Showing posts with label Pick 'n Steal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pick 'n Steal. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Just Strolling About in The Plague Year

Blue picked up a Shadow Wolf on the way to the Pick 'n Steal this morning. A ferocious beast and I'm glad he's an ally.

And I wasn't complaining about the trees either, takes the edge right off the heat.

Not that it matters at First Methodist because they're shut, for fear the Bat Bug will kill them all. Which it hasn't, fortunately.

Blue enjoys his spot at the PNS, where he sits tethered to the always empty Star Telegram box. Why is it empty? Because no one wanted to buy the rubbish newspaper so the order wasn't kept up, but the box remains, a dusty, dystopic warning to the "press."

Behold the misbegotten debris of the modern age!

And needless to say, First Baptist decided to make war on their ancient enemy, the trees. And now a once leafy boulevard sits baking under a harsh Texan sun. Good work, guys. Get rid of all the shade.

We detoured around the Meth Shack to visit Genius Patrol. GP are two dogs who live in someone's back yard and bark insanely at anything which goes by. Sometimes I talk to them, they bark back.

Then it was back to the Compound, mission accomplished. And that, fellow boulevardiers, is the story of that.

God bless,


Friday, April 3, 2020

Walking The Eschaton

It was like a midsummer day in Borth on the Welsh Riviera. Overcast, a drizzling rain, not too cold, not too hot but no, this was North Central Texas and time to take Blue Eschaton for a walk.

The streets were empty, because of the Chinese Virus or because they always are? A mystery, and so was our old friend the Meth Shack. The Shack's under new management, who've been busy gutting the place with a view, presumably, to newer and better renters. Good luck with that worthy project.

Mourning the passing of an age, we advanced to the Pick 'n Steal. It still stands, essential business in the midst of lockdown. I tethered the Eschaton to an empty newspaper vending machine and went inside for a coffee "refill" in an invincible Yeti mug. 

The store's Owl Idol looked down with unflinching eyes on its supplicants, the usual crew of pajama wearin', slipper shufflin', lottery playin', blunt buyin' punters. There they were and there it was. Reassured that some things never change, I walked the furry apocalypse back to the Compound, mission accomplished. And then a curious thing happened.

Within a space of minutes, clouds rolled in from the north and with them a fierce wind. The temperature dropped like a stone in seconds, taking us from Borth in August to Borth in April. Fearing a Polar Vortex, I showed the Eschaton inside to warmth and safety.

Poor dog. You can imagine, centuries later, explorers discovering an elderly Heeler encased in ice, the remains of a fried cherry pie in his mouth, frozen where he stood on the awful day the Climate Changed.

That aside, I hope you've all managed to recover your firearms from the lakes and rivers and sensibly saved on SCUBA by use of powerful magnets and sturdy ropes.

God bless,


Friday, March 6, 2020

This is Crazy

A call, urgent, "This is crazy. They're buying all the toilet paper, you would say 'loo roll' or 'Andrex' but it's the same, and the shelves are empty. Send money. They're goddam tasering people."

"Hey, use backyard snow, it's safer. Who knows where that stuff was even made. Stand by for transfer."

All Means All

Thirty minutes later, cold, hard cash was on its way to loo roll stricken Calgary via ones and zeros, Walmart to World digital. Business over, I checked out the store. 

A Doomed Fool is Saved. By a Hero?

Plenty of bathroom tissue on the shelves, and I bought some, now there's less. But what about rice? Lots left, boil it first. 

Plenty of Loo Roll, in Texas

Over at the Pick 'n Steal the radio was on and playing a warning, "Wash your hands, we have this well contained. Do not panic." Maria was rattled, nervous, "I'm trying to sell these things and listen to, you know, this. They're shutting down schools and everything."

You Can Indict a Ham Sandwich

Maybe we should've shut the border with Communist, Godless China long ago. Maybe we should never have opened that border in the first place, and allowed the Bolsheviks to stew and ferment in their own version of hell masquerading as heaven. But no, smart people had to make money.

As ye reap, friends, so shall ye sow. Hope you're all prepped up and ready to bug-in before the shelves empty.



Thursday, October 24, 2019

Just Strollin'.

Some things you take for granted, like walking the dog to the nearest Pick 'n Steal, then boom, disaster falls, you've got three screws in your upper femur and you can't walk. All of a sudden you start to appreciate simple things, like putting one foot in front of the other. That in mind, I took Blue Eschaton for a walk today, the first since a crazy Arab kicked me off her back.

The Meth Shack

We strolled through the bucolic avenues of this rural Texan haven via the Meth Shack, and it's doing well with seasonal decorations and a fearsome clown dressed in a camo onesie. Not be trifled with.

Note Water Offering

I waved at a couple of Shackers, who seemed a little bit worse for wear after a hard night on the meth, then ambled over to the Shamrock. The Shamrock's an Irish filling station, owned by Nepalese and staffed by Mexicans, right here in North Central Texas. Benefits of multiculturalism aside, they have good coffee and I got a "refill" while Blue Guard sat outside, it's a ritual. Then we headed for home under an increasingly glowering Lone Star sky.

Mission Accomplished

Back at the Compound it was all well done, mission accomplished! and it felt good to do something so simple as go out with the Blue again. Result. In other exciting news, the Cadet's on his last stretch of Basic, Blue Phase, and he's done well so far. 

How Lovely

Still, he has to pass a final APFT (fitness test) and a field exercise to graduate on schedule. I don't anticipate a fail in either but hey, accidents and all else besides... so fingers crossed. 

Your Finally Walking Pal,


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Country Stroll

One of the many benefits of living in LSPland is you get to go for gentle country walks through the sylvan boulevards of bucolic Texas. I do that every morning with Blue Pastoralia and it's become something of a ritual. Sometimes we walk by the Meth Shack on our way to the Pick 'n Steal (PnS).

Meth Shack Patriots

The Meth Shackers aren't usually up in the morning but sometimes you'll see them passed out and shirtless in the drive after a particularly hard and toothless night on the meth. Still, chances are they'll be stacking collectibles around the shack later in the day.

Stack 'er Up!

They find things on foraging expeditions, you see, and stack 'em up. Child's plastic car? Stack it on the roof and keep that yard in order. Speaking of yards, the Shack was hidden from view on one side by a vacant lot which had returned to nature, like ancient Rome in the 7th century. Then disaster struck.

Chop 'er Down!

Woodsmen turned up earlier this week and chopped down the meth jungle to make way for a new house. The Shackers aren't happy about this, not for a second, and look on in dismay as back hoes and chainsaws clear away assorted junk trees and trash. Who knows, maybe it'll be the shack's turn next.

Random skulduggery

And with that, we leave the Meth Shack and head to the Shamrock PnS for a strong cup of coffee. It's still run by Nepalese, despite being Irish, and Texan.

I file this exciting story under "country life."



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Owl Magic, A Short Tale Of The Occult

The heat came down like the beating of giant wings, suffocating, intense, taking the air right out of your lungs  and sucking it up into whatever was beyond the bonewhite glare of the sun.

So deal with it. Not easy, but I strode into the furnace and somehow made it to the Shamrock filling station pick 'n steal. A short walk across the anteroom of Hell.

"How's it going?" I asked across cracked formica in the cooling blast of air conditioning. She rose up from checking cheap cigars, Swisher Sweets, in all their lurid 99 cent, bluntish glory.

"OK. That it, coffee?" 
"And a pack of cigarettes, Marlboro Light, short, box."

She had the cigarettes ready. It was a morning ritual, regular and repeated but something was different.

"You like the smell?"

Stick incense wafted on the AC, familiar enough; like the odor of tipis in Wales, Austin or San Francisco.

"I smell it," I replied, "It smells like hippies."

She giggled, suddenly coy.

"But hey, better than a toilet, right?"
"So true, better than a toilet. But what's with the owl?"

She paused, laughter most definitely over, and looked at the plastic bird glaring round-eyed from the top of a glass counter and its  sign for burned offerings. 

We gazed in silence, while darkness flickered in and out at the edge of vision, barely perceptible shadowmen, closing in. I ended the spell.

"So what's with the owl. Guarding against evil spirits?"

Liquid brown Aztec Inca eyes met mine and stayed there before another giggle. "No, he's just an owl, you know, like some stupid bird."

I walked out into the heat, coffee in hand, to return the next day; rituals bear repetition.

The owl looked down from his perch and darkness clustered, sharp and flitting, almost out of sight.

"Coffee and cigarettes?"
"That's right, same again."
"You remember the owl?
"You're right. He stops the evil."
"I know."

I looked at Mictecacihuatl and she at me, impassive, empty, a void, this was just the way it was. 

Vade retro, I walked into the searing light of the day, "God bless."

Behind me came a rustle of feathers and the sound of tearing, plucking, ripping and pulling at flesh. I didn't look back.

All Gods, readers, are not the same.

God bless,


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Road Warrior

C'mon kid, let's roll, which roughly translated means, hurry up, we're walking to school with the dogs via the Pick 'n Steal for coffee and I don't want you late.

Soon enough we were over the start line and heading for the Shamrock, staffed by Nepalese, thank you very much and mind the kukri, with Friday gamboling along like a puppy and Blue following at a more sedate pace.

Blue Valhalla's getting on in years and someone's been stealth feeding him when I'm not looking, so he's getting a bit portly. This isn't fair on the furry protector and means I'll have to put a lock on his feed bin or maybe a sign, "DON'T OPEN THIS. IT WILL EXPLODE AND DESTROY YOU."

Coffee, school, and dog walk objectives reached, I relaxed on the front office porch and thought about the effect of various bullets on my YETI mug; a range day's obviously in order. Then, Daily Office said, I drove to Fort Worth down good old I35W.

It's not a bad drive until you get to the metrosprawl, then it's a nightmare. What evil satanic geniuses convinced the American public to live in vast plastic sided suburbs, intersected by highways roaring past decaying strip malls. It's bad enough now, imagine the future.

One day the plastic will sag, decay, and fall, leaving square miles of chipboard houses to quietly implode back to nature while the highways collapse; the sheer slum of it will challenge all but the bravest explorers. Remortgage that, I dare you.

Regardless, I made it to the clergy day at Holy Apostles and very edifying it was too. Bishop Iker gave a good presentation on the state of the litigation against the Diocese and Dr. Stephen Noll talked about marriage. 

After lunch, I headed back to the compound, picked up the kid, drove him to work, drove back to the Compound, drove to Lake Whitney to say Mass and watched a film because it was the church's film night.

We watched the Gospel of John, which is just that, the Gospel of John narrated, with actors doing their thing in the background. I love John's Gospel. Then, kid being delivered to the church, it was time to brave TX-22 and get back to base.

The dogs were excited to see us. The pack was back, and I tell you, several hundred miles worth of driving aside, it all made for a good break from watching WWIII unfold in Syria and the slow moving coup against the President.

I file this exciting story under "road warrior."

God bless,


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Out of Jail

It took a while but Blue Perpetrator finally got out of jail. In fact, the town's Animal Police Department (APD) dropped him off at the Compound yesterday morning. Thanks, APD, 'preciate it.

It must have felt good to be out of the cells and Blue Freedom leaped and bounded for joy on the porch before heading inside. 

He'd paid his debt and done his time, now he was enjoying the sweet air of freedom. We tested that this morning with a walk to the Pick 'n Steal. Would he nip at anyone's heels in a fit of overprotective loyalty?

No, he did not. He even ignored the bearded hipster in a ball cap and ironic shirt that went into the shop to buy whatever it is hipsters buy, "Sorry, fella, there's no artisanal coffee here in repurposed jute tumblers, and watch out for the dog."

Well done, Blue Jailbreak. Now you are free. In other exciting news, Compound HQ's about to get a repaint. About time!

God bless,


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Go On, Walk The Dog

After Morning Prayer, I like to take my dog, Blue Aggressor, for a walk to the local Pick 'n Steal and get a coffee. I like the way the sun makes a shadow of the animal's ridiculously pointed ears.

I don't like standing in line while people in dirty pajama bottoms and slippers get lottery tickets, blunts and liters of soda. But whatever, it's all part of life's rich weave. Speaking of which, there was a weave lying in the gutter on the way to the coffee shop and I was going to take a picture. It lay there, abandoned, for a few days, but it disappeared; I guess someone salvaged it.

Then, coffee in hand, I walk back to the compound with Blue Eschaton. He's taken to trying to attack anything with a trailer, as well as the mail truck, which he hates. Good thing I have him on a leash.

He's a popular dog and I get a lot of compliments, "Good lookin' dog!" or, "I like your puppy!" That said, people tend to give him a wide berth.