Loop Fruits

Today’s post comes from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.

At ease, civilians! But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security!

And as I say that, I realize it’s redundant because “false” is the only “sense of security” brand on the shelves these days.

Nothing is secure!

Look at what an isolated foreign potentate was able to do without leaving his hermit kingdom – he cancelled our plan to go to the movies! That’s a level of meddling in the personal entertainment lives of Americans that I thought was reserved only for the FBI or the Mall of America Police.

And now comes word that there are people actually working in an organized way to try to build Elon Musk’s extremely scary Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation system akin to those pneumatic tubes that they use to move money, paperwork, and out-of-ink pens back and forth from the bank’s drive-up teller to your car.

As your Bathtub Safety Officer, I’ve made it clear I’m totally against this idea.

As I said in my earlier post:

“Even if everything is OK on the journey from point A to point B, what about the people who handle the tube when it arrives at its destination? During the heyday of pneumatic office communication, the weak link always happened in the basement where all the tubes ended and various boobs and imbeciles fumbled to open the capsules and spilled the precious contents onto a dank cement floor. Or at least that’s how I picture it.”

The Hyperloop planners have considered this very thing, and according to the above article, they’ve lavished their attention on the sticky problem of what happens when Hyper-pod arrives at its station.

“So the team decided on what it calls a ‘bubble strategy.’ There’s the swanky capsule, the one with fancy doors and windows, that pulls into the station. It’s the ‘bubble.’ Passengers get in, and that capsule enters an outer shell as it’s loaded into the tube. The outer shell is built to handle the ride, and has the air compressor and other needed bits.”

Now I’m even more concerned. The thought of riding in a “bubble” that’s inside an “outer shell” that goes 800 miles per hour gets me thinking about the metal ball rattles around inside cans of spray paint.

No illustrations needed!

I have been told that I sometimes over-react to threats that are not real.

Maybe the Hyperloop is one of those cases and nothing will come of it. There are so many potential obstacles to the establishment of system that promotes human travel-by-tube, it will probably not happen in our shockingly brief lifetimes. Earthquakes, rising ocean levels or killer bees could quickly take take this, and every other option, off the table.

Or maybe with the growth of the internet and fully immersive high-definition virtual realities, the whole idea of physical travel to distant locations will begin to seem quaint. We may decide that going anywhere at all is not only too risky – it’s unnecessary.

Especially when you consider how easy it is to keep us from going to the movies!

Yours in Safety,

What does it take to keep you at home?

56 thoughts on “Loop Fruits”

  1. Good morning. I don’t intend to stay at home. I like to travel. The cost of taking long trips does put some limits on my traveling. Also, I have a house to maintain and other commitments that limit the amount of time I have available for travel. However, I can’t think of anything that would cause me to completely give up on traveling other than being held in a jail cell or something like that.


  2. I so seldom get to just stay home.

    A day when the car stays parked all day is a major win in my book.

    Few of my travels are actual trips like the ones Jim refers to, mostly just interruptions.

    My goal is to live on the Island with enough provender laid in that I need never drive the ice road.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My family believes me to be far too anxious about the weather when long car trips need to be taken. I just hate poor visibility and icy roads. I ran into enough bad roads the years we drove daughter to Bismarck every week for violin lessons that I am pretty sensitized to poor driving conditions.


    1. I am also anxious about traveling when road conditions are bad, Renee. With icy roads there are times when you might end up going into a bad spin even when driving very carefully. I hate being out on the roads when there is a chance that ice might be forming on the pavement and I don’t want to be out there when the visibility is bad.


    2. I used to drive out no matter what, but there are too many crazy people out there who think their 4WD means I can stop on a dime when they cut in front of me.

      I’m happy to use ice ad a reason to not have to go out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. the crud.
    I came home feeling like id been through the ringer yesterday and was ready for the rack at 7 pm I think I made it til 8 before dropping off. I woke at 1030 and was laughing at how easy it is to let life slp off nto the vapors. igot to watc craig fergusons last show. jay leno was guest and my wife commented that olbert leno craig ferguson and soo letterman have all decided to stay home. I don’t get it. to do what. life is so full of stuff that to be confined to my living room is not my cup of tea. mig mentioned being on an island. id need a plane with pontoons. I get claustrophobia on islands, 20 mile and you have to turn is not ok in my interior psyche.
    my idea of the correct life is to work 3 seeks and travel 1. I hope to be there someday. travel destimations are as varied as my scatter thoughts and if I was hitting 12 a year I would have a sliding priorities list that would put nNepal and australia on there but eastern canada and costa rica are not going far. I still need to get to the parks of the rockies and the west coast on a semi regular basis and cuba will be a kick. looking forward to it. hope it doesn’t become state fair like, I like the state fair but its not a travel destinatioin its a mission.
    roads are always a challenge and renee has those Dakota ground blizzards that blind you as the snow in the ditches blows across like that episode of star trek all hours of the day and night from fall til spring. does you daughter still diddle on the fiddle? I hope hot club has gotten into her ears as well as paganini and shostakovich, bach is beautiful and grapelli a bit oer the top but I sure like hot club stuff. I need to go out and hear and see and feel stuff. my living room doesn’t do it. my wife is the opposite. it was an issue for a while but we have settled in to agreeing t disagree.
    crud is btter today. woke up at 8 ( like noon to a mere mortal) and have a job jar to deal with.


  5. I applaud obama for giving sony the raspberry for caving in to the terrorist hacking done by north korea in the name of protecting their whack job king form being made fun of. lets not let the whack jobs get any more traction than necessary. I am opposed to even giving them headlines in the news. if the world treated attention getting devices the same way sports dealt with streaking and running out on the field during televised events (it is forbidden to give the offender so much as a photo shot of recognition for his call out for attention. the result was it went away almost immediately)
    the boston marathon the sunday football games the world series could all be canceled if the whack jobs are allowed to tell us to stay home. north korea in charge of our world? no thanks, sony you need to think. now they are looking at alternative modes of release. lets boycott sony. tell the to stay home.


  6. l’m home probably 90% of the week, so my challenge is leaving. An increasing fear of freeways more or less traps me from traveling much further than a 10-mile radius. Fortunately, most needs and wants can be met within 10 minutes of the cottage; food, wine, meds, gas, and, of course, my friendly Cheers bar for dancing. Since l have a home office, even my clients come to me.

    My fear of freeways has been increasing by the month and centers mostly around entering the freeway. As hard as l try by cranking my neck around to look for oncoming cars it just doesn’t work.. l’ve long since lost trust in the side mirror. l can’t seem to judge the distance between cars coming from the outside lane, making me anxious that l’ll collide with them. There have been a few close calls in which the upcoming car has had to swerve to miss me.

    l know what the problem is, but can’t seem to pull off what it’d take to resolve it. Being so tense about entering traffic, l slow way down, sometimes to a stop in order to spot the cars l might run into. This not only makes people behind me really mad, it effectively guarantees that those already going 65 mph will suddenly catch up to my car as l’m entering it the freeway! People have told me that l should be going almost as fast as those already on the freeway. This prospect scares me because two speeding cars would cause a worse crash.

    More and more, l’ve mapped out backroads to most places l need to go, thereby avoiding freeways altogether even though the road time doubles.
    l blame my psych/neuro testing several months ago because the doctor informed me that l have a learning disability with all things which require “spacial intelligence” . ln other words, l have a significant handicap in judging distances. When l pull into a parking place, it looks like l’m about to hit the curb, then getting out of the car see that l’m a full four feet from it! None of this was a problem until the doctor told me l have a significant handicap in judging distances. lt’s the power of suggestion perhaps?


    1. if you canceled your car altogether and took uber cabs how much would you have to spend? it I amazing how much cars repairs gas insurance and the etc… involved in driving add up to. ill bet you could get to a bunch of places for 300 or 400 a month and be done with it. however I think the driving may turn out to be the tip of the iceberg what’s next may not be as easy to sidestep. a golf cart for trips to the corner store 9 months out of the year is a 1000 bucks and done.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. or just park it for a couple of months and see if you can get by without it. I guess youd not have the money for selling the car but youd not have gas maintianance insurance etc and you could see how it feels before pulllng the trigger. the most expensive trip would be to and from the dance once a week. maybe you could partner up.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. When I was young and worked as an outdoor journalist, I couldn’t afford to let a little snow on the roads prevent me from taking trips in winter. I had quite a few moments of terror on slick roads. It was part of my job.

    Then one December morning I had an accident in Willmar that destroyed much of a gas station. It was 30 degrees with a steady light rain. Not surprisingly, the rain froze to form a sheet of ice that was made slicker by all that rain. You can imagine what the traction was like on the highway. I felt pretty good about how I handled the accident. In spite of wiping out the gas station, I was calm and rational afterward, and I resumed my trip.

    Then, a year later, I was driving to Wisconsin to interview someone for another article. It was 30 degrees and raining lightly. Suddenly my body began to tremble so severely I couldn’t control the gas pedal. I pulled off the road and cancelled the trip.

    It takes less now to keep me home! I just cancelled a plan to limp around downtown Portland with Liam and my daughter. Rain plus cool air plus wind plus arthritis is more than I can handle at the moment. Soup by the fireplace sounds better!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. OT- the Met is broadcasting Le Nozze di Figuero for the first time since 2006.

    Need to get the butter, eggs and flour home and my afternoon is planned.

    Yes, I am done with my work projects for the year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. not yet. shovelling out the kitchen and acquiring the means. Can’t tell you what a thrill it is to pause every so often and realize, “if I don’t do this today, I can always do it in a day or so”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Just got home from 10-hour shifts since Friday. I have one (1) ONE day off, then I work 10-hour shifts through Christmas Day. One day to do laundry and finish shopping. My Mom wants me to go to Owatonna tomorrow and take her shopping. I will do it but I would so much rather stay home….


  9. I am off work until Dec. 30th. People are surprised we aren’t going anywhere. Staying home for 10 days is a real luxury for me. I don’t need to travel at all. Husband and I are baking stollen and julekage today.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was going to ask this earlier, before reading about the fire, but I’m still wondering, so here it is:

      How does julekage differ from stollen? I’ve eaten the latter all my life and made it almost as long. Picked up the few missing ingredients yesterday to make it today.

      Julekage seems like the same thing, but if you made both, I’m thinking it can’t be.

      For the record, we use a recipe that was in a magazine in the early sixties (I’m guessing), no marzipan, soak the fruit in a bit of oj before mixing it in, milk in the dough.

      Ok, now I have to make it. I can already taste it.


      1. Julekage has less fruit and it most always has cardamom in it. I never put any spices in Stollen. I also don’t think that the fruit in Julekage is soaked in alcohol, nor is Julekage drizzled with brandy when it comes out of the oven like Stollen is. Julekage also has icing on it (usually) while stollen has plain powdered sugar. Stollen is somewhat higher on the fruitcake spectrum than Julekage.


        1. Hmmm. Thanks for the clarfication.

          Our stollen always has icing on it. I also grew up in a dry household, so no brandy.

          I know the recipe we used had almonds, but we used walnuts as that and pecans were what we kept on hand.
          It also said to do the Parkhouse roll fold, but my mother has always rolled ot up with a streak of cinnamon sugar inside.

          Cardamom seems to be the Scandanavian spice, we never used it.

          I’m sure what we do is not “authentic”, but it is “traditional”.

          My mother also grew up using Komm Herr Jesu, sei unser Gast… as the table grace, so I guess she is German enough for me 🙂

          Regardless, I am looking forward to having this for breakfast this week. I always slap a goodly layer of butter on it too.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Yesterday was my julekage and krumkake making day. No grease fires this year from the krumake (I use stove-top irons with a gas stove – that plus melting butter often gets, um, exciting). Great way to spend a December Saturday.


  10. I am fruit loopy today. My mother did not bake well. Two things she did well were lemon meringue pie and fruit cake. My daughter outdid her on both yesterday
    Answering the question:
    Care-giving for Sandy. I am semi-isolated from care-giving, but on the whole I prefer being home.
    And my “idiopathic juvenile kyphosis of the spine.” I just learned that other fancy name for what I know as Scheuermann’s disease. Somehow the polysyllabic name fits the impact right now. If I drive for more than 15 minutes, the weight of my arms on my upper spine gives me back pain, neck pain, and headaches. I just finished an 11 X 14 pastel which was a true pain to paint. This last moth lifting and moving my arms to paint causes bad back and neck pain and severe headaches. I am going to not paint for a few weeks, we will see how long, and see what happens.
    That last painting is here: https://birchwoodhill.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/idiopathic-juvenile-kyphosis-of-the-spine/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your comment about changing reality. It gets to the heart of what art can do.

      Would it be possible to change the way you position yourself to paint?

      I only ask because I have a fuzzy memory of one of my figure drawing profs allowing a fellow student to work flat when working at an easel was difficult for her.

      IIIRC, he also had another student use powdered charcoal, because a brush was just more natural for them than a pencil.

      Funny what stays with you from classes.


    2. Thank you. It is a poor photograph, but best I can do. The colors are much brighter, fuller yellows and greens with more contrast.
      Re suggestions: reaching out is as bad as reaching up. My physical therapist, who did work on my lower back and gave me exercises for good results, says no PT would do anything for my upper back, just too fragile. Could do shots in my lower back, but won’t do it in the upper spine/neck. To go to more pain pills would push me into narcotics.


  11. Well, this has been an exciting evening. I have a fireman in the attic. Our microwave vents right into the attic. (Don’t ask. It is a long story.) I was melting butter to brush on the stollen as they came out of the oven, and I set the timer at 15 sec. but the knob on the microwave is funky and it went to 95 minutes instead. I left the kitchen and sort of forgot about it and when I went in 12 minutes later the butter was flaming. I put flour on the flames and they eventually went out, but I am worried that the flames went right up into the attic and might be smoldering the insulation, hence the fireman checking it out. I am sure the neighbors are pretty excited. I feel pretty stupid. I need to contact a carpenter to change the vent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to have laughed at this, Renee, because I’m sure it was pretty traumatic. Sort of like seeing someone making a spectacular pratfall – even when you know it had to hurt. Hope all’s well.


      1. I have been laughing since I phoned the fire department. I told them not to sound the sirens since it really wasn’t an emergency.They said they wouldn’t but were sending a truck with three guys. I was told they had “a little guy” who could squirm up the fairly small hole into the attic and check things out with this heat-sensing gizmo. The “little guy” didn’t find any smoldering. Every firefighter who came asked “Is this up to code? ” I told them I didn’t think so but we have been vented this way for 11 years without incident. I was told to phone “Leonard at City Hall” to check on venting codes. I think I will also phone our insurance agent to ask him to chivvy a carpenter to redo the vent so it goes out the roof instead of into the attic proper. Daughter looked at me with disdainfully and said “Renee Boomgaarden, Ph.D!”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. And here I am in St. Paul and have never heard of a microwave oven that was vented anywhere. Go figure. Ours just sits on the counter top.

          Sounds like you might have another “project” on your hands.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Glad you had them check it out. The ancestral farmhouse went up in flames because of a built-in toaster oven. No one injured, thank goodness, but the house was considered a total loss.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. good to have it checked out. we used to have a fan obove the stove when I was a kid and it would have a poor filter system that was supposed to catch the smoke as it filtered through but it caught essence of bacon greas and the like and when my mom would start the stove on fire (more than once) the grease in the vent would catch too. this led up into the atic and the reason the firemaen were called. one time she did it and had the insurance guys come out and paint the kitchen afte rthe smoke dameage then she did it again and commented on how nice that was because she didn’t like to color she had chosen for the kitchen paint and now she could change.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. You do not want it vented into the attic. I am quite sure it is a code violation.
          1) you are adding moisture to a space you want as dry as possible.
          2) you are blowing grease into the attic, which has to go somewhere, like on the wood and insulation. Grease, need I say, makes things more flammable.
          It would not be that hard to fix, assuming a normal attic set-up. My guess, though is somewhere around $500. But get an estimate ind detail. This is the kind of job a tradesman can inflate.
          i would get on this in early spring. But it could be done in the winter. Most likely they would need to add a vent on the roof, which would be better done in spring weather and not winter or hot summer.


      1. Not necessarily, Linda. Our stove is vented, yet with some regularity I still manage to set of the smoke alarm. It might require a little more effort than cooking bacon, though.


      2. No vent is better than venting in the attic. For how many years have people done fine without a vent? We have a filter on our over the stove microwave. It helps a little. We just clean a lot. Our cupboards are no enclosed above them. I put down wax paper and then once every 8 months take stuff down (full of bird houses and other things, which get pretty greasy) and replace the wax paper, which prevents me from having to clean the cupboard tops. Which they were enclosed but we rent.


  12. When going out is an obligation, I’d much rather stay home. When going out is an option, I kinda like going out.

    If I have a whole day when I don’t have to be anywhere, what usually happens is I think of a project I could start on if I just had some little doodad from the hardware store. So I go to the hardware store, then I pick up a treat of some sort from the grocery store, and then get a coffee at the coffeeshop, and then go to the pet store for some cat food and maybe stop and look at the adoptable animals, and then I hit a thrift shop in the neighborhood just to see what they have that’s interesting. By the time I get home it’s time for dinner and I don’t get anywhere on the project.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. dales second post of the tube from la to san fran makes me think I was onto something back in 1960 watching captain kangaroo and living in the time of mass freeway integration into our society. I had a vision of a tube like a concrete culvert that you would put your car in and be able to exit like freeway exits but while you were inside you could simply open the umbrella mechanism that would catch the air and sail you from where you were to where you wanted to be. I loved the idea and asked my mom if it could be done,, she said sure all I had to do was figure out how to get someone to go along with the idea. details details. im still working on it. maybe I should partner with this guy in la. he doesn’t get the umbrella part of the deal

    what keeps me from getting a vision accomplished? the damn details

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Yesterday all it took was Darling Daughter needing her mama. I could have left her home with her father and told her to buck up – but, well…okay it wasn’t all her. The thought of needing to change clothes and actually put on socks was also daunting. I had put on clothes in the morning so I wouldn’t bake in my jammies (see comment above – lots of butter plus open gas flame is not something to play with whilst wearing loose fitting clothing). I got as far as the library – but that’s only around the corner and I moved directly from slippers to fleece lined shoes and back for that short trip. Had a party invitation for last night. Would have been lovely to go and see friends, nosh on some delightful treats, etc. – but it would have meant putting on socks. And Daughter was having A Day…so home I stayed with a fire in the fireplace (where it should be – not in my kitchen…or my attic), “A Christmas Story” on DVD, glass of wine, cozied up with family.

    Liked by 2 people

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