Monday, November 28, 2011

Filling in A Blank Spot in the Blog... With a Lil' Scouting in the Real World...

 Every once in a while I hit one of these... blank spots. But it's not what you think. Not at a loss for words... Fact is I've got so many thoughts rattlin' around in my head, pullin' one out to flesh out into a blog post has proven difficult.

It's like trying to follow a piece of spaghetti... it gets lost in amongst all the others on the plate... ;)

Settin' out here in the desert on what was supposed to be a solo hermit cowboy biker writing sabbatical to get a big jump start on my next book, is proving to be more of a time of observation, internal philosophizin' and desert walkin' meditation...

I have got some solid work on the story done, but it's a slow start this time. Had so many possible starting scenarios tumblin' around that my tiny lil' brain got cornfuzzled and took some time to sort out the tangle. That sorting is mostly done and it's starting now to pick up a lil' momentum.

The thing really slowin' things down though is the fact that I made the mistake of contemplatin' the future... uh oh... Don't Do It!

Step away from the time machine!

The thing is we've been on the road now nigh on to a year and a half. We're sittin' at one of those crossroads points where you have to make at least general decisions 'bout where you're headed for the next bit of time. Though we're just drifters on the road to many people, goin' where ever the wind takes us; There's still a hand on the rudder... if only lightly.

I'd said many years back that after a year or so we'd look at where we were, and where we wanted to go... and decide then what we were gonna do... We're kinda at one of those "places".

Factor in the turmoil of what's goin' on in the rest of the world... as well as this country (The 800 lb economic gorilla sittin' in the corner that everybody wants to try and pretend ain't there)... and there's no shortage of food for thought... and plenty to keep a guy wondering and confused.

The result is... I'm spending quite a bit of time, cogitating about the road I'm wanting to follow... for the next part of our journey... and working out the ways that the convulsions of the collapse of socialism might not impact us too harshly.

When I find myself getting all tied up over the choices of life that are never too far away... One of the good ways to clear my head used to be getting horseback... The best way for the last several years was discovered with my return to two wheels on asphalt...

*Plomosa Mtns. in the Distance*
Somehow it works like a filter and all the chaff gets blown away with the wind...

... at least as long as you're sittin' on that Motorcycle... In the wind! ;) ... if I could just avoid getting back off it! :)

Yesterday morning while taking the dogs on their early walk, my head in a jumble, I saw those Plomosa Mountains off in the distance again...

... so thought maybe some of the dust would blow away... or at least settle a bit if I made those hills come a bit closer...

So I fired up the Yamaha and split the wind for a few hours... This country 'round about here isn't what most folks would consider photogenic...

*Following Plomosa Road through the Plomosa Mountains*

Most think it barren and even devoid of life... which is false. There's rabbits and lizards. Coyotes and Desert Bighorns... even Hummingbirds if you're willing to buy the sugar for 'em.

... and... there's cornfuzzled, two legged squawkers...

Something that's been weighin' heavy on my head lately is that future I got to contemplatin'... and what affect the stupidities running rampant in the world are going to have on it.

Let's face it, a guy can't just operate in a vacuum and make decisions without taking into account what's happening around him... If he chooses to stay in the camp he's in, 'cause he likes the view... He'll likely learn to regret the choice... if everyone else is evacuating 'cause the Dam just up stream is failing!

I look at what's happening in europe... and closer to home in that bastion of civilized thought and wisdom... Washington D.C. (uh yeah... sarcasm is spelled s..... a ... r.......) and my optimism is about as strong as when I came loose from a lil' sorrel mare at a rodeo in  Globe, Arizona, long about 35 years ago...

Floating softly through the sunny Arizona sky that morning I remember my thoughts clearly; "THIS... is gonna hurt!" WHUMP! I hit with a bone crunching impact... and got carried away with a shattered shoulder... but, eventually, I healed.

My point is, near as I can see; The world we live in is gonna get a whole lot worse, before it gets better. The "system" is broken, the boat is taking on water... and all the fellas we've allowed to captain the ship can do is wonder angrily why their lunch is late.

None of this should be a surprise. Anyone who can do simple mathematics can take a three dollar Wal Mart calculator and in about six minutes prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that socialism is nothing but a humongous Ponzi scheme... ALL of which eventually collapse... It's a mathematical equation.

The events in Europe are the direct result of that... You have countries like the neighbors I know most of you have one or two of. Their bills exceed their income, so they open another credit card to give them "breathing space" to get out of debt... uh... borrow money... to pay your way out of debt? Really, Really clear thinking.

The curious thing is... if a puss gut mountain cowboy can figure it out and track that pig to its hiding place... how come the "experts" seem to have so much difficulty?

Those parasitic buzzards are rapidly coming home to roost here. Everywhere you look are pension plans, and governments at all levels, that have no hope of fulfilling their "obligations" because socialism has written too many bad checks against their assets... so they're, essentially, all running around trying to borrow more money to reduce the burden of their debts... uh... WHAT?

It's crunch time folks. Another year or two, maybe, and it's; Hang on, 'Cause It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride!

What does this have to do with what I'm doing? With RV Boondocking... or ... what You might be Wanting to do?

Well, think of it this way. I have the rest of what's left of my life to live. Am I going to live that Life, are you going to live YOURS, allowing your Life to be controlled and dictated by a system ate up with stupidity?

Or, do you choose the alternative; Do YOU, Do I,  figure out how to make the most of that time we have left? Do we figure out how to LIVE in spite of the Stupidity of people who should know better... but never will?

Me? I choose to Refuse to allow the Life I value to be taken from me by the greed and stupidity of grasping parasites. I will go where I choose to go... not... where I'm told.

One of the first things you do in a Survival Situation is take an inventory of what you have. Take stock of your real situation.

Maybe I don't have that fancy Red Truck anymore. Maybe the dollars we thought we'd have from selling the house disappeared. Maybe things could be better... They aren't. They are what they are. I could have fewer options.

There's an old saying; If My Grandmother'd had wheels... she could'a been a bicycle. Another version of woulda coulda shoulda. Fun to talk about sometimes, but a waste of time when it comes to actually doing anything.

I have a truck. I have a fiver. I have my writing. I have a Superb Motorcycle! and I have my Freedom... those are plenty to take me where I'm goin'... if I take care of 'em right. 

The point is... what could'a been, what should'a been... ain't what IS. Wishin' it was different don't get the job done. I'm as guilty of such a waste of time as anyone. At some point you have to just say;  "Enough. What can I do to minimize the damage and get me down the road?"

Take what you have and run with it. Do the best you can. Get imaginative. Get creative. Plot out where the stupidity of the idiots, who think they're so clever, has created roadblocks... and find the hidden, back road way 'round.

Cull things down to the absolute bare bones you'll need to carve out the life you want in Spite of the times we find ourselves in. Make it work.

The thing is... There's a grizzly loose in camp that thinks he's got a right to whatever he wants and that ya'll are too little to resist his power... don't leave your groceries layin' about to attract his attention and keep a couple cans of bear spray handy to disabuse him of his parasitic notions... Know what I mean?

When you come to what seems like the end of the road... look close...

There is Always... Another Way

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Friday, November 25, 2011

more... Thanksgiving Day on the Desert

The storm clouds came in and opened up yesterday afternoon, as we had our Thanksgiving meal in Thom and Dar's Motorhome.

Yup... at least 23 raindrops hit the windshield!

But that didn't stop moving back outside to an early evening around the fire "Preaching to the choir". ;) as the sun set...

*Sunset Thanksgiving Day 2011*

Aw, I gotta tell you... those poor folks had no idea what they'd set'em selves up for when they offered the invite... A genuine, long winded, smoky, soap box, cowboy gasifyin' sermon in person! :)

I think I saw Thom a bit ago, walkin' around their rig with a bandage on his ears!

It was a good time... well, at least for me, I'm all healthy this mornin' with a fully and tee totally vented spleen... How thankful can a guy get from Thanksgiving day huh? Ha Ha.

So... last evening after I got back to the Eagle, as I was fiddlin' around... my brain pan, being all warmed up from the conversation, went and found a rig I'd never seen before...

This one made me laugh, 'cause I had EXACTLY this idea and didn't do anything with it... years and years ago. Only, the car I wanted to do it with was a Ford Falcon! With that Lil' V8 they used to put in 'em. :)

Um... How about a Bronco! Ha! House and AWD back road car all in one clean package... Put a big V8 in the Bronco and make the fiver a small toybox to carry the Motorcycle! Ha Ha! Awesome! :)

Oh Lordy... I think maybe I've opened a whole new can of Worms! ;)

Better go take a walk in the Desert and cool out...

*A Desert Front Yard*

Another good thing 'bout the "Yards" here on the Desert is... No mowing! And no maintaining the sprinkler system... or stringin' out hoses...

It's the original, prototype xeriscaping... 5" or so of rain a year and it's good ;)

Just about right for a biker... even when it's cold it's warm.

 Guess I'll go do some more tree killin' doodling ruining some more paper scheming out some whacked out, goofball, cowboy engineered, Road Rig for a genuine, double rectified, cross wired biker cowboy with a warped perception of what constitutes UP! ;)

What can I say, I'm doin' my part to consume trees and moderate the pine bark beetle infestation created by the misguided over population of senile trees in the badly over grown forests! ;) Ha Ha...

Yup... I'm in pot stirrin' form once again.

... and... I also gotta get back to work on the Next installment in the Jeb Taylor Series of fictional accounts of genuine western Heroes!

Stirrin' the pot when I can

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Grab Bag of Mental Meanderings on Thanksgiving Day

Sittin' here... solo in the sun, Thanksgiving 2011... My brain pan, hobbled up with senility and workin' overtime like a virused up laptop, fillin' every nook and cranny with disjointed thoughts and cogitations...

Climbed up on the roof the evening before last to capture an Overview of this camp...

*To the Far Blue Mountains*

 Looking out, east and south, across the desert there's no shortage of space for a man to just breathe in...

Looking back north and east, my Plamosa Road camp isn't what a person could call crowded, now is it?

Pretty much the same goin' west as well...

If you look off there in the distance, that lil' white spot on the left is the rig of Jerry, one of the readers of this blog... Shared a beer with him in the evening.

Just out of frame to the left, off a hundred yards or so is the rig of another couple of blog readers, Tom and Dar... They've invited me to share a light Thanksgiving meal with them this afternoon...

So... even when you think you're all alone... you're not quite.

My Granddaughter Jillian welcomed her baby brother yesterday afternoon, Jasper William Thompson... I guess her words as she was huggin' him were; "Love Jasper, we're friends."

A Bronc Rider in the Making! ;)

Which then, thinkin' 'bout them got me to imagining how this rig is gonna be sorta crowded with two adults, two senile dogs and TWO grandkids when they go to wanderin' with us in the summers. ;) I may just have to figure out how to add a bed or two...

Sorry Mark... not sure an A Frame is gonna cut it. ;)

Well, you know it don't take much to get me schemin' and doodling about the options of rigs and rig building a fella could get tangled up in...

So with that bouncin' around in my head, I remembered a rig I'd seen back at PIR when I was shovin' that Tram up and down the haul road...

*Semi+Pull Trailer Hybrid*

Hmmmm.... if that was a "Bunkhouse" model trailer...

I've seen a couple rigs like this built... This might be the cleanest one I've seen... sit the trailer frame down on the truck frame... skin it and carve in the cab/house body connection... and Wa La! Heavy Duty Motorhome!

Then, since ain't nuthin' been took off the table, toss in some daydreamin' on laying out/setting up an RVers Base Camp/Home Base...Which Mark, and Ara got to simmerin' on a back burner again...

I'll be lucky if the BLM and the local fire department don't come a wailin' in here thinkin' the desert has been set afire... what with all the smoke from overheated cowboy biker wiring. ;)

But... Such scheming cogitations are takin' on a more realistic tone of late... considering how my books are doing on Amazon.

Not that they're rackin' up sales records... but... If you go back a year, and look at the first month of sales for A Matter of Honor the new story; A Pair of Second Chances has doubled that first months sales, in it's first 15 days on the market... so, that's pretty awesome from where I sit.

That all by itself is something to be pretty grateful for.

Bottom line... though my world and my situation could be a whole lot better, it could be one hell of a lot worse. Though the wolf seems to be camped outside my door all too often... and pays no attention to my admonitions that I'm gonna make his hide into a welcome mat iffn' he don't leave me be... When all things are considered... including being VERY aware of the ordeals a LOT of other people are having to endure... The difficulties I've run across the last year and more, are mostly just inconveniences with "Stuff".

In the end, I've got a warm bed. Groceries in the cupboard. Propane in the Tanks. The bike has fuel and good tires... my books are selling and the sun is shining. My Grandkids are healthy and no one has taken any shots in quite some little while... and the last one that did... Missed!

Tomorrow, will have opportunities when it gets here... so today maybe I'll give it a rest... Just breathe. Put one foot in front of the other... and share a meal with friends.

Just a Man, Free on the Earth

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Unknown to Many... Ghosts Roam the Desert

Got up yesterday, to a grey and overcast morning...

*An overcast Desert*

It looked to be a pretty dreary day comin' on... I still had to get the bike down, she was still sittin' up on the truck. I was just about to do that when the sun managed to chew its way through the cover and brighten things a bit...

*A few bright rays make it though*

Just putting the bike on the ground almost always helps brighten things up as well... not as much as putting her two wheels on asphalt, but some. We did roll down to Quartszite for fuel and up through the Plamosa Mountains for an hour or two in the afternoon. The sun had for a few hours mostly banished the cloud cover and let the solar panels replace much of the juice I'd consumed into the evening the night before.

*Camp on Plamosa*

I set my camp nearly on top of where we parked late last winter... It's a good spot. Folks can pull in beside and behind, though there are few now... but... No One can wedge in between my camp and the open desert... Gives a man seeking refuge the space he needs.

If you walk out into that Desert, only a few hundred yards... and keep quiet... you can hear 'em. Some are laughing... some are very silent... you can only feel their presence... and some... sob their grief...

You can't see them, but, they're there. You can see their tracks...

*Tracks of the Ghosts*

This land, north of Quartszite and around Bouse, was the training ground of George Patton's Armored Divisions... before they shipped out into the firestorms of North Africa and Italy.

Approaching 70 years since those Men drilled in this desert... The tracks of their presence yet remain. With the dark clouds floating in a sky of blue hope. Hoping only to come home. A hope, that for all too many, was never fulfilled.

I stand out in that desert, amongst the scrub and Saguaros... and feel them near. I can hear their voices on the breeze. The sounds of their tanks. You can hear the loneliness, the misery and the frustration as they voice a simple thought; "Will we never learn? Will YOU, never learn?"

The scars remain visible on this desert; A silent, solemn reminder. I pray they never disappear to be forgotten.

It's quiet and serene here in the Desert. Some see it as bleak and barren. It doesn't have the spectacular vistas of Zion and Glacier country. It lacks the geysers and showy attractions of Yellowstone... and It doesn't have the culture or ocean of the coastal villages. nor the Bears of Montana.

What this Desert has... is a history and a Spirit that seeps deep into a man's soul, and can never be extracted. It reminds him, quietly somehow, who he is... and ... lets him just... Be.

*A soft camp on the Desert*

Poking Around inside my own head

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time and Space to Cool Out...

The desert is an odd place. To so many it's a barren and empty sand box. No water, no grass, sometimes it seems barren of life... just rocks and sand and space. For me, having lived up in the Colorado mountains for most of the past 25 years, it is returning to a place of solitude and quiet.

Somehow... the desert is often a place of restoration.

The breeze was strong when I pulled in. It pushed through the Paloverde and scrub around us with a freshening murmur. The Far views and unhindered wind, push the clamor of sirens, roaring engines, barking dogs, circling helicopters, hollering kids... the unending rumble of traffic, that punctuate life in a city... back into the recesses of memory.

But, it takes a while. The jangling in my head drowns out any understanding of the words spoken by the wind. Too many years stacking up barrels of baggage... No matter... each moment that passes, the internal pressure recedes and slowly a calm returns.

Rather than the searing and scorching blasts of a desert summer, this November breeze was the soft and soothing caress of an old friend urging a man to stop and just be... for a while.

*From an Arizona Desert Camp*

No tourist wandering. No jammin' gears. Just stop your running... Park.. and ... let the land, and the wind, clear out the stuff in your head for a bit.

The clamor in the world gets too loud. The Noise of everyone's opinions, demands and complaints, including my own as well...

and... So little of it, is anything we have any power to control or change, or even really matters... and yet we're still in there... Running Against the Wind... Trying to change that which no one has ever succeeded in changing... Others.

*The Desert... Space to be ... unhindered by the Greed around Us*

You'll never change the corruption of Wall Street... or Government. They are consumed by lust for power and wealth. They are the victims of a terminal disease. They can not be saved.

They Only thing you can save. The Only thing you can change. The Only thing you can exercise control of... is, for the most part... that little bubble of the world, in which YOU exist. You can change your self. You can change your own life... that's it. Hell, it's all you have the RIGHT to change... what your neighbor does and thinks... is His Right... as long as the tar paper on his shack don't blow over and scratch the paint on your new Powerstroke... Then he'll owe you a paint job.

If everyone could put as much energy into building, right around themselves, the world they want to live in, rather than trying to impose on and demand of, those around them... What they want the world, Out There, to be... The whole damn world would experience a damn fine change.

I'm not holding my breath... But it's a nice Dream to contemplate. A world of people tending to their own affairs and leaving their neighbors to theirs. Too many think they have the RIGHT, to decide for everyone else... and too much of our energies are consumed breaking the wrists, of such pompous warts on humanity, to make Them, let go.

*First sunset back out on the Desert*

Well... I'm out here on the Desert... Tending to my own affairs... and letting the pompous warts, stew in their own soup.

Yeah I know... but... I've not vented in some little while... and I was gettin' to feeling a bit bloated

Standing in the Desert Breeze

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hitching Up and Heading Out Soon... Bound For a Writers Hermitage on the Desert

Getttin' ever more indecisive in my old age. I'll be hitching this mornin'... sometime... and hauling out of Glendale. But, Not goin' the direction I'd been cogitatin' on.

Though I'd been thinkin' hard of rollin' a ways north and east, I decided after considerable schemin' and frettin', and with questionable justification, that I'd go instead back out on the desert SW of here. Plamosa Road, Bouse... somewhere round 'bout there I'm thinkin'.

The reason? Well... if I go up into the country I've been contemplatin'... I'd likely be out in that country, on foot or on the bike... Not a bad thing. It's a sweet country up on the Tonto.

The thing though is, I've been planning on making this solo month a month of writing. Been wanting to make a solid, strong start on the next of my Novels with pretty much an immersion into it. If'n I go putting myself into country like the Tonto... uh... I'll be on the bike and out in the country, rather than doin' my work....

... so... This is one of those times I truly need to exercise what lil' discipline I've got remaining and do my Work.

That's not a bad thing, considering that it's what has become my Work... and NOT... a job.

So... to be a good boy I'll go out to a quiet, cowboy biker hermitage on the desert and see what kind of work I can accomplish in the next few weeks.

Just to plant the seed... This next story I'm working on already has a Title; Heart of A Man. and for anyone who might could have been curious... it is a follow on or sequel to A Matter of Honor.

Uh Huh. That story was the first in what I hope to be a decent series... I'll call it the Jeb Taylor Series. ;) and... uh... That latest story? The one I just published last week? ... uhhhh... THAT is the first book of a series too... So as soon as I can do a proper job of Telling this next story, I'll continue Ben Jensen's story.

Sheesh... Never thought kickin' back and takin' it slow... would turn out to be so time consuming and athletic! A fella don't have much to complain about though does he? At least not about where his income is coming from... Not if he's managed to whittle out something that let's him park his butt in the serenity of the middle of no-where... and carve the stories that entertain him in the writin' of 'em... as much as he hopes they entertain the readers who read 'em.

So... I'm off to try and shine up my discipline.

Stringin' Words on the Desert

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Which A Way to Haul the Fiver... To Go Hermit for a Month?

Grandma flew to Denver yesterday, to await the arrival of the new Grandson next week.

Pappy is sittin' here, drinking coffee, lookin' at the map and trying to decide where his best option is to disappear for a month of heavy writing.

Bouse/Quartzite doesn't toot my whistle... gonna be out there most of January and February... South is gonna happen late February probably so I'd rather let that wait too... So... That leaves North and/or East...

Hmmm.... There used to be some nice country up there below the rim... Roosevelt lake is up east a bit...

A grumpy Ol' Twister oughta be able to find a place to hide his rig behind a big rock somewhere up that-a-way... wouldn't ya think?

'course... I do have the un-avoidable requirement of needing to keep inside the range of a cell tower or two. ;) Seeing that as grumpy as I might get... eating remains a good thing... and considering that a growing, and heavy chunk of my groceries comes from my websites and book sales... doing my job there makes juuuust a lil' bit of sense don't it? ;)

Speaking of which, the recent publishing of my second Novel seems to have had a curious affect on things.

While A Pair of Second Chances has not gone off the charts ;) it is selling pretty nice. In fact, having only been on the market for something like five days it's already sold nigh on to double what A Matter of Honor did in its first month... so a bit of Optimism is in order I guess!

The curious part is also something my research of the subject told me should be expected. While the new book is moving along in a very nice way... a consequence of publishing it has been, it seems to be, that it's bumped A Matter of Honor up about 30%. 

Yep. "A Matter" is selling better than "A Pair" right now... and "A Pair" is moving at about double what "A Matter" did in its first month of release... So... All in all, pretty shiny! ;)

And there's a point here for other folks to see too...

Have you some Ambition, or some Dream that the "Experts" tell you... that you need some specific, High Dollar, education, or that tool, or this experience and then time in the "Job"?... or some such nonsense?

Well... I am PROOF... It just ain't so!

Wanna be a writer? Take a look around and you'll see that they tell you to go to school for four years and get some big degree in English or literature or some such... You HAVE to do this or that... and then, maybe, we'll let you into the clique.

Yeah well... if you notice... most of their "advice"... puts them in the seat of power don't it? 

I went to "school" for a lil' while... only to find I fit like a brick in the pocket of a skinny models jeans. Though I've got to admit... way back then I'd no idea of where I was even wantin' to go any more...

Here I am today... maybe at the bottom of the heap... but... making half my income from writing (and slowly improving)... No special training, no special school attendance with six digit debt solidly attached... etc. etc etc.

Just... an idea slowly developing over time... and the will to pursue it...

Look back at Steve Jobs... measuring by dollars, arguably one of the richest guys around... he had no "Degree"... he had an IDEA and a DREAM... and he had enough of whatever it is that leads a man to push his life down the road HE wanted to follow. He pushed right on past, and over, the "guides" trying to divert him into THEIR vision of where he needed to go, to fit into THEIR agenda. Rather than being hearded down the road THEY wanted him to follow, with the rest of the sheeple, he went where HE needed to go.

So... Here I sit... to some degree successful at this writing craft... With None of the pre-requisites they told me I needed. Hell, I don't even use proper English most of the time... though, I'm gettin' better at the then/than thing. ;)

You want to be a sculptor? A photographer? A musician? A Fishing guide? A Whatever... Just go after it. You still have to put in the effort and work at it. You have to Commit, to the task... But let No One tell you that you can't get where you want to go...

If YOU can see the road to follow... Go! Follow the road in your mind. YOU are the one that has to look back and be satisfied that you lived your life as you chose... and not herded like cattle.

So... I'm off to study the map a lil' more... and start looking for MY road for the next month...

Hunting a Camp for a Cowboy Biker Hermitage

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Monday, November 14, 2011

One More NASCAR Week in the Bag

The day started out kinda rough... Raining pretty good, big pools of water collecting on the Tramway... The sky was dark and things weren't looking real promising...

But then... though I couldn't find the sun that was creating it... anywhere...

*Rainbow over The PIR Tramway at NASCAR*

The Sun did manage to work its way out of confinement, give us a thin lil' rainbow and changed things up pretty quick. By race time it was a bright blue sky, a dry tramway and track... and the sold out crowd was ready to go Racing...

Nigh on to 12 hours of hauling NASCAR Butts in to the track and then back out again... Whew! My Ol' keister is tahrd!

This morning... soon as I get another pot of coffee put away, I'll get loaded up and haul the rig back to Glendale for a couple of days. Have a few odds and ends to take care of... and then Heidi is gettin' on an Aeroplane Wednesday, in Phoenix, to wing her way to Denver to be on hand for the arrival of Jasper William Thompson, our second Grand Kid... and this one, a Bronc Rider in the making! ;)

Me? I'm goin' out onto the desert for a few weeks... to hermit myself away...

I'll be punching buttons in a fever. My intention is to have the greatest part of my third Novel written up by Christmas. Then I'll roll bobtail to Colorado to visit the new Bronc Rider... as soon as things settle out a lil' bit.

Laying the next book out that fast is ambitious, but, It's an effort I want to make a run at, and I think I can do it... I'm kinda looking forward to this Hermit Writer time. A couple weeks in town and at NASCAR and all the other aggravations of living can get put back where they belong with a lil' Desert Solitude.

Something motivating me a lil' bit more happened just yesterday... Froggy Donna had sent me a FB link that she'd mentioned my new book to her friends... Well... a fella I've only conversed with through email picked up on it...

Nick's a writer himself. In fact, he's been a career newspaper man as well as the Publisher of the Gypsy Journal. When someone like that tells you that they can't get Their Own Work Done... 'cause they're reading YOUR work... Why, that hangs an even bigger smile on your face.

Don't get me wrong... Every compliment, from every reader is Highly Valued... but... When someone who has made their living for many years, in the same craft you are pursuing tells you that, it's somehow, even a little sweeter yet... Ya know?

Well... If I'm going to get today's chores done... I better get at 'em.

Keepin' Busy on the Desert.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do You REALLY, Want to Honor Veterans?

Waving flags one or two days a year is fine, and I'm not about to tell you to stop doing that... but.. there is a BETTER way...

However... it takes dedicated work. It takes sweat and blood... and it takes Courage.


Here at the Nascar Race... there's flags for all the drivers... There are also, everywhere you look, the Star Spangled Banner and Statements of "Veterans...Thank You for Your service"

That is what I as a Vet want to see... People LIVING... the life that America's Warriors, with their sacrifices, have won for this Nation.

To Honor America's Veterans in the most profound way... What I suggest is;

Refuse to surrender your way of life.
Refuse to live in Fear.
Refuse to surrender your Liberties in the pursuit of transient, temporary and promised security.

Chase your Dreams, no matter How Frightening and scary that pursuit might be.

Teach your children to Live Free.

Refuse to be selfish, racist, complacent, judgmental, greedy, or parasitic.

Refuse to allow the abuse of those around you... irregardless of the fact that to you they are strangers.

Live with Pride and Dignity.

Live, Laugh, Love and NEVER, EVER... Surrender your FREEDOM, or that of Your Children or Grand Children... no matter how loud the mindless clamor of the terrified masses becomes.

I for one will Live Free. I Will Fight Free... and I will Die, a Free Man... if for no other reason than to Honor the men I served with.

Living My Life to Honor My Brothers

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

NASCAR, RV Possibilities and Brand New Suspense Novels

Stuff is startin' to happen in a NASCAR rushin' hurry! Just to keep my brain pan in a tee total commotion.

The boys are here and startin' to warm things up on the new track... They started practicing a lil' after noon today... But... I'm thinkin'... When even the "lesser" classes are runnin' up over 130 miles an hour? Maybe they should have their skills kinda honed when they get here... juuuuuuuust a lil' late to be "practicing" don't you think? :)

But... practice they did for about four hours...

whoowee! and when the "big boys" get to playin'... they're addin' another 50 mph or so on top of what these guys are screamin' past at... and to think... that Raider of mine .... once hauled me at only 'bout 5 mph less than these cars are runnin' past at...

... buuuuut... I never told you that! and I'll deny it if ya'll tell anyone! ;)

This lil' bit of practice racing is 'bout all we'll really get to see... cuz we're working the trams pretty much the rest of the time we're here. There's nigh on to double the folks here that were here in the spring I believe... they're expecting 100,000 plus here Sunday... Whoooooeee! We are gonna be buuuussssssssy! on the Trams!

So, knowin' that, we got on down early this evening to check things out... before we dive in and get to haulin' fans for the rest of the weekend...

Wouldn't you know it? I finally got the approval from Smashwords on my latest book, early in the afternoon... so spent the late afternoon getting A Pair of Second Chances uploaded to the Amazon Kindle Store... and it'll be live there sometime in the next day or so.

So, with the thought tickling the back of my tiny lil' cogitator, that might could be, that book could have an impact on changing our situation a bit, sometime in the not too far off future ;) we're walkin' down the midway up at the track and find a display from the Camping World Store here in Avondale...

... and stumbled across a fiver toybox that we actually liked...

It's the same length as the Eagle we've been draggin' around for ten years, only it's a toy hauler with a 100 gallon water tank... and a fuel station to keep the Raider going! ... Hooya...

A Vortex Fifth Wheel built I believe by MVP.

Now, wouldn't that be sweet!

Then... we even found the perfect Tow vehicle to pull it too! Just up the midway a bit...

*RAMINATOR!   The Perfect Fifth Wheel Tow Vehicle!*
For sure! Just think... the next time you're pulling through a Wal Mart and the bozo in the Prius cuts you off? OOOPS! Sorry 'bout that! Muhahahahaha! :)

I"ll bet I can get THIS truck up Imogene Pass too!

What would add to a sweet setup, would be, to figure out how to squeeze this lil' bug in with the Raider!

*A Sweet lil' Option for an RV Back Road Toad!*
How'd that be for a Backroader car?

Talk 'bout a suh-wheet camp!!

'course... that don't really amount to much in the way of downsizin' do it?

Kinda falls more into the He who dies with the most toys wins category... 

What can I say... Frugal is fine... but... so is Playin' with Nice toys! :) ... and I don't have a whole lot of trouble with funnifyin' frugalizing!

Aw well... Bad Motorcycles, Dune Buggies, Prius Crunchers and NASCAR screamers always was more fun than keepin' some stingy Ol' Aunt happy. :)

Well... Time for bed if I'm gonna haul Red Neck NASCAR Race fans for ten hours in the morning... so I'd better close this out and have it ready for ya when you wake up Friday!

Like I said, I got the last part of the publishing accomplished this afternoon on my second Novel... I'll have the links posted up as soon as she goes live... and I'm not pushing Iron on the Tram Road. :)

Haulin' NASCAR Butts at PIR

**Ed. Note** Amazon got on its game last night and got A Pair of Second Chances up LIVE quick, so I've gotten that link already installed up there in the corner of this page with my other books... and into its spot over in the 3rd column on a few pages of the main website... Much work yet to do though, as always :) Hope you enjoy the book! ;)**

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain...

Not sure... but can you still call it rhythm when it's more like... a steady stream comin' out of a hose... rather than rain drops? Guess it would be "Flowin' rain rather than Falling?" ;)

Monday at NASCAR was a wet one. Rained in the night and nigh on to a gully washer for a while in the day. :) Cleared off nicely Yesterday though... which allowed me to get a whole hour and a half of Race track work in, in the sunshine. :) The Trams are put together by track crews on the east side of the hill on the east side of the track.

While the Tram Yard we drive out of during the week is way down to the opposite end of the property.

The Trucks were late arriving so we didn't get to start movin' 'em, from one end to the other, till nearly noon... Not a real problem though... since my commute is pretty short... Step out my door... and it's not too awful far to go to work! :)

*A Short Commute to the yard at PIR*

They're hauled in, (Trucks/Trams) most of 'em, I guess from another track where they're used. So then we go up to that yard and run 'em down to Tram Corner, from which we operate.

*Tram Corner at PIR... Ready to Start Hauling Race Fans*

The campground areas are slowly filling. I'd guess twice the rigs were staged as back at the Spring race. They tell me though that it's still way down from what the numbers were, when "The economy was strong"... Even NASCAR fanatics have to pull in their horns and watch the dollars a lil' more close when times are tough.

So, rather than come out and be here on the Pre-race Monday, they hold off and come on out later in the week, even as late as Friday... Shave a bit here, shave a bit there... and still go to the Races!

A bit lower RV Numbers in the Campgrounds, can't have hurt ticket sales too awful much though I think... The Sunday Race from what I've heard has been sold out for a bit... though, they still are makin' a lower income from campground parking... Tougher Times... even at NASCAR.

A bit of  an interesting evening last night. We were just about to get in the truck to go to Wally World for a replacement propane bottle for the Coleman... so I could grill up supper; pretty much the rest of the Tram drivers had loaded up in a couple of cars to head off for a chinese dinner in Avondale, and invited us along, as we were walking to the truck.

So... saying "Works for me" we jumped on in the truck and followed along... Well... on down the road we got stopped at a light that hadn't caught either of the other two cars...

The light changed finally and I pulled on through the intersection and turned in, where I'd seen them turn in... and you know what? POOF! ... They was gone! ... Nowhere to be seen! :)

Had me pangs of abandonment I did! Couldn't believe they'd just ditch me that-a-way! :)

Turned out, they'd pulled in to the wrong place, and were spinnin' a big circle to get back on the right trail. When I was turning in the front... they were leaving out of that parking lot through the side door.

So... we thought for a moment... and with a lil' trial and error and juDIshul cowboy biker deeDUKshun, along with some minor Smartphone GPS assistance, we located the nearest Chinese food place and followed the computer voice directions to that... which was just 'round the corner... and found 'em.

Ha! You have to work harder than THAT to ditch this Ol' Twister!

Still waiting on my final Premium Catalog approval at Smashwords. I expect that the speed with which they do that, is reduced in direct geometric proportion to the anxiety with which a feller is waiting on the approval...

The trouble is... Patience, is NOT something most folks consider to be one of my current attributes. ;)

Workin' on Developing Some Attributes

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

RVers and NASCAR

Yes boys and girls, it's Race Week at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR)

The RVing NASCAR fans are staged and ready. They'll be rumblin' in here, gigglin' and laughing come the morning. There's maybe twice as many set and ready as were there for the spring race.

*Screw the Recession! We're goin' NASCAR Racing*

The track has been completely repaved with many changes to the width, layout and banking. The weather is cool and nice... It should be a fine week.

The only grousin' I've heard 'round here is... us Tram Drivers ain't allowed to slam other Tram Drivers into the wall at a hundred and eighty miles an hour, or do that tailgate bumpin' those Other NASCAR drivers do. Heck, we're not even 'lowed to squeal our tires :(  Fact is, they actually expect us to behave in a sociable manner... aw shucks! Somethin' 'bout us having passengers on the trailers or some darn thing ;)

Yeah... OK... I'll play nice. ;)

It should be a good week. Lots more folks will be here for this race than back in the spring. The season is almost done, there's only one race left after this'un and the championship is soon to be decided, so, here we come!

We got pulled out of the "back lot" at my sisters place without trouble (the ground firmed up nice after the big rain of the other night) hauled out to PIR and parked the rig just a mite after noon today. We set up here at what's commonly called; "Tram Corner"... A few of the people are here... and several yet to come.

*Tram Drivers Rigs, the calm before the storm, at PIR*

Ha! and you thought only those fancy boys in the quick cars had rigs... we got us our own lil' "community compound" for NASCAR "roadies" :) ... OK... so what I've got invested won't buy the tires on the Big Boys stuff... but bent, broke and dusty... It got me here! :)

*Still got several Tram drivers to arrive*

How's that for convenience... just walk around the end of that fence in the mornin' to go to work... pretty short commute! and then there's three Free shower setups an' two bars on the place, along with a whole dang grocery store in a circus sized tent... with must be seven semi loads of beer stacked up... Not too shabby.

Something to keep in mind for you more serene sorts of folks... your normal campround "Quiet Hours" of 10pm to 7 a.m. or so in the morning? uhhhhh.... not quite the same here...

... Quiet hours at NASCAR... leastways PIR, are 1 in the A.M. to 6 A.M. :) Can you say PAR-TAY? ... I thought you could... so... If you're a light sleeper? Ya'll might want to get yourself a room down to the Comfort Inn!

A pretty nice sunset tonight... Makes for a good omen for the week don't it?

*Sunset at PIR to Start off the Kobalt Tools 500 Race week!*

Well, good omen or not, I'm ready...

One other thing I'm hopin' will happen earlier in the week, rather than later is to have the Premium Catalog Approval come through at Smashwords for, A Pair of Second Chances. (my newest suspense novel) I'm waitin' on that so I know I've got a clean format on my manuscript, before I can upload it to Amazon, and really kick it in gear and get to work promoting it.

I've got my fingers crossed that will happen Monday some time... but... it'll happen when it happens.

All in all... it should be a fun week on a couple of fronts... and to a modest degree... a profitable one ;) Hawkin' my ebooks/novels, Hauling Race fans for pay twice a year... My version of Workamping is bumpin' along.

See You on the Tram Road!

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

More RV Repairs, Dust Storms and Desert Rains

A couple of years ago I did a repair on the tub floor in our Jayco. I was hoping to squeeze a bit more life out of it, before I had to break down and go though the gyrations of a complete RV tub/shower replacement... That's a task I'm not looking forward to.

Well, that repair failed a couple of days ago, with the epoxie I used to seal the crack...Cracking...

... and... you guessed it... I'm still not in a place where I'm ready to do that replacement... too many other irons in the fire and too few pieces of green paper in the wallet... so... another... "service stretching repair". :)

I did it a lil' different this time.First thing I did, after scraping out all the old repair, was open up the cracks with a drill bit, to allow better penetration of the Epoxie putty... and hopefully, an even more durable repair...

*Widen the cracks for a good repair*
Before I put in the new epoxie I went in under the tub with a couple of pieces of 2x4 and braced the floor a bit. A little too much flex in the PVC floor of the tub was where the trouble came from in the first place.

With the floor braced up better I mixed up the putty using a JB Weld product, JB Water Weld, and went to stuffin' epoxie.

Pretty easy stuff to use... just wet your fingers ( I cheated a bit and put on latex gloves, but still wetted them) and fold the stuff over and over until it's one consistent color...

Then, just stuff it into the cracks and shape it up.

You can't see it in the picture, but there were a few cracks developing around the opposite side of the drain, so I just laid a ring of epoxie around and over the whole dang thing...

 Pressed and patted it down so it's reasonable smooth... with any luck at all , it won't leak.

  It ain't pretty... but... it's a lot better than water streamin' down under the shower floor!

*Epoxie repair curing*

Maybe my newly published lil' suspense novel, A Pair of Second Chances 'll have me takin' lunch with JK Rowling soon, and you'll find me Boondocking in a Five Slide diesel pusher driven by a chauffeur and pullin' a trailer haulin' my Hummer "Back road" car and my motorcycles! ;)

Now wouldn't THAT just twist a knot in the shorts of all the folks that lust after tiny rigs!? :)

Me? I'm doin' what I HOPE is evolving... Look, I've made a lot of comments over the years, that a lot of people could take as me sayin'; "This sort of a rig is good, that sort of a rig is bad"... But here's the deal... The ONLY person I can make any sort of a determination like that for... is ME.

And at this point? I've lost any sort of an idea of what I'll be runnin' the roads with in a years time... so...

For me or anyone else to try and tell you what you're doin' is foolish or wrong is WRONG in itself. Now, maybe sayin' things to try to get ya'll to think for yourself, and step out of the Box that society tries to herd you into... to point out how you might be, being controlled by peer pressures and political correctness is OK... but for me or anyone else to sit and tell you... "This is the sort of rig you should get, or THIS is what you must do... and if you do ANYTHING ELSE, you are foolish or ignorant... would make me or anyone else tellin' such a tale... THE FOOL.

Do what toots YOUR whistle. Hike, Bike, Travel the tourist traps, or the un-occupied back roads. Do what others think foolish. Grin at the things that make YOU Grin. Shake your heads at the people who "Know" what's better for you than YOU do!... and if I or anyone else don't like it? Smile, pat us on our collective, arrogant heads... and say; "It's OK Brian... One day you'll grow up and get a clue!" :)

OK... 'nuff of that for now...

With the repair done... and just barely I closed up all the windows and vents as the expected dust storm come a whuppin' in... Yuck... you could smell it hangin' in the air 'fore the wind really even got here...

It whipped for a few hours... until mid evening a soft rain came on behind it, and settled the dust and freshened the air... Nice...

and then the rain got softer and then it got softer and finally, around midnight... it was so Soft on the roof, I thought the rig was gonna float away. :) yup... it POURED. I looked out the window when it finally shut off 'bout 1 am. We were sitting in a small lake, of 'bout a 1/2 acre.

With any luck, the ground will firm up around us, before we try to drag the rig out tomorrow mid day, to head off for PIR and our NASCAR week. ;)

If there ain't somethin' goin' on... You probably ain't payin' attention

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Been Staying Busy... RV Repairs and Ebook Publishing

Got down to Phoenix without any new parts falling off... well... not big ones any way. The cap on the fresh water fill tube went AWOL somewhere twixt where we were... and where we are.

Now, THAT is a business we should invest in! $8.69 for a plastic cap maybe an inch and a half in diameter? Wow... that makes 'em more valuable than Gold! ;)

Also got a repair done on the water heater. It went south, some time back. Wouldn't ignite without help. You pushed the switch to turn her on, then jumped out the door and ran like hell, slippin' an' trippin' to get around to the other side of the rig and stick the long nosed lighter into the burner tube and touch off the fire... before the dang thing shut off the propane.

Well now, she lights up all by herself... THAT lil' computer board/box sets a fella back $180 bucks... oooofffff.

Now, If I was one of those Norwegian fellas that likes to go snow drift divin' in his skivies, I'd just wash up with cold water and save the $180 for imported beer... but... bein' the weak ol' grumpy geezer I am... it wouldn't be fair to the world around me... to be makin' the noises that would occur of an early morning... when that cold water hit my tender kiester.... eeeeeeeeeooooooowwwwwwwEEEEEEEEEEEE! ...

... Talk about blue smoke, bad words and dirty names! ... Yeah... it's better for all of ya that I've got the hot water heater functioning proper again.

And, the Big news is...  my second Novel, A Pair of Second Chances is up and published... sort of. I'm hesitating pulling the trigger on it completely. I uploaded the files to Smashwords, my distributor, early this morning. While the ebook is available on my Smashwords page... It'll be several days/a couple weeks or so before it makes it through the system and out to all the retail distributors like Barnes and Noble, Apple, Amazon, etc. The book is waiting on a manual, human "Eyes On" review before it can go into the Premium Catalog and be shipped to those stores.

In the meantime, I sit squirming like a cut worm... waiting anxiously!

Anyhoo... as soon as that review is completed I'll be screechin' an' bawlin' Get 'er While It's Hot! ... and... Hopin' like the devil that folks like it... and it Gets Hot! :)

Have a few more chores to do this week... and a third book to get stated on :) while I wait for the NASCAR race at PIR next week. We'll be moving over to the track Sunday sometime. and I'll be starting to work, hauling race crazy NASCAR fans around come Friday of next week.

Now that I've got my editing done, I think I may just take a day or two "off"... 'cause you know, this living full time on the road... with nothin' to do but spin new yarns... is Hard Work!!! :)

Relaxifyin' on the Arizona Desert

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