First World Problems. Plus Savage Journal 27.

It seems the more you try to provide for yourself and your family the more difficulties arise. I suppose that’s logical enough: problems proliferate in proportion to possessions. The more you have, the more can go wrong. Not that I have all that much. But what I do have now is a swimming pool. Getting that put in proved interesting enough, but that’s another story.

The pool came with a Pentair Pump. The original pump installed was the high end, quiet-running pump. That one, however, was incompatible with the app that runs the pool: the lights, pump cycle, times, etc. So enter the next model down. A bit noisier, but not disturbingly so. The problem is the automated system, the app. After a couple of months of running smoothly, the Pentair Pump decided it no longer wishes to connect electronically. The “Link” light does nothing but flash red. So goodbye the daily running cycle. Goodbye control over the lights: colors, light shows, etc. I need to run the pump manually. The instructions tell me to turn off the power to the pump at the breaker box for ten seconds. Then I should be able to pick up the Pentair network on my cellphone. Alas, the blinking Link light begs to differ. Pentair has not been responsive to my emails, sadly.

I’ll figure something out eventually. In the meanwhile, the handle of one of the toilets has broken off. That I might be able to do something about. No inscrutable blinking red light to mock me. I could use a sense of control right now.

You know to whom this sort of problem would never happen? Karl Thorson. His adventures are much more interesting than mine. Read all about them.

And now, on to Savage Journal.



I am unable to determine which I find more revolting, dear diary: date wine or fermented camels’ milk. I cannot recommend either one. Both are cloying and nauseating. The saving grace of both is, of course, alcohol.

I may, perhaps, give the tie breaker to date wine, simply because that beverage does not require interaction with camels. Never have I encountered such obstreperous beasts. We employ primarily horses, swift desert steeds, as speed is everything in the raiding business. But we do maintain a small herd of camels. Despite the ugly temperaments and ungainly stride they are useful beasts of burden.

Many of my gaunt desert wolves are remarkably attached to these foul, shaggy brutes. They even compose poetry in praise of whatever superlative they claim to observe in animals that to me are simply more proof that the gods are cruel jokers. This evening, for example, one of my men, deep in a gourd of fermented camels’ milk, recited an ode to his favorite’s eyelashes. And received a favorable response from his auditors! Flushed with success he challenged me to provide a sample of northern verse and to let the camp judge between us.

Now, I am no versifier. This is not because I am a barbarian. I’ve met savage warriors gifted by the muses. I recall a great, redheaded fellow with the sweetest tenor you have ever heard, and he could split a skull with the best of them. And my inability is no reflection on my homeland; I’ve spent many nights in my youth listening to a skald chant long rhythmic sagas more than equal to a paean to a camel’s sticky eyelashes. My gifts simply do not extend to rhyme and meter. Still, I am chief and I must maintain a certain barbaric mystique to retain my position.

I stood, left arm raised in a pose of declamatory preparation. “I think I shall never see a sight as lovely as this” I intoned. Then I drew my broadsword and let the firelight play redly along the steel. I held that position until I was certain I’d got the point across. Then I drove the blade deep into the sand between the insubordinate poet’s legs, a hand’s breadth shy of the crotch of his baggy trousers.

My raiders, dear diary, in one voice acclaimed me the victor of the contest.

Magnus Stoneslayer

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