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.

Daylight Justice


Happy Daylight Savings! 81-degrees here at the Ranch yesterday, but I’m in direct sun and kinda down in a hollow out of the wind. The swamp is slowly drying but the spring is still running.

UPDATE: 85-degrees out on the pasture today and the rat-pile of sticks and leaves I had raked-up under the big oak needed disposing, so I rolled the green-waste bin down across the grass and around the swampy parts and shoveled it full until I could barely move the damn thing. Phew!

Sun! (and travel)

The bi-polar weather around here is amazing, with a big difference between the Western Slope and the Bay – but the days are getting longer by the minute, and daffodils are in bloom everywhere up here, including on The Embankment at the Ranch.
Drove down Tuesday and spent part of Wednesday with Dad until he got tired of me being there, literally. We spent the evening wading into the piles of paperwork on the kitchen table, figuring out the different accounts and how the money flowed, and sending email notices to far-flung friends. I grilled a steak on my grill-pan that I had brought with me, and it turned out very nice. We talked as we went through the papers, and we choked-up only a few times.
He went to bed early while I stayed up till about 11:00PM when I found a missing link to one past-due billing notice (Mom was correct and they have to fix it), and the soon-due Property Tax bill.
In the morning I got up at 6:00 and went down-stairs to dig-out the coffee-maker and brew a small pot of coffee – and I kept at the paperwork: medical stuff into one stack, billing statements and receipts into another, and Tax documents into a separate basket – and to-shred stuff into a large bin. Dad got up around 7:00 and said it was the first time he had been able to sleep-in that late in years.
We went into the living room and more cleanup began, mostly of old India stuff, but including a discussion about the old derelict 90’s-era TV in the corner which he wanted removed, and identified a few more things to haul-out: an old broken printer and a non-functional garage-sale “shredder” of the old “strip-style” that Mom had acquired. We got the property tax bill written-out and just needed two things – stamps and a working shredder. So we went to Costco.
He used the cart as a walker helping to keep upright in the bright outdoor sunshine, moving from the truck to the brightly lit and bustling interior, but the input of sensations and the effort was a bit much and he got tired. We paused and sat on a metal bench by the Pharmacy. He noted how the powder-coated metal bench would leave grill-marks on your ass after a short sit-down and was NOT the kind of memorial bench we might get for Mom… With a stamp on the bill we went to a late lunch at the Fishmarket, we both got the light-eater’s plate, skewer of rockfish with sliced tomatoes. He mentioned that I might run into traffic traveling home, and I said, “So you had enough of me?” I think I just wore him out, so we took our leftovers and went home.
I loaded the truck with the heavy old 30″ tube-TV and the other stuff, threw a tarp over it, said our good-byes and drove off, wading into the awful-awful terrible BayAryan afternoon rush-hour traffic. At 3:45 It was a parking lot all the way through Milpitas, and my gas gauge showed 1/4 tank as I rolled along at 10mph for mile after mile. Got to Pleasanton and filled-up and hit the road again where things were marginally better, 30mph-ish with bursts up to 50mph. This is awful “togetherness” is shit I do not miss. Eventually things cleared up even more in the EastBay, and getting over the bridge at Benicia the traffic was flowing pretty good at 75mph and better all the way past Dixon, through Davis where the cops were out ticketing (two cars), across the flooded Yolo Bypass, through the dismal bustle of Sacramento, and up into the hills to home at 7:45.

Snow!

The Blessings of Snowflakes gently falling. Not unusual for the rest of you Americans, but it snowed yesterday and now it’s snowing this morning – something that the multicultural California BayAryans would not see or enjoy.
Had a bit of a panic with Dad over the weekend prompted by my Drama Queen sister, but he’s OK and I’m going to mosey down one of these days for a visit and to help out around the house, when we get a decent weather-window in the forecast.

First Cut

Got the pasture cut to about 50-feet deep, 200-fet wide, at 3-inches-tall. Went and scraped-away at some brown spots and threw some grass seed onto it and mulch from the cut. There’s a lot more actual “grass-grass” than weed-stuff since I did a seeding in the fall and it seems to have sprung-up! Put one bag of Weed-and-Feed in the spreader and combined it with a bag of Turf-Builder/crab-grass killer, and made cutting passes until I ran out. Just enough.
We’re down to just to the fringe of the swamp. Glad Trump un-signed the ridiculous EPA US Waterways power-grab, now I am free! And it’s still not navigable. But we’re optimistic that we can Make the Pasture Great Again!
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10-day

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So we got a week of clear-lookin’ weather and the Climate Pundits are panicking that the increased temperatures will accelerate the snow-melt and the Great Deluge will begin all over again. Perhaps they should have thought about that and the condition of the dams and levees before wasting a wad on the High-Speed Choo-Choo to Nowhere vanity-project.
10-day

I went to work fixin’ the other AR to depressing CA-spe and regain a functioning magazine release without the previously approved Bullet-Button. The Magpul Mossberg-SGA shotgun-stock (with a slightly longer bolt) hooked up to the Exile Machine Buttstock adapter and handles OK. Yeh it’s goofy looking but comfortable enough – and the Bravo Company backing-plate has a QD point on it so it hangs off the sling fine. I just had to move the light around to the other side so I could activate it without the now evil vertical fore-grip. Meh. There’s no end in sight to ideological stupidity in the One-Party Politburo Stupidslature, which is why we want out of California and form the 51st State of Jefferson! Yea-haw! If CA attempts to secede we are the best antidote – a new Red State, easily as viable as Idaho.
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