Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You, Water

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Then Quit For A While, Then Started Up Again
November 2011
Thank You, Water

PINE RIDGE Indian Reservation, SD -  HEY!  WHERE YOU BEEN AT?

I don't know about you, but me, myself, I've gotta be in 'my space' to write.  A coffee shop or airport lounge doesn't cut it.  Sure, you can zip off a quick confused, incoherent message amidst overloud distracting chatter and espresso would you describe that sound?..KRRRRRRRRRRRTT....but for focused writing, like, to you, like, now, I've got to be in my space.  From here, I can produce a clear and focused, concentrated, incoherent message.

That would be right here at home.  Just got phone and internet.  Only took 2011 years and eleven months.  Just got water after a six-year wait, and electricity after two years of off-the-grid solar, four years of candlelight and batteries when the solar attempt failed, and after four months ago when I swallowed my eco-electro energy independence dream and went over there to Martin, SD and humbly requested service from Lake Creek Electric Company.

"You got a special deal for vets, or retired people on fixed income?" I asked the efficient and polite middle-aged lady like the kind you see working for years at a rural electric company.

"No," she said.

"How does it work, then?" I asked.

"The way it works is, you give us money, and we give you electricity."

They wanted a signature on a ten-year contract, just short of marriage, so I scrawled 'Peter Larsen' on their paperwork, laid down about $700 bucks up front for the poles and the deposit and the survey and the crew lunch and office party and gas and whatnot, and here about a month ago, they came out the very same day the tribal water crew installed the long-awaited yard hydrant, and run the lines and set the poles, telephone poles, inadvertently cutting through the Mini Wiconi water line with that bigass hydraulic auger when they drilled the holes for the poles.  I had water for fifteen minutes.

"Couldn't have hit it more dead center if they'd laid out tobacco and prayed," I told Bo and Misty, who were over here drinking coffee and getting some kinda way, hearing the story three times.  "There's only one place those lines (water & electric) intersect, and they nailed it."

Thinking maybe it was just me, I asked the guy, "This has happened before, right?"

It had.  Not alll the time, but it had, like the time they went through a, wha'd he say?,  a four-inch line? and had the truck submerged before a bigass wrecker pulled them out of the sinkhole they'd created.  It happens, he said with a shrug of resignation.  Fortunately, the water crew was still here with their backhoe and bobcat, and repaired the water line straight away, as the gecko likes to  say.*

Anyway, I've got water and lights, lights on all over the place, and just here last night, phone and internet.

Maybe city and off-the-rez folks take all that for granted.  Like, a shower and indoor flush toilet.  After all this 3rd-World time doing without, hauling water, out of communication, and sleeping on a Meadowlark's schedule, I can just say I'm pretty happy about life here in Slim Buttes.

Soooo, just because you haven't heard from me doesn't mean I don't care, or haven't been thinking of you.  I have.  And it may sound cliche', but I've been meaning to write.  Really.  I've got notes, notes out the ass.

Let's see...let's see here.  Yeah, I've just been out here checking my traps, managing air traffic control up in here, and waiting for contact from the Pleidians.  That's what I told Jack and those Red Cloud nephews when they came out here, none of which seemed to register, because they just said, 'Uh huh'.

So to make an imprint and see how much attention they were paying, I shouted out, "TO HELL WITH THE HOG MARKET REPORT!  WE WANT SOME FUCKING FOOTBALL!" as I went over and changed the AM station on my little battery-operated radio, tuning in the Cornhuskers at home in Memorial stadium over in Lincoln.

They didn't laugh at that, either.  I don't know what it was.  Maybe they didn't know what to expect.
They seemed a bit apprehensive, staring at all the planes.

Mouse traps.  But they didn't ask.  Didn't ask who the Pleidians were, either.  Just kind of nodded in agreement that they'd prefer the game over the price of pork bellies.

Here, on Pine Ridge, it would be a fair guess to say most Indians don't give a shit about livestock reports, but just down the way in the panhandle of Nebraska, from which the local station broadcasts, the price of grain futures and bulls and heifers and hogs dominates the noon news.  Around here, the people become excited when water comes to the 'ville.


You see where my predictions came true?  Shit falling from space?  ('Alarm Raised Over Shit From Space'  07.03.09) Yeah.  And I've got another one for you - things are going to get better before they get worse.  Like that?  That's what Reagan told us, and you can see he was right.  Get government off our backs, he said.  Trickle down economics.  Um hmm.

So yeah, I'm trying to elevate to where y'all are at.  Ipod, Ipad, GPS, palm pilot, cell and mo-bile device, text, twit, and triangulate, tweet astral realm and ascended light body, but things happen slowly out here, everybody knows.  TMI, man.  ixnay on the x-rays.  Give me a hand search.  Still trapped in human body.  Still working without a net. Contact me by ESP.

Gotta elevate.  Soon. Before 2012, they say.  Before Armageddon. Before the rapture. Before Niburu. Gotta start working out. Gotta have some dreams.  Gotta have some ideas.  Where you going to get your ideas?  Copy somebody else's?  Join somebody's circus?  You're going to need some hiking gear.

Double universe, parallel universe ain't nothin' but a theory.  Just think, there's a person over there just like you, doing all the same shit, making all the same choices. Would they look over here, through the mirror, and ask you to cut 'em a break, cut 'em some slack?

The nephews understood the comment about air traffic control, seeing as how the air space here is becoming crowded, the home strength of the Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron at fifteen aircraft.  Yesssss.  Fifteen.  Eight new 7th ed. tri-wing Fokkers went out over the summer to some retar...special needs kids down in Colorado, with production working by candlelight filling back orders from before the economic downturn and later, a shutdown after that slut Li An took off to China with my templates** last summer, and after layoffs everybody knows its hard to get up and running to full steam once again.  Even then, once you see a profit, it's hard to take on new people and not put that cash in your pocket.

Anyway, as of last quarter, end of July, the 335th experienced twelve downed aircraft from pilot error, six prop damage, ten landing gear failures, five strut and wing damage, one tail section mishap same same Reno air show, two downed from enemy fire, and one downed from cat playing tetherball.

Internal Affairs has taken over the investigation of the purported attempted sale of a squadron aircraft at Cubbies convenience store in Oglala for $4.99 by one of our pilots whose name is being withheld because of her age.  A witness stated the pilot was unable to sell the aircraft.

Note to pilots: For minor damage, such as props and rudders, fix it in the field if you can.  For more extensive damage, haul 'em in for general maintenance. more flying over the grandstands!  Period. No more horsing around.  You see what can happen.

Ok.  Mixing up a little work with play here.  Play with work.  Work is play. Work is play, they say. Work is play if you love what you do, and you're not working for an asshole.  Gotta get the word out.  We've got 86 pilots now, with No. 129 rolling out off the assembly line just last night.  That rate of production over six years may seem anemic by Boeing or Lockheed standards, but for a one-man operation since the Myanmar girls got pissed and quit, it's not too bad.

**I'm going to deal with this here, as opposed to a footnote at the end of the story.  Li An, you may recall, was my hateful English-speaking Myanmar crew boss.  First, she incited the crew against me, then while I was home for the summer, she absconded to China with my templates, which she claims was her idea, and the result was my plane appearing on the street six months later as a cardboard cut-out with some assembly required.  All of 'em blue.  Mine are one-of-a-kind.  Theirs are cheap, mine are $499.99.  Theirs are made in China and stamped out, mine are handcrafted, made in the USA.  Except for the ones that were made in Thailand, then shipped back to the US.  Mine are limited edition, they've made a blue million of them.  You can get theirs at Wal-mart and on the street; mine, you can't.  They also produce a punch-out aircraft carrier; I don't.

So, there.


You ever experience the 'hurry up offense', caught unaware perhaps, where plays are coming at you so fast you haven't the time to organize a defense appropriate to the alignment on the field?  Its later, when reviewing the events and replaying the tapes that you can get an accurate picture of what occurred, how it happened, what you could have done, what you could have said.

A person needs a generic, knee-jerk, off-the-shelf, reptilian, reflexive, prevent defense, some kind of preparatory instantaneous survival mechanism.  Fight, flight, lie, deceive, cajole, manipulate. Catch 'em napping.  Stop 'em in the red zone.  Keep 'em out of field goal range.  Make 'em punt.


Did I give you the results of the croquet golf tournament, the 1st Annual Slim Buttes Invitational Croquet Golf Tournament?  I won it.  Ballanco took silver.  Ted Ebert got the bronze.  That was Labor Day Weekend, following a last-minute agreement between the owners and players arriving at a settlement, which means the 2012 croquet golf season is BACK ON!

Back in July we held a weekend 'Zero-Tolerance' Advanced Fly-Swatting workshop for adults, focusing on long-term vigilance, long-distance recognition, interdiction and elimination.  There were breakout sessions on fundamentals and techniques such as the feint, the overshot, the no-look backhand, fade-away, the ceiling slapshot, and 'coming out of the sun'.

Upon completion of the program, participants were presented with new, vinyl 'Nevva Miss' swatters in the shape of a hand.  We made a video.  You can check it out on UTube.

 Maybe city and off-the-rez folks don't have to deal with flies the way we do, either.  Out here, it's a basic fact of life, and we take it seriously. Quite seriously.


Do you have a personal trainer?  No offense if you do.  Complete the sentence; A person who has a personal trainer is someone who...

Just wondering.  How about a hero?  On the radio an ad for returning vets said at the end, something to the effect of...'let's help our wounded warriors...let's help our heroes...' which sent me seeking a dictionary definition of heroism.  Yes, like you'd suspect...'above and beyond...without regard for one's own safety...courage...sacrifice.'

Sure, many of the vets are heroes, without a doubt, but it requires more than putting on the uniform.  There's nothing heroic about getting blown away by a roadside blast.  Not everybody who takes a hit was doing something heroic at the time. It is more a matter of unfortunate circumstance, a wrong place and time, no hero in the humvee, no extraordinary measure of valor.  Can you be a hero just going along for the ride?  Can you just toss the word around?

The reason I ask about a personal trainer is, why?  We had personal trainers, too.  It was called a swing set.


Waterboarding couldn't have been worse.  About a little more than halfway through the appointment, I had as much as I could stand, the breaking point, I flashed the girls a timeout signal and literally leapt up from the dental chair.  I HAD to swallow.  I HAD to spit.  They recoiled in surprise.   I asked them, "You ever have people jump up like that?"

"No," they said, shaking their heads.

"You're kidding me!"  I thought it to be a common occurrence.  I told them I could take it, but only for so long, then I had to get up.  Same with an airplane seat in coach.  Same with this computer screen.  Know what I mean?  I told them that when I die, I want to be cremated because the thought of being closed up underground like that in that claustrophobic casket would drive me absolutely crazy.  I wouldn't be able to stand it.  I've seen it happen.

In fact, any type of confinement bugs me - rat cage, prison cage, handcuffs, chem class, jock strap, sweat lodge, peyote meeting, human body, my own delusional thinking.  The rez.  That dentist's chair.

Wow.  Got me to thinking...were you a 'squirmy' child?  Or were you okay with being held and snuggled?  How long?

No, I don't think it's that, some kinda Freudian shit.  It's probably Dr. Sardonicus being buried alive, a horrifying movie I saw decades ago and have never been able to forget.  And just when I thought I had the notion completely suppressed, here comes 'Kill Bill II' where she gets buried alive.  Ohhhhhh God.  Just cremate me, ok?  Just be sure I haven't got a pulse.

Okay.  Enuf talk about dying.  It's winter here on the rez, everything dead, geese gone south, but I've got water and light.  Coffee, too, and here comes visitors.

- end

*yeah. about that gecko.  a gecko is a lizard, right?  a cousin to a snake.  you're going to buy insurance from a lizard?  a cousin to a snake?  On the surface, just think about it.  Just for a moment.  Isn't there something primeval about not trusting reptiles?  Not just Genesis, but deep within our DNA? And on top of it, he's speaking with a British accent.  You're going to buy insurance from a lizard with a British accent?