Posted by: David | September 13, 2010

Brain Waking Up

Don’t know if this happens to other folks, but sometimes in bed, early in the morning while the brain is returning to that state called “consciousness”, weird things swim up from the depths. Usually harmless little bubbles these are, occasionally extremely annoying, like a skipping music disk, but every so often there is something intriguing. Something that causes one to reflect. Deeply. If only this “somniscience” could produce useful information, like a cure for cancer, or winning lottery numbers.

This morning as I awoke, I was remembering the comic strip Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller. Couldn’t really remember exactly when, as a child, I’d started following that strip, or what I ever liked about it. But then I remembered a period of years, perhaps as an older kid, where I would still make sure to read it, even knowing that it was hardly ever all that funny, and in fact had been disappointing me with its un-funniness for years. And Sluggo was probably a real jerk. Whatever. If you were expecting this to be about something intriguing and reflective, uh, sorry about that. Just frackin’ Nancy, by Ernie Bushmiller.

On Saturday the college had the annual 5K dash and stroll. It’s a non-competitive event that the president started when he began his term 5 years ago. It’s too bad that it took me 5 years to participate. It was a beautiful, perrfect day for it, and the uncertainty about whether I should dash or stroll was quickly dissolved as I mingled with all the wonderful folks who showed up. I got a nice yellow t-shirt and ended up strolling and chatting with a couple of my favorite professors and the president’s wife. I can’t run for crap anyway, so it would have been painful to try. My legs are sore anyway, 3 days later, despite short bike rides each day. Walking uses different muscles. Duh. I should really continue that as a form of exercise instead of being a monomaniacal devotee of bicyclism.

The WMUR NEWS van in New London beaming footage to Manchester.

I’ve seen the van there before. Right by the exit from the parking lot where I’m usually parked. Someone at work said that the elevation in New London gives them a good signal path to the station down in Manchester. When I see the van there I wonder if Kria Sakakeeny, Heather Hamel, Amy Coveno, or some other pretty newsbabe is somewhere on campus getting a scoop. Do they still call exciting news stories scoops? I did see Fritz Wetherbee down in Warner once. He’s not all that pretty, but he looked just like he does on TV. Next slide.

It’s been a great tomato year.

Even though I told my wife it was stupid to plant the tomatoes in the exact same spot where we plant them every year, and where they were destroyed by the blight last year, this year has produced the most beautiful and blemish-free fruit. She processed 15 gallons of them this past weekend. I ran three batches through the dehydrator.

If I do another batch, I’ll get a before shot. This is the after shot.

nd here’s the before shot, added some time later.

The dried tomatoes are a tasty snack food, and they come in handy when one is trying to make a usable sauce from the typically watery batches of blenderized and lightly cooked tomatoes that we put in the freezer. If you crumble up some of the dried tomatoes into the sauce, it cuts down on the time it takes to cook it down to where it has some body. Our freezer is pretty much full now.


  1. I have never seen a dehydrator. I suppose that could be used to dry apples. I really like dried apples, but they don’t exist here.

    I am out of my mind because I have a new computer, such a neat little thing, but I have to figure out how it works.

    Do you think that if I had Wifi I could get rid of my Internet service provider? I never had the guts to change to dial-up connection.

    Yes, we have dried apples with the dehydrator thingy. They’re wonderful. We have several apple trees, under which the deer feed. I hope we can get some apples that are good enough to harvest. We don’t spray the trees so the apples are mostly very scabby and buggy. However, we have a nifty contraption that cores, peels, and slices apples in one smooth, cranking motion. It’s easy to fill the dehydrator trays and it only takes 24-36 hours to dry out the apples.

    Sorry your new computer is making you nutty. Windows 7 is it?

    If you “had” Wifi where would it come from? A neighbor perhaps? The only way to “get rid” of an ISP is to get “free” internet from someone else’s ISP. This is also known as theft of services. However, informal “cooperatives” may be formed by neighbors willing to share their bandwidth, perhaps asking neighbors to share the subscription cost. Typically here in the USA people don’t realize that they need to “lock down” their wireless routers with passwords so that neighbors within range cannot hijack the signal and steal internet access. And neighbors who are able to connect to such unsecured wireless signals also fail to realize that they are actually stealing their internet access.

    That said, there are many public venues that may offer free wifi to bring in customers with laptop computers or other wireless devices. Coffee shops, restaurants, etc.

    You don’t need guts to go to a dial up connection. You only need extreme patience. The data transmission rate is so slow that trying to do anything beyond email or other text-based activities will drive you insane. Dial-up effectively cuts off access to any web-based multimedia. Even 1M sized jpeg files will take a minute or more to load.

  2. I have nightmares about the local news van outside my door. It is more for things my neighbors might have done and I’ll be the “dumb guy” interviewed on the 5pm news.

    Oh no MTAE, you would be the smart and cool neighbor, who would say thoughtful and reflective things about the folks at the center of the story. Things that would make the viewers wish that they had neighbors like you. 🙂

  3. I talked to the upstairs neighbour whose name appeared as a nearby wifi connection, and he said that his reception is only good a few meters around, He tried to hook up his nextdoor neighbour and the “signal” was too weak.

    I have had 3 different ISPs and all three base their business on customers’ ignorance. So it would be nice to imagine an ISPless world. One of the three was Spain´s Almighty telephone company that operates also all over Latin America where customers’ ignorance and related business opportunities must be infinite.

    Yeah. Sigh. Maybe someday the internet will be broadcast for free to everyone, like TV and radio were in the olden tymes. I guess they must have figured out ways to limit signal strength and distance for wireless routers used by folks in urban environments. They would have to, otherwise they would lose a lot of business.

  4. Gorgeous tomatoes! I’ll bet there’s some great eating at your house.

    Thank you PT. Yeah, we expend quite a bit of energy on food prep and preservation.

  5. No. The little computer runs on Windows XP. I could have had Windows 7″starter”(?) for the same price, and I remembered that you said the Windows 7 was wonderful, and yet I did not want to risk it. After all, for me Windows XP is perfect. What else is there in Windows 7?

    Even Windows 98 was perfect, except that it had trouble “finding” new hardware and once, this is no joke, got upset by new hardware when I plugged a hair dryer into the same “regleta” where all the computer plugs are.

    “Paint” and Word.doc were perfect right from the beginning. I know that Word.doc is not part of Windows98 but here absolutely everyone used Word97 as if it came with it, and even Bill Gates can’t piss against the wind nor send a lawyer after every pirate in Spain. (I think by now he has found other ways.)

    However, in the little computer there was 1 spook, and it took me more than 50 tries to fix it. The keys or the keyboard thought that this was Albania, and 17 keys functioned accordingly.

    Brilliant choice. Windows XP is as ‘solid as the Rock of Gibraltar’. It’s a better choice than Windows 7 Starter. Starter is a stripped down variant of 7 that can run on lightweight economical systems like the so-called “netbooks” which I imagine your “little” laptop to be. The insane hamster wheel of continuous version upgrades is for the likes of those who must have new cars every couple of years, and who must go out every week to see the newest movies in the theaters, and chat about these things with their many friends at the gym and the bar and the water cooler at work …

    Most computer systems have at least one spook. The hope is that it’s a tolerable and harmless spook.

  6. I’ve never heard of dried tomatoes. That sounds odd, but I trust you on this one. If I’m ever in town I’m stopping in for dinner at your home. The fresh food you post makes me hungry.

    Oh no, really? Not even sun-dried tomatoes? In SoCal?!?

    If you’re ever in please DO stop by. You brind the vodka and ground beef and we’ll supply the rest.

  7. “If only this “somniscience” could produce useful information, like a cure for cancer, or winning lottery numbers.”

    YEAH, why isn’t your somniscience any better? WHY are you so useless?!?!?!?!?


    (kidding! sending you a hug! haha… 😉 )

    PS: I canNOT show those tomatoes to my mom; her batch suckkkked this year, she’d be so jealous of you 😉

    Well I’m working on it. In fact, I’m getting ready to go to bed right now. I’ll blame my uselessness on my wife’s snoring, how about that? Don’t tell here I said that.

    Thanks for the hug!

    Your mom dries tomatoes?!?!?

  8. No she doesn’t dry tomatoes, haha, but she’d be super jealous of your fresh garden batch!! 😉

    Well we have so many tomatoes this year I would love to send some to your mom!

  9. People who dry their own tomatoes are either annoying or delightful. Or both. I buy them that way—they don’t grow dried? Don’t tell me anything about raisins; I don’t want to know!

    Ah, Nancy of the spiked hair! So, this is the sort of woman you wake up thinking about; hmmm 🙂

    I do relate to that semi-waking state. I ask myself if we tap into other realities when we sleep. I just don’t know.

    Hi MusEditions, thanks for your comment. I am definitely of the annoying type of fruit-dryers. At this point I’m drying them because we have already filled the freezer with sauce and tomatoes are still out there ripening.

    Hee hee, at least I was able to wake up. I can’t figure out why Nancy looked nothing like her mom. Her mom was HOT!

    The image I have for that semi-awake state is that our consciousness sort of de-focuses or de-localizes. The normal “point-source” of awareness spreads out and connects up things that are usually separated. Can’t quite make up my mind about multiple realities though, being a big fan of the “it is what it is” school of thought. Maybe only the mind of god can connect all the threads of our smaller realities. Or not.

    I’m so divided on the notion of duality. 🙂

  10. The hamster wheel? All Western economies are hamster wheels. You can see it very well there now.

    The idea is to encourage continuous consumption to drive industries that will finance the arms industry.
    Continuous consumption is best encouraged by printing money and distributing it via low interest rates.

    The hamster wheel is a very powerful metaphor. Let’s not speak of it, for fear of draining every purpose from our pathetic existences. 🙂

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