Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A misty Wednesday

I am usually not very productive on rainy days so I count it as a victory if I do ANYTHING.

Quicksilver and I made a trip to the lumber-yard and I bought four U-bolts and a 1"-by-3" furring strip. A little bit of careful measuring and I was able to replace one of the broken rungs on the bottom of a dining-room chair. It looks "rustic" but I hid it on the far end of the table. At least now it is not a booby-trap.

I broke a fitting on a hose today. And I had the parts in-stock to fix it.

I finally bit-the-bullet and purchased a set of brackets to turn 2"-by-10" planks into ramps for equipment. I had a set and somebody borrowed ONE of them and never returned it. I assume it was one of Kubota's dirt-bike riding buddies. I hurt to spend $40 for two brackets when I only needed one but the single ramp was almost useless.

I remember this toy as being much larger and much louder.

A couple of toys showed up for Quicksilver. One of them is a "popcorn" push-toy. It required assembly.

Finally, I trouble-shot an intermittent squeal in our furnace. The housing of the squirrel-cage fan was shaking and it is rubbing against the wall of the plenum. Rust-on-rust plus movement equals squawking. I will probably resort to expanding polyurethane foam to immobilize the two parts.

Many noises can be fixed by separating parts so they never contact each other or securing them together so they never have relative motion.

Regarding the most recent fiction

Blaise, the character, felt compelled to do something that is stupid unless circumstances are extremely dire.

He leaves all of his support structure. He leaves the area-of-operation he knows most intimately. He goes to a place where he is an outsider and throws himself on the mercy of strangers.

But they are not just any strangers. They are at least as paranoid as he is. That suggests that either they are mentally ill or that they have a dark history and might have ghosts stalking them.

And from the standpoint of the strangers; if they are paranoid then they know they created a huge risk by welcoming this stranger who blew in out of nowhere. What motives could they have? What would they be willing to do if Blaise turns out to be a spy or a blabber-mouth?

Hitting the silk should be an option that you consider when all other options look like dead-ends. The chances of getting lucky are extremely remote, especially if things go sideways and there are many refugees competing for very few spots in life-boats. You will be competing against others who can make claims of kinship, former associations or special skills. 

The fact that Blaise did not run into these in the story is only because he was hyper-sensitive and one of the very first to bolt.


  1. Think of it like this, you're prepared for when one of the loading brackets goes missing now! (Provided you can find the extra).

  2. "probably resort to expanding polyurethane foam"
    My pessimistic side imagines that would end up sounding like a styrofoam cooler squeaking away.

    The problem might be that a rubber shock mount has died and let the housing shift out of place.

  3. What do yu mean "Hitting the Silk"? In the UK, a silk is a lawyer/barrister, so it can't be that!,
    Thanks for all the articles/stories
    Ian J

    1. The reference originated in WWII with pilots bailing out of aircraft. Parachutes were originally made of silk.

      Leaving a functioning aircraft via jumping out of it is inherently a dangerous activity, especially in those days. It was only done if a high-speed impact between the plane and the ground was imminent.

  4. Omigawd, the sight of that 'popcorn popping toy' gave me an involuntary shudder. My son (now adult) used to loooove running that toy on the floor, drove me bat crap crazy. So glad when he got over it.

    That device was designed by the Debo his self.

  5. I also sense Blain as anti anti. I feel a anti would try to hide in his own kind of tribe. Using others to cover his butt. Woody


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