Monday, July 12, 2010

You just cannot beat experience

Well a pretty decent start to the week. The wind blew all day and gave a welcome reprieve from the high temperatures in the triple digits that we have experienced the last few days. There was nothing really of note today but we did have our 3rd (fall) calf born today. So far we have had all solid black little heifers. Maybe this will offset the very high percentage of bull calves we had compared to normal with the spring calvers this year. As long as they are born alive and healthy I am just fine with whatever percentage of girls or boys we get.

This evening I needed to travel to Kennewick to the fairgrounds for a Market stock committee meeting. The meeting went well and fairly rapidly and it looks like we will have everything in place for our fair the third week of August. I did not have time to eat supper before I left home and after the meeting I really did not feel like a ketchup and deli burrito or mustard and chickenpart corndog. There is a neighborhood bar that I used to stop into about quarterly in Kennewick that I had not checked out in about a year. Today’s post is about that experience and how as we age previous experience can help with decision making.

The “Tin Hat” is basically a gathering place for construction workers, service industry workers, railroad workers and other basically good, hardworking, Marlboro smoking, tap beer buying white trash (no disrespect to the white waste management people or to those who prefer their beer in a bottle, or the two Mexican fellas that were playing pool by the way). The clientele is not whom some would care to hang out with but these are just mainly decent people that just want to live life and have a nice place to smoke, drink and complain to each other about their boss after work. Other than my cowboy hat and lack of tattoos and/or outstanding arrest warrants I am hard to pick out from the regulars in this place.

The bar girl was prompt and told me the special for the day; any canned beer for $2. Right away I am faced with a decision of Coors Light or Milwaukee’s Best for $2 but I got through that ok. I noticed they now have hard liquor there but after Saturday I am off whiskey for at least 72 hours. I then asked if they had a menu and I still do not know if they have menus but Sara (the bar girl) rattled off about 6 things that she could make. She recommended the beef ribs that were left over from Sundays BBQ and horseshoe throwing tournament. After making sure she did not mean left over from a Sunday BBQ prior to 2004 I went ahead and ordered the ribs. She first brought my green salad and a bottle of Thousand Island dressing. These fancy places that do not limit your dressing consumption or place it in a thimble sized cup on the “side” are one of the reasons I love these type of establishments. The ribs were big, meaty and honestly were absolutely delicious. Thank you Sara and thank you for keeping the beer glasses clean. More on that later.

As I consumed my meal I listened to some of the conversations going on around me. There was one very intoxicated and close to belligerent gentleman outside near the horseshoe pits and smoking deck. As I listened I learned his name was Scott and he was unemployed and had last worked at a local roofing company. His friends convinced Scott he should go home and as they made their way to the door they happened to stop right behind me. I had chosen my spot at the bar based on previous experience. I was in a spot where I could see behind me in the bar mirror which is always a good choice in an out of the way bar. I had also chosen to sit overlooking where the sink for washing the bar glasses was. This was mainly because Sara was wearing a low cut top. Experience helps decision making…anyway.

Scott whispers to his friends at about a 178 decibel level that he is going to “accidentally” bump the cowboy hat of the stranger at the bar. Now 10 years ago I would have been ready to explode like a Saturn Rocket off my bar stool and offer the unemployed Scott some discount rhinoplasty but being alone in a non local bar I made a different decision based on previous experience. When Scott “bumped” me I jumped up, spun around and spat semi masticated rib parts all over and said, “Scott!, how the f*ck have you been dude?” as I reached out to shake hands. Well Scott was totally surprised and asked, “Do I know you?” of course I said, “We worked together at XYZ Roofing, don’t you remember?” Scott said he did not remember which was really great because in all honesty neither did I.

Now that the situation was diffused Scott asked me what I was doing for a living now. I told him I had started my own roofing company and other than being able to find good help things were going well. Well, as luck would have it HE was looking for work. (You don’t say) To shorten the story Scott bought my second $2 beer after I complimented him on his mullet and he will be waiting at the Conoco station to be picked up for work at 6a.m. tomorrow for his new high paying roofing job. At 6a.m I will probably be tapping Chris on the shoulder asking if she feels frisky and if she needs someone to take a shower with her. I wonder if Scott will still have BBQ sauce all over his right hand from the nice handshake we shared before he left the bar so he could get a good nights sleep and find his tool belt. I sure hope he packs a lunch because it could be a really long day.

I guess I will not be visiting the Tin Hat for awhile but I am not in jail, I did not get beat up and I am still burping BBQ ribs and thinking next time I visit the Tin Hat I will order my beer in a glass but insist that I get a clean glass for each beer.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Yellow warbler aka Dendroica petechia.

Today’s picture is some yearling bred heifers relaxing near the home place pond.