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,