Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

C-3PO: “Sir, the possibility of winning the lottery is approximately 175,223,510 to 1”……Han Solo piloting the Falcon hisses back: ”Never tell me the odds!” ~ C-3PO mistakenly detailing lottery odds in place of success odds to a frazzled Han Solo trying to gain speed and blast the Millennium Falcon out of danger and into hyper space [fictional, although both sets of odds are statistically identical]

Didn’t we all have fun playing paying for Power Ball this past week? Glad that my coffee is perking, I’ll be certain to reap its benefit shortly; no chance taking there.

No chainsaw massacre, yet – As a side effect of super storm Sandy the large Hemlock tree by our cabin (between the end of the drive and the lake) blew over. The net result is that it will lay there until sometime this spring when we’ll head north.

Two years ago I found a vintage chain saw (1969 Canadian made Skilsaw) and picked it up at an estate sale in Canada (my fondness for anything vintage). I had been working on it and actually got it running, except for a problem using the starting rope pull. That is all working again. My next problem happens often from non-use. The carburetor components get clogged with varnish from remnants of gasoline. Ok, so I brought the beast home and am working on a plan. I have put an additive in the gasoline and now, every other day, start it up.

At first it ‘burped’ a bit and I kept spraying through, in, and around the carburetor with a concentrated solvent. By the end of that week, with a prime, it would run for 30 or so seconds. More spray, more adjustments, and as time moved forward the starting got easier and easier. In fact, two days ago I had it running for a full six minutes. Whoopee! In the meantime I’ve sharpened the chain and am able to start it readily – without a prime. I will be ready for that Hemlock!

The latest issue is that I’ve simplified my starting technique. In place of holding the saw stable with my feet I am now starting the warmed-up saw by clamping it between my knees (yes, that is an acceptable method and is quite safe). However, while cleaning up the other day I did take note that on either side of my knees I am now black and blue. I’ve promised Marcia I’ll stop this technique at the first sign of a callus.

iTunes – It’s happening again. I went to download a song into iTunes and there was that horrid pop-up begging me to upload the latest revision—all 80 or 90 megabytes of it. Decline and Apple’s bloated music program, which has the good ship Cuppertino listing to starboard, will hound me into submission. And the worst of it is that most of the “latest revision” contains bits I’ll never use or have no interest in. Hey Apple, I’m a plain vanilla kinda user. All I want is the skinnied down version, a simple music player to interact with my little iPod (which I love except for the fact that it’s almost impossible to replace the battery). I have no interest wasting hours while my music library is being ‘readied’ and my already overburdened hard drive is being sucked dry even further. Wasn’t the program supposed to be as Steve Jobs once stated so wonderfully; “like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in Hell.”

So, I finally finished loading all 22 minutes and 26 seconds of Arlo Guthrie’s; Alice’s Restaurant – the Massacree Revisited (1996). Apple, when evaluating iTunes, look closely at that word ‘massacre’.

Weekends – should be reversed with weekdays; reversed in the number of days allocated to each. This time of year it’s difficult to pack all that is scheduled into just a Saturday and a Sunday. Five days would make it a cinch.

Last weekend our deck door should have been a revolving door, kids and grand kids came and went non stop. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This weekend is on track to be just like the last with three things on the platter for just today, and that without any shopping time. Shopping for the ‘perfect’ gift is amazingly difficult, especially when you have little clue what you’re looking for as you turn the ignition key to ‘on’. My answer this year was to save all sorts of time by forgoing bunches of shopping time and instead making my own, very personal, gifts. Last evening, quite late so she was probably quite tired, I showed Marcia my first prototype.

The best way to describe what happened next is to envision Marcia storming downstairs shouting back at me a series of utterances of which “NO WAY” came through most clearly. Add to this weekend’s list of things to do, hang the outdoor lights (we’ve already lost that race) and head out into the “fogs of the mall” – not so much to shop as to gain ideas. ‘Tis the season!

Animal Planet – Other than watching a dead starling deteriorate along a sidewalk a bit more each day I walk very little observation. However, Kim Ansley who lives nine or so miles from Northern Comfort swung by to “take pulse”. The attached photo shows just how wonderfully peaceful four inches of fresh snow makes the place appear.

Fini – Welcome to little Max who was born yesterday and to mom Marlena who is also doing well. For the remainder of the weekend, make it a good one. Happy shopping, and stay safe!


From the Archives
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Morning all:

The weather here is enough to make anyone daft. For example, I am sitting here enjoying my morning mug of coffee in shorts and a sweater. As an aside, that style of dress must hark back to my bicycling days where on many a tour as long as you kept body and thighs warm having the little “sticks” underneath bare provided for some necessary cooling. Anyway, when Marcia makes an appearance later this morning I’ll get one of these, “are you nuts looks”. Hey, it seems to work for me. But, back to the weather, we’ve had snow, rain, wind, bitter cold, and today mid fifties and sunshine.

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. That you took some moments to reflect on the importance of family and friends.

Our celebrations started as Marcia and I had a wonderful early brunch with Jason, Cathy, and Marin. This after an earlier call where Marin’s tiny little voice said: “Oma, when are you coming for lunch?”

Mid-afternoon we talked with Kirstin calling from Florida. Vince, Kirstin, and Derek spent the day with Derek’s great grandma. The little guy just loves heading to her house since she lives in a small cottage-like home off a country road and with a yard that flows right up to a lake.

Later, we had just gotten home from celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with friends and neighbors when our phone rang. Nothing at the other end and just about the time that Marcia got ready to hang up thinking it was another annoying solicitation call, a distant little voice at the other end; “Malo e lelei!” Adrianne’s voice and her island greeting came through nice and clear transferring through probably a couple of hundreds switches and a satellite or two connecting her from other side of the world.

As usual (cost related) we called her back on her cell. It was noon-ish Friday the 25th her time when she called. To celebrate Thanksgiving properly she was starting her feast at a time that coincided with dinner time here in the States. She explained that a new group of Peace Corps volunteers were in training in her area. The result was that she and about 30 volunteers and friends had gathered on a nearby island. Somehow they had managed to get a hold of six turkeys which they were preparing to grill on a large spit over an open fire. Someone had build an underground oven in which they planned to cook a local root that resembles sweet potato, and vegetables. They even had brought in cranberries. To her delight someone had managed to get some cinnamon for pumpkins all to turn into pies—no whipped cream though. I know that they had coconut milk to drink and probably kava, but it would not surprise me if they found a beer or two.

So you see that even a pair of empty nesters with kids and family scattered far and wide we were able to connect them all. Thanksgiving is truly the start of a magical season.

Reflect on the joy of family and make it a great week everyone.

2 Responses to “Too Little Weekend”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    “Between the knees” makes me a bit nervous, I am surprised that there was no reference to SKYPE this week. Have a wonderful weekend

  2. Neanners Says:

    So, what happens to all that would. Will the wood burner be the next to be refurbished and fired up?