greatbear: (aerial me)
Today at the Laurel Amish market, I notice I out-bearded all the Amish men in the place. I also laughed as I was entering the place and saw one of those guys, perhaps my age or so, sitting outside on a bench, smoking, and starting intently at his smartphone, swiping and tapping like an old pro. One thing I have noticed with a lot of the Amish in the area where Jeff grew up, while the horses and buggies are de rigueur, the buggies have LED lighting in a lot of cases, and a good many have cell phones, some are even smartphones. The whole idea of cell phones works with their belief systems in a way that regular landlines couldn't, since they have control of them and can turn them on and off. They help them in their work, and let them keep in touch in emergencies. But seeing this one fella today zipping through screens made me almost lose it. Is there a Scruff or Growlr for Amish?

The place also employs a fair amount of non-Amish, usually high school and college types who are off for the summer. So it was just as strange when a young lady working at the produce counter asked us if we saw Rush at Jiffy Lube Live (we had out merch on from the show). A bit surprised, we said yes, and she informed us she had also been there. We had a nice little discussion as we gathered our produce and paid for it.

That is one high-tech, rockin' Amish market.
greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
Here at Mayhem Acres strange or odd occurrences are pretty much the norm. It seems that this phenomenon tends to spread a bit from the epicenter here. Take this past Monday, when I was taking Jeff to have surgery, as an example. A bit more than a mile from the house as I was merging onto the perpetually busy Rt 29, we both noticed a car on the left shoulder of the opposing lanes of traffic. Not the first time we've see it around here. As we got closer, Jeff said, "It's Batman!". Sure enough, it was the Caped Crusader, seemingly having problems with his sinister-looking Batmobile. I noticed right away that ol' Batty had chosen the Lamborghini as his daytime ride, saving the actual Batmobile for the cover of darkness. Turns out the Dark Knight was on his way into Washington, DC to entertain children at a local hospital. With the help of the local constabulary and perhaps the Boy Wonder, he was able to make the trip. The Lambo Gallardo Spyder apparently needed a tow back to the Bat Cave, as tires for the $200,000 car are tougher to come by than, well, Bat-tires.

I wanted to snap a picture of the scene, but I thought it against Bat-protocol. Besides, I had gone too far trying to merge into traffic. Traffic which, ironically, was uncharacteristically flying along in all six lanes, in both directions. Around here, a disabled car usually garners a gaggle of rubberneckers, even if it's an old Nissan Sentra with one red door and a boiling radiator. Batman does not even get noticed.
greatbear: (old graybeard)
The past several days have been spent climbing up and down short ladders in the garage and the house, running cabling for all manner of applications. Sadly it was too cold and ridiculously windy on Wednesday to be able to get the Cat5e, RG6, replacement cat3 4-pair and some alarm and control cabling run to the garage I'd been hoping for. No chance to test the pulling lube either. Instead the wiring marathon has been going on inside the basement and the garage. A lot of this is stuff that's been put on hold for years, or had been partially completed. I finally have a cable TV drop in the studio, and the little 9-inch Panasonic TV/DVD player is free from the fiddly heck of the rabbit ears. There is also a finally operational phone jack here as well, so the base for the multi-handset cordless phone setup got tucked away in here as well. There are two gigabit ethernet drops in the wall as well, now all I need to do is get an appropriate switch. I have six more runs of cat6 and cat5e to run for the home theater setup and the networked printers in the closet.

The garage door opener project has blossomed into electric wiring upgrades and installs, some much needed organizing and cruft-tossing, and completion of more postponed chores and the like. I've collected parts and supplies for a lot of tasks over the years and it's high time it all gets put to use. '09 will be the year of needed home repairs and upgrades, and a reclamation of my garage space.

I had one of my long-term fears realized this afternoon when I found the dessicated remains of a kitten in the garage. I always worry that critters would find themselves into the garage when the doors are opened, and they'd get locked inside when I close up shop. Usually it hadn't been a big deal, anything that had gotten trapped inside usually gets a chance to escape in a day or two when I open the doors back up. Unfortunately, this little critter must have found it's way inside at a time before I had gone on vacation or otherwise not entered the building for many days. I felt downright awful after my discovery and had to take a bit of a break. I usually make sure to make a lot of racket to scare out anything that might find their way inside. I guess it doesn't always work.

In other dead animal news, while running cabling in my basement with the help of a friend, I discovered yet another dried up, rather substantially-sized snake dangling off the foundation wall. This is the second time this has occurred, and in roughly the same spot. Ironically, the discovery was made as I was talking about the first encounter from a couple years ago. Near as I can tell, there is a gap or other opening where the house sill plate meets the concrete wall near the front door that cannot be seen. This is also where a lot of crickets and spiders manage to enter as well. My best guess is that the snakes find a home in the area as well, no doubt drawn by the bounty of insects. I think the snakes eventually get too large to work their way back outside, and eventually starve. Oddly, I never smelled anything nasty in the basement (or the garage for that matter). The area where this occurred is in a far corner of the basement used only for storage and rarely accessed. One more task to add to the list.

Jeff has Friday off, making it two days in a row for the first time in a while. He took apart the xmas tree and we cleaned up the living room. A couple more items to put away and the mess can go up in the attic until next year. The holiday was a quiet one, and just what I needed. I am trying to get back into my old groove, find my focus and do the stuff I like doing. If the upcoming days unfold as these last ones have, there's a lot of change that's going to happen.

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Phil

December 2016

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