Thursday, January 2, 2020

Stupidity drives intrepidity

Nice morning and a nice day. Temps above freezing and the sunshine feels warm. These things combine to slowly, oh so slowly, melt snow and ice. Which is good. There will be much more snow, ice, and wind to come in the next couple of months, so the snow and ice we have will be added to and will be with us until spring really gets sprung but good. That's the way it works, and that's just okay. And even if it wasn't okay, it would still be the way it works.  Along with the snow and ice and cold there is also the persistent, chilling winter wind. In case I haven't mentioned it before. Just the way it is.

So I ran into town to go to the bank. I thought I'd demonstrate how the drive through works. As if it works differently here than anywhere else.

The pneumatical tube is fascinating to me.

But I chickened out on making a video record of the whole thing. Thought the FBI might have to come shoot me in the face for making an unauthorized bank video or something. I can be such a maroon. Buk-buk-buk-buk-bakak!

I really should video some small town Kimball things and share them here. And to do it right, or at least not completely wrong, I should make arrangements with the people and places I video. How hard can it be?


And now, Stupidity drives intrepidity. Or something like that.

As far as lizard-apes go, I think you can put the stupidity part down as a solid fact about the species. Also, I think, the fact that doing stupid stuff can be part of a learning process. If you don't die from the stupid of course.

Yesterday was a bit of a busy day and nothing at all like the way I had it planned out. Unanticipated stuff kept cropping up, which is simply par for the course. In my line of work I find that I have to be a bit nimble and ever ready to change plans, improvise, adapt, overcome. I also have to be ever ready to step back, take a look, recognize that I've once again done something stupid, and then figure out how to unfiretruck both myself and the feat of stupidity. As I think I've said here before, it can be vexing but it also provides a lot of opportunity to learn, grow, and hopefully get better over time rather than worse. Jury's still out and won't reconvene until after I'm safely planted, so I'll never know for sure. Not on the plane. Just have to suck it up and drive on and do my best.

The fun part is that just when I'm elbow deep in the guts of unfiretrucking a stupid mistake, other stuff usually intrudes. Sometimes I can keep multiple plates spinning, and sometimes I can even do that well. But other times I need to concentrate all my meager facilities on a newly arriving problem, and that's just the way it is.

So there I am, trying to solve an unanticipated mystery and develop a solution to the potential problem arising from the mystery. Clear?

Okay. What happened is that I noticed the big west doors of the shop were wide open. This was odd, for I hadn't opened them. They are big sliding doors which hang from overhead tracks and are latched with a simple locking bar. I was in the shop on December 31 and the doors were closed and latched. Yesterday afternoon they were wide open. Mom hadn't (and can't, really) opened them, and as far as I know, no one else had been given permission to be in the shop or open the doors. In fact no one other than Mom and I had even been present.

Except it seems that someone else was present. Nothing was missing, so that's good. Still, it's a rather unsolvable mystery. Furthermore, it now makes sense to lock the shop up. Which has never been done before. So I went looking for keys, found some, and tried them all. None fit the lock.

As I was playing with dozens of keys, I received an urgent text and had to leave, so I pulled the door closed and skedaddled.

The text was from Snow Girl, and she was having a rough day. As it turned out she just needed to vent and talk herself through a bit of problem solving. Which she's perfectly capable of doing on her own, because she came up with good, solid ideas without a bit of a hint from me. And I'm sure that's for the best, because there's no way I can solve any of her problems or even completely understand all the variables she is working with. All I can provide is an ear and encouragement, and that just seems like something I'm supposed to do. So I do.

So she vented and problem solved, then we fist-bumped and each of us got on with our days.

Back at the ranch I quickly realized that I'd neatly locked myself out of the shop. Firetruck!

I gave the problem some thought and decided to go in through a window. Which I did.

Still nothing missing. Mystery unsolved.

My tentative plan upon gaining entry was to remove the lock set, take it to town, and have it re-keyed. I knew it was pointless to go on searching for nonexistent keys. 

Fortunately for me I ended up finding the keys to the door hanging on a nail just inside the door and cleverly hidden by hanging leashes and dog chains.

So. Mystery unsolved, problem made worse by stupidity solved. And since I can still wiggle through a window to unfiretruck myself, I must not be dead yet.

So Red and I went to check the south unit. Which was still present. Red had one question for me.

What are you gonna firetruck up next, lizard-ape?

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.


  1. That's... odd... And I'm assuming you don't have any cameras up out there either...

    1. It is odd, and no, no cameras. However, it seems like a consensus good idea to get some up and in battery. Time for a trip to the big online buying place.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. That's disturbing that you found the doors open. I my experience, that type of door just doesn't "blow open" in the wind. Maybe time to buy some inexpensive "game cameras" and hide them where they have a good view.

    As far as unscrewing-up self-screwed-up stuff....well, let's just say we have something in common.

    I just noticed the Tomcat from the Jolly Rogers. Did you serve on the Nimitz? Since I was working on the radars for the Tomcat and the Pheonix when I worked for Hughes in Torrance, CA, I was invited to a VIP tour of her when she was in Long Beach, and got to meet a bunch of Pilots, Crew Chiefs, and Maintainers.

    1. The wind culprit is a real stretch. Occam tells me that some unauthorized lizard ape was in there. Time to do some surveillance camera research.

      Indeed I did serve on Nimitz. I'm the doofus flight deck corpsman in the image. I belonged to VF-84 and made five deployments in Nimitz between '79 and '87. The AN/AWG-9 was a mighty radar, and the AIM-54 a hell of a missile, especially the Charlie. During our '82-'83 cruise we lost a tech rep named Bill Graham; can't recall if he was Grumman or Hughes but he was an F-14 guy. It was a sad day.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting drjim!

  3. You don't have a patent on stupidity. Have a flat on the Mighty Max. Go to loosen the lug nuts, HA HA. I asked them very politely when the tires went on to not torque the lug nuts too tight with their impact wrench. "Oh, no problem", they said.

    I have a star wrench. Not enough strength to break them free. Couldn't find my breaker bar so went to Harbor Freight and spent $14. Later, found my existing breaker bar while looking for a 7/8 socket, which I didn't find.

    Tomorrow it is down to a storage shed I rent that has two tool boxes. Probably a breaker bar or two there also.

    After all the hassle, present and forthcoming, will drop the spare and take it and the ruined flat (something cut the sidewall) in and have two good M+S tires mounted and switch the other rear tire to become the spare. So, a thirty minute jobs becomes a two-three day goat roping.

    1. Viewed through a certain lens, the whole stupid thing can be an adventure. :-)

      Good luck with the tires, it's a simple job that's never as simple as it should be.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Best figure out a way to secure the window,as well. Wouldn't hurt to let the S.O. know about this. Other doors in the county may be being opened.

    1. Good ideas Scott. I did let the S.O. know and they promise to keep an eye open. Didn't have any recent reports of break-ins. I'm going to change the outside light fixture near the walk-in door to motion detector and floods and probably do the same on the west. Looking into cameras as well, and I'm also leaning toward an autonomous armed drone. If i can teach it the difference between bad guys and bunnies.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Interesting that possible intruders would find their way out there. In the cold and wind. But a human explanation makes the most sense.

    I see that while you were beating yourself up over locking yourself out that Nona the Wonder Dog was observing from a safe distance. Then Red decided not to sit up front with you. Perhaps the dogs are shunning you? (Cats do it, I'm sure dogs do it too over some slight, real or imagined.)

    I've locked myself out of a place or two, locked others out as well, inadvertently I assure you. I once put The Nuke's car in her garage and locked the human door behind me, thinking of course that she must have a key.

    Nope, the only way in was with the garage door opener, which was firmly affixed to the sun visor of her car. (A car which is now mine.) Turns out the landlord never gave her a key so he had to pay for a locksmith to get her back into her garage.

    That was in Virginia Beach. She discovered her car all soundly locked away when I was back in Little Rhody. Yeah, covered myself in glory that day. Not.

    Great post BTW, adventures in banking and Evertson Mystery Theater - watch as the Great Cowdini slides through a window without breaking anything. (I always break something...)

    1. People with motivation will do just about anything, and the "anything" doesn't always make best sense. Which state of being I am rather a poster child for...

      Both of the dogs are so much smarter than me that I've given up trying to understand and am now just trying to learn from them. They can pretty clearly sense when I'm irritated and they kind of hang back, not knowing what the lizard-ape might do but knowing he's capable of monumental stupidity. Kind of like that old (really old) Bill Cosby bit about he and his brothers spreading out when their Dad was mad so "he couldn't get us all with one shot."

      That's a good locking-out story. Sounds just like a Virginia Beach landlord, too. I've had several. The navy landlords were always the least organized and reliable for some reason.

      I should really do that window sliding thing every day as part of my stretching routine. It's a decent little workout!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sarge!

  6. Good to hear you are putting up cameras, and lights. My concern would be for mom, hoping she is armed to the teeth.
    Living in the back of beyond in the middle of 15,000 acres on the home ranch, we didn't worry too much about people coming unannounced. First you could hear them come over the cattle guard, and then the dogs would start in. There is always the exception... we had a knock on the door late one night. The cowman answered with his boomstick at the ready. A really frightened teenager, that had taken a wrong turn (thought he was headed to town) was outside. We brought him in, fed him, had him call his parents, and heard the tale of how he had been terrified walking the two and half miles in the dark to our house. Seems the 500 head of heifers, out of curiosity, had followed him... jumping and blowing... He came back by a few weeks later to let us know he was doing well, and to thank the Cowman for not blasting him, and me for the hot stew and pie...

    1. I'm worried about Mom too, but, she's probably more safe than 99 percent of the u.s. population.

      That's a great story! I can just imagine a teenager with little or no cow sense being terrified by playful heifers at night. Probably thought a herd of lions, tigers, and bears was after him. Small price to pay for stew and pie though!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Brig!