Monday, April 18, 2022


First time I went bird shooting, dad spooked up a flock of English sparrows and I took a shot at the middle of the pack.  I hit nothing but air.  It was then I began to understand the following:  you are bound to shoot what you aim at, and, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it.  I should have identified a target and aimed for one bird.  With me, the beginning of understanding is usually after a failure of some kind. 

Having shot a hole in the wind, I learned a neat lesson about J1772.


I am usually interested enough to research before I post.  Didn't happen this time.  At least Tesla encouraged me a little by having their own plug design.  I guess they are the Apple of EV's.

Take heed, ye that think ye stand, lest ye fall.  I stand corrected and more knowledgeable now.

Thanks Glenn.  I was so uninterested, I didn't even go back after I posted to look into this subject.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Send in the clowns..... They're already here.....

Oh No!!!!!

Bad news on the horizon guys, get youseff ready!!!!!
I got a good belly laugh just now.

Vox dot com said the gas stations will have to adapt or face death due to EV's.

My first thought was, they'll die with the economy any way, so what?
***(Strike through is an error, see updated 4-18 post)***

And, no electricity anyway....  Or batteries.....

Hey, what about the tire shortage?  Do EV's use those?  I think they float around on blue hazy ozone... right?

They are smoking so much dope on the ecology activist front there isn't enough for stoners....

Scruel Time 

At my old scruel, we had tons of kids of migrant workers.  Cotton was king back then.  And farm hands were everywhere.  The last days of big family farms, medium sized families, and loads of menial laborers with big families living hand to mouth. Now, they are almost all either corporate owned or layout ground that farmers get paid not to farm.  
I didn't know what "migrant worker" meant.  First day in the new school, a counsellor caught me in the hallway.  "Mr. STxAR.  I see you are a transfer student from Lubbock.  I have some questions for you.  Are you the son of migrant workers?"  "No ma'am.  My mom works for the Lubbock ISD, and dad is a Texas peace officer."  "Oh, well, since you are new this year, I'm gonna mark you down as a migrant...."  "I AIN'T NO MY-GRUNT. I was born just north of here and lived in Lubbock county my whole life.  You better call my folks before you mess up."  And, as they say, the rest was history.  I had five difficult years in that hole.  Migrant kids moved so much, they needed remedial everything.  The government had special extra money for school districts if they could put you in that classification.  
The others were rich farmer kids.  Just a few of us had a real middle class type life.

Several of those migrant kids and some of the less capable were shunted post haste into vocational programs.  I had a neighbor boy back then that went to barber college at 14.  He didn't even go to school after 16, worked in his dad's barbershop full time.  He graduated on time.  The other option was a varied class on restaurant operation, sewing, and I don't know what else.  In high school, I didn't even know it existed.  There were 52 in our graduating class.  I don't know how I didn't know about that course of study.  

FFA was there to give you some basic skills for farm life.  Vocational agriculture they called it. But it was a graded class, in the normal rota of elective class we could take.  No vocational track kids were in there.  So the kids most likely to need it couldn't get it.  Government education, what a country.  But I really enjoyed it.  Livestock, farm methods, wiring, welding, cutting  All kinds projects to do.  Wood working, too.  

First freshman year project

I gave it to mom.  She went on ahead in 94.  Dad caught up to her in 06.  I got it sometime in betwixt.  It's a bit dirty and the finish is worn.  Look at those screw heads.  I didn't know to line them up.  Mr. R taught me that.  He had some craftsman in him.  We all made these in that class.  Hand rubbed finish.  When it was brand new, you could see into the grain.  I was mesmerized by that.  One of those legs took on a little cup, and when I seated the bottom shelf into the dado, it cracked.  I didn't change it.  Still there to the right of that knot... still remember the sinking feeling, then realizing, it wasn't going to be a problem.  It was finished with a clear varnish.  But that color!!  I love the way pine pumpkins out over time.  Orange wood fills my sails....

Plasma Table

The table is up and running.  The software is fairly easy to manipulate.  This thing for a gate is nearly four feet across.  Old Timer Stockman for scale.  Took about five minutes to burn that out.  Need anything cut?  Steel is outrageous in price now.  Perfect time to stock up!!


Mission creep is a booger.  I got the VFD mounted in it's spot.  But I needed to upgrade the wiring to it.  I wanted a fuse at least, oh and a contactor!! yeah!  Wait, that means wiring and buttons, and a pot for the rpm adjustment to the VFD...  Power AND control voltages??  In the same chase, no, crosstalk is bad.  Induced voltage and all that..... crap... Dang it.   Switch has a busted button, I have a start switch (guarded type), but the off needs a mushroom head.  What about an E-Stop?  Load resistor.... 100 bucks?!?!?!??!  REALLY????  How about...... and then.....  (loud autoplay link) "I'm sorry but the project you reached has exceeded its budget, please try your call later".  I hope to have some time after dancing to Uncle Sugar's demands for more mattress stuffing.  Baby steps this time.  Just a fuse at first....

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Do They Still Exist?

 Do you remember these guys?

Some one sparked a memory....

When I was a freshman in High Scruel, I joined the FFA.  When you did that, a series of events unfolded that can only be described as professional hazing.  Lots of memorization was required in the FFA.  That emblem above figures into it.....  "The plow signifies..... the owl represents.....  The ear of corn is a symbol of...."   Had to be word perfect.

On a certain Monday, you were to appear at school, dressed as a girl, or guy if you were a girl.  You had to put some effort into it.  I was about the homliest girl in four counties.  We learned quick to stay in a bunch.  Like zebras, if you got too far from the herd, you'd get pawed all over.  It was crazy.

After enduring that mess all day, you had a night meeting of the FFA chapter at the ag barn.  All current members were there as were the teachers and loads of parents.  It was a torture fest. 

We were barefoot in tee shirts, and blindfolded during this entire quest.  We were led by a guide.  I was directed onto some wooden steps then....  into a trough of ice water up to mid thigh and yelled at to start quoting the stuff we'd been memorizing.  "Stop, you missed a word, start over!!!!"  No one got farther than a sentence or two into it.  I think I was in there for forty two hours.

Out of the water and then you crawled through a tunnel with pieces of liver and other organ meat hanging down in it.  Blindfolded, with slimy stuff oozing over your face, hearing the noise and shouts and yells, and sometimes screams and laughter and.... man it was a mental overload if there ever was one.

I was put in a squeeze chute, my blindfold was barely lifted and before me were two oil pans.  One had sheep dookey in it, the other was full of cow manure.  When a cow is on grass their poop is like green soup.  That was in the pan.  There was a big serving spoon in each one.  "Take your pick, make it quick, or you'll get them both."  I choose the sheep crap, the blindfold came down and I got a mouth full.....  of raisins.  My buddy took the soup and got nasty spinach.... 

Two long 2x8s were laid out with cow manure dripping off the sides and piled high.  Blindfold up and you were given an egg.  "Hands and knees bub, keep the egg between the boards, push with your nose, and keep your hands outside the boards.   GO!!!!!"  Covered in manure, it was all over me by that time I got to the end.  I never minded cow manure, like the smell and I knew it would wash off.  Pig plop was just foul and dangerous.

The one that freaked me out......  gravy, still gives me chills.  I was put up on one of our work tables.  My feet were off the floor a good two feet.  They lifted my blindfold, and under my feet was a board with nails poking up.  16 penny nails with all kinds of blood and meat in between them.  I bet there was a hundred nails on that thing pointing in all directions.  The blindfold went down, and a couple seconds later, I was pushed off the table.......  and onto a pile of corn flakes.  I about passed out.... 

There was lots more, but those stood out to me.  I survived it and won EARNED the right to wear this:

My town wasn't Roosevelt

 Next morning I woke up with a crippling headache.  I could hardly move.  I had that headache for four solid days.... and I was bedfast the rest of the week.  Saturday, it started to fade some, but was still difficult to function with.  Sensory overload, I guess....

 Different times man....  Way different than now.  

AAR  (After Action Report) *

I look back on that, and I'm proud to have made it to the end.  I didn't realize how important that little life lesson was to me.  I learned there was more to me than I even knew.  Found some limits I didn't know I had, too.  

The hard times we are facing now are just like that hazing.  We don't know what to expect, and likely, will be different than what we plan for.

Time blindfolds us to the future.  We can't accurately see ahead.  So, we have to trust our Guide to get us to the next step.

There is depth to us that we don't know.  IF we grit our teeth and resolve to do what it takes to make it.

There will be hidden limitations that we will find out about.  Hard stops that we don't pass over, and they may be surprising.  

Going Forward Intentionally

Make your mind up now that you are in this for the long haul.  Set your hard limits before they are tested.  You don't want to wind up saying, "I should have stopped that before it went too far."  I'm positive we'll have enough of those regardless of planning anyway.  Minimize them by planning what you can now.

Keep a notebook with an index - bullet journal (one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do)

Lessons learned - so you don't have to relearn them

Supply cache locations - my reading list on the right and left panes

Learn new techniques and skills - never know till you try.

* You do study things after you go through them, right?  It's a habit worth learning.  I started by telling my family what happened during the day.  That gave me a chance to remember and my mind always came up with something as a result.  This blog and commenting helps me now that I'm solitary.


Bullet Journal Tutorial

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


Well, I guess it's official.  I can't game anymore.  
When I had some down time, when most folks would watch TV before bed, I'd usually fire up the old PS4 and play my favorite game for a bit.
Have a good trip

I really like Fallout 4.  Running around looking for trouble and doing the quests was a hoot.  Fed something in my head..... well, it used to.  I quit playing video games after the injury, and lightning ate the PS4 last August.   My son gave me his X-box last week when he upgraded.  

It's been two years since the concussion, and I thought, why not try it again.  After just a few hours over a couple days, I started taking a nap after playing for an hour.  Then, the restless sleep schedule started at about ten hours in (7th day or so).  Yesterday was the icing on the cake.  It takes the wind out of me.   Bad rest, little energy, two naps, and nothing accomplished all day.  Time to give up my drug of choice and get back to normal me.  


Thinking via Template 

One of the things I fought when I came out of the head injury fog in 2020, was the almost total exhaustion in the early afternoon.  I finally understood that the concussion "reset" my head such that I didn't know what to ignore.  When we do our daily stuff, things that don't move, or are exactly how we remember them are filed away as a template.  When we "see" them again, they match the template and don't require any input and can be safely ignored.  When we drive, everything is moving relative to us, so we scan and categorize things into DANGERS or ignorable.  Trees don't normally run out into the road, so they are ignored.  A ball rolling out between cars is an instant warning of DANGER.  After the injury, my head didn't know what to ignore and what not to.  So, it was like a time-slowing accident all day. 
Fallout 4 is that all over again.  There is no template in that game.
I'm not willing to lose ground when I can be outside working on projects and making progress on my goals.

Making stuff and making progress are much more fulfilling than playing anyway.  I DID learn that over the last two years.