Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by Mark » December 25th, 2021, 1:27 am

Ya, the A&W Root Beer helps the mind to think, just like beer!LOL
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » December 25th, 2021, 3:03 pm

Christmas! Finally here. I woke up exhausted, and my back was belting out protestations like Brünnhilde in Die Walküre.

My troubles began when my wife took our son back to his apartment and came back with his dog, Bucky. Great. No, NOT great. Amy retired for the night and Bucky, who had formerly lived with us, climbed into our bed and tightly tucked himself in next to her.

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap...

When I retired for the night, the Terrible Trio followed in my wake as per their little cat habits. Since Amy is a night admitting physician, I usually have our queen sized bed to myself (plus the cats, of course). They did their usual thing and draped themselves over and between my legs. But, this Christmas Eve night was going to be a bit different than Clement Clarke Moore's poem. The actual straw that broke the camel's back was Cooper, who is normally a dog who enjoys his own bed, or perhaps the couch. But Cooper climbed up to join the party (probably because Bucky was there) and planted himself right next to me.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...


Bull Honky!


When out on the bed there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Except I didn't spring from my bed... Bucky and Cooper moved around a bit, spread out and took up the remaining available space. The trio made some adjustments of their own and then the process began all over again This next time beginning with my wife, then the dogs, then the cats. Desperate for sleep and a few square inches that might be mine alone, I rolled onto my side in order to make myself as small and as comfortable as possible.

From above this must have appeared to be something that looked like synchronized swimming with one person (me) not doing much of anything.

Imagine Buster Keaton, the Marx brothers and Oliver & Hardy all in old-timey woolen swimsuits, all in rubber swim caps and all synchronically splashing around in a pool like the Keystone Cops. Ethel Merman was on vacation. Now imagine me, huddled at the side of the mattress, miserable, like a drowning man hanging on for dear life, the cover over half my body (on the long axis) and I, balanced precariously on a 6" swath of mattress...for the first three hours. For three hours I slept there, fitfully, and somehow managed to defend what little space and what little cover I had. Then nature called at 3AM and I fairly fell out of bed to do my duty.

When I returned, the dogs had departed. Oh, THANK GOD for His tender mercies! Alas, the damage had already been done. Even the best mattress is sketchy out on the fringes. What do YOU want for Christmas, little boy? A new spine, Santa. A new spine...a bigger bed and perhaps some anti-inflammatories.

Merry Christmas fellas.
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » December 27th, 2021, 7:49 pm

You know I like to have a little fun at my wife's expense here on the g838...

but...she understands my fascination with things that are
(a) are Heavy
(b) are Green
(3) are formerly military
(d) make other men wish THEIR wives were similarly dialed in...

THIS IS PRETTY DARNED CLOSE TO BEING A PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESENT.

So, I'm gonna crow a little bit. Allow your eyes to feast on THIS! It's a hood ornament for a M561 Gama Goat.

IMG_8125.jpg
IMG_8128.jpg

Thank you, Doc!

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by rickf » December 27th, 2021, 11:28 pm

Gamma Goat winch, Now you need to buy the cable to fill it, and the PTO shaft to drive it and all of the other associated bits and pieces to make them all talk to the transmission.
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » December 28th, 2021, 2:14 am

Oh, I dunno, Rick.

I thought I might just replace the old one with the new one...rather than building a whole new Gama Goat behind it... :lol:

IMG_5066.jpg

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by rickf » December 28th, 2021, 10:02 am

You could do that too, but I know you better than that. You are going to have to go over every joint in that PTO shaft and every pin and bushing on every moving point in the shift linkages for all of it. Now tell me I am wrong. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » December 28th, 2021, 2:07 pm

That's already been done....

or, I might be lying.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » December 31st, 2021, 1:50 am

Well, as far as I am concerned, the holidays are behind us. Personally, I don't think observance of the New Year qualifies as a holiday and it has never been observed in any special fashion in my upbringing. Buuuuut, the business of wrapping up the end of 2021 is going to be a little different, for my family anyway.

For one thing, I just got hearing aids in order to compensate for my hearing loss, courtesy of the Taliban. (I should sue!) They're the fancy kind (not the Taliban...the hearing aids) which is to say they really cost a lot but, we used up all the money in the copay account; money that somehow magically disappears at year's end and goes to who-knows-where if you don't use it. So, THIS year we wised up and we did use it, and now I can hear stuff....which is nice.

Nowadays, hearing aids present all kinds of opportunities that go beyond improved hearing. For one thing, now they're Bluetooth so, like the fancy arrangement that is in my motorcycle helmet, I can now stealthily listen to music (direct from my phone) or take truly 'hands free' phone calls from my phone, which is also nice.

One of the drawbacks of this is, if I'm engaged in a phone call through my hearing aids, the casual observer may conclude I'm talking to an invisible, 6 ft 3+1⁄2 in-tall white rabbit named "Harvey", which is not so nice.

(actual photo of Jimmy Stewart taking a phone call through his hearing aids)
Annex - Stewart, James (Harvey)_04.jpg

Masks (actually, the removal thereof) present some problems as they have an annoying habit of grabbing onto the over-the-ear bit of my hearing aids so, extra care is needed there. In fact, extra care is needed all over the place, from faithfully charging these little buggers at day's end in the special little sanitizing-drying-charging sarcophagus the manufacturer provided, to using hearing protection over my hearing aids before using my noisy tools, to making sure my ears are cleaned regularly (alas, no more slovenliness will be allowed where my ears are concerned) and the additional business of just generally making sure I haven't lost one (or both) throughout the day. Lose both and my wife will have me shot at dawn.

To combat that eventuality, these paired units will ping if one side is disconnected from the other and mark the location where it happened...

download-2.jpg
download-2.jpg (10.01 KiB) Viewed 300 times

...which, through the miracle of modern phones, allows me to find the location where it pinged which should be the location where it went rogue. However, this doesn't mean that some good Samaritan won't have picked it up and re-moved it elsewhere. In other words, it doesn't work like a little homing device. It pings once, marks the spot on a virtual map and that's that. Then, if I didn't find it at that point I guess that my only option would be to stand there like Linus in the pumpkin patch and holler at the heavens,

pumpkin.jpg
"HAS ANYONE SEEN MY OTHER HEARING AID?"

This is my hearing aid. There are many like it but, this one is mine! Why these aren't chipped so that lost hearing aids can be identified and returned to their owner is beyond me. All my cats and dogs have chips. Why can't hearing aids have chips, for cryin' out loud? But when you get these, they give you a small one-time insurance policy that covers loss or destruction (repairs are free) and the copay is $400 whereas in the world of having pets, you can't ensure a cat against loss (as far as I know, anyway) but you can replace a missing cat for a mere $25 at the local shelter. (We usually get ours for free because Dr. Crazy Cat Lady brings 'em home.)

Four hundred dollars, eh? Well, waddya know! I reckon replacement value would equate to actual cost of the hearing aid, or thereabouts. Which means these folks are making a WHOLE lot of money selling hearing aids. Wuff!

What a racket!

What really wraps up 2021 (so perfectly in sync with everything bad that has happened this year) is that Covid is visiting some of my family once again. The annual family Christmas gathering turned out to be our very own super-spreader event (I KNEW it was going to be a bad idea) with grandma coming down with it first, then my wife (who hasn't been tested but, being a physician, knows about such things without needing empirical evidence). Oddly, grandpa seems to be Covid free.

Cause those Vietnam Vets are TOUGH!

Meanwhile, I haven't even the slightest symptoms and as yet, my son seems to have dodged the bullet as well. As a matter of fact, I actually feel pretty darned good lately (my back issues notwithstanding). But, we are all taking the necessary precautions and because we are the courteous sort, we are notifying anyone we've rubbed elbows with during the notional incubation period. Grandma and grandpa have not yet had their boosters, whereas my wife and I and my son have been vaccinated up one side and down the other. Crazy how this stuff goes down, eh?

I'm not sure I'm going to continue to be asymptomatic or altogether Covid free but I would not be surprised if I did, considering I was exposed 5 days ago and have been smoochin' the wife and so far, nuthin'.

In other news...

I've been doing a little tidy up on my fork lift's shuttle before putting the forks back on so that they will adjust a bit more smoothly. I had removed them to keep people like me from tripping over them (Yeah, I was the guy who tripped on 'em...and fell flat on my face). Got the surface rust all cleaned off and because I didn't have any Allis Chalmers yellow, an old, partially used can of Rust-oleum Sunburst Yellow had to do.

Oh NO! I made a brightly colored clean spot!

In a few days I'll pluck that 365 lb. air raid siren off my trailer and get it onto a pallet just as pretty as you please in preparation for disassembly. I love my little fork lift.....a LOT. In fact, it has been some of the best money I ever spent.

Anyhoo....let us hope 2022 is going to be a little bit better in every way.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » January 2nd, 2022, 6:41 pm

2022, Day Two.

Woke up to 22 degree weather with a good breeze. I invited the wife to accompany me up through The Hill Country to Kerrville and we went to Harbor Freight, looking for an inexpensive set of pullers because I have no regular-sized pullers. I DO have one of the biggest three jaw pullers I've ever seen... probably for use on diesel locomotives, steam engines and other stuff normally found in shipyards or buried deep in the guts of the Hoover Dam. But, the very quantity of this particular puller kinda means if it will be eventually taken off the shelf and actually used, I will probably rue the day I ever have to use it.

No, the job before me is far smaller. It is to remove the drive sprocket from the shaft of the ancient electric motor on the Liftmoore Jib Crane. I should be looking at other options altogether but a small voice is telling me to look into having the old motor rebuilt, even if it means putting it back together with the four solenoids (a system I do not pretend to understand at this moment). Or, perhaps fate will smile upon me and Lonnie, down at Big Moe's will take one look at it, roll his eyes and tell me it would be cheaper just to substitute another, newer motor. Could I be so lucky as to have him produce one from beneath the counter?

Stranger things have happened.

In the category of Stranger Things Happening, and by way of example, Harbor Freight did not have a set of 3, three-jaw pullers but they DID have a nicely priced set of 3, two-jaw pullers. Anxious to get on with it, I put them in the cart along with a few other notions. Then, I glided over to the manager's Opened Box sale items. Lots of goodies were spread out on a table with purple stickers offering low-low prices. One thing immediately caught my eye; a Pittsburgh Tools tie rod and pitman arm puller with no sticker. I looked around for the sticker...I really did. These particular pullers are regularly about $17. I, being a chap who is a bit poorly equipped in the puller category, decided I'd better ask about it and tossed it in the cart.

The cashier (another nice little lady who was clearly thrilled to have her job at Harbor Freight) called the manager on her communicator, explained the priceless puller situation and held it up for him to see. He was obviously behind the one-way mirror in the manager's office because he certainly wasn't where I could see him. His response, "Just give it to him."

Sweet! I don't know what the manager was actually doing back there that was so $17 worth of important that he couldn't be disturbed but, I'm sure glad he was doing it. Even the cashier was surprised.

I looked her in the eye and said, "You have made me very happy." :D

Not to be outdone, my wife pulled out her debit card and paid my ticket.

I looked her in the eye and said, "YOU have made me very happy, TOO." :lol:

We collected up my booty and headed over to a nice little cafe (recommended by the nice little cashier lady) run by some MORE nice little ladies. It was cleverly (or perhaps just fortunately) located between two motels, just off the interstate. "¡Ay chihuahua!" These gals were really packin' 'em in and most of the customers appeared to be locals. Terrific! Another super-spreader event! But, the food was satisfying enough and the service was on time and on target. Judging by the line, I'm betting the old gals probably didn't even have the time to go cash their Social Security checks.

From there, we went on to Gibson's because...

If you go to Kerrville you GOTTA go to Gibson's! It's like a rule. Despite their being a touch overpriced, Gibsons is a Blue Ribbon, Five Star hardware store with something for everyone and even though all the other Gibson's in this corner of Texas have closed, these folks claim that THIS Gibson's store never will...and frankly, I believe it.

After Gibson's, with all our needs fulfilled, we took another drive back home, this time down through The Hill Country where all the folks are nice and if you need proof of that, well, nobody calls them The Hill People (which would really sound creepy, wouldn't it?) and where the vistas are inviting and the terrain is far more interesting than, say, San Antonio which is at the foot of the foothills of The Hill Country. Along the way we went down through Center Point, which has taken that name because it is probably at the center point of something. Then on to Comfort, dodged Waring, passed by Welfare and then finally back home to Boerne.

One of the local jokes up thataway is, there a lot of folks living between 'welfare' and 'comfort'. Har Dee Har-Har. I'm sure you will hear worse jokes in 2022 but presently, I have GOT to be the frontrunner. HOORAY FOR ME!

And yes, I DID get the sprocket pulled off the motor and then I hustled back into the house to get out of this darned COLD!

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on January 3rd, 2022, 1:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by rickf » January 2nd, 2022, 7:32 pm

Waaa, It is 60 here right now and it will be 18 tomorrow morning. I have to go to the doctor first thing and then work in the unheated garage all day. Wanna trade?
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » January 8th, 2022, 2:35 am

Wow, what a day. It's almost midnight and I'm just finally sitting down to compose.

Bill and I went up to The Nice Lady's place. She has been contemplating scrapping whatever can be scrapped (which is a shame since a goodly bit of it is just waiting for the right ass to come along...

(In this case, that would be me.)

In Texas (and probably in a lot of other places) we have a saying that goes like this - There is an ass for every saddle - and Nice Lady has a LOT of saddles laying around this place. I reckon I could probably put most of you on a line and march you through the place and there probably wouldn't be much left afterwards.

ANYWAY, with the looming possibility that some recycling concern will soon be coming to this sacred place with large containers on trucks and an equally large piece of equipment that will pluck all the goodness off the ground and drop it in said large containers to be carted away, shredded and sent to (gulp!) CHINA, Bill and I scrambled to find, identify and mark things that have intrinsic value that goes beyond the value of simple scrap; things that should be kept and brought up out of the weeds and put up for sale by Nice Lady.

There was a fair bit of that sort and we used up a can of bright yellow paint, spraying a giant X on the 'good stuff'. One thing in particular (a particularly useful trailer which had been long buried by all sorts of stuff and forgotten) will be returned to usefulness so that Nice Lady isn't left between a rock and a hard place once this mountain of stuff has been whittled down by the scrapper.

Just sit back and let ol' TJ work his magic and a nice little trailer will appear, once again ready for duty.

This trailer will become important because the key to some of items we've picked to escape the shredder is, they must be of a reasonable size and weight so that, if they DON'T sell well, they can be hauled off to the recycler on the refurbished trailer at a later date.... which is a far better option than being stuck with it (whatever 'IT' is) all over again. In short, not allowing another overwhelming tsunami of stuff build up again.

As luck would have it, after some time I unearthed ANOTHER small jib crane (this one far more modest and less capable than the one I picked for myself weeks ago) and I will mount this new foundling upon the trailer so as to be useful for loading some of the heavier items onto its deck without having to drag items up (which is how a lot of trailers get mauled).

Naturally, all this spelunking unearthed some keepers that we felt compelled to call our own so, we loaded up the booty and yes, we paid fair value for it, over and above the scrap price.

One of the things I picked was a fairly heavy duty hydraulic press which will need a refurb' (no surprise there) and over 100 lbs (maybe 200 lbs!) of large forming dies. Some were professionally built and others were made, farm boy style, out of extremely heavy stock. These will be quite useful, I'm sure....and just a really nice bit of kit to have on hand for building good things. I also stocked up on a whole bunch of unformed bits of heavy stock for future use.

The really BIG deal today was that the remaining piece of the Holmes 400-RW wrecker kit was finally separated from the syphilitic Ford F250 to which it had been attached for so many years. We took no prisoners and attacked the retaining bolts with the Death Wheel and OH BROTHER did it go quick! We even salvaged the big panel of sheet metal that had been beneath it and used that to span the gap between the host truck and Bill's truck and then simply slid the Holmes across.

Followed that move up by then putting the edge of the sheet against the old F250 and backing Bill's truck up, thereby shoving the whole sheet right into the bed. (No one can harm that old F250 any more than it has already been harmed, believe me.) Then it was a simple matter of orienting the Holmes unit and strapping it down.

IMG_8174.jpg

We got back at dusk. DUSK! We unloaded everything except the Holmes and the big sheet of metal which turned out to be nice on BOTH sides, by the way (which is absolutely amazing, considering the awfulness of the truck it was on). Some good guy actually painted the side that was gonna be on the bottom.

BRAVO, Sir! (whoever you are) WELL PLAYED!

We will unload it with the forklift, mañana and the recovery chapter of the Holmes 400-RW will be concluded and refurbishment will commence a bit at a time.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » January 9th, 2022, 10:34 pm

Yesterday and today I brought home the rest of my forming dies, an extremely heavy Dayton horizontal bandsaw; one in apparently very poor health (I may have invested myself in a very unwieldy assemblage of parts suitable only as a boat anchor and only time and labor will tell) and some other little bits that I didn't know I needed. Since this is a flea market I also picked up several LP records for my son, who received a record player for Christmas.

Clicks and pops are all the rage, nowadays.

I also picked an Eifel Geared Plierench (pre 1933 manufacture) aka Eifel Flash Plierench. I will leave it to you, Dear Reader, to investigate what that is. The fellow who came up with it was a complete genius and I am very pleased to have it. Unfortunately I don't have all the bits for the many jobs this is capable of but as a stand-alone wrench/plier tool, it's remarkable and constructed of excellent materials. To this day, it remains mostly very shiny and serviceable.

We are moving so fast on this project (this being the third of a three-five day stretch) I've had very little time to take pics but those are coming.

Stay tuned.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » January 14th, 2022, 2:36 am

More spraying of X's around The Nice Lady's place. Negotiations with the local recycler have ensued.

Earl, another Really Good Joe came over with his front end loader and the two of us picked and picked and picked.

We picked like Roy Clark and Buck Owens. Me pickin' and he a-grinnin'....

All sorts of goodies were chained up and picked up by Earl's Kubota which, in some instances, would have benefitted greatly from having some rear wheel weights. Earl, who is 84, handled his machine expertly with me rigging the chains and nobody died...or even got a scratch for that matter. We even dragged The Nice Lady's old fork lift from the spot where I was told it was "stuck." It wasn't "stuck" and that's all I'm going to say about that. It is enough to say that I'm going to have my hands full fixing this fork lift.

But, when it comes to heavy lifting with a front end loader, I'll work with Earl any day of the week. He's a genius who performs every task with his machine loafing along at idle. Now, figure THAT out!

Bill and 'The Kid' (you'll remember 'The Kid' from Frank's place) installed a chain on a Ford HD359 motor that The Kid had purchased for a scrap price. It had been laying on the ground for something like forever, was probably seized, lent no clue as to why it was laying there, but was reasonably complete.

The Kid asked me if I thought $30 was a right price. I asked him what he spent to go to a movie, buy a biggie popcorn and a biggie drink. His reply, "Almost $30". "How many hours do you spend there", I asked. His reply, "Maybe two hours." "Then I think the engine is a good value at $30 even if you never make it run. Think of all the hours of fun you'll have tinkering with it with zero responsibility of spending one extra penny on it if you don't want to. Heck you may even learn something", said I. So we picked it up and put it on a trailer so he could take it over to Frank's place, thereby shifting Texas' center of gravity ever so slightly. The Ford HD359 is a beast of a motor, whether it's working or not.

The following day, I finally picked the large, old Dayton horizontal band saw I had my eye on. It was a saw that refused to run. I know that because I checked It and, being OMG-HEAVY, it took the three of us to wriggle it out of a pile of useless stuff and with some rather clever shenanigans, we finally put it on my trailer and strapped it down. It HAS to be right around 300 lbs. It's a monstah!

IMG_8294.jpg


Today, I finally got a round tuit and Bill and I played with the saw. Despite years of hard use and it apparently never having NEVER been loved or appreciated for the work it could perform, the indication was that all was still well, except for the motor. So, I took the motor off and presented it to Frank who picked and teased his way through some rather sketchy wiring that even I (being less than rock solid in the area of sizing up electrical motors) refused to believe was actually correct. But, as usual, it took Frank to find the trouble. After a few minutes, Frank (who, when in his sanctum sanctorum, assumes the personification of a Wizard) looked up at me and simply said,

"Well, there's your problem."

*sigh* I am always humbled by Frank.

He pointed out that some goofball had wired in an alternate power cord (which I knew), left the old cord in place (which I also knew), and had wired one of the new legs to one of the old legs of the old cord (which was now serving absolutely NO useful purpose). In short, half the power was going...

Nowheresville..

So we redid the hook ups and the old motor took off like a scared rabbit. It's bearings whined a bit and yeah, maybe they'll have to be replaced but HEY, I now have a giant operational bandsaw that needs some tender loving care before I ask it to go to back work.

Hooray! Now I don't have to explain to my wife that I'm putting a new $200 electric motor on something that looks like it should be fed into a shredder!

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on January 14th, 2022, 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by rickf » January 14th, 2022, 9:46 am

so basically you are moving 75% of the Nice ladies stuff to your back yard? Can I be your neighbor? LOL.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Post by m3a1 » January 14th, 2022, 11:18 am

Ahhhh... no. I mean I'd be happy to have you as my neighbor but no, I am limiting my pickings and I am even taking some of my scrap up there because it's easier and smarter to send my stuff to the scrapper through her project and put the few bucks it will earn in her pocket.

But Daddy didn't raise any fools.... so, yeah, I cull out a few choice pieces (being the first in line at the hog trough). As for the band saw, having the ability to cut some larger steel will be a giant leap forward in my metalwork and maybe...just MAYBE, put me in a position to earn some extra walkin' around money.

Meanwhile, the work I'm doing puts me in line for a few 'first picks' but I'm paying her fair value for the stuff.

We haven't even gotten into the trailers and buildings which contains stuff that (reportedly) should be continual fodder for the flea market; things of a far more manageable size. In theory it is stuff that will keep HER in walkin' around money for as long as she cares to continue to run the flea market.

The other day she asked me what was in one of the sheds on the property. I replied, "How the hell do I know? I don't let myself into other people's buildings without being invited!"

Not sure this is something I'm going to volunteer for, though. Some of the people she has allowed to come into her life have very little respect for what is hers and what is not. Sticky fingers and all that. Which means, every trailer and outbuilding that gets opened up needs to be inventoried solely for the sake of security, with a two-man rule in force. That way nobody gets any foolish ideas in their head. Not a job I really want to be involved in.

Cheers,
TJ

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