Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 17 March 2006

The Wienermobile

Mountain Home, Arkansas - 17 March, 2006

We are parked in a heavily wooded clearing in the Ozarks. This is Paul's redoubt, heavily fortified and secure. Paul claims to have papers that certify him as insane due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We met in 1972 shortly after we both returned from Vietnam. We find time to sit in rockers on his porch and he explains his latest research.

Paul sells his research to the money changers. He is perhaps the foremost expert in the world on the credit and debit card industry. Paul spends most of his time flying around to interview corporate moguls and magnates so that he can sell his findings about new developments in this strange new form of money.

He talks to me about waving a cell phone at a cashier to pay for a cheeseburger. He speaks of RFID. This are the tiny rice-grain size passive chips that make the alarms go off when one walks out of the store without paying. RFID chips are being implanted in factory workers to eliminate time clocks, provide access to secure areas and aid in job cost calculations. This new technology, he tells me will soon speed airport luggage to its destination. These chips, with medical history are being implanted in elderly Washington, DC patients. Wal-Mart tractor trailers now are completely inventoried as they roll past a scanning device.

Later, Paul takes me to the local Wal-mart where we see the famous Oscar Meyer Wienermobile parked and serving hot dogs. Paul takes my picture with his cell phone standing in front of this incredible and artful piece of American culture. I buy a package of JB Weld epoxy and a Sirius satellite receiver for a total of $42, including tax.

My faithful companion and I drive Paul's 1982 Dodge Ram pickup truck into town. I have my best tennis scores ever and only lose 6-2, 6-2. At times I was close to making it 6-3 with lots of add-ins and add-outs.

The JB Weld has lots of testimonials on the back of the package. One man says he used it to patch a cracked block on a D-8 Caterpillar tractor and saved $10,000 and 30 days of down time. We pull the tank on the motorcycle, mix up the two tubes and try to patch the leaking gas tank. We also adjust the chain tension and apply molybdenum chain lube. The epoxy is drying overnight.

We watch Batman Begins in the evening on St Patrick's day after a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. This is the latest and best of the Batman movies. Paul has partially moved into the new house he and Diane have been constructing for three years. Tomorrow he plans to work on his front porch while his son-in-law installs a 24 port network switch and punches down the RJ-45 receptacles.

Visits here are always very interesting. Paul's new grand-daughter, Lena, arrives in the evening. She is four months old. The Epoxy patch on the leaking motorcycle gas tank works.

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