Tiger Lilies

The tiger lilies are in full bloom right now. There’s the sad, short ones around the perimeter, however … those were cropped by deer roaming the neighborhood. Still, tiger lilies:

Tiger Lilies - 2014

Tiger Lilies – 2014

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Cool July

We’ve had several days of unseasonably cool weather. I’m not complaining, mind you. But all the same, it’s weird. Temps in the early mornings in the high 50′s, and barely breaking into the low 80′s. Who’d a thunk? But they let me take Lexi on a two mile walk this afternoon without arriving back home as a sweatball holding a dead dog.

The garden, it fares poorly. I gave it virtually no attention in the days leading up to Marcia’s surgery, nor in the weeks that followed that event. Bugs have killed my zucchini plants, the tomato plants are small-ish with yellowing leaves and low production, and my herbs have all bolted. But I was paying attention to the important tasks in life, so that’s okay.

I’m otherwise tired. I had a couple of rounds of system work today: an hour early, and a couple of hours following the shopping run. In the coming week, I’ve got to spend a fair bit of time working with RHEL7, in advance of a Rapid Track training course the week following, with an RHCE certification exam at the end of that.

*      *      *

Another week, another span of time during which DoD announced no casualties. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of unpleasantness in the Middle East and in the Ukraine … but I sincerely hope we stay the hell out of those conflicts.

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Feel the Power

Outage Reported: The power outage in your area has already been reported. We 
anticipate having your service restored by 7/14/2014 7:45:00 PM.

Generators are good. We just had a big thunder storm, lots of lightning and noise, with half an inch of rain delivered in about ten minutes. Just as it was wrapping up … flash, sputter … power is out. It tried a couple of times to spin back up within the first two minutes, then nothing.

Given rain and a sump pump, I figured I might as well spin up the generator. Now everything except the air conditioning is working just fine. I’ll keep an eye on other houses on the street – when their light go on, I’ll flip back to street power.



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Improbably So

A relatively lazy day for me today: just shopping, laundry, and coffee roasting. Yard stuff consumed the Saturday. Hot and muggy, still tonight, but storms are coming, and cooler weather is (unusually) due by mid-week (yay!) The garden is starting to produce some tomatoes and more peppers to join the zucchini and cucumbers. Maybe first salsa next week!

Marcia’s doing great. Up and down the stairs like a champ … a hobbling champ, but much progress every day. She may be done with the cane by the end of this week, too, which is stellar.

In my tiny elective time, for work I’m starting to bone up on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, which was released a couple of weeks ago. There are some big changes at the system level in RHEL7, worth learning more about before I go into a rapid track course and certification exams at the end of the month. For myself, I’m getting into Harvard’s Statistics 101, via iTunes U. Statistics seem like they should be intuitively “easy”, which is usually, well, wrong. So learning more fundamentals will do me good.

*      *      *

For a second consecutive week, no casualties have been announced by DoD.

Posted in Beware of Leopard, Garden, Marcia | Leave a comment

Summer Arrives in Force

Yeah, we’re making mid-90′s and up this time of year (both temp and humidity), although that storm gave us a couple of nice days in the mid-80′s, Friday and Saturday.

Marcia news: She’s mostly tapered off her pain meds, with a plan to be fully off by week’s end (or earlier), and driving, too! She got fed up with the walker by Friday, and put it to the side. Now she’s using the cane everywhere, which is much better for her in several ways. Her gait is better, and she leans less on the cane than she did on the walker. More mobility, the faster the recovery will go. Yay!

The week in pictures:

From the garden

From the garden – first of the summer.

So, those were yummy. But then there was the Fourth of July, and the day after that …

Lexi disagrees with bangs

Lexi disagrees with bangs

The noise was still going on the day following the Fourth, so she walked into one of my cabinets and looked like she’d prefer it if I closed the door. Then today (Sunday), the heat came back … in more ways than one:

Spicy grilled chicken

Spicy grilled chicken

We had spicy grilled chicken. The prep was in a habañero/pineapple marinade, then I grilled all of the chicken. I dressed mine with lots of happy, happy jalapeño.


*      *      *

No new casualties were announced by DoD in the last week. So that’s good.

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At the Edge of the Woods

We’re not out of them yet, but there’s more scrub brush at the edges, right? Stuff that needs pushing through before we can be out of the woods? Yeah, that’s it. Overall, Marcia’s doing well. We got here home midday on Wednesday, and had formal outpatient PT on both Thursday and Friday. We managed a lot (relatively) of exercise yesterday, including a couple of walks up and down the sidewalk on our block. So she’s improving rapidly. Today: blood test (for effectiveness of blood thinner) and PT.

Me? By the time I was done with all the chores plus the Marcia-care, I was wiped. That’s my reason for failing to post last night. Sorry about that. This week I’ll be working from home as many hours as I can manage, starting in just a couple of minutes…

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, 34, of Stafford, Virginia, died June 20, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant, 19, of Peterborough, New Hampshire, died June 20, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Adam F. Wolff, 25, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died June 20, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Thomas Z. Spitzer, 23, of New Braunfels, Texas, died June 25 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
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Another Marcia Update

As of this evening, she’s still in hospital. All of the Occupational and Physical Therapy goals have been met, but her hematocrit number remains low (but not alarmingly so). So they decided to keep her another day. Excellent day of movement, up and down stairs plus lots of walking about. That’s all I’ve got for you, now. Ciao!

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Hip Replacement Update(s)

Update 1130 EDT:

We were up at 0430 this morning, and left for the hospital at 0520. Got her into pre-op by 0630, with surgery scheduled to begin at 0840. Lots of paperwork and people coming in and asking Marcia what her name was, and why she was in the hospital. I *still* think she should have made a list, and given a different answer to each questioner. The staff might not have found that amusing, however. They wheeled her back into the OR at 0830. I went into the waiting area, and … waited.

At 10:15, Marcia’s surgeon reported that all went well during surgery. They were 10 minutes away from wheeling her into recovery when I spoke to him. I came home to walk the dog and get a spot of lunch. I’ll be back at the hospital by 1. Marcia should be in her room by then, and I’ll hang out with her for a few hours.

More when I know more, but possibly not until late. No AT&T cell service, at least in the lower levels of the hospital.

*      *      *


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Ready for tomorrow

Marcia gets even more bionic tomorrow early, with a full (left) hip replacement. They’ll have her on her feet in the afternoon, walking around and doing stuff on Tuesday, and presuming everything goes dory and hunky, home on Tuesday evening. Wow! We expect wonders from Dr. King and the great staff at AAMC. Wish us luck.

*      *      *

I’m glad to note that DoD has reported no casualties in the last week.

Posted in Fallen Warriors, Marcia | Comments Off

What a week!

To give you just a sense of what it’s been like, here’s the email I sent to my group at $FIRM early on Thursday morning:

Subject: Not going to be in office today

Multiple appliance fails.

Hot water heater wasn't making hot water, assumed pilot light fail.
No, no, a partial containment fail instead, with leaking to carpets,
yay! But most of the water went to the sump, and left the building 
appropriately. Cleaned up some water until time to feed and walk the

Heading out to do that, the garage door opener played up, badly.
Repeat of winter problems that we tolerated until they went away. 
Need a working garage door opener. Bought one and installed it last

Went downstairs late to check on sump, because of flickering lights 
indicative of sump still running ... odd since I shut off the water
on the water heater. Hmmm, heat from the pit, and continuous 
humming. Sump pump lunched itself yesterday. Okay, that I can deal 
with today, since things are dry and there's no rain in the 
forecast ....

Sigh. The overnight thunderstorm had me downstairs and bailing 
for about an hour, and checking the pit through the rest of the 
night, with occasional bails.

Next, I'm going to go get a new sump pump and install it, then 
rest a bit while waiting for the plumber to get here to see what's 
next with the water heater.

Text me if you need me for something, I'll check email a few 
times today.

The good news is that we now have working hot water, and non-cold water showers (yay). Yes, cold water is way better than NO water, but … First World Problems. The story I’m going to be sticking with is that the house got jealous that Marcia is getting upgraded next week (hip replacement), and decided to jump into the game.

ALL of the plumbing/HVAC companies are busy, busy, busy – this was the first “hot” week of summer, and the AC business is booming. Our regular folks (a smaller firm) couldn’t get us on the schedule until next week. So I turned to Angie’s List, and got onto Jiffy Plumbing in Hyattsville. They sent around one of their mechanics, Bawla, yesterday afternoon to check the system and give us a quote. He did, we got two others which didn’t please us as much, and scheduled for today. He arrived today within the scheduled window, installed a State Water Heater, and we’re very happy.

Oh, yeah, and it was a good thing that I purchased and installed that new sump pump on Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, we got the better part of an inch of rain in about an hour, and that pump survived its trial by fire … err, water.

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