Thursday, May 6, 2021

Doc's Daily(ish) Dump : Thursday, May 6, 2020





I was working on some thought experiments but I'll save those for another day.

Thought for today: If it's such a struggle to hold on to a mad, why do I often fight that fight? I always lose, thank goodness, because if I win that battle I will die. Little ones teach me beautiful lessons when I'm teachable.


Losing the mad battle.
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Physical therapy is proving to be extremely helpful. The hands on soft tissue work, dry needling, and instruction for stretching and exercise are making me more flexible and able to move much better. The process is also reducing radiculopathy. All in all a very good thing.



Sunlight kisses Scottsbluff National Monument through decomposing morning fog.

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Friday and Saturday I was able to get out and train. They were sunny spring days and the lichen encrusted rocks were particularly fetching to my eye. 

Couple of pics from Friday...








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On Friday as I hiked I was buzzed several times by a Swainson's Hawk. There are several mated pairs living above and around this particular slice of heaven, and it's not unusual for them to follow me around while I hike. Sometimes they buzz me, but that's usually rare.

The reasoning part of my brain tells me that they follow me in hopes that I will scare up a tiny, tasty morsel for their dining pleasure. Makes perfect sense. To them I'm nothing more than a feature of the ecosystem which they might be able to leverage to their advantage. Their lives are a constant battle for survival, after all.

On Friday, though, one hawk buzzed me more than a dozen times. I began to wonder if she was exhibiting a Jonathan Livingston Seagull-esque delight with livin' and flyin'.

And then, having shared beautiful moments with another in this place, watching these hawks, I began to wonder if something else might be in play.

At one point the hawk buzzed me and then disappeared into a gully. I didn't see her come out, so I thought she might have made a kill. It would be cool to see and capture in images a hawk kill, so I hurried over. I spied the hawk in the bottom of the gully. I didn't see any prey in her talons as she sat there in the sandy gully bottom, so I eased closer. And closer. And closer still. She let me approach to within about 10 feet, something I've never experienced before. I paused there, camera forgotten, and watched her watching me. Slightly (more than slightly) embarrassed, I asked, "Is it you?" She didn't laugh. She just watched me watching her. Finally she lazily spread her wings and floated aloft on a warm updraft. Where she had perched was a Pronghorn leg bone, bleached white from time and sunshine.

Alexzandra's sister is an artist and loves to work bone into sculpture. I picked up the bone, intending to give it to her. I was surprised by the heft. I looked closer. Pronghorn bone without question. But this one was a fossil, completely mineralized.

What do you do with an experience like this?

I delight in the thing, delight in livin' such an experience.

I am so very blessed.

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We all know how very serious the wuhandromeda threat is. We'll all die from it. Unless the gubmint saves us. We all know the drill; no need to think about it because tee-vee. Very, very, very, serious business.

Meanwhile, outside the tee-vee...


It's a very good sign in my estimation.

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Here's a recycled corpsman chronicle. I selected this one because in a comment Tom made via email, he described having chest tubes placed during a hospital stay. I too have had a chest tube, and I've also placed chest tubes. Re-reading this one gave me a lift and reminded me that while I get mixed up in serious stuff all the time, that doesn't mean I should take myself too seriously. I may be a unique ape-lizard, but more importantly, I'm exactly equal in my humanity to all other ape-lizards, past, present, future..

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Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.




Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Doc's Daily(ish) Dump





Thought for the day:

To embrace the blessings of liberty one must first embrace the responsibilities of liberty. What are these non-enumerated responsibilities? Good question.

Hint:

They're not what the tee-vee tells you they are.

Good luck and good hunting.

##########

How 'bout a bunch of baloney...

Or should that be Bologna? Or Bologne?

Which calls to mind a non-sea sea story. One day in the distant past our crew caught an R&R hop across the Adriatic to Venice. We didn't like the Venice vibe at all so we rented a Fiat and drove to Bologna to try the sammiches. Bologna was very cool and the sammiches were wonderful. Then on a whim we decided to drive the 850 kilometers (530 miles) to Bologne (not Boulogne! There are about 5,000 Boulognes' in France, one around every corner it seems) to see if the two cities were clones of one another. Our drive through the alps in high summer was spectacular. We'd left Bologna after local noon and overnighted in the tiny Swiss town of Russ, part of the municipality of Silenen, which had nothing to offer except clean beds in a quaint and creaky inn, spectacular beer and a home cooked meal, and locals who were hugely amused at our attempts to converse in Italian, French, and German. Fortunately for us, everyone we talked to spoke much better English than we did. And the waitresses were spectacular examples of Swiss Alpine beauty. Bologne was not a clone of Bologna, and we didn't come within 400 kilometers of Boulogne-sur-Mer, which is up by Calais. We stayed in Russ on the return and were greeted like family. All in all it was a wonderful bit of rest and relaxation. Then it was back to Venice, hop on the VR-24 Greyhound, and back across the lovely Adriatic, where we had work to do.

Those were the days!

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Saturday was the very last day the little one would ever be two years old.


Sunday morning she woke up and it was her third birthday!

A year ago I was sitting on a couch in a crowded living room in the midst of a grand second birthday party. In the middle of all that chaos and excitement and love I got blown up by a smile and the most spectacular eyes in the universe.

In that moment I realized that I was orders of magnitude happier than I'd ever been in my life.

Today happy is still a thing for me, and I'm kinda surprised that that's the case. As it turns out, happy is a choice I make, and it's up to me whether I go to happy or not. Surrounded once again by chaos and excitement and love it's an easy choice to make. I wish my Alexzandra were physically here, and I'm forever crushed by her physical absence, but I know she's here in spirit.


As I left off writing this to go do birthday party stuff I was feeling pretty sad. I asked God to give me strength and lift my spirits. I didn't want to be a big crybaby raining my chosen misery on everyone else. As always, God hooked me up. I asked Alex to be with me, and she was. Everything was okay after all.

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What's better than playing outside on a beautiful day?


The four year old taught his great-grandma his favorite song. It's the theme song from a computer game (properly a video game I guess) that had something to do with Freddie. I believe the lyric is actually "fire, fire, fire, I'm dancing with my deepest dark desire." That makes sense to me, but the Z-man says I'm wrong. It actually goes, "fire, fire, fire, I'm dancing with my deepest Doctor Zire." He's more likely than I to be correct. In this video there's a bit of three year old finger slime on the camera lens.

 
Later it was time for presents.



And cake.


The cake was made by our local bakery, and Mary Sue's cakes are awesome.

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Physical therapy has been super. My muscles and joints are working better every day and increasing flexibility is making me feel and move like a much younger me. This all makes cardio, strength, and endurance training so much more pleasant. It's hard and joyful work and it pushes me farther and farther away from old-guy land.

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Here's a Corpsman Chronicle re-run. This one got missed when I fixed (?!?!) the numbering scheme and put CC's on the sidebar.

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Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.



    

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Babble and triple D





Mostly sunny today with air temps in the mid-50's. Also breezy, and that northwest wind is blowing over a lot of melting snow and cool ground, so it's a bit chill.

Nevertheless, I did a five-mile prairie run (jog, actually) in shorts, sleeveless tee, and trail running shoes. It was awesome. I found some death camas and larkspur along the way.
Toxicoscordion venenosum, or death camas.

Delphinium spp., or larkspur.
Nature is awesome, even the toxic parts.


##########

Thursday I had nerve conduction tests and physical therapy.

The PT was great, though I got beat up a little bit. Physically and mentally. "No one in your age group," said the therapist, "can bend over and put their palms on the floor like you can." Yay, I win!!!

"However," he said, "everyone in your age group can bend backward better than you. We've got some work to do." Ulp!!!

So I learned stuff which is good. I feel like it's stuff I should have known, but I'm open minded enough to listen and put criticism -- especially self-criticism -- in the proper scale, context, and perspective. It takes work to do that, but I'm willing to do the work.

Among other things he gave me a bloody good "hands-on" stretching, which was great. Made me feel better both physically and mentally. One of my body's reactions to the new regime is pain. Not a lot, but enough pain to be a hard challenge. That's okay. Hard challenges are good.

Now we're embarked on a twice-weekly regimen of therapy, which will include dry needle therapy. In simple but perhaps gruesome terms, it's basically jabbing needles into stiff and stenotic muscles to force them to heal both the needle trauma and the stenosis. So basically a fun but hard challenge.

The nerve conduction tests revealed that my nerves from spine through toes are in perfect shape. The nerves branching out from L-4, L-5, and S-1 are very irritated at being squeezed, but they are not losing conductivity or otherwise beginning to fail. That's all very good news.

The doctor who did the tests was very skilled and knowledgeable at the physical stuff. She was even better at getting me to talk about and assess the mental/emotional aspects of having this chronic malady. She got me to talk about navy, ranching, and new family, and remarked with awe and wonder that I've had three amazing lives. Very many folks, she said, only ever have one life, and the one life can often be mundane.

I'd never thought about my life trajectory like that. Pretty cool stuff. What an amazing physician.

I am blessed, and I think I know why.

Strike think. I owe it all to God. And I know it.

##########

I'm quite vexed, as I always am when I sit down to compose a blog post on blooger, that I can't save my compose settings. So I get a goofy serif font and blooger's paragraph setting, neither of which I desire. This is one of the "improvements" the blooger team made. Who, after all, would want to compose a blog post in any way other than the way the norcal blooger team would do it?

So I begin every post with anger and resentment and even fear roiling away in my heart.

A couple of things though. First of all, every scrap of the anger and resentment and fear I experience is on me and me alone. Secondly, I don't know anyone on the blooger team and I have no idea what their blooger motivations are, so when I award them en mass with presumed motivations I'm missing the boat badly. It's said that holding a resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. The poison hurts me, and the other person has no idea whatsoever that I'm bubbling with resentment rage. They don't know, they don't care. Which is as it should be. Thirdly, when I'm raging against imagined bloogerites who I've never met, I'm violating one of the most important foundational principles we ape-lizards have ever developed. I'm treating them as other, as things, rather than as human beings who are exactly equal to me in their fundamental humanity. I'm not treating them as I would be treated. I'm treating them as a means to an end, rather than as an end only. When I think and behave in a way which eviscerates fundamental principles, I destroy my own soul and I jump right off the path, the way. I no longer walk in the sunlight of the spirit; I walk the dark path which is a journey in a living hell.

It's a choice.

Wisdom reflects good or proper decisions, and the ability to make good or proper decisions comes from the experience of making bad decisions. Over time experience and knowledge develop into wisdom, and this is a grand achievement.

But for me, at least, knowledge and wisdom are not enough. I've been doing this life thing for decades, and I still make bad decisions. I make bad decisions all the time, every day, at the drop of a hat.

This is where spirituality comes in. I am weak, and I need God's grace and God's love to carry me back onto the path, back into the sunlight of the spirit. When I lean on God and trust God, all is well. When I do it my way, on my own terms, it's a trainwreck.

So now that I've asked God to take my anger and resentment and fear, He has taken them away. He has placed my feet back on the path and healed my soul. I am no longer a crying victim of imagined evil forces.

Besides, I am reminded, blooger is monetarily free, and no one is making me use it. When I choose to use it I choose to accept the attached strings. That choice and the consequences -- including dealing with the composition settings -- that's all on me.

So there, I tell myself.

And I smile.

##########

As I noted, it's a beautiful Sunday. I'm preparing fried chicken and baked beans for the evening meal. The chicken is buttermilked and floured and fried by me, and while the beans come from a can, they are "baked" by me. One of these times I'll do the whole "home baked beans" thing. If I can get the logistics and planning down, that is.

Perhaps I've babbled on enough.


##########

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.




Friday, April 16, 2021

uppity-date





It's been over a month since I posted here. That's kind of shitty. Kind of? No, not really. it's just shitty.

Big thanks to John Blackshoe for the welfare check he sent out yesterday. I needed the prompting, and even more I needed the reminder that I've been ignoring my friends. I've got dozens of excuses. None of them are reasonably valid.

We just tripped over the eight month mark. I don't have anything remarkable to say about that. Maybe later.

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carolina TURTLE shared a lovely video with me a couple of weeks ago. I love the song and the video is stunning. It's from World of Warships which is, I believe, some kind of computer game. Paddles. Wow!


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I'm gonna try a 'speriment. Doc's Daily Dump. Can I post a snippet every day? I don't know. The heart and mind are willing but the flesh is weak.

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Our major winter storm -- Storm Victimillia XXIX -- is in the process of delivering a gentle rain/snow mix. Which is strange because we all know that both rain and snow are impossible due to algoreism; that in fact there has been no rain or snow since 1998.

Nevertheless...

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As you may imagine I've been rather the busy fellow of late. Yesterday I made the pilgrimage to Scottsbluff, Nebraska for nerve conduction/EMG tests and physical torture therapy. It was a grand and successful outing, which I'll try to describe in a follow-up post.

Just for fun...


Impossiblesnow!


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This morning...


And that's it for today. I'm pressed for time and this will never get posted if I dick around and try to polish the tee you are dee.

I shall endeavour to return tomorrow.

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Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.




Thursday, March 11, 2021

Light shines upon the hard path





You may remember this young lady, my cousin Elisa. We share a birthday. She has Cystic Fibrosis. She was three years old when I participated in a CF hike out in Salem, Oregon, where she lives. Many of you kind readers supported the DF research cause, and your thoughts, prayers, and dollars made a real difference. Many lives have been and continue to be improved and blessed with promise.


Elisa is seven now!


The 5K hike you readers and I participated in was fun and cool. On July 10 it will be time for me and other hikers to embark on an adventure in an effort to bring awareness and dollars to the ongoing battle against CF. The Oregon CFF Chapter has challenged us with an Xtreme hike. Can I do 30 miles in one day across the Wildwood Trail in Portland?

Why yes. Yes I can.

I've started training. I'm Team Elisa. The team may expand to include other hikers; it's a work in progress and we're just getting started. I'll post more details here I continue the adventure.

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In the movie The Shootist John Wayne's character J.B. Books takes a small town tram ride on a sunny and warm January morning. "It's what we call a false spring," he remarks to a bubbly young girl on the tram.

According to the calendar and more significantly to the Earth's location in her solar orbit it's still winter and will be until 0337 Juliet (Tango/MDT) on Saturday, March 20.

When it's winter in this part of the world we often experience very nice weather days. Warm sunshine, balmy air temperatures, and little if any wind. Delightful hints of the springtime sure to follow and ultimately the season of easy living.

But these nice weather days are what J.B. Books was talking about.

False spring.


Of course it's not really false spring. It's early March. The days are getting longer, which means the sun has more time to warm the air mass and warm the ground. As the sun shines down and we are enveloped in late-winter warmth, it becomes popsicle weather. Kind of.


Nature responds with a slow waking of grasses and forbs. You have to look beneath the prairie's shaggy coat of dried leaves and stems, but when you do the greening blades of future cow food are evident. Therefore, what would have been false spring on a January day is now in March a neonatal spring day. Lovely and well worth the effort to embrace and enjoy.


There's more cold and snow in store for us. The weather man correctly predicted a return of freezing air temps, snow, and cutting wind. A slow moving weather system has been spitting snow and returning s morning skim of ice to Tommy and Nona's water dish. The next car in the weather train is predicted to bless us with a winter storm this weekend.

This is all as it should be. I relish excursions into false spring, but I also relish winter's return and even winter's unavoidable encroachment into calendar/celestial spring.

##########

I am in a very odd place. Odd but good.
NAS Oceana SH-3G on the ramp at Cecil. I learned hard and beautiful lessons in this pig.

I'm not the only one.

Pri-Fly, USS Midway. Smell that?

SH-3A/D, USS Midway Museum, June 2017

SH-3A/D, USS Midway Museum, June 2017. This one flew Apollo recoveries.

Countless hours spent in a treatment room just like this one on Midway.

This ladder-bottom pharmacy on Midway instantly made me think of HMC Roundtree. Really old dude, pushing 40 as I recall. His morning routine was to power-slam two pots of coffee while simultaneously smoking two cigarettes and chewing two pieces of nicorette. He was a cool cat after that, but woe betide the sailor who even glanced at him before.

I used to could sneak up this ladder and steal cereal and toast or bread when it was too busy to justify standing in a chow line. On Coral sea of course; this is Midway.

Main entry to sick bay was/is down this second deck ladder. Medical was on the third deck to keep it a little more protected. On later carriers they put medical on the second deck.

Emergency medical supply chest or locker. Whenever I wanted to firetruck off for a few hours I'd grab a clipboard and pen and "Inventory" these things.

There was always a medical locker needing inventoried near the gedunk.

Knee-knocker, yay!

Queer. Yes, it's a queer. Sometimes (but rarely) called the EA-6B Prowler.

She looked good back in 2017. Probably covered in wuhandromeda today.

A great deal of life happened for me here. What a strong connection to livin' a warship represents to a sailor.
##########

I can't get Post Malone's Circles out of my head.


If you have to have a song stuck in there, Circles might be the best option. Love the song, love the video, don't know why.

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We're at the seven month mark. Over the last 30 days the acute shock of the thing has faded. It feels like the shock was a roaring, consuming flame. The flame has guttered out now, having burned all there is to burn. So what remains of me? Am I nothing more than a burned out husk? While that certainly could have happened, it didn't. With God's help and my conscious decision to actively live life the flame forged rather than destroyed, What remains is clean and spare and case hardened. The forging process continues though, for as the shock departs it is replaced with a more complete understanding  of how utterly smashed I am.

Smashed, exploded, strewn across a metaphorical/metaphysical landscape.

The clean me that's left can look at the devastation, accept it, and soldier on.

It feels... good. Right and proper. I suspect that doesn't make much sense.

Over the years I've learned through trial and error and hard, hard lessons that the best path is the hard path, that actively living and walking with God is the proper place to inhabit. In that place the choice to give up and quit is ever present. The hard and proper thing is to eschew quitting, stand tall, and soldier on. Which is impossible, save for the power and grace of God.

So I go on. I've left the furnace behind now, and as a fundamentally changed man I have a life to actively live. On with the show.

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Kind reader Tom shared this with me, written by his son. It's a good read. It's a good read to be read and re-read, considered, and savored. I don't and can't know the whys and hows of this life-adventure. I do know that God's grace shines on me when I walk the spiritual path, and that path is heaven on earth.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.



 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Radio check






Gratitude list:

God's grace works in and through me when I seek it and allow it.
Unconditional love.
Children.
Family.
Friends.
I am alive and livin' rather than existing. I live in physical, cognitive, and spiritual reality.
I am and have always been dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with unalienable natural rights.
I can hate the cold and love it at the same time.
Hard things suck but they are also challenges, and challenges are good; being able to live is the antithesis of victimhood.

I got not much else today. It's busy and there is stuff. Here's a recycled CC. It's one of my faves.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.



 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Blasted (updated!)





Z-Man, holding his pirate hook-knife, tells us why boys don't wear lipstick.

The Pirate Queen is not impressed with his argument.

What's better than a heart smile?

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Blasted. Here in the southwest corner of the Nebraska Panhandle and much of the surrounding area we're being blasted by an invasion of very cold Arctic air.


Now why do I say we're being blasted? The term blasted connotes a sharp increase in kinetic energy, as in an explosion. What we're experiencing is actually a reduction in kinetic energy. When air temperatures fall what actually happens is the molecular components of the local atmosphere slow down. All of those O2's and N2's and gaseous H2O's and CO2's and other bits of molecular gas zipping around and bumping into each other and everything else lose some of their zip and sloooow down.

That's the opposite of an explosion, the opposite of being blasted.

So why did I say blasted? Why did I title this post Blasted?

In truth it's the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought about this invasion of cold air. I think it's because the warm winter we were experiencing suddenly changed to hard cold. In the jumbled thinking of my mind the sudden change feels kinetic, even though by definition the actual change is completely the opposite.

Does that make any sense? Yeah, it kind of baffles me too.

##########

How do you count stuff? Not you you, mind, but you in general, as in we, as in us. How do we count stuff? And why?

Kind of a goofy question, no?  So what do I mean?

On Sunday, sometime after noon locally, Spaceship Earth arrived at the place in its orbit which was precisely opposite of the place it was when Alex died on August 10. That moment marked 182-and-a-half days, or six months. Yesterday (Monday, February 8) marked the 26th Monday, or half of a 52-week year, which is also six months. Tomorrow, February 10, is the sixth 10th of the month, yet again six months. So I can precisely measure six months three different ways over a spread of 96 hours. Kinda goofy, eh?

Tomorrow's my birthday too.

I don't know why the counting seems important. I worry that there's too much me-me-me going on. I don't know precisely how I feel about hitting the six month mark. My emotions are all over the place. I think that's exactly where I'm supposed to be.

##########

How about a back update?

The last week has sucked for the most part. I got an extra large dose of steroid injected on both sides a week ago. The injection of so much fluid into such narrow confines caused enough tissue trauma and inflammation to make the nerves very unhappy indeed. I understood what was going on and was reasonably confident that once the tissue healed and the inflammation went away I'd feel much better. Other than crawling around under my house to fix a busted pipe I've been taking it very, very easy.

Yesterday I went back to building widgets. The first 90 minutes was kind of awful. I gave serious consideration to pulling the loud handle and doing the nylon GCA to home plate. But I was kind of sick of home plate, and I wanted to stay at work if I could do so with tolerable pain. As a last ditch I went to the break room and stretched, which I was pretty sure wouldn't help, but which I also hypothesized could possibly work. I didn't think about in percentage terms at the time, but if I had I'd have pegged the possibility of relief from stretching at one percent or less.

So after 15 seconds of stretching the pain went away, and it hasn't been back. I still have some soreness in and around the injection sites, and a good bit of old-guy stiffness when I sit for more than an hour, but the radiculopathy pain is gone.

What a blessing. It's hard to (perhaps impossible) describe how wonderful the absence of pain feels. It's like emerging from darkness or something.

Another nice thing is that we've now appeased the insurance gods and allowed enough career bureaucrats to pad their nests that we can move forward toward a permanent (for certain values of permanent, obviously) surgical fix. More imaging and a nerve conduction test is in the works. A description of the modern surgical wonders available is fairly making my mouth water. The dream of returning to full physical soundness and ability might actually be within reach.

I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that it might not come to fruition. If it doesn't it'll be what it will be and I'll be okay. But things do look brighter than they did a week ago, so there's that. It's all part of the big adventure.

##########

Hold the phone, here's an update.

The kids found this series on u2b. I don't know how they found it, despite the fact that they were sitting on my lap watching kids videos on my phone at the time. Maybe someday they'll tell me. Regardless, I think the videos are quite clever and enjoyable, particularly this one. YMMV.

 

##########

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.



 

Monday, February 8, 2021

New snow; hard is good





This one is from the morning of February 7
February 6.

It's a beautiful snowy February morning here in the southwest corner of the Nebraska Panhandle. Fifteen degrees American, light fluffy snow, just a touch of a northeast breeze. Now that's normal winter weather for the area. Looks like Punxsutawney Phil was right. He saw his shadow on Groundhog Day and predicted six more weeks of winter.

That particular philnomenon brings -- or should bring -- a big question to the forefront of the ape-lizard mind. Does reality match up with the claims of the philverse?

As a useful tool, Phil's prediction is rife with problems. As far as we can tell he doesn't actually predict anything. His people posse interprets his behavior and decides whether he sees his shadow or not and, by extension, what it means or doesn't mean. At times the Punxsutawney Phil People Posse's prediction might be correlated with real world weather conditions. At times the prediction will not be at all similar to nature's weather work. Most often the prediction turns out to be null, neither right nor wrong by any objective measurement or comparison. In 2021 -- and indeed for many decades now --  the whole thing is entertainment. Theater. Circus for the masses. A great many people are told by the tee-vee what the prediction is and then suddenly "remember" that they predicted the result long before the Posse roused Phil for his February 2 appearance.

It's one among countless curious twenty-first century ape-lizard symptoms.

So anyway, one point seven five inches of new snow yesterday. When I melted it out in my snow gauge it yielded a full quarter inch of liquid water!


It's nice to get the snow. It's very dry here after a half-year of scant precipitation and the quarter inch of water will mostly make its way into the soil. Moisture in the soil makes the green stuff grow. Some of the solid phase water (ice and snow) will sublimate back into the atmosphere and some of it will evaporate between melting and soaking in to the thirsty ground. But the part that does get into the soil will be beneficial.

It's a reality thing. In the real physical world the water cycle and the carbon cycle team up to make life on Earth possible. It's basic sixth grade science.

One of the things I find interesting and more than occasionally vexing is the vast number of people who know with complete certainty that the real physical word doesn't exist. It's just an opinion. And not much of an opinion. Real and important opinions are in the tee-vee, presented by talking tits and slick people posses. Everybody knows that the more important opinion is that bad people have stolen almost all of the planet's water and we're running out and the bad people are producing carbon in bad-people death labs to kill us all with wuhandromeda. It's a remarkable thing to observe. I predict a bumpy path ahead. I watch precious children at play and can't help but wonder why so many millions of grownups are casually willing and even happy to so savagely abuse them; to steal their birthright and set in motion a nightmare which today's little ones will have to try to fix.

On the other hand, I watch precious children at play and see their innate problem solving abilities and their tough mindedness. They'll have the ability to right the wrongs of the present crop of failed ape-lizards. Their historians will not treat us kindly though!

What is a principled ape-lizard to do? More specifically, what am I to do? It mostly comes down to sticking to principles, and that path requires the hand of God for successful navigation. God says "Trust  God" and take not the counsel of your fears. Where there is life, there is hope. Livin' life includes loving and embracing and enjoying. Trying to own or operate or manipulate fellow ape-lizards is and will always be a failure.

Moments of frustration...


In the midst of troubles and hard challenges there are constant moments of joy and wonder and love. The little one isn't supposed to say "shut up." When she arrives at that place where she is trying to exert her will on the big, big, world, she sometimes decides to say "shut up." What does a grown ape-lizard do? It's a livin' thing. There's no one-size-fits-all answer. The correct answer falls under the aegis of love. Lovin' is livin', and livin' is a wonderful gift.


##########

February 7.

More snow yesterday, three-quarters of an inch which yielded an astonishing quarter-inch of liquid. That's a half-inch in two days. A blessing and help to address the less than optimal level of moisture in the soil. Out on the prairie dry, dormant grass will hold the snow while the sun's warming radiation will tease some (hopefully most) of it into the ground.

It was cold and clear this morning, with almost no wind.


The no-wind thing is a joy on cold, clear mornings.


I had and continue to have lots of physical pain this morning. The pain sucks but I'm not going to give in.

Isn't it cute when old people act all tough and everything?


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February 8.

Overnight air temps tumbled to minus 3 degrees American. That's minus 19.4 yourapeein for those keeping score at home. It's a beautiful and cold February morning. The Arctic air mass is predicted to stick around for a week or more. This, as well as the recent snowfall, may offer indication that nature's precipitation constipation may be clearing up. Time will tell.

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For the last couple of years I've been splattered by a local application of the great societal illness of egocentrism. The new rule is that others are not actually people, they are objects or tools to be used and manipulated. The reverse doesn't apply; self-anointed masters of the universe have only rights and an enormous sense of victimhood. Not a responsibility in sight. Responsibilities are for the objects and tools, and those responsibilities are completely centered in the rights of the important victims.

One can only abide so much splattering, particularly when allowing the splattering to continue will only ever enable the special ones to continue down a self destructive path.

It ain't easy being an ape-lizard. That's okay though, because hard is good, hard is growth.

Yesterday included golden hours of family and love. How can one person be so blessed?

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Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.