2014 is here

Posted January 1, 2014 By Administrator

Had some apples that were going bad, so I put them on the stump in the backyard for the animals… and the contrast between their color and the stump made me grab the camera.

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Tornado dreams

Posted November 19, 2013 By Administrator

The recent tornado outbreak in Illinois made me think about the only time I’ve seen a tornado over land (I’ve seen several waterspouts). I remembered it was spring, my first grade year; but couldn’t remember exactly when. However, Weather Underground (my weather source of choice) had a link to the Tornado History Project, and I was able to find the record of this particular tornado.

As I said, it was spring of my first grade year; April 4th, 1977, to be exact. School had just ended, and I went to the steps by the first grade classrooms to wait for my mom. It was a pretty, sunny spring day; a few clouds in the sky, but nothing threatening. When I got to the steps, I found mom waiting for me; which was unusual… I normally had to wait for 30 minutes or so. I got in the station wagon and mentioned that she was early.

Mom was extremely tense. She said there was a tornado warning for Rome. I looked at the sky again; still sunny, but a little cloudier.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 8.18.58 PM copyBy the time we got to our house (marked by the red circle on the map), the sky was covered in dark, sickly-green mammatus clouds. I didn’t know that was what they were called then, but this event stoked a fascination with severe weather for me. My youngest two sisters (still older than me) were also home; my oldest sister was in high school and was still there. Mom herded us all into the small closet under the stairs and went to try and call the high school to check on my oldest sister… but our phone wasn’t working. (remember, there were no cell phones then.) By now the wind was up and rain was splattering. Mom decided to go across the street and see if our neighbor’s phone was working. My sister Susan begged her not to go, but Mom went out the front door and across the street. We watched her through the window next to the front door; and as we watched, we could see the top of a funnel cloud over the top of Horseleg Mountain (which you can see on the map).

The tornado never got close to our house, but just that little glimpse I got fascinated me. As I got older, I studied everything I could about tornadoes and thunderstorms; and they still intrigue me today.

 

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Gratuitous beaver shots

Posted August 3, 2013 By Administrator

Went to Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail in Athens with Flen and, as usual, drug the cameras along. Bear Hollow showcases animals native to Georgia; most are rehabilitated injured animals that can’t be released back into the wild.

And here's the gratuitous beaver shot

And here’s the gratuitous beaver shot

Pheasants

Pheasants

The great horned owl was hiding in his box, but here's his dinner

The great horned owl was hiding in his box, but here’s his dinner

Hawk

Hawk

Flen getting a picture of some other folks after they asked for one

Flen getting a picture of some other folks after they asked for one

Sleepy 'possums

Sleepy ‘possums

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles

Hey! Where's the damn honey?

Hey! Where’s the damn honey?

Black bear

Black bear

Even bigger bear

Even bigger bear

Lounging toitle

Lounging toitle

Bobcat

Bobcat

Solid color bobcat

Solid color bobcat

Whitetail deer (of course)

Whitetail deer (of course)

Rather scruffy wild turkey

Rather scruffy wild turkey

Gators! None around here, but plenty in south Georgia

Gators! None around here, but plenty in south Georgia

bear hollow-17 bear hollow-18

 

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Cat and Mouse

Posted June 11, 2013 By Administrator

Or, rather, Kat and rat.

Was woken up last Tuesday by a strange sound. The storage shed has a tin roof and is attached to the side of the house where my bedroom is, and provides that nice rain on a tin roof sound when it’s raining; so I thought at first it might be rain… but, no, it seemed to be coming from the kitchen. I groggily get up- it’s around 3 in the morning- and head to the kitchen, where I realize that it’s something crunching plastic under the kitchen sink. Open the under-sink cabinet and find a chewed-up roach bait in pieces on the floor.

Huh. OK, so mice apparently like the bait in roach traps. And bread, as I find a small hole gnawed in a loaf of bread in the pantry. So, Flen buys some mouse traps, I bait them with peanut butter, and spread them around where I think they’ll do the most good.

Woken up that morning at the ass-crack of dawn, again, by crunching noises. Wait to hear a *snap* from one of the traps, but… nothing. Grab a flashlight and sneak into the kitchen and snatch the cabinet open, to see a large tail disappearing into the wall through the hole left around the sink drain pipe. OK… this isn’t a mouse, this is a freakin’ rat; and a large one at that. And he’s licked the peanut butter off of every one of the mouse traps without setting them off. I check the cabinet under the bathroom sink, where I had placed other traps, and notice the floor is wet… there’s also a supply line leaking under this sink. (side note; this house was re-plumbed at some point with flexible piping called Qest Pipe that’s no longer sold because it’s- surprise surprise- prone to leaks, among other things.)  Wonderful. And, there aren’t any individual shutoffs anywhere in the house, so I have to shut the water off at the street.

Can’t get back to sleep, and I want to spend some time with Flen before he heads off on vacation, so I take a personal day from work and call the landlord about the leak; then go find the biggest damn glue traps and rat traps I can and set them out where I know he travels. And wait. Nothing Thursday night, but he’s eating the other roach baits and avoiding the traps altogether. Friday night, quite far into my martinis and movie watching, I hear him again. I snatch up the pellet pistol and flashlight I had nearby for just such an occasion and sneak into the kitchen. Sure enough, I can see a tail peeking out from under one side of the refrigerator. I aim the pellet gun under the fridge and fire off a couple of pellets, then peek around the other side to catch him if he bolts… nothing. Because he was escaping around the other side. I watch him disappear around the corner.

OK… no more mister nice guy. Bought a bunch of rat poison and set it under the sinks. I haven’t got any pets to worry about eating it, so no worries there. As of today he’s eaten three of the four blocks I set out… the hunt continues. “No body, no body-count”

 

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Plugging along

Posted May 26, 2013 By Administrator

Yes, many changes since last I posted; and still a lot that remains the same. Still struggling to pay off the tax man, but at the same time very much in love. Flen has made me very happy. 🙂 We went to the State Botanical Gardens and took some piccys:

 

 

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And the heat is on

Posted February 24, 2013 By Administrator

Turns out the problem in the stove was not with the control board, after all. Landlord came over and we replaced it, but it still cut out. So we started jiggling wires with no result, all the way down to the plug.

Yup… the wiring in the outlet was loose. On a 220v, 50 amp plug. Needless to say, he didn’t bitch about replacing a control board that wasn’t bad.

Dad is healed up and is doing fine, so mom went in for her surgery Thursday; shaving bone spurs off one of her vertebrae to hopefully alleviate the back pain she’s been suffering from for a while. She sounded much more chipper, so hopefully it’s done some good.

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And life goes on

Posted February 9, 2013 By Administrator

Dad dropped a bombshell on me and my three older sisters over Christmas… he told us he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and was lining up surgery to have it removed.

Well. A bit of a shock, there.

He had his surgery a couple of weeks ago. He’s 75 years old, so we were all concerned about major abdominal surgery, but he came through OK, and the surgeon believes they got all of the tumor. He keeps wanting to push his recovery; just the way he is. And he wants to be recovered because Mom needs surgery… back surgery to correct two degenerated disks and spurs on two vertebrae that have been causing her back pain for a couple of years.

On the home front, I’m slowly getting the new place straightened out. I was pleased to find the first month’s power bill was only $62! Waiting on the gas bill to see what that’ll be. Heat is the only thing I need gas for, as the water heater and stove are electric.

Although, the stove… the landlord, who otherwise seems to be an OK guy, brought the stove in after I signed the lease. It was a couple of days before I noticed something wrong with the display… was a segment of the display burned out? No… no, that’s a cockroach between the front glass and the LED display.

Great. The landlord brought a stove infested with roaches into the house.

Lots of roach bait planted under all the counters in the kitchen and bathroom. Then I noticed the display shutting off randomly… damnit. Took the display and control board apart, cleaned out the dead roaches and roach spit, and put it back together. Nope, apparently the damage is done; the display shuts off at random times, although the elements still work. I can purchase a new control board and fix it, but that’s the landlord’s job. Maybe for some off the rent next month.

Otherwise, I’ve got half the the front yard raked… there’s two huge old oak trees, one in the front and one in the back, and it doesn’t look like the yard’s been raked in a couple of years. A little at a time. I’ve got a spot for a veggie garden marked out.

 

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A physical move, this time

Posted January 23, 2013 By Administrator

Instead of another virtual server move. Nope, found a place to rent in Athens less than 5 miles from where I work, rounded my stuff up out of storage, and schlepped it over to the new place. A 2 bedroom 1 bath house built in the ’50s; and boy, can you tell it. But, you gotta go with what you can afford, and my champagne tastes will have to suck it up for a while. On the plus side, it’s in a low-crime area, no noisy college students nearby, and there’s a huge field/woods right behind it. On the negative side, I’m re-discovering all the things I don’t have and need to get; and the list is piling up rapidly. Especially groceries.

The move has given me a new appreciation for e-books, though. Real books are, to me, more satisfying to read, and I love the smell of old books… but probably 1/3 of the boxes I moved were books, and those sonsabitches are heavy. Not to mention I’ve got to get bookshelves to hold them all now; they’re currently stacked up along the walls in any free space. With Kindle on the phone, I can carry all my books (well… at least the ones available as e-books) with me all the time and read them wherever I am. I’m not sure I like Amazon’s policy of storing them in the “cloud”… I like to have a physical copy (physical in this case meaning stored on a hard drive I possess) rather depending on someone else’s server somewhere.

And to add a little rant to this post… I’ve had an iPhone since the iPhone 2; so, 5 years or so. In all that time, I’ve never damaged one. So, of course, a few days ago, while putting the phone back in it’s belt case, I fumble it and it drops to the asphault flat on the face and shatters the screen. Of course.

It’s still useable if you peer past the spiderweb of cracks; and I’m out of contract so I can go to AT&T and pick up a 4 under contract for $0.99, but it’s the principle of the thing. All those years of smirking at people with cracked smartphone screens.

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Daytime fireworks? Now that’s kinda cool…

Posted November 26, 2012 By Administrator

I especially like the instantaneous appearance of the smoke puffs.

Daytime Fireworks Are Very Pretty [Video] | Geekosystem.

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Construction over, for now.

Posted October 25, 2012 By Administrator

Theme updating complete. Not as bad as I’d feared, although it apparently broke the Twitter widget and I had to do it the low-tech way. Took the time to neaten up and update a few of the static pages, and make some different banners…. seasonally themed! Wow! Zowie! *ahem* Still not what I had in mind, but my patience was at a low ebb. It’ll work for now.

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