Friday, June 17, 2022



Sunday, June 12, 2022

20,000 Days Old

In exactly two days from when this posts I turn 20,000 days old, on Tuesday the 14th at 8:20 p.m. local time.   This is posted ahead of time due to the emails can take a couple days to go out now, but at least they're still going out.

Aside from being a nice round number this doesn't mean much of anything, except maybe that I like numbers.  I've had this site saved for some time and I look at it once in a while.  A couple months ago I looked and noticed I had this milestone coming up, and they also have a widget for a countdown so I added that in the right column of the website at that time.  Not sure if it will stop or go negative when it gets there.

I have an aunt that created this painted plaster memento for my parents after my birth and this is how I recalled what time I was born.  I know she signed up to get the emails several years ago, and her email still shows as active so I hope she's still getting them.  Thank you, Aunt M! 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Two Mow May

No Mow May was a two mow May for me, plus some thatching and seeding and pulling weeds.  Many in this area subscribed to the aforementioned idea gladly, I think, whereas I guess I like it tidy.  I did notice most of the lawns that were left to grow were a high percentage of non-grass, and I'm sure dandelions and other flowering weeds are better for the pollinators than grass that's gone to seed.

I had the thought of taking a walk and collecting pictures of those tall lawns but, like Halloween, I decided not to photograph others' properties.  This was a few days into June so some had been cut already, anyway.  We did happen across this neighbor who appeared to be struggling to get the mower through the tall grass and weeds and I just couldn't resist trying to get a stealthy shot.  I know they succeeded eventually, but it really looks hacked up.

Did you let your lawn grow all May? 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Trail Cam and Updated Walk Pictures

Due to random piles of poop and unusual snow tracks we decided some time ago to buy an inexpensive trail camera to see what interesting creatures would inhabit our back yard when we weren't around.  I just have it strapped to the back stairs right now, you can catch a glimpse of where it is at the end of the Eeyore video I posted the other day.  It has captured trees waving in the breeze and my wife or I doing yardwork, grilling or just walking around back there.  But so far the most interesting thing it's captured is this gathering of local fauna performing a native fire ritual on Friday night.

It also took several before the night vision took over, but the black and white looks more dramatic here.  This is the only night vision pic (not video) that everyone was clearly present and could be seen.  I'm still figuring out what the best settings would be, and at the same time I'm hoping I do and don't capture something interesting or unusual in our yard.

*     *     *

Five weeks ago I posted pictures of a nearby greenway before the plants, grasses and trees began to grow and fill in.  At the time, it was noted how the views would not be visible when that happened and also that it would be interesting to compare.  Today we walked that way again so I actually remembered and got some similar pictures to show that difference.  All those are after the break!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Drop Ceiling and Clean Glass

I caved and started up the furnace yesterday afternoon.  It was pretty chilly in the house and I do like to be comfortable, and just a few degrees made a world of difference.  The heat was turned off again first thing this morning, hopefully for at least 5 or 6 months this time.

So today being a much nicer day and windows open again, it was time to get back to work on the drop ceiling in the porch.  They had been there for a long time and, especially the full-size tiles, had quite a sag in the middle, not to mention cracks and old water stains.  I removed all the old full size tiles last weekend so I could get them in the garbage, but the old tiles around the edges that will need to be cut to size remained.  As the 128-second video starts you'll see me remove them before going to the garage to cut the new piece.  To do the room would take 15 tiles so I bought 17, just in case since they were pretty cheap.  Toward the end you'll see me doubling up a couple so they're stashed up there in case anything happens and one is needed in the future.  

All in all, it went pretty smooth and quicker than I thought it would.  And too bad the camera was just a little too high to catch Hamish, who watched me do most of it from the top of the cat tree.

After the tiles I had to try to get that glass door clearer.  Thanks for the suggestions, we always have a good supply of vinegar here.  One other thing I forgot is that over winter we had one of those humidifiers that creates a fine mist but also creates a fine film on everything.  I cleaned all the other windows in the house as soon as the weather allowed, but did not do the sliding glass door at that time.  

The first picture is the 'before,' with two panes of glass on the left, one in the middle and none on the right.

This second picture is the 'after,' cleaned twice with vinegar and newspaper.  Much more clear than they were, yet still a bit cloudy.

Up close in the third pic you can see the spots still on the cleaned windows, one kind or side of the glass spots is visible more along the top and the other kind/side below, but throughout the picture and all over the glass.  It was like this when we bought the house and I still can't clean it off, but it's better than it was so I probably won't think about it again until fall when it is time to clean them again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Eeyore In The Rain

My wife is an Eeyore fan and acquired this stuffed singing version many years ago.  Seemed an appropriate thing to do today.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Plant Day and Vacation

Slightly cooler weather has made us have the windows shut for several days now and maybe until the weekend, but that didn't stop us from the spring ritual of getting some decorative plants to put around the house yesterday.  We put two hanging plants out front to go along with the big pot, just a few for the stump area since the stump is rotting away, and a couple more plants for the garden.

We always used to put a hanging plant on a shepherd's hook by the back stairs, but that area is full sun all day and was pretty harsh on most things we put there.  We talked about putting it by the garage door, but at the bottom of the front steps seemed like a better idea and nice to add more color there.

Only 3 pots on the stump this year.  My wife also floated the idea of just sprinkling seeds on the decaying stump, and that might still happen.  I'm okay with less pots here this year, was less plants to have to pick out and hopefully less issues with squirrels digging them up.  I checked for that first thing this morning.

And my wife added basil and parsley to the garden, where she's already planted a tomato, pepper and a couple other plants and rows of seeds.  Only two garlic survived the winter, and we're pretty sure that's due to the the constant freezing and thawing last fall and early winter, so the rest just rot in the ground.  Meanwhile, we got a fence around the strawberry plants a bit late to keep many from getting eaten, and the raspberries are starting out well.

Saturday began a stretch of 10 days off work for me, and sorely needed.  I don't talk here about work much, and for a reason, but I can say that I've really not been happy for some time now.  Change may happen soon, by my choice or maybe even theirs the way things have been going.  But this is my vacation now, so I wish I could get it out of my head.

A week or so ago I was discussing painting the porch with my wife, and that project got lowered to the bottom of the list.  We decided to just replace the ceiling tiles for now, and I picked those up this morning.  Later in the week I'll do more with those as most will require cutting to size.  

So on Saturday morning we got started on the computer room.  We had a television that wasn't being used, so I got a wall mount and put it up above the computer desk.  This will be used for watching sports, concerts and other programs while I work or otherwise use the computer.  We then proceeded to move most everything out of the room, turned the rug, then cleaned and rearranged a bit as we put it all back.  The result is a bit more space in the room, and a computer desk that even more resembles a cockpit or some sort of command center with now three 32-inch screens.  I also have some decorative baskets ordered that will arrive today to make some areas look more organized.

So aside from ceiling tiles I have a few more small projects and chores to get done this week.  Should be just enough to keep me busy when I want to be with plenty of time to rest, relax and pursue whatever else I may fancy that day.

I do have one question to pose.  Our sliding glass door is very old and cleaning it with regular glass cleaner just doesn't get it very clear.  Does anyone have any hints on how to get old glass clear again?

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Spring Yard Work

Since the last post, trees are filling out nicely and the flowerbed plants are getting fuller.  We had a stretch of very high temperatures so we went from having the heat on to the air conditioning in just a day or two, but now things appear they will remain seasonable.  Comfortable temperatures and open windows, I hope it lasts for as long as it can.

On a recent walk I noticed one lone tulip sticking up out of an empty lot.  A year or two ago I posted a picture of a sign on a house that was about to be torn down, this is that lot now.

Been a productive weekend but productivity is almost done at this early hour on Sunday.  I got a lot done yesterday - no mow May is now one mow May so far for me now - and went to bed late and very tired.  Woke up at 10:00 (!) and had to run and get a grocery pickup order, then cleaned up and got to work on half the front yard.  Thatching is hard work, so only half as I want to see how this grass seed and fertilizer works to improve that lawn.  It looks okay from the street, but when I see it out the window the thatch and bare spots were very noticeable.

After writing this I may get out the chainsaw and cut up some wood from neighbor Dave, a black walnut branch that fell and a dead lilac bush he cut down, as he was kind enough to save them for my fire pit.  Then at 2:30 the Bucks have a game 7 playoff game to watch and that will be the end of my productivity for the weekend.

As I was writing this a local restaurant showed up with a food order that I hadn't ordered.  We did order from them last night and got it last night, but the exact same order came today.  I discussed with the driver, verified I didn't get charged again, he said 'enjoy!' and handed it off.  So I guess I'll have something to eat during the game now, but I will continue to monitor that I don't get charged twice or else I'll have to make a phone call.

Last night I had a fire for just the second time so far this Spring.  I didn't really plan on it ahead of time, but the conditions were good so I went ahead.  I don't have the same compulsion to have a fire as I used to.  In 2020 I had nothing else, we were newly holed up at home day and night and not going out at all so I turned to the firepit.  I went through a whole lot of wood that year.  In 2021 it was better in that there were times we did go out and about, so I still had fires but not as often.  This year it's back to normal, I guess, so lifestyle and just being able to go out more freely again has lessened my need for this escape.

The game starts in an hour so I'm going to get some wood cut before settling in for the game and relaxing the rest of the day.  Cheers, everyone.