Monday, March 30, 2009


Freeway is deep deep in thought. He's considering doing NaBloPoMo for April.

Growing up, hmmm, let me think....

Friday, March 27, 2009


Now really how can you even think of separating the terms joy and spring. I do though, because although, it was warm and mostly sunny yesterday, I didn't make it out of the house.
It was just another bad bad week for me.
We took our little day trip to Eugene last Sunday and like the little spoiled baby I can sometimes be, I insisted on staying in the truck the whole day.
Well, actually, I did get out to take Freeway for a walk with Ms. Lea on the trail in the lower pic that I posted on Monday. Unfortunately, I was in such a rotten mood that I even forgot to get the camera out of the truck to take pictures on our little walk and had to resort to finding a similar
bridge in the same park we walked
in, from the Internet. Which is a shame as the
bridge that we actually crossed was much

Anyway, don't ask why, 'cause I really couldn't say, but I had a lousy week! Today though?

Some really good stuff has been happening lately that really has made me feel better.
Ms.Lea and I went into the feed store last week for chicken, dog and cat food, and when we walked past their chicken display, which was all set up for chicks, it was empty. So we asked what had happened, they said they had received 700 chicks and sold out in 2 days.
That started me thinking that it seems like a lot of people are thinking that maybe a little bit more self sufficiency might be a good thing.
We've been thinking so for a few years now.
Then I got on craigslist and was looking in the wanted section and found 3 different adds for folks looking for chicken coops. Turns out that I have a bit of experience at building very cheap chicken coops. The Grange wants big bucks for theirs, I mean, like hundreds of dollars for them. I'm figuring that folks are trying to find a way to save some money, not spend hundreds just for eggs, right? So I took some pictures of some of the ones I've built and wrote up a little add to that effect and posted it on craigslist and I'll be damned if I didn't get 5 emails inside of a day. I suddenly went from being a man of leisure, to a very busy puppy indeed! YIPEE!!!

I think I've mentioned that I'm an alcoholic in recovery. Well, quitting smoking has brought back a few of the issues that I had when I first quit drinking. I always had certain rituals, with both my drinking and smoking, that they call triggers. One of those triggers, is that if I am out doors, say in the garage, or working in the yard, I'd want to be drinking
or smoking. So, what happens then, is that when I go to do those things, I get cravings for either the alcohol or
tobacco. With the case of the tobacco,
I'm finding getting past that stage, to
be very hard. So, last night I got my
shit together and went to my local
AA meeting. I'm ashamed to say, that, that is not usually my first response when I'm having a hard time coping.
What can I say, I'm an independent bastard. However, there are those times when just getting together to curse the fates that gave us our proclivities, really seems to help! That was certainly the case last night! I like to go to the local men's meeting, where the guys feel free to cuss and swear, and maybe, we'll even get around to talking about some of the issues that we all share. In truth, it's been probobly more than a year since I went to that particular meeting, and although it had been that long, all the same guys were there and they treated me like I'd never missed a meeting at all. VERY VERY COOL! I enjoyed it to say the least.
Of course, the fact that it's 70 degrees and beautiful out side doesn't hurt either. It's so gorgeous that I had to take some time to take some pics of some of the wild flowers we've got coming up all over the yard. Before the landlord comes down and points out that they're over 4 inches tall and must be mowed down so that they're not a fire hazard. DEEP SIGH!!!
Oh well. For now all is good. There is joy!! It's finally SPRING!!

Monday, March 23, 2009



Thursday, March 19, 2009


O.k. so it's been a week, I'm certainly ready for a break from the craving, and am extremely tired of chewing this stupid gum.
It doesn't seem to matter which brand or flavor you buy, it's all nasty. Ohhh I hear you all saying,"Not as nasty as cigarettes!". Be that as it may, I still miss 'em.
I ran out of gum day before yesterday, well, actually it was a bad day altogether, what with being out of work for so long, with the landlord standing at the end of the driveway watching everything I do, and in general the uncaring state of the cosmos, it was a bad day. I really wanted a smoke. I didn't though, I roughed it out with my NICCORETTE. I made it completely through the day until about 11:00 pm, when I discovered that I was out of gum. OOH- NOOO!!!! Not good at all. One of my habits was to go out on the porch and have a cig right before turning in. It's just a habit right? wrong!!! I was not able to sleep that night. Now you're asking "Why not go to the store and get some more?" The simple answer is, I had no money, but, my unemployment checks are direct deposited and usually hit the bank about4 or 5 am. So I watched the bank account all night and when the money showed up at 4:30, I got dressed, and drove the 10 miles into town to the 24 hour Walgreen's and bought...
Ya. On the way in I was determined to end this misery and buy cigarettes. Imagine my surprise when I found myself at the counter with another box of gum in my hand. WOW!! I also had a diet Pepsi and some sleep support caps. I finally managed to get to sleep at around 6:30 am. Ms. Lea got up at 7, and I moved from the couch to the bed. ( on sleepless nights I occupy the couch in the hopes that I won't keep her up all night as well) On finally, painfully, slowly rising, at about 9:30, Ms. Lea informed me that she had called off our day trip to Eugene, and she wasn't happy about it. It seems that, in my agitation, I had kept her up as well. oops...
How's that for obsessed? Anyhow, trips rescheduled for Lea's next day off, Sunday. In the meantime I shouldn't be so whiney, it isobviously getting easier, otherwise, I think I would have come home with cigarettes instead of this infernal gum. Does that sound like Gratitude? My Angel card was gratitude today, maybe I need to spend some more time in contemplation...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

380 miles, round trip. It's a road trip tomorrow.
Destination: Eugene, Oregon.
Purpose: look 4 work. Relaxation.
Bye Bye..

Sunday, March 15, 2009


It's a horrible rainy windy day outside, I'm chewing mint flavored NICORETTE, we're out of coffee and tea, and this is what I have to contend with........

Saturday, March 14, 2009


TRANSFORMATION. What the hell does that mean? While I find the processes of spirituality intriguing, it's also extremely baffling.
In rehab they encourage you to reach for your spiritual side, to pray and rely on your higher power. Touchy feely stuff to individuals who for the most part have come face to face with the harder side of life.
I'm a very pragmatic person, to believe is not a natural part of my nature, yet, whether it's my wives influence, or some buried part of my persona, there is a part of me that wants to believe. That's why even though I scoff, I look at things like the Angel cards and horoscopes,etc..
I guess, basically, what it boils down to, is looking for hope! It's tough times, turn on the news on the t.v.( if you still have it, I don't) Read the headlines on the internet, it'll all drag you down!
I think that's why a majority of the U.S.A. voted for change, they wanted hope, someone sincere that they could believe in. Yet the media has pretty much destroyed that for most of us. You'd definitely be a diehard believer to be hanging on to any hope from that quarter. Which is not to say that it's not possible, it's just that whatever happens the media will always put a bad spin on it. We would not want Americans to be getting their heads above water, would we?
O.k. I'm ranting!
Anyway when I had a real job, what I always wanted to do, was to start a business in my garage making things like the little Myrtle wood mantle clock you see to the right. This particular little project actually took me about two weeks to finish. It's made from three pieces of 1/2 inch Myrtle wood that I glued together, then used the bandsaw to cut out the shape, then sanded, sanded, sanded until I got the final shape exactly what I wanted. Finally, I applied several coats of Carnuba wax and buffed it in order to achieve a natural satin finish.
The final product is about 7 inches long, 4 1/2 inches high and 2 inches deep. I'd like to sell this style of clock for $35.00 plus shipping. If you'd like one leave a comment on my blog or send me a email at
It's kinda funny, I feel bad about advertising my stuff on my blog, because it almost feels sacreligious turning Pb4ugo into a commercial site, but that's not going to happen. I think what I'll do is create another blog for my woodworking. How's that? I feel better.
Adventure. Purification. Transformation. Those were my Angel cards for the last three days. I've quit drinking, am quitting smoking, have been off work longer than I ever have before, maybe the cards are right? Maybe, it is time to transform myself, huh?

Friday, March 13, 2009


I know a little something about it. The 26th day of March will be 30 months in recovery from alcoholism, for me. This is the 3rd time I've quit drinking, the 1st time lasted for 5 years. Last time it was maybe a little over a year. It was my choice the 1st time and this last time, The middle time, well curiously enough, that was enforced by the state of Oregon.

DON'T! drink and drive! they will catch you!

It does seem to stick better when its your own decision. However, its not really that much easier, you still have the cravings, you still have your triggers. All that having been said, I still feel like quitting drinking is much easier than quitting smoking. A lot of my friends feel the same way.
With alcohol, after the first 10 or so days the craving is really reduced, actually even after the first day. The hardest part with alcoholism, for me, is the thought that I can never ever drink again. I know that it must seem weird to you normies, you never give it a second thought, but to an alcoholic, that thought engenders panic, yes, even after 30 months.

That's why an alcoholic has to take life, one day at a time! Smoking seems to be different,though, you have to be able to look forward to the health benefits, you've got to look forward to a diminished craving, or you'll go nuts and never make it.
With alcohol, you'll probably have 10 or 20 cravings the first day, tapering down with each successive day that you remain sober. Tobacco? Constant!
This is my third time for cigarettes. The first time I lasted ten days, then three weeks. In both previous cases, I don't remember any appreciable relief in those time periods. Now, I could not tell you, if that's because of addiction to nicotine or the veracity of habit. I'm just not sure. I do know that its damned uncomfortable and there is absolutely....
So, my Angel card for the day? PURIFICATION
Wha'd'ya think?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For anybody unfamiliar with them, these are Angel cards. Ms. Lea introduced them to me shortly after we started dating.
As I understand it, the way it works is, keeping your eyes closed or blindfolded or something or the other, you draw a card, without looking to see which one you're choosing, they're all supposed to be face down so you won't know. But I, not wanting to leave any thing to chance, have marked the back of a few of the more choice ones, like power and riches, just to make sure that I get a good one once in a while.
Anyway, the way it work is you draw a card, then you sit down in a quiet place, preferably, with some incense burning( we prefer Nagchampa) and you contemplate the thought on the card, therefore, placing that thought foremost in your mind for the day. In this manner, hopefully, influencing the Fates that you should have, say, a inspirational, playful, delightful day.
The post I wrote on March 8th was titled Healing. That was the Angel card, that I drew that a.m., I'm pretty sure, that I probably wouldn't have called Sunday a healing day. I was still very angry from all the stuff that's been going on, so... Although, I guess it coulda been worse ....

Adventure. For two days in a row, I've drawn the adventure card.
Now, let me see if I can figure out how to apply adventure to yesterday. The first thing we did yesterday a.m. was run 4 yards of garbage to the dump, Adventuresome?
Then I ran stepson to his job and dropped him off, headed home , picked up Ms. Lea, headed to town so she could get her nails done. Went to the bread outlet for stale bread for livestock, went to Kinko's to fax a w2 request form off to one of last years employers. Adventuresome?
My big adventure yesterday? Buying cigarettes! They went up a whole dollar all at once! wow!
I didn't buy them, I decided to quit!

So, I bet you can guess what the big Adventure for today is. My first day of quitting!
( my god that was a long way to go just to get to that last line)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I've had several very very stressful days, and am seriously in need of some down time.
Profound potatoes and a glissade or two sounds like just my thing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Ms. Lea and I really like the place we live. You've seen some of the pictures, its a very pretty area in a quiet little valley. At night, when the traffic on the road below us slows down, we can hear the sound of the river running on the other side of the road, we can hear coyotes, owls, foxes and frogs.
Its peaceful.
But, we rent!
Whats more is the property manager is, to say the least, extremely by the book!
Lea and I have owned two homes in the last ten years. However, when we sold the last one in 2003-2004, even though we actually made $35,000 on the sale, most of the money went to pay off
bills. We did not have enough left to make the kind of down payment that we wanted to. We knew we wanted to be out here in the Applegate valley. We also knew that we'd have to have fairly low house payments in order to get by when I was laid off. It just wasn't feasible, so we opted to rent.
Neither of us have ever had a problem renting. Never saw the landlord or the property manager. When it came time to move on we cleaned and left the place spotless. Everyone was happy!
Here, the landlord is not happy, the property manager is not happy. You see since I was laid off, we have not been able to put together the rent money until the second week of the month. In all of the places I've lived before it was not and issue. It is here. Its become a big issue, they want us out! We have tried working with them, but the conversations have become increasingly personal.
Ms. Lea has been a executive assistant for years, she is all about the business. So when the landlord makes comments about what time the garage door opens as a reference to what time I get out of bed, she is offended and incensed. She feels that is an invasion of her privacy. Like in the 1st house we lived in, where the neighbor would stand at the fence and peep through the bushes at us. I'm going to have to go with her on this one.(naturally) Not only is the garage door not a good indicator of when I got up, ( I usually spend a couple of hours every morning on the computer, checking email, looking for a job, silly stuff. You know?!) but, how dare you make comment on it? what bearing does that have on our business relationship?
Lea asked me what is it with people today,? It seems like more and more of our personal lives are under scrutiny on a daily basis. I can understand late rent, what I can't understand is, comments about how late I sleep, comments about why I don't go hang drywall for a living, comments about whether I think I should of turned down the job that was offered to me last June, that was three hours away. What bearing does this all have on the business at hand? Its all a little too personal! It seems to me that they are trying to get Lea angry with me, on the mistaken assumption that I'm lazy.
I'll tell you kids, not going to happen!!!
Ms. Lea and I have been though a hell of a lot in our ten tears together. Ms. Lea was there when I worked 7-12's and hour and a half away from our home, for three months solid. We even moved during that time. She watched me tear the porch roof off our 1st house and rebuild a beautiful veranda like structure, from the ground up, in one weekend. Lea and I have moved ourselves 5 times in 10 years, without a whole lot of help, Clampat ( sp. as in ole Jed) style. Truck and trailer. One load at a time. Thick and thin. We've been there, DONE THAT!

Landlords, property managers, its business! Use your internal dialog. Keep the disparaging and personal remarks to yourselves!
To you kinder hearted souls, PRAY FOR US! Maybe not this month or next, but here soon,
we'll be back on the road, Clampat style, and we'll need a roof.
B.T.W. If you could say a few words about a job, that would be appreciated too!
There, I'm done venting.
Thank you ever so much!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It rained today. It was a cold cold rain. The kind of rain that tells a guy that we're not through with winter yet. In fact, the snow level is only a couple hundred feet above the house and the snow line clings to the hills like a bathtub ring. I hate the rain and I'm sick of winter.
I had high hopes for March this year, but, I can already tell that it's going to be one of those years. Here in the rolling hills of Southern Oregon, we have those years when it snows one last time, usually the fist week of April. So...
In order to keep from hanging myself from the living room light fixture, I have to look at the small things to get a laugh.
When we first got chickens we thought we were getting them for eggs. Nope, it seems our animal husbandry is not up to snuff, because, we just don't seem to get that many. They are however good for a few laughs.
Turns out that the chickens don't much appreciate the rain either. This one resourceful little Orpington hen discovered that not only is it dry on the porch, but, there's little scraps of cat food and birdseed on the porch, as well.
Later when we thought we'd got them all in, this is what we found.
Awesome!! I've lived and laughed through another day. Let's keep our hopes high for tomorrow!!!