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Most popular post

According to the WordPress stat machine my most popular post has been chugging along at roughly a dozen views PER DAY for 4 years now. My stats don’t go back to 2010, but it’s had similar activity since it was posted. 

What could be so interesting? It’s not a photograph or a camera review. It’s not one of my old EMS stories. It’s not even a personal Random Musing. 

It’s this. Remember the days before cars had iPhone jacks and Bluetooth?

Glad I’m providing utility to all the frustrated GM owners out there. 


Sebastian snoozes the afternoon away after a good lunch. He cares not for football.

Of fox and chickens. . .

It’s been a beautiful but busy weekend.  I’ve done more calls with my two fire companies in the past 2 days than I did all week on duty.  Sometimes it happens.

I’ve been slightly neglecting the chickens, but I took time to feed and water before running off this morning.  We have four chicken coops, designated Alpha through Delta.  Alpha is a large shed and was the primary coop for years.  This spring Alpha was replaced by Bravo.  Alpha is now storage and space for ‘special needs’ birds.

As I approached the coops I noted that the door to Alpha was unlatched and partially open.  We’ve done battle with fox and raccoons for years, so this was a very bad sign.

I opened the door slowly and was greeted by a flurry of feathers.


Then I opened the door the rest of the way.  There was a large pile of fox scat in the direct center of the coop.  My three broody hens all sat on their nests in the corner, happy & unharmed if missing a few feathers.

Remember folks, chickens are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs.  Mine are apparently Velociraptors.

I do wonder what they did with the fox. . .

Cannon Mountain

As mentioned, I’ve been developing film this week.  Here are a few from our Lonesome Lake Hut/Cannon Mountain expedition.

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Shot on Ilford FP4+ with a Nikon FM2/50mm. Developed in D76.

Why am I so tired again?

Everyone is out of town this week, so I’m minding the family store.

18:00 hours, home from dinner after work.

  • Fed my parents’ 5 cats and their feral colony.
  • Warmed up the photo processor and the railcar.
  • Fed and watered 14 chickens in three coops.
  • Changed transmission oil in the motorcar; it’s going to get a workout this weekend at Thomas.
  • Changed mirrors and saddlebags on one of my motorcycles.
  • Fed and watered my own 7 cats, one of whom requires a special diet.
  • Washed dishes.
  • Emptied trash.
  • Developed 5 rolls of film.
  • Fed 21 (-ish, I lost count) rescue guinea pigs, two rabbits, a hamster, a Betta fish and a tank of tropical fish. (I didn’t even try to count them.)
  • Started laundry.

It’s almost 22:00. After this I’m off to start the Roomba and fall into bed with a book.  Tomorrow I get to do it all again, plus work a PR detail for the fire department and clean the litter boxes.  (At least the laundry will be done.)

Why am I so tired?

Seeking the Peak

It’s that time of year again, when I join the Mount Washington Observatory’s fundraiser, Seek the Peak.  Last year I attacked New England’s Highest Peak, Home of the World’s Worst Weather, and succeeded before lunch.  I also got some cool swag.

This year Beth decided she wanted to climb with me.  We dutifully registered for the climb, created our team donation page, and began our training.

It quickly became apparent that she would not be ready in time.  I never thought of myself as particularly ‘in shape’ for a middle-aged guy, but I can run circles around her with a pack on my back.

Fear not, we have other options and the deadline is not until this Friday.

This past weekend we attempted our most ambitious project yet. We hiked in to AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut and spent the night.

We ate a family style dinner with 41 of our closest new friends.

We slept in a rom with no electricity with 5 of our new friends. . .

The only sounds came from the wildlife. . .

And we woke up to this view.

The weathermen forecast Aurora Borealis for the night we were there, but we didn’t catch any.  We just stared at the fabulous stars instead.

Monday we woke up, ate a huge breakfast with our 41 friends, and departed up Kinsman Ridge for the 4100 foot summit of Cannon Mountain.  The trail was rougher than we expected, but we made it.

It was a weird feeling running into tourists in flip-flops at the summit after hiking all morning.  We joined them for a sandwich in the cafe and then rode the tram back to the valley.

Back to Seeking the Peak:    After conquering Beth’s first 4000-footer this week, we don’t feel to shabby about not attempting the big hike.  We will probably christen the new Honda on the auto road and then hike to a waterfall somewhere in the valley.  Unless we start to feel ambitious again. . .


New Horse

The 1970’s may have been dismal times for cars, music, and fashion, but the power equipment and motorcycles were pretty good.

This 1973 Wheel Horse 1-0120 8 joined the fleet this week.  It will do intermediate mowing duties at the farm.  It’s perfect for the jobs which are too big for Frankenmower but not large enough for the Kubota.  There’s something about all those spinning belts which the steampunk engineer in me finds satisfying.

I don’t need a D-180.  I don’t need a D-180. I don’t need a D-180. Or a 314-8, or a C-165.  Regret trading my 520-H years ago. . .


I feel it’s time for an update, but I don’t have anything focused to say.

NfMH seems to be back to normal.  A Jetpack update crashed it briefly last week.  You might have noticed most of the sidebar was gone.  (I had to deactivate it to get the main page running again.) Another update yesterday seems to have fixed the issue.

The bus is back in the shop.  It steadfastly refuses to idle.  It’s great on the open road but zero fun in traffic.  Hopefully it’s something simple.

Sebastian is still with us.  Our ‘new normal’ includes calcium binders at breakfast and subcutaneous fluids every evening, but he’s still happy.  He purrs as he sleeps on his pillow between us every night.

The chickens are in their new home.  The seem happy, but they’re chickens.  As long as no one is chasing them they’re happy.  Demolition of the old coop begins soon.

I spent the weekend at brush fires, which means I did not get much done around home.  We did find some time to bicycle and buy new sunglasses today.

There is the small matter of a new car in the fleet which I haven’t mentioned yet.  I’ll save it for later; have to have some reason to keep people coming back.

As I type, Sammie sits next to me on the porch watching the bird feeders.  It’s a good day.

1978. . .

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks.  I’m commuting halfway across the state 2 days a week for a fire academy course.  In between, we’ve had our big state ambulance inspection at work.  Sebastian’s health is declining, and we fear the end is near.  It would be easy to be frazzled or depressed.

The bus is back from the shop however.  It originally came to us with a mix CD made up of Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis, and the Eagles.  We left it in the player for laughs.

The sun was out Monday afternoon, and the bus needed an inspection.  I took it for an errand run with the windows down and 1978 blaring from the speakers.  It’s impossible not to smile with this view and sixty-five air-cooled horses clattering away behind you.


The other medics have gone out on a call. If cancelled, they will stay out for coffee. I may not see them again until lunch. 

The BLS crews are all asleep. Some are recovering from a rough night shift while others rest up for the marathon ahead. 

I sit in the empty garage listening to the hum of the Coke machine, the drone of passing traffic, the whoosh of planes on approach to Big City International Airport. A cool breeze wafts through the open door. Dreading. . .

Dreading the conversation I must have later today. Dreading disappointing. Dreading change. 

Yet it’s time. 

Thank you Yellow & Orange Ambulance Company. I wouldn’t be here without you. I just don’t want to be here anymore.