1707 miles

To paraphrase Hamilton:

“Tweet less. . . blog more”

I have neglected the blog since August.  This could be a series of small posts, but I feel like rolling it all into a long one tonight.

First up: the August vacations.  As you may recall, circumstances had me working half weeks in August which resulted in a series of mini vacations.  These consisted of:

  1. Camping in the White Mountains.

As a Gen Z-er, Kiddo really doesn’t like to be offline for long. She informed me that the WiFi outside the coffee shop was barely adequate, but the rest of the trip was great.

2. The Chocolate Bunny 2020 Tour. I spent 5 days tootling around the Connecticut River Valley and the White Mountains on the Ural. It was as socially distant as you can get, and Mrs. Mack505 was able to join me for the final day.

It was nice to not be the only mechanical curiosity around.

3. Kiddo and I went 4-wheeling in NH. Nothing broke, we had fun, and we came home safely. This is a bigger feat than it sounds. The ATV’s have had years of farm use which has not been gentle. I’m glad to see that this summer’s maintenance spree paid off.

4. Mini vacation #4 was a simple few days at the family homestead. This was more eventful than 4-wheeling. I broke the RV leaving home and had to return. We switched to my parents’ RV which made the trip successfully but then broke on site. I was still able to relax under the awning with my dog and a book.


In September MAFAA held its annual parade. This gathering of antique fire engines has run uninterrupted for 42 years, and they weren’t going to let a little thing like a pandemic stop the 43rd edition. This year’s event was smaller, delayed, in a different city, and socially distanced; but we carried on the tradition.

I brought along Engine 4 for what was probably its last parade. Its replacement is due to be delivered before the end of the year. I remember when it was delivered; retiring it feels melancholy.


In late August we had an amazing moment at work. My partner and I were involved in a cardiac arrest save. They are less common than Hollywood would have you believe. This patient was awake and talking to us before we arrived at the hospital. It may not be a once-in-a-career thing, but I don’t expect to see it again soon.

We had the additional honor of meeting the patient and shaking his hand after he was discharged from the hospital. I can retire happy now.


I have not found the time to work in my darkroom during the pandemic, but I have been bitten by the ‘maker’ bug. I am finishing up a bookcase for the bedroom, and I have been constructing simple wooden cases to store my steam engines. Each project triggers more ideas. My carpentry skills have progressed from hack to amateur, but I’m learning and enjoying myself.


At work, I have some new custom Medic 4 hats and a reflective mustache sticker for my SCBA mask.


My car is setting personal records. The pandemic has meant fewer long drives, so it has spent a higher percentage of miles on battery. When the trip odometer approached 1000 miles since the last fill-up it became a game. I made it to 1200, then 1500.

I have currently travelled 1707.8 miles on this 7-gallon tank of gas, and I have 1/4 tank left. I’m shooting for 2000 now.


I have been inspired to reduce my social media usage again. (Watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It will scare you.) I’m trying for less drastic/more sustainable this time. I have deleted Twitter and Instagram from my phone. I plan to only access them for short periods from my laptop. Breaking the dopamine cycle, I hope.


On a related note, I can totally ignore the media for the next month because I VOTED TODAY! Take that, Donald Trump. No fraud here; just a citizen exercising my most fundamental right.


These truly are Random Musings tonight. Look for shorter, more frequent updates if I can stay away from Twitter. As for the news, I’ll be down in the garage building things instead.


Addenda:

Kiddo got her driver’s license this week, and I decided to donate the Volvo to charity. I REALLY should write more often.

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