CFPM in Action

Here at the Compound, in the soggy land of endless wet, our water comes from a well.  And in between that well and my alimentary canal is a large capacity sediment filter with a nominal 25-micron rating.  And when they say nominal, they mean that’s a make-believe number your supposed to take with a grain of salt (which would also pass right through it).

This filter comes with a filter life rating of six months.  Now in as much as I’m an engineer who has a very intimate relationship with filters from reverse osmosis pore size that can restrict the passage of atom sized particles up to bag filters that stop more or less nothing, I feel qualified and even privileged to insert my own factor onto this rating.  And the factor I used turns out to be twelve.  It was about six years ago that I installed the last edition of this handy household protective device.

I know, I know, I’m a monster.  I’m endangering my plumbing, my heating system, the well pump and the very fabric of space-time in the general vicinity of the Compound.  Fine, guilty as charged.  But look at it from my point of view.  I’m terminally lazy and keeping track of all the stuff I’m supposed to care about is just too much.  My system of maintenance is called the catastrophic failure panic method or CFPM for short.  Under this nifty protocol I more or less let things run on their own until catastrophic failure or the fear thereof concentrates my attention on some terrifying effect, like flood, fire or downed power lines crackling and buzzing like a giant nest of angry hornets.

I won’t claim that this lifestyle choice doesn’t have some difficulties.  It’s definitely expensive in the long run.  But it goes hand in hand with my belief that I live a charmed existence.  Somehow, I’ve managed to sidestep the consequences of my negligence and laziness pretty much entirely.  Sure, I have to pay a lot of money to fix the things I neglect but not worrying about all the things I should be taking care of and concentrating on the things that interest me has meant that life is a wonderful adventure with just enough excitement (or fear) to keep it interesting.

Take this filter thing as an example.  I remember about three years ago Camera Girl said to me that the clear plastic filter housing looked really gross.  Now gross is her layman’s term for filled with silt and rust.  And she may have thought that I ignored her warning.  But she couldn’t have been more wrong.  Her words were recorded and analyzed by my subconscious and became a part of the enormous algorithm that is my brain’s response to the great big wide wonderful world that I imagine surrounds me.

And at precisely the right time I remembered that filter and so about a week ago I looked at that filter and was repulsed at how gross it looked and some other part of my brain measured the pressure drop that the water system was experiencing coming from the well to my faucet (well indirectly, actually I was noting the lower flow rates I’ve been seeing lately).  And my fear of catastrophically destroying the well pump triggered CFPM action and I bought the new filter and installed it today.

The system works!

You might think, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”  Many laymen confuse the CFPM with complete imbecility.  But there’s nothing complete about it all.  After all I brush my teeth every day and that’s annoying so I definitely have my limits.  But this whole thing has made me think I should change my factor from twelve to two.  After all, an annual event would tie it into the celestial cycle and trigger my interest in all things occult.  Just as the Druids sacrificed captives at the Autumnal Equinox (okay maybe I made that up) so I could celebrate the changing of the filter as a sacrifice to the great gods of pressure drop; Moody, Fanning, Darcy and Reynolds.

Well, it’s been a taxing day.  I ‘m going to go relax before tackling the last episode of “The Terminal List.”  Camera Girl’s initial reservations about the show have evaporated due to her love of cinematic blood-thirsty violence.  But this brush with disaster has made me more thoughtful.  Maybe I should take a look at that gage on the propane tanks.  I’d hate to run out of fuel for the generator this winter.  Ahhh, there’s plenty of time.  I’ll just make a mental note.

Waiting for Significance

You may have noticed I haven’t had many political posts in the last few days.  I scan the headlines every day.  After all, railing against the outrage of the day is sort of my schtick.  But for the last few days all I see is “same old, same old.”  The FBI raids Trump associates.  Political polls from Left and Right claim advantage for their side in the mid-terms.  Economic indicators and business events reinforce that we’re in a recession and statements from politicians on both sides confirm that we hate each other’s guts.  You, see?  Same old, same old.

There have been some stories about CNN firing some frothing at the mouth Trump-haters.  That I consider newsworthy.  That’s something different going on.  So that’s an example of the kind of thing I’m looking for.  New developments.  News!  When I see a story about someone on the Left waking up to the anti-freedom excesses of the current regime, I think that is newsworthy.  Anytime I see some establishment type waking up to the reality of what our government has become that’s sort of newsworthy.

But outrage for the sake of having something to say is becoming boring and even painful to write.  We all know it’s bad.  Only the brain dead could miss the fact that things are awful.  Only the hopelessly clueless don’t see where the awfulness emanates from.  Only a Democrat flak can listen to a Joe Biden speech and pretend that what he is saying resembles reality.

But what I write has to have some freshness, some life to it.  Even for me it can’t just reiterate the same old thing.  So, you may see some days when my post will be a review of a movie or a book.  Or it may be about something else I’m interested in like photography or beekeeping or some aspect of science and technology.

And this is all to the good.  Just banging the same old drum doesn’t really accomplish anything except wear out the reader’s patience.  There are always plenty of things going on in the world and there are even the beginnings of alternative cultural and social organizations doing things in the world.  These will give us things to talk about.

So don’t be alarmed if I haven’t ranted in a week or so.  It’s simply that there’s nothing new worth saying about life in Oceania.  I can’t record every last word and deed of Big Brother.  I may have to say I love him but I can’t claim he isn’t boring as all hell.

The Hour Approaches

Tomorrow is the flight.  In fact, I’m heading out the door in eight and half hours.  So, the era of radio silence is upon me.  I’ll try to monitor the news in case Creepy Uncle Joe morphs into a giant cockroach or centipede or something.  Or if Joe and Kamala resign and Nancy Pelosi takes up residence in the White House.  If that happens, I’ll have a lot to say.  But short of that I’ll probably be incommunicado for most of the trip.  I’ll post pictures as well as I’m able and I may put up some posts with my impressions of the mountain west.  The daily photo and quote are already loaded and scheduled for the whole trip.

I hope everybody’s summer is progressing as planned.  Unless I’m eaten alive by a grizzly bear, I expect to re-emerge on July 21st revitalized and rededicated to insulting leftists whenever they say stupid things, which is always.  I’ll check on the comments so feel free to leave them.  This the longest I’ll be away from the site in six years so I’ll probably suffer withdrawal symptoms out there in the wilderness.  But it’s probably good for me to unplug and deal with life without the internet for a change.

Hasta la vista baby.

A Garden Surprise

So Camera Girl had me back in the salt mines.  Well, literally, she had me turning over some of her vegetable garden with a pitchfork.  And while I was working on a section I started noticing that the ground started moving!  I flipped over a piece of vegetation and saw this:

Apparently a rabbit somehow built a burrow inside the garden, which is surrounded by a 4 X 4 lumber rectangle.  Is there a tunnel from somewhere outside the garden?  Beats the hell out of me.

Greeting on the Ultimate Day of June 2022

Camera Girl and I took a morning stroll around the grounds and it was encouraging.  Cone flowers are blooming, daylilies are about to pop and the first few eggplants and squash are on the vines.

 

The weeds and crab grass are growing at a prodigious rate and the local hawk has been picking off mourning does at the pace of one every other day.  Black-eyed Susans and Shasta Daisies are everywhere and the milkweed is in bloom and feeding a new cohort of Monarch butterfly caterpillars.

 

Basically, life is exploding everywhere I look.  Which means I’ll be busy watering, weeding and cutting grass for the foreseeable future.

I am on record as saying July is my favorite time of the year.  But this year I’ll be away on a trip from the 11th to the 20th.  While I’m away I’ll be viewing and photographing bison, grizzly bears, wolves, elk, moose, geysers, mountains and other items that usually don’t feature into life at the Compound.  And doubtless that will be exciting.  But in a way I’ll be sorry to miss the little milestones that happen here every July.  In July I’ll find the first praying mantis.

Me and My Shadow

In July I usually see the first fireflies.  And in the middle of the month, I always celebrate my birthday with a party.  Well, you can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs.

I’ll try to post from time to time but I expect before, during and after the trip there will be disruptions.  It’s been a busy month and I haven’t had a chance to cache a bunch of pictures and quotes for the interregnum.  But I’ll do my best to provide some content.  Hopefully I’ll be able to put up some interesting photos during the trip.

What is becoming clear to me is that after the trip I’ll be revising my writing schedule to facilitate my fiction writing.  It’s just too difficult to write between posts.  It’s got to become the opposite, posting between writing.  Reading about the output that Nick Cole produces filled me with envy and shame.  So, things must change.

As for the latest news of the day, why, it’s chicanery, skullduggery, buffoonery, imbecility, failure and ruin as far as the eye can see.  As the cities descend into howling chaos, hyperinflation bankrupts us and the economy continues to sputter into recession, Dementia Joe moves full speed ahead to usher in WWIII.  I guess since he’s finished off the Democrats’ chances in November, he figures he might as well go out with a bang.  It will be interesting to see if his brinksmanship ends up causing an actual war or just destroys what’s left of this country’s military reputation.

Well, I shouldn’t let this devolve into depression.  There are plenty of good things happening too.  There’s plenty to do and not enough time to do it in.  So, let’s see what I can do to keep some copy up on the site and try to keep it on the light side.  Enjoy the glorious weather.

I’m Calling Out This Charles Lipson Guy

Back on the 14th of May I wrote a post called “The Five Stages of Grief – Part 1.”  Now I see that some guy named Charles Lipson has a post up at some rag called “Newsweek” entitled “The Biden Administration’s Five Stages of Grief.”

In my post I said, “People say that the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  I think I have detected these stages in news coverage of the Biden Administration.  The Left is grieving for the loss of Joe FDR Biden’s New Deal Moment, the Great Reset, the Build Back Better Rip-Off.  If you think back to last year I remember when prices started to rise and the headlines were full of denial.  Do you remember how they claimed that the Fourth of July cookout was something like $1.47 cheaper than the year before?  And then there was the meme about inflation being temporary.”

Now here’s something from Lipson’s post, “Take inflation. The former administration spokesperson, Jen Psaki, initially denied rising prices were a problem. When that became laughable, the administration reframed the problem as a temporary one.”

What the hell!  When I want to talk about an idea that someone else has written on, I always give attribution and cite the work and put a link back to the original article.  But this Lipson guy did none of these things.  What the hell!

I challenge you Charles Lipson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Chicago (if that is your real name!) to do the right thing and give attribution to Orion’s Cold Fire and apologize for your scurrilous behavior.  Have you no sense of decency sir?  Have you no shame, at last?  There you are at your fancy university in your la de dah city of Chicago taking the food out of Camera Girl’s mouth.  I challenge you to a debate.  Who is the greater pundit thee or me?

Well, I feel better now.  It’s good to get this thing off my chest.  Okay, let me go see what I can “borrow” from someone else now.

Entrepreneurism is Not for the Lazy.  Or So They Say.

And what a shame for me!  As many who visit here know I am the self-professed, “Laziest Man on the Right.”  I enjoy nothing as much as procrastinating and enjoying life.  Of course, I prefer to think of myself as, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” but I don’t have his killer fake Spanish accent.  Boy, that was a great advertising campaign.

But of late I have been doing a lot of research and laying the groundwork for a vast commercial undertaking.  Not since the early days of Kramerica Industries has the world seen such poorly planned and shamefully misdirected effort from someone who ostensibly is trying to get something done.

All at the same time, I’m starting a limited liability company (LLC), re-opening my PayPal account, assembling and post-processing my first group of high-resolution photo files, working on my first novel, assembling a fine art photography book and for reasons known only to PayPal buying the cheapest mobile phone plan in the world.  The last item has to do with the fact that PayPal no longer allows individuals to have a PayPal account without a cell phone.  Apparently Big Brother truly does live in Silicon Valley.

As noted, the efficiency of these efforts has been abysmal.  I have to redo each step at least three times because of my ignorance or poor preparation.  The people I contact, even the AI I interfaces with which I interact, seem to be straining not to yell at me to stop bothering them and just give up.  And being the empathetic fellow I am, I tend to agree with them.  And because of my ineptitude all of this effort should be doomed to massive failure and soul-searing disappointment.

And yet, I am heartily enthused and invigorated by the whole confusing mess.  Slowly and painfully, I’m learning the things I need to know to carry out the program.  As soon as I can get the phone thing resolved and the PayPal account up and running, I can load the photos on the commercial website.  And once the LLC is official, I can start paying the government taxes on whatever paltry profits I manage to pull in.

And this is only the beginning.  I hope to follow up on my first novel with the rest of a science fiction series and other writings of various types and lengths.  I have the often-mentioned unbridled enthusiasm and unjustified optimism.  Most people I have confided in about my mad dreams have warned me that I have literally zero chance of success in my endeavors.  They say that statistically it’s an incredible longshot.

I am undeterred.  For I have always been inexplicably lucky.  Not just a little lucky but almost eerily lucky.  Over the course of a fairly long life, I have almost invariably been unreasonably lucky just when I needed it the most.  Even when something bad happens to me something or someone unexpected always shows up and sets things right.  I’ve led a charmed existence.

So that’s what I’m betting on, that my luck will hold out again.  Deep down I know that one day fate will even up the score.  I assume it’ll be something horrendously unlikely or even preternatural.  I’m expecting a meteor strike or a lightning bolt to rub me out.  But when it comes, I’ll face that day whistling a happy tune.  I’ve had the luck that ten men could expect while expending almost no effort at all.  I sometimes wonder what I might have accomplished if I had added hard work to luck but probably it would have mucked things up completely.

So, here’s to the future and just a little more luck.

04DEC2021 – Thoughts on the Day

Well, here we are exactly three weeks before Christmas Day and despite the havoc that the pod people have unleashed on the world, I’m feeling kind of happy and even optimistic about what’s to come.  Why I’m that way is probably a combination of things.  Doubtless, knowing that the Biden administration is in disarray has something to do with it.  The fact that I’ll be spending several days with the kids and grandkids is also part of it.  Another part is that by December I’ve come to terms with winter and no longer feel the post summer gloom.  And finally, well, life is good!  Everyone in the family is in pretty good health.  We’re going to have another fantastic dinner soon and another one right after that.  The house hasn’t been foreclosed on.  We have enough money for food, clothes and even enough left over for some toys like the new camera I’m hoping to buy in January.  Any sane person would say I’m doing alright.  And even though I’m at least slightly crazy I’ll say it too.

So, what’s on the horizon?

I listened to a doctor in England who’s pretty sure that the omicron variant is going to be a very mild virus and should be the end of the farce we’ve been enduring.  He said it will be extremely transmissible and quite capable of infecting even the hyper vaccinated.  So, everyone will get this thing.  It will feel like the kind of virus that gives you aches and a dry cough and headache for a couple of days.  Then that should be it.  No huge number of deaths, no wave of hospitalizations except for the chronically ill and the really elderly.  So, in a month or three Anthony Fauci should be out of an annoying job as health nag of the world.  Hallelujah!  Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed but I’m guessing the weariness of even the Karens will drive this thing to its ending.  So that’s a good prospect.

Every year in the winter I’m always frustrated by the dearth of photographic opportunities.  After all, snow and ice sort of look the same whether I photograph it on Wednesday or Sunday so there is a futility to going out in the neighborhood.  Plus, I’m not a big fan of being cold.  Well, this year I’ve vowed that I’ll make a few treks around New England to try to find interesting snow (whatever that is).  Plus, I think I’ll set up a macro studio in the house and bring some interesting subjects inside to do the work in the comfort of forced hot water heating.  I’m interested to see if my 200mm Minolta macro lens will be controllable with a program I use to take focus stacks.  It allows the focus setting to be very gradually changed between shots.  I’m not at all certain it will work because the Minolta lens will be under the control of the LA-EA5 adapter which is nowhere near as precise as one of those lenses that has stepper motors built in.  But it’ll still be fun trying it out.  And that’ll be just one of the cool things I’m hoping to do with the A-mount lenses on the A7 IV camera once I get my hands on it.  Looking back on some of the photos I took on the A-850 DSLR with them I am excited to see what kind of results I can get in the spring.  But winter will still provide some opportunities.

I’ve been enjoying the movie reviews.  I think it makes a good change of pace from the political stuff.  Even the horror of Star Trek Season 3 can be fun if there is enough mockery involved.  Mixing science fiction movies with the old movies from the ‘30s and ‘40s seems to work.  But I’ll see if I can mix in some later movies just for variety.  I don’t want to get predictable!

I’ll have to do some reading into H. P. Lovecraft.  I’ve forgotten all the details of the stories and I’ll need those details when I riff on Lovecraft in my Dunwich newspaper articles.  I think I might try the “Whisperer in the Dark” next.

And finally on the fiction writing front I’ve made progress on my novel but what I’ve concluded is I need to carve out much more time.  I’ve got to get more disciplined.  I spend too much time just reading stuff on the net.  It’s way too much of a time sink.

Well enjoy your Saturday.

What’s A Blogger to Do?

OCF is my personal reaction to the reality that the Left owns the internet.  And when I bumped into that fact it was a lot less true than it is now.  I was revolting against the enforced leftist narrative that I found in every photography website and science fiction review blog.  I just couldn’t stand the atmosphere of delusional superiority and even worse the selective enforcement of website rules.  So, I built my own kingdom where my own version of delusional superiority and selective enforcement of website rules would be the rule.  But who’s to say what’s delusional?

Anyway, Over the years, the site has focused more and more on the political situation until now I’d say that politics is something like 99% of the content if it’s based on text.  Obviously, the photo of the day has very little text and the quote of the day is a sentence or so.  And that’s fine.  During the Trump presidency there was an enormous amount of political action to comment on.  And in this time of social and political turmoil there continues to be a raft of topics that need to be discussed, and in most cases, lamented.  I intend to continue doing just that.  After all, having my say is why I’m here.

But the reality is that there isn’t something to say about the political situation every day.  Well, there is but it’s not novel and interesting enough to seem worthwhile.  After all, how many times can I call Joe Biden a vegetable or a pervert before I start to seem like a vegetable myself?  And in the absence of any kind of actual progress on the Red State revolt front how often can I bang that drum before I start to drive my readers back into the arms of the Blue State matriarchy?

I just thought it would be a good idea if I start to introduce more features that don’t depend on the news cycle and the initiative of politicians.  From a practical perspective this will involve more culture topics; book, movie and tv reviews, essays on historical events and opinion pieces on cultural events and groups.

And another thing I’d like to get back to is fiction writing.  I’ve been working sporadically (very sporadically) on writing a science fiction novel.  Actually, it’s more like three different novels that haven’t really gelled the way I want them to.  I’m thinking of putting up installments of one of them as an ongoing feature of the site.  It’ll give the readers a taste of my writing style and eventually I’ll use it as a sample when I publish and start to market my work.

Now the thing about writing reviews and essays and fiction is that they take a lot more time to produce than my typical hit piece on Joe Biden.  Writing five hundred or a thousand words about how stupid cretins are isn’t that hard.  But writing a review means taking the time to read or watch something and then thinking carefully about saying something interesting about it.  And writing fiction is on a “ho nudda lebbel.”

What I’m saying is that the long-time readers might notice a change in the output here.  There may not be so many quick rant posts.  There may be fewer posts.  And the post lengths will probably increase significantly.  Maybe you could say that quality will replace quantity to some extent.  Hopefully that will suit most readers.  I suspect it will be an improvement.

Now I don’t want anyone to panic.  I’ll still keep a watchful eye out for worthwhile events that need my unique blend of political savvy and rapier sharp wit.  But I just don’t see a reason to say the same thing over and over again.  So, this is just an explanatory note so that the readers don’t think I’ve been taken hostage and replaced by a ringer from Antifa.  OCF continues.  OCF grows.  photog tries to improve his product.