Sunday, November 25, 2018

2018 Flood IX - A Different View

On Thanksgiving Day we went south to Stoughton to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate with her family.  They happen to live near the Yahara River, south of the four lakes connected by the river, so we walked over and took a look during our time there.  Now, I've posted about Lake Mendota from our times out on the boat.  Also Lake Monona from bike rides and trips to Olbrich Park.  And mostly Starkweather Creek as it passes through my neighborhood toward Lake Monona.  The next two lakes down the chain are Waubesa and Kegonsa, then the Yahara flows for some time before emptying into the Rock River.  Stoughton is in the bottom right of the map, we live above Lake Monona and east of  Lake Mendota.

Lake Waubesa, Yahara Outlet
On the drive down we only got glimpses of the lower two lakes as we drove by so getting pictures wasn't easy, but I did get one looking out onto Lake Waubesa where the Yahara exits the lake and while not over the banks it did look very full.  That's what we found in Stoughton as well, the river looked very full - and fast, it seemed to be running much faster than we've seen before.  Looking at the lake levels map, it was as expected as they continue to release water down the chain trying to get the levels lower.  Lake Mendota is looking the best so far, but the rest have several feet of water to go down yet.  When you think about it, it really does take a lot of time to let all that water flow.

By spring I don't think we'll have any issues, but that could change at Mother Nature's whim.  I also noticed in the news that just recently all the slow-no wake rules on all 4 of the lakes have now been lifted.  Of course, not many are out boating anymore at this time of year anyway.  Mostly the ice fisherman are waiting for the ice to form by now, which brings another thought:  What will the ice conditions be if the water keeps lowering under it?

More pics after the break.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Home on the NEW Range

We finally replaced the range in the kitchen.  It had been a long time coming.  The old electric stove and oven was, well, old - very old.  My wife is quite the cook and knew exactly what she wanted to replace it, a gas range with a double oven.  This range has essentially been picked out for almost a year, but appliances go on sale in November so we waited and saved hundreds of dollars.

It was scheduled to be delivered early afternoon on Wednesday, so I got an early start to the weekend to wait for it to arrive.  The delivery men were in and out in short order and we had our new range!  Of course, there were a couple issues.  There always seems to be, for us.  Nothing terribly major.

Months ago we had our plumber extend the gas line to once again come up behind the range.  It had been removed long ago to install the outlet for the electric range.  But, he installed it with a fitting that is not normally used for gas ranges.  The installers luckily had adapters to use but that made the connection too big to get the range against the wall as close as it should be.  Now, we've used the same plumber since we got the house and while they have done some good work for us they've also done some questionable work for us, so after this we are ready to move on and try another local plumber.  This week I will find one and schedule them to get the gas connection sorted and possibly moved so we can push the range in farther.  (While they're here I may also have them look at some minor leaks by the utility sink downstairs.)

Also, both the new refrigerator and the new range (both LG) have the same type of electrical plug where the cord goes straight down, parallel to the wall instead of perpendicular.  I'm sure it's meant to stay out of the way when pushing the appliance in, but that means you can't use two of the same type of plug in one regular outlet.  There is space, so I will have to find an adapter to extend the top one out a bit, is all.  So, another upgrade to the kitchen, which Kate finished repainting yesterday.  Next on the kitchen list is flooring, counter tops, and a vent above the range.  All in due time, except for a hanging pot rack I need to build now - ASAP!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Needing New Picture Host?

Back when I started this site (and the garden blog) I uploaded pictures to Blogger to post without a care in the world.  Eventually I got the message that I had used up all my storage when I didn't even know I had a limit.  I needed a new place to put my pictures so I could post them on my sites.  I wrote about that on August 13, 2012.  Now, I seem to remember getting that message from Picasa.  I don't know if that's right or what the connection with Blogger is, but all those old pictures are still on the site (though many linked photos may not be) and come up as from Blogger.  Well, unable to post pictures I got a free account with Flickr and have used that to host all the pictures I post ever since.

Well, it wasn't long ago I got an email that Flickr had been sold to another company, and then on November 13 I received an email from Flickr about important updates to my account.  Basically, no more free ride for me.  They will allow free accounts with up to 1000 photos, or I may upgrade to Flickr Pro for an as-yet-undisclosed annual fee (but I can get 30% off the first year).  My problem is that I have almost 1400 pictures on Flickr, so after January 8, 2019, I will no longer be able to upload pictures and after February 5, 2019, I will have my photos that are over 1000 deleted, starting with the oldest, unless I pay.  What this means is that after that date my pictures on posts on both my sites from August 2012 to 376 pictures later will disappear from my sites.  My guess is that would go through 2015 and include some cherished memories, but I definitely do not want to pay - any cost, every year, forever.  If it becomes relevant again, I can always re-upload to my next picture host and update the post, but it is a terrible shame because I do look back to years past on my sites.

So what do I do now?  Well, I noticed that on my phone I have the old Picasa logo.  Picasa is now Google Photos.  It does not have all those original photos that I uploaded way back when, but when I take a picture with my phone it is now backed up there.  And there's even pictures saved there from my old (first) smartphone.  There does appear to be a limit, so I still have to figure out how it's going to work over the long haul, but I think it will work for me.  And I can still use the camera and upload the ones I wish to, but I will probably start using my phone almost exclusively for taking pictures.  And after getting the pictures off my phone and saved onto the computer I should "clean up" all the excess pictures I take out of Google Photos to extend my limit.

I have two more posts in mind for very soon that I will want pictures, so I will be trying this out probably later this weekend.  This should not affect normal blog viewing at all, unless it is an older affected post being viewed, other than the picture will open differently when clicked.  If anyone else has a better idea I'm very willing to listen!

Soooo, funny story:  I was re-reading and editing the above when it occurred to me I hadn't even tried to upload directly since that day in 2012 when I got the message about reaching the limit.  I  just tried now, and it works!  I won't need an outside image host after all!  Limits must have changed in the last 6 years?  How can I tell?  Well, Google is Blogger is Chrome is Youtube is Google Photos is Android is everything else I am, it seems.  I'll still have the loss of posted photos for that 2012-15 period, and that pains me greatly, but hopefully I'll never have to deal with this again.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Like most years, it's best known to me as a 4 day weekend with one day spent with relatives.  This year we're staying close to home and visiting my wife's side of the family.  Other than that I don't know if we'll be leaving the house much as this Black Friday weekend will make it a madhouse on the roads and at the shops.  Feast of the cash registers, as some might say.  I do need to start shopping for gifts, but that will probably be entirely online.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Snow and 2018 Flood VIII

20181109_162926Late Thursday/early Friday we got a small layer of snow that has somewhat stuck around due to our temperatures have stayed below freezing.  Not much, but if anyone was still in denial then here's their slap in the face - winter will not be stopped.  I've yet to get out the full winter gear, and until it gets even colder more consistently I don't see the need.  Looking ahead in the forecast, we have temperatures above and below freezing and even some more snow toward the end of this week.  Well, you can't control the weather so we'll have to roll with it just like every other year.

In this picture of the back yard you can also see, on the top left, workers installing a new telephone pole.  While it might be tougher in cold weather my guess is they do it now purposely, after the loss of foliage that would surely be in their way going through back yards.  You can also see in this picture that I finally got the leaves cleaned up last weekend, knowing the snow was coming.  I also cleaned the gutters, started the snow thrower and got out the salt and snow shovels.  That means I have all my outside work done in preparation for winter - finally.

Friday afternoon I walked to our favorite local bar and grill Brothers Three (currently under new ownership after 33 years) and had the opportunity to take a couple more pictures of the creek.  I did notice it had gone down further yet, but still not down to where it should be.  A quick check of the lake levels shows that - while much better than a couple months ago - they are still a couple feet higher than they should be and I know they are still working on lowering the levels and still talking about how best to manage lake levels in the future.

20181109_132849Looking up this stretch of Starkweather Creek you can start to see the top of some of the big rocks on the sides.  On each side there is at least two rows of big rocks that had been underwater for several months now.  It is nice to see it go down, but this should still be considered significantly high.

Just because I like side by side comparisons, after the break is the view of the Milwaukee Street bridge from pictures I'd taken Friday and previously.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy Halloween 2018

Halloween can be more fun on the weekend, but I've liked this holiday more than most every other holiday for a while now no matter what day its on.  (Not that that's saying a whole lot.)  Like last year, I put the mummy up in the front windows and donned my ape mask for answering the door - and I scared the crap out of the first kid of the night!  I was a bit more careful from then on. 

This year I added a little projector that shines a shaky spider web complete with spider.  I had it out back trained on the garage door for only the sharp-eyed halloweener as they pass.  If you look real close you can see it in the picture.  Not quite what I expected, but it was cheap.  I did not take pictures of any kids in their costumes because, like most, I'd be afraid of being called creepy in this day and age.

20181031_191223My guess would be more than 50 trick-or-treaters came to our door last night.  Hard to say as they all came in groups of at least 3 and up to 8 or so kids, with most groups in the middle and always accompanied by many adults laughing it up on the sidewalk.  We saw many good and good-effort costumes, mostly the usual or else siDney or other characters I have no idea.  I learned you don't call the SpongeBob with no shoulders a banana, methinks he'd heard that enough on his treat venture!  We didn't run out of candy but one more group may have done it.  We waited until about 8 o'clock but no more came.  That means there's candy in the house - dammit.