Sunday, January 26, 2020

January 26, 1986




















Never give up, never surrender!





I was going to do a Corpsman Chronicles for today (yesterday as you read this tomorrow, which if you are reading this and you aren't me, is today). I have a good story (imo) to tell all about Shirley and the first time I ever sutured. But that will wait.

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The u2b Al Gorythm threw this up at me last evening (Friday, January 24).



Now that's funny as hell. Ape-lizards are a hoot. But what is it about the video that made me laugh out loud and watch it several times? Is it simply that a little kid getting the shit beat out of him by a garbage can is funny?

Maybe not. The hilarity of that young whippersnapper's battle doesn't come from the head bashing or the skillful judo lesson the garbage can threw down. The deeply funny part comes with the empathy I feel. I have been that kid on countless occasions, and metaphoric garbage cans continue to kick my ass on a regular basis. After six decades on the ol' blue marble I've learned how to work with the wind rather than against it, but I haven't learned all the lessons, not by a long shot. And some days, like yesterday, I still fight the wind head on, and as usual, the wind triumphs. Every. Single. Time. At least in the physical sense.

The thing that makes me laugh out loud is the sheer pluck, determination, and hard-headedness of the kid. He battles like mad, but the garbage can finally flings him to the ground. It's a clear victory for team Wind and Plastic. Or is it? The little shit springs up, tugs down his shirt, and prepares to get serious.

"Arright motherfiretrucker, you want it hard, we'll do it hard."

There are times when I'm so proud to be an ape-lizard that I can't find the words.

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Today was going to be a light workout day. And it was, for certain values of light and workout. Four point fifteen miles in about 100 minutes. Quite a few challenging slopes, but none of them were that challenging. The best part was that in addition to a reasonably good workout and the warm mental and physical sense of accomplishment that goes with that territory, I also played. I had fun. I had a blast. I got soaked, muddy, cold, and I even tore my pants! What's better than that?



I experimented with the super slo-mo on the phone. These are kind of interesting and very short.







While I'm thinking at the keyboard I need to figure out what the frame size should be in this wide aspect format so I can better fit the videos to the blog frame. I'll tinker with that a bit. If I remember.

Anyway, I set out to glacier crawl in the east canyon of the South Googie. Instead of picking my way to the bottom as usual, I took the opportunity to do a fun snow and ice slide!



One of the first things I did after my first face-plant of the day...


...was make a decision to jump down from a higher glacier shelf to a lower glacier slope. Just to keep it real, these things I keep calling glaciers, aren't. They're all just frozen snow drifts. On the other hand, they fell as snow, transformed into ice, and are in the process of flowing downhill. Pretty much. So, technically...


Now when I jumped I thought I was making a video record with my phone, but I was not. I either didn't hit the little red record button or I frightened the phone so badly it panicked and froze up. Anyway, I jumped down, it was an extremely benign and vanilla experience, and then I crawled under the ice bridge you see in the image and into a cool ice cave. Probably the best bit of video I never shot. Maybe tomorrow. Here is the video I took following the one I didn't took. Not much consolation, but it's better (?!?!) than nothing. As I shot the video I was already thinking stupid thoughts.



But I also wanted to get some uphill stuff done.



Did I mention it was a beautiful day?







The "real workout" behind me, it was time to get my stupid on. But first, Red had a sticker.



Sticker fixed, I felt the need -- the need to bleed!



Let's try something more challenging.



Aaaannnnd, hold the presses!

Okay, I'm going to split this post into two parts. I've just solved some technical technology issues and I'm going to be able to use some videos I didn't think I'd be able to use. Which is cool. I'll blather on about my technical technological prowess in the next installment. You know I will!

Also, dinner with Snow Girl this evening. She had a mushroom-swiss-jalapeno burger.


Me, I had the small portion prime rib, sans pommes. It'll be bikini season soon.


I am so proud of that young woman. There are tiny little snippets of life which are so fantastic that there haven't been good enough words invented yet. Being able to experience such moments is one of the blessings of liberty.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Saturday, January 25, 2020

Who wants to...





...attend my competency trial? It should be hugely entertaining.

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In my previous post I hinted begged for advice on how to download files -- specifically images and videos -- from my phone to my PC via the usb cable. It was quite easy with my previous phone; simply connect the cable, locate the phone in "this PC," double click the phone icon and open it to the appropriate folder, then select the files and drag them to a destination folder on the PC. Nothing to it.

With this "new" phone I've never been able to pull it off. Every time I connect and double click on the phone icon it tells me "folder is empty." Carp!

In the title of yesterday's post I hinted at what I was pretty sure the problem was. The phone and computer were doing precisely what I had told them to do, rather than what I wanted to do. In other words, it wasn't a problem with the hardware (although I popped for a new usb cable) or the software, it was the meatware.

As always, you kind readers came through for me. Harold pointed me toward the dcim file where I discovered the phone was rat-holing images because reasons (sure to be a meatware issue, though possibly not your correspondent's meatware).

Sarge suggested -- politely mind you -- LATFPD -- (look at the firetrucking phone, dummy!). Which reminds me an awful lot of what every C-School instructor wrote on the chalkboard before every written test -- RTFQ!

So I tried that. When I plugged the phone into the PC the phone popped up a message that said:

Allow device to access files?
Allow                             Deny

Which instantly caused me to remember that I had told the phone not to share any info with anyone without first asking. Which is, I think, a smart thing to do.

When I selected allow, the PC was able to open the phone. And there were no images or videos in "pictures" or "movies" as there would have been in my former phone. However, acting on a tip provided by Harold, I found the files I wanted in dcim.

The phone was doing prizackly what I told it to do, and the PC was reporting that the phone wasn't willing to play the particular game I was proposing. It could have spelled it out in language I understood, mind, but that's just a quibble. The meatware is supposed to be in charge. The meatware was in charge. If the meatware has a bug, it's not on the software or the hardware, it's on the meatware.

Humble and heartfelt thanks to Harold and Sarge.

I feel like an idiot, which is appropriate.

However, Sarge also taught me to do italics and bold in comments. I think it's that hyperspace tesseract magic letters stuff. So heck, it's a win-win all the way around.

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It was overcast this morning just after sunrise. Overcast, a touch chilly, and nearly wind-free.



Charging ahead later, I set out on a hike. The weather was nice with the exception of the wind, which had come up to 25 gusting 40 and was irritating. But only just irritating as the air temperature was about 50 degrees. It was mostly cloudy but Sol was present and the warmth of the big mass of fusing hydrogen was very nice indeed. From that perspective the breeze might have actually been beneficial. But don't tell anyone I said that.



The jury is still out on on the wrist activation button for the new camera. Not on the button itself, mind. No, that thing works great. The question is whether I can actually work it.


As long as the camera is powered on, pressing the red button takes a picture and pressing the gray button starts a video recording. To stop the video recording, press the gray button again. Of course with the camera on my chest it's a bit inconvenient to check whether it's recording or not. I have to fold it forward and look at the tiny screen on the back. It's making a video if a little red dot is slowly flashing on and off. Which is easy to see when I'm sitting at my desk, but not so easy out in the field. Bright outside light and sun glare make it hard to see the screen, let alone the dot. Plus I'm also usually moving, so I'm trying to navigate around obstacles  and take in the scenery. You might ask whether it's that hard to just stop and check. I'm asking myself that question as I key this text into the magic box. At a kind of deep and instinctive (perhaps?) level I'm reluctant to stop moving when I've told myself I'm working out. I've got devices tracing my progress after all, and a two second pause could play hell with my world-class hiking times!

Here's a picture taken with the red button while I was moving. No, I don't believe it's specifically for taking pictures of Red. I'm not entirely certain though. The owner's manual is a bit less than clear on many things. Although it reads far better in English than anything I might try to write in Chinese!


I crossed an erosion control dam and scrambled up a steep ridge in a howling wind. I tried walking like I had a book balanced on my head (and you probably know the othe part of the equation) but I'm not very good at that, especially on uneven prairie ground, in the howling wind, and staggering up a slope. In reviewing the video I think that having the 140-degree wide angle enabled is making the swaying look a lot worse than it is. Therefore my plan is to narrow the field of view and see how that works. Maybe it'll help. On the bright side, once I made the top of the hill I tripped over a frozen atom and nearly face-planted. But I'm remarkably light on the pins for a grumpy old fat man!



I went rather a long way today. I did about three miles into the wind and almost four on the way back. I shot a lot of video but it was all horrible. Just a lot of swaying and panting and bitching and talking sailor talk.

I also found that extended distances without plenty of steep slopes to go up and down played havoc with my nerve pain. I think it has a lot to do with spine, hip, and leg geometry. Regardless, I was hurting a lot near the end.



At the end I struggled crossing the four-wire fence. But I struggle at that whether I'm sore or not.



I did a bit less than seven miles with some hills mostly at the beginning. It was a good workout and despite my complaining it was good for me and made me feel pretty good. The nerve pain went away within seconds of sitting down, and it's not bothering me at all right now.



There was quite a bit of other stuff going on today and I'm just getting home at 9 p.m. Guess I'll call it a day.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Friday, January 24, 2020

How come my phone and computer...






...do what I tell them to do rather than what I want them to do?

I've had an S9+ for coming up on 18 months. It's a good phone with a pretty good camera. Butthowever, where with my old phone I could download pics and vids in a flash via the usb cable, when I try with the "new" phone the computer (PC Windows 10) sees the phone and correctally identifies it but says that the folder is empty. I can't find a simple set of instructions on the interwebz that isn't written by the chinesium version of Hemingway. Somewhere I got the idea that I needed to install phone specific drivers on the PC, and I did, but it didn't make any difference.

At present I'm stuck uploading files to the cloud then downloading them to the PC, then uploading them to u2be. The process is slow and... irritating.

Oh, bother.

On the upside it's a good problem to have, and an opportunity to learn. When life gives you intractable computer problems, you make  intractable computer problems-ade.

Which I plan to do once I stop feeling sorry for myself.

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New tires on the Ranger are fantastic. Unfortunately, before I replaced them I ran the spare on the front for too long, goobered the rack and pinata, and blew up the power steering pump.

This is a job for the guy with the right tools and the right attitude. I have the right tools, but I do not have the right attitude. Besides, it's January and it's cold in the shop. So I'm going to throw money at the problem. Small towns need businesses, and small town businesses need customers.

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Cold-ish and windy today. The air temps are actually above average for January 23, but the wind makes being outside somewhat less than pleasurable. Lots of nerve pain today and my guts are bothering me for some reason. I'm feeling worn out, cranky, and every task I essay (including simple keyboarding) feels like it's a lot harder than it should be. So. Have I missed bitching about anything?

What can I say? It's an ape-lizard thing.

The solution to my own ridiculously simple problems is ridiculously simple. The Big Aircrew Chief will do for me what I can't do for myself. I gotta do my part, but He carries the load.

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

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That feels better.

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And what felt even better was blasting out a pretty good workout. The nerve pain got a bit better. The gut thing and the weariness and the general malaise didn't exactly get better, but all the better stuff created by the workout made me feel a lot better.

The first part was testing whether the simulated synthetic rabbit fur muffler I glued over the mic opening on the camera helped with the wind noise. I was on the breezy side of a windbreak. I was also testing out the chest rig for the new camera. My initial take is that wearing the rig is comfortable and it keeps the camera plenty secure. On reviewing the video, however... Hope no one gets the ol' mal de mer.



After I turned the corner and headed south I was still on the upwind side of the trees, though most of the wind was behind me. I was going to make the video very brief, but I got distracted by working hard and jabbering too much. I just let the thing run until I finished the hike.



When I downloaded the videos I found that the camera had split the video into two parts, roughly 25 minutes and 5 minutes. I'll have to figure that out.



The straight-line distance was 1.6 miles but all the back and forth scrambling meant I actually traveled more than twice that, just shy of 3.5 miles. All in 42.5 minutes, or under 13 minutes per mile. Not too shabby for a fat old man with nerve pain and a bad attitude.



The camera settings swear that the image gyro-stabilization is on rather than off. Therefore I have selected On Full Force. Could be a simple translation problem. English is not the camera's first language. We'll see if it makes a difference, and possibly even the right difference.

If that doesn't work it's either a gopro or learn to hike like I'm balancing a book on my head and have a stick shoved up my, um, attitude.

All in all a great day. Still not feeling all that great, but a good glacier gallop sure settled the stomach and minimized the nerve pain. And despite the unpleasant wing it was a beautifule day on the prairie.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Thursday, January 23, 2020

Just a sparse one





To get back on schedule as it were.

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I guess Sis had her preliminary hearing this morning. As I understand it, unless she talks someone into bailing her out she'll remain in durance vile at least until her arraignment on formal charges January 29. Considering that she urinated upon the Queen's Highway I don't think the court is in any hurry to adjust their schedules for her.

Once she's arraigned they'll likely revisit the bail question. I think she can plead guilty at the arraignment, waiving a trial and throwing herself on the mercy of the judge. I suspect I'd do that if I were in her shoes and reasonably sane. If it goes to trial she'll lose unless the Queen's Constabulary firetrucked up the paperwork. She could only "win" on a technicality, which would almost certainly be a big loss for her and for society.

Looking over the penalties in Nebraska statute I'm glad I'm not in her shoes.

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On the off chance that anyone who didn't catch my comment to this post over at Sarge's place and happens to read this post (a rather unlikely thing, but so is america), I shall post the following video. This Eric Johnston has some pretty good stuff on the u2be.



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And now for the fun stuff. Don't worry, it's not one of my videos! If you haven't seen this Sarge, you're in for a treat.



For a Canadarian this Rob guy at British Muzzleloaders has some of the best stuff on the interwebz over at his u2be channel.

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If anyone reading this is looking for great and fascinating historical bang stik stuff and has never heard of Bloke, Chap, Mae, Othias, Mark, or Ian (Gun Jesus), let me know and I'll pass on some links. Or shit, just search those names. You'll find the right places.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Couldn't pull it off





Not with this equipment.



I had a post written and queued up for 0300 publishing. I thought. Nay, I was convinced that such was the case. It was not.

When I realized I hadn't actually sent it to scheduling and looked over what I had prepared, I recognized the hand of the Big Aircrew Chief. That post wasn't fit for human consumption.

So here we are.

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I didn't quite get the workout in I wanted to yesterday morning. Mom and I had a mission lined up to hit the big city of Scottsbluff to resupply with chicken food, bird food, and people food.

Here's an interesting factoid, and one we all know. While chicken food is for the chickens, and bird food is for filling the bird feeders where the silent but energetic songbirds like to hang out, both birds and chickens are, well, birds.

The chickens could thrive on bird food and the birds on chicken food, but that's not how it's done.

People love to tinker with things. Those who are into feeding songbirds tinker by paying outlandish prices for plant seeds which have so little nutritive value that down through the last 15,000 years of ape-lizard existence they were the gruel that peasants and slaves subsisted on. The seeds do have a great deal of nutritive value to songbirds, but because most songbird-feeding ape-lizards have no idea of the actual monetary value of milo and millet and sunflower seeds, they are willing to pay a premium. They fall prey to marketing, convenient and colorful packaging, unsubstantiated and fantastic claims, and hearts filled with the desire to nurture songbirds.

There's nothing wrong with any of that, not up front anyway. On the backside there's a bit of a problem though. Most people in the first world have quite a shaky understanding of reality, and living out the songbird feeding fantasy skews their world view just a tiny bit more. In that sense it's just a little bit not good. But again, it's not wrong or bad. It's just ape-lizard.

The same thing happens with feeding recreational chickens. The upside of feeding both songbirds and recreational chickens is that you do get a lot of stuff in return. There's a great deal of pleasure to be had in watching and listening to both kinds of birds, and in the case of chickens, there are eggs. And Sunday chicken and dumplings. Except that most recreational bird feeders will never pull the trigger on that last one. Unless they get hungry enough. And on balance that would be a bad thing.

People are endlessly interesting, and their intrestingness is not infrequently vexing to other lizard-apes.

Anyway, we were scheduled to walk at 1045 for the 1100 go.



We actually got going by 1115, so that was good.

We went to Murdoch's for bird food and chicken food, and that went well.

We also went to Safeway for a few hard-to-get-in-Kimball items and that went well too.

And we went to The green Plate for lunch. I took and went and wrote about the place previously. Yesterday the specials were pan-fried chicken (meal) and Reuben (sandwich).

Mom had the Reuben. She said it was quite nice.


I had the chicken.


It was inedible.


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So today I understand Sis was supposed to go before the judge. Haven't heard anything yet. The lineup of charges looked impressive to me. I'm hoping they'll find a way to keep her in the jug until she has her trial, but I suspect they will not. Bail is only a grand.

Anyway, lots of talking stuff through for Mom so I've been occupied with lending an ear.

It's another pretty day out albeit quite a bit more breezy than I like.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.

Unless you've jackassed yourself into jail. In that case, suck it up, drive on, and try to firetrucking learn something fercrissakes.




Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Big plate of poop sammiches





But there's ice cream too!

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Lots of videos today, some shot with the phone and some with the canon. And I haven't yet rabbited the canon. Don't feel compelled to watch. I'm making this stuff up as I go along.

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Nona has moderate hip dysplasia. Good and bad in that. Today she has lots of pain and isn't in any way up to getting out and about. She needs rest and NSAID's, so I gave her 110 mg naprosyn and 160 mg aspirin in a bowl of cottage cheese and sour cream. As for the rest portion I wanted her to stay home today, perchance to lay in the sun. She wanted to come with me this morning though. I got the sense that she wanted to stay close to me. So that was okay. I did my chores and then took her back home.



The good part is that moderate dysplasia means she can probably have a pretty good and mostly pain-free life when the hips aren't flaring up, and also that the NSAID's work pretty well for her. The bad part is that she'll be 9 (63-ish statistically) in July and her hips aren't going to get better. At some point she'll be suffering too much and I'll have to put her down. And when I say I'll have to put her down, I mean I'll have to put her down. Me. In my world that's the way it works, and I will not sell my responsibility in that regard.

It's just part of the deal, the responsibility a person assumes when they take a dog into their family. Administering peace and and end of suffering is simply the fair exchange for years of unconditional love.

Now my personal approach is just that. My personal approach. I arrived there under the direct supervision of the Big Aircrew Chief. Don't imagine that I believe my path should be the path of any other person, ever.

Between now and that moment -- if it ever comes -- Nona and I will do our best to enjoy our time together.

She did feel better as the day went on but was still pretty sore as of the time I sent this off to scheduling.

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To continue on an upbeat note, my 49 year old little sister checked herself out of treatment yesterday and after a brief stop at the likker store checked herself into gaol. DUI nth offence (as the Brits spell it, and where n = a presently unknown number greater than 1), resisting arrest, reckless driving (thankfully wreckless driving as well), driving on a suspended license, and urinating on the Queen's Highway. That last charged offence is of course not true and reflects my attempt at making a funny.

So what does a person in my shoes do in this situation? It pretty much comes down to suck it up and drive on. There's nothing I can do for her. There are any number of things I can do with her, if she ever finds a way to begin to try to unfuck herself. I have to be ready to help under the proper circumstances, and also be firm in withholding assistance which would only enable her continued fuckedupedness. Easy. So I'm leaning heavily on the Big Aircrew Chief. It's liable to end badly I fear, but many humans choose to take the express to bad endings and there's nothing any other human can do to change the destination. They get on the train, they can get off. But they don't always do so.

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On to the ice cream.

My intent regarding a workout was to hike a couple of miles with a couple of hills, something I did yesterday, wherein I didn't push it much although I didn't completely wimp the hills.



I also intended to explore a bit more "glacier" climbing, which I 'sperimented with yesterday on the spur of the moment.



Because Mom was taking a walk while I was doing my physical thing Red accompanied her rather than me, which is the way it should be. Yesterday Red went with me and tried to capture a vole. She's a nose hunter though, so she missed. I'm not sure if the vole was lucky or good. Probably both.



But that was yesterday. This was today. Which is now yesterday. Fricking time machines.

Anyway, stretching and pushups!



Then I must hide my keys where only people on the interwebz can find them.



After a mile or so of hiking, a warm-up slope.



Then after summiting Vader Hill once, a brainstorm!



Let's do it five time hard(ish)!



Then a beauty break with more sobbing and a diabolical but unworkable idea.



More sobbing with some artistical video of snow-ice in the middle. There's clearly a bit of psychosis going on. Okay, more than a bit.



Then 7.5 minutes of "across the valley and back" baloney, heavily edited down to a buck thirty-five. Still too long. This one is definitely worth skipping.



And finally a "look at me" recap. Probably a good one to skip also.



At the end of the seventy-minute workout I'd done five miles pretty hard. I did a lot of hills. My fancy watch credited me with 10. The number doesn't matter really, the point was to work hard and get good exercise, and that's what I did.

So the poop sammiches weren't exactly tasty. Unfortunately, life comes with a lot of poop sammiches, and that's a fact. There's always ice cream on the menu too. Not always a lot of it, but it's always there.

Nona's feeling a lot better as I write this. We'll see what the morning brings.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Monday, January 20, 2020

Slightly irritated





No big deal, just taking forever to move videos over from my phone. Which is one of the reasons I got the new camera, iirc. The phone also decides to turn a good number of videos sideways and upside down. The u2be editor used to let you fix that.

I should really just bite the bullet and learn how to edit. Or hire a geek kid. No, geek. I don't even talk that Greek shit.

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Very nice day for January here. Air temps hit 44 and the wind moderated a bit. It was clear and sunny.



My hike only went three miles today but a great deal of it was up steep slopes. I also did some fun glacier scrambling. It was a fairly light workout but it felt good.

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I super-glued synthetic rabbit fur over the mic holes on the new camera and on the phone case. Did I already 'splain that?




It seems to help with the wind noise. Doesn't eliminate it but tones down the worst of the screeching.

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Mom made bacon and eggs for lunch today and it was a very tasty meal of course. Should have made a picture but I spaced it off.

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And since my videos are still downloading and are therefore not usable for the post I intended to write, I'm afraid this is it for the day.

On the bright side, tomorrow's will have a couple of interesting videos. If I don't get abducted by aliens again.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.