Friday, July 17, 2020


Ready.  Set.  Firepit!  As I got ready to start a fire tonight, shortly before sunset.  I was out there over two hours and even had to put one of the logs you see leaning on the side back on the stack.  My firepit has become my solace in these times.  We did have two friends over for a short time to sit by the fire recently - socially distanced, of course.  I had a mandate for facemasks if they had to go into the house but it never came up.

Again, playing with the camera on my new phone.  Here is the Big Dipper, a common sight in our summer night sky, being crossed by the ISS, the brightest dot, of course.  I think this is a pretty good picture, at least probably the best my camera will do.

And just because I like it, here's a picture of a dragonfly that landed immediately in front of me as I was going to get wood for a fire earlier in the week.  We've seen a lot of them this year, which is pretty neat.

Tomorrow I have to go into work for a bit.  This will be the third time since the Covid hit the fan.  I chose to work a few hours on Saturday on a task that cannot be done remotely because there won't be anyone else around.  But I hate it.  In fact, this remoteness is not good for my job satisfaction, not that I want to go back to the office every day, anymore.  We've gone back on mandatory overtime recently and system issues along with poor communication has me a bit frustrated.  Why can't I just be a drone office worker?  I get lots of shit done, but it never seems like that's what they want.  They wanted me because I can think outside the box, but then only want improvements that follow the status quo.  They really just wanted another sheep.  I'm faaaaaaucked!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Neighborhood Fireworks on the 4th

I had a firepit the evening of July 4 (surprise, right?) despite the current heatwave and was treated to a show that I wasn't fully expecting.  Oh, we always have some fireworks in the neighborhood, but with all the municipal fireworks cancelled due to the pandemic I was surrounded by pops, bangs and flashes for hours on end.  They came from all over,  but mostly to my right, and behind me to the left, but the biggest was in front of me and about a block away.

Here's a couple minutes of video I took of the fun - and illegal* - fireworks I enjoyed.

*Laws change wherever you go, but I believe the only things legal within Madison are snakes and sparklers, and absolutely nothing that goes into the air.  Thank you, neighbors!

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.