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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Keeping Busy

I have been keeping busy these days, partly out of necessity and partly because of circumstances.

Having been late in doing my firewood, I have been frantically working to get it done before it gets really cold and snowy. Well, I now think I am on top of it. We have had a little snow even though it remains warmer than usual. Below is a photo of my handiwork. I promise myself I will get at it earlier next year.

(click on photo to enlarge)

While I rest between sessions of wood cutting and spitting and piling, I have returned to my efforts to learn touch typing. Years ago, I began to learn to type. (When I was in school only the "dumb" students in the commercial stream took typing for careers in office work). I had to learn to type when I got my first job as a minister. My wife said, "No more, I have have typed for you throughout University, now you have to type for yourself." Many a hour in that first year, I spent in my oak lined office with a teach yourself to type book; learning the keys, and the fingering and trying to build some accuracy and speed. Well I got the job half done. I learned to type with a couple of fingers more that two while looking at the keys. This worked for me for many years to type letters, rough drafts of sermons and the odd report. When I was no longer a minister of a church, I lost what facility I had acquired.

Along came the computer and the Internet for me, rather late I must say. I managed with two finger typing for most things but I decided I should learn keyboarding. (I hope every grade school child learns this now along side of handwriting.) A while back I began this process using a learning to type online program. I faltered before the task was done.

I am now back at the learning to type. I have learned the keys and finger strokes and now I am working on my speed and accuracy without looking at the keys. I am up to about 40 wpm. I have no great ambition in this but I would like to consistently be above 40 wpm. So I am close.

Practice makes perfect for this aging fat fingered typist.

This routine of wood splitting and typing was going fine until my computer went down. I managed to get an older computer, (I bought for $20) which has little power, connected to the Internet. It worked well for emails but little else. It was slow and I could not view videos or access some sites like Blogger's dashboard where I write these blog entries.

After almost a week of trying to get to town to take my computer to the tech guy, I discovered my computer was not broken at all. It was my monitor. I exchanged my good (now broken) monitor for the one from the old computer. Now I am back online.

A guy has to do something while suffering from "Internet withdrawal". I found myself cooking while not doing wood.

I decided to make some Boston baked beans. I used a recipe which they use at one on Boston's most famous restaurants, Durgin Park, which ate at several times while I lived in the Boston area. They are good, although a little milder that I would like.

With the weather getting colder I have begun to use my antique wood cook stove. (some photos are here) It is great to cook on once you learn the basics. It is also nice to keep warm by the stove. I find lots of things cook better on the stove with it's better heat distribution. On my electric stove my grilled cheese sandwiches never turn out such a nice soft brown toasted colour as you can see below.

While I have never baked bread in the wood stove oven it is nice to bake bread when the stove is going. The warmer heat from the wood stove helps the bread to rise. I then bake it in the range.

Yummy, If you cannot pursue your passions on the Internet, at least one can eat for satisfaction.

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At 8:45 a.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

With much of your wood brought in and a working computer along with a working stove, you should be all set for the next four months or so.

At 1:09 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

You are so far ahead of us on splitting wood but of course you will need lots more. You should bake your bread in the woodstove. It has such a wonderful flavor for some reason. Love biscuits baked in them. Am trying to get too many things done before I head to the mountains. Cannot wait to spend Christmas with the girls and grands. I took typing in High School but forgot it quickly. Once I started using the computer it was like riding a bike. Took a couple days and then it all came back.

At 10:19 p.m., Blogger John and Carol said...

Chopping all that wood must really keep you in shape! How many cords? I believe everyone needs to learn good keyboard skills today, even more important than handwriting. Two fingered typing only works well on the ipad or for texting on your phone.

At 3:56 p.m., Blogger possum said...

Oh how I love to see pictures of your place, especially the pictures with snow. I do love snow - in someone elses yard! LOL! Tho it is pretty here once a year, for a day or two. Maybe.
Really want to sample those beans and bread! I miss our old cook stove up in the mountains. Never baked in it, tho.
And the smell of the wood... mmmm
But we were lazy and used coal when we had long stretches of COLD weather.

At 4:16 p.m., Anonymous Lindsey said...

Your wood stack is looking impressive. Now you can relax. Home baked bread is so much better then brought bread and makes much better toast. Do you toast your bread in front of the open fire? When we had a peat stove that is how we did ours. So much nicer than done in a toaster.
I learnt to touch type at school and used it for a couple of years when I was working in an office. I have never forgot it. Good luck with it, it is just practise. I don't know how many words a minute I can type now but I don't think I am very fast any more. I learnt on a manual typewriter when you really had to push the keys. Todays computer keyboards are so much easier.

At 9:57 a.m., OpenID goodnightgram said...

Yum! I actually googled Durgin Park to find the bean recipe. Thanks for sharing your story. And BTW,that loaf of bread looks beautiful!

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