'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 June 2013

Sunday Kipling

I'm in one of those moods today. Must be the heat.

This Sunday is dedicated to my grandchildren and to yours and your children as well.

The Children's Song

Puck of Pook's Hills

Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven who lovest all,
Oh, help Thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth whereby the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for judge, and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak;
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
Oh, Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart and hand through the years to be!

29 June 2013


112 yesterday. 111 today and more in the teens and low hundreds into next week. I've even heard 114 or 115 being thrown around. The Kids have been living in the pool. Even Angus thinks it's too hot to go outside until after dark. I'm thinking walkies will be well after the sun goes down.

I'm going to cover myself with ice and think cool thoughts.

28 June 2013


Thank you all for the birthday and grandkids visit well wishes. We picked them up Wednesday night and today is given over to Miss Princess' birthday. Streamers, banners, food, candy, cake and screaming children. It's going to be a good day. In lieu of actual content I decided to post about another small project, the brick planter we built. I love small projects.

When I did the kids room remodel I tried to save and reuse as much of the take offs as possible. I am green you know :) One of those things was the bricks from the free standing wood burning stove surround. They were really quality fireplace bricks and it seemed a shame to just toss 'em. So I threw them in a big ol' pile while we decided where best to utilize them. Then it hit me. No not a brick to the head, though that's generally a safe bet, but rather an idea. Lu has been wanting a nice planter for some veggies in the back yard so....

There was some prep needed. Most of the bricks still had some mortar still attached. They needed a basic clean off before I could use them. Lu and I set up a relay system. She did the cleaning while I mixed mortar and did the laying.

As she finished the bricks I started laying. I am a very basic brick mason. That means I just eyeball things, use a spirit level to keep everything more or less straight and level and just sorta go with it. I didn't put in a true foundation. I cleared the dirt to hardpack, leveled it all out and then set the first row with heavy mortar both between the bricks and between the bricks and the dirt. I let it all sit for a day and it all seemed very secure so on we went. In essence I used the first row of bricks with mortar as my foundation.

If you're thinking that looks like an encephalitic Baboon did the work you are exactly right. He did. Real brick masons might want to just look away at this point.

Nine bricks high and twenty to a row. I finished the whole thing off with a nice coat of cement on the inside and along the top. I want whatever water gets to the perimeter to go down and not seep out through the brick. I think it'll work. I hope. I decided against any kind of coating since this will be used to grow consumables. We'll see.We have since filled the planter to within about 18 inches of the top with fill dirt. We'll go down to the local nursery and buy 16 cubic feet of topsoil and mulch for the bed. Any of you experts who want to weigh in at this point will be greeted with much joy and enthusiasm. I'm the grandson of farmers but I never really listened. Shame on me.

I'm actually pretty happy with the end result. I still need to wire brush the exterior and do some work on the grout lines but it's basically done. It should serve nicely as a planter for Lu to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and whatever tasty vegetables she has a hankering to try her hand at. She is going to run water lines from the building next to it and we're eventually going to put in a walkway around the planter. After the kids go home in a few weeks.

A short, simple and easy weekend project. And hey, if it all goes kerplooey I'll just clean it up, swear I never heard of any such thing and think of something else.

Have a great week. I'll be back later.

26 June 2013

Grandkids Visit - Sketchy Posting

DO and the grandkids will be here later this evening. They're here for a nice three week visit. Lu and I have a host of stuff planned and I expect we'll be keeping pretty busy.

That said I'll probably be pretty limited in my posting time. I will get some done, I have more than a few humorous stories in the Queue and some more recent projects.

We've been waiting anxiously for their visit for months now. Angus is doing the happy dance. Either that or he really needs to pee.

Thank you all for stopping by to read and comment on my scribblings here. I appreciate all of you.


23 June 2013

Sunday Kipling

Since yesterday was my birthday I thought this was an apropos poem for today. As for yesterday it was a wonderful day. Lu waited on me hand and foot, we had a nice dinner out, cake and ice cream at the in-laws and a birthday call from my favorite three people in the world. They'll be here on Wednesday and both Lu and I are on pins and needles waiting.

We've found a new church. I hope. Our first sermon will be today.

Lu and I both hope this day finds you all well and happy. May you all be as blessed as we are.

The Birthright

"The Propagation of Knowledge"
From "Debits and Credits" (1919-1923)
The miracle of our land's speech--so known
And long received, none marvel when 'tis shown!

We have such wealth as Rome at her most pride
Had not or (having) scattered not so wide;
Nor with such arrant prodigality,
Beneath her any pagan's foot let lie...
Lo! Diamond that cost some half their days
To find and t'other half to bring to blaze:
Rubies of every heat, wherethrough we scan
The fiercer and more fiery heart of man:
Emerald that with the uplifted billow vies,
And Sapphires evening remembered skies:
Pearl perfect, as immortal tears must show,
Bred, in deep waters, of a piercing woe;
And tender Turkis, so with charms y-writ,
Of woven gold, Time dares not bite on it.
Thereafter, in all manners worked and set,
Jade, coral, amber, crystal ivories, jet,--
Showing no more than various fancies, yet
Each a Life's token or Love's amulet
Which things, through timeless arrogance of use,
We neither guard nor garner, but abuse;
So that our scholars--nay, our children-fling
In sport or jest treasure to arm a King;
And the gross crowd, at feast or market, hold
Traffic perforce with dust of gems and gold!

21 June 2013

All The World's Indeed A Stage

And we are merely players. Performers and Portrayers. With apologies to Rush, one of my favorite bands..

When it comes to being a Grandpa I am a softie. I know that comes as a shock but it's true. I just can't say no to my grandchildren. Nor can I resist an idea if I think it will make them happy. For proof I offer our latest project. You can click to enlarge any of the photos.

I'm sure most of you remember the Pirate Ship we built for them a couple of years ago. Well, they're a little older and much of the ship is really no longer used. They do love to put on plays and such though so a re-think was in order. I decided what was needed was a stage and the best place for it was the prow of the ship.

We started by tearing the old prow off and straightening out the two 2x6s that defined the edges.

I then completed the rectangle and propped it up with 4x4 legs so the floor was level. I put in some floor joists and then skinned the whole thing with some plywood I took off the ceiling in the kidsroom remodel.

I had some old half inch knotty pine boards I took off the walls in the laundry room that was perfect for the stage floor. That went over the plywood with screws.

I put in a corner made out of 2x6s and skinned it with some more of that knotty pine.

I then stretched another 2x6 as a header from the corner to the ship. That allowed me to hide a curtain rod, a piece of 1 inch PVC we had laying around. Lu had some curtains that she no longer had a need for that were perfect for a stage curtain.

A view from insiude the ship, behind the stage curtain.

Lu has some old fashioned wooden folding chairs for the audience seating.

We'll put some more curtains on the widnow in thew ship so the kids can use it as their 'dressing room'.

An actor of the canine variety gives the new stage a test. Along with an extra of course. How did he get in there?

All in all I think it came out pretty well. Lu, DO and MIL all gave it their blessing so I guess it's Ok. There's a little more paint to do and the header to decorate but this is pretty much the final product. And it didn't cost us a dime. We had everything we needed. A few nails and some screws along with some sweat equity was the sun total of our investment in this project.

The kids love to put on productions and I can't wait to see what they come up with on this visit. Pictures and a story will surely be forthcoming. This is going to be fun!


18 June 2013

Dog Farts

A lot of people come up to me on the street and say "Hey Six, why do you write about your dog so much? Is it because of all those head injuries? It is isn't it? Flagoogababble."

That's a very good question and one I will answer just as soon as Lu reminds me of what it was. Except for that Flagoogababble remark. That's just uncalled for.

What were we talking about? Oh right. I think it's mostly because I'm pretty sure he won't sue me. At least he says he won't and that's good enough for me. Especially since without opposable thumbs he can't open the food cabinet though he has tried. I've seen him bark at it repeatedly while pawing the floor and even giving it his best poor little hungry puppy look but to no avail. As long as he likes to eat and doesn't figure out that he can replace me with an easily influenced two year old I'm safe. Which brings me to the topic of the post for the day.

My dog thinks his butt is attacking him.

Now understand, I'm not saying Angus is dumb or anything. In spite of the fact that I can pretend to throw his ball while clumsily hiding it under one of my many rolls of thigh fat. He looks around madly in the sure and certain hope that he will espy it and then doggy joy will erupt all over the living room rug. Then when he can't find it and I produce it triumphantly from 'neath a mountain of sweaty flesh he is always surprised and delighted. And by surprised and delighted I of course mean offended and a little disgusted.

Disgust at perspiration covered tennis balls aside I have come to the conclusion that Angus has no earthly idea what some of his bodily functions are. What bodily functions are those you ask? And well you might for Angus' malady may very well strike a dog of your own acquaintance. So, you know, buyer beware and all that.

Angus is convinced that evil spirits inhabit his anular region. When he passes gas he will leap up from whatever area of repose he is currently occupying and spin round and round, obviously looking for whatever ghost has just had the temerity to erupt from his nether regions. He will then spend the next half hour carefully grooming himself in a way that would acceptable only to dogs, cats or Japanese fetish porn stars, all whilst keeping a wary eye out for the Evil Butt Faeries.

I think it may actually be Canine Gastrointestinal Abruptness Syndrome or Canine GAS for short. Because nothing says comedy like a witty acronym. And if one comes along I'll be sure to let you know. I'm not going to suggest that to Angus though. He prefers his truth to be like his friends. You know, simple and easily digestible.

I've tried not to laugh because Angus hates it when I fall to the floor in mad giggles. He considers it an affront to his dignity and will punish me unmercifully by doing absolutely the same things he does every day with the occasional sulk thrown in just to remind me that he never forgets. Which means about 5 minutes though that is an eternity in Labrador timekeeping. And let me tell ya, for those 5 minutes his revenge is brutal.

It's even worse when he's eaten something he's not supposed to. Like an entire frozen Chorizo pizza with extra habanero chili peppers that he snouged off the kitchen counter when my back was turned for 1.5 milliseconds. Cardboard, plastic wrapper and all. Then his farts possess additional force as well as a smell that's so far off the odoriferous scale it would give Scoville nasal warts. Then he rockets off Lu's chair and does the butt drag across the carpet thing all the while casting suspicious and accusatory looks at me. As if I'm the one responsible for his gustatory indiscretions. He gets a real confused look on his face and peers at his poopery expulsion equipment with a baffled expression that can only be described as surprise over a betrayal by one's best friend.

Angus obviously understands the pooping thing as he does it with such gusto. Especially on the neighbors lawn though only when they're watching of course. Peeing is also no problem for him. Though he has yet to grasp the whole lifting the leg and peeing on objects at embarrassing times move that other guy's male dogs do. Yes, he's a squatter and occasionally pees on his front paws. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Not at all. Anyone who says different is clearly a racist. Besides, Angus claims it's a beauty treatment and who am I to argue the point? The guy who's shoes he's not peeing on, that's who.

So Angus has a basic grasp of the elimination thing. I'm not sure why the passing of effluvient gas would be different but it is. I've considered sending him to one of those doggie therapists, like the one who convinces the Obama's dog that they're not actually fattening him up for Christmas dinner, but decided that if I can live with it so can he. He just needs to suck it up and do what the rest of us do in such circumstances. Deny everything and blame it on the neighbors dog.

I feel certain the whole thing is a plot by the cats. There's just no way they're not up to something illicit and slightly unsavory.

Unless there really are Evil Poopy Gas Gnomes. In which case I owe Angus a really big apology.

Sorry Pal.


Brilliant Common Sense

Elbert Guillory on why he became a Republican. I think it's still the Stupid Party but if they can continue to attract men and women such as Senator Guillory maybe there's hope yet.

17 June 2013

Canine Broken Leg Care - Update

Dann gently reminded me that I have been entirely remiss on the Angus updates. This will probably be the next to last post on this topic, providing we experience no unexpected complications. We are right at 5 months from the date of the accident.

The short answer to how he's doing is this:

If you look closely at that second picture you'll see three legs off the ground with the right front leg, the one he broke, firmly on the ground. No pain, no favoring, just joyful running fun.

Angus still at times favors that leg but overall he walks and runs on it without any difficulties. It seems that when we push him, and rehab is all about safely pushing him physically, he gets a bit sore. In reading and researching the issue of broken legs in active dogs it seems apparent to us that one year is the generally accepted time frame for a complete recovery. When the Surgeon released Angus back to full duty what he was in effect telling us was that the leg was healed to the point that serious strength building running, swimming and walking could be done without fear of a re-break. He only limps after a hard exercise session.

What we've done is watch him closely and carefully plan his rehab so we can allow him to push his limits with the least amount of pain possible. What that means is that we intersperse short leash walks and pool swims with free runs, long walks and open water swims. The former keep him loose, limber and toned while the latter allow him to experience the muscle building exercise he must have if he's going to recover completely and get back to one hundred percent.

There is simply no way to rehab from such a badly broken leg without some lingering pain as the wound completes the healing process and the muscles rebuild to their pre-injury state. It's our job to know his limits, allow him to push those limits and watch him for signs that those limits have been reached so we can allow his muscles the rest time they need to rebuild and bring him back the where he was before the accident.

We're now at the point in his rehab where the improvement we're seeing is slower than at the beginning. That's actually a very good thing as it means that he's getting ever closer to full recovery. The closer we get the less daily improvement he'll experience. His right shoulder now feels almost like the other. The leg has regained most of it's muscle mass. We even put the frame back on the bed last Sunday.

We are content with his progress. He runs and plays hard every day and when he's getting that off leash freedom shows zero signs of ever having had a broken leg. It's after the fun is over and the long hike is nearing it's end that he'll show a slight favoring of the leg. We're continuing the massages (and man, does he ever love his leg massage time!) and give him a Rimadyl occasionally when he seems to be in greater discomfort.

When I discussed Angus' long term prognosis with his surgeon he assured me that he'd make a complete recovery, even for a Field Trial Lab. At the time I was a little apprehensive and doubtful. No longer. I am absolutely confident Angus will make a complete recovery. He's already so close right now that I can almost forget that horrible day ever occurred.

Absent some catastrophic happenstance I don't want to even consider we will continue down the path we're currently on. In my mind we have another 7 months before the final result will be known but I no longer stay up late at night worried.

Angus is Angus again and all is right in our little world. That makes me happier than I can adequately convey.

Thank you again for all your prayers, knowledge, experiences and support. We love you all. Now, I'm going to go and play frisbee with my dog and isn't that just the best thing we could have ever hoped for 5 long months ago.


16 June 2013

Sunday Kipling - Father's Day Edition

Happy Father's Day to all of you, my brothers in spirit. I'd say that Lu will treat me like a King today but she does so every day.

Of all the things I have ever done. All the titles I've gathered. All those things I have accomplished. The one I am most proud of, the title I carry above all others is Father. My daughter made me a man. She taught me patience and joy and unconditional love. The happiest day of my life is that bright, sunny morning when she came into my world and I was ushered into the community of Fathers. She is and always will be my Sweet Little Girl and I'll always be her proud Papa.

I salute all you Fathers. It is a proud and joyful life and the rewards cannot be measured on any scale we humans possess. We are changed from carefree to careful. From irresponsibility to maturity. From selfish to selfless. From alone to loved. There is nothing in the world like being a Father.

My little girl will be here in just a few days and that is the best gift I could possibly receive. I hope this day finds you all, Fathers and children alike in the company of those who bring you joy. Kiss the ones you love best and be mindful how precious they are. Remember also Fathers past, gone but ever carried in our hearts.

The Married Man

The bachelor 'e fights for one
  As joyful as can be;
But the married man don't call it fun,
  Because 'e fights for three --
For 'Im an' 'Er an' It
  (An' Two an' One make Three)
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
  An' e' wants to go 'ome to is tea!

The bachelor pokes up 'is 'ead
  To see if you are gone;
But the married man lies down instead,
  An' waits till the sights come on,
For 'im an' 'Er an' a hit
  (Direct or recochee)
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
  An' 'e wants to go 'ome to 'is tea.

The bachelor will miss you clear
  To fight another day;
But the married man, 'e says "No fear!"
  'E wants you out of the way
Of 'Im an' 'Er an' It
  (An' 'is road to 'is farm or the sea),
'E wants to finish 'is little bit,
  An' 'e wants to go 'ome to 'is tea.

The bachelor 'e fights 'is fight
  An' streches out an' snores;
But the married man sits up all night --
  For 'e don't like out-o'-doors.
'E'll strain an' listen an' peer
  An' give the first alarm--
For the sake o' the breathin' 'e's used to 'ear,
  An' the 'ead on the thick of 'is arm.

The bachelor may risk 'is 'ide
  To 'elp you when you're downed;
But the married man will wait beside
  Till the ambulance comes round.
'E'll take your 'ome address
  An' all you've time to say,
Or if 'e sees there's 'ope, 'e'll press
  Your art'ry 'alf the day --

For 'Im an' 'Er an' It
  (An' One from Three leaves Two),
For 'e knows you wanted to finish your bit,
  An' 'e knows 'oo's wantin' you.
Yes, 'Im an' 'Er an' It
  (Our 'only One in Three),
We're all of us anxious to finish our bit,
  An' we want to get 'ome to our tea!

Yes, It an' 'Er an' 'Im,
  Which often makes me think
The married man must sink or swim
  An' -- 'e can't afford to sink!
Oh, 'Im an' It an' 'Er
  Since Adam an' Eve began!
So I'd rather fight with the bacheler
  An' be nursed by the married man!

12 June 2013

The Creeping Gamboo

I was walking along the other day, just minding my own business and basking in the oneness that is man and communing with nature. As I often do. When suddenly and without warning I was confronted by an apparition. He (It was probably a He as She's rarely confront someone without any advance warning whatsoever, shoe store sales notwithstanding) was dressed head to toe in skintight, green spandex and wearing what I can only describe as the skin of a deceased Yak on his head. One who pretty obviously died from Ebola exposure.

"Hi" I said. I am after all naturally polite. "Can I help you?"

"Aarrgghh!" The apparition cried.

"Yes, well....Er, is there something I can do for you Mister Aarrgghh?" Did I mention I am unfailingly polite?

"I am the bringer of discomfort, illness and loose bowels! Fear me puny mortal! And my name is not Mister Aarrgghh. That was just my way of introducing myself."

"Yes, I see." I was taken aback. I mean, how often is it that one finds themselves face to face with the bringer of all those maladies, especially one dressed like Liberace's Dancercize instructor and who clearly thinks he's a gay, disco version of Kermit the frog with a bad toupee?

"Don't you know who I am you pathetic worm?"

"Ah no. Sorry about that. If you're lost I think the Democrat Party headquarters is just down the street there a bit. Hop on in and be sure to ask for Muffy."

"Fool! I am the scourge of the world. The Fifty Second Horseman of the Apocalypse though at the moment I'm riding this moped. My horse is in the shop. Broken Miter Valve."

"Yes, I see." By this time I was becoming somewhat alarmed. I mean, I know people in this town and if they caught me carrying on a conversation with The Green Satyr from Sesame Street there'd be talk. "Um, is there something you need? I'm afraid I don't have any spare change on me at the moment."

"My name is The Creeping Gamboo you weakling human! Does that not strike fear into your quivering heart?"

"Well, no. I've never heard of you. Sorry. And I don't think my heart actually quivers. Shimmy maybe but never quiver."

"I am the The Creeping Gamboo, bringer of discomfort, illness and loose bowels! Also sometimes headaches and sore throats. I've even been known to inflict body aches on the particularly unwary."

"Yes, I believe you may have mentioned that. What is it exactly that you want?"

"Your very sooouuulll!!! To devour!!! Well, not to devour exactly but at least to chew on a bit."

"I see. Well, thanks for that and all but really, I must be on my way. Got a long ride home tomorrow don't you know."

"That is a ride you will never make for you see I have already smitten you with a curse. Hahahahaha!!!"

"A curse? What kind of a curse?" I inquired. Because I'm just a naturally inquisitive type as well as being polite. Besides, it seemed kinda important to humor the guy at that point.

"I already told you before. Weren't you listening? Sheesh, what's a guy gotta do to get a little respect around here?"

"Oh, that bit about war and famine and all? Sorry, I may have been a bit distracted there for just a moment what with the outfit and all. Plus there's the odor coming off whatever that is on your head. I mean, really, that thing positively reeks. Couldn't you, I don't know, wash it or something? Maybe try some Rogaine? A nice bottle of Fabreeze? I think I've got some in my saddlebag."

"Oh, insult and sarcasm! Listen, don't start on me with that stink and washing crap. You don't have to wear it on your head. Besides you're way balder than I am. So why don't you just piss off already with that kinda talk. And it was discomfort, illness and loose bowels. Plus some other stuff. Idiot."

"Ok, Ok. Sorry about that. I'm just having a real tough time taking you seriously. I mean, who goes around dressed like that, approaching total strangers on the street and throwing curses about all willy nilly?"

"Not as sorry as you're going to be in a few hours. Maybe a couple of days but no more than that I'm sure of it. Then - Bam! - You'll be all Woe and Alas and Honey can you bring me some more NyQuil? Then we'll see who's a smartass too distracted to pay attention to the guy who is clearly a Harbinger of Doom and not a gay Sesame Street character."

"So what happens now? Do I fall over dead with my stinking corpse rotting in the street while the city burns around me and the world sinks into the abyss of Heck where life is pretty darn inexpensive and chocolate chip cookies becomes the black market currency?"

"Nah, nothing like that. You're just gonna feel like shit for a while. You'll probably recover in a few days, unfortunately, and then go on about your life making wisecracks to hard working pestilence mongers and generally being a huge pain in the ass to everybody else. Serves you right."

"Of course. If there's nothing else...?"

"G'wan, beat it before I decide to give you a bad case of jock itch."

"So, I'm still good for the ride then?"

"Oh yeah. I don't think the curse will really kick in until maybe Wednesday. But then watch out! Because it's gonna be horrific. Can't be fathomed I tell you. Epic. I swear."

"Well...thanks. I guess. I'll just be on my way then. Goodbye. Oh, I do have some change after all. Here's 87 cents."

"Thank you you cheapskate and goodbye. For now. Muahahahahahaha!!!"

If you haven't guessed it yet, yes, I am sick. I blame small persons of the child variety. Little germ factories. I was fine until today and then, just like Mister Gamboo predicted, I feel pretty much like I got ate by a Coyote and crapped off a cliff.

Stupid harbingers of discomfort, illness and loose bowels. See if I ever give him my spare change again. Friggin' evil Sesame Street characters. Next time I'm just gonna start shooting.


10 June 2013


I'm back home in Utah and Car Guy is safely ensconced in his palatial villa in California. It was a great trip and we had a lot of fun. It was hot though. Man was it ever hot.

We got started bright and early on Thursday. Car Guy on his brand spankin' new black Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and me on the blue BMW R1100RT. Both bikes rode well and we ended up with almost identical 50 mpg averages. Not too bad at all. My tank holds 5.4 gallons and his 5.9 which gave us a lot more peace of mind on those long runs across deserted highways than the Big Bandido and V-Rod did from last year. We both had plenty of storage space with the saddlebags but I do need to add a trunk for next year.

On the run out to New Mexico we were under a time constraint so we pretty much put our heads down and motored for our destination in Albuquerque. The ride was over roads we both knew well and we limited stops to gas and the occasional leg stretching. We did run into a storm near the Arizona/New Mexico border. The wind was bad enough but it was the rain which sucked. Oh, not the getting wet part but the open faced helmet part. I decided to go with my hot weather open face Shoei. It was fine until the rain started pelting my face at 80 mph. Decidedly painful but fortunately short. There was one more issue with my helmet. I forgot sunscreen and by the time we got home my face was already starting to peel around my nose, cheeks and mouth.

We met with Car Guy's family and especially his beloved granddaughter who is recovering miraculously from her near fatal accident. On Friday we had the day to ourselves and dropped in on Instinct and his lovely bride. Good people both. After some show and tell from his grip workshop (he's working on a set for me) and viewing some paintings from the incredibly talented Mrs. Instinct we headed out for a very nice pizza at Dion's. Unfortunately we had to get back to visit with Car Guy's baby so didn't have the time for an in depth visit. Next time we should have a more flexible schedule. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Instinct for a lovely visit.

Whether or not to stay Saturday and leave Sunday or just head out Saturday morning was the prime topic of discussion Friday evening. We had dinner with the whole (almost) Car Guy clan and much frivolity and good times were had by all. Granddaughter is in astonishingly good spirits in spite of the still visible reminders of her harrowing ordeal. She still walks with a walker and has some pretty extensive scarring but she's alive and well on her way to recovery. Lu and I bought her a cross to remind her and everyone just exactly who was riding shotgun with her and worked his miracle on her life (indeed all our lives) by preserving her intact. She swears she'll never take it off and I believe her. She is one committed kid. Lu and I both got a bracelet from her that she's been wearing. Yeah, I'll take that charm. I need all the good vibes I can get.

We decided that we'd accomplished all we'd set out to do and as the mountain road we were considering extending our stay to ride was closed due to wild fires and fears in the area heading home was indicated. Saturday we got up early and hit the road for hearth and home. This time we were under no time issues so we took our time and some roads neither of us had ever seen. We started out taking 550 north out of Albuquerque with full tanks and adventure on our minds. We stopped in Cuba for a belated breakfast at Bobby and Margie's Cuban Cafe. The omelets were fantastic and the waitress admirably tolerant of our nonsense. We didn't get to see Fidel though. I was so disappointed.

This is high country. The road is wonderful and I recommend it to anyone driving through this area. Four lanes, well kept with rolling hills reaching ever up until it tops out at about 7000 feet. It crosses the Continental divide. As you go up it's full of trees and grasses and is cool, green and very pleasant. On the downside the country starts to change into the high desert that marks so much of this part of the country. This is Elk and wild horse country. We saw none of the former and many of the latter. I like it. A lot. There was one humorous note though. On all the uphills we encountered signs warning us that we couldn't see through the mountain. I thought that was kinda obvious but apparently NMDOT disagrees. There's gotta be a lowest common denominator story in there somewhere.

Car Guy posing provocatively at a little gas stop just past the Divide marker. He's so awesome, especially with that untucked shirt peeking out from under his jacket thing going on. Stylish.

Our route took us through Farmington New Mexico. I like the area. Hot without being OMG hot. Pleasant with good roads and plenty to do. As the name suggests it is farming country and we saw many farm supply businesses. Car Guy also spotted this sign and insisted we turn around for the picture. Skating carhops. I love small town USA.

Just a couple of guys on their motorcycles exploring America. I love these rides and I'm going to keep on doing them as long as I can convince Car Guy to put up with me. I can't explain it adequately. If you're into motorcycles but have never just saddled up and headed out for a long ride with a good friend I can't recommend the experience highly enough. Just go do it.

We turned more northwest and skirted the edge of Monument Valley. This is the Shiprock. The nearby town carries the same name.

This is Baby Rocks. Why Baby Rocks? I have no idea but the name tickled me. There is a home nestled in there between the outcrops. Seems like a pretty secure location but it is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. This is also part of the Navajo Reservation.

The road is lonely, high and long. We had one run of 126 miles between gas stations. Arguments in favor of both big tank capacities and frequent fill ups. Montana may be the Big Sky state but it's got nothing on this part of Utah/Arizona. You can see forever.

Church Rock. These sandstone spires are everywhere and are the 'monuments' that give Monument Valley it's name. I'm going to load Lu and Angus into the truck one of these days and do a more in depth visit. They really are very neat.

We ended up on Hwy 89 toward Page, Arizona. By that time my legs and butt hurt and we were both pretty much overheated and parched. It was decided to grab the first fast food joint we saw and sit in the air conditioning for a bit. Yeah, that's foreshadowing right there. I was leading at the time and it's been a long time since I was last in Page and I wasn't really trying to memorize the place way back then. We headed down the road and made a wide right turn and suddenly no more Page, Arizona!! We were on the Glen Canyon Dam bridge and on our way to Kanab, Utah 73 miles away. It was push on or turn back. I unilaterally decided to push on. I think Car Guy will forgive me some day. But not today. We got into Kanab about as fast as I dared to go and hit the McDonalds for a drink and some cool air time.We even found some shade for our trusty steeds.

 On Hwy 59, just up the road from home there is this.
Mavin the Martian either waving hello or goodbye, I can't decide. Hey Marvin, see you soon!

Finally we puled into Casa Six, sore, tired but content. 1174.2 miles over three days. Of course Car Guy had a 650 mile ride to get to my house and another 650 mile ride to get back to his but then he is smarter, handsomer and awesomer than I am.

This was a great ride. I always enjoy a chance to get in the wind on my motorcycle and when it's with a man I consider my brother from another mother it's just that much sweeter. I also was elated to get the chance to see his granddaughter who I love almost as much as my own. I've known Car Guy's kids since they were kids and to see them all alive and well made my heart soar with joy. The chance to finally meet up with someone out there in blog land was just icing on the cake.

The BMW rode without a hiccup. I was both happy and impressed, after all it is a 14 year old motorcycle. BMW builds them very well. If I ever update I will take a very long, hard look at the new version of this motorcycle, the R1200RT. Mine is a fabulous motorcycle, the best sport tourer I've ever ridden. It does need an upgraded seat though. I'm looking at Corbin and Sargent even as we speak.

A quick word on carrying on a motorcycle. You have a lot of options, everything from in a tank bag, to on person to saddlebag carry. It all depends. There are a few things to consider. How quickly can you get to it? How quickly to you want to get to it? What happens in an accident? What about weather or even changing conditions? Will you have to switch jackets and if so how and where?

I chose two methods. I started out carrying my Airweight on my left hip in a crossdraw holster. I eventually switched to a....wait for it....fanny pack. I know, I know. Man Purse, right? Well, it has definite advantages on a bike. Mine is large enough to carry all my crap, gun, phone, wallet, reloads, etc. I can carry it either on the front (crotch hold) or in the small of my back. I like crotch hold because it puts the bag where I can see and feel it easily and is more secure plus it has a quick release so I can access the gun pretty quickly (yes, I have practiced with it). In the event of an accident it's built well enough that I think (I don't really want to know) it'll stay relatively put. Most involved in a get off tend to slide on their backs where the holster part of the bag will drag and dig in to your body. Bad things. In a violent accident all bets are going to be off anyway and I don't think anyone has a holster that is guaranteed to hold up in that case. Just my two cents worth. If you have a better motorcycle carry option please post it in comments. I'll even try one out for you if you'd like.

So we're both home safe and sound after another epic trip. Car Guy is making noises about another, maybe in September. If so I'll be traveling out to him (for once). But I'm not nearly as insane as he is. I'll load up the BMW on my trailer and drive out to California. Yep, I am just a big ol' wuss.

Thanks to DO for minding the store while I was gone and thanks to you all for dropping by and keeping us in business. And a huge thank you again for your prayers. I've now seen her and she is our miracle child in truth.


09 June 2013

Sunday Kipling

The Gipsy Trail
Rudyard Kipling

The white moth to the closing bine,
  The bee to the opened clover,
And the gipsy blood to the gipsy blood
  Ever the wide world over.

Ever the wide world over, lass,
  Ever the trail held true,
Over the world and under the world,
  And back at the last to you.

Out of the dark of the gorgio camp,
  Out of the grime and the grey
(Morning waits at the end of the world),
  Gipsy, come away!

The wild boar to the sun-dried swamp,
  The red crane to her reed,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
  By the tie of a roving breed.

The pied snake to the rifted rock,
  The buck to the stony plain,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
  And both to the road again.

Both to the road again, again!
  Out on a clean sea-track --
Follow the cross of the gipsy trail
  Over the world and back!

Follow the Romany patteran
   North where the blue bergs sail,
And the bows are grey with the frozen spray,
   And the masts are shod with mail.

Follow the Romany patteran
  Sheer to the Austral Light,
Where the besom of God is the wild South wind,
  Sweeping the sea-floors white.

Follow the Romany patteran
  West to the sinking sun,
Till the junk-sails lift through the houseless drift.
  And the east and west are one.

Follow the Romany patteran
  East where the silence broods
By a purple wave on an opal beach
  In the hush of the Mahim woods.

"The wild hawk to the wind-swept sky,
  The deer to the wholesome wold,
And the heart of a man to the heart of a maid,
  As it was in the days of old."

The heart of a man to the heart of a maid --
  Light of my tents, be fleet.
Morning waits at the end of the world,
  And the world is all at our feet!

Written in 1892 while on an extended tour through the US and Canada with his new bride, this particular poem appeals to me.  Though I did my travel in reverse of Kipling, I am a gypsy soul, always looking to the horizon for the next adventure.  The list of nations we've visited grows yearly, and I will travel till the day I'm physically incapable of doing so.

~The DO

05 June 2013


The writing is going well. It's going to be longer than a short story. There's just too much to cram into that small a space. Since he gave me the Ok I can tell you that my collaborator and spiritual guide is none other than our own Rev. Paul. At the risk of making him a target for anyone who is also writing he is an absolute gem and an indispensable source of knowledge, both scriptural and secular. The man is Wicked Smaht as Borepatch would say. Thanks Rev.

Car Guy will be here this evening. We're going on out annual long ride starting tomorrow. Probably be four days. We're going out to see his daughter and miracle granddaughter. If anyone doesn't think the power of prayer works miracles that little girl is proof that it does. She should have died. She should have had extensive brain damage. She should have crippling physical limitations from her injuries. She has none of that and there's no explanation other than God. Your prayers mattered. I am utterly convinced of that. Thank you all.

We're also going to be dropping in on Instinct to see his grip making operation. Car Guy wants a pair for one of his innumerable 1911s.

I'm turning the place over to DO and Sarge. They'll keep the riff raff out and hopefully do a little sweeping. Getting kinda gamey in here lately. DO will handle Sunday Kipling. Pictures and a write up as soon as I get back as well as some thoughts on carrying on a motorcycle.

In the wind tomorrow for a few carefree days on a motorcycle with my best friend. It's going to be fun.


01 June 2013


I have had a story idea running around in my head for a few months now. It's been keeping me up nights though the subject materiel is...sensitive perhaps. It has both intrigued and bothered me. I've been uncertain as to whether or not to try and write it or even if it should be written at all. 

After talking it over in cyberspace with someone who's morals, integrity, wisdom and knowledge I trust (and who shall remain nameless unless he decides otherwise) I am going to make the attempt. I remain uncertain of my ability to bring the gravity and talent the story requires but I'm now determined to give it my best and at least try.

I'll be posting pretty light here while I at least get the outline and basic story written. I apologize for that and beg your understanding. Sunday Kipling at the least will continue as always. Maybe Angus can fill in for me on occasion. He's usually good for a chuckle or two.

If the writing goes well I may post a snippet or two here. If it doesn't I'll delete this post and swear I never even heard of such a thing :)

Thank you all my friends. I'll see you soon.