Sunday, April 29, 2018


Dregs of winter, winter snows final days and barring any unforeseen event, the weather worm has turned in New England. 

This past weekend was heaven. Bright sunshine and warmth. Small snow patches hang on in the shade. The snow melts and leaves in its passing moisture for life to grow. A gift in the end from all the discomfort it can cause while it owns the season. All things should go and give back in passing as snow does. 



A close friend, along with a few fellows of similar interest, were again weekending in the woods. They enjoy the hike in and finding a place to set up camp. Some land navigation was taught and practiced. Water is never carried in on these outings as finding and purifying water for the needs of two days is part of working skill sets. 

I check form halfway across the state on the HAM radio via a common repeater they can "hit" from deep in the woods and I can "hit" from the home base station. Practice for each of us just making contact. 

These are younger folks by my measure. I would so enjoy these outings, but those days have passed. I am happy they still let this old man play in their games.

They listened to Ruffed Grouse Drumming and howling coyotes through most of the night. Another skill set, learning to cope with during night time in the woods. 

Fisher cats roam often past our house in and their scream in the middle of the night sounds like an old lady screaming for her life. It will bring you straight up and out of bed the first time a near by fisher cat screams. Add some coyotes and drumming grouse and me thinks out-dooring at night will take some getting use to.

An example of overnight accommodations among the first chores after arriving. Much more fun in the set-up when perfect spring weather is at hand. 

How to escape and evade a tracker.



A quick early morning flight and a little late for the moment the morning sun breaks the horizon. More important for me is getting the drone back in the air and gone from the point of take off. Photo taken at max altitude and away from my location. Only reference is the lap top screen. Very hard for my learning curve to take off out of sight and sound and trust the drone and computer screen. Most rewarding is following the path "home" and descending straight down to the take off point. The buzzing of the rotor blades sets me at ease and around 100' or so visual pick up means a successful outing. Visual at 400' almost impossible. The drone actually disappears in the sky and at best, flight movement might pick up its location. Even then, blink and it is gone.  


Practicing what son has taught me has made all the difference. He will take off and be gone and out of sight in a heart beat. He trusts the whole experience and has easily adapted and learned. A few more times flying away out of sight, from my take off location, ought to improve my self confidence.



A series of videos of one young man completely framing a home alone. Being young and loving the work you do is refreshing. I admire this guy.



I doubt that anyone looks at me and thinks or says that I do not look nor behave old. Most days I have the grandpa walk and grunt too many "ohhhs and awghhhs" from the simplest of comings and goings. My mind still says run, go, jump, bend, stay up late, twist and turn. The body parts are much more stubborn than in previous years and these days win out over the wants of the mind.  

I laugh out loud when I see a younger person bend to the ground with ease, crawl around on their hands and knees, move effortlessly through a moment or pick up and deliver a heavy object from one place to another. They give it no thought. I never did because it would always be that way. Being old and slow was for other people, old people. 

My wife and son often look at me and say "stand up." So I straighten up, shake out the cob webs and walk taller. I think some of the old man walking now has become habit, a bad habit. Much of a day progresses according to the quality of a nights sleep. There are days I feel like I am 60 again and then days I think I am 90+. A crap shoot.

smile when I wonder where and when the years have gone.



I miss teaching the high school-aged kids. They were always a hoot and I enjoyed their company. Even the meatheads. The meatheads were most often my favorite. No fear of life in the open and talking of all things in general. They kept me on my toes and I learned as much from them as I hoped they learned from me. There were no snow flakes in the olden days of my teaching career.

I had the opportunity last weekend to co-teach a small ROTC Cadre some basic hand gun safety and skill sets. Each instructor had three cadets in age from 18 to 27. First time ever, teaching a group of folks basic handgun skills, where we ran out of ammunition. Over 3000 rounds and they could have done 6000 had we brought the ammo.

All but one had some experience with a small caliber hand gun or rifle. One had never held nor shot a pistol before. Experience has taught me/us that the folks who come to learning to shoot with little or no back ground, quite often shine the brightest in his/her learning curve and exhibit personal pleasure in the whole experience. 

They all took to the safety lessons basic shooting skill sets quickly and easily. We were able to fine-tune some of their techniques improving their consistency on paper. Young hands and fingers quickly acquired basic repeatable skill sets at loading, making ready, shooting, making/demonstrating their pistol safe and working in "hot" and "cold" range conditions.  

As much fun as it was for me to see their improvements with the course of instruction, the interactions with these youngsters warmed the cockles of my heart. 

For the record, all is not lost on the youth of this country. They show respect, can carry on a conversation, take instruction, have/demonstrate humor, can take and give a joke and will be as serious as a heart attack if called upon. 



Big week past of NK and SK peace talks. Will be historic in our life time if this is, at face value, what is actually taking place. Photo ops, quick blurbs in the news and everyone has an opinion. But you know too that these days are wrought with head fakes and misdirection's. I want all of this to be true and for the good those nations and for the good of world relations/interactions. But to see KJU go from raving mad lunatic to back-slapping pals with old enemies gives me pause. Maybe he was presented with a "come to Jesus moment" that he was able to understand and act on.  Historically though, a breaking story is not what it was two weeks after it broke. Pesky facts and all of that. 

As a side note, I find the gall of some of these news outlets, that give me just two sentences, a photo and then ask me to subscribe for the rest of the story as I do research. I ask the computer screen, using jargon not shareable here and ending in "seriously." I explain to the computer screen that I do not have to join or give up personal information to get any story today. All I have to do is scroll down or query differently to find more options (11,600,000 for example). So screw!! I digress.


Home made zucchini relish today followed with a hot water bath. Maybe dozen jars or so. We have been out for 6 months. Hot dogs and hamburgers have not been all they can be. We are talking of more canning this season rather than working larger gardens. Zucchini are currently the cheapest they will be all season. 

I want to grow more flowers this summer. Is this some kind of sign?

Crowds? Check! Heads up? Check! Bug Out Bags Updated? Checking!

Appreciate your visit? Check! 

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