i A Time and a Place...: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

How the Times Have Changed...

I was perusing my pictures and came across a clipping that is in my Grandparent's folder about a relative who died on April 7th, 1891, in San Saba, Texas. He and his wife and four children lived at Dublin, Texas and he had driven a team pulling a freight wagon to San Saba, evidently to deliver dry goods of some sort.

While he was at San Saba, he caught pneumonia and died. This clipping is the account of that occurrence. I marvel at the eloquence, although he was a stranger to my relative, of the writer's description of my relative's death. (My relative was either an Uncle or Cousin)

The clipping is somewhat faded and awkward to read so I will type the contents below.

"Mr N C Brummett, who came to Dublin a few months ago with his family, but who left his family here while he went on to San Saba, died at that place on Monday night. He was a good man and leaves a wife and four children, who are still living in Dublin. The following in regard to his death is clipped from the San Saba News:

'Mr N. C. Brummett, a stranger who came to San Saba a few weeks ago as a teamster, and who has been sick at Dr. Ketchum's office ever since, died Monday night. He had been exposed and contracted pneumonia and suffered intensely. His brother-in-law, from Dublin, was with him during the last few days of his life and kind hands have ministered to his wants as best they could. He confessed himself freely before he died and said he was ready to die.
All that was mortal of him was committed to earth in the Odd Fellow's cemetery Tuesday morning.

It is seldom a sadder death occurs as he was indeed a stranger in a strange land, away from his home and his loved ones and all the surroundings that would have tended to rob the monster of his terrors.
His family, though unknown to the people of San Saba, have their sincerest sympathy.'"

What a heartfelt obituary this is of a stranger who died in a strange land. A hundred and sixteen years later, I thank the good people of San Saba for their concern and kindness.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's Funny How Things Come To Mind...

when a person sees certain things. I read in an article about something or other that it is now believed that fresh water clams, mussels, are actually healthy for us. Evidently they contain Omega fats and oil and whatever else the Omegas are. So I guess I'll go to Modesto, put on my swimming trunks, cross to the other side of the Tuolumne River, my friend, and dig some up from along that bank. There's a zillion of them there!

When I was a kid growing up in Modesto, I spent most of my life on my Friend, the River. It was an every day thing for me to go to the River and stay all day.(This is not a picture of the Tuolumne River where it runs through the Modesto area; but it could be-it looks just like it)

Sometimes I would take a long pole with fishing line tied on the end and a fish hook attached to that and fish all day, or as long as I wanted to. Sometimes I dug worms which were always abundant in my Mother's garden to take and use as bait, mostly for Perch or Blue Gills. (I never knew the difference in these two fish-I called them all Perch-they look a lot alike except the Blue Gill has blue gills and is a bit fatter)

Anyhow, most of the time I didn't bother to dig worms. Instead I went to the River and swam across to a place upstream a ways where there was (and probably still is) a huge mussel bed. I dove down about five or six feet and felt around until I found a big one and brought it up and took it to the bank. There I pried it open with my pocket knife and cut pieces off it to use as fish bait.

My wife had never seen a mussel until I showed one to her right after we married.(No, dummy, not muscle,- it's mussel!-for shame)

Those mussels are really big! I know some of them weighed a pound or more, shell and all. One or two mussels were enough to keep me in bait for as long as I wanted to fish.

The only bad thing about fishing was, after I caught forty or fifty perch and blue gills, I had to take them home.(I'd rather stay at the River) They were mostly between three and six inches long. Mom would scale them and gut them and cut their heads off then fry 'em until they were crisp and we'd eat 'em, bones and all! Boy were they delicious!

But for the Mussels; I never ate one. Never wanted to.

I sure hope I don't read an article about cow oil being good for us, so I won't have to tell you the story about the two headed cow that was pastured along the River when I was a kid. Looking at that thing made me nervous and telling about it makes me nervouser!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Joys of a A Big Rig...

This is Mi Espousa (a little Mex
Lingo there) Donna performing some
very importand maintenance on a
Peterbilt truck we owned and leased
to West Coast Truck Lines out of
Goshen, Oregon. We had to do this a
lot in those days.

We couldn't afford to

send it out for repairs. Someday I'll
tell you about the time she drove the
truck backwards in a forward gear. I
was California Bedbug and she was
Tag Axle, a crackerjack driver.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Strange Doesn’t Even Begin…

Well, (I start a lot of sentences with that word) here I am with another tidbit for your consideration. Who, besides me, has ever heard of, “R.A.I.D.?” Well, if you’re lucky, you haven’t! I just finished one of the most aggravating weeks of my life because the Computer Gods were mad at me and they figured the worst thing they could do to me (besides kill me and that’s a no-no) was to introduce me to RAID. That is, a Redundant Array of Individual Disks.

This is where you can take several different disks that are on a network or, as was the case with me, in the same computer, and re-arrange them so they act as one hard drive disk.

When I first saw the RAID ad and saw what it could do, (it said speed up the pc and make everything better) I said to my self, (I do that a lot) “Self, you have to have that.” And, after all, it was an application that was on my PC when I bought it so it had to be all right.

OK, so I pushed a button and the little magic window came up and asked, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

You know, that should have told me something. But, since I already know everything, I paid little, if any, heed to it. I pushed the button (clicked on it) and the fun began.

Now, the reason I had two hard drives in my pc is so I can boot off one and use the other for storage and to back up, in the entirety, my primary disk so I won’t lose everything in case it crashes. Smart thinkin’, huh? Well, (that word again) ‘duh!’

Now comes the fun part. The installation took about two hours and it went so well that I was amazed. When it finished, It said, ‘Your PC is now the most wonderful PC in the Northern part of California,’ and that made me feel really swell! And it said, ‘You are really gonna love this: you know before this when you had two pesky hard disks to worry about?-Well now they are one!”

Whoa!! Back up some; whatta ya mean, ‘only one?’ I want two disks, not only one!

I must be not understanding exactly what this means.
So I double clicked on MY Computer and watched to see how many hard drives would be shown…WHOA!!!~ ONLY ONE DRIVE SHOWED!!~! What the hey?

Now I figured it was time to read the instructions for the RAID. OK. This was ‘striped’, -volume 0…0000! Boy, let’s reboot this baby and check the bios. I did that thing and, sure enough, there is only one hard disk. Bummer.

Well, (there it is again) after thinking it over very thoroughly and carefully for two minutes, I decided I had to un-do this RAID thing and get my other hard drive back. That shouldn’t be too hard. …Sure…

So I googled RAID and called them. The guy asked who I bought it from and I said I hadn’t bought it, it came with my PC. Then, says he, you need to call Gateway.

So, being a reasonable fellow, I called Gateway. After I finally got through (I had to pay for the call since Gateway has no 800 number for people in trouble) the girl came on and, after I explained what my problem was, she said the RAID application didn’t come on my PC. I assured her it did because I was looking at it. She said I need to call the maker of the app since she didn’t know anything about it. Well, Crapski! Where was my Dell when I needed it? Oh, yeah…mi espousa (a little Mex lingo there) has it.

To make a long story shorter, I googled it and tried seventeen things to undo it. None of them worked.

Then I accidentally stumbled onto a vague sentence somewhere (it could have been anywhere because by now I had been everywhere) that said,- sort of,- reboot, when the bios starts, click ctrl and 1 and bring up the ROM. Then delete the volume you want to delete and reinstall the OS.

I rebooted and held down ctrl and 1(one) seventy three times to no avail. Well, crap!

Now don’t give up on me. I’m a pretty savvy guy and have a knack for things. I asked myself, “Self, why, even though I am following instructions to a T, does this not work?” Well (“)then I have to try something else so I held down ctrl and I(eye) at the same time and, sure enough, it worked. Them damned I’s sure look like 1’s!

Anyhow, I had saved most of my stuff off onto Donna’s computer so I re-ran the OS and rebooted my PC only to find out there were no drivers on the restore disk; only the operating system so I called Gateway and they sent me a drivers disk and, here I am, back at it again, none the worse for wear. And I now have two hard drives, just what I wanted!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's Strange...

It's strange how much different things are influenced, or even determined, by the time of the day. La Donna Lee, mi espousa (a little Mex lingo there) is once again on a trip to the lower Northern California portion of the state(San Francisco and Modesto) or the central portion of the state, as you prefer. I am alone; no Donna and, maybe even worse, no Chico the Wonder Dog with whom to converse and spend time with. ('ouch!'-ending a sentence with a preposition)

Well, I said to myself, "It's not the first time I've been alone at home." (Or, 'Home Alone') "No", I answered myself, (I do that a lot)"it isn't the first time except, in the past you've had Chico the Wonder Dog to help you pass the time."
'Well', I thought, 'it's not as if I really need someone here in order for me to feel like doing something to interest myself.'

That's true, I opined to my self. (I've always liked that word; opined) I guess not. I can go outside and pull the weeds mi espousa (Little more Mex there) missed while I was off at the creek, working for four hours to pan 63 cents worth of placer gold. (That'll sure come in handy when it's time to pay the rent-it was worth the 17 bucks I spent for gas to get to the creek and back!)

"...Well, I thought, it's not as if I really need someone..."

That brought me back to the reason for this missile; needing or not needing someone. I didn't need anyone this morning:-I didn't need someone yesterday while I was digging for gold but;-I was perusing the menu on the Dish Network and came across a movie made in 1938 called, "Three Comrades."It starred Margaret Sullavan, Franchot Tone and Robert Taylor. I won't go into what it's about,-that isn't important.

In one scene, Robert Taylor and Margaret Sullavan were riding along in a car,-or walking along together, whichever,- having a conversation. A point was made by Margaret Sullavan that neither he nor she really needed someone. Then he said it, "Everyone needs someone when it gets evening."

Now she is headed for the sanitorium where she will receive treatment for something and he will once again be alone, needing someone, 'when it gets evening.'

And so will I. Where's Chico the Wonder Dog when you need him?!?