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Short [Aug. 13th, 2018|10:30 pm]
I used to put the toilet paper over the top of the roll, as my mom had always done for as long as I can remember. A couple of years ago when I had several feral kittens in the house I twice found rolls almost completely undone, with heaps of paper on the floor. Since then I have put the paper down the back of the roll. Today, for the first time since then, a cat has unraveled a roll, though only about 20% of it. I just bought a 30-roll pack at Safeway the other day, and I'm guessing that the cat saw it and thought "well, he's got plenty of that stuff. I think I'll have some fun!" I do hope this won't become a regular occurrence.

It's finally getting a bit cooler, right now being about five degrees lower than it was at this time last night. Tomorrow is supposed to get up only to 85, about ten degrees cooler than today. The days will start getting hotter again Thursday, but the nights are predicted to remain cooler than they have been recently. Maybe my fried brain will start to heal. It will be nice to be less deranged again.

Tomorrow is chiropractor day, and tonight is wheelie bin night. I tried raking some leaves earlier today, but found that my left hand kept cramping up from grasping the rake. I'm thinking maybe a vitamin deficiency of some sort. Either that or all the smoke I've inhaled from the fires has clogged something up. My diet has been quite crappy this summer. It was pretty crappy today. I haven't actually fixed dinner yet, again, and will probably just be microwaving, again. Maybe I can make something healthyish tomorrow.

I'd best get the bins out before I collapse. Short of sleep again today.
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(no subject) [Aug. 12th, 2018|09:10 pm]
So it turns out a slight shift in the weather pattern kept the smoke high and mostly to the north, and looking up at the noon our sky was something rather close to blue. If the condition persists we might actually get to see some meteors. The morning of the 13th (mere hours away) is to bring the peak, though until tonight the sky was so smoky that probably none could have shown themselves. While this evening was not perfectly clear, there's now a chance that I might see something, if I spend enough time outside craning my neck at the sky.

I could move the light weight chaise lounge from the back porch to some spot on the lawn from which more than a tiny patch of sky is visible. It would be a pretty small patch anywhere in this tree-hedged yard, but not entirely tiny. Moving the furniture would, of course, distress the feral cats, and heaven knows what the raccoons and skunks would think, or do. I suppose I'd be in no serious danger from them, but do I want the bother?

Thing is I've been awake since six o'clock this morning, and have gone shopping (a tiring task at the best of times) and I'm quite exhausted. It's entirely possible that I'd fall asleep outside, and then raccoons and skunks could have their way with me, and I'd end up sleeping through the meteors anyway, waking to find myself covered in raccoon poo and skunk spray. And the smoke might head back this way anyway, and then it would all have been a waste of time. And anyway, the small crickets are out early this year, making their annoying buzz.

Are those excuses sufficient? I hope so, because I'm going to go watch television. With my failing eyesight television is much easier to see than meteors anyway.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Relief Delayed [Aug. 11th, 2018|11:38 pm]
The cooling that is supposed to be on the way keeps getting delayed, and so I still feel like I've gotten sunburned, even though I've barely been out in the sun at all. It's going to be pretty hot when I go shopping tomorrow after all. I was looking forward to a milder day to go out on. The week has been no worse— maybe even slightly less immiserating— than recent weeks, but having expected something better it has been very disappointing.

Sitting in front of this machine is certainly miserable. I think I'll just go out and sit on the back porch and watch the skunks and raccoons come and go while the soft and almost cool breeze takes that excess heat from my skin.
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The Heat Is On [Aug. 10th, 2018|11:37 pm]
This interesting map shows all the wildfires currently burning in the United States. Currently they are all in the west. many are in California, but a surprising number are in Idaho and Montana.

The California fires are still making the local air somewhat smoky, and the sun was fairly red when it rose this morning. The moon won't be making an appearance tonight, but I'm sure it would be even redder. The nearest fire is one recently started, in the Plumas (Spanish for feathers) National Forest about forty miles northeast of here. It had only consumed 117 acres as of this evening, though it started three days ago, and it is already 65% contained, so unlikely to be a problem for us.

It's the big fires in Shasta, Trinity, Mendocino, and Lake counties that are still fouling the air. Those will be with us for some time, and the wind that might kick up tonight and tomorrow could de-contain them. But the wind might also blow some of this smoke away. Less smoke now in exchange for more smoke later. Doesn't seem like a very good deal, come to think of it.

Right now a slight breeze is making the outdoor air (less hot than in here) feel almost cool, but the few big crickets that were chirping last night are gone, and in their place is the first of this summer's small crickets, making it's annoying, high-pitched buzz. There is still one large cricket somewhere on the next block, but the small cricket is drowning it out most of the time. As delighted as I am to know that summer is waning, this particular sound it brings is one of the most annoying one must ever endure. I wish one of the feral cats would find that small cricket and devour it.

But the day was not an entire waste. I did manage to get two loads of laundry done, and dry them outdoors, and they hardly picked up any smell of smoke at all. I'll have something to wear to my appointment with the chiropractor on Tuesday! I also have a clean pillowcase on the pillow I keep on the couch, so I'll have something pleasant to smell while watching television tonight. I doubt I'll smell it for long, though, as I got too little sleep again last night, and I'm so tired that I'll probably pass out soon, despite the unpleasant heat. Perhaps I'll dream of fragrant gardens filled with cool fountains.
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Muddle [Aug. 9th, 2018|09:55 pm]
It's been getting hotter again, but highs could drop back down into the eighties next week. The smoke seems a bit less thick, too, but I have still been coughing quite a bit. I had chronic bronchitis when I was a kid, and in recent years it's been reasserting itself at times, but the smoke from these fires seems to have given it a big boost. I do hope the experience doesn't push me over the edge, forcing me to get a lung doctor. I've liked just having chiropractor appointments to keep track of, and would rather not add another set.

Speaking of which, I have an adjustment coming up next Tuesday. The current forecast says 86 degrees that day, and a low of only 65 on Monday night. It will be nice if that does come to pass. Tonight is not very comfortable so far— a bit worse than last night, which was unpleasant until near dawn. I find myself short of sleep again, thanks to the heat keeping me awake too late, and than waking up too early so I can get the windows closed before the day gets too hot, and then being unable to get back to sleep. I nodded off while sitting on the back porch this afternoon, despite the heat, but when I came back in found myself unable to take a nap.

I've dawdled and missed a window of opportunity to make dinner. There's something I want to watch on television in ten minutes, which would leave too little time for cooking, and the next chance won't be until after midnight. I really need to get better organized. I don't expect that to happen until it cools down again, and maybe not even then. Increasing muddleheadedness was always in the cards, but this is just getting ridiculous.

Rats. Internet connection flaking out on me again.
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Fried [Aug. 8th, 2018|10:57 pm]
Wait, did I already post an entry today? I don't think so. But that's how fried my brain is again. I lose track of things so easily anymore, especially when it gets hot. Tomorrow will be worse again, by the way. Yesterday I forgot what day it was, today I forgot... I forget. It's a good thing I can microwave food. If I were stuck with just a stove I'd lose track of what I was doing and burn everything. With the microwave I just forget it was in there, and then have to reheat it.

There was something else. Oh, right. It's cooling off fairly quickly this evening, though it's only supposed to get down to 73 here. It actually feels pretty close to that already outside, so maybe the forecast was mistaken. Not too much of that cool is getting in through my windows, though, so I'm going to go outside and see if my brain can chill a bit and start functioning again.

I've got a beer in the refrigerator. That will be nice to have later.
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Hotness [Aug. 7th, 2018|09:18 pm]
So it's back to the sweltery days and sultry nights. I haven't yet had recourse to the air conditioner, but it might be needed soon enough. We're still in the July-August billing period for electricity, and I'm dreading what the bill will be after all the air conditioning I used in the last half of July, so I'd really rather not add to it, but it might prove necessary.

The crows were behaving strangely this afternoon. One with a high-pitched caw was screeching repeatedly for about half an hour, and several others were calling back, though somewhat more calmly. I have no idea what the contretemps was about, and will probably never find out. It was rather distressing, though. I don't entirely trust birds. One never knows what they are thinking, or what they might get up to. They might be plotting to take revenge on me for the avian slaughter in which my feral cats lately engaged.

Of course the fires are still burning. There are now Wikipedia pages for both the one in Shasta County and the Mendocino fire, now the largest in California history. We haven't been smelling smoke here all the time today, but now and then there will be a whiff of it. We are not yet in Hell, but we could be classified as Hell-adjacent.

I kept thinking today was Wednesday for some reason. Perhaps i'm just subconsciously hoping for this week to be over. (Crap, I consciously want this whole summer to be over!) But I went off to look at Safeway's web site to see what was on sale this week, and looked at two pages of the ad before I realized it was the ad that ends today. I'll have to wait until morning to make out next week's list.

Evaporative cooling makes the breeze coming through my window feel almost pleasant, even though the air outside is still about as hot as it is in here. The house probably won't get below 74 degrees tonight without air conditioning. It's going to be very unpleasant sleeping.
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Respite's End [Aug. 6th, 2018|10:23 pm]
The brief period of cool nights is over, though they are not supposed to be getting as hot as they were last week. We shall see. It was nice while it lasted, and there's a chance we will get another such period at the beginning of next week. Given the fact that summer is almost half over, it's about damned time we got some moderation. And next week is a good time for some cooling as my next chiropractor appointment is a week from tomorrow.

The smoke is still hanging around, though not as thick as it was yesterday. The big fires are still growing, and the larger of two in Mendocino and Lake Counties is now larger than the one in Shasta and Trinity Counties, though so far it hasn't destroyed anywhere near as many buildings (about 45 opposed to about 1,600.) The Shasta fire is almost half contained, but the big Mendocino fire is only at 22%, and could still do a lot of damage if it keeps heading toward populated areas.

My feral cats don't do a lot of hunting, but today two of them each caught a bird, which displeased me. Shorty caught a hummingbird, which was especially distressing, and then later Porky caught and made me a gift of a pigeon. Porky didn't eat any of the pigeon, but Shorty took a few bites, then left the carcass to gather flies— which it did. I finally tossed it into the back back yard, where some nocturnal carrion eater is likely to find it (they usually do.)

Tonight is wheelie bin night. It seems to come around more often than it used to, though of course it doesn't. Time just seems to be speeding up because there's so much more of it in my memory than there is ahead of me. After I deal with the bins I'm going to microwave something. The Grocery Outlet had a bogo sale on some Chinese pork dumplings, already heavily discounted. I have no idea if they are any good. If they are I got a great bargain. If they aren't I've got six servings to get rid of. The six servings only cost me 66 cents each, so a fairly cheap lesson. And if they're bad maybe I'll be able to get the nephew to eat them. He'll eat just about anything (and usually does.)

The Internet connection has been acting up again tonight. Once I get the fruitless mulberry tree cut back the various cables will be easier to get to and I'll call AT&T to come out and replace the telephone line, which I'm sure has been de-insulated by the squirrels again. With the tree engulfing it it's just too difficult to replace. But I probably won't be able to get the tree cut back until autumn. Before the leaves fall, I hope, so there will be fewer to rake this year.

Wheelie bin time, then dinner.
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Day Hanging by a Thread [Aug. 5th, 2018|08:35 pm]
Toward evening parts of the sky to the southeast began to look almost blue, but the brownish gray cast remained elsewhere. All day the heavy air smelled of smoke. With dusk, stillness reigned, except for the occasional caw of a crow or chuckle of a woodpecker as the birds departed for their nesting places. Now the windows are open and the cooling night air moves very slightly, rustling a leaf now and then, lifting a sheer curtain and quickly letting it drop. The silhouettes of the trees are still stark, but they are soon to vanish as the last spillage of the sunlight drains away and the star-gathering sky darkens. The waning moon won't be up until much later. I'm anticipation the deep darkness as much as I am the coolness. But the scent of smoke is still there, as disturbing as a muttered threat.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Cooler [Aug. 4th, 2018|11:35 pm]
Now that the weather has shifted about we are getting smoky air again, this time from the fire in Lake and Mendocino Counties. Visibility is not much more than couple of miles. I could barely see the mountains on the other side of the river today, and the sun stayed fairly orange all day. But if smoke is the price of cooler weather I'll take it. Early this morning I actually buttoned my shirt to keep the chill off! Tomorrow morning promises to be as delightful.

I squandered most of today in front of the television, and don't regret it. It was a vacation from the terrible heat, and one is supposed to relax on vacation. Besides which it was less smoky in the house than it was outside. Tomorrow I must shop, which I consider sufficient work for a weekend.

The Internets connection has been acting up again tonight, and I've got one at the moment so I won't delay. The next opportunity might not come until after midnight.
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