Friday, February 28, 2014

A Knock Upon the Door

... is unexpected before five in the morning, even here at Phoenix International Raceway... I wondered should I put something in my hand before I swing the door?

You kind of know as you reach for the latch that something is amiss...

Our Boss is standing there in the dark needing an emergency replacement for a tram host on the early morning infield tram... "Do you or Heidi want to do it?"

When the crew you work with has a need there's only one answer you can give.

"I'll go" I say... So... I start to getting dressed...

... until Heidi realizes that because she was on the gate the first days of the week... this would be all overtime... and jumps out of bed and beats me out the door... with the excuse... "I've never seen the infield. I want to go."

Ah well... I sat back down in the semi quiet of the light plants drone... and sip my hot black coffee as another NASCAR day dawns... I'm a slooooowwwwww... morning starter... they're lucky she wanted to go... me rushing out the door... without my coffee... is NOT a thing you want to experience... ;)

Today is the Mexican Nascar Race... more aptly named... High Speed Demolition Derby. I'm not sure if they got their inspiration from Nascar... or Mad Max at Thunder Dome...

Heavy Rain is forecast for tonight and into tomorrow's Nationwide race... it could be an interesting weekend...

Reporting LIVE from the Campground at PIR

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Race Week at PIR Begins

Race weeks at NASCAR always start off slow. Heidi starts her gate job on Sunday... and I don't start Tram work until today... Wednesday.

About nine we'll go to power washing and spit shining the trams so the chemically enhanced NASCAR fans don't get their butts dusty as they move between the track and the campground.

Then tomorrow we start haulin' butts...

The last sunrise over the  Carefree Highway camp was a lot quieter than PIR. You get used to it... sort of... but for somebody who's become attuned to quiet and open space...

The ruckus and commotion of a NASCAR track and campground is a slight mite of a culture shock.

My neighbors in that last camp are juuuuuuust a bit quieter than those here...

At PIR and I'd guess all the other tracks there is a constant drone 24/7. In the day it is rumbling motorcycles, trucks, generators... and a bit later into the weeks... race cars and hollering...

Sunday night the campground was still empty (they open the gate on Monday morning)... though a thousand or so rigs were parked in the "Staging" area a couple of hundred yards away with quite a few folks camped there in their rigs... when lil' Jr. run across the line late in Daytona the hollering echoed across the desert for quite some lil' while. First time that's happened that I recall...

Apparently Jr. has a few fans at Phoenix International Raceway...

Me? I'm sort of torn... The weeks are good... but by the end of 'em... I'm ready to get back to the lonesome far country...

This pic is a lil' deceptive...

*First 2014 PIR NASCAR Sunset*

Looks pretty peaceful don't it? Turn 180 degrees from that view and you're lookin' out over the growing "City" at PIR... it's labeled as I believe the third largest city in Arizona during a lot of the race weeks, once the place fills up!

Peaceful? Not So Much. This is where you let your hair... and on occasion a few other things... down... or up, which ever the case may be and Cut 'er Loose!

This year is the 50th anniversary for PIR here in Avondale... they've got quite a few events planned I guess... though they're keeping me in the dark...

They're trying to get ever'body round here to drop their jeans... literally! ... ;) ... well... in collection bins or some such... some sort of charity where they grind up old blue jeans for insulation? Never heard of it before... but this race it's one of the sponsors... I haven't yet got the full run down on that...

Also supposed to be a concert or two... the Mexican Nascar Race is being run again.... if they get here...

The last one their transport trucks couldn't get across the border cuz they were in such poor shape so they had to send a convoy of trucks to Nogales to get 'em... and when they got here the drivers got in a brawl in the pits over "who hit Juan"... sooooo... it should be a curious week...

Time to go fast and turn left

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Back to Phoenix International Raceway...

... For the first race of their 50th anniversary year.

Pulling out of my Carefree Highway camp in a short while to make the 45 mile run to the track.
Heidi flies in late tonight and starts her work week tomorrow. Mine begins on Wednesday.

Been told all sorts of things are planned for the big PIR 50th anniversary but no specifics... We shall see.

On the way to NASCAR

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cornfuzzled Wandering Wonderment

Who knows where I'm headed or where I'll end up.

I started cowboyin' when I was 14. Did a hitch in the Army. Came home and went back to Wranglin' and Cowboyin'... Did a few years pushin' a 150 ton copper mine haul truck.

Rodeoed, framed houses, drove truck, trained horses, rustled a few, traded horses, traded hay, sold firewood and even raised sheep.

Since I liked things that go BANG! and the army had foolishly schooled me on their use... I did demolitions for a bit... But my adventurous ways didn't sit well with those boys. :)

I've made a lot of circles. I've cleaned carpets, sold hardware, took tickets at a high dollar mini formula one track for a short while. I've traded horses and stole one. I've been a night watchman, delivery driver for a plumbing supply house, and being learning disabled signed on for a second hitch as a soldier.

One time I built up to over a dozen head of horses in an attempt to build a decent brood mare band.

I've done custom leather and made fancy knives. I've even sewn shirts, breeches and one fancy Frock coat.

Maybe I possess a restless and unending curiosity... Or maybe... I'm just afflicted with a severe case of cowboy attention deficit disorder combined with a remarkable ability to time the markets that enables me to buy high and sell low.

Some folks say the way of it is you pick a career... You get a degree and then that's what you do. Period. You stick with that through the wind and the corporate downsizing. You picked it so That is what you are.

Me, I hold to the "I'll just follow my nose" philosophy. The idea that you stick with a choice you made even when you come to realize it's suckin' the juice out of you... Or even if something else tickles your imagination... Or you come to think maybe you took a wrong turn... And all Only, because it's a choice you once made... Is a thinkin' that just don't work for me.

There's them that tell me; Maybe, if you were thinkin'... You wouldn't find yourself in the jackpots you do.

"They" say; You're too old to be changin' horses now. Too old to go after anything new... I say; I'll have plenty of time to be old when they stuff my carcass in a box and throw dirt in my face. As far as that thinkin' is concerned, who knows? Maybe!

It's a curious thing... No matter where I've gone, no matter what I did... I always seem to circle back to something cowboy. Something that to me is real.

Now, things have me circling again.

That's one thing I can claim... When the stuff hits the air circulation device... I may grouse and growl, but then I adjust fire and get 'er done. That's one benefit of bein' army and cowboy; there ain't a lot that hasn't been done to a fella once or twice already.

Times are changing for lots of folks. But me bein' in a place of cornfuzzled wonderment I can't claim it's a terrible cattywompass blowapart. It just is what it is. There's those that are considerable worse off... Me... I'm just wanderin' in confusion.

What I see around me in the world is largely smoke and mirrors, twisted physics bull feces.

Politicians lie faster and bolder than ever. Folks sit at the table shovelin' their bellies full of those bald faced lies as fast as they can choke 'em down... Knowing... They're being lied to... But then complaining that the plate full of manure gave 'em the jiggly quivers and put 'em on the street... Having only their ownselves to blame.

Fellas with masters degrees in psychology are hawkin' coffee at 7/11.

How it was is not how it is. You change with what comes along or you get run over by it.
You stand on what you believe... Or you stand on nothin'.

You chase what your heart tells you to Chase... Or you're used to chase what "They" choose to set you to chasing.

Yep. The times they are a changin'...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Technology, The Great Convenience In Life...

... That's sorta just like strappin' your Kak onto a rabid buffalo and hollerin' LET 'ER BUCK!...

This Ol' buster is nigh on to done with allowin' tech-NO-logy to have its hooks buried so deep in his hide. I'm bone weary of the never ending acceleration of the addiction to widgets and gadgets that's infected me as pathetically as ever'body.

There was a time that the onliest thing that this boy needed was a saddle, a bareback riggin' a truck, beer and a rodeo... and a couple of horses...

Now... I got cell phones that won't stay not broke, computers that demand internet to make my living... air cards that bleed my thin wallet into givin' me eating disorders and a churning distaste for a lot of what this world thinks it can impose on a man...

... much of it inflicted just because some infected parasitic politician thinks he's got more right to decide what my liver imbibes than I do.

Any of you Poh-lite townie types have Any sort of an idea what the consequence would be for some blustering bozo, should he go stompin' into a bunk house and declare in a loud and demanding voice; ALL YOU BOYS LISTEN UP! YOU WILL DO THIS... and YOU WILL DO THAT... and YOU WILL PAY US FOR THE PRIVILEGE!  Hmmmm?

I do... do the words ear notching, hide burning, and rocky mountain Oysters mean anything to ya?

Well that's just 'bout where my mad has sizzled up to... I don't mind payin' good money for good tools... but constantly havin' to kick in more to get less has wore out it's welcome, for sure and for certain.

I take my gol' darn'ed confabulation of intenet enabled eelek-Trawnic wizardry into town to utilize the wifi... so I can dance around the Bull Feces being pedaled by the miscellaneous and sundry wireless (and integrity-LESS) companies and what should I encounter?

Uh Huh... You guessed it... That damned drunken Murphy has hired on as the Range Obstructor for the gaggle of outfits that have banded together to make up today's modern "Land and Cattle Barons".

It's kinda like the Johnson county war all over again... 'cept this time they're pushin' an' shovin' EVER'body into the herd that they plan on milkin'... not just the cowboys and folks out on the fringes... willing or not.

Because of this and that and weird eelek-tawnick wizardry that only a Mensa Hacker could untangle... I get locked out of danged near Ever'thing. Bank, Facebook, Blog dashboard, My Amazon dashboard... It's like in that movie a few years ago and somebody pushed a button and I just QUIT EXISTING!!!


There I sit with somebody's kid squallin' like you hammered his foot, a fish sandwhich McDonalds starved to death bought so I can tell myself I'm a good guy and didn't "Steal" the wifi...

While the laptop locks up with ALERT! WE DON'T KNOW YOU...YOU ARE LOCKED OUT! messages from every outfit I try to log onto...

.... and when they pop up their IDENTIFY YOURSELF windows... Nada... Zip... Nuthin'... their screen sits there doin' nuthin'...

So... what's a feller to do? Wellllll... Iff'n You got a horse with a broke leg you pull out a winchester and...

Yeah... the sheriff down here thinks just 'zactly the same as ya'll do... so... now Winchesterless...

...I end up havin' to hold my right ear 'tween my left finger and thumb while hoppin' in a circle on top of a table, grunting jingle bells while waving  my right leg in the air and farting the pledge of allegiance... to get things un-cornfuzzle-ated.

... and THIS is convenience? 

You think ever'body got their shorts tangled at that American Traditional song sung in foreign tongue at the super bowl? Oh... damn... you should of heard the noise at Mickey D's!

.... sooooo... now the coffee's all gone... the fish is choked down... the internet dance is done... most of the locked out sites are unlocked... until NEXT time... and my mad is cooled out...

But... there's an old old saying...

If they fool you once it is Their fault...
If they fool you twice... it is YOUR fault...

And you know what? these lard butted turkeys have skunked me too many times... I'm kinda done takin' it quiet...

The words of an Old movie come back to me...

"I'm goin' back to who and what I was... something simple... Hard, but simple.'

Wellllll... My spleen is all sparklin' clean having been fully and totally vented... Don't I feel better!

Time is a Comin' to Poke the Badger

Friday, February 14, 2014

Are Microsoft and Verizon in Cahoots?

I swear they must be.

Micro junk keeps trying to auto upgrade my OS to win 8.1, which I understand is a huge improvement... Since it (I've heard) rolls back a lot of their improvements. ;)

The problem for me is lower horizon Verizon...

On 5gb plans... Micro dud trying to download a 3+ gb program over and over has not only used up my plan, but, because Verizon crashes it, it  is eating me alive... Overage after Overage...

Since Verizon armed robbery incorporated scammed me out of my Grandfathered unlimited...
... I'm sitting twixt the sword and the fall off a cliff.

The air card is turned off, and shall remain so. Posts will be by cellular email and occasional McDonald's WiFi until an affordable and trustworthy alternative is found.

I'm investigating T-mobile, airfire, and a few other ideas.

This child is DONE being milked. I've bit my nose to spite my face before and I'm much willing to do'er again! Grrrrr.

Chewing on sticks and gravel

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Back to Where I've Been Before

Spent the week at the Pima County Fairgrounds for the annual gem and mineral show in Tucson. Too many have gone by for that to hold a lot of excitement for me. ;)

Soon it will be time for the spring race in Avondale. Heidi flew back to the store... I rolled back to work, where I've been before...

I started out with the thought of setting up at Roosevelt Lake...

Buuuut... that's moving a ways away from the direction I have to go... Idk... somehow didn't take hold...

So in the end I just said another time... and moved back to the free boondock spot along the carefree highway east of Wickenburg.

I spent the first night out of Tucson parked along Highway 79. What we used to call the "back road" to Phoenix.  There's a little monument of sorts there for a fella named Tom Mix. He ran his car off into a dry wash just a few hundred yards from there on a midnight run from Tucson to Phoenix that ended his movie career and his life.

I wonder how many hundred times I've passed this spot? Running to or from a rodeo... or a midnight bar hoppin' run of my own?

*from Tom Mix Monument*

Now I sit along the Carefree Highway... what a tease that is huh?

Life is a question and a wonder... just when you think you've got it figured... an unexpected turn will come along and you can't but ponder. I'm coming to the conclusion... slowly and timidly... that planning and fretting and dotting every i and crossing ever t ... is a mostly futile endeavor.

Just go out and fill the holes if you come to one. Turn when the road does... Take whatever side trails catch your like hell after it when you see an opportunity and don't worry much about what you missed or too much about others "reviews"... because let's face it... there's too much in this world that if you lived to be two hundred you couldn't but scratch it...

... and if you live your life "by another's leave"... you soon end up not recognizing the critter that peers back at you in the mirror every morning.

So, here I be, another Arizona sunrise...

*Arizona sunrise*

In about ten days I'll move on down to Phoenix International Raceway for another spring race week. After that it's working my way slowly back to the front range of colorado... pushing the spring...

To see what summer brings. I've loose ideas and plans... but loose they shall remain... cuz that Murphy's layin' about somewhere I'm sure.

The road continues... I see some pretty good turns... but that could just be mirage. Who the hell knows? Just cowboy up and ride the bronc.

Desert Solitaire

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Writer Puts His Words On a Page... and They Ripple Across the Net...

Mark has been writing on a subject that's been occupying my mind for some time.

I'm not sure this bit of sermonzing will make much sense. It's written from that place where the thoughts are clear in the heart... felt clear and true, yet language lacks the ability to express them.

Mark spoke of escape, and I'm certain sure that Escape is how many of my words have been perceived these many years.

Yet, escape is NOT what I'm about. Escape is not what I've ever sought, unless it be escape from pointless monotony. Life without risk, is to me, life without purpose. For, purpose is like life. It requires death to give it a space to be.

Value is a curious thing. Safety holds none of it. To love something... you must set it free... you must Risk it.

If you keep it locked up it sits unused... unrisked... worthless.

... and here... I may offend, that is NOT my purpose, intention or thought... it is just... where my own mind and heart is walking.

Many step off on the "Road" be it RV, Motorcycle or any other... and feel this rigid requirement that on that road they must remain. That if something else has caught their imagination or circumstance leads them to turn a different way, they have failed.

That's a wrong thought. It is much a continuation of the "Treadmill" mindset that held them for all their lives... and holds them yet.

I cannot criticize... I feel the same pressure of the conditioning that soh-sigh-uh-tee inculcates from birth in the interest of controlling its "Assets"... The difference maybe is, what some will call an arrogance... that though I feel the pressure... I Believe ~I ~ See Clearly... from where that pressure comes.

Do today what your heart says Do.
Go tomorrow where your spirit Leads.
The only purpose of life... is to LIVE IT.

Of what value is courage if its use is prohibited?
Of what use is life ordered to wait?
What purpose has intellect... which does not inquire?

The finest is the breath breathed deep and full...
The Shake in your legs when you challenged and won...
The life lived in pursuit... not pushed into line.

A feeble attempt to speak that for which I have no words.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

There's a Steady Sound in the Rig... Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap

What can I say... the excitement around here has been... tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap... sounds a little like one of those annoying drippy faucets...

I sort of wonder, since you can hear voices from other rigs pretty easy in these tight little campgrounds... what people think when they walk past this rig... and hear a guy apparently talking to himself. :) (I read my work back out loud as I'm writing) I expect some folks think that OTHER folks have been spending too much time alone! :)

... especially when what I'm reading back to myself is an argument between two or three people! Bwahahahahahahaha!

I've been making steady progress on The Horsemen which will be #3 in the Jeb Taylor series. Still pushing for an April release... looking more like LATE April. :)

There's not a terrible lot to write about someone who's been spending the greatest amount of a day... sitting on the couch with a lap top on his lap... surrounded by notes and papers... writing.

Buuuuut, no matter how a guy might feel the need to keep his nose to the grindstone and do his "work"... he does still have to stand up... walk outside in the sun and stretch his legs a few times a day or his brain turns to this ugly green goo...  There's more to life than work... even if he has a real liking for his work.

In the interest of walking a bit... Pima County Fair Grounds has a Free RV show going on now... but you know me... walking around gazing at double axle motorhomes with basements bigger than my worn out Old Jayco and mortgages that look to me like the national debt are not what toots my whistle... even if some lunatic banker could get talked into financing the deal for an even greater nutcase refugee mountain cowboy... who would have to borrow a dime to rub two nickles together. ;)

That and the inner motivation to somehow get smaller, lighter (on both the road and the wallet) and somehow simpler... just has gotten me looking at the new and flashy with kind of a Meh attitude. 

Did get off the grounds the other day... to find a propane refill.

Hmmmm... don't you just love it when you go to the intersection you were given directions for... to find propane... and find nothing but an intersection in the desert?

One thing I like about County Fairgrounds is walking through the barns. It's a hard thing to describe. Most likely one of those "If I have to explain it you won't understand" sort of things... but... the smell of a horse barn, the sounds in it... just the feel and Sense of it when you're in it stir memories and feelings that bring back good times...

... and set a mind to drifting and wondering...

Wondering Drifting Keyboard Tapper in the Desert

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dairy Queen, Fairgrounds and Hot Rods

Made the pickup at the airport and rolled south anxious to get out of town... Phoenix... Denver... Las Vegas... it makes little difference... Such places don't fit by boots.

Grabbed a blizzard at the Dairy Queen in Picacho... you know... to fuel the sorting out of a decision of where to spend the night. The goal was the Pima County Fair Grounds, but the time being what it was, and the distance to go, it was gonna put us in there after dark...

... considering that they usually back the rigs in utilizing some butter and a crow bar... I didn't really want to get there after dark and add that handicap to the mix!

Buuuuuut... I finally said to hell with it... didn't really feel like walmarting it... so we went on, and lucked out with a clear space to easily back into... and only took a 1/4 pound of butter to grease the way.

By now it was past seven. The refrigerator was only cooling four bottles of beer and the cupboard only held a couple cans of beans, some tomato soup four packages of Ramen and a 1/4 bottle of syrup... so wanting something better we went to find somebody else that was cooking...

Found a place to eat, just on the other side of the interstate... A place called Hot Rods out on Old Vail Road just east of Houghton road in Tucson.

Picture a restaurant, pub, custom auto shop... and motorcycle shop...and a general service shop all rolled into one...

Inside there's a #18 Nascar by the front door... and a restaurant/bar/auto shop... it's Really pretty cool. You sit where you can look out into part of their shop as they work on and restore all sorts of vehicles...

*view from a table in Hot Rods*
The bikers have a shop there to keep them happy as well...

*Some of the bikes at Hot Rods*
I "borrowed" this pic off their website...

I don't think they'll mind. ;)

I read some of the reviews... and as usual... they run from loved it to Meh...

Me? I liked it. We had a pizza, and a really good "Craft" kind of beer off the Tap... The manager came by and we talked for quite a while... While the waiter didn't wipe my face or kiss my cheek... he did his job. The Pizza, a chicken/BBQ/ green peppers and onion mix... Was Excellent to my taste.

The place was sparkling clean and all the staff was cheerful and doin' what you expect 'em to.

We got out for fifteen bucks and I had enough to eat so considering the times, I can't complain.

I will be back...If you're a motor head check out their website in that link above and give 'em a try next time you pass by.

edit* Oh, and I forgot to mention, she saw it. I don't pay any attention to such things... but for those that need it they apparently have Gluten Free options for you as well...

Back at Work in the Fairgrounds

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Loaded Up and Trucking... And Juuuuuuuust a Touch of Badger Pokin'

Well almost...

Now that the funeral for those Colorado Broncs is done... how about stirring the pot. I ain't done that in some little while. :)

Heidi flies into Sky Harbor in Phoenix this afternoon where I'll swing by dragging 30 feet of rattle trap fifth wheel behind a smoke belching diesel dodge. Yup... a rolling cowboy roadblock.

Gonna do my best to see how well I can agitate the Air Port LEO folks with my over sized passenger pickup Vee-Hickle.

Yeah... Doing my part for global harmony. I'm about as skilled at that as Coca Cola is... :) Now there's an argument that a lot of folks just don't get... and it AIN'T about politics or selling soda. And it AIN'T about Die-Versity...

 And QUIT with the hysterical BS about racism.

It's about etiquette and sensitivity and understanding simple, natural Biology...

Diversity is the sweet sounding trap that well intentioned people fall into. Another of those "good ideas" where the reality of it... Hits you like a brick if you don't duck from it fast enough.

Yes we should honor all the cultures that came together to form this nation... BUT... you can't do that... UNLESS... you Come Together... FIRST.     DUH. Otherwise your differences are only Diversity... which keep you separated. DIVIDED... Diversity = Division... kinda the natural way of things.

The base, bred in instinct is to protect the clan, the tribe, the pack, the family... The INSIDE from all the OUTSIDE threats. It's simple, basic biology folks. Ignore it at your own peril.

The celebration of Diversity must come from standing on the foundation of Commonality.  The human critter is just that... a CRITTER. It responds as all others do, with basic, instinctive, biological reactions. The first of those is that if something is different, if something is Out Of Place... it is a threat... to be guarded against, until proven otherwise.

The ONLY way you can suppress and control that basic, biological command is to build a foundation of commonality. A common bond... Upon which you can then hang all the colors of diversity.

The FIRST place you start doing that is Language.

You'd think all the high dollar egg head psychologist sorts that Coca Cola could employ for their marketing games could figure that out... considering a puss gut, bald headed mountain cowboy did... a long damn time ago.

As long as you focus on the things that make people different... you will divide them... DUH! That will overpower their intellect. (and folks, ALL politics is based on divide and conquer)

Highlight their common aspects first. Show them how their inner goals are the same... FIRST... and then all those other bits will fall into place.

And That is Today's Poking the Badger