Shake Your Tail Feathers

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For the past few months I have been following the advice of the diabetic dietitian I formally was insured to see which is to walk at least one hour a day covering at least one mile in distance.. I don’t go to a gym, nor do I visit any circular monotonous track, because I have plenty of room to walk on my property. Hell, the walk from my front door to the main street where my mailbox is located is just shy of 1/4 mile, so I have plenty of places to walk. In preparation I did cut a pathway for myself through a section of my wooded area because it was going to be easier to go through it than around it. While on the topic of taking advice, I was told I needed to write more on my blog to get back into the swing of things by a good southern doctor friend of mine, she knows who she is and that’s what counts here. In the end, I do walk for over 1 1/2 hours each evening and now write more on my blog, if this can be called actual writing to y’all. I enjoy my walks because it is very peaceful, very relaxing, and doctors say it benifits my health. Bonus.

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that the water fowl down on the pond and surrounding it have been acting differently which means that they are either spooked or they have just moved on. I am pretty lucky because this pond always attracts some spectacular wildlife to observe. When I looked a bit closer at the overgrown side of the pond I found 2 different places that a predator had made a meal of a few of the young ducks. This didn’t surprise me as my property backs up to the woods, a creek, and a few thousand acres of absolute nothingness. There have been some small paw prints in the mud around the area so I know there are dogs running around. I never minded them because they stay well out of sight and down in the bottoms of my property. I have seen one out of what I expect to be 3 or 4 of these “wild” dogs. I have had to pop that one in the ass with a pellet gun twice because it was getting closer with curiosity and I don’t need that in my actual yard around my house or other buildings. So, we tolerate each others presence so to say.

Later in the afternoon yesterday I had company on my walk, my 17 y/o daughter wanted to talk to me alone. Without getting to much into the talk right here so we don’t get sidetracked let me just say it was about her boyfriend and some problems he is having financially. In the end I was asked if he could move in. When I am done here I will get into that father daughter talk. That being said, the company was a pleasant change to my normal routine. As she gets older she seems to need daddy less and less each day. So, we walked, talked, and enjoyed the peaceful trek. About 45 minutes into our walk we noticed an odd smell, the distinct smell of something dead. This is a smell, for those of the all who don’t know, that is unmistakable, and as we got closer to the source it became much stronger in the air. She tried to guess what it could be that had perished in the woods and then she began to worry me a bit because she asked “what if it is a dead body?” Where in the hell did that come from? However, one never knows what one will stumble across in the woods while on a walk. Putting on my best daddy face I assured her it was not a dead human body we were smelling and this I know for a fact. There is a distinctly different smell between a rotting circus of an animal and that of a human being. What can I say, I have been around the block once or twice. Just imagine learning some of life’s lessons which can not be taught by another person rather they must be learned by experiencing them. Enough said about that, we have a dead animal to find now. Why? Because if we don’t then other predators will come to investigate the smell of death and then I might have a problem I don’t really want on my hands. The plan was to find it, remove it, and get it in the burn pile before it sparks too much interest with the other wildlife.

We walked ahead maybe 20 yards or so and we found the source. I was actually surprised because I was non this part of the trail Sunday evening and this was not here. There was actually more surprise in my mind than just the fact that it was laid there dead. In all the years I have lived here, pushing 10 years now, I have only seen one other coyote and she was on the other side of the creek heading away from the backside of my property. In fact, that was right about 7 years ago so its not like it is a common sight. Oh sure, we hear them in the dead of the night in the far off distance but never see them or any of their activities. But here we have a dead juvenile coyote. I flipped it over looking for obvious injuries and see nothing. I actually expected to see a bullet wound which would mean it just wandered up here and died from its injuries. But there is no clear sign. I called a friend of mine who works with the state of Texas wildlife department to find out what I needed or could do. He told me to just wait and he would come check it out. After he arrived and checked it out it was determined to be a natural death. We loaded the coyote into the bed of his personal truck, said our goodbyes, and that was that. I was in a hurry now to get up to my shop because I had a bag of lye  which I wanted to spread out where the coyote had been to get rid of the smell. Once that was done I had to go shower to get cleaned up for the night. Something my daughter had already done.

I see now that I will have to keep an eye on my land down by the bottoms because I do not need the predator threat around here. I may need to start walking with more than just my stick from now on for sure. Later last night my daughter was on the phone with her boyfriend where I heard her tell him that we had talked and about how our walk turned into a gruesome discovery. I giggled to myself as I walked by because I thought it was it was great, personally, walking and talking with the daughter who seems to have outgrown her daddy.

Racers Aren’t Born

My son Jackson welcomes this newest addition to the Jackzilla Racing family. Tuesday he turned 12 and we surprised him with his very own brand spanking new remote controlled (r/c) truck. Over the last couple of years he has been practicing and training using trucks of mine that I have been collecting over the years. He has become an impressive driver and we decided it was time to give me back my old used trucks and give him an updated upgrade. Personally I think we hit the nail on the head. I had to pry it out of his hands to bring it to work the following day because a friend wanted a demonstration. He is thinking about getting his son a r/c truck and had no clue on where to start. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to take a few pictures before the body got too terribly thrashed.
 
I plan on having our r/c track completed by the end of the August at the latest. I fear that upon it’s completion that we may never see him again, ever. My neighbor asked why I was building a r/c track in my back yard a few months ago. I laughed and then answered “why not”. Why not indeed. We need a place to tear up that is close and cheap. I’m tired of paying track fees and driving so far to race on good tracks. So, I’m bringing the track home. I will write a post here in the near future and throw in a few pictures. My wife has me considering opening the track to the “general public”. There would be some logistical problems tho as the track is in my back yard. We’ll have to see.
 
My wife asked where a boy’s interest in racing anything with wheels comes from. I had to think about it because it is, however, somewhat of a complex question in itself. Obviously, racers aren’t born. Many will disagree with me of course. I have heard it all before. People say “he was born with gasoline in his veins” or “he was born to race” or “racing is in his blood”. I will give it all one thing, their are people born with natural racing skills and there are people that are not. Those in between are the ones the world is actually made up of. It’s made up of kids with an interest and a dream, everything else is practice, practice, practice. Take me for an example. I grew up around the “toys” of my father. He had the r/c planes, the motorcycles, the fast cars, the hot rod boats, and of course, the ultralights which were his passion. Fortunately I was rarely told no. Fortunately I had a dad who wanted to share his toys with me. What did this do for me? It helped make me very practiced in many different things, most of all it taught me how to work with my hands, and it also taught me how to be my own mechanic.
 
Now, take my son for example. He has learned from a very early age the importance of being able to diagnose and fix problems. He has also learned that there isn’t always a solution for every problem. Some things are just meant to be a mystery. He is with me most of the time when I’m not at work. I enjoy him being with me and doing things with me, no matter what it is we are doing. I think he likes being with me also, even when we are doing nothing at all. He took an interest early on in my r/c trucks because they hung on the wall of my shop like the heads of dead animals. One day he asked to see one with his hands, he wanted to touch it, smell it, and see it up close. I figured it can’t hurt. Well, it took off from there. I have gas and electric r/c cars, some worked and some died years ago. I made a deal with him that if he could get one of the “dead” ones back to having a pulse again and get it breathing again that I would buy replacement parts if needed. I wasn’t interested in throwing money into something that would never have the heart to race again. He did it, not really to my surprise because if someone was going to be able to figure it out it was going to be him. I had three that were dead, one gas and two electric, and now they belong to my son who races them frequently. Time went by and I could see his interest has grown so we decided to take the plunge and get him his very own r/c truck.
 
I see already that I will need to install some stadium style lighting at our little backyard track because for the last couple of nights he has been out racing his new r/c truck by moonlight. Only time will tell.
All pictures provided in this post were taken by me and are the exclusive property of me. If you were thinking of visiting the website found on the front fenders of this truck you will be very disappointed as it is a fictitious website which was used for the purpose of graphic display only. You won’t find anything there except a blank non-existent page.