Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Job Possibilties

Went to Lamar yesterday, had a job interview at one of the veterinarians' office. Heard about it from the roomate of the girl that he's losing to college in Oklahoma.

I think the interview went well, he seemed pleased with my answers to the questions on the application, anyway.

(What is more important, the animals we see or the clients we deal with? Animals!)

The job is, as he described it, a "Girl Friday" job. Basically whatever he needs doing, I would do. Nothing that he listed is anything I have a problem with, so I'm cool with that. I had to grin at hearing the phrase "Girl Friday" because its been a while since I've run across it, and then it was in an old detective drama novel.

He seemed really excited about hiring me, right then and there, then he asked about my schedule, and winced.

He's going to try to figure out how to make it work, and call me within a week. He even said that if he could figure out a way to make the schedule sit up and dance, we could try it for two weeks. He was impressed with my volunteering to work after normal business hours, I think.

Of course, he also seemed pleased with my experience at bottle feeding various mammals, and my experience with cattle.

So, if he doesn't call me in a week, I'm supposed to call him. I've got my fingers crossed on this one because he seems like he would be a lot of fun to work with.

Oh, and because of the office cat, who has one of those "I'm so stupid I'm cute!" faces, and three legs. Not that it slows the cat down any. We played and petted and fought while I was waiting for my interview.

Also talked to the sister in law's stepmom about a telecommuting job thingy that she had done, which is one that I'd found already, but its a bonus to know that its legit, even if it is being a home-based call center rep. Not gonna get involved with that one until I know I can't get anything else that I've applied for, though. The application for it is online, and I'll hear one way or another from it in a short enough period that I'm pretty comfortable not starting the extremely involved process until I know I need to.

Two weeks from tomorrow, I have my first class. YAY! and DANGIT! I'm glad to be going back to school but I would dearly love to have just a teensy bit more time. Ah well, I don't, so I'll deal with what I have.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Threatened with a Puppy

I'm being threatened with a schnauzer puppy.

One of my friends' daughter received a white schnauzer puppy for Christmas. When my friend told me how rare white schnauzers are, I mentioned that since the puppy was female and already guaranteed to be carrying the gene for the white color, she might be able to start breeding her when she reached maturity and maybe make the money she'd spent on the pup back, and a little more.

Apparently, she laughingly passed this on to her husband, who promptly went out and bought another schnauzer puppy. This one black.

So now my friend is threatening to gift me with a puppy from the first litter. I've delayed this occurrence by making a recommendation that they wait until at least the second heat to breed the little female, since she was the runt, and the male is already larger than she is, even though he's a couple of months younger.

But I think she's gonna cheat and have her daughter give the puppy to me. She knows me well enough to know that I won't refuse a gift from a seven year old, and hurt the little girl's feelings.

*Sigh* At least its not a great dane, right?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time's A-Wastin...

Well, time is rolling on towards school starting and I'm figuring things out slowly but surely.

F'rinstance... I just applied for a student loan. A $3500 student loan will cover eight months worth of rent, and I'll probably pay it in advance. Just so's I don't have to worry about it.

In the mean time I have enough to pay my first month's rent, so first thing Monday I'm calling the apartment complex and jumping all over the one remaining one bedroom.

If I don't, it'll probably be gone. As a matter of fact I may try calling tomorrow, set up to go sign the lease Monday. And cross my fingers that some better-financed person hasn't already snapped it up.

If I don't get the loan... I've got a couple of leads on jobs, which I'll check out Monday.

Monday is going to be a very busy day, I think.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Inspiration... sort of.

Reading the collaborative post between MattG, Ambulance Driver, and BabsRN has reminded me of things that I normally leave hovering in the back of my mind.

They're the crappy things that happen when you're growing up that you try to forget, until the memories pounce on you from out of nowhere, and sometimes out of everywhere.

See, the part about the kid dying... thats what did it for me. We have about one major wreck involving one of the young people a year, usually around prom time.

One year, it was Mitch.

Mitch was being a nice guy, giving a drunk friend a ride home after the after-after prom party. She lived out in the country... Mitch never made it back to town. They figured that he either fell asleep, or was leaned over looking for something in the floorboards, when he went head on with a semi.

They had a hard time sorting him and his dog out, afterwards.

There are three different crosses on the side of the road for Mitch, and his family keeps the area mowed, they decorate for Christmas... one year someone impaled a jack-o-lantern on top of one of the crosses, but that didn't last long.

That was the kind of thing Mitch would have loved, though. My clearest memories of him are from junior high, not long before he died, when he would come running through our cheerleading practices quoting Beavis and Butthead at the top of his lungs. If you looked down, he'd hug you. If you looked upset, he'd hug you and ask what was wrong. He always tried to make people laugh. Thats what I remember, the things that made me smile, rather than the shock the next morning.

Then there was Aaron. Aaron was a great guy, a couple years older than my brother, but never too busy to listen, and help if he could. I remember spending hours talking about stupid problems while he patiently listened, offered advice, and tossed pizza dough at his job. I remember shedding a couple of tears when he went away to the Air Force. I would miss him, but I knew I'd see him again.

He came home after Basic, or whatever they call it in the Air Force. I knew he was in town but hadn't had a chance to catch up with him yet, and I was looking forward to it.

Then one night mom took me aside. She told me that Aaron had died, stepped in front of a train. I remember my knees going out from under me, they just wouldn't hold me anymore. I remember going out, even though it was late, looking for more information. For some reason I thought if I could find out what had happened, it would all be ok.

I found out, and it wasn't ok. Apparently Aaron must've had a hard time of it since he left home, because he was a little depressed by the time he got back... and then found out his "girl back home" had been playing "girl next door" for several guys. She Dear Johnned him, and he decided there wasn't anything left for him.

I remember running into her. I remember her laughing about something, laughing on that night of all nights... and then I remember two of my brother's friends holding me against a vehicle, talking some nonsense about how she wasn't worth it. To this day I can't remember what I did in between. Grief does strange things to you, I guess.

Months later, my gym class was having a mandatory alcohol education session, and the teacher made the mistake of saying "Yeah, alcohol makes you think you're tough as nails... or tough as rails..." and chuckling.

Most of the class sat there slack jawed, one girl ran from the room in tears, and I forgot everything I'd ever learned about respect for your elders. That teacher and I had a "discussion" right there.

No faster way to lose my respect than to mouth off about things you're only half-informed about, and make a joke out of the death of one of my friends at the same time.

Yes, there was alcohol at the scene. Yes, there was a six pack of corona, minus two, in the car. Yes, its entirely possible that Aaron had had a couple before he stepped in front of a train with a beer in each hand and his favorite song blaring on his car stereo. But he wasn't completely drunk. He didn't step in front of a train because he didn't know what he was doing. He made a choice. A choice that, sometimes, still makes me want to bring him back just so that I can kick his ass, but a choice nonetheless.

I'll never stop missing Aaron. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forgive him, either, but I'll always miss him.

Working Out The Kinks

90% of having a good horse is working out the kinks.

Whether you've raised a foal from birth and patiently worked with it to make friends, taught it that doing what you ask is a good thing, and developed a close and loving bond, or went to the sale and bought the best thing you can afford... there WILL be kinks to be worked out.

Kinks can be anything from an annoying habit of dragging feet, to dangerous behaviors such as rearing, wheeling, or kicking.

Kinks can also be personality quirks that your best option is to learn to live with them.

My dad had a horse when I was growing up, with the use-name of Goofy. This would be because he was a big goofy sucker and always up for a laugh. This horse had plenty of personality quirks, his most famous practiced only on my dad.

See, Dad and Goof had a game. Whenever cattle were to be moved, and dad rode Goof, the horse would stand patiently to be saddled, accept his reward of scratching the itchy spots and a pat on the shoulder, with possibly a nuzzle of affection to top it off...

Until dad mounted up. Then, the other riders, saddling up on the opposite side of the trailer, would hear a whoop, look up and see dad and the horse over the top of the trailer, and they'd be gone.

A half a mile run, and they were back, ready to work.

That horse would never even offer to buck or run away for anyone else... but he also never worked as well for anyone else.

Another horse I've ridden, Pud, has many, many quirks. Since he's not my horse I can't work them out the way I'd like to, so my only option is to deal when them when I have to ride him.

Puddin is a beautiful little palomino, and he knows it. He'll arch his neck and prance around, demand that everyone pay attention to him, and basically make a pain out of himself whenever people are around.

Unless, of course, you've got a saddle on him. You can walk all the way around him, pick up all four feet, stand beside him and jump up and down while singing "Black Betty" at the top of your lungs, and he'll never move, as long as you're petting him... as long as he's not tacked up.

Slap a saddle on that pony and its like doing a tango with an epileptic elephant to even approach the stirrup.

One day I was obliged to borrow Pud, because we had to move a cow that had lost a calf, and hadn't "cleaned out" or passed the afterbirth, and we needed to get her to where we could get her in a trailer and take her to the vet. So, we load up good ol' Pud and take him over to the pasture where the cow is, I tack up and the Farmmom takes the pickup to help haze the cow out of the field and down the road.

Since we parked the trailer outside the pasture, I had to get a gate, so I led the pony over to the gate, opened it up, and went to double check my cinch, since this horse had the habit of blowing up like a beach ball whenever he could get away with it.

Pud stepped back, rotating his hindquarters away from me. Its important to note here that this rotation placed his near fore foot directly on top of my right foot. Not pleasant.

Anyone who has ever worked with horses has probably been stepped on accidentally once or twice, and you know how difficult it can be to shove a large animal off your foot. I'm convinced that this was on purpose, though, since, standing facing his near side checking my cinch, my right foot was further away from his near fore foot than my left.

So I get the horse cussed and pushed off my foot, wiggle all my toes, shake the foot, and go to mount up.

And he does it again. Same foot. Only this time, he puts weight on it... and then *pivots* his hindquarters away from me.

Once again, I shove and cuss at his shoulder until he shifts his weight enough for me to yank my abused foot out from underneath his. Once again, I wiggle my toes... except this time, there's a sharp pain in my littlest toe when I do so.

Grit my teeth, tell Pud "Stand" and grab the stirrup, and he attempts to step on me yet again. This time, I've kept my feet out of his reach, though, and before he can reset to try again, I swing into the saddle.

Setting my right stirrup I realize that I should probably ride more on the arch of my foot on that side, since my normal stirrup position about makes me wet my Levi's, and adjust accordingly, setting off across the pasture to find the cow that caused all of this.

Of course, Pud couldn't just cooperate at this point, so we kept up a running battle of "No, you will NOT go over there because we're going over THERE!" Which, of course, included sudden jumps to either side in an attempt to scare me off his back, a tactic which has never worked with me, but caused me a considerable amount of pain as I braced against his antics.

After all of this, when we found the cow in question... the old hussy had cleaned out in the night, no need for any of it.

Back to the trailer we go, and since we're going in the direction he wants to go, Pud finally begins to cooperate and I relax a bit. That is, I relax until it comes time to dismount.

By then the endorphines had kicked in and I figured that I would have a nasty bruise, but nothing too bad.

'Course, since I've broken bones before, I should know better.

I stepped down off that horse and nearly went all the way to the ground as my right foot took weight and promptly told me to go do something anatomically impossible with myself.

I managed to stay upright through the cunning use of fortifying cuss words... and hanging onto the saddle... and got good ol' Pud untacked and loaded back into the trailer.

At this point Farmmom has asked me multiple times if I'm ok, and the best answer I have is to just get the horse taken back and unloaded before I take off my boot. I had a funny feeling that once I took the boot off, I wasn't gonna want it to go back on... and I was right.

One broken toe later, I'm hobbling around like an old lady and muttering curses at whoever designed the foot so that the little toe is so important...

Oh, and before you ask... no, I didn't go to the hospital. How did I know it was broken you ask? Well, when I got home, I sat down, and I looked at it. There was a ring of dark bruising around the bottom of the toe, and when I pulled on it, it felt like someone was stabbing me with hot files that were rubbing together inside the toe.

So, I taped it up, iced it down, and popped Advil for a couple of weeks while I pounded the pavement for Combined selling accident insurance.

Sometimes, the kinks you encounter with horses are on *you*.......

Ok, I gotta say it....

What is with people and their thinking that the world owes them something??

This thought has been brought up over and over again by my search for work I can do during school.. 90% of what I've found, at a ballpark estimate, has been scams. Of course, all of these scams seem to prey on that one thought, that many, many people seem to have.

The world owes them a living. Or, not even a living, but a free handout, for minimal effort.

Don't get me wrong I'd love to win ten million from Publisher's Clearing House, but I'm not waiting around for the Prize Patrol.

I see it working on the road, too. People just want a paycheck, they wouldn't know a work ethic if it smacked them upside the head with a baseball bat.

How did it come to this? I mean other than mommy and daddy handing kids everything they want. You'd think that eventually people would realize that the world doesn't work that way, wouldn't you?

Or am I counting too much on the intelligence of your average person?

Meanwhile, I'm still looking for a job that will work around my class schedule, and its dang hard to find one.

*Sigh* Anyone want to be a Sugar Daddy?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Work From Home!

Make a Million Dollars in two point three seconds!

Buy a new house outright with a week's wages!

Grow wings and fly to the moon for your very own green cheese!

Seriously... how do people fall for some of these things?

Its bad enough that companies who are honestly looking for someone to do simple data entry, or whatever, have to compete with all of these scams, but scams that are so obviously bull hockey just blow me away.

Some sites claim you can make money in fifteen minutes after reading their patented and password protected program.

Some sites say that the whole secret is one sentence... available right after you pay them fifty dollars and hand over a large portion of personal information.

My bet is that that one sentence is "Make a work from home scam site!"

The only thing I've found thats legitimate is a site that puts together people looking for freelancers to do all kinds of things from ghost writing books, to writing articles, to proofreading and editing, and people willing to do those services. Twenty two dollars, quarterly, for the right to bid on a project, and hope that the person chooses you.

Its depressing, when you're looking for something of the sort, to run into all of the scams.

Its even more depressing to think that people are fooled by the crappy websites, high-flying claims, and faked credentials.

Half the "people" that make these websites... don't exist. Or at least, they don't exist in a way that would leave tracks on the web, except for their make money now sites.

Looks like I may be waitressing nights, or something of the sort.


Its not bad enough I've been slogging through work-at-home scams on my own initiative, searching for something legitimate to make some money without set hours, but now they're commenting on my blog!!!!

Freakin people, freakin bots, freakin scams. GO AWAY!!


Financial Aid information just came in. I got enough to cover my tuition and fees, and probably most of my books. Since I don't know how many books I need just yet, or how much they cost, I can't be sure.

Now I just have to figure out where the money will come from for either my gas there and back or an apartment closer to the college. That part is gonna be interesting, having classes seven days a week. I'll figure something out, I always do.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back to School

I got my registration done today, back to school August 15th!

Excitement, and nerves, are on the rise.

Still have a few things to get together and get done before school starts, and hopefully find a place nearer the college, if I can work out the financial situation.

In the mean time its lots of getting the last minute prep done, getting the horse up to the school, and all that jazz, so I may not be posting much till I get settled in to my classes.

Perhaps I'll take some time then to look at the differences between continuing your education straight out of high school and taking time out to work in between. We'll see.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I'm going to try not to give any spoilers just in case someone out there is reading the book, which will make this short post, but I had to.

Rowling sure surprised me with this one, although, just the same as the rest of the books, it makes me wish for more. I certainly hope that the world of Harry Potter hasn't come to a complete close, even though Harry's series has.

I have to give major kudos to Rowling for her success in creating a series that has captivated children and adults alike, and for the fantastic plot twists in the later parts of this last book.

I can't think of anything else to say that isn't giving away spoilers, and since the Farmmom hasn't read it yet, she'll kill me if I post or say anything that gives anything away. I'll have to wait to gush about specific plot points.

Its ok, I'll just go slowly insane in the mean time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Best Fortune Cookie EVER!

T and I went to Lamar tonight after work to get the new Harry Potter book, since we're both rabid fans. I read aloud to T all the way home.

But, while we were in Lamar we had dinner at the Chinese restaurant, and I got the worlds greatest fortune cookie.

"Ignore Previous Cookie."

Friday, July 20, 2007


I don't claim photography as a hobby because I just don't get enough time to make it into a regular hobby, but it is one of those things that I do once in a while, and occasionally I get lucky and get some pics that I really like.

In lieu of a real post, I decided to share some of them with ya'll. These were taken out at the Hole, and are some of my favorites of all of them that I've taken recently.

Have I mentioned that I love my digital camera and HP Photo Printer?

New pic

Just thought I'd mention that the new pic is one I took out the window of my car while on my way to work. I claim no credit in it looking so nifty... it was pure luck. Hope ya'll like it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Country fun

What we did last night has caused me to reflect on how small town and country kids learn to entertain themselves.

City kids have malls, skate parks, clubs, all that stuff.

Country kids have fire pits, tractors, wide open spaces, canyons, empty pop bottles and dry ice.

Thats right, I said empty pop bottles and dry ice. Makes a nice loud noise when thrown into water.

We also have Snipe Hunts. I don't care if you city folks have snipe hunts, nothing beats a snipe hunt in the middle of a full section of corn.

For those of you who don't know what a snipe hunt is... well. First of all you pick some young gullible kid, and start talking about what great fun snipe hunting is. Also talk up what tasty eating snipe is.

Then, when they practically beg you to take them with you, you give them a flash light, and a pillow case or burlap sack. You find the biggest corn field out in the middle of nowhere, and you trek to the middle of the field. Bonus points if its irrigated and muddy.

Then you tell them to hunker down somewhere in between the rows, hold the sack open in the next row over, and shine the flash light through the back of the sack. Snipe are attracted to light, you see. Kind of like bugs.

Then you tell them to wait, and you're going to go stake out your own row. Warn them that as soon as they get a snipe they have to twist the sack closed, and beat it against the ground several times. Don't let the snipe sit for long in there or it'll tear its way out, they've got sharp little beaks and they'll tear you up.

Then you wander off and leave them for several hours. Either they'll be hiking their way back to town when you come back for them (the smarter ones, the ones who will recruit new people to go snipe hunting next month) or they'll still be hunkered down in the mud, shivering and patiently waiting for snipe to wander by. Or, if you've taught them some ridiculous "snipe call" they'll be repeating it, over and over again.

Its a rite of passage, sort of like buying your first box of condoms at the drug store. And then listening to your parents lecture you when they find out about it.

Yay! I'm back!

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately, its been busy and I haven't had anything interesting to talk about.

I still don't, but in the name of keeping from being entirely labeled a bad, bad blogger, I thought I'd post something anyway.

Got a friend in to help with some saddle time on the horses, we went riding this afternoon. Not as energetic a ride as it could have been, but fun, as we worked a few kinks out of the more stubborn of my four legged children.

V is an excellent horsewoman. Wish I could be more like her (that would be why I'm going to school, though, right?) Thanks V!

The reason we weren't as energetic as we might have been might have had something to do with last night. See, since V is a mutual friend of me and T, we decided to have a shindig last night just for fun. So, we gathered up some wood, made a fire, made roasting sticks out of heavy wire, and had hotdogs and s'mores.

Oh, and alcohol.

I'm amazed everyone still has their eyebrows this morning. I'm kind of amazed that I still have all bones in one piece, considering two beers into the thing I decided that the way to gather firewood was to climb a dead tree, grab onto a limb, and jump down.

It worked, I tell you!

A good time was had by all and I got some nifty pictures of T over the fire pit in the glow of the flames, and one that I had to use the flash on because the fire had died too much to give good light of V on T's shoulders. Another reason I couldn't get it without the flash is the long shutter time made it impossible to hold completely still long enough. I was laughing too hard.

T dared us to go into the abandoned house, we got two rooms in when we heard something moving behind us. By the light of T's cell phone we discovered... a snake. Now, I'm not scared of snakes but I'm not fond of them. I leave them alone as long as they're not rattlers and they leave me alone. But in the middle of the night, in an enclosed space, with a snake on the COUNTER.... No. I chose the better part of valor and told the snake he could have the house, and V and I went back to the fire. Only to hear the snake start hissing, loudly, when we were twenty feet away, because T was trying to pick it up.

Points to the snake, he wrapped himself around something and refused to let go, thus winning the battle.

After the fire died, we went back to T's and watched Lone Star State of Mind, which is hilarious in that dumb movie kind of way. We all piled on the couch to watch it, because T is such a pimp, he he had two women flaked out on him at once. Course, V kept biting him when he jumped the gun on reciting parts of the movie because I hadn't seen it yet, and I'd pull his leg hairs when he did it, so he kind of got the short end of the stick.

A good time was had by all, no one got injured and we had lots of laughs. Who says you need a crowd to have fun?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Concealed Carry

This is a subject that crops up in my thoughts from time to time, seeing as how I do have a concealed carry permit.

The direction of my thoughts today are not the why, but the how.

See, we setters don't have as many options for concealed carry as the pointers do, simply because of how we're built, and how clothes are designed to fit us.

So far, I've only discovered a few that work effectively, and even those are bound by certain things I just can't do and keep my concealed weapon concealed. A couple of these are listed here, and I'd be glad to hear any suggestions from my readers on expanding or altering these.

Shoulder holster. I don't personally use this one, as I haven't yet found a shoulder rig thats built for women, much less one as small as I am. Custom work is an option, but I haven't had the money, or the access to someone who can do the work, to try it out. The difficulty that I see for the average woman in these is twofold. Fit, and angle. The angle is important, because frankly, no one wants to catch a boob in their gun. This same problem rears its head with hip holsters. Not to mention the boobs getting in the way of the draw in the first place. Also, wearing a jacket or such at all times is just not practical in summer heat.

Inside the waistband holster. I've used this, and its the best method I've found for myself personally, although I do have a few requirements that others don't. I use what I've been told is called a "cavalry" draw. I'm right handed, and as a child I broke my right arm in such a way that I don't have complete movement of it at the shoulder. So when I draw, the options are limited. many carry styles leave me sweeping areas around me with the barrel of my gun that I don't want to. As such, I carry in the small of my back, with the gun positioned so that my right hand goes between my body and the grip, and my draw is out, down to my side, and up to firing stance. However, this carry has dress requirements as well. I have to wear a baggy shirt to cover the imprint of the gun. Not a big thing, in the scheme of things, but annoying enough when I really want to wear something a little cooler.

The major problems for women in concealed carry, as I see them, are the chest and the hips. Hip carry sticks the butt of the gun out, or shoves it into a woman's side, depending on her own build and how low on her hips her pants or jeans ride. Shoulder holsters, and some hip holsters, pose the problem of the breasts simply getting in the way of the draw. No matter how big or small you are in that area, they get in the way. If men wish to understand this, borrow a female friend's bra, stuff it with whatever is handy, and attempt to do the things you normally do. And remember, breasts don't just stick out in front, they stick out to the sides as well, stuff accordingly. Better yet, have said female friend help you make it as anatomically correct as possible.

(From the stories that Farmmom has told me of her classes when she became a posse member on the Sheriff's department, this should be a requirement for male firearms instructors. So should having the skin of their chest right by the armpit pinched in the hammer of their gun.)

Like I said, any suggestions or comments are welcome.

And, if any of the male readers are brave enough to try the experiment I mentioned, I want video!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I still don't like cities...

You know, a city is a nice place to visit, what with all the shopping and restaurants and such right there. It could spoil someone used to driving forty five minutes (longer, with the road construction) to get to Wal-Mart and Micky D's.

If it weren't for the people.

I swear, I don't know what happens to city people that's different from small town people, but jeez those folks have bad attitudes.

If city people were half as polite as small town people, I'd probably live closer to a city. Not in it, of course, I like my elbow room, but closer.

The Springs was fun, we had lunch at Joe's Crab Shack, then spent an hour and a half searching for a club that no longer exists, then gave up and hit a pool hall for a while before finding a liquor store and heading back to the hotel.

Did you know that Go Fish makes a heck of a drinking game?

I bought a new top while we were up there, after being mistaken for an Old Navy employee. Now, I don't consider myself to be a trend setter or very fashion conscious at all, but I like to think I have my own unique style, aside from "work clothes."

Being mistaken for a fashion drone pushed my buttons, so I went to Hot Topic and bought a pink plaid corset top.

I got looks almost as weird at Hot Topic flipping through what I like to think of as the "hussy" clothes in the outfit that got me mistaken for fashion drone status as I did when I wore the new top out to the pool hall.

I also got a random comment as we walked by a group in the pool hall, from a girl.... "Damn, girl, you need to eat some beans, or somethin."

The guy she was sitting by said "No she don't, she needs to give me her number!"

From the sound I heard, he got smacked.

But I felt better.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I need older friends...

Headed off to Colorado Springs for the afternoon and tonight in a bit, going to hang out with T, go out dancing, and generally have a good time and behave irresponsibly.

Unfortunately T is only twenty so I had to search all day yesterday to find a couple of places that allowed 18+ in. One of them is probably going to be a juice bar type place, no alcohol, and one of them is a Carribean style club which sounds like a lot of fun. We'll see how things work out, and what we can find otherwise.

Anyway I'll be gone tonight and part of tomorrow, but I'll try to have something interesting to post tomorrow afternoon or evening. If nothing else I'm sure I'll manage to embarrass T in a big way at some point, I usually do.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Aunt Jerry

All my life, I've had an Aunt Jerry. Aunt Jerry isn't related by blood, but by love, and has always been a fixture, and the one who spoiled myself, and my brother, unmercifully.

Oh, and Aunt Jerry is a man. He's the roughest, toughest old style cowboy I've ever found in north Texas, and he does a fabulous Reba MacEntire impersonation.

It never seemed strange to call the cowboy with the chest hair peeking out of his shirt collar "aunt," mostly because thats what I always knew him by, and my parents never made a big deal out of it. When my brother and I were old enough to understand that there was something "different" about Aunt Jerry, and ask questions, he answered them honestly, fully, and always.

I love my Aunt Jerry.

He also has a very twisted sense of humor about his sexuality, when he wants to. Homophobes beware, he'll turn from down home country cowboy to flaming butt pirate in 2.5 seconds, if you can't treat him as a human being.

Most guys my age who have met him, generally push past a slight homophobia when they find out that years ago, he was married to a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, if only to ask him what the hell he was thinking, being gay.

Aunt Jerry claims veto rights on my boyfriends, which is why he rarely gets to meet any of them (ok so they don't always last long enough to make it to that stage...) This story shows exactly why I take care who I introduce to my favorite Aunt....

A few years ago, I was dating a kid from up by Pueblo... not much of a cowboy, but he knew what to say to get my attention, and I was young and stupid. Still am, but I hope I've learned some lessons along the way.

Wes was in need of a job, so I got him in on flagging, and the Farm Parents agreed to let him stay with us until he could get a place of his own. Except somehow it never happened.

He would sit around, drink beer, and watch tv all day, not help out around the house, not pay rent, and generally just leech off of anything he could find. By the time we went to Aunt Jerry's house for an evening, we'd already had a couple of discussions about this. Farm Mom was getting pretty exasperated.

So, we haul him with us for dinner with Aunt Jerry and his boyfriend, on Jerry's ranch out in the middle of nowhere.

As we walked in the door, Jerry brushed aside both of my parents, his long time friends, and picked me up in a big bear hug, exclaiming over how beautiful I was getting, and bemoaning the fact that I didn't dress to show off my figure, as he always does. Then he turned to Wes.

"So this is the boyfriend, huh?" Jerry stuck out his hand to shake Wes's, and Wes, knowing from talking to me how important this man was to me, stepped forward with a smile, holding out his own hand.

Jerry did something I'd half expected, and decided to "play" with Wes.

At the last second, Jerry changed direction, and grabbed Wes's crotch.

He spent a moment feeling around with a puzzled, thoughtful expression on his face.

"Where is it?? Did you leave it at home?? Farmgirl... do you have it?!?"

At this point I was shaking my head over Jerry's antics, knowing he was just playing around, but Wes was terrified. His smile was half frozen on his face, his eyes looked as if he might bolt for the back forty, and his hand was still hovering, outstretched, to shake a hand that wasn't there. A strange man had hold of a favorite part of his anatomy, was insulting said favorite part, and to top it all off, Jerry had thrown in just a dash of his you-go-girlfriend gay attitude.

"I... Um.... That is...."

"That, honey, is not a dick. I'll show you a dick. TONY! Come in here, darlin, and show this boy what a grown up looks like."

At this point, I had to step in, before I had to track Wes across half of Texas when he spooked.

"Aunt Jerry, I'm young and impressionable, I don't need to see that."

"Oh, you're right, fine, fine. But does your boy toy at least know how to use it??"

"I wouldn't know."

"Good girl. Come on folks, steaks are almost done!"

Jerry played nice as everyone ate dinner and had a couple of beers. Later on in the evening Jerry put some music on, and herded everyone into dancing, at which point he decided that he simply must teach Wes how to dance properly.

So he taught Wes a ballroom style dip.

By dipping Wes.


When Wes started getting uncomfortable with the whole process, my much loved Aunt looked down at him from the upper hand of the dip, gave him a sultry wink, and said in a low, seductive tone "You're cute when you blush."

Wes struggled out of Jerry's grip, ended up on the floor, and spent the rest of the night sulking because I was laughing too hard to help him up.

He didn't last long after that night, and shortly I'd chalked him up as one of those young and stupid mistakes we all make, and moved on. Jerry helped me realize the mistake sooner than I might have, and I still chuckle to myself every time I think of the deer in the headlights expression on Wes's face when "the gay dude" had ahold of his tallywhacker, making comments to the room at large.

I love my Aunt Jerry.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Hey folks, just dropping a line to say I AM alive still... just been really busy and really exhausted when I'm not running my butt off, so I fall into bed like a sack of potatoes.

I do have several ideas fomenting in the back of my head for good long story updates, I promise! I just have to get one of them to ferment past the vague cloudy stage and into the put it down in words stage.

I'll try to do that tomorrow (blessed day off, how I adore thee!) because I hear the ugly mutterings about torches and pitchforks, and I like my skin the way it is.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Say WHAT?!?

Human Greed takes Lion's Share of Solar Energy

This is just insane. Its what Law Dog might call rabid Moonbatism.

Apparently, humans are taking up twenty four percent of the available energy produced by plants. Yes, the title of the article is about solar energy, and the subject of the study is about plant energy. Granted, the one fuels the other, but come on.

Oh, and the biggest majority of that so called "greed" is harvesting crops.

Um. I planted the dag blasted crop, I'll do whatever I danged well please with it, thank you very much.

The study basically says that we take up too much of the plant life on the planet, which in some instances might be true. I'm all for replanting trees, and such, but it can be taken too far.

"Here we are, just one species on the earth, and we're grabbing a quarter of the renewable resources … we're probably being a bit greedy."

....................... Re. New. Uh. Bul.

That means... they grow back! Surprise, plants grow, get eaten by LOTS of things, or die at the first frost, and then... miracle of miracles... they grow back!

Apparently in addition to not eating meat (which is a whole other rant) we're not supposed to grow crops and eat them either.

Thats it folks, lets have a world-wide fast. Everyone who believes this bunk, stop eating all together. And don't drink coffee, or tea, either, they're plant products. And don't drink water because as you know its a water conservation century. Ya'll just go sit in your corner, don't eat or drink, and I'm sure that our worldwide consumption of plant energy will decrease.

The study also doesn't take into account situations like here in the US, especially here in Colorado, in which wild herbivore populations have exploded since large scale farming operations have been here. When this area was settled, deer and antelope were few and far between, but since they have a steady, reliable food source, and hunting is controlled (and also paid for in the form of licenses, thus funding programs through the Fish and Game organizations to help the critters that NEED it) the populations have expanded to suit the food supply.

Not to mention... apex species. Even though sometimes I wonder about whether the human race actually is the "best" species out there, we are an apex species, ecologically speaking.

*sigh* We can't stop here. This is bat country.


For me, the best expression and feeling of freedom is riding.

I love to ride, whether its riding to accomplish something, or just going out and going riding. There's a lot of it that is mediative for me, and there's a proud feeling when I teach a horse something new, and they get it right the first time.

There's also that wild, free feeling when you give the horse its head and take off across a field at full tilt, like riding an avalanche.

Its a stress release, and a joy.

Its a rush, its humbling, and its the time when I feel that anything is possible, and everything is probable.

The sun shines a little bit brighter, the breeze is just a bit sweeter and all the cares of life just wash away in a feeling of contentment and quiet partnership with a gentle giant.

I guess its appropriate that I finally got to ride one of the new horses on today, of all days.

Happy Independence Day, folks. I hope that each and every one of you gets to have a moment today where you feel completely free.

Answering a Question

Anonymous said...

A litte curious here. I completely undertand the State trooper doing 80 in a work area being reckless and uncalled for. But your comment "But, we can make you wait, no matter what the call is, until the pilot car gets there. Yes, we can, even if you're running hot. Courtesy goes both ways, Officer, not to mention the safety of the general public." Bothered me a touch, so maybe *we* can elaborate a little. Running hot lets say to an officer assist call in other words my buddy down the road is fighting for his life, I encounter your road construction. I understand fully BOTH my need to help my buddy and not to kill someone else or myself getting there. But can you actually consider any reason you would stop me from going? you stated you had radios. whats wrong with me stopping, informing the nearest worker with a radio of my delema(sp?) informing him to have a path cleared and I continue on at a safe speed? I am taking into account roads which may not permit this. But I think most of us are bright enough to know where to, and where not to drive by the tell tale little orange cones. Barring the thought of bridges or large drop offs can you seriously expect me not to continue on as safely as possible? Please understand this is not intended as an attack just a request for further information, as it is an interesting predicament, which I do intend to pass on to my supervisors. I do respect the work you do, and also understand how intimidating standing on the side of any roadway can be, with just my clothes betweem me and someones bumper. Thanks for your time, be safe out there. -TxPo

TxPo-- I said that we *can* do so. Not that we do. Too many officers get used to being king of the road and forget that sometimes others have the "power." We do try to work with law enforcement and the emergency response people, but they have to understand that we're there to make sure that everyone goes home. I've been on jobs that had fatalities because of stupidity of people driving through... I don't want to be on another one, if I can avoid it. Everyone goes home at the end of the day in one piece. We can't ensure that if people do dumb things.

It is never safe for ANYONE to continue through a construction site without knowing whats going on, and without at least traffic control personnel knowing that they're coming. It poses a serious safety hazard, the workers are used to the timing between lines, not all of our flaggers have radios to be informed of them coming, and they don't know whats going on. They might run into something bigger than they are, that can't get out of the way fast enough. We generally try to get the supervisor to the end where they are, and escort them through the site in a safe manner, as fast as possible. I have personally escorted an officer through a site at eighty, BUT we didn't have any equipment on the road, I was able to direct him around any hazards, and he knew his job going through the site was to follow as exactly in my tracks as he could.

As for our radios... I guess from your sig you're a police officer of some kind. Let me tell you something... you're spoiled. We've got eight miles of road shut off, the pilot car and the supervisor's truck have big base units in them, and everyone else who has a radio, have handhelds. The base units will reach about four miles... five on a good day. The handhelds, depending on terrain, will reach about two to three miles. We can't hear both ends of the site at once.

The situation I was talking about there... the flagger on the end could not reach me in the pilot car to inform me that the officer was coming, the officer did not stop to find out about any hazards which he might run into, where traffic was, nothing. It was an entirely unsafe situation.

That said... most of the time we work with officers and ambulances. We'll hold all traffic for a few minutes and let them run on through, or escort them through in a safe manner, if we get a call that they're coming, or if they stop at the flagger and let us know where they need to go.

Situations where I would hold an officer or an ambulance are those in which it is safer, and will get them through faster, to wait a couple of minutes at an end, rather than running head on into a bumper to bumper line of traffic thats around two miles long. If traffic just left that end I would send them to catch the end of the line, or escort them down the dead lane, if possible.

My issue with the officer that I posted about is not that he was doing his job, or that he was in a hurry. My issue is that he failed to even attempt to accomplish things in a safe manner, and put me, my coworkers, and the traveling public in danger.

An extra couple of minutes is not worth someone's life, and you're not going to get there any faster if you get into an accident or kill someone. Its much better to check with traffic control before you start through than to have to explain to them later why their friend is smeared on the highway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Sorry for the silence, lately, folks. Due to a couple of mix ups at the construction site, and the fact that granddad decided to work cattle yesterday (which turned into the largest circle jerk in the world... more on that later) I've been pretty much exhausted the last few days.

I'll try to find something interesting to talk about soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Well, my popularity seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, which leaves me somewhat flabbergasted, to be honest. I'm glad you're all enjoying, though. Welcome, welcome, have a seat, kick off your shoes, make yourself to home.

I do want to send a couple of special welcomes... perusing the site meter pages for my blog (I'm addicted to that danged thing, I swear) I noticed several visits from other countries... Welcome!

Also... to everyone joining us from Law Dog's blog, welcome. I hope my little notes will live up to your expectations.

And Law Dog... I am deeply, deeply honored. *Curtsey* Thank you sir, for the linky love, and the praise.

Dear Traveling Public,

To everyone who wanders away from their vehicle whilst waiting for the pilot car: Please, folks, do get out and stretch your legs. We don't mind a bit. We would, however, appreciate it if you wouldn't do so in the middle of the lane of traffic, and continue to stand there while the outgoing line of traffic is coming. Just a bad idea, people. Also... if you could either stay on the same side of the highway as your vehicle, or at least get *back* on the right side of the highway when you see traffic coming... that would be fabulous.

To the truckers who decide to take a nap: Guys... I know you run hard and you don't get as much sleep as you'd like. Neither do I. But I swear by whatever you care to name I'm going to start borrowing the first truck in line's CB and blowing an air horn in it if you guys don't get your act together, or at least leave a window rolled down so that the noise of traffic going by wakes you up.

To the trucker who broke down then verbally assaulted the female supervisor when she offered help: Yes. You had it under control. So did we. Hope you enjoyed your visit with two of our big 'ol country boys, and the Sheriff's deputy.

To the people who whine about the wait: Folks, its eight miles of road. The speed limit is 45. You're the same people who were whining about how bad the road was... guess what? We don't have a magic wand to wave and instantly fix everything. Guess what else? Your bitching isn't going to make that pilot car get back any sooner. Honest, I know. I drive it. Do yourself and everyone around you a big favor, sit back, take a breath and meditate on this fact: The only thing keeping us from holding you longer than we do, is a sense of common courtesy and professionalism. Even the best people let their vindictive side get the better of them now and then.

To the new (?) Highway Patrol Officer: I don't recognize you, so I'm figuring you're a new rookie they sent down here to train. Welcome to the area. That said, if you ever fly by the flagger on the end without so much as a by your leave and run onto the pilot line doing eighty again, I will personally chew your ass. The siren was a nice touch, by the way. What exactly did you expect me to do when you hit your whoop whoops? Lead traffic off the side of a bridge, or a full foot drop on the other side? You do realize, don't you, that while, when on the open highway, you have the right of way, in a construction zone, you do NOT. We get you guys through as fast as we can because you're trying to do your job, and we don't want to interfere with that. But, we can make you wait, no matter what the call is, until the pilot car gets there. Yes, we can, even if you're running hot. Courtesy goes both ways, Officer, not to mention the safety of the general public.

To the chicks who were checking T out: Number one... yes, he is easy on the eyes, and its not a crime to look. Just some advice though, if you're leaning against your car trying to act all cool, and look sexy.. don't wipe your nose using your entire forearm. You probably couldn't see it from where you were, but that one turned him green. Oh, and when he's talking to co workers who happen to be female? Don't keep talking louder to try and get his attention. That prompts him to mutter to his co workers to help him out here, which prompts much laughter, and waving of dollar bills.

It also encourages us to bet him a dollar he won't "adjust" himself while you're looking. (He did)

To the people who were patient and nice: Thank you so much for visiting and making the day go a little faster. You were a breath of fresh air and much appreciated by all of us who came in contact with you!

Thank you all for visiting us, to those of you who waved and smiled as you went by, have a nice day. To those of you who whined/flipped us off/acted like jerks.... Bite Me.