Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Starkweather Slide Step - Part III

Yesterday afternoon the sun finally came out, so after the Badger game I took the walk around our section of Starkweather creek to get a closer and different look at the new steps and slide.  I've never done this short walk before and this seemed like a good reason to get out and do it.  I start at the end of our street and walk north, crossing the bike path bridge then walking south to the Milwaukee Street bridge, and then back north a bit to our street again.  All pictures in this post, and there's quite a few here, were taken on this walk.

Google reminded me that a year ago today I posted about the creek and the flooding and the progress of the water as it was going down a bit.  Things look a bit greener this year than last, you can take a quick look at a year ago today here, and all my flood-related posts here.  While the levels look a whole lot better than this time last year, all the lakes are still well over their set summer maximum levels.  The creek empties into Lake Monona, which is still much too high so the creek is at least a foot and a half higher than it should be right now, by my reckoning.  Lake levels can be checked and animated here, at least until Flash Player goes away.

But enough of that for now.  Come and walk with me around this section of Starkweather Creek - after the break, of course.  And mind the ducks!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Starkweather Slide Step - Part II

When I posted a week ago I didn't know it would be a whole week before I could follow it up with part two, but a busy week and required overtime and here we are.  I'll tell you right now there will be a part three because I do want to get out sometime this weekend to make the walk around and see the view from the other side of the creek to get a closer look at the steps and a different view of the slide.

But first things first, let's take a look at the completion of both projects, steps and slide - after the break!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Starkweather Slide Step

I mentioned previously that the city was going to put in a canoe/kayak slide into Starkweather Creek at the end of our street and, further upstream on the other side, steps leading down to the creek.  I also said that I would post a pictorial of the process, which I found a little difficult because I have a whole bunch of pictures and needed to pare them down.  In the end, I decided to go in date order, only of the days I made the walk down to see, of course.  There's still a lot of pictures, but date order should help keep them in context.

The project started later than expected, it was scheduled to begin August 12.  We received a letter from the city earlier in August letting us know of the plans and the schedule.  I'm sure other projects were delayed, you can't really depend on timelines for these kinds of things as they are at the hand of the weather.  And it seems the contractor concentrated on completing the steps before fully starting on the slide.  At least they did not limit our parking as we were told would happen and all in all it was no bother to us.

So let's begin - after the break!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

My Fall Vacation

Hello everybody, welcome back.  I hope you've been well.  I know I've been more absent than normal lately.  I had a vacation and, well, it was different for me so I guess I've just not been sure how to write about it.  But that never stopped me before, so here goes!

I took last week off as I've done for several years now.  Long after I had secured the week off my wife found out she was being flown out to the east coast for work for much of that week.  My first thoughts were that it would be kind of nice.  In actuality, I got kind of depressed and lazy.  Now, the weather had much to do with that, being overcast and/or rainy most of the time (despite the pictures I have here), and my back wasn't that good so I couldn't do much of what I had planned, but my mood certainly lifted when she got back home late in the week.

The weekend before was a pretty normal weekend, and I got up early Monday morning to take her to the airport.  That wasn't such a bad day, I made some rather large but necessary purchases (new bed and glasses) and grilled out brats for dinner, but scrapped plans for a fire due to impending rain.  Tuesday was much warmer and very humid, but the heat and humidity broke in the evening so I did spend a good amount of time by the fire that night.  Over the course of these two days I also got another piece of wood cut and painted for the cat box project downstairs, but with my back acting up I did not get any further on this project, disappointingly.  Wednesday was also hot and humid, even more so than the day before.  By this time I was sleeping about 10 hours a night and that felt good, but the weather was just so damn gloomy and if it wasn't raining then rain was coming soon.  I figured it was just a matter of time until water got in the basement, another excuse to put that cat box project off.  Thursday was pretty much the same, gloomy and wet, but the storms stepped it up a few notches that afternoon.  I felt pretty crappy that day, probably due to drinking too much and sleeping too much the previous few days.  I can see now I had fallen into a bit of a funk.

On Thursday night I was supposed to pick my wife up from the airport, but her first plane was delayed due to the weather in Chicago, then her next plane actually tried to get to Madison but the thunderstorms and lightning we were having here were too much and they had to turn back.  My brave wife ended up getting a rental car for her and her coworkers and made the drive from Chicago to Madison in the middle of the night and through the aforementioned severe storms.  The airline was of no help and the next plane was the next night so she didn't have much of a choice, unfortunately.  But thankfully she made it back safe and sound and the cats and I were very happy to see her.

All that, and before she could return the rental car and pick up her luggage on Friday a branch fell from a tree out front and smashed the rear window of the rental car as it was parked in our driveway.  Alas, just the icing on the cake of a very bad travel night and day for her.

Since then the weather got a bit nicer and I got a few more things accomplished, like power washing and water sealing the back steps and washing all the windows.  But the cat box project, the one I've been mulling for several years now and finally got a good start on, still stalled.  But that's okay, for now.  I have all the hardware, wood and paint that I need so I'm going to run out of excuses eventually!

So that was pretty much my week of vacation.  I wasn't at work and I got a lot of rest so it was still a positive for me.  One thing I didn't mention yet was the several walks I took up and down the creek as they worked on the steps and canoe/kayak slide.  It seems everything was completed on Saturday, so that will probably be my next post, with a pictorial of the process.  See you then!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Pictures

I don't know if this is a new 'thing' for me or not, but again I'm tired and I don't feel like writing a whole lot tonight so here are a few pictures I've taken since the last time.

 I should have more to talk about very soon as there are things that I want to do very soon, but if I promise I'll jinx myself.  How's that for a cliffhanger?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Labor Day and Packers

Tonight is finally the opening of football season with the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears - the oldest rivalry in the NFL - to start the NFL's 100th season.  The Packers played their 100th season last year, so they're older than the league, interestingly.  We've not seen much of what the Packers starters could do in the preseason, and they have a big challenge tonight playing in Chicago against the defending NFC North champion Bears.  After the off-season coaching change and all the speculation I just hope it's a good game that gives us hope no matter tonight's outcome.  Go Packers!

Last weekend we had a holiday fire pit with friends, only the second time this season we attempted this.  The first time was on Fourth of July weekend and only friends Terry and Becky came over and we didn't even have a fire because it was so hot!  Sunday night turned out much better and we enjoyed seeing friends that we hadn't seen in quite some time.  As summer wanes there will be more fire pit opportunities so we'll need to try and take advantage.

That should be all for now, I need a nap.  Since I get up at stupid o'clock every morning and it's a night game tonight I'll need to get some sleep.  Remember, the Bears still suck - Go Packers!