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Pooh Corner

“Oh, bother!” said Pooh, as he chambered his last round

Not exactly the Christmas spirit with it being exactly 2 weeks from today.

Oh Well!  If  there is a thousand yard stare associated with oil field gate guards,  Miss Kathy and I are definitely suffering.   Too long without a single day off and every day we feel like there is just a little less gas in the tank.   We know this hole is finally winding down and we just wonder if they are going to keep us around for the frac which is scheduled for right after Christmas.

Sounds like we are in the doldrums doesn’t it?  Well, yeah, it is sorta like that.  Things need to be done that can only occur if both of us are available to participate and that list seems to grow every week.  Things like cleaning out the storage shed in Terlingua, getting the car out of storage, an inspection sticker on the Old Girl that is a year out of date…..

Oil Field Optometry Center

I finally ran out of glasses to wear.  The newest pair that was supposed to be virtually indestructible snapped at the nose piece just past the 2 year warranty date.  Well, what do you expect from a pair of $400 frames Old Dude?  2 years?  Come on, that ain’t too bad now is it.   I mean, after all,  they were 2 weeks past the warranty date. Do you really expect us to honor a warranty issue that has expired?  %##$&!     80 per center sumbitches!  Well, since I cannot admire what an absolutely stunning woman Miss K is or appreciate what a lovely and talented animal Tuco the Dog is without my spectacles; something had to give.  I did some studyin’ on the subject.  For light work like this, I just usually open the junk drawer and stare at it until I have that Big Brain moment.

In this case, it involved an electrical butt connector and JB Weld.  I took one of those connectors — you know the kind.  They are covered with colored hard plastic with a metal tube on the inside.   You stick the wire that has a little nekkid strip on it into each end and then mash it down tight.   So anyway, I  went through the different size connectors until I found one that was just a skoosh bigger that the nose pieces on the glasses.  It was a blue one BTW.  I cut the hard plastic off and filled that rascal up with some JB Weld and stuffed the broken ends into the tube.  It takes a while for that JB Weld to set up so I made some eye ball adjustments here and there and went to bed.   Next morning, I made some adjustments to the frame with the needle nose pliers so they didn’t set all whompsided on my face.  Took a dark Sharpie and colored that shiny metal to match the frames and voila!

Now who is to say how long this jury rigged deal is going to last?  Plan B is just to tie some paracord to one lens and wear it like a monocle.   I figure I will cover up the other eye with a patch.    I used to have business cards that said I was a part time pirate anyway.   I figure everybody will get used to it after a day or two at any rate.

Nitro-Pak entrees

Got another order in from Nitro-Pak.com this week. Just a general assortment of pouched entrees I had not tried.  One of the ones I was especially interested in was the Chicken breast with rib meat and mashed potatoes pouch.  At around $7 for a two serving pouch it is the most expensive pouched entree Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food offers. One of the things that gets me about the freeze dried foods is the texture and the uniform little pieces everything seems to be made of. It is hard to tell a shrimps from a potato when they are the same size little cube.

Banty hen breasts laying on a pack of freeze dried mashed potatoes

I guess the chicken breast entree is expensive because you actually get a chicken breast whole in the pouch.  Maybe it would be better to say you actually get a banty hen breast because it wasn’t that much bigger than a hockey puck and a half. I looked for some of that rib meat too. I reckon they might have given some other fella my rib meat ’cause I couldn’t find hide nor hair of it.  All in all it was edible and I am not complaining because I was not  expecting Paul Prudhomme but still yet…..   I guess I was expecting more because all of the other entrees have been just damned good and this one– not so much.  I  reckon as well that you could attribute part of my disappointment to general state of mind (see above.)  Just file this one under grouchy old bastard gripes and move along.

Oxygen pack

One last thing about the Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food and we will get on to something else.  Every entree pouch has what they call an oxygen pack in it.  This pack is to absorb oxygen and keep the product fresher.  If you are a rocket scientist you would understand all of this. For those of us that are not hardly as smart or maybe the ones that are graduates of our hallowed Public School System they felt it necessary to boldly mark the little pack  DO NOT EAT.  Ok folks, don’t eat this.  Don’t feed it to the dog.  Don’t throw it out the RV door for the Roadrunner.  Lastly, just because it is an oxygen pack don’t think you can breathe underwater if you put it up your nose or anything like that. Just throw it away, okey dokey?

I am really not gonna run out the door into the pucker brush with crazy hair and just a pair of drawers and some old boots on…. it just seems like that.    So do us both a favor and just put the phone down.  You really don’t need to call the State Hospital to come and get me.  I am just not fully engaged right now and nobody knows it better than me  — just ask Miss Kathy.  🙂   One of the things that comes up quite often from people close to me, avid blog followers and occasional drive-by blog commenters is ‘We enjoy the stories. Gives us more stories!’  Hmmmph.   I don’t see the big deal myself but anyway.  I see we are coming up on 150, 000 visitors on the blog and this is not a disingenuous number.  Most blogs have have a little counter dealio on them but don’t be fooled.  That is a number you would get from a used car salesman fella.  Most counters are page views–  Hell, if I was counting page views my counter would be larger than the national debt.  So it is a big deal to me anyway.

So we got the 150, 000th visitor coming up and we got a New Year coming up and I got a birthday coming up and I am thinking what I need to do to keep all my clothes on and stay out of the pucker brush and naturally I thought    — you need to write a story so I guess I will.   A momentous and grandiose story that will rival Michener and London and Hemingway.

Hell yeah, why not??  How hard can it really be to become a household name and get on The View?

See when I see ya good people.  Got some stuff on the back burner of my brain I gotta go tend to.

End Note: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. Re-mastered from the original Volt 45 single.  Pretty much says it for me this cold South Texas morning 2 weeks before Christmas 2012

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9 comments to Pooh Corner

  • Bryan Irwin

    The View, really? Now I know you need a day off.

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  • Joel

    ” . . . maybe the ones that are graduates of our hallowed Public School System . . . ”

    And that would include . . . you.

    heh.

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    • Andrew

      As are you my friend.

      Since you are in a much,much better position to comment knowingly on the subject, advise me on this.

      Assess your general level of knowledge upon entering UTK in what was it, 1974?? VS. the Freshman class you have ca. 2012. We are basically looking at 1.5 generations with our children now being where we were in the 70’s.

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  • Joel

    “As are you my friend.”

    Yep. And as is my lovely and talented wife. And my daughter. And my four sibs. And my parents.

    ” . . . VS. the Freshman class you have ca. 2012.”

    I don’t teach freshmen. I only have limited contact with undergrads, and these are students in the sciences who are interested in research. I mostly teach PhD and MD students. Most of what I know about today’s undergrads are my daughter and her friends. I don’t think they are a representative demographic. The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I know it has become fashionable for folks in our generation to geeze about college students, but I’m not sure it’s fair. The fraction of high school grads who go to college these days is higher. I don’t believe high school grads are way smarter than they were back in the day (when giants roamed the earth), so it’s probably true that the mean level of scholarship and motivation has slipped.

    The fraction of US students in STEM programs has slipped. I was lucky to grow up in the time of the Sputnik panic. Back then, people were willing to see their tax money spent on good schools and excellent research. Now, nobody wants to pay taxes for anything, even decent roads and bridges. The collapse of the Soviet Union was bad for US education. Maybe now that China and India are poised to eat our lunch, we’ll rediscover a national commitment to greatness.

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  • don

    The folks at http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/ have an interesting ad on their site: a free pair of glasses! All you need to do is send a prescription in & there you go. Bet they won’t be $400 specs but probably not JB Weld either.

    I like Joel’s last comment about the challenge of China upping our commitment to greatness. Ain’t holding my breath though.

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  • LJ

    Joel,
    I am one to agree w/ you. Unless we up the ante, to encourage, insist, and cajole our young students to put more sweat equity in their education by demanding educators to push them to better themselves in order to meet the Chinese, and Non-native Indians head-on.

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  • Joel

    @LJ, one of my current PhD students is Chinese. Two of my previous PhD students are Chinese. Both of the previous students are still in the US, contributing to our economy. I expect my current student will also settle in the US.

    I wish there were more American students as good as them.

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  • LJ

    Joel,
    intending to make my point in encouraging good ol’ USA students to look at our Oriental Brethen as examples of ‘nose to the grindstone’ mindset that seems to be the rule rather than exception. I know that extreme competition is introduced to these exceptional students in early childhood and wishing the same was more privelent in our own homeland. I was one of the lazy ones, wishing that my parents had pounded into me, the urgency of education sooner, rather than later so I would not have waited so long to get the ‘spark’.

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