Happy New Year – 154.3 % of “Normal”

Starting Thursday night with a couple of inches, the rainfall intensified Friday with three-plus more, until the evening when it really started to come down. Saturday we got over five-and-a-half inches, and at one point my little bridge was nearly submerged. The deluge began to ease-off in the afternoon and evening when we only got a few more inches.

Sunday we were about as relieved as Noah after his forty-day flood, since the drainage did it’s thing overnight!

Others were not so lucky, like my truck-mechanic over the hill to the right, who had six inches of standing water in his business. He gathered a crew of thirty friends, neighbors, and family and spent Sunday and Monday cleaning it out and drying out.

Lucky Dog!

We went down to the dog-lawn and she rolled in clover, literally! Good thing, because she was exhibiting fear and anxiety about coming up the steep deck steps – it had become a challenge, and we wanted to ease that, so I built a ramp :

12’ Dog Ramp

After a bit of shopping at Home Depot for a couple 12’ long 2”x4”s and some traction enhancing rug material, we drove home and I got out the saw (and screw-driver/gun, and impact-drill) – and got to work. It took about an hour and a half – done by 11:00AM.

Indian Summer

The Sun is coming up later, and the days are getting shorter (by 2 minutes and 23 seconds), but this week a ridge of high pressure over Vegas and a Jet-Stream turned up into Canuckistan means it’s gonna be hot up here. Not as bad as The Valley, but I need to get more block-ice for the doggie pool.

Weird Weather

It’s 3:00PM and 102-degrees Fahrenheit, with overcast/high clouds – and just 14% humidity (and dropping). This is just weird, but better than yesterdays 105-degrees. The clouds offer some benefit I guess, they must reduce the temperature with no added humidity. It was 70-degrees when I got up at 6:00AM so it never really cooled-off overnight. Doggy doesn’t quite know what to do about it, while I add block-ice to her pool to keep things cool, and she enjoys her favorite pop-up sprinkler when it magically comes on.


Awoke at 5:40 to the ping-ting…of rain hitting the downspout! Then it really started to come down. The dog is curious about this sky-water stuff, and annoyed at all the noise on the deck canopies. I put my rubber boots and raincoat on – and my Stetson – and we went for a sniff around the field. It does smell weird and a bit “tangy.” It’s been a long couple-three weeks of in the upper 90’s and 100’s temperatures, so this cool morning is unexpectedly welcome!

Log Rack Fail

What’s wrong with this picture? The log-rack is in position and I spent Friday afternoon moving the fresh-cut logs from the two trees onto the rack, plus some kindling sized sticks from the birches and wrist-sized pine branches. Also the rack bolted up easily and without requiring any instructions. The bolt were all there and the same size, and it was clear what to do.

So the next day (yesterday), I pushed the wagon around and began loading more logs from behind the shed to out-front where they are more easily accessible. I noticed one end of the old planter bed was damp from the irrigation that I thought was turned-off at that site, and as I loaded the rack with heavy dried oak it began to list to starboard until it was about ready to go under. Whooops!! Torpedoeed by the soggy U-boat!

I had a few terrace blocks out where the water tank used to be, and I plagiarized another two from the spillway-dam that I intend to re-rebuild with larger block (and in a more harmonious crescent-shape instead of the lumpy “D” shape it currently configures). When I laid the level on it, the length and with, the bubble landed near perfectly! Damn! How did I do that? Anyhow it’s not tipping over anymore.

Chips Are In

Sunday the guy came to take down the messy silk-tree and one other unidentified tree along the top of the embankment. He had a F-550 with a dumper box and his own chipper – YAY! for entrepreneurship!
Both trees were about 12-inches across and some 20-odd feet tall. They blocked the afternoon sunlight and my neighbors’ view of the far hillside, and make a general cleanup mess while not providing useful shade or much else, and at the same time growing into each other. Time for them to go. Now I got an extra hour of daylight.

He was pretty quick and effective, first with the pole saw then the chainsaw, and left us with a bunch of logs and a giant pile of chips – like a yard-and-a-half or more.
This morning, in the cold morning air, we started raking and shoveling the chips into my yard-wagon. He had dumped the chips on the far side of the driveway that was covered in weeds, so this should kill those weeds – and there was enough to load wagon after wagon and create a thick layer of chip-stuff all the way down to and around the propane tank. Yay!

Meanwhile Saturday was Gunsmithing-day. I swapped-out the stock mainspring and trigger springs in both Vaqueros with Wolff replacement springs – which took a bit of learning. The first one took about an hour as I read the Kuhnenhausen manual and tried to figure out the things to be careful-of, like the pawl spring/plunger assembly and the trigger spring plunger assembly…and then getting that put back correctly. The gun doesn’t work right until the cylinder is back in, so you don’t really know if you got it right, and twice I had to flip-around the hammer-strut. Oh well.
Then it was the turn of the 10/22 for a Nordic Components extended mag latch(for my big fingers), and a Volquartsen extractor and the Volquartsen automatic bolt-release. The gun comes apart easily enough and the pins practically drifted themselves out, but I struggled a bit with the bolt-handle guide-rod/recoil-spring assembly and the way it fits onto the bolt in the receiver race. Eventually it went in correctly.