Welcome to the CLOG Closet
The News Archive of Peter Lebeck
Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
From Christmas '15 Back to Valentine's Day '15
As Amended 12.24.15 -- By MGM
Happy and joyous holidays, fellow Cloggites! From your brothers here at PXL, may you and yours be blessed through this holiday season and throughout the New Year. 2015 was another great year for us as a chapter. We met new friends and brought in new Brothers, and we're hoping that with your continued participation we'll be able to carry our success into the coming year and beyond. So keep an eye on this space because whatever we can do to lift your spirits is always just around the corner, like our 2016 Widders' Ball, which you can learn more about by going to our dedicated Widders' Ball Page.
But before you go there, this is where, as Clogmaster, I face the usual seasonal conundrum. You see, if I just say "Happy Holidays," I'm likely to be accused of joining the "War on Christmas," when in fact I'm just embarrassed about being late with my post. Thanksgiving and Chanukah are over, Christmas is right on top of us and Kwanzaa is still a couple of holiday meal away. Which is how I like to spend my holidays -- eating my way through all of them. So I guess I can be accused of being a food agnostic, but really, who has a quarrel with all that good stuff to eat? It seems I barely get past the latkes, when I walk right into my first Honey Baked Ham, then the tamales, topped off with season ending plates full of casaba chile verde for my Chicano version of Kwanzaa Dinner. It's a bit confusing, don't you think? Especially when you have all those deserts layered in between. It's enough to make a redshirt hibernate until after the Spring Doin's.
So frankly, I just don't get the war on Christmas thing, though if there is a war it's usually best to be on the winning side, even if it is a bit wacky. This year there was that stink about Starbucks taking the snowflakes off of their holiday coffee cups. Go to a Starbucks and the barrista will pour you a cup of Joe in a red paper cup featuring the Starbucks green and white logo -- but NO snowflakes! How anti-Christmas is that? Can you imagine? NO SNOWFLAKES!
It became a real scandal in the eyes of some. You'd think Starbucks had gone out and torched a manger scene and eaten the barbequed jackass. Then I got to thinking. HEY, our typical red plastic beer cups don't have any snowflakes either! Might someone also accuse the brothers here at PXL of having joined the dark side of the War on Christmas?!
Well I set aside to remedy that, but frankly, I was unable to find any plastic beer cups with preprinted snowflakes. So I figured that to save our honor I'd just have to improvise, but unfortunately, what you see here was the best I could do. After all, Christmas is just around the corner, and the stores are full of more seasonally appropriate merchandise like light sabres and Storm Trooper uniforms. Now if I can only figure out how to drink the beer without dropping the snowflake on my foot it would be a Very Merry Christmas, indeed.
So keep an eye on this space, where we'll be sharing news about the many positive things been up to here at PXL along with details about the many good things to come. Until then, enjoy the season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!
To be continued…MGM
Posted 11.14.15 -- By MGM
The Brothers of the Peter Lebeck Chapter of E Clampus Vitus extend our condolences and express our solidarity with the People of France at this most unfortunate time in their history and ours. As we stand together let us not forget our place together on the ramparts of western civilization. Liberty, equality and fraternity forever! Vive la France!
Posted 11.9.15 -- By MGM
Hello fellow Cloggites, and welcome back to the PXL Clog. On behalf of our Humbug, Graybeards, and anyone else who thinks I owe them money, thanks for supporting the chapter by coming out for Clamp Okihi III, Red Neck'ed Pirates on the Kernibbean. I hope to have a full report up one of these days, with pictures to follow sometime after that, but as I'm always saying, this stuff takes time. I was actually thinking of asking the Humbug for a raise. Except that since he only pays me in eggs I'd probably have to pass on that. Eggs give me gas, and how many omelet can a Clamper properly propel?
Anyway, sorry for the bad yolk. But I do have some news worthy of discussion which I'll share with you along with my thoughts about our use of the web to promote our chapter and other Clamposophical things. But first let's get down to business.
PXL Humbug "Bulls Eye Jim" Bailey has called a general membership meeting and concurrent conclave of his Graybeards to discuss necessary corporate business for the upcoming Clampyear, as well as a rap-up on the chapter's progress during his tenure during 6020 (2015). Of utmost importance will be the appointment of officers and clampfunctionaires for 2016 (6021) by our Board of Graybeards, and preliminary financial reports by our Gold Dust Receiver and Hawker to the general membership. As usual comments and discussion will be encouraged from the floor.
All interested PXL members are invited to attend. It will be held this coming Saturday, November 14, 2015, at 10 a.m., rain or shine, at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant in Frazier Park, 3500 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA 93225. Phone: (661) 245-3628. Please arrive early as food service is available (and tasty), so bring a few bucks and a good appetite. La Sierra provides its backroom as a courtesy to PXL, so your patronage is important.
At the end of this meeting we shall table all motions essential to our bylaws and adjourn to the morning of the Widders' Ball for our official annual corporate meeting where final objections may be lodged and modifications made prior to the Board's final clampofficial decisiontry. All members are welcome to encouraged to attend both meetings.
The meeting will be brought to order by outgoing Humbug "Bulls Eye Jim" Bailey, sharply at 10:00 a.m. Following the flag salute the following Items will be up for discussion:
1. Reading and adoption of past minutes - Dale "Captain America" Turner.
2. Gold Dust Receiver's Annual and Fall Event financial reports - Luis "Vaquero" Bouza.
3. Hawker's Annual and Fall Event financial reports - Kevn "No Eye" Horton.
4. Grand Noble Recorder's Membership Report for 6020 Dale "Captain America" Turner.
5. Nomination of Humbug for 6021 - "Bulls Eye Jim" Bailey.
6. Proposed Officers and Clampfunctionaires for 6021 - Humbug Erectus.
8. Appointment of Two Person Audit Committee - Humbug Erectus.
9. Tentative Sites and Dates for Spring and Fall Doin's and 6021 Erection - Humbug Erectus.
10. Date of 6020 Widders' Ball and venue and menu issues - Humbug Erectus.
11. Election of Noble Grand Widder - Humbug Erectus.
12. New Business.
Now let's talk about Peter's Board. After being down about three weeks our message board is now back up. Originally installed back in July 2007, Peter's Board had been limping along for some time. Unlike the ECV Sandbox, Peter's Board is based on SMF's free bulletin board software. The board worked pretty well for years using version 1.X, but would crash periodically. The midnight elves at Lunarpages would help us fix it, and off we'd go again.
Then about a month ago it became clear that after eight years a complete rebuild was necessary. Parts of the board including the administrative control panel became locked and were completely unusable, so when it crashed about a week later, I decided to let it go. There were just too many other thing to do ahead of our fall Doin's to worry about it.
What took me by surprise was the number of complaints I got about the board being down. I even got the Humbug complaining that he was getting complaints. They were banging on 'ol Bulls Eye so hard that I think he was about to hire a professional consultant and pay for the work himself. The whole affair reminds me of that Simpsons episode where everyone is about to abandon town because the internet goes down.
So as it turns out this is the perfect time for me to make my annual pitch for help, though I think it's best to start where Clampers ought to start, with a history lesson. So here goes…
Back in 2005 our then Humbug Steve Born asked for help with his new PXL website. Steve was a high school science teacher, and he had set-up a website for our chapter on a server that offered a free homepage. The pattern graphics were provided by the server company, but the trade-off was that we had to put-up with third party ads. That was in the heydays of dial-up, and I think our free account was limited to 15 pages.
Steve's thoughts were to just get our presence out on the World Wide Web, mainly by posting our Doin's announcements along with some blather about who we were. Steve was also compiling a list of PXL plaques and thought that posting them would give us enough material to possibly justify a paid site in the future. We finally reached that point in 2007, when Humbug Don Johnson approved our contract with Lunarpages where we now maintain about 200 online pages as well as our message board and email services.
Believe it or not, back then there was quite a bit of hostility towards the idea of Clampers even being on the net. The late, great Jim "IRJR" Reynolds, the godfather of all ECV webmasters and what he called the "Cyberwhang," had to fight within Grand Council to use the ECV name and style on his websites, and he was even told flat out by a serious mucky-muck high in the ECV echelons that Clampers and the internet would never mix.
Obviously, that muck-muck lost the argument, IRJR got his way, and now the internet is integral to what we do here at PXL as it is at many other chapters. The problem is that maintaining a traditional website doesn't require a lot of money but it does take time and skills that are often sparse among the members of our order. For that reason Facebook has been a godsend to many chapters, and many have come to rely on it almost exclusively to get the word out. Gone are the days when home computers were a novelty, and in this age of the smart phone, redshirts are literally carrying around access to the web and email in their pockets.
Well Peter Lebeck also has a Facebook page with about 350 members, but it's only an adjunct to our good ol' fashioned, turn of the century, website. PXL uses Peter's Pages to keep our members up to date about our Doin's and allow them to sign up and pay electronically over the internet. The CLOG is posted to document our Clamping history as it occurs, and you'll also find information on our pages about our plaques, Humbugs, officers, members and past Doin's, as well as thousands of photographs.
Even our message board serves a purpose beyond what any Facebook page can do in that it logs and organizes discussions about our chapter that don't simply scroll off the page when crowded out by other posts. Our officers and functionaries have gotten used to using our group email accounts to plan and coordinate our activities. And we have a mass email list of about 400 addresses that we use to let our members know that we have something of interest to read up on.
What this has meant for me over the years is that the job of Cyberrecorder has morphed from writing a few pages to include web design, coding, journalism, photography, site maintenance and management, and even historical research. And since I'm also in charge of our Paypal interface, I even help a bit with the banking.
That's a lot of stuff, but I'm also not a complete control freak, and I don't expect to get rich or famous doing this stuff. As far as I know ECV has not bestowed any accolades on any Cyberrecorder. I hardly expect to be a nominated to be a Dumbillican or an ECV Proctor in this or any other lifetime because of what I do here. But the whole point as far as I'm concerned is to see our chapter grow stronger with quality members. Back when I took over the website we were hoping to attract 45 or more guys to a Doin's. Our just completed event had an attendance of 81, and we've been drawing 70+ of late. I'd like to think that our work on the web has helped to encourage and sustain that growth. PXL has never been a huge chapter, but we are as heathy and vibrant as ever thanks to the hard work of everyone involved. My hope is that our presence on the internet supports and further bonds our sense of Brotherhood.
Now please understand that I'm not bragging when I list all the thing required of a modern day Cyberrecorder. Well, maybe a little. But I've met guys in ECV who truly are experts in these various areas and who could run circles around me. So if I've mastered anything, it's knowing just enough to hopefully not embarrass myself. "A mile wide and an inch deep," could be my Clamper name, along with "Hey You," "Medium Green," and "One More Shot." The truth is that I'm always looking for Redshirts that can keep us at the top of our game because our best effort has to be a group effort.
This year we've had several brothers step up and help us out in the cyberrealm. XXNGH Timbo Gillespie has taken over the job of Clampcrier from Gene Duncker. You'll see Tim's reportage reflected not just on these pages but as publisher of our Peter's Procs Newsletter which is also available here online. Dale Turner, our Grand Noble Recorder, has been doing an excellent job enforcing deadlines and making sure our Doin's details are posted in a timely and accurate fashion. For instance, for the first time in memory, we were able to publish both our newsletter and our webpages two months ahead of our Fall Doin's thanks to these guys.
We are also fortunate to have a new Clampstorian on board. Al Price has been busy researching our plaques for a complete redo of our plaquing pages. He and his Widder Jayne have not only uncovered several lost PXL plaques, but Al is researching and writing new backgrounders on each of our erections which we hope to publish this coming year.
All these things are good starts as we head into 6021, but I'm still looking for guys willing to help and learn as they go. Graphics, photography, writing, coding, whatever suits your fancy. As I said there is always someone out there who can do it better than me and you may be the one, whether you know it right away or are willing to learn.
Redshirts around Clamperdom say good things about our website but the truth is that many of our pages have been up for years and could use a facelift or a redo. So here comes my wish list. Currently I'm looking for a photographer or two to document our Doin's, a message board manager to learn and edit the board, a couple of reporters and someone who can proof and code webpages as we convert to HTML 5.
So if you are interested I'd encourage you to click on over to Peter's Board and drop us a message. If you are interested there is still quite a bit to do over there. Including cleaning the place up and installing a new custom look with better functionality so maybe that is a job best left to you? See you at Saturday's Frazier Park Meeting. I recommend the Chiles Rellenos. They're the bomb.
Posted 10.9.15 -- By MGM
Dickhead Weather Central has provided an updated forecast for Clamp Okihi III, predicting highs in the mid-90's and lows in the mid-60's. Our favorite oracle also says that, "It doesn't get any better than that, Brothers!"
Well the truth is that you could just stay inside and breath in the air conditioning, but you'd surely be denying yourself the benefit of our special Clampout Aroma Therapy. It's highly recommended to cure what ails you, especially at night. We have plenty of evening activities planned to help you shake off the blues, and I personally recommend taking one of our Doin's as a tonic from that which will bitch, whine, moan, demand, complain, grind, vetch, harass and hound you during the day. (No ma'am … I was referring to his boss, honest!)
So come on down and relax. We'll even help you get lost. Laugh and hoist a few with the Brothers of that Piss Poor Bear Wrassler, Peter Lebeck. You won't regret it and you'll thank me and send me flowers and a million dollars' worth of gratitude when you do.
See you when you get here, or write at you when we get back. We'll even leave a light on for you.
Posted 10.5.15 -- By MGM and Dale Turner
The prepay discount window has closed. If you came here looking for information about this weekend's Clamp Okihi III, you've come to the right place. Just read on to the next post below for what you'll need, but first, this watch report from our Grand Noble Recorder who seems to be doing a bit of moonlighting these Days:
Ahoy, ye Scallywags!
As of eight bells, the Crimson Pirate has ordered the cog to bring a spring upon her cable and prepare to drop anchor to the windward side of the Isle o' Kern. Sixty-seven Redneck'ed Pirates along with twelve Bilge Rats - seventy-nine in all - will be ashore to man the gangplank of the Red Cobra. For soon she'll be droppin' anchor on the shores of the Kernibbean where we'll be passing Nelson's folly and many another serious Clap of Thunder seldom heard in these parts!
So mark me words and leave yer musket and cutlass on the floor of yer wench's chamber or be fallin' to the wrath of a flogging, or worse, for you'll surely be walkin' the plank.
Heave to, me Redneck'ed mateys, and watch the spectacle that awaits ye!
For them Bilge Rats will be feelin' the hempen halter and be doing the dance with Jack Ketch that all but the rats will remember. For dead men tell no tales, and Clampers leave no Brothers behind!
Calm seas and fair weather to ye. 'Til me sees ye at the landing of the Red Cobra!
Dale "Top of the Mast" Turner,
PXL Purser's Mate 1st Class
I'm not sure what that all means, but it sounds serious. Still I don't think he's saying that you can't pay at the door or sign-up and pay electronically. So if you missed our not so early registration you can still come on by. We have room for a few more. It's less than a Spanish Gold ounce to get in, and a bargain at any price, but if you are coming, a courtesy email to our GNR letting us know to expect you would be appreciated. We still have to provision our larder, email@example.com.
Posted 10.3.15 -- By MGM
ARGHH -- Me Brothers! Time for a little last minute CLOGINESS, says aye! For the Peter Lebeck Fall Doin's is but a few days away, and I need to fill you in on a few important reminders if you want to avoid walkin' the plank, being keel hauled, or be caught with ye britches down an' kissin' the gunner's daughter.
This is going to be a very special weekend that you won't want to miss so make sure to get your rub in before the deadline. In fact this is so important that "Bulls-Eye Jim" Bailey, our Humbug extraordinaire, has ordered me to extend the prepay deadline through this weekend. He's a nice guy, and he doesn't want you to miss out, but if those pieces of eight aren't in our coffers by Monday's mail call, expect to pay an extra $10 at the door - no exceptions! Use snail mail or Paypal, but whatever you do, please let us know that you are coming or you could find yourself eating gruel along with the galley slaves - and believe me, they smell really, really bad.
Now here's a few last minute survival notes to keep you from crossing swords with the Crimson Pirate:
Gates at Clamp Okihi open at 10 a.m. Friday morning. No early arrivals for this one. If you need a hotel room in Bakersfield for Thursday night, call Jim Bailey at (661) 747-6173, JBBC1500@gmail.com. You'll get a discount but space is limited so call right away.
We've divided the site into a quiet side and a party side, so let our Clampshostrix know your preference and he'll direct you as to where to park your rig or pitch your tent. We only ask that you not spoil the guy. No bribes! Tip at your own risk. Scoobie snacks are OK. But please, don't fall for any of his shenanigans because parking is free so long as you pay your rub. It's $65.00 per hour if you don't.
If you haven't figured this out already for yourself, I'll let you in on the secret…we've got a pirate theme going on! And while you aren't required to dress up, you are encouraged to be creative and join in the fun. Remember that at PXL our thing is to feed you well all weekend, but this time you won't need a grub stub - but you will need an eye patch - so make sure to pick yours up during early check-in on Friday.
Now here are Mikee's words to the wise. Ignore them at your own risk!
Number 1 -- no drowning. Given the drought, there probably isn't enough water in the Kern River to accomplish that anyway, but we do ask you to be careful. If you have your mind on fishing, expect the fish to ignore you unless you already know them by their first names and want to say "Hi!" A fishing license is requires if you want to dip your pole.
Number 2 -- We're expecting great weather and no rain for the weekend, but honestly? Wouldn't you rather have it rain?
Number 3 -- Leave the burn barrels at home, but do bring fire wood to feed the ancient communal fire rings left by the Paleo-Bakerites who used to live in the park. Most of Clamp Okihi is well lit at night but you should bring your own drinking water and something to cut it with to avoid getting water logged. PXL is a BYOB chapter, though sharing never seems to be a problem around here.
Number 4 -- Get ready to participate in Friday night's fun. Come 5 p.m., our Veterans' Committee will be serving Frankie Bergolio's Favorite Pirate Pasta slathered with our Brother Timbo's spicy secret red sauce. But don't think you're getting off Scott free just because dinner is included in your rub, because Friday night is party night! So get involved in our Best Red Neck'ed T-Shirt Contest, our Grog-Off, Karaoke and Open Mike fun. And remember, PBCs are invited to hang with the Brothers on Friday -- we'll even have a special dispensation from Frankie to let them eat the RED sauce -- but all PBCs must check in with the Hangman upon entry -- even retreads!
Remember -- PXL does not tolerate PBC harassment. His heart may belong to you, but his hiney belongs to our Hangman until he's either red or gone. All PBCs will be expected to perform for the assembled Brethren on Friday Night, recite their prepared history lesson on Saturday and proffer a most efficacious bribe of the liquid variety to the assemble Brethren when the time comes, but touching by the Brethren is not allowed!
Number 5 -- Don't forget the BACON! Or any other breakfast meat or goodies you'd like to contribute to Saturday morning's Graybeards' Potluck breakfast - except eggs. We've got plenty of those and your PBC will be crackin'em starting at 5 a.m. Saturday Morning - something we consider a most excellent way to test a candidates sense of humor and oral hygiene. Let us know what you brought when you arrive (PBC or dead meat -- perhaps I'm being redundant there?) so we can put your contribution on ice either until we can cook it or we can turn it over to the coroner.
Number 6 -- Contribute a little something to help support the work of our chapter. Visit the Hawker store where we'll have Clamp Okihi III T-shirts available in limited quantities. We're also asking for donations of whatever scrap brass you may have lying around the garage. We'll need it to send XNGH Charles Topping back to the smelter to show off his talents. His latest creation is a new official PXL belt buckle featuring the Lebeck Oak and an "X" bear reminiscent of Walt Stewart's original design from 50 years ago. This is a unique item that you won't be able to get from anyone but us. See our Hawker Kevn "No Eye" Horton if you'd like to purchase one of "The Charles's" first editions of our belt buckle at a very special price.
Number 7 -- As always, we are most appreciative of whatever items you'd like to donate for Saturday's raffle so thank you in advance. This time around we will be celebrating our late Brother XNGH Dale Charter, who left us for the Golden Hills in 2012. His Widder Marti has given us several special items of Doc's Clamping memorabilia for auction, so bring a few extra bucks for the kitty. The proceeds will go to the Chapter's general fund. Thanks, Marti. This should invoke good memories from all of us.
Number 8 -- Don't forget to bring toiletries and kiddy items to help out the women's shelter in Bakersfield. Small travel sizes are good, as are coloring books, crayons and school supplies. These are for women and children who have been homeless or have had to leave their home at great personal risk so please be generous. See XNGH Don Johnson who will collect you contributions.
Number 9 -- Don't forget to bring yourself. It won't be the same without you. See you Friday.
Posted 9.3.15 -- By MGM
Just a quick note with which to CLOG your day with a couple more errant pieces of information -- and misinformation as well. We'll let you decide which are which. First off, Widders not in Labor is still on for this weekend. It's free and you and your non-clamping compadres and comadres and their little ones are welcome. So bring an RV or a tent to clamp in the mountains south of Isabella. For more information read down into our last post. The weather should be sunny throughout the weekend and be mostly in the low eighties during the day, but keep in mind that the mountains can be chilly at night so bring an extra blanket just to be safe.
Many of you remember our good friend and Clamper Brother, Frankie Bergolio from his visit with us at Walker Basin a couple of years back. How we got to know Frankie really was a trip. Like all chapters, we card Clampers we haven't met before and that was the case with Frankie. Actually we had never met or seen anybody like him. He pulled out this old yellow ID card from some weird chapter. I think it was the "AMDG Chapter #1478." He told us he had come in with Jerry Brown, though he also told us not to bother calling the governor because Uncle Jerry would likely deny it.
Anyway none of us had ever hear of AMDG #1478, so Frankie offered to retread, but given the white cassock and all, none of us had the heart to take him up on it. He said that bolero jacket was what some mean guys in his chapter made him wear when they took away his redshirt. We suspected at the time that that was some weird Humbug initiation; but he was such an unassuming guy we never pressed him on it. We voted to let him stay, and because he turned out to be a real sport and a great guy we've been hoping he'd come back and join us on a regular basis.
Unfortunately that isn't going to happen this year. It turns out that little white jacket was a bigger deal than we thought.
Hola mis Hermamos,
It makes me sad to have to tell you this, but I will not be able to make it out to Clamp Okihi this October 9-11. I know we talked about, and you all know that I really wanted to come out to Bakersfield to be with my "hermanos del pobre luchador que perdió contra el oso" but duty calls and I'm going to be extra busy this month meeting lots of nice Americans in places like Philadelphia and Washington, and I really can't stretch my plans into October as much as I would like to visit with all of you. A pope's gotta do what a pope's gotta do, you know. And if not me, who else in Roma is gonna go out on the balcony to bless the crowds, take out the garbage on trash day, and do all those other things I really don't want to dump on the camerlengo?
So pardon me my dear friends for having to hurry back, and forgive me again for missing out on such a special weekend. Bull's Eye said Dale and the PXL Veterans' Squad is going to serve my favorite pasta for dinner on Friday night, with much talent and singing and celebrating to follow. Timbo's barbequed Rib Eyes are the best (Argetinos saben, ¿Qué No?), and I even hear there is a mohel coming that does magic tricks and has a mysterious expanding suitcase. ¡Oy!
What a good time it's going to be for all of you. I really wish I could be there. So please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and I'll keep doing my best to make the world a more satisfactory place. It's the Clamper way. Our way, you know.
Frankie "Pancho Pampas" Bergolio, S.J., XPBC
P.S - Gene, where would you like me to return the Apron?
Well Frankie may not be able to come but you certainly can. We still have room and we'd love to have you. To register, just go to our Doin's Page to download the flyer, then either register online or by mail. You can even use Paypal to pay by credit card.
Okihi is a great place to Clamp. We'll feed you all through the weekend, featuring our Veterans' Pasta Presentation on Friday night and Rib Eye Steak Dinner on Saturday, with lots of fun things for you to do around and in between including the infamous CLONG SHOW, Karaoke, libations contest, Graybeard's Exam, raffle and whatever else will be suiting our fancy, all for one low price. And don' forget, if you come dressed as a pirate, we'll all think you're really cool, and won't criticize your broken English!
Want to contribute? If you are one of our regular members (that is someone who hangs out with us at least one a year, an associate member or an "I spilled a pint of blood and still have the road rash and tire marks" member), we have a few guys coming who would like to retread and need sponsors who would be willing to introduce them to our chapter's ways and to stand up for them during the dreaded Graybeards' Examination. If you'd like to help, drop Stagecoach an email at AndrewVialpando67@yahoo.com or give him a call (805) 651-4747. You're help will go a long way towards strengthening the brotherhood.
Of course we are always looking for donations for Saturday night's raffle, as well as toiletries, school supplies and other items for the women's shelter in Bakersfield, but we are adding another category this time around. PXL is having a brass scrap drive. You see The Charles is creating a new belt buckle exclusively for the Brothers of PXL, and you can help us keep the cost down by donating your scrap brass to the cause. What's brass you ask? Well it's that yellow metal stuff you may have lying around the garage after replacing an old valve or regulator on your house or sprinkler system. Old style metal sprinkler heads, hose bibs and keys work too! Bring it by and you can help us buckle our swash.
I've also heard rumors that our Hawker will be selling a special Crimson Pirate T-shirt and commemorative event coin. These are so special there will be no pre-sales. You'll just have to come by and take your chances, first come first served. If you're interested, bring an extra doubloon or two and cruise by the Hawker's tent to scratch your itch.
That's all for now, me buck-os! Peace out!
Posted 8.29.15 -- By Hole (with help from MGM)
"WnILD" -- A family and friends friendly event, where dudes do the work and their Widders get the treatment. Kids and non-red-shirted friends are most welcome!
If you're wondering if this year's "Widders Not in Labor" Day event is still on, it is. Donny and Jeanie Johnson are sponsoring WnILD 2015 over Labor Day weekend at Wes and Janet Kutzner's Bald Eagle Ranch, situated in the mountains north of Walker Basin and south of Lake Isabella. You'll be in Peter Lebeck Territory and all are welcome. This is a family and friends friendly event. So do bring your buddies, kids, tents and RVs for the weekend. No red shirts required. The Widder, me, and Jack are heading up on Friday, September 4th to join in the fun.
For those of you who want to check-out the sights, we are planning a History and shopping tour on Saturday to Kernville and back, with stops along the way that you won't want to miss.
The basic directions for this year's WnILD event are for you to get to the crossroads at 4100 Caliente-Bodfish Road, where you'll find the entrance to the Bald Eagle Ranch. Mapquest or Google maps will show you. You'll technically be in "Caliente," but that's just the name of a big, sprawling postal zone so don't be misled or you'll risk getting lost.
These are the specific details … From Bakersfield, take Hwy 178 north towards Lake Isabella. After you come out of Kern River Canyon and get into town take the Bodfish exit (exit 42) and turn right at the bottom of the ramp. Go to the stop sign at Lake Isabella Blvd and hang another right. Follow the road up over the mountain 6 miles. At the 6 mile point, just after the curve to the right, divert off the paved road onto the dirt road on your right. Turn right onto Eagle Ranch Rd. Close the gate behind you. We should be visible in the area past the house, after the road veers to the right.
You can also come in from the south from Highway 58 by taking the Caliente exit, but you'll have to look that route up on a map. Be aware that this route is shorter but steep, narrow, and more-curvy than the other route from the North.
Weather forecast is low 90's, so it looks like we're going to avoid triple digits this year! Pass the word! For more send me an email at Russ.Hole@Yahoo.com, or just give me a call, (805) 423-1276.
- - Hole der 1st
Posted 7.12.15 -- By MGM and NGH Bulls Eye Jim
Welcome back, fellow Cloggites to the next grand and glorious edition of the PXL CLOG. There's plenty of news to report, including our upcoming Fall Doin's, current chapter news, and much belated stuff about our Spring Event at Fort Tejon, Grand Council and so forth. But first I gotta give the floor over to our Humbug 'cuz he's still the HMFIC, and what he says goes! So without further ado, here's our Humbug, "Bulls Eye Jim" Bailey.
Hopefully y'all are finding ways to stay cool in the heat. Here in Bakersfield we recently topped out at a sizzling 105 degrees. The good news is that if the power goes out, I can keep my doors open at the Broken Yolk Café because in this heat eggs will fry outside. The bad news - OSHA and the health department frown on frying eggs on the sidewalk, even in this redneck town.
Scrambled eggs aside, we've had some good things going on here within PXL. Al "Tarzan" Price is working diligently as our new co-Clamp Historian. He's been updating our PBC handbook with some more and better questions to put the new guys to the test, assuming they make it that far. You know a PBC is like a teenage boy, young, dumb and full of … well, sh*t.
I'd like to send a special thank you to our Uber Clampatriarch, Gene "Dickhead" Duncker for filling in for me at Grand Council. I was unable to attend due to egg cooking duty at the Broken Yolk where since opening in April we've actually served over 250,000 eggs. So thanks Dickhead for taking the reins and represented us in perfect Clamper fashion by giving our state of the chapter report to the assembled Graybeards at Grand Council.
On the Admin side, Dale "Captain America" Turner and Russ "Hole" Chapman have been updating our PXL Cookbook to better illustrate the duties of the respective officer positions. VNGH Luis Bouza and I have it under review, and we can say that it is nearly ready for distribution to our Greybeards for input.
I encourage anyone who is able, to take on a roll that will help our chapter move forward. As I have said before, if everyone just shows up for the party then eventually the party won't be there. To stay vibrant we need more guys to step up and take on some of the work we need to get 'er done, whether it's working on our Clampouts, our historical erections or our internet pages. I know work and life gets in the way, but no sympathy from me. We have lots of guys that have done these jobs and are just a phone call away to give assistance. Guys who have stepped up to help in the past had work and life commitments as well. I'm not trying to hound anyone or put anyone down, I just want to see Peter Lebeck continue to grow and to know it will continue to grow in the future.
Now on to the fun part of us Clampers doing what we do best, Clamp. As many of you know we are headed to Clamp Okihi on the Kern River for our Fall 2015 Doin's, October 9-11. Given the California drought and hot summer we've been experiencing there is no guarantee that we'll have water in the river. There is however a guarantee of a great time getting our Clamp on. We will have the best food in Clamperdom and some of the best camaraderie one could ask for just hanging out with the Brothers of PXL. We are working diligently on the schedule and what we have planned is guaranteed by me to bring a smile to even the grumpiest of Clampers. So heave to and stay tuned as Peter Lebeck presents, "Clamp Okihi III - Redneck'ed Pirates on the Kernibbean." Just click on the Fall Doin's link in the navigation box on the upper left to get all the information you'll need to partake in the festivities. You can download the flyer for good old fashioned snail mail registration, as well as electronic registration and payment over the internet. Just make sure you sign up by the prepay deadline to avoid the gate tax, and I know just how much rednecks hate taxes. More later, and see you at Okihi!
-- "Bulls Eye Jim"
So if you are wondering where the heck he got that name, well we actually took a vote at the Spring Doin's to rename the Humbug, and the Brothers in attendance decided to rename him "Bulls Eye." Gone are all the references to TV and movie horses, though "Pokey" came in a close second. But since most of the guys figured that the first time they called Jim's Widder "Gumby" she'd put them in the hospital, Jim quickly became "Bulls Eye" as a most prudent choice. Now the question is, what are we going to call his Widder? She's already named after one of our favorite libations, so should we give her a pass? I know our Brothers from Platrix would likely dub her "Brandi Alexadra." but we won't do that. 'Nuf sed.
As for the rest of the Spring Doin's News…anyone who hasn't seen the pictures should check out the display I put on Peter's Picture Pages. Only half of what I took survived the cull, but you ought to be satisfied with at least something in the 347 pictures you'll find posted on line. As usual just ask if you'd like me to send you a jpg suitable for framing compliments of PXL. I've actually had guys ask for copies complete with metadata so they could prove to their Widders that they were sleeping with guys instead of sleeping around … which statistically should be a good excuse about 90% of the time.
Anyway as many of you know, Jim did have some issues being on site 100% of the time due to his need to crack eggs down at the newly opened Broken Yolk Café in Bakersfield, but VNGH Luis Bouza did fine when asked to step into the breach. Assuming Luis makes it into the big boy chair next year, I can't wait to see his plans for the chapter in 6021.
In the end I think most everyone went home happy from Fort Tejon. There was one guy who got miffed for not getting the full nighttime benefit of his 1000 watts of stereo power. That noise ended in a hurry. Then there was the minor uprising by some senior Graybeards who were so impressed by Park Interpreter Sean Malis's presentation on Fort Tejon that they inducted him on the spot by "executive decision." Which is quite curious because our Humbug wasn't there to sign his sheepskin. But all in all I think most chapters would be happy to have our problems. The bottom line is that we had a great group of guys come on up and we want to thank each and every one of them for celebrating with us.
Our total attendance for the weekend was 76, the weather was fine and the camaraderie was even better. The larger than average gate also brought in something extra towards next year's plaquing projects. Most of the time we break about even on admissions and count on our Hawker to pick pockets in a brotherly fashion, so the extra support is much appreciated by everyone here. It's also great to see many of our old friends and to make new ones.
So going into the fall we're very comfortable about the chapter's finances, but as Bulls Eye Jim points out, it takes more than money to run a chapter. It also takes time and talent, and we're always in need of Brothers to step up and help out. Jim talks about the party not being there, but we aspire to be a true historical chapter, and that takes more than just giving up an occasional weekend to work a Clampout. But more on that later because right now I do want to hype the party.
For our Fall Doin's we're going back to Clamp Okihi, north of Bakersfield, on October 9-11, 2015. We're designating this one, "OKIHI III," because we've been there twice before and hope to see it happen again. We're also giving it a pirate motif, and christening it, "Redneck'ed Pirates on the Kernibbean." That isn't to say that you have to take off all your clothes, but Pirates in the movies weren't known for wearing a whole lot of drapery, and if you were Burt Lancaster, why would you? But if you're a Clamper, probably not so much. So yeah, you can keep your shirt on.
While neck'ed isn't the order of the day, you are encouraged to contribute to the CQA of our event by donning pirate accessories, adding touches of hillbilly or donning a combination of both. Our Humbug is hosting both a cocktail and redneck t-shirt contest on Friday night, followed by an open mic and karaoke experience that you won't want to miss, propelled by our own Carlos "Spinner" Lemus. Our Veterans' Committee, lead by GNR Dale "Captain America" Turner, is hosting Friday Night's free fooding, and as usual Brother Timbo will make sure you're properly stuffed and ready to go by Sunday morning, plus a whole bunch of other stuffing stuff in between...all for one low price.
As those of you who've joined us there in the past already know, Clamp Okihi is one of the best weekend venues in all of Clamperdom. We've set up several special web page so you can read all about it. So check out our Humbug's Invite, a description of the coming hijinks on the Okihi III page, and get the flyer, schedule, map, PBC Handbook and other particulars on our electronic registration page where you can sign-up and pay over the internet if you are so inclined. We have room for over 100 Clampers and PBCs, so if you have yet to experience a PXL weekend Doin's, Clamp Okihi III would be a great time to get to know us.
Now on to Chapter news.
Much thanks to our Brothers and PXL Circus Masters, Dave Staley and Fred Fenski for their work on "Pole in the Hole," on Saturday, May 9, 2015. For those of you who haven't bookmarked Peter Lebeck on Facebook, the boys from Bedrock (aka Frazier Park) wanted to follow-up on our 2013 designation of Sue's Tavern as an Official ECV Watering Hole, so they came up with the idea of planting a flag pole in front of Sue's which would be visible throughout most of Frazier Park, and where Old Glory and our ECV banner would be prominently on display. The guys took up a collection from the Brethren which covered most of the materials, but there was still the matter of digging a pretty big hole and waiting for the Kern County building inspector to show up and approve construction.
For those of you who think that planting a 40 foot flag pole is more of a poke and less of a dig, think again. Anchoring that pole in front of Sues' is a three foot cube of concrete. That's a yard, or forty-five 80 pound bags, all mixed and poured by hand by a couple of guys who still have to work for a living. Brother, can you say sore?
Anyway by the time the guys got the go-ahead from the inspector they had little time to waste, hence the short notice. Even I couldn't make it out there, though I did manage to put out an APB announcement over the internet. Despite short notice, we still had about twenty Redshirts and their Widders come up and celebrate. They even got a surprise visit from three CHP motor cops. That's normally not a good thing when you're hanging out at the town pub, but in this case it was our friend and Brother XNGH Scott "Scooter Trash" Wall from Bodie, and two of his CHP colleagues. It was all and all a fine and most satisfactory afternoon, just don't expect the guys to do it again.
For those of you who fondly remember our Brother Doc Charter, who left us for the Golden Hills in 2012, his Widder Marti will be donating some of Doc's Clamper memorabilia to be auctioned off after Saturday night's raffle at Clamp Okihi. Among the anticipated items are Doc's Hat and a red blanket similar to his prized red capote. If you'd like a keepsake by which to remember Doc, bring a little something extra for the kitty. All proceeds go to the chapter's general fund.
On a cheerier note, I'd like bring up our Historian, Al "Tarzan" Price, who's joined forces with his Widder Jayne, and XNGH Historian Emeritus Chris Brewer, to complete our plaquing history and the history supporting our erections. Some years ago, when I first joined the website, XNGH Steve Born had begun to reconstruct a list of our plaques, and over time I was able to correct and add to this list. I posted everything I could find to our PXL Plaquing Pages, but I've always suspected that some plaques were still out there, unaccounted for; moreover much of the history behind these erections had been lost, and I had no way to put it all back together.
Enter Al, Jayne and the Walker House Library in Kernville. As most of you know, both Al and Jayne are amateur historians, and Jayne has earned her own chops, having worked her way to Vice President of the Kern County Historical Society.
Over the years both of our friends have made good use of the Walker House collection which is jam-packed with source material on local history. When I asked Al to help us update our website by researching our plaques and providing historical background on all of them, he agreed. What I didn't expect was the kind of enthusiasm with which both Al and his Widder would put into the project. Next thing I knew Al and Jayne are out driving around pinpointing every plaque on the list and looking for more. Chris of course is another great resource, being an award winning professional historian and great-great grandson of Colonel Baker himself, so having the three of them working on this kind of stuff is a real benefit to the chapter.
So here's where it gets interesting. According to Al (and here's his list), out of 53 terms, there were 24 years for which no plaques had yet been discovered - and then the Prices discovered one -- or maybe three? It turns out that PXL Brother J. Corlew, owner of Silver City Ghosttown in Bodfish, had an orphaned PXL plaque that someone had given him bearing the date "1979." That would have placed it in the term of XNGH John McAteer, when Chris would have been his Vice Humbug. There is a reference to this plaque on the "Historical Marker Database" at HMDB.org, suggesting that it had been put up, but according to Chris, the plaque was never mounted because it was inaccurate. Colonel Baker never built a "primitive residence" anywhere in Bakersfield. What he did do was buy a reed hut as his first home on Kern Island and later added on to it. Chris objected to the plaque's accuracy, and because of his status within the Baker Family the Graybeards reluctantly withdrew the plaque. So much for that.
Al and Jayne also rediscovered a plaque that had been rumored to be at Bakersfield High School and which turned out to be hiding in plain sight. Several years ago, after hearing first hand accounts about the erection of this monument many years ago, we sent a couple of XNGHs over to the school to look. They spoke to the school's principal and came back with a "solid confirmation" that that plaque did not exist. So, so much for that, too. And oh, yeah. This monument was erected during Chris's year as Humbug, 1980, so go figure.
Finally the Prices tracked down a third plaque. This one stands proudly at Granite Station. It's from 1981, is in great shape and fills in the bubble for XNGH Bud Bradford. So Kudos to the Price's for this one. The next hurdle will be to update our plaquing pages, which I haven't done for a few years. Expect these new plaques to be added along with others that we've erected since 2010, along with new histories to complement our erections, and thanks to all three of our three historians for that.
So the next question becomes, "What are we to do with the McAteer plaque?" And so far the consensus is to melt it down to create a new style Peter Lebeck belt buckle. And that brings us to the latest and greatest "News of the Charles."
If you've followed the CLOG, you already know that our XNGH Charles Topping is a Master of Fine Arts, and he is known for his spectacular pin designs which have included Clamper pin of the year. Well Charles has offered to create a new Peter Lebeck belt buckle for us using the old McAteer plaque as raw material. In fact, you can help the chapter by donating any old scrap brass or bronze you have lying around. If you don't know what that is it's that yellow metal used to make sprinkler valves and water regulators. Bring it with you to the next Doin's and Charles will repurpose your donation to serve the cause of PXL. With Charles in charge, our new belt buckle design will be the envy of all Clamperdom.
Charles also has his hands in something of interest to everyone who has followed the saga of our Road's End erection from 2005 under XNGH Steve Born. Back then we received permission from the forest service to create a monument along Mountain Road 99 above Kernville, but we had to adhere to some very strict guidelines that required us to mount the plaque to a "natural feature." That translated into gluing the plaque to a rock lying on the ground. The result was that some years later, the plaque was shattered, probably by someone running over it with a 4X4 or backing into it with a bumper.
Well the attitude of the forest service has changed a lot from ten years ago, and our Road's End Plaque may be about to be resurrected and remounted in a more traditional monument form. With the blessings of the forest service which has woken up to the value of interpretive efforts like ours, Charles is working with a local group that would like to restore our Road's End plaque. That may require us to pitch in at some point to build a monument, but this time we won't be alone.
I know some guys hate driving that narrow mountain road, but I can see us possibly going back up to Camp Whitsett to celebrate a reerection of the Road's End plaque. Now, if we can only convince the Boy Scouts not to pull the plug on Lake Ida maybe next time we might even get to go for a swim.
Finally a few chapter notes mostly of the shorter variety.
We are trying to get an early start on our promotion of our Fall Doin's so that everyone who may be interested will get the word before their Clamping card is filled for the fall. So please, even if you don't register right away, download the flyer now, and don't forget to print out the Doin's announcement and pass it around as you wander about Clamperdom. For as Hole likes to say, "We shouldn't just be Clamping in place. We all need to be getting around." (Actually he didn't really say that, but I bet he would if I asked him to). So please, if you haven't visited elsewhere just remember that a whole big beautiful world of Clamping awaits. Besides you may learn something new that could help good ol' P-X-L.
If you feel shy about visiting elsewhere, you're always welcome to tag along with our Hawker, Kevn "No Eye" Horton who appreciates help from his Lebeckian Brothers. No Eye has been working hard to advance the interests of the chapter and most recently has taken the store to Grand Council, Platrix and 395, where he came back with a few bucks and some new items for you to peruse at our Hawker's tent.
No Eye is also working on a new event T-Shirt for Okihi III. It isn't quite ready yet, but don't let that stop you from signing-up for our next Clamp. As soon as No Eye's finalized the design we'll let you know so you can come back and order by way of PayPal, or by just mailing us a check.
Our Humbug and Vice Humbug were unable to make it to Grand Council this past May, so the chapter was represented at the big meeting by Gene "Dickhead" Duncker, PXP, who reported on this spring's Plaquapalooza and the passing of our Brother Mikey "Maggot" Ralles to the Golden Hills.
Rounding out the bunch who went to Grand Council were XNGH Joe "Roadrunner" Szot, XNGH Don "Sawdust" Johnson and his Widder Jeanie, GNR Dale "Captain America" Turner, Jim Mann, and Super Hawker Kevn "No Eye" Horton and his Widder Kelli. The big news from GC is the promulgation of a new, more robust PBC Initiation Standard. But wait! There's more! And you can read all about it in Dale's "After Action" Grand Council Report.
We are pleased to announce that this year's Sublime Noble Grand Humbug is Jim "Hightower" Waterman. Brian Nash, who was named to the office of "He Who Shall Remain Nameless," is the Proctor assigned to our chapter. Finally congratulations are in order to our friend Mike "Smitty" Smith aka "Dr. Coleman," who was named Clamper of the Year. Many of you know Smitty as the Brother who edits the Flatlander II.
Lastly a shout out to our Brothers at Platrix for their respectful request to Clamp in our territory and for their generous bribe, which included admission and the chance to bring our store to their Spring Doin's. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated by our Brothers who attended, and on behalf of our Humbug and Graybeards, we'd again like to thank our Brothers from Platrix for their friendship and support. It's been most Satisfactory.
Until next time, peace out!
Posted 6.19.15 -- By MGM
Bear with us. We getting our webpages ready for our upcoming Fall Doin's -- Clamp Okihi III. So check back in a few days and ignore the old and broken links for now, for they say that even the best omlette starts with a few broken eggs. We suspect that our Humbug will have something to say about that real soon, right after he wipes the egg off of his face.
Posted 5.6.15 -- By MGM
Come raise the flag, and a tankard or two, with PXL Circus Masters Dave Staley and Fred Fenski as they dedicate Bedrock's signature flag pole at Sue's Tavern in Frazier Park on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 12 Noon. In 2013 we recognized Sue's Prohibition Era establishment as an official ECV Watering Hole, now Fred and Dave have finished the job by digging a hole and inserting their pole!
The ceremony will be brief but memorable so please, join us as we celebrate Fred and Dave's hard work and their most satisfactory initiative. Sue's Place is located at 3440 Mt. Pinos Way in Frazier Park, CA. For more visit us at "Pole in the Hole" on Facebook.
Posted 4.22.15 -- By MGM
Posted 4.19.15 -- By MGM
Thanks to everyone who came out to support the chapter for our 2015 Spring Doin's at Fort Tejon. A full on CLOG Update will be up in a few days, but for those of you who were unable to make it up the Fort for our spring Clampout, it is my sad duty to report that Peter Lebeck is still dead. It is also unfortunate that we did not see any bears all weekend so a rematch wouldn't have worked out even if Peter had been available for round 2.
There were foxes and birds and deer that wandered through our Clamp from time to time, but no bears. And no Frenchmen either as far as I could tell, though I did spot a stray Welshman and another Brother from South Africa who kept trying to pass himself off as "African American." Hard to pick that one out of crowd but no matter, 'cuz we have lots of room here at PXL for our Brethren with good attitudes and exposed funny bones.
So check back in a few days for a full report. The pictures will also take a bit but if you're patient you might even see a side of yourself that you have never seen before, for I have seen the light and frankly, you could use some make-up (and deodorant).
Posted 4.15.15 -- By MGM
Our Spring Doin's starts Friday, gates open at 10 a.m. We still have room and will take you in at the door, but we'd appreciate it if you'd let us know you're coming. Just drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call GNR Dale Turner at (661) 714-7203. We'll collect your particulars and dust at the door.
Don't forget that on Friday night we feed everyone in camp, and it's typically party night. Bring something for the specialty drink contest (formally known as the "yucca-off"), and be prepared to show us your best tin foil hat making skills. PBC are invited to meet and fraternize with the Brothers on Friday, but are required to check-in with Hangman Andrew Vialpando upon entering the clampsite and to pitch-in as he directs. There is no PBC harassment on Friday, but a tin foil hat making demonstration will be required!
Bear baiting happens of Saturday. PBCs will serve as bait. You are also invited to join a free, optional guided historical tour of the old fort presented by the Kern County Historical Society. Seemly decorum is expected. As usual we feed you all day on Saturday, including a ribeye steak dinner with all the fixin's, but please remember to bring a breakfast meat or other (non-egg) contribution for Saturday morning's potluck breakfast -- we provide the eggs! Our Graybeard directed cook crew will hash it all up for you PXL Style. PBCs should expect to report to the cook shack at 5:03 a.m.
According to Dickhead Weather Central, "It should be sunny all weekend, with highs in the low-70's and lows in the high 40's. There should be winds about 15mph, so keep the fires low. That sounds like perfect weather to eat, drink and be merry." If our famous oracle turns out to be wrong blame Yahoo Weather.
Posted 4.06.15 -- By MGM
Happy Easter and a Blessed Passover, fellow Cloggites! By now you've likely had your fill of chocolate bunnies or you've eaten that extra chunk of brisket mom left over for Elijah. So the last thing I need is a Peep out of any of you who haven't signed up for the PXL Fall Doin's. What the heck are you waiting for? You're not only running out of time but you risk running out of room, because at Fort Tejon it's first come-first served, and the fort is one of our most popular venues. It's right off of Interstate 5, with easy RV access, plus plenty of room for tents.
Fortunately for you we still have room, but you have to get your rub in now. $55 gets you in if you're a Red Shirt, $75 admits your PBC. Snail mail no later than April 10, or PayPal by April 12th, otherwise you'll pay $10 more at the gate assuming there's room.
We're calling our Spring Doin's, "Rumble on the Ridge Route, Part Deux," with plenty of fun things for you to do, starting with Friday Night's "Specialty Drink (formally known as the PXL Yucca-Off) Contest." So you'll want to bring your best to the test. Followed by our tin foil hat contest, Saturday's Bear Baiting Event (bring a PBC we can use as bait) and other great stuff!
So come on down because at PXL we feed you all weekend and no one goes away hungry. Read down into the CLOG for more, then head on over to the Spring Doin's Page to get your fill of shameless hype and further details on how to sign-up before it's too late!
Now on to news of the CLOG!
If you missed out on February's PlaquaPalooza, then I'm about to make you feel really, really bad, because you can now see the pictures either by going to the 11 minute slideshow posted on our Clampdown Page, or by visiting Peter's Picture Pages where I've posted both a Flash and an HTML version of the same photos. Even after I cut out all the ugly parts I was still left with 127 snaps. The women look good; the guys, not so much. But hey, we're Clampers. We'll deal.
The weather cooperated way more than I expected, and the entire day turned out to be a whole lot of fun. The West Kern Oil Museum is truly unique and a real gem. The entire place is run by volunteers, many of whom are retired from working the oil fields, with lot of great stories to share about local history and the technology needed to take the oil from the ground.
Finishing up the afternoon at Ethel's Old Corral Café in Bakersfield with a second plaque dedication was a near perfect ending to a fun day. We got to eat together, visit and have a few cold ones in a festive locale. The big guy in the parking even sent us off with a smile.
Now on to news of the CLOG #2!
Humbug Jim Bailey has been forced to make a minor adjustment to the date of our Fall Doin's. So please disregard whatever we said before and instead plan to join us the weekend of October 9th through the 11th, at Camp Okihi in Bakersfield. This is a "can't miss Kern River event," meaning if Bailey changes it again we're gonna throw him in the river and make his Vice, Luis Bouza, go in after him. Plus we're gonna tie-dye their chonies and make them do a strip tease during the apron walk.
Now, if that doesn't bring back unpleasant memories, I don't know what will. The whole thing still gives me flashbacks. But for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, just disregard what I sed, and make sure to sign-up when the fall registration comes on line.
See you at Fort Tejon!
Posted 3.09.15 -- By MGM
Happy St. Patrick's Day, fellow Cloggites! There's an old Irish blessing that goes, "May the beer rise up to greet yee 'afore the sod flies up to meet yee!" Or something like that. Actually, that may have been an old Irish blessing from Bakersfield, but no matter, because it's the thought that counts, and that's what brought you here to the PXL CLOG in the first place. So let's get going. In this issue we'll discuss our upcoming Spring Doin's, last weekend's PlaquaPalooza, and new stuff available from our Hawker.
As previously announced, we'll be Clamping at Fort Tejon the weekend of April 17-19th, an event we're calling, "Rumble on the Ridge Route, part deux!" Our NGH Jim Bailey has something special up his sleeve for this one. Brother Hole, our Clampatriarch, who normally isn't effusive to begin with, will only say that it has something to do with adult libations and sticks.
Whatever the case, you'll want to get your reservations in early for this one. The Clampground's capacity is rated for 100 Clampers, but at 70, we nearly filled up the parking area when we were last there two years ago. For those of you who haven't been there, Fort Tejon is right off of Interstate 5 and has easy access for cars and rigs, making it one of our most popular venues. The Clampground is in scenic Grapevine Canyon and situated behind the parade grounds of the old historic fort. The parking area is flat, there are lawns on which to pitch tents, and the common areas are shaded by centuries old oak trees. There's even a large fire ring, potable water and cell phone service.
As usual our good friend and brother, "Ptomaine Timbo," will feed you well, beginning with "Timbo and Jimbo's Special Mystery Meat Madness," for Friday night dinner. You'll need this extra special fortification because after dinner we'll be launching into our Fourth "1st Annual Yucca Off," where all Brothers are invited to demonstrate their skills for the assembled Brethren (and to share their hooch, of course).
Then get ready to staunch the evil emanations and cosmic rays left behind by the Bear that e't Peter, as we celebrate our first ever, "Steven 'Bee Eye' Cox Aluminum Haberdashery Competition," where bragging rights go to the dude who can make the best tin foil hat capable of keeping the Clampsite ghost bear free.
Saturday is more of the same -- but better -- with three hot meals and more activities to shatter your funny bone. You'll want to get up early for our Graybeards' Potluck Breakfast, where you bring the meat and we provide the eggs and manpower. They'll be PBC entertainment, too, including our notorious Graybeards' Examination, soon followed by one of the best HOCO's in all of Clamperdom.
For Saturday dinner you'll get a one pound Ribeye Steak with Beans à la Mama Timbo and all the fixin's. They'll also be a raffle, plus Jim and Hole's "Second Coming of the Ridge Route Rumble" entertainment. We're even going to rename the Humbug by democratic (and republican) vote!
Yes sir, this is one you won't want to miss, and we've even made it easy for you to sign-up. Just click over to our 2015 Spring Doin's Page, to get further details. Download a printable flyer and fillable application if you favor snail mail, or use our handy internet form and PayPal links if you don't. Redshirt are $55 and PBCs are $75, just make sure to meet the April 10th Prepay Deadline because it's $10 more at the gate, and if we sell out, you're out of luck!
And while you're on our Spring Doin's Page, don't miss out on the other links you'll find at the top of the screen, including links to a personal invitation from our Humbug, background information about Fort Tejon, and photos from our recent Plaquing event aka PXL's PlaquaPalooza!
Speaking of which, whether you made it out last week to attend PlaquaPalooza or not, you're going to want to see the pictures I've posted to our 2015 Erections Page. It's hardly all the pictures I took, but it's enough to show the public the kind of fun we have here at Peter Lebeck. After you check out the page for yourself, I encourage you to share the link with your friends. It just may be what you need to recruit our next favorite ex-PBC and to show his Widder that a PBC really can survive a PXL initiation with his ribs intact.
As for PlaquaPalooza itself, we had about forty people come out despite the threat of rain. The whole rain thingee turned out to be way overblown as you can see from the picture at the top of this post. It never really got cold, and intermittent showers didn't keep us from touring the grounds of the West Kern Oil Museum following the dedication of our new monument at 1:00 p.m.
After our tour of the museum, it was on to Bakersfield for our second plaquing at Ethel's Old Corral at 4:30 p.m. Some of us got there early, which wasn't a bad thing because the beer is cold and the service is friendly, and it was a great place to hang around and catch up with our Clamper friends and their Widders. We dedicated the plaque, we hung around some more, and all in all it was a very satisfactory day.
So I'll leave you to check things out, but first I'd like to leave you with this message from our Hawker Extraordinaire, Kevn "No Eye" Horton, who has something that may interest many of you very much.
Brothers, here's something new available through our store!!!!!
Custom High Quality Hats, the best handmade hats out there! Below I've linked to two web address where you can check out this collection for Clampers and Widders. I will be bringing a few of these with me to Fort Tejon where I'll be selling them for 20% off the catalog price. That's 40% off the price quoted on the "Head'n Home" website, when you buy one of these hats from our stock.
But if you want to SAVE EVEN MORE and want the BEST SELECTION, then you MUST CONTACT ME THIS WEEK to preorder any of the hats shown in the catalog. You'll get 30% off the catalog price -that's up to 50% off the price shown on the Website. Order now and increase your chances of picking up your purchase by the time of our Spring Doin's at Fort Tejon, otherwise you'll just have to take your chances that I'll have the right size and style on hand that you and your Widder crave.
Remember, this is a special deal available only through the PXL Hawker Store, and only to our members and other Redshirted Brothers in good standing, SO YOU MUST CALL ME NOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MASSIVE DISCOUNT. Just call (661) 823-4643, and if I don't pick up, leave a message.
Oh yah! If you order now you'll also pocket the additional state sales tax of 7.5%! Sorry Uncle Jerry!
So that's all for now. Keep your eye on the CLOG for further updates. May the Plunger be with you!
Posted 1.01.15 -- By MGM
Thanks to all who came out for PlaquaPalooza and made it a fun and successful outing. We're getting our webpages in order for our Spring Event, so bear with us. We should have our registration pages up in a few days, and the flyer should go out shortly.
Posted 2.28.15 -- By MGM
We were gonna call our event "The Great Leap Forward," but February 29th doesn't happen until next year, and we just couldn't wait. So instead we called it "PlaquaPalooza," and it's PXL's double dedication celebration which starts today at 1:00 in Taft, at the West Kern Oil Museum. If you can't make it out west, then join us in Bakersfield at 4:30, for our second plaquing at Ethel's Old Corral Café, where we'll also be hanging out for dinner and keeping each other entertained.
For this one we ordered up blue skies, palm trees and tropical breezes, but USP told us that, for once, this was one thing Brown couldn't do for us. So bring bring a jacket and an umbrella because Dickhead Weather Central is predicting a high of 60° and intermittent showers. But not to worry because Our Humbug, Jim Bailey, is having the boys set-up the brand new pop-ups that he donated to the chapter in a last ditch effort to keep us from making him Humbug (Sorry, Jim, it didn't work).
So thanks to our fearless leader, we should be fine on the outside, while the rest of our event will be dry on the inside, unless the museum or the roadhouse suddenly springs a leak. Either way, Peter Lebeck has you covered. See you there!
Posted 2.22.15 -- By MGM
Just a quick reminder that PalquaPalooza starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, at the West Kern Oil Museum. Click here for the flyer and directions. Since we'll be doing a little partying as well as celebrating local history, we encourage everyone to keep the reigns of you rig in the hands of a brother or sister of sobriety. The CHP in and around Taft are especially vigilant, so watch your speed, especially on your way into Taft along Maricopa Highway where the downhill slope will cause you to pick-up speed. I'm not saying it's a speed trap…I'm just sayin' (it's a speedtrap).
If you'd like to stay overnight in Bakersfield rooms are still available at the friends and family rate at the Homewood Suites in Bakersfield, but you'll need to call during business hours and ask for Stacy or Nicole to make reservations, (661) 664-0400. You'll save over $50 if you do.
We'll be finishing up at Ethel's Old Corral Café in Bakersfield, which is a celebrated watering hole once run by Arnold Rojas, an old vaquero whom Chris Brewer reminds us wrote many great books on early ranching in Kern County. In fact you can still park your horse at the Old Corral, though I'm assuming most of us will be driving something other than cattle.
The plaquing ceremony at the Old Corral will start at 4:30, followed by live entertainment and "no host" dinner and drinks. There is no age limit at the Corral. Clampers are encouraged to wear their colors. Friends, family and prospective PBCs are also invited. I've included a YouTube video so you can gauge the ambiance. See you Saturday!
- - MGM
Posted 2.14.15 -- By MGM
Welcome back, fellow Cloggites. You're just in time for another scintillating edition of the PXL CLOG. I didn't want to get started without you, so I'm glad you finally made it. I've been practicing that "Just in time" inventory thingee invented by the Japanese. I figure if it works for cars, it's gotta work for CLOGs. All I gotta do is convince all the pieces to show up at the same time in the same place, and voilà, instant update!
It's so simple even a Clamper can do it. Which is why I'm not quite done yet. So bear with me, we've got a lot to cover. In this edition you'll get the latest on our upcoming PlaquaPalooza. You'll download Brother Hole's traveling flyer for our 2015 Spring Doin's, aka "The Rumble on the Ridge Route, Part Deux;'" get a recap of our fabulous Widders' Ball, and learn about our recent website updates, including a personal message from our new Humbug, Jim "NFD" Bailey, and the shaming of his functionaries. On a final note, you'll learn the sad news about the recent passing of one of our best loved Brothers.
First up, you, your family and friends are invited to our upcoming PlaquaPalooza! It's set for Saturday February 28, 2015, two weeks from now, and begins at 1 p.m. at the West Kern Oil Museum. You are encouraged to wear your Clamper Best. During our traveling celebration we'll be unveiling two plaques before the general public. Use the golden PlaquaPalooza icon in the links box to download the latest version of Peter's Procs for directions and hotel discount information for those who'd like to stay over.
Our first dedication will be at the entrance to the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft. Encompassing eight acres, the museum is run entirely by volunteers, "dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting artifacts, books, and equipment that tell the story of oil in California, particularly in West Kern County." Plans for the museum include creating a replica of "an old time oil company camp set in the oilfields." The crown jewel of the collection is the #17 Jamison oil derrick, believed to be the last remaining wooden derrick in the U.S.
First explored in the 1860's, West Kern's oil reserves are estimated at over three billion barrels, and include the Midway Sunset, Elk Hills, and South Belridge Fields, among others -- which are responsible for nearly half of the oil produced in California.
Following our tour of the museum, plan to pack up about 3:15 to give yourself plenty of time to get to the north edge of Bakersfield for our second dedication at Ethel's Old Corral Café in Bakersfield, where we'll be dedicating a second plaque at 4:30 p.m. and designating this establishment as an official PXL Watering Hole. Click on the link to see the YouTube Video review.
Situated on the north side of the Kern River, the Old Corral dates back to the 1920's, and harbors many a fond memory for those who have stopped there over the years on foot, by horse, by car or by motorcycle. Its clientele is as varied as its history, and all are welcome. Plan to have dinner and libations with us after the dedication. It's pay as you go, but we're expecting live entertainment, so this should be a festive and memorable afternoon.
Our Spring Doin's is set for the weekend of April 17-19, 2015, at Fort Tejon State Historical Park. Those of you who have joined us there in the past know that this is a very nice and convenient place to Clamp, especially in the spring. Click on the link above for the official state brosure which tells about the park. You'll get the full web treatment when I get around to it, including our electronic registration, but in the meantime, Brother Russ "Hole" Chapman has prepared a "traveling flyer" for you to download and distribute as you make your way across Clamperdom. We would very much appreciate it if you would do that for us. Please print as many as you'd like.
Now that the Humbug has let Hole out of his cage, I'm not sure how Peter (who lost the first round in 1837) is supposed to get a rematch with an "X" Bear (the last one in California became arguably caput in 1908), but anyone who knows his Holiness, also knows he's probably got something outrageously funny up his sleeve. So plan on showing-up at Fort Tejon to find out. Click on the "Rumble on the Ridgeroute" icon to download the traveling flyer.
Our 2015 Widders' Ball was a lot of fun. We didn't sell out, but we did get 35 couples to come on down and party with us despite some illnesses in the family and an unfortunate conflict with the James W. Marshall Inaugural Doin's. We knew we were going to miss some of the regulars because of the Doin's, but due to our bylaws and the holidays we're locked into a late January date, so this was it. What did surprise us was that someone would plan an important Doin's for midwinter in the Sacramento area. The weather can be very fickle, but I understand they lucked out and had both good times and good weather. Congratulations to the Brothers at JWM #49, for earning their way back into the fold.
As for us, this year's treat was our very first "Redneck Red Carpet." As incoming Humbug, it was Jim Bailey's responsibility to host the party, and he put Stacy Persons, who works at the Homewood, in charge of decorating for the Ball. Her sense of whimsy earns top, top honors, along with many thanks from her fans here at PXL. "Gold plated" thrones and naked Ken Dolls, Mr. Moose in the red hat, pink flamingo centerpieces spouting redneck aphorisms, and a chandelier made of Bud Light cans draped in red streamers - all were her idea. We even heard that she convinced her significant other to empty all those cans just to make sure Stacy still had a job in the morning. Way to go, Stacy!
Actually, we don't really know what happened to the beer other than we know the cans were empty by the time Bailey personally hung that chandelier from the ceiling and managed to make it down off the ladder without killing himself. Had his vice, Luis Bouza, actually known how close he might have been to becoming acting Humbug, he probably would have been holding the ladder - and sweating -- the entire time.
As for the photos, I did take a bunch, but I have to say that I screwed up this time and with a few notable exceptions, you're going to have to wait for me to put them together in some non-embarrassing, cognizable form. Where I will take some immediate credit is for the Red Carpet pictures of our handsome couples which for the time being you can stream in HD off of the Clampdown link in the links box. You all looked so marvelous! If you made it to the Ball, you should have also received by mail a packet of souvenir photos and a thank you note from the Humbug as a keepsake for you and your sweetheart. If you didn't get yours, let me know.
I'm also posting a photo here that I took from the front of the room towards the back, where I caught just about everyone in range looking into the camera. I probably just got lucky because Clampers have a notoriously short attention span and I can never get these kinds of shots no matter how hard I try. If you click on the small version of the photo you'll be able to download the full 18Mpixel version and pan through all the faces.
Jayne Hotchkiss-Price (pictured at the top of the CLOG) was named PXL's Noble Grand Widder for 2015. The award is given to a lady who has made a significant contribution to the chapter's welfare during the preceding year, and preference is given to someone who has not won the award in the past.
In Jayne's case her first association with ECV was nearly accidental, as she and her then fiancé, Al Price gave a historical talk to the assembled Graybeards during ECV's TRASH XL which was held in and about the Kern River Valley in 2013. It turns out both Mrs. And Mr. Price have some serious chops when it comes to local history.
During 2014, Jayne donated the use of her place for our Spring Doin's and sent Al out to pasture in a horse trailer so he could earn his red shirt. Since then, Jayne has helped both research and erect our monument at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Havilah, and has helped us reestablish ties with the Kern County Historical Society where she is currently serving as vice-president. Congratulations, Jayne, and many thanks again for your help and support.
As for the rest of the awards I can't say I know what happened to them because I turned in while the party was still going strong. In my opinion I probably would have won the "Best Dressed Dude Award," but by that time I was already in bed. No one gets an award around here for taking their clothes off, no one. So don't even think about it.
On the Raffle side, Jeannie Johnson, who is a past Noble Grand Widder, won the $300 Widders' Grand Prize. And "Uncle Mikey" Halloran, won the Grand Redshirt Prize of one free year of Clamping with PXL including admission to next year's Widders' Ball for Mike and a guest. Congratulations to all who won the special gift baskets, you all know who you are, and I'm jealous.
A very special couple was also celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary with us. Phoebe and XNGH Jim Adams, have been together longer than most of our guys have been alive, and these two exude togetherness with a capital "T." Congratulations again to our good friends, may they be together for many more.
As for web updates, please check out our latest offering. The Humbug has posted his opening statement on the Humbugs Speaks Page, and you can see who's who this year by going to our 2015 Officers Page. I'm still working on updating the rest of the website as I find the time. As I've already mentioned you can get to the PlaquaPalooza and Spring Doin's announcements and to the Red Carpet Pictures by clicking on the links in the navigation box on the left.
Jim Bailey mentions in his post that he may now be PXL's youngest Humbug, but he's going to have to card Chris Brewer, PXL's NGH from 1980, who has moved from consulting Historian to Historian Emeritus this year. The fact that he was so young when he was demoted to Humbug actually has proven quite valuable to us because until Linda "Hazel" Johnson handed me a book with Chris's (half) smiling face on the dust jacket, most guys assumed that anyone who had been Humbug so long ago was probably dead. Not only is Chris very much alive but is still publishing at Bear State Books, in Exeter, CA, and has offered some very valuable guidance about a whole bunch of stuff since we "resurrected" him in 2010. Chris and a Bakersfield attorney were the redshirts who incorporated PXL and secured our nonprofit status back in the day, and it turns out that Chris is well known among historians in and around Kern County.
Anyway, we'd like to congratulate Cris on his retirement from CalTrans this years, where he was the guy that the state would call to the scene whenever one of their workers dug up something suspiciously old or dead. Chris's historical work is meticulous, and in 2010 it earned him the California Governor's Historical Preservation Award. Unfortunately due to a near head-on traffic collision that almost killed him and has left him with serious medical complications, Chris's travels have required a driver for some years now, and finally enough was enough.
So that explains why few of us have actually met Chris in person, shamefully, myself included. But I have communicated with Chris many times by phone and email over the last five years, and he has proven to be a valuable source of information about our chapter's history and the history and politics of Kern County. Chris has often expressed a desire to meet with the club's current membership, and maybe that will happen one of these days. In the meantime, thank you, Chris, for your work on behalf of the chapter and for your continuing support.
I especially want to welcome Timbo Gillespie, XXNGH, and Historian Al Price to our Cyberstaff because, Lord knows, I could sure use some relief. Tim is taking over for Gene Duncker at the Clampcrier position, and Al has offered to help update our plaquing pages. Both positions are basically research and writing assignments. Tim will be writing the PROCS and Al will be filling in the missing background on our plaques. I know people think of websites as "bells and whistles" affairs, but the truth is that graphics and coding are only a part of what is required. Websites are about information, and without written content a homepage becomes pretty useless in a relatively short amount of time. Scan the web for other ECV websites and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Having a literate staff, willing to roll up their sleeves, is priority number one, but even the bells and whistles part can be very frustrating at times. We have over 250 active pages on-line which makes keeping an eye out for broken links something I'd prefer not to even think about. There is something called a "sitemap" which can help, but it doesn't help with a problem I recently discovered which is that a program I've been using for years to automate changes occasionally overwrites pages with the wrong page.
So one more thing to do. Fortunately I did find some old versions on my hard drive that I can cannibalize to make repairs to the 15 to 20 pages that have gone missing. In the meantime we'll just keep plugging along, but please, if you can write, code, take pictures or are handy with Photoshop, your help is still needed. Don't be shy about volunteering. Your work will be appreciated and acknowledged, and we promise not to pay you for your time.
Lastly, it is with sad regret that I must inform you of the passing of our dear friend Mikey "Maggot" Ralles, who has left us for the Golden Hills. Mike's struggle with complications from diabetes had put him in the hospital and ultimately left him "short" on one side, but he had expressed a strong desire to go Clamping with us in the fall, and knowing his enthusiasm many of us were surprised not to see him up at Bald Eagle Ranch. Also he and his Widder, Karyl, have been a constant at our Widders' Ball for some years now, but when they didn't show it was because Mikey was in the hospital. We received this sad note, on Wednesday.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I let you all know that my beloved Maggot has passed. He died on February 3rd at 3:40 p.m. here at home after a one month stay at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital. It was congestive heart failure along with renal issues brought on by complications associated with his diabetes. Like his birth sign, Leo, he fought bravely to the very end with optimism and humor. It was a long, hard two-year battle. His passing was peaceful here in our home that he loved.
He will be cremated in Bakersfield and interred at the Bakersfield National Cemetery at a date to be determined.
He was so very proud to be an ECVer and enjoyed so many of the gatherings he attended as well as all of you terrific brothers. Please let his brethren know of this event.
God Bless and love you,
Mike's broken-hearted Widder Karyl
The traditional ceremony for our departed Brother, Michael "Maggot" Ralles will be celebrated in his honor within the Hall of Comparative Ovations, on April 18, 2015, at Fort Tejon, Kern County, California. God speed our Brother on his journey through the Golden Hills.
For more information contact:
"Ptomaine Timbo" Gillespie, XXNGH (661) 993-7907 or Timbodid@yahoo.com
Mark "Scoop" Mutz, VNGH (661) 867-2808 or Mark@FencePostPaper.com
Mark "Pokey" Crawford, Clampatriarch (661) 993-7907 or Crawford562@Yahoo.com
Mike "MGM" Ramirez-Mares, Cyberrecorder (818) 517-8781 or Cyberrecorder@ECV1866.org
- Clog Closet Last Archived January 10, 2022