Went to the Placerville DMV this morning to get a new picture for my license renewal, and to file various other things, change of address notices for vehicles: the truck, the KTM, and the BMW – and then they asked about the Beta, Whoa! Loooong time back! I hope JC is still having fun with it… And no, the “I Don’t Own It” paperwork was filed long ago, but it still showed-up on the Computer’s Permanent Record. Hmm, and these people will run Obamacare, or worse.
Then we went over to the County Assessor’s Office for more paperwork. Perverse incentive or not the real-estate Personal Deduction remains an important tax-benefit – but most significantly we filed the Proposition 90 paperwork that ensured our Prop-13 Tax Basis was portable to El Dorado County. THAT was the big kicker that drove our move and our relocation to El Dorado, not every County allows it – and it will significantly will reduce the amount the .Gov gets to squeeze and waste on mindless bureaucracy and selfish purposes.
Finally we drove down the hill, away from snow to the flatlands of Roseville and went to Arezzo Lighting to pick-up the two new lights (Yay! They called and said they were in!), from Hubbardton Forge that we had ordered last month. One is for the kitchen, and the other is for the island-area/breakfast nook. They make some really-really nice stuff, handmade in the USA – and sturdy. Just the ceiling fixture plates and mounting hardware were noticeably superior to materials outsourced from China by other vendors… So we (me) got some work to do tomorrow hanging lights, and the house is coming more together.
I don’t know if it’s the storm traipsing all across the country and dumping snow on their only downstream dish out in someone’s backyard in Topeka, or just this particular node, but OMG this thing has slowed to a freaking crawl. Don’t expect answers to email within the hour, or even same-day service. Hit a link in your bookmarks and then go brew a fresh pot of coffee, maybe when the coffee is done the page will be loaded – if not go reload a few hundred rounds on your single stage press, and just maybe by then it *might* be loaded.
Down the road a mile or two there’s a bronze plaque at an old way-station for the Pony Express Riders of yesteryear, they’d be faster (and better armed) than the goofybird-in-the-sky hot-house bottleneck that the propeller-head Satellite bozos think is so damn precious. Given the performance I’d easily be rooting for Blofeld’s (Or Elon Musk’s) satellite-killer space-gun just to put this turkey out of its misery – Happy Thanksgiving, not. Maybe it’s time to examine other venues, but I’m not interested in streaming video of five NFL games, or even Netflix movies of the latest Shade of Gray – I just want a decently quick internet connection under $100/mo.
And on that space-note, what if comets are just the blue-ice dropped by humongous passing spaceships, eons ago…
On the first snow-day of the year, and my first snow-day in thirty-five years, the fate of those young men who served at Pearl Harbor in December of 1942 is a reminder in contrasts. What must have seemed like light and easy duty on a tropical island paradise far from the chill of blizzards and cold, suddenly turned into a blazing inferno by a malevolent enemy who sought to capture the whole of all the Eastern Oceans, from the South China Sea to Australia. Everyone who lived in the region was in jeopardy. Countless local, indigenous people were torn from their families and enslaved, and brutally tortured or worked to death on railways and other war-structures for a foreign and merciless Empire that fell upon them like a ravenous tiger. By the end of it, thousands of war-weary GI’s would have loved for a light snowfall in the midst of the jungle hell in which they were struggling, a little respite of winter-wonderland that they had not seen in years of hot and nasty fighting – and which many thousands would never see again… So I have to count my blessings, and winter will give way to summer – and snow is nice, it’s the COLD that’s unpleasant.
Last night temperatures were down in the mid-20 de’f*ing-grees. We gotta get this furnace fixed, it doesn’t ignite. The service tech who came out diagnosed that the gas-valve was not valving-gas, and with no gas entering the burner manifold, no jets of hot ignited LP emboldened the air. The infra-red space-heaters are working overtime just to keep the frost out of the air, but everything inside is a bit cold to the touch. Meanwhile the truck needs a 70k service and there’s a major *SquEEeRGg* in the suspension whenever the body rolls left or right, which is whenever I now enter or exit the hillside driveway. Thankfully the re-circulating hot-water is, as Skip said so eloquently, The Tits! So we heated our bodies and drove down to get the 70k Mile service on the truck, and when the going gets cold the cold go shopping for warm clothing. Face it Dorthy, we’re not in Hawaii, but the nearby Outlet Mall has an Eddie Bauer where they have fleece and down at discounted low-low prices, and warm things for the feet too, and things to provide an intermediate layer between outer and inner clothing – longjohns. I have not had to buy or wear cold weather clothing in a long time, but the Bay Area is not a normal place by any stretch. All I have for outerwear is my old Dainese street-riding gear with armor in the knees and elbows, it’s not really walking-around clothing nor working in the yard on a freezing cold broken PVC pipe clothing. But now I feel I have joined the rest of the Flyover Folk in the midst of Real America, away from the DeepBlue exburbs and affluent gated communities.
UPDATE: The storm is dumping in the Sierras, but forecast snowfall has yet to reach us and is now pushed-back to Saturday.
Damn this cold weather crap is way-different than the hot kind, and even different than the mild, non-weather stuff we’re accustomed to. 39°-F makes fixing the drip-line a real icy bitch. Good thing there’s not too many splits, and maybe the plants will survive if there’s enough water in the ground.
UPDATE: 35° and falling now, expected 28° tonight… Dang you Midwesterners!
I should begin a log or hash-tag these events. The Weather-reader on the TeeVee had forecast a high of 60 degrees today, and tomorrow or Tuesday an incoming blast of cold and wet air from a Canadian source, traveling south to chill the region and put some snow down at Tahoe while freezing our own asses. So I decided I better deal with the split in the #3 circuit in the above-ground drip-line, and when I went to address its issues I added my own incompetence to the mix via the application of too much strength, and increased the failure to function by snapping it off at the root. Anyhow it was a good deal warmer than expected, well above 60 and into the mid 70′s at least.
Discovery through digging proceeded, and showed the below-ground fitting to be a t-standard, right in the middle of the seasonal (when it rains) stream-bed. I ran the water to get out the accumulated dirt, and filled the hole – and noticed a secondary leak and decided the t-fitting was unnecessary as the junipers were hellishly well embedded, and drought-tolerant as well – they didn’t need a lot more water diverted to them. I pumped-out the hole with my sump-attachment on the De Walt drill until the battery ran dry and I had to go to the garage for the other battery which was not plugged-in and dead as well. Oh great.
We left off that to attack the overgrown Lavender which had gone native and had transformed into a wild thicket, filled high with the decaying results of years of leaf-blowing – the interior was clogged and caked with a fine leaf-mulch that I spread over gaps in the tanbark. Another half-hour or more of work returned the lavender to a shrub-like appearance and with the skirt raised, it revealed an nice border of local rock all around the base.
Hot and sweaty I made a shopping list and it was time for lunch. After a nice dish of Pollo Fundido at a local Margaritateria, we returned home via Ace Hardware where I realized I had all the necessary fittings, junctions, and do-dads – but no 3/4″ pipe – mine was all 1/2″ from the previous episode… So back to Ace.
Now where does all this thing drain-from, and will the incoming freeze burst the lines unless they’re drained or do I leave them running to keep from freezing, and spread icicles all over the land?
Arrgh my back, but it’s good exercise and stretching too. My 89yr old Dad is still going strong and all he does is garden. So fetch me the Ibuprofen.
After the first rain a week ago we decided to try and hold back against Nature, and planted some small Manzanita shrubs, to spread their roots across the cliff and rocky soil. It’s a small step but the plants are superbly drought tolerant and extremely tenacious.
One really fun bit of timekeeping-section of the Buckhorn Enduro up at Shasta was/is run through a trail called “The New Jersey Trail,” where you a drop-off into a winding rocky creek-bed and follow it for about a mile. Which is all great and a fine way to get a bit wet on a hot day and bash against “babyheads” (large, child-size and smooth river-rock, especially nasty when wet…), but entire section was run through a tunnel of mature Manzanita with its springy barbed branches that have the strength of coil-steel that grab at every part of you and the bike – and the speed shift went from a simple 10- or 15-Mph to something absurd like 25-Mph – completely impossible and nearly lethal for me anyhow.. The name of the trail is revealed by the light in your head going on when you finally emerge at the check torn and bleeding and whipped, and you really do need a new jersey…
Thanksgiving with the in-Laws: my wife’s brother and his wife, and the 21-something yr. old daughter. Missing were the boyz: #3 son on deployment, #2 son away at Fort-Something, and #1 son up in Seattle-area out of the Mil. who sent pics of grandchilds #1 and #2. Kinda awesome after twenty five years of do-your-own-thang, for my wife to see what her brother has become: a grandpa. Ha! Also, conversation was favorable politically – and then it turned to, “Hey let me show you my scooter.” In the garage sat a sleek and fabulous late-model Reise-Tourer, and in the same color as my truck. The parallels and similarities seemed to waft around us like eerie ghosts of the past. We had talked with Daughter about vacations – where had we been in the years since she was born? Guatemala, Hawaii, and our Euro-Moto Dream-Trip figured prominently, traveling through the Alps on a BMW – and now here we are at the edge of the American Alps, with twisties right out the door, a maze of backroads roads leading up to heavenly snow-capped vistas. I had been looking at Dual Sport bikes earlier on Craigslist, but those were solo rides, and later at home my wife said with a bit of puzzlement, “How did I end up with a husband so much like my brother? One who rides motorcycles and shoots and…” her voice trailed off before she came back with, “Let’s get one, let’s have some damn fun before it’s too late and the actuarial tables catch us out!” I looked at her with amazement. This is shaping up to be pretty awesome…!
I’m pretty much over all the Silicon Valley TechnoDweebery and Flavor-of-the-Day – the inevitability and how much I supposedly “need” it. My interest in “mobile” devices and computing and especially Social Media Connectivity has completely vanished in the haze. My wife’s devilishly clever new smart-ish phone only demonstrates what a ridiculous and indecipherable joke of non-usability much of that really is. /rant
So Windows 8.1? Seriously M’soft?
I kinda think not. Dedication to that crap is more akin to getting the Piggyback II to run, filling and not spilling cases. Now even that requires some REAL *touch,* not just swiping at the wisps of passing trends and ephemera like an angry demented psychotic convulsed by Tourette’s syndrome and shouting at telephone poles – and losing the argument.
Actually the thing that absolutely stopped me cold in my tracks (or I maybe would have gone forward) was the demand to set-up a Microsoft Account at some kind of stupid Microsoft App-Store, following in the equally stupid and openly larcenous Apple model. NOOOOO! Just say NO to apps. Many well-meaning but deluded people also tried to get me over to Facebook saying, “It doesn’t have to be a real accoun, it’s just so you can comment!” Plus-NOT and thumb(-suckers) DOWN.
The morning dawned in a thick white haze that gradually was wiped away like a bartender wiping the froth off the top of a mug of stout. In the distance the frothy cloud hung in the valley below, and with a building buzz and then quick roar a Cessna Skyhawk clawed its way up into the bright sunlight overhead – and just as quickly faded into the distance.
I changed-out an ugly old light in the laundry room for a spiffy one, and we went to lunch.
Later: Say, is my wife out watering the plants or what is that fountain in the front junipers? One jet shot UP about eight feet and the other one shout OUT about six feet. Leaks and frost-damage may abound, so I went into the Lower Redoubt to assess the situation on the automatic watering system. Good, there is an OFF button. Given the wet soaking sponge that we just emerged-from, further watering is unnecessary, perhaps until Spring. The splits and breakages in that quadrant-line will have to wait for my own convenience.