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Decline of Season [Oct. 21st, 2018|08:02 pm]
It's getting dark so early, and in a couple of weeks it will be getting dark even earlier. That's the thing I have the most trouble getting used to in autumn. The upside is that there are more hours for watching the moon. The other downside is that it will soon be too cold to watch the moon for long. The other upside is that it's very nice to go back into the warmish house after moon-watching in the cold. Especially if there is soup. There will be soup.

I think somebody has a band in the neighborhood east of my house. I've been hearing what sounds like band practice in the evenings. The drums are most noticeable, but there is a bass and at least one electric guitar. The sound is quite faint, and I have to listen carefully to hear the music and the interruptions. I don't recognize anything they are playing. I'll bet their nearer neighbors hate them.

Shorty, the black feral back yard cat, was missing all day again today and showed up again after dark, plucking at the screen door when he heard me stirring in the den, and eager to rub his head on my legs and shoes when I went out. He didn't eat much, which makes me suspect that he has found someone who feeds him by day. I miss seeing him lounging about the yard when I go out in the afternoons, but if he is getting fed at least it is saving me a bit of money, and since he still wants to come back and visit me at night I can't complain. In any case, Porky, the other back yard cat, is delighted to have the place catless (other than himself) all day, and spends more time hanging out with me.

Shopping didn't take too long today. I didn't have a very long list, and the stores were not especially busy. It was a bit too warm in the car, which lacks air conditioning, but the breeze through the windows was nice. It would have been nicer if cars still had wind wings. Why did they stop putting those in cars? Maybe it was their tendency to make
a whistling noise at high speeds if they weren't tightly closed, and that when they got on in years they could never be tightly closed. It never bothered me, but I know some people found it irritating. I don't mind wind wings whistling a bit, although it annoys the hell out of me when television commercials do it.

What else was I going to say? So forgetful these days. But it's almost eight o'clock anyway and there's something I want to watch on television.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Lost and Found [Oct. 20th, 2018|07:55 pm]
Shorty, the black feral cat who lives in my back yard and seldom leaves it hasn't been around today. I checked all the nooks and crannies but haven't found him. Lately he has been more skittish than usual, and a couple of times had ruffled fur that looked as though he'd been in a fight. There is a strange cat who I've had glimpses of lately, and who was apparently across the street picking a fight with my garage cat, Jarhead, when I went out to the mailbox this evening, and I have a suspicion that he might have run Shorty off. Shorty is not a fighter, and tries to make friends with just about any cat who comes into the yard, but so far has never succeeded. I'm hoping he'll show up later tonight, as he has never vanished for more than 20 hours or so before.

The parade of mild days is continuing, and it looks as though they will do so through next week, though slightly cooler, and with slightly chillier nights. A rain prediction reappeared in the forecast today, but it is only for morning showers, and not due until a week from this coming Monday. That's a long time to wait, and the chances are only 48%, so I won't count on it. Forecasts that far out are unreliable, of course, so there's always a chance that there actually will be some rain by then. October is dry here more often than it's wet, so none of this is a surprise. I do hope we get some decent rain in November, though. Odds are about even that November will be rainy, and a bit better than even that we'll get some decent rain in December. If we don't get it by then I'll start to worry.

No English people will murder one another on television tonight. That's a disappointment, especially since Sunday night is currently murder-free as well. There aren't even any American murders on the Hallmark Murder and Glurge channel tonight, so I guess I'll be doing without vicarious slaughter altogether. I'll have to settle for comedy, I suppose.

Hey, Shorty's back. I just checked the food bowls to make sure Porky (the other back yard cat) had finished everything and I wouldn't end up feeding raccoons, and there was Shorty ready to rub against my leg. I put some food out for him, but will have to check it again later before the raccoons arrive. It looks like there's some fur missing around the base of his tail, but I can't be sure in the artificial light. If nothing happens tonight he ought to be here tomorrow morning, though, and I'll be able to see any damage he might have.

Now if only my PG&E bill would show up. I need to know if there's going to be any damage from that as well. It's usually here by the middle of the month, but I haven't gotten it yet. If I don't get it Monday I'll have to call them to see what's up. They might have to send a second copy, because I think it's due early in November and I don't want to end up with a late penalty.
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Blowy [Oct. 19th, 2018|11:34 pm]
Odd atmospheric conditions are causing the gusty breezes to shift about tonight. The breeze is oddly warm, too. It actually feels warmer outside right now than it did three hours ago. It's still supposed to drop down into the fifties before dawn, but right now it's downright balmy out there— at least for the season. It's supposed to get much cooler next week, but will still be in the seventies every day. Summer died, but has come back as a zombie. I hope it doesn't eat my brains. I have few enough left.

The gusts are causing acorns to fall from the oak trees, setting up a clatter as they roll down rooftops. Walnuts would probably be falling from my tree, too, if the squirrels and raccoons and woodpeckers (but mostly the squirrels) hadn't already snatched them all. Apparently they prefer walnuts to acorns, as the noise that accompanies each stiff gust attests that plenty of the latter remain.

A noise far louder, and far less pleasant, woke me up too early today. Power tools were in use next door, and this afternoon there was an unpleasant smell in the air rather like fresh asphalt. I think someone up the block might have been having their driveway sealed, but I didn't bother to go snoop. I used to go check out what was going on in the neighborhood every time their was a disturbance, olfactory or not. But that was before the Internets swallowed me whole. I'm not sure I can even be considered a local citizen anymore now that I've vanished into the virtual world.

The commotion next door this morning also scared the feral cats off, and they didn't get their breakfast until afternoon. That means they weren't ready for dinner on time, and got hungry again after dark, but if I feed them by night the raccoons are bound to show up and eat the food. I hope the neighbors are done with their project so this disruption won't happen again tomorrow.

Right now it's time to go watch the television (TV) and probably fall asleep in front of it. I did get a brief nap this afternoon, but the cats kept waking me up so it wasn't very restful. I will most likely pass out not long after midnight and wake up in the dark with something on the screen I'd rather not see, like a big, goofy, orange face. I hate when that happens.
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Break [Oct. 18th, 2018|11:21 pm]
Running late again. I don't know why. I did next to nothing today— at least that I can remember. It's all pretty much a blank. Maybe an alternate personality took over and did something very interesting that I will never know about. More likely I just daydreamed forgettable daydreams. Now it's late and I have to go eat something and drink something.

Oh, and the on again-off again rain next week is, for all practical purposes, off again. A %15 percent chance for three hours Wednesday? Give me a break.
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Still and Chill Again [Oct. 17th, 2018|09:25 pm]
There are supposed to be some more breezy days coming up. Today it was mostly still, and tonight so far is quite still. The darkness is nearly silent, with not even a slight rustle of leaves. The only sounds are a few crickets far to the south, barely noticeable. Now and then a dog barks or a night bird calls, or I will hear a car in the distance, but for the most part it is utterly serene.

The fattening crescent moon is hanging around in the pine trees down the block, and a while ago I saw the flashing light of a distant airplane pass westward over the valley. Most notably, the chill air is starting to take on the scent of autumn; dead leaves, soil mold, and a hint of smoke from a fireplace. The balmy days still feel like September, but October asserts itself by night.

I fell asleep before one o'clock again last night, and woke up around seven this morning. I avoided the couch this afternoon and so didn't have a nap, unintentional or otherwise. That means I'll probably fall asleep fairly early again tonight and wake fairly early again tomorrow. Six or so hours of sleep is really insufficient for me, but at least I've got a pattern going— though only for two days so far— and I'm getting to see the sun go down. Once the sleep deficit catches up with me I'm sure it will fall apart, and I hope it doesn't happen over the weekend. It might interfere with my shopping trip.

Speaking of which I need to go make out my list, which I never got around to doing today. I did get around to doing the other half of my laundry, though I very nearly left it too late to get it dried in the sun. I really need to get the dryer situation dealt with before the cold and overcast days arrive. Having wet laundry hanging on a rack int he house is most annoying.
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Still Mild But Not Still [Oct. 16th, 2018|09:31 pm]
Two days ago the rain was predicted to arrive nine days later. Yesterday it was predicted eight days later. Today it is back to nine days from now. I was looking forward to it being only a week away. Betrayed by meteorologists! Oh, the shame of it! But I'm not angry with you, weather. I'm just terribly disappointed.

There, let's see if that works.

Today I got to have the windows open a long time, and washed a load of laundry and dried it outdoors in the bright sun and balmy breeze. The afternoon was somewhat disturbed by someone using a noisy leaf blower across the street, but after the infernal machine was silenced it was a pleasant enough day to be outdoors, as long as I remained in the shade. The direct sunlight is still much too warm. The days won't be cooling down until the middle of next week (when the unreliable rain was supposed to arrive.)

But of course the nights remain cool, and even with some effective heat capture by day the house has lately been chilling enough before dawn that the furnace has been running every morning. Most of the cost will be on November's gas bill, though, and I think I'll probably get away for less than a hundred bucks on the bill that should arrive in a day or two. October is the last month I can save very much toward the first installment of property taxes, so a small bill this month is a very good thing.

There was one of those unintentional evening naps again today, and though it was brief it was very annoying as it came late in a movie I was watching, causing me to miss the ending. Chances are I'll be dead before they show that movie again and I'll never find out how what happened happened (it was a movie from the 1950s so I know everything worked out well for the main characters— though I don't know if any of the villains got shot.)

I suppose I might find that movie on Netflix of Hulu, but I don't subscribe to those. Slow DSL, you know, plus taxes to pay. Ah, well, life is full of mysteries. Unless there turns out to be an afterlife I'll never find out what happens to me, either, as I'll be dead once I've died. And I guess that means I won't care what happened anyway, to me or the characters in the movie. Another point in favor of mortality! Hooray!
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Wavering Attention [Oct. 15th, 2018|09:35 pm]
So I managed to avoid an afternoon nap today, but only because I didn't wake up until almost noon after going to sleep sometime around four o'clock in the morning. That's pretty close to what once was a regular schedule for me, but it's been such a long time since I was reliably nocturnal that it seems strange now. I doubt the pattern is back to stay, though. No pattern lasts long anymore.

It was warm but breezy again today, and a lot more leaves have come down. The nearby oaks are getting close to being denuded, and the pines have begun shedding needles in large numbers, while the walnut tree's leaves are starting to turn yellow in places. It looks somewhat autumnal out there, but certainly still doesn't feel like it. Yet somebody has a fire in their fireplace tonight, and the smell of woodsmoke is seasonally accurate. It cooled off rapidly tonight and is heading down to 48 degrees, but it will be back up to 80 tomorrow. Diurnal whiplash again.

I am not hearing any of the small crickets tonight. Could it be that they've all given up? I wasn't expecting them to vanish so suddenly. Come to think of it I don't recall hearing them for a few nights now. They are such a persistent sound of summer, and now they have vanished and I didn't even notice when it happened. I've grown so inattentive!
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October Mildness [Oct. 14th, 2018|07:59 pm]
The shopping is done, and I spent several dollars more than I should have, but I'll enjoy the extravagances I bought. Once the really cold weather sets in I won't be able to afford so many luxuries, as the gas bill will be going way up. Make foolish choices while the sun shines, as the old saying almost goes, and the sun was certainly shining today, though the gusty wind kept me from getting too warm while outdoors.

In the end it turned out to be about five degrees warmer today than had been predicted. Tomorrow is supposed to be much the same as today, though not as windy. I got rid of those fallen leaves the other day just in time to make room for a new mess of them. I won't know just how many until tomorrow's morning sun reveals them, but so far there is quite an impressive strew of them. I'll try to get them cleaned up before the next rain, which the forecast is now tentatively predicting for a week from Tuesday. Until then the days are all expected to be pretty warm.

This persistent mildness is pleasant, but has me a bit worried about whether or not we'll be getting a winter at all this year. I know that such a year will arrive eventually, but I'm hoping it won't be this year. I find myself imagining winter lately, even though autumn has barely begun. Considering the fact that I like autumn far more than I do winter this is a bit strange, and I have no idea why the thought has begun to occupy my mind, unless it is that fear at the back of it that winter itself might one day be lost (here, at least) to the changing climate. That would be a sad loss.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Good Night [Oct. 13th, 2018|07:59 pm]
It's supposed to be sunny and windy for my shopping trip tomorrow (assuming I get transportation) but at only 70 degrees not as warm as today was. It actually got up to 84 today, but even though I had the windows open all afternoon the house remained quite cool. It'sonly 69 right now. That might be a problem since it will be going down to 47 tonight, so the furnace will probably kick in sometime early tomorrow morning and then cycle on much of the day. But then the days are going to be warm again after that, so the furnace shouldn't have to work too much for the rest of the week even though the nights will continue to get down into the low fifties.

This evening I watered the back yard and the back back yard for the first time in almost a week. The plants were looking a bit pekid, which is not surprising. This summer was tough on a lot of them, even though I watered them fairly regularly. The ivy in the far southeast corner of the yard which used to climb halfway up the fence is thinning, and some sort of plant that is turning red now has invaded its patch. I con't know what plant that is, as I'd have to wade through much of the surviving ivy to get close enough to see exactly what it looks like with my failing eyesight. Maybe I can get my sister to inspect it next time she's here.

I'm afraid I spoiled my dinner with wicked Chex mix again. I'll probably have to wait until eleven or so before I get hungry enough to eat a meal, and I hope I don't fall asleep before then since I did manage to avoid an unintentional nap today, event hough I've been awake since about seven o'clock this morning. I do have English people murdering one another on television tonight,t hough, which might keep me awake until belated dinner time. IN fact the mayhem starts almost immediately so I have to go to the other room now. Good night, LiveJournal. Good night, computer. Good night, Internets.
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Dull [Oct. 12th, 2018|11:14 pm]
Well, the unintentional evening nap came back today, so it was only a one-day respite. At least I woke up early enough to see the waxing crescent moon before it was hidden in the trees. It will be full on the 24th, and the way the long range forecast is looking that's quite likely to be a clear, mild night.

Currently there are nothing but warm, sunny days ahead, with cool nights. I suppose the weather could be considered nearly perfect, though still not very autumnal, and I'm getting a bit bored with it. I'm ready for a nice rainstorm again, but I'll probably have to wait a long time.

And tonight I'm not ready to do much of anything. I spent a couple of hours watching music videos on YouTube, getting moodier by the minute, and now I'm going to go make a grilled cheese sandwich and watch television. Not that there's anything on. I just realized that it's Friday. Shopping on Monday threw me off, shortening my week. Fridays are as dull on television as they are here. No escape.
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