Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Seems like I was just here. HERE being Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Temps are relatiively mild at 44°, moderate rains are forecast, and its New Year's Eve day. It's similar, but not quite the same as the first time I experienced a Louisiana New Year's celebration.

Iggy and I scared up a Jack rabbit about 1 AM out by the dog park of this KOA were staying at. They both took off lime a shot, the dog hitting the end of his lead almost immediately; bunny foo-foo hit the fence and had to run almost a hundred feet down to find an opening in the fence to wiggle through.

Things are wet here, saturated, really, so I am reluctant to try my luck putting the 5er in to the backyard, assuming I can even get it through the gate. Sinking the truck and trailer in the red gumbo mud is Not my idea of fun. I've got some planks to cross the grass with. Also have some wide planks to park on if I can get it back there. We will see...

I do hope y'all have a good celebration and a far better 2014.

And So It Goes...

Friday, December 27, 2013

We're safely setup on lot 33 in the O Kentucky RV Park. SWMBO IS ensconced on the porcelain throne worshiping Peristalsis, iON tv is showing Cold Case. Summer sausage is safely back in the winery box; Iggy is greatly saddened that all the ell good food is in the truck while he is in the trailer. And So It Goes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Despite trials, tribulations, false starts and stops, we are in Kentucky, freezing with the locals. If Murphy allows any luck to escape his clutches, we will depart for Louisiana on Friday. I figure if I just keep driving South until I can't go any further my hot water tank and the rest of my plumbing will eventually thaw. What do you think?

Seriously, here's hoping you all have a Merry Christmas and the new year brings joy and success your way.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


We survived the death line of snow, sleet, thunderstorms, lightning, helacious winds, hail, downpours, flooding - flash and areal - frogs and grasshoppers Dizzy Dick sent up from Texas. Had to pull the sliders in a couple of times when the flying Brahma bulls soared by. Today is grey, wet and windy. Aside from venturing out for a bite of lunch, my area is going to be anchored right here at the table, watching Ohio oaks try to hold their leaves. So, you have a good Sunday, y'hear?

And So It Goes...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nothing until Monday

No mechanics on until Monday morning. In disgust, went to Friendly's for Brioche French Toast. SWMBO had the meat-lover's skillet. Both tasty, but her toast was limp - not our idea of toast.

Been hanging out all afternoon waiting to move over to an electrical pedestal for the rest of the weekend. Ran the generator last night as they'd pulled out a bunch of stored trailers for pick-up by owners so no electric spaces were available.

And to make things more interesting, an ice storm with freezing rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. That does beat the heavy thunderstorms expected in Louisiana and Kentucky tonight. So that's what is happening here. More Monday.

And So It Goes...

Taking A Brake

We're set up in the yard in front of the Akron, Ohio Camping World service center, hoping against the realities of weekends, Christmas parties and other holiday doings, flash flood and areal flood warnings, that today they will be able to check our trailer brakes. It isn't fun driving with next to no brakes. My fingers are curled into unbreakable claws and I'm popping nitro tabs like M&M' s!
They have Saturday service hours, so there is real hope. But there are also those here before us to contend with as well as the issues above, so I won't be terribly surprised if we were still sitting here on Monday morning.
I do hope your weekend is better and safer, if you're in that band of wild weather forecast for this weekend...

And So It Goes.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We're lost

Sitting in a parking lot of a Flying J outside of Milton, Pennsylvania. Got a Subway sandwich for each of us. Plan on visiting the Woolwich factory in the morning. Plans changed about lunch time as we sat in a parking lot in upstate New York. Baton Rouge is still our destination, but instead of traveling down the coast it looks like Christmas in Ohio! So instead of a thousand miles of I-95, we've been over I-84. I-81, and now I-80 since leaving the truck stop in Meridian, Ct. Who knows, maybe we'll visit the airstream factory.

And So It Goes.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Asleep at the wheel

Snowed up, slowed up

Made it as far as the mass-ct line early this AM. SWMBO insisted we pull off after I dozed off into the verge. One moment I was awake the next asleep. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Pulled into the Weston Welcome Center at 2AM and called it a night. Woke up to snow at 8:30. Made it a hundred miles or so to outside Hartford to a TA truck stop about 11:30 and here I sit. Six inches of heavy wet slop that is a greasy blanket on the Interstate has stopped further progress for now... I have no desire to brave the Bos-Wash corridor in a snowstorm on a weekday. Storm is supposed to blow out to sea at midnight. We will attempt further progress then.

My Location

This is my current location as determined by TruckSmart. Click or copy this link into your browser to find me http://maps.google.com/?q=42.1568,-71.9635


Sunday, December 15, 2013

I tried...

I really did. Little did you know, Dick, but I have been trying for the past few days to get packed and get out of here for warmer climes. Despite an almost pathological lack of strength and energy. So yesterday was the big push. And I'm moving like mired in molasses. Add descending temps. I spent hours outside in single digit temps and winds topping out around 30 MPH. An early evening run for food and fuel and pharmaceuticals for SWMBO. Return to no heat from the furnace ... just frigid air pumping out. Tried everything I knew to do but no joy. Worked outside until I just couldn't work any more ... back at it this morning (Saturday) @ 7:30 & -13°F. Finally all packed and loaded at 11:30. As we're pulling out, I caught the awning against a tree and completely buggered that up. I figure close to two grand for a moment's inattention.

We made it the eight miles to our dealer in Bangor. Sadly, the shop was empty, but the owner kindly offered to put our unit into an empty, heated bay until Monday or let us spend the night on site with an extension cord for lights. Without heat, it was best to put her inside, so that's what we did, after I spent nearly an hour trying to unhook. Seems the trailer was twisted due to a snow furrow so it took 3 of us to get it disconnected.

So our journey is momentarily on hold. We're at a motel, warm and bored. Forgot to get the CPAPs so not able to sleep. Tomorrow, with luck, we will have heat, four new tires, and a couple hundred miles under our belts. Sorry there's no photos ... I was too cold and stressed. Expecting a foot or more of snow today, so a slow start tomorrow is likely.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Before the storm


The view from my perch this morning is cold and clear outside with icing and condensation on the inside, Definitely chilly at 5*f and bitter with a NW wind blowing down the lake at us, A winter storm is forecast to hit on Sunday. Bringing us 8 to 14 inches of snow with more to follow. Getting out of here is going to be difficult for a while. And So It Goes. ---***---

Monday, December 09, 2013


So. Without thinking, I reached out, grasped my laptop's screen and pinched to lift the computer off the table. I meant to grab the frame around the screen.

You can see the results.


So now I haven't got a computer. Dumb de dumb dumb.

And So It Goes.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Leaden Skies

A thaw, of sorts, midweek. Skies are mostly the gray associated with Plumbum and dead humans. Mild temperatures have allowed the ice to get really soft. Today may be the last of the reprieve. Seems all of you good folk out West have been freezing your patooties off, uncharacteristically for this early in the season for most while frightening to some in Southern Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas. Further East, Louisiana and Florida has been a sweltering mess one day, frigid the next, can't satisfy anyone weather-wise that-a-way.

I've been feeling sorta puny for the past week. Can't get off my ass to do much more than the bare minimum and its getting in the way of living my life. I need some tonic. Maybe then I'd get the plumb outta my bum. What do you think?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday Fun Day

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Bet you forward this one!!!
From: rawainwright <rawainwright@rogers.com>
To: wil <olddog299@gmail.com>








Two Irish nuns have just 
arrived in USA by boat,
and one says to the other, 
"I hear that the people in
this country actually eat 

"Odd," her companion
replies, "but if  we shall
live in America , we
might as well do as the 
Americans do."

As they sit, they hear a
push  cart vendor yelling,
"Hot Dogs, get your dogs
here,"  and they both
walk towards the hot dog

"Two dogs, please!," says
one. The vendor is very 
pleased to oblige, wraps
both hot dogs in foil and 
hands them over. Excited,
the nuns hurry to a bench 
and begin to unwrap their

The mother  superior is
first to open hers. 

She begins to blush, 
and then, after staring
at it for a moment, leans 
to the other nun and in
a soft brogue  whispers:

"What part did you get?"





Sunday Morning

Snow flurries, resulting in a fine coating of frozen Death, cover the world around me. The interface twixt ice and land is suddenly sodden as warm earth of shore meets the ice. One never trusts ice close to shore. Here's photographic proof of why.

Around here, it generally has to warm up some to snow. That's a slight reprieve on the heating system and makes working outdoors more bearable. I'll take it.

Got errands to run, so we will see you down the road a piece.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A mite chilly this morning ...

At 6:30 it was barely 8°F with a soft, chill 5MPH breeze. The exhaust from the generator and furnace are great billows of steam, but it is so dry they're transmogrifying directly into the air, rather than freezing and condensing as snow. I am up so early as the furnace has been giving us fits since last night when the fuel bottle decided to freeze. That necessitated restarting by hand many times until flow was restored.

I am really not an early morning person -- witness my sleeping through two alarms Friday morning to put the trash out for pickup. No, not door to door. But all of us down on the water put barrels out on the corner where the big compressor truck can still turn around. Best be out by 7AM, too. So my 9:30 crawl out from beneath the blankets didn't cut it in the pick up department.

I braved the Black Friday crowds to pick up my wife's paycheck, but was singularly unimpressed with a line at the drive-up at Dunkin Donuts that extended out onto the main road for a hundred yards. No coffee for me ... grumpity grump grump. Rushed home without making a deposit because my phone said SWMBO had a doctor appointment. My phone lied. Monday is the appointment, according to Her Nibs.

Today will be spent depositing check, buying generator gas and LP, obtaining some goodies at the grocery and, to borrow a phrase from Barney, the OFM, trying to have too much fun.

And So It Goes.

Winter cometh...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fwd: The Life of Ice -- Redux


Begin forwarded message:

From: Wil Mosher <olddog299@gmail.com>
Date: November 29, 2013 at 1:41:51 PM EST
Subject: The Life of Ice -- Redux

Taken this year in the morning on Friday, November 29. Sent via Adobe Photoshop Express (App Store | Google Play Store | Windows Store)

Ice - true 70mph ice boat/speed skating ice. The cycle begins, anew.


Ice Redux - 2

Taken this year in the morning on Friday, November 29. Sent via Adobe Photoshop Express (App Store | Google Play Store | Windows Store)

And so it begins, again.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

There Be Ice Bergs

I happened to glance out the window on my way by and to my surprise, a "growler" appeared. You can't really see it in the photo, but there's sheet ice attached as big as a sheet of plywood just below the surface.

Here. I blew it up using a photoshop app on the iPhone:


I hope your turkey day is going to plan. It's 26* F with a steady 20mph breeze from the West out there. No birds seen today. I think they've all left for warmer climes. 

The Life ( & Death) of Ice -- Reboot

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ice Day 3

One of the major threats to continued ice life is rain. It's in the low 50's outside (Tuesday) and a couple of inches of water is sitting atop the ice on the lake. The open strands of water between here and Moose Island are growing and the wind is gusting in the mid-thirties. Not looking good for survival of the ice; if it does survive it'll be rougher than a cob. Ice skating and ice boating won't be smooth going, let me tell you. You try skimming atop a washboard at 60MPH while your sphincter tries to eat the seat cushion to keep from dragging on the ice three inches below. Exhilarating, for sure. And, not something these old bones will go out of their way to experience again anytime soon. I have fine memories of ice boating on Mallet's Bay on Lake Champlain in Vermont, but it was as smooth as a baby's bottom and speeds into the 70's were barely more rugged than sunbathing on the Cape.
Anyway, we will just have to wait and see. We are only half way through this particular storm. A lot can happen between now and the end of rain and wind. I am hopeful that I can get the BBC moved before it freezes in place like last storm. And I hope y'all have yourselves a happy Thanksgiving. Try not to hurt or be injured this holiday weekend -- leave that for the professional football players on the idiot box.
And So It Goes...

UPDATE: As of sunset, the ice is still intact.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Boondocker Hot Water Heater

Setting up for SWMBO's morning ablutions before work...

The Life Of Ice


The life of ice is surprisingly tenuous, given the steadiness of the building blocks involved. Here it is day two, and a seemingly innocuous event which would be beneficial under other circumstances, threatens the very existence of the ice. The threat I refer to is snow. The ice is barely a couple of inches at it's thickest. Temperatures are forecast for 20's & 30's today, overcast this morning with some clearing mid-day. Perfect conditions for melting the ice. While snow provides insulation, it also traps atmospheric dust within. The dust acts like a solar collector, warming the ice from above. The ice will thin. Tomorrow's weather will provide the coup de grace. . . Two to three inches of rain. What little snow we have will hold the rain in place to aid melting. Late Wednesday as the front pushes through a brisk northerly wind is forecast. Wind will be the death knell for the ice. It will be Friday before conditions are right to allow the ice to form anew.

And So It Goes.

Open Water!

So, not completely covered, it offers wind an opportunity to tear up the ice when the temps rise.

Ice - Day 2

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ice In

Morning dawned, bright, clear and cold. Only 17°F, with a -10°F wind chill, bone snapping cold. Over the whistles and groans of the 30 to 40 MPH zephyrs blowing around and through our fiver, the low growl of the Honda e2000i generator and the wail and snort of my aging Black and Decker coffee maker was the absence of the sound that has been a constant backdrop since the end of June. Gone was the sound of water. No waves crashing the shore. Wavftelets gently lapped the shore no more. Loons no longer warbled insanity to the rising Sun. No plop! of a perch rising to snatch a mosquito from the mill pond smooth surface. Nope. Just the eerie groan of wind waves driving the weight of a seven mile long sheet of ice into the shore accompanied my coffee pot this morning. And So It Goes...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

If It’s Sunday It Must Be Gale Day

Woke this morning to a high in the LR of 49*F. Outside, the wind is blowing in the 25 to 30 MPH range with gusts to 50 MPH and the temps are in the 20’s. With the “wind chill factor” the feels like is around 5*F. Sitting here at the table with my back to the slideout wall, I wear three layers on my torso, two on the bottom over underwear. Still cold. Furnace still won’t fire. This is now supplemented by a frozen or blocked LP line, so it’ll be Papa John’s pizza for supper tonight as the fridge is running off the generator and nothing LP fueled is working. The wind gusts are such the TV antenna is whipping about in the wind. Locking-in digital TV signals is futile, so my wife’s football games (read: nap background noise) keep cutting out and disturbing her enjoyment (waking her up).

So, off to town for genny gas and LP for our Lil Buddy heater, pizza to gas us up (heh, heh) and something sweet for dessert. Hope your Sunday was better, but looking at the weather in the SW and elsewhere it doesn’t look like today was suitable for much of anything. Wind has friends tied up in Tampa Bay with small craft warnings forcing three anchors (two forward, one aft), Dizzy Dick is hunkered down hiding from a cold rain and the Bayfield Bunch and others in the desert are hiding from rain, wind and mud. Chinle is fighting a soggy wet snow in Northern Colorado. Rick is dodging typical Vancouver Island winter weather and family in Maryland face rain and cold on Chesapeake Bay. Be a good day to make a beef stew and watch football. Oh yeah, I’d need an LP stove for tha

And So It Goes…

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ice Cycle

Ice embraces in a cruel womb,
Choking life from leaf and heart,
All the while preserving that green, vital spark
I will need to rise anew, come the THAW.

Jewelry sparkling in a January morn,
Encased in Winter's cloak
Upon the frozen land I stand,
Lonely sentinel to life's potential,
While Summer's grasses slumber under icy branches.

All the while, the mice tunnel through my roots,
Seeking last year's corn.
Yet even that tiny life sustained comes with a price,
As Coyote and Crow starve and Owl awaits the heavy snows
That allow a safe pounce on frozen ground.

And great Northerly winds do howl
In concert with my tender buds
Struggling to sustain life within
While frozen lens penetrate to my core
Crackling deep as branches flail.

All hail, the Ice Queen cometh,
Death her constant squire.
Surcease, her lover, astride the throne.
And at her side the frozen shaft, my limb ...
It does Her bidding, Now.

Ice has me in its talons,
A death grip upon my soul.
Will this Winter never end?
Must I endure the indignity of shredded bark
And broken bough as ice rends the life from me?

What light is this, green and blue,
Singing in the skies of life and warmth,
Sizzling in its electric potential,
Sun spot red, yellow, gold. A terrible solar flare
Fortells the death of Ice itself.

Borealis, bringer of light, life and warmth,
Banishing ice from the tundra of my mind
and surface of my twigs.
In company of Spring, Ice cannot sustain.
Her reign abridged, once again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More ice forming

Here you can see the impact of the wake from a duck hunter's motorboat as it meets the ice in the cove. Sounds like faerie harps after a Bachanal.

Ice in the cove

DizzyDick asks when the lake usually freezes ... sometime during November or, rarely, December. Ice fishing season begins January 1st; perhaps 3 years in 5 the ice is strong enough to support trucks and the shacks we call ice houses. It has been blowing hard for a few days, two where temps went just barely above freezing. Now, as you can see, no wind and the supercooled water is trying to freeze.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cold, Clear, Autumn View.

What am I still doing here in Maine in November?

Good question. Second day of gale force winds and sub-freezing temps. Still with a busted furnace. Just a little "Mr Buddy" convection heater keeping the interior sorta tolerable. Not the regulator. Bought a new ignitor board last night for $120. Guess there's no coffee in my immediate future. Still too cold for these arthritic hands to attempt an installation.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Damn! Winter arrives with a howl!

Subject: Damn! Winter arrives with a howl!

Well, the Weather Weenies forecast cold temperatures as a large Arctic high dropped down from Hudson Bay. At 2AM, I'd dozed off watching TV and reading your blogs and awoke to no heat coming from the furnace. I knew I had installed a full bottle the previous evening, so what could it be? Troubleshooted the furnace and discovered it was failing to ignite, despite the gas valve actuating. Couldn't find anything wrong at the furnace so delved into the system deeper. It appears the regulator is failing to pass sufficient fuel to run anything more demanding than the two burners I have going, heating cast iron fry pans to radiate some heat into the room. It had dropped from 60* to 40* by 5AM in the living room and I started having serious concerns about the state of affairs in the piping and tanks down below. It was about 20* with around 15mph of wind hitting us side-to. I was chilled to the bone and damn frustrated besides as nothing I tried fixed the problem. Finally curled up next to SWMBO as my legs felt wooden from the knees down. Up again at 6:30 to drive the boss to work. Grabbed a cuppa Dunkin Donuts and a coffee before landing at the local RV parts place. Thirty minutes, a couple of tall tales and half a century lighter I departed for the barn where I keep my stuff to pick up a catalytic space heater. I brought my treasures out to the Lake and set them up. No, the Fixers^1 hadn't repaired the furnace in my absence ... It still failed to fire despite basking in the dawn's chill light for two hours at 18*, thank you very much. Soon the inside temp had outstripped the exterior by 30* so failed attempts at firing the beast yielded some warming in the cellar and fears of frozen and burst plumbing slowly crept to the back of my mind, as did conciousness (I am too old to try to get by on an hour's sleep). I awoke with a start about noon, pleased I hadn't burned up nor asphyxiated from the catalytic heater and/or the jury-rigged frying pan heaters. Found the fridge had faulted off, so it too wasn't getting enough gas either. Refired the furnace multiple times until obstinacy was clearly fruitless. With that conclusion, the furnace declared unilateral victory and finally cycled on the way it is supposed to, with fire in the chamber and no more fault codes.
Enough - I don't know why it failed and there is no guarantee it won't fail this evening, but right now it is 72* inside and my feet aren't cold nor blue. It's 32*F outdoors and the wind is keeping everything frozen ...
This boulder (below) is about 3 cubic yards big - you'd need an excavator and dump truck to move it, even if you could get all the local, state and Federal permits required. And, you will note, completely sheathed in ice.

And So It Goes ...


That time a garbage scow crashed into a space station - Boing Boing

For Dizzy Dick, contemplating his own mortality, a little Space history:

That time a garbage scow crashed into a space station - Boing Boing

shared via http://feedly.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Murphy is bugging me...

We had to make a run to town Saturday evening to pick up some prescriptions ready at the Wal-Mart pharmacy. SWMBO went inside to collect them while I sat in the truck (usually a cheaper trip that way). Once the boss was safely ensconced in her bucket seat, the key I did turn, but nada, nyet, and no joy. So I got out and wiggled a few connections to see if I could cajole the old gal into turning over, and all I got for my trouble was a glare from the old lady.

One hour, two trips to the back of the store and a few nitros later, I finally have the _@_)_;?/#!!!?/!! thing installed and we proceed home, a two hundred dollar hole in our budget, a bag of lousy Chinese take out for supper and a very bad mood.

Sunday saw both the wife and I down for the count with a case of autumnal grippe. Between us a box of tissues was consumed for the continuously running noses. I sneezed some seven hundred times. Kidney stones started to bother the Missus, so a jug of cranberry juice was cracked. A grand time was had by all.

Monday morning came earlier than anticipated as Iggy tried to crawl under the covers with yours truly. It seems the air temperature inside was at 42° F. and headed lower to match the 27° outside. Being sick isn't conducive to keeping track of the LP tank fullitude status. Empty. Big time, two 40 pound bottles empty. So, I cannibalize the BBQ tanks and fight with the regulator until sufficient fuel is flowing to fire the furnace, crawl back under covers and wait for heat. Sadly, the dog was of the opinion that breakfast ought be served, right away, followed by chase the bone and walkies, before any settling in would be allowed to commence. By then, SWMBO was awake and demanding food and attention, too. I never did get back to bed...

Comes this morning. Cold. Ice in the cove, 21°F. Air temp cold. The truck starts ok, but the boss is so discombobulated that she left her wallet and water bottle behind. It's the equivalent of a Monday morning as she had yesterday off. So, all of Murphy's Monday Morning Madness after the start of Standard Time happened this morning. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, dontcha know.

And So It Goes...

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Raking, Anyone?

View from the "throne room" during Friday's inch and a half of rain.

The Calm After The Storm

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scary Thought For This Morning

Came down early to make coffee. Opened the door to let the dog out. One eye open, I looked out upon the lake 20 feet away in mill pond smoothness and thought,

"Oh my gods! It's shell ice."

That is likely to happen tonight, Monday, as the predicted low is 21° F.

And So It Goes...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn Is In Full Swing

Hey all! Missed me? That's OK, your aim will improve.

The leaves have departed to huge mounds at the curbs of streets. Laughable, as it may be weeks before Public Works will get to them, what with plow trucks to ready, salt and sand piles to top off, and last minute road openings to finish before the serious freeze arrives. Down here near sea level, the bears and skunks are still making a nuisance of themselves fattening on mast (acorns) and getting themselves into trash can mischief on pick-up day. The dog and cat are putting serious efforts into covering every surface with hair. Next time, it'll be both white or both black ... none of this Harlequin crap to deal with. Then again, Miss Belle has been looking mighty tempting to this year's fledgling Great Horned Owl that persists in whistling up a sonata of fetching dog calls. Sounds like novice day at the dog park out there with the full moon and bare ground yielding nothing for her belly, again. Luckily, the juvenile bald eagle has moved into town, striking herring gulls in mid-air at the local Mickey D's, to the horror of soccer moms refueling their teamsters before practice. And this year's loon is so forlorn it's taking to hanging out with migrating geese at night. NOT good, as there are a few weekend warriors blasting away on Friday and Saturday mornings at sun-up.

So Winter is just around the corner but thankfully late in putting in an appearance here in the lowlands. Do we stay or do we go? We are still on the fence. Money is really tight. My health, in particular, is giving us fits. SWMBO is enjoying her new job, but it doesn't pay enough to get an apartment in town, even if we could find a reasonable rent that takes pets. Heating this spacious new home takes 2-3 Times the LP gas that the Airstream took, despite good insulation... just a lot more volume. It probably won't fit into my daughter's yard in Louisiana, either. So then it becomes a question of finding an affordable park, near some kind of sit down work, with full hookups that takes a dog (the cat will not travel). A tall order.

So that's where we are this week. Next week, who knows? BLM boondocking near Quartzite sounds better all the time. Or, maybe, the Rio Grande Valley or Port Aransas? So much depends on keeping the better half happy. Me, I'd be happy working a gate at a well site. Just pay me enough to download books to my Kindle.

And So It Goes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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Monday, October 07, 2013

Rain, rain ...

Go away.
Come again,
A sunny day!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

At night, you can see the stars and airplanes reflected in the water.

Autumn Dappled Granite

From our entrance to the lake, taken to remind me how quickly progress the seasons of our lives. Placed in the 60's, it looks like it has remained since the last ice age, ca. 13,000 years ago here.

The autumn has rapidly advanced. Swamp maples are past their peak, while more upland deciduous trees are drying and dropping. The excessive rain this summer has something to do with it, but I'm not sure exactly how it translates to dull, dry leaves.

Hunting season opened about ten days ago, so most of the waterfowl have already come through. There is something special about being awakened by goose guns going off at sunrise just outside the window. That warm feeling from puddling piss, for instance...

Monday, September 23, 2013


Autumnal Equinox
Comes rushing in with a vicious rattle,
Icy pellets awaken me, alarmingly.
Fear of dying as Death roars by,
Leaving leaves and limbs akimbo.

"Fall Is Arrived! Behold the glory,"
roars the wind Northwest.
Harbinger of the roiling death
so close around the corner
lurks the ultimate foe...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Everybody’s Heard, About The Word…

[Sorry about the title, a take-away from the chorus of “The Purple People Eater”]


Life continues apace here in Maine by the lake. Leaves are starting to turn, while the ten days of rain have convinced the super-early swamp maple that turns a month ahead of everything else in the cove to drop its crimson leaves in disgust. The Arctic Snow Geese have been through and got out just ahead of the bad weather when it was still hot, muggy and 90 freaking degrees out the first week of September. That was when our second generator died, preventing parallel operation which translates to no air conditioning. The Canada Geese have been bitching and moaning at night in their little floating rafts out in the middle of the lake while awaiting a return of good flying weather. And of course, yours truly has got itchy feet without the means to go.

Came across these in my memory the other day while standing in six inches of water refueling the Honda e2000i generator. Thought I’d share…

The one thing that the Autumn brings to these parts – most of these are grounded:

Maine mosquitos

As one wag put it, they come with FAA-issued tail numbers, too.

Wicked. No, really.

In a copyrighted story in the Bangor Daily News back in April this year a collection of words that may crop up here on occasion and their meanings. I don’t even think about them, but some may cause shaking of heads and furrowed brows atop wrinkled heads. So be it…

About a month ago, we ran a story on the Dictionary of American Regional English, a collection of the colorful and varied words used in Americans’ everyday lives, across the country, organized by region — including Maine and New England. We included a short but eclectic list of some of words specific to Maine, and asked readers to submit their own suggestions for Maine words.

We received an excellent response, and have since compiled them all and done a little research (to the best of our ability) to weed out the words used elsewhere in the country from the more strictly Maine ones. We’ve come up with our own, revised list of Maine vernacular words and phrases, a little dictionary containing words ranging from the obvious, well-known “dooryard” and “wicked” to lesser-known gems such as “laury” or “sprills.”


See y’all on the flipside.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Favorite Foods – It’s All Good

On Saturday, while I was in town doing the grocery shopping, Dizzy-Dick was expounding upon his favorite foods. I must admit, his description of his favorite boudin sausage and cheese stuffed deep fried jalapenos from Jack-in-the-Box got my mouth to watering, but his waxing poetic over rare to medium-rare  grilled beef liver for lunch had me nearly drowning from drool.

I suffer food gladly. There’s damn little I won’t eat or at least try a couple of times before giving up. I’m not overly fond of SWMBO’s beloved raw wieners, but that’s OK – I just brown mine up before dumping in the baked beans and rice that goes with them in this household these days.

Crustaceans are my downfall. I loves me some lobster. Mud bugs be me. Crabs ‘r’ us, too. Mollusks are little hard-shelled jewels. I love the simple pleasure of escargots in garlic butter with a hot, crispy loaf of French bread as an accompaniment . Steamed clams and drawn butter, or mussels ‘ca vin. Heck, deep-fried grasshoppers alongside of fried shrimp would be a delightful contrast, both served up with cocktail sauce and Thai peanut curry sauce. Then there’s oysters. Is there such a thing as a raw oyster too cold on ice in a hot chili cocktail sauce, a slice of lime at my side to spread the glory even farther…

I like meat. Steak, rare and hot off the grill, lightly seasoned with garlic butter, salt and pepper gets my gastric juices just a-flowin’. Roasted venison, braised bear, BBQ pork, chicken, turkey, and other poultry in all the myriad ways it may be prepared – delightful.

I’d probably die of terminal confusion, just trying to pick out a last meal on death row. We haven’t even started on all the cheeses, veggies, breads, soups and stews, salads.

Man, I love to eat and this old body shows the result. I’m not just roly-poly, I’m officially, majorly, obese. The only way I’m ever going to lose weight is to stop eating and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. C’est la vie, eh? There be far worse ways to go, that’s for sure.

So unlike Dizzy-Dick, there’s no picking favorites … it’s all good.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dawn's early light

Moon full at 5:15

Morning comes sneaking up on me...

It probably comes as no surprise that we've been experiencing what passes for summer in these parts the last few days. All the heat and humidity takes it out of this fat old man. So, I tend to doze off in the evening watching the boob-tube, only to awaken as Craig McPherson is signing off the Late, Late Show at 1:30 AM. Said three or four hours of sleep is it for that night...

I pulled that same stunt tonight. I picked and liked, read, played alligator, listened to my music with earphones and had a pleasant enough time, if you don't want to be sleeping, that is.

About 5AM I looked out the window and observed that just a month ago the sun would be fully above the horizon at that hour of the morning. Not this morning. It looked like the moon had set, it was so dark.

Fifteen minutes later I went out with Iggy - he to water the trees and I refilled the generator. At that point, dawn was breaking and I discovered the moon was high in the Southwest. Who knew?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bad Choices Are Me… or The Fecal Matter Has Hit The Fan!



About 7:15 yesterday morning as SWMBO braves the vagaries of our bilge pump-powered shower, I heard the now infamous words, “Honey, the water isn’t draining…!”

Phooey, thinks I, it’s too soon to have to empty the holding tanks – I only did it a week ago. I check the notoriously unreliable electronic gauges and they both indicate ‘Full’ tanks. Damn.

Wrong conclusion, Dawg.

So I quickly hatched the scheme to take off about 25 gallons of grey water into the “blue boy” so my wife can finish her ablutions.

Bad choice #1.

I pull the stinky slinky hose out and make up to the waste tank and pull the valve open. And all Hell breaks loose – the portable tank end of the hose separates from the connection fitting and I have 100 gallons of  sewage gushing onto the ground.

Stink – “oh my”, as George Takei would say. So much for driving the boss to work. I’m covered from head to toe in effluent, gagging at the stench, and still have to empty the portable tank into the septic system.

First trip is nothing too exciting. Since I’m already slimed, I decide to take care of the current supply of black waste water, too.

Bad choice #2.

I make up the spare slinky hose to the portable tank and open the valve and wouldn’t you know it, that hose separates from the trailer end fitting and now I have raw sewage all over the ground, the portable tank and me, too. Gag me to the max. George Takai has a clothes pin on his nose and he’s doing the Wave of Shame we all used as kids at me and my predicament. I have no choice but to try to dilute the pollution. Wouldn’t you know it …

Bad choice #3.

The Rule 800 bilge pump chooses that very moment to give up the ghost and stop pumping.

I may be obtuse, but even I know when Murphy has hit a grand slam between my eyeballs with a 2x4. There’s nothing for it but grab some buckets, wade into the lake up to my waist to wash the merde off me and start the dilution* process by manual bucket brigade, with me being the only brigade member to show up for the party.

My wife missed all of this, having found it necessary to take the truck and drive herself to work (she hates doing that, preferring to apply make-up and prepare herself mentally while I negotiate with the vehicle-bound terrorists that pass themselves off as early morning commuters).

An hour or two later, I have all of the various hoses repaired, the area around the trailer where all of this effluvia was discharged has been diluted as much as I dare (didn’t want the trailer sinking out of sight in suddenly saturated ground, now did I) and I have cleaned up enough that I can contemplate drinking my first cup of coffee of the day, take my pills and figure out my next mistake, er, adventure.

Walked the dog, only beating him a half dozen times for trying to roll in the smelly stuff and then bowed to the inevitable – I donned my breathing apparatus and mowed the lawn. It is too bad the mask only filters out pollen, molds and dust, or I’d have used it to keep the sewage stench at bay…

So that was my day. How was yours?



* ”The solution to Pollution is Dilution” was one of those little catch phrases that stuck with me from wastewater management class.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Black Death Boondocking

Photo Credit: The Life of Jamie

So, you say you like squirrels? They’re warm and cuddley, fuzzy little phreakers who merely like to eat nuts and chase each other over bole and stem, limb to limb?  Well, hold onto your peanuts and avoid camping in Southern California anytime soon … Read this:

From Reuters

Health officials said that as a precaution, visitors were ordered to leave three campgrounds and a recreation area of the Angeles National Forest, which encompasses some 655,000 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of metropolitan Los Angeles. Plague, known as the "Black Death" when it was blamed for killing some 25 million Europeans during the Middle Ages (emphasis mine), is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas. A health department spokesman said no people were believed to have been infected. "It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," the health department chief, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement.

Maybe not fatal, but tell that to this gentleman:

Photo Credit: Mama Bird Diaries

Possibly a camper from the Angeles National Forest?

And for those who remember Monty Python:

“I’m not dead, yet…”

Credit to Boing, Boing, where I first saw this story.