Archive - Oct 2010


October 29th

Longer days?

I remember once during the energy crisis of the 1970s they canceled the winter time change. I kind of enjoyed getting on the bus in the dark. Now people in the northern regions of Europe are rallying to stave off the time change there. I think it is a good idea. I don't mind getting up in the dark. It is fun to watch the sun rise. But having the sun disappear by suppertime is a bit much. 


It is starting to feel like November, even though today was beautiful. It was still quite cool. I took a long, slow walk through the woods and it was fun to hear the birds.

I get sleepy this time of year. I decided to go with it today and just rest when I felt like it. As a result, naps ate up much of the afternoon. I make up for it in the evening when I am able to do a lot of work. But afternoons this time of year are hopeless.

Random thoughts: 

Cooking: I barbequed some meat this afternoon. I think the charcoal was wet from all the horizontal rain this past week. It didn't burn real well. As a consequence, although the meat took six hours to get done, it has an even better smoked flavor than if the charcoal had been dry.

World Series: It doesn't hold much interest for me. I haven't been watching. I am appalled that the owners are considering expanding the playoffs next season. Their greed knows no bounds. By adding more teams to the playoffs, they continue to reduce the importance of the long, 162-game regular season grind. More teams will put together excellent seasons only to be knocked off by a hot team of lesser talent in the playoffs. 

That said, I am glad that the Yankees and Phillies were defeated by lesser teams. 

Radiant heat: Man, is this house warm. With the floor heat on full bore, I have to wear shorts around the house. I could turn the temperature down, I suppose, but I like the warmth on my feet. However, radiant heat also makes you feel like you are glowing. I am not yet used to that. It helps make me ever more sleepy than normal. 

Elliptical machine: With the cold, I no longer feel like running outside. I kept up a pretty good exercise program from July onwards. But when it gets cold, I prefer to stay inside. I used to use an exercise bike in the winter, but the last one, a cheapy from Wal-mart, I wore out in March. So last night I went down to Fargo and bought an elliptical machine. It will sit in the garage. I hope I use it enough to make it worthwhile. Exercise is absolutely necessary in the winter if I am going to stay moderately sane. 



Civility tour

Now why couldn't more campaigns be like this?

October 28th

The underlying truth

People are believing so much nonsense today that it is good to be reminded of what actually is going on

October 26th

Inland hurricane

If you looked at the weather map yesterday, there was a monster low pressure system centered right over my house. Several places set records for low barometric pressure. Yet, the storm itself has been more wet than wild. Somebody in town reported over three inches of rain, and the wind blew, but thus far it hasn't been that bad. And the forecast is good!

I have spent the better part of a day getting my wood stove going. Oh, the frustration. The fire wouldn't light. I would go out and it was just smoldering. 

I finally called the company and they knew right away what was wrong: I had a bad probe, the little thermocoupler that tells the fan when to go on and off. That meant that the stove would prematurely shut down the air supply and starve the fire of oxygen. 

I didn't need more diesel fuel to start the fire, I just needed a new thermocoupler. Small-town stuff: Greg from the factory dropped of the part at the grocery store in Fertile and I picked it up this morning. 

Now the stove is rolling and I have free heat. Free if you don't count a day of hassle and a couple of trips to town. 

I got so frustrated with the stove last year that I didn't burn wood all winter, even when I was home. Now I know the stove's troubles weren't due to my ineptitude at building a fire. 


October 26th

Yard signs work


A new article shows the difference that can be made by a single yard sign.

October 25th


Well, the weather is turning in a hurry. We can't complain as this fall has been phenomenal.

Today's clouds and rain make me want to sleep. A lot. 

Spent the last three days of last week at a leadership retreat. It was very intense and tired me out for a bit.

I successfully kept away from the internet for the entire three days. I returned to find it still there. I missed nothing. I should take a vacation from internet news more often.

Last week, I went to get my eyes checked. It has only been a year-and-a-half and I didn't like to think that my eyes would change in that short time. But they had. The blurriness on the menu was not in my imagination. 

So, I ordered new lenses for $400. I had them put in today. Wow! Suddenly, I can see again. I feel like reading again, too. A person shouldn't wait for stuff like that, but we always do. 

To celebrate my improved eyesight, I went to Metate, the Mexican restaurant in the former Pizza Hut in Crookston. Again, it was very good. And for $8 you get a lunch so large that you can eat the other half for supper. 

If you go, keep trying different items on the menu. Unlike the fast-food Mexican places, which pretty much remix about six ingredients, Metate has a wide range of flavors in its different dishes. 

As I tasted the salsa, the cilantro reminded me of Tucson. A gray day like today also makes me think of Tucson. I am sure it is quite sunny there. 


October 19th


I am leaving in a few minutes for a leadership retreat in Walker. They don't want us to have computers there, so I will not be blogging until Saturday. 

Texas 10 Demons 3

The Texas Rangers, with 1/4 the payroll of the Evil Empire, are about to eliminate the Yankees from the playoffs. One wonders why the Twins couldn't have performed the same function. 

Ron Washington, the Texas manager, is a former Twin. He was one of my favorite players, so it is fun to see him succeed. 

It is also fun to see Yankee Stadium empty long before the game is over as the fickle New York fans abandon their team of expensive mercenaries. 

Amazing talent

I don't know how I managed to miss out on this talent, given how I follow the pipe organ. Cameron Carpenter can do things nobody else can. Here is a sample. He's a bit of a show-off, too, which I always enjoy.