 78s I was beginning to think impossible especially in my impoverished state. It is a good thing that I never bought any of the 16 rpm records as I cannot find anyone that even knows about them.

*Flat round vinyl things with a hole in the center resembling a CD only black instead of shiny mirror. Can be played without electricity with a difficulty level only slightly higher than my Ukulele.

The fascination started for me at my paternal grandparents. They had a windup Victrola that was a magical thing to me and my sister. I don't recall hearing a record ever played on it.

There is something mesmerizing about watching a record player do its thing. Watching a tape player even a reel to reel does nothing for me. The wire recorder was sort of fascinating when I first saw it that night in Floyd Tilman's trailer because of that shiny wire but I never saw another. You can't even see a CD. I don't know if it goes around or not.

This little jewel is completely self-contained. Two low fi speakers on the front and one volume control. Left and right RCA outlets on the back and USB connector. It gets it's power from the USB (5volt) and claims it can record to the computer. I have yet to make that part work. It does not require a computer to work. Any USB outlet will power it. USB outlets that plug into a 120v wall outlets or into cigarette lighter socket are available cheap.

The first recording I owned I bought with my own money earned delivering the 'Grit' weekly newspaper on my Hawthorne bicycle and cutting my grandparents yard with a rotary push mower. It was 'Cry of the Wild Goose' by Frankie Lane. I went into Little Rock, Arkansas with Shirley Bowie a distant relative of the Davy Bowie that died at the Battle of the Alamo that day specifically to buy that black heavy platter. Shirley managed to break it before we even got out of town but her mother replaced it. I realize now what a hardship that must have been as the Bowie's were poor. They lived deep in the woods at the end of a one track road that forded a creek just before it got to their house.
Shirley's house

I did not have a record player that would play that record but my aunt and uncle did.

My second record was 'Cool Water' by the Sons of the Pioneers on green 45 rpm vinyl. I still have it and 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' thanks to my mother who kept it safe for all those years in case I might want it someday. Thanks mom. By the time I bought these 45's we had a player that plugged into the AM table radio.
Definitely not hifi

This player is not hi fi but then neither are my ears.
R. Crumb on Good Tone Records 1972. The only thing I would have more fun with is a wind up Victrola.

They'll be coming for me now.
This record was bought by Joesph Ascencio during the forties. He was a career Air Force puke, served his country well and was an honest man. I'll play his record if I want.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Puckit or You cannot say anything right without front teeth

Without front teeth the ability to really chew someone's ass is lost. For example: "You mothapucking puckhead get the puck out of here". See what I mean and what's worse is it's hard to stay mad at the moron that's laughing at you.

Things have been quiet here on the urban homestead. Seems I planted just enough to be comfortable. The mustard is finished and I probably won't plant it again until the fall. The tomatoes are growing fine and the one that was going to vine stopped and started making leaves when I moved it into the sunshine. I can't stay ahead of the potatoes. I keep burying them and they keep popping up again. Snow peas love it here.

Here is a well kept secret. Cell phones are in their glory these days. They do everything but act as a telephone. I have found a way around that. Use old stuff that still works. A hundred dollars for a simple big number phone with the keys far enough apart is ridiculous when you can use a ten year old Nokia instead. Put a AT&T sim card for gophone in it with the 10 cents a minute plan and you have perfect phone for the person that doesn't need to be on the goddamned telephone all the time. If you need to be on the phone it still is not bad.

I think I have provided SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) with a phone that she will not bitch about. Nah, what am I thinking?

I paid nine dollars for a cell phone in about 2004. I should say the company I flew for paid for one and they paid the ongoing bill. I put it on a straight 25 cents a minute prepay plan that required a minimum of 25 dollars every 90 days. For that you got 90 days of service and 100 minutes. I have never used up the 100 minutes in 90 days so the phone cost $8.75 a month with the tax. It is still the same except for the $25 dollars I now get 250 minutes. I've got over 14 hours of credit. What I am saying is you can have a mobile phone for $8.75 a month if you just don't shoot your mouth off too much.
I just bought a new phone because it has a camera in it. It uses my old sim card and I just moved on only I can now take pictures. The camera is better than my first two digital cameras and as good as the third. The new phone cost $16.00 and some change with the tax. A real back breaker. It has 8 times more memory than my desktop computer did 10 years ago. I still don't know if the phone works as I have not needed to make a call.

There is a photo of them rascally cats with the phone. They are rascals and that is only two thirds of them. That yellow cat with the yellow eyes is a real trouble maker. More on that horny bastard later.

I've got lots to tell about if I can just keep my wits about me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Excerpts from the Log of Caribbee

I purchase this vessel in 1971 and we launched April 9, 1971. Forty years sure went by fast.
Shortly after the launch and after all the post launch duties were performed I took my family for a little sail. Everything went fine and it was a beautiful day. As we motored out I was congratulating myself on my seamanship and my excellent workmanship. That is when thick smoke filled the cabin. Diving below deck I soon discovered that the paint on the exhaust manifold was cooking off. What a dangerous trap the manufacturer had set up. I opened the forward hatch and let the smoke clear and ran the engine until it was all gone. A prudent man would have probably abandoned ship.
Not a very good start and there were more mistakes to come.
I found this photo at the bottom of a cardboard box I discovered a while back and as far as I know it is the only surviving picture of the good ship "Caribbee". It was taken in 1971 or 1972 with a cheap Kodak 110 camera. The location is Cat Harbor, Santa Catalina Island, Southern California. It is still my all time favorite Island. I could have spent the rest of my life there.
Built in 1970 and launched April 9, 1971. This was last production model of this yacht by Islander Yachts and it was love at first sight for me. There was never any doubts about this vessel from day one. Islander continued to manufacture it in kit form for the home builder.
These are images of the original brochure. Many good times were had aboard. Notice the real door leading to the forward cabin. It is opened back against another real door leading to the head. When the door forward was closed and the head door open it enlarged the head to a little more the half the width of the boat. Plenty of room to bathe in privacy not that we ever bothered about privacy while bathing.
It had a warm cozy interior and and was reliable in every way. That counter right next to the sink is where the cookies were in the "cookie tin" incident. The compass is mounted in the cockpit only inches away.
The "Cookie Tin Incident". On July 18, 1972 Katy and I had departed King Harbor in Redondo Beach, California for a little trip around some of the islands in Southern California. Anchoring the first night at Santa Barbara Island we went on the next day.

Excerpt from the log of Caribbee:
That tin can was a three pound coffee can full of cookies made by the woman that was going to be my mate for the rest of my life. Or so I thought. It threw the compass 30 degrees off. We had been beating our brains out trying to go where the wind was coming from. It was only when I realized that the reported wind direction was not the same as what I was observing that I started checking the compass and found the can. Of course we then eased off the wind a little and life got better. It was to late we were already beat to shit.

We spent the night in Albert's Anchorage on the south side of Santa Cruz Island but the surge there was too much so we went on the next day to Smugglers cove anchoring in 20 feet of water with a white sand bottom. It was sunny and warm and I did not have the sense to stay there so after the second night we headed up the north side of the island.

The log tells the tale. (Never mind that I had not yet learned how to spell Saturday.) It was rough, wet and windy. It made me grit my teeth and was not fun.

After it was over and sometime later lovely Katy summed it up at the bottom of the log page. The note says: Input; Thinking back on this trip all I remember is being tired and wanting more sun soo! not the worst-. She never knew how badly I felt when she was uncomfortable. I'm sure it made me grumpy and for that I am sorry. She was always good company.

The images below are of a launch card handmade by Tiare a boat lady born in Tahiti that lived on a boat of the same build as my prior boat. More about that at another time.
There are 15 individual cut out pieces on this card. How could I not keep it all these years.
Too many good memories but I suspect I'll have to document many more before I am through. The problem is that life keeps getting in the way. What with new computers, fixing someone elses computer, new phone, getting the AT&T knot from around my neck (that is a whole story in itself. Never think that AT&T is your friend) and, oh yeah, losing another tooth. I've had to work all that stuff in around morning coffee, breakfast, morning tea, lunch, nap, afternoon tea and happy hour. I don't know how I ever had time to hold a job.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Dreams again or I go to some of the strangest places when I'm asleep

I dreamed I was laying naked under the sun on the deck of Serenity looking down into the clear blue water dreaming dreams when I saw a crowbar come floating by. I guess I was in an alternate universe. The colors were all extra vivid. That would be a good time to just flow into the place I come from I guess but instead I woke up. I'm sure I had a puzzled look on my face and I had a strange longing for the colors.

This morning I woke after spending the night trying to deliver a semi trailer loaded with widgets. That is all the paper work said. No explanations, no address and no directions. Terribly frustrating. The truck itself had ongoing problems but it was my old yellow International and it always had ongoing problems. Usually mechanic induced.
Number 16 the old yellow International. Photo taken at a pickup in Riverside, California

At the pickup point in the photo above partitioning a hard drive and why I should do it was explained to me by another truck driver. The height of fashion he was as he was wearing an aloha shirt I truly envied. Not all truck drivers are dumb. The guy that took the picture however was of the other kind. I called him "Wrongway dumbfuck". WD for short. No sense of direction at all. Tried to take me to Atlanta out of Birmingham instead of California while I was sleeping. He was making good time as we drove 200+ extra miles for no pay. Those were the days. Not.

Swmbo (she who must be obeyed) and I were assigned this truck when we signed on with KMB Transport. It was brand spanking new. We put 530,000 miles on it and it still looked like new.

I would really like to know what the floating crowbar was about.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Nothing Says Summer Better Than Cold Ripe Watermelon

It is so good.

While out and about on my old Schwinn the other day one of my 35 year old pedals disassembled itself. I carry tools so an emergency fix was done. I thought it might be time to get some new ones but on further inspection I could see there was no reason. A little lube, a vise, a hammer and a punch and that rusty old thing was ready to go.
The culprit. You can see my favorite bike shoes through the spokes.

Since I had such good fortune with that I thought now is the time to find and fix yet another strange noise coming from the drive train of my 28 year old 3 speed. After seeing to the tension in the spokes, which is what I thought it was, I went for a ride. It was a nice ride but the noise is still there. Oh well one out of two ain't bad. When you have four bikes that are ready to roll it is so easy to put it off until another day.

I started a new blog about one legged pants (that would be unbifurcated) for those interested so as to not annoy those readers here who are offended by the mere thought of a MAN in a skirt. Even if it is called a kilt and is an age old tradition. If pants have two legs is pant correct for only one leg? And why are they called "a pair of pants"? When I wear them I only wear one. I think of a kilt as a one legged pant.
Things are greening up nicely. The Hackberry and the Wild Cherry (what's left of them) have gotten their leaves back.
The tomatoes have doubled in size.Last years Jalapeño is growing like crazy and I expect a bumper crop this year. I think it's the Cutty Sark water bottle. The old plants are at the bottom growing from what looks like dead sticks.New sage plant to go with the one that was severely damage in the freeze this last winter. The old ones are coming back from down at the bottom but it doesn't hurt to have two plants that smell like breakfast. They are nice minimum care plants and smell so good.
The brown is all gone replaced with green weeds. The far corner by the end of summer should be a briar patch as the black berries have taken over that corner. The clover that is not cut is all we have this year. It was left uncut because of the bees. Usually the yard is full of clover full of bees at this time.

We said we were not going to grow stuff this year but once a garden junky always a garden junky. At least I don't have to steal to grow stuff. Yet.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Rainy Days of Geekiness or Messing with computer stuff. Linux again?

Google has come out with some interesting things and this latest is one of them. Click on Oldfool and it will take you to the Old Fools blog with a twist. If you will look at the top next to the search box you will see a blue menu button. Hover over that to get a list of different views. This came via the google blog.

Meanwhile during this inclement weather I have been installing the latest PC Linux Operating system(PCLOS) on a couple of laptaps. One is an Acer over a year old with windows 7 and the other is a 5 year old Dell b130 with PCLOS 2009. The Dell made it a little over a year before the XP that was on it became unusable. I tried using a repair disc on the Dell a few years ago and had my usual experience with Windows. It would not work so I installed PCLOS 2009 and have had no trouble since. The Acer is 2009 I believe. I thought the Acer would be different and that maybe Microsoft had worked things out but I had the same experience that I've had with Windows since Windows 3.1. In those days I had re-install discs and would take all day to re-install. Now they have the option of reverting to a prior setting or downloading a repair disc to revert to a prior setting. Neither worked in this case so a re-install was in order. I installed PCLOS 2010.12 with all the bells and whistles instead. It's beautiful and works perfect. To me windows is broken.

I did have some minor glitches due to the 2010 version PCLOS being a little different than prior versions so I ended up hunting for things. For instance Open Office is not automatic now since Oracle took over. There is a "get open office" button but that does not work. It turns out that Oracle changed the name to Libre Office so you find that button and it will install Open Office under a new name if you have a internet connection. I guess the dorks at Oracle had a need to change something.

There are other things that have to be installed separately as well but that is what the Repository is for. I understand there are more than 10,000 apts there. I install win32 and libdvdcss2 for playing movies on dvd, Skype, Chrome browser (the best I've found yet) and as I said Open Office. There are plenty more.

Installing PCLOS seems intuitive to me but I've been using it since 2004 so it should. The PCLOS guys say it is for beginners and up but why would a beginner know that the repository has a new address that has to be changed or have a clue of how to change it. All you need to know is in the Forum but even though I am not a beginner I have trouble finding answers there sometimes.

This system is downloadable as an ISO for free. The makes a live CD that when loaded into a PC and restarted will load the system into memory and run from the CD bypassing the hard drive entirely. It will find your printer, scanner, internet connection and anything else you have plugged in and load the drivers for them mostly automatic. It makes no changes and leaves no evidence that it has been there unless you tell it to. It does ask a few questions such as what language you want.

If you like it then it can be installed from the CD. It will give you options such as erase and use the entire hard drive, make available a partition and dual boot with Windows, use existing partitions or make custom partitions. I generally go with use the entire hard drive. I am currently using Windows 7 in my new computer but I expect it will not last a year. When it goes fruity on me I will install PCLOS. My data is backed up or in the "cloud".

When PCLOS is installed to a hard drive it makes 3 partitions. One for the system, one for the swap file and one for data. When you have to reinstall and I've not seen a OS yet that does not need that from time to time then you reinstall to the system partition. That way you get a fresh start but all your data and settings are preserved. If a system is corrupted so that it will not boot then put the CD in the tray and boot from that. If the hard drive is functioning then the files can be read. If it is in a dual boot system then even windows files can be read. Even though Windows cannot read Linux files Linux can read windows files. Take that microsoft.

Did I mention that it is free. If any want to know more about this feel free to ask. I don't have a real busy schedule.

How do I love linux? Let me count the ways. The first thing is it removes the mystery of operating a PC because there are no secrets. Mysteries but no secrets.


So today was Bank changing day only I didn't. You see Chase Bank tries to be a nice guy but I see it for what it is. The people here in the branch I go to are great. You couldn't ask for nicer people. They are all local and really try to make the face of this giant corporation, that would enslave the world if it could, look like a pussy cat. When I see this same bank pay one man a million dollars to show up for work then give him a bonus of 16 million dollars for having shown up for work then initiate a fee of 6 bucks (price of a cheap six pack) on social security recipient that gets less than 500 dollars direct deposit I wonder about the goodness of their hearts. In order to make the bonus it would be necessary to get the 6 bucks from 2,666,666.666 underfunded poor people. The number is ominous. I have known several older folks that the 6 bucks would make a real difference. These people have no choice but to deal with the banks. Social Security is stopping paper checks this year. Their choice is get a bank account or accept a master charge prepaid debit card. That card will have fees attached to it as well. Why does "Blood From A Turnip" keep coming to mind.

I wonder how much money Chase spends lobbying our good honest politicians per day. I expect it is at least 6 bucks.


I rode my bike this week, I sewed, I gardened and I pissed SWMBO off. It's been a full week and I'll tell you about it later. If I live.

My potatoes. I keep covering them with dirt and they keep coming back up. These are potatoes that sprouted in the refrigerator. I put them out just to see what would happen. No money spent.

Now I have a thrift store to visit.