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In Flight [Apr. 24th, 2018|11:13 pm]
There was a helicopter circling the neighborhood a while ago. I'm wondering if it might have been responding to a report of a mountain lion. There have been spottings near here in recent weeks, with some cats and raccoons killed. The neighborhood where the incidents have happened is less than half a mile south of my house, so it's plausible that the lion would make its way up here.

WE actually get reports of lions in one part of town or another every couple of years. The last time anyone shot one was in 2012. Usually, if the authorities decide a particular lion is a threat, the Department of Fish and Game tries to tranquilize them and relocate them to unpopulated areas farther up in the mountains. I hope this guy either leaves or is relocated soon, as I do worry about my feral cats.

More enjoyable than the helicopter was a pair of honking geese who flew north very low right over my front yard shortly before sunset. I'd have expected all the geese to have been gone by now, but this pair must have remained behind for some reason. Perhaps they had trouble paying their hotel bills. They might have been victims of identity theft. Or maybe they just had to spend a few days in jail after going on one last drunk. Vacations can be so stressful.
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Continued Balminess [Apr. 23rd, 2018|09:15 pm]
Perfect frog-listening weather has arrived, but there are fewer frogs to listen to because the heat is drying up their water. The chances of getting a bit of rain next weekend are increasng, though, so maybe there will be a reprieve for the amphibians. I'll gladly get wet when I go shopping in exchange for another week of frog music.

Tonight there is half a waxing moon, and the dim moon shadows cast by the still-leafless walnut tree are lacing across the freshly-mown lawn. It makes for a very pleasant eveing, and I intend to go back out and enjoy it for a while. First I'll have to deal with the wheelie bins, of course, tomorrow being trash day. The two bins of grass clippings and pulled weeds and various shrub trimmings are already out, but I have to finish filling the trash bin and take it out.

I'm hoping I don't run into the skunk who was here a couple of days ago eating the feral cats' food on the back porch. It was not yet night when the skunk came by, and as they are nocturnal beasts it's possible that it was a sick animal. A skunk who rises before nightfall might be in the early stages of rabies. Of course I haven't seen it since it took a meal from the cat bowls (which I immediately washed) so perhaps it has moved on to some other area.

The raccoons, on the other hand, never seem to move on. If there is any cat food out at all they will invite themselves for dinner, and then they return night after night, sometimes several times a night, just in case. The raccoons are bold, and will eat while I am standing only a few feet away from them. I suspect that someone in the neighborhod has been deliberately feeding them and they are losing their fear of people.

But I'm feeling muddle-headed, and tired of making hyphens, so I'm going off to put the last of the trash into the wheelie bin and put it out, and then spend a few minutes with the faint frogs and the pale moon— and whatever creatures decide to join me. I hope it isn't mosquitoes.
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Scratch That [Apr. 22nd, 2018|08:54 pm]
Now I know beyond any doubt that spring is here. I got my first mosquito bite of the season while watering the yard this evening. It's on the back of my left ear, and it itches like burning hell. Still it was pleasant to be watering in the mild eveing air, smelling the damp earth and plants. The lawn got mowed today, but the weeds flourishing inthe back back yard did not.

Some sort of flowering vine has volunteered this year, and is beginning to scale the chainlink fence that divides the two parts of the yard. I need to get my dryer fixed, or a clothesline installed, because that fence is where I drape my wet laundry. I can't do that if it gets covered with a vine.

The forecast is now predicting highs of 80 degreees tomorrow and Tuesday, so I'll be getting lots of open window time. There is a promise that it will briefly drop back into the sixties next Friday and Saturday, but I'm doubtful. There is also a very slight chance of rainthose days. Although I would welcome a few April showers, I am skeptical. I don't think we'll be that lucky.

In other news, my spellcheck application appears to have quit working. I have to keep fixing my typoes by hand, when I spot them. But I'm not going to spend too much time doing that tonight, as I beleive English people are supposed to start murdering one another shrotly, and I certainly don't want to miss the elegant slaughter. Plus I should eat something. The nephew raided the freezer and devoured what I'd intended to have for dinner (though leaving the box from which it was taken), so I'll have to improvise. Something from a can, most likely.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Spring, To Be Sure [Apr. 21st, 2018|11:23 pm]
Balmy days have arrived, and there is at least a week of warm weather ahead, with no more rain is sight. The nights will stay cool for some time to come, though. I won't be needing the air conditioner, and if I manage to get the windows open long enough to capture warmth during the balmy parts of the days I probably won't be running the furnace by night, either. I should get a break on the utility bill this month.

All over town the dogwoods are blooming, as I saw when going to the stores this afternoon. My lilacs are blooming, too, but they aren't doing too well this year. The cold spell might have damaged the buds, or perhaps they got rained on at the wrong time. At least they are doing better than the oleanders along the back fence. All five of them are covered with brown leaves and are clearly dying. It's possible that I ought to have watered them more over the dry parts of winter, but it's also possible that they, too, were damaged, but more severely, by the series of cold spells we had this winter.

The gas company appears to be done with their project replacing the lines in the neighborhood. The holes along the street have been filled with fresh asphalt, though it looks like the patches haven't been run over by the roller yet. That will probably happen next week. There have been no explosions during the project, and I haven't smelled gas leaking, so I'm guessing they did it right.

So the router is replaced and the Internets are reconnected, the noisy construction work is almost over, and the cold weather is probably gone for the season, and there will soon be jasmine and gardenias scenting the air. A time of serenity will be welcome. I still need to get the dryer fixed, but in the meantime I will at least have sunlight for drying clothes. I wonder what terrible thing is about to happen to ruin it all?
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666 [Apr. 20th, 2018|12:40 pm]
So Monday morning there was no Internets, and the power light on my router was flashing red. I called AT&T and "Steve" (or was it "Shiva"?) from India told me that the flashing red light meant the router was dead. So the nephew ordered a new router from Amazon (as I have no Amazon account of my own) which arrived Wednesday, but I was unable to configure it, called AT&T again and this time got an American tech guy who couldn't pronounce English as well as "Steve" ("or "Shiva") from India had (I suspect the the American tech guy belonged to some cult that had taken a vow to avoid using consonants) and in the end he was unable to figure it out either. The router was, you see, not standard AT&T issue.

So the next day another nephew, who visits the nearby semi-metropolis daily, was dispatched to the AT&T store there (the one in my backwater was permanently closed some years ago) to purchase a standard AT&T issue router. But by the time he got it here last night the AT&T tech support center was closed. It used to be available 24 hours a day, but it now is open only from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM... Central time. This leads me to believe that the AT&T has contracted out its tech support system to a convenience store in Toledo, but whatever. The price of AT&T Internets service goes up every year, though not as rapidly as bonuses for AT&T executives, so they clearly don't have enough money to waste on frivolities such as customer tech support. I understand. Corporate personhood is tough in an America where Bernie Sanders has not yet been officially waterboarded.

So this morning I was finally able to call the Toledo 7-11, and "Trey" (who, judging from his accent, is Mexican, and therefore sufficiently fluent in English to be comprehensible) was finally able to get me reconnected. The odd thing is that I had tried to connect last night using the configuration web site that was given to me in the instruction manual for the router, but that web site didn't recognize my password. This morning "Trey" had me close that browser page and go to the page provided not by AT&T but by Netgear, the router's manufacturer, and that worked. It is a bit puzzling that Netgear would not have the link to their own, functional web page in the instruction manual, but instead directed me to an AT&T page that didn't work, but, again, whatever. It's technology, and Internets, and the manual was thus probably just cobbled together out of whatever was left laying around by the previous tenant of the building Netgear's manual-writing department now occupies.

So I am at last reconnected to the Beast, and my pathway to damnation is open once again. I don't think I'll try to catch up with everything the Beast has been up to over the four days I was gone. Once, when I was younger, I had the energy for such tasks, but these days I'll be lucky to catch up with my email, let alone all those web sites I regularly visit. As the old saying goes, Hell can wait.
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Falling [Apr. 15th, 2018|08:06 pm]
It's a good thing I went shopping yesterday, because this afternoon around three o'clock the sky opened and it has been raining ever since. But around half past seven, when the unseen sun was nearing the western horizon, some quirk of the clouds allowed a vivid light to pass, and the world was drenched in the light's gold even as it continued to be drenched by the rain. The sight left me stunned for some time, and had I not been under the cover oft he back porch I would surely have stood in the rain, transfixed,until I was soaked.

In time the evening darkened again, and I was released, and heard the gushing of the downspouts and the rattle of rain on fresh leaves. Now I'm thinking about ordinary things again. I'm thinking about the big pot of beans on the stove, and how nice it will be to remember that light as I eat the hot beans with some warm, buttered French bread. Because I remember that light I don't even mind that the sound of rain will drown out the song of the frogs tonight. Golden light and silver rain. I'll take that as a portent of good fortune. Said good fortune is probably those beans.

Time to eat.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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A Tip Of the Cap [Apr. 14th, 2018|10:46 pm]
The shopping took place, and it was a very nice day to be out and about. Many trees and bushes are now in bloom, and the oaks all have their fresh, pale green leaves, lending the landscape a softness it has lacked for some time. The stores and their parking lots were a bit more crowded than they are on Sundays, but I hadn't much to buy so it didn't take any longer than usual.

Since I'm always muddleheaded for the first couple of hours after I wake up I totally forgot to do the rest of my laundry today. That means it has to wait until Tuesday at the earliest, which will be the next day without rain or a significant chance thereof. It's going to be cold for the next several days, too, with no days as warm as today was until next Friday. Next weekend could be quite pleasant, though.

I had a bit of dental misfortune this evening. Another crown has popped off, though this one didn't break up like the last one did. It came off complete. I could probably have it reattached easily enough, if I still had a regular dentist, but he retired a couple of years ago and the guy who took over his patients was very costly and very demanding, so I quit going. I knew this would come back to bite (dental humor) my arse, and now it looks like the toothy day is here. I was sort of hoping I would just die of a bacon-induced heart attack before this day arrived, but my luck has clearly run out. Now I'll have to think about thinking about when to think about doing something about it.

But I can't be bothered with that problem right now (since the uncapped tooth hasn't started to actually hurt yet) when there are frogs that need listening to. Plus it wouldn't hurt to eat a bit more bacon. Probably won't help, but couldn't hurt. As long as I don't get any in that uncapped tooth.
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Boring [Apr. 13th, 2018|11:01 pm]
Tomorrow is to be shopping day this week, so I can avoid going out in Sunday's rainstorm. There isn't much on sale and thus isn't much to buy, which is a good thing since the nephew hasn't coughed up the money he owes me yet this month, and probably won't until next week. Then I will splurge on one thing or another. Though it would probably be best if I saved the splurge until May, since the chilly March and April means my power bill will be high this month. Well, I'll wait and see if any of the stores have really good bargains next week, or the next. If not, then May.

More weeds were pulled today, and the rose bed is just about free of foxtails now. The back back yard will have to wait until after Sunday's rain. I don't think there are very many foxtails there this year, as other plants are growing so profusely. But there still might be some young stinging nettles lurking among them, and those will have to come out. They are the ones that leap onto anything passing nearby, and as my feral cats don't like being combed the only way I can keep them from needing to lick bunches of nasty, sharp nettles from their fur is to eliminate the plants before they get big enough to do what they do.

The day wasn't quite mild enough to have the windows open, but I did have the back door open for a couple of hours. I also dried some laundry on the chain link fence between the back and back back yards. The dryer still hasn't been fixed, and I still don't have a clothes line, so the fence is the only place outdoors to dry stuff. I always worry that birds might crap on stuff when its out there, but they didn't today. I also got the stuff out rather late, so there wasn't quite enough time for them to get completely dry. The towels are now finishing their drying on the bathroom towel racks and over the shower door, and the socks and washcloths are on the indoor rack which I have in the living room. Everything ought to be dry before midnight.

I'll need to do more laundry tomorrow, if I wake up early enough. Maybe it will be dry by the time I get back from shopping. If I don't get it done tomorrow it will have to wait until Tuesday, which is the first day in the week when rain will be unlikely. I've dried stuff entirely on the rack in the living room before, but it takes forever, especially in rainy weather, and I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it. Tuesday will be chilly, but mostly sunny, while tomorrow will be warmer but partly cloudy. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, I suppose.

I just looked at this entry and realized that I have become a totally boring person with a totally boring life. I need some straight lines even more than I need a clothes line. I think I'l go out and listen to the frogs for a while. They don;t provide any straight lines, but they are able to make me forget the dullness of my life for a while.
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Toe the Line [Apr. 12th, 2018|10:53 pm]
Again with the unintentional napping. So much for a normal schedule returning today. Plus I must have napped wrong on my ingrown toenail, as it is very sore and I'll have to deal with it now. But tomorrow is a warmer day, and Saturday warmer still— though not yet warm enough for open windows— and maybe I'll get some more weed pulling done.

I've heard nothing about shopping tomorrow, so maybe it will be Saturday. Sunday and Monday are both supposed to be wet, with Sunday the wettest. Things are up in the air, where the rain is going to be. Where my brain is right now.

Ouch, toe. Yes, I'll get to you now.
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Planted [Apr. 11th, 2018|11:31 pm]
We got our evening rain right on schedule. Everything else is totally off schedule. There's a rumor that spring might re-arrive sometime around April 20, but I'm not making any bets on it. But at least we're going to get a couple of dry nights during which I might get to smell the Dame's Rocket that has bloomed in my back yard.

These plants (four of them) popped up last spring, but nothing ever came of them. I had no idea what they were, but a few days ago I noticed that they had grown long stalks with little purple flowers on them. I still didn't know what hey were, but now I had enough to go on to do a Googling, and it turns out they are Dame's Rocket, a bi-annual plant that blooms in its second year.

When I smelled an exotic perfume in the back yard a couple of nights ago (before the rain) I had no idea what it was, but it turns out that it was the Dame's Rocket. I'm looking forward to getting a whiff of it again, now that I know what it is, but I'll have to wait until the rain is gone. The scent should be even stronger if we ever get any warm evenings again. I'm looking forward to that, too.

Tonight its just damp and smells like wet grass and pine trees. The rain has moved on to the east, though there might be a bit more later. Tomorrow should be dry, but chilly. What will happen after that is anybody's guess, but I'm not making one. Predicting anything seems like hubris anymore.
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