Sunday, July 15, 2018

Meet The New Job, Same As The Old Job

20180714_210611I've never really discussed my job here on purpose, but I have mentioned over the last year or more how unhappy I was and that I was searching for another position.  Well, I finally found that other position - and with my current employer instead of starting over someplace else.  Last Monday I accepted a job that I used to have several years ago but was forced to leave the department back then due to the company losing a contract.  Technically, it is a lower position, and even though I was prepared to take a pay cut I will continue at my current rate, which is very nice. 

I begin my new job a week from tomorrow, and I can hardly wait.  It feels like a weight is being lifted from me.  I'll be working with most of the same group that I did back then, and that may be the best part as they are lovely people.  Making it through this last week in my current position will be the tough part.  Hopefully, less stress and worry will improve all facets of my life and I'll just be an overall happier person.  That's the goal, anyway.

I would love to elaborate, but this is not a place for me to discuss work.  I want my life outside of work to be free of thinking about work, and that includes sharing too much about it here. 

The picture has nothing to do with this, it was just my view last night as I sat by the fire.  It's just so nice and calming, watching the flames and getting lost in thought...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

American Idiot in the UK

If you haven't heard, there is a campaign in the United Kingdom to make the song American Idiot, by the band Green Day, number one on the UK charts to coincide with President Trump's visit.


I'm laughing already but I'll love it if it actually hits number one!

Friday, July 6, 2018


20180706_154629As of today I have enough firewood to last us for quite some time.  I've said earlier that the wood I scavenged won't be near enough with this new fire pit, so I looked online to buy some firewood in bulk rather than piecemeal and save some time, money and worry.  I'll still scavenge the downed limbs I see on the curbs when convenient but having enough on hand is comforting.  First of all, I planned ahead and ordered a rack for the firewood that arrived last week, assembled it last weekend (it can be glimpsed empty over at the last garden blog entry), and have it placed along the fence line near the fire pit, both for convenience and it was only one of two places seriously considered for the rack.

I found several places in my search for firewood, most similarly priced, but settled on this one.  I contacted them and ordered a face cord, 4' x 8' x 16" of stacked and split wood, 1/3 of a full cord.  It cost 159 dollars for kiln-dried mixed hardwoods, and it was delivered today while I was at work.  It took my wife and I the better part of an hour, but we got it all stacked, stored, and swept up.  The rack is 4' x 8' but the bottom is off the ground quite a bit so it wouldn't hold all the wood.  You can see some placed to the left that will be used up first, and also about the same amount as that in the garage with the other fire wood.  I also bought a 17" splitting axe to make bigger pieces smaller.  Yes, for firewood I'm all in at about 280 bucks for the wood, rack and axe.  The fire pit is about 170 bucks all in with accessories.  Um, maybe I shouldn't think of the money.

20180706_184548But it was very worth it for me, with my wife's support, to not worry about how much I'm burning or having to pick up smaller, more expensive bundles of wood for the rest of the year.  From what I scavenged last year I have enough for probably 2 conservative fires, now it's a worry I don't have and won't for some time.  Plus, just the enjoyment and how much more often and easily we can relax around a back yard fire pit is priceless.

Come on over.  Sit by the fire.  Let's talk awhile.  It usually ends up pretty okay!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Another (Last?) Bucky

As I ran errands the other day I saw the Bucky at Olbrich Park right by the road so I pulled off and took a few pictures.  This one is called Hip Buckster.  I almost didn't stop as the novelty has worn off for me.  See, I'd been using this picture of the Bucky "Grow" as a background on my computer at work recently.  A co-worker noticed and we briefly talked about it before this wanna-be goody-two-shoes pig we work with started gushing about collecting the Buckys.  This pig has complained about me and others several times at work, sometimes getting me into trouble, but is always so nice to me when she needs help or has a question.  I am disgusted with (and by) her and want nothing to do with her anymore and she pretty much knows it.  Since that original conversation she seems to have to bring it up to the group any time her family gets another one.  She disgusts me enough that it has seemed to ruin this for me, so I don't think I'll be going out of my way for any more.  I now have the four that are in my area, that's good enough for me.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Over 2 Days Offline - I'm Back!

20180629_172809I'm back!  Boy, I hate to say it, but I depend on the internet more than ever.  Wednesday I was off work for a medical procedure (befitting my latest age milestone), and that afternoon I had internet one minute and not the next.  After calling the ISP, they could see we could send and receive but there was no internet there for us.  Tonight a couple technicians came out, and after replacing some cables, connections and splitters, and also doing the same on the pole outside (seen here), we have internet back.  They don't even know what fixed it, but it's working again and I'm happy.

When I was young I used to know the television schedule for all 3 channels and what I liked every night of the week.  These days I read and watch what I choose on the internet and mostly use the television for news in the mornings, sports events, and just for background noise.  Plus, we have the living room lights, Petcube and Alexa gadgets that we use - all dependent on the internet and wifi.  We've had our phones, but it isn't nearly the same and uses up data, so it's good to be back in the 21st century!

Another thing to note, my wood rack arrived today.  I bought an 8' by 4' rack to hold a face cord of split firewood.  I have to put it together and plan on placing it between the lilac area and the tree stump area along the fence line by neighbor Dave.  Once complete, I will order a face cord of mixed hardwoods from a place I found for 150 bucks, delivered.  I still plan on scavenging wood to burn, and have already done so, but buying some firewood will make that urgency much less and we can have a fire, big or small, whenever we like without worrying about running out of wood or overpaying for small bundles at convenience stores.  This will just make for more relaxed and better fire pits, and that is just as it should be.  But not tonight, after the hottest day of the year so far!

Monday, June 25, 2018

On The Lake

Sunday we got out on Terry's boat for the first time this season (thanks Terry!).  It was a beautiful day out, bright and sunny though some clouds moved in later.  Not soon enough for me as I got a little more sunburned than I expected.  I was hoping to get a little color so took it easy on the sunblock and by that evening had turned a nice lobster color, especially my arms.  The water is high on Madison's chain of lakes, but there was not a 'no wake' rule on Lake Mendota like the other lakes, I've heard.


I don't feel like writing a whole lot right now, but as always, I took lots of pictures, the best of which are after the break. Do come take a look, but mind your step!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

One Minute Of Peace II

Just because it was so nice.                                                         The first One Minute Of Peace here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Big Stinky Flower


Thursday morning it was on the news that Olbrich Botanical Gardens had another corpse flower that was ready to bloom.  Yesterday morning they reported that it was in peak bloom, so while at work I decided I would stop by on the way home to see it and, of course, get pictures to share here.  I hear of this every few years, and they do have 4 of the plants so that makes sense because they only bloom every 7-10 years, I've just never taken the time to go see it before.

As I mentioned earlier, Olbrich has one of the 4 Buckys that are nearby so, while I had momentarily forgotten that fact, I couldn't miss it outside of the Bolz Conservatory, where the big stinky flower was.  This Bucky is simply titled 'Grow,' which is apt for where it is.  That's 3 Buckys down and only 82 more to go!  Realistically, we'll just have to wait and see how many I 'collect' by summer's end.  The next one will most likely be across the street from here at Olbrich Park.  Speaking of which, we have not been to the biergarten yet this year, but have heard that it is really very popular this summer.

20180615_154613Taken from Olbrich's websiteAmorphophallus titanum (Titan Arum), also known as the Corpse Flower, will only bloom four to five times during its 40-year life. Titan Arum are best known for their unpleasant odor - comparable to rotting meat.  This particular Corpse Flower, affectionately called Mori (which is the Latin word for "death") is an offspring of the Big Bucky Corpse Flower at UW-Madison, and last bloomed at Olbrich in 2009. The flower will only last a few days before it closes.

When I arrived there was hardly a place to park.  I was hoping to beat the after work crowd but there was people everywhere, mostly in the display and gift shop areas.  It was a two dollar donation to get into the conservatory and the lady informed me before I paid that the bloom had closed about a half hour beforehand.  No matter, I was there so I was going to go see it.  Thankfully there wasn't the lines like she said was there during the day and the day before that so I was able to pretty efficiently get in, see it, smell it, get some good pictures and be on my way in about 15 minutes or so.  I have been in the conservatory before but it has been probably since the early to mid 90's, shortly after the conservatory was opened if I remember right, I've been outside in the gardens a little more often.  This visit was a good reminder to get back sooner, and we really have no excuse with it being easily within biking distance.  And in wintertime the conservatory would be a great place to go when you're missing summer.

I managed to take quite a few pictures in that short amount of time so there's lots more to see after the break!