The shadow of a Giant Armadillo loomed over us as we entered the flea market, pushing against the stream of fleeing fleas.
I’m not sure what the state animal of Texas is, but it should be the armadillo.
Ok, so I just did a little googling extensive research and came to find the state animal is the armadillo. But, because Texas is so large, they need two state animals: the armadillo and the longhorn. I should’ve known.
They’re all over this time of year: foraging in my campsite, roasting on barbeque pits, and splattered all over the road. I prefer the former. After learning they carry leprosy, I have no intention of ever trying armadillo meat. However, a fellow blogger in Texas at of mule dung and ash claims to have eaten armadillo several times. He seems fine. Not that we’ve met in person. Ok, so it’s a guess.
Baby armadillos have been foraging in my campsite for grubs or roots or whatever it is armadillos forage for. They’re adorable, and seem unconcerned with my presence most of the time. Maybe they sense I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Or a BBQ spatula. The rangers, however, seem less accepting of them and want to fill in their burrows, or shoot rubber bands at them.
I did try to grab a photo, but you all know how fickle my photography can be. Fear not, Kernutties, I got photos of something better: A giant armadillo statue!! Yes, it’s true. Texas has a giant armadillo statue or . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Giant Armadillo Invades Flea Market in Texas; Fleas Terrified.
I’m at the Sioux Falls airport checking in for my return flight to Austin (via snowy Denver).
At the security check point I put all my stuff on the conveyer belt and turn around to go through the metal detector. But there is no metal detector. In its place is something I’ve never seen…
It’s a big, cylindrical glass container, with the outline of a pair of foot prints on the small carpet at the bottom. It’s one of those new-fangled x-ray screening machines.
Oh. Hell. NO.
I stop dead in my tracks a few feet from the entrance and ask “What IS that?!” just as realization begins to dawn on me. Now I begin to back up, hands in the air, as the TSA agent calmly tries to explain how benign the monster device is.
I don’t hear a word she says other than “You don’t need to back up.”
The hell I don’t.
I’m looking again at the footprints on the small carpet inside the big, glass screening machine. I wonder to myself if those are what was left of the last guy’s ashes when the “screening” was over.
Perhaps not so oddly, the movie Soylent Green suddenly pops into my head.
Me, shaking my head: “Uh-uh. I know what that thing is. Can’t I just get wanded or something?”
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : I just got felt up by TSA
The smell of money stinks.
No, really. Money smells like shit. Literally, like shit.
Cow shit, chicken shit, and the gasses produced by drilling for oil all smell horrid and are toxic if inhaled for too long. But methane (cow), ammonia (chicken), and hydrogen sulfide (oil drilling) are the smell of money. Big money.
You wouldn’t know it to spend any time in the middle of Nowhere, Texas (aka Cow/Chicken/Oil Country), but there is big money here. This county was recently named one of the top three oil producing counties in the world.
Unlike California, you can’t see any of the money here. People aren’t flashy and dress casually out here in the country. Many of the wealthy cattle ranchers and newly prosperous oil land/mineral rights owners still work their ranches. They wear regular blue jeans and drive pickups, sometimes old beat up pickups. There’s not one Ferrari or Porsche here. You might see a few of the new muscle cars, a couple older Mercedes, and a couple (random) Hummers driving around town. But most vehicles are Dodge Rams or Ford F150 trucks.
A chicken house for organic “free-range” chickens… the doors are so they can go out if they want. They don’t want. Your “free-range” chickens don’t give a hoot about ranging.
But you can smell the money wafting through the air from the cow ranches, the chicken houses, and the oil derricks. Since I’ve already shown y’all the cattle ranching, farming, and the oil derricks, this post is about the . . . → But wait, there’s more! : The smell of money is a lot like methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.
(*hat tip* to Bluz Dude at Darwinfish 2 for the title idea)
The Tale of the Tail
I’ve been creating a tree nursery for the park by germinating such things as Pomegranates, Wisteria, Jacaranda, Cheesewood, and Giant Sequoias. (Heh, I don’t pick the seeds, they were already here just collecting dust on the park store desk.)
Since I was tired of dusting the dust off the seed packets sitting on the desk, I decided to plant them. I designed and am helping to build a greenhouse of sorts* to keep the plants (should they ever sprout) safe from the wild critters who run rampant in the park.
*Before you become impressed with my building skills, keep in mind this greenhouse, much like the Squirrel Obstacle Course, will be made from “found” objects. And I’m not making it very big. Rather than a nursery greenhouse with doors and windows and important stuff like that, it’s more like a plant “cozy”. You know, a “cozy” like your grandmother used to knit to cover the spare toilet paper role that sat on the back of the toilet.
My RV happens to be parked next to the plant cozy tree nursery. I bend down replace one of the nursery bricks, and hear a *hissssss*. Thinking it’s the spray nozzle in front of me, I check the hose. It’s not even dripping.
Then it slowly dawns on me the noise is coming from my other side… I turn my head just in time to see a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake . . . → But wait, there’s more! : The tale of the Rattlesnake Tail and why I’m now a Texan
It’s been hot here in central Texas, hotter than a whore on nickle night at the cat house. So when the rains and cool weather came – without terrifying winds – we all enjoyed it immensely. I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts for the first time in over six months.
So there I was, sitting at the computer in cozy sweat-outfit bliss, trying to catch up on email, etc. while listening to the soothing plip-plop of soft rain on the roof.
Then I heard a SPLAT-SPLAT. Huh, I thought, that drip was louder than the others.
I start to go back to my Facebooking typing when I had a second thought (yes, two in less than a minute – we wouldn’t want to tax ourselves).
Uh-oh… My mouth dropped open as my head snapped up and my focus zeroed in on the drips coming from under the entertainment center. (Feel free to insert a stream of your own dirty words.)
The RV sprung a leak, again, and in almost the same spot as last year. Some of you may recall the time when the windows let in rain. Thank goodness I was home this time, too.
While it feels at times like the Universe is conspiring against me lately with several RV issues happening all at once and myriad other things which you’ve likely been subjected to enjoyed reading, the Universe also seems to provide (sometimes) at the same time: The rain stopped while we spent . . . → But wait, there’s more! : While enjoying the rain I learned I live in a sieve.
Kernut was in Kerrville, Texas. Again.
“Home, home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope play.”
Kerrville, a town of about 22,000 in the northeastern area of Texas Hill Country, is where my grandparents had a small ranch for about 30 years. I was last there when I was twelve – a few decades ago, or 10 years ago. Hard to say, my math isn’t so good. I’m 29, dammit!
Kerrville has grown quite a bit and now includes the ubiquitous WalMart. My grandmother sold the last section of the ranch several years ago, but I decided to drive by and see how it’s changed since I was a kid. When I went by I found a portion of the original property was again for sale.
And guess what? There’s a pyramid in Kerrville, Texas! Like the one in Quartzsite, Arizona, I’m pretty sure the Egyptians didn’t build this one, either.
Entrance to the ranch in Kerville.
I’d totally forgotten about the gate guard pyramid. I think my grandfather built most of it and then the current owners refurbished it.
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Home on the Range – the ol’ family homestead in Kerrville, Texas
No, wait. I think Charlie Sheen said ‘Put the hooker in the closet‘.
Ok, then the bird should go in the box. Got it. Good thing, too, since the closet is quiet full of my clothes and skeletons.
There's hardly enough room for the skeletons, let alone hookers.
As many of you may know, I have a penchant for rescuing wounded things. Birds. Mammals. Men. One might assume that while driving around the country I would not have as much opportunity for rescuing wounded beings.
Sadly, no. Like moths to a flame, they seem to find me wherever I am on the planet.
They may leave for a brief period to temp the fate of being eaten by a hawk or to join the circus. And when I say one left to join the circus, believe it or not I am NOT referring to one of the rescued animals. One now-ex-boyfriend actually left for a brief period with the intention of joining the circus.
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Put the hooker in the box, and the bird in the closet.
The Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge was the only way to go coast to coast back in the day.
The Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge has spanned the Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona since 1915. If you were heading from coast to coast at that time, the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge was the only place to cross the river, and it meant going miles out of your way to do so.
It lights up at night. You'll have to take my word for it because this picture is as good as it gets on this blog.
And that, my dear Kernutties, is your history lesson for the day. Never say I didn’t teach you anything. Notice I didn’t say “important”. Useless trivia is my specialty.
Shake Your Dates
Since my first trip to Slab City, California this past winter, all I heard was that I had to have a date shake.
“What’s a ‘date shake”‘, I asked. “Is that a shake you share with a date? What if I don’t have a date, can I get one on the side?”
Yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m the only one laughing.
It comes with ice cream. Ok, good enough!
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : From the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge to the Bridge to Nowhere, and shaking your dates in between.
For the first time in my adventures, I’m about to tell you of an “attraction” I will never again go to. Nope, it’s not Mexico.
Not far from the border of Mexico, is the small town of Felicity, California, the self-proclaimed “Center of the World”.
The Center of the World?
After a long road trip to get there, my rig/house guest (who has long since returned to their day job) went in and asked to use the bathroom only to be told by the non-too-pleasant greeter it would cost three dollars. The owner, with whom I had a separate conversation, quoted me five dollars – with a similarly unfriendly demeanor. Our experience was unpleasant, to say the least.
Skip this “attraction” – we did. My poor friend really had to pee, but we felt it wasn’t worth prolonging and compounding the bad experience we’d already been given by being charged for it.
All you need to know is EVERYWHERE is the true Center of the World. Wherever you are at any given moment, even right now while reading this post, you are on the center of the world.
Two Blondes in Mexico
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : The Center of the World, and two blondes in Mexico.
There's a magazine about this?
I’m fascinated by linguistics, especially the colloquialisms specific to a certain region. We all have them, and those little words can give an indication of where you grew up, or lived for many years.
Also when you grew up.
A friend is visiting from Minnesota. He’s never been to California so I’m showing him the sights. The other day I used the word ‘dude’ when relaying some meaningless important story to him.
Yes, maybe I’m a hopelessly outdated Californian, but that’s not the point.
He’s been here three weeks and I’m the first person who’s said ‘dude’ to him. WTF?
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : We Say ‘Dude’ In These Here Parts