Saturday, my son & his fiancé invited the Mrs. & me to attend a “Christmas party” at their house.
I had some sneaking suspicions, as the anniversary of my annual orbit occurs this week, and it’s one of the ones that end in “0”; the 1911 was 40 the year I was born.
Sure enough, when we entered, there were family & friends there, all hollering SURPRISE at me. You really shouldn’t holler like that at an old guy.
After being immediately outfitted with a mug of beer the size of lake Winnipesaukee, I mingled with the company.
The attendees were the people on my “short list” of friends; you know, the good ones, the ones you can count on when things are bad, the ones you prefer to hang with over all others.
To my complete amazement, every one on MY short list was present. Logic would indicate that these very same people have ME on their short list. That is humbling, indeed.
As one grows older, the short list shortens, as folks come & go. Some are there for life, but you never know which ones that will be, until they are time tested. I have friends, now, that have been so for so many years, that unless I really piss them off, I believe they will remain so, for the rest of my life.
Thank you, family & friends; the gifts were terrific, the camaraderie just plain fun, but the very best gift from you all was your gift of self, to mark our friendship on the occasion of my birthday.
We were at the bastion of political discourse yesterday (aka, the dump), doing the unloading thing, when I noted a pickup with transfer lettering across the back window.
As I was in agreement with the sentiment displayed, I inquired with one of the friendly dump guys (not all are, BTW) as to the owner of said vehicle. He said it was his, so I shook his hand & gave him a “well done”.
A few minutes later, he strolls over & presents me with the very same transfer for application to my truck, which I immediately applied, after appropriate observations of appreciation for his gift.
The message emblazoned thereon immediately brought my buddy Borepatch to mind:
Vote 'em all out
It pays to be nice to the dump guys.
Also, now I have to remove Bruce's sticker, he's an incumbent...
A strange thing happens when we're without utility supplied amenities for a while- I go native. The longer the outage, the more I drift towards thinking about stuff to make life easier under the conditions presented. At some point, I'll be beating the wash down by the pond.
Last time, I started thinking about water delivery, & went out in the garage & made a portable gravity supplied water system for washing hands, rinsing dishes, & such. Good to have a bunch of 1/4" NPT hardware on hand.
This time, I couldn't use the toaster oven to make my English muffins for b'fast, so I used a CI skillet, like when camping. I needed a weight to hold down the bread whilst cooking (used a smaller skillet in years past- it's gone, somewhere), so after eating my "medium-rare" muffins, it's off to the garage.
Found the appropriate amout of steel, fashioned a handle out of oak, & you have the beauty presented here.
Looks like it was made by Chinese peasants while stuck in a prison camp in India with Pakistani advisers, but hey- it works!
Next time I'll work on something more extravagant, like candle holders made from broken tree branches.
Scattered around are a couple "mini-gardens" holding more butternut, a few zucchini & summer squashes, & one plot of blue Hubbard squash. Turnips are planted in the blackberry patch, & the potato bin is started.
I got a good start this year due to a very cool gift of a greenhouse from the Mrs. last Christmas. It's just about 3x5', but big enough to walk into, with shelving for the plants. Works great if you want to get the plants outside- in March!
Another great gift idea from the very same smart lady was a gravity-fed irrigation system. This thing is specifically designed for use with a water barrel (blue thing on the wall), & allows the first plant on the run to get the same amount of water as the last, providing the runs aren't too long & the head (barrel height) is adequate. This year I'm just running the system for the beans, just to see if it works as advertised.
Now, I'm gonna start sharpening the knife for the first tomato sandwich.
I’m usually a pretty healthy guy, but the one thing that has been a 20-year pain in my life is occasional flares of gout. Those that have had the opportunity to experience this delightful phenomenon know what kind of pain I’m talking about.
A couple years ago, my Good Doctor told me about colchicine, a relatively cheap medication to alleviate the symptoms of an attack as it begins. I was ecstatic; no more incapacitation due to this foul condition.
Enter the Feds.
My doc advised me yesterday that the generic drug has been pulled from the market due to a FDA ruling. That leaves only the “brand” name version- the price of which is 50X more than the commonly used variety (10 cents vs. $5 per pill).
Ben Franklin was a gout sufferer, & in 1820 or thereabouts he brought back info from Europe on an “autumn crocus extract” which became the drug colchicine. It’s been used since then to lessen the pain for the afflicted.
...marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the start of the bloodiest war in American history.
At 0430 in the morning of April 12, 1861, Ft. Sumter in South Carolina saw the first artillery fire in the War Between the States, Civil War, War of Succession, War for Southern Independence, War of the Rebellion, or War of Northern Aggression.
The name will vary depending on where you live, or your political proclivity.
The 1858 Napoleon will be wheeled out & fired tomorrow to commemorate the occasion.
that means it's spring! I hope. The fire in the wood stove in the living room was started somewhere between Halloween & Thanksgiving, & has been running ever since. Tonight, I had to rekindle the bugger to get some heat. It's a milestone here in the north woods...