Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Squirrel Proof

Yesterday I mentioned how all squirrels are bastards.  Today there is more proof of that statement.  Absolute strawberry destruction.

Monday, May 26, 2014

'Helicopter' Season Began Today

You know, the winged seeds of maple trees.  Now they'll literally be all over the house and yard for a few weeks.  The squirrel bastards* will feast, and even plant or hide many in the lawn and garden.  I'll have to clean the gutters again when it is over.  I also saw the first signs of the cottonwood tree's spring presence today.  I have no idea where the cottonwood trees are around here, but we are aware of them every spring.  We got a little rain and wind this evening and, if you look closely at the picture, every dot in that sky is a 'helicopter.'
 Actually, this isn't so much of a complaint as it is an acknowledgement of our particular rites of spring, living where we do.  After all, so many events occur only briefly every season, especially in the springtime.  We really have to remind ourselves sometimes to try to appreciate these events for the wonder that they are.  And also sometimes be thankful they are only for a limited time...

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*My latest conclusion is that all squirrels are bastards.  They seem to dig up or get into everything eventually. 

Memorial Day 2014

Happy Memorial Day!  Sounds odd, what's so happy about a memorial?  Most people are just happy to have a three day weekend.  Work on project list - check, grill out - check, gardening - check, see friends - check.

No matter how much fun you have or how lazy you feel, take a moment and remember why you have the extra day off.  There's my public service announcement.

Now, I was looking for something to post this morning but nothing stood out.  Oh, there's tons of flags and headstone pictures out there, with all types of reverent sayings on them, but I was looking for something more relevant to us.  I had to go out this morning, and I remember seeing them starting to set up the 'memorial mile' the other day, so I thought I would try to get a picture while driving down Atwood Avenue.  There are similar displays of death all across the country this weekend, this is Madison's, in Olbrich Park which is right on Lake Mendota.

I wound up taking a video of the entire mile.  It goes too fast to read, but the signs say things like '2009 Afghanistan,' followed by a headstone for each life lost.  Turn down your speakers!  The road noise is a bit much.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Recent Music Interests

I've seen a couple music videos over the last several months of bands that, well, I like them but I guess not really enough yet to give them a Latest Listening Pleasure post.  Or in this first case, Die Antwoord, they've already been featured in one of my LLP posts, plus several other posts since I first posted about them in early 2010, before I even had LLP posts as a thing.
Also the newest video posted here tonight, this is Die Antwoord - Pitbull Terrier.

Next is an old almost favorite kind of thing.  Let me say that I don't like Skid Row, but I do like Sebastian Bach.  I don't know why, but hey, I like Rick Springfield sometimes, too.  Here's my favorite of Bas' latest videos from his recent release:  Sebastian Bach - Taking Back Tomorrow.

Then there is the band Ektomorf, that I first learned of while on vacation on the Alabama coast earlier this year while perusing Blabbermouth on my Mom's ipad.  They've gotten my attention and kept it, so there is something I like.  Ektomorf - Numb and Sick.

Another recent liking is a band that had a few albums in the early-mid nineties and recently reformed for another album. I'd never heard of them before, and I'm not terribly crazy about the album as a whole, but I do like this song. Skintrade - Hardcore MF Heart Attack. 

I don't know music, I just know what I like.  PTFO

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catching Up Outside, Part II

In my haste to get the pictures uploaded, formatted and posted I forgot to mention a few details.  Not just for you, we look back here sometimes to find out when was the last time we did something, stuff like that.  So I want it on record that we got the house washed today, and the windows - inside and out.  It's still a bit cool to enjoy having the windows open comfortably.  But it is a nice feeling that we have them paid off even before we can fully enjoy them - we just had them installed last November.

The back steps are scrubbed and ready for another water sealing.  That should be pretty easy to do any evening this week, as long as the overnight temperatures are warm enough.  I also have a couple painting projects this year.  I bought black paint yesterday to do the garage trim, and eventually I need white paint to clean up and repaint the trim along the roofline at the front and back of the house.  Then there are the front railings that I should take a wire brush to and then spray paint.  And if that isn't enough, this fall I could get a start on some concrete patching and painting on the foundation.  Next spring we want to do the whole foundation but I can probably get the areas where there are no plants done yet this year.  We'll see.  I hate painting.  Wait.  No, that's right.  I hate painting.  And plumbing.

Catching Up Outside

Last weekend we had friends over for our first fire pit party of the season.  Nothing spectacular, but always a good time with good food and good friends.  (On a side note, I just bought a party game that I think will be a blast to play with this bunch!)  I think Bridget is raising her glass here, I don't believe she would be flipping off my camera.  At least I hope not!
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20140518 018I finally finished the drain project at the side of the house.  I put the new drain tube in a few weeks ago, before the hostas came up, but I wanted to get the tray at the end inset into the ground a little bit.  It will probably still hold some water in the tube after a rain, but surely not as much as the old one, which I had to replace due to it breaking at the elbow by the drain pipe.  It's still a bit of an awkward corner, but what else can I do?  It looks good enough to me, but I do still want to get a hose guide in that corner.
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Spring is here!  The gnome has it's home for the season.
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Kate has done even more planting, check out the garden here.
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014

Hi Mom, Happy Mother's Day!  This isn't really for you, just something different than is posted everywhere else today.  I looked around for something, but I sent you a card and like I said, that usual stuff can be found all over today.  By the way, Mom, I'm glad you liked the pictures and no, that was a cat toy they were batting around.
Here are members of Steel Panther having fun with the day, they are a (pretty good) 80's hair metal spoof band.  A bit NSFW.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This And Thats

It feels like it's been some time since I wrote about anything, but the last LLP post did take a couple days of writing here and there to finish.  It may be my longest (written) post yet.  I don't think I'll write that much tonight, but then again, I'm not sure what I'm going to write yet.  Well, time to tip my head and see what spills...
  • My wife was out of town on a business trip all of last week - to Las Vegas, no less!  Sure, it was for work, but she had wonderful weather while we had cool, cloudy and wet weather all week here.  The sun did not come out the whole time she was gone.  It also sounds like she got all the free food and booze she wanted.  Oh well, someone had to stay and feed the cats.  And we missed her, of course.
  • Speaking of work, I've been in training again.  All of last week and all of this week yet.  Just more of the same, onward and upward.  The problem is that the training is all day, 40 hours a week, and while I'm not being given more new work I still have many things in progress.  There is no mandatory overtime, just voluntary right now, but not really voluntary for me because I have to spend some time on the cases I have in progress.  Mostly I have kept up so far by working extra early before training and only staying later sometimes, but things are starting to pile up this week.
  • Kate has been doing a lot of planting recently, with more plants coming yet.  You can catch that stuff over here at the garden site.  I'm still hoping she'll take over that site but it may be a little while until that happens.  She wants to get a laptop for that blog and some classes she will be taking this fall.  I'm not a computer hog, I'm just on it all night every night!
  • We've upgraded to a modem/wireless router combo at the house, anticipating the laptop but she can use it now for her iphone.  It seems like a pretty nifty device but I haven't been able to get the printer to work wirelessly since I first hooked it up.  I'll have to take another crack at figuring it out but otherwise I may hit up StepDan if the folks come to town.  Thankfully, it is not a pressing matter, we can still use it wired.
  • We're going to have our first fire pit party of the year this weekend.  I have some leftover firewood from last year, plus the neighbor's branch that I helped him get down off the telephone wire last summer.  We also removed the larger pieces of bark and mulch from around the tree out back (see picture at the garden site link, above or on the right), so I have two five gallon buckets full of that stuff to toss on the fire over the course of the summer.  It has to go somewhere so I may as well use it as kindling.
  • The cats turned 2 years old on or about April 20.  I believe they are full grown, as long as we don't let them get fat.  They have been loving having the porch open for them again this spring.  Basil is getting particularly interested in the outside when we come and go through the doors, so we have been discussing the harnesses again.  They don't like them but we don't want to take them out without them on a leash.  They have not been, and we don't intend them to be, outside cats.  (There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, as well as questionable cats that wander about.)  But it would be nice to be able to walk them around the yard on nice days.
It has gotten to be almost bedtime and that seems to be all I can come up with.  Until next time, good night, everyone.  PTFO