Halfmoon's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun May 28, 2017 10:55 pm

I actually enjoyed "On the Waterfront", for what it's worth. Never heard of "Office Space", which made perfect sense when Wikipedia told me it was released in 1999. That was part of The Lost Years (re pop culture) when we lived in the mountains.

Some of my disdain for "Apocalypse Now" probably stems from watching it on a fuzzy B&W 12" TV.

Jason
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Jason » Mon May 29, 2017 6:00 am

The best Brando appeared on the stage. The closest we have to that on film is Street Car Named Desire. Brando was a genius but thoroughly dissolute and that's why his film career is wildly inconsistent (any time wikipedia has the children category as "at least 16" you know there were issues). Recent stories about "Last Tango In Paris" essentially depict him as a rapist.

"Heart Of Darkness", not the book, but the documentary on AN, is a good watch. Copolla seems to have a nervous break-down which is always fun to watch.

For anyone interested in this topic, as well as bookending their library with Extreme Early Retirement on one end and its antithesis on the other, I recommend the following:

https://www.amazon.com/Final-Cut-Making ... 1557043744

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:00 pm

THE EPIC TOWER STORY, part 4:

*Heads up, @George-too: here’s your The Gods Must be Crazy incident. 8-)


Once the two tower sides were secure, we went on to our standard fall projects: bring in the remaining firewood, clean the chimney, check the battery bank and vehicles, winterize everything. We could pretty much count on snow cover by Halloween, which lent a sense of urgency to the crisp autumn days. Then it was finally time for that lovely winter hibernation.

DH took this photo from the tower platform.

Image

Early the following summer, we started again on the tower. DH ascended a corner post with ropes, hooked up pulleys, and I raised logs for him to secure as cross-bracing on the two empty sides. Because cordless drills were unknown at the time (at least to us), he also carried up an extension cord plugged into a generator on the ground. This would be used to drill holes for the threaded rods that held the logs together.

In order to easily ascend, descend and hang in a chosen spot to work on the tower, DH fastened a pulley to the base of the platform at the top. A cable ran through the pulley with one end attached to him and one to the tractor. The plan was for me to drive the tractor slowly forward and back as needed to pull DH up and let him back down, suspending him like (tractor-assisted) Spiderman at any desired point.

That was the plan. It’s good to have a plan.

As previously mentioned, the driveway below the tower was on a downward slope. Our tractor was an old Massey Ferguson 2WD with lousy brakes......get where I’m going with this?

DH hooked up the cable, and I began to drive downhill. As the tractor and I descended, DH ascended. The tractor gained momentum, and so did DH’s rise. Not good. :shock: I panicked and slammed on the brakes, but because I fail under pressure, I hit the clutch at the same time. The tractor's downward trajectory didn't falter. DH hurtled up the tower, smashing into logs on the way, wrapping around the cross-braces and then tearing loose to hit yet another log. I finally took my foot off the clutch, stood on the the brake with both feet and managed to stop the tractor just before DH hit the pulley at the top and started flying.

When the tractor stopped moving, I leaped off and ran back uphill to the tower, completely terrified. DH was hanging near the top, unnaturally still. I called frantically up to him: “OH, SH*T! ARE YOU OKAY? WHAT SHOULD I DO??” A faint voice (DH’s lungs were compressed) floated back: “Let. Me. Down.”

When I managed to back up the tractor and let DH descend, he fell onto the ground and just lay there. I thought I’d permanently injured him at the least and possibly killed him. He finally stirred, dragged himself to his feet and limped into the house. He obviously needed to see a doctor, but of course that was a battle. We finally agreed that he would go, but he was going to drive.

Our doctor was a cheerful young woman who was amazed and somewhat entertained at the story of how DH had sustained his injuries. She poked him in various places and asked if they hurt. He replied that everything hurt. “And yet,” I complained, “He wouldn’t even let me drive him here.” The doctor began to laugh, apologized, laughed some more, then said, “Can you blame him??”

After DH was somewhat healed, he devised a different plan for working on the tower. Strangely enough, it didn’t include me. ;) He pulled himself up and down from the pulley on top, which was a lot more effort but less exciting. He finally nailed steps onto one of the tower legs and used those to climb up.

Image

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That incident was the beginning of much hilarity on the part of our friends that lasts to this day. They never tire of accusing me of Black Widow tendencies and reminding me of the day that DH fell up the tower.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:52 pm

I laughed when I read this, but then I handed my phone to DW, and laughed harder at her reactions while reading it! She's a former long haul trucker and worked on a a line crew for a while. She summed it up with "and that's why I make Marge (Simpson) noises when you get adventurous!"

Though, it does remind me I need to fix the hand brake on my backhoe...

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bryan
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by bryan » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:56 am

ooph. Gives me flashbacks to my car when I was 16 and too dumb to repair the brakes (emergency cable and master cylinder) or tell my parents that they don't work so good. A few times the car would roll away while parked (manual) and one time I came within an inch of a serious accident as I came to the bottom of a hill going about 45 without any brake pedal pressure..

Epic tower story indeed!

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:16 am

Riggerjack wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:52 pm
She summed it up with "and that's why I make Marge (Simpson) noises when you get adventurous!"
I don't know what noises Marge Simpson makes, but I'm guessing some sort of squeal? While DH is being adventurous/crazy, I generally (in truth) mentally review my emergency response plan, which needs to be tailored to the possible outcome of the particular activity. Falling from a height, cutting off an arm or leg, rolling under the tractor, being pulled up a tower...all different.

Your DW sounds pretty remarkable. Former long-haul trucker and lineman? Don't make her mad.

And fix your backhoe brake. Now. :P

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Riggerjack
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:39 am

Marge noises (very quick video):
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vRDrXF1vZJA

Short for general tones of disapproval.

Jason
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Jason » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:58 pm

Speaking of towers and movies, I just watched this one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_(2016_film)

George the original one
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by George the original one » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:39 pm

“Can you blame him??”

LOL! At least the things I do, I do to myself rather than spouse!

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:31 pm

bryan wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:56 am
ooph. Gives me flashbacks to my car when I was 16 and too dumb to repair the brakes (emergency cable and master cylinder) or tell my parents that they don't work so good. A few times the car would roll away while parked (manual) and one time I came within an inch of a serious accident as I came to the bottom of a hill going about 45 without any brake pedal pressure...
I guess we're all lucky that natural selection doesn't really work with humans. :lol:

I don't get why the car would roll away while parked, though. Didn't you have it in gear? Does this have something to do with the master cylinder (about which I know nothing)? Maybe you were in Seattle, where the steep hills require gravity-defying measures?

I once drove our car 37 miles from Seattle to our home with the parking brake on. Needless to say, it could no longer be defined as a brake. I was planning to keep that tidbit of info to myself, but DH noticed the next time he drove it that the parking brake was useless. I folded under interrogation. :oops:

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:44 pm

Riggerjack, I watched the Marge Simpson video; she sounds remarkably like me....not that nagging actually influences the outcome. As DH says: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." As I say: "And a woman's gotta clean up the doo-doo."

I only watched The Simpsons once, and I couldn't stand the show (I've got the duck and cover maneuver down by now, so do your worst). It's odd, because I loved Groening's Life in Hell series (especially Akbar & Jeff) for years before the Simpsons ever came to TV. A friend of ours says I'm the only person on earth who refers to Matt Groening as 'the creator of Akbar & Jeff'.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:58 pm

Jason wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:58 pm
Speaking of towers and movies, I just watched this one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_(2016_film)
This doesn't sound like a fun movie (Marge Simpson noises of disapproval). Also: rotoscopic animation?
Footage was mostly shot in Maitland's backyard and then animated by production company Minnow Mountain who was aided by pictures Maitland had shot around campus.
I feel so old and reality-dependent.

George the original one
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by George the original one » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:55 pm

We need to get you up to speed on making movies...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping

Jason
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:56 am

If someone comes up to me and says "Jason, let's go to this place, I heard it has a tower", unless he/she's referring specifically to the leaning one in Italy, I'm going to slowly close the door on that person. It's not that I'm thoroughly anti-tower, but from my standpoint, the presence of a tower does not usually signify a place I want to be around i.e. prisons, internment camps, sites of religious/linguistic divisions, a potential meeting with our current President.

Even light towers possess an ominousness I can do without. And to be quite honest, if I saw that picture of your man climbing that tower in another context I'd think "Oh, a separatist in the woods fortifying his camp against Federal government intrusion." Nothing personal mind you.

That being said, if you are talking about this tower, then I'm reaching for my funky shoes and helping you load the car:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Power

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Farm_or » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:26 am

Great story.

Funny fact: my Massey Ferguson has fishy brakes too. The first thing I fixed was the emergency brake. The second thing I fixed was the emergency brake warning light.

Reminds me of my DW trying to help me with the stuck swather last year. I had her put the pickup into low lock four wheel drive. I thought she was aware of the four seconds delay that it takes the solenoid to shift, but no.

She was pedal down, throwing rooster tails on me, spinning and digging ruts in the field, truck going sideways! She had the windows up and stereo going. I was waving, shouting, dodging slinging mud! Finally got her attention. Once the four wheel drive locked in, it was slow and easy, no drama resolution.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:07 am

George the original one wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:39 pm
“Can you blame him??”

LOL! At least the things I do, I do to myself rather than spouse!
Well, I also do plenty of things to myself. I'm an equal-opportunity disaster, but it's really not surprising that our friends accuse me of trying to off my husband. Another example:

One day, DH was installing a light over our bathroom sink. He stood on the sink edge to reach it, and I stood safely on the floor to hand him things.

Image

While pulling on a wire, DH leaned a little too far back and lost his balance. He would have just turned the fall into a jump and landed on his feet, but of course I panicked and tried to "help" by grabbing his ankles. :? With his feet secured, he tipped backward and hit the floor head first. Let's just say he was unappreciative of my assistance.

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bryan
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by bryan » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:05 pm

> Didn't you have it in gear?

The alternative is it being in neutral w/ no emergency break :D I guess sometimes it would slip out of gear while parked or something? Really no idea.. Only happened a couple times (once I walked back to my parking spot and my car was missing.. oh, there it is across the street against the guard rail..).

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:15 pm

George the original one wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:55 pm
We need to get you up to speed on making movies...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping
It's amazing that I responded to Jason's post about this using the word "animation" and still didn't absorb the ANIMATION factor. Really. I seem to be always talking about things I don't like, but animation doesn't generally do it for me. Maybe because I didn't grow up watching much TV back when anime was called cartoons, and what I saw seemed distressing (e.g. Wile E. Coyote getting repeatedly blown up).

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:34 pm

Jason wrote:
Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:56 am
And to be quite honest, if I saw that picture of your man climbing that tower in another context I'd think "Oh, a separatist in the woods fortifying his camp against Federal government intrusion." Nothing personal mind you.
Understandable. We don't fit any mold, including the crazy separatist one. It's a lonely place to be. ;)
Jason wrote:
Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:56 am
That being said, if you are talking about this tower, then I'm reaching for my funky shoes and helping you load the car:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Power
I have a strange relationship with music, which I sometimes like for a few minutes. See my post in Fbeyer's journal regarding this (bottom of the page) for the whole tragic diatribe:

https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.co ... &start=100

Tower of Power holds a special place in my black heart. :twisted: When I was 18, I lived with my sister and her boyfriend for about 3 months. I had a job that required me to be clocked in and alert at 6am, and her boyfriend played Tower of Power records (remember what those are?) at deafening volume until about 3am. In my mind, it was aural waterboarding.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:40 pm

Farm_or, I have (remarkably enough ;) ) a related story.

Back when we first lived at the W WA property, and shortly after DH had the van converted to a bad-ass 4WD monster, he recruited me to pull our tractor out of the pond. We'd just had the pond dug, and he was taking advantage of the dry late-summer conditions to move some more dirt out of it. Apparently conditions weren't dry enough, so our 2WD tractor became stuck in mud at the pond bottom. DH pulled the van into our pasture above the pond site and hooked cables to the spring shackles (we didn't have a rear hitch at the time), then instructed me to drive slowly and steadily forward until the tractor was free.

Huh. A lot of variables there. Let the record show that variables (and assumptions based on them) are completely the responsibility of the Project Manager...which I clearly was not. For instance: the Project Manager neglected to point out that the relevant (freedom-oriented) side of the pond terminated in a vertical wall that no vehicle could climb. Freedom consisted of release from the mud wallow only; it didn't include climbing said wall. This may have been obvious to the Project Manager, but support personnel were UNDERSTANDABLY clueless.

Anyway...I took the pilot seat in the bad-ass 4WD van, and DH took the tractor wheel. We had no communication between the vehicles, but who needed communication? I had a mission, and that was to pull the tractor out of the mud. I shifted into low-lock and gunned the engine.

There was initially an exhilarating sense of progress. The van ground forward, so obviously the tractor was also moving. Soon, however, resistance kicked in. The van began to labor, tires digging into the ground. I gave it more gas. I was going to get this done! More resistance, more gas. Finally, the van broke free and surged ahead. Victory!

Or not. The van was free to accelerate because I'd torn out the rear shackles. Meanwhile, DH and the tractor were up against the vertical pond wall with zero possibility of forward progress and a BAD ATTITUDE. :evil:

Jason
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Jason » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:25 am

Jason wrote:
Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:56 am
That being said, if you are talking about this tower, then I'm reaching for my funky shoes and helping you load the car:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Power
I have a strange relationship with music, which I sometimes like for a few minutes. See my post in Fbeyer's journal regarding this (bottom of the page) for the whole tragic diatribe:

https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.co ... &start=100

Tower of Power holds a special place in my black heart. :twisted: When I was 18, I lived with my sister and her boyfriend for about 3 months. I had a job that required me to be clocked in and alert at 6am, and her boyfriend played Tower of Power records (remember what those are?) at deafening volume until about 3am. In my mind, it was aural waterboarding.
[/quote]

Music is powerful and mood altering so I understand you need to be cautious with it. My particular concern is its ability to transform the present into a temple of nostalgia.

Noedig
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:33 pm

Reading from the beginning and now have to go to bed because I have to get up in 4 hrs to go to work. Love your prose style, warmly ironic and the self-deprecating observations crack me up.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:50 am

Thank you, Noedig! That's high praise, as I particularly enjoy your writing style. However, 4 hours of sleep is NOT enough (*wags finger sternly at you).

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:55 am

Jason wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:25 am
Music is powerful and mood altering so I understand you need to be cautious with it. My particular concern is its ability to transform the present into a temple of nostalgia.
Not always in a good way, either. Whenever I hear music that was popular in my teenage years, I want to jump off a high bridge.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:32 pm

So, it's been awhile. Real life intervened in the form of current health crises for DH, and it also turns out to be much harder to write about past difficulties than epic accomplishments. Who knew? :roll:

THE RETIREMENT YEARS

…SOMETIMES THE BEAR EATS YOU.

The summer after I pulled DH up the tower was a busy one. We traveled back over to our Western Washington home, stayed with a friend who was living there, and finally had grid power brought up about a quarter mile of driveway into that property.* This involved a huge amount of grunt work on our part because of course we weren’t going to pay for anything we could do ourselves. We hired someone with a backhoe to dig a 4-foot-deep trench the whole way, and we parked our cars out on the main road about a half mile from our house while we worked on laying wire and refilling the trench.

*Note that this was not where we lived, but we considered it a good investment.

Funny story: our friend had his boyfriend living in the house with him. BF left every morning at 4am for work, so he had to walk the half mile to his car in the dark while we had the driveway torn up. He wore rubber barn boots for the walk, and one morning he had an especially hard time. He stumbled through the dirt piles in the dark, barely making it to his car and wondering why it was so difficult. When he got to the car and changed into his shoes, he discovered that he’d walked a half mile with his rubber boots on the wrong feet. Never say that gay guys can’t be tough! 8-)

DH, on the other hand, only suffered a broken toe when he dropped a new well pump on his foot while installing it. I swear that I had nothing to do with this for once.

We returned to our mountain home just in time for a visit from family members, DH limping around and complaining that trying to organize my relatives for day trips was ‘like herding fleas’. It was fun to see their reactions to our lifestyle, though. My 13-year-old niece got to help the horse-riding ranch hands chase cattle out of our property when they pushed through a fence, which she proclaimed to be the most fun that she’d ever had ‘at one time’…whatever that meant.

When fall arrived, DH finally took the time to focus on a growing issue with his ears, which were severely plugged up. He could feel liquid sloshing inside. He saw a visiting doctor who had no real clue (hazard of living in the boonies), and finally my father recommended that he seek a teaching hospital: in this case, the University of Washington. We made the trip back to Seattle, and DH was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. We moved temporarily back to Western Washington in December of that year, and DH began radiation treatments just before Christmas.

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