Why do I photograph stuffed toy otters, you don't ask which is OK because I'm not exactly going to answer. Though I'm also not exactly leaving you in the dark, either.
October is an odd month for me, and after last September with some more similar events added to the memory tree I find myself pausing at certain odd thoughts running through my head. In short, lots of oddness. Sort of like a grown man playing with stuffed toys.
I've been riding this third stone from the star around that same star for nigh onto 21,184 days now, which is 508,416 hours or so of varied enjoyment. This is one of the thoughts that spun out of another one over the weekend, and this one is related to a measuring device called a Hobbs Tachometer. Tachometers usually measure the frequency of revolution of some object, such as the engine in an automobile. Hobbs Tachometers don't measure revolution. They measure time, usually in hours. They're used on machinery that will need particular types of maintenance at regular intervals, just as a car needs the oil changed at certain intervals usually measured by distance. These other machines may or may not be going somewhere in distance, but they are going someplace in time.
Like my Ford 8N tractor. Tractors are one of those devices that frequently use Hobbs Tachometers because they need maintenance and oil and other fluid changes after so much time operating. Measuring time, but not telling time.
But that's not the thought that I thunk over the weekend; that one came along today while I meditated on that thought thunk over the weekend. That thought involved the fact that I, Me, let's see oh yes, that part of me that Rene Des Carte described with the 'Cogito, ergo sum' comment, I don't feel old. In fact, I'm not at all sure how old I am. I mean, really, I don't know. What time am I?
Now, this vehicle that I'm operating, if you will, the one that let me bounce out that comment about 508,416 hours plus some bit and counting, the one with the sensors that let me perceive environmental space and the bio-mechanical activators to move through that environment, sometimes creaks and groans and pops and such from the wear and tear of 508,416 hours of operation. I mean, it's a fairly good bio-mechanical vehicle, mostly self-repairing with some fuel and some rest and some raw materials with which to refurbish. It is still showing some signs, just like Sydney SubaruOutback does, of going around the block, or that star, a few times.
But me, the operator if you will, I don't feel much different in a lot of ways than I did when the vehicle could claim a mere 157,776 hours on its Hobbs Tachometer. In fact, I don't feel a lot different than 61,368 hours, when some of the fellows that I went to school with at the time started giving me a hard time (that would persist for another 52,584 hours) because I still played with stuffed toy animals.
The stuffed toy animals are somewhat peripheral to this philosophical treatise of me, myself, I not feeling Old. What isn't peripheral at all is how this thought caused me to pause and look around my current universe here, and think 'Yanno, I expect this is something that my parents, my brother, my sister, and countless others felt over the passage of far more of those hours than I care to enumerate because I'd need scientific notation and it would look something like, oh, 92 x 10 to the power of 11 or some other fantabulously large number. Every now and then, the absence of those same individuals brings me to a pause as well, like when I think 'Gee I need to tell my brother that he'll really enjoy it. Oh. Right. Don't have that phone number any more, different Plane of Existence. Those pauses make the Vehicle Operator (as it were) pause and do a self-check of sorts.
And the answer still comes back, Right, the Hobbs is turning over but how old am I? I'm... dunno.
Then I see one of these photographs I made either of or with one of the Otterz Mob and I smile again, gleeful, joyful, maybe wishing I could speak Klingon. Because all those hard times those fellows gave me about playing with stuffed toy animals some, oh, 447,048 hours or so ago? All that D00d, you're so weird to still be playing with little boy toys? I received money for one of those pictures. Someone paid me for that play. Revenge is best served cold. It's sweet, too.
And if all of that seems sort of disjointed and doesn't make sense? That's OK. I'm going to go for a walk with my dogs now.