Oh. It’s on.

May 13, 2012

This may well mean war!


15 Responses to “Oh. It’s on.”

  1. shotgunner on May 13th, 2012 20:18


    I can smell the birria already!

  2. dave on May 13th, 2012 20:27

    WTF are they?

  3. Joshua on May 13th, 2012 22:45

    Those rams are beautiful! I’m with shotgunner, too: Birria time!

  4. Dan on May 14th, 2012 07:55

    Wow. You’ve got time before the 39th annual Brady goat cook-off in August.

    mmmm, that looks good.

  5. Phillip on May 14th, 2012 08:09

    I hear ya, fellas. Unfortunately, these belong to a neighbor who is taking full advantage of the fact that this is an Open Range county… I’m researching my options now, but it seems that natural predation is an acceptable risk for free-range grazers, no? So if, say, a lion ate an occasional kid, it’s to be expected?

    Seriously, I’d love to shoot every damned one of these things, but it looks like my hands are tied.

  6. Joshua on May 14th, 2012 09:28

    That’s some interesting private property laws there. They can range over your land and destroy and eat your private property, but you can’t defend it?

    Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Teksas.
    ; )

  7. Phillip on May 14th, 2012 11:04

    It’s sort of funny, considering the history of the range wars and the fencing of the West, that Texas is one of the states that still allows the open range concept (California still has open range laws too… although they’re more limited). Here it’s on a county-to-county basis, and then local law can trump the county rules. However, in the most rural areas, such as this place, there are pretty minimal restrictions on any of these things. That’s a mixed blessing. I can “defend” my property by fencing it, if I don’t want the animals grazing here. I can also, technically, sue my neighbor for the cost of erecting a fence… which I may still consider (although that’s a hell of a way for a newcomer to make friends in a small town). If they do real damage, I can sue in small claims court for recompense there, as well.

    The truth is, though, the real problem is that I’m not here all the time in order to chase the goats off when they show up. Once I’ve relocated full-time, I shouldn’t see as much of an incursion.

    And yes, Texas is a Republic. But it still beats the hell out of CA (especially where I think CA is headed with folks like Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris putting down roots in Sacramento). If having goats in my yard from time to time is my biggest complaint, I think I’ve got it pretty damned good here.

  8. David on May 14th, 2012 14:18

    “If having goats in my yard from time to time is my biggest complaint, I think I’ve got it pretty damned good here.”

    You got that right!

  9. Greg C on May 15th, 2012 10:41

    Have you met your neighbor yet?

  10. Phillip on May 15th, 2012 12:09

    This neighbor is not particularly approachable, and I’ve been advised by most of the other neighbors (and some friends in town) that he’s pretty much a jerk in general. When it comes to his goats, I’m certainly not the only one to have issue with him. The other neighbors have been told to pound sand, and if they don’t like his goats they can put up fences. He falls back on the Open Range law, but I’m guessing he’s counting on the other folks not to know the full provisions of the law (such as suing him for the cost of fencing). Since he’s also the local constable, no one really wants to get too far on his bad side.
    Small towns.
    It is as it ever was.

  11. Joshua on May 16th, 2012 10:06

    How many jerks did you have living next door whose pets got out and damaged your place here?

    Also, and I know I’ve said this before, (but you do some fine repeatin’, yourself): of course you’ve got a bad attitude about California, you lived in the Bay Area! And really, what’s worse: the spectre of politics that you may disagree with, or a de facto A-hole who feels he can encroach on your private property with impunity because he’s the local law? It would be sad to move to Tejas for the freedom only to find out you are under the thumb of a local tyrannical gubment.

  12. Phillip on May 16th, 2012 17:59

    Josh. It’s just some goats, brother. Not the end of the world or tyrannical oppression. They’re irritating from time to time. That’s all.

  13. Neil H on May 20th, 2012 08:20

    Joshua: Excellent point since Phillip lived in the east bay and worked in Oakland. Not the best way to get a warm fuzzy feeling about the place.

    However, he’s right, there’s always something. Anywhere.

    If he’s such a known quantity, how’d he get elected sheriff? Or is he just a deputy?

  14. Phillip on May 21st, 2012 08:24

    I think it’s worth pointing out a couple things here (might even be worth a post, if I had time to focus on it right now).

    First of all, despite living in the Bay Area, it’s not like I didn’t get to experience a whole lot of what CA has to offer. I’ve taken full advantage of much of it, from San Diego beaches to eastern Sierra high desert. I know what a beautiful state it is, whether it’s for hunting, fishing, or any other outdoor pursuits. Don’t think I don’t appreciate that.

    But I’m tired of driving three hours or more to spend an afternoon hunting. I’m tired of living in a place where you have to be fairly wealthy to afford a marginal piece of property. I don’t like the restrictive political nature of the place, but recognize that much of that is necessary because there are simply too many people there to govern any other way. I don’t like it, so I’m leaving it.

    I don’t quite get the defensive tone from Josh every time I mention leaving the state, or in listing my reasons for doing so. This isn’t a reflection on folks who like California. If you’re happy with it, that’s awesome. Good on ya.

    Finally, as to the constable, I believe it’s an appointed position, not elected. There are several levels of law enforcement in TX, and I don’t quite understand how they all relate. There is State Police and Highway Patrol, which is statewide of course. There are the Texas Rangers, also statewide. Then there are county sheriffs and deputies. There are city police. And there is the constabulary, which I think is a county position and assigned to precincts. In some cases, the constables are elected, but they can be appointed by County Commissions. Word has it that this particular constable is in the old boys network, and pending the coming election which (by all reports) will probably replace the old Sheriff, may be on the way out.

    It’s also worth noting that, while he may not be a great neighbor, he may very well be an excellent law enforcement officer. I don’t know. But for what it’s worth, I can look at things a little from his side too. When he bought out there, most of the place was wide open. He could range his goats at will with minimal conflict. “Outsiders” moved in on him. He feels the squeeze. I may not agree with his response, but I can empathize.

    I’ll also add that I haven’t had a run-in with the goats since I got back. Like I said before, it’s an occasional nuisance. Nothing more.

  15. Neil H on May 21st, 2012 19:06

    I think I know where you’re coming from Phillip. I feel it myself. I’m a fifth generation native though, and my heart is pretty firmly in Northern California. I can feel a tug in other directions sometimes. Oregon? Washington? I fear I can’t really be cured of being a westerner, and need to live within a couple hours of an ocean. Oddly though, I have a strange attraction to Vermont, though I’ve never been there. If I want to stay in my current business, I also need a pool of affluent people who value aesthetics enough to pay for our services.

    Yes there’s too many people here, many from other places that want to tell us what this place is about. Don’t get me started on the wacky feel good anti-second amendment laws that go through from time to time. The inane ideology that comes before reason. (I’d find the same thing from different angles in other places, like Texas cutting Thomas Jefferson out of their curriculum) So yes, I know what you mean, and I might feel it more if I wasn’t rooted in the very soil of this place.

    As to your constable? Yes, my family in some ways was him. We probably seemed like bristly old time hillbillies to the anti-hunting animal rights folks who tried a back to land experience in the 70’s over the hill from us, or the city family that bought up all the land around us and put in fancy gates and big houses. They’ve been there 30 years now, and have become pretty well known as locals.

    Even though I have a sweet spot to hunt pigs about 25 minutes from your job in Oakland, I also am astounded that if I happen to win the lottery to hunt elk in California it’s over $400 (!) for a RESIDENT elk tag. At least the odds are good if you draw. Oregon or Utah is less than $50, and that’s kind of an attraction to me.

    Hope you find a reasonable balance in Texas, and that’s the best you can do, anywhere.