Saturday, September 25, 2021

Chapter Two

I cut my teeth right here

There are some things that you don't want to interrupt.  A good belch, a sneeze, great conversation with good friends.  That OAFS story is still squeezing stuff out of my head.  I don't want to stop it yet...


I grew up in the past.  The past is a different world, they do EVERYTHING different there.  A lot of what I learned then and did then predates safety.  Some of that will be in my stories.  Like those flares.  We used to do that for grins on Friday or Saturday nights.  Back when orange, leaded gas was still available for washing bearings and oily hands.  When Miracle Whip came in quart glass jars....  It's pretty and fun... from a distance.

When my buddy Lurch thought to use a PLASTIC five gallon jug to try the fireball with, and shot it with his new pump shotgun, he blew out the little flare on top.  Not to be robbed of the spectacle he intended, he lurched in with a zippo before we could stop him, and whoooshed himself.  All the hair grew back, but if there was any doubt about his lack of common sense, it went up in smoke like his eyebrows and arm hair...

I've tried some, most or all of what I write about. I've been everywhere I write about, too.  I find it easier to write about what I know.  And if you need any definitions of obscure words, I'll be happy to oblige.   I figure at some point soon, I'll be back to documenting the Logan  lathe.  But this dang story is keeping me awake at night, and wringing out rusty memories....  They will probably continue for a bit, but will jump all over the place.  Just like my normal thought process....

Friday, September 24, 2021

Story Time with OAFS

Do you know about the Chant?  He's on the side bar.  He started a series this week, might be short, might go awhile, who knows.  But it struck a chord with me.  It's a subject I was intensely interested in back in the late 70's early 80's.  It started a life long search for information and skill.  It is as much a driver for my desire to be competent at all the mechanical things I know as anything else.   

 It was a MAJOR milepost when I saw Red Dawn at the theater.  I was already reading the paper every day, watching the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR.  The premise of the movie seemed entirely possible. It opened my eyes to where I lived as a possible battle field.


The US military at that time were barely coming out of the deep depression of the abandoned victory in VietNam that the Nixon resignation had precipitated.  The abandonment of our treaty with South VietNam upended the victory after Linebaker II demonstrated our ability and prowess.  11 days to cripple an enemy the previous administration just farted around with.  Prowess that at least, once an utterly corrupt president quit micromanaging the war for the benefit of his patrons.  It also showed how ignorant AF brass had become with the political task masters they had previously.  It should be pretty familiar reading as it mirrors the same political party's latest international abandonment / terrorist resupply mission.  I wish we could just look back and learn something from the past once in a while.

 The Hunt

OAFS story sparked some thing in me, and I had to write it down, so it would leave me alone.  It's below the fold if you care to sample it.  It may be some lumpy oatmeal, it might pique your interest.  Let me know either way.  It's hard work.  And what OAFS did with the D-DAY serial was some real hard work.  Just the amount of effort that went into this little short story proved that to me.


Edit:  Potentially Disturbing Content Below the Fold.   To the combat vet that this hit too close to home too: I am terribly sorry that I didn't think to post a warning.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Brain Dump

This is the brain dump. The place where what I learn will be catagorized, recorded, or just blurbed out so's I can 'memeber it.  

Have you ever found something interesting or intelligent? Then forgot what it was, just that you knew something about something a while back? And all you could do was stutter out a Gumpian sounding, "Well Jenny, I knew it yesterday!"  

If you need something placed here, send it along.  After the editor reviews it, it will assimilated and any evidence of ownership will be removed so that intellectual theft will be complete and untraceable.   Just following the Washington D.C. School of Journalistic Integrity here.  It will be pinned on the bottom of the page.

I give you: Conspiracy Theory, uh....  

 Brain Dump Mod 1.01 Mk 1

Heuristics: replacing the mental model - This post revealed a more accurate understanding of an issue.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Starman Jones

I wasn't much of a scifi geek in school.  I mean, I had a subscription to OMNI magazine, and talked about all the movies and tv shows back then, but I was always a practical type.  "How could I leverage that to help me now?"  Well, John Carter of Mars notwithstanding, everything else was basically neglected.

Later on, a friend loaned me Armor by John Steakly and I found Starman Jones on my own.  There is a part in Starman Jones where he explains to his love interest that space is like a folded handkerchief.  If you follow it across it's length it takes years to go from A to B.  But since A and B are almost touching because of the fold in space, you just punch up to light speed for an instant at A and you pop out at B.   Very interesting concept.  

I last posted 3 weeks ago, and BANG! here it is 19 Sept 2021.  The ensuing days passed so quickly.... almost like they didn't exist.  This is the weirdest headspace I've ever encountered.


Recipe Time

Falling back on my Rules for Normal Operational Capability¹, I remembered some wisdom from a past comment thread.  Do something you enjoy doing.  So I cooked up a roast, with a different spice set than normal.  I've always like to experiment with flavors.  Found out the offlimits stuff that way.

I made a few changes to the recipe though.  I had 9 pounds of pork roast, so I tripled everything.  

I always try and sear the roast before I cook it.  That brings out some really good flavor.  Then I put it fat side up and sliced into it about an inch in a few places.

No ground cumin, so I took the cumin seeds (cominos) and placed them in the mortar and pestle (molcajete) with some red pepper flakes.  Ground them down to dust.  A little warm water to make slurry and sloshed it on the roast.  No limes, so I used lemon juice and plain old cider vinegar substituted for the fancy stuff.

Slow cook for 8 hours, then warmed overnight.  It's falling apart and nicely spicy.  Probably gonna make some rice for it this afternoon.  And I have food to freeze for several days of yum.

Might as well learn to cook for my new neighbors....


Machine Shop Projects

The old taper attachment has been languishing.  
Thankfully, it doesn't mind waiting for me

My emergency bathtub replacement part lathe project exposed a weakness in the Logan quick change gear box that needs immediate attention.
One step forward, two steps back


When I get a little wind up, I have cleaning and cooking to do.  Then I'm down for a few days.  It's a cycle.  Look up long haul syndormeThen check this out.  It's a year old and I've not heard another thing about it.  I don't think I have this though.  What I have concluded is the muscles I built with a 100% operating lung capacity are able to remove O2 from my blood faster than the damaged lungs can replace.  I'm trying to drive cross country on a drag racer fuel tank.  I think of a thing needs doing, start in on it, and suddenly have to stop and rest.  Everything has slowed down to operate in that limited arena.  If I push on to complete it, it'll be days of rest, not hours.

I do like visual imagery that fully explains what I am attempting to convey


39 years ago today, I pledged my life and sacred honor to one woman.  I have remained true to that promise.  I meant it then, I've lived it ever since.  I had no "Plan B".  It's been 531 days on the island.  I no longer feel the pathological loneliness.  I am more comfortable in my skin than I ever remember before.  But I do know what Momma meant when she said, 'if you pour salt and sugar together, it's impossible to separate them again."  There are things that have become a part of me.  I know my way around a molcajete for instance.  And I know I can endue more than I have to date.  But enduring isn't a freeman's fate.  I aim to flourish.

All the trees where I grew up lean like this.  They were in the wind from the beginning.  That southwesterly wind caused them to lean to the northeast.  Every one of them that grew out by themselves look like this.  They were marked by their hardship, but they fought right on. 

I was raised probably less than 15 miles from here

I'm taking notes...


I'm gonna have to start a page to keep my brain dumps on, the glossary, and rules for whatever

[¹] Rules for Normal Operational Capability: 

In no particular order

Hang around people more intelligent than I am.  Listen, learn, apply, asses, repeat.