Thursday, September 20, 2018

Name that veggie (herb?)

Was given a bag of this stuff. Kinda smells to me like a cross between basil and light anus anise. Bag just says product of Hawaii.
Any ideas?

Which kinda reminds me of a bad joke:
Two guys were flying out to Hawaii on vacation and were arguing about how to pronounce the state. One said it was Huh-why-ee, the other said it was pronounced Huh-VIE-ee. So they asked another passenger his opinion, and the man said "it's Huh-vie-ee".
So the second man, all cocky and shit, said to the passenger, "Thanks for proving me right!"
To which the passenger replies "You're velcome, Mein Herr"

Saturday, September 8, 2018

might be my best move yet

I knew when I approached the Michigan border coming up from Oklahoma that something was going to be different. I wasn't sure what exactly, as nearing the state border, I was somewhat apprehensive. There was a large, multi-hued sheen of mist in the air that I no longer remembered when I moved out to start my naval career in 1981.
It became more and more opaque as I closed the distance to my long vacated home state, and as I crossed the border, I was amazed at being immediately surrounded by a horde of golden unicorn-Pegasus (Pegasi?) trumpeting harmoniously through the strangely curled horns jutting regally from their foreheads in joyous rapture, as rainbows of brilliant hue shot gloriously out of their collective asses. The air was clearer, the skies somehow bluer, and I no longer felt the weight of despair that had so pressed upon my soul lo these many years. (Not to mention on my bladder, causing many embarrassing moments of incontinence on oft occasion....)
Looking back, knowing I would never again leave my home of birth to travel the wide outer vistas of other lands, I realized the cause of the sheen that had so discolored the skies as I returned to my childhood home. It was caused by the many unfortunate unicorn-pegasi being unceremoniously splattered against the invisible yet undeniable wall between this glorious world, and that of Not-Michigan on the other side, not realizing until too late they were heading in the wrong direction...

And so, Dear Readers, thus begins the tale of my new life in West Michigan, in the lower peninsula, under "the bridge". And its looking good so far.

Rose and I are safely ensconced in a small fifth wheel, in good working condition, on my childhood friend's property. We have already started clearing out a small herb garden for the plants I laboriously and with many trials and trepidation brought with me from Oklahoma. And as an herbal aside here, they fucking love it here! Most of them have literally doubled in size. My various basils and mints are in tires half buried in the sandy soil here, and are already trying to escape their steel reinforced rubbery confines. (I haven't had the heart to tell them about winter yet, or the lake-effect winds we will be blessed(?) with in the coming months. I think I'll leave that as a surprise...)

And I have PIGS!

Lady on craigslist was giving away 3 potbelly mix boars and two sows (BOTH pregnant) and my buddy, hereafter and forever to be called Steve in this blog, both for brevity, and because that's his name) managed to locate a fairly reliable source of pallets, and cobbled together a fairly sturdy, yet  exceedingly unsightly pen for them. Shelter being erected today...

So. Basically that's it. I'm here, Rose and I are happy, and with the possible exception of having to constantly dodge the actually pleasant smelling rain of multicolored golden unicorn-pegasi shit, believe this just may have been, my best move yet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

some thoughts on value added living

As I get older, and approach closer to my (hopefully still far distant) mortal coil shuffling, I find myself becoming both more excepting of our mutual fate, and yet more upset by the conclusions I come to as my time here lengthens and my time remaining shortens.
No this is not a maudlin, Oh-Woe-Is-Me kind of post. This is just some thoughts and gripes of a cranky old world-weary traveler, wanting to put his stockinged feet on a log by the fire and sit back with a cold brew and fellow cranky bastards, and gripe.
So. Grab a beer. Kick back. Put your stockinged feet up there, and let's get cranky...

Can someone PUHLEASE tell me who started this nasty rumor that's been going on for some time now, that it takes money to live? 
Whoa! Easy there Tiger. I said "live". I did NOT say be lazy. 
Yes, I will acknowledge that if I want to sit on my ass all day and be waited on hand and foot, I will probably need money. A farmer does not farm all those extra tons of produce as a gesture of true good will or because its fun. He wants money. Money he can use to sit on his ass and be waited on once in a while. Like to go out to dinner, because he's sick and tired of eating a strict diet of only corn, (or wheat, or soybean, or beef, or chicken or WHATEVER, okay?) because he's less diversified in his crop to concentrate on one thing to make the most.....wait for it.... MONEY.
And ol' Alice there at Mel's Diner And Hooker Emporium ain't gonna wait on you cause yer all that good looking, Bub. 
She's gonna say "hi" when ya walk in, smile as you take forever to decide whether you want the flapjack special, or just the plate of regular pancakes, cause yer to d..u..m..b.. dumb to realize they're the same fucking thing, but one sounds manly..... and be sweeter'n the cream in that coffee she spit in before dropping it off at your table, because if she were a grouchy old BITCH, you wouldn't leave her...MONEY.
And the girl at the pole doing all those gyrations you always figured were anatomically impossible, yet extremely appealing, she ain't doing it as some weird kind of exercise regimen, buddy. Nope. She's hoping you got something worthwhile to slip in that little G-string piece of nothing she's wearing that really ain't hiding nothing And again, here, we're talking about that big bulging wad in your pants. That's right. MONEY.

Now I 've never once said you don't need money for THAT. I could actually get in with all that gyrating going on. IF I wanted to waste (or usually even had) the money. I never even said that that sort of stuff wasn't what made life kinda fun once in a while. I said you don't need money to LIVE.

People have been living since the dawn of time without money. If they felt like eating, but didn't want to dig in the dirt or sit on a tree stump for hours without end waiting for dinner to walk close enough to hit it over the head with a rock, they could always find someone else willing to do those things, and then trade for it. For instance, I'm sure Moog would have been willing to give up a couple hours of stump-sitting, rock swinging effort to that cute Neanderthal babe in the sabertoothed bikini in exchange for climbing that pole leaning up against the tree and sharing her 'coconuts' with him... 

People need money to live either more lazy, or easier, lifestyles. You don't need money for air, (unless your tire happens to go flat and you realize the amount of air it takes to fill said tire just went up to $2.25 for each five seconds it takes until its full again). You don't need money for food. Food grows in dirt. Think about that the next time your at the checkout and realize you just spent Junior's college fund because you wanted a 3 ounce chunk of steak for dinner tonight. You don't need it for shelter, laughter, hope, dreaming, or even love. Unless its that girl on either the pole against the tree or the pole in the middle of the All American Diner, who sells love by the hour.

As far as I can tell from the lofty heights of my many years of becoming as crotchety as I have, you need money to pay the FUCKING GOVERNMENT to ALLOW you to live.
Air is free until the gubmint can finally pollute it enough that you'll need to buy it by the bottle in order to breathe. Water is free until.....uh...wait...gubmint done got that one. Anyone want a fresh beer while we're sitting here? Or maybe a non-pollutin', plastic, recyclable bottle of pure, natural, really honest to gubmint, Fresh Spring Water? And we're not talking that stuff pulled out of the local outhouse and run through no reverse osmosis filter system neither. We're talking real water. You know, the stuff that comes out of the ground and is cleaner than yer sainted mother's thoughts on sex. 
And you know the ground is dirt right? That shit's free too. Unless you want to sleep above it, grow food on it, roll around in it, (perhaps with that little pole-ish girl....) or feed yourself from it. Then you'll need the aforementioned money to buy it. Maybe from some guy who has too much of it, maybe from a realtor, it don't matter, its still owned by the gubmint. Don't believe me? Try claiming ownership while not paying the gubmint its pound of flesh. And anything you happen to produce from that fucking dirt will require additional tributes to be paid to the omnipotent ruler of all, the gubmint. 
If you want to produce crops to trade to Mel at his diner so you have somewhere for Alice to spit in your coffee and sit and watch pole girl wiggle her wiggleables, you must pay to trade them. Unto Gubmint render what is Gubmint's.
Want to get said wiggling pole girl to 'live' on your 'dirt' and wiggle just for your edification? Better buy (with money) a shitload of condoms. Or you're gonna have a heap of young'uns gonna be running around. Each one of which, of course, will all cause the fees you pay to 'live' on 'your' dirt to increase. 
And kids need learnin', right. Education? Sounds good in theory, but thanks to Gubmint, not only does it increase exponentially for each child, but the higher(?) the 'education' the more it costs for diminishing returns.
Colleges no longer teach one how to make a 'living'. They, through judicious use of Gubmint money, teach how to live off the backs of those who already know how to make a living. But if you were to take away their precious green sheets of life, they would no more be able to survive than they are to fly without the (possibly justified) assistance of being thrown off a cliff. Albeit the flight would be fairly brief, and rather unidirectional....

Money is no more than work. Nothing else. It is a tradeable, foldable, easily exchanged agreement of value for service. Or product for sweat. It is earned in direct correlation to the effort put forth. You want money? Put out some effort. Grow a tomato. Do it sitting on your ass at this fire with your stockinged feed up while drinking a beer that someone else made with their effort.
How's that working for ya?
What? No tomato?
Than try this: Go out and dig a fucking hole in the dirt, put a tomato seed it in, water it, nurture it, hell, sing it songs and fertilize the shit into it. Who knows, that might actually do it. But it will take effort. Yours or someone else's. And if it is someone else's, you better figure out what you are going to do to work for the value needed to trade that someone else for the fruit or their work. Literally. A tomato is a fruit. Its just confused...

And this country, its individual workers and producers, are being bled dry of its once proud heritage of patriots who understand this concept. Taken over and besieged by a new breed of consumers and users who believe money is a thing separate from effort and somehow has meaning in and of itself.
Perhaps if we had a gubmint that produced, rather than printing paper sheets of so-called worth out of thin air, or allowed those who do produce to do so without rendering unto Caesar the top of the crop as tribute for keeping us 'safe', and 'free', we each could have an occasional bit of our effort left over  to enjoy a moment or two playing in the dirt. Or going out to Mel's.

You do not need money to live. You need it to keep those in power, who produce NOTHING, from taking away the things you earned with your effort, your production, and your sweat.

But LIFE is free. Now put your fucking shoes on and go live it. And next time you bring the beer.

That shit costs MONEY.

Monday, August 27, 2018

late on the update, but here goes...

I picked up the truck on Wednesday morning, and IMMEDIATELY started loading the boxes I had packed already and sitting under tarps in front of my house. Except for the ones that had gotten soaked due to an unnoticed hole in my tarp, and the fact that I was loading them all on a pallet in the depression I had hollowed out for my inflatable pool. Which flooded. AND went over the top of the pallet.....

Took Rose to the hospital at noon to check in for her gall bladderectomy, which they had scheduled for 2:45, but wanted her to get there early enough for blood tests and xrays. Which they decided they didn't need as she had had them both done only a week before when they scheduled her damn gallectomy.

And of course, at 3:40 they came in to tell her it'd be about another hour, as they were running late due to some unexpected complications in a "few" of the earlier operations that were scheduled before hers.

6:28 they wheeled her out of the room and into surgery.

We didn't get home until after 10:00 PM. Fuck it.

Thursday morning I got all the wet boxes (minus the water ruined shit I threw out) repacked, and all the boxes loaded in the truck. Then went through the house throwing miscellaneous this and assorted thats into hastily taped boxes, and clearing out the smaller bits of flotsam and jetsam that we wouldn't need for our final night and early Friday loading party.

Friday. Don't ask.

What? You really want to know? Well, okay. But it gets kinda ugly from here on out.....

My loving brother was supposed to come help me on Friday, but had called Monday or Tuesday, and told me his son had to use the truck for "something that came up" and wouldn't be able to help me with the last of my packing.
Friday I had planned, with his and his thirty-something strapping son, to load the heavy shit.
HUGE deep freeze unit. Side by side fridge. Queen size bed with the head- and footboard from hell.
And I did.
Keep in mind, I'm crippled. NOT disabled. Crippled. Disabled means NOT able, and that does not, and never will, apply to me.

The deep freeze wasn't to bad. I had the foresight to rent a refrigerator dolly, and except for winding it around the kitchen breakfast counter, and past the couch, once I got it down the outdoor steps, it was just a yank, pull, and a tug to the truck. Where I found I did not have the strength to pull it up the ramp and into the truck.
Tied a rope across the rails in the back of the moving truck, hooked up a come-along and a couple of tie-down straps to hold any progress I made, and winched it into place.

Tied the bed mattress up with a tarp under one corner, loops to grab hold, and dragged, manhandled the fucking thing out to the truck and up the ramp. Tied that sucker up GOOD. I could have totaled the truck driving into the Grand Canyon and they would have found that motherfucker still standing upright on the side of the truck wall.
Box spring wasn't so bad, just carried that.
Headboard and footboard were drag five feet, rest, drag five more, rest. Up the ramp the same way, and tied down.

Last item: the fridge. Its a BIG fridge.
Got it secured to the dolly, around the counter, past the couch, and realized I had to turn it around to get it down the steps. Got a dolly wheel caught on the door jamb, tipped it forward to pull back for momentum, and as soon as it bumped over, it started going top first over the steps. I TRIED to hold on to the dolly with one hand and the door frame with the other, but since my right shoulder don't work so well after the old .12ga injury, I failed with dramatic results.
Fridge went over stairs and did a complete 180 degree ass over end flip, landing in the weeds just past my walkway. I did a fairly spectacular ass over fridge acrobatic maneuver, and ended in the small sumac trees just past where the fridge landed. Didn't have the oomph left to lift the damn thing upright, so had to use my come-along on it to get it upright, died three times pulling the dolly to the truck ramp, not to mention the 15 or so times I had to rest the weight on my knees to rest my shoulder and back til I got it there, and then had to set up the come-along/tie down setup again to get it in the truck.

This all took me until almost 12:30. I know this, because I looked at my watch as my brother pulled in with his son and truck and a trailer in tow to pick up any metal I may have left, and the camper I had been using as a tool/storage shed. He was surprised to see me still there, as I had told him I had to leave by noon to pick up Rose's check and get on the road if I was going to have time to unload it in Michigan and return the truck by Sunday morning.

I left an awful lot of things behind that I wish I had taken. Nothing unreplaceable, but having to do it all myself, and being literally fucking exhausted, I just told my brother to take whatever was left, go fuck himself, and left. But until you realize how MUCH you've left, and what its going to take to replace it, you just don't think of the cost in both dollars and regrets. Hindsight being 20-20 and all that.

Gas for that loaded down moving truck, pulling a car trailer behind it was a bit more than I had hoped for. Got to Michigan with 18 bucks and change, and ended up taking 2 two-hour naps curled up with my knees in my face in front of the steering wheel so I didn't wrap us up on some wayward speed limit sign somewhere.

Found out when I got here that my buddy's wife had told her brother he could crash here with his wife and three kids until they closed on the house they were buying. Not a big deal as Rose and I are in a nice fifthwheel camper, but my buddy's storage building (HUGE), is taken up with the household goods of his brother in law, and all my goods are in a beat up 100+ year old barn at mybuddy's friend's place 10 miles away.

Its Oh-dark-thirty at the moment, but I'll get some shots tomorrow and show ya'll what it looks like here. Spoiler alert: Its Michigan, so its beautiful.

Broke, tired, a lot of regrets at letting my anger at my brother cost me shit I couldn't afford to lose, but I'm HOME. Grew up in these parts. Still recognize some of it. And when it all comes together, I'll be even happier I made the move. Plus Rose loves it here.

Oh, and I lost my wallet somewhere along the route getting here. If you come across it, let me know....

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I'm grateful

Picked up the moving truck this morning. Gonna take me two days to load up, because I'll be doing it by myself. Rose will help as she can, but as at the time I'm writing this, she's in surgery having her gall bladder removed. I won't let her lift anything even if she's able!
I've (probably) got enough for gas to make it to Michigan, and my buddy up there say he'll advance me the funds if I'm short.
Probably have to snooze in the truck overnight, but I'll set up a cot for Rose in the back to catch 40 winks, and I'll sleep in the cab with the dogs.
I figured y'all deserved an update, and I'll keep you up on my progress. I'm truly grateful for the support I've received here, and send a BIG THANK you and God bless to Wirecutter and Bustednuckles for having my back.
THANK you all.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

I haven't gone a month without a paycheck since I was 16 years old. After being disabled for the last 6 years and having to depend on the US Government for my living, I've been threatened off and on since 2015 of exactly that.
I've always managed to make the trip to the Administration office, sit and wait at their leisure most of the day, explain my points, get someone to actually read my case notes, and get the situation resolved.
And do it all over again in 3 months or so.
Now they tell me my waiver was refused; and I don't remember ever submitting for a waiver!  But apparently among all the questions I've responded to trying to get this resolved, one of the government flunkies was putting the answers in a waiver request.
My appeals process has run out of the number of times I can submit; even though I was never informed I was submitting for an appeal for a waiver I never knew I requested.
It's so much easier to pass the problem along than to fix the problem, all the while telling me to my face that "that should take care of it" and as soon as this gets into "the system", the problem will magically disappear as quickly as it magically appeared to start with.

I only get 1307.00 a month through the charity doled out to me that I PAID for through my sweat and the generous "donation" I've put into it over my lifetime of labor. I never asked to be disabled. I've worked all my life, and it MEANT something. I'd STILL rather work than have to take money from the government. If I were younger when I was shot, I could have probably found a new job. Or if I didn't have the choice of pain pills or debilitating pain that stops me in my tracks. (I take MAYBE three pills a month. I've got an addictive personality, and would rather hurt than be dependent. Hence my disgust at depending on the government...).

I've tried, with Rose working a menial labor job cooking mass meals for a juvenile delinquent group home, to make this place work.

I failed

I've had to come to terms with my failure. My home is in foreclosure, I've sold all my livestock, my garden has gone to weed, my cornfield sits dry in the Oklahoma drought. And I've given up.

I've made arrangements to move to Michigan, where I have my childhood friend (and more than a brother to me) and who has his own small farm, in order to make it easier on BOTH our families. Neither one of us are young anymore, both have our health problems, but our families together can make it where either one alone can't.

Long story here, I know. The bottom line comes to THIS has to be the month the government decided to finally fuck me over. No check coming.

 I need a truck to move my life to Michigan. The generosity in charity from the few readers I still have, and the support of Bustednuckles over at The Vulgar Curmudgeon has been fantastic. People have donated to help me when they don't even know me.
I need 300.00 more by early Monday to give PayPal time to make the transfer to my bank by Wednesday when I'm supposed to pay for the transportation to start another life over.

Yes, I'm begging. I've done enough of it at the Social Security office, you'd think I'd be used to it. I've tried to justify myself here, but it still galls.

PLEASE, even if it's only a few bucks, I have nowhere else to turn. I'd go on the streets if it were just me, but I can't put my wife through that (regardless of the fact she says she would stay beside me if it comes to that).

Thank you.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Might get there yet...

Thank you to those who have contributed to my truck rental. If not for your kindness, I don't know where I'd put my goods aor even where Rose and I would be sleeping after Wednesday.
I'm not there yet, but by the grace of God and the generosity of Patriots helping Patriots, I'll have enough by Wednesday to rent a truck to get me to Michigan.
Bless you all, and a grateful acknowledgement of your generosity to Randall D., James S., Douglas M., William Y., Stephen G., Gerhard B., Bernadette W., And Phil P. ( A True American Patriot).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Loosing the farm

Thanks to the social security administration claiming they double paid me in May of 2013, when they sent my check to a closed bank account at Chase, then ended up writing me a paper check for my entitlement, I'm not getting my Disability check next Wednesday. They say they never received the payment back from Chase, which I of course never received either, as the account had been closed.
I am 2 months behind on my mortgage, and the farm is going into foreclosure. I have the opportunity to move to Michigan where a childhood friend has a small lot and will take me and Rose in. I had already reserved a Penske truck for the move, but have been informed by the Administration it is withholding my check (except for 26 dollars) and will not be able to rent the truck.
Rose recently went through gall stone problems and surgery, and a very scary hospital stay while they took care of a cancer on her pancreas. This had her out of work for quite awhile, and I've already been fighting to keep things going ever since I spent May of last year in a coma pursuant to developing double viral pneumonia.

I need help.


Thank you.  Steven Vanderhoff aka Xeno

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Teach your brat to change their own fucking tire. It's their only hope!

Can you change a flat? It amazes me how many today can't. There's even a damn commercial on TV about a kid that doesn't know what a freaking lug wrench is.
When did we become a nation of inept consumers? Fifteen years ago I made a pretty good living as a handyman. I'd charge 15 bucks an hour to straighten pictures and hang curtains, change a gasket in a faucet and unclog a sink.
This was in Florida, and most of my customers were little old ladies with too much money, and no common sense. Which is a fairly prevalent individual in West Palm Beach....
Now I find myself sickened by the reliance of not little old ladies who don't have any  idea how plumbing works, or are too frail to get out and climb up a ladder. These days it's college 'kids' in the prime of their life, raised by 'helicopter' parents who are incapable of the simplest tasks. Not because they aren't smart enough; most of them could out think me I reckon. Nope. It's because it would never occur to them to do anything requiring skills.
Their privileged thought processes exclude the very possibility that they should actually think HOW to do a thing, but rather, how to arrange for someone ELSE to rescue them. They have been raised to believe they should  never feel pain, never be criticized, never lose playing the game of life. If by some unthinkable circumstance they should feel neglected, it's ALWAYS someone else that's the cause. And heaven forbid you should try to point to reason and try to explain to them that tires go flat, money runs out, or worse, they should fail due to not even trying! They wouldn't hear you anyway over the wails of their own lamentation over the UNFAIRNESS of it all.
About ten years ago, when I first moved to Oklahoma, I worked for one of these parents who was raising one of these college aged nutjobs of today. His son was 12 at the time, (and yes, is in college today, AND a Democrat), and this man paid ME ten dollars an hour for odd jobs. Including walking around his property to pick up any fallen limbs that may have dropped before mowing. Admittedly, I walked VERY slow to avoid missing any. And it was a LARGE property. And when I DID find one of these offensive earth bound limbs, I made it my mission to walk it back to the brush pile behind the barn regardless of its size. The job took HOURS, but I was nothing if not thorough.
My dad would have died of laughing fits hearing of this man. A perfectly good twelve year old son, and PAY someone to do menial chores?
In my life's experience, I've learned many skills. I can change a tire. Hell, that's the LEAST repair I can do on a car! And, incidentally, a skill everyone should possess. I can do plumbing, electric, carpentry, masonry, farm, raise critters and kids (same thing really), sew a decent seam, shoot a gun, tan a hide (again on a critter OR kid), cook a meal, and wipe my own ass.
I learned through expediency. I didn't come from money, not complaining, mind, my dad HAD money, he just didn't raise pussies. I learned from my parents teaching a good work ethic, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility.
But I'm actually both happy and sad about today's lackadaisical little inept snowflakes.
As long as my generation is around, we'll always make money off these privileged wimps, which makes me VERY happy. I'm also sad. When the day comes we're finally gone, they will be too.
Life is tough, and doesn't take kindly to fools.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Name that 'shroom

Anyone have a definitive suggestion add to what the hell this is?

Preferably with resource documentation?

Don't plan on eating it (yet), but it looks tasty. Kinda like a confused morel.