Music: My Kind of Woman- Mac Demarco
I finished Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry last week. I have been hesitating to write a review and instead have merely posted a few quotes that I really enjoyed, I say a few, because they continue on and on.
What I can say about the book, other than it is awesome and that I highly recommend it; is that for one, it takes place mostly in West Texas and Northern Mexico, and that it is almost an anti-western– it really kills all of the John Wayne archetypes associated with westerns. I can also appreciate a book where characters act out philosophical concepts rather than the work being an act of philosophy, to me it is just more believable. In short, read it.
“For one thing, he despised fancy gear. He rode a plain saddle, and all that he required in a weapon was that it was reliable and accurate.”
“The one thing he didn’t expect he would have to fear was a chill. The sky was not like the skies of home. It was vast, and instead of being blue, it was white, not with cloud but with heat.”
“In time, the great pig grew bolder. Sometimes it would walk through town, attended by a contingent of crows, who would flank it or walk ahead of it, cawing. When the pig stretched out to sleep in the hot sun, several crow would attend it, cleaning nits and ticks out of its hide. The poor people who worked in the sand hills feared the pig, they called it the devil pig. […] Sightings of the pig came from all points of the compass: from as far east as Abilene, as far north as Tascosa, and as far south as Piedras Negras. An old woman who lived near Boquillas claimed to have seen the pig go into a tunnel that led to hell.”
“’If he steals horses, then it’s better to eat them,” Billy said. He had always liked Joey. He thought that he was a good boy, but strange. Being strange was not something he could hold against anyone; after all, he himself was strange. ‘Life makes everybody strange, if you keep living long enough’”
“‘I don’t see it that way’, Goodnight said.
‘Well it wasn’t your ranch,” Call pointed out.
‘No, it wasn’t my ranch, but I hate to see you thinking like a banker,’ Goodnight said. ‘From a banker’s point of view, all of my ventures have been failures, including this one I’m venturing now, this Palo Duro ranch. The lawyers will take it away from me, before I’m dead. Lawyers and Bankers are like shit beetles. They’ll finally carry off everything I’ve built up, like they carried away your ranch up above the Yellowstone. […] ‘Bankers live by ledger sheets,’ Goodnight informed him. ‘They decide if you’re a failure if your balance hits zero, or you can’t pay your note. You’re a damn fool for thinking like a banker.’”
I finally finished the table, distressed, antiqued, and sanded and finished the top properly. This project took me much longer than anticipated but was completely worth the hassle. I’m debating on whether to post it for sale or wait to get a few pieces and get a space at an antique mall with my wife, time will tell.
Our mortgage is more than I would like to pay (not unmanageable, but why pay more, when you can pay less?) and since it is, I would like to move in to something smaller and more maintainable when the time is appropriate. However, one thing that hit me hard this last time we moved was how my shop has been in disarray for two years.
My solution, which is not a new idea, is portable infrastructure. All of my benches, large tools and tool stands are being converted to moveable pieces. The idea came from Joel Salatin and his mobile farming methods. He argues that infrastructure is the costly part of farming and that more options exist when small farmers can move to leased land and allow land to rest when becoming exhausted.
I can’t allow a shop to become more fertile by resting it, but it is definitely easier to clean and maintain this way, it also allows for quick on site set up, if the need ever arises.
With respect to debt and my never ending struggle to escape its chains I have developed a system where I pay at least 20 additional bucks each week to student loans on the principal. On the low end it looks like 160 bucks a month. I’m doing all I can to shrink this one as fast as possible.
I’m also contemplating selling one of my shotguns. I’m too afraid of scratching it,(see Call’s quote on gear) I have another that is more portable, does all the same tasks, and really I don’t feel that the pretty one serves a need anymore, but is now a liability.
I’m doing my best to get by with the least of everything. I read about purchasing only consumables and I’m really trying to stick to this idea. Basic necessities: toilet paper, soap, unprocessed food. But only what I need for the week and no impulses. I’ll write an update as time goes on.
In order to create a better blog and to also capture small moments of life that I appreciate I have decided to focus some on the quality of photos that I take. My phone takes awful photos and it sort of just seems lazy, these were taken with my wife’s Canon. I tried my hand during my weekly hike at the state park yesterday. The sky was so vibrant so it is kind of the theme of these.
The learning curve is steep with respect to understanding how to truly bring out the depth of objects in pictures. Hopefully this blog will be a testament to my development as an amateur photographer as time passes.