Log in

Weather, Or Not [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Chilled [Jan. 22nd, 2017|07:58 pm]
It is cold tonight, and the wind colder still, and the rain when it touches my skin feels as though it is on the verge of turning to ice, and taking me with it. Thoughts as dark as the moonless sky come, bidden by this chill and the hour. My kitchen window emits a pale light shaft that makes the surrounding night seem darker still, and the thought of the indoors' warmth it summons calls me to return, but something about the cold holds me.

It has my attention, like some wreck or disaster, or some road-killed creature stiff and silent on cold asphalt, being passed by by indifferent machines that wrench their occupants away toward the doomed commonplace: out of that brief moment when no-one is driving and back to where the illusion of control must again become no illusion, lest the roadside suffer another grim scene.

And so I concentrate on the sound of the rain, the soft thumps and louder splashes, and think of it soaking into the ground to feed the roots, and think of the growth that will come in spring whether I see it or not. After a while the rain does begin turning to ice, though not yet to snow, and the ground turns white. If I waited here in the cold long enough perhaps the sound of rain would cease and the silence of falling snow would replace it, but the whitening ground has broken the dark spell, and I return to the warmer house. But my fingers are still cold and clumsy as I type.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
linkpost comment

Disruption [Jan. 21st, 2017|10:48 pm]
Because the current storm is expected to become more intense tomorrow, my transportation has been disarranged and I won't be able to go shopping. There's not much to buy, anyway, (and not much money to buy it with) so it can wait until Monday. Or Tuesday, I suppose, since there is now a possibility of snow Monday, though not very much (less than an inch.) Or maybe next week, when it is expected to finally be sunny and clear again. Anyway, I've got a cupboard full of ramen so I won't starve, and I bought cat food for the whole month (and a big chunk of February) when it was on sale, so the cats won't starve. I will, however, be out of beer. But not vodka, so.

It's amazing how active the frogs have been through this cold weather. They sing every night, and their population seems to be growing. They must be colonizing puddles here and there, as some of them sound like they are closer than the small seasonal stream that runs a few hundred feet east of my house. These frogs must be hardier than those we used to have, as the former frog population always fell silent when the temperature got down into the thirties.

I accidentally discovered what was choking the sound on YouTube videos. It turns out that volume can be raised or lowered with the arrow keys on my keyboard. This must be a feature of Windows 7 or of the new version of Opera I'm using, as it never worked that way before. Of course it doesn't work that way at other web sites with audio, so maybe it is just a YouTube thing. I never would have discovered it if I hadn't tried to scroll up on a YouTube page the other night, and the sound got louder instead. I find this feature more odd than convenient, and wish they hadn't done it.

The power, cable, and Internet have yet to fail from the storms, but I'm constantly expecting them to. It's going to be nice to have a few days of sunshine. That won't start until Wednesday at the earliest, though. In the meantime, I'll try to think like one of those happy frogs. Ribbet.
link2 comments|post comment

Unwashed Away [Jan. 20th, 2017|08:03 pm]
The rain has been intermittent today, providing a nice change from the constant patter. During the lulls I can hear the frogs much more clearly. I don't stay outside to listen for long though, because despite the air being merely chilly rather than cold there is almost always a breeze, and sometimes stiff wind, and the wind chill is murderous. This is one of those nights when I'm very glad the furnace is still working. There will probably be popcorn later, which will psychologically augment the furnace. Popcorn is always better on a chilly night. Or maybe it's the hot, melted butter.

I was going to write something encouraging today to mark (and counteract) the unwanted special occasion, but I've decided just to link to John Scalzi's New Year post. He says it better than I could: The New Year and the Bend of the Arc.
linkpost comment

Born [Jan. 20th, 2017|12:10 am]
After sleeping late, I indulged myself with an extra donut this afternoon. It was not a birthday donut, just a rainy day donut. I totally forgot that it was my birthday until I looked at Farcebook and saw all the birthday greetings. If it weren't for Farcebook I'd have no idea how old I was. Thanks, Zuckerberg.

The rain I got this evening probably wasn't birthday rain, either. It was probably just heaven weeping. As far as presents go, I did get the best one imaginable, which is that there still hasn't been a power outage despite the blustery weather. Tomorrow could be different, of course. The weather map shows the storm extending out into the Pacific, and it's all headed this way. There might be no respite until Monday.

Oh, I did stumble on another present. For the last several days I've been unable to get any volume out of YouTube videos. Vimeo and other video web sites were still okay, but at YouTube I could barely hear them, even with my speakers and the controls on the computer cranked all the way up. I suspect YouTube itself of choking the sound for free users. Then I found VDYouTube, which, despite its rather disturbing name, allows me to control my volume once again.

It's supposed to be a service that lets you download video and audio from the Internets, though I couldn't figure out how that was done (and I think it's illegal anyway.) But I'm just happy to merely watch (and hear) videos on it. It's missing the controls that allow you to save bandwidth by watching at lower resolution, but I'll just watch fewer videos to take care of that. I'm just glad to have my volume control back.

I'm not going to watch any right now because Colbert is on. I don't want to miss the show because he'll probably be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay within a few days. Goodbye, Steven. Goodbye, America.
linkpost comment

Wet [Jan. 18th, 2017|10:30 pm]
Rain has been falling all day, and the wind has grown blustery. So far we've avoided a power outage, but I don't want to leave the computer on for very long tonight. Too many trees will be losing their grip on the soggy soil, and a good gust could bring them down on the wires. Tomorrow should bring less intense rain, then another big storm will hit on Friday, then another on Sunday, each chillier than the last. Snow could get down to 2000 feet on Sunday, which means we might get some after all, but probably not very much. Each storm is less wet than the last, too.

Safeway's web site is still misbehaving, so I haven't been able to make out a shopping list and fetch digital coupons for this week, but that could turn out to be just another reason to avoid going out to shop altogether. I don't mind getting a little bit wet for a good bargain, but I have no desire to get quite wet for a pig in a poke. Besides, who needs another pig in a poke when we've already got The Donald?

I'm going to go stick something in the microwave while I've got electricity, and watch television while it lasts. Oh, and I should probably brave the storm to go check the mail box. I might have a magazine out there getting soaked, and I keep forgetting to go look.
linkpost comment

Another Storm Due [Jan. 17th, 2017|09:40 pm]
Well, the latest long range forecast has deleted the chance of snow, but it now predicts five straight days of rain starting tomorrow and continuing through Sunday. Rain could start falling before midnight tonight, and there is a chance of rain next Monday and Tuesday as well. It looks like my shopping day luck has run out, and I'm likely to get wet when I go to the store this week, whatever day I go on. But tomorrow is likely to be the wettest day of the storm, with upwards of three inches expected here. High wind is also expected, so the chances of my luck running out on power outages are going up, too.

The most troubling news is that, all week, temperatures will be running about ten degrees lower than average for this time of year, which means another very high gas and electric bill in February— unless we get a sustained heat wave near the end of January and beginning of February. That's not likely. I'd better either lower my thermostat, or start figuring out what other expenses might be cut to make up the shortfall. Maybe I should just skip shopping this week and eat all that ramen I've stocked up on.

This rain will be bad news for the back fence neighbor who is having a garage built. They got the roof on today, but it is only covered with that paper-looking layer that sits under the actual roofing material. It could get soaked unless the roofers come out and put the shingles on in the rain, and I don't know if that's possible. I don't think you want water trapped under your shingles. If it can't be done tomorrow then they are likely to have to leave it for more than a week, because it would probably take a few days of sunshine to dry that underlayer off.

Shorty, my black feral cat, would be happy about the absence of the roofers, though. He is terrified of people (other than me) and has been hiding all day every day that the work has been going on. Eight or ten days of respite would surely delight him, though that would be offset by his displeasure at the rain. He dislikes water almost as much as he dislikes people.

I really need to do something about the chair at the computer desk. It's not at all comfortable. It needs (well, I need) a cushion of some sort. My arse is getting numb from sitting here for so long. I guess that means it's time to go watch the television from the comfort of my soft couch, preferably from under a warm blanket.
linkpost comment

Beastly [Jan. 16th, 2017|10:53 pm]
The fact that the day was almost mild has made this evening's chill seem more intense. There is damp in the air, forming vague halos around lights. It's pretty, but pretty uncomfortable.

There is construction going on in the middle lot of the three on the block behind my house. A new garage and probably workshop is being erected behind the double-wide mobile home on the lot. The garage will be more substantial than the dwelling. But the project further diminishes the fading rusticity of the neighborhood. Thirty years ago— hell, ten years ago— deer were frequent visitors to that block. Now the three yards are all fenced, and no sensible deer would venture up the dead-end alley behind them.

It's been a long time since I've seen a deer on my street as well, but that might be more because I seldom go out to the front yard anymore. I've grown accustomed to hanging out in the back yard because that's where most of the feral cats gather. Only one of the three cats who used to frequent the font yard is still around, and she spends most of her time in the garage.

Raccoons still come around, though. I see them fairly often, and at least once or twice a week I can count on them overturning one or more of the feral cats' water bowls. It's been quite a while since I've smelled a skunk, but I expect they'll be back in spring.

I've spent much of the day trying to catch up with all that email stacking up in my online inbox. I still haven't gotten a client installed on the new(ish) computer. There are still about 300 pieces of email to look through. I figure I'll finish with it sometime in February. No more tonight, though. I have to eat something, though I'm not sure what. Something quick, I think.
link1 comment|post comment

Muddled [Jan. 15th, 2017|08:26 pm]
I think I thought I had something I was going to say, but damned if I can remember what it was. I don't feel like saying anything anyway. I just want to go out and listen to the frogs until my ears get too cold and I have to come back in and watch television. If I had an outdoor microphone I could route the frog song through my computer speakers and not even have to go outside, though I would miss the pleasant scent of pine that fills the air tonight. The pine trees are always there, but I can only smell them sometimes. What's the deal with that?

Heating up a can of soup for dinner. There is a fresh bolillo roll to go with it, and butter. Thank goodness the shopping is over with for another week. Two more sunny days are due, and then the rain returns. The long range forecast now admits a possibility of snow here a week from Tuesday. I'll believe it when I see it.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
linkpost comment

My Exciting Life (yawn) [Jan. 14th, 2017|09:22 pm]
It is clear and cold tonight, and I heard a flock of birds flying south over the neighborhood. They didn't sound like the usual geese, nor did they sound quite like the trumpeter swans we sometimes get, so I don't know what species they were. Whatever they were, they have left their migration until rather late in the season. It might be that arctic temperatures have been somewhat above normal this fall and winter, throwing their schedule off. When I hear them I like to stay under the porch roof, just in case the birds are pissed off at humans and decide to crap on me.

I've also been hearing frogs again tonight. It's very odd to be hearing that springtime sound in January. But the stream along which they thrive is still running strong, and the water must be warmer than it usually is in winter, the recent rains having been warmer than normal. The next rainstorm, expected to arrive Wednesday, might also be warmer than normal, so odds are I'll be hearing frogs for quite a while.

The next storm is supposed to be the first of another series, almost uninterrupted, lasting into the following week. Right now it looks like Sunday the 22nd will be the least rainy day in that period, which would be convenient for me, but that could change. So far this year I haven't had to get wet when going shopping, and it would be nice to keep that record going.

But even though it is supposed to gradually get colder over the next week, it still isn't expected to get cold enough for snow at this elevation. Slightly colder will probably be enough to get a considerable increase in the snowpack, though. The recent storm mostly ran off. A lot of it was captured reservoirs, and in spreading basins, of course, which will help recharge the ground water, but next summer's water supply will, as always, be largely dependent on gradually melting snow keeping the reservoirs full. If getting that condition demands it, I'll just have to be content to pay the larger winter utility bills to which the cold leads.

Safeway's web site is still missing some information I'd like to have, so I might not be going there tomorrow. If I do go I'll make clear to the checker that my purchase will be contingent on their computer actually giving me the discounts I expect. Checking the receipt could take some time, so everybody could get annoyed. Keeping stores honest is a nasty job, but somebody has to do it.
linkpost comment

Light [Jan. 13th, 2017|10:56 pm]
There are these odd little points of light in the sky. I think they are what the Internet says are called "stars." I have a vague memory of having seen them long ago, before the world grew cloudy and we got some twenty inches of rain in a few days. There is also a bigger light, which I recall was called the "moon." The moon is pretty bright. I can see the feral cats' food bowls by its light, and don't even need the flashlight I have been using to avoid stumbling over them in the overcast darkness. This is very convenient. I hope it keeps up for a while.

Safeway still hasn't gotten its website working properly. As the amount I pay for stuff there is dependent on what coupons I have digitally added to my store card, I don't know if I can trust them this week. If a store is going to use digital technology, it really has to commit itself to keeping it in good working order. It seems likely that a lot of other regular customers are just going to stay away this week, which will be a great convenience for those who don't mind paying full price for stuff. But if a lot of people like me are staying away until the website is fixed then the place is apt to be very crowded when it becomes available again. If they fix the site before Sunday and I go down there and find the store too busy, I might just pass on this week's bargains anyway. Stuff I really need I can get at the other store or the outlet next door.

The first mostly sunny day after the storms was enjoyable, as far as I saw it. I slept through much of it again. Given that I am now not even slightly tired, I might be awake most of tonight and then sleep through the sunny day again tomorrow. I'm considering pounding a few strong drinks tonight, just to see if I can get my sleep schedule back to something more practical. I can't think of anything else that has a chance of working.

The rechargeable battery that Portia made off with recently is still missing. I'm trying to calculate how long I've got to find it before I absolutely must buy a new package of them. I doubt that Portia will help me find it. She is, after all, a cat, and cats notoriously don't give a rats ass about what people want. It's a good thing we aren't their pets, as we'd probably be extinct by now.
linkpost comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]