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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Distractions



Currently I’m dealing with some things. Nothing too dramatic but it’s a huge draw on my mental and emotional energy. 


I’m going to take a bit of time off from the blog. 


We are fine, but very occupied.


-Sixbears

Monday, January 23, 2023

Coughing Hacking Sneezing



My lovely wife and I went to a small concert. I’m guessing there were over 200 people there. We went to the same venue back in the before time. You know, pre-2020. 


In years past you’d be treated to a lot of coughing, hacking and sneezing. The lack of that sort of thing really stood out. Apparently sick people now stay home rather than go to concerts. Of course, my sample is pretty small. I’m curious if that holds true in other places?


I’m guessing it’s not as socially acceptable to spread your germs everywhere. I hope that’s the case. 


Another practice that can go away forever is coming into work sick. People used to take pride in dragging themselves into work even if they were half dead. That never made much sense to me. How does it benefit the company if everyone gets sick and works well below par? 


Back in my firefighter days we had that tough guy pride. Guys would work the job no matter how bad they felt. Often they’d gamble on having a slow day. Being the young guy with things to prove I fell into that trap myself. As I got older I learned better. 


Instead of gambling on having a slow work day, I would ask myself if I could handle a bad day at work. One of the first times I called in sick the department was out all night in sub-zero temps at a sawmill fire. There was no way that I could have done the job properly and would have not pulled my weight. That really made it clear to me that sick people should stay home. 


It looks like that attitude has spread, and that’s a good thing. 


-Sixbears

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Electric Cars



Electric cars make a lot of sense -some places. If you have cheap renewable electricity and a mild climate, it’s great. They are also a pretty good deal in places with high gas prices. I saw an awful lot of them out in California, but gas prices are silly there. 


I hear stories about electric cars having a hard time in cold climates. It makes sense that a lot of that power is needed to keep the interior of the car warm. Cold temperatures reduce battery power by quite a bit. There’s anecdotal tales of cold temperate charging where the car loses power faster than the charger puts it in. 


On the flip side of that, Norway is full of electric cars. Why don’t they have the same problems?


At any rate, newer battery designs promise to be less susceptible to cold temperatures. Of course, we have to deal with the technology we have available right now.


I wonder if we are concentrating on the wrong kind of vehicles? The focus has been on things like fast cars, powerful trucks, and huge SUVs. Perhaps it would make more sense to develop more cheaper smaller cars? More people would buy them and there would be more demand for charging stations. Just a thought. We need something between an electric Hummer and a golf cart. 


Right now the most practical electric vehicle for the average person is an electric bicycle. 


-Sixbears

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Young Adults



One of my pet peeves is the extended adolescence much of society expects from young adults. Not much is expected of 20 somethings. It’s accepted to be a decade of partying and bad decisions. Nobody is expected to get serious about a career, marriage or starting a family. In fact, it’s often considered a mistake for a young adult to be serious about those things. 


Yet somehow it’s perfectly acceptable for 18 year old adults to serve in the military. At that age you aren’t considered wise enough to rent a car but are expected to kill or die for your country. Just as weird is the fact that it’s legal for 18 year olds to act in porn. 


Personally, I treat and expect 18 year olds and especially those in their 20s, to be and act like adults. It would be hypocritical for me not to.


At 18 I was a full time firefighter running into burning buildings. I was buying land at that age -to add to the land I earned at 16. My lovely wife and I both got married when we were only 20. That was 44 years ago so we much have been mature enough to know what we wanted. 


It does young adults no favors to treat them like little kids. 


-Sixbears

Friday, January 20, 2023

Lazy Man Prep



There’s a few things I like to do before a storm. There’s a fair chance that any sort of bad weather can take down the grid out here in the country. I’ve some solar electric power, but storms come with a lot of clouds. They can also do things like bury solar panels under two feet of snow. 


The first thing I do is top off the house battery bank. That’s a given. 


After that I like to use any energy intensive appliances. One of my indulgences is a dish washer. I once moved apartments just to get one with a dishwasher. I don’t use it on solar power when sunshine is limited. 


Another thing I do is the laundry. Sure, clothes can be hand washed, but it’s a pain. I don’t mind doing it for a handful of items, but certainly not for a full laundry load. The washer is something else that I don’t normally run off-grid during limited sun days. 


Anything that runs on rechargeable batteries gets topped off: laptops, phones, flashlights, you name it. 


Modern appliances can save a lot of time and effort. A little preplanning allows me to concentrate on other things when the grid goes down. Heck, maybe I just want to sit by the fire and read a book instead of doing manual labor. That works too.


-Sixbears

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Back Home


I know I’ve been MIA for a while. My lovely wife and I got together with family in Massachusets. It was the gathering we were supposed to have for Christmas, but people got sick. Everyone is now recovered and it was a wonderful visit. 


In fact, it was such a nice time we were in no hurry to get home. We stayed longer than originally planned. Then on the way home we visited with friends in southern New Hampshire and spent time with them. I’ve friends that I’ve kept in contact with since my Junior High days. 


We also were able to avoid traveling in bad weather conditions. I don’t mind a little snow, but freezing rain is something to avoid if at all possible.


While the trip was great, it’s good to be home.


-Sixbears

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Winter Joys



We received a few inches of snow. Then it rained, making a heavy slushy mess. I headed out with my shovel to remove the snowbank before it turned into an 18 inch wall of ice. 


I was a bit dishearten to see my mailbox had been clipped by the snowplow. It was a crumpled mess sitting in my driveway. Lovely. A bit of hammering turned it back into something resembling a mailbox. Now it’s lashed to the pole until a new one can be purchased. 


It could have been worse. 


One year a plow, in a two mile stretch, destroyed over a dozen mailboxes and damaged over 300 trees. He also managed to destroy a boat on a trailer that was parked in a driveway. The plow caught the bow of the aluminum boat and peeled it open like a sardine can. 


Some years ago I stopped at local mom and pop store for some gas early in the morning. The plow truck pulled to the store. The driver almost fell getting out of the truck. About a half dozen empty beer cans fell out with him. There were plenty more still on the floor of the cab. Yeah, his contract wasn’t renewed. 


Plowing is a tough job at best of times. Being up all night plowing during a storm causes bad fatigue. I’m cutting the plow guy a little slack this time. The mailbox was getting old anyway. 


However, if he clips my new one . . . 


-Sixbears