Wednesday, March 23, 2005

March 23, 2005
Proof that we Americans are spoiled rotten. My whining about gas prices being at the unbelievable eye-gouging level of $2.10 a gallon, produced this response from my favorite Brit:

"$2.10 a gallon? True British West hearts bleed for you. Here, gas costs .829 of a British £ pound per litre -- or if you like, £3.7686 a gallon. At current exchange rates that's US $7.23. However, because an American gallon is only .8327 of a British gallon we need to make a small adjustment, so that if you were buying an American gallon at British prices you would ONLY be paying $6.02 a gallon. Keep those figures in mind next time you fill your tank."
—Fred Nolan

Also, here’s feedback on the Buffalo Bill poll in yesterday's blog:

"Very depressing to hear those Scottsdale stats about the Buffalo Bill Museum, but not surprising. While Scottsdale continues to officially carry the 'Most Western Town' banner, it's obvious that way too many folks have moved out there following the sun and forgetting the Western Heritage. They do everything possible to make Arizona just like 'back home'. This rant is not by an AZ native, but a angry Midwesterner who knows in the near future he will have to search high and low for the True West in Arizona on vacations and possible retirement.....Oh well....there is always Wyoming."
—Jim Ed

And here's a clarification on where Jim Clark of Tombstone got his trains:

"The last train used for 'Into the West' that you couldn't remember where it
came from—it was from Hill City, South Dakota."
—Jim Hatzell

Sometimes old coots call up and talk my ear off. Many times, especially if I'm on deadline, Samantha, Carole and Brittany will protect me and put the Long-Talkers into voicemail. This morning I had a message from a guy ranting on and on about "deception and fraud charges" on some John Wayne deal that had something to do with Captain Cook, #28 in the "upper right corner." Like that was any help to me. Some of these guys assume I know the magazine by heart, and have verified every page with my blood.

Occasionally I enjoy talking to them because they are so full of beans. Yesterday I was talking to an old cavalry guy and he was having a hard time hearing. As a way of explanation he grunted, "Too many guns, too many chainsaws." No matter how jaded you are, you have to love that.

Two guys from the BBC in the U.K. came in to talk to me this afternoon. They have spent the past five weeks touring around the West lining up interviews for a four part TV series they are producing on the American West. Several people they talked to in New Mexico recommended me (thanks Leon, Drew and Nora). Of course they are going to do the myth of the West, and then the Cowboy story. They told me that in Ireland a "cowboy builder," or a "cowboy plumber" is a total putdown. A "cowboy tradesman doesn't do a good job," is the connotation they told me matter of factly. Ouch!

Words are so fluid and ever changing. Think of Gay (as in Nineties), Mickey Mouse (as in, "that last paragraph was so Mickey Mouse."), roach, phat, bad, The only sure thing is that the words we use today won't mean the same thing in the future.

Eh, Mate?

"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape."
—Sue Lambert

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