The Editor’s and Chris’s Excellent Adventure

On Friday the winter sun weakly shone with what felt almost like warmth. The weather was indeed sweet, so the editor and I took ourselves off on an adventure. The adventure ended up at one of the most picturesque lakes in the country, and fortunately for us the lake is under an hours drive away from here. A massive tourist trap for sure, and just the place to visit especially now that some of the restrictions have been lifted from the dreaded dark days of the subject-that-dare-not-be named.

The picturesque lake is adorned with a lovely old Victorian era boathouse which sits upon the edge of the dark deep water of the lake and offers food to customers. Customers enjoying the winter sun are conveniently seated on a pier which sits over the water. Observant folks would note that the customers of the boathouse are afforded a view which is both sweeping and commanding. The mullock heap from the Cornish Hill mine would surely be in full view, if not for the rampant vegetation which has long since clothed the gold miners efforts at landscaping.

The editor is fond of recalling that in her youth the track around the lake was in parts something of a goats track. Near to the unseen mullock heap, the editor, as a child, saw a snake slithering through the vegetation whilst going about its reptilian business. With all of the tourists these days, the snakes would be most afraid and likely wouldn’t dare venture from their lairs in the first place.

As young adults the editor and I used to swim in the deep lake on hot summers days. It was both a pleasurable and refreshing activity. Other people also enjoyed swimming in the lake during those quieter days. The water in the lake is cold regardless of the weather, and after a bracing swim, a brief sojourn in the sun would warm the bones. The editors mother was once rather surprised to see a gentleman sunning himself just so, and wearing rather unusually skin toned coloured bathers. I guess there were less tourists about in those days.

It is nice to be able to get out and about now without all of the furtive sneaking around and plausible stories required by the subject that-dare-not-be-named. On that subject, serious people are so informing me that we are soon to be subjected to a second wave, and as to that I admit that I am no expert and can proffer no opinion. However, one second wave I know of has actually arrived, and it has brought bored folks out of the city and into the regional areas. It’s feral out there.

I’ve heard of people who are apparently bored whilst working from home on government benefits. Such stories sound like urban myths to me, but all the same there sure were a lot of people out and about enjoying themselves on Friday.

We haven’t had a week off work all year as there has been so much going on, but all the same we were very pleasant to the nice people who stopped in front of us to take selfies of themselves and their friends whilst also walking around the lake. The vistas are superb so I can well understand their desire for taking the best photo possible. However, whilst patiently waiting for the fourth selfie to be completed, and without a word or the merest of indications, the editor and I decided to photobomb the nice folks. It seemed like a spontaneous act of good fun. However, just to prove that no good deed goes unpunished, Plum the young sheep dog pup did just that act a few days later.

Plum the Kelpie puppy photobombs a lovely image of stacked fungi

Despite the few minor inconveniences, we had a lovely tourist adventure in what has been a long known haunt for us. Even the selfish selfie folks weren’t upset by our photobombing efforts either, although this may have had something to do with the editors cheery bright yellow denim jacket. Everyone has a secret clothing weapon, and that is hers. As we promendaded around the lake, we were greeted by many other happy (or possibly otherwise) people who felt the need to say hello to us. The jacket clearly has mojo.

All up it was a pleasant excursion accompanied by a fine lunch. My mates of the Big Shed fame introduced us to the place where the locals grab fine and affordable lunches. Even under the threat of pain of death I would not divulge the secret that was so nicely bestowed upon us.

Speaking of food, now that the restrictions are being slowly eased from the subject that dare-not-be-named, the local General Store over in this mountain range now has some days where it is possible to enjoy a coffee and fruit toast served on porcelain. A very civilised experience to be sure, and much more pleasant than consuming such produce served in take away containers whilst enjoyed standing out in the frosty winter morning air.

Even the local pub has now opened for bookings for specific seating times. And in a fit of excitement at our new found freedom, we availed ourselves of the facilities. Social distancing was maintained via the careful placement of tables, and I had to provide identification. It has been a long while since I’ve been asked to provide identification at a pub, and it takes me back to my picaqresque attempts at obtaining alcohol whilst under aged during my misbegotten youth. If I were smarter, I would have just made the stuff.

It is considered poor form to begin a concluding paragraph with the words: ‘In conclusion…” Therefore, I shall add in the word ‘so’ beforehand with a flourish and largely ignore this annoying grammatical rule of thumb.

So, in conclusion, we are very pleased that the restrictions have been somewhat eased.

The winter weather this week was glorious. Sunny blue skies. Frosty mornings. Still days. And the occasional chunk of rain. One morning was particularly frosty.

A very frosty morning

Frost even settled on the Suzuki Dirt Mouse.

The Suzuki Dirt Mouse was covered in ice

It sure was a cold morning. Even the Fluffy canine collective did it tough.

The Fluffy canine collective do it tough on a frosty cold morning

Ollie the Australian cuddle dog (err, sorry I meant to type Australian cattle dog) was doing it especially tough as the two younger sheep dog pups (Plum and Ruby) have kicked him off his green couch. He now sleeps on a dog mattress which has a sheep skin covering it. Spare a thought for Ollie’s now acknowledged lower status in the Fluffy canine collective. At least he is comfortable and warm, and that is something to be grateful for.

The garden terrace where the tomatoes and eggplants grew last year, was heavily fertilised with organic matter this week. Over the access path and also in between the garden rows was placed a thick layer of the chipped up woody mulch which was supplied by the nice electricity company. The garden rows had compost, coffee grounds and dynamic lifter (pelletised chicken manure) added. The terrace is looking set for next summer.

Plum inspects and grades the soil fertilisation efforts (whilst eating Dynamic Lifter)

The fencing on and around this garden terrace was also completed. A steel rail was added to the down hill side of the terrace, and all of the treated pine posts were cut down to a similar height.

The fencing around this garden terrace has now been completed and the gate realigned
Looking at the terrace from the other side

The steel rail attached to the timber posts is almost dead level with the roof of the strawberry / grapevine enclosure on the next garden terrace down the hill. I’d like to suggest that this effect was so planned, but it was actually a happy circumstance.

The outside and downhill side of the garden terrace was also fertilised with a huge quantity of chipped up organic matter.

A good quantity of chipped up organic matter was added to the outside of the fencing

The intention is to plant this outside edge of the terrace with lavender. The plants smell nice and are useful bee attractants. The downhill edge of the strawberry / grapevine enclosure is now thickly covered with lavender plants and it works.

Ruby notices that the downhill edge of the strawberry / grapevine enclosure is thickly covered with lavender plants

Over the past year, we’ve grown so many lavender plants here that they now self seed and there are little lavender seedling plants popping up all over the terraces. With so many plants available, we can begin planting lavender plants in other places such as next to the gates for the various garden terraces.

We have been planting lavender plants all over the place

Speaking of bees, the bee hive was moved off its rotting timber pallet and onto the recently constructed concrete slab. During the process of moving the hive, I stuck a sock into the mouth of the hive opening. Of course, the sock fell out during the brief move and despite it being dark and not far from the winter solstice, the angry bees swarmed out to discover what was happening to their hive. We were dressed in bee suits and so could blithely ignore the angry bees. I’m sure that the bees have forgotten the act of outrage committed against them, maybe…

The bee hive now sits on the recently cured concrete slab

Observant readers will note in the photo above that a few bees gave their lives for the good cause of trying to sting the editor and I. The dead bees would have kept watch in the cold winter weather for further mischief, and so died.

The farm is full of interesting life forms and the other day I spotted a Pobblebonk frog. The frog is so named because that is the sound that it makes.

A Pobblebonk frog

Some very early blue bell bulbs appear to be producing leaves under a large and old olive tree.

Bluebells are forming under the shade of this large and old Olive tree

The alternating hot and cold damp weather is producing a fascinating variety of fungi. The next image of fungi shows the fungus consuming some firewood.

This fungus is consuming some of the local firewood

Winter is the time for mosses, and the paddock is full of those plants.

Mosses are growing happily here in the damp winter conditions

Onto the flowers:

Tree Lucerne / Tagasaste produce great winter flowers
A Tree Lucerne / Tagasaste growing next to the chicken enclosure
A very confused Manchurian Pear produces blossoms and leaves
Silver Wattle in flower
Ajuga / Bugleweed a native ground cover which grows throughout the shady orchard
Rhubarb flowers
Stunning Succulent flowers
I’m sure this Rose should be deciduous like the other Roses
A Purple Salvia grows in the middle of this sheltered garden bed

The temperature outside now at about 8.00am is 9’C (48’F). So far this year there has been 621.8mm (24.5 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 591.8mm (23.3 inches).

56 thoughts on “The Editor’s and Chris’s Excellent Adventure”

  1. Yo, Chris – Does this magical lake have a name? πŸ™‚ . After arduous Googling around (took me less than 5 minutes) I figure it’s Lake Daylessford. I even found good pictures of the boat house. Quite picturesque, with those white walls and red roof.

    The terraces look right smart, and the labor is quit evident. For anyone who reflects that “right smart” takes a bit of effort. So, the “chipped organic matter … outside the fencing”? How the heck did you squeeze in there?

    The pobblebog frog made me smile. The mosses and fungi are fascinating. There’s a lot that’s fascinating, if you look around.

    The Lucerne is a cascade of flowers. And, I now see where the term “chicken legs”, comes from πŸ™‚ .

    Our rhubarb here is also flowering. Perhaps, no matter where they are in the world, June is the month to flower?

    That’s a rose that knows it’s own mind. Lew

  2. Hi Lewis,

    I can’t rightly say for sure why there is a difference in the responses between the new comers and the old timers. Of course I am deferential to the old timers and it is possible that like you say, they may have a better understanding of what is and what isn’t possible. Plus I believe – and have no way of verifying the belief – that the new comers bring with them the social tools which they may have learned in the big smoke, and those social tools may not work very well in this particular rural setting. And the various parts of the mountain range have very different housing arrangements. The more fashionable western end of the mountain range has smaller lots for the vast majority of people living there, but those are interspersed with huge old well established hill station gardens. So it’s a bit of a mix over there really. And in this less fashionable middle chunk of the mountain range, the properties are generally far larger and the properties are separated by forest, so it is sort of quieter than over in the western end. Another interesting thing that occurs to me is that people generally move into this area from the big smoke, rather than arriving here by way of another rural area. There might be something in that observation, but it needs more prodding before further results are yielded. πŸ™‚

    And your observation about getting ones hands dirty is also a very big difference. Many of the new comers may not have gotten that particular memo. Of course you also wisely mention the jumper, which is frankly nearing the end of its useful life courtesy of Ruby and Plum and a lot of wear and tear on my part. This is not the end for the poor jumper as it may well end up as dog bedding. Waste not, err, want not, and all that business.

    Hey, I went into the big smoke today, and they were enjoying blue sunny skies as if winter were a whole ‘nother planet. Coming back to the Central Highlands was like hitting a solid wall of thick cloud at ground level from one horizon to the other. An inch of rain has fallen in the past 24 hours. One of the pot plants which contains a Ficus has reached peak water and the plant looks as if it is underwater.

    Oh yeah!!! The thing about Mr Salatin is that he walks the talk and can eventually win over the conservative old timer farming families by sticking the course no matter how rough things get, and then making a solid go of it all. He’s alright that bloke. You don’t have to be Einstein though to realise that early on his new fangled farming methods would have ruffled some feathers. πŸ™‚ Hehe! Going against the established grain is not for the faint of heart.

    One of the interesting aspects of it all is that people get in my ear about how we could make money from the property. Generally the old timers do not suggest that approach which I guess comes from experience. However, it can be quite confronting for other people to comprehend the sort of focus will and effort required to get to where we are here on the farm today. Mr Salatin must have employed a similar skill set to achieve what he and his family have achieved.

    Wild times!!! A classic understatement, and if I were confronted by such critters I’d be likewise be thinking similar thoughts. The critters here are ridiculously poisonous, but at least once you are dead unless you’ve been eaten by something, you should at least have all your limbs intact. Ook!

    The night scene was very cool. The Space Needle is even cooler. Any building that requires 25 lightning rods must get hit a few times. Imagine the job of having to climb outside the building to replace the damaged lightning rods. I can just imagine the contractors reply: Yeah mate, we can do the job alright. But it’s gonna cost ya.

    Accountants it should be noted are hardly the sort to leave mysteries. πŸ™‚ Nobody, but nobody wants an exciting or creative accountant. It is a story that usually never ends well. Ask folks who worked at Enron… πŸ™‚ Glad to hear that Mr King’s phone story was enjoyable.

    The outrage has probably long since faded away, but the statue remains and it is suitably anatomically correct. It is actually a very impressive fountain which sits at the head of a long park avenue (as in an actual park with a walking path) which is lined with hugely old London Plane trees. Massive trees, and then the fountain is right next to the side of the Royal Exhibition Buildings. All very impressive and nice symmetry.

    Speaking of symmetry we nabbed some windows for the greenhouse project. Brand new windows were out of the question. Second hand windows were very expensive. And then there were the scratch and dent variety of windows which we settled upon due to budget constraints. So two of the windows were symmetrical, but the supplier contacted us to say that there’d been a minor stuff up and so they could supply us with a replacement window of the exact same size, but instead of the two panes (like the other window), it has three panes. What to do?

    to be continued…

    Chris

  3. Hi Lewis cont… (the double secret edition!)

    Tax codes are meant to be complicated. That’s the point of them so that you leave the understanding to the folks trained to make sense of the various codes. It is kind of like the jargon used by err, institutions that handle mad cash, in that they splash around jargon which is deliberately meant to confuse you. At the end of the day there are only so many variables when it comes to such things and if you were to cut through the BS you get to the core of the err, product details and then you may well discover to your horror that the new product is much like the old product but perhaps somehow subtly different. Same, same, but different!

    Yes, those same mad cash institutions are very good at pedalling a narrative that is heavy in doses of fear, uncertainty and doubt. There is a case to be made that your story would probably confuse the nice folks there. Incidentally those early low rates reverting to higher rates at a later date, are a big part of the current dramas down here, although few people acknowledge those dramas. Instead of fixed interest, those loans had an interest only component, which means the principal is never paid – but the term has to be fixed for such a loan to make any sense. There are only a few variables: Principal, Interest and Term – the rest are just variations on the theme, but they’re not your mates so you are wise to consider that they are possibly working to your potential disadvantage.

    H is a sensitive canine – she is definitely a fluffy. No doubts about it at all. πŸ˜‰

    Nice one, and you are correct. The lake and boat house really are beautiful and very pleasing on the eye. It is interesting to look back on photos of the town when it was in its gold mining phase, and wow the difference is stark.

    Thanks, and please excuse the unintentional pun, but we really did lay on the organic matter thickly on the garden terrace. Placed another bin of coffee grounds over the three garden rows late this afternoon. The soil there really needs time, but the organic matter will speed things up a bit.

    The squeeze was quite challenging I can tell you! πŸ™‚

    Nature is endlessly fascinating, and newer readers might get the impression that I carry the camera around with me all day long, but no there really is just a lot going on. Makes it sort of easy on me.

    The tree lucerne is a great tree. The leaves are something like 17% protein so the chickens enjoy eating them and the plant is convenient to the chicken enclosure.

    Holy carp Lewis! So rhubarb: “This flower or seedpod usually comes up in the springtime.” Ooooo. Maybe the word ‘usually’ can be considered to refer to the other possible anomalous flowering times of the year? Other plants are acting as if it is already spring… Interestingly people are recommending to cut the flower off, but I dunno I think I’ll just leave it be to do its thing on the basis that the plant knows its business better than I.

    Well yes, another case in point – the Rose.

    Cheers

    Chris

  4. Hello Chris
    That certainly sounded like a really great outing to a good place.
    The photos of your terraces etc show an incredible amount of work and everything is so neat. I felt envious, surrounded as I am by shambles. A lot of the untidiness here is because I am becoming limited in what I can do, Son has lots of his own to do plus needing to earn a living and I no longer have the chap who used to do some work for me.
    Out shopping today on what they were calling manic Monday. Actually it was fairly quiet though a shop that sells sports clothing and allied stuff, had about a quarter of a mile queue. Strange to think that that was what people had missed most. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are not open yet. The only place that I seriously wanted to go to, had a notice up saying that they weren’t opening until Thursday.
    From what I remember of last conversation, I absolutely agree about courteous dialogue if at all possible.
    Law and justice are not the same thing at all and many people fail to realise this.
    Very few original folks left around here. Some new ones fit in okay, others soon move on.
    I was always told to remove the flowering parts of rhubarb as they are assumed to weaken the plants. Mine aren’t flowering at present though.

    Inge

  5. Yo, Chris – We are having equally wild weather. I’m surprised that the National Weather Service, doesn’t have up any flood watches. They also do landslide warnings, and none of them are showing up, either.

    I went out this morning to get gas. $2.65 per gallon … going up! It was raining so hard, I had to really watch the road, and my speed, as hydroplaning, was possible. What was really interesting, that across the street from the Institution is “the old hospital.” Now a drug and alcohol treatment center. At the edge of the side street is a really old apple tree. Probably planted when the hospital was built. Very old, but not very big. Probably a dwarf variety of some sort. Never any good apples, as the bugs get to it. But, anywho … during the night it had fallen over! Probably due to the saturated ground. When I got back, they were busily chopping it up. Wonder what will happen to the wood? DJ could carve something wonderful, out of it.

    “New Fangled Farming Methods.” During our dust bowl, government ag workers fanned out, to try and convince farmer’s to try some new things. Like planting windbreaks and plowing with the contours of the land, instead of against it. There was a bit of resistance, but, better farming methods prevailed. Sometimes greased with a bit of cash πŸ™‚ .

    I think I told you about the one time I went up in the Space Needle. Living in Seattle, it’s kind of a “tourist” thing to do. I had a cousin visiting, so, one winter’s night, up we went. And, it began to snow. Awesome! We spent far more time than we intended, just watching the flakes fly past the observation windows, and the streets slowly filling with snow.

    I’m into the third story in the new King book. It’s the title story, “If It Bleeds.” Which refers to the old saying about news, “If it bleeds, it leads.” It brings back the character of Holly Gibney, who figures large in at least three of King’s recent books. I saw a recent interview with King, and he was asked who his favorite character is. He said Holly Gibney.

    The windows? What to do? Wait until the Universe provides symmetrical windows. You won’t be able to sleep, otherwise πŸ™‚ . Every time you look at the greenhouse, you’ll be beset by a certain … dissatisfaction.

    H’s bath went well. She likes her baths! Runs around my apartment like a mad woman, in anticipation. A bit of a trim, a bath, and a good ear cleaning. I’m wondering if she puts up with the bath, just knowing her ears are going to get cleaned out? I’m getting better at it. And she doesn’t scratch at her ears, anymore.

    That thing in the sky was really spectacular. The mother ship, coming in for a landing? When they mentioned the high iron content, I thought, “It’s a sky stone!”. The footage from Florida was interesting. If you look close, two different sized pieces come down. One’s the mother ship crashing, the other is the escape pod. Strange visitor from another planet. They walk among us. Etc..

    Speaking of Philly sandwiches, etc., I saw a (pre current unpleasantness) picture of Roman legionary reenactors, up on the Wall, chowing down on a bacon butty. A what? So, I looked it up. Sounds tasty. During the course of that search, I ran across something I was curious about. Here, we have hotdog or hamburger buns. I’ve never quit been able to get a fix on what you call them. I think I have an answer. Breadcake. Yes? No?

    Cliff Mass has a whimsical post on the burning question of does it tend to rain more on weekends, when people want to get out and about, and take in a bit of recreation. “The Daily Impact” has a post on that new film, “Planet of the Humans.” Lew

  6. Chris,

    This is the week the Princess makes her monthly venture to assist with her brother. I’m pretty much on “digital vacation” for a bit longer, as we need the time together right now.

    As Lew mentioned, the weather is wet here as well as where he is.

    Be back soon.

    DJSpo

  7. Hi Chris,

    The lake (which Lew found for us) looks very lovely indeed. I used to wonder at so many people out on week days, even before virus induced economic armageddon, but now barely raise an eyebrow. I just suppose weekdays and weekends don’t mean much for many people now.

    I saw the obscure references to a surveyor last week, but lacked the time to coherently reply πŸ™‚ An updated map of Fernglade would indeed be great, and some assistance may be possible. I suspect a simple low tech approach will end up best, but a large scale orthophoto print, perhaps derived from a drone, would also be very nice yes!

    Cheers,
    Damo

  8. Hi DJ,

    Enjoy your digital detox-cation! And I hope the business with your ladies brother goes smoothly.

    Great news to hear that you are receiving rain. The alternative is far worse. πŸ™‚

    Cheers

    Chris

  9. Hi Inge,

    Thanks and the day-trip was a lot of fun. It is amazing to think that such an aesthetically pleasing environment could arise from such humble mining beginnings. There is a great photo of the Cornish Hill Battery from 1865 which can be found here: Cornish Hill, Daylesford, and the area sure looks different today! In the second and lower photo I believe you can see the imposing Primary School with its spire.

    Thank you, we do neat with the various projects. It is not lost on me the story you describe because in all likelihood I’ll travel the same path. How could it be otherwise? And like you from time to time I get the tree dudes in to give me a hand with the really heavy tasks about the place. I may write about that story one day, maybe, but the overall tone of the particular story is dark and I’m unsure how it would come across.

    Out of curiosity, what happened to the chap who used to do some work for you? My mates of the Big Shed fame have in the past year received help (which they have to pay for) from a local long term farmer and the effect has been amazing. And my mates are learning fast. I have to admit to feelings of awe when I spotted their vegetable beds recently and said as much recently.

    That doesn’t surprise me as I was talking to a guy this morning who said that he was looking forward to getting back into the gym, so yeah sports wear stores might be a thing. On the other hand, I was originally worried about the stock feed business as I don’t grow enough grains to feed the chickens, but despite a lot of talk about raising chickens, not that many people do and the supply has been very consistent.

    Yes, absolutely, courteous and respectful dialogue rarely offends folks who are easily annoyed. And I totally agree, the law is an administrative system first and foremost and the outcome is not baked into the cake (so to speak). Although it may not always have been thus.

    Oh, makes you wonder why the old timers moved on from your part of the world. Although with property prices the way they are down here, often it is not possible to maintain family groups in a particular area. I have a hunch that the Vikings may well have understood that story, thus their constant outward pressures.

    Glad to hear that your rhubarb aren’t flowering. I have quite a number of the plants growing here so I have not noticed any decline due to flowering as I have been able to harvest stems from other plants.

    Cheers

    Chris

  10. Hi Damo,

    The lake is pretty attractive and well worth the visit.

    Well that is the thing isn’t it? I’ll tell you a funny story about that: I’m actually used to being a working aged male being in areas where such animals are rarely spotted on a weekday. It didn’t take me long to adjust to such a circumstance, basically because I don’t really care about such things. However I am hardly a rare beast these days, and it makes me wonder how my peers are accommodating themselves to their new circumstances? Can’t say for sure how they are taking that change. If I were cheeky I’d look them in the eye, do a quick lift of the chin, then say something obscure like: “Bro!” Probably not a good idea…

    You know I do not even understand what you meant when you typed out the words: “large scale orthophoto print”. It is seriously not ringing any bells at all with me. Last map I put together on Windows Paint. It ain’t fancy, but it works. Do you have any suggestions to add as to how to make this job easy? There seems to be a bit of demand for the output.

    Cheers

    Chris

  11. Hi Lewis,

    The lack of landslide warnings is something to be grateful for. It is possible that the summer conditions mean that the soil can infiltrate and store more water than would otherwise be the case? And also the vegetation is more active and can utilise the increased groundwater? Dunno and am just guessing. Winter is an entirely different story and I’m observing quite a number of very boggy spots in the land down below in the valleys. The ground is quite wet in places here, which is hardly surprising given that we have almost had as much rain this calendar year to date as for the previous twelve months. I’m not seeing any signs of the wet weather easing up anytime soon, although the climate could change at short notice to a drier climate. There is talk of Southern Annular Modes.

    Hey, the same thing is going on here too and I spotted petrol (your gas) at $1.30 litre ($4.94 gallon) this morning. I had to run a whole bunch of errands, and I like to save all of those up so that I can just get them done in one trip. One of the errands was cancelling my subscription for the newspaper. I feel a bit guilty about that, but the value was no longer there for me and as I’ve remarked before the newspaper was getting thinner (like the guy in the Stephen King story) and each week it seemed slightly smaller.

    The bugs sure will miss the apple tree that’s for sure, and yes I too wonder about the lost opportunity with the wood. The thing I’ve noticed about trees growing on saturated ground, or on ground with high water tables, is that the trees don’t get to put down deep root systems because they don’t have to. Apple trees need pruning too because the brittle wood can split if the tree limbs get too heavy. I’ve seen that happen with a neighbours 30 year old apple tree.

    The ploughing on contour idea came from this part of the world. What was the guy’s name? There is lot’s about the guy, but here is a brief introduction on the system: Keyline design. Basically it is about getting water back in the land and minimal disturbance whilst working with the natural slope of the property. It works.

    Your visit to the Space Needle sounded really nice (and I had forgotten your story) and I too would have enjoyed the spectacle. Tourist things can be pretty cool, and you know how often do you get to enjoy being a tourist in your own town? Although I’d like to believe that we would all be respectful tourists and not commit acts to outrage the local notables.

    I was on the phone earlier tonight, and despite the winter cold air I stood outside whilst on the call and marvelled at the night sky and even spotted a shooting star. As an amusing side story, I usually tell people that being a guy I can only do one thing at a time and that this is a personal failing. Although just between you and I, I can actually successfully do more than one thing at a time, but let’s not tell them that as they might start expecting things from me. Phew, dodged that bullet.

    There were so many good articles to link to and it was hard to pick and choose, so I’ll give you a local news story from one of the nearby towns (I rented there when building this place): The roaming geese of Riddells Creek β€” dangerous menace or ‘comical’ tourist attraction?

    And one more, this one is lovely too: Couples walk away from city life in Brisbane and Melbourne to farm in rural Tasmania.

    No more links I promise – but they are goodies and brief!

    Ah yes, I’ve heard that news story phrase being chucked around lately – and possibly for good reasons. Mr King maybe onto rich and fertile ground with the story. It is good to know that the author has a favourite character creation. Holly is an interesting character, I can see that.

    The Universe provided. The nice window supplier admitted they’d stuffed up and so we came to an arrangement where we both take a bit of a hit and everyone is happy with the outcome. As I was typing the dilemma out to you, a flash of inspiration lead to a suitable outcome. The editor wanted the building to be symmetrical as that would look more cool, and so we have somehow scraped out an idea for symmetry to be maintained. Seriously spelling the problem out to you, brought into awareness the solution to the problem. Weird huh?

    Go H! H is enjoying the Royal treatment from the sound of it. Nice work with the ears. Years ago I had a cat with ear mites and it was interesting to clean them, the smell was remarkable and unforgettable and would never find its way onto a shop shelf promoting fragrances… Dogs can get muck in their ears, and I have this vague memory that Sir Scruffy may have suffered from that early in his stay here. The Kelpie pups enjoyed a bath today, although this was because they wanted to run around in the rain all day long – they were fed off cut bones this morning and refused to get out of the rain. They didn’t seem worse for wear when they finally got bored (or tired) of that activity.

    Mother ship! Hey did you read in the text that one such meteorite recently skimmed through the atmosphere and bounced out into space again? But 100 tons of the stuff falling from the sky each year gives you reason to pause. Hehe! Yup, sky stone and to think folks go around collecting the materials. I saw that too with the Florida impact and was wondering if it was a trick of the camera lens, but it sure looked like a second impact. Wouldn’t have wanted to be at ground zero that day. Ouch!

    I read the Daily Impact essay this morning and recommended it to a friend of mine who is now reading the works. Such talk of solar power systems is like catnip to me… πŸ™‚ The good Professor always has interesting things to say.

    Cheers

    Chris

  12. @ Lew
    A game called Ludus Latrunculorum has been found in a Roman burial in Norway.

    Inge

  13. Hello again
    Those old mining area pictures are superb, particularly the train coming across that wooden bridge. I have been on trains like that and was seriously unnerved by the situation.

    The old timers here are all deceased. There is no-one here from the time when I first arrived. The descendants tended to move on as there was no higher education on the Island and not a lot of work .

    The man who worked for me has a strong wife. Like many such, she has come into her own now the children are grown. She has started a very successful business and is employing him, most of their family and others.

    Really hot sun today and my favourite outdoor chair has collapsed under me. Son kept warning me and now I shall have to admit that he was correct. It is made of oak and with luck he can put a new seat in it.

    Inge

  14. Yo, Chris – Well, interesting links πŸ™‚ . Here’s the tombstone of an old Roman vet, who lived to be 100!

    http://www.imperiumromanum.edu.pl/en/curiosities/inscription-of-julius-valens-who-lived-for-100-years/

    Made me wonder to what age his wife and son made it to? The Second Augusta was a unit with quit a history. They couldn’t quit date the stone, but this old guy might have seen a lot of history. The Second Augusta fought for Augustus, against Antony and Cleopatra. So he might have seen Alexandria. Walked behind Claudius’s elephant, dodging poo, during the invasion of Britain. I figure he must have been a dour old guy. A lot of military tombstones have the guy, in relief, kitted out in their military uniforms. With long descriptions of campaigns. Not this old guy. Served in the Second Augusta. Full stop.

    Yeomans was quit a fellow. I’d say, a close observer of nature.

    A tourist in your own town. πŸ™‚ . When I was about 8, we took a family vacation and hit Disneyland. When I lived in Orange County for three years, I never went near the place. Too busy making a living and partying. πŸ™‚ . Besides, only tourists went to Disneyland.

    You loose the ability to multi task, as you get older. At least, I did. So, enjoy it while you can.

    That was an interesting article, about the geese. Reminds me of a children’s book, from when I was a wee small lad. “Make Way of the Ducklings.” We have a lot of Canadian geese, here. They can be a problem. Sometimes pretty cranky, and, as the article mentioned, there’s the poo problem. They can foul a small body of water so badly, that there are algae blooms, and everything dies. But, I see some clever entrepreneurs have capitalized on the birds for tourist tat. As these people do …

    http://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia/video-extras/season-01/episode-02/put-a-bird-on-it

    The article on the couples, was interesting. But, what, pray tell, is “tree-changing?” I mean, I get the general meaning, but have never seen that phrase, before. I did wonder why the first couple didn’t slaughter their own pigs. Buck up! πŸ™‚ . Well, kudos to the lot of them for giving their dreams a whirl.

    We’ve had 8+ inches of rain, in the last 72 hours. But things are going to start drying out today, and by the end of the week we’ll be seeing 80+F. Itching to get back in the garden. But now, it’s just all mud. And, I’d compact the ground.

    And, finally, this is why I have medical directives and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders …

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/inspiring-story-of-seattle-mans-coronavirus-survival-comes-with-a-1-1-million-dollar-hospital-bill/

    Going to visit my vet friend, at the Club, this afternoon. I went to one of the cheap food stores, this morning. The one that looks like it should have rats. πŸ™‚ . Didn’t find much, but I did find some rolled oats for less than $1 a pound. And, two bottles of Allspice, for less than $2 a bottle. That stuff can be expensive, and you can’t mix up pumpkin pie spice, without it.

    I have one more story to read in the King book. I’ve been thinking about the nature of evil. He talks a bit about it, in the stories. When I think about it, a lot of his stories have to do people or creatures who feed, or rejuvenate, off of their evil deeds. Lew

  15. Hi Chris,

    Glad to hear you took a day off. Now that things are opening up here we’ve become pretty busy with visitors and just keeping up around here. My daughter and granddaughters came out for the day last week and we went for a hike at a State Park nearby. It was pretty busy for a weekday.

    Salve and Leo are in desperate need of a bath but I doubt they would think running around in the rain was fun. Doug has promised one with be forthcoming in the next few days. I’ll wait to clean their fragrant beds until then.

    I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I had a greenhouse at our old place. I purchased it already constructed and it was quite nice and well built. However, to use in in the spring it did need a supplemental heating source some evenings. I sold at the farmers market for two seasons never making enough money for make it worth it. This was right after my brothers came to live with htus and I thought I could use their help to make a go of it. Marty was the most help but he only ended up with us for a year and a half before moving into his first apartment. Michael came with me to help each Saturday. After the end of that endeavor the greenhouse wasn’t needed too much but it did make a fine storage shed and place to dry kindling and anything else needing drying. I imagine you’ll have much more success in your climate. I know some will store composting manure in the greenhouse for extra heat but we didn’t have enough for that. Another scheme was to have water filled barrels painted black to absorb the days heat and release it during the night.

    We had a decent amount of rain last week but it mostly came hard and fast so now we’re back to pretty dry conditions again. Today I hauled hoses all over and watered just about everything that needed it.

    Your new base for the hive looks great and fits in well with the neatness of your place.

    I haven’t had a chance to check out all your links and may not have time to as the next week or so are pretty full. There are some benefits to winter.

    Margaret

  16. Chris,

    Thanks for the belated birthday wishes. Being able to get one of our favorite meals, even as take out, made the day.

    Something I was trying to teach one of the junior techs before we began working from home is that managers looove staff who will go bonkers trying to get everything done all at once. And that down that path lie physical, mental, emotional problems (all interrelated) and eventually bad feelings toward the managers and severe burnout. The job is NOT a sprint, it’s a very long distance event and it’s best to learn that whilst young. Others of us learned that the harder way. Some learn it not at all.

    Good trick learning to figure out others’ motivations. I’m still trying to figure that one out. It is certainly NOT a natural skill for me!

    When I climbed Mount Baker, one of Washington’s volcanoes, we hit about 3,000m elevation and we were looking down at soaring eagles. Nepal was higher, of course, but looking down at things that are normally higher than you is eerie.

    Hahaha! Your high temperatures matched ours for a day! Warm for you, very cool for us in June.

    Things got a bit dicey Monday night. We got a call. A cousin of the Princess who lives near the brother she’s off to visit got the dread illness we don’t name or discuss here. I imagine I’ll get some details after she’s gotten them.

    You saw it coming, but this was fast: the pups taking over as prime fluffies. I bet Ollie is just as happy having good humans, good food, and some stability.

    We never wanted the dogs on the sofa, but Thor would sneak onto it after we’d fallen asleep. After he died, Cheyenne thought the sofa was hers. Had she played it sneaky like Thor, she’d have been fine. But nope, she tried to hog the sofa when the Princess and I wanted it. I bundled her off it once, but the next time I started to bundle her off, Cheyenne growled at me and she learned who was the boss and who wasn’t. She never tried to get on the sofa again. Ever.

    You have fungi growing. We’ve been wet enough for 6 weeks that we have fungi growing. And moss. I think one of the succulents we have in various places is similar to the one that is now blooming for you. Those are wonderful succulents.

    DJSpo

  17. Hi Inge,

    The quality of the photos was amazing, and the contrast to today was quite spectacular. The mine must have used every single tree within easy reach – and possibly then some. There are a few tourist trains operating down here that don’t look that dissimilar. There is a well-known one operating way over on the other side of the city (incidentally I was over in that part of the city picking up seconds windows for the greenhouse earlier today – an epic drive): Puffing Billy Railway. The railway has a similar trestle bridge: The Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge. It looks sturdy enough to me. Do they have any railways on your island?

    Ah, I see. That is unfortunate that the old timers progeny had no desire to carry on. Not sure about the situation on your island, but land is in short supply here, and I picked up one of the last cheap blocks and have been happy to put sweat equity into the property. I’m assuming land is also in short supply and expensive on your island? Not sure other people feel the same way about putting in the sweat equity, and I’ve noticed that people have a sense of fear about the land planning regulations – although it is a process that has to be followed to the exact letter. People say the oddest things about those laws, but basically it boils down to three simple words: It’s not fair (technically that may be four words).

    Fair enough and it is hard to follow one’s passion project when a person is faced with the gritty day to day realities of life. Domestic arrangements can be quite stultifying for some, and also firmly fixed in the imagination as looking a certain way. I tell you this: I see a lot of guys pushing prams in the city nowadays, and I suspect at the core of that is some serious upheaval in domestic / work arrangements due to the present economic and social circumstances. Years ago I wrote about a neighbour in the big smoke who had a lot of difficulties adjusting to such a life, but then he was a difficult bloke (note the use of the past tense).

    No! I hope that you were unscathed by the failing chair?

    Cheers

    Chris

  18. Hi Margaret,

    Thanks and it was very nice to take a day off. Things have been a bit tense (away from the farm that is) of late. Can’t imagine why… Yeah, it is nice that people are slowly catching up with friends and family. And a hike is just the thing for these times. Dunno about you, but I find such activities gets me into a zone and it is all very relaxing and you just exist in the moment checking out the things around you. I’m amazed by the volume of people out and about too.

    I just received an email from the local animal hospital where I take the fluffies (hopefully not very often) and they’ve had to close for two days due to the dreaded subject that dare not be named. Fortunately I have it on good authority that such critters can’t travel down the interweb and arrive in your email inbox. That would be unpleasant.

    At this stage in the discussion I feel the need to disclose the fact that none of the Fluffies ever receive baths, and they smell reasonably neutral so long as they haven’t rolled in anything manure or dead err, stuff (yup, don’t really spend too long investigating what it may be). They get a hosing off if they’ve been foolish enough to do such a silly act.

    Yes, the sheep pups are rather high spirited – and Plum and Ollie are in the total doghouse tonight. They ran off today for about an hour, and that business has to end. Ollie is outside for the night and without dinner, and Plum who is only a pup, was remonstrated with. At least they have the decency to look low key as if they’d done something very wrong. Ruby wisely chose not to get involved, and in fact has looked rather worried about them. She will be the next boss dog for sure, but she is only about 7 or 8 months now and a bit too small for the role.

    Thanks for the story on your greenhouse – and frankly it matches what I have seen with most people’s greenhouses. I hear you about the money off the land business. The link with the couples moving to farming might be of interest to you. By way of explanation, I don’t intend to grow edibles inside the greenhouse. Instead the greenhouse will be used only for seed raising and possibly propagating cuttings. It is hard to explain how hard last spring was, as it was so cold that the soil barely warmed and then we had a very short but intensely hot growing season. Then the weather abruptly flipped back to cold again. Not good, and we lost many varieties of plants which we’d been growing for a few years. At least it is an easy problem to correct by getting a good head start, but if I couldn’t restock it would be a disaster.

    How good are hoses? Have you ever tried an automatic watering timer like the water robot device I trialled last year (it is just a fancy timer really)?

    Thanks and the bees haven’t come to get me so they must have accommodated themselves to the new concrete base. Did Doug have thoughts about the concrete slab? Timber doesn’t work for me as it rotted. The hive was surprisingly heavy.

    No worries! Enjoy your fine spring weather.

    Cheers

    Chris

  19. Hi, Chris!

    What a charming story; a bit of a vacation for me. I laughed at the gentleman’s sunbath.

    What is a photobomb? Ah – get it. It is a dog leg!

    The Dirt Mouse is making me chilly. It is 58F (14.4C) here, has been for 4 days. A few days before that it was 97F (36C) and I cooked my head real good. A winter frog where you are and a winter rose – these are strange days. This blooming out of season – we had an apple tree that bloomed profusely all last fall – is what worries me. Otherwise the garden looks completely happy, and we have been getting just the right amount of rain.

    Look at that Ollie’s dog bed! The heighth of luxury, and he is making sure to keep it all to himself.

    Your gates and fences are perfection. In fact, all is perfection. Your place even looks great in winter.

    A sock in the beehive door is a novel idea, but apparently not a good one . . .

    Restaurants here are now open inside. My bank drive-thru is back to its regular hours, though a lobby visit still requires an appointment. And the grocery store that was making it very difficult to use cash, has now made it easy.

    My almost-20-year-old cellphone has gone kaput. There is a very good reason for this: I put it in the clothes washer. I forgot that it was in my pocket when I threw my clothes in, remembered a couple of minutes later, but it was all wet. I have ordered a new one, another basic flip phone, no smartphone.

    Pam

  20. @ Lew:

    I am not sure – is Eleanor back home? It does sound like she is doing fairly well. And did you really learn to do a Heimlech maneuver on a small dog? I thought one just picked them up by the tail, held them upside down, and gravity solved the problem. I believe I had to do that once.

    Pam

  21. Hi Lewis,

    Excuse the dodgy pun but is Julius a centurion or a centenarian? Sorry for the dodgy word humour, but it is an impressive achievement to have lived such a long life especially given the blokes profession. And I too was wondering about the wife and son as well because they dedicated the headstone to him, but the exact translated wording (and this may be an English translation thing) indicated a sort of odd, how to put this tactfully, err: Obligation. Yes, dour matches my image perfectly. Hmm, met a few of those in my time. πŸ™‚ In my early years I’d try to make such folks laugh, but they’d look at me as if I were an idiot, and so I gave up on that act and let them enjoy their emotional state. Who’s to say they’re wrong – although I suspect they are! I have no idea as to the Roman funeral rights and customs, it was just the specific wording and the construction of the words which chucked the titbit in as an after thought, almost as if they had nothing better to add. Dunno. I have a strange inkling that the wife was much younger than the departed, which probably made sense given the campaign duties before retirement for the soldiers.

    Had to laugh because Scritchy the elderly boss dog (she is 19 years old after all) expresses her unhappiness at every opportunity. But then she has never been a warm and friendly dog. And I’m fine with that, there’s a place for her here. Anyway, I suspect that she is energised by sheer spite based on her responses to everyday events. What do you? And it seems to work for the dog, she has incredible longevity. It’s been said that only the good die young, and clearly it is a wild claim, but in her case…

    Yeoman’s was a pretty clever bloke, but then it does make you wonder whether he is a product of his environment? For example he developed the ideas during challenging times and they happen to work really well. If he’d been enjoying his ease at a time of plenty, would he be as motivated to seek possible solutions for current or future challenges?

    Do you know, I have never been drawn to that Dasney stuff. I cannot explain it any other way. Just don’t like it. I much preferred grittier cartoons like the Warner Brothers, or dare I mention Rocky and Bullwinkle? As a general observation I have noted that in many random situations, cloying sweetness often obscures festering darkness. I much prefer my Faerie tales dark and full of meaning with pitfalls for the unwary, but that is a personal preference and not a critique.

    Hey, it ain’t just you my friend, my poor brain is not quite the sharp tool that it once was. My quip about only being able to do one thing at a time – with the excuse that this is what comes from being a guy – is merely preparation for others for the journey ahead. Best get in early with expectation management.

    Portlandia, so true and yet so very wrong. πŸ™‚ They were onto something with that bird iconography. Hehe!

    Ah well, years and years back there was a popular local television show which may have had the name ‘Sea Change’. A brief synopsis is that the lead character is: a former high-flying city lawyer, who is prompted to undergo a ‘seachange’. i.e. Husband got into trouble and the family had to move to a small isolated town along the coast. The series was enormously popular although I have never watched it. A tree change is the opposite, family heads out into the bush where there are presumably more trees than ocean. Apparently the husband in the television series got into a lot of fictional trouble precipitating the move – of the sort of trouble you don’t want to be involved in. I’ve seen a business deal with the aftermath of fraud – an interesting experience.

    Far out man! Wow, that is a lot of rain. How are you coping? The cloud photos from the good Professor’s blog were awesome. I get those sorts of storms too, and he dodged a bullet whilst out walking with his dog. Dogs know these things. The question I have is did he make it home before the storm hit? My money would be on the dog making it back dry.

    Yeah, me too with the DNR’s. You know sometimes you don’t want to come back. I’ve told the editor ominously that I won’t thank her for doing so. Thanks for the link. Did you notice how in the very first photo, all of the staff are clapping? I wasn’t entirely sure that their motives were pure, especially given the size of the bill. The guys observation in the final sentence was very astute and self aware. There are times when a society can lose its collective mind. It happens. I tend to believe that at the core of the article story is that there is a moral and also economic judgement which is neither right nor wrong, but was made. You know for whatever reason, society has just gone bonkers about this particular disease, whilst ignoring the many other choice diseases. Maybe a decade or two (or more likely five) we might get to the bottom of this particular story. Whatever the case may be, the energy story looms large over all of this. It never went away, and I have a little whisper that tells me that other choices might possibly have had far worse outcomes than what we are all going through right now. I sense a certain malaise in the population.

    Rats are dubious protein, and you have to remember to (as the memorable film – Bruce Willis): Cook the Meat! Hehe! Good advice. Top scores with the oats and allspice.

    I travelled over the to the opposite far side of the city today to an outer suburb at the base of the distant Mount Dandenong. The mountain range and this one were formed at the same period of time, although Mount Dandenong is a lot lower in elevation. However due to its location that other mountain range receives a bit more rainfall than here. Anyway, I didn’t go there to look at the mountain range, I picked up the three windows for the new greenhouse project and the supplier was located near to there.

    One of the windows has a pink aluminium frame and I was talking to the warehouse bloke about it and apparently it is a second hand window recovered from a house where all of the windows were pink. The business had scored the windows for free as they supplied double glazed replacements, but because of the colour they’d been having trouble selling the old windows second hand. They were actually grateful to off load the window onto me, and it is a quality window. The other two windows are dark grey and they gave me a good discount on them. The second hand market as you well know has some strange intricacies and quirks and sometimes you have to travel far to get a bargain. I was glad to get the windows back to the farm intact. A strange journey and I rarely travel so far these days.

    I believe Mr Greer has written about that subject recently. I also believe that there is also a component of that particular story where community minimum expectations of behaviour are breached and/or outraged. There has been a strange story along those lines down here of late: Porsche driver Richard Pusey recorded complaining about his damaged car to dying police officer, court hears. More stories are coming to light about this guy.

    Cheers

    Chris

  22. Hi DJ,

    My pleasure and nice birthday score. πŸ™‚

    Well things are a bit strange at the moment and the other day I cancelled my order for the newspaper. I feel a bit guilty about doing so, but you know when its 1’C / 34’F, am I really motivated enough to enjoy a take away coffee and fruit toast whilst standing out in the cold and often damp winter weather? Turns out that isn’t an enjoyable enough experience for me. It is nice to find your limits, don’t you reckon?

    So true about pacing one’s self. Years ago I used to run long distance for sport and that is all about pacing yourself to get to the finish line, which is not as easy as you’d imagine. Anyway, I concur and the exact same thing is applicable in a workplace and it is not easy to acknowledge that when you are young and eager. Been there and done that. πŸ™‚ It was thoughtful of you to take the time to explain that to the newcomers. But learning how to manage other peoples expectations is an interesting artform to learn. You know in some cultures, they say yes, whilst doing nothing. As a strategy it does work, but I have noticed in those cultures that the people asking, are not the same ones who can manage a situation. Their end point is the asking process. And that took me a while to learn as I tend to lean on the Golden Rule of ‘do unto others’ and would never do such a thing. Plenty of people do though. Yup. Complex.

    I guessed that about you with the motivations, but all the same it can be learned. You just have to observe, guess, check the guess against the facts, and then correct your next guess accordingly.

    Cool! Hope the eagles weren’t looking up at you and thinking: Dinner! πŸ™‚ I enjoyed the high altitude walking too, although it is not a thing down here due to the worn out landscape.

    That is cold! Brr!

    Wow that is a close call with the subject that dare not be named. Hope the cousin is OK? The local animal hospital is now closed for two days due to a case and they’re doing a thorough clean out (whatever that involves). The email did not suggest that they were happy about it, but were just dealing with things.

    Ollie is in the doghouse tonight as he ran off for an hour this afternoon with the recalcitrant Plum. Ruby dobbed on them and let me know what they’d done. She’s alright that Ruby. Punishment was swift, and they knew they’d done wrong. I’ll train them out of this bad habit one way or another.

    Poor hapless Cheyenne, woe is her because she was too honest to properly dissemble.

    The rain is really good news for your garden. Are you still having to water occasionally? The succulents are awesome plants. I assume yours survive your winters unscathed? Working out which ones survive here has been a trial and error process.

    Picked up the windows today for the glasshouse project. Might have to get that project started soon!

    Cheers

    Chris

  23. Hi Pam,

    Hehe! Glad you enjoyed the story – it was fun to write and I was mucking around with contrasting situations.

    The sunbathing gentleman really did happen, and the editor informs me that her mum required reading glasses and may actually have originally believed bathers. The editor was there and assures me that this was not indeed the case and corrected her poor mum’s understanding of the situation. Yup, the place was quieter in those days. πŸ™‚

    Hehe! As you noticed, Toothy used to love a good photobomb. Plum may have taken up some of his spirit, in more ways than one too. Toothy used to wander off when he was a younger dog.

    That is cold, but at least fire risk is low during such weather. The plants are reacting very strangely to the climate. Incidentally I have a nectarine tree which is in full leaf. Bonkers. The frost that day was epic, but at this stage of the year the plants which are growing are super cold hardy.

    Between you and I, Ruby and Plum are very pleased to be sleeping at a higher perch than Ollie. Oh yes, dog pecking order and all that business, best not get involved. It is a pretty swisho bed for Ollie and the sheepskin used to be Sir Scruffy’s.

    Thank you, and we do neat and ordered. Although I might not be showing the areas that aren’t neat and ordered!!! Maybe… Evil genius chuckle (almost typed chucklee whatever that is).

    Yup, the bees and I are not friends, but we tolerate each other. They were pretty annoyed at my mucking around with their hive box and most certainly would have enjoyed stinging the editor and I.

    Yay for the easing of restrictions. Do you have restricted seating inside restaurants? We do, and some places are still voluntarily take-away only. There is push back here with the use of cash, but the local grocery store staff will now happily pack the cloth bags that I take there.

    Total bummer about your cell phone. Ouch! Very wise to stick to a flip phone and I’m impressed they still make those models. All I want is a phone that makes calls and can send and receive text messages, other people had plans… Hey, I dropped my phone the other day and it hit the ground pretty hard (but is meant to cope with that).

    Thinking about your apple tree which didn’t go deciduous, I’ve had that happen here too, but the tree was under a bit of stress as a wallaby had been ungentle with the poor tree. There might be something going on with your apple tree and it might benefit from a prune or a feed? Dunno. What is your thinking about the tree?

    Cheers

    Chris

  24. @ Inge – I read about the game. How did it wend it’s way to the frozen north? I often think, “If objects could talk…” Of course, it I thought they did, I’d be hauled off.

    Did you see any of the articles on the family that are camped out, for the duration, up on Hadrian’s Wall? At Vindolanda. They’re keeping an eye on things, and doing a bit of maintenance. The photos are stunning.

    They’re talking about closing down Fishbourne Villa. Lack of funds. Lew

  25. @ Pam – Eleanor has been home for a couple of weeks. After some initial ups and downs (the family overwhelmed her with care givers.) things are leveling out. She’s doing a bit of at home rehab. Getting around pretty good, with her walker. Walks up and down the hall, and has even made a few circuits of the building, weather allowing. I usually visit with her for a half hour, or so, when I bring H back from her nightly walk.

    Yup. I really know how to do a Heimlech Maneuver on a small dog. Hold them in a wheel borrow position, clasp your hands underneath behind their rib cage and give a sharp pull. I talked to my vet friend, yesterday, and she said chocking from the chews is a non-issue. But, still might be a handy skill to have. Lew

  26. Yo, Chris – I wouldn’t read too much into the term “obligation” on old Julius’s tombstone. The Roman’s threw it around a lot, on memorial stones. Even the one’s where the people involved were obviously very fond on one another. There are a lot of monuments to the different gods and goddesses. I suppose a lot of people said things like, “If I survive this battle … this illness … I vow to erect a monument to Minerva.” And, many of them say, “fulfilled my obligation.” I’d guess that the folks who couldn’t come up with the scratch for a monument, probably donated promised sums to a temple. That’s not to say that old Julius wasn’t “difficult.” πŸ™‚ .

    I’d say Julius was both. With a straight face. Just to take the wind out of your pun. πŸ™‚ .

    I wish Julius’s wife had been named. We might have been able to figure out if she was a foreign lady. Rank and file Roman soldiers couldn’t officially marry until the 190s CE. Anyone from Centurion, on up, could. But, it’s not as if the rank and file didn’t have family units, of some sort. I’m sure some soldiers cast off their obligations, as they moved from posting to posting. But, there’s plenty of evidence that many didn’t. The families trailed along. Sometimes helped along by the army, but all rather unofficial. Soldiers (even the lower ranks) could also own slaves. Often a retired soldiers stone would mention his wife, who had been his former slave. I’m sure some stories were happy, probably in equal measure to those that were grim.

    Disney has always been a mixed bag. Some of the stuff was really good. Some of it, really bad. So is your new window frame Disney pink? πŸ™‚ . Can it be painted over?

    The journey ahead. The other day when I was giving H her bath, at the end I turn on the shower, pick her up and hold her under it. I had the thought, “I wonder how long I’ll be able to do this?” I think I’ve mentioned when I whinge to Eleanor about some small ache or pain, she just laughs, and says, “Just you wait.”

    I did enjoy the series Portlandia. Being my home town, and all. And they did send up the urban hipsters, politically correct and Social Justice Warriors. I hated to see it go, but, I think it was time. Just one more sketch … “You can pickle that!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYey8ntlK_E

    Ah! Sea change, tree change. Something that’s specific to Australia, or, at least wherever the series ran. Which reminds me. Breadcake? Hamburger or hot dog bun? Inquiring minds want to know.

    How do I cope with the rain? Generally, I get wet, than I dry out πŸ™‚ .

    We had another virus case, yesterday. 41 and counting. This one was someone in their 20s. Had to be in hospital. Well, at least maybe the youngsters will quit thinking they’re bullet proof. Our cases are coming slow enough, that we may soon move to phrase three. I don’t know how wise that is, but isolation fatigue has set in. I remain cautious.

    Mortgage broker, Porsche, sushi, two phones … entitled? I’d say so. That’s a horrible story. We had a similar incident, last month. But, we only lost one State Trooper. Week before last, a trooper saw a woman walking along the freeway, around sunset. He stopped to see if she needed assistance. As he got out of his car, she whipped out a gun and opened fire. He’s fine, but managed to clip her in the jaw, with a bullet. Her jaw is wired shut, but she was well enough to be arraigned, yesterday.

    One of the Ladies said something cleaver, yesterday, that I will have to remember. “Not my monkey, not my circus.” Ya hear something new, everyday. Lew

  27. Hello again
    There is land available on the Island but it is insanely expensive as I believe is the case with any land in this country.
    The phrase ‘it isn’t fair’ drives me nuts; fairness is a non-existent concept; I disabused my young of it.
    Thank you for querying whether I hurt myself when the chair collapsed beneath me. My immediate response was ‘no’ but I awoke this morning in considerable pain with a pulled thigh muscle which simply puzzled me. Your question caused the penny to drop. I am really puzzled by the fact that injuries often don’t show up properly until the following day! It is a lot easier this evening.
    Son gave me a whole lot of superb rhubarb that he has grown. I shall now pull up my lousy lot and use the bath that they are in, for something else. Son doesn’t care for rhubarb so I shall encourage him to keep growing it for me.

    Inge

  28. Chris,

    Yes, understanding one’s limits is a good thing. We reached our limit on the newspaper a year or more ago. The amount of news in it kept shrinking. Any national and international stuff could be found online and the paper was reporting very few local things. And they were doubling the rates for less news. The limit was reached. I DO miss the comic section, though.

    Those folks that ask but aren’t managers? They get old. The only ones I don’t ignore are the other senior techs, and some of the junior techs who GET IT. We’ve known each other for years, and we know who to go to when we need something quickly and can’t wait for 6 to 8 months of bureaucratic red tape and egos. Centralizing everything stifles efficiency in the name of power trips for otherwise inept “managers”.

    But THE Golden Rule usually don’t work so good at the job. Too many see the rule as “do for me so I don’t have to do anything”.

    Thanks. Observe, remember, think, guess, check the guess against what happened. Rinse and repeat when needed. I may never get great at that, but improving those skills can’t hurt, and any skill is more than what I started with.

    Will let you know about cousin when I know anything. I made it out on my lunch break to a specialty shop that is considered “essential” so never closed. “Just dealing with these things” is his mind set also, which I also consider to be the healthiest way to stumble through.

    Uh-oh. Ollie and Plum went walkabout again? NOT a good thing. There’s the preferred training methods, and then there’s the “battle of wills”, as you’ve mentioned before. Let’s hope you don’t have to go too far down the “battle of wills” scenario before they decide that walkabout isn’t the good option.

    Yeah, Cheyenne was too good sometimes. The sofa episode was really one of the few times she acted up. Thordog would escape and she’d start after him, but had learned that papa was angry when he had to drag them home. She didn’t like Angry Papa! (Angry Papa had mortified her by picking her up and carrying her 400 meters the final time she went AWOL.) So I’d get home from work to see a forlorn and woebegone Cheyenne standing outside the gate, Thor nowhere to be found.

    No , I haven’t had to water the garden at all the last 2 or 3 weeks. The containers are still under cover, as I’ve been too lazy to move them, so I’ve watered them twice in that same time frame. Today was typical: I was about to go outside and mow some grass, but the moment I was done with the paid job, a thunderstorm rolled in and it rained heavily for 20 minutes. Enough to keep the yard and gardens happy, too much for good cutting. And with the electric mower, well, no, not when its sopping wet. I don’t need to risk getting a large charge out of life, not that way. πŸ™‚

    Cool! New window project! Can’t wait for the pictures.

    DJSpo

  29. Hello again
    Elder daughter has just provided a brilliant answer to my query about injuries appearing the following day. She has suggested that it is a survival mechanism enabling one to get home or out of a situation before things hit.

    Inge

  30. Hi Inge, Lewis and DJ,

    Thanks for the lovely comments, however there has been a pub inspired mi-week hiatus. True story, they’re open and need the local support, and I’m happy to oblige.

    Promise to speak tomorrow.

    Cheers

    Chris

  31. Hi Lewis,

    It would be an unwise person to earn an obligation to a God and then renege. I had not considered that aspect of the Roman’s obligations. It makes sense. We all know that old Julius was a difficult fellow, and we can say what we will because he’s not likely to come and get us. πŸ™‚ However, the guy sure had staying power, and even his tombstone is still kicking around intact. What are the chances of either happy circumstance occurring from those days?

    Incidentally, speaking of the Romans, so Mark Twain is writing about examining a Hawaiian village in the 1860’s that had been splatted by a volcano at some point in the pas,t and he was disappointed to find that apparently nobody was injured. He then cheekily went on to mention that at Herculaneum the Roman’s displayed more pluck, but perhaps less common sense than the villagers! He really does have a lovely way with words, has great powers of observation and is astoundingly cheeky.

    The pun has been crushed by your most excellent logic chopping. πŸ™‚ Respect.

    Thanks for describing the familial arrangements of the Roman soldiers. It was fascinating, and you’d imagine that after a long while accommodations with the Roman soldiers would have had to have been made, especially given that the soldiers were drawn from vastly different areas of the Empire and would have had different customs. And life is a bit like that in that things can be a grab bag of differing results on that particular front.

    Oh yeah, it is that particular colour, but then that is why the quality window was cheap. Fortunately for me, metal paint is also cheap and the window will be at the rear of the shed facing into the forest. Nobody will see it, however the other two windows will most certainly stand out.

    A very ominous and frank observation about all of our futures. Doesn’t sound like much fun. Since you mentioned whinges, I must report to feeling tired tonight. I spent the entire day until night fell getting the strawberry enclosure ready for next summer. I ripped out plants from half of the enclosure. The soil was then fed with copious amounts of organic matter (thanks to the nice electricity company) and vast quantities of Dynamic Lifter (chicken poop pellets). And then the newer strawberry runners were planted into the now clear beds. The path running down the centre of enclosure provided all of the first season strawberry runners. Lewis, there were hundreds of plants. Hundreds and hundreds of them I tell you! πŸ™‚ My hands are feeling tired tonight. Well that’s my whinge out of the way. A truly epic job, which is now completed – the strawberry enclosure, not the whinge though as there are probably more of where that came from hanging around and ready to be utilised.

    All those folks deserved to be sent up. All of them, and as often as possible. It should become a national sport. Thanks for the link: We can pickle that! That was hysterical, and so true.

    Oh, apologies I dodged the question and then I had a bit of a problem replying if only because you don’t like beetroot in your hamburgers. It is complicated being me, so I’ll do the best that I can about answering your question. Breadcake is a technical term not heard down here. The word β€˜cake’ usually refers to a dessert, however bread is used in a dessert which I highly recommend: Bread and butter pudding. An excellent use of stale bread from the everything including the squeak school of cooking. But seriously, it is really tasty – do you have that dish in your part of the world?

    Then there is hamburger, and we call the bread product by several different names: Brioche if the bread contains sugar and is often glazed with err, egg white and maybe sugar. Hamburger bun – that one is probably the same as yours. The fancy gourmet burgers can be ordered in a Panini which are really taking things to the next level, although you might prefer pickles to beetroot, but I’m just guessing there. πŸ™‚ Hehe! Hot dogs are served in a hot dog roll. The Germans for some reason produce the tastiest sausages, although I rate a Polish Cheese Kransky sausage as being right up there (I used to live around the corner in my meat cooking at home days from a butcher who was the national sausage king – seriously, it was a fine shop and they had a huge array of sausages). Hope that answers your question?

    Funny about the description of your rain. I would be a bit unsettled by so much rain in such a short period of time. Speaking of all things soil, the 3 year old soil in the oldest part of the strawberry enclosure was a thing of beauty to see as it was a rich black loam that contained moisture but not too much or too little. At the other end of the enclosure the soil is more than 1 year, but less than 2 years old and it was not so good and a bit gluggy in parts. Interestingly enough I get less productivity from that section of the enclosure…

    Well the youngsters have always caught the subject that dares not be named, it is just those with pre-existing medical conditions that go down like a sack of spuds. I don’t believe that we’ve had a single death of anyone under 50 yet, or if we had it maybe is only 1 or 2. Oh here you go plenty of statistics on that subject:
    – The median age of all cases is 46 years (range: 0 to 101 years).
    – The median age of deaths is 80 years (range: 42 to 96 years).

    The bloke is appearing in other news items as he appears to have been alleged to have left a trail of other incidents. Strange days and that is a bit trigger happy. Generally people down here aren’t allowed to walk around carrying weapons, it is very frowned upon act and may not end well.

    That is a great saying! πŸ™‚ And so true. Ah, the phrase appears to have a Polish derivation. Interesting.

    Cheers

    Chris

  32. Yo, Chris – The body twitched! It’s alive! I check my Timberland Library hold list, every day. Yesterday, a DVD went from “on hold” to “in transit.” Somewhere in the bowels of Timberland, someone scanned the DVD, a hold slip was generated, and it probably went into a box marked “Chehalis.” I don’t expect to see if for weeks, yet, but at least something is happening. The DVD is a documentary of the Paradise, California fire.

    Quit a few Roman tombstones turn up in later construction. Church or castle walls. I mean, you’ve got this nice piece of dressed stone, so, why not? When a Roman soldier retired, if he wasn’t a citizen, he became one. And, if he was involved with a lady, she became his wife, also a citizen, and any kiddies running around.

    Well, if the pink window faces the forest, maybe it will scare off the wombats and wallabies. Let’s hope the Little Forest Folks like pink. Otherwise, they may throw stones through it.

    A lot of work in your strawberry patch, but think of all the nice berries you’ll get next year. Our community strawberry patch is banging along. And I have the sneaky feeling that I’d better look into care and feeding. Some of the upkeep may fall to me. If I want berries. This is a big place and the Master Gardeners can only do so much.

    I’m sure I’d like beetroot on my burgers, if I ate burgers. πŸ™‚ . You supposed right. Pickles are a traditional option, here, on burgers. Pickles, onion, lettuce and tomatoes and the usual mix and match choices. Breadcake. The entry said it was a term used in England, and New Zealand. I supposed wrongly, “well, probably Australia, too.” I thought it was an oversight. Guess not.

    I ran across something interesting on YouTube, the other night. English Heritage did a little TV spot about one of it’s country houses (Audley End House), and, the reenactor who plays the cook. Well, it just took off. There are dozens of film clips of different Victorian recipes, and bits about life “behind the scenes” in English country houses. The actor (Kathy Hipperson) plays Mrs. Crocombe, who was the actual head cook in the 1880s. If you search “Mrs. Crocombe” on YouTube, they all come up.

    Yup. The Germans and Poles know how to make sausage. When I was a wee small lad, we’d make a monthly trek across Portland, to visit a German butcher shop. I can still remember the thick sliced bacon, with a rind of chunky black pepper. And, good sausages. They also rented out cold meat lockers, of different sizes. We had one, and Dad stashed his fish, deer and elk there. I can’t remember the details, but there’d also be, usually, half a beef that came from somewhere. All the different cuts. Some kind of a share deal. Maybe with my uncle who had a small farm.

    I made banana muffins, last night. In the last Magic Food Box, there was a bag of some kind of trail mix. Small chunks of dried apple, dates, plums and walnut pieces. Thought I’d better figure out something to do with it. With all that dried stuff in there, I chucked in an extra 1/4 cup of water. Next time, I think I should reconstitute it in the nuker. The muffins turned out pretty tasty, but rather tough.

    Speaking of the MFB’s, they come tomorrow. Treasure? We’ll see. I’ll be busy humping boxes all over the place. Better do my stretching exercises. Lew

  33. Hi Chris,

    Well…”puts on surveyor hat”, an orthophoto is a geometrically corrected photograph such that the scale is constant across the entire photo. In other words, it is a photo that can be used just like a map, and indeed, most orthophotos are aerial photos – but you can also do this process to photos of building facades etc (very handy if a engineer or architect wants a reference to measure things).

    And large scale just means large. So, I am thinking, covering a decent sized corkboard or similar. This way, Chris and The Editor can stand, perhaps with a glass of port and the fire roaring, and ponder future plans and stratagems in high resolution glory!

    If you happened to know a surveyor, such an orthophoto could have layers added with features such as contour lines, drains and other useful attributes.

    Back in the day on the old dairy farm (approx 300 acres), we had a large aerial photo setup on the office wall. I don’t think it was orthorectified as that would have cost a lot back then, but the photo was taken at a high enough altitude the scale would be close to constant anyway. I loved looking at the farm from above and making out small details. Some might quibble that such a product is overkill for Fernglade, but it is pretty easy to make these days. You just need a friend with a drone, and another friend with Survey software close to hand πŸ™‚

    Otherwise, 2 people, a flexible 30m tape, compass and clipboard with grid paper would also work for a basic sketch that is reasonably to scale (run transits and mark features off along the line).

    Cheers,
    Damo

  34. @ Lew
    I don’t think that breadcake can be an English term as I have never heard of it.

    Inge

  35. Hi Inge,

    The same situation applies here with the land, it is available but the cost is prohibitive. One of the difficult unintended consequences of this outcome is that younger folks have difficulties getting into agricultural pursuits. It is difficult to make a profit in agriculture when the various costs of purchasing the land and then owning it, mean that a person or people are in over their heads before they even get started. The other troubling aspect of the situation is whether land is prohibitively expensive, or the pound (or dollar in my instance) is not worth as much as it once was? Probably a bit of both.

    I’ll bet if you looked very hard at the outcomes of your legal and Parliamentary systems, the word ‘fair’ would hardly rate a mention. I’d be certain that it does not form part of our constitution either. Do you have any idea how people got such notions in their heads in the first place?

    Your Elder Daughter provided a very astute answer and it is one that I had not considered, but it makes sense. And whilst you may be feeling a bit sore, I’m also very glad to hear that no serious injuries were received by you in your fall. In my first full time job many long years ago (where has the time gone?) a mate of mine played football, and during the finals game which his team won, he received a knock to his jaw. As you do when you are young and dumb he went on the town afterwards celebrating the win with his mates. The next morning he awoke to discover that he had not only a bad hangover, his jaw was broken. He was rushed off to hospital and the jaw was wired up and he enjoyed his food through straws for a month or two. He remarked to me that the worst thing about the wiring up was that he could not brush the back of his teeth and it became very distressing for him.

    Your son is very attentive to have provided you with the rhubarb. I too actually really enjoy the taste of stewed rhubarb, although it is rarely seen as a food stuff these days.

    Worked in the surrounding forest today for many long hours and I am feeling it tonight. I had a nice hot bath and just let the toasty hot (wood heated) water soak into my bones and joints.

    Cheers

    Chris

  36. Hi DJ,

    Yeah, the same thing has happened with the newspapers down here. It wasn’t that long ago that instead of opinion pieces (which I could write – i.e. not that hard) they used to report on news and then provide analysis. Even if the analysis was biased, at least in between the words you’d glean various different points of view. I understand that the businesses providing the newspaper have to make a profit in order to continue, but far out I’m guessing that some pigs were more equal than others in that particular story. πŸ˜‰

    The thing that annoys me about George Orwell is that he may have penned two enormously successful ‘how-to’ manuals. Of course we can never know a persons motivations, but I suspect old George was penning a warning. I once read the successful author Michael Lewis similarly opining upon his book: Liar’s Poker.

    When Dilbert and the Wizard of ID can make cogent observations upon the current events, are they the court jester or are we the fools?

    That’s the thing about the Golden Rule because in order for it to work, everyone has to be more or less on a level playing field. And if power is used to circumvent the logic of the rule then sooner or later such power will be turned on them. There is an old saying about: “A fish rots from the head” – and it is true.

    The Old Timers used to quip: Practice makes perfect. Although it is worth noting that perfection itself is a goal that is a pipe dream. So maybehaps the old timers were talking rubbish? Maybe?

    No worries at all, and best wishes for the cousin situation. But yeah, just adapting to whatever is occurring about you seems like good advice from the bloke. Hey, most businesses continued down here, although many were forcibly shut, like the local pub. The visit to the pub last evening was good and the night was the only school-night that they are open. I have no desire to go there on a weekend on the basis that they probably need the support on the quieter night. The food and beer menu is very limited and there is only limited seating, and everything was performed with military precision, but all the same I hope the business survives the current dramas – and to do that they need local support.

    It is possibly going to get down to a battle-of-wills with Ollie and Plum who both frankly know better. If the escape was ten minutes only then it wouldn’t be a problem as they’d still be on the property, but in an hour they could get anywhere around here and into a vast array of trouble. Thor was clearly cut from the same cloth. Ruby is similar to Cheyenne in that regard.

    That’s great news about not having had to water the garden. Good stuff! And even better to hear that the rain is continuing for you. You know I seriously thought about an electric mower, but about the biggest motor that the mains power points will supply is a 2.5 horsepower motor, and frankly compared to the 6.5 horsepower petrol mower the gulf is too vast.

    I’m feeling tired tonight as I worked in the surrounding forest today. Believe it or not, the work on the strawberry enclosure was physically harder. Oh well, mustn’t grumble.

    Cheers

    Chris

  37. Hi Lewis,

    Great news, and the great beast that is your library system slowly awakens from its long slumber. I trust that your system doesn’t resemble a dragon because they seem to get rather annoyed at being woken up? I’ll be very interested to hear if the documentary was worth watching? It is of a subject that is more or less dwelling at the back of my attention for most of the year, and so any information is good information.

    Speaking of which, the tree dudes turned up this morning and I found some work for them to do around the farm. Far out they do a lot of work in a short period of time, but then the editor and I spent the remainder of the day just restoring a sense of order to the place. I like to support the guys as they use us as a fill in job, or when they want a quieter work day and I’m cool with that. I’ve spoken to them over the years about the other jobs they do and yeah, they like working here. πŸ˜‰ I certainly don’t micromanage them and they are under no time pressures to get their work done. However, I’m feeling tired tonight after the I reckon six hours of hard work today, that’s for sure. We worked right up until it became dark – which is quite early now due to Sunday being the winter solstice and all.

    Oh yeah, that makes sense about re-purposing the Roman building materials into more appropriately sized for the times constructions. I’ve seen older stone buildings down here dismantled, and I have wondered whether the stones were re-purposed into stone fences and/or other structures? Imagine that at some distant future time that the future folks will be thankful for me moving all of the seriously heavy rocks back up the hill in a nice and convenient place for them to access. Hope they spend a fair amount of brain capacity wondering how we managed to do that trick. πŸ˜‰ I’d like to believe that the house has a couple of hundred years of life in it, but who really knows?

    I’m sure the folks of the forest will enjoy the pink window, but you go first and ask them. I intend to take the wiser path and assume their appreciation until learning otherwise. Although I hardly feel that they will notice the pink frames? Maybe.

    I do hope so about the strawberries as last season was an absolute ripper for strawberries, whilst the other forest berries did not do so well. There is a large band of rain heading rapidly towards the farm and it will hang around for many days, so fingers crossed the strawberries enjoy a good watering in. There are before and after photos for the next blog. Cold weather inbound for southern, eastern Australia. Who would have thought that there was such a thing as wavy asperitas clouds?

    I’m not really sure about the care of strawberry plants yet. Feeding is easy as they are forest plants and so enjoy a soil rich in organic matter, and part compost and part woody mulch would be ideal. Some of the strawberry plants have to be removed because after about three years they stop producing berries and you have to work out some sort of succession plan. As a gut feeling, you could simply remove maybe a third of the largest plants at the end of the growing season. The runners are prolific and will move into the opened space.

    Ah, of course, say no more and respect for your food choices! πŸ˜‰ I’ve honestly never heard the term ‘breadcake’ used before. I see Inge has provided conclusive evidence that the term is more northern England – Yorkshire in fact. To be candid, I have travelled in New Zealand and for some reason I found their bakeries to be somewhat lacking, although I am spoilt with the various bakeries in this corner of the world. Down in the island state of Tasmania, they have the most amazing scallop and curry pies and I’m salivating thinking about them. Yum!

    Thanks for the link, and yes it sounds excellent. I may have to obtain Ruth Goodman’s excellent series too. So much to learn and do, so little time. And in breaking news, a copy of Uther is wending its way down to this little backwater.

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a butchers shop also running a small scale cool store. Interesting indeed, and also a very clever idea. Hey, just to whet your appetite, the sausage business is still going strong and here is a photo from one of their display cabinets (you’ll like it): Andrews of Yarraville. I recall the store very fondly and used to cook up the Cheese Kransky’s and place them in freshly baked bread with onions and mushrooms. Yum!

    Years ago I knew a local lady who had their own cattle butchered and she offered me a goodly sized chunk of the meat for a reasonable price. At home we’re vegetarians so we’re not set up with the systems to be able to store and/or utilise the meat. My mates of the Big Shed fame have all manner of systems for storing and utilising the meat they harvest, and it is like a whole different world from the plant based things we do here. I’d be pretty certain that they’d be likewise confounded by the systems we have to have in place here for harvesting, storing and utilising the plants. None of it is simple and the more I know, the more impressed I am with our forebears.

    Yeah, that is hard and it takes an hour and a half to toast the already dried nuts and grains into a form that is recognisable as toasted muesli. Have you considered allowing the trail mix to soak over night before cooking them into the muffin mix? Sorry to talk about legumes in the same paragraph as tasty muffins, but with lentils or dried beans we have to soak them overnight before then using them for cooking. It does work.

    Limber up! πŸ™‚ Your magic food boxes are true grab bag of all sorts of interesting food stuffs. However, I approve of your style, because it is a bit like op-shops and second hand purchasing in that most people can’t recognise quality items, and therein provides opportunities for those who do! Happy hunting!

    Cheers

    Chris

  38. Hi Damo,

    Is this a theoretical discussion, or did you just out your professional status? πŸ™‚ It is interesting that you mention scale and photographs, but a few years back I noticed that the camera lens produces curves in photographs, but then dismissed the thought. Is this the effect that you were so describing when talking about scale or is it another effect altogether?

    Hehe! Your point is taken about the decent sized cork board and the accoutrements sound pretty good to me. I might stick to using the basic Paint program so I can muck around with spacing. This talk of tape measures makes me feel very uncomfortable due to levels of accuracy that might be unachievable due to inherent skill levels.

    The contour lines are provided on Gaagle nowadays, although you wouldn’t want to rely upon the property title overlays so provided as they seemed a bit off to me. But then close enough, good enough and all that stuff. Just not a reliable legal defence if things got unpleasant on that front.

    Years ago I discovered (and I may have mentioned this story to you) that the 1880 title for an inner city house was not quite how things played out in the real world and part of my building sat upon the neighbours title and so forth. The solution presented was to purchase the land off the neighbour, and I just decided not to travel that dark road and instead didn’t build upon it.

    I might be able to manage the 30m tape and compass. A good idea and one I would not have considered. Hmm. Of course talk of drones sounds easier…

    Cheers

    Chris

  39. @ Inge – So everything I read on the internet isn’t true? I am Gobsmacked! πŸ™‚ .

    Chris is right. It’s specific to Yorkshire. Well, they do things different up there. “Cold Comfort Farm”, etc.. Lew

  40. Yo, Chris – Well, the first round of boxes are done and dusted. More, this afternoon. I didn’t do as much as usual. Frankly, I’ve been just feeling poopy. Very, very tired. For no apparent reason. Not running a temp or hacking a lung out, so, it’s not “IT”. LOL. Couldn’t be my age. I mean, I’m only 70, fast closing on 71. The usual mixed bag of stuff. Another package of that trail mix stuff. I’ll take your advise and soak it overnight, next time. I didn’t keep much of the tinned stuff, as my pantry is pretty flush. So, a lot for the Club. A bag of apples, I kept. A couple of masks (!) There was a pack of nice bacon. Someone mentioned quiche, the other day. Hmmmm. That meat case you linked to looked yummy. But, like you, I keep my meat consumption to a minimum. I doubt butchers rent out meat lockers, anymore. Or, not like the old days. That was before everyone had a freezer chest in their basement or garage. πŸ™‚ .

    Go Tree Dudes! Yeah, I also take a step back, for anyone doing work for me. I usually say, “If you need a third hand, or need anything, give a yell.” Best let them get about their business.

    It was 79F, yesterday, and is supposed to get up to 82F (27.77C), today. But, the cool and rain are due back tonight. Just in time for the weekend! πŸ™‚ . Looks like your in for a bit of weather. The undulatus clouds are very striking. Wonder if Prof. Mass has ever said anything about them? Probably. Clouds of all kinds are endlessly fascinating.

    Interesting about what you said about New Zealand bakeries. Perhaps that’s why Mrs. Damo and Damo are such dab hands at baking? Self defense? I ran across an interesting article about the current bread making craze… from an archaeological point of view.

    http://www.sapiens.org/archaeology/can-archaeology-explain-the-bread-baking-craze/

    That bit about surveying, and such, with Damo. My friends in Idaho’s, daughter bought a lot, in town. She’s going to put a manufactured house on it, and rent it out. She had it resurveyed. Things were not quit as they seemed, but, nothing too major or problematic.

    Speaking of Idaho, my friends were feeling rather smug, as they only had a couple of cases in their county. You know. They’re tough! They’re bullet proof! They’re patriotic and conservative (in lots of different ways.) Well, they had 8 cases, yesterday. A bachelor party … a wedding. So, they’re staying in and laying low! And in the next breath, tells me how they went to lunch at the Mexican food truck, had the kids over for an art project (that they babysit … but they asked Dad if they’d been to a wedding!), Ron is plying four rounds of golf (the course was crowded) and her daughter and potential son-in-law are coming for lunch, tomorrow. I guess that’s the Idaho version of “staying in and laying low.”

    Speaking of you-know-what, we had 7 new cases, yesterday. 5 of them in their 20s. The health department said it wasn’t from a single event, but from run of the mill “community transmission.” But I wonder. All those cases were in the rural SW of the county. I’d guess there was a kegger (young people take kegs of beer out to the woods and get up to all kinds of mischief) weekend, before last.

    Hmmm. I may have linked to this before. A review of a new book about the fall of Rome, and the part that climate change and pandemics played.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2020/06/how-pandemics-extinguished-roman-empire

    By the way, the illustration is from a painting by Thomas Cole. He made four enormous paintings he called “The Course of Empire” back in the 1830’s. Took them on the road and charged a small admission for a peek. Made a bundle.

    I watch too many apocalyptic films. I had the thought, yesterday, what if the virus mutates and becomes more easily transmittable, and much more lethal?

    It’s the first year for that strawberry patch, so, other than working in more compose, probably not much to do. But the wildcard is the garden renovation, which might take place, next year. I poked around, yesterday, and managed to pull out about a quart of strawberries. There was a bit of fungus, and some insect damage, but nothing over the top. Fungus and insects have to eat, too.

    I saw another white crab spider, when I was out hunting slugs, the other night. Busy rolling up a leaf to lay her eggs. I spritzed her with ammonia. Don’t know if that did her in. The hard shelled insects seem to shrug it off. Lew

  41. Hello again
    When did the concept of fairness arrive? I have no idea. I am now wondering whether the word exists in all languages.
    The pound and dollar devaluing indeed. I am told that we aren’t noticing because currencies are more or less maintaining parity.
    Land on which there is the faintest possibility of building costs a sky high price. The land is more expensive than the house. Farmland is being devoted to biofuel here which bodes ill for the future if food runs short.
    I remembered earlier on.something that you asked which I didn’t answer and drat I have forgotten what it was again.
    Weather forecast keeps threatening storms and rain but none of it is reaching the Island, just a few drops last night. Son didn’t go out to a job yesterday because of the supposed threatening weather. He cooked instead and brought me a superb salmon and broccoli quiche made with turkey eggs.

    Inge

  42. Hi Lew,

    Mrs Damo is the dab hand at baking, but thank you for the vote of confidence πŸ™‚

    RE: Surveying boundaries. Things can get very heated very fast, but no measurement, boundary or fenceline is ever perfect, and the surveyor will have to take all the information in and make a judgement on where the boundary actually lies (heaven forbid your boundary is defined by a water stream – those things move you know!). In my travels over the past few years, I noticed that most licensed surveyors (the ones with the legal ability and responsibility to sign off and define property boundaries) seemed to be pretty stressed out most of the time. This was one of the reasons I opted for the new job at a shipyard in Perth rather than a more traditional survey office role. Not sure I want to spend my life worrying about legal codes and local council development plans!

    I saw news earlier that Tom Cruise will be filming a movie in *actual* space next year. The man does take his stunts seriously!

    Cheers,
    Damo

  43. Hi Chris,

    Hmm, I just assumed I had rambled on about survey stuff in an earlier comment and everyone already knew what my day job is πŸ™‚

    The curve you described is very real of course, and is caused by distortion in the lens. All cameras have it to a certain extent, but it can be corrected in software by applying a transformation (especially necessary for gopro cameras and other super-wide angle cameras). However, this isn’t what I meant – although it plays a part. It is much simpler than that, and is just the fact that objects in the distance will appear smaller than objects up close. If you were hoping to use an aerial photo as a scale map, this will cause big problems in hilly terrain, but even flat terrain will be an issue because the camera is unlikely to be perfectly flat when it took the photo. You can see this effect if you turn on satellite imagery in google maps and move to a large city with tall skyscrapers (they will look squashed, and cover roads – even though we are looking “straight” down).

    Now if you want to get really tricky, we can talk about the difference between grid (that is, flat earth) and ground coordinates. Engineers especially, get very confused when their 10km road design ends up wrong by 40 metres hehe!

    Cheers,
    Damo

  44. Hi Inge,

    That’s an interesting point, and an aspect of the word ‘fairness’ that I had not considered. It is telling that most definitions or uses of the word that I could find have English derivations and uses. From one perspective it appears to be an ideological goal that has no bearing upon reality, but that may be a somewhat harsh perspective and I truly do not know.

    The parity economic question is important because it indicates that other countries are also indulging in printing exercises and so whilst the details and extent may differ, the response is more or less similar.

    In the mid 90’s to the mid 00’s we used to purchase houses that were very run down and then use our sweat equity to fix them up and then hopefully make some margin on that work. We stopped doing that activity when the derelict houses had the profit margin factored into the purchase price. The activity in essence began to make no economic sense. So we did something else. The land that could be built upon which you wrote about – and the same is true down here as well – is very similar to that story. And it makes just about as much sense.

    Ouch, biofuel is a good way to strip mine minerals from soils, at least crops for feed could theoretically return the minerals to the soil.

    Poor weather forecasting became your good luck with that feed! πŸ™‚ It sounds rather delightful.

    Had a much quieter work day today, and there was much chatting. which I rather enjoyed.

    Cheers

    Chris

  45. @ Inge:

    How divine – a salmon and broccoli quiche. I’ve never had turkey eggs.

    I, too, wonder where the concept of “fair” came from. I imagine some bigshot decided it was a useful term to throw around.

    Pam

  46. Hi Lewis,

    Thank Gawd it is not the subject that dare not be named. The bill from that would surely kill me dead proper like. Sometimes we all have β€˜off days’ and everything is a hassle. That possibility is baked into the cake of life. Did you get to the root cause of your ‘blah’ feelings? Mate, we are all getting older, and there ain’t much anyone can do about that sad state of affairs. On the other hand, I have this sneaking suspicion that the alternative is far worse and from that perspective it is not a bad idea to enjoy the ride whilst you are in the drivers seat and remember to have the occasional quiet day. Searches for gourmet pies are what are called for on such days. And I have it on good authority that a semi-regular commenter here (Damo) believes that he may have beaten my tall stories of gourmet pies. So the challenge is on, of course baking such a delectable food stuff is all fair and square (we are not the dare I mention country womens assciation to point at rule books when they lost when the Devil came down to the apple cake festival – no siree!) πŸ™‚

    Well that all cheered me up no end! How did it work for you?

    Good news that your pantry is well stacked with goodies. A wise precaution in this day and age. I’ll be curious to hear how the trail mix goes after being soaked – it was an idle suggestion after all. I realise dragging out the food processor is not your preferred option, but a solid blitzing would work too.

    I doubt that butchers rent out meat lockers anymore either. In fact the people I know who process and store their own meat, they sort of have their own refrigerators and freezers for the purpose. I do wonder what happens when or if the power goes out, but fridges and freezers use very little electricity. They’re quite a good technology really.

    Micromanaging is like the ultimate boss sin. I’ve been subject to a few of those over the years, and it never ends well, usually for me though. Have you had your share of one of those types?

    You are having really nice weather. It rained about half an inch last night, but by the morning, it was just cloudy and dry. I actually had a quieter day today as I had no inclination to head out and do a third physical work day in a row. We put in a couple of hours this afternoon and that was that. I rang up a mate who’s birthday it was and we had a good long chat, and then I enjoyed another chat, and then before I knew what was going on it was almost bedtime. Good fun stuff.

    The undulatus clouds are really interesting and threatening. Actually the other day I pointed out a cloud that looked like a traditional mushroom floating along the sky. I do hope the elder folk of the forest weren’t bringing in reinforcements. Mind you, I spotted a new bird yesterday that I have seen before. As of today I’m yet to identify it.

    I see Damo has responded to you, and so I shall say no more on the baking subject! πŸ™‚ Who knew that diet and cuisine were two different concepts? Fascinating and it is interesting to consider that labour patterns and economics and sheer population growth can shift those two concepts. I sort of hope that people don’t keep on baking at home if only for the self interested concern that there was a shortage of supply for basics such as quality flour.

    Glad to read that the surveying situation was not too problematic. In a Victorian era terrace house a little bit here or there can be a right nuisance of a problem as the property is long but not very wide.

    Oh yeah, a similar thing took place with a wedding down here. Travel seems to be a constant factor with these outbreaks, and it interests me no end that this aspect of behaviour is declining considerably. It was going to happen one way or another, but would you pick this way? I wouldn’t have.

    A kegger! Funny, but not so funny stuff. Down here such things are known as a Batchelor’s and Spinster’s Ball, but they might involve a larger degree of organisation than your basic kegger party. I heard a story of some young folks who allegedly got kicked out of their University dorms for such parties during the lock down. And students rarely live on campus in this country.

    I’m pretty certain that you have alluded to the fact that Rome fell for a multitude of reasons, and pandemics were probably just fuel for the fire. A timely book to release though. Good marketing for the author.

    Oooo! Those four images are amazing and I have looked at the on the interweb. It is funny how Empire could be viewed through that particular lens and not taken as a cautionary tale. Dunno why, it is a bit like when people say to me that their boss is an idiot. I scratch my head and think about it for a bit and then go, well they’re your boss so what does that say about you, and when might they say such a thing about you. Dunno, people seem to miss that particular lesson but it is very important for many reasons.

    It will probably be pretty nasty that is what might happen, but then lots of viruses could do that trick. Influenza is a really nasty customer on that front – with an established track record.

    Have you heard any more about the garden renovation? The plans sound a bit ominous, but it might be OK too as long as they don’t over complicate the infrastructure. And like it: Yup, fungi and insects have to eat too!!!! πŸ™‚

    Never used ammonia on insects so I can’t really make any useful remark. How did the white crab spider cope with the spray?

    Cheers

    Chris

  47. @ Pam
    I can’t deal with turkey eggs it requires someone with the strength of my son to crack them open. No doubt this is why one doesn’t see them sold for eating like goose eggs. Their ratio of yolk to white seems to be similar to chicken eggs which makes them fine for recipes if one could only get into them.

    Inge

  48. And again
    Ah yes, you asked about railways on the Island. Wikipedia answers this question way better than I can. Currently we have 2 small lines one of which is privately run chiefly for the enjoyment of holiday makers.

    Inge

  49. Chris,

    Life and chores are intervening but I’ve got 2 quick comments, hoping it’s not too late in the cycle…

    Agreed re: Orwell. Those were not meant to be “how to” manuals. I’ve been saying that in some circles for over 20 years. Which more modern authors are going to have their work corrupted into nefarious “how to” books?

    I work closely with surveyors and with interpreting surveys. What Damo has said is totally spot on. We’ve actually got engineers who take measurements from gaagle maps and use these figures in calculations and official pronouncements! I lost that fight at the job years ago, also losing some job duties as a result, as I refused to give out inaccurate information.

    Back to chores…

    DJSpo

  50. @ Damo – Credit where credit is due πŸ™‚ .

    I told my friends in Idaho, that the original surveyor (lost in the mists of time), was probably, drunk. Not a job I would want. It would probably make me rethink, abstinence. πŸ™‚ . Lew

  51. Yo, Chris – “…the alternative is far worse.” You’ve said that several times. Are you sure? πŸ™‚ .

    What cheered you up? Don’t know if it would cheer me up, as, I have no idea what cheered you up.

    Yes, I worry about what an extended power outage would do to the stuff in my freezer. Depends on the time of year. Right now, the big (small) freezer is about half empty.

    Hmmm. Have I ever worked for a micromanager? Probably, but none stands out, in memory. Probably because I nod my head, and just go off and do what needs doing. While keeping in mind I could loose my job. But, I’ve never had a problem, finding another job. Odd though they may have been.

    I didn’t know that diet and cuisine were different, either. Food for thought? Grist for the mill? Bad puns? Flour was never totally unavailable, here. But quality flour? That’s another question.

    We’ve moved to Phase Three, and the Club is banging along. Stopped in today, and saw a lot of faces I haven’t seen in a long time. Is it a safe place to be? Probably not. The Club is set up for, and the volunteer staff adhere to State guidelines. But the meetings … being AA, they can only suggest, not enforce. Theoretically, everyone should be wearing masks, social distancing and a few other things. Like, individual sugar and creams. Only one person handling the coffee pot and donation basket. Will the suggestions be followed? Probably, not. So, I glove and mask up when a lot of people are around, and hope for the best. But I think I’ll only be going down, two or three times a week. Pay your money and take your chances. I had quit a bit to haul in for the food pantry, today.

    When Cole did his paintings, the idea of American Empire, was very much in the air. You had stuff like this …

    http://www.oakknoll.com/pages/books/132041/j-c-mcelveen/westward-the-course-of-empire-exploring-and-settling-the-american-west

    Westward the Course of Empire. Currier and Ives also did a rather more restrained print, of the same title. I’d guess most of the people looking at Cole’s paintings probably thought “We’re different. It will be different for us, this time.” But, I figure there were a few people who thought, “This is the course of ALL empires. This will probably happen to us.” And, were probably shouted down and accused of being Debbie Downers.

    Well, the garden renovation will wipe everything away, and start with a clean slate. But, they are saving the dirt. And we’ll be scrambling to save various plants. But, overall, I think the stock tank plan is a good one. It’s just all the chaos, in the meantime. I don’t know how the ammonia spritz, effected the white crab spider. I mean, she didn’t fall down on the ground, dead. Pretty much just looked deeply offended. But, I didn’t see her the next day, or night.

    Two food boxes came in the afternoon. One was a mix of, mostly canned goods. A couple of boxes of cereal, and a jug or two of juice. But we got an entire box of produce. Bags of apples, onions, oranges and potatoes. Packages of celery, romaine lettuce, broccoli and strawberries. I’m going to be busy, trying to figure out how to preserve what needs to be preserved.

    Our Chehalis library is re-opening (kinda, sorta) on the 30th!! We’ll be able to pick up holds. I guess we pull into the parking lot, and there will be signs, with a phone or text number. Call and let them know you’re there. Then they’ll …. I don’t know. Throw the books out the back door? I also noticed there were things on the new list, last night. Still mostly “electronic resources.” But several titles were hard copy and vapor. “Alaric the Goth” was there. But, unfortunately, only in electronic form. If they don’t get a real copy, I’ll order it by interlibrary loan. They have a comments box on that form, and I’ll give them an earful. Not that that will make one whit of difference. Lew

  52. Hi Inge,

    The article on railways on your island was very interesting and lead to all sorts of interesting links. It amazes me that folks put their time into restoring old rail lines and rolling stock and the knowledge that such folks have must be invaluable. I’ve read a while back about a group that took a bunch of enthusiasts upon on an old rail line and the photos of the disused railway stations in the middle of nowhere left me feeling slightly uncomfortable that something had been lost.

    Yup. I hear you about that and wrote a few months ago about an abandoned railway station on an in-use line not far from here which was near to one of the largest apple producing areas on the continent. What do you do?

    I see that you may well have encountered working steam trains on your island back in the day. Your earlier comments left me feeling that you were not a fan of such modes of transport.

    Cheers

    Chris

  53. Hi DJ,

    No worries at all, and on Sundays I can certainly respond to smaller than the usual comments! πŸ™‚

    Hey, it all comes back to Fight Club in the end! Need we mention Chuck Palahniuk’s contribution to the collective imagination? The scene with the recruits waiting on the front porch to be received was reminiscent of the efforts of Buddhist Monastery’s with new folks. And it is an initiation ritual, pure and simple.

    Ouch. Yes, some fights you lose, but that does not signify that the fight was not worth having, it just means that the day was not yours. The gaagle maps around here have title boundaries drawn upon them, but given it is a very legal thing, like you I’m basically uncomfortable with the results. With the construction here I had to get a surveyor to establish the correct boundaries. Let’s just say that Gaggle is indicative at best.

    Cheers

    Chris

  54. Hi Lewis,

    Not entirely sure, but sort of almost very sure – if that is actually a thing. πŸ˜‰ It probably isn’t though. Anyway, so there are four horses to choose from: Conquest; War; Famine; and Plague. Clearly conquest is something of a minor but insurmountable difficulty and let’s not mention the F-35, the public has little taste for war, famine would result in more serious rioting in the streets, so that left plague as the minor bit player. And so here we are today. As a choice to implement demand destruction, it was the least worst choice from my perspective. So yeah, only sort of very sure, but that is good enough for me.

    Pah! Gourmet pies could cheer anybody up, and I but dare you to take the challenge. Hehe! Maybe I exaggerate the matter, but mate, a gourmet chicken, leek and bacon pie cheers me up no end.

    That is the thing isn’t it about power outages – don’t open the upright fridge door. Chest freezers would probably do far better in those circumstances as the cold air can’t rush out of the door, and the combined thermal mass of the contents might assist maintaining cold freezing air inside the machine. As a preserving technique, it’s a gamble. The old timers never had access to such machines, although the machines really do use very little energy and bizarrely it is more efficient to produce coolth than heat using electricity.

    πŸ™‚ Blessed are the competent for they shall find themselves to be very busy in life! Like you if work is required to be done, I just set my shoulder to the task and hand and status be dammed. The other day I spoke with a young lady who was incurring significant student debt whilst earning a business degree. The conversation came up naturally and was not forced. Unfortunately I put my foot in it and expressed the candid opinion based experience that there appears to be little return on investment for incurring such debt. And then just to mess with my head she asks the hard question: “what am I meant to do then?” What a tough question to face and it was almost as if I’d been smacked in the side of the head. So I thought about it for a bit and remarked that it is a more important question than she realised, and I too had been pondering the question over the years. Then I went on to talk about how I’m hedging my bets with professional work and the farm work and it is a difficult and uncertain path. The next time I encounter her I may mention the option of earning a useful skill or trade as an alternative. Dunno, but such random conversations follow me around because I provide candid responses. I feel to lie would be a disservice.

    All good food puns. Hehe! Flour was right out down here for about three weeks, and it was at that point that I realised that it would have been a smart move to have kept better stocks in the first place. One day I may have to construct a cold store like your spring houses. That is how the old timers used to do things.

    And speaking of which I again took up Abze Brown’s book on Edo era Japan ‘Just Enough’ as it is important enough to read through to completion. There was way too much swirling around in my head when I began reading the most excellent book. Western folks would have to go through a lot of pain before they accepted such a shift in culture, but who knows what the future holds?

    Suggestions have been made earlier today down here that masks should be worn in public, but who knows what will eventuate out of that? There is an old saying that you are only as good as the weakest link.

    Thanks for the link, I really enjoyed looking at the old maps and reading the interpretation of what was known and unknown. I have no doubts that there were a few who knew the outcome of Empire, but were shouted down.

    On a more positive note check this out (you’ll love it): Unearthing history of Hobart’s rustic art nouveau mountain huts. Wearers of bowler hats beware! It fascinates me that the folks constructed the huts from the local materials, and they are really beautiful constructions. Hobart incidentally is the capital of the island state of Tasmania across Bass Strait from this state of Victoria.

    Good to hear that the soil is being saved, and the other members of your cohort will benefit from all the work which you have performed on your soil over the years. The stock tank is a good idea and if a construction has a roof, well it is almost shameful not to collect and re-use the water, but then I do live on a very dry continent and such notions may not translate well into your country.

    The MFB’s sound like good scores to me. Hope the strawberries have some flavour to them? I’m a bit dodge on commercial strawberries, but then tomorrow morning you’ll see the work I did on the strawberry enclosure a few days ago. It took me an entire day and so I might not let it get that out of control in future – but then again… Preserving the harvest in whatever form it arrives is a truly interesting task which most people have no idea about.

    Cool!!!! Great news about the library no matter how weird it all ends up. At least the service wasn’t shut down due to budget deficits. Best not to complain in these trying times – who listens anyway?

    Had another quieter day were we did β€˜professional’ work for a few hours. The financial year ends very shortly on the same day your library opens again. And happy solstice to you! It was unsurprisingly a very short day down here and the clouds scudded thick and low upon the horizon.

    Cheers

    Chris

  55. Yo, Chris – I’ll pass on the gourmet pie challenge. Given we have no tradition of such, here. I’ll leave the field to you and Dano to fight it out. And while you two are distracted, I’ll snitch a pie or two πŸ™‚ .

    So far, having a freezer, here, isn’t to much of a gamble. Thanks to the Goddess Hydropower. No brownouts or rolling blackouts, as I hear from other parts of the country. But, it’s something I keep an eye on. And, at least I’m capable of other forms of food preservation.

    Significant student debt. There are ways to avoid it, but, it takes more time and involves sacrifice, discomfort and social pressure. I won’t soon forget the book I read a couple of years ago, about a young fellow, who got his BA, and, who knows why, suddenly woke up to how much debt he had amassed. And, it scared him. So, he developed one burning desire. To pay off the debt. he worked a string of jobs in Alaska, that provided room and board … and no place to spend the money. When he was in the States, he worked and lived in a camper van. Effectively, he was homeless, but his costs were very low. He was lonely, and didn’t have much of a social life. But, he stuck to it, and paid off something like $100,000 in debt. Then he decided he wanted a Master’s Degree. So, he just continued on, piled up the money before hand, and then went to school. There used to be this fine old concept, that you don’t hear much, anymore. “Working your way through college.” It takes longer, but you come out the other end, debt free.

    Stocks of food (or toilet paper πŸ™‚ , is a balancing act. How much is too much, and how much isn’t enough? You just have to deal with the fact, that some things will go wonky, and you’ll just have to substitute or do without. I see a lot of people, right now, around me who are chaffing at the bit, because they can’t do as they’ve always done, or please to do. To bad.

    “Just Enough” was a pretty good book, and is thought provoking. Now that you’re into your winter, life may be a bit slower, and you can pay more attention to it. And “Urther” is in the offing. πŸ™‚ .

    We had another virus case in the County, yesterday. Sigh. On reflection about going to the Club, I think I just need to pay attention to the meeting schedule. When they start, and end, there’s a lot of traffic. Other times, not so much.

    That was quit an interesting article, about the rustic cottages. What a raffish, bohemian looking group. My kind of people πŸ™‚ . I do have a couple of nits to pick, as far as the reportage goes. I’d say their style was less Art Nouveau, and more Arts and Crafts. And Miss Grit isn’t holding a glass plate negative. She’s holding a stereoscope card. Just no attention to detail, anymore πŸ™‚ . I used to have a small pile of stereoscope cards. I almost had a complete set of the marriage of Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter (Alice Longworth Roosevelt … what a character!). The guests arriving at the White House, the bride and groom. Interior shots with all the decoration. I was on a kick for awhile to collect old shots of Washington, DC. Who knows why?

    Happy Solstice to you, too! Well, we’re on the flip side. The downhill run. But, as we’ve reflected on, before, your coldest, and our hottest days, lay ahead. Lew

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