The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

My haven!

If there’s one thing in this world I’m pretty happy with it’s my shop.  It’s not pretty or glamorous.  Hell, it is about as redneck cluttered as it can be.  But it’s MY shop and it’s a damn good shop as shops go.  I spend a lot of time there making, fixing, or just contemplating.  My shop is mostly a wood shop.  I have a good collection of tools and equipment.  My baby is my table saw.  She gets one hell of a workout.  I have a drill press and an electric coping saw, too.  The drill press is very handy.  The coping saw I don’t use much.  It’s almost new.  I bought it with the idea I’d make wooden guns/toys for sale.  Made up a bunch but haven’t sold any.  I’d sell the coping saw for a hundred bucks!

My green shack and shop

Of course I have all kinds of hand tools and power tools too.  My drill gets used the most.  I had to buy another one a few weeks ago, wore the chuck completely out on the other one I had.  I have a jig saw, reciprocating saw, skill saw, router and …um… forget what you call it, like a router only smaller and faster.  ha.  It’ll come to me sooner or later.  The router is in the pawn shop but I’ll be getting it out soon.

Old tools.

My shop is half work space and half museum.  I inherited my dad’s tools and stuff.  On the back wall I have hand tools that are very old.  I have a tube checker!  What’s that?  It’s a device that checks the quality of electron tubes, the ones that used to be in radios and tvs.  My dad worked on that stuff.  The tube checker is probably a good 60 years old or more.  I remember fooling with it when I was a wee kid.  I have an old hay rake, a collection of old fashioned cross-cut hand saws, some other cool stuff.  I have plow parts, a hay hook, even an old gasoline torch.  My dad used that thing when I was a kid.  I was sure he was going to blow himself up.  I have no idea how to use it and I wouldn’t even try.  It’d be KaBOOM!

There are very few hand tools in my shop that I haven’t had for decades.  I haven’t actually bought a tool in years!  (Well, that’s not true.  I did buy one of those fancy pvc pipe cutters a few months ago.  Easier than a hack saw!  I love it.)  With my green shack project I’m always snipping pieces of pipe for drains and stuff.  There’s not a lot of tools I don’t have that one might need.  Besides the ones in my tool pouch (the pouch is 30 years old!) or on my work bench I have a big metal cabinet full of older, less useful or extra tools.  Ain’t nothing a bigger pain in the ass than needing a tool you ain’t got!

Inside my shop.

I built my shop several years ago from lumber I got from the deconstruction of my wife’s grandma’s house.  The old house used to sit up at the end of our drive.  Grandma Thigpen was a sweet person.  She was in her nineties when she passed in 1992.  Couple years later my pawinlaw took the house down and my shop went up.

I got junk, too.  It’s really hard for me to throw anything away.  When I decide to make something or have to fix something I clamber over my junk boxes, piles, and etc., for parts and stuff to do the job with.  I keep screws and nails and bolts, too.  I am always needing something out of a bin here or there.

My work bench.

Electrified tiller!

Sometimes just for the hell of it I take stuff apart.  I took apart a broken microwave oven the other day.  Totally cool parts in that thing!  Sometimes I scrounge and invent some kind of thing I need and sometimes I work all day and it don’t work.  I mounted a washing machine motor on an old tiller with a dead motor.  It works pretty damn well so far.  Some other projects, well, not always so good.  Ya live and learn.

My dad and I opened a repair shop once.  I was going to fix appliances and him electronics.  It was the wrong era, though.  Appliances were becoming junk that cost less to replace than repair and solid state electronics was slipping away from dad’s expertise.  It was fun for a while, though.  Never made any money at it but had quality time together!  Our motto was “we fix anything but a broken heart.”  ha.

The thing is, people these days spend small fortunes on repair bills because they don’t know shit and don’t know when they’re getting ripped off, which is often.  I worked for a couple of shady service companies through the years.  I refused to screw customers though.  Cost me a job or two.  I could tell stories!  Even the legitimate repair companies make a mint doing easy stuff your average homeowner should know how to do.  It amazes me how many guys I run across these days who don’t know which end of a screwdriver to use.  It’s worse with younger people.  Sad.  I’m not always good with esthetics but there’s nothing around a house I can’t fix and/or know nothing about.

Today I rebuilt the pedestal for my table saw.  I put a bucket under it to collect the sawdust.  I fill a five gallon bucket with sawdust ever few weeks.  Last Monday I rearranged everything to make room for a wood stove.  I am so looking forward to cold weather!  I have my dad’s old pot belly stove I’ve talked about putting in there for years.  Now that I have a good chainsaw and can stock up with wood I’m going to get it installed.  Come winter I’ll just hang out there and watch the fire!  Yeah, baby, maybe cook some campfire coffee on top!  Gonna be goooood!

Anyway, so here’s my shop.  It represents a lot of what I do these days.  Some days I go fishing, though.  Anybody want to come along?

August 24, 2011 Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The days of my life…

are boring.  But besides that, I don’t have a lot of time but I figured I should update this thing.

Know all that save the world stuff, all that activist stuff, all that Rock Texas stuff and stuff like that stuff?  Well, fuck that.  I give up.  And if you don’t like people who give up tough shit.  I figure it is just stupid to keep banging into walls all the time.  I could list all the walls I’ve  hit over the  years but you’d just be bored and not believe me anyway.  It all comes down to money and attitude.  I was a good guy with pats on the back as long as I could offer rock bands something.  Once they figured out they would have to actually do something themselves they blew it off.  So, with the exception of a few good bands, fuck’m.

I shall express my unadulterated contempt for two bands who I trusted, who were the inspiration of Rock Texas, and who ultimately blew me off.  May they live in fucked up anonymity as they so truly deserve.  They were good bands but lousy people… a curse of the music profession I’m told.  I would not cross the street to piss on them if they were on fire.  Oh, the bands names… Downfall Rising and Inura.  Got that?  So, yeah, I’m pissed.  But fuck’m.  No need to let jackasses ruin your day, right?

More recently…

Summer is over.  Kids are back in school.  Damn it’s quiet around here.  I’d really like to escape some now but no fuckin’ way I’ll get to do that any time soon.

My plants died.  All those cute little plants in the other post, they grew up and then died.  I think it is our horrible water.  Central Water sucks.  I have some test strips ordered so I can see how fucked up the water is and try to figure out how to fix it so maybe something will live in my garden past plant puberty.  I want some tomatoes!  Damn!

Today was the first day of school, you know.  My family is off having their lives and I’m stuck here without one.  I redid my shop.  Needed to do that for a long time.  By the end of the week I’ll be all ready for a winter I sure hope gets here soon.  Well, I’ll probably have to wait to get the stove pipe but I’ll have the wood stove up in there.  It’ll be my daily escape.

I’m not much on the computer these days.  (See, I’m not here now! haha!)  Actually I spend most of my days outside.  I don’t mind the heat.  Getting to like it, almost.  Almost!  Sitting on this damn computer sure is boring.  What’s there to do?  Virtual schmirtual, it’s boring.  I want a real person friend to keep me company.  How the hell do I find that?  People have their misconceptions, preconceptions, judgements, attitudes, all that.  Is there not one wild and crazy bohemian minded person anywhere within short driving distance of this horrid town?

I suppose not.

So, it’s, you know, darkness and gnashing of teeth time.

I need a smoke.  And a big, strong drink.  The smoke I got.  The drink I’m shit out of  luck for.  I think I’ll run something over the scales in a few days and get some dough so I can get myself a nice big, huge bottle of alcoholic entertainment.

If you have a bottle bring it over, we’ll have some jolly good fun, maybe.

OK, so I have to go get the kids from school.  And fix dinner of some kind.  I so do not like being a homemaker.


August 22, 2011 Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , | Leave a comment