As part of my pledge to be a part time fanatic, I would like to build this boat and do a bit of rowing around our lake. And I stole this picture from the guys to sell the plans: http://www.gaboats.com/boats/westportdinghy8.html
“Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am, -- a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourself for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the West. It is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still there. So, get out there and hut and fish and mess around with your friends, explore the forests, encounter the griz, climb the mountains, run the ribers. Sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the loverly mysterious awesome space.” Edward Abbey.
I particularly like the line: ". . .a half hearted fanatic."
That is my goal. Be a fanatic, but half heartedly so!
Some I bought for parts, a couple I bought new. I have 3 that I use and a 4th that is operable.
Back packers are always on the alert for simpler, lighter equipment, so they upgrade as often as the technology improves.
Car campers, on the other hand, are different, way different.
The main stove I use when we camp from the teardrop is a two burner Coleman that was made right after World War II. It was like new when I bought it a few years ago, and works very well. It is two burner, but I don’t remember when I used the 2nd burner.
Usually I take along a contemporary Coleman single burner stove. When I car camp that little one is the only one I take along.
They all work fine, and when I do grape juice I set up three of them in the backyard and we make a lot of hot.
But this morning I was thinking about my first back pack stove, which I still have. It is an Optimus 8r. The technology is as old as gas blow torches. You fill a little pan with gasoline, it flares up and heats the “carburetor” which vaporizes the gas and it burns.
It works well. It is not quiet, and parts are still available. Not a few back packers prefer these old ladies to the new fancy ones, the old ones are so reliable. Mine sure does not look new, it has cooked for 5 or 6 people a lot of times and it shows it.
I noticed some 8r stoves for sale and the price was 2 or 3 times what they sold for new.
To paraphrase the famous general: “old stoves don’t die. . . they just keep on going.”
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.