I’ll be darned. The two older momma cats had kittens about a month ago. I normally don’t interfere in animal birthing unless there’s an obvious problem, because their instincts usually know best. One had hers in a sensible location, a shelf in the basement inside sort of a frame that kept them from falling off. The other one didn’t. She picked a small shelf over the basement stairs, so the kittens could immediately fall about 8 feet.
Guy gave me a bit of a scare last week. He woke me up about 3am having some kind of spasms, and couldn’t settle down. It got worse over the next hour and he started panting hard too. I was looking up the symptoms to see what it might be, and the two main things seemed to be poison or a seizure. Vomiting usually went along with them, so I let him outside to see if he needed to do that.
I was sorting through some old images and ran across this one. Looks like it’s from a little over two years ago, so I’d guess he’s about two and a half now. Doesn’t he look harmless? He’s not a puppy anymore, though he’s still just as ornery. Today he was digging up mole runs. The moles must have been busy under the snow, because there are a bunch of hills and runs around.
The chickens are definitely ready for spring. They’ve been coming outside for a few weeks now, even a little in the snow, but they couldn’t have been finding much to eat in the frozen ground. Now they’re on the roam all day. They especially like the spot where firewood was stacked last year, so they couldn’t get to it until now. I don’t know why the picture quality in this video is so bad.
Interesting article here on America’s continued rejection of the metric system. I didn’t know it was pushed by the French Revolution, but I’m not surprised. The same people are still pushing it today. One of my earliest school memories is of watching a filmstrip about the metric system. It had a scene where a driver got a speeding ticket because he saw a sign that said 95 kilometers per hour and assumed it meant 95 miles per hour.
This always seems to me like the time of year when you’re just trying to get through. The sun is getting higher in the sky and the days are longer, so it feels like you should be outside doing things. But it’s 26 degrees. That’s not brutal or anything, but it means the ground is still frozen. Too soon to start working the soil, or digging up plants to move, or anything like that.
After today, I’m about ready for an old-man rant about the evils of modern technology. Instead I’ll write up the problem and solution I had today in case others come looking for it. I happened to brush against my computer today and the static caused it to freeze up. Okay, that’s annoying, but not the end of the world. Reboot and start things back up. But monitor #2 came back up in a weird resolution.
My 6502 video series might be taking off. I had been getting a new YouTube subscriber every couple weeks, but last week there was about one per day, and then suddenly there were 11 on Sunday. Comments are increasing too. Don’t know yet if it’s a fluke or if it’ll keep climbing, but it’s cool either way. I was going to keep doing the series in any case, but it’s nice to know someone’s getting some use from it.
I was splitting wood this morning, and realized that has to be in the top ten of things that are completely unrealistic in movies and on TV. When you see someone splitting wood on screen, it usually looks like the beginning of this scene from Star Trek Generations: nice small, straight pieces of wood that split easy, a sturdy flat stump to set them on so they’re at the perfect angle, and no brush or snow or ice around your feet to trip on.
Translation: It is finished. Aaaaand there’s one piece missing, on the bottom edge there. Usually I throw away puzzles if they’re missing pieces, but I hate to do that with this one, since it’s my only 3000-piecer. So I took it apart into sections and put it back in the box ready to re-assemble. Maybe I’ll find the missing piece under some furniture or somewhere. I wouldn’t mind gluing this one to a board, if it were whole.
Looks like I jinxed us, talking about sunny weather and garden planning a couple days ago. I took an “after” picture to go with Thursday’s “before” picture, after most of the snow today. As snowstorms go, it wasn’t bad. Lots of snow, but it came down easy, and we can use the added groundwater. Might get a little more overnight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll see if I can fashion a sled out of something and give the hill a try.
A bald eagle flew overhead this morning while Guy and I were on patrol. By the time I got my gloves off, phone out, and camera on, it was nearly past, but I managed to get this one shot of it. They’ve been hanging around here a bit this last week. Shape-wise they look just like a turkey vulture, so that’s what I figured they were at first, but when they get close enough you can see the white head and tail.
When I was done wrapping Christmas presents, the kitchen table was completely clear for the first time in a long time, so I decided to start a puzzle that needs a lot of space. This is the biggest one I have, at 3000 pieces, so it should take a while. As it turns out, I also got a new puzzle for Christmas (1000 pieces with chickens on it, very cool), so now I have to finish this one so I can do that one.
Some thoughts I’ve jotted down over the last few days before Christmas: I bought eggs this weekend for the first time this winter. It sucks to do that when you have chickens, but that’s how it goes. For those who don’t know: chickens usually stop laying for a month or two in the winter while they molt (gradually shed their feathers and grow a new set). Young ones don’t always do it their first winter, but after that they generally do.
It’s snowing again this morning. The last snow just melted off a few days ago, and now things are white again. Seems like we’ve already had more snowy days than the last couple years. Don’t know if this one will be enough to sled on. There’s a pretty good long hill out back, but I didn’t get around to trying it last time. A Dollar General just sprouted in Payson. That’s how it seems, anyway.
Guy found a prize a few days ago. Someone must have dressed out a deer not far away, so he showed up with part of a leg and a lot of dirt on his nose. Now every time we go outside, he has to go check on it and chase away any cats. A few nights ago, he tried to bring it inside. When I told him no, he stayed out on the porch guarding it for a couple hours until he got cold enough to come in without it.
I went to an auction last weekend. The two main things I went for were a garden push plow (pictured below) and a chainsaw. I got both, plus about $20 in “choice boxes,” so it was a good day. Choice box is when they’re selling a bunch of stuff in boxes, usually on a wagon, and they don’t want to go box by box because that would take all day and some wouldn’t get bids.
Here are some more posts copied from my old blog, all on the Latin Mass. These are almost exactly ten years old, from when it was just getting started at St. Rose. So this is sort of an anniversary post. They are unedited, except for taking out broken links to images. If I start editing them, I’ll end up completely rewriting them, because I’d nitpick over my writing, and I’d probably think some of the opinions naive, since I was just starting to learn about the Mass then.
The first seed catalog arrived today, from Pinetree. I like them a lot, and will be buying from them again next year. But this is really too soon to get seed catalogs. Next year’s garden is still next year. They used to start showing up around New Year’s. That works well because January is a good time to plan and think about warmer things. Right now, when we’re still harvesting things like cabbage and cauliflower, it just seems early.
Good low-carb ice cream isn’t easy to make. Ice cream fluffs up and stays soft because it’s an emulsification of the fat in the cream with the sugar, so if you use a different sweetener that doesn’t have the structure of sugar, it doesn’t emulsify, and you end up with a bunch of ice freezing to the sides of the container. Sugar alcohols can work, but they seem kind of hit-and-miss as to whether people lose weight with them, plus they have a laxative effect.
Sad news today. Little One, the black cat who was in my last garden video, passed away. Ironic, since I said then that he was healthy and even fat after almost starving as a kitten. I noticed him seeming out of sorts the other day, but couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Then he didn’t show up for food, and later I found him already gone. He might have gotten hit on the road; I don’t really know what else it could have been.
New return address labels came from the insurance company today. They send so many free ones that I find myself wondering if I could use them for some kind of craft. Like maybe I could use them as wallpaper to redecorate a room. Trick-or-treaters usually don’t come out here in the country, but I did pick up one bag of peanut-butter cups, just in case. I probably should have gotten a candy I don’t like, because now I won’t be sad when no one comes and I have to eat them myself.
It looks like they’re getting ready to inject manure in the fields around here today. For those who don’t know how it works, this might be interesting. They unroll about a mile of this big hose that Guy is inspecting in the picture below, stretching from the dairy down the road to the far side of the field. Then they start pumping liquid manure (enough water is added to make it a slurry) through the hose, which is attached to a plow with injectors that’s pulled by a tractor.
Like President Trump, I am a nationalist. Not a white nationalist (“white” is not a nationality and can’t be), or a national socialist, but a nationalist. This should be obvious and uncontroversial. A nationalist is someone who loves his nation, takes pride in her, and puts her interests above those of other nations, though he respects that the people of those nations will do the same. A nationalist wants his nation to be open to temporary alliances and trade deals with other nations when they are clearly in the national interest, but to avoid foreign entanglements in general, as George Washington recommended in his Farewell Address.
The big social media companies are increasingly being exposed for their anti-competitive and fraudulent practices. Twitter was the latest this week as a bit of a joke campaign turned up an interesting reaction from supposed “users” on Twitter and then from the service itself. I thought I’d do a quick rundown as a screencast/podcast, talking over some posts from the jokesters. Audio only here: Twitter Tomfoolery MP3
I was trying to give away four cats last night. By the time we were done, one cat was transferred successfully, three had escaped into the night, the back porch was trashed, and I had blood dripping from one hand. I’m going to need a better strategy than just “grab them and hand them to strangers.” I used to wonder how items shipped from China on Ebay could be so cheap.
Just a note to say that if you want to be notified whenever I post to this blog, click this link for my RSS feed. Your browser or app or whatever should know what to do with it. I try to share the more interesting ones on Facebook for my friends there, but I forget sometimes since I don’t use it anymore. The RSS feed will have them all. Oof.
Let’s talk about chromosomes and heritage, and see how much I can remember from biology class a couple years ago. Humans have 46 chromosomes, which are in 23 pairs, normally numbered from 1 to 23. When you were conceived, you got 23 from your father and 23 from your mother. Which ones you get is random, but you get one from each pair from each parent. So you end up with two #1 chromosomes making up your #1 chromosome pair, and so on down to #23.
(I don’t suppose I’m the first to use that clever title.) So Kanye West had a meeting with President Trump today, and the media had a collective spaz attack. It’s kind of amazing to see the same people who would normally scold you for any negative comments about a racial minority, slinging around terms like “house negro” and saying that a black man must be off his meds because he disagrees with them and doesn’t talk educated like they do.
A few years ago I picked up several buckets of ears of corn in the field after they finished combining it. (Actually, I sat inside and drank and watched videos while kids picked them up, but it’s the thought that counts.) They don’t have the field fenced, so they can’t run cattle or hogs to clean it up, so any downed ears will just lie there and sprout in the spring until they’re killed by Roundup.
Be the captain of a youth basketball team. You get stuck with Ralphie, an unathletic boy who can’t play. His parents made him sign up because they think he needs exercise and new friends, but he doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t want to try and screw up and be embarrassed. You know if you give him the ball, he’s more likely to give it away to the other team than do anything good with it.
I picked up my first reading glasses the other day. I’m not used to having them yet, so I keep forgetting to grab them and catch myself squinting instead. The computer monitor is too far away for them, but I need them for anything closer, so that’s convenient. I tried peering over them at the screen, but that doesn’t work at all. At least I can read a book comfortably again.
Another morning rundown, to keep track of all this for future reference. Lots of little things going on, not sure which will become important when. Yesterday’s DoJ press conference was about the arrest of nine Russian spies. Probably should be bigger news, but it can’t compete. More important was the news that they’ve identified a Clinton/DNC lawyer who was involved with the FBI/Fusion in the FISA wiretapping case. As I said yesterday, we’ve known the basic shape about that for a while, but now they’re filling in the details.
Yesterday was interesting, with Republicans continuing to signal that they’re sitting on a nut straight. The amount of spine in these guys all of a sudden is shocking. On the other side, Feinstein refuses to turn the polygraph documentation over to the Senate Judiciary, saying they will give it to the FBI if interviewed. But the FBI has no jurisdiction to subpoena it, and that would lead into more delays that are the Democrats’ whole goal in the first place.
To add to yesterday’s article: it came out overnight that a couple of the people involved in Ford’s polygraph testimony are former FBI. The woman she coached on how to take a polygraph – which she lied and said she’s never done – left the FBI when Trump took office, after working close to some people involved in the illegal FISA warrant. Ford’s brother is also connected to Fusion GPS, the Russian-founded company that helped fake the warrants and tried to get informants inside the Trump campaign.
I’d like to say we’ve reached peak leftist insanity, now that people are sending ricin to Republicans in the mail. But we haven’t. The leaders of the globalist left have pushed their followers to within an inch of their emotional limits, and there’s no handy off switch. If you follow many of them on social media or forums, you’ve seen them send public streams of profanity at politicians – sometimes politicians they liked in the past.
I have a good feeling about today. Which probably means nothing will happen until tomorrow. But it feels like several different events in motion are coming to a point at the same time. It feels like happenings which seemed imminent in January and then stalled are now back in the mix. LARPs that don’t quite feel like LARPs. Deadlines for seemingly disconnected events that are lining up on the same short stretch of days.
It feels good when you’re pushing 50 and you’re hefting boars up for the knife and a healthy 16-year-old boy has to run the chalk marker because he can’t handle your job. Although I have to admit my shoulders were sore the next day. And the day after that. But it felt good at the time. Sun tea is a scam, right? I mean, it works. If you put tea bags in water and sit it in the sun, it makes tea.
I had to screencap that because it made me laugh. The context was a discussion of a potential urban-versus-rural civil war, and the left-wing fantasy that they will use the military and police to quickly dominate the rural areas, confiscate all the guns, and lock up or shoot the hicks. Yes, they really believe this. They speculate about it constantly; you just won’t see it in the mainstream media.
Guy didn’t eat anything for the first week after his accident, except a few bits of chicken I gave him with pills. Then the second week he seemed to eat pretty much normal. Now he’s eating like a horse, and drinking water like one too, so I’m filling his bowl a couple times a day instead of a couple times a week. I guess that means he’s all healed up and putting weight back on.
I’ve only been streaming for a few days, but some results are in. On the days I streamed a couple hours, I used 5GB/day. About 1GB or so of that was probably other traffic. Maybe more, since I’ve been doing some IPFS stuff and other moving data around. But the numbers show that the bulk of it was streaming. So if it takes 2GB/hour, I definitely can’t do it a couple hours every night and stay under my 50GB/month limit.
Cripes, 93 degrees. No wonder it seemed hot today. It was. Be glad when it breaks for good and fall is here. It turns out you can cut beets into pieces small enough to fit in a steamer and cook them that way. It also turns out you really shouldn’t, though, because they still lose a lot of juice and flavor. Oh well. The other option for cooking that big thing was the roaster, which seemed like overkill.
Huh. I just noticed yesterday that my video on the 6502 assembly instruction set has nearly 1000 views, more than 4 times as many as any other video I’ve made, even though it’s one of the newer ones. Someone must have linked to it from somewhere a lot more popular than my own site. Cool! I guess that means I should get on with more in that series. The beets didn’t come up very well this year because the seed was old, but the ones that germinated did well, and this one went crazy.
(Title shamelessly stolen from MauLer, a British guy who reviews games and movies.) I’d like to try using Twitch for some live online classes, but I thought before I dive into anything real, I should test it for a while first. So I’m going to be streaming games when I get a chance, starting with bridge. I figure I need to do a dozen or so sessions, and then I can analyze how much of my precious bandwidth it uses, how reliable it is over my connection, and things like that.
Looks like I won’t be watching football again this year. I’m not protesting the protesters exactly, at least not primarily. I’ve just been watching less in recent years as it became more and more obvious that the NFL doesn’t want me as a viewer, and I keep finding better things to do on a Sunday afternoon. The anthem thing is just a part of that, which I’ll write more on another time.
I want to give a plug to Country View Veterinary Service in Barry and Payson in Illinois. Short version: they were very nice with Guy, and the price was right, so I highly recommend them. If you’re in Quincy, Payson is only 15 minutes away, so it’s worth the short drive. Now the long version. When I decided to take Guy to the vet to make sure he was okay, I wasn’t sure where to go.
Well, it looks like Guy’s going to make it. The nice lady vet says he doesn’t seem to have any major breaks or spinal injury, so he’s probably just really sore. Of course, he let her probe and pull at him without any of the whining or growling he was giving me. Now he’s relaxing under the influence of painkillers. I should probably relax with some potato-based liquid painkiller myself.
Blogging might be light this week. Guy got hit on the road Saturday, so I’m nursing him. At least I think that must be what happened. I saw him go across the road, and then a couple minutes later he showed up limping with scratches on a few extremities. He doesn’t seem to have anything broken, but he’s clearly in some pain, so I think he got bounced around. I think he’s just spooked, too, because he hasn’t drank any water since, but I just got him to drink some chicken broth.
A conversation at Vox’s about trusting the cloud today reminded me I’ve been wanting to write about that. “The Cloud” is mainly a marketing term that’s been misused in some confusing ways, so let’s define some terms. Up until a decade or so ago, if you wanted to have a computer at some remote location – usually to provide it with a high-speed, redundant Internet connection – you had a couple of choices.
So Nike hired Colin Kaepernick to head up their new ad campaign, featuring his face under the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Oooookay, let’s unpack that a little. Some on sports radio are debating whether this will sell more products for Nike, whether the gain in woke Kaepernick fans will outdo the loss to anthem supporters. It won’t, because SJWs mostly don’t play sports. But that’s not what this is about for Nike anyway, not directly.
A few telemarketers have found a way to spoof their phone number as if they’re calling from your own local exchange. I get a call that starts with 217-617, so it looks like it could be from a neighbor or something, but it’s not. I don’t know how they do that – or why they aren’t all doing it – but it makes spam blockers like Mr. Number worthless, since the number usually belongs to an ordinary person in the area.
I didn’t decide in advance whether to blog over the weekends or not. Turns out the answer was no. Too much to do, and it’s good to get away from the keyboard. Anyway, I realized titling these things the same with the date every day was stupid since they’re already dated, so I’m going to start titling them with the main topic(s). I’ve been reading and thinking lately about sincerity, or the lack of it in this era.
I want to do a plug for Selby Implement in Quincy, specifically their parts department. The first thing I bought from them was a kitchen stove about 20 years ago, when they still carried appliances along with their main lines of farm machinery and power equipment. I called the other day to get a carburetor for my new-to-me lawnmower, and the guy said their supplier had it marked as discontinued. So I started looking around online to see if I could find it still in stock somewhere, or a used one.
I like this new blogging method so far. It’s working so well that I’m now writing this from yesterday, to give me an idea for tomorrow (er…). Slapping down thoughts 100-200 words at a time works better for me than long-form articles or short tweet-style grunts. I don’t know whether the results are any good, but at least it got me writing. I’ll worry about quality later. Good grief. I was just updating the St.
I started using Quora a while back when it notified me that a couple of friends had started following me on there. I’d created an account years ago, but hadn’t used it. The idea was that it would be good for getting freelance business. If you’re not familiar with Quora, it’s a site where people ask questions and anyone can answer them, and then answers are voted up or down. You’re allowed (encouraged) to advertise yourself through it, so it’s a chance to show off your expertise.
One somewhat longer one today, then a fun one. I think I’ll keep wrapping up with a fun item each day, for balance. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kevincollier/tech-companies-are-gathering-for-a-secret-meeting-to It’s Buzzfeed, so you have to read between the lines, but this is the kind of thing I was alluding to yesterday in my video on fixing the Internet. The Big Social companies got a rude awakening in 2016. They found out if they allowed everyone to use their platforms freely – which was a big part of how they became popular in the first place – smart people on the other side of the political aisle could use those platforms to beat them in elections.
I’m going to try something new for the blog. By “new” I mean something I’ve done before, but I’m trying it again a little differently. I do some blog commenting and forum posting here and there, but it’s always seemed like there should be a better way. A response isn’t always worth writing a full blog post of my own. But often the thought I have is kinda long for a comment, or it goes off-topic, so it’s not really appropriate for a comment.