tue sep 4
We drink premium coffee. Fresh ground, French pressed coffee, and the first cup or 2 is always really good. This morning, I got up, and the grinder was empty, and so was the bag of beans. We were out of coffee!! In the back of the coffee drawer, there was an open bag of pre-ground Trader Joe’s coffee that Ella gave us for Christmas a few years ago, so I made a pot of coffee out if it.
It was wince-worthy.
We eat premium bread, too. Local artisan wood-fired loaves made with flour stone-ground by the baker himself. (At least I do. Mary eats store-bought frozen gluten-free crap because gluten doesn’t like her.) This morning, I got up, and I was down to a heel of stale (artisan!) bread. And Mary was down to a frozen heel too. I made our morning toast out of them, and the toaster burned them both.
wed sep 5
Since my new processor has a lot of fancy wireless bells and whistles, I decided to read the instructions. They say it “talks to my phone.” This is one of those things where I understand how it works, but not really what it’s good for. It turns out my phone can do all kinds of things I don’t do with it. Like Music.
I stopped listening to music in the 80’s, when I couldn’t hear Jethro Tull’s flute any more. For all the good my many previous processors have done for me, they’ve all sucked at music.
But now I have Bluetooth, though. Now I can stream stuff straight from my phone, and background noise and wads of knotted patch cords are a thing of the past. In theory, anyway.
So I googled Music, I downloaded Pandora, and I started listening to Instrumentals.
I can sort of see, now, why music is such a big deal in the world. It’s very cool.
This afternoon, I took my lunch and my phone out on the porch and ate lunch and streamed music and, when my lunch was gone, I just sat there and listened to more music and stared off into space. It was a little like being on drugs, and I’m not really sure it ought to be legal.
thu sep 6
I finished the deck railing. Some of my welds are less than perfect, but what do you expect from an amateur with a MIG on a ladder, above my head, vertical, in a stiff wind, on rusty re-bar? I really like how it turned out, though. Too bad I really didn’t need another deck!
sat sep 8
I decided not to cider this year. Yes, it’s a verb.
And then I changed my mind. It just seemed like such a shame.
The only thing that’s ready for cidering this year is the apples. It’s either pick them now, or pick them never, so I picked them. With a ten foot wooden stepladder on uneven ground full of high weeds. There has to be a better way.
What I’ll end up doing with the apples is anybody’s guess, at this point, because all my cidering equipment is either broken, dirty, or missing, and I’ve got no bottles anyway.
Maybe I’ll make cider. Maybe I’ll make Devin’s pigs very happy. Maybe both!
mon sep 10
I went to have my car inspected this morning and found, at the last minute, that my insurance card was expired. I managed to pull one up on my phone and email it to the mechanic, but I failed the inspection anyway. Something about brakes and exhaust. It’s always something.
I saved my pressed apples in garbage bags and gave them to Mary to give to Devin to give to his pigs. They were very happy.
Mary wore a shirt at dinner that she wanted to wear to work tomorrow, but she drooled butter onto a prominent spot. While putting it in the wash, she noticed that she’d had it on backwards all day long, so she can still wear it tomorrow after all, as long as she puts it on forwards. Sometimes, two wrongs make a right.
wed sep 12
Bad things happen on 9/11.
There was 9/11, of course, back in ’01.
Then there was cutting off my finger, last year.
And yesterday, Lisa died. ‘All of a sudden’ would only be half right, given that she’s been in chemo for almost 3 years, but she was hearty enough to party on monday, and nobody thought tuesday was going to be it.
Mary came home unexpectedly, and we left immediately, but nope. Too late. Nothing but tears and talk and food and a long drive home.
I liked Lisa.
My string trimmer died too.
I used it in the spring, hung it up, and ‘lost interest’ in tall weeds for a few months.
I couldn’t get it started, and I cleaned the carburetor and checked the spark to no avail.
I brought it to TJ’s for service at 11, and he had it running before lunch. The problem was a blocked exhaust port, he said. $20.
I picked it up, brought it home, and tried to start it, to no avail. I’m starting to think maybe the weeds aren’t hurting anything by standing there, minding there own business.
thu sep 13
I fixed my god damned string trimmer myself. Took it apart, put it back together, and fired it up.
I picked two more trees worth of apples today. A Russet and a Crab, both trees are way taller than my ladder. Being on the ladder in the thick of the branches, I worried about my brand new processor falling off, so I took it off and left it near the bucket. I finished picking the one tree and hauled all my shit to the next tree, 500′ away, and then realized my processor was nowhere to be found. I retraced my steps – over and over – and couldn’t find it, chewing myself out the whole time. I finally found it buried in the box of apples.
God only knows how it got there. Thank God it did.
wed sep 19
I went to an auction yesterday. It was more of a consignment event than an estate sale, so a sense of context was missing, but there were plenty of goodies that were going, going, gone!
My big prize was a rolling hydraulic lift for motorcycles.
wed sep 26
At Suri’s party, she opened some cards and gifts, and one of the cards said something to the effect of “You’re #1.”
When she read it aloud to everyone, it came out as “You’re hashtag 1”
Then, the next day, I loaded up the truck and went to the dump. I gave the attendant a post-it note enumerating what I was dropping off, including “50# of scrap metal”.
The guy looked at it, frowned, and said “What does it mean ‘fifty number of metal?'”
sat sep 29
There’s a retired veterinarian who lives across the street, and she has a collection of large animals on a beautiful property. Her horse Moses was 30 years old and sick, and they had to put him down today. I guess word has gotten around that I do a pretty good job of burying dead horses, and when Mary got the call, I dropped everything and dug my third horse-sized hole.
sun sep 30
It’s fall, and Stowe is hopping with tourists and things for tourists to do. The Stoweflake resort was hosting a Pumpkin Chucking contest, and we decided to go.
Pumpkin chucking is done with a trebuchet, which is a gravity-powered catapult, and there were about a dozen entries, ranging from the local brownie troop to serious hobbyists. The heavyweight division rules say your trebuchet can be up to 10′ tall and weigh up to 500#, and launches a 5# pumpkin. Whoever throws their pumpkin farthest wins. It was pretty entertaining. Not only were there plenty of impressive throws, but about a third of the attempts were misfires, where the pumpkin went straight up (or straight down). One launched a gourd straight backwards and almost took out one of the food vendors. One trebuchet broke in half, one fell over, and a few just plain failed to launch.
They clear out a corridor thru the onlookers directly behind the machine so nobody will get hurt in case of a malfunction, and I was watching from the edge of the safety zone when they misfired in a high arc straight up and slightly backward — and was going to land 5′ to my left! Rather than duck and run, I moved in for a 1-handed catch, stretched out, and got my hands on the gourd as it fell. It slipped thru the space where my finger is missing and hit the ground. Foul ball!
My shop is a dirty place, and whenever I clean a part for my motorcycles or make one for my robot, it gets gritty and this causes problems with reassembly. You’ll recall that I bought a parts cleaning tub for $30 at an auction in July, and I added a re-circulating pump and a filter, so now, no matter how much crud collects in the basin, I’ve got a constant flow of clean fluid to wash my parts with.
I like to claim that I “learned a lot” from building a shoulder joint for the c3pr prototype. In plain English, though, the truth is that it didn’t work for shit. It was just a bad-ass, clunky design, and I’ve got nobody to blame but myself. So I’ve made a good start on Version 2.0.