Caveat: High Stakes

I located the last of the southern platt stakes, today.
The context:
This was the last one that needed to be found. The three southern stakes were what needed to be located – they are the ones high up on the hillside. The northern stakes (by the water) are all easily located – just walk along the shore. Total: 6 stakes, for two rectangular lots with a shared border between them.
I feel this is a great accomplishment.
So why do we need to know where these stakes are?  We need to properly locate the western properly line. So my next job is to clear a line between this last stake and the road through the trees and brush, on a bearing 4 degrees east of north. That is the western property line.
[daily log: walking, 4km; tromping, 300m]

Caveat: Hard labor at 10:22 PM

Last night, Arthur decided that it was time to bring in the “rails” from his boat ramp. It’s like a miniature, 15 meter railroad stuck out into the water; it’s how he gets his boat in and out of the water and up into his little boat shed. The rails stick down into the water as far as the low tide line, so it takes a very low tide to expose the lowest rails. So during the winter, normally, he wants to pull in the lowest rails to minimize the weather damage on them through the winter, when he won’t be launching his boat in any event.
There was a low tide at 10:22 PM. And all the lowest tides to be expected over the next month are at night – so this was the best we could do. We got a floodlight to shine around, went down onto the rocky beach where the boatramp is, unbolted the lowest two stretches of rails, and carried them up to the landing beside the boat shed.
It was really hard work. As is our normal pattern, when we’re most effective, Arthur provided the expertise, while I provided a lot of the hard labor.
There are no pictures – it was dark.
[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: on the emergent paradigm

Here is a random philosophical thought, not fully developed, which occurred to me the other day.
Most people don’t care about the surveillance state and/or the lack-of-privacy which is being induced by modern technology. There is actually a simple reason for this lack of concern. It is because, in fact, that lack of privacy is the human cultural baseline. Through most of history, humans lived in small, extended family or tribal-sized groups where everyone knew what everyone else was doing. What is happening now is a return to that baseline, but within the context of a much larger social structure: city, nation, planet. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing: a global village of 8 billion. What’s to worry about? It’s like it always was. The anomaly was the period between the invention of cities and states (approx. 2000 BC) and the development of instantaneous universally distributed communication. In the grand scale of things, it’s a pretty short period of anomaly.
[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: Saturday Outing

Arthur and I went over to his friends / neighbors Jeri and Karl this evening for dinner. A three mile drive down the road, they have  a beautiful self-built house on the inlet, where they park their sailboat. They are interesting people.
I took this picture earlier, as we were about to leave.
[daily log: walking, 3km]

Caveat: Small Steps

I spent a lot of time on my tax work today. I got as far as sending off an email to the preparer with a first draft of the spreadsheet I have to make, summarizing my Korean income for the past 5 years of missed tax filings.
I’m sure the work isn’t done. But anyway, I get to take a justified break, since I put the ball in the other person’s court for a while.
So that’s a relief.
It rained all day. I had to help Arthur with the gutter again. It didn’t go as badly as yesterday – but I really don’t like heights.
[daily log: walking, 3km]

Caveat: to the post office via rainbow

We went into town today – Thursday is shopping day.
We saw a rainbow leading to the post office.
Later, some difficult stuff happened. Arthur insisted it was time to clean the gutters. I’ll perhaps provide more information later.
[daily log: walking, 1km]

Caveat: No brainer

Arthur was talking on the phone with his friend Dean the other day. I only heard one side of the conversation, but Arthur said something quite funny and self-reflective.
I guess Dean had asked him how his recovery was going, in the “physical aspects” versus the “mental aspects.”
Arthur’s answer (in paraphrase) was: “The physical aspects are doing fine, about what’s to be expected, not that different from before [the accident], and the mental aspects, well, they’re a no brainer.”
Huh – get it? – “no brainer.”
I laughed pretty hard at that.
[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: Poem #814 “Semiogenesis”

The reasons we do things
remain inscrutable,
our thoughts spin, running rings,
with motivations dull

and grayish clouds that drift
within their bony domes;
while outside visions lift
away the seething foams

of seas that beat and thrash
against perceptions, so
at last a tiny cache
of meaning falls like snow

which leaves a pallid face
which tilts up into space.

– a sonnet in iambic trimeter.


Caveat: Just some pictures on a new blog-host

Here are some photos from yesterday and today. It’s been raining a lot. And I’ve been very busy building a new blog host – I’m self hosting it on my server. I’m not sure this is a permanent solution, but it will work for now.  I need to make sure I’m doing backups.
[daily log: walking, 4.5km]

Caveat: Poem #813 “The rain asserts mastery of the world”

The raindrops fall, suggest,
and ruminate on wood,
on steel, as if possessed,
as if their tapping could

interpret sweeping time
or render grasping trees
immobilized; their rhyme,
their syncopated tease

of meanings never found -
unfindable besides -
just apophenic sound
and rhythm that just slides

all down the edges till
the world dissolves its will.

– a sonnet in iambic trimeter.


Caveat: Poem #812 “Pastoral”

The rain will take a pause,
a surging tide will rise,
and thus the dawn's chill cause
unfolds to draw my eyes.

Two seagulls squat below
upon the dock's damp wood,
their wings their feathers throw:
a raucous talk is good.

Across the water, clouds
embrace the looming trees:
a hillside's worth, like shrouds
of purple filigrees.

The sky collects its light
then, tossing motes of white.

– a sonnet in iambic trimeter.


Caveat: Typepad broke my heart (and, not incidentally, broke my blog) today.

I found out today that my blog host, Typepad, has altered a functionality upon which I have relied heavily. I have, for the last 4 years, been hosting all my pictures "off-site" relative to the blog. This helps me keep them organized, helps me keep control of them from an "intellectual property" standpoint, and makes it easier to be "disaster resistant" in the event of problems with data integrity at the blog hosting server. 

It relies, however, on the blog host software respecting the integrity of the out-linking URLs for all those pictures.

If you scan through my blog today, you will see that all my picture links are broken. ALL OF THEM. Typepad doesn't approve of the link protocol of my picture-hosting server (i.e. it's "h t t p" rather than "https"). [And holy crap! – it's using some kludgey rewrite on the actual text of my blog entries – I can't even MENTION "h t t p" without it being "corrected" – hence the spaces in the mentions, here. So it's not only bad policy, it's bad programming, too!]

I have two possible solutions.

1) Migrate my photos to a different server, so that the links will work again (the current picture server doesn't accommodate the new, supposedly "more secure" URLs that Typepad is forcing on me)

2) Migrate my blog to a different host. All of it.

Both of these represent a lot of work.

I feel I can no longer trust my blog host with my data, however.

So much for the "lifetime guarantee." I have been with Typepad for 14 years. I had some intuition that it would come to a bad end, but I had hoped against hope it wouldn't. Such hopes were unfounded, as we can see.

I guess I have a new project to work on, to procrastinate on my taxes.

[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: thy greatness and thy coldness too

A Hymn to the Moon

Thou silver deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;
Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,
The Lover’s guardian, and the Muse’s aid!
By thy pale beams I solitary rove,
To thee my tender grief confide;
Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.
E’en thee, fair queen, from thy amazing height,
The charms of young Endymion drew;
Veil’d with the mantle of concealing night;
With all thy greatness and thy coldness too.

– Mary Wortley Montagu (English poet, 1689-1762)

[daily log: walking, ]

Caveat: Poem #809 “A DMV Ode”


Waiting is a kind of hard training.
Yet it requires nothing active.
One simply should still the mind.
Those spinning thoughts hinder.
One can look outside.
There's a nice view.
One sees trees.
Rain falls.

– a pseudo-haiku.


Caveat: Becoming Alaskan


Today was a day with a few bureaucratic milestones. I finally completed the process of getting my Alaskan ID/Driver License, and I also got my voter registration.

I finally feel I am taking the first steps to becoming an Alaskan. It's a strange thing to contemplate.

[daily log: walking, 2km]

Caveat: river of text

I did more tromping up on the hillside today, looking for that southwest stake. Earlier, in the morning, I contemplated my destiny in the form of a screen full of text. I do this a lot.

Here is the river today.


[daily log: walking, 4km; tromping, 300m]

Caveat: what, me worry?

It's already the middle of October. This is some vacation, eh?

Not so bad at all. I have certain hobbies: I'm doing some writing (I mean besides the poetry, seen here); I tromp up the hill and look for stakes when it's not too wet; I sort my books and other possessions some; and there's that annoying tax documentation, which I spend a great deal of time stressing over and a smaller portion of time actually working on. I have my neuroses.

This morning I was up the hill, tromping, and I felt clever because I finagled a way to carry the chainsaw up there attached to my back, so I could have both hands free ("4 points of contact") to go up the steep, slippery trail. With practice, comes competence.

[daily log: walking, 4km; tromping, 250m]

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