Monday, February 9, 2015

How Alice came to be....

It was Dec. 2000. I worked for the University of Texas in Port Aransas, Texas. I lived aboard a 41 foot sailboat on dock #1 at the City marina.

My dreams were to sail the oceans blue. My name at that time was "Barnacle Bill". Although, one of the boat captains called me "Billy Bob". Said something to the line of "you would make a perfect redneck". You can thank "Capt'n John" for my name today.

I had just returned to work from San Antonio after a bout of pneumonia. On a job of replacing a compressor for the main air conditioning systems aboard the university's research/laboratory boat, the R/V Longhorn, I injured my back lift'n that dad gum heavy ass compressor.

   Under 6 months of chiropractic supervision an' constant threats of "you're fired" from the University, the old back never healed. I still had 2 years to retirement an' a adventurous life at sea. The hardest 2 physical an' mental years of my life.

Shortly before retirement, I did me some think'n...."there ain't no way in hell I'm gonna ever be able to sail a sail'n boat with a back condition like this". I need me a motorhome an' sail the highways instead. My search began. In Boerne, Texas, I found Alice sit'n in the back of the lot with tears in her eyes. She was a perfect size. Smelled clean. Good tires. Had the look of a wanderer. I fell slap in love with that teary eyed old gal.....I bought Alice.

In the next 3 years, 40,000 miles was put on the odometer. A little maintenance here an' there....she was a good motorhome.
But there ae soooo many wonderful memories of the happy times with Alice. All the miles we shared together. All the sunsets we observed together. The States we visited. Taco Bell park'n lots. Mountain climb'n. Go'n down the road a hunnert mile a hour. But, she drinked too much *like a couple of my "first mates".  At 6.8 miles to the gallon, Alice had to be retired. All good things must come to an end. An' this is the reasoning behind why I am build'n the "Alice" project.

So let's get right on with a little talk bout the "Alice" project. It all started with a idea to build a motorhome model. Just a thought that I was think'n would never become reality. I did me some pic hunt'n on my computer an' "oh, lookie here", there's this side view of Alice. Hmmmmm.....I can build that. Printer was broke out an' calculations made for a 24 scale template....just to see if'n it could be done. Still not intend'n to build a model of a motorhome. But that soon changed...."an' you know the rest of the story".....it's reality.

Now, I'm at a point where I need to back off this project a bit. Too many mistakes are be'n made. I stay up too freak'n late every night. Remember that 1/4 inch I cut off'n the height??? Well, I need that 1/4 inch back. The slope of the front end is too much an' the space between the windshields an' the grill is too much. It cain't be corrected (but, if'n you know the old Billy Bob at all, he will probly try). 

Ok, just forget what I just said....all that slope stuff an' need that 1/4 inch back. I just measure stuff again....it's all correct. Well, maybe not ALL correct. "I can fix that". But we talk'n hours of backbreak'n work. All for a 1/4 inch. Oh never mind.....I need a break.

This Alice project got me to think'n bout old age an' be'n happy. There comes a time in everbody's life that they got to leave the past behind an' think bout the future. Everbody worked for most there life to achieve certain goals in their life. Ain't talk'n dreams here, we talk'n goals. You know, a ton of money in the bank. A great big ol' house. New cars an' 4x4 pick'em up trucks. Security in your later years. Well, I'm here to tell ya right now, if'n you ain't achieved them goals by the time you reach old age (bout 65 or 70), you gonna die in your attempts an' your dreams of happy retirement are down the drain. You ain't got a whole lot of time left on this earth, so accept where ya stand today an' get with the program on your dreams. Shoot, I know people that live on SS alone an' they some the happiest people ya ever see. Ya don't have to be a millionaire to be happy.

Boy howdy, I mean to tell ya.....the old Billy Bob been feel'n pretty darn good for a while. Not a long while, but just a day or three, four or five of feel'n good makes me feel like a hunnert dollar bill. Now I ain't say'n I don't hurt like hell ever morn'n, but a couple them big ass aspirin fix that right up for the rest of the day. When I was tear'n the "billy jeep" slap apart, my back didn't hurt at all. I been eat'n pretty good, so no stomach problems. Ain't been dizzy for a spell. Breath'n is bout what can be expected. *Think'n I might live a little longer.*

Sure do feel good to be able to go outside an' sit in my campchair sip'n up a cup. Yesterday I did that 'cause it was too damn hot in "da house". Sunshine bear'n down on me....soak'n up me some vitamins. So they say!!!

Ok, I'm out of here....got me some stuff I could be do'n....outside. "Battery water Billy Bob, check the battery water".



  1. BB, I read you ever' day, don't do comments a lot. This post is just the best thing I have read in a long, long time. Thank you. I can relate to so much of it, and I am always happy to see YOU happy. You are quite a guy. Thanks for your inspirin' blog.
    Jool in North Texas

    1. When I get comments like this, especially from someone that don't comment often, it makes me want to keep on truck'n....writ'n stuff like this ever day.

  2. I'm feeling about the same way you are - feeling great, but realizing I need to let go of some of the dreams from years ago. Gotta make new dreams now.

    1. Oh boy, let me tell ya....you don't know how many "dreams from years ago" I have throwed in the dumpster. I meaan like DAMN, who in their right mind would bungie jump at 73 year old??? Yes that was a dream of mine. Even waited in line for it somewhere's round a hour. Then they tell me "there ain't no way".

      I have a very hard time mak'n new dreams. They just don't come to me. I must be dead already an' don't even know it. You know my last an' only dream left....don't ya???

  3. At our age B.B. we don't want dreams that can't be fulfilled within a few months or a year. I have a lot of dreams that will never get fulfilled, waited to dang long and now I am too old and tired to do most of them. . .

  4. Man, you are so right about finding some new dreams to look forward to. At 70 myself (and taking care of Mom ) the dreams I had just a while back are long gone. Time to move on to new ones, I reckon.

    You've had some adventures...and I hope you can keep on telling us of your new ones, ya know?

  5. New dreams can be even better than the old ones, Billy Bob (and Bubba) because they are attainable. Don't be wishin' for any bungee jumping, or moving to the desert - just plan on that RV cover/proch and a small RV parked in a nice tree lined (less busy than Houston) area with a WalMart not too far down the road. Fishing pole in one hand, cuppa in the other - not such a bad dream, or lacking in anything ... Just saying....

  6. Like you said you don't need a lot of money to be happy, and the sooner we can retire the better, those years add up pretty quick.