Sunday, November 12, 2017

No Pictures to Show You

I am sitting at my desk writing these very words on my computer. A computer that has just had a glitch and erased all the pictures on my camera.

I was downloading pictures of the days activities when everything kind of locked up. I couldn't access any of the drives. I turned the camera off and tried access the drives through "My Documents". That brought everything back but when I turned the camera back on and looked for my pictures, the memory card was clean.

So you will not get to see any of the pictures I took today, which is really a shame because I took some good ones. Perhaps the best of my picture taking career. I feel bad for you!

Garth Brookes is in town and is performing se7en shows in five days. Susan is working them all. Since Thursday, she has worked her day job and then trundled off to the arena to work there until midnight. Yesterday and today he did two shows so Susan went in at 11:30 and will be home tonight at 12.

I feel quite a bit of guilt because she is working so hard and so much. The guilt has spurred me on to work just as hard here at the house. I doubt I have even come close.

But here is what I did get done.
     *I showed up at church yesterday morning and participated in the annual Fall Yard Cleaning Day. We raked a lot of leaves.
     *I visited Mom. She wasn't home!
     *I raked the front yard and bagged the leaves. This was particularly difficult due to the wetness of the leaves. Also, this activity took the majority of my time since I am old and move slowly.
     *I took pictures of Susan's car in preparation for selling it on Craig's List. Yup, the very pictures my camera just deleted.
     *I separated out the grape skins from our wine and racked the juice into a clean carboy.
     *I drank some beer.
     *I got the hoses put away.
     *I got a great series of pictures of this raccoon that comes up on the deck and eats the remaining grapes. You won't be seeing those.
     *I finally completed putting all the Halloween stuff away.
     *I drank some more beer.
     *I carved up a bunch of the pumpkins remaining on the front porch into small pieces that fit more compactly into the garbage can.
     *I drank some wine.
     *I wrote this post.

So you can see I've been busy and productive. I only wish I had some pictures to prove it.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Winter Weekend

We received our first official measurable snowfall yesterday and as I write, a soft gentle snow fall is occurring out my window. That makes it a perfect day for a fire in the fireplace and Cougar football. It is almost to the end of the third quarter and WSU is behind Stanford 21-17.

I'm not worried yet because there is a whole quarter left. But as with all Cougar games, they have the potential to "Coug it" at any time.

From the TV, it looks like a very wet snow is coming down pretty hard.

I did some final Halloween clean up in the yard and now the only thing left is to stow everything properly upstairs in the Carriage House. Our friend Mark is coming over at four to help with that effort.

Update: The Cougars won in the last few minutes by three points. Mark came over and helped with the stowing. Now, I am going to get a good head start on that extra hour I gain tonight.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Halloween Pictures

Here is a small assortment of photographs I took throughout the evening last night.
There is our pile of candy for the evening.

As stated in the previous post, the reported total of Night Urchins from my neighbors with the clicker is 1,799. It was a very busy night! And they weren't all urchins. 

What are you doing if you're an adult and out Trick or Treating? Where did things go wrong for you?

Once it got to 8:00, we were throwing hands full of candy at the kids. Susan brought a shit load of Twizzlers.

I am now happily able to report that my Flying Ghost display performed flawlessly. It never jumped the tracks and ran all night. I had been reluctant to comment to anyone to keep the bad juju away...and it worked!

I am very happy to move on now.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One Thousand Se7en Hundred Ninty-Nine

Halloween is over and Susan and I are wiped out. The number in the headline is indeed the total for Trick or Treaters this year. The yard is a mess, the house is a disaster and I am going to bed.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

All Hallows Prep

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth like...1,043.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Leaf Removal Begins

After messing with the battery in Susan's car, we ended up doing some impromptu yard work in the front yard. Susan cut back all the Hosta's, we plucked the impatiens and I fired up the vacuum to suck up some leaves. We got everything more or less cleaned up and ready for the rest of the leaves to fall.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Working Class Heroes

After the previous weekend of lounging about a large urban park, taking in a variety of blue grass and not so blue grass acts while inhaling enough second hand marijuana to mellow an angry skinhead, it was nice to be home and accomplish a whole shitload of accomplishments.

It has been rainy the last couple of days and Saturday was supposed to be nice. It didn't rain but it was not nice. However, it was nice enough.

I prepared for a trip to the dump the following day by arranging a pile of crap that was dump worthy. I did not have as much as I was hoping because I did not do a very thorough job of cleaning out the garage and the Carriage House. The Carriage House really needs a complete emptying and sorting. Most of the sorting should include tossing.

I also got to work cleaning up the backyard of all the wood debris I have collected.

I finally got around to cutting down the telephone posts from the alley into manageable sizes for splitting. Then I got to the task of splitting and it went really well. They split like butter. I took a couple of rounds and split them down to kindling. We now have a crap load of wood.
In the coarse of splitting the wood, I cut my splitting stump in half.
I suppose that is inevitable if you split a lot of wood. I split one half and kept the other as my new, smaller splitting stump.

Sunday (today) turned out to be the nice day. We returned from church and got to work in the yard. I finished cutting up wood and now we have a substantial wood pile. We shall be having some fires.

Mark came over about noon-thirty and we got to work loading up the U-Haul he rented with my garbage. Mark already had a sizeable amount in there. I asked my neighbor Ted if he had anything and he said he did. We ended up filling the rest of the truck with Ted's crap. It came from the rental house across the alley from us that Ted owns. He is preparing to sell it.

WE had just under a ton, 1,980 pounds. It cost $106.00 to dump. I had a $20 dump pass which brought it down to $86. Ted and Mark worked something out and I'll give him some money as well.

Now it is time for beer.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Proof of Fall

The picture above is for anyone who questions the existence, or even the presence of Autumn.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

SF Day Four

We had a low key evening after a hearty day of festing. We got up and walked down to the little business district below Arnie and Haley's house. We found a place for breakfast and then we had the horrible walk back to the house.

It's horrible because it's all uphill. But, I made it!

We packed up and stopped for some sandwiches and another box of the finest quality wine.

We got in to the Friends and Family again but there was a new password. It really seemed as though the people manning the gate were really pissed at the people going in through their gate. Maybe the skunks were pissing them off.

Today's big acts were Randy Newman, Emmy Lou Harris and Lucinda Williams. We also heard Lukas Nelson. This is going to be one of my new favorites. His band really rocked. He is the son of an famous country star.

We left the park at the end of the day and went to a divey bar down by the beach appropriately named "The Riptide". We enjoyed a couple of beers and listened to a marginal country-ish band. We also had an assortment of bar patrons try to make us dance.

From there, we went home and crashed.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

SF Day Three

It's Saturday and we woke up to huckleberry pancakes and bacon.

I have made it official now and can no longer drink coffee. I tried and it just makes me dizzy. I don't need that.

Haley gathered up some food to keep our strength up and we headed off to the park. Today we camped at the Swan Stage. We had an extra edge because Haley knew someone who gave her the password to enter the Friends and Family area. It's a great spot right next to the stage. The lady running the gate was a bit testy but we made it in and out several times. We set up camp and mostly hung at the Swan Stage.

The main person we wanted to see today was Patty Griffin, which we did. She was good but didn't sing the one song we wanted to hear. 

We also saw Gurf Morlix. I was not aware of Gurf prior to today but I'm glad I know about him now. He had a great song that was a tribute to his chain saw.

There are still a lot of skunks loose in the area because that is all we could smell all the day long.

Friday, October 06, 2017

SF Day Two

We slept in a little but not too bad. Especially considering the late night we had at the Sweetwater Music Hall. 

Robert Earl Keene was a really fun band. We also had a great dinner at this little place in Mill Valley right near the venue. Special thanks to Arn-Dawgs friend Tony who drove us there in his Tesla. What a sweet automotive product!

Arnie's wife Haley had to go to work for the morning but was planning on joining us at the park later in the day. Arnold made us omelettes which we devoured and then packed up for the park. We bought a couple of boxes of high quality wine for the day. We decided not to pack food so we could check out what was available in the park as our hunger required it.

We set up camp at the Banjo stage and that's were Susan and I pretty much stayed all day. As the grassy lawn in front of the stage got populated, the smell of the air became inundated with skunk. They sure must have a lot of them there.

We saw Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. Very Bluegrassy! Next was the Dry Branch Fire Squad. They were traditionally bluegrassy and really fun. At 2:30, Billy Bragg took the stage. He's an Australian troubadour in the style of Pete Seger or Woody Guthrie. Our politics didn't exactly line up. There was a lot of talk about the greatness of Socialism.  

At one point Billy mused about what Socialism might look like. He said to imagine a park with hundreds of people gathered to peacefully listen to free music. The crowd roared. Nobody said anything about the capitalistic millionaire who paid for the free music. Next we heard the Bo-Keys who were also really fun.

The final act of the day at the Banjo Stage was T Bone Burnett. He was horrible. Rather than play music, he decided to descend into a slam poetry sort of out there space music riff with lots of angry anti establishment imagery. "You don't know what you don't know what you don't know."

We were standing there, watching it as the field slowly emptied and couldn't believe what we were hearing. I finally went up to another group equally mystified by what they were hearing and asked them if this was horrible. They laughed and agreed that it was.

The concert was followed by an impromptu party at Arnie and Haley's by several of their friends we met during the day.

One day down, two to go.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

SF Day One

We are on vacation. I am writing from San Fran. They hate it when you call it that, but this is my blog and I will pronounciationalize anything I want, any way I want.

We are on vacation! We will be spending the next few days in San Fran City for the wonderful three day music festival known as Golden Gate Banjo Party. It is three days of free music of the bluegrass variety in Golden Gate Park. It is not strictly limited to bluegrass. It looks as though there will be some jazz, some rock, some country, some hip hop, and some horrible slam poetry.

Our plane left Spokane at 9:30 and we landed in Seattle before we even got off the ground. There was a slight delay because somebody found a drop of fluid somewhere around one of the engines and they decided they had better look at it. I'm okay with that. Then we had to sit around Seattle for a couple of hours before getting on the next plane that was delayed because they had no barge.

This is why I always say that planes should have reverse.

We landed in Frisco (they hate it when you call it "Frisco") about 4:30 and were picked up by my pal Arnie, with whom we were lodging.

We are now securely settled in the West Portal district of town and awaiting a ride to Mill Valley for dinner and a concert with Robert Earl Keene.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Garage Door Day

Today is a momentous occasion in the journey to someday getting a better garage.

They are coming to install a new garage door on our tiny little single car garage.

This is how it looked last night.
I got home and got to work cleaning the space they need to work in. I hope I have it properly cleared for them to do the work. 

Susan is dealing with the Door Guys. She left early for work and then is planning to return around 10 when they get there. Then she will leave them alone and return to work until they call and tell her they are done. Then she will drive back home and write them a check for the remaining 600 and some dollars we owe. We already gave them a down payment of half the cost of the door.

One of the things I'm going to have to do is wire in a new electrical box and outlet to plug in the opener.

The other more immediate thing I need to do is figure out what to do with the old doors. They are large and heavy but not without charm. I'm sure someone will be able to find a purpose for them. We don't want a whole lot of money for them. Perhaps a couple of hundred dollars.

6:54PM: I am home now and so very excited. Look at our bitchin' new door!
And look! It opens at the push of a button.
Another great feature is the light. It's just as good as the fluorescent light bar I have been using but much easier to access. I'm very pleased with the results. Now I'm just waiting for Susan to get home so we can see if a car will fit in there. Stand by.

It FITS! Just barely. I could still stand to remove more stuff. The main stuff in there that's blocking is all power equipment. Mowers, snow blowers, vacuums and assorted other yard implements.

I didn't take a picture cuz it was too dark.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Splitting Headache

I did it! I rented a log splitter today to take care of the headache pile of really hard wood left to split. It was definitely the right thing to do.
I picked it up just before noon and had it back by 2:30.

I managed to get everything split that I wanted to do. And now, as the day winds down, I'm starting to feel it. When Susan gets home (hopefully soon) I'm going to suggest a hot tubbin' session.

Here are some pictures from todays' lumber jacking activities.