When it rains…

…you get flash-floods. Feast or famine. Hope you guys way up in Sierraville and also down in the Southland are OK. Maybe one day this state will have a water policy that’s intelligent rather than political,, but ever since the FIRST days of Olde-Californy when the “ditch-tenders” sold water to the get-rich wealthy miners, farmers couldn’t afford it and agriculture had to wait – the supply and demand situation has always been about mo’ money.

The Low Granite Massif

With water restrictions we get Sundays and Wednesdays to run the drip-line and even do a bit of sprinkler irrigation, so Sunday morning we set-to it. We had torn-out an overgrown shrubbery of rosemary and started leveling out a(nother) terrace, but the height difference between it and the surrounding is substantial enough, that I started moving some big rocks from the micro-Stonehenge back by the LP tank to shore up the wall. The toothy array was wasted hiding under the big fir, so I deconstructed it and carried them to the new wall-site – except for the BIG hernia-inducer. For that I used the steel hand-truck and rolled it into the foot-plate, and then with the assistance of She, we yanked it up the flight of short steps. Phew.
A big irregular rock out by the Cotoneaster was rotated to a more pleasing rock-wall alignment, and some rotted-out old 2×4’s that were dug into the dirt were pried-up and tossed onto the trash pile. There’s a whole bunch of nasty plastic sheeting, clear and also black, buried in a couple different layers – I think someone was trying to prevent weed-growth but it just looks so hideous now I yank it out whenever I find it.
Another big flat rock was rolled-around to present a better face, and then a fissure in it widened and cracked-open. So I took those now two flat-rocks and used them to face the edge of the mini-parapet on the street-side, and chinked them in with more irregular field-stone. The big hernia-inducer laid-up well as a cornerstone, and the rest of the large ones make the south-facing mini-parapet.
Then it was 88.9° degrees Fahrenheit and 10:00 AM- we’ll be going to about 102° today.. The sun had clocked around so there was no shade in the front yard and the sweat began to roll. Time’s up for watering. It’s starting to look good out there.
UPDATE: The weather scare-mongers were wrong, we caught a breeze (albeit very dry, 11% humidity) and only went to 97°.
UPDATE-UPDATE: Monday 84° at 8:30 AM, 93° at 9:32 AM…we didn’t make it ’till 10:00 AM.

Fanimation

Office fan Got the second fan up yesterday, a bit of a wrestling match but I finally pinned it to the ceiling – and then something vessel-like in my thumb let go and I said, “Owww!” It got all purple and was temperature sensitive for a while, but is almost unnoticeable today. The fan is shorter than the old one, and with no dingle-balls hanging off it to catch in my hair – and totally silent in operation.  Wiring it up I bypassed the internal switching and put the blue wire together with the red so the light is switched by the plate at the door rather than through the remote.  That way I don’t have a useless light-switch at the door where it’s needed, or “empty” wiring in place.

The walnut blades go with the rest of the walnut furniture nicely.

English Lavender

We ripped out a whole bunch of leggy (close to 3-feet), past-sale-date, old Spanish Lavender and installed six little 1/2-gal potted plantlings of English – it’s lower-growing and more fragrant variety called “Thumbalina.” Cute, not? If you’ve been here before you might recognize the next sentence fragment: rocks! We had to move, re-stack, and re-align rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, sooth rocks and rough rocks. Which is actually more fun than it sounds, and the sudden dip in the weather/temperature meant we were ripping-out the denuded lavender while it was cold annd before the bees started swarming around asking, “WTF are you doing to my bzzzz lavender?” And now the hidden pathway that was revealed last month is more well defined by Big Rocks, and the location of drip-line points (Station #8!) can be properly addressed. Yay.

Excelsior!

rockworxWe’re a bit exhausted and Ibuprofen is our friend.  78-feeet of frontage chip-rock, from the lower walkway to the mailbox are now in-filled with river rock.  We estimate that each Little Green Deathwagon loaded weighed about 210lbs (min.), and each wagon load was good for 1-foot (at about 4-feet deep) – the math is a but overwhelming.

The graphic has an illusion and is a bent in the middle, an artifact of the panorama-process I guess.   In reality the street does not flatten out but maintains a constant incline such as on the left side of the picture, so we rolled a lot of rocks uphill.  Owww!  My elbows and wrists ache.

Also all the BIG rocks are removed from underneath the Redwood and most off the smaller gravels too – replaced by fluffy cedar mulch.  Also the “stream” (drain)-edges are relined with those bigger rocks while the stream-bed now has a mix of  smooth river-rock and rough gravels, taken from elsewhere.  We only had to buy the cedar mulch, the rocks were already here… AND it’s been a year since we signed papers on the house!  (But only since the beginning of November taken full residence.)  PHEW!  Maybe now I can go ridin’?

Moto Nerd

Two seat brackets replace the grab handle, and have a slot where the plastic bodywork fits and the luggage holders are re-mounted using the same allen-head screws.  Then the backrest is affixed with four more 6mm hex screws.

rear-view left
closeup left bracket
outline thing
Backrest w/shelf

And a hammer might be used in an effort to line-up the holes since it’s steel and very robust (resistant to change).
20oz. Eastwing

Ranch Hands

Texture & ColorColor & TextureWe made quite a bit more progress with the rocks, including some stream-bed realignment on the “back-forty” where there’s an erosion issue, and I’ve been handling some of the bigger stones.
In England, a stone is an archaic/Medieval term of measurement.  Thanks to Wilkipedia we know that, By the late Middle Ages, international trade, such as England’s exports of raw wool to Florence, required a fixed standard and, in 1389, a royal statute of Edward III fixed the stone of wool at 14 pounds.[11] So what I’ve been playing with are stones that weigh a few stone each – like seven or eight.  Not quite boulder-size but big enough to blow a disk or cause a hernia if I’m not careful, so the really big ones get rolled into the stinky little green wagon (from Tractor Supply, some total assembly required, still smells like bunker-fuel or creosote – whatever the Chinese use to make 600lb. industrial plastic is really gnarly) and hauled-up to a likely new location and tipped out.
As seen after three days, the brand-new Wells Lamont leather gloves (Costco three-pack!) have developed a well-worn patina of sweat and some texture. Rock is basically pretty unforgiving, and I have already worn-out two fingers (long/middle), with a third on the way and stitching has come un-done in the palm. In other news the recent internal application of Glucosamine-Chondroitin seems to help the early morning joint-pain – but not as much as Ibuprofen.

Age, Fitness, Capability and Interest

Chris has a good post about how, Some of us are strong, and experienced, and well trained, and got fat not because we were sad, lazy, gluttonous etc… but because things in our life changed, and our bodies (or our habits and our brains) didn’t adapt appropriately.

I’m stuck with very few excuses. I’ve never been a work-out guy – or that’s the excuse. I’ve always just DONE the things I liked to do with the fitness I already had available on tap. Haven’t gotten overly heavy either, but could stand to loose a few – mainly I seemed to have passed the peak and my recovery-time at age 54 is what’s killing me.

The elbow is much better today, but just yesterday leaning over to pull a USB cable out of the ‘puter-box, a *tiny* bump on an edge of the desk sent gigantic pain-waves all over. Ice. At least it didn’t blow-up with fluid again. Gaah. The swelling is down but the hyper sensitivity remains and it could easily balloon-up again.

Blame the computer for all the current inactivity. We used to hook-up with other friends on rec.motorcycles.dirt – guys from across the country who also rode. On weekends we would meet locally, or we used it to send out the Bat-Signal and from all-over we would meet in Colorado or Idaho or Georgia to just go riding. Sometimes the back-and-forth conversation was brilliant, but the light dimmed, people move away, the economy takes a dip, jobs change – nothing stays the same especially technology, and Usenet declined as the Web grew popular.  And sadly, some guys died…

With the elbow injury I’m afraid my dirtbike riding days may be numbered and in the past. If that’s the case, my days of regulation across-the-course shooting may be also be doomed. Every position has you doing the body-tripod with elbows planted somewhere. So, hand-guns?? You don’t get down on your elbows much with pistols.

The foot is also still healing too slowly. Too much flex-ion and it goes off again, and so I have to wear the hated *shoes* during Summer, when flip-flops or barefoot is so much more natural and comfortable. Foot-fitness wise I never could get into the pounding boredom and plain drudgery of running. I needed to really escape, and it (running) wasn’t fast enough. I tried to like it mentally, and even had running shoes for a while – but the dreadful irritating sameness of it caused failure and I relapse to the default position: hate it.

I can still bicycle. From all the early years of polo, swimming, and hiking, my thighs still have some strength for the push – and somehow the similar boring cyclic repetition doesn’t completely fail me there. Also before there were any cars in my life the bike was my escape vehicle. Maybe it’s just the wind in my face. For some motorcyclists that’s enough – they don’t need the athleticism (or monkey-business) of an apex-strafing sportbike cranked over at the limits of adhesion, just the wind.

As far as Chris goes, I’ve always known big guys who could hustle. Quickness is size-deceptive and outright speed isn’t necessarily the key element – you got to be smooth to make speed work to proper advantage or it’s wasted. There the same effects and situation exists on a dirtbike, finessing the throttle to gain traction – keep up speed through the rough rocks by being still on top while the bike does the work below you. That’s all in the legs again.

The natural angle of a dirtbike in repose is on its side. I’m not sure I can keep taking the inadvertent dismount onto the weeds, rocks, and bushes that is required participation.  Even with all the gear that goes-on, getting the elbow bashed again is a recipe for not being able to re-mount and continue. We’ll see if DirtCrashr still has it in a few more months when it starts to rain again and traction returns to the soil or if a new nickname is required. I miss the Dual-Sport events where we didn’t throw ourselves so hard into the breech.  I missed riding in the Spring this year when it was wet, and I missed last year – if I miss another year maybe it’s a sign.

Impediments to Slow-Prone II

It’s getting better – I think.  The fluid is dispersing a bit, but it’s SLOW – and still a bit hot underneath the nub where the skin is peeling.  I’m still icing it down and taking ibuprofen.
Turns out the impediment to Slow-Prone is also an impediment to Rapid-Seated and even Offhand give the way we are taught to manage our bodies in pursuit of shooting excellence – bone on bone is the key to stability and repeat-performance.
This is not a lot of fun – but I figure it has been in the making for a while, with each grinding drill on concrete and only a thin pad, and it finally just said “enough!” – so now I have to deal with it. 
Just before this I was looking around for an elbow pad with a gel-insert that was flexible enough to actually bend snd fit under my shooting coat.  I had cobbeled together a wrap that would hold a Dr. Scholl’s heel-gel thing – but circumstances caught-up before I could do anything practical, like try it out…

Great Green Soylent Gobs…

…Of soon-to-be asparagus soup: it needs some Half & Half and a pat of butter to lend a silky texture, besides s’more salt an pepper to taste once it get’s on the heat.
A whole freakin’ package of Costco asparagus, parboiled and chilled with a dash of lemon in the water to maintain the green, turned to a puddle.
Silky liquifaction provided by the Vitamix’s 2-Hp motor at 37,000 rpm’s that absolutely obliterates any concept of the word “solid”… Zoom!
(UPDATE: AND a cup-and-a-half of chicken broth – organic, or low-sodium, or otherwise.)

Now we understand how it is possible for a small household of two to buy and use-up a whole flat of vegetables or fruit before it goes bad – this thing absolutely makes the melting-pot…the downside being you have to pee all the time.