The Useful Duck!

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Friday, December 5, 2014

An eventful week

The afore mentioned Events explained in detail.

Christmas is on the way...
The nose is lit on the White Stag sign. I wonder if China will buy the White Stag label and start selling toxic sleeping bags in the USA...

1. Cousin fell over dead after Thanksgiving dinner. Went out in the backyard and died. While he was in the hospital being shocked and it not working, his dog went out in the backyard and died...
Three months ago, my Uncle (the expired cousin's father) was in his backyard and died. I can make patterns of events... Stay out of the backyard!!! We don't have a backyard, we have two front yards as we have never decided which door is the front door. Both cousin and uncle had been to the Dr. recently. Cousin just had a stress test two days before dying. I wonder if he will still have to pay for the test, it was obviously wrong... wonder what happened to the poor guy that got the cousin's results by mistake?
Funeral was kind of amazing. If you didn't get there by noon it was standing room only. There was some commentary by the grumps that the preacher didn't really need to save everyone's soul and could have cut it off a few minute sooner.
My opinion...
My cousin one of those people who didn't have a lot of self doubt. He took his training from our gruff old ancestors very seriously. This can drive one crazy if you live and work in close contact with someone who is always right. However, the reason he was always right is that if he was interested in something he would completely study it out until he had it in his head. He was totally "by the book."
Here is an example of our conflict.
I was installing an automatic fertilizer rate controller on my grain drill. I knew nothing about sprayer pumps and how to plumb them. So, I asked my cousin. BUT.... I needed to do it just a little different from a crop sprayer.
He gave me an hour discussion and explanation of sprayer systems and got me so confused it took me days to sort it out again. This was because I wanted to do something he had not studied out and didn't think could be done...
BUT, after I did it he was impressed and then thought that I WAS A SPRAYER EXPERT and started asking me questions. I was and am not a sprayer expert, I just...oh it is too complicated to explain.
So... while some of us with strong opinions would be frustrated, there were many people in the community who needed his leadershi,p and his strong opinions it was pretty touching to hear how he helped people who really needed a strong father figure in their lives.
The lesson here is to do everything and live every day to the best of your knowledge and ability. And learn to make decisions without self doubt and introspection...
There were many people to talk with after the funeral. I missed the best desserts. I also talked to my cousin who is a successful journalist (unlike myself). To read his blog click here.
To see his other accomplishments, click here.

2. My daughter bought herself a Samung Galaxy 5s. It is really amazing. I'm ready to switch. I'm not a switcher, but each time it gets easier. Changing from Minneapolis-Moline to White was tough, changing churches is/was/will be traumatic, but switching from Mac to anything but Commodore will be the worst, other than buying a Chevy... I'm thinking about a Surface tablet...

3. I was going to buy a Ford F250 diesel made before 1996 but then.... shall we move to issue number four...

4. Six loads of have been rejected due to random spots of mold. If anyone needs a couple bales of hay, I've got them. One bale per load will screw you. The hay market is crazy. It is either over $200 a ton or you are giving it away.

5. My wife's sister is in the hospital getting her knees repaired. They said it was like she was walking around with a broken leg for a couple years. My wife helped her sister and bro-in-law navigate the warren of small roads and confusing corridors at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

6. Lulu and I went to Portland to get her last night. I hate Portland. I used to like it. The rain and the lights and the annoying people and the stupid protestors. The protestors really frustrate me as they make traffic worse. Plus there is never a clear cut right and wrong. New York was police brutality, the Mo thing was the punk kid's own fault... I dislike snotty-nosed punk protestors, aging liberals, black thugs, police officers, and Portland in general. Perhaps I should be more positive. I do like the Zoo train, and OMSI!

We gave up on traffic and attempted to have Chinese food. House of Louie was closed. So, we went to Portland's oldest and "worst," The Republic Cafe.

We did not have the Orange Chicken. I think that is what you are supposed to have. We had Szechuan Beef and House Lo Mien, and an appetizer of Potstickers and spring rolls. It was a lot of food.
I am happy to say that the epic wallpaper is still there, but the place no longer smells like urinal cakes. This is a good thing...
The person on the left doesn't like to be pictured in my blog.( I don't blame her.)

Afterwards we watched a multimedia installation on an old building which showed it's history though backlighting on the windows. It was nice. The fellow who designed it stood behind me. I didn't talk to him. It was cold and raining.

I refrained from pointing out the humor that could be had from standing outside CC Slaughter's for 12 minutes. Lulu didn't seem to notice.

I have now wasted the best hours of the day and need to go work, in the drizzling rain. I did not feel lightning, the dominique hen was eaten by a hawk yesterday, I hate gin, and if I were to be caught with a "Rose of a different name" it would be trouble in paradise. And, Someone used all the cane sugar in their coffee yesterday...
Have a nice day...


  1. Checked out your cousin's blog. The puncuation looked okay and the author seemed to behave respectably. What's the point in that?

  2. Dad used to take us to Hung Far Low. I understand that they restored the sign, as it is a landmark, but it is no longer a Chinese restaurant. I haven't been by there in a while. Maybe it is CC Slaughter's competition?
    I try to stay clear of Portland.

    1. My wife says his mother and father used to go to Hung Far Low when they were dating.

  3. dude, stay out of the back yard. the dog thing was very weird. i've been to two different funerals in the last week. they didnt have any desserts. i'm very sorry for your loss. :-(

    1. Having pie at a funeral really tempers the bitter sting of losing a loved one.

  4. I also checked out your cousin's blog. I like architecture but I found the blog a bit structured and methodical. It's possible that he does not keep extra hose clamps, zip ties or duct tape handy. The first post was about Maya Lin. It was respectful that her first work was not mentioned. During my 27-year gig I parked about 75 yards from one of her projects that was an interesting flowing water wall. Every morning I would glance at it and think about walking closer. One day they put a billboard up in front of it. So much for art.

    Just now I walked through the ice and snow into the back yard to get a load of firewood. Glancing up at the moon there was the passing thought that going into the back yard might be the last thing I did but that did not seem all that bad.

    The building art installation looked very interesting.

    Tablets are not high on my list. They are nice for some things but it seems that a real qwerty keyboard is essential complex ideas or creative work that is more your own than something lifted by or conceived by someone else.

    Your cousin's passing seems untimely but there's also something comforting in leaving in as close timeframe with a parent (assuming they were close) and having your dog follow you (if it were a decent dog).

    Sorry for your loss.

    1. Art, writing for a living gives one a certain status. Your name is associated with what you write about, and so you become part of things that you would never achieve on your own. Writing about Michael Graves puts your name next to his name. I somewhat envy him.
      I want a tablet because it is what I use for GPS in the tractor. Tablets with detachable keyboards are nice.
      I am glad to hear you survived your trip trough the backyard.
      I'm not if everyone dying at the same time, (and the little dog too) really is that notable other than symbolism. Just kind of depressing. We rationalize quite a bit. Helps us deal with life...

  5. I was in Portland over Thanksgiving. Someday I need to write about the difference between the homeless in Boston and Portland. The Portland bums are both more polite and more brazen.


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