Mon. Dec. 10, 2018 – time marches on

37F and wet. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Here we are, one third of the way through December, with Christmas, and the New Year rushing toward us. Even the rhythm of daily posts and elementary school doesn’t help me with my sense of the days speeding by. I can’t help but feel that time is running out, and I’m falling behind.

Maybe it is the deaths of friends this year, coupled with getting older, and the normal end of year introspection. In any case, I think I’ll be happier when the New Year resets my expectations. I hope so anyway.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

30 thoughts on “Mon. Dec. 10, 2018 – time marches on”

  1. Scrapping frost of the windshield again this morning. Cold and wet but they predict sun for a couple of days.
    At 66 I am feeling my age at times. Parents both long gone and I am the oldest left in the family. I have been thinking lately of all the memories I made with people who are no longer around and how those memories will disappear when I go. My family usualy lives into our 90’s so I statistically have 20+ years left but after watching my grandfather and father spend their last 8 – 10 years as vegetables I am not enthused. I don’t mind passing (for me it’s just moving on to new adventures) but I do regret the loss of memories and special (to me) moments that brothers and children never shared. Perhaps I should write this stuff down?

  2. 30º and cloudy this morning. Nothing to scrape off the windshield because we don’t have enough moisture in the air for that to happen. I likely won’t be able to say that tomorrow – It’s supposed to get into the mid 30s today, and sunshine will raise the humidity a bit.

    Do write it down. Even if it’s just in notebooks. Or put a tape recorder on a table while you’re having conversations. The tape thing was fascinating to me when we found one with my grandmother on it. She had been gone for 20 years, and the conversation was pretty mundane, but the stories were fascinating to a young man who had never heard them before.

    I hope to pass a lot on to my children. I don’t know how well I’ll do, but I’m going to try. I’m not a great writer, and I struggle to make things coherent. (Obvious from my rambling posts here.) But they’ll have something to read if they’re ever interested in it.


  3. At 66 I am feeling my age at times

    67 here with the migration to 68 coming up in a couple of months. Parents are long gone, wife has a mother that is in her mid 80’s and is still doing OK. But we both know that something will have to be done in a couple of years.

    What surprises me is that I don’t feel as old as my grandparents, or parents, appeared to me when they were at my current age. Perhaps it is better healthcare, better medical knowledge, or just perspective not wanting to admit I am getting old.

    My family on my mother’s side tend to get dementia about the start of the 80’s. Then it is downhill until about 85 when life expires. Aunt lived longer than the others but she was also in a skilled nursing facility. Thus I figure I have 15 more good years left before the brain rots. I am hoping for a better demise than spending half a dozen years crapping in my diapers at a nursing facility. Maybe my father’s genes diluted, or overrode, the dementia genes.

    I see many people that are at my age, or younger than I, who are really in bad shape. Barely able to walk, unable to travel or do things, everyday life presenting a challenge. Maybe I am lucky. My brother’s are about the same as I.

    As Mr. Combs stated I don’t want to spend 5-10 years as a vegetable. Watched my aunt go through the vegetative state. Not fun, not living, May have to consider moving to a state that has assisted life termination (it’s not suicide) such as Oregon when the time gets close. Of course the brain will have to functioning or the procedure will not be approved.

    I am an organ donor. I don’t want to be buried instead choosing to be cremated. Ashes scattered in the river or alternatively used to plant a tree. Too much real estate is wasted on burial places.

    When I was living on the farm we wanted to clear some more space for a pasture, remove some trees and brush. When we ventured into the wooded area and discovered a cemetery from the late 1800’s. Eight burial sites. Bummer. It was an old family cemetery and after some research we discovered that part of the land could not be developed or cleared. If we wanted to do so we would need permission of the surviving family members. We could not find the family members or any information on them. The information on the grave stones contained no last names. Court records were useless as the deaths were probably not recorded. We should have just ignored the site, told no one, and cleared the land.

  4. Wouldn’t be the first time “shut up and shovel” was good advice….

    n


  5. Wouldn’t be the first time “shut up and shovel” was good advice

    Shovel? Surely you jest. We had a CAT D2 dozer that would make it a lot easier.

  6. I’ll be 80 in 10 days. Gotta’ email Roy now and tell him that we have a foursome for tennis tomorrow morning (doubles of course).

  7. I am an organ donor.

    After what we went through with my father-in-law at UT Southwestern’s transplant program, I always check “no” on the organ donor section of the drivers license renewal.

    Long story which would probably require a book to tell.

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany… We must be cautious”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcb4_QwP6fE

    Obi Wan knows.

  8. Office cleanup continues.

    Just dumped 5″ of paper from my file cabinet, mostly from one insurance company for my business policy. Moving 18″ to my offsite storage. Consolidated some other stuff, got about 2 drawers free.

    Not much to show for the time and effort, but it needs to be done to make room for the other cr@p.

    n

  9. I see many people that are at my age, or younger than I, who are really in bad shape.

    Yeah. I don’t understand why that is. Genetics? The same folks that scold me for drinking “too much beer” cruise their almost 300 pounds around the grocery store on the electric scooters. Eating a bag of Doritos they have yet to pay for.

    I was carded at Wal-Mart a few months ago. Some 20 year old girl that I never saw before or since and I hope she’s gone onto a swell job in the mall at Sears. I gave her my passport card. Moi? A jerk? It was worth it.

    I was carded last month by one of the mid-forties ladies that have been there for a few years. I just smiled and asked “just went thru the ID everyone booze selling class, eh?” Yeah.

    I just turned 61. What the heck? When do I get smart? If I get a half decent haircut and shave off my so-called beard, folks swear I can’t be past 40.

    The crazy thing, to me, is that I’ve out lived almost all of my friends from HS and college. Yeah, some would now be pushing 70. But most died in their early 40’s and early 50’s. I’ve outlived almost everyone I’ve actually cared about by 20 years and counting.

  10. I was carded last month by one of the mid-forties ladies that have been there for a few years. I just smiled and asked “just went thru the ID everyone booze selling class, eh?” Yeah.

    Doing on-campus recruiting for CGI, we were required to ask everyone the question, “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States for an indefinite period of time?”

    Everyone. It didn’t matter if their immigration status (or lack thereof) was obvious. Asking prevents lawsuits for discrimination.

    Of course, if the answer was “No”, we were always up front that the company rarely sponsored visas for the “onshoring” centers but we would take their resume regardless “for future reference”.

    Only “Yes” answers resulted in further immediate screening and/or on campus interviews.

  11. Shovel? Surely you jest. We had a CAT D2 dozer that would make it a lot easier.

    I am jealous.

  12. I am jealous.

    Yeah. Me too. I have a blade on one tractor and a front bucket on the other.

    I do have a plow blade. Not very useful here…. too rocky. So, back to buzzards. 🙂

  13. I had an eight port unmanaged Ethernet hub die over the weekend at the office in all the weather craziness. I was trying to print some stuff before a meeting this afternoon and could not figure out what was the problem. I suddenly realized that the network printers hub was not working after I rebooted everything in sight. Luckily, I keep a lot of spare equipment along with spare ethernet hubs. Plugged in the new ethernet hub and voila!, the printer started printing immediately.

  14. Addick reservoir looks like it peaked out last night.

    I’m going to put out more Christmas stuff tomorrow, so I hope the rain holds off now.

    n

    Tree came in last night, and it’s getting dressed up tonight. Daughter 1 thinks the angel tree topper is “creepy”.

    n

  15. I found a bunch of CDs that I hadn’t ripped yet. Man I forgot how great an album “Who’s Next” is.

    Baba O’Riley, The Song is Over, Going Mobile, Behind Blue Eyes, Won’t Get Fooled Again, all great hits.

    n

  16. @Paul
    Yeah, what’s with that? I’m 57 and don’t look a day over 45, but I smoked for 30+ years & drink like a fish. Everything’s hunky-dorey when I see the doc, which is about once every couple years. Liver gets ultrasound, BP, the works. Don’t need no stinkin’ pills. Don’t watch what I eat, except varying my diet (although I do have aversion to fats and sweets). Not quite Cowboy slim, but 5’9 & 145-150lbs seems to be my set-point for the last few decades.

    It’s either genetics, or somewhere in an attic a picture is getting very, very ugly.

  17. Huge barely begins to describe it. Imagine if it was snow, it would have been about 50″…

    thank jah for globull warmening.

    n


  18. Yeah. I don’t understand why that is. Genetics?

    Drugs, alcohol, smoking, too much junk food and sedentary life style. Not in any particular order.


  19. Shovel? Surely you jest. We had a CAT D2 dozer that would make it a lot easier.

    I am jealous.

    You wouldn’t be when having to start that thing when it was below freezing.

    One time we had to get it started, temperature was about 10f. No electrics on the dozer. Small two cylinder gasoline starting motor that first had to be started. Took about 30 minutes to get that started using a rope pull (not retractable, wrap around the pulley) using starting fluid. Let that run for about two hours to try and warm the cooling system and the diesel. Did not work. Not enough heat generated. Crawl up on the left track, pull a lever to engage the interlock between the engines, then pull hard on the clutch between the motors. Let it spin the diesel for several minutes to warm the cylinders then apply fuel. Did that for almost three hours to finally get the diesel started. Starting fluid was not an option as that has been known to blow the heads. Once started release the clutch and disengage the transmission.

    After getting it started that day we did not shut the diesel down for almost a week leaving it idle in the equipment area of the farm. Probably used less than two gallons of diesel for each day it idled. But did not want to go through the starting hassles again.

    There were no hydraulics to operate the controls. Aside from the throttle there were two levers, one for each track that were clutches. Pulling the lever, and it was hard to pull, disengaged the track by releasing the drive to track. You then had to apply the brake pedal for that side. You had to press hard, tens of pounds of force applied to the track brake.

    There was a hydraulic pump to raise and lower the blade.

    After operating that for several hours you were generally beat. That was in addition to the constant bouncing and jerking as there was no suspension on the thing.

  20. @Ray: Your farm stories are fun!

    All of my grandparents lived to ripe old ages. My parents, not so much. Genetics is one thing, but science is just starting to understand multi-generational (epigenetic) effects. It is certain that the World Wars and the Great Depression had effects on the children and grandchildren of those involved. What those effects are, and how they will express? No one knows…

  21. A man who was a good friend of my folks spent 2 different hitches, 1 year each, at Thule AFB Greenland. I’ve heard him say that you left all diesel engines idling about 8 months a year up there. You also had to move all the vehicles on a regular schedule, lest the tires freeze to the ground or permanently acquire a lump on the bottom.

  22. I hate the cold. I think hell is probably cold not warm as it hurts more….

    n

  23. There’s cold, and then there’s cold. A cold day with sunshine is a lot nicer than a less-cold day with clouds and drizzle.

    That said, the kind of cold you get in winter in the midwest, or worse, in places like Thule? That’s not cold, that’s insane. I remember one fun evening in Dayton, my car battery died while sitting in the lot of a mall. Temp somewhere around -25 or -30.

    Thankfully, there was an auto parts store / repair shop right there, really not more than a couple dozen steps away. Or maybe I misremember, and I somehow managed to drive or roll that close. Not sure anymore.

    Anyhow, it was about 10 minutes to closing time. I ran in, bought a battery, and asked “hey, guys, can I roll my car into your bay for a couple of minutes?”

    No.

    So I changed it in the parking lot. Of course, there was just no way to do it while wearing fat winter gloves. I don’t think my hands have ever been that cold…

  24. Surprisingly Knoxville TN dropped to -24 on January 21, 1985. When things thawed a little pipes in thousands of homes started leaking. People on heat pumps ran their strip heat continuously for several days. People on gas heat found their heater running full time. It was a mess as the homes are not built for super cold conditions. The temperature rarely gets to single digits and does not stay that way for more than three or four days until it gets above freezing.

    When I was about 8 years old living on the farm I forgot my gloves. Being young and still stupid (a condition in which I still manifest myself) I did not pay attention to my hands. My uncle noticed them and the tips were starting to turn white. At that point you don’t feel the cold as the circulation has basically stopped.

    My uncle’s solution to quickly remedy the situation and save the finger tips was to emerge my hands in water that was about 100 degrees. That is indeed the correct solution, maybe not that hot. The pain was extreme, as in screaming type of pain. My uncle forced me to keep my hands in the water by physical force. It worked. No loss of digital appendages. Lesson learned. Never forgot my gloves again.

  25. My uncle’s solution to quickly remedy the situation and save the finger tips was to emerge my hands in water that was about 100 degrees. That is indeed the correct solution, maybe not that hot. The pain was extreme, as in screaming type of pain. My uncle forced me to keep my hands in the water by physical force. It worked. No loss of digital appendages. Lesson learned. Never forgot my gloves again.

    Good, so there was some redeeming factors for the man. You would have been severely handicapped through life if you had lost a few finger tips. Plus he would have had a nasty medical bill, of course that was back when medical stuff was cheap.

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