A morning drive, Ozarks

20140719-185406-68046268.jpgFrom Saturday-last. A frequent sign in the Ozarks: Smokey the Bear is letting you know the fire danger in our old growth forests.

20140719-185406-68046301.jpgAlso common are our fine low-water-bridges, often ‘one lane’ bridges like this one that’s fine gravel road with a solid slab of concrete bridge to use. This one is fed by the Skullbone Spring.

 

20140719-185406-68046352.jpgWhile getting rarer by the minute, our few businesses offer hitching posts for your horse. Almost nobody needs them anymore and those who do find a use for them are probably doing it as a hobby. But we are still active ranchers, yo. This is a local ‘feed store.’ They branched out several years ago with this new building where they offer gardening supplies and hardware in case your sink breaks cos who wants to drive a 60 mile trip to Town? I went to get Bobby a new collar (leather but not those freak-o studded kinds — the only kinds big enough for Himses precious neck on offer at PetCrap or PetShite, major retailers). They rang back an hour later but I was already home.

‘Erm, I’m not driving another 24 mile roundtrip today!’ I made Spike take me. Har!

20140719-185406-68046215.jpgIn addition to the feed store, there are a few other businesses within a 15 mile radius, including this tractor repair joint. Bloke running it took over from his daddy who used to do it at their house a little closer to us. If we need them to work on it, we have to have it hauled rather than drive the tractor along the highway now. Can’t say if the new place has hitching posts.. I’ve never been there these 20 years, though our tractors visit too frequently.

20140719-185406-68046496.jpgThis is called ‘river bottom’ land. In the Ozarks, that’s saying something, to have a flat piece of land. In addition to handily being flat, it’s also FLOOD PLAIN, so flooding brings nutrients to the soil and it’s virtually always farmed with crops. This is fine Missouri Corn (maize). We do a lot of sorghum and soy here, too.

20140719-185405-68045906.jpgIf’n you’re getting yourself hitched, this is a hall to let. The pasture to the left housed a llama for many years. No sign of the llama, guess it’s dead.

20140719-185406-68046422.jpgAnother rare straight stretch of road for the Ozarks but I’m coming down a long hill — note the powerlines. Often your cleared bits of straight are maximised by the power company (otherwise constantly being knocked down and over by branches in tornadoes, general summer thunderstorm winds or broken down by ice in winter). If you look far off, you’ll see the road drops off, then disappears (and twists many times, crosses a river) and then climbs up to the next hill you see rather far off.

reviews, Monster. With some improvements.

I like the Monster, not so much any other of your caffeinated BS ‘energy/health’ drinks.

I love the zero calorie, carbonated Ultra Zero (basically a white and silver tin with a tetch of baby blue, NOT the baby blue tin with similar colours, thatshitnasty).

It’s citrusy and what I’d call a hyper-caffeinated ‘Squirt.’ -Gram’s highball of choice was Gin & Squirt If you don’t have Squirt, it’s a little like Fresca.

Great with vodka!

I drink Monster ‘orange’ or ‘green’ REHAB, too. Their Rehab line is 20cal/ tin and has a tiny bit of juice in (do not fool yourself that it’s healthy), caffeine and NO carbonation.

They are orangeade and pineapple-ade flavoured, respectively, though the green tin says it’s got green tea in. I’m not saying it doesn’t. I’m saying it tastes like pineapple and both go well with vodka, particularly mango vodka but plain works, too.

I’ve foraged into their Java line, as well.

They only have one ‘lite’ version, vanilla, and I find it sickly sweet. This isn’t to say the full fat, full sugar versions aren’t also like sucking down melted ice cream shakes, because they are!

I’m saying they’re less sweet-tasting, probably due to an artificial sweetener in the former.

At any rate, I don’t love any of the 4 I’ve tried but this was 1/2 off and I thought an experiment with Whiskey could bring me no possible harm, right?

Each tin is 2 servings at 200 whopping calories each (400 total) and very sweet–and slightly thick. It’s sweeter than your average homemade (or pub) Irish coffee IMO. Then again, this isn’t my swill of choice.

I like it, though, tastes like Christmas in July.

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The last blacktracker

Originally posted on The Bucket:

(My use of the word ‘blacktracker’ instead of ‘Aboriginal Police Tracker’ may be politically incorrect in 2014, but it is part of our vernacular and as I am using it with respectful intent I don’t give a rat’s arse.)

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Australia cannot claim much moral high ground over America or South Africa when it comes to the past treatment of people of colour.

Until the 1960′s Australian aborigines had no voting rites, the National census classified them as ‘fauna’ and many were forced to live in shanty settlements on the outskirts of our towns.

This is the reality of the country in which I was raised, yet ‘white Australia’ still grabbed every opportunity to bask in the glory of those aboriginals who excelled despite their ethnic subjugation.

On one hand we lauded the exceptional achievements of Albert Namatjira (artist),  Kath Walker (poet),  Doug Nicholls (Pastor and Governor,) and Lionel Rose (boxer)…

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postcards, now THAT’S a knife

Well…axe head.

Check out the details! I’d like a dress made, following the design if you turn it the other way, you may see what I mean.

Could be the muscle relaxers. I put out my back getting Fatso on the scale at the vet.

In his defense, it really is solid muscle, action pup that he is.

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An environment of meanness

Which is to say I’m 100% happy to still have a oaycheck.

The meanness I’ve seen take over the last, say, 2 years, is far more pronounced when you sit 3 feet from its source.

In addition to the delivery of meanness towards individuals when anything else could’ve been chosen to say, yesterday we had The Joke. For my benefit, which makes me sound narcissistic if you hadn’t been where I am to see this kind of Larks by owner:

When an innocuous statement made by somebody who answered the phone said, ‘Marty, line 4′ to him.

VP, by means of training asked, ‘Marty WHO!’

Owner blurted: ‘Not Marty X, that’s for sure.’

Marty X was my friend and fellow World Cup watcher* who was shot to death by the police 3 months ago, in his own front yard.

Hilarious. Thanks for being kind enough to bring up my friend who’s barely gone cold as a wee joke.

It’s not a joke. It’s meanness, chosen by you.

I know my face showed pain (and weakness, to him) because that’s how he wanted it to be, so I’m sorry that I couldn’t hide it better. I turned away and continued working.

*the only person in my IRL acquaintance who followed it, some who read my twitter feed will have seen a few mentions this month because WC happening so close to his death has cast a pallor on my viewing intensity.