Monday, January 23, 2012

My Momma Told Me Not to Come

My wife was asking this morning after a news item on our local NPR station about why Republican party in South Carolina voted for Newt Gingrich instead of who looked like a front runner like Mitt. The only way I could express it was that the Republican party in South Carolina was one step away from KKK in conservative thinking. I would go a little bit further and say that the Republican’s in SC probably think that the TEA party is too liberal.

One of the results of having readily available music in our Ipods and CD collections is that for me I have a tendency to apply a musical theme to my thinking. Right now the musical theme for me tends to be that old Three Dog Night song of “My Momma Told Me Not to Come”.  It is that feeling that there are so many things I don’t understand that is going on right now.

So in the end all I can say is grab hold of something and hold on it is going to be a very strange party we are going to attend this year.

Projects, Reading, Music, Movies

I am tired of looking for my remotes so I decided to take some mesquite variable width 3/8 flooring and turn it into a remote caddy. Once I have completed it I will post photos of it. But I am going to practice the old saying and keep it simple. As I write this that little voice in head is “yeah… let me know how that goes.”

Been reading Preston and Childs “Fevered Dream “ I forget how fast paced they can be. Highly recommend it.

I have been listening to some new music that reflect my moods of late which what can I say has been a little eclectic. But here our some of them with links to Youtube
Warren Zevon
"My Shits F!@#$  Up"
Life will Kill ya
Everlast "I get By"
James McMurty "We Can't Make It Here Anymore"
Chris Thiel and YoYo Ma With Sturart Duncan
Here and Heaven
A recent TV series from 2008 that was the US version of the Brit “Life On Mars” has been on our TV a lot lately and I got to say it is pretty good. Reflects the British version of the same but with a US twist. Recommend it to anyone who is tired of the same old TV fare.

Also watched recently watched the Russell Crowe movie “Three Days” a movie that starts out slow but winds up a surprise. Don’t want to be a spoiler so take a chance and watch it.
Anyway I hope this week for all is a good week and as the old irish blessing goes "May you be in heaven an hour before the Devil knows youre dead"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Waking up in the middle of the night. again

Unfortunately one of the problems with growing older is the aches and pains that come from a life lived hard or as my Daddy used to say “rode hard and put a way wet one too many times.”

For me that translate in to arthritis and other health problems that keep me from sleeping a full eight hours. Usually after about 4 hours of sleep I start waking and trying to shift my body around to relieve the pressure points at the hips knees and shoulders. I usually try not to get my mind too thinking other than “O” so as not to find myself wide awake. But sometimes it just happens. That is when I start thinking about everything and nothing. Usually this will last until about an hour before the alarm goes off and I will drift off back to sleep.

This is what happen last night but that is ok because the aches were not too serious and I woke from a pleasant dream that left me feeling relaxed and not fretting about not going back to sleep. Instead I started to think about projects I working on. How I might do things differently or try a new method or a different design that might work.  I thought about the next purchase in tools I want to make and should be a priority. 

Of course I thought about my small shop and since we will be relocating to another rent house I could not help but wonder if I shouldn’t wait until we had moved to see what kind of work space I was going to have.  That led me to thinking about how portable my shop should be not just for the move but also for me to move around to make space to work and assemble the projects I undertake.

Then I started to think about my youngest son and wondering what I should do if anything about his seeming inability to know when to run and when to fight. Recently he was mugged for the second time in about a year and a half, or I should say attempted to mug.

While investigating for a bid on a emergency repair to a column and cap on a bridge that cross the Trintiy River in Dallas County he was accousted by a man carrying a knife demanding his camera he was using to photograph the cap for documentation. My youngest told him to get lost he wasn’t getting his camera the guy came at him and they fought.

He was able to get the knife away from the mugger and that was when the mugger pulled a gun and tried to shoot him. He pushed the gun away used the guys knife to stab him in the thigh and then he finally ran behind a column to hide as the mugger fired two more shots at him before running away with the knife still sticking out of his thigh. My son finished taking the photos he needed then made his way back to his truck and called the police who also had a ambulance come out to look at the cuts he had sustained before he had been able to get the knife away from the guy. They were not serious apparently the knife was really dull. Thank “God”.

Know you might say interesting story about why you should not go underneath bridges alone but that is not it.

Points I tried to make with him was he should not of been out there as he was recovering from Pneumonia was in no shape or up to paying attention to his surroundings  or he would not of allowed the guy to get that close before challenging him. Second he should of just given the camera to the mugger as cameras can be replaced but he can’t be.

But the part that got me was the second call he got from the police. One was to let him know that there might be a few calls to his employer and family references to see if he was at the scene because he was a drug user or something of the sort for this to happen to him in little more than a year apart. The second was did they want them to continue to look for the guy. Finally the comment of how it would have been easier for them if my son had just killed the guy as that would have been self-defense.

That last comment got me and reminded me as to why I so often had such little use for the police. To me they are mostly tools of the powerful and wealthy and are used mostly to clean up the mess we make of our lives. This belief based on association with PD offices and personal observation. Most of the time they do not prevent crime but respond to the aftermath of a crime that has been committed.

As to my son he promises me he will be more attuned to his surroundings. But unfortunately the type of construction he does takes place in river bottoms and under bridges hangouts for the homeless and drug users that might see him either as a threat or as a potential for money. As to getting a concealed weapons permit he told me that it would not be a good ideal for to do that as carrying a weapon might make him too cocky and ready and he has a quick temper and availability might make too easy of a means to a end. Until he gets control of his temper it is the last thing he says he needs.

At least he has the common sense to realize this even if he doesn’t know when to walk away.

Projects, books, and movies.

Completed a temporary stand for the bench top drill press from scrap that will work of until I am able to do a more permanent stand. Basically built a modified or shorten saw horse for it.  I also started to rethink the kitchen island after finding a nice piece of pine that would make a nice 20X30 inch top so back to the drawing board.

Getting in to “Fever Dream” by Preston and Childs as good and fun of a read as I expected from these two story tellers. If you get a chance you should read Popular Mechanics  January 2012 issue about digital spies. It definitely gets you rethinking about security of your on line stuff. Let’s simply say that Russia and China should not be trusted to act in good faith.

Watched the season finale of “Hell on Wheels” last night on AMC. The ending left you with a lot of what if’s. If you get a chance watch it there are not very many westerns around anymore to enjoy. I also re-watched “Star Trac”  the last movie that came out with beginnings of the characters that made the orginal TV show. They did a excellent job as far as I am concern.

I also watched a documentary called “The Age of Stupid” watch this if you can. I found it on Netfix as one of the movies they stream and they did a excellent job of summoning up how we got to where we are now with global warming and the “me first” attitude that is taking us down this bad road of possible no return.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surivied by

While reading an obit for a cousin four years my junior I started to think about how we are remembered. The titles used in her obit were daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandma and great grandma used in conjunction with the word survived indicating survivors it was this title of survivor that stuck in my mind.

Why, I don’t know. But it did. So I started to think about it and I realized what it was that the word survived so caught my attention.

For working folks when we die we will not likely leave a large estate that must be dealt with. If anything those we leave behind most often will have to jump through a few hoops to get the money to bury that person. About the only thing we will leave behind are the people we leave behind. Those survived by us.

For my cousin it was a mother, two sisters, one husband, five kids, twenty-two grandkids and five great grandkids and a large extended family that you can’t even start to imagine. But in the end this is the legacy that most of us will leave behind, survived by us. We will be in their collective memories in the family stories that are told, the photos still hung on walls and in the scrap books that we so often feel the loss of when a catastrophic event takes it from us. For in the end all we have; our legacy; is the life we lived.

 For me individually I realized just how important it is that as we act in this life in a way that will be reflected and remembered by those who are survived by us.

Today as I attend my cousin funeral, I will reflect on the memories I have of her. Of her childhood in eastern Kentucky where I visited the family where we stood on the fence rail overlooking a mama pig and her new brood and her brother both of us 10 years old daring each other to try and ride her. I will remember the hard life she lived but always a quick smile and welcome to her home. I will look around at the family gathered to witness this woman’s life and her passing from theirs. From this I will take the knowledge that in the end she may not leave a estate but she is survived by those who will remember her.

By the way as a word of caution, don’t try to ride a mama pig she doesn’t like it and they are fast!!!


Currently reading two books. One by Preston and Childs called “Fever Dream’ a continuation of their series of their Pendergast novels. Just getting started so how good remains to be seen.

Also still reading “Unpacking My Library” By Leth Price a writer reflecting on what other writers have on their book shelf. Not bad it is a insight on what they find important and how other authors play on their writing.

As a rule I generally wait until the movies hit the dollar theater to go see them. This Christmas season has brought a lot of movies for Reba and I too catch.  But on that list is the New Sherlock Holmes movie, the Ghost Protocol (Mission Impossible), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo US version, I already have seen the Swedish trilogy on Netflix. Finally a Grandkids request the new Muppet movie. In all fairness I like them as well especially Kermit the frog.

In the shop – well I am starting a small roll around kitchen work island using materials I already have. I am still working out the details but it may have a slightly industrial look to it by using ¾ inch pipe for legs

I am also getting ready to undertake a welsh cupboard for my oldest son from plans from Lowe’s and I suspect I will end up making one for Reba as well. Then there will be a platform bed for my Daughter that she has requested. Something simple what she has said she wants.
I think if I can find a nice piece of 4x4 pine of turning the legs myself.
I was able to add to my tools with a almost new and it looks it a Hitachi B13F drill press to help with mortises and when I need percesion drilling.
So I t should be a fairly busy year to come particularly when you factor in a move to a new home for Reba and I.

That will be all for now.