Machinery By The Pound

Back when I was a kid, the old times would often reference how much various machines cost by weight. They would say things like “that excavator weighs about 40,000 pounds and costs $40,000” or “that bulldozer weighs 60,000 pounds and costs $60,000 “. This was a way of quickly estimating the cost of equipment based on its weight. This may not seem like a very sophisticated was to do things, but considering there weren’t computers in those days and many of the men in the business had limited education, a lot of simply ways were developed to relate to various … Continue reading Machinery By The Pound

Finding The Stash Of Stolen Beer

Back in the early 1960s, Kenny and I were doing what we usually did just about every day. We rode horses. That was our job, our vocation. We weren’t pleasure riders. We broke and rode horses to make our spending money. We had a contact to ride Shetlands for a fellow. I’ve written much more about that, so I’ll just place that down at the bottom of this story. We rode up an old cedar chopper road that was down below our house a little ways. The road was overgrown with small cedars and a tight squeeze to get up … Continue reading Finding The Stash Of Stolen Beer

The Odyssey

I have a friend, I’ll call him Jack. We had been doing the same type of construction for many years. He had worked for a couple of my competitors, but each were friendly competitors, so we have been in various joint venture arraignments throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, due to a divorce or perhaps it was the cause of the divorce, Jack developed a serious cocaine habit. He came to me in the need of employment. His habit had caused him to be let go from his last job. Not realizing that cocaine addiction couldn’t be cured with … Continue reading The Odyssey

Cruising The UT Drag

The spring of 1971 found me and Jimmy Frasier (Feline to his friends; not because he was a cat) in Austin one Friday afternoon. Probably for no other reason than hoping to find some excitement. I had a new Chevrolet pickup and we decided a drive down to the Drag was in order. We got as far a 34th street on Guadalupe, heading south when we encountered a red light. A couple of pretty young UT types were in the right lane, with us in the left. Paying more attention to the girls than to driving, when the light changed … Continue reading Cruising The UT Drag

The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

My son Ron Jr. did an experiment with an AI app. Below are 3 examples of asking it to write a poem in the style of various writers in history about a minnow. Each response was completed within 10-15 seconds. Then I asked about the Astros and this years World Series. I am amazed by all this, however I’m not sure whether I actually embrace it or not. Will it not stifle the creativity of generations to come? Why would anyone waste their time composing and writing anything, when a few clicks on a keyboard will get you far superior … Continue reading The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

The Unfortunate Incident With The Motorola Radio’s

Things are so different today than when I first got into the business some 50+ years ago. When people were out on a jobsite and you needed to tell them something, you drove out and delivered a message in person. Austin was a much smaller then, but a message could be delayed several hours at times. I think we had better planning skills then or our expectations for getting much done was a lot less. Somewhere along the way voice pagers came into vogue. But when you were out on a job with machinery running, if you heard the thing … Continue reading The Unfortunate Incident With The Motorola Radio’s

Glenn at the Circle Inn

A favorite story told by many puts Glenn Lewis at the Circle Inn on a Saturday night. It was one of those hot summer nights that caused people to not always get along. Glenn and another patron got into a fight and the Proprietor, Alice Sayers ushered them outside. Alice wasn’t someone you wanted to mess with. (I know, I’m married to her granddaughter) Rather than get in his pickup and leave, Glenn walked to the back of the building (he had consumed huge amounts of beer) and took the back off of the old huge swamp cooler that blew … Continue reading Glenn at the Circle Inn

Planting Bluebonnets

One of the last activities I remember doing with Grannie Ruby, my Dad’s birth mother, was walking down our driveway where the soil had been loosened by the blade of a motor grader when I’d graded the road. We gave her a sack of wildflower seeds, heavy on bluebonnets, that she carefully sowed. Madeline and several of the boys were there that day as we walked along with her down the long driveway. We turned around at the highway and caught the other side as we returned to the house. She looked so at home doing that type of thing. … Continue reading Planting Bluebonnets

Technology Is So Great…….

…….that is if you understand how to use it. My case in point. I’m making a long drive today, alone. My wife listens to audio books very often when she drives. She swears it really makes time and the trip pass by faster. She suggested I download some books to listen to while I drive. I figured her suggestion had a dual purpose. Besides making my trip go faster, it would keep me from listening to the news so much. I don’t know where she ever got the idea that I’m a news junkie, but we shall not even delve … Continue reading Technology Is So Great…….