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kjwolverton@aol.com
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NOVEMBER 2009
I am beginning a new series of Zen Cowboy short stories this month... a writing exercise I begun in 1992-93, writing 100 short stories-like-antidotes , publishing it in 2002 on my ZEN COWBOY  page.  Later, I found out someone copyrighted ZenCowboy songs in 1948. Also someone had the jump getting to the copyright office before me in 2005 with a book of stories and illustrations called ZEN COWBOY. I wonder where they got the idea?
 
So what's new,?

I was doing a mural at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School in 1992 and had an hour for lunch. Before I returned to the collaborative project with kids, I would think of an experience in my life, give it what I called a ZenCowboy synopsis in one sentence. On one page, I encapsulated the event, many times involving my days on the ranch or eclectic journeys I have had.

JOURNAL ENTRIES:Nov.1   Nov.2  Nov.3  Nov.4  Nov.5  Nov.6  Nov.7  Nov.8  Nov.9  Nov.10   Nov.11  Nov.12  Nov.13  Nov.15  Nov.16  Nov.17  Nov.18  Nov.19  Nov.20  Nov.21  Nov.23  Nov.24 Nov.25 Nov.26 Nov.27  Nov.28  Nov.29   

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Nov.30

What goes around can come around with a big bang.

I was a community artist in residence with Theatre Workshop Edinburgh, (Scotland) from 1974  to 1977. In 1976 we were part of an international children's theater festival in Hamburg, Germany, with theater companies from Iran, Turkey, Japan, Yugoslavia, Germany, Poland, Russia, England and Scotland. It was because of meeting these groups, my very pregnant girlfriend and I were in Isfahan, Iran, where we were employed to paint a large mural around the walls of a library. The Shah's cultural department  had found us the location and put us in a hotel for the three weeks it took to complete the mural. The hotel was about a half mile from the library, so we walked to and fro every day. Being new to the Muslim culture, we were very ignorant of the customs and taboos, and in a way were encouraged to continue our western manners, by the Shah's deputies who sneered at the mullahs orthodoxy. We should have known better but didn't and so that is why my girlfriend continued to wear a very tight  "T" shirt in the 100 plus temperatures of July. The problem was the men who saw her walking down the street everyday, and came to the decision she was a western whore who they could casually walk up to and squeeze a tit or pinch her ass. She was Scottish and she was having no part of their insanity, as each day she went progressively more insanely angry at their groping. We often stopped at a small grocery store to buy our food. One day she bought a little paper bag of white flour and held it by the top as we continued down the street. When we got to the section of town, where the men regularly accosted her she began to swing the flour bag in a small circle. As a group of three young fashionable men wearing designer black slacks swerved into her to get their daily touch, she swung the flour bag into the crotch of the man in the middle. The bag exploded leaving a huge white dusty splatter all  over his privates and sent arms of rocketing powder bombs all over the legs of the other two men. All three men stopped dead in their tracks as their mouths fell open in embarrassment and the local  people who watched the daily tit pinching ritual laughed at their predicament. The three young men instantly left the scene of the crime and from that day on, no man came near my Scottish hussy.

Nov.29

Tits In Isfahan is tates in Ireland

It takes a lot of separate events  to get you to a street intersection, no matter what the history, if you think about from which connecting point to which...

So there we were, my girlfriend of 6 months, who was pregnant for 5 months, walking down a street in Isfahan, Iran, minding our own business, eating ice sticks of frozen fruit juice, when I noticed two identical cars approaching the intersection, with the men driver's attention clearly focused on the "T" shirt of my girlfriend.

Okay, she was 5 months pregnant and she was wearing no bra and her nipples in the noon day sun casts great black shadows down her belly.

The men entranced with such western barbarianism, rammed into each other at 40 MPH without even attempting to put on their brakes.

I turned to the mother of my daughter that was yet to be, and said, "I think we should just go and let them explain what happened."

Nov.28

...a friend, dirty Bob Smith sent me an evil series of photographs...well, when I traced the link on the photo, I came to:

http://www.alsangeis.com/zafira

I may reconsider my perfect paradise...

Nov.27

Wheels are made for rolling, which means they can roll anywhere.

There are some people nobody likes no matter what they do. Maybe it is some kind of character glitch or the result of bad parents, or who knows, just their Karma. Is that the reason a few of those people decide to be cops, so they can get even? Perhaps, but it seems few people like being stopped by a cop, whether they are guilty or not. There was a state trooper years ago that managed to infuriate a whole valley of ranchers and cowboys by giving tickets out for every criminal infraction known to mankind, like having no tail lights, or license plate, or  an exhaust pipe dragging on the highway throwing sparks to hell. However, this was the heart of Oregon ranch  country, where the local cop had over looked such hideous human conduct ever since the invention of the auto. The state trooper was the idea of some politician that wanted the area to be developed into a tourist Mecca. One night at a grange hall dance, the trooper arrived and stood around glaring at any one who acted the least bit tipsy. Now that is an odd thing to do at a cowboy ball. That is the whole point of cowboys dancing, being so dizzy they look like the have rhythm. At one point I saw some real nice looking ranch girls take a shine to the trooper like he was the sexiest man of the year. I noticed as well most of the young cowboys were somewhere else, then after a few minutes they suddenly reappeared. The girls talking to the cop just as suddenly acted like he was covered in dog poop and left him standing with a question mark on his face. The cop looked around for a minute, then a light bulb went on over his head. He ran out of the hall but came back in 30 seconds, screaming, "All right now, who took the tires off my squad car?" If that was not bad enough, the tires were found in the big hole under the out house that lay on its side.

Nov.26 Thanksgiving

When is a Rose not a rose by any other name?

It was a very depressing cold grey Scottish afternoon. A few old friends were coming in the evening to celebrate the American Thanksgiving. I stopped in my local pub to have a pint before I returned home to finish the turkey's baking time. A beautiful black English Cocker Spaniel was next to a man and a woman at the bar. "What a lovely dog," I said. "That's right," The woman said, "she's a national champion and we have one pup left if you are interested."   "Oh, I am sure you want more money than I could afford." The woman looked at the man and laughed as she said, "Yes, ordinarily the pups are quite expensive, but this time she had one full red puppy which is not at all what we are breeding. We could let it go reasonably enough." After talking with them for a few minutes I was walking back to my old truck to hide the puppy until my little girl, Rowan,  went to bed. The 8 week old male puppy was going to be her Christmas present, and that was almost a month away. I kept the puppy in the kitchen at night time, then got up early in the morning to take him out to the truck before my daughter awakened. Christmas morning I sneaked the puppy into a big box and set it next to the Christmas tree. When Rowan opened the box the puppy jumped right into her arms. "What are you going to call him?" I asked her. "His name is Rose," my three year old daughter answered.  "But he is a boy," I said. "I don't care. He is Rose." And Rose he was for the next 12 years as he followed us from Scotland to Corsica to America. One year, in the fall he disappeared. He had been getting old and wobbly. I had no idea he had the fatal disease caused by heart worms. I searched every where on our property, but no luck. Then, near Thanksgiving I crawled under the house to run a new electric line. In a very dark corner lay the body of our beautiful little Rose. I buried him out in our garden, where later a cholla cactus grew and now blooms every year, its little rosy flowers. Today, I will go say hello to Rose and thank him for being in our lives.

Nov.25

PART TWO (once in awhile my one page stories stretch to two)

Pass goal and go directly to jail is one of the rides on a monopoly board...

Technically I was almost in jail...that is, one floor above the cells, where an affidavit was being typed one finger style, by a Gestapo looking French cop, who kept chuckling, "Deporte, absolutment!" A detective stood at my shoulder and watched me drawing in my sketch book. What else could I do, being in the clutches of the law? "You are a fantastic artist," He said, "It is a shame such a fine artist  should be sent from our island." Several other cops and detectives gathered around me watching me draw a portrait of myself behind bars. They discussed my immanent deportation. "Where will they deport him?" said one. "For certain he will be sent to America, that is his passport," said another. "That will be very expensive." Yes and it will be complicated." "Yes, complicated and expensive," They agreed together. "If he was Algerian, it would be simple. Put him on the boat and send him home. Not so expensive, yes?" "Yes, simple and cheap, but he is an American. It is complicated and expensive." They all shook their hands in that traditional French manner of expressing futility. Just at that moment, my Angel flew in the door in the guise of Colette, who had been our first friend in Corsica. She saw me sitting amidst the flock of gendarmes and detectives, and walked directly to us shouting, "What kind of land do we live in where we arrest famous artists who have given all of their talent and time to make this ugly place more beautiful?" The first detective who saw me drawing stepped forward and said, "Yes, this is despicable madam. We will take this matter to the chief." The detective, I noticed, ran his eye over the lovely body of Colette, as they walked to the Chief of Police office. "But he must be deported," screamed the fat little piggy who had arrested me. In ten minutes, Colette walked out of the office smiling with the Chief and the detective both following with their eyes firmly planted on my Angel's posterior. In another ten minutes I was walking down the street with Colette on one arm, my wife on the other, and a permanent official work permit and visa.

Nov. 24

PART ONE

Pass goal and go directly to jail is one of the rides on a monopoly board...

I looked behind me and thought, OH, OH. There was a cloud of blue smoke coming out of the Volkswagen, so thick and so dense, I could not see the road twenty feet behind me. I knew I should have not put that free oil in the motor, when I took the container off and something dripped out that smelled like chicken grease. Anyway, the motor was done and there was only a moment or two before the whole thing would blow. That is when I looked up and saw a French paramilitary road block in front of me. The sergeant stopping the the traffic held up his hand and motioned for me to pull off  to the side of the highway. I didn't like the look of his pugnacious face. He came up to the window and asked for my license. I thought the old trick would work as it had so many times before when I said, "I'm sorry I don't speak French." "Oooo La La," was his answer. He then noticed there was no inspection sticker, nor current license plate on the car. He looked at me with squinted eyes and asked, "Visa?"  "Shit," I thought, "it is not working." On discovering I had no visa, no driver's license, no registration nor insurance for the car, he said, "Par certainment, deporte!" Amazing how I could suddenly understand French, as he put me in the back of the police van and I explained to him I was the guest of Count De Poix, and lived in his summer palace on the beach. Usually only the mention of the islands most famous aristocrat was enough to open doors and cause halos around my head. Not this time, the sergeant snorted and simply said, "Oui, oui, deporte, hah, hah." In ten minutes I was sitting in the police station drawing in my sketch book, thinking I might as well relax and let the inevitable happen. "I told you to get a driver's license, a hundred times," was the only thing my wife said when I called with the news. I was being deported back to America leaving my wife and little girl stranded with no money in Corsica.

Nov.23

  Famous rides can happen sitting still while the world goes by like a movie.

I lived in Scotland from January 1974 to October 1983, nearly ten years. It was only after I had been there nine years, the gray and the rain started getting to me. For the previous years my life was so full of activity, I rarely thought about the weather, but just accepted what was obvious. Rain is why Scotland is green. It was Scotland where I learned to think of a pub as "my local," which is British code  for "my second home."  I was no different from 75% of the population. The other 25% being teetotalers. I was young, so I could sit in a pub from 5 PM with my pals to 10 PM (closing time) then go to someone's house to 2 or 3 AM boozing and lusting, then get up in the morning with very little side affects, night after night, year after year. Scotland was my university for the  degree of non-stop binge. My best friend Mike, would generally say after 7 or 8 pints, "Now I am getting thirsty," and go on for at least 4 pints more. There are 8 pints in a gallon so go figure. I was usually only good up to 5 or 6, then switch to tea and chasing women. My pals and I would be a mood for almost anything by 10 PM, and how we survived the women we got involved with is a miracle to say the least, as they were just as bad if not worse than us with moral loopholes. Edinburgh was a big enough city that you could play the circuit without too many repeat performances, and that was just as good for the gals as it was for us guys. Still, every once in a while, us boys would decide to do something other than chase another skirt. One night Mike gave me a nudge and said, "Come along. I want to show you the quick way home." It was after we both got turned down by a femme fatal, at her apartment, so going home to our shared flat with another Scottish friend seemed the obvious conclusion of the evening. We lived about a mile from the city center, where we were. The ride home could not be much shorter, especially at 3 in the morning. I was wrong. Mike put the little car up on the pedestrian sidewalks, and drove like a madman all the way down Princess street, jumping the curbs and going through red light after red light. When we got the the edge of the Meadows city gardens, instead of taking the long winding road through the garden he jumped the curb again and roared right through the middle of the park, up an down grassy knowles, flower beds  and children playgrounds. We were home in a record five minutes. That of course was a long time ago and now we are naturally older and wiser.

Nov. 21

We touch our history like keys in a piano connect one note to the next.

I was the last of 11 children my mother pumped through her body. Two babies died at birth, but it was back in the time country folk took it for granted some infants would not survive. One month before I was born, the first boy, my brother Ernie was killed in WWII, as a a Marine Corps fighter pilot. It was bitter irony for my mother; number 1 baby boy dead, replaced by number 11 baby boy. The grief my mother had was transformed into loving me double the other kids ever had. I was her little spoiled angel that could do no proverbial wrong. Yet Ernie's death was never forgotten as I grew up. He was a war hero and photographs and pieces of his existence were everywhere in our house. There was a cedar chest filled with the items the government had returned in a duffle bag. A flying helmet, sheep skin coat, gloves and boots all that smelled like moth balls and cedar. When i was very little my mother let me wear Ernie's flying boots that came up to my crotch. My brothers and sisters idolized Ernie, and talked about him like he was just on vacation. I expected him to show up any day. I would look at the handsome photograph of him in his flying gear sitting on our upright piano and wish he would come home soon. Sometimes I would sit at the piano, and look into his eyes, as I pressed down all of the lower bass keys, listening to the rumble, imagining I was flying up in the clouds with him.

Nov.20

  Bloodlines can call you back to old pastures.

I never knew I had historical French connections until I was in my 40's, and that was after I had already lived in a province of France for three years. I returned to America and I was talking to my Uncle Leo. He had been stationed at the little town of Ghissonaccia, Corsica during World War Two. He was part of the American Army's bomber squadron that pummeled Rommel in Africa. After the war, the airfield was returned to the Corsicans who reverted the fields into vineyards and orange groves. 40 years later I was painting a 500 foot mural around the same old air field that would be the site of a wannabe Woodstock style music festival, featuring the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. I had no idea my uncle had stood on the same ground in 1944. Even more to my surprise was when Uncle Leo asked me if my father had ever spoken French to me and told me about his two years in Marseilles. Up until then, I had no idea my father spoke anything but American English, or had stayed on after World War One. It got me to thinking. French women are beautiful, and no doubt the only reason my father would have bothered to learn one word of French. A woman, or several women. My old man loved women and was a notorious flirter. As far as I could ever see, women loved him for it. There must have been a story, and yet my old man never said one thing to me about two years of peace time with the women in France. I would ask him if he was still here to answer. I sure could swap French stories with him and have a good laugh.

Nov.19

Motorcycle rides are not always for transportation.

Indian and Harley Davidson were the motorcycles used in WWI. My dad preferred the Indian because that is what he was issued. After he cleaned the mud off his very last run of the war, he disassembled it for the second time, wrapping it in heavy greased burlap and crated it to be shipped back to the states. He thought he was going with it in 1918. The orders were for him to stay with the occupation forces, so he was stationed in Marseilles, France until 1920, when he was finally sent home. My old man somehow became a "Jack of All Trades," and what he didn't know he would learn or find some one to do it cheaper than him. He was the kind of old guy who would buy 15 used broken toasters, for $15, then put one back together that would burn bread rock black, then eject it into the ceiling at 60 MPH. That being his character plus a veteran WWI motorcycle currier, he started Colorado's first heavy motorcycle race course out on his land in 1949, people called "West Dog Patch." It was a course that went around in a mile long oval. At the start was a steep conical shaped hill, the big Harleys and Indians had to shoot over, and then at the end of the course was a stair case of three hills. The bikes would be going so fast they usually would jump from one hill top to the next. I was there on the Sunday a big Harley flew over the last hill so high it landed on the hood of a brand new Buick convertible. My dad thought that was about as funny as anything could be.

Nov.18

If you spit out the window, it may blow back on you.

My father died in 1971. he wasn't really old, only 76, but he had a full and dangerous life. He was always surprised he had lived so long. He used to say to me winking in his ornery way , "You know how I've lived so long?" and I'd always say, Nope. "Because I could run faster than anybody else."

He was a motorcycle currier in WWI. He ran an Indian. At the close of the war, he was ordered to take his bike apart, wrap it all in heavy greased burlap, crate it and accompany it on a ship returning to America. His crate was at the dock when his commanding officer said, "Wolverton, uncrate your bike at once and get it ready to take Colonel Luke to the front immediately. It was at this point it began to rain until the streets were rivers of mud. My old man said yes sir like a good soldier and knew Colonel Luke was going to get the ride of his life.

My old man would almost fall off the chair telling you how the Colonel was so terrified that he begged to be let out of the side car, but my old man acted like he was stone deaf, as many trench soldiers were and understood the colonel, yes he would go faster .

While he was in France, my father no doubt got gassed like almost all did. Years later he would rumble up a syrupy glob and spit it out the window. If you were lucky, the window was rolled up as the crystalline slime glob monster danced across the sky like Salvador Dali.

Nov.17

The twist of love does not come in minutes.

Years ago I tried several times to convince a woman we were meant for each other. I escaped the nut house to find her. I had sent her telegrams asking her hand in marriage. I hitch-hiked thousands of mile to look for her and found her only by a miracle coincidence of being in the same place at the same time. She told me she was in love with a man in another country. Two years later she wrote and said she had his baby and he was gone and she would be happy to see me. I dropped in only to tell her I was in love with a woman in another country. Thirty years later I happened to have a blow out in my old van as I was passing through her town, the place I had given her pay back. I wondered if she was still there, so I called all the last names that were hers in the telephone book. A cousin said she would pass on the message I was in town. 15 minutes later, the bartender said someone was on the phone for me. It was her. She wanted to meet for breakfast. At 7 AM I was in Denny's looking at the door, waiting, wondering. An old woman, dressed in a long drab brown coat, and a dull head scarf came in and looked around the restaurant. She came to me, but it was not until she was two feet away, and I could see those still beautiful eyes behind the rhinestone butterfly glasses that I knew it was her. She sat down and we talked over the 30 years in five minutes. There was a small lull, and she said, "I brought something," and handed me a large brown envelope. In it were all the letters I wrote to her all those years before. She told me she had never forgotten me.  A year later I drove through Yuma again and put a painting on her front door and walked away.  I had done the portrait of her when we were both young and beautiful.

Nov.16

 Escaping the Nut-House Into a Nut House is the Observer Observed

I woke up thinking, "Wow, I am in a nut house. Everyone here is crazy except for me." I looked up at the 12 foot ceiling and there was a 25 watt light bulb covered in a thick wire cage lighting brownly a yellowed room. There were heavy bars on the the tiny window that also had thick wire over the window to be sure no one would be tempted to eat the glass. The walls were padded with what looked like cheap shitpissstained futons. The room was barely wide enough for two single beds head to head fit in with about a foot clearance to get in and out of bed. I heard a click of grating metal and saw someone sliding open a tiny metal window the size of a  small envelope (so as to keep us from tooth paste squeezing out). Three months later I was still in the Nut House but now in an open ward.  I had my own well lit and bountiful studio, doing special art work for my unbelievably beautiful therapist, Mrs. Coolachick. She was married to the hospital aromatheesialogoist. After she told me she was in love with me I knew everybody in the hospital was nuts. I made a plan and escaped for 8 hours. While I was away I went for a walk in the country and proposed to my best buddies girl friend who was just as beautiful as Mrs. Coolachick. She said she was afraid, because I was crazy. So I escaped back into the Nut House where BIGNURSE said, "All right Wolverton admit it, you escaped the nut house." and I said, "No I didn't, it is crazier out there than here."  "We saw you at the station," BIGNURSE said pointing her finger. "I had to ask somebody a question, " I said. "You are going to solitary confinement Wolverton," BIGNURSE yelled. In five minutes I was laying in the same room I had arrived in except the light was turned off. They felt sorry for me being all alone in the darkness, so they put in James, who tried to murder his white commanding officer and seven white military policeman. I couldn't even see my hand two inches away in the pitch black as we talked over the three months we had known each other. "But I could never trust you man," James said. "Huh, I don't get it James, why?" "Why? Man cause you white." I burst out laughing and said, "How do you know what color I am James? You can't even see my face." It was quiet for a long minute, then James began that slow rumble laugh he had and we laughed and laughed our assess off.

Nov. 15

Pig, Fish Guts and Big Fat Thaana, is not an exotic dish unless you are on the road to adventure and romance.

I once had a friend who said, "There are only two things necessary in life and you can't have one without the other." What's that? I said. "Romance and Adventure ," he said and held his hand over a lit candle. I sat there waiting for him to pull his hand off the candle and he just sit there and looked at the light. Smoke started to come off his hand and he pulled his hand casually away from the flame, turning to look at the big black smudge on his palm. "Getting used to loneliness is like holding your hand over a flame. You can't have romance without danger, and you can't have adventure without beauty, because then, you are living a lie." A year later I happened to be at the College Artists Ball held in an old factory warehouse. There was a 250 gallon wine cask and maybe 200 college students at the ball. About midnight it was only safe to walk arm in arm  in groups of four, because if two passed out, there was two to hold it up. I happened to be walking with a college girl who was legendary because she weighed 300 lbs. and had beaten out every beautiful girl in the school by being chosen by a famous poet who was reading at our school, to spend the night with him. Everyone called her Big Fat Thaana. As the ball was closing at 3 in the morning she asked me if I wanted to go clubbing with her. Sure I said. She took me to an illegal bar that was open to a special knock, full of prostitutes, homosexuals, horny fishermen and every petty crook in town. Everyone knew her and loved her. At six in the morning, I was being thrown half way to the ceiling in her bedroom and I was having the time of my life. About noon I began to sober up and seeing her snoring like a buzz saw thought it best to go home. I had left my dog named Pig in a car parked next to the fish cannery. He had jumped out the window, gone down to the drain flowing into the fish gut slew where he had wallowed gloriously before returning to the car and jumped back in the window. The smell was how I felt and I had no idea what I was going to say to my beautiful young hippy girlfriend. I decided truth was the only road, so I said to her when she saw me looking like shit and smelling like what my dog Pig had dragged into the car, "I can not lie. I slept with Big fat Thaana last night." She just dropped her mouth and said, " I can understand if you had been with a beautiful woman, but why did you sleep with a big fat ugly slob?" I looked at her and knew the answer. There are only two things necessary in life, and you can't have one without the other.

Nov. 13

Cardboard monsters are the guardians to Rock Candy Mountain.

In December 1973 I traveled on a Greek Freighter from New York to London. It was 12 days in force 11 gales. I asked the captain how high did the gale force go to and he said 12. "What is it called after that?" I asked. He said, "Chaos." Once in London I took a train to Oxford, where I bought a Raleigh bicycle and peddled for the next nine days to Edinburgh, Scotland. There I met a group of young actors and artists who were part of a great socialist movement in the arts. I became part of their company. Three years later I was performing as a clown in the world's First International Children's Theater Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Our Scottish company won first place. A year later I travelled with a young woman who would become my wife to Isfahan, Iran. We had been performing in Istanbul as clowns, but in Isfahan, we painted a mural for the Shah's library system for children. It was here we discovered we were going to be parents. Our plan had been to keep going East and do art projects in India, Japan, Australia, Hawaii and then back to Scotland. Now five months pregnant, it did not seem a good idea to go third world countries with very little money and no real contract for work. We opted to return to Hamburg where a major European street theater festival was about to begin. Our plan was to do the clown show we had performed for thousands of children in Istanbul. The star of our show was a life size puppet of which had duplicate costume to one I would wear, and magically allow the puppet to become a living doll. Children loved it. A half hour out of Hamburg on the train, I checked our baggage in the passageway at the end of the coach. The puppet was stolen. We had no show. We had no money. But we had friends in Hamburg who asked us if there was anything else we could do for the festival. I said I could build card board monsters that kids could get into. They thought it was brilliant. Two days later my very pregnant girlfriend and I were having a heated argument in front of a couple of hundred German people on the street. We both had on our clown costumes, standing inside cardboard monsters. For some reason the people thought it was a show and applauded when we finished the argument and my girlfriend ran to bathroom crying. A woman came up gave us her card. For the next seven years, that woman brought us back to Hamburg to paint murals, build carved bridges and perform as clowns. We made more money than we could have ever imagined.

Nov.12

I would fall in love with any woman  who had the perfume of sage brush after the rain.

I was born on a small farm, but my parents divorced when I was three. My mom and brothers and sisters moved into the city. My father sold the farm and built another house not far from the old property. Every week or two my brothers and I would go out to see him.  I would explore the dusty barn my father built for the horses he kept for city people to rent for an hour or two. There was a distinct smell of horse shit and adobe dust. Once I was climbing a pole ladder feeling the very fine powdery dust on each rung when suddenly my fingers squished on something. I climbed up and saw it was a ten inch centipede waving its stinger tail only a fraction away from my fingers. I went back to the barn on every visit, because the pungent smells and weird creatures made me feel I was in a exotic world. A few years later, I would go stay with my oldest brother, Red Cloud in the summers. Two years it was up in the mountains of Colorado that smelled of pine and aspen and horse sweat. When I was 12, I went out to eastern Oregon to spend the summer on the ZX  ranch which had over 3 million acres. The ZX was 20 to 40 miles wide and 125 miles long. We would saddle the horses at day break and ride until sunset and only go through one fence gate all day. Red Cloud was the only cowboy to watch over 7,000 head of cattle so he had to ride every day to check water holes, fence lines and sick or injured cows. One day we rode down to a  place known as the Lost Forest. The forest was two giant ponderosa pine trees that were slowly being buried by giant shifting sand dunes. On that day, a rain squall suddenly blew in and dumped an inch of water then just as suddenly disappeared. The sage brush in that area was as high as me sitting on the horse. I remember the beautiful perfume of the rain wet air, desert sand, pine and  sage mixed into the sweat and leather wafting up from the snorting horses who felt the chill of summer rain.

Nov. 11

Trucks I have owned were worn out with journeys before they got to me, still full of their stories.

Without any consideration HOZ was the most amazing and colorful truck I have ever owned, but then on second thought they were all fantastic in their own way. That is just what parents who have many children say about their brood. I think of one truck at one moment and think what an amazing time, but then I think of another truck at another point of being and I think what an amazing time. For instance I think of BETSY, my old 68 Dodge half ton I had painted wild horses and orange to purple rainbows fusions with a great big sign across the camper shell on the back that said NEW MEXICO MURALS UNLIMITED.  I was in Farmington, New Mexico finishing a mural for a kindergarten class in a local elementary school. I painted Jehovah's vision of lambs walking with lions. I was splattered with paint, ordering a hamburger at Blake's Burger's when a dude walks in three sheets in the wind and he says looking at me, "Hey man, is thash your truck?" I think, oh crap, how do they always find me these people? And I say yeah and he says "Wuz New Mexico Urinals Unlimited," and I say I paint murals in schools and he says "URINALS?"and I think oh boy and say yeah, urinals and he said, "Wow, I didn't know they painted urinals these days," and I said yeah, lotsa money in it.

Nov. 10

Every time I quit what I was supposed to be, the  road would turn in a circle right back to what I just left behind.

Everything I once did, seems so long ago now. Back in another life I was disappointed with everything and everybody, especially myself. I decided to become a better humane being. I went to shoe repair school in Denver, Colorado. I was living with a beautiful girl I had met in the mountains. Life could have not been better. There was some irony in me going to a shoe repair school. That is the occupational training I was supposed to have when I joined the U.S. Army in February 1967. I didn't join out of patriotism. I joined because I was flunking out of college and was almost certainly going to be immediately drafted with the highest probability I would be placed in the infantry or worse, being a combat medic. That was my fear. The irony was the army recruiter was untruthful to me, and the form I signed that had big bold letters 91-A-10 stamped at the top was actually the classification for COMBAT MEDIC. Never trust army recruiters is the short story and moral to that tale. So here I was four years later putting in motion an experience the army was supposed to give me. Repair people's shoes. I went to the school for six months, then worked for almost a year in a shoe repair shop. I was sick of the city so I talked my girlfriend into following me up into the mountains, where I was going to do a kind of mobile shoe repair in a big old Ford Van I had converted into a very tiny house and repair shop. It was somewhere on that journey my gal decided she had had enough of me. After calling me several choice names she left me standing in a cloud of dust. I arrived in the little mountain town by myself feeling deep in the blues, but right away everyone brought me their worn out shoes. I opened my shop and ran it for a whole week, before I put up a sign, “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS.” It took me that long to realize I could never be happy unless I was an artist. Some lessons took me a while to get.

Nov. 9

You can leave your country behind, but the blood of your beginning is never lost.

I left the United States in late 1973. I was sick of Nixon, the on-going war in Vietnam and disappointment of my drugged generation. I hoped I would find a better life in Europe. What I found was a wife, a baby and the idea that if I stayed long enough I would forget the land I left behind. I stayed five years before my wife convinced me we should visit my homeland and my family. My wife was excited to show our baby girl to her new American relations. I was a little nervous to see my red-neck brothers again, especially Tommy who was very proud of being a genuine Nevada buckaroo. The last time I saw him we argued over God, politics and hippies with long hair. He was convinced I was a communist. I was beginning to think he was as right-wing as Nixon. None of that mattered. My wife wanted to see the great wild west. Within a month we were driving into the ranch gates where I had spent my youth. All went well for the first day. My brother now had two children and the things we once argued over no longer mattered. Hippies had become yuppies and America had abandoned Vietnam. Everything was fine until a business partner of my brothers was invited to dinner. As my brother, the colleague had once been a Marine, and after a few beers, the theme of an old argument showed its ugly head again. According to both of them, the Beatles were homosexual, all hippies were traitors and everyone who had opposed the Vietnam war was a coward. I kept my mouth shut for once and tried to change the topic by talking about my experiences in Europe. That was when the business partner began ranting about how the British aristocracy was being persecuted by faggot welfare            communists. Suddenly I could not take the stupidity of the man, and asked him how he knew so much about European social hierarchies. He said he once had spent a whole day in London. I looked him straight in the eye and said, "You must be a genuine genius." It was at this point suddenly I was back in the wild west and my wife got a glimpse of how crazy red-necks are. The "genius" threw back his chair and jumped up, but before anything else could happen my brother leapt across the table and grabbed the guy by the throat. Tommy yelled, "You get out of my house you son-of-a-bitch!" The "genius" ran out of the house and my wife sat there with her mouth wide open. Tommy's wife started crying, and saying, "My God we are going to be killed!" I was completely shocked and said, "Please calm down everybody, we were just having a friendly discussion." I thought my brother had drank too much beer, and his friend and him would be okay in the morning, but that was not the end of the evening. In five minutes I heard a vehicle come into the ranch driveway. Tommy jumped up again and went to his gun cabinet and pulled out a 30-30 Winchester and ran out of the house. I knew my brother had gone crazy and chased him out the door screaming, "Stop this madness Tommy and put that gun away." He ignored me and ran up to the truck that had slid to a stop in front of the house. I could see Tommy's weird business partner. He was reaching for something next to him in the seat, but before he could get it, my brother poked the Winchester through the open window and stuck the barrel in the guys throat. "I told you to leave and I meant it. You get out of here you piece of shit or I will blow your head off!" The genius put the truck in gear and threw gravel all over the yard and then roared out the ranch gates. When we got back in the house Tommy's wife told me the full story. Apparently the "genius" had a habit of starting fights and cutting people with knifes or worse. My brother had actually saved me. The next day my wife, baby and I left for the airport and return to nice safe sane Europe. Tommy and I shook and hands. To my surprise, I saw tears in in his eyes as he said goodbye.

Nov. 8

The quickest way to get off a horse is helped by gravity.

The first art I remember is the a painting of a black stallion on a small board, that was propped up on the dining room table by my cousin Virginia Jackson. It was night time and there was a bare light bulb hanging down on a skinny cord from a high ceiling. She had her back to me, but looking over her shoulder I could see the horse, standing proud on a rocky mesa, the wind blowing its mane and tail, and in the distance were blue mountains. I felt like I could walk into the picture. Later when I went to school and the teacher gave me my turn to go to the drawing easel I drew the head of a horse just like the head of the stallion my cousin had done. After that, the teacher let me go to the easel most days, and every time I would draw some kind of horse. That was a big advancement of what I had been drawing before I saw my cousins painting. The first time I used a pencil, I felt like my eye was right on the tip of the lead, and I would fill page after page of very neat and regular loops all connected. I felt like I was on a motorcycle. All of the years afterward in school, all of my friends thought of me as the artist in their class. Only once did I have a rival, Johnny Fuentes. We made a game out of both being artists, and would challenge each other every day in drawing different scenes. I began to think I was an artist, because the teachers and all my class mates said I was. But I had other interests, mainly horses. That is, I wanted to be like my oldest brother, Red Cloud. I wanted to be a genuine buckaroo. A cowboy. Red Cloud had taught me everything I knew about horses. He put me on a young green bronco named Muskrat at the age of eleven. By the time I was 15, I had my own horse. I called him Wasco. He was caught as a mustang stud on the Warm Springs Indian reservation. I loved Wasco more than anything. I thought Wasco loved me the same until I was eighteen. Then that summer I went away for three months. When I returned the first thing I did was saddle up Wasco in the round corral and got on him very warily. Red Cloud warned me that sometimes when you didn't ride a mustang for a few months, they would revert to be wild. Not Wasco. It was like we had never been separated a day. The very next day I saddled him again and took him outside the corral before I got on him. When I climbed into the saddle Wasco suddenly exploded and threw me to the ground. I was more confused than hurt, but I took him back into the corral and got on again. I got bucked off again and again and again. On the seventh attempt, I was terrified but got on Wasco again. Bam, I hit the ground, and Wasco stepped on my stomach. I remember exactly that moment, for in my mind, I heard this voice, "Forget being a cowboy Ken, because you are going to be an artist!"

Nov.7

The strange thing about the most profound journey is when you are left completely alone with the stars in sky and the wind on your face.

My girlfriend yelled, "You chauvinistic son-of-a-bitch." She grabbed her bag and jumped in her sisters car. They drove off to southern California. I stood there waiting for the car to stop. It kept going and then disappeared over the horizon. I realized she wasn't coming back. For a moment I was deflated but then it turned to anger. There was nothing to do but continue the journey by myself and Graffitus Melon Pig. He was my faithful canine pal who had been given his full melodious name by my old musical partner, Fred. We went on to Telluride Colorado, arriving in the late afternoon as the sun came below the clouds and beamed light on the thousand foot waterfall at the end of the valley. A double rainbow arched the sky. I knew it was an omen of some kind. Two months later for a hundred bucks I bought a 50 Ford pick up truck with four bald tires and HOZ spray painted on its  doors. I took off for California. Two weeks later I was back in Telluride sitting in a Southern Baptist church, dedicating my life to Jesus. A month later my truck was being towed at 60 MPH by Red Cloud, swerving up a mountain highway until we got to Salida, Colorado. Red Cloud was on his way north and I had to go west , returning to Telluride. It was January, three in the morning, cold as a witches tit and I had 25 bucks in my pocket, just enough to get the truck fixed and 5 gallons of gas. Red Cloud said, "You and HOZ are on your own from here Kenny."  He drove off over the horizon. It seemed very familiar but some how just a lot colder.

Nov. 6

Following money is a road with no end, but if you follow your own road, the money will follow you.

The Oldsmobile Cutlass already had over a hundred thousand miles on it when I bought but it was a good car, maybe the best even though it sprung leaks now and then. It was the fastest car I ever had. It could do a 100 miles across the desert in less than an hour, so comfortable, it  felt like you were doing 50 MPH. I was sad when after several years of service I traded it to a kid who was supposed to dig a cistern for me in return. He only got down a foot in the ground before he destroyed the Olds in a fiery crash. It was my ex-wife who wanted me to get rid of it. I think the car was a reminder of her driving history. She had crunched the Olds two or three times, only giving it minor damage while more or less destroying the other party. She was innocent so she said, and apparently the police agreed being they gave the opposite crasher a citation.  One time she was stopped at a red light when she was rammed by a small Jap car. It was wrecked and had to be towed away. The Olds had a bent rear bumper. Next my ex-wife pulled into a parking lot as a man swung the very expensive door open of his very expensive BMW. The door was ripped from its hinges. The olds had a little dent in the front bumper. The insurance companies paid for the Olds blemished parts, each time enough in a very cold and lean winter to pay the house rent. For years after that each time we would get low on money I would encourage my ex-wife to go out for a drive.

Nov. 5

A family tree; a journey of roots to earth, branches to sky.

Ten years ago, for the first time in 30 years my family came together in one of those classic beer/hamburger/TV football/tear filled marathon reunions. Considering our mutually advanced age and geographic spread it was a miracle seven of my living brothers and sisters arrived along with a bus load of cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts and never-do-good half bloods. My wife and daughter and I got with 45 miles of the occasion when our 15 year-old Chevy died. This time I didn't even to pretend I knew what the problem was. The car stopped working like I had turned off the ignition key. One of my nephews came to our rescue so we were only a couple hours late for the festivities. It was one of those affairs where you see people you have not seen for 30 years and after you express the time of your mutual separation you realize there is not much else to say and you are happy to let another 30 years slip by. Even so we all acted overjoyed at each others mediocre news.  I was amazed how old we all looked and carried on with the main reason of getting together, alcohol. I come from a long bloodline of beer guzzling whiskey boozers. I drank my share of beer plus several others. As we were leaving late in the evening my Italian brother-in-law held out his hand. As I started to shake it I suddenly played the old W. C. Fields trick of twiddling my nose with my thumb. Nick hauled off and hit me hard flat fisted in the chest. When I got my breath I said, "Geez, Nick, why'd you do that? I was just playing you like a kid."  "I ain't a kid anymore," Nick said.  I saw Nick last year. He was crying at my sisters funeral. There was nothing to kid him about.

Nov. 4

When you take a wagon for a ride it takes more than round wheels for it to roll.

As far back as I can remember I have driven cars that fall apart on a regular basis. The first was a 1929 Model A Ford which used 5 gallons of gas in less than a mile. It never dawned on me at the age of 15 perhaps I had a gas leak somewhere. From there it got worse. I bought a 1949 Ford commercial 2 ton van that had a 100 gallon gas tank. But even though it was full, the van always died in less than a mile, acting like it was out of fuel. It never occurred to me there was a gas line blockage somewhere. I was almost 30 by that time, so you may note that automotive analysis is not my strong point. But even so, no matter how much my vehicles have fallen apart, I always manage to get from point A to point B...eventually. One rememberable ride was the usage of water. On the way to Oregon my family and I passed through Green River, Utah where the temperature was 110 . The Oldsmobile Cutlass kept overheating, but each time we were close to a service station and water, that is until we were exactly in the middle of nowhere north of Salt Lake City. I could see the speck of a lonely ranch house on the horizon. Every mile I shut down the Olds and waited for it to cool. Finally I turned into a house that looked like something from the movie Deliverance. I knocked on an open door but no answer came from within. I saw a big pile of gallon plastic milk jug sitting ever so conveniently next to an outdoor water facet. Ten minutes later My little daughter was snuggled among 20 gallons of water on the back seat. We drove 30 miles at a time for the next 500 miles until we reached my brother Tommy's ranch. He asked why there were so many jugs in the back seat. I told him I heard there was a drought.

Nov. 3

You meet few heroes on a journey; people you believe. Even if , they are no longer heroes.

                                                                                                             September 22 is my oldest brother's birthday. He is more than a brother. He raised me from the age of eleven. Before that, he was a fairy tale that came back to the family only once or twice a year, always wearing a huge black cowboy hat , with boots that many colors. When I was four, the tops of Red Cloud's  boots came up to my crotch. I only knew him by the name, Indian cowboys, gave him. Yup, redskin cowpokes. They called him Red Cloud. Not because of the famous chief,  but because one day at sunset, his red hair had a halo around it.  One of the Indian cowpokes next to him  said, "Hey, you ;look like you have red cloud around head." The two other Indians present, laughed  and said, "Yes, now Red Cloud."  The name stuck. Sixty-five  years later, that is how I remember him---not the lame old man who could barely pull himself up into the saddle that was on a horse parked on the street of an old time western movie set.  All of the old broken bones Doctors had pinned  in Red Cloud with silver pins from real life cowboy horse wrecks had finally caught up. But he is still Red Cloud, my personal hero who taught me what tough is.

Nov. 2 

One may journey years to a special place, and then the arrival and experience is over in an uncounted moment.

The problem with having more than a hundred stories in your head is that somewhere all of those stories are interwoven and overlap in time. The result is eventually one sounds like an old geezer repeating themselves ad infinitum...I always have looked on such people with dismay and thought to myself, "I will never do that." But sadly here I am, about to tell a story that no doubt I have written or rattled off to an innocent before they could run away.  I rationalize now, it is not exactly the same story, but with time has gained an honorable patina. The same thing say, that happened to the Grand Canyon over several million years. That is, even though it is the same canyon, it just keeps getting deeper. So there I was sitting in the back seat of a French Peugeot  whizzing past the rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time In my life. My newly wed wife and 8 month old baby were crammed next to me. Two completely crazy women were in the front seat conducting the tour. "Sure is big. Ya wanna stop?" the driver asked. It seemed like the thing to do. We all climbed out of the car and walked up to the edge. "Whew!" exclaimed the driver. "Well there it is. We saw it. Let's go." We climbed back into the French Peugeot in the middle of the American desert and rode into the black of the night. At three in the morning we arrived at the door of the sponsors who had invited us to work with Navajo school Children. Only 48 hours before my family and I had been in our home in Scotland. We  had no idea the Grand Canyon would be seen in a single moment of uncounted seconds.

Nov. 1

When you think you are as low as you can get, be prepared for the floor to drop away.

A telephone call from my brother Robert. We have gone years between conversations. Our family is so big we get information from other members of who is doing what, where, when and so on. "Kenny, I think you should get down to Arizona to see Pop. He's not doing very well." That was all it took. Our mother had died the year before. The next day I had my thumb out on the side of the road, which led me through several dramas on the way to Phoenix. In four days I hitch-hiked 1200 miles. When I got to Pop's house, he was fine, exactly as he always was and seemed to be surprised anyone thought he might not be fine. I stayed a day or two and stuck my thumb out again towards a drama in Tucson. 24 hours later my thumb took me to La Guna Beach, where an old friend got me drunk and put me on a plane with my guitar to San Francisco. The year was 1970 and most of flower power had passed, yet even so, my guitar and long hair had always been a ticket to ride. It was evening when I got to North Beach. It was cold and raining which is normal for Frisco. I was totally penniless which was also normal. What was not normal was no one gave a damn about my guitar, my long hair or me. At 3 in the morning I gave up trying to find a pad to crash in. I was cold, hungry. and totally exhausted. I found an all night laundry mat and went to a dark corner and stretched out under a table. I woke when it was light. My legs felt like they were being crushed. I looked down at my feet and saw a leg that was not mine crossed over my legs. On my chest was an arm that was not mine. I turned to my right to see the toothless mouth of a bewhiskered hobo. To the left was another ancient street urchin snoring like death. "Oh fuck." I said, "this is the bottom." Little did I know there would be future depths that would make this feel cheery.


Below are the titles I will expand upon:

1. Under a Table with Winos (Nov. 1)

2. Two Crazy Women in a Peugeot (Nov.2)ov. 2

3. Red Cloud in The Movies.

4. Water Bottles in Utah

5. Limping to the Family Reunion

6. How My Ex-Wife Paid the Rent

7. Hoz Meets Red Cloud

8. A Gun in the Throat

9. When I became a shoemaker     (in progress)

10. When I Became an artist.

Works still in the Think-Box

11.    The Trucks I have Had

12.    Sage Brush After the Rain

13.    Cardboard Monsters in Germany

14.    Pig, Fish Guts and Big Fat Thaana

15.    Escaping the Nut-House In Germany

16.    The Twist of Love in Yuma

17.    Pop Spits Out the Window

18.    Pop’s last Motorcycle Ride

19.    Pop in Marseilles

20.    My Brother Ernie

21.    Ernie and The Piano

22.    Famous Rides With Mike

23.    Colette Gets Me out of Jail

24.    Where is Rose?

25.    Trooper Tires at Fort Rock

26.    Tits In Isfahan

27.    Flower Bag Incident In Isfahan

PHOTO GALLERY and RANDOM
Nov.30
It is going on the second month; Ruth's father hangs on with the  help of 3 different babysitters...

...and the peahens who arrived unannounced last summer...

Nov.27
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We had our feast like most Americans yesterday, but for Ruth and me, it was kind of an UNFEAST in some ways...yeah we had plenty of food, but the friends and family which usually make Thanksgiving what it is, were not there...that is except for Ruth's 95 year old father who does not know where he is even on a good day and a couple of friends who dropped in on their way to another party...so if nothing else, the feast was easy to clean up and call it just another day. In this world of chaos, maybe that is as good as it gets and something to be thankful for...

Nov.26
Ruth just got the turkey ready, and then off to the shop for a few hours... I put pumpkin pies in the oven, and fed the ducks, chickens and peahens and told them they were lucky not being turkey...
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Nov.23
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Ruth has been organizing the reshuffle of shops at her building in Madrid. Where her little shop INCAHOOTS was at the corner is now going to be next door (the colored section) and other partners in the trinket business will take up the spaces on either side of her. it is the third reshuffle in three years, so maybe this time it will be the magic move.
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She reminded me this morning that January is coming, which means nothing happens much until March...a long two months of absentee tourists...and no denero.
Nov.21
THE MONKEY BAR PIT

As part of the Chihuahua Garden, I started a Grape Arbor, but looking at it for a while, it reminded me more of those things in grade school we used to call JUNGLE JIMS of MONKEY BARS and it occurred to me, that would be a good idea to do, just so we could "hang out" stretch our spines and tone our back muscles, but maybe too, it could actually be a "BAR" being it is getting very expensive to drink at our local watering hole and it ain't that interesting anyway...so maybe, just maybe in the scheme of maybeees, It will become the MONKEY BAR PIT & GRILL,  in this regard, a "pit" being slang for just a another beer joint...
Oh well, that is why we have brains so we can waste time thinking about things we never do.

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Nov.20
A week before Thanksgiving and we still don't have a plan. the idea a month ago was to have a small dinner for just a few friends but the friends came up with other plans so now we are back to just saying, "Heck, who cares?"
It is a lot of trouble, let alone the expense of all the grub, and then it is over in an instant and you are left with the big mess, so why bother?
The answer is simply, "Because it is Thanksgiving."
Does that mean one has to do some kind of religious bowing and scraping to an imaginary white haired God who lives up in the clouds, and if you are lucky he might anoint you with blessings or your guilt of eating five times the amount most people on the planet will have in a week  will be forgiven?
Who cares?
For me Thanksgiving has become like Xmas, just another day that once upon a time was special.
At any rate, Ruth and I will be at home baby sitting the ancient remnant of a human who not only was once a able man, but her father. He is like a bad dream no one wants to have, but here he is, and Ruth continues to honor his existence. She is braver than I am.
Nov.19
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Nov. 17
In between everything, I am building a combination Chihuahua Garden and Grape Arbor.
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I did an impromptu moment last evening when I repossessed all of my artwork at the Mine Shaft Tavern. It was brought on by rudeness I could not tolerate.

I say this,
if you treat water like fire
turn down your boil...don't try to figure that out, because it's me Irish.

Ah such gibberish, and that is what last night was like when I went to the local bar for the end of the day pint or three.

I just sit down and was about to sip the holy brew when I hear several people shouting. I had not put in my new hearing aid so I was a deaf as normal. Anyway when I finally understand they are screaming at me about the telephone, I ask if there is a fire at my house. The answer no, I said, then why is someone bothering me at the bar...I go to the place where the phone has been for the last twenty years, but now it has all kind of new fangled buttons on it and I don't know which one to press. That is the moment the new owner of the bar appeared and started screaming I could not use that phone, in fact, to a westerner such as my self, he was hysterical. In point of fact too, as a westerner I felt like he truly disserved a punch in the nose for yelling at me for doing something everyone in the bar was demanding I do, which was answer the phone. The owner became even more perturbed when I didn't know there was another phone in the next room, and bumbled too slowly out of the area he said I was forbidden to stand in. 
Instead of punching him, I just slowly said, "I think there might be a nicer way you could communicate to your customers." That really seemed to piss him off as I picked up the phone and talked to Ruth who said she was coming to the bar, a fact I already knew. So I was rude to her and said, yes, yes goodbye.
And after finishing my one beer, I decided to subtract the two pieces of art that have been on that bars walls for the last two years, and am as of now seriously considering stop going to the only bar in town until the day a new owner comes or the present owner does as I request which is squeal sorry and kiss my royal ass.

On the happier side of nothing, more photos of our canine children...
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This is the flag of the of the Social Occassionists (SO) whose mascot is the Noble Earthworm Energy Twist, (NEET) or So Neat as we like to say.


Nov. 15
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Obviously I made it through the deadly 13th. I don't know about the next one. Ruth's father is plugging along, dying in the most elongated death scene one would never want. W.C. Fields would have a hard time  characterizing such a fiasco. I do not intend to have such an anti-climatic end, but who knows ten seconds in advance you will no longer be able to pull a face let alone a trigger...

Nov. Friday the13th
I think I will stay close to home today even though I am not completely convinced there is bad luck in this date...all I know is I have already had very many lucky escapes from calamity which I believe can only happen so many times...you know the cat with nine lives has only nine lives, right?
Ruth has to travel, so I make a prayer for the Gods to protect her.
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Nov.12
And as days go, I have no idea but I thought I was going to be doing one thing but had to do the other, so I talked with Pete and Liz and took notes listening to them make a new declaration for a new nation, and hence a motto in pseudo Latin we came together in creating.
 
ERGO EQUALUS MONDO HERMATRA SPIRALUS
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We had no idea if this was close to real Latin but we made our flag anyway, with a spiral earth worm, our mascot.
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Our motto in English;

AT OUR BEST
 WE EQUAL EARTH WORMS

Later a closer Latin translation;
DEMIRATUS NOSTRUM OPTIMUS NOSTRI AEQUAPARATUS HUMI WORMICIAE

It was just one of those kind of days.

Nov. 11
Big day for Franny the Chihuahua when She met the Pea Hen head to head, (if you look hard you can just see Franny's ear poking below the Pea Hen's head.

 Later I almost finished first part of her day time Spa and Resort.
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Nov. 10
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The picket fence is the last of the props I have used from the TV series I worked on a couple of years ago. It came in handy to make the little enclosed pen for the pup, but then I had to go back and put chicken wire at the bottom, a layer of rocks and then more slats between the slats...all just so the chihuahua has a safe place to relax...are we nuts or what?

Nov. 9
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As usual these days, the life of the mutts seems to be our concern in the world, and to tell the truth, after a few minutes of news of the world, the dogs are a lot more inspirational.
Nov. 8
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 Ruth and I worry about the little dog running around the house in the back garden because it is big enough for a barn owl to swoop down for a Mexican lunch. The answer to the problem was to make a small garden close to the house, where hopefully the pup will learn the pleasure of pooping in the wild...
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Nov. 7
Ceiling
It is a little difficult to see, but above is the ceiling project in progress. Ruth hated the remnants of the factory trailer ceiling and so we  have covered it with panels that are meant to be artful...hmmm, so far I am not convinced it has been worth the time and money, but I still have the screws to remove and another coat of paint so maybe it will be what we thought.
 
Nov. 5   Sometimes I am dangerous...to myself. Today, trying to step off a three foot ladder, it slipped to the side  and I went assoverteakettle.
Not only did I fall, but in my right ungloved hand, I held a metal tool which went through a double window, shattering both into razor sharp shards.
I flipped in the air and landed on my back. I could still hear the glass falling, inside the house. I could hear Ruth talking somewhere, but then she stopped and yelled, "Ken are you all right?"
On the ground I said, "Ug...uh, not really." so I just lay there waiting for the blood or bone to inform me how I was about to die. I staggered up and realize other than a nice thump on the ground, I was basically unscathed.
I looked at my wrist that had gone through the window. The shirt I had only a moment before put on, so to keep the flies off , had actually saved my veins from being sliced.

A day and night in the life of a Chihuahua.
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Gina acting momma like.
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