Archive - Jan 2005

January 22nd

Confined to the recliner

Quite a little storm last night--several inches of snow being pushed around by 40 mph winds. The morning has dawned clear and cold. And there is a four foot drift in my driveway.

I have noticed over the years that my moods cycle throughout the week with two very predictable weekly swings: On Friday nights, I am restless, wanting to get away, get out. Thus, being confined by a storm is a little difficult, and it took a while to settle down enough to enjoy reading a book.

January 20th

Bare root

While I am preoccupied with my house, Dad, Ken and Joe are busy sorting out the trees and shrubs we dug last fall and put in the bare root building. Each day they tackle another pile of brush, trimming, sorting the plants into sizes, determining prices, making labels, putting on the labels, and finally bundling the plants in bundles of five or ten so they don't take up so much room.

On the catwalk

Well, not quite yet, but the basic outline took shape today as Jeff and Dean hung the steel rods from the rafters, and build the framework for the catwalk and the crow's nest.

At the end of the day, Dean said, "You aren't going to try to climb around up here tonight, are you?" Oh, of course not. At least not after he said that. He added that he didn't want to come in the morning to find me dangling from the framework, unable to let go.

So, it's best that I stay away from the house tonight lest I do something stupid.

January 19th

Flom Cafe with Aunt Olla

Today was the annual trip to the Flom Cafe for Great Aunt Olla and I. Cousin Ilene met us there for a noon meal of roast beef sandwiches followed by strawberry shortcake.

Aunt Olla had quite a time last week. She was busy, busy, busy, as always, and one day she actually had some time to herself, finally, so she locked both doors on her apartment and took a shower at a leisurely pace.

January 18th


One day, when I am old enough, I would like to write a book of philosophy. The problem is, there is getting to be less to put in it all the time.

An ancient Buddhist sage was asked the meaning of life. He responded, "Cut wood, haul water."

That pretty much sums it up.

Ideologies, ideas, gadgets, notions, theories, grow up like weeds.

Weeding a garden amounts to a selective subtraction of most of the plants which germinate in the soil.

Warm up, with wind

The predicted warm-up happened overnight. By morning, temperatures were in the teens. However, the wind from the south whipped up. I was due at the welding shop in Crookston to pick up some steel rods which will suspend the crow's nest, but I just about turned around after getting out the driveway.

The south wind funnels through the field west of me making visibility pretty bad, worse, in fact, than out in the valley--so my trip to Crookston wasn't too rough. The roads were dry. Visibility was never a problem.

January 17th

Cold spell over?

Tonight, there is a strong wind from the south. Perhaps that is an indication that the deep cold, which included a reading of thirty-six below last night, is over. That is fine. I have had enough.

I just went over and threw some more wood on the stove. The south wind, it turns out, blows the smoke right into you when you try to load it. So, now I smell like burnt bacon.

January 16th


Cousin Anne continues her posting of spectacular photos from her home in Idaho. She enjoys spectacular surroundings, granted, but her photos of those surroundings show a consistent artistic flair. They can be viewed on her weblog. Page through the archives to see dozens of good shots.

January 14th

MPR gig

If any of you want to listen to the MPR clip this morning, it appears here. Look under "Regional Highlights" to a headline about some man chopping wood to keep his house warm.

Ha, what a joke. Me as a woodsman.

Poor saps

For some reason, reading the news today has made me say over and over: Poor sap.

Another soldier convicted and hung out to dry for prisoner abuse. Poor sap. There are hundreds of confirmed incidents of torture and abuse, and tacit approval was given from the highest officials. There is no indication that the policy of using Algerian water torture to extract confessions or information from captured prisoners has changed.