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Norseman’s Diaries: I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas & Prelude to The Forces of Nature
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

With Christmas approaching this week my thoughts were on the weather which has turned quite nasty the previous week with a snow blitz that began one evening while I was at work and made for a very rough ride home that I was lucky enough to get within reasonable walking distance of my door.

That is the church on the highway just around the bend from the one where I cast my vote in vain a month ago. And what a month it has been between a crazy emergency room that goes from fast and furious to periods of calm and low census. The weather which is behaving similarly and post election politics has me worried a lot more than anything else these days even though I try not to dwell on it and wish I could just escape from it because the final days of Donald Trump look even more insane and terrifying than the beginning of the Obama Administration in 2009. It would be nice to go back and relive those days—or better yet the two years leading up to that because those were some of the best days of my life and in hindsight I could have enjoyed life a little more and spared myself a lot of worries knowing the end was not quite yet nigh.

Looking at the craziness of the fight over the latest proposed stimulus with Mr Trump taking time out from contesting the election results to call for a $2,000 per person check and even AOC is yelling “Do it”! I’m not so sure anymore about anything good in the coming year. Glenn Beck worried about entering Weimar Republic territory when Obama was in office. Now it’s really looking perilous and right now I don’t want to dwell on it. Or speculate only to look foolish like the preachers and climate alarmists who sound like the paper boy in George Pal’s “When Worlds Collide” yelling “Extra! Extra! End of the World Just Around the Corner”! Only to have the days pass without incident. What me worry on the head of a pin. So says Alfred E. Neumann. He’d probably make a good President.

I can’t get into politics right now. Last time I listened to a Michael Savage podcast was election night. I’m giving him up for a while because I’m afraid his pessimism would put me in an awful funk. On top of what I already have and I’d be unable to get anything worthwhile done.

Was another rough week in Covid Land. But maybe light at the end of the tunnel since it’s so far playing out more like a really nasty flu season than the end of the world. It’s draining but at least least the outlook in regard to the pandemic is brighter than the other problems that I’m trying to ignore. With so many people getting infected and recovering plus vaccines being made available—herd immunity may be near.

Monday I got the first shot and will be getting the follow up booster in three weeks. I did a lot of research on the development of the vaccine and talked to the doctors so I could make an informed decision. They’re using an empty shell of a cold virus with the protein spikes of the Coronavirus on it as a vector to trigger the immune response. Sounds a lot like the stuff being used for delivering gene therapy and it sounded reasonably safe so I decided to give it a try. Probably safer than conventional vaccines using live or dead viruses and I just had rabies shots this past summer and the flu vaccine so I’m not an anti vaxer. I am glad however that they are not making it mandatory because of the experimental nature of this one which is sort of like the Manhattan Project of our time.

Was pretty sore and exhausted the following day. Maybe a side effect of the vaccine. Or like one of the nurses who worked with me in Triage that day said ; it could be from getting our asses handed to us all day long. Plus I was up late doing water changes when it got home and installing the Aqueon handles on the center brace tank that arrived that morning.

Tuesday was better though still rough. Worked the back station and got a lunch break without issue. Had a lot of Covid that day. Mostly mild cases—coming in mainly to be tested and sent home. I did quite a few POC tests and took 5 send out swabs to the lab in one trip! The most ever.

Was feeling run down and couldn’t wait to get home and lay down. May be more being worn out on these busy shifts than effects of the vaccine because I’ve been like this a lot lately even beforehand.

Got a $25 gift card from the emergency doctors group for Giant Eagle so I stopped there on the way home to use it to get some stuff for Christmas dinner. A small ham and small turkey breast and a bag of stovetop stuffing. Then went back through the store again to buy some dehydrated Shitake mushrooms and got rid of the remaining $5.81 balance on the card.

Also visited the pet shop in the same plaza. They had the perfect cork round but it’s only about 6 inches long and I need at least 18 to cover the pole on the window of the FL Room. Thought about just getting the smaller ones and putting them together for coverage but I’m going to see if I can order what I want online first.

Another winter storm was approaching just in time for Christmas. I thought oh Woopie! Where’s the Heat Miser when you need him!

He’s MIA again. Yet hope springs eternal and I was still dreaming of a green Christmas.

And was still able to have it despite a high barely reaching 20 and lows in the teens. I celebrated with a ham/ turkey/ shrimp dinner that goes back to the 80s when I was stationed at March AFB and was working Christmas Day on the surgical ward and a colonel brought us some really great leftovers from a party somewhere else on base. Probably the Officers Club.

And it came to pass.

I hung out in my Florida Room much of the day. If this isn’t a green Christmas I don’t know what is.

It’s looking awesome now that the cages are nearly done. I carved the foam in the second one and started experimenting with placement of plants. Will have to correct a first thought mistake in the left hand setup by removing the two planters I foamed into place behind the branch. Too close to where I want to put the hot spot under the basking light. It would burn or dry out plants too much.

Looking forward someday to seeing metallic green alligator lizards lounging on those branches or climbing over the bromeliad and air plants that I’ll add later. I’m guessing that will happen sometime by February—if everything works out and the weather permits shipping and the country doesn’t melt down or get totally locked down.

This setup blows the greenhouse away. More and more I’m convinced that underground living—with LED lighting—is the way to go. Will have to do a more in-depth article on this pertaining to subterranean habitats or O’Neill cylinders nested inside asteroids which is your best bet for shielding against collisions with space junk and cosmic radiation. It’s a nice buffer against extreme heat and cold on Earth too.

I’m getting the limited space in there nicely organized—making it beautiful as well as efficient. I just hope I’ll be able to continue doing it—let alone maintain my basic way of life. In addition to the looming possibilities of economic disasters and maybe even world war after the pandemic runs its course there are also the forces of nature that are out to get us and those can certainly be made worse by bad policies that weaken our economy and nation and cause hardship in addition. By the look of things this winter may get interesting and surviving that is going to be a major theme of the Diaries going into 2021.

Hard to believe the Milestone Year is almost gone. At least there were milestones and the project I’m currently working on is nearly done. And Jerry Pournelle’s Survival With Style will remain the objective for the foreseeable future.




One week later the dream of a green Christmas is but a memory along with 2020.

And I’ve been keeping busy with things. Such as moving the branch with the air plants that was obstructing the view of the rock face. Now it’s beauty can be better appreciated along with the overall panorama of the Florida Room.

Norseman’s Hell comes and it goes.

Another heavy snow the night before New Year’s Eve.

Luckily I didn’t have to dig my way out of the place to get to my 9:30 Honda appointment for state inspection. I worked a rather thankfully quiet New Year’s Day. Thankful because of low staffing and especially thankful nearing the end of the shift as the night shift was going to be techless. My relief was sent home because they caught the virus. And that person had the vaccine!

Sometimes I think devine providence is on our side as many times as the ambulances stop coming when we are working a cardiac arrest. Had two of those that day. Hope we can be that fortunate as a nation. History suggests it may be so. However God’s patience with fools or good luck can run out.

An unexpected expense at Honda on Thursday. Reason. I was out of wiper fluid was because some critter nibbled on the tubing. It turns out that in this age of environmental consciousness they are making parts more biodegradable with soy based plastics which are also more appealing to animals and insects. Talk about unintended consequences! That’s green policies for you. I dread what other schemes they plan to inflict on us in the next 4 years.

Unless they prove the democrats committed fraud. While I was waiting I talked to another customer who was a Trump supporter and sounded confident the results of the election would be overturned. Frankly I think it is wishful thinking but I will be very happy if he is right.

On my way to do some shopping after the appointment I saw this!

Headed in the direction of the Trump House where I stopped after going to the garden center to get a few items to dress up the Room a little more. Sad to contemplate that it’s probably over. If so we have to move on with Life and continue our efforts to enhance and enjoy it. And be vigilant and ready to fight if necessary to protect the things we hold dear.

It’s TEA Time again!

Gave up on finding the perfect 18” piece of cork bark tube to cover the metal pole in the Room. Went back to the pet shop where I saw the shorter piece that was otherwise the right diameter and got it. Lucky it was still there. I’ll eventually have my “tree”. In Increments as I shop around or I might be able to use this piece as a guide and send measurements and pictures to an online specialist to pick out the appropriate diameter and length.

Got a nice yellow Oncidium orchid to brighten things up and some more Earthstars and other small plants to fill the remaining holes in the rock facing.

Today , Saturday I finally got around to cutting up more logs to clear away the remaining junk around the driveway and to stretch my supply of good stuff until I can get another load.

Half rotten but still has BTUs and is good for the milder weather.

Was a nice day and I got a few other things done outside.

In spite of all the worries which I’ll save for the coming editions of the Diaries as things play out I’m still hopeful that this will be a better year than last. I didn’t let Obama stop me from pursuing happiness and excellence in my life and I’m not going to let his court jester stop me either. This is still the United States of America; a Constitutional Republic and there are limits to what Presidents or majority parties in power can do and it’s up to us to hold their feet to the fire when they try to test those limits.

If a time of crisis is a time for civic mindedness—then why not a civic minded libertarianism?

Something worth thinking about in the coming days. And doing.

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