Beautiful Hen’s Tooth

*Came here to share a thought. Noticed that I showed as having multiple drafts stored. Seeing as I don’t draft (I write then hit publish) work, that seems odd and I had a look. It would appear that WP was so kind as to “save” the work instead of publishing it. Grrrrr…., no, wait….. Maybe they thought the stuff so good that the public wasn’t ready for it. Nah, doubt that, just think they stink. Oh well, that explains the lack of comments on those/this post!

Do look up the V90. Gorgeous inside and out…., anyway, back to previously written post!

To recap a fact stated previously, I won’t stare at or mess with a lady but… I will most definitely admire your car and play with your dog. Rather shameless in those two arenas. Now, about the former, let’s talk beauty and shame.

The new Volvos all tend to be gorgeous bits of automotive art that need to be seen to truly be appreciated. The V90 wagon is the pinnacle of this. A bit underwhelming in the power train department but I suppose the typical buyer isn’t thinking “German sports wagon”. But, car buffs aren’t typical buyers and so our disappointment is lost. Sort of the same as the beauty of the wagon. Sadly, they predict a low take rate in the North American market. Sadder still, the regular V90 is only available as special order. All dealer shipments will be the tarted up Cross Country. Not even close in effect. Yeech….

Why mention this hen’s tooth? Because it is beauty under your nose that you would miss otherwise. Be a shame to miss something beautiful wouldn’t it?

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Catherine

Cool today. Supposed to be much cooler shortly. Rain tomorrow and again early next week. Got some of my leaves blown into a windrow last night before darkness won. Went out today to blow some more and ride the “leaf eraser”. (Bit of disclosure, my yard is about the size of a small city park. Lot of leaves to be had.) Blew out some areas and got the worst of it outlined before heading for the “eraser”.

That thing is a beast of a mower. Way overbuilt is part of why I love it. I’m a guy so the overpowered (compared to most) is nice as well. With a couple of passes it just erases a 2′ high pile of leaves. Designed to cut grass I suppose and so we will just consider that ability a perk of ownership. A perk that saves me about a hundred hours of physical work each fall. Matter’o’fact, I should probably say that it’s “a leaf eraser that also can cut grass”!

As I was headed to it light was fading fast and it was starting to drizzle. Rolling along quicker than normal, I got last night’s windrow done. (Probably going a bit too fast as I looked back at one point and saw two 100′ stripes of dirt. Hmmmm, too much throttle spinning that time, whoopsie.) That part was thick but tonight’s was bigger and thicker. Light was close to gone and twilight setting in as I hit it. Did it a lot faster than normal. Like most commercial equipment over a certain level, the mower seemed happy under load. Abuse that would have broken (or simply shut off) most “commercial” mowers simply made it purr. As it got darker, I went faster. Knowing that it was my last chance for a week saw me curious how it would do. It did well, very well. The more it pushed, the better it responded. The load (given my prior experience with a wide variety of other mowers) became comical. Suddenly the memory of a young lady ihtt another time another place came to mind. In an instant I became a grinning fool fighting a losing battle against the darkness. I just pushed harder.

Once I was told of a young lady I would meet. “She is a 20yo version of a certain star, has hair down to her waist (when down) and is as crazy as you are.” “Can’t wait to meet her.” Accurate description on all counts. Very easy to like her very quickly. Unlike most (even in that environment, though rear echelon) she got the “it”. She knew that we were in a place that has never made sense in any conventional way to anyone there. She got that it is better to die laughing than crying and that ride together/die together had meaning long before it was in a song. She was one you wanted on your team and, as task required, she was always first pick on mine. After all, they were right, she was my type of crazy.

She loved to “got out” and do the type of stuff that I did and I loved having her along. There was always going to be fun afoot with her all at the wheel. She never failed to make me laugh. Her courage was and to ways combined with sly humor and she remains special for one memory if no other. Chickie-poo would spot a potential hazard ahead, immediately have her game on AND be giggling when she called “ambush” on comms. Gotta love that girl.

Thought about her ambush I was hammering that beast tonight and listening to it pull. Powersliding into a wall of leaves, feathering it and getting back on power to plow out another pass in the last minute or two of visibility would crack her up. She would be ticked to hear that I had no time to teach her. And to think that she is probably driving a minivan somewhere now wishing she could t-bone the blocker, what what a shame. Oh well…., got the leaves done and walked away in the dark smiling at the memory.

Fairness

A heads up here at the beginning. Before you get to far along you may groan, hold your nose and turn to leave. Bear in mind that I always advise against making stupid mistakes. Now, on with the show.

No matter the color of your passport, you are probably aware of the pending election in the United States. Don’t worry, I wholeheartedly agree about the behavior and, no matter the outcome, I doubt the one with most votes in any given race will prove to be a winner. We shall see. My thoughts here aren’t specifically about the past, tomorrow or any given point in the future. Rather I’m bothered by a specific, common human failing and a recent bit of reading yields an excellent example that many of you may find thought provoking and (hopefully) all of you can see the utility in. Again, we shall see.

A recent read (Trump and Beijing’s subsidies, Bloomberg Opinion) is well worth reading. It points out that the gentleman is going after China with another complaint. No shock but…., this time it’s postal rates. Under rules by the Universal Postal Union (betcha never knew it existed but it does) China has historically had a very low rate as it was impoverished. Each countries international shipping rate is tied to its interior rate. That means that (historically) the US Postal service got only a pittance for the delivery of mail originating in China. They delivered it it at a loss. No big deal I mean really, how much mail coming here originated in China? Besides, it’s just a letter right? Wrong!

Now online vendors based in China can send stuff here and the US Postal Service/UPS/FedEx must deliver it at a loss. That means the loss in made up for by all other internal shippers. American retailers, businesses and citizens pay for this unfair practice. (Even if you live elsewhere this still applies as your country plays by these rules too so pay attention.) Trump and crew are merely trying to level the playing field for fair game. Sounds sort of like a political post so far doesn’t it? Maybe we need a catch, a twist.

Trump is continuing a battle started by his predecessor. His predecessor got this going with some success. I backed his predecessor wholeheartedly. I back the current effort wholeheartedly. I don’t care which administration you prefer, a fight towards fairness deserves support no matter the current leader. To disapprove of the actions oft another universally is idiocy and nigh impossible to defend as a stance. It would behoove us all to see and support good in our leadership while also holding accountable the bad. Never forget that Hitler brought you the beloved Volkswagen Beetle amongst other things.

I have a long history of supporting ideas that made since and worked while calling out those that don’t. I have also always had a very short tolerance for those who fight ideas simply because the other side proposed them. No one wins such another fight because everyone ends up losing. This is really easy to see in national politics isn’t it? Easier still to find examples in global squabbles. Let’s look at our lives with a bit of newfound perspective shall we.

Your spouse, the fool, really ticked you off this morning. When you got home, did you notice the work they had done for you or launch in to this morning again? You can be peeved about the morning and acknowledge this afternoon you know. Idiot neighbor down the street always parks too far out. Did you compliment how it looks after they (finally) cut their shrubs? Not to hard to see how an emotion applied universally can slit one’s own throat is it? Me, I’m all over the idea of supporting this administration in it’s fight for fair postal rates for all parties involved. Be a shame to belittle someone in the act off doing something idea approve be it locally, regionally, nationally or off the international stage.

Just my thoughts today. Hope you have had a good day.

Origin

Origin, as in where something begins or starts, seemed a fitting title when I was prompted to write what was on my mind. It also seems an odd title given that I thought it time to explain my relationship with girly-girl a bit. Shouldn’t be hard should it? After all, she’s my daughter even if I don’t like the girl stink. Unless there is an x-rated expose there really shouldn’t be anything outside of the obvious should there? Well, there is. Many tales have unexpected twists and this one is no exception.

At the time of here birth I was present. All fair and good but a bit uncommon. My trade was an unpredictable one that saw me frequently take a walk about. Sometimes I would practice disappearing for a few days, sometimes a few weeks, sometimes for a few months. Never knew the when, where or the how long. These mysteries saw me waft in and out of her first two years. Many a time I walked in to kiss a sleeping girl, shower, sleep and kiss her goodbye all before she had had the long night of sleep one her age needs. Hated doing it but it was what needed be done.

This resulted in a toddler who pointed at a picture and called it “Daddy” but who also oftentimes didn’t recognize daddy after not seeing him for six weeks. She would then fetch the picture and have me kiss “Daddy”. Oh well…., things. Change. And change they did! One day, right around her third birthday, something happened. It was quite a something indeed.

We’ll skip the details but background, training and sheer dumbluck saw her diagnosed with cancer. Got lucky, got very, very lucky. Had not a minor thing given it away, she would have died in her sleep eight or nine days later. Needless to say, then it would have been too late. Instead of too late, it was just in time and life took a turn. The turn led past the funeral home and into a new world for us both.

I said “no” in a profession where that isn’t said and reported to a hospital instead. We were there most of the time for the next year and frequent visitors for quite awhile after that. It wasn’t all bad. I got to know my girl and she got to know “Daddy”. We had a giggly, goofy ball. We were the odd birds in the wing no doubt. It is very unbecoming to laugh during such dramatic things you know. ‘Tis only right to be freaked out and crying, how dare I bring gaiety to suffering! Pfffttt…., whatever….

We had fun, we worked as a team and talked. It is possible to do such in an age appropriate way even with a three year old. Later on she was able to be with me in my new industry. Got her up, got her ready, got her to daycare/school, picked her up and brought her back to work with me. Our days, weeks, months and years passed quickly in love and laughter. She no longer had a picture called “Daddy”, she had me. Much better in my humble opinion.

The prevailing legal norm (regionally) gives the mother the child. Girly-girl fails to see the humor in this. A bit of work produced an outcome that sees us together far more than is normal for this area. Good. Soon enough that time will likely increase. Good. But for now, we are patient and we enjoy our minutes. We do have fun, whether as we work hard or as we work to get the other going, we definitely have our fun. We have it and, now, you have a better understanding of how we got to be us!

Above Norway lies?

Completed a task and declared “There, far northern European-ed it!”

She looked at me quizzical for a moment and then groaned. Shaking her head, she asked if it was worse I thought of that or that she got it.

Poor child has to live with this.

If it hasn’t hit you yet, think back to the title and it will. Then you too will groan and pity her all the more!

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Uphold

I have been asked on occasion how or why I can approach a topic with conviction. Once I have an understanding of what topic triggered my comment, the answer is always easy. My opinion is based (usually) on prior research and (always) first hand experience. Typically I have seen multiple approaches attempted. This makes conviction easy. It also makes the advice fairly easy to give. Saying this overlooks the obvious. I have done it successfully. This is how I can tell you which shoe goes on which foot.

(BTW, saw a 20 something the other day out with his dad. He had his tennis shoes on the wrong foot. Do you point this out to him? He is an adult….. Do you point it out to the dad? He is a parent….. Do you try and keep your mouth shut and walk away quietly? That moment was so far out of the ordinary that, for once, I was at a loss.) Anyway….

There is a catch to all of this. Words and deeds must match. Consider the source when hearing advice. No matter their conviction, ask them if you feel the need. This bit oftentimes give you something as useful as the original answer. Now, imagine yourself were you in their position when others query you. Do your acts mirror your advice? Do you speak to your spouse as you suggest they speak to their’s? Have you actually tried this “great new restaurant”? Do you feel confident in your opinions answerand suggestions?

Just a thought as I observe the rancor around me and notice how half-hearted some seem even in their hate.

Curious what you think. Thoughts?

Dinosaur

Had a conversation yesterday about my big green dinosaur. Thought about it as I was riding along in said dinosaur today. Admittedly Grumpy isn’t the newest or nicest truck on the road but I like him. He sounds like a diesel should sound and runs like a top. Given that he now has the same power as newer trucks yet retains greater reliability and durability while returning better fuel milage at a much lower cost of ownership only increases his value in my eyes. I suppose it is a shared sentiment as someone asks about buying him almost weekly. Uhm, no.

Saw another breed today, nice silent little electric car. Quite the opposite of my dinosaur. No million mile service life there. Made me think my usual thunks about such things. I wonder if I have ever shared a couple of my bigger concerns about this latest round of EV rides. They seem worthy of mention because I doubt their fans have considered them.

First and foremost comes my concern in human well welfare. Beyond being a negative for the planet in a number of ways they are a negative on the folks harming the planet to produce them. Take some time and do a bit of light reading. Look up what is needed for those neat battery packs and permanent motors. Look at where it is sourced. Look at the conditions and fatality rates for the workers. Bet you didn’t know kids died for those symbols of eco-friendly did you. Isn’t it ironic to think of a movie star whizzing towards a benefit to help children with a “Save the whales” sticker on the back of their Tesla?

Second big concern is as a citizen but it also involves my favorite planet. The pure EV models need to be charged and some duals are chargeable. Fair enough, you just plug it in right? Yep, yep….except, there’s a problem. Chargers pull more power than the rest of the house. New/next generation chargers pull more power than all the houses on the street combined! This highlights a problem but I’ll provide a bit of detail that may assist you in understanding my concern as a citizen.

A prior administration set an EV/mpg goal for 2030. In this glamorous goal a tiny but significant goal was overlooked. We will need to replace our ENTIRE electrical grid to accomplish this. Assuming that every utility worker was tasked with assisting, we are still short on time and manpower. Beyond that lies the fact that we lack the production capacity to produce the needed materials in time. (Oh yeah, we need to destroy a lot of the planet to do it btw.) Even with those goals attainable we still fall far short in generation capacity. That takes a decade of permitting in the modern world before starting construction!

Forgot a detail. It’s a small one but worth the ink. All of this will cost trillions. Power bills would need to rise by a factor of 10 or more to cover the cost. Suddenly the math would be very, very much against pushing widespread adaptation of the Electric Vehicle. I’m sure that those pushing for this adaptation are unaware of these details and will realize it soon. They will bring it to the public’s attention for polite, open discussion. I’ll catch the updates on the radio as I ride along listening to a dinosaur purr.