Snow is falling again. It’s right around freezing and doesn’t seem to want to stick. I sectioned up a bunch of firewood this morning so I have plenty in reserve for the next week or two.
Back in Iowa ten years ago I had a chainsaw — never used it. I think I may have had two chainsaws. But I would just buy firewood from friends or whoever. I never learned how to use a chainsaw properly.
Now I know better. Somewhat. It’s been a learning experience. I dulled the chain pretty quickly due to my carelessness — oops, I forgot to add chain lubricant, oops, I chainsawed a rock — but the good news is I’m more on top of my chainsaw maintenance game now than ever before.
YouTube is pretty cool; it taught me how to sharpen a chainsaw properly. The first video was a Russian guy being like, “A tree fell down in my yard; let’s do a chainsaw tutorial. File kit ready, set, sharpen!” Then there was a dude filming his dad sharpening a chainsaw, not as good as the first video but still a couple handy pointers. And finally an ADHD Canadian lumberjack dude with lots of fully explained asides: “Who’s calling? Hold on, I have to get this — it could be the cable company.”
My folks are in town for the weekend and it’s good to see them. It’s good to be like, “Hey, would you like to hold the baby?” And then I can, well, I guess what I probably should have done was take a shower.
Hey man. Greetings from a Trader Joe’s parking lot in Phoenix, where I’m hanging out in the back of the family SUV with my overtired seven-month-old son while Mandy shops for dinner. Max got his flat-head-fixer-upper helmet today, and we’re enjoying the blazing-but-not-brutally hot upper 90s Phoenix temps. Public comments on the scoping phase for Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears’ new management plans are due soon, and I knocked out a rough draft of those earlier today while Max was sleeping, so, you know, civics, I guess.
Good morning, Flink! It’s 5:41 am and the sun is just about to rise because this is Arizona and Arizona knows that Daylight Savings Time is for chump states. Arizona is a Benjamin Franklin state, early to bed and early to rise, especially for light-sensitive babies!
Did you know: in June the sun will never set any later than 7:49 pm … but the sky will begin to get light at 3:22 am! I mean, I’m being dramatic here, 3:22 am is Arizona’s earliest astronomical twilight, which begins in the morning when the sun is 18° below the horizon. I guess if I really want to be fair I should tell you that astronomical twilight ends after sunset at 9:38 pm on the solstice.
Well, that concludes today’s installment of Arizona star talk; thank you for listening to me bitch about the movements of the sun and earth.
The power is out. I was sitting at my desk, getting stuff done, and then: Beeeeeoooowooprt. Everything electronic was dead and I was like, “Okay, now what?” Well, now I’ll write to Flink and complain about the frequency of power outages in general and also the inconvenience of this outage specifically.
I vividly recall your last email to me, which included the following request (quoted verbatim from memory): “Mike, in your next letter, please be sure to complain at great lenth about minor inconveniences over which you have no control.”
And I thought, man that’s a tall order, but anything for Flink. He is a true friend and if he wants to read about the fact that sometimes it is too windy and sometimes when the honey in the cupboard is too old it crystallizes and won’t pour smoothly and sometimes — oh my, I can’t think of anything else to complain about; I am sorry, I must have deeply disappointed you here.
I had hoped the power would be back on by now so I could be like, “Complaining works again!” but nope, guess I gotta complain about how complaining doesn’t work.
Hey Jon —
Here’s a fun fact. PC World ranked the Zip Drive as both the 23rd best and 15th worst tech product of all time. It’s true! I fact checked the Wikipedia article. Knowledge is power and now you know.
The 23rd most powerful person on Earth
15 Nov. 2017
Hey Matt — How are you doing, man? We’re both dads now. That’s pretty wild. I’m currently enjoying a Jim Beam from your spring 2017 advent calendar. Truly it is the gift that keeps on giving. Back in 2005-ish, the advent calendar would have supplied enough alcohol for about half an evening of drinking. Now we’re both dads. Are you good at it yet? I feel like I’m just starting to get good at it.
Mandy is in Sedona with Max and a friend, so tonight I have a fire burning in the wood stove and I’m thinking about life. I spent the day doing paperwork and it’s good to have it done and now I’m just thinking about stuff. I ate four baked potatoes for dinner because that’s about the level I’m operating at right now, culinary-wise.
We should talk on the phone soon. Come visit Arizona some time. If we lived in a smaller country, it would be impossible to live so far apart. Germany is … like, Germany is the size Delaware. I mean it’s not, but you can’t get as far apart as Seattle and Arizona in Germany. Maybe at most Seattle and Boise. At most. I don’t know. Mostly I just wanted to say wow, and hi.
Text on postcard:
I bought this postcard in 2012. It says it was printed in Italy. I think that says a lot about how excited people were for the 1999 Corn Palace. “How many postcards for this year’s Corn Palace design, boss?” asked the junior corn marketing assistant.
“A multi-decade supply,” came the answer. “Enough to stock postcards of the ’99 Palace well into the 2010s. And you know what? … Print them in Italy.”
And then there was a Jurassic-Park twist ending where the corn came to life, and he was like, “No expense was spared.”