Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hoops& Dolts

This isn't one of those attention grabbing techniques, you know,  where someone says, Oh, please look at me. I'm so ...( insert proper adjective for terminal dumbness) Puleeze, won't you tell me I'm not so incompetent . I want you to make me feel better by telling me I'm not a dolt.  Throw in a few compliments by the way because I've thrown in a long thin 6 lb test line to fish for consoling words.  Really. I'm not doing that. This is merely a description of events, since I've been away so long. I need this.It's a form of therapy for me.

I'm fending off  Salvatore Pucci, the cat who wants to make a flying leap from floor to desk top and then to my monitor where he can gaze al-Qaddafi-like on the world below. Pushing him off my lap for unnecessary squirming, he curls up like a dog at my feet. Then he squirrels his way to the left of the keyboard.  It is essential  that he alert me to several important things. 1. I am your best buddy. 2. I am really photogenic lying there on the butcher board desk top. and 3. By touching my left hand with his paw , I want you to acknowledge my grunt, nuzzle and long groan and allow me to perch on the computer.  If this doesn't work, I'll make it really difficult for you to write with your left hand.

He's made the rounds outside.  He's mooched additional food besides his usual fare of  raw chicken liver
( 1/2 portion-he's a on a diet) and crunchy dry cat food.  He's supplemented his diet with a fresh caught deer mouse which he either imported into the house or discovered in the back of the pet food cabinet in the kitchen.  After perfunctory growls and hisses, he's relieved of the mouse which is in that semi-limp, comatose posture all captured mice assume as a life saving technique.  Knowing full well that said mouse will suddenly spring to life and run into the deep reaches of the Christmas wrap remnants/paper towel cubby hole under the stairs, I risk a scratched hand and take the mouse to the garage.  In the garage I take the smallest ball peen hammer and render the mouse really done-dead but not smushed all over my work bench. Then I can deposit the critter in the lined waste basket to ripen until dump day.

Prior to El Gatto's escapades, I decide enough is enough. My seven year old dinosaur of a digital camera I'll toss on a growing pile of ink-jet printers and a 20 year old DVD player strewn on the office floor. I'll install the software from Dawn's new digital camera and add some of the fifty odd pictures she's taken  since Christmas last.  To accomplish this I must first add a cable to connect camera and computer via the tower USB port.  I have an existing cable from my dysfunctional Canon digital.  I assume that nothing is ever standard, therefore I must disconnect old cable and reconnect new cable.  It's dark at the rear of the computer tower resting on my butcher block desk top.  In the entryway I keep a flash light for my evening walk with the dog. 

Short pause here to move a flicking cat tail from keyboard and to push a furry paw further away from the CAPS LOCK key.

I undo the twist tie around the new cable, unravel it, unplug old cable, lay new cable next to old cable and disconnect several plugs at the rear of the tower to access the same port.  God help me if I connect the camera to a port designed solely as  "video out"  and fry Dawn's camera innards.  This is child's play to even Mountain Man Johann whose sole form of entertainment during his youth was gazing up at a light bulb on the ceiling after the REA came through and electrified farmhouses.  Not so for me.  I have bi-focals.

To see clearly with bi-focals one must tilt one's head back so that anyone standing next to you can see your nose hairs. A passer-by would assume there is something wrong by the sneer like expression on your face.  I by pass the nose hairs and sneer and remove my glasses to press my face in the maze of wires.  Making sure that the plug is inserted correctly with the flat plastic inside part of the plug matching the rectangular slot, I connect the cable.  Wow. I did it.

I insert installation software software in the tower. It whirls and hums.  I'm half way to Nirvana with fright, fear and fulfillment. I look at the cable I've installed.  It's not possible that my hands were that dirty to smudge the white wire cable.  Ah, shucks.  I installed the cable that was originally there by mistake, leaving the new bright white new cable lying on the desk top. Crap.

Comparing old cable end and new cable end, I discover they are exactly the same.  I twist tie the new cable carefully to disguise the fact that I've taken it out of the box.  I'll return the software .  Dawn will never know I've been tinkering with her camera or software.
Now for the big one.

I bypass the new Yahoo front page and go directly to blogger.  Since the last time I've added a post to my blog, there have been changes to the blogger network.  It will not let me access my account. I don't remember my password.  Seven hoops later and a lucky guess and I'm back home.  Seven roads to home is more than a co-incidental name to the blog.

I luxuriate in the minutes and hours.  The past few weeks have been a frenzy of catch up and clean up.  Days and weeks of dry, warm, fall weather allow me to complete most of the painting, some of the farm work and even a few hours in clearing my south property line for the dolt who's fencing the cornfield behind us.  Mid-afternoon it begins to rain. Hard rain. River flooding rain.  The water that gushes down Kickapoo Center Lane is stained with leaf tannin. I've mulched most of the fallen leaves into fine particles that I  spread around the compost pile to keep my red worms from freezing in below zero weather.  Shirofumi organic edible podded soybeans are dry in their cardboard boxes on a table in the garage. I shell one box, of pods which yields over a pound of soybeans.  At $18.50/lb. of seed I'm hearing cash register bells when I look at the harvest.

I shell beans while listening to NPR.  I learn that before Columbus, there were no earthworms in America.I listen to the guest speaker tell that white laborers imported from Europe died of yellow fever or malaria. One third of the population of Philadelphia in Benjamin Franklin's day died from yellow fever.  African blacks had an immunity to the diseases. I listen to a man describe the process of naming a product. Swifter, Google, Kleenex are a few clever examples.Oh I am getting smarter by the minute.

Mandy, the dog pictured above, with what appears to be a banana in her mouth is sleeping on her chair in the living room.  I've become an expert in baking exquisite dog treats which I smear Amoxicillin to ward off the effects of lyme disease.  With a face like that how can I resist a slurp across the face as she jumps on the bed at dawn to show me I number one in her book.

Darn. the sun is peeking out from this morning's fog and haze.  Back to work.

No comments: