Coping: With Life in the ‘Rock Tumbler

This morning’s column is a little shorter than usual due to Universe delivering our favorite “theme” live and in person.

Life’s theme for Thursday may be found online here.

So, Ure, what exactly is ‘piling up?’”

Brother in law was admitted to the hospital Wednesday.  A kind thought or prayer is appreciated.

As you may remember, this man is the closest thing you’ll find to a shortened  “Rambo.”  Rangers, SF, two tours in ‘Nam and usually last guy out of the LZ’s.  Endlessly sharpens knives…

He’s had a persistent cough for three months and northing seems to be touching it (cipro, the whole spectrum of stuff) and so he’s in taking advantage of TriCare to name down just what’s going on.

Best case?  I’ve got my money on walking pneumonia because the other bet (CHF but we don’t talk about that possibility) is not one I want to think about.  Symptoms fit, though.  Worse at night/laying down/at night.  Gradually improving through the day.  Time for the pokenprodders.

Instead of jumping online and writing my usual long, glib column, I was busy looking for homecoming gifts this morning and now (is it time yet?) we get to the rock tumbler part.

Panama Bates, like all good foot soldiers (even ones who hid too well in a training exercise and had to walk 600 miles out of Turkey years and years back) always keeps his eyes on where he’s walking.  And he likes archeology.   So he finds things (like curious rocks and old coins and this and that’s.

Besides, rock hounding is fun.

Here lately, he’s been talking about going up to Arkansas just after a good rain has come through in order to look for diamonds.

If you haven’t looked yet, a gander at Crater of Diamonds State Park over here will give you a worthwhile destination for your RV’ing.

Sifting though yards of dirt sounded suspiciously like real work to me, but intrepid rock hounds are driving by things like the 6.19 carat White Diamond found up there.

Oh sure, states always have their hooks out for money, but this one place (Arkansas) gets a little slack in my book for at least giving state residents an even chance.

Naturally, his trip has been postponed.  (We haven’t figured out how to lash a hospital bed to the pickup yet.

So when he comes home, he’ll be arriving to find a rock polishing kit consisting of  a 6 Lb Rotary Dual Drum Rock Tumbler Lapidary Polisher along with assorted add-ons and grits and bags of stones.

Nothing aids recovery better than projects around that you’re looking forward to.   If nothing else, the getting up to turn off the clatter ought to get him up and around quickly.

All three of us around the ranch have somehow missed the lapidary/stone polishing angle to life.  I’ve thought about it many times, as has he, but it was time to find the right stuff this morning to cheer his recovery.  Priorities matter.

Elaine will be the ultimate beneficiary, though.  She loves decorating with odd things and a bunch of polished stones ought to keep her busy for months plotting “just the right thing” to do with them.

The Major’s Visit, I

This afternoon, meanwhile, my buddy who I grew up with, will be arriving for 11-days of boys reliving childhood.  Except instead of riding bikes to Tacoma from Seattle or being chased by a hatchet-wielding hobo, we’ll be flying the Beechcrate up to KSPS where his son is in fighter ace /air combat school.

And that meant…

Spending hours Monday polishing the Mouse(keteer).  Just rubbing out and polishing the tops of two wings ate a three hour hole in the day.  And (along with everything else) may have something to do with sleeping through the alarm this morning.

Junior, the Inventor

imageSo here’s my son trying to fix a light that used to come on over “hot files” in the med clinic he works in. 

Hold on a minute, I have an idea…” he said when the light above stopped working.

Enterprising as always, he hung an LED lantern from his “at desk prep kit” and presto!  New light called a  “Portable Chart;s Up Indicator Light  (PCUIL)” system.

I’ve advised him not to get too excited about patenting it…

But in today’s medical market, it may warrant a startup and high dollar IPO.  Yes, things really are that crazy in medicine.


Making the Rounds: 

If Cliven Bundy had name his ranch Benghazi, the feds would have NEVER shown up…”


I happened to be in the airport office when one of our local pilots came in and while rat killing (Texese for shooting the bull) said something that wasn’t 100% politically correct.

Watch it, or you’ll never own an NBA team,” I warned him.

Consider yourself warned, too.

Canine Cause and Effect Dept.

Local delivery driver lady for a large national moving things absolutely, positively, overnight company dropped off my latest prize from Harbor Fright yesterday.

In the process went into some detail about how her jacket was ripped up by a local dog a few miles away.

Which led to her going into some detail about how dangerous this dog was (coon dog of mixed heritage and all).

Turns out, when I got deeper into the conversation, she’s a dog owner herself.  Has a female Pit.

She swears it would never hurt a fly and is perfectly trained.

My money’s on the dog surprising her one of these days.

Killer breeds are, near as I can figure, very much like politicians.  They all seem OK.

But then when you least expect it….

A daily search of Google’s news engine for [dog bite] makes my case air tight. 29,100 hits compared to 108,000 hits for “politician.”  But then again, all politicians are registered, know what I’m saying?

Recommended Reading

From contributor John:

Very coherent explanation of how it works.  Interesting because the Bon tradition of Tibetan Buddhism says its wisdom tradition came over the mountains from Siberian 20,000 years ago (Buddha was one in a longer line).  The very shamanistic features correlate extremely well with the Carlos Castenada books which regardless of what you think of him personally pegged it pretty well.  And that makes sense if the American Indian belief system from which he took it, migrated from Siberia, Oh about 20,000 years ago.

Damn!  I try to read as little as possible before 50,000 BCE.

OK, off to this morning’s task list…more tomorrow…and write when you break-even…