Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day Tomorrow, Let Us Not Forget

This was sent to me by a cousin back East. Originally posted by Wyatt Walters.  

Since I don't Facebook, this is my sharing. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Getting Old, Don't Be Stupid Like Me

 When I was young, bullet proof, and indestructible I did things that I now realize were just plain stupid. 

When I graduated from high school in 1964 I went to work at a carpet manufacturing company. For 10 years I didn't think a thing about sliding a 1500 pound roll of carpet around or picking up a 50 pound carpet remnant. I was bullet proof, and indestructible. 

A few years later I went to work for a stereo speaker manufacturer. Didn't think a thing about lifting 60 to 120 pound speakers while loading trucks. I was bullet proof, and indestructible.

After that, I went to work for an oil company. I didn't think a thing about moving 500 pound drums of oil or 50 pound cases of oil. I was bullet proof, and indestructible.

I started fishing again around 2008. I'd go almost daily. Walking creeks, up and down lakes. Float tubing. Fishing, fishing, fishing. 

Enter July 2012. Living in Volcano and heating with a wood stove, I had a logging company come in and drop 7 trees. 

Seven trees, approximately 50/60 feet tall, cut into 18" rounds and stacked up for splitting. Stacked by hand. Some of them 24" in diameter. Really heavy. But that's OK, I was bullet proof, and indestructible.

Over the 11 years we lived up there, I noticed I was moving a bit slower each year. Aches and pains increased, but slow down? Never. I was bullet proof, and indestructible.

Now it's 2015 and we're moving to downtown Jackson. Living in the wilds and all that it entails, was getting too much for this 69 year old Geezer. You attain Geezer status at 65. As it turned out, we had to store our furniture in the garage while the floor guys put in the new flooring. New flooring in, moved most of the furniture into the house (with some help from my son). Suddenly I found out, I'm not so bullet proof, and indestructible. After that little episode I was hurting, but that was OK. Couple of Tylenol and I was ready to go. After all, I was almost bullet proof, and indestructible.

Then the storms came and part of the 16 year old fence around the yard fell. Replaced 2 - 8ft sections. Piece of cake. 

Next year, another storm and two more sections of fence and the gate. Replaced that. Piece of cake. Then I started looking at the whole fence. 4 brand new sections, 21 ugly, old sections and how long until they fell? So it began. 

Have I mentioned thru this post that I never wore a back belt? Stupid. 

Every section of those 21 required one or more of the following: A wheelbarrow of fence boards whether rails or boards. In some cases, 3 - 60 pound bags of fence post concrete. From the garage, across the front of the house, up the hill behind the house to the section being replaced. After each and every wheelbarrow full, the back hurt a little more until it was almost unbearable by the last section. 

I've listened to country music for many years now. Here is a little quip from Toby Keith:

I ain’t as good as I once was and that is the cold hard truth. But there was a time, back in my prime when I could really hold my own. 

I hope you can see where I'm going with this. Here is the result of the previous 50 years. 

1. Peripheral neuropathy. It can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. In my case, exposure to Acetone for the 10 years I worked at the oil company. People with peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning or tingling. Yes, all the above.

2. Osteoarthritis. According to X-rays, in my back at the L3 & L4 vertebrae. 

3. Osteoarthritis. In my left hip. 

4. Osteoarthritis. In both my knees. 

2, 3, & 4 are caused by over use of the body during younger years.  

Now I look like this, but I do have teeth:

Can't fish the streams or the lakes by myself. Can't be alone if I would fall. Can't go up and down the hills and the uneven landscape by streams. It is not walkable even with my cane. Can't float tube because the hip won't allow it.

BUT, I can kayak although getting in and out gracefully is a challenge. So, being the creative sort that I am, I made a rack (if you will) out of 2' PVC pipe with an anchor driven into the ground so that I can paddle up to it, swing my legs around, grab ahold and stand up. Voila, gracefully exiting of my kayak. 

We're heading up to Upper Lake mid next month, I'll have pictures. 

The moral of this post is don't think you're bullet proof, and indestructible when you're young because it will come back and bite you in the ass when you get old. 

To end this post, a little quip from Garth Brooks (saw him in concert back in the 90's and was probably the best concert I've ever been to.):

 "I’m much too young to feel this damn old."    

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Do You Have A Spare TV?

 I think I posted this before and if I have, please forgive the old guy's memory. 

Do you have a laptop? Does your screen seem small?

The first picture is my laptop. Used to do all my computering with that. 

Then I got into a disagreement with Dish Network. Seemed Dish tried to put on me a 2 year contract I didn't agree with so I told them to get their junk out of my house. 

That was more than a year ago and I've not had TV since. 

Enter the 40" TV from my office. It was just sitting there collecting dust. Just another piece to clean. So I decided to put it to work. 

Zipped over to Staples and bought a 6 ft. HDMI cable . Connected it to my laptop (FYI, it's necessary to have a HDMI plugin) and then to the 40" TV (Also needs a HDMI plugin) and "viola", computer with a 40" monitor. YOu can see the difference.    

Which brings me to the 52" TV in the Livingroom. There it sits collecting dust, unused because no cable, Dish, no nothing. Once again, a quick trip to Staples and bring home a 16' HDMI cable and now a 52" monitor in the living room. 

Do I need monitors that big? Not necessarily, but it's pretty cool. 

I also watch free movies from YouTube and Amazon Prime from my laptop to the monitor(TV) in the Livingroom.  

So, if you have a TV laying around collecting dust, here's a home hack for ya. 

Stay tuned. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Get Shot At Dracula's Castle

 Every weekend through May a Covid-19 vaccine marathon is being held at Bran Castle in Romania. It's an around the clock marathon and I hear the best time to go is at night.    

Bran Castle also known as Dracula's castle, immortalized in Bram Stoker's 19th century gothic novel "Dracula", is offering a shot in the arm rather than a stake in the heart. 

Those brave enough to come to the castle and get a Pfizer vaccine shot will get a "vaccination diploma" which includes a fanged medical worker with a syringe. 

They will also get free entry to the castle's torture rooms which have 52 different medieval torture instruments. 

This past weekend alone, 400 people have been jabbed. 

But don't plan your trip, it's only available to residents of Romania. 

I'd do it. It would be way cool.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Bullshit Politics

 All my life politics has been something I didn't think about very much. Elections came and went. I voted because it's my civic duty. Then came 2016. 

The election of 2016 was the biggest mistake this country has made. The Republicans put Donald Trump in the White House. He then proceeded to destroy democracy as we know it. Boy did this open my eyes. 

Enter the election of 2020. Joseph Biden won this election by an Electoral College vote of 306 to Trump's 232. BUT, because Trump said the election was rigged, those that follow him believed what he said even though every state verified the counts and certified the election. 

Then we have January 6th and the Trump followers storming the Capitol Building. Clearly he attempted a coup d'├ętat. Only problem was that he didn't have the military behind him, only his radical followers. A coup only works if you have military backing. To this day he still believes he won the election. To this day his followers believe he won the election. What is WRONG with these people. 

OK, we have a new President and Vice President.  

So, the House of Representative's impeached him for inciting the January 6th riot. Then, the Senate acquitted him because the majority of the chickenshit Republicans got no cajones. I'm excluding those 10 that did vote to impeach him. My hat's off to them. 

Now we're looking toward the mid-term 2022 election. Those states that Trump lost or their Electoral College votes weren't enough, are passing laws to make it almost impossible for those that voted in 2020 to be able to vote. 

Let's take Georgia for example. Mail in voting requires the voter to provide one of several forms of identification. WHAT, they have to send in a photo of their drivers license with their ballot? A photo of their birth certificate? Maybe a copy of their passport? That's bullshit. 

Let's not forget Photoshop. 

Rather than allowing voters to request ballots six months from Election Day, the new law says voters can start requesting ballots 78 days out; counties can begin sending ballots to voters just 29 days before Election Day, rather than the previous 49 days. Let's shorten the time so when the Postal Service can't get the mail delivered on time, your ballot won't count. Bet they  are all Democratic ballots.  

Then, A ban on handing out food and water within 150 feet of a polling place, or within 25 feet of any voter. Republicans say this is aimed at stopping outside groups from influencing voters; Democrats say it’s supposed to make it harder for people to wait in long lines, particularly on hot or cold days. Election officials are permitted to set up water stations — but they’re not required to do so. Ever been to Georgia? Maybe we should ask my 85 year old cousin who lives in Georgia, how she would like to wait in line and not be able to get a drink of water. More bullshit. 

Then this morning, which prompted this post, Florida.

The new law restricts the use of absentee ballot drop boxes to the early voting period, adds new identification requirements for requesting such ballots, and requires voters to reapply for absentee ballots in each new general election cycle. Previously, Florida voters only had to apply once every two election cycles. 

The law also gives partisan election observers (want to be they are all Republicans) more power to raise objections and requires people offering voters assistance to stay at least 150 feet (45 meters) away from polling places, an increase from the previous 100-foot (30-meter) radius. 

Want to bet that the Trump militia is going to be at polling places armed to the teeth where ever they can get away with it. Think that would turn you away instead of voting? 

It's a sad political environment we live in. 

Once before I said I was ashamed to be an American. I'm proud again, but I wonder if it will only last 4 years.      

Monday, May 3, 2021

A Camping Weekend

 We didn't want to venture far from home on our "first" trip of the year. I put that in quotations because we had planned a trip to Death Valley via Phoenix, Arizona in March only to find two of the vents in the trailer leaking after an overnight rain storm. 

So we decided to just drive over to Rancho Seco RV park and spend the weekend. It's just a short 40 minute trip. In case you didn't know, Rancho Seco was a Nuclear Power Plant owned by SMUD. The plant operated from April 1975 to June 1987 when it was shut down by popular vote. During that time it was generally on again/off again and never did operate on a regular basis.  

Rancho Seco Lake was established to provide a emergency backup supply of water for the station. It's important to note that should there have been a need, the lake (160 acres) could be drained into the station in 24 minutes. Fortunately it was never needed. 

So, they made Rancho Seco Recreation area and stocked the lake with Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, and in the winter, trout. 

I've fished this lake on many occasions in the past years, but haven't been there for about 3 or 4 years. Now it maintained by Rocky Mountain Recreation Company and has tent camping, RV camping (with water & Electric) and plenty of places to fish and a couple to swim and, of course, more expensive.  


We got there on Thursday afternoon and set up the trailer. Sitting outside enjoying the quiet in between the park gocarts going back and forth, I noticed a plume of smoke in the distance. It was a wildfire in Calaveras County close to where Yuki lives and caused guessed it, a burn pile that got out of control. 

You can see from the picture below it was a pretty nice spot. 

Then I added a little sunset picture. Not as awesome as some we get, but not bad. 

Friday we just hung around the camp. We did take a drive to check out a fishing spot or two. Since they had a nice store just down from where we were, I didn't stop for worms on the way. And you know what? The store was closed. I was wormless on a lake with a multitude of fish that eat worms. 

Saturday morning we went over to the other side of the lake to a place where I found a little dock I could sit on and attempt to catch something. As usual, there was already someone on the dock so I moved over a bit and set up.   

The following six pictures are just a vista of the lake. 

I started with a slip sinker rig with a couple white Power Eggs and a red/brown Mice Tail. It was as close to a "worm" as I had in my tackle box. On my other rod I tried a murid of lures. Everything from Kastmasters and Panther Martins to anything that was there including something yellow that I have no idea what it was. 

Needless to say, I didn't catch anything, but I did get a little sun. Actually I got quite a bit of sun, but not fried. 

Sunday morning we packed up and headed home. 

I didn't mention that on Friday night, the place filled up with weekenders, their kids and their dogs. Next time we go during the week. It's a lot quieter. Quiet is good when you're old. 

That's it for now. Stay tuned.