Friday, September 08, 2006

The Lost Manual

Underlying all the other things we are doing daybyday is the frantic search for the lost Manual for a Massey Ferguson Diesel Tractor.

Here is a picture of the Massey Ferguson Diesel Tractor along with its diligent Owner.

This was taken at a time when all necessary information for repair was stored in the Owner's diligent brain.

However, a situation has arisen where the Owner requires the manual to guide him in his delicate work with the wiring, - in short, he requires the schematic which is displayed in the Massey Ferguson Diesel Manual he has owned for forty years (both tractor and manual).

The Tractor sits in plain view in the back yard, displaying its innards. But the Manual has been displaced, shifted, hidden, become invisible, - in short, the Manual is lost. The Owner knows where it was in the old house (I know where things lived even in the house before that) but it has escaped and is hiding, somewhere on the new property.

When things get puzzling for me I often consult Google, and so I thought there might be some advice on finding things tucked away in a remote corner of the Web.

I found there were 52,000 results online when I googled the subject, - "searching for lost items"
This was a tad daunting, but some of the entries soon caught my interest. There are myriad methods of regaining lost objects.

I found that you can do this through Prayer Cards, - or you can do it mathematically. There is a more esoteric method - I ran across a thesis on finding lost objects which involved investigating the real world and the nature of what losing an object really means.

There are a number of patented devices or systems for locating lost objects, and one Web page which promised to reveal how people currently find lost things was clicked on, and the Page came up "NOT FOUND".

I found a method of locating lost items through a complicated astrological system, and one which recommended praying to St. Anthony.

I found a most interesting Spell which guaranteed success.

Supplies required:

  • Mirror
  • Orange candle
  • Black candle
  • Small Magnet


Cast your circle and invoke the Elemental Guardians. Light the black candle (for solving mysteries, and drawing away the negativeness of the loss), and then the orange candle (for luck and precious objects). Visualize the lost object(s) in the mirror as already being found. Place the magnet between the two candles and stroke it towards you as you say the following three times, substituting the name of the lost object for "(lost object)":

By the wavering flame of this black light,
Grant to me of my (lost object) a sight.
By the power of this orange flame,
Give me luck to find the same.
In this mirror the (lost object) I see
Make the magnet draw them to me.

Close the circle, but leave the candles burning with the magnet between them until the candles burn down.

I haven't tried this yet, but I was drawn to Professor Solomon's book on the Twelve Principles for finding lost objects. Even the Thirteenth Principle, which when all else fails recommends resignation, a shrug of the shoulders, and a resolve to Call off the Search. However, I doubt if the Owner would be happy with this solution.

Calling off the search and starting a new search for an old manual that some other Owner may have tucked away could be a way of solving the problem. Everyone knows that when you lose one glove and then replace the pair, the lost glove immediately turns up. There is even a Grook attesting to the truth of this theory....

 Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing 
   compared to the pain,
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding 
   the first one again."

It reinforces the Rule which reads "To find something lost, Replace It".

Probably the theory which both mystified and appealed to me was that advanced
by the Numerologists, and the first spare moment I have I'm going to try it.

One of the numbers (which are obtained by addition of random numbers) claims
"It went out with the garbage; you will not be able to retrieve it. It's covered
by dirt, and it will soon disintegrate"

Pray this is not so!
I was bemused with what a lot of things turn out to be loseable.....just a few

Lost Time
Lost Sheep
Lost Chord (and also the Lost Cord which turns out to be connected to Spinal Cord
Lost for words
Lost Prophecy, from Harry Potter
Paradise Lost
Losing one's grip (and not referring to luggage)

This little exercise has not contributed anything to finding the Lost Manual, but it
has kept the Owner's wife entertained for an hour or so, and hopefully it will
entertain the Owner too, and provide a little distraction until the Lost Manual
decides to surface.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

On the Subject of Procrastination I am an expert.

"I love DEADLINES. I like the sound they make as they go whooshing by."

I can spend a whole days doing frivolous things - feeling guilty about it, but nevertheless finding entirely irrelevent things to do which will prevent me tackling the job I am trying to avoid.

I have an application to make, and an accompanying letter to write. I probably have another two weeks before panic sets in and I am forced to sit down and DO this chore. Right No

I will spend that two weeks in guilty avoidance of the file sitting on my desk. I will pretend that I am turning over in my mind what I will say, and the best way of saying it. But the truth is that the job which would once have been an enjoyable challenge has become just another mundane chore.

Unfortunately when I say I like the sound of deadlines whooshing past, that's just not something I could do. It's wishful thinking. It is a most inviting idea, - to be carefree enough to be able to ignore a deadline!!! What an indulgence....but one not available to me, alas.

It takes a certain amount of charm to be able to avoid a deadline without making any number of people cross with you!!!! A dab of derring-do, and a careless insouciance to carry off a total avoidance of responsibility with any suavity....

I can procrastinate, day after day, but when push comes to shove I will always come through with the goods!!! I am of the the "salt of the earth" clan which is viewed with just a hint of condescension by the dreamers and the fiddlers.

How boring, - I'm not a charming butterfly or a grasshopper after all - procrastination is as far as I can stray from the straight and narrow.

My only hope of hearing deadlines whoosh past with any degree of glee is if, in old age, I hearken back to childhood days and forget the responsibilities of adulthood. I see certain signs of that forgetfulness overtakin
g me.......

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Smoky Days

This afternoon husband, dog and I went for a drive through the Lower Similkameen Valley (where we live) and here are some of the sights we saw.

The smoke is from the Tripod Fire in the State of Washington, seeping up over the border through the Cawston Valley from the south, and from the Tatoosh Complex Fire on the U.S. side of the border in the Pasayten Wilderness inundating the valley from the West.

My husband tells stories about a previous fire in this same area which resulted in him working as a Licensed Log Scaler in the Pasayten country, on the Canadian side of the border. They were cutting burned timber which was left by this fire when it crossed the border into Canada. Because of the restriction which evidently bans the use of heavy machinery in fighting forest fires in wilderness areas in the U.S. this fire eventually had to be fought back with heavy duty machinery on the Canadian side, thus augmenting the Kentucky mule skinners, picks and shovels which were being used in the U.S. Pasayten wilderness to attempt to contain the fire.

I question the wisdom of preserving wilderness areas, only to have them destroyed by uninhibited fire. And I question further the damage to the health of many who are susceptible to smoke. How much second hand cigarette smoke would equal the smoke that is now inundating thousands of square miles because of what appears to be inadequate fire fighting techniques?

It gives me pause to consider the disadvantages of the National Park which is being proposed in the Similkameen Valley. The Kelowna fire of recent years ravaged a National Park left unkempt and neglected, flaunting too much of a temptation for natural causes. Whereas now it is once again in a state of re-birth it hardly compensates for the damage which was inflicted on neighbouring communities.

My husband and I discuss this situation, and consider the orderly logging in these hills sixty years ago, and the stewardship of the ranchers and farmers in the area.

We see that the trees in the logged areas are once again mature. My husband tells me of skid roads and trails which were disturbed by these logging operations, resulting in a soil ready to receive moisture and seeds, and to generate new forest trees. He tells me also of disturbing the soil in treeless areas on the open slopes of the Similkameen valley to a depth of two or three feet with a cat, and turning up charcoal from ancient fires. These are the areas which may take centuries to recover from fierce fires.

Well, those are the thoughts I had as we traveled through this smoky valley, and these are the comments which resulted from our conversation....