Friday, August 1, 2008

The Price of Civilization & Umbrella Repair

I thought I would take my mind off of politics, and empty pockets, today with a short, ( Less than 1/8th of a tank left.), drive.

I remember a time when we would just get in our cars and go for a ride with no particular place to go. (Chuck Berry song.) Those days are gone with all the cheap gas we used up driving around, "just for fun".

Tomorrow is the first of the month, so I can fill the tank and justifiably drive around paying bills and buying stuff. An acceptable consumption of our dwindling petroleum products.

Cell phone picture today 7/31/08 3:28PM
Most of the fires are out now, so I went out to Keswick Dam road and took some pictures. I like to take at least one shot with the phone and send it to the computer. It records the time I shot the picture, in the jpeg number. Sometimes I remember to take a picture of the time and temperature on the dashboard of the car, but it doesn't have the date and time like the cell phone pics.

Picture taken with Olympus camera 7/31/08
The little 3.2 megapixel Olympus gives more detail, but in this blog, it doesn't really make a difference. Sometime next month I will make a picasa photo album of the fire pictures and you will be able to see the detail.

Detail of effective fire line. 7/31/08
With the smoke clearing, you can see where firefighters cut fire lines, (Breaks?), with men and equipment. In this picture you can see where the fire was stopped at the line. Once the fires are out completely, the men and equipment will return and rehabilitate those areas where they had to cut a swath through the vegetation.
If it weren't for human industries, utilities and structures, we could just let nature take it's course as it has been doing for millions of years, and the forests would be just fine.

Now that the smoke is dissipating, and I can sit out on my balcony again, I thought it would be a good time to fix my umbrella.

Umbrella repairman. 7/31/08 5:35PM
Having the umbrella on the patio saves energy,($), by keeping the direct sunlight off the balcony and glass window/door. Without it, one can feel the heat radiating from the glass. The vertical blinds help contain the heat, but the A/C, has to work twice as much without the shade from the umbrella.
The way the strut is broken I can't clamp it properly for Gorilla glue to be effective. That stuff is great if you can tightly clamp things together. The glue expands when it cures and a tight clamp forces the glue into the pores of the material being fixed. I will have to figure out another way to repair the strut. In the meantime it's ok if one corner flaps in the breeze.

How I like to read;
I like to read 2 or 3 books at the same time. The combination makes a really great story. Add to that, the days internet surfing and the plot really gets involved. If I am writing or recording music I mix that with whatever else I have been listening to and I have a soundtrack.

Sometimes my mental visualization is enhanced by what I have seen in life or the movies I have recently watched. What a movie!

I thank God for all the wonderful gifts, He has given me.

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