We Live Here, There and There

October 6th, 2012

Our housing situation is getting a bit excessive. We started with the camper. Then, we got the tent. Now, we have the van too! We haven’t been slept in either of the first two in a quite a bit. It’s time to clean house…. err cleanse ourselves of excess housing.

Our Three Homes

The Morel of the Story

May 2nd, 2012

My first morels!

My first Morels. They are Black Morels… at least I think they are. I wasn’t actually looking for them. I was traipsing through the brush, looking for a spring on an old topographical map. When bam, they just happen to pop up in my path. I had never seen one in person before today, but somehow I immediately recognized it from the two or three pictures I had seen last year. I have spent the last couple of hours trying to find lookalikes. Seems there are four main groups: Gyromitra esculenta, Verpa, Hellvella, and Disciotis. These are definitely NOT them. Still, I have cut them all open, am soaking them in salt water over night and will only cook a quarter of one to have a couple of nibbles off tomorrow. This is all new to me as we don’t have them in south Florida. I guess I was wrong when I said I would NEVER collect mushrooms and eat them for dinner.

Juggling at Slab City

February 21st, 2010

Johnny juggling 3 balls

I’ve been juggling off and on since I was fourteen, but I never learned much more than a three ball cascade or two balls in one hand. Sure, I could juggle that way indefinitely, but it was kind of boring. This summer in Alaska, I had the good fortune to pick up a juggling book behind a second hand book store free of charge. Suddenly, there were lots of new things to try and a few tricks I had even forgotten about! Combine with lots of free time and stir well.

These days, I’m up to four balls in a fairly solid pattern. But my three ball juggling has gotten a lot more interesting… at least for me. I learned a handful of new patterns and techniques and then started mixing and matching them, which lead to a few things invented on the spot. I drop things a lot more, but at least I’m not bored!

  Make Your Own Fire Poi
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Scavenging the Slabs

January 8th, 2010

It’s amazing the difference the mountains make. We were literally driving through rain all day until we finally crossed through the mountains into the California desert. Minutes later, it was dry and I was considering whether or not to turn on the air conditioner. Once again, we arrived at Slab City in the dark and were unable to find the primo campsite. So, we just settled for the same site we had last year, pulled in (checking for nails) and staked our claim.

Unlike last year, we had two bikes and didn’t need to get the scooter out right away. At least, we had two bikes for a couple of hours until Jenn’s pedal came off because it had been put on the wrong side. Back to one bike and two riders, it was time to get the scooter running again.

Just like last year, it had another fuel leak. This time, however, nearly the entire fuel line was dry rotted and I wasn’t able to clip enough from somewhere else to fix the problem. But, like Leonard Knight says, ‘If you go eight miles out in the desert, you can find anything you need.’

By way of introducing myself to our neighbors, I wandered over, dodging a vicious puppy, and said, ‘Hey, you know where I can find a piece of fuel line?’ Now, if you’ve ever been looking for some random part in the middle of nowhere, you realize I didn’t really expect anything from this except, just maybe, directions to the nearest auto parts store. Instead, I got directions to the Slab City mechanic.

Sure enough, when I found him, he was able to scrounge up a bit of vacuum line that was the right size to replace the fuel line on our moped. Sure, it probably won’t last too long, but neither did the cheap rubber on our Chinese moped. The vacuum line, had already survived a car fire, which is more than I can say for the original fuel line.

We have a few other scavenger hunt projects going on. I hope they all work out half as well as the moped. But either way, it’s an interesting way to meet folks when you get tired of scrounging around the desert and decide to ask directions.