Wednesday, December 07, 2016

let's go shopping

today is my birthday. here, more or less, if a conversation i had with MB.

me: i'm not sure how old i am, and i don't feel like doing simple subtraction.
MB: You're 51, aren't you? Which is prime, I'm pretty sure. Oh, wait. 13 x 7. Well, its only factors are two primes. Which is pretty cool. And you'll always be prime to me. Math is not my strong suit in the morning (or maybe at all)*
me: i don't think i'm 51. i was born in '64.
MB: 17 x 3, not 13 x 7.
me: is confused
MB: 52. Weird. I thought you were 50 last year. But apparently you were 51. I used a calculator, since math is hard. Let's go shopping!
me: no, i'd have remembered a biggie. or even the year after. but then i'm like, was that two years ago, or three?
MB: it was 2 years ago. And i love you
me: i love you too. a lot.
MB: All the lots. Including ocelots!
me: i love you ocelot?
MB: Yes!! The lack of a comma is important.
me: i love you, ocelot.

*MB is the kind of person who understands complex math concepts, and knows how the quadratic equation is derived, even though she can never remember it. so if she needs it, she just derives it in the margin of whatever she's doing. me, i consider myself to be doing well to know that there is a thing called the quadratic equation and leave it at that.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

some random things

i'm cleaning up some tabs.

here are some random things that i like.

a handy chart so you can know you overhead silhouettes of hawks.

i'm thinking of getting these. because shoe tying is hard.

this looks tasty and i might try it. and as long as you have apple cider, try this.

apparently you can help amnesty international track human rights violations from home.

then there's this:


and then there's kulning.

Monday, December 05, 2016

body heat

saturday morning my friend barb came to visit at camp. she likes camping, but when she's short of time or energy, she likes to come visit at camp, which means she gets to hang out and play at camping and then go home to her own bed.

so saturday morning she came down the trail with an oh-so welcome cup of hot coffee, just the way i like it. i stoked up a good fire,  which in open air in cold weather is a PROJECT. you have to babysit that thing for a couple of hours before there are enough hot coals to make it heat anything.

but then i put the coffeepot on for hot water and i made us some bowls of hot glop.

i know, sounds delicious.

so then we made some plans to go to the river of light festival in waterbury. ordinarily i would not leave my campsite to return after dark because i get freaky about it.

but barb offered to walk me back down to camp after dark.

all of this sort of explains why, at two thirty in the afternoon, with the temperature dropping, i was still hanging out on the campsite and not in my tent.

because in about an hour i was going to go up the trail and get in barb's car.

but then i was too cold. my choices were to conserve body heat NOW while i still had some to conserve, or paddle out and go home.

i cancelled with barb, washed my face in warm water, and got in my tent to begin the warming.

by five o'clock i had to leave it to pee, and when i cam back in i was shivering.

shivering represents a bit of a setback.

so i lay there in my sleeping bags and blankets: two winter weight sleeping bags, two blankets (one over and one under) FOUR air mattresses (two wide and two thick), a yoga mat (keeps the mattresses in place and prevents thermal leakage in the middle), and underneath everything, one o' them silver space blankets.

i sealed myself right in there and proceeded to eat cookies.

because your body is an amazing furnace, but it needs fuel to run on.

i kept saying to myself "i am a bright sun. i am nearly a hundred degrees warm."

i kept checking my parts to see what was warm and what wasn't. belly, chest, crotch, head, all warm. legs, butt, and feet, not so much. good news / bad news.

it took six or seven hours, but at last i was toasty warm.

but then i woke in the morning to an even colder day and a forecast of a colder night and i decided that while my body had recharged quite well, it probably didn't have the reserves to pull that off a second time on short notice.

so i packed my stuff and left camp.

today it's snowing hard and i'm glad to be indoors.

i feel a little chilly even though my heat is up and i am wearing longjohns. and every part of me that CAN be sore is sore.

so i'm pumping fluids and NSAIDS. life would be nicer if i had felt up to unloading the boats from my car yesterday.

Sunday, December 04, 2016


i'm experimenting with making cider vinegar in my kitchen.

i'm using this method more or less, and i have five jars going on my counter all with slightly different configurations.

i'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

october weather

it's old news now, but when i left site 27 in october, it was warm and dry and sunny. i left camp a little early, because what was going to follow was some nasty weather.

here is my gear packed to leave camp on october 19:

and here is what it looked like in my driveway on october 23:

Friday, December 02, 2016


a hundred years ago the era of hardscrabble farms in the valley of the waterbury river was coming to an end. many of the less fertile farms up on the hills had already been abandoned, but there was still a little community, some lumber mills, and a few successful farms in the early years of the 20th century.

Green Mountain Power was already buying up land along the river for a hydroelectric plant.

and then in 1927 the flood came down. water rushed down the valley with sufficient force that when it reached the winooski river the water itself dammed up the flow of the winooski and backed that river up to flood a long way upstream with tremendous loss of life and property.

the state of vermont along with the federal government laid out plans to buy what was left of the community on what is now called the little river and the CCC went to work building an enormous earthen dam. it was determined that as part of the new flood control project the land surrounding should be purchased under eminent domain and the hills reforested.

the river behind the dam is now the waterbury reservoir and all around it is state forest, and the land is set aside for recreation.

the farms are all gone, but some of the handsome orchards that were the farmers' pride still stand.

apple trees do not care if the farmer is dead and the house is gone to a cellarhole. they just keep being apple trees. they bear fruit pretty much as they always did.

i like to collect the branches that drop sometimes, in a storm.

it's pesky wood to work with. it has twisty grain sometimes, and because it's naturally dropped wood there are spots with rot, or insect holes, and you can't so much predict where all the flaws are going to be, but a lot of it is still good wood, and it makes me happy to reclaim it and put it to use.

applewood smells pretty when you work it, and if you can tame it, it has a pretty grain.

oftentimes when i start out to make a thing i don't know exactly what it's going to be or who it's going to be for, but usually as it takes shape i begin to know who it's for and what it will look like.

this is the most recent one.

if you can't find me, i'm out on the res.

on a sunny morning i might could be walking the old orchards, looking for dropped branches.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

extra sexy

it's a running joke by now that MB tells me she thinks people with their boats unloaded and put away are especially sexy.

so here is a video of me being super sexy.


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