Unkie Joel’s gonna hurl.
I watched this and…it wasn’t a laugh, exactly. It wasn’t precisely a sob.
I’m just glad he isn’t actually competent. With this sort of chorus behind him, he could be dangerous if he were competent. I keep saying the particular politician doesn’t matter, and I still stand by that. But a guy like Chris Matthews, whose guy-love for Obama seems so inexhaustible, makes me think maybe the particular politician could matter. Good and hard, in fact. Mussolini did, I suppose. Dare I mention the H-word?
I’m glad Obama has proven so ineffective, I truly am.
…and in classic form. Morning temps in single digits for the first time in the season. Crystal clear sky, not a single cloud, and I think not a single H2O molecule. This is the first field-test of whether my new floor insulation and cabin skirting would actually do any good, and I’m happy to report that the OSB, while hardly toasty, is not freezing my five remaining tootsies right through my boot. Also the new fire grate in the wood stove is earning its pay quite nicely – the difference in performance is dramatic.
Unfortunately my propane regulator, which I have suspected has been failing for some time, seems to have reached that performance threshold below which it can’t light the oven. I’ve had this problem before and know the fix, which is to replace the damned thing. If you’ve ever lived in an RV or travel trailer long-term in a cold climate, you’re aware that propane pressure regulators are not forever. It’s my own fault; I should have stocked a spare. It’ll probably work again when the temperature rises, but it’ll never work well.
ETA: Yup. I got back from shit-shoveling a hair before noon, and the outside (shade) temp was just below freezing. And when I tried the oven it lit right off. Landlady is coming up this weekend and has promised to try to find me one.
Because he wasn’t born yet. Also because it would have been illegal. And Obama would never do anything illegal. When the Prez does it, that means it isn’t illegal.
You know what people were doing 80 years ago tonight?
That’s right! Everybody was wearing hats! While they got hammered, to celebrate the end of one monumentally stupid law.
Of course the government took exactly the right lesson from this, and now drug cartels are rich beyond the dreams of avarice and tens of thousands of people are violently dead. While all the drug users use all the same drugs they were going to anyway. Progress!
So yesterday I went to town with my neighbor L. She had a little to do, and as it turned out I had quite a lot more. I wanted propane and gasoline, but I also wanted a new spark plug for my trusty Husky chainsaw. Nothing urgent, it’s just I’d let myself get down to one and it’s getting a bit worn. In fact I was disgusted with the low estate to which the saw shop has fallen since my old employer Mike K. got cancer and sold the place. Because I dropped some money on them last summer to tune up the saw, and they never even replaced the plug. So anyway, I went to the two places in town that might have a plug, and nobody could help. (This in a county where I’ll bet fifty percent of the male inhabitants seriously use chainsaws.) Finally gave up, figuring I’d used up enough of L’s time.
Well, D&L went to the big town about fifty miles away today, and damned if I didn’t get a call from her from the tractor supply wanting info on that spark plug. I’d practically forgotten the incident – it’s really not that important – but she had not. And then when they got back home she asked me to come help unload their wood pellets and water softener salt because she hurt her back some days ago, and anyway I owe them a bunch of labor for all that floor tile. And damned if she hadn’t overspent and bought me a spark plug for the Husky.
I’ve got good neighbors.
Snowed maybe three inches overnight. No biggie, never got very cold and the wind died down almost all morning. And almost all the clouds evaporated.
There was this one patch of dark cloud, that hung on for hours after sunrise.
Right in the southeast corner of the horizon.
Right between me and the sun. Almost everything else was perfectly clear.
So the snow wouldn’t melt off the solar panels.
Which are not designed to be easy to squeegee off, because how would I do that?
It’s eleven AM, and I’m only now starting to get some charge. Halfway through the time when I can expect any charge at all, this time of the year.
These are the things that get you when you go off-grid. I’m looking at that defunct generator in my yard with a slowly-evolving attitude.
ETA: Heh. I always used to tell my students in vocational school that Murphy’s Law is not a exercise in defeatism, it’s an affirmative statement that we should leave as little to chance as possible. I knew there’d be short sunshine today, so yesterday (and in fact for some days before that) I paid attention and didn’t let my batteries get too low. And today my charge controller indicated a full charge after only two and a half hours of good sun. Excellent!
When in doubt concerning the balance between the size of your solar panel array and the size of your battery bank, always lean toward too much solar panel. Uncle Murphy lives on the other side of that equation.
…and about government in general, in fact.
And it’s already spinning off parodies, which is the thing that truly makes America great.
There have been some generous donations to TUAK over the past couple of weeks and I want to say thank you very much. Most of that gets spent on Internet access and glaucoma meds, but every now and then I can’t resist taking some of it to town.
That’s ten gallons of gasoline and fourteen of propane, plus my usual drinking water refills which don’t cost hardly nuttin’ and didn’t come from the blog.
I’ve gotta say, when winter rolls around an old man’s fancy turns to thoughts of full propane bottles, especially this old man who remembers the winter of ’08-’09, the Winter of Layers, when I had to ration every ounce of the flamey stuff. So some of your kind contributions did go to cooking Uncle Joel’s bread. But nothing more frivolous than that. Honest.
Well…maybe just a little something for cooking Uncle Joel’s liver.
ETA: The morning wind often blows in a change of weather, and it’s rarely an improvement. This one is no exception. It’s starting to look like I’m staring down the barrel of the season’s first winter storm, and it’s with batteries at half mast. So if things go quiet here tomorrow, that’s why. I’m just hunkering down with lots of firewood and a good book, and I’ll be back to bitch and moan about it as quickly as ever I can.
Woke up with the wind whipping around the Lair. Hoped it would settle down, and it only got worse. The Lair’s down in a hollow, tucked into the crotch of a complicated ridge and only ten or so feet above the high-water mark of the wash, so I’m protected from the worst of the wind. If the wind was throwing things around down here, it was scouring the ridgetops. And yes of course it’s shit-shoveling day.
You ever try to keep horseapples on a shit-fork in a 50 mph wind?
The funny thing is that it’s not really cold at all. But man! The wind’ll drive your left ear right out through your right one if you let it. I started to overheat the minute I climbed back into the Jeep, but in the field I was sure glad of all the layers.
Well, by now that’s got to be a subject near and dear to just about everybody. You could do it the way I have…but not even I suggest doing that, and this article lists numerous excellent reasons why it’s a bad idea.
But there apparently are ways to live an Obamacare-free life, and some may even be legal. The linked article lists several possibilities.
Of course you may or may not have to pay that tax, or fee, or tax, or whatever it is, punishing you for not allowing the government to help you with your own money. But there may even be (legal, or at least unlikely to get you shot) ways around that.
There’s this young lady who put four videos up a couple of days ago. She kind of drones on, but does have some good things to say. Probably on Facebook; I can’t find anything like a website or blog.
Got this from Coloradohermit back in July. So far, no such temptations.
ETA: Did I tell you Landlady’s got five more Rhode Island Reds coming, just for me? The first one that starts plucking her sisters goes straight to the pressure cooker.
An almost scarily pleasant morning. 37 outdoors/53 indoors when I came down the ladder, a few high cirrus shreds but nothing that will keep the batteries from charging. So I booted the computer right away to see who was frothing about what today.
Found this article about Ayn Rand I haven’t really read yet except the intro that goes, “Like many others, I discovered Ayn Rand around the age of 15; her writings were my introduction to the field of philosophy, thereby setting me on the path to my present career.” I don’t recall how old I was when I first read Rand; certainly older than 15. Still quite young, though. Young enough to think being an “intellectual” might be cool, low-class and inexperienced enough never to have actually met one. She didn’t have anything to do with my career choices, though that would have been funny.
And that got me to thinking about college, like how old was I when I met someone who I knew had definitely gone to one? Continue reading
There is precisely one thing I like about winter: I like my pressure cooker. I have an old-fashioned Presto cast-aluminum four-quart pressure cooker with Bakelite handles and a big whistle on the top that tells you when your world is about to end, made by the National By-God Pressure Cooker Company of Eau Claire Wisconsin, U.S.A. Ian and/or Landlady got it at a flea market and gave it to me in answer to my complaints that I can’t cook beans at high altitude. Pressure cookers are the answer to that problem.
But they’re also good for anything, anything at all, that involves intense heat. See, water boils here at a mere 200o F., which means stews are also a bit of a problem. But the Presto can heat water to the boiling point of frickin’ tungsten, and the toughest cheap-ass meat from the sorriest IGA in the land will meekly submit.
And that’s where what was left of Bob ended up. He went from a proudly-feathered prince of the chicken yard to a respectable roast, and from there to a pile of disconnected gray bones dipped out of a pressure cooker full of chicken stock. And then we added potatoes and onion and corn, the leavings of a darned good beef soup with barley, carrots and celery and a cup of brown rice for body, and stewed that bad boy again.
And I would have taken a picture, but you’ve seen a picture of a pot of stew.
I only do it in winter because a gallon of stew will last me two or three days but not in the summer heat. Uncle Joel has a god-like pressure cooker, but he doesn’t have a refrigerator.
I have a friend – no names, but she knows who she is – who moved to the high desert and gamely lived here for a year and a half, hating every second of it.
And it wasn’t the things the usually get under people’s skin. She could deal with the vicissitudes of a home-made electrical system. Crunchy water didn’t faze her much. The joys of life in a tin box rolled right off her back. She didn’t even mind the winter cold as much as I do. But she hated the desert. Its sharp’n'pointy nature. The scales and poison sacs of most of the wildlife. The way you can never say the word “tree” without being ironic. And the sun. The harsh, hard, pitiless sun.
And there’s no accounting for taste, because that’s all the stuff I like. But a few days of overcast can put me seriously in the dumps, and I’ve sure been getting a lot of that lately.
The sun came out like magic this morning around ten and the batteries are soaking it up gratefully. But when I grumped down the loft’s ladder and looked out again at the nonexistent horizon – the cloud cover is at 6000 feet and so am I – I thought about how this is one of the things specifically on the list of things I moved away from.
I just reluctantly looked at the forecast, and the clouds are supposed to roll right the hell back in again. Probably will. Probably we’ve had cloudy spells that went on this long before, but I sure don’t remember any.
Heh – that’s for all the fine young voyeurs at NSA. Morning, guys!
Anyway, this post is really about dogs. Because Dharma and Basie were visiting at the time, right? And they’re all like, “Wow, they chop the heads off live chickens here! This is like Doggie Disneyland!” “I know, right? Isn’t it cool?” “I wanna taste!” “No, me!”
And Ghost, who has been around these chickens since they arrived, has lived here all his life and who has rather fixed ideas about how things are supposed to happen, was discovering anew that dogs can indeed experience existential angst.
“Wait. Mom did this? MY mom? Um…was this covered in the puppy manual? And does it have application to disciplinary levels we haven’t achieved yet? Because if so, I just want to say I never went near that trashcan. That was allll Little Bear.”
It’s the thought that counts, Bob.
Landlady did the honors this time…
Dinner’s a day late at the Gulch, because putting in kitchen cabinets was the whole point of Landlady’s stay. So this time there’s something to celebrate!
The book, that is. I already read the review. Over at Borepatch…
This book has two purposes. The first is to show the thicket of nonsensical gun laws currently on the books, that get in the way of ordinary people who want to buy a gun to protect themselves and their families. Emily Miller – a Senior Editor at the Washington Times – is one of these people. She had never shot a gun, and found herself trying to navigate the legal labyrinth of Washington D.C.’s crazy firearms restrictions. She came to this as a newbie, who had never been involved with this sort of thing and indeed had no idea what she was getting into.
The second purpose is to describe the political landscape of 2013 regarding firearms laws, and in particular the Congressional battles over proposed new gun control statutes in the wake of the Sandy Hook, CT shootings. In this, she is a seasoned veteran of the political give-and-take, having made her career on Capitol Hill.