The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

The Me that I Am.

I know the likelihood of anybody reading this bullshit blog is about slim to none.  Whatever.  I suppose this is just therapy so I don’t go completely nuts.  I live in isolation, here in the woods.  My kids keep me company in the summer.  When school starts I’m kind’a screwed.  My great Rock Music adventure went to shit and I’m left with the bill I can’t pay.  It was a great idea but some bands were total shitheads and helped trash the idea.  The two Lufkin bands I started the whole thing for just because I thought I could help them out turned out to be dickheads.  I hope their goddamn strings break and drums crack.  I really should have known better than to rely on anybody that lives in Lufkin!   A few other bands fucked me over, too, but you know, that’s the nature of the business, right?  I should have listened to my friend when he told me that was how rock bands act.

I tried to create a newspaper online too, you know.  I could still be doing that but the more I worked at it the more I realized it was just pissing in the wind.  Nobody gives a shit.  The only people who are zealous enough to be involved in politics are the very pricks who need to be sent down river.  Religious idiots, fanatics, and right wing fools are all over the place.  The rest of the population has their head up their ass.

So yeah, this blog is my therapy.  Ever once in a while my attitude boils over and I have to take a piss.

I’m not angry.  Not much reason, I brought it on myself.  I’m not even all that lonely any more.  I am generally a peaceful person.  I respect people.  And I respect the law.  Yeah, there are shits-for-brains that drive me a little up the wall but even them I would be courteous to in person.  If I make a commitment I do my damndest to go through with it.  I drive the speed limit and stop at red lights.  I say please and excuse me and thank you.  It’s who I am.

Am I evil?  Yes I am.  That’s the song I use as my ring tone.  I am that to religious bigots and self-righteous nutcases.  I’m evil because even though I’ve spent my whole fucked up life trying to do something for someone else, being respectful, shit like that, I also refuse to kowtow to religious bullshit and I have enough brains to recognize lies when I see them.  I am evil because I am Buddhist, atheist, bohemian, free-thinking, and my moral code does not include all those idiotic rules religion uses to terrorize its membership.

So, this is my rant for the day.  Be advised, I take gabapentin.  It is how I survive.  The side effect of this little pill is emotional volatility.  So, anyway, I’m tired of looking at this fucking computer.  I’m going outside.  Have a nice day!

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

Poor Man’s Hydroponics

The makings of a greenhouse/hydroponics garden.

When you don’t have the money to do things fancy you have to make do with what you have.  That’s the story of my life.  With the non-profit and all that went with it in the toilet it became time to do something to earn my keep around the house.  I’ve been working on several projects in the past few weeks.  One of the plans we made is to create a hydroponics system to get us some veggies.  I decided to start that project with a small system built on the side of my shop.  I built a little shelter using small timber I cut from our clearing some land.  Before winter I plan on finishing it out to a greenhouse.  For now it serves to protect the little project from harsh weather.

The shelter roof is supported by two cedar posts.  Cedar does not rot like other types of trees.  I made the roof using oak logs.  For the support slats I ripped a couple of old 2×4’s.  The only thing I had to buy was some plastic for the cover.

Next I installed a water line and an old kitchen sink I had lying around.  The waterline was a bitch since the ground was hard packed and very dry clay.  It took hours to put the line in the ground four inches!  I did have to buy a couple of pipe fittings but most everything else I either scrounged or cannibalized from somewhere else.

The hydroponics system is also built from scrounged stuff.  It consists of a primary water barrel, a flat water trough, a collecting barrel, and a little pump to cycle the water.  I fill the barrel with water, trickle it through the trough, collect the water in the old barrel, and pump it back to the primary water storage.  I

The supports, logs!

hope to collect rain water from the roof when I can afford some gutters to install.  Of course it has to rain, too, and that’s not been happening!

I used the extra plastic left over from the roof/wall to line the trough.  It has one tiny leak in it from a screw sticking up through the old plywood I missed but otherwise it works fine.  I  used a couple of pipe fittings for the drain.  The way to make a drain out of such a pan is to get two threaded fittings, a male and a female.  Cut a hole the size of the mail threaded fitting.  Put it through from the bottom and screw the female fitting on tight.  Use some silicon to make it seal.  Bingo.  Works very well.

The barrel I used for water storage was one left over from our water supply back when we lived in a cabin out here and did not have water down here.   We had a series of barrels tied together which collected rain water.  Sometimes I had to haul water in.  Anyway, the barrel already had a tap at the bottom.  I put a water valve on it and created a drip line across the upper end of the trough.  The drip line was made from part of a washing machine drain and an old piece of plastic pipe.  I elevated the trough at the upper end where the drip is just slightly to help the water flow towards the drain.  Once upon a time I made an aquarium out of the bottom half of a barrel.  We took it out but still had it lying around the place so I used it to collect the water from the trough.   I scrounged an old pump to return water from the collection barrel to the storage barrel.

The primary storage barrel and drip system

Once I had the system working it was time to put some plantings in it.  I needed pea gravel to put in the trough but couldn’t afford it so I used some flat pieces of broken cinder blocks to support a piece of chicken wire.  That would  hold the planters off the bottom.  For the planters I had a pile of short pieces of large pipe we once used in the garden.  (Another story!)  The pipe pieces were from 2″ to 5″ pipe and about 3″ long.  I cut squares of vinyl screen and fastened them over one end of the pipe.  Some of them I used tape and then tried rubber bands to hold the screen on.  Both works.  I’m a bit worried the rubber bands will rot and break but hoping they will hold until the plants come up.  I filled the containers with garden soil from a bag we had already.  I put the planters on the chicken wire.  We bought some seed and I sewed the seed in the planters.

I could never be a farmer.  I hate waiting!  Will this contraption work?  Beats the hell out of me.  We’ll see!  My life is trial and error, lots of both!  One thing I do  know.  I’m going to be fucked up for weeks from screwing up the nerve problem in my back finishing this thing.  I will enjoy my new creation through blinding pain as I take hand-fulls of Gabapentin and Ibuprofen!  Yay!

I often ask myself why I do this shit.  I suppose it’s the masochist streak in me.  And I’m bored to death with the computer and I have nothing else to do.  And maybe the damn thing will actually work and we’ll have some tomatoes, cucumbers and squash in the dead of winter.  Ya think?  I have stuck in a few more pictures just for grins.

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday! And I am tard again!

Working on generator.

My boy and I worked outside again.  It was a hundred degrees!  Arg.  We took a load of stuff to the dump.  Then I worked on my ##$!@#$!$%^$%^&$ generator.  It sat up a while and must have gotten condensation in the tank.  It was all gunked up.  I had to pull the tank off, clean it, and do the same for the carburetor.  Got it all cleaned up and it STILL won’t crank.  Ha.  My brother said to get some kind of stuff called “Start My Engine” and put it in the gas.  I’ll have to try that.  Don’t know why it won’t crank now.   Even cleaned the plug.  Arg.  Sigh.

After that we had lunch and then started digging for a pond.  If I had a front end loader I could do it in a day.  It’ll probably take a month or two with shovels.  Oh well, it’ll help me stay fit, right?

My lil’ girl is back home.  I am happy about that!  Her friend’s parents have pigs and goats.  I’m going to get up some fences and stuff and buy some of them.  The pond is part of a planned aquaponics project.  We’re trying to get more self-sufficient around here.  And I’m working off the dough I wound up throwing away on Rock  Texas and a bunch of bands who didn’t really give a shit.  A couple did, the rest just wanted promotion.  The Lufkin bands were the greatest asses of all.  Ya live and learn, right?

So now I’m fixing dinner.  Want some hamburger helper?

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

Working Man!

It’s Thursday.  I am tard.  We’ve been clearing brush on our place.  Well, sort’of our place.  Anyway, it’s work week.  My boy and I have been toiling away.  My lil’ girl helped the first of the week but she’s gone to stay with a friend.  I really hate the idea of my kids growing up.  They’re going to be gone doing stuff and ol’ dad will be here worrying.

Oh yeah, I started a store online.  One of those freebie things.  I have some CDs for sale.  Damn good Smooth Jazz music.  Three bucks plus shipping!  Helluva deal, btw.  I can’t help the cost of shipping, blame it on the post office.

I call the store Trailerpark Vending.  Cute, eh?  GO there and buy a cd!  Support a poor boy!

http://www.vendio.com/stores/Trailerpark_Vending/

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

Independence Day

Woopee.

I used to be all excited and shit about Independence Day.  These days not so much.  The country I was born in is not the one I live in now.  Although the plans were falling into place to create what the world knows at the imperialistic and Orwellian country called United States of America.  It’s a country united in its pursuit of pleasure, ignorance, indulgence, and cowardice.  It’s a country ruled by pawns who answer to corporate elite and whoever controls them.  So, Woopie.

Today I had an inspiration to build something so I did.  I built a monster reel for my extension chords.  Works pretty good.  Now I’m resting.

Toodles.

July 4, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

The Juices of Creation ~ Update 07/27/2011

I thought that was a pretty sharp title!  A few weeks ago I ran across a website called Instructibles, a pretty cool website where people share ideas, plans, pictures and video of projects they’ve done.  It has a wide variety of stuff from cooking to woodwork to survival.  Browsing the site I realized I could populate an entire section on that website with stuff I’ve done over the years.  I’ve built and torn down houses!  My house and yard right now is testimony to my incredible (ha!) skills… and proof that Buddha was right, nothing is permanent.  SO, I figured from now on I would take the time to document some of the projects I create and post them online.

Most of the projects I undertake are done out of necessity.  They are Trailerpark Scholar projects designed and built to take the place of something that could have been bought if I had the dough.  A few plans on the drawing board will require new stuff, like the porch project.  But those will be done along the way when we get the money to do them.

I have no idea what projects I will come up with until I have an inspiration to do them.  I need something or have some kind of idea I head to the shop and do it.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  My shop is littered with funny looking little flops.  But learning is experimenting.  And around here experimenting is the word of the day because I almost never have exactly what I need.  I just make do.

Anyway, so here are my creations.  Physical proof that I truly am weird!  I have them here in PDF.  Follow the link and then find the PDF!  These files are made using Microsoft Word 2011 and CutePDF.

Visit my Instructibles page

July 2, 2011 – Creating a Light Strip from old Christmas Lights

July 3, 2011 – The Power Tree

July 4, 2011 – Down and Dirty Power Chord Reel

July 27, 2011 – Automatic Water Level Control

July 3, 2011 Posted by | Projects | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Mourning

OK, maybe it’s not that bad.  But it’s not good.  There is a genetic quirk in my family that drives us to do more than we should and sometimes be a little careless.  No, the word is not careless, it’s, um, maybe uncautious?  I know, that’s a ‘red underline’ word, but whatever.  Anyway, the point is, I have moved from keyboard to shop, mental to physical, cool to hot, over the past week or so and I am paying for it big-time today.  My fingers are tingling, wrists stiff, arms hurt, knees ache.  PPPM!

That quirk of genetics is sort of a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” kind of mentality.  It’s the Git’er Done syndrome.  So if something needs moved, picked up, shoved, drug, or created if I am in the least able to do it, I do it.  Sometimes the doing is a bit more than my old body should do.  And sometimes there are nails, screws, or assorted protrusions that are well positioned to take bits of me with them.  My right thumb is somewhat sore today thanks to a screw on the bottom of a board I was using as a Frisbee at the dump the other day when I was delivering refuse with my boy.  But then my thumb would not be suffering if we’d remembered the new gloves we bought a couple days earlier!

When I’m doing work I hardly notice most ailments.  My busted knee crunches and I go on.  The screwed up nerves in my back call for more attention so I pause on occasion to give them obeisance.  Otherwise the shit only hits the fanny when I stop for the evening.  Or wake up in the morning.  Thus this post.

I sound like my mother.  She had a rather happy disposition but there was never a time she did not complain about some ailment.  She was, in a word, a hypochondriac.  Maybe I inherited that trait too.  Or maybe she really was suffering more than we believed.  Moving into antiquity as a human being is just no fun at all.

So anyway, the coffee cup is empty.  I MUST refill it for there is no life without it.  The Ibuprofen and Gabby are working fairly well if not optimal.  And time is wasting so I shall move on.

July 3, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

Another Day, Another Dither

For almost a year I gave everything I had to doing the “right thing.”  Again.  Damn!  So, what can I say?  I’m stupid.  Oh well.  But I have, for the time being, put everything on hold except working around the house, doing improvements and fixing problems, and spending time with my family.   The world will just have to take care of itself.

July 2, 2011 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment

The Reluctant Atheist

This morning a question was posted on a group I participate in on Facebook, The “A” Club, that asked members if their value system changed when they became an atheist.  Some folks said it was their value system that led them to atheism.  I must say the same is true for me.  The constant lying, denial of truth and reality, refusal to consider any point of view not consistent with their programming, these things drove me crazy for years before I abandoned faith.  It was not the beliefs but the failure of ‘believers’ to actually live their faith that ended my sojourn in Christendom.

Another person, however, said he was happier now as an atheist.  I cannot say that I am.  I am no more happy now than I was before.  Nothing has changed within Christianity.  The millions I once called my brothers and sisters remain deluded, programmed, and confused.  They practice a moral standard far removed from that taught by their Jesus.  And worse, they dismiss the whole of humanity and life on the earth as unimportant, fleeting, and temporary.  Their obsessive and insane belief in heaven leads them to devalue life.  I cannot be happy when so many people–including  every member of my family–are so oppressed and oppressive.

I moved from Christianity to  Buddhism.  What most people do not know is that Buddhism is an atheistic religion.  It hardly qualifies as a religion at all in the general sense.  Buddha believed there were ‘spirits’ or other realms.  He believed in a form of reincarnation.  But he did not believe in a ‘god’ in the same sense that religion does.  Buddha was the first evolutionist.  Essentially he believed in the existence of a ‘life force,’ for want of a better term, a thread of energy that moves through every living thing.  I do not translate the beliefs very well but the fact is that a true Buddhist is an atheist; he does not believe in a god or a ‘creator.’

I miss the idea of a creator.  It was a comforting thought.  Many people leave Christianity and other mainstream religions only to become Deists or New Age mystics or something similar because they can’t abandon the idea of a god altogether.  Whatever I may have thought about Christians it was still very difficult for me to put aside the thought, “I see a sunrise and know who to thank.”  Nothing in Christianity destroyed that feeling.  Something else did: a photograph.

Ever since I was a kid I looked at the stars with a sense of wonder and excitement.  The night sky has always overwhelmed me.  Knowledge of the universe has increased exponentially since I was a kid.  I was as excited as anyone could be when the Hubble was launched.  Little could I know then that the Hubble would prove the death of faith for me.

Christians so blithely quote Genesis, that god created the ‘heavens and the earth,’ without giving a single thought to what they are saying.  We’ve become aware of how incredible and immense the universe is.  The simple, medieval belief in creation does not fit.  It makes no sense that a creator with such power and ability would be all that interested in an obscure planet such as ours.  I managed to rationalize my beliefs for a long time.  Then I ran across the Hubble Deep Space Survey.  That single photograph changed everything.  It hit me that the idea of a creator was ridiculous.

With my discovery of the Hubble Deep Space photo came a total realization that belief in a creator was absurd.  Thus the final string was cut between me and religion altogether.  But that does not mean I like it.

Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, still far too “attached” to ideas, ideals, and humanity itself to be content with the knowledge I have.  It was much easier to dump stuff on god than it is to face it directly.

I was taught to believe in the value of mankind and the necessity of ‘making a difference.’  These things remain a part of me.  I am not content just to know truth myself.  I am driven to figure out a way for all of humankind to find truth, too.  Truth, I believe, is the answer to all our problems and conflicts as a race.  But truth is very hard to pin down.  Truth is much more a recognition of “what is not” than an understand of what “is.”  I very often get the overwhelming sense that truth is in some way being withheld from us, not by ‘god,’ but by someone/something beyond our known world.  That feeling really pisses me off.

I cannot accept the general scientific theory that we evolved.  The gap between humanity and all other species is too great.  There may be some superficial similarities between us and apes or chimpanzees but there is no other species that comes close not only to our intellectual abilities, our ability for abstract thought or appreciation for art and beauty.  Apes do not make cave paintings.  Chimps do not gaze at the sunset with adoration.  And no species is as capable of selflessness or selfishness as humankind is.  We are too different, too far removed from the nearest species to be directly descended in an evolutionary way.

I am forced into isolation for an assortment of reasons.  Were I living in a place where there were a number of people who thought as I and I had a social life I might not dwell so much on these thoughts.  But here I am, stranded, and thus forced to ask the proverbial ‘why?’  I ask, ‘who,’ too, but discard the idea that the ‘who’ we do not know is a ‘supreme being’ or god.  I’m somewhat like the child crouching in the corner of a shack surrounded by the ravages of war asking, “what the fuck is going on?”

I became an atheist with reluctance.  I did not want all I believed in for forty years to be a lie.  I could not, however, hide my head in the sand.  I cannot accept any notion that is not provable, logical, rational.  But in loosing ‘the faith,’ I am bound up in a conundrum.  The ‘god’ idea wrapped life in a nice little package and placed ‘the unexplainable’ in a little corner where I could say, ‘some day god will show me.’  God went away but all those unexplainable events, ideas, realities, did not.  They’ve come out of the corner and dance around my head like a troop of malevolent ballet dancers.

Worst of all, I realize now that it’s unlikely I will ever know the truth.  All I have is the life I live.  Time is very short.  My ability to discover truth is extremely limited.  And that ultimate expectation that god would explain it all to me ‘over there’ is completely gone.  Thus there is no happiness.  There is only longing and desire for answers.  So I continue to seek, to question, to look, and, in total contradiction to what I believe, to hope.

Whatever we may be.  Wherever we come from.  Wherever we’re going, there are answers and solutions.  Either my days will end and I will dissolve into nothing and it will not matter or at some point before my last day it will all become clear.  Until then, I remain, the seeker.

May 17, 2011 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monday

Watched the wife and kids leave.  Wrote a piece about good and bad English.  Submitted it, probably get less than the price of a cup of coffee.  Why do I do that?

Sat on the recliner.  Went to pee a dozen times.  Had five or six cups of coffee.  Finished the piece and played with the Tagged website thing.  Boring.  Have a headache.  Took Ibuprofen.  Heated up some chicken from the freezer.  More coffee.  Waiting to go pick up the kids at school.  No inspiration.  Work I could do but am not doing.  Too bad.

This is Monday.  What will Tuesday be like?

I just don’t know.

More of the same, maybe.

Lovely.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Blather | Leave a comment