web analytics

Archive for October, 2017

I Need a Blue Ox

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Tree Removal Continues

Today we had another day of fall-like weather. It was in the mid-70’s, with little sun. I was pretty happy about that, because I have about 5 years’ worth of tree removal work ahead of me, and doing it in 90-degree heat is not much fun.

I have two big oaks that fell as one. They are pointing in the same direction, and one is (was) on top of the other. Cutting them up is an intimidating job. The trunk of the upper oak was above shoulder height, so that ruled out a typical chainsaw cut. You don’t use a chainsaw for cuts that high, because if it swings down, it will have a lot of momentum, and it can hit your legs. Worse, you could Jennerize yourself.

Another problem: cutting the upper trunk near the base would cause it to fall on the lower trunk, and from there, who knows where it would bounce?

I solved the problem using my fun new technique: the bore cut. You shove the chainsaw through the middle of the tree, leaving “straps” above and below the tunnel. I didn’t have to lift the saw that high to do this.

When you cut a tree, you end up with one side in tension and one side in compression. For example, imagine a horizontal log. The weight pulls on the top fibers and tries to push the bottom ones together. If you cut too far on the compression side, the tree will close on your saw, and then you get to have fun trying to extract it. This has happened to me several times in spite of my efforts to avoid it. Sometimes trees surprise you.

I kept cutting the upper tree until the trunk was suspended in space. That put tension on the top and compression on the bottom, down by the base. I cut up into the tree from the bottom, making a kerf maybe five inches deep. Then I pounded two plastic wedges into it. Wedges hold kerfs open while you work. You don’t want metal wedges for this purpose. You use plastic, because every so often, you’re going to hit a wedge with your saw.

I made a bore cut through the tree, above the kerf with the wedges, separated from the kerf by material intended to form a hinge. I left a little strap up at the top to hold the tree up while I switched saws. I got my pole saw, stood at a relatively safe distance, and cut into the strap. The trunk fell straight down, and I was in business.

This method, with variations, works on all sorts of stressed trees.

I’ve been studying the crap out of tree-cutting methods on Youtube, because I don’t want to be crushed or mutilated any more than is necessary. If you’re using a chainsaw, and you haven’t studied, well, people like you make a lot of money for hospitals.

I’m not the perfect example of chainsaw safety. I don’t have chaps, and I don’t wear a face shield. But I’m considerably better off than a guy who thinks testosterone is a good substitute for brains.

The timberjack I bought is a huge help. I can take a log that weighs hundreds of pounds and flip it over with one end suspended in the air, without exerting myself at all. Green live oak is extremely heavy. It’s so heavy, one piece I cut came close to straining the tractor’s front end loader. With the timberjack, I can cut everything in small pieces I can move.

I have to get these two oaks moved, because they have been blocking the dirt road to my east gate. I need to use that gate to move logs to the swale by the highway, where the county will pick them up for nothing. Today I got to the point where both oaks were cut in pieces. My big saw ran out of gas while I was finishing up the lower log, so I left my wedges in the log and called it a day.

Thanks to the weather, I can wear long pants while I work. My legs aren’t getting cut any more. I’m not bleeding at all. That’s a nice change.

I got myself two probationary pairs of Carhartt jeans, because the local stores had a crappy selection of overalls (my first choice). The jeans are great. I have Carhartt work pants, but they’re too nice for cutting trees, and they have to be ironed. Jeans are more practical. I have a pair of overalls on the way via Amazon, and if they work out, I’ll get more.

Overalls should be ideal for this kind of work. Coveralls would be better if the weather were cooler. Bark scrapes bare arms up pretty good. But overalls will do. I need something that permits freedom of movement and has lots of pockets. Naturally, I ordered Carhartt. Their other products are so good, the overalls must be good, too.

I have owned many pairs of Levi’s in my life, but now I look down on them. They have a number of problems. First, the cotton is cheap and weak. It’s not made to last. It’s made to wear out early so little girls will have cute rips that expose their knees. Second, Levi’s don’t sit at the waist. They sit below the waist. Your waist is about at the level of your belly button. Every time you bend, Levi’s cut into you because of the unfortunate location of the belt line. Final thing, Levi’s don’t have a lot of pockets.

Carhartt stuff is not made to look good on little girls. It’s made to last. If it doesn’t last, the company goes bust. The quality is much better than Levi’s, and the price is lower. That’s how I see it.

I decided to order a second pair of boots. I can’t stop myself. My Danner Vicious boots are wonderful, but when I’m wearing long pants, I don’t need 8″ boots. I can get by with shorter ones, which are lighter. I decided to try a pair of Keens. Some Keen boots are made in China, and it looks like they aren’t the ones you should get. I ordered some American jobs. We’ll see how they work out.

I never buy Timberlands. I’ve had two pairs of Timberland boots, and they were both disappointing. They’re fine for rappers, I guess. If all you do is rap and stand in police lineups, you don’t need comfortable boots that last.

The Danners and the Keens are waterproof and have crushproof toes. If I roll a 400-pound log onto my foot, I want something other than leather between me and the wood.

I can’t wait to start dumping logs by the road. Burning them is helpful, but it will take me the rest of my life to burn all the wood I’m discarding.

I think the farm is in good enough shape to resume cattle raising. I have to come up with some kind of agricultural operation unless I want to pay serious property tax, and this place is already set up for cattle. I don’t have a lot of interest in raising cattle, but you go with what works. I am told I can get a tax reduction with two tiny dwarf Brahmas. That should be easy.

Question: do people eat dwarf cattle? I could actually see the appeal in little rib eyes. A rib eye is no good at all unless it’s at least 1-1/2″ thick, but a steak like that weighs 2 pounds, which is a lot. Maybe a dwarf rib eye would be more practical.

I believe that customarily, people here put useless animals on their land and do nothing worthwhile with them. It would be perfectly okay to buy two tiny steers and let them live here until they die of old age. But it seems weird.

Amanda keeps telling me goats are the livestock from hell, but it would be very nice to have a couple to eat weeds.

I’ll try to put up some photos. I’m pretty pooped. Even though it was cool today, I drank about 72 ounces of beverages when I was done working (within a period of a few minutes), and I have yet to see the customary evidence of overcoming dehydration.

I hate Miami more than I can say, and I pity everyone who lives there, although I would rather see most of them live there than here. This place is wonderful.

I will work on the photos now. If you see a tiny orange dot on top of the lower trunk in the first photo, that’s my big 60-cc saw. Tells you how big the tree is.

Harvey’s Harvest

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Gloating is Dangerous

This morning I found myself thinking about the Harvey Weinstein conflagration, which is spreading far and wide in the liberal entertainment-politics establishment.

No one with any common sense believes men like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, or Colin Firth when they say they didn’t know about Weinstein. Seth MacFarlane joked about his predation at the Oscars four years ago. That proves that everyone knew about Weinstein. They can say they didn’t know he raped anyone, but they can’t say they didn’t know he used his position to pressure women into sex. They can’t say it credibly, I mean. It would be possible for an exceptionally isolated or gullible person in Hollywood to be unaware, but I doubt there are any major stars who didn’t know.

Hollywood runs on connections and gossip. People make it their business to know things about other people. My best guess is that all of these men knew what was going on, and Weinstein surely had dozens or hundreds of female enablers, too.

It’s astonishing how many people have been touched by the spray from the burst pimple. It even reached Hillary Clinton. Now it’s reaching her aides, who are publicly attacking the boyfriend of an actress who claims Weinstein raped her. I can’t think of anyone except Jane Fonda who has admitted guilt or expressed shame.

While I was thinking about Weinstein, I thought about the expression “thin ice.” When a person is on thin ice, it means things are fine now, but he’s in danger of an abrupt fall into a very bad situation. Then I thought about it some more, and the image that came into my mind was Weinstein dancing on a thin scab over a deep abscess.

Through sin, we undermine the ground we walk on. We set traps for ourselves, and then we walk into them. We create and feed enemies who lurk just beneath the horizon, and eventually, if we don’t repent, they leap out unexpectedly and consume us. That’s what happened to Weinstein. He begged for this disaster all his life, and then when it hit, he was utterly amazed.

Christians don’t talk a lot about repentance these days. We talk about how we are required to endorse homosexuality regardless of what the Bible says. We talk about money. We like to talk about unity and spout nonsense about all religions being different paths to the same God. We don’t talk a lot about the importance of confessing our sins to God and begging for help before the fruit of our disobedience falls on our heads.

Years ago, God told me something. He said, “Anything you bury, you also plant.” When you become a Christian and go to a feel-good church and start claiming God is going to do a lot of things for you, and you don’t repent and confess, you’re planting the seeds of disaster and defeat, and they keep growing until you change your ways or you receive the nasty harvest for which you sowed.

A Christian who doesn’t repent is like a deep sore full of stinking pus, covered with a scab as thin as a playing card. While you’re talking about positive thinking, the prosperity gospel, the supposed nonexistence of hell, and the importance of endorsing sexual sin, the infection festers and grows more powerful. The power your enemies have over you grows. Eventually, if Satan’s plan works, a moment comes when you’re exposed. All your hopes shatter, along with your reputation.

In September, Weinstein was rich, and he was feared. It seemed like he had nothing to worry about. Virtually no one was willing to even discuss his faults. It’s October, and he is looking at the possibilty of multiple sexual battery charges. He has no job. No one wants to be near him.

He made a crazy remark after he was exposed. He said he was going to take advantage of his newfound leisure time to go after the NRA. He said he would “channel” his “anger” at them. What? Should he even be discussing anger? How about shame? And how is the NRA supposed to be afraid of an enemy who has no power? No one will take Weinstein’s phone calls, but somehow he’s going to use his connections to bring down the NRA.

Scientists say snakes don’t die immediately when you cut their heads off. They remain aware and capable of movement. That’s what Weinstein’s remark makes me think of. The head doesn’t know the body is gone.

I was thinking about all this, and I thought about the things I’ve planted. These days I try very hard to confess everything in my prayers. I do not want my enemies and problems to grow. I want God to show me mercy and get rid of them. Some day, I suppose, every disgusting word and act for which I am responsible will be known. I will never be able to say they didn’t happen, or that “that wasn’t who I was.” At best, I’ll be able to say God helped me confess, overcome, and cease.

It’s easy to gloat over the left while their fleet burns, but I decided I should pray for the people caught up in this mess. I prayed for God to try to reach them, help them repent, cut off the people and spirits that encourage them in sin, and help them to achieve salvation and become Spirit-led. I don’t want God turning his attention from them to me and saying, “While I’m at it…”

I will continue to be glad the left is being weakened. That’s always a blessing. But the humiliation and turmoil people will face while this scandal runs it course are things that should fill me with fear, not just relief, and certainly not glee.

It can’t be fun being exposed as contemptible. That is especially true for people who are almost literally worshiped, and it’s especially true for people who don’t have God to run to for help and comfort.

If we judge ourselves, maybe we can persuade God not to do it, and to prevent men from doing it.

Lust is an extremely powerful weapon in Satan’s war on masculinity. We have been taught that it’s good. We build it up in ourselves. We even buy pills to increase it, as if that were anything but a curse. Women have learned to be slutty and provocative, not just behind closed doors, but in public and at their jobs. Lust makes us puppets, and it destroys very powerful men who are nearly invulnerable apart from sexual sin.

Women don’t care, because they’re ignorant, and because they’re busy using sex to compete for our attention.

Men are not leaders now. If we were leaders, we would be trying to get women to help us to fight lust. Instead, we encourage them to tempt us. Satan leads them, and they lead us. It worked on Adam, and nothing has changed.

We have chosen to follow, not lead. Women have refused to follow. Instead, they lead, and they take us to defeat and helplessness, not victory and power.

I have done plenty of following and very little leading.

I think very, very few people in Hollywood will change because of our prayers, but no one is disposable, so if anyone changes, it’s worth the effort. And we are obligated to pray for our enemies, whether or not it works.

Satan knows it’s smarter to make your enemies your servants than to destroy them entirely. God knows that, too, but you wouldn’t know it, the way we treat unbelievers.

I do hope the scandal saps the power of the left. Satan’s children are eventually going to have complete control in America, so any delay is a blessing.

This is the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

There is a Cure for Miami

I am enjoying Ocala to the point where I almost wonder if something is wrong with me.

When I moved here, the movers screwed up badly. My dad insisted on going for a drive and got lost on the day of the move. My dad overdosed on pills he was supposed to let me measure out for him, and he ended up in the hospital for several days. Hurricane Irma hit me with tropical storm winds and knocked over lots of big trees on the farm. The power went out. I had to bathe in buckets of pool water. The main AC unit in the house died, and we had to fork out $6800. A tenant broke a lease in Miami, and we had to pay $5000 to fix the apartment. Hurricane Irma messed up a yacht I really needed to sell.

Plus it was ungodly hot during the day, and the mosquitoes were so big and numerous they practically lifted me off the ground when I went outside.

It was a bad start.

Now I have a lot of my stuff here. I made a trip to Miami, and a friend also went down and brought things back. The boat sold for more than I expected. I have three chain saws, and I’ve learned how to move a lot of wood in a hurry. The air is drying up, and the weather is cooler. The bugs are going away.

Finally I can enjoy this place.

When you join a moronic street gang, they “jump you in” and “jump you out.” That means they give you a beating when you join, and if you leave, you get another beating. Satan seems to work the same way. Simply moving back to Miami in 1997 was a beating. This year I left again, and the God of Losers came at me again. That’s how I see it.

Whatever. The suffering I endured doesn’t really compare to the eternal roasting my enemy is going to get.

Today I went out to the shop to start my day of hurricane mess recovery, and I felt the cool breeze hit me as I stood on the porch (My shop has a porch!) and opened the door. A crazy wave of pleasure hit me. I was overcome. It’s gross and trite to compare everyday pleasures to sex, but that’s what I thought of. Something went through me and left me a little dizzy.

Today I lit up the burn pile again. I also sharpened the pole saw and made my way into the middle of my woods. I have a bunch of big downed trees in there. I’ve been reluctant to take them on because of the bugs, heat, and standing water. Today was the right day.

I found out a neighbor had cleared away 90% of a big oak that had fallen on a fence. That was nice. I don’t have access to the DMZ between our fences, so I was dreading looking him up and asking how I could get in. Evidently he did not consider me accountable for my tree’s behavior. All I have to deal with is the stump.

I found several trees which fell near each other. Some were on top of each other. I took out the pole saw and got to work. I put in around 3 hours. I murdered those trees. Because the pole saw is so safe to use, and because it can reach things several feet away and things that are over my head, I had access to all sorts of branches that would have been a problem for a chain saw. I cut the crap out of the trees and made a giant pile of limbs and logs.

I had my trusty timberjack with me. What a great tool. It makes short work of heavy logs I could not have dealt with a week ago. They used to be a real pain. Now they’re a joke.

Within a week or two, I should have a clear path to the gate on the highway. Once that happens, I’ll be able to use the tractor to take wood out through the gate and dump it for the county to pick up. I won’t have to burn it!

I’m sad that I lost trees, but just about all of them were worthless oaks. I can plant pecans or something.

Maybe I should do something with that lot. I don’t know how many desirable trees are on it. I like the woods, but maybe I should consider a plan with fewer trees and more grass. Maybe there are pecans and other trees there that I could assist by cutting oaks, and then I could thin out the brush and put in grass.

I do not like seeing the neighbors. I’ve read that bamboo will grow up and form a thick hedge in a year or two. Maybe I should plant a couple hundred feet along the fence line. Bamboo looks really nice, and on top of that, the canes are useful for certain things.

While I was hacking away at a tree, I hit something and knocked the chain off the pole saw bar. It was time to quit anyway, so I headed back to the shop. I had two bottles of cold water from the Rockstar fridge, a Pellegrino orange soda, and an egg cream. It’s amazing how much water you sweat out while using the saws. I sat in one of the shop’s entrances in a plastic Adirondack chair, facing the woods, enjoying my beverages. The breeze blew through the shop and kept me cool. Too much. I loved it.

I goofed off. I texted and called friends. The only thing missing was a smoker with a few ribs in it.

I was so right about this place. That tells me the idea came from God. When I have my trees cleaned up and my bamboo installed, I’ll be the big daddy king of all eccentric hermits.

Some day this will be a place for prayer meetings and God knows what else. Until then I’ll enjoy myself getting it ready.

I just can’t hate Miami enough.

Sorry for not taking photos. I was too engrossed. Maybe next time.

How Beautiful Can Life Get?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Maybe Miami was Just a Bad Dream

Ocala is just too much.

Today I finished looking after my dad’s business, and I put my boots on and headed for the workshop. I sharpened up Big Bad Mama, the 20″ Echo chainsaw, and I put it in the E-Z-GO along with my new Woodchuck timberjack. I cruised over to the big live oak that tried to crush my chicken house, and I went to work sawing it up.

Before I got to the oak, I went off my property and grabbed a gigantic ball of live oak limbs and Spanish moss from my neighbor’s swale and carted it to my burn pile. Good neighbors don’t leave hurricane junk on each other’s swales. I scooped it up with the tractor forks and dumped it on the pile.

I cut little limbs and moved them until I had access to the bigger bits of the tree, and then I went at it. I cut the tree into manageable pieces, and then I used the tractor and a strap to yank it around into a position where I could buck the last big branch.

The timberjack is wonderful. You can grab a hundred-pound limb with it and yank it into cutting position with about as much effort as it takes to flip a pancake. I had no problem cutting big limbs up with it.

The tree had one huge limb which could be considered the trunk. Hard to say. After I moved things around with the tractor, that limb was off the ground. Using my brain, I put the tractor forks under it and then cut it off. It fell on the forks. I didn’t have to roll it onto them. I ran it over to the burn pile and dumped it on.

Because I use the right tools, I got a whole lot of work done in a short time. It was a pleasure. Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll go out and hit the pile with my plumber’s torch, and it will go up like Mt. Saint Helens.

When I was done, I moved everything back to the shop, got a chair, and drank several beverages, ending with a lovely Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Occasionally I drink beer to blow out kidney stones.

The air was cool. The bugs were not biting. It was quiet. No one was yammering at me in a foreign language. Exquisite.

This place gets better and better. Why didn’t I move 20 years ago? Oh, right. I was out of God’s will. I would not have fit in.

I’m in the workshop now. A nice breeze is blowing through. I hate to leave.

I’ll post a few photos.

Man, I hate Miami.

FYI, my dad’s boat is sold, and the money is in the checking account. A major headache, GONE!

I think I’ll buy some pie.

Something Got by the Anointed Guardians of Righteousness

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Sensitive Hollywood Hunks and Their Gigantic Blind Spot

Yesterday I learned something surprising. There is an epidemic of blindness and deafness in Hollywood, and it has been raging since at least the 90’s. Harvey Weinstein apparently molested or tried to molest nearly every woman he ever met, and not one male star noticed!

Three big names have taken torpedo hits: Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. Crowe is hardly worth mentioning, because he has a reputation for being a jerk, but Damon and Affleck promote themselves as warm, fuzzy, feminist idols. It doesn’t look good for them.

Crowe and Damon are accused of helping kill a story about a man who worked for The Weinstein Co. in Italy. Supposedly he was nothing but a procurer. Damon’s response, in a nutshell, sounds a lot like, “I wasn’t paying attention, and I know nothing.” He says he made a very short phone call in which he simply vouched for the employee’s authenticity. We have not heard from Crowe yet.

A fourth star made the mistake of speaking up: George Clooney. He could have weathered this out quietly in his palace in Italy, but (contain your surprise) he decided to reinforce his feminist credentials publicly. “Harvey WHO? Sexual misbehavior in HOLLYWOOD? I am SHOCKED!”

He hasn’t gotten significant blowback yet, but I think he will. George is 56 years old, and he seriously wants us to believe he had no idea what his good friend Harvey has been doing since before he met George. This means George is either stupid, utterly uninformed, or lying. Or some combination of those three alternatives.

I know the names of the professors who misbehaved sexually in my law school. I know the name of the girl who snorted coke off a male student’s privates. I know the guy and girl who performed two sex acts in an order so gross I can’t provide further description here. But George Clooney had no idea Harvey Weinstein, his personal friend, with whom he did business many times, was running around–for decades–like a moose in rut.

You can get away with nearly anything if you’re a leftist. Lots of people knew Bill Cosby was a rapist, but nothing was done. The women who have credibly accused him would literally fill a bus. As Hannibal Burress said before the scandal went nova, you could find out about it by Googling. Lots of people knew. But nothing happened to Bill until he started telling men to pull their pants up.

Here’s a surprising figure in the war against harassment: Jimmy Kimmel. Donald Trump, Jr., called him out for ignoring Weinstein, who was worse than ten Bill O’Reillys plus two. Kimmel’s weak response: a repost of the famous Donald Trump Billy Bush video.

Why is Kimmel so quiet? Here’s three words that might be relevant: Girls on Trampolines.

Kimmel became famous co-hosting The Man Show, with Adam Carolla. The Man Show featured a troop of models called the Juggies. “Jug” means “breast,” in case you didn’t know. The show featured videos of these women jumping on a trampoline in their underwear. Spreading their legs in slow motion.

Kimmel can’t wade into this cesspool too deeply because he knows that if he does, someone will eventually remember The Man Show.

I wonder how far this kerfuffle will spread. Celebrities are very insecure and self-righteous, so they will want to get on the PC side of this thing as soon as possible, but for many, that won’t be possible. Consider this: virtually no prominent male musicians or athletes can get involved, because most of them fornicate like crazed rabbits. A rock star or NBA player can have sex with twenty new women per week if his body can stand it, and they do their best to put themselves to the test. How are they going to come forward, after defiling so many daughters, sisters, and wives?

Actors aren’t quite as bad, because they don’t perform regularly in big arenas full of slutty women, but they’re on the next level down.

I think this will be a big opportunity for attention-loving female celebrities to go full Nurse Ratched on their male colleagues, and the men will be way too scared to resist. They’ll fall all over themselves trying to get approval. Many of the ones who have screwed up the worst will suddenly see the light. Maybe they’ll do rehab. Weinstein is already checking in.

It’s very bad that men in Hollywood are predatory perverts, and it would be good to address the issue, but I’m sure Hollywood will handle it the wrong way, because Satan runs Hollywood. Satan doesn’t fix things. He just gives you new problems that look like solutions. Maybe the PC atmosphere in Hollywood will get even more intense than it is now, until whatever fun still exists in entertainment is completely gone. Maybe all new scripts will have to get by a panel composed of Lena Dunham, Sinead O’Connor, and Gloria Allred.

This will be turned into a front in the war on masculinity. Feminists don’t distinguish between predators and ordinary men with ordinary desires. We’re all bad. Like Nora Dunn said, “Women good, men bad.”

Weinstein will go away and come back. He will be a totally changed man. No, really. Damon and Affleck will look bad for a while. Damon will probably be allowed to stay famous, but Affleck has misbehaved a lot, so he may have a few lean years. Clooney will look like a lying idiot to people with common sense, but there aren’t many people like that, so I think he’ll be okay.

People will get even more nervous. Hollywood predation will continue, regardless.

These are my best guesses.

Should I even discuss Hillary Clinton’s bizarre, delated statement regarding the Weinstein matter? It was predictable. “I harbored a predator, defended him, and paid operatives to destroy his victims, but I still want to be seen as a champion of women and a protector of their dignity.” That’s what she’s really saying. Why is she still here? Why are people still pointing microphones and cameras at her? She is killing the appeal and credibility of her party, bit by bit. I suppose many people are still afraid of her and her husband. They’re afraid to go near the snakes until they stop twitching.

This flap makes me think about my own history. It would be great to say I’ve never said or done anything gross or repugnant in a sexual context, but that is not true. The best I can hope for is to continue being improved by God, to the point where, if my history comes to light, I can honestly say, “God changed me, and I behave a lot better now.” That’s better than denying the truth and thereby provoking the release of more evidence.

Hollywood has to choose between two favorite choices: the burning desire to hide evil in order to make money, and the burning desire to appear righteous and be admired by millions of dupes. I don’t think the industry can handle the tension. There will be chaos for a time, and we already know something about the outcome: reform will be meaningless, superficial, and fleeting.

More Disgusted With Miami With Each Passing Day

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Thank You Again, God

They say the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day he buys and the day he sells. That’s misleading. Selling is WAY better.

The sale of my dad’s boat closed today. That means it’s not my responsibility any more. I will never have to pay for another repair. I will never have to worry about it sinking. It’s gone! Gone! Gone!

The boat was fun. We cruised to Bimini, Eleuthera, Chub Cay, and Key West, among other places. It’s a real privilege to putt by the tourists on a huge cruise ship in Nassau Harbor and watch them wave at you and know they all wish they were you. It’s fun to catch dolphin in the Tongue of the Ocean and tuna off Harbour Island. But my dad is 85 and has no business on a dock, let alone a boat, and there was no possibility that we would use it again.

Boat culture is kind of sleazy anyway. It’s all about getting drunk and fornicating, to be quite honest. You take your boat to the Bahamas, you get a slip, you fish your heart out all day, and then you go to the bar, get drunk, and hope you get lucky. Yacht people are as shallow as ice trays, and nothing they talk about or think about has any real importance. None of it has any relationship to the kingdom of God. If you want to watch fat, drunk lawyers make fools of themselves in Bahamian bars, get a boat.

I don’t recall seeing a lot of doctors over there. But then doctors are not interested in fun. Just money.

What I take away from the boat is that I know how to run one and maintain one. If I ever have to jump on a 60-foot diesel yacht and go to Jamaica, I won’t need any instructions. Just GPS and lots of bottled water, Gatorade, and peanut butter M&M’s.

My dad’s boat was not 60 feet long. It was a 46-footer. But it’s the same thing.

I was starting to think I’d never get rid of that boat. Now I can put it behind me and start thinking I’ll never get rid of my dad’s rental house or the condo we want to dump.

I got rid of the boat, and I also renewed my concealed carry permit. If you’re a Florida person, I learned things that may help you. If you renew your permit by mail, it takes 8-10 weeks. They send you the application about 150 days before the time is up, but if you’re like me, you forget. This weekend I learned you can get your permit renewed at your county’s tax collector office, and they give the new card to you immediately.

I drove to the government building complex. It’s hilarious. Perfect for Ocala. It’s a bunch of brick buildings spread out over maybe 30 acres. It almost looks like a summer camp. I went in the biggest building and saw a gigantic line. I could not complain. I deserved it. But I asked the official greeter, and she said I had to follow some signs and go to another part of the building.

After some twists and turns, I came to a long row of windows and a line consisting of…ONE person. I was at a window in about a minute and a half. The lady who took my photo and did the paperwork could not have been nicer. How can that be? This is the same place where you get your driver’s license. They’re supposed to be rude and condescending, as if everyone admires and looks up to people who do repetitive government jobs.

It was a beautiful experience. I’m sure it’s not as much fun in Miami, though. Down there the tag agencies are staffed by huge, surly women in tights, who barely speak English.

When I finished my other jobs, I decided to look into fixing the bush hog. It didn’t cut too well. Someone on a website said bush hog blades don’t have to be sharp. The idea was that they moved so fast, sheer speed made the blades cut. That turned out to be a fantasy. You have to sharpen bush hog blades, or they just push the grass over.

My bush hog has blades held on by 1-5/8″ nuts. I do not have a 1-5/8″ socket. What to do? I saw someone on Youtube sharpening blades that were still attached, using an angle grinder. Couldn’t hurt to try!

I propped the end of the machine on a jackstand, and I got under there and sharpened the blades. Then I mowed. It’s considerably better. If I got them truly sharp, it would mow like crazy. I think the answer is to get the correct socket and use my bench grinder.

While I was mowing, a gigantic wasp smacked into the bill of my hat. At least I thought it was a wasp. A fraction of a second later I realized it was a spider. It was so big, it felt like someone hit me with a crabapple. Luckily it was not any happier about the situation than I was, and it scrambled off of me before I could have a complete mental breakdown.

I also got my hair cut. I love my barber. His shop has about five American flags out front, along with a big yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag in the center. I don’t even care how my hair looks. That’s where I’m going from now on.

On top of all that, I managed to shift my schedule so I’m getting up at 6:30. This is very important, because I pray a lot. By moving back to 6:30, I make it possible for me to be fed and showered by 9:00. I don’t lose as much of the morning. Nice.

Things are getting better.

Ocala still rocks. Miami is still a humongous butt boil. Every day, I’m happier about the move.

Tomorrow I’m thinking I might sharpen my chainsaws. Can life get any better than that? I may follow up with some target shooting.

I’ll try to post more photos. I’m too busy having fun to stop and take the phone out.

Miami Still Stinks

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Moving North, to the South

I thought today would be the day I was finally free of my dad’s boat. Wrong! It’s Columbus Day. Bank employees are not working. The brokerage can’t have the money wired today. I don’t know if title can pass before the money moves, but the brokerage appears to think it can’t. So I’m on the hook for another 19 hours or so.

In the meantime, I have accomplished some stuff here on the farm. I did some more work on the stupendous live oak that fell on my chicken house, I got a safety chain reattached to the bush hog, I bush-hogged part of the pasture, and I threw a whole lot of wood on the burn pile.

I assume the purpose of safety chains is to keep the bush hog attached in case the three-point hitch fails. I removed one chain because I needed to attach a strap to the pin the chain attaches to. I was pulling a tree down. After I got it down, the chain wouldn’t attach. Suddenly it was shorter.

It turned out the chain had done something physically impossible. It’s too boring to describe, but a chain link moved through an opening it was too small to fit through. No idea how it happened. I adjusted it and got the chain attached.

I’m sick of the piles of dead limbs all over the farm, and I’m tired of their huge masses of brown leaves. I would guess I got a thousand pounds of this stuff onto the pile today. As I expected, the pile was still burning from yesterday, so once I got a couple of forkloads on it, it started flaming up.

In the past, I have been unwilling to put wood on a live fire, because I didn’t want to melt the tractor. What if it stalled by the pile? I’d be in trouble. Now I’ve decided I don’t care. I have to get rid of this wood, and the odds that the tractor will stall and be unwilling to start right when I’m next to the pile are very low.

Like the odds that a hurricane will hit Miami one month after you list a yacht for sale.

Anyway, things go much, much faster if you’re willing to shovel wood on a live fire. You can do three days’ worth of burning in an afternoon.

I’m not sure I’m mowing correctly. The bush hog does not give me nice short grass. It seems to knock the grass over and tear some of the top off of it. This is a lot better than nothing, but it’s not what I want. My pasture is full of bahia grass, which is very tough, and it doesn’t seem to want to yield to the bush hog. I have the RPM’s at the right level, and I lower the bush hog as much as I can. I don’t know what else to do.

I do not like Columbus Day, and it’s not for the usual reasons. It’s not because Columbus was a white man who wasn’t gay and had a holiday named after him. I hate Columbus Day because every year, people in Miami use it as an excuse to cruise around the bay, drunk, stoned, and completely naked, performing sex acts in public.

Miami now has two disgusting holidays. The other is Memorial Day Weekend, which is now part of Urban Beach Week. Sleazy rappers descend on South Beach and scare the crap out of the locals, and they don’t spend money. They bring their own weed and cheap liquor, they pack ten people to a hotel room, and they don’t go to expensive clubs and restaurants. They shoot at each other a lot, so it’s always a good week for the TV news people.

Wait! I’m not in Miami! I have to keep that in mind. I’m on my own farm, with tractors and a shooting berm.

Whew.

Urban Beach Week is funny to watch (if you don’t mind watching a city sicken and die) because it exposes liberal hypocrisy. South Beach is a gay stronghold, and gays take great pride in their far-left leanings. Gays love crowing about the way they support minorities. Now they are watching their Shangri-La disintegrate due to an influx of two-bit gangsters, most of whom are black. There’s a lot of pressure to “fix” South Beach and bring back the days when it was all gays and Europeans, but how are socialist gays supposed to discuss the problem without being PC’d to death? They can’t. Local bigwigs made a sneaky effort to bring in a big air show to break the minority Memorial Day monopoly, and people saw right through it. Amusing.

The weather here got cool, and I was pretty excited, but then it got hot again. By the end of next week, we should have a return to normal October weather. Even with the heat, the sun is milder here than in Miami, and it cools off at night. It will probably be 80 degrees at 10 p.m. in Miami tonight.

I may have to go back to Miami at the end of the week. I sincerely hope not, but I knew when I moved up here that I would have to return from time to time. Visiting briefly is a whole lot better than returning to Miami after visiting some other place. You know it’s not permanent. When you re-enter Miami after visiting…anywhere…it’s like being returned to prison after a month on the run.

There is something seriously wrong with people who like Miami.

I don’t understand people who don’t like Ocala. It’s quiet. The people are wonderful. You can have land. You can have a tractor and a big workshop. You can speak English and be understood. There is good barbecue everywhere.

Some people can’t entertain themselves. They have to be able to go to bars. As if bars were exciting.

I can shoot here. I can use tools. I can ride motorcycles. I can enjoy the outdoors. To me, that’s too much entertainment to deal with.

The other day I saw a pickup truck here with a four-foot-wide Confederate flag flying from a pole in the bed. I thought that was neat. Years ago, I got rid of the only two items I had that had Confederate flags on them, because I don’t want people to think I support the Confederacy’s position on slavery, but I hate the hysteria and self-righteousness currently surrounding the flag. People who want one should be able to fly it. They’re not thinking about slavery. They’re thinking about how much they enjoy being Southerners. If you flew that flag in Miami, you would stand a pretty good chance of being run off the road and beaten. It’s neat that you can have that flag here and not have people take it the wrong way.

Being a Southerner is pretty cool. You get to shoot. You get to have tractors, golf carts, four-wheelers, and ATV’s. You get to drive to the mailbox instead of walking because it’s more fun. You get to be nice to people instead of going through life generating aggression displays like an angry lizard defending its territory. It’s understandable that people would be happy they’re from the South.

This place is great. Miami is a stinking abscess. That about covers it.

I Can Haz Beverage

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Plus Other Major Achievements

Today has been pretty good. I have had no major crises, and I got a couple of things done.

First, I managed to burn more hurricane wood today. When the weekend started, my burn pile was enormous. I had stopped adding to it because it was so big I was concerned about attracting the law. Yesterday I had an opportunity to light it, and I reduced the pile to a much smaller size.

Today I went out to add more wood to it. Amanda visited this weekend, and she ordered her sons to pile up the branches in my back and side yard. Today I scooped it up with the tractor and dumped it on the pile. As luck would have it, the pile was still smoldering from yesterday, and up it went.

You’re supposed to extinguish debris fires at night, but it’s not that easy to do it reliably. The burn survived an intense cloudburst yesterday, and that should tell you what I’m up against. From trying to light fires, I’ve learned how unlikely it is that a debris fire could spread around here, so I’m not worried.

Second thing: I repaired my Rockstar fridge.

In 2015, a tenant abandoned one of my dad’s warehouses, and we got his stuff. Most of it was garbage, but he left a hilarious mini-fridge with Rockstar Energy Drink logos all over it. I decided to hold onto it. Perfect man cave addition. A couple of weeks ago, a friend ferried it up from Miami, and I installed it in my workshop.

The fridge worked, but it made a noise like a constipated bear, and the little fan that was supposed to move the cold air around didn’t work. I ordered a new 12V fan off Ebay and waited for it to arrive.

If you have a Rockstar mini-fridge, you need to know that your crappy fan runs on 12 volts, and in order to replace it, you just remove the panel in the rear of the fridge. It comes off with four or five screws. You also have to remove one shelf support to get clearance to pull the panel out.

I cut the wires to the old fan as close to the fan as possible so I would not have to run the wires all the way back to the transformer in the top of the fridge. That would have been hard, because the manufacturer didn’t make this fridge to be disassembled easily. I put shrink wrap on the wires, connected them, soldered them, and shrunk the tubing. I reassembled the fridge, and it worked. Now I’m very happy.

I don’t know how much time this fridge has left. Maybe 20 years. Maybe a month. I know it’s running at the moment. That’s a victory. It doesn’t seem to be moaning as much as it was. The evaporator was covered with ice before I repaired the fan. I don’t know if that’s because the fan was dead, or if it’s something else. Anyway, I’ll check the ice tomorrow, while reaching for a cold, delicious Gatorade or ginger ale.

Forgot one other accomplishment. The other day I saw a reality TV guy named John Klump, giving a tip for clearing up cloudy headlight covers. He sprayed Off! on a headlight and rubbed it off with a paper towel. It cleared right up. I was amazed. The headlights on my truck have been looking sad for a while, and the compressor-driven buffing kit I bought didn’t work too well on them. I tried the Klump trick today, and it really worked. Astounding.

Off! has a nasty chemical called DEET in it, and DEET is famous for melting tents when you spray it inside them. I guess it melts headlight covers, too. Just enough to let you buff them with a paper towel. I don’t really know, but it works like crazy.

My headlights don’t look perfect, but they look much, much better. I suppose they could be perfected with more Off!, but I didn’t want to stand there all day, wiping them over and over.

I recommend NOT buying a headlight kit. I’m glad I have a buffer, because it’s useful for lots of things, but it worked very poorly on my headlights.

I hate to post news of these enormous feats and make everyone feel small, but I felt the world needed to know.

It’s wonderful to work in a garage where I can swing a cat without hitting a wall. I love this place.

Time for a beverage.

Growing Pains Continue

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Cliff Clavin Would be Proud

Life in Ocala is wonderful, although I still have challenges. My dad sometimes decides he doesn’t have dementia, which actually makes sense. Dementia screws up your judgment and makes you forget things, including your dementia diagnosis. I have also had more problems getting rid of my dad’s yacht.

My dad has gotten worse. Dementia never stands still. Over the last few days he has forgotten his diagnosis, and he has been telling me his mind is fine. I tell him he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, and he says he doesn’t remember anything like that. Then I remind him that this proves the diagnosis is right.

He wants to drive. I told him he can’t drive because he gets lost. Then he wants to know when he got lost. Then I have to remind him. Then he says he wants to drive with me in the car with him, which negates the whole purpose of driving. He says he wants to maintain the skill. This could be useful to me, because he could follow me when I need him to take me to get the car fixed. But it’s not worth it, because it will convince him he’s a safe driver.

In December, he will have to take a driving test. I suppose that will put an end to the controversy.

Supposedly, the stage of dementia he’s in lasts a couple of years, tops. It’s too bad he has a contrary attitude, because he only has a short stretch of relative clarity before him, and he would get more out of it if he didn’t fight the truth. One of these days, he will drop another notch, and it may be a big one. That’s how the disease progresses. It could be tomorrow or three months from now. He would be better off admitting the obvious and trying to get right with God.

He has delusions now. He thinks he used to ride motorcycles. He has no idea how to operate one. He told a friend we used to take his boat to Europe. He said we put drums of diesel on the deck to extend the boat’s range. Imagine trying to lift a 55-gallon drum of diesel on a rocking boat and then using it to pour fuel into an opening on the boat’s gunnel.

I knew another man with a problem like my dad’s, but he was a less argumentative person. He had always been calm, rational, warm-hearted, patient, generous, and cooperative. Even after he was unable to look after himself, he was clean, well-mannered, and very pleasant to deal with. Everyone loved him, and he wasn’t a burden to anyone except possibly his wife. Your preexisting personality can shape the experience you have when you become demented.

I had to get a second fridge because my dad’s food habits were too gross to tolerate. I hid it in a closet in the garage, and I put certain items in it so they wouldn’t be defiled or eaten as soon as they made it into the house. I don’t want to eat pickles after he has put his fingers in the jar. Imagine the things he would have on his fingers. I don’t want to use mustard from a greasy bottle with dried mustard all over it. I don’t want to eat Raisin Bran after he has sat in front of the TV and eaten most of the box with his fingers. I would like a chance to eat some cheese or an ice cream sandwich before they suddenly vanish.

These habits didn’t start when he became demented. It’s just how he has always been. Now that he’s demented, he can’t remember when I remind him he has to think about cleanliness and leave some food for me.

He rubs spit on things now. That’s new. He thinks he’s cleaning things. I have to keep Lysol wipes and a spray bottle of alcohol handy.

It’s a big relief, knowing I can have clean food and that if I buy a bag of miniature Snickers bars, it won’t disappear before I get the chance to open it. He ate a two-pound bag of peanut butter M&M’s the other day. Who does that?

He won’t find the fridge because he can’t find his way around the house all that well. He’s not sure where my bedroom is. He can find the kitchen, the garage, and his bedroom, and he can walk around the neighborhood without problems, but he will probably never know there’s a closet in the garage.

As for his boat, it has been a horrendous ordeal trying to get rid of it. When the insurance came up for renewal, the agent said there was no coverage for damage. Just liability. This was my dad’s idea. I decided to follow suit, because I was listing the boat with a broker. How likely was it that a hurricane would hit Miami in the two months it would be on the market? Yeah, okay.

Irma showed up. She tore up the boat’s canvas and did some other damage, and I thought I was going to take a big hit. I had a stressful week thinking about it. Then one day I started praying for God to get it sold, and I thanked him over and over and gave him glory, saying, “because it’s done.” A few minutes later, the broker said we had two offers for much more than I expected. We accepted one of them. Then the bilge pumps acted up. I wrote about that a few days ago. If you read about it, you know that “Carlos,” our dubious boat mechanic, installed a new pump. I thought the pump saga was over.

Carlos said water was coming from a rotted head hose. He said he couldn’t close the seacock to keep water out while he replaced it, because it was stuck, and if he applied pressure to it, he might break it and let in enough water to sink the boat. This is a lot of BS. You can replace a seacock on a docked boat by having someone go over the side and cover the opening with a toilet plunger while you work. I know this because Carlos has done it. I wrote about this earlier.

You can pound a stopper into a through-hull if the seacock breaks. Everyone knows this. It’s not like mankind has been sailing for thousands of years without coming up with a few solutions to simple problems. It’s not like every boat with a hole in it sinks. Human beings aren’t that stupid.

Anyway, I thought the problem was fixed, but the broker went over the next day, and Carlos’s pump wasn’t working. The broker got it running, closed the seacock, and got the water pumped out.

Thanks again, Carlos.

Why did the broker go over the next day? Because he’s a responsible adult who cares if the boat sinks. He’s not just thinking about getting a check and running off.

I texted Carlos just to have my low expectations confirmed. He did not disappoint. He gave me a bunch of Bart Simpson excuses, including, “It was working when I left.” He started saying he would go over and fix the rest of the wiring. Yes, instead of apologizing profusely, he decided to award himself another profitable job. No, that would not be necessary. The sale was supposed to close the next day, and I didn’t feel much like paying another Carlos bill. I told him not to bother.

I found out I could move the closing up by sending the required documents early, so I jumped on the chance. I got them notarized and sent them the fastest way I could. On Wednesday, I used the Postal Service (You can see where this is heading) to send them by two-day Express Mail. They were guaranteed to arrive by noon Friday.

Hallelujah! Problem solved! The sale would be final on Friday! Not my boat, not my problem!

Then Friday came, and the delivery confirmation text didn’t come.

The Postal Service didn’t deliver the envelope in time. I spent over $80 for nothing, and I was facing two more days with a leaky boat on my hands.

I tried to log into the USPS site to get information. The site said my account was disabled. It referred me to a page to fix it. That page told me to create a new account, which had nothing to do with the problem. I called. The robot said the wait was at least 20 minutes. I tried their email contact page. I filled it out and clicked, and I got a page saying it wasn’t working.

Today I got my dad in the car, and we sent more documents using UPS. This is a real company that occasionally delivers things on time. We spent $91, and then we sat down at Bob Evans for breakfast. Ten minutes later, I got a text. The Postal Service had delivered the documents.

Okay.

The boat has to remain afloat until Monday morning, when the closer signs off on everything and has the money wired to my dad. I have around 40 hours of prayer ahead of me. After that, if it sinks, it’s the buyer’s baby. They had it surveyed. They have a mechanic. They know it has issues. Their responsibility.

Hurricane Irma knocked the boat around. The broker has messed with the wires. Carlos has puttered around with the wires. The buyer’s mechanic has been on the boat. It’s not an ideal situation.

My dad says the boat is in “tip top shape.”

I contacted friends for prayer. I don’t want to take chances. I need this boat gone.

I got an amazing answer to prayer when the offer arrived. Then I had all these problems. Am I getting resistance from Satan? Sure seems that way. But he’s the little one who loses, and God is the big one who always wins. I have to remember that.

I might shoot again tomorrow. Today I got an opportunity to set fire to our huge burn pile, so next week I’ll have an opportunity to clear more wood. Tomorrow it will be hot, so I think I’ll just shoot. Today Amanda and her sons came over, and I made pizza and garlic rolls.

If you have a minute, please pray the boat stays afloat until it gets to the Cayman Islands and that the sale goes through on Monday. I would be very grateful.

Things are going to get better. The current hurricane is headed somewhere where I don’t have land, my dad is not in the hospital, I have sanitary food, and sooner or later the hairs I burned off my legs have to grow back.

Here’s a photo of the burn pile.

It’s Nice not to be a PC Shemale

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Manly Activities Bring Joy

It seems like there is nothing you can’t do with chainsaws, a tow strap, and a tractor.

I have been putting off tackling a particularly dangerous fallen oak. It snapped about 15 feet off the ground and fell into the crotch of another oak so it was suspended horizontally. A major branch extended about 30 degrees off the fallen oak, toward the ground. This made things worse, because the big branch was bent against the ground, storing up energy so it could spring loose and kill me or drop the main trunk on me when I cut it.

You can’t cut the main trunk on a tree like this, because there’s a good chance the fallen part will come down and crush your skull. You never fell a tree with a rotten or broken part above your head. I had to work on it from the top end.

I didn’t even consider cutting this tree until I had a pole saw. Most of it was above shoulder height, to put it mildly. You don’t use a chainsaw for jobs like that. A pole saw is okay for high cuts under certain circumstances, i.e., when the wood you cut off won’t fall on your head.

I had to cut off the top of the fallen oak, which extended past the crotch of the host tree, as I choose to call it. The top had branches going every which way, and some were bent against the ground. My hope was to snub it off at the host tree’s trunk so I could then cut the fallen oak on the other side of the trunk, allowing it to fall downward with the fallen tree’s trunk acting like a hinge.

Cutting the top of the fallen oak got difficult as I cut higher and higher. Eventually, I had to climb on a ladder to cut. By the way, do not buy a long Climbtek ladder like mine. They’re really heavy, and they can swing shut on your hands while you adjust them. They’re strong and versatile, but 99% of the time, you’ll be better off with a sliding extension ladder and a regular step ladder.

If you need the versatility, then I highly recommend Climbtek. This ladder can do almost anything. Just don’t complain about the weight.

You should never climb a ladder with a chainsaw, but a pole saw is different, because if you fall, you’ll land seven feet from the chain. That’s my theory, at least.

I trimmed the top of the fallen tree as much as I could, but as I went higher, I got to the point where I was cutting nearly straight over my head. The last piece I cut took a fall path about four feet from me in the horizontal direction, and that was close enough. Now what? I stared at it for a long time.

I remembered I had a tractor and a 30-foot strap. I had also trimmed a lot off the fallen oak’s big branch. I realized I could put the strap on the end of the branch and use the branch as a lever to twist the fallen oak and make it fall off its stump. I had to get on the ladder to attach the strap to the branch, right under the horizontal part of the tree. That made me wish I were wearing diapers, but nothing happened.

I attached the strap and started pulling with the tractor. I pulled and backed up and pulled and backed up and pulled. I didn’t want to pull too hard and store too much energy in the tree and strap. I didn’t want anything coming loose and flying my way. After two or three repetitions, the fallen oak tore off its stump and fell. This was one of the great moments of my life. I’m ashamed to say I faced the oak and made a gesture I’ve seen a lot of Italians make in movies.

The big branch was hanging in the air now, so I used the pole saw to buck it into little chunks. You’re not supposed to buck logs with pole saws, but I was too tired to walk and get a big saw. Took me two minutes.

Now the tree is utterly defeated. Tomorrow I can get the big mama saw out and buck it for removal to the burn pile or the side of the road. I’ll get to use my new timberjack!

“What’s a timberjack?”, you wonder. It’s an amazing tool for bucking logs. It has a hook like a peavey on it. It has two legs on the other side. You use the hook to roll logs over so the legs hold them up. This gives you clearance to cut the logs in pieces without sawing into the dirt.

Sawing into the dirt is fun, but it’s a bad idea. Like a lot of fun things.

I should post photos of the timberjack when I finish that tree.

As far as I know, I will be able to cut and move every tree on the property without professional help. It’s just a matter of nibbling away at the unsafe bits until you have something safe. The tractor is a phenomenal tool. I can move wood with it, and that’s obvious, but I can also yank trees around and make them safer to cut.

I spent about $1200 on saws, plus another three hundred or so on things like a hard hat, gloves, the timberjack, and wedges. That’s bad, but it’s a whole lot less than a bunch of slackers with a crane would charge. I’ll want to hire slackers if I ever want to fell big trees near the house, but I’m not shelling out 10 grand for them to move trees that are already on the ground, especially when I can burn them or shove them onto the right of way for nothing.

I spent some money, but I have something to show for it other than huge bills and a Wimp of the Year trophy. The tools will be waiting in the shop for the next crisis. On a farm, there will always be tree issues, so I had to get these things anyway. I may never again have to deal with a dozen or so trees that fell over simultaneously, but trees will fall from time to time, because THEY’RE ALL ROTTEN HERE. This place produces the scabbiest, most scrofulous oaks in the world. It’s amazing they allow the filthy things to grow, when they could plant pecans or something.

Speaking of Wimp of the Year trophies, this whole ordeal has me thinking about Satan’s successful attacks on American masculinity. We raise ladies of both sexes now. What has happened to our men? They wear makeup and tights. Half of them are insisting we pretend they’re women. Is masculinity really that repellant to men? Is it possible they actually find it distasteful?

I love man stuff. I love my Danner boots, my diesel pickup, my tractor, my welders, my machine tools, my guns, and my tractors. I love going out there in a $4.99 Tractor Supply hat and wreaking havoc. I love shooting. I used to love fishing until it became a giant burden. What’s with our fruity modern males? How can they not like these things?

I can’t understand little sissies who don’t like setting things on fire, blowing things up, or ripping things up with power tools. I’m pretty far from a man’s man (even though Acidman called me that), but I’m doing a lot better than a lot of guys I see these days. I still feel gay every time I put gel in my hair.

I’ve started wearing my Tractor Supply hat into restaurants. I didn’t see that coming. I feel strange leaving the house without it.

Amanda got me a high-visibility Rural King hat, so I have variety. I kind of hate to sweat up a gift, though.

Hurricane Irma and these trees can kiss my big white Christian conservative male rear end. I didn’t move here so I could take estrogen and do yoga while my neighbors had all the fun. I will keep putting these trees in their place until they wish they had never germinated.

When I have my machine tools here, I’ll be the most annoying Southerner on earth. If I’m not already. Almost everything that causes me problems can be dealt with by cutting it, dragging it, welding it, machining it, or shooting it. When I have machining covered, I will be insufferable. I plan to, anyway.

Hope you enjoy the photos. If not, quit reading this blog, because I will never stop posting this kind of stuff.

More

I feel like writing some more. Another benefit of living in Ocala is that I’m in better shape. I can’t seem to gain weight here. I had to move to a smaller belt, even though I’ve been patronizing Sonny’s barbecue pretty heavily. On top of that, apart from a short hurricane-related lapse, I’ve been maintaining my HIIT workout schedule, and everything is firming up and improving. I would go so far as to describe myself as semi-muscular. I looked in the mirror the other day and saw something that almost resembled abs.

I’m excited about being in shape. I may even get some weights. Ordinarily, it’s hard to make myself lift, but I do so much work here, lifting will just be noise on the graph.

It would be neat to go back to 47 chest/33 waist.

I guess I’m the only person on earth who pushes exercise bike pedals with his hands, but I won’t apologize. It works. The resistance knob on the bike broke (again), so instead of fixing it, I put an adjustable clamp on the calipers that apply pressure to the bike’s wheel. Now I get lots of resistance. It’s having an effect. If you’re too lazy to lift, this will tone your upper body and even add some bulk, and if you ever have to do strenuous work, you’ll be ready for it.

This place rocks. I hate Miami more every second.

The Boat That Will not Leave

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Sinking Out of Spite

I had some more surprises this week.

I’m trying to sell my dad’s yacht, and we have a contract on it. Day before yesterday, the dockmaster at the marina called me in the morning to say an alarm was going off on the boat, and he said it looked a little low in the front. I called my house sitter and had him take a look. Water was coming up in the compartment under the floor of the forward stateroom. It wasn’t an emergency, but it needed to be attended to that day. I knew it was probably a bad bilge pump or a bad float switch.

A bilge pump is a sort of sump pump that sits in the bottom of a boat and pumps out excess water. It prevents the boat from sinking. Including backups, my dad’s boat has six pumps. A float switch is a switch that turns a pump on when water rises and lifts it.

The people at the marina pump boats in emergencies, but their minimum charge is $500, for what may be an easy 15-minute job. I wanted to avoid that.

I called Carlos (random false name), the guy who does most of the repair work on the boat, and I told him water was rising and that he needed to go to the boat. He said he would do it.

Problem solved. Right?

Next morning, the dockmaster calls me again. He says there are a thousand gallons of water in the boat. He says there is no time to wait. I call Carlos immediately and ask why he hasn’t fixed the boat. Carlos says he didn’t think it was urgent. Out come the excuses. It’s my fault for not screaming, “THE BOAT IS SINKING!”

Carlos has been working on boats for 40 years. He was in the Navy. By now, one would think he had learned that when water starts rising in a boat, you go and fix it TODAY. I’m not a boat expert, but I would have been there in five minutes, had I not moved 300 miles. Carlos didn’t even check it. That’s inexcusable. It’s flat-out incompetence. Totally irresponsible. Carlos thought it was highly professional.

I tell Carlos my dad has a submersible pump in his garage in Miami. He needs to go over and get it, to avoid the huge pumping charge. No, Carlos says. There’s too much water.

The dockmaster pumps it out, and he sends me a photo. The water never got up over the floor. There is no damage. There was probably 200 gallons of water in the boat. Carlos could have pumped it out easily with my dad’s pump. Had he felt like getting off his butt.

Carlos then installs a new pump, at $85 per hour.

It may be a little risky for Carlos to replace the seacock, but he can replace the hose very easily. He just doesn’t want to. Maybe he wants us to pay to have the boat hauled.

This is not the first bad experience we’ve had with Carlos. He routinely failed to return calls for days. He sold my dad a Furuno radar with the buttons chewed off by rats. He said it was new, and that he had stored it for a while, and the rats had gotten to it. He said he would order us new buttons. It was a steal.

I eventually asked him why the buttons hadn’t been replaced. “Oh, that’s an old radar. They don’t have parts for that any more.”

Recently, one of the toilets had a problem. Carlos fixed it. He sent a bill for $1900, on a boat he knew we were going to have to get rid of. If we had sold it with a broken head, we would have gotten exactly the same price we are getting now. The $1900 is money, literally, down the toilet.

Carlos says there’s a leaking hose up front that caused the water problem, and he can’t fix it because he can’t close the seacock to keep the water out. He said you can’t replace a hose on a stuck seacock without hauling the boat. I reminded him that he used to replace hoses and seacocks on boats sitting at docks, by having a diver go over the side and hold a toilet plunger over the holes while he worked. I guess he thought I had forgotten that. No, no; he insisted. You have to haul the boat.

Carlos is not a bad person, but he likes to find things he can fix, he seems to like avoiding hard jobs, and he is never wrong. He never says, “Wow, I blew it.”

Now I’m waiting for a $500 bill for a problem I could have fixed in half an hour with three tools and a cheap pump. I’m guessing Carlos will hit us for around $300, plus the pump. The pump should be around $75, but I have a feeling…

So figure $800, minimum.

At least I’m rid of the boat AND Carlos. I don’t dislike Carlos, but I want him out of my life, permanently. He is a financial drain and a source of unnecessary aggravation, and you can’t tell him a damned thing. You’re always wrong, and Carlos is always right, and if you alienate him by calling him on his BS, you may end up having to hire someone substantially worse.

The crazy thing is this: as boat gypsies go, Carlos is a jewel. Most don’t show up at all. They drink. They take drugs. They charge for work they didn’t do. They do unbelievably bad work. They walk off jobs. Carlos usually shows up after a few days or a couple of weeks, and most of his work is good. I guess I would actually recommend Carlos if someone asked, because his colleagues are like confused monkeys.

If you want to get stinking rich, learn how to fix boats, move to the shore, and do minimally competent work for an honest price. You will be so busy you won’t know what to do with yourself. Everyone will want to hire you.

When the dockmaster said there were a thousand gallons of water in the boat, I pictured ruined carpeting, soaked electric motors, stained and swollen paneling…the works. I’m not sure he knows how big a gallon is. I really appreciate him looking after the boat, though, because needless panic is better than letting the boat sink.

Carlos started rattling off things that needed to be fixed. I told him not to fix anything but the pump. I just want it to float until we get rid of it. The broker agrees.

I had to tell him the boat was sold. I was trying to avoid that, because he wanted to make an offer on it. We talked about it a couple of months back, and he talked the boat down. That’s fine, but he made it seem like he was trying to do us a favor, and that was a little insulting. The fact that I don’t remind you that I’m not a sucker doesn’t mean I’m not aware that you’re treating me like one. Miami people don’t understand things like that. They only understand what you spell out for them.

I was afraid he would charge more or do inferior work if he knew he wasn’t getting the boat. Now that the bilge pump is fixed, I’m afraid there may be a “This is what you get for not selling me the boat” surcharge.

The buyers want to take it to the Caymans, where they live. That’s fine, but they really need to haul it and check all the hoses and seacocks. If it starts to go down because of a bad hose, they’ll be in real trouble out there.

I’m not sure how much to babysit them. If I start nagging them about safety, they probably won’t haul the boat. They’ll probably do exactly as they please, or they’ll want me to cut the price.

Barring more surprises, I may be rid of the boat on Friday. Then they have until Halloween to move it. Then I dance in the yard, singing hallelujah. After that, I rent the slip to someone, and then I count the days until I can sell it and do a 1031 exchange on a piece of commercial real estate.

Boats are a headache. Do not buy a boat. A bass boat is fine. A canoe is fine. Anything over 20 feet will make you sorry you bought it. Anything you keep in the water will be even worse, because it will be vulnerable to storms, dock damage, theft, vandalism, and unexpected catastrophic bilge pump failure.

I’m all done with boats. A boat is like a giant tick that’s always thirsty. We haven’t used this one in years, and it’s still sucking the life out of me. Dumping it will turn it and the slip from financial drains to income producers.

We should have gotten rid of it five years ago, but my dad loved it. He spent almost every day sitting on the boat. He refused to accept reality. He would tell me we needed to go to the Bahamas. Okay, first of all, filling it in the US would have run $2200. And diesel is cheap here compared to the Bahamas. You can’t come home unless you refill it there. After that problem is dealt with, what are two old men going to do in the Bahamas by themselves? And how are they going to handle the boat alone? A boat trip is a gigantic amount of work for three or four people. For two–one of whom will not be doing anything but drinking beer–it’s a Herculean labor.

I understand why he enjoyed the boat. He didn’t do anything. He sat on the flybridge drinking one Lite beer after another. I would enjoy that, too, if it were a better beer.

Here’s what I had to do for a half-day trip off Miami:

1. Go buy bait and ice.
2. Salt the bait.
3. Rig the baits in advance.
4. Prepare the rods. Change line, tie leaders, and so on.
5. Check the oil and water in the motors and generator.
6. Check the transmission oil.
7. Make sure everything runs.
8. Check the heads and make sure they work.
9. Fill the fresh water tank and make sure the pump works.
10. Buy sunscreen, food, and beverages and load them onto the boat.
11. Get the boat running on the morning of the trip.
12. Cast off the lines.
13. Monitor my dad so he doesn’t run the boat aground on the way out of the bay.
14. Get the bait out.
15. Monitor the baits while we troll. Untangle fouled lines. Remove seaweed from lines. Replace stolen baits.
16. Teach every guest how to tie the same knot I taught them last time.
17. Teach every guest how to hook a fish.
18. Yell instructions to my dad while we fight fish, while telling the guests what not to do.
19. Deal with the inevitable mechanical, electrical, or head problems which occur because my dad doesn’t like spending money on maintenance. This may involve going into a loud, 120-degree engine room and working there for long periods.
20. Get the rods in order while we cruise back in.
21. Clean the fish.
22. Dump the excess ice and bait.
23. Clean the cooler.
24. Clean the boat.
25. Put the rods away.

For a Bahamas trip, you can add things like get the life raft certified, get the EPIRB certified, pack the entire boat with food and drinks, get the GPS ready, prepare my dad’s house, board my birds, stop the periodicals, stop the mail, make reservations for a slip in the Bahamas…it’s endless.

You can see why I got tired of it. And again, old men do not go on Bahama trips with their dads. Even if they did, my dad was not physically or mentally able to go. He would have come home in a box.

I don’t know when his dementia started kicking in, but he had extremely unrealistic ideas about the boat at least five years ago.

He still says we should get a top price for the boat, because he kept it in peak condition. I must disagree. The seacocks are a mess. The hoses need to be replaced. The furniture and mattresses are done. The carpeting is done. The engine room wiring needs to be gone through. The heads are disgusting. The fridge is rusting apart. The life raft needs to be redone. The canvas is shot. The woodwork needs professional refinishing. The hull needs painting, and it may have blisters.

It would be nice to hear him say, “The boat is a mess and we kept it way too long.” That will never happen.

By this time next week, I hope to be boat-free, and one month from now, I hope to welcome a paying tenant. Fishing was fun. Cruising to the Bahamas on your own yacht is a rare privilege. Great. That’s over now. Time to do something new that doesn’t cost $15,000 per year. I don’t want boats. I want commercial warehouses. Commercial warehouses don’t sink.

I should go outside and clear the yard of sticks so I don’t stub my toes while I dance.

White Fright

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Vegas Slaughter Grounds Overt Anti-Caucasian Racism

It’s crazy how America is being transformed by Satan.

Last night a maniac opened fire on concertgoers with an automatic weapon, killing at least fifty. Who are Internet leftists blaming? The murderer? Mental illness? No, they’re blaming white people. Many are more specific: they blame conservative Christian white men.

There is a myth out there which says only white men commit mass murderers, and that only white men become serial killers. John Muhammad’s murder spree did nothing to change the minds of the faithful. They didn’t pay any attention to him, Wayne Williams, Colin Ferguson, Lee Malvo, Syed Farook, Omar Mateen, the 911 killers, or Christopher Dorner. They don’t even know who Charles Ng is. They hear a myth that confirms their preexisting bigotry, and they choose not to question it.

I include dark-skinned Muslims among non-white killers. They’re Caucasian, but “Caucasian” and “white” aren’t synonyms.

Here’s an interesting fact: white people aren’t that violent. According to government statistics, Asians commit the least violent crime in the US. After that, white people. Then you get a big bump in the statistics, and you come to Hispanics, who are much more violent than whites or Asians (largely because of the huge number of violent crimes committed by illegal aliens). Next on the list: black males. They commit MOST murders in America; a little over 50%. But somehow leftists have decided white men are our biggest terrorist threat.

The bizarre racist comments now appearing on the web seem to be coordinated by a central authority. A tremendous number of people have simultaneously appeared on the Internet, like a flash mob, spouting very similar hateful comments about white men. How can that be? Do they get together on the dark web and pass out talking points? Maybe some of them do, but the real explanation has to be supernatural. When a big percentage of a nation’s people start parroting the same hateful lies at the same time, Satan has to be behind it, just as he was behind the anti-Jewish lies of the Nazis.

In 1910, Germany and Austria were countries that welcomed Jews and allowed them to take part in every facet of society. Twenty years later, it was time for Jews to get out. Hatred had appeared out of nowhere, very suddenly, and it was about to get much worse. In 1997, anyone who blamed white Christian Americans for our nation’s terrorism issues would have been laughed into submission, rightfully. In 2017, white-hating bigots are mainstream. Colleges can have days when white people are forced to stay home.

I don’t believe white people are the master race or that minorities cause all of America’s problems, but you would have to be blind not to notice that we commit less crime than blacks and Hispanics. Where would you rather walk alone at night? Compton or Salt Lake City? Be serious.

It would be wrong to say that white people don’t commit violent crime, but to make the claim that we’re a bigger threat than Muslims, blacks, and illegals is asinine. It’s facially absurd. Yet somehow this is what we’re being told.

The Las Vegas murderer, Stephen Paddock, has been claimed by ISIS. That won’t change his whiteness, but if true, it takes him out of the white/male/conservative/Christian category into which the left is working furiously to jam him. ISIS says he converted to Islam months ago. Leftists are falling all over themselves, trying to refute this claim. In reality, we don’t know whether it’s true or not, and a lot of people are going to look stupid when we learn the truth.

I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s probably true, for two reasons. First of all, ISIS has a news agency, and they want to be taken seriously. They wouldn’t want to make a false claim that would be taken down in hours or minutes. Second, Paddock opened fire at a country music performance which he knew would be full of conservatives and Christians. If Paddock were a conservative avenger, he would have shot up a different type of event.

People say he used to be registered as a Democrat, so at the moment, the evil white male narrative is a bit shaky.

If ISIS is wrong, the overwhelming likelihood is that Paddock was a bitter, entitled old nut who had a beef with the management of the Mandalay Bay casino, and he didn’t care what type of people were in the crowd.

I saw someone say he couldn’t be a Muslim, because he was known to consume alcohol. Wrong. The 911 killers had no qualms about drinking. Their religion says Allah forgives drinking and fornication as long as you die killing non-Muslims. If anything, prior sins gave Paddock more motivation to kill. He may have done a lot of drinking and fornicating in his life, and under Islam’s rules, you can’t count on forgiveness and salvation unless you die waging jihad. The Las Vegas rampage may have been his insurance policy.

It’s very disturbing, seeing so much hate directed at white Christian males. It’s open season. How can such a thing happen in America? On the one hand, we are being overwhelmed with exhortations to love, tolerate, and forgive. The word “inclusive” now has far more moral weight than the word “holy.” On the other hand, the same people promoting love and peace are working feverishly to promote open hatred and persecution of white Christian males. And no one seems to see the obvious hypocrisy.

I don’t believe in slavery. I don’t believe in subjugating non-whites or trampling on their rights or their dignity. How did I end up in the crosshairs? Where did all these seething, murderous enemies come from? There are millions of people in my country who are quite literally ready to murder me as soon as they get permission. Over myths and lies. And many of them are as white as I am! They want to purge their white guilt by persecuting their own. I hate to break the news to them, but when anti-white racism is truly unleashed, no one will care about your self-hatred. You’ll be in just as much danger as the rest of us, even if you’re a kapo.

What if they manage to get rid of us eventually? What do they think will happen? Have they ever looked at places where blacks and Latins are in charge? Will they enjoy America more if it turns into Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, or Zimbabwe? I doubt it very much. Life in Latin America and Africa is miserable, and it has nothing to do with white people. Life in Africa is so bad, people there wish they could move to India.

Try and name a few black and Latin countries where life is good. It’s not easy. We may be missed.

If you had told me 20 years ago that I would ever feel the need to discourage people from hating whites, I would have said you were dreaming. I can’t believe it has come to this.

I’m sorry to say it, but I’m very glad I live a good distance from the nearest minority strongholds. I have no desire whatsoever to bother them, but I have ample reason to think many of them will be coming after people like me in the relatively near future. I would not want to live within five miles of a ghetto these days.

I don’t know what movitated Stephen Paddock to kill. Maybe he’s a far-right Christian who wears Confederate flag pajamas to bed. I do know that it’s not right to blame my race for his crimes. Our track record over the last fifty years proves it makes no sense. There is no such thing as coordinated Christian terrorism or white terrorism in the United States. There will always be a few fringe nuts, but hey, there are also Chinese muggers. They don’t all go to dental school and medical school. A few robins don’t make a spring. Muslim terror, on the other hand, is raging all over the world, and American minority neighborhoods are war zones where whites and Asians are the preferred targets.

Guess I’ll sit back and see what news comes to light. I almost feel like praying Paddock turns out to be a Muslim.

We must be doing a few things right, for Satan to be working so hard to destroy us.

More

This is interesting. Leftist organ The Atlantic has published a piece saying false ISIS claims are “rare.”

Thanks for the Advice

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

The Opposite of Nostalgia

Today I was thinking about all the problems I have. I still have a bunch of big trees to cut and move. We are having a mosquito plague that beggars description. I still have to get my machinery moved from Miami. I have to get a house down there fixed up and rented. I gave myself a sunburn on one wrist and one leg using the welder. I added all that up, and this was my conclusion: I HATE MIAMI. THANK GOD I’M NOT IN MIAMI. I LOVE IT HERE.

So things could be worse.

I remember what some people said to me when I used to criticize Miami. “If you don’t like it, leave!” Sometimes they said, “Get the f___ out!”

I did! I left! Great advice! Muchos gracias!

People thought I wasn’t serious about leaving. Yeah, okay. They don’t know me very well. I’ve been trying to get out for years.

“Get the f___ out!” Always nice to get polite advice from good friends.

What do I miss about Miami? Still nothing! Nothing, nothing, nothing. Not the traffic. Not the rudeness. Not the ethnic tension. Not the near lack of seasons. Not the perpetually moldy smell of the air. I don’t miss paying ten bucks for a McDonald’s breakfast. I don’t miss having my unpleasant neighbors right up my nose as soon as I walk outside. I don’t miss not being able to shoot without driving for half an hour and paying a fee to be monitored by killjoy range officers. I don’t miss having a tiny, cramped workshop. I don’t miss not being able to talk to people because they’re too lazy and selfish to learn the language of the generous country that saved their lives.

I have two friends left in Miami. Two, after decades of living there. Guess what? They hate it. They hate it so much they want to move all the way to Virginia.

I know other people there, but we have drifted apart. Not including the couple I mentioned above, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be surprised if I called.

Well, I do have my house sitter. He has to stay there for another year because he’s in college. But he hates Miami, too.

Last week a friend had to go to Cudjoe Key to check on a rental house he owned. I let him sleep at my dad’s house in Miami, and he brought me a lot of stuff the movers left behind. I have my Rockstar beverage fridge! I have a guitar amp! My sawzall is here! I have my compressor hose reels! I even have one of my big soup pots, plus my huge pressure cooker!

I still have no steam iron, but that’s okay, because I hate ironing.

Yesterday Amanda and her kids came down for a visit, and I made collards, ham hocks, neckbones, hoe cakes, soup beans, and sliced tomatoes and Vidalias. We also slapped together some oatmeal cookies, from the recipe in my book. It turns out the book is wrong; they’re only supposed to have about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg in them. Anyway, it was a great feed. First real home-cooked meal I’ve made in months. Sometimes you need a big pot.

My laundry facilities are better than hers, so I told her to use them when she needs them. In return we get some company.

There are some things I had to replace after I moved. Example: my old-man tweezers. When you hit a certain age, hairs sprout all over you. You can either pull them out or watch them take over. I don’t mind buying tweezers, because tweezers are among the products we make a whole lot better than we used to.

It’s a good thing we got out when we did, because my dad’s condition worsened abruptly after our offer was accepted. It would have been a lot harder to move, had we waited. Now he has a big bedroom suite and a living room all to himself. He has a safe place to do his daily walking. His quality of life is much better. He isn’t tempted to drive. Looking after him is way easier here, and when things get worse, we’ll be surrounded by people who are experts at caring for old people. And they speak English.

He has started having false memories. The other day he told someone we had taken his boat to France and Italy, with extra diesel in drums on the deck. I sat there hoping no one would ask me about the trip.

Dementia is very strange. Dealing with a demented person is like walking through a house that has been hit by artillery fire. Some parts are totally sound, and others are just plain missing. Depending on what you talk to my dad about, you may be able to get very reliable input from him, but if you enter one of the damaged areas, the floor collapses under you.

Up here, he’s relatively safe from telemarketers and other swindlers. He doesn’t have to worry about close relations showing up on his doorstep, making wild accusations and demanding money. He’s less likely to be preyed upon by financially shaky, morally flexible middle-aged ladies who have suddenly found themselves drawn to octagenarians.

The weather has changed. I think. The forecast for this week is running seven to ten degrees lower than last week. That should make tree clearing easier. I’m told we will get bug relief after the first cold snap. That will be nice. Mosquitoes hate me, but there are so many here right now, even the outliers that find me tasty are able to cause problems. And because of the heat, sweat has been washing the repellant away.

Weather sites list the mosquito outlook as “EXTREME.” I would go along with that. And it makes sense. There is still standing water from Irma.

I can’t wait for better weather. The outdoor work has to be done.

I’m considering getting weights for the tractor. The guy who sold it to me left a bush hog on it for weight, but the bush hog gets beaten up a lot while I drag it around. It doesn’t lift completely off the ground. It would be a pain to switch weights for the bush hog, but it might be worth it. I would have more maneuverability, and the bush hog could be tucked away in the goat shed to rest.

A 1000-pound set of weights runs about a grand, but there is probably someone around here who has an old set to sell.

I had to weld the bush hog again. The welds I put on with a stick electrode broke when I hit a stump. They were really bad welds anyway. I fired up my generator and used the MIG to replace them, but I’ve had some problems. For one thing, the generator surges for some reason, and that makes the wire feed switch on and off. I may need a new torch cable liner to reduce resistance.

I don’t know what it will cost to get real 220 installed in the garage, but it’s a must-do.

That’s all I have right now. I am still here. I am still very, very, very glad I left. Hope to post more photos in the future.