Friday, March 17, 2023

Because Dinosaurs!

Calmer Half and I have some interests in which we both can geek out happily, and some areas of interest where the other half of the couple has no joy and even less interest in the subject. 

Sometimes he humours me, and despite his "get from Point A to Point B as directly as possible with no stops unless critical to health or logistics" attitude, he'll exude restraint at me while detouring to see a giant meteor crater. (Wheee!)

Sometimes, he doesn't. 

That's where friends come in. This morning, after rack pulling 208 pounds (2 reps, 3 sets), I eyed the lat pulldown machine and decided I'd had enough of being adult for the day. So I texted CV Walter. "Wanna run away with me and see dinosaurs?"

She texted very sleepily back that she needed to find the shower, and then her clothes, in that order. So give her 45 minutes. I texted her the equivalent of happy noises, and then gritted my teeth and did my lat pulldown exercises.

I then went over to her place, kidnapped her from all her intentions, and took her to...
coffee first.

What, do I look like a monster? I'm not going to inflict random road trip on people without coffee!

We may have had coffee and gelato for breakfast at The Duck (it'll always be Odd Duck Coffee to me), but we did at least have breakfast bagels with egg and salmon and capers and cream cheese so it wasn't all caffeine and sugar. 

Then we drove off to Seymour, TX, to see all the dinosaurs! And the dimetrodons, which are, just read the sign NOT DINOSAURS. (Yes, it's in all caps. Posted right next to "Rules To Be A Dinosaur".) Just ask any six year old boy, That's Important.

Some museums are full of themselves and think they're there to "raise the public consciousness" and you're gonna get lectures on cause of the moment and fashionable crises while you're just trying to have fun. Not the Whiteside Museum of Natural History: this place is rich in artifacts and feels like it was made by a bunch of scientists letting out their inner six-year-olds. 

Right down to the little plastic dino toys hidden in some of the exhibits. And the way the T. Rex is positioned so she looks like she's looking at you no matter where you move.

And they even have the actual lab where the paleontologists are working on the actual fossils brought in from the dig with the cool toys at the end of the building, with large windows so you can see them. one of them may have caught me squealing over the miniaturized sandblaster the size of a ballpoint pen, and came out to geek out over the awesomeness. Next thing you know, we're crouched over a juvenile dimetrodon's clavicle, exclaiming over the amazing job of freeing from the stone, and the person who's put in all the work to make it look so good is showing off the nerve attach point, and a hole where something bit all the way through before it went from fresh meat to fossilized...

Utterly cool. 

I stopped on the way home and bought fresh raspberries and roses for my Calmer Half, and he seems just as happy that he missed all the excited female squeaking and squealing and gigglage. 

See the exhibit warning label:

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Futures Contract, Vegetable Edition

Yesterday I did something that I've wanted to do for years, but never felt stable or capable enough to manage: I got a futures contract in unspecified vegetables and berries filling a specified sized container, delivered in 21 installments over as many weeks. 

The marketing people call that a "Community Supported Agriculture Share." 

The difference being, instead of the jargon-heavy contract for a standardized commodity, I handed cash to the farmwife over a handshake, and the details were written on the margins of a flyer advertising last fall's corn maze. 

We both come out the better for the deal - the farmers get stabilized cash flow, up front, with no credit card vendor fee biting their profit margin, and they get a solid estimation of minimum demand for the crops they are planning. Even better from a risk-forecasting point of view, by not specifying the contents of the box beyond "grown on our farm (or the berry farm & vineyard across the road)", if they have a crop failure or an unexpectedly abundant harvest, (or on the demand end, an unexpected run on a particular vegetable / failure to sell a particular vegetable at all,) they can substitute the box composition, and normalize availability between CSA Share buyers and the farmer's market stall.

This isn't necessarily weighted in favor of the market stall, either; I know the early harvest of high-tunnel strawberries are going in the CSA boxes instead of available at the farmer's market... which makes solid sense, in rewarding high-volume customers willing to assume delivery risk first. 

The only reason it took me this long to do this?

I had to find a friend who likes to cook, in order to be willing to split the product with me. I don't actually eat that many vegetables, and wasting good food is a sin. Now that the North Texas Troublemakers have grown so much, I have not one but two friends who are willing to divvy up the box, and if I throw in eggs I get from a neighbor, they're willing to pay for what they want upon delivery. Their cash flow might not be able to handle the up-front cost of a CSA share right now, but they can manage weekly payments of same.  

Besides, they'll not only pay in cash, but in kitchen scraps. Those will go to the neighbor to feed the chickens, which will result in more tasty eggs...

Unfettered capitalism: everyone wins!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Now for something completely different!

So there I was, standing on a corner, minding my own business, when suddenly these two bad dudes...

Actually, I think I was running around trying to clean the house, and make headway on far too many projects, and being
mildly sad that most of my friends went off to MarsCon while I'd made the adult choice to stay home. And it wasn't Sumdood of EMS fame, it was the Three Moms of the Apocalypse, who are good friends, that decided I needed to be in on the Postcards From Mars fun. 

Something about yanking my chain on my inability to write an 8,000 word short story, and how they mostly keep ending up as novels... so let's see if I could write a story in 50 words.

I didn't expect to make the cut, much less end up on the cover!