The Dragon in Exile


Eagles Over the Kennebec

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moon & mountains

An overfed, long-haired, leaping gnome. . .

Last evening, Steve and I went comet hunting -- and we bagged one!  Speaking for myself, I'm always pleased when I can see anything through binoculars (Steve had brought the Big Telescope, but we decided not to get it out since the astronomical binoculars were sufficient unto the task).  The crescent moon was just brilliant -- and I saw Jupiter, too, sitting right next to it.  Steve also saw three Jovian moons, but I'm not that good.

We finally left our vantage point on the ridge clearcut because we were freezing, and because the comet had traveled out of our line of sight, and came home to celebratory grilled cheese sammiches.

This morning was the morning that I was going to take my car to the Subaru Dealer in Augusta and spend (so said my pessimism, which is rarely wrong) thousands of dollars getting the ABS brakes fixed-or-replaced.

This mission was made somewhat more complex by the fact that the (brand! new! in August)  battery was stone cold dead and not even a click could be gotten out of it when I turned the key in the ignition.

I went back into the house, and called AAA, which promised a truck within the next 45 minutes, and then I called the garage, explained the whole business and asked if I was taking the car to Augusta or bringing it down to him.  He said to bring it to him and he'd figure out what was going on.

Which he did.

The (brand! new! in August) alternator was stone cold dead -- and, no, we don't know why.  However, the mechanic declared it defective and put another in, free of charge.  So, yay! I saved thousands of dollars, but still got to worry.

In other news, my credit card was (according to BOA) "compromised" via a "third party vendor," and they sent me a new one (credit card, not third-party vendor, though come to think of it, I might need one of those, too...)  Which has the damn chip embedded. They didn't even ask this time.

Carousel Seas, meanwhile, informs me that it must be a bifurcated narrative, instead of All Kate All the Time.  This troubles me, but the reasons given are compelling, and the book itself is adamant, so there we have it.

Now that I've accepted the inevitable, I need to rewrite a piece-already-written, and work out how the two threads will shadow each other.  Mozart will be pleased -- this will require some serious couch time with pen and paper.

For those playing along at home -- you thought we'd had the last snow of the year, didn't you?  Yeah, so did I.  Fooled us both, they did.

We currently reside beneath a Winter Storm Warning, with 10-14 inches of heavy, wet snow expected to fall between early Tuesday morning and midnight.  Yes, Wednesday is the first day of Spring; what's your point?

. . .I do believe that catches us up.

If you need more, I'll be on the couch with Mozart.

Yeah yeah, the first day of spring is followed by two days and night of forecast snow. The point being, never trust the seasons.

Always and Forever Need More!!!!

And we're two days' drive away and trying to get home . . .

If the US is moving to chip and pin I hope the system chosen is compatible with the European one. Feels really odd having a card swiped on the insecure mag strip and then signing these days.

It says in the promotional page they sent with the card that it will ensure greater acceptance in 130 countries around the world. That's nice, I like to be accepted. It also says "no PIN required." And! that my card will work exactly as it has been working in the US, but! that the embedded chip will make it "harder to counterfeit."

Hail the mighty Comet Hunters! :-D

If one's car simply must break down, it is a mark of class and refinement that it chooses to do so within the warranty/replacement period.

Works in progress seem terribly bossy...

We've already had the air conditioner on this year (temps in the mid-80s, starting in February :-P ), but we're about to get some 60s/30s weather later in the week. Hopefully, the hummingbirds will be back soon.

There are lots of RFID-blocking sleeves and wallets you can get, and they needn't cost much. But it's a pain to have to react to the bank's unilateral decision that everyone needs one of these.

Cheer up! The snow might not be that bad .... Our snow, that was supposed it start at 5 pm, has not yet deugned to show up at 9:21 pm ....
May you have the same luck!

My driver's license is chipped (makes it easy to cross into/out of Canada without carrying my passport all the time) and I got a sleeve that fits it and a chipped credit card. Was very inexpensive.

Oops, meant to say that you can just make it a tin foil hat for free.

I'd feel a little less aggrieved if we even had chip-readers. But the nearest credit card chip reading device I know of is in St. Stephen, Canada.

You have a good mechanic and an honest one. I suspect he kept good records that let him in turn be good to you. yeah...

As for the @#$@# chipped card if it is only the chip that isn't so bad but if it's the wifi enabled card then bleah.

Yeah, he's a good guy; crossed-ref'd the invoice number for the new battery and alternator, and everything. I was impressed.

The information that came with the new card is...slight, and mostly focused on how exceptional! benefits! will accrue to me, and how also it doesn't cost anything. No mention of wifi, and a sincere, wide-eyed guarantee that I will not need a PIN number.


I used to write this stuff for my living.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?

Burton from Montreal

About your credit card issue. It's likely it's not you, the bank or the merchant thats at fault. IIRC a few months back, a couple of clearing houses for credit cards got hacked. I don't think the clearing houses can figure out what info was compromised. So the bamks have to the radical step of issuing new cards and possibly requiring pass word/PIN code reset.

I believe they only issue chip cards nowadays.

P.S. - chip card is readable by scanner within about several inches. So. if you are truly paranoid, get a metal credit card holder to block signal pick up. Ironic that most such holders are re-purpose cigarette cases.

Glad Mozart will be hard at work following the instructions from the book. Wondering what Socks and Scrabble will be doing at the same time.

No chipped cards here yet, but I know that they are coming.

We got 8 inches of snow overnight here in Queensbury, NY. "They" say that there will be more on the way.

Let us know how you do in Maine.


So far, no too bad, but it's wet, being so late in the season, so I'm trying to stay ahead of it by going out every hour or so and dealing with the steps and the cars.

Star gazing! They make astronomical binoculars? How cool is that - will have to check those out. Figuring all else is going well, and thank goodness for good mechanics. How's Socks on the new regimen?

I need to do a Socks Update post. Will try to get that on today's list.

They make astronomical binoculars?

They do! Steve has the Celestron Skymaster in the 15x70 flavor.

Steve says: --- there are many to choose from -- key is if you expect to use them handheld, tripod mounted, and should understand that the more powerful they are the harder it is to handhold .... can discuss this more in a couple weeks ...

Celestron is not the only brand, after all ... but is a good starting place. We went for a very middle of the road approach since we already have a small scope.

Thanks much for the detail; we find with RVing we're a lot more interested in things like sky-watching (since every now and then we actually get to stay in less light-polluted areas.)

Be safe, write much, and glad you got to see the comet -- I may have seen the comet -- we're still debating if it was comet or airplane. It sure hung in the sky a long time for an airplane (like an hour....)