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03 January 2005

Off to jin shin this morning (well, my appointment was at 1), and the Loopers put nice things in my car while I was being shinned-upon. Very nice sunny day like yesterday -- up here everything is white with hoar frost, but if one descends the few feet to Olympia (or in fact just goes to a non-tree-shaded spot) things are As Usual.
The WBM who is moving a bit, still, told me that she's had no heat "since October." She's been space-heating her place, which is too bad since we share electricity. She said the (gas hot-water baseboard) heat works but doesn't regulate itself very well. That man who came out to work on her heat said the thermostat worked, but she says it's in the wrong place. My own, totally uninformed and worthless opinion is that it's probably the way she uses the heating system, and not the system itself, since I've lived here a number of years and no one living below has ever complained before. I'm not a heat person anyway - half the time I forget to turn it on. My opinion is therefore suspect (for many other reasons, too). I don't think it gets cold here anyway - another reason I'm not to be trusted.
There are float planes on the lake, which I love to see, but the people east of me drive me nuts the way they use their plane. They're always zipping back and forth across the lake presumably visiting friends or something, which seems abusive since it must make the engine dirty. (This made me think about oil-circulation, too -- why don't we have electrically-powered oil pumps in cars so that the oil can lubricate before the engine starts?) I respect (dinned into me by my pater) machines in a similar way that I was taught to respect animals. My father wouldn't allow us to bother the horses while they were eating, which is something I grew to appreciate. Similarly, we were taught about machinery. He told us never to force anything - true wisdom which works for all things - and surprisingly, most people make a habit of forcing things. Indicates a lack of subtlety and finesse. I used to live with a man who would shift from reverse to first while the car was moving backwards - made me extremely annoyed when it was my car. Anyway, my father, with the prejudice of an aeronautical engineer, always said small planes are deathtraps. I wonder if he meant the plane exclusively, or the plane, the uses to which it's put, the vagaries of the pilot and/or hirer, and the lack of professional regard in which it might be held. Certainly I never heard him say anything about helicopters (although their vulnerabilities are evident and in fact don't need to be pointed out) but of course if a private person has a helicopter that person is probably a fine pilot. Not that being a fine pilot ever saved anyone. The touristy chopper flight biz can be a ticket to deathtrapland, but it's usually a rather a spectacular way to go. We all have to die, so maybe it's all right. I love to ride in helicopters and small planes but then I don't care much if I live or die. The pilot who flew the helicopter I took on a long tour of Hawaii was a fantastic pilot, but you have to figure there's a degree of unpredictability about volcanoes that makes zooming about above them somewhat risky. My father was a fight-test engineer, so it wasn't odd to have test pilots around. I'm rambling on - be assured I actually know nothing about anything, so feel free to ignore me.

posted by - 3:13 PM


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