Coping: With Five Realities of Outback Living

Most of the time, life in the outback is pretty nice.  Although sometimes a large number of projects creep up on us.  And this morning you deserve a look at the other side of life outside the big city.  Mostly it’s idyllic…but then there’s this week.  And I mean besides the 105-temps.

1.  How to Fix a Septic System

As you may recall, we had more than 40-inches of rain in five months this year. Since May, though, we haven’t had more than a lick and promise since.

A careful analysis of the septic issue was pretty simple:  Too much water.

The answer – since water, like a P&L – has two sides to it, can be attacked by either adding capacity or restricting supply.

So we put in one of those new ultra low water toilets yesterday – I was blessed because Panama did 90% of the work.  1.26 gallons per flush.

The old toilet it replaced was the 2.5 gallon kind where the poo goes round and round before eventually – some of the time – going away.  This kind of toilet was designed on the “if the poo gets dizzy, then we drown it” theory of toilet design.

The new toilet is much more ambitious.  It sucks harder than a politician around a potential campaign donor.

We are pretty sure this will fix the problem.  As we can see the semi-grass stripe in the lawn where everything else has more or less dried up for the summer, looks like the drain field is healthy enough.

2.  How to Kill Vermin

The bug man came through yesterday making his rounds.  None of the so-called prepping writing have done an adequate job of insect prevention when the lights go out.

If you are thinking about running off to the woods, remember to budget $500 per year for an annual Orkin or Terminex contract (or whoever local is good).  Cats will get an occasional bug, but only if you put them on a calorie reduced diet.  Otherwise they’re not much use.

I know lots of prepper types that like to say that a good “survival dog” is important, but I have yet to see one do anything that a single .22 long rifle won’t fix.  More to the point, dog crap draws rats.

When comes to snakes, rat shot in a pistol is the only way to fly.  A Glock so loaded will also get small birds.  Prepper types who talk the talk, but can’t walk a mile tend to talk hollow point this and plastic tip that.  Great for wild hogs, don’t get me wrong.

But on the hip when tractoring are alternate rounds, you see?

Bottom line of this lesson is what?  If it is a bug, throw money at it.  Anything bigger throw lead.

3.  How to fix a BBQ:

After rescuing the old BBQ (5-years) with rebar and new heat diverters, the old three burner steel box has been replaced with a four burner steel unit.

More important is Ures truly had determined that when Elaine asks “Did you cover the BBQ” it is not a nag.  It’s an audit item.

Longer term:  With no building department (or code) I may build a kind of lean-to roof for the outdoor cooking area. 

With no overly zealous regulators, and no HOA (although that’s a good analogy for the Texas legisleazors that meet down in Austifornia) I’m thinking about painting the house bright purple and chartreuse just because we can.

Then decided that was enough of that drink.

4.  How to Fix Dry Rot:

That marvelous 20×20 deck I built on the front of the place has come down with cancer.  Or, the wooden equivalent. 

Answer:  This weekend I will be tearing off all the old decking and a couple of beams and treating the survivors with dry-rot treatment, refinishing and rebuilding.  Just wish it could all be done in something warmer than 103 degree weather, though, know what I mean?

Lesson:  When a mat (waterproof) is left on a deck – even though it is “treated” outdoor wood, it will hold water under it and things will dry rot.  When it does, be ready to get every single infected board out ASAP, then one or two beyond in all directions off, then spray and have monkey butts worth of fun when you could otherwise be lounging.

5.  Cats are Loveable but Useless,

Zeus the Cat has been banned from the house by Management.

He won’t keep his collar on, and so he has what all country cats have (a summer eco-system under his fur) which itches, and causes him to roll in the dirt.

So he goes from being a black car to being a dirt-colored cat (it’s how they work their ecosystem).

Seeing him coming – and protective of her pristine interior – Elaine’s been  playing bad cop.  I take him out under the misters and play good cop.  Zeus will do anything for a piece of teriyaki beef jerky.

Now and then while we’re sitting there, ZtC will get wet.  So I’ve been easing him into the idea of a real solid bath.

He’s not at the hand-held sprayer level, yet, but he’s gotten the idea that bathing once in a while with something other than a tongue, might not be a bad idea.  Might be a jerky treat, too.

I’ll save the discussion of puncture wound triage for another morning.

The Best and Worst Investments in Life & SIMBO

Peoplenomics hit a real nerve yesterday as we explored the duality of life.  Some things you buy – depending on circumstances – can be the best thing in the world – or the worst.

A marriage license was one example:  Either the best bargain in the world or worst indenture ever.

And that landed this marvelous email on point in the inbox from Subscriber Doug which is so good it demanded being shared:

Good breakdown of the gotchas today in Peoplenomics.

Here is a concept I have gob smacked some women with on Facebook:
Men have almost no reproductive rights. Children have almost no reproductive rights. Thus the entire future of the society is in the hands of mainly young women being economically, socially, hormonally and emotional whipsawed by a civilization that is driven by nonhuman values.

The consequences are a catastrophe.

Young men I know look at analyses like today’s Peoplenomics and conclude that family formation, or even close heterosexual relations are fools’ games. Both parties have the initial choice to mate or not. At age 21, there is not a lot of rational reflection about that ” choice”. Especially with the birth control options available, and the fudging about real world failure rates the kids are still unaware of at that age. Like 9% annual failure rate for the pill. Far worse for barrier methods. Would you drive a car that had a 9% or greater chance of an injury accident EVERY year? Of course not, but having sex is not a rational decision, most times.

Then if there’s a baby, the young man has no actual choices left, as a practical matter. ALL the choices thereafter are those of the mommy. Kill baby or not kill the baby. Put baby up for adoption, or keep baby. Stay with Daddy or dump Daddy. Marriage optional, cuz Daddy pays either way. If baby is both born alive and disabled, Mommy decides whether to adopt baby out or keep baby. If she goes on welfare, Daddy must not live with his family, ever. Mommy decides. If she keeps baby, Daddy is on the hook for caring for baby for Daddy’s life, plus Daddy’s estate owes everything, potentially to past and future care of baby. This makes Daddy a very poor marriage prospect for other women. Reduced income, alternate weekends and one night a week blown, plus emotional and financial ongoing costs of children not even in the home, who likely resent Step-Mommy. Mommy, on the other hand, can marry or hook up again, with a nearly guaranteed support check. And if she likes, the new man can be called and treated like Daddy. Even if Daddy dies, Social Security steps in and pays, and health insurance? Daddy. College? Probably Daddy.

What does Daddy get?

Diddlysquat, mainly, plus emotional and financial Hell. Where do we sign up for this great deal?

I know a 21 year old who grew up in this situation. Doctors refuse to give him a vasectomy because he is too young, but I expect he will get one overseas. Who will pay his social security and Medicare? The same nonexistent children who will pay for my dozens of mature friends who never had kids, but partied for 40 or more years instead. Maybe robots?

Of course this is not always how it goes, and Daddy sometimes gets custody. But let’s look at the real World. It normally rolls the other way. 75% of divorces are filed by women. Divorce attorneys then whip them into a frenzy of anger to get the legal costs as high as possible, and damn the effect on the kids and parents. It usually only takes one of the attorneys to do this, while the other plays, or sometimes even is, the ” good cop”. Judges rarely intervene until the fees would have bought somebody a condo. Or a manufactured home.

The whole thing sucks.

Young men know it, and many if not most grew up watching it. And they don’t see the percentages in stepping up and acting like mature men, working themselves sick for their family, in a system that treats them as slaves and suckers, with no authority, no power and no respect. And no family except Disney-dadding it for a few weekends and a weekly date night for Mommy.
I am not one of these Daddies, but I am a lawyer, and I married a lady with kids. One dead Daddy, and one abuser. So the system is quite familiar to me.

I spent enough money on custody disputes involving somebody else’s kids to have put them through college. So did their grandparents on Daddy’s side. When their grandparent who bankrolled endless legal proceedings was diagnosed with dementia, settlement suddenly ensued. With no change in the custody after 10 years of wasted everything.

The kids now have student loans, and we are shy a couple of rent houses. For what?

And until the social dialogue includes the rights and needs of men, and children, we are screwed. Meanwhile don’t co-sign any notes, ever. IUDs are the most Real-World effective reversible birth control with the least side effects (look it up). And if you hear about a premarital protocol that actually works to avoid this crap, please tell everybody.

All this warms me to one of my favorite topics:  Media-induced sexual burn-out. 

The main idea is that ever since media figured out “Sex Sells” we have been so inundated with sexual “in-ure-endoz’’ and “subliminal” that naturally arising desire that should accompany a candlelight dinner between consenting adults never shows up.

I’m not sure who the first man was who reported erectile dysfunction, but I never heard of it prior to 1980, or so.  Why wasn’t it around in 1950?  OK, how about 1850?  Maybe we hadn’t been programmed into performance anxiety!

Maybe E.D. arises from stress at work, 70-hour weeks, and…oh, oh…dangerous questions here!

Modest sex drive today is wasted.,  It gets wasted looking at impossible Ken and Barbie types in media, in advertising, and so forth.  Hell, even slutty looking avatars and cartoons.  Let’s face it, cartoons didn’t have tits until R. Crumb came along, did they?  Mainstream, I mean.  Sex and Drug Revolution.  We’re cleaning up the battlefield today.

The result of sexually-induce media burn out (SIMBO) is everyone looks for the lawyer-free, hassle-free, child-free relationships without the baggage.  And what’s being marketed as the alternative?  Why it’s the LBGT movement.

But even that is being ripped off my metasexual marketers who are now trying to tie in illegals and queers to the alphabetical response.  (If you’re like explain why the difference between “queen”: and either/or gay, bi, or lesbian, please send it along, because I must be kinda slow.  But then, too, so apparently is the UrbanDictionary, which lumps it as I do…).

I’ll leave it to you to determine what’s a sexual predator, anymore. 

But I already know the answer:  It’s advertising agencies.

You see:  People become what they think about most.  If a group of people sings about “popping a cap in yo ass” long enough, then that’s what happens.  And when people sing about “burning down the house” we see what happens.

Shove sex and booze ads at them and of course, they will “Tell your doctor…”

And when you get T&A shoveled into your media stream for 30-years, what follows naturally is a little channel surfing.  Ain’t there anything else on?

The gratifying part of this is “Everything is a business model.”  It’s the disappointing part, too.

Write when you break-even,



Coping: With Five Realities of Outback Living — 17 Comments

  1. Well George, tell Doug I wish I had him for my daughter’s child custody attorney! That’s the profession he said he was in, right? Yes, my daughter made a really, really BAD decision to make a baby with a dead beat that planned to essentially live off of her as he’d lived off of everyone else he’d come into contact with WHILE living off of student loans for 10 years and coming out with diddly from the local college he and the daughter were attending. The daughter? Well, she completely blew away a free ride for 4 years of college for a MATH degree! One of the professors at the college tutored her in high school on how to actually approach math correctly and understand it. Along came dip-sh*t, slow talkin’ dipsh*t, and we wound up with a smart, gorgeous granddaughter in our house with her live-in mother who, thank God, has a helluva, good work ethic, who’s always been gainfully employed but who’s now severely limited in earning potential due to no degree. The dipsh*t? Well, he’s never told our daughter when he quits a job, never allows her to use her “right of first refusal” when he leaves our granddaughter with others even before he got a common-law marriage certificate to the next ignorant sweet, young thing he managed to seduce who’s 10 to 12 years younger than him. Thank God THAT union hasn’t produced a half-sister to my granddaughter, as yet, who’s 5-1/2 now and starts school in a few weeks.

    Yes, yes, I KNOW you’re a fine, upstanding guy with a degree that got shafted by the system you work within but don’t give me the line that father’s rights are severely lacking. This grand-dad is ALL FOR denying those rights if the dead-beat doesn’t pay his child support and generally leeches off of everyone around him. He’s in his mid 30’s now. How much time to you think this guy has to “make something of himself” after he quit his last job with a company that’s still looking for people to fill positions?

    We’re just hoping and desperately praying that our granddaughter comes back in one piece tomorrow after “daddy” has gotten his second full week of visitation for the summer now that Standard Visitation has come into effect. This means she gets to spend it with a bunch of people that make me wish I had my Concealed Carry license that I’m waiting on with bated breath and will gladly go OPEN carry when the law takes effect if I’m granted the license! One of the other young ladies in that OTHER household has almost totally lost an eye due to an accident with a BB gun earlier this year. We kept our daughter from visitation with this character for 6 months almost a year ago when she came back with a notch out of her eyebrow that has yet to fill in. Both the councilor and our attorney admit the guy just doesn’t get it about being a father and adult but back our granddaughter goes from now on every 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends, probably Thursdays and Christmases … crap don’t want to think about it! And you want to talk to us about father’s rights? Our one-size-fits-all legal system certainly has no real sense of justice, that’s for sure! Every time dip-sh*t pulls something WE pay and he gets off scot-free. But let US do something? Don’t get me started on that one either. And, yes, I KNOW it’s due to a bad, BAD decision our daughter made 6 years ago regardless of how much we love both her and our granddaughter. Justice? I don’t know it.

  2. I’ll just throw a monkey wrench into the mix. Happily married for 17 years have 1 child 11 years old and loving every minute of it! 44 years of age and can’t imagine life without a family. My little brother 42 years of age is also married has 3 kids and loves his wife of 17 years and the kids I suppose. Wonder if this has something to do with our parents who are still married and happy as well after 40 some odd years.

  3. Been married, had kids, did the child support dance. Older, wiser now finally married a good woman. My sex drive is gone but the love remains. Life has become much clearer and simple without the sex thing being the driving force,(farce). I once asked a doctor for a vasectomy when I was 19. As in another reply I just read, I too was denied. I paid dearly for that other persons decision. Love my kids and wouldn’t take for them. But if I had it to do over……

  4. I don’t know about anyone else, but I PAID my social security and so did my employer. It’s MY money and I don’t recall being obligated to have children to fill my SS account. The fact that the government, or monarchy, stole it by “borrowing” it doesn’t change the fact that the money I collect is money I put in.

    As for the rest of the whining…everyone is a victim these days. It’s an old saw.

  5. George, as a life-long “catter” I can give you some tips on bugs and bathing. Make it into a game. Firstly, my home is virtually bug-free and my cats have never had fleas… but, whenever I’d see a Spider or Fly or the rare Beetle zipping around, I’d just call the dominant male animal, point to the offender and say, “bug” – immediately they’d latch onto it like a new toy until finally eating it. As they do. Flies have been a problem this year, but I don’t even need to point them out – the cats now consider it their job and dispatch them quickly as tasty[?]little snack – and it’s really fun to watch them snatch the flies right out of the air with nary an opposable thumb in sight!

    To bathe a cat requires a bit of psychology: make them think it’s THEIR idea. Patience is the key and only use warm water just like you would a baby, and if they struggle the first time out, stop and wait a few days then try it again. But, once in the tub/sink don’t get their head wet! This they hate! Also have a big fluffy towel handy to blot them immediately and they’ll do the rest, enjoying their newly cleaned fur. Let them see the sink attachment [I use one of those cheap white rubber ones that you shove onto the faucet] and even let them play with it a little bit before you hook it up. Just like teaching a cat to use your toilet instead of a litter box, it’s ALL about conditioning!

  6. Cats that are good mousers will never give bugs much more than a passing glance, since they’ll never be really hungry. This summer with the rains we’ve had, my cat will get an average of one mouse per night. I suppose that’s good, but I still wander around with the shop vac sucking up spiders and bugs. It’s part of the fun of living rural.

  7. I had made the decision to wait till age 30 to get married and have kids. Ended up being 34, and well into my career. Have one son now, he’s 2yo and thinks I am infallible, the love from him is exactly what I was missing.
    And Ure, a good cheap cure for your wood rot is RV antifreeze. Made from propylene glycol, its safe for human consumption is found in many foods and e-cigs. It will seep into the wood and stop wood rot, unless its wood below the waterline, then natural dissolution will take its toll.

  8. It works both ways. As a newly divorced woman with kids, I met LOADS of divorced women who lived anxiety-ridden, hand-to-mouth lives because their ex’s paid NO child support or alimony, while the ex’s lived high off the hog, hiding their very good incomes from the authorities. My ex paid for the 4 years required before they reached 18, but after that, even with excellent credentials, I remained unemployed/underemployed because age discrimination was/is alive and well. Meanwhile, my ex and his 2nd wife (his long-time secretary, to whom he turned in his mid-life crisis), have enjoyed a wonderfully bountiful life with all the perks, including a beautiful home and frequent trips to exotic places. So quit your moaning, guys. Divorce wreaks financial havoc on men and women equally.

  9. I guess I am wondering why this entire scenario was not a problem in earlier times (post civil war). What things changed other than government?

    I don’t think all of this can be laid at the feet of government systems, and if it is laid there, WE are to blame anyway – OUR government.

    I think this goes back to family and perhaps the all-consuming drive for more money and more ‘stuff’ replacing key relationships. TV didn’t help either, where aberrations morph into normality.

    It’s much more complex than just ‘the system’…

  10. Regarding Doug’s letter:

    Really? So why should people get involved with each other at all? Men and women, women and women, men and men – people getting together with people, fraught with possible heartache, loss, financial problems, relatives of different types – leading to what the author says is a disaster of huge proportions . . .

    Indeed does life exist merely for individual concerns?

    Do you not consider that one’s life is (from a strictly egocentric standpoint – as is your letter) given the opportunity to grow, to expand to include caring, tender feelings, and yes, love for another human being?

    My husband and I never had children – nor did we want them – as the oldest in both our families, we’d had enough of ‘childcare duties’ – and we had plenty of nieces and nephews to fulfill any need for our genes to ‘carry on’.

    (You say that women have all the ‘power’ in the relationship – if that is true, it’s because the ‘men’ (and I use the term in the literal sense, but of little actual value) have given up/failed to take responsibility for their actions. (Many women are the same, but the crucial difference in the case of a child is that they ‘birthed’ the child, and unless they are unfit, would tend to keep what they bore.))

    People who ‘get together’ – and love one another – share hopes, dreams, disappointments, loss, sharing the challenges of life.
    Women have the power? No, people have choices and responsibilities – if one chooses to ‘ignore’ or fail to respond properly it is an individual choice – maybe on a grand scale – but still on oneself.

    Life is to lived, and not denied . . .

  11. One word, abstinence.
    I guess that’s not possible in a world where people are taught to think only of themselves and ‘being in the moment’.

    Really, self control has so many benefits!

  12. bug killer.. you know my wife declares war on bugs.. makes sure she sprays all around the baseboards and door frames etc etc.. it is now fall preventive time.. what works.. we get an industrial pesticide at the elevator but besides that.. if you smoke.. the old tobacco makes a good pesticide along with hot peppers.. mince the hot peppers and soak in water along with the tobacco and filter and spray., Diatomaceous earth.. dusting around the baseboards.

  13. I am a senior (69+) woman who decided in childhood never to marry because of what I experienced in my family. In my twenties, I decided to never have children; I didn’t really like them then and also knew I would be a terrible mother.

    Now that I am retired and hanging out more with friends, I kind of wish I had family as they do. Then, I remind myself how different life would have been, and that thought vanishes.

    I did not party for 40 years and neither did a childless married couple I know. Just because someone can reproduce does not mean it’s a good idea. Hopefully, someday humanity will get the balance between kids or no kids closer to right. Society would be much better where kids are made because they are wanted by TWO parents who can love and care for them, and stay together until the kid is launched. I know it’s a dream, but it’s a good goal to have.

  14. OMG, George. I have been waiting for 20 years for someone to write a post such as this! You know, I feel for young men today because they do not even begin to know what they are up against. In the last 35 years, I have managed to stay single and no children, and quite frankly, I know that somehow I have been blessed beyond belief, considering all the gratuitous sex I have had. I hit the lottery of life as I had my cake and eat it too….BUT, I was damned lucky! Men have been played as suckers and fools for years and they did not even know it! BTW, I am 57 years old and have very little sex drive these days (buts lots of creative energy). The most liberating thing that has ever happened to me is that I lost my sex drive. Now I am free to look and many men’s situations as they really are….they are being played as fools and suckers because the powers that be know how to manipulate their sex drive to enslave them. If your a young man…don’t marry, have the vasectomy and NEVER have children. In most cases, if you do, they will play you like a Stratevarious violin!!

    • Stephen, I could not agree with you more. Pretty much the same here. I’m 61 perfect health, more money than I can spend and low sex drive. I can finally enjoy life, hobbies and interests without always thinking of sex and the perspective that it give you is amazing. Oh I forgot to mention single for 35 years.

    • Sadly, the early vasectomy is probably a good idea. You might want to freeze sperm before you do that though. Do it early in life, and get all the sex you can since it’s MUCH harder to come by with someone you actually want to sleep with when you get older. No problems with being able to function(so far), though I’m older than George, but I never got nearly enough regardless of trying, and I do miss the memories and experiences I never had. I did have kids, and they’re hard work and cost a lot in terms of missed opportunities, though on balance, I’m glad I had them. Marriage and LTR’s, in most cases diminish the sex drive in at least one partner, and that causes problems unless the partners deal well with it.

      The laws MUST be changed to afford men equality with women, yet there are no advocacy groups for this, and men are generally individuals rather than group thinkers like most women.

      The most important thing that can happen for men’s rights is to have a simple, affordable, EFFECTIVE, OTC non-barrier contraceptive for men. We don’t have anything other than permanent surgery available to give us control over fertility, and the lack of effort in this field is telling. It would seem that there’s an agenda to prevent this happening. Many methods do work(check out gossypol), and none are approved or available. Ultrasonic temporary sterilization(six months+-) can be done, but it’s not available clinically, though some intrepid DIY types have figured it out). Most men won’t see doctors unless they’re dying so the OTC and home use attributes are really important.

      Without the means for a male to control his fertility, he’s controlled by his overwhelming sexual drive and women’s group agendas). Women have methods(IUD and pill together) that near guarantee her infertility. By stopping both, she will have rebound fertility. He has zero control other than a condom, and many women have compromised the already poor results of condoms, if they wished to have a pregnancy. Men do need to have this level of control without having to forego sex. Sex is a defining attribute of manhood regardless of what society might tell us. It’s our biology.