Monday, January 28, 2013

Just Call Me Rodney






















Well, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I'm just like Rodney Dangerfield, I don't get no respect. It's very apparent what I meant by this picture that my youngest daughter sent me. Whatever happened to telephones that you just talk on? Now you can play games, watch a movie, take pictures, distort the pictures you take into unflattering and unrealistic visions of obscenity, and if you have the right app, I think you can turn your phone into a portable urinal with the touch of a button. Oh well. I would be content to just have the old black dial phone, but I guess those days are gone for good. I have to admit that it's mildly entertaining to look at some of these pictures. It would be even more so if the picture was of someone other than me.
  On a different note, I 'm back up at the library using the computer. Mine had gotten so slow and unreliable that it was almost unbearable to work on it. When my son-in-law was here over Christmas he offered to send me down some more memory for it and showed me how to do it. I only had 512MB of RAM, which I guess isn't very much, so he sent down 8 GB. I got the case off the computer and successfully removed the old memory and I thought I'd successfully replaced the new memory. I closed it all up and hooked up the wires in the back where I thought they should go and turned on the power. The computer came on, but the light never turned from yellow to green and then I noticed a kind of hot electrical smell- but no smoke, so I thought, well, the parts are new so maybe when they're just getting warmed up they stink a little. However, the green light never did come on, and even though the smell went away, or maybe I just got used to it, the screen never did fire up, so here I am...again. That's why I don't work on mechanical things. I seem to have a knack for messing things up. If it was just a matter of doing an oil change on the darn thing, I think I could have pulled it off without a problem, but when wires are involved, well, that's a horse of a different color. I'm kind of dangerous when I get around wires and whatnot. Once, when I was in the navy, I guess we must have been in the shipyard, for whatever reason I was walking between the posts of a steel doorway with a live welding tool. All at once an arc shot from the tool to the doorway and left a big burn spot on it. It scared the bloody hell out of me and I suppose anyone else in the vicinity.  Some people just aren't meant to be around that kind of stuff. In any event, I guess I'll be sending this computer away to get fixed and hope that when I get it back I don't mess something else up. Meanwhile, if the hat fits, wear it.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Beauty and Buffoonery














 Without fail, whenever I answer the phone and my daughter Jen is on the line, her first words are "Hi Dad," and the second phrase is "What are you doing?" I don't know what her response would be if I  told her that I had installed a telephone in the bathroom and was talking to her while I was sitting on the john. I kind of doubt that she would even hang up-she would probably be silent for a minute while she thought of how to respond to that situation and then I think she would ask if I wanted to go on a walk later. It could be blowing a gale with sleet and tree branches being torn from their mooring and she would want to go on a walk. As you can see, on this particular day, I think it may have been January 1 of this  year, the sun happened to be shining. I think it was the last time I saw it until today- eighteen days later. Anyway, it was too nice of a day to stay inside so I decided to go with Autumn and Jen out to the cannery. They had convinced me that all the ice had melted on the sidewalks and it was safe to walk....hmmm, not totally true. I started down the sidewalk until I got to a place of no return, with a guardrail on one side of the sidewalk and a snow berm on the other and as soon as the sidewalk started sloping down like a ski jump, there was a layer of ice. Fortunately I managed to stay on my feet with some deft maneuvering on my part. Had I fallen down and cracked my skull, they would have shown adequate concern for me before launching into uncontrollable laughter. As we walked along I showed them various ways of making forward progress in difficult situations. Last year when I had a bout of Plantars Fascitus I had to drag my bum foot in a skiing motion across the snow, which of  course Jen thought was hilarious. Never once do I recall laughing at her when she tore her meniscus, but let me have a bout of physical discomfort and it's a source of great humor. I'm so like Rodney Dangerfield with my family- I don't get no respect. Anyway, I was demonstrating to the girls the various ways to walk- leaning forward with arms outstretched in a strong headwind, leaning back when the wind is behind you so you can take full advantage of the pressure, a foot-slapping walk when you need to rest from the regular gate on a long walk, a small stepping, little Oriental lady walk when you're going down hill on ice- it also works when you have a Pepto Bismol moment and the urge to go hits you like a ton of bricks and you don't want to take big steps for fear of unleashing the hounds. There are other steps I showed them that they probably shouldn't emulate unless they want to suffer complete humiliation should any passing cars see them doing it. In the second picture, judging by their posture, I believe the girls were in the process of practicing some of the steps I showed them. I stand corrected. Jen just came by the Botts Family Grocery to "borrow" some mayonnaise for tarter sauce. Anyway, she said in the second picture she had just blown her nose and wanted Autumn to check that  no residue was clinging to her face. Alrighty then!

Monday, January 14, 2013

First Grade Lessons














    Back when I was in grade school, eons ago, we periodically would be given a paper with pictures of things that for the most part had something in common. Among the various things depicted would be one picture that wouldn't seem to quite fit in. We were suppose to circle the thing that didn't seem to follow the pattern of the other things. I'm not really sure how I did on those tests. I could always justify the odd picture being there  somehow. Frankly I don't know if there was even a correct answer to some of those tests. Even as a not so bright kid I felt like something was a little off in administering those tests. I guess I must have passed- they never came to get me for a psychological evaluation or anything and I managed somehow to make it through high school and even into the navy. When I was there they gave us the ink-blot test and asked us what each picture looked like. Is there a right or wrong answer? I don't know. In the same vein of the tests mentioned, I thought I would just throw out a similar kind of exercise. There is no right or wrong answer- it's strictly for entertainment. All of these pictures are from December 21 of last year- the day Jen and I took a walk on the beach. Tell me, does one of them seem not to quite fit in? Hmmmm....  
   We walked along the beach until we got to a place where the trail led into the woods and went in there to get out of the wind. As you can see, Jen has in the crook of her arm a piece of driftwood that I found on the beach and convinced her to carry. She didn't really want it, but for some reason she packed it around for the whole walk. She gets busy thinking about things and doesn't pay attention to the outward circumstances surrounding her. I'm not sure what she was thinking when this picture was taken.Twice I tried to get a picture and both times her eyes were closed. Oh well. I'm sure she'll be delighted when she sees that I posted it, but there are so many people who need a good laugh now and then that it only seems proper to post it.
   In the last picture you can see across Icy Strait to Homeshore. It doesn't seem so far away in the picture, but it takes a good hour and a half for me to get there in my boat. On a normal day the wind is usually either blowing from the East or West which means I have to cross in the trough both coming and going. I've had some pretty uncomfortable crossings from time to time.Years ago there used to be a pretty good run of King Salmon that ran down that shore in the spring. I suppose they still do to a certain extent, but not like it used to be. The same with the cohos in the fall. For years the troll fleet would congregate there to work on the cohos that were headed to points unknown, but for the past five or so years they just haven't shown up like they used to. With the increase in the number of lodges and sealions, I guess it's no surprise that there are less fish to be caught on the inside any more. I guess it's like Bob Dylan said- the time's they are achanging.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Walk on the Beach














Holy Toledo getting this blog post to upload has been enough to give me ulcers. I don't know what's going on with my computer or the Internet or whatever, but I'm about ready to throw in the towel and draw stick figures on a cave. Perhaps some archaeologist will be entertained one day when he discovers it. I finally had to revert to coming to the library to do my blog post- a whole new fun experience in it's own right. A few weeks ago, during a relatively long cold snap, Jen and I took a walk out at the cannery. The tide was low and there was a good bit of the beach exposed.  As we walked around the point we came across incredible numbers of mussels and barnacles and other tidewater animals covering every inch of the reefs and rocks that lay uncovered. We passed by all manner of rocks, some with rings around them or laced with other material where pressure or heat has fused them together. Being with Jen was kind of like talking to Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jen B the Science Queen- she doesn't stop being a teacher,even in her time off. It's actually quite fun, as she would  make observances about the rocks or the barnacles or mussels.She's like a kid in her curiosity and I think that helps to make her a good teacher. I had looked up some information on barnacles when I thought about doing this blog post, but I can't remember most of what I read, and I had so much trouble getting this far with this post that I don't want to leave it to go do research or I may never get back on again. I do remember something about scientist looking at whatever makes barnacles stick so good to things. They secrete a glue that allows them to attach to anything under the water- rocks, pilings, boats and even whales. I've often seen Humpback whales jumping out of the water with their backs covered in barnacles. There is one whale that hangs around here who seems to have an obstruction around his blow hole and makes a whistling sound when he exhales. I can't help but wonder if the barnacles haven't grown around the hole. I wish they would let me get close enough to take a putty knife or a paint scraper to their backs and get rid of them. Every year I have to paint the bottom of the boat because of marine growth- including barnacles and mussels. Somehow they always manage to get a foothold on some small part where the paint has sloughed off. I know that there is a market for mussels- I guess I should check into it. They grow on every piling I've ever seen, even though the wooden pilings have been coated with creosote. I don't think there would be much demand for toxic mussels. Too bad, I could make a mint. Well it appears that school has let out and there is going to be a mass charge towards the library computers,so I will stop this here and apologize for not being more entertaining. Better luck next post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winding Down















 Check out those shish-ka-bobs folks. Let me tell you, they were tasty. My daughter Autumn brought a pineapple home with her. I'm not sure why, but not wanting it to go to waste, I cut it up and skewered it with some peppers,onions and a zucchini, and of course some tasty venison that I shot earlier this year. I found a great marinade recipe for the meat so I let it soak all day and by evening it was ready to barbecue. Oh my that was delightful. As you can see, there was a little table top ping pong tournament being played out in the dining room last night. I don't know why I even attempt to try and watch a movie while so much noise is being created in the adjacent room. Jen brought over some jalapeno poppers and some potato skins, and I provided the beer, so we just celebrated the new year at home. It was pretty uneventful, except for trying to eat some of those poppers. They can be deceiving. The outer coating is pleasantly warm, one might even say inviting, but once you bite into the cream cheese filling inside it's like trying to swallow hot roofing tar. Thunderation that's hot! You can't very well spit it out, so you inhale some semi-cool air and hope the mixture doesn't get sucked down into your throat and blister the passage way to your guts. Of course I never learn my lesson; they're so darn tasty I have to keep eating them. Shortly after midnight Jen and her tribe went home, but not before agreeing to meet at 8:30 in the morning to go dig for some lead at the beach today. That was doable, or would have been if Autumn hadn't forced me to stay up until 2:00 AM watching Law and Order SVU. When I went to bed I fell right to sleep until shortly after 3:00 when some incredibly inconsiderate dolt decided to celebrate the new year with fireworks. I guess whoever it was must have been sleeping when midnight came and went and didn't want the skyrockets and M80's to go to waste. God forbid that the cops should be on duty during that hour of the night. The display went on for half an hour. If I'd known it was going to last so long I might have gotten dressed and driven up to watch them.
Needless to say we didn't make it out to the beach as early as I wanted to, but we did make it and actually found a coffee can full of lead. It was fun. I went out to do some work and check on the boat today and when I returned, the house was all cleaned up, the dishes were washed and put away and even the Christmas decorations were boxed up and ready for storage until next year. I, for one, am ready for things to wind down, maybe have a little peace and quiet and get back to eating some more traditional meals.  Man was not made to live on chicken wings and assorted smoked meats and cheeses alone. Who knows, tomorrow I may even eat a stalk of broccoli. Happy New Year everyone!