Sunday Rant – 2124


Joe’s Comment – I’m still waiting for the spontaneous smiles hot sunny weather brings to my face.  Is “quid pro quo” a legitimate meteorology term?
I’m thinking mild winter, rainy unsettled spring.
Karma of the climate.
The perfect year with the perfect climate is an absurd hope, but I never stop thinking about the what ifs such weather would bring.
Oh well, what the hell…..
Today a new machine arrived in my yard.  I have been anticipating it for some months.  In my endeavors I often have to move items that weigh over half a ton, and are cumbersome or bulky to move.  For example, a diesel engine with transmission might be close to 1,300 pounds, and is an unbalanced load.  I have at least three of them lying around.
I now have the means to move such monstrosities with impunity!
What, pray tell, is the nature of this magic machine?
Her name is Veronica, and she is an Hitachi Zaxus 35U-2 excavator (with thumb), capable of lifting just such weighty and/or bulky items with aplomb –   So far, I’ve driven Veronica a total distance of 45 feet, and an elapsed time of maybe 65 seconds.
So far, so good.
Veronica replaces two BobCat machines.  First, a 322 excavator (an Internet pic) –
The 322 is a lovely small machine.  It will track down a 4 foot wide corridor with room to spare.  Unfortunately, even when the boom and the dipper stick (arm) are retracted and tucked fully, the maximum lift distance (bucket extended to fully tucked) is limited (maybe a foot or so), and the maximum lift weight turned out to be a fully dressed Ford flathead motor – approximately 600+ pounds.
Not enough for the bigger items in my shop and yard.
The other BobCat I replaced is a 743 skid steer (my 743 pic) –
A skid steer is an amazing invention.  Turn on a dime.  Faster than a speeding excavator.  Thrifty to operate (unless it breaks – another story altogether).  Many attachments available for various purposes.  Alas, I don’t spend much time turning on a dime, or competing with an excavator, or worrying about operating costs.
What I need most of the time is akin to a crane or gantry or a tug/tractor.  I lift and move heavy and/or bulky items.
Because I work alone most of the time, the skid steer is not a good choice for heavy lifting.  In order to attach or release an item, you must risk crawling out of the operator’s seat under a raised boom.  Not so troublesome with two workers, an operator and a “swamper”.  Potentially dangerous or fatal when operating alone.
Hence the desire for a larger excavator.  You can dig and fill.  You can push and pull.  Best for me, you can lift.  Veronica also has a thumb, so picking and placing items or lifting them can be accomplished without leaving the operator’s seat.
That is the rationale.
The words of Robert A. Heinlein come to mind –
Which segues into the words of Bertrand Russell –
Time will tell…..


Rex Murphy, Jordan Peterson
Mr. Peterson pays tribute to Rex Murphy with a short video of their time together exploring Newfoundland.  Much appreciated.
The first view Joe and I have had of the birthplace of our paternal grandfather  – Bay Bulls Arm – was in this video.  Granddad was a fifth generation Newfoundlander.  His great great great grandfather, William, born at Upper Island Cove (date unknown), was christened on December 11th, 1779, in Harbor Grace.  William Drover and Mary Cox were the proud parents, immigrants from Ringwood, England.  Our Drover lineage predates the formation of Canada……
Newfoundland is a unique land with unique people.  Rex Murphy was exemplary of those hearty folks.  His unique perspective from a unique period was a Canadian treasure, impossible to replace.  Thank you Dr. Peterson!:

Quick Dick McDick
Saskatchewan and Canada’s agrarian ambassador to the world shares a quick minute or two while seeding a field with canola.
Not too many folks are directly involved in any sort of farming  in Canada.
Joe and I thank Quick Dick for posting these videos.
Now if more people would watch these videos, especially children, there would be a gradual understanding and appreciation of where food comes from:

The Culture

Ann Coulter and Scott Adams
Joe and I found this short segment grinworthy and very entertaining.
We aren’t that fond of Mr. Adams – his S.T.E.M. knowledge is minimal which allows his logical strength to make absurd conclusions on occasion.
Joe and I are long time fans of Ms. Coulter.  We have one of her books.  She is known for her independent and entirely autonomous conclusions.  For instance, she predicted a Donald Trump win in 2016 in the face of much cajoling and laughter.  She laughed last.  An interesting exchange with an overtone of mutual admiration:


Sally K. Norton and Kelly Hogan
Every time somebody interviews Sally K. Norton, Joe and I watch with interest and concentration.  We learned more than we already knew.  And Kelly Hogan is a steady calm advocate too.  A worthwhile discussion:


The following shorts are of Vladimir Shmondenko, a Ukrainian powerlifter who goes by the alias Anatoly.  Fantastic pranking!:

Joe’s Garage

SpaceX Reinvents the Rocket
The basic concept of rocket propulsion and rocket design has matured.
And the engineers at SpaceX made it happen.  Gotta love high value employees:

More Bendin’ with Bendon
Joe can’t get enough of this channel!
In this video, a Peterbilt that was in a roll over gets the twist.
Boy, does it get the twist.
The end result is fabulous:

Another Peterbilt that needs a magic touch.
Joe wonders if it is an inherent problem with the marque…..:

Valvoline Research Lab
The Oil Geek takes a trip to Valvoline’s research lab.
Lots of can’t tell ya, but also lots of reaffirmation that somewhere somehow some way, there are still engineers and engineering happening, at the best level possible – with real honest to doG hardware!
Joe and I learned some stuff for sure:

Nicole Johnson’s Detour
This gal makes Joe a bit envious.  She is sassy, and able, and good looking.
That’s not what Joe envies.
She uses her assets to garner rides in absolutely fabulous or outrageous or spectacular or rare or famous vehicles.  A couple of examples:

Next, Nicole gets an opportunity to drive a big Willy.
Hilarity ensues.
This crazy badger built a 1.68:1 scale Willys – modeled after the 1942 war time machine.  Joe and I approve!  We are always impressed by the talented people who create pieces of art just because they can:



This week, the dynamic duo of Peter Robinson and Victor Davis Hanson buoy our spirits with “The End of Everything”, a review of his current book.
Dr. Hanson is our favorite historian.
His analysis of current events, as always, is from the perspective of his vast knowledge of history, especially the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
Although very sombre, his admonition boils down to grow a pair and fight back with passion and intelligence.  Words we approve:


The weather in Vernon BC this week has been of the one sweater variety.
Joe and I got wet.
We got blow dried.
We saw very scary dark clouds racing hither and yon (yawn….)
Spring is a capricious spirit this year.
The barometer is up and down daily.
The forecast is unsettled with rainy periods for the next two weeks.
The mild winter is being complemented with a cool-ish schizophrenic lead up to summer.
Although Joe is bummed that the sun hasn’t burnt him crisp, we both acknowledge that the fire season is upon us.
And though Joe is wearing a sweater all day, every day, even indoors, it is still an infinite improvement on frozen water, bitter winds, and only seeing the sun on occasion.
June 6th is the turn around per local meteorological habitual mendacity.
Joe prays it is truth.
The damn grass is up to our knees, and not one of the 6 riding mowers is alive and well, and ready to work.
Good grief.
Did we just bitch about warm weather consequence?
Wash our mouth with soap!

Joe (1 sweater) Mekanic
p.s.  Ramirez is the canary in the conservative mine –

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