Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Best Pic I Ever Snapped...

So I was in the woods Sunday cutting up a load of firewood.  I'd found an old reject saw log that had laid there for who knows how long and was hackin' away at it, getting down towards the butt end of it where it was pretty well ate up with bugs and other critters.  I'd sat the saw down and decided that was enough of that log and glanced at the last cut... and saw a little face.  A mouse was zipping back and forth between two holes trying to figure out just what the hell had taken place at the ol' hacienda.  Being taught well by Sally to always have a camera in your pocket, I pulled it out... then decided he seemed pretty patient... so I posed my axe by the log for the whole artsy fartsy thing. (Yes, genius... I know) and started snapping pictures.  What I failed to do was actually take the time to put my glasses on so that I could see the camera (or as Emma and Shelby call it, the Cramera) and see that I was out of focus. 

Eh well it's still cute as all get out...

Click for the biggness.


He finally bailed out and made a trip around a tree...

... and then ran back to the hole in the log and disappeared.  

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Cows.., Tractor Of Doom.

Christmas day started out nice enough, waking up late from playing at Midnight Mass, opening presents... getting a new laptop that I wasn't expecting at all, getting dressed up nice and warm to head to the farm and do chores, and then it just went wrong.  Wrong in a way that only "I" can seem to meander through with all the grace and agility of a bullfrog in a hot skillet with one hind leg missin'. 

THAT kinda wrong.

I got to the farm, my Aunt and Uncle gone for a few days, and got on the Tractor Of Doom that had just come out of the shop.  I mean this was the first time I'd driven it since it had been in the care of the worst mechanic in the area... I'm sure of it.  It had had a shifting rail busted in the transmission, the hind end of it was all tore apart, shifting rail replaced but somewhere along the way Unhandy Bob had skipped the classes where they teach you how to actually adjust the transmission so that it transed instead of missioned. 

Now it was a pretty chilly day yesterday, with the wind blowing a pretty steady 20 mph, raw gale the windchill temps were somewhat below zero.  I ethered the crap out of the old girl and it fired up.  This is when I discovered the unadjusted transmission situation.  Reverse was not, at first.  Then figuring out which forward gears were not gonna go, I ended up with 2 forward gears and one reverse... unless you shifted wrong and ended up with it in a forward AND reverse gear at the same time, then no one wins.    I pulled it out of the shed, left it running to warm up and hoofed it to the barn to feed some calves.

10:00 AM... I feed the calves.  They love me, I stepped in a couple of the presents that they'd made for me.  I head back to the tractor.

10:05 AM... I get on the tractor and proceed to abuse the gear shift and finally get it in a forward gear.  I head to the hay pile.

10:15 AM... Bale of hay on the front end of the tractor I head back to the calf lot, pull up to a bale feeder to drop it in... and can't get it in reverse.  I abuse the gear shift violently.  It reverses out of terror.

10:20 AM... I head to the pasture where the herd is to feed hay to them.  I pull into a bale of hay at that hay pile... and can't get it in reverse.  I abuse the gear shifter much like a psychopath, strung out on PCP and Juju Fruits would kill snakes and aardvarks armed with nothing more than his bare hands.  I win.  It backs up and surrenders for the morning.

10:25 AM... Pulling through the gate I notice a cow upside down.  This is never a good position to find your common ordinary household cow in.  This is the pose they acquire just before they're getting on the bus to go home to the Lord.  I unroll the bale of hay.

10:35 AM... I examine the upside down cow and it's the same cow that was upside down 2 days prior.  She's ancient, and is pretty much past the point of getting her back on her feet this time.  I decide to put her down, but I'll have to get a gun from my truck parked at the shed.

10:40 AM... Back on the tractor I head to the gate, it's started snowing very hard... the tractor does a little hiccup that for anyone that has ran diesel tractors much at all, makes your blood run cold.  I'm out of fuel.  See the fuel gauge doesn't work, much similar to a lot of other things on the tractor of doom.  I drop it into high gear (which for whatever reason, works) and make a break for the house.  See... if your diesel engine runs out of fuel, it's not like a gas engine that you just fill up, turn the key, and happiness ensues.  There is no happiness in a diesel tractor out of fuel.

10:41 AM...  I get to the bottom of the hill in the middle of the road when all forward movement ceases.  I start walking.  In freezing temps.  In the snow.  I couldn't buy happiness with a pocketful of unicorns and a cure for cancer.

10:55 AM... I get to the shed and get in my truck to warm up.  I grab an empty 5 gallon gas can and head over to our diesel storage tank.  The power cord that has been there since Moses walked the earth... is not.  I find a cord that looks like it's been teethed on by puppies, plug it in and start filling the can.  It's full.  The nozzle does not shut off.   I'm serious.  It keeps pumping.  The wind is whipping diesel everywhere.  I yank the cord outta the pump, put the lid on the can and put it in the back of my truck.

11:10 AM... Pouring the fuel in the tractor, I hope beyond hope that thru some miracle that it will just start.  No, it does not.   The wind picks up.  I take the heat houser off on the fuel pump/injector side of the tractor to see what wrenches I'm gonna need and head back to the shed for what is surely the most cartoonish set of tools in existence.  Back to the shed.

11:25 AM... I call home and tell Sal that I may need Jakes help.  She's real serious on the phone 'cause she knows that if I call for help, it just ain't pretty. 

11:35 AM... I'm back and start loosening injector lines to bleed them out, removing knuckle meat, freezing half to death.  Rolling the motor over and finally I get fuel squirting outta all the injector lines I start  tightening 'em back up.  I give it a big dose of ether and turn the key, it fires up.   I want to cry I'm so happy.  Jake shows up and wants to know if I need a hug.

12:15 PM... Back to feeding hay.  I send Jake over to put the cow down. 

12:45 PM... Backing the tractor back into the shed... I'm done.  Quite literally.  I'm really done.

1:15 PM... I'm pulling into my driveway, Christmas dinner is almost ready to hit the table, all is well. 

I really wanted to throw out my Mary Lou Retton victory pose.  I really did.

Pics  from the throne of the the Tractor Of Doom, a seat reserved for fools and psychopathic aardvark murderers....  unrolling hay.





Monday, December 21, 2009

The Kitchen Stove...

Alrighty, since our kitchen range generated more interest than anything else in my last post I might as well just make it the star of the freakin' show.

Couple of years ago we'd bought an early 1930'ish kitchen range and it had a couple of parts missing that I just couldn't locate.  I kinda stuck it on the back burner (heh heh... back burner.   BACK BURNER!!)  (I kill myself) and my buddy Gary came by and said there was a pretty cool old Magic Chef in the basement of a house that his brother had bought down by Bowling Green, MO.

Wait, let me make a break from the post for just a second.  A friend of mine worked for me several years ago and made up a redneck song about Bowling Green but all I remember is "Bowling Green, Bowling Green... I dated my sister, at the Dairy Queen."

Nice eh?

Okay back to the stove.  Me and Gary went down and carried this outta the basement and I was kinda beginning to have second thoughts 'cause it was pretty nasty.  Lots of critters living in it, past and present.  Lot's of rust... but the porcelain was in nice shape it looked like, just needed a hard buffing to bring it back to life.   Keep in mind, I don't do appliance restoration for a living... lol  I do FURNITURE restoration, but Sal and I wanted a vintage range in our kitchen.

I ordered some stuff that I needed for it, all new insulation from a company out in CA that specializes in appliance restoration parts, some other misc. stuff and then tore it down to smithereenies.  I took it apart further than this pic, but I was a bonehead about taking pics... so this is what you get. 

Lotta ugliness.  Lotta mouse carcasses.  Lotta yuck.

The white fluffy stuff is the new insulation that wraps the oven of the stove.   I replaced the springs on the front door as well, one was broken anyhow.

All of the non heat contact metal that wasn't porcelain, I shot with black lacquer.  Everything that had contact with heat I sprayed rattle can heat resistant black on after everything got sanded down.  All new screws and bolts so that they were nice and shiny, were also put in the thing.   The right side of this stove is just storage for pots and pans and stuff.  It doesn't really work as a warmer too much as it's insulated from the oven.


The chrome on all of the pulls was a mess so instead of sending them off to a chrome shop we decided to take them to a local powder coating shop and have them powder coated bright red.  They look a little orange in the pics, but they are definately... RED.

I buffed out all the porcelain and even what was inside the oven and broiler was in good shape.  I had one spot I repaired that I wish I had left alone.

They look like gooey candy on there... :-)

The original knobs were all there and I scrubbed them down, repainted the writing and numbers back in with acrylic paint and then clear coated 'em a couple of times with lacquer.  They turned out pretty nice...

The broiler is all space age high tech, it swings out when you open the door.   It'll make you laugh like a little kid when you see it open.

And inside the oven.  No pilot light or ignitor or anything high tech like that... you touch a match to that little hole down there just like grandma did.  I cleaned all the passage ways and orifices out and it lights really nice... no "WOOOOOF" to scare the begeebers out of you.

And all hooked up where it lives in our home.   Looks just like your dad parked his Buick in our kitchen... :-)

So there!  Ta Da!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Happy Childhood Memory Obliterated. Jiffy Pop... You Suck.

Because it's a well known fact that I cannot leave well enough alone and just enjoy old memories... happy old memories... I must relive them. Then destroy them forever with my feeble and fumbling attempts at recreating them. For example, I give you Jiffy Pop Popcorn. This stuff was AWESOME as a kid, it always worked great, tons and tons of fluffy white popcorn magically poofing up under a tinfoil dome in a handy disposable pan. It was the best. The TV commercials were even happy.

Guess what Sally found in the store...

I was so dang wound up I almost poo'd myself with excitement!   I peeled the cardboard offa the top...

I sat it on the stove and lit a fire under that bad boy...

Let me just take a moment and point out our most incredible stove... A 1940ish Magic Chef that I tore down to nothing and rebuilt.  It makes Sal smile, me smile and virtually everyone that walks in our kitchen and sees it.   You're smiling right now aren't you?   I knew it.

And then the action began!!!!!!!!!  Up it started to rise...

And bigger....

And biggggger.....

And finally... GOOD LORD IT'S HUGE!!!!  I have no idea how Sally and I are gonna be able to eat all of that popcorn!!

And then I tore it open with a fork and....

What the hell??  There's like a mug of hard smoldering, half popped, crap...    I pour it in a bowl just because I was all prepared to have the time of my life eating Jiffy Pop.

I was almost in tears.  Such a sad sad evening at the Cowguy hacienda.  Truly sad.   I stood at the counter and picked around in the bowl trying to eat some of it and decided that I was just gonna bust a tooth if I kept up with that endeavor.  Sal hollared from the office "Honey did you burn a skillet full of junebugs or something in there?"  No...   Just another happy childhood memory, up in smoke.

I'll never learn.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things I Have Noticed In Life

I dunno where this post is going, probably nowhere so don't go purchasing your tickets in advance for the ride. There ain't a refund. It's probably gonna be real random, I'm just kinda winging it with no real theme in mind other than things I've noticed and well... hellfire... I notice things, as you do, all the dang time. Those around me tell me I notice things a little differently. Ah well.

Okay, I just noticed I lost a "follower" to Sawdust and Cowpies. Did I offend someone. (probably) Did I not entertain someone enough with lowbrow hillbilly humor? (most likely) Was it the pictures I posted of myself 6 days ago where I was wearing nothing but some hair? (I'll wait here while y'all go look at old posts). (Maybe)

I have noticed that older folks, and by older I mean people my age (I'm slowly coming around to admitting this travesty... I AM getting older) text message like 5 monkeys having a shit fight. Very randomly poking keys, frantic, and most of all... hilarious for anyone watching.

I've noticed that I care less and less what people think. I dunno what this means. I've just noticed it.

I notice that I like hanging out with my son's friends. He chooses wisely, 'cause they all like me and think I'm some kind of genius. Mostly they're all normal, some just march to a different drummer. The Kuiper Bros.

Jesse (on the right) has sewn his own Ghillie suit and Casey (I had to edit his t shirt just a bit lol) just got a dollar an hour raise at work for getting a haircut. Seriously. Daniel, another friend, who just made a vocation change from machinist to welder is currently attending the same welding school that Jake did. Daniel just posted on Facebook advice from his welding instructor...

"We all fall in love with a stripper sooner or later. Its just part of being a welder, we can't help it."

The boy will be guaranteed success. Advice like that... you just can't find it much in a school of higher learning anymore. I like noticing things like that.

I notice that my desktop is littered with crap that I "needed" to save from the internets for my own enjoyment at a later date. Most of it makes no sense, but it makes me smile and a lot of times... I make no sense. It all works out in the end.

For example, this jpg snatched from the intertubes...

I dunno what this means. A sword swallower with odd little breasts, somehow selling gas refrigerators. I saved that pic because... I noticed it.

Alright, that's enough noticing for today. Carry on.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Playing At A Fast Food Restaurant Near YOU!!!

So, Saturday night the band had a gig up in Ottumwa, Iowa. Up there where it's cold, and there's snow, and the place where all of the older and wiser people have fled to Arizona or Texas.

Then there's us. We went there on purpose.

Our friend Paul lives up there and he had a private party gig for us. Martina just getting hitched and all, couldn't make it, but the rest of us went up. I met up with Ronnie and Mary Beth and Louis in Kirksville and tossed my instruments in Louis' "van of sure death" and rode up with him. We got to Ottumwa and followed Ronnie around town and ended up in this strip mall parking lot. I kinda looked around at the stores... a health care provider of some sort, a realtor, an empty store or 2 and... a Quiznos. You know... the hot and toasty sub shop place.

Louis turns the van off.

Me... Where are we playing?

Louis... Here.

Me... Where here?

Louis... Quiznos.

Me... No...................

Louis... Quiznos.

So we start unloading and walk in. It was 'bout 8 or a little after and the place was shut down, decorated for a party. Keg of beer on ice in the middle of the restaurant, liquor everywhere, vodka lemonade in the fountain machine, more food than you can shake a stick at and folks ready to have fun.

We got set up, Paul played with us and a couple of his friends and long time musicians "Rock" and "Wilbur"... and we proceeded to throw down some tunes and have a party.

The owner of the Quiznos is the brother of the sis having the 30th birthday party and man... did he do it up right. At the end he walked out on the sidewalk where I was hanging out for a bit, handed me a business card with this on the back... "Nate says give this man a free sub, don't take this card from him." He loved the band, said anytime... forever that I'm in town, show the card to who ever is working and collect one free Quiznos sub. LOL

There's a first time for everything.

About 1:30 we were bout played to death and the crowd had thinned to one group of about 15 or 20 hardcore, drinkin', singin' along, dancin like a bunch of maniacs, hardcore party crowd.

Great bunch of people. Thanks for the EXCELLENT tips in the jar folks!

Oh and by the way. If you decide to spend the night in Iowa in the middle of the winter... you really don't need to bother with reservations at the motel where you're gonna stay. Really.

The parking lot. :-)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well Poopy... There Goes Soupy

So I was sitting here in the living room a couple of nights ago rotting my brain perusing watching midgets 'rassle in oatmeal or some such thing most likely, when Sally, from her puter, sent me on my MSN a "ded list". You know, one of those lists that someone with too much time on their hands, compiles of everyone, that was remotely famous that has entered the dead zone in the past 12 months. (the structure of that last sentence sucks, but it's 6:57 AM and I don't give a rat's ass... read it however you want and please, please correct it down in the comments. Thank you)

I was comotosely (<--- your new word of the day) flipping through all the dearly departed when I came across one that finally caused me to stop and and mutter "NO".

Soupy Sales died on October 22 of this year. Ded as ded can be. The dedest.

Sal walks through the living room...

Me... Hey Soupy Sales died!

Sal... Yeah, I saw that.

Me... (blurting) I had a Soupy Sales ring.

Sal... I just bet you did.

Me... Really, it was one of those that when you turned it back and forth it had a picture of Soupy that flashed back to his name. It was awesome.

Sal... That's nice honey. It's probably up at your folk's house in a box somewhere if you really miss it that much.

Me... Well, I don't miss it that much, but it was pretty freakin' cool when I was like 6.

So I thought to myself "Self, if you loved that ring as much as you did, I just bet that a lot of other kids loved that ring as well and there has gotta be a picture of it on the internets" I didn't answer myself, but I did a Google search.


Then, I went to The Bay. SCORE!!!

$89.95 ? ? ? ? It truly was an awesome ring, I just didn't realize until I saw dollar signs spinning in my head just how truly incredible this fine piece of jewelry was.

Looky. Behold. Soupy!

and then you turn it...

I'm nearly in tears just looking at these pics (happily copyrighted by mrrookie, but I'm promoting his sale so... ease up on the copyright crap mr) Here, here's the auction. Go buy this thing and give it to your beloved for Christmas. Screw the diamond earrings. Nothing says "forever" like a Soupy Sales flasher ring. I mean it.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

THAT Was A Fun Wedding!

Saturday evening Sal and I attended the wedding of the year here in good ol Macon county. Handsome Randy and Gorgeous Martina (from our band) tied the knot in front of a pretty darn respectable crowd of family, friends, and one or two "ner' do wells". Sally and I, as usual, had a great time... lotsa laughing, lotsa dancing, quite a bit of imbibing, lotsa music, and a little bit of smootching and stuff.

Eh, y'all wanna see pictures, don't you? Here ya go.

A couple of handsome and gorgeous sonofaguns.

Hackin' away at the cake...

Then there was a whole bunch of foot stompin'...

Then the bouquet got flung and the garter got hurled. That lil feller that's just 'bout to snag that garter there? That'd be a namesake of mine right there...Jace. I went to school with his mom, and his uncle and I hung out quite a bit back then. Oh now quit it, the name is as far as it goes, well that and the good looks part.

Then there was some more dancin'... I got a dollars worth with Martina before David horned in on my show.

And Sal got a little floor time in with Randy... Check out that awesome new dress. Totally hot! :-)

Keota got up and did a little playing complete with a princess in the band...

And a nice band shot...

A random little dude that makes saggin' look good...

And the shot of the night that Sal got. I love this picture, the blurry out of focus, Martina's smile, the people... everything. I love this girl quite a bit too, and Randy... well, they're the perfect couple.

Awesome huh?

And finally, THE necktie. Bentley got a shot of it as we were leaving, I nearly upstaged everyone there, including the bride and groom ;-) with this necktie. Funny thing was, it nearly matched Sal's dress in color and we got lots of compliments on our coordinating looks until they got a good look at the tie. Baby chicks at the top, two fighting roosters spurring the crap out of one another in the middle and a hen at the bottom watching it all.

It was the only tie there like it.

Really. I'm not lying. You'd have thought there would have been a bunch of classy ties like mine.

I got it at the Dollar store.

Hey! It's silk!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Take A Look At THESE Balls!!!!

I'm a sucker for the 1 dollar aisle. Any store. Doesn't matter. I'm there. It's always pretty good entertainment, seeing what products have been demoralized and denigrated to only being able to be placed... on the 1 dollar aisle. AND, I don't just look, I buy too! A few days ago in the grocery store that we frequent I was in the 1 dollar aisle checking out the "Sardinos" and 2 roll packages of what most likely had to have been the most abrasive toilet paper on the face of the earth. (I love my butt too much to do that to it, and you should protect and defend yours as well) Then... THEN I spotted this prize!

FIREBALLS!!! "Red hot cheese flavored balls" Made by that oh so well known snack food company, Brims. As in burn the lining out of your mouth and shed the skin offa your tongue like a snake... Satan's firey brimstone.

I tossed 'em in the cart. Sally looked at the can without touching it and just said... "Fireballs". Yes. Fireballs, those are mine. I could scarcely wait to get home to further examine and taste my hellish prize. But I did, and here they are.

Gaze upon my red hot balls as I hold them in my hand. Cheesy and fire goodness literally exuding into your home through the miracle of internetal osmosis... just looking at them. No. These are my balls. Get your own!

Wait! What's this?

Biblical scripture from Psalms on the side of the can? Yes, I'll be needing that soon, and some Mylanta. Second guessing myself, the 1 dollar aisle toilet paper might have been a wiser purchase.

I rolled the can around, just a tad curious at the health food factor possibly residing inside each portion of hot cheesy fate. Disappointed, I was not...

Let me read that outload to you. "150 calories per serving (not bad so far) 80 of those calories... fat" SCORE!!!

Nearing the bottom of the can I happened to peer inside and it startled me enough that I sucked my breath in... and some cheese ball dust which nearly choked me 9/10ths to death... this is what I saw.

That's a little frightening, no? I'm gonna need to read that scripture again after laying eyes on that hellish glow inside the can of purported snack food.

In the end? Yeah it was worth a buck. They tasted like crap, removed any sense of taste I had for about 8 hours and I was still burping them the next morning, but then hey... you don't get much for a buck.