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Monday, January 2, 2017



Monday, the official  New Year's  Holiday.  8:15 AM. 28 degrees F at the ferry dock, 25 on the back porch.  Wind E, mostly calm with light to moderate gusts. The sky is overcast, the humidity 88%.  The barometer is falling, currently at 30.30".  The forecast calls for snow today and tomorrow, heavy at times this evening, but with less accumulation than predicted.  The week ahead will be a wintry mix of snow showers and mostly overcast skies, and much colder.  We could use a break.
   It took two days for the usual cast of avian characters to find the new feeders.  The downy woodpeckers never left, as a suet log remained.  The ubiquitous chickadees were the first to return, followed by nuthatches and a lone male cardinal. This morning there are tufted titmice and juncos. I sure hope it will be an interesting bird watching winter as I will be laid up for a while.
   I haven't had an easy time of driving since I broke my arm four months ago (shoulder replacement due January 11), and Joan suggested I get one of the old "suicide" wheel spinners that used to be popular before cars had power steering.  That's a while back, power steering being introduced in  1951 by Chrysler.  I remember having a spinner on my 1939 Ford pickup truck, also on a tractor or two.  Anyway I thought it worth a try, although I doubted they were still available.
   A little research on the 'net produced a number of spinners, not much different than those I remembered, and I actually found one at an auto parts store in Ashland.  I have tried installing it in several different positions on the wheel, and it is currently at 2:00 o'clock, but I may fool around with positioning it a bit more.  It really works great, even with power steering, and solves my current mobility problems pretty well.
   I was a bit concerned that wheel spinners might not be legal, but my cursory investigation finds no restrictions for use on cars in any state, although some cities may have restrictions, and evidently federal law prohibits their use on large trucks.
   One problem with the spinner being located on the right hand side of the steering wheel; hard to put your arm around your girlfriend while driving.
   Come to think of it, that was probably more dangerous than texting.

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