Over the years while traveling the Interstate system, I have coveted certain areas that I will pull over and park for the night. I have a favorite spot to break Denver-OKC or Las Vegas-OKC and so forth. One such place is a WalMart outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, just on the east side after you come up the canyon. This year on the way to Pahrump for the bus meet, we pulled in there to overnight and get some groceries.
April 13, 2015
March 30, 2015
Have been home about a week now, back in “the swing of things” familiar surroundings, smells, routines. It is always nice to get away, and believe it or not, I am ready to head out again.
On the other hand, the wife is not. (more…)
July 18, 2012
My grandson (11 years old) cannot throw a football, he does not play baseball, no Frizbee either. He for the most part, sits in his home and plays video games. And that to me is so sad, but as this is treading on tender-ground in the family dynamic, I keep it to myself. There is so much more to life, so many adventures and learning experiences are out there, ripe for the taking, but he will never know them.
It occurred to me that someone ought to start a thread on the strange things or interesting adventures we have done in their lives. All of us at one time or another have done some things that others (especially those of us that are not insane by nature) would consider strange, adventuresome, or interesting. My Bucket List on life is for the most part empty, I have had my fair share of adventure and really feel more or less circumspect in my life at this point in time. As it has been kind of slow here lately this has been on my mind.
So during a lull in festivities, I made a list of some of the quirky things in my life.
Did a snipe hunt once or twice, before I figured out that Snipes are not indigenous to Oklahoma, just to my cousin’s house out on a farm east of Crescent, Oklahoma. On the same token, I have never stuck my tongue to a frozen flag pole in December. Played “stomp ball at the park” in a four inch downpour and loved every dog-gone minute of it.
When I was young, I walked thru a railroad tunnel in Niles Canyon, California. With no flashlight to illuminate the way, no working knowledge of trains or train schedules, another guy, Jim Crossett and I walked thru this roughly two mile long tunnel. When JFK said “every American should be able to walk fifty miles” my buddies and I, rode our ten speed bikes 112 miles in one day. Left at 4:30 am in the morning and it was wayyyyyyy after dark when we got back.
Climbed a hydroelectric transmission tower to the very top, man man, the juice flowing thru that thing sounded just like bacon frying on Mama’s stove and you could see forever. Been to the top of two or three volcano’s in my life all extinct, none were active. Surfed at Santa Cruz and body-whopped Half Moon Bay. Sat on a boat dock, in Jax Florida and ate Oysters right out of the shell and washed them down with hot sauce and Budweiser.
I found an abandoned mine in the Sierra’s once and we went back into that about 1/2 mile or so, only to discover a ceiling chocked full of bats! Now that turned out to be a turning point in my life, as I found myself whenever I discovered one (abandoned mines or tunnels), venturing deep into the pits of a mine and exploring by flashlight, the bowels of mother earth.
We were in Spain, and a guy bet me that I would not jump off of a perfectly good aircraft carrier, so I did. Ninety-four feet to the waterline. But this wasn’t something all that new to me, I had previously jumped off a railroad bridge at Lake Texhoma and a public bridge at Catfish Bay, Oklahoma.
Noodled for catfish on the Washita River and went to a Rattlesnake hunt in Okeene, Oklahoma, both I would wholeheartedly pass up today. There are safer things to do in this life, such as, digging for sand crystals on the Salt Flats or something like that.
My cousin talked me into climbing a rock face with him in Colorado and everything was just swell, until I found myself at a place where I could not go up or go down. Froze on the side of rock cliff for some six hours, not a pleasant Saturday afternoon as I recall.
I danced with a transvestite in Trieste, Italy, and did not know that he/she was a tranny. That got interesting for a brief time, until I gave “her” to Harry Braid, who was from Dayton Ohio, and I assume he had never danced with one either.
Took diving lessons, learned to dive in a swimming pool with an instructor. Then went to Florida and did a dive that was sixty-five feet. Made it half-way down, and my ears started to really bother me, so I stopped and held onto the rope, that is until a Barracuda swam by my face, and then I decided it was time to go up (Post haste) to the dive boat.
Went up in a small airplane three times to jump and begin my sport parachute career, didn’t happen. I did however get out on the wheel strut and briefly looked down at the earth, some 4,000 ft below before crawling back into the plane. Ran my Harley up to an honest 130 MPH on a country road one hot July back in seventy-four. Rode it 6,000 miles across America over a period of some five months time.
Skinny dipped with college kids on the South Canadian River, swam in the Yellowstone River sans attire, did a river in Idaho one time alongside a busy highway. Never have been to a topless beach but I have heard of them. Did some class three rapids on a river in California and a girl named Debbie on lake in Missouri at midnight on a full moon night in August.
You would think that would be the end of it, but it isn’t. Not long ago I inadvertently came across one more opportunity for adventure of sorts.
We were in New Mexico having breakfast at Clines Corners. Two local guys pulled in with a pickup and horse trailer and then unloaded three horses to rest, and tied them to the trailer. They came in and sat down in the booth next to us and ordered breakfast. I inquired of one of them, “How come you have three horses, but there are only two of you?” and this guy smiled and says, “Charlie was out all night long chasing skirts, and did not want to get out of bed this morning. We decided to come on without him, we had already loaded the horses.”
He then looks at me and says, “Can you ride a horse?” and his buddy kind of chuckled.
I replied with, “You betcha, I can sit a horse, no problem.”
He then said, “You wanna go up in the hills with us and bring down some cattle today?” and I looked at the wife and said “You be okay, here in the parking lot?” and she just gave me that look that I know so well after all these years.
Now it is your turn. What is the strangest or most interesting thing you have done in your life?
Take a shot at it.
January 30, 2012
WordPress Junk Files January: Fresh Pressed 01-04 …. “Snowboarding post, high in the Rocky Mountains where the snowboarder finds himself gasping for air at 10,000 feet above sea level, a place generally reserved for mule deer, mountain goats, and the skeletal remains of the pioneering Donner party. The ill fated Donner party met their demise in the Sierra Nevada Mountains outside Truckee California not in the Rockies. So much for “checking for accuracy and source material” before being Fresh Pressed huh?
If I see that J.C. Penny Commercial one more time with the women screaming at the top of their lungs, I am going to go bonkers. That has to be the worst commercial currently running on television these days. How they equate screaming with a desire to shop, I will never know. My girlfriend on Trop 50 has a new one out, and it is a kick in the you-know-what. You Had Work Done?
A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa. ‘The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. However, there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have eaten, or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?’
After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand,
and softly said, “Wedding Cake.”
No good huh. Well, whadya want for free?
Do you know what a woman’s’ thong and a barbwire fence have in common?
They both restrict access … but they don’t spoil the view. One thing we can all agree on, “they are not for everyone.”
Now here is something to boast about. I have not watched one episode of the new season of American Idol … Not one minute of it. I deserve an award. It is almost as if I am on the twelve step program concerning reality television. Come to think of it, I never won an award, trophy or prize in my life.
One time when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I ran a race and my father came to watch me. I didn’t do so well, came in about 8 or 9th as I remember. On the way home, my father took his watch off, and handed it to me. Not a new watch, and old watch, but to a ten year old kid, this is a big thing.
Taking it, I put it on my wrist and said to my father, “I didn’t win the race. Why are you giving me this?” and he said, “Well, I am not giving it to you for winning, I am giving it to you for trying.”
That is better than any old trophy.
Try this one. Ready? Two candy bars for two dollars, or one at the regular price. Better yet, ready? Two KING-SIZED candy bars for three dollars or one at the regular price. My old man used to squeal like a stuck pig when I asked him for two bits (a quarter) for a coke AND a candy bar.
I don’t understand. Girls with tattoos’, what is up with that? Guys with pierced lips and eyebrows. I just cannot figure it out to beat the band.
Some more things I do not understand:
Popcorn Chicken … What in the world is that?
Buffalo Wings … Uh huh, sure.
New Sexy Hair (only $13) and I just have to chuckle, no really, I just have to.
New Skin? Yeah, I know. Think about it.
Let’s eat out: “Chase every skillet bite with one of five lip-smacking, fruity fusion favorites.” Cool, tangy and loaded with “Ah.”
Uh huh, sure.
Maybe it is just me … but I just don’t get it.
Now this, this is really something else. Try it, it will blow you away. A super cool optical illusion
A brand new week on tap, make it or waste it, as always, your choice.
One way or the other … It is all up to you.
January 5, 2011
I like the country
Can’t stand all this city strife
Guess I want to be on the boulevard … rollin’
Rollin’ all my life.
Open the east gate of Yellowstone and let me in!
Thinking about Bear Tooth Pass,
Cooke City, Red Lodge Montana
two-lane highways and cheap gas.
Clear water streams
What a hopeless romantic,
a man of many dreams.
No adventure in my life,
No more icing on the cake,
Ho hugs, soft kisses, warm hello’s,
No backrubs, or calls on the telephone,
No important dates for me to make,
My coffee cup has developed a pinhole leak on the bottom,
My first problem of the day.
Wednesday morning, my idle mind draggin’ my heart around. I can hear the low muffled sound of my own heart beating. It disturbs me, a distressing reminder of my own mortality. A slow steady drum beat of how fragile life really can be, and I stop to consider the fact that we seldom realize the frailty of it all.
Sitting here at my window with my cup of Joe, meditating. Today, this day, my thoughts should be concentrated on other things, not so much on leaving, getting out of here. But rather, just making it thru another Oklahoma winter day.
Much like the fading last embers in a dying campfire … the memory of the weekend is fading … Two quick short days in heaven, often just isn’t enough. Perhaps a trip north to Yellowstone or a quick visit to Orlando and some white sand, might just be what the doc ordered up?
I need a two-week placebo for my winter time blues.
December 6, 2010
The votes having been counted, it was noted that the tribe had a new chief. He was a young chief, not versed in the ways and rituals of the tribe. He stood before them and promised that he would do the very best that he was capable of as their new leader.
One brave asked him, “Chief, will we have a bad winter?”
The new chief, not really knowing, said to him, “Me tell you tomorrow.” That night, he called the U.S. Weather Service and inquired about the weather, the man on the phone said to him, “Right now, we are not all that sure. Cut firewood.”
So the next day, the new chief assembled the tribe and said to them, “Winter cold. Cut firewood.”
A month later, the same brave, same question. “What will winter be like this year?” again the new chief tells him, “See me tomorrow.” He then again calls the U.S. Weather Service in Santa Fe New Mexico and they tell him, “We are not sure. Cut firewood.”
So again the new chief assembles everyone and tells them the same news, adding “cut more firewood.”
Two months goes by and it turns a little bit nippy, the leaves have fallen from the tree’s, there is a little frost on the pumpkin early in the morning. Again the tribe member inquires about the weather, again the new chief tells him to see him tomorrow. He dials up the number, and makes the inquiry.
“What winter be like?” The man at the U.S. Weather Bureau on the other end says, “We aren’t sure, but it may get really bad, all these Indians around here are cutting firewood like crazy!”
Turning cold, old man winter is just around the corner. I can tell as my old bones tell me so every morning when I roll out of bed. It has gotten so bad, that now I find, different parts of me are waking up at different times. We had some arctic cold move thru here over the weekend.
Let it be known, “I am not a Big Fan of Wintertime. No Sir.” This is the time of the year when you start having problems with your skin, it dries out, things start itching on you, you catch yourself scratching parts of your body that you have not seen in five years.
One thing you can do to avoid dry winter skin is to not take hot showers. Long, hot showers strip the skin of essential oils. You can also switch soaps. Use something that is not all that harsh. Wash only what needs washing (the stinky parts) and let the rest of it go. This will not make any points with the little woman, but we are talking survival here, not affection.
Use more moisturizers, I prefer the pump kind in the bottle, but I have been told they are not good enough to get the job done. You need thick moisturizers. The hard, thick creamy jobs, it should have a sort of Vanilla Milk Shake texture. You can also increase the indoor humidity of your home in the winter. And lastly, if none of this works for you, you can move to Arizona or Florida.
Tomorrow boys & girls, we will show you how to make a therm-o-nuclear device out of ordinary household cleaners found around the house, don’t miss it. (I know I am really looking forward to it)
December 1, 2010
This morning we find ourselves at the Flyin’ Hooker (Flying J Truck-stop) some 400 miles from the house in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Savoring a cup of coffee and taking note of my surroundings. So far, I have discovered this. Early morning coffee drinkers are a strange lot, some of us like it lukewarm and others piping hot. (Hey? That rhymes, I could be a poet and didn’t know it) Now I ask you, can life get any better? Fast food joints, breakfast in the morning, sleeping in the back of the parking lot in a truck-stop.
For the most part, the joint is empty, a couple of freight hauling truckers sitting at the counter, two young kids in a booth, who seem to be “all over each other.” I study them intently, she has black lipstick, black fingernails, jewelry everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. It is in her ear, her nose, a spot above her eyebrows is pierced.
A picture of loveliness. Every Mother’s pride and joy.
Now her not so apparent non-virginal counterpart, he is much the same, hair is askew, lip pierced, ear ring, and BOTH eyebrows have shiny appendages sticking out of them. I think to myself, “this kid is ripe for marriage, he is ready to go.”
He has endured pain and he has already bought jewelry.
Owning a bus makes life a little bit more interesting and somewhat better. It affords me the luxury of being able to get out and away from all those things in life that manage to drag me down. It takes my mind off this ugly rash in my left armpit and the nation’s economy. I have no Late Breaking … Live … Local Headlines to contend with, no cable bill, no sorry political viewpoint to consider on my television. I have no user screen name or password retrieval issues to face this day … I am fine with the world.
Strangely I find myself riding a gentle wave of adventure this day. I have the road calling to me and some free time to answer up. Don’t get me wrong, life in El Reno, Oklahoma is good. But on the whole, at least today, I find that I would rather be somewhere else, somewhere far, far away.
The sun cracks the horizon and morning arrives. Wrapped tight in my private thoughts, I hardly take notice. Over in the corner of the parking lot I hear my Pig Iron Pony idling and I sense he is chomping at the bit, he is ready to run and I am to some extent, ready myself. Daddy’s Hobby and his turbo charged big horses, want to get out and register a few serious miles. I am obligated to oblige, droppin’ a couple of singles on the table I head out to the parking lot.
Today we will be westbound and down, “six on the floor and the other one out the dog-gone door, hammered down.” Our reserved spot in the fast lane waits for us. Tomorrow this place will be just a faint memory.
Life is good … I am a fortunate Pilgrim indeed.
Possibly Related: Life Is Good Troubadour
November 27, 2010
I sip my coffee, hug the cup for its warmth and peer outside the window at the New Mexico morning that is unfolding before me. Early morning in The Land Of Enchantment, birds sing and the smells, new and unfamiliar refresh my mental issues, which seem to be more than usual. The warmth of the new day seems to signal me to try “my best this day to get with the program.”
Leaving Mama to her covers and the warmth of her bed, I walk across the street to a little cafe for some nourishment and conversation. Another morning breakfast in a small town cafe on the edge of the horizon somewhere in time. The waitress inquires if I am ready to order, she looks really tired and on the downside of life.
I nod my head in silent agreement and tell her “two over easy, bacon, whole wheat toast, small OJ, and make the hash browns well cooked.” Knowing full well, that I will most likely get what the recently released prison cook decides is good for me, and it might be close to what I ordered and it might not.
Eating on the road leaves a lot to be desired on most days, and this one, being no different is much the same. You buy your ticket and you take your chances, that kind of deal.
An old man sitting at the counter fishes out his cell phone and starts barking in it like a Carny at the State Fair, we are not in Kansas anymore Toto. A few more pleasantries, I retire the ticket, reach into my pocket for a four dollar tip and I am out the door.
Briefly I stop to read the headlines in the paper box, even in The Land Of Enchantment, there is no good news. I consider the cards that life has dealt me this day, and I seem to believe I am playing a winning hand. The things that are negative and bad are somewhere out of reach, tucked back into some cavity of my mind, and my soul is at rest. I sigh a deep sigh and resign myself to having a good day.
The air outside is crisp and clean smelling, it is good to be here in the American high-desert. Today will be spent in the big city of Lincoln, New Mexico, one of the last hurrah’s of Billy The Kid, curio shops and small town America. Hopefully another fine day on the road, which I find, has been my pleasure to share with all of you.
Like the Postcard reads: “Wish You Were Here.”
October 13, 2010
Torture Time Again … Things I love
My old bus, “Be ye not the first to try the latest, nor the last to cast the old aside” is what my grandmother used to tell me, something truly special about being the owner of an old hoopie that is no longer in production
The smell of fresh rain on a country road in the summertime.
Songbirds in the tree on the westside of the house
The view from the top of the hill at the Riverside in Laughlin Nevada.
The husky sound of a woman’s laugh in the dark.
Little children at play.
Long stretches of two lane at dusk
the sound of a big Detroit workin a hill outside of Bozeman
fresh popcorn poppin,
mis-spelled words in Bus Conversion Magazines
Setting the Jake and listening to her bark as she drops off the hill.
High-dollar fuel, bad roads, lousy weather, take the edge off life
Aluminum wheels and shaved rivets
crowded truck stops and radared chicken fry’s
polished wheels excite my senses
I like the look of Albuquerque New Mexico after dark from the top of nine mile hill … Same with Las Cruces and The College Exit in Henderson Nevada. Porpoising on the Interstate in Wyoming, running I-20 east out of Houston.
Winning lottery tickets (Hey … This is my fantasy, remember that.)
“It’s all downhill from Van Horn Texas.”
Diesel mechanics who smile and say, “Ah, this aint nuthin.”
Halter tops and cut off Levi’s
Bacon fryin and the smell of burnt toast in the kitchen,
No one in line ahead of me at the fuel desk
mashed potatoes and dark rich gravy
The smell of diesel exhaust early in the morning
A cup of fresh brewed coffee.
Country Music, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood
NASCAR, CMT Video’s, old time Rock n Roll
long, slow wet kisses in the dark,
Stories told late at night around a dying campfire
Cracker Barrel stores … Chrome shops … LED’s … Stainless Steel
the wife humming softly at the kitchen sink
fried apples in thick syrup.
Meeting another truck on a hill late at night, and he says, “Aint nuthin’ back there driver but a whole lot of dark.”
All that … is a Rainy Day slice of life … And some of it even makes me smile.
April 23, 2009
Uh, I forgot?
Santa Fe New Mexico Officials have figured out why they could not find the 50-year old time capsule, due to be opened in 2010. The capsule was never buried. A local newspaper has revealed that Santa Fe’s former mayor quietly gave up on the time capsule in 1960 when the city ran short of money. “Those were the days of confusion, days of chaos.” said the mayor. The capsule, a 150-pound iron tube, would up being used as a garbage can in an office supply store.
Time In A Bottle
Darin Winkler was walking along the banks of the Spokane River when he spotted an antique bottle with an old fashioned cork stopper, inside was a pencil-written note dated March 30th, 1913, requesting that the finder of the bottle contact Emmett Presnell of Rockford, Washington. By sleuthing on the Internet. Winkler determined that Presnell died in 1978 after a long career as a homesteader. Presnell’s 86-year old nephew, Tom, thinks his uncle launched the bottle out of curiosity while tending cattle on the banks of nearby Rock Creek or Hangman Creek.
Not everyone believes in Earth Day and a healthy planet.
Spokane residents are smuggling in dishwasher detergent to evade a new ban on phosphate containing cleaners. Many consumers say the new “green phosphate free detergents” they’ve bought leave their dishes greasy and encrusted with food. So they’ve stooped to driving to Idaho to load up on Electrosol and Cascade. “Yes I am a smuggler” said resident Patti Marcotte. “I am taking my chances because dirty dishes I just cannot live with that.”
New wrinkle on an old twist.
Thousands of boat owners hit hard by the recession are abandoning their pleasure craft, rather than pay for their upkeep and mooring, by sandpapering off their registration numbers and sinking them at sea or ditching them in harbors or on the shoreline. Our waters already polluted and strained to very breaking point are now becoming the new dumping grounds, especially hard hit, Florida.
Unfortunately for Mother Earth, the news is never going to be good. Man will never be concerned about global warming or the greenhouse effect. The words are not scary enough, they do not evoke the primary emotion of fear. Global means all-encompassing, warming connotes comfort, green equals growth in most peoples’ minds, and house breaks down to shelter in some schools of thought. Growth, shelter, and all encompassing comfort.
It is at best a “mixed message.”
Doesn’t sound like a real threat.
With automakers expecting to sell 6 million fewer cars this year than last year, and estimated 1,200 car dealers will go out of business this year. 900 went out of business last year. Newest attempt at fleecing the consumer here is “an advertising fee.” As it was explained to me this is added to the car because “we have to advertise these cars, so all of us in a three state area, pay into an advertising pool” that is what that is for.
Yeah shure, sign me up for that, and throw in another five gallons of turn signal fluid while you are at it. People who operate like this, they deserve to go under. In this case it is better to entertain an idea, than to take it home to live with you for the next 8 to 10 years of your life.
The new Arabs of America
The Japanese dealers in the area, riding high on their own particular Tsunami of economic good news, are now selling their cars for “FULL RETAIL PRICE” plus an added $900 dealer prep sticker or some other bogus charge in order to drive up the price. So trust that greed and avarice are still alive in this country, despite the best efforts of the government at trying to stop or kill it.
Have we a deal for you.
Chase a twister in Oklahoma on Tempest Tours five-night mini tornado tour. Thrill-seekers board “storm-intercept vehicles” and hunt down severe weather patterns. The tour runs June 8 thru the 13th, and packages start at $1,295 with lodging. Me and the wife were in a “storm-intercept vehicle” once, it cost us about $1,300 in hail damage and of course, “was a real adventure.”
Here is a switch for you.
Sallie Mae (student lending institution) is closing down call centers and IT operations in India and other foreign countries and will bring the jobs back to the United States. Hard to believe eh? Sallie Mae, which employs 8,000 people nationwide, expects to add 2,000 jobs to its U.S. Payroll in the next 18 months. I am sorry Punjab, you will now have to move to the USA and we are going to have to ask you to turn in your locker keys. Who knows, it might be soon, that you will be able to pick up a telephone, call these people, and get someone in Birmingham Alabama, who actually speaks English and you can understand them. Now that is a concept.
A Florida man was arrested recently while wearing an “I love (heart) my marriage” t-shirt. He was arrested for allegedly choking his wife and throwing numerous items at her during a fight. Isn’t marriage a wonderful institution, where you search the ends of the earth, for that “special person” that you can hook up with, and annoy for the rest of his/her life. Marriage is a rough job, because you always end up dealing with feelings and of course, lawyers.
Yeah? I hear you snickering and giggling, chortling and you are not fooling anyone. If you believe that marriage is a 50/50 proposal, then you do not know a thing about women in general and nothing about percentages.
There is always another perspective on it, if you want a taste of it, check it out. That Saddity Chic
Now me, I am a smart man, a practical man, a man for all seasons. I do not want to, nor do I plan, to irritate my wife. I am going to make every possible effort to insure that my marriage is a full and rewarding experience, that it is a success, a model for all to see.
Because I love my house, that is why.