Saturday, July 24, 2010

Riding around - Research for Images and Background

I haven't had a chance to ride the Shadow the last few days. Seems like every time I started to, one of those passing (small) thunderstorms would start up, or at least threaten. Today, it looked better, and it seemed not quite so hot, so I set out. I needed to go West to McDade and check the post office, but I also had been intending to check out a couple of small ghost towns running back to the East from here. I picked up a fairly good map of Lee County last week at the county clerk's office in Giddings. I rode to McDade, very pleasant ride as usual, got the mail, snagged a fountain Coke at the Valero, and consulted my map. (McDade is actually in Bastrop County on Highway 290, a few miles East of Elgin.)
I could see a series of county roads running back through the boonies leading back toward Moab and Fedor. I took Marlin Street North out of McDade and followed it to Paint Creek Road. Small problem, I passed it up, since it was un-marked by signage. I figured it out, though and back tracked a bit. I followed Paint Creek quite a ways, then a left on Stockade Ranch Rd., and a right on Roberts Road. Good riding till Roberts. From there on the county road was only about one lane wide, and gravel. Pretty soon, possibly around where Roberts crossed into Lee County and became County Road 333, I found several stretches of deep soft sand. The road wasn't much more than two tire tracks through sand. I was truly wishing for a dirt bike at this point, but I kept going, very slowly. Intermittent stretches of gravel and dirt were actually welcome after the sand. 
This kept on till I reached the junction of 333, 331, and 334. This cross roads was my first checkpoint, the community of Moab. Nothing could be seen there except a thicket of trees and fields, although my reading in The Handbook of Texas mentioned two cemeteries. If there were any buildings, I didn't find them. County road 333 became 331 and continued on to the East till it met 309. A right on 309 led me to FM 1624 and the community of Fedor. 
Fedor, at least has a few houses around, a church, and a volunteer fire department. The Handbook of Texas says the community had 86 residents in 2000. A quick turn on 324 and I found the old feed store. 
Fedor Feed Store

My goal reached for today, I headed back North on 1624 to Lexington for fuel and drink, then back home by way of 696 West. It was a very pleasant ride, except for the sand.
The Shadow - My Research Assistant

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Catching Up

   It's been a good while since I posted here. I've been busy. Avatar has been going well. I just took a new student through an intro, and half of a Resurfacing class, (she'll take the second half soon), as well as helping with other students. We're planning on taking some students to Colorado in a month or so, and definitely planning to take the Wizard's course in Orlando in January.
   My '84 Honda Shadow was down for a few days, and I put some time in fixing that. I've got it going again. I'm enjoying riding around and exploring this part of the county. Some of that is taking pictures and research for my books. I enjoy seeing old cemeteries and small towns. 
   In addition, a few days ago the slave drive on my desktop computer crashed. It is a 120 gig drive, and I had been using it for overflow until it was nearly filled, then it died. It's not too horrible, and I may even be able to get some of it back. My more critical stuff was on my main drive, all my writing and reference stuff stays on a 4 gig flash drive, so I can use it either on my desktop or laptop. So, I still have that safe. It took me a few days to get the desktop back online, re-install a few things that I needed that had been on the second drive, and so on. But, I'm using it now. A friend in Austin thinks maybe he can revive that second drive for me, get my data back. I guess the worst part is all my music, and much of my drafting files were on that drive. 
   Still looking for a paying job. Unemployment insurance has ended, again, although I read that congress is trying to extend it some more. Here's hoping. With construction still at a low, there doesn't seem to be any demand for 60 year old steel detailers. In the year plus since I was laid off, Texas Work Force Commission has come up with exactly one job referral that fit any of my qualifications, and I didn't get it. Oh well. 
   Anyone need a draftsman with background in steel construction, a bit of structural engineering, permaculture, handymanology, farm/auto mechanics and writing skills?
   Actually, I wondered about hiring myself out as a mentor of sorts. A lifetime of "jack of all trades" and so on. I'm not physically up to a lot of the heavier aspects of, say, re-building a farm tractor, or an old car. But I could mentor someone who wanted to. I grew up in a rural garage, I've done most of my own work on cars and tractors, etc. all my life. There's not so much I want to tackle in cars and trucks since they grew computers and such, but most of pre-1980's vintage I can help with. 
   The ideal situation would be a rural intentional community, where I could exchange knowledge and skills for living/working space for Cat Dancing and myself. 
  Actually, through Avatar, it is impossible to get down about any of it. It is more of a "glass half full" situation. 
  Boogie on.