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Archive for the category “Navel Lint”

Current Events & Navel Lint

Wondering if life will ever get simple .  .  . It has been months since I touched this blog — which was supposed to be a regularly updated journal of thoughts and a record of things I’ve been doing.

Currently, I’m reading “One Second After,” which is about an EMP strike on these United States.   It is the first in a three-book series by Ph.D. historian William R. Forstchen, with a foreword by Newt Gingrich.  You could call it science fiction, or you could call it a future history, but whatever you call it, it is a dramatization of an all-too-real scenario for how civilization on this continent could end.  Pop a nuke at the edge of space above Kansas City and <*Poof!*> “Goodbye 21st Century, hello 5th Century!”  NOTHING that relies on any kind of battery, integrated circuit, transformer, capacitor, or transistor will be functional unless it’s in a Faraday cage at the time of the event.  The power grids in the U.S.A., Canada, and at least the Northern half of Mexico will all be toast — for years — IF we get the chance to repair them.

Of course, a large Coronal Mass Ejection from our own Sun could do the job — probably more efficiently than any man-made effort.

Do you have a well with a manual pump? (Our state just made drilling a residential water well illegal.  Collecting rainwater has been illegal for several years. Das Stadt owns all the water.)

Can you raise and preserve your own food without the aid of mechanical and electrical devices?

Can you heat your home without the aid of grid power & gas?

Nope, me neither.

You may want to review this timeline of the Dark Ages, just to get a handle on the time span we might be looking at for our children to regain the light of civilization.

If you want more information on the hazards of an EMP attack, check the book’s site: One Second After

So, our state is going through another round of drills for a Cascadia Subduction Zone quake.  That will be a 9.0 – 10+ event that will last five minutes or longer. Emergency managers have finally decided that a 3-day kit will not be enough for people who live in the urban areas of Puget Sound and are now recommending a 14-day kit. For those of us out here in the hinterlands, we’ll most likely be on our own for 30 days or longer. Many small communities have no disaster plan or preparations at all. <<*CRINGE!*>>  Low-lying coastal areas will be toast – of course – due to tsunami inundation.

Now, I’m reviewing what non-power tools we have on hand and putting together a plan for what we might need.

Life will be simple in Heaven, right?

** Updates **

Thought I’d include a couple links to articles I’ve stored in EverNote Web as resources for a TEOTWAKI-class event:

Umm . . . Should I mention that you’ll need to print copies of these articles for offline use?

 

 

 

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Where DID 2016 Go??

Here I sit, New Year’s Eve 2016, pondering the past year.

Seems to have just passed with a *Whoosh!*

Didn’t really take a vacation.

Took a few long weekends, took some time when Brother Bob came up from Nevada, and some more when Daughter Jen came out from Kansas, but that’s about it.

A couple family members crossed over.  I don’t deal with that situation at all well, so I’m going to pull a “Forrest Gump” and say “And, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.” 

Got all the materials for the Puddle Duck Racers, but didn’t get any progress made on them.  Want to get them done while the boys are still at home.   Also want to try my hand at an Open Goose, which is the 12′ version. Something that me & the boys can throw on the truck and go lake fishing from.

Got just about two more years to work before I can retire at full benefit. Don’t know what I’m going to do from that point.  Probably get a part-time job to fill out the retirement until I can draw Social Security 4/5 years down the road.  Would like to work with other vets, or other seniors, or something.

Dug out some beef short ribs and have them braising on the stove to make stew from.  Boys think they smell pretty good.  Better take a break and go add the rest of the veg . . .

Happy New Year to all!

 

 

Another Year — Almost Gone

Wow!  Where did 2016 go?

My wife is still beautiful.

One son moved to the country and became a ranch hand.

My daughter moved to Texas.

Another son is attempting to get his adult life launched in the retail arena.

The two still at home keep growing at an alarming rate.

And, the dogs & me keep getting older . . .

Wow.

Puddle Duck Dreamin’

Christmas decorations are all back up in the garage’s “attic,” days are starting to get longer – and warmer – and, an old geek’s mind is starting to wander toward days to spend learning to sail in some unlikely-looking boxy little boats at the lake down the road.  Yep!  I’m Puddle Duck dreamin’ again!

Puddle Duck Racers are a loosely knit international class of low-cost racing dinghies that are usually home-built.  To facilitate participation by home builders and a high degree of experimentation, the developer of the class, David “Shorty” Routh, decided that the bottom 10″ of the boats should be as similar as practical (+/- 1/4″) for home boat builders, and that the rest should be left up to the individual builder.  There have been some evolutionary changes, but you are basically building an 8′ x 4′ flat-bottomed box boat.  The bottom has enough rocker to allow for planing performance under a modest sail rig — that is usually as homemade as the rest of the boat.

PDRRacin

Start of the very first Puddle Duck “Regatta” Lake Woodlands, TX Feb. 28, 2004.  Hulls #1 & 2 pictured.

What you wind up with is a safe, light & stable 8′ boat to learn to sail in.  As you can see from the photo, even us “old guys” can have fun in them.  I’ve always been very enamored with sailing, but have never really learned how — other than playing deck monkey for other people on their boats.  I would also like to get John & Joe interested in sailing, as it is a sport that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives, and, sailing is also a means of traveling long distances relatively inexpensively — without being at the mercy of some multinational corporation.

I won’t go into all the details of my planning for the construction of these boats, but I’m going to do at least two ‘ducks from 1/4″ ACX plywood with fir strips for framing, and would really like to do a “PD-Goose” which is a 12’ version of the PDR.  The Goose is not class legal, but I think it would make a good car-top fishing boat for the local lakes, and could serve as a “committee boat” if we generate some interest in racing Puddle Ducks in the local area.

If you want more information about the Puddle Duck Racer, please go to the class pages maintained at PDRacer.com.  Their is an extensive site map, as well as a good site-specific Google search on several of the index pages.  By all means, go on over and take a look around.  Shorty and the other ‘duckers have amassed a wealth of information on building, equipping and sailing the Puddle Duck Racer.   Who knows?  We might wind up fighting for position approaching the windward mark someday.  =;)

 

Or, yet, even!

Maybe — someday — I’ll get the hang of this blogging stuff and get a little more regular about content creation.

Been a busy seven months.  Work was crazy – but it always has been (I’m now under three years until *RETIREMENT*!! Yay!!) – and, unfortunately, there’s been lots of personal drama.  Please pardon me for refraining from over-sharing . . .

Still madly in love with my beautiful bride.  Still love my kids & grandkids.  Still ADD – dang it!  Still have more interests than time to participate in them.

Have had a few mini adventures.  Like the one where I grabbed the photo below while we were stopped for a red light on Alaskan Way:

Seattle Wheel Sunset 01-02-2016 © 2016 Richard Weeks Photography

Seattle Wheel Sunset 01-02-2016 © 2016 Richard Weeks Photography

One of James’ friends, JillyAnna, had taken us to brunch at the Space Needle.   It was our first trip to the SkyCity restaurant, and we had a ball.  You definitely pay for the venue, but both the food and service are excellent.  We were blessed with one of those rare PNW Winter days where it was crystal clear blue sky from horizon to horizon with just enough mist in the valleys to set them apart and make the views look like an incredible work of art.  John & Joe were on their best behavior and had a great time.  Jilly is one of those people that you just love to be around.  Always so nice and full of fun.  We had met up with her and her little brother at the WinterFest skating rink on the prior weekend so they could try ice skating with John & Joe.  Mom & I took the prudent route and sat it out.  I watched the pile of stuff at a table, while Brenda took care of photographer duties.  They skated until they were worn out.  Ice skating is something that we don’t get much chance to do, here on the Wet side of Washington state.  I’m glad that they had such a great time.

Spent a week in September up on the Skagit River with Dave & Susie and family fishing for salmon.

It had been warm & dry all Spring & Summer, but when you are camping and fishing — it just has to be cold & rainy, right?   No worries!  We had a great time, anyway!

River, family, fish, great food, lots of fun — does it get any better?

Collage

As you can see, we went to the big game between Sedro-Woolley and Mt. Baker so we could see Dillon playing in the band.  The rain that night was brutal.  There were a couple times that you couldn’t see what was happening on the field, the horizontal rain was so thick.  It wasn’t all that way, as you can see from the shots on the far right, we had a couple days of really nice weather.

BTW — You young guys out there: If you find a woman who will clean the fish you catch, marry the girl.  She’s a keeper. 🙂

Should be at the Beach or Doing Something – Anything – Productive . . . But . . .

I’m sitting here at my little laptop and hiding from the heat (84F).

I did make omelettes for Brenda, John, and myself for breakfast.  Brenda took over to make Joe’s scrambled eggs.

So much to do.

So little motivation.

I’ve been worn-out since last weekend.

Being a real slime-ball.

Gotta find some energy, somewhere.

Overcoming Convention – And Your Past

Image

Long Ago, And Not So Far Away

I’m noticing that a lot of people in the healthy eating blogs are advising that we forego dairy products.  That’s rough — for the son and grandson of dairy farmers.

A few of the supplements I take to help me regulate my ADD symptoms are supposed to be taken with food.  Well, the Army broke me of eating breakfast right after I get up.  You’re supposed to get up, get dressed, go run five miles in the rain, sleet and/or snow, shower, shave, get dressed again, THEN go eat breakfast.  So I wind up eating at my desk at work.  Keeping milk in the refrigerator at the office has never worked out well for me.  It always winds up going off – rather rapidly, it seems – or, it gets used up and I forget to replace it.  I started just mixing my yogurt into my oatmeal.   (Oatmeal – it’s the breakfast of Highland Champions, I tell ye! Och, Aye! =;o))

Well, I don’t always bring yogurt that is flavor compatible with apple cinnamon oatmeal (My favorite!), so I started dosing it with a generous teaspoon of butter.   (I can hear the cardiologists cringing all across the country . . . )

After a while, dosing my oats with yogurt got a bit old and I ran out of butter, so I decided to just try them sans dairy.  Y’know what?  They’re not half bad without milk, yogurt, or butter!

My one piece of advice is to nuke them in the microwave for about 90 seconds, or until they try to climb out of the bowl, then let them sit for a couple minutes.  You’ll be amazed at the difference that makes for the flavor and texture of “instant” oatmeal.  They taste just like the old-fashioned oats that Mom boiled on the stove.

Live & learn . . .

This Stuff is Harder Than the Real Bloggers Make it Look

Blogging is harder than it looks . . . Keeping the juices flowing to have something interesting to say is not something that comes naturally for me. Maybe it’s part of the ADD thing — keeping the focus to stay on track with a structured activity like blogging is not easy.  If I can hyper-focus on writing something, I’m golden — but getting up the motivation to sit down and actually start writing is difficult.

Challenged by Technology

Arrgh! What a week! It seems like anything I touch that’s above the technology level of a sharp stick breaks lately! 

This is not good when you make your living working with technology.

 

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