Monday, December 31, 2018

Beyond The Sunset

The sun sets on another year and 2019 should be the last for this blog. I'll motivate myself to write a closing essay and that is it. Y'all can kiss my ass! No, I'm kidding. The 3 readers who have followed me faithfully for the past 10 years are loyal. Demented and sad...but loyal. All good things must end but before I go I want to recapitulate my experience. The new year means nothing much to me. I'm unemployed, collecting unemployment checks for the first time in my life and should have time to reflect and ponder but I'm searching for a home where I can hang my Stetson hat and work on motorcycles without gravel in my knees. It's the kind of activity most people do in their 30s but I waited until I was 50 and it won't interest anyone since youth have disdain for home ownership and my elders have disdain for people who wait so long to be an adult. I'm looking for a house and work in a time of despair and division. Enemies, I could stab at thee from Hell's Heart, but the new year is a time to turn the page on the failures and trespasses of last year. What has happened has happened, and wisdom comes at a price greater than Dollar General's discount rack. Collect your check and take the ride.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Another Chapter

1985 Rebel 250 CMX blah blah blah
Santa brought me an old Honda Rebel to ride. It's got low mileage but a few issues that I'm going to deal with. I guess Santa has a tight wallet. This is not my dream bike but it's a worthy bike to ride locally for local business. Feeding 8 cylinders is insane when 2 cylinders is all I need. Happy Holidays to all you rebels out there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Which Direction?

Note the paper clip style tangs on the left of the cam and the contacts on the right base. You might wonder why there is a bit of black insulation on the top/left tang and it's because adjusting the tangs was a delicate process and I broke the tiny plastic 'spacer' that prevents the two tangs from touching. So I put the wire insulation over the tang to accomplish the same goal.

This should make everything clear as mud.

This pathetic silver 'push nut' is the cause of all this insanity. The two parts of the cam must be separate. The top turns on the stationary bottom base. So it can't be a tight nut that holds them in place. That push nut actually goes around the top of the turn signal arm attachment lever. As the push nut loosens the tangs no longer hit the contacts and I lose some portion of turn signals and brake lights

What I had to do is experiment with a  multi-meter and determine which tangs are hot at what times. The  tangs (when I flip the cam upside down) closest to the open 'C' are hot when the brake pedal is pushed. The Tangs furthers away from the 'C' opening are hot when the key is in the aux/run position. Ok? Then the base contacts are situated as it is installed...the right side top is the Right Tail Light contact. The Right lower is the Left Tail Light contact. The left lower contact illuminates the right dashboard indicator lamp. The top left contact illuminates the left dash indicator light. See?

So, when everything is normal and I'm not making a turn but I HIT THE BRAKE, what happens is 12v goes to the inner tang and sends 12 to both contacts on the right (right and left brake lamp). And when I'm driving and the key is in RUN then the outer tangs are also hot with 12v and when I turn left, for example, that 12v is sent to the top left contact (left dash indicator) and the lower right contact (Left tail light).,..since it also passes through a relay for the turn signals it will blink...and also cut out my brake lights. Yes, in 1969 I only had the option of indicating a turn or indicating I am stopping....I can't indicate both at once. The turn signal cuts out the brake light and blinks it instead...although the opposite brake light will come on.

I spent two days figuring out this info and although it all works right now the push nut is still going to wear out and get loose and then the contacts will not touch and I will be back to the same problem. But at least I know what the problem is and that's a positive step. Obviously, the whole assembly needs to be replaced and I promise that will happen soon. This cam is worn out, as can be seen from the amount of copper worn off the contacts. The one detail I didn't get a photo of is the custom plastic shims that I put on the handle shaft before I put the cam over it. The shim forces the cam higher so the push nut will be tighter once I hammer it on. I'm proud of that plastic shim because it had to be cut from plastic packaging with a hole the size of the turn handle shaft.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


I am aware that my blog is approaching its Tenth Year anniversary. I embarked on this journey with El Conquistador for one year exploration of The Baja Peninsula. I suspected the van would not survive the trip or maybe I wouldn't survive the trip either. To sum up my mindset at that time requires some ad lib and reliance on foggy memories but I recall my disillusionment with the status quo was very high. Nearly 5 years on the fringes of Los Angeles entertainment industry confirmed that all my idealistic hopes and starry-eyed artistic visions were obsolete. Drugs and underage sex were the main commodities in Los Angeles and I wrote a script about Henry David Thoreau's life on Walden Pond. The timing was not right. The economy collapsed along with the fraudulent housing mortgage scheme. Bush danced off into the sunset and Obama arrived with Hope that I suspected was a big scam. I knew that drugs and underage sex were all that kept Los Angeles humming and I didn't see Obama embracing that reality. Obama represented the collective delusion. Everyone I knew was stoned all the time. It was at the point that I knew no one who was ever sober and I started to question the definition of sobriety when no one is not under the influence. Doesn't the definition change? Isn't sobriety then defined as only moderately influenced by drugs? If one still knows they are human and on earth then that's sober. If they believe they are an Alien transplant whose real home is Atlantis then that is the new 'high'. If you snort cocaine, smoke pot and try to have sex with every warm body that walks in your office then you have embraced the status quo; you fit the paradigm and the paradigm rewards conformists.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Multiculturalism in Gunsmoke TV Series

Gunsmoke is Conservative, pro-America, Pro-white social propaganda, but it goes deeper than that. Season 15 (I recently studied all the episodes in Season 15) ends with an episode (The Cage) about a thief who tries to get revenge on his swindling gang while also stealing gold in order to fund a medical operation for his Mute Mexican girlfriend. It's ludicrous. One reviewer writes, "The story was not really bad it was the fact that the writers threw in a love story on top of an unbelievable storyline."

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hamster Wheel

Despite my best efforts I became a hamster wheel automaton again. I conformed and was assimilated by the grind. This means zero reflection. Zero wisdom. Zero pondering. High production. Low humanity. I'm a consumer. I produce and I consume. This is the status quo the 'coastal elite' wish for humanity, and I resist it, but lately I have been sucked into the vortex again. I move from one petty crisis to another. I almost read the news as though it were a summary of current events when I know it's pure emotional manipulation to instigate hysteria so I will buy from the sponsors to cure my hysteria that was created by the sponsors. This is the vile status quo we are all too tired to do anything about. We hope someone else fixes it. I don't know where the time goes and I learn nothing important, like my fellow hamsters chasing invisible cheese.

The specifics of my hamster wheel involve commercial flush meters and the details therein. Flushmeters have diaphragms with relief valves, refill heads and flow rings of varying sizes and colors that control the volume of each flush. I've been in a debate with the tech support of one brand to learn what I can learn. That's my hamster wheel and it's the kind of thing that devours lives. The current Oggy could've really helped the Oggy of 6 months ago.

I do have a few moments each evening when I finish the latest Gunsmoke episode, when I reflect on my day and I get some encouragement that this will end soon and I will be able to reflect deeply and continuously again as is the task of all dime-store philosophers. I wonder if using the hamster wheel as a means to an end is not obviously insane. A hamster wheel stops in the same spot the hamster started running. Will I be any different? No, but I might be able to throw some more nickles at land agents and consolidate my affairs in one location. I'm not sure this matters since I don't even intend to stop exploring so it really means I value the security of my Python skin boots more than I value my own security. The status quo, pre-packaged, valuemart, bargain bin ethics moderator has trained me well. The good, fertile ideas are still trapped in my mind but the machine wears me down until one day I'm selling flushometers to my younger self and I don't remember how I got there or where I'm going. I'm a specialized tradesman with a bad memory and reading glasses like the septic serviceman I talked to today. We're on the same hamster wheel.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Good Stuff

Here's some raw emotion in case you think Oggy is an unfeeling animal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Covering The Table

Covering the table

It's just cruel to the forces of fortune to put me in front of a Roulette table. The strategy here is called 'covering the table'. On a table with one green zero the payout is 36:1. So, if I cover every number, betting $35, EXCEPT for 2 this case 28 and 30, then I'm betting $35 to make $1 on a payout of $36. It's a ridiculous bet, to wager $35 in order to profit $1. Ok, but the strategy is simply to turn the odds in your favor so you are winning more often.

I've tried another system on Roulette called the Martingale system where I chose Black and then doubled my bet every loss. I concluded that 6 consecutive loses will either brake my bank or I will reach the table limit and can't bet enough to win back my losses. It's a brutal game...basically 50:50 odds it will come up black and to lose 6 consecutive times is amazing. What is even more amazing is that I have yet to win. Within 5 or 6 bets, after a few wins, I will go on the streak of losing 6 straight and that breaks my bank. See, the Martingale system works for lucky people. In my case, I will lose and then double my bet. $1 becomes $2...lose...then $2 becomes $4...lose...then $4 becomes 8...lose... Then $8 becomes 16...lose...then $16 becomes $32...lose...and lastly $32 becomes a $64 dollar bet....which I lose. The investment is $127 in order to win $128...or $1 profit which is called a 'coup' since that's the original bet amount. At that point I will need to bet $128 in order to simply win back my own losses plus $1. It's very predictable in a way that should not be predictable. In the screenshot you can actually see the streak of 6 that broke my bank before I went to the cover the table strategy. 6 consecutive losses is all that it takes.

If you can make a $128 bet to profit $1 then Vegas is the place you should go because my conclusion is that the whole essence of gambling is based on that insanity. In gambling you will eventually be asked to make a huge bet for an insignificant profit, if only in a vain attempt to break even. This is guaranteed.

Well, I don't want to talk about merely bad luck of 6 straight 50/50 losses. I want to talk about an amazing run of bad luck where I covered the table, picked 35 numbers out of 37 possibilities...AND LOST 3 STRAIGHT TIMES. Yes, reader, in the screen shot you see I did not cover #28 and #30...and #28 was the number that came up. Ok, well, you will have to take my word that the previous two attempts I had covered different numbers and chose to omit #15...and Lost...and in the previous game I omitted the Green Zero...AND LOST. Three straight bank busters. My interest in mathematics faltered exactly around the time we got in probability equations so I don't want to 'prove' how bad my luck is. Just accept that I had 35 numbers of 37 105 numbers of a possible 111 and the ball dropped into one of those 6 omitted numbers THREE STRAIGHT TIMES. 

This is the whole problem with gambling is that once the losses are recorded, my whole grind strategy WILL NEVER RECOUP THE LOSSES even with amazingly good luck. See? I could go on an incredible streak with the same strategy, but I just lost $105...and I'm betting in order to profit a single dollar. So, I will need to win 106 times in a row in order to break even. Statistically, I think it's possible to win 106 times in a row if I cover the table, but I just defied the odds with three straight losses so why do I think my odds will even out?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


I think this song was in a country songbook I owned but I'd never heard the song so I didn't bother playing it. Then I ran across the song again in another songbook and decided it was time. The lyrics were intimidating and now that I've learned it I know why I steered clear earlier. This is some long long phrasing for a country song, but that's what gives the song its uniqueness. It's like a whole paragraph that only has two rhymes. 

"She played tambourine with a silver jingle and she must've known the words to at least a million TUNES. 
But the one most requested by the man she knew as Cowboy was the late night benediction at the Y'all come back SALOON."

Two rhymes. Tune and Saloon. But that's a lot of words to remember without a rhyme. I sort of learn songs by memorizing how the lyrics rhyme together but other times I need different approach. For example, the song "The Weight" by The Band has 5 different verses. So, how do I avoid singing the wrong verse, since the story isn't exactly linear? Well, the first verse is "I pulled into Nazareth..." The second verse starts where the first verse ended when the narrator got denied a bed, "So I picked up my bag..." And in that second verse is a line "I said 'Hey there Carmen, come on let's go downtown'..." and I used that line to remember that the third verse starts with "Go Down Moses there ain't nothing you can say..." because the word Go is in the second verse. The hard part of the third verse is not singing, "...nothing you can DO" Because that word rhymes with "judgement Day in the next line and if I sing DO then it will not rhyme with Day. The Fourth verse still throws me because I sometimes get nervous and start to sing the fifth verse. IF I do that then I have to sing the 4th verse last. But the fourth verse is "Crazy Chester followed me..." How do I remember that? Because of the way Levon Helm sings it in this affected southern accent and this is my one chance to ham up my southern accent in the song as I impersonate Helm impersonating Crazy Chester. The fifth verse starts "Catch the Cannonball and take it down the line..." referring to a train, I think. The train is leaving the station so this verse gets sung last. But each line of the verse is rhymed with the last word in the line so it's easy to remember the words once I remember the start of each verse. However, with this Oak Ridge Boys tune, there are only 2 rhyming words in each of the first two verses. The third verse doesn't have any rhymes but still works. And the rest are sung in this effortless story telling style that tells the story but don't rhyme, so the singer has nothing to do but remember what he is singing because the rhymes don't happen often enough to help. I simply break it down into sections...we introduce the audience to the singer who plays tambourine in a smoky bar...then we demonstrate that all the patrons in the bar actually pause when she starts her version of Faded Love, in some kind of moment of prayer to lost love. The Bridge is actually a blatant reference to the song Faded Love and its context within this song. The last verse introduces the nameless cowboy and gives some context to why he requests this song and how he always leaves the bar after it is played. I break the song into those three stages... Bar Singer...Bob Wills...Cowboy...and I get through the song ok.

It took me many many attempts to record this song without any mistakes. And there are only 4 or 5 chords! But the lyrics are not easy to remember.

This song is probably the best country western song because it manages to include a lonely cowboy, pinball, Amarillo, a bar singer, smoke, booze, a clever melody metaphor and it pays tribute to Bob Wills (Faded Love is a BW song) all in 3 verses. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys is my second favorite country western tune.

Stages of Flying a Kite

Stage 1: Can Oggy resist a Star Wars kite? No he can not.

Stage 2: Assembly. R2-D2 and C3PO? And some other droid! This thing is awesome! And it comes with string!
Stage 3: We have Liftoff...but not enough string. Shit! Lame piece of crap

Stage 4: Ok, I'm bored, time to get a taco.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Turn Of Century Literature

I'm not a long-time fan of H.G. Wells but I now know what I've been missing. The only writer of pure prose that is in the realm of Wells is H. Melville. Thomas Wolfe and J. Conrad deserve mention. Let me say that for all the convenience and facile enjoyment that technology has given humanity it has done nothing for our ability to write at such length and detail on the human condition. The literary acrobatics of this self-taught draper's assistant turned sci-fi pioneer are nothing short of amazing. It's like a dictionary having an orgasm. A Wordgasm! I could take any paragraph of Wells in his turn-of-century prime and copy it here as an example but I'll snip one from his 'Earth-based', socialist/suffragette novel The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman. Behold, this 5 sentence karate chop to your verbal thorax:

It has been said that Fate is a plagiarist. Lady Harman's Fate at any rate at this juncture behaved like a benevolent plagiarist who was also a little old-fashioned. This phase of speechless hostility was complicated by the fact that two of the children fell ill, or at least seemed for a couple of days to be falling ill. By all the rules of British sentiment, this ought to have brought about a headlong reconciliation at the tumbled bedside. It did nothing of the sort; it merely wove fresh perplexities into the tangled skein of her thoughts. 
And another roundhouse kick to your mental groin...

It has been said, I think, by Limburger, in his already cited work, that nothing so excites and prevails with woman as rapid and extensive violence, sparing and yet centering upon herself, and certainly it has to be recorded that, so far from being merely indignant, and otherwise a helplessly pathetic spectacle, Lady Harman found, though perhaps she did not go quite so far as to admit to herself that she found, this vehement flight from the social, moral, and intellectual contaminations of London an experience not merely stimulating but entertaining. It lifted her delicate eyebrows. Something, it may have been a sense of her own comparative immobility amid this sudden extraordinary bustle of her home, put it into her head that so it was long ago that Lot must have bundled together his removable domesticities. 

And finally, an elbow to your heart...

Her marriage had carried Ellen out of the narrow world of home and school into another that had seemed at first vastly larger, if only on account of its freedom from the perpetual achievement of small economies. Hitherto the urgent necessity of these had filled life with irksome precautions and clipped the wings of every dream. This new life into which Sir Isaac led her by the hand promised not only that release but more light, more colour, more movement, more people. There was to be at any rate so much in the way of rewards and compensation for her pity of him. 

Dear Reader, Wells wrote hundreds of books with this exhaustively precise and probing narrative style. It's not even legal to write this beautifully today. The famous works we know as movies or Orson Wells hoaxes are but a tiny sample of his library. If you are like me then you have to read and reread these paragraphs to try to wrangle the meaning from them. It's like learning to read again. We are out of practice at reading this kind of writing, at least I am. Unless you are a fan of William Vollmann, who is the last living torch-bearer of the elite prose writers of yesterday, then you are content with feeding your brain with verbal vomit in the form of staff writers' sloppy flatulence at online media brothels.

Wells commented that he wanted to write a story that would justify a woman smashing a post office window in protest. This explains all the detail he pours into each phrase. I finally reached the point in the story where the woman smashes the window (after hundreds of pages) and I conclude that Wells has accomplished his mission. I understand why the woman smashed the glass. No one, in any era, would be mystified. It's common for a character to do some rash action and the audience to say, "Oh, she would never do that..." In the case of Wells, this is not a problem. He has covered all the angles and justified his character's actions quite sufficiently. So effective was Wells at his prose that Winston Churchill credited Wells for rationalizing social security and socio-political equality, which were totally objectionable suggestions when Wells wrote his support of them in the dark ages circa 1900.

If only all writers of future-based fiction were so pioneering with their ideas.

Basically, if modern fiction is too transparent and sophomoric for your tastes then you are but a click away from the pinnacle of English literature in the works of elite writer H.G. Wells.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Fast Times in The Parking Lot

I'm back living full time in the Walmart Parking lot. It's a blast. Last night an 8 year old girl was playing in the parking lot, running on a field that is where the homeless pour their piss jugs, someone called the police and they interrogated the family while pot smoke drifted across the larking lot like wildfire. Good times. I'm not sure which is worse: the police being called to investigate a neglected child running around the pot-smoke-filled Walmart parking lot like it's a playground or my reaction, which was "Why doesn't she shut up so I can sleep."

Monday, April 23, 2018


More panographic copy and pasting to feature the Sonoran Desert.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I think this assembled panorama will be too big to fit on the page. It's an unusual place that I won't name to keep it a mystery. They fought over this pass, bled for access to the slow dribble of water from the wounded spring nearby, railroad engineers studied the land, 16 years of armies and tribes and graves and the bones of cattle bleaching under the merciless sun. And finally, the railroad is laid to the north, the pass is not needed, there are other water sources, the tribes become ghosts, the tombstones crumble, the barracks and quartermaster cabin and Victorian officer's house deteriorate before the wind and are turned back into soil. This land that was once sacred turned into strategic position, then forgotten landmark for mail coaches and then into disputed history and then back into preserved ruins that one must hike to reach on an trail empty save for rattlesnakes and crows. No flag flies on the pole, it was never owned by anyone and the land is indifferent to deed claims. Those are human realms and insignificant. The Buddha said that if you sit beside a river long enough you will see your enemies pass by, blended with the molecules of water.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Found Poetry

If one reads social media threads randomly, and then takes a response out of context, the words become a poem that hold secrets on the reader has brought to the table. Observe...

all I did was run to the store for milk
poof. You were gone.

Sweet dreams buddy.

Escaped Calif. Fire help its Cold in Utah 
Starting over help..
Propane help. 
Warm Clothing.
Dog Food. 
RV space help. 
We evacuated at 4am with Pjs and RV. 
With problems Lost 10 acres in Nevada City Ca.. 
Made it out alive..
But need pointed in the right direction..
Can repay any help recieved waiting for Insurance.
 I havent asked for help til now. 
I havent showered 
in a week.. 
I dont have anything but my word 
Id to show my address and authenticity..
Im a Grandma with a little dog trying to stay warm 
in this Un Winterized RV..
I am very thankful for your time 

yes, I thank God for chickens that make those
Easter egg hunts possible. 
Thank you God for the chickens and all the other eatable animals. 

Self flagellation is quite popular

(As a side note, I will not reveal the specific forums these comments came from because that provides context. But I will pass along this Easter-friendly anecdote. I visited the "Trying to Conceive" forum...because I thought the comments, taken out of context, will be revealing, human...honest...maybe sad, but human. I was thinking in my private Oggy moment that when humanity is reeling from political abuse and self flagellation, when things look most terrible, THAT is the moment we fuck like bunnies. Yes, we fuck. and sometimes conceive...and life begins anew and once the life begins some of us bounce back from our pessimism and become optimistic for the new life, living through the new life...seeing old things as new. Yes. It's honest and human and I thought those comments would reveal something...and perhaps it did. What I found in the "Trying to Conceive" forum were dozens of people commenting about trying to conceive, and a few who wrote horrible and nasty comments mocking the other people trying to conceive. Such as "You're better off child-less." or "You can't have babies because God cursed you." At first I was repulsed that someone would take their time to find an anonymous forum about conception and defile it with mockery and insults...yes, that repulsed me initially and then I went for a walk and started to laugh at the perfection. This mockery is the trigger that makes people yearn for connection and forgetting the world, the mockery. They seek new life to replace the foul trolls who have become so poisoned they are anonymously posting their poison. But it's the trigger that spells their doom because their mockery is the symbol of what people are fucking to forget and some have babies, some even wanted to have the babies before they fucked. But some will live with the status quo. All fled the filth that is encrusted under the national fingernails, all fled to the bedroom or the couch or backseat and thus the new generation arises from the ashes of the present dreams. That's my fantasy when I self-flagellate.)

Friday, March 23, 2018


Oggy finally became a snowman

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Over My Head

I expect to lose power and all links to the outside world soon behind 19 miles of snow piled fifteen feet high. The snow is unrelenting and I am not equipped to battle the merciless elements. I've lost the war but my efforts were honest. A huge 10 wheel state plow went off the road, twice, sealing my doom. If it was defeated by the conditions then what chance does El Conquistador have? none.

I'm re-reading the Shakleton book about his Antarctic quest on The Endurance so I'm well aware that things can get worse. That crew was 500 miles from the nearest whaling station, adrift where no one would find them, their ship crushed between ice floes, hunted by killer whales and sea leopards, sleeping under a canvas sail, eating seal blubber in -24f temps. Survival was no accident.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Scenes From Oggy's Life

I was working next to a Pump Jack in South Texas....

The Pump Jack was operating, so the 440v motor was spinning like a banshee on crack cocaine. The two counterweights were spinning inches from my face and the horse head vacillated overhead. Metallic creaking came from most of the joints as well as as constant sliding sound from the polished rod as it penetrated the tubing. A hot wind blew across the prairie into my face. It felt like a hair dryer but my face was so wet with sweat that any wind gave me some relief.

I was in the 'death zone' because someone needed to feed the metal conduit down the base from one end to the other. Jose, the Master Electrician, was handing me the 10' length of conduit and I was carefully reaching out for it, keeping one eye on the heavy counterweights and one eye on the conduit. Jose was watching too because the counterweight would land on his head if he wasn't careful. We made the exchange and both exhaled as I lay it in place and bolted it down. I waited for the counterweights to pass and then scrambled on my belly over the light brown dirt, under the pipe guard rail, and out of reach of the machinery.

I looked around at the dry prairie and desolate fields of sand. Far off in the distance a buzzard floated over a mesquite tree.

"Well," I said sarcastically, "that was worth risking our lives to do."

Jose nodded with Native American stoicism. When he spoke, and he spoke infrequently while sober, he spoke like a stereotypical wise Indian one might find in a Hollywood Western. His family came from Chihuahua. His family lived in the Valley of Laredo and now traveled far north for work, returning to the valley only twice a year. 

Jose was looking at the empty patch of dirt where our conduit was heading. He had already moved on from the brief drama of staging that last length of conduit. Jose was examining the next step of the project. Jose said nothing. The machinery chugged slowly in endless routine.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


The crew call snow 'white mud' and this is why. A blizzard is charming for about ten seconds and then it becomes no different than a mud slide. Oh yeah, I get to go dig a building out from under a ton of mud! Awesome! Can I go back to Nicaragua now?

Honda snowblower

I unearthed this blue heap of junk

bobcat snow blower on a long road to nowhere

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Worst That Could Happen

I had a burst of creativity that was directly related to my disco shirt and flare jeans. I wrote an explanation for this, and it was completely justified in my opinion, but I think the explanation was a distraction. So I will let this exist without explanation for now.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Glamorous Life

Sure, level a urinal before hanging the drywall. Why not?

What can I say? I'm a plumber who studies toilets and urinals. It's not glamorous and doesn't make for great essays. I'm interested in this trade work because it's relevant to my future plans to build my own estate. Let me say that plumbers are dealing with many different details at once and I would recommend a long discussion about strategy with illustrated maps before starting. Water supply pressure/volume is important so don't go off and buy some fancy urinal that requires 1'' supply line when your house has 1/2'' supply line. The volume will be off and the flush-o-meter will struggle. Speaking of flush-o-meters, they need to match the pipe size of the spud on your fixture. Oh, yes. If the spud is 3/4'' such as on this top spud urinal, then go ahead and plan for a 3/4'' flush-o-meter. And that means, yes, the supply pex should be 3/4'' to supply the right volume. Or you can plumb the wall with 1/2'' pex, such as Oggy has done in the photo, and then realize the spud and sweat fitting are 3/4'' and then reduce the connections from 3/4'' to 1/2'', thus reducing the volume of the water and basically defeat decades of engineering by urinal manufacturing companies with your ignorance. Sure, they make $4 adapters to reduce a fitting to the size you have plumbed into the wall but I repeat that the volume of the water is extremely important and your 1/2'' pex will not magically carry the volume required to run a 1+1/4'' high volume toilet simply because you bought a $4 1/2'' ---> 1+1/4'' adapter or rigged up some ridiculous combination of adapters. No. There will be lots of goodies left over after each flush.

I told you this was not glamorous. It's not like there is one type of urinal and one type of flush-o-meter for sale in the world. There are hundreds of models of flush-o-meters. And there are hundreds of urinals. It's like randomly buying a nut and a bolt and hoping they fit one another. They likely will not fit, but you can pat yourself on the back that at least you bought a nut and a bolt that will fit another bolt and another nut. 

Flush-o-meters have all kinds of spud connection sizes and urinals have top spuds and rear spuds of all different sizes and there are jet wash urinals and washout urinals and low flow urinals and there are different combinations of spud sizes and sensor urinals and there are tankless toilets and back spud toilets where the plumbing is all in the wall and the size of the spud of the toilet determines the size of the flush-o-meter which determines the size of the pex or copper which determines the size of your water supply to the bathroom. 

That's the proper way to map this out, from the fixture itself back to the main water supply. If something doesn't add up then you have to go back to the fixture and start over, preferably before you bought anything. But if you start from the water supply and buy materials and work in the direction of the fixture then I think you will reach the fixture with 1/2'' pex and realize there is no such fixture that accepts 1/2'' pex unless it is a sink or a tanked toilet. But you already bought a 1'' spud tankless high volume toilet and a washout urinal with a 3/4'' spud. Ooops. Neither of those $400 fixtures will work. It goes on and on, hundreds of hours of Oggy trying to learn the plumbing trade by trial and error on a federal paycheck*. I guess someone has to milk that $200,000,000,000 budget for some gas money. 

They talked me into the 'wolverine' beard.

*Don't use anything I write as a guide to move forward with a plumbing project. I know only enough to get into trouble. The best generic advice I can give is to find someone to explain it and map it all out for you before buying anything. The variations and combinations for plumbing are seriously infinite.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Foolish Heart

It took an act of congress to keep Oggy working. That's not a good sign, in case you need a translation. But while we wait for the merciful end at least there is a good soundtrack I'd like to share with y'all. The movie Phantom Thread features some retro jazz piano improv for a moody soundtrack that blends into this a la carte Oscar Peterson piano solo. It was hard to figure out where one song ended and the other started but this melody sticks out and forced me to hunt it down. It's good enough to be confused with a Schubert or Schumann song but it's pure Victor Young, composer of some tasty tunes such as 'When I fall In Love". The movie takes place in the musically blessed 1950s so this song is relevant for more reasons than one. True, I am a Ray Bryant loyalist but this melody is expressed to the max by Peterson's lithe personality.

Friday, January 12, 2018


I once drove through Tulsa, OK with a leather decked gutter punk who was travelling to Austin, Tx to reclaim his pawned tattoo kit. I stopped in Tulsa to look for work in hurricane response but the dairy queen ethic of locals-firsters chased me back onto the tired Route 66. We were treated as suspicious wanderers, politely moved from town to town by sheriffs and federal marshals after a pat down and ID check. In a land of laws the lawless have no home so we wandered south, avoiding public places, camping by rivers, bathing in wastewater treatment drainage culverts. I was as broke as a virgin prostitute so we started playing music on the streets until the police would run us off. In Tulsa we ran into a musician who turned me on to Southern Gospel. I was aiming for Texas to pay tribute to Western Swing artist Bob Wills but caught the Southern Gospel bug before I got there. Authentic mono recorded Western Swing of 1944 is my ideal music. It swings, moves, shakes, makes you want to do the freaky deeky and it often involves only two chords that are embellished to death by long-fingered, cigar-smoking guitarists with names like "Slim" and "Hank" and "Three Thumbs". Buddy Holly probably had to smuggle Western Swing singles into his bedroom in the virtuous town of Lubbock but I hear lots of Milton Brown influences in early Cricket's recordings. It's 'Western Jazz' if you want to get technical. Or you could call Duke Ellington the "Urban Bob Wills".

The stop in Tulsa introduced me to Southern Gospel as it was meant to be performed, not in the previous incarnations that I'd encountered in New Orleans rescue missions where the raspberry jam tastes like arsenic and the TB phlegm and pubic hair clogs the shower drain and attending the church service is required to sleep and the out of tune piano plinks like Tom Waits on LSD to the dozing black audience.

Years turned into years and my Gospel addiction finally introduced me to The Golden Gate Quartet Jubilee. I prefer Acapella when listening solely for meditative purposes but

Joshua Fit The Battle demonstrates the brilliant enunciation of these four vocalists that I have to feature the video. It's hard to slur the word "Joshua" into "Fit" but they do it smooth as melted butter on a slab of bacon.

It's interesting to note that I was parked in a vacant ball field parking lot, no one in sight because of the brutal heat and humidity of Corpus Christi, TX, playing Southern Gospel tunes for my own pleasure when some enforcers of Law and Justice rolled up and had me on my ass with my guitar in my mouth before I could call my ACLU rep. I always think of that scenario, playing gospel music alone in a city named after Jesus Christ, and being molested by enforcers of Law and Justice for no fucking reason, and I wonder if God isn't laughing his ass off as old Oggy stumbles around this wacky pinball game of life.

No matter. I'm not bitter at that because I've got plenty current events to be bitter about. I'm a working man. The internet has more devoted writers and narcissistic travelers who can fund their adventures with royalties selling bath salts and plastic dildos so they don't have to work. I'm not an affiliate salesman for anything. Money isn't that important because I've seen the false smile selfies pasted on the over-tan youth-corporate-shill-generation and I want no part of it. It's not art. It's not honest. A shill is a shill and their product has been done before. I'm too busy nursing my emotional wounds to type anything worthwhile so I'm not going to force it. My powers ebb and flow, my interest waxes and wanes. 

A guy got dead shot today as I passed a Dairy Queen. He was wanted in another state but the Federal Marshals decided to pop the question on the busiest street in town where I happened to be remodeling a Redwood deck. A stray bullet could've taken my neck flaps off. Sometimes they take the plate away before you're finished eating. That's life. I'm still here but no one can say about tomorrow; the fates have their own agenda, their own time frame to work with and there ain't shit I can do but aim high and button each shirt button until there ain't none left. 

The word 'fit' is slave slang for 'fought' so that should give you some clue where the tune comes from. Joshua crumbled the walls of Jericho and freed his people with nothing but trumpets. I've got plenty of excuses to keep my chains tight on; what's yours?

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.