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.

Late Summer

With three weeks to go in Summer (proper), summer in terms of weather and humidity finally arrived this week. A few days up into the low 90’s brought us some unpleasant heat and occasionally lots of rain. Last night we had 1.3″ here alone. I didn’t look at the weather  radar at the time so I don’t know how broad that front was. But we had lightning and rain for the best part of three hours.

Leading up to that, I spent about 5 hours working out in the yard. Some of that was regular stuff like mowing and cleaning out some dying plants in front.  But I also gave a couple of hours to fence-mending…

A few days ago, Lexi was out hunting bunnies in the back yard, then … she wasn’t. Lexi followed a rabbit, not down a hole, but out a hole. Yep, a hole in the fence which Lexi was able to rapidly enlarge enough to chase through and after. Sigh. The good news is, once discovered, we went out calling her name, and she came running up to me from out of the small wood in the common area behind our property. The bad news was that the fence needed mending.

I ended up replacing about 20 boards, and blocking off a few more bits with patching. I’ve still got to mix up a slightly matching stain combo and get those boards coated. But between the fence and other yard work yesterday, I dropped about 6# sweating. So, I rehydrated for much of the afternoon.

Today: Shopping and patching systems at work consumed the bulk of the day.

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Recent Reading: The Big Aha by Rudy Rucker.

Last year, I backed Rudy’s Kickstarter ™ for his new book, The Big Aha. I’d been a fan of Rudy’s since reading Software in the early 1980’s. The Big Aha is a big departure from the style of fiction, and of writing, from that earlier era. The author credits Bill Craddock’s Be Not Content as his primary stylistic influence. Using quantum mechanics instead of Lysergic acid diethylamide as his tool for making an entire world behave like a bunch of loons is … interesting. However, I found it difficult to follow the story. I found it difficult to care about the characters – they remind me of everything that’s bad about soap operas. And, sadly, though I persevered to the very end of the book (and it’s taken me a good long while), I just didn’t like it.

That doesn’t mean that you might not like it. You will want to be happy in a place where there are lots of new, made-up words. You’ll want to like characters that make even less sense (when straight, aka not in “cosmic mode”) than people on this screwed-up planet. If you like soap operas, and fantasy, and science fiction, you might like this story. My clear personal failing is that I don’t like soap operas.

The better news, from my perspective, is that with The Big Aha done, I now have my permission to start reading pTerry’s Raising Steam.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Brian K. Arsenault, 28, of Northborough, Massachusetts, who died on Sept. 4, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit was engaged by enemy small-arms fire.

Labor Day

Labor Day. It means “do chores at home instead of working at the office”, I think. I certainly did. Marcia asked last night if I’d put up my usual Sunday post. I figured that since it was a three day weekend, I’d put up my post on the last day of the weekend. Yes, that’s reasoned procrastination.

So, chores much of the weekend, working in the basement on the floor, etc. We have new neighbors across the street, which is nice (and they’re nice, too). Tonight, I grilled some chickens, and now I’m here. But I’m not going to drone on and on and on about the chores, so on to the penultimate bit …

Lexi often likes relaxing in the sofa back cushion behind my neck when I take a break and watch some television. Here she is again

Lexi behind my back

Lexi behind my back

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Christopher W. Mulalley, 26, of Eureka, Calif., who died on Aug. 22, in Gardez, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat related incident.

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.

 

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

Lexi Being Cute

Instead of running off when I approached her in the back yard, Lexi decided to deploy her Massive Cute Attack. It works, too …

Lexi Massive Cute Attack

Lexi Massive Cute Attack

For me, this was just another a warm, chore-filled weekend. When does Winter start?

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Our condolences to the family and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Capt. Jason B. Jones, 29, of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, who died on June 2, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds received from small-arms.
  • Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri, who died on June 5, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by enemy fire.

Rain, not purple.

In the last 30 hours, 3.25″ of rain. Another inch or so due tonight, so lovely. This part of the world is waterlogged. Lexi *hates* going out in the wet, but all of life is worth taking another nap…

Lexi ready to nap

Lexi ready to nap

This is my belly …

Would you scratch it for me? Lexi is *such* an attention hound.

Would you scratch it for me?

I’d trade her in on a working dog, especially one that does house-cleaning. But Lexi is so darned cute.

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Today, shopping, and more yardwork. I finished dismantling and bagging the junk on the concrete pad. I’ll arrange for a “large item” pickup from the trash provider sometime later this week. Very happy to have that done. I also dressed all of the garden beds with manure and leaf compost… and turned over three of them. I’ll knock out the rest later this week. Overall, I managed about 12 hours of yardwork, and that pleases me.

Preparing for veggies

Preparing for veggies

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In the last week, DoD reported no casualties.

Sprung

At least I think Spring has sprung. Of course, there was frost on the grass and rooftops this morning, and we have two more of those mornings in the forecast. But I did do some significant yardwork yesterday, clearing the winter debris and die-off from the front yard. I also did the early Spring fertilizing on the lawns.

Also accomplished: not too damn much. I finished playing Bioshock Infinite, which was fun, even though I saw the ending coming from about a million miles away. Fun game, good story. Nice drive by on Rapture, right near the end, too.

In celebration of TableTop Day yesterday, we played Scrabble ™ in the evening. Herself came very close to beating me both times. Lexi helped, too:

Lexi helps with Scrabble

Lexi helps with Scrabble

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After  a wonderful month and a day without a casualty, DoD reported on April 4 that Capt. James E. Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, S.C., died April 1, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of a non-combat related incident. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Pictures or It Didn’t Happen

Some of you may not have heard Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra singing Pictures (or It Didn’t Happen), off of the most excellent and awesome album, Theatre is Evil. I will say that, although I love this song, it isn’t my favorite song off the album. But the song is appropriate for this post…

Bowie Snow Day, 3 March 2014

Bowie Snow Day, 3 March 2014

So I got the first coat of spar urethane onto the birdhouse this morning:

Birdhouse in progress

Birdhouse in progress

And Lexi continues to relax in one of her accustomed spots. I think that she’s waiting for sun that isn’t going to appear today:

Lexi relaxing

Lexi relaxing

The snow continues to fall, we’re up to about two inches so far, atop a layer of sleet and ice. So, overall I think a good call to make it a snow day. It’s supposed to drop to the single digits tonight, yay?