Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th!

Happy holiday, everyone!  If you're like me, though, you're probably just staying at home.  The pandemic has made a comeback yet I see more and more people out and about and not wearing masks.  Alas, will it ever end?

I've been out by the fire the last two evenings despite the heat and humidity.  If I go out shortly before sunset both are falling so it actually isn't as bad as you'd think it would be, sitting by a roaring fire.  Maybe I sat a bit further back from it, but no other issues - except mosquitoes.  They have fully arrived now and will be with us for the duration of the summer.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!

Friday, July 3, 2020

More Firewood

Today, almost exactly two years after I got my first face cord of firewood we had our second one delivered.  I looked at a couple places online but wound up going with the same place I used last time.  While it was a little more expensive than last time, $159 then and $179 now, it was still cheaper than other places and I already know the wood is good.  Again, I got kiln-dried mixed hardwoods; Oak, Cherry, Hickory and Walnut - but I know I saw some of the higher-end Birch in there as well.  It all makes for good burning.  In the picture, the small pile on the left with the weathered ends is what is left of the old firewood, the pile next to it won't fit on the rack and is mostly odd shaped pieces that will be burned first, after the old stuff.

Before it got here I moved the last bit of the old firewood and set about leveling the rack a little bit.  Thankfully that was quick and easy because it is and has been very hot and humid.  I didn't know when it was going to get here, but I hoped sooner than later because storms are predicted late afternoon/early evening, and kiln-dried wood should be covered, I'm told.  The driver was a nice guy who used to work for the Milwaukee Bucks and I happened to have a Bucks t-shirt on.  He regaled me with funny and interesting stories about some players and the former owner, Senator Herb Kohl, as he unloaded the wood in the driveway.

My wife was away at her dad's so I set about getting it stacked right away.  It was a good workout, for all but my aching back.  Thankfully I didn't injure it, but it is very tired right now.  We'll see how much I stiffen up later.  I loaded the wheelbarrow from my knees and had a lawn chair by the rack to avoid bending so much, and it seemed to help.  I lost track of how many wheelbarrow's full it took to get the job done, but it's more than it looks, I assure you.  It took a little over an hour, and by the end I was tired and drenched in sweat, but it will be worth it for the next two years.  Still, what a way to start the holiday weekend.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Firepit Timelapse

I've been playing with some camera features on my new phone.  I did a time lapse of my fire last night, but this first one I did two weeks ago was better.  Enjoy the fire with me.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

LLP Bonus - Body Count's No Lives Matter

I read yesterday that Body Count just released their 2017 song No Lives Matter to radio.  I had forgotten about this song, especially since they released a newer album earlier this year so when I have listened recently it has been the new one.  Interestingly, I have to choose when I listen to this band as it is pretty angry music and can affect my mood.  I stopped listening to it when I'm at work, for example.

So the Black Lives Matter movement is almost 7 years in (per google) and going strong.  There are still protests here in Madison every day but thankfully I've not heard of any recent violence.  After it all blew up here at the end of last month all the stores at downtown gathering spot State Street had their windows boarded up, broken or not.  Then they had scores of local artists in to paint the plywood, trying to make it a little nicer to look at while being safer for the businesses.  Since then there have been marches down main roads and major highways all over town.

It's not surprising to me that Madison got so involved.  We have a large black population and made our own national news when a white Madison police officer killed local black teenager Tony Robinson in 2015.  The protests then were very much like they are now, and may continue to happen until some tangible change takes place.  Police do a vital service protecting us, but people should only be judged by their actions and not pre-judged, or 'profiled,' by their color, and there is a line that should not be crossed where the force used no longer equals the infraction.

You don't have to like the music to watch the video, but I would recommend at least listening to what Ice-T has to say for the first 40 seconds.  Better yet, listen to the song, hear the lyrics, the anger.

Body Count - No Lives Matter 

I don't have the answers, and I don't march, I don't yell.  I just try to be the best me, behave accordingly, and be aware of the things I can change.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Tropical Puppy*

It's not often we get a tropical storm here in Wisconsin, but that's what's going to happen soon.  Pretty much straight up from the Gulf of Mexico.  I guess it's just called a tropical depression now, but it is muggy and overcast, and the rain is supposed to start in a few hours or so.  At least it looks better than yesterday when it showed Madison as directly in the path, now it looks like it will go west of us slightly, the center anyway.  I think the storm had a name but I can't think of it now for the life of me.*

Should be interesting, I like a good storm.  It seems the big thunderstorms often fall apart as they approach Madison, perhaps due to the lakes, I'm not sure.  I don't want to see damage or anything, but otherwise I hope it's a good show.

On a cuter note, last weekend our friend Terry stopped over for a bit with her brand new 8 week old puppy.  She named him Karma, and I can't help but hope that doesn't come back to bite her!  Figuratively speaking, of course.  Very small, very cute and very much not welcomed by Hamish the hissy cat!

*Former tropical storm Cristobal.  No wonder I forgot the name.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Hamish and the New Fountain

While the cats were napping yesterday their new water fountain arrived.  They get pretty finicky with their old water fountain when it gets the slightest bit dirty, and it's a huge, heavy, awkward ceramic thing, so I thought I'd try to find a cheap and lighter alternative that may also be easier to clean.  We do worry about them drinking enough water, and Basil has had all his urinary tract issues, so the hope is they will drink more water now.  I got it all set up, and managed to capture a very cautious Hamish as he discovered it.  So while I'm posting videos today, here's another.  I even added suspenseful music quietly in the background.

Both cats seem to have taken to it well, so it will be moved to the landing where the other one is now and the old one will be stored or donated.

F-16 Flyby

Just got lucky and caught an F-16 out the window.  They're really flying today!  Though we see them almost daily lately, it's hard to be in position to get them on video.  Speaking of video, I'm trying the blogger version instead of uploading to Youtube since it's so short.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Nationwide Protests, Again

This is big.  This ain't right.  This is tonight, here in Madison.