Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Just going through my emails and hey! Seems my cable company is about to disconnect me! Seems like I have to click this here link thingy to set my account straight! Dammit - I likes moi TV!

Oh, wait.

Got DirecTV, and there is no cable internet in this town.

Those rascals! Why, that right there is funny, but what would be funnier would be a pickaxe protruding from the spammer's forehead! That would be real, real funny. I'd laugh and laugh at them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The tree at the "new place." Notice the all purple theme - EMAW, suckas!

Luke 2: 8-14
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Just a reminder of the reason for the season.

I'm all about folk art
This is my "ex" neighbor's Christmas present to me - "J" is one of those arts and crafts women whose creativity just can't be stopped. This cross's wire came from the burned out Poor Farm, with some appropriate decoration, and has a place of prominence now at the "new place" on the living room wall.

I love it.

Perhaps Christmas does have it's roots in an old pagan ritual, but that was the past and meanings change. These are symbols of our Christian Christmas heritage now. With all that in mind, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope today finds you safe and warm with loved ones enjoying the camaraderie and fellowship that follow. I certainly am - I'm at my sister's and it's supposed to get pretty snowy underfoot here real soon. Just the sort of Norman Rockwell scene I generally have to drive through or work in, but not today, so I'm all set to enjoy the show, hang with the family, eat too much, and stare at the inside of my eyelids for a period of time. Hope and pray y'all can do the same.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Goin' Over The Fiscal Cliff

The whole issue pisses me off, because we are being played as idiots. And frankly, considering the way a slight majority voted, we're more than happy to act the fool.

Increase taxes on the top 2% of income earners, the Democrats say, and it will all be sunshine and lollipops, cuz those bastards earn too much anyways, and they get too many tax breaks, and it's time they coughed it up.

Of course the Republicans argue that this will hurt the economy even more, because those rich people are gonna pass on the tax burden to the rest of us through their businesses by increasing prices, cutting spending and investment, and so on and on. Probably true, but it still misses the point.

If we out and out confiscated all the top 2%ers income, it wouldn't cover the expenses for even a full year. And expanding entitlement programs, increased government funding of pet projects (think Solyndra), and just generally increasing spending all over is just plain stupid.

If balancing the budget is the goal.

It is not.

Getting reelected is the goal - that is why both sides lie to us - they're afraid we'll kick 'em out if we finally understand that we all have to have our taxes increased if we expect to pay the debt - or even just match current spending. This includes those who are not paying any federal income tax now - they're gonna have to sacrifice some of their entitlements in order for the goal to be achieved. Cutting spending would certainly make it easier to do, but it still would be a major pain in the arse for everyone.

And the Feds cutting back on what they spend is gonna mean state and local governments will want more to keep the programs they feel are mandatory going, so we would all have to take in another notch on the ol' belt there.

This is the way it is, and I get tired of being lied to.

No, Danziger, He Is Not

This twisted individual is NOT the NRA. He couldn't even pass a background check to buy a gun, remember? And you seem to deliberately forget all the educational efforts, training, safety and other areas the NRA undertakes in order to make a non valid irrational hyperbolic and sensational invalid point.

You, on the other hand, are a bigot wallowing in statist dreams of dominance and superiority over those less enabled than your fine self. Go away, I'm tired of your bleating.

Friday, December 21, 2012

If Journey of Faith Didn't Do It For You

Perhaps this flash mob will:


The final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. My mother would have loved this - she played the bassoon in her high school and college orchestras, and as you can see, the whole thing starts out with one. This is apparently one of the hotter videos on YouTube at the moment, and y'all can certainly see why.

Is it an authentic flash mob? Apparently not:
Commenters on the video have rightly noted that it does not appear to be a flashmob in the purist sense of the word. Watching the video a few times over, it does seem that the audience was aware something might be happening that day -- although their surprise and delight does seem genuine, so presumably they were not told exactly what to expect. Also, it is unlikely that the audio track that accompanies the video was recorded at the same time as the video because the sound is so good and the players do not appear to be miked.
And then there is the inescapable fact that this flashmob was staged by a Spanish banking consortium called Banco Sabadell in honor of its 130th anniversary, so it is not exactly a coincidence that the orchestra chose to gather in front of the Banc de Sabadell.
Does it matter to you? Does not to me! Sometimes we find silver linings in the cloud of our brave new world, and this sort of thing is one of them. Imagine trying to explain a flash mob doing this, the explain the institution that brought this video clip to us, over the internet to, oh, my parents, much less my grandparents.

Special thanks to jed, who mentioned this in his comments to the post about Journey of Faith's flash mob performance.

Got the Christmas Spirit Yet?


If this clip doesn't do it for you, there is no hope. It's been around since 2010, so it isn't new by any means, but I like it.

Just a little background:
Journey of Faith performed a Christmas "Flash Mob" at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach on December 18, much to the delight of local shoppers. Thanks to all who participated. Merry Christmas everyone!!
Journey of Faith can be found here.

If I were so lucky to witness such an event, singing along would definitely occur. Probably at a lower volume, as not to deter other's experience of the event, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.

H/T Ant Gail

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crank It Up!


If you should pull up next to me on some interstate, while this song is on the radio, you will be utterly convinced I am suffering from some sort of spaz attack. Bobbing my head, tapping the steering wheel, and just movin' with the groovin.'

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are You Kidding Me?

Really? Jeff Danziger thinks all the mass killers were exposed to "excessive" toy guns as children? Just dismiss those silly ideas about how the little bastards were bats*^t crazy and how we as a nation do not have a mental health solution. Where TF is is degree in psychology, I wonder? When was the last time he was even at a toy store? I'm just curious, seeing how none of the toy displays I've seen for years even has a gun, much less this many.

Nope, Danziger is not biased or have an agenda, or forge ahead regardless of the facts.

Next up, Danziger will campaign to end the unsustainable war between Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs. For the children.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Well, F^(K You Too

Got this in the ol' spam trap:

The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as considerably as this one. I mean, I know it was my selection to read, but I in fact thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is really a bunch of whining about some thing that you simply could fix if you happen to werent too busy searching for attention.

Then, a link to whatever they are selling.

Is this some sort of reverse psychology - trying to piss me off to make me buy throwback jerseys?

I'll whine all I want, a$$hole. My blog, not yours. If you had any sales ability, you wouldn't be spamming everyone you possibly could. You do, however, have an alarming lack of morals. So once again, fuck you.

For My Young Friend

Specifically my "niece" Alleah.

She has been highly disturbed by the deaths of the children in Newtown, CT. Enough that she has posted her feelings on Facebook.

I find myself dreading the thought of bringing a sweet baby into the world that I cannot protect from the world itself. I just can't fathom trusting the world to take care of my baby...not today.
I answered
:It has always been thus, Alleah. Maybe not with all the press coverage of the past, but monsters have roamed the earth since Day One. You wouldn't be here if your parents had been too afraid to try, and neither would I. 
And besides, I'm for thinking you and Dan would be wonderful parents to some lucky kids.
My niece was still bothered

How is it that babies I don't even have yet are enough to evoke the deepest of anxieties? 

Well, Facebook is ok, but it's not the venue for what I have to say to you, young lady. Perhaps this isn't either, but I'm gonna share my thoughts with everyone who cares to read it here.

You feel the way you do because of your compassion, sympathy and empathy for the underdog. You are particularly gifted in this area emotionally. Not many are. You also have a sense of responsibility for your actions. You have the innate ability to foresee the consequences of a particular action - and you use that ability frequently to help consider a course of action for everyday decisions. You feel the anguish and sorrow of the loss of innocent life. Couple that with your seeing that actually raising children is an awesome and solemn obligation. And you see your children would be no less susceptible to similar events.

And this scares the living shit right out of you. Enough that it will alter your life's trajectory. If you do or do not have kids, you will forever bear the scars and those scars will be there to remind you as long as you have two brain cells to rub together. Even though you are a fully grown woman, you are still learning and the world still shapes you. It is up to you to determine how.

I have no pat answer for this. All I can do is try to allow you to gain some perspective. And to do this, I have to be harsh. Life is cruel, unfair and cheap. It is.

The press is in full salivary flow about this story - it allows them to be crusaders against evil, profit from same, and pick at wounds before they can even scab over. All in the name of journalism - a noble idea that has become corrupted long, long ago.

Why aren't they covering the Middle Eastern schools (with kids inside) that are destroyed by our very own drones? Why aren't we outraged at the deaths of so many unborn children due to abortions?

Not our problem, apparently. Furrin' kids, maybe our enemies - no problem. Legal abortions - hey, stay the hell out of her womb, dammit. It's really not a human being at all, just a collection of cells, or something. Never had a chance.

Those murders, by the way, are state sanctioned. It's ok for the state to kill. So, we are let off the hook on the compassion front there.

And of course our human history is full of murder, as illustrated above.

I remember one summer harvesting near Altus, OK. Every summer, heavy rains would fall when we were trying to cut wheat. We'd go out and check the ground on a sunny day to see when we might get started again.

I got to poking around and walking out past the machines, looking at the little ponds of water in the wheat. There were hundreds of tadpoles newly hatched, swimming like mad, teeming. The next day, the pools had shrunk considerably, and the tadpoles were growing legs and arms, but it was a race they would lose, because the next day their little pond would be completely gone. They would dry out and die.

No doubt that was great news to a great many birds and whatever other creatures that might avail themselves of such a treat, but from a tadpole's perspective, that had to royally suck. Multiply that little scene by the hundreds per acre, and thousands of acres in the area, and that is a lot of dead tadpoles.

I also must admit to being influenced by this passage from The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, quoting a conversation between "Hump" and Wolf Larsen:

I halted. How could I explain my idealism to this man? How could I put into speech a something felt, a something like the strains of music heard in sleep, a something that convinced yet transcended utterance?
"What do you believe, then?" I countered.
"I believe that life is a mess," he answered promptly. "It is like yeast, a ferment, a thing that moves and may move for a minute, an hour, a year, or a hundred years, but that in the end will cease to move. The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the strong eat the weak that they may retain their strength. The lucky eat the most and move the longest, that is all.

Life is cheap. It is also prolific and abundant, but ultimately, the only life that is valued is when it is our own.

Now, truly, this is a rather bleak counterpoint, but it is the unvarnished truth. You simply must acknowledge that this is the way of the world, or you will drive yourself mad.

I do not mean that you should just fold up and blow away, no - that is not my ultimate meaning. It is how we face life's struggles that define our existence. It is how we defy the inevitable in an honorable way. It is Admiral David Farragut saying:  "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" It is also Gus saying to Woodrow Call in Lonesome Dove:  "It ain't dyin' I'm talkin''s livin'."

 It's all about how you choose to define your existence. It is, after all, your choice. You have the gifts of empathy and caring, and you are a responsible adult. You have had little choice in the former, but you have in the latter - you and you alone decided that responsibility was an important goal. You certainly had a lot of instruction in that area, but you made that choice.

So, grieve for the little ones who never had a chance. Take your stand on the side of justice and prevention, however you can, because that is what you do best.

But don't let it color your future in a dark way - instead, use this as a tool to keep yourself sharp and vigilant. For you have a lot to offer this world in the future, kiddo, and there are certainly people out there as well as future folks who can benefit from your talents and gifts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Engineering Is Not In His Future

Jeffy continues to be amazed at what the world offers up to him every day that he is incapable of understanding.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

♫ He's Making A List And Checking It Twice ♫

Ha ha ha! There is a third option Dolly hasn't thought of! Won't she be surprised Christmas morning when all she has is a lump of coal in her stocking! Santa remembers all the times you tattled, ya little sneak!


Painting by John D. Shaw/Copyright Valor Studios
On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American bomber pilot named Charlie Brown found himself somewhere over Germany, struggling to keep his plane aloft with just one of its four engines still working. They were returning from their first mission as a unit, the successful bombing of a German munitions factory. Of his crew members, one was dead and six wounded, and 2nd Lt. Brown was alone in his cockpit, the three unharmed men tending to the others. Brown’s B-17 had been attacked by 15 German planes and left for dead, and Brown himself had been knocked out in the assault, regaining consciousness in just enough time to pull the plane out of a near-fatal nose dive.
None of that was as shocking as the German pilot now suddenly to his right.
Brown thought he was hallucinating. He did that thing you see people do in movies: He closed his eyes and shook his head no. He looked, again, out the co-pilot’s window. Again, the lone German was still there, and now it was worse. He’d flown over to Brown’s left and was frantic: pointing, mouthing things that Brown couldn’t begin to comprehend, making these wild gestures, exaggerating his expressions like a cartoon character. 
Brown, already in shock, was freshly shot through with fear. What was this guy up to?
He craned his neck and yelled back for his top gunner, screamed at him to get up in his turret and shoot this guy out of the sky. Before Brown’s gunner could squeeze off his first round, the German did something even weirder: He looked Brown in the eye and gave him a salute. Then he peeled away.
What just happened? That question would haunt Brown for more than 40 years, long after he married and left the service and resettled in Miami, long after he had expected the nightmares about the German to stop and just learned to live with them.
Quite a story, no? There is more, much more, and I suggest you go and read the whole thing. Good stuff.

H/T Firehand

Moldy Oldy


One good thing about SiriusXM's musical selection is that occasionally, just occasionally, one hears something one does not hear on terrestrial radio. And since what I prefer seems to be called "classic rock" these days, and there are fewer and fewer stations that play only that format (I'm looking at Bob, or Bill, or whatever with the "play it all and everyone is happy format"), it is kinda nice to listen to channel 25 and 26 (Classic Rewind and Classic Vinyl) for a change of pace. Normally, I'm tuned in to channel 90. NASCAR radio. Try to not be shocked.

This song is by Kim Mitchell, a Canadian musician who is now a radio personality in his home country. It came out in 1985 and was featured on an episode of Miami Vice (sooooo long ago!!!!). The death of one of his friends due to drunk driving is the inspiration behind the lyrics. It's not the lyrics that make it for me. Just a cool song.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Revenge Is A Dish

Apparently served up by Rat. Gawd how I wish I'd thought of this way, way earlier.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I Love Me A Good Story

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone! Also see my web site (redacted link to fuhree "teeeeeeen" Pr0n)
Ya had me till ya stepped sideways, spammer.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Now We Know

This is exactly how politics works.

H/T Ant Gail

Monday, December 03, 2012

Stick to Sportcasting

This is but one of many meme pictures floating around on Facebook tonight. In case you missed it, Bob Costas went on a rant during halftime of the Sunday Night Football game on NBC in support of gun control. He mostly quoted an opinion piece of Jason Whitlock's, apparently another bigoted and ignorant statist.

I could go on and dissect his arguments: they are certainly simple enough and have been debunked and proven wrong so many, many times before by about anyone with a brain, but what I want you to read is this open letter to Costas and Whitlock.

Gentlemen: I see that you have chosen to use the horrific crime of the murder of Kasandra Perkins to express your belief that guns are the problem, not the men who wield them. I am utterly certain that you believe that you have the moral high ground on this matter. I am equally certain that such a belief is appallingly wrong, not to mention terribly misogynistic. Why do I say this? Because had your desires on gun control been in place, I would not be alive to be writing this now. 
 I have an Ex. I have an Ex who, in the process of becoming my Ex, made credible threats to kill me. Why did I believe these threats were credible? Because among the primary reasons why I left him were that he had anger control issues, that he was a problem drinker well on his way to full blown alcoholism and that the things he was throwing at me were getting ever closer to my head. I decided to leave before finally snapped and actually hit me. He was displeased by this and made such displeasure known. 
 Do you know what kept me safe? Not some piece of paper. Not a judge tut tutting at him and shaking his/her finger and telling him to leave me alone. Not the police, who, after all, would only be able to respond once he had caused me harm. No, what kept me safe was my Glock. What kept me safe was my Glock and the fact that he knew I had both the ability and the will to empty a clip into his chest if he made good on his statements that if I did not come back, I would not see the next week. He never tried to do any of the things he screamed he would because he knew that not only would I defend myself but that I could. My Ex was nearly a foot taller than me and, at the time, had about 150 pounds on me. If he had been able to get close enough to me to harm me, there were very few options I had to protect myself. But with my Glock, well, I would be able to stop him before he got that close. I am alive today because he knew that if he tried to make that otherwise, there was a better than even chance he would be the one lying there in a pool of blood instead of me.
Now go and read the whole thing, what she says is very powerful and far more persuasive than any sort of logical conclusions I could imagine.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Tis Awesome

My buddy Road Pig called me the other day and said he had something pretty cool for me at his office (first place next door to the ol' abode), it had just came in that morning, and I needed to slip in and get it. He wouldn't tell me what it was - it was gonna be a surprise.

Well, yeah, it was definitely a surprise and pretty cool. This is a pencil drawing of my father when he was a teenager. Apparently one of his classmates drew up several of these of different people, and someone in town had this and one of their relatives. They ran across it the other day and remembered I didn't have any pictures of my dad because of the fire, and gave this to RP's wife Tracy to get to me. I bought the frame - the picture was taped to a slightly larger chunk of colored paper kinda used as a background, and the tape has yellowed with age.

I talked to this person, and she told me she thought Dad was probably a junior in high school. RP and I figured much the same already - somewhere in that age range. I am in the process of trying to find out just who the artist is and thank them - have a lead and left a phone message.

If you knew my father, this picture jumps right out at you - there is noooo doubt this is him.

I had a rather tumultuous relationship with my father, and I am equally to blame because I'd deliberately push his buttons when he pissed me off, so there is definitely that.

But there is not a day that goes by that I do not miss him, even fourteen years after he passed on.

Love ya, Dad.

Kick Off Already

The melonheads just found out about Daddy's huge life insurance policy. No more saying "NO!" at the candy store for you, Daddy!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Brace 'Er Up

Dolly is required to wear a special skull brace, lest any of her remaining brain matter leaks out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Are Ya Ready?


For some Christmas spirit??? If this doesn't fire you up about Christmas, I don't know what will.

Seriously, this mashup is pretty good.


Feel like crap. Crystal ball says I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Makes Ya Wonder

I suppose I'm a security risk for liking Lonesome Dove.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Firm Grasp of the Concept of Money

Dolly has been watching too much MSNBC and visiting the Democratic Underground.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

That Darn Cat!

Whilst filling my brain with sludge from H2 this morning - notably an episode about "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," prompted me to do some Wikiwandering. Mostly, I was interested in Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who spirited the Papyrus of Ani out of the Middle East in his role as an Egyptologist at the British Museum.
"He was one of only two people that Mike the famous cat of the British Museum would allow to feed him.[5]"
Well, you know that caught my eye!
The house cat of the Museum taught the young Mike to stalk pigeons by pointing like a dog to the intruder. Under the kitten's guidance the house cat would proceed to corner the pigeons, daze them, then bring them to the house keeper, who would exchange the bird for a morsel of food and milk, and release them unharmed.
Abandoning Wikipedia for the World Wide Net that Google will show, I found this page.
As time went on Mike began to prefer living at the lodge, where he had free access to come and go as he pleased, day or night, and a special corner shelf, away from draughts, was made available for him to sleep on. But he continued to patrol the Museum, and in return the Keeper of the mummified cats continued to make sure he was looked after; even during the lean years of World War I he made sure that Mike did not go without. The cat led a good life, often being given milk and scraps in the evening by the refreshment-room waitresses, and being frequently entertained in the houses of some of the resident keepers. As did his predecessor, he also liked to grace the Reading Room with his presence.
Mike was famously misogynistic - and there were only a very few men he would allow to pet him or feed him - a couple of the gatekeepers over the years, and Sir Wallis. He was also death on wayward dogs.

He'd puff himself up to twice his size, and scare off the dogs
Alas, cats do not live forever, and Mike began to fail:
Sir Wallis Budge, when he himself retired, would come to visit his friend and every week would bring sixpence towards his keep. During Mike's last couple of years he became difficult to feed because his teeth were decaying, but the three gatekeepers, who 'treated him as a man and a brother', took it in turns to prepare tender meat and fish (on alternate days) for him. It was said he 'preferred sole to whiting, and whiting to haddock, and sardines to herring; while for cod he had no use whatsoever'. Eventually his health failed to the extent that he was unable to eat, and it was felt kinder to 'put him to sleep', and so this famous cat passed away on 15 January 1929 at the age of about 20 years. He was much missed by a host of friends and acquaintances who had appreciated a cat that knew 'how to keep himself to himself'. He had become one of the minor sights of London, and news of his passing saddened admirers around the world who had encountered him during their visits to the city.
And after he had passed, there was a tribute:
Died Jan. 15, 1929,
Aged Twenty Years.
All ye that learnèd hours beguile
In the Museum’s dingy pile,
And daily through its portals pass,
And marked the cat upon the grass
That sat — alas, he sits no more! —
Give ear a moment, I implore,
And mourn the fate of poor old Mike!
When shall we ever see his like?
No fate untimely snatched away
This pussy-cat Methuselah;
When Death removed him, he had near
Accomplishèd his twentieth year:
For since we are a learned crew
In the Museum — Michael knew
Of Argus, that famed hound of old
Who lived through hunger, heat and cold;
And when his lord came home at last,
When twenty years were well-nigh past,
Looked up, and wagged his tail, and died:
But Michael, stiff with feline pride,
Vowed, by a dog he’d not be beat,
And set himself to cap that feat.
He’d sit and sun himself sedately,
No Sphinx or Sekhmet1 looked more stately;
He cared not in the very least
For human being, bird or beast;
He let the pigeons eat their fill,
Nor even one was known to kill;
But scared them if they stayed too nigh
By the sole terror of his eye.
To public, and officials too,
He showed the scorn which was their due:
And if perchance some forward minx
Dared to go up and stroke the Sphinx —
Her hand shot back, all marked with scores
From the offended Michael’s claws.
And he who writes these lines, one day
Ventured a compliment to pay,
And for reply received a bite —
No doubt you’ll answer, "Serve him right!"
So out of all the human crew
He cared for none — save only two:
For these he purred, for these he played,
And let himself be stroked, and laid
Aside his anti-human grudge —
His owner — and Sir Ernest Budge!
A master of Egyptian lore,
No doubt Sir Ernest had a store
Of charms and spells decipherèd
From feline mummies long since dead,
And found a way by magic art
To win that savage feline heart.
Each morn Sir Ernest, without qualms,
Would take up Michael in his arms;
And still remained his staunchest friend,
And comforted his latter end.
Old Mike! Farewell! We all regret you,
Although you would not let us pet you;
Of cats the wisest, oldest, best cat,
This be your motto — Requiescat!

F. C. W. Hiley

1 A lion-headed Egyptian goddess
Mike expresses his opinion of a dog he just ran off
Rowhrrrrr!!! Gotta love it!

Pictures from here!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh, The Ironing

Found this in the ol' spam trap today:
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The ironical part is which post of mine the spammers attempted to use.

The New Disinfectant In Town.

I'd think disinfectants would be a priority if one was dealing with a Kardashian. Just sayin'........


Dad called it the "I wanna disease." It was not a complimentary term. If you did not have the money, you did not buy whatever you just had to have. He was even a Democrat back in the day.

Imagine that.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Since this is Thanksgiving, and writing what we are thankful for is de rigueur, welp, here is my meager effort.

It has been a rather tumultuous year at The Poor Farm, mostly because The Poor Farm exists only as a concept these days. As most of you are well aware, it all went up in smoke on June 26.

That incident is not one of the things for which I'm thankful. All I had left were some scattered possessions in my truck, in my pickup, and at the neighbors' place. The cat who chose to put up with me met certain death. I still have problems with that - I cannot go out there and look without remembering Rooster, and all the pain rushes back. I've said it before - I'd have given all the other stuff if he could have been spared. Nope, all of it was taken, as it were.

So, thinking in those terms, I was thankful that I still had what I did. Once I pulled off the clothing I was wearing, I had more to wear while doing laundry. I still have a few guns stored away from the place, my laptop and some winter clothing in the back seat of my pickup.

Still - negative feelings about the whole thing.

Maybe in the long run it was a good thing, because I certainly learned against my initial judgment about how generous the human heart really is.

To see the magnitude of the response of all you out there completely blew me away. Both local people, internet friends, and people that up until that point had never heard of me gave willingly. I had many large and small donors - and believe me, it all added up to me being able to start again.

I had a difficult time accepting all that. I've always been a loner as far as getting by is concerned, and to have to take that help was something for which I was completely unprepared - it wasn't my way.

I find myself living in a house that is far nicer than the one that burned. More room, more storage, more comfortable (central HVAC as opposed to a propane stove and wall A/C in the living room). No mice. No bugs. No unusual creatures on my porch.

To be honest, I do miss some features of the creatures - I miss being able to step out at night and hear or perhaps join in with the coyotes. I miss all the birds and their music. I miss the open spaces. Stepping out the front door, all I see are evergreen trees. If I look up, I can see the North Star. On the farm - the whole of the Milky Way spread gloriously across the sky.

But living in town has made me a more social creature - just having to go to the Post Office for my mail means I encounter people I enjoy seeing. I can just jump in the ol' pickemup truck and dash to the grocery store or cafe rather than make a big trip out of it. This is something my great friend Road Pig foresaw when he offered his mother's old place to me to rent. He wanted me in town. I have come to appreciate that decision more and more as time goes by.

It doesn't hurt that he offered one of his cats up as a possible pal as well. Bob has become my buddy. He does like his treats, but he also is very attached to the attention. Maybe that seems like a small thing to some, but it's damn nice to know there is some sort of creature that likes to see me come home.

So, as far as the losing the house and finding out how generous people can be situation is concerned, why, yes, I am particularly thankful. I have been changed - not much, but my worldview has been altered, and my reactions to people as well. As I have said before, I have so many of you to thank for all that.

Thank you.

And looking in other areas, my health is constant - kinda poor, but regular. Not getting worse, at any rate. I've not managed to lose weight or regain my old stamina, but I do manage to report to work most of the time. I enjoy what I do, too. So, I'm thankful for my job. Many are not so fortunate, as we see in the news every day.

I am thankful to live in the United States of America. I have multiple freedoms that most citizens of the world do not enjoy. I can still speak my mind, vote for whom I wish, worship how I want, buy what I want and can afford, drive where and in what I want when I want, enjoy the world's best and cheapest food supply chain, obtain quality medical care (even out here in flyover country), own and use personal weapons denied so many other world citizens, and so many more freedoms we take for granted. Perhaps these things are slowly going away, but this year, I enjoy them and am thankful for it.

Mostly, and let me reiterate here, I am thankful for my friends. I have some very good friends. Very good friends. I have always been fortunate in having such people at my back, but this year taught me how much they cover my six, as it were.

My friends have to be the thing I am most thankful for, out of all the freedoms and choices out there. I love you all, and once again, Thank You!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In the Hall of the Shade Tree Mechanic


What's not to love? I really get a charge outta the spare parts at the end.


Apparently getting caught behind the Good Sam Brigade has been common even in the past. Who knew???

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From the Road

York, NE's extra cool water tower in the background over the Super 8 motel.

I know I'd never seen one before - but this is a 1955 Studebaker Speedster, part of their President series of models. Considering there were only 22215 Speedsters made that year, it's no wonder I've never run across one. Not like it's a '69 Camaro or a 'Stang. Don't ever let anyone tell you they only made stuffy looking business coupes - this puppy looked like it was fast in the day. Whether it was or not - the car came with a 100mph speedometer and an 8,000rpm tach. The engine, sourced from Packard, was a Passmaster 259-cubic-inch V-8 with 185 horsepower. 

President script above Speedster script

The original fish mouth grill, way ahead of the Taurus

It was 1955 when tail fins were just starting to grow. Thank God - still tasteful IMHO!!!
This was one of the few times I could even try to "stage" a picture - guess I was too lazy to think about my real camera in the truck. I've always wanted to catch a pic of the water tower as well, so I killed two birds with one stone here!

This is a sculpture in front of the Bank of Western Oklahoma's Woodward branch called "Binding Contract" by Bradford J. Williams. Two cowboys on horseback, shaking on a deal over the fence between them. Not much symbolism here, eh?!? More honor in that little scenario than all of Washington, DC as far as I'm concerned.

One of our 12'x35' FRP tanks in mid air in the process of being placed in it's new home.

Close enough that it took two tries to get the whole thing.

Welp, until I gather some more pics, that's it for now!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vivian Had Moxie

Vivian Fae Bridgwater, 75, died November 11, 2012 at her Oklahoma City home. Vivian was born October 14, 1937 to Rufus Milton and Ruby Eleanor (Friedlund) Woods in Kalvesta, KS. She was raised in the Kalvesta area where she attended grade school and graduated from Cimarron, KS High School in 1955. She received her Associates degree from Bethany Nazarene University. She married Donald Bridgwater in 1958 and to that union were born two children: Jeffrey and Shelly. She worked in the Accounting and Payroll fields for many years in Cimarron, KS, Austin, TX and Oklahoma City, OK. 
Vivian's life was filled to overflowing with family, friends and co-workers. She was absolutely devoted to her children and grandchildren. Whatever they were about, she was about. She also loved a good joke or prank -- even when at her expense. Her servant heart meant that no task was too big or too small -- at work, at church or at home. 
Of course, that is only part of the story.

Vivian was the mother of one of my best friends. I was the best man at his wedding. Somehow, over the years, we have remained tight. Even my sister is a friend of the family, which also includes my buddy's sister. Our lives are intertwined, and Vivian's passing hurt.

What this obituary does not say is how she supported her husband while he finished his schooling - he was a zoologist who ran the OKC zoo for some years, if memory serves me. However, when he was finished with his education, he left Vivian and her two young charges on their own.

Keep in mind that this was the sixties, and divorced single women with kids going it alone was absolutely unheard of. This did not stop her - she proceeded to raise her children by herself. Not entirely by herself; she was born into a big family that helped her out considerably over the years, but by and large she raised two children quite well. Both her children are successful, responsible and loving adults I am proud to call friends.

The family that raised her and looked after her (of course, she did some lookin' out for her own as well) could be considered a clan. When her parents moved off the farm and into town, the house they built had a completely open basement that ran the full width and  breadth of the foundations so that there was one huge meeting/family/dining/play room for all the kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren to romp. It was always a madhouse of screaming, playing children, adults with Solo cups filled with tea and paper plates with fried chicken and other assorted covered dishes, and a lot of camaraderie and love. So, there was an extensive support system, but it also required input as well as receiving help.

We always thought she was pretty cool. Jeff and Shelly don't see it that way, of course, because she was their mother and that was just the way she was. She certainly was a disciplinarian, but she never got excited or dramatic about much of anything. Always seemed to know what, how and why we were thinking, or why we did something. Disappointing Vivian was a crushing blow - you just did not want to do that.

Plus, she was always attractive, dressed well, and had very restrained tastes in clothing, furnishings and so on. Pictures filled the house.

Music and religion filled her life as well - she was always involved in her local church - on the board of directors, in the choir (she played the piano as well), involved in all the various activities with youth, serving the elderly, or whatever. She did love her music, and even as a child the family sang together - the old hymns with everyone joining in was right up her alley.

And, she was one of the few people I know that I consider to be the epitome of a Christian lady. Gossip never crossed her lips, nor did talking behind someone's back, or running someone down. Truly, she followed the maxim of "If you cannot speak well of a person, do not speak at all." And it was never obvious that she was avoiding saying whatever negative thoughts she really had - she just never even brought it up. I never once heard her bad mouth the father of her children - the details came from others. She never put him down around the children, either. I gotta say she had way more intestinal fortitude than I - my mouth is weak in that regard. Hers was not.

Of course she was a wonderful grandmother - there are five grandkids who worship the ground she walked on. Jeff's kids gave eulogies at the funeral (Shelly's are a tad young for that), and that was the hardest part of the whole affair - to hear what they had to say. She was never a pushover - she surely did discipline them as well! There were tales of washing mouths out with soap for thing said that should not have been uttered. Any events they were involved in? Grandma was there, supporting them.

For me, growing up Catholic meant never hearing a ton of hymns that others consider de rigueur. One of Vivian's favorites was played at her funeral just as she preferred - by family members on guitars, banjo and singing - and the Woods family has some very talented pickers and grinners. I'd never even heard this one before, but it was one of her beloved hymns. You'll just have to hear Johnny Cash and pals on this one:


Vivian, you are in a better place, but we're going to miss you anyways.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Is As Valid

a viewpoint as any other, I guess:

Who cares who pays? As long as it ain't us!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Heart (of little kids)

Jeffy's carefully constructed mask of a melon headed genial dimbulb falls for a moment. PJ had better watch out, or he'll be puttin' on the lotion.

Veteran's Day

I generally rerun something I wrote back in 2007 for today. I guess I'm lazy?!?! At any rate, I think I said pretty much all I had to say back then. However, others speak volumes with their short posts, and are quite eloquent in how they do so.
The shape of the dog tag would change somewhat over the years, but its purpose has remained the same: to identify the fallen when they can no longer identify themselves. In other words, it’s a preparation for something you’d rather not think about.
There are times when I think the whole nation would rather not think about things like that; there is much talk of peace, comparatively little about the idea that maybe you have to fight once in a while to obtain it. They forget that during most of human history, peace was the exception, not the rule; and they believe that ultimately, mankind will happily lay down its arms. Anyone who’s ever had any of those arms pointed at him knows better. But there are fewer and fewer of them — of us — to serve as a reminder, and so we forget, lulled into a false sense of security by those who prefer butter to guns, or would if butter didn’t have so much darned saturated fat.

This is from Charles G. Hill, my blogging guru for whom I have a great deal of respect.

Go and read the whole thing.

Friday, November 09, 2012

While We're Talkin' Nightmares


Yeah. Max legal height for a truck is 13'6" - which means bridges that expect semis to fit underneath them must be at least slightly higher. Lots of bridges and overpasses, however, were designed many many moons ago when trucks were far smaller - like this one - and are still in service.

Supposedly, if the clearance is under sixteen feet, it's supposed to be posted. Not always the case. I know you are shocked.

But what really starts my motor (and my compadres) is the fact that we are routinely considerably higher than 13'6". When we're using our triple axles to haul 12' diameter tanks, we are right at 14'2" or slightly higher. When we use our single drop flatbeds, we're right at 15'2" or so. If we obtain permits that route us a certain way, supposedly they have ran us over a route where we have no interference.

Good luck with that thought.

I guarantee you when I'm in unfamiliar territory, I've got a weather eye out for low underpasses. There is nothing quite like rounding a blind curve and coming up upon an underpass where the load ain't gonna fit. I even look 'em over when I'm empty, just to remember some of the short ones in case I've ever gotta go there again. And if I see a low one, it makes me nervous even though I know I"ll clear without a tank on.

I've got leather seats in the Mighty Binder, and luckily they don't take to showing rings like cloth ones would from sucking up the seats, so to speak.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

One Of My Enduring Nightmares


This is why I do not care for winter driving on mountain passes.

And for that matter, mountain passes even in great weather.

H/T Ant Gail

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Woke up in the middle of the night and found out the news, and was unable to sleep for a while. When I got up, the idea that I was in Iowa, where the Obama won, had me looking sideways at all the people I encountered. Of course, since I mostly ran into ag related folk, that was unfair, because they didn't vote thataway.

I really don't know what is in our future. Any chance our country might not go down the road to European socialism went right out the window last night, I'm thinking. It was probably preordained already - Romney and his ilk would have taken longer. We'll just keep fading away, giving away our defenses, our leadership roles in the world, our world standing, our economy, our rights, our money and ad infinitum.

The coverup of the Benghazi attack won't be prosecuted. Fast and Furious will go away. Obama will give our defenses away to the Russians, since that was something he promised them he'd do if he won last nite. That would be one promise of his I'd bet he'll keep. He'll keep bypassing Congress violating the Constitution with more executive orders, more czars and more bureaucracy. There will be no budget - why would he want to be restrained by such a simple concept when he's borrowing and printing money as fast as he can?

Yes, we'll all be spending our way to prosperity, with free health care until some board decides they've spent enough on us, or you can walk with crutches rather than get that knee operation. We'll have more and more people on the dole, because they just don't want to work, or just can't find jobs, or get tired of giving all to the government anyway. Anyone with any money will be classified and rich, and if they want to keep some of it, will have to move or hide it in some way - and they'll have the loopholes for the chosen few. The rest of us? Not so much. No businesses are going to invest in a future as bleak as the one coming - they're already backing off now - except for those who get government largess.

Good bye, United States of America, Land of the Free. Nice knowing you.

 The American Republic will endure until the day
Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the
public's money. 
Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hoo Boy

I'm firmly ensconced in a motel room in Clear Lake, IA tonight - we got here early, because we aren't scheduled to unload until tomorrow morning at a nearby berg. I swore I didn't think I could stand watching the poll results and swore that I wouldn't.

So much for not picking that scab.

Got Fox News on, and I rarely watch that channel.

Hang on, folks.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Oedipus Jeffy

This may have been Jeffy's tipping point into the madness of an axe murderer.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

We Live In Interesting Times

Yes, we are all going to breathe a sigh of relief after Tuesday. We're certainly hoping from relief from the incessant hatred in the ads on tv, the papers full of vitriol, and even the exasperation of dealing with stupid friends who just aren't as politically smart as we so obviously are. Yes, it will all be over, Thank God, and we can get back to our lives and be left alone.

Not so fast, buffalo breath - as Johnny was wont to say to Ed back in the day.


What makes you think there aren't legions of lawyers all lined up in critical districts, ready to contest election results if they don't go the way they want? Just for a minute, think on how preparations have been made to find sympathetic judges, crooked clerks and whatever kind of advantages a party might want or need to further their agenda?

Because no one ever loses in this country anymore - we're all winners, don't you know.

Water, Water Everywhere

And not a drop to drink.

Mitt Romney has been roundly criticized for his statement regarding funding for FEMA.
“FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we're learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?” 
Romney’s response: “Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better
“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut – we should ask ourselves the opposite question,” Romney continued. “What should we keep? We should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do? And those things we've got to stop doing, because we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. We cannot ...”
Romney replied: “We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all.”
Of course, liberal pundits immediately turned this into "Romney will eliminate FEMA!!!!!11!!! It's the end of the world as we know it! Heartless, cruel Rethuglicans!" The NYT put out an editorial A Big Storm Requires Big Government.

Hmmm, maybe it's just me, but cutting some funding doesn't automatically mean the death of said program. But, I'm a simple guy, with a simple mind, who sees things in a cartoon fashion. These are some of the editorial cartoons from the liberal side of things.

Yep, us Neanderthal conservatives are all a bunch of hypocrites. Because FEMA is such a find government agency that has a stellar record for disaster relief in the past. Oh, wait.....

And they're doing so well at helping out with Sandy as well:

FEMA's vaunted "lean forward" strategy that called for advanced staging of supplies for emergency distribution failed to live up to its billing in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

In fact, the agency appears to have been completely unprepared to distribute bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit this Monday. In contrast to its stated policy, FEMA failed to have any meaningful supplies of bottled water -- or any other supplies, for that matter -- stored in nearby facilities as it had proclaimed it would on its website. This was the case despite several days advance warning of the impending storm.
FEMA only began to solicit bids for vendors to provide bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday, sending out a solicitation request for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water at the website. Bidding closed at 4:30 pm eastern.
Breitbart News spoke with contracting officer Annette Wright, who said that the winning vendor would be required to deliver the 2.3 million gallons of bottled water to an East Farmingdale, New York distribution center that was listed in the solicitation request by Monday, November 5th. Ms. Wright was unable to say when or how the water would be delivered from the distribution center to needy Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island, and other boroughs of New York City. Vendors "are currently being evaluated," she said, and when the vendors are announced, they will provide information on how local distribution will occur.
Yep, that's a perfect example of the rapid response needed in times of disaster, and the ability of a large government bureaucracy to fulfil the immediate needs of citizens.

Of course, taking federal control of disasters away from the Feds and giving it to local authority is not without risk as well - just look at Nagan and Blanco's refusal of FEMA and federal aid during the first days after Katrina hit (which Bush was blamed for - go figure*). You can't fix stupid bypassing the Feds and relying on state and local officials. Even in this crisis, NYC mayor Bloomberg refused aid from the National Guard in Brooklyn because - wait for it - they carry guns.

News flash - the National Guard does more than carry - they also have large things that make things go bang in a big way, not just personal weapons. Since day One of their existence, even.

But, you realize that those nasty guns will cause crime to rise, dogs and cats will live together, and they are a symbol of personal freedom that this bigoted a$$hole cannot stomach. But hey - the local populace elected him, he's their guy, so they're getting exactly what they wanted. Not my problem.

I sure don't have all the answers, but it does seem to me that local control is a better option, mostly because local people know their area, as opposed to someone thousands of miles away that has no clue. Plus, the money - if the money isn't filtered through about twenty seven more hands on it's trip through the federal bureaucracy, there tends to be more of it available for use, no matter the program. If you aren't sending so much money to the feds in the first place, it is a tad more affordable to sent it to the state capital instead.

And another thing - the disasters are called that because they are disasters. No one can accurately predict what will happen, and thus be prepared. Throwing more money into a federal sinkhole isn't the solution if the federal sinkhole apparently isn't capable of foresight and quick response. More money = more layers of bureaucracy, In My Humble Opinion - not better service.

And some people aren't responsible enough to be alive - how many stories have we heard of people running out of fuel for their generators, or placing their generators in an area that flooded, or people in walkup apartments with no food or water? How much time do you need to fill a bathtub with water, or buy extra fuel, or stock up on canned food and some camping cooking equipment? That sort of thing is de rigueur out here in the sticks - we know that no one is coming to bail our dumb asses out. But when you're used to Sugar Daddy Big Government taking care of all your needs, then you expect them to save you in a time of distress. Look how well that thinking works.

*and do you think this thin skinned President would stand for him being criticized for something he had nothing to do with? He doesn't take credit for errors he has made, much less keep his mouth shut and stay classy about something like that.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

End Dump

I guess I'm just about a weekend blogger here lately - seems with all the election crap going on I'm suffering from burnout. If you are one of my pals on Facebook, you've probably noticed the lack of political crap there from me, too. Nothing I can say will sway someone who thinks our current President is the bee's knees, so enough already. I guess we can all live in food stamp paradise, living our allotted years until we become a liability for the health care program so y'all can feel great about "doing stuff" with other people's money.

Yeah, I said enough already, but I can't help getting a dig in.

At any rate, what we have here I'm sure you've all seen - an end dump rig getting ready to dump. Several of us were waiting to unload (notice the man basket directly in the way), and this guy pulled in.

It's really a pretty sharp KW - nice color and lots of shiny stuff. Most haulers like this truck are usually beat up and rough, never mind the shiny stuff, so this rig caught my eye. Clearly it was fairly new, but some efforts had been made to keep it up. This guy was going for a clean look - no striping or fancy letters on his pretty blue paint. Notice how all his necessary info is on his step. He had already gotten out and released the catch on the rear so the door would swing as he unloaded.

If you look at the front of the trailer, you can see a single ram lifting the dump body. There is a substantial frame underneath with the suspension mounted to the frame, and the dump body hinged at the rear of the frame. This is the strongest variant, but some have a sort of subframe that contains the kingpin (the thing the fifth wheel on the truck attaches to) and the ram, with a set of stringers going back to the rear to keep everything in line, and with the suspension mounted to the dump body. When those guys dump, the front axle gets lifted off the ground and dangles. It's a lighter setup, giving them a better payload. The spread axle rigs really put that front axle in the air. It's not as stable unloading on rough ground as the rig shown here - lots fall over, especially the manure haulers. They unload on soft farm ground, and the load can hang up with one side letting go and the other not, unbalancing the whole apple cart.

He let the rock pile up a bit then pulled forward, because the rock will pile up and prevent more from sliding out.

Really let go here.

Pulling away to let the final dribs and drabs fall out.

Letting it down (it is slow), and latching the rear door closed.

That might not seem like a lot of rock there, but I can assure you it is around 24 or 25 tons - which makes it a legal load for this guy. 50k lbs plus his rig at about 30k lbs equals 80k lbs. If he wants to haul more, he has to lighten up or put more axles underneath.

But I'm sure he's figured all this out, this is a shorter trailer, so it's pretty maneuverable compared to longer rigs. His tractor is fairly short too - he does have a single bunk, but this is obviously a local hauler. He's not going coast to coast with this puppy - I'm sure he does quite well with the local jobs he undertakes.

In most states I'm aware of, "rock" haulers are exempt from the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Law (or the bridge law to a trucker). This law is intended to keep heavily loaded axles a certain distance apart so that there isn't too much weight loading in one spot, overcoming a bridge's ability to hold said load. These guys are exempt as long as they are hauling rock, gravel, refuse, building debris, whatever - as long as it's considered exempt. Grain or feed products are not, so when they load those commodities, legally this rig can in no way approach 80k lbs gross - he's way too short. Doesn't mean a bunch of them don't try it anyhow, but they're not supposed to. If the one of the various alphabet trucking regulatory agencies catch 'em, it's an overweight fine, and perhaps mandatory unloading of part of the commodity until they are legal.

So, this is a little peek into another facet of trucking you might not really know much about.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I talk once in awhile about tailing (also called tailboarding) tanks. That is where two separate lifting machines hook up to the ends of the tanks, lift it from the trailer, gradually stand it without touching the ground, and when the device hooked to the bottom releases, the main device (crane) can swing it over to it's new home and set it.

This is a crane and a skytrack working together. It's a ton of pictures, so they'll be under the fold.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Saga Continues

Bob knows when I'm back, and was waiting for me to haul my stuff in the house.

Proof that yes, I can pet him. Costs me some treats, but I think that will gradually ease off.

Some info on Bob that y'all probably didn't know - he's been Road Pig's outdoor cat for some time. RP and his lovely wife Tracy used to live two houses west from the current abode - they bought a different place and moved. At any rate, Bob and several other cats have been part of their household or outside. Bob is one of their outside cats - he was feral and they tamed him. His sister was and his mother is basically feral, even after trying to civilize 'em. Bob is also "fixed." RP reports that was a severe blow to the cat/human relationship, but Bob finally got over it.

Tracy can actually pick him up and hold him, RP not so much. He does have an endearing trait - when he's happy he sort of barrel rolls and sometimes stays on his back, flailing his legs. RP can tell when he's about to do that - he says Bob sort of leans over in a certain way, then he rolls right over.

RP has been and ever shall be a prankster. One of Alleah's boyfriends was, shall we say, somewhat naive. He and RP were talking outside when Bob came along, and RP started telling the impressionable young man about how he had trained this cat. When Bob started his trademark lean, RP told him to roll over.


So, I have discovered that when I step outside, I'm likely to have a cat out there hoping for a handout, but also really starting to like being petted. Went out a few minutes ago, and there he was. No treats necessary - I could pet him.

He has also shown an interest when I open the front door to go in. He seems to be checking it out, wanting to come in. He has shown an interest in open doors with my pickup - but I'd think he'd probably freak if I shut him in at this stage in our "relationship." At any rate, he'd just be a visitor - the Poor Farm Relocated is not equipped for extended cat stays, If You Know What I Mean And I Think That You Do.

Also, I must be a legend among the local cats now. Several yards away on my last trip outside was a black cat with a partial white face and chest - keep in mind it was completely dark out there - it looked black anyways. He/she was meowing piteously while I rubbed on ol' Bob. It just wasn't fair, it seemed to be saying. Bob was soaking up the attention, being a typical cat. So much the better for him, that this other cat was afraid of me.

Apparently that is my mission in life now, winning over the hearts and minds of the neighborhood cat community.