I’m going on a trip this week to help a family member who was planning on having surgery. Now insurance is screwing with her and the surgery may not happen but I’m still traveling. While I’m there I’ll probably go for a few walks and thought I’d share some of the playlists I use to keep moving. They’re roughly 30 minutes in length.
Running2 – Why 2? Because my first running list is from Running magazine by some athlete named Jason ? It includes songs like Coldplay’s The Scientist, Kiss’ War Machine and James Brown’s Get Up.
- Give Me That Old Marine Corps Spirit
- Electro Combat from Autumn Thunder
- Old Man Emu by John Williamson
- Run by Boss Gremlin
- Still Running by Chevelle
- Rabbit Run [Explicit] by Eminem
- Canebrake by Bob Frank
- Runnin’ and Gunnin’ by Hank III and Assjack
- I’m A Soldier [Explicit] by Young Buck
- Running On Empty by Jackson Browne
- Run Like Hell (2011 – Remaster) by Pink Floyd
- Runnin’ Down A Dream by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
- Roadrunner by The Modern Lovers
- Run On by Moby
- Fox On The Run by Sweet
- Run Baby Run by Roy Orbison
- Grace and Grit from Autumn Thunder
- Run Johnny Run by William Elliott Whitmore
- Mad Dog/ My Grandma Was 92 by US Marines
- Run for your Life by The Beatles
- Rebel Within by Hank III
- 8 Miles And Runnin’ [Explicit] by Jay-Z
- Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden
- Nowhere To Run by Martha and The Vandrellas
- I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why) by Alabama
- Where Are We Runnin’? by Lenny Kravitz
- Running Scared by Roy Orbison
- Shoot First and Run Like Hell by Nashville Pussy
- Night Of The Gun from Autumn Thunder
- C-130 Rolling down the strip by U.S. Army Rangers
I’m a third of the way through winter and I haven’t even set any goals for the season. I’m not going to beat myself up about it, as I have been redefining what I want from my life. If you want to succeed at a real questioning of how your life should be it’s not silly to let it shuffle along at it’s own pace. Having now come to some resolute decisions about the overall direction I want to pursue, it’s time to set a few goals so I drift along this new path.
In no particular order:
- Plastic barrel to store wood ashes
- Composting Toilet
- Firewood – Split and stacked.
- Install the HVAC in the rental house.
- Install plumbing in the rental house.
Improve my seedling system.12/30 My seedling system was sort of slapped together and I have the unfortunate habit of not taking good care of the tender young things because it’s hard to work on the current setup. It’s currently a mish-mash of a metal shelf, stacked on top of a plastic shelf, that has baking trays on it. If I move just the wrong way, I’ll knock off an entire shelf of seedlings. It’s annoying, it sucks and I can do better.
- Compost Pile Expansion
- Comb through the junk in my house and get rid of 20 bags of clutter. – I’m not a hoarder, but the house has gotten way too full. Time to get rid of all this crap!
- Scan in 1k documents. I keep way too much paperwork around. Better to get it into an encrypted and backed up hard drive.
- Fix and Paint Kitchen Cabinets – I have 2 doors that I need to replace on my cabinets. Then they all need to be cleaned thoroughly and painted. I’m still on the fence about painting the shelves or just contact papering them. I personally hate contact paper but I suspect there must be some reason why people don’t paint shelves.
- Taxes – I know the fed owes me some dough and I sure could use it. Then me and Missouri need to talk over their misstaken opinion that I owe them for a few years back.
- Waterline heater – Currently I prevent my pipes from freezing up via a series of space heaters and thermostatic controllers. It’s very inefficient and I already bought the tape I need to use to properly keep the lines warm. I just need to install it.
- Plug the register in the
bedroom(12/28) and the gym. I’m rarely in these rooms.
- Hang door to gym. I’m rarely in that room and when I am, I’m usually sweating.
- Coat rack – I keep adjusting how I enter the house from the mud room in the back to the front door. I need to just settle on one location and set up 1 coat rack in one spot. Currently, half of my crap is at one entrance and half is at the other.
- Install Oven/Stove – I need to upgrade my stove electrical line in the kitchen so I can cook with a real oven, not my toaster oven.
- Launch new website – I’m excited about a new webpage idea. So I need to put that page together and start producing content for it.
- Van Parking Spot – part of the space problems I’m having issues with is that I must unload the van of it’s tools when I get home from work each day so that they’re not stolen. If I clear off a particular area to the side of my house I could back the van in and the cargo area would be secure from thieves. This would free up space in the house, clean up the yard and lessen the need to load up every day before I work and unload each night.
- Rotate van tires
- Replace trailer tires
- Clean my guns – They’re tools and an investment. I should take care of them.
- Submit 2 short pieces to a publisher of some sort.
- Safety chains on the trailer
- Kayak Cover
- Fix Dolly Tire
- Sewing – This is a skill I’ve been wanting to learn for quite some time. I know I need some new curtains for the kitchen, so I should get to it. Frankly, I could use good curtains on all sides of the hosue.
And there is one big goal I’ve set for myself. By January 1 I will decide on what my first large project will be. It will probably be a novel but I need to find a story line that I like so much that I’ll want to write about the characters.
I’ve spent 15 years or so pretty much willfully ignoring the holidays. Meaning that I either arranged boozefests or I just simply bought enough alcohol so I knew I could forget the whole affair hour by hour while everyone else was living their own horrorfests. Not that I’m a scrooge or anything, I just don’t live near my family and don’t often make the trek back to visit them during the holidays. When I’m pulling down a steady gig I always make sure to buy everyone some gifts. I buy gifts because I want to show that I did put some thought into the offering, even if I screw up and get something that they won’t like.
Unfortunately, this is not a year when I’m pulling down fat sacks of cash so there were no presents for the family. Most of them understand my situation. Speaking of my situation, basically I’m making a career change over into writing. My old job was pretty intense and made me miserable. As a part of this life change I’ve decided that I should try to enjoy the holidays a little bit more.
The Meal Plan
Ham(bone in, then use leftovers and bones to make ham and pea soup)
Green Bean Casserole
It’s funny how such a simple menu can fail when only one person is there to execute it. But perhaps the only reason most holiday plans are executed is because they have family who expects them to succeed. I knew I could fail. And I failed gloriously while thoroughly enjoying it.
I tried to make eggnog. Fuck, I tried it twice. Then got great advice from a friend on how to make a double boiler out of things I already had on hand. And finally I said fuck that. I’d made a second grocery run to buy more milk for the eggnog and other sundries. Then I got home and realized I needed eggs as well and just wasn’t willing to make another grocery store run. The good news is that Curly, my dog, thoroughly enjoyed eating the scalded failure.
Then I found out that the quarter ham I bought was not only pre-cooked AND pre-sliced but it was also laced with sucralose. Basically I hadn’t purchased a ham for Christmas, I’d just purchased a pound and a half of deli ham adulterated with fuck all. Thanks Hormel.
Green Bean Casserole was the only success of the year. It’s worth saying that even that attempt was semi-foiled by shady advertising. I bought a can of “Fresh Cut” green beans and returned home before I examined it closely and realized that they were pulling a quick one on “French Cut” green beans vs. “Fresh Cut” green beans. Anyhow, I modified this recipe down to produce just 3 servings. Any more than that and I’d never eat it all, plus this smaller serving baked up in just 14 minutes in my toaster oven! Oh, and even better it doesn’t use that disgusting cream of blech soup as a base or put onions from a box on the top.
I know I’m a skeptic, but shit has gone seriously insane. The normal green bean people are trying to steal the french cut green bean people’s business? Hormel “supplemented” my ham with sucralose? Seriously, a fucking Diet Ham? What in the hell are people thinking? I suppose if they sold Diet Hams and regular Hams I might be less insulted…but to just assume that I need a sweeter, yet less calorically enhanced, ham is just fucked up.
The pecan tarts from the store were excellent, delicious and full of the corn syrup I wanted so desperately. Normally I stay away from the stuff, but I just love pecan pie. I only eat it twice a year, so I don’t think it’s going to kill me. Unless I choke the delicious little gut bombs.
I flat out gave up on the popcorn. I thought this would all be so simple and was met with either failure or combative marketing that I just didn’t want to fight anymore. You know who won this Christmas? Ten High Whiskey and my dog Curly. Here she is enjoying her Christmas gift, a nice beef trachea. It sounds and looks disgusting, but I’m assured that it’s full of all sorts of things that she’ll love and it will be good for her nails and hair.
That is not to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy myself. I look forward to many ham sandwiches, soups and casseroles. And I think I’ll also watch a few traditional Christmas Films and get a little snockered. How did your Christmas go?
The Bishop’s Wife
We’re No Angels
It’s been an interesting 10 days.
It started out last Friday. I did my regular check on Craigslist for any free offerings that might be worth the time. Luckily for me I found two posts for free firewood that is near enough to my house to be worthwhile. So I left them both voicemails and immediately got a call back from one of the two offers. It was maple wood, which isn’t premium firewood as it burns a little fast but it splits easily and burns very clean.
Even though we were scheduled to get steady rain on Saturday I arranged to start picking up the wood. Even better, it’s a big tree, it was 50′ tall and has already been bobbed. Bobbing is just cutting the trunk up into smaller, more manageable, sections. But the thing is that he’s already accomplished the most dangerous portion of firewood gathering, dropping the tree without killing yourself. And bobbing can be a pain in the butt as the tree likes to try to pinch your saw as you cut it up into chunks. Finally, the wood is not in the middle of a field where I might get the van stuck, it’s at the end of a driveway.
I sort of dreaded working in the rain, but that morning I got up and put some air in the one tire on the trailer that looked semi-flat. Then I showed up and loaded the trailer. I got lucky, it was cold but the rain held off while I was loading. Unfortunately, I got about 500 feet down the road before the other tire on the trailer went flat. Worse, it looked like I might have broken the bead on the tire when I inspect it. But I remained hopeful and decided I’d try to go buy a portable compressor and see if I could put some air in the tire without having to take the wheel off. Now the rain has started coming down steadily.
I was stuck in front of someone’s house and I felt bad just abandoning a trailer in front of someone’s house. Also, I noticed that he had an undercover police car parked in his driveway. So I knocked on the door and let them know what was going on. The young hispanic man who spoke in perfect American English answered the door and was not only okay with the situation, but he also asked, “Do you have a portable compressor?”
I confessed that I didn’t but that I would go buy one and try to get out of his way. Home Depot is just a mile away and I know they sell units that work on a car lighter socket. He intervened and said, “I’ve got a compressor, let me run you a line and we’ll see if that will work.”
Over the next 15 minutes we spent time trying to keep his dog inside the house while I put air in the tire. The dog was able to get out because the hose can’t run outside the front door without leaving a gap and the dog is small, maybe 15 pounds. The tire didn’t break the bead and it was able to take pressure. We got it up to 60 PSI but it showed a nasty cut near the bead where I had probably run on it while it was flat for too long.
Finally, I thanked the man and I limped over to Firestone Tire, hoping to get a new tire. But their parking lot is precariously full of vehicles. They had shit parked in spots where they’re weren’t even parking spots. Every single lift in the shop was in the use. I didn’t even walk in the door and drove over to Goodyear tire where they told me that they didn’t do a thing with trailer tires. But they did tell me about a family tire store across the road.
I drive over to Bergotto’s(I think) Tires, on Vivion Road, and tell them about my problems. It’s a nice Italian joint where the guys aren’t sitting at the desk, instead they’re sitting on a comfortable couch watching TV and look like the grandfathers of their family. They talk to me for a bit and then call for their son to help me out. I tell him the deal and he walks out with me to take a look at the tire. Magically, the slice I had 5 minutes ago is now gone! I apologize for asking him to come out in the rain and look at the tire and he just counsels me to take it easy on the drive home, go slow due to the rain and the tire issues.
So I limped home at low speed, thanks to my GPS, and unloaded the trailer. The next day I inspect the tires and they’re totally dry-rotted. Go figure, they’re only 11 years old. But it’s a Sunday and almost no tire shops are open on Sundays.
Monday I roll into a local trailer place and order new tires and rims, plus a spare tire. They’re due in Wednesday.
I get no calls on Wednesday, so I call the store late in the afternoon. Turns out they screwed up and it will be Friday or at the latest, Monday. I text the guy I’m getting the free wood from so he has the option to offer the wood to someone else if he needs to.
Friday, the guy with the wood calls me in the morning. He offers to lend me his trailer so I can finish picking up the wood. I accept and run one load of wood. Then I load up a second load of wood. As I’m driving the wood home, I get a flat on his trailer because he’d put passenger tires on a trailer. Still, when you’re borrowing someone’s equipment and you break it, you should pay to fix it.
I spent the rest of the day getting his tires fixed and dropping off the second load. Then Sunday, I spent the entire day loading up wood and delivering it to my house. Some of the wood was so large, nearly 4′ across, I had to cut it or split it into smaller sections just so a single person could load and unload it.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
People in Kansas City are trusting and helpful. If you get a flat, knock on someone’s door and see if they can help you. If your equipment breaks down in the middle of a job, but you openly communicate what’s going on they may let you use their equipment just to finish the job. It’s a great town to live in. I moved hear in 1999 but it is now my town, I don’t want to live in any other town and if you ever get tired of impolite, uncaring, suspicious neighbors pissing you off on the coast, think about moving close to the heartland. We’re called the heartland for a reason. We’re full of good people who work hard even when the times are tough and we help each other out when it’s been a bad day. We trust strangers with our tools because we’d like our neighbors to trust and help us when we’ve had a bad day. I’ve lived in Maryland, Texas, California, Britain, Korea and Germany but the heartland is always where I’ve belonged. We’re denim people. Come on over, let’s do some work, grab a burger, work some more, have a chat over coffee and make some great friends.