Monday, October 15, 2012

Quick trip to the bunker

Made a quick trip. Just because. While the XO and I were there I finished the wiring on the wall lights. The pictures don't do them justice even though they do look good. They give a soft bounce/light to the courtyard and I carried the light circuit up to the deck and around to the back wall. Next time I'll finish (parts, parts, parts) the project and add a 50amp sub-panel for future needs.

Meanwhile back on home base I hired a real electrician to add a new service drop to the old panel for the house. The weather head that was originally on the service was very close to burning and the main disconnect was burned and weak. While I was at it I had him install a buried plate style ground system and a surge protector for the whole house. Before we headed for the bunker the city came by to inspect the job. FAIL! I can't believe it but the inspector was one of those guys who are so insecure they have to find something to gripe. I'm paying after all so I expect the job to be finished and passed. I should have done it my self.

G'maw was feeling pretty good so we thought  we  would  chance a trip to the bunker. We called her Friday morning and she had a story about the lights being on all over the house (just blaring) and the electrician being at the house at midnight making noises. Same story Saturday so we finished up and came on home. Might as well come on home, the Longhorns were losing badly.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marking Time

The way things have been going I'm not sure when we'll make it back to the bunker. The last time we went we just stayed for the night and had to boggie back Austin to  take G'maw to the emergency room. She swore she had a shoulder out of joint or something. Nothing.

Driving through the neighborhood tonight I found one of the guys "cooling his wort". Sounds kind'a nasty don't it,  Well he was making beer and asked me to have a glass. WOW, better than the kind of stuff you find at the store. He's a tinkerer and has built a complete brewery on wheels and has a fermenting vat built into a freezer with a valve to save the yeast for the next batch. Go, Tony.

Scott and Shelby (the youngest grand daughter) flew down from Maryland for the XO and G'maw's birthdays. Really had a good time including the Roller Derby Saturday night. What a trip that was. These poor old eyes are not up to the number of really weird girls that were there and that's just the stands. The roller derby teams were just as weird and lots of fun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Aww Duck

Mom and the kids stopped traffic on the highway and access road. They walked as if they owned the six lanes. Maybe they do. No one seemed to mind and a few of us jumped out to take pictures.
The XO and I had to spend some time at the coast and this is just one of the adventures we got involved in. The other was the XO trying a Texas Martini at the Lighthouse Inn. We decided  to eat at the bar at our hotel (mostly because they were allowing $40.00 bucks off the bill) and the bartender was a friendly sort. The martini was 3parts tequila-2parts orange liquor-sweet and sour mix. Deadly. We each had one and were having a nice chat with others at the bar. When we ordered dinner we decided to have another-wrong move for the XO-by the time the steaks came she was having trouble holding a conversation and didn't realize we had moved from the bar to a table in the dining room.  Needless to say we turned in early and she slept with one foot on the floor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Made  a quick trip to the bunker over the weekend because the ROT (Republic of Texas) MC rally was going on in Austin and it's a good time to get out of town. If  the local TV heads can be believed there were 50,000+ bikes and 100,000 supporters and hangerson in town. The gay pride bunch was also in town so it's time to leave. Yea I suspect there is some overlap but don't ask don't get your a$$ smashed is in effect.
I did a bit of lighting finish on the porch and installed some eyebrow lights down the courtyard wall. Pictures above. I only have one hooked up for the pictures but there will be three and another will be put on the roof where the stair landing is. It is designed to give a soft, reflected light to the courtyard. Judging from last night it is a success.
On the way back the XO and I stopped in Llano to let me try out my new teeth. Four ribs, three slices of white bread and two bowls of beans passed the test. The best BBQ in Texas  is still Cooper's and they were not as busy as the had been over the weekend and treated us like royalty. Oh, by the way it was 105 degrees in Llano.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Still here but not there

Doctors, Dentists, and Barbers have ganged up on me so I have let another month get by without a trip to the bunker. The Barber is the worst. I have to be bled every few weeks because I make way too many red blood cells and even though that seems to be a good thing it tends to clog me up. It also affects every organ in my body. I can't just go down to the blood bank and make a donation because my blood is considered diseased. The other doctors have their boats to pay for and kids in college so I have to see them to keep the payments up to date. I now have more crowns in my mouth than real teeth. The dentist is pretty cool though. For the past 20+ years he has worked on me without pain meds and his soft touch has worked fine. It tends to freak the girls out but I have been doing it since the 80's when I was taught how by a dentist in California and it has some carry over in all that I do. I have had both knees and both shoulders replaced with minimum pain meds and none, post op.  Not that there is no pain it's just that I can compartmentalize the pain and keep on functioning.  Now that the gas price has gone down a little it's time to make a trip. I'll let you know.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Fire on the Mountain

I saw the news last week about another fire in the Fort Davis area. It had started Southwest of town and the wind was variable so there was no telling where it will end up. The XO and I ran out to spend a few days an make sure everything was safe from the fire. Well there was no cause for alarm and the trip turned into a nice low pressure vacation.
We did a few things that needed to be done and ran down to the "Field Lab". Check out the blog that he keeps.  He has worked very hard for about four years and it shows. We had lunch at the Grub Shack and that's an experience you can't pass up whenever your within 200 miles of Study Butte, Texas. We had a BLT that rivals anything you can find in the big city and then we went over to the Field Lab.  John Wells is a great guy. Here is an interview I found of his thoughts about the way we live.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Going Coastal

There are times when the salt air and wind just feel good. The XO and I slipped away for the week end to one of our favorite destinations. Rockport. We have a small,  upscale expensive hotel. The place is great and seems like something out of the teens or at least the thirties. When they say free breakfast they don't mean toast and cereal they mean breakfast. And they have a full bar and steak house. It was built about '03 though so it just appears old. I'd tell you the name but you know how it is:  "no one goes there any more, it's too crowded".  There are hundreds of boats in the marinas and I want every one of them. It's funny, every one is for sale and if the owner is nearby you can really make his day by acting interested. For the past two or three years we have been watching one get outfitted and overhauled. Today they mounted the new props and floated it. It was too tall to be handled by the gantry there in the yard so the had to haul it down to the ramp and tow it back to the boat yard. It is 45 or 50 feet long and almost that tall. From the waterline the flying bridge is about 30 feet and there is an other platform 10 feet above that. The name on the fantail was "Semper Fi", probably owned by an army retiree.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gas Mileage

Been trying to find a replacement for my old gas guzzler. This looks just the ticket. It will look good down on the drag too. My only problem will be the ride out from Austin.
I have been looking at a CNG truck but the closest station is in Midland and I think it's owned by the city and would be out of bounds in an emergency. There are only two stations in Austin. So much for alternative energy, it's obvious that Washington has never heard of West Texas. I've done the math and I guess I'll stay with what I've got. I have given up thinking of the price of gas and moved into cost per trip. It costs about 180 dollars round trip. Three years ago it was 60. It's not really too bad but it sure makes you look at those one or two day trips, I'll need to stay a week at a time or more to make it more cost effective. As a prep-per I have a stash at both ends and could last a few months wherever we end up.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Now we're talkin

After Barb got her Sig Sauer Lady I had to have one. Not the red and silver like hers but a manly stainless like above. Went by the gun shop to see what they had and this one winked at me from the corner of the display case. Well you know how easy I am I said, "I'll take it!" Barb said, "Don't you even want to touch it?" Time enough for that later we have to beat the weather to the range.
The range was deserted for the most part and we set up at 20 yards and had a shoot off. Crap my arm hurt or something because she beat me hands down. I used the excuse of 'new gun' and grumbled all the way home.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

New Year for Texas and me

Had to wait an extra day to celebrate my birthday because of leap year. Worse, the great state of Texas had to wait an extra day too. I always figure that Texas Independence day (2nd of March) is just a continuation of my party. I was born 1 day early an d 190 years too late. I like to think I would have been at the Alamo with all my heros like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. (John Wayne?) We may have lost anyway but what a way to go.
My older brother was born on the third of July and they had parades for him too.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Break

Made a quick trip to the bunker this weekend mostly to drop off a really big water tank that's been taking up room in the truck and to go to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine. What a neat thing for anyone to see. One of the best recitals was from a lady from Alberta who embodied the Texas spirit like a native. She closed her presentation
by saying that her next of kin card in her billfold lists the Lone Star.
So many new citizens have moved to Texas in the past four years that you can see the spirit draining away in a city like Austin. One of the things you hear from a newcomer is that everyone is so confident and open. Well that is true unless you are in a group of newcomers who start every sentence with "back in (wherever) we did it this way.
You don't have to be born in Texas to be a Texan, you are recognized as a Texan by your actions. You can tell if a man is a Texan by the way he walks and how he tips his hat and looks you in the eyes whether he speaks to you or not. How he pitches in to help without needing to be asked and then gets embarrassed when you try to thank him. The newcomer begins to feel these things and one day he knows he is home. He feels the pride swell in him when another Texan acknowledges him without a word being spoken. We have a lot to be proud of here in the Lone Star state and we are willing to share it with another Texan, no matter where they came from.

Monday, February 13, 2012

From the Fire

I'm writing this from the keyboard of my Kindle Fire. The technology is way above my level. I have just now figured out the spell check scheme, maybe. These are cold days at the bunker so we are staying close to Austin. Cold here too but winter is almost over by my reckoning the first of March is the end around here 90% of the time. I had a chance to buy an old tractor to play with this spring and was saved at the last minute by someone getting there first. The seller called me to save me the trip. Oh, well. I could rent one twenty times for the same money and not have it sit there mocking me every day.
This is hard so I'll see you later.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Mom's Piece

Buying a hand gun is a touch and go thing. We have been through no fewer than four, trying to find one that is just right. Well the one above may just be the one. The first thing you have to get used to is the price goes up with each new gun. Well that sure happened here. But if it fits the bill then it's OK.
Oh, it's a SIg Sauer P238 in .380 caliber called the Lady. It is red with silver engraving and has a gold rose on top of the slide. Like all gun buyers we ran right out to the range to see if it worked. I'm surprised how nice it feels for such a small gun. We had rented one last week and there is a big difference in new and broken in but we will break it in in no time. It is the same size as the KelTec and the Ruger and just a little heavier than the S&W Bodyguard. After a couple of boxes of shells we called it good and from now on it will be her carry piece.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

New year

Time has flown and here it is February. I know I should write something every day or so but without touching the taboos like politics and religion there's not much to write about. I do have definite opinions on both of those subjects but I'll keep them to myself. I am a rather square peg here in the round hole of Austin. This is the Mamby of Mamby Pamby cities and you have to have a certain outlook to over look a lot of what happens here. I am getting close to one of those taboos so I'll drop it.

As you can see from the picture things are returning to normal. The yuccas are surviving even though they were burned to the ground. Many plants have sprung up and there are even flowers blooming they are weeds but the flowers are pretty. We spent a few days last month finishing up a few little projects and getting ready to install a large patio cover on the West side. I repaired the railing along the back of the roof and just generally cleaned up around the place.