Loco-moco, we get to Work

I was feeling a bit frustrated about things in the garage at the ranch being disheveled and just not in the kind of shape I’d like for-to get ‘er things done. Like cleaning guns for one thing, and my lovely and talented and telepathic wife picked-up on that.
In the morning I awoke to a bunch of fully formed and expressed thoughts as she is wont, entire paragraphs emerge in the space of an eye-blink, while my own brain temperature is barely registering. Coffee! “Lets move the bench and couple of the rolling boxes.” And, I added, “Lets do rocks.”
Earlier on Sunday night in the coolness of the evening and with twelve sacks of tanbark lying around, I laid-out landscape fabric and cleaned up the area under the “pear” tree (“pear” because they are micro-miniatures and inedible and not real fruit except for being annoying – fruit is annoying). Then I started-in and ‘barked it. Looking good!
Likewise at Airport House, in and around the propane tank there was some need to better define the spaces – and by that I mean it needed bigger and more impressive rocks. We have ’em. The small, shoe-box sized, little rocks just lack presence and drama, even piled in a heap. You need some big ones to define the space. So we spent some time yesterday heaving and hauling and moving the big bad-boys – the 60-pounders and such – into more aesthetically pleasing locations and sites. And so We did that again today (this morning) too, and then ‘barked it. Nice!! My back is stronger now and not troubling me, knock on wood.
All done before the heat got-up, at 10:00 it was time for a Costco run.
After that we loaded the 200-lb behemoth 8-foot Gladiator maple-top bench into the back of the F-150, and along with that a tall rolling cabinet, a bunch of crap, and headed to the Ranch. Unloading went faster because things just fall down.
Then lunch at Bricks.
Then another trip the Airport House and a rolly-cabinet – the five-drawer – and back to the Ranch… Phew!!
The other rolling box that was central to my organizing NOW has a drawer for #1.) Motorcyckle stuff, and now a separate #2.) for Woodworking and saws and spikey-pointy-slicy things, and a #3.) for Metal-Shop crap and drill-bits and burning-torch thingy, and finally #4.) a catch-all Bottom Drawer full of all the heavy-heavy stuff, like the crowbar and plumber’s monkey-wrench and a bunch of heavy specialty vises, and the when-will-I-ever-need-it-again grease-gun, loaded with black moly. And clamps…
Done. Phew!
And the biggest challenge of ALL: the forty-drawer (miniature) nut-and-screw organizer-thing for all the weird crap. All the old fastener detritus that I had been neglecting and saving in zip-loc baggies, the weird and unfathomable mechanistic flat-top wood and machine-thread junk… And put them in a new, shiny, plastic same-thing but not stinky organizer. And things like electrical wire-nuts and fuses, and just crap.
And I did it!
Still have to dismantle the pre-existing wood-bench and save the plywood for decking up in the attic and the 2×4’s for various…but I’m on the home-stretch. More or less. There’s still the mud-and-tape and paint – but with mobile garage boxes that’s easy and a separate chore. Time to hit the hay.

Sci-Fi Battle-Fi

Marko’s book came in the mail Sunday on a special delivery from Amazon, but it took me until Monday to crack the cover. It’s a honkin’ good read, lots of the characters I seem to know already. I am at chapter 23 and stayed up past my usual bedtime to get there – it’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see/read what happens next – and what the next book will be like.

Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos

Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos

The Labors of Sisyphus

We got tired of driving out into the country on beautiful, hot, Spring days looking at property, and decided Monday should be a day of rest. But first we got some plants at the nursery. One to fill a “hole” along the property line so the silly neighbor-pooch would stop looking up and yapping-yapping-yapping. And some ground-cover with pretty orange flowers (anything but pink!). Stopped for the “small” (but really quite filling) Greek salad at Wally’s and a glass of local take-the-edge-off chardonnay. The hangover subsides.
And then on the way home with the load from the Front Yard Nursery, while driving past the street-side outcropping I noticed that with all the spring-cleaning yard-work, the hillside retaining logs had shifted adrift. Oops! We also have rocks for that particular Sisyphean task, but here’s a new dimension in holding back the ocean and tides: erosion demands its pound of flesh in splinters and steel.
Underneath the house gathering rust was a small collection of “construction nails” used to build the concrete forms – many with nails still in them. Nails which I removed so they would fit into the pipe-sections that were pounded into the through-holes in the retaining wall logs… And now I needed them since the logs had come adrift and slid partly down the hill.
And with a bit of lifting and pounding (some of the logs were nailed together with big-ass nails) and shifting we got them back into place. Now I have no more giant earth stakes to pound into the ground. I guess I can get more, but they are handy – and now I’m really glad I bought that handy little 8-lb. sledge. Phew!
We’ll do the planting and burlap and re-seeding tomorrow in the AM before it gets too hot.

On another note the big Klipsch speakers are being pushed around by the big soulless diode-driven Yamaha 7.1 surround amp with 90-watts per channel. It’s neat that with all that power you can turn them down to a whisper. Next I’ll hook-up the Sansui-snowflake to the NHT Model-2’s, and I’ll bet they perform well too. Need to get some exotic baddabinga-bongo-bongo rainforest depleting wood-veneer to re-cover the Klipsch mid 70’s toasted-oak – it would be a slick dress-up. And some short hairpin legs, the pedestal stand was hokey in construction and looks.

The Empire Strikes Back

Update from Rick.
Our Overlords and Masters decline to agree with Liberty and the Constitution. Motion for 60 Day Stay in Mance v Holder It seems the Government is determined to fight against protecting our Civil Rights under the Constitution.
What is it about, “Justice delayed is Justice denied?” The wheels of Gov. and Bureaucracy grind slowly and inexorably when it suits them, but swiftly when the takings are ripe.



Civil Action No. 4:14-CV-00539-O


Defendants respectfully move for a stay of the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 11, 2015 [ECF No. 40] for 60 days, in order to allow adequate time for the government to determine whether to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, whether to seek a stay pending appeal. The determination whether to appeal is entrusted by regulation to the Solicitor General of the United States.

See 28 C.F.R. § 0.20(b). The 60 days requested represents a modest amount of time for the Solicitor General to determine whether to appeal, after consultation with the affected governmental components.

See also 28 U.S.C. § 2107(b) (allowing 60 days for filing a notice of appeal when the federal government is a party). No undue prejudice will result to Plaintiffs from the short stay requested, as evidenced by the fact that Plaintiffs have not sought preliminary injunctive relief in this case. For the foregoing reasons, Defendants respectfully urge the Court to enter an order that stays the provisions of its Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 11, 2015 for 60 days, until April 14, 2015. A proposed order is being submitted electronically in Word Perfect-compatible format to the Court’s “Orders” email address.

Dated: February 13, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
JOYCE R. BRANDA Acting Assistant Attorney General
JOHN R. PARKER Acting United States Attorney /s/ Daniel Riess DIANE KELLEHER Assistant Branch Director
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division,
Rm. 6122 20 Massachusetts Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 353-3098
Fax: (202) 616-8470
Email: Daniel.Riess@usdoj.gov
Attorneys for Defendants

Raising the Bar

My 80-something active Mom who never smoked once in her life now needs an oxygen supplement since a bit of invasive avian lung-crud has reduced her blood-oxygen levels, and my 90’something Dad who was once a very able-bodied Midshipman and Annapolis crew-team rower can’t hardly lift a 8-foot 2×4.
They were both into healthy lifestyles and eating right (as Missionaries it boils down to the Scriptural-advice of 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is a temple, don’t put anything bad into it.” ) before it was a fad – but Dad also always eschewed the Jack La Lane life of “Physical Culture” – of the Venice Beach bodybuilder types who did handstands and chin-ups and weightlifting for show, and my own youthful strength training as such was was in swimming and water-polo and bicycling – cyclic, endurance based activities rather than ground-pounding or lifting things.
For one thing, I started early and took Swimming and Polo on purpose, so that I never had to spend another Jr. High moment among the acrid stench of sweat-socks and nasty towels and weird PE teachers ever again. Water with a bit of chlorine was clarifying, clean, and refreshing – even if practice started at 6:00am on cold days rain or shine – and rain was just water in the air. The strength that built lasted a long time, and helped me while tramping around odd places on this wet rock, but time has a way of eroding things and replacing them with gauzy memories.
Now in our second half-century, with my a bunch of trauma-induced University desk-weight lost by She Who Endears Us, we are kicking-away at the side of the pool so to speak, and kicking away from the Groaning Table of fatted-calf sloth and the wretched zombie-life of Cubicleland. It’s reported that Strength itself is a desireable goal, and now is the time to restore our capability – so we’re hefting hand-weights and doing crunches and reading Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, and watching the DVD — and now looking for a bar.
Rippetoe says, “For home gym purposes, a 28.5mm or 29mm bar will be the most durable and provide the best service over time.” As a Pro-Level Capitalist Consumer the advice is blandly generic however, and being totally unfamiliar with the inside of a sweaty-stinky gym I have nowhere to begin and there is no familiar landscape of brand-names to guide me. Do you get the Super-Sumo Yakuza II Japanese bar, or the EinfachGewicht Überheber-3000 machined on an X-Y-Z-axis device from pure Edelstahl on the Continent? I dunno.
The only advice I recognize is, “…expect to pay around $300 for a good bar.” But as a Pro-Level Capitalist Consumer I really hate shopping from the right side of the Menu, you might end up with something inedible. Oh well…and where am I gonna put this stuff, in the garage? What about the motorcycles?
UPDATE: Found it under Resources > Equipment: “We recommend the 20kg Burgener & Rippetoe bar.  Here’s the Guys and here’s the Gals versions.


In the evening  the Low-Grade 101 fever returned.  Feeling dull as dishwater, I attempted to take a nap – and began shivering in bed.  Convulsively.  My neck was cold and with the chest-wall pain there was nowhere to turn, or turn-over and find comfort.  I couldn’t lay flat, I couldn’t lay on either side.  The chills escalated into muscles spasms that yanked at every corner – Yowww!

I understand Fever, it’s your body actively burning off the crud and nasty goop that’s hanging around too long, but what’s with Chills and Shivers?   Is it the semi-passive lymph system trying to shake-off and physically process that cast-off crud and goobers?

I also remember this happened last time after the motocross incident – and it was also after a few days of going around semi-normal but with pain and general listlessness.  Wham!  The chills,  I also remember that after that episode, things all started to march along – it signaled the end of it all and the beginning of an upward curve.  So good, we’ll be all happy-dappy soon enough.

Decided also that the only way to get any sleep would be to  sleep sitting-up, it’s like an airplane with more leg-room. So we got a cushion from the couch and brought it in to the bedroom.  I can do this. More ibuprofen and went to bed with the alarm set to wake me in 5-hours when it was time to take another dose.  Sleep was forthcoming, gradually.

UPDATE: Awoke feeling all chipper and much better.  No chills and the chest-wall was almost sound.  Amazing.  Had a green smoothie and went down to Folsom Kaiser for a past-due eye-exam.  Now that we’re retired it’s all Kaiser all the time.  Could be worse, the facility is unlike the BayAryan one in many-many positive (too me) respects.  Our eyes are 100% and the necessary correction showed improvement – which needed a slight reduction.

Worst thing about the visit was the magazines to read: Hunting & Fishing (I guess we REALLY aren’t in the BayArea!), Home Decor, Airplanes!  Someomne had left an AOPA Pilot magazine to read.  I live near the airport, the little planes fly over, maybe I should learn to fly – besides, with a truck and a motorcycle we really don’t need a second car.  Not gonna live forever and we don’t have any heirs, and certainly not gonna waste good money on Bad Gov.


6.1 Exciter

It seems we DID move far-enough away, and onto a rock outcropping, so we felt nothing and our sleep was undisturbed.   Watching the morning newscast with a hint of panic in the audio, it also seems apparent that some of the news-readers and standup camera-bodies chattering away are not originally from around here – or are so young then don’t remember Loma Prieta, which was 25 years ago.

Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun

rock-work As Old NFO said in comments, I’ve got a work-out goin’ on. We fought the rocks and the rocks won. 86° Fahrenheit yesterday and the hottest day of the year so-far – 16-degrees above average.
We started moving the rocks off the tree roots in preparation for laying down tan-bark – something more gentle on the shrubbery. And the pseudo-curbside had rock-chip in place but the smooth river-rock (known to dirtbike riders as “baby-heads”) only wrapped around a portion of the frontage, stopping at the walkway, so we started filling-in. My little plastic wagon was taxed mightily and has not yet broken despite our efforts, the “dump” feature coming in very handy. We stopped yesterday at about 16-feet of frontage. There’s more roundy-river-rock in places we don’t need or want, but the work is heavy-lifting and we’re takin’ a break.
Rocky-RacoonUPDATE: Back at it – this is morning work, by the time the sun gets way-up there’s no shade.
UPDATE-UPDATE: We’re almost to the sign-post, and other more river-rock is being removed from the driveway edging and elsewhere, the edging replaced by blocky granite hunks…
Update-Update-Update: A beautiful old Stearman in vintage Army Air Corps paint just fluttered-in to land…