Up and Down, Sun and Shadow

Over and under. Another week of wet and sunny weather mixed together, and today is a rain-day. My Neighbor-The-Hunter has an arborist over who is limbing some tall pines, not beetle-kill but possibly widowmakers.
Down in the Bay according to Big Sister Dad’s doing alright.
No mowing or yardwork today but Sunday-last, in the warm sunshine we got some tomatoes into the planter beds, a San Marzano in the Giant Cage, and some Sweet 100 cherries in a circular thing – and an Anaheim pepper – all set up with drips and water and timed to go when the rain lifts. Still under water restrictions up here, but the floodgates at Folsom are pouring as the fresh snow-melt comes down the mountain.
And my Fox Creek motorcycle jacket (off eBay, 42L) arrived and it fits! Heavy duty stuff. I just realized my Arai Signet/e lid is about as old as the Gentleman’s Express and maybe I should look into a new one. They simply wear out over time, from inside-out, and even though they may appear to be new the interior foam degrades and becomes compromised. Indeed checking the chinstrap on the D-ring side, it’s stamped “08/98” which would coincide with the Edelweiss High Alpine Adventure trip and the age of the R1100R itself. It’s a little dated in style, and lacks the dual forehead vents my wife’s Signet GT has and improved chin-ventilation. And my dirt-lid is of similar age and decrepitude.
Sheesh, it’s been a while! Maybe something red metallic to match the bike. Or Captain America style…
I need to get with the times!

Meatloaf and Irrigation

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf, before and after. Baked on a cookie cooling-rack, the fat renders out onto the cookie-sheet below, so it’s not boiling in its own juices, and PLUS it’s more of a low-cal food! You flatten it after it comes out off the mold-pan in order to bake more eavenly.

The large stones at mid-left will become the edging for the widened pathway with a gap at the driveway edge, and more of the big stones (instead of small) will line the driveway in proper neolithic fashion. Not quite enough to build a mini-dolmen or cromlech, but the thought has crossed my mind.

All this crap is coming up!

Two points on the perimeter got capped, with some water on “Station #1” continuing to be delivered to the Japanese Maple, while an errant break occurred in “Watering Circuit #3” that had to be patched-up. Oops!! A trip to Ace for some 45-degree elbows and fresh pipe was necessitated.



Something like 1200-calories were burned leaving a sweaty stench in the air and muddy clothes that needed washing.

Landscaping the Neolithic Low Granite Outcrop

While awaiting our carpenter friend with the finally-finished black-acacia-wood cap-rail, I donned my muck-boots and set-to digging up the buried PVC drip-line on the driveway-side of the Airport Lounge. We have decided to level off an area bounded by rocks and a mini-terrace, to create a larger and more useful expanse – and all the stupid connecting drip-lines had to go. This will mirror the improvements made on the opposite side of the house, where we leveled and reduced the number of micro-terraces and joined them together to crate a broad and less cluttered sitting area.
The occasional gardener my wife employs had uncovered the white vertical bits poking up from where the azaleas had once glommed and lush-wet flourished – but the general directionality and arrangement of what was to be removed remained hidden beneath the dirt. So I started at one end and worked my way around digging and garnering directional clues. How was the arrangement of vertical emitters linked together on a single watering circuit?
It’s going to take a while to dig it all up, and we don’t want to remove absolutely everything that makes-up “Watering Station-One,” but I need the muscle-building exercise and the calorie-burning weight loss – a need brought on by the sedentary Silicon Valley computer-centric lifestyle where I had bloomed up to something like 200+lbs. I’m using an Under Armour app on a iPad called “My Fitness Pal” to track physical changes, along with an Omron “Body Composition Monitor and Scale” – and so far the results have been interesting as I lose weight and gain muscle mass.
I looked-up “how many calories burned digging ditches?” on the Interwebz and got a couple different answers. In one case for a 180lb “person” the result was 696 calories for an hour’s heavy labor – with “Related Exercise” considered: Fencing, Rugby, Frisbee – general, Frisbee – ultimate, and Playing an Instrument. I’ve done both fence-post-fencing and foil/epe/saber fencing and while those are each sweaty efforts they are not very similar to each other and nowhere near anything like playing a trombone or an oboe.
In another more precise instance, for a 180lb, 73-inch tall, 59-year old Male-person, the result was 538 calories.
I’m not sure how (or what) a “Xi-xe-xer” or whatever new-pronoun Leftspeak semi-gendered humanoid would measure-up, but recent evidence derived from those who turned from “male” to “female” and now play “female” type sports seem to indicate a win-bias for the original male genes.
Meanwhile, still waiting for our carpenter to show-up, I dug out several large rocks that would dwarf the one recently found in the Prairie and began to set a curved line where the wider pathway would go against the terrace that houses the large blue-spruce. I couldn’t find “stone-stacking” among the exercises but I’m sure it’s somewhere between stacking and splitting wood.

Sunny with Taxes


The wall of wet weather drizzled away, and after two days of showers the sunshine has returned. Spring is really here when the sunlight comes over the distant hill and straight through the slats of the shutters, into the bedroom at 6:53AM in the morning. The swampy parts are still swampy but there’s much to do elsewhere and mornings are still a bit cold at 37°F.

Week of Rain

More snow in the Sierra, more thunderstorms in the foothills, more potential for flooding in the Valley and Delta.
Got the front-slope of the “acre prairie” cut and spread with weed-n-feed last evening, and was cleaning up the mower when the first raindrops started. It started slow and became steady through the night.
Just now a storm cell blew over and blocked the satellite, briefly relieving me from watching the Goresuch hearings, but reception returned. I’m not much of a rainy-day stay-at-home, so I’m fixing to make a move and get out and about.
Just don’t know what-for.

Happy Equinox

Clicken to Embiggen

Was gonna Weed’n’Feed the mow-able part yesterday, but when I went to the shed the little mower was dead, victim of an ignition malfunction – I left the key in the “On” position… I must have left it that way after the rock-event and it drained itself. So I pulled the battery, took it into the garage, and hooked-up the big Deltran Battery Tender and this morning it’s all green-lights and happy so I can celebrate the equinox today by tending to that chore. Yay the Mower!
I should put a fob on the key and hang it someplace so I don’t repeat this episode, but I got me to look-up the replacement part numbers for the battery as well as the blades.
In other news, the lower abdominal strain-pain was quietly going away until the other night when I attempted to do a set of push-up after my bar-bell routine, and was completely unable. This surprised me. I think pulling the heavy yard-waste bin chock-full of sticks and leaves across the grass might have been the set-back, but now I have to drag it up the hill and out to the road and that task seems a bit daunting. I’m thinking about attaching a couple tie-downs at the corners of the clam-shell lid, and to the points in the back of the truck, getting the lean-angle right, and then and driving it up. We’ll see… Pictures to illustrate will be necessary.

UPDATE: Avoiding the Hernia. I had to lower the tailgate and loosen the straps to get the right pull-angle for going up the steep driveway otherwise the can just stood-up when the truck moved. Then just rolling slowly making the turn at the top, and slowly out to the road – with another turn up to where the cans wait…

In other-other news I really should get one of these jobs that goes on the receiver hitch: http://www.cansporter.com/index/Order_Product

Ride the High Country

It was a gorgeous Spring day in the mid-low 70’s with yellow daffodils everywhere – and I needed to run some errands — so I put on my boots, got my dirt-lid, fired up the Boulevard Bomber and rolled out the door.
I had stepped-on and absolutely pasted a sprinkler diverter-thing out in the tanbark while topping the pear tree with the Stihl moto-saw, so I road out the door, up through the narrow country road flanked by blooming daffodils and old rusted barns, and down over the rushing creek — but Home Depot was crowded and too busy, and lacked decent bike parking. Meh – so I rolled-on through and just kept going – out and down the leafy country-twisty part of Forni Road, down to True-Value on Missouri Flat with the cute girls who run the register.
It was a two-three mile bit of dappled-sunlight and green-shadows with lichen on the oaks that is so much a part of living in Flyover that appeals so much to me. Another way of life, far from people glued to handhelds and drugged-out on audio-video stimuli.
I had forgotten how much the moto-endorphin stream lasted and was beneficial. Makes me want to fire-up the mighty KTM and tear-up the pasture. Reportedly they’re workign on a fuel-injected, road-going two-stroke that will meet emissions and have insane power – awesome!! Let’s ride!

Say hello to my little frien’

While cleaning up deadfall from under the big oak, I came across a bare patch out by the little pear-tree and scraped at it with the rake.
TIINNGGG! Metal on hard-stuff. Not a patch of dirt but a submarine-rock revealed by all the intense rain – and the idea of it lying in wait, torpedoes ready, ate away at me until today.
The ground has firmed-up a bit as the drainage continues so I walked out with the pick, the pitch fork, and the shovel to test the waters and see how big it really was – or if it was a dreaded piece of granite-shelf?
The water table is high here where the old emigrants and 49ers crossing the mountains watered their oxen, and the geology is “interesting.”
Poking around I got a shape figured out and managed to get under it, and despite being about six inches below-grade, between using the crossed-pick and shovel got some leverage to flip it out onto the surface grass with the fork. Big and heavy.
Beneath it where the hole was, water began to fill-in.
I’m gonna have to get some fill-dirt for that.I hitched-up the dumper-trailer to the mower, and drove out to lever it into the back.
Once I got it flipped into place leaning against the angle of the dump-wagon, I used the shovel to lever-up the wagon base while I leaned over to push down and latch the dumper shut.
Meh, did I mention it’s a heavy sumbitch? But my back feels OK.
Then I drove it up to drop it off among the other decorative rocks lining the driveway, I know just the place for it. During the ride-up it put a dent into the “tailgate” of the little wagon.

I’m sure there’s more out there.