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Monday, January 21, 2019

Snow and Cold

It’s hard to tell exactly how much snow we got due to drifting. There seems to be around two feet or so of new white stuff. It’s still coming down. Just to make it interesting, temperatures barely got above zero during the day. Subzero temperatures are predicted overnight.

My son-in-law offered to come up sometime today with his snowblower. Since we really didn’t have to go anywhere at all, I’m more than happy to wait for him. He’s a good guy. I’d better make sure the coffee is ready when he gets here.

I’m really glad I moved a lot of fuel blocks to the porch. Sure beats trudging through the snow for woodstove fuel. We should be all set for a number of days.

There are times I wonder what the heck I’m doing here in snow country when I could be camping or on a sailboat down south. Then I remember how my leg injury has set me back. Good thing the house has been perfectly comfortable this winter. It’s not a bad place for hunkering down. We are also happy to have friends and family around.

Winter was a lot more fun before my injuries caught up with me. In the past I’d have put my snowshoes on and wandered all over the woods. I miss that, but it is what it is. We are also fairly close to the Nansen Ski Club’s extensive cross country trail system.

There’s been plenty of time to do some thinking. Maybe too much time and too much thinking. My healing setback was a bit depressing. Perhaps I tried to push myself too much once I started getting better? Rest and leg elevation has once again helped the healing along.

If we stick around next winter I hope it’s because that’s out choice, not our fall back position. No matter what we decided to do, we are going to have to be healthy to do it.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Setback. Travel?

Just when I thought my leg was about to get better, things took a turn for the worse. This on-going leg infection issue is getting really really old. Today it looks better than yesterday. I hope this is only a temporary issue. In case it’s not, I made an appointment with an actual real doctor -not a PA or a nurse. He’s so busy that I can’t see him until the end of the month. If my leg is looking much better by then I can always cancel.

Part of the problem may be that the weather has been too crappy to get much walking in. My lungs can’t handle the bitter cold we’ve been having so that keeps me mostly inside. Ice covered roads haven’t help much either. It might be that I just pushed myself too much as I was getting better. There’s so much I want to catch up with.

If I have to see the doctor I’ll have decisions to make. Maybe what I really need is to go camping in a warm climate for a few months. That way I’d get some decent exercise and sunshine. Never underestimate the power of sunshine. At any rate, I’m determined to get completely better. This constant recurring pain wears me down.

My niece was able to find a nice affordable apartment in town so we could shut the house down for a few months. We were more than happy to help her get back on her feet after she moved out of her boyfriend’s place. She now has an income and a place to live. Even her art has improved a lot. My lovely wife and I are glad we were able to there for her. That’s what family does. Still, it is nice to have her on her own.

On the bright side my water line has not frozen again since the small heater was put next to the entrance line. It’s going to cost a few dollars in electricity, but it’s worth it. We’ve had plenty of subzero temperatures to test it out since then. That’s one less thing to stress over.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sketchy Internet Connection

My Internet was down most of the evening. It just came back up right before my normal posting time. The reason it went down? Who knows? That’s just life on the backwoods footpath connection to the information highway.

However, I’m pretty much expecting to lose it again over the weekend. At least the snowstorm will be a good reason. If I don’t post it’s probably just my connection.

While it was down my lovely wife won every single game of cribbage. Glad the ‘net’s back.

Also, I baked cookies, because snowstorm prep is more than milk and bread.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Too Lazy to Drink?

Is it a bad sign when you are too lazy to drink alcohol? So there are all these articles about how a glass of red wine a day has health benefits. Seemed like a good idea. The first few days were fine, but like so many other health kicks, that went by the wayside. It’s one thing to be too lazy to go to the gym. It’s something else entirely to be too lazy to drink.

It’s probably just as well. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good drink and occasionally have a few. My concern is my family history with alcoholism. Fortunately my mom and dad rarely drank and that’s a good thing. Let’s just say that other members of my extended family should have never started.

I like a good beer, but discovered they are bad for gout. No beer tastes good enough to overcome the pain of a gout attack. Too bad, as I really enjoying brewing beer, but it’s less fun when I only rarely drink one.

That leaves plenty of other drinks. I’m a simple man. Give me a bottle: scotch, rum, bourbon, whatever, and a glass. Don’t bother mixing it. Most of the time I don’t even want ice. Of course, if you are drinking booze strait up, quality matters. There’s no hiding a cheap booze behind fizzy sugar waters and fruity flavors. It is what it is.

Since I’ve been dealing with a leg infection I’ve been avoiding alcohol. Booze weakens the effects of antibiotics. That’s not a great idea when trying to get well. Then there’s the fact that I’ve been taking over the counter pain meds. My liver is busy enough dealing with those. No need to make the poor thing work harder. You miss your liver when it’s gone -but not for long.

I really do enjoy a good drink. The thing is, I want to keep enjoying it. I don’t want it to take over my life and kill me. Frankly, with my family history, maybe I shouldn’t drink at all. On the other hand, I’ve successfully avoided the major pitfalls so far.

Alcohol is too powerful a chemical to take lightly. Fortunately my frugality and sloth provide natural protection.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Snow Weekend Ahead

It’s too early to tell for sure, but we could get up to two feet of snow over the weekend. That should be interesting. It’s been a few years since I’ve been around up north to experience it. While that’s a lot of snow, it’s not unheard of.

One winter, due to drifting, there was over six feet of snow in my walkway. Imagine trying to shovel that out. It took me three days to shovel everything. The first day all I managed was a trail to the road. The next day I shoveled out my wife’s car. On the third day my car was dug out.

As bad as that was, it wasn’t the worse snow winter I’ve ever seen. For that we have to go back to when I was a 10 year old kid. I was big and strong for my age so was expected to do my share of snow removal. My dad and I went up to the camp to shovel the roof. The snow was so deep we were able to snowshoe right up onto the first floor roof. It was pretty weird to shovel down to the roof and have to toss the snow up higher.

My lovely wife and I had planned on seeing friends downstate. However, it looks like staying home and hunkered down is the wiser course of action. We plenty of food and fuel for the woodstove. The house battery bank will be charged up. We will also have strong coffee and good books.

Of course, there’s the shoveling. The beauty of being retired is that we really don’t have to be anywhere in a great hurry. I will shovel the snow the same way one eats an elephant: on little piece at a time. Pacing is important.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dog and Pony Show

I’m not going to get into the whole border wall debate. I’ve got my opinions and they’d probably tick off both sides. However, I’m guessing that while people are focused on that debate other major news items are being swept under the rug.

One thing that comes to mind is the on-going protests in France and the rest of Europe. I wish my grasp of the French language was a bit better as the real news is not being broadcast in English. Major news outlets have really skewed the message. We may end up with a European Spring. Remember the Arab Spring? This could be worse.

Look at Libya. It’s a worse place to live than it was under Qaddafi -for most ordinary people. Look what happened to Egypt. They overthrew the dictator, tried for a democracy, flirted with an Islamic state, then went back to a military dictatorship. By then people just wanted stability in their lives.

When looking at the rest of the world we have to get out of the Conservative/Liberal mindset. Those words mean different things in different countries. It doesn’t seem to matter what type of government people are living under. Most want to get ride of the ruling class and try something different. What that shows is that the way people are living isn’t working out very well for most of us. Unfortunately, overthrowing the old regime never seems to work out for the common person.

So which country is actually doing fairly well these days? My vote is for Iceland. Unlike the rest of the world, back in 2008 they didn’t bail out the bankers. The people of Iceland sent them to jail. I love a happy ending.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Frozen Water Line

I woke up Sunday morning to a frozen water situation. That was not a good way to start the day. It could have been worse. The water line was frozen inside the basement. It took about 40 minutes to thaw it out and get the water flowing again. Good thing the water was not frozen between the well and house. There’s nothing I could have done about that.

When I discovered the lack of water I thought of two things. The first is that I really should not have put off the dinner dishes until the morning. The second thing was that I should not have put off my shower until the morning either. On the bright side, there was enough water in the kettle for my morning coffee. House projects always go better after a cup of Joe.

So for the next few sub-zero nights there’s a small electric heater next to the pipes with some reflextix in a “U” shape to contain the heat. That should keep it warm enough not to freeze. The heater is going to bump up my electric bill a bit, but something had to be done. Worse come to worse we could always pack up the house and head south to warmer climates. However, I really don’t want to do that right now. There’s plenty of stuff to do here up north.

In other news the new computer is working out. It’s actually a used computer, but it’s new to me. When I take over a used computer I wipe out the memory and load Ubuntu Linux. The computer runs faster and it has all the programs that I use.

For the last year I’ve been using a small tablet computer. It’s slow and screen is tiny, but it was cheap. It’s a pretty good travel computer, but I have to wear reading glasses to see half the stuff on it. Now with a bigger laptop I can pretend I don’t really need glasses.

So, all in all, the day could have been worse.