Vacation

iss_msc

My wife and I  got to visit the International Space Station Mission Control Center.   And, since we are both engineers, we were very much enjoying ourselves.

 

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30,000 Pounds of Oranges

Well, not really 30,000 pounds, although it sure does feel like it.

So far, I have removed 642 pounds of oranges from my orange tree.  This is everything I can reach using a 4 foot, 6 foot and 8 foot step ladders AND a fruit picker on a 20 foot pole.  I’m going to guess there are still 200 pounds of unreachable oranges on the tree.

If you haven’t seen an fruit picker before, here is a picture of one from the Ace Hardware site.    fruitpicker

 

Unless I have no choice, I would rather pay a tiny bit more and buy from a local store (Ace Hardware in this case) instead of having to wait a few days for it (whatever “it” might be) to be shipped to me.

Also, it’s nice to be greeted (by name) by a human when I walk into a store instead of being greeted by OMM 0000 when I log into a website.

Back to the juicing operation.

I’ve asked ET (evil twin) if she would like some juice but I haven’t heard back from her yet.   She “hates” oranges, but she likes orange juice (strange “girl”).  Hopefully she has room in her freezer for a few 1/2 gallon jars of juice.

 

By the way, the title is a reference to the Harry Chapin song, 30,000 Pounds of Bananas.    The song is somewhat whimsical.  Not whimsical is the real life incident that inspired this song.  On 18 March, 1965, Gene Sesky was driving a truck carrying 30,000 pounds of bananas to a warehouse in Scranton, Pa.  While descending a short hill, the truck’s brakes failed.  Sixteen people were injured and Mr Sesky was killed.

The newspaper story.

The Clock

When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my father gave me a ships clock.  I have no idea where he got it, but I’ve had it almost 50 years.

The clock indirectly caused some concern to my daughter’s first grade teacher when she was teaching them how read an analog clock.  The teacher asked the kids to draw a clock face showing 6 o’clock.  My daughter drew the clock hands; big hand straight up, little hand pointing to the right.  This was, according to the teacher, wrong.  The teacher then asked the kids to draw a clock face showing 12 o’clock.  My daughter drew the clock hands; big straight hand up, little hand straight down.  This was, according to the teacher, wrong.

By then, my daughter was a bit frustrated and this resulted in a letter coming home for either my wife or I to sign.  The note said something about her irrational insistence that her drawings were correct.

I took the clock off of the wall and the next morning, I brought my daughter (and the clock) to school.  When I showed the teacher, she was surprised.  “I’ve never seen one of these before.” was her comment.  Once I explained the difference between 6pm and 6am on this clock, she went on to say she now understood why my daughter kept asking, “Morning or afternoon” for each clock face, but the teacher still said my daughter’s clock drawings were incorrect.

clock

 

About 5 years ago, the clock stopped working, but I didn’t do anything about it at the time.  As they say, “Even a broken clock is correct sometime.”  In this clock’s case, it was correct once per day.

A few months ago, I finally got tired of the non-working clock and took it to a clock repair shop.  The clock maker had to fabricate several new parts to get it working, but three months later, it’s back home and working perfectly.

I’m sure my dad, if he was still alive, would be glad to know that his gift to his then young son is still cherished.

(Not) Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

A few days ago, we took the dog to the vet to get some growths surgically removed.  The one inside her upper eyelid took about 45 minutes for the vet to remove, while the other four, in various places on her body, each only took a few minutes to remove.

The vet put the Elizabethan Collar on to keep her from licking the wounds and it worked as far as it went.

I had “warned” the vet that our cat would likely help the dog and, sure enough….this picture was taken within five minutes of arriving home.

dog-cat

The vet laughed when I forwarded him the picture and said we should do what we could to “discourage” the cat from his licking.  When we weren’t around (or awake) to supervise the two of them, we had to keep them in separate rooms.

For what it’s worth, “kitty” is almost 19 years old and “doggie” is nearing 12 years of age.  Just in case it’s not obvious, they have been together for almost 12 years.

Just a Few Minutes Ago

Just a few minutes ago, but in 1998, after a somewhat difficult delivery, my wife and I saw our newborn daughter for the first time.

That day ranked as one of the most amazing and joyous days of my life.  Even now, 21 years later, the emotions and memories from that day are just as strong and clear as they were then.

People ask me what I think of her and I reply, “She makes me smile.”  To me that is the highest compliment I can make to her.

21 Years.  Wow

Bugs and Ice

The desert southwest has had morning low temperatures dipping below freezing and is a bit cold for us desert dwellers.  For someone living “up north”, slightly below freezing isn’t that cold, but we aren’t accustomed to cold.  Heat, on the other hand–I’ve been running when it’s 110F/43C and  had lots of company on the trail.

bug

The “bug” was probably 3 inches/7cm long from head to tail and I was kind of surprised to see it out and about.  Desert bugs don’t like the cold either.

If you look closely at the top right area of the image…that’s ice floating atop the water at the spring….at 2pm….

Bugy, it’s cold outside.