fifteen percent water
Thursday, December 3 2015
After a six-day hiatus, this afternoon I resumed the just-in-time salvaging of firewood from the nearby forest. I returned to the area just below (east of) the north end of the Gullies Trail and managed to get some additional pieces off of logs I've salvaged wood from in the past, though (owing to recent rains and ground contact) these pieces weren't as dry as I would have preferred. Today's wood harvest came to 112.3 pounds, to which I added 1.9 pounds of cardboard and paper from the house's trash flow. I weighed a wet piece before putting it on the stove to dry and later came back to weigh it. It had gone from 11.05 pounds to 9.4 pounds, shedding 26 ounces of water. Extrapolated out to the 112.3 pound load, 17 of those pounds could have been water (though I think it was less, since the piece I weighed was unusually damp).
On my MSI Wind netbook, today I abandoned PuppyLinux (as I do with almost all flavors of Linux) and tried VectorLinux (which has worked okay on old hardware in the past). But I couldn't figure out how to disable tapping on VectorLinux, and tapping is a deal-breaker. I ended up installing the distro that I always fall back on: Debian. With the xfce desktop, it's pretty responsive even on old hardware. It turned out that the reason I couldn't disable tapping was that the MSI Wind does not use a Synaptics trackpad but a Sentelic one instead. And the only way to turn off tapping is by entering a magic incantation at the command line: sudo echo -n c > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/flags. It's because of stuff like this that even Debian is far from being a mainstream operating system.
This evening Gretchen and I met our friends Jasmin and Mary Ann at Alebrijes in Uptown Kingston. The place was almost empty, and for whatever reason nobody thought it important enough to get alcohol from elsewhere. As always, I ordered a custom extra-spicy veggie burrito, while the others all had tamales. We also all had the black bean soup, which I'd forgotten about and is great. I should mention that, in solidarity with Susan and Sarah the Vegan, Gretchen is spending a month on a "no processed grain" diet, which she has been fairly good at sticking to. (As for Susan, supposedly the other night she had what she referred to as a "poptart meltdown" but now she's back on track.)
As for tonight, perhaps because of the unusual level of sobriety, I didn't find myself contributing much to the conversation. And Jasmin & Mary Ann were a little stressed-out about an imminent week spent in Paris. Jasmin, though, was in a somewhat confessional mood and said a number of things that we were instructed to carry to our graves.
Late in the meal, Mary Ann drew my attention to the fact that I was drinking water from my glass by dipping my straw into it, sealing the top of the straw with my index finger, and carrying the small trapped cylinder of water to my mouth. Once this had been pointed out, everyone at our table began drinking this way, and we all persisted at it much longer than necessary for an homage to the moment, suggesting that secretly everyone had wanted to do this but had perhaps suppressed the urge.
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