Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday II

I didn't make it to the store.  The idea was there, but the energy wasn't. I got my wallet, my checkbook and my pistol. Went out and started to get in the jeep, then saw that a shake had come off the end of the barn roof. I said to myself "I'll just fix that, then I'll go."  But I had to trim some holly tree branches to get up there.  Holly is God's barbed wire. The wood is tough and the leaves will cut you up good.  Then I found more shakes missing.  So what was going to be a ten minute job turned into over an hour.  I finished up tired, dirty and sweaty.

It can wait until tomorrow.

I talked with my youngest brother today, haven't been in contact with him in awhile. He's doing well, but is about to be blessed with the annual week long visit of my Uncle and his pal. My brother will be taking them salmon fishing off the coast of Oregon.  My brother is even less of a people person than I am and it's a strain, but it's family so he does it.

This picture was taken only seconds before the famous (within our family) fist fight in a bar in Nieuport, in which he pulverized two young men who made the mistake of thinking he was just another old man who could be sassed with impunity.  He got kicked out of the bar for life, but as far as I can tell was not much dismayed by the banishment. My brother is a former Marine officer, and a retired cop.  Like me, he was born out of his time , but his time would have been that of Attila and the Huns. Or maybe Genghis and the Mongols.  Least anyone think him a bully, what started the problem was foul language in the bar, with ladies present. He asked those guys nicely to shut up. Once.

Still no contact with my middle brother, who like Achilles has retired to his tent and is busily pouting. It had something to do with my youngest brother getting him tickets to an Oregon State Game, but not going to the game with him. One thing led to another.  None of us have won awards for temper control. I hope it works itself out though, because my middle brother is arrogant, cynical and condescending but other than that he's a nice guy. Nobody is perfect


When I was in the Marines, I traveled to , worked in, or lived in thirty six countries. I have literally sailed the seven seas, didn't miss one.  I went to some real hell holes, and never felt the need to do so again once I settled up here.

But my two brothers have traveled all over Central and South America, and Mexico. Twice they took old, clapped out steamers down the Amazon river. My youngest brother lived in an Amazon village with the natives (can I still say that, must I say indigenous people?). He carried a bag of old t shirts and walking shorts to get in good with them.  They went to places most people would have paid a lot of money to stay away from.  They reminded me of characters in a Franz Kafka novel.

  Of course, they went to some nice places, too. My brother has a condo in Mazatlan, it is right next to the condo where one of the most wanted cartel bosses in Mexico was arrested a year or so ago.

That kind of thing doesn't seem to bother either of them.

I might do the tourist resort thing but I would not want to go into the back country or up some backwater.

At any rate, my middle brother has had health problems for the last year, and maybe the good old days of living like a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald story are over. Maybe that's why he is so mad about something so trivial.

Well, I suppose time will tell. It would be a shame to finish out not talking to each other, for no reason. I wasn't even at the ball game, or involved in it in any way, but that's how it goes.


  1. Brothers are harder to live with these days I think. The modern world takes family members in such different directions it's almost rare to find the brothers who lived their lives in the same locale and never had the opportunity to drift apart these days. I don't live very far from my brother these days but we almost never see each other. Most of that was from the years we were in different parts of the world and some of it is that I can't stand his wife either and she can't stand me. She thinks I am a bad influence on him and he may actually stand up to her if he has too much contact with me :)

    1. Well, I just wish we could get this settled. We usually have a good time when we get together, which is every three to five years. But as we have gotten older, we have all gotten harder to get along with. We're all touchy. I think if we did live closer so we could see each other more often things would be better. I like my younger brothers wife. I don't dislike my middle brothers girl friend (what we used to call a common law wife) but I get the distinct impression she thinks I'm a dangerous extremist and doesn't want my brother associated with me.

  2. Harry seems like we all get side tracked now and again. I haven't talked to my brother in well over 10 years. He has that pot monkey on his back so I keep my distance.

    1. Well, it's a shame because your family ought to be the people you trust the most. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way, for a lot of different reasons. I'm learning that not getting along with your brothers is more common than I used to think.

    2. I know but he is my half brother (same mother) When I married both my mom and brother disliked my wife. My mom thought I could have done better. My wife and I have been together 28 yrs. My Step Dad is more my Dad then my birth father. He legally gave me his last name when he married my mom.

    3. Like that old song, "I'm my own grandpa". Seems like it worked out ok for you though.

  3. Siblings can be difficult! My sisters live in the same town as I. They can't get along with each other. I lend an ear to each of them when they need to vent. I seriously can see both of their sides. Life isn't always easy.

    I hope my sons stay friends when they get older. We shall see.

    It sound like you all have done a lot of traveling. I haven't done a lot of traveling myself.

    1. I got to travel a lot, courtesy of the USMC and USN. Sometimes it was not very luxurious accommodations, and sometimes the places I traveled to were pretty dreadful . But travel I certainly did.

      My brother and I have always had a problem getting along, but always before we got over it. Not sure it's going to work this way with middle brother this time, but that's his call.

  4. Siblings are like that sometimes. We do not talk a ton but I get along good with mine. As Wifey notes occasionally I am socially oblivious and as such more than capable of boundary setting. In other words where a normal polite person might bite their tongue I'll say no. Don't get me wrong, I'll wear the terrible sweater to Aunt May's cuz it is important to her but am aware of my boundaries and hold to them.

    1. You'd think we'd get along better because we only see each other every few years. But my middle brother has gotten a lot more difficult in the last few years. He has had health issues, which probably accounts for it.

  5. Completely off topic from your post, but...
    It was a little weird to scroll through my Blogger feed today, and see Harry Flashman pop up as a winner. I see winners of blog giveaways all the time, but none that I recognize.
    Have you ever tried Goodreads? It's a book website. They have a LONG list of giveaways. I started entering, and received a really nice cookbook. It was a really nice surprise to show up in the mail.

    1. Kim,
      I don't enter things like contests on blogs unless I have met the people who write the blogs, or have been reading them a long time and feel 100% that they are legit. The reason is that I have to give my real name and address to them in the unlikely event that I win something (it's only happened twice.) You might wonder why I enter then, and it's because I want to be supportive of the people I read and participate in their activities if I can. In this case, the person who runs the blog is someone I've been reading a long time, and I'm sure of their discretion and that they are who they say they are.

      If you want to run a game I will participate, since I don't suspect you of being a federal agent at all. ;-)

  6. Hey Harry,


    You got some stories about family adventures.

    I don't know if I am blessed or cursed for not having any siblings? I don't really have any family either, just a set of parents and that's it. I guess that's one reason I never got married or had any kids. I never felt the need to have family around. I am taking care of my mother who lives nearby and I enjoy her humor and bad attitude. When I person gets in their 70's, they are allowed to have an attitude.

    I worked on my Baofeng radio today. I got the UV5-R model and I just got the large battery (and extended length attenae). I did a radio check with a 'very like minded' friend who has the same radio and everything is working ok. Every day I try to work on some of my gear or I purchase more gear, food, or supplies.

    I thought about selling my semi-auto AK with the prices skyrocketing (I saw your AK in the pic Harry) I think I will hold on awhile. Damn AK's are a pain in the ass to shoot, accuracy sucks, but at close range and with the AK's reliability. I would have to think twice before selling it. If I did sell it. It would be a legal, person to person transfer. I'm real careful who I sell firearms too. I get picture I.D. (make sure I'm selling to a U.S. Citizen) and drivers license info.

  7. I'd be lost without my wife and kids. I know everybody is not like that, but our family is very close. It would be a lonely world without them. I'm glad you get along ok with just your mom, everybody is different.

    I'm interested in your Baofeng. I gather it is a transceiver. Tell me more about it, as all I have is some frs radios and an SSB CB unit that right now isn't working.

    There are few places here where I would have to fire across more than 100 yards. At my place, it would be considerably less. So an AK47 is excellent for my needs. If I lived in some of the states where there are long views, I might have an M14 as my go to rifle. Here, though, the AK47 is more than adequate for my needs.