Phonehenge North News

ITEM: Now hanging with Oz. He doesn’t want his real name to be used, just his street name so the homeboys will know. Figuring I was going to jail in the near future, I did some tractor work for Oz to sort of kiss up. He’s a mover and shaker in the State Prisons on all sorts of levels I don’t even want to know about. I figured some pals on the inside wouldn’t hurt. When I first met him, he was reticent to say one word to me. After five tequilas, he loosened up a little. I’ve never seen him nude but what is showing is tattooed. Pretty gory ones peak out of his shirt collar. Some horned demons maybe? Anyhow, he’s connected all over the State. He’s in his forties so I’m considered an old man and no threat. Caught a break there. Plus, he liked my tree house and hates authority. Kindred spirits.

ITEM: After eight drinks to my one, Oz filled me in on his life. He has 16 brothers and nine sisters. Most by different mothers. His dad got around. Oz has only met the ones dropped off at their house in the middle of the night when he was growing up and raised with him at his mom’s house. His dad was only there to get the probation department guys off his back.

Once his dad left the dinner table, answered the door to some guy shouting at him, shoots the guy three times and drags him in the house. He sits back down at the table and ate while waiting for the police. They were North of Fresno picking artichokes living in a cropper shack. When the cops came, they listened to Oz’s dad’s version of the guy threatening his family while they look down at the blood trail off the porch into the front room. They call the morgue guys and adios. Just another dumb Mexican. Who cared. Oz says his mom raised them all, no questions asked. They were blood and that was that.

A lot of Oz’s bro’s are well respected in prisons all over California and Arizona. I figured to throw his name and gang sign around a lot if incarcerated. Oz says his people really run the prisons. It’s huge money. I asked him to leave the details out in case I was ever asked to take a polygraph.

ITEM: I tell him a couple of phone man stories and he interrupts me right in the middle of one. “Hey, dude. I know a freaky wire story I bet you haven’t heard!” O.K. ‘shoot’, says I. Oz’s story: “At Mira Loma is where all the immigration cases go. Some bro’s have been there for years man. Waiting on appeals and stuff. One of my cousins is there right now, looking at deportation. It’s his third time and he still comes back. They say it’s adios forever if they pick him up again. He’s cool though so they cut him some slack since he’s a good worker and can drive tractors and things like that. He’s on the grounds crew. It will cut him time served and good time if he wins. Out of his cell time if not. He tells me they get this job a couple of years or so ago that was a real mind blower!”

It hits me as he says the last sentence. It’s going to be the conduit deal. My wife Pat is an immigration attorney. She was at Mira Loma while doing some Pro Bono when all the lights went out and the sirens went off. Everyone thought it was a break out. Nope. Only if it had been. I stay quiet and wait to hear it from Oz. He had taken two more shots and looked like the kind of guy I wanted to stay on the good side of. I just met the guy and knew zip about how booze affected him. Oz confirms my suspicion on being able to change in an instant.

He’s staring at me intently. I look him right in the eye. “They get told by a prison guard to dig up some of the grounds for some reason or another. About four or five guys I think. They had full run of the yard and the tool shack from being on the crew so long. All the guards knew them well. The guard who was supposed to watch them takes off and leaves them on their own. My cousin says they hit a big rock. They can’t dig around it so they go to the tool shed and get the electric jackhammer. After some long extension cords this dude jumps into the hole and starts hammering the big rock!” As Oz took the rest of my drink down, I say, “And the guy got fried. My wife was their with a client the day it happened. It knocked all the power out in that wing of the jail. Killed the guy. He hammered into 10,000 volts in a cement electrical conduit!”

ITEM: First, don’t wreck a new pal’s story. Oz just shuts up and gets a mad look on his mug. I tell him I’m sorry. I buy us another round. Oz says a surly, “ No man, I gotta go!” I tell a couple of jokes and get him back into a better mood. I then ask him to continue. To let me hear his side of the story. Leaning back in his chair he’s blocking the aisle at the small bar were in. Everyone takes one look at him and walks around to the other aisle. Crossing his arms Oz shuts his eyes and it looks like he was falling asleep. Nope. He was just thinking. Opening his eyes into slits he suddenly leans forward almost hitting his head on our table top. Catching himself he rests his arms on the table and almost whispers so low I can’t hear him over the Tex-Mex blasting from the next room. “That dude that fried? He’s in their wiring and phones!” I keep my mouth shut this time. Oz continued. “Everyone there has heard him crying for help in the back of phone calls. Low, but he’s there man. Lights flicker. Bulbs blow. Gates freeze up and won’t click open, or, stay jammed open or shut. All kinds of freaky stuff!”

ITEM: I end up taking off after this part of the story. Two hot babes came in and Oz left me like I carried the plague. He left me the tab, too. I had to use my propane bill dough to get out of the joint. Back at home I tell my wife Pat the story Oz had laid on me. She says he’s absolutely correct. She’s heard a dozen stories from everyone from Sheriffs to the vendors who do the laundry and food contracts. My wife Pat helps everyone for free most of the time so everyone gravitates to her for legal advice. She gets along with everyone just about. When I piss her off, I get the frown and pout face. You don’t want to get that for too long. I’d rather be clothes lined by the Hulk. So, what Oz had said is true. Boy, what a wild deal.

ITEM: While we we’re moving to our new place since the 22 County people that kept coming out jammed up our bathroom, we had to move these ancient artifacts Pat’s mom has collected for decades. We had them since the room they were in down in the valley had Indian drums coming out of it on occasion, and, Indian ghosts passing through the walls. Swell. They’re Inca, Mayan, Toltec and such. I told Pat it was okay with me. I didn’t bump them off and didn’t want to mess with their totems. I figure we’ll give them to the appropriate museums or tribes when the time is right.

One thing I can’t stand is a grave robber. That’s all it is when you dig open burial chambers or take bones and items from rocky clefts the Navajo and Hopi use. I think the Havasupi and Pima do their dead differently. Whatever. I’ve seen a couple of private collections that made my blood boil. These guys treated sacred bowls, pipes, weapons, hunting gear, god totems and such like it was just a big treasure hunt. They showed me all the special tools and tricks they knew to find buried chambers. Then, when I got ticked, they THREATENED ME. Oh yeah! I had better keep this to myself or else stuff. I figure they’ll get what’s coming to them without any help from me.

Back to these totems Pat’s mom has. When Pat put the box on the back seat of her crew cab truck, our dog jumped into the front seat as usual but this time he did something out of the ordinary. Not only did he start barking frantically at the box, he also jumped out and barked at something in the bed of the truck that only he could see. Now, I wasn’t there, but, I had the same thing happen to me when Pat was gone and I let the mutt into the barn because it was raining. Pat had just brought the box home and had left it on our kitchen table. It was dark and rainy a few nights later and Pat was still in the valley. As the dog ran to the kitchen to wipe out the cat’s food dish, he slid to a stop, pissed all over the floor and backed up to the bridge door. Hackles up and wild-eyed. I opened the door and he ran back to his dog house on the bridge. I took the box downstairs to Pat’s law office and put it in one of her empty file cabinets. I never told her about it. She gets scared easily. Not good with her ticker questionable at times.

I’ve sat and watched the box a few times while fixing weed eaters or what ever in the blue barn. Never seen a thing. I talk to it. I wonder if they get along with all the local spirits from the Pauite burial grounds just across the valley from us. There’s also cave drawings and cliff homes. I guess they’re pretty happy. The cats who live in the barn are happy as clams.

ITEM: I went back up to Quail lake looking for Oscar the other day. I meet this fellow named Cliff sitting in a small 4×4 writing something. He’s parked where the gate will hit so I went over to yak it up and see if he would pull forward a bit. A nice guy. He was on the clock it turned out. His job was to patrol the new dirt road put in for the Turbine company’s 18 wheelers hauling electrical reels of high tension wire, turbine tower parts and the blades themselves. Some of the blades are 75 foot long. He kept count of all the road kills. Yep. From deer to bear to squirrels and rabbits. He kept a tally. I asked him what it would mean in the long run. He just shrugged his shoulders and said nothing. He started up his little van and drove away.

ITEM: Now I’m on five years probation. Hey, it’s a lot better deal then my buddy Clem got. The N.A.T. Team jack boots killed him. First they tortured him, then they killed him is actually what happened. A tiny little guy in his nineties. Deaf and on his way out. He lived in this tiny house surrounded by his stuff off of Sierra Highway near Sand Canyon for fifty years or more. As a kid, I would join up with other kids to toss frozen hot dogs to his little mutt guard dog and take bike parts from a giant pile of bikes he had stacked up. Since he was usually half-blasted at the V.F.W. just up the road within walking distance, it was a piece of cake. We were joking about how easy it was to rip him off at Soledad Sands Park one day, and I got straightened out by a vet sitting at the next picnic table. The guy knew Clem and wasn’t too happy about our bragging. He sat down next to me, told us to shut up and smarten up. He then told us about a place called Tarawa.

If you asked a Marine it was called, ‘BLOODY TARAWA’. Two of my buddies took off mocking the man. Frank Angelostro and I kept our seats. My dad died in Korea. I’d hear this story out and show some respect. Clem was in the first wave of men that hit the beach on Tarawa. Out of a hundred and fifty guys in Clem’s unit, eleven made it off the island in one piece three days later. Point blank fire from cement pillboxes ten foot apart. No cover. The tank men refused to drive over the dead and wounded stacked like cord wood everywhere you looked. It cost them their lives. Multiple high velocity rounds knocked turrets completely off the chassis with in minutes. The Marines did what they always do. They landed more guys and hit the Japs head on. Clem was there all three days. Now, fifty years or so later some guys in black uniforms with no name tags tell him he has to get out of his house. It’s been declared a ‘Nuisance’.

Gee, weren’t they started up by Antonovich, head of L.A. County, to take out crack houses and meth labs? Since every type of drug is going down in price since there’s so much everywhere, guess they needed some ego boosting by stealing some old guy’s land and goods for their higher-ups. Clem moves into an abandoned truck with no tires in the little wash near his yard and starts a fire in the step van rear to keep his dogs and himself warm. It was the middle of winter. The van catches on fire and kills them all. The County leaps into action! First, strip the yard of all the accumulated stacks and piles of steel dozer parts, aluminum, copper by the truck load, autos, loaders, forklifts, iron rods. $200,000 worth. It was a lot of work so they had to bill the estate $50,000 grand for all that trouble. The house sits there in the cleared out yard. Waiting to be torn down for the bullet train that’s to go past. Waiting to make some big shot some big dough. Wonder how the big shot would think of ripping an old man off after getting magically transported to Tarawa?

Tehachapi North News

I’ll try and get a few copies out before sentencing next month, on the 18th of May. It might be a long spell in between issues after that.

Umtali Road is getting to be a deserted canyon. A neighbor across the dirt road and up the canyon a ways had a flat tire on his horse trailer right before my blue barn. His girlfriend was driving the U-Haul truck towing it. As I helped him out with my crane’s floor jack, I got the whole story on the move out. A divorce, the house is now deserted. Both parties made a go of living at the place. Both ended up almost losing it. Now it’s just empty.

Good luck going through the joint and finding some treasure at another’s misery. The ‘Watchers’ will put a stop to that. In the nine months we’ve lived here, we’re the only ones that talk to everyone. All other neighbors have some grudge or hard on for theirs.

When the local hooligans kicked over the thirty-eight mailboxes on the paved road off our dirt trail, eleven never have been picked up. They’re slowly being driven over as the winds blow them into Sand Canyon Road. Soon, flattened like odd-shaped license plates, I’m thinking of doing the side of the new barn with them for a folksy look. So, minus the latest mail box casualties, it looks like about sixteen folks still have mail delivered. You can’t count the canyon residents from these boxes, though. You also have to consider the bunker people, the illegals hiding on someone else’s property, out and out squatters, then, people like us, having post office boxes in town. I like my mail. I don’t mind traveling to get it. Oh sure, we could get an armored set of mail boxes. That would take some doing since you have to have your neighbors request it, too. Not in this canyon.

I was using my tractor to smooth out the deep ruts in our road that could easily hide Ward Bond and his entire wagon train, no problem. I figured on some smiles and knowing nods of happiness from neighbors driving past while I forged ahead. Nope. Just like the god-damned mailboxes, no one agrees. One gal slowed to a stop so I shut off my loader to get the well-deserved thanks. She rolls down her window, spits into her hand to put her cigarette out in the small pool, then lays into me. “What in the hell are you doing?” Amazed, I start to stutter out a reply. Nope, not fast enough. “You smooth out the road and the sons-of-bitches will just cause more damn dust. Knock this shit off!”

After she drove off, I thought to myself that she had a point. About ten days after we moved in with our little incentive push by L.A. County, I made up my mind that I would never be passed on our road again. Sure, I’d let the maniacs pass me on the 10 mile dead end to hell Sand Canyon. Can’t stop those psychos (ours is the only road in Tehachapi that isn’t on the local Thomas guide. It’s just shown as a dirt squiggle. No speed limit, either. The locals say the road takes care of the speeders sooner or later, all on its own). The one spot it actually has a sign says 15 mph and MEANS IT. I can’t squeeze over 26 mph with my dually dump and it tracks like a slot car with a load in the back. The wreckage of cars’ doing over 27 mph in icy conditions are soon lay out in the field smashed and rusted. Why doesn’t someone tow them out and make some good dough scrapping them? Who needs a .306 round through the noggin. Remember Fred Kirpsie’s sad ‘year in jail’ sentencing for hoarding a couple of weeks ago? There’s THOUSANDS of Kirpsie-types in every canyon you care to drive up. Most full of hard scrabbles watching you through high powered binoculars as they stir their meth tubs.

I’m kidding? Every week there’s a murder or a lab blowing up. It’s like a wild west ‘Blade Runner’ scene at night. We’ve had Sheriff search teams through our place three times and we haven’t hit a year here yet. In the Tule fog, the mounted search guys were forced on foot from all the barbed wire everywhere. The fences you say? Screw that. I’m still pulling downed barb wire out of dirt piles and from the scrub oak brush piles. Its easy to spot tangled around by bucket and front wheels. When it shoots back at you from tension as you have to use both hands to cut it with bolt cutters, it’s quite a little slice of heaven.

Our last visit by about 100 search team members was when Drunken Tits rolled up her old man in a throw carpet as he was passed out, then beat him with a small wood stove ash removal shovel. She would of used a larger one but the first one she could find had to do. Oh man, what a shelaking that guy took. I could see the lumps on his face from five acres away. After she raped her son (or, so he told us at 3 am one dark night wanting succor) they finally moved away three months ago to avoid court. The guy moving out gave me some new gossip on that but save it for another edition, back to cars passing me on Umtali, I drifted away again. Since hardly anyone reads this stuff, big deal. As stated I’m no Hemingway. But, since he’s wasn’t here, I’ll have to do.

At first, I thought these locals had the same courtesy we had grown accustomed to in Acton. After running our street for thirty years, we had everyone slowed down twenty five years ago. Take a beat-up bike that will still roll, place a dummy kid on it made from old clothes and filled with smashed newspapers topped with an old helmet, Voila! One freshly killed kid when rolled out of the thick Olive trees across from the old place, right into the headlights of Mr. Speeder. Until they shine their flashlight underneath the skidded-to-a-stop vehicle and see it’s a dummy, it tends to stick in their speeding little brains. If still reticent, two boxes of one-inch roofing nails down their one-mile dirt drive way. I’ve seen them with four flats at the stop sign at Sierra Highway after the nail treatment. No, on our new dirt road, it’s one Road Warrior after another. Especially at five thirty am, taking Leo to his bus stop eight miles away. I’m proud to say that since my new policy not one car or truck has ever passed us. And they NEVER WILL.

Our second week here while still moving, I’m going slow to keep the dust down. In a top ten of suck ass dirt roads, ours should at the least get an honorable mention. A gal in a big black SUV blows around me like I’m standing still. As she heads up the road her gigantic dust trail is blocking out the entire road. That was it for me.

I handle a few punks and old geezers in beat-up pickups while honing my skills for payback with Metro girl. I carried two scoops of one-inch gravel in my dump bed for no reason, other then better traction and less bounce until we finally had our Ali-Frasier of Umtali Road. Waiting for Leo down the road one day, I forget all about the little zipperhead as my eyes behold the black SUV coming up Sand Canyon at a high rate of speed. Firing up the F-550 Diesel turbo my hands are shaking at the steering wheel. I force my heart to stop trying to burst out of my chest as I race to get around the aforementioned dead man’s curve. Once around it I’m into really twisty canyons of rock formations that surround the Indian burial grounds to my right. Cliff dwellings and all. Checking my rear view mirror, I see that I’ve pulled it off. Flooring it around every tight curve, I try and get a good lead to pull off my plan.

What plan was this? To get across the road from the mailboxes, then to hide in the goat herder’s dirt driveway directly across from Umtali. I gave him a steel rabbit cage for helping Leo with his bike once, so we’re tight. Once Metro girl does one of two things, her ass will still be mine. If she stops for her mail is the best scenario. If she powers on up the twisty dirt road so be it. Since it’s to be to the death, I could care less. My heart is beating like it’s going to jump out of my rib cage. My mouth is dry as a desert lake bed. Blinking my eyes to un-cloud my contact lenses, I keep my foot on the brake but the tranny is in drive. She powers up the road. Checking for cross traffic and also looking for telltale dirt swirls showing a car on the dirt road ahead, I punch it. I came up on her so fast I was next to her and past her before she could step on it. Oh, she tried. I have to give her that. Too bad bitch, I had planned my moves many a night like a gibbering maniac planned building an atomic bomb. Once across the dreaded whoop te doo’s of molded clay troughs half-full of old exhaust systems, I put the pedal to the medal. Wearing my seat belt for the first time since buying the truck six years ago, I pull it a bit snugger as I begin whipping my dually wheels back in forth at well over sixty mph. Catching a glimpse of myself in my useless window rear view because of my high dump bed behind my head, I see the look of a stranger peering back at me. A wild eyed lunatic with white spittle built up at the corners of his gaping mouth. One quick wink of an glazed eye back at me then back to looking for a possible head on around the next brushy curve.

Slowing as I came to my drive way I pull up onto the property a good hundred feet to see past the atomic dust cloud. Creeping out at twenty miles an hour she appears. Covered with dust and dirt clods she glares at me as I wave a frantic hello back at her. Why humiliate a worthy opponent. Now it’s a polite wave and reasonable speeds between us. In a small town, word gets around fast. Sure, I’ve had to drive a few square pegs into round holes to get the passing thing over with but it was for a good cause. Once Leo starts to drive, God help us all.

PHONEHENGE NORTH NEWS: Oh, I forgot to tell you about the drunken cowboy that passed Leo and I in front of the MONOLITH, then, had the gall to flip us off. We ran him off the road at the ten-mile-an-hour railroad crossing leaving his Camaro facing the wrong way and hung up on the second set of tracks. I lost my right mud flap but it was well worth it. Leo needs guidance in these formative years…

S.W.A.T. me, baby!

I’m starting to really like Tehachapi. Last night, we had another broo-ha-ha emanating from a neighboring ranch. Leo had just put in ‘The best of Monk’. A tapping at our front window makes us all turn around. We’re not much on drapes or curtains. Mainly because we don’t have any. A teenager is gesturing to me to come to the door. Our dog sleeps on in front of the wood burning stove. I nudge his ass on my way to the door for some back up. He thumps his tail and ignores me. I ask the kid to step inside since its 34 outside. He has no time for pleasantries. “My mom just stabbed my dad and is beating him as he lays on the ground with a shovel!” I hand him our wireless phone. Now, as hes’ on the line with the Sheriff’s, my mind races on the correct etiquette for such a situation. After a brief conversation, the boy hangs up. He informs us he’s to wait at our house. I offer coffee or tea. Pat hands him a jacket…I try for a conversation. Oh brother. A mistake. They’re Chippewa. It’s going to be his moms third felony for spousal abuse. He’s just arrived from…I can’t go on. It’s too horrible. Lets just say I forget all about Monk and slip my coveralls back on over my pajamas. Adding my hammerless .38 snub nose in my butt crack. We await the troops. As we wait, a thick Tule fog comes creeping in like a scene from the ‘Crawling Eye’. Soon, we can’t see past our porch…Its about nine p.m. when the first units arrive. We can’t see them, but we can hear the doors slamming and voices. Leo, Mr. Helpful, yells out, “Hey you guys, up here!” I choked off the rest. Soon, dim glows of approaching flashlights advance. About twenty five of them. Rick, the tent boy, winks his flashlight their way to help them out. They want to talk to the boy…These guys couldn’t find Joe Louis in a bowl of rice. THREE hours later, they find her in the chicken coup, right next to her house. They search my place, FOUR TIMES…The fog was cool though. Some of those cops didn’t come down off my mountain until one am. We could hear them on there radios every once in awhile. “Ah, still looking for the road, over!”…At least their search dogs were smart. They wouldn’t go up behind our house. Too many bear tracks…Oh, she’s already home as of ten this morning. Pat wondered if she should take over some cookies. I took her down with a Spock neck pinch…

Finally met the neighbors, the Meth family. They just moved in more pals. We call them, ‘The red truck people’, and the, ‘Sons of Antonovich’, clan. We’re not sure whether they’re at all related, but, since they all do ninety down this steep drive they have, its seems some genetic makeup is shared. Or, the same drugs, its a pick ’em…So, two of the Red truck people, bury this overloaded Toyota half ton to the rims, spinning away in vain on this DIRT road (No decomposed road base, just fucking dirt ) As they jump around like monkeys humping a jukebox, trying to lift it out of its own hold it just made, here comes the alpha female of the Sons of A., naturally, doing ninety. She’s also towing an empty trailer. Even her super sped brain molecules from all the crank, can’t compensate in time. Hitting her brakes, the truck slides. Not the fourteen foot trailer. It passes mommy and flips upside down, flying in the air, OVER MY 250 GALLON PROPANE TANK ‎…As the dust is settling, I stroll over while slipping my all steel, 28 oz framing hammer into my coveralls loop. Good to be ready. Might have to nail a meth head, me thinks. Nope, their all sweet as pie. “Gee, sorry. It will never happen again”! I smile and nod. Then say, “You can bet a million dollars on that statement”! They stare at me as I walk backwards away from them…I go for my tractor. I sit on my backhoe drinking iced tea, a pleasant smile on my mug. They finally get the trailer away, down MY DRIVE. I whip the tractor around, put it in power take off, and go to town digging out pole holes. Soon as I hit four foot, drove down to the barn, grabbed a 12’er brought from the destruction of PHONEHENGE, set it in said hole, then, repeated, four more poles. Now, these are nice fat, solid, treated poles. After the rest of the poles are in, its beam city between them, then, some stained glass panels for looks boxed near the tops…We’re thinking of a lottery on when we hear some screams then a CRUNCH. Hmm. Maybe a WHAM? Or, just glass?….We’ll see…

We now have another member of the family. Blessed events are few and far between, so, there to be cherished. Actually, its not really blessed. More like somethng we’re stuck with….Being so far out in the country, we have lots of visitors from the surrounding hills and mountains. Our cats take care of most of the small stuff, so, I usually toss the remnants of successful hunts out the front door in the morning. Sometimes it sounds like an old time bar brawl as a cat chases his prey all around the front room, the kitchen, and sometimes the bathrooms. One of our closets was getting linens and sheets chewed up, so, I placed a small catch ’em alive trap inside. I tried leaving the door open, no dice. The door would get shut and more damage would ensue. I catch the little prick. A round eared wood rat. He was so calm, I let him go far from the cat…I’ve now caught him FIVE times. So, he now bunks in a cage with Rick, AKA Tent boy…

Another day at New PHONEHENGE. Up at five am, met George Sack, ‘THE JACXKNIFE KING’ (Stunt 18 wheel driver) and the crane guys at old place to move the 7,500 gal and 5,000 gal steel water tanks. After lifting and strapping down these MONSTER tanks and putting over sized banners on truck, had the crane guy put a 6,300 pound river rock into my dump truck. ONE rock maxed out my truck…So, now we’re on the road to Tehachapi. We take the back roads through the giant turbine country. Nice ride. Until we round a curve on a downhill through some valleys. ANOTHER, oversized load with a giant turbine cowling on it is yards away. Man on man, good thing Sack is a stunt driver, he had his Dozer trailers back wheels locked in a jack knife, then, slid past the other driver, missing by INCHES, the giant turbine. I was behind Sack. I lock eyes with the other driver as he slides past, still locked up on his brakes with both feet. Big as saucers…

Been on the loader the last few days, cutting a road back into the rear of the ranch to access the mountain behind us. Four days ago I found a neat Raven feather lying next to the barbwire fence. I stuck it in one of the barb links so it sticks straight up like an Indian braves would of. Now, Crazy Horse of the Sioux only wore one feather, and his was straight down with a small pebble attached. It signified that he had killed, yet, wasn’t proud of it…Every day since I put that feather up, we’ve had at least ten giant Ravens lined up on the barb wire on both sides of it in the morning…

I’m still building book shelves. Since I detest sagging book shelves, making them all out of 2×12’s. Anyhow, all my material is stacked on saw horses just off the end of the house so I can skillsaw the boards, then, slide them through the master bedroom window to save a walk around the house. My wife felt it was also a good spot out of the wind to put up about six thousand hummingbird feeders. Well, five thousand and 999 since the bear ate one. These feeders have brought an easy twenty five different hummingbirds in aerial battles ALL DAY LONG. Now that they have no respect for me since I’m always working, they literally fly through my armpits when I raise a board to move it in these elaborate dog fights to control a favorite feeder. Finally, at days end, I hit the sofa as the sun was going down to enjoy the sunset minus dog fighting birds. Still have no screen door. Whoosh, then, the sonar sounds. Have three big eared bats flying through the house. Does it ever end?

I love the Tehachapi Home Depot. You can’t work there unless you have a really shitty tattoo. Everyone is really nice and layed back. Except this one manager. He was berating two of my favorite checkers for not stopping people when the security alert horn goes off for stolen items. Usually its a double theft deal the clerk couldn’t find, so, what’s the big deal. I didn’t like his attitude towards my pals. I head straight for the paint brush dept. Inside the expensive brush’s covers, are the sticky type security devices in the small strip. I take off seven or eight, then, do little accidental bumps onto the lumber carts of people already in line at the lumber checkout. I also fix up the carts awaiting shoppers in the lumber isles…The first two or three were fun, but, I was hungry, so, have to imagine the rest…

Here I am, an Idiot/Savant, being asked my opinion on what in the hell is going on around L.A. I’d say I lean more towards the Idiot part of that equation, but, I do gossip with a lot of old timers, and once in awhile, younger bulls. Here’s the lowdown. It’s positioning. Hey, you can do it too. Figure out future growth, buy up land in the surrounding areas. What’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is the difference between BUYING, and TAKING. Now, my tower is gone. Sob, wail. BIG DEAL. I’m just pissed my material was destroyed. That too is now a dead horse, well whipped, so, let’s move on…I need more beams and utility poles. Good ones still viable…Hey! A MATERIAL LIST!…A good utility pole has to be free of these defects. Especially if over seventy foot long…No major splits. No rotted spots. No bends or twists past six inches from top to bottom. No knots that affect integrity. No creosote. No insect infestation…On slow days for Pacific Telephone, the Foremen would give guys five pound stepping hammers, hand them an area off of Mulholland or Benedict Canyon, tell them to go inspect poles. Now, lots of guys blew it off and sucked down brews at Barneys Beanery. At the end of the day, who was the wiser? Well, for one, that Foreman. If that pole fell into a kitchen and killed someone, or, went down across Laurel canyon, well, guess who’s name popped up on the inspection report. Now, a rogue pole is nothing to sneeze at…If a ninety foot pole goes down, get ready for some real problems, FAST. What will also go is the strand wire. That’s the continuous wrapped wire that holds the actual cable onto all the poles, for MILES. If that baby snaps, say, from the two thousand pound pole going down into a canyon full of expensive homes, OH MAN! That bastard can go like a 5,000 pound Anaconda right through a house, taking the roof right off. And its not close to stopping. Then it will whip back and really show some carnage. We saw films of tests done by Bell Labs and Western Electric about what some poles had done, all over the world. AWESOME! As long as your family wasn’t the star of said film. Oh, I almost forgot. Those big high power transformers are usually come down too. The fun just never stops…