19 Sept 2016

Yarrrr. Avast. Etc. Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day.

It was a busy week and a busy weekend. I fully intended to get something up here last night, but failed. Then I slept badly until the dog (accompanied by thunder and lightning) woke me and left me that way in the wee hours this morning. So I’m not in much better shape today, sadly. But moving along…

Work was work. On the weekend, the lawns got shaved, the dog got bathed, bathrooms were cleaned, and coffee was roasted, along with assorted other chores that escape me at the moment. Sunday we got over to Cash Lake. Lexi and I walked all the way around it while Marcia fished off the pier closest to the parking area.

Ooooh. Tuesday last, we went to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), staged by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company at the Reynolds Tavern courtyard. A lovely, riotous evening. Brian, Matt, and Johnny put on a hell of a show. It certainly helps to have seen a fair bit of Shakespeare, but a neophyte can enjoy this show. It’ll run again this week and next,  and that’s the end of a four month run. So go, GO! Next month, we’re seeing Poe and Twelfth Night.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Warrant Officer Travis R. Tamayo, 32, of Brownsville, Texas, who died on Sept. 16 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in a non-combat-related incident

04 September 2016

Happy Birthday, Pete!

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It’s been a fun week. It was a three day work week for me – I took off Thursday and Friday to burn some hours and make a five day weekend happen. I got some chores done. We went fishing (and Marcia caught a small-ish big mouth bass that we gave back to the lake):

Marcia caught a bass

Marcia caught a bass

And on a long walk around the neighborhood, Lexi was perplexed:

Two turtles fornicating

Two turtles fornicating

The Fitbit says I did five days of exercise, although I only did three dedicated exercise days, truth be told. But the work counts. Sadly, so do the muffins I bought during the shopping run today. I’ll have to work those off this week.

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I didn’t make DragonCon this year. Okay, I’ve never made DragonCon, and my luck I probably won’t. But that’s okay. People I know and know of had a good time, and that’s a good thing.

I also finished my re-read of Anne Leckie’s Imperial Radch series: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and Ancillary Mercy. I read these books as they came out, and it was good to read them again, binge-ish. Such good writing, compelling characters, and wonderful plotting. They continue to be Highly Recommended.

In my queue right now: The August eBook from Strange Horizons, the September issue of Clarkesworld, and Stephenson’s The Diamond Age is my bedside reader at the moment. I go to reading on dead trees when I wind down at night before sleep.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Grateful. Ciao!

6 March 2016

Not much to report – it’s not Spring yet, though it’ll be trending that way in the week to come, with temps in the mid-70’s.  We had a couple of inches of snow on Friday, though. Soon it’ll be time for the garden. So the days are getting longer, and the Sun is working its way north again, which means more sunning spots for Lexi, like this one in the front foyer:

Lexi sunning in the foyer

Lexi sunning in the foyer

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DoD announced no new casualties in the most recent week, for which I am grateful. Ciao!

11 Feb 2016

Lexi under a shawl

Lexi under a shawl

Yeah, Lexi is a spoiled dog and she knows it, but all on her own, she’ll go find something a bit like a blanket, on whatever piece of furniture is convenient. She’ll burrow in, then turn a couple of times and end up with her face poking out so that she can see what’s going on. Just in case we’re doing anything interesting, don’t you know? This time, it was Marcia’s red shawl, draped (for a while) on the back of the sofa. Lexi hauled that down, and draped herself. Cute as beans.

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It was roasting day today.

Roasting a Columbian coffee

Roasting a Columbian coffee

I generally roast about once a week, a pound at a time. This morning I put the last half pound of beans into the burr grinder hopper, so tonight is a good time to roast. That gives the freshly roasted beans a few days to rest before they’re up to bat, which is a good thing. Roasted beans should always rest first.

It was 6 years ago this week that I got my Behmor 1600 Roaster from Sweet Maria’s. I’ve upgraded the panel to the 1600 Plus version, last year, for $50. Including original shipping, I’m all in on this roaster for $375, and at 52 roasts a year, yielding 7 pots of coffee each … why that’s a cost of under 20 cents a pot against the roaster. Given my travel mug and Marcia’s soup tureens (yeah, she uses very large coffee beakers), it’s under a nickel a pop amortized. Good value for money, and still going strong! Behmor coffee roasters: Highly Recommended!

I will say, I take good care of it, including cleaning it well, on schedule. I’ve also taken the whole thing apart a couple of times to clear all the chaff and cruft out of the gears and the electronics and whatnot. Handy to have a shop, and an air compressor with a good nozzle on the end of the hose.

Central Time

Me, I’d set every clock to UTC, and just work with it. Marcia would, however, balk at the idea. Yep. DST is over for the “year” but they A) paid back the hour without interest, as usual, and B) are going to steal it back again in just a few months. Sigh.

Fun: We went over to see the Annapolis Shakespeare Company production of As You Like It on Friday evening. It was a blast. I’ve seen two or three productions of As You Like It over the decades, but they’ve generally been fairly traditional stagings. Not that I’m knocking that. Compared to some interpretations, traditional is most excellent. However, Director (and ASC founder) Sally Boyett put together a lively production set in 1930’s Appalachia, with period specific (and play appropriate) musical interludes between many of the scenes. It made for a rollicking good show, while not sacrificing any (well, not much) of the Bard’s original language. We both enjoyed the show immensely, and plan to be regulars at future ASC performances. Highly Recommended!

Hallowe’en has come and gone. We kept the lights off, which keeps the dog much, much calmer and happier. Pleasantly, we found while walking the dog today that not much in the way of candy or discarded wrappers were strewn about. A departure from prior years, but one that is welcome.

Speaking of Lexi, here she is in a recent photo, paying attention to the world and not to me:

Lexi on "Relaxed Guard" duty

Lexi on “Relaxed Guard” duty

Now if we can only keep the kids on dirt bikes from abusing our trails and roads (and keep those kids from getting themselves killed by inattentive drivers). I got a picture of some of them yesterday, and posted it to our neighborhood website, in hopes that the parents in question would observe and take action. We’ll see what happens. Next for me, a rocker for the front porch, so that I can shout at people walking near our lawn.

And yeah, I’m still waiting for my car. If I’m lucky, it’ll be before the end of this week.

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DoD posted no new casualty announcements over the last week. Ciao!

Lexi at work

My work and week was relatively uneventful: just computers, patching, rebooting, yardwork, and shopping, so I’ll share Lexi’s work week with you instead.

Lexi helping me exercise

Lexi helping me exercise

Before I get onto the elliptical, I’ll generally do a repeating series of stretches, alternating with exercises like squats, sit ups, and push ups. Above, you can see how helpful and encouraging Lexi is during this phase of my workout. Her prone position, her near-perfect lack of motion is extraordinarily motivational. Frankly, I couldn’t do it all without her.

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Lexi on guard

Lexi on guard

When she’s not “helping” me exercise, or outright sleeping, Lexi likes to guard the house. Anything that she sees may be a threat, and she can warn us appropriately. Coming into Fall, she becomes a more effective guard beast. As the leaves drop from the trees, her detection range increases, and her blind spots drop to nearly nil. Soon, she’ll be able to warn us of automobiles driving on a nearby street, over a quarter of a mile away, on the other side of the community pool. She might also be able to spot a cat or dog or that most dangerously evil of animals – the hideous squirrel – as far off as the community playground, just this side of the afore-mentioned pool. We also sometimes refer to this as “Lexi TV.”

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Kyle E. Gilbert, 24, of Buford, Georgia, who died on Sept. 21, in Bagram, Afghanistan, in a non-combat related incident.

A Princess and her Pea

Lexi, protected from peas

Lexi, protected from peas

There’s better be a pea under there…

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Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Last night, when all was quiet, I finally got a around to putting together the Metal Earth Dragonfly model that I picked up from Amazon weeks ago on a whim, inspired by Jenny’s 1000 Ferris Wheels post. It’s good to have a focused distraction from time to time. The work took me away from myself for a double handful of minutes, and reminded me that I can focus when I make the effort. There’s been so much going on that I’m spending more time putting out fires than planning and tending what is needed, long term. But all will come right again.

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Yesterday: more plumbing – I replaced the last of the original faucets in the house. The master bathroom was the sole holdout with a builder-grade piece of crap. But now I’ve got a shiny new two-handle Kohler in its place, and I replaced the drain as well, since that was past due, too. Today: shopping, harvesting tomatoes, making salsa, and attending a birthday barbequeue for a friend was the fullness of the day.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

Cold Holiday

It was colder than 6° F when I got up shortly after dawn this morning, with about two inches of snow that was drifted and icy. No real fun driving out for the groceries today, as a result. The temperature had warmed all the way up to 15 by mid-afternoon. According to the NOAA, we’re not supposed to see the fun side of the freezing line until next Sunday or later, and we have some snow coming again in the mid-week. So, an utterly normal President’s Day weekend, then.

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Being cute:

Lexi being cute

Lexi being cute

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I managed two coats of glossy white enamel on my fabricated shoe mould trim yesterday. Today I applied some of that trim to the basement foyer area, and got another coat of mud on the areas of drywall needing repair. Tomorrow, a bit of sanding and some primer, I think…

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Wow! We’ve made two months without an announced casualty (since 12/14/14) from DoD. Cool.