Good Things in Life

Open Culture, a web site and mailing list that talks about free (as in beer) things in life. Like books, education resources, stuff like that. They recently talked about “tending your garden.” This comes from Candide. You know, the one with Doctor Pangloss who goes on and on about how we live in the best of all possible worlds. In view of that, I thought I would talk about some of the wonderful things around us. About the good things found in these times.

Traffic, Have you noticed? You pull up to a place where you want to make a left-hand turn. You used to wait. And wait. Perhaps long enough to consider making a right and going a different route. Not anymore. Now you pull up. Traffic to the right is waiting at a light. Traffic at the left has not arrived yet. It is time to go. And go you do.

Driving. With the smoke, we didn’t do much driving. I just got back from filling the car. “Is five gallons right?” “Yep, that is.” Five gallons for the month. Because the last time I filled it up was on August 28. And that was in Salen, about 55 miles away. And we went down to visit my mother-in-law as part of the usage. Actually, that was five and a half gallons. For a month. If you are about to retire you can enjoy some of that not spending on gas.

Food at home. No mistakes here – we love to eat out. But not so much anymore. There just is not any places to eat out anymore. So we cook at home. Fortunately, we both cook well so we have been eating well. We also live close to Bob’s Red Mill. Bob’s is a place where they mill flour. They are world-class winners for their oatmeal. But they also have seitan, high gluten flour, cornmeal, polenta, pea flour, garbanzo flour, and a wide range of other foodstuffs to experiment with. Which we have and are enjoying.

I cannot remember the other things that are, have been good. it is a running cup overflowing for us.

— MichelRpdx :: h3k


When you believe in things you don’t understand you suffer.

~ Stevie Wonder, Superstition

Oh man, memories are flooding back. I lived in Albuquerque for five years, 85 to 90, and the description of #8 breakfast burrito…aaahhhaay what wonderfulness. I had plenty of them. Mostly at the Frontier across from UNM. They were close to where I lived at the time. I would also get a freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. It is good to hear they are still there. Thanks Joe.

Watch the debate? Nah, I don’t think so. I’ll wait for the highlight reels.

We have been watching, on Netflix, a Swedish drama. Rebecka Martinsson. It is something like a cross between an American cop show and an Australia one. In the American ones there are guns being pulled out all the time. In the Australian ones, it is rare. Maybe one: time in an eight-episode series. They just don’t go to guns to solve problems. But holy cats! They have people committing themselves to an asylum, as one example, to people getting personal. OK, second example. They have a bunch of people being open with their sexual lives including affairs at work. Not a whisper of harassment. It is, if you are OK with subtitles, a great thing to watch.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

I Am A Diamond

Because, from Ilkley was a warming lesson in how our society works and how people take care of each other.

I became a Diamond today. Now I can concentrate on learning languages without the distraction of achievement. Diamond is the highest, so far, level of achievement in weekly learning. Spend enough time studying and you will float to the top of the pile. I am not sure it means anything besides a measure of studying a lot. There is the building up a habit. Get enough habits and you spend time learning. That is good. It helps that I have a nephew studying French and my wife re-learning Norwegian. I had to take their languages at the same time. This is in addition to my Spanish and Latin. So far I only use the Latin word in French and that kind of thing not too often. But I do note a lessening in trying to translate from one language to English. Instead, I am just going for the underlying concept and the emotions it in the language of choice. It gets a bit confusing when I am needing to dive into English.

It is a tiring day. Have a good one to all.

And I think I need to pay attention to what I am doing here. Making sure spaces are inserted. That spelling is correct, or at least close. Sorry about that to all y’all.

—~ MichaelRpdx :: h3k

Buying A House?

I have known Kent Peterson since 2003, wait that is not right. Well, maybe it is. In any case, about two decades ago I sent an email to Kent asking him about randoneuring (is that spelled right? I asked that in the first letter I sent to him back then. I had a Bike Friday and he had ridden a Bike Friday in Paris-Brest-Paris. Maybe he could give me some advice. “Figure out the food thing,” was one of these first pieces of advice. One of the many pieces that I would not follow. I had a stomach of iron. I ate everything. That would not be a problem for me. I did have problems with eating. I had lots of problems. Kent never did give up on me. And we have stayed in touch over the years. Not always on the subject of bicycling. At one time he told me about why he didn’t like and would not buy a house. I will leave it to him to explain. He continued to continue to rent houses. He seems to get lucky with landlords. The one he has now is a wonderful guy. He even mows the lawn for him.

So this morning I read with disbelief (he doesn’t believe in buying a house) then surprise (he is buying a house?) shock (he IS BUYING a house) after eight hours I wrote to him “I’m still stunned.” And in some ways I still am. But I know Kent and Christine go through things carefully. This is a well thought out move. Back to an area where he went to college, in Duluth, right across some water. Where he met Christene. Where he has sisters and nieces and nephews. And I’m sure there are other things that they about the area that we will find out about from them. While I cannot go down and have lunch or go for coffee and then walk to Tsunami Books (boy are they going to miss him!) I know we will continue to hear from him via this venue. I wish them the best of luck.

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In other news, I read today that one of three Americans eat fast food daily. One in three daily. My capacity for surprise is exhausted. But one in three daily of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and all that crap I might eat once a month, and that is Burgerville. Burgerville for those of you not from the Pacific Northwest, it is what you can expect only with seasonal specials, Sweet Onion Rings, fresh fruit in season, make that shakes with fresh fruit. Fortunately, I can go to a taco truck. That is the closest I get to the daily fix.

— MicahelRpdx :: h3k

Scars and Chuck Palahniuk

Yesterday Dave used a quote about how good a fight can be. He attributed it to Eric Berne. Maybe. I could not find it. For that matter, the repositories I checked on didn’t quote Berne on fights at all. But it sure is a familiar saying. But I could not find it anywhere. Perhaps because people are shy about quoting fuck. Hopefully one of you (Kent?) can find it so I can attribute it properly.

I did find some great saying while looking for the quote. My favorites of the day are from Chuck Palahniuk, the guy who wrote Fight Club.

“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” That is a great reminder about your life and what you spend time doing, or not doing, minute by minute. I have certainly squandered too many minutes. How many of you have avowed FaceBook? I had given it up (? given it up?) I had quit after an enforced time without it. It took months for me to need to be in touch with cousins, long lost friends, and all the other people you don’t seem to be able to find elsewhere. If you have spent time on FB, you know what I mean. If you have not, keep it up.

My more interest was his statement, “I don’t want to die without any scars.” Do you have any? I do not share with Chuck the need to get scars before dying. I have 18 or 20 scars. It is neck and neck between medical and just plain fun. Right now the medical count is slightly ahead. My wife insisted that I don’t need to add to the collection. The years from 1977 through 2003 or 2004 were pretty intact with no scars added to the collection then. I would make a terrible criminal. Too many scars to identify me. Don’t get me started on tattoos. I collected a bunch from medical people who felt they had to map out everything they had planned.

Yes, I have plenty of identifying marks. Plenty enough.

—- MichaelRpdx :: h3k

Introducing Royal KMM

Tomorrow is here today. And as I wrote, typed yesterday, tomorrow is here and so is my newest typewriter, a Royal KMM. It is a beast of typewriter with an extra wide platen 14″ and it weighs too much for me to lift off the table like I can and do with a typewriter like the rest of mine, all portable. This one is not portable. It needs a place to live. Which, temporarily, is a wire frame thing a what is the word? a thing you store things on in bakeries? Yea, one of them. It is more portable with the typewriter on it, thanks to weels. In the platen I found this note:

Royal KMM from 1940 snKMM14-2569109 The strike bar issue was resolved by Matt at ACE Typewriter. It needs a few score of pages typed on it to clean up the key works.

Matt had also mentioned it was used in a TV place or a broadcast place. The platen had been replaced shortly before it was retired in favor of paperless offices like we Know oh so well today. In truth I took it home, Tyred what you have read above and nothing. This page is the most it has received since I brought it home. This beast needs a table. What shall I use? More on that quandry later. For now, wow! It is great to tyre on. That Hermes has some competition for favorite machine!

~ MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

Typewriters Tomorrow

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will introduce you to my fourth typewriter. So far you have seen the Hermes 3000, this one. My favorite. I fell for it when I saw the black and red indicators of the margins. I thought “if they did that, there is some engineering lurking inside. And there is. You encountered, briefly, the Hermes Baby. A machine that came to the USA from Venezuela in a pizza box. It came to a friend with too many typewriters who deemed me as someone to give it to. I was a lucky guy. Still am for that matter. The third I picked up for not much money. It belonged to a student who was going to Salt Lake City. It needed a couple screws. After they were put in the Olympia SM5 was ready. I’m not sure what it is ready for, but it waits patiently. But Tomorrow. Tomorrow as I have stated here will bring in my fourth typewriter. I happily bought it at SCRAP. SCRAP is a place with odds and ends, mostly for scraping, scrapingbook, no Scrapebooking. Yes, scrapebooking. (Is that the right spelling?) They have lots of that kind of stuff. I walked in one day and, like the Hermes 3000, it was smitten or I with it. I will tell you about it with it. Tomorrow.

There are always tomorrows.

-— MichaelRpdx ::h3k

P.S., in the question of what to do with all the thinks/things that you accumulate. Remember Pepeysy! Who knows what people will find interesting a couple of decades or centuries from now. At least with typewritten pages, you don’t have to worry about legibility. And, most of all, keep them for yourself. You will be amazed by what you have recorded. And you will remember more with each reading.


Happy Equinox!

Today is the day we switch from days of light to “the days of darkness.” Yeah well, you can ignore it for a few weeks, You can still head for home during the light, perhaps even sunny, days of evenings that tease us. But make no error each day is shorter than its predecessor. Let us hope for an Indian Summer so we have one last hurrah.

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For the first time since February 27, yes 2020, I made it out into a day of just going out to have some entertainment. It was not a day of grocery shopping, not a day of a haircut, not a day of hauling stuff to the dump or Goodwill, it was not a day of anything that involved doing something that needed doing. I just got out. In this case I drove to north Portland to drop into a typewriter store, Ace Typewriter and Machine,

I was hoping for a machine with a Spanish or European keyboard. They didn’t have one but will watch for one for me. I did pick up a copy of ACE TYPEWRITER Book of Brief Piction. And then on to “downtown” St John’s. There was an exhibit of Bobby Abrahamson’s “North Portland Polaroids”. In a park, there were nearly 500 prints hanging from trees. All of them were of people who agreed to being subjects of portraits. The photos were 4×5 polaroid instant images. This type of image produces a positive and a negative. The subject gets a copy of the photo, Bobby keeps the negative. Great photos. I spent a couple of hours in the area and headed home.
What a day it was. Over six months of not getting out.

Three Books

I am reading three books at the same time. Because, they each feature short bits. Backspaces Typewritten Tales of Time Travel, either you know of this book or I won’t spoil it for you. Perhaps some commentary later.

Getting Right with TAO from Ron Hogan. Most of the entries are half pages. But they all deserve time to reflect on them because to just read it, to know what the words mean without considering the meaning of the words, (is that making sense?) without reflecting on then, is like not reading it at all.

My Private Property, Mary Ruefle, is a poetic book. I am about halfway through it, and I am on the chapter with its title, um well err, The chapter is “My Private Property”. It sets the stage be describing Kon-Tiki (a 1947 story of a raft full of men who floated from Peru to a south seas island to prove it was possible) and its relation of head shrunken heads on page 62. How precise! It then goes on the long, for this book, chapter on shrunken heads and how the author fell in love with one. (I think.)

Yes, that is my fascination of the week.

* * *

I must take a chance to thank all of you for your writings. They have made me a better reader. Thank you.

~ MichaelRpdx :: h3k