Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time Travel

I was leafing through an old friend's recently posted Facebook album a few minutes ago when I ran across an outdoor birthday party photo that really got me nostalgic. It hit me that I went to grade school with everyone in the photo; if they weren't in my class then they were within a year or two on one side or the other. I have literally known them all my life. The backdrop behind the smiling faces, mixed drinks and party favours was the concession road on which I grew up, four miles west of our place, and behind the road sat a farm that bordered our grade school. Although much has changed in the intervening years, the camera shot showed nothing of it. The photo could as easily have been taken thirty years ago as today and all the the people in the photo could have been the kids I remember instead of the adults they have since become.

On a day to day basis, I'm not a part of that world any more, and a few years ago I'd most likely have never known the party took place no matter how good my social networking skills were. It's important to live in the world that's in front of you, and I try hard to do that, but it's also kind of nice for those of us who have moved away to be able to keep in some kind of near real time touch with friends, neighbours and home folks. If nothing else, it serves to keep me honest. There is much truth in the statement that it's hard to pull the wool over someone's eyes that was standing in the room watching your diaper get changed ! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


There is a mouse making scratching noises in the wall beside my computer as I type this and the noise is quickly working at fraying my very last nerve. Or maybe it's not a mouse. In the last minute the volume has gone way up. It's almost impossibly loud. Rat, chipmunk, giraffe, camel...dunno, but there's something behind the wallboard and it's not happy, no doubt. Oh well, that makes two of us. I'm completely off track right now. What I'm supposed to be doing is being productive, whatever that means, but the damn scratching noise keeps escalating and it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I can't concentrate a bit.

In the world of distractions, I'm not normally a very distractable person. Melissa jokes that if I'm in the middle of something that has my attention I block everything else out. It's nearly impossible to get me off task until whatever I'm doing is complete.

I have a head that's crammed full of useless information. Among many other things, I can tell you all about leaching tannins from oak bark or planting by the signs, but among the banalities that exist between my ears I've got NOTHING on how to quickly shut these damn rodents up. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've had thoughts on how to get the job done. Lots of them. But as my FB friends have counselled, anything that involves guns and/or matches isn't likely worth the long term consequences.

So here I sit, quietly and benignly frustrated because there's nothing I can do to make it stop short of turning out the light and vacating the room. How long can a rodent scratch ? At least one second longer than I can sit here. See you in the morning, everyone.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


For all my manly skills, from felling trees to building barns and other complicated things to fixing broken equipment and farming for a living, I have a few skills that I need to hone and one of them is welding. I can cut steel with the best of them....that's easy, but even my very best welds (according to most of my kin and friends) look like chickens--t !

The reason behind my lack of welding ability isn't related to technical knowledge. I've got that down pat. The problem is that a good welder needs every bit as steady a hand as a good surgeon. I confess it. I have wobbly hands and very poor hand/finger dexterity. According to Melissa, watching me try to thread a small bolt/nut combination is like watching a normal person attempting to do the same while they are wearing ski gloves.

My wobbly hands are biting me in the rear right now. I snapped a stud off when I was tightening a wheel lug on the tractor yesterday and I don't posess enough enough steadiness in my hands to hold a nut in place long enough to spark up an arc and weld the damn thing in place to extract the remainder of the stud. So I'm going to have to pay somebody fifty bucks or more to drive to my farm to do thirty seconds worth of work which is very frustrating.

Oh well, could be worse I guess. At least I've got extremely pretty weather to stand around and wait for someone to show up to "rescue" me. :)