“Fiddling Around” On An Ol’ Pickup

 

 Heck, if’n it starts up and runs, no problem, right!? (DMT photo)             

 

By Dan Bodine

Yeah, the sky has fallen upon my beloved ol’ Ford garden pickup. And I’m fit to be tied. Kinda. I’ve been accused of not fiddling around on it enough, while driving it some, too. And now I’ve burned the transmission out! Is there anyone or anything else we can hang for it? Fiddling around with ignorance, maybe?

This is my defense. Kinda. Continue reading

Hearing Aids And Terrorism In The Sound Of Silence

By Dan Bodine



Coming back home from a visit with a pulmonary doctor across town yesterday afternoon, I heard a “zip” sound in my ears. And then: Silence!

Ah…That moment when both of your hearing aids get contrary and decide to go out at the same time, this questioning moment became for me.

But it’s hard to describe the Sound of Silence. Continue reading

Honey Locust Signals Gardener’s Fall To-Do List

 

MYSTERIOUS? A Honey Locust tree, seen 11 years after purchase at a nearby discount nursery chain store and subsequent planting, apparently is root-bound, needing help. It’s staying alive but doesn’t grow in size from one year to the next. (Desert Mts Times Photos)

 

By Dan Bodine

I don’t know what else you’d call a “years-old, not-growing” tree problem like this but a root-bound case of some sorts. And not being a tree surgeon, I’m befuddled on what I need to do to help it? If, indeed, that should even be on list of worries now that fall has begun.

This Honey Locust — aptly named Sweetie Pie — was a good-size tree when purchased at a local chain nursery. Continue reading

When “Pothole Blues” Was Newspaper’s Epitaph

Pot Hole "Broken asphalt pavement resulting in a pothole, dangerous to motorists. Shot with shallow dof.  ....recent addition" pothole stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

FRIEND OR FOE — Ever dropped your beer (or all your homework, your plate of food, etc.) when your auto hit a pothole like this? A small, troubled newspaper chain I co-owned once had this idea to draw publicity to a county reunion celebration … [Image courtesy istockphotos.com]

By

Dan Bodine

 

Lord, Lord, Lord! Cooking in a pothole!  Why didn’t the late Don McNiel and I think about this to capitalize on the City of Alvarado‘s road potholes, when we had that small, troubled newspaper there in the ’80s in North Central Texas?

Would’ve been better publicity to help the city, yes, and also for us, too, frantically seeking more advertising revenue! Our idea, instead, was a “Pothole Blues” song contest. That didn’t lift our blues much! Continue reading

Salt Cedar’s “Water Theft” A ‘Code Ranger’ Case?

Tamarisk tree in August. The genus Tamarix, tamarisk, salt cedar, taray is composed of flowering plants. Berlin, Germany. Beautiful plants. Tamarisk tree in royalty free stock photos

The Tamarisk trees — or Salt Cedars, as they’re mostly called in Far West Texas’ Big Big Country — were planted by the Corps in the early 1900s to help stop soil erosion in flooding. But in other times in the dry desert mountains, with their huge root systems, they’re also “water hogs”! This is a story of an angry neighbor wanting something done about a tree on an adjacent property he felt was “stealing” his plants’ water. [Commons Image courtesy of Dreamtimes]

By Dan Bodine

This idea of a volunteer code ranger to arbitrate disputes civilly to improve neighborhoods is too good to be true, right?

Say, someone trained by the city to softly suggest to another neighbor, a yáhoo maybe, or a building owner, he/she ought to scratch their heads about yard improvements? Cuttin’ down trees, maybe? Cleaning junk outta yards? ‘Cause they’ve become an embarrassment? Or worse, hurting people?! And thereby unravel a potentially dangerous knot? Continue reading

Removing Oleanders No Job For Sissies

SETTING: Front of our little stucco home early 2015, after I’d worked around the “landscape rocks” a few years doing landscaping. [Desert Mts Enterprises photo]

By Dan Bodine

IN BACK: Setting yourself up to stop a jailbreak! [Desert Mts Enterprises photo]

Landscaping! It’s in me — But sometimes situations are a bit difficult! This is one of them: Removing Oleanders! They’re not for small gardens!

When we moved upriver to El Paso in 2010 from Presidio, i. e., the only plants around our house were a Western Catalpa in the front that’d die three years later from soil fungus, 4-5 tall cedars, and three large toxic, greedy Oleanders, all in the back.

The remaining space around the house was all landscape gravel — aka, rocks, rocks, rocks! Maybe 3-4 in. deep throughout the yard, it was — rocks, rocks, rocks! All tossed on sand that’d been trucked in soon after the house was built. On a squeezed lot just short of 50 ft. wide and maybe a 115 ft. deep.

“Plants setting down roots, in this?!!” I lamented often. “What the hell did we get into here???!!” Continue reading

Christmas Eve Borracho in OJ Catholic Church

Note to readers: The original draft of a true story of a drunk at a 1994 Christmas Eve Mass in a little Catholic church shown below in Ojinaga (OJ), Chih., MX, I wrote just weeks after it happened. OJ‘s a mid-size city directly across the Rio Grande from Presidio, Tx. —  where I served as justice of the peace. It hit a long-dormant fundamentalist nerve in me! The story languished for years on my computer. But this past week, posting a comment of it on Facebook about this photo drew requests to post it online. Here it is, slightly edited. It highlights a schism in modern Christianity — e.g., Christians’ role in abusive behavior and defining proper response.       — DB Continue reading

2022 Roe-vs-Wade Cuts Abortion Rights

Anything to Avoid Abstinence! Our ancestors would try just about anything to prevent pregnancy, from animal poop and poisonous potions, to citrus fruits and wooden blocks. Before modern medicine gave us go-to’s like the pill, couples resorted to more unusual birth control methods. More moderns, above. (Image courtesy of webmd.com)

By Dan Bodine

Indeed, there’s much talk about women losing abortion rights with last week’s draft release (preliminary Court decision) in politico.com upending ’73’s Roe vs. Wade case – e.g., approving a Mississippi case restricting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Formal release of the opinions usually comes at the end of court’s term in June. So, sex likely will be going undercover again. (Pun intended.) Continue reading

Tied To Whites Supremacists, Is It End for GOP?

America’s 1952 Presidential Election: “Conservatism is / As Conservatism was”

By Dan Bodine

Remember well growing up in the Segregated South (Texas, aka ‘nother Buckle on Bible Belt) in the ’50s in Cleburne. Fear of a Yankee plot in the air:  ‘Em Blacks (polite word) multiplying like rabbits! Hell, soon they’ll overtake us! We gotta do sumpthin’!

Duh…Jethro, ‘ya may be too late to stop whatever it was that happened then! Census counts don’t lie, though, now. But if’n you want to act like a cultural idiot and git up on ‘ya high horse, think like a white supremacist, get outta my head! You’re in a New Reality! Latinos showing up like the newest cool! Continue reading