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.


  1. OMG, I remember OMNI magazine from back in the day.
    That roast actually sounds pretty good, too bad I won't be able to make it here unless I can eat the whole thing.
    Baby steps buddy, you have already come a long way, no need to rush into things.
    One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. That outlook has helped keep me sober against all odds for nine years now.

    1. Yes sir, that is the plan. Slow and steady. I've hit the "week to recover" road twice. I'm done with that. Might have a pushed a bit far today, I'll know better tomorrow. The old body feels fit and ready... until it stops. But I read you loud and clear.

      Thanks for checking back in.

  2. My friend, the thing I would tell you is pace yourself - and be patient with yourself. Things are changing, but even in this period, find things that you can still do and enjoy.

    I re-read John Carter almost every year. I still need heroes of his cloth.

    1. See, exactly what I remember. I bought a "last anniversary" present for today. A seemingly decent set of kitchen knives for the future. I'm the only cook and bottle washer now, so I got something that looks like it will make cooking a bit more interesting. I can stand and cook for quite a bit longer than I can clean and mop. So, there we are.

      And even though John Carter is a lot like the Super Sacketts in Louis L'Amour books, he at least is Barsoomian and has an excuse to run faster, jump higher and almost out fight Tars Tarken. Didn't even have to look that up. I'm glad he found a true woman in Deja Thoris.

      Thanks for the visit.

  3. That stupid picture of the trees is making me homesick.

  4. Yes, I remember OMNI from back in the days when I was a young man...... and National Lampoon, Scientific American and Radio-Electronics, all before they faded away or changed to become non-interesting.

    One of my current projects is fixing up an old Jet 9x20 lathe I picked up years ago for a cheap price. Basically functional, but long neglected and some parts are broken (like the forward/reverse power switch). A bit of a challenge, since nothing is available anymore, but I think that I am up to it. I'd like to try my hand at a little metalworking - I am a long time woodworker, but my metal skills are limited to files and saws.

    1. Setup some searches on ebay if you are of a mind to. I have a few that update everyday. You never know what's out there.

      And getting into metal working has been a blast for me. It's quieter, and less dusty than wood. But the skill set is very similar.

      Good luck on that Jet. I recently discovered and old Sears lathe, and it's almost a basket case. I'm not sure it's savable, but you gotta at least try, right?

      Come by anytime! I appreciate the visit!

  5. I used to read OMNI and Science Digest back in the day. I have also read Starman Jones.

  6. Any of Heinlein's books are primo!

    1. I really got a kick out of reading his work. I like Burroughs, too.. Well John Carter of Mars. I never read Tarzan.

      Thanks for stopping by! Come over anytime!

  7. I'm long overdue to reread Armor and I will then reread his Vampire novel.

    There is so much to read and I don't know what happened to the spare time that retirement was supposed to bring.

    1. I feel you John. I have been on short term disability for about 2 months and each day is wake up, putter, and bed time. I have never seen time blow by so fast in my life. I remember reading about the "quickening" about 20 years ago. Not of bringing life back, like Biblically, but an actual speeding up of time. Even young kids were noticing it.

      When I was a pup in high scruel I noted that the rest of the week seemed to pass as fast as Monday. At the final bell on Monday, I'd say, it's almost Friday! And it seemed to go that fast. But that was way more than 20 years ago...