Wearing spectacles is a pain, especially when you’re sweaty and they slide off and hit the dirt, or drop into the bucket of paint – but I’ve never be able to actually and intentionally stick something like a contact-lens into my eye – the flinch would toss it in the dirt every time. Besides they are effective (and constant) eye-pro in my thick RX, and protect from wind-blast, and shooters ready on the right and left.
Anyhow at this age now I wear bi-focals, and bi- or tri-focal…contacts? I suppose it’s been done by somebody, but for me just never-mind.
My pair of glasses (Smiths) snapped a flimsy post, and now we have to go back to Kaiser for repair-work. I was hoping that with this nice weather (only in the low 90’s) I’d be able to take the Gentleman’s Express out for a comfortable romp on the back roads.
Happy 4th of July from the Ranch, all you independents!
Got some steaks on last night as the sun went past the meridian and the shadows moved out to cover the grill and the afternoon cooled – then some rain in the evening. Big thunder-bumper clouds had been bunching up over the Sierras from a storm that had clocked in around from the south, and as the heat blasting off the Valley collided with the unsettled air the magic began. The evening was quiet, but in the morning the skies were turbulent with high and thick gray clouds, and the big bass-drums had occasion to boom.
Must be a bit like Colorado up at Rampart when the heat boiling up off Nebraska hits the cold air on the backside, accelerating up into altitude like a surfer on a seven-thousand foot wave. Once when we were dirt-riding there (Colorado, Rampart) at night the skies above our campsite came alive with thunder and lightning in a huge drenching shower that descended onto us, with explosions of lightning in between the trees and down to the floorboards – what excitement! Fortunately nobody was hit, but it was loud and brighter than daylight when the electricity lit us up, inside the cloud.
Right now (9:30AM) there was more thunder and it started to rain… Not the typical dry CA summer weather, but not unusual for the Sierras either. Anything can happen up in the High Country, and I think this bodes well for a El Nino winter.
It was 103° Fahrenheit at 9:45AM today and I was out with my new best friend, the arborist from Michigan who works for our realtor’s husband, whacking at three overgrown plum trees. And more. He’s a funny guy with his head on right and a LOT of experience with plants and chopping things down – and you should see him when he gets into a red-ant pile. White people CAN dance! We got him brushed-off real quick though.
Two of the plums shade the narrow driveway entrance, and the other is merely “decorative,” up the hill by the “front-door” – on the cockeyed side of the house. IMHO the house is sited weirdly, based on an equatorial rather than longitudinal sun exposure. Or something.
At some point about five years ago – before the immediate predecessor owners, somebody had made an effort to prune them, but since then nothing whatsoever, and the plants’ interiors had grown into their own wild criss-crossing jungle thicket – and into the overhead power-lines. The artistic hand of the arborist had also been busy and felt at the Dogwood tree-shrub underneath and outside the master bedroom, and we had cut-back its neighboring companion, a leggy verbena, with a seriously hard, high, and tight Marine Corp haircut. We butchered it.
As a certified non-plant person and guaranteed Black Thumb, a lot of this was really kinda new to me. Besides the deadly familiarity with loping shears, I’m not very plant sensitive or green-caring. Don’t ask me to water your petunias or I’ll drown them – if I even ever get around to applying water in any form. A motorcyclist friend who soundly thrashes his bikes to the last inch describes his personal vehicular tendency as a profound lack of “mechanical sympathy.” I’m the same with vegetation and plant-things that purport to “grow.”
Yesterday we were were out there too, but it was only 95° degrees at 8:30AM when I was out digging into the #2 hillock making sure it was not hiding a stump, or gold – but no such luck, it was only a crap-pile of alluvial gravels. Or an old midden-pile. Some of the dirt “clung” together… But no buried treasure.
In fact the little hill looked for all purposes like the dump site for excess crap-dirt that was mostly rock, so I filled the dumper-trailer (TWICE) with such crap-dirt and drove over to fill-in the ankle-breaker hole. Big sweat.
No explanation for the knee-deep, manhole-sized cavity in the prairie, but who knows. Then I bent to work on the second hillock to fill the long rut running along the fence line.
So yesterday’s work included a preliminary whack-job, and the stump grinding. Three of the stumps were so old and dry the simply blew-up, expediting the process. On required actual work – which fortunately was in the shade of the big oak.
And on Sunday before all this got started, I set-up two fresh and clean bluebird houses, on trees facing each other across the prairie. We have a number of bluebirds out in the4 surroundings, and the inch-and-a-half hole is designed to attract them. And they eat a lot of mosquitoes, which is AWESOME.
At 7:00AM I took a rake and some clippers and drove the mower and little dump-trailer out under the biggest oak and gathered dead-fall and debris. I managed to fill the trailer with an assortment of crap and dumped it onto the now-forbidden burn-pile, making a nice nest for rats and other crawly field creatures . Maybe the owls will feast upon them.
By the time I was done I needed another shower. It’s 100-degrees in the shade out there, so rather than contiunue with yardwork I decided to indoorize myself and organize my closet-full of shooty ammo stacked in the various metal lock-boxes.
The older brown Homak box now contains all my Gauge-stuff, plus an assortment of what little (and ancient) .22 I have.
The green Stack-On next to it has all the riflery boolitz; from 5.56 NATO, to .30cal M2-Ball in en-bloc clips and bandoleers, to some recent 7.62 NATO, to .303 British, to .30-40 Krag.
The other green Stack-On has the various pistolery-types, all beginning with a “Four” as directed, commanded, and recommended by so many warrior-ninja magazineers: .45acp, .45Colt, and .44-40 together, with the exception of some of that wimpy FBI-load 158gr. old-school .38Special crap since it’s all handgunnery.
None of that .40S&W stuff and I have no 9mm, but the Gun-Club Picnic is coming up and maybe I’ll win a modern shootin’ iron of a strange and European caliber. Then I might have to expand.
Out the window the breeze in the aspen trees looks pleasantly warm.
I don’t believe there was any “victory” today except for the Zoo-keeper bureaucrats of the Administrative Elite who feed Leviathan. Some people got what they wished-for, and now they’ll get more of it good and hard. Others wail and gnash their teeth, but they are really not on the menu. Now we have a Beast that can lay a golden egg, but we also have a beast that likes omelets. A “Government” that can give you anything you want is one that can AND WILL also take it away – because this monstrosity is made up of little people, predominantly with little ideas of their OWN self-worth and need to enrichen themselves, so rules and laws are bent to the occasion of their needs.
Good thing I’m a weak and twiggy old bald fart with barely enough strength to lift a glass of red wine and not a mighty young-country tree-chopper and oxen-handler or I might have done some real damage.
Still I need the exercise, and the challenge was unmistakable: Man vs. Plant.
My dream of destroying a 100-year old Zinfandel vine out of sheer cussedness in search of gold was also (thankfully) dashed by the evidence uncovered.
My idea of fun does not usually involve raising a drenching sweat before 8:00AM, but then in far-off Cubicle-land the temperature is always the same, an even 78-degrees, not affected by the early scorching hot sun of the lower Western Slope.
So I got the new shovel and dug the flush-cut stumps of something vaguely vine-like with gnarly roots, perhaps a grape?
Fortunately I did not dig far enough or with heavy-equipment to cause serious damage, but now I need one of those caution signs for the yard: “Warning, Do Not Dig” – one is white and the other is yellow.
Also hit a few buried golf-balls. Just a few patches to mow then I learn to use the Echo weed-wacker.
Songs about boots and Wranglers and trucks and cars, even Trans-Am’s – NO songs about bicycles or spandex or Tour de France or Triathlons or what you did in College.
Songs about wet t-shirts and rivers – NO songs about the Environment, elite suburban neuroses, or ways to “save the planet.”
Songs about smoking and drinking, especially drinking – things that are un-popular and un-acceptable among the Trendy Sub-Urbanistas – NO songs about diet and exercise, trans-fats or identity politics.
Songs about the USA, the USA kicking-ass, and the USA having a good time – NO songs about world-citizen social-justice hippie death-fantasies like, “If I had a rocket launcher” or the glories of Socialism.
I like it.