Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Take Me to the River

The rolling stock of the RRCC combines for 1,715 total units of cast iron and canoe hauling horsepower.

(Left) 1997 4x4 ¾-Ton Chevrolet Suburban, with V8, 454, 7.4 liter, 300-horsepower engine, 45-gallon fuel reserve, heavy duty suspension and 10,000 lb. Warn winch.

(Right) 2005 ¾-Ton Diesel Dodge Ram pickup truck with 5.7 liter 305 horsepower High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, hydroform heavy duty suspension, towing package and custom canoe rack.

1985 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, 4.2 liter, 212 horsepower in-line 6 cylinder engine with 32” Mudders, manual transmission, lock-out hubs and utility rear seat fold-downs.

1988 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ62, 4.2 liter, 212 horsepower in-line 6 cylinder engine with 32 x 1150 x 15 Mud Duelers and American Racing baja off-road rims, 10,000 pound Warn winch and ARB Mexican Cow Catcher (aka "Pedestrian Guard").

1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, eggplant, with V8, 5.7 liter, 350 cu. in., 260 horse Police Engine and heavy duty suspension, perimeter frame, transmission and sway bars.

1973 Chevrolet Probable-Cause-Mobile, 350, 250 horsepower engine, cherry red, convertible, with 4-speed transmission, Gymkhana suspension and heavy duty ashtrays.

1992 Acura “Vigor” sedan with 2.5 liter, 176 horsepower, in-line 5-cylinder engine. says The Vig was only made from ’92 – ’94 but its owners are “an enthusiastic, fun-loving and Vigorous group.” “T-MaN Tominizer” no longer updates his House of Vigors web site because he’s “already two cars past [his] Vigor” but he still gives it this heartfelt endorsement: “It was a car I never regretted owning at any time.”

The Japanese mirror site, Nothin' But a "V" Thang is sometimes down, but we still found this Vigorous description of the car's specs:

The exterior of the Vigor GS has a flawless fit-and-finish, in legendary Japanese tradition. However, it has little in its styling to suggest a kinship to earlier, smaller Japanese imports. For it's time, the dramatically flared front and rear fenders, a slinky aerodynamic profile and slightly upswept rear fenders put the Vigor GS at the head of the class in the sports sedan styling. In the front, a rather small black grille showcased the Acura logo and was framed by a thin ribbon of chrome. Broad, four-section headlight assemblies occupied almost 50% of the front end. Above, there is a sloping, sculpted hood that, taken together with the grille shape…

In profile, a black vinyl splash guard/rocker panel molding adds to this vehicle's sport sedan image. At the time, these styling touches set the Vigor GS apart from its competitors, such as the slab-sided European offerings and the rounded, cookie-cutter domestic sedans. A wide, protective side molding traveled from the front fender well to the rear well and matched the car's body color.

Oversized side-view mirrors and recessed door handles also matched the body color. The rear fenders and upswept trunk lid highlighted the rear styling treatment. Oversized red and white tail-lamp assemblies wrapped around the rear fenders. Molding identical to that on the side of the car protected the body-colored vinyl bumper; this molding encased the bumper and extended to the back of the rear wheel wells, giving the trim a uniform look.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Out Like a Lamb

The RRCC celebrated the end of Spring with the Post-trip Banquet on summer solstice day (observed) - making the longest day of the year an hour longer by keeping it going until 1:00 am.

We accomplished almost none of the things on the agenda. No money changed hands, no gear was returned, no date was picked for the fall trip. It was a total success.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Price Waterhouse Coopers is declaring the last poll void. Apparently a hanging chad will never vote for anyone but The Stones. Try it again here.

"What Song is it You Wanna Hear?"
Tumbling Dice
I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll
New Years Day
Dirty World
View Result
Free Web Polls


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Music Issue

Even with professional drinker-musicians in our group, alcohol is a big problem for the RRCC Jug Band. It’s not that we can’t remember the songs after 16-1/3 beers per Member, it’s that we can’t remember what songs we remember. When we can’t think of any songs we sit around staring at each other, getting unrealistic suggestions from the rest of the Club (Eruption, Bohemian Rhapsody, No. 9 Dream…). And in return, we subject everyone else to endless repetitions of the same songs (more on the repetition problem below).

So up in the top corner of this web site we have set up a permanent link to generate an official Rebel Rivers Songbook. Nominate songs by using the “Comments” button and if it seems doable we’ll print up the lyrics and chord changes, plus the bass line for Roy and a rippin’ three-string banjo solo. If a song seems like a keeper, or actually gets played, we’ll declare it part of the songbook which will be printed out before each trip and put in the lid of the Chuck Box. As long as someone is sober enough to remember it’s in the lid of the Chuck Box, the hills will be alive with the sound of music. We already have six songs.

On a related subject, while the rookie Member of the Jug Band has already doubled the hit total of 4 Non Blondes and other more famous acts…it’s still probably time to learn a third song. It only seems fair that since everyone in the club is going to hear it repeated often, everyone should get to participate in choosing the song. So make your choice by voting below. Site visitors (like you, Carno-man, and Josh’s co-workers in Europe) are free to vote too. Here are your choices:

1. Tumbling Dice, because there's a fever in the funkhouse now.

2. I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll because I want to 'lectrify my soul.

3. Take It Easy, because it's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.

4. New Year's Day because her name is Pussywillow Rose.

5. Dirty World because if you need your oil changed I'll do it for!

Follow this link to VOTE HERE


The RRCC Songbook

- Use the Comments button to nominate a song -

Beatles - Rocky Racoon
Dylan, Bob - It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Holly, Buddy - Rave On
Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel
Walker, Jerry Jeff - Rodeo Cowboy
Williams, Hank - Tennessee Border
Young, Neil - Powder Finger

Monday, June 19, 2006

Beer Accounting 101

It’s time to apply some hard numbers to the ongoing debate over how much beer to take on the canoe trips.

The Beer Auditor

Part 1: Beer for the River

Jim/Bob bought 12 cases of beer for the 12 members on the Spring 2006 trip, for a total of 288 or two grosses of beer. In case you thought only bottle rockets (see 100th Post, below) were bought by the gross.

The post-trip inventory showed 92 beers remaining. Therefore, we drank 196 beers (just over 8 cases) which equals 16 beers per member with a two beer margin of error for Foster’s oil cans, tall boys and spillage.

We will leave open for discussion at the post-trip dinner whether this data suggests a change in the number of beers we take in order to reduce the cooler-per-boat ratio. The 92 beers were declared surplus by the commissioner and disposed of by method of disposal number five (5).

Part 2: Beer for Post-Trip Banquet

We’ve also never before figured out a method that anyone can actually remember for assigning beer duties for “organizational meetings” and post-trip gatherings. From now on we’re dividing the members into verb and non-verb groups for an alternating method of supplying the beer we won't forget: if your name is a verb you will bring beer to Mike’s on Thursday. Next event the non-verb name members buy.

Bringing on June 22: Skip, Rob, Bob, Rob, Josh, Jack and Bill.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Parable of the Sidekick Truck Driver

The Liquor and Spirits editor from the paper got a special insider’s tour of our favorite whisky distillery. George Dickel is rolling out a fancy, high-end product called “Barrel Select” and invited Jim down to taste and report. The Master Distiller didn’t seem to mind when the RRCC truck pulled in behind Jim’s car gleefully waving a backstage pass.

Dickel or bust!

George Dickel sits outside a bend of the Duck River on Cascade Creek, which is both a tributary to the Duck and the water source for the distillery.

That means some of the water flowing by our kitchen on the island in November, 2005 almost became George Dickel whisky. And the George Dickel whisky we brought to the island got pissed out and sent on downstream right where it was headed all along. It just took a different path to get there.

Here is how they make it.

First, the waters of Cascade Creek are strained through the beard of an Old English Sheepdog.

Actually they run it through a bunch of Dr. Seuss vats and pipes.

Put it in some barrels.

And 10 years later...presto.

But a funny thing happened when we were leaving. Our tour guide was Dickel's yankee marketing exec from New York City, engineered for patio living. He spent most of his time kissing Jim’s ink-stained butt hoping for a good article. At the end, he conspicuosly instructed the Master Distiller to give the new, high-falutin’ George Dickel "Barrel Select" to Jim only, passing over the friend standing next to him in the office. He obviously was not aware of the influence the RRCC has on matters of style and taste and didn't think it was worth sharing any more than necessary. We're not worried because Jim always shares, but there's a cautionary tale about this in The Book that is right on point:

"I know a cedar-hill man who served as foreman on one of the new cleared ranches built by city men in that region. He was a good foreman and liked his job and liked his boss. An oilman who visited the ranch offered him twice his salary to come to Oklahoma and run a ranch that he had there. He turned it down. But finally, when the offer got to three times his salary and his wife was shoving him to think of the kids and even his current employer admitted –wryly – that he wouldn’t blame him in the least for going, he agreed. He called Buck Peebles, a slient wiry type who hauls cattle and household goods and Mexican shearers and goats and any thing else that’s willing to ride on his old truck and pay for the privilege. They loaded on the furniture and the kids and the wife, and drove 200 miles up to the new place.

The oilman was waiting for them, anxious that they like him. Good men are hard to come by. He was courtly to the wife and showed them their house, a stout and handsome one, two-storied with oaks around it and a fenced yard and a deep sweet -water well and a rich garden patch. He chucked the kids under their chins and called them by their right names, all five of them. The ranch itself spread velvet-grassed to the horizons, and below the house a flowing creek wandered, dammed at one point into a ten-acre lake stocked with fish, around which registered whitefaces and fat quarter horses gazed. The kids scattered like a flushed covey, shouting. The foreman listened and looked and tasted the water and kicked the garden’s loam with his toe and dug his thumbnail into the house’s hard coat of white paint, and said practically nothing. Finally they came out front again where Buck Peebles, unheeded by anyone upon arrival or now, was leaning against his truck’s fender and smoking a patent drug-store pipe and peeling, with a sharp stockman’s knife, the bark from a green oak switch.

“Might as well start moving in,” the owner said. “I’ll get somebody up here to help you.”

“I don’t know . . .” the foreman said.

The owner glanced up. “What’s the matter?” he said. “You don’t like the house? I’ll have it changed, any way you want.”

“Ain’t that,” the foreman said.

The oilman, unsettled, said he didn’t understand. He thought it was a pretty good ranch. He knew it was.

“Ain’t that,” the other man said. “Hit’s a hell of a sweet place and that’s flat true.”

“Well, what is it then?”

“Since you ast . . .” the foreman said without hostility, jerking his head toward the wordless, whittling shape of Buck Peebles: “Since you ast, I guess what’s the matter is I don’t want to work for nobody that’s too good to speak to no God-damn truck driver.”

And with a lift of his brows he moved his family back into and onto the truck, and Buck Peebles drove them the 200 miles back down to the cedar hills and the old job."

John Graves, Goodbye to a River, p. 198.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Money Matters

The total cost of the trip for twelve people was $1,369 or $114 per head.

Here's the breakdown and who writes checks to whom at the banquet. Josh, you might want to bring cash. Including lots of ones.

$378 food
$146 Lodge Cast Iron
$59 non-operating lantern
Total: $583, is owed $469 ($114 from Stuart, Bill, Chris and Mike; $13 from Josh)

$94 Jimmy Johns
$86 Harris Teeter
$102 Frugal's
Total $282, is owed $168 ($114 from Jeff, $54 from Josh)

$157 Friedman's
$12 Coffee
$ 50 Vandy trailer
Total $219, is owed $105 ($105 from Ronnie)

$140 cold beer
Total $140, is owed $26 ($26 from Josh)

$ 130 cold beer
Total $130, is owed $16 ($9 from Ronnie, $7 from Josh)

$15 smokes
Total $15, owes $99 ($13 to Rob, $54 to Tim, $26 to Bob, $7 to Jim)

($114 to Rob)

Willy Lee
($114 to Rob)

($114 to Rob)

($114 to Rob)

($114 to Tim)

($105 to Skip, $9 to Jim)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Goats on the Piney

Graves wrote about seeing them on the Brazos River on page 57....

"Goats, wild as deer…The herds of them mushroomed with the grassless drought and the Japanese market for mohair. Cattle went gaunt and were sold off, even cherished private herd-strains built up through forty years, but the Angoras stayed healthy on the tough bitter leaves of the oak brush. They are little trouble to own. If the screw worms eat one up, you are only out five dollars, and if he lives his hair pays that much every year. Some say they ruin land; some say not; I don’t know. They have yellow, wise, evil eyes, but also a self-sufficiency that I like and that our present blocky kinds of beef cattle have lost. Kowf! one says, reading your presence on the wind, and the whole bright hair-haloed herd goes twinkling off into the brush on sure legs."

We started up the bluff to catch this one for Greenfield’s initiation but she went twinkling off into the brush on sure legs.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Post No. 100

In celebration of the 100th entry on the RRCC web site, only one thing could be worthy:

The Rocket’s Red Glare

Banquet June 22

The Shore Cook has once again volunteered to host the post-trip dinner. It will be Thursday, June 22 at 7:00 pm. We’ll have the slide show from the trip, you can bring/claim misplaced gear and we’ll settle up accounts with those who owe or are owed.

Avoid all media relating to the World Cup that day because we’ll have a time-delayed replay of the match that morning between the U.S. and Ghana on Mike’s B.A.T.V. Anyone who discloses the score or suggests the outcome in any way has to clean the Big Daddy Skillet which still has a half inch of breakfast sausage grease in the bottom.