The Princess Mobile Phones

Back in the early 70s there was a fellow that started a new mobile phone service operating out of Austin. It was a far cheaper option than Southwestern Bell had at that time. That service could run into hundreds of dollars per month. I believe it cost “X” amount per call placed plus something like 50¢ per minute. Some high rollers would actually spend over a $1,000 per month, but it was the cost of doing business. Larry Bird with Capital Communications, the new guy, tapped into some new technology which allowed for a fairly small radio box to be … Continue reading The Princess Mobile Phones

The Machine That Developed A Mind Of Its Own

Back in 1973, we were doing a project out in the Northwest Hills Area of Austin. We had just acquired a new C14 Hein Werner Excavator, much like the one below. To make it travel the 2 shorter levers (with the black grips) in the picture below would be pushed forward or back depending on the direction you wanted to travel. Of course only pushing or pulling one lever would cause the machine to turn. If you were traveling for a far distance they could be snapped in, so you didn’t have to hold them. At the end of the … Continue reading The Machine That Developed A Mind Of Its Own

$$$$I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

It always amazes me how often I used to find tools, like wrenches, hammers, screw drivers and the like laying on the road when I was traveling so much. I always accused my careless mechanic Paul of being the one that lost most of them. Almost any day I could drive out of the yard and find something Paul had left laying under the hood or on the bumper that would fall off. Of course he wasn’t too worried about it as long as I had charge accounts at all the parts houses in Austin. Perhaps Paul’s carelessness fed my … Continue reading $$$$I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

The Pipe Bursting Experiment

Back in the 1980s I was contacted by the owner of an apartment complex over in “Apartment City”, the area along Riverside Drive east of I-35 in Austin. The city was requiring them to upsize the wastewater, as it wasn’t adequately handling the amount of flows that the apartment was generating. Evidently a few years before, when the project was built there had been a sizing miscalculation. With it being a nice property with beautifully landscaped yards they wanted the disruption to be held to a minimum. I made some phone calls and found a company in Louisiana that was … Continue reading The Pipe Bursting Experiment

Replacing The Old Brackenridge Apartments On Lake Austin Blvd.

Sometime in the earlier part in the mid 1980’s, I contracted to run the underground utilities (water, wastewater & drainage) for the New Brackenridge Apartments that were being built. The project involved the tearing down of the old wooden buildings that had far outlived their normal life. Then the site was prepared and prefabbed concrete modules built by the HB Zachery Company In San Antonio were brought in and stacked together like toy building blocks. It was a new building concept. The Zachery Company had just finished building the Palacio Del Rio, a high rise hotel on the San Antonio … Continue reading Replacing The Old Brackenridge Apartments On Lake Austin Blvd.

The Things We Find Out About Ourselves. (August 8, 2016)

I attended a funeral today, along with many others. It was a funeral where tears were shed, but no real outward displays of the terrible sadness that you know many felt. That comes from deep faith. That comes from the knowing and understanding that there are more good things to come. I left that service a bit saddened by the loss of an old friend, but that’s a normal reaction. I had a completely different emotion that I felt going away from there today. A complete feeling of dismay. It stems from an incident that supposedly happened around 50 years … Continue reading The Things We Find Out About Ourselves. (August 8, 2016)

GK, My Accountant With A Drinking Problem

Gk was my accountant for several years. I’ve mentioned him in a couple of my previous stories. I always called him Worley, his last name. GK was so fast on a desk calculator, you’d think the keys were going to fly off. By the time I got to know him, he was pretty much an old drunk. He would shake a lot. But when he would sit down and had a pen in his hand that man had the nicest handwriting of any person I’ve ever known. He had gone to a business school when he was young. He could … Continue reading GK, My Accountant With A Drinking Problem

He Shouldn’t Have Been Dragging His Feet To Give Us The Thumbs Up

Back in the mid 1990s we were doing a lot of work on new apartments. There was one big builder that we had done several projects with. He would only give us the underground pipe work, allowing another contractor to do the excavation and other site work. He was always about to pull his hair out each time using Brand X, but really enjoyed the fishing trips they would take him on. The vacant property at the old Texas State Hospital at 38th between Lamar and Guadalupe was made available for development so this developer had a deal to put … Continue reading He Shouldn’t Have Been Dragging His Feet To Give Us The Thumbs Up

He Has A Hurting In His Groin Area

I had an appointment in Austin this morning at my urologist. Just a routine checkup. When I walked in a fellow was checking in just in front of me. He was a very handsome guy. He had something close to a Fabio hairdo. I wasn’t actually trying to hear what he was saying but it was unavoidable. It appears he didn’t have an appointment, instead just stopped in to see if they could work him in. I heard him say he had a hurting in his groin area. About that time the gal handed him a clipboard so he could … Continue reading He Has A Hurting In His Groin Area