Quick TB Update…

Yeah, just a pancreatitis flare-up, and probably my fault: In hindsight tossing him the skins off those chicken thighs I brought home on Friday was not as cool as he thought it was at the moment.

Yesterday he was sleepy most of the day, though he perked right up at the mention of a Jeep ride and he was getting up to drink and going out to pee pretty normally throughout. Had a good night, a very light breakfast of canned food (I’ll see if I can score more chicken breast today but not hopeful) and a much more pooplike morning poop.

Three people hit the tip jar and not in trivial ways, and though I appreciate that beyond words I also feel a little bad about it because he would have had to be much sicker than he ever got before I was going to take him to a vet, and I hope you don’t think I was soliciting funds on false premises. Actually I hope you know I wasn’t soliciting funds at all.

In about an hour I have to go to the big town about 50 miles away for my prosthetist appointment, so pray for us sinners. More later.

Going for a ride? Wanna go with!

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Torso Boy’s sick again.

Kept us both up all night shitting liquid. I doubt it’s his diet this time, though I do note that he just came off his bland boiled chicken & rice less than a week ago when I ran out of chicken to boil*.

He’ll be fasting today, and then we’ll see if he eats kibble. Last October I was in a position to do the “$500 for a blood test, please” veterinarian but not this time – but I wonder what would happen if I crushed up one of these little Loperamide Hydrochloride pills and fed it to him? They’ve been known to dry my ass right up.


*Ironically that would make TB an indirect victim of the Kung Flu panic, since he’s been eating out of those 10-pound bags of frozen chicken breast parts no longer to be found at Wal-Mart.

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Hoarder does not live by toilet paper alone.

The well water here is super hard, and anything immersed in it eventually becomes encrusted in calcium. It really does a number on the working bits of a toilet, as I long ago learned to my great inconvenience. Even when everybody isn’t freaking out about the plague du jour I can’t just hop in the car and head down to the local hardware any time I want. So if I know I’m going to have problems with a particular part, no matter how far in the future that trouble is likely to pop up, it really behooves me to have a Plan B handy.


When the toilet started leaking recently I was very pleased with myself that I could just amble out to the powershed, bring in my spares, and replace all the leaky bits, no problem. It wasn’t always so, but I do learn.

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D&L’s notion of stocking up for self-quarantine…


D&L wanted to go to town this morning, which is not on the usual weekly schedule, because they wanted to stock up on alfalfa pellets for their horses. They’ve been transitioning from hay bales to pellets because their white horse Bud is old and having trouble chewing and not at all because Neighbor D has had two TIAs in less than a year and can’t toss hay bales like he could before.

Anyway…


Getting them loaded is simplicity itself, but…


Unloading is a tad more strenuous. Still way easier than hay bales for a couple of old men, though.

I’ve heard about runs on guns and ammo around the country, and thought I’d report on doings in my little corner of paradise. There’s only one place to buy ammo in the whole little town nearest where I live, and no retail gun outlet at all (which always perplexes me. I guess people just grow used to driving longish distances for lumber and long guns.) Anyway, I was in there (the local drug store) last week and everything in the ammo case was fully stocked, but this morning their stock was showing a bit of strain…


But nothing like some of the impassioned descriptions I’ve read about on the Innertubes.

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“Why Won’t At-Risk Boomers Panic About the Wuhan Virus?”

“In Aesop’s fable about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” the moral of the story isn’t that the townsfolk should have believed the boy. The moral is that the boy shouldn’t have destroyed his credibility by falsely screaming wolf time and again.”

A dose of skepticism may not be the safest course. But given the current credibility of the news industry, it’s not irrational.

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Huh. Maybe I really should play the lottery…

I mean, what are the chances?


Exactly the same count, three Thursdays running.


I mean, it makes sense that Thursday will average a higher count. I currently split chicken chores with the neighbor who actually owns most of the chickens; she does it mon-wed and normally collects and counts in the morning. I normally count in the afternoon, so from Wednesday to Thursday is more like 30 hours. So, yeah. But exactly 16 eggs?


If there are eleven eggs tomorrow I’ll start to worry a bit. Maybe the chickens are plotting something? Chickens normally can’t plot how to safely cross a room. Or so they want us to think

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I recognize the mud, but what’s all this white stuff?

It started raining right around dark, and apparently rained on and off all night. Then we got this stuff, whatever it is…


It’s been the wettest winter I can recall, but so mild there’s been relatively little snow. And it was so nice all month as to tempt me to hubris. Hah! Tempt, but not persuade. So the woodstove was ready for the weather this morning. And the next several days are supposed to be more of the same but colder, so I guess I’ll bring in more wood for the first time in literally weeks. There’s nothing weird about March lulling you into hope and then crushing your dreams.

I just got a call from Neighbor L, who’s scheduled to go with me to the big town about 50 miles away for my prothesis appointment on Monday. But she just heard that that town got its first reported case of Kung Flu and now she wants assurances that a) the office will even be open, and b) every surface in it is covered with antibiotic substances so thickly that no microscopic lifeform can possibly survive there. And I understand her concerns; they’re both well over 70 and Neighbor D is health-compromised to say the least. So I’ll call at 9 and get that information.

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So are we all hermits now?

It’s a fairly unpleasant day here at the Gulch, cool with lots of wind and spitting rain. So I’m staying in and declaring it baking day; just got the bread out of the oven and in between bread duties I’m sitting around watching YouTube videos. And based on the evidence of those videos and a text from Big Brother, I get the impression that everybody in the whole country is staying home and binge-watching Netflix for the duration.

Of course when I go a week barely talking to a soul, that’s just a regular week. Not sure how long the wheels are going to stay on if everybody does that, but depending on where you come down on the question of how dangerous the new virus is it might be the smart thing in the long run. Really don’t know, and like I said “self-quarantine” doesn’t really call for much of a lifestyle change on my part.

What are you guys doing about this?

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Okay, I had to take it off.


I haven’t had my morning walkie in more than a week. I can walk to the water tank and back but that’s about as much as I can stand. Day before yesterday I was on my feet for hours working in D’s woodshop and was practically sweating by the end just from discomfort.

I love the new foot. It’s not just as good as what it replaces, it’s better. The overall length is excellent. But the socket is…frustrating, because I want to be able to tell the prosthetist exactly what’s wrong with it and I’m not sure I can. It’s almost right – but it’s pressing on something almighty sensitive on the back of my stump. And it’s a challenge finding a combination of stump socks that makes it fit exactly between a little too loose and a little too tight.

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Oops, I did it again.

So yesterday I finished sanding that toolbox D and I put together and started looking for a place in the powershed to store it. Problem is the toolshed is small and at the moment awfully cluttered – that’s the next task, weather permitting, and it’s becoming an annual affair.

Anyway, I ended up putting some hooks in the ceiling and hanging it there, and while I had gone to the trouble of moving stuff around enough to open a ladder in there I figured I should go ahead and do a rearrangement of the lighting I’ve wanted to do for – well, for years now but never got around to because it’s not that big a deal and I only thought about it at odd times when I was doing other things like servicing the batteries, which rearranging the powershed lights would make easier.

And I know I turned the lights off when I left yesterday. I’d have put money on it. But last night I was sitting at the Official TUAK Desk watching a movie, and the voltmeter right above my eyes showed the voltage lower than it should have been. Not a lot lower, a tenth or so. And that should have been all the sign I needed that I’d done it again.


But I didn’t act on it, and they were on all night. Not a big deal in light of the newly-expanded battery capacity but still at least a venal sin, especially in light of the protracted gloomy period we’re forecast to be on the cusp of. I keep saying I’m going to get one of those timer switches. But then I’m good about not leaving the powershed light on for years, and I figure, nah.

And then I do it again.

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How to sell more guns…

Wrap them in free toilet paper.

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Neighbor D and I made a thing!

I’ve had a couple of recent gigs away from the cabin that required tools, and was annoyed at my lack of a practical tote. So Torso Boy and I spent a couple of hours in Neighbor D’s very capable woodshop making one.


D&L spent a year and a half constructing their earthbag workshop before they ever did a thing on their massive strawbale & earthbag extravaganza of a house. Some of it was for the learning experience, to make their fundamental mistakes on the shop instead of the house. And some of it was because they were really going to need a big well-equipped woodshop. They’ve got the only homestead I know with solar-powered 240 volts.


Torso Boy has been complaining about being left alone at the cabin so much, so I thought I’d experiment by letting him tag along. He did pretty well for a first try, though he didn’t like the power tool noise – or the sawdust. Every time we made a cut he’d spend two minutes gagging.


And there it is: Nothing fancy, and much chunkier material than I would have chosen – it weighs almost eight pounds empty, which is slightly ridiculous. But it’s all routed and very tightly joined. I could have knocked something together and it would have worked – but it wouldn’t have been half as nice or durable.

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How to combat terrorism…

Even if it isn’t true, the world is nutty enough that it could be.

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A topical quote’o’theday…

“We have always had social distancing. We used to call it being unpopular.”

– unknown

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Ladies, I’m afraid I’ll have to report this.


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I suddenly have a desire for one of those AR-14 things I’ve heard about.

I don’t know how they do this so quick, but I love it…

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I’m surprised it held together as long as it did.

It was the sort of combination mattress/box spring you buy with a kid’s bunk bed: Not exactly heirloom furniture, because you know he/she will outgrow it very soon. I know it moved several times because I carried it to the van a couple of times, and that was all more than 10 years ago.

Considering how easily it came apart…


…I’m impressed at how long and well it stayed together, is all I’m saying.

ETA: Disturbingly flammable, too…

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Goodbye, Sister Creaking Springs

This was the day.


It came from a kid’s bunk bed, is at least 20 years old, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that’s way beyond its rated lifespan. For the past 3 years an inch of memory foam has helped a lot, but that thing has caused an old man more restless nights than he cares to think about. Its great virtue, of course, is that it was free.


How does one get rid of an old mattress in the boonies without going full white trash? Um…

To be continued. But some of it is destined to become firewood. Some of the rest will test my new fire basket. I’ll find a way to get the fireproof parts to the county dump before … well, as soon as it can be arranged.

Meanwhile, back at the “people throw away the damndest things” department…


I was kind of hoping this would turn out to be a mattress/box spring combination. But no, it’s two mattresses.


And I don’t really want two mattresses. But the trick to living on scrounge is offering mutual benefit. Didn’t do my benefactor any good to get rid of one inconvenient mattress. So I’ll get used to the difference. Meanwhile, these are really nice. Like, nearly new. I’ve plotted for years how to score a new mattress, and now I have two.

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Landlady’s water works!

It filled the tank with remarkable speed – I don’t know what the flow rate on this particular pump is but it’s far greater than mine.


And then when the level got to the float switch – noted by a lit led on the picture of a water tank on the excessively cute cover – the controller stopped sending power to the pump. Just like it knew what it was doing.

So the well is back in business.

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Irony – I haz some.

You know how toilet paper has been in the news lately?


That right there is as low as my TP supply has been in almost 12 years, since the Great Costco Buy of 2008. I’m a bachelor who lives alone: I use toilet paper for one purpose only and just don’t go through a lot. There’s probably 2 years’ worth of toilet paper still in there. So no worries, right?

But I’m also a hoarder – and when you’re about to open your second-to-last package of anything, you think about resupply. And I was thinking about resupplying that not long ago, of course not getting around to it.

And of course, even here in the nethermost regions of Bumf*ck County, the latest social fad has struck…


Toilet paper: This is turning into the running gag of the Coronavirus Panic of 2020.

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