Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sleepin' In.

As I mentioned last time, the Saturday following the local rodeo is the only day in theory that I can sleep in.

A few years back, that was the day that my mom decided to call at 6:30 (in the A.M.) to see what my plans for the day were. Not because there was any reason for her to know, just because...

The next year, she called at 7:00 because someone called and asked if I would be able to go down to the rodeo grounds and help out with slack, and I was roused from my slumber/hangover to go man a gate and pull ropes off of the calves/steers.

The next year, I got smarter. Even in my stupor, I took the phone off of the hook. It was pure bliss. I actually got to execute a full blown sleep in. Later that day, I ran into my mom and she lamented to me, "I tried to call you all morning, but your line was busy." "Gee, I wonder if that meant I didn't want any phone calls waking me up on the only day of the year I get to sleep in."

Since that time, I've never failed to take the phone off the hook. But alas, where there's a will, there's a way.

This year, I'm getting in some quality zzz's and there's a knock on my bedroom door. Some cousins of mine were looking for someone to haul some hay for them, and couldn't get ahold of me, so my mom gladly drives down here to wake me up and ask me for them...

I tell ya, I'm gonna have to start bolting the doors and windows next. I can hardly wait to see what happens next year.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Last weekend was the local rodeo and celebration, and it only comes once a year, thankfully.

I had to get up early on Friday so I could go with my dad to town and also to pick up some differential oil for the ol' four wheeler. Did I mention that I broke the rear axle the last time I was on it? I didn't? Well... it broke, so I'd been working on it for the last couple days, and hit a snag when I didn't have any oil...

Anyway... we did our thing and then came home and we reassembled the ATV. Strangely enough, it even worked. Since it was an early morning, and I knew it would be a late night, I broke down and had a nap. It was pretty tough, but it had to be done. :P

After my little thunderhead, I showered and headed out to the ol' rodeo, with a little of the good stuff in tow. I was going to take pictures, but decided not to. No one wants that kinda evidence around... :innocent:

I had a good double greaseburger and scone, then hung out on the trailer and visited with some folks that I hadn't for a while, and sipped the night away. The rodeo grounds only have one set of grandstands, so the rest of us park cars, trucks, or whatnot next to the fences around the arena and watch from there. My cousin parked his 20 foot flatbed next to the bucking chutes, so I sat with them. It's a good seat really, you're within 20 feet of the action and sometimes much closer.

After the rodeo however, is when the fun really starts. For the last few years, we've headed over to my cousin's house and had a rousing game of redneck volleyball. What's redneck volleyball you ask? Well... the first year we just headed over there to play volleyball, but no one remembered to bring a net, so we hung a garden hose from the sewer vent on the top of his house over to an apple tree and that was the net. A shoe at each corner designated the outlines too. Since that time we've gotten really urbane. Now we also line the edges with other hoses so that everyone will know where the boundaries are. The four shoes on the corners tended to walk around a bit, and led to long and spirited debates. Now we just have to argue whether the ball goes over or under the hose. It's a lot of fun.

This year we had a new spectator, a goat that was tied up in the back yard. He didn't get in the way, and it just added to the ambience. I can hardly wait to see what's new next year.

But the best part of this weekend is that Saturday morning is the only day of the year that I can sleep in... more on this wonderful occurance next time. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Well... It's Official

Yes... I know there were those of you out there that were wondering. Speculating, in fact. If not conversing amongst yourselves about this subject.

Well... good thing I'm around, because it's now official. It's hot.

How do I know this? Was it the triple digits registering on the mercury? Nope. Was it the Discovery Channel special on global warming? Nah... that was a bunch o' crap. Was it the fire near Hicksville? 'Fraid not.

It was the fact that I put my window unit in yesterday because the night before all I could do was lie awake in a puddle of sweat. That makes it official in my book. When it doesn't cool off enough at night to allow for a good nights rest, then it's hot.

Now because we now know it's hot, here's something else that most folks I know don't realize. Temperature is measured in the shade, so when you hear it's 99 outside, that's 99 in the shade. If temperature were measured in the sun, there would be no consistency in the measurement. Clouds and such would effect it's accurate measurement. Therefore, it has to be measured in the shade. Of course this also means that when it's 100 in the shade, it's probably 120+ in the direct sunlight.

Make sure you drink plenty of liquids...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Did I Ever Tell You About the Time...

About 5 years ago, I was introduced to an older fellow named Ray. He's a great old guy and he had a cabin out behind his house. Over his lifetime, he'd collected anything and everything, and had put it in his cabin. Of course he loved to show it off to anyone who would come visit.

Never having been there myself, he told me that I had to come over and see it, so one day my folks and I drove over there and he showed it off to us. Let me tell you, it was really something. Ray had just about anything you could think of, from a moose head to one of those velvet pictures of dogs playing poker. Coal oil lamps, pictures from the 20's, 30's, 40's, a wood stove, an oil stove, tools of all kinds, button hooks, thimbles, irons... anything antique you can think of. It was all in there. I was in there for hours and didn't see it all.

Then he started to tell us stories, and took us into his house and showed us his gun collection. It was a very enjoyable evening, and then we had to go.

Now my brother, whom I've mentioned before, was a history major in college, and lives for outings like I'd just had. As soon as he heard about it, he made plans to repeat the evening, if it was allright with Ray. Of course it was, so a couple weeks later, he and I made the return journey.

In his youth, Ray was a cowboy for a large ranch owned by the Utah Construction company. In case you've never heard of them, they were a rather moderate company who concentrated on medium to small construction jobs, like the Panama Canal and such. So anyway...

He got a draft deferment from WWII since he was working for the UC, and they were providing meat for the war effort (They ran about 30,000 cows). Well anyway, one day he had the chance and he caught a mustang. Since he caught it, he claimed it. Because it was on their range, the UC foreman claimed it as well. Ray was incensed, and strongly reiterated the fact that it was his. It seems they were at an impass, but the foreman broke the stalemate. Ray could keep the horse and lose his job, or he could keep the job and give up the horse. Ray had already staked his position, so he kept the horse, and gave up the job. Unfortunately, when he lost his job, he lost the draft deferment as well, and he was sent over to the battle of the bulge.

"Here's a picture of the horse." he said, as he showed us a picture of a buckskin. "Dumbest damn thing I ever did, choosin' that horse. I mean hell, it was only a horse, I could'a got killed over there in Europe. But I was young and stubborn..."

And the stories went on and on, all the way back to his house where he showed the gun collection off to us again. "This one came from here, and this one came from there..." and then there was a long pause while my bro and I were figuring out the next questions we wanted to ask him.

"Did I ever tell you boys that I used to raise fighting cocks?" Ray said rather nonchalontly.

Now I'd heard him tell story after story for several hours on two seperate occasions, and I can't remember them all, but there is one thing I can assure you. That was by far the easiest question I'd ever been asked, for you see, if someone tells you a story about how they raised fighting cocks, that tends to stick in your mind. The look on my brothers face told me he'd had the same reaction. "No... I don't believe you did." I replied.

So he told us the tale, and it was a lot of fun to listen to. I know a lot of you have the same thought that I did. When exactly was this? Back in WWII, or maybe the 50's, or even back at the UC when he was a rough and tumble buckaroo. It was in the early 80's, and his roosters were undefeated. But he kinda chickend out, and gave them all away after a year or so.

It was a most enjoyable evening that passed all to quickly. Not long after that, his blushing bride passed away, and his macular degeneration stopped him from living alone, so he had to move into an assisted living home. The house and cabin were sold with a great many of the belongings. But of all the things that he had, his stories are by far the greatest treasures. He could give those to as many people as he wanted, and now I've given some of them to you...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sale Day

Well, here it is again, that most nerve wracking time of the year, sale day.

Here's where we find out how much or little our efforts are going to be worth, and unfortunately, they're going to be worth less than last year.

That only makes sense though, seeing how petroleum products have only gone down in price... and metal, and wood, and inflation of all kinds. Yup, nothing but roses and clover for us this year... *sigh*

At any rate, if you've never seen an actual cattle sale before, hop on over to RFDTV for the rest of the week and you can watch one. As far as sales go, it's a pretty good one. I think they're selling around 300,000 this week or so, but I could be wrong. The best part is you can watch it from the comfort of your easy chair, and not even have to drive to a formerly smoke filled sale barn where the pleasant aroma of wood chips and cow manure stays with you for a few hours.

Of course you'll miss out on one of the best parts of the sale yard experience, the occasional rank cow that sends everyone in the ring diving behind the barricades, but some sacrifices you'll just have to make for convenience. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Do you remember when your mother told you not to hang around certain folks? That they'd get you into trouble?

I seems your mother was right.

Have a good 4th.