Caveat: Tree #1738 “Kerosene in the garden”

This tree was in the background while I performed a standard daily cold-weather chore: filling the little kerosene tank for the basement heater from the big red kerosene tank in Arthur’s mushroom-and-moss garden (front yard).


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Caveat: This is first-class reality

Real and Half Real

It was a time to find a new world: who was sent forth?
  Columbus, that is the dove, Noah's dove
Over wide waters. It was time (men having so long
  so vainly envied the birds) it was time to realize
That ancient dream: and who were appointed? Two
  brothers, surnamed Wright, (that's maker, artificer)
Launch their contrivance--where?--on the field of the
  hawk, Kittyhawk, the mewing hawk.
    These are the two great turnings
In a thousand years: you notice how the names mark
  them: to you see Myth
Leaning tall from her darkness over the shoulder of
  History, guiding
The hand that writes? A dove discovers new lands; a
  legendary artificer, doubled to symbolize
Importance, invents the plane.
    Or again: consider the dates of the earlier
  world-war. It became world-war
The day America entered: what was that day? A
  most appropriate day, a so-called Good Friday,
The day of the death of Christ. And then it ended,
  not quite too late, and its armistice
Is dated the eleventh hour, underscored by eleventh
Day and month: a grim bit of humor, trivial but omi-
  nous. --And now we return to complete the 
The man who is chosen to crack the iron shell of Europe:
  what is is name? --Iron-hewer.
    There seems to be something
Intentional in these coincidences. Perhaps they are
That what makes history is not the actors; men's minds
  and clashing causes are not the cause. The play--
As Hardy, Tolstoy, Sophocles knew--is authored
Outside the scene. Invisible wires are pulled, the pas-
  sionate puppets gesticulate, Napoleon, Oedipus
And Hitler perform their pre-formed agonies.

    But now consider
Something not human:--here the coast hills at Sobe-
  ranes Creek sea-mouth, sleep wedges and cones of
Thin-skinned with grass; their feet are deep in the flood-
  tide ocean, dark, heavy and still, calm in this trough
Between two storms; their heads are against the dark
  heavy sky. No life is visible but the bright grass,
And a gang of wild pigs, huddled flank-to-flank,
  flowing up a swale
On the far slope; and that one eagle, wheeling and rock-
  ing, high and alone
Against the cloud-lid.
    Here are not trivial artist-signatures, no puppet-
  play, no pretence of free will;
This is first-class reality. The human affair is half real,
  part myth, part art-work: this is in earnest.
I conclude
That men should play the parts assigned to them and do it
  bravely, emulating
The nobility of nature, but well in mind
That their play is a play; it is serious but not important;
  what's done in earnest is done outside it.

- Robinson Jeffers (American poet, 1887-1962)

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Caveat: Tree #1735 “Not actually snow”

This tree was next to a patch of frost so heavy it looked like fallen snow.

In the morning I went to town and worked on some bookkeeping stuff at the store and sorted out a bureaucratic mess at the Power and Telephone office.

This afternoon I finally got around to building a little insulated enclosure “cabinet” for the new water filters configuration for the re-engineered house water filters set-up I built last summer. This enclosure is important because down in the boathouse (basement) it can get quite cold in winter – it’s not an insulated part of the house. So with the filter assembly positioned where it is, I wanted to enclose them in a little cabinet with insulation in it where we could place a small heater to make sure things don’t freeze up on extremely cold days.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 2hr]

Caveat: Inundo de nubes el vacío


Sobre la nieve se oye resbalar la noche
La canción caía de los árboles
Y tras la niebla daban voces
De una mirada encendí mi cigarro
Cada vez que abro los labios
Inundo de nubes el vacío
En el puerto
Los mástiles están llenos de nidos
Y el viento
gime entre las alas de los pájaros
Y en la orilla silbando
Miro la estrella que humea entre mis dedos.

– Vicente Huidobro (poeta chileno, 1893-1948)

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Caveat: Tree #1730 “Frost and leaks”

This tree saw the first frost of the season, on the hood of the blueberry (Chevy Tahoe).


I had a truly horrible day. It was all because of plumbing. I had a small leak in the well-house (on lot 73) which had come to light when Richard did all the installation in August. I’d been procrastinating on it, but I hoped it would be fairly easy to fix – the first frosty morning of the Fall inspired me to get busy with it. So I went to fix it. Somehow it was a kind of chain reaction – trying to fix the one leak led to the appearance of another leak. I would guess it’s related to putting strain on the manifold of pipes in the well-house. Soon I had several leaks. The whole manifold needs to be rebuilt. I am not a plumber. I shoveled dirt for a while (filling in the hole Richard left by the well), expressing my frustration, but there is still much dirt to shovel.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km; shoveling dirt, 1hr]

Caveat: 스님과 자동차

This is a Korean-language pun I saw online (mastodon). Unfortunately, because my Korean isn’t that good, mostly Korean puns go right over my head. I don’t even recognize them. This one I recognized as a pun, and I decided to try to figure it out. I have fond memories of classes with my Korean middle school students where they would try to explain, in English, some Korean pun or joke that had gone over my head. I always thought it made for a great intrinsic motivation for English learning and practice.

Q: 스님이 차에서 내리지 않는 이유는 뭘까요?

A: 차에 기도하기 때문이에요!

Q: Why couldn’t the monk get out of his car?

A: Because he was about to pray.

I think the pun is in the word(s) 차에 [cha.e], which in the question means “in the car” but in the answer means “about to”. So there’s some ambiguity in the answer, between “Because he was about to pray” vs “Because he was praying in the car”. To be clear – maybe I didn’t understand the joke. I welcome corrections by those more knowledgeable, and I’ll post them as updates if that happens.

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Caveat: Tree #1726 “The fruits of autumn”

This tree is the tallest tree on lot 73. If the sun comes out in the next week or two (that’s asking something unreasonable, to be sure), I’ll get to watch the midday autumn sun’s illumination retreat up this tree over several days and then disappear off the top, as the sun undertakes to hide for the next four months behind the mountain – that is winter’s shadow.


My greenhouse produced this cherry-sized tomato, below – I’m not even sure why. I had a tomato plant. It struggled, as tomato plants do, here – even in greenhouses. This is the sole output of my tomato plant – a desultory nod toward tomatic destiny.


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Caveat: Tree #1725 “Identifying the season”

This tree is the pussy-willow tree I (trans-)planted last year. It seems to have figured out when Fall is.


A customer came in the store, with her child. The woman was speaking Haida with the child. This is what you do when you’re trying to help a child develop some bilingualism – it’s an attempt at some immersion. When she bought her products and was checking out, she said (I’m pretty sure) “Háw’aa” which means thank you. That was the first time I’ve had a customer speaking Haida in the store. The language is close to extinct, but there are strong community efforts being made to resurrect it. I told the woman I thought she was doing a wonderful thing.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

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