New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Lunch and other activities

It is written that "man shall not live by bread alone........." and I agree.  Man needs some chili to go with it.

I have been hiding under the bed again only coming out to fix things and not much of that. Mostly because I'm not dealing well in social contact with my fellow man.
 Two large spoons of refried beans cold straight from the can. I use the kind made with lard instead of soybean oil. They taste better and are no more fattening. Spread in a thin layer on bottom of bowl.
 Ladle in hot all meat chili made with rib eye steak.  We don't really care for rib eye but these were on sale and made excellent chili. Add several large spoons of homemade salsa made with homegrown serrano chilis, tomatoes and cilantro. Onions are from Alabama. That's the salsa on the left.
Delicious. I like the contrast of the cold frijoles on bottom hot chili in the middle and cold salsa on top. Don't come looking for any 'cause there is none left.

Now for the eggs.
 SWMBO (She who must be obeyed) found these this morning under a tarp that was in the garden pavilion.  They are about 2+ inches long and believed to be from the black rat snake family (black racers, blue racers, etc).
 One of the dried up ones.
She dissected one of course.  It's a little past its prime for me to eat.

It's back under the bed for me. It's too hot outside for my old bones. I have a stack of books and an internet connection.  The fleas and their walking buffets have the yard. The tomatoes are about finished, the chilies love the heat, the spices are in the shade and everything else failed. I don't care.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old Fools Journal: The Feeding Frenzy or More dumb stuff about the kittens. Plus it's Fathers Day, something that is easy to become but not easy to be.

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function”
Garrison Keillor

On the other hand perhaps the function of kittens is to cause us to see and feel life.  Being not so much a wise man and more of a foolish man I don't know.  I do know that watching them makes me feel good so it is probably a sin in most organized religions and the government would make it illegal if it could because it is addictive and leads to harder stuff.

After a meal they seem to need a little exercise so they have converted the old plywood I have down to kill the weeds in the Okra bed that I did not plant.

In my life cats come and go.  I remember a few the that were exceptional but the rest are lumped together in my collective memory. Meanwhile they are "Life in Action".

We are missing our young yellow cat that I called "Dos Amarillos" named for the view from his rear. SWMBO called him "Durb".  He fell out of a tree onto the roof of the back porch a few nights ago and we haven't seen him since.

Today being fathers day I am remembering my dad but he is beyond the end of the nearest telephone line so I won't be calling.  I wish I could. I would ask him a few questions about his level of satisfaction at being a dad.  I am not happy with mine and I'm fairly certain that he was not happy with his even though his was without flaw to me.

Picture was taken in the very early '40's probably.

I remember my biological father as well but since he wasn't around there is not much to remember.

A post was not planned for today but I guess I was more in the mood than I thought. The rest of the day will be spent reading, remembering and thinking.  The thinking part scares me so little of that will be done.

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.— Mark Twain

Friday, June 17, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Oh My, I Ran Over An Alligator or This is what happens to alligators and bicycle riders on this road.

" 'Tis far better to keep one's mouth closed and
seem the fool; than to open it, thereby removing
all doubt."

Judging from the remarks I have been hearing on the radio by the "nutballs" that want to be president my advice is 1.purchase duck tape 2. apply to mouth. ~Tom Swaim

Poor thing. It only wanted to cross the road like the chicken.
And it was just a baby.  I wish it could have grown up to be battered and fried.
This is why I call it the blacksmith shop.  Its real name is Carsmiths. Like any mechanic they make mistakes but they correct them gracefully and I have never been overcharged.
It's an old frame house that has been converted to a business I believe.
Picking the car up was a success however the left front brake started dragging on the way home and I arrived in a cloud of smoke so it is still broken.  Oh well as  Edna Saint Vincent Millay said  "It is not true that life is one damn thing after another...It's one damn thing over and over."
My stash of vine sun ripe tomatoes.  They are delicious.  The skin is tough but I still have 25 teeth and make short work of them.  Lately I have been removing the skins once in a while just for a change in consistency.  Either way, yum.
This is all the potatoes from the great potato experiment. There was enough here for one helping for one person. It cost nothing to grow them as they were grown in an area that nothing was planned for this year from potatoes that had sprouted in the refrigerator.  The bad thing is they tasted so damn good that now I want to get serious about it next time.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with
potatoes.- Douglas Adams

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Bike Riding is such a trip

Bike riding is so good I am surprised that it is not against the law. There must be some religion somewhere that forbids it as a sin because it is too good not to be.
So I delivered the Belchfire 6 to the Carsmith, unfolded my "ZEN" bike and set off for home.  On the way I stopped at one of my favorite markets to pick up some fresh baked bread. I really love bread.
As you can see from these photos there is not much in the way of bike parking and not a single suitable place to lock up.
This won't do.
Nor will this althougth I have locked to that rail by the grocery carts but today the carts were in the way.
Finally I rolled the bike into the store an confronted the manager about the lack of suitable bike parking explaining that as a long time customer I could not shop if I could not safely park my bike. I suggested bringing it inside and he agreed assigning me a spot.  The cable you see is to prevent someone who might mistakenly think the bike is theirs from casually riding it away.

I bought a fresh baked loaf of sourdough and one of pumpernickel, some Chianti and a pound of sweet strawberries from California.  I know that I should not buy the strawberries or the wine as they have traveled around 2000 miles in a diesel truck but I am weak. If I have a flat at least I'll have sustenance.
On the way home I was informed by this sign what my TV wants.  I wonder if AT&T is in direct communication with my TV.  No TV I have ever had as expressed their wishes to me.  They have insulted my intelligence however.  Since AT&T has a hard time just keeping the internet up I wonder how they are doing with TV.
My route home crosses the St. Louis Canal. In that direction it goes to it's origin passing in front of my old house after passing right behind Thaddeous Babin's house.  It originates just down the street at the Hollywood Canal.  I have been told these canals were built for the lumber industry before oil was invented to try to cut down and haul off every tree in Louisiana.  The destruction of the land was started long before the "Big Oil" that owns the world started.  It has been plugged up just a few hundred yards from Thaddeous's house in an effort to further fuck up the countryside that had adjusted to it. That was in a effort to make someone with money and influence happy at the expense of others. It was highly successful at that and that only.
It doesn't matter, we here in Paradise (for insects) just use it as a place to deposit the trash.
It used to flow before it was plugged but now it just sits stagnant
so the trash doesn't go away it stays but you can be sure it's not in front of the house of whoever wanted it plugged.
I met this guy going down the highway.  He/she moved to his/her right according to maritime law and let me pass.  It is nearly four inches long.  A little further on I met the herd he appeared to be scouting for.  Those that had encountered cars didn't look so good.  I wonder what they taste like.

The following video shows that this place looks just about like any other place in "Amurica". Mostly it's cars and places to park cars.

This little three minute video condenses about an hour of riding (9 miles).  It took longer than that as I did not hurry and stopped to pick up the lead weights the autos throw off, nearly a half pound today, and to look at things of interest.

The neighborhood at :18 is a modest tidy little place but the one at 1:22 is really a neighborhood of garages and driveways with attached bedrooms. Any of the driveways there cost more than my house and half acre.  My concept of housing is shelter when I need shelter not an enclosed artificial environment   People keep their cars in better places than people used to keep their livestock. The fellow on the trike near the end is a neighbor, has a car but prefers his bikes and trikes.

Chandra ask for a photo of the "ZEN" folded so here it is
 From this
 to this in just a jiffy with practice. This as small as I ever make it. It can be made smaller by pulling the handlebars off and sliding the stem down behind the seat tube and then doing the same with the seat.  For my use this is compact enough.  If you can read what is on the down tube you'll understand why I call it the "ZEN".  32 pounds.
 The magic box
I have never regretted buying it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Old Fools Journal: The Money Drain

Not having to own a car has made me realize what a waste of time the automobile is.
Diane Johnson

That round thing in the center of the photo boys and girls is called a "freeze plug" popularly but it is really a "core plug". If you have a cast engine block with inner chambers you own at least one and probably more. When an engine is assembled they are plugged with a press in plug made of sheet metal. If a corrosion inhibitor is not used in the coolent they are the first to let you know.
This one seen in center just above the fan belt has a small hole about the size of a pencil lead that gaily spews the coolant out and away at nine dollars a gallon.
The roofing screw with a compession gasket is the immediate farm fix. It still leaked but is good enough to get to the car smithy.

When you have a 24 year old vehicle you have to expect these trials and tribulations.

Owning an automobile is such a pain in the ass but until there is some sort of public transport here it is the other option.  My primary option is my bicycle and it goes like this.  #1 - bicycle  #2 - other bicycle #3 - one of our ancient junkers.  If I had to sell anything the bike would be last.

This car has been broken for over a week now so as you can see I haven't been anxious about it.  I had planned to deliver it to the smithy this morning but decided I wasn't in the mood when I got up cranky. Tomorrow morning since I want to go for a bike ride anyway I may.
This is the planned transportation home.  It's only about nine miles but I plan to do a little exploring as well.  I bought this bike new from a Chinaland importer six years ago on my 66th birthday.  It is the only new bike I've ever had.  I paid 165 inflated American dollars for it.  I know that you Dahon and Brompton riders scoff at this but for six years it has served me well.  It folds easily weighs about 30 pounds and rides very well. It has been no trouble except for the presta valves. It came with a five speed derailer with twist grip shifter, rim brakes in front and drum in the back, fenders and rack.  I set the seat back three inch's, added the dollar bag from the dollar store and the folding crate on the back.  The crate folds flat and only weighs a few ounces. It was five dollars American at Chinamart (Walmart).

I also replace those goddamned presta valve tubes so I could put air in them. I don't know who invent the presta valve but it had to be a man and a Frenchman at that.  I replaced the pedals with folding pedals this year because I got tired of the pedals gouging my ankles when I tried to lead it around folded.

At thirty pounds plus it is a little heavy to pack very far but for a short distance it is no problem even for us elderly folks.

Normally it rides around in the back of  the previously mentioned Ford. It is not unusual for me to park my car and do my running around on it. More than once I have failed in whatever mission I was on when I unfolded my little bike.  I am so easily distracted.

When you drive older vehicles it is comforting to have a lifeboat.
Meanwhile we entertain ourselves pretending to drown kittens.  Our flea problem has not abated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Hands: Kittens are a lot like people

It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.
 ~Cynthia E. Varnado

I want you to know that this is not a blog that is devoted to anything,especially cats. That being said, between dealing with kittens, adult cats and our "know it all grandson" (baby Huey) lately our time is used up. Our grandson is off seeing the world on our retirement funds and the kittens require a lot of attention since they were weaned too early. The kittens appear to be surviving well. I don't know about Baby Huey.

This is the Hawk.

This is the bait.

Lest you think I am being a sissy here squealing like a pig let me inform you that these kittens are equipped with brand new very sharp teeth and claws. While taking this video I was being subjected to the death of a thousand cuts. When I stopped this foolishness I was bleeding. Since then there have been a few lessons in 'sitting on grandpa's foot' etiquette.
There is a food dish under that pile of kittens and from the sound of things I would not stick my hand in there. They eat like Americans at a free buffet.
There it is and it does not need to be washed.

The only thing I can see that Baby Huey excels at is being a pig.  I thought his mother was bad but he has her beat.  We are not all that tidy but compared to him we have some sort of neatness compulsive disorder. When his mother was a teenager she would only pick things up when she could no longer close the door so she could sulk in private or if something was stinking.  None of that bothers him.

The photo above is after nearly an hour of picking up so there was some floor to walk on.
In the course of the day I spent over four hours just picking up things to reduce the fire hazard. I took out 17 empty or half full plastic drink bottles and a dozen cans.  All were hidden in that mess you see above. I took out about a pound of melted candy and a full lunch sack of wrappers.  Personal notes, papers and porn were all trashed. A garbage bag of dirty clothes were taken out.  I picked up five dollars and 60 cents of coins from the floor.  You see he doesn't care for coins just paper money (preferable large denominations) and coins are just too much trouble to bend over and pick up.

That room is a little more tidy now but still too cluttered to live in. I quit because I was tired and hungry not because I was finished. He may not want me to clean it again since my only tools are a broom, a dustpan and garbage bags but I may add a manure fork and shovel. Most of the stuff I didn't really want to touch.

It will not ever get this bad again as I have appointed myself the "Fire Marshal" and now will conduct regular inspections without warning. The premises is on the condemned list currently.
Meanwhile these guys make me smile. They never complain and they are always glad to see me.

"I really shouldn't campare him to a pig. It gives a pig a bad name"
~Tom Swaim~

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Life Goes On

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.~Emily Dickinson

After the unfortunate demise of our friend Thaddeous Babin other unexpected events have unfolded. He had a momma cat, a cowardly male and seven kittens. SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) brought them home. Two of the cats we now have, the gray/white and the black/white (panda) came from the same momma cat earlier this year. They are further down in this post. The alternative to them coming here was to have animal control pick them up. Animal control here is a joke and I would rather slit their throats and throw them in the bayou than that. If you know me then you know that is not about to happen.
Please excuse the background noise from SWMBO TV in the following video.

There were seven but one died at the house we think from the heat. We have been having very hot weather and Ted being dead had not turned the A/C on. SWMBO* was not the first on the scene but when when she arrived she switched it on.  Her impression was that those there were either afraid of a dead man or were just stupid. Probably a little of both.
Another died before she could get them here.

*Note: SWMBO was notified because she has been the closest human to Ted for the last 10+ years. She took him to the store last Monday and she cut his hair when it was cut last. We saw him and we both talked to him often, much more than his relatives including his children. For years she helped him work his garden. She was without a doubt his closest friend which he acknowledged readily.
This was on our back porch before noon Friday.
We ended up with five unique kittens, the momma and the cowardly male. The last two are under the bus traumatized to the max. The momma (Elvira) abandoned the kittens to save her own skin but fortunately they are eating even though they were weaned rather quickly. The picture at the top of the post was taken this morning.
That brings our total number of cats this morning to ten and Panda is pregnant. Oh well, cats they come and they go.
This pile of weeds waiting for a lifting of the burn ban has become a cat playhouse.  That's Panda's butt sticking out of it.
Speaking of Panda she seems to have been caught by a lizzard of an unknown type. It has lots of teeth and strong jaws and seems determined to eat this fat cat.  We thought at first it was a baby alligator but it's just an aggressive lizard.
I do not seem to be able to take a photo worth a crap this morning.
This photo was shot through a very dirty window and screen as there is no way I can sneak up on this puppy.  Yersinia is sitting up there to stay out of the fleas I guess.
Speaking of fleas despite repeated doses of deadly chemicals and every home remedy we can find we are still plagued with them.
This is not the first tomato from my creole tomatoes but it is the first perfect one.  It was delicious but the skin is like shoe leather. Fresh vine ripe tomatoes with a side of Chianti is living good.
I am making salsa with my tomatoes and chili's now.

Not having a death wish I am keeping my old bones in out of the extreme heat. I will be going out in it later to play with the water  hose when I go soap up the fleas again.  I may not be able to kill them all but I can still kill millions and those that survive will be uncomfortable.

I have plenty of books to read, fabric that needs to be made into a kilt, fabric for a robe and I may even write and sketch a bit. I don't intend to follow Ted so soon.

My formula for living is quite simple.  I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.~Cary Grant

Friday, June 3, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Thaddeous Babin has left the building

People expect old men to die,
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when...
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies.

~Ogden Nash~

A little Jack Daniels helps
Thaddeous is a cajun with a real sense of humor despite his afflictions. He checked out sometime in the night this last night while appearing to be getting back into bed. He did not die alone and he did not linger. He had about eight cats with him. Yesterday he cut his grass when it was a hundred degrees outside.
Ted was disabled to the point of needing a walker and he said a lawnmower was just another kind of walker.
He is a few months younger than I (72) and never let me forget it.
If he reads this I want him to know he has ruined my day. Oh well it wasn't going to well anyway.

Photos of Teds Birthday 2009.