New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Be Thankful that You are not dependent on my ability to Concentrate.

Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. ~C S Lewis
Now that congress has made itself a laughing stock around the world maybe they should heed these words. ~T Swaim

I was sitting in at my computer desk and it was pouring rain.  Let me emphasize pouring as there were no individual drops. The cloud ceiling was about 20 feet, lighting was striking all around and out my window (I'm surrounded by windows) what do I spy but a small boat rowing through the yard.  It had been stolen from one of my neighbors and was navigated by the fleas that live in the yard two of which were wearing scuba gear.
Then I woke up. Shaken, I checked my medication to see if I had double dosed. That was OK so I looked around to see if I had lucked on to something else I might not remember. Nothing there.

After pondering the idea that I was nuts I decided, as usual, that I was and it was time to do something really nuts, like go out. So I went to the village of Raceland bearing gifts for the poor and visiting my favorite thrift store's book section.  Books and being among books sooths my fevered brain. I selected seven, equaling about twenty pounds, paid my $2.95 and chatted for a while until the rain dropped to the mere drenching level then it was off to the the next village (Mathews) to buy a Vidalia onion for my bride. I also needed some magnesium to satisfy some insane desire to make white hot fire (maybe I should check my medication again).

While wandering around in the Chinaland outlet store observing the other fat people that were out in this weather I spied these good signs that utilty bikes are hitting the mainstream. I reported this phenomena back in May when I first saw some cheap bikes that were useful for something besides being toys.

I'm happy to say that those Huffy's had been sold and new stock brought in to replace them. I have seen them around town. Now these Chinese Schwinn's with the retro stamp steel racks are on display. For snobs that see these bikes as an abomination, lighten up. Most of those sold will not see a hundred miles in their lifetime and they will last that long. The tires will rot before they show wear meanwhile we have a new bike owner.

New Schwinn named bike. Not a real Schwinn as real Schwinn's were made in the USA

This single speed coaster brake Huffy has a handlebar bag, cup holder and a welded rear rack that extends for larger loads.

I kind of like this black one but I already have a real Schwinn besides I only ride step through frames.

As for the magnesium I found some. Back many years ago (54) I was an apprentice  printer at the El Paso Times. That was back in the olden times when printers actually set type. Our page forms that were the size of a newspaper page were made of magnesium. Shaving off a litte pile and lighting it was frowned upon but we did it anyway. I wonder if Benjamin Franklin did that when he was a printer.
This is a modern flint and steel. It has a steel wheel operated by the thumb lever that rotates against a flint making sparks much like a cigarette lighter. The flints are the kind you put in a Zippo lighter. I've been using this one to light my propane stoves for over 35 years.
This is a block of magnesium.  The shiny part at the bottom is where I took some shavings.
The shavings are piled on the bottom of a wet paper plate.
Nice huh?  Now maybe I'll find something constructive to do.
On the other hand maybe I'll read some more.  I read until I was nearly blind last night but I seem to have recovered.  Some of these I have read before but a good book I will read over after a little time has passed in order to visit with friends I made when I read it first. I am rereading Michener's epic novels simply because there is nothing else like them and I can get completely lost in them.  This is the first time for "Poland" I think.
Although I have seen the movie "The Wizard of Oz" too many times to count I have never read the book. I think it's about time.  The movie came out in my birth year.
"The Watch" has a bicycle on the cover and the first page captured me. "Thoreau" is something I'll read a little of from time to time for inspiration.
"Dragonworld"? What can I say? I love dragons. Good ones, bad ones, fat ones and green ones I love them all and want to be a Dragonrider.  Besides this book is chock full of fantastic line drawings of little people, air ships, boats, wise old talking trees and dragons. What could be wrong with that?
Carl Sagan's "Contact" is a masterpiece and I want to go there again.  "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" I read when I was young then again when I was in my forties. Entirely different meanings the second time. I read them again in my sixties and found yet again that the book had changed. I expect it to be different this time around as well. Maybe it's me that changes and not the book. In any event it is magic.

When I first heard of the "Tea Party" being a grammer school graduate I immediately thought of the "Boston Tea Party" which was done by a bunch of white men that tried to pin it on Native Americans. It turns out they meant the "Mad Hatters Tea Party". ~ T Swaim


Ben in Texas said...

Good luck with Michener's Poland. Of all his books, most of which I have,that one is the most boring,followed closely by Iberia.
Otherwise fine book choices. I'm working on The Source by him as we speak.

Oldfool said...

I agree about Iberia. I may have tried to read Poland before and dropped it for the same reason. I am not going to live enough longer to spend anytime being bored.
Be careful reading "The Source". By the time I had finish it I had renounce Christianity multiple times both vocally and in print. That book literally changed my life at least as I recall. You know how recall is.
It is time to read it again.

Steve A said...

Magnesium. Also used in 747 door thresholds, though I do not recommend you try to set them on fire!

limom said...

Watching "contact" on tv right now!
Book was better but gotta love Jodie Foster.

Von said...

Now there's a collection!!! I'd go for the Thoreau every time!

frann said...

As a machinist in 1970 I learned to run everything as I ran all the magnesium parts as I was the only one in the building who didn't smoke.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. You appear to have a promiscuous taste in reading material. Maybe you're similar to me in that if there's a few minutes with nothing going on and no book close at hand whatever a panic attack is tries to define itself.

That Chinese bike thing's fairly interesting. Those wheels ought to serve well for a Bedinni Monopole generator contraption if the bearings are any count. The plastic might be a better alternative worth experimenting with instead of anything attracts a magnet.

Enjoyed reading your post. Thanks.

Old Jules said...

Sorry I can't edit that post.. I intended to ramble on about some of the books but I see I rambled about other things instead.

Thanks again for a good morning read.