After a sleepy morning, Renie and I returned to Grampy’s barn to go back through the available wood, and we wound up filling the CR-V until the springs compressed. After gearing up for a 20° decrease in temperature and battle with burrdocks, we waded into the weeds with saws and clippers. We made some surgical cuts with an arbor bow saw and walked out with about five 8′ lengths of siding board. Then we dug into a pile leaning up against the silo and found a door and about five more lengths of siding still painted red, with hinges, latch, and striker intact. SCORE. Then we grabbed another 30 or so dry lengths of tongue and groove flooring from under the stack. I pulled the CR-V around through the mud in the cornfield and got it as close to the barn as I could, and we loaded it full in a gentle flurry of snow. AWD for the win!
The 5×5″ beams are still there, so we’re headed back in the spring to grab those, as well as anything else worth taking before Uncle Brian bulldozes it up to the treeline. Renie’s car is loaded tight with flooring and the CR-V is strapped with boards inside and out.
And speaking of Brian, he invited Finn up to his barn for another tractor ride! She got her fill of dogs while waiting for Renie and me (a poodle, a shepherd, and a boxer) and then climbed into a big Deere dually for a spin around the yard. Then she asked to see the combines and he gleefully took her back through the shop to climb around on the equipment. He’s the best, and I don’t know who enjoys those visits more–he or Finn.
…I still can’t get photos off my camera so I’ll dump them all when I get home.
File this under AWESOME. The Nashville Chief of Police got a reactionary email from someone in his community, and took it on, point-by-point, in truly epic clarity.
The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.
Finn and I are up at my parents’ for Second Christmas. Mama got taken down by a sinus infection a full week before the Big Day and gutted it out until everyone left after dinner; Finn and I took her to the Patient First that evening and got her diagnosed and treated. She’s resting up at home, as much as we wanted her to come up with us.
Christmas morning was perfect. Finn was patient enough to wait for us all to wake up and get our acts together. The Geblers came over in PJs and Santa hats and Grand got there a half-hour later, and we tore into the boxes. Finley got everything she asked Santa for (a rock tumbler, polished minerals, and lots of other science gifts), as well as a better pottery wheel and a plush kitten. Glen gave her an Osmo. which is some really cool technology.
Up in New York, Santa did his usual bang-up job, so I’m writing this among an elbow-high pile of presents in front of some bowl game after putting Finn to bed. After opening everything we got motivated to visit Grandma up on the hill and then to check out the remains of Grampy’s barn. My hope was to be able to salvage some decent wood for sculpture or furniture–well, really, my hope was to be able to reach something worthwhile; it’s been a few years since it fell down, and the brush grows quickly up there. It turns out that there’s still some decent wood to be found up there amongst the burrdocks. Renie and I found a stack of tongue-and-groove floorboards out in the open that might lend themselves to a good project. My Dad told us they were salvaged from the old gym in Sherwood. There’s a nice section of wall in the shadow of the silo that I’ve got my eye on–about five wallboards still nailed to a frame and standing off the ground–so we’re going back tomorrow with some kind of a saw to cut them out. There’s also a pile of six 5″x5″ hand-hewn beams off to the side that Renie and I are going to claim, even if we can’t carry them off ourselves this weekend, which are in beautiful shape.
I’d be posting pictures here but the SIM card reader on my MacBook Pro isn’t working and we don’t have a USB to Mini-USB cord between the four of us, so the only thing I have is my Instagram feed to point at. (shakes fist at TECHNOLOGY!!)
But overall, we have much to be thankful for: another great year, a healthy family, good fortune, and happiness. Here’s to 2015.
We had the neighbors over for drinks and dessert on Saturday in front of a roaring fire, and Sunday morning was a bit rough for your correspondent. Having finished the local Christmas purchasing the day before, there wasn’t much to be done other than loaf around in our PJ’s, watch football, and visit the library (how awesome is it having the library within 5 minutes’ walking distance of the house? VERY AWESOME) so we took full advantage of the slacking.
I did finish moving and updating the wiring in the basement to the punchdown block, which makes a huge difference at the foot of the stairs. I then made some short 12″ patch cables and straightened up the router wiring, but the next big step will be installing a castoff gigabit switch I got at work and linking all of the wired ports in the house to one machine.
I also put a new restaurant rack up against the east wall to get a bunch of random stuff up off the floor, and there’s a growing pile of trash and recycling that need to get hauled away. The whole basement is getting an overhaul, in fact. The ice room is going to get cleaned out and organized. My scrap wood pile is being relocated in there, and I’m building a hanging rack along the front wall for our new dining room chairs.
Finn and I spent some good time running errands with Finn in the Scout this weekend, and it reminded me that I need to order and install new rear seatbelts. They are original to the truck, as far as I know. Finn pulled the female clasp side off of the belt early in the fall, so I shifted her carseat behind the drivers’ side. I’d like to get something more modern and reliable, as well as male clips that reach a little further. The big pain in the ass will be crawling under the truck to put a pair of vice-grips on the tiedown bolt in the center of the bed; at the very least I’ve got to measure everything and figure out what I’ll need for a warm day’s project.
Wow, this takes me back in time. This 1979 Ford F350 for sale is the spitting image of my father’s green ’73, which spent a good portion of its life carrying a piggyback camper, topping off with a cross-country trip in the summer of 1980. Same stakebody rear, dually setup, roof-mounted running lights, west coast mirrors, and absurdly curved gearshift.
I haven’t been around here much lately–there’s a lot going on in the leadup to Christmas. Work is going full-bore (it hasn’t really let up since July) and by the time I get home I’m pretty beat. I signed papers with UMBC to be a teacher in the spring, so that gig is official. I’m in the middle of interviewing candidates for the Jr. Designer position at WRI, and I’ll probably pick that up after New Years’. I’m just about done with shopping for the holiday, just a few more things to order and we’re done. I wish I had more to show for things, but right now I’ll just be happy to make it to the 25th.
The WaPo did a very interesting article on the Christian homeschool movement and some of the underlying ideology behind it. I was surprised to learn how integral they were to the adoption of homeschooling as an alternative to public education but not shocked to hear how xenophobic and isolationist their doctrine is.
Over decades, they have eroded state regulations, ensuring that parents who home-school face little oversight in much of the country. More recently, they have inflamed the nation’s culture wars, fueling attacks on public-school lessons about race and gender with the politically potent language of “parental rights.”
The article follows a family who began to question their fundamentalist beliefs and sent their daughter to public school, only to find it wasn’t full of satanic child molesters, as they’d been told.
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: How to Enable Advanced Data Protection on iOS, and why you should. I’d like to set this up among all of the devices we have here, but we run a lot of older gear that won’t be covered under this seup—and the idea that if I do enable this, we’ll lose some functionality on things like the Apple TV or this old laptop doesn’t thrill me.
Andy Baio has made many amazing things for the internet, one of which is/was called Belong.io, which was a tool using the Twitter API to scrape interesting links from the feeds of a bunch of interesting people daily. With Phony Stark blowing up the service and charging for the API, he’s shut the whole thing down:
Truth be told, it was already dying as those interesting people slowed down their Twitter usage, or left entirely in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition and a series of decisions that summarily ruined it as a platform for creative experimentation.
Songslikex is supposed to be a tool to suggest other songs you might like based on something you suggest. I’ve put in a couple of slightly off-center suggestions and it’s returned a list of songs that were OK, but I don’t know that I’d put them all in the same category. I don’t know how they’re developing their list, but I guess it’s OK.