Dead Time

It’s not that I have nothing to do. I’m testing ideas involving working with high mobility. Apparently the wifi on our home router isn’t that great. It’s not too bad for Android devices because they are designed to handle low bandwidth, but my laptop is not having the best of times with it. It was complicated by DNS trouble from my ISP and so forth. I’m learning to cope.

For example, I’m running an internal DNS service, typically called “name caching” among network techs. Windows does something like that automatically, but then it does it poorly. On my Debian laptop, I had to set it up specifically. However, it’s pretty easy: Just install the “bind9” package and it does exactly what I need by default. It then saves every DNS lookup I do and keeps track so it can find the same sites next time without having to ask any other servers.

I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with GnuPG (Open Source version of PGP) encryption and how it works with email. It’s not so much that I want my stuff encrypted; I’m all about getting the message out in the open. However, I may find myself dealing with folks who need more serious privacy in the near future. I can be simple with things like Thunderbird or Kmail, but I still prefer Alpine (text-mode email), so it’s a little more work.

I find it hurts my aging elbows to work with my lap board in the office chair by the bed. I need to come up with a different plan on that. The arm rests on my recliner in the front room are lower, with better padding, and put less pressure on my arms, but it means a weaker connection.

We are in an odd transitional weather pattern. The previous frost has moved off for awhile, and we are getting drizzle at near-freezing temperatures. Apparently the ground is still rather warm so there isn’t much surface freezing. It will be like this for another day or so, then it’s down into icebox we go.

So today I went out and cut some more on the trail. The only tough part to navigate is a huge dip in the path. I’m following an ancient rail bed from which the rails were removed decades ago. The first leg of the trail follows this most of a half-mile. There’s a point where the old line crossed a very deep swampy spot. Aside from the buttresses, nothing of the old bridge remains, so I had to cut a path down a very steep drop, across the currently dry swamp bottom, and back up the other side. Because of the heavy foliage I can’t get a decent picture of it, but the drop is about 50 feet vertical (15m) with about a 60° slope. So long as no part of it washes out, it will do as a vigorous test on the route. If the path I’ve cut starts collapsing, I’ll have to see about placing logs and stakes.

Today I bumped up against the old stock fence that once kept the cows off the tracks. It’s down in several places, but not where I decided was the best place to depart from the rail bed. I’ll have to take wire cutters alongside the limb cutters I normally carry. I usually carry a small folding limb saw, too. Chopping with an ax or machete is getting too rough on the tendons around my elbows. I can still split logs because that’s a different motion, but lighter chopping more than a couple of strokes will keep me awake at night.

Mostly I’m just cleaning up and straightening up clutter in the house and in my soul.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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5 Responses to Dead Time

  1. wildcucumber says:

    I love my laptop. I can adjust the glow of the screen, and I prefer to look *slightly* down at my screen to the way I looked up or level at the monitor on the desktop. But I have to be at a table or desk, otherwise it’s a pain in the neck, literally. My desk chair is actually an old rocker and it works really well because it allows me some movement.

    With your (relatively) warmish weather is there still be some growth in your spinney? In a new growth area there must be berries galore. And mosses and ferns and?? Come on Ed, tell us what you’re finding there!

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  2. Ed Hurst says:

    Lots of cedar and a local pine; blackjack oak aplenty; both berry and wild rose vines, along with some basic thorny crap. We have a type of sumac that grows tall very quickly, often in the roots of other trees and apparently killing them, only to then die young itself. We have a lot of elm, but it’s hard to characterize that. The ground of the forest is often littered with sprouts from runner oaks. This is what you see just a few years after an area goes fallow. Give it a decade and the cedars can be quite substantial.

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  3. wildcucumber says:

    Wow. That’s a lot of medicine. I have to wonder what that “basic thorny crap” is.

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  4. Ed Hurst says:

    It’s not blackberry; those I recognize. We have two types of that: (1) a spindly thin vine that fruits for about three weeks in late June to early July and (2) a heavy stalk that grows in clusters from the ground and fruits in mid-July. The basic thorny crap grows like a true vine up into trees and other plants. It has a thick stem that branches out thickly at up in the tree limbs. It has long runner roots sitting shallow in the soil. I’ve never been told what to call it.

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  5. wildcucumber says:

    Interesting. Intriguing even.

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